The Ace is someone who is ridiculously good at what they do, whatever that happens to be, and everyone knows it. People look up to them, envy them, and are in awe of them. He or she has a reputation for doing the impossible, and may be Shrouded in Myth, as people are unable to separate their real accomplishments from unfounded rumors.
In a work revolving around a specific activity, any kind of Serious Business, the Ace will be the best at it. Other characters may refer to the Ace as "the best of the best" at this activity. In works lacking that sort of focus, they'll probably be extremely talented at everything.
The Ace is rarely The Protagonist, typically acting as the living embodiment of Always Someone Better. They'll drive the protagonist to greater efforts either out of envy or by inspiring them. As such, if they're a main character, expect them to be either The Rival or The Mentor. If they're a minor but reoccurring character, then they'll almost certainly be Hero of Another Story.
However The Hero typically evolves into an Ace by the end of their story by virtue of having the most potential to unlock. By the time this happens the real Ace will likely be hit by The Worf Effect a few times or both will be standing on equal ground.
The Ace is common in the Romance genre, but what they are good at usually has little effect on the romantic plot. Some Dystopian settings feature an Ace, though they tend to be the victim of Tall Poppy Syndrome to show they're also good at dying.
If the Ace's talent is operating combat vehicles, then they're an Ace Pilot, but note that not all ace pilots are an example of the Ace. If the Ace's private life isn't nearly as great as it seems from the outside, then they're a Broken Ace. Take this too far and you risk accusations of a Mary Sue (especially if the Ace is female). Though this trope is often played for comedy, Ace's impossible talents being the joke. If (s)he isn't really that amazing, then see Feet of Clay or Fake Ultimate Hero. If their talent is due to intelligence instead of simple awesomeness, see Impossible Genius. In a High School setting, they're typically the Big Man on Campus.
See Ultimate Life Form for a character that is literally perfect, and see World's Best Warrior where this is solely about combat success. Not to be confused with "ace," a shortened form of Asexual.
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The Air-Mazing Kid from this 2013 SKECHERS Commercial.
Baccano!'s Claire Stanfield is a deconstruction. On the surface, he's brilliant, handsome, ridiculously athletic, talented and generally so awesome at what he does that one must wonder if the universe revolves around him... Which is exactly the conclusion he'sjumped to. This is not the sort of world-view you want someone whose many talents include murder to have.
In Berserk, Guts would be considered this as everyother character is in awe of his strength as a swordsman and even before getting the berserk armor could kill an apostle which is almost impossible for a normal human being.
Teresa from Claymore is the woman every ace in this trope aspires to be. She's a demon hunter, ranked at the top of her class, the most beautiful woman in her organization by far, and virtually unbeatable even in a group of her best subordinates. For example, after breaking the rules of the Organization by killing a group of bandits that were threatening to kill a child traveling with her, she is sentenced to death by beheading. In a flash of light, her comrades appear to have sliced right through her, only to find all five of them wounded and bleeding from her lightning quick counterattack. It doesn't even appear as though she'd even drawn her sword at all.
As if they didn't learn the last time, they attempt to bring her to justice again by recruiting members of the top ten ranked warriors in the Organization to seek her out and kill her. After having exhausted their capacity of demonic power, only Priscilla, the second ranked warrior puts up even a decent fight. Even after she pushes herself beyond her limit, Teresa evens the score by using only 10% of her power (a rare occurrence, considering she generally fights without using any power at all) and aptly defeating her. Her death at the hands of one of the most powerful beings in the series is clearly shown to be only possible through a very cheap sucker punch after she had let her guard down.
One of the few cases where The Ace is fully played for drama is Crying Freeman, where Yoh Hinomura is a handsome, skilled, very aesthetically-sensitive man known as the most talented and famous potter in the world... but he has been forcefully recruited and mind-controlled by the Chinese mafia to become their top assassin, and cries outta regret after each kill.
The Megaplayboy from DNA 2 is an extremely handsome man who can swoon every woman in the world with a single smile and also has a ridiculous level of fighting skills that lets him defeat the worst enemies. There's a catch, tho: this comes from his DNA... and he will make 100 women pregnant with sons who will become megaplayboys in the future, causing a HUGE superpopulation problem. Therefore, Karin Aoi comes from the future itself to actually kill the DNA of this super special Ace...
Mana Aida in DokiDoki! Precure is very athletic and dependable. She gets good grades, helps out several of the sports clubs, settles conflicts between students peacefully, and is the Student Council President. When she becomes a Precure, she figures out her powers very quickly.
Goku of Dragon Ball Z, most definitely. He also happens to be somewhat Genre Savvy (about this at least) in the Cell and Buu Sagas in that he wanted to avoid having the other Z Soldiers rely on him too much, knowing the drawbacks of it.
Every American football team in Eyeshield 21 has an ace, with Sena being the ace running back for Deimon. More prominent to this trope, however, is Riku of the Seibu Wild Gunmen, who taught Sena how to run properly. Two more examples who fit this trope are Shin and the villainous version, [Agon. Agon especially, since he has God-Speed Impulse, which allows him to react faster than anyone, can catch up with Sena (at his average pace) after being passed by, and also stole the Devilbat Ghost after only seeing it. It is cemented by the fact that he's allowed to do whatever he wants by his school.
GildartsClive in Fairy Tail is a wise Lightning Bruiser who's also considered pretty fun to be around by his peers. As Gildarts is 45, whereas most of the main cast is late teens to early 20s, Gildarts has had over twice as long to learn how to be awesome.
Alex Louis Armstrong, a Hot-Blooded and muscular guy who gives off Bishie Sparkle and is a master of alchemy and martial arts.
His sister Olivia Milla Armstrong is one, too.
Future GPX Cyber Formula has Shinjyo, Randoll, and Osamu. Shinjyo is a 2-time European F-3 champion, Randoll is incredibly rich and excels at every sport and endeavor he could get his hands on and Osamu had an excellent record in F-3.
