Fiction is loaded with Wish Fulfillment, and being rich enough to bend reality is one of them. These are characters whose wealth is almost impossible to quantify. More Money Than God is the bare minimum.
Now this could happen in Real Life, like royalty who owned literally thousands of Pimped Out Dresses, or a man in India who built a private skyscraper for his family, staff, and fleet of cars, or Marcus Licinius Crassus, who had three times as much money as Bill Gates and personally funded the reconstruction of the Roman army. But in fiction, that's on the lower end of this scale.
Stuff that generally does not qualify you to be a member of the Fiction 500: Big Fancy House, Cool Chair, Cool Boat, Cool Plane, Cool Car, Battle Butler, Maid Corps, or even simply having assets in the billions.
Stuff that generally does qualify you to be a member of the Fiction 500:
You have become a cultural symbol for absurd wealth, and the story leaves no doubt your reputation is completely justified.
You routinely spend money on a scale normal super-rich people might do once or twice in a lifetime, whether it be major investments or mere Conspicuous Consumption. If a real amount is given, even if in the hundreds of millions, or billions, it's chump change to these characters.
In CLAMP School Detectives, the Imonoyama family founded CLAMP Academy, which acts not just as a school, but as a self contained city in the middle of Tokyo. And they don't even charge the students' families tuition.
From Death Note, L Lawliet has a hotel built solely to house (and disguise) a heavily secured task force headquarters, pays for everyone on the task force's life insurance, hands them gadget belts, can afford to hire a professional con man and an international thief, and still has enough left over that his successor can just pour a waterfall of one-dollar bills out the top of a building.
The five girls of Debutante Detective Squad are said to each have wealth greater than the annual gross national product of Japan.
In Dragon Ball, the Briefs family owns the Capsule Corporation. Capsules are a perfect miniaturization technology, and the Briefs have a monopoly. The exact extent of their wealth isn't made completely clear, but they can summon a giant wish-granting dragon in the middle of a crowded city and people say "What is that thing? Oh, it's coming from Capsule Corp? Ah, looks like Dr. Briefs is experimenting again".
In Eden of the East, all twelve of the SeleÁ„o are given magic cell phones that they can use to make any request from the "concierge," whether material goods or to cause any event to happen — essentially a technological Genie in a Bottle. The cost for these "wishes" are automatically billed against a 10 billion yen limit (that's about $100 million). And all of it was arranged by the mysterious "Mr. Outside", who can apparently just give 12 people 10 billion yen each without it mattering overly much.
In Gravion, Klein Sandman has the resources and cunning to build a bleeding edge deep space detection system and a bleeding edge Combining Mecha all without the notice of any major organisation on Earth. He also has a par-for-the-course gigantic castle that can house and train a veritable army of maids to pilot and provide logistical support for said giant robot. At least one of these maids was initially brought into the castle against their will and no one questions it. Oh and, just to prove it wasn't a fluke, he builds another one.
Of course, he is a Human Alien and what is bleeding edge for Earth is only cutting edge for him.
In Hana Yori Dango, the parentage of the student body of Eitoku Academy is implied to almost entirely be made up of ridiculously wealthy people, and the F4 are the cream of the crop.
Mikado Sanzenin. By his own account, his wealth measures in the hundreds of trillions of yen (several trillion dollars at least). His granddaughter Nagi is wealthy in her own right, but not enough to maintain the smallest Sanzenin secondary residence (which includes a theme park and fully stocked lake) by herself.
Athena Tennos, as head of the Tennos family, is said to have wealth to rival the Sanzenins'.
In Keroro Gunsou, Baio Nishizawa's company controls nearly half of the world's economy, he's got his own armed military and black ops brigade, and his daughter Momoka has, among other things, a tiered doll display so tall that it's built into the side of a rock spire and can only be viewed via helicopter. According to Tamama, "If people knew how rich they were, they would lose all faith in capitalism."
Ayaka Yukihiro's family owns a Mega Corp. and several private islands, and she herself lives in a Big Fancy House that would give the Palace of Versailles a run for its money, and was able to personally finance a massive campus wide war game. Keep in mind that said campus is an Elaborate University High that goes from grade school through university level and has over 30,000 students. She also owns her own private jet and brought roughly half her class to Wales in it when she heard that Negi was going there.
Konoka's family comes close, if only because their Shinto temple-esque Big Fancy House would put Ayaka's own to shame in size and complexity. The Mega Corp.-owning Yukihiro family still surpasses them in sheer wealth, though.
Princess Arika, Negi's mother could probably put Ayaka's money to shame without even trying.
Yai's family, of Mega Man NT Warrior, regularly shows off their wealth in the form of private jets, a submarine, helicopters... And their mansion transforms into a Humongous Mecha. Naturally, she uses these things to help the rest of the gang get to places faster. Her Star Force counterpart, Luna, only has her wealth touched upon once, but her family's estate, her army of servants, and making countless orders to try and see Mega Man again practically puts her into this trope as well.
Hans Georg Schubert, also known as the Vampire of Bayern for his seclusion and mysterious nightly outings, is described as a juggernaut whose fortune keeps growing and growing without measure; rumors have it that he singlehandedly manipulates the entirety of the German stock market. His donation of his collection of rare and antique books to the University of Munich attracts local and international business alike.
Johan, who started an enormous black market banking operation that made him incredibly rich...at the age of 15. He doesn't care about the money. He did it to see how people would destroy each other because of money and to make it easier for him to murder a lot of people.
In Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, Gentou Nogizaka bought an island, complete with castle and resort, as well as supersonic jets, for the express purpose of celebrating his daughter's birthday. Beyond that, he has his own private army and ninja maid staff, and apparently spends most of his time with world leaders and intelligence agencies. His father-in-law is retired, but remains outrageously influential: according to The Other Wiki, "If he wants, all great leaders in the world will gather at one place for a high level conference within three hours."
The boys in the Host Club belong to insanely rich families, who own private islands, artificial jungle resorts and private armies.
Renge decides to make a movie about the club and summons a Hollywood camera crew and a director (a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Steven Spielberg, no less) in one day.
Kyouya Ootori is able to threaten others into submission by simply stating that he's able to eject someone from the country if they piss him off. That's not even including the insanely huge indoors beach that had a forest in it. He's also independently wealthy, being able to buy his family's failing company.
Tamao Kikunoi AKA 'Princess'. When her fiance asks for help in saving one of his friends from a group of cultists, she shows up with a private army... including full sea-and-air support, elite forces numbering in the tens of thousands, and a butler with a Hyperspace Arsenal. When the same friend needed to be saved from a horde of amorous girls, she was able to make a Humongous Mecha materialize under a city block, complete with gigantic hangar-gates, for the sole purpose of tricking the girls into leaving.
Sunako's aunt looks to be EASILY in the top-half of this list, thanks to the inheritance she got from her late husband. She can summon an entire FLEET of military choppers at will — equipped with rose-petal-spreaders. And that's not counting the men she's dated, one of whom had a stretch limo that took nearly a minute to pass a single point — at full speed.
In Sonic X, Christopher Thorndyke, the child of a superstar actress and a gifted scientist, and his grandfather is The Professor to boot. In the second episode, he can provide the funds and materials for Tails to turn a modified WW1 biplane into a transforming jet fighter.
Probably can be safely assumed of the Jurai family given their status as being the monarch of an intergalactic government in a spacefaring society where a bedroom the size of a fair-sized house in Japan is considered working class. In addition, several members of the family own personal space yachts with more firepower than an average galaxy police warship. Note that this applies only to the Emperor and those who live with him; his relatives living on Earth don't fare quite as well — though technically they are considered missing persons stranded on a remote and uncivilized planet. Earth is implied to be an unofficial vacation spot for the royal family (though probably because some of its membersnote Yosho, for those wondering are stranded there), so many of them are simply staying there by choice.
The Kuramitsu family owns garden planets, as in planets for the sole purpose of the family and friends to spend nice weekends at. And their wealth is petty change compared to the Emperor.
