%% This is an objective trope.
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[[quoteright:350:[[Literature/JackTheGiantKiller http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jack_the_giant_killer_5.jpg]]]]

->''"My favorite three questions are, 'What do I want?', 'What do I have?', and 'How can I best use the latter to get the former?'"''
-->-- '''Bella''', ''Fanfic/{{Luminosity}}''

Completing a triangle with the ActionHero and the ScienceHero, the Guile Hero is a hero who operates by [[TheChessmaster playing politics]] and [[ManipulativeBastard manipulating the bad guys]]. The Guile Hero trades swords and guns (or science and technology) for charm, wit, political and/or financial acumen, and an in-depth knowledge of human nature. The ChainOfDeals, along with the SocialEngineering and GambitIndex tropes are all at the Guile Hero's fingertips. Often, a Guile Hero will manipulate the other good guys and a whole bunch of innocent bystanders as part of his scheme to bring down the BigBad, though he'll take care to ensure the other characters aren't truly harmed in the process (and if he fails, he'll be ''very'' sorry). The Guile Hero is likely to be a politician or a businessman, and engage in [[BattleOfWits Battles of Wits]]. If he has superpowers, then he's likely to think that HeartIsAnAwesomePower.

The Guile Hero could be a good analog to the ManipulativeBastard (though there can be occasional [[MagnificentBastard overlap]] if they are [[AntiHero willing to manipulate their friends]] as well as their enemies): the Guile Hero is unambiguously a good guy with the same goals as any Action Hero or Science Hero. Though some other heroes may [[WhatTheHellHero be unhappy with being manipulated]] by the Guile Hero, it is made clear to the reader that this character both has a heroic goal and is not (usually) JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope into becoming a WellIntentionedExtremist. When a Guile Hero suffers an EpicFail, it falls under the TooCleverByHalf trope.

The Guile Hero combines elements of TheChessmaster, TheTrickster and TheStrategist without having to be all of these. A Guile Hero isn't necessarily The Chessmaster: the Guile Hero is simply a hero who uses wit, charm, and skill to mislead and set up the bad guys, whereas The Chessmaster is often devoted to grander schemes and more likely to use ChessMotifs. A Manipulative Bastard tends to be more personal and controlling in his manipulations. A Guile Hero need not be a master manipulator; "guile" can mean "shrewdness" instead of "deceit". As for The Trickster, a Guile Hero is just as likely to be TheStoic or a [[StopHavingFunGuys "Stop Having Fun" Guy]] as the [[ItAmusedMe fun-loving and mischevious]] trickster. The Chain of Deals is just as valid a tool for these characters as ThePlan, and a Guile Hero may very well be a grown-up HighSchoolHustler.

In TheTeam, the Guile Hero is most likely to be TheFace of the troupe and/or TheSmartGuy, though a particularly bright Leader or Lancer can also fit in. If TheChick uses her [[TheHeart emotional influence]] to the extreme and combines it with quick wits and words, she can also grow into one. The Guile Hero is also frequently a SixthRanger, and if a Sixth Ranger is also a Guile Hero, then he tends to be SixthRangerTraitor.

Compare the YoungConqueror, which is a young example of this trope taken UpToEleven with a side of TakeOverTheWorld ambition as well. May overlap with GoodIsNotDumb. Compare SilkHidingSteel when a ProperLady feels like plotting. Very, very rarely will this overlap with SmallStepsHero, due to the latter being unwilling to sacrifice innocent parties--but manipulating the villains is just fine.

In some rare cases, the Guile Hero may be a character who is more powerful than anyone else (either through magic or science and technology) and could easily solve everything himself. [[ObstructiveCodeOfConduct But doing so may violate his principles]].

[[JustForFun/IThoughtThatWas Not under any circumstances to be confused]] with [[Franchise/StreetFighter a certain Sonic Boom-tossing airman whose theme song goes with everything.]]

%% This page has been alphabetized. Please place examples in their proper alphabetical place.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Yuri Suzuki from ''Manga/AnatoliaStory'' is tossed into the Hitite Empire via TimeTravel, and while her historical knowledge isn't that big at the start, she develops quick and sharp wits with time and manages to become the HotConsort to the local WarriorPrince… as well as the most dangerous threat to the BigBad.
* Rock in ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' starts out as a NonActionGuy SalaryMan but he has plenty of cunning.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': Kisuke Urahara is a PowerTrio all by himself. He manipulates both the villains and the protagonists to ensure the protagonists can defeat the villains, telling the protagonists only what he feels they need to know and sometimes only just enough to get them into trouble. He's a firm believer in the school of hard knocks, believing the best martial training is [[SinkOrSwimMentor real battle experience]]. However, he's also a former {{shinigami}} captain and therefore when he has to fight he willingly becomes a full-blown ActionHero. Most of his machinations, aid and fighting tactics occur in the form of scientific knowledge and invention, as he's actually primarily a ScienceHero. There's a reason why he's a LivingLegend in-universe.
* Homeron in the ''Anime/BlueDragon'' anime is an ''[[InsistentTerminology informant]]'' who sneaks into a target, steals information, and gets out before his mark knows he's arrived.
* Harusumi from ''Manga/BokuraNoKiseki''. He can kick ass when the occasion calls for it, but given that he has less in the way of combat training than most of the other characters, he tends to prefer to achieve victory through manipulation and coordination with other characters.
* In ''Manga/Brave10'', Yukimura is intelligent and is very good at taking in the bigger picture, and using that knowledge to manipulate people into doing what he wants without ever having to fight himself.
* Clow Reed [[spoiler: and his reincarnation Eriol Hiiragizawa]] in ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' manipulate the heroine into accomplishing his master plan [[spoiler: aid her in her quest to become the second master of the magical cards he created.]]
* ByronicHero Lelouch Lamperouge from ''Anime/CodeGeass'' in the AntiHero interpretation of his character. He prefers to play politics to sideline his opponents most of the time. For instance, at one point after losing his most important fighter and being attacked by the two most powerful armies in that universe - the Chinese and the Brittanian - he [[EngineeredPublicConfession manipulates the Eunuch Generals into announcing their evil plans to their entire country]], inciting riots and cutting off their Brittanian support. This plan went very smoothly because he managed to steal it from a third opponent without that third opponent ever telling something about it, who had no choice but to support Lelouch after this fight. Using politics he sidelined one bad empire, destroyed a second one and got the support of the third one.
* The heroine Anime/CuteyHoney does this in her original incarnation and 90's OVA's. While other adaptations turn her into an [[IdiotHero idiot heroine]], her first manga series portrayed her as a very clever woman, WiseBeyondTheirYears that used several tactics including charm, manipulation, distraction and lies to advance her investigations and go straight to the source of the evil. Unlike the most [[MagicalGirlWarrior magical girl warriors]] that this manga inspired, she didn't resorted into ass kicking immediately, favoring detective work, stealth and the simple solution. But, of course, when the time for fight does come, she becomes unbeatable. And similar to the way she manipulates to achieve her goals, during fights she is never ashamed of using whatever type of [[CombatPragmatism dirty tricks]] she feels necessary.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'':
** L, heroic counterpart to Light, is the poster boy for {{Magnificent Bastard}}s. Less heroic than other cases in that he comes across as amoral- the author admits that he is "a little bit evil"- and is interested in Light more for the challenge than administering justice.
** Near, who is L's successor as the Heroic [[TheChessmaster Chessmaster]]. He makes a lot of inspiring speeches (when his assistants moan about how well Kira, Mello and the mafia seem to be doing), but some that are clearly insincere.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'':
** Piccolo is very wise and strategic in battle. Manipulating the likes of Freeza, Cell and Majin Buu when it seems they have the upper hand against him. He ''is'' considered TheStrategist among the Z-Fighters for a reason.
** Vegito also counts. Hell, him manipulating Super Buu and frustrating him into acting desperately was ''the main plan'' to saving his sons, friend and the whole universe.
* Mr. Satan of ''Manga/DragonBallZ'' manages to be one of these through sheer luck while trying to [[FakeUltimateHero preserve his facade of being the world's strongest fighter and hero]], or by exploiting his fame and celebrity status. His exploits include aiding in the battle with Cell by convincing Gohan to fight by risking his life to get Android #16's head to him, stopping Majin Buu's rampage by [[ThePowerOfFriendship befriending him]], and convincing the entire planet to give their energy to Goku to finish off Kid Buu once and for all, and he continues this trend in ''Anime/DragonBallGT'' by convincing the planet's populace to escape the impending EarthShatteringKaboom, and in ''Videogame/DragonballXenoverse'' he teaches you the DrawAggro technique, one of the most useful moves in the game. Even other characters acknowledge in-universe that while he's nowhere near the power of even the weakest Z-Fighter ([[OvershadowedByAwesome though admittedly very powerful compared to regular humans]]) he definitely is a hero all the same.
* The Dollars from ''Lightnovel/{{Durarara}}'' as a collective whole are a decentralized version of this. This partially stems from their decentralized nature (they have no concrete organization, mostly rely on cellphones and the Internet for communications, and the only form of 'hierarchy' is that the founder is TheLeader but he's usually a hand-offs kind of guy) and it's partially because the vast majority of members are rank and file civilians of all ages, so many have to help using whatever means they have at hand, even if it's not in a direct fighting capacity, which Episode 22 of the anime shows in great detail.
* Akira from ''Anime/EdenOfTheEast'', as expected from a series about a bunch of people with {{Supernatural Phone}}s and an obscene amount of money trying to outwit each other (except that Akira also manages to do it all ''[[AmnesiacHero with amnesia]]''.)
* SociopathicHero version: Hiruma Youichi, Deimon Devilbats quarterback in ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}''. How did he get his players? Blackmail, manipulation, or the ultimate fallback, guns. Lots of guns. What does he do with his players? Gives them all nicknames that start with "Fucking," and puts them through TrainingFromHell including running up Tokyo Tower and pushing a truck from Texas to Las Vegas. What does he do to his opponents? All out psychological warfare, showing his hand, taunting unmercifully and cackling madly (even through a freshly broken arm if he has to.) He keeps innumerable calculations going on in his head and strategizes on the fly, willing (and eager) to go for the insanest of insane trick plays. He's a terror, but he has the absolute loyalty of his players (even the ones he recruited at gunpoint) who are willing to push themselves to insane heights right along with him (although they would be happier if he left his guns at home).
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', while Natsu gets random {{Power Up}}s and Erza just overpowers her opponents, Gray uses his brain to defeat his opponents and outsmarts them.
* Chief Aramaki from ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' is shrewd and cunning, manipulating the inter-departmental bureaucracy of the Japanese government to ensure that his people can do their jobs.
* Kyon from ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' eventually becomes this. He achieves some truely impressive feats on this front as well, such as [[spoiler: blackmailing the Data Integration Thought Entity to keep it from taking Yuki away by threatening that he can convince Haruhi to use her RealityWarper powers to do all kinds of horrible things with only a single phrase.]]
* Leonhardt "Leon" Aschenbach from ''Manga/HonooNoAlpenRose'', who manages to [[spoiler: use his own concert to escape from Vienna alongside his childhood friend Jeudi.]]
* Kurapica from ''Manga/HunterXHunter''. He successfully convinces eleven of the most dangerous criminals in the world that any deviation from his directives, namely any harm done to his friends they hold hostage, will result in the immediate death of their leader Chrollo (whom Kurapica has captured.) During the course of their hostage exchange itself he successfully de-powers Chrollo and separates him from his followers for the foreseeable future. And he ensures that if the Ryodan's negotiator reveals any personal information she learned during their negotiation, she will die, removing a significant threat his future plans as well as one of the more stable members of the Ryodan even if she doesn't uphold the deal. Keep in mind that up until this point the Ryodan has successfully curb-stomped their way through all obstacles, and Kurapica himself is only capable of restraining one of them at a time. And he managed to get ahold of Chrollo in the first place by simply turning off the lights.
* Toru from ''Manga/IrisZero'' lacks the eye powers of his peers. Instead, he is able to construct situations and use his friends abilities to achieve a noble goal.
* It's a constant debate, both in-universe and amongst the fans, whether the title character of ''Anime/IrresponsibleCaptainTylor'' is TheFool, a GeniusDitz, or a Guile Hero who uses ObfuscatingStupidity in order to carry out his plans. Some fans believe that it's actually a mixture of both; that Tylor [[MessianicArchetype has somehow become enlightened to the extent of becoming a bodhisattva]] through his original simple, happy-go-lucky ways and that most, if not all, of his antics in the series are part of a plan to help the others on the Soyokaze achieve enlightenment too.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'': All of the protagonists. Battles in this series are more about tactics and mind-games than power levels and the heroes are ''very'' good at this. [[ActionHero Not that any of them aren't any good just laying a good old-fashioned beatdown when the situation calls for it.]]
** Joseph is probably best at this, he often sets intricate traps and ''backups'' in case his foes figure out the first one. He even manages to defeat the BigBad of his part by [[spoiler: firing the two of them into the air and launching his severed arm at him with a volcano]] (well, he didn't do it on purpose, but his Guile Hero reputation had built up so much by that point that he knew the villain would believe him if he told him he planned it).
** Jotaro is also very noteworthy: later arcs have villains being cautious of him, claiming it's not his super-powerful Stand that makes him dangerous, but his genius intellect and cunning.
* Meta Knight in ''Anime/KirbyOfTheStars'' leans further towards this than in the games - especially since he's definitely on Kirby's side in the anime. Nevertheless, he's so charismatic that he's very popular with the Cappies, and they even made a mini-figure of him. At the end of the series, [[spoiler:he reveals that he had been building his [[CoolAirship Battleship Halberd]] in King Dedede's basement ever since he came to Dreamland to everybody can battle Nightmare from inside it during their final assault on his fortress]].
* ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' give us Yang Wen-Li, a textbook example: he has all the skills of the MagnificentBastard yet remains one of the nicest persons you could ever meet.
* Sun from ''Literature/TheLegendOfSunKnight''. Having low physical endurance and strength, and sword skills that are "not very good," as well as having been trained to hide his magic talent, Sun can't openly muscle his way through most challenges. He still fights openly with spells when he doubts he'll be recognized, but his preferred tactics are to manipulate others into doing what he wants, something which is helped by the appearance he maintains as an attractive figurehead. Those who know his true nature consider his friend Judge to be the one who maintains the church from the front, while saying Sun's place is to sneak around and mess with things behind the scenes.
* Akiyama from ''Manga/LiarGame''. In a series based around tactical mind games, Akiyama is usually the one to engage the villains in XanatosSpeedChess and win.
** Akiyama's partner Nao, the main heroine is this of the emotional variety. Without her, in fact, Akiyama would have long lost.
* Arsene Lupin III, the titular character of ''Characters/LupinIII'', wins by guile. Although he is often also the ActionHero (he carries a gun, and one of the best shots in the world) and SmartGuy (his planning and sometimes inventions are beyond current science), his behavior is always characterized by a desire to go "around". He tries to set up situations where the victim of his theft is doing most of the work for him.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'': Although he's more of a [[MagicalGirlWarrior Magical Boy Warrior]], Negi Springfield has some inklings of this too, specially with how he out-gambitted [[spoiler: [[MagnificentBastard Kurt Godel]].]]
* Aeolia Scheinberg from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' was the founder of Celestial Being, the organization that the protagonists belong to. He also was a very skilled ManipulativeBastard who came up with a [[spoiler: centuries-long]] plan involving the group he founded, manipulating events to suit the plan, and leaving [[spoiler: recordings of himself to the public long after his time.]] In fact, Scheinberg was such a guile hero that his influence and plans were still vital to the plot... [[spoiler: ''200 years after he [[HumanPopsicle froze himself]] to try seeing how CB would do centuries later'']].
* ''{{Meitantei}}'': Among them we have Hajime Kindaichi (''Manga/TheKindaichiCaseFiles''); Shinichi Kudo/Conan Edogawa (''Manga/DetectiveConan''/''Case Closed''); Kyuu Renjou, his FiveManBand and his mentor Morihiko Dan (''Manga/DetectiveSchoolQ''); Ryouko Yakushiji (''Literature/TheCaseFilesOfYakushijiRyoko''), etc.
** In the case of ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', Conan is later joined by Heiji Hattori, Shiho Miyano/Sherry/Ai Haibara, [[spoiler: Shuuichi Akai in his Subaru Okiya persona]] and presumably [[spoiler: Rei Furuya aka Tooru Amuro aka Bourbon.]]
* [[SilkHidingSteel Lacus Clyne]] of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed Gundam SEED]]'' and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny Gundam SEED Destiny]]'' combines this with AllLovingHero in order to set herself up as a political and ideological counterpoint to first [[GeneralRipper Patrick Zala]], and Murata Azrael, and later [[DarkMessiah Gilbert Durandal]]. Playing on [[IdolSinger her own fame]], and that of her martyred father Siegel Clyne, she talks people into switching sides, steals a battleship, launches a propaganda campaign that undermines both sides of the war and ultimately gathers an army that's able to take them down and end the fighting. She also funnels her money into a private [[HumongousMecha Mobile Suit]] factory, so that when the next war breaks out, her side has up-to-date technology.
* [[SugarAndIcePersonality Audrey Burne]] from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'', a young woman who easily relies on her wit and persuasion as a means to fulfill her goals. Banagher calls her out on it in the second episode twice, first when she attempts to get him to escape with her from the Nahael Argama, and then when she is persuading Daguza to shoot her when her true identity as [[spoiler: Princess Mineva Lao Zabi]] is revealed.
* Relena Peacecraft from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing Gundam Wing]]'', as the precursor to the aforementioned ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' heroines, also exhibits this. Being an ActualPacifist means she may not do a lot overtly, especially when her allies are all [[OneManArmy One-Man Armies]], but she learns how to make exceptional use of her charisma, empathy, and speaking skills to oppose the globe-spanning military-industrial complex which has been manipulating the planet into war for generations. At one point, [[spoiler:said complex convinces her to become their figurehead leader, and she parlays that into '''complete control of the organization''' merely by convincing its members to work for peace rather than war]]. All this from a [[ImprobableAge 15-year-old]] girl whose only credentials are being a diplomat's adopted daughter and the princess of a destroyed country (which she only learns about five episodes into the series, and spends seven months mostly off-camera rebuilding and acclimating herself to the role).
* Most ''Anime/YuGiOh'' protagonists qualify, possibly one advantage of using card games as SeriousBusiness. Both Kaiba and Jonouchi could do it the old way if they had to, but it was rare that it was necessary. The only series in the franchise with a near-blanket exception is [[Anime/YuGiOh5Ds the third one]], where most of the main cast is from the Satellite slums and had to adopt considerable martial skills to survive.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Sasuke Uchiha showed characteristics of this type, when he was still a member of the Hidden Leaf. An example was the Chuunin Exam in the Forest of Death: He noticed shadow clones with ease, mostly because he analyzed the behaviour of his teammates.
** Shikamaru Nara of Team 10 is widely considered the greatest strategist in Konoha. His accomplishments include out-gambitting a pair of Akatsuki members (extremely dangerous S-Rank criminals, one of whom battled the First Hokage himself), beating his mentor Asuma at Shogi (a Japanese equivalent to chess), and being named the first chunin of his age group, due to his remarkable tactics in his fight against Temari.
** Shino Aburame is also an excellent example, due to his brutally pragmatic and underhanded approach to almost anything. His first fight was over before it started due to him filling his opponent's arm tubes with bugs before the match even began.
* When Carol Reed from ''Manga/OukeNoMonshou'' is exploring some Egyptian ruins, she's the victim of a curse and ends up thrown into AncientEgypt. Luckily for Carol she is a CuteBookworm who's more or less familiar with old Egyptian culture, thus she uses said knowledge as well as her quick wits to protect herself and survive while helping out those who need her. She basically does what the aforementioned Yuri Suzuki pulled on the Hitite Empire, but decades before Yuri was born.
* Kyouya Ohtori from ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub''. Considering that Tamaki Suoh is an IdiotHero, and he's a HypercompetentSidekick, he ''has'' to be one of these.
* Oz from ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' is definitely one of these. Break also occasionally acts as one. Duke Barma straddles the line between this and ManipulativeBastard, as it's still [[WildCard unclear as to exactly whose side he's on]]. [[spoiler:Jack]] subverts this.
* Blue (Green in the English version), Yellow, Gold, and Ruby from ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'' tend to rely more on tactics and deceit during battles than actual strength.
* Shiho Kobayakawa from ''Manga/PrivateActress''. As the titular "Private Actress", she must put up huge and perfect facades to get her work done and uses her acting skills and quick thinking to do so. It's well-seen in the first episode, where [[spoiler: she immediately comes up with a more or less believable scenario to make an ill man believe she's his long-lost daughter so she can keep him company during his last days of life]] and specially towards the end [[spoiler: when she manipulates her rival Satoka and everyone in the set of the movie they're filming so she can punish Satoka for her cruel actions.]]
* Virgo Shaka from ''Anime/SaintSeiya'', who also is an ActionHero (as a Gold Saint), a CombatPragmatist ''and'' [[PsychicPowers a powerful psychic]]. The combination of all of these traits makes him an terrifying opponent. Also Aries Mu, Libra Dohko and Phoenix Ikki [[spoiler: who actually ''defeats'' Shaka by {{indy ploy}}ing his way around Shaka and [[OutGambitted out-gambitting]] him, which impresses Shaka quite a bit.]]
* ''Manga/SaiunkokuMonogatari'' has its female lead, Kou Shuurei.
* Lina Inverse from ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}'', who mixes this and BlackMagicianGirl. When she can't solve her problems by blowing them up, she uses cunning.
* Lawrence, the main character of the anime ''Manga/SpiceAndWolf'' is the economic type. [[IHaveYourWife When Holo is kidnapped and used as leverage in a covert deal]], he uses economic wizardry and manipulation to arrange for her release. This pisses her off to no end since she'd hoped to see him [[RescueRomance rescue her personally, all Prince Charming style]]. Every once in a while, he gets himself into deep enough trouble that Holo has to bail him out, but he's still quite the savvy trader…
* The main character (Ayumu Narumi) from ''Manga/{{Spiral}}'' fits this pretty well.
* Shoryuu from ''Manga/TheTwelveKingdoms'' has some elements of this and ActionHero. While he's a very badass fighter, it's his manipulation talent and his ObfuscatingStupidity abits that helps him the most.
* ''Manga/UchiNoMusumeNiTeODasuNa'' has Athena Haruka, the protagonist's ActionMom and local {{hot god}}dess, who is ''extremely'' good at {{indy ploy}}ing and [[CombatPragmatist willing to use EVERY dirty trick she can come up with]] to win a fight. [[HoneyTrap Including her]] [[StacysMom VERY sexy looks.]]
* ''Manga/VampirePrincessMiyu'', specially in the OAV. She is a GoodIsNotNice DarkMagicalGirl who often relies ''heavily'' on manipulations to get what she needs.
* ''Anime/VisionOfEscaflowne'': Prince Dryden Fassa can't fight as well as Allen or Van, doesn't have medical knowledge like Millerna, and lacks Hitomi's PsychicPowers. Instead he has his riches, his generous heart and a ''very'' sharp mind. In his two first episodes, in fact, he verbally owns Allen with his BrutalHonesty ''and'' [[spoiler: quickly ropes the ''extremely'' reclusive celestial beings that built Escaflowne into fixing it, thus saving Van's life after a particularly hard fight that almost killed him.]]
* Kurama from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' is more about the finesse and skill than his brutish teammates. His opponents are often [[OhCrap shocked when they find out he defeated them without them noticing until it was too late.]] One of the best examples is his brutal [[AssholeVictim and completely deserved]] mental and physical beatdown on [[spoiler: Elder Toguro]], whom he [[spoiler: traps in a FateWorseThanDeath]] for his horrible actions.
* Minamoto from ''Manga/ZettaiKarenChildren''.
* Most of the fun of ''LightNovel/ReZero'' comes from the fact that [[TheHero Subaru]] has [[ActionSurvivor nothing on his side]] but [[GroundhogDayLoop immortality]] and guile. In each of the arcs, his ability to resolve it instead of dying horribly comes from his ability to figure out how to [[HeelFaceTurn recruit]] or manipulate the various antagonists into doing his job for him.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* While most characters in the ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' books tend to default to [[ActionHero violence]] (hey, [[WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer when all you have is a magic potion that gives you super strength]]…), Asterix himself switches to Guile Hero mode when punching stuff isn't the best answer - such as when there's no magic potion available (Asterix the Gaul springs to mind), or using subtlety gets the villain of the book a far more appropriate fate than mere pulverisation, such as in "Asterix La Zizanie", also known as "Asterix and the Roman Agent" or "Asterix and the Green-Eyed Monster".
%%* In TheEighties, Creator/DCComics gave us two of what remain their best Guile Hero (and Guile Hero''[[GenderFlip ine]]''): Vril Dox and [[Comicbook/SuicideSquad Amanda Waller]].
%%* DependingOnTheWriter, Dr. Midnite III qualifies. Like his predecessors, he's a licensed medical doctor and a vigilante, but he keeps his Hippocratic Oath.
* Franchise/{{Batman}}, especially in group settings where his companions and adversaries have superpowers that render his [[ScienceHero gadgets]] and [[ActionHero martial arts prowess]] less relevant. He's not called the World's Greatest Detective for nothing, and his habit of spinning victory from available resources have spawned the [[MemeticMutation popular belief]] that he can take down ''any'' opponent with nothing more than "ample time to prepare."
%%** Following in Batman's footsteps, [[ComicBook/RobinSeries Tim Drake]] Red Robin adopts this facet of crime fighting.
%%* Tony Stark, Comicbook/IronMan. Completes the triangle, as he's also an ActionHero and a ScienceHero.
%%* T'Challa, the ComicBook/BlackPanther, as written by Priest. Much like Batman, he's also an ActionHero.
%%* The Chief from ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol''.
* Comicbook/DoctorStrange, crossing over with ActionHero. He routinely deals with unimaginably powerful entities who could snap him like a twig in a straight fight, meaning he must look for and exploit their weaknesses, use his wits, and creatively [[IndyPloy play the situation as it develops]].
* ''ComicBook/{{Erstwhile}}'' has the title character of "The Farmer's Clever Daughter", who earns her happy ending by predicting what the king will do and [[EngagementChallenge solving a riddle he sets before her]].
* ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'': John Constantine is a talented sorcerer, his power is of the mile wide but inch deep bent, and he can't dish out anywhere near the force that his magical peers like Zatanna and Dr. Fate can, but he doesn't need to. Between his silver tongue and his ability to manipulate and improvise, he'll make you beat yourself faster than the other two could beat you into the ground.
%%* The AffectionateParody of John Constantine, John Konstantin, from the Spanish comic-book ''{{Fanhunter}}''.
%%* Mason from ''Comicbook/TheInvisibles''.
* Kid Loki from ''ComicBook/JourneyIntoMystery'', because it's all he has left. He can't fight physically. He has no magic. All he has to go on is his wits and he's got a reputation as a scheming, deceitful bastard who can't be trusted, which makes his job even more difficult. He's usually trying to trick ancient and powerful beings, some of whom are no slouches themselves when it comes to deceit. Even the soul of his evil adult self gets played by Kid Loki. Yes, he's so good he can [[BeyondTheImpossible trick himself, the God of Lies]].
** Later on, in ''ComicBook/LokiAgentOfAsgard'', Loki (who is currently undergoing a case of HeelFaceTurn. It's a long story) frequently resorts to this. For example, in issue 1 their method of getting past the Avengers is to turn them on each other, then casually stroll off while they're brawling.
* Commander Arcturus Rann of the ComicBook/{{Micronauts}} shifted back and forth between this and ActionHero, during the original series. His main weapon was his mystical connection to the Enigma Force. He spent an entire story arc removed from the main events where he retreated to a spiritual plane (via meditation) and spent all his time philosophically debating with Baron Karza (who had similarly removed himself from the main affairs), the Time Travellers serving as mediators. Both eventually came away with what they wanted, sort of.
* ''ComicBook/SinCity'':
** Dwight [=McCarthy=] from the story "A Dame To Kill For". While healing from severe gunshot wounds and on the run from the cops, he had to convince the girls of Old Town to help him out. In a later story called "Family Values", he politely manipulates a crime family into ruin.
** Wallace also manage to gain the cooperation of Sin City cops in ''Hell and Back'' while getting his friends to supply him with enough guns to take out the BigBad.
* Franchise/{{Superman}} is no slouch with guile. While his life embodies BrainsEvilBrawnGood, he will often have to resort to having to outsmart his opponent when his brawn doesn't do him any good. This is most apparent against Mr. Mxyzptlk, as Supes has to trick him into saying his last name backwards because he is a nigh-omnipotnent RealityWarper.
* ''ComicBook/XMen'':
** Charles Xavier. Aside from being a telepath, he keeps secrets even from his own team, has faked his own death as a ruse, and has employed secret operatives for when [[ShootTheDog dogs need to be shot]].
%%** ComicBook/{{Cyclops}}, completing the (most likely unintentional) trio of major team leaders with ComicBook/CaptainAmerica as the ActionHero and Reed Richards as ScienceHero.
* In the second volume of ''ComicBook/XMen Legacy'', Charles Xavier's son, Legion, becomes this - he has won the SuperpowerLottery, but even when he cannot access his greater powers, he can work with what he has, bluff and cunning. [[spoiler: The series, however, deconstructs this - David is unable to trust anybody and so quickly gets manipulative. He rarely thinks of the consequences of his actions, and the people he uses as pawns are not happy about it, which often gets him in trouble.]]
%%* Zita from ''Webcomic/ZitaTheSpacegirl'' while she has few ActionHero moments, usually goes this route for most of the graphic novel.
* Comicbook/BlackPanther is sometimes this, depending on the writer. The epitome was Christopher Priest's run where he was running schemes against multiple opponents simultaneously. While he was more than capable of fighting in person, more often than not regardless of who beat who in the physical fight, T'Challa had already won in strategic terms.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[OriginalCharacter Jade]] from FanFic/AkatsukiKittenPhoenixCorporationOverhaul. Most stories, of any kind of "characters get turned into small animals and sent to the real world" plot, have whichever [[AlwaysFemale teenage girl]] that takes them in give no thought to the consequences (like paying for veterinary visits, food, supplies, etc.) or origins (random box of animals on your doorstep, anyone?), or only give it a fleeting mention. Jade takes it with a head full of paranoia and skepticism, and even then only because she's being paid a lot and figures that she can sell the kittens for a large sum if their fur colors are natural.
* FanFic/{{Cenotaph}} features this as a central component of Taylor's personality and strategy. First: as a solo operator with a power best suited to obsevation and spying, she lacks most tricks to end a fight decisively. Second: a great many capes posses abilities that can level city blocks. [[EnemyCivilWar Third: Many of her enemies don't like each other.]] She takes advantage of the situation.
* Jess from ''FanFic/ChildrenOfTheAtom'' is hopeless in a straight fight, but manages to be awsome due to [[AwesomeByAnalysis deductive ability]] and [[{{Ambadassador}} acting diplomaticly]].
* Lero Michaelides in Fanfic/DividedRainbow.
* Unohana might or might not be a heroine in the AU ''Fanfic/{{Downfall}}'', considering her desires to reconcile Seireitei and Hueco Mundo she seems heroic. [[spoiler: But as she seems to think that only the wholesale destruction of the Gotei will accomplish this, it would seem that she qualifies more along the lines of [[WellIntentionedExtremist well-intentioned extremist]].]] Of course, there seem to be other events and forces involved, moving behind the scenes…
* Raonar Aeducan in ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6072033/1/Dragon_Age_The_Crown_of_Thorns Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns ]]'' [[AlternateUniverseFic qualifies]] as this and a [[TheWisePrince Wise Prince]], being the second son of the Dwarven King. He is a manipulator and schemer that constantly uses his wit to turn even the most dangerous plots against him, his family or his friends in his favor. This becomes apparent early on, when the events of the Dwarven Noble Origin are fundamentally changed, although things still somehow manage to get more and more difficult for everyone involved as the story progresses.
* ''FanFic/DrawnWithTheNight'' Klein Bottle is able to get his way by learning about the various traditions and ethics among the various species in the world of Equestria, allowing him to run his company staffed with minotaurs smoothly, ''[[OffscreenMomentOfAwesome negotiate with dragons]]'', and in his avoidance of the princesses.
* ''FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi'' features the titular heroine, who uses her knowledge of modern technology, combined with magic to create Reaper-Golem shock troops, magical power armor, and an airship fleet. All the while pissing off every [[GodOfEvil Dark God]] in existence.
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': Gendo and Fuyutsuki –especially the latter- spend most their time negotiating with politicians and bureaucrats in Washington. They find it very tiresome and distressing.
* ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'': Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres. His ability to think more logically than most is both his biggest strength and weakness; there are times when one needs to act on intuition, and he has a near compulsive need to understand what he's dealing with before reacting.
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': Misato. Being the Director of UN organization HERZ she has to deal with politicians constantly, often playing them against each other.
* Bella in ''Fanfic/{{Luminosity}}'' [[AlternateUniverseFic is turned into]] one of these. While most of her characterization revolves around this, one quote summarizes it well:
-->''My brain flew into action.\\
''I want to live. I have the power of speech. How can I get what I want?''\\
And then I spoke the words. ''
* ''Fanfic/MyLittleCastlevania'': Most of the enemies that Twilight faces are too strong to fight head on, so she's forced to use her wits to compensate.
* ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'':
** Played straight with Kaji, who is spying on and for three different organizations ''at once''.
** Subverted with Shinji. After a meeting with SEELE goes awry, Kaji warns Shinji that he must not try to outthink and outplan the Committee because he is not trained for it.
* [[SixthRanger Trixie]] in the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' becomes one of these after her HeelFaceTurn. She uses her cunning and ability to lie flawlessly to aid the group in their goals. A great example is [[spoiler:faking a hostage situation to distract Princess Gaia's TheDragon so the others can take her down.]]
** [[spoiler:Orangejack, one of Applejack's AlternateUniverse selves, proves to be this, using her brain to help her and Applejack defeat Nightmare Mirror with a FakeDefector gambit.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Orangejack''': You and big brother dearest are Elements of Honesty, I'm still a liar.]]
** [[BadFuture Liarjack]] becomes one after her HeelFaceTurn back into Applejack, primarily based on her [[ConsummateLiar flawless lying]] (the fact that she's no longer the Element of Honesty helps with that).
* ''FanFic/ThePowersOfHarmony'': Twilight of course, thanks to her intellect combined with the combat training she receives from her Guards.
** Rarity as well, at least in her dealings with [[TheDragon Eclipse]] after the latter [[spoiler: [[DemonicPossession possesses her]]]].
** Most of the Guards qualify as well, to varying degrees.
* ''Fanfic/ScarTissue'':
** [[spoiler:Gendo Ikari]] is accustomed to play powerful, influential people against each other. And in chapter 11 he proved that his skills are unmatched in that area. He was confronting a bunch of politicians planning to extradite him or execute him on the spot, and he drove them mad. He compared it with fishing with dynamite.
** Deconstructed with Misato. She is Nerv’s Sub-commander now, and she hates it. Every day she has to deal with politicians, army officers, civil servants and mass media, assist pointless meetings, staying late in work, oversee Tokyo-3’s rebuilding… and because it she missed what was happening to her wards. She is sick of the feeling of being loaded with all troubles of the world, of being unable to relax in her own home and of having her children physically and mentally wrecked.
* [[LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero Saito Hiraga]] in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9421918/1/Soldier-of-Zero Soldier of Zero]]'' comes from a world where he had to use his wits to survive. He was noted by his old teachers that he'd never be more than a mediocre soldier but he was extremely skilled at improvisation and fitting in with groups of people. In his first conversation with Louise, he effortlessly trolls her into believing he's actually a foreign noble. It helps that he's a spy in his world.
* ''Fanfic/ThisBites'': Being from our world, the SelfInsert, Jeremiah Cross, is downright MadeOfPlasticine compared to the WorldOfBadass that is ''Franchise/OnePiece'', and is barely able to handle {{Mooks}} in a straight-up fight. He makes up for it with his knowledge of the story, his tactical thinking, his silver tongue, and his penchant for triggering {{Berserk Button}}s.
--> '''Cross:''' ''Nobody'' withstands my words.
* While starting out as a side character in the fic {{Fanfic/Uplifted}}, by the sequels, Admiral Halid Zorah becomes one of these, though he remains on the sidelines. Still, he tends far more towards being a magnificent bastard.
* The four do their damnedest to be Guile Heroes in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', since they're [[ActualPacifist Actual Pacifists]] with a huge amount of power who don't want to use it on anyone--at least, not lethally. In the Fourth Movement, their string of ploys to rescue one another and win back the Vasyn are things of legend.
** Even more so in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'', when they are determined to do ''everything'' peacefully, which means being tricky and subtle.
* Even after [[TookALevelInBadass taking a level in badass]] in ''[[http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-28404/DianeCastle+Xendra.htm Xendra]]'', Xander still has to fight more with his wits than his brawn since even as the titular Xendra (A teenaged Xena), he's only slightly better than the average vampire fledgling. As a result, he pulls stunts like tricking a pair of zombies into fighting a trio of demons, firebombing a vampire nest during the day, and pretending to be an ancient vampire with a fetish for ColdBloodedTorture to interrogate a minion..
* ''Fanfic/TheReactsverse'' has a lot of these:
** ''Fanfic/WeissReacts'': Yang is a more AntiHero / SitcomArchnemesis version, as her heart's in the right place but her methods are rather [[{{Troll}} embarrassing.]] Jaune is a more straightforward version of this and Weiss grows into one throughout the volumes as she adapts to deal with Yang.
** ''Fanfic/LucinaReacts'': Reflet and Robin, Reflet moreso. Todd to some extent, although he is more often a SitcomArchnemesis.
** ''Fanfic/CorrinReacts'': Corrin is a straightforward version of this as one of the very few unambiguously heroic members of the Antic Order. Flora, Felicia and Kana all express similar traits themselves.
* Ranma Saotome shows shades of this in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2693964/1/ The Demon's Contract]]'' after he's sent back in time to shortly after he first met the Tendos. For example, he ruins Ryoga's reputation right from the start by showing up at the time of their duel and when Ryoga doesn't show, Ranma loudly declares him a coward. When Ryoga comes back a week later, no one is willing to buy that he got lost for a week. Furthermore, Ranma immediately tells Nabiki and Akane that Ryoga has a Jusenkyo curse that turns him into a piggy and has used it to snuggle girl's chests or sleep in their beds.

