%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1452266899092104700
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:275:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hobo_king.png]]
[[caption-width-right:275:You will address him as 'Your Homeless'.]]

->''"All hail the Hobo King"''

This character is the leader or even "king" of all the homeless, indigent, and castoffs in a city. Either by dint of age, respect, or obstinate madness he has authority over the homeless. The king may be a crime boss type, a mayor who keeps their society running, TheFagin leading a group of street urchins, or an actual king who holds court. Regardless of how much wealth he has, he always stays purposefully poor and in a homeless lifestyle.

More often than not, {{Muggles}} in the know will respect him and even ask him for help or WisdomFromTheGutter, assuming he doesn't have a higher education equivalent knowledge. Usually these guys are also suffering a mental illness that makes them a CloudCuckooLander. However, an especially beloved king (it helps if they aren't violent) may have their delusion humored by a whole city.

See also/compare TheFagin and WastelandElder. For a normal king who is now homeless, see FallenPrincess. This trope is almost AlwaysMale, hence the use of masculine pronouns.

----

!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* In ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' [[spoiler: Chief Aramaki's missing brother]] turns out to be one in an episode near the end of the first season. He's arrested on trumped up charges to get at his brother. In the second season he has a cameo in order to give [[spoiler: [[AntiVillain Kuze]]]] somebody to explain his plan to.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* The Creator/JimStarlin ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' miniseries ''[[ComicBook/BatmanTheCult The Cult]]'' features Deacon Blackfire's [[PathOfInspiration evil cult]] of homeless people.
* During the Creator/FrankMiller run of ''[[ComicBook/DareDevil Daredevil]]'' the title character encountered "the King," who ruled the homeless in the New York sewer system in analogy to [[ArchEnemy the Kingpin]] ruling the New York mobs. He even has own pet SewerGator that [[FedToTheBeast he feeds with those who displease him]].
* Marvel also has an evil example, the Tatterdemalion. Originally a member of high society from a rich family, he was swindled out of everything he owned by Las Vegas mobsters, and because a destitute. After being recruited by [[MegaCorp the Committee]] to foster an environment of fear in Los Angeles, he committed random crimes against the wealthy, destroying their material possessions, motivated purely out of envy and hatred towards the system. He has fought heroes like ComicBook/{{Spider Man}}, the ComicBook/WerewolfByNight, and ComicBook/GhostRider.
* One ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'' comic has a literal King of the Homeless, holding court in the sewers.
* One story in ''ComicBook/TheGoon'' has the term "hobo jungle" taken literally, with the hoboes looking like Amazonian natives. Their king is a long-haired guitar player.
* In Creator/DCComics's brief ''Magog'' series there was a villain named Miasma who was basically Bernie Madoff turned into this trope.
* In the pages of the ''ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica'', the GoldenAge supervillain Ragdoll eventually becomes one of these, forming a cult around himself that he uses to terrorize Star City and his old nemesis ComicBook/{{Starman}}.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* The Chairman in ''Film/BasnOLudziachStad'' is a crime boss type. Getting rid of him (kinda...) causes much rejoicing.
%% Please help confirm if this is a valid example: * Perry in ''Film/TheFisherKing counts''. When we first see him we get the impression he protects tribes of homeless against anti-bum vigilantes, and may well be held in the role of some kind of leader.
* ''Film/JohnWickChapter2'' has the Bowery King, who runs a network of homeless or otherwise downtrodden people throughout New York City.
* ''Film/KingOfBeggars'', a ''{{Wuxia}}'' movie starring Creator/StephenChow, deals with a main character who quests to become one.
* Played for laughs in ''Film/TheMuppets'', with hoboes carrying off a tied-up Creator/JackBlack while declaring him their King. (It actually does make sense in context. Sort of.)
* ''Film/{{Newsies}}'' has the newsboys of New York who live together and buy the newspapers to sell them to the people. When their prices are raised, Jack Kelly bands them together to go on strike, but they need every borough of New York, especially Brooklyn which is the territory of Spot Conlon. He's the key... the most respected and... famous... newsie in New York...
* ''Film/SilentMovie'' has a gag where Mel Funn -- having just fallen off the wagon, hard -- buys an absolutely massive wine bottle and stumbles into a back alley. All the homeless in the alley gather around Mel and hail him as "the king of the winos".
* Soviet propaganda film ''Film/{{Strike}}'' has such a character, who is actually referred to as the "King". ("My kingdom is limitless.") He mobilizes his army of vagrants to infiltrate the striking workers and cause a disturbance, so the authorities will have an excuse to break the strike with force.