Kuramitsu clan is royalty of the Jurai's rival empire of Seniwa, so it's really hardly surprising.
In Urusei Yatsura, Shutaro Mendou. Fanon expands his wealth considerably, though. Mendou has a pretty much private everything.
In Yes! Pretty Cure 5, Karen Minazuki has her own island, just happens to have multiple empty houses lying around for people who appeared out of nowhere, and once had to clarify that she was only joking about owning a mountain range.
Dokidoki Pretty Cure also gives us Alice Yotsuba, or her family at least. Literally, the company owns EVERYTHING.
In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Seto Kaiba has so much money he can screwthe rules on a regular basis. He managed to become owner and CEO of an entertainment company (that until he took over also manufactured high-tech weapons) and his brother's legal guardian without graduating high school. He also built a card game-themed amusement park, and pioneered advanced holographic technology (and repeatedly improved up on it) just to improve a card game. Later, he founds an entire school to teach more about the game. At one point in season 4, he needs a car, so he and an Mokuba find one and get in (never mind how they got the keys). As the car comes on, a salesman rushes over, frantic and demanding to know what they're doing. Even as the man rants, Kaiba whips out a checkbook extremely dramatically, scrawls something, and tells the man to keep the change as they drive away. The distraught salesman frets that he's ruined, RUINED... until he looks down at the $500,000 check. While not quite so large a number as this trope normally deals with, the sheer attitude with which this example was done makes it rather noteworthy.
Pegasus is hardly a pauper either, and, given that Kaiba's big break came from making a deal with Pegasus, may actually be richer than Kaiba. Given that fifteen years after he invented his product professional users of it would apparently be as powerful as kings, politicians and CEOs, it's quite likely he'll be sitting pretty for the foreseeable future.
In [C] - The Money and Soul of Possibility, Mikuni has enough money to single-handedly shoulder Japan's national debt. Note that due to the show's premise, a lot of characters can fall into this trope (the protagonist went from a college student struggling to make ends meet to having a bank account of several hundred million overnight), but Mikuni still stands out.
In Dance in the Vampire Bund, Mina Tepes pays off Japan's entire national debt, which is around 40 TRILLION dollars and does not seem financially hurt in the slightest by it.
Of course, she already controls enough of the world's resources that the odds are pretty good that she was already indirectly Japan's largest creditor, and being able to openly sponsor the current government is likely a fair trade for canceling a bad debt. Given the amount of shifting goods and companies around this would have entailed, and the justification it would have provided for a thorough corporate housecleaning, she might even have come out ahead on the deal.
In Special A, almost every single character aside from the Hanazono family is ridiculously and obscenely wealthy, to the point where Kei Takishima slams down a blank check and tells Yahiro to fill in any amount he wants for the house they are currently standing in — and all he wants is his girlfriend back. In another scene, the Takishima Group Headquarters are portrayed as being several square MILES wide. (This is the fourth positively massive mansion to be shown to be owned by the Takishima's — and we're not even counting the manga, here.
Hanaukyo Taro of Hanaukyō Maid Tai in addition to his mansion and army of maids has enough budget to create a weather altering machine and a computer that can manipulate all the world's markets when it's completed.
In Sacred Seven, Ruri. "We didn't want to go to any trouble, so we just bought the school."
The Big Bad of the Dark Tournament arc of YuYu Hakusho, Mr. Sakyo, is richer than the entirety of the Japanese government put together.
Bleach: Byakuya Kuchiki is apparently ridiculously wealthy. His pre-time skip scarf alone is worth the price of ten mansions... and in Japan, mansions are fantastically expensive. And that's just an item of clothing he wears every day and is willing to wear into battle. After the time skip, he gets a custom captain's haori made, and the gold piping down the edges is apparently insanely expensive, costing as much as three sheets of expensive silk cloth. He wears that into battle, too. Byakuya really does have money to burn.
Claire Kokonoe from Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku. In the first episode, it's stated that she has as little chance of running out of money as a tap left on does of running out of water. For example, if she needs an eraser, her immediate reaction is to buy a stationery store.
The Hekmatyar family running H&C Logistics International are fantastically wealthy as their company is essentially an N.G.O. Superpower. They have their own private army, private satellites and Koko Hekmatyar has the funds necessary to pursue bleeding edge technology in the fulfilment of her secret plan "Jormungand" which involves putting over 126 satellites in the sky to prevent aircraft from ever taking off the ground. A massive undertaking to the point where every global player is scared shitless of it, the sanity of doing something like this is questioned in-universe.
Rohan Kishibe of Jojos Bizarre Adventure fame earned enough money from writing his hit manga "Pink Dark Boy" that he could buy things like Gucci, Armani and even entire mountain ranges like a kid buys candy.
Tatsuya Himekawa of Beelzebub may be a delinquent, but he still comes from a wealthy banking family, allowing him to finance some of the group's wilder plans if needed. Apparently his monthly allowance is in the hundred-thousands and he considers spending millions pocket change. To date he has: owned the top seven floors of an expensive high rise apartment complex, converted several apartments on one floor into a giant gaming center, bought an entire gaming company on a whim so he and his pals could win against magically-cheating opponents, and spent several million on a demon-sealer that he always planned to destroy in the end. He also has access to what is assumed to be a very expensive penthouse in a resort location. And his family owns an island shaped like a pompadour whose sole purpose is to produce Himekawa's hair gel.
Kiryuin Ragyo from Kill la Kill probably qualifies. Literally 100% of ALL clothing on the planet is manufactured by her company, REVOCS (which is a bad thing, since this clothing is made of parasitic aliens). Ragyo is rich and influential enough that even her teenage daughter pretty much owns an entire city and a personal army of superpowered students powerful enough to take over other cities, and nobody can do squat about it.
In Batman, Bruce Wayne can bury the cost of the Justice League Watchtower in his aerospace budget. To put this in perspective, the smaller and far more primitive International Space Station cost over $150 billion by the time construction was completed. He is also funding his secret life of fighting crime using assorted wonderful toys. An entire issue of Robin was devoted to delivering a cost accounting of Batman's arsenal. In Batman Begins, Bruce and Alfred decide that the best way to disguise their purchase of ears for Batman costumes is to buy 10,000 of them.
Bruce: Well, at least we'll have spares.
Justified with the satellite, in part because Superman, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern transport the materials to orbit and do the assembly, which is the lion's share of the cost of a normal space station.
In Teen Titans, Robin (Tim Drake) smuggled a Batmobile from Gotham by hiding it in the Batarang budget. Impulse promptly crashes it, thus notifying Batman.
Impulse: How'd you get a Batmobile shipped to San Francisco? Robin: I hid it in the Batarang budget. Impulse: The Batarang budget? Robin: It's bigger than you'd think.
As of The New 52, Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, is one too. While he already had Queen Industries, he was nowhere near the level of Wayne Enterprises or LexCorp. Now, Q-Core, his current financial endeavor, is Wayne Ent.'s main competition in the technology sector and basically the DCU's equivalent of Apple.
In Doom Patrol, Steve Dayton, AKA Mento. Routinely described as the fifth richest man on Earth in The DCU.
In The Green Team: Boy Millionaires, the only prerequisite for joining the Green Team is one million dollars. The boys paid fortunes to anyone who could offer them a worthy adventure. In their first and only (at the time) published story, they funded the "Great American Pleasure Machine", a sort of roller coaster ride that brings so much pleasure, it drives the villain of the piece insane. As a text page in 1st Issue Special #2 (May 1975) explained, their jumpsuit uniforms had many pockets for money, with special locks, and they carried ticker-tape wristwatches, a chain of keys that would unlock any of their many labs and money vaults in far-flung lands, and a quarter-million dollars each that any of them could whip out at any time in the name of adventure.
The Most Excellent Superbat (no name given) from Super Young Team states that his power is being rich enough to do anything, backed up in story by having his own private island made for him (complete with secret base), inventing an automatic mental Twitter, and in his definite Crowning Moment Of Awesome, buying Japan — yes, the entire country — to rebuild it, again with his own money. Do anything indeed.
