[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/john_harvard_8862.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[-John Harvard, Founder, 1638 ([[BlatantLies except not]])-] ]]

->''"The plaque for Burbank was filed in May first, 1887, by Dave Burbank, a dentist from the East Coast who got a wild hair up his ass one day and said, 'I'm gonna go west and form a town', and indeed he did! End of story! That's it, that's all that happened... Burbank was all like, 'Hey do you mind if I, uh, form a town here?' 'Sure, go ahead!' The end!"''
-->-- '''Creator/PattonOswalt'''

A universal trope, spotted as often in [[RealLife reality]] as it is in fiction. OurFounder is a statue of the FounderOfTheKingdom... be they a brave pioneer who established a colony in the New World, a missionary traveling the land building communities for his faith, a conqueror on his way to fame and riches, or a big-shot mogul who struck Big Business and got a nice-size stone replica of himself for his efforts. These are often to be spotted at crossroads, communal plazas downtown, or at parks, with some nice benches with old ladies feeding pigeons on them.

A favorite of [[{{Egopolis}} megalomaniacal despots with imperial aspirations]] and a very common decorative feature in places with [[MalevolentMugshot villains that put their face on everything.]]

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* Since the marketing campaign that reintroduced "Jack", the Jack in the Box clown, as "CEO" of Jack in the Box, all Jack in the Box locations have prominently displayed a ornately framed portrait of Jack, with the inscription, "Our Founder" at the bottom.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Kamina gets a statue at the heart of Kamina City at the halfway point of ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''. [[spoiler:He didn't live long enough to found the city himself, but he ''was'' the inspiration to its actual founders.]] After it is learned that his actions incurred the wrath of ScaryDogmaticAliens, the Antispiral, the statue is [[ToppledStatue toppled]] by panicking citizens as a [[SmashTheSymbol sign of refutation]].
* Arle Heinessen, founder of the Free Planets Alliance has a huge statue of himself in the ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'', towering over the capital, bearing a close resemblance to Rio de Janeiro's "Christ the Redeemer".
* One of these serves as a plot point in the fifth episode of ''Anime/{{Kaiba}}''.
* Parodied in the ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' anime. Principal Kunō is extremely fond of statues of himself, including a big one he'd set up at the entrance of Fūrinkan Highschool "for students to prostern before". It is promptly destroyed by Ranma, who wasn't even paying attention.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Cornelius Coot, the founder of Duckburg, WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck and entourage's duck-inhabited home town, in the CarlBarks-penned issues of Walt Disney Comics. One instance had [[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse Uncle Scrooge McDuck]] and a foreign Raj competing to build the biggest one; it got to the point where you couldn't see the statues in their entirety from within the town borders.
* There's a statue of Civil War-era trader Ezra Small outside Smallville city hall in some ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' continuities.
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[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Jubilation T. Cornpone in ''ComicStrip/LilAbner'' (and in [[{{Theater}} the musical]]).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/HalfLifeFullLifeConsequences'': [[spoiler:John Freeman]], Saver of Humens.
* Evil Calvin sets up one of these monuments after [[spoiler:taking over the world]] in ''Fanfic/RetroChill''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''Film/OsmosisJones'', our founder is (what else?) a sperm cell.
* A statue of Stanley Steamer in ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}''. Or, it may not be a statue at all, but Stanley himself, bronzed.
* At the end of ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke: The Ballad of the Daltons'', a statue of the late Henry Dalton is seen next to the orphanage that was built thanks to his money. More specificaly, it's a statue of Henry Dalton on a horse and ''about to be hanged''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In TheFilmOfTheBook ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Two Towers]]'', there is a statue of Helm Hammerhand in Helm's Deep, though it is not named in the dialogue. It may be mentioned in the director's commentary, though. They don't directly name the statue, but his horn is explicitly named at least once.
-->'''Theodin:''' The Horn of Helm Hammerhand shall sound in the deep, one last time!
* There's a statue of the founder of the college in ''Film/AnimalHouse'', complete with super-bland quote/motto "Knowledge Is Good".
