[[quoteright:330:[[Disney/TheLittleMermaid http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ariel_gilded_tail_3472.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:Ariel, the 24 karat mermaid.]]

Because gold was so valuable throughout history (and since its heaviness and softness made it not good for much else until recently), it has been primarily used for decoration. Whether it's for jewelry, gold lamé, gold plating, or even making something entirely out of gold, it's a good way to make something pretty.

Of course this is TruthInTelevision, but fiction will take it further, freely ignoring those pesky physical limitations of gold as a material (i.e. heavy and soft) -- [[BlingOfWar armor]] and [[BlingBlingBang weapons]] made of gold will be no heavier or softer than steel or iron (and frequently much more effective in combat); lamé will move as if it was silk. This can be ArtisticLicense just as often as it's carelessness.

And of course buying something like this is a good way to show ConspicuousConsumption. Having loads of things like this is common for a {{Fiction 500}} character. Heck, even if gold is WorthlessYellowRocks, that still means the writers could have gold put everywhere.

A SuperTrope to GoldTooth, GoldColoredSuperiority (makes things better as well as just being better).

A SisterTrope to PlatinumMakesEverythingShinier.

Compare [[UsefulNotes/{{Gold}} Gold (useful notes)]], GemEncrusted, PrettyInMink, FluffyFashionFeathers, CityOfGold, BlingBlingBang, BlingOfWar, EverythingsSparklyWithJewelry, EverythingsBetterWithSparkles.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure'' has Cure Sunshine and her gold lamé chest ribbon.
* One episode of Anime/{{Pokemon}} featured a golden Sudowoodo.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'', Dorothy Catalonia seem to have a thing for gold-plated vehicles: a limousine, a space shuttle and a truck.
** From ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'', we have Quattro Bagina's golden Hyakku-Shiki. It's (supposedly) an anti-beam coating that granted a measure of protection against long-range weapons.
** From ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'', we have the Akatsuki Gundam, whose gold-plated armor is actually gold paint mixed with numerous mirrors, allowing it to shrug off and even deflect beam weaponry.
*** ''Manga/MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray'' introduces Rudolf Wittgentsien's GOUF Ignited, which has actual gold applied to its armor via a special nano-treatment. In this case it actually is nothing but a very expensive status symbol.
** In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'', Alejandro Corner's Alvatore and Alvaaron are both gold-plated, simply because he's a rich guy who likes showing off. He even modified his GN Tau Drives to emit golden particles rather than the usual dark red.
* ''Anime/SaintSeiya'': The Gold Saints
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', the Fourth Kazekage has the Magnet Release bloodline, which allows him to utilize gold dust similar to that of his son Gaara. However, the gold dust is actually extremely heavy, [[spoiler: which enabled him in his lifetime to subdue Gaara's Tailed Beast if he wished so]].
* In ''Anime/DragonBallZResurrectionF'', when Frieza turns into Golden Frieza, he stays shiny for nearly the rest of the movie.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'' comic book version of "King Smurf", the title character shows off his shiny new gold outfit, which [[LessEmbarrassingTerm everybody else sees as]] ''[[LessEmbarrassingTerm yellow]]''.
* ''ComicBook/RichieRich'' had an entire museum with objects made of gold, including a gold suit of armor, which a group of visiting aliens trade with diamonds, because they simply want to drive the people of their homeworld crazy with gold.
* ComicBook/UncleScrooge had an adventure getting the legendary Golden Fleece for a coat made of solid gold. Scrooge succeeds in his quest and gets his coat, but retrieves his old coat when he discovers that a coat made of solid metal has no insulating value and is thus intolerably cold to wear.

