aka: Hero Worship
"They'll write legends about you someday. When the world was at its darkest, there you came, fire in your eyes like something out a storybook."The geeky comic relief character who worships the hero and whose primary purpose is to stand around and marvel at every thing the hero does, explaining exactly why it should be so impossible. The Hero Worshipper is usually the one who explains the plot to a less intelligent hero. He rarely has much power of his own, if any, and sometimes is an even bigger This Loser Is You character than the hero. Often works as a stand-in for the audience, sometimes in the way of a American sidekick - but with a few notable differences. May also be a Combat Commentator or Mr. Exposition. Compare Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery (if this character goes too far in an innocent way), Loony Fan (if he goes too far in a less-innocent way), The Knights Who Say Squee (if the worshiper becomes a hero himself). Also see fangirl for a more gender specific variation of the trope.
— Shianni, Dragon Age: Origins
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Anime & Manga
- May Chang from Fullmetal Alchemist is a huge fangirl of Edward Elric... Until she meets him.
- Selim Bradley also fanboys Ed which turns out to be an excellent cover for being a homunculus.
- Isidro admires Guts to the point of wanting to copy Guts' fighting style, until Guts tells him that things like different height and speed would make BFS-wielding for someone as small as Isidro nearly impossible.
- Farnese's unrequited crush on Guts usually takes the form of a slavish craving for his approval, and she is often brought to the point of Tears of Joy by any kind word from him.
- Thoroughly subverted in Bleach with Soifon, who was seen to worship Yoruichi way too much before said mentor left without a word, leaving the devastated ninja girl to attempt to kill her during the storyline. Subversion supported by the fact that Soifon holds rank as a Captain in Soul Society, and is thus a very competent combatant.
- Gabo from Digimon V-Tamer 01 admits he'd be more afraid to travel around the war-torn continent of server if he wasn't with the two protagonists. He nags and frets for a long time before he gets any desire to be like them though.
- Krillin in later chapters of Dragon Ball. He's initially The Rival.
- Naomichi Yamada from Hajime No Ippo started out as Ippo's biggest fanboy, then joined Kamogawa Gym to improve himself and be closer to his idol.
- Subverted in Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, where Gokudera worships the ground that Tsuna walks on, but is quite capable at fighting himself.
- Everyone that Misaki's ever beaten in Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer becomes her Combat Commentator and squealing fan, even those who would rather not admit it.
- Subaru Nakajima from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha towards that title character. With the amount of shout-outs the series does, one wonders if her fair resemblance to Street Fighter's Sakura was intentional.
- In Yu Gi Oh Zexal, there was a villain called Jin who claimed to be a Numbers Hunter who worked for Kaito. As it turned out, he had never even met Kaito, and simply idolized him. When he finally did meet Kaito, he professed his loyalty, but Kaito was not impressed at all, and treated him like any other Numbers Holder.
- Joshua Christopher from Chrono Crusade is an odd twisted example. He's incredibly devoted to Aion and often speaks about him in glowing terms, and is very excited when he gets a chance to watch him fight. The thing that makes this twisted is (a) Aion is the Big Bad; (b) Joshua has been given incredible power by Aion in order to do his bidding, and (c) that power has turned him absolutely bonkers. He would maybe be a Loony Fan if it wasn't that Aion was the one that drove him nuts in the first place and doesn't actively discourage him.
- Baccano!: Graham is pretty much convinced that Ladd is the second coming of Christ.
- Gau from Nabari No Ou's devotion to Raikou is so strong that he's willing to commit suicide if he thinks it'd make Raikou happier.
- Kaorin is a bit of this to Sakaki in Azumanga Daioh. Part of it's just Single-Target Sexuality, but she also does a fair bit of expositing on just how cool and athletic Sakaki is.
- In Fate/Zero, Waver Velvet eventually becomes this to his Servant Rider, saying that he would follow the latter without hesitation and, to Gilgamesh, proudly declared himself to be Rider's follower rather than Master. He even keeps all of his Servant's video games as a memento and wears his colors when he becomes Lord El-Melloi II.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, a large portion of the Miverva's crew look up to Athrun as a legend from the previous war. Meer Campbell does this as well.
- Sanae from Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions worships "Mori Summer," a self-proclaimed mage who wrote the Mabinogion, a journal of philosophical-sounding rants of the other dimension. This is the basis of her Sitcom Archnemesis relationship with Shinka, the girl behind "Mori Summer" who wants to purge that part of her life seen as her Old Shame.
- Misa Amane is this toward Light Yagami of Death Note; fortunately for her, she is useful enough that he doesn't kill her for it.
- Eddie Bloomberg a.k.a. Kid Devil from The DCU used to worship Blue Devil, even in the earliest days of his hero career.
- The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers has two: Ironfist and Pyro. Ironfist is an Ascended Fanboy of the title Wreckers who finds that the reality of war is very different from reading about it. Pyro, on the other hand, has a borderline creepy obsession with Optimus Prime... he looks like Prime, imitates Prime's motto, references Prime's opinions, fantasizes about dying in a blaze of glory while Optimus watches....
- Apparently, hero-worshipping Optimus is a recognised Cybertronian personality disorder known as "primus apotheosis". There are even Decepticons who suffer from it.
- Batman: Bat-Mite worships the ground the Dark Knight stands on, despite (and because of) the fact that he's a god and could obliterate Batman with a thought (while Batman is a mere mortal who isn't intimidated by this for one second).
- In The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Boomerang has an obsession with Doctor Strange villain, Dormammu. To the point where an Imagine Spot of Boomerang getting married to a girl he was dating featured Dormammu both as Boomerang's best man and as his baby's real father.
Speed Demon: It's always Dormammu with you.
Films — Animation
- Buddy to Mr. Incredible of The Incredibles, initially. Crosses over to Loony Fan territory eventually.
- Nikki, Kaltag & Star towards the villain Steele from Balto. They're just faking it, however, being fully aware of what an unlikable scumbag Steele is. Later played straight with the titular hero after he saves their lives.
- From Up, Carl with Muntz. As a kid, he adored him; however, as an old man, he lost all respect for him, realizing what kind of man he was.
- Po to pretty much any famous master in Kung Fu Panda, but mainly the Furious Five. He retains this trait long after he becomes a famous master himself.
Films — Live-Action
- Harry Potter:
- Colin Creevey toward Harry Potter.
- Wormtail during the Marauders' days.
- In poorly written adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson is portrayed in this fashion.
- Twilight: Bella Swan towards Edward Cullen.
- Owen of Jesslaw, in Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small, is an instant groupie of Keladry.
- In Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things, Sammy is somewhat unnerved to learn that her classmate Cassie Kuo has been eagerly watching her exploits all year, rooting for her against her Arch-Enemy Heather, and basically enjoying Sammy's life as a soap opera.
- In Vampire Academy, Jill Mastrano is an admirer to both Rose and Christian, and aspires to be like her "heroes".
- A rare non-comedic literary example occurs in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Ahlrada Ahn becomes so broken by the atrocities he's commited while in the company of the Tiste Edur he focuses all the good he still manages to see in the world on Trull Sengar, the only Tiste Edur warrior he ever respected and admired and who tried to befriend him but was rejected. Ahlrada Ahn comes to basically worship Trull Sengar, convinced that the latter is dead and he himself will be soon as well. When they unexpectedly meet again, Ahlrada has a mental breakdown in the midst of a battle and becomes utterly focused on getting Trull's attention and begging him for forgiveness. It does not end well.
- J.D. from Scrubs somewhat falls into this when it comes to Dr. Cox. He even admits himself that he is "prone to hero-worship". However, he's not incompetent by any means.
- Despite being an obvious Fangirl of his works, Detective Kate Beckett is not this to Richard Castle, being his equal (and superior) in many ways and more likely to puncture his slightly-too-healthy ego and opinion of himself with snarky quips than anything else. Instead, this trope falls to Detective Kevin Ryan, who seems to have taken Castle on as something of a mentor.
- Colonel Mitchell in Stargate SG-1. When he takes over command of SG-1 in season 9 (because Teal'c, Sam, and Daniel have all moved on), his first order of business is Putting the Band Back Together. He apparently finagled his way into Stargate Command explicitly to work with them (it helps that he saved their lives previously; he could basically choose whatever assignement he wanted after that).
- Cyrano de Bergerac: Ragueneau has shades of this to Cyrano at Act II scene III:
Ragueneau: (following him) Bravo! I saw...
Cyrano: Well, what saw you, then?
Ragueneau: Your combat!...
Ragueneau: That in the Burgundy Hotel, 'faith!
Cyrano: (contemptuously) Ah!... the duel!
Ragueneau: (admiringly) Ay! the duel in verse!...
Lise: He can talk of naught else!
Cyrano: Well! Good! let be!
Ragueneau: (making passes with a spit that he catches up) "At the envoi's end, I touch!... At the envoi's end, I touch!"... 'Tis
(with increasing enthusiasm) "At the envoi's end—"
Cyrano: What hour is it now, Ragueneau?
Ragueneau: (stopping short in the act of thrusting to look at the clock) Five minutes after six!... "I touch!"
(he straightens himself) ...Oh! to write a ballade!
- Suikoden II had that kid in Banner Village, who worshipped not one, but two heroes. Namely, Tir, the hero of Suikoden I, and Riou, the hero of Suikoden II. He's instrumental to getting Tir into your entourage.
- Borderlands: Many Hyperion employees revere Handsome Jack as a hero who brought greatness to the company and tried to bring law and order to the Death World of Pandora. This attitude is best seen in Tales from the Borderlands with Rhys, who models his appearance after Jack and looks back fondly on the time Jack spat on him, and Vasquez, who brags about Jack punching him in the face whenever he saw him. Of course, seeing as Jack is the Big Bad of Borderlands 2, this is somewhat of a subversion - his employees may view him as a hero, but the atrocities he commits throughout the game prove otherwise. Indeed, many of his worshippers soon change their mind about him when they find out what he was really like, or, in Rhys' case, having an AI recreation of him implanted into your head.
- Mass Effect:
- Conrad Verner worships Shepard to an extreme that in the 2nd game he dresses up as Shepard. The third game reveals those photos and autographs he claimed he wanted in the first game to show his wife? Yeah, she doesn't actually exist. He does have a shrine to Shepard though, but they shouldn't worry, it's all done very tastefully.
- Invoked in the second game, where Shepard's return has lead to an in-universe Broken Base, with much discussion on the extranet between those who are overjoyed, those who are angry, and those who just wonder what it all means?
- When Samantha Traynor first meets Shepard, she is quite nervous around him/her, but is quite eager to prove to Shepard that she can do her job well. It's also heavily implied that this is partly gratitude. She tells Shepard that she was on Horizon visiting her family when the Collectors hit, and when Shepard came in and saved the colony.
- Played with in the case of James Vega. Before meeting Shepard, he had a case of this, even starting a fight with a number of batarians who insulted Shepard following the events of Arrival. After meeting Shepard, he clearly sees him/her on more human terms, as someone who has limits and emotions, and doesn't hold him/her in absolute awe or reverence. With that being said, he still holds Shepard in high regard and respects him/her enough to continue saluting and calling him/her Commander even when s/he's been stripped of rank and placed under house arrest.
- Intentionally played for evil laughs with the Adoring Fan in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, who starts following you around doing nothing but babble about your greatness after you become the Grand Champion of the Arena. The guy was apparently so annoying that players compete with each other in brutality of the ways to kill him (and he always respawns, too). Here's an example.
- Alyx Vance, along with being Gordon's sidekick, becomes this during Half-Life 2: Episode One, commenting on Gordon's extraordinary feats.
- Shingo Yabuki in The King of Fighters series. The parallels between him and Sakura Kasugano (see below) (who debuted around the same time) are so strong he might be a Distaff Counterpart.
- Alex from Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete is a worshipper of the Dragonmaster Dyne. However, the trope's completely inverted in that Alex is the main character and actually gains the chance to live out his dream.
- Metal Gear Solid:
- Otacon in the first game, but he's very much a deconstruction of this too.
- Meryl was like this initially when she realized who the jerk that insulted her was.
- One of Mei Ling's first lines was her expressing delight at "being hit on by the famous Solid Snake."
- The Suffering:
- Dallas (a prisoner) to the hero Torque. Yes, admiring the guy who saves you from monsters is natural, but... it's notable in that genuine good emotions, like friendship and loyalty are darned hard to come by in the setting, due to Plot Reasons. Latter partners in the game are notably crazy-pants. Dallas is also notable for being comfortably bisexual.
- Luther would also count, having regressed to a childlike state in all the panic and chaos of the plot. At one point, he actually decides that Torque must be "an Angel of Vengeance come to save us all." How sweet.
- In Grand Theft Auto V, one of the potential recruits for the heist crew, Norm Richards, is a huge fanboy of Michael Townley. In fact, he became a criminal specifically because he was inspired by Michael's exploits. Unfortunately, Norm is a terrible thief. He almost always dies during his first heist and has a high probability of somehow screwing up even if he lives.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Tails greatly respects and admires Sonic for much of the series, and thinks he's the coolest guy around (not that Sonic's about to tell him any differently). Though later installments, such as Sonic Colors, has Tails grow out of it a bit and even has him snark on Sonic now and then.
- Street Fighter: Alpha 2: Sakura is Ryu's no.1 fangirl and aspires to become his student in hopes becoming just like him. Since he's refused to train her, she's become a capable martial artist in her own right by emulating his style. The fighting gloves she wears were even Ryu's old training pads, which he gave to her as a parting gift.
- Advanced V.G. II: Much like the preceding example, Tamao greatly admires Yuka and wants to become just like her by emulating her heroine. Even after defeating Yuka, Tamao continues to look up to her, feeling she has more to learn from her and tests herself by challenging Yuka and her friends.
- The player characters of the Dragon Age series tend to inspire a lot of people:
- In Dragon Age: Origins both Soris and Shianni have shades of this towards City Elf Warden. This can be later subverted if you leave them both on mercy of humans.
- Dragon Age II
- Varric accuses Cassandra of becoming hero-worshipper towards Hawke. She is visibly captivated by the Champion's legend, especially if the Arishok is defeated in a single combat. If Hawke is male, Varric additionally teases her about developing a little crush along the way.
- If Hawke helps Feynriel and lets him go to Tevinter to learn how to control his abilities, it's hinted he develops a case of hero-worship toward the Champion as well.
- If Hawke saves the elven girl Lia and kills her kidnapper, her father sends you later a letter thanking for rescuing her and claims she "has found a hero in you". She can reappear in Act 3 in the Alienage and if Aveline is in your party, it's revealed that Lia was inspired to join the City Guard and help protect the innocent the way she had been by you.
- Many letters Hawke can receive are from people you've helped along the way, who developed similar attitudes.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition takes this to a practically literal level. Following a number of events over the course of the game, The Inquisitor comes to be seen by a very large part of the population as the Maker's chosen and hailed as "The Herald of Andraste". It's quite telling that they continue to do this, and the number grows, even after the Chantry denounces him/her as a false prophet and heretic, and even if the character is a non-human, considering the amount of Fantastic Racism in the Dragon Age universe. Following the fall of Haven, in their Darkest Hour, the people that s/he saved start kneeling to him/her in absolute reverence, whether the Inquisitor really believes or not.
- Cassandra continues to hold Hawke in the highest regard in Inquisition. She even goes as far as to say that perhaps the Champion could have saved the Divine and prevented the Breach. The Inquisitor couldn't do that, but Cassandra believes Hawke could.
- Sonic the Comic – Online! has Silver who hero worships Tails, having grown up hearing about Tails' adventures, however some of what he belives are Tails' adventures are actully Sonic's adventures, this is because in Silver's future Sonic has been Un-Personed.
- Paranatural: PJ the ghostly child that lives in Max's house admires Max like he was a superhero.
- All three media of the Noob franchise have moments that give the impression that Omega Zell has nothing else going on in his life besides his obsession for Fantöm. He's actually a bigger source of trivia about Fantöm than Arthéon, who used to be Fantöm's guildmate. The fourth novel still has Omega Zell get in "groupie mode" when he unexpectedly runs into Fantöm, despite getting explicitly viewed as a friend by him and becoming his teammate in the later part of the story.
- Cooper in Ben 10: Alien Force... but worships The Chick.
- In DuckTales, Doofus idolizes Launchpad McQuack.
- Deconstructed in the Justice League episode "Legends", with Ray Thompson. It turns out that Ray is a Reality Warper who couldn't cope with the fact that the Justice Guild were killed in battle, and has effectively turned the entire city into his own personal Lotus-Eater Machine.
- Junior, Sylvester's mini-me son in a series of Looney Tunes. Although his admiration tended to expire fairly rapidly once Dad actually started to demonstrate his mouse-catching abilities (or lack thereof)...
- Also from Looney Tunes, the page picture comes from a pair of cartoons, Tree for Two and Dr. Jerkyl's Hide, in which Spike/Alfie the Bulldog is hero-worshiped by Chester the Terrier. Their relationship is inverted after a series of humiliating defeats is inflicted on Spike, and he ends up hero-worshiping the smaller dog.
- Subverted with Lugnut in Transformers Animated. He's practically a one-mech Megatron cult to the point where even Megatron gets sick of his constant loud praises, but he's also the largest and strongest member of the Decepticons on Earth and his "Punch of Kill Everything" is not named ironically.
- Enzo Matrix in ReBoot admired Bob the Guardian when he was a little sprite in the first two seasons. In the fourth season, the grown-up Enzo (Matrix) finds himself the target of admiration from... Enzo Matrix (it's a long story). Younger Enzo eventually learns to stop imitating his grown-up self and become his own Sprite.
- Jackie Chan Adventures:
- Paco is embodying this trope in regards to El Toro Fuerte. Granted, his worship waned when he found out the secret of his hero's strength, but it was soon revitalized, and he followed El Toro just about everywhere he went.
- To a similar extent, Jade was often Jackie's loudest cheerleader, and once stated she wanted to be "a female Jackie Chan" (even though, technically, she was saying that after seeing Viper in action).
- Irving from Phineas and Ferb worships the title duo to the point of dressing up like them, sneaking into their mom's car so he can go to the beach with them, and takes pictures of their exploits (one of which was eating some soup). Even Bollywood Nerd Baljeet thinks he's an embarrassment.
- Scootaloo from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic idolizes Rainbow Dash. As far as she is concerned, Rainbow Dash is the best pony.
- Kim Possible was the object of hero worship from her younger cousin Joss Possible. By the end of the story, she began to see Ron as a hero instead, since Kim shrugs off the dangers she faces easily, while Ron has to conquer his fear to fight alongside Kim.
- Sheldon from My Life as a Teenage Robot. A variant in that he's smitten with The Hero as well as looking up to her in general.