In The Incredible Hercules, the title character is shown being able to purchase entire bars with gold he had in his pocket, and his diverse portfolio required two superheroes a full week to even gather, let alone settle, in the wake of his (temporary) demise. One example alone that would qualify for this list was that he was one of the initial investors to Stark Enterprises, whose founder is listed below. When the size of the investment was calculated, a second line of zeroes was required — assuming a standard 1.25 inch margin on each side of the page and a 12-point font, the bare minimum amount of this investment alone would come out to be 10 novemdecillion (10^61) dollars. Though after the fourth novemdecillion dollars, who's really counting?
From Iron Man, Anthony (Tony) Edward Stark. Even without any funds, he's a gadgeteer genius who managed to build the Iron Man suit out of, basically, tin cans and string. That said, having loads of spare suits, many built in a lab in his own house most definitely counts. As does having a fully automated production facility in his garage that can build him another one in 5 hours. Case in point: Spider-Man thinks they should all get armor. Tony's response?◊ And in Mini-Marvels Tony does give everyone power armour just to prove how awesome he is. He also keeps fully working versions of previous armors in a trophy room, has destroyed them to keep them out of enemy hands, and apparently rebuilt them for the unlikely occasions where they'd come in useful in the future.
The Avengers can be quite the Destructive Saviours. When buildings get knocked over, streets get blown up, and cars get pitched at Killer Robots, who gets the bill? And never misses that money? That alone would make Tony one of the more impressive examples.
In X-Men Charles Xavier's inherited fortune made him able to turn the basement of a mansion into an Elaborate Underground Base with an absurdly advanced holodeck room, as well as affording/building various vehicles, including helicopters and a really advanced jet. Plus the Cerebro. Those can't come cheap. note Although, with Magneto's help, all labor costs would pretty much become zero, meaning he's only really paying for parts. At least during the times when Magneto was his ally and not his arch-enemy.
Eventually, his even richer girlfriend, Shi'Ar Empress Lilandra (who owned an entire galaxy) provided upgrades to much of Xavier's facilities.
Note that the jet in question was a custom-modified SR-71 Blackbird, bought straight from Lockheed. Lockheed in real life never sold Blackbirds to anyone except the US government, since the technology was largely top secret. This illustrates that Xavier is both ludicrously rich and even more ludicrously well-connected. Or he just used his psychic powers to convince whoever was responsible to get him what he needed.
Also, everything on this list - Cerebro, the mansion, the Blackbird, and other smaller planes and helicopters - gets destroyed whenever the plot requires them to not have it or wants to show "this villain is serious." And everything on this list will be replaced, often with a better version that more closely matches whatever it looks like in the most recent film, by the next time it's needed. This in addition to the sprawling facilities and Star Trek-level gadgetry. That makes Professor X Tony Stark tier, but unlike the other characters with unlimited resources, we never hear about his business ventures, or trouble with any company/companies of his during the times Xavier was in space or believed by all to be dead. Was his dad so rich that the X-Men can keep this up indefinitely without it being replenished, or is there an unseen Xavier Industries comparable to what Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark has?
Emma Frost is known to have used her telepathy to get insider information for playing the stock market. Given that in his younger years, Xavier was decidedly less ethical about invading (and even altering) people's minds, one wonders if he did the same thing in order to enhance his wealth. Simply being heavily invested in other people's companies could give Xavier vast wealth without having to run a company of his own, if he picked the right companies.
Angel's no slouch either. While it's not flaunted to the degree that Tony Stark's is, he's sometimes been able to say "Oh, don't worry, I'll just write a check" to expenditures that would boggle the mind if you think about it.
Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. Again, you can miss it because it's not part of his character like Tony (or even Angel, who flaunts it some), but it's there. The Baxter Building is huge and super-luxurious, and the materials needed to make his many tools and vehicles and scientific equipment don't grow on trees (and sometimes require Unobtanium that is ridiculously hard to come by.) Making another of something that blows up is never a problem, and he'll always pull out bigger and better versions of any of the team's signature gear. Basically, it turns out that Reed Richards is NOT useless, and money from selling inventions that don't endanger the planet (sorry, no pocket Negative Zone portals) as well as the Four's celebrity status (they get cash from every film, action figure, etc.) has made him rich enough that a trivial little problem like "doing this would require ten times the amount of money that exists in the world" will never hold the Four back. Reed is so rich that he rakes more money than the entire US GDP.
Oneshot Cable foe Jackie Singapore is noted to be richer than both Stark and Bill Gates, and that 17% of Singapore's population thinks the country is named after him. It's also implied that entire countries make decisions based on his word, and that he can, among other things, get the two Koreas to actually agree on something.
Norman Osborn/Green Goblin is so rich and well connected that he can get himself out of any charges as the Goblin, able to get a political position with ease, and form his own evil SHIELD army, HAMMER.
From Disney Mouse And Duck Comics, DuckTales and elsewhere, Scrooge McDuck's wealth is one of his defining characteristics. He has so much money he can swim in it, which happens to be one of his favorite pastimes. He is the owner of a windowless concrete block, affectionately called The Money Bin, filled with so much cold, hard cash that the bottom layer probably collapsed into electron-degeneracy sometime in the early 1990s. Don Rosa makes a point that the money in the bin is what Scrooge earned before he became the world's richest duck. He has dozens of times more, in bank accounts and in investments, but the money in the bin is there because every coin and bill is a mark of victory to its owner; he can actually tell how he earned each one by looking at them, and would never part with one unless the story behind it is not worth remembering.
In one Don Rosa story it's shown that Scrooge has every federal and state organization, including the U.S. Armed Forces, at his beck and call because his taxes comprise about 90% of their income. When you put together all Carl Barks and Don Rosa stories, Scrooge could probably buy out every other person mentioned on this page. And yet he still figured he didn't have enough wealth to buy even a tenth of a solid gold moon, when engaged in a trade with the wealthiest man from Venus for it. And then he traded it for a handful of dirt.
In some Carl Barks stories, it's stated Scrooge can not transfer the money from his bin to banks because they already have so much of his money they have no place to guard more.
In one story, Scrooge spent several millions of dollars merely because he had no safe place to keep them. (The Money Bin was already full and it'd cost billions to build another one.) In the end, it was all for nothing because the money was spent on places that belonged to him. He's so wealthy he can't remember all businesses he owns.
Although, this does contradict one episode of DuckTales where he said he has actually memorized every serial number on every piece of paper money he owns, a skill that made him realize that the money which Ma Beagle paid him with was stolen from him. (This is Rule of Funny, of course, but still...)
Also, another story has Scrooge getting screwed by storms on his resorts, because the insurance companies which secure the places are his as well.
Scrooge was the top person in the Forbes Fiction 15 for 25 years running (until he lost a round-the-world race to Flintheart Glomgold, where the prize was Scrooge's money bin; this was enough to knock Scrooge out of the Fiction 15 and put Glomgold at #2 in 2012 behind Smaug, with just the Money Bin). Total worth: 5 multiplujillion, 9 impossibidillion, 7 fantasticatrillion dollars and 16 cents. So rich, they make up numbers for it.
Scrooge: I can't go on like this! Losing a billion dollars a minute! I'll be broke in 600 years!
Not to be forgotten are his two billionaire rivals, Flintheart Glomgold (mostly in DuckTales) and John D. Rockerduck (mostly in the comics), both of whom are trying to surpass his fortune. In the case of Rockerduck, spending a lot instead of being a tightwad like Scrooge.
From Richie Rich, Richard and Regina Rich, And their son, Richie. Richie apparently receives his allowance in stacks of $100 bills (for some time, the canon was a weekly allowance of $100K). Their personal maid, Irona, is a Do-Anything Robot which the Rich family paid scientists to invent. And one of Regina's hobbies is collecting gemstones — not to wear for jewelry, or keep in a vault or museum, but to display on her dresser.
Parody blog Occupy Richie Richdeconstructs this, painting a Crapsack World where the working class is bullied endlessly by the Rich family, and Richie himself often committing questionable acts for the sake of a bad money-relayed pun.
