->''"Uptown, just another Joe\\
Downtown, where you gonna go?"''
-->-- '''''Golden Boy''''', "Night Song" (1964)

A character who is ordinary enough to be relatable to the average audience member. Everyman characters are often working or middle class and deal with everyday problems, be it school, work, family or romance. They may also be placed in extraordinary circumstances which makes them even more sympathetic as they are in over their head. Everyman characters are not necessary blank slates but are typically more grounded and less wacky then supporting characters.

When an AudienceSurrogate, you may expect them to be:

* A default character for the audience to latch on to, as a sufficient blank slate that the audience will know we are "expected" to identify with said character; [[ArrangedMarriage and love will come later]]. This can be useful in an unfamiliar setting; compare TheWatson. As the story develops, this type of Everyman may devolve into an inoffensive {{Foil}} or SupportingProtagonist. The audience may find them harmlessly uninteresting, and latch onto the action hero, EnsembleDarkHorse, [[DracoInLeatherPants or villain]] instead.
* An empty vessel for the audience's hopes, dreams and aspirations. (Not to be confused with an EscapistCharacter who already possesses what the audience craves.) These are the sort of Everyman characters where each audience member is willing to imagine ''themselves'' in the character's shoes, with no apparent contradiction. This may lead to some complication (or [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments crowning moment]]) when the author forces them to undergo [[CharacterDevelopment some course of action]] that the audience, having already invested in the character, would not (at first) imagine themselves taking.

If a leader, then they're a StandardizedLeader. The videogame version of this is a HeroicMime in terms of plot, JackOfAllStats in terms of ability, and a FeaturelessProtagonist when taken to its extreme.

In {{Dom Com}}s, the father is often an everyman, struggling just to maintain sanity in his family and keep it together through the {{zany scheme}}s set up by the wife or kids.

Not every character created with the intention of being The Everyman stays that way. If the writers think ViewersAreMorons, then this character can quickly devolve into a LoserArchetype, with the idea that this is how the average person acts. At this point, the character's message sort of devolves into telling viewers "ThisLoserIsYou".

Despite the name, everymen aren't AlwaysMale but they usually are because MostWritersAreMale.

See also NormalPeople, TheGenericGuy, VanillaProtagonist, and UnluckyEverydude. RidiculouslyAverageGuy is when this is taken to an extreme. Drop the Everyman into a fantasy setting and have him still act like everything is hunky-dory and you get the UnfazedEveryman. A character who ''starts out'' like this but later becomes a hero (or a villain) better fits the UnlikelyHero or FromNobodyToNightmare Tropes. Bonus points if his name is MrSmith.

