"Lo, praise of the prowess of people-kingsPeople ought to remember The Hero. His heroic deeds, particularly a Heroic Sacrifice, should be commemorated in story, song, and art. And what's more, they frequently do, and they frequently are. Not always — being forgotten is one threat of What You Are in the Dark — but often. Some, indeed, become a Living Legend. The heroes can encourage themselves with the thought of getting it, they can inspire themselves with the examples they have heard of, they can actually receive it, they can be embarrassed by it, or it can be a convenient source of legends to be true. May be regarded as Due to the Dead. Shrouded in Myth can stem from Famed In-Story, through Gossip Evolution, but it can also be Infallible Babble, and usually is unless we have direct access to the events being told. The Magnificent results when the hero gets a byname describing his deed; Badass Boast, when he can reel it off himself. Contrast The Greatest Story Never Told and Dude, Where's My Respect?. Indeed, this may lead up that, as the character learns that fame is fickle, or that the good opinion of people of good character is better than the opinions of the crowd. Heroes in love with In Harm's Way often long for this as well. Conversely, heroes seeking out Home Sweet Home may dislike it and actively avoid it because it interferes with getting and staying home. Note that the Cool Sword, Cool Horse, castles, battlefields, etc. can also be Famed In-Story. It's a contributing factor to coolness. Such a weapon is a Legendary Weapon. Super Trope of News Travels Fast. Related to Propaganda Hero. Usually involves some form of Character Shilling. See The Dreaded for the villainous equivalent. When this transpires between volumes 1 and 2, see Legendary in the Sequel.
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!"
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!"
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Anime & Manga
- In Fist of the North Star, Kenshiro never hesitates in saying he follows the path laid by those before him when about to instill an asskicking on someone. Specifically, Rei, Toki and Raoh will always be shown.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Kamina is never forgotten by Simon, his friends or the remaining entire human race.
- All of Ala Rubra in Mahou Sensei Negima!, but especially Negi's father, Nagi Springfield. One of the background shots in the Ostia festival shows that there's at least one movie that details their exploits.
- Negi himself is getting to this point in the Magic World under the guise of "Nagi", because of his resemblance to his father, and because he goes and fights in a massive Tournament.
- The title character of Lyrical Nanoha had achieved this by the time of the A's to StrikerS supplementary manga, with tales about her reaching legendary status, with all that it entails.
Subaru: By the time she was nine years old, she was already AAA Rank and had solved an interdimensional crisis case. And she managed to stop a dangerous weapon said to be impossible to destroy!
Teana: That just sounds like a rumor. What kind of nine year old was she?
- To give you an idea: Nanoha Movies exist in-universe. Unfortunately these are also TSAB propaganda, so certain characters don't get de-famed in story even if they really, really deserve it— such as Admiral Graham and his involvement during Book of Darkness incident.
- Hayate Yagami is shown to be similarly famed as the "Living Lost Logia" and the one who felled the Saint's Cradle. A group of Big Bad Wannabes in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force who were planning to escape from captivity was immediately disabused of all notions of it when they learned that she was their captor's commanding officer, and were surprised that the rookies holding them didn't know of her fame.
- Kogoro Mouri of Detective Conan has gotten the reputation of a Great Detective after one season on the strength of Conan Edogawa's behind-the-scenes work and is often recognized by face or name by those around him. Frequently, when Kogoro's name and/or vocation enters conversation, it will provoke reactions of shock in the (not-yet-known-to-be-a) murderer (and/or others with something to hide). Although Kogoro almost never notices, Conan usually does—and this is often his first clue that something is amiss.
- Lina Inverse goes beyond world-renowned in Slayers. In the anime she finds out several of the epithets people know her by, which she's none-too-pleased with as they make her sound more like a blood-crazed psychopath than a great and wise mistress of arcane forces (to be fair, they're more accurate than her own self-image). One that particularly irks her is "Dragon Spooker", because supposedly dragons will step aside and let her pass mid-rampage rather than risk dealing with her. Then, later, a dragon in the middle of a town-destroying rampage catches a glimpse of her face and tries to nonchalantly make an escape....
- In Chrono Crusade, Mary Magdalene (not the Biblical character, but an orphan named after her) is a Post Humous Character who is very well-known among the Church Militant exorcists for her legendary holy powers and graceful demeanor, and is brought up enough that her name is practically an Arc Word.
- One Piece: The Straw Hat Pirates become increasingly famous as the story goes on, eventually hitting the point where the mere mention of their names strikes fear into most pirates, criminals, and citizens. Bounties serve the general story purpose of making sure that all of the setting's pirates are well-known.
- There's also Gold Roger who is well known as the "King of Pirates".
- Each of the Four Emperors are amongst the most famous pirates in the world (though Shanks and Whitebeard are the only ones who seem to have respect). The Shichibukai and Admirals are more in line with being The Dreaded, since while they're famous, not a single one is treated with admiration except Jinbe or Aokiji, who both eventually quit.
- In Naruto, this happens all the time. Any ninja famous enough to have a nickname is generally the subject of legend. Just remember how the First Hokage is worshipped as the God of Shinobi, or how the White Fang was said to be even more of a legend than the Sannin, who were the subjects of lore in their own right. And then I haven't even mentioned the Yellow Flash or Uchiha Madara yet. There's a whole list of (mostly dead) characters who have achieved a legendary status.
