A badass is a leader. They stride in confident, stare The Rival down, and dominate any situation they're in... Except when they don't.
This is an index for badasses who shy away from the leader role. They may appear meek and mild at first, but show hidden reserves of strength, or conversely, they may appear strong and confident at first, but show a hidden gentle side. They might submit when the situation demands it, but they never break. Sometimes overlaps with The Smart Guy as this is most common in smarter characters. Could also be The Lancer, especially to a more classical hero. May be the result of a gentle character having Taken A Level In Badass, but it's also common for them to simply reveal their badassery partway through the story. Could be a work's way of reminding the audience that completing the Training from Hell is a job requirement for all the characters (such as if the characters are law enforcement or military). Such a character has a very strong chance of being The Chosen One. If not, they may be the Reluctant Hero. The Cloudcuckoolander has a strong chance of turning into this at the climax of the story. Often a result of Clap Your Hands If You Believe or The Power of Friendship or The Power of Love, being channeled by a normally useless or weak character.
No examples please. This is only an index of tropes.
- Ambiguous Criminal History: Submits to the law, but was once a criminal.
- Ambiguously Trained: Submits to a normal life, reveals a particular set of skills that may have been from a former profession.
- Badass Pacifist: Submits if it will save lives, but they wouldn't cease to oppose injustice/bad guys.
- Battle Butler: Submits to his master or mistress.
- Battle Thrall: Submits to his or her master, mistress, empire, or leadership...but not necessarily forever in every case.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Submits to common courtesy.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: A stronger character puts their safety in the hands of a weaker one.
- By-the-Book Cop: Submits to The Rules.
- The Champion: Submits to his good lady.
- Chessmaster Sidekick: Submits to their master despite being more clever or less moral.
- Cowardly Lion: Submits to fear (but usually does the brave thing anyway).
- Dragon-in-Chief: Submits to the Big Bad despite being way stronger or more competent.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Submits to Mama.
- The Fettered: Submits to limits, personal or otherwise.
- Gentle Giant: A large being who’s gentle nature belies their size.
- Heroic Dog: Unswervingly loyal to one (often only one) person.
- Human Jungle Gym: Large characters like The Big Guy and/or a Gentle Giant willingly letting little children climb up their bodies like a playground.
- Knight Errant: When following his natural Lord.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Submits to chivalry (when stricken with The Dulcinea Effect).
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Submits to the orders of those they serve.
- Ninja Maid: Submits to her master or mistress.
- Number Two: Submits to The Captain.
- Old Soldier: Submits to the Army.
- Real Men Love Jesus: Submits to Jesus.
- Samurai: Submits to his lord and to his Code of Honour. When these conflict, there is only one third option.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Submits to everyone... but is no pushover.
- The So-Called Coward: Submits to fear, supposedly.
- Three Laws-Compliant: Submits to human wishes...until it doesn't.
- Warrior Monk: Submits to God.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Always puts her family above herself.