"The great William Dewey didn't struggle! He was good at everything on the first try, just like me when I wrote this play!"A form of Stylistic Suck. Whenever an in-universe author or creator not established as being a (passable) writer creates a story, the main character will be a blatant Author Avatar Mary Sue. Whatever they want, their character gets. Often, all the other primary characters will have their actual fictional counterparts of their own as well, usually with one or two traits exaggerated greatly and generally portrayed in the light that the character sees them. This may include the villain of the story being based on a character the writer doesn't like. Most of the time, these stories will be treated as being pretty bad by the other characters (whether or not they express it depends on how nice they're feeling), and the work will often raise implications about their friend's desires and feelings about the people around him that will raise eyebrows. This is all usually Played for Laughs, however the trope could also be used to tell the audience what the character writing the story wants and what he thinks of other characters, etc. See also Parody Sue for the trope this draws upon and Dream Sue for the prototype. Compare Write Who You Know and Muse Abuse.
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The world was in serious danger! Aliens researching fiction within fiction, who looked a lot like an awful high school chemistry teacher, were threatening to destroy Earth if not presented with information on what tends to happen when fictional characters write stories! Humanity was doomed... ...until suddenly, the great Report Siht arrived! As women all around swooned, he held up a hand towards the aliens, and boldly stated: "When a fictional character decides to write a story, the main character of the story is extremely likely to be an obvious Mary Sue Author Avatar." "Really?" was the stunned aliens' only reply. "Frequently," Report explained, "the writer won't stop there: other characters will also have suspicious similarities to people the writer knows, and will play roles matching how the writer sees them. The hero's love interest will be based on the writer's crush, the Big Bad and/or the guy who's Too Dumb to Live will be someone the writer dislikes, and so on. There's only about a 50/50 chance that the inspiration for the love interest will pick up on this." Nearby, a girl suddenly realized how incredibly attractive Report was, and decided she wanted to have his babies ASAP. By an astounding coincidence, she happened to have an identical name, appearance, and personality to a girl Report finds attractive. Report continued his explanation. "After a while, it can start looking like the real writers are using it as an excuse for an Elseworld. In some cases, these similarities extend to the plot as well, with the Mary Sue facing the same problems as her creator, or ridiculously exaggerated versions." "But... wouldn't that sometimes be used as a symptom of Stylistic Suck?" said Report Siht's best friend who is a lot like mine. "Yes, although not always. Does that answer your questions, ugly and clearly unknowledgeable aliens?" The chemistry aliens were most impressed. "Thank you, Report Siht. We completely misjudged you. You are clearly very intelligent." With that, they left. As everyone cheered, the President of the United States gave Report a medal. "You saved the world, Report," he said. "We are forever in your debt." "There was nothing to it," Report said. "After all, this trope is Truth in Television."
- Appears to be the case with Harima's manga on School Rumble.
- In Yes! Pretty Cure 5, Komachi is reluctant to show Nuts the romance novel she's been writing, because she used the two of them as the basis for the lead couple. For a moment, Nuts refused to review it, but a few episodes later, he warms up and started giving blunt but fair reviews so she can improve.
- Yume from They Are My Noble Masters writes stories with herself as a very popular Magical Girl, to compensate for the fact that she hardly gets any attention in real life.
- In Descendants of Darkness, the Count does this, writing historical romances with himself as the male lead and a Gender Flipped Tsuzuki as the female lead, with a couple of twists: for one thing, the books are magical and write themselves, and for another, the actual Tsuzuki gets sucked into one by accident and meddles with the intended plot, causing his female counterpart to end up paired with the book's version of Tatsumi instead.
- Accidentally played in Haruhi Suzumiya. In the culture festival film, the time-traveling future chick Mikuru is a "time-traveling future waitress", the superpowered Sufficiently Advanced Alien Nagato is an "evil superpowered alien", and the mysterious esper Itsuki is a "mysterious esper". It gets significant when you consider that Haruhi effectively guessed their roles.
- Or so it would seem to newcomers to the anime; in the light novels, however, the scene where Kyon attempts to spill the beans to Haruhi about their fellow club-members' double acts only to be dismissed as "too obvious", later featured in season 2 of the anime, occurs earlier in the same novel.
- The original Haruhi Suzumiya series is implied to be this from the perspective of the much more mundane alternate universe spin-off The Vanishing of Nagato Yuki-chan. At the end of the anime, they decide that they should do something literature-based since they're a literature club in this timeline, and decide to write a story about their adventures as a club. Their adventures included versions of many events and side-characters from the original series, but without the supernatural elements. Haruhi is just as much of an egotist in this timeline, so it's easy to interpret the original series as their novel project, having been hijacked by Haruhi who made the world revolve around her (which also explains why her main rival in Disappearance is quickly written out in Melancholy).
- A one-time character named Nobuko from the first season of Ojamajo Doremi writes a story starring a boy detective named "Tatekawa Nobuo", his scientist friend Professor Hadzuki, his friend/rival detective from Osaka Aiko Senoo, and Doremi the... friendly dog. Bonus points for the characters being double expies of not only Doremi and her friends, but also various characters from Detective Conan— in that order, Conan Edogawa, Dr. Agasa and Heiji Hattori.
- All four seasons featured an episode that focused on a story Nobuko had written, all of them with expies of the main characters.
- In Junjou Romantica, Usagi writes Boys Love novels about a very very thinly-disguised version of himself, in which "he" gets to have sex with his long-term crush; later, when he gets into a relationship in real life, he puts a Flanderized version of his boyfriend Misaki into his novels, much to Misaki's disgust. The novels were later written for real, under the series title Junai Romantica.
- In The World God Only Knows, Shiori creates an idealized version of herself in her story, which is basically a talkative version of herself with a bit of Keima's ability and attitude mixed in. The story is something of an inverted replay of her capture arc until she gets mad at Keima and drops a bridge on his character while a smiling 'Simone' sees him off.
- Kirby: Right Back at Ya! has King Dedede create his own television channel- each show was about him, or featured him as the star. In a later episode, he took a try at creating anime, with a show called, 'Dedede: Comin' At Ya!'.
- The first few episodes of the 2001 anime of Cyborg 009 have 007 writing his account of the group's daring escape from Black Ghost. When 003 reads some, it's all about how 007 saved everyone and won the love of a blonde countess. She comments on how skewed a perspective it has.
- In Magic of Stella, Aya, the protagonist of Ayame's novel Stardust Intenzione, is a Magical Girl Warrior with a private life that "sparkle like a star," up to and including having two boyfriends.
- The comic book Banzai Girl has "Katie's World", a comic strip by a mother featuring her daughter... much to the daughter's chagrin. This, in turn, is a Lampshade Hanging on the comic itself, as Banzai Girl itself is a comic written and drawn by model Jinky Coronado featuring the adventures of model Jinky Coronado and her friends battling tentacle monsters.
- The graphic novel Superman: Under A Yellow Sun featured a book-within-a-book written by Clark Kent, about a guy who grew up in the midwest and was a bit of a boy scout. He opposed a bald Villain with Good Publicity, with the aid of a brilliant reporter who was also the love interest and her plucky young photographer. A bit of a subversion, in that the character wasn't a "conventional" Mary Sue (it's hard to write a "more perfect" version of Superman, after all); but was close to being a Jerkass Stu, doing things that Clark was tempted to do, but that went against his self-image(s).
- ABC Comics had two superhero/comedy/parody characters, the First American and his sidekick/eye-candy U.S. Angel. In one story, U.S. Angel takes a break from writing Starsky & Hutch slash fanfiction to write a story about her and the First American with herself in the Mary Sue role. Then she takes a break and the First American gets hold of it and writes something completely different. In the end they're writing about each other's humiliating deaths and their own depraved sexual hangups. At the end of the story they make peace and enjoy writing a Starsky & Hutch slash fanfiction together.
- Averted in Y: The Last Man. Yorick regrets not writing his story as the Last Man on Earth — the problem is that, despite his English Major degree, he only ever likes writing stuff like space opera and Knight Rider fanfiction.
- In the Firefly comic Better Days, the crew tells stories about what they'll do with their cut of the giant pile of cash they've scored. When Jayne tells his story, he's a badass Captain of a ship that's so powerful it commands the respect and fear of the Alliance, has carved out a section of space all to himself, and is surrounded by an all-female crew who refer to him as "Your Manliness."
- A backup strip in Phonogram: The Singles Club summarizes the plot of the earlier mini-series, Rue Britannia, from the point of view of a minor character in that story, the protagonist's best mate. It's mostly a faithful-if-snarky retelling of the events of the earlier story, if more than a little inspired by Hellblazer and containing more than a few clues that the best mate didn't quite know or understand what was going on and is filling in the blanks... right up until the end, when the best mate saves the protagonist by machine-gunning some people and then going and having sex with a couple of beautiful women, something which most definitely did not happen in the earlier tale.