* The preview images of each chapter of ''[[http://alaxr274.deviantart.com/gallery/37280372 Hottie 3: The Best Fan Fic in the World]]'' is nothing but gold.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* One set of {{Pimped Out Dress}}es the Franchise/{{Disney Princess}}es wore were of gold lamé, with a variation of Ariel having her tail and SeashellBra be gilded, as seen above.
* At the end of ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'', Ariel wears a [[CoolCrown gold tiara]] with her FairytaleWeddingDress.
* One animated version of ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'' had the line "I wear gold-plated underwear!" in the [[BigBad Rat King's]] VillainSong. [[AwesomebutImpractical Two seven-year-olds immediately caught that they would chafe horribly.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/Madagascar3EuropesMostWanted'', Skipper plans to use their Montecarlo winnings on a solid gold airplane. When told by Kowalski that such a plane would be too heavy to fly, Skipper replies, "We're rich now, Kowalski. [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney The laws of physics don't apply to us."]]
* ''Film/{{Moana}}'' features the gigantic crab-like monster Tamatoa, whose ego drives him to decorate his shell in golden treasures dredged from the ocean floor. It's even the entire subject of his VillainSong.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Jill Masterton in ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'' (the film) dies by having her body completely covered in golden paint (based on a false assumption that merely painting skin can smother people).
* Franchise/StarWars: C-3P0 gets his gold plating between episodes 2 and 3, shown in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars''.
* In the climax of ''Film/ToCatchAThief'' Creator/GraceKelly's PimpedOutDress is all gold lamé. She also wears a golden wig.
* Appropriately, in ''Film/RichieRich'', Richie is loaded with gold-plated versions of everyday items, from pacifiers and rattles to socket wrenches.
* In ''Film/TheHobbitTheDesolationOfSmaug'', Smaug ends up getting ''covered in molten gold'' until he shakes it off. It also literally makes him "Smaug the Golden", one of his appellations in the book.
* In ''Film/IntoTheWoods'', Cinderella dons a beautiful golden dress to match her golden slippers.
* In ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2'' the Sovereign are people with gold skin, gold architecture, and gold clothing (save for [[AnIceSuit their winter capes]], which are gold with [[PrettyInMink white fur]]).

* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', Keifer intended to have the ceiling of his rooms gold-plated. This is implied to be proof of his decadence and wasteful mindset.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has the Lannister family, who coat everything with gold -- platemail, horse armor, even swords. However it's specifically mentioned that this is only gilding (not solid gold armor[[note]]which would of course be nearly useless[[/note]], as Tyrion Lannister falsely claims at one point to impress someone) designed to boost the image of the Lannisters as the richest and most awesome House in the Seven Kingdoms.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/TheTowerOfTheElephant", the tower has a gold door.
* In the ''Literature/DreamOfTheRood'', the tree out of which Christ's cross was made is alternately sparkling with gold and [[GemEncrusted gems]] and streaming with blood.
* Martel of ''Literature/TheElenium'' liberally decorated his armor with gold, thanks to the wealth he acquired as a mercenary. This came back to haunt him when [[spoiler: the added weight wore him down faster than Sparhawk in a duel, leading to his death]].
* In ''Literature/DorrieTheLittleWitch'', Dorrie once got a gold cauldron as a reward for capturing a notorious evil witch.
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' has the world going crazy buying Wonka Bars in hopes of finding one of the five Golden Tickets -- which grant admittance to the titular FamedInStory factory -- beneath a wrapper.
* The ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' [[AscendedFridgeHorror deconstructs]] this with the [[TheCaligula Emperor of the Tiste Edur]]. Every inch of his skin is [[GemEncrusted studded with gold coins]] which were [[BodyHorror burned into his flesh]], leaving what little skin remains visible horribly scarred. Additionally, the mass of gold is so heavy it has turned what used to be a LongHairedPrettyBoy into a hulking monster. And all that while the Tiste Edur [[WorthlessYellowRocks don't even care about gold]] and only use it in burial rituals to mock their [[ConspicuousConsumption wealth-worshipping]] neighbouring nation.
* In ''Discworld/GoingPostal'', Moist von Lipwig takes to wearing a suit of gold-colored cloth to impress people.
* ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz'':
** The Winkie goldsmith, enhancing the Tin Woodsman's axe:
--> another of the Winkies, who was who was a goldsmith, had made an axe-handle of solid gold and fitted it to the Woodman's axe, instead of the old broken handle.
** The Winkies' gifts:
--> the Winkies gave Toto and the Lion each a golden collar; and to Dorothy they presented a beautiful bracelet studded with diamonds; and to the Scarecrow they gave a gold-headed walking stick, to keep him from stumbling; and to the Tin Woodman they offered a silver oil-can, inlaid with gold and set with precious jewels.
** And the Golden Cap, which is presumably golden in some manner, that allows the wearer to summon the Winged Monkeys thrice.