* ''Film/BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure''. There's a statue of Bill and Ted in TheFuture! In this case, they're not the actual ''founders'' of the future community. It was just totally enlightened by their radical "Be excellent to each other / Party on, dudes" philosophy.
* The Joel Schumacher-directed installments of the [[TheEighties 1980s]] / [[TheNineties 1990s]] ''Film/{{Batman}}'' film series has enormous statues of unspecified men (and, inexplicably, a replica of the Statue of Liberty) littered around Gotham City.
* The first ''Film/FantasticFour'' movie begins with Reed and Ben visiting Victor Von Doom to get funding for Reed's experiment; the two pause to watch as a gigantic statue of Doom is being erected outside his offices.
* Not the founder of Gotham, but [[spoiler:the Goddamn Batman]] gets a statue erected in rememberance of his heroic deeds at the end of ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''.
* In ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'', Geordi mentions to Zephram Cochrane that the spot where he's standing is the future location of a statue of himself in the 24th century. He tries to RefuseTheCall after hearing this, and has to be stunned by Riker.
--> '''Riker:''' You told him about the statue?
* ''Battle for the Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' has a statue of Caesar, the ape civilization's founder.
** The TimBurton remake ends with [[spoiler:Leo walks up the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial and sees the statue of General Thade, who went back in time farther than Leo and started an ape rebellion]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The Asimov short story entitled "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_a_Good_Cause— In a Good Cause]]" centers around the unfairness of these statues, as the idealist to whom the primary statue in the story is erected is [[spoiler: committed to his cause, but almost completely irrelevant to realizing it.]]
* The novel ''[[Literature/WhoCensoredRogerRabbit Who Plugged Roger Rabbit?]]'' has the "Toontown Telltale" headquarters, where a popular checkout-line tabloid is printed. The columns at the door are carved to resemble the paper's four Toon founders: Sleazy, Slimey, Dreck, and Profane. [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Let that be an indication of the contents of the paper]].
* Subverted in Creator/DianaWynneJones's ''[[Literature/DarkLordOfDerkholm Year of the Griffin]]'', the statue of the wizard Policant actually turns out to [[spoiler:''be'' Policant, who apparently turned himself into a statue as part of a prophecy, to be revived in the titular Year of the Griffin.]]
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** Alberto Malich, founder of Unseen University. When Malich returned from [[TheGrimReaper Death's country]] in ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'' and destroyed his statue they believed the statue had come to life. When Malich went back the wizards recommended that the replacement statue be constructed in a very secure dungeon.
** In ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'', Rincewind finds a statue of One Sun Mirror, founder of the Agatean Empire, on a pedestal of gold in a lake of quicksilver beneath a huge artificial hill built by the Forbidden City. He notes the inscription on it, which simply says "One Sun Mirror". The implication being that no-one standing there could fail to know who that was.
** There's a statue of Khuft, the founder of Djelibeybi, in ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}''. It shows a noble figure with a patriarchal face, an outstretched hand and a chin you could crack rocks on. When Teppic has a vision of a toothless and rather shifty old man in a grubby loincloth, it takes him a while to make the connection.
* Our Munsell in ''Literature/ShadesOfGrey''.
* The ''Literature/EdgarAndEllen'' book series features the town of Nod's Limbs. An incident regarding the statue erected to the town's founder is the reason the town (originally called Nod's Lands) bears its current name.
* In the ''Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures'' novel ''The Ancestor Cell'', there are statues of the six founders of Time Lord society ([[Recap/DoctorWhoS10E1TheThreeDoctors Omega]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E3TheDeadlyAssassin Rassillon]], [[Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures the Other]], Pandak, Aperion and Eutenoyar) in the six corners of the Panopticon. Until people start screwing around with time, so there are four statues (one of which is the Doctor) and eventually just one.
* Craig Shaw Gardner's {{Novelization}} of Tim Burton's ''Film/{{Batman}}'' has a scene, cut from the film at the script stage, in which the mayor unveils a statue he expects to be of John T. Gotham, but which is actually of the Joker.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In a similar spirit, the statue of Jayne Cobb in Jaynestown on ''Series/{{Firefly}}''.