- Interestingly enough, Obito only remembered of the White Fang that he had died as a hero for the village; Clearly Konoha's Academy only teaches the parts of the legend it wants its students to know about
- The Fairy Tail Guild in the country of Fiore. They pride themselves on being one of the most known guilds around.
- In Saint Beast, everyone in heaven knows of Judas, even if they've never seen him. He needs no introduction whenever he meets someone new.
- In Berserk, the Band of the Hawk became Midland's national heroes through their efforts in the One Hundred Years' War against the Tudor Empire. After their banishment and eventual demise during the Eclipse, which was deemed as a mysterious disappearance by the populace, the people never forgot their actions and only hoped for the Hawks to return to save their kingdom from a new threat.
- Kenshin is best remembered as Hitokiri Battousai, and the revelation of who he is enough to make a cold blooded killer break into sweat.
- From the very beginning, Sailor Moon is so popular with the public that throughout the series you can see plushies, figurines, and even costumes made in her likeness (along with the other Senshi). Her predecessor, Sailor V, is even more legendary, being greatly admired as a heroine of justice; she is talked about frequently before she is formally introduced, and there was even an anime being made about her. When Sailor Venus finally joins the team, Sailor Moon is a full-blown Fangirl of V's.
- The most famous captain of the current generation is Byakuya, even commoners in the Rukongai know who he is. Ginjou explains it's because his extremely high social rank combines with his extremely high military rank to make him far more well-known than any "normal" captain or high-ranking aristocrat would be by themselves. Byakuya himself once implies that this creates an enormous pressure on him to be the role-model that all Soul Society must look to.
- When Ichigo first arrives in Soul Society, he discovers that just mentioning he was trained by someone called Urahara sends shock-waves through his listeners. Not only was Urahara someone who was infamous for being an exiled captain (later proven to have been framed by Aizen), but his long conflict with Aizen and his status as the most intelligent person alive means that not only has everyone heard of him, but everyone relies on him - even the people who don't want anything to do with him need his help. He's even a legend among the Royal Guard.
Urahara: "Hello, everyone! Calling all Captains of the Gotei 13! And their respective Lieutenants, of course! This is Urahara Kisuke! Some of you may not have met me or be familiar with my name but I hope you'll forgive me if I skip the introductions..."Shinji: "Heh. As if anyone wouldn't know your name, dumbass!"
- In Log Horizon Shiroe discovers that the Landers have kept chronicles on the Adventurers from when the world was a game and view their past raids as feats of heroism. Ri Gan and Kinjo both refer to Shiroe as "the Archmage of the Tea Party".
- Debauchery Tea Party as a whole was fairly famous within the gaming community, and among Landers, due to its achievements without ever becoming a formal guild. The guild leader William was a fanboy who resented them for disbanding before he had a chance to join.
- Mr. Satan from Dragon Ball Z. Sure the audience knows he's a Fake Ultimate Hero who's lucky to survive the stuff he puts himself through, but the people of Earth he's their greatest champion and savior. They named a city after him, the entire World Martial Tournament centers around him to the point he can skip the elimination round, something no other champion before him could do, and gets military support with just asking. His fame does comes in handy during the final story arc.
- The Gundam franchise, thanks to the large number of works and sidestories, have quite a few examples of this trope. Among the first being Amuro Ray in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, which is also deconstructed given that his fame as a war hero and Newtype (thanks to the events of the original Mobile Suit Gundam) also makes him a danger to The Federation, leading to him in a Gilded Cage.
- In Schippeitaro, the young man will adventure until he gets this.
- Clan Gully after they saved Baron Beltorey in The Tainted Grimoire. He is an influential person.
Beltorey: This incident is going to spread like wildfire, and whether for better or worse, this small note eight-person clan is now officially on the map.
- Digimon Trinity: The original Digidestinednote are noted to be as such from the first chapter.
- In Doctor Who fanfic Gemini, the inversion is Played for Drama. One of the things that worries Villain Protagonist Captain June Harper at the beginning of the story is the fact that the people holding her haven’t heard of the Time Agency despite their base being built so close to a Time Rift
- In Pony POV Series, Apple Bloom became this in the Dark World by working for years to free Sunnytown from their curse and succeeding (it helped Discord cursed her the same way, though Applejack broke the curse after she succeeded by her request). For this act, she's remembered as Saint Applebloom of Sunnytown, especially by her descendants. Applejack recently gave her another boost of fame for revealing her spirit helped free her from Discord's control.
- A New Chance Series: After gaining Latios and Latias as Pokemon and using the former in the Johto Silver Conference, Ash gains the fame, fans (especially Max) and recognition he failed to achieve in canon, with rivals and enemies alike knowing him as the kid with the Latios.
- The Twilight Child: Happens when the Mane Six travel to Canterlot for the Hearth's Warming play. An angry stage director confronts them when they arrive, but quickly changes tack when he realises who they are, or who Fluttershy and Rarity are, at least. He then allows them full reign in "his" theatre. Rarity takes full advantage of this.
- After winging both Karasuba and Akitsu in Birds of a Feather, Minato gains a reputation as the Demon Tamer Ashikabi who "battled Karasuba across the city for three days and three nights before emerging victorious and taking her as his woman".
- This Bites!: The Straw Hats were infamous already in canon, but thanks to the SBS, their public connection is a lot more personal and in-depth.
- The Lone Traveler: The eponymous traveler moves around the multiverse, to various different universes at different times. Du to the time travel component, he finds out about his legend long before he has personally done many of the things that earned it.
