->'''Nikki Reed (Rosalie Hale):''' So, Kristen, there must be something really special about you for Creator/{{Robert|Pattinson}} to take such a liking to you and risk the lives of his entire family. Tell us about yourself.\\
'''Creator/KristenStewart (Bella Swan):''' Me? Oh, no. I'm just a hollow placeholder for all of the teenage girls in the audience to project their personalities onto. I have none of my own whatsoever.
-->-- ''Literature/{{Twilight}}: [[http://www.the-editing-room.com/twilight.html The Abridged Script]]''

There are three things that can be referred to as an Audience Surrogate:

# The viewpoint character; See PointOfView.
# A character who [[TheWatson asks questions the audience would ask]] and [[MetaGuy says things the audience would say]].
# A character who the audience (or the children in the audience) doesn't just sympathize with, but are supposed to actively see themselves as -- by desire, by default, or by author inference.

'''This trope is about the third one, as the other two have tropes of their own.'''

Compare SlidingScaleOfViewerIntelligence.

VideoGames usually use a variant of this, the HeroicMime. ThisLoserIsYou is an Audience Surrogate by definition. SuperTrope for AscendedFanboy, TheEveryman, GreekChorus and UnfazedEveryman (See CanonicalListOfSubtleTropeDistinctions for an explanation of the difference), and related to EscapistCharacter and OtakuSurrogate. Parent of LeadYouCanRelateTo (see parent/child relationships page). Examples below should not cover these.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
%%* Kagome Higurashi from ''Manga/InuYasha''.
* Ryuk, in ''Manga/DeathNote'', is the character who's in it for the same reason as the audience is: [[GambitPileup Gambit Pileups]] are fun to watch.
** Aizawa also counts as this later in the series, by virtue of not being a super-genius but still being smart enough to suspect Light of being Kira.
* Kirie serves this purpose in ''Manga/{{Uzumaki}}'': asking the necessary questions as well as witnessing all the strange goings on in her cursed town; and her love interest, Suichi, plays the role of AuthorAvatar, providing many of the answers that would have been difficult to provide otherwise.
* Saten Ruiko from ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'' is pretty much the only unambiguously normal person of the main cast.
* In the fist half of ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', Bat and Lin both seem to exist mainly to have someone for Kenshiro to provide exposition during a sudden plot development.
* Kyon, the only OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent in ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya''. This is probably also [[StupidSexyFlanders the second reason]] why he is [[LauncherOfAThousandShips the most frequently shipped character]] in the fandom.
* NaiveNewcomer Rakka serves as the audience surrogate in ''Anime/HaibaneRenmei'', as the other characters explain how the world of the show works and what the Haibane are to the audience through her.
* Armor in the ''Anime/XMen'' anime.
* Kazuo from ''Manga/KenganAshura'' is an underachieving salesman, he sees himself immersed as a fighter manager in a secret society where powerful Businessmen organize fighting matches to settle their market disputes, Kazuo is constantly thinking about the ludicrousness of all but still admiring such a different world from his usual pathetic life, and the ridiculously strong fighters who are the very opposites of his weak self.
* ''Manga/MedakaBox'': Zenkichi Hitoyoshi is quite literally, the Normal of the main cast. He's often left to comment on the absurdity of the cast, but isn't without his own quirks and moments of badassery.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'' has the main character Yugi Mutou. Jonouchi/Joey also had his moments that qualify for this trope.
* One of the ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' [=OVAs=] used this, "filmed" in the first person from the perspective of an unnamed probationer alchemist who interacts with Fuhrer King Bradley and Roy Mustang before a giant alchemist vs. homonculus battle.
* Benio of ''Manga/EngagedToTheUnidentified'', [[BeneathTheMask beneath her straight-A student mask]], has a [[BrotherSisterIncest Sister-sister Incest]] fantasy with a side dish of {{lolicon|AndShotacon}} tendencies. This is from a {{seinen}} {{yonkoma}} manga, which means a large number of the readership are {{otaku}}, who ''stereotypically'' have these kinds of fantasies.
* In ''Manga/ShirokumaCafe'' one episode has a character named Mr. Necktie who (despite the series takes place in a world where humans and animals live as equals) is completely surprised by the talking, walking animals and constantly questions their lifestyles, and the world in comparison to ours, as if he literally crossed through the fourth wall.
* Tsukasa fills this role in ''Anime/PlasticMemories''. He has no idea what his job entails, and is only vaguely familiar with his corporation's work with androids. He is quickly filled in that his job is to collect Giftia who are nearing the end of their service life, though some people are reluctant and in some cases hostile to giving them back.
* In ''Animation/GuardianFairyMichel'', Kim often learns lessons that the people watching the show are supposed to learn. She's also introduced to the fairies and what they do.
* China in ''Anime/GundamBuildFighters''. She's not initially a fan of the Franchise/{{Gundam}} franchise, and thus provides the writers with numerous excuses to have other characters hurl exposition at her.
* In ''Manga/{{Nisekoi}}'' background characters from protagonists' class will appear from time to time just to say things that male audience may as well want to say. Like expressing envy over Raku's harem or noticing how ridiculous at times is the fact that every single girl around him (except maybe Ruri) comes to like him romantically.