No relation to [[Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos the popular Slender Man series]] ''[[WebVideo/EverymanHYBRID EverymanHYBRID.]]'' Or the [[VideoGame/{{Undertale}} Reaper Bird's]] AssistCharacter.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Everyman leads occur more than you'd think in romantic[=/=]{{ecchi}} anime and/or arcs, letting the [[AudienceSurrogate audience project themselves upon them]]. In {{hentai}}, they're legion.
** Sasahara from ''Manga/{{Genshiken}}'' is a general {{otaku}} who falls for [[spoiler:Ogiue]].
** His (unintentional?) {{expy}} Kosuda in ''Manga/BGataHKei'' is an ordinary schoolboy trying to make sense of [[LovableSexManiac Yamada's]] WANT/DO NOT WANT/WANT/DO NOT WANT behaviour.
* The Producer in the anime version of ''Anime/TheIdolmaster''. Even his description is nondescript.
* Minako from ''Anime/SailorMoon'' in the first series, prior to [[TookALevelInDumbass taking a level in dumbass]]. She was more of "the everygirl" compared to [[TheDitz Usagi]], [[TheSmartGuy Ami]], [[HotBlooded Rei]], and [[HugeSchoolGirl Makato]]. She had a few odd character quirks like messing up her proverbs but it wasn't until Sailor Moon S when she was [[{{Flanderization}} flanderized]] into being just as dumb as Usagi.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': Kaname Ougi is the very example of what an Everyman would most likely do when things go horrendously wrong. Diethard points out how this makes Ougi important to the Black Knights because they can't live on "stars alone" and need an average person for the common people to relate with.
* Krillin from ''Manga/DragonBall''. Unlike the Saiyans and Piccolo, Krillin has a life outside of martial arts training. We see him fall in love, get married and have a daughter. His extremely non-descript appearance also adds to his accessibility as a character.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
%%* Fone Bone from ''ComicBook/{{Bone}}''.
%%* {{Tintin}}
* [[SpiderMan Peter Parker/Spider-Man]] is often held up as the epitome of this within superhero comics, and possibly the key to the franchise success. Admittedly, he's not a strict example, as he's consistently portrayed as responsible, hardworking, highly intelligent, and when the going gets tough, [[YouFightLikeACow a wiseass]]. However, compare him to his contemporaries: he's the average working stiff where the others include [[Franchise/FantasticFour super-scientists]], [[ComicBook/IronMan a millionaire playboy]], [[ComicBook/CaptainAmerica an idolized war hero]], and [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor a god]]. Some writers (Creator/JoeQuesada especially) tend to turn this into ThisLoserIsYou. He fills the role so perfectly, many other attempts to make an Everyman superhero wind up compared to him.
* [[Comicbook/MsMarvel2014 Kamala Khan a.k.a. Ms Marvel]] has been repeatedly described as the true successor to Spider-Man for the millennial age. She's dorky, connected to the internet, constantly being underestimated by her conservative family for being unruly, ultimately wants to do some good in the world, and is a fanboy of all the heroes who have come before her.
** A huge part of her appeal also comes from the fact that she is a Muslim girl, reflecting the broader inclusion of different races, religions, and genders in the modern world.
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica, in his Steve Rogers not-so SecretIdentity anyway. Interestingly, he was originally a washed-up art student, to deliberately draw parallels to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler.
* ''GreenLantern'' Hal Jordan and Barry Allen ''ComicBook/TheFlash'' are often thought of as these. Both were normal people who were great at their jobs with relatively normal lives. Until a magic super-advanced alien ring summoned Hal and Barry was struck by a lightning bolt while working in his lab. It helps that they're [[HeterosexualLifePartners best-friends]].
%%* Billy Batson, [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]'s secret identity.