Films — Animation
- In Kung Fu Panda, the Furious Five are legendary kung fu masters famed across China. At the end of the film, the title character himself becomes a legend as the Dragon Warrior.
- Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire: Scooby and the gang. After getting caught, the villain explains that he lured them into the town because scaring people with their reputations would have increased the popularity he hoped to obtain with his hoax.
Films — Live-Action
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl:
Norrington: You are without a doubt the worst pirate I have ever heard of.
Jack Sparrow: But you have heard of me.
- The Mystery Team was once a well-respected and popular part of their town.
- In The Dark Knight, Batman takes the blame for Harvey Dent's murders, and is subsequently hated by the people of Gotham. In The Dark Knight Rises, he gets his good name cleared, and in the end a statue of him is erected.
- Captain Dax, at the end of Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation. Played for irony, as the Federation trumpets him as the champion of the very ideals he was shown to be very cynical towards in life.
- The Avengers touches on how the main characters have become famous or infamous due to their exploits in their previous movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For instance, Tony Stark refers to Captain America as "a living legend who kind of lives up to his legend."
- Robin and the Merry Men are this by the end of Robin Hood (1991).
- Spaceballs: Yogurt!
Yogurt: (In Mel Brooks' best Yiddish accent) You heard of me?
- The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen becomes one of the biggest celebrities in Panem.
- Purgatory: It is the Wild West. Still, Sonny can recognize many of the townsfolk from dime novels he's read about them.
- In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, both Superman and Batman are famous superheroes, and much discussed. Indeed, one of main themes of the film is the public's perception of the two, and their perception of each other, compared to the truth of who they really are as people. This means that they're also infamous in story, as well - Superman's methods and motives are continually questioned, and Batman is a figure of mystery and terror. By the end of the film, and in Suicide Squad, public opinion is firmly on Superman's side, after he sacrifices his life to stop Doomsday.
- The main premise of My Name Is Nobody, where Beauregard is the most famous gunslinger of the West. This is actually a nuisance for the hero, as he constantly has to be cautious and sort some other people's problems out. In the end, he even fakes his own death just to retire.
- In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, they hear the tales of Beren and Lúthien at Rivendell. Frodo and Sam discuss, on the way, whether they would get such a story, and they are deeply moved when they are rescued from Mount Doom and actually get to hear "Nine-fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom".
- In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels novel Red Fury, Rafen looks at the carvings about the tomb, recounting the deeds of a Blood Angel who had actually entombed Sanguinius's body; it inspires him to carry on. Later, Turkio considers how he, a mere line-brother, will not be remembered in stories, but still carries on.
- In Lee Lightner's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Wolf's Honour, the skald, Morgrim, attends all that happens to recount it in song. When Mikal realizes he overheard him talking to his unconscious superior, he angrily demands to know how Morgrim will tell it; Morgrim declares that he will say that a hero paid his respect to his lord before battle, and Mikal refuses to believe it, thinking Morgrim will remember him as a failure. Morgrim assures him that his lord had felt the same way on many an occasion.
- Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cainnote finds his story being told (inaccurately) all over the place.
- In Terry Pratchett's Discworld
- The Last Hero, the heroes' motivation is that their attack on the gods will be remembered; they even drag along a minstrel to be sure of it. And in the end, the minstrel gets them to save the gods by pointing out if they destroy the gods — and the world — no-one will be around to remember. And then he recounts the story in heavy metal.
- Dave Likely is known throughout the city in Unseen Academicals. Though at the end, the Game disowns fame for how you play.
- In the Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy books, the Legions are accompanied by remembrancers to ensure this. Well, until Horus massacres them.
- In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files novel Dead Beat, Luccio gives this as a reason to insist on Harry's becoming a warden; he's fought more evils than many wizards much older than him, and it's known. In later books, Harry notes that he thinks of it as part Shrouded in Myth, because he remembers how close some of the things were. He doesn't seem to realise that only just raising a zombie Tyrannosaurus Rex is still a nigh-on Godly feat.
- Harry is also The Dreaded to various supernatural baddies. At one point a Red Court Vampire who also happens to be one of the Court's most deadly and skilled assassins turns and runs screaming at the sight of Harry.
- Harry manages to go from a relative unknown in the first book to being recognized on sight by more and more people after only a few books. It helps that there's generally a gap of about 6 months to a year between each book, which is plenty of time for word to spread.
- Harry is also The Dreaded to various supernatural baddies. At one point a Red Court Vampire who also happens to be one of the Court's most deadly and skilled assassins turns and runs screaming at the sight of Harry.
- Gotrek brings Felix along in the stories that bear their names so that his final end might be memorialized in song.
- Felix frequently wonders how, exactly, he is supposed to survive something that can kill Gotrek, the nastiest dwarf alive.
- As of Manslayer, we know that Felix's brother Otto has been publishing the journals he sent home for safekeeping (to act as notes for the eventual epic). And they have proven to be popular, if taken for fiction in some quarters, and disliked by those "slandered" by their portrayal.
- In Wen Spencer's Endless Blue, Hardin tells Mikhail that immortality is when people know your name millennia after your death. Mikhail later threatens to eradicate all record of him if he does something.
- In The Belgariad, the heroes exploit this: although they were careful to never mention the thief or what he stole by name for a time, they get all the minstrels to start telling certain stories. This creates such a clamor that the bad guy can't pick them out of the crowd.
- A major theme of Ben Counter's Daemon World. The narrator recounts legends rather than tell the straight story of anything. (Partly because that way contradictions can be introduced.)
