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Rule of Cool

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Death playing an electric guitar with a piece of his shattered scythe as the pick. Do you really need to question anything here?

"Welcome to downtown Coolsville! Population: Us!"
Hogarth Hughes, The Iron Giant

The limit of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to its awesomeness.

Stated another way, all but the most pedantic of viewers will forgive liberties with reality as long as the result is wicked sweet or awesome. This applies to the audience in general; there will naturally be a different threshold for each individual. Also known in some circles as a "rad herring", in which something doesn't make sense within the guidelines of the story's reality, but it's too cool not to include it.

The Rule of Cool is another principle that seeks to dispel arguments among fans over implausibility in fiction. It has been cited by animation director Steve Loter (of Kim Possible, Clerks: The Animated Series, Tarzan, and American Dragon: Jake Long) in response to questions from fans attempting to justify temporary breaches in logical consistency. It is a complement to Bellisario's Maxim and the MST3K Mantra.


Of scientific laws that this trope circumvents, the third law of motion is probably the most frequently revoked, with the Square-Cube Law probably a close second. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is third and a mention has to go to the laws of relativity, which prevent us from attaining Faster-Than-Light Travel and going to a distant planet in just a few hours.

Note that you only get to invoke the Rule of Cool if the end product is, in fact, cool. Note also that different opinions on what is "cool" create the most arguments over this. The Rule of Cool is very subjective. Failure to properly use this trope can cause collision damage with walls.

Since it's subjective, it doesn't have to be cool in the sense of "Grim reaper on a mountain playing an electric guitar". The protagonist might not use guns because it's cooler to have them fight vampires with knives and stakes. You might have Missing Parent Syndrome because it would be weird to have parents with you on a road trip across the country. Basically, Rule of Cool works differently for whichever genre you're writing for.


There are no instances of this trope being justified, nor can there be — after all, the entire point is that it's about things that don't make sense but we still gladly accept just because they're cool.

You will need to refer to The Utterly and Completely Definitive Guide to Cool.

A Sub-Trope of Artistic License.

Sister Trope to Rule of Fun!

Compare The Power of Index, Cool of Rule, Rule of Funny, Rule of Scary, Rule of Drama, Rule of Romantic, Rule of Cute, Masculinity Tropes, Garnishing the Story, Dramatic Dangling.

Contrast Viewers Are Morons.


Also see:

Series that exist because of this rule:

    open/close all folders 

  • Some of the items sold by such catalogues as Skymall and The Bradford Exchange would never exist were it not for this trope. Here are a few examples:
  • There's an Orbitz commercial where a guy is watering his lawn, and a scientist-type from an earlier spot floats down in a hovercraft. Getting out, he strides over to the guy and removes an envelope from his coat.
    Scientist: Hi! You booked a flight and the price went down, so here's an Orbitz Price Assurance check for the difference.
    Guy: Thanks! But why didn't you just mail it?
    Scientist: [looks confused, points backward] We have a hovercraft.
  • The Droid phone commercials are all about the visually impressive Technology Porn. It is relevant? No, but it makes a big statement.
  • This Hahn Super Dry advertisement: "Super goes in, Super Dry comes out."

    Anime and Manga 
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: The titular demon slayers are trained under varied swordsmanship styles, classified under natural elements such as Fire, Water and its derivatives, however, the setting really goes an extra mile to make its sword attacks look much cooler than they seem, that is by adding visual elements embedded to its strikes, all for the sake of it because the setting slightly alludes (which the author had to further confirm due some people still not getting it) to the fact none of the elemental visuals are real, as in there’s no Water materializing from thin air and so forth; the elements are there just because the author thought the attacks look cooler that way.
  • Naruto: Sasuke can start a fire with his eyes. Instead of just setting fire to the Juubi, he throws it, combining it with Naruto's Rasenshuriken, creating Scorch Release: Halo Hurricane Jet Black Arrow Style Zero (a.k.a. throwing star shaped like a windmill and arrow blacker than liqueur) to set fire to the Juubi.
  • Ninja Slayer. Everything and everyone is so over the top that it has to be seen to be believed. Just think "American 80s and 90s ninja movies" meets Gurren Lagann, and then turned Up to Eleven.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: There is an in-universe reason for all the strange awesomeness but why would you care with such hammy hot blood and Humongous Mecha?
    • Everything the characters or mechs do, and even the laws of physics themselves, are subject to Rule Of Cool. The fight scenes especially make absolutely no logical sense whatsoever, but it really doesn't matter because they're so awesome.
    • Throwing galaxies like ninja stars.
    • Kamina, resident badass draws his trusty katana, and it keeps coming out of the sheath for ten feet, for no reason other than it looks cool while battling someone wielding a meat cleaver. The length of Kamina's sword seems directly proportional to the length of the speech he is making while drawing it.
    • The end of the anime is also a deconstruction of the Rule Of Cool via the Spiral Nemesis, the theoretical end of the universe via an overuse of Spiral Power (which is functionally the Rule Of Cool in Applied Phlebotinum form.) Simply put, being able to bend the laws of physics, probability and reality itself just because it'd be awesome would eventually cause reality itself to come undone. By the end of the anime, Simon resolves to prevent the Spiral Nemesis, starting with abandoning Spiral Power altogether (not even using it to resurrect Nia after her death even though he probably could) to Walk The Earth as his allies go on to use it more responsibly.
    • In the same vein, DOUBLE K, the buddy cop version of the anime, combines how Rule Of Cool driven both types of shows are.
  • Mazinger: Go Nagai explicitly said that this is the reason Mazinger Z (and as a result the Super Robot Genre) is what it is. He DID his research about science and technology, but ultimately he did what he thought seemed cooler.
  • Mazinger Z: Thus, we've got a Made of Indestructium eighteen-meter-tall humanoid war machine and Eldritch Abomination created by a Mad Scientist, piloted from within, powered with Applied Phlebotinum, equipped with Rocket Punches that can be thrown at the enemy, optical weaponry, corrosive gusts of wind and heat blasts capable of melting within seconds a monster made of metal, that can fly, swim and withstand a nuclear blast. It is also capable of being dunked in magma for a short while, and constantly fights robotic gladiators able to shoot lightning bolts and make 3-D mirages in thin air without a screen, flying medieval knights, whales loaded with nukes, three-headed dragons, giant crabs that set off earthquakes, Transforming Mecha that turn into giant landmines, Ninjas, archers, snipers and humanoids that can fly at Mach 6 speed. And that is without getting into some of the first Action Girls in anime, the Home Base equipped with a Beehive Barrier, the zombie cyborg Mooks, the ancient civilizations that built superweapons, one of the Co-Dragons that is a half-tiger cyborg, or the Super Villain Lair that in reality is a humongous Humongous Mecha disguised like an Island Base.
  • Great Mazinger: Great Mazinger has twin swords for Dual Wielding, Armed Legs, shoots lightning bolts, and its Rocket Punch rotates relentlessly to increase the punching strength (combining the trope with This Is a Drill and Spectacular Spinning). The Professor is a The Home Base's upper part can detach off the main building and fly, and the lower part can also detach off and swim through the ocean. The Big Bad is a God-Emperor, ruler of an ancient civilization Beneath the Earth, the Dragon-in-Chief is a giant Caped Mecha with a sword can cleave a mountain in half, and the Robeasts resemble beasts, ancient warriors or evil spirits. And one of their bases is a mobile Island Base that is a blooding volcano can erupt at will.
  • UFO Robo Grendizer: The main character is an alien prince that pilots the mechanical embodiment of his planet's god of war, that is armed with a double-edged scythe that emerges out of its shoulders, and it can be combined with devices allow it bury underground, swim or fly in space. When the main character wants to ride Grendizer, he leaps since a tall hatch and shouts loudly his name, transform his clothes into his Latex Space Suit as airborne.
  • Just how did mercurion work in Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry? What is it? All we know is it's Green. Why was the special ship pink, and what was with the big arm... Well, it looked cool.
  • Cowboy Bebop can be very confusing if taken on surface value, with only five episodes needed to tell the full narrative. Despite this fact, the entire twenty-six episodes remains a standard of great anime for it's smoothness, filmic style, well choreographed action sequences. This is only one element that enabled the show to succeed.
  • Samurai Champloo has little to no narrative and is often too weird or silly to be taken seriously. Fans like the show for its devil may care attitude and breakdancing samurai battles. The Boondocks television series was heavily inspired by Samurai Champloo and is one of the main reasons it was made in the first place.
  • Buso Renkin: Captain Bravo freely admits that his odd mannerisms and Large Ham public persona due to his belief that things are "cooler that way!"
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam relies on this to set itself apart from the rest of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise. Series director Imagawa said that by the second episode, he'd decided not to worry about whether or not anything made sense, just so long as it looked cool.
  • GaoGaiGar.
    • What else can you say about a series where a cyborg combines with an alien robot lion, a bullet train, a drill car, and a stealth fighter to form a Humonguous Robot that uses a space-warping screwdriver and a Hyperspace Mallet capable of turning whatever it strikes into light particles? And of course, the series features a rather famous Memetic Mutation to explain it all: "With courage, 1% becomes 100%!"
    • The Hyper Space Mallet came with several by virtue of being a transforming tank. Then it becomes a transforming triad of spaceships.
  • Played with in Metal Fighter Miku. Early in the series, the team's mentor asks the girls to explain the purpose of the robot-like metal suits used in their wrestling league. After one team member gives a detailed explanation of the various computer systems and sensors built into the outfits, he dismisses it all with a simple "Because it looks cool!" In the end, it is revealed that his overarching goal has been to convince everyone to do away with all the pseudo-futuristic glitz and return the sport to the muscle-and-technique competition that wrestling is supposed to be.
  • Black Lagoon
    • An anti-heroine who is able to backflip seven feet into the air, shoot three people dead mid-jump and has the vision range of a chameleon.
    • A torpedo boat performing a joust against a gunship — and winning by using a boat-wreck as a ramp and torpedoing it mid-air!
    • A one-eyed seventy year old nun who runs a gun-smuggling 'church of violence' and whose weapon of choice is a golden Desert Eagle she fires one handed?
    • An invincible terminator maid with a shotgun umbrella.
  • In an episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, the Major one-handedly fires a enormous .50-caliber sniper rifle and reloads the bolt-action by using her knee and the force of the recoil. Why one-handed? Because she's missing her other arm. Even considering the fact that she is a full-on cyborg, the scene borders on absurd but is it jaw-droppingly awesome? Yes, oh yes, oh yes....
  • Fist of the North Star, if examined with a critical eye, would collapse under the weight of its Fridge Logic... if not for how it essentially created the Rule Of Cool-based Shōnen series. It's hard to complain about the implausibility of the premise when you're trying to retrieve your jaw following the fight scenes.
  • Giant Robo. Giant mechas, supernaturally gifted fighters in sharp clothes and all rounded up by a pompous Wagnerian soundtrack.
  • Karas: How else can you explain the ludicrously overpowered kick-arse hero who can transform into a jet and a car to combat the rise of blood-drinking cyborg demons?
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Erecting a sprawling civilian metropolis directly atop a military base that is certain to be attacked by aliens wielding doomsday weapons is just Saddamesque enough to be cool.
    • Skyskrapers slide down underground to hang from the roof of the Geofront whenever one of the aforementioned aliens turn up. This ends poorly but seeing them rise back above ground after a fight with that music is a CMOA.
    • The entire reason Hideki Anno decided to go with the name isn't because of religious symbolism, but because he thought the words sounded cool.
  • Dinosaur King. The plot involves cards that become dinosaurs (or dinosaurs that are cards) and an evil gang who wants to use them for world domination. Makes no sense? Watch one of the dinosaur fight scenes. All your complaints will be blown away by the sheer awesomeness of dinosaurs attacking each other with elemental powers.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • Jack Rakan based his entire fighting style on this. His moves include summoning a building-sized sword, surfing on a sword, and shattering a magical pocket dimension just by being awesome. It's repeatedly lampshaded by other characters.
      Chamo: This shouldn't be physically possible.
      Jack: It just takes a little spirit.
      Kotomi: He just ignores the laws of magic.
    • The Negi vs. Rakan fight. The ridiculous lengths that it goes to (Negi reveals that he is not left handed five times in a single chapter) would just be overkill if it weren't so freaking awesome.
  • The Prince of Tennis
    • The Tezuka Zone, wherein Tezuka Kunimitsu doesn't move one step from wherever he is standing, and all balls, no matter how they are hit, are attracted to him.
    • Atobe Keigo's World of Ice, which attacks his opponent's weak spot... and takes the form of flying shards of ice. Yes, this is still about tennis.
    • Synchro is the ultimate doubles technique, during which doubles partners enter a trance-like state and are perfectly in tune with each other... and their eyes become swirling vortexes of color.
    • Tooyama Kintaro's Super Ultra Great Delicious Daisharin Yamaarashi is about as realistic as you would imagine from the name.
  • X/1999: Monou Fuuma destroys Ebisu Garden Plaza with empty soda cans and the power of his own awesomeness.
  • In Code Geass
    • Lelouch constantly uses Rule Of Cool to his advantage. He lampshades it saying that people don't give a damn about reason, but they can't resist miracles. However, this is more a case of Willing Suspension of Disbelief among characters than among the audience.
  • Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto: Essentially the entire premise for the show. Sakamoto frequently performs unlikely, or sometimes, outright impoossible acts.
  • Appleseed the fight scenes in second CGI movie ("Appleseed Ex Machina"), which opens and closes with combat sequences that would make a Cirque du Soleil-trained Green Beret turn flushed with jealousy and admiration.
  • Burst Angel: Jo, an awesome fighter, even if not sociable at all, can pilot a mecha as if it was her own body, do incredible stunts with weapons, and save her Damsel in Distress.
  • Sengoku Basara is set (theoretically) in the Sengoku Period but it features a Mecha Samurai who is twenty feet tall with a drill, Jet Pack and miniature treads on his feet, as well as a horse outfitted with motorcycle handlebars and a tailpipe.
  • FLCL has characters Dual Wielding guitars and a giant hand that is actually a giant spider cowboy robot whose arms are the hand's fingers.
  • Soul Eater's character designs are chock-full of martial arts, scythe-spinning and slicing through things at just about every given opportunity.
  • One Piece:
    • Several characters specifically invoke this trope, such as Luffy gaining power from an afro or Garp bursting through a wall because it's cooler than using the door.
    • One Piece ignores all laws of physics except when realism makes it more awesome, such as its treatment of Harmless Freezing.
  • Getter Robo. Nothing, not even the sideburns, are realistic. No one notices because their heads are exploding from the incredible amount of awesome moments.
  • Bleach:
    • The beginning of the Arrancar arc has the first 'fighting in mid-air' battles. It has a justification (soul reapers can walk on spirit particles) but it still counts because it's damn cool.
    • A specific example in soul society of bending the rule that meant they couldn't 'fly' in the first place - the Dynamic Entry into the cells where Rukia is held is assisted by a giant winged device that is ONLY useful in the Seireitei. A giant wing comes from nowhere while Ichigo radiates his badass aura, to the surprise of two captains, before discarding it and landing next to Rukia.
  • In Biomega, for its special forces Toha Heavy Industries makes a folding gun that shoots hypersonic projectiles using brain waves. With this thing, Zoichi takes out a handful of intercontinental ballistic missiles within a few minutes of launch.
  • Black Jack: Tezuka does not fail biology but that didn't stop him from making up crazy new stuff for the titular hero to deal with. For example, extracting a parasite from his intestines while under attack by dingoes.
  • Lampshaded in Brave Police J-Decker. Three of the main robots eventually combine to form a bigger robot called Build Tiger — which, appropriately enough, has a large tiger face in its chest. When asked why, the designer states: "Because it looks cool!"
  • My Bride is a Mermaid plays this for laughs. When ever a character wants to appear cool or impressive they Art Shift into a Kenshiro clone complete with Battle Aura.
  • Saint Seiya: It's hard to question the plot when bishonen in cosmic armor and eighties multicolour hair are beating the ever-loving stuffing out of each other for every reason under the sun, and with every attack under the sun too (from Mind Rape to Something About a Rose) whilst running up stairs and visiting Hades in time for tea. It's so much fun you just HAVE to go along with it!
  • The anime adaptation of Fate/stay night has this to thank for at least one difference from the original visual novel. In the game's Fate storyline (which the anime is primarily based on), one of the main villains of the series, Gilgamesh, approaches Saber and Shiro. After severely wounding Shiro, Saber launches a series of attacks at Gilgamesh, which he shrugs off with his armor, thereby averting Armor Is Useless. In the anime, this is replaced by Gilgamesh summoning swords from his Noble Phantasm, the Gate of Babylon, so that they block the path of Saber's swings, a method much more visually appealing than just having him stand there and take it.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, if something doesn't follow game mechanics, this is why, and no, we don't need humans getting directly involved in our Pokémon battles, up close and personal with the danger, but things sure do get a lot more awesome that way.
  • Final Fantasy: Unlimited: In relation to Kaze and his extremely long Magun summoning sequences. In Real Life it would be impractical but in the show it looks so cool!
  • Highschool of the Dead: Anime school girls with big knockers? Been there, done that. Anime school girls with big knockers... fighting hordes of zombies? SIGN ME UP!
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: How else do you explain a duel around a star going supernova on motorcycles or a duel flying under a colossal floating city that's about to crash into another city?
  • Hellsing: Eldritch Abomination vampire serving the descendants of Abraham van Helsing versus a souped up exiled battalion of Ghostapo Nazi vampires who wage war for fun led by an Ax-Crazy SS-Major versus a secret catholic organisation and their crazy Catholic paladin.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist: When Mustang fights Envy he continuously snaps to continue burning him to death. However, he ignites Envy with the first attack, making the snap unneeded due to how his alchemy functions, by changing the explosive gas concentration in the air. The snaps are added purely to make Mustang look cool as he roasts Envy alive.
  • In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the fight sequences (long enough that you can consider the other scenes "non-fight sequences") consist entirely of "cool", and little to no realism. Just a few examples:
    • During one of the motorcycle fights, Loz leans over, digs his piston-powered gauntlet into the pavement, then swings around on it, with his bike clamped between his legs, to throw the whole bike at the hero with beyond-lethal velocity.
    • The hero is thrown several hundred feet into the air by his friends (one of which is a GHOST) in order to slice a dragon god in half with his sword.
    • Part of the final fight has the hero and the Big Bad swordfighting while jumping and balancing on slabs of a falling building, to a soundtrack of hammering electric guitar with a chanting Latin chorus.
    • Nomura has gone on record by saying he told The Team to ignore the laws of physics and just do what looked coolest.
    • Advent Children is what happens if you take a Final Fantasy game and make every attack a Limit Break. Alternatively, it's an answer to the question, "Just what would it really look like to have level 99 characters who can kill just about anything?" In a game, much of that is covered by numbers increasing, but the movie shows that kind of personal power in practice.
  • Transformers Cybertron. Half Rule of Cool, half very long commercials for the toyline. 100% awesome.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: A huge sea/air/spaceplane turning into a giant bird of flame. To take down giant mecha. Hinotori or Firey Phoenix or Firebird mode, it is awesome. And then there was the episode with the Icebird.
  • Dragon Ball: You have a race of space pirates that transform into giant apes or golden haired Gods battling slug people that can regenerate limbs and materialize anything using their antenna, a pink Djinn that can turn anything into candy, an intergalactic, racist realestate speculator and giant humanoid cicada created from stolen DNA because... why not!
    • Zen-o evokes the rule in his tournaments. If it's cool, he's okay with it.
  • Attack on Titan: 3DMG in reality would encounter much the same problem jetpacks do, not enough fuel. And operating one safely, forget it. Damn if it doesn't look cool though.
  • Nyaruko: Crawling With Love!: Happens In-Universe with the title character, who can shapeshift instantly with just a thought, but deliberately gave herself a full-fledged Transformation Sequence into her combat form entirely because she's a massive Otaku who thinks that sort of stuff looks awesome. This is also the reason her combat form resembles a combination of the Knight Blazer and a Kamen Rider, rather than anything more Lovecraftian.