%%* Kyle Rayner in ''GreenLantern''.
%%* Nite Owl II/Dan Dreiberg of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' could be a Practical Example. In Addition of ThisLoserisyou.
* The original Freedom Fighters seemed to have evolved this way in ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'', likely to act as foils to Sonic and the more abrasive additions from the games. A lot of their shortcomings are rather subdued or down more to circumstance than having prominant personality defects, and while a lot have unique abilities, they are played in a [[BadassNormal more realistic manner]] than their super powered comrades. This is less prominant in earlier issues and the [[WesternAnimation/SonicSatam coinciding TV show]], where they have goofier, more prominant personality defects, but they still had visible shades of this at times.
%%* [[ComicBook/WhatEverHappenedToTheManOfTomorrow Jordan Elliot.]]
* Franchise/TinTin was intentionally written as a blank slate that readers could project onto. His name literally means "nothing".
* ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} has been portrayed this way relative to the rest of the Marvel Universe, given that he has no powers and no super-genius/super-[[TheHeart heart]] to make him special. A lot of his conflicts deal more with relationships, disability, and personal/financial issues than with supervillains. Still, the comics reestablish his uniqueness from time to time.
-->'''Penny''': Imagine you want to kill the Avengers... Who do you target first? The normal guy.
-->'''Natasha''': There is nothing normal about [[CircusBrat Cl]][[BadassNormal int]] [[ImprobableAimingSkills Bar]][[IdiotHero ton]].
* While he is incredibly smart and comes from a well off family [[note]]though his father bankrupting them later puts them squarely in the middle class[[/note]] [[ComicBook/RobinSeries Tim Drake]] takes this position in the [[ComicBook/{{Batman}} Batfamily]] by being comparatively average when compared to Bruce, the other four Bat-kids and even his own girlfriend, who is the daughter of a villain. He also dealt with a lot of regular family and school drama in his ongoing. Tim was also the everyman of ComicBook/YoungJustice, where his teammates included a [[ComicBook/{{Wondergirl}} demi-god]], a telekinetic [[ComicBook/{{Superboy}} half-kryptonian]], a [[ComicBook/{{Impulse}} speedster]] from the future, a second generation hero trained by her mother, and a teleporting psychopomp with precognition.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The quintessential example, from ''Film/DieHard'', is Lieutenant John [=McClane=]. He's just an average New York police officer, flown into Los Angeles to see his estranged wife Holly - then Hans and his gang attack, leaving John the only one in a position to stop them.
%%* Nearly every character played by Ben Stiller.
* Tom Hanks in ''Film/JoeVersusTheVolcano''. His name is actually Joe.
%%* Gabe and Tucker from ''Film/{{Cliffhanger}}''
* Wikus, the "protagonist" of ''Film/{{District 9}}'' is a deconstruction of this trope. Whether he's a PunchClockVillain, IdiotHero, or JerkassWoobie is entirely up to interpretation. Ultimately, he reacts to extreme circumstances (that demand heroism) just as you'd expect an average nerdy professional bureaucrat thrust into a dangerous and unpredictable environment: [[TruthInTelevision poorly]].
* Joe, the main character of ''Film/{{Idiocracy}}'' is described as the most average man in existence. The speaker then shows a series of graphs, all of which have Joe at the exact middle of the bell curve, a trend which he describes as "remarkable." It is unclear if he sees the irony.
* Sergeant [[MeaningfulName Eversmann]] from ''Film/BlackHawkDown''. He lacks many of the various character-building details that less important characters get, is somewhat more thoughtful about the war than many of his comrades, and has never been in combat before. He is primarily an AudienceSurrogate who interacts with [[OneDegreeOfSeparation most of the other important characters in the film.]]

* Arthur Dent in ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''; he considers himself more differed-''from'' than differing.
%%* Dante (the character, not the poet) in ''Literature/TheDivineComedy''.
%%* Nearly all FairyTale heroes and heroines (e.g., Literature/{{Cinderella}} and Literature/{{Aladdin}}).
%%* The hero of ''Literature/APilgrimsProgress'' is actually named 'Everyman'; ''Christian'' Everyman.
* ''Literature/OfMiceAndMen'' has George, largely made distinctive by his relation to Lenny.
* Dr. Watson fills this role in the ''SherlockHolmes'' stories. He does have certain distinct personality traits, such as his eye for attractive women ([[SarcasmMode how unusual]]), but in many other ways he reflects the typical Victorian citizen who read Arthur Conan Doyle's stories when they were first published, bridging the gap between the readers and the otherwise eccentric Holmes.
* Literature/RobinsonCrusoe. An average Englishman from late 17th century stranded on inhabitated island. He got no particular set of skills nor character traits (at least for his epoche), yet is able to hold on his own for two decades. Not to mention his adventures before he got ship-wrecked.
* The title character of ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' is a fairly unremarkable Victorian child, in order to better contrast with the insanity of Wonderland
%%* Ralph from ''Literature/LordOfTheFlies''
%%* Bella Swan in ''Literature/{{Twilight}}''.
* Ron Weasley in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series is an odd example of this: While Harry is the viewpoint character discovering the magical world, he hardly qualifies as ordinary, whereas Ron is ordinary for the magical world and would be unremarkable if he wasn't Harry's best friend.
* Winston Smith in ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'', whose sympathetic human characterization is said by [[spoiler:O'Brien]] to be "the last man."
%%* Jake from ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' starts out this way.
* Discussed and PlayedWith in ''Literature/TheMarkAndTheVoid'' with Claude, the protagonist. Paul, a novelist who is trying to write a book based on Claude's life, explains that Claude will be the Everyman protagonist, because banking symbolizes and typifies the modern world. When Paul tries to ditch the novel idea, he argues disparagingly that Claude's abstract and affluent life has nothing to do with the ordinary man, something that Claude also realizes when he travels into the countryside and interacts with regular Ireland. However, Claude does fit the role. He comes from a modest background, and is generally a passive player to the wackier characters around him. When confronted with moral quandaries at work, he feels uncomfortable but usually does not take an active stance, as most probably would.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Many of the Doctor's companions from ''Series/DoctorWho''.
** Mickey Smith and Rory Williams are both very deliberately ordinary people whose girlfriends become the Doctor's companions and end up crushing on him. A great deal is made of the contrast between the ordinary, happy life they could offer, and the adventurous, extraordinary one the Doctor provides. In Mickey's case, [[spoiler: he is somewhat unceremoniously dumped in favour of the Doctor]], with Rory, the episode "Amy's Choice" makes it clear that, despite her zigzagging feelings for both of them, if it came down to a choice between the two [[spoiler: she'd choose an ordinary life with Rory.]]
%%* Earl Sinclair in ''{{Series/Dinosaurs}}''.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Ned Stark might be a Lord, but he's a hard-working man who is unfamiliar with the twisted inner workings of King's Landing.
* [[TheMuppets Kermit the Frog]] is a mild-mannered character who has to deal with the craziness of his supporting cast.
%%* Series/LizzieMcGuire
* Joe Miller of Series/TheLostRoom.
* [[Series/TheBigBangTheory Leonard Hofstadter]] is the HollywoodNerd variation.
** Penny is more of a straight example, being an ordinary GirlNextDoor who's well-rounded in her knowledge and hobbies.
%%* Two words: Godai Yuusuke of Series/KamenRiderKuuga.
* [[TheDanza Jerry]] Series/{{Seinfeld}} has strikingly average interests such as cereal, sneakers, and {{Superman}} comics, but [[{{Flanderization}} ends up]] a [[SubvertedTrope subversion]], becoming one of the most {{Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist}}s of all time.
* Kevin Arnold from ''Series/TheWonderYears'' is supposed to represent the life of an average teenage boy growing up in the 1960's.
%%* [[Series/BoyMeetsWorld Cory Matthews.]]
* Before [[TookALevelInJerkass taking a level in jerkass,]] Will Schuester from ''Series/{{Glee}}'' was this.
* Chris Rock from ''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'' is an average boy from the 1980's.
* Earl Sinclair from ''{{Series/Dinosaurs}}'' is an every-dinosaur.
* Denzil from ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses''.
* ''Series/OliversTravels'': Diane's nice but ordinary son Michael.
* ''Series/TheWire'': The cast is chock full of these, to the point where it would be safe to say that 75% of the show's characters are everymen/women. One of the main attractions of the show was that every viewer had at least one (but probably more than that) character they could easily identify with.
* Chief O'Brien from ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''. He's the only Starfleet non-com who gets to be a main character, his main desire is to get through his workday and go home to his wife and children, and the writers [[ButtMonkey enjoy making him suffer]] every so often (in what they call "O'Brien Must Suffer" episodes) because audiences will sympathize with him.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
%%* ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}
* Ernie from ''Piranha Club'' started as something of a loser but through reverse {{Flanderization}}, he eventually become one.
* Goat in ''ComicStrip/PearlsBeforeSwine.'' He's the only character who reacts to (or even ''notices'') the weirdness that surrounds them in the same way the audience would.
* [[ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}} Charlie Brown.]] You can't help but identify with him. [[WordOfGod Charles Shultz]] relates a letter he got from a fan, who said "my son came home from school one day with a sad frown, slammed his bookbag to the floor, and said, 'Mom, I feel just like Charlie Brown.' He didn't have to say another word. I knew exactly how he felt."