* Main character Homura Hinooka from the [[Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} Type-Moon]] light novel series ''LightNovel/FireGirl''. It's through her that we get to witness her adventures and the grandeur and mechanics of the mysterious planet Imaginary Earth and why UNPIEP, the organization the Exploration Club is under, in-charge of exploring said planet, came to be in the first place.
* Chris Thorndyke of ''Anime/SonicX'' was intended to be this sort of character, but tended to just come off as the CreatorsPet and SpotlightStealingSquad.
* ''Anime/SevenHeavenlyVirtues'': The Messiah Candidates accompanied by the titular characters react with confusion and surprised at being followed by scantily-clad Angels, even if they act [[AboveTheInfluence impressively restrained and chaste]] around them.
* ''Anime/BlackLagoon'': Rokuro Okajima, a.k.a. "Rock", is a white-collar Japanese salaryman who is literally kidnapped by the crew of the eponymous Black Lagoon. As such, he is the one to ask the questions and fill in the audience.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
** ComicBook/{{Robin}} was introduced to the comic in order to appeal to the young audience who bought it. Even among the various Robins, [[ComicBook/RobinSeries Tim Drake (Robin III)]] is often cited as the easiest to relate to and identify with as he ''wasn't'' an orphan, acrobat, or street rat [[spoiler: although he became the first one in ''ComicBook/IdentityCrisis'']]. Just a regular kid who knew Batman needed a Robin.
** This is also a big part of the reason why [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2009}} Stephanie Brown]] is so popular, especially among female readers. Like Tim, she's not an acrobat, an orphan, or a street rat, but ''unlike'' Tim, she's also not a super genius or particularly rich. She's not as poor as Jason Todd, but she comes from a working class background, and [[BadassNormal her skills are largely limited to what a teenager could actually do]], making her a lot easier to identify with.
* In ''ComicBook/GothamCityGarage'', [[ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} Kara Gordon]] is the viewpoint character who explains what to live in the city ruled by ComicBook/LexLuthor is like and asks the rebel group questions about the life in the wastelands.
* Presumably, ComicBook/JimmyOlsen existed for the same reason: to be Franchise/{{Superman}}'s normal, youthful buddy.
* Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} filled this role during her first adventures in the Silver Age: she was Superman's plucky, young sidekick who helped him out as she explored his world.
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers'' introduces Ironfist, a [[TheWoobie hugely sympathetic]] AscendedFanboy who has been chronicling the adventures of his heroes, the Wreckers. [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_zG6crPZV6Io/S4axy7XFg7I/AAAAAAAAANI/0hiAvJIRP2M/s1600-h/Wreckers+Awareness+Week+Lo-Res.jpg This image]] (created by [[WordOfGod the author himself]]) makes it pretty explicit.
-->'''TF Wiki caption, on a picture of Ironfist fanboying:''' Oh dear lord, he's ''us!''
* ''Comicbook/InfiniteCrisis:'' Super-Boy Prime is an interesting example. He's from Earth-Prime, which is portrayed as the "real" Earth, ''our Earth''. He was a Kryptonian and the only super-powered person in a world without them, and everything he did in the Multiverse could be read in the comics. He is what happens when you give a bullied kid superpowers and take his world away from him, make him kill so much, then put him ''back'' in his world, a world where now, everyone ''hates'' him. And to think, he used to be a sweet little kid that read Superman comic books, dreaming that he could be like him....
* Probably the most well known audience surrogate in comics is also one of the most popular characters, which is largely cited to be ''because'' of how much he qualifies: [[Franchise/SpiderMan Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man]]. His status as this is part of the reason he was created and why he sold so well.
* Comicbook/MsMarvel2014: Kamala Khan is in many ways a modern version of Peter Parker. She's obsessed with Comicbook/TheAvengers and superheroes in general, and partakes in a number of common nerd activities like reading {{Shoujo|Demographic}} manga and writing fanfiction.
* Rick Jones, sidekick to the Comicbook/IncredibleHulk, is an audience surrogate originally created for young baby boomers. He's an ordinary, well meaning teenager, but one who has more of an authority problem than previous teen comics characters.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* General: Any reader-insert fanfiction, meaning the main character isn't often given a name and is addressed as "You" in the narrative, and "Your Name" in the dialogue. Amusingly, some of the reader-inserts have more personality than non-reader inserts.
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Shinji and Asuka are this during their stay in Avalon, showing what it would be like visiting an alternate dimension ruled by a family of nice, benevolent gods, and where magic and sci-fi technology are a daily reality.
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': This is one of main roles of Shinji, showing the reader what it would be like living with a super-heroine -Asuka, a. k. a., ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}''- who you are in love with, witnessing her heroic deeds but also enduring all complications and trouble such a relationship entails (her being in danger constantly, her enemies breaking into your apartment or kidnapping you, being her confidant and support...)
* In ''Fanfic/ToyHammer'', this role is passed between Michael, Alice and Vincent.
* ''Fanfic/ThePrivateDiaryOfElizabethQuatermain'': Elizabeth Quatermain was pretty much designed for this purpose, allowing the reader to get an idea of what it would be like to be an ordinary person among the ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen.
