[[caption-width-right:360: Nobody behind the Resolute Desk? He's there. You just can't see him.]]

->"''Well, who did you ''expect'' to see -- the ''President''?''
-->-- '''Droopy Dog''', in the theatrical cartoon ''Droopy's Good Deed''.

It is, in some contexts, not legal to use the actual image of the President of the United States for commercial purposes (''Film/{{Contact}}'', a film starring Creator/JodieFoster, came under some fire for recontextualizing actual footage of UsefulNotes/BillClinton for their own purposes).

Most likely the lawyers have it wrong to some extent. As far as the President, he has just as much rights to exclusive use of his name and face as any other famous individual. However, as a political figure--whether a current or former president--there are First Amendment rights to use the name or likeness of the President in a film when it would be appropriate to do so -- such as parody, satire, etc.

There is, however, a law on the books which prohibits use of a president's name or likeness as a trademark for a product during his lifetime or the lifetime of his widow. This is the only actual legal prohibition other than the standard one that applies to all famous persons including politicians. Famous people can stop exploitation of their image based on a right to commercial exploitation (but the President himself has no greater right, and in fact, may have less because he is a politician), thus it is believed that an actual current or former President cannot be used in a film or TV show.

As a result, whenever a scene calls for the President, but the show is meant to be set "in the real world" (and thus, a fictional president is undesirable, and an [[ThePoorMansSubstitute impersonator]] wouldn't be sufficiently convincing), the President is generally implemented as HeWhoMustNotBeSeen, especially TheFaceless. If the President is vague to the point that even his name is never said, this is done keep the show from being dated once his term is over (think of how [[TheSimpsons Bart and Lisa Simpson]] have been through the entirety of Bush Sr. and Clinton's terms before the show stopped portraying real-life Presidents). The transatlantic counterpart would be the appearance of the outstretched hand of the Queen or Prime Minister, unseen on the other side of the door.

See also NoPartyGiven. For celebs that are neither politicians nor actors, see InvisibleCelebrityGuest.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' flip-flops between showing leaders and hiding their faces. Given the [[EdutainmentShow nature of the series]], readers can usually guess who the leaders are.
** Averted in the case of Austria (Maria Theresa), Prussia (Frederick II), Russia ([[UsefulNotes/JosefStalin Stalin]]) and possibly Sealand (Roy Bates or his son).
** Played with for the US Presidents. While their faces are never fully seen, there are subtle cues that hint to who they actually are, such as with UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt in the UsefulNotes/WorldWar2 strips.
* A scene of ''Manga/DeathNote'' has one of the organizations talking to the President of the U.S, but is referred to as "Mr.President".
** But only in the anime. The president is David Hoope in the manga. [[spoiler:He commits suicide after Mello threatens him with the Death Note in order to prevent nuclear war.]]
* ''{{Heroman}}'' plays this...a bit oddly: the President of the United States appears onscreen and has quite a few speaking lines, but looks a lot like former Japanese Prime Minister Jun'ichiro Koizumi.
* ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' obscures both the faces of Her Highness the Queen and His Holiness the Pope. And yet Alucard still flirts with the former.
* During the BeachEpisode of ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' where a worldwide spell switches everyone's bodies, Touma sits down in a lounge and watches [[PsychoLesbian Kuroko]] make a presidential address in place of Obama.
--> "Yes. We. Can!"

* Used in ''ComicBook/SecretWar'', this was used. But considering ComicBook/NickFury details a terrorist threat to the U.S., and the president simply dismisses it, they had to or they would face very serious legal trouble.