* The TropeNamer is a late 15th century English morality play called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everyman_%28play%29 Everyman]].
* The traditional Creator/CirqueDuSoleil protagonist (if the show has one) is usually a version of this: see ''Quidam'', ''Theatre/{{O}}'', ''Theatre/LaNouba'', ''Theatre/{{Corteo}}'', ''KOOZA'', even the ''Theatre/{{Delirium}}'' concert tour. Often they are pulled into the plot by a {{Trickster}}. In ''"O"'', it's set up that he [[FromBeyondTheFourthWall appears to be an audience member]].
** The headless titular character in ''Quidam'' is ''literally'' an Everyman (the word 'Quidam' means 'nameless passerby', and the soundtrack album version of the title song has the male singer explicitly state "I'm everyman"), but the main character Zoe is ''also'' a, less literal, Everygirl. With an Everyfamily made up of an Everyman and an Everywoman. It... gets a little bit confusing.
* The play ''Everyman'' is about an {{Everyman}} going on an adventure to {{Death}}.
* Mark from ''Theatre/{{Rent}}''. Via SupportingProtagonist and YouHaveToHaveJews.
* OlderThanPrint: These were often the protagonists of medieval everyman plays.
* Stella from ''Theatre/AStreetcarNamedDesire'' is an everywoman.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Pretty much every protagonist [[spoiler: except Alex Shepherd]] in the ''Franchise/SilentHill'' series could count.
* Claude of ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'', who is even easier to identify with because the game's Private Action system allows you to choose many actions that show what kind of a person he is.
* Main characters of Creator/{{Nintendo}} games are often this, usually with HeroicMime for good measure:
** [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]]. Keeping his characterization minimal is something the producers have done intentionally, so he can be put in to any given situation.
** [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]]. [[MeaningfulName This is the reason why he is named that]].
** [[VideoGame/EarthBound Ness]]
** [[VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} Captain Olimar]]
** [[VideoGame/ChibiRobo Chibi-Robo]]
** [[UsefulNotes/GameAndWatch Mr. Game and Watch]] is probably Nintendo's first everyman.
* Jimmy Hopkins of ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' was intended to be this, says the WordOfGod. Even though he does have [[MadeOfIron incredible strength,]] he is easily relatable.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'', Basch was originally intended to be the main character, but it was later switched to IdiotHero Vaan because the creators thought that he would have more of an Everyman appeal.
* Dave in ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion''. He's Sandy's boyfriend, but other than that, he's pretty much just an Everyman. And while the other six characters can play an instrument (Syd/Razor), fix radios and/or telephones (Bernard/Jeff, although Jeff can only fix telephones), develop rolls of film (Michael), and proofread manuscripts (Wendy), Dave has no abilities or talents at all. Sadly, since he's the also the lead character, he's also the only one you can't NOT choose.
* Several of the survivor characters in the ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' series fall into the everyman trope:
** Louis works at the IT department of an electronics store and plays video games. Other than going to a gun rage on his lunch breaks, Louis doesn't do anything else out of the ordinary.
** Zoey is a college student whose parents are separated. She's a huge fan of zombie films as well, but nothing else stands out about her.
** Coach is a high school health teacher whose knees were injured from college football in his younger days.
** Ellis is a mechanic who occasionally plays in a band with his buddies during his downtime.
** Rochelle is an assistant for the local news and that's all that stands out about her.
* Visual novels, dating sims and eroges tend to have blank slate protagonists so the player can step into the role more easily.
* Kaiden from ''VideoGame/MassEffect'' and Jacob from ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' both stand out as ordinary in their DysfunctionJunction crews. They still have somewhat tragic personal backstories like most teammates, but are too emotionally well-adjusted for it to produce any meaningful conflict. Unfortunately, they both failed at being The Everyman; fans already had [[PlayerCharacter Commander Shepard]] with which to identify, and compared to the rest of the cast, Kaiden and Jacob were seen as too boring to be likable. Both of them having [[MasterOfNone extremely bland power sets]] didn't help either. Kaiden would be RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' thanks to having some rewrites to his character and a much better power set but Jacob became even ''less'' likable, especially if he'd been romanced in 2.
* The protagonist of ''VideoGame/TheSilentAge'' is this ''so much'' he's even named Joe, as well as given the lowly position of a janitor and a string of the most unfortunate preceding jobs you can think of.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Toothy from ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'', who is often used as a placeholder character because of this. The closest he has to a character trait is that he [[EyeScream gets hit in the eye]] a lot.

* The protagonist of ''Webcomic/ABeginnersGuideToTheEndOfTheUniverse''. Literally has the name Everyman. [[spoiler:As it turns out, he is literally a godlike anthropomorphic personification of humankind as a whole.]]
-->''You have no NAME, you are the EVERYMAN. Your interests are NONSPECIFIC ENTERTAINMENT and SPORTS. Job: wall paint watcher, amnesiac.''
* Bob in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' is frequently touted as "the world's most average man," despite the fact that he has in fact developed a pretty clear personality.
* Reg, the title character of ''Webcomic/RegularGuy''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Everyman most famous to the average person would probably be MickeyMouse.
** Most early animation characters fit into this trope, for that matter - such as Bosko, Felix the Cat, [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Porky Pig]], etc.
** Goofy became this in the Fifties, starring as George Geef, with a son, a wife, and increased intelligence (though not much). He's mostly went back to his more famous personality since.
* WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes and WesternAnimation/MerrieMelodies:
** In the "Three Bears" series, Papa Bear will often try to come across as an Every Bear, mixing it with OnlySaneMan. Averted, of course, through his ill temperament and Junyer's bumbling.
** Several latter-day Elmer Fudd cartoons place the hunter into "everyman" roles, in satirical cartoons on such things as dog-master relationships.
** Sylvester the Cat has also been cast as Every Cat, particularly when paired with Sylvester Jr.
* The titular character from ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}''.
* Hank Hill in ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', although he [[{{Flanderization}} gradually grew into]] an uptight StrawVulcan who served as [[SitcomCharacterArchetypes the stick]] for everyone else.
** In later seasons, if the authors were feeling particularly conservative that week, he started giving lengthy {{Author Filibuster}}s on the evils of [=McMansions=], gratuitous lawsuits, gentrification, {{Hipster}}s, protesters, the porn industry, etc and ended up simply being right without any sort of comedic twist.
* Arnold eventually becomes this in the later seasons of [[WesternAnimation/HeyArnold his series.]]
* Stan in later episodes of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}''.
* The title character of ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife''.
* The titular character from ''WesternAnimation/TimothyGoesToSchool''.
* Horace in ''WesternAnimation/TheProblemSolverz''.
* Nitz in ''WesternAnimation/{{Undergrads}}''. He's lazy and sarcastic, but far less "out there" than any of his friends, and is known for having few extreme interests or opinions.
* Rufus and Amberley in ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'' for the line of work they had, were portrayed as rather normal acting kids who usually handle their jobs in a rather uneventful and conflictless manner until the Urpneys break the normality of things. Less prominant in earlier episodes where they are slightly wackier and brattier (something that actually cost Rufus at least three everyman jobs beforehand).
* Charlie Collins from the ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "The Joker's Favor" fits the description to a T, and that was the whole point. The fact that the Joker would spend two years keeping track of this poor guy only to find him and sadistically hold him up to a promise later, even though it [[ForTheEvulz didn't benefit him in the least]], only serves to show what a monster he is.
** Bruce Wayne himself presented as this; an affable, unassuming Clark Kent archetype who was often taken aback by the behavior of the people around him. This would become less common as the DCAU focused more on the action elements and didn't have as much time to show Bruce when he wasn't working.
* Sydney Skelley from ''WesternAnimation/ReadyJetGo''. She's not a bad character, she's just kind of bland. Her only traits are that she's MsImagination as well as the NiceGirl.