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Took A Level In Badass / Web Original

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  • At the start of The Stolen Century, Lucretia of The Adventure Zone: Balance is a milquetoast who is content to stay on the sidelines and record the heroics of others, routinely doubts her own abilities, and says that she could never possibly be a leader. However, after the events of Cycle 65, in which the rest of the team dies early on and she is left to repair the ship and fend off an entire army for the rest of the year completely alone in order to ensure the mission's survival, she becomes a much more confident and decisive fighter who eventually founds the Bureau of Balance and escapes Wonderland.
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  • Asuka Quest: Everyone. It starts with The Power of Friendship helping the Dysfunction Junction of NERV get over a lot of mental issues (Shinji is now the Only Sane Man, for example), and continues into AT field Mad Science allowing Evangelions to crack planets if they wanted to (and perhaps cause a Reality-Breaking Paradox; this one has never been tested for obvious reasons), to the point where the Angels (renamed Giant Alien Starfish) needed to become more powerful in order to keep up. Miscellaneous level-ups include Rei learning how to use her personal AT field (which allows her and Asuka to literally punch out Tabris), Asuka eating Zeruel's S2 organ, and Aisuka (Asuka's sister/A.I. clone; it's complicated) getting a Robot Girl body equipped with Super Strength along with inbuilt weaponry, and the return of Jet Alone, with Aisuka as the pilot. Even Lorenz Kihl gets a chance to be badass; during the final battle he merges with 'Demi-Adam' created from three MP Evas, with Anti-Magic armor.
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  • BillyMC. He started out as The Woobie due to his failures in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, and Retsupurae interpreted him as a kid with a Hilariously Abusive Childhood (most especially when poor phrasing during one video leaves them with the impression that he gets McDonald's food for Christmas presents), but eventually he beat it. Then he announced that he was going to play Ninja Gaiden, and people were worried about the potential effects on his psyche. However, as he was using a controller instead of a keyboard, he manages to beat the game in five videos, amazing pretty much everyone who watched.
  • Ahatake Kurosaki from a Bleach fanfiction might qualify. In a previous arc, the then-current villain, effortlessly split his Bankai in half. Later, Ahatake was kidnapped (for training purposes) by Kisuke, and when he came back on the scene to challenge Takahashi, he surprised him with a backhand slap to the face, and in the fight, equaled him in speed and strength, and taunted him.
    • Unfortunately, it didn't last due to the slip-up he made, but it was good while it lasted.
  • Most of the reviews for Channel Awesome get this, especially in the anniversary events, which become increasingly more dangerous and which they still manage to handle.
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  • Blue Incineroar in CPUCS does this in between Seasons 2 and 3, where he goes from a fighter who only makes it to Round 2, too being Number 1 fighter for a bit and currently is in top 5.
  • Darwin's Soldiers: Dr. Rudyard Shelton.
    • Starts off as a control room admin in the first RP and he's living as an undercover spy within the Dragonstorm ranks in the third RP.
    • When he kills someone who attempted to out him as a spy with a coffee maker.
  • Given the years that have passed since the end of GT in Dragon Ball Deliverance, damn near everyone has become more badass over the years.
    • Both Pan and Bra are now Super Saiyans, the latter of which now has Power Armor with its own weapon systems and shields.
    • Uub/Majuub now has complete mastery of his Majin powers and has a Healing Factor as well as the ability to communicate with his Majin half mid-battle.
    • Vegeta really takes the cake. He now has a Super Saiyan 3 transformation, and he regained his tail, letting him access his Super Saiyan 4 transformation at will. Oh, and his Super Saiyan 4 self also singlehandedly defeats Broly as a Super Saiyan 3.
  • In Dream's "Minecraft Speedrunner VS 3 Hunters GRAND FINALE", the hunters finally live up to their name and end up forcing Dream on the run throughout the entire video instead of them dying to him every few minutes, as they wound up scoring iron armour AND iron weapons from a nearby village, then later upgrade parts to diamond armour and weapons, and even go as far as to ENCHANT their stuff. They even go to the End ahead of him to set-up a trap, like they did in the third episode. Dream is never able to enchant his own armour and sword, and he even admitted that it was their best outing yet. That was, had he not gone and made TNT to blow up all three of them and their trap, he would've actually LOST for once.
