[[quoteright:266:[[Franchise/StarWars http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Luke_Skywalker.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:266:"I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you."]]-]

This guy is a [[IdealHero hero]], pure and simple. He's almost always right, is a friend to all his teammates, and morally superior. He has a well-rounded skill set. He's not as [[SuperStrength strong]] as TheBigGuy, or as [[SuperIntelligence smart]] as TheSmartGuy, or as [[TheSocialExpert sensitive and socially adept]] as TheChick, but he's close. He can personally accomplish a variety of goals, but his real superpower is getting [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters the whole diverse set of personalities]] to [[TheKirk focus and pull together]]. He'll always know who to ask for help, and when -- and ''usually'' how.

Most often, he will be TheProtagonist but [[SupportingProtagonist there are exceptions]] [[VillainProtagonist to this rule]]. Just as often he will be TheLeader or otherwise the [[MagneticHero shining star]] that holds the RagtagBunchOfMisfits together, but [[SupportingLeader there are exceptions to this as well.]] In a [[PowerWalk team lineup]] they will be front and center.

Other powers and skills common to the hero include:

* In many games or settings, he'll be JackOfAllStats; a well-balanced fighter with decent power and speed, and sometimes some [[MagicKnight ability at magic]].
* Most of the time, he'll use a [[HeroesPreferSwords sword or sword-like weapon]] as his weapon of choice, even in science-fiction settings where this makes less sense than a gun.
* In a fight, [[InvincibleHero he will ALWAYS win]] (say 99.99% chance...). Even if he loses, bet your life on it that he will win the HeroicRematch.
* He will wear either [[RedIsHeroic Red]] or [[HeavenlyBlue Blue]] [[PrimaryColorChampion (sometimes both)]], and if he's got a [[AstonishinglyAppropriateAppearance theme]] or powers expect them to be [[PlayingWithFire fire based]]. [[ShockAndAwe Lightning]] and {{light|EmUp}}/[[HolyHandGrenade holy power]] are also common ElementalPowers for the hero.

[[ChickMagnet Almost invariably]], TheChick is [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan in love with him]] (unless she's The Hero or his sister and sometimes [[BrotherSisterIncest even]] {{t|wincest}}hen), as are [[EvenTheGuysWantHim any other members]] who happen to be women or {{gay|Option}} or {{bi|TheWay}}.

The primary romantic plot in the team will be between The Hero and TheChick, with TheLancer [[LoveTriangle rounding out a triangle]]. (Bonus points if TheLancer is [[HoYay bisexual]] and is interested in ''both'' of them!) The Hero might also be a ChasteHero or a CelibateHero as an additional complication to romantic subplots.

If the Hero has too much of the "positive" qualities listed above, he may degenerate into a MartyStu. If he's too generic, then he's an EveryMan. They are sometimes the OnlySaneMan trying to keep TheTeam together because they live in DysfunctionJunction.

The Hero and TheLancer usually have a special chemistry within TheTeam, either a BashBrothers relationship or RedOniBlueOni. They are often [[TheRival rivals]] with a strong mutual respect for each other, and are sometimes HeterosexualLifePartners. They are likely to argue about who is TheLeader, but as stated above, this role usually goes to the hero.

Traditionally, this role will not be filled by a woman unless [[AmazonBrigade all the other roles are already women]] (as is often the case in {{anime}}). If so, there might not be a [[TheChick Chick]] in the group although there ''might'' be TheOneGuy.

The Hero does not HAVE to be TheLeader, or the most intelligent. This is usually justified by him being [[KidHero the youngest]], [[IdiotHero most inexperienced]], and/or newest member of the team. Thus, his more senior teammates may reasonably see him as the TagalongKid or the SixthRanger, even if he's clearly [[TheProtagonist the central protagonist]] to the audience. He may even be something of TheLoad if he's a MouthyKid or TheFool, but don't worry - in time, he will reveal his great potential, eventually [[MagneticHero swaying]] friend [[DefeatMeansFriendship and foe]] alike to his cause. Even if he needs [[CharacterDevelopment significant growing up]] to reach that point. Eventually, TheLeader he may very well become.

If there's a character [[RuleOfCool cooler]] than the Hero, that character is generally TooCoolToLive.

See also TheAce, TheKirk, MessianicArchetype, TheChosenOne, and HeroProtagonist. A {{superhero}} is, by the catch-all definition, a hero (often with superpowers) who dedicates their very life to... well, being a hero.