  • This was also Denis Leary reacting to his new super-hi-tech stereo system on the Lock and Load album.
    "...and the other stuff where you don't even know what it does but it looks fuckin' great! It's reeeeally shinyyy."

    Comic Books 
  • The reason for the existence of superheroes in general. Superman became Mr. New Powers as the Plot Demands during the forties and fifties because it fulfilled Rule Of Cool for the target demographic. This is also the reason Batman will always have a T. Rex and a giant penny in the Batcave even as he shifts between Darker and Edgier and Lighter and Softer. Damn near every superpower or fantastic element needs Rule Of Cool to shield it from an onslaught of logic-wielding refrigerators, although a few hits will get through, usually aimed at Superman's disguise or how Spider-Man can stick to surfaces.
  • Blackest Night with its Zombie Lantern Superheroes, Superman suddenly being the general of a 1000+ Kryptonian army, and so on. Silver Age influences have crept into the Modern Age.
  • The premise of Godyssey would not work from a theological perspective but there's no denying that it's really really cool. It is thus; The Greek pantheon appears before Jesus on the cross and demands that he stop mocking divinity by renouncing the low and filthy mortals he serves. Jesus responds by removing himself from the cross and beating the shit out of them all.
  • Rex the Wonder Dog:
    • We're talking a dog who kills dinosaurs with atom bombs here.
    • The One World Government will take away your guns with ninja dogs!
  • Red Hulk punched a Watcher during one of his "sworn only to watch, never interfere" speeches to the reader. Why? Jeph Loeb.
  • This is the canonical explanation for the name of the Marvel Superhero Team The Avengers. What are they avenging? Nothing, The Wasp just thought the word "Avengers" sounded cool.
  • Hitman: How else do you describe a plot about a professional killer from Gotham City who got superpowers after being bit by an alien parasite having to deal with everything from demons with magic guns to zombified zoo animals?
  • Super Dinosaur: How else can one explain a series about a T-rex who wears battle armors to fight dinosaur mutants armed with BFGs or BFSs?
  • Cadillacs And Dinosaurs is lampshading this from its very title. Caddillacs and Dinousarurs are cool.
  • Revival is a gritty, realistic look at a fantastic situation. Then the Amish ninja assassin and her equally-Amish ninja assassin tween daughter appear to kick ass and take names. Only the flimsiest explanation is offered: she was born Amish, got pregnant, got stabbed by a ninja, got better, then the ninja trained her.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The entire Alpha and Omega, especially the wolf characters. Unlike most people who believe this is a mistake. A majority of the wolves have Anime Hair and a few have eye colors discommon to actual wolves. This also includes wolf society portrayed on this movie.
  • Fantasia: The battle between the Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex could never have happened, given that the species were separated by 20 million years at the very least. That's not to mention a few anatomy errors of both. But no one's complaining. Wicked music, great animation, incredible synchronization? Sit back and relax.
  • Be Prepared, Scar's song from The Lion King has the ground lifting up to the moon while Scar and the Hyenas are standing on it to make a menacing tower, in addition to lots of green lighting and smoke coming out of the ground. Why? Because it's COOL!
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: Yeah, there is absolutely no way DJ Pon-3's transformer car and BASS CANNON could be seriously explained within the context of the movie. Do we care? NO! It's just too awesome.
  • An in-story example appears in Toy Story: Almost no-one (Woody being the exception) calls out Buzz Lightyear on his delusion about being a real space hero as opposed to a toy, because he's just that cool.
  • Toy Story 2 and Finding Dory both contain scenes with characters with no driving experience whatsoever somehow managing to successfully drive vehicles on busy roads to their destination by working together despite being a assortment of living toys in the former, and a fish and a octopus in the latter. The audience is supposed to accept these scenes because of this trope and Rule of Funny, and judging by how successful both films are, it worked, or at least was tolerated by most people despite being completely ridiculous scenes.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Bounty built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty was twice the size of the real ship. Occasionally, replicas of old warships are made slightly larger to accommodate the taller sailors of today, but never to this extent.
  • The 1963 Sword & Sandal epic Jason and the Argonauts features what has been called one of the greatest Final Battle sequences in film history, and certainly the greatest stop-motion fight sequence in film history. Ray Harryhausen's previous film, the 1958 The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, featured a sword fight scene between the hero and an evil sorcerer's animated skeleton; it went down so well that for his next film he decided to up the ante and do three heroes fighting seven skeletons.
  • Six String Samurai. After the Russians nuke everything, Elvis becomes King of the remains of Lost Vegas. A samurai Buddy Holly battles Slash to claim his throne. "Only one man can kill so many Russians. Bring his guitar to me!"
  • Crank: Near the end of the first film after Chase is disarmed, he makes a gun out of his finger and thumb, points it at a guy, goes "Bang" and it kills him. It turns out to be his backup, but for a few seconds everyone watching the movie went "Mind bullets...?! Okay, mind bullets, let's go with that."
  • The Matrix: The premise involves robots imprisoning humans into a computer generated Platonic Cave. However, most of the series involves rebellious philosophers in Badass Longcoats fighting artificially-intelligent Agent programs in corporate attire, all through Martial Arts. In Slow Motion. It also helps that the Wachowski sisters' inspiration for creating the trilogy was Anime.
    • The famous lobby scene. There was no reason for them to be there except for a cool shootout.
    • Neo draws his sunglasses before he starts to fight Smith. THAT is the Rule Of Cool in action.
    • This trope is the sole reason the "Burly Brawl" scene in Reloaded exists. It's ten minutes of Neo fighting endless clones of Smith for no real plot-enhancing reason. It just looks cool.
    • When Neo kicks Agent Smith and then instead of taking his foot down, he moves it in air and then put it down. Totally Frigging Cool.
    • The Agents (and later Neo's) ability to dodge bullets is never replicated to dodging much slower punches and kicks. This is due to Rule Of Cool, because if they did the fights would last all of five seconds.
  • GoldenEye: The Chase Scene. Yes, that chase scene.
  • Transformers: There is no other reason for these films to exist or for anyone to watch them except that Giant Transforming Robots are inherently cool. It could be argued that Michael Bay's career rests on taking a premise and making it cool.
  • In the second Austin Powers movie, Basil Exposition turns to the camera and tells the audience not to get upset about any contradictions in the Time Travel plot of the story. Why? Because we have a secret agent using a time machine to go back to the sixities and fight a evil mastermind in his secret volcano lair.
  • The Star Wars franchise has many:
    • The Phantom Menace:
      • It has impenetrable force-fields that turn on at the most dramatically convenient times.
      • Why does Darth Maul use a polearm lightsaber? Why not?
    • Similarly, Kylo Ren's saber from the sequel trilogy. What's even better than a lightsaber? A lightsaber with two other lightsabers shooting out of the handle perpendicular to the blade, making it look like a medieval longsword. Justified in that the design requires plasma to be vented out due to the damaged crystal within, it offers more hand protection than the traditional saber, and that Ren uses the crossguard to injure his opponents while in a Blade Lock.
    • The revelation in Attack of the Clones that R2-D2 had the ability to fly was cheered enthusiastically, even though he never showed this ability in the original trilogy.
    • General Grievous would not exist were it not for this trope. An evil alien cyborg general with four arms who hunts Jedi for sport? Hell yes!
    • Clone Wars: You once see the same weapon on the Millennium Falcon being carried around by a single ARC trooper, and instead of using four arms, Grievous juggles four light-sabers around between his hands and prehensile feet (albeit as an "unwelcome surprise"), making for some of the best fights in Star Wars history.
    • Lightsabers, themselves. They're swords and lasers. They cut through most everything.
    • Basically, all forms of combat featured in Star Wars are glowy sci-fi futuristic space versions of some form of Real Life combat that was (and is) considered to be extremely cool. Lightsaber duels? Swordfighting. Starfighters? Old School Dogfighting. Starship battles? Naval battles. The Clone Wars? Huge armies tearing each other apart. The Force and Force-based Psychic Powers only add more awesome to the mix.
    • The reason why Darth Vader is still in his suit by the time the original trilogy rolls around is obviously because of how cool he looks in his suit.
    • The AT-AT Walkers' practical problems include: high center of gravity, multiple fully-exposed points of failure, extremely poor visibility, severe weakness in that they can be easily tripped up and disabled, offensive weapons which only point forward, no way to defend against an attack from below... the list goes on and on. In a nutshell, these machines would be far less effective in battle than a modern tank but they are undeniably cool.
    • Why is the planet Crait in The Last Jedi a red mineral planet covered with a layer of white salt? Because the visual of geysers of red earth exploding from beneath the white surface looks FREAKIN' AWESOME!
  • Anything Quentin Tarantino is involved in. For instance:
    • The end of Four Rooms, has the most understated rule of cool bet ever. For a $1000 tip, the bellboy wields the ax in a car-or-pinky-finger bet about whether or not one of the guys can start his lucky Zippo lighter 10 times. Chop, snatch and strut out the door.
    • Inglourious Basterds. It's not tactically smart to try guerrilla warfare when you don't have the home advantage, but is it badass? Hell yes and especially when you put Eli Roth in a wifebeater and give him a baseball bat.
  • 300. If you're bothered by the fact that Xerxes' army did not, in fact, include cave trolls, ninjas and rhinos, and that Spartans wore armor and had backup, you should recite the MST3K Mantra. Even in-universe there's an explanation. The story of the 300 is being told by a lone survivor, leading an army of Greeks about to fight the Persians, so of course it runs on Rule Of Cool
  • The Martial Arts genre wouldn't exist without this trope and the Wuxia genre absolutely thrives on it. How else can you explain somebody jumping 30 feet in the air, and then jumping off of their sword in midair to gain more altitude? The Flying Guillotine was made infamous because of these movies. It's a nasty little contraption that consists of a basket with blades and a chain. You throw the basket onto somebody's head, pull the chain, the blades go to work, and it's Off with His Head!!
  • Shoot 'em Up: There is a shootout while skydiving. This isn't a movie, it's a religious experience.
  • Flynning looks cooler than real fencing. Just ask Mandy Patinkin and Cary Elwes.
  • In the commentary for Serenity, Joss Whedon discusses the scene where the good guys come through the opaque and sensor-killing "ion cloud" followed by an army of Reavers to back them up against the Alliance. Because my cloud kept the Alliance from seeing them coming, it was a perfect cavalry-coming-over-the-hill moment: 'I don't know what an "ion cloud" is, we just made that up but I would have sold all my knowledge of science to get that scene.' (paraphrased)
  • The Forbidden Kingdom had the working title of The J & J Project. ( The whole point of which was to make the Jet Li vs. JackieChan dream fight ''finally'' happen on camera).
  • The entirety of Doomsday:
    • A detachable bionic eye/camera? Rule of Cool. Foam grenades? Rule of Cool. Glasgow!? Rule of Cool. The entire thing is an exercise in attaching balls to walls.
    • Supposedly the director had a dream about a showdown between a medieval knight and a modern soldier, and decided to write a movie around it.
    • Scottish cannibal ninja stripper punks!
  • Wanted as well as the director's previous films, Night Watch and Day Watch, where things exist for no other reason than because they're cool. Example: Let's drive a car across a building. Why? Why not? You get the feeling that when they were thinking of the concept for this movie, someone said, "What would happen if you took all the cool stunts from The Matrix, and turned them Up to Eleven?"
  • The Back to the Future films rely heavily on this as well as the Rule of Funny.
    • One example, pointed out by Bob Gale on a DVD Commentary, occurs in the third film. Doc and Marty try to get the DeLorean up to eighty-eight miles per hour by pulling it with horses. Gale pointed out that the Doc would know horses don't run that fast and the Doc even points that out in the scene. However, the filmmakers had to do that shot with the DeLorean being ridden across Monument Valley like a covered wagon because it would look cool.
    • The fact that the time machine itself is a DeLorean is Rule Of Cool in itself. What self-respecting geek hasn't fantasized about having a time-traveling DeLorean? This is specifically invoked as one of the reasons Doc chose the DeLorean. He starts to give a practical reason, but is interrupted and doesn't revisit it.
      Doc: The way I see it, if you're going to build a time machine, why not do it with some style?
  • TRON. This movie has become a cult movie, heavily enjoyed by geeks and people into computers, even though it's obvious to any such person, or for that matter, anyone above the age of seven, that computer programs are not glowing people running around inside a computer. It's just so much fun that this doesn't matter.
  • This notion was the central focus of Underworld. This is a world where vampires are at constant war with werewolves.
  • Indiana Jones
    • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:
      • The jungle swordfight between Mutt and the bad girl. Realistic? Not in the least. Supremely friggin' awesome? Hell yes.
      • The fridgenuking! What if that was the writers saying "Dr. Jones is badass enough that you can't kill him with nukes, or whatever is immediately surrounding him"?
    • The scene in the original Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indy shoots the giant, black-draped swordsman in the Cairo marketplace, was originally to have been a complex whip-and-sword duel. It was cut due to a general ailment among the cast and crew that day.
  • 6 funny examples how Rule Of Cool can mingle with something and get rabies. "...should be pretty cool. Right?"
  • Alfred Hitchcock invoked this trope when he made North By Northwest by answering the question "Why would someone use a crop duster as a murder weapon?" with the understanding that the audience would be too engrossed in watching the next pass to care.
  • James Bond: The gadgets, the Evil Plans, some of the more improbable (and more awesome) fight/chase scenes... all the stuff Agent 007 does is governed by this trope.
  • The climactic fight scene in the movie version of V for Vendetta. It's an overblown Matrix ripoff given that in the comic V just lets Finch shoot him, but still completely awesome. Considering that it was directed by the Wachowski sisters, it's not surprising. They made The Matrix too.
  • The Godzilla franchise. Giant robots? Check. Radioactive dinosaurs? Check. Awesome Fight Scenes? Check and double check. Great music? Check! This is the trope namer for Just Here for Godzilla. You better believe it's cool.
  • Roger Ebert says in his review of the Iron Man movie that military weapons tend not to look nearly as cool as Iron Man, but also that "It wouldn't be nearly as much fun to see a fight scene between two refrigerators crossed with the leftovers from a boiler room."
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: You got your pirates, your undead, your curses, your sea monsters, your totally impossible swordfights and Captain Jack Sparrow.
  • The Italian Job (1969). Minis that would normally collapse with that much gold jump across gaps, drive on the roof of a building and then off again.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra features a Powered Armor Car Chase through Paris, an underwater dog fight, and Snake Eyes. In the "making of" commentary on the DVD, one crew member attributes the mantra (loosely paraphrased) "overdo everything; then make it even bigger" to director Stephen Sommers, and says that they were reminded of this policy daily during the production of the film.
  • Postal the movie. From a notoriously bad director, based on a non-politically correct game, starring unknowns and having a ridiculous plot, all of which is redeemed by a constant onslaught of "how in the hell did they get away with this; this is unbelievably cool".
  • In The Lord of the Rings, due to Tolkien's terminology ("wings of shadow") describing the Balrog, nobody on the production team was quite sure whether the wings were literal or metaphorical. Peter Jackson later admitted they added the wings just because it looked cool.
  • In Jurassic Park, why does the T. rex show up in the nick of time to save Grant, Ellie and the kids from becoming Raptor chow? Because the T. rex is awesome and the animators wanted to show it off some more.
  • Jurassic World:
    • The creation of the Indominus Rex is a deconstruction of this trope. They wanted a bigger, badder, tougher, and smarter dinosaur than T. Rex or Velociraptor...but what they got was a psychotic hybrid hell-bent on destruction, and It Can Think as well!
    • The finale is over the top, and their solution could have easily put them into additional danger (and it's never really explained why it didn't), but at least it was awesome to watch.
  • Avatar.
    • Despite eschewing Space Opera tropes, it's hard to deny that the film is built around the idea of three-meter-tall blue quasi-Algonquian catpeople fighting mecha from space, and it plays fast and loose with the laws of physics and probability to make that happen.
    • Anyone with even the tiniest bit of knowledge in basic botany or zoology would know that Pandora's flora and fauna primarily evolved to look visually impressive to moviegoers. How would a giant species with impenetrable armor plating and no apparent predators not quickly overpopulate? Why the extra legs and bio-luminescence when they serve no function and could even be a liability? Cuz' they look cool, now less thinky, more watchy!
    • It's also the only justification for some of the tactics depicted. Even if the hero knows nothing of his own world's history, common sense should tell him that having lightly armed cavalry charge armour and machine guns is suicide but it's such cool, heroic suicide that he does it anyway.
  • Zombieland. Why would you go to an amusement park and turn all the lights on, turning your location into a gigantic target? Why would you jump out of the car and let it sink into the river, instead of hitting the brakes suddenly? Why would you try to con the first signs of life instead of going with them, then why would you leave? Why would you take a motorcycle or a shovel to fight zombies? Why? Why? Because it's awesome.
  • This song from the film Sivaji: The Boss. As this blog post puts it, "the waycool approach is to ride up, while napping, on a motorcycle that you drive with your feet, dismount by means of wheelie on the front tire, and shoot the bad guys with a machinegun hidden in your guitar. Then the stunningly attractive Bollywood actress will sing and dance with you."
  • This promo poster from Watchmen. True, he could be lighting the cigar purely from the convection of heat, or off the barrel of the flamethrower, but you do NOT want to taste a cigar that's been lit off a kerosene flame.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World : Why do all of Ramona's evil exes meet some requirement of video game boss style, explode into coins when defeated, and everyone naturally is just that good at martial arts? So that when Scott wins the girl, it's really cool.
  • The Fast and the Furious series features this trope in abundance, but it really reaches its apex in the climax to Fast Five. The heroes steal a 10-ton vault by attaching it via steel cables to two souped up Dodge Chargers, then use the cars to tear the vault from the building. They then proceed to drag the vault all over the city in a huge car chase, with the vault careening all over the place and causing massive destruction while still going fast enough to outrun police cars. Anyone with the most basic knowledge of physics knows that this is impossible, but it's so cool that few people complain about it.
  • Pacific Rim:
    • Why Guillermo del Toro helped to make this movie. It's giant mecha vs giant monsters. Therefore, it's cool.
    • The only reason why the tanker didn't buckle under its own weight when used as a melee weapon against a Kaiju or why the Jaeger and the Kaiju don't buckle either.
    • Gypsy Danger's pilots don't use their sword until halfway through the movie. If they had pulled it out right away, they couldn't have used the very cool tanker, and they couldn't have used the sword in midair!
    • Are those flaming chainsaw blade weapons of the Big Bad Jaeger in Pacific Rim: Uprising impractical? You bet they are, but they're wonderful to look at.
  • Dynamite Warrior is a Thai movie about cowboys (well, buffalo traders and buffalo thieves, technically) who either have extraordinary Muay Thai skills, have magical powers, or (in the case of the titular character, the protagonist) fight using primitive rockets. In one scene two characters escape pursuit by using some of the rockets to propel their cart away from the people chasing them.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine is generally considered at its best when it remembers that it's about Hugh Jackman running around stabbing people in the face.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: It's unlikely that a functional interior room like a kitchen at the Pentagon would be designed with a circular shape like, but it makes Quicksilver's Wall Run look cooler, so who cares?
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service: Gazelle's prosthetic legs serve as her weapons of choice. Also features lots of cool gadgets James Bond style like an umbrella that serves as both a shield and a gun or a detonator in the shape of a lighter. Lots and lots of slow motion action, dynamic editing and impossible choreography too.
  • The feats of strength Arnold Schwarzenegger's characters tended to display, outside of fight scenes, cross this trope over with Cutscene Power to the Max. Examples include his casually lugging around trees in Commando and his ripping a bolted-down bed out of the floor, one-handed in The Running Man. About the only time that kind of Strong as They Need to Be factor makes a difference in the actual plot is his freeing himself from the Mind-Wipe Chair in Total Recall (1990).
  • Mad Max: Fury Road: Special mention has to go to the Coma-Doof Warrior. An insane, blind guitarist, wearing his dead mother's face for a mask, rocking out in front of a massive wall of speakers, careening through the desert at high speeds, with a team of drummers bringing up the rear, and the guitar shoots fire. Not only is it awesome, it's also practical; Immortan Joe uses the music for morale and to relay commands to the rest his convoy, like a next-level drummer boy.
  • The Wall: This is a film based on a Pink Floyd album, which is one of their most popular alongside Wish You Were Here and The Dark Side of the Moon.
    • Special mention goes to how some of the songs were re-done specifically for the movie. Namely, "Another Brick In the Wall, Part III", which rerecorded at a faster pace, and "In the Flesh" (A Darker Reprise of "In the Flesh?"), which was redone with an entire orchestra for the Hammerskin Rally scene.
    • The walking hammers in the animated parts of "Waiting for the Worms".
  • The growing trend of classic movies being screened with the recorded soundtrack replaced by a live orchestra's rendition.
  • Female Agents: Rather than Action Girls, Amazon Brigade or Femme Fatale Spies, female SOE agents were more likely to be used for the Boring, but Practical work of wireless operator (because it didn't look suspicious for a woman to stay at home all day, whereas a man would be out working) or courier (because women were less likely to be searched, or rounded up for forced labour in Germany).
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron: Lampshaded. During the final battle against Ultron at Sovokia, Hawkeye (Clint Barton) saves Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) by grabbing her and diving into a building for cover. In an attempt to motivate her, he says:
    “We’re fighting an army of robots — and I have a bow and arrow,” he says. “None of this makes sense.”