* In ''Film/ColdTurkey'' President UsefulNotes/RichardNixon appears in the town of Eagle Rock, but the news producer present complains that none of his cameramen can get a clear shot of him.
* ''Film/InvasionUSA1952'': an unusual version is used. We see the president's back and part of his face. [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]] parodied this with the line: "Sir, we're over here."
* ''Film/WagTheDog'' almost always has the main characters talking to "the president" on the phone. The one time he's on camera, it's in shadows and from the back only. On the other hand, his opponent is frequently shown in TV ads and on talk shows.
* In the Creator/RowanAtkinson comedy ''Film/JohnnyEnglish'', the queen's hands are shown, and her voice is heard, but everything else is just outside the frame.
* The 2007 ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie featured a president whose face was blocked by a pair of feet wearing red socks, who asked an assistant to bring him a Ding-Dong [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush with a Texas accent]]. This is his only appearance in the film, though the Secretary of Defense later mentions that the current crisis could define his presidency, and after the climax, he [[spoiler:dissolves Sector 7 and orders the remains of the Decepticons be dumped in a very deep ocean trench]].
* ''Film/SupermanII'' uses a generic, unnamed President played by E.G. Marshal. A pragmatic type, he orders a surrender to Zod, but only to halt the villain's rampage.
* The 1967 film comedy ''Film/ThePresidentsAnalyst'' shows the title character entering and leaving the Oval Office, but never shows the president or mentions his name. Even the country's intelligence agencies are aliased to the FBR and the CEA (possibly under pressure to do so), but it's clearly [[UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson LBJ]]; one character describes himself as liberal in the same tradition as the president ("you know...we're for civil rights!") In an exterior location shot, we see his beagles being walked on TheWhiteHouse lawn.
* Another obvious Invisible LBJ "appears" in the 1966 film ''Film/BatmanTheMovie''. A close-up from the "President's" perspective (thus faceless) shows him reclining in his seat, stroking his dog, and congratulating the Dynamic Duo on the phone, in a cartoonishly stereotypical Texan accent (he even says "Howdy!") provided by Fort Worth-born Van Williams of ''Franchise/TheGreenHornet''.
* ''Film/OurManFlint'' from 1966 has a scene where the president, addressing the world to announce capitulation to the bad guys, is told to stall -- he hems and haws in a Johnson-esque drawl.
* The second movie of ''Film/NationalTreasure'', in the reenactment of [[UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln Lincoln's]] assassination by John Wilkes Booth only Lincoln's back and a part of his head was shown ''even though it is very obvious'' that it's him and using his name and likeness is legal under the protection of the First Amendment.
* A short from ''Film/TheThreeStooges'' has them prospecting for gold and inadvertently breaking into a federal gold vault. They explain they were trying to pay for a sick kid's operation to a heard but not seen [[UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt FDR]], who pardons them and pays for the operation, because he's a swell guy.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant'' has a brief shot of President Eisenhower being briefed on the situation with the Giant, seen from the back. A portrait of Ike is visible in an earlier scene, hanging in the mayor's office.
* ''Film/SisterAct'' shows the Pope from behind as he listens to the nuns' concert. (It's clearly meant to be Pope John Paul II, as shown by his coat of arms.)
* ''Film/TheCrazies'' (1973). A VideoPhone link is set up with the President so he can, if required, authorize the use of nuclear weapons to contain the virus. However as the President spends the entire conversation bizarrely sitting with his back to the camera, one wonders why George Romero didn't just have him talking over a telephone speaker.
* Used for satire in ''Film/{{Water 1985}}''. The President (implied to be UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan) is sitting in the Oval Office with his back to the audience as his staff (facing towards the audience) urge him to invade [[FictionalCountry Cascara]] to preempt a communist revolution.
-->"The decision appears to be unanimous, Mr President. [DramaticPause] Well, shall we wake him?"
* ''Film/MissionToMoscow'' shows the back of FDR's head as the President is appointing Joseph Davis as U.S. Ambassador to Moscow.
* ''Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs''. The President is only a Nixon-like voice on the hotline to Colonel Benson, always preempted by the strains of "Hail to the Chief".