In the movie, their wealth is stated at $70 billion, which in 1994 would put them #1 on Forbes' richest person list in a walk (At the time Bill Gates' net worth was about $10 billion). It took until 20 years later for a single individual to break the $70 billion barrier (Carlos Helu, Jr.), and the current richest man (hi again, Mr. Gates!) currently has about $76 billion. Which means if the Riches were only as successful and philanthropic as Bill Gates in the past 20 years, they'd have over $500 billion to their name.
While maybe not as over the top as most others here, Archie Comics's Hiram and Hermione Lodge, Veronica's parents, still rank high up the social ladder. Evidence would come from A. Veronica's spending sprees, where she'll buy out whole boutiques, new cars, vacations, at a whim, and B. the cost to repair/replace the endless mayhem caused by Archie's visits. Also, according to The Other Wiki, Veronica states that "Daddy has billions." which is likely due to the extreme rise of wealth in the real world since the introduction of the Lodges; that would mean that in order to maintain the pretense that the Lodges are one of the richest in the world, her parents would have to be billionaires.
In one comic, Veronica claims that her father owns a (fictional) country and in an Archie 3000 story, he buys a planet.
From Watchmen, Adrian Veidt became absurdly rich on the patent for the spark hydrants that power the electric cars of the Watchmen world. He also owns dozens of other companies, but his ultimate money-wasting venture is that of creating a massive "alien" creature on a private island which he then teleports into New York City and "saves the world" from. Oh, and he owns a palace in Antarctica, too. The funny thing is that he was already rich as a teenager, then gave up the wealth and got rich again. Appropriately, the movie features Veidt on the cover of Forbes magazine and the company themselves included him as part of a "fictional 500" list of richest fictional characters on their website.
Multy the Millionare, a strip from The Beano during the 1950s. It played this trope for laughs and featured a character whose only trait seemed to be his incredible wealth. Lord Snooty also occasionally had aspects of this trope, with him living in a castle and being a lord and everything, but occasionally he would be very poor, even using the Wallet Moths trope occasionally. Lord Snooty's 2000s revival as Lord Snooty the Third used this trope a lot more than the original Lord Snooty, and has never been shown to have any kind of un-absurdly-richness.
There are numerousHarry Potter fics out there where, in addition to his already sizeable inheritence, Harry inherits even more money from Sirius Black (and often several fortunes from other ancestors such as Merlin and Gryffindor that weren't included in his original inheritance for some reason). It's not uncommon for him to have more gold in his vault than exists in the world.
In Back to the Future Part II, one of the alternative realities sees Biff Tannan amassing a vast fortune thanks to the Gray's Sports Almanac. He is one of America's richest and most powerful men, owns a Mega Corp., controls the police, and can get away with murder.
In Contact, S.R. Haddon lives on a private jet that reportedly never lands and funds a SETI expy out of his own pocket on a whim. In the finale it's revealed he bought up undisclosed numbers of other major corporations purely to obtain the plans to build a backup to the interstellar teleporter, which nearly bankrupted a consortium of world governments, and that he's manipulated nearly every terrestrial person or event in the film purely through use of his bank balance. Carl Sagan's novel goes into thorough detail about the ingenious ways he acquired his fortune, starting with a machine that automatically changes the TV channel the second a commercial starts and culminating in essentially a futuristic city-sized brothel based on ancient Babylon crossed with Las Vegas.
In Inception, Saito bought an airline (the timeline of the film is implied to be over the course of a few weeks) because he thought it would be the simplest way to keep the crew out of their hair— and it is implied that the Fischers' empire is far greater than his.
Many James Bond villains are apparently quite wealthy, though exact figures are rarely given. Mr. Big and Franz Sanchez's drug empires secretly control entire (nominally fictional, but they're blatantly Haiti and Panama) countries, Hugo Drax is the world's foremost manufacturer of space shuttles and built an entire space station apparently with his own money, and Elliot Carver is noted by supplemental materials to be the most powerful man in the world at the time of the film, and that his media empire can send a government crashing down with a single news story. (In fact, there likely isn't even one Bond villain that does not fit the Trope Screw The Rules I've Got Money.)
We did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in... sixty years.
Keep in mind that the above quote was said when he was still just starting out and he's currently #5 on the Forbes Fictional 15. And also that $1 million at the time is approximately $27 million today; thus, "starting out" and thanks to his family's gold holdings (and his mother's management), Mr. Kane was worth at least $1.6 billion.
The Black Coats' hidden treasure, whose location is known only to the Colonel, contains among other things, IOUs in amounts high enough to bankrupt Europa and America, several columns of gold coins, with 3,000 coins in each pile, etc. Naturally, the Colonel can't resist bragging about this when he shows the treasure to Vincent Carpentier:
"I am gold, I am wealth, I'm the power of money which none can resist. You must not compare me to Kings or Emperors or anyone who lives upon the Earth. I have only two rivals: One in Heaven, the other in Hell. For only God, if God exists, and Satan, if Satan exists, can say as I do: Everything in the World is mine, for I own it all!"
The House of Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire are famous for being astonishingly rich thanks largely to controlling a large chunk of the realm's gold mines, tithing the lords of even more, and being ridiculously good at finance. They are the main creditors of the Iron Throne, and their unofficial motto is "a Lannister always pays his debts."
Possibly a partial subversion, according to this Slate article. It argues that House Tyrell may become richer than them when winter comes, and may already BE wealthier in the first place.
From The Belgariad, Silk, AKA Prince Kheldar. In the Malloreon, people who are introduced to him will identify him as "the richest man in the world," though he admits that there might still be some governments that are richer than him. Interestingly, while he readily consider the art of making money "The Great Game," he has absolutely no interest in the money itself, readily calling them "nothing more than a way to keep count of the score." On at least one occasion he willingly just left all the cash and valuables he had gathered to that point behind. Oh, yeah, he took a moment to sigh over the loss, then just sorta tossed it over his shoulder and never looked back.
In The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton we have the members of the B7 security council, the shady cabal running special security operations for the government of planet Earth, Govcentral. Officially. Unofficially, the members are about 400 year-old super-capitalist tycoons who Body Surf every few decades, and secretly control Earth and many other planets. Their financial institutions are said to support a "healthy percentage of the human race" (which is spread across 800+ planets throughout the Milky Way).
In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Willy Wonka owns the world's largest chocolate factory (so big it has an entire subterranean river system made from liquid chocolate) and develops things like teleportation just to boost his advertising revenues. At one time he had a huge human workforce that he spontaneously sacked in its entirety due to industrial espionage issues (severance pay, anyone?); he then imported an entire unknown nation of people IN SECRET just to staff his factory, and had enough cash stockpiled to allow him to do this while the factory was closed and he was receiving no income. Better yet, he pays the Oompa-Loompa wages not in money but in leftover cacao beans, so every penny spent on a Wonka bar goes straight to him! While Wonka tends to laugh a lot, he laughs really hard in the sequel when Charlie's family is concerned about money, telling them he "has plenty of that!"
In the 2013 stage musical adaptation, Sir Robert Salt — Spoiled Brat Veruca's dad and a billionaire himself — questions Wonka as to the "point" of the elaborate Chocolate Room, as only its waterfall (which mixes the chocolate river's contents) seems to have a practical, money-making application. As it turns out, the rest of the room was created solely as a personal, private work of art; Wonka is a firm believer in the concept of Doing It for the Art and prefers to use his fortune in the service of creating new things (if only for himself) rather than conventional Conspicuous Consumption.
In The Count of Monte Cristo, a scene in the novel shows Edmond Dantes listing his assets, totaling an estimated value of 120 million francs, an impossibly huge figure by 1838 standards (As comparison, Napoleon Bonaparte's personal wealth in 1814 was estimated at somewhere in the region of 80 million francs). He is able to effectively "resurrect" a ship confirmed as lost at sea in a matter of weeks, is implied to control one of the most powerful banks in Europe, owns a fleet of ships, and single-handedly toys with the French financial market specifically to screw a single person.