'''Note:''' It is important to remember that while the hero is usually also TheProtagonist, they are not necessarily one and the same. Whereas the hero is defined by the character traits described above, TheProtagonist is defined by their central role in the story. In ''Franchise/StarWars'', for instance, Luke Skywalker is an archetypical example of The Hero and is more or less the MainCharacter of the original trilogy, but the {{prequel}} trilogy establishes the more [[AntiHero antiheroic Anakin Skywalker]] as TheProtagonist of the film series as a whole, even though [[VillainProtagonist he is a villain for more than half of the saga]]. See SupportingProtagonist for instances in which this is the case.
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!!Examples
[[index]]
* TheHero/AnimeAndManga
* TheHero/VideoGames
* TheHero/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Superman}}. ''Every'' hero in comic books, at one point or another, has been compared specifically to Superman, either in how he's similar or how he's different. Even in the case of antiheroes and indy comics, as more often than not, the first thing they'll do is take a swipe at the [=Superman=] mythos. The entire genre of superhero comics starts with ''him''. And that's why Superman will always be the greatest, most iconic representation of a superhero.
* Steve "ComicBook/CaptainAmerica" Rogers, {{leader}} of Comicbook/TheAvengers and the most [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment heroic hero]] in the MarvelUniverse.
* ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} is the hero of the ComicBook/{{X-Men}} universe, while Professor X is the Big Good.
* Archie Andrews from ''Franchise/ArchieComics''.
* Quantum from ''QuantumAndWoody'', though he's often deflated by Woody.
* The Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica's original line consisted of seven characters who all fit this type in their own comics. Franchise/{{Superman}}, Franchise/{{Batman}}, Franchise/WonderWoman, TheFlash, GreenLantern, Comicbook/{{Aquaman}}, and MartianManhunter. [=Superman=] would traditionally be '''THE''' Hero in this situation but, for example, GreenLantern Kyle Rayner filled this role as a sort of KidHero during Morrison's run, being new and being a replacement for the League's original Lantern Hal Jordan. In lineups with only one of these seven, that hero tends to be The Hero.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fics]]
* Lieutenant Jazz is this in Transformers Meta.
* Takato from the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries''. The [[TheAce strongest tamer]] and protagonist of the series.
* Calvin takes on this role, as well as TheLeader, in the ActionizedSequel ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''.
* Twilight Sparkle, just like in [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic the original series]], is this in the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries''.
** Rainbow Dash takes up this role in ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Elizabeth Swann-Turner and Will Turner are the ''PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' version of this. Used loosely, as heroes aren't as pure in her world.
* In ''Franchise/StarWars'', Luke Skywalker fits this {{trope}} so well that Psychology textbooks show a picture of him in reference to the archetype of a hero. In parts of the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse, variations on "I won't leave you here. I have to save you" are his catchphrase.
** The fact that Luke is the Hero archetype was deliberate because GeorgeLucas is said to have been heavily influenced by Joseph Campbell's [[TheHerosJourney ''The Hero With a Thousand Faces'']]. He does subvert The Hero trope in one ''major'' way though - he DidNotGetTheGirl and TheChick ends up with TheLancer instead for [[BrotherSisterIncest one reason or another.]]
* Film/{{Avatar}}: Jake Sully, who choses what's right over what's easy, by siding with the Navi over his own people.
* 9 from... well, ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Nine}} 9]]''.
* Hiccup from ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'' is both this and TheLeader towards the end of the first film. The entire point of the storyline is that he is TheWoobie who stops [[ButtMonkey getting laughed at]] for [[BeYourself trying to be something he's not]] and finds he was [[OneOfUs one of them all along]] anyway as he takes on their largest enemy and [[DavidVersusGoliath wins]].
* Every single Pixar movie has one.
** [[KnightInSourArmor Woody]] from ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory''. While he does let his jealousy of Buzz get the better of him at one point, he shows off his role as TheHero by trying to correct his mistakes, and he makes the welfare of the whole group a priority.
** Bob Parr(AKA Mr.Incredible) from ''TheIncredibles'', who is a superhero not only because of his powers, but because he wants to help people, as shown by the way he assists a little old lady when he's working in insurance.
** Flik from ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'', who starts out looking for heros before realizing his own power.
** Marlin from ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo.''
** ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'': Sully is The Hero, being the primary force behind wanting to do right by Boo, while Mike is TheLancer.
* Balian for most of ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven''
* Angel in ''HotFuzz''
* John [=McClane=], of ''Franchise/DieHard'', serves as a {{deconstruction}}; his dedication to saving the day and ChronicHeroSyndrome destroy his marriage and strain his relationship with his kids, pushing him into cynicism. He only plays the part of the hero because there's no one else to do it.
* Duke from ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''.
* Max from ''Film/{{Elysium}}''
* Caesar in ''Film/RiseOfThePlanetOfTheApes'' and ''Film/DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'', of course. He succeeds not through force or power, but with goodness and connecting to others.
* Romeo Montague from ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet''.
* [[{{Leader}} Jake]] of ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''.
* Sam Temple from the ''Literature/{{Gone}}'' series. Mercilessly deconstructed with him by the end of ''Hunger'', when he gets so fed up with the stress and dealing with everyone else's problems that he quits.
* Bilbo Baggins in ''Literature/TheHobbit''. While not TheLeader, he follows the classic journey of self-discovery that is associated with the trope.
* Aragorn from Literature/TheLordOfTheRings is an interesting case:
** He very clearly fills the role of The Hero and TheLeader, though he isn't the chief protagonist, thus making him the SupportingLeader.
** Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee both qualify for the role of The Hero in regards to the protagonist swept into adventure, and [[WordOfGod Tolkien]] seems to favor Sam for the part, as his journey is closest to that of Bilbo's in ''Literature/TheHobbit''.
* In the XWingSeries books, there are always two to three primary protagonists and viewpoint characters. One or two, depending on whether this book is part of MichaelStackpole's run or an AaronAllston novel - and ''which'' AaronAllston book - is the suboordinate who experiences more CharacterDevelopment, goes through personal revelations and a personal plotline, gets beat up, and is generally a good person but not quite "pure", often having some dark guilt, flaw, or secret. The other primary protagonist is always [[AscendedExtra Wedge Antilles]], who leads, bounces back from setbacks, has a plotline that isn't really all that personal, and is rarely wrong.
** '''Starfighters of Adumar'', which is intensely Wedge-centered and has no other viewpoint characters, is the exception, and although Wedge is severely heroic and an AcePilot there too, he's not The Hero to the same extent.
* Paul from ''Literature/{{Dune}}''
* Hector (for the Trojans) in ''Literature/TheIliad''
** Hector period, really. Among the Greeks and Trojans he's just the best guy. Not that he doesn't have his bad moments, but almost everyone else is a total jerk.
* Hazel in ''Literature/WatershipDown''
* Finn from ''Literature/KingdomKeepers''
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' usually subverts or averts this trope, often favoring the AntiHero instead. Carrot Ironfoundersson of the City Watch plays it straight, being physically and morally strong, but he's not the central protagonist.
* In Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians, [[spoiler: we're lead to believe that]] Percy is the hero of the series. [[spoiler: The hero is not who we thought he was. Luke Castellan takes up that role instead.]] However [[spoiler: Percy is still The Hero of the series; he's just not the hero of ''the prophecy''.]]
* Fireheart in ''Literature/WarriorCats''.
* Literature/InDeath series: Eve Dallas, but she is careful not to consider herself this.
* Literature/SisterhoodSeries by Creator/FernMichaels: Nicole "Nikki" Quinn is this for the Vigilantes. Jack Emery is this for the Big Five later on.
* Garion in ''TheBelgariad'' and ''TheMallorean''
* Roland in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower''
* ''Literature/TrappedOnDraconica'': Daniar leads the group, she fights the battles, she has the HeroicSpirit. Its lampshaded by [[SupportingProtagonist Ben]] in the bonus art how she gets the 'meaty story lines' despite not being TheProtagonist.
** In the sequel, ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'' her Benji ''wants'' to be this. The prologue is a dream of his where he saves a village from an evil overlord. In practice, he's a SupportingProtagonist because he's a ten year old TagalongKid.
* Edward Cullen from ''Literature/{{Twilight}}.
* Katniss Everdeen from ''Literature/TheHungerGames''.
* Mediochre Q Seth from the ''Literature/MediochreQSethSeries''. At least, he starts that way, but later he slips into AntiHero territory.
* ''Literature/SongAtDawn'': Dragonetz is a good hearted and idealistic man at the center of the plot and the greatest threat to a set of villains, but he's not TheProtagonist. That role goes to Estela.
* Maximillian White in Bryan Miranda's ''Literature/TheJourneyToAtlantis''.
* Daniel Ruffino from ''Literature/TheLeonardRegime''.
* ''[[Literature/ShadowsontheMoon Shadows on the Moon]]'' has Suzume, who also goes by the names Rin and Yue.
* In the ''Literature/TortallUniverse'':