Genshiken has Makoto Kousaka. Unlike the other socially awkward and mundane otaku in the show, he is an attractive, well dressed, charismatic, all around nice guy who also towers over the rest of the cast in intellect (he landed a job as a programmer after studying for one month). He's also the first member of Genshiken to get a girlfriend.
Tatsugoro in Gintama. A cop in Kabukichou, respected by everyone (including his vigilante rival), a good fighter, an upright, honest guy, got the girl and was thereby deemed Too Cool to Live. Two characters (his vigilante rival-turned-yakuza and The Hero) lampshade how awesome he was years later by saying that no matter how much they try to imitate Tatsugoro, they'll never be as good as him.
Onizuka: All right, I'll sell my organs then. No other choice, right? Student: Sell the brain first! You never use it!
Hajime No Ippo: David "Golden" Eagle. The second world champ Takamura faces and the complete opposite of Brian Hawk in both character and boxing style: Friendly, honorable, intelligent, hard-working and dignified and an orthodox "text-book" boxer who's best at the very basics of boxing and a good strategist inside the ring. Ippo mentioned how he looks like a super-hero, contrasted with Takamuras' Jerkass image of a super-villain. And if that isn't enough, he also has the "same eyes as Ippo". Yeah, the ones with the ominous glow that never give up.
The title character of Haruhi Suzumiya is ridiculously good at everything she does. She is beautiful, gets top grades in class, was invited to join every club in school (and she abandoned them all one by one when she got bored), and during the sports festival won every single event personally. Subverted in that she's generally known as "that weird chick" instead of The Ace, but she does prove her talents every once in a while. Kyon complains during the Endless Eight arc that the gods weren't being very fair when they divied out the stats. All of this is perfectly justified, of course, since she's a subconscious Reality Warper.
Played with in Ilegenes Kokuyou No Kiseki: Fon is ridiculously smart (skipping two grades in high school to graduate early), places first on every exam he takes, excels at virtually everything he's ever tried, and is handsome to boot. Turns out, Fon is an Artificial Human who was created to have all the qualities of a hero so that he could one day rid Ilegenes of corruption, thus making this an Invoked Trope. Everything he's accomplished in his life is the result of the genes he was created with and was planned by the scientists who made him. This revelation sends him into a Heroic BSOD, ending in him becoming a Broken Ace.
Similar to Kei is Takumi Usui of Maid Sama who excels at anything he does, whether it be athletics, cooking, academics, music, or anything else you can think of. Misaki thinks he's a space alien. It's probably true.
Kaze to Ki no Uta: Serge is smart, athletic, good looking and, among other things, a musical prodigy and an excellent equestrian.
Akisame Koetsuji of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is generally known as one of the greatest jujutsu masters in the world, but is also a talented sculptor, calligrapher, philosopher, medical practicioner, Go player... and everything else he puts his mind to. Quoth Kenichi: "Is there a single thing this guy can't do!?"
Answer #1: Be brave enough to take on the Elder in combat, apparently; in one instance when Koetsuji is arguing with the other Ryozanpakou masters about which of them could beat the others in a fight, the Elder comes on the scene and asks to be involved in the discussion. The other masters immediately change the subject.
All of the Generation of Miracles from Kuroko No Basuke are this for their respective high school teams, but special mention goes to Aomine, who was considered The Ace of the Generation of Miracles.
Seta Noriyasu from Love Hina fits this trope, being a comedically impossible benchmark for the You Suck protagonist to reach after. He is better at everything than any of the other main characters are (except anything involving safe operation of a motor vehicle), and about the only thing that fazes him is a Megaton Punch from Haruka or Naru and the fact that he is a high-level Cloudcuckoo Lander. He may start out looking like the ace but in the Mangalater we see that he is way more like Keitaro then should be humanly possible, he failed to get into Tokyo U. 3 times, also was in a Love Triangle that ended badly (Sarah's Mom, Haruka and Seta)note Sarah is not his kid. he always says the wrong thing to Haruka getting punch or taking a rocket to the face. He is good at martial arts, acts cool around anyone but his Love Interest. Keitaro takes these traits too.
Chao Lingshen in Mahou Sensei Negima!. Mentally, she's a genius inventor, engineer, and studies robotics, medicine, bio-engineering and quantum physics at university level. In talents, she's an expert at Chinese cooking. Financially, she's a wealthy entrepreneur thanks to these cooking abilities and her business management skills. Athletically, she's a specialist in Shaolin Kung Fu. Supernaturally, she's a fire-using, device-based Time Master. She also happens to be fifteen years of age and the most intelligent student in the school (this school happens to hold over 30'000 residents).
She may act like an ace but she is also a time-traveling, possibly Sufficiently Advanced Alien relative of the Main Character whose true objective seems to change a Future Bad end. a scheme which seemly has joined a Gambit Pileup with the current arc she might be an almost Fixer Sue or at least trying to be one.
Jack Rakan could probably also count. He's obscenely powerful, capable of beating down the Quirky Miniboss Squad in their most powerful forms without taking a scratch. He can do anything (like reading minds, for some reason), and spends most of his fights goofing off because only about a dozen beings can seriously threaten him.
Nagi is almost as hammy as Rakan, and is somehow still incredibly badass even without his magical powers.
The most blatant example is Mu La Flaga from Gundam SEED, otherwise known as the "man who makes the impossible possible", who seduces the insanely hot MurrueTWICE! He's also arguably a better pilot than the actual main character Kira, without being a Super Soldier. Apparently he's actually a Newtype, even though SEED already has Newtype equivalents.
George Glenn, in the backstory, was The AceUp to Eleven. He was a Nobel Prize winner, a star athlete, an Ace Pilot, a literal rocket scientist, and the creator of the space colonies. Shortly after becoming a celebrity he revealed to the world that he was a Designer Baby and released the means by which others could be like him; 40 years later he was assassinated.
