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[[quoteright:200:[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/large-ham2_2840.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:200:[[Creator/WilliamShatner One ham]] [[VisualPun singing an ode to another.]]]]

->''"[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=082y805mkA8#t=143s Stand aside, everyone! I take LARGE STEPS!]]"''
-->-- '''MilesGloriosus''', ''Theatre/AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum''

A ridiculously larger-than-life character, public speaker, or orator full of charisma, energy, ''joie de vivre'', [[HotBlooded blood as hot as the surface of the Sun]] and poetically powerful speeches with [[MilkingTheGiantCow dramatic gestures]] that [[ChewingTheScenery can devastate a scene to a billion pieces]] and transform even the most humdrum scene into the most '''''[[MundaneMadeAwesome GRANDIOSE]]'''''. Often played by a guest star with an Internet Movie Database listing longer than the rest of the cast put together.

They usually [[NoIndoorVoice lack an indoor voice]], and greatly relish {{badass boast}}ings where they will ''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis punctuate]]'' and '''emphasize''' '''''[[EmphasizeEverything EVERYTHING]]'''''. [[IncomingHam The first line]] from the Large Ham will be dramatic, portentous, often just before the act break and can almost always be replaced with: "Did somebody order A LARGE HAM?!" Try it at home; it's great fun.

Popular implementations include: '''[[Creator/BrianBlessed BRIAN BLESSED]]''' in Britain, [[Creator/WilliamShatner William! Shatner!]] '''In'''! North...America. and Creator/NorioWakamoto in Japan. Many large hams in the past have some experience in stage acting and theater: when you have to poetically act for the back rows ([[{{Opera}} especially when coupled with music]]) it makes sense. Having an outrageous appearance is helpful but not a requirement. While often male, actresses can pull it off, but it's rarer for them. Often cast as a {{one scene wonder}}, or a [[HamAndCheese key redeeming element]] in shows that are SoBadItsGood.

The origin of the term is unclear: is either from the use of hamfat as a cheap make-up remover in the old days of theatre, or because "ham" serves as short for "amateur" (as in [[LargeHamRadio ham radio]]); Leslie Charteris stated it derived from "''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''" in a ''Literature/TheSaint'' short story. Another possibility is the phrase of a 'hamfisted' way of handling a situation.

One of the United Kingdom's most active export industries. If a character is depicted as an American in a BBC series, he's likely to be one of these. If in a few scenes many Large Hams come together, the likely result is HamToHamCombat.

Large Hams are a [[FountainOfMemes very rich source]] of Vitamin {{Meme|ticMutation}} and very often feature in {{YouTube Poop}}s.

While {{Narm}} is their primary flaw, the large hams are likely to have come from [[JustForPun Hillshire Narm]] (Go {{Keet}}!) But more often these actors are NarmCharm. A few moments of over-acting do not make a Large Ham. The actor must, to all intents and purposes, be deliberately playing the character that way.

A Large Ham may occasionally be CrazyAwesome. Often a character trait of the BoisterousBruiser. [[EvilIsHammy Villainous Hams]] also enjoy getting DrunkOnTheDarkSide. A SmugSuper relishes showing off their power this way.

Note that although it is rare, one can be very hammy without raising one's voice at all. Being hammy is about the ''emphasis'' in what you say (and MilkingTheGiantCow to no small degree), and while emphasis can be easily shown by having NoIndoorVoice, it is not the only way. This is what makes the ColdHam trope possible.

If it is '''the setting itself''' that seems to ''demand'' that ham is served ''in profusion'', dipped in ''abundant'' {{Hot Blood|ed}}, because it's ''just'' how the setting ''works'', you may be in front of a '''{{World|OfHam}}''' [[WorldOfHam of]] ''[[WorldOfHam Ham]]'': those can provide for '''marvelous''' entertainment, ''if'' your [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief Willing Suspenders Of Disbelief]] are elastic enough.

Compare {{Melodrama}}, HamAndCheese, MilkingTheGiantCow, {{Camp}}, EvilIsHammy, IncomingHam, HamToHamCombat, DramaQueen, ComicalOverreacting.

Contrast DangerDeadpan, TheStoic, SoftSpokenSadist, TheQuietOne, though ColdHam allows overlap.

''Just so it's noted, just because a character/actor is hammy [[TropesAreTools does not mean they are bad or ridiculous - far from it!]]''
* LargeHam/{{Advertising}}
* LargeHam/{{Anime}}
* LargeHam/ComicBooks
* LargeHam/FanFic
* LargeHam/{{Film}}
* LargeHam/{{Literature}}
* LargeHam/LiveActionTV
** LargeHam/DoctorWho
** LargeHam/StarTrek
* LargeHam/{{Music}}
* LargeHam/{{Pinball}}
* LargeHam/ProfessionalWrestling
* LargeHam/{{Theater}}
* LargeHam/VideoGames
* LargeHam/WebComics
* LargeHam/WebOriginal
* LargeHam/WesternAnimation
** LargeHam/{{Disney}}
* LargeHam/{{Other}}
* LargeHam/RealLife