[[quoteright:310:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SleepingBeauty.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:310:From "Literature/SleepingBeauty"]]

->''The prince went to meet her, took her by the hand and danced with her. He would dance with no other maiden, and never left loose of her hand, and if any one else came to invite her, he said, "This is my partner."''
-->--'''Creator/TheBrothersGrimm''', "[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/cinderella/stories/german.html Aschenputtel]], or Literature/{{Cinderella}}"

Ground zero for all PrincelyTropes.

He's an [[BlueBlood aristocrat]] with a [[TheCharmer magnetic personality]], probably dashing, brave, gallant, and kind, a true prince. In {{Fairy Tale}}s, he often rescues the DamselInDistress and marries her to live HappilyEverAfter. If he's saving himself for his [[PrincessClassic true princess]] he'll be her CelibateHero but if he's more interested in [[IdleRich impressing the ladies with his father's money]], he's a MillionairePlayboy.

Except, actually, all the princes in those tales were very seldom named. It was simply a "prince" or "king" or [[BlueBlood royalty]] of some sort. And when they did have names, they were genuine, even commonplace, names: John, Ivan, Jean, Hans, etc.

The term PrinceCharming actually originates from an 1889 translation of ''Le roi Charmant'', the Charming King, and then a year later the phrase "Prince Charming" was used in ''Literature/ThePictureOfDorianGray''.

The term stuck.

Nowadays, the classic PrinceCharming is [[DeadHorseTrope almost never used]], possibly because the {{Ruritania}}s which he often hailed from have largely abandoned monarchy, or joined the EU. The trope has been subverted, double subverted, inverted, averted, diverted, converted, and perverted (and ridiculed, but that's nothing to be scared of). Nowadays, the Prince is often PrinceCharmless -- a {{Jerkass}}, SmugSnake, or downright [[TheEvilPrince evil]]. Possibly, he'll be [[ShelteredAristocrat naive]] or [[RoyalBrat selfish]].

It's only the rarest of instances where he can be played straight and done right. And under those circumstances he will be given his own name, and not called Prince Charming. "Prince Charming" is guaranteed to be a subversion. When he does have charm he can be found practicing OldSchoolChivalry.

When not referring to a royal prince, the concept refers to a young man with the charm of a rich boy. Contrast the bad boy charm of AllGirlsWantBadBoys.

The SpearCounterpart to PrincessClassic.

Compare TheWisePrince, KnightInShiningArmour. Subject to the ErmineCapeEffect.

In terms of the ranks of AuthorityTropes, the tropes that are equal are TheEvilPrince, PrinceCharmless, WarriorPrince, ShelteredAristocrat, TheWisePrince, and all PrincessTropes. The next steps down are TheCaligula, TheGoodChancellor, StandardRoyalCourt and DeadlyDecadentCourt. The next steps up are TheGoodKing, GodSaveUsFromTheQueen, TheHighQueen, and TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam:'' Is his zaku three times as fast as a normal zaku?
* ''Manga/FruitsBasket'', Yuki is called this by schoolmates who are ignorant of his traumatic past and problematic family relationships.
* This is Tamaki's schtick in ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' - a [[{{Bishonen}} dashing]], flirtatious [[EveryoneLooksSexierIfFrench half-French]] charmer who girls line up to swoon over.
* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'''s overall aim in fixing [[EmotionlessGirl Mytho's]] [[HeartTrauma broken heart]] is to turn him back into this.
%%* Endymion/Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen of ''Franchise/SailorMoon''; particularly in the [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]] but generally fits this role in any of the franchise's incarnations.
* In ''Manga/CandyCandy'', there is the mysterious "Prince from the Hill", a handsome young man dressed in a kilt, who makes Candy smile again when she was sad, and then vanishes in the into thin air, leaving only pendant with a small bell as the only evidence of his existence. [[spoiler:In the last episode of the series is finally revealed that the prince was Albert, who was also Candy´s MysteriousProtector "Uncle" William.]] Anthony (From the same series) also may count. [[spoiler:In fact, the first time Candy meets Anthony, she thought that he was her "Prince from the Hill" since both had a similar appearence and personality.]]
* James of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'''s Team Rocket has shades of this, with a little GentlemanThief for good measure. Given that he's from a rich, affluent family, it sort of fits.
* ''Anime/{{Negima}}'' has Fate, playing it straight just to make Negi jealous.
* In ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'', Misaki Shokohou comments that whenever Touma Kamijou saves people, he looks like a gallant prince.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* Bill Willingham's comic book ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'' (about characters from fairy tales living in secret in New York) has Prince Charming, who was married three times, to Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. He's a bit of a MagnificentBastard and eventually becomes [[spoiler:Mayor of Fabletown]].
* The Queen of Fables thinks that Franchise/{{Superman}} is PrinceCharming and wants to either kill him or marry him. Maybe both. [[TheHero Given his nature]], it's understandable that the delusional Queen would make this mistake.
* [[ManipulativeBastard Loki]] suggests that Hulkling of the ''Comicbook/YoungAvengers'' is really this, having been created by his boyfriend Wiccan's RealityWarper powers to subconsciously fulfill his fantasy of meeting and falling in love with this type of character. He points out the improbability of a gay teenage boy meeting and perfectly matching with a gay alien prince. Of course, this is coming from [[ConsummateLiar Loki]], and both Hulkling and Wiccan were listed as part of the Avengers Fail-Safe Program, being descendants of prior members of ''Comicbook/TheAvengers''. Teammate [[TeenGenius Prodigy]] dismisses the whole matter as "existential nonsense".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]

* In ''FanFic/DividedRainbow'', Rarity's favorite pet name for Lero Michealides is 'my sweet prince.'

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[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Even though the DisneyAnimatedCanon movies never used the name PrinceCharming, the princes in ''Disney/{{Cinderella}}'', ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'', and ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'' are called that (even though the one in ''Sleeping Beauty'' actually has a real name: Phillip). It should be noted that in ''Snow White'' and ''Cinderella'' the prince does little more than show up and be royal, Phillip on the other hand, is the only one with an actual charming character. Later merchandise and such identifies "Prince Charming" specifically as Cinderella's prince. Snow White's is simply "The Prince".
** Eric from ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'' (1989) is one of the last examples of this trope being played straight in Western media. Notably, unlike the Princes from ''Sleeping Beauty'' or ''Snow White'', he is a well-developed character.
** In light of the above, the Princes in future Disney films play with this trope in various forms. They can be refusing their royal duties ([[Disney/TheLionKing Simba]]), be jerks at first (though later [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold become better]]) ([[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Beast]], [[Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove Kuzco]], [[Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog Naveen]]), actually start off as commoners who reach their role as prince through marriage ([[{{Disney/Aladdin}} Aladdin]], [[{{Disney/Tangled}} Flynn Rider]]), [[spoiler:or even be the BigBad ([[{{Disney/Frozen}} Hans]])]]
* Inverted in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' sequels, as Prince Charming is vain, selfish and in ''Shrek the Third'', arguably [[TheEvilPrince evil]].
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[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Prince Edward from ''{{Enchanted}}'' is Prince Charming PlayedForLaughs. He's good-natured, handsome, and heroic, but he's kind of thick. And it turns out he's not the right man for Giselle--but when he realizes this, he gallantly steps aside for her true prince.
* While ''SnowWhiteAndTheThreeStooges'' almost squandered the leads, the prince had [[AdaptationExpansion a greatly expanded role]] compared to the actual fairy tale.
* Played straight in ''Film/PrinceCharming'' a 2001 made-for-television film starring Sean Maguire is the story of a prince who gets turned into a frog because he dashingly rescues a damsel in distress who starts trying to [[RescueSex reward him]].
* Played straight in the movie ''Film/ThePrinceAndMe'' as Prince Edvard goes from having a girl on each arm to "Eddie" who quotes Creator/WilliamShakespeare like some [[BuffySpeak duke-lord guy.]]
* ''KateAndLeopold'' has Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany who writes the best apology letter in the history of mankind.
* In the Czech movie ''Byl jednou jeden král'' (''Once upon a time there was a king'', an adaptation of the fairy tale ''[[http://english.muzeumbn.cz/texts/salt-over-gold.html Salt over gold]]'') there are three princes who came to the kingdom as suitors for the three princesses: Prince Charming [[note]]who claims to be THE Prince Charming who rescued the Sleeping Beauty and the Snow White (but, contrary to what the fairy tales say, he didn't marry them)[[/note]], Prince Valiant, and Prince Cunning. They are all braggarts and cowards, and eventually they help themselves to the royal treasure - while the three princesses, as well as the king himself, get married to commoners in the end.
* ''Film/MirrorMirror'' is one of the very few modern movies based on fairy tales which play this trope almost completely straight with Andrew Alcott, a character with most of the usual PrinceCharming traits.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Given how soon it was written after the term originated, ''Literature/ThePictureOfDorianGray'' is likely one of the first subversions. Dorian is called this by [[WideEyedIdealist extremely naive]] [[TheIngenue actress]] Sybil who he seduces and abandons, driving to suicide. Another lover also apparently called him this, and uses the nickname scornfully when he encounters her several years later as a prostitute.
* ''Literature/EllaEnchanted'' exaggerates this. The prince's name is Charmont, which is sorta like Charming and borders on ''charmant'', which is [[BilingualBonus French for "charming"]] and comes from the FairyTale "The Blue Bird" where the hero was called ''Le Roi Charmant'' ("the charming king"). He prefers to be called Char, though.
* Creator/JohnMoore's ''Slay and Rescue'' has a [[TheAce professional hero]] who really '''is''' a prince named Charming, sent by his father's chancellor to rescue fair maidens all over the place (the theory is that it keeps him too busy to try to take over the throne). He's GenreSavvy, deliberately pulls BigDamnHeroes arrivals, has ImplausibleFencingPowers, and is [[AManIsNotAVirgin very frustrated]]. Nonetheless, he's also basically decent.
** Does he ride a white horse?
* [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] by [[ASongOfIceAndFire Prince Joffrey Baratheon]], who is the hideous lovechild of [[TheCaligula Caligula]] and [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Azula]] (without the strategic genius), and Ser Jaime Lannister, who is, [[spoiler: [[TheAtoner initially]]]], ruthless, arrogant and amoral.
** The likes of Rhaegar Targaryen whose love for a woman he was not betrothed to incited Robert's Rebellion and the WrongGenreSavvy Quentyn Martell.
* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', Glenda objects to Trev as Juliet's love because Juliet is special and all she needed was a prince -- and she remembers her own fantasies. [[spoiler:Juliet and Trev do end up together, and Glenda ends up with a king to be.]]
* Justified in the contemporary book ''Dream Boy'' written by Ann Reit, which stars a charming, but immature teenager who learned it from his father.
* Played straight with Prince Jonathan of Tortall in ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'' who is a lover and a fighter. And oh ''boy'' is he a [[TheCasanova lover]] - right up until he meets Thayet, anyway, and she steals his heart and his ability to speak in all of ten seconds.
* Played straight in TheRoyalDiaries.
** ''Elisabeth: The Princess Bride'' where Emperor Franz Joseph I was able to win over Elisabeth because she considered him to be playful, considerate and charming.
** Also in ''Isabel: Jewel of Castilla'' where it takes less than two hours for Fernando, Prince of Aragon and King of Sicily, to steal the princess's heart with his humor, authority and imagination.
* Prince Kai from ''[[Literature/LunarChronicles Cinder]]''.
** ''The Hero's Guide To Saving Your Kingdom'' by Chris Healy takes this trope and runs all over the map with it. The princes of four different fairy tales (Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White) get the short end of the stick when their stories are popularized because everyone remembers the princesses' names, but their names (Fredrick, Gustav, Liam and Duncan respectively) are lost and are just called "Charming", even though all four are radically different people. They eventually team up and become a league of Princes Charming.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Prince Charming is a character in ''SesameStreet'', using the same puppet as Guy Smiley and Don Music, who can be relied upon to totally mess up any fairy-tale he's involved in (he's not a PrinceCharmless, just [[LordErrorProne incompetent and not very bright]]). He also works as a dance instructor, under the name Prince Cha-Cha-Charming.
* [[GossipGirl Nate Archibald]] is all but explicitly based on this trope. He is described as charming with extreme regularity, and has the tendency to fall passionately in love (with various girls) and deliver romantic speeches (occasionally hilariously out of context) while rescuing them from some emotional or social dragon. He is in the books given the epithet "prince of the upper east side" and it is said that he can "snap his fingers and have any girl he wants." If you gave him fencing lessons, he would basically be the Prince Charming from {{Fables}}
* In the musical episode of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', "Once More With Feeling", Buffy rescues a handsome prince, in an inversion of the traditional rescue scenario. He sings "How can I repay--" but Buffy cuts him off with "Whatever" given that she's in her depressed period.
* Justified for Logan from ''GilmoreGirls'' who is his father's heir, charismatic, and quite a ladies man.
* Played straight in VeronicaMars "Ain't No Magic Mountain High Enough" where Logan meets Hannah who he says is "like the hot daughter of a king he marries off to get like Denmark or something."
* {{Smallville}}'s favorite millionaire playboy Lex Luthor.
* Prince Arthur in Series/{{Merlin}} (BBC) probably fits this.
