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  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Sokka is the only non-bender of the main group (despite being related to Katara, who CAN bend), until Suki joins in. Despite his near-uselessness in battle and lack of spirituality (and role as the comic relief), as the show progresses, we see his engineering and strategy prowess improve to the point where he is openly labeled as the "idea guy" of the team. More recently, his inferiority in combat spurred him to seek out training in that area, plus he acquired a unique sword, making him even more badass despite the fact that he is still inherently normal.
      • Also, he took down Combustion Man, a Determinator so mean that the Bender part of the team could barely slow him down.
      • Two Words:"Airship Slice!"
    • "How are you going to fight without your bending?" POW! "I seem to manage!"
    • Early in the second season, we are also introduced to Mai, an elegant shuriken specialist, and Ty Lee, a Kyusho Jitsu user and acrobat/gymnast, both non-bending Dark Action Girls. Both have been able to take down elite fighters and even the main characters with little difficulty numerous times.
    • There is also the Lady of War Suki, who kicks all kinds of ass even without weapons or bending powers. She gets Charles Atlas Superpower, though.
    • Of the Order of the White Lotus members who we see fight, only one is a non-bender, Piandao, who, not so incidentally, is the one who gave Sokka his training, and more than holds his own. To reiterate: a foot soldier in the Fire Nation achieved the rank of swordsmaster, then retired--and successfully resisted all attempts to unretire him. A force of 100 soldiers was sent after him. He sent them all back.
    • When you think about it, pretty much any non-bender who wants to be taken seriously in this world needs to be this trope, because in a world where people can shoot fire out of their freaking hands, it must take a lot to get noticed.
      • Considering how tiny the Southern Water Tribe is, and that they lack waterbenders, it's quite something that Hakoda's group survived for over two years to mount an attack with Team Avatar on the Day of Black Sun. The Chief seems to be a very smart and respected Badass Normal himself.
    • A curious example is the Blue Spirit, who is able to bypass and defeat dozens of Fire Nation troops without using any bending at all. The curious part is that the Blue Spirit is actually Zuko, who simply isn't using any firebending while in the Blue Spirit disguise to hide his identity.
    • There's even Badass Normal mooks in the form of the Yu Yan Archers. These guys actually managed to capture Aang by themselves, with nothing but their own impressive archery skills.
    • Speaking of archers, Longshot is pretty Badass Normal. Actually, all of the Freedom Fighters can be considered this.
      • Especially Jet. Yes, he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but he's incredibly skilled with his Twin Tiger hookswords, to the point where he can defeat an (admittedly in-training) Avatar. If Katara hadn't gotten involved, Jet would have won. He's smart, he's cocky, he can hold his own against powerful benders, and he gives us one of the best fight scenes in the entire show (a personal favorite of Mike and Bryan's) when he has a hooksword vs. double broadsword battle with an incognito Zuko. We still don't know who would have won if the Dai Li hadn't interfered.
  • From The Legend of Korra, we've got an entire organization, the Equalists, who are attempting to eradicate bending completely. They are led by the Big Bad Amon, a Magnificent Bastard through and through, who has no problem getting his own hands dirty. He's faced several benders already and always gives them a chance to fight back before he takes away their bending. None of them have succeeded in fighting him off.
    • There's also The Lieutenant, who at one point takes on both Mako and Bolin and utterly curb stomps them.
    • As said above, Amon's henchmen are frighteningly competent. They're basically an entire organization of Elite Mooks. Using clever strategies and strength in numbers to overwhelm their bending opponents, but even without those two things, just a few of them can put up a hell of a fight against powerful benders.
    • As of episode 7, Asami Sato has been confirmed as one.
  • Get Ed has Ol' Skool, the old Mentor of the main group of heroes. Every other character has high tech Hoverboards, Jetboots, Jetpacks, etc. and top-of-the-line protective gear to use. Ol' Skool has a conventional skateboard & a simple construction helmet. With just these things he is able to outrace pretty much anything in the series without getting hurt or breaking a sweat.
  • Monster Allergy has Elena Potato even though she only has the Sight Dom.
  • Winx Club: whether or not the Specialists fit under this trope seems to depend on the plot.
  • WITCH: Caleb never has any more powers than your basic fit young man, yet he somehow is just as effective in a fight as the main girls who, kinda, control the essence of the five elements! By the end of the second series, even Will's pet dormouse has more powers than him, and he still manages to hold his own in a fight. If that isn't badass, nothing is.
    • Hell, Caleb is sometimes more effective than all of the main girls put together. That's Badass.
    • In the first season, Will more or less is a Badass Normal, as her powers hold no use in battle, unlike in the comic. So the writers have to improvise, giving her what nonmagical actions she needs to fight the bad guys. However, in the second season, once she gains the power of Quintessence, she no longer fits this trope.
  • Robin from Teen Titans, though it frequently escalates into the Charles Atlas Superpower level. Slade is a villainous Badass Normal, except in the fourth season where an intergalactic demon resurrects him and grants him fire powers, removing the "normal" - until his powers are removed again, and he returns to Badass Normal status by killing a flaming-axe-wielding guardian of the underworld with nothing but tactics and martial arts.
  • Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In this universe, he predates the Green Goblin, and while his weapons came from Norman Osborn there was no strength-enhancing formula involved. Unfortunately for him, when the Green Goblin does turn up, he's at least as strong as the comics version.
  • Justice League Unlimited made sure the normals were all badass in their own way. Though it was a sore spot for Wildcat, believing that just with no superpowers besides being an excellent fighter made him obsolete in the League. He even said that while Black Canary was mostly a Badass Normal fighter, the fact she had the canary cry sonic scream made her much more useful to the team.
    • Another notable one is The Question, who is often nearly as many mental steps ahead of everyone as Batman. He's a consistently paranoid conspiracy theorist, but he lives in a world where conspiracies are a lot more likely.
      • Note that all his theories that were actually put to the test on-screen turned out to be right. He's 3-for-3 so far, who's to say he's wrong about the rest?
      • He's also right that Baskin Robbins had a secret 32nd flavor. The significance of this isn't quite clear.
        • ...Yet.
    • In the episode "Tabula Rasa" of Justice League, the Justice League battle Amazo, an android with the ability to copy any superpower. He defeats the Justice League one by one. Possessing Superman's powers, he turns to Batman to scan him:

 Amazo: You don't have any special powers.

Batman: I have this. (pulls out kryptonite) It's a package deal. You get our strengths; you get our weaknesses.

    • In the episode "Patriot Act", a tribute to the Seven Soldiers of Victory, and Badass Normals in general.
    • "Panic in the Sky", too, where not only do three of the League's badass normals take out at least five clones, including a super-sized Apache Chief wannabe, but the Watchtower staff fights a T. rex. The jury's out on whether or not they survived that, but the mere fact that they tried is badass incarnate.
    • "Taskforce X" uses this trope to help make the Villain Protagonists of the episode more sympathetic. Even if they are evil, watching four normal people (with a fifth as mission control) infiltrate the Watchtower and make off with a giant magical suit of armour is still sort of cool.
      • Speaking of which: Rick Flag, asskicker extraordinaire. Of the four members, three carry weapons. Flag does not. When questioned about this, the simple explanation is "he doesn't need a weapon." He more than lives up to that hype.
    • Special mention needs to be given to the head of Cadmus Amanda Waller. Not only is she able to intimidate Batman, she has absolutely no combat training, and yet still goes up against Brainthor along with the original seven with nothing but a handgun, even pulling a brief Back-to-Back Badasses with Green Lantern.
  • Band manager Charles Foster Ofdensen of Metalocalypse, who can kick the ass of a man twice his size and be thrown from a top story window and land like a cat. He also runs the seventh largest financial empire in the world.
  • Transformers Animated: Captain Fanzone gets an honorable mention here for managing to hold off one of Meltdown's mutated monstrosities by himself (while the other one gave the robot ninja trouble). Despite his trouble with technology and usual Butt Monkey status, he's still a brave and competent police chief who doesn't let his early prejudice against the Autobots get in the way of upholding the law.
      • And on the organophobic Cybertron he's perceived as a walking bioterrorism weapon, something he puts to good use to interrogate a robot four times his size.
    • Don't forget Sari. Sure she's got her all spark key, but theres been several times when it doesn't work and she finds a way to beat the bad guys anyway. Point in case: survival of the fitest - uses the moves Prowl taught her to distract meltdown, Nature calls - manages to escape from and then save zombyfied Prowl and Bumblebee, Megatron Rising - tricks Blackarachnia into walking in circles, Sari no ones home - fights off the constructicons (admittedly she did use her key several times here, but moments like rollerblading through those automaton arms at full speed still count!)
  • Mighty Max and his allies Virgil and Norman all count, as they often had to defeat super-powered villains while possessing no actual powers of their own aside from Norman's great strength and swordfighting skills.
    • Although Norman is a LOT older than he looks and is immortal (but not invulnerable), so whether or not he qualifies as normal is debatable.
  • Phineas and Ferb has Perry the Platypus, a semi-aquatic mammal of action who regularly defeats Dr. Doofenshmirtz. However, there’s also a normal Platypus from the zoo who also defeats Dr. Doofenshmirtz desoite not being trained for combat.
  • Jackie from Jackie Chan Adventures. He pulls off many stunts including the classic Improvised Weapons and a great deal of other things that would be impossible if he weren't a cartoon character. He also doesn't use the magic on the show as much as other characters, using his own skills instead. Lampshaded by Ratso when Chan ran back up a train as it was falling off a cliff.

 "No way he's human."

    • Jade as well, in an Offscreen Moment of Awesome Jade was able to beat up a black belt that was at least 4 times her height and musclemass.
      • She also is often able to solve complex problems and schemes that are able to defeat superpowered beings.
    • Uncle, Tohru, Viper, El Toro, Valmont and Chi Fu also have moments of badass normalcy.
      • No love for Captain Black? He gets bonus points for being the show's resident skeptic.
  • In the world of She Ra Princess of Power, almost every female character is either a super powerful Action Girl or Magical Girl, and even the Distressed Dude Archer male was a pretty good illusionist. Even then, the sniper Netossa and the space pirate Sea Hawk manage to hold their own when they're in battle despite their lack of magic powers.
  • Jake's Dad in American Dragon Jake Long is this. Jake is a dragon, Rose is a born dragon hunter Action Girl, Spud is the embodiment of a Genius Ditz, and Trixie just has street smarts. Jake's Dad is a Cougar Scout, has extreme parent insticts, and that's it. However, he unknowingly defeated the Jersey Devil with a trombone and a can of bear spray. He also held his own against Badass dragon blood drinking vampires for over four minutes with his bare hands in the episode, "Bite Father, Bite Son". During the final episode, he used a vase to kill an army of demons. Pretty good, considering he did it without knowing his son was a dragon (except the last one of course and even then he had just learned). All the above had powers, he didn't.
    • Arguably, the Huntsclan considered themselves normals.
  • Elisa Maza in Gargoyles. She can't fly, break rocks with her fingers, zap things, or even have access to high technology like practically everybody else, but all she needs is her handgun, a running start, and an attitude to help take down characters with far more advantages than she has. Sure, she loses quite often, but then so does pretty much everybody.
    • Probably the best example is King Arthur Pendragon, who manages to defeat Macbeth (who is immortal and virtually unkillable) with his powered suit in outright combat one on one, something Goliath was never able to do despite his physical advantage. Note that he did this without Excalibur, just an ordinary mace.
  • In Wild CATS Grifter is the only member of the team who is full-blooded human, while the rest have superpowers due to being descendants or full-blooded members of an ancient alien super-race. His only powers are trickiness, good aim, and general badassery.
    • In the original comic, Grifter was a member of Team 7, and all of Team 7 were experimental super soldiers with super abilities. The powers seemed to not be used much later, except for Backlash.
  • Darkwing Duck, once he put his ego aside. NegaDuck all the time. Except on the rare occasions when he has superpowers.
    • One episode made fun of this trope. It featured Darkwing going to a planet where everybody had superpowers except for one normal guy. As he is one himself, he is told to take on the role of the normal guy. Normal Guy eventually shows up and builds a machine to steal everyone else's superpowers.
  • Silver Sable and Black Cat are both examples of this from The Spectacular Spider-Man. Tombstone is possibly an example- he is never explicitly stated to have superstrength, but he is shown to be able to trounce Spider-man effortlessly when taking the latter by surprise, and be a match for him even a straight fight. Hammerhead is a partial example- he mostly relies on his strength and skill at brawling, but uses his steel-plated skull to absorb any punishment a normal man couldn't take. The Enforcers also qualify in their first appearance, though later they get upgraded with Powered Armor. Kraven was one, but has now acquired superpowers.
  • While Walter "Doc" Hartford of Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers has a Series 5 implant, his "superpowers" merely enhance his already genius-level hacking ability, and are useless in combat. When the fight starts, he holds his own with a standard issue blaster, a sword, his fists, and copious wit. Not bad for a dude who is fighting alongside a Cyborg with an Arm Cannon, a genetically-engineered Super Soldier, and an Action Girl with Jean Grey-type Psionic abilities.
    • Red Witch's fanfic "Tangled Web" uses this to great effect. In the fight against the Black Rose, The Dragon factored in bionics, psionics, and biodefenses...only to have the hacker hand him his ass.
    • There's also Ambadassador Zozo. He's from a race of Hobbits, stands about a meter high, very cheerful, looks utterly harmless...but he's wicked fast, a great shot, and very sneaky.