Speaking of Char Clones (although not strictly in the Gundam multiverse), Lelouch and Suzaku come across to each other as this. Lelouch constantly felt cheated each time the mysterious white Knightmare showed up to ruin his plans with over-the-top acrobatics, whilst Suzaku felt that Zero was dirty terrorist who stole the "Good Guys'" thunder. It only got worse when they discovered each others' identities.
Portgas D. Ace (haha) of One Piece is the main character's badass big brother who rips through entire marine battalions effortlessly and with oppressive amounts of style. He's suave, friendly, helpful, polite, and everyone on the crew loves him, even going so far as to wonder how he could possibly be related to Luffy. Even before getting his Devil Fruit powers, he was tough enough to beat up his little brother after the latter got his (but Luffy doesn't begrudge him at all because he's just that cool). Plus, he's still a good enough guy to ask the crew to look after Luffy for him while he's gone. Interestingly subverted when he is defeated by Blackbeard in his first major fight, probably to show the power of Blackbeard. In the end, he's really more of a Broken Ace: He wasn't quite as powerful as we thought, had severe daddy issues, was a bit too Hot-Blooded for his own good (though that's expected of someone who has fire powers), and generally had problems of wondering if he was supposed to even exist.
Ookiku Furikabutte has two: Mihashi, the "official" ace pitcher, and Tajima, the real ace of Nishiura High, with the highest BA, OPS and RBI of the team.
Alot of the rivals after him follow suit, especially the ones that beat him at the regional conference. Tyson had Mons from a region he didn't even hear about before meating him (for bonus he beat Ash just after Ash beat Gary), Harrison had a nearly fully evolved team of his and Morrison's team, and Vergil has a job on top off being a trainer. Doesn't even have to be his rival either, Soledad anyone?
If an Elite four of champion appears they usually are this or subvert it. Lance is a Dragon Rider who takes on Legendaries, Cynthia is a Lady of War who deals out Curb-Stomp Battle after battle and Flint completely shows up Ash. On the flip side Bruno looks like a bum, Drake appears to be a Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy and Alder is a Casanova Wannabe but all show a level of understanding with pokemon that Ash and co. can only look up to.
Ranma Saotome of Ranma ½ is always the best at whatever fighting style, non-violent or semi-violent, feminine or masculine competition his opponents challenge him to. From coordinated team ice skating to the Tea Ceremony. All women want him, all men envy him (and sometimes want her).
Rental Magica has a deconstruction. The Association's investigator Kagezaki, who is apparently powerful and knows a lot, just stands nearby with a confident smile and interferes only when he absolutely must, however dire the case is. He's also royal pain in Astral's butt as their curator and seems to enjoy employing Jerk Ass Facade and constantly keeping the cast on their guard.
Max Sterling in Robotech. He's made a nice guy and a hopeless romantic (who almost gets in a Starcrossed Lovers romance at some point, but manages to make his rival pull a Heel-Face Turn) to make him more of a sympathetic character, though, and the heroes want to have him for a friend both on and off duty. For instance, Rick Hunter, one of the lead characters who was a cocky pilot himself, is more than ready to acknowledge that Max is far better than himself, which makes him a great wingmate to have with you in battle.
Max is considered undefeatable in the Robotech novelizations in either mecha-to-mecha or hand-to-hand combat, to the point that in the final battle of the first-generation novels engaging his blue-trimmed fighter is described as an instant death sentence.
He's even better in his original Macross appearance as Max Jenius, and in Macross 7, where he becomes the Cool Old Guy. Just look at his name!
Max is so cool that he manages to stay a Hot Dad even 40 years later entirely because he's so awesome - and that's a Word Of God statement, too. note Character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto: "Because he's a genius. Growing old is a state of mind for average men..." Unfortunately he and his (separated) wife have to be the Reasonable Authority Figure (him being the Admiral in charge of the entire fleet and she's the mayor of the civilians). Considering she's a long-livedmom, the only thing they have to be upset about is how their 7th and youngest daughter wants to be an idol rather than join the fleet or marry.
In the later stages of Macross 7 Max is ordered to sacrifice the entire million+ population of the Macross 7 fleet to bide time against the Protodevilin. Dismayed but not swayed, the Genius takes the battle to the enemy, even stealing the spotlight from main character Gamlin's 'death'. In the final battle, despite being a secondary character, Max outflys everyone, having the distinction of fighting closest to the Big Bad without having his VF explode
In Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, Macross 7 is included, and Max is mostly used as the pilot of the Battle 7. And he still dodges attacks and shoots down enemies with the best of them.
Hiko Seijuro in Rurouni Kenshin. He is so ridiculously powerful that the story never pits him against anyone important, as there would be no dramatic tension involved. In the OAV prequel to the show ("Trust and Beatrayal"), Seijuro is introduced by essentially causing a man to evaporate into nothing by hitting him so quickly with his sword. In the show's proper run, main character Kenshin (himself already famous as a savant of swordsmanship) struggles for months trying to learn how to fight as well as his master, and only gains the right to inherit his master's mantle after a very, very hard struggle—at which point his master reveals that the cape he wears is lined with a large amount of metal weights, meaning that he was still probably twice as strong as his student.
Sonic fit this in Sonic X and it almost every other Sonic related franchise.
Kei Takishima from Special A is consistently ranked #1 in the school, filthy rich, handsome, and athletic to the point that it borders on Charles Atlas Superpower. About the only thing he can't do is get Hikari to realize that he likes her.
Kirito, the protagonist of Sword Art Online, definitely fits this trope. He's probably the best of the 10,000 SAO players, and only loses duels when he isn't really trying... or his foe is a Game Master. And even then, he sometimes wins. Even after dying, he still wins. The leader of the Blood Knights is also an Ace; his health has never dropped below about 70%, and he beats Kirito in a duel. Subverted, since he's the Game Master mentioned above and has God Mode on.
Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann invokes this trope and intentionally cultivates this sort of image when in public to inspire Simon and the rest of his allies, even though he's far more restrained in private and admits he's as dependent on Simon as Simon is on him. The Worf Effect aside it works out fairly well for him, all things considered, until his untimely death.
Keith Goodman, aka "Sky High", from Tiger & Bunny. A ridiculously handsome, humble, adorkable, camp and well-meaningCape with the title of "King of Heroes": he is the number one hero on Sternbild's HeroTV and is just as nice on-camera as off it. When an escaping criminal ends up being rescued by Kotetsu in episode 1, the criminal starts resisting and complaining because he would rather be rescued by Sky High.
Batman is the Ace to such a degree that it's practically a super-power. He's the world's greatest detective, non-super-powered melee fighter, physicist, chemist, engineer, tactician, strategist, pilot, you name it. But it's balanced out by him having seriousissues. He also tends to lose badly when faced with a brand new adversary he's had no opportunity to study and prepare for.
In Boxers And Saints, Red Lantern Chu is considered to be this by all of the people in the village of Shan-Tung.
The reason for Solaris The Tyrant Sun's second Face-Heel Turn in DC One Million was that every single descendant of Superman proved far nobler than him, causing great jealousy on his part.
Dilbert character Topper at least claims he's this and he's never been successfully called on it. It doesn't matter what you've done whether its recycling, building a time machine, or giving birth, he claims he's done it better.
Herbie Popnecker (aka The Fat Fury), as a sort of comical early deconstruction of superheroes, would qualify as a preeminent example, though he doesn't look or act the part, and his parents are oblivious. Invincible, endlessly talented, loved and trusted by his allies, respected and feared by his enemies, irresistible to women (on one occasion, much to his chagrin), famous throughout the universe, there's simply nothing he can't do with ease.
FoxTrot gives us Grandma, Andy's mom, who has apparently traveled the world, is a world-class chef and well-informed in most all subjects. However, she deconstructs the trope when Andy finally reveals that living under her and her Monty Oum levels of awesome has made her almost unable to connect with her and feel seriously inferior to her.
Best Tiger of Guarding the Globe. The world's greatest marksman by a ridiculous margin, he wears a blindfold so his work won't be boring. He infiltrated a bunker that only Magnattack should have been able to access. He once incapacitated ten men with one bullet (and no, they weren't standing in a line). His Guardians of the Globe teammate Knockout thinks he really is blind, and that his kung fu is so good he can somehow pass for a seeing man, and he deduced that Outrun wasn't herself because he could hear the difference in how she shaves her armpits. As he puts it, they don't call him "Good Tiger" — he's the best. He is, however, antisocial in the extreme, and has no life outside of being Best Tiger. The Best Tiger is always hunting.
Hawkeye was this during the early run of West Coast Avengers. In a scene in which he's fighting to keep the Quinjet he's piloting from crashing, the narrator comments that many Avengers get praise for doing one thing well, but not Hawkeye—because he does MANY things well.
Lucky Luke might be the most notable example from Franco-Belgian comics. A "poor lonesome cowboy" and gunslinger with impossible aim and reflexes (he can draw faster than his own shadow, after all!), he's always in control and usually two steps ahead of everyone else. This is purely Played for Laughs.
Similar to his mentor, Nightwing, who is acknowledged as the world's greatest acrobat, the best leader in the DCU, to the point where villains will team up with him because he asked nicely. This is in addition to being an extremely skilled, non-super-powered melee fighter and detective. He's also considered one of the nicest people around, and is shown to be on good terms with almost every superhero in the DCU.
Yukihana from A Growing Affection has the skills of an S-Rank Jonin buy chooses to remain is a Genin. During the Demon Fox attack she hurt the demon enough to save the lives of the original Ino-Shika-Cho, and then proceeded to help Minato with his plan to seal the fox. All only day after giving birth. She was lethally wounded in the process.
Sara Nelson-Shimazu from the Lyrical NanohaFan Fic series called the Deva Series. Although now a Posthumous Character and thus subjected to pre-emptive Deus Exit Machina, in the backstory she was said to have sealed two Lost Logia on par with the canonical Book of Darkness by herself - remember how much trouble the Book of Darkness gave the canon characters - as well as being a highly accomplished mage who invented the eponymous system of magic, which has spells of both destruction and utility far beyond anything existing systems had to offer.
Alexend from the French Pokémon Fanfic/Parody "Pokémon D/P: Plus qu'un jeu" (Pokémon Diamond/Pearl: More Than A game). Seemingly invincible, uses a sword rather than fight with his Pokémon, although he sometimes does so; always appears to help the main character, Zeronos (not related to Zeronos from Kamen Rider Den-O except his name which was taken from there, it's his ACTUAL NAME), when he's facing an opponent too strong for him, such as Drakness, or simply to destroy something too stupid for him to deal with normally (such as facing the Teletubbies in a Pokémon fight, Alexend just jumped in and killed them all in one slash of his sword before the fight even started, stating that it wouldn't have been funny to fight them anyway.). He have a tendency to show up (and go away when he's done) in an unnecessary cool looking fashion (includes Dramatic Wind, sparkles, lens flares and whatnot when he's in a good mood, but he his more likely to just pop up in a breeze of wind behind Zeronos and disappear the same way). Can be considered as a mix between Sidekick Ex Machina, Hypercompetent Sidekick and a bit of Parody Sue.
The Hunter in With Strings Attached. At least, Jeft is desperately trying to show the four that he's the Ace and they're feeble jerks. Unfortunately for him, the four force Character Development upon him, and he turns into quite a decent guy.
Film - Animation
Aladdin disguises himself as the completely over-the-top Prince Ali to woo Princess Jasmine, and he's introduced with a preposteously epic song that's one long hymn to his awesomeness.
In The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ash's cousin, Kristofferson, is a fox kit who seemingly can do no wrong, although he tries not to make a big deal of it. Regardless, young Ash feels belittled by him, but eventually both achieve a mutual understanding and become friends.
