[[quoteright:313:[[Literature/{{Babar}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/babarandcompany_1040.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:313:Maybe monkeys can get away with lounging on the ground, but elephants must be held to a higher standard.]]

->''I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful 100 percent.''
-->--''[[Creator/DrSeuss Horton Hatches the Egg]]''

Thanks to its size, the movements of an elephant tend to be slow and ponderous. While it's impossible to know whether an elephant's inner life is more somber and dignified than, say, that of an [[PlayfulOtter otter]], it certainly ''looks'' that way. This impression of elephants is compounded by the fact that elephants are observed engaging in what appears to be reverence for their dead. It seems likely that they are aware of their own mortality. The prodigious memory of elephants also makes it seem that their lives must be more burdened by history and the past than animals with less powerful memories, which exist more "in the moment".

An anthropomorphized elephant or mammoth will typically be honorable and stoic. A young elephant may be more playful, but is unlikely to be a willful troublemaker. Ironically, while in RealLife female elephants tend to be the most involved in the complex social behaviors which make them so easily identified-with, fictitious elephantine heroes tend to be males -- perhaps because something so massive and thick-skinned as an elephant seems masculine even when the beast is female.

Some aspects of RealLife elephants, such as their excellent memories, may be portrayed widely in fiction, while other aspects, such as the feeling of UnstoppableRage and lust males feel during ''musth,'' may be played down.

Compare GenialGiraffe, another friendly animal that is often seen together with elephants.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Anime/SandsOfDestruction'', hospital administrator [[MeaningfulName Elephas Rex]] refuses to turn away patients.
** It turns out that he is [[spoiler:a former war criminal who [[TheAtoner hopes to die having saved more lives than he took]]]].
* [[Anime/BeastWarsNeo Big Convoy]], [[Anime/BeastWarsII Santon]], and the toy only Ironhide.
* [[Manga/OnePiece Jack "the Drought"]], who possesses the ability to transform into a massive wholly mammoth, is a major inversion, as he is a destructive brute who razes countries to the ground to complete his goals.
* In ''Anime/TheJungleBook'' Hathi the elephant like his book counterpart is the temperate but righteous leader and lawgiver of the jungle.
* Subverted for Rumsshi, the God Of Destruction for Universe 10 in ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' whom despite being an elephant, is shown to be a lazy JerkassGods not to mention being an UngratefulBastard who refused to acknowledge that Beerus and Goku saved him from being indirectly killed by Zamasu.

[[folder:Audio Drama]]
* ''Benjamin Blümchen'', the hero of the eponymous UsefulNotes/GermanLanguage audio drama series for kids, is a [[TalkingAnimal talking elephant]] with a strong sense of justice and a GentleGiant personality.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* In ''MagicTheGathering'', elephants (including the [[PettingZooPeople loxodon]]) are usually Green or White, the colours most invocative of honour. Still, as LightIsNotGood, the loxodon of Mirrodin were brute bigots [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity incapable of acknowledging moral complexity.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Brother Warth in the ''GreenLantern'' series is a member of [[HopeSpringsEternal the Blue Lantern Corps.]], hand picked by its leader.

[[folder: Eastern European Animation]]
* Elephant from ''ThirtyEightParrots'' is {{Adorkable}}, shy, bookish and [[ApologizesALot constantly apologizing.]]
* Hatkhi from the Soviet ''JungleBook'' adaptation is a very respected and dignified authority figure, akin to a lawkeeper, and with none of the goofy traits of his Disney counterpart.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* The title character in ''Disney/{{Dumbo}}'' is playful but never malicious. The Matriarch plays the trope more straight: "We elephants have always walked with dignity."
** The Matriarch would be a subversion because she ostracizes Dumbo for his big ears.
** [[MamaBear Mrs. Jumbo]] plays it straighter, [[HumansAreBastards not that it helps her]].
* Manny from ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'' is an honorable mammoth. He feels morally obligated to return a human baby to his family even though he knows that the child could one day grow up to be a mammoth-killer.
* In ''Disney/TheJungleBook'', elephants are like honorable, respectable (if not too bright) [[StiffUpperLip British army officers]].
* Tantor, the African Elephant from ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'' may be a [[CowardlyLion coward]], but when his friends are in danger he [[LetsGetDangerous overcomes his fear]] and helps them.
* Inverted by elephant ice cream vendor Jerry Jumbeaux Jr in ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'', a [[FantasticRacism racist jerk]] who refuses service to Nick simply because he's a fox.

