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"So, all in all, just a normal day in the life of Leonardo da Vinci. Turn lead into gold, paint the most famous portrait of all time, and invent the first hang glider. And I bet it’s not even 9 AM."


Sometimes a Historical Domain Character is portrayed by adding a copious amount of Badassery and Stuff Blowing Up, that was either far lesser or non-existent with the Real Life person. The reasons could range from Did Not Do the Research or Rule of Cool.

Maybe a king, who was known for very little else but diplomacy, gets to be a war hero instead. Maybe Mohandas Gandhi gets to fight grizzlies. Maybe a pope hunted vampires in his spare time.

Compare Historical Hero Upgrade, Historical Villain Upgrade. Kung Fu Jesus is a subtrope. See also Beethoven Was an Alien Spy for a possible justification of this trope, and Memetic Badass.

Examples of Historical Badass Upgrade include:

Anime and Manga



Live Action TV

  • Used in-universe in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Living Witness". The story focuses on the historical depiction of an encounter with the Voyager crew by an ancient civilization hundreds of years before. The biased depiction portrays them as a ruthlessly violent gang of thugs, and the Voyager as an inpenetrable warship armed to the teeth with weapons, and containing a complement of Borg drones at the captain's disposal.

Video Games

Web Original

Western Animation

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