In Gankutsuou, his wealth is measured in trillions of francs. It's suggested he might be able to buy and sell less important planets!
From Count Zero by William Gibson, Josef Virek: "You will be given access to certain lines of credit, although, should you need to purchase, let us say, substantial amounts of real estate-" "Real estate?" "Or a corporation, or spacecraft. In that event, you will require my indirect authorization. Which you will almost certainly be given."
In Dune, Shaddam Corrino IV is the CEO of CHOAM (Combine Honnete Ober Advanced Mercantiles), which has an exclusive monopoly on Spice, a drug found on the planet Arrakis. The main selling point of spice is that it prolongs the life of its user, cures all diseases, makes you clairvoyant, and gets you addicted with one dose. This is in addition to being The Emperor of a whole galaxy (which is a requirement to become CEO of CHOAM).
In the German novel Eine Billion Dollar by Andreas Eschbach, John Salvatore Fontanelli unexpectedly inherits the titular fortune (a trillion dollars in American terms) from a distant ancestor by way of compound interest. Though he tries various things (the East Asian financial crisis of 1997 is ascribed to his failed bid to join the International Monetary Fund), his most impressive feat is to organize worldwide elections.
Andrew Wiggin has three thousand years of interest to draw on, due to time-dilated relativistic interstellar travel, and a sentient AI (one who operates in real time) monitoring his finances. The size of his initial investment is pretty much irrelevant... and it would've been nothing to sniff at, since he was being heralded as the savior of the human race when they assigned him his pension.
His sister Valentine, who accompanied him on basically all of those journeys, is also a big shot. She didn't have a pension or AI help, and her fortune isn't made as big a deal of, but three millennia of interest is still bound to be sizable.
Valentine: Tell you what, you give me the interest on this for a week and I can buy this planet.
In Ever World, Nidhoggr fills a large volcano with treasure, the least valuable of which is pure gold. The King of Fairy Land is similarly rich, with diamond-tiled roofs. The heroes sell technology to the fairies for a large bag of diamonds, which they lose after using the diamonds as a weapon against Hetwan fliers.
In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, the rock band Disaster Area not only qualifies as the loudest noise in the Galaxy of any kind, but makes such obscene amounts of money that you need sufficiently advanced mathematics just to do their accounting. Lead musician Hotblack Desiato once spent a year dead for tax reasons.
In the In Death series, any time Eve begins to investigate a company or a property, there is approximately a fifty-fifty chance that Roarke owns it. And if he doesn't, he can buy it. Several of the books contain references to his development of an entire planet as a luxury resort, which eventually provides the setting for one of the series's short stories.
In Roger Zelazny's Isle of the Dead, Francis Sandow owns at least one planet, and doesn't know how rich he is. He lost count a long time ago and was never that interested. There's just nothing buyable beyond his means.
In Neuromancer, John and Marie-France Tessier-Ashpool retired from the public eye to legal death in a cryo-storage system at the Villa Straylight — the private half of their orbital citystation "Freeside".
In Phule's Company, Willard Phule is not only the sole heir to the owner of one of the largest corporations in the galaxy, Phule-Proof Munitions, but he has also amassed a sizeable fortune of his own. He solves nearly every conflict he and his unit encounter throughout the entire series by fast-talking his way out, practically burying the problem in money, or (most commonly) both.
In Daniel Keys Moran's Tales of the Continuing Time series, Francis Xavier Chandler, who is the wealthiest person in the Solar System, owns an orbital house which is larger than some of the Belt City-States. It is a huge slowly rotating cylinder with three levels of increasing gravity, roughly 800 rooms and a free fall swimming pool and zero G racquetball court in the center. The gym is usually attached directly to the house, but when someone wants to exercise, the gym and a counterweight are extended 800 meters away from the house, and a motor then spins both of them until earth normal gravity is achieved. The process takes roughly an hour.
The central characters of "The Totally Rich" by John Brunner would put anybody on the Fortune 500 in the shade. They wouldn't appear on any such list themselves; part of what it means to be totally rich is that, in a world of paparazzi and celebrity profiles, they can afford true privacy — how rich are they? They're so rich that you've never heard of them.
In Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, several vampires are mentioned to be unimaginably wealthy with no indication where that wealth came from. Both Lestat and Armand started poor (even though Lestat was a nobleman). Lestat gained a small fortune from his maker, who committed suicide shortly after turning Lestat. By modern days, Lestat has no idea how much money he has. He has accountants for that. All he does is tell them when he needs money, and they wire it. It's implied they invest the rest. Given that he's a vampire, he doesn't actually need that much, especially after gaining the ability to fly. In Tale of the Body Thief, a man asks for $20 million for one day of swapping bodies with him. While for Lestat this is pocket change, he's still reluctant to just give the money to a potential charlatan. Armand owns an island. And not a small one.
Lestat's latest protege, Quinn Blackwood, comes from an insanely wealthy Louisiana patrician family. His great-great-grandfather Manfred owned a large plantation and won the services of an exclusive law/investment firm in a poker game, letting him invest the family wealth for the kind of returns Wall Street executives have wet dreams over. Most of the Blackwood family is fairly low-key; for instance, Quinn's grandfather "Pops" attends cock fights and enjoys doing landscaping, while the plantation house itself serves as a bed-and-breakfast. Aunt Queen, on the other hand, has spent most of her life jet-setting across the globe, visiting wondrous sites and staying in five-star hotels. When Quinn comes into his inheritance, his first thoughts are of Pops and how money doesn't necessarily buy happiness, but then he concludes that money can lease happiness for as long as he'd like. He indulges in gifts for his family and friends and other extravagant purchases, but even so, these are done with the accrued interest. Despite everything he buys, he literally cannot spend his money faster than he makes it back.
Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Myra Rutledge is the owner of a Fortune 500 candy company (almost like a reference to this trope!), and is at least a billionaire. Her friend Countess Anne "Annie" de Silva owns more money than Bill Gates, as Myra likes to point out.
The Cullens of Twilight, thanks to hundreds of years of art collecting and a century of playing the stock market (with a clairvoyant guiding them), have a cash stockpile that the 2011 Forbes Fortune 15 estimates as larger than those of Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark combined.
In Terry Pratchett's Discworld, Sam Vimes, formerly a penniless policeman, is consternated to learn that on marrying Lady Sybil Ramkin, he now has an income of seven million dollars a year plus full access to the Ramkin estates and family fortune. This in an economy where ten dollars a week would be a higher than average wage — most Ankh-Morporkians would be happy to receive a dollar a day. It has been calculated that if seven million a year has been piling up ever since Sybil's grandfather stopped paying for regiments, the Ramkin wealth would be around three hundred million dollars. Sam has so far endowed a hospital, and heavily subsidises relief for Watch widows and orphans. And unlike other city nobles, he makes a point of paying his taxes.
In Alfred Bester's The Computer Connection, the character nicknamed 'the Greek Syndicate' owns 15% of the whole world. Well, "fourteen point nine one seven percent, but who counts?"
Tyler Vernon, the protagonist of Troy Rising, who discovered that one species of aliens goes crazy for maple syrup. He swaps a truckload of it for billions of dollars of alien tech, then uses that money to buy up the majority of maple syrup production in the world. He quickly becomes the richest man in the world, and then uses his money to help build weapons to get hostile aliens out of Sol, and ultimately finance Earth's space defenses and industry - both of which explain how he's still the richest man in the world when hostile aliens put an end to the maple syrup trade. He's stated that he doesn't want to rule the world, and actually would like to break up his company once the war ends, but if he wanted to, he could do it in a heartbeat, especially because he owns a solar-powered superlaser that can either melt asteroids or cut alien battleships in two.
John Varleyís Golden Globe: Sparky spents most of the book as a HoboIN SPACE!. In the end he gets acquitted of murdering his father, and gets some 70 years of profits from the equivalent of Disney.
Trent from the S.D. Perry Resident Evil novels, the character invented to spackle all the gaping plot holes from the games, is so loaded he can afford to dress and act like something out of a cheesy old spy movie (he even wears a trench coat and fedora) and be taken completely serious.