* Creator/StephenKing's novel ''Dreamcatcher'' was finished in mid-November 2000, at which time the outcome of the US presidential election was still in doubt; as such, when the President gives a national address regarding the events of the novel, the book strains to avoid mentioning whether the president was meant to be UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush or Al Gore.
* From Creator/TomClancy's ''Literature/JackRyan'' series: In an unusual case, ''Executive Orders'' does not refer to the President of Iraq by name when he is assassinated. What little characterization there is is entirely in line with Saddam Hussein (who was still in power when the book was published). Noteworthy in that Saddam Hussein was one of the few heads of state who would probably have been referred to by name in normal conversation, and that the book also uses invented leaders for Iran, India, and Russia.
* In ''Literature/AngelsAndDemons'', the deceased [[UsefulNotes/ThePope Pope's]] name and nationality are never stated, although it's pretty obvious that he was a highly-fictionalized John Paul II (Incumbent at the time of its writing).
** The film adaptation names him "Pius XIII", from a brief glimpse of his ring before it's destroyed.
* The President during the time period that ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfFoxTayle'' takes place (late 2005 to early 2006, [[SeriesHiatus so far]]) is UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush. Fox Tayle was created in a canceled government project and he escaped, and now the FBI is after him. His long-term goal is to talk to the president to try to get some personal rights and to stop being chased (so far, Bush has only been mentioned twice in the story).
* There's a double-whammy in the Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''The Dying Days''; it's set in 1997, but at the time of publication (1996) both the American and British national elections were being contested, thus meaning that the identities of both the President and the Prime Minister are deliberately kept vague.
* In book 21 of ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', the main characters break up a summit of several world leaders, and go to great lengths to not refer to the president, or any of the other heads of state, by name. They even decline to mention what ''country'' one of the leaders represents, as he had had a little too much to drink and [[TooDumbToLive refuses to get out of the way of a rampaging elephant]]. Averted in the last book, which explicitly refers to President Clinton.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The President is never seen or mentioned by name in ''Series/StargateSG1'' until a new one gets elected in the show's seventh season (though prior to that there's at least one fake-out involving a BodyDouble).
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spy_Game_(TV_series) Spy Game]]: we never see the president. All that is shown is his voice level analysis graph on the communications monitor.
* The President on ''Series/TheWestWing'' was originally intended to be almost entirely unseen -- Martin Sheen was originally only contracted for four episodes of the show's first season. In his one scene in the pilot episode, he was so amazingly impressive that they changed their minds and effectively made him the main character.
* The Queen and Prime Minister both appeared as outstretched hands from behind doors in ''Series/AreYouBeingServed''.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial ''The Green Death'' also portrayed the Prime Minister as an outstretched hand and as the unheard half of a telephone conversation with TheBrigadier. In the phone conversation, he was called "Jeremy", a reference to the then leader of the Liberal Party (who was never Prime Minister).
** More recently, ''Series/DoctorWho'' has used archival footage of the Queen's coronation for an episode set during the event.
*** And during one of the Christmas specials in which the Queen and her staff (and corgis) first evacuate the palace and then wave to a passing spaceship, she is only seen from the back.
** In "Aliens of London", the Doctor asks Rose (after accidentally landing a year late to her home time) who the Prime Minister is. She stares at him cluelessly, and explains it ''has'' been a year. This was because the episode was to be broadcast very close to the General Election, and there was no way of guessing the outcome. The corpse of the Prime Minister himself is later found in the episode, though they make sure not to focus on his face.
* ''Series/DharmaAndGreg'' and fake Southern accents and Al Gore. Enough said.
* Similarly, on an episode of ''Series/{{Hustle}}'', the Queen's feet were shown, as was her corgi. Earlier in the episode, in a scene at Buckingham Palace, a bell marked 'HRH' was seen to ring in the butler's pantry, suggesting that the Royal Highness in question was calling for assistance.
* The Pentagon drama ''ERing'' had an extreme example where the president was never even mentioned, even though in real life he'd be heavily involved in the military missions each episode featured.
* One episode of the ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'' shows Dorothy meeting the President right in her own home, but all the viewer gets to see is the President's hands through the open door.
* The Australian series ''Series/TheHollowmen'' is based around a department designed to add positive spin to any and all of the federal government's policies. Despite there being at least a dozen meetings with the Prime Minister and various other politicians over the course of the series, not one of them is ever shown - the audience only ever gets to see just inside the door of the PM's office.
* While Hacker was Minster for Administrative Affairs in ''Series/YesMinister'', many characters mentioned the Prime Minister, but the PM never actually showed up on-screen despite occasionally determining the outcome of an episode. Averted once Hacker got the top job himself. Notably, the PM was referred to as 'him' despite UsefulNotes/MargaretThatcher being in office at the time. This aided the goal of obfuscating Hacker's party membership: referring to the PM as "her" would have led many the erroneous conclusion that the show was specifically a satire of the current government and/or that Hacker was a Tory. (The series stuck very closely to NoPartyGiven.)
