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[[quoteright:280:[[VideoGame/{{Armello}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/king_of_beasts_4.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:280:Atop the mane, there is a crown.]]

->''"He couldn't take it! King of the Beasts! Ha ha ha! Nero the Chicken-hearted! Ha ha ha!"''
-->-- '''WesternAnimation/BugsBunny''' (about Nero the Lion), "[[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Acrobatty Bunny]]"

Lions, with their huge manes and rather majestic appearance, have been considered the king of beasts since time immemorial. As with many cultural memes, this has found its way into fiction.

If exotic animals play a major part in a story, it's likely that lions will be in a position of power or authority. They might command all the other animals, or just the carnivores, or even just the felines. They might not have any real authority, but the other animals (except possibly the tigers) will pay them due respect.

Alternatively, if there's a group of different animal heroes, it's common to see a lion as TheHero or TheLeader.

Medieval bestiaries go further by declaring lions to pretty much be Jesuses: according to them, lion cubs are stillborn, but after three days the lion brings them to life by breathing on them.

One reason lions may have gotten this cultural cache is the behaviour observed when a lion is visible to prey. Most prey in Africa act on what you can call an axiom, "A visible lion is a safe lion." This means that when a lion is seen beyond a certain minimum distance, prey animals will typically not attempt to flee it, because lions have poor running endurance owing to their undersized hearts and they typically will be able to escape it easily if it tries to reach them. Likewise, the typical lion is aware of this limitation and will not bother making a futile charge. So, what often happens in this situation is the prey animals will be milling about as if standing at attention, keeping an eye on the lion who looks like he is reviewing his troops like a king.

There is another possible explanation about the royal title. Let's remember lions have not always been exclusively African animals; they did live in temperate forests in the past, even in ''Ancient Greece''. This means lions were around not far away from Creator/{{Aristotle}}, while other powerful wild animals such as elephants and tigers have always been exotic critters within the European point of view. In ancient Greek and Anatolian settings, the lion was easily the top-predator, outstanding even wolves and brown bears (European bears [[MotherRussiaMakesYouStrong outside Russia]] are much smaller than North-American grizzlies and kodiak): hence King Of Beasts. Then the title became a meme and remained even when modern explorations made tigers, elephants and other exotic large mammals more familiar to general public. The last lions in the Balkans have been (unreliably) sighted in the wild [[TheHighMiddleAges in the 14th century]].

However, not all people agree about the Lion deserving the noble tin: RealLife lions have many potential enemies to look for. Adult elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes and Nile crocodiles are far too big and powerful to be killed by a solitary lion, and can kill in turn a fully-grown male lion more easily than the opposite. Meanwhile spotted hyenas, with their powerful crushing jaws, despite their reputation as humble scavengers are actually feared by lions just like the latter are feared by hyenas, to the point that hyenas can actually defeat lions if they are in group. In addition, male lions are notoriously poor hunters due to the fact that the mane is a [[AwesomeButImpractical huge, impractical display structure]]; the lioness does most of the hunting, and the male acts as the pride's guardian, using his huge size and mane to intimidate rivals. None the less, a male lion is still a very formidable animal, and across much of its ancient range (from North Africa and the Balkans across the Levant, Mesopotamia, Arabia, and Persia to India, where elephants reappear), the lion was definitely on top.

Interesting to note that many human cultures have or had a different hierarchical vision about the animal world. Some African people say the lion is the "king" but the elephant is God. In Indian tales the Elephant and the Lion are often portrayed as they are contending their supremacy over all animals. And in Europe before and in some cases after Christianization, it's the bear that is considered the lord of the beasts. The wolf has also had this reputation among other ancient European peoples (ex in pre-Roman Italy). In Muslim traditions, the lion is respected (and there are all number of Arabic masculine names that mean "lion"), but it is the giraffe who is the "Queen of the Beasts" (for its elegance).

In many Eastern countries, the tiger often takes the role of the king of beasts [[TigerVersusDragon despite having to compete with what Westerners call the "Chinese dragon."]] The tiger is often associated with the Earth (king of earthly beasts) and the dragon is associated with the Heavens (king of mythical beasts). The "Chinese lion", often outside Buddhist temples or homes as a protector of those inside, looks so unusual because lions were long since extinct in China when the Chinese first carved such statues; they have been theorised to be based on a kind of dog. Another points to the Jade Emperor origin stories of the zodiac of how the tiger became the king of beasts, as it was said that though the lion ruled first, the Jade Emperor disapproved of its tyranny and later bestowed the tiger with its title after showcasing acts of heroism throughout the natural world, with each deed as the black mark upon its head eventually forming the ideogram for king.

In some ancient Arab cultures, the Giraffe has received the royal title (this is not so surprising, if you realize that RealLife adult giraffes are very strong animals, almost unharmed by predators). In the Bible (Book of Job) two animals are mentioned as "God's most powerful creatures", the Behemoth and the [[KrakenAndLeviathan Leviathan]]. Some think both are real animals: the first one may be the Hippopotamus, the latter may be either the Nile Crocodile or a large sea creature (Leviathan in modern Hebrew language means "whale"). In DinosaurMedia, TyrannosaurusRex has a similar reputation; its name even means "tyrant lizard king."

See also PantheraAwesome, CatsAreSuperior.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'', lion Digimon are almost always powerful and heroic characters (the exception being [=MadLeomon=] of ''Xros Wars'', who is a StarterVillain). Leomon even has an attack called "Fist of the Beast King". Each continuity tends to have its own lion present in the plot (Leomon in ''Adventure'' and ''Tamers'', Löwemon in ''Frontier'', [=BanchoLeomon=] in ''Savers'', and Apollomon in ''Xros Wars''), but it's become a rather morbid RunningGag that said lion [[TheyKilledKennyAgain will perform a]] HeroicSacrifice for the protagonists at some point.
* ''[[Anime/GoLion Hyakujuu-oh Go Lion]]''- it's made up of five lions, and the "Hyakujuu-oh" means "King of a Hundred Beasts".
* ''Manga/KimbaTheWhiteLion'' The title character's father was ''Emperor'' of the Jungle.
* ''Anime/BeastWarsII'' had ''[[Characters/TransformersGeneration1Autobots Optimus Prime]]'' (Convoy in Japan) expy and white lion ''Lio Convoy'' leading that series' group of Maximals (Cybertrons).
* One chapter of ''Manga/HelenESP'' deals with the ghost of a lion who grew up in captivity and never got to see the savannah.
* ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'' - the eponymous [[HumongousMecha mecha]] is partly made up of an [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot alien robot lion]], and the main character's last name roughly translates to "lion king". Lions show up in a few of the other Anime/BraveSeries shows as well.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** The Thousand Sunny. It was even stated by Iceburg that it'll be the "King of the Beasts" in order to carry the "King of the Pirates" or something like that.
** One of Buggy's crew members is a giant lion.
* ''Franchise/{{Jewelpet}}'' has the rarely seen (usually [[BestForLast towards the end of the season]]) white lion Granite. While he doesn't have any claim to leadership, he has the honour of being the protagonist's boyfriend.
* ''Anime/KemonoFriends'': Lion is the leader of a group of Friends on the plains, and is in a constant state of NonLethalWarfare with Moose, who's called "King of the Forests". In reality though, she's actually quite laid-back and reasonable and only pretends to be stern and serious in front of her followers.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' cards:
** "King of Beasts;" [[CaptainObvious astoundingly enough]], it's a lion.
** "Behemoth the King of All Animals" who is much more of the humongous or elephant type.
* In ''Anime/CardfightVanguard'', the Gold Paladin Clan was originally composed of seven corps dedicated to gathering the seven Sacred Beast Armors, each themed after one of the armors: Red Lion, Silver Wolf, Black Horse, White Rabbit, Purple Elephant, Blue Falcon and Green Deer. Unsurprisingly, the Red Lion Corps and their leader, Incandescent Lion, Blond Ezel got the [[IncrediblyLamePun lion's share]] of screentime both in the anime and in the card game lore. Ezel himself was critical to the resolution of the War of Liberation in the lore via his SuperMode: Blazing Lion, Platina Ezel.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Subverted in ''ComicBook/TheBeano'' comic strip ''Richard the Lion''. This lion instead of being King of Beasts is weedy, skinny and only 'king' of Lord Threadbare's Safari Park.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Grandville}}'', set in a FunnyAnimal AlternateHistory 19th century French Empire, Napoleon is a lion.
* ''{{ComicBook/Blacksad}}'': A rather crappy sci-fi movie Blacksad is watching features a lion as a US general (and a bald eagle as the president).

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Hobbes and a lion named Caesar argue about this in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''. Calvin ends it by [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments beating him up and proclaiming]] ''[[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments himself]]'' [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments as king of the jungle.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheJungleKing'' is built in this stereotype, being about a lion king who is a {{Jerkass}}, but is betrayed and captured, so his more benevolent brother has to impersonate him.
* In Disney's ''Disney/TheLionKing'', the lions are acknowledged as the Kings of the Savannah - even by those species they generally prey upon.
* In Disney's ''Disney/RobinHood'', King [[UsefulNotes/RichardTheLionHeart Richard]] and Prince [[UsefulNotes/KingJohnOfEngland John]] are lions. Richard (who also provides a StealthPun) fits the regal image perfectly. John, on the other hand, is scrawny and pathetic.
* Alex in ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}''. When he was at the Central Park Zoo, he was known as the King of New York, and in the sequel he is revealed to be the son of the alpha male of a pride in Africa.
* The Mayor of ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'' is, you guessed it, a lion named Lionheart. While overall he is genuinely concerned about the well-being of the citizens of Zootopia, he does have overtones of being a SleazyPolitician.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* King Leonidas of Namboombu from ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks''.
* The Cowardly Lion from the Film version of ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' apparently ''wants'' to be the king of the forest, but is having trouble because he isn't brave enough. Eventually he is appointed to rule all of Oz alongside the Scarecrow and the Tin Man after Dorothy and the Wizard leaves.
* The motif is invoked in ''Film/WarCraft2016'', where the kings of Stormwind use lion as their symbol.

* OlderThanFeudalism: ''Literature/AesopsFables'' have the lion as King of Beasts. Aesop was definitely the TropeCodifier.
* The ''[[Literature/ReynardTheFox Roman de Renart]]'' (''i.e.'', Reynard the [[CunningLikeAFox Fox]]) and la Fontaine's fables use this trope. The lion is called Noble the Lion in mediaeval beast fable. He was not always a ReasonableAuthorityFigure and indeed some fables are about his striking a LeonineContract.
* Many Middle Eastern fables also have the lion as the king of animals, though he's often not a ''good'' king; in several stories he's overconfident, unwise, and easily outsmarted by his viziers, the [[ThoseWilyCoyotes jackals]] Kalila and Dimna.
* Aslan in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' is [[CrystalDragonJesus Narnia's version of Jesus]] (same guy, another incarnation), and he's a lion. His name actually [[MeaningfulName means]] "lion" in Turkish.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': Duke Nobel's coat of arms depicts a white lion, his father's name is Leo, and he aspires to be the King. [[spoiler: Later he has a son named Lionel.]]
* After he gains courage, the Cowardly Lion becomes King of the Beasts in ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz''.
* King Leonis in ''The Lion's Cavalcade'' by Alan Aldridge and Ted Walker.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', the sigil of House Lannister, the richest house in Westeros, is a lion, and their motto is "Hear Me Roar".
* SixthRanger David from ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' chooses a male lion as his combat morph. ''The Threat'' ends with a climatic battle between his lion and Jake's tiger, which ends in a decisive victory for the lion.
* In ''Literature/ThePrince'', Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli recommends being like this -- ''and'' CunningLikeAFox
-->''A prince, therefore, being compelled knowingly to adopt the beast, ought to choose the fox and the lion; because the lion cannot defend himself against snares and the fox cannot defend himself against wolves. Therefore, it is necessary to be a fox to discover the snares and a lion to terrify the wolves. Those who rely simply on the lion do not understand what they are about.''
* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': There are no lions, and in fact [[BizarreAlienBiology there are very very few Earth animals of any kind]]. However, in [[Literature/WordsOfRadiance the second book]] Adolin sees a mural of a mythological creature that looks like a giant mink with a mane. He can't recall the name, though.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': House Lannister's sigil is a lion and they use AnimalStereotypes as dynastic propaganda.
--> '''Tywin:''' A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' / ''Franchise/PowerRangers'':
** As stated in PantheraAwesome, nearly every series with any kind of animal theme has a big cat somewhere, and nine times out of ten, it's a lion. Some highlights:
** The Red Ranger has a lion theme in ''Lost Galaxy''/''Gingaman'', ''Wild Force''/''Gaoranger'', and ''Kyuranger''. The Red Ranger of ''Samurai''/''Shinkenger'', while being more associated with [[PlayingWithFire the element of fire]], also has a lion mecha.
*** In ''Wild Force,'' the King of Beasts role is a plot point - the lion is king of the jungle, so the Lion Zord's chosen Ranger is the leader of the team. This is why the RookieRedRanger is given ''full formal authority'' over the team despite the fact that he just arrived that morning with no clue as to what was going on or what a Power Ranger even ''was.'' Taylor, who'd had the leadership role before him and got it by ''knowing how to lead,'' was understandably displeased.
** In ''Jungle Fury''/''Gekiranger'', it's the BigBad that's a lion in contrast to the Rangers' tiger, jaguar, and cheetah.
** ''Megaforce''/''Goseiger'' has the lion theme go to the SixthRanger, Robo Knight/Gosei Knight.
** A lion theme is incorporated into the {{Mid Season Upgrade}}s in ''Mystic Force''/''Magiranger'', ''Go-Busters'', and ''Ninninger''/''Ninja Steel'', including design motifs on the associated weapons and a corresponding lion mecha.
** Separate from the franchise preference for lions, ''Series/DoubutsuSentaiZyuohger'' themes itself completely after the concept of Kings of Beasts ("Zyuoh" even literally translates to "Beast King"). In their InTheNameOfTheMoon pronouncements, ''all'' of the Zyuohgers proclaim themselves supreme in their animals' respective environments: Zyuoh Eagle is "king of the skies", Zyuoh Shark is "queen of the seas", Zyuoh Lion is "king of the savannah", Zyuoh Elephant is "king of the forest", Zyuoh Tiger is "queen of the snowfield", and Zyuoh Gorilla is "king of the jungle". (SixthRanger Zyuoh The World is "king of the world", but his powerset is a mashup of multiple animals so no specific beast is actually given that title.) The true King of Beasts in this case turns out to be Zyuoh ''Whale'', the Red Ranger's SuperMode and "king of the kings".
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS18E5WarriorsGate Warriors' Gate]]'', the leonine Tharils had been kings in the past.
* In ''Series/{{Grimm}}'', the Löwen (lion-like Wesen) were once kings, and still tend to be in positions of power over other Wesen, including running GladiatorGames.
* In ''Series/{{Zoo}}'', lions were the first species shown to turn against humans in an organized fashion, as if they were "leading" the mass animal uprising.

* A winged lion sits majestically on top of a waterfall on the cover of the Music/{{Asia}} album ''Arena''.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/GeorgeHackenschmidt's RedBaron was "The Russian Lion." He was born in UsefulNotes/{{Estonia}}, but it's not a case of FakeNationality, since, at the time he was born (1877), Estonia was part of the Russian Empire.
* Wrestling/ChrisJericho used the RedBaron "Lionheart" prior to coming to Wrestling/{{WWE}} in 1999. His Boston Crab FinishingMove, later renamed the "Walls of Jericho", was [[AnimalThemeNaming called]] the [=Liontamer=], and his second-rope moonsault is called the "[=Lionsault=]".
* DistaffCounterpart: The Japanese woman wrestler Wrestling/LionessAsuka.

[[folder: Puppet Shows]]
* The full-body Muppet in ''Galli Galli Sim Sim'', the Indian version of ''Series/SesameStreet'', is a purple lion named Boombah who is a member of "the royal family of Boombagarh".

* The mascot of the Kansas City Royals UsefulNotes/{{baseball}} team is a lion named Sluggerrr (yes, with three r's). His notable feature is his crown is somehow a part of his head. (As in, the points of the crown grow out the top of his "skull". [[ArtisticLicenseBiology Do not ask how this works.]])

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', lions appear in several contexts.
** The Simba, or werelions, claim authority over all the Bastet (though most Bastet would rather follow the Khan, or tiger tribe).
** Lion was the tribal totem of the White Howlers. When the White Howlers fell to the Wyrm, Griffin accepted Lion into his brood. Lion now extends totemic patronage to Red Talons.
* The Simbasta are leonine humanoids from 2nd Edition ''Advanced TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' who see themselves as leaders and have a natural ability to "subdue" their foes.
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' campaign, the Beastlands is a wild place where animals rule, so it makes sense the most powerful subspecies of the Guardinals - the dominant species - are the leonals, which resemble lions. (The most powerful of ''them'' is Prince Talisid of the Five Companions, although he isn't technically the ruler of the place, although he's likely the most influential being there other than deities.)
* In the ''TabletopGames/ForgottenRealms'', the patron deities for sentient monstrous beasts and various TalkingAnimal species are Nobanion the Lion and Lurue the Unicorn. He's their King and passionately hailed as leader by the predators, while she's their Queen and protects the gentler, more thoughtful sorts.
* In {{Ravenloft}}, the (short-lived) rebellion of Broken Ones against their [[Literature/TheIslandOfDoctorMoreau Dr. Moreau]]-{{Expy}} creator, Frantisek Markov, was led by an ambitious lion-man.
* Arturia, the white lion(ess?) that accompanied Zhorne Giovanni, First Emperor of Abel, in his aventures, in ''TabletopGame/AnimaBeyondFantasy''

* In ''WesternAnimation/LegendsOfChima'', the Lion tribe has a place of authority as the guardians of the world's Chi and the ones who distribute it to the other tribes.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':
** A regular quest type involves hunting down the King of Beasts in a particular zone, which is sometimes a lion, though it can just as easily be a tiger, raptor, primitive dragon, or most any sufficiently impressive creature.
** The Cataclysm expansion introduced a rare spawn named Sambas, a lion with a unique model that's tameable by Hunters.
* In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn]]'', it's the Lion Clan of Laguz that rule Gallia. The lions are also the strongest of the beast tribe. In the backstory, a member of the Lion Clan ruled about eighty percent of the continent. The setting's [[HybridDiscrimination ostracized]] [[HalfHumanHybrid beorc-laguz hybrids]] eventually fall under the lead of a half-lion.
* In ''Videogame/FinalFantasyVIII'', Squall Leonhart is very well remembered for his omnipresent lion motif.
* Slash Beast from ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'' is based off a lion (his Japanese name is "Slash Beast'''leo'''"). He's also the captain of Repliforce's army and gets really pissed off when you attack his unit on his [[TraintopBattle military train]].
* The [=KingLeo=] monsters from the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series seemed to be designed with this trope in mind. They have eight limbs.
* The Aura Lion dream eaters in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3D'' are referred as the kings of beasts, and fittingly, are one of the most powerful enemies or allies you'll encounter.
* Averted hilariously in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'', in which the [[http://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:King_of_beasts King of Beasts]] as a title has been awarded to rather unintuitive candidates such as elephants (most famously seen in Boatmurdered), giant sponges, unicorns, and recently, giant dingos.
* The King of ''VideoGame/{{Armello}}'' is a lion, who is dying and going insane as a result of TheCorruption. The players compete to try and succeed him, one way, or [[KlingonPromotion another]].
* Leo Whitefang from ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' fashions himself after a lion, with his blond mane, fur coat and sharpened teeth. Fittingly, he's also the Second King of Illyria.
* Toyed with in ''VideoGame/AviaryAttorney'', where the first lion you meet is a wealthy, intimidating captain of industry. The second you meet, actually a lioness, comes from grinding poverty and is the furious RebelLeader debating whether to put RevengeBeforeReason and trying to set up the Second Republic, which she wants to be a fair and equal society. The King of France, meanwhile, [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins is a penguin]].
* ''VideoGame/HearthstoneHeroesOfWarcraft'' has the King of Beasts card, which is naturally a lion. Stat-wise, however, this card's nowhere near as impressive as the hunter legendary King Krush (who is a devilsaur, the fantastic version of a T-Rex). And then in a meta-based DoubleSubversion, neither card is as commonly used or well regarded by the players as the Savannah Highmane - which is another lion-based card.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' gives us Solgaleo, the cover legendary of ''[[VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon Pokémon Sun]]'', a very large, stark white and powerful (and muscular) being whose mane is evocative of a sun's rays, and hailed in Alola as being an emissary of the sun. The fact that it can rip holes leading to parallel universes as well as to [[EldritchLocation Ultra Space]] only adds to its regal awesomeness.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', [[LadyOfWar Saber]] apparently once took care of a lion cub as a child. She also likes [[GirlsLoveStuffedAnimals the lion doll]] that Shirou gives her in Fate. With her true identity being [[spoiler: KingArthur]], it's not all that surprising that she likes the King Of Beasts.
** And then there's [[http://images.wikia.com/typemoon/images/c/c9/SABER_LION.jpg Saber Lion]] in ''[=Fate/tiger colosseum=]'', which is as adorable as this trope can get.
** Heracles also gets this, as his design seems very reminiscent of one.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{minus}}'', a GreatWhiteHunter shoots a lion. His assistant is sent to check on the animal and comes back with boxing gloves and the lion's request for a proper match. Cue Lion Boxing. [[spoiler: Disagreement of the result led to an all out war between the animal kingdom and human kind, which Minus solved by summoning a giant octopus.]]
* ''Webcomic/OnePunchMan'': The second-strongest fighter in the House of Evolution is Beast King, a human/lion hybrid with claws sharp enough to cut through buildings. Unfortunately for him, he tried to pick a fight with [[ComicallyInvincibleHero Saitama]], and got splattered before he could show off properly.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* WebVideo/CGPGrey uses the conceit of the "Animal Kingdom" in his "[[http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7679C7ACE93A5638 Politics in the Animal Kingdom]]" video series explaining various kinds of voting systems. And who's the monarch in this system? Why the Lion and Lioness of course! (The Lion abdicates, but the Lioness stays on to monitor the election system.)

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'':
** ''[[TransformersGeneration1 Generation 1]]'' has the Predacons, whose leader, Razorclaw, has a mechanical lion for an altmode.
** Steeljaw, Beast Wars Prowl (The central component of the (toy-only) combiner Magnaboss), [[Anime/TransformersCybertron Overhaul]]-into-Leobreaker. Any time an animal theme comes up, expect to see at least one lion.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheWuzzles'', Bumblelion (he's [[MixAndMatchCritters half lion]], so it counts) is the ''de facto'' leader of the group. At the very least he's the one who takes the initiative.
* On ''WesternAnimation/AlfredJKwak'', the king was a lion, though a somewhat feckless one who constantly needed shouting at from Alfred.
* The [[CharacterTitle eponymous character]] of ''WesternAnimation/AroundTheWorldWithWillyFog'' (based upon Creator/JulesVerne's ''Literature/AroundTheWorldInEightyDays'') is an anthropomorphic lion. While he is not a ruler of anything [[note]]at least of nothing the audience knows of - the setting being VictorianLondon, there is still the possibility that he is of lower nobility and reigns over a small piece of rural land somewhere[[/note]], he seems to be of relatively high social status, and is filthy rich. Also, due to the facts that he is the one who made the bet that leads to the journey, and that Rigodon and Tico are his employees, he is logically the leader of this travel party.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{ThunderCats|1985}}''
** Lion-O, Lord of the [=ThunderCats=].
** In ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'', the {{catfolk}} have a FantasticCasteSystem, and as you might expect the royal family are lions.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Visionaries}}'', Leoric has the ability to shapeshift into a Lion, reflecting his heroic qualities. Also, he is the ruler of New Valarak and is referred to as "Prince Leoric" in one episode.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBusyWorldOfRichardScarry'', the Queen of England is portrayed as a lioness [[AnimalGenderBender with a mane]].
* The King of Vampires in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' is a lion. Being a vampire made him highly intelligent and anthropomorphic (and gave him chicken feet and lizard talons for some reason), but without it, he isn't even sapient, just a big kitty.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' has his own, pink, [[ADogNamedDog Lion]], who can [[WalkOnWater run on water]], create portals by roaring, and [[BagOfHolding store things inside his mane]] (there's a pocket dimension in there). It apparently belonged to Steven's mother, Rose Quartz. [[spoiler: It's revealed that Lion [[TouchedByVorlons gained his powers]] when Rose brought him BackFromTheDead.]]
* Spoofed in ''WesternAnimation/{{Babar}}'' each animal species represents a particular nation with its own monarch, so naturally the lion nation would have its own king, nevertheless the king of the lions is shown to be one of the most coward of all the monarchs.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheRaccoons'' most of the cast think that The Royal Family (is a Canadian cartoon) is visiting the Evergreen Forest. As is a show with anthropomorphic animals the King is represented by a Lion (imagined by Bert as [[spoiler:it turns out it was just a play that Ralph and Melissa were rehearsing).]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Snagglepuss}}'' frequently cites himself as being king of the jungle, even though strictly speaking, he's not that kind of lion, he's a mountain lion.