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.

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!!Examples:

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[[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.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* The JimStarlin ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' miniseries ''[[BatmanTheCult The Cult]]'' features Deacon Blackfire's [[PathOfInspiration evil cult]] of homeless people.
* During the 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.
* 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 DCComics's brief ''Magog'' series there was a villain named Miasma who was basically Bernie Madoff turned into this trope.

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[[folder: 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...
%% Please help confirm if this is a valid example: * Perry in ''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.
* In ''[[Franchise/EvilDead Army Of Darkness]]'', Ash meets Duke Henry, the leader of a band of poor townfolk who were banished from the King's castle. Ash quickly reminds him just how much his supposed status is worth:
-->'''Duke Henry''': You Sir, are not one of my vassals... who are you?
-->'''Ash''': Who wants to know?
-->'''Duke Henry''': I am Henry the Red. Duke of Shale, Lord of the Northlands and leader of its peoples.
-->'''Ash''': Well hello Mister Fancypants. Well, I've got news for you pal, you ain't leadin' but two things, right now: Jack and shit... and Jack left town.
* ''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".
* 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.)
* KingOfBeggars, a WuXia movie starring Creator/StephenChow, deals with a main character who eventually becomes a Beggar King.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''ThievesWorld'' series. Moruth the Beggar King was the leader of the beggars in the Downwind section of Sanctuary.
* ''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 ''Literature/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.
* ''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.
* The novel ''The King of Schnorrers'' involves a character who is the leader of professional beggars in London.
* ''BloodsuckingFiends'' has a Homeless King inSan Francisco, very clearly modeled on Emperor Norton of the same city.
* Koba is the leader of Echo's homeless in ''Literature/LabyrinthsOfEcho''.
* 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.
* 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.
* Clopin in ''Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' is something along the lines of a beggar king.
* ''Literature/TheAreasOfMyExpertise'' discusses the Hobo Kings in some depth. Among other distinctive features, they apparently reincarnate rather like the Dalai Lama.
* 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 legendary styles of combat. Needless to say, this character is usually a BadAss.
* In the ''JediAcademyTrilogy'' Jacen and Jaina 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 collapse, Onibald decided to remain a king than return to banking.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Byron, leader of the rogue telepaths on the eponymous space station.
* The ''DoctorWho'' two-parter "Daleks In Manhattan"/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]].
* ''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.

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[[folder: Musical ]]

* 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.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* Flavor text from ''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters'' informs us of Dregs, a homeless Sin-Eater who died in NewYorkCity. Returning from the dead actually cleared up most of his mental difficulties, and he's now the unofficial chief of an alliance of homeless Sin-Eaters throughout NYC, protecting the indigent from supernatural predators and acting as information brokers.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Hodgman the Hoboverlord from ''KingdomOfLoathing''.
* The Hobo King from ''{{Stacking}}'' (DLC).
* ''{{VideoGame/inFAMOUS}}'' has Alden Tate of the Dustmen, who are sort of... super-powered homeless that can make junk {{mecha}} and [[GoddamnedBats trash spiders]].
* In an AlternateUniverse, [[{{Portal2}} Cave Johnson]] became the Hobo King, ruling over the derelict remains of Aperture.

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[[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.

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[[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.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''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.
* ''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.

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