- In Henry Zhou's Warhammer 40,000 novel The Emperor's Mercy, Imperial Guardsmen are surrounded by Chaos forces and are fighting on, despite dying of hunger and disease. Roth tells Celemine that they had no choice but to stay with them. The commander hears and instantly wants to fight a last charge: they can get them to their ship and hold off the enemy — and that way, they can be remembered. (They are. In fact, their eighteen minutes defense of the ship is immortalized in a mural on Terra.)
- Mercedes Lackey's By the Sword starts with the teen protagonist Kerowyn going on a rescue mission alone to save her brother's fiancee. By mid-book "Kerowyn's Ride" has become a popular song. Three-quarters of the way through everyone she meets seems to know it... and half of them cannot sing.
- Kero gets off lucky compared to Kethry (her grandmother) and Tarma (her teacher). They had to deal with several, many of which were composed and consciously embellished (motivated by mere money? nonsense!) by one particularly irritating minstrel with a fixation on the latter.
- Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor has several references to the pulpy, facts-optional dramas created around Luke Skywalker, one of which is plot-important. Luke does not appreciate these and the impressions that they give about him.
- In Starfighters of Adumar, Wedge Antilles and Red Flight are sent to Adumar purely because they're famous pilots. In this case, at least, the pilot-happy culture did know what they'd actually done.
- Played for laughs in another X-Wing novel. Mirax Terrik takes advantage of her father, Booster Terrik's, fame as a smuggler on several occasions to force merchants to either play fair with the Rogues, or to even get them a discount. Then Corran tries to pull it himself when a buyer tries to outbid them while out shopping for parts with Mirax, only for Mirax to sheepishly interject to warn him the man they're bidding against is her father.
- Professor McGonagall rightly predicted that Harry Potter would "be famous. I wouldn't be surprised if today was named Harry Potter Day. There won't be a child in our world who doesn't know his name."
- In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, The Phoenix Exultant, and The Golden Transcedence, "Deeds of renown without peer" are Phaethon's great desire, and Arc Words.
- Quantum Gravity: Zal is a rock star. He's also known for trying to bring together the elves and the demons, but for those who know it's more Infamous In Story.
- In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts story "In Remembrance", after taking Thuro out on a patrol rather farther than they should have, the Ghosts make much of his recognizing an ambush and fixing a flamer on the field. Thuro then goes on to commemorate them in a statue; the story is framed as an interview about that, his most famous work.
- In John Hemry's Paul Sinclair novel Against All Enemies, Paul Sinclair is told that his superior officer is intimidated by him, owing to his reputation for Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
- In John C. Wright's Fugitives of Chaos, Grendel talks of how Hesiod wrote of his mother and is not surprised that Amelia is shy about meeting her, her being famous and all.
- In The Princess Series, the stories of the main characters (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella) are as well known in their world as they are in ours. Played with as the versions of the story that are most well known are the Lighter and Softer Disney versions while what really happened is closer to the Darker and Edgier Grimm Brothers versions.
- Patrick McLanahan from Dale Brown books experiences both this and The Greatest Story Never Told. While he is recognised as a hero for such events as the counterattack against the American Holocaust, there are also many of his world-saving missions that the public will never know about until he's dead if not years after due to being black ops.
- In Connie Willis's All Clear, the men working at making Hitler think that Calais is the attack point are given instructions after D-Day after the observation that the rest of the army will get credit; they will be covered up.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Red Nails", Valeria "of the Red Brotherhood, whose deeds are celebrated in song and ballad wherever seafarers gather." Also, Conan himself is hardly immune to this.
- The very first Conan story written, "The Phoenix on the Sword," opens with an epigraph from an in-universe historical text called The Nemedian Chronicles, which reads in part, "Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet."
- In The Hour of the Dragon, he makes good use of his reputation from his days as a corsair.
- David Gemmell's heroes usually become famous when songs are written about their deeds. Druss, Waylander, the Earl of Bronze and the Thirteen are remembered long after they are dead.
- Ulric's big regret about Druss's death is that he will be cast as the villain of the stories that will be written about the siege. He did not know that his champion put poison on his sword and would have never allowed it but history will not remember it that way.
- Ursula K Leguin's A Wizard of Earthsea is explicitly described as being about him when he was young and not famed in story; in it, a friend declares he will make a song so his deeds will be rememember, but either he didn't or the song was lost. However, by The Farthest Shore, Ged is indeed famed.
- In Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair, Achron's motive.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- "The Rains of Castamere"
- "A one-armed smith killed the king of giants? There will be songs written about this!"
- Jamie "The Kingslayer" Lannister is (in)famous throughout Westeros for killing Aerys "The Mad King" Targaryen, for being incredibly good-looking, and for being the best swordsman in the kingdom. He finds it rather annoying.
- In Codex Alera, Aldrick ex Gladius often serves as The Dragon for whichever character is currently in control, and not as a clear antagonist on his own, but he is legendary throughout Alera for his famed skill with the sword. His duel with Araris Valerian, also legendary because of his skill, is still being talked about fifteen years later.
- The War Gods: Much to his embarrassment, Prince Bahzell has his own ballad (The Lay of Bahzell Bloody-Hand) constantly added to by his "bard" friend Brandark. Unfortunately for Bahzell, Brandark set it to the tune of a popular drinking song, and News Travels Fast.
- Virtually all of Simon R. Green's heroes become this.
- Katniss, Peeta and any other tribute who won their Game and thus survived due to the very nature of "The Hunger Games". Just like with reality show contestants in real life...