  • Nightfall (Series): In-Universe example: Prince Vladimir riding techniques and tricks. Tristan finds them unnecessarily pompous.
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Tom Sawyer decides that freeing Jim from the plantation simply by getting the key and letting him out of his cell isn't romantic enough and wants to make an elaborate plan with Rope Ladders, a journal made of leaves, and food poisoned with sleep medicine, just like in the books. The "cool" swashbuckling achieves nothing except getting him shot.
  • Discworld:
    • The page image is from a cover of Soul Music - Death, about to bring down a pick made of his shattered scythe on a magical, sentient guitar that may or may not be the host of an Eldritch Abomination.
    • This is the nature of witchcraft. A witch is simply someone Genre Savvy enough to take advantage of this rule.
    • There exists an order of monks known as the Monks of Cool, who seek ultimate coolness instead of zen enlightenment. An acolyte has achieved this when his master takes him into a room full of all types of clothing and asks, "Yo, my son, which of these is the most stylish thing to wear?" and he responds, "Hey, whatever I select." Cool, but not necessarily up-to-date.
  • Snow Crash. A Mafia-controlled pizza delivery company, chaingun battles with aircraft carriers, ninja skateboard couriers, and intersections being shut down by sniper fire from rival road construction companies are just the beginning. Eventually you get to the part with the supersonic attack dogs and the Badass Biker who has a nuclear torpedo in his motorcycle's sidecar. Then you get to the supersonic motorcycle swordfights....on the internet.
  • Author Christopher Moore lampshades his use of this in the afterword to Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. At one point in the story Jesus goes to China and studies both Buddhism and martial arts at a Shaolinesque temple. Moore admits the temples wouldn't have been around at the time, but then adds this: "But to remain historically accurate, I would have to leave out an important question that I felt needed to addressed, which is, 'What if Jesus had known kung fu?'" Because Josh doesn't believe in using weapons, he and Biff make up their own unarmed martial art called the "Way of the Jew." Or, "Jew Do."
  • Garth Nix' The Keys to the Kingdom is Nix trying to see how much cool magic stuff and mythology he can put into one series. Answer: a lot.
  • In one of the books of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine relaunch novels, an interstellar portal (which, mind you, could have led to anywhere in the galaxy) just happens to lead to a Malon garbage scow that had been taken over by a Hirogen hunter. Why? So that Taran'atar, their local Jem'Hadar character, could fight with him, of course!
  • In MEG, Jonas Taylor is swallowed by a 40 ton shark and he cuts through the stomach lining to get into the heart chamber. Then he rips the heart and goes back through the stomach and reach the surface with only a broken escape pod, an air tank, a mask and a 200 million year old tooth. Logical? HELL NO! Awesome? Yeah!
  • While most animal-themed Gladiator Games involve tigers, bears and the like, The Lies of Locke Lamora features gladiator equivalents who stand on platforms over water and fight sharks.
  • His Dark Materials : Iorek Byrnison and the Panserbjorne. No, bears aren't always bad news, especially if they're sentient and armored and blacksmiths.
  • The last book of the X-Wing Series, Starfighters of Adumar, gives us awesomely implausible personal weapons, the blastsword. It exists solely because it's cooler than dueling with normal swords.
    Wes Janson: "So it's like a blaster you have to hit someone with. I've got to have one."
  • Why is Harry Potter's scar shaped like a lightning bolt?
    J. K. Rowling: "To be honest, because it’s a cool shape. I couldn’t have my hero sport a doughnut-shaped scar."
  • George Eliot noted in Silly Novels by Lady Novelists that stories trying to do it via "let's throw it in" method
    ...remind us of the pictures clever children sometimes draw "out of their own head," where you will see a modern villa on the right, two knights in helmets fighting in the foreground, and a tiger grinning in a jungle on the left, the several objects being brought together because the artist thinks each pretty, and perhaps still more because he remembers seeing them in other pictures.
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (and its various sequels and imitators) has no real reason to exist except for this rule; zombies are cool and seeing proper ladies slaughter them is even cooler.
  • Scourge of Warrior Cats is a cat who wears a collar with dog teeth sticking out of it. It's uncomfortable, but he wears it because he knew it was awesome.
  • The Dresden Files is, by the admission of its author, constructed out of this. When the main character magically blasts werewolves through walls, fights vampires alongside mob bosses, running into the middle of a faerie apocalypse, reanimating a ZOMBIE T-REX and PUNCHING OUT SANTA CLAUS (who is also Odin) you KNOW it's this trope.
  • The Forever War is hard on the Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness but author Joe Haldeman has no problem in creating a make-believe "stasis field" that makes it impossible for anything to move faster than 26m/s so he can have swordfighting IN SPACE!!
  • This seems to be one of Willy Wonka's guiding principles in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — why make ordinary Impossibly Delicious Food when you can make awesome sweets such as sugar eggs that dissolve in your mouth and leave a little pink sugar baby bird on your tongue? It's not enough that he has a subterranean river of melted chocolate running through his factory — he also loves to travel down it via a boiled-sweet boat that looks like a Viking longship. Many of the inventions mentioned only in passing are absolutely ridiculous-sounding, but also sound like great fun: fizzy lemonade swimming pools, marshmallow pillows, toffee apple trees that can be planted in backyards! Also, the Great Glass Elevator he uses to zip through the factory? It turns out to be equipped for space travel in the sequel.
  • Thursday Next. The hero, Next, can visit inside books. The mechanics of this are explained as, 'If it works, it works'. Which leads to the Chesire Cat manifesting a Kraken to defeat what is essentially a toast-based dictatorship.
  • The Dinosaur Lords is based on one very simple concept: medieval knights riding dinosaurs into battle. How do you tame a dinosaur? Can you tame a dinosaur? If you tamed it, could you ride it? Would it even want to charge into battle? It does not matter — what matters are medieval knights riding dinosaurs into battle.
  • Isaac Asimov's David Starr, Space Ranger: Sanito tables are made out of force fields. Why? Because they're easy to clean. However, the initial force fields worked too well, and they had to be made to purposely glitter so people would see that their plates and cutlery actually rested on something tangible.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • Tokusatsu shows in general.
    • The sole reason that the monsters explode into fireballs upon defeat. It's a flashy way to get rid of a monster without more expensive post-editing effects.
    • Why do the bad guys send monsters one by one?
    • How are Humongous Mecha, let alone Combining Mecha and Transforming Mecha possible?
    • What's with those wacky villain getups and People in Rubber Suits?
    • How the heck does spandex deflect fireballs?
    • How do you summon suits from thin air anyway?
    • Why would you pose dramatically before doing so, and often after?
    • Why doesn't the monster just attack you while you're still posing?
    • How do they do those poses their first time out as if they'd practiced them, in unison in the case of teams transforming together?
    • Why does posing sometimes cause giant explosions in the background?
    • How do fists cause sparks?
    • Not only do monsters explode, but why the hell would you turn away from the monster when you think it's going to explode, since they don't all die with the first use of a Finishing Move?
    • The answer to these questions is another question: would it be as much fun if they didn't?

By Series:

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Following the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Coulson has taken steps to avert S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Sigil Spam, removing the emblem from the cars and many other obvious places. He couldn't bring himself to remove the giant symbol on the top of the plane, though, because it's just too cool.
    • Coulson has Fitz make him a device that projects an energy shield for the sole reason that they both agreed it would be cool for the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. to have a shield. For bonus points, it's in the shape of Captain America's shield, though with the S.H.I.E.L.D. symbol rather than his star.
  • Águila Roja pretty much lives on the Rule of Cool. For starters, the titular hero is a Gratuitous McNinja in the 17th century Madrid. This means that Absurdly Sharp Blade and Katanas Are Just Better often come into play.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The episode "Buffy vs. Dracula" had Buffy fighting Dracula. In adapting the Count for their show, the writers let him keep all his most memorable traits (sleeping in a coffin, hypnotizing people, turning into a bat, etc.) even though Buffyverse vampires don't normally work that way. He even got to dwell in a Big Fancy Castle, despite the show being set in California, where castles are rare to nonexistent (and, as Riley points out, you'd think the Main Characters would have noticed their town had a giant castle in it before now). This is all excused because, without those things, he just wouldn't feel like Dracula, and Buffy vs. Dracula would never have happened.
    • Joss has specifically cited this as the reason why, in the final episode of Season 7, all of the Ubervamps suddenly start dying easier than regular vampires seem to, even when being fought by normal humans.
  • Chuck:
    • The premise of a computer being downloaded into a guy's mind makes no sense whatsoever, and when that computer is upgraded to make him magically learn kung fu, all plausibility goes flying right out the window but Chuck can kick people in face, so who really cares?
    • Sarah's knife-throwing exploits fall firmly into this trope.
    • If Casey is coming to the rescue, why bother with making him take the door when you can have him parachute in through a glass ceiling with a team of Special Ops commandos?
    • The tricked-out Nerd Herder has hidden passenger-side controls, a remote control, a hidden central console, handcuffs that come out of the steering wheel to detain prisoners, and a driver's seat that can be ejected out the door. Why? Because it does, that's why.
    • Within canon, when Morgan can't think of a way to pick the Buy More's new assistant manager, he finally decides to go with a bouncy harness cage match. Not that anything involving Jeff and Lester can be terribly cool, but it's the principle of the thing.
  • Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report uses this trope when he was protecting the identity of a former employee deployed in Afghanistan - "For security reasons I can't show his photo, and for cool reasons I will refer to him as 'Tank Gunbullet'."
  • Nothing in Doctor Who makes any sense at all. Not the centuries-old regenerating Human Alien who travels around time and space in a police box, not the Technobabble they deliver at a hundred kilometres an hour to justify the latest Reverse Polarity, not the perpetually vague or contradicting continuity, definitely not the Timey-Wimey Ball, not the Omnicidal Maniac motorised pepper pots armed with a whisk and a toilet plunger, and absolutely not the screwdriver that gets New Powers as the Plot Demands. There is also, however, not a single person that cares.
  • Firefly features this due to the creator's desire to include cool-looking Space Western themes whether they really made sense or not. From the DVD commentary:
    "Nice floating train. Floating trains are cool."
    "And I'll tell you for why, it's because they're floating, and also, trains."
  • In the Grand Finale of Fringe, Walter has developed Abnormal Ammo that will not only kill their typically-Immune to Bullets enemy, but cause the bodies to float in the air due to [insert Techno Babble here]. When Peter asked why they'd need them to float them if it could kill them, Walter says, as if he'd been asked the painfully obvious, "Because it's cool."
  • The The Future Is Wild BBC miniseries, a followup to the Walking with ___ series, focuses on what life might be like millions of years in the future. It's got elements of evolutionary biology, but most of it is rule of cool all over.
  • Game of Thrones: Why would anyone build a clockwork map of the world? Because it looks really really cool, that's why. The little-cogs-in-a-larger-machine effect satisfies the Rule of Symbolism as well.
  • Happy Days: The Fonz can channel this trope through his fist and into a jukebox to activate it to impress chicks.
  • The Late Show with David Letterman. From the January 5, 1994 show:
  • One of the key selling points of Merlin is the authenticity of the wardrobe and the skill of the costume department at making it so. Then Arthur has a trenchcoat. Why? Because it looks cool.
  • MythBusters
  • The Power Rangers franchise got its success by being practically fueled by this trope, the premise alone involving a small group of teens doing martial arts and making awesome if slightly goofy team poses while wearing motorcycle helmets and fighting giant monsters by piloting transforming giant robots might seem very silly, but if you tell it to any Power Ranger fan, you'll likely get the response "Who cares? it's freaking awesome!"
  • Primeval: It's implausible and silly half the time, but it's about crazy scientists fighting time-traveling DINOSAURS. The development team does their research, but they don't apply it at all and instead take Artistic License – Biology in heedless abandon. One episode even featured a raptor chase through a shopping mall. On motorbikes.
  • The creators of Rome admitted they ignored the date the real Atia died simply because they loved the character and wanted to keep her on. Most fans agreed.
  • Smallville, being a Superman show that ran for ten years, and with one of the producers a fan of the Silver Age madness, sure has its moments.
    • The "Clark time" effect. They love it so much they give Super Speed to dozens of villains that usually don't have them, because it looks so blasted cool.
    • Lana Lang with the Prometheus armour. It is "armour" that gives not the slightest trace of being worn, and gives kryptonian level speed and strength. Oh, and you need to start some fires... over a water tank... containing the test subject... and there is no energy input... Yes, it makes no sense but it is all forgiven when Lana bursts out of the lab like a phoenix from the flames and does a Bullet Catch.
  • Star Trek: You could fill a hundred encyclopedias with all the technical and narrative inaccuracies; two dimensional space, clear contradictions in the standard operating procedures of Starfleet, glaringly inefficient ship designs, unrealistic scale of space, unrealistic equipment, convoluted timeline of events, the list is infinite. However....when Trek fires on all cylinders warp nacelles, NOBODY gives a damn.
  • In the season four premiere of Star Trek: Enterprise, the Enterprise's targeting sensors are disabled, requiring the ship to get close enough to the target to eyeball it. This serves no plot purpose but the target happened to be a facility in Nazi-occupied New York. The result was the Enterprise flying over New York City, fighting Stukas with plasma cannons.
  • Top Gear: Why race a Bugatti Veyron against an RAF Eurofighter Typhoon? Why attempt to turn a Reliant Robin into a space shuttle? Why do any of the things they do? Because they're cool, dammit!
  • Early seasons of Xena: Warrior Princess really had her pushing the limits of Badass Normal. She could fight one-on-one with a Physical God or solo against armies and win. As a specific example: In one scene, she jumps from a cliff and horizontally spins hundreds of feet onto a passing ship. She could do this because she was Just That Cool. Her blood-quickening theme music sung by the Bulgarian Women's Choir always accompanied such feats. Later seasons had plot-devices and Flashbacks explaining various powers.