Darkly inverted in Captain Sternn of Heavy Metal. Outwardly he looks to be the typical Ace, with the heroic clothes, the swagger, the lantern jaw, etc., but we soon discover he's really a despicable character despite his outward charms.
Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore from Apocalypse Now. He has that aura around him that seems like he will come out of the war without a scratch. And he surfs! The Redux, however, subverts his aura of invincibility after the main characters steal his surfboard and he's reduced to sending out pre-taped messages begging for it back.
Sam "Ace" Rothstein in Casino- one of the very first things you find out about him is he is a master gambler, who never loses a bet.
Ash from the Evil Dead movies starts out as something of a nebbish, but by the last scene of the third film, has grown to become an Ace.
Ferris Bueller, frustratingly so (to many of the other characters as well as to some viewers). His defining character trait is that he gets away with everything.
Scarlett from GI Joe The Rise Of Cobra is so used to being one of the best that she takes any failure much harder than anyone else.
The Great Leslie from The Great Race is this, causing his less-than-perfect archrival to cry out, "Your hair is always perfect, your clothes are always white!" at him. Leslie is one-half parody of this trope. Since The Ace is already something of a parody, you're really getting 50% more bang for your buck here.
In The Guardian we have Jake Fischer, a champion swimmer who can outperform anyone else in the class, including the instructor, Senior Chief Randall, who held all the records before Fischer arrived.
Sarah Ashburn from The Heat, to the point where the other officers hate her for being so proud.
Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz could be a Deconstruction of this. With how good and dedicated he is to his job, he has no room for any other part of his life. His improbably good abilities also get him shunted off to the country because he's making everyone else look bad. This backfires on the Met, because when they want him back he won't go.
Elmont from Jack the Giant Slayer is the most brave and capable of the Guardians, and holds Jack in low esteem at first.
John Tucker from John Tucker Must Die. He's awfully handsome, good at sports and loved by everyone, especially the girls. Even though he's a famous womanizer every single girl still want to be with him. He's so perfect that no attempt to destroy his popularity works and in the end he's still simply awesome.
The diminutive, middle-aged Mr. Miyagi in the original Karate Kid series is an absolutely invincible karate master who never comes close to losing a single fight, in any of the four movies in which he appears, even when he's up against several strong young men who are themselves black belts. Any time someone threatens him, it's a given the character will get his butt whipped before you can say "Banzai!"
Jim Goose dominates the first half of the movie Mad Max. He has a great time even Just Before the Fall.
The Matrix: Neo. Morpheus might be the captain of the ship, but Neo is the star player.
In Our Man Flint, Derek Flint is a ludicrously competent Captain Ersatz of James Bond, with all of the latter's traits turned Up to Eleven. The Government tries to give him a code book? No need, he's designed a better one. They try to get him a plane? He'll fly his own, thanks anyway. Training? He's a master fencer, martial artist, and dancer. He can meditate so deeply that it passes for death, and wake up with no ill effects. He can speak Italian so fluently that it fools natives. He does complicated surgery with a letter opener. He can tell you what city a Bouillabaisse was made in just from tasting it once. The whole movie is like this. And somehow James Coburn makes it awesome instead of annoying.
Subverted in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. An overly heroic super messiah comes in at the last minute, gives a rousing speech on how everyone should work together to win the game and singlehandedly bursts through the giant gates. He is instantly shot in the chest and loses all of his 99 lives. Made even funnier by the fact that he's played by Elijah Wood, and instead of having an actual name, he's simply known as "The Guy."
There's a reason You Don't Mess With The Zohan. Everyone is in awe of his skills, he wins a tug of war with six men casually, blocks bullets with his bare hands, and brings a cornerstore barbershop into a business that rivals a corporation with shear zeal and energy. He loses a bit of his mojo with the cultural dissonance when coming to America but quickly regains it.
Amanda 'The School Swot' Tweedle from the novel Blonde Genius and related short stories by J.T. Edson. She is better at most of her subjects than her teachers.
Buck in The Call of the Wild. He's strong, bold, intelligent, clever, patient, and just about whatever else he needs to be to thrive in his harsh conditions. Over the course of the story he kills the alpha sled dog, leads the sled pack, pulls a 1,000 lb sled, kills a bull moose by himself, slaughters an entire band of Native Americans and outfights in entire wolf pack to become their alpha. By the end of the story, he's a legendary figure.
Appleby in Catch-22 is good at everything he puts his hand to. He's handsome and charismatic and everybody likes him. Yossarian hates that son of a bitch.
Discworld's Carrot Ironfoundersson. So much so that it was played for full shock effect when in The Fifth Elephant he challenged the Big Bad to a fair fight (a very foolish move in itself) and promptly got his ass handed to him.
Doc Savage was raised from birth to be the pinnacle of human physical and mental achievement.
Cedric Diggory is more of a textbook Ace in Goblet of Fire. Then he is killed in seconds upon confronting the villains.
Harry himself also counts in way. At least in the areas of Quidditch and Defense Against the Dark Arts, it's shown that he is exceptionally talented; naturally gifted, however, with his Dark and Troubled Past, he's more of a Broken Ace.
Hermione is great at pretty much every branch of magic, save for Divination.
Three words: Bond. James Bond. (The film version anyway; the literary version is somewhat more realistic.)
While on the subject of Star Wars, Kyp Durron averts The Ace, at least in I, Jedi. Yes, he grew up in a penal colony, where he was a slave. Yes, he is extremely powerful as a Jedi, rivaling Luke in raw talent alone. Then things go downhill: he gets possessed by the spirit of Exar Kun and goes on an anti-Empire rampage, killing his brother and twenty-five million innocents with the help of a superweapon. At the end of it, Luke lets him rejoin the Jedi after he breaks free, which causes Mara Jade and "Kieran Halcyon" to resign as Jedi students.
