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Not-So-Badass Longcoat

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"Goodnight... you died as you lived: in a dumb Inspector Gadget coat."
Chris Sims, Comics Alliance recap of the Smallville finale

Sometimes just wearing a longcoat isn't quite enough to look badass. It can be because the longcoat in question is old, battered, two sizes bigger than needed or it can be because the character himself is lame or just acts so.

Extremely associated with police detectives, FBI, and inspectors. In fact, association with the latter is so strong, you will have trouble finding a character named "inspector" without a Not So Badass Longcoat of his own.

See Badass Longcoat for the inverse of this trope, and Conspicuous Trenchcoat for when someone uses a longcoat to conceal themselves, but the disguise has no effect on the audience (or appears to be hiding some Sexy Coat Flashing).


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    Anime & Manga 

    Fan Works 
  • In Neon Metathesis Evangelion, Touji has taken to wear over his plugsuit during synch-tests or even lead-ups to battle when he is outside the entry-plug. Asuka calls it his "bathrobe."
  • Gareth from One Piece: Parallel Works wears a long, green coat that doesn't really serve any purpose in the story or his character development.

    Films — Animation 
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup's coat/vest looks long enough to be a longcoat, but it more serves the purpose of making him look smaller than look badass.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Lieutenant Eckhardt from Batman (1989), who wears a shabby longcoat that's further degraded by his own shabby and overweight appearance. He doesn't have any impressive accomplishments either, getting humiliated in a brief confrontation with Jack Napier early and then getting murdered by him while trying to slink away from the botched Axis Chemical raid.
  • Deckard from Blade Runner, despite having a lot of the typical traits of a classic Noir detective, is decidedly not badass, despite his longcoat. His sole two kills in the movie are women, both of which he shoots in the back. The male replicants he pursues kick his ass up and down the field, and he's very narrowly saved from death both times (once by Rachel blasting Leon in the back, and the other time by Roy showing him mercy).
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Bootstrap Bill Turner wears a long, tattered black coat, which drags on the ground behind him and accentuates his slouched posture and general air of misery.
  • Silent Bob from The View Askewniverse is always clad in a dark green trenchcoat. Instead of dorky like most examples of this trope, it's used to paint him as a burnout drug dealer like his friend Jay; the coat is likely to store his stash.
  • Gary in The World's End certainly tries to look cool in his long black coat, but given how he refuses to grow up as he's reaching his forties, it comes across as rather pathetic and hence falls a bit flat. It eventually graduates into a proper Badass Longcoat when he becomes a sword-wielding post-apocalyptic hero in the film's epilogue.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Columbo's famously shabby beige coat is a subversion. Columbo deliberately presents himself as a dim-witted slob as part of his Obfuscating Stupidity — he's an extremely competent detective who almost always gets his man.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Fifth Doctor's beige-with-red-piping coat. Worn over his cricket gear, it makes him look like he's very much the team's Twelfth Man.
    • The Sixth Doctor's technicolor dreamcoat. It was... a lot of things, but "badass" wasn't on that list. Six would likely disagree, but Six was not exactly sane, even by Doctor standards.
    • The Eighth Doctor had a lovely Victorian-style velvet coat (stolen from a morgue tech's fancy dress party outfit), and he turned out to be one of the gentlest incarnations, making it all the more heartbreaking when his last, not-so-badass longcoat became a Badass Longcoat after he was completely broken and regenerated into War.
  • The Gang from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia have a black leather duster that is indeed pretty cool, and they tend to enjoy passing it around. Unfortunately, they are all idiots.
  • Hill Street Blues: Captain Frank Furillo is seldom seen outside without his distinctive beige overcoat over a variety of rather nice suits, which looks a lot like Columbo's in the photo above only better-fitting and less battered. While Furillo could be pretty badass in his own way, he was very much a diplomat and a Guile Hero rather than the conventional Badass Long Coat wearer. Besides, the series is set in The '80s when such coats were typical menswear and in a citynote  that gets bitterly cold in the winter; he'd stand out more if he didn't wear one.
  • Monk: Adrian Monk often wears a coat but doesn't exactly give off a badass vibe, especially with all his phobias. Make no mistake though, he is a former police officer, so there are times where even he can administer a surprisingly effective beatdown on some criminals.
  • Vera's baggy brown overcoat is unlikely to intimidate anyone, especially when combined with her floppy hat. However, it is undoubtedly warm and practical, given that the series is set Oop North and the weather is constantly overcast and usually drizzling.

  • Collins' coat in RENT is pretty beat up, with the sleeve hanging off.

    Video Games 
  • Sebastian Castellanos in The Evil Within. He himself proves to be quite the badass, but his dirty, crumpled, worn longcoat doesn't exactly complete the look. It's a Tragic Keepsakea gift from his wife— that he wears incessantly to remember his deceased family.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Zant is an evil sorcerer with a stylish black longcoat, but between the lengthy sleeves, his small feet poking out from the bottom, and his pouty, psychotic demeanor, it actually has the effect of making him look less badass. The only reason he's a threat to Hyrule is that he took Ganon's powers for himself, and even they don't save him from being atomized by the Fused Shadows.
  • Some bandits in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. tend to use hooded leather trenchcoats in the Zone, because they look cool. Degtyarev can get one as well in Call of Pripyat. That doesn't change the fact that leather clothing is woefully inadequate for any of the dangers the Zone presents — be them bullets, mutant attacks, or the effects of anomalies — and the average user is an ill-equipped and combat-incompetent bad guy wannabe.
  • Douglas in Silent Hill 3 wears an old long coat and he's a detective hired by the Claudia to keep tabs on Heather. He doesn't do anything particularly badass, but he does stand up to Claudia after learning what her true goals were and suffers a broken leg for it as a result.

    Web Videos 
  • Dad: Carl fulfills the investigator-stereotype by wearing a big, unbuttoned, longcoat in every appearance.

    Western Animation 
  • Harvey Bullock of Batman: The Animated Series, as it's always open and smeared with food stains. Although it depends. We're talking about a gruff man who single-handedly took on a band of mobsters with Good Old Fisticuffs and won.