- A slight variation: instead of creating a fictional world where he was a hero, Doctor Doom and the Puppet Master once transplanted the Fantastic Four's consciousnesses into tiny robots, altered their memories to have them leading mundane lives in which they had never gotten powers, and stuck them in a miniature model of a town. Doom "wrote" himself into their lives by masquerading as Reed's Jerk Ass boss, who spent all his time bullying Reed mercilessly, docking his pay, forcing him to work overtime, ridiculing his work, and generally making his life miserable. This scenario is probably one of Doom's Top Five Wet Dreams (which all probably revolve around making Reed's life hell), so despite Doom being a villain even in his own story, it fits the entire purpose of a Self-Insert Fic to a tee. Or perhaps he was deluded enough to think that his character was a hero for tormenting that accursed Richards.
- In an early issue of The New Mutants Rahne writes a story whose main character Allystra is an idealized version of herself, a redhead fairytale princess living in an enchanted forest and able to become a wolf. She goes on a quest to kill an evil witch to avenge the death of her beloved prince.
- Don Rosa wrote this into the Donald Duck story revolving around the "wonderful life" plotline. In the Crapsack World Donald enters, where he never was born, Daisy Duck has made a fortune on this trope, by writing successful diaries revolving around herself and her wonderful life. It turns out she is as unhappy as everyone else in that version of Duckburg.
- A team-up between Spider-Man and Captain America in The Avenging Spider-Man opened with one of the comics Steve Rogers drew before he was Cap. It involves a Billy Batson-like kid named Roger Stevens who becomes the superhero Sir Spangled when he says the magic words "Rocket's Red Glare!" He also buys liberty bonds.
- One storyline in PS238 concerned the super-school pupils reading their creative writing assignments aloud to each other. Dillon's story was about how his rival Jenny's expy was pathetic and useless, while his was totally awesome and made Dr. von Fogg cower in fear. It ended abruptly, as Jenny and Victor von Fogg blasted it to ashes in his hands.
- Dillon: I consider this an assault on my basic freedoms and liberty'.
- There's a category of fanfic written as if by a canon character, often making use of this trope.
Many swweeps ago he wwas betrothed to a beautiful princess, but the flighty broad basically thought she wwas better off wwith some mustardblooded peasantry scum or WWHATEVVER ok wwe’re sorta getting off track here the point is she bailed on him an after a wwhile a mopin the prince decided he’d probably only been in lovve wwith the IDEA of bein in lovve wwith her. I mean if she left him to go frolic wwith some pathetic loser nerd of a— yeah. Anywway. He didn’t havve nobody an he wwas fuckin lonely an sad but still vvery handsome let’s not forget that.
- One example is the Homestuck fanfic basically a story about a prince and a mutant an their shenanigans, written in-character as Eridan Ampora, using the Funetik Aksent that he types in. An excerpt:
quit hogging the keyboard, sockhead! let me have a go! after the zombies or whatever'd been taken care of, my brother came back! so I said "hey bro", and he said "Eddy! You're so cool and not a pipsqueak! i wanna be just like you, so here's the keys to my new monster truck!" so I said, all cool-like "thanks, but you can keep 'em. cause I've got this rocket car!" and then we went rocketing in the rocket car, so the other kids gave us all their money, and they kissed my feet
- Another example is the appropriately-named Ed Edd n Eddy Write a Fanfic, written by not one, but three canon characters. An excerpt:
You keep coming back to that, don't you Eddy?
quiet! so we were in the rocket car, when ed said "gravy!" and double dee said "messy messy messy," and i said "shut up and keep flying!" but then we crashlanded because of stupid kevin's ginormus chin, but then he was struck by lightning! along with sarah, jimmy and the kanker sisters!
AN WE AL LIVD HAPILY EVAH AVTR, THE ED.
No, no, no! This was supposed to be a, a, story! Not some concoction of fantasy and wish fulfillment! Why, if I were a publisher, I'd
let's see you do better, dickens.
- In The Awkward Adventures of Meghan Whimblesby, Andrea writes fan fiction for The Lord of the Rings, and inserts Meghan as a side character. Andrea is a Legolas fan, and likes to ship her main characters with Legolas. These stories bore Meghan, who cannot expect the next surprise: Meghan is about to fall into Middle-earth and encounter Legolas.
- Another Life switches between the adventures of Sarillienne Slade-Browneford at Hogwarts and the real life of her alter ego, Sara Brown.
- In this Lord of the Rings fanfic, teenaged Faramir wrote a story wherein a blatant self-insert is ravished by a fierce shieldmaiden. Years later, Éowyn finds it. Adult Faramir is mortified, as they are not even a couple at the time.
- The play written by Christian (Ewan McGregor) in Moulin Rouge! features a courtesan who must choose between a poor-but-honest sitar player and a rich, cruel maharaja. Coincidentally, the play is the plot of the movie itself, predicting his love affair with Satine (Nicole Kidman), who is supposed to be the romantic property of The Duke (Richard Roxburgh). Everyone but The Duke knows what's going on, and even he wises up by the end. (Ironically, The Duke also serves as a short-lived but very-influential Author Sue, as his only contribution to the play's story—"And in the end, should someone die?"—is played out with tragic consequences.)
- The Adam Sandler film Bedtime Stories has the main character of Skeeter tell his nephew and niece Wish Fulfillment fantasies with him in the starring role. They include such memorable moments as "Skeeticus" in Roman times creating an improvised set of ramps and jumping over a dozen elephants Evel Knieval style on a horse carriage. Althought is trope is Subverted in the first story.
- The film Manhattan famously opened with Woody Allen's character writing a novel with himself as the lead.
Isaac Davis: ... "Chapter One. He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Beneath his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat" - I love this! - "New York was his town, and it always would be..."
- Meanwhile, Isaac's lesbian ex-wife Jill (Meryl Streep) is writing a roman à clef of her own, to his great consternation.
- Allen's Deconstructing Harry is all about the alienation the title character, another writer, suffers from friends and family as a result of this.
- The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor opens with Evelyn reading one of the books she wrote based on her experience in the previous two films to a collection of fans. One of them asks if she based the main female character on herself, with Evelyn completely denying it. Possibly a subtle reference to the fact that Evelyn was played by Rachel Weisz in the first two movies, but by Maria Bello in this one, so from the actress' point of view the main female character during those events WAS somebody else.
- Oddly enough, though, the books were very well-liked by the general public, and by both men and women.
- Diane Keaton's character in Something's Gotta Give writes a play which is a dramatization of everything that had happened in the movie up to that point, except that she has the expy of Jack Nicholson's character die because it's "funnier" that way (they end up together, of course). It plays on Broadway and is lauded as brilliant. Diane Keaton's character is an established and well-regarded playwright, though.
- This is pretty much the whole plot of the film Alex & Emma, where Alex writes out a book in which every character has a real-life counterpart and events are based on of happenings in his life. This turns out to work against him when Emma, his real-world love, encounters the real-life version of the other woman...
- Read It And Weep, the movie on Disney Channel some years ago about a teenage girl whose journal was basically a fantasy story about herself acing all of her classes, getting the guy she wanted, "zapping away" the Alpha Bitch, and generally getting just about everything she wanted. Somehow, the journal gets published, and becomes a big hit with everyone, until the girl accidentally reveals on a talk show that the characters in the journal were based on people she knows in Real Life. Cue everyone in school avoiding her (including her friends) and her having to choose between friendship and popularity. Or something like that.
- The movie was based on a book, and in the movie, the journal got published because her printer was broken and she needed to send her homework to a friend to print out, and she accidentally sent the wrong file.
- Kind of a Deconstruction of Mary Sue wish fulfillment as the character she created starts to interfere with her life and is revealed to be a Jerkass. The deconstruction is that, as a wish fufillment character, she did things that the protagonist couldn't really do and still be a good person (kind of how a lot of Mary Sue fics have heavy Protagonist-Centered Morality issues).
- The created character's name was Iz, and even from the beginning the audience see her as shallow. She seems to be encouraging the writer to "stand up for herself" but is really having her act petty and vindictive instead of taking the high road and ignoring the bullies. By the end, she is absolutely a Libby herself, who doesn't understand why the writer wants to give up on the fame/money/whatever just so she could have her friends back. She was entirely as shallow as the bullies she was created to "zap away."
- In the German film Die Zürcher Verlobung, Lilo Pulver plays a freelance writer who falls in love with a Swiss doctor (Paul Hubschmid) after briefly meeing him and writes a screenplay about a young woman falling in love with a conductor that is based on that meeting and how she wants that romance to continue. The screenplay is accepted by the doctor's friend, a movie director (played by Bernhard Wicki before he became one in real life), who is also represented in the screenplay as the hero's annoying sidekick. As the romantic complications of screenwriter, doctor and director are reflected in the rewrites, both stories move to a conclusion not originally envisaged.
- The Scripts written by the female lead in My Sassy Girl.
- A rare professional example: in Young Adult, Mavis is writing a book based on her perception of the events of the film, neatly demonstrating her lack of Character Development.
- A variation exists in Amélie where Amelie has multiple Imagine Spot moments where she watches documentaries about Lady Diana and puts herself into them. While one such spot obviously leads to Amelie getting a Downer Ending, she nonetheless becomes a Mary Sue in those spots as the documentary narration makes her into a selfless martyr that the world can't go on without.
- During the Batman Cold Open of Thor: Ragnarok, Loki has kidnapped and impersonated Odin. Thor arrives in Asgard and finds "Odin" hosting a play that's basically a recap of Thor: The Dark World, only rewritten to depict Loki as an innocent woobie who just wanted his mean brother to love him. Thor is unimpressed.
- Maddy, the heroine of Mari Mancusi's Gamer Girl 2008, creates a manga based on the romance between her online MMORPG avatar ("Allora") and her avatar's love interest ("Sir Leo"), who turns out to actually be her real-life crush.
- In Stuff: The Life of a Cool Demented Dude, the main character writes a comic starring the girl he has a crush on as a superhero, where all the characters are thinly veiled fantasy versions of his family and friends.
- Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter. Except that he was writing memoirs which were actually about heroic deeds done by other people.
- A variation occurs in the YA novel My Angelica. Ordinary High-School Student Sage is writing a romance novel, with an enormous Mary Sue as the heroine (that, and her story is chock-full of factual inaccuracies...) We see snippets of at least two more novels she's working on, with a Mary Sue based on her friend Cherri in one, possibly a double-whammy Sue-team in her newest idea, based on herself and her Victorious Childhood Friend. Of course, by now her writing and characterization has probably improved a bit, so...
- In Moving Pictures, the Librarian, an ape with a vocabulary of "Oook", was working on a screenplay for a click about a young ape who was orphaned in the big city and grew up to speak the language of humans.
- In The Baby-Sitters Club, Mallory writes a play that makes her look ideal. Her family? Not so much.
- In The Sirens Sang Of Murder by Sarah Caudwell, barristers Julia and Cantrip are working on a pulpy novel called Chancery!, where the protagonists are thinly veiled versions of themselves, except far more competent.
- Cecily of Gemma Doyle makes one, named Cecile. Gemma mocks it mercilessly.
- Jane in The Penderwicks has Sabrina Starr. Interestingly, only the mean person ever says her work is bad. Her whole family raves about it, apparently sincerely... even though the snippets we get all indicate that her work is, at most, no better than you'd expect from a ten year old. Hard to tell whether the author intends the readers to work out the truth or not. Maybe it's just her family being polite because she's ten?
- In Andy Griffiths' "Just Disgusting", Andy makes himself one in his short story. He is more intelligent than all the world's top scientists combined and he can make a time machine out of random household objects. He is also extremely handsome, a fast runner, and a qualified field operations commander, among other things. (Keep in mind that he can't be more than twelve.)
- In Ellen Conford's The Revenge of the Incredible Dr. Rancid and His Youthful Assistant, Jeffrey whenever title character Jeffrey Childs feels stressed he writes stories which center on him and the imaginary Dr. Rancid saving his crush from the evil clutches of the school bully, Dewey Belasco.
- James Howe's Tales From The House of Bunnicula series presents the journal entries of a dachshund puppy named Howie who wants to be a writer, interspersed with the actual story he is writing. The stories themselves are amateurish attempts at science fiction and horror, all starring a flawless, universally admired dachshund named Howie.
- In Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and its movie adaptation, Amy's parents have done this on behalf, creating a character called "Amazing Amy" who always does things a little better than her and makes what they think are better choices. Being compared to her fictional counterpart kind of screws the real Amy up. Just how much becomes apparent over time.
- In Edward Eager's Seven-Day Magic Barnabus, one of several children who happen to check out a magical library book, spends his spare time working on a fantasy story called "Barnabus the Wanderer."
Live Action TV
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch writes a cheesy spy story, however in an unusual spin on this trope she doesn't write herself as the heroine, she instead makes her friends Valerie and Harvey the heroes, her teacher Mrs. Quick becomes a Gadgeteer Genius, and Vice Principal Kraft becomes an evil Bond villain who gives out exploding detention slips. Hilda admits the reason she didn't throw out the magical typewriter like Zelda ordered her to was because she loved to write romances with herself as the heroine and watch them come true.
- Tek Jansen, hero of Stephen Colbert's (fictional) novel Stephen Colbert's Alpha Squad 7: Lady Nocturne: A Tek Jansen Adventure, a reference to Bill O'Reillynote and a series of (actual) animated shorts and comic books. A "super awesome spectacular ultra-spy", Jansen physically resembles (and is voiced by) Colbert, and many references are made to the fact that he has "obviously had hundreds of girlfriends".
- One episode of The Office (US) has regional manager Michael Scott out of his office. While innocently searching his desk for something else, the staff finds his screenplay "Threat Level: Midnight" where "FBI Detective Michael Scarn" saves the world while romancing Catherine Zeta-Jones. Everyone in the office helped him film it over the ensuing years, culminating in a triumphant screening.
- In The Nanny, Niles wrote a play starring himself, as the butler, and Fran was a secondary character.
- In The Single Guy, the main character writes a book about a single guy, mainly himself.
- In Cybill, Ira writes a book about his marriage to Cybill, with him as a Mary Sue.
- In Friends, Joey writes a play as a transparent ploy to try to make Ross and Chandler make up (and Rachel and Monica make out), in which he was introduced as "a handsome man" and all the other characters have to compliment him. Indeed, he even makes himself the main character of the threesome that he writes for Monica and Rachel.
- In Black Books, Bernard's Revenge Fic against a publishing company.
- On Arrested Development, the warden writes a play called "New Warden."
- On Murphy Brown, Jim Dial wrote a spy thriller with a central character based strongly on himself that caused his wife to think he was having an affair with Murphy as, without realizing it, he had based the love interest on Murphy.
- Chuck Bartowski's alter ego that he uses on spy missions is "Charles Carmichael," a Mary Sue version of himself. His continued success as a field agent has led to Carmichael becoming a Memetic Badass super-spy.
- Star Trek holodeck programs sometimes take this path, since the main character literally is whoever's using the program.
- The earliest, and perhaps one of the more extreme versions of someone doing this with the Holodeck, was featured in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Hollow Pursuits". Lt. Barclay, a shy and socially-backward member of the engineering team, has become addicted to his fantasies to the point of neglecting his real-world duties. When in the Holodeck, he's confident and forceful, playing against versions of the crew that were bumbling and ridiculous fools, including a snide, bratty Wesley, a much-shorter Commander Riker, and a sultry "Goddess of Empathy" bearing the likeness of Troi.
- In the Voyager episode "Author, Author", the Doctor tries to publish his novel. He's quite the Marty Stu within it (in particular a Sympathetic Stu), while the rest of the crew are Jerkasses. To teach him a lesson, Paris rewrites it to depict the Doctor as a jerkass who injects the overly-innocent Seven of Nine with a Klingon aphrodisiac. The Doctor gets the general idea.
- The Doctor's daydreams in "Tinker, Tailor, Doctor, Spy" cast him as a commanding figure, loved by all the crew (especially the female half) and quite capable of single-handedly saving the ship from the Borg.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine did interesting things with this in "Our Man Bashir", where what started out as a regular spy story ended up getting Bashir's friends inserted into it due to a computer malfunction.
- Done in a similar vein on Wizards of Waverly Place in which Alex writes a graphic novel and, due to being a wizard, can actually "live it", turning herself in a princess.
- In the Frasier episode "The Show Where Diane Comes Back", Diane Chambers has written an extremely self-indulgent play (based heavily on her experiences in Cheers) featuring a waitress character called 'Mary-Anne' clearly based on her — who, surprise surprise, is loved and adored by all the male characters, is the smartest person in the bar and who is so wonderful that her ex-fiance "Franklin" doesn't mind that she left him at the altar for another man. Needless to say, upon seeing the play, Frasier — upon whom Franklin is based, right down to the incident at the altar — has some criticisms to raise, and he spews out an all-time funny vitriolic speech:
Actor Franklin: Could we just stop for a second? This whole getting-left-at-the-altar thing, I just don't know what I'm supposed to be feeling.Frasier: I...may be able to illuminate that for you! What you are feeling is that this woman has REACHED into your chest—PLUCKED out your heart, and—THROWN it to her hellhounds for a CHEW toy! And it's not the last time, either. Because that's what this woman is! SHE IS THE DEVIL! There's no use running away from her, because no matter how far you go, no matter how many years you let pass, you will never be completely out of reach of THOSE BONY FINGERS! So drink hearty, Franklin, and laugh! Because you have made a pact—with BEELZEBUB...AND HER NAME IS MARY ANNE!
- In the last episode of Cheers itself, Diane is seen winning a Cable ACE Award for a made-for-TV movie she authored called The Heart Held Hostage, the central character of which is a thinly-veiled version of fellow barmaid Carla Tortelli.
- A couple of later episodes revealed that when they were kids, Fraiser and Niles wrote a series of The Hardy Boys-style books called The Crane Boys Mysteries about "two plucky lads who used their keen psychological insights to solve crimes brought home by their detective father".
- NCIS has McGee publishing a successful novel. All the characters are based on of himself and his fellow agents. We never get to find out too much about the book, but it doesn't sound like he gave himself the full treatment, instead glorifying his version of Gibbs. He does, however, express his feelings on others in full, such as his suspicion that Ziva likes DiNozzo.
- Leading to the one and only time that DiNozzo willingly handed Ziva the car keys. While McGee had to ride in the back of the van, with no seat belt.
- There's a really bizarre inversion of this trope when McGee starts writing his second novel, a sequel to the first. The villain-of-the-week starts stealing his drafts and acting out things in real life based on what McGee was writing in the novel.
- There is a hint of Relationship Sue in McGee's character—Agent McGregor—since he was planning on pairing him up with Abby's character. Also, McGee mentions he was playing with the idea of killing McGregor off, but he decided that would have been stupid "because everyone likes him so much."
- Probably not, actually; that was the same episode with the guy stealing his drafts (by going through the trash and reading McGee's used typewriter ribbons, of all things). He was all set to murder Abby because her character breaks up with McGregor in the end, and our nutty little fan thought Abby's character was going to kill McGregor. McGee only told him they get married because he didn't want Abby to get shot.
- In an Australian television special about NCIS, Micheal Weatherly played himself very Tony-esque, walking around the set. He did a short skit where he played all the characters of the show. 'McGee' was even nerdier and more awkward than normal, Ziva was 'strangely attracted to [Tony], due to [her] Israeli-ness,' and Tony was a suave James Bond clone who slipped off his chair rather stupidly.
- The one who really got the short end of the stick in the novel was Palmer (Ducky's assistant), who became a necrophiliac named "Pimmy Jalmer". McGee insists that he named the character after a real person named "Pimmy"...
- In Lois & Clark, Lois is perpetually writing a romance novel. In a later season, Jimmy cracks her password ("Superman") and reveals that the main character's love interests are named "Clark" and "Kent". One is reliable and strong (her relationship with Superman), the other is kind but flaky (her relationship with Clark).
- Julia writes several of these stories in Party of Five.
- Rimmer's diaries in Red Dwarf, which brazenly rewrite real events to portray the cowardly and Know-Nothing Know-It-All Rimmer as a bold, fearless hero who routinely pulls his cowardly and incompetent crewmate's chestnuts out of the fire. When made into a virtual reality fairground ride called "The Rimmer Experience" (based on Disneyland's "It's a Small World," complete with puppets of Arnold Rimmer singing his praises), the experience culminates in a truly astonishing song, presumably penned by Rimmer himself, exhorting what an amazingly wonderful guy he is. The experience is enough to make Lister — who had recently begun to miss his recently-departed crewmate — swear that he never wants to see the man again in his entire life.
If you're in trouble he will save the day,
He's brave and he's fearless come what may,
Without him the mission would go astray.
He's Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer!
Without him life would be much grimmer
He's handsome, trim, and no-one slimmer
He will never need a zimmer
- In Bones, Dr. Brennan is a successful novelist whose books star a fictionalized version of herself named Kathy Reichs... which is also the name of a real-world author who has written a series of books starring a fictionalized version of herself named Temperance Brennan. ("Ow, my brain!" cries the reader.)
- However, their characters don't have the same traits as their respective authors. The TV show Temperance Brennan is supposedly more like the real life Kathy Reichs, while Tempe Brennan in the books is more like the fictional version of Kathy Reichs in the books written by the television version of Temperence Brennan. Does your brain hurt more now?
- It later turns out that she had massive help from Angela when it came to anything story related that wasn't strictly forensic work; when it was discovered that a sex technique that Hodgins did made it into the book, Brennan revealed that Angela had been helping her with the interpersonal parts of the story for some time, and when confronted that the story was not entirely her work, wrote Angela a sizeable cheaque for backpay. This is in line with Brennan, who always thought that people read her books for the spot-on science and was always flumoxed by the attention given to the "fluff filler" inbetween.
- An episode of Married... with Children played with this. Kelly was unsuccessfully auditioning for a show when, at some point during her banter with the show's producer, she told him all about her dysfunctional family and their various antics. Of course she portrayed herself as an intellectual and a shining example of humanity in a sea of idiots. Later on, when she discovers that the producer has actually made a show based on her stories, she is shocked to see that it portrays her (quite accurately) as a brainless slut.
- Another episode had Peggy drawing a comic strip about a loser who so greatly resembled Al that people recognized him on the street. Al was rather upset by this, until he found out that he had inadvertently become a sex symbol as a result.
- On Top Gear, Richard Hammond likes to narrate stories about fictionalized versions of himself. During the Season 13 "Race to the North," in which he rode a vintage motorcycle, he did most of his segments in the style of a radio drama about a hero named "The Black Shadow." While filming the ill-fated attempt to drive the Vampire rocket dragster, he wore a silvery racing suit and reportedly entertained the crew by darting around as "The Silver Flash."
- The L Word
- The first season featured a running arc where Jenny writes a story titled "Thus Spoke Sarah Shuster", where the heroine is a thinly-veiled version of herself. She is critiqued on it (and the title) in a second-season episode.
- Done in an even bigger way in the later seasons with Jenny writing a book (which gets made into a movie that she gets to cast and direct) featuring thinly-veiled copies of the entire main cast, with her as the Mary Sue. Then taken to the next level as Jenny beings having sex with "Jessie", her on screen Mary Sue.
- Max Hammer, the star of Noah's web comic in Noah and Saskia, is very much an idealized version of Noah as he wishes he really was. The villains tend to be caricatures of his family.
- Or Ernesto.
- An interesting take on this trope from Gossip Girl - Dan is supposed to be a talented aspiring writer, and yet when the camera catches a page of his most recent novel, it's nothing but a thinly-veiled retelling of recent events from his life in toe-curlingly awful prose. Not to mention he renames "Chuck Bass" as "Charlie Trout" and doesn't intend it to be ironic.
- In season five it turns out Dan has written an entire book which is little more than (as Blair puts it) a memoir masquerading as fiction. The few things Dan makes up on his own is a solid example of this trope. Chuck's character committs suicide and it takes days for anyone to find the body (he's just that alone) and Blair's character has sex with Dan's, even though on the show Blair has made it abundantly clear to Dan that she's not interested in him and she will always love Chuck.
- The Red Green Show sometimes featured a segment in which Gord, the neurotic forest ranger, would animate short "educational cartoons" about woodlands. Not only was all of the information contained completely wrong, but it also featured Ranger Gord as an ultra-heroic beefcake of a man, surrounded by incompetent woodland animals who just so happened to bear more than a passing resemblance to Red and Harold.
- Not quite writing his own story, but in Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm plays a game called "The Virts" where he can set the stats of the various characters, and he sets his character Intelligence and Attractiveness (if not everything) to 10 while giving more realistic or even spiteful stats to the rest his family. Subverted in that everything he tries to do to make his character better and bring down his family ends up backfiring, making his family rich and successful, while GameMalcolm becomes depressed, hideously fat, and suicidal. Malcolm is obviously distressed over this development.
- The short-lived 1995 UPN show Deadly Games would be a perfect example of this trope if it wasn't so obscure. The show is about the main character's video game being brought to life. In the game, he's a hero named "The Cold-Steel Kid", his ex-wife is the love interest, and the villains are all people he knows.
- Specifically, the villains are various people he knows and hates, often for very petty reasons. The one based on his ex-boss shot deadly pink slips, his former mother-in-law could freeze things. One based on a jock tormentor from his high school days took damage from water as a reference to the fact that the original never learned to swim - a detail the main character had latched onto to feel a bit superior.
- The sci-fi screenplay written by Jeremy Bensham, with its hero Dan Gordon (who looks suspiciously identical to him), in childrens series Welcome To Orty Fou. Complete with his crush Cassie as First Officer Knox, who fawns over him despite his modesty.
- The Castle tie-in novel Heat Wave and all subsequent novels in the Nikki Heat series. It's supposed to be the novel Castle is writing in the show. Castle himself is represented by intrepid reporter Jameson Rook, and all the characters in the precinct are based on people Castle knows in the 12th—even some of the minor recurring characters have an equivalent. And not only does Nikki Heat have frequent feelings of lust for "Rook", by chapter 9 of Heat Wave they're actually having sex. Interestingly, aside from the romance angle, Rook is actually less competent than Castle in several key ways; while Castle is a competent investigator in his own right, Rook frequently screws up and fails to spot clues or work out the correct conclusions from them.
- Alan tries to write a book several times during an episode of Two and a Half Men called "Baseball Was Better With Steroids". All the attempts seem to go like a Mary Sueish representation of himself.
- Also happens in The Big Bang Theory Pilot when Penny tells Leonard and Sheldon she wrote a story about a girl who is basically herself. For bonus laughs, she fails to see the similarities.
- Later, Amy writes a fanfiction about a girl living in the 1800s who finds a time travelling physicist called Cooper in her yard...
- On NYPD Blue, former detective, now private investigator Mike Roberts writes some detective stories with an obvious Author Avatar main character and other characters modeled after cops he used to work with. It's actually kind of poignant, as the Author Avatar shares a camaraderie with the other cops that Roberts never had.
- Abed on Community makes several short web movies about the gang that actually predict plot points. The movies are actually available to watch and in them Abed has made himself such a Mary Sue that he has magical powers.
- There's also Dean Pelton's "Time Desk: The Chronicles of Dean Dangerous."
- "Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps" features each member of the study group telling a scary story. In every one, the characters of the story are clearly analogous to (and played by) members of the study group. Every one has elements of this, but the worst offender is Pierce, who tells a story about Magnum, a young, virile man who is still relevant, pausing from having sex with three women at once to beat up a pair of gun-wielding hoodlums with his Gag Penis. Runner-up is Shirley, who writes a Left Behind-esque story about a bunch of jerks who bullied their nice Christian friend who definitely isn't named Shirley, but then the Rapture comes and she saves them from Satan with her powers of faith just long enough to forgive them for mocking her before going to Heaven. Leaving them all to be horribly tortured by Satan.
- The Singing Detective is the hero of the main character's pulp novels. They're played by the same actor.
- A recurring thread on Barney Miller involved Harris' writing and eventual publication of a novel based on his experiences with the precinct called Blood on the Badge. One episode had a recurring Ambulance Chaser defense attorney character suing Harris for the thinly-veiled depiction of him in the book.
- At one point, Harris is found to be creating a cast list for a film version of his novel. He has cast Charles Nelson Reilly as Dietrich because he's "mad at him".
- In the first episode of the story arc, Chano is incensed to discover that Harris has included a real-life incident in which Chano captured a famous criminal in the book...only he's rewritten it so it happened to his own character instead of Chano's.
- In the first season of Mad Men, Paul Kinsey is revealed at the 1960 election party to have written a one-act play entitled Death is My Client, about an ad man named Peter Tollifson who is "an animal in the boardroom and in the bedroom" and impossibly brilliant. In a Crowning Moment of Funny for the series, some of the cast actually ends up doing a staged reading of it later that night, with a deathly serious Kinsey himself directing.
- In "the Nightman Cometh," the season 4 finale of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Charlie expands the song "Dayman" that he and Dennis wrote in an earlier episode into a full musical. The main character is clearly a Sympathetic Sue version of himself and the plot revolves around his obsessive attachment to the Waitress (whose character sings a song expressing her true feelings of longing for his). Charlie begs her to attend the performance and reserves her a seat front-and-center, hoping that she'll be so moved that she'll finally realize they were meant to be together. Awkward Hilarity Ensues.
- One episode of Xena: Warrior Princess had Gabrielle venting her frustration for being the sidekick by writing a wish fulfillment story that began "Xena was away fishing". Hilarity Ensues as one of the gods had imbued Gabrielle with the power to make her writings reality. At the end of the episode after the power was removed, Xena arrives with an enormous cartload of fish, puzzled by the irresistible compulsion she had to fish.
- A TV show variant was done in Garth Marenghis Darkplace. The eponymous character wrote the Show Within a Show in which he stars. Guess whose character is the Marty Stu leading man?
- Farscape plays with this trope in an episode where John and Chiana get trapped in a virtual-reality game based on John's life, but programmed by Stark. The only way to leave the game is to kiss the princess - the twist is, while John assumes it will be Aeryn, it turns out to mean Zaan, Stark's princess.
- Blackadder The Third episode "Ink and Incapability" has Edmund's epic novel, titled Edmund: A Butler's tale under the pseudonym Gertrude Perkins. We never actually hear any excerpts, but Doctor Samuel Johnsonnote calls it "a huge rollercoaster of a novel crammed with sizzling gypsies" and is eager to patronize it. Baldrick turns out to have thrown it on the fire.
- In Peep Show, Mark briefly considers writing a play about a "Genius unappreciated in his own time named Mark Borrigan who loves,or maybe hates chips". Subverted in that he grimly claims that it is never going to happen
- Happened in an episode of I Love Lucy as well. When Lucy decides to write an autobiography, she makes herself a gorgeous, redheaded Goddess and casts Ethel, Fred, and Ricky as incompetent, unlikeable buffoons. She even fails to do the research on her own friends and gets a number of their personal details wrong (She writes it so Ricky came to America all alone on a boat to Ellis Island, when he arrived on a plane with a number of family members). Naturally, when they read her manuscript, her friends neatly dispose of it, only for Lucy to return home and smugly announce she got a publishing deal. After hearing just how much money she's getting for it, the four are forced to hastily put the book back together before the publisher arrives. When he comes by to pick up the book though, Lucy's ego is given a satisfying blow at long last when he explains he only wants to publish excerpts in their How To Write A Novel series, in particular, the Don't Let This Happen To You chapter.
- One episode of How I Met Your Mother was centered around a Romantic Comedy film named "The Wedding Bride" turning out to be one of these written by Ted's ex-fiancee's husband.
- Randy's story in the My Name Is Earl episode "Creative Writing". It actually stars Randy, and has him with incredible superpowers, a monkey as a driver, he beats up Joy, and it's full of Stylistic Suck dialogue. In this case, Earl actually loves the story, mainly because he's stuck with writer's block.
- In Extras, Patrick Stewart is working on a script about a man who uses his incredible psychic powers to do nothing more than insert himself into a football match to score the winning goal, and go around repeatedly making women's clothes fall off. Needless to say, he has written the role for himself.
- What few bits we hear of River Song's detective novel in Doctor Who are mostly about how incredibly cool and impossibly sexy her main character Melody Malone is, who is basically herself. The Doctor claims to fancy the character. The Defictionalised book is also mainly about how sexy Melody is, mixes it up with stuff about Melody flirting outrageously with various disgustingly hot rich people who all adore her, and torturously uncool Private Eye Monologue sections, but it seems River was intentionally writing in a campy style for humour as she's very good when she concentrates.
- In Breaking Bad, Jesse shows to his landlady Jane the drawings of awesome superheroes he invented as a child. Jane notices that they all look like him.
- When Skyler starts helping Walt cover up his criminal activities she often spins elaborate, long cover-stories that always paint Walt in a negative light while she comes off as pure and blameless.
- Walt occasionally suggests modifications to the stories to make him more sympathetic or even bordering upon heroic, but Skyler vetoes these as less believable. And she's correct; part of the reason people accept the stories as truthful is that they figure if Walt was lying he'd have made himself look better.
- When Skyler starts helping Walt cover up his criminal activities she often spins elaborate, long cover-stories that always paint Walt in a negative light while she comes off as pure and blameless.
- The Sopranos: Christopher Moltesanti produces a horror film, Cleaver, where undead mobster Michael comes back for revenge on his boss Salvatore and his cheating fiancé. It's quite obvious that Michael is a stand-in for Christopher, Salvatore for Tony, and Michael's fiancée for Adriana.
- In one episode of The Love Boat, Isaac tries his hand at writing, but can't decide on the genre (his opening paragraphs, as read by other crew members, are all examples of Stylistic Suck). He finally turns to a textbook example of this trope; Gopher's name is changed to "Muskrat," etc. His fellow crew members are not amused.
- A Saturday Night Live episode from 1996 that was hosted by recent Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes featured a Nightline sketch in which the topic of discussion is a Primary Colors-like Roman à Clef about the 1996 GOP race. The book's Anonymous Author is obviously Forbes himself given the Mary Sue-like terms in which the character "Teve Torbes" is described.
- During John Major's tenure as Prime Minister, a running joke in Private Eye's 'Secret Diary of John Major' was that Jeffrey Archer would constantly send John Major novels in which 'Godfrey Bowman' was so crucial to helping 'James Colonel' that he was awarded a knighthood.
- A regular gag in FoxTrot:
Jason: (reading the reply): "Unfortunately, all editing was finished by the time we received your letter, so we had no choice but to turn down your proposal."
- The Trope Namer is an arc called His Code Name Was the Fox, in which Roger Fox wrote a hilariously horrible spy novel featuring himself as a James Bond clone, complete with unflappable calm, hyper-intelligent problem-solving skills and women falling all over him. As expected, his wife (a professional writer) suffered a Heroic B.S.O.D. while reading it.
Roger: I heard retching. Did you get to the part where he gets tortured?
Andy: Oh, he gets tortured too?
- Jason does this all the time as well, such as a strip where he wrote a proposal for a new Star Wars Special Edition...with himself slipped in as Jason Skywalker, Luke's younger brother who sides with Vader, becomes Darth Jason, and still manages to escape the second Death Star. Suffice it to say, Lucas's response was negative.
Peter: (looking at the letter): That's not an 'un,' it's a little blob of toner.
- When Paige tries writing, she ends up making a standard fantasy story with herself as the damsel, her imaginary perfect man Pierre as a Knight in Shining Armor named 'Sir Galahunk', and Jason as a troll. The knight even briefly struggled with sparing the troll or leaving him for the boars, until real-world Jason showed up with Quincy by his side. Paige's response: "Do you know if they make 'boar whistles'?"
- There's also the variation when Jason will make fanfic works (movies, comics, etc.) starring Paige, usually as some sort of horrible abomination. His proposal for Titanic II, for example, starts with a ship twice as good as the original... only to have disaster strike when Paige introduces herself as a passenger.
- This also applies to Jason's comic book Slugman, whose arch rival is Paige-O-Tron, an airheaded robot with exploding pimple bullets, an obsession with shopping, and the ability to chatter people into madness. Not to mention his and Marcus' Dungeons & Dragons games tend to feature Paige-themed monsters.
- The Trope Namer is an arc called His Code Name Was the Fox, in which Roger Fox wrote a hilariously horrible spy novel featuring himself as a James Bond clone, complete with unflappable calm, hyper-intelligent problem-solving skills and women falling all over him. As expected, his wife (a professional writer) suffered a Heroic B.S.O.D. while reading it.
- The many alter egos of Calvin only ever lose because of the Reality Subtext. The most frequently-seen ones are Spaceman Spiff (a 1950s comic-style space explorer), Stupendous Man (a superhero), and Tracer Bullet (a Film Noir-style detective).
- Snoopy has his "Joe Cool" alter-ego, in which he believes himself to be the Big Man on Campus.
- Snoopy frequently imagines himself as a daring action hero in his stories. His manuscripts are always rejected by the publishers in increasingly creative ways. This runs counter to the other Running Gag of his inability to get past "It was a dark and stormy night".
- In addition to Snoopy himself as The World War I Flying Ace, his story about "two brothers and their sister meeting in France during World War One" had the other two siblings played by Needles and Belle. Reference is also made to Spike fighting heroically in the trenches while Snoopy engages in his aerial dogfights.
- In the Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang-Ups episode "How to Make a Killing", Tom's dad has started a creative writing course and started writing a historical detective story:
Dad: The secret to success in a murder mystery, son, is to have a compelling detective. As Conan Doyle had Holmes, as Agatha Christie had Miss Marple, so I have Superintendent Wrigglesworth.
Tom: Superintendent Wrigglesworth?
Dad: A man who men want to be, and women want to be with. He's got incredible powers of observation, takes pride in his work, and he doesn't suffer fools gladly. Which is why he doesn't get on very well with his son, Tim. Tim is a great disappointment to Superintendent Wrigglesworth. One of life's wasters, Tim has a chronic lack of punctuality and fails to take on-board useful advice, even when it's offered with the best of intentions.
Tom: Where do you get these ideas from, Dad?
- Later in the book, Tim gets kicked to death by a shire-horse. Tom's dad cheerfully informs him that he really enjoyed writing that bit.
- Etna is fond of this on the chapter breaks of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness.
- In Suikoden III, there's Erk de Forever from 'Erk's Adventures', penned by 'Hitman Bravo', aka Ace.
- There was the "historical" play, "Imperial Love," written by Milich Oppenheimer. It casts Milich as the hero of the Scarlet Moon War in Suikoden I. For the unaware, Milich started the war Brainwashed and Crazy and came close to destroying the hero's army.
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Luigi goes on his own adventures over the course of the game that mirror Mario's, including gathering his own team of partners. He tells Mario a series of stories about his travels, which are highly exaggerated and generally portray Luigi in a much more heroic manner than he actually was; his partners will eagerly fill you in on what actually happened.
- WarioWare has Wario Man's microgames, which are, at least in Touched starring Wario as the main character in every single one of them. Or barring that, they'll star some random character with Wario's face on them. Or just things like a dog with Wario's moustache.
- This is the case for the second Wario stage (including Wario Man and Tiny Wario) in all the games (at least up to Smooth Moves). In Mega Microgame$ and Smooth Moves, the first Wario stage (which is always the first stage of the game) has this as well.
- In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Klungo's self-developed games, Hero Klungo Sssavesss Teh World and the sequel Hero Klungo Sssavesss Teh Universsse fit this quite well. Klungo's games feature himself as the hero, saving planets from his former mistress, and the accompanying◊ artwork◊ hilariously exaggerates Klungo himself and the actual content of his games.
- In World of Warcraft, the newest expansion, Cataclysm, is about how Deathwing ravages Azeroth. There are a series of quests where three drunken NPCs tell you how they 'dealt' with him while he was passing by in the most hilarious way possible.
- In Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, Episode 5, the living room in Max's brain has a rack of 'ideas for novels in audiobook vinyl form', which can be listened to. One of them is a "Fan Fiction" about Flint Paper, which ends when Flint says that to solve the mystery, he needs to rely on "his best friend - Max!". The other stories are a Dan Brown Take That! starring a Mary Sue, with the Ancient Conspiracy involving Eli Whitney and two completely insane but violent works starring obvious AuthorAvatars.
- Varric, the narrator of Dragon Age II, uses one mission to paint himself as an unstoppable dwarven Al Pacino, cutting through a mansion full of his brother's mooks to confront him. His brother then cowers before Varric, claiming he only betrayed him because he was jealous of Varric's badassery. Cassandra, the other narrator, calls bullshit on this, and Varric admits that he made up a tall tale because the reality was much less pleasant.
- In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, hacking Frank Pritchard's computer reveals that he's sent a number of pitches to Picus' entertainment division for a series involving a master hacker that is a blatant Author Avatar. He gets rebuffed every time, and the latest email has the guy he's pitching to replying that the concept just isn't very interesting, compared with a rugged, at-times violent ex-cop like Adam Jensen.
- In Gardenscapes 2, Austin the butler is sometimes seen working on the manuscript for a thriller novel. The main character is an "intrepid butler" named Caustin.
- The second Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan has Christine Kamogawa, whom you help write a novel that features a rather blatant Author Avatar having three separate men falling in love with her and who end up fighting over her at the end... only to have her run off with a fourth guy. Of course, you can subvert this trope by failing, which sees each of these endeavors fail spectacularly.
- In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Loveable Sex Maniac Hlaalu Councilor Crassius Curio is this. He has written a semi-pornographic play called The Lusty Argonian Maid in which "Crantius Colto" is the main character getting his "spear" polished by the eponymous Argonian Maid. It was so popular that it received a sequel come Skyrim.
- Borderlands 2: Subverted in "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep," a Dungeons & Dragons-type game where Tiny Tina makes a story for Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai to play through. The goal of the game is to rescue the missing queen, and considering both Tina's personality and everything else she's put in the story, it's clear that the queen will be played by her. In the end, it turns out to be Butt Stallion, Handsome Jack's horse made out of diamonds.
Mordecai: I... don't know why I'm surprised.
Brick: [tearfully] She... is... beautiful!
- Downplayed in Sonic Mania's exclusive "& Knuckles" ending when playing as Knuckles, as the events of the game turned out to be from a book he was reading to animal friends, called Sonic Mania & Knuckles. Sonic and Tails are appropriately baffled by this.
- I. M. Meen: The titular villain writes fanfics about himself to boost his already huge ego. You find exerpts from four of his completed ones- "Meen, Dinosaur Hunter", "Hooray For Meen", "Meen Goes To Mars", and "The Temple Of Meen"- on cell doors. Unfortunatly, he doesn't use proper grammar, which has lead to many people disliking his work.
- In EP 5 of Umineko: When They Cry, Bernkastel hijacks the story by creating a new piece called Furudo Erika that is not only her Author Avatar, but a parody of the audience and a Shout-Out at the main character of Higurashi: When They Cry. This is both Played for Laughs and Played for Drama at different points of the story.
- In the Powered By The Cheat toons on Homestar Runner, the Cheat is wildly popular and successful, and given multiple trophies for no reason. "The Cheat is a millionaire! A parade for The Cheat!"
- Homestar Runner also has the Strong Bad Email fan club, in which Strong Sad inserts himself into a "SBEmail fan fic" as Twelve-Times-A-Day Man.
- After being humiliated in the first part of the first episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Homestar monopolizes (among other things, simultaneously) Strong Bad's drawing table as he works on his 23-part graphic novel about a guy who wins the Race to the End of the Race, isn't wanted for public indecency, and dumps Marzipan for a much hotter girl who still likes him. Or he will once he can think of a good name for the main character.
- Not to mention Strong Bad's occasional Teen Girl Squad cameo as "Sir Hotbod Handsomeface".
- Dangeresque is this and then some, especially in Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, where most of the dialogue and a number of plot elements exist to show how awesome Strong Bad's character is.
- Sbemail 176, hygiene, has Strong Bad make a cruddy hygiene movie about John (played by Homestar), a fifth grader with terrible hygiene and no friends, and Gene (played by Strong Bad himself), "a beacon of light shining through the stink cloud generated by John." The movie goes on to explain why John sucks and Gene is awesome. Subverted in the end, where John goes to an out-of-state college to reinvent himself, while Gene's social life dies horribly in the fifth grade.
- RWBY Chibi: Ruby gets Team RWBY to perform a play about Little Red Riding Hood, but finds Yang sabotaging the skit as it progresses. When Yang and Ruby argue mid-scene, Yang accuses Ruby of being a self-inserted Mary Sue, pointing out that Ruby's written the play to revolve around herself, and used the dialogue to emphasize that she's beloved by all who meet her.
- Kimiko of Dresden Codak writes one of these. Due to her personality, well, let's just leave it as weird.
- More specifically, while it's remarkably well researched, it eventually devolves into a make-out session between Kimiko's Self Insert and an expy of her physics T.A.
- In Irregular Webcomic!, William Shakespeare writes those Harry Potter fanfics where the exchange student Will charms Hermione. He also writes the novelisation of the movie of The Lord of the Rings where he creates the character Willimir (Faramir and Boromir's handsomer younger brother). Willimir is the new love interest for Éowyn.
- General Protection Fault has done this multiple times with different characters, in all cases tending towards the "Elseworld" extreme.
- Friendly Hostility and its sort-of precursor Boy Meets Boy used to have Foxman (Fox) and his faithful ward (Collin) fighting the Diabolical Mastermind His Mind Kills (Collin) from time to time. This would sometimes get complicated.
- In El Goonish Shive, Sarah is creating a comic titled "The Wizard Sarah". Hmmm...
- She's jealous that the other characters have magic, so it's understandable.
- This Brawl in the Family (though Dedede's horrible drawing doesn't really help his case...).
- In the bonus materials of the Order of the Stick book, Don't Split the Party, Belkar retells a wildly inaccurate version of the events of the previous three books that bears a strong resemblance to various works of classic literature and happens to star himself as the dashing protagonist that all of the attractive women in the strip swoon over.
- In Homestuck, Vriska's "Flarp" (yeah, sort of like that) character, Marquise Spinneret Mindfang (note the initials), is (from her perspective) "the best character, and you wish you were her. Oh wait, you are her!"
- She turns out to be a real historical figure later on.
- Most people expected uranianUmbra to be a white-haired, lime-blooded Troll - basically looking like a troll version of Calmasis. When Calliope is finally revealed, she looks nothing like that, except when she cosplays. Her fantroll, Callie Ohpeee, does however. She is also implied to write Lemons about her, but her species' standards of decency seem to differ from humans'.
- Karkat's story in the Summerteen Romance arc of the Paradox Space spinoff features him as handsome, muscular, and optimistic, with his leadership greatly appreciated by his friends. Compare to the scrawny and pessimistic canon Karkat, who was made "leader" just so he wouldn't complain about not being in charge. One of Karkat's future selves edits the story to be massive Take That! towards his past self, noting that the Karkat in the universe where everyone gets a happy ending is nothing like the real one.
- Shortround in the Insecticomics is writing the ultimate in wish-fulfillment fiction (keep in mind that in reality, he's timid and very panicky). Kickback can't shake the feeling that if the story ever gets out, everyone else in the story is going to be out for Shortround's sundered spark.
- Marigold of Questionable Content writes Harry Potter fanfic. Very, very bad Harry Potter fanfic. In her case, less a case of Mary Sue self-insertion as pure awful writing skills. Hilarity Ensues when she shows it to a friendly character with a literature and English background, and asks for her opinion.
- The title character of Sabrina Online has been drawing a webcomic lately and was for a while mystified why readers referred to her main character as Mary Sue. Hilarity, lampshading and Fourth-Wall Breakage have ensued.
- In Chapter 2 of Cucumber Quest, the characters are sidetracked (through kidnapping) into Count Legato's play: Magnificent Prince Crescendo. It's the tale of a gorgeous youth, beloved by all, and the only girl whose beauty can compare to his (almost). Or as Cucumber puts it, "you wrote an entire play about how pretty you are?"
- Tales of MU:
- One bonus story is a piece of fanfiction written ages ago by Mack. She manages to insert herself into it... after switching the gender, so there can be a romance with a canon character. It manages to show up a few of her issues...
- Meanwhile, just down the corridor from her, Sooni is busy churning out a far more extreme fanfic on her favourite anime, Pretty Neko Science Princess, with herself in the title role.
- In the animated segments of KateModern, Charlie depicts herself as a badass ninja who regularly saves her friends from their enemies.
- Amber of Shortpacked! writes a Twilight pastiche (with mummies instead of vampires) which very obviously stars her various co-workers.
- The Nostalgia Chick points this out about Pocahontas, how John Smith's awesome was based on "accounts" of the real (portly, brown-haired, not attractive and blonde) John Smith.
- The Nostalgia Critic is a girly, soft-looking Reluctant Psycho Butt-Monkey who stops the review to rant anytime he thinks a child is getting mistreated. The title-card Critic is stick-thin, hard-lined, shamelessly evil and gets away with everything. Can you tell the difference?
- The website Funny or Die has Dean Norris spoiling Breaking Bad with a script he wrote, in which everyone fawns over his character, who gains superpowers and gets his hair back.
- Bloo, from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, in the episode "The Bloo Superdude and the Potato of Power", whose character was strong, cool, wise, and of course, the star. He was a bit dim, though. The Sequel Episode "The Bloo Superdude and the Great Creator of Everything's Awesome Ceremony of Fun That He's Not Invited To" continues this.
- Subverted with Melody Powers, who is an in-universe Parody Sue, but makes a lot of people uncomfortable (on purpose) as they think it's a real one.
- Another episode had Daria continually trying to write a story about people she knows in various situations, including one where her parents praised her while treating Quinn as The Unfavorite. The final story wound up being a touching, happy scene from the family's hypothetical future.
- The Daria Database, a tie-in book, featured a comic strip called Gothic Nights by Andrea. It featured her as Queen Hecuba, manipulating various other characters based on Lawndale High students and staff.
- Various characters on The Simpsons have done this.
- One episode in particular has Marge write a Regency romance starring a thinly-veiled version of herself, with other Springfieldians as the rest of the cast. At first she writes Homer's character as a loving husband and excellent provider, but after he ticks her off she re-writes him into a boorish Jerkass. Her character ends up having an affair with Ned Flanders' character, which most of the readers assume is Wish Fulfillment on Marge's part, and leads to Homer chasing down Flanders... to ask for advice on how to be a better husband.
- It's a little more than an assumption; a couple of them notice that the main character, Temperance, is referred to as 'Marge' for three paragraphs at one point.
- Batman: The Animated Series:
- The comics adaptation of BTAS had Harley Quinn, during one of her short stints on the straight and narrow, write an "autobiography" that turned out to be a romance novel between "Punchinello", a female criminal, and "Owlman", a masked crimefighter. The Joker was not amused (which says a lot) even after she assured him that it was completely fictional. When she tried to act out her novel to gain publicity, Batman wasn't amused either (which, well, doesn't say so much)... because it meant he had to read it too.
- A possible mild case in "Legends of the Dark Knight," where the Robin depicted in the third story bears not a little resemblance to the storyteller (who's earlier specified that in her version, Robin is a girl, as was the case in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns).
- In the "Woodland Critter Christmas" episode of South Park, Cartman subverts this trope for almost the entire episode (it isn't revealed the story is one he made up for class until the last few minutes), with Stan as the protagonist and a bunch of animals filling in as villains... but near the end brings in Kyle as the ideal candidate to help sire the Antichrist since he's Jewish and hasn't been baptized. Real Kyle gets mad when the Kyle in the story takes over as villain and Santa almost has to shoot him, but decides to let him go on and watches as the climax and falling action actually include him in the happy ending. . . until in the last ten seconds Cartman mentions he died of AIDS two weeks later.
- The episode "Fishsticks" showed that Cartman is so egotistical that he remembers actual events in this manner. He plays no significant role in creating Jimmy's joke, but by the end of the episode he remembers not only creating the joke, but being universally loved by everybody and destroying an army of rampaging Jew-bots with the Human Torch's powers.
- Arthur does this when Fern tries to write a story and publish it under a pen name, giving copies out everywhere around the school. She calls it "Happy Happenings", and actually ends up taking the criticism of the story well and changes the story to be less...Sue-like.
- Also, in a different episode, DW writes a story about "BW," whose parents let her have a horse in her room, could ride a bike no-wheeled, had the President as a "best friend," had a secret base and access to all kind of technology, could do the balance-beam easily... The parodies of her own character as a Mary Sue go on and on...
- In "The Agent of Change" Francine, Muffy and Molly's character Agent Double X is a blatant Mary Sue, but unlike the earlier examples it's never once lampshaded and everyone loves their character, meaning this was likely an unintentional example.
- Rocket Power had an episode that dealt with this, in which Sam creates a video game starring himself. The video game Sam is cool, smart, handsome, and a beast at every extreme sport the gang does. He also programs flanderized avatars of Twister, Otto, and Reggie into the game, for his own avatar to whip mercilessly. None of them are particularly happy with Sam's portrayal of them (although Reggie snidely points out that Otto frequently acts like his in game self, a preening, narcissistic jerk). Sam eventually realizes the error of his ways and reprograms the game so it more accurately reflects real life, giving himself the power to learn moves from his friends in the game.
- The title character of Doug often imagines himself as either Quail-Man (a rather odd Superhero that is basically Doug with a belt on his head, underwear over his pants, and a blanket as a cape) or himself as Smash Adams (a generic Tuxedo and Martini superspy that Doug is a fan of). The actual Imagine Spots don't really give that much story detail, though. A more explicit example is one episode where Doug tries to actually produce a comic for Quail-Man and asks Skeeter for help. Skeeter is more than willing, but also brings his own character (Silver Skeeter) to the equation. Due to Silver Skeeter constantly showing up Quail-Man with New Powers as the Plot Demands, this led to Creative Differences.
- In the Futurama episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", an alien entity named Melllvar holds the cast of Star Trek: TOS hostage, and forces them to act out a Fanfic he has written in which he is the God-Mode Sue:
Shatner: (reading flatly) Alas, my ship, whom I love like a woman, is... disabled. [He slumps back in his chair and rolls his head.] Oh, Lord!
Nimoy: (also reading flatly) Fascinating, Captain, and logical too. Yet we need some help.
Takei: (reading flatly) Look, Captain, Melllvar will help us.
Koenig: (reading flatly) Keptin, I wope he will welp our ... vessel.
Melllvar: Wessel! [Koenig shudders.] You're not acting hard enough!
- In the episode "My Three Suns", Fry refuses to think ahead because short-sightedness has "gotten him this far." He tries to persuade Leela of his life philosophy with an ancient parable:
Fry: It's just like the story of the grasshopper and the octopus. All year long, the grasshopper kept burying acorns for winter, while the octopus mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. But then the winter came, and the grasshopper died, and the octopus ate all his acorns. Also he got a race car. Is any of this getting through to you?
- Fry actually defeated the Big Brain with one of these. After the Big Brain enters several books, Fry tricks him into entering a story he wrote which made the Brain a Mary Sue. Fry died, the Brain won, and then decided to leave Earth "for no raisin".
- In one of the more recent ones, Fry attempts to write a comic book with a superhero version of himself wherein he saves Leela (and the planet) from a space monster. He gets feedback from the crew who call him on the Sueness and edits the comic accordingly, only to wind up with a version of the comic where he's powerless to stop the monster and everyone dies. Then at the end of the episode, Fry creates one more rewrite where he has only one superpower: to wish for a meteor to crush his enemy.
- In the episode "My Three Suns", Fry refuses to think ahead because short-sightedness has "gotten him this far." He tries to persuade Leela of his life philosophy with an ancient parable:
- Parodied in Garfield and Friends in one episode where Garfield decides to try his hand at authoring. The stories themselves show some promise as he builds up some fantastic situation into a full-blown crisis for his Author Avatar main character to face, but each time he reaches the climax, all he can think to have his "hero" do is eat a hearty meal and take a nap.
- In Rocko's Modern Life, when he's hired to help write the new cartoon Wacky Delly, Filburt creates and voices a simple character, Lester Roquefort, but his creative bickering with Heffer makes him more and more defensive until his character's dialogue is nothing but constantly repeating "I am the Cheese! I am the best character on this show! I am better than both the salami and the bologna combined!"
- In the animated shorts included with the Transformers Animated DVDs, there are several "profiles" showing footage of various characters as another character describes their personality and abilities. Starscream voices his own profile, presenting himself as basically the most awesome Decepticon ever and showing a few clips that aren't in the show itself (such as him standing atop a pile of Autobot corpses). It's only until the last clip that it shows a bit of reality—namely, Megatron shooting him in the face.
- The Samurai Jack episode 'Aku's Fairy Tales' was this crossed with Revenge Fic; annoyed by children no longer fearing him/aspiring to be like Jack, Aku gathers the youth of an entire city in a vast hall and narrates bowdlerised, self-insert versions of traditional folk tales to them, hoping they'll believe Jack's a violent bum and Aku is a level-headed, powerful hero.
Aku: Once upon a time, there was a little girl with an adorable red cape... and GREAT FLAMING EYEBROWS!
Aku: There was an all-mighty, all-powerful wizard, and there was a pathetic little samurai... and the wizard destrooooyed hiiiiim. THE END!
- The children respond to each story by hanging lampshades on the ways they go against established character traits and facts. This gradually escalates, with Aku's stories getting shot down after each new sentence for being blatantly impossible and/or clear mixes of more than one folk tale. After several bizarre, seconds-long depictions of Jack being killed and maimed by an entire spectrum of fairy tale characters and animals, Aku finally distils his story formula into this:
- The animated Addams Family had a... unique case of combining God-Mode Sue with Too Spicy For Yog Sogoth, of all things. Uncle Fester's comic Fester Man stars himself and most of the family as superheroes. Despite the villain's initially capturing the rest of the cast, Fester Man quickly thwarts him by being... well, himself. Even using Fester Man's Kryptonite Factor (chimneys, of course) fails to harm him. The villain then gives up out of sheer exasperation.
- The Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode "Pavement" involves Space Ghost writing the show. This trope appears in spades.
- In the Archer episode "Movie Star," Malory allows an actress to hang around ISIS for a day in exchange for her next script and her agent's contact information. She immediately sets to altering the script...by changing the actress' boss to a woman named "Malory Steele" and shoehorning in a gratuitous romantic subplot.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Spike at Your Service", Rainbow Dash reveals she's working on a novel about a pegasus who's a really great flier and who becomes captain of the Wonderbolts.
- An episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy where the Eds recount a story of how they got stuck in Johnny's wall ended up with each Ed telling part of the story. Needless to say, each member of the group sue-ifies himself to one extent or another. The only consistent elements of the story were that it involved a jawbreaker bank and the Kanker Sisters.
- In the beginning an episode of Dexter's Laboratory, Dexter serves as the Killer Game Master to his friends in a D&D clone. The Big Bad of the campaign is a Villain Sue named "Zoraz, Master of Doom", and when Dexter's friends convince him to let Dee-Dee take over as GM for a while, Dexter wants to play an over-powered warrior-mage named "Gygax".
- In the Thanksgiving episode of Hey Arnold! Mr Simmons class made a Thanksgiving play for the school. The characters are really based on his relatives who in real life are bums whose lives aren't really as happy as his play portrayed them to be.
- Attempted by Carl in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Excaliferb", when he tries to insert himself into the story as the ultimate hero. Monogram tells him to stick to what's written.
- In the Gravity Falls episode "Bottomless Pit", Dipper, Soos, and Mabel have to tell stories to pass the time while falling down a pit. Stan gets a brief story in called "Grunkle Stan wins the Football Bowl", where Stan scores the winning touchdown, manages to teach football players about the usefulness of old people, and managed to invent a robot, Footbot. Needless to say, Soos, Dipper, and Mabel do not like the story.
- In "Sock Opera", Mabel's big, musical puppet show is essentially about her and her crush-of-the-week falling in love and getting married. The first song is about how great Mabel is.
- ''Adventure Time', all of the Gender Flip "Fionna and Cake" episodes are supposedly written in universe by characters who idealise themselves:
- The original "Fionna and Cake" is by the Ice King and ends with (after Ice Queen is defeated) all the characters talking about how cool Ice King is.
- "Bad Little Boy" is a story told by Marceline that is all about how cool her male version Marshal Lee is.
- "The Prince Who Wanted Everything" is by Lumpy Space Princess and has Lumpy Space Prince as a prince horribly abused by his evil parents who blossoms after escaping Lumpy Space to the main universe.
- In the hour long special The Garfield Show: Furry Tale, Garfield tells Odie a fairy tale about Prince Jon and the fair Elizabeth, and the handsome and talented cat who brings them together.
- Steven Universe has an odd example in "Garnet's Universe," when Steven tells a rambling, Animesque story about Garnet. Technically, Steven never appears in the story, but Garnet repeatedly takes out a picture of him and claims that he's "my favorite person in the world."
- Interestingly, the characters Steven makes up for the story share voice actors with people he knows, but only one, Ringo, seems to actually be based on anyone—in this case, Ronaldo. Since Steven gets on with Ronaldo pretty well, it's odd that Ringo turns out to be the Big Bad.
- Mayor Dewey tries to do this with his ancestor William Dewey in the play in "Historical Friction". This is depicted and not just bad writing, but historically inaccurate, and the more flawed version in Pearl's edit is better received.
- In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Cartoon", Lord Hater has the Watchdogs make a cartoon based on him, blatantly resulting in this trope; he explicitly refers to the finished work as propaganda. Of course, that's just one of the cartoon's flaws…
- In the Mighty Magiswords episode "Felonious Prose", Witch Way composes a fake installment in the Veronica Victorious series to distract Vambre from her quest. Gateaux is revealed to be a major fan, but even his work can't go without adding a romantic interest named Xateaug. Later, he considers the installment "Veronica Victorious and the Cat Who Has Feelings".
- At the 81st Oscars, Steve Martin and Tina Fey presented the awards for best screenplay. When they walked on stage, they described the scene as though it were in a screenplay:
Fey: Int. Kodak Theatre - Oscar Night
Martin: Two incredible presenters walk out to center stage.
Fey: The crowd is amazed by the star power and beauty of the two presenters.
Martin: The audience members are too stunned to leap to their feet.
Fey: The crowd is thrilled at seeing the presenters, except for those consumed by bitter jealousy.