  • The REAL Filthy Frank became this between "ADAM SANDLER CONSPIRACY THEORY" where he claimed he was only a peasant and could only travel through realms and "FILTHY FRANK VS. CHIN CHIN" where it's implied that he became a Peace^Lord and even intimidates the dark lord himself, Chin Chin.
  • Codex takes a level in badass at the end of The Guild season three. It probably doesn't last.
  • Hero House has Nightwing, who goes from being Batman's incompetent sidekick, to his rightful replacement, capable of taking down Deathstroke himself.
  • Logan in the beginning of Logan's Dawn is a Technical Pacifist who is intimidated by the outside world and runs away scared several times, but that quickly changes out of necessity.
  • Emma in lonelygirl15 appears to have done this in between "I Love You All" and "Operation Emma", largely as a result of having to fend for herself and witnessing Elizabeth's murder.
  • In Marble Hornets, Jessica starts out as something of a Damsel in Distress, serving as The Woobie who Jay is trying to rescue. She's probably the most sensible person in the cast, but she doesn't do a lot. But when she comes Back For The Operator Abduction in Entry #76, when Alex pulls a gun on her she attacks him while he's apologizing and wrestles it away from him. She's also the first (and so far, only) person to make it all the way through the tunnel.
  • Edward Borman takes... well, maybe half a level in The Mercury Men. While he doesn't quite reach the level of badass and is still cowardly, his marksmanship (once he remembers to keep his eyes open!), willingness to put himself into harms way and his ability to think on his feet do improve considerably over the course of the first nine episodes, especially after his talk with Dr. Tomorrow.
  • When Barnabas Thade in Movie Rehab was introduced in the Meet Dave review he started out as a dubious manager who was a huge coward. By the time of the Southland Tales review he became much more self condident, much stronger and eventually defeated the villain Trama.
    • Simon Lane's building skills were initially somewhat dire, but by Moonquest he builds a fairly cool airship which proves handy for the crew. Come Hole Diggers and he ends up designing a space station... which can mine from other dimensions.
  • Noob:
    • In the fourth novel and Season 5 Arthéon became this by getting promoted from mere Player Character to a player-controlled world boss whose stats are superior to all three UltimateGamer386 characters of the franchise taken together.
    • The duel between Omega Zell and Gaea shown in the webseries was preceded by showing that the trope applies to both parties: Gaea broke out of the "coward" part of her usually Dirty Coward self merely by asking for the duel and keeping up with Omega Zell who's starting to reap the benefits of being in Justice guild.
  • Dave (or Dawei) of Pure Pwnage was a quiet, withdrawn sort of guy at first. He absolutely refused to play any video games until a furious micro (a combat skill based on game-playing ability) battle threatened the lives of his friends. After a flashback showing a tragic gaming incident that killed/injured his sisters, he finally snaps and proves to be an incredible user of micro, effectively taking a level in badass and reverting to the arrogant, snarky personality he had in his past.
  • Stealth from The Quest served as one of Diesel's henchmen in Season One, and didn't really have all that much special about him. During his appearance in Season Two, he's learned to turn invisible, runs rings around Crimson and his friends, and requires two superheroes to take down.
  • The Fellowship of The Questport Chronicles, big time. They go from a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits at the beginning of the saga to a true Badass Crew that doesn't flinch from even the most challenging quests.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Tucker, the lazy pimp wannabe suddenly becomes effective once he gets his energy sword. He takes another level when Wyoming locks the whole canyon into a time loop. Tucker is left immune to its amnesia-inducing effects (due to the sword), allowing him to act with advance knowledge of the situation. In Recreation, he shows off his mad skills by taking on the entire digging team, seemingly by himself.
      Church: Hey, you know what, I kinda like this new all-knowing badass Tucker. He's certainly a lot better than the old one.
