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"While other people were out living their lives, I wasted mine watching TV, because deep down, I knew it might one day help me save the world. Plus, I would have lost my Workman's Comp if I had gone outside."
Fry, Futurama, "When Aliens Attack"

While the Cultured Badass and Wicked Cultured kill to Tchaikovsky and Wagner, and read Nietzsche in their spare time, the Pop-Cultured Badass rocks out to the latest hits on their iPod and discusses their interpretation of recent movies.

Contrast Cultured Badass and Wicked Cultured. Sometimes the eponymous bunny ears of a Bunny Ears Lawyer.

Examples of Pop-Cultured Badass include:

Anime and Manga

  • Revy from Black Lagoon kills a dozen people while listening to White Zombie's 'Electric Head Part 1' on her walkman.
  • Canaan has a taxi driver that drives like a professional stuntman while listening to girly pop idol songs.

Comic Books

  • Deadpool: Olsen Twins, Bea Arthur, Fat Albert, Lord of the Flies, Lethal Weapon, The Warriors, Golden Age, Steve Ditko...

 "You're right. That's why I'm rollin' with my posse" (he was fighting Tombstone, so, gangster affectations are... excusable...)

    • This ends in disaster when he meets the Mercy Twins, who happen to resemble Britney Spears heavily, and carry a huge chip on their shoulder because of it. So naturally, the first thing he mentions...
  • Doc Magus from Marvel Comics 2. His Sanctum Sanctorum is in a comic book shop.
  • Spider-Man has spouted off pop culture jokes while fighting since the beginning.
  • Marv from Sin City has an affinity for country music and cars. He's gone on more than one monologue about the current versions of both.
  • The Runaways in general are this, with the troupe making various references to movies, actors, Real Life events, etc. Even two(three if you count the dinosaur) of their members superhero names are Shout Outs to The Beatles and Arsenic and Old Lace.
  • Most of the Young Avengers, but particularly Billy Kaplan, aka Wiccan.


  • Bill from Kill Bill, who seems to be a fan of Star Trek and Silver Age comics.
  • Nicholas Cage's Ghost Rider really enjoyed the music of the Carpenters. And jelly beans.
  • Abigail Whistler from Blade: Trinity, who was listening to trip hop while kicking ass. Kind of counterlogical too. Why would you want to cut off one of your main senses while wading into melee combat?
    • Also something of an Informed Attribute. While we're told she likes to listen to her playlist in battle, she's never actually wearing the earbuds when we see her fight.
  • Lt. Commander Ron Hunter has the balls to stare down a Naval captain and his backers who insist on launching an unconfirmed preemptive nuclear strike. He's also got time to talk the Silver Surfer and Star Trek.
  • Vincent and Jules both frequently reference pop-culture as they do their jobs. Quentin Tarantino is famous for his eclectic, pop-culture-laden dialogue, so this extends to many of his other characters.


Live-Action TV

  • Abed from Community IS this trope.
  • Chris Partlow from The Wire, assassin and fan of Baltimore Club.
  • Doctor Who likes this. For example, the Master is a fan of the Scissor Sisters, and Crane broadcasts The Lion Sleeps Tonight while converting the masses into Cybermen.
    • For a man who has the whole of time and space to explore, the Doctor seems awfully fond of early 21st century Earth pop culture. For example, he seems to be a Harry Potter fan, and once gave a humanitarian speech to an alien race that was threatening to kill a third of Earth's population... with lyrics from The Lion King and gave an inspirational speech in "The Idiot's Lantern"... which was Kylie Minogue lyrics.
      • The Tenth Doctor was particularly fond of 20th / 21st century Earth pop culture. For example, he seems to be a Harry Potter fan, and once gave a humanitarian speech to an alien race that was threatening to kill a third of Earth's population...with lyrics from The Lion King. In "The Idiot's Lantern", he uses Kylie Minogue lyrics for an inspirational quote.
      • If that was not enough, then take the Seventh Doctor's companion, Ace, if you look closely at her jacket, and you can spot (among other things) a Watchmen pin, two Rupert Bear pictures, several Blue Peter decorations, a Gerry Anderson fan club membership button, and a Thunderbirds patch.

 '"'There must be some way out of here,' said the joker to the thief".'

  • When not wasting hordes of Jaffa or otherwise saving the world, Colonel Jack O'Neill from Stargate SG-1 never misses an episode of The Simpsons. He's also a bit of a Star Trek fan, getting upset when the USAF wouldn't name the first Earth built starship "Enterprise". Also, when he travelled back in time, he said his name was James T. Kirk...then said it was Luke Skywalker.
    • Teal'c, surprisingly, after he acclimatises to Earth culture. Turns out he's a huge fan of Star Wars.
  • Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker of the NX-01 Enterprise is fond of his Superman comics.
  • Dean Winchester from Supernatural is a fan of classic rock and B-grade horror movies. In "Hollywood Babylon", his movie knowledge paid off.
  • Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer has moments of this.
    • And season 4 Big Bad Adam was a fan of the Beatles.
      • Specifically, he liked the song "Helter Skelter," likely an allusion to Charles Manson's fixation on the same.
    • "Figures." Fangs Spike.
    • Xander is so very much this, after losing an eye and being made Buffy's number two, he likes to be referred to as Nick Fury, even using this to charm Renee.
  • Chuck Bartowski loves his video-games, Sci-Fi movies, and MacGyver.
  • Sawyer from Lost, given the amount of references he makes.
  • Farscape's John Crichton, with heavy, heavy emphasis on the Pop Culture, especially early on before he really develops the Badass. And he never stops, no matter the situation--one time, when he realized he was going to be frozen in stone for 80 years, one of his regrets was that Buffy would be dead by then.
  • On The Nanny, title character Fran is absolutely this trope. In one episode, her pop culture knowledge actually helps her successfully track down the guy who'd kidnapped C.C.'s dog (It Makes Sense in Context).
    • In "The Nanny Napper", Fran is arrested for allegedly kidnapping a foreign woman's baby (she was simply holding him for her on the subway, before being separated). She likens her plight to that of a soap opera, which the foreign woman watches too, leading to an intense conversation about the show, which convinces the police to drop the charges.

Video Games

  • Similarly, Skullgirls's majority of shout-outs come from Peacock, a walking, talking, killing throwback to the Golden Age of Animation. She looks like something out of a deranged Merrie Melodies cartoon. She's actually a small-scale Reality Warper, and her love of classic animation has her manifest the power as a gang of cartoonish cronies, and various powers based on old cartoons.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • Crazy Awesome Generator (Jade Sinclair) from the Whateley Universe, who is a Hello Kitty addict and has been known to sing J-Pop anime theme songs. In public.
    • Chaka would have to count too, since she's the team Deadpan Snarker and once beat up a CIA team while listening to Macy Gray (she was out for a jog).
  • Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the Protectors of the Plot Continuum are protecting a pop culture universe. They need to be up on the canon; it's their job.

Western Animation

  • The Venture Bros: 21 was already pop culture savvy by the first three seasons, but by Season 4, he became a pumped up pop culture badass.
  • Beast Boy from Teen Titans uses his pop culture knowledge of (fictitious) television shows in order to save the day.
  • When Dr. Drakken accidentally sucked everyone into television reality, Ron was able to navigate the reality with his extensive knowledge of shows and their subsequent timeslots.
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