[[folder: Films -- Animated]]
* Disney/{{Aladdin}} is a roguish street rat who gets by via theft and charm and uses cunning and trickery to best most conflicts -- but we never doubt he's the good guy.
* Danny from ''WesternAnimation/CatsDontDance'' is a lot smarter than he appears to be for a NaiveNewcomer. He manages to first successfully not only remind all of the animals of their dreams but make them a reality as well, and then he manages to fight off a dreaded butler, and finally turns the tables on Darla by using her egotism and cheating tendencies to push himself and his friends to stardom and get Darla herself fired. All by using trickery, cleverness, and charm.
* Hiccup from ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'' could be the flag bearer of this trope. Same as Sally below, the whole point of his character is that he contrasts the other, burly Vikings by his brains and lack of brawn.
%%* ''Disney/{{Mulan}}''.
* [[TheHeart Sally]] from ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' uses her brain to get out of tight spots. {{Justified|Trope}} as being a rag doll doesn't lend you much strength.
* Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'' both get through problems primarily by being smart and fast-thinkers. Nick is arguably the more clever one, having grown up on the streets as a con artist, but Judy is no slouch herself (and makes up the difference with [[ActionGirl her police training]]).

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* Bart in ''Film/BlazingSaddles''. Of particular note is the incident in which he escaped from an entire town of people with guns aimed at him by ''taking himself hostage'' and using himself as a human shield to get to safety. It has to be [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_JOGmXpe5I seen]] to be believed.
* Bone, of ''Film/BloodAndBone'' appears to be an action hero at fist but is really using his guile so in the end it really [[SubvertedTrope does not matter if he wins the battles at the climax]].
* Attorney James Donovan from ''Film/BridgeOfSpies,'' who repeatedly uses his cunning and intellect to manipulate his opponents in order to achieve his idealistic goals. The centerpiece of the movie has Donovan boxing ''East Germany'' into releasing an American student -- and getting '''nothing''' in return -- as part of a spy exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union.
* John [=McClane=] from ''Film/DieHard'' may be considered an ActionHero at first sight, but he doubles as this. He kills one man, gains a radio, a machine gun, and a whole LOT of information about the guys he's fighting. Uses the radio to call for help, uses the machine gun and the next guy he kills to get police attention, and spoon feeds them everything he found out.
* Bilbo Baggins in ''Film/TheHobbit'' prefers to use his brain to get him and the others out of tight situations rather than with force or violence. Most of the film shows him using his skills with words from distracting the trolls long enough for Gandalf to get into position to his "game of riddles" with Gollum.
* Fraizer from ''Film/InsideMan''. MagnificentBastard Russel even lampshades this by saying that Fraizer is "too smart to be a cop".
* Any character played by Creator/GrouchoMarx. To give some idea, he was at least a partial influence on Sheriff Bart, mentioned above, and the main inspiration for Bugs Bunny, mentioned below. In RealLife, Groucho himself had this mindset. His method was [[RapidFireComedy pure speed]] and he made jokes [[BreathlessNonSequitur so quickly that anybody who might try to stop him just couldn't keep pace.]]
* João, the main protagonist in the Brazilian comedy ''Film/OAutoDaCompadecida'', is a scammer who makes use of his wits to just barely survive in the harsh Brazilian hinterlands.
* Oskar Schindler in ''Film/SchindlersList'' uses bribery and convincing lies to stuff his factories with as many Jews as possible, and thereby save their lives. None of the factories produced one shell that worked.
* Mattie Ross in the 2010 version of ''Film/TrueGrit''. Upon first meeting her, all anybody sees is an unaccompanied 14-year-old girl in [[GirlishPigtails pigtails]]… an impression which lasts about as long as it takes for her to bludgeon them into submission with her intellect, her business acumen, and her sheer, gimlet-eyed stubbornness.
* ''Film/HotelRwanda'': Paul Rusesebangena is definitely this. He manipulates genocidal merchants into supplying his guests, corrupt generals into beating up TheMole, bribes genicidaires into sparing his friends and family and even saves the Hotel from destruction by phoning the owner, who in turn telephones the French who supply the bad guys with arms. TruthInTelevision.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries''
** [[Characters/XMenFilmSeriesProfessorCharlesXavier Professor X]]'s manipulative side is hinted in ''Film/X2XMenUnited'' and ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'', where Magneto and the Phoenix suggest that Xavier has been doing whatever he can to keep Wolverine at the school. Magneto even directly asks him this, something Charles never directly refutes, instead changing the topic.
--->'''Professor X:''' I've put him on the path. Logan's mind is still fragile.\\
'''Magneto:''' Is it? Or are you just afraid of losing one of your precious X-Men?
*** This is the Phoenix's observation:
---->'''Phoenix''': What, you think [the Professor's] not in your head, too? Look at you, Logan. He's ''tamed'' you.
** ''Film/XMenApocalypse'': Xavier's psychic powers are useless against En Sabah Nur's mental shields, so the former exercises his smarts to undermine and delay the latter's EvilPlan as much as possible. Apocalypse's NewEraSpeech was intended to stir [[spoiler:planet-wide]] panic, but Charles mitigates this somewhat by altering the last sentence with a slightly hopeful note, and it no doubt saves some lives. Meanwhile, he stealthily embeds a telepathic message for Jean so that the X-Men know where to find him. When Apocalypse imposes a SadisticChoice on his escaped prisoner, Professor X TakesAThirdOption by diverting his foe's attention with a psychic duel, and he thus avoids having to sacrifice the world or Mystique and Quicksilver. Xavier knows that he [[spoiler:can't win the fight on the astral plane, but what ultimately secures his victory is his emotional connection to his daughter figure Jean. He learns from his mistake in the original timeline, and he understands that the only way the Phoenix can be "tamed" is for him to love Jean for all that she is--and not fear what she's capable of by locking away a part of her mind--so that she develops the confidence to accept herself and her abilities.]] What Charles lacks in raw power in comparison to Apocalypse, he makes up for it with his psychological insight and exploiting ThePowerOfLove.
* ''Film/AssassinsCreed2016'': Michael Williams has stated that Moussa would prefer to use trickery or magic to defeat his enemies than hand-to-hand combat. Indeed, in the film itself, [[spoiler: Moussa starts the prison riot with the "pick a hand" trick and revealing smoke bombs in both so his allies can swarm the guards.]]
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** Nick Fury ; he constantly lies and manipulates everyone around him, and he's good enough at it that even when they don't like working with him, they still end up helping him in the way he wants them to. In fact, if it wasn't for him, [[spoiler: in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' [[BigBad Hydra]] would have successfully eradicated S.H.I.E.L.D. and launched [[KillThemAll Project Insight]].]] Although his tendencies to do this were deconstructed, as it showed that no one really trusted him and sometimes they outright refused to follow his plan... except that he also anticipates this and counteracts accordingly to adapt to their behavior, or at least offers a [[TheExtremistWasRIght reasonable explanation]]. ''He is just that good''.
** ''Film/ThorRagnarok:'' Thor losing his Mjolnir forced him to depend more on his cunning escaping Sakaar and fighting Hela, ultimately evolving into this. He even ends up outsmarting Loki, the God of Mischief himself.
* ''Film/TheShawshankRedemption'': Andy Dufresne. Upon discovering the deteriorating condition of the wall of his cell, he [[spoiler:slowly (as in over the course of twenty years) carves an escape tunnel through it]]. Meanwhile, he works his way into the trust of the Warden, who is under the mistaken assumption that ''he'' is the ChessMaster. Twenty years later, Andy [[spoiler:escapes from the prison, taking a new identity -- that he happened to create for the purposes of laundering the Warden's embezzled money, thus making himself a millionaire -- and having the Warden and sadistic guard both arrested]]...all without mentioning a single word of his plan to anyone...not even his best friend. Andy is like the heroic version of [[Film/TheUsualSuspects Keyzer Soze]], and gives us one of the most satisfying endings in film history.
%%* Frey from ''Film/{{Elysium}}''.
%%* Richard Kimble in ''Film/TheFugitive''.
%%* Paul Rusesabagina, in ''Film/HotelRwanda''.
%%* Captain Ramius in ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober''.
%%* Film/JamesBond, of course, with a splash of ActionHero, the mixture depending on the Bond in question.
%%* Harvey Milk in his biopic, ''Film/{{Milk}}''.
%%* Jason tries to be this in ''Film/MysteryTeam''.
%%* [[Film/OceansEleven Danny Ocean]], Charlie Croker, etc.
%%* Coca-Cola manager [=MacNamara=] from ''Film/OneTwoThree''.
%%* Ed Du Bois is the only individual in ''Film/PainAndGain'' who can be even remotely described as clever.
%%* Caesar from ''Film/RiseOfThePlanetOfTheApes''.
%%* Nathan Muir of ''Film/SpyGame''.
%%* [[NoNameGiven The Princess]] in ''The Triumph of Love''.
* ''Film/GleahanAndTheKnavesOfIndustry:'' Mark, a pre-law school dropout, uses his knowledge of the law to do some really awesome things.

* The scale of his manipulation is not as grand as some others listed here, but [[Literature/AgentPendergast Aloysius Pendergast from the Preston/Child novels]] never hesitates to blackmail anyone into doing his bidding. For the greater good, of course.
* In the ''Literature/AgeOfFire'' series, all three of the sibling protagonists qualify as this, especially [=RuGaard=], who uses his wits to make up for the number of crippling injuries he's gained over his life.
* ''Literature/AlexVerus'' from the series of the same name seems to be shaping up to be this, using a combination of precognition and quick thinking to stay alive against the odds.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' has a few:
** Marco fills this role. Later, we see it [[BadassFamily runs in the family]].
** Cassie as well. Many, many times throughout the series, she uses her innate understanding of people for the good of the team, if not necessarily for the good of herself, or the person. Her main victim of her manipulations was Visser Three (mainly because the Visser was an evil ego-driven son of a bitch). She also (reluctantly) used her understanding of people to [[spoiler: trap a traitor of the group in the body of a rat]]. BewareTheNiceOnes, indeed.
** ''[[TheHero Jake]]'' who really cracks out the gambits before diving into WhatTheHellHero territory.
** [[BigGood The Ellimist]]. ''Megamorphs #04: Back to Before'' cements it.
--> '''Drode:''' Oh, I see it now, I see it now. Subtle as always, Ellimist. Your meddling came ''before'', didn't it? How could we not have seen it? [[TheDutifulSon Elfangor's brother]]? His [[TheChosenOne time-shifted son]]? This [[GameBreaker anomalous girl]] here? And the son of Visser One's host body? A group of six supposedly random humans that contains those four! You stacked the deck!
--> '''The Ellimist''' (laughing) Did I? That would have been very clever of me.
* Scheherazade from ''Literature/ArabianNights''. To save her own life and stop the Sultan from killing more concubines, she worms her way into his heart with her beauty, her smarts, and her breath-taking stories.
** Most heroes of the Arabian Nights are a combination of Guile Hero and ActionHero. (Some even include ScienceHero, considering how technologically advanced medieval Arabia actually was.)
* ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' -- Artemis himself because he has more faith in his prodigious mind than his scrawny stature.
* ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'' basically spends thirteen chapters explaining how to be this and how important it is for generals and tacticians to do so. Its central ethos can be summed up in one quote: "the Way of War is a Way of Deception". Flank attacks, proxy conflicts, fake peace talks to buy time, striking unexpected targets, feints, false indicators of ambushes, double agents, bribed enemy officials - to Sun Tzu, these were as important to a general as a hammer and saw to a carpenter.
* Sage/[[spoiler: King Jaron]] in Jennifer A. Nielsen's the ''Literature/AscendanceTrilogy''.
* Mina Davis of ''Literature/AssholeYakuzaBoyfriend'' and ''Literature/HungoverAndHandcuffed'' is one of these, relying mostly on her ability to out-think or out-talk much more physically dangerous enemies. She's yet to win a fair fight in two books.
* The title characters of the ''Literature/AubreyMaturin'' series have absolutely no problems lying as much as they can without breaking the law and provoking internation incidents. Aubrey himself will lie like a rug in his personal life, and Maturin is a full time spy.
** The Literature/{{RCN}} series is based on A-M, and since the heroes are often out at the tip of the spear, so to speak, they will lie like crazy in order to complete their mission. It helps that they face a lot of idiots.
%%* Eliza and Roger in Creator/NealStephenson's ''Literature/TheBaroqueCycle''.
* Silk, a.k.a. Prince Kheldar a.k.a. The Guide a.k.a. The Rat a.k.a. Radek of Boktor a.k.a. Ambar of Kotu from the ''[[Literature/TheBelgariad Belgariad]]'' and ''Malloreon''. There isn't a chapter he's in where he doesn't make some witty comment, scam the crap out of someone, pull off some incredible stunt or show a depth of character, knowledge or experience that's downright amazing.
%%* Most Creator/TheBrothersGrimm characters are this. Most notably in "Literature/TheBraveLittleTailor".
* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' Jerin is one of those whenever heroism is necessary. In the first chapter he gets his sister to feed the baby by claiming that his younger brother (who she says should do it) is occupied with making butter, a task she dislikes even more. He later uses his intellect against the villains, too.
* ''Literature/CodexAlera''
** Tavi is this out of necessity. This, coupled with a hefty dose of BadassNormal, is really the only way to survive as the ''one Muggle'' in a world where everyone has ElementalPowers.
** Ehren, too. He barely has any crafting powers, but still becomes a skilled liar and spy for the Crown. He also is guilty of something few can claim to have done. He [[spoiler:tricks High Lord Aquitaine, an Archmage-tier power and political enemy of Tavi's, to go into battle so he would be killed]] and there is no evidence pointing to him at all. Lampshaded by Max, who calls the two of them "sneaky little gits."
** Nasaug, an 8ft tall wolfman, and leader of the warrior caste of Cane who are invading Alera shows a lot of this. In his first time against Tavi, where Tavi must lead some few thousand inexperienced soldiers against Nasaug's 60,000 strong, the two try and play each other for victory. In the end, Nasaug wins because [[spoiler:while Tavi successfully held the line and forced the Cane to retreat, Tavi's efforts slaughtered the leader of the Ritualists and many of his fellows, who were leading the invasion before. With the civilian Cane no longer supporting the Ritualists, Nasaug, a far more competent and dangerous enemy, is now in charge]].
* Literature/{{Coraline}} Jones is a classic example. After she figures out that the Other Mother kidnapped her real parents, she spectacularly trounces the Other Mother through her wits.
* Hoemei maran-Kaiel in ''Literature/CourtshipRite''. In a clan where status derives from making accurate predictions, and clan members are encouraged to manipulate events to make their predictions come true, Hoemei is the second-best predictor/manipulator.
* Dirk Pitt from the ''Literature/DirkPittAdventures''.
* Most heroic characters in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' qualify. BoxedCrook ConMan Moist von Lipwig is a great example.
** Granny Weatherwax has her Headology, and Vimes has a certain amount of this. He knows how to be a good copper and how to play people and situations to come out on top. Vetinari is the morally-grey version. It says a lot about him that he is listed both here and on the MagnificentBastard page.
** LampshadeHanging (bordering on {{Deconstruction}}) in the introduction of the Disc's version of Odysseus, which says:
-->It's funny how people have always respected the kind of commander who comes up with strategies like "[[WeHaveReserves I want fifty thousand of you chappies to rush at the enemy]]," whereas the more thoughtful commanders who say things like "Why don't we build a [[TrojanHorse damn great wooden horse]] and then nip in at the back gate while they're all around the thing waiting for us to come out" are considered only one step above common oiks and not the kind of person you'd lend money to. This is because most of the first type of commander are [[FearlessFool brave men]], whereas [[LovableCoward cowards]] make far better strategists.
** Which is why Rincewind belongs on this list. He doesn't want to be a hero at all and would rather stay where it's safe.
** Hex develops into this over the course of the three ''The Science of Discworld'' novels, building upon his invention of [[LiesToChildren Lies-To-People]].
* Pulp heroine ''The Literature/DominoLady'' was just as likely to use her allure and quick wit as her pistol and knockout serum to defeat the bad guys.
* Although Harry Dresden from the ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' is best known as a magical brawler with [[RunningGag a tendency to]] [[DestructiveSavior burn down buildings]], it's only because very few realize that he achieves his most impressive victories with wits alone (and [[TheDreaded he is not eager to enlighten them]]). For instance, in ''Blood Rites'', he manipulates Lara Raith into doing what he wanted, and political intrigue is her lifestyle.
** This is the result of CharacterDevelopment over the series. In the first few books he was just an OccultDetective, and much more inclined to fight than outmaneuver his opponents. It wasn't until his failure to plan (and deal with his feelings better) led to [[MyGreatestFailure His Greatest Failure]] in ''Grave Peril'' that he started thinking and asking questions first.
** This is also the result of how magic, and especially the magic of wizards, works. Harry's only real strong inherent talent is his ability to summon fire (so strong that he has tools he uses specifically to avoid burning down everything when he does it) but a lot of Wizardry is about using some external power source or applying leverage carefully, or of storing a spell or power in advance in a potion or device. The best wizards aren't the strongest, but the ones most quick-witted and capable of taking advantage of a situation, such as in ''Dead Beat'' [[spoiler: where the villains had summoned a giant typhoon of necromantic energy well-suited to raising the dead, and it occurred to him that older bodies were more powerful if you had the energy just lying around, only necromancy on humans was illegal, and the local museum had a dinosaur exhibit...]]
* Mahlia of ''Literature/TheDrownedCities'' is a little bit better educated and a whole lot smarter than most of the people around her, including the [[ChildSoldiers soldier boys]] who more or less destroyed her home. Through a combination of wits, planning, and talking very fast she manages to screw over the United Patriotic Front a time or two, earning herself the hatred of [[ColonelKilgore Lieutenant Sayle]] and the [[WorthyOpponent respect]] of [[ShellShockedVeteran Sergeant Ocho]]. Not bad for a one handed girl.
* ''Literature/DragonBones'' has Ward, who survived to adulthood by [[ObfuscatingStupidity pretending to have severe brain damage]] after his father nearly killed him in a particularly violent beating. He can use a sword, too, and does so frequently, but he's also a good actor, and uses this talent whenever he faces a situation where brute force is not enough. Among other things, he is good at pretending to be obsessed with reclaiming castle Hurog, to the point of being happy to work together with the people who tortured his brother if they can give him his birthright back. He actually does want the castle very much, it's his home and the magic there calls for him, but he wouldn't kill his relatives over it.
* In ''Literature/{{Firebird|Lackey}}'', we're told that Ilya is a more than competent warrior; he gets beaten only because his brothers gang up on him and they gang up on him because they can't take him one on one. However, apart from his brothers, he never encounters an enemy he can beat in a fight. The boar, the rusalka, the winter, the demons, the dragon, and the Katschei all have to be beaten with his wits, or just fled from.
* In ''Literature/ForgingDivinity'', Jonan uses his cunning and charisma to manipulate both his enemies and his allies to his own ends. Lydia fits this to some extent as well, although she's more like the GreatDetective to Jonan being TheChessmaster ConMan.
* Alaric from the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/GreyKnights'' novels was already a GeniusBruiser, but he becomes one of this with his plan to take down the Chaos lords of Drakaasi, even if he does not think such a plan to be right.
%%* [[BadassGrandpa Harald]] in ''Literature/{{Harald}}''.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore is a kindly-looking and a little kooky EccentricMentor. He's also a master manipulator and extremely powerful wizard who nevertheless devotes himself to battling Voldemort and regrets lots of his unavoidable yet harsh decisions. His friend [[spoiler: Severus Snape, who simultaneously stays loyal to Dumbledore and appear to be Voldemort's most loyal servant.]]
* Poison, the heroine of the [[Literature/TheHauntingOfAlaizabelCray Chris Wooding]] book of the same name, would count as this, as she uses strategy, trickery and intellect to fight rather than brute force. This is also true for many other characters in the story, including villains.
* Tocohl Susumo, the protagonist of ''Literature/{{Hellspark}}'', has been extensively trained in cultural understanding and adaptation, so as to be able to speak to people with not only the right words but also the right gestures, customs, etc. to put them at ease. On top of this, she adds her own ingenuity to become a great diplomat, tricking people into doing the right thing. It's a common trait for Hellspark traders; a Hellspark of past centuries, Veschke, is worshiped in parts of the galaxy as the patron saint of thieves, conmen, traders, and other people who make their living from a fast brain and a fast mouth.
* Lyra from ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials''. She is so good at this she earns the title "Lyra Silvertongue".
%%* Otto of the ''Literature/HIVESeries'' is one of these, until a [[BreakTheHaughty series of increasingly tragic events]] make him much more prone to HeroicSelfDeprecation.
%%* Bilbo Baggins discovers that he's one of these over the course of ''Literature/TheHobbit''.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'', the RecycledInSpace counterpart to Hornblower, is very straightforward. She can be deceptive militarily, but isn't a very good liar otherwise.
* ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' is a highly intelligent man and relies on his wits far more often than the raw strength of his ship to win the day. Of particular note is ''Lieutenant Hornblower''. Even though he's the fifth lieutenant out of five, Hornblower adroitly maneuvers his seniors when the tyrannical captain is debilitated by a fall and adopts a course of action to avert legal suspicion, then persuades the dithering first lieutenant to mount a daring expedition to destroy a Spanish privateer nest, and ''then'' successfully implements a plan to gain their unconditional surrender and triumphant return to British authorities (marred only by a prisoner uprising… which he also manages to quell, although that by force).
* Peeta Mellark from ''Literature/TheHungerGames.'' He's the NonActionGuy to Katniss's ActionGirl, but knows how to manipulate the Capitol audience and knows the right lies to use (like when he claims [[spoiler: that Katniss is pregnant]]). He also figures out [[spoiler: the setup of the the Quarter Quell, interpreting Wiress's {{Cloudcuckoolander}} message in CatchingFire]]
** [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Haymitch Abernarthy]] also counts. Whether or not he is still capable of the physical badassery from his younger days is debatable, but damn if he isn't able to [[ManipulativeBastard work a crowd and play the system to protect Peeta and Katniss]]. It is implied that he had this skill during his run in the games as well.
* In ''Literature/TheInvisibleLibrary'', Irene often uses such tactics. In the first chapter, she has just spent weeks establishing her HarmlessLadyDisguise as a servant in a school, a task which included cleaning floors and eating porridge for breakfast every day. She hopes that her next assignment will enable her to live in a luxury hotel with her undercover identity.
%%* Jack Parlabane in ''Literature/QuiteUglyOneMorning'', ''Literature/CountryOfTheBlind'', ''Literature/BoilingAFrog'', ''Literature/BeMyEnemy'', and ''Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks''.
%%* Jig the Golin, eponymous hero of the series by Creator/JimCHines, combines this with CowardlyLion.
* George Smiley, in the novels of Creator/JohnLeCarre. He's one of the most respected spies in British intelligence, despite being (by all appearances) nothing more than a pudgy, bespectacled British office worker with an unfaithful wife. In his entire career, the guy hardly ever leaves his desk in London, and undertakes almost no truly dangerous field missions. But despite all of that, he has the analytical mind necessary to piece together disparate clues to deduce Mother Russia's most intimate secrets from half a world away. His weapon is information, and he wields it like a broadsword.
* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'':
** As Eric's confidence grows so does his wiliness. He does not defeat older and more experienced mages by overpowering them but by outsmarting them. In this sense, he's not so different from {{T|heTrickster}}asio.
** Including deceit and slight of hand in combat is part of Tiza's training, such as exploiting someone's expectations to set up AHandfulForAnEye.
* ''Literature/{{Kim}}'' by Creator/RudyardKipling had the eponymous StreetUrchin taking to this so well, he later [[spoiler:only needed to be taught cartography and a few things about security to make a TeenSuperspy]].
* ''Literature/KindlingAshes'': Giselle relies on out-smarting enemies to stay out of their reach because they are usually professional raiders or bred dragon-slayers.
%%* The main character of ''Literature/TheKingdomsOfEvil'', Freetrick Feend.
* ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'': Downplayed with Benji as he's too much of an IdiotHero to make proper use of it but he shows potential:
** [[spoiler: Zarracka]] is impressed by the deviousness of his plan to escape a city.
** [[spoiler: He wins his fight with Kthonia]] by ''outsmarting'' her instead of ''overpowering'' her.
%%* Both June and Day from ''Legend'' by Marie Lu are this sometimes. The author said she was inspired by the idea of a teenage Jean Valjean and Javert.
%%* Locke Lamora of ''Literature/TheLiesOfLockeLamora''.
* Gavin Guile of ''Literature/TheLightbringerSeries'' is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin worthy of his name]] (and then there's his other name... ItsComplicated), and his family are just as tricky (do not let [[TheDreaded his father]] even notice you exist). Bonus points for the name itself of course, but consider the level of BadassBoast in a family taking a name that warns their enemies "I'm going to trick you" and still pulling it off. For centuries.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'': Gandalf to some degree. He's forbidden by the cosmic higher-ups from attempting to combat evil by simple force-- they learned their lesson when their battle with the previous BigBad [[ApocalypseHow broke half the world]]-- and mostly limits himself to using diplomacy to cajole the forces of good into taking action. He does take a certain pleasure in being the smartest guy in the room, especially in ''Literature/TheHobbit'', as when he tricks the notoriously misanthropic Beorn into playing host for thirteen dwarves and one hobbit.
%%* Francis Crawford of Lymond. My God, [[Literature/LymondChronicles Francis Crawford of Lymond]]. Also, by the same author, Nicholas de Fleury in the ''House of Niccolo'' series.
* Chilean novelist Alberto Blest Gana was pretty fond of this type of hero, and his two most famous leads are these: Martin from ''[[RoleCalled Martin Rivas]]'' and Carlos Diaz aka el "Nato" from "El Loco Estero". Both young men are kind-hearted, honest, and suffering of UnrequitedLove (for [[DefrostingIceQueen Leonor]] and [[{{Tsundere}} Deidamia]], respectively), and their deviousness and manipulation skills will help them go forth with their goals.
* ''Literature/TheCosmere'':
** ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'': Kelsier straddles the line between this and MagnificentBastard. He's unambiguously on the good guys' ''side'', but often comes perilously close towards [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope slipping]] into WellIntentionedExtremist or even KnightTemplar territory. He's also a brilliant revolutionary who takes down an [[TheEmpire Empire]] ruled by a PhysicalGod... [[spoiler: and he does it ''[[MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning posthumously]]''.]]
** ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': Shallan slowly evolves into this over the course of the second book, learning how to fake various accents and lie more effectively, as well as general social lessons. She still blushes when confronted, though.
** ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'': [[spoiler:Vasher]] is a subversion. He's trying to be a guile hero, but he's absolutely terrible at it, as he has few social skills, no political connections or subtlety, and just plain doesn't like people. In fact, he's so bad at it that everyone (both in-universe and out) initially mistakes him for a villain. The truth is he's basically the magical equivalent of a ScienceHero. Notably, he ultimately saves the day not with any clever plans, but by [[spoiler:unleashing an unstoppable army that he helped create]].
%%* Jim from Literature/{{Mogworld}} leans this way sometimes.
* Aahz, the powerless demon in Robert Asprin's ''Literature/MythAdventures'' novels, is one of the all-time great guile heroes. His catchphrase is "Ah, therein lies the story…"
** Skeeve, his former apprentice and current partner, has learned a lot from Aahz, and at times is even better than him at this.
%%* Kvothe of ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'', thanks to being TooCleverByHalf.
* In ''[[Literature/NobodysGirl Nobody's Girl]]'' (and its anime adaptation, ''Anime/TheStoryOfPerrine''), the titular Perrine is an 13-year-old AllLovingHero at first, but must turn herself into this in the second part of the story. Under the fake name "Aurelie", she becomes the near-blind millionaire Vulfran Pandavoine's [[NumberTwo guide, interpreter and secretary]]... but she realises that her weary and sad GrumpyOldMan of a boss is surrounded by ambitious and greedy {{smug snake}}s (like his nephews/potential heirs Casimir and Theodore, each young man's scheming mothers, and the executive Talouel). From then one Perrine evolves into a pre-teen version of the trope to fend these selfish people off, protect Vulfran's interests, and avert becoming anyone's pawn in the upcoming SuccessionCrisis. [[spoiler: And all the time, she must also hide her identity as none other than ''Vulfran's granddaughter and the rightful heiress'', since letting such a huge secret leak would put her in '''even more danger'''.]]
%%* Shukhov from ''Literature/OneDayInTheLifeOfIvanDenisovich'', and every one else who survives for a while in the gulags.
* ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'' series:
** In ''Literature/ThePhoenixGuards'', [[CampStraight Pel]] gets his TrueCompanions and himself out of prison by tricking a guard into propositioning his (Pel's) lover, who then almost kills the guard in a duel. Then she asks the poor guy who put him up to it, he tells her, and she pulls some strings to get Pel and the others out.
** Vlad Taltos also invokes this trope a lot; he has to be smart and sneaky to last as long as he has, first in [[ProfessionalKiller an extremely dangerous profession]] and later [[spoiler:on the run from ''the entire Jhereg'']].
* Nicolas van Rijn, from Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/PolesotechnicLeague'' stories, is large and fat--though strong and fast--and he takes great joy in outthinking and outwitting his enemies.
%%* Psmith, of P.G. Wodehouse's ''Literature/{{Psmith}}'' books.
* Gen [[spoiler: and Attolia]] from Megan Whalen Turner's ''Literature/TheQueensThief'' books definitely. However, any descriptions as to why would require excessive use of spoiler tags.
* In the ''Literature/RainbowMagic'' series, Trixie the Halloween Fairy and Addison the April Fool's Day Fairy are fond of pranks and tricking people.
* [[spoiler: Mustang]] definitely qualifies as this trope in the ''Literature/RedRising'' trilogy. Darrow, the series' protagonist, would qualify, but he's terrible at playing politics.
** Rachel and Kirsty are able to trick and manipulate the goblins, and sometimes Jack Frost. They often use this to succeed.
* Dirk Provin from Jennifer Fallon's ''Literature/SecondSons'' trilogy. He's a brilliant political genius with nerves of steel and any more would give away the plot of the last two books.
* Literature/SherlockHolmes is probably the TropeCodifier regarding modern guile heroes, as a "consultant detective" who solves even the hardest to clear crimes using his sharp mind, [[DeadpanSnarker his witty tongue]], his MasterOfDisguise skills, his contacts within the police and Londoner society, etc. i.e., ''Literature/TheHoundOfTheBaskervilles'' has him [[spoiler: apparently disappearing to solve another case and sending his companion Watson to investigate in his place... but actually using him as a "decoy" of sorts while he quietly investigates, then shows up exactly when he's needed.]]
* Mike Stearns and Gretchen Richter in Eric Flint's ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo''. The former of whom has stated outright that he's trying to be a better [[TheChessmaster chessmaster]] than Otto von Bismarck.
* Ruth from ''Literature/SomeoneElsesWar''. In the FiveManBand, she's TheSmartGuy rather than TheHero, but her smarts are usually what make up for [[DesignatedHero Matteo's]] [[IdiotHero lack of foresight]].
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** Tyrion Lannister, if you consider him [[BlackAndGrayMorality a hero]]. In the first novel, he walks into the Vale of Arryn in chains and facing a near-certain death sentence, and walks out at the head of an army of tribesmen, thanks to a quick wit, a silver tongue, and [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney the promise of lots and lots of gold]].
** Arya Stark has had to rely on her wits to survive just as often -- if not more -- than swords. While she doesn't make the best ''immediate'' decisions, in book 2 she cleverly [[spoiler: cornered a man who owed her a debt into helping her liberate Harrenhal from the Lannisters]]. While she's not as cunning as Tyrion, keep in mind that she's only ''twelve'' by now.
** Varys, again [[BlackAndGrayMorality depending on how heroic you consider him]]. A distrusted foreign eunuch with no lands, incomes, titles, connections, or armies, he parlayed a quick wit and a talent for thievery and mummery as a youth into a peerless spy network and immense behind-the-scenes political power. As for his "heroic" credentials, well, he claims to serve the realm… and he might even be sincere.
** In the backstory, most of the Great Houses trace their lineage back to a great [[ActionHero warrior ancestor]], conqueror, or folk hero (or, in the somewhat odd case of the Starks, a talented architect). All except the Lannisters, whose semi-fabled progenitor is known as Lann the Clever. His claim to fame isn't fighting battles or leading armies, but [[NoodleIncident swindling the Casterlys out of their castle]] with his wits.
* Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse
** Wedge Antilles is a consummate Guile Hero, and his cunning is probably his second-most important talent (directly behind his ImprobablePilotingSkills). He is a master of everything from [[CombatPragmatist simple misdirections]] and lies to grand-scale feints. He can run rings around officers who are supposed to be his superiors. On Adumar, he hatches several plans to disorient the enemy: attacking at dawn to rouse the hard-living pilots from their bunks before they're ready, reprogramming his fleets' transponders to lie about their unit composition, ordering some of his low-ranking pilots' fighters to identify themselves as champions, and [[BossInMooksClothing vice versa]]. On Borleias, he encourages one of his allies to [[BlasphemousBoast claim to be a Yuuzhan Vong goddess]] and lays plans for a galaxy-wide LaResistance ''against his own government'' (a government that he browbeat into giving him the resources he needed for his plans). A choice quote from ''Starfighters of Adumar'' sums him up nicely:
-->'''Iella''': ''So this is [[AcePilot the cockpit Wedge]]. The one the enemy has boxed in, when suddenly he breaks off in a whole new direction, changes all the rules.''
** Unsurprisingly (given that Wedge was their founder), this becomes Wraith Squadron's stock in trade, eventually earning them a transfer from the piloting service to Intelligence. What else would you expect from a squadron whose second combat action -- before even being officially commissioned -- was [[HighSpeedHijack to capture an enemy capital ship]], KillAndReplace its captain, [[TheInfiltration and then check in with its boss for orders]] [[RefugeInAudacity like nothing had happened]]?
* Wakatake of ''Literature/TanteiTeamKZJikenNote''. Kozuka lampshaded this trait in the first episode. Aya actually missed this trait at ''The School's Urban Legends Knows'' when he's on a TenMinuteRetirement--[[MenUseViolenceWomenUseCommunication the rest of the boys wants to threaten a girl]] who sees him as LivingEmotionalCrutch to break off with him, to Aya's own disdain.
