Badass Pacifist

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Therefore one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful. Seizing the enemy without fighting is the most skillful.
Sun Tzu: The Art of War

A Badass Pacifist describes an Actual Pacifist who, without doing anything violent, is much more awesome than many of us will ever be, and commands all the respect you give 'the baddest motherfucker on the planet' even though (or in some cases, because) they never go on the offensive. These are the people who will stand and take a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown without striking back and without giving in; they are also very fond of Turning The Other Cheek.

Please note that this trope is not "Nice person who will kick your ass if you make them angry." This trope describes an Actual Pacifist who can completely defeat an enemy without any violence on their part whatsoever; the person who can take a beating from a Memetic Badass without backing down, giving in, or losing control, or who can talk aforesaid Memetic Badass into going home with his tail between his legs.

Their presence often—but not always—indicates a higher position on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. Frequently The So-Called Coward. Might be a Guile Hero.

Contrast A Real Man Is a Killer. A subtrope of Badass. Compare Martial Pacifist. The Reluctant Warrior wishes he could be a Badass Pacifist.

Examples of Badass Pacifist include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Think kind people are weak? Then you haven't met Sayaka Rama of Demon City Shinjuku, a Plucky Girl Yamato Nadeshiko who is able to stop a fire-demon formed from the condensed hatred and grief from 10 years of murdered and orphaned children from killing The Hero with sheer kindness and love alone, and redeeming the demon so she can to go to heaven to reunite with her mother. Don't underestimate kindness.
  • Since Fullmetal Alchemist is quite the poster child for the World of Badass, it of course has some of these as well.
    • Most notably, Scar's older brother.
    • Winry and her entire family also count.
  • Dr. Kenzo Tenma of Monster can take a beating, get hit by a car, jump off a bridge, stop fires, and save people everywhere.
    • Then again, he does spend a lot of time planning to commit a vigilante execution on the title character. And then he ends up saving him. Again.
  • Prince Phil from Slayers thinks he embodies this trope. He has the Badass part down pat, but fails on the pacifist part.
    • Usually, though, he just keeps dodging until his opponents do themselves in.
    • That said, he's known for ironically-named martial arts moves like "PACIFIST CRUSH!" and "GOODWILL TO ALL MANKIND KICK!".
  • Relena Darlian-Peacecraft from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Jumps in front of a gun to save a guy who had a gun pointed at her just a minute ago and tells her would be saviour off for his crude methods. Later flies an airplane in between two gigantic machines of mass destruction in mid-combat to save the same guy's ass once again and tell his attacker that his cruelty and underhanded tactics are a disgrace to the name, country and ideals he claims to stand for (namely hers). Would rather have her country surrender than let her pacifist ideals be the cause of bloodshed, and makes such an impression while doing exactly that that the people attacking her country promptly "invite" her to become their figurehead, so they can convince the masses that they were on the side of the good guys all along. She accepts and makes them regret it. Physically insignificant, but her sheer strength of will and unwavering idealism (give or take a slip-up or two, but nobody's perfect) earns her the admiration of everyone from the guy who started out wanting to kill her to the resident Magnificent Bastard, as well as a promising career as a politician.
    • Actually, the slip-up happened when she still wasn't a 100% pacifist and facing Lady Une, the woman who assassinated her father. To drive the point further, by the end of the series Lady Une actually gives Relena a gun and asks her to take revenge properly, but she refuses to do so and says it's useless.
  • Kenji from 20th Century Boys. He admits early on that he was a failure at martial arts because he doesn't like hitting people, but that doesn't stop him from making the impostor Friend break down in the end by apologizing to him.
  • Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess. She has power but lacks the killer instinct required to make a good fighter. Unlike her spunkier sisters, she abhors violence (however, when mind controlled by the movie's Big Bad she easily dispatches Urd's true form).
  • Admiral Yang Wen-Li from Legend of Galactic Heroes epitomizes this trope. He understands the waste of human life and foolishness of the war he is fighting, and is merciful to his enemies, but he is probably the best commander in the entire series.
  • Rock of Black Lagoon has managed to talk down some of the most violent, dangerous people on the planet while unarmed and with a gun to his head, on multiple occasions. He doesn't always qualify, with several moments of violence, but he has a number of textbook acts, most notably the... debate... Revy in episode 7 and with Balalaika in the Yakuza arc.
  • Tohru Honda speaks gently to Akito Sohma, who is in the midst of her Villainous Breakdown... and it works. When Tohru nearly falls victim to Death by Falling Over, rather than gloat, Akito screams for help, marking the beginning of her Heel Face Turn. And even earlier, she successfully got Kyo to calm down when he was in his cursed form.
  • Lucy from Fairy Tail is a bit of a subversion but she managed to convince the SPIRIT KING not to Punish Loke. Also, she took a vicious beating from Gajeel and still taunted him.
  • Nausicaa falters on this a little from time to time, violently killing a Torumekian soldier in the first book, but she still manages to be an intense Messiah-figure. She once stopped a swarm of stampeding Ohmu by blowing a bug whistle and talking them down.
  • Yugi Mutou of Yu-Gi-Oh! fame. He might beat you in a children's card game, sure, but he'll never use violence—he hates it—and, for the most part, tries to talk villains out of their evil ways, even befriending them.
  • The main character of Angel Densetsu, Kitano Seiichiro, mostly qualifies for this. His fighting style consists of letting people hit him until they grow tired. Usually because he misunderstands the situation and believes himself to be deserving of the pain or, in one instance, *not* understanding the reason he's being attacked, and thus refusing to give up. Of course, he typically finishes off his opponents with a double palm strike, but he is actually attempting to push them out of the way, for one reason or another, not hit them. Only towards the end of the series does he intentionally hit enemies - once, IIRC - and even then only in order to prevent further violence and protect his friends.
  • The main character from Golden Boy is one of these as well - or at least is aspiring to be one. When he was attacked and resorted to punching his assailant out, he revealed that - amoung the other training he's done - he is a master black belt, but felt that he has failed all of his learning by resorting to violence, and that he still has more to learn.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Katsuichi from Usagi Yojimbo, lets a bunch of bandits get away with their provisions when he could easily have kicked their asses.
  • In the popular Swedish comic book Bamse, the titular character is "the strongest bear in the world", yet detests violence. When there was a switch of author and the new author let Bamse fight an octopus, there was an audience outrage so great that the authors had to issue a public apology. Bamse will, however, happily toss villains up trees to keep them out of the way... even pine trees. Ow.
  • To a lesser extent, Donatello from the original TMNT comics was described as a pacifist, but is clearly still badass.
  • The Blue Lantern Corps was specifically designed to be this. Rather than adding another group of power ring waving warriors, they are selected from the ranks of spiritual leaders and tasked with providing healing and moral support to others as opposed to blasting bad guys.


Film[edit | hide]

  • In Kill Bill, Hattori Hanzo is the greatest swordsmith in the world, and apparently an authority on swordsmanship as well. At some point in time, he vowed to never make another object that could kill, and retired to run a restaurant.
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is spat upon by Bob Ewell. Atticus looks the man in the eye as he wipes the spit off with a handkerchief, and it is apparent that the man is intimidated by Atticus's mere presence. Atticus leaves without laying a hand on the contemptible man, but it is clear who the stronger of the two is.
  • Mirana, the White Queen in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Her sister Iracebeth usurped her throne, stole her crown, and exiled her to a small corner of the realm while wreaking gleeful havoc upon the land and its residents. When the time for vengeance was at hand, Mirana acknowledged that the appropriate punishment would be death; instead, however, she banished Iracebeth to the Outlands and forbade any of the citizenry to ever speak a word to her for the rest of her life -- and the way she did it, you knew she meant business. Because this was her first act as restored monarch, it managed to be a Crowning Moment of Awesome and an Awesome Moment of Crowning all at once.
  • How to Train Your Dragon has Hiccup taming dragons as a result of him being friendly to them instead of defending himself against them. That alone takes more courage than just to kill dragons on sight.
  • Kevin Flynn in Tron: Legacy has nearly god-like abilities in the Grid, but he cannot use them against Clu because Clu was a program based off Flynn himself, and as a sort of dark mirror image of Kevin, he grows stronger when Kevin tries to fight him directly. Instead, Kevin restricts his powers to more subtle and nonviolent, but no less potent, applications, like healing damaged programs, reprogramming them to be helpful, or stopping a crashing elevator by overriding the physics it is based on. In one particularly memorable scene, he showcases his powers by winning a losing battle simply by showing up.
  • In keeping with his flair for style and panache, Star Wars character Lando Calrissian is said in the novels and most of the expanded universe to prefer his "brains as his heavy firepower." In the novel Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, Lando prefers to carry a stingbeam instead of a more lethal blaster. In the extended universe, his space yacht, Lady Luck is minimally armed but well equipped with sensors so that he can know what he's dealing with at a distance. Most of the direct fighting Lando has done has been in Episode V and VI.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. The only time (Backstory excluded) he picks up a gun is to Mercy Kill a mad dog - but look at his Crowning Moment of Awesome in the courtroom scene, about how every man should be equal in the eyes of the court, and say the man is not Badass.
    • There is a reason why he's AMC's #1 of top 100 good guys.
    • There's another reason too, but everyone knows it's not the important one.
  • Merlin, in some versions, fits this trope nicely; explaining to Arthur that the healing power of Excalibur's sheath is more important than the sword, for example.
    • In this case, it's arguable whether that exactly constitutes pacifism, as while Excalibur was a very nice sword, the sheath made the bearer invulnerable.
  • In an absolutely perfect Wham! Line from "Cathy's Ring", Emma Cheung is revealed to be this