Dirk Pitt from Clive Cussler's novels. Officially a marine engineer by trade, he also is an cunning action hero who has defeated the world-threatening schemes of a veritable menagerie of villains, made a number of discoveries that changed history and has little difficulty getting a Girl Of The Novel. I have not mentioned the nice collection of antique cars he owns, have I? ... I guess I just did.
In The Princess Bride, Westley tracks down men on a secret mission and climbs a mountain with his bare hands before easily defeating a master swordsman at fencing, a giant at hand-to-hand combat, and a clever thief at a mind game. Later, through his skills and cunning he and Buttercup become the first people ever to survive the Fire Swamp, and in a physically weakened state after having been revived from the dead, he helps two other men storm a castle surrounded by sixty armed guards, all before bluffing his way out of a swordfight with a man dead-set on killing him, which the man had done once before.
If Zak were in a normal mood, Dash Rendar would have been just the kind of person he'd want to meet. Zak had always been more of a thrill-seeker than his sister, and he could tell that adventures followed Dash Rendar like the tail on a comet. But Zak had done enough adventuring lately, and now Dash just looked like trouble.
Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Henry "Hank" Jellicoe is introduced in Game Over as this. He is in charge of Global Securities, an organization that is like the Vigilantes, but it spans the entire world. It has network even greater than Charles Martin's, and indeed Charles looks up to the man like no one else does. However, the books Cross Roads and Deja Vu reveal that Henry is actually a Broken Ace.
Asher in Someone Else's War is a walking, talking encyclopedia when it comes to exactly two topics: survival, and useless trivia.
Song at Dawn: Dragonetz is a famous warrior, a popular lady's man, and as a troubador he's second to none. This makes an expert at everything the court thinks is important.
Professor John Kenner of the Michael Crichton novel State of Fear: graduated from an MIT engineering course and a Harvard Law course both at higher than average speed, became a professor at MIT at 25 and still manages to be a hot-shot federal agent. Oh, and he is apparently able to quote geological surveys from memory. The only thing keeping him from being absolutely perfect is him at one point confessing he isn't good at languages and a major What an Idiot moment.
Jeff Raven of Anne McCaffrey's Tower and the Hive series: A "Wild Talent"note A human with Psychic Powers and no formal training from a boondocks colony no one had ever heard of until aliens attacked it. He first shows up - as a mental presence in the middle of The Rowan. By the end of the book, not only are he and the title character a couple (with a child), he's on the fast track to take over as head of Federated Teleport & Telepath - a position The Rowan had been considered for.
Lionblaze from Warrior Cats. He's an awesome at fighting, hunting, and everything else the Clans care about. Of course, it all comes from his secret invincibility powers. Whether or not he is ashamed about this varies depending on what point is his character development the series is at.
Tycho Celchu, an Ace Pilot of the X-Wing Series. He's a fairly major character, but never the main one, which is just as well since he could very easily become a Canon Sue, at least in the novels - in the comics he's one pilot out of twelve and mostly distinguishable because of his origin, his original hairtrigger temper, and his romance with Winter. He's an insanely good pilot, as a Force-Sensitive protagonist finds - so good that flying against him is apparently the hardest thing Corran has ever done, and he'd fought a Sith Lord not that long before - and gets a lot of praise from the people on his side, to the point where everyone on his side who doesn't think he's a double agent loves him. He's also a bit of a woobie in-universe and very, very popular out of it. This exchange, taken entirely out of context:
Celchu: "I've been reviewing engineering records and damage statistics."
Janson: "While we've been maneuvering?"
Celchu: "Restraining myself so you could keep up with me left me plenty of time for intellectual pursuits. I also composed a symphony and drafted a plan to bring peace to the galaxy."
Any Heinlein hero you care to name
Lazarus Long a.k.a Woodrow Wilson Smith a.k.a The Senior from the Future History series is the Ace other Aces aspire to be, and a deconstruction of the trope.
Nearly any Heinlein character who isn't an outright villain is an Ace, unless they're either "Fivers" or Comic Relief, and even some of those are hypercompetent in certain limited fields.
Live Action TV
From The Adventures of Pete & Pete Artie, The Strongest Man... IN THE WORLD! Was a subversion of this trope. He was ridiculous looking, but from the protagonists' standpoint there was no denying he was quite possibly the Strongest Man... IN THE WORLD! Saves the day countless times, then vanishes.
Austin From Austinand Ally He is very good at singing, dancing, and a ton of instruments. Ally even states that "Good things always happen to you, and you don't even try! Your life is like a gold star".
Warren Keffer on Babylon 5 showed up in season 2 because Executive Meddling required J. Michael Straczynski to include this sort of character. Naturally, he didn't appreciate this and had him unpleasantly killed off as soon as he could get away with it.
Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica. But see also Starbuck in the 2000s Battlestar Galactica started out this way, but in a subversion, she began slipping over the course of the series due to childhood trauma, her tumultuous relationship with Apollo, and the machinations of the Cylon Leoben Conoy. By the end of season three, the character is a nervous wreck incapable of flying a simple patrol mission without endangering the fleet.
The Big Bang Theory has David Underhill to Leonard. He's a physicist like Leonard except he's smarter, incredibly attractive, suave, and has loads of cool hobbies. He's introduced to Penny and starts dating her almost immediately, when it took Leonard ages to even get one date with her. At the end it turns out he's actually married.
Lord Flashheart (WOOF!) in Blackadder is so much of an Ace that on his first appearance, he gets his own version of the Theme Song.
Lord Flashheart, Lord Flashheart, I wish you were the star.
Lord Flashheart, Lord Flashheart, you're sexier by far.
Also: "Hurrah! It's the Scarlet Pimpernel!"
Hilariously averted in Black Books. One of Bernard's friends tries to extoll his virtues to a girl. "You! What did you say to Kate? She thinks I'm the Renaissance! She'll think I've lied. I have to go along with all this 'reclusive genius' stuff. She's going to be very upset when she finds out I'm a reclusive wanker!"