  • This is the basis of the Lemon Demon song, "The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny" (which inspired a well-known Flash video), in which Neil Cicierega describes a battle royale started by Godzilla and Batman. As the fight went on, more pop culture icons join in, including Shaquille O'Neal, Abraham Lincoln, Optimus Prime, Jackie Chan, Indiana Jones, the Power Rangers, Chuck Norris, Darth Vader, Superman, Benito Mussolini, and countless others:
    The fight raged on for a century,
    Many lives were claimed, but eventually
    The champion stood, the rest saw their better:
    Mr. Rogers in a blood-stained sweater.
  • Muse: Rule of Cool is the reason for Muse's existence. Considering how their stuff is crazy-awesome Genre-Busting with generous heaps of operatic flamboyance, who cares if the concepts don't entirely make sense at times?
    • The video Knights of Cydonia features cowboys, androids, birds of prey, seduction, kung fu, rayguns, dirtbikes, execution, Soviet imagery, holographic band members, a unicorn and a half-submerged Statue Of Liberty, and is set in a goldrush town named after the Martian region of Cydonia. It doesn't make a great deal of sense, but it is still awesome!
    • Another song is about "superstars sucked into the supermassive", with huge riffs and piano's that would make an appropriate soundtrack to Dante's Inferno. Oh, and the live shows are truly awesomely epic, with extended improvised jams and the theatricality turned Up to Eleven. The Power of Rock, indeed.
  • The video for "Shine on Me" by Chris Dane Owens. It's every fantasy movie imaginable fed through a wood chipper and shaken up, spliced with shots of a Legolas lookalike strumming a guitar.
  • Captain Dan. More specifically, Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew, a group of rapping pirates with song titles like "Hook it up," and "Keel Haul 'Em."
  • Seasick Steve is a folk singer who used to be a hobo. He plays a three-string guitar.
  • Rush's "2112" is 20 minutes long and the vocals account for less than 10 of them. Does most of the rest of the song have anything to do with the story it tells? For the most part, no, but that's not going to stop it from being awesome.
  • Liquid Tension Experiment; when Dream Theater members gave up any semblance of composition and just dazzled everyone with their unbelievable instrumental prowess.
  • "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas". It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The album cover of Painkiller by Judas Priest has a silver angel riding a motorcycle with buzzsaw blades for wheels, and a chassis that is a dragon. This shiny angel rides his impossible motorcycle through the air over a bunch of skyscrapers slowly sinking into lava.
  • Ninja Sex Party's song "Dinosaur Laser Fight". It's about dinosaurs having a laser fight in space with sharks and robots because a tyrannosaurus couldn't get a high-five.
  • Bananarama. With fire, a woman dressed as the devil, a woman with huge bat-like wings, a woman in a beret pushing a man from one table to another, the band dancing and singing, and all those different women being worshipped by men, and a woman in a wedding dress coming out of a casket, and with none of these different elements acknowledging each other, the video for "Venus" runs on this.
  • French band Nouvelle Vague made a career out of playing popular tunes from The '80s in a bossa nova style.
  • Former Hollywood Undead member and current solo rapper, Deuce, has a music video for "Let's Get it Crackin" where he spends most of the video dancing with hot girls in typical rap star fashion, but then takes out a gun and nonchalantly shoots them all dead for no apparent reason. Despite the sheer randomness of this, fans still liked the video a lot, possibly for two reasons. First, because the video started out so typical, and then had a never-before-done twist. Secondly, randomness aside, it's still sex and violence. Which is almost always a win.
  • Why is The 1812 Overture, a piece commemorating a Russian victory over French forces, prominently featured in many American Independence Day celebrations? It has cannons in it.
  • Gloryhammer: The plot to Their two albums is as follows: Undead unicorns invade dundee, their leader Zargothrax the Evil Sorcerer is imprisoned in ice, then released by the Chaos Wizards, and the second album ends with Korviliath the Elder God from the 18th Hell Dimension being prevented from being unleashed by the earth being destroyed by a neutron star powering a cyborg exploding.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Mythological gods and heroes in general are full of this. That's half the point of most of them. Hercules, Gilgamesh, the entire cast of Romance of the Three Kingdoms... all fuelled by Rule of Cool. Where else are you going to hear that an Eight-Headed Snake was defeated by Sake of all thingsnote . In fact, most mythological heroes weren't necessarily heroic in the modern sense. A lot of the time, all it took to be a "hero" was strength and daring, not morality.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Some wrestling moves (especially the more elaborate finishers) fall into this category. The effectiveness of every move used in pro wrestling is directly proportionate to how cool it looks.
    • TNA's Petey Williams' "Canadian Destroyer", a flip piledriver that would break the laws of physics if the opponent weren't helping — but it looks incredibly awesome, so it doesn't matter too much.
    • The People's Elbow could finish anyone off, despite being done from a standing position, as well as The Rock bouncing off the ropes twice for no reason.
  • Surely, a wrestling grave-digger zombie biker would be a laughable gimmick, but surely enough, The Undertaker has been alive (undead?) and kicking for about 20 years now, and has become one of the most iconic figures in all of wrestling.
  • Boogeyman smacks himself over the head with a clock, setting off the pyro for his entrances and wrestles with the glass stuck in his head!

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Space 1889, the things requiring most suspension of disbelief are also the coolest; dinosaurs on Venus, Victorians in Space, supertough Martians riding on big scary birds, canals of Mars and flying ships. There are rather detailed and reasonably plausible explanations for these, if you accept slightly different natural laws, though. Perhaps the most blatant example of greater need for suspension of belief for extra cool stuff is two prototype giant steam robots in the adventure Tom Fleet and his Steam Colossus in Challenge 61 — yes, of course they end up having a cool giant robot on giant robot fight, do you even need to ask?
  • Several White Wolf games have a literal Rule of Cool called Stunting.
    • This is the central rule of the Exalted. Not only do many, many things in the setting exist solely because they're cool, but it's an actual rule — although it doesn't use that name, it's a mechanical manifestation of it in spirit — where giving a cool description to accompany an action grants a Stunt bonus to perform it. The more awesome it sounds, the bigger the bonus.
    • Case in point for the Exalted Rule of Cool outside of the Stunt mechanic: chainklaves. Then the Alchemicals had to go and beat it with the gyroscopic chakram: for when Captain America needs to get in on the Chainsaw Good.
    • Stunting also makes it into Changeling: The Lost, in the specific context of Dream Combat, and with some caveats appropriate to that.
    • Scion uses the same "stunting" rule as Exalted.
  • The open-source game Wushu thrives on a stunting rule, giving you dice for every detail that you hammer down for a given action and everything you describe happens unless the other players veto it.
  • The indie Legend System is published by Rule of Cool Games.
  • The Eberron campaign setting in Dungeons & Dragons. For one thing, there's a magic train that exists for the sole purpose of players fighting on its roof. Then there's the Lost World continent, the modular magic-powered robots known as the Warforged (who are a PC race!), the dinosaur-riding halflings...
  • The small RPG company Atomic Sock Monkey Press has a particular obsession with the Rule of Cool. At least one of their games ("Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot") relies entirely upon the principle behind the Rule to exist. Most games from the company incorporate a rule called "Being Badass," where if the player describes something he does in a particularly cool or effective way, the attempt gets a + 2 on the dice roll (and in a game that uses only two six-siders, even + 2 is a worthwhile bonus).
  • The RPG Fireborn from Fantasy Flight Games was built on this trope, featuring as it does reincarnated dragons. Who fight the forces of darkness in near-future London. With kung fu. As the game progresses, they get flashbacks to when they ruled the ancient world as full-size dragons.
  • Warhammer 40,000. Physics is the Rule Of Cool, and it's fueled by abyssal nightmares. The Orks can change the laws of physics through blithering ignorance, while the Ruinous Forces of Chaos have a whole dimension that lets them grow extra bits of everything by way of literal Offscreen Villain Dark Matter.
  • In GURPS the Rule of Cool is neatly quantified for Game Masters wishing to run cinematic campaigns: "The "cinematic" campaign is one where realism doesn't rule because if it did, it would constantly get in the way of the story. In a cinematic campaign, swashbuckling heroes can defeat dozens of foes because the story calls for it. Spacecraft whoosh or roar in the silence of space because fast things whoosh and powerful engines roar. Rightness always overrules mere correctness."
  • Shadowrun has been described thusly: "Say your mission was to get a can of coke from a vending machine. Step four can be 'pull out rocket launcher' and nobody will blink."
    • With the proper min/max techniques, it is possible to acquire an ECM-equipped armored stealth helicopter equipped with a long-range armor-piercing missile launcher with 36-hour operational endurance and a secondary heavy machine gun as a basic starting character. Whether your game master will let you, on the other hand...
    • A certain selection of Adept powers boost your character's unarmed combat ability. If you boost your Magic attribute high enough, it is easily possible to create a character who can punch through an armored battle tank without breaking into a sweat.
    • Misuses of the Restricted Gear quality could fill pages. Want a helicopter with a heavy laser cannon? Go ahead. 5 kilometer range remote-guided armor-piercing missile launcher? Sure. Power-armored troll with an assault cannon? It would take two applications of the quality to get military-grade armor and the assault cannon, but yes.
  • Spirit of the Century, besides having PCs able to pull off basically anything they've ever seen in a movie, fight gorillas on top of a zeppelin, ride dinosaurs, etc., asks the GM to stop and think, before declaring any rule, "What happens if the PCs succeed, and what happens if they fail?" and is expected to come up with a sufficiently interesting answer for both, just to guarantee every roll will have cool enough results either way to be worthwhile. The game also encourages things like taking gangsters and making them zombie gangsters, or making their leader a talking gorilla, etc.
  • Star Wars: Saga Edition has the Second Wind mechanic, Force Points, and Destiny Points, which work as Rules FOR Cool. The Second Wind ability allows a heavily beaten character to pull himself back on his feet and return to the fight for a short duration. The rare Force Points significantly increase the chances for success in critical situations, while the even rarer Destiny Points can almost guarantee success when it is vital for everything he fought for. (Like having only one single shot left before the Death Star blows all your friends up.)
  • This is an explicit rule of design in Magic: The Gathering. Anything can see print if it's cool enough.
  • The independent game Cosmopol only exists because of this rule; Theodore Roosevelt having four terms as president and Buckminster Fuller designing an entire city!
  • Champions and the Hero System invoke this rule repeatedly. The rules emphasize "dramatic realism" but we all know what they mean by that. Combine it with the fact they have strength tables high enough to permit a PC to lift a castle.
  • Torg: Humanoid dinosaurs? Check. Oppressive cyberpunk theocracy? Check. Two-fisted archeologists? Check. Ninjas fighting megacorporations? Check. Ancient astronauts? Check. Lovecraftian horrors in the jungle? Check.
  • "Infinity": you can (with some minor list restrictions) pick any models from a faction you like "because they look cool" and be able to win with them. One faction is made up of the most bad ass French to ever exist, Russians, British and US Special Forces, Scotsmen in Kilts waving broadswords and assault rifles AND werewolves. That is one single faction.
  • What Rocket Age runs on. Players even get Story Points that allow them to pull off the craziest things and alter the plot.
  • Mythender has a very abstract rule system partly so it can focus on this. Whatever cool thing you can think of to do, you can definitely do it, and it will definitely work. In fact, the cooler it is, the more powerful it makes you, so you're encouraged to go nuts. All that power will eventually turn you into an Eldritch Abomination, sure, but you'll look really cool along the way!
  • Basically, any time a player makes an investment in something for their character that is strictly *not* optimal in terms of game mechanics yet appeals to a player's wants/sense of style, they are opting to follow the Rule of Cool (if only in a small way).

  • Dino-Riders: time traveling humans and alien monsters, some with sharks for heads fighting each other while riding on dinosaurs outfitted with space age armour missile launchers and laser cannons. Dinosaurs equipped with thumping great guns and laser cannons battling each other! How did that not catch on? These days, they're mostly remembered through pictures shared as "most-awesome-thing-ever" memes. Thankfully it was continued by Imaginext Dinosaurs.
  • BIONICLE qualifies with such things as giant-sized, biomechanical tigers that can extend their neck and have caterpillar tracks instead of back legs; robotic heroes surfing on lava or riding on rock slides with buzz saws attached to their feet; humongous insects with powerful blasters implanted onto their bodies; desert bandits riding on dinosaurs; and all kinds of warriors/villains/monsters you can build out of Lego sets with the most bizarre powers you can imagine. Even such mundane things as transportation were cool when the setting called for it. Nowadays, the story tends to focus less on these aspects and more on the actual plot — that is why the introduction of cybernetic dinosaurs with laser targeting-systems was so welcomed.

