10 Badass Characters Inspired By Ridiculous Things

Mortal enemy of the Turtles... the cheese grater?!

Shredder Cheese Grater

Inspiration can strike at any moment. And sometimes it will come from the least likely places. It’s been said that the code number for famed, fictional, British super-spy, James Bond came off of a number 007 bus. Writer, Ian Fleming rode the 007 bus from Kent to London and must have liked the sound of it.

And the name James Bond? In real life, he was an American Ornithologist- a bird watcher. Bond was an expert on the birds of the Caribbean. Fleming owned several of Bond’s bird books and decided to name his iconic character after the scientist.

And so, the most badass fictional spy of all time takes his name and code number from a bird watcher and a bus. Read on to find out what other fictional badasses came from odd inspirations.

10. Harley Quinn Was Inspired By A Soap Opera

Shredder Cheese Grater
Warner Bros.

In the early 1990s, Paul Dini was hard at work creating Batman: The Animated Series. One afternoon he was lying sick in bed when inspiration struck.

He popped in a VHS tape that an old college buddy had given him. The friend’s name was Arleen Sorkin. She would go on to voice the character of Harley Quinn for decades in TV, animated movies, and video games.

But, in the 1980s Sorkin played the character Calliope Jones on the daytime soap opera, Days of Our Lives. In an episode set in medieval times, Sorkin’s character dressed as a court jester and wore roller skates.

Later Sorkin handed a tape of the performance to her friend Dini. After watching he thought up a great idea: What if the Joker had a harlequin themed sidekick that Sorkin could voice? And so, Harly Quinn was born.


John is a teacher and writer living in Texas. He spends far too much time watching Star Trek. Check out more if his work at artofnarrative.com