Created By: MarqFJA on August 18, 2012 Last Edited By: MarqFJA on October 6, 2012
Nuked

Fictionalized Real Person

Fictionalized portrayal of a real person.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

A fictional character who bears the same name as, looks and acts more or less exactly like, and is clearly supposed to portray a real person (or a stereotypically exaggerated version, if it's a parody/satire/pastiche).

Sub Tropes include Historical-Domain Character (and, of course, its own subtropes), As Himself, and Politician Guest Star.

Sister Trope to Real Person Cameo, Newscaster Cameo, and Author Avatar. Compare Captain Ersatz.

Examples

Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • August 18, 2012
    Koveras
    Historical Villain Upgrade would be a subtrope?

    • The Assassins Creed series is fond of this. The first game alone did it to Richard Lionheart, William V of Montferrat, and Robert de Sable.
  • August 18, 2012
    kjnoren
    The trope name doesn't make it clear if the trope is about a fictonalised account of a real person (eg Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter) or a fictional character who has a clear real-life counterpart (only examples that comes to mind to me are for Swedish crime fiction, however).
  • August 18, 2012
    randomsurfer
  • August 19, 2012
    MarqFJA
    Historical Domain Character would be a Sub Trope limited to people who are in the "historical domain" (a la Public Domain Character); i.e. they're dead, and typically have been dead for long enough to be considered part of the "history" that is taught in school. US President Kennedy would be a Historical Domain Character, but a celebrity/politician who died within the last couple of years most probably wouldn't be considered as one, and the still living Barack Obama sure as Hell wouldn't.

    ^^ How about Real Person Fictionalized Portrayal? Or Real Life Domain Character?
  • August 19, 2012
    robinjohnson
  • August 19, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ What gave you that impression? It was never meant to exclude living people, as I wrote up that page. If it doesn't list them, then that's a mistake and they should be listed.
  • August 19, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Checked, and it includes living people. This trope is moot.
  • August 19, 2012
    MarqFJA
    @robinjohnson: No Celebrities Were Harmed is basically Expy or Captain Ersatz for real-life celebrities.

    @Dragon Quest Z: Because the trope's name contains "Historical Domain", and the first line says "Simply put, it's taking a well-known person from Real Life history and using this person as a character in Historical Fiction." The definition of Historical Fiction per this wiki and the Other Wiki strictly limits the trope to time periods in which the work's creator did not live in, and featuring historical people. Works like those Obama-centric comics do not fall into the historical domain by even the loosest possible measure that can be taken seriously.

    In other words, rather than this trope being moot, it's Historical Domain Character that is being misused.
  • August 19, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ The titls a pun on Public Domain Character. And believe it or not, that can include characters from recent works, if the works are in the public domain.

    And you are assuming that "history" can only mean the past, and that is not the case.

    We also don't slavishly tie our terms to how they are used on other sites.

    So works about Obama do fit this trope. And you are just assuming a definition for that trope that is not there.
  • August 19, 2012
    Xtifr
    ^^ Then Historical Domain Character would become this, But More Specific. I'm not seeing any meaningful distinction, and I think it makes more sense to broaden Historical Domain Character so it's not limited to Historical Fiction. Especially since a strict reading of that term would exclude time-travel tales where a long-dead character is transported to the present. (An example that also wouldn't fit this trope if it's limited to not-yet-part-of-some-narrow-definition-of-history.)

    Furthermore, if we try to maintain the distinction, we're going to have the unpleasant task of checking when an author was born vs. when a character was born to decide if they fit here or in Historical Domain Character. Quick, how many of the characters in Dante's The Divine Comedy were Fictionalized Real Person rather than Historical Domain Character? There were plenty in both categories.

    v Er, ninja'd. My comment was aimed at MarqFJA, not you. I fixed the up-arrows to clarify. (And I agree with you.)
  • August 19, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "I think it makes more sense to broaden Historical Domain Character so it's not limited to Historical Fiction."

    Well if Historical Fiction is a bit narrow, then I misunderstood that trope when I first wrote up Historical Domain Character. It was always meant to be any fictional work that just happened to involve real people as characters. That should definitely be fixed.
  • August 19, 2012
    MarqFJA
    ^^^ "The title is a pun on Public Domain Character."

