->''"And the reason that she loved him was the reason I loved him too.\\
And he never wondered what was right or wrong. He just knew."''
-->-- '''David Crosby and Music/PhilCollins''', "Hero"

Bob is a hero.

Scratch that. Bob is ''the'' hero.

He fights with honor -- he never kicks opponents while they're down or uses dirty tricks to win a confrontation. If he takes to the battlefield, he fights with appropriate force and despairs having to see any bloodshed. His goodness is genuine, not some con, and he will always make the right choice [[WhatYouAreInTheDark even when people would never know he made the wrong one]]. He looks out for the little guy, stands up for what's morally correct, and serves as the role model for heroes -- being their standard-bearer, in many ways -- and as a beacon of character for villains -- even prompting [[HeelFaceTurn villains to give up their immoral ways]].

The Ideal Hero is seen quite often in children's media, to the point where you could call it common. Oftentimes, the Ideal Hero in such stories will get rewarded, and plentifully so, for being a good guy through and through. What's more, [[IncorruptiblePurePureness he never struggles with himself]], being TheHero from sunrise to sunset.

In stories for adult audiences, things are not that simple. Usually, the Ideal Hero does what he does because it's the right way to live. [[DudeWheresMyReward He gets rewarded for it less often]] (sometimes ''far'' less often) than not. What's more, he may even struggle with himself to make the right choice -- but always (or almost always) makes the right choice in the end.

Done wrong, Bob can exemplify any of an array of the worst of good guy tropes, like StupidGood, LawfulStupid, and -- in the worst cases -- even a KnightTemplar who refuses to allow any deviation from his strict moral code.

At one time, probably a DeadHorseTrope, but the Ideal Hero has been [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] and [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] to the point that it's [[CyclicTrope experiencing a quiet resurgence of popularity]], mostly as a [[ReconstructedTrope reconstruction]], but sometimes simply played straight.

SubTrope to TheIdealist. SuperTrope to AllLovingHero, TheCape, KnightInShiningArmor, and CaptainPatriotic. While TheHero is often an Ideal Hero, the former is the role a character occupies in a group while the latter is a character personality. See also StandardizedLeader. Contrast AntiHero and ClassicVillain. Can overlap to some degree with one of either MartialPacifist, TechnicalPacifist, or ActualPacifist.


[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* Touma Kamijou from ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex''. The guy will do anything, say anything, help anyone, fight anyone ([[WouldHitAGirl gender be damned]]), and throw himself in front of any person who is in need simply because he wants to. His IncorruptiblePurePureness is so intense that he's even gotten multiple (and in some cases, [[PhysicalGod all-powerful]]) [[HeelFaceTurn villains]] to join his side.
* Kenshiro in ''FistOfTheNorthStar''. [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Incorruptible]], [[PapaWolf protective of]] [[FriendToAllChildren all children]] [[WifeBasherBasher and women]], [[TheFettered intolerant of evil]] and [[MessianicArchetype dedicated to bringing hope and joy to a world ravaged by nuclear fire]]. Anyone who knows his name cries [[TearsOfJoy joyful tears]] when he walks into town.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'':
** Akira Toriyama seemed to be unable to decide if Goku is this or a (thoroughly benign and heroic) BloodKnight ManChild. Specifically, Goku himself fulfills the trope by being the best man you'll ever meet or hear of, but will focus on his training to the exclusion of everything else, sometimes including family. This is justified by Earth coming under regular attack by superbeings both terrestrial and extraterrestrial, and the fact that Goku is, in practice, the BigGood of the ''universe'' at the end of the series (he's kinda busy sometimes). Goku also tends to fall under a mild case of AdaptationalHeroism. In the dub and even in the Japanese anime, Goku's heroics are played up more. Toriyama originally wanted Goku to be a hero, but a somewhat questionable and selfish hero who grows stronger not to protect others, but to fight stronger people. He even says that he wanted people to wonder if Goku is really a good person. That changed a bit after CharacterDevelopment took over and Goku became more heroic and unquestionably good. He is still selfish and will put a good fight above the safety of the world, but his heart is usually in the right place.
** Gohan parodies one when he's dressed as the Great Saiyaman. When he's in SuperHero mode, he's a mixture of Power Rangers and Franchise/{{Superman}} with his poses and grand speeches. When he's not in costume he is closer to a ClassicalAntiHero because of his self-doubt in his ability.
* The title character of ''Manga/KimbaTheWhiteLion''.
* Maka Albarn from ''Manga/SoulEater'' eventually becomes this. She starts out a bit short tempered, but over time, becomes a responsible, courageous, strong, caring, kind, honorable, intelligent and selflfless young girl.
* Definitely [[TheHero Yusei Fudo]] from ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds''. He wins every duel, is level-headed, always plays by the rules, always looks out for those in trouble, and generally ends up being liked by any non-villain who holds more than three minutes of conversation with him.
* ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'': Taiki Kudo would count. He lives to help anyone in need, and refuses to "turn his back on anyone", and strongly believes in the good of people and digimon.
* Jonathan Joestar from ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'', he is merciful, polite and benevolent, and will always invoke DefeatEqualsFriendship to his enemies. This is compared to...[[JerkWithAHeartOfGold most]] [[GoodIsNotNice of]] [[AntiHero his]] [[SirSwearsALot descendants]] who do not share his lofty ideals.
* Daiya Tsuwubuki of ''Anime/GaikingLegendOfDaikuMaryu'' always fights fair, never loses sight of his goal, and always tries to help people in his actions. He never uses deception or trickery, and despises those that do.
* While he's definitely more [[PragmaticHero pragmatic]] and [[BloodKnight battle-hungry]] than most on this list, Saitama post CharacterDevelopment from ''Anime/OnePunchMan'' is increasingly like this, finding a point to his otherwise [[ComicallyInvincibleHero completely unsatisfying]] heroic career by being a model to other heroes: humble, just, and kind to people who deserve it. Which, given how he originally wanted to be a hero [[GlorySeeker to get famous]], is a rather large shift.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Superman}}, consistently, but given an especially provocative portrayal in ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', where Superman plays this trope straight, subverts it, and reconstructs all over the course of the story.
** In fact that ends up being the way they challenge the InvincibleHero in many of his better stories, putting things in front of him that could legitimately compel him to break this character type or putting him up against less ideal sort of hero (frequently Franchise/{{Batman}}) to make a case for being an ideal hero versus being a more "pragmatic" hero. Some of his most crippling defeats were victorious battles that could only be won by breaking one of his rules.
* Creator/DCComics' [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] is even ''more'' ideal than Superman is ([[DarkerAndEdgier at least until]] the ComicBook/{{New 52}}).
** New 52 Billy Batson, while rougher around the edges than pre-52 Billy, is still inherently a good kid, no matter how hard he tries to be a brat to other people. He puts on a tough act but he is very much a child. Half of the job of the Justice League (notably Cyborg) is trying to get him to grow up and realize how much good he can do with his powers instead of creating ping pong tables from thin air.
* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica is Marvel Comics' moral equivalent to Superman.
** Little wonder, then, that the two would be combined into the character Super-Soldier in the ComicBook/AmalgamUniverse.
* Franchise/SpiderMan is mostly this in his own series and team ups, [[MyGreatestFailure aside from doubting himself]], [[CloudCuckooLander being a goofy motor mouth]] and being [[ButtMonkey generally awkward]], he is Marvel's most lovable and warm hearted hero who always does the selfless and right thing for anyone and anything in his career only second or rivaling the Captain himself and in the future is destined to be the greatest hero of all according to Cable.
* {{Tintin}}, a teenage detective/reporter. He'd risk his life to save yours, even if you just tried to kill him not five minutes prior; he's just ''that'' noble and uncompromising on his principles. In spite of being ''that'' forgiving towards his enemies, he's also a textbook case of GoodIsNotDumb.
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' is one of these - kind, does the right thing all the time, won't fight physically unless there are no better options even though he has super strength, always stands up for people who are suffering, and plays by the rules. However, he also has a sneaky side, especially in earlier stories.
* ''ComicBook/PowerAndGlory'' is all about playing with and subverting this trope. While A-Pex may resemble an all-American superheroic ideal, it's all a media manipulation job by his government creators, and the real person is far from an ideal anything.
* The Silver Agent of ''ComicBook/AstroCity'' is '''the''' paragon of the heroic ideal that all other heroes strive to reach for. His heroic influence is powerful enough to inspire others millennia after his death.
* Surprisingly, considering her [[Comicbook/{{Wolverine}} genetic]] [[AntiHero progenitor]], Comicbook/{{X 23}} is increasingly becoming more and more like this. Although raised to be a LivingWeapon and constantly having to fight against her TykeBomb conditioning, Laura is selfless, idealistic, and constantly searches for something noble to aspire to and be inspired by, to the point she almost ''breaks down'' when she finds herself in [[Comicbook/UltimateMarvel the shithole that is the Ultimate Universe]] and realizes that there's actually places ''even worse'' than her home reality. No matter the situation, she will always try do the right thing.

* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': In this story Shinji is ''[[Franchise/{{Superman}} half-kryptonian]]''. Since his powers began manifesting he used them to try to help people because he is genuinely good, caring, kind-hearted, and hates seeing people hurt and suffering. In a instance [[spoiler:Kaji]] notes that despite of being a tad cynical he really believes Shinji when he tells he would never hurt people and he only wants to help.
* ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': As she undergoes CharacterDevelopment Asuka begins to truly try to live up to this lofty ideal. At the beginning she becomes ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'' to earn a bit of extra praise, but later she realizes everyone automatically think that she is a paragon of morality and decency because she has those powers, and she really does not want to let anybody down.

* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Luke Skywalker [[HeroicArchetype was designed to be one]]. Contrast him to [[AntiHero Han Solo]], and ''especially'' to [[APupilOfMineUntilHeTurnedToEvil his own father]]. While Luke wanted to save Leia out of sympathy, Han only did so because Luke promised that Leia is a rich princess who would reward Han.
* ''WesternAnimation/WreckItRalph'': Fix-It Felix Jr. is the ideal hero. The film Wreck-It Ralph itself satirizes the cliché, tedious personality of the ideal hero.
* ''Film/{{Transformers}}'': Optimus Prime.
* ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'': Mothra is an ideal hero, as she represents compassion and respect for humanity's right to live. This can mainly be interpreted by the fact that she is mainly guided by the Shobijin, two twin fairies who sympathize and often befriend numerous humans.
* ''Film/MaryPoppins'' is [[LampshadeHanging explicitly stated to be]] "practically perfect in every way".

[[folder: Literature]]
* Ward of Literature/{{Hurog}} is this, being ''just'' flawed enough to be believable. His IncorruptiblePurePureness is resistant to severe [[BeingTorturedMakesYouEvil parental abuse]], and everything else he goes through.
* Michael, a Knight of the Cross, in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''.
* R. A. Salvatore's ''ForgottenRealms'' character [[Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt Drizzt Do'Urden]], the heroic dark elf ranger who rebelled against the evil of his people and fled to the surface world, where he had to overcome a huge amount of prejudice, but always remained unquestioningly true to the ideal in his heart that made him rebel in the first place.
* Although not the main character, Carrot Ironfounderson from the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series is a walking paragon of an Ideal Hero
* ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' features Odysseus, who may well be the TropeMaker, making it OlderThanDirt. However, in ''Literature/TheIliad'' he's not so admirable. And in ancient times Odysseus had detractors, who thought that an Ideal Hero shouldn't rely so much on [[GuileHero guile]]. Actually, it's pretty debatable if he's this trope, but he ''is'' the TropeMaker. Why? Well, Greeks had different ideals than this website and the current world, so while Odysseus is the perfect Greek Hero, to us modern readers he can really seem like a sneaky, selfish JerkWithAHeartOfGold as opposed to this. It's just ValuesDissonance, really.
* Although SolomonKane is typically classified as a AntiHero, he could arguably fall under this instead. He never compromises his princples, nor does he question what the proper course of action is when he encounters someone who needs help (or, if they are beyond help, someone who deserves to be avenged). In ''The Blue Flame of Vengeance'', he even tries to talk one of the villains into giving up the fight and walking away from the evil men said villain has entangled himself with; when the villain [[spoiler:refuses to accept his offer and subsequently dies, Solomon becomes visibly grieved]].
* KingArthur and Galahad definitely, and a lot of the other knights of the Round Table come close.
* ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'': Kahlan and Richard are this, just keep in mind it's AynRand's ideals
* Creator/SimonaAhrnstedt usually gives her characters some flaws, even if they're not villains. And the only male exception is Johan Stierneskanz from ''Literature/{{Overenskommelser}}''. He's basically perfect and flawless, the lily-white NiceGuy in a story with three jet-black villains.
* In the series ''Literature/{{Acacia}}'' the Acacian prince Aliver Akaran - [[spoiler:the man is compassionate, honours his word, forgives his enemies without hesitation...etc. He dies for that, but gets better in the end before dying again though not before reforming the Acacian empire and bringing world peace]]
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' deconstructs this. The Starks and Daenerys Targaryen follow a moral code modern readers find commendable, but it also hampers their common sense and makes them very judgmental to those who can't be to moral. At the same time, particularly in the case of the [[HundredPercentAdorationRating Starks]], [[UndyingLoyalty it gains them followers whose loyalties are absolute]], as [[spoiler:The Boltons]] are finding out.
** Ser Davos Seaworth ([[spoiler:later Lord Seaworth]]) is very much this. He loves his wife and sons, shows UndyingLoyalty to his King Stannis, his BrutalHonesty so impressing Stannis [[spoiler:he is named Hand of the King]], and he acts as a MoralityPet to Stannis, trying to talk him out of doing bad things and [[spoiler:smuggling Edric Storm of Dragonstone for fear Stannis will burn them.]] Davos was a smuggler before the series, though.
* In ''LightNovel/FateApocrypha'' Saber of Black, aka Siegfried, was basically what [[VisualNovel/FateStayNight Shirou Emyia]] wanted to grow up to be. He spent his whole life serving and saving people and never regretted it. Like Shirou, this is deconstructed when he realizes he never had any real desires of his own and decides to be more selfish. [[spoiler: That his "selfish" act consisted of him tearing out his own heart to save someone he had just met tells you everything you need to know about his character.]]
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'': Percy Jackson, though reckless and mischievous, is still undoubtedly this. Even his FatalFlaw (excessive loyalty to his friends) only reinforces how heroic he is. The DarkerAndEdgier ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'' SequelSeries makes him into more of an AntiHero by [[{{Flanderization}} playing up his fatal flaw]], [[TropesAreNotBad which is one of a number of reasons why it's been less well-recieved by the fanbase than the original series]].
* Corporal Carrot in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', in stark contrast with the series' typical more cynical ([[KnightInSourArmor though nevertheless undoubtedly heroic]]) protagonists. The narration in ''Literature/MenAtArms'' mentions that for an ordinary person, being as honourable as Carrot is in Ankh-Morpork would be suicidally idiotic, but Carrot gets away with it because he's really, incredibly, almost superhumanly likeable.
* ''Literature/TheBible'':
** Jesus, obviously.
** Also, Job, who is explicitly stated to be a flawless man.
* Atticus Finch in ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'' represents the ideal of what a human should be: brutally honest, highly moral in all aspects of his life, a tireless crusader for good causes however hopeless, respected by everyone including his opponents, and a virtual pacifist.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* While ''Series/{{Batman}}'' may be a parody of sorts, the fact of the matter is that this incarnation of Batman wants to be the [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Incorruptible]] [[TheParagon Paragon]] and inspiration to the Gotham City masses.
* ''Series/WonderWoman'' is the same; if you watch her whole show, the number of times you'll think "She could've handled that situation a little better" is somewhere around zero.
* Most incarnations of [[Series/DoctorWho the Doctor]]. Fourth and Fifth are probably the most obvious ones.
* Constable Benton Fraser on DueSouth is the ideal Mountie in every possible way.
* Captain Picard of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' is ''the'' pinnacle of 24th-century enlightened humanity, to the point that he's chosen as their representative when Q puts the species on trial. He favors diplomacy to force whenever possible, respects all forms of life, has no greater desire than to learn and explore, and knows exactly when to disobey the InsaneAdmiral or violate the Prime Directive.\\
The only time this portrayal is played with is in ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' when he briefly [[RevengeBeforeReason becomes consumed with getting revenge on the Borg even at the expense of his crew]]. When Lilly confronts him and compares him to Captain Ahab, he realizes his mistakes and regains his nobility.
** An argument once given in the eternal Kirk vs Picard debate was presented as such: Kirk is the kind of Captain and leader who many people would love to go on an adventure with and have a beer with afterwards, Picard is the kind many would willingly follow right into hell itself.

* The song ''Holding Out For A Hero'' by Bonnie Tyler may possibly be describing one of these:
-->''Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods?\\
Where's the street-wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?\\
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?\\
Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need...''

* Wrestling/JohnCena is a ProfessionalWrestling example of this.
* And before him, Wrestling/HulkHogan.

[[folder: Roleplay]]
* ''Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG'' had quite a few such agents, especially early on. Zenna, Rex (at least, prior to the Adventurers' Island arc), Andrew, Zachary (pre-Stromling), and David being good examples- and that's just among primary characters. Pierce could also be considered an example, although justified by the fact that he's a doctor.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Mario in ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros''
* Link in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''.
* Sora of ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts''.
* Master Chief of ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''. He always tries to do the right thing. Always.
* Paragon Commander Shepard of ''Franchise/MassEffect'' is a {{Reconstruction}} of this trope after a parade of [[AntiHero anti heroes]] and [[BloodKnight blood thirsty warriors]] in video games of all genres had been popping up for a good amount of time. While Paragon Shepard does enter GoodIsNotSoft often (especially in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''), is a CombatPragmatist, and every now and then breaks the law, s/he only does so when [[GoodIsNotDumb s/he has no other choice]] and [[ToBeLawfulOrGood when attempting to pursue the greater good]], and will ''never'' break it if it would result in innocents being hurt in the process. In the end, Shepard's good, forgiving and selfless nature and absolute trust in others, comes back to reward him/her time and time again when s/he needs it the most.
* Pretty much every [[TheHero Lord]] in the ''{{Franchise/Fire Emblem}}'' games aspires to be this, if they aren't already. Notable examples include [[FireEmblemAkaneia Marth]], [[FireEmblemJugdral Sigurd]], and [[FireEmblemElibe Eliwood]].
* Hilbert in ''VideoGame/LastScenario'' [[HeroicWannabe really, really wants]] to be this kind of hero, but he [[WrongGenreSavvy rapidly finds that he's in the wrong genre]]. He still manages to be ''much'' more heroic than is typical for the setting, and of five characters who JumpedAtTheCall, he's the only one who doesn't become a FallenHero.
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'': No matter [[MultipleEndings what the route]], Emiya Shirou [[InvokedTrope tries to be an]] Ideal Hero. However, the story challenges the idea of the ideal hero and whether it's really an attainable goal for any psychologically normal person. [[spoiler:The answer it comes to is no, not really, and it won't make you happy to be one either. It's still an admirable goal even if you can't do it, though, and even the bitter Archer (an Alternate Future version of Shirou) still finds the dream beautiful.]]
** His adopted father [[LightNovel/FateZero Kiritsugu]] further [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructs this trope]], as he learned throughout his years as a Hitman it is impossible to save everyone. His goal in the grail war is to make the world a better place, too bad it was all in vain.
* Ferwin and Pyan Pau in ''VideoGame/TheSpiritEngine2''. [[spoiler:Charlotte]] seems to be this at first, but is actually a subversion.
* Ramza, from ''FinalFantasyTactics'' is one of these. Problem is, he's in [[CrapsackWorld Ivalice]], and is [[ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight trying to stop]] a [[AncientConspiracy massive conspiracy]] of {{manipulative bastard}}s who start a war resulting in [[MoralEventHorizon over a million dead]] as a distraction. NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished, as [[TheGreatestStoryNeverTold the ending]] [[{{Unperson}} of the game shows]], though the epilogue gives some hope that eventually the truth was discovered, centuries later.
* The Hero of the ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series can be played this way, while ThePaladin ''is'' this trope. The player is outright told by Rakeesh that the Paladin must do what is ''right'', even if the right thing to do isn't lawful (in ''Quest for Glory III'' he breaks the law to give food to a convicted thief). His powers are also based around honorable behavior (doing good deeds, being honest) and performing dishonorable acts will cost him the use of his abilities.
* Leonhardt Raglen in ''VideoGame/RecordOfAgarestWar'' is the most heroic protagonist out of the entire series as he is selfless, responsible, all-loving, willing to sacrifice his life for a little girl who is hunted by his very own nation, and is {{Badass}} enough to kill the guy who killed him in the first place.

[[folder: WebOriginal]]
* Skyhawk, one of the superheroes of Boston in the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse''. He always tries to do the right thing, and stands for morality and righteousness. Most of Team Kimba views him as a big dork, and his determination to do things the right way very nearly got Generator and Bladedancer killed by supervillains.

[[folder: WesternAnimation]]
* Po from ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPandaLegendsOfAwesomeness''.
* SamuraiJack: the titular character himself. Even though he has his low moments, ultimately he never gives up on doing the right thing - helping the innocents, defending the weak, [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong setting right what once went wrong]].
* Reconstructed in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' with Finn the Human. Finn is essentially a paladin, but this causes him to not know what he's doing when placed in a situation where the right thing to do is unclear. However, the ''Adventure Time'' universe runs enough on BlackAndWhiteMorality for him to still be this trope most of the time.

[[folder: Other]]
* Optimus Prime from ([[ComicBook/TransformersShatteredGlass almost]]) every incarnation of ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}''.