Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Took a Level in Badass

Go To

Basic Trope: An otherwise average or weak character suddenly becomes a lot more powerful and/or competent

  • Straight: Bob goes from being an average hero to being a kickass superhero who can beat up bad guys easily.
  • Exaggerated: Bob was a Failure Hero who became an Invincible Hero, who slaughters an Eldritch Abomination in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Downplayed: Bob goes from a civilian who was always under threat of capture to somebody able to hold their own in a fight with Mooks, but struggles with more competent bad guys.
  • Justified:
    • Bob went to a ninja academy which taught him loads of badass skills.
    • After so many fights, Bob was bound to get better.
  • Inverted: Bob undergoes Badass Decay.
  • Subverted: We think Bob is beating people up, but the people he beats up are even more pathetic than the original Bob.
  • Double Subverted: He then promptly goes and beats up a whole bunch of insanely tough bad guys.
  • Parodied: Bob used to be a nerd, complete with a geek physique. He retains this appearance, and yet is able to beat people up like a One-Man Army.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob tries to become extra badass, but by beating up kittens. Then he takes on some real enemies...and loses. But then we discover he was holding back his power all along!
  • Averted: All characters stay at about the same badass level throughout the story.
  • Enforced: "This Bob character is a bit pathetic. Let's spice him up and improve the ratings by adding a few fight scenes!"
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "My God, Bob, you used to be pathetic, but you've gotten good at fighting all of a sudden!"
  • Invoked: Bob's mentor sends him to a ninja school in order to make him a better fighter.
  • Exploited: Bob's rival beats him up and humiliates him so Bob will put himself through intense training to get revenge and become the Worthy Opponent he wants
  • Defied:
    • Bob fails to become stronger when faced with Die or Fly circumstances, and cracks under pressure rather than undergo Character Development.
    • Alternatively, he'd rather forego said development because he doesn't want to be a killer.
  • Discussed: "Oh, look, the Big Bad is coming - guess Bob is going to show him he's not what he used to be."
  • Conversed: "That Bob is a hell of a lot tougher than he was last episode..."
  • Deconstructed:
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob willingly subjects himself to Training from Hell to become strong enough to save his beloved Alice. When all is said and done, he decides it was Worth It.
    • Bob becomes a Knight In Sour Armor and holds on to his original idealism, all while kicking ass.

Oof! You aren't the same wimp you were two seasons ago... I intuit you Took a Level in Badass during the break?

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: