No Badass to His Valet

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Glare all you want, Bruce; Alfred's not impressed and you both know it.

"You tell me where my suit is, woman!! We are talking about the greater good!"

"'Greater good?!' I am your WIFE! I am the greatest GOOD you're EVER gonna get!"
Frozone and wife, The Incredibles

Archetypical tough guys and anti-heroes often give off an aura of authority and attitude around them, a countenance that gives even the most courageous individuals feelings of doubt and fear; a warning to all to treat the character with caution. As a result, these characters are apt to intimidate anyone they meet into doing what they want, whether it be doing their bidding or merely just leaving them alone.

Sister Trope to No Hero to His Valet.

Examples of No Badass to His Valet include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Yu Yu Hakusho: Keiko Yukimura is one of the few people who knows Yusuke Urameshi and isn't scared of him, and she doesn't even allow his attitude to affect her. As a result, she often acts as his conscience, and isn't afraid to knock him on his ass if he crosses the line.
    • Perhaps the very reason for the entire series. Yusuke's Yokai ancestor Raizen was successfully seduced during his visit to Earth centuries ago by a sexy witch doctor who had absolutely no fear of him whatsoever. She later dies giving birth to their child. When he returned to Makai, sans offspring (who remains on Earth and continues the Urameshi bloodline) his heartfelt memory of her becames his Morality Chain as Love Redeems him into a Noble Demon who refrains from eating humans (despite that being the only food his specific species can consume) , and inspires him to establish a Proud Warrior Race kingdom of fighting monks who also refrain from eating humans as well and who seek to spread that philosophy across the demon world.
    • Also from Yu Yu Hakusho, Kurama is pretty much the only one who can make fun of Hiei with no fear of vengeance whatsoever. Both because he knows well what Kurama can do, and because he is the closest thing Hiei has to a best friend.
  • DNA² has a romantic example, with Ami immune to the Mega Playboy's Pornomancer powers because she was Junta's Victorious Childhood Friend for the longest time before they ever activated.
  • In Bleach, Yachiru Kusajishi was not afraid of Kenpachi Zaraki even when she was a baby and he was covered in blood.
  • Similar to the Bleach example, from Fullmetal Alchemist we have Mei, who has absolutely no fear of Scar.
  • In Durarara!!, the typical reaction most people have to encountering Shizuo Heiwajima is to either run away in terror or to pick a fight with him in order to (fail to) prove their badassery. Tom Tanaka's response, on the other hand, was to go, "Yeah, those guys are dicks. Want to hang out?"
  • Dragon Ball: Despite being a Muggle and The Chick, Bulma is perfectly willing to push around anyone; even Vegeta. To the point of getting him into wearing a pink shirt. Naturally, they wind up hooking up and having two children together.
  • At the beginning of the Conviction Arc in Berserk, when Guts returns to Godo's house only to find his insane lover Casca gone and goes into a rage because of it, the only one not to be intimidated by Guts is Godo, and is therefore able to deliver an effective hands-down-barrier-what-the-hell-hero lecture to him.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The ultimate comic book example is Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's faithful retainer, friend, and one-man support system. As the man who practically raised Bruce Wayne, he is absolutely immune to Batman's intimidation, one of the few who can unflinchingly confront him to his face if need be, and is the first to deflate him when he gets too obsessive. Alfred is one of the few people Batman has complete faith in, and, in fact, he doesn't even try (or even desire to try) to control Alfred (beyond the whole butler/employer relationship they have, which is... complicated) the way he keeps absolute control over the rest of his world. Of course, Alfred Pennyworth is afraid of no one. Being a former SAS commando can do that to you.
    • He is the only Batfamily member with the balls to confront Batman about his poor treatment of family members. His manipulation of Stephanie Brown, his abandonment of Cassandra Cain, his terrible fathering of Damian. Three of the most badass heroes there are, who rarely even stand up for themselves to Bruce. Alfred does it regularly.
    • Dick Grayson is utterly unafraid of Batman, as well. This is pointed out in at least a couple of issues.
    • At least since coming Back From the Dead, so is Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Which makes sense; Batman wields fear as a weapon but the Green Lanterns are all about defying it.
  • Evie Hammond eventually assumes this role for V in V for Vendetta.

Film[edit | hide]

  • A lot of Bond's former lovers. Paris Carver from Tomorrow Never Dies comes to mind first.
  • Officer Anne Lewis plays this role for her cyborg partner in the first two RoboCop films.
  • Pepper Potts vs. Tony Stark from Iron Man. Not only is she unimpressed by his wealth and power (including his shiny iron suit), she's also immune to his Pornomancer powers.
  • The Sting. Floyd has this kind of relationship to his boss Doyle Lonnegan. He's unafraid to disagree with Lonnegan, and even mildly argue with him, even though he knows that Lonnegan is not reluctant to have people killed.
  • At the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope, an Imperial officer appears in one scene, where he argues with Darth Vader about taking Princess Leia prisoner and Vader listens to him.
    • The Expanded Universe gave this guy a name and elaborated on his Backstory, confirming that he was one of the few Imperial officers to ever question Vader while still being loyal, and had earned Vader's respect for this.
    • And let's not forget Grand Moff Tarkin, who at one point actually commands Darth Vader to stop force-strangling an insubordinate Imperial Officer, and Vader promptly obeys.
      • Makes sense if you take the first film at face value; Vader got a power upgrade in the sequels, but in the first film, he was more of The Dragon to the Imperial higher-ups.
  • Whistler is like this to Blade, though he's quite the Badass himself.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Ginny Weasley shows signs of this in Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix. Everyone else has no idea how to deal with Harry's angry, angsty rampages. Ginny coolly and calmly defuses him.
  • Discworld: Reformed Gentleman Thief Moist Von Lipwig has his Love Interest Adora Bell "Spike" Dearhart. Part of the reason he was attracted to her in the first place was because she wasn't fooled by him. In his second book, he's taken up needlessly dangerous pastimes to make up for the normality of his life, while she's away on an archaeological dig; Lord Veternari notes that it seems he doesn't need to do that when his fiancée is around.
    • Having grown up as Death's adopted daughter, Ysabell was utterly unintimidated by his voice. His granddaughter, Susan, acts much the same way, as does his actual valet Albert. Albert is a bit of an odd case, though, in that he is terrified of death; he just doesn't find the anthropomorphic personification of it all that worrisome.
      • In fairness to Albert, he's been living on about three months of life for the past 2,000 years and is now down to about ten seconds.
      • According to his own words, Albert isn't afraid of death itself but the fact that once he dies all the supernatural contracts he made in life will be due for payment, and he will suffer a nameless fate in the Dungeon Dimensions.
  • Spenser, Robert B. Parker's Hardboiled Detective, is intimidating to just about everyone he meets. But not Rachel Wallace, an author he worked with at one point. Nor his constant companion Susan Silverman. Of course, Spenser doesn't intimidate Hawk, either, but that's because Hawk is just as much of a badass as Spenser.
  • In the Star Trek Expanded Universe, Federation President Bacco and Bajoran First Minister Asarem both have secretaries who embody this trope, as did Worf during his stretch as Klingon ambassador.
  • In 1632, nearly everyone is careful of Emperor Gustav's well-known volatile temper (his valets carry around extra chairs when he's campaigning, because they know he likes to smash chairs when he's angry) and his touchy nature when it comes to insults. Julie Simms isn't intimidated at all, and even once called him a fathead to his face. And got away with it.
  • In the Conan the Barbarian story The Phoenix on the Sword, there is a scene where King Conan of Aquilonia and General Prospero are discussing the state of the kingdom. Prospero speaks to Conan as he would an old friend rather than his king, and the story even mentions the "easy familiarity" that exists between Conan and Prospero.
  • Eve and Roarke are both intimidating people in the In Death series. Eve's used to bullying her way around, and Roarke is a Badass who owns everything. The only people to consistently and calmly deflect their spite whenever they rage or angst are Mira and Summerset, their respective parental figures.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Merlin is most definitely this to Prince Arthur in Merlin. He is almost completely immune to Arthur's royal demands and complaining, largely due to the fact that Arthur cannot intimidate him. He's also totally willing to knock the royal prat down a knotch or twenty whenever he becomes too unbearable, punishment be damned.
    • There's an element of this with Gaius and Uther as well. He's one of the few who isn't afraid to call Uther out from time to time.
  • Zoe is like this with Mal in Firefly and Serenity. Having fought alongside him in the Unification War and Serenity Valley will do that to you.
    • Simon doesn't seem all that intimidated by Mal either. Nor does Book.
    • Interestingly, few of the main characters in Firefly seem to be intimidated by Jayne; that seems to be more for outsiders. To those who spend a lot of time around him, Jayne is a bit of a doofus. He just happens to be the kind of doofus who is very good at killing people.
  • House: Wilson is often impressed by House, but never intimidated by him.
  • Dr. Cox and Dr. Kelso are like this to each other in Scrubs. While, at first, Dr. Kelso often tries to get rid of Cox or somehow get him out of his hair, he eventually says that he needs someone like Cox, a constant opposing force who will not back down, to make sure that the best decisions are made for the hospital.
  • On SeaQuest DSV, there was a fun scene where the Regulator, an apparent tough guy who has everybody either impressed and/or a little scared, has his bubble pierced when Captain Bridger, who knows him, says, "Hello, Leslie." The guy had faked his own death, but Bridger knew he was alive because at one point, he'd happened to run into him in a grocery store.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Fire Emblem Tellius: Ike is like this to anyone he meets, though once they join the player party, people learn he really isn't that mean.

Sothe: Stop scowling at me like that. You're making me uncomfortable.
Nasir: It's not just you. Ike always looks like that. Don't mind him, just keep talking.

Webcomics[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • This relationship develops between Belle and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. Out of a whole castle full of servants who alternately cringe in terror of his rages, and try to bring him up like he's still a child, Belle is the only one who talks to him like an equal.