** Alanna of Trebond, who is deliberately a female The Hero in ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness''. Among other things, she uncovers a plot to usurp the throne, helps Jon improve relations between Tortallans and the Bazhir, and brings a number of {{Badass}}es back to the capital for the FinalBattle.
** Daine Sarrasri in ''Literature/TheImmortals'', who brings together humans, animals, and immortals as a NatureHero.
** Keladry of Mindelan in ''Literature/ProtectorOfTheSmall'' becomes TheLeader over the course of her quartet and gains noble and commoner friends as she challenges harmful traditions.
** Aly in ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness'' does this by being TheSpymaster, finding unusual allies and [[TakeAThirdOption third options]] for LaResistance.
** Beka Cooper in ''Literature/ProvostsDog'' reminds her veteran cop partners of the idealistic reasons they joined the force and recruits fellow trainees (and friendly criminals) to help her solve a case that nobody's supposed to really care about.
* Zoey from ''Literature/TheHouseOfNight''.
** Stevie Rae once she gets her own FiveManBand.
* Muggle-Wump from ''Literature/TheTwits''.
* Thomas from ''[[Literature/TheMazeRunner The Maze Runner Trilogy]]''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Angel's journey of redemption at times involves him actively taking on aspect of The Hero.
* ''Series/TheATeam'': Col. John "Hannibal" Smith, though he's also kind of a LovableRogue as well as a [[TricksterArchetype Trickster]]. Notable for being most likely the only person in this trope to be over 50 years old.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Buffy Summers is the ChosenOne, who brings together others to support her. It is her job to kill bad guys ForGreatJustice.
** In Season 9, Faith has become this to some, including Willow, and stands as perhaps the best example since Buffy's name is mud after she did what she had to do and Angel more an obsessed AntiHero. Officially she is The Slayer, despite Buffy being BackFromTheDead. In universe and out she is treated as one of the nicer characters at the end, when Buffy TookALevelInJerkass. And she's treated as The Hero over Buffy even before she saves the world.
* ''DawsonsCreek'': Dawson Leery.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The Doctor. While he fits this in most stories, he sometimes veers towards being an Anti Hero. The First Doctor was definitely not straight hero material.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': John Crichton.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': Malcom "Mal" Reynolds, though he's more of a LovableRogue.
* ''Series/{{Ghostwriter}}'': Jamal.
* ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'': Nina Martin.
** When she leaves, it's Eddie.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Harmon Rabb.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': Nate Ford is the {{Antihero}}ic Hero of Leverage Consulting and Associates, as shown by his role as TheLeader and his commitment to helping those in need.
* ''Series/MaddigansQuest'': Garland.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'': Merlin/Emrys.
* ''NoahsArc'': Though not an action-based series, Noah fits in that he has virtually all the non-combat qualities listed above. He's the protagonist, is morally superior (frequently choosing HonorBeforeReason), and compared to the rest of the group has a more balanced personality. He's the one who holds the group together, frequently reminding everyone how much they care about each other, and is almost always right in situations where he provides guidance/leadership. Even the wearing red/blue somewhat fits, as there are several scenes where he wears red specifically to make him stand out from the rest of the cast. He's also invariably front and center in any promotional photos and more often than not in scenes where the whole main cast is together.
* ''OneTreeHill'': Lucas Scott.
** However, after Lucas leaves in Season 6, Nathan becomes the hero of ''One Tree Hill''.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Charlotte "Charlie" Matheson. However, she is too young and inexperienced to be The Leader.
* ''{{Roswell}}'': Max Evans fits this to a T. His teammates frequently {{Lampshades}} it regularly asking him "What do we do now, Max?" even if sometimes they openly criticize him for his "passively watching" instead of taking action sooner, something that doesn't change when he's actually declared the king of his planet.
* ''Series/{{Scandal}}'': Olivia.
* ''{{Smallville}}'': Clark Kent, as he goes through the experiences that will shape him into Superman, one of the most classic examples of The Hero.
* Franchise/StargateVerse:
** Colonel O'Neill in ''Series/StargateSG1'' initially, then Colonel Mitchell in seasons 9 and 10.
** Colonel Sheppard in ''Series/StargateAtlantis''. His ability to connect with and inspire people is unmatched on the series.
** Colonel Young in ''Series/StargateUniverse''.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'': Captain Kirk is this to the FreudianTrio of Kirk, Spock and [=McCoy=].
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Originally, Sam Winchester, most notably from season's one to six.
** According to Eric Kripke, Sam was modeled after {{Star Wars}} hero and protagonist, Luke Skywalker.
* ''SuperSentai'' and ''PowerRangers'' series (most of them): [[TheLeader The Red Ranger]]. A few Red Rangers have been [[TheLancer Lancers]], but they still receive the most focus in the series.
** A partial exception is Tommy, who is originally the SixthRanger in the first season, but in the middle of the second season, becomes the leader as the White Ranger. He then stays on as leader in Power Rangers Zeo, but becomes the red ranger then.
* The ''Series/KamenRider'' series are almost always named after TheHero of said series. In the Heisei series, most of these characters tend to be primarily red or blue in their base forms.
* ''Series/TeenWolf'': Scott Mc Call. He is not especially bright (fortunately he has a HypercompetentSidekick, Stiles), but he is unfailing in his willingness to protect and help others. Even [[JerkJock Jackson]].
* ''TheVampireDiaries'': Stefan Salvatore. Often referred to as a TragicHero, FallenHero, IdealHero and even a ByronicHero.
** At times, Stefan drops from the role of hero and becomes an AntiHero; Stefan currently fits this trope as of Season 3.
** Elena is his female counterpart. She is the protectorate of everyone within the story, opposite Stefan. She is the main female character of the series.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f_HsjpSVaI Holding Out For A Hero]]'' by Bonnie Tyler is all about this.
* Mentioned in Blues Traveler's "Runaround."
--> ''Like a bad play where the hero's right''
--> ''And nobody thinks or expects too much''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* The word "Hero" comes from ClassicalMythology. It was [[TropeNamer derived]], from [[WorldsStrongestMan Heracles]]. However, serious ValuesDissonance kicks in because the heroes from ClassicalMythology could be just as bad as their [[JerkassGods Gods]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* As long as he's sane, Keiichi Maebara from HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi plays The Hero but not the leader since the real commander of the group is Mion.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Despite ([[JackOfAllStats or expectedly due to]]) being a GeniusBruiser, Roy from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' is The Hero instead of TheBigGuy or TheSmartGuy.
* Torg from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', though when he's in one of his "[[http://sluggy.com/daily.php?date=090217 wacky moods]]" you'd never realize it.
* Lance from ''WebComic/GoldCoinComics'', ultimately.
* Julie from ''OurLittleAdventure'', but mostly because the rest don't really want that job.
* Elliot of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''.
* Cale'Anon Vatay of ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup'' is a textbook example. He starts the comic as a "lone and righteous wolf", but quickly accrues of group of fellow adventurers, including the warlock Richard as his {{Lancer}}, whom he develops a close - if somewhat dysfunctional -- relationship with. He is not the most intelligent of the bunch, [[HorribleJudgeofCharacter clearly failing to recognize evil]] early on, but often displays quick thinking and good strategizing ability, especially after [[TookALevelInBadass taking numerous levels in badass.]] (He is definitely the newest to adventuring of the main characters, having started out the comic with a healthy dose of WideEyedIdealist.) Considering the actions of some of his group members, he can also be seen as an OnlySaneMan. He fights with two swords and eventually [[spoiler: shacks up with the resident ActionGirl.]]
* In ''{{Sinfest}}'', Storytime Zombie [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4244 defines the good guy as the hero who gets to win in the end.]]
* Webcomic/{{Homestuck}} has three: [[ThePollyanna John Egbert]] for the pre-Scratch human session, [[KnightInSourArmor Karkat Vantas]] for the Troll session, and [[{{Meganekko}} Jane Crocker]] for the [[AlternateUniverse post-Scratch human session]].
* "Webcomic/WastelandersAnonymous": Although this is an ensemble piece, Benjamin acts as the catalyst that brings the characters together. Anne also has some of the hero in her but not as much as Benjamin. Paradoxically, Benjamin hasn't got a clue that he's the catalyst. Both he and Anne think Anne is the real catalyst.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Neil Sinclair of ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' is arguably ''the'' hero of the series. He might not always make the right calls, but he's about the only character who retains his moral high ground throughout the game, and strives ceaselessly to save as many people as possible. He has the distinction of being the only character ever to form an effectual pro-escape group. [[spoiler:Which has a good chance to have ''succeeded'', cliffhanger and PyrrhicVictory notwithstanding; if nothing else, it's the closest the students have ever come to beating the system.]]
* Sasha Hunter is an undoubtable one in GreekNinja.
* Averted when Church of Machinima/RedVsBlue magnanimously declares it doesn't matter if he's the hero. Tucker is swift to inform him that he is nowhere near "hero", and suggests "participant" or "bystander" instead.
[[/folder]]
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