    Video Games 
  • Devil May Cry: The core basis of the gameplay is beating shit up and making it look good like rocking on a guitar bearing the soul of a lightning succubus for crowd control.
    • If you don't think that Dante's motorbiking up the vertical walls of the Temen-ni-Gru was cool, your definition might be unnecessarily strict. The bike had flamethrower attachments.
    • Nero's sword revs like a motorbike.
    • Later taken Up to Eleven in Devil May Cry 5, where one of Dante's Devil Arms is a motorcycle that splits into chainsaws.
  • Metroid
    • Most of the technology exists either to be unnecessarily cool or to be unnecessarily complicated, and often both.
    • There is not a single creature in the series that is not biologically inaccurate in one way or another.
    • In Metroid Prime 2 there's Luminoth Script. It's a three-dimensional array of lit and unlit nodes, linked by lines, with the shape and which nodes are lit or unlit conveying the message. This array is impossible to read or write in two dimensions, needlessly complicated, and likely can't convey the amount of information it's shown to... but it looks awesome.
  • Suda51: Many of their games runs off the Rule of Cool.
    • Killer7 has a paraplegic assassin whose manifested alternate personalities do his bidding while fighting evil spirits,
    • No More Heroes stars an otaku who won a lightsaber on an Internet auction and went on to become an assassin so he can get laid,
    • Lollipop Chainsaw shows a cheerleader using a chainsaw to survive a zombie apocalypse,
    • Killer Is Dead: An assassin who fights cyborg mooks with a katana and a cybernetic arm while not hitting on ladies...
  • Fallout 3
    • This trope and intentional Zeerust are the only things that can explain the giant scorpions, the radiation hanging around after 200 years and keeping things a wasteland, and the fact that that many buildings are still there after being nuked then left to rot for over 200 years, cars that explode in mushroom clouds and most of all... Liberty Prime. A giant, bipedal robot with Gort's laser eyes and a backpack of miniature nuclear missiles, which it throws like footballs and is voiced by Peter 'Optimus Prime' Cullen.
    • Is it possible to blow someone's head apart by launching a teddy bear at them? Probably not. When you get the Rock-it Launcher and manage to do just that, will you care about the previous question? No.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • The opening sequence of the first game counts. Yes, it's a tutorial level, but does it really matter when Sora is navigating a black void, walking on stained-glass floors of Disney characters, and it all culminates in a battle against a giant Heartless with a hole in its chest in the shape of a heart symbol?
    • The final battle in Kingdom Hearts II, where Sora and Riku fight Xemnas. They're floating in space and you can slice buildings flying at you in half and send them flying back without moving. This is so impossible the only explanation is that the laws of physics were breaking. Considering what was happening at the end of the game, it's not too far-fetched.
    • A lot of the combination attacks with world-specific partners fall into this area, as do the Drive Forms. Where did Donald and Goofy go? Why does Sora's roar with Beast kill everything? Why does Auron's sword do more damage when he's got Sora attached to his back? Where did Sora and Mulan get all those fireworks? Better question. Who cares!? It's freaking awesome!
    • Flowmotion from Kingdom Hearts 3D also runs off of this. Bouncing off walls, spinning around lampposts, dashing from building to building, and all of it can be used to fight enemies. It's given no explanation whatsoever, Sora just sees another character do it and suddenly he can too.
    • Really, the entire series runs on this trope. Its internal logic seems to be "look cool first, explain why later", which also heavily contributes to the series infamous Kudzu Plot.
  • Painkiller: Why is one of the bosses an enormous zombie/Frankenstein's Monster? Why do your weapons include a divine weed whacker with a laser grapple, a shotgun that can fire freezing blasts, a combined rotary cannon and rocket launcher, and a strange weapon that fires shurikens and lightning? Why can your character turn into a demon, becoming invincible, killing nearly everything in one hit with blasts of inexplicable force, and slowing down time? Because it's cool.
  • This is even more true of the Gaiden Game Painkiller: Overdose. Why is your character a angel/demon hybrid who makes pop-culture references his backstory couldn't possibly let him know? Why are your first three weapons a disembodied demon head with dangling spine, a redesign of the aforementioned shotgun as a weapon that fires bone shards and petrifying sludge, and a redesign of the aforementioned weed whacker as a magical puzzle cube? Because it's cool.
  • Serious Sam and Serious Sam: Second Encounter. Hordes of enemies rushing at you for no reason in locales so vast, grandeur and glorious that the only real explanation is to look cool and make you feel like the coolest player ever. Which you are. Sometimes.
  • Metal Wolf Chaos was probably created with this rule specifically in mind. It's the only logical explanation for why you're playing as the President of the United States battling a coup by the Vice President in a heavily-armed mech, the giant robotic spider the Vice President unleashes on Manhattan, the huge ray-gun on Alcatraz Island and much else.
  • Ragnell in the 10th Fire Emblem is said to be indestructible, but in the ending cutscreen it is shown heavily nicked for no other reason than to look cool. Granted, Ike did fight a goddess beforehand, so the sword might have been damaged by a power equal to it.
  • Super Smash Bros.: There is no other way to justify scenes such as a crossdressing ninja punching a hole through a fighter jet to fight its anthropomorphic fox pilot. Following this, both fighters are stopped by being offered tea by a princess. All of them are on top of a moving airship that is currently engaged in combat. The storymode in Brawl is built on "that would look cool".
    • The story mode for Ultimate is essentially Kirby fighting to save the other members of the playable cast and recruiting the spirits of other video game characters to fight against an Evil God and that Evil God's even eviler counterpart.
    • One of the settings for battle is a spacecraft that flies out of the atmosphere, climbs into space, goes into hyperdrive, weaves through asteroid debris, hyperdrives back to the planet.
  • The RedAlertSeries Red Alert series of Command & Conquer games runs on pure cool (ok, maybe some camp too). A lot of units are there mostly based on sheer cool factor:
  • Bioshock. No, they didn't have automated turrets or flying unmanned machinegun robots in the 60s, and the technology to build an entire city on the bottom of the ocean wasn't even feasible in the late 1940s but that's terribly irrelevant when one considers that you also have a Magical Hand That Shoots Bees and can set people on fire by snapping your fingers.
  • For Bioshock Infinite you get the magic to sic a murder of crows on people. Even so, how does the flying city of Columbia carry enough fuel to stay airborne, or to lift all those stone buildings, marble statues, cobbled streets and parks at all? Through awesomeness.
  • God Hand: a Meme about the game goes from "These levels look bland" to "HOLY SHIT THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME I'M THE MOTHERFUCKING Fist of the North Star JESUS CHRIST" in three panels. And it doesn't even mention the Luchadore Gorilla.
  • God of War. You play as a large Spartan wearing little but a tunic, wielding blades attached to chains that are sheared into his arms, and you kill monsters 10 times bigger than you in brutal over the top ways. Also, you get to kill a god. Several times. Hell, half the stuff Kratos does would seem appalling if they weren't so damn awesome.
  • Fighting games in general lean heavily on this one but Yoda and Darth Vader are in Soul Calibur 4. There is no other possible explanation and if the developers try to provide one, they are lying bastards.
  • Disgaea. There is an entirely logical explanation as to why your Pettanko brawler can punch her enemies into the sun: Because it's awesome looking.
  • Ninja Gaiden indulged in this from time to time, but Ninja Gaiden II for 360 revels in it. There are zombies with chainsaws and cannons for arms, six-limbed werewolves with giant scythes, flying battleships, ninja special ops forces with rocket launchers, and a boss fight on the Statue of Liberty. Then Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 makes you fight the goddamn Statue of Liberty itself.
  • Yakuza may be serious and straight-laced in its main story, but when it comes to battles and sidequests, Rule of Cool, along with Rule of Funny, go into effect. Applications of these rules include, but are not limited to: tossing a mook's head into a microwave and asking the confused store clerk to turn it on, using a baseball bat like nunchucks, defeating enemies with break-dancing moves, parrying sword blows with your fists, bodyslamming your enemies with a motorcycle, and fighting a freakin' tiger!
  • Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise blends the hyperviolence and martial arts of Fist of the North Star with the gameplay and hijinks of the Yakuza series. Using the art of Hokuto Shinken to mix drinks at a bar? Why not! Playing baseball with a steel beam and raiders on motorcycles? Go nuts! Bashing mooks to death with their own death cries? Hell yeah!
  • Supreme Commander features units that operate by this trope, such as the experimentals. The Fatboy, Czar, and Megalith are Military Mashup Machines par excellence, the Galactic Colossus is a textbook example of Awesome, but Impractical, the Monkeylord is just kind of the Monkeylord... the list goes on.
  • Rocket Knight Adventures: stars a heavily armored anthropomorphic opossum who flies around with a rocket pack and wields a sword that can generate Razor Wind. It's utterly saturated with Steampunk Humongous Mecha, Airborne Aircraft Carriers, and Military Mashup Machines, and your enemies do things like deliberately blowing a hole in the side of their own spaceship to try and kill you or following you down through re-entry into the planet's atmosphere.
  • Prince of Persia went from possible though infeasible acrobatics in Jordan Mechner's original games, to Ubisoft's disregard for the laws of physics relative to human motion. Could a man jumping twelve feet out into space at a sheer stone wall grab an eight-inch, ninety-degree angle stone ledge with anything resembling enough grip to keep himself from falling? Try doing it ten times within a minute's span, with your life on the line each time, in addition to running along or up walls for anything more than three steps at most. Why does it all work? Because it's cool as hell.
  • Dante's Inferno. You start off by killing the grim reaper, stealing his scythe, descending into hell and eventually killing the lord of hell himself. Along the way you also fight a giant naked woman throwing babies out of her boobs. Everything this game does is examine sections of the original poem and make them as cool as possible.
  • From Metal Gear Solid 4, it's worth mentioning the final confrontation, the Climax Boss battle of the game. It's a fistfight between two guys biologically clearly over fifty and both are perfectly capable of kicking your ass. The battle is on the top of a submarine. Why? Because it's cool.
  • A Let's Play series for Persona 3 calls attention to this when it mentions who the main character's ultimate Persona is: "Messiah is... well, he's that guy. Yeah. THAT guy. We're going to battle against the incarnation of Death by summoning that guy. I don't think this game could possibly be any more metal."
  • Chie's ultimate Persona in Persona 4 looks like a samurai Darth Vader with Darth Maul's lightsaber. The game also gives you Kintoki-Douji. It carries a Tomahawk MISSILE. Alas, it is a magic-oriented Persona, so it doesn't throw it.
  • Elite Beat Agents. The game's plot revolves around an organization of The Men in Black and Cool Shades who appear to help people out with their problems while dancing to pop songs. Helping a white blood cell fight off a virus just in time for the Olympics to Ashlee Simpson's La La? No problem. Assisting a coffee-addicted taxi driver in driving a pregnant woman to the hospital to the song Sk8er Boi? That's nothing for the EBA. Helping a diver find treasure while YMCA is blaring in the background? That's not even trying! How do you save a down-on-his-luck baseball player? By helping him win his next game? No! Clearly, the solution is to help him save a small boy from a giant lava-spewing rock monster in an amusement park! With baseball!
  • EBA's predecessor, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, ran on this trope too - Japanese-style male cheerleading is used to encourage a buddy cop pair to fight back against an invading army of battery-like aliens. An overworked salaryman to protects his city and his daughter in Ultraman fashion and the entire planet to blast an oncoming meteor with concentrated willpower
    • In the sequel, Earth's population is called upon again, this time to turn the sun back on through The Power of Rock.
  • Contra 3: The Alien Wars for SNES had one level almost entirely composed of the player riding on in-flight missiles.
  • Contra: Rebirth game for Wiiware attempts to one-up this by having the character ride down the flaming remains of a space station during reentry, and jump from one to the other while fighting a boss.
  • Final Fantasy
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy: heroes and villains of the first ten Final Fantasy games all beat the crap out of each other.
    • Sabin of Final Fantasy VI's ability to Suplex the Train was actually due to a coding error, where the "Too large to Suplex" tag wasn't turned on. Why do you think this "bug" has been left alone in every subsequent release?
    • Final Fantasy VIII has one case where a giant interstellar entity hurtles your enemies into a galaxy going supernova. Bahamut's got a long history of destroying things from orbit.
    • Crisis Core, Bahumut's signature move, Exaflare, involves the giant dragon surrounding the MOON with crystals, blowing half of it up, and turning it into a GIANT LASER which is pointed towards the planet, thus taking out a good amount of HP.
  • In the original Gungrave if a boss comes close to dying, then using a demolition shot as the killing blow causes Grave to activate the "Graveyard Special" (Finishing Move), where his coffin launches a super-charged attack (which usually combines two or more his normal demolition shots). While this is not required to kill any boss, the demolition shot is so over the top that it looks awesome. Your player character is the reanimated corpse of a hitman with Guns Akimbo and a large coffin on his back that shoots rockets and can semi-morph into a machine gun. In the sequel, the original character gains allies. One is a blind samurai with swords that are also guns, and a ghost who uses a guitar with a dynamo in it to shoot arc lightning at his enemies. The ghost who defeats his enemies with The Power of Rock is named Rockabilly Redcadillac.
  • The makers of Deadly Creatures said the game was built upon this. "In real life, tarantulas don't go web swinging from area to area but wouldn't it be cool?"