Jill:[thinking] It was laughable, yet he just handed you several thousands of dollars worth of equipment with a straight face and told you to watch your back; You think he's kidding?
According to After Dead, the epilogue of The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries, Bill Compton was already wealthy from a number of investments, but after creating a company that produces a line of vampire-oriented video games, he becomes wealthy enough to buy Louisiana from its King. He also demands that the talent in his companies work exclusively for him for 20 years and regularly has to build more additions to his estate because of that.
Live Action TV
In The Addams Family, the titular clan of loveable weirdos. In particular, the patriarch, Gomez, puts more value on losing money than making it, often paying for things with wads of cash he apparently left lying around the house earlier for that purpose.
From Doctor Who, Henry van Statten, who owns the internet. Has enough money from slowly releasing elements of his hoarded alien technology that he can decide the next US presidential election on a whim.
In Star Trek, insane amounts of wealth don't mean as much in a society that can replicate most of their daily goods, but a few beings manage to stand out.
The Ferengi have had thousands of years to hone and refine their capitalistic arts to perfection, so it stands to reason that at least a few very successful Ferengi can fit onto this list. In fact, Grand Nagus Zek goes so far as to publish a series of Revised Rules of Acquisition in order to change his entire species' hat from Honest John's Dealership to something more respectable. He realizes that many prospective customers are leery of doing business with Ferengi because of their cutthroat business practices, and by regaining their trust they can expand their customer base. All for increased profits.
In Game of Thrones and its source material, the Lannisters are by far the richest family in the Seven Kingdoms — it's mentioned in one episode that King Robert owes them 3 million in gold, and they still have enough left to fork over 80,000 for a tournament with no problem. "As rich as a Lannister" seems to be a well-known phrase, enough so that Tyrion Lannister is able to use it to bribe his way out of a dungeon. Taken Up to Eleven with the merchant price Xaro Xhoan Daxos, who according to Word of God (or at least word of his actor) is even wealthier than Tywin, and he could very well be the wealthiest person in the universe of the series. Xaro started with nothing, but is now wealthy enough that he could personally fund a successful invasion of the Seven Kingdoms and it wouldn't even be a huge investment.
Or so it appeared, anyway. A later episode reveals that Daxos' vault is actually empty. He's still wealthy, of course ... his house, furnishings, and jewelry are worth quite a bit, and he presumably has investments elsewhere in the city as well ... but he doesn't have the liquid reserves that he claims.
We also discover in Season 4 that the Lannisters' wealth may not be as secure as thought. In one episode Tywin reveals that they have not mined any gold in three years, and they are also heavily indebted.
The Big Bang Theory — Sheldon describes Raj's parents as "Richie Rich rich...Somewhere between Bruce Wayne and Scrooge McDuck."
The 1950s TV show The Millionaire dealt with a faceless philanthropist sending out $1 million checks to ordinary people to see how the money would change their lives, for better or worse. Showing how powerful TV was at the time, viewers wrote into CBS (the network of the show) asking for a handout.
Thunderbirds: Jeff Tracy definitely counts. The man singlehandedly funded the entire International Rescue organisation, which includes (among other things) a huge island base, aircrafts, spacecrafts, submarines and various rescuing machines that are well ahead of their time, and an international network of agents. His sons also all attended some of the best universities and colleges in the world. He apparently got his money from both his days as an astronaut, and his own company he started afterwards.
On Will and Grace, Karen's husband Stanley owned Walker Inc., a company that we never really learned much about. Aside from owning at least a few apartment buildings in New York (under the name Walker Property Management, implying Walker Inc. was an umbrella company,) we don't really know what it does or how much it's worth except for the fact that it has made Stan and Karen obscenely wealthy. In one episode, Karen is upset that Stanley put her on a budget. When Grace asks how much, Karen writes the number down, and Grace responds that she should be able to live on this since Spain does.
Horrible Histories' Marcus Lucinius Crassus fits this trope perfectly apart from the fact that he was a real person.
From Person of Interest, Harold Finch is rich enough to be able to buy up 51% of a major corporation on demand at one point. On another occasion he buys a luxury hotel and makes the person they helped that episode the general manager. In yet another case, he gave a dry cleaning clerk a full-ride scholarship to Harvard Law so he could bug a businessman's clothes.
He also casually purchases a security company to set up a cover story for Reese. When the background check is too thorough for that he simply buys a credit bureau as well.
Myth & Religion
Hades/Pluto, ruler of the Greek or Roman Underworld in Classical Mythology. Pluto (and another name, Dis) mean 'Rich One'. It was said that all of the riches of the mines and the earth's own fertile capabilities belonged to him.
Santa Claus can afford to make toys for all the children in the world, which he is capable of maintaining without any apparent means of income. Not to mention a system capable of delivering said presents in one night, the elven city that houses his staff, etc.
Keep in mind he lives in hiding and his helpers are magical creatures who can fix and mantain easily all that machinery, so he doesn't pay taxes, repairments or insurances.
We can go the other route, and assume that he does in fact have a legitimate source of income and pays taxes, wages, pensions, etc, and the he's just rich enough to keep it all under wraps. The source? Advertising, of course! Think of how many products, films, novels, and commercials bear Santa's image; any person or company will need to pay the standard copyright fee. Christmas is a world-wide phenomenon, and if Claus has the copyright on any other holiday related stuff, it could push his total even higher.
God, according to The Bible, is as rich as it's possible to be (all quotes from net.bible.org unless noted otherwise):
"... for the earth and its abundance are the Lordís" (1 Corinthians 10:26) "The Lord owns the earth and all it contains, the world and all who live in it." (Psalm 24:1)
Of course Psalm 115:6 does say "The heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to mankind." but the preceding examples suggest this should be interpreted as "given as a tenancy" and not "given outright ownership of". See also the parable of the tenants reported in the gospels of Matthew (21:33-41), Mark (12:1-9) and Luke (20:9-16).
Ted DiBiase, Professional Wrestling's original "Million Dollar Man". So rich, he would flaunt his wealth by cramming $100 bills down the throats of his fallen opponents until they choked on them — at which point, his manservant, Virgil, would take the money back. He lived by the motto, "Everybody's got a price!" and he proved it by, at various points, essentially buying Andrť the Giant, Nikolai Volkoff, and Tatanka. The only man he couldn't buy? Hulk Hogan, who turned down his overtures to buy the WWF Championship for obscene amounts of money. Eventually, he just made his own championship belt, the Million Dollar Belt, a creation of solid gold and diamonds that cost over one million dollars, and which served purely as a monument to his incredible wealth.
In Dungeons & Dragons, one of Asmodeus' outfits costs about as much as a large country spends on food in a year. It just goes up from there.
Additionally, he wields an extremely powerful Magic Staff made of pure ruby. It is said to be worth 1,000,000 gold pieces—considering its gem value only!
Pretty much all high level characters fall under this trope.
After years of audits and asset assessments after his death, the nearest estimate is that the dragon Dunkelzahn was worth well over 100 trillion nuyen, not including his collections of cultural artifacts, magical items, and so forth whose true value cannot be easily quantified. Just read his will. As an example, he left behind 20 million for the redevelopment of Jiffy Pop. And in the single largest endowment, he left Art Dankwalther $34,586,224,739.58 as repayment, accounting for inflation and interest, for a meal Art's ancestor once bought for him.
Art Dankwalther, who turned out to be an obsessive lunatic and financial genius, then went on to use that money in a stock scheme that destroyed one of the world's ten largest megacorporations and forced another one to have an IPO and go publicly financed in order to survive his takeover attempt, the fallout of which helped shape the economic history of the planet for the next fifteen years, so Dunkelzahn appeared to have a much more significant plan in play here than simply paying off an old debt in a massively frivolous way.
To put the idea of mega-corps into perspective in the Shadowrun universe, imagine a company who's able to employ military and security that would rival most nations'. Imagine also that their headquarters spans tens of city blocks, and the ground it's built on is claimed as sovereign land with it's own laws from the parent country. Now consider that there are at least ten megacorps that meet this requirement
In Warhammer, Greasus Goldtooth, Overtyrant of the Ogres. One of his special rules is 'Too Rich To Walk', and he is allowed to bribe anyone. No exceptions.