[[folder:Film -- Live Action]]
* Inverted in the [[Creator/{{Syfy}} Sci Fi Channel]] [[Film/SyfyOriginalMovie movie]] "Mammoth". Scientists reconstituted a mammoth from DNA. It CameBackWrong and went on a murderous rampage.
* ''Film/TheJungleBook2016'' has the elephants play a more important role, with them becoming PhysicalGods who had shaped the jungle into its current state. They become grateful to Mowgli rescuing one of their calves, and they in turn help him put out the fire he accidentally started near the end of the movie.

* In ''Literature/{{Babar}}'', the elephants live in TheGoodKingdom, while the rhinoceroses seem to be a military dictatorship ruled by an InsaneAdmiral.
* Polite Elephant in the works of Creator/RichardScarry.
* Creator/DrSeuss wrote of Horton, an elephant who was always faithful, 100%: He both [[Literature/HortonHearsAWho safeguarded the Whos]] and [[Literature/HortonHatchesTheEgg incubates an egg in his custody]].
* The ''Literature/{{Tarzan}}'' novels feature an elephant named Tantor.
* In ''Literature/TheJungleBook'', Hathi is a wise (and honorable) Lord of the Jungle, who follows orders from nobody. [[spoiler:Except for Mowgli, sending him on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge.]]
* ''Elmer the Patchwork Elephant'' which is about [[ExactlyWhatItSaysontheTin an elephant named Elmer]] who for some reason [[AmazingTechnicolorWildlife is colored like a rainbow patchwork quilt.]]
* Bill Peet's ''Literature/TheAntAndTheElephant''.
* In Creator/RoaldDahl's ''The Enormous Crocodile'', the eponymous CardCarryingVillain's attempts to prey on children are all foiled by four friendly animals, the fourth one being Trunky the Elephant, who gets rid of him once and for all by grabbing him with his trunk and [[HurlItIntoTheSun hurling him into the sun.]] (It's a kids book; CartoonPhysics apply.)
* OlderThanFeudalism example: In ''Literature/ReynardTheFox'', a [[OlderThanTheyThink 12th century parody]] of [[TheLowMiddleAges Medieval Feudalism]] where [[AnimalStereotypes carnivores are nobles and herbivores are peasants]], the elephant was allowed to join the royal court because of his great intelligence.
* In ''Literature/{{Bravelands}}'', elephants are the most spiritual animals in the Bravelands, telling the future by touching the bones of dead animals. The past is very important to them, and they love telling stories. Just like in real-life, a matriarch leads them and lets the herd make decisions together.

[[folder:Religion and Mythology]]
* Played entirely straight in Hindu Mythology, with elephants often symbolizing wisdom, grace, power and kingliness. Eight divine elephants carry the world on their backs, and a white four-tusked elephant is the mount of the storm god Indra. The elephant-headed god Ganesha, one of the most popular gods in Hinduism, removes obstacles and gives people good luck, as well as protecting children.
** And in another Indian example, this time from Buddhism. The Buddha was an honorable elephant in several of his previous lives, and the popularity of white elephants in Thailand has to do with Buddha taking the form of a six-tusked white elephant.
* A likely candidate for Behemoth, a biblical creature mentioned in ''Literature/BookOfJob'' is the now extinct Syrian Elephant. Behemoth is described as the most powerful land animal on the planet and shouldn't be trifled with, but is relatively a GentleGiant herbivore if left alone.

[[folder:Live-Action Television]]
* Not a anthromorphized example, but ''Series/PrehistoricPark'' features Martha the mammoth.
** She first appears unsuccessfully trying to aid her sister, who has died falling in a pit trap made by early humans.
** Though an outcast from the African elephant herd, [[spoiler:it is Martha who stands up to Matilda, a young T. rex, when Matilda targets the matriarch's calf]].
* In ''Series/{{Primeval}}'', a Columbian mammoth [[SummonBiggerFish saves James Lester from a Future Predator]] in one episode. At the beginning of the episode he'd been making jokes about selling the mammoth for ivory. At the end of the episode, [[CrowningMomentofHeartwarming he brings it treats]] and cements his status as a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* In ''Series/WalkingWithBeasts'', honorability seems to increase in the proboscidean family tree as it gets closer to modern elephants.
** In "Mammoth Journey", female woolly mammoths and their young live in family groups that stick together and quietly help each other when facing predators and climatic hardships. The most unprovoked aggression seen consists of an adult male on heat chasing a bison herd away with a mildly threatening trotting and an old male scaring two cave lions out of his way when he migrates south. Said lions are feeding on a human carcass.
** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deinotheriidae Deinotheres]] in "Next of Kin", in contrast, are sadistic bullies that seem to revel on [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman chasing hominids]] out of waterholes or because they are on heat. Bear in mind that this is as much elephantine behavior as the one exhibited by the mammoths. The series gives all positive traits to one lineage and all negative traits to the other, who also happens to be [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute the uglier, less elephant-looking one.]]
** Goofy-looking [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moeritherium moeritheres]] in "Whale Killer" are [[GentleGiant perfect pacifists]] that don't really look or act like elephants. One is chased by the threatening ''Basilosaurus'', but unlike most prey animals in the series it is given the chance to escape.

* Inverted in the comic song "The Elephant" by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, which starts, "An elephant's life is tedious, laborious, and slow. / I've been an elephant all me life, so I bloomin' well ought to know!" The elephantine narrator then describes how he avoids the dutiful life of the typical elephant by shamming amnesia. "Me mind's a perfect blank. / Now life is very much easier. Amnesier's to thank."
* The British folk song ''Nellie the Elephant'', which later received an AnimatedAdaptation.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* The Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Donphan is known for clearing roads after disasters.
* The title character of ''VideoGame/ElephantQuest'' is both stoically determined to regain his hat, and loyally prepared to undergo {{Side Quest}}s for his friends while he does so. Averted with the other elephants, who are excitable ApatheticCitizens.
* The aforementioned Ganesha in Mythology section is featured in ''VideoGame/{{Smite}}'' and is a guardian that shares his kill benefits even better to his nearby teammates. He's also able to slow down while granting protections to his teammates.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Woolie from ''WesternAnimation/CatsDontDance''.
* Subverted with Stampy from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. As Bart's pet, he was surly and destructive, so the family sends him to a sanctuary, thinking that he would be more peaceful among his own kind. But once there, he started being the same way toward the other elephants, causing the caretaker to remark that some elephants are just jerks.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' cartoon "Jerry and Jumbo", an elephant loyally defends Jerry from Tom after [[AndroclesLion Jerry pulls a nail from the elephant's foot]].
* Dolores from some of the WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts.
* In the Disney short ''[[WesternAnimation/SillySymphonies Elmer Elephant]]'', the title character is a heroic anthropomorphic elephant who saves his LoveInterest Tilly Tiger from a fire.
* The short ''Disney/GoliathII'' is about a [[AnimalsNotToScale mouse-sized]] elephant who wants to get the respect of his pompous father.
* Lumpy from ''Franchise/WinnieThePooh'' and his mother are both kind and heroic Heffalumps (elephant-like creatures) - in stark contrast with the other, villainous Heffalumps of the franchise.
* Raj from ''WesternAnimation/CampLazlo''.
* Mama Mirabelle and her son Max from ''WesternAnimation/MamaMirabellesHomeMovies''
* Ellivan from ''WesternAnimation/JungleJunction''.
* The WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes short ''Hobo Bobo''.
* The Elephants from the elephant village in ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}} [=ThunderCats (2011)=]]]'' . These elephants notably subvert the "elephant never forget" stereotype, since while they are wise, they have [[ForgetfulJones very poor memories]] which they are apparently infamous for. They're also pacifistic to the point that they prefer to solve their problems by meditating until the answer comes to them rather than act straight away. [[spoiler:[[BewareTheNiceOnes But that doesn't mean they're complete pushovers]].]]
* Lotsa Heart elephant in ''Franchise/CareBears''
* WesternAnimation/TheLargeFamily, a slice of life show focusing on a town full of antropomorphic elephants.
* ''WesternAnimation/EllaTheElephant'', based on the books by Carmela D' Amico and Steven Henry.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys'', every elephant which Eliza befriends has played this trope straight.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The Oakland Athletics baseball team uses an elephant as its mascot, as well as one of its alternate names.
* Real elephants are used in Indian temple processions to carry gods, and some of them are sacred animals that bless devotees.
* Elephants are not really as noble-hearted as you might think from such intelligent organisms; adolescents have been known to kill rhinos and other animals for amusement. There are even claims that elephants occasionally indulge in necrophilia both with members of their species and with other creatures. On the other hand, they are social animals and do have something similar to human empathy.