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Pop-Cultured Badass

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"While other people were out living their lives, I wasted mine watching TV, because deep down, I knew it might one day help me save the world. Plus, I would have lost my Workman's Comp if I had gone outside."

While the Cultured Badass and Wicked Cultured listen to Tchaikovsky and Wagner, and read Nietzsche in their spare time, the Pop-Cultured Badass rocks out to the latest hits on their iPod and discusses their interpretation of recent movies.

They may very well engage in discussing tropes and Conversational Troping, and weaponising their media awareness to analyse and solve problems. They’re also very prone to being Sophisticated as Hell.

Contrast Cultured Badass and Wicked Cultured. Sometimes the eponymous bunny ears of a Bunny-Ears Lawyer.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Black Lagoon:
    • Revy kills a dozen people while listening to White Zombie's 'Electric Head Part 1' on her walkman... at least in the manga; for the anime, she plumps for the just-as-awesome 'Peach Headz Addiction' by Breath Frequency.
    • Balalaika quotes Oingo Boingo during a Hannibal Lecture, and she nevertheless remains terrifying.
  • Canaan has a taxi driver that drives like a professional stuntman while listening to girly pop idol songs.
  • Gintoki from Gintama probably one of the biggest in anime and manga as a whole, coming with at least 1 Shout-Out per episode in this already Reference Overdosed series, even in serious arcs. He even reads Weekly Shounen Jump, the magazine it's from, and has only mentioned a few with a Bland Name, but most are directly Shout-Out, if censored are mostly just one character/letter ●-ed or bleeped out making it quite useless. This has not gone without issues, however, as both Sunrise and Shueisha pray they won't get sued anymore. He's also a Hidden Badass who's a Shell-Shocked Veteran with a Hidden Heart of Gold who has managed to destroy a spaceship with a bokuto as Wooden Katanas Are Even Better.
  • Applies to pretty much everyone from Good Luck Girl!, but especially Momiji, who tends to cosplay even while fighting.
  • Joseph Joestar of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, to the point where his grandson Jotaro uses 80s pop culture trivia as a Something Only They Would Say test.
    Jotaro: Who was the female lead in the 1981 film Tarzan the Ape Man?
    Joseph: Bo Derek!
    Jotaro: Who performed the parody of Michael Jackson's Beat It titled Eat It?
    Joseph: Al Yankovic!
    Jotaro: Good grief... I guess you are the real thing if you know pointless crap like that.
  • Q-Feuille from Kiddy GiRL-AND is quite up to date to the latest shows in-universe and even admits to being an otaku, often shoting out to many popular real life hit Japanese media works. While not much else is shown in the show, she's also implied to be a big reader and has a large collection of novels in her rooms.
  • Misogi Kumagawa from Medaka Box invokes it. He feeds from a steady diet of Shonen Jump manga and constantly quotes the print's protagonists, but it's made clear that he's deliberately invoking these series because they have the heroism and ability to win that he himself lacks. That doesn't stop him from being a Minus with absurd fighting ability.
  • Izuku Midoriya from My Hero Academia. For one he is very knowledgeable about Pro Heroes, who are treated in-universe like celebrities, to the point of being an Otaku. His knowledge of them is so vast that he even knows the most obscure Pro Heroes such as Eraserhead & the Wild Wild Pussycats when no one else seems to. For another he was personally chosen by All Might, the at the time No. 1 Pro Hero, to become the next bearer of One for All after coming to the rescue of Bakugo when no other Pro Hero would despite being quirkless. He also not only completes All Might’s training to get into U.A. High School but also gives a realistic depiction of Muscles Are Meaningful everytime he takes off his shirt. However his true crowning achievement is being able to survive multiple encounters with villains before even starting his second year of U.A. High School.
  • Nyaruko: Crawling with Love!: Nyarko will beat the snot out of you while doing Kamen Rider poses, quoting Jotaro Kujo, using Ranma Saotome's tactics, and much, MUCH more.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man: The progenitor and original. Spider-Man has spouted off pop culture jokes while fighting since the beginning and still going strong despite Deadpool being the new poster boy of comedy references. From AC/DC, The Lord of the Rings, YouTube, World of Warcraft, DC Comics, Comedy Central plus Stephen Colbert etc. Exaggerated in Ultimate Spider-Man.
  • Doc Magus from Marvel Comics 2. His Sanctum Sanctorum is in a comic book shop.
  • Deadpool: Olsen Twins, Bea Arthur, Fat Albert, Lord of the Flies, Lethal Weapon, The Warriors, Golden Age, Steve Ditko...
    "You're right. That's why I'm rollin' with my posse" (he was fighting Tombstone, so, gangster affectations are... excusable...)
  • Marv from Sin City has an affinity for country music and cars. He's gone on more than one monologue about the current versions of both.
  • The Runaways in general are this, with the troupe making various references to movies, actors, Real Life events, etc. Even two(three if you count the dinosaur) of their members superhero names are Shout Outs to The Beatles and Arsenic and Old Lace.
  • Most of the Young Avengers, but particularly Billy Kaplan, aka Wiccan.
  • Speedball from the New Warriors became "kinda addicted to the History Channel"
  • In Death of the Family, Batgirl goes in to brief the Teen Titans on the situation of this storyline. She insultingly compares them to "the cast of iCarly".
  • Early in his tenure as Ant-Man, Scott Lang had this as his primary character trait. It faded pretty quickly, and is now a completely forgotten piece of his characterization.
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard: Though for much of his history he had a disdain for anything mortal, Loki became this after he was resurrected in the body of a child and discovered the Internet. He is now one of the very few Asgardians who carries a cell phone (he even boosts the reception with magic), will use the Internet to accomplish his goals, play video games, and is constantly making pop culture references, having apparently become quite the fan of many movies and TV shows which he gets via "torrents of bits".
  • Caballistics, Inc.: Hannah fights monsters and demons on a daily basis. She also happens to be a big fan of horror movies, which comes in pretty handy when the team is trapped inside a horror film dimension by an evil director.
  • Jon Kent, the newest Superboy, loves playing his Xbox, watching TV, and makes references to popular titles like Star Wars during a family road trip. He's also a Half-Kryptonian Flying Brick.
  • Watchmen: in the Nova Express interview of Adrian Veidt aka. Ozymandias, he mentions that his favorite music is Dub Reggae, which the reporter notes as unexpectedly hip.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Glitch is a fantastic mechanic whose love of human pop culture and bouncy ways make him seem like a tiny harmless Amusing Alien, until the twelve foot tall aliens that had once enslaved his people try to invade earth and he shows that he is a more than capable fighter despite his small stature. He'd dropped hints beforehand given he was part of a successful Slave Revolt but had greatly played down any violence.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Doctor Who fanfic Gemini, Ax-Crazy Serial-Killer Killer Captain June Harper makes numerous references to Firefly, Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, and one of her signature trick-shots is based on a "Taska Venkman" series of spy movies.
  • Once he's had a chance to spend some time in the 21st century without having his memory erased, One-Man Army Super-Soldier Bucky Barnes in Ain't No Grave becomes very fond of modern music, especially hip-hop.
  • In Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness, Colin Creevey is a major pop-culture fan, befitting his Muggle heritage. This comes up more in the side works, but is mentioned in the main fic.
  • Child of the Storm:
  • A regular thing amongst characters of Coreline. This Very Wiki and Tropes within are quoted by name and asking if someone has seen a certain shows or film or comic is a regular In-Universe type of "As You Know". This is pretty much a survival necessity because the setting has a broken Fourth Wall and many characters who were once fiction are running around.
  • In crossover Gems Are Unbreakable Josuke has an abundant knowledge of western movies and TV, and can kick anyone's ass in a heartbeat.
  • Girls' Night Out: Bette and Karen are both tuned-in when it comes to this sort of thing. Bette frequently makes various references and doesn't care if there's anyone around to get them.
  • A Crown of Stars Daniel is a God-Emperor and a gigantic, proud geek who will proudly reference movies, books, tv-shows or Disney movies.
  • Hellsister Trilogy has Supergirl, who turns out to be an avid reader of Michael Moorcock's books.
  • Aurora Borealis: Given the number of pop culture jokes that run around the Shatterdomes, not only the Rangers but everyone in the Shatterdomes is well-known in modern culture and either kicks Kaiju ass or helps the ass-kickers at it.
  • In crossover The Vampire of Steel, super-heroine Kara has read Dracula and enjoys V. C. Andrews' works.
  • In crossover The Dresden Fillies, Dresden manages to reference The Princess Bride, the new Doctor Who, Star Wars (twice!) and use a Vulcan greeting in Strange Friends alone. Without breaking a sweat.
    Harry: That’s the worst part about being here. Nobody gets my jokes.
  • Similarly, Harry Dresden in Beyond the Outer Gate Lies... is quite prone to throw shout outs in a conversation. A good part of the time, the other characters don't catch them.
    • Of course, it becomes hilarious when he faces off with Sirzechs (Rias' brother and one of the devils' main leaders), who quickly fires back to a Rolling Stones reference by continuing it and is a fan of Sentai.

    Films — Animation 
  • The titular The Iron Giant becomes one after being introduced to Earth comic books. In particular he's a fan of Superman, pretending to be him during a play session with Hogar and emulating his flying pose late in the movie.
  • In Turning Red, whilst not a fighter, Mr. Gao is still an expert in the mystical events of the film, and able to keep it together during the climax of the film as Ming's kaiju-sized red panda form rampages through the Toronto SkyDome. Though all of Mei's family chant a traditional Chinese mantra during the sealing ritual, he says what's truly important is singing from the heart, and then adds he would prefer to sing Tony Bennett songs.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Harry Dresden is constantly dropping references to everything from Star Wars to another wizard called Harry. He is a self-professed follower of "the Tao of Peter Parker" and even references the Evil Overlord List at a couple of points. Presumably one of his fellow badass nerds from the Alphas printed it out for him, what with the Walking Techbane thing.
  • Joseph Carrion of the Mediochre Q Seth Series is arguably the biggest Badass Normal in the setting, and is also a fan of Star Trek, The A-Team, and The Beatles.
  • Deconstructed in American Psycho and its adaptations. Patrick Bateman tries to define himself through his appreciation for music, art, and pop culture and relates this much to the reader/audience, but his grasp and understanding of his favorite music and artists is reduced to what material they make the most appealing to the widest audiences and Lowest Common Denominator, such as dismissing early Genesis albums with Peter Gabriel (and his "lame solo career") as being "too artsy, too intellectual" and favoring the more commercially-driven direction of the group after Phil Collins became the group's frontman. Other assessments he makes of popular singers and bands are frequently off-the-mark and factually wrong, like being convinced that Whitney Houston is a jazz singer or believing "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is a song by The Beatles. In the book and musical, he often speaks of owning what's described as the original version of "Sunrise with Broken Plates" by artist David Onica (while discreetly boasting of the high cost he paid to obtain it), only for his ex-girlfriend to later point out to him that he hung it upside down. All of this only serves to further demonstrate Patrick's shallowness and delusions about having "good taste."
  • The Animorphs all make plenty of references to 90s pop culture - even Ax, an alien, gets in on it a bit once he starts binge-watching TV in his spare time. Marco is the most frequent offender; he unconsciously gives himself away to the Yeerk controlling his mom by referencing The Prince of Egypt.
  • Gary Karkofsky in The Supervillainy Saga is constantly making references to everything from Star Wars to the Lord of the Rings to this very wiki. He's also capable of killing Kaiju with his superpowers. Deconstructed as it turns out Gary uses Confusion Fu to take down opponents who dismiss him as a fool.
  • Chiun in The Destroyer series of books is a grand master of the supreme martial art Sinanju, which among many other things allows one to dodge bullets, break through the wall of a bank vault with one punch and survive a lethal fall by landing in a small puddle of water just right. Chiun's favourite pastime is watching soap operas, which he considers the only significant artistic contribution the United States has ever managed.
  • In the Red Room series, Derek Hawthorne is a fan of Bruce Lee, the Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, James Bond films (enough to know details about individual films), several video games, Star Wars, and horror movies. Justified as it's mentioned Derek, despite the fact he's a super-cool spy, was more or less raised at home by the television.
  • Rivers of London:
    • DC Peter Grant is a serious magic user, plus a trained police officer, and his conversation and narration are both a near-constant stream of references to sci-fi and fantasy, especially Doctor Who and Discworld. In False Value his immediate reaction on learning another magical group calls itself the Ordo Machinis Spectandis is to make a Warhammer 40,000 joke, prompting the junior member, who's been working with him for a while, to explain to his superior "He talks like that all the time. Just ignore it."
    • The Faceless Man is the ruthless and powerful Big Bad. He's also a massive J. R. R. Tolkien nerd who actually uses Quenya in his magical booby traps.
  • InCryptid: Antimony Price, who's also a Nerd Action Hero, constantly peppers her dialogue and narration with references to movies, TV, and comics. About half the examples on the Shout Out page are from her. She also picked "Final Girl" as her Roller Derby name.
  • Harrow the Ninth: When we get to know the Emperor, it turns out that, being an immortal God-Emperor, he knows a lot of early 21st century meme culture...which makes some conversations with him deeply confusing to the other characters, especially for Harrow, who is barely eighteen and has no possible hope of knowing what "none Houses with left grief" is a reference to.
  • The Diogenes Club series:
    • In Swellhead there's a subversion; the villain is massively intelligent and knows everything, but he is actually defeated by his lack of knowledge of the younger generation's pop culture. Not "as a consequence of"; By. After failing to name the singer who had a hit with "I Should Be So Lucky", his head explodes. Or, if you prefer, goes pop.
    • Derek Leech, the series's Greater-Scope Villain, one of the world's foremost diabolical masterminds, is a prophet of tacky consumer culture (hey, who said it had to be good pop culture?) and has the kind of mind that thinks it's pretty neat for his sinister black luxury car to have a horn that plays the theme from Jaws.
  • Denizen of Knights of the Borrowed Dark is a member of a secret army fighting a war with horrific monsters, as well as a teenage boy with a fondness for fantasy novels. It's made him Genre Savvy and surprisingly cynical, and his narration is strewn with references to Artemis Fowl, Discworld, The Lord of the Rings, etc.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Mr. Garibaldi is a huge fan of old Looney Tunes cartoons, specifically Daffy Duck. At one point, his Starfury can be seen to have Daffy Duck Nose Art. He's even quote-checked Elmer Fudd as a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner. Contrast with his first boss, Commander Sinclair, who was more of a fan of Tennyson.
  • Band of Brothers: George Luz is knowledgeable about movies and musicals.
  • Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad is an eccentric Bunny-Ears Lawyer who casually makes references to movies, TV, literature, music, and mythology in everyday conversation. He's also able to talk himself and/or his clients away from the deepest legal troubles as well as his strong connections in the criminal network. This trait carries over to his prequel series: Better Call Saul.
  • Detective Jake Peralta from Brooklyn Nine-Nine prefers Die Hard, but he'll reference everything from Captain Phillips to Game of Thrones at the slightest opportunity.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
  • Chuck: Bartowski loves his video-games, Sci-Fi movies, and MacGyver.
  • Community:
    • Abed. The badass part is best demonstrated by the "paintball war movie" episodes.
    • The same goes for Jeff, who admits in the pilot he was "raised on TV".
  • Doctor Who:
  • Farscape: John Crichton, with heavy, heavy emphasis on the Pop Culture, especially early on before he really develops the Badass. And he never stops, no matter the situation—one time, when he realized he was going to be frozen in stone for 80 years, one of his regrets was that Buffy would be dead by then. To clarify, he started out as a Southern-Fried Genius who took several levels in badass.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • Cisco Ramone, aka Vibe, loves making references to everything from Star Wars to Harry Potter. The badass part only kicks in starting with season 2, however.
    • Barry Allen (though not as much as Cisco) is no slouch in the pop-culture area either. He enjoys Lady Gaga, has a zombie movie rating scale, and is clearly annoyed when his wife mixes up Star Trek with Star Wars.
  • Lost: Sawyer, given the amount of references he makes.
  • Throughout the run of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye and Trapper/B.J. make numerous references to American pop culture of approximately the late 1940s and early 1950s (and occasionally anachronistic references to American pop culture of the later 1950s or early 1960s). For some reason, the show really loved to reference Gone with the Wind.
  • In Misfits, the misfits defeat a person with a compelling voice by drowning it out with their individual choices of iPod music.
  • The Nanny:
    • The title character Fran is absolutely this trope. In one episode, her pop culture knowledge actually helps her successfully track down the guy who'd kidnapped C.C.'s dog (It Makes Sense in Context).
    • In "The Nanny Napper", Fran is arrested for allegedly kidnapping a foreign woman's baby (she was simply holding him for her on the subway, before being separated). She likens her plight to that of a soap opera, which the foreign woman watches too, leading to an intense dual-language conversation about the show, which convinces the police to drop the charges. (It helped that the supervising officer watched too.)
    • In "Franny and the Professor", C.C. and her brother make a bet that Fran's pop culture knowledge could make her a contestant on ''Jeopardy! - and it does.
  • NCIS: Tony seldom has a scene where he doesn't drop some kind of reference to movies.
  • Psych: Shawn and Gus are a gold mine of obscure references of eighties films no one but them have bothered to remember as well as more modern fare such Phineas and Ferb, The Mentalist (with appropriate Take That! and Lampshade Hanging to Dueling Shows), Supernatural and others.
  • Revolution:
    • Captain Jeremy Baker. He said, "This is so dramatic. You guys remember One Life to Live?"
    • Miles Matheson shows himself as this by saying, "You're gonna poke your eye out, kid," and making a comment about Jason Neville having a "boy-band" face.
    • Major Tom Neville shows himself to really like Lionel Ritchie and compares John Sanborn to Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • When not wasting hordes of Jaffa or otherwise saving the world, Colonel Jack O'Neill never misses an episode of The Simpsons. He's also a bit of a Star Trek fan, getting upset when the USAF wouldn't name the first Earth built starship "Enterprise". Also, when he traveled back in time, he said his name was James T. Kirk... then said it was Luke Skywalker.
    • Teal'c, surprisingly, after he acclimates to Earth culture. Turns out he's a huge fan of Star Wars. He also immediately recognizes a reference to Die Hard later in the show, even when Daniel failed to get it.
    • From Stargate Atlantis, there's John Sheppard, who loves Johnny Cash, Popcorn... and ferris wheels.
    • Eli Wallace in Stargate Universe, who frequently drops sci-fi and comic book references, built his own version of a hoverboard and uses cartoon characters as aliases. His tendency to do gets to the point where Colonel Young once orders him to "reply in English, Ancient... Bat-Signal".
      • As a cartoon character example, Eli used Ancient body-swapping technology to visit his mother on Earth in the body of someone else. She didn't have security clearance, so he wasn't allowed to say "I'm your son in someone else's body", so he identified himself as a friend of Eli named Phillip J Fry.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker of the NX-01 Enterprise is fond of his Superman comics and classic movies.
  • Supernatural:
    • Dean Winchester is a fan of classic rock and B-grade horror movies, among other things. In "Hollywood Babylon", his movie knowledge paid off. Every episode has him make tons of references to pop culture including name-dropping celebrities, films, etc. "Scoobynatural" has him fanboying over the Mystery Inc. crew the whole episode due to his love of Scooby Doo. In "Changing Channels", his love of television shows makes him incredibly savvy when the Trickster traps them in TV-Land, particularly whilst they're in the Dr Sexy MD universe:
      Sam: Yeah... you're not a fan.
      Dean: It's a guilty pleasure!
  • The Wire: Chris Partlow, assassin and fan of Baltimore Club.
  • Justin Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place manages to be both this, and a Cultured Badass. A highly intelligent and well read young man, Justin loves comic books (to the point where he even ends up owning his favourite one and writing it himself), collects action figures (and plays with them), enjoys roleplaying games, can speak (fictional) alien languages and is a huge fan of inverse band "Tears of Blood". He's also a Teen Genius wizard, the last surviving monster hunter, whose done things like take on three thugs with his bare hands and emerge victorious, and stared down monsters and demons.


  • Andrew, Laxus, and Zachary Virchaus in Dino Attack RPG. Andrew and Zach are your ordinary pop culture-loving citizens-turned-Action Survivor, while Laxus, like all Martians, has made extensive study of Earth's pop culture. There's also quite a few unnamed Dino Attack agents who love spewing pop cultural quotes and references on the comm chatter during the Final Battle.

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue has this a lot, being a Trope Overdosed parody/Reconstruction of anime and Japanese fighting games. The most notable ones are Hazama, Makoto, and Taokaka.
  • Francis York Morgan of Deadly Premonition. At his introduction, he's discussing the subtext of Tom and Jerry and his theory about them living in a co-dependent, sadomasochistic relationship. And when the player drives around for long in a car, he will randomly start discussions about various B-Movies, such as Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!, or Punk Rock, during which he name-drops bands such as Joy Division, with his Imaginary Friend Zach.
  • Duke Nukem is a living, breathing pop culture reference. Most of his catchphrases are directly taken from action flicks of the 80s and 90s.
  • Ness in EarthBound is implied to love Rock music, due to the default Favorite Thing being "Rockin'". It also becomes his most powerful attack, and the most powerful of all the playable characters.
  • As revealed at the Memory Den in Goodneighbor, the Sole Survivor from Fallout 4 is a consumer of pop culture both real and fictional. For real fiction when interacting with Dr. Amari they reveal they have watched Frankenstein (1931) film by quoting it. For in universe fiction when interacting with Kent Connolly they reveal they have listened to every episode of “The Silver Shroud” and can even take up the mantle of the titular character in a quest to bring peace and justice to the Commonwealth. In addition the Sole Survivor can also play six different minigames on their Pip-Boy based on real world video games from the 1970’s and 1980’s.
  • The protagonist of Far Cry 3, Jason Brody, makes a number of references to various media. Vaas is also an example of this trope.
    (sets out to meet Buck) "Hehehe, his name is Buck and he likes to fu-"note 
    (being pursued on boat) "Use the Force, Riley!"
    (finds a briefcase with the Abstergo logo on it) "That symbol looks familiar..."
    (entering silo) "You know, I could really use a portal right about now."
  • The titular gecko from the Gex spends all his time watching TV. Not only is the games' level full of shoutouts to various popular movies and Television shows but Gex himself cracks around references throughout the game to pop-culture.
  • Similarly to Blazblue, the protagonist of Guilty Gear, Sol Badguy, is stated by Daisuke Ishiwatari to be a huge Queen fan. Funny enough, his age of around 170 would put him as being born in the 1980's, and his real name is Frederick.
  • Zoey in Left 4 Dead knows just how to handle the Zombie Apocalypse because of her love for horror movies. May overlap with I Know Mortal Kombat. This actually bit her in the ass in her backstory, as her mother got infected and bit her father. Based on their knowledge of zombie movies, he asked her to kill him so he wouldn't turn into a zombie and attack her too. Unfortunately, the virus didn't work like that; as she eventually learned, she was actually immune to the virus, and the gene for immunity is passed from fathers, meaning her father wasn't actually going to turn into a zombie at all.
  • In Mass Effect 2 (the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC) it turns out Garrus and Legion are this. It doesn't get much play in the game, but then most of their activities are subject to conservation of detail (Garrus listens to pop and dance music while in combat, and Legion is a gamer nerd in his spare time).
    • Joker also frequently throws out pop-culture references and the occasional Fandom Nod. It helps he's voiced by Seth Green.
    • The Citadel DLC for 3 reveals that Tali's romance lines are lifted almost entirely from her favorite movie, which she was unaware Shepard hadn't seen.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Solid Snake loves action movies.
    • Otacon is named after an anime conention, that's how much he likes anime.
    • Revolver Ocelot is a big fan of Spaghetti Western films, even wearing cowboy boots and a duster coat on the field. He's also called "Revolver" for a reason.
    • Raiden met Rose by correcting her on which building King Kong climbed.
    • Specifically averted with Naked Snake/Big Boss however; he's constantly being told about movies by his team, with his British commanding officer Major Zero being a devout Bond fan. Snake on the other hand can only be described as naive in this field.
  • Mortal Kombat gives us Johnny Cage, an actor whose intro lines are almost always film references (when they're not trash-talking his opponents).
    • Cassie Cage, his daughter in Mortal Kombat X follows her father's footsteps in this regard. To the point that one of her Fatalities ends with her taking a selfie with her opponents corpse on her phone, and posting it on Social Media.
  • No More Heroes: Travis Touchdown, Occidental Otaku, Assassin.
  • Belial, the player character in Painkiller Overdose, who constantly references films and movies in his neverending series of one-liners repeated ad nauseam.
  • Aya Brea, at least in the Parasite Eve 2, turns out to be a massive geek who enjoys referencing and making fun of video games (Squaresoft, natch) movies and literature. She also jokes at length at most of the things that can be looked at and... oh, is a supernatural FBI agent who is basically a one woman Hostage Rescue Team with superpowers.
  • The Boss in Saints Row IV is a gigantic badass with a taste for pop music. Granted, you can listen to the Classical station, but when the in-game radio is set to something automatically, it's usually an 80s or early 90s one-hit wonder like "Opposites Attract" and the Boss will cheerfully demand their partner at that point sing along with them.
  • Lo Wang in the 2013 version of Shadow Warrior is introduced with You Got the Touch blaring from his car stereo, and it only gets deeper from there. He drops references to video games and movies, and in his secret lair he has comic book art hanging on the walls.
  • Similarly, Skullgirls's majority of shout-outs come from Peacock, a walking, talking, killing throwback to The Golden Age of Animation. She looks like something out of a deranged Merrie Melodies cartoon. She's actually a small-scale Reality Warper, and her love of classic animation has her manifest the power as a gang of cartoonish cronies, and various powers based on old cartoons.

    Web Animation 
  • Animator vs. Animation:
    • The main characters— The Second Coming, Green, Blue, Yellow, and Red are simple stick figures but awesome badasses as most of their adventures and skills stem from the many video games they play, such as Super Mario Bros., League of Legends, Pokemon, and particularly Minecraft. They also enjoy watching other people play video games and YouTube action videos of other stick figures fighting each other.
    • Purple is very knowledgeable and skilled in Minecraft as well as King Orange who dedicated his life to learn everything about the game and the mysteries behind it in order to gain the most powerful item and destroy Minecraft.


    Web Original 
  • Nearly everyone in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. Presumably the entire galaxy has its own versions of Earth classics so that even characters like Frieza and Nappa can make references to Pokémon and "Old Space Yeller"
    Krillin: How is that a thing?!
    • Gohan even lampshades this at one point:
      Vegeta: Well if isn't Moe Howard.
      Gohan: How do you even...?
      Vegeta: Space Hulu.
      Gohan: Figures.
  • Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the Protectors of the Plot Continuum are protecting a pop culture universe. They need to be up on the canon; it's their job.
  • In Sword Art Online Abridged, Kirito is both the best player of the titular game and someone who makes constant shout-outs to movies, other video games, and more. This is actually a plot point: Heathcliff also likes to make movie references, and the fact that Kirito is the only one to get them, and remember that Kayaba made the exact same references at the very start of the death game, helps Kirito put together that Kayaba and Heathcliff are the same person.
  • Generator (Jade Sinclair) from the Whateley Universe, who is a Hello Kitty addict and has been known to sing J-Pop anime theme songs. In public.
    • Generator has built herself a working Raising Heart (of Lyrical Nanoha fame) and has a Nanoha costume in her purse of holding.
    • Chaka would have to count too, since she's the team Deadpan Snarker and once beat up a CIA team while listening to Macy Gray (she was out for a jog).
    • Razorback is a Rager with incredible speed and regeneration powers who looks like cross between a velociraptor and a stegosaur. He is also a talented cartoonist, and plays guitar (mostly heavy metal covers).
  • Dragon of Worm is an AI who has quoted Wheatley in response to an attempted Logic Bomb. She's also the best tinker in the world by virtue of her synthetic nature, can kick an enormous amount of ass in her extremely sophisticated Powered Armor, and is the closest thing to a Big Good in the setting.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer is known around the globe as the world's most dangerous spy, and for good reason. His dialogue is Reference Overdosed, one of his catchphrases comes from a Kenny Loggins song, and he has an obsession with Burt Reynolds movies.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: Wheeler is one of the show's biggest providers of Shout Outs, dropping references to works from The Flintstones to Alien. Although his position as the show's Butt-Monkey obscures it somewhat, he's implied to have been a scarily competent fighter even before getting the Fire Ring. During the show itself, he's done things like attacking a dragon head-on to save a trapped teammate.
  • Family Guy once parodied this with a Drill Sergeant Nasty who watches lots of TV and movies and drops pop culture references in every line.
    "I am your media-savvy worst nightmare!"
  • Philip J. Fry from Futurama frequently drops pop culture references and does incredibly badass things... all the while screaming like a little girl.
  • Kaeloo: Stumpy watches a lot of movies, and his knowledge of movies has actually helped the gang in difficult situations.
  • When Dr. Drakken from Kim Possible accidentally sucked everyone into television reality, Ron was able to navigate the reality with his extensive knowledge of shows and their subsequent timeslots.
  • Derpy Hooves from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a diehard Daring Do fan, and has been shown cosplaying. As for the badass part? In the movie she helps save Twilight from petrification, Taking the Bullet herself (She gets better).
  • The Owl House: Luz, Amity, Gus, and Hunter all qualify by the time of the third season, with the former two being diehard Good Witch Azura fangirls, and the latter two becoming the in-universe equivalent of Trekkies. Not only do they spend the final two episodes on a quest to save the world while dressed in Halloween Cosplay, but Luz even uses an Azura quote as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner during the final battle. The only one of group who doesn't qualify is Willow, who (while just as powerful as the others) is more interested in sports than pop culture.
  • Beast Boy from Teen Titans (2003) once used his pop culture knowledge of (fictitious) television shows in order to save the day when the Titans were sucked into the television.
  • Totally Spies!: Clover is a Valley Girl superspy whose wide knowledge about pop culture is often very useful in her spy missions.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • 21 was already pop culture savvy by the first three seasons, but by Season 4, he became a pumped-up pop culture badass.
    • Almost everyone in the show is this, especially the Monarch.

    Real Life 
  • Naturally, this applies to every single Troper who serves frontline duty in any sort of job where violent confrontation is a real possibility.