"Nope" Emma said. "I just paid the caterer fifty bucks to dump the rest of the serum in the punch."

  • Tom Bombadil from The Lord of the Rings.
  • The major characters of the Foundation Series. All of whom used their intellect (some used mental powers in adittion) to overcome difficulties in their plans. Additional information would be spoiler.
  • Umasi from Truancy and Truancy: Origins. Possibly the most skilled fighter in the series, but only actually fights once in the first book (not counting the Training from Hell).
  • Dorfl the golem in the Discworld books commands this sort of respect, though mostly because of his status as a free golem. A normal golem doesn't harm people because they're magically prevented from doing so, while Dorfl doesn't because he's decided it's wrong. This leaves some people with the worrying feeling that, given enough provocation, he might reconsider. Also he has glowing red eyes.
    • Also, Brutha from Small Gods. The only person he hits in the book is Simony (it was a reactionary blow), yet he talks Om into doing his bidding.
  • Dallben the Enchanter from The Chronicles of Prydain. When Caer Dallben is attacked, he does not lift a finger to defend himself - though he makes it clear to his attacker that if he dies, the attacker's life is forfeit. The attacker taunts that Dallben actually cannot kill. But Dallben tricks him into looking into the Book of Three, where his death is foretold. The book fries him.
  • Valentine Michael Smith from Stranger in A Strange Land. A Blithe Spirit Raised by Martians, he brings to Earth their Starfish Language and Blue and Orange Morality culture and teaches them to other human beings. Throughout the story, he never once raises a hand in violence. He does, however, use his Martian-inspired Psychic Powers to make overly aggressive people and objects "discorporate".
  • Father James in Someone Elses War.

"I don't want you to kill anymore. Not for their sake, but for yours."


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Arthur Fonzarelli, who on so many occasions, ended fights without throwing a single punch... at his opponents.
  • Kyle of Kyle XY. All he did in fights until season 3 was spam Deadly Dodging over and over again till his attacker stopped. With his crazy ass reflexes, this actually worked.
  • The leader of the telepath colony in Babylon 5. The guy just stands there while a bigot punches his face in, and each time the bigot punches him in the face he stands up again. He manages to turn the act of standing up into a bassass act of defiance, all without any overt aggression.
    • Not only that, he actually told the guy to hit him, repeatedly, just to make his point.

Byron: "Was one the same as three? Was three the same as one and two?"
Thug: "Wha..."
Byron: "Was there any difference between one, two, and three?"
Thug: "I ... I ..."
Byron: "And what would you expect to get out of four, five, and six that you did not get out of one, two, and three? Your anger has nothing to do with me. What will satisfy your anger will never come from me or anyone else here. I'm afraid you must look for it elsewhere."

  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Savage Curtain", powerful Excalibian aliens capture Kirk and Spock to pit them in the ultimate battle between "Good" and "Evil", recreating from their memories what they perceive as representatives of "Good" (Abraham Lincoln for Kirk, Surak of Vulcan for Spock) and "Evil" (a rogues gallery of the greatest tyrants in history, from Genghis Khan to World War III strongman Colonel Green). As they prepare to fight to the death, Surak insists to Kirk that they must attempt to make peace with the "Evil" representatives. Kirk is ready to give the same speech he's given in half a dozen other episodes to native aliens of several planets about the imperative to rise up and bravely fight off evil—but for once, the "alien" points out to Kirk that just because they disagree about how to handle violence doesn't mean that Kirk's way is automatically morally superior. Surak (politely but firmly) informs Kirk that he is fully aware that if he heads to the "Evil" camp offering peace, they will almost certainly kill him. However, as a man of peace, Surak refuses to abandon his principles of non-violent pacifism, believing that this isn't a test of their ability to survive, but of their values and belief in peace. Surak leaves for the "Evil" camp, alone and unarmed. Even Kirk is moved to remark to Spock that "your Surak is a brave man", to which Spock replies "Men of peace usually are, Captain". Surak is indeed later killed by the "Evil" characters after offering them peace: the audience is left to decide on their own if Surak's actions were better than Kirk's.
    • As the Excalibians point out, Kirk is subsequently able to beat the "Evil" representatives, but by using the same tactics of deception and sneak attack as the "Evil" characters used against Kirk. Kirk's defense is that the Evil characters were fighting for personal gain and rewards of power, while Kirk himself was fighting to save his crew, as the Excalibians were holding the Enterprise captive. On the one hand, Kirk is essentially arguing in favor of the position that "the ends justify the means", which can lead into dark territory. On the other hand, the image of "Abraham Lincoln" (recreated from Kirk's memories and perception of Lincoln, and thus from Kirk's core values of "Good") points out that there was no way to win the American Civil War bloodlessly, and that there is never anything "good" about conflict, except by ending it as quickly as possible -- "Lincoln" felt that it was better to use any violent methods at hand to end a bloody conflict, than let the violence drag on interminably. Again, the audience is left to choose.
  • The Doctor in Doctor Who, who rarely takes up arms, almost never engages in physical violence (except during his third incarnation), and in many episodes has been seen defeating armies by simply talking to them. A recent example being the 2010 episode "The Eleventh Hour".
    • It must be stressed that The Doctor is not a pure pacifist, a mistake some of his enemies have made on occasion: he dislikes resorting to violence, and is such a genius that he can usually think of some way to defeat the enemy non-violently. He also frequently sabotages the weapons of evil aliens so that they blow up in their face when fired, i.e. "reversing the polarity" on an alien mothership's doomsday weapon so it blows up the mothership itself. Even in these circumstances, The Doctor will try to urge the invading aliens not to attack, and if they do and get destroyed, it could be argued that it made karmic sense for them to be destroyed by their own doomsday weapon. Still, there have been even rarer occasions when The Doctor actually shoots and kills an enemy, plain and simple, when he felt he had no other choice.
  • The titular MacGyver, to at least some extent:

Hines: For a man that doesn't like violence, you certainly know a lot about it.
MacGyver: Exactly...


Music[edit | hide]

  • Savatage wrote a couple of songs relating to Badass Pacifists.
    • "Chance" was written about Chiune Sugihara, "the Japanese Oskar Schindler". See the Real Life section below.
    • The Rock Opera Dead Winter Dead features an old man who plays cello in a bombed out town square in defiance of the The Yugoslav Wars raging around him. This old man is based on Vedran Smailovic, who did play the cello during the siege of Sarajevo and fortunately didn't die in the process like his fictional counterpart.

Religion[edit | hide]

  • Jesus. Leaving religion out of it, the man still managed to defy a lot of the authorities and deliver Breaking Speech after Breaking Speech to the existing Corrupt Church. See Jesus Was Way Cool for more information.
    • He said "I'm here to bring the sword not peace" according to the only source that speaks much of him... and he is fated to lead the four horsemen in the Apocalypse, that includes War.
      • The sword quote is an allegory about the way that one can cause friction when defying those around you and following Jesus. Allegory was Jesus' primary method of speaking. It's the same akin to when he tell people to die and be reborn. As for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, it depends on which interpretation of Revelations one uses. That book is pretty vague.
        • this however is difficult to reconcile to the pacifist view.
          • He did have a temper (as much impassioned rhetoric and a moment involving some money lenders shows) but his basic aim was to be this trope, and he succeeded, upon his death when he forgave those that killed him. Doesn't mean he succeeded in codifying this trope through out ALL his life.
            • Actually, if you go back to the original (untranslated) text, the wording makes it clear that Jesus never hit any of the humans (and it isn't clearly stated if any animals were hit, either) with the whip. It wasn't an attack, but the creation and use of the appropriate tool to remove herds of livestock from the temple. Modern readers just tend to assume that a whip is going to be used as a weapon.
    • Plus, ya know, the whole "willingly submitting to death by torture to save humanity's collective bacon" thing.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • From Dungeons & Dragons there's the prestige class known as the Apostle of Peace. In order to get there you have to take vows of poverty and nonviolence which basically stop you owning anything or hitting anything. However, once you are there, weapons just shatter when they hit you and you can make demons recoil by basically just saying "Bad boy! Go to your room!"
    • Then again, the class only prohibits lethal damage, pain effects, death spells, and the like, but there is no such prohibition against nonlethal damage, so it's a somewhat popular route among bare fisted monks, who can inflict nonlethal damage without penalty anyways, letting them reap full benefits while viciously bludgeoning people into the dust with those meat lumps at the ends of their wrists. Peacefully, of course.
    • It also does not prohibit dealing lethal damage to constructs or undead, the two creature types that both ignore nonlethal damage and are not technically alive.
  • Lorette Strider in Traveller. She was a great interstellar explorer and worked for understanding between the Terrans and the Vilani. However she was one of the first killed in the Interstellar Wars, because of course she was Too Good for This Sinful Earth.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Nameless One in Planescape: Torment can be one if the player wants. Sneak past non-intelligent enemies, and convince the intelligent ones to leave you alone or aid you.
  • The Nameless Mod for Deus Ex let you play without hurting a single life. In the original game you could only be a Technical Pacifist at best.
  • Iji can be played as one, as she never technically has to kill anyone herself.
  • The player has the option of making Naked Snake into one of these in Metal Gear Solid 3, by tranquilizing or sneaking past any adversaries instead of killing them (except for the various mini-bosses). The game even rewards this conduct by making what could otherwise be an incredibly difficult section of gameplay easier based on how much mercy you have shown; the fewer mooks you've killed, the easier it is.
  • In the original Super Smash Bros., you can pull a Badass Pacifist and gain extra points for that when fighting Pikachu, just avoid his attacks while keeping him at the building furthest to your right, the tall building, if you are good enough he does an agility jump and finds himself unable to jump again falling to his death...
    • In Melee, you can take any wall-jump capable character (Samus is the easiest) to the Fourside map against any level Mario. If you wall-jump between the buildings, Mario will always try to jump down and hit you, but he is pathetically easy to dodge and will always die if he misses.
  • In Persona 4, Rise Kujikawa. First off, the boss fight against her shadow follows Heads I Win, Tails You Lose. Then, not only is her subconscious apparently invincible, but when the next boss comes up, she immediately takes over as Mission Control. Not badass yet? Well consider that she can still preform the Mission Control job while not wearing the glasses everyone has, and she had just gotten her Persona, whereas everyone else can barely stand after getting theirs.
  • Dragon Age 2 has Grand Cleric Elthina, head of the Kirkwall Chantry. She's loving, forgiving, and she's the main reason that Kirkwall's mages and templars haven't murdered each other. At one point, she effortlessly defuses a riot, stops a fight between Orsino and Meredtih, the two most powerful people in the city, and basically tells them to go to their rooms. They obey.
  • Jun Kazama is portrayed as a Friend to All Living Things, but that doesn't mean she wouldn't be out of place in the UFC at all, as a master of various forms of karate, judo, jujitsu, wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts.
  • Harry Mason from Silent Hill: Shattered Memories never kills, attacks or otherwise injures the enemies chasing him. That doesn't stop him from being an unstoppable Determinator when it comes to finding his daughter.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Maytag from Flipside feeds her arm to a monster and befriends it in an act of badass pacifism. On the other hand, she's much less pacifistic when she's not involved with an unkillable monster after having her access to weapons stripped from her.
  • Nick from General Protection Fault, near the end of Surreptitious Machinations, has just been apprised of the true purpose of Velociraptor and is walking away from Trudy with Ki, who warned him. Trudy pulls an If I Can't Have You, putting a gun to his head. He turns around, stands perfectly still and says "You do what you feel you have to, Trudy." She backs down.
  • The Ultimate Diplomat from The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, who can make trained soldiers and ninjas sheepishly throw their weapons away with a single sentence chastisement.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Folder, of the Whateley Universe. Once, when his psychic powers came on, he accidentally destroyed his best friend's arm. Because of that, he will not attack anyone, and will not defend himself when attacked. The teachers at Whateley Academy can't get him to defend himself against violent bullies that he could rip apart if he chose to.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Clay in Xiaolin Showdown was the resident Big Guy martial artist. In contrast to what being a Texan Cowboy with Earth based Elemental Powers would have you think about his character, he was very centered, low key and perhaps the wisest of the Xiaolin Warriors. This was demonstrated early on by winning a Xialoin Showdown themed on catching a bird not by chasing after it, but by spreading seeds at his feet.
    • That seems perfectly natural, actually. Clay is just very grounded.
  • Lisa Simpson (before her Flanderization, that is) used words, speeches, blackmail, and trickery to deal with her problems. Lately, however, she's become a lot more willing to resort to violence.
  • First Aid from Transformers gets a spotlight episode highlighting his pacifism. He refuses to fight, but ends up being fine with climbing inside Metroplex and performing crucial repairs while the big guy is in the middle of combat.
  • Lifeline from G.I. Joe qualifies. As a medic, he refused to fight, and during one episode ordered those under his command to fire warning shots only. However, when a member of the team was poisoned, Lifeline undertook the task of finding and collecting venom from a giant cobra to make an anti-venom, even after taking a heavy dose of the cobra's poison himself.
  • The title character of I Am Weasel.
  • Fluttershy from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. She never resorts to violence, even when enraged, and is the resident Friend to All Living Things. And yet she is able to fearlessly pacify an angry Manticore and yell a dragon into submission, both of which the rest of the group were completely incapable of defeating on their own.
    • She made a cockatrice almost soil itself in fear after she gave it "The Stare". This was while the cockatrice was trying its hardest to turn Fluttershy into stone! (It had already turned Twilight into stone and was more than halfway done with Fluttershy!)
    • Her quiet and casual dismissal of Discord's temptations is an unusual example of this trope in as much as it is humble (to the point of being self-deprecating) rather than bold. In fact, despite being able to verbally break the rest of the main cast, Discord becomes so frustrated by Fluttershy's pacifism that he resorts to physically brainwashing her with a spell.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2," she participates in the battle with the changelings despite being absolutely terrified. During the battle, she doesn't raise a hoof against the attacking changelings, using misdirection to put them off and even tripping one up.
  • Mikey Blumberg from Recess
  • ThunderCats (2011) has the Drifter, a nonviolent Dance Battler who favors the Nonchalant Dodge and psyching out his opponents over actually touching them. The closest he comes to violence is parrying an attempted In the Back with a Brandishment Bluff, mock-attacking while relying on his opponent's own reflexive movements to trip him up. The "weapon" the Drifter uses is a harmless willow reed he usually keeps in his mouth.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Tank Man may not have accomplished his goal, but that photograph has yet to be matched in worldwide exposure of a single person's bravery amid insurmountable odds.
  • Mohandas Gandhi enduring a great deal of hardship while engineering his vision of nonviolent civil disobedience as a means to social change. His activism is considered a major factor in winning India's independence. Gandhi repeatedly insisted that pacifism is a braver action than violence, and even admitted that he found violence preferable to cowardice.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. The man was faced with violence and hate over and over again, never involved himself in either, and changed the world.
  • Nonviolent social movements such as the Indian Independence movement, certain portions of the American Civil Rights Movement (though the Black Panther Party and Malcolm X were hardly the only ones to advocate more violent tactics), and Otpor! in Serbia were essentially armies of Badass Pacifists.
  • Medics. Under international law, medics are not allowed to engage in combat or be deliberately attacked. They earn a disproportionate number of Medals of Honor.
    • However, they are allowed to act in self defense. Most militaries, including the US, tend to follow this particular set of laws very loosely, as Medics are frequent targets. Military Combat Medics are expected to be able to fight, and are a tacitly accepted exception to the rule.
    • Chaplains would be a more accurate case, as they are not even allowed to carry weapons in most militaries, and are thus assigned a dedicated bodyguard. (In US services, they also work as his assistant.) As far as I know, Chaplains are the only non-combatants who are actual service-members (I could be wrong though.)
  • The Finnish conscientious objector Arndt Pekurinen. Before WWII, he was repeatedly jailed (and at least once beaten by members of the Lapua movement) for refusing to serve in the army. An international petition on his behalf included the signatures of sixty British MPs, H. G. Wells and Albert friggin' Einstein. Thanks to his efforts, Finland received its first alternative to military service, but this option only covered times of peace. Pekurinen was imprisoned when the Winter War broke out and sent to the front at the beginning of the Continuation War. He refused to even wear a uniform, so he was executed without a trial.
  • Desmond Doss. The man was a conscientious objector and became a medic in World War II, serving in the Pacific Theatre (where medics were specifically targeted by the Japanese Army. He lowered 50-100 wounded men down a cliff face. The low estimate was supplied by Doss, the high estimate given by the Army. 16 days later, he stepped on a grenade to save 3 other soldiers, and survived.
    • That's not all - when he was being taken away on a stretcher, he saw another guy who was worse off, and ordered the stretcher-bearers to deal with that man instead. He crawled 300 metres to safety with another man, at one point taking a sniper bullet that had been aimed at that man's head.
    • A lot of the men that Desmond Doss saved were the very same men who harrassed him because of his religious beliefs. The soldier he took the sniper round for was a man who openly threatened to kill Desmond before being shipped out.
  • Actor Lew Ayres became a pacifist after his role in All Quiet on the Western Front. During WW 2, he enlisted as a conscientious objector. He took a lot of flak in Hollywood for it, but served with distinction in the Pacific Theatre and New Guinea. As noted above, it takes a special kind of courage to go unarmed onto a battlefield where medics were specifically targeted.
  • O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, once had a rather spirited disagreement with a Japanese Naval officer. The naval officer took a wooden sword and attempted to strike O-Sensei repeatedly, but O-Sensei simply dodged his attacks until the officer collapsed from exhaustion.
  • Paul Rusesabagina, whose story was chronicled in Hotel Rwanda. During the massacres in Rwanda in 1994, he managed to save nearly a thousand people who had been marked for death by sheltering them in his hotel and transporting them to safety, and standing up to corrupt military officials and screaming, machete-wielding mobs, all without raising a single firearm.
  • One of the people involved in smuggling Jews out of Germany during the Holocast was Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who served as a consul in Lithuania. He issued transit visas to thousands of Jews to assist them in reaching safety to Japan, risking his career, his life, and that of his family. It's disputed how many Jews he saved; the accepted range seems to be between 6,000 and 10,000 (regardless, all of these visas had to be written by hand). When asked why he did it, he said the following:

"You want to know about my motivation, don't you? Well. It is the kind of sentiments anyone would have when he actually sees refugees face to face, begging with tears in their eyes. He just cannot help but sympathize with them. Among the refugees were the elderly and women. They were so desperate that they went so far as to kiss my shoes, Yes, I actually witnessed such scenes with my own eyes. Also, I felt at that time, that the Japanese government did not have any uniform opinion in Tokyo. Some Japanese military leaders were just scared because of the pressure from the Nazis; while other officials in the Home Ministry were simply ambivalent. People in Tokyo were not united. I felt it silly to deal with them. So, I made up my mind not to wait for their reply. I knew that somebody would surely complain about me in the future. But, I myself thought this would be the right thing to do. There is nothing wrong in saving many people's lives....The spirit of humanity, philanthropy...neighborly friendship...with this spirit, I ventured to do what I did, confronting this most difficult situation—-and because of this reason, I went ahead with redoubled courage."

  • The guy doing all this surely qualifies.
  • During WW 2, many members of the Religious Society of Friends, more commonly known as the Quakers, attempted to reconcile their church's strict pacifism with their desire to see the fall of fascism. To this end, they often volunteered to serve as medics, going unarmed onto battlefields to save lives, rather than end them. Dangerous enough in a normal conflict, but in the Pacific Theatre and South-East Asian Theatres, where the Japanese had a habit of targeting non-combat personnel such as medics, this was borderline suicidal. But they did it anyway. Because they were Badass.
  • The 2009 Iranian election fraud protesters, who kept marching on the streets, yelling things that would've been imaginable just a few weeks before and basically giving a huge middle finger to the oppressive government despite being repeatedly shot at, run over, beaten up, attacked with axes, etcetera with barely any physical retaliation. They did torch a bus and beat up several riot cops and Basij militias, but there's only so much punishment someone can take before flipping out at their assailants.
  • Non-directed organ donors. There are people out there who willing donate a kidney or a liver to a complete stranger, simply because that stranger would die (or live a life on dialysis) without the organ. These people get nothing in return, risk their health and even life (admittedly it's a small risk, 3% or 0.2% chance of death depending on organ) and endure physical pain, and it's not uncommon that they have to do all this while dealing with the protests of friends and family trying to talk them out of it. Not only don't they get paid for this, in the US they actually *lose* money due to having to be out of work to recover. Those that do donate can start a chain of donations where a kidney recipient has a non-compatible loved one that agrees to donate their kidney to another in exchange for their loved one receiving one. The longest chain of organ donations ever resulted in 11 people receiving kidneys because one person chose to help a complete stranger he never even met. Now that is Badass!
    • Actually this individual has been quite vocal in his desire not to be called Badass. To be exact he has said he doesn't like to be called a hero because it makes it sound as if organ donation is something that only a hero could do. He believes others calling it heroic distracts them from the fact that it is something that anyone, no matter how un-badass they are, can, and should, consider doing.
  • Fred Rogers. Nicest man who ever lived. Obtained a $20 million grant with a 6-minute speech. Saved the VCR from being litigated out of existence. Spent 30 years inspiring children with his show.
    • He's not exactly badass for his pacifism—he's more of a badass for his compassion and kindly spirit. His sincere consideration for children and their education and emotional well-being has saved so many lives, if personal observation counts for anything. It's not that often that a television figure inspires hope and comfort in even the most cynical of us...
  • Raoul Wallenberg, most famous for jumping on top of a train to Auschwitz to hand out forged Swedish citizenship papers, while being fired on at such close range that it's believed that the only way it was possible for him to survive is that, to a one, the guards couldn't bring themselves to shoot him. Just to be clear, these were Nazi camp guards, and they didn't have the heart to shoot him.
  • Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. While best known as the epitome of Crazy Awesome, he once dispersed an anti-Chinese riot by standing between the rioters and the Chinese, bowing his head, and reciting the Lord's Prayer until the rioters dispersed.
  • A story found on the Actually Pretty Funny page of this very wiki about how a friendly black preacher changed the world view of a Ku Klux Klan leader.
  • Elizabeth Fry, a Quaker who worked toward prison reforms in England. Early on, she heard about the terrible conditions in women's prisons for women and their children (who at that point in history usually stayed with their mothers in prison) and went there with a stacks of blankets and clothes. The guard tried to stop her from going in, saying that he would not even risk his own life in there with the rowdy prisoners. The story goes (for nobody wrote it down while it was happening, so "the story goes" is as best as we can do) that Elizabeth looked the guard straight in the eye and said "I am going in - and alone. I thank you for your kind intentions, but you are not to come with me." That, my friend, takes guts.
  • The Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square. They faced assault by riot police and gangs of thugs armed with machetes, molotovs, and even firearms. They responded by erecting barriers, establishing their own community-organized security to keep out government infiltrators who would initiate violence, and repeatedly calling for nonviolence. There were a few situations where they would strike back at isolated attackers or throw rocks to keep their oppressors from getting to close, but for the most part they maintained their dedication to peaceful protest.
    • And in doing so, they overthrew Hosni Mubarak, who lead one of the most firmly entrenched military dictatorships in the world, one that'd even received backing from countries like the US and they inspired similar acts of protest such as the protests in Libya. Though that quickly descended into a civil war...
  • The citizens of the Baltic states during the Singing Revolution, who, during the peak of their uprising against Communist rule, formed a huge human chain, 600 km (373 mi) long through the capital city of Estonia, to Latvia, to Lithuania. When the Soviet military cracked down on them, they linked arms and sang in the face of tanks and armour-piercing bullets that cut them down. Yes, they brought down their oppressive dictatorship through singing.
  • The Carnation revolution that toppled the military dictatorship of Portugal. Okay, it was a Military coup, but it succeeded because it had massive public support, and because the military forces loyal to the government flat out refused not only to fire on civilians, but refused to fire on their former comrades in arms in the revolutionary faction (The GNR Republican guard had no such qualms and killed 8 civilians). The revolution is so named because when troops marched into crowds with orders to disperse them, the crowed put carnations in the troop’s gun barrels, and the soldiers let them. The revolution is probably best summed up by these extract from the timeline on Wikipedia