* Old and very funny example. There was a ''The Lucy Show'' episode where Lucy and a Girl Scout troop went to visit President UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy at TheWhiteHouse. Lucy (Lucille Ball) feels faint and sits down on a historical piece of furniture, UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln's boyhood rocking chair. The chair is too small, and gets stuck to Lucy's adult-sized posterior. As she is stumbling around trying to get this thing off, a voice off camera in the oval office says "It's nice to meet you. I see I am not the only one around with a personal attachment to rocking chairs." This, of course, was an impersonation of JFK. Lucy wattles into the oval office as dignified as she can, patriotic music playing in the background.
* ''Series/GetSmart'':
** CONTROL had a direct phone line to the president. When Chief makes contact, the voice of the president is coming from a stuffed steer head mounted to the wall. The voice was an impersonation of [[UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson LBJ]]. "Let us reason together".
** One episode had Max needing to convince his pal (Don Rickles) he was a spy; he puts Rickles on the hot line and he says "Uh-huh. Right. And I'm Sidney Bird." After he's convinced, he tells Max "Hey, I never met the guy, but I use his baby powder all the time!"
* In ''Series/TheThickOfIt'', Prime Minister Tom Davis is never seen. His predecessor was known only as "the Prime Minister".
** The leader of the opposition, 'JB', is also never seen.
* In ''Series/{{Veep}}, the TransatlanticEquivalent of ''Series/TheThickOfIt'', the President is never seen, and his name is not revealed [[spoiler:until he resigns at the end of season 3]].
* In the season 1 finale of ''Series/VeronicaMars'', the Kane family throws a party where the Governor of California is a guest. Based on the episode's air date and a few chance remarks, it's pretty clear that the governor is intended to be Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger, but his name is never mentioned and he never appears onscreen.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Doonesbury}}'' carries this to its logical extreme by literally showing the president as invisible. This began with UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush, to poke fun of his weak stance on issues. Later presidents were shown with floating symbols -- UsefulNotes/BillClinton as a waffle (as in "waffling on the issues"); UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush as an asterisk, a cowboy hat, and (after 9/11) a Roman centurion helmet[[note]] which became increasingly dented and battered as the war dragged on and on[[/note]]. This extended to other politicians, such as Dan Quayle (a feather) and House Speaker Newt Gingrich (a CartoonBomb).
** Prior to this, strips featuring the President simply showed {{establishing shot}}s of TheWhiteHouse. Then there was the time UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan appeared as "[[MaxHeadroom Ron Headrest]]".
** Trudeau has stated that this started at least partly so that he doesn't have to try to draw a recognizable depiction of an actual person, which he claims to not be very good at.
** Didn't stop him from doing a perfect take on [[http://www.gocomics.com/doonesbury/2010/07/04 the Obamas as the Bumsteads]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' may or may not be an exception, with President Eden [[spoiler: being a computer]].
** It probably counts as an exception, since we do -- in a manner of speaking -- get to see his face. [[spoiler: That is, his monitor]]. There is also some uncertainty as to whether he legally speaking ''is'' the President, since the person to tell the surviving Enclave that he was a part of the previous President's cabinet was Eden himself, and we do know he lies and bends the truth...
* President Graham from ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4''. We never see the president himself (except possibly in some incredibly blurry photographs right before the final boss fight), but we do meet his daughter.
** Two games later, you do meet him in person... and then blow his head off after terrorists finally succeed at infecting the White House.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' cartoon used a generic president. The practice was {{lampshaded}} by whomever was meeting/kidnapping him and always introducing himself with "I'm one of those generic presidents they use to keep cartoons from becoming dated."
* The {{Droopy}} cartoon ''Droopy's Good Deed'' used this at the end, after Droopy's character, a Boy Scout, had won a visit with the President. Droopy lampshaded this after TheUnreveal with the page quote above. This also subverted MGM cartoons' tendency towards surprise live-action cameos at the time.
** Also, at the beginning of the same cartoon, when Spike first learns that the winning scout would meet the president, a thought bubble appears over his head as he imagines himself at Washington DC shaking hands with the president, whose body is all but shown entirely, [[TheFaceless his head out of the thought bubble's frame]]. So even if the president did appear in the ending, he would probably be given the same treatment that Spike's fantasy gave him.
* An episode of the 1981 ''{{Spider-Man}}'' cartoon has a faceless President refusing to give in to Doctor Doom's demands, and promptly ordering an air strike on his nefarious device (this puts Spider-Man's life at risk, since he's there trying to thwart the plan himself, but he doesn't know that). Later, however, at the climax of the show's world-conquering StoryArc, [[spoiler:the President -- now in complete silhouette -- is forced to give up his seat to one of Doctor Doom's robotic proxies]].
* In the {{WesternAnimation/Batman|TheAnimatedSeries}} / WesternAnimation/{{Superman|TheAnimatedSeries}} crossover "World's Finest" Superman stops a hijacking of UsefulNotes/AirForceOne. After the rescue, they cut to Superman saying "Thank you, Mr. President," through the window of the President's limo, which then drives off.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In a meta version of this trope, Creator/ClintEastwood appeared at the 2012 Republican Convention and appeared to have a conversation with an empty chair representing President Obama. Immediately, the internet was awash in pictures of vacant chairs, and a new meme was born.


[[folder:Anime}} & Manga]]
* Because they have to sign off on the hiring, whenever the US government hires Manga/{{Golgo 13}}, the president in office at the time of the story's writing will make an appearance.
* The ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' {{OVA}} has an unnamed fictional US president in two episodes. He spends most of his time on screen cringing, and caps off both appearances by wetting himself (though on both occasions with good reason; first the White House is getting blown up by a flying man shooting electricity, the second because the US fleet just had [[NoSell no effect]] on a weapon about to destroy the world).
** In the TV show, the president slumps to the ground and wets himself again because the US was politically and diplomatically bested by Mr. Joker and Great Britain. Said President is speculated to be UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Often averted in comic books. Kennedy appeared more than once on page (Franchise/{{Superman}} infamously revealed his identity to him in an issue published after his death, and ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' featured an {{Elseworlds}} story wherein Kennedy became a space-traveling hero) and UsefulNotes/BarackObama was famously given a back-up story in an issue of ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'' (after reporting that Creator/StephenColbert won).
** We see the back of JFK's head in an early '60s ''ComicStrip/DennisTheMenaceUS''(!) comic book, uttering his famous "Let me say this about that...", and he's talking off-panel in a WonderWartHog comic of the era.
** After the aforementioned ''Spider-Man'' backup story, most every time Obama is pictured in Marvel Comics, he either has his FaceFramedInShadow or is shown from the back. The closest they ever got was with some partial (although heavy) shading on his face in an early issue of ''ComicBook/DarkReign'', when he has a meeting with Norman Osborn and Doc Samson.
* In ''ComicBook/BlackSummer'', the protagonist -- a renegade superhero called John Horus -- brutally kills President UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush and his colleagues for sending America into the second Iraq war. Bush is seen dead on the cover of issue 0.
* UsefulNotes/RichardNixon appears in a relatively early issue of ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'', specifically identified as Nixon.
* Then-president UsefulNotes/BillClinton actually delivered the eulogy at [[ComicBook/TheDeathOfSuperman Superman's funeral]]. His face was clearly visible, and UsefulNotes/{{Hillary|RodhamClinton}} was there, too.
** In a less glamorous moment for Slick Willie, his Marvel Universe self also personally kicked ComicBook/CaptainAmerica out of the country after Cap had been accused of treason. Of course, once Cap's name was cleared, he welcomed him back.
** Bill and Hillary also played a significant role in several issues of ''ComicBook/{{Supreme}}'', and while he was never shown, Obama was mentioned in the revised 2013 series.
* Until recently, the usual unwritten policy at both Marvel and DC was that the president's face could be shown, but his name never be used; he would always just be called "Mr. President". Marvel broke this rule recently with a few appearances by UsefulNotes/BarackObama in which he's referred to by name.
** DC went the opposite route in 2000, when ComicBook/LexLuthor [[PresidentEvil was elected president]]. Ever since then, the president in the DCU has always been a fictional character, which obviously allows them to do whatever they want with him.
* ComicBook/SavageDragon does this quite a bit. When the protagonist wakes up in the first issue with a specific form of amnesia, he mentions that George Bush (senior) is the president but has no information regarding his own name. Later in the series, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all make appearances while in office. This trope is also played with since Dragon himself nearly became the president at one point.
* One Marvel UK issue of ''Comicbook/TheTransformers'' had Optimus Prime and the Autobots seek an audience with Ronald Reagan. Optimus wanted to explain the Autobots' reason for being on Earth, but were attacked by Decepticons and retreated before their meeting could be concluded.
* A double-sized issue of ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'' has Cap (in his alternate guise as [=USAgent=]) trying to stop a Serpent Society plot to contaminate the drinking water of Washington D.C. with a chemical that turns people into LizardFolk. Cap ends up at the White House, where he gets attacked by a reptilian Reagan. When the effects of the toxin wear off, Ron is dazed and confused, but otherwise unharmed.
* Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt play a fairly large role in the adult comic ''DocDare''.
* Played with in the ComicBook/{{Runaways}}[=/=]ComicBook/YoungAvengers ''ComicBook/SecretInvasion'' crossover miniseries. During the final battle against Chrell, Speed grabs Molly Hayes and Klara Prast and dumps them somewhere far away from the fighting. Klara looks around and suddenly exclaims "Mr. President!" [[spoiler:It turns out they've been dropped off in front of Mt. Rushmore]].

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* [[FanFic/{{ITSMYLIFE}} ITS MY LIFE!]]: By the end of the first fan fiction "the President" appears to give most of the protagonists medals, but it is not revealed who he is. (And, because of the confusing writing, one would assume he is [[Videogame/{{Portal2}} Cave Johnson.]]) By TEEN FORTRESS 2 we figure out that he is... UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln.

* In a highly controversial exception, the film ''The Death of a President'' digitally superimposes the face of UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush onto an actor as he is killed by a sniper.
* A clip of UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan appeared in the film of ''Film/AlienNation'', the producers using the "If not us, who? If not now, when?" quote from his second inaugural address to reference the legislation that recognized the aliens as refugees (and future citizens).
* ''NationalLampoonsSeniorTrip'', which ostensibly takes place in the mid-1990s, depicts a fictional President who looks less like Bill Clinton and more like Franklin Roosevelt (minus the wheelchair).
* ''Film/TheNakedGun''
** In the first film, Queen Elizabeth II attends a baseball game, which turned out to be the setting for an assassination attempt.
** The second film includes President Bush at a state dinner attended by Drebin.
* A photograph of Ronald Reagan was prominently displayed in the NORAD command room in ''War Games.'' (Probably there because it's TruthInTelevision - US federal government buildings usually display a photograph of the current President, as with the French example below - but admirers of the "Gipper" have accused the movie of Anviliciously cutting away to his picture every time the DefCon alert was raised.)
* ''Film/ToLiveAndDieInLA'' had William Peterson as a Secret Service agent trying to take out a terrorist during a speech by President Reagan. We don't see him, as the scene takes place on a rooftop, but audio clips of "the Gipper" are played to make it seem like the speech is in progress. The President doesn't appear again, as the film is about the ''other'' job of the Secret Service: stopping counterfeiters.
* In ''Film/TheXFilesIWantToBelieve'', Mulder and Scully walk into a government office, where Mulder spies a picture of George W. Bush. He gives Scully a wide-eyed look. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Cue the X-Files theme]].
* ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen'': Director Galloway is explicitly described as President Obama's National Security Advisor and repeatedly states that he's acting on behalf of the president. He spends the whole film making bad decisions and butting heads with the military, making himself a StrawmanPolitical of President Obama's defense policies.

* The Queen is a major character in Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Literature/TheBFG''. Admittedly, she's never directly called Queen Elizabeth II... but in the animated version she is drawn to look exactly like her.
* ''Literature/WorldWarZ'': Howard Dean, Colin Powell, Paris Hilton, Bill Maher, Ann Coulter, and Nelson Mandela are all described in such explicit detail as to leave no doubt who they mean, but characters go to great lengths to avoid naming them. Fidel Castro ''is'' mentioned by name, as the leader of Cuba who gives in to democracy -- unfortunately, in a context from which actual [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp history has marched on]].
* One of Creator/RobertRankin's rather insane stories (his most common thread involves Elvis with a time-traveling sprout lodged in his head) features Prince Charles as a love interest for one of the semi-protagonists, including some quite surprising scenes...

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* A recent {{mockumentary}} in the UK featured footage of UsefulNotes/TonyBlair used to talk about a stock market crash.
* Footage of Blair and [[UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush Bush]] appeared in an episode of ''Series/{{Spooks}}'' about a state visit of the latter.
* A Season 1 episode of ''Series/ThirdWatch'' had UsefulNotes/HillaryClinton, then the first lady, walking past the main police officers en route to a debate with Republican Rudolph Giuliani during the 2000 Senate campaign.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' steamrolled this trope in their first episode. The president getting who enters Air Force One is, to all intents and purposes, UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush in practically every respect. He's actually played by Steve Bridges who certainly isn't unfamiliar with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDPAUi3VPSo playing the role]]. Archive footage of GWB is also used in the series, such as one of him getting into a helicopter as the NCIS learn of an attempt to take down the helicopter.
* Real footage of Prince Charles was used and redubbed for the finale of ''Series/LookAroundYou'', to make it look like Prince Charles was actually presenting the Look Around You Award. They even go so far as to make him express an interest in a sex-change device and later get attacked by a mad scientist with a skin spray.
* While the actual president never appeared in ''Series/TheXFiles'', a large photo of UsefulNotes/BillClinton was clearly visible in Skinner's office throughout several seasons. However, no pictures of UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush ever appeared after his election.
** However, in the recent movie, both Mulder and Scully notice a picture of Bush in the hallway, walk over to it, and stare at it, as the theme music plays.
* Canada's last two Prime Ministers, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper, both claim cameo appearances as themselves on ''Series/CornerGas''. Many Canadian politicians have also been known to cameo in sketch comedy shows such as the Royal Canadian Air Farce.
* A first season episode of ''Series/{{JAG}}'' used stock footage of UsefulNotes/BillClinton jogging through a park, edited to look like Harm, who was jogging the other way, passed him.
** The second season opener starts with UsefulNotes/BillClinton presenting Harm with the Distinguished Flying Cross. Again stock footage was edited into the show.
** In one episode, Bud Roberts carried the so-called "football" for UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush, and archived footage of the President was used in the episode.
** Stock footage of the presidents of the time were often seen in the background in the bullpen scenes. Later seasons featured regular background footage of then-SECDEF Donald Rumsfeld.
* Averted in two ways in ''Series/LieToMe''. The show has a habit of using still images of famous people to illustrate whatever emotion they're talking about, and a solid majority of these seem to be recent US Presidents (as well as Presidential candidates and Vice Presidents). In addition, President Obama has been referred by name to at least twice so far by the characters in the show.
* UsefulNotes/MargaretThatcher famously appeared as herself in a sketch she wrote for ''Series/YesMinister''.
* In ''TheJeffersons'' (season 4, George and Jimmy) President [[UsefulNotes/JimmyCarter Carter]] was invited by George Jefferson to stay at his house.
* When the Prime Minister is the main character, you can't very well keep him invisible, and hence ''[[Series/YesMinister Yes, Prime Minister]]'' averts this trope.
* Tony Blair appeared as himself in a Comic Relief sketch of ''Series/TheCatherineTateShow''.
* In the ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "Intro to Political Science", the Vice President visiting the college is explicitly identified as Joe Biden, but we only see the back of his head and hear his voice.
* In an episode of ''Series/HannahMontana'' the Obama girls are big fans of Hannah's (just like every other living person under 13) so she is visited by the president. He is shown only from the back and addresses her as "Miley." When Lily gasps "How did ''he'' know?" Miley brushes it off with "Well, he ''is'' leader of the free world. I think he can keep a secret."
* This was deliberately set up and then subverted in the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. Given how many portrayals of the Queen in fiction are limited to a shot from behind of a (usually [[TheVoiceless voiceless]]) grey-haired head in a pastel pink hat, with a corgi trotting around nearby, when Creator/DanielCraig-as-Film/JamesBond walks down a Buckingham palace corridor and steps through a door, that's precisely what he seems to be met with. Then she turns around, and it's the real deal. AndThereWasMuchRejoicing. (There were seditious rumours that it may not have been the actual Queen who followed Bond in parachuting out of a helicopter into the stadium, however.)
* Although current prime ministers and presidents in ''Series/DoctorWho'' are usually fictional characters, historical ones are usually accurate. The Eleventh Doctor has met both UsefulNotes/RichardNixon and UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill, for instance.
** Zig-zagged in "The End of Time," which identified the U.S. president as UsefulNotes/BarackObama and used actual audio of him, but only showed him from the back or with his face obscured.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* While he is never named, President Obama can be clearly seen in photographs on the wall of Konrad's penthouse in ''SpecOpsTheLine''.
* A fictional US President, whose name is never mentioned, is clearly visible in ''WorldInConflict'' cutscenes.
* Infamously in BadDudes: [[MemeticMutation If you are a bad enough dude to save him]], [[UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan President "Ronnie"]] will treat you to a hamburger.
* ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'''s expansion pack Duke It Out in D.C. had what was for all intents and purposes UsefulNotes/BillClinton, tied to a chair and kept in stasis at the end of the game. Clinton and Janet Reno both appear in framed photographs in the Atomic Edition's 4th episode, as well.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Hilariously subverted in ''Webcomic/GrrlPower'', as seen [[http://grrlpowercomic.com/archives/1707 here]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* British Prime Minister UsefulNotes/TonyBlair appeared as himself in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' in 2004, becoming the first serving leader to do so.
* Al Gore, then Vice President, appeared as himself in ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' in 2000. He reappeared 3 years later as his future self, "Al Gore, First emperor of the moon and [[MemeticMutation Inventor of the Environment]]."
** Al Gore's daughter just happens to be a writer for ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}''...
** And of course, the President of Earth in 3000 is UsefulNotes/RichardNixon's Head.
** In a flashback to Fry's childhood, a young Barack Obama appears working as a delivery boy at the same pizza parlor Fry would later work at (before being frozen).
* A fictional president bearing a passing resemblance to George Bush appears in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', albeit in a parallel universe run by the [[KnightTemplar Justice Lords]], who now decide when (or if) elections are held.
** Played straighter in ''Unlimited'', where in the aftermath of [[spoiler:the Watchtower being overridden and firing on Earth]], J'onn receives a call from the President, who is not clearly shown.
* UsefulNotes/BillClinton ended up with quite a bit of animated screen time in ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'', {{Freakazoid}} and ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'' as the current President. (Prior series ''TinyToonAdventures'' used UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln as a generic President). Al Gore doesn't get quite as much, but he does show up a few times. Of course, this isn't quite the ''actual'' image, merely an animated version several times.
** UsefulNotes/BillClinton is in the opening credits of ''Animaniacs'', with the line "Bill Clinton plays the sax."
** Of course, an exception for ''Tiny Toons'' was the VerySpecialEpisode about {{Media Watchdog}}s, where the cast went to the capitol to pick on the Bush administration in person (the highlight was, of course, Quayle).
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' had a UsefulNotes/BillClinton-like President in one episode, and a UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush-like one in another.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'', Cleveland initially [[TooDumbToLive does not realize]] that the [[UsefulNotes/BarackObama Barry Obama]] he beat at basketball as a child grew up to be President.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'': Plastic Man doesn't recognize President Obama at the end of "Cry Freedom Fighters!"
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' has never shied away from portraying sitting Presidents, having done so with UsefulNotes/BillClinton, UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush, and UsefulNotes/BarackObama.
* In an episode of ''TheFlintstones'', Fred dreams of teaching a prehistoric version of LBJ (and some of his Cabinet) "The Twitch. "

* French films or live-action TV are an ''inversion'' of this trope. In France, every police station and town hall is required to display the official portrait of the current president. And during last a half century, every president had a very long term (the mandate was originally seven years, and Mitterrand was able to run two full mandates). So, it is very common in French films or live-action TV to display the president's portrait, even if the show is about people way too unimportant to deal with the actual president.
* The same holds true in several countries with regimes at least nominally modeled on that of France. This is most especially common in the Middle East, where semi-presidential authoritarian regimes abound; the portrait of Hosni Mubarak in particular became famous across the Arab world because of all the Egyptian ''[[SoapOpera musalsalat]]'' in which the characters have to go to a government office only to stare at his mug hanging over the head of some petty official.
* Every diplomatic mission of the United States has a portrait of the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State; very often this is at the security checkpoint. So if you go into the gatehouse of the American Embassy pretty much anywhere, you will, as you empty your pockets and submit to scanning, be treated to the smiling faces of UsefulNotes/BarackObama and UsefulNotes/JoeBiden.