In Bones, Angela's ex-husband Grayson is an ace. He build a house for her with his bare hands while smuggling medical supplies into Cuba and supporting an orphanage. On top of that, he is simply beautiful.
Played with in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the episode "Superstar". Jonathan appears to be this, and turns out to be using a spell that made him so perfect. Played somewhat straight with Riley on his return episode in season 6.
Castle: Beckett's old flame and mentor is presented as this at first. He later ruins his friendship with her, but the features of the trope are still there.
On Cheers Sam Malone had an unseen older brother who was The Ace. Most of the regulars (with the notable exception of Frasier) treat Sam himself this way at least some of the time, since he's good-looking and was a professional athlete while they're ... well ... the sort of people who hang out with Cliff and Norm.
An episode of China Beach features a hot-shot colonel who comes in with a mustache and sunglasses, talks The Rambo out of his self-pity, goes swiming and kills a shark for dinner, becomes the grand-prize in a sex-lottery among all of the women, and then flies out on a helicopter heroically (and stupidly) standing on the skid, while a poem is spoken about how great he is.
As is Cole Barker, who appears to be at least partly based on James Bond.
In the Community episode Beginner Pottery, Rich is introduced as an Ace in the pottery class that Jeff, Abed and Annie take. Rich's inherent brilliance at pottery and life in general (he is also a doctor and just does the class to relax) ends up getting Jeff so mad that he performs "the hilarious guy on guy" variant of ghosting on Rich and then leaves the class.
Captain Jack Harkness, in his early Doctor Who appearances. The Doctor became the ace to poor Craig in "The Lodger". He was better than Craig at football, and his job, and convinced his girlfriend to leave town, and talked to a cat, and had a sexy shower scene, and...
Dorothy "Ace" Mc Shane herself, of course! She is so proficient in making improvised explosives that the Doctor comes to heavily rely on her skill, despite repeatedly voicing his disapproval of Ace's methods.
Frasier episode "The Perfect Guy" features Dr. Clint Weber (played by Billy Campbell), an outrageously good-looking (even Frasier's father is stunned) Oxford-certified M.D. (who put himself through med school working as a sous chef, leaving him an expert cook), polyglot (speaking at least English, French and Korean), pilot, squash champion, and generally charming individual. After an episode of slowly giving in to envy after a series of increasingly unlikely upstagings, Frasier gleefully discovers the man can't sing.
Friends: Monica's season 1 boyfriend Allan who was good at sports, is a delight in conversation and apparently well-endowed. The gang didn't take it well when Monica decided to break up with him.
A character named Ace appeared in Gap. Prior to his appearance, it was mentioned that he must be awesome to have earned the name, but was revealed to be just a normal person.
Takaoka Eiji of GoGo Sentai Boukenger. Before becoming BoukenSilver, he, alone, in his human form, is an even match for the Ashu demons, whom the other five Boukengers can barely defeat when morphed. He uses the pronoun "ore-sama" and consistently acts like The Ace.
Plus, that was his debut. Once he's more set into the series, he starts getting less badass.
Also in a previous Sentai, Hikari Sentai Maskman, there's Takeru/Red Mask, who'll claim that he's an expert Karateka who became so because one day as a kid, he suddenly declared he wanted to do Karate, as well as being a well-behaving, good, top-scorer and good looking boy back in the days. Would be true in the present too... except when the team went back to the past, they found out that he's anything butThe Ace, and it takes the future self's warning that he finally started manning up and starts his way to become an ace. At the end of said episode, the team called out his liesfor laughs.
In Happy Endings Max dates a great guy, Grant, who everybody says is too good for him, and he soon wins over the entire gang (except for Dave, who is being deliberately difficult because he wants to be the gang's cool guy). Subverted when its shown that Grant is needy, and that's why he was trying to impress everybody anyway.
But none of them have anything on Ken Hayakawa, The Hero on Kaiketsu Zubat. He's The Ace to such an extent that he was codifying this trope back when it was an Unbuilt Trope. To put it in perspective, Once an Episode, he'd say to the enemy of the week, who was always a specialist in a certain area of combat that he was the second-best user of that fighting style in Japan. Then, after being asked who was the best, he'd whistle and tip his hat. And to prove that it wasn't just empty words, he would then proceed to prove it.
Kamen Rider Kabuto/Souji Tendou is a particularly grating version of this, cranked to 11. And he's the protagonist. You end up rooting for the bad guys very, very quickly.
Or you root for Kagami, who has to struggle through a long period fighting monsters with nothing but normal weapons until he finally gets a Transformation Trinket to call his own.
Before Tendou, there was Jou Shigeru/Kamen Rider Stronger, who was a self-absorbed Ace at the beginning of the series but grew to be a likeable hero like most Riders.
After Tendou, Kamen Rider Decade a.k.a. Tsukasa Kadoya would've been one, if it wasn't subverted by the fact that his photos always come out wrong and he's always the target of the Hikari-style Laughing Pressure Point.
Tsukasa proves how you do such a character right. With a couple chinks in his armor you make him fun instead of a Mary Sue. Tendou really was as perfect in every way as he thought he was, which makes him fun sometimes, but it's also a weakness. It was also justified to some degree, as Tsukasa took on a different role in whatever world he went to. For example, the World of Kamen Rider Kuuga had him as a police officer. So naturally he has to be good at a large variety of things to be able to pull that off.
Occasionally seen as a visiting doctor in Mash. And just as often subverted. One doctor, coerced into visiting by Hawkeye and BJ, has a Heroic BSOD midway through the episode, just before having to perform a delicate and life-threatening surgery on a patient. He's found in the Swamp, drunk, much to Hawkeye's disgust. A second Ace doctor, filling in for a sick Potter also breaks down just before a suspiciously similar operation. A surgeon, temporarily appointed to the 4077th wasn't even a surgeon, but someone pretending to be one. There was one episode involving an Ace colonel that was played by... wait for it... Leslie Nielson.