* In the ''Fanfic/NineteenEightyThreeDoomsdayStories'', this role is largely taken up by CanonImmigrant {{Muggles}} from ''Literature/NineteenEightyThreeDoomsday'' in contrast to [[NationsAsPeople the]] [[Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia Nations]].
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8186123/1/Saturday Saturday]], Bob asks for lurid details about Harry's sex life, much to his embarrassment. Since the fic is a pornographic one, the author presumably saw the irony.
-->''...like [Bob] saw [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles my life]] as a soap opera of some kind with occasional sexy parts.''
* ''Fanfic/SuddenContact'': [[Frachise/{{Starcraft}} Tychus Findlay]]. He had been sentenced to [[HumanPopsicle cryogenic imprisonment]] during the Confederacy era until waking up in the post-Great War era where the Confederacy had fallen and humanity is [[Franchise/MassEffect interacting with aliens regularly]].

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* To some extent, Prince Ashitaka in ''Anime/PrincessMononoke.''
* Kenji from the movie ''Anime/SummerWars'' has no real personality outside of being an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent audience surrogate.
* Most of the princes and princesses in the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon.
* Yeardley Smith is this for the viewer in the commentary for ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie''. She asks questions about shooting techniques and the like that other commentators refer to. She very often does the same in DVD commentaries of the regular series.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongebobMovieSpongeOutOfWater'':
** The seagulls when they question Burger Beard's narration of the movie.
** Other characters like Squidward and Plankton have minor instances of this. At one point Squidward is shocked that they can just tear off their apocalypse attire and the clothing they always wear is right underneath it. In another scene, Patrick is destroying his own house, when [=SpongeBob=] asks him what he's doing, he says "Vandalizing stuff." Plankton then asks "Isn't that your house?"
* ''Disney/WreckItRalph'': Calhoun's game (''Hero's Duty'') was only plugged into the arcade recently, so she, like the audience, doesn't know too much about the arcade's lore.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Luke Skywalker in the original ''Franchise/StarWars''.
* Director Bruce Robinson used this trope so literally that the second half of his title duo in ''Film/WithnailAndI'' doesn't even get a ''name''. Creator/PaulMcGann's character (credited as "...& I" in the credits, but revealed to be named "Marwood" in the script) is never named in the course of the film, allowing the audience to more easily identify with his misfortunes.
* J.K. Simmons as the unnamed CIA director in ''Film/BurnAfterReading''.
* Lambert was meant to represent the voice and thoughts of the viewing audience in the original ''Film/{{Alien}}.'' ''"Get out of there, Dallas! NOW!"''
* Joe Black in ''Film/MeetJoeBlack'', particularly at the beginning (when he serves as the exploratory vehicle within Bill Paxton's estate), and the end, when he tears up watching the party-farewells and acts as the receptacle for Bill's summative reflections - essentially parroting the anticipated reaction of the audience watching the end of the movie.
* ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'': Brad and Janet.
* New BPRD recruit John Myers serves as this in the first ''Film/{{Hellboy}}''.
* Jake Sully in ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', who starts as an average Joe {{Everyman}} and ends as an EscapistCharacter.
* Cindel Towani, the little girl in the ''[[Franchise/StarWars Ewok]]'' TV movies.
* Agent [[MauveShirt Phil]] [[EnsembleDarkhorse Coulson]] from the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse has ended up being this trope by default. Originally created in ''Iron Man 1'' for the [[RunningGag purpose of saying SHIELD's full name and being told it was too long]], he [[BreakoutCharacter caused such an impression with his little time on air]] that he scored a role on the following movies of the MCU and became a CanonImmigrant to the comics, probably because of [[ThisLoserisYou his characteristics that allow him to represent the aging comic book fan]], and at the same time [[EscapistCharacter do awesome things ]] like [[BadassNormal hanging out with his favorite superheroes despite having no superpowers himself]] and fire a [[FrickinLaserBeams laser gun]] at the BigBad. He even gets to acts a little like an AscendedFanboy in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' without losing his charm.
** Deputy Task Force Commander Everett Kenneth Ross [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute has become something of a successor]] to Coulson following the latter largely being confined to ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' after ''The Avengers'' as the normal guy who is the link between the authorities and superheroes. He especially fills this role in ''[[Film/BlackPanther2018 Black Panther]]'' once he's brought to Wakanda, as the Westerner who discovers a world that was totally unknown to him, and marveling at the technological wonders there. Ironically, Coulson is a creation for the MCU while Ross had existed in the comics for decades.
* The boy in the [[Film/TheLoneRanger Lone Ranger]] costume who is listening to an aged Tonto tell the story.
* Creator/KatDennings stated in [[http://www.presstelegram.com/arts-and-entertainment/20130911/while-marvel-gets-super-cosmic-in-thor-sequel-kat-dennings-brings-it-back-to-earth this]] interview that the character of Darcy in ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'' qualifies.
* Lily Sloane in ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' for the non-Trekkies.
* In the film version of ''Theatre/{{Hair}}'', Claude was turned into a relatable, conservative audience surrogate, as opposed to his radical, obnoxious stage-version counterpart.
* [[Film/MadMax Max Rockatansky]] has served this role ever since ''Film/MadMax2TheRoadWarrior''. [[TheQuietOne He usually says very little]] and, while he does have his own character arc in each film, [[SupportingProtagonist none of them are his stories]]. He mostly wanders onto other peoples' situations, [[WorldBuilding allowing him to act as the eyes for the audience to see and experience different parts and stories of the post-apocalyptic Wasteland]].

* The four hobbits (Merry and Pippin in particular) in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' are normal folks from a mundane town without the wild eccentricities and heroic virtues of characters like Aragorn or Gandalf, allowing ordinary people to see to Middle-Earth through their humble eyes.
%%* Bilbo in ''Literature/TheHobbit''.
* In his introduction to ''Literature/TheBookOfLostTales'', Christopher Tolkien supposes that the reason ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' was less popular than ''The Lord of the Rings'' is that it lacked one. In fact, the original draft of ''The Silmarillion'' (the ''Lost Tales'') actually did have one -- a Man named [=Æ=]lfwine of England to whom the tales of the First Age were narrated by the Elves.
* Bella of ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' has a very inconspicuous personality, her actions are often hard to interpret, her characterization is only implied and the story is told in the first person so the audience can project themselves onto her very easily by disregarding some elements of said characterization when they contradict their views. Creator/StephenieMeyer has even [[WordOfGod said on her website]] that she deliberately avoided describing Bella's physical features so that it would be easier for the readers to picture her as themselves.
* Firestorm in ''ComicBook/LessThanThreeComics''' Brat Pack. Even though he should be the opposite, what with his family upbringing and all. Sometimes Mr Perfect will take this role.
* Italo Calvino's ''Literature/IfOnAWintersNightATraveler,'' written almost entirely in the second person, is centered around two readers: one as a stand-in for male readers, another for female.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter''. Especially in the earlier books when he's just discovering the wizarding world. Even in the later books, after several years of spending time at Hogwarts and learning about magic he doesn't develop extra knowledge about the wizarding world or magic relying on others to give him, and the reader, the occassional InfoDump. Being [[TheChosenOne The Boy Who Lived]] does not always agree with his deepest wish [[IJustWantToBeNormal to settle down with a family and lead a normal (for a wizard) life]].
* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'': Arthur Dent.
* ''Literature/NeverWhere'': Richard Mayhew.
* To some extent, Taran, the hero of the ''Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain''. The author never gives him a physical description, or an age, and his backstory isn't revealed until the final chapter of the final book. Although he is, ultimately, the true hero of the series, he's also something of an Everyman, making it easy for young readers to connect to him.
* ''Literature/LightAndDarkTheAwakeningOfTheMageknight'': Daniel Fife makes his target audience clear by stating in the narration that Danny is an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent and starting the book on the first day of school when the plot doesn't truly start until the following summer. Until then he's occupied with bullies and crushes.
* Ibn Fadlan in ''Easters of the Dead''. It's noteworthy as Michael Crichton explicitly noted he required a cultural outsider for audience surrogacy purposes in his retelling of Beowulf. He also subverts it by putting footnotes in to outright explain the differences in both historical context and religious differences Ibn experiences in contrast to the target audience.
* Charlie Bucket in ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'', is an ordinary, if virtuous and poor, kid, who -- like everyone else in and out of story -- is curious about what's in the mysterious titular factory, and it's through his perspective that the audience is introduced to all of the other major characters as he and his family follow news of the Golden Ticket contest. And then he finds the last ticket and gets a chance to visit it...
* In ''Literature/MidnightsChildren'', Padma might be a type 2. Like the audience, she is hearing the {{Narrator}}'s life story for the first time. Some of her wry and impassioned commentary is [[MetaGuy bound to resonate with at least some readers]] (especially her urging Saleem to [[{{Doorstopper}} hurry up]]).
* The author of ''Literature/WingsOfFire'' [[WordOfGod confirmed]] that choosing [[TheBigGuy Clay]] as the protagonist of the first book was perfect for this reason. Clay has a poor memory for scrolls and details, meaning that he's always hearing information about the ''Wings of Fire'' world for the first time that he remembers clearly.
* ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'' indicates that Dante's AuthorAvatar stands in for the audience in the first line.
-->''"Midway through the journey of ''our'' life..."''
* Firestar in the first ''Literature/WarriorCats'' arc is a NaiveNewcomer [[APetIntoTheWild ex-kittypet]] who joins [=ThunderClan=] in the first book. Being raised a pet, he has no understanding of how [=Clans=] work and has to be taught alongside the reader.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'':
** Penny fills this role for non-geeky fans. Whenever one of the guys makes an obscure reference to something in geek culture, Penny's always there to sarcastically ask what the heck they're talking about, when many viewers were wondering the exact same thing.
** For everyone else, it's Leonard, a generic geek without his friends' more overt flaws (Howard's lechery, Raj's gynophobia, and Sheldon's {{Jerkass}}ery).
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'': Agent Booth responds to Bones and the other squints just like any non-anthropologist in the audience would, making them explain the more complicated concepts in laymen's terms and sometimes lampshading their SesquipedalianLoquaciousness:
-->'''Dr. Hodgins:''' It's seventy percent amorphous silicon dioxide.\\
'''Booth:''' What's that?\\
'''Dr. Hodgins:''' It's a common domestic container.\\
'''Booth:''' Oh, like a jar. Why can't we just say "a jar"?
* ''Series/CodeLyokoEvolution'': Laura Gauthier is this for viewers who didn't see [[WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko the first series]]. She's (potentially) [[SixthRanger a new member]] of the Lyoko Warriors who is unfamiliar with the world or XANA.
* Creator/DisneyChannel does this quite a bit:
** ''Series/GirlMeetsWorld'' has Zay, Lucas's friend from Texas when he became the new kid in Season 2. Zay takes this role for the viewers who are unfamiliar with the show's first season and the cast's antics, because he's new to them. On top of that, he also helps viewers gain a better depth of what Riley and Maya go through, especially in serious episodes.
** Likewise, ''Series/LivAndMaddie'' introduces Josh Wilcox in Season 3, as he is a NaiveNewcomer. As the setting and dynamics have been more or less established by that point, he, like viewers attempts to understand the antics and plots that go on in the show. Whenever he appears, he is closest to the main plot and experiences it first hand. His second appearance is ADayInTheLimelight for him, as if it were an attempt to introduce the audience to the show itself.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The companions pretty much exist for this role, when they aren't TheWatson.
** A particularly extreme case of this is in the first two TARDIS teams, which had four characters deliberately representing a different demographic of the 'family' audience. There is a teenage girl (Susan or Vicki) representing the older child audience, mature adult male and female characters who work with children (Ian and Barbara) representing the Dads and Mums, and a grandfather-figure with eccentric ManChild qualities (the Doctor) who is a surrogate for the grandparents as well as for the younger child audience.
** Clara takes the concept of companionship and the audience surrogate companion to extremes that become fantastical, representing ''the concept of the audience itself'' rather than just being a relatable character. She was born on [[SignificantBirthdate November 23rd]] and constantly observed the Doctor throughout his life, even in his other bodies. She always dies at the age of 26, which was the age the Classic series was when it was finally cancelled. She's from Blackpool, which was where the ''Doctor Who'' museum used to be and the place where the Sixth Doctor was going to take Peri at the {{Cliffhanger}} after the Classic show's first cancellation. She serves an extremely important role in the 50th Anniversary special based around her interactions with past and future Doctors. The Doctor describes her once as 'the not-me one, the ask-me-questions one'.
* ''Series/{{ER}}'': John Carter was apparently this, as his character was introduced as a 3rd-year medical student, new to the hospital, unlike the other, who were rapidly established as having worked at there for the past 1-5 years with considerable backstory.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Gendry has the same reaction to Arya's WastefulWishing as many viewers.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Did this a couple times to acknowledge fans' desire for answers. In season 1, Hurley gets frustrated at one point with all the mysterious happenings on the Island, saying that he wants answers. Then, in the epilogue, "The New Man in Charge", Ben comes to visit the guys at the DHARMA packing plant. As he turns to go, one of them says "Wait! You can't just leave without giving us any answers!" which is exactly what the viewers were all thinking at that point.
* ''Series/MadMen'': When Peggy Olson arrives for her first day of work in the pilot, not only is she our surrogate for the advertising agency, but for 1960 America. Through Peggy, we get a cultural tour of a world where a rotary phone and an electric typewriter are "complicated technology," and taking one's lunch break to get fitted for birth control is a job requirement.
* ''Series/MisterRogersNeighborhood'': When Fred Rogers is alone with the camera, he's a parental character. But when he's with a friend, they become the parental figure and Mr. Rogers becomes a child on behalf of the audience.
* ''Series/TheOfficeUS'': Jim's mugging for the camera often reflects how the audience perceives the ridiculous events on screen.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Charlie Matheson is supposed to be a character that you could project your personality onto. The bad news is that a number of critics completely missed the point and hate the character for being bland, whiny, rude, weak, and confrontational. The good news is that she has gotten better by the first season finale.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'':
** [[TheWatson John Watson]], obviously.
** ''Sherlock'' also has an unusual variation of Type 2 in "The Empty Hearse". In the two years since Sherlock's (faked) suicide, Anderson and his group of followers have bee speculating on how Sherlock might've survived...just like the ''Sherlock'' fandom has been in RealLife. Cue Anderson's status as a [[TheScrappy scrappy]] [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap being revoked]] and instead being given [[EnsembleDarkhorse darkhorse status]].
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': In one episode towards the end of Season 7, it is {{Anvilicious}}ly clear that the showrunners ''really'' want us to see guest star Charlie as a Type 3, as they have her spend a huge chunk of time making sci-fi references, wondering what [[Literature/HarryPotter Hermione]] would do in a given situation, and talking about Comic Con (the fact that they cast Creator/FeliciaDay in the role helps hammer in the point). It feels as if the entire opening sequence with Charlie is basically the writers saying "''See'', SPN fans? She's just like ''you!'' Root for her, dammit!" However, some in the audience felt like the show was trying way too hard to get the audience to like her. And the fact that she was an {{Anvilicious}} and strident [[WriterOnBoard mouthpiece for the writers' political viewpoints]] (and the fact that she takes illegal actions on behalf of the writers' viewpoints) meant that it was virtually guaranteed that there would be a chunk of the audience that would see her as [[TheScrappy annoying]] rather than as the sympathetic, plucky heroine the writers wanted the audience to see her as.