* The Beggar Sect is a faction that shows up often in many {{Wuxia}} works, and the leader is called the King of Beggars, who usually masters two distinctive styles, the 18 Dragon Subduing Palms and The Dog Beating Stick, each a legendary style of combat.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
* ''Literature/TheAreasOfMyExpertise'' discusses the Hobo Kings in some depth. Among other distinctive features, they apparently reincarnate rather like the Dalai Lama.
* ''Literature/BloodsuckingFiends'' has a Homeless King in San Francisco, very clearly modeled on Emperor Norton of the same city.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' has Queen Molly, head of the Beggar's Guild. This is PlayedForLaughs; the King or Queen of the Beggars has to be aware of their station, so in ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'', Molly's predecessor asks people if they could spare 300 dollars for a civic banquet, or could put him up in a sixteen-bedroom mansion for the night.
* There's the Beggar King of Nadsokor from the ''Literature/TheElricSaga''. A whole [[PlanetOfHats city where everyone has the kind of defects]] that characterize [[WretchedHive the worst of the lumpenproletariat beggars]], and the story is about their king stealing Elric's imperial jewels.
* Rafi, from James Elroy Flecker's ''[[http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/3834/pg3834-images.html Hassan]]'' (1923), is probably the earliest straight example of this trope happening on a large scale: He's rich and conspiring against the Sultan - This, of course, makes this one OlderThanTelevision.
* Clopin in ''Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' is something along the lines of a beggar king. He is a beggar, conman, and pickpocket, whose skill has earned him the leadership position among the Romani, and lower class citizens. He [[JokerJury decides judgement of Trespassers]] in the Court of Miracles. Clopin's main redeeming factor is [[AFatherToHisMen his genuine concern for all his "subjects"]], and willingness to put his life on the line to help them.
* Cheng Pa, the leader of the Beggar's Guild in some of the ''Literature/JudgeDee'' stories. Despite his laid-back personality, he's just as capable a fighter as the judge's henchmen (one scene has him settle a dispute between two beggars by picking them both up and knocking their skulls together). He's also a civil force to be reckoned with: anybody who pisses him off can look forward to an army of filthy hoboes parked on their business' doorstep, driving customers away without any violence or effort on their part. He also has a major crush (hinted to be reciprocated) on a Mongolian wrestling champion, but can't make an official proposal due to his position, while she won't respond to anything but an official proposal.
* The novel ''The King of Schnorrers'' involves a character who is the leader of professional beggars in London.
* Koba is the leader of Echo's homeless in ''Literature/LabyrinthsOfEcho''.
* Nikos Kazantzakis portrayed UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} in this fashion in his novel ''Literature/TheLastTemptationOfChrist'', which also carried over to Creator/MartinScorsese's [[Film/TheLastTemptationOfChrist film adaptation]]--[[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment not without controversy of course]].
* The ''Literature/MatthewSwift'' series has the Beggar King, a character who is the embodiment of this trope -- literally, as in-universe, [[ArchetypalCharacter Archetypal Characters]] abound if their trope is famous enough.
* ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'' has a whole ''feudal system'' among the denizens of London Below, but there doesn't seem to be any particular overlord. The highest-ranking single person seems to be the Earl of Earl's Court.
* In ''Literature/{{Reliquary}}'', Mephisto is the leader of a large community of homeless living in the tunnels under Manhattan. Pendergast and D'Agosta seek his help in navigating the tunnels and finding the den of the Wrinklers.
* The Outcaste in the ''Literature/{{Spaceforce}}'' novels are people who have been convicted of serious crimes by the Taysan Empire, and stripped of their caste -- which means they have no way of earning a living and typically starve to death. In the second book, ''Deadline'', we meet a former royal bodyguard, Calia, who was punished for the heinous offence of marrying a servant, and has organised the rest of the Outcaste into a secret community.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
** In the ''Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy'' Jacen and Jaina Solo got lost in Coruscant's underworld and stumbled into Dakyim's Kingdom, a community of refugees. Their leader was King Onibald Daykim, a former low-level banker who led his fellow bureaucrats into hiding when they earned the Emperor's ire. After learning the Emperor was dead and the Empire largely collapsed, Onibald decided to remain a king rather than return to banking.
* ''Literature/ThievesWorld'': Moruth the Beggar King was the leader of the beggars in the Downwind section of Sanctuary.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Aibou'': There's a whole homeless republic/hippie commune in a section of one of the cities, and its self-appointed President becomes the victim of a crime.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Byron, leader of the rogue telepaths on the eponymous space station.
