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[[quoteright:200:[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/large-ham2_2840.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:200:[[Creator/WilliamShatner One ham]] [[VisualPun singing an ode to another.]]]]

->''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=082y805mkA8#t=143s "Stand aside, everyone! I take LARGE STEPS!"]]''
-->-- '''MilesGloriosus''', ''Theatre/AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum''

A ridiculously larger-than-life character, public speaker, or orator full of charisma, energy, ''joie de vivre'', and poetically powerful speeches with [[MilkingTheGiantCow dramatic gestures]] that [[ChewingTheScenery can devastate a scene to a billion pieces]] and transform even the most humdrum scene into the most '''''[[MundaneMadeAwesome GRANDIOSE]]'''''. Often played by a guest star with an Internet Movie Database listing longer than the rest of the cast put together.

They usually [[NoIndoorVoice lack an indoor voice]], and greatly relish {{badass boast}}ings where they will ''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis punctuate]]'' and '''emphasize''' '''''[[EmphasizeEverything EVERYTHING]]'''''. [[IncomingHam The first line]] from the Large Ham will be dramatic, portentous, often just before the act break and can almost always be replaced with: "Did somebody order A LARGE HAM?!" Try it at home; it's great fun.

Popular implementations include: '''[[Creator/BrianBlessed BRIAN BLESSED]]''' in Britain, [[Creator/WilliamShatner William! Shatner!]] '''In'''! North America, and Creator/NorioWakamoto in Japan. Many large hams in the past have some experience in stage acting and theater: when you have to poetically act for the back rows ([[{{Opera}} especially when coupled with music]]) it makes sense. Having an outrageous appearance is helpful but not a requirement. While often male, actresses can pull it off, but it's rarer for them. Often cast as a {{one scene wonder}}, or a [[HamAndCheese key redeeming element]] in shows that are SoBadItsGood.

It's based on the term "ham actor", meaning one who overacts, but where ''that'' term origininated is unclear: it's been suggested that it comes from the use of ham fat as a cheap make-up remover in the old days of theatre, or because "ham" serves as short for "amateur" (as in "ham radio"); Leslie Charteris stated it derived from "''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''" in a ''Literature/TheSaint'' short story. Another possibility is the phrase refers to being 'hamfisted', heavy-handed and not delicate or careful.

One of the United Kingdom's most active export industries. If a character is depicted as an American in a BBC series, he's likely to be one of these. If in a few scenes many Large Hams come together, the likely result is HamToHamCombat.

Large Hams are a [[FountainOfMemes very rich source]] of Vitamin {{Meme|ticMutation}} and very often feature in WebAnimation/{{YouTube Poop}}s.

While {{Narm}} is their primary flaw, the large hams are likely to have come from [[JustForPun Hillshire Narm]] (Go {{Keet}}!) But more often these actors are NarmCharm. A few moments of over-acting do not make a Large Ham. The actor must, to all intents and purposes, be deliberately playing the character that way.

A Large Ham may occasionally be CrazyAwesome. Often a character trait of the BoisterousBruiser. [[EvilIsHammy Villainous Hams]] also enjoy getting DrunkOnTheDarkSide. A SmugSuper relishes showing off their power this way.

Note that although it is rare, one can be very hammy without raising one's voice at all. Being hammy is about the ''emphasis'' in what you say (and MilkingTheGiantCow to no small degree), and while emphasis can be easily shown by having NoIndoorVoice, it is not the only way. This is what makes the ColdHam trope possible.

If it is the setting itself that seems to demand that ham is served in profusion, dipped in abundant {{Hot Blood|ed}}, because it's just how the setting works, you may be in front of a WorldOfHam: those can provide for marvelous entertainment, if your [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief Willing Suspenders Of Disbelief]] are elastic enough.

Compare {{Melodrama}}, HamAndCheese, MilkingTheGiantCow, {{Camp}}, EvilIsHammy, IncomingHam, HamToHamCombat, DramaQueen, ComicalOverreacting.

Contrast DangerDeadpan, TheStoic, SoftSpokenSadist, TheQuietOne, though ColdHam allows overlap.

''Just so it's noted, just because a character/actor is hammy [[TropesAreTools does not mean they are bad or ridiculous - far from it!]]''
* LargeHam/{{Advertising}}
* LargeHam/{{Anime}}
* LargeHam/ComicBooks
* LargeHam/FanFic
* LargeHam/{{Film}}
* LargeHam/{{Literature}}
* LargeHam/LiveActionTV
** LargeHam/DoctorWho
** LargeHam/StarTrek
* LargeHam/{{Music}}
* LargeHam/{{Pinball}}
* LargeHam/ProfessionalWrestling
* LargeHam/{{Theater}}
* LargeHam/VideoGames
* LargeHam/WebComics
* LargeHam/WebOriginal
* LargeHam/WesternAnimation
** LargeHam/{{Disney}}
* LargeHam/{{Other}}
* LargeHam/RealLife