  • Danny Phantom. In a World where ghosts roam every corner, nearly all the ghost hunters shown are incompetent... except Valerie Gray who stands out among them as a normal gal packing (anti-ghost) heat. Sam Manson gets a few of these moments throughout the series as well, but not Tucker. He's more of the Action Survivor.
    • Danny's mom probably qualifies. And she does it without breaking her matronly demeanor! Jazz has also proven curiously capable at piloting her dad's powered armor, so it must run in the estrogen.
    • Even Jack has his moments. He defeated Plasmius to save his family in "Million Dollar Ghost" and saved Danny from Skulker in "Girls' Night Out".
  • Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond. Yes, he has the suit. But he has taken on explicitly superpowered villains without it, including psychics, shapeshifters, aliens, and mix-and-match creatures, even when he is at a distinct disadvantage. And won. He, armed only with one of his mentor's utility belts, also went up against his own suit when it was taken over by a rogue AI. He won that, too.
    • Hell, it's been stated in series that Terry is a better Batman than Bruce.
  • Special Agent Fowler from Transformers Prime, who can last a few minutes on Soundwave in a fight with just a helicopter, and who survived being tortured repeatedly with an energon-powered transformer-sized cattle prod and still had enough badass in him to mouth off to his torturer.
  • In Freakazoid, Cosgrove is so Badass Normal that all he has to do is point and say "Hey, cut it out!" to stop someone, from a burglar to a pterodactyl to the Warner siblings[1].
  • Lt. Dwayne Hunter in Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot proves his military skills in Double-Time part one, rigging up a pair of Arm Cannons powered by an Iron Man style chest piece in an abandoned mechanics shop to take out four Seek and Destroy scouts from Legion Ex Machina after the Big Guy suit has been heavily damaged.
  • Xiaolin Showdown brings us self proclaimed boy genius Jack Spicer, who is generally too incompetent to be holding a lot of the show's MacGuffins, too lazy to learn physics bending Xiaolin arts or Heylin sorcery, and about as fit as you'd expect from someone who travels exclusively by helicopter backpack. Now -WHO- actually ends up taking over the world in the alternate future?.
  • Kim Possible. Especially during So The Drama and any time she fights someone with superpowers, such as her frequent run-ins with Shego, her generally mopping the floor with Team Go in Stop Team Go, and even going toe to toe with an Eldritch Abomination for a few seconds before he kicked his magic in on her.
  • Megan from the original My Little Pony is just a normal preteen girl, surrounded by magical talking Ponies and other fantasy creatures. She's surprisingly resilient, especially in the Pilot where she fights a giant dragon with her bare-hands. Earth Ponies also typically count.
  • Six. In a world of Nanite-created EVO monsters he's just an ordinary human, but with his ninja skills and Magna-Blades he's able to hold his own against them all, even briefly fending off the Big Bad, Van Kleiss, along with his Pack.
    • This as well as Dos, Trey, IV and Five. They aren't known as the 5 most dangerous people on the planet for a reason.
  • The KND are a paramilitary organizating entirely of kids, who fight villians who either have superpowers, or use technology that's to be considered alot more advanced (or at least more sophisticated) when compared to the KND's 2x4 technology. While the KND, on the other hand, use strictly military training and the aforementioned 2x4 tech when engaging in combat.
  • Applejack from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, despite not having any overt magical or reality-bending talents, can keep up with the rest of the Mane 6 and often surpasses them with her physical prowess, ropesmanship, and herding skills that she gained through pure hard work and practice. Though it's hard to determine what a talking magical horse is considered normal relative to a human being, especially when some of the things she does seems to put her into Charles Atlas Superpower territory.
  • Thundarr the Barbarian faces off against powerful evil wizards Once an Episode.
  • Definitely Lucas Amato from Cybersix counts. He saves the life of the titular heroine almost as many times as she saves his, despite having no super powers to speak of.
    • Also Yashimoto, Meridiana's most renowned detective from the episode "Yashimoto, Private Eye," who effortlessly figures out Cybersix's secret identity after being blackmailed into doing so.

Notes

  1. in a crossover comic
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