  • ALL of Ratchet's guns are powered by this except the most basic ones (sometimes not even them). Let's consider a few:
  • The Karmic Transformers in Ōkami. Sure, they don't serve any other purpose than making Amaterasu look different, but there's something awesome about seeing a Japanese Spitz beat up enemies and bosses.
  • Crazy Taxi: In real life, taxicabs wouldn't be allowed to break every traffic law in existence in an effort to get their customer to their destination as fast as possible. Thank goodness this isn't real life.
  • Diviner Maros in City of Villains. He's a seer who can see an entire section of time at once and spends his time forgetting what week it is and creating time paradoxes. At one point he starts to send you on a mission, only to realize you did that two missions ago and then pauses to remember when he is. He frequently sends you to places he only knows about because you told him where they were when you got back, or gives you advice based on stuff you told him in the future, because he gave you that advice. How can he do this? Because he's cool.
  • Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar: Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Mischief Makers:
    • Sequences in the game include outrunning a tidal wave on a tricycle, riding giant bees, and a stage literally called Missile Surf.
    • As for the boss fights, one of them has the main character riding on the back of a giant cat and fighting an anthropomorphic sentai wolf on a transforming motorcycle. The cat can also do the aforementioned missile surf while the main character grabs giant lasers out of the air and throws them back at the wolf.
  • [PROTOTYPE]: You can punch your enemies to death, but why do that when you can achieve the same result by shoryukening them, punching them thrice in midair, then slamming them into the ground like a rail spike? Then you can use his corpse to down a military helicopter, grab the now-plummeting helicopter in mid-air and chuck it down at a tank and finish off with a ground-pound, taking out any infantry stragglers.
  • Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ. Little Red Riding Hood may not be the definition of cool. We've seen zombies in media a million and a half times. BBQs are what middle age men do to show off their cooking skills while keeping their testicles intact. Put them all together and there is nothing uncool about a grown Little Red Riding Hood in skimpy clothing using a flamethrower on the undead.
  • Scribblenauts. Why make a game where you can make God fight Cthulu? Why make a game where you can travel back in time, ride a dinosaur through the time machine, and then kill robot zombies. Because you can.
  • Shinobi III, Return of the Ninja Master: Ninjas on surfboads? Check. Ninjas on kites? Check. Climbing your way to the top of a cliff on falling rocks while fighting flying ninjas? Hell yes, check.
  • Touhou has Marisa, who mentions that spellcards aren't made to be overwhelmingly powerful, but to have beautiful patterns and look cool in both Silent Sinner in Blue, and her own Grimoire of Marisa. That isn't to say there aren't spell cards that worry more about pure power rather than style, but as a whole, you could sell tickets to an audience to see a spellcard lightshow if you were so inclined. The fact that you can't use a card that can't be beat shows that power isn't the main focus, and the point of the system in the first place was so that youkai would ease up on the power and allow competition between themselves and humans.
    • The entire premise of the games run on this: it is stated that Reimu has the ability to "escape from reality" in order to effectively make herself invincible against the opposition, but then there wouldn't be much of a game to play.
  • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja: Using an Ougi (or Ultimate) triggers a cutscene of your character using his powers with all almighty coolness.
  • Crimson Skies. The PC version: received this line in a review.
    These things could never get off the ground in real life. But who cares? They. Look. Cool.
  • Ace Attorney: Court proceedings aren't anything like that in real life, but after you've played a bit, you'll wish they were.
  • Team Fortress 2: So it comes time to update the most overpowered and controversial class in the game with a new weapon, what do you give him? Valve gave him a claymore sword that decapitates on killing blows, a shield that resists fire and explosions, AND makes him run faster than any other class in the game. All of this for seemingly no reason other than the fact that the demoman is Scottish, and it makes a pretty cool Braveheart reference.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed does things with the Force that were so cool it blew your mind away. Fighting a forty-story tall alien tentacle monster? Throwing Darth Freakin' Vader into the wall? Crashing a low-flying STAR DESTROYER into a major city!
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • There is a part on Shadow the Hedgehog's intro cutscene showing Shadow doing Chaos Control quickly, then punching an alien. Rinse and repeat for 10 to 20 seconds. That part of the cutscene does look pretty cool, and has no effect on any aspect of the game at all, so the use of chaos control here is justified by this rule (Normally, you need a Chaos Emerald and charge up the chaos control to do it, you cannot do it instantly).
    • On Shadow's intro on Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Shadow is shown running through snow while avoiding many robots shooting him. He then runs through the robots. The robots blow up, and then he bounces on a single robot to get past a big door. That's a full use of this rule. However, the Chaos Control he proceeds to use is unjustified because it doesn't look as cool as it should... especially after what he just did.
    • The first level of Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic escapes wrongful capture from a G.U.N. (Military organisation similar to NATO) Helicopter, and surfs down the hilly city streets on a chunk of the wing. Then at the end of the level, G.U.N. chases him with a truck-truck-truck, a 4 story tall semi so wide it barley scraped along the sides of the buildings and sends everything in the street flying on impact. [1]
    • The truck came back for Sonic Generations. It now chases Modern Sonic for far longer, has buzzsaws at the front and even chases Sonic UP A BUILDING. Yes, that thing can now fly.
  • Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!. Why else would a four-foot-tall, 107 lb, 17-year-old kid from The Bronx be travelling around the world, fighting circus freaks, competing for the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship? Because it's cool. In the Wii version, why else is Mike Tyson replaced as the final challenger by Donkey Kong?
  • Pick any Shoot 'em Up. Firing Frickin' Laser Beams larger than your fighter could handle isn't cool enough...
  • This is why Grenade Launcher exists in Left 4 Dead 2. As Valve said, they and many people wanted to see more stuff blow up, so they threw in the weapon. Combine the weapon with fire bullets and you got a gun of awesome.
  • Need For Madness?: On the loading screen, the following is displayed: "The following game is really mad, because unlike other games it does not try to obey or emulate any rules of physics correctly. In fact it was programmed on the basis of if it looks cool and feels cool, then it's cool." .
  • Hybrid Heaven. It's your typical "aliens plotting to take over the world and only you can stop them" plot, but you beat the aliens by performing wrestling moves on them.
  • Just Cause 2 's programmers stated that they tried to set the game so that the laws of physics would seem to be drunk, to encourage the players to do more crazy things because it would be cool It worked.
  • Ultima I. Just Ultima I. After spending much of the game fighting in a standard RPG setting you must upgrade your weapon to a Phazor, buy a space shuttle and fight TIE Fighters to become a Space Ace so a princess will give you the location of a time machine that you can use to stop the Big Bad before he reaches One-Winged Angel form. The game seems to combine aspects from Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek, Doctor Who and a wide range of other sources.
  • Alan Wake has a scene where you have to defend yourself on a rock stage (in the middle of a farm field) while a kickass metal song plays and pyrotechnics explode around you. Why? Because fuck yeah.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Epona gets an upgrade from the "X" in a boy and his horse into a bona fide war horse in this game, complete with a few Rearing Horse moments. Spectacular Spinning applies to the Spinner and the trusty spin attack. You can do some cool Spider-Man moves with the Double Clawshot, walk on walls because of the electromagnets in the Goron Mines and when fighting bosses there is almost always a moment of Theme Music Power-Up when you've exposed an enemy's vulnerabilities.
  • Viewtiful Joe involves this trope because it's based in the land of Action Hero movies . Upon entering Movie World, Joe becomes a martial arts expert, capable of taking tank shells to the face, and can kill enemies just by striking a pose. After you defeat Fire Leo by burning at temperatures over 1000000 degrees, you join a planet-dwarfing mech-battle.
  • Tomb Raider: Where else can you play as a daring female archaeologist that is packing heat as she fends off enemies from wolves, to henchmen, and even a freaking Tyrannosaurs Rex while performing acrobatics to either evade enemy attacks or to get from one place to another. Things get even crazier once Lara Croft gets on a vehicle and can run enemies over or make insane jumps over a chasm. Even the traps are taken to the extreme, such as poison darts, rolling boulders, spikes, fire traps, and many more as the series progressed, yet they still remained awesome.
  • The trope is lampshaded by the developers in the remake Tomb Raider: Anniversary when they discuss the Uzi wielding teenager. In the original game, the kid was fought in what appeared to be an underground skateboard park and he fought Lara by shooting at her while he was skateboarding (the area had a ton of pits with lava in them in case you weren't in enough danger) and giving the line "You firing at me? You firing at me? There's no one else here so you must be firing at me!" The developers admitted that looking back on the level design for the boss fight now, it looked pretty damn silly, but at the same time, it was too cool.
  • The Espgaluda series features characters can slow down bullets and power up their attack by using Kakusei ("Awakening"). Not only does activation instantly change their gender, but they also inexplicably change into a different set of clothes. The character designer said that it was just to look cool.
  • Sengoku Basara. Samurai Dual Wielding spears, scythes, chainsaws or six swords at once. Riding horses like circus freaks. Shit blowing up. Engrish. Ninjas. Pirates. Zombies. Gundams. A Norio Wakamoto -voiced villain. All historically accurate, of course.
  • The Nintendo GameCube Wrestling Game WWE WrestleMania XIX has a story mode of sorts called "Revenge Mode" where you wrestle to complete various objectives in different locations, such as a Harbour and Shopping Mall. What does this feature? Chokeslamming security guards down a storey or two? Check. Throwing people down several feet into the sea? Check. Wanton destruction for the sake of sabotaging WrestleMania after you've been fired by Vince McMahon? Check. A Create A Superstar which lets you add gear that would never be seen in a real life wrestling match? Check. A finishing move that involves people getting knocked out from a getting a good look at your wrestler's ass? Check. Yep.
  • The Powered Armor in Vanquish's main function is the ability to get on your knees and jet around the battlefield at 50 miles per hour. Plus you can slow down everything around you and mark targets in Bullet Time. It makes no sense and would be extremely unwieldy and impractical in real life but in the game it's as cool as they come.
  • Bulletstorm tasks the player with trying to cook up the most outrageous kills they possibly can to score points. To facilitate this, you have a leash you can use to toss hapless enemies around and your kicks can send foes flying great distances. It's nonsensical but it's all in good fun. Having to willfully suspend your disbelief will be a non-issue once you drag that enemy in front of a big Venus flytrap to get eaten alive and your score goes up.
  • Saints Row: The Third. Bail out of a plane amidst lampshaded implausible quantities of stuff which also fell out. Kill enemies in free-fall. Catch a girl and deploy a parachute. See the plane coming back to ram you, drop the girl, shoot out the plane's windscreen, fly through it shooting everything in sight, fall out the back, more midair combat, catch Shaundi again...
  • Saints Row IV starts you as a special operative trying to stop a nuclear missile, which you do by dismantling the missile in flight, then you cut to being the President of the United States, then aliens invade, then you get put in the Matrix where you have superpowers.
  • The Rule of Cool rules supreme in any game developed by PlatinumGames:
  • Borderlands and Borderlands 2: Sure, having a shotgun that shoots missiles or a machine gun that can electrocute people doesn't make much sense, but damn if it isn't awesome. The DLC goes even further with it; Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep has a gun that shoots swords. Which then explode into more swords.
  • No Man's Sky: could any of the planets you can visit in the game be as close together as they are in Real Life and be anywhere as viable or possible as they are in-game? Of course not; though you're not likely going to care when they make for some truly breathtaking alien skies and scenery.
  • Guilty Gear is the single coolest fighting game ever. The playable cast includes a Pirate Girl wielding an anchor as big as she is, a blind assassin who kills people with the demonic entity living in his shadow, a drug dealer turned ninja turned politician, a trash-talking half-dragon bounty hunter who likes Queen, and a British time-traveller ala Doctor Who plus a kusarigama and fire magic. That last guy is possibly the most normal character in this game.
    • Saying that, it's Spiritual Successor Blazblue comes close. It has a man with a massive sword and a replacement arm that allows him to go Super Saiyen, a girl who can pull gatling guns out of thin air who is also a robot that can rewrite the universe, a smooth talking intelligence agent with an infinite chain who screwed up the entire world and is actually God, a squirrel girl who can punch you into outer space, a suit of armour possessed by one of the character from another timeline, and a cat person with duel katanas.
  • Resovoir Dogs: Striking a real cool pose/doing something neat with your business suit allows you to slay your enemies in bullet time. Why? Why not.
  • Fleuret Blanc has an in-universe example. The bouts run on this; even if you're the first to tap out, you can still win if you have enough style points. As such, many of the techniques are very flashy and impressive while being impractical in terms of actual combat — such as allowing your opponent to hit you so you have time to play a song for the judges.
  • Basically what Heroes of the Storm is built on. A murlock and Zeartul driving a mech made by Volskya Industries and using it to beat up the Lord of Terror? Yes plase.

    Web Animation 
  • Monty Oum lives by this rule, tending to go with what looks cool rather than what looks realistic:
    • Dead Fantasy. The characters of Dead or Alive and Final Fantasy beat the crap out of each other with no regards for little things like the laws of physics.
    • Action in RWBY is built on cool. For instance, the White trailer involves a girl duelling a Giant Mecha with her elementally-powered rapier by jumping off Stepping Stones in the Sky.
    • According to the RWBY creators, the Rule of Cool got a little away from them in the Season Two episode "Breach." The heroines effortlessly defeated dozens of enemies, but the Grimm seemed weak and underpowered, removing much of the dramatic tension. Later seasons made the Grimm much tougher, preventing most one-shot kills but amping up the technical complexity of the fight scenes to compensate.
  • Super Mario Bros. Z: A Sonic the Hedgehog/Super Mario Bros. crossover done with Dragon Ball Z physics. It also features a "Holy Shit!" Quotient that approaches one during some fight sequences that quite frankly have to be seen to be believed
  • Kings of Power: 4 Billion%: There's not much logic behind the animation, but when it looks that cool, does it need any?
  • Flash games New York Shark, Sydney Shark and Miami Shark. It's about sharks eating fishes, humans, boat, baseballs, planes, Spider-Man, etc. and then destroying the Earth with a meteor.