%%* [[Literature/TimeScout Time Scouts]] are badass, but they ''prefer'' to be invisible. Skeeter takes clever UpToEleven.
* Alianne of Pirate's Swoop, the protagonist of the ''Literature/TortallUniverse'' series ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness''. Alianne of Pirates Swoop. She's a spy, chosen by a [[TheTrickster trickster god]], and she can't let her allies know her true identity. She lives entirely off her wits.
* ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'':
** Miles Vorkosigan and the [[BigBadassFamily the rest of the Vorkosigan family]] qualifies, each with their own signature brand of guile.
** In ''Literature/ShardsOfHonor'' and as Regent, Aral marshals his legitimate power and deeper-laid plans to play the TheChessmaster. (But [[IDidWhatIHadToDo only out of harsh necessity]].)
** Mark can use his native intelligence and Jacksonian [[PlanetOfHats hat]] as a businessman to run a GetRichQuickScheme scheme that actually works, followed by unabashed ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney.
** Even cousin Ivan, ButtMonkey that he may be, can be a distressingly effective example of TheCharmer when he needs to. It should be remembered that Ivan is ''[[ObfuscatingStupidity willingly]]'' a Butt Monkey, in order not to attract too much political attention on him. He's third (or fourth, after ''Mirror Dance'') in line for the throne, after all
* Mowry from ''Literature/{{Wasp}}''. He is an AgentProvocateur first and foremost, and mostly makes use of his wits and his ability to manipulate people and act unsuspicious. He can fight hand-to-hand and use a gun, but he takes care to avoid ever needing to do that.
* El-ahrairah, star of the ''Literature/WatershipDown'' {{Mythopoeia}}. He's like a cross between WesternAnimation/BugsBunny and Literature/{{Beowulf}}. Or even Odysseus: they are even linked in the book, where the human is accused of stealing tricks from the rabbit.
%%* While the jury is out on the 'hero' part of the trope, [[VillainProtagonist Skitter]] of ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' fits the rest of the trope to a T.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'':
** Thom Merrilin. He's handy with knives when he has to be, but what he really brings to the table is an intuitive knack for politics that lets him play the protagonists' opponents off against each other without anyone suspecting that he's responsible, and a gift for sifting through rumour and gossip to see larger patterns.
** Mat Cauthon, being something of a protégé to Thom. He learned the fine art of horse-trading at his father's knee, and when his natural quick wit is coupled with [[RealityWarper supernatural luck]] and a few thousand years' worth of battle tactics dumped into his head, watch out.
** Egwene al'Vere also becomes a Guile Hero, as the Amyrlin Seat. The Aes Sedai thought she'd become a puppet… hoo boy, did they turn out to be mistaken when Egwene owned them all, just like that.
%%* In ''Literature/WordsOfRadiance'' we meet Guile Hero extraordinaire Shallan Davar. She's a Lightweaver Radiant, and this was apparently their [[PlanetOfHats Hat]] back before the Recreance.
* Lydia of Creator/CarolBerg's ''Literature/RaiKirah'' series turns out to be rather good at this. Seyonne occasionally engages in it as well, though since he several times does it by making use of his position or appearance as a [[MadeASlave slave]] this also tends to be combined with drawing some amount of [[ColdBloodedTorture torture]] on himself.
* Brenish in ''Literature/{{Below}}'' is a ConsummateLiar first and foremost. He's also spent so much of his life learning tales of the [[DungeonCrawling underground ruins]] that his approach to fighting is highly strategic. [[NotSoDifferent His antagonist]] (and boss) Gareth distrusts him to the point of grabbing a hostage to keep him in line, and even makes sure the two men stand watch together because he doesn't trust Brenish not to compromise the loyalty of one of his henchmen in two hours.
* The main character Anargrin of ''Literature/TheAngaranChronicles'' is this. The best example of him doing this is in the short story ''[[https://www.wattpad.com/story/70424204-the-angaran-chronicles-an-ulterior-motive/ An Ulterior Motive]]'' [[spoiler: where he uses a infected with lycanthropy Emilia to lead a pack of werewolves to attack a Church of Jaroai convoy which is travelling to destroy a village they've deemed heretical. Both the werewolves and priests and the soldiers accompanying them, almost wipe each other out before Anargrin steps in and finishes off the three remaining werewolves himself. Effectively stopping the attack on the village and making sure the werewolves are gone for good.]]
* Present in military thriller ''Literature/{{Victoria}}''. Between his maneuver warfare military trickster tactics and shady political manipulations, protagonist John Rumford soundly qualifies. His somewhat morally ambiguous mentor William Kraft takes it a step further into out-and-out {{Chessmaster}} territory.
* ''Literature/TheMagicPudding'': Bunyip Bluegum is the most calm, rational member of the trio, and tends to be the cleverest as well. Bunyip is the one who sorts things out when trapped in a KangarooCourt; by claiming that Albert was poisoned, which sends the judge into such a panic (he and the Usher having been gorging on the pudding through the trial) that he goes wild and starts attacking everyone with a bottle of port. He then snatches the pudding and gets out of there with his friends.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Coulson in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD''. He deals with an awful lot of [[spoiler:HYDRA]] by tricking them into an EnemyCivilWar with the leadership purging each other, then mopping up the now-leaderless grunts.
%%* Hannibal Hayes comes up with the plans for his partner in ''Series/AliasSmithAndJones''.
%%* Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith usually tries to squeeze his enemies before he and ''the rest of Series/{{The A-Team}}'' destroy them.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** Londo Mollari and John Sheridan are both clear examples of this, albeit in Mollari's case an ambiguously good one.
** Sinclair had his moments too, such as the resolution to "By Any Means Necessary". And then there was Ivanova's solution to the Drazi [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority Green-Purple conflict]] which was wreaking havok on the station.
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'':
** Nucky Thompson, though lighter on the hero part than usual, is an excellent example of this trope, he never does anything exciting personally, and he instead uses his political power and somewhat shallow, yet efficient understanding of human nature to get what he wants.
** Many characters (particularly Rothstein, Jimmy, Margaret, Meyer Lansky and Chalky) would actually fit this trope quite well, but all of them (with the exception of Margaret and arguably Jimmy) are less scrupulous than Nucky, and none of them are as clever, and both Jimmy and Chalky have actiony moments. The Commodore is more of an out and out MagnificentBastard.
* Michael Westen in ''Series/BurnNotice'' is this ''and'' an ActionHero, and [[MacGyvering sometimes]] a ScienceHero too.
* Jason Gideon and his successor David Rossi in ''Series/CriminalMinds''.
** Hell, just about every member of the team displays it at some point or another.
* Lt. Series/{{Columbo}}, whose ObfuscatingStupidity and fuddy appearance conceal a brilliant detective who AlwaysGetsHisMan.
* Jeff Winger from ''{{Series/Community}}'' is a former AmoralAttorney, and his talents lie in the fields of talking and manipulation.
** Abed Nadir is also a Guile Hero of sorts, albeit with a radically different style to Jeff's. (It's telling that in order to Guile Hero himself in the season four finale, Jeff has to pretend to be Abed.)
* The title character of ''Series/DoctorSynTheScarecrow'' crafts his ScaryScarecrow persona to intimidate his own smugglers, but since his day job is as a vicar, he almost always refrains from violence. Instead, he uses his trusted position to gather information and use it against the army. When he discovers a traitor in his group, he concocts a ruse that will satisfy his smugglers' desire for vengeance, terrify any other would-be turncoats out of the notion, ''and'' keep from actually killing the traitor by holding a KangarooCourt and [[DeathFakedForYou fake hanging]].
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Doctor himself. {{Bavarian Fire Drill}}s are his specialty. In addition, he's a ScienceHero.
*** No incarnation more so than the Seventh Doctor. [[Recap/DoctorWhoS25E1RemembranceOfTheDaleks "Remembrance of the Daleks"]] is one of the best examples of this, when [[spoiler: he tricks Davros into destroying Skaro and convinces a Dalek to commit suicide]].
** [[spoiler:Dalek Caan]] manipulates the Doctor and his companions into defeating Davros and the New Dalek Empire.
** Irving Braxiatel, from the [[Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse ExpandedUniverse]] might just be the embodiment of this trope. In his very first appearance in ''Theatre Of War'' he was able to out-manipulate [[ManipulativeBastard the Seventh]] [[TheChessmaster Doctor]]. Throughout his appearances in the Franchise/BerniceSummerfield series his reputation of using people as tools became legendary (to the point where, when someone asks if he isn't being too manipulative, he concludes that they haven't been introduced). It's been suggested several times that he engineered the entirety of events in the Bernice Summerfield series; for example, when his collection was occupied by a group of Fascists called [[PuttingOnTheReich The Fifth Axis]], something which should be impossible because, as a Time Lord, he knew that that sector of space was never occupied, he suspected that it might be a future version of himself which had engineered the whole situation and almost killed himself in a temporal paradox [[spoiler: (luckily, it turned out to be the Daleks, not him, who were behind it)]]. So devious was he that he became a full blown MagnificentBastard in later seasons ([[SealedEvilInACan although it may not have been]] [[SealedInAPersonShapedCan entirely his fault]]). He's reformed now ([[MindScrew sort of]]). Of course, none of this should be surprising considering that he's the Doctor's [[spoiler: older brother]].
* Adelle [=DeWitt=] in ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'' is an expert in playing the politics (and just plain manipulating everyone) in order to protect her House.
* Donna Stone from ''The Donna Reed Show'' was this on a domestic level, solving local and family problems through ingenious planning and subtle manipulation.
%%* Nathan Stark from ''Series/{{Eureka}}''; as the show progresses, Carter [[BookDumb of all people]] turns into one.
%%* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', Rygel, Noranti and John Crichton are all good examples of this trope.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': Simon has his moments. A doctor who has never so much as picked up a firearm before, he was able to bluff, bribe, sneak, and otherwise manipulate his way past top-secret government security in order to rescue his sister. And when the crew is in need of money, and he's in need of hospital access for his sister? He casually pulls out the contents of his medkit, quotes the black market value of each bottle, and then comes up with a detailed and mostly successful plan to pull off one of the crew's best heists. His sister, River? She's even ''more'' clever than he is, despite being mentally unstable due to the government's tampering. "Objects In Space" proved this. Nasty BountyHunter on board? Said Bounty Hunter has the crew outgunned and access to the engine room? River and Simon trick him into thinking she's ''one with the ship'' and distract him long enough to throw him out an airlock.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' offers several examples:
** Tyrion Lannister is first and foremost, though his antiheroic traits cause him to straddle the line of {{magnificent bastard}}ry. Nonetheless, he's one of the more heroic characters in the show, and definitely fights best with his mind, with an incredible ability to charm, manipulate, bluff, and talk his way out of a bad situation. For example: laying the groundwork for Bronn to champion him a full episode before he even knew there'd be a trial by combat. He's also able to talk his way from a situation where he's likely to be murdered by hill tribesmen to getting said hill tribesmen to serve as his bodyguards.
** Robb Stark, once he begins [[SupportingLeader resisting the Lannisters]], is forced to fight this way. He's massively outnumbered, and is forced to fight with masterful tactics. Fortunately, he is one of the best tacticians and strategists Westeros has ever seen, and he wins battle after battle (moving him into YoungConqueror territory, as well).
** Margaery Tyrell, who is something of an enigma in the novels, has much more (visible) agency in the show. Her grandmother the Queen of Thorns is the Chessmaster behind House Tyrell, visibly teaches Margaery everything she knows. Notably, she's the only person able to reign in [[TheCaligula King Joffrey]] with any consistency, she instantly gains the love of the common people, and when [[spoiler: Tommen ascends the throne, it's not long before he's eating out of her hand as well]]. She puts on different facades when it comes to protecting her family, and is very much heroic and. [[spoiler: Her lack of the ruthlessness, and preferance for using manipulation and love over violence and fear, which makes her heroic in the first place, is what gets her killed in the end]].
** Arya Stark, once forced to go on the run, isn't much of a threat due to being a young girl, and is surrounded by heavily-armed and potentially-hostile adults which has fostered quick thinking on her part just to stay alive and avoid being captured by the Lannisters. She proves quite adept at using her wits to survive, such as when she uses them to force a skilled assassin to help her escape Harrenhal.
** Although she started out as rather naive and foolish, Sansa Stark, as a glorified prisoner in the DeadlyDecadentCourt King's Landing, is forced to lie and play nice in order to survive and is becoming rather good at it. She starts matching Littlefinger when she is in the Eyrie.
** Despite his rough appearance, Davos Seaworth uses charisma, honesty, and diplomacy to bring allies to the cause of his king, such as when he brings Salladhor Saan into Stannis' service and then when he convinces the all-powerful Iron Bank of Braavos (an institution he formerly tried to rob and who have neither forgotten nor forgiven) into backing Stannis on pure nerve and implacable logic. (This helps compensate for Stannis' complete lack of charisma). And despite looking like your stereotypical OldSoldier, Davos has only once drawn his sword, and clearly prefers to get by on his considerable intelligence than with violence.
** After losing his sword hand, Jaime is forced to rely on his wits and cunning to achieve his desires, such as playing on Steelshanks' sense of self-preservation to help him rescue Brienne.
** Bronn is this crossed with ActionHero. In his fight against Ser Vardis at the Eyrie, he declines a shield and constantly dodges out of Vardis' way until he's too tired to resist Bronn, who kills him. When he and Jaime are intercepted by some Dornish soldiers, he tries to avoid (or at least delay) a direct confrontation by coming up with a cover story about their being stranded. If Jaime hadn't ruined it, he might have succeeded.
** Grey Worm incites the slave revolt that topples Meereen from within.
* Methos from ''Series/{{Highlander}}''. An immortal at least 5,000 years old not because he's the greatest fighter, but because he is a clever, slippery and ManipulativeBastard who will do almost anything to survive.
* ''Series/HogansHeroes'' kept an espionage/sabotage operation going in a Luftstalag for three years.
* Dr. James Wilson of ''Series/{{House}}'' is the only person in the series who has successfully manipulated the title character multiple times. Not only that, but he's less of an AntiHero than almost the entire rest of the cast. The title character is additionally a Guile AntiHero ManipulativeBastard.
%%* Clayton Webb, the recurring CIA contact in ''Series/{{JAG}}''.
%%* Ed Deline, from ''LasVegas''.
* From ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', Leverage Consulting and Associates as a group. They're a group of top-notch thieves who teamed up to take down even worse crooks. All of them (save [[NoSocialSkills Parker]]) are fairly good at deception. [[ConMan Sophie Devaraux's]] primary skill is "Grifter," meaning she never has to use force, or stealth. She says it herself - if she's doing her job right, the mark opens the door ''for'' her and lets her take what she wants. Hardison is primarily the TechnoWizard, but he's just shy of Sophie when it comes to a con (TruthInTelevision: Social Engineering attacks are probably the most common way someone accesses a computer system they're not supposed to). However,[[ManipulativeBastard Nate Ford]] has the title of "Mastermind" - he ''used'' to be the thieves' bane as an insurance agent, but when he went rogue, he becomes increasingly devious with his scheming. You always know the mark is screwed, but you never know quite ''how'' until Nate lays it out in the last act.
%%* Dr. Cal Lightman from ''Series/LieToMe''.
%%* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Desmond Hume in Flash-Sideways.
* Robert Goren from ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent''. He knows exactly how to push people's buttons, and has manipulated many a criminal into a confession through his understanding of their psychology.
* On ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU'', Nick Amaro is most likely to use [[ManipulativeBastard emotional manipulation]], [[ConsummateLiar flat-out lies]], and [[TheCharmer his own personal charm]] to ferret out information and induce a suspect to confess. Amaro's arrival coincides with the showrunner of the aforementioned ''Criminal Intent'', Warren Leight, taking over at SVU.
* Malcolm from ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle''. Showcased when [[SadistTeacher Mr. Hurkabee]] encourages the class to cheat on an Academic Decathlon and Malcolm obliges… [[spoiler:by giving ''every single team'' the answers to ''all the questions'', to the point when they are blurting out the answer before the questioner even begins to ask,]] in an elegantly simple plan that must be seen to be appreciated.
** Or before that, when Hurkabee devised a ranking system to make the students compete with each other. When Malcolm failed to convince the others to rebel, he stopped bothering. [[spoiler: Instead, he started over-achieving to such a degree that the others pushed themselves harder and harder to catch up, eventually culminating in a class-wide nervous breakdown that publicly humiliated the teacher.]]
** Younger brother Dewey evolves into this. Not as strong as Reese or clever as Malcolm, he starts as the put-upon punching bag but learns how to work the arrogant, short tempered and frequently distracted nature of the show's cast to his advantage.
%%** Lois and Hal also have their moments, getting some real zingers past their sons.
* ''Series/{{Maverick}}'':
** Brett and Bart Maverick move through the west as gamblers and con men.
** Their dad outclasses them both. He was sold a gold mine the sellers ''knew'' was worthless [[spoiler:-and convinced the sellers there was still gold in there and ''sold it back to them''. Oh, and helped his fiance and her lover elope.]]
* Patrick Jane from ''Series/TheMentalist'' turned into this after using his "powers" as a psychic got his family murdered. New CBI boss Molly Hightower demonstrates impressive signs in her introductory episode, [[ManipulativeBastard identifying a threat that will actually make Jane think before he acts too outrageously]], then setting up a situation giving Jane the opportunity to pull off one of his stunts when normal police methods aren't working, and finally engaging in a bit of IKnowYouKnowIKnow with Jane to make him aware she let him get away with it. Jane is impressed with the new boss.
* Guinevere from ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' is quite good at this; in lieu of any combat abilities, she would often use a blend of logic and guile to simply ''talk'' various antagonists into doing exactly what she wanted.
%%* ''[[Series/MissionImpossible The Impossible Missions Force]]''.
* Series/{{NCIS}} Agent Tony [=DiNozzo=], usually via ObfuscatingStupidity to make others lower their guard. A prime example is when he's being interrogated by [[BadassIsraeli Mossad Director Eli David]], and he successfully tricks Eli into revealing his agenda in front of the very people he was playing.
* The title character of ''Series/{{Nikita}}'' starts off her new series exemplifying this [[spoiler: when you find out that Alex, the new recruit into Division, is a ''[[TheMole plant that Nikita trained to be recruited into Division]]'']]. And all her actions at the start of the episode, an obvious attempt to capture Division's resident hacker and get access to their network [[spoiler: was actually a BatmanGambit to convince Division that she was working with a foreign power because she couldn't get access to the network, and its intelligence, on her own]].
** That's just the ''first'' episode. Listing all the other examples of her qualifications would take up a whole page.
%%* Jarod from ''Series/ThePretender''.
* Henry from ''Series/OnceUponATime'' started the series at all of ten years old, but employs all kinds of tricks (stolen credit cards, the LivingLieDetector ability he appears to have inherited from Emma, taking advantage of his adopted mother's absences) in order to try and fight off the curse he's realized is affecting the town. Since that town is populated by exiled FairyTale characters, he also employs near-weaponized levels of GenreSavvy to spin things his direction (though he wound up being WrongGenreSavvy when [[spoiler: Peter Pan]] showed up). It tends to run in the family. His paternal grandfather is [[spoiler: the first-rate MagnificentBastard Rumplestitskin, but he has the moral compass of his ''maternal'' grandfather, PrinceCharming.]]
* Del from ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'' occasionally demonstrated enough savvy to come out on top after a whole episode of apparent failures.
* [[TheCaptain Captain Mercer]] of ''Series/TheOrville''. He's a physically average man in command of a FragileSpeedster, forcing him to rely on his wits against enemies with greater brute strength.
* Harold Finch of ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' manipulates information, finances, and people themselves to save lives and bring [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney 'untouchable']] villains to justice. Though he doesn't seem to like, and will avoid, manipulating good people, he will occasionally if it is the most expedient way to save a life.
* [[ChronicHeroSyndrome Michael Scofield]] of ''Series/PrisonBreak'' uses long term plans and quick on-the-stop thinking to save his brother from a death sentence.
* ''Series/{{Psych}}'' was doing this before the Mentalist with the protagonist Shawn Spencer. Posing as a "psychic detective," he uses nothing more but his sublime deduction skills from a childhood of intense training from his father along with eidetic memory (inherited from his mother) to charm people, catch bad guys and solve cases.
** Even when he is acting goofy, there is some level of this. His goofy demeanor and tendency to show-off means alot of criminals, especially those who pride themselves on their cleverness, underestimate him only to get hoodwinked and caught.
%%* Emilanda from ''Series/{{Revenge}}''. More of an AntiHero, but she has the guile part down pat.
%%* Jim Rockford from ''Series/TheRockfordFiles''
%%* Director of Operations Neil Burnside in ''Series/TheSandbaggers''.
* ''Series/{{Scandal}}'': Olivia personifies this trope. In the pilot episode when she wants Amanda to leave town, all it takes is a two minute conversation in which Olivia describes every way she can ruin Amanda's life.
* Mycroft Holmes of ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'':
** The title character, most of his fights are won through pure observation and intelligence.
** His brother Mycroft, as it comes with the territory of being a Knowledge Broker and The Spymaster.
%% * The Simon brothers from Simon & Simon.
* Richard Woolsey of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' becomes this when he takes command of the city. There's an episode where he saves the day with lawyering, manipulation, and a little bribery.
* Benjamin Sisko on ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' has to be more cunning than most Starfleet captains, placed as he is in a post where he's as much a local political figure as he is a military commander. He's excellent at manipulating his adversaries and finding chinks in their armor (literal or metaphorical) to exploit.
* Jean-Luc Picard on ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' is no slouch either. Watch "The Ensigns of Command" -- after exploiting a loophole in the Treaty of Armens, a document which is half-a-''million'' words long, he puts the [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Sheliak]] '''''ON HOLD'''''.
** In "The Drumhead", after a witch-trial occurs on the ''Enterprise'' and leads to Picard eventually being brought to trial himself, he calmly begins by making an opening statement that quotes the father of the prosecutor, Norah Satie, about suppressing individuals freedom. This causes her to begin an [[VillainousBreakdown angry tirade]] that causes the head of Starfleet Intelligence to walk out in utter disgust.
** In "Peak Performance", Riker gives Worf a tactical scenario; "''You're outmanned, you're outgunned, you're outequipped. What else have you got?''" Worf gives a one-word answer: ''"Guile."''
* And of course the precursor, James T. Kirk of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' is the first guile hero. Sure he'd throw fists and judo chops when required, but his greatest skill was his ability at subterfuge. From lying about his ship's capability multiple times, to disguising himself as the enemy or pretending to know things he had no way of knowing just to throw his opponent off. Kirk owed much of his success to his enemies inability to tell if somebody is lying.
* The "under the radar" winner archetype from ''Series/{{Survivor}}'', who lets their SmugSnake accomplices do the major strategizing and take the heat for it, while banking on a superior social game to win the jury over in the end. Subverted with Natalie White from "Samoa", who was not pure dead weight strategy-wise (the Erik Cardona blindside) and [[XanatosSpeedChess adopted]] a less aggressive approach for pragmatic reasons, having wisely deducted that a female power-player would be nothing more than a walking target in that particular environment, instead just letting her SmugSnake partner dig his own grave.
** Denise from ''Philippines'' is another example; while more proactive than Natalie, Malcolm ended up taking most of the credit as the MagnificentBastard. At the Final Tribal Council, she was specifically called out on using her skills as a therapist to build relationships and win people over.
%%* Elena from ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''
%%* Mr. Chapel, ''Series/VengeanceUnlimited''. His gambits use the services of previous clients.
* The title character of ''Series/VeronicaMars'' relies on smooth talking, wit, and calling on favors from her many allies to successfully carry out her detective work. She's outsmarted the police department on several occasions.
%%* ''Series/TheWestWing'' has Matt Santos.
%%* Neal Caffrey, con artist-turned-FBI consultant from ''Series/WhiteCollar.''
%%** Even more guile is his best friend Mozzie.
* Artemus Gordon of ''Series/TheWildWildWest'', who believes that "when you cannot confound the enemy, then you have lost to him."
* Gabrielle of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' was very good at doing this, given that she had aspirations of becoming a bard, which set her apart from the brute force of Xena. In the first episode of the series, she outwitted a cyclops and escaped from him.

[[folder:Myths and Religion]]
* Queen Esther from Literature/TheBible managed to save thousands of innocent Jews from being slain by a SmugSnake's orders almost singlehandedly, using her incredible beauty, her charm, her quick wits, her PluckyGirl nature and her uncle Mordecai's wise counseling to work her way into King Xerxes's favor.
** Same goes to Ruth the Moabite (an expatriate who was determined to not fall in misery after losing her husband, ending up as the grandmother of King David and one of Jesus's ancestors), Abigail (one of David's followers who mediated between the King and her JerkAss first husband rather skillfully and later was one of David's wives), Judith the widow (who used her good looks to trick Holophernes and kill him) and Judge Deborah (a LadyOfWar and one of the Judges of Israel).
** Also, Jael, a Guile Heroine from Deborah's story who lures an enemy general into her tent, lulls him to sleep, and stabs him in the head with a tent peg. Specially noticeable in that this is one of the few times when ''breaking SacredHospitality'' is presented as the heroic thing to do; the guy was THAT dangerous.
** Jacob straddles the line between this and MagnificentBastard. While he is generally considered a good guy and the father of the Hebrew people, he was also a crafty con man who managed to trick his eldest brother Esau out of his birthright and father's blessing, and after that went sour, he and his uncle Laban took [[GambitPileup turns conning each other]], with Jacob coming out ahead in the end.
*** His mother Rebekah was one of his biggest supporters and the one who encouraged him to go forward, so she qualifies as well.
** Several Jewish prophets were like this, especially [[BaldOfAwesome Elisha]] and [[FriendToAllLivingThings Daniel]]. Daniel, interestingly, is also a ScienceHero, considering the manner in which he manages to persuade the king to cut down on feasting…
** '''[[JesusWasWayCool Jesus the Christ]]''. True, he was a MessianicArchetype, but he was also a master at outsmarting the Pharisés-- often using [[IronicEcho their own words]] against them. One example is the famous "cast the first stone' story; he saves a woman by putting her prosecutors in a double bind.
* Common in Myth/CelticMythology - the Celts considered defeating your enemies through trickery just as noble and praiseworthy as fighting them directly, with truly great warriors being [[GeniusBruiser capable of both]].
* [[Myth/GreekMythology Odysseus]] must surely be the patron saint of the Guile Hero. In an age when most Greek heroes were part-divine, unstoppable, ass-kicking badasses, along comes Odysseus, whose greatest weapon is his mind, officially making this trope OlderThanFeudalism. Having the blood of Hermes, the Greek Pantheon's trickster god, makes him even better.
** Being a personal favorite of [[Myth/GreekMythology Athena]], the goddess of guile heroines, didn't hurt either.
* [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hercules]] was the WorldsStrongestMan, but he wasn't DumbMuscle. His SuperStrength alone wasn't enough for several of his Labors, so he had to use his brain alongside it. When he found out that the Nemean Lion's hide was impervious to weapons, he strangled it with his bare hands. To fight the Hydra, which could grow its heads back, either he or his friend Iolaus seared the stumps with a torch right after cutting them. To clean up the enormous and never-cleaned Aegean Stables, he used his strength to alter the course of two nearby rivers and make them pass through.
** He was also great {{Indy Ploy}}s. Having been poisoned via wearing a cape doused in the blood of a Centaur [[HoistByHisOwnPetard that he killed with poison arrows]], Hercules was headed to a CruelAndUnusualDeath - but then he asked his people to burn him ''alive'' in his own funerary pyre, knowing that it would ''hurt even more'' for a while but betting that his father Zeus would see it and make him ascend to the Olympus ASAP. He was right.
*** A little explanation on the Augean Stables example above. Hercules was ordered by the Gods to serve his jealous cousin Eurystheus. Eurystheus, already having failed to kill him decided to humiliate him instead and ordered him to clean the Augean Stables. King Augeas had not cleaned them in 30 years. Hercules first surveys the area and notices the two rivers. He then went to King Augeas promising to clean the stables in a day, if Augeas would give him a tenth of his cattle. Augeas thinking that it was impossible and that he'd be getting a free days labor out of him agreed. Hercules brings his own sons in to watch Augeas swear an oath, and then diverts to rivers to pass through the stables. Cleaning them out. Augeas is forced to give up his cattle. Hercules walks away not getting his hands dirty, rich and having [[OutGambitted played]] two kings.
* [[{{God}} Krishna]] in the ''Literature/{{Mahabharata}}''. Helped by the fact that a.) He is a god; and b.) He is a moderately cunning fellow surrounded by a cast of characters that live and breathe HonorBeforeReason.
* [[Myth/NorseMythology Loki]], before his FaceHeelTurn, was the cunning trickster to Thor's ActionHero.
* Per Gynt from Norwegian folklore qualifies as one of these. Most of the sticky situations he gets in he resolves by outsmarting the baddie. In one example, he convinces a hungry troll not to eat him by challenging him to a contest of feats of strength. In the rock crushing contest, Per squeezes the piece of cheese in his pocket, impressing the troll by squeezing "the water from a stone." In a rock throwing contest, Per grabs a bird out of a nearby bush and gives it a hurl. Needless to say, he was not eaten.
** Peer Gynt was inspired by Askeladden, an even older Guile Hero archetype who is the Norwegian version of Jack.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In tabletop [=RPGs=], while storytelling-oriented Game Masters tend to leave these things to players, there often are [[ClassAndLevelSystem classes]] or [[PointBuildSystem character builds]] which are oriented towards smarts and talk. The bard could be a ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Dungeons & Dragons]]'' example, due to high Charisma score.
* Canonically, Justin Xiang Allard from ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' is regarded as one of the best Mechwarriors of his time… but not through any factor of speed or personal fortitude. He is, however, one of the most ''cunning'' warriors ever shown in the series. In his main appearances:
** He is first shown fighting a 'Mech twice with twice his size and hideous amounts of firepower… and almost wins by destroying its engine, except it pulled a trick he didn't expect.
** He next is shown on in the GladiatorGames fighting a faster enemy with effective short-range weapons while he is slower, using a new 'Mech among other things, and armed mostly with long range weapons with a minimum range. He wins by unexpectedly firing some of his weapons ahead of his enemy, tricking him into pulling up short and right into Justin's sights.
** Justin next fights in a battle where his machine is slower and has less armor and long range firepower, and he is riding a 'Mech known to have unreliable weapons… so he tricks his foe into closing into close range, having ''equipped a very-short-range {{BFG}}'' beforehand that visually resembles the unreliable weapon. He annihilates his enemy's 'Mech in two shots.
** Now that his modified 'Mech is a known variable, his next enemy (his first foe defeated in the games, as mentioned earlier) attempts to pilot a model of 'Mech that crippled Justin, which still has greater range and more firepower than his machine, and even manages to disable the BFG early on. Attempting to use the tactic that maimed Justin, the other pilot is tricked into shooting Justin's main gun more… only to reveal that his 'Mech can literally punch through his enemy's back.
** Facing a skilled champion who cheats dirtily, he overcomes the trap by summarily destroying two of his ambushers by hitting from an unexpected position and dealing a HumongousMecha GroinAttack. He knows that his rival will try to shoot him from behind… and marches into the obvious trap area ''backwards'' so that he presents strong armor to his enemy, who he overcomes.
** At one point, it's mentioned he won a battle by tricking the enemy commander into making a bad maneuver by giving a false report, using the enemy nation's native language to convince him that it was legitimate.
** Finally, when he is tasked to face an old friend in combat, he once again allows his enemy to fire on him as he closes, knowing that while his foe is piloting [[MirrorMatch the same model of machine]], his BFG can quickly overcome his enemy's armor, and his former friend did ''not'' pay enough attention to the GladiatorGames to remember the change Justin had made until it was too late.
** Notably, when he was once tasked to go in a straight-up open fight with no chance for mind games or sneakiness, he lost handily to his son, who while a Guile Hero himself is also considered a naturally gifted pilot in terms of raw skill.
** Outside of combat, Justin's story involves perhaps one of the biggest and most complicated scam operations in the history of the Inner Sphere--through a combination of exile, injury, and disgrace, he comes into the employ of the mortal enemy of his former liege lord. For several years he plays the role of a quisling, helping said enemy, Chancellor Maximillian Liao, make small but noticeable advances against Hanse Davion, his former lord. It all comes together at the end of the entire ploy, where the advantages Liao thought he had gained proved to be vulnerabilities instead, essentially getting Liao forces steamrolled in a very short, very one sided war where all of Liao's weaknesses were set up by Justin's advice and machinations to Chancellor Liao… as he was in fact still loyal to Hanse Davion, and taking this entire mission ''on orders'' from Davion.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': while anyone with a high Manipulation would qualify, Changing Moon Lunars (especially Tamuz), the less malevolent Fiend caste Infernals, and Starmetal caste Alchemicals are engaged in a three-way proxy war to see who gets the crown… with the Sidereals sitting back to see who wins and working on strategies to manipulate any one of them. It's also the hat of Eclipse Caste Solars, who are less about "guile" then they are about MoreThanMindControl.
* ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'': The Scorpion Clan is infamously a clan of assassins, blackmailers, and spies, who view honor as contemptible and enlightenment as a lie. Their leaders have a private book of advice passed down to their heirs, a passage of which explains the depth of the clan's deceptions: [[spoiler: "How easy it is to corrupt a man, and how difficult to make him just." The Scorpion Clan prey upon the vices of the other clans as part of a massive BatmanGambit to make the other clans remember their own duties.]]
* [[MagicTheGathering Tezzeret, the Seeker]] plays TheDragon to… well, to [[MagnificentBastard THE Dragon,]] [[BigBad Nicol Bolas.]] He boasts throughout the novels and webcomic that his intellect is second to none, and while he openly admits to being a less-than-stellar magic user, he claims that knowing how to use what you have is more important than having a great deal of it.
* The idea of the Face build in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}''.
** Also the Face class in ''TabletopGame/{{Spycraft}}''.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', Inquisitors blur the line between this and MagnificentBastard. The best, most loyal Inquisitors are this-- though they are willing to sacrifice millions, that's their [[TimeForPlanB plan b]]. The difference between what makes a good inquisitor and what makes a bad inquisitor is the bad ones make sacrificing millions their plan A. Mind you, 40k does follow AuthorityEqualsAsskicking, and Inquisitors are THE authority in the Imperium so they aren't pushovers in a fight. In practice they tend towards ActionHero too, or at the very least have someone to do that for them.

* Creator/{{Sophocles}} treats Odysseus, the quintessential Guile Hero, quite differently between his plays ''Theatre/{{Ajax}}'' and ''Theatre/{{Philoctetes}}''. In the first Odysseus prefers compromise rather than pride, and argues for the burial rites of his worst enemy. In the second he encourages the mostly honest Neoptolemus to lie to the long-suffering Philoctetes to persuade him to come to Troy, despite the severe injustice Odysseus had done against him in the first place.
* Ulysses in ''Theatre/TheGoldenApple'', "smarter than Literature/NickCarter" by reputation, develops a cunning DivideAndConquer plan to take Rhododendron after a straightforward assault fails.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The game ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol'' encourages you to play the main character Michael Thorton along the lines of this trope. He's even stated in the beginning to be noted as a ManipulativeBastard. The game encourages you to get an understanding of what makes certain characters tic and use it to your advantage and by the end, you'll be able to play SmugSnake Henry Leland like a fiddle. In fact, deliberately choosing between portraying a smooth-talking, smug jerk or a calm, collected, professional is crucial to whether or not you can effectively play Conrad Marburg into either backing you up or hating you so much he'll stick around to try and kill you.
* Styled after the previous games, ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'' also fits: with a high enough intelligence and charisma, the player character can effectively avoid almost every fight in the game, and look good while doing it.
** A purely diplomatic character, missing out on the experience from combat, will finish the game at a lower level, but have a much more powerful overall party. The maximum number of NPC followers can wield every [[InfinityPlusOneSword endgame weapon]], all at higher levels due to earning the combat experience themselves. Even if your character doesn't [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath talk their way out]] of the FinalBattle, they can still breeze through it.
* Rachel Alucard in ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' leans even further towards this in ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift Continuum Shift]]'' than in ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger Calamity Trigger]]''. Her goal? To find the Master Unit Amaterasu and kill Terumi. Of course, [[spoiler:the Imperator destroys Amaterasu before she can find it, but naturally, Rachel doesn't lose her cool even when she learns her efforts to find it were for naught]].
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' has Hawke, who can be played this way if you often choose the humorous or charming options in dialogue. He/she can manipulate and schmooze with people to his/her advantage, and is presented as being [[ObfuscatingStupidity a lot more intelligent than he/she initially seems.]]
** Your companion Varric is just as skilled, if not better. The entire game's framing device, in fact, is Varric being this: he's telling the story of Hawke's exploits to Chantry InternalAffairs, he opens with a flat-out lie about [[spoiler:not knowing Hawke's whereabouts]], and while he regularly gets called on exaggerations, he manages to get Cassandra so hooked on the story that she never questions that first lie, and he does all this while in a darkened room with an armed and armoured woman in black demanding the truth - at swordpoint, occasionally - without losing his cool.
* The Warden of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' is a hybrid of this and ActionHero if played as a good-aligned character. If played as a VillainProtagonist, the Warden becomes a MagnificentBastard, instead.
* In any ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' Shu mode, especially in 5 and 6, [[TheChessmaster Zhuge Liang]] will willingly become this in order to keep any Shu citizen's ire off [[TheHero Liu Bei]] or any other officer with a reputation as a good man. At some points it skirts towards MagnificentBastard for the same reasons, namely, ensuring Shu's success while making himself out to be a cold-hearted bastard so Liu Bei seems all the more virtuous for it.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** Throughout the series, heroes of the [[UnevenHybrid Breton]] race, both real and in stories, tend to rely on their wits and resourcefulness to succeed. Even when the fail, such as in ''How Orsinium Passed to the Orcs'', these skills allow them to fail gracefully.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'':
*** In the {{Backstory}}, the legendary Chimeri/Dunmeri hero Nerevar was one of these. He managed to get the hated rival [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]] to form an EnemyMine with the Chimer in order to drive out the invading Nords thanks to his skills as a leader and his supernatural powers of persuasion. In order to complete much of the game, [[{{Reincarnation}} The]] [[PlayerCharacter Nerevarine]] will need to be one as well.
*** Crassius Curio, a councilor of [[ProudMerchantRace Great]] [[CorruptCorporateExecutive House]] [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Hlaalu]], is one. Despite his...[[LovableSexManiac uncouth proclivities]]...he is actively working to [[HonestCorporateExecutive rid Hlaalu of corruption]] and is one of only two councilors who aren't in the pocket of the [[TheSyndicate Camonna Tong]]. He's not above letting everyone else believe that he is an [[ObfuscatingStupidity easily-manipulated fool]] while he's at it...
*** Skink-in-Tree's-Shade, Master Wizard of the Wolverine Hall (Sadrith Mora) Mages Guild Hall, isn't known for his magical strength as much as other mages. (That's not to say he's a slouch in the matter, however.) Skink is known more for his ability to handle situations ''diplomatically'', which helps him act as the Guild Master in a region controlled by rivals to the Mages Guild in [[TheClan Great House]] [[EvilSorcerer Telvanni]]. He's the Master Trainer in [[TheCharmer Speechcraft]], and that 100 skill level in Speechcraft isn't just for show.
** In the series' spin-off ActionAdventure game, ''Redguard'', the hero, Cyrus, proves to be one. Cyrus is a pirate and a skilled swordsman, but relies on his wits and being clever in order to defeat superior foes. These include a [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragon]], a Sload {{necromancer}}, and even matching wits with a [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]].
** In the series' backstory, Tiber Septim, the [[FounderOfTheKingdom founder]] of the Third Tamriellic Empire who [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascended after his death]] as [[DeityOfHumanOrigin Talos]], the Ninth Divine, is considered one (at least [[WrittenByTheWinners in the more orthodox tales]]). Whenever overwhelming force wasn't enough to accomplish his goals, he'd find creative alternatives. The more heretical tales of his life instead paint him as a ManipulativeBastard, who wasn't above betrayal and using assassination get what he desired.
---> ''"If you are of no use to Tiber Septim, he will see to it that you are of no use to his enemies either..."''
** Also from the backstory, the ancient Yokudan ({{Precursors}} of the Redguards) hero Frandar Hunding was on as the leader of the [[TheOrder Ansei]] during the War of the Singers. Vastly outnumbered (Hira's forces outnumbered the Ansei ''thirty to one'') and, despite their skills, woefully unprepared to form into an organized army, Frandar devised the "Hammer and Anvil" strategy to get around the weaknesses of his army. He devised a plan of seven battles, each leading Hira's forces deeper and deeper into the Yokudan wilderness. The first six battles had no clear winner, as was Frandar's intention, but drew Hira's force further and further out. In the seventh battle, at the foot of Mount Hattu (where Frandar lived as a hermit for 30 years while writing the Book of Circles), the "hammer" struck. Frandar's Ansei [[CurbStompBattle killed over three-hundred thousand]] of Hira's men, winning the war.
* This is also true in the ''Videogame/{{Fallout}}'' games, where you gain extra XP and other rewards for succeeding at speech challenges. There are also perks that open extra dialog options with various characters.
** VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas -- though obviously only if you choose to play your character that way, but there are a number of situations that, with a sufficiently high Speech skill, you can talk your way out of without firing a shot.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', King Edgar Roni Figaro plays lipservice to the Empire to keep his people safe, but secretly supports [[LaResistance The Returners]]. Some of his guile hero moments are tricking Kefka into believing they will hand over Terra, just to flee with [[GentlemanThief Locke]] and Terra and have the castle dive in the sand to safety, outwitting [[OmnicidalManiac Kefka]]. Later, he uses some of the escaped thieves ''he imprisoned'' to find his castle after the collapse.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'':
** Princess Caeda from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight'' and ''VideoGame/FireEmblemMysteryOfTheEmblem''. While her boyfriend and local MagneticHero Marth is able to recruit some allies to the crew, it is Caeda who can influence the most amount of characters to join in, simply by going up to them in battle and talking to them.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade'':
*** Elphin, who is the brains of [[LaResistance the West Isles resistence]] while Lalam is the heart and Echidna is the brawns and leader. [[spoiler: He is also Prince Mildain of Etruria, thought to have died in an accident, but no one is supposed to know that. At least not until the war is over and he can return home safely.]]
*** Roy, the hero of the game, is this and an ActionHero. [[spoiler: He finds out about Elphin's identity almost on his own, after all.]]
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'' has ''two'' of these: Prince Ephraim of Renais does this by being TheStrategist and making guerrilla tactics a complement of his [[BladeOnAStick spear-using skills]], whereas his FriendlyRival (and [[BestFriendsInLaw possible brother-in-law]]) Prince Innes of Frelia is the lead of the Frelian spy network. Ephraim's twin sister (and Innes' [[BattleCouple potential girlfriend and partner]]) Princess Eirika aims to become a guile heroine, but she is more of an {{all loving hero}}ine - using her kindness and charisma rather than deceit and tactics, alongside [[HeroesPreferSwords her swordmanship]].
** [[PlayerCharacter The player]] will become this in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening''. Or better said, the PlayerCharacter aka the Avatar - a mysterious young man or woman who belongs to the Tactician Class (able to [[MagicKnight use both magic tomes and swords]]). S/he becomes the advisor and best friend (and prospect love interest in the case of a girl!Avatar) of Prince Chrom of Ylisse, serving as his NumberTwo in his BadassCrew, the Shepherds. [[spoiler: And then it turns out that s/he is also the BigBadFriend, as the potential host for a Dark God. And his/her biggest goal is to go "ScrewDestiny" so this won't happen.]]
* Every protagonist in ''Franchise/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' is one. There's no fighting option (that would contradict the point of the genre) so you have to outsmart the bad guys to survive.
* This is the predominant hero in Creator/{{Sierra}}'s games from the 80s, including ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest'', ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'', ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'' and numerous one shots. Very few of them had fighting options, requiring the protagonist - and player - to use his head.
* The [[AnAdventurerIsYou Unnamed Hero]] from the ''Videogame/QuestForGlory'' games (another Creator/{{Sierra}} series) invariably comes up against evil sorcerers/{{Eldritch Abomination}}s that are far too powerful for him to deal with via any means but outwitting them.
** Though by the final game the Hero is potentially powerful enough to just straight-up kill the Dragon of Doom instead of sealing it away like he'd usually do.
* ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'': [[spoiler: Ash Crimson turns out to be this, thus him being the literal embodiment of the Joker card]].
** Kyo Kusanagi's mother Shizuka is a soft-spoken but ''incredibly'' sly and plucky YamatoNadeshiko, and the KOF: KYO manga makes her this through and through. Specially by subduing Eiji Kisaragi with words alone (and pointing her naginata at him) and via hilariously showing her own husband Saisyu ''why'' he should NEVER go out behind her back.
** On top of being a ColonelBadass and ActionHero, Heidern can play the role of Guile Hero pretty well when it's needed. He gets his first try in KOF 99 and 2000, when he and the Ikari Warriors are tasked with investigating NESTS through the KOF tournament, and he does this again in XIII cia organizing and leading an Investigation Team (with Seth, Blue Mary, Ramon and Vanessa as its members), to check on the mysterious circumstances surrounding Those Of The Past -- and this is ''alongside'' always sending out the Ikari Warriors into the battlefield itself as well. [[spoiler: Too bad Ash is just as guile-ful and manages to perform his plan even ''with Heidern and Co. around''.]]
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** Commander Shepard will be a Guile Hero if played strongly Paragon and a MagnificentBastard if played strongly Renegade.
** [[BadassBookworm Liara T'Soni]] [[CharacterDevelopment evolves]] into one of these by ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''.
* Creator/NipponIchi loves this trope:
** Seraph Lamington from ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'' basically manipulated the entire plot of the first game.
** Virtuous from ''Videogame/{{Soul Nomad|AndTheWorldEaters}}'' designed a plan to solve the real problem with the world.
** Mr. Champloo was part of a BatmanGambit orchestrated by his boss to counter the scheme of the BigBad of ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 3|AbsenceOfJustice}}''.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'' series of games allows the player with high Leadership to pass through diplomatically, an avoid picking a side amongst the factions, at least up until the endgame. A powerful shaper/lifecrafter can summon Mons and arrange them tactically enough to avoid all personal contact with battle.
* Lillet Blan in ''VideoGame/GrimGrimoire'' out foxes the devil in a display of cunning that even impresses her demon teacher.
* ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' :
** Most of the games require the player to develop some skills with this with the demon talk mechanic, as you really have zero hope of advancing if you do not learn to interact with demons, learning to flatter, bribe and deceive them into serving you, helping you, or just leaving you alone.
** ''[[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Persona]]'':
*** Naoto Shirogane from ''VideoGame/Persona4'', especially seen when [[spoiler: she intentionally gets herself kidnapped in hopes of figuring out who the kidnapper was while at the same time completely expecting the "Investigation Team" to come rescue her. That being said, Kanji ''does'' chew her out for putting herself in danger]].
*** The protagonists from ''VideoGame/Persona3'' and ''4'', who save almost everyone around them with words and simple emotional guidance.
*** The protagonist from ''VideoGame/Persona5'' takes it even further; besides his talents as a pseudo-therapist, he's constantly noted to be a trickster at heart, can negotiate with enemy Shadows, [[spoiler:and he's even able to play his team's traitor like a fiddle]].
* In ''Videogame/PlanescapeTorment'', monsters and goons will often force physical confrontations, but it is very, very rare to have an actual story objective that can only be achieved with violence. Usually, smooth talking, quick thinking, or outright deceit can carry the day every bit as easily as barreling in and breaking things.
** In fact, there are only ''two'' instances in the game where violence is required. [[spoiler: Even the FinalBoss can be [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath talked to death.]]]]
* Franchise/ProfessorLayton. Helps that the games he's in revolve entirely around solving puzzles. Mind you, he actually engages into a sword fight in ''Diabolical Box'', but only to defend himself from a deluded villain.
* [[spoiler:Elaine Marley-Threepwood]] in ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland''. [[spoiler:She laid down an intricate master plan, used her charm back in Chapter 2 to make sure Guybrush would play his part in said plan, and repeatedly engaged in swordplay and (in one case) naval warfare to help move things along.]]
* [[spoiler:Kratos Aurion]] in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia.'' [[spoiler: His plan to let a human wield the Eternal Sword relies on him repeatedly betraying the party and playing both sides so that he can finally {{d|eathSeeker}}ie. [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor He constantly switches sides]] because he's torn between preventing a FullCircleRevolution (side with Mythos) and stopping an InstrumentalityPlot (side with Lloyd) until the end,]] and although it is his sword skills that are commented on the most, his plotting does a lot more to drive the story forward.
** Fittingly, as he's supposed to be [[spoiler: Kratos' [[{{Foil}} replacement and foil]], Zelos Wilder should qualify. He, too, plays multiple sides of the conflict, intending to stick with the side that has the greatest chance of success.]] This term works best [[spoiler: if you take the route that keeps him alive: he betrays his original allies, Cruxius, at the last minute, just so he can obtain the Eternal Ring. In the other ending, he's just a lying liar who lies… and then [[SuicideByCop di]][[DeathSeeker es]]]]. Not to mention he's probably had to deal with a ''lot'' of political shenanigans on the side, growing up as [[spoiler: The Chosen in Meltokio and all]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' will make you one if you want to beat the game without hurting anyone. Most of your enemies are very persistent in their desire to kill you, and the pacifist player has to get creative in order to calm down the Legion of monsters.
* Clementine of ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'', as part of being a girl KidHero, just doesn't have the raw strength to tackle many challenges head-on. That said, she's very spry, clever, and quick to learn how to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, working well with other members of her groups ([[RagtagBunchOfMisfits most of the time]]). She's also a crack shot with a handgun.
* Arguably, Johnny Cage from ''{{Franchise/MortalKombat}}'' has become this after CharacterDevelopment. He's not military, a warrior monk, an Edenian with a thousand-year lifespan's worth of training, or a god. He's an actor who signed on initially [[AndYouThoughtItWasAGame to shut up some tabloids]] and quickly (but far too late) figured out he was ''way'' in over his head. But his MotorMouth [[YouFightLikeACow taunting of his opponents]], ObfuscatingStupidity, and [[IndyPloy quick thinking]] (in the [[Film/MortalKombat Movie]], he had no chance of defeating Goro in a straight fight, so he tricked Goro [[DisneyVillainDeath into making a fatal mistake instead]]) means that while he's chronically underestimated by ally and enemy alike, there's a ''reason'' he has the position of Earthrealm (and Raiden's) champion after Liu Kang's death and corruption.


[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'':
** Mia Fey combines this with StealthMentor, often delivering cryptic clues to Phoenix about the weaknesses she spots in the witnesses and prosecutors. Phoenix himself turns into one by the time of ''Apollo Justice'', pulling of a truly impressive and long running BatmanGambit.
** The PlayerCharacter, no matter the installment. You play as either a defense attorney or a prosecutor, and bring criminals to justice only with wits, rhetoric and evidence.
* The protagonists of the ''Franchise/{{Danganronpa}}'' franchise are of this type. [[HopeBringer Makoto]] [[BornLucky Naegi]] of the first game and [[BadassNormal Hajime]] [[AmnesiacHero Hinata]] of the second game often have to defeat their opponents with their minds since, well, the circumstances make physical resistance foolhardy at the least. Then in ''VisualNovel/NewDanganRonpaV3'', Kaede Akamatsu is able to lie during Class Trials about the evidence she has and give false information in order to get the culprit.
* In ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'':
** Keiichi has a remarkable gift for knowing exactly what motivates people and how to convince them to do what he wants; see the Atonement finale, where he successfully persuades a psychotic would-be murderer to realise the evil of her crimes and seek help.
** Mion is easily bored by academic studying, but is a genius leader and strategist [[spoiler:(…who once led a team of about seven teenagers to victory against a crack team of trained government agents, using only a friend's well-placed traps, knowledge of the terrain, and a small modicum of martial skill)]]. Interestingly, the gaming club she formed tends to attract these kinds of people- probably because in said club, cheating and anticipating how others will play is explicitly the only way to win, because everyone else is cheating too. And since humiliating 'punishment games' are always assigned to the one who comes in last, no one wants to lose.
%%** [[spoiler:Rika Furude]] serves as the heroic analogue to [[spoiler:Miyo Takano]].
* ''VisualNovel/MajiDeWatashiNiKoiShinasai'' has Yamato Naoe, who is one of the most forward protagonists in visual novels, mainly through manipulating and outsmarting people.
* ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'':
** Junpei, the PlayerCharacter, can influence the other characters into doing what he wants with rhetoric. The most prominent usage of his cleverness is when getting people to go through the numbered door he wants: infamously done (if the player so wishes) with Door 3[[note]]he tricks three people into opening that door (which nobody wanted to explore) with him just so he could be with his love interest[[/note]], and also the voting for the third set of numbered doors[[note]]he switches his voting paper depending on the player's choice with the other characters none the wiser (except Ace if you take Door 1)[[/note]]. What's more, Junpei tricks a murderer into confessing with bluffs in one of the endings.
** June, AKA Akane, [[spoiler:AKA ''the person who kidnapped all the characters including Junpei'']], looks like a harmless CloudCuckoolander with ocassional fever bursts, but [[spoiler:gets Ace to murder his three business partners just by predicting how he would act when given the chance and means to kill them and giving said stuff to him. These victims, along with Ace, nearly got her killed 9 years ago, and accomplishes all of this without getting her own hands dirty]].
* [[spoiler:Battler Ushiromiya]] graduates to this in Episode 6 of ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry''. [[spoiler: And both he and Beatrice take it UpToEleven in Episode 8.]]
* ''VisualNovel/ShallWeDateNinjaShadow'':
** Ritsu is a mix of IntrepidReporter and KnowledgeBroker who really, ''really'' want to play this role. His biggest goals are to expose Suetsugu's evil and find out the identities of the Vigilantes.
** Few would've thought that [[spoiler: Zeyo Sakamoto]] would be able to play this trope straight, judging by his first apparitions, but his route gives him the chance to be this through and through since his biggest desire is [[spoiler: to end with the Shogunate '''without''' starting a bloody revolution]].
** [[spoiler: Yoshinobu Tokugawa]] is also portrayed as this, as the closest to a BigGood in the cast and a ReasonableAuthorityFigure who never loses his cool. [[spoiler: It's next to no wonder that he and Sakamoto [[BirdsOfAFeather become fast friends]] in the latter's route.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Kendall of ''Webcomic/AgentsOfTheRealm'' stands out among her fellow Agents with this quality. When others want to confront Jordan with their MagicalGirlWarrior fate, hoping it would force a HeelFaceTurn, Kendall arranges a MeetCute and pretends to know nothing, learning everything.
* Buck Godot of ''ComicBook/BuckGodotZapGunForHire'' is definitely no slouch in a stand-up fight, but his major victories throughout the comic's run were due to his ability to think on his feet and put two and two together just a little quicker than anyone else.
* Averted in''Webcomic/DominicDeegan'': The title character likes to ''think'' of himself as one of these but [[HoistByHisOwnPetard his 'clever schemes' backfire on him]] often.
* Elator ( "Elly") of ''Webcomic/DubiousCompany'' has managed to overthrow at least one mutiny and one riot due to his understanding of politics… and that people like to get [[http://dubiouscompany.com/comics/2011/05/31 drunk]].
* Terezi of ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' is said to have killed or captured entire parties of F{{LARP}}ers using mind games and politics. She is so good at it that she made [[spoiler: manipulating a literal god into disfiguring and dooming Vriska]] look like child's play.
* To the [[ChaoticNeutral limited degree]] that Sam Starfall of ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' can be considered a hero, he's a Guile Hero. He's not particularly smart, technologically speaking, and he's not particularly strong - at one point being beaten up when he tried to steal candy from a baby - but his ability to cause mayhem through words alone is impressive. For example, at one point he managed to prevent Florence from being cryo-frozen by dressing up as the head of cryogenics (despite only approximately appearing human), lying his tentacular butt off, and even managing to trick the CorruptCorporateExecutive into getting his tongue stuck to a freezing tube. It might be other people who come up with the ultimate plan, but if any stage of it involves manipulation, it's Sam who gets to do that part, and [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2500/fc02496.htm sometimes he'll just do it on the spur of the moment]].
-->'''Sawtooth:''' I don't want Sam on my side. However, I don't want Sam on the other side even more.
* [[spoiler:Petey]] from ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' isn't above manipulating others into doing work for him, although he has been willing to use direct force occasionally. The reason for this is that 99.9% of his power is occupied with [[spoiler: the war against Andromeda]], so he has to make others do the work. He also qualifies as ScienceHero (being [[spoiler: the most powerful AI in the galaxy and thus likely the smartest entity in the universe]]) and ActionHero ([[spoiler: on a galactic scale]]).
* Koon Agero Agnis, 25th Baam and Ja Wangnan from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod''. While one is a MagnificentBastard, the second is a sharp, but somewhat naive WideEyedIdealist and the last is a true-to-the-blood hothead.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebOriginal/LegendyPolskie'' have Twardowski, who outsmarts the devil. More than once.
* Agent Washington in ''Machinima/RedVsBlue''. Church often attempts to be one, but fails more often than not.
* [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]] highly recommends playing Bards and Thieves in this manner on WebVideo/CounterMonkey, suggesting dirty tricks such as [[RefugeInAudacity running past guards wearing nothing but a feathered boa]], [[MagnificentBastard using makeup to fake wounds and reporting a false assault to send guards on a wild goose chase]], or simply knocking on locked doors and punching whoever opens them.
* Ayla "Phase" Goodkind of the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse''. He is genuinely concerned for people and sincerely wants to help them, and at need is ready to fight toe-to-toe with demons, monsters and supervillains, but Phase is at heart a [[TheChessmaster Chessmaster]] whose preferred realm is espionage, trickery, manipulation, bribery and financial pressure. As a ''friend'' puts it: "No one else quite has that ''when I rule the world I will not permit such behavior'' attitude".
* Wrip the rabbit-spirit in ''WebAnimation/NoEvil'' is, in her own words, "only good at getting people to do things". However, she's ''really good'' at getting people to do things, especially when using her disguise magic. In ''Little Bunny Foo Foo'', she and Calamity are caught spying on the [=McCoy=] food thieves; it takes her two sentences to convince them that she's there to help, at which point she lures them into a trap.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Teddy Ruxpin from ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTeddyRuxpin''. Much of the time, he relies on words, gambits, quick-thinking skills, outwitting his enemies and the natural effect he has on people. Generally, he leaves the science to his friend Newton Gimmick and is too nice a guy to actually hurt his enemies [[BewareTheNiceOnes unless they push things too far]].
* Sokka from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. He is the one who comes up with the majority of their battle strategies.
* [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Thor]], surprisingly given his normal portrayal, pulls it off in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' when, after defeating Doctor Doom who has changed history to make himself absolute ruler of Earth, goes back in time to reset history to the original timeline. Instead of rushing in to stop Doom from using his [[TimeMachine time machine]], Thor sabotages it and slips away, allowing Doom and his legendary ego be convinced that the process doesn't work, he's wasted years of effort and resources on it, and to give up on trying time travel.
* Rattrap from ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' is the quintessential Guile Hero. Uses his brains and cunning in every situation, will feign loyalty and pretend to switch sides and abandon his team to gain access to information that will really further his team's goals.
* WesternAnimation/BugsBunny. While not averse to pull out a HyperspaceMallet on his foes, his main tactic is to trick them into taking their own fall, confusing them with witty patter and deceiving them with costumes and flattery.
* Dipper Pines is perhaps the least manly character in WesternAnimation/GravityFalls, Oregon (apart from maybe [[AmbiguouslyGay Tyler, AKA the Cute Biker]]). Still, he uses his wits to uncover many many mysteries, much to the chagrin of the resident police constables.
** Also discussed in the finale: ScienceHero [[spoiler:Ford Pines]] discusses how a con man like [[spoiler:his brother,]] Stan never would have [[spoiler:fallen for Bill Cipher's ruses]].
* ''Westernanimation/InspectorGadget'': Seeing as her uncle is an IdiotHero and she's just a young girl, Penny fits this role more often than not.
* WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures: Jade in general, though she's an impulsive ActionGirl a lot of the time, has a number of these moments throughout the series, and tends to be the one who thinks of USING the magical objects they find (i.e. The Talismans) more often than not, not to mention all the ways she's found to follow Jackie.
** Heck, she managed to trick the ''Monkey King'', who is essentially the ''embodiment'' of mischief and trickery!
** Jade is accidentally trapped in the Demon Netherworld and her family tries to find the last remaining portal to rescue her. When she gets captured, with Po Kong the Mountain Demon wanting to EAT her, she reveals that their brother lied to them, and that only one of them can escape. [[BatmanGambit She KNEW that they would fight over who would get to use the portal to leave]], and uses the infighting to escape through the portal before they can.
** In season 4, she also manages to briefly trick Tarakudo into thinking she was returning to the Forces of Darkness.
* Heloise on ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', whenever she decides to side with [[MoralityPet Jimmy]].
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'''s Rarity often persuades other ponies (and in one point, almost persuades ''a dragon'' - she would get away with it too, if not for her greed) into doing what she wants by using her wits and charms. In one episode she gets kidnapped by the Diamond Dogs. While her more action-oriented friends struggle to rescue her, she manages to get out of the situation herself by [[PityTheKidnapper irritating her captors enough that they're more than happy to let her go]]. The episode's {{A|nAesop}}esop is a TakeThat to "RealWomenDontWearDresses".
** Princess Celestia counts as well: Equestria has been threatened by out-of-control [[GodOfEvil malicious gods]] twice now, and both times Celestia has brought about their defeat, not by using her considerable power, but by ''mailing letters'' to her pupil (the first time to get her in the right place at the right time, and the second time to remind her of ThePowerOfFriendship and inspire her to save her friends from being {{brainwashed}}).
** The mane six, ''especially'' Fluttershy during the Season 5 premier. [[ArcVillain Starlight Glimmer]] [[spoiler:steals their Cutie Marks and tries to brainwash them. Without their talents, all they're left with is their wits… which they use to trick and {{Out Gambit|ted}} Starlight and expose her to the town, allowing her to be defeated.]]
* All of the main characters in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. In a CrapsackWorld where AdultsAreUseless, just a little bit of youthful common sense always saves the day.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'' Franchise/SpiderMan is the trifecta in one person, combining [[ScienceHero book smarts]], street smarts, and [[ActionHero superpowered fighting-skills]] effectively enough to take down much more powerful opponents.
* Jerry Mouse from WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry qualifies, as he constantly resorts to cunning to outwit Tom and all the other enemies who wish to capture or eat him.
* WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}} manipulates people a lot. It doesn't help that the BigBad of the series is one of her best friends and has a crush on her.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Creator/BenjaminFranklin. Few people would say that UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution could have been won without his contributions, and he never lifted a gun. His weapons were words. He was occasionally also a ScienceHero. For one example, some of his (completely false) "Poor Richard's Almanac" stories presented greedy British officers profiting off of Hessian mercenary deaths; predictably, desertions abounded.
* UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington, believe it or not. General Washington was only a so-so general but a [[TheSpymaster crackerjack counterintelligence expert]], and used his well-known image as a bluff, honest Virginia farmer-statesman to deceive, trick, and otherwise subvert the British intelligence throughout the Revolutionary War.
* UsefulNotes/HarrietTubman could take dares with an audacity that rivaled Robert E. Lee. For instance, on one mission, she was at a train station with her charges and spotted slave catchers watching the northbound trains for escaped slaves. Thinking fast, Tubman had her company board a ''southbound'' train and cannily retreated into enemy territory where they could use a safer station.
** In another case, she noticed a group of men looking at a {{wanted poster}} of her, one of them reading the text out loud to the others. The description mentioned her illiteracy, so she grabbed a book and pretended to read, which kept them from spotting her.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iqbal_Masih Iqbal Masih]], a Pakistani boy who escaped a indentured servitude at the age of 10 (''twice'')… who then turned back around to help other children in similar conditions by infiltrating the factories, using his "psychological dwarfism" (4'0" and 60 lbs at 10 years old) to his advantage. [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18492_5-shockingly-powerful-kids-who-make-you-look-like-coward_p2.html This helped the Bonded Labor Liberation Front free]] ''3,000'' children from those conditions in just 2 years. Unfortunately, this painted a big glowing target on him for the factory-owners (he cost them roughly '''$200,000,000''' in exports), and he was killed with a shotgun at the age of 13.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehru Jawaharlal Nehru]], the first Prime Minister of India, was the Guile Hero to Mahatma Gandhi's BadassPacifist. Gandhi himself, too: he fought against the British rule in India through totally nonviolent means. Whenever he and his protestors would march, he called up the local media so that when the rest of the world looked at the news and saw the British beating on unarmed protestors who refused to fight back, they got painted as the bad guys. You know you qualify as a Guile Hero when you can show up to every battle unarmed and still win the war.
** Nehru's daughter and political successor, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indira_Gandhi Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi]] (no relation to the Mahatma), is often portrayed one. (especially to [[BodyguardBetrayal Sikhs]]) on [[IronLady Indira Gandhi's]] heroism or bitchery.
* UsefulNotes/JosipBrozTito, TheLeader of the Yugoslav partisans in UsefulNotes/WW2. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Neretva One of his ruses involved blowing up the bridge over the river Neretva to make it look like his troops would go elsewhere, but then crossing the river using an improvised bridge]]. At the beginning of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar he broke off relations with the communist East Bloc, but also refused to join NATO. Instead, he became one of the most prominent members of the Non-Aligned Movement. He also single-handedly held the disparate and not particularly friendly ethnic groups of Yugoslavia together for nearly forty years, and somehow managed to be a beloved leader to nearly all of them. When Tito died, it quickly became clear that ''nobody'' else was up to that job, [[BalkanizeMe and it took barely more than a decade for the ethnic tensions to rise to the point of civil war that broke Yugoslavia into 7 smaller nations]].
* King Juan Carlos I of Spain. When Francisco Franco agreed to change Spain from a different kind of dictatorship to an absolute monarchy, he started trying to groom the "Prince of Spain", Juan Carlos of the Borbón House, into a good successor who'd maintain the authoritarian state. The prince went along with this, publicly supporting Franco, enduring harsh criticism from reformists and moderates all over… until Franco fell gravely ill in 1975 and handed him absolute authority as King. Only a couple of days after Franco's death, Juan Carlos began to institute reforms at an incredible pace, turning Spain from western Europe's strictest dictatorship into a functional parliamentary democracy in less than three years. Heck, [[{{Cincinnatus}} he even refused to take power after the military executed a coup so he could be returned to full authority]], single-handedly saving a struggling democracy, and renounced almost all of the ancestral powers he once wielded.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Pujol_Garcia Juan Pujol Garcia]]. After being turned down as an intelligence agent by the British, he decided to do the job without any government backing, getting himself hired as a Nazi spy and creating an entire army of fictional employees to feed false information back to his boss. Eventually he went to the British again, who quickly hired him after seeing what he was capable of on his own, and became even more effective.
* Mentioned in the Films section, but worth elaboration: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oskar_Schindler Oskar Schindler]], generally considered to be an opportunist turned [[TheAtoner Atoner]]. As written in Wiki/{{Wikipedia}}:
-->He was a very persuasive individual, and after the raid, increasingly used all of his skills to protect his ''Schindlerjuden'' ("Schindler's Jews"), as they came to be called. Schindler went out of his way to take care of the Jews who worked at DEF, often calling on his legendary charm and ingratiating manner to help his workers get out of difficult situations. Once, says author Eric Silver in ''The Book of the Just'', "Two Gestapo men came to his office and demanded that he hand over a family of five who had bought forged Polish identity papers. 'Three hours after they walked in,' Schindler said, 'two drunk Gestapo men reeled out of my office without their prisoners and without the incriminating documents they had demanded.'"
** A lot of the people Schindler rescued had stories to tell about him, including this one from Helen Hirsch, notorious Nazi Amon Goeth's Jewish maid: one night, while playing cards with Goeth, Schindler plied him with plenty of booze and got him very drunk, and persuaded him to gamble with Hirsch as a stake in the game. With--no doubt--a little help from the booze, Schindler stacked the deck and cheated outrageously to make sure he had the winning hand. Then, when Goeth tried to welch on his bet, Schindler said something like "Now, now, Goeth, [[HypocriticalHumor you play fair!"]] and that's how he won her life in a card game.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raoul_Wallenberg Raoul Wallenberg]] has the record of lives saved… All through guile.
* Repossession agents often face angry people with guns, and resort to deception to find their target. Bounty hunters and fugitive hunters often face similar challenges, with the added problem that their targets are often already violent criminals and thus the prospect one more murder on the rap sheet might not be particularly daunting to the perp.
* "By Strength and Guile" is the motto of the [[http://www.specialboatservice.co.uk/ Royal Marines Special Boat Service]]. The similarly elite Long Range Desert Group of the British Army (serving as raiders, reconnaissance, and special forces in the North African theatre of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII) used the similar ''[[PretentiousLatinMotto Non Vi Sed Arte]]'' ("Not by Strength but by Guile." Both of these are slightly tongue-in-cheek references to the Latin motto of [[UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}} Clan Gordon]], ''Animus non Astutia'' commonly translated as [[BraveScot "By Courage, not Craft" or "By Strength, not Guile"]].