* In ''Series/{{Cranford}}'', Miss Mary Smith comes from Manchester, but the town is close to her heart and her sanctuary. She is a strong and fun female character, she is helpful to Dr Harrison and the Misses Jenkyns, she ships two ideal mates and her friends Sophy and Dr. Harrison, she investigates the incident with Valentine cards, and then as an guardian angel, she solves most problems by writing letters to appropriate places.
* Donna in ''Series/TheWestWing'' acts as this, often asking the commonsense questions the other characters don't think of. (Also see WomenAreWiser.)
* In ''Series/AdamRuinsEverything'', anyone who is not host Adam Conover, from recurring characters to those that only appear in one episode, act as this whenever Adam debunks the myths and misconceptions surrounding the episode's subject.
** Whenever Adam himself gets something wrong, [[ADayInTheLimelight another character will jump in,]] and use his RealityWarper powers to demonstrate what he got wrong.

* In ''The Insect Play'', the Tramp (known as the Vagrant in some translations) is the only human character present for most of the play. He mostly serves to draw analogies between human societies and insect societies.
* "Interviewer," in ''Autistic License.'' In some variations, he spends ''the entire time on stage!'' Kudos to any actors with that level of stamina. Unless the variation is just him sitting the entire time, which only hammers the point home.
* Dr. Lyman Hall in ''Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix''. As the newly-arrived delegate from Georgia, he has to meet the Congress, which is a handy way to introduce the audience to the various state delegations--and be a little taken aback by them. The Founding Fathers were a lot of bickering real people rather than wise marble statues. (Hall also serves as ChekhovsGunman, but that's another story.)
* In the other theatrical production about the American founding fathers, ''Theatre/{{Hamilton}}'', Madison is seen crying after the events of "It's Quiet Uptown."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Magma in the first ''VideoGame/XMenLegends'' game, who is a mutant saved and taken in by the X-Men. We go through her first days in training all the way to becoming the newest member of the team, though the first few missions don't even have her as a playable character.
* Ethan Mars in ''VideoGame/HeavyRain''. There are four main characters in the story, but it's clear right from the beginning that Ethan's the one the player is supposed to empathize with the most.
* Phil from the ''VideoGame/RiddleSchool'' series is confirmed to be this via {{Word of God}}.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear'':
** Raiden is pretty much this in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty''. Like the player he has experience from the previous game based on "virtual reality" and the game is not subtle at all in later parts when Raiden is told to "Turn the game console off." It is also worth noting that Raiden has dogtags written by the player in the game's beginning and he throws them away in the end, having decided to find his own identity.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'', the player writes in information such as name and birth date, and also gets to design a new face, which is all presented as part of Big Boss's plan to hide his identity, with the facial customization being for a planned plastic surgery. [[spoiler:As it turns out, Venom Snake is not actually Big Boss, but a body double instead, with the player-designed identity (and by extension the player themselves) being Venom's ''original'' self; in contrast to Raiden in [=MGS2=], Venom continues to play the role of Big Boss even after regaining his original memories in the true ending. The implication is that the player is just as responsible for Big Boss's legend as the man himself; adding to this, it's also revealed that the player-customized identity did end up being temporarily assumed by the ''real'' Big Boss.]]
* Martin Walker from ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' is played for every negative connotation this trope provides. He treats the events of the story the way your average modern military shooter player would: As a power fantasy and a chance to feel like a hero. In the process, he does a number of horrible things, and every single one of them is [[YouBastard your fault.]]
* James Vega of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' performs this role for people new to the trilogy. He is literally the only crewman (or significant character for that matter) that Shepard hasn't met in either of the first two games.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' One of Tidus's major roles in the plot is so people who've lived within the society of Spira all their lives have to explain it to somebody.
* ''VideoGame/YuGiOhReshefOfDestruction'' has your character, who gets to hang out with Yugi and Katsuya Jonouchi / Joey Wheeler and save the world.
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' has two, but they're not who you might think.
** The first one is [[spoiler:Flowey. For a substantial portion of any run, he projects on Frisk, believing them to be his friend the Fallen Child when they've never actually met; in the True Pacifist run, as Asriel, he plans to reset the entire timeline so he can keep having fun with his "friends;" and in the Genocide run, he talks about how his own genocidal actions were motivated, in part, by the repetitiveness of helping everyone and the realization that they were all scripted actors. All of this is set up to directly parallel the player's own motivations and actions, especially if they took the anticipated path of doing a True Pacifist run and resetting for the Genocide run]].
** The second one is [[spoiler: the Fallen Child who, as an embodiment of completionism and powergaming during the Genocide run, acts similarly to the player. Through the Fallen Child's actions, the player is shown just who they've been acting like: a crazed killer whom the lesser monsters fear and the more powerful ones die fighting heroically. As a bonus, if you decide to go against the Fallen Child, essentially who you were, at the last moment, you will be greeted by the same familiar determination, just on the other end of the stick]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'': In [[AllThereInTheManual Strange Creators of Outer World]], series creator ZUN explicitly refers to {{Deuteragonist}} [[CuteWitch Marisa Kirisame]] as "the player/reader stand-in character" since her presence allows him to explain things that he couldn't/wouldn't if [[{{Miko}} Reimu Hakurei]] were the sole protagonist. He credits this to her straightforward nature, saying it makes her easy to understand but at the same time occasionally makes her "un-Touhou-like".
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun'': The players are meant to identify with either Michael [=McNeil=] in the GDI campaign or Anton Slavik in the Nod campaign, negating the NonEntityGeneral approach of the other games.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Raimi Matthews of ''WebAnimation/BrokenSaints'' fame fits this pretty well, especially for American audiences (even though he's actually [[AuthorAppeal Canadian-American]]...)
* Rookie from ''Batty Battalion'' is the only character who seems like he is from the real world, not the crazy video gamey respawing one ''Batty Battalion'' is set in.
* In ''WebAnimation/DCSuperHeroGirls'', Jessica Cruz knows nothing about the Franchise/GreenLantern Corps, hence Principal Waller has to explain all about the Green Lantern mythos to her and the audience.
* Jaune Arc from ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' is what most real life people would be in a WorldOfActionGirls given that he is the most "normal" of all the main characters. Namely, he serves primarily as the guy who prompts exposition since, like the audience, he's new to the setting's world of combat.
* A very popular ''WebAnimation/LlamasWithHats'' theory is that Paul is supposed to be this.

* Amity Vii of ''Webcomic/{{Miamaska}}''. Seen clearing up plot holes [[http://miamaska.tidalcomics.com/index.php?strip_id=31 here]] and [[http://miamaska.tidalcomics.com/index.php?strip_id=33 here]]! She clears up [[NoPronunciationGuide pronunciation problems]] for the audience [[http://miamaska.tidalcomics.com/index.php?strip_id=32 as]] [[http://miamaska.tidalcomics.com/index.php?strip_id=43 well]].
* Sarah Jones from ''Webcomic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'', though she turns out to have a [[ChekhovsHobby surprisingly useful collection of abandoned hobbies]].
* Scully takes on this role in ''Webcomic/MonsterOfTheWeek'', asking questions and getting throughly frustrated with absurd premises or FridgeLogic-induced {{Plot Hole}}s. She's also AuthorAvatar, despite there being one already (author herself).
* Natalie from ''Webcomic/TheSenkari'' is just a normal High School student who gets caught up in the adventures.
* The unnamed heroine (dubbed [[FanNickname BB]] by the comic's fans) in ''Webcomic/TheBullysBully''.
* ''[[WebAnimation/DorklyOriginals Dorkly.com]]'' has a literal expample in ''[[http://www.dorkly.com/comic/62766/if-the-audience-were-a-character-on-game-of-thrones If the Audience Were a Character on]]'' ''Series/GameOfThrones''. Heavily overlaps MetaGuy.
* [[SiblingYinYang Caliborn and Calliope]] are these in ''[[WebComic/HomeStuck Homestuck]]'', with one acting as a HateDumb HeManWomanHater and the other acting as ShipperOnDeck MsExposition.
* Zeetha of ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' is a downplayed version. She's unfamiliar with the weird world of Europa but is conditioned to it's oddities making her reactions similar to those of the audience.
* ''Webcomic/TheGlassScientists'' has Jasper, an overeager MadScientist-turned-werewolf through whom we meet Dr Jekyll and the Society.
* The unnamed "protagonist" of ''Webcomic/PhD'' is the default representative of a typical grad student and is not given any distinctive characterization.
* ''Webcomic/{{Prequel}}'' has a literal version. The comic features suggestions from the audience in each of its updates. For side-stories (which are written in advance), stand-ins are used, with nicknames such as [[TryEverything adventuregamer]], [=FakelyMcSuggestor=], [=ColorfulHorse=]6, [[CultureChopSuey ItalianArgonian]], [[TheRoleplayer Horrible_Roleplayer_]] or [[CaptainObvious ObviousCommandgiver]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Sophie in ''WebVideo/KateModern'', a minor character who is a fan of Kate's videos. On her [[CharacterBlog Bebo profile]], she would often [[BreakingTheFourthWall break]] the FourthWall to directly communicate with "other" fans.
* [[InnocentFlowerGirl Hanami]] in ''Literature/{{Tasakeru}}''.
* Tobiah, the teenage narrator of ''Literature/TheGraystoneSaga'', is just an ordinary kid who accidentally gets swept up in the quest of the story's actual protagonist. Not much has been revealed about him, enabling the reader to more easily project themselves into his role.
* "Make Them Look and Sound Like the Audience, Against All Logic" is #4 of ''Website/{{Cracked}}'''s [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19183_6-tricks-movies-use-to-make-sure-you-root-right-guy.html 6 Tricks Movies Use to Make Sure You Root for the Right Guy]].