[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': The Lannisters favor golden ornamentation, but it's frequently mentioned that objects like Jaime's hand are the more practical gilded steel rather than solid gold.
* Inverted in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', where gold pressed latinum is just to give something to hold the {{Unobtainium}}, not that the gold actually made it prettier, as replicators made it WorthlessYellowRocks. One episode mentions that gold does have some value, if only because there are civilizations out there that don't have replicators.
* Series/PowerRangersSamurai introduces us to The Gold Ranger, with light reflecting off the golden parts of his suit that it becomes all but blinding. Emily's first reaction is "He's so sparkly..."

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* Myth/ClassicalMythology: The fable of King Midas seemed to be against this trope, but the actual {{A|nAesop}}esop was actually BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor, and being against {{Greed}}.
** ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' did a variation on that with a magic golden duck.
* The mythical city of El Dorado.
* Eastern Orthodox churches' interiors are designed to look mostly golden (sanctuary, chandeliers, etc), sometimes using actual gilding. Prayers written in Bysanthia are also pretty interesting though: one refers to Virgin Mary as a gilded doorknob. Although it would seem as a failed attempt at insult, it's supposed to be poetic and two metaphors are here: Jesus Christ is the door, and gilding back in their days was supposed to be incredibly beautiful; nowadays, gilding household appliances is just poor taste.

* ''Pinball/SilverballMania'' has a variation, where everything is incredibly shiny due to being covered in silver.

* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' really, ''really'' love gold, as seen in countless official art and studio paint jobs for their miniatures. The GodEmperor of Mankind for example has Terminator armour (considered the best armour type in the game for human characters) that is entirely golden. Though since 40k tends to have a love-hate relationship with reality and physics, whether the armour is actually solid gold or only gold-plated isn't clear, fan consensus is the latter though.
* [[http://wen-m.deviantart.com/art/Anima-Queen-Elisabetta-46260162 This gold dress and throne]] in the cover of one ''TabletopGame/AnimaBeyondFantasy'' sourcebook. Besides how much that dress must weigh, one wonders how the Empress can move [[PimpedOutDress carrying so much gold]] (and how she manages to fold her arms.)

* {{Franchise/Barbie}}'s 1994 HappyHolidaysDress was of simulated gold lamé trimmed with white fur. Two of Eden's dresses, and the Ghost of Christmas Past's dress, are decorated with gold. Eden's red dress even has a gold GiantWaistRibbon.
* Several toys get limited edition gold variants, like [[Film/{{Transformers}} 70s Bumblebee]], [[Toys/BBSenshiSangokuden Ryubi, Kan-U and Chouhi Gundams]] and so on.
* Nintendo's ''Toys/{{amiibo}}'' has a limited edition gold Mario amiibo that is exclusive to North American Wal-Marts.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Golden armor shows up as items in some ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' has golden swords, but like you'd expect ([[TheCoconutEffect or perhaps not]], given how nearly all other [=RPGs=] treat gold) these are useless as weapons. They [[VendorTrash sell for a neat price]] though. They're found in [[MeaningfulName Goldor's]] mansion, which happens to be made entirely of gold.
* In some ''Franchise/MightAndMagic'' games, golden chain and plate armor is the most powerful kind. (Justified because powerful armor and weapons in the game tend to be enchanted.)
* Some ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games use gold weapons.
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'' had the gold knife.
** The ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow'' duology had Joyeuse, a gold sword.
* There are gilded sets of armour in ''VideoGame/{{Runescape}}''. This is not as extreme an example as sets of armour made out solid gold, though -- decorating armour with gold was not common practice, but there ''is'' historical precedent for it.
* Subve-rted in ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'': Sure, you can make a sword out of that gold you just mined. It'll be roughly as effective as one made of ''wood'' and break about as quickly. On the other hand, using [[BoringButPractical iron]]...
** Of course, a gold pickaxe can [[FastTunnelling bore through stone at an incredible rate,]] but only stone. And it still breaks easily.
** Gold armor looks pretty and shiny, but the protection they give is not much better than leather armor and it breaks just as fast. However, gold armor is still better than having no armor at all.
*** Gold armor and gold swords have their weaknesses compensated by having a much higher chance of getting strong enhancements compared to other tools made out of other materials, making gold based items a GlassCannon.
** Three words: gold-plated food. Golden Apples are [[TooAwesomeToUse one of the most coveted items in the game]], being used to make horses breed, cure zombie villagers, or give the player not only several drumsticks' worth of hunger satisfaction, but also regeneration for a short time. A twice-plated ("enchanted") Golden Apple also grants fire resistance, damage resistance, and a limited feather-fall effect. Golden Carrots are also used to breed horses, or give the player regeneration, and are used in potions of night vision. Glistering Melons are pretty much only used in potion-brewing, and aren't edible.
* Moody dwarves in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' can make artifact gold armor or weapons (the only other way to get gold weapons requires modding the game files); despite being artifacts, they will perform rather poorly (except for blunt weapons, which will be significantly more effective due to their increased mass).
* The Triforce in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' games are always shown as gold triangles.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' had the Gold Gauntlets, which were the strongest levels of items that let Link lift and throw enormous stone obelisks, which are impossible to move otherwise.
** Meta Example: The two original NES games came on shiny gold cartridges; the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda first game]]'s box even had a cutout showing it off. A limited edition run on both ''Ocarina'' and ''Majora's Mask'' also came on a matte-gold cart. Quite a few other games have gold colored items including discs, game cases and certain accessories (such as a limited edition gold wiimote for ''Skyward Sword'' or a limited edition gold New 3DS for the launch of ''Majora's Mask 3D''.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' and ''TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'', the series staple [[CoolSword Master]] [[SwordOfPlotAdvancement Sword]] can be upgraded twice. Its [[InfinityMinusOneSword second form]] is a powerful red blade. Its [[InfinityPlusOneSword final form]] is more powerful than any other weapon and sports an appropriate gold sheen to boot.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', the armor and weapons wielded by the Gerudo people tend to have gold linings.
* About a third of the CostumePorn outfits in the ''VideoGame/{{Growlanser}}'' have gold trimming.
* In ''VideoGame/DisneyPrincessEnchantedJourney'', the bonus outfits from Belle's world are shiny and golden. Once you complete the princess worlds, their outfits and portraits become golden as well.
* ''VideoGame/MarioKart [[VideoGame/MarioKart7 7]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/MarioKart8 8]]'' both have Gold vehicle parts, which are usually the last parts unlocked. They resemble the Standard Kart, Wheels, and Glider, but have different stats, generally being [[MightyGlacier less maneuverable with higher top speed and weight]].
** There's also [[ChromeChampion Pink Gold Peach]] in ''8'', the DistaffCounterpart to Metal Mario. She's like Peach, but [[CaptainObvious made of pink gold]].
* Archos in ''VideoGame/TelepathTactics'' is decked out with gold rings, probably to indicate his greed and decadence.
* Taken to extremes in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros2'', in which a large part of the game revolves around amassing a ludicrous number of golden coins. Golden versions of regular enemies such as Goombas, Koopas and Piranha Plants abound, and the new Golden Fire Flower power-up turns Mario himself to gold, enabling him to chuck golden fireballs that turn enemies and blocks into coins.
* ''VideoGame/{{Terraria}}'' has golden squirrels and golden birds that spawn in the forest from time to time. If you catch them with a net, they can be sold for a lot of money.
* One of the major story missions in ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeedPayback'' centers around the heist of a pair of gold-plated luxury cars (a Lamborghini Aventador and a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen). Opinions on the cars' golden exteriors differ ([[TheBigGuy Mac]] loves the "blinged out" look and wants to gold-plate his ''semi-truck'' afterwards, while the team's mechanic Rav sees them as tacky eyesores), but in any case, their ''real'' value comes from [[spoiler:the cutting edge [[AutomatedAutomobiles autonomous driving hardware systems]] set up within them]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Old-Timey [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Strong Bad]] in "That A Ghost" has the line, "I'll be marching around in gold pants in no time!"

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'':
** In the FiveEpisodePilot, the 2.2 tonne gold coins and golden temple in the Valley of the Golden Suns.
** In the GrandFinale, everything turned into gold by the Golden Goose.
* Many of the things in ComicBook/RichieRich's house are gold.
* As with Goldie of ''WesternAnimation/GoldieGoldAndActionJack''.
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Heloise decorates a carriage meant for her and Jimmy with gold. [[StickyFingers Peep promply steals it]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** Bender from Universe 1 in "The Farnsworth Parabox" decided to be gold plated.
** Fry attempts to Deconstruct this Trope in the earlier "Hell is Other Robots" when the Robot Devil challenges him and Leela to a fiddling contest with a solid gold fiddle. (A ShoutOut to the song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia".)
-->'''Fry:''' Wouldn't a solid gold fiddle weigh a hundred pounds and sound terrible?\\
'''Devil:''' Well, it's mostly for show.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' the man who won the lawsuit that he invented Icthy and Scratchy buys a solid gold house.
* ''WesternAnimation/SymBionicTitan'': Ilana's mecha-like armor Corus is gold and is often very shiny, particularly when Octus washed it off with water.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wildfire}}'': Diabolyn tried to win over the people of Dar Shan by wearing a dress made of Golden fabric. It failed when Princess Sara revealed where the gold came from.
* Partially deconstructed in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero''. A wealthy young woman with a crush on Lifeline included in her barrage of gifts to him, a solid gold helicopter. While its reflective qualities made it superb protection from laser fire during a Cobra attack, it was too heavy to get off the ground.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[RequisiteRoyalRegalia Coronation robes]] are often gold lamé, whether on its own or with an ermine lining.
** The latter was common for [[UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia Russian royalty]].
** And in medieval and Renaissance Europe, sumptuary laws dictate that only kings (and queens) are allowed to wear cloth of gold--garments made from gold thread.
* Ever seen the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Versailles Palace of Versailles]]? Some rooms don't seem to have a square inch without the stuff. And, yes, that includes mattresses.
** When the kings of France went insane of the bling bling, they started out by getting furniture made of ''solid silver'', but little later sanity returned (relatively speaking), and gilded wood became the norm.
* This is the case with the colonial Indonesian soldiers (KNIL I mean.) The Dutch thought that the islanders love shades of yellow (including gold, yes!) and their uniforms were decorated with tons of yellow/gold things...
* Illuminated manuscripts were a big thing in the Middle Ages, especially among Christian scribes. Gold was used for accents in illustrations, for words that the scribe wanted to emphasize, and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Canon_Tables in one case]] even as a stain for an entire page. Sometimes gold powder was used as an ink base, but other times gold leaf was cut and pasted to the page. Once people figured out how, it became popular to apply gold leaf to a substance called "gesso", which created a slightly-raised surface and gave the impression of solid gold on the page.