This is what the Rogue Traders are in Warhammer40000; people gifted with Warrants of Trade that allow them to go wherever and do whatever — so long as it doesn't hurt the Imperium — making absurd amounts of profit in the process. At the low end, a Trader is a merchant with a personal mile-long space battle-cathedral. At the high end, they operate entire fleets of starships and run a trade dynasty spanning dozens if not hundreds of worlds.
Exalted features several characters of particularly obscene wealth. Chejop Kejak's personal salary is the equivalent of a Guild factor's entire investment network. The investments and personal treasury of a Guild hierarch are equivalent to the wealth of one of Creation's mightiest trade-nations and the operating budget of the most powerful army in the world. The personal wealth of the Scarlet Empress is able to back the currency used by the vast majority of people in the Realm (which, note, is Creation's single largest economy), as well as being the credit for its most powerful bank. Even those are minimal compared to the finances of some of the wealthiest Exalted of the First Age. Further, the nature of reality in creation (a consensual one supported by the order conferring trade pattern that exists as a bulwark against primordial chaos) means that large transactions by fiction 500 characters can damage the trade pattern, and therefore, REALITY ITSELF. Stock market crashes are deadly in Exalted.
Adventure!: Any character with the Wealth Beyond Avarice background enhancement qualifies. You can buy pretty much anything without it affecting your bank balance (albeit not necessarily immediately), except if it'd qualify as a background in its own right.
Video games in general tend to have a Money for Nothing problem if the player character can earn fabulous amounts of wealth with no means of spending it in any significant manner. In general, this results in a wealth horde of astronomical value.
In Fallout: New Vegas, Robert House. Before the Great War, he was the Owner and CEO of one of the largest corporations on the entire planet, bought out dozens if not hundreds of other large corporations, and personally funded research into a life support system that would give the Golden Throne a run for its money.
After discovering that the world would end fifteen years prior with the Power of Math, he set about to personally fund the transformation of the greater Las Vegas Area (which by this point in time he owned, save for a single business owned by his half-brother, the reason for this being that he bought all of the Las Vegas area and screwed with the local economy solely to screw over said brother) into an impenetrable missile-proof fortress, complete with anti-missile lasers fitted into the rooftops of casinos, orbiting satellites designed to fry incoming ICBMs, and an entire army of extremely wellarmed robots armed with absurd amounts of weaponry and self-repair systems.
After the war, he spent, on average, around a million caps a year on mercenaries and salvage teams for more than two hundred years in an effort to recover a platinum poker chip that contained the updated software that would turn his army of killer robots into even more killy killer robots. Robert House is on this list by virtue of being the only one with enough money to be able to survive a nuclear holocaust and thrive afterwards in a world where Everything Is Trying to Kill You.
In Final Fantasy VII, President Shinra, being the owner of Shinra Electric Power Company effectively controlled the whole world by economic means. Except for one quasi-autonomous state, which was conquered by Shinra's own private army. Constructed a whole cyperpunkian city and had the only space program. His heir Rufus funded the next world-spanning organization and maintained infrastructure to fly Black Helicopters after the company downfall. Yes, even without any new revenue stream, he was still that rich.
In Guilty Party, Dorian Dickens, head of the world's most effective and famous detective family. Exact wealth unknown, but it's enough to purchase a couple hundred zeppelins—or their approximate worth in pudding.
From the Mass Effect series, the Illusive Man. Cerberus' resources, while not unlimited, are still substantial enough to fund a two-year project to rebuild someone who is for all intents and purposes dead, and can replicate — with improvements — the most advanced starship in the galaxy, with unique, groundbreaking stealth technology. Now, if even that doesn't sound like much, consider how valuable element zero is, then consider how much eezo was sunk into the drive cores of both the Normandy SR-1 and the Normandy SR-2. Note that late-game, we actually do find out where Cerberus gets its money from: Cerberus operates several dozen legitimate Fiction 500 corporations, and receives substantial funding from "private investors" — ultra-wealthy pro-humanity individuals, especially within the Alliance's military-industrial complex. They were also able to build the Normandy SR-2 because the very companies that Cerberus established to fund themselves were among those who built the original Normandy SR-1, so Cerberus had access to the blueprints and equipment to build the replacement. By the third game, Cerberus has the resources to wage war against the entire galaxy, due to using Reaper tech to indoctrinate people into becoming mooks.
From Metal Gear Solid 3, Colonel Volgin, to the point where the US are willing to sacrifice the greatest soldier the world has ever known to get their hands on his money, and he can personally bankroll his own assembly line of doomsday machines. With $100 Billion in 1964 money, which if adjusted for today's economy would be almost $1 trillion dollars, it's easy to see why.
In Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri, Nwabudike Morgan, richest man on any planet, who is wealthy enough to help fund a significant part of the cost of a spaceship large enough to take a decent fraction of humanity to another star system, after alliances of major countries (like the EU and Russia) have been forced to cut down their share after finding it too costly. Better yet, one victory condition requires you to be rich enough to buy the planet outright, so any player can easily join the Fiction 500.
Somewhat similarly to the Alpha Centauri example, in certain iterations of Civilization, you may have the opportunity, if you play your cards right, for your civilization to get insanely rich, and thereby use its money to basically buy victory. This is easiest with the Spaceship victory, since in most iterations the forms of government that allow you to hurry production of the starship (and everything else) with cash are also the forms of government that allow you to get incredible amounts of cash in the first place.
Tekken: Depending on which installment you're playing, Heihachi, Kazuya, or Jin is the CEO of the Mishima Zaibatsu, the eminent corporation of The Verse.
Lee's no slouch, either. He managed to build one of the most advanced robotics companies on the planet from scratch, and has the resources to repair Alisa, a Ridiculously Human Robot whose technology is light-years beyond any of Earth science. His mansion's so big, it has over 60 rooms, and his swimming pool's big enough to serve as a fighting arena.
In Wario Land, Wario has a huge castle with apparent walls of gold, treasure and more gold lying around, a huge throne, and in Shake It, ends up with a gold filled, gold walled garage with it's own chandelier. He got a planet in the first game for getting all the treasure. Heck, the Mario Spinoffs alone show him with a personal gold mine, multiple stadiums, a colosseum, multiple whole cities and a lot of other stuff. Oh, and the WarioWare games apparently sell thousands, if not millions in copies in the game stories. And he still wants more.
Though they live in a humble house and don't seem to work a steady day job (besides that whole Princess-rescuing gig), the Brothers Mario own: at least one private plane and a submarine (Mario uses them to rescue Daisy in Super Mario Land), a castle (that Mario seized from Wario in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins), a mansion full of previous gems (Luigi's Mansion), several carts and racetracks (for racing in the various Mario Kart games), places to throw fabulous parties (Mario Party), top-of-the-line tennis gear (Mario Tennis), and near-infinite extra lives thanks to their income stream. In addition, they amass large amounts of gold coins in their travels, a signficant portion of which is invested in their massive extra life reserve.
Wilhelm of Xenosaga owns Vector, a corporation so large that their headquarters is a space station the size of Lebanon and with smaller branches on numerous planets. It's described as the largest and most wealthy corporation in existence. Later, it's revealed he also owns Hyam's Heavy Industries, the second-wealthiest corporation in existence.
Handsome Jack in Borderlands 2. Among other things, he owns a diamond horse — not a statue, an actual living horse made of diamonds — and promises to pay a group of assassins enough money that they'll be able to buy mansions made of other, smaller mansions.
The entire Fable franchise falls into this, as its possible for the player to get involved in real estate(of both the buy->sell and the buy->rent out varieties), selling merchandise of all kinds(from clothing to jewelry to pies) not to mention make obscene amounts of money from doing odd jobs. It's possible to end up owning the majority of homes, businesses and street vendor stations in the entire nation. To give an idea of what is possible, in the third game in the series Fable III you can make 127,000 gold every 5 minutes not counting odd job work. For perspective, in order to fill the kingdom's treasury with gold, you only need 6 million total. With minimal effort and a bit of patience the player can be worth more privately than an entire nation.