* Imitated/played for laughs so to speak on Series/{{Bones}} "The Prince in the Plastic", which had a victim who created a doll called 'Prince Charmington' and a suspect who dressed as the doll for store openings and such.
* The main Prince in ''Series/OnceUponATime'', James, is sarcastically (at first) [[InSeriesNickname nicknamed]] PrinceCharming by his future wife, Literature/SnowWhite, when he captures her in a net. She says that he's so charming if that's the only way he can get someone. Of course she did steal from him.
** All the princes in the series fit the trope, including Cinderella's and Sleeping Beauty's Princes. Probably a rare instance in modern television where the trope is played straight for the most part, [[spoiler:although James turns out [[RagsToRoyalty secretly not to be of legit royal blood]]]].
* The "Dream Prince" in ''{{Series/Akumuchan}}'' is a deliberate example of this trope. He is handsome, charming, rides a horse, and seems to exist for the sole purpose of rescuing Ayami from her troubled dreams and wooing her.
* He appears in ''Series/GoGoSentaiBoukenger'' to any lady who wore the Glass Slipper. He then traps her in his world with the help of one of Cinderella's Stepsisters. [[spoiler: His true form is that of a monster, and he is killed off by the Boukengers.]]
* Simon Tam from ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' is not a literal prince, but he ''is'' a kind, brave, attractive young man from a wealthy, aristocratic family who insists on acting "properly" (in the OldSchoolChivalry sense) even in the worst of circumstances, making him a rare modern straight example.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''IntoTheWoods'' actually has ''two'' examples: there are two Prince Charmings, married to Cinderella and Rapunzel, respectively. [[spoiler:In the second act, they abandon their wives for Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.]]
-->"I was raised to be charming[[spoiler:, not sincere.]]" - Cinderella's Prince
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* ''VideoGame/FableIII'': The Male Hero looks like a classic example of this Trope
* VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'s official Psycho-Pedia has this to say about Lili's view of Raz:
-->Clairvoyance reveals that Lili sees Raz as a Prince Charming-type, complete with cape, rose and slicked-back hair. [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend But she doesn’t have a crush on him. Not at all. No way.]]
* [[VideoGame/KingsQuest Alexander of Daventry]] pulls this off rather nicely, especially in ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVI''. It's given a bit of a {{Deconstruction}} in ''Literature/TheKingsQuestCompanion'', though. [[BeneathTheMask Because he spent so long as a slave, he still thinks of himself as "Gwydion."]] The persona of "Alexander" is like a mask or a cloak to him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebAnimation]]
* ''WebVideo/UltraFastPony'' inverts this ''without'' invoking PrinceCharmless. Prince Blueblood is handsome royalty and a perfect gentlestallion. Unfortunately, the heroine Rarity has a mile-wide masochistic streak, so she ''wants'' a prince who will boss her around and hurt her. Rarity loses interest in Prince Blueblood because he's too nice.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Gil from ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' is a kind of reconstruction. The Prince Charming has often been deconstructed by making him (the heir of) a tyrant. But Gil is very good at arguing his father is the most enlightened despot in the continent, and he's probably right. Also, Gil is beautiful, the ultimate warrior, AlwaysSaveTheGirl… He just fails for the romantic side.
* In ''{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3619 Baby Blue is displeased with]] HappilyEverAfter so she declares PrinceCharming really cheated on her so she killed him in his sleep.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' episode "Frankie, My Dear" has a Prince Charming imaginary friend. He is indeed handsome, charming, romantic--and smitten with Frankie Foster. Frankie tells him that she outgrew his type years ago, but don't worry, Friends like him get snatched up by little girls in no time.
* At the end of the first WesternAnimation/MyLittlePony [[MyLittlePonyTVSpecials TV special]],[[spoiler:Scorpan]] is revealed to be one.
* Prince Gumball from the ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' gender-swapped episodes seems to be this (At least for what can be seen in his only two apparitions in the series) There is also [[spoiler:Prince Huge]] from the episode "The Hard Easy"
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