- In Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus novel The Mark of Athena, Annabeth is surprised to find, among tapestries depicting other famous events, the time she and Percy were kissing under a river.
- Mary "Jackie" Faber, aka Bloody Jack: the common seamen of the Royal Navy call her "Puss-in-Boots", consider her a good luck charm, and practically worship the deck she walks on. Her fame becomes even more widespread once her friend Amy starts publishing her adventures.
- In The Orphan's Tales Zmeya's tragic story is so popular people go mad from love for her, or like Oubliette try to follow her to the land of death.
- In Spheres of Influence: Ariane proves to be this after her actions in Grand Central Arena, when she meets her first fan in the Arena, asking for her autograph.
- In Rachel Griffin, Sigfried Smith is a celebrity at the age of fourteen for having killed a dragon. He also saved Roanoke Campus from a flying, flaming skunk.
- After Arrow-Odd of The Saga of Arrow-Odd has returned from his very first raiding expedition that took him to Bjarmaland, almost everyone to whom he introduces himself asks in response, "Are you the Odd that went to Bjarmaland?"
- According to the beginning of Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell, Twilight has become famous around Equestria.
- Arthur Schoenberg from Vampire Academy, "one of the greatest Strigoi killers in living guardian history". He appears only briefly as a corpse, but he is the most famous guardian to appear in-universe. His exploits are covered in schoolbooks at the Academy.
- Sharpe: Sharpe and Harper go undercover to investigate corruption in their regiment by enlisting as rankers, and are regaled by the recruiting sergeant with stories about how every enlisted man in the South Essex can be a succesful badass like his best friends Major Richard Sharpe and RSM Patrick Harper, whom he taught everything they know...
- In Son Of The Black Sword by Larry Correia, the hero is known as "Black Hearted Ashok" after twenty years service to the Protectors. He's earned it.
- In Malazan Book of the Fallen there is Kallor, who, Way, way back was the High King of Jacuruku and his actions made him infamous enough to lure three gods to curse him. He is widely known as "The High King".
- As shown in semi-fictional form in Band of Brothers, Ronald Speirs used his reputation as a cold-blooded killer to his advantage. This was explicitly pointed out by Speirs to Lipton. In both the show and in real life, no-one is quite sure if he really was that much a stone-cold killer. On the other hand, given the stuff he is actually known to have done (his Crowning Moment of Awesome being his run straight through a German occupied village... and then back) his rep really didn't need extra padding.
- Game of Thrones: Tywin Lannister's destruction of House Reyne inspired the song "The Rains of Castamere," which serves as the Lannister theme.
- On Heroes, when Hiro has to leave Yaeko and return to the present, she promises to tell people everywhere of his brave acts as Kensei so that the little boy Hiro will have lots of fantastic bedtime stories.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Forest of the Dead", the Tenth Doctor is trying to rescue some humans who are stuck in a library being claimed by a colony of aliens. They don't care about the humans, and are going to kill them just to get them out of the way. The Doctor tells them "I'm the Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the Universe. Look me up." They back off immediately.
- This trope backfires SPECTACULARLY on the Doctor during series 5 and 6. As a result of throwing his weight around, the Doctor has become Famed In-Story as a Technical Pacifist One-Man Army who survived the Time War by wiping out his own people along with the other guys and generally seems to like playing God with the universe while being somewhat/completely bonkers — and the bad guys respond by not waiting around for the Doctor to "fall from the sky and tear down [their] world" and taking the fight to him instead, putting the Doctor's closest friends (and sometimes the whole rest of the universe) in the crosshairs as well. In the end, the Doctor has to fake his own death and go back to being anonymous in order to continue operating.
- Star Trek's Klingons love immortalizing their great heroes in song; for example, Kahless. Klingons being Klingons, they tend to shout "This day will be remembered in song!" at the drop of a hat. One gets the impression that they probably say it after a particularly good meal.
- The crew of Voyager gains quite the reputation in the Delta Quadrant. Admittedly, it's not all roses; one planet had a museum exhibit in which the Voyager crew were a bunch of sadistic Nazis.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Sisko, being a key commander in the war (and long before that an anticipated one), gets some of this, and is explicitly described as a public figure by his journalist son. His psycho-graphic profile becomes required reading among the Vorta. Later a Romulan senator meets Sisko and after listing off some of his accomplishments, vaguely insinuates he's unimpressed.
- Picard seems to be seen as somewhat of a hero on Earth for saving them from the Borg.
- After his house is dishonored, most Klingons Worf meets know exactly who he is.
- Archer and to a lesser extent his senior crew probably also qualify, as they seemed to get some public attention after starting their historic mission, and later prevented the destruction of the Earth.
- Moya's crew in Farscape has built up quite a few impressive exploits as a result of being chased all over the galaxy by bad guys. As a result, word has gotten around, though the stories are a bit... exaggerated, in some respects.
Borlik: You know, I heard he destroyed a Peacekeeper Gammak Base, murdered an entire Nebari battalion, even laid waste to a Shadow Depository. The guy was a devil: he raped and pillaged, he popped eyeballs—
- First, in "Suns and Lovers":
Crichton: Whoa-whoa! Where do they get these stories? Let's set the facts straight. First off, there was no raping, very little pillaging, and Frau Blucher popped all the eyeballs.