* ''Series/{{Noob}}'' starts with the player behind Gaea buying the game in which the story is set and starting playing to find out only one guild will take low-level players. The role quickly shifts to Sparadrap, who has been playing longer but has [[{{Noob}} so little understanding of it]] and [[ForgetfulJones such lousy memory]] the he ends up being [[TheWatson the one to which everything needs to be explained]]. Gaea becomes one of the expositors due to being MMORPG-savvy despite being new to ''Horizon''.
* Discussed in [[WebVideo/RedLetterMedia Mr. Plinkett]]'s review of ''Franchise/StarWars: Film/AttackOfTheClones'', where he argues that a major weakness of the prequel trilogy is that it forgot to put a character in this role (unlike the originals). Between the stern-faced Obi-Wan and the emotionally volatile Anakin, it's never quite made clear just ''who'' the audience is meant to identify with, and the fact that the main characters are all either experienced politicians or veteran Jedi means that we ''always'' see the Clone Wars from the perspective of professionals who understand the situation far better than we do.
* Website/CollegeHumor: The main character in "The Six..." videos (played by Josh Ruben, later replaced by Emily Axford) is supposed to be a completely ordinary guy. Every one of them starts with some form of "This is you [representation]".

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Ahsoka in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': a child, not having learned yet all she needs in order to survive in the universe, suddenly thrust into a life of excitement and adventure (and, more importantly, authority [at least, in her own mind] over more experienced adults). Isn't that what lots of kids fantasize about?
* Orko on ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'' was clearly supposed to represent the target demographic viewer.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
** Twilight Sparkle, the main protagonist, especially in the beginning when she's the one arriving at the new place and getting to know the people.
*** At least in hindsight, the first two-part story has her go through an analogy to the viewer surprised to like the show (similar to the Rainbow Dash example below), where she goes from "What am I doing here, this is stupid, it's not my kind of thing" to "These ponies are awesome."
** Spike seems to be a surrogate for the male PeripheryDemographic, being TheOneGuy and all. Apparently, a lot of the guys watching an ostensible girls' show with a varied cast of formidable and well-liked female protagonists still want to identify with TheOneGuy because he's the guy.
** Rainbow Dash in "Read It and Weep". She passes off reading a popular book series as uncool, until she picks up a copy and [[ReadingIsCoolAesop discovers that she likes it]], and then [[ClosetGeek tries to hide the fact from her friends]]. Several [[PeripheryDemographic older fans]] compared this to how they first got into the show.
** The Cutie Mark Crusaders represent the children who aren't sure what they're good at and what they want to do with their lives.
* Beast Boy acts as this sometimes in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans''. As the youngest, and the least smart, he sometimes has the science-y stuff explained to him by his more educated teammates (e.g. the Chromaton Detonator in ''Apprentice: Part One'', Xenothium in ''X'').
* Kid Flash in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice''. He is the only member of the team with a remotely normal childhood, as well as the only one who lives in an a two-parent household and attends public school. Rocket takes on this role later in the series, where other character summarize the events of past episodes for her.
* {{Word of God}} is that ComicBook/TheFalcon is this in ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble''. He eventually grows out of it, and [[Comicbook/MsMarvel2014 Ms. Marvel]] seems to be taking over this role in Season 3.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Frank Grimes in the infamous eighth-season episode "Homer's Enemy". The character's sole purpose was to represent a realistic person from [[RealLife our universe]] -- accustomed to toil, pressures and hardship with little, if anything, to show for it -- transplanted into a [[CrapsackWorld universe]] that [[IdiotHoudini caters to and rewards the lazy and stupid]], and how it would understandably drive him/her ''absolutely insane''. Granted, his childhood was pretty exaggerated and far from being realistic so perhaps more of a cariacture of a real person.
* Gus in ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' can be considered one, as he is the newest kid at school and seems the most confused about the ways the school is set up, causing the other kids to explain them to him- and the audience.
* Huey Freeman in ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' passively observes the antics and idiosyncrasies of the other characters, sometimes as the OnlySaneMan.
* Fry in the first season of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', although he started to move away from this role once he became more accustomed to life in the 31st century.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' has Stan and Kyle, which would make sense since they were supposedly based off of the show's creators Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone respectively.
* Jubilee is this in the beginning of ''WesternAnimation/XMen''. It's through her eyes that we're introduced to the REAL main characters and the mutant world at large.
* Steven himself is this in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse''. The audience never knows about or sees something he doesn't. When there are shifts in POV, it's usually a story being told to Steven. The only time in the entire series where there's an actual POV shift (i.e. the audience follows another character and Steven isn't aware of what is happening with this character) is most of Garnet's fight against Jasper in "Jail Break".
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': Any time something happens that the audience doesn't understand, [[TheDitz Stumpy]] will ask Kaeloo what is happening so she can explain it to him (and by proxy the audience).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMagicSchoolBusRidesAgain'': Arnold in Episode 1 is similar to the fans of the old series trying to adjust to the class now being led by Fiona instead of Valerie, and he as well as the audience learns that the change isn't really bad at all.