  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
    • The inclusion of raptor-riding banditos alone proves the point here, but if that doesn't convince you, there's also Dracula, who happens to have a moon base with a moon laser. He hangs out with Paul McCartney, the real Michael Jackson, and Tupac.
    • See also this strip and the one directly following it. No other webcomic features a ninja MD flying a private jet into a thunderstorm where he will be attacked by missile volleys and pterodactyls birdosauruses, which he will subsequently defeat in a single minute so that he may continue on to the apocalyptic Aztec tennis temple to save the world's greatest tennis champion who must play a game of tennis against the avatar of the Aztec god of destruction in order to save the world from imminent doom. The only reason any of the above makes any sense, at all, is because it is so goddamn cool.
    • King Radical comes from Radical Land, which is even more like this; everything there is based on the Rule Of Cool. Not just almost every plot point like in the normal setting of the comic, but everything else too. Even the Sun wears sunglasses. Given the general nature of the comic, it makes perfect sense when he reveals (in "A Cumberland Ninja in King Radical's Court") that the world of the comic is halfway between Radical Land and a boring universe like ours, influenced by the energies of both, which is why it looks like the world we know with the addition of the occasional ninja doctor or vengeful astronaut ghost or an ogre running a supermarket.
  • Sluggy Freelance uses this mixed with Rule of Funny to make its bizarre and frequently absurd mythology work. As an example, the "Holiday Wars" arc. Bun-bun, a murderous talking rabbit with the stolen powers of Halloween and the Easter Bunny, leads an army of ghouls in battle against a mutated, alien Santa and his own army of black ops elves. Santa and Bun-bun have their final showdown where they fight each other at Super Speed using the same ability that lets them deliver presents/hide eggs all over the world in a single day. Eventually Bun-bun performs a Coup de Grâce on Santa using a Nerf gun. Take a look for yourself.
  • In Mixed Myth, this is treated as one of the laws of the universe (under the name of Cynmatics). It causes anything that looks awesome to be inherently more powerful, such as how a gold wand with crystals in it is more powerful than a wooden wand. The Genre Savvy characters take advantages of this.
  • This comic brought to you by a man on a shark fighting a Werepire
  • In the Name of the Gun. Jesus is fed up with God's inaction and comes back to Earth circa 1940. He proceeds to kill Nazis with the help of other celebrities, like Ernest Hemingway.
  • Rock Paper Cynic espouses wisdom such as the following: "At some point we must all chose between what is right and what is awesome".
  • In The Order of the Stick, Rule of Cool is regularly invoked by the local bard, Elan. He deliberately pushes a self destruct button so he can jump away from the explosion 'like a Vin Diesel movie'.
  • Cyanide & Happiness states that all good webcomics needs pirates because pirates are cool.
  • In Snowflakes, Wray's logic and knowledge of history, and even her grip on reality, are often come into question. But who cares if Erik the Red never piloted the Enterprise, or whether there are wraiths? It's awesome.
  • In Mob Ties, there is a clan of time traveling yakuza monkeys.
  • Invoked by the protagonist of Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger in-comic here.
    Plotya Foreshadow: But why did you fire a salvo of photon torpedoes to detonate it? A remote self-destruct command would have done the job...
    Quentyn Quinn: Well yeah, but this way looked cooler.
  • Axe Cop: The t-rex with Cool Shades has chainguns for arms and can breathe fire and can turn into a dragon with rocket wings. Seen here.
  • The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The premise is "wouldn't it be a lot cooler if Charles Babbage had completed his Difference Engine, then gone on Steampunk adventures with Ada Lovelace?" (He's an engineer, she's a mathematician, They Fight Crime!! And street music!)
  • Homestuck: in the (hugely spoilerific!) [S] Dirk: Synchronise, why does Dirk do a handplant while he's flying around on a rocket board? Because it's goddamn cool. Why does he ride through space on a rocket-powered skateboard, high-five an alien while in motion, carry around a robot just so he can fist-bump it later, and save all of his friends lives by kissing them and decapitating himself? Because it's goddamn cool.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: Broly was found unconscious and transformed (powered-up) at the same time, which does not happen in DBZ. The authors stated they did that for the coolness, and the readers didn't approve.
  • Deep Dive Daredevils: It's a Diesel Punk webcomic about a Cool Boat, with a Cyborg captain, two characters wearing an Eyepatch of Power (only because it's cool), a Were-whale, Dracula (who wants to Take Over the World) and a volcano about to blow its' top. Yeah, it's cool.
  • In the nondescript space future of Manly Guys Doing Manly Things wars are literally FOUGHT on the Rule of Cool: the point of it is to get the public to think you have the coolest army. Case in point: Commander Badass wants to punch his superior officer. Any other army: that'd get him immediately punished, probably demoted, and lucky not to get kicked out. In an army running on this trope: they decide it could be 'mad bitching' and set ground rules to give the Commander one free no-strings-attached sucker punch on the Admiral (preferably in public). However, the concept is also deconstructed and averted: sometimes Rule of Cool isn't the best option: red jackets may look cool, but make the wearer a big target. And the military has no problem emotionally manipulating their soldiers to make them be 'more like Batman', which is what actually led to the case in point. (And by the way, no, the Commander hasn't punched the Admiral yet. It's not about punching him, it's about him knowing he's getting punched.)
    • On a smaller scale, Angel's survival derby is decided by who has the raddest team/base. They technically didn't say who won the most recent one, but considering the Commander made a Dynamic Entry on a Megalodon wearing a sweater (the megalodon, not the Commander), it's reasonable to guess his team did.
  • An In-Universe example in I'm the Grim Reaper. It's Satan's justification for the physical changes he makes to Scarlet, which includes giving her a pair of horns, fangs, black and red hair, and even a tail. She, on the other hand, is less than thrilled.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • In The Nostalgia Chick class on how to spot evil, Nella says that black leather coats are bad, unless you're a post-apocalyptic Anti-Hero. Then it's cool.
  • Matthew Mercer talks about how to use this trope in an episode of his series about Game Master tips on the Geek & Sundry web channel. His main point is that you should allow the players to try interesting things, but also be careful to not do it too often, since that can mess up the structure and cohesiveness of the game.

    Western Animation 
  • Dino-Riders is about people from the future riding into battle on dinosaurs with Frickin' Laser Beams attached to their heads!
  • Transformers:
    • Several commercials for the 2007 movie were constructed of the robots appearing onscreen and onlookers standing around saying "cool."
    • Animated takes it to new extremes. For starters, Optimus Prime has a rocket-powered axe.
    • Prowl is an alien ninja robot. Who turns into a motorcycle. Why would giant alien robots have ninjas, you ask? Stupid question.
    • Optimus Prime and Soundwave getting into a rock-off?
  • Much of the Animated Adaptation of Teen Titans is built between the Rule Of Cool and the Rule of Funny, resulting in varying controversy. Many recurring questions that linger in the fandom are the identity of Red X, the identity of Slade and the fuel behind his motives, and which of the Robins Robin is. Glen Murakami on the other hand has openly expressed that he couldn't care less about any of these things, so long as the kids liked it and found it cool. In one interview, he uses the word "cool" a good fifteen times to answer just about every other question. Inevitably, the series concluded with more unresolved plotlines than you can count on your hand. Invoked In-Universe with the HIVE Five's name.
    Kid Flash: If you're called the HIVE Five, why are there six of you?
    See-more: Because... it sounds cool?
  • Parodied in Invader Zim, where the Virtual Ghost of a Martian justifies their embarking on a pointless project that drove their race into extinction with "Because it's cool." He proved himself right, too. They turned their entire planet into one giant moveable spaceship. That's pretty dang cool!
  • Rambo: The Force of Freedom: Demonstrates the caveat listed in the description: You can only use the rule of cool when the result is, in fact, cool. Highlights of this show include Rambo wrestling a panther under water, driving a motorcycle on top of a train, and jumping out of a burning aircraft with a rocket launcher and somehow managing to turn around and blow up several missiles headed straight for his ally's helicopter with it. It's just cringe-worthy how ridiculous it all is, the flawed animation and complete insanity of the idea of basing a cartoon for children on an ultra-violent action hero making it impossible to take seriously.
  • The creators of The Batman, the Continuity Reboot to Batman: The Animated Series, were looking for a way to set their series apart from the rest. So, they made a spin-off movie entitled, The Batman... versus Dracula. Batman. Versus. Dracula. The bat-imagery crossover lets it make a twisted kind of sense. The movie lives up to the concept. Yes, Batman finds a cure for vampirism at the end, and all the citizens of Gotham who were vamps go back to normal. The Penguin becomes The Renfield. Oh, and as if it wasn't cool enough already, The Joker is turned into a vampire for a while. VAMPIRE. JOKER.
  • In George Shrinks, Becky asks George why his ghost catching machine requires bells and horns. His answer: "they're cool!"
  • In one episode Kim Possible jumped off a plane without a parachute. Even while she was falling towards her doom, she didn't panic and just by sheer luck was she saved by a blimp. While asked why Kim would do such a deadly stunt, the director answered that it was cool.
  • ReBoot:
    • Enzo's birthday party. During the festivities, Megabyte crashes the party, and brings out... a guitar? With a dial turned to 11? Megabyte begins jamming. Then Bob steps up to face him, seemingly angry at him for crashing the party. Then he commands his keytool to turn into a guitar and thus begins a rocking guitar duel, between the Hero and the Big Bad! The whole thing ends with Megabyte giving Enzo his guitar, "I've always wanted to do that" and then leaving. Sure, it could've been a trap, or just about anything, but those thoughts never crossed ANYONE'S mind because it was just that freaking AWESOME.
    • Near the end of the third season of with the system crashing, "User" characters from every game seen prior to the episode suddenly begin appearing in Mainframe. This is explained by the instability of the system releasing "undeleted RAM" — but it seems more like a thinly-veiled excuse for a battle royale between the cast and every User at once. Nobody complained.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold was inspired by the glorious lunacy of Silver Age DC Comics so of course it focuses on coolness above all else.
    Aquaman: Outrageous!
  • Megas XLR A badass opening theme song, a giant robot with a car for a head that's piloted with a video game system. Coop can pull off amazing and special moves because he played video games all his life. It can all be summed up by these two lines, from the episode where Coop enters Megas into a car show:
    Coop: Man, there's some tough competition this year.
    Jamie: Competition? Dude, you have a giant robot from the future, with a car for a head.
  • Tried, but failed, in the Mister T animated series. note  While a few moments (most notably spinning an alligator over his head) managed it, the punctuating thuds of anvils landing got in the way.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Sokka has a space sword. A sword made from meterorite. Suddenly being the Team Normal became a much cooler position.
    • The giant drill — that could have been done so many other less cool ways.
  • SWAT Kats: How did they build a serviceable jet fighter from parts in a salvage yard? One better than the official military's jets? After building a secret hangar? Many of their Special Missiles violate logic and physics. Their jet crash into the water with stalled engines and they get the engines restarted underwater and fly away. Who cares? It's RADICAL and plays to an awesome electric guitar soundtrack.
  • Samurai Jack has this as a guiding principle when writing the setting. It was all but outright stated in a featurette that Rule of Cool dictated the writing sessions for Tartakovsky and his creative team. They would sit down and ask: What cool thing can we invoke this episode that we saw on TV when we were kids? Why are there robotic Celtic demons, cowboys riding jet-powered horsebots, robotic Viking warriors, boisterous Highlanders with machine-guns for legs, Spartan warriors with rocket spears, immortal monks and magical portals? Because awesome.
  • The Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "The Mandalore Plot" featured a villain with a lightsaber and not just any lightsaber but one with a black blade shaped like a katana. Word of God said that this was a case of Executive Meddling on Lucas's part, who didn't allow the kortosis vibrosword to be used against a lightsaber..... which was planned to be used for this trope's sake in the first place.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: The stuff that happens on a typical episode would be laughable anywhere else, but the fans overlook that little detail because it has 10-year-old secret agents with homemade weapons and vehicles.
  • In The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, the climax consists of SpongeBob, seemingly doomed because of Plankton's Evil Plan, singing about the Goofy Goober using a visor and microphone from nowhere to distract Plankton, and when Plankton finally instructs his minions to attack SpongeBob, the microphone and visor are gone just as easily as they appeared and SpongeBob now has a wizard costume with a peanut pattern as well as a Goofy Goober guitar which he uses to play a solo which involves lasers fired from the guitar destroying Plankton's mind-controlling helmets. Despite the blatant, out-of-nowhere Deus ex Machina, this sequence is too cool to question.
  • Motorcity: nukes, tornado stunts, tanks, and car chases that basically says "SCREW YOU" to physics. Think a more child-friendly FLCL, except with cars instead of guitars.
  • Ben 10 and its sequels. A wrist-mounted device that shapeshifts the wearer into ten (or more) forms with varied superpowers? Having it means meeting alien heroes, beating down bad guys, and being able to do your chores in a hurry? Oh heck yeah.
  • As to be expected, Kung Fu Panda takes Artistic License – Martial Arts and runs with it. The Furious Five fighting Tai Lung on a robe bridge, Tai Lung fighting Shifu with his paws on fire, and Po using tai chi to redirect cannonballs is just the tip of the iceburg.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Two (later three) kids get to tag along with Human Aliens on space adventures to learn about science. Unrealistic? Yes. Totally awesome and way more fun than simply looking up information on the internet? Also yes. This even gets lampshaded in "Potatoes on Mars".

    Real Life 
  • The act of taking Luke Skywalker's prop lightsaber and Gene Roddenberry's ashes up on the space shuttle.
  • Parkour and Freerunning, when performed by professionals. This applies to Freerunning especially, since Parkour is usually more concerned with efficiency.
  • They ultimately settled on just kicking down the door and shooting him in the face, but check out this plan the Pentagon received for catching Osama bin Laden: Parachute in BEARS who would track him down with their "Excellent sense of smell."
  • This physics experiment. If you want your students to remember waves, the answer is "Flaming Heavy Metal"
  • Related to the meteorite sword mentioned above: legend has it that the first copy of Jim Bowie's eponymous knife was made from iron derived from a meteorite. Terry Pratchett's sword is as well.
  • A lot of science (especially medical science) worked this way for most of history, regardless of what reality had to say on the subject. Mercury was reckoned to be a cure-all for centuries just because oh my God look at that that is so fucking awesome.
  • Quartz watches are not just a lot cheaper than mechanical; they're also a lot more accurate. Why do people buy mechanical at all? A combination of conspicuous consumption and Rule Of Cool. The Seiko Spring Drive is a hybrid mechanical, electric and magnetic watch movement that provides a really cool solution to... no actual problem that can't be solved cheaper by a conventional quartz watch.
  • There are quite a few instruments and objects used as instruments which may or may not have practical advantages, but are undeniably Cool, such as:
  • This Rule now has legal meaning.
  • The only reason anyone would create a Dyson Sphere, since the level of engineering required to construct a shell around a star means that any race capable of actually building one, wouldn't need to.
  • Queen Elizabeth II was shown jumping from a helicopter after being escorted by James Bond as part of the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. If a British Monarch wants to make a Big Entrance, that is the only way to do it.
    • Many rumours point to the Queen driving oddly in order to terrorize passengers/nearby people. She actually was trained in operating large, military vehicles back during WWII
  • This is the point of concept cars. Believe it or not, they were even more over-the-top way back when than they are now.
  • Part of John F Kennedy's justification for going to the Moon: "No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind"
  • Firing guns Gangsta Style makes them extremely difficult to aim and control, is dangerous enough to quickly get someone kicked off a shooting range if they're seen doing it, and has gotten several criminals killed in shootouts with police, either through not hitting anything, or causing their own gun to jam. This trope is why so many novices insist on using Gangsta Style anyway, and the third strike against it is why police and self-defense experts don't do anything to discourage its use among the criminal element.
  • The F-117 is painted black, supposedly for stealth. Some designers on the project have acknowledged that dark grey would be a better color, but the decision was essentially handed down because black would look cooler.
  • Grilling steaks...with LAVA!
  • This rather humorous Twitter post calls out Plague Doctor's on being this trope.

Alternative Title(s): Refuge In Cool


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