In Fate/stay night, Gilgamesh originally was the king of the world and possessor of all of its wealth. He has so much stuff that even he doesn't know what most of it is. His primary weapon, the Noble Phantasm called the Gate of Babylon, is a doorway to a pocket dimension that contains thousands upon thousands of priceless and powerful weapons, all of which belong to him. Consider this in comparison to other servants who might have two or three Noble Phantasms at most. At the same time, he has a particular character attribute called The Golden Rule, which measures a character's ability to attract wealth to himself. His is Rank A, which means that no matter what the situation and no matter when or where he might be, he is always guaranteed to have enough money to buy whatever he needs or wants and that more will simply fall into his lap.
In Umineko: When They Cry, Kinzo Ushiromiya. No one knows exactly where his wealth originated from though EP7 reveals that it was Italian gold stored on a submarine, but he used it to buy his own private island off Japan, although the Japanese government supposedly doesn't allow it. Said money was used to singlehandedly revive the family from nothing after an earthquake killed the main family and destroyed everything they had using nothing more than the money and seemingly being able to turn the odds being against him into a SUPERPOWER. Not to mention, the guy has ten tons of gold just sitting around, or so the legend goes.
In Danganronpa, Byakuya Togami has 40 billion yen in a personal account for "pocket money". He also made millions in stocks and only stopped because it was too easy.
Prince of the richest, most decadent nation on the face of the planet.
in charge of the entire economy of a town (well, ex-town; It was flattened by Australia).
Stolen the entire treasury of King Steve while walking down a hall.
Stolen riches that don't even exist.
Filled an infinite bag of holding to capacity with wealth.
From Schlock Mercenary, Petey, per the page quote. It helps that, for all intents and purposes, Petey isa god. Even if you discount the whole "Hive Mind of gigantic ships" thing, he's still the owner of the biggest warship manufacturing complex in the whole galaxy, as well as its entire output. Very few can claim their Mega Corp. unofficially owns the Milky Way galaxy.
Hannelore's parents in Questionable Content are both obscenely wealthy, but for different reasons; her mother is a rich businesswoman who buys an entire restaurant on a whim, and her father is a robotics tycoon who owns and lives in a high-tech space station.
Herman Beckett from Out at Home is stated to have a net worth exceeding the GDP of Uruguay. While other former sports stars may still rake in the millions with endorsement deals, Herman receives a literal boatload of money in the form of a yacht filled with gold coins in exchange for starting a podcast. The power of his wealth is so great that it defies conventional narrative causality; Herman is nearly always better off when he stops trying to go against his nature by trying to be a responsible parent and society member, and just throws money at his problems until they go away.
Ray of Achewood is perhaps at the lower end of the Fiction 500 list, but he is incredibly wealthy. He once got $600 million through ownership of the world's first piece of pornography. He made a Deal with the Devil that made him an incredibly successful musician. He regularly blows money on massive parties and bankrolls his friends' ventures. It's suggested that his family was also wealthy, and in general he appears to be Born Lucky.
In the Legion of Nothing webnovels, Giles Hardwick, one of Michigan's richest men, bankrolled the original Grand Lake Heroes League.
In Whateley Universe, Ayla Goodkind comes from the richest family on the planet. The Goodkinds are estimated to be worth 750 billion dollars, according to Forbes. Ayla has actually seen the inside of a regular grocery store once. He was appalled.
Conspiracy Theorists online tend to exaggerate the wealth of real figures to absurd levels. This one in particular claims that the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds both are worth 500 trillion dollars. Combined, that's about eight times the GDP of planet Earth.
Constantine Voira in the upcoming Guardians Of Luna, the corporate ruler of the entire city of Steelhenge.
In Beverly Hills Teens, Bianca Dupree. Okay, most of her friends could fit here, but Bianca mentioned her father owned Texas.
In Danny Phantom, Vlad Masters. As prominent as Bill Gates, except shown to be much, much richer. The man is a billionaire with a huge castle in Wisconsin along with a huge home by the Rockies. Owns several of his own companies (i.e. Dalv), as well as many others he literally took over (like Mastersoft, formerly Microsoft). Owns state of the art ghost hunting technology and can easily pay to have everything rebuilt time and time again with no financial worry. Can pay for a professional ghost hunting team with superior technology once and easily set a million-dollar bounty on a single ghost. The only things he can't buy are Maddie's love, Danny's respect, and the Green Bay Packers.
He does state (and it's taken as Word of Dante), that he used his ghost abilities to commit invisible burglaries and later control people and get them to give him their money.
And also, Danny's best friend, Sam, whose family is extremely wealthy because her grandfather invented the machine that twirls cellophane around deli toothpicks.
In The Fairly OddParents, Remy Buxaplenty's wealth can only be described as "Richer than you will ever be."
Philip J. Fry gains such wealth (for only one episode before losing everything), buying out entire auctions on a whim didn't seem to make a dent, nor did shooting skeet with the Mona Lisa. That's in addition to the time he and Bender got $1 every time one of their Popplers was sold: 198 billion were sold around the world.
Mom, of Mom's Friendly Robot Company, stole the entire wealth of Fry, above, and owned the security camera system that helped her do it. Possibly has a monopoly on robot production.
The Wong family owns the Western hemisphere of Mars — which they originally purchased from the natives using a car-sized diamond. When Amy Wong was introduced, she protested that her parents aren't as rich as people say, then reluctantly admitted that her college sorority was Kappa Kappa Wong. In fact, the Wongs are so wealthy that they consider it easier to brand the things that don't belong to them rather than the other way around.
David Xanatos moved a castle to the top of a skyscraper. Apart from the cost of moving the castle (which involved disassembling it, shipping it from Scotland to New York, and having helicopters lift it to the top of the skyscraper one stone at a time), it's strongly implied that the entire building was created just to provide a platform for the castle to rest on. Granted, such a thing could be done, in principle, in real life, but still...
SeŮor Senior Senior's private island first had such a power load it was blacking out Europe. The bulk of it was going to a sun lamp bulb the size of a hot air balloon. He's one of the five richest people on Earth in the Kim Possible universe. The other four are his card club.
Ron Stoppable (briefly). He invented the Naco, the top-selling menu item at Bueno Nacho, and in one episode received a check for 999 million dollars in royalties for his invention. Kim described him as "just south of billionaire." He blew a great deal of the money on Conspicuous Consumption, clothes, bling, and a private jet for himself and Kim, before Drakken and Shego stole the balance, ending his brief tenure on the Fiction 500 list. A number of fan fics suggest that he's still getting Naco royalties, which his parents had enough foresight to invest in a trust fund for him, so he may still belong on this list.
Most of the families in Totally Spies!!. All three protagonists are shown to be rich, while their rival, as shown when her mother bought an entire high-end shoe company chain simply to get one pair, is hinted to be even richer. Very much living proof of Reality Is Unrealistic, given that it is set in Beverly Hills.
Eustace Strytch from Jimmy Neutron often rivals Jimmy's brain with his wad of cash. He easily manipulates people with his money, is able to buy space ships and fly to Mars and gets anything he points at, constantly dragging along his butler.
In a quick joke, Eddy from Class of 3000 is drawn with five fingers to show how rich he is in relation to all the other character, who just have the average cartoon four.
An Al Brodax Popeye cartoon does a spoof of the 1950s TV show The Millionaire with Popeye the philanthropist doling out $1 million personal checks to Olive, Swee' Pea, Wimpy and—yes—Brutus. He then goes out in his sailor outfit to see how his friends spent the money. After seeing what they all did with the money (none too wisely), Popeye gives the rest of his money to the sailors' retirement fund.
In The Transformers episode Megatron's Master Plan, Shawn Berger has his own private army and builds a fake solar power plant for the specific purpose of luring the Decepticons to it so he could show everybody that he could stop them.