    A lesson I've learned after a few TRS sessions: Punny titles for new tropes are more often than not a bad idea.

    "And believe it or not, that can include characters from recent works, if the works are in the public domain."

    "Public domain" is "public domain"; unlike "history", it has no inherent connection to the time period or any such factor, so it's obvious can include characters from recent works. I'm not stupid.

    "And you are assuming that "history" can only mean the past, and that is not the case."

    Not the way the term is definition conventionally defined and used practically everywhere. You don't co-opt widely-used pre-existing terminology and give them your own version of a definiton for your own purposes; that's simply a no-no.

    Did I mention that even this wiki's own article on the topic agrees with me on this?

    "We also don't slavishly tie our terms to how they are used on other sites."

    One, I already pointed out that TV Tropes' own Historical Fiction article uses the same definition. Two, the term isn't defined by Wikipedia, for your information; the site is only describing the most common and widespread definition of the term, as used by the fiction-making industry. Go on and ask anybody on the street what they think about when they hear the phrase "historical fiction". Or better yet, go into a store selling literary stories or TV/film videos, and check the "historical fiction" section. You will not find a single item that talks about the present and its events.

    "So works about Obama do fit this trope. And you are just assuming a definition for that trope that is not there."

    Read above.

    ^^ That's a good point. It would, of course, require us to work up a good reason for a rename per the TRS rules introduced last year, since "historical domain" is a misnomer for what Dragon Quest Z intended for the trope to mean.
  • August 19, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "A lesson I've learned after a few TRS sessions: Punny titles for new tropes are more often than not a bad idea."

    Well it's also a Sister Trope, and those are allowed to have similar names if their functions are also similar. Now if there is misuse due to the name, that can be taken up in TRS (but not just including living people when you haven't proven it shouldn't).

    ""Public domain" is "public domain"; unlike "history", it has no inherent connection to the time period or any such factor, so it's obvious can include characters from recent works. I'm not stupid."

    I'll clarify. I made the page because Public Domain Character was listing real people, when the definition didn't seem to include that. There was clearly a missing Sister Trope, and I filled that in. It was meant to be real life people of any time, and if the word "historical" doesn't imply that, it means the name needs fixing, unless it turns out the trope is working by that name.

    And I'll give it's a misnomer. But... that hasn't stopped pages from catching on, and even working well.
  • August 20, 2012
    ThreeferFAQMinorityChick
    Film
    • Charles Foster Kane of Citizen Kane is a fictionalized version of William Randolph Hearst.
  • August 20, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That's Roman A Clef (not to mention he was actually a Composite Character).
  • August 20, 2012
    captainsandwich
    Wil Wheaton is a jerk in Big Bang Theory. He is played by Wil Wheaton. I have no idea if he is a jerk in Real Life.
  • August 20, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ I think As Himself covers that.
  • August 21, 2012
    Xtifr
    @Marq FJA: you're defining history much too narrowly. Wikipedia is not a dictionary, and should not be used as a source for the meaning of words. They define the field of study, not the word. If you consult an actual dictionary (or talk to just about any native English speaker), you'll find that the word history is much broader. The 2008 elections are part of history now. As is the 2012 New Years Eve celebration in downtown San Francisco. And my birthday a couple of months ago.
  • August 21, 2012
    MorwenEdhelwen
    @Marq FJA: There are comics about Obama? Wow. I looked them up and now I'll never be able to get thoughts of them out of my head!

    Would The Simpsons episode (I think it's called "The Regina Monologues") where JK Rowling turns up count? I haven't seen it, just heard about it.
  • September 11, 2012
    MarqFJA
    ^^ I did consult other sources besides Wikipedia; namely, those two other links in my previous post.
  • September 14, 2012
    AgProv
  • September 14, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ Still, this is covered under Historical Domain Character. The first word in the name doesn't change that. It just means you can take the name up with Trope Repair Shop on the forums.
  • October 6, 2012
    MarqFJA
    ^ Well, if you have an argument beyond "inaccurate name" that could fly in the TRS, I'm all up for taking it there.
  • October 6, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ The thing is you seem to have the problem with its name, not me. This ykttw is already covered by that trope regardless.
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