* "The Doctor" from the ''Series/CriminalMinds'' episode ''Persuader'', a vindictive former StageMagician who led a community of homeless pickpockets living in an AbsurdlySpaciousSewer. He attracts the BAU's attention when he begins having followers who tried to leave him killed.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E4DaleksInManhattan "Daleks In Manhattan"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E5EvolutionOfTheDaleks "Evolution of the Daleks"]] features a Depression-era Hooverville in New York City, where the ''de facto'' leader of the homeless is a wise man [[MeaningfulName named Solomon]].
* ''Series/{{Newsradio}}'': Jimmy James's nemesis Johnny Johnson, having been ruined in a previous episode, showed up later as "King of the Winos".
* An early episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'' has a murder occur in the flood run-off tunnels underneath Washington, D.C. The primary witness/suspect is a homeless man who lives in the tunnels, and has a clear position of leadership and respect among the homeless community down there. Brennan has to remind Booth that the homeless man does have authority in the tunnels, so Booth can't just rough up or intimidate the guy like he would normally do.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters'' we meet Dregs, who died in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity. Returning from the dead actually cleared up most of his mental difficulties, and he's now the unofficial chief of an krewe of homeless Sin-Eaters protecting the indigent from supernatural predators, and acting as information brokers to other krewes.
* The Beggar King, leader of the Beggar Fraternity in ''TabletopGame/LegendsOfTheWulin''. This being a Wuxia game, he's obviously a badass Kung Fu master, and in fact winning a martial arts tournament in which everyone is open to participate is one of the requirements for being the King's successor.
* The ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' GaidenGame ''TabletopGame/{{Necromunda}}'' has the special character Redwart the Magnificent, the self-proclaimed King of the mutant and destitute Scavvies who are forced to live in the most polluted and dilapidated areas of the Underhive.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre]]
* In ''Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera'', Peachum is the head of London's Beggar's Guild and is referred to at least once as the Beggar King/King of the Beggars.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* One of the Templar targets that Arno pursues in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedUnity'' is [[NoNameGiven le Roi des Thunes]], translated as "The King of Beggars". [[spoiler: After Arno assassinates him, he's replaced by the Marquis de Sade. Yes, ''[[Creator/MarquisDeSade that]]'' de Sade. Fortunately, he's an ally to Arno and the Assassins.]]
* ''{{VideoGame/inFAMOUS}}'' has Alden Tate of the Dustmen, who are sort of... super-powered homeless that can make junk {{mecha}} and [[GoddamnedBats trash spiders]].
* Hodgman the Hoboverlord from ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing''.
* ''VideoGame/Portal2'': In an AlternateUniverse, Cave Johnson became the Hobo King, ruling over the derelict remains of Aperture.
%%* The Hobo King from ''VideoGame/{{Stacking}}'' (DLC).
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' has Archibald, the King of the Hobos, who wears half of a Campbell's Soup can as a crown. He may have actually done some ruling as a hobo king, but that was before he went on adventures, befriended a mummy, became immortal, and took over as mayor of Cumberland.
* ''Johnny Saturn'' features a literally underground society that functions surprisingly well, and while they have some main members, John Underhall is pretty much their king.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Games ]]
* ''Videogame/FallenLondon'' has the Topsy King, additionally a TalkativeLoon.
-->'''Who is the Topsy King?'''\\
In his own words: 'A goden most capering! Hines the walkskies, chanter the powb raggedy men. Dab with viddlo, too, goden!' So there we have it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' introduced [[CanonForeigner the Sewer King]], who fits the Fagin archetype of this trope.
* ''The Santa Claus Brothers'' had one who also thought he was the King of France.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|2003}}'' had The Garbageman, a hideous and ruthless villain who dreams of ruling a garbage kingdom with the homeless as his slaves. After he was defeated, The Professor (so named because he used to be a university professor) became a good and wise leader to the homeless and gave a valuable Aesop on recycling.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* Bruce Lee ([[Creator/BruceLee not that one]]) is a drug dealer and former street fighter who acts as the self-appointed leader and protector of the huge population of homeless, addicts, street kids and other social rejects in Romania's captial city Bucharest. He even rules a community in the underground heating tunnels beneath the city.
* Steam Train Maury, who died in 2006, was for much of his life the King of the Hobos, elected by the National Hobo Convention.
[[/folder]]

----