* The Master did this, rather epically, in the series 3 finale of ''Series/DoctorWho''.
-->'''Martha:''' All over the Earth, those things. [[RushmoreRefacement He's even carved himself into Mount Rushmore.]]
* The offices of ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' Consulting have an oil painting of "Hiram Leverage III" (actually an aged-up Nathan Ford).
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Puppet Shows]]
* The statue of Kermit in the park in ''Film/ItsAVeryMerryMuppetChristmasMovie'' isn't an example. When the ItsAWonderfulPlot kicks in and the park becomes a shopping mall dominated by a statue of CorruptCorporateExecutive Rachel Bitterman, on the other hand...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* In the radio version only of ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', the 15-mile-high statue of Arthur Dent on the planet Brontitall. (He didn't found the society there, but he inadvertantly inspired them to alter their entire way of life.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} IOU'' has a statue in the middle of the "Pent" marked "Our Founder". Said statue is humanoid-shaped, but worn down with age, and has hints of tentacles on the face. Oh, and testing showed it to be older than the universe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* That famous statue in Disneyland of Creator/WaltDisney and Mickey Mouse.
* Similar to Disney, Hersheypark in Pennsylvania boasts a bronze statue of chocolate mogul Milton Hershey.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/EpicMickey'' has a replica of the Disneyland statue, but with Oswald the Rabbit instead of Mickey, as Oswald is Wasteland's ruler.
* There's a statue of the protagonist of ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiI'' in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiII''.
* ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie'' has the evil villain Gruntilda, who rather likes to decorate things having to do with her with grand-scale depictions of herself. Her lair itself is shaped like her head, but the most Our Founder-esque example is the enormous statue of herself she keeps in a swamp, surrounded by a moat guarded by a giant piranha.
* In many ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros.'' platformers (and even some spin-offs such as ''VideoGame/MarioKart''), the world is littered with stone depictions of BigBad Bowser. Most of them are actually in his castle, though, along with big portraits of him and doors carved in his image.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'', New Pork City has a giant Porky statue which serves as a bonus boss.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''
** Two examples from ''SonicCD'' are the EasterEgg at Wacky Workbench, and the giant statue at Stardust Speedway.
** Act 2 of Panic Puppet Zone from ''3D Blast'' revolves around climbing a path that surrounds an Eggman statue.
** Hang Castle of ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes''. Sonic calls attention to an Eggman statue at a certain point in the stage. [[spoiler:And then it flips over to show [[{{Foreshadowing}} Metal Sonic]].]]
** ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' has Eggman finally build Eggmanland and one of the first things Sonic sees is a giant gold Eggman statue in front of the gate.
--->'''Sonic:''' I'll never understand Eggman's tastes.
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', Medina Village was founded by Ozzie after Magus lost the Fiend-Human War in 600 AD. His descendant is the town's mayor, and after you defeat Magus, they dance around Ozzie's statue (because Magus is no longer quite so inspiring). Defeat ''Ozzie'', however, and all of this vanishes -- the fiends, without anyone to stir up antihuman resentment, founded the town themselves, and Ozzie's descendant is now a janitor. The change is reflected by the attitude of the townsfolk and the background music. Prior to defeating Ozzie, the townsfolk are hostile to outsiders, the music is dark and foreboding and creepy chanting fills the main square. After kicking Ozzie's ass, the townsfolk are friendly and the music is cheerful and upbeat sans chanting.
* ''Franchise/BioShock''
** In ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'', statues of Comstock can be found all around Columbia. A similar statue is also shown at the beginning of Rosalind Lutece (or Robert Lutece via a Tear), the scientist responsible for Columbia being [[FloatingContinent able to float]].
** ''VideoGame/BioShock1'' also opens with a large bust of Andrew Ryan above the Bathysphere that takes you to Rapture.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', as the Nords of Skyrim venerate Talos, the apotheosis of the Emperor Tiber Septim, there are naturally numerous statues or shrines dedicated to him in several of the cities and dotted about the landscape.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'': the final firefight in the Grissom Academy level involves a large statue of Jon Grissom.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''
** Redcloak has his statue in Azure City. It says "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0660.html Our Leader]]" since he didn't found the city, just conquered it.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0750.html General Tarquin]] also has a statue of him lording over a beheaded enemy in Bleedingham.