The drunk doctor (played by Alan Alda's father) was a veteran of WWI and WWII, and he simply explained that war and age had taken their toll such that experience and expertise were of no avail against the ravages of time and the horrors of war.
Dr. Winchester was an Ace surgeon, dated celebrities and was often able to outsmart Hawkeye Pierce.
Only Fools And Horses: Freddie "The Frog" Robdal. A debonair, gentleman thief who was a charming, generous and very clever man, who had a fondness and talent for art, was a hit with the ladies, and whose last job was the sucessful theft of half a million pounds worth of gold bullion, which he hid by burying it at sea under one of his pseudonyms (which he planned to retrieve using his skills as a diver). The image is slightly ruined by the fact that he died by sitting on a detonator during a later job.
Chris Traeger on Parks and Recreation is blindingly handsome, so positive that his own girlfriend doesn't notice when he breaks up with her, runs at least ten miles a day, and is immediately well-liked by nearly everyone he meets. (The positivity is justified by his admission that he was born with an extremely rare blood disorder and was only expected to live for a few weeks, thus making every day a gift.) It's all subverted by the fact that he actually isn't very good at his job: as a state auditor, he's in the business of making budget cuts, but because he finds it hard to say no to anyone, he never got anything done until he was paired with the comparatively dour Obstructive Bureaucrat Ben.
A few episodes of the ancient detective show The Rockford Files contrasted James Garner's hard-luck PI Jim Rockford with Lance White, a handsome Ace Detective with a snazzy suit and car who needed only to walk into a room or step into a field of weeds to discover the needed clue...Lance was played by Tom Selleck with an XL serving of ham. The annoyed Rockford is left to complain that "It doesn't work that way!"
Dr. Kevin Casey is an example where the Ace has a "hidden" Fatal Flaw.
A first season episode had an intern named Murdoch also appear to be the Ace, handling all of the problems that came his way without flinching, but breaking down at the end of the episode.
Dr. Molly Clock, a brilliant shrink who could not only heal The Todd, make any character realize their problems, but her everlasting good mood couldn't be crushed by Dr. Kelso and Dr. Cox combined either.
"Rod" McKay from "McKay & Mrs. Miller" is an imitation Ace Rimmer; he's Rodney McKay from an Alternate Universe and charms everyone on Atlantis (save Rodney himself) while saving the day. It's subverted at the end when everyone says they prefer Rodney because Rod was overbearing and too nice.
Tom Paris in Star Trek: Voyager; designed a warp engine that went to infinite speed, picks locks, leads commando teams, is an ace pilot, and he's the field medic.
In other tales, Lugh joined the Tuatha Dé Danann because while the gods had a master smith, warrior, bard, sorcerer, and harper, they did not have among their number someone who excelled in them all simultaneously.
The tall tales of Pecos Bill catalogue his many outlandishly improbable accomplishments, such as eating dynamite and lassoing a tornado.
Hulk Hogan. Whenever he would perform his "Hulk Up" maneuver, did he ever fail to block an opponent's punch?
John Cena, who somehow manages to "win" even when he loses. Which he rarely does.
Joey Percival of George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance is a daring, intelligent, handsome pilot who shows up in Act 2 to stealbe pursued by another man's fiancee and generally outshine most of the rest of the cast, although arguably he himself is outshone by the even more daring Lena ShcSchSzczthe Polish Lady.
Warhammer 40,000 Most of the Primarchs are the best of the best there is, and are quick in learning on what they are taught, as they are all genetic clones of the God Emperor. Most notably Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines who was a great states man and powerful warrior. Then there's Fulgrim, he had the looks, the skills, and in his quest for perfection, he ended up corrupted by Slaanesh.
Citan Uzuki from Xenogears. He is "officially" just a rather skilled doctor, but as Fei once states, "the doc knows a lot about a lot of things". Apart from his medical skills, he is also a genius mechanic and engineer, one of the greatest swordsmen in the world, a talented martial artist, usually the most intelligent person around, a keen psychologist, a highly skilled spy and double agent, an expert in Lost Technology (although some people are better than him at that), a good and responsible husband and father, and maybe the only person in the world who understands something of the game's metaplot (whose implications would scare the shit out of any normal person) without being at least several hundreds of years old. With all of that, he still manages to be a really kind, caring and accessible person who helps everyone and will usually always say and do the right thing. The only things he sucks at is cooking. (But his wife is amazing at it.)
Though he is the villain, Vergil could be considered this way too. The Daniel Southworth-voiced, blue-clad, katana-wieldingAloofEvil Twin beats Dante at one point.
Dante is more of an Ace in DMC4. Every time he shows up he upstages Nero in some way and spends half the game killing the villains that Nero couldn't kill.
Duke Nukem is the quintessential Ace, mixed with a bit of Jerkass for good measure. He publishes a book titled Why I'm So Great, collects his own memorabilia, and, while saving the world from aliens, is more concerned with the aliens stealing Earth's nubile women than Earth itself, and has a virtually endless collection of one-liners.
In most of the Fallout series, you can take the special trait "Mysterious Stranger," which lets the player be occasionally and spontaneously aided by a man in a coat and fedora, armed with a six-shooter, who shows up, shoots everyone who has any intent of hurting the player, and then leaves. It's rare that it happens, but his overwhelming badassery makes up for it. His unique magnum can kill just about anything that moves (or doesn't) in one hit, but he still likes to unload all six rounds into them.
Before his Start of Darkness, Sephiroth was known as the absolute best of the elite group SOLDIER and admired as a hero. He was actually so good that, according to Cloud, the stories people told about him were understating how strong he was — rather than the other way around as usual.
Zack Fair, especially in Crisis Core. He's everything Cloud wants to be — upbeat, popular with everyone, cheerful and fun-loving, Jumped at the Call and never came down, actually a member of SