Follow TV Tropes


Religious Bruiser

Go To
He'll be praying for you.

"I will not be slightly worried or reluctant to leave my wife and young daughter under protection of any Sikh soldier."
Field Marshal William Birdwood, British Indian Army

The Big Guy turns out to be heavily religious. Bonus points if he is a priest/pastor/whatever.

Despite the name, needs not be physically strong; they simply have to be able to fight.

What distinguishes this trope from Church Militant and Badass Preacher is the emphasis. A Religious Bruiser may or may not kick ass, but if he does, it's his primary occupation. For the Badass Preacher, ass-kicking is secondary to his vocation (or if Church Militant is at play, ass-kicking is his vocation). This is also partially an audience or character reaction trope. With the Badass Preacher, characters will be surprised to learn that the man in the white collar can kick ass. With the Religious Bruiser, the characters will be surprised that the man who kicks ass wears the white collar from time to time.

A bruiser who's religious doesn't necessarily mean they're good guys; they might be a Churchgoing Villain or their religion is a Religion of Evil.

Compare All Monks Know Kung-Fu, when a Christian monk is presumed to be a martial artist just because he is... well, a monk, and Warrior Monk when that assumption is correct. Closely related to Real Men Love Jesus. A Badass Israeli may well be one of these also. If it's the Lord Himself kicking ass, that's Kung-Fu Jesus. A supertrope to Holy Hitman, and might be a case of Martial Pacifist. If he uses that religion in the form of Holy Magic, he might be The Paladin.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Brave10, Seikai is The Big Guy of the team, and essentially a pantheist monk who invokes all the gods in his attacks.
  • D.Gray-Man Cross Marian seems to fit here. He's known for being a badass character. Formerly an Exorcist General of The Black Order. His Innocence (weapon) was a powerful revolver named Judgement, which had homing bullets that never missed their target. In addition to having another power called Arrow of Original Sin, in which he can use his weapon as a powerful bow and arrow. He has the ability to turn Akuma good, and have them work for him temporarily, and they self-destruct if they try to kill anyone. Known to be a very gruff character -Allen being slightly afraid of him when he first laid eyes on him. He likes to smoke, and drink, while also having fondness for women, along with interest in visiting the red-light districts. But he's a man of the cloth nonetheless. He is referred to as a priest by villagers who have met him. Allen mentions him being very threatening despite his priest attire after meeting him in Reverse. And seems to own his own church. He takes Allen to the church, where he meets up with Mother. He stays there while nursing Allen back to health. It's revealed in Reverse that Mother just watches over the church when Cross is away, which also answers the question of why Cross has his own personal room there.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba:
    • Gyomei Himejima was a Buddhist monk living peacefully in the mountains and caring for orphaned children before becoming a demon slayer by a meeting of fate, Gyomei himself reflects he would have lived his entire life peacefully, being completely unaware he actually was inhumanly strong if he hadn't been the target of a demon attack, as he held the demon off by pummeling its head for hours on end till sunrise. Once Gyomei became a demon slayer, and the elite as a Hashira, he never forsake his buddhist practices, he just isn't a monk living in reclusion anymore.
    • Tanjuro Kamado, Tanjiro's dad, was never a demon slayer, the Kamado family passed the Hinokami Kagura style generations down the line till it became a religious ceremony to them, Tanjuro specifically performed it on scheduled repetition as means to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune to his family, it is just that Hinokami Kagura made him a person with superhuman prowess despite his ill and frail body, Tanjuro used his unexpected strength in practice to easily drive away dangerous wild animals from his family home, such as gigantic bears.
  • Nam of Dragon Ball is a devout Buddhist, which means despite being a warrior he does his best not to kill anyone, though he has no problem putting opponents to sleep.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Battle Tendency has two heroic Catholics in Caesar Zeppeli and Lisa Lisa, although their religion is only mentioned in their character profile pages (meaning it's unknown to most anime-only fans). Both are very capable Ripple warriors.
    • In contrast, Stone Ocean has Enrico Pucci, the Big Bad of the part and Final Boss of the original continuity. He is an amoral, corrupt priest who is very out there theologically (and in general) to the point of apostasy. Being a fanatical follower of Dio Brando (and his Dragon Ascendant), he "loves Dio like he loves God" (apparently unaware that this breaks the first commandment) and wants to recreate the universe into Dio's liking. He is willing to use pretty much any means to reach this goal and is arguably the most powerful villain in the series. Minor villain Kenzou also founded his own religion at some point.
    • Funny Valentine, the Big Bad of Steel Ball Run, is likely Protestant given the setting and his status as the President of the United States (it could be that he's Hiding Behind Religion). Like Pucci before him he's a ruthless bastard, except with an actual noble goal: acquiring the Corpse Parts of the Saint in order to turn the world into a utopia led by the USA. His Stand makes him Nigh-Invulnerable in combat. Also, Hot Pants from the same part is a nun who was sent to the race by the Vatican to find the Corpse Parts (their motives are never made clear).
  • Goemon Ishikawa XIII of Lupin III fame is a believer in Buddhism and Shinto.
  • One Piece:
    • The Giant tribes are race of religious warriors, who worship multiple gods, like the Sun God or the God of War. Fighting to the death is considered honorable and is part of their religion. Dorry and Brogy are prime examples of this, as they often preach about their God of War, and that all the bad fortune that does happen to them is considered as them either lacking their god's protection or them being forsaken by their god.
    • The Shandians are also a very religious folk who believe in their gods. Calgara, Wyper's ancestor, however, has his belief questioned by Noland, and part of his character development was that having too much faith in his religion was not a good thing. Once Calgara killed one of their "gods", he finally accepted that he had to accept the help of strangers in order to save his people.
    • Bartholomew Kuma, one of the biggest and strongest characters, carries a Bible everywhere he goes, and was a priest for most of his life before he became a pirate. The god that he worships is the Sun God Nika, also known as the Warrior of Liberation.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: A rare villainous (or at least, very mentally broken) example: Anji Yukyuzan, a fallen Zen Buddhist monk who was an even match for Sanosuke when they faced off, and taught him his most powerful technique earlier in the story. After his defeat, he pleads guilty and goes to prison to atone for his crimes.
  • Soul Eater: Justin Law is quite devout and quite deadly in a fight. Partly cause-and-effect, since the god he worships so fervently is Death, who appears slightly uncomfortable with the whole thing. The only type of music he listens to is Death Metal, which he considers part of his worship. And he never takes out his ear buds. Additionally, he wears a priest's habit most of the time.
  • Zakuro from Tokyo Mew Mew is a Christian Magical Girl whose weapon, ZaCross Whip, is cross-shaped.
  • In Yuki Yuna is a Hero, Heroes are Magical Girl Warriors chosen to fight by a god, the World Tree Shinju-sama.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe
    • Matt Murdock alias Daredevil. Matt is often presented as a devout Catholic; in fact, his faith and how he deals with it while being a vigilante is a main source of drama in his comics.
    • Susan Storm/Invisible Woman is one of the strongest heroes of the universe. She’s also a very devout Christian, though her brother, Johnny Storm/Human Torch, says she’s quiet about it. Indeed, every Christmas and Easter, she goes to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral (which implies she’s specifically Catholic), lights the candles, and prays to her deceased parents. Their teammate Ben Grimm/The Thing also qualifies as he is Jewish.
    • Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane from New Mutants is a devout Presbyterian and doesn't look like much, but when she transforms into her werewolf form, she's very dangerous.
    • Nightcrawler (Catholic) from X-Men comics. His Catholic faith was a part of the character during the Claremont years (on more than one occasion he was depicted praying, and received spiritual direction from a priest).
    • Also from X-Men is the Knight Templar mutant Exodus, a Catholic knight from the days of the Crusades. Since awakening in the modern day he has followed Magneto with the religious fervor he once reserved for the church, even worshiping his comatose body after he was reduced to a vegetative state.
    • A non-Catholic X-Men bruiser is Xorn, a devout Buddhist armed with a star for a brain and miles of Continuity Snarl to confound foes (and readers) with.
    • Marvel MAX miniseries Thor: Vikings features Magnus of the Danes, a large Teutonic knight and devout Christian summoned by Thor to fight against undead vikings.
  • The DCU:
    • Nightrunner (Bilal Asselah) from the Batman comics is a devout Muslim.
    • Daniel Cassidy from the Blue Devil comics is a practicing Christian. Unfortunately for him, he's also the son of the titular Blue Devil and has therefore garnered the attentions of a number of Hell's denizens.
    • Liang Xih'kai aka Thunderlord from the Global Guardians was both a super hero and a Buddhist Bare-Fisted Monk.
    • Connor Hawke from the Green Arrow comics is a practicing Buddhist and (unsurprisingly) a Warrior Monk so good that he's one of the top martial artists in the entire DCU.
    • Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) is a devout Catholic and her costumes usually maintain a cross motif somewhere to reflect her faith.
    • Zauriel from the Justice League of America is one of the most highly emphasized examples in the DCU, which should come as no surprise seeing as how he is literally an angel.
    • Snowflame in The New Guardians is this in spades. "Cocaine is my god—and I am the human instrument of its will!"
    • Starfire often references her planet's god, X'hal.
    • Dr. Mid-Nite of the Justice Society of America is a devout Catholic, and his faith determines the way he interprets certain opponents who claim to be mystical or mythological beings. His Catholicism also serves as a contrast to his best friend on the team Mr. Terrific, who is an atheist.
    • Downplayed in the case of Kate Kane, who is Jewish. It's not entirely clear how devout she actually is, but she does display a menorah and Shabbat candles in her apartment, celebrates Jewish holidays, and is well-studied in Kabbalah.
  • Transformers
    • Sunstorm is a religious seeker who never failed to mention "The will of Primus." He also believes that Primus sent him to this world -universe, life, whatever- to deal righteous judgment on the blasphemous. He is a terrifying warrior, especially when he's on fire and so radiated that bots melt and circuits fry when they get too close. His strength is only surpassed by his will and love for Primus.
    • Drift in Transformers: More than Meets the Eye is the biggest example, being an accomplished swordsman, and spouting off doctrine and theories that annoy those around him. Star Saber goes the fanatical Knight Templar route insisting that God only loves him and the non-believers must die. Finally there's Cyclonus who's deeply religious but doesn't wear his faith on his sleeve. Flywheels is shown to be a neo-primalist, but the only fight he gets in has him killed without much effort.
  • Nexus has the title character, who is a fairly devout Russian Orthodox Christian, but more notably also has his friend Judah "the Hammer" Maccabee, an enormous Boisterous Bruiser alien who converted to Judaism and changed his name (from his original alien name... Fred).

    Fan Works 
  • Peace Forged in Fire (and previous Star Trek Online fics by worffan101 starring D'trel) has Omek'ti'kallan, who worships "Glorious Odo'Ital" (a.k.a. Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), and frequently attributes maxims to him as religious proverbs. He's also a Jem'Hadar First. Do the math.
  • In the Pony POV Series Dark World Arc, Liarjack's liberation from Discord's brainwashing is the result of meeting the Father of All Alicorns and Applebloom's spirit (Applebloom having long since become a Saint). As a result, she becomes far more religious and even prays on multiple occasions. None of this has degraded her ability to kick flank, and in fact her Heel–Face Turn came with a Redemption Promotion. At the very end of Dark World, the newly crown Queen Libra (Alicorn!Rarity) more or less makes her a priest and she performs Libra's wedding to Spike. Justified, considering she more or less literally met her universe's version of God.
  • Cassandra Cain becomes one after her discovery of Catholicism in Angel of the Bat. The major antagonist The Seraphim is similarly devoted to his own branch of extremist Christianity, and both are presented as nearly unbeatable opponents.
  • RWBY: Scars is full of competent Hunters of various faiths who are dedicated to fighting Grimm:
    • Qrow is a convert to the Brothers Church after being raised to worship the Feathered Ones. He wears a cross around his neck as a sign of his faith.
    • Weiss has always been a Follower of Dust, but she became even more religious after her depression worsened after the Fall of Beacon.
    • Summer is shown to have had been a devout member of the Brothers Church, even going as far as to pray over the bodies of the fallen she'd see on her missions.
    • It's not given much emphasis, but Blake is an Ishvara worshipper and mentions her religious beliefs several times.
    • Weiss' older sister Winter is in the military and is also a devout Dustist. She wears a religious jewel on her military uniform, though Qrow thought it was for decoration.
  • The Mountain and the Wolf: The Wolf is completely open about the fact that he's there to kick ass and take skulls in the name of the Chaos Gods.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, the Chaplain to the Assassins' Guild School teaches Religious Studies and Ethics. One of his specialities is to Immanatize the Eschatonnote , in a very bespoke and personal way, to Guild clients. He makes a point, in fact, of reading them the Last Rites.
  • The Seventh Player: Machaira Mekhit, the titular seventh member of the Bad Kids, is one of her party's strongest and most adept physical fighters and is a worshipper of Bast, a goddess of war who actively encourages her followers to be this, although she's more subtle about expressing her faith than most examples of this trope are.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Pulp Fiction: Jules likes to recite Ezekiel 25:17 to his victims before he kills them. Subverted, in that the Biblical admonition doesn't mean anything to him at first, and he just says it to sound cool. But later Double Subverted when he thinks more deeply about the admonition and realizes that he's been totally misinterpreting it. Also subverted in that most of said "Bible verse" isn't actually in The Bible, but actually cribbed from an old Sonny Chiba film called The Bodyguard.
  • In The Avengers, Captain America doesn't much care for the likes of Thor and Loki being described as gods.
    Captain America: There's only one God, ma'am. And I'm pretty sure He doesn't dress like that.
  • Pain & Gain: Paul is a very religious man, but can also, as he puts it, "knock people the fuck out".
  • Nightcrawler from X2: X-Men United. Even reaches The Atoner levels.
  • Private Daniel Jackson in Saving Private Ryan, is shown to be a deeply religious man and quotes Bible passages before making a shot.
  • Kick-Ass 2: Captain Stars and Stripes is a former Mafia enforcer who became a born-again Christian and superhero. He now goes after the kind of people he once worked for.
  • The Magnificent Seven (2016): Jack Horne quotes scripture while wading through enemies.
    Horne: [while hacking his way through Mooks] Though I may walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me.
  • Robin Hood (1991): Friar Tuck, who despite being a portly mendicant, fights back fiercely when gets robbed by the bandits, then later against soldiers after joining them.
  • The Friar Tuck from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is no slouch either. In his first scene he's ambushed by Robin and the Merry Men, but fights them off and almost drives his cart away before getting knocked over by a low branch. Robin approaches and asks if he yields, Tuck takes his hand and says he'd rather roast in hell before biting Robin on the leg.
  • In Knockout, Belle is a Christian and a professional boxer. She explicitly thanks God and quotes scripture in an interview after winning one of her fights, along with regularly wearing a cross necklace, having a cross on the back of her boxing robes, and using a gospel-esque song as her walkout music.
  • The opening scene of the Indonesian martial arts movie The Raid Redemption establishes that its hero, Rama, is a devout Muslim.
  • The Beast of War: Taj and his men encounter a holy man who feels that their pursuit of the tank is re-enacting the tale of David and Goliath. He proceeds to accompany them for the rest of the pursuit.
  • Surrounded: Mo is a former soldier who's quite skilled with a gun. She's also a devout Christian and carries her Bible along with her on her journey, praying God will see her to safety.

  • Michael Carpenter of The Dresden Files. Rarely ever swears. Happily married. Devoted family man. Will tear you ass to ears if you dare hurt an innocent, or worse, his children. He's not called "The Fist of God" for nothing, folks. (By his friends, no less. His enemies mostly refer to him as OHSHITOHSHITOHSHITWE'REDEAD!). His wife, Charity, is a blacksmith who favours long swords, chain mail and war hammers with spikes. Touch her kids and she will mess you up and trash your pad to boot. Who do you think Michael sparred against all these years to become a master swordsman? Also a former semi-dark wizard.
  • Ex-Heroes: Billie Carter is one of the main Badass Normal characters in the series and is familiar with the Book of Revelations, although she isn't outspoken about her religious beliefs and doesn't share the opinions of the After Death pseudo-cult in Ex-Communication.
  • Klaus/Lohengrim from Wild Cards. His ace power summons a magical armor with the Holy Grail engraved on it.
  • Commander Krause in The Good Shepherd by C S Forester, is a Stoic Spock-like naval officer who is very pious and very efficient at sending Those Wacky Nazis to face their final judgement
  • Milo Anderson from Monster Hunter International usually functions as the resident firearms expert of MHI (and holds a Federal Firearms License as a dealer). However, he is also a devout Mormon (as is the author, who also used to hold an FFL) and strong faith of any sort can be a very effective weapon against monsters (his faith is far stronger than most other Hunters, so he is able to do a Holy Hand Grenade that probably counts as a Crowning Moment of Awesome).
  • Abigail Hearns of the Honor Harrington universe is definitely this. She's screwed with every villain who screws with her and is thinking of relevant quotes from her religion as she does.
  • Renee is a born again Christian, but she is also the one who taught Andrew how to fight.
  • Joe Pickett: The Brothers Grim are two of the deadliest non-ex-military fighters in the series, and each of them carries half of The Bible, with Caleb keeping the Old Testament with him while Camish carries the New Testament.
  • Norris of the Stories of Nypre is priestess Lina's personal body guard. He's a massive, fully armored warrior ready to kill to protect her in the name of their goddess.
  • Auk in "Book of the Long Sun" is mostly shown in his good light (pious, generous to the church, devoted to Patera Silk) but in his day job, well, night job really, he is known as a break-and-enter thief and murderer, and depicted as a strong, scarred and intimidating individual.
  • Relg from The Belgariad. Yes, he's a Fundamentalist whack-job who spends most of his time Wangsting about sin, but he is also not a man to be trifled with. A highly skilled stealth expert, he at one point uses his ability to walk through stone to kill silently by pushing a man into a rock and leaving him there.
  • By the same author, The Elenium has several good examples. The main characters are Church Knights, members of religious military orders, though their personal levels of reigiousness vary. The best fit is probably Bevier. Bevier is a deeply devout man, who is considering trading his armor for a priest's cassock, has never married (the Church Knights are, for historic reasons, not necessarily celibate) and spends a lot of time praying and thinking about sin. However, his preferred weapon is a lochaber axe (which is more like a halberd than a conventional battle-axe) which he uses to enormous effect, and as long as he is certain he is on morally and theologically sound ground, he is completely comfortable with violence on a level which makes the other Church Knights in the party (four men with about six decades of campaign experience between them) shocked, appalled and slightly queasy.
  • Carlisle Cullen from The Twilight Saga-a devoted son of a priest, who decorated his home with a seriously large cross. He's also a vampire, a talented doctor and very powerful in face-to-face combat. While not as overtly religious as Carlisle, all Cullens fit this trope, being practically immortal all-powerful vampires and mormon fantasy material.
  • Christian in The Pilgrim's Progress, when he fights the dragon-like Apollyon while clad in the Armor of God and equipped with a two-edged sword (referencing Hebrews 4:12). The armor only protects him from the front, which gives him a good reason not to run from the fight.
  • A Symphony of Eternity: Commodore Horatia TJ Jackson, a pious eight legged giant tarantula that wields several melee weapon all at once and is considered unstoppable when unleashed, nuff said!
  • The Traitor Son Cycle, being set in a faux-medieval era, naturally has quite a few of those.
    • Most members of the Red Company are religious, and while most aren't very devout, quite a few react with terror whenever their leader starts spouting his Nay-Theist views.
    • The Order of Saint Thomas is an entire group of warrior monks, who are noted as Alba's greatest fighters.
    • Father Ricard is a chaplain (from the aforementioned order) and a knight, but he acts in the latter capacity far more often even though he has time to spout religious wisdom to Red Knight and take confessions from everyone in the company.
    • Pavalo Payam is a practicing Muslim and a fighter so good, he's the one guy they've entrusted with this world's ancient sword of ultimate smiting.
    • Bad Thom is a double subversion. He's outwardly very Christian, but eventually reveals that he mostly acts his way to stop religious folk from pestering him - because he's actually a devout follower of Outwaller goddess Tara.
  • Evraine of The Witchlands is a Warrior Monk who's religious to the point of fanaticism.
  • Almost every character in Warriors displays some level of religious belief, often quite heavy religious belief. They are also feral cats who will do anything to protect their Clan.
  • While a non-traditional example, Gary Karkofsky a.k.a Merciless: The Supervillain without Mercy in The Supervillainy Saga is repeatedly shown to be a faithful Jew and interprets things through the lens of his religion like meeting the Anthropomorphic Representation of Death.
  • All the characters in Survivors believe in the Spirit-Dogs. While some characters are less fearsome than others, most are ready to fight claw and nail for their pack and other loved ones.
  • Temeraire: Downplayed with the protagonist Will Laurence, a veteran Royal Navy captain and Dragon Rider who's quietly, devoutly Christian. It rarely comes up outside his dragon's occasional confusion over his beliefs, but his faith is shown several times to guide his actions, and an old friend once apologizes for speaking disparagingly of "God-is-in-my-pocket types" in his presence.
  • Wearing the Cape: The superterrorist Seif-al-Din believes that his powers were given to him by Allah. He's also one of the strongest supers in the setting and even manages to kill the Superman Expy Atlas.

    Live Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: Gives us a whole list of them:
    • Commander Susan Ivanova, a female Large Ham who occasionally addresses God via an upwards glance, a la Fiddler on the Roof.
    • Ambassador G'Kar, bordering on Church Militant. He is also the local religious leader for his faith, but that's due more to his social status than due to his occupation. And all that before he unintentionally became the focus of a cult.
    • Ambassador Delenn, who due to her position in the Religious Caste, is her peoples' chief Church Militant, because of her social status and occupation. Her student, Lennier, mans the weapon console on the White Star fleet and has seen his share of fisticuffs, as well. "It was much safer in temple. Also less interesting."
  • Bones: Seeley Booth often expresses how deeply he believes in his Catholic faith, even though it's been implied he doesn't attend every Sunday mass and he has had sex with several women (has a son with one), though has never married (until Bones, that is, whom he also had sex with-and had a child-beforehand). Lampshaded in one episode where he was given a Trust Password to relay to a hostage: Paladin - "Defender of the Faith."
  • Dog the Bounty Hunter is quite openly Christian, and is sometimes shown praying for the safety of his crew before going after a fugitive.
  • Firefly:
  • Oz:
    • Hamid Khan is genuinely pious and dedicated to his religion, but he's one of the best fighters in Oz and isn't afraid to throw down should the need arise.
    • Jim Burns. It alternates between being played for sympathy or not; he beats inmates to force them to convert to Protestantism, but he also defends Cloutier against Hoyt and Kirk.
  • Peaky Blinders: Jeremiah, a WWI Veteran-turned-street preacher, is still shown fighting alongside the Shelby family despite vowing to God never to pick up a weapon again. He justifies this by claiming that God makes an exception for this in Small Heath, much to the amusement of his fellow Peaky Blinders.
  • Psych: In one episode, a daredevil mentions he is a "good Christian man" as a reason he doesn't want a psychic around.
  • Revolution: Tom Neville and his men stop to pray over their dead comrade Fletcher while taking Danny Matheson to the prison camp in "Chained Heat". "The Longest Day" has Tom Neville admit to his son Jason that he has done just about every bad thing in The Good Book.
  • Stargirl: Yolanda comes from a very conservative Latino Catholic family, thus she is religious too in addition to being a Boxing Battler. When trying out her climbing ability for the first time, she prays. She also prays for Henry when he dies.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Major Kira. Highly religious. Utterly badass. If you weren't sure, check out the first season episode "Battle Lines" where she fends off a group of attackers (bare-handed) and then later breaks down crying, asking her religion's Pope-equivalent for forgiveness for the violence in her heart. This is also the overall hat of the Bajorans: a race of aliens with strong religious beliefs who gave the Cardassians no shortage of trouble during their brutal occupation.
    • And right alongside her is The Captain himself. Ben Sisko is already badass, and his faith in the Prophets grows throughout the show. (It helps that they've chosen him as the Emissary.)
    • The Jem'Hadar are an entire species of these, Super Soldiers bred to worship the Dominion's Founders as gods, and the Klingons' equals in hand-to-hand combat (Worf only beat a Jem'Hadar First by refusing to give in despite his wounds until his opponent lost interest). Though in gun battles they die as easy as anyone else.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • In parts of Germany and Austria, St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) is accompanied by a Knecht Ruprecht / Krampus, a demon who was tamed by the saint and now helps him punishing evil kids. Hm, if Santa can take on a demon, that'd definitely make him this trope. Either that or Badass Santa.
  • A lot of people in The Bible. A recurring theme is that God will make anyone badass if they are acting in His service, leading to numerous stories where the Israelites defeat much-stronger opponents with few or no losses. Specific individuals include King David, "the man after God's own heart", about whom the people sang "[has slain] tens of thousands" and Samson, one of the Judges of Israel who singlehandedly killed a thousand Phillistine using an ox bone.
  • In Christian tradition, Saint George was a Greek officer in the Roman army who slew a dragon, not to mention that his personal insignia has become the emblem of England and the United Kingdom as well as the Crusaders.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • The most famous example in the phenomenon of pro wrestling, lucha libre if you will, is Fray Tormenta, known for using money made in the promotions that would become Mexico's UWA and CMLL to fund an orphanage he worked as a friar at, while wearing a mask to conceal his identity. This goes to some of his prodigies, such as Incognito, Místico and Sin Cara as well.
  • Nobuhiko Takada was rumored to wrestle with Buddhist prayers written on papers he stuck on his trunks.
  • AWA's The Barbarian/Berserker would have been a Norseman version of this trope, obviously, till he followed the gimmick to its conclusion and converted to Christianity.
  • Jinsei Shinzaki, aka Hakushi, has the gimmick of a Buddhist pilgrim as seen in Michinoku Pro Wrestling.
  • NWA Wildeside had Caprice Coleman, whose promos often tended towards sermons, and Altar Boy Luke, though Coleman started in OMEGA as Ice and Luke later became an indulgent Hollywood stuntman.
  • Ayako Hamada has been seen praying before matches and her gear is typically adorned with blue and white crosses.
  • Sting became a Born-Again Christian in 1998. It rarely came up in Kayfabe, though.
  • Mercedes Martinez believes in the judgment of God, it being the only judgment she will accept.
  • Shawn Michaels previously had the gimmick of a dancing fairy who insisted he was a ladies man. Then, after his return to WWE in 2002, he became a praying, reverent Christian dancing fairy who insisted he was a ladies man.
  • Towards the end of 2003 at a Jersey All Pro Wrestling show, Buff E took the microphone in order to publicly thank God for answering the prayers of himself and Christopher Street Connection partner Mace, finally granting them a match with their Lust Object, Slyk Wagner Brown.
  • Jinder Mahal wears a Sikh turban, which he holds with special importance, to the point he kept wearing even after going into WWE and joining 3MB.
  • After retiring from the army in 2004, Johnny Magnum became a children's and youth minister. He also started wrestling on the Funkin Conservatory's !BANG! TV.
  • Christopher Saint of the Dixie Gospel, gives greetings to all you heathens! He's gonna beat the fear of the lord into Hades!
  • Candice Michelle is a devout Christian and has a few Christianity-themed tattoos.
  • Nina Monet is a mambo who has come to the ring painted like Baron Sahmedi. At first her religious side was suppressed by her worldly passions, and when trouble arose she was quicker to turn to bokor "witch magic" than devotion. When all else failed Monet would return to the duteous path, particularly after she lost her "permanent", "sacred" locs in a wager against Diana La Cazadora at LLF.
  • During one of his "sessions", "dudeist" Montel Vontavious Porter asked Low Ki how he reconciles being a pro wrestler and a Buddhist. Ki's reply was that it usually gives him the necessary control to not seriously injure his opponents.
  • Madison Rayne prayed before her TNA matches in 2014, at least until her pseudo heel turn.
  • Dana Brooke, as seen on the WWE Network show Breaking Ground.

  • Of the only two "religious characters" to actually appear in Dino Attack RPG, Pharisee is definitely this. He's a tough-as-nails fellow who not only spends time reciting the Bible, but believes it is his divine right to impart justice on others, to the point where at times he looks no better than the criminals he mercilessly beats up. Shaw on the other hand is the complete inverse, seeing as she really only uses religion as a form of comfort in desperate times.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has several variations on these, with some editions sporting more than others.
    • All five editions have the Cleric. Originally designed as a halfway point between the fighting man and magic-user, the Cleric was based on crusaders. They are able to wear heavy armor and wield magic as intermediaries of the game's god's. Their magic tends to focus more on buffing and healing over the wizard's raw damage output. This trope is arguably no longer in effect in 5th Edition, as Cleric builds have moved away from fighting with weapons and instead deal damage with spells. Compare this to something like 3rd edition's Divine Power spell that instantly makes a cleric as good of a fighter as a full powered martial class like a Fighter or Barbarian.
    • Speaking of martial classes, most editions have Paladins. These are front line combatants with the best armor and weapons proficiencies in the game, augmented with divine healing powers. Most editions let give them Healing Hands and extremely limited spellcasting. Sometimes they can Turn Undead, though never as well as a Cleric.
    • Rangers usually have some amount of Divine casting. If a Paladin is a Religious Bruiser for Crystal Dragon Jesus, Rangers usually represent the trope in the context of European paganism.
    • Similarly, the Monk class is a Religious Bruiser for the tropes attendant to Eastern religions, mostly analogous to Buddhism. They benefit from incredible discipline, with their supernatural powers focused around lightning reflexes and the eventually ability to overpower forces like disease and old age by sheer force of will.
    • Warlocks may or may not count. Like clerics, they are servants of a higher power. It's just that their higher powers tend to be the less savory sort. If a setting had a Religion of Evil, expect evil Clerics, anti-Paladins, and Warlocks to be its Religious Bruiser contingent.
  • Hunter: The Vigil: Many compacts and conspiracies are religiously motivated into fighting vampires, werewolves, witches and much else besides. Examples include the Catholic Malleus Malifecieum, the fundamentalist Protestant Long Night, the shamanistic Les Mysteres, the Islamic Ahl al-Jabal and the New Age Keepers Of The Source.
  • Whole armies in Warhammer 40,000, but most notably the Space Marines — Super-Soldier warrior monks in Powered Armor, with a prayer and a really big gun for every occasion.
    • Most Space Marine Chapters have Chaplains or equivalents thereof. Warrior-priests in black Powered Armor and skull-faced helms wielding maces who spread the Emperor's word and kick ass while doing so.
    • There was an entire Space Marine legion of those in the age before the Horus Heresy. The Word Bearers under the Primarch Lorgar were pious and devout, and revered the Emperor as a god. He actually frowned on this and chastised his son for his zeal, as the time they took to convert planets and build cathedrals to His glory was slowing down the Great Crusade. Afterwards, the Word Bearers turned heretics and began worshipping the Chaos Gods (and actually deliberately kicked the Horus Heresy into action, being the first Space Marines who turned traitors and who later tempted Horus into doing the same). As of the 41st millennium they are still active and very well organized, a constant threat to the Imperium - both militarily and ideologically as they would gleefully corrupt entire worlds. Their own Chaplains became Dark Apostles, and serve the same purpose as they did while loyal.
    • The Sisters of Battle have one thing over the modern Space Marines, as they are the militant arm of the Ecclesiarchy and thus directly serve the Church while most Astartes Chapters are largely autonomous. The Sisters routinely fight the same foes the Astartes do despite having, pound for pound, inferior equipment and no cybernetics or gene enhancements to make them anything more than baseline humans, yet their zealotry and numbers are often more than enough to carry the day for them.
  • Iron Kingdoms gives us the Protectorate of Menoth. Their uniforms even have a "priestly" motif. Exemplar Bastions are renowned for their training and tests of endurance which leave lesser men crippled under the super-heavy armor. What do they say about it ? "I feel no weight but the eyes of the Creator upon me."

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed Origins has Bayek of Siwa who's not only one of the most dangerous killers in Ptolemaic Egypt, but also devoted to the Egyptian pantheon.
  • Baldur's Gate III has Shadowheart, a Cleric of the Trickery Domain who is fiercely dedicated to her patron deity, who just so happens to be Shar. Tav can be one as well if they pursue the path of a Cleric, with their choice of patron deity. The leaders of the Cult of the Absolute count as well, each being devoted to one of the Dead Three.
  • As the name suggests, Captain Bible from Captain Bible in Dome of Darkness is one.
  • Some civilizations in Civilization are geared toward this playstyle if they have traits or bonuses to faith, particularly for a religion founded by it. Across the various iterations of the series, Spain, Byzantium, and Arabia are the most consistent civs who seek to spread their particular religion and won't hesitate to use force to do so. Ethiopia and Georgia also qualify as they are also faith-focused in their bonuses and military prowess, although they play more defensively as their associated military bonuses are more for protecting what they already have rather than attacking those who don't follow their religion.
  • Conqueror's Blade: the three Oriental Warrior Monk units (Cudgel Monks, Crescent Monks, Naginata Monks) fit this trope, as do the knights and footmen of the unnamed knightly order from the tech tree and the troops of the Order of the Sword from Season XVII: Knightfall.
    Cudgel Monks: "Humility pleases heaven."
    Men-at-Arms: "Deo gratias."note 
    Zweihanders: "Our every effort is directed in his service."
  • The Crusader and the Leper, two of the hardest-hitting units in Darkest Dungeon, are both devoutly religious and as well as the Vestal, get certain buffs and debuffs for it and refuse to pair with the Abomination (who, ironically, is also an example of this trope).
  • Dragon Age:
    • Sten of Dragon Age: Origins, though it's hard to tell at first since he's The Stoic and operates on Blue-and-Orange Morality. By extended definition, this applies to all military Qunari, given that Qunari are by definition "people of the Qun" (an intense religious movement, irrespective of physical race - not that anyone outside of the Qunari priesthood bothers to differentiate there). Individual devotion levels may vary, but most seem quite high, and since the majority of Qunari are kossith, they're quite large and powerful as well.
    • Averted with Alistair, who despite being a tough warrior trained in the arts of the Templars, the Chantry's enforcement wing of its laws regarding mages, isn't particularly religious.
    • From Dragon Age II, there's Sebastian Vael. He was given to the Chantry as a young boy, and while he doesn't have compunctions against violence where necessary, he is very devoted to The Maker and Andraste, praying for forgiveness and for the safety of his companions even in the thick of battle.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition has Cassandra Pentaghast, former Seekeer and Right Hand of the Divine and potential successor to the Divine, whose faith is a central part of her character. To a lesser extent, you can learn that Varric is an Andrastian like Cassandra, which is unusual considering most dwarves follow their own religion of worshiping their ancestors. And downplayed with Dorian Pavus, a powerful mage who doesn't mention religion often but, if questioned, will confirm he does believe in Andraste and the Maker.
  • Dual Blades/Slashers: The Power Battle: In this Historical Fantasy Fighting Game series made in Turkey, one of the fighters, Duke Andre, is a Christian Knight who has fought in wars against Muslims. Andre is unique in that his religious belief are noted in his character biography in contrast to other characters on the rosters.
  • Dungeon Fighter Online has the most badass "priest" character ever. Behold.
  • Much like his creator, Doug TenNapel, Earthworm Jim is shown to be fairly religious, praying to a god known as "The Great Worm Spirit". The episode of the animated series where he gets to meet Him is oddly touching, at least by the standards of such a goofy cartoon.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • The End Times: Vermintide: The player characters are a Badass Crew of exceptional warriors, each paying homage to a different patron god. In Vermintide II, they undertake a pilgrimage to seek guidance from the gods; some of them become Empowered Badass Normals in the process.
    • The Witch Hunter Victor Saltzpyre is a zealous follower of Sigmar, patron god of the Empire, and is quite strident about his belief that everyone else should be too. In his Warrior Priest career, he becomes a miracle-slinging Badass Preacher.
    • The dwarf ranger Bardin Goreksson worships Valaya, the dwarven Mama Bear goddess of hearth and home, though he himself is functionally The Exile.
    • The soldier Markus Kruber worships Taal, god of nature and the hunt. When asked, he says that as a poor Farm Boy, he went with the god who helped put food on the table. As a Grail Knight, he also gains the patronage and blessing of the Lady of the Lake, and he hopes she isn't the jealous type.
    • The elf archer Kerillian favours Lileath, elven goddess of the moon and fortune. Unlike the others, her career options in the sequel have her devote herself to more gods in the elven pantheon — it's implied that Lileath alone didn't give her the answers she needed.
    • Downplayed by the pyromancer Sienna Fuegonasus. She's not religious at first, invoking legendary wizards in her Oh, My Gods! lines instead, but the second game has her build a rapport with the War Goddess Myrmidia — a clever warrior who strikes down her foes with flame, much like her.
  • Joshua Graham of Fallout: New Vegas. He's the (acting) warchief of the Dead Horse Tribe, a legendary soldier who survived being set on fire and thrown down a cliff, and formerly a Legate in Caesar's army. He also happens to be a Mormon missionary and considers that his primary vocation.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has the Church of Seiros, a massive religious institution that represents a sizeable portion of political and military power in Fodlan. The knights who fight for the Church certainly qualify, as does the leaders of the Church itself. Some of the students, particularly Mercedes and Marianne to name examples, are equal parts pious and powerful.
  • Wakka in Final Fantasy X is a tough sportsman who can throw a blitzball hard enough to kill, and incredibly devoted to the religion of Yevon. He doesn't take it well when it turns out that the entire religion is a Path of Inspiration.
  • Halo:
    • Dutch in Halo 3: ODST is a member of the most badass military unit outside of the setting's Super-Soldier programs, and was a college major in philosophy and religion, occasionally incorporating it into his dialogue and outlook.
      Dutch: Like the Good Book says, "Payback is a bitch!"
      Micky: I don't think it actually says that, Dutch.
      Dutch: I'm paraphrasin', ya heathen!
    • Also:
      Dutch: [after doing a jump in a Warthog/Ghost and crashing] Uh, Lord? I didn't train to be a pilot. Tell me I don't have any more flying to do today. [aerial drone crashes into a nearby statue] So, was that a yes or a no? [Warthog/Ghost explodes] Amen.
    • Many of the Covenant warriors such the Elites and Brutes firmly believe in the Covenant's teachings. They show their devotion to it in killing humans.
    • And of course, one must not forget Sgt. Johnson.
      Sgt. Johnson: Usually, the good Lord works In Mysterious Ways... but not today. This here is 66 tons of straight-up HE-spewing DEE-VINE intervention! If God is love, then you can call me cupid.
  • The second Heavy Gear video game features Boyden Wallis as one of your possible teammates. He pilots a stonking huge Kodiak Gear and is arguably the most heavily armed and toughest member of your team. He is also a fervent Revisionist, a somewhat Islamic faith practiced in a manner not unlike conservative Protestantism, to the point where he argues constantly with his erstwhile Southern allies about matters of faith. His bio even notes that his faith is so strong that he is probably immune to breaking under torture.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Rena has some of the most hands-on scenes in the series. She's also devoutly into the local god Oyashiro-sama, which sometimes causes trouble with the Naïve Newcomer Keiichi, who's spooked by it.
  • Supergirl in Injustice 2 is resolute in her faith in Rao, the Kryptonian God of the Sun and also happens to be a Cute Bruiser.
  • Reverend Alberts in Killing Floor.
  • Legacy of Kain: True, while the God Janos Audron is devoted to turned out to be a selfish, manipulative Eldritch Abomination, Janos is unaware of this and is pious, priestly and one of the most powerful warriors of his race.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Ashley, Samara and Thane from Mass Effect are all this, for starters. Possibly Shepard, depending on how you play, although it only really comes up during conversations with Ashley in the first game. Thane in particular has a number of scenes where he prays for forgiveness for the sins he is about to commit in the execution of his mission, and on one occasion prays for forgiveness on behalf of Shepard for the sins he/she must commit in the execution of their mission to save the galaxy.
  • Minion Masters: Valorian leads of the Chapel of Light which fights against the Voidborne. He himself carries a sword. Also, he's a Master using White Magic.
  • Roberto Frois in Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams.
  • The Tower social link in Persona 3 is a monk whose in game profile describes as looking like a gangster, spending every weekend chain-smoking and drinking heavily in a night club. He still takes religion seriously though. Get far enough along his Social Link, and he decides to reconnect with his family (whom he ran out on before becoming a monk).
  • Fangame Pokémon Clover has Caroline, a Pokemon that is basically a talking quail who also happens to be Christian... somehow. If equiped with her exclusive item, a Bible, it raises her critical hit chance.
  • Boman Delgado, from Rival Schools, is an aspiring preacher who fights as a last resort and whose victory poses consist of him praying.
  • In Ragnarok Online, the Acolyte class can opt to be this, either by becoming a mace-wielding Priest or a Monk.
  • Gaira Caffeine of Samurai Shodown. Bonus points for his weapon being an oversized set of prayer beads.
  • In the Soul Series:
    • Sophitia Alexandria, the tall, blonde and beautiful Greek warrior heroine on a holy mission by Hephaestus to destroy the evil weapon Soul Edge. Her faith in the old gods is as much a weapon as her sword and shield, and grants her many supernatural abilities, including her proficiency with said weapons.
    • Talim, the 15-year-old Babaylan priestess (a kind of animist shaman from the Phillipines). Talim fights with a pair of tonfas and also invokes several wind-based powers, possibly stemming from her peoples' deference to Anitun Tabu, a wind deity in Tagalog mythology.
  • Zelda in Super Smash Bros. is a Lady of War. Until the fifth game removed it, one of her win animations always involved her praying to the goddess'.
  • Uesugi Kenshin of Samurai Warriors is a devout worshipper of and constantly invokes Bishamonten, the Buddhist god of war, and is widely considered one of the most powerful warlords of his time (both of which are true to historical sources). He also hits like a truck in personal combat.
  • Any star nation with the Spiritualist ethos in Stellaris will be either this or Church Militant (when combined with Militarist). Tech specialities for Spiritualist star nations include psionics (allowing Expies of Jedi Knights and Guild Navigators) and the ever elusive Jump Drive. Really gets shown off when the Prethoryn Scourge come knocking:
  • The Soldier in Team Fortress 2 makes a religious comment once or twice in his domination lines and other such voice clips. Then the 2013 Halloween update's tie-in comic revealed that he's actually a priest. In Guam.
  • Jun Kazama of Tekken showed signs of this in the second game, where she was portrayed as being allied with Angel. The first Tag Tournament had them share an ending, except it was Jun healing her son of the Devil Gene and Angel healing Kazuya.
  • Vampyr: The Guard of Priwen are pretty much a given, since they are vampire hunters equipped with religious artifacts but an rather unexpected example is William Marshal, the real-life English knight that also happened to be an ancient vampire. Despite faith being an anathema to vampires, he is revealed at the end to still preserve his belief in God and Jesus, alongside wearing a crucifix. And while he isn't shown fighting, he remains in his prison by sheer force of will alone before his daughter Lady Ashbury puts him out of his misery, comforting him by stating he was never defeated and that he died on his own terms.
  • Mon-Mon of Yo-Jin-Bo, who wields a giant rosary and is as capable in a fight as the ronin.

  • Chopin from Tower of God. He is sometimes even possessed by his God, who goes by the name of Hohhohohohhohoh. No, seriously.
  • In Crimson Knights even after Judoch becomes a member of the titular knights, he remains a very devout follower of the Yddar, occasionally praying them for guidance.
  • Scoob and Shag: Foghorn is of the most formidable characters in the setting in terms of raw physical strength, being strong enough to punch Dee through multiple walls, and spouts Bible quotes on a dime.

    Web Original 

    Web Video 
  • Epic Rap Battles of History has several participants being both religious and bringing lyrical punches, like Joan of Arc (starts with a prayer to God for forgiveness before she rips Miley Cyrus' tongue out) and Mansa Musa (opens his verse by swearing upon the Quran to verbally torch his opponent Jeff Bezos).

    Real Life 
  • American football player Reggie White was also an ordained minister. This combined with how good he was at his day job (he's considered to be among the greatest defensive players of all time) led to him getting the nickname "The Minister of Defense".
  • Quarterback Tim Tebow has been consistently outspoken about his faith throughout his collegiate and later professional career, characterized by highlights with him going all out to make last-minute plays to win games.
  • Alice Cooper has been rather open about his Christian faith since the 90s, even if he doesn't talk about it a whole lot. He still chops the heads off of mannequins at shows and plays up the act.
  • Early Methodist preacher Peter Cartwright once beat the snot out of a saloon keep, singing "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" all the while.
  • Irish boxer Katie Taylor is an Olympic gold medalist, and also a born again Christian.
  • In Hinduism, the Kshatriya varna (class/group of castes) consists of warrior-rulers/nobles. While for many if not most Kshatriyas this is just historical, a substantial number of Kshatriya Hindus regard it as their spiritual duty and destiny to maximise their martial prowess, and therefore combine combat training with Hindu devotion.
  • In Sikhism, the original point of the Khalsa (the so-called "baptized" Sikhs) was that they pledged to be warriors defending the faith—hence why one of their religious obligations is to always carry a special dagger. Admittedly, this tends to be downplayed nowadays, and religious regulation allows the dagger to be quite small (since daggers are less useful as weapons than they used to be, and they tend to attract unwelcome attention in places like airports).
  • Virgulino Ferreira da Silva, also known as Lampião was Brazil's own Robin Hood-figure from the 20th century, and an extremely devout Catholic.
  • Saint Joan of Arc, the woman who inspired the Jeanne d'Archétype, was a deeply pious woman, who guided by the will of God, led the French in revolt of the tyrannical English Invasion in the 15th Century.
  • Desmond Doss was a nigh legendary combat medic for the American Army because of his sheer determination. He was a conscientious objector due to his belief in the Thou Shalt Not Kill commandment, and was bullied relentlessly by his comrades. Nevertheless, he saved dozens of lives in the span of his career despite never firing a gun once, and performed feats that were borderline impossible. In fact, most adaptations actually have to downplay his feats as they seemed too impossible for people to believe.
  • Prior to his conversion to evangelical Christianity, Manny Pacquiao was seen kneeling and praying before and after his fights, having been raised Catholic especially as his mother Dionesia is a deeply devout Catholic. Nowadays Manny can be seen in interviews citing the Bible every now and then as a born-again Christian, which became controversial when he expressed his views about the LGBTQ community.
  • Gaius Julius Caesar, believe it or not, fit this perfectly within the culture of the late Republican Rome. He was raised from childhood to have a career in the priesthood, and even though his career was mainly political, he seems to have taken this to heart. Mind you, his (elected) role in the Roman priesthood as Pontifex Maximus was extremely useful to him in his political career, but the records are clear that, as opportunistic as he was throughout his career, he was always scrupulous in his worship of the gods and the observance of their festivals. None of this kept him from his ruthless and brilliant campaigns of conquest in Gaul or his equally ruthless and brilliant campaigns during the civil wars of his late career; if anything, his religious role gave him the confidence to consolidate his authority. (It also did nothing to keep him from his ruthless campaigns of conquest in the bedrooms of the Roman aristocracy—being a notorious philanderer did not preclude a man from being understood as deeply pious.)
  • Many Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad to be a perfect examplar, since Muhammad had been active in wrestling, archery, horse-back riding and sword fighting during the times he would be prosecuted by the Quraish and other Pagan tribes. Many Muslims in the past would learn their cultures equivalent to these skills seeing it as necessary especially in times of conflict. Whilst the vast majority of modern day Muslims feel it was no longer necessary since violence and warfare in the modern world has changed. Many young Muslims minorities in the west (especially in Europe) have taken to learning Boxing or Martial Arts to defend themselves and overcome anxiety due to the rise of Islamophobia in the 21st century.


Video Example(s):


Drax the Destroyer

Though the strongest of the Guardian's, the tragic loss of his family still weights heavily on Drax's soul, as he shares with the similarly bereaved Peter Quill on Knowhere.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / HeartbrokenBadass

Media sources: