In a World with supernatural dealings or superpowers, this character is the one who is able to keep being useful through intellect, martial arts abilities, general ruthlessness, or just being Crazy Prepared.
They notably have none of the fantastic enhancements, magic or special powers that others do. It might even be a sore point for them, but that just makes us encourage them more. Female versions are usually Action Girls with a Girl Posse or Lovely Angels.
It's become increasingly common for the Badass Normal to be a protagonist, in contrast to the ideal lead, as it supposedly makes him easier to relate to. However, in Ensembles, they are usually the leader, or at least the brains of the outfit, to compensate.
If a Badass Normal is capable of things that should only be superhuman, then they have a Charles Atlas Superpower. If Badass runs in their family, it's because Lamarck Was Right. If they are given superfluous superpowers (especially in Fan Fiction), you get a Badass Abnormal. If they only lost powers they actually used to have, they've been Brought Down to Badass.
The Badass Normal only happens in a world of superpowers, widespread genetic engineering or other artificial enhancements (like magic). Similarly, just dealing with the inhuman or strange (that's your zombies, orcs, Alien Invasion and other invocations of Puny Earthlings) doesn't suffice unless there was some other superhero who showed how they needed their powers for the same job. Just because someone was able to kill one Super Soldier out of ten in the world does not make them a badass normal. Likewise, this is not a character who is ill equipped with outdated technology, even if their enemies are top-of-the-line. By all means it should be a topic of debate with anyone they deal with (enemy, ally or even themselves) if their lack of superpowers is an issue with their usefulness. Please remember this when you put your favourite character in this page.
You may want to distinguish your favorites from the typical Badasses, but it doesn't make them less badass if they don't qualify for this particular trope. If they have strange or superhuman abilities, they are not normal. There is no "relatively" when it comes to Badass Normal. If you can "barely" lift a tank, your ki blasts can "only" level cities or your ability to alter the fabric of reality isn't as developed as others, tough; you're a badass with superpowers. Not everyone can be the Batman of the setting. However, if he avoids or cannot uses his powers for combat, he probably Fights Like a Normal.
Often overlaps with The Team Normal (if this character joins a superpowered team).
Contrast with Overshadowed by Awesome, where a character is by reasonable means strong compared to regular people or even superpowerful, but can only be considered "normal" when compared to the people they hang out with, who are vastly stronger. Because of this they often Can't Catch Up. Brought Down to Normal arcs can show a super powered individual can be bad ass without their powers but that does not qualify them for this trope. This is a character type, not a plot trope.
No real life examples, please; This trope only applies if the setting possesses a significant number of characters with superpowers. In a setting where superpowers are very uncommon or nonexistent, Badass characters without superpowers are just badass.
If you encounter an instance of a character in a setting without superpowers being called a Badass Normal, please remove or change it. For average people that are forced to be a badass by the situation, see Action Survivor. For costumed heroes without superpowers in general, see Costumed Nonsuper Hero.
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