1045 am: In Arsenal Street, Brigadier Junqueira dos Reis gives order to fire on Lieutenant Alfredo Assunção, who was sent by Salgueiro Maia to negotiate with the forces of Junqueira dos Reis. [The troops refuse to fire] Having again been disobeyed by his troops, he ends up punching Lieutenant Assunção three times.

  • Numbers 8, 5, and 1 (at least; context is not known for many of the images) from Cracked.com's The 8 Most Ridiculously Badass Protestors Ever Photographed.
  • As said in other tropes, Chuck Norris in real life avoids getting into fights. One time a local tough guy tried to bully Norris into giving him his seat at a bar and Norris quietly complied. Later, tough guy realized who he was talking to and asked Norris why he didn't kick his ass. Norris replied "What would it prove?"
  • The American Plains Indians (Lakota, Sioux, etc) had a practice called counting coup in which warriors would go unarmed into a battle and touch an enemy warrior with a coup stick. Although they were not pacifists all the time, they did this purely to be badass, thinking it more honorable than violence.
    • Nothing to do with honor; it was their way of saying "You're so outclassed it's not worth the effort of actually killing you."
  • Wir sind EIN volk!
  • Petr (or Pyotr) Andreevich Pavlensky (Russian: Пётр Андреевич Павленский; born on March 8, 1984) is a Russian performance artist. He is standing with a gas can in front of what are quite literally the gates to hell, while they are on fire. While he is waiting to be arrested by police. That raises the question: is this guy serious? Answer: when you sew your own mouth shut, relieve yourself of an earlobe, roll around in barbed wire, and nail your own scrotum to Red Square, requesting that your charge of hooliganism be upgraded to terrorism, you are serious. It looks like he is quite serious. Which raises another question: was any of this actually necessary? Answer: you can form an opinion on your own.
  • Daryl Davis befriended members of the Ku Klux Klan, a known White supremacist group. Davis, who's black musician and devoted Christian, risked his life, yet didn't have to use anything but his words. Some of the KKK members, even denounced the group thanks to Davis.