Raxil: Two guns? I mean... I thought you were the Great Crichton & D'Argo! I mean... you blew up a shadow depository! I thought you'd bring pelshfer charges! And a plasma bomb! And a really big gunship! BUT NO! YOU BRING NOTHING! YOU BRING TWO LITTLE WEAPONS THAT WOULDN'T KILL A NIKNIK!
- And again in "Scratch and Sniff":
D'Argo: (hesitantly) You... have heard of us?
Raxil: Yeah. I've heard stories. But obviously they aren't worth a bucket of dren!
- By the end of the series, Stargate SG-1 has made the entirety of Earth's forces both famed and feared throughout the Milky Way Galaxy.
- A few specific examples:
- In "The Warrior", a newly-introduced Jaffa greets SG-1 with "I honor he who would kill his god. And to his brethren of the Tau'ri: slayers of Ra, Hathor, Setesh, Heru'ur, Sokar, Cronus, and Apophis."
- Though their reputation is somewhat exaggerated in that case. It was Apophis who did away with Heru-ur, the Tok'ra who got rid of Sokar, and the Replicators who ultimately crippled Apophis' ship to the point of smashing into that planet (though it was the infamous Remember When You Blew Up a Sun? moment in the previous episode that got SG-1 and Apophis out in Replicator territory in the first place, so they had a hand, in a roundabout way.)
- The Goa'uld Nerus arranges to end up at Stargate Command under the pretense of helping them defeat the Ori (he's actually The Mole.) His introductory scene finds him extremely disappointed at the personnel changes in SG-1 as he was really looking forward to meeting O'Neill and Colonel Carter.
- When SG 1 gets captured in "Off the Grid", the bad guy (a small-time player in the Lucian Alliance) knows exactly who they are.
- Same thing happens in Stargate Atlantis. Word spreads pretty quickly around the Pegasus Galaxy about the people living in Atlantis and battling the Wraith (and later, the Replicators.)
- Of course, word also spreads about how many of these crises they were responsible for in the first place. They are the kings of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!, to the point that the Pegasus Galaxy would be a lot safer if the Atlantis crew had never shown up.
- A few specific examples:
- Suits has a subversion. An opposing lawyer fully expects Harvey to know him by reputation even though he usually practices in another city. However, Harvey never actually heard of him. Turns out the guy is so good that none of Harvey's lawyer friends and colleagues are willing to talk about the brutal trouncing he gave them in the courtroom.
- In Highlander: The Series, Duncan MacLeod is a legend in his home village of Glen Finnan. "He came back from the grave, took up his father's sword and slew the Viking". Duncan has to do it all over again, though, because when he killed Kanwulf the first time, he was a newborn immortal and didn't know he had to take his opponent's head.
- Naturally, there are a ton of stories floating around about Methos, which enables the fake Methos in "The Messenger" to do his thing.
- Played with in Agent Carter - Agent Carter's name is well-known amongst Americans due to her involvement in Captain America: The First Avenger, but her exploits are not. Instead, she's portrayed in radio dramas exclusively as Captain America's frequently-captured Damsel in Distress.
Cain: Dean Winchester is asking for help? That's not the man I read about on demon bathroom walls.
- Dean Winchester apparently has something of a Memetic Badass status among evil creatures.
- His brother Sam is such a legend in the supernatural world that Death, who is typically indifferent towards everything, considers it an honour to reap his soul.
- Played with with Castiel. Every angel in Heaven seems to know who he is, but they tend to mostly remember the bad parts of his legacy. Even those who sympathize with him, like Samandriel, tend to just say things like "he was always trying to do the right thing" rather than thinking of him as an actual hero.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy is described by Dracula as "world-famous".
- Babylon 5: Before taking command of B5, John Sheridan is already famed not only as the only Earthforce commander to destroy a Minbari capital ship during the Earth/Minbari war, but the only Earthforce commander to survive an engagement with the Minbari. The Minbari see him as their Red Baron - "Starkiller" - for the exact same reasons.
- By season 11 of Red vs. Blue, the Blood Gulch Crew's exploits have become well-known enough for a band of rebels to look up to them for inspiration and leadership.
- William Shakespeare warns about this in "Sonnet 25":
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foiled,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toiled:
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade":
"When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!"
- In Dead Rising 3, stand-outs of Frank West and Chuck Greene from the previous games can be seen in Los Perdido's museum exhibit on the history of zombies.
- This is one of the defining features of Dragon Age II. Since it takes place over several years, your exploits are talked about quite frequently.
- This is true of Mario in most incarnations where he can talk to people, but especially so in the RPGs.
- Averted in Brütal Legend. In the end, protagonist Eddie Riggs doesn't get fame, glory or even credit for the things he did. He wouldn't have it any other way.
- But it's also played totally straight with his father.
- If Shepard had chosen to save the council in Mass Effect, there will be an advertisement for a movie of his/her heroics in the Battle of the Citadel in the sequel.
- Though this is also subverted, as some of Shepard's greatest achievements, namely his/her victory over the Collectors and Reapers in Mass Effect 2 is unknown to everyone, though Shepard is still well known and respected/feared by everyone anyway, as they are still acknowledged as a humongously huge badass.
- By the time Mass Effect 3 comes around, Shepard's reputation is so great that his/her commanding officers willingly stand aside and allow him/her to make the decisions in the greatest war humanity has ever been involved in. They outright state that Shepard is the only hope the galaxy has.
- In Assassin's Creed II, bards will sing about your exploits to you, and if you are notorious, wanted posters with your name and (obscured) face start appearing, while town yellers will start denouncing you. During multiplayer, you can sometimes hear the town yellers mentioning your single-player character.