* In the ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' chapter "Jägermonsters to the Rescue", it turns out that [[spoiler:in Agatha's two-year absence, Gil has topped Mechanicsburg's city walls]] with towering statues of Agatha.[[note]]While not its founder, Agatha ''is'' the Heterodyne, and therefore the rightful ruler.[[/note]] Dimo describes them as being over 150 meters tall. For the non-metrically inclined, that's ''500 feet''. Agatha is... less than pleased.
-->'''Agatha:''' I... I am going to '''kill''' him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** Jebediah Obadiah Zachariah Jebidiah Springfield (Hans Sprongfeld), whose statue embiggens Springfield's main square.
** Shelbyville also has a statue of their founder, Shelbyville Manhattan, along with two women, possibly his cousins.
** One episode has a hospital erect a bronze statue of Homer after he gave them a gigantic donation. What they didn't realize is that it was Mr. Burns making the donation through Homer.
** "Bart Vs. Australia" has an Australian museum with a giant statue of a Snake lookalike with the caption "Our First Prime Minister" (a reference to Australia having been used as a penal colony).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'': Dale Dimm, the founder of Dimmsdale.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''
** The town from the episode "Avatar Day" has a statue of Chin the Great/the Conquerer, although that also doubles as a memorial, as it's on the spot he died. [[spoiler:Well, almost on the spot. He [[DisneyVillainDeath plummeted off a cliff]], and you can't put a statue in thin air.]]
** Avatar Kyoshi also had one in her hometown, interestingly... as she was the one who killed the aforementioned Chin, creating Kyoshi Island in the process.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''
** Republic City's harbor has a giant statue of Aang, the Avatar from the [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender previous series]], who founded United Republic alongside [[spoiler:Zuko]].
** The city's police headquarters has a life-sized statue of Toph, who played a part in the force's organization and training.
** Zuko also got a statue of himself in front of Central Station, complete with real fire streaming from his outstretched hand.
** Cabbage Merchant gets a statue outside of Cabbage Corp.
** Sokka has a statue on top of a tiered fountain in front of the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center. It features him holding aloft his [[ContinuityNod trusty]] [[WeaponOfChoice boomerang]].
* ''WesternAnimation/MonsterBusterClub'': Addison Single, founder of Single Town. But [[ThatsNoMoon that's no statue...]] [[spoiler:It's Addison Single himself, who is in truth an alien BlobMonster, turned into stone.]]
* The city wherein ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' is set has [[Theatre/{{Harvey}} Elwood P. Dowd]], in a subtle and clever nod to [[NotSoImaginaryFriend the premise of the show]]. Of course, Foster's Home itself has a bust of Madam Foster, which Bloo promptly... [[IncrediblyLamePun busts.]]
* Whenever [[TheMeanBrit Mad Mod]] shows up in an episode of the ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' animated series, you can be sure his likeness will soon get plastered over almost everything: busts, portraits, statues, posters, ''et cetera''. He himself often (inexplicably) [[ArtShift metamorphoses into strange alternate (and usually British pop culture-themed) designs]], such as the Blue Meanie from ''WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine'' and God from ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail''. This counts as Our Founder because one time he used a grand-scale hypnotic trick to reclaim America in the name of Jolly Old England, proclaiming himself its first King.
* Similar to the ''Film/BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure'' example, ''WesternAnimation/HiHiPuffyAmiYumi'' has an episode in which the girls are whisked away to the year 3000 and discover that all of society is now founded on their music. There is a skyscraper-sized statue of them in the futuristic city, featuring both of them [[BackToBackBadasses back-to-back]] in a signature pose.
* The sentient worms who infested Fry's bowel in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "Parasites Lost" have a statue of Fry in their city. Instead of "Our Founder", the pedestal read "The Known Universe".