    • Similarly, in the climax of Red vs. Blue: Reconstruction, Church embraces his AI heritage and stops The Meta by entering its collective mind. Previously, he was unable to even hit a target at point-blank range.
    • In Revelation, Grif and Sarge come to Simmons and Doc's rescue, but are confronted by Washington. After a couple of failed cues, Grif bursts through a wall with the warthog after Washington has disarmed Sarge. Grif hits Washington, and after a brief drive around Valhalla flings him off of the Warthog. As Washington cocks Sarge's shotgun in midair, Sarge timely shows up and snatches the shotgun right out of his hands, jumps in the Warthog with Grif, and shoots the fusion coils that Washington landed by. Take into account that Washington is just short of a One-Man Army, and it's all the more impressive. What's more, not only do they beat Washington, but they do it with style. However, Sarge did mess up his one-liner, so points off for that.
    • In the same season, as difficult as it may be to believe, already high-level badass Tex has apparently taken another level in badass. Meta also spent a lot of that season as an Iron Butt-Monkey, but redeems himself in the fight with Tex and won, no less.
    • By the time of Season 12, the crew are overall much more competent than before, though they still fail irregularly. Justified in that Roosterteeth now has access to Motion Capture and Kung Fu.
  • RWBY:
    • In the Volume 1 finale, Blake Belladonna struggles to hold her own against Roman Torchwick, even with help, and the fight had to be interrupted. In the Volume 2 finale, she has a second battle with him, with no assistance this time. Guess who wins? Hint: Not Roman. Then again, it's suggested that Roman allowed himself to be captured as part of Cinder's plans, so that may have factored into it.
    • Jaune Arc started the show as completely untrained and didn't even have his Aura unlocked (something all the other students had done years ago). He struggles with foes that the other students barely even bat an eye at, and has no idea what his Semblance even is. But as the show goes on, he steadily trains and improves: by Volumes 3 and 4, while he's not up to the level of his friends, he's able to hold his own and strike some good blows even against powerful enemies. He unlocks his semblance on volume 6. Volumes 7 and 8 imply he's finally catching up, but, by now, he's still in need of prove himself as capable enough to take down stronger enemies by his own. His general role is purely defensive and powering up his allies with his semblance.
  • Simon Wood from Survival of the Fittest is nigh-unrecogniseable in SOTF spin off SOTF Zombies. He goes from Romantic Runner-Up to somebody who will not hesitate to punch his undead adversaries in the face. On one occasion, this actually killed one.
  • Once she got behind the controls of the helicopter Pegs from We're Alive gained quite a bit of confidence, even telling both Datu and Michael to shut up during chapter 24.
  • Blazer from the World of Warcraft epic "Tales of the Past III" goes from a cocky rogue who couldn't defeat a horde of undead, to a Badass Fist-Of-An-Angry-God paladin who wields a ancient weapon after spending time training in the emerald dream with death knight Mograine (whose control under the Kel'Thurzad had been broken). Notable in the beginning of the fight with Arthas.
  • Taylor, the protagonist of Worm, does this over the course of the story, going from a victim of severe high school bullying to a member of a formidable team of superpowered teenage villains, and also manages to take down a few powerful villains and heroes on her own as well.
    • Theo Anders goes from a wimpy, overweight teenager to the hero Golem, capable of taking on multiple members of the Slaughterhouse Nine and winning.
  • The titular heroes of X-Ray & Vav first start out as a pair of Super Zeroes who couldn't stop a pair of crooks without turning the city into a crater. Episode 4, the finally get their heads on straight and rescue the entire city from the clutches of the Corpirate.
  • The various members of the Yogscast have had numerous failings in their Minecraft series, but have improved immensely given time:
    • Kim Richards started as the Naïve Newcomer when it came to Minecraft, but eventually learned to improve. She was the first player on the company server to successfully land the rocket without dying (everyone else who had attempted this had died somehow). When left to run Panda Labs on her own, she manages to kill all of Hat Films by herself.


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