Cardinal #1: His name is Ezio Auditore.Cardinal #2: Who?Cardinal #1: The Assassin. Killed the Banker. They say he walks the halls of il Vaticano ("the Vatican"), with no one able to stop him.
- During the last Lair of Romulus in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (Basilica di San Pietro), while you're trailing the target cardinal, a group of other cardinals can be overheard discussing you:
- By 1524, legends about Ezio's skills have spread as far as China.
- In Half-Life 2, many if not most members of La Résistance know of you and your exploits.
- Especially the Vortigaunts, who consider Gordon Freeman to be their own personal Moses and call him "the Free Man."
- Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 is this in Halo. Many of his fellow soldiers are well aware of his abilities, senior officers are willing to take risks based on his assessment, and he does get remembered as the saviour of humanity in the ads leading up to Halo 3. Even the Covenant are also aware of him, as "the demon" that destroyed one of their holy relics.
- In Halo 4, this gets bumped up even more: the Master Chief is a freaking legend, to the point that a superior officer who disagrees with him and orders his arrest for disobeying a direct order and committing an act of mutiny and desertion, all legally justified, is later removed by Command. Plus everyone in the Infinity chooses to help Master Chief rather than follow said captain's orders.
- In Halo 5, Buck points out to Locke that if they succeed in arresting John and the rest of Blue Team—again, for legitimate reasons because Blue Team has disobeyed orders and gone AWOL—Fireteam Osiris is going to be hated by everyone in the UNSC, including the other Spartans.
- Metroid. Many characters know of Samus Aran's exploits. In Prime 3, many Federation soldiers are starstruck when you talk to them. And that's not even getting into the Space Pirates' immense fear of her.
- In the Mega Man Zero series, Zero is well-known as a Maverick Hunter even a hundred years after he went missing, and the reactions of who he meets differ depend on which side of the war they're on, with the Resistance and Ciel viewing him as their resurrected savior, and Neo Arcadia viewing him as a Fallen Hero who now works for terrorists.
- Professor Layton, even though he is no detective.
- Fallout: New Vegas: Get enough status with the NCR, and they'll laud your awesomeness whenever you show up. Many other factions do the same. Quite a few other people recognize your sheer badassery; after freeing Raoul (requiring you to cut a swath through a dozen supermutants) he says "When a supermutant tells you to do something, you do it. Well, maybe you don't..."
- The Vault Dweller from Fallout is not only the creator of the entire tribe of Arroyo in the sequel, and thus obviously important to them, but they're hailed as a hero in NCR as well due to saving them from raiders back when they were still the humble town of Shady Sands (even if they don't even remember what gender the Vault Dweller was.)
- In Monster Racers, as you progress through the tournaments and the various areas, your player character slowly becomes famous. Many of the generic Non Player Characters you meet in later levels already recognize you, and many are excited to race against you. Eventually, the two snooty fangirls for Santos and Reinhart even switch over to becoming fans of you, and act as if they were really rooting for you all along.
- Garret of Thief doesn't often get recognized on sight (he's a thief after all, if he's doing his job properly, people won't know what he looks like), but his name certainly becomes more and more well known as the series goes on. By the second game, he's on the City Watch's most wanted list, and by the third he is Shrouded in Myth and considered able to steal just about anything, from anyone.
- You get more and more famous as you progress through any The Elder Scrolls game. You get songs written about you and everything.
- In the early acts of Titan Quest, various storytellers and poets will tell you stories from Greek, Egyptian and Chinese mythology. By the time you get to Act V, they're telling stories about you.
- A codec conversation with Kevin in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance R04 reveals that Sundowner used to have quite the reputation in his pre-cyborg soldier days.
- In Dawn Of The Dragons, by the time of the sixth quest zone (which takes place several months from the beginning), people start talking about the dragon-rider as if he/she is a hero on par with the mythic figures from the age of legends. By the ninth quest zone, the dragons are referring to him/her with curses and have made killing the dragon-rider their top priority. The dragon-rider can't escape this trope even after being teleported to the other side of the continent. He/she almost immediately becomes The Chosen One destined to free a Slave Race.
- Fatal Fury: Terry Bogard became famous, after defeating Geese Howard at the conclusion of the original game. Afterward, his fame continued to spread by facing-off against subsequently tougher opponents, like Wolfgang Krauser, and Kain, which has made him a Living Legend. Terry is even referred to as both "The Legendary Lone Wolf" and "The Hungry Wolf, Bogard".
- Art of Fighting: As is the case with Terry, Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia are also reknowned for their fighting ability and their achievements.
- According to canon, Ryo became the champion of the first official King of Fighters tournament by defeating Geese. Which took place over a decade before Geese's fated match with Terry. Because of his prowess, he has earned the title "Mouteki no Ryu" ("The Invincible Dragon") and has gone on to become legend.
- Robert is credited for defeating Mr. Big, who's known to be one of the most feared and powerful crimelords in South Town, to help save Ryo's sister, Yuri. In addition, he's recognized as Ryo's equal in prowess and stature and is famed as the first known foreign practictioner of Kyokugenryu Karate, and as the first foreigner to ever master the discipline. Robert has also been acknowledged as a "natural genius" by friend and foe alike, which has earned him the title of "Saikyo no Tora" - "The Mightiest Tiger".
- Several characters in Rakenzarn Tales are as famous as they are in the real world.
- Heroes like Goku, Mario and Sonic are widely respected and admired.