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/Aladdin'', there is a celebration devoted to the founder of Agrabah, but no actual statue. It would have been a mistake if there was one, of course, but that's hardly new for ''Aladdin'', so we'll put it down as coincidental accuracy.
* ''WesternAnimation/MuchaLucha'': At first, when the Headmistress spoke of the school's foundation, it seemed there was a painting of the founder but instead there was the man in person, always with a frame ahead of him and [[HisNameReallyIsBarkeep his name is "El Fundador"]]. His signature move is founding. In fact, he made the school appear from [[{{Hammerspace}} his pocket]] to finish an adversary who intended to turn masked wrestling into a fad.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': The Fireside Girls (at least the troop led by Isabella) seem to have a painting of their founder but she was just sitting in front of a framed window.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BarbieAndTheSecretDoor'', Malucia has a golden statue of herself. For her duel with Alexa, she puts a foam hand on it to cheer for herself.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Dave Burbank.
* Many universities in RealLife have Our Founder statues as well.
** Harvard famously has the Statue of Three Lies which reads: "John Harvard, Founder, 1638" ([[spoiler:the statue isn't of John Harvard, John Harvard was a contributor not the founder, Harvard was founded in 1636]])
** Averted with Texas A&M University. The statue that receives all the attention is Lawrence Sullivan Ross, the man attributed with saving the university.
** Also averted with the University of Maryland. The [[http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Jim_Henson_Statue best-known statue on campus]] (apart from that of the mascot) is actually of [[JimHenson one of the school's most famous alums]].
** Cornell University has one notable most for being across a quad from a statue of the first president and a local legend that if a virgin walks between them, the two statues will stand up, walk across the quad, and shake hands to congradulate each other on the university's chastity. They have yet to get out of their seats.
*** That's a joke variant on the traditional story, which is that they shake at midnight on the anniversary of the university's founding (or sometimes some other significant date). Footprints are painted on the sidewalk between them.
* University College London is an interesting one: its founder, Jeremy Bentham, had his body ''mummified'' and donated it to the school so they could save on the expense of a statue to commemorate him[[note]] The head is a waxwork as the mummification job left the original looking rather ghoulish and because [[WackyFratboyHijinks drunk students kept 'kidnapping' it]][[/note]]. There used to be a tradition of wheeling it into faculty meetings and making a note on the minutes that Bentham attended [[CaptainObvious but didn't vote on any motions]].
* Many countries do this for national heroes; Dublin's O'Connell Street has statues of Daniel O'Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell at each end.
* Apparently every town and city in Britain was founded by either Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, or both.
* William Penn looks down on Philadelphia from an impressive statue atop City Hall, at the center of the city's skyline. A several-year run of failure for Philadelphia's sports teams was blamed on a new stadium cutting off Penn's view of the river; perhaps it's a coincidence that when a small figurine of Penn was put on top of the stadium, facing the river, Philadelphia's teams subsequently won several championships.
* [=McDonald's=] for years had brass plaques at the entrances with "Our Founder, Ray Kroc"; the [=McDonald=] brothers themselves getting short, if any mention. Wendy's does something similar with a photograph of their founder in some promotional materials, as well as in framed posters all over any given Wendy's location.
* Somewhere in Apple, Inc. headquarters is a framed Apple I motherboard with the caption "OUR FOUNDER".
* Possibly the most infamous example, the statue of Saddam Hussein that was pushed over.
* And yes, these are ''everywhere'' in North Korea. What's more, they got so good at it they have a minor industry based around exporting such patriotic statues ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Renaissance_Monument Senegal took them up on one]]).
* Ataturk is all over Turkey, apparently not just the founder of the country but of just about every local establishment and tradition.
* The Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania has one of Milton Hershey in its rotunda.
* Subverted with the VisualKei rock scene - [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto the late "co-founder" of the scene]] does have a hugely elaborate grave at Miura Reien, but there is no statue of him specifically there - though there are hundreds of thousands of plushies, other dolls, posters, and ''nearly every other thing'' you can imagine, thanks to [[CorruptCorporateExecutive his brother's]] running a CashCowFranchise off of him.
[[/folder]]

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