- Autolycus still retains his title as the "king of thieves" and is considered the greatest thief in Rakenzarn.
- Abraham Van Helsing in Code:Realize is widely known as the hero of the Vampire War, knighted to the Most Excellent Order by Queen Victoria and nicknamed the "human weapon" for his combat prowess. Lupin and Frankenstein also have some measure of repute before the story begins, Lupin as a Gentleman Thief and Victor as a former Royal Alchemist and current wanted terrorist, but everybody has heard of Van Helsing. Reactions to him tend to vary from respectful awe to pants-wetting terror depending on how likely it seems that he's going to start shooting at the person in question.
- Girl Genius:
- Bill and Barry Heterodyne were revered across Europa as the greatest heroes of their generation. There are plenty of books and plays about their adventures, many greatly exaggerated.
- No Rest for the Wicked:
- The Dreamland Chronicles: Paddington
- In The Order of the Stick, Julio Scoundrèl.
- Bait that Evil Diva holds out to her mother
- In El Goonish Shive, Tedd appears to be this. At least amongst the magical community; Jerry could identify him just from Susan's brief explanation. Jerry claims it's because of Mr. Verres, but only after a significant pause.
- Also Justin, after the Fire Summon and Taurcanis Draco attacks.
- In Blue Yonder, Jared, Blue Yonder, is well known enough to be recognized after his rescue.
- In Sinfest,
- In Exterminatus Now, a battle to be recounted in epics through the ages -- or maybe a limerick.
- In Freefall, Sam's criminal tendencies conflict with a desire for this.
- In The Adventures of Sue and Kathryn!, the titular heroines are renowned for heroic deeds such as stopping an army of elves and were-elephants. At least, to those who haven't gotten to know them yet.
- The dragon general Lady Red from Draconia Chronicles is famed enough to inspire Squee! among non-fire dragons. She even accidentally hand-picked her biggest fan completely at random by using the "point-and-draft" method of conscription.
- Quant, a Ranker from Tower of God, who only appeared in person in one story arc where he revealed himself as rather buffoonish and a manchild, must be one of the most popular characters in the Tower since his face is on nearly everything from public service announcement posters over chocolate bars to strength measuring devices.
- This is invoked by Open Blue. Adding "Extra Information", rumors surrounding your character, is part of the character profile template.
- The Outcasts of Tasakeru will be "whispered of as legends" in the future, up to 150 years or more after the events of the story.
- Over the course of Worm, the Undersiders and Travelers become national news for having taken over Brockton Bay.
- Played with in Welcome to Night Vale, as far as Carlos the Scientist is concerned. Every time Cecil mentions him, he always describes Carlos as being magnificently handsome, talks about his perfect hair, and at one point tries to hold a ceremony naming him as Night Vale's most important citizen. Due to the paranormal nature of the show, it's not clear if this is some mysterious effect Carlos is having on everyone, if Cecil and the population of Night Vale just develop unnatural obsessions with random individuals, or if Carlos is just really that good looking. It's implied that the townsfolk are at least as enamored with Carlos' hair as Cecil, driving Barber Telly out of town for cutting it. Old Woman Josie has also described Carlos as "perfect", adding that he "smells like lavender chewing gum".
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Many of the characters are famous in-universe. Aang, as the avatar, is the most obvious. His fame is a mixed blessing; people either greatly respect him or want to kill him. All members of the Fire Nation royalty are famous: Zuko for being the disgraced prince, and Iroh for being The Dragon of the West.
- By The Legend of Korra, everyone from the original series is quite famous, though of course Aang gets the biggest spotlight. Changing the Fire Nation from The Empire and a global threat and restoring the world to peace is basically considered to be the work of the partnership of Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko. As for the current generation, Asami's goes from being the daughter of a captain of industry to being a captain of industry, Mako and Bolin were well-known athletes from the start (and as of Season 3, Bolin is famous as the world's first movie star), and as the son of Aang and head of the family that (until season three) is currently all that remains of the Air Nomad civilization and Airbending itself, Master Tenzin is an important figure indeed. And Korra? Well, people either greatly respect her or want to kill her. (Comes with the territory, and we're not just talking about villains. For Aang, it's the actions of past Avatars, or for disappearing for a hundred years. For Korra, it's mostly the aftermath of season two, though there are also those who think Korra should solve everything and blame her for everything down to the last pothole in the street.)
- Danny Phantom, of said show, becomes famous. His powers become well-known in the Ghost Zone, and despite initial skepticism, in the human world as well. Earlier in the show he is more infamous, believed to be evil, although by the end of the show he is hailed as a defender of the world.
- Ben Tennyson's identity as a superhero is revealed in the first episode of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien by an investigating fanboy and he has mixed feelings about it: on the one hand, he's the idol of millions of young people and kids, but on the other hand he's hounded by a TV pundit who tries to convince everyone he's a threat (even though the guy's pretty ineffectual and has to resort to a Killer Robot like most of Ben's foes). Eventually the adoration wears thin as he can't even enjoy a smoothie break with his team without being mobbed by fans, and the strain it puts on his relationship with his girlfriend. However, it also comes in handy: authorities cooperate with him instead of getting in his way, and there's an instance or two of minor hoods standing down the moment they see the Omnitrix emblem.
- On a Doc McStuffins crossover installment with the cast of Winnie-the-Pooh, Doc thinks Pooh looks familiar upon seeing him floating in the air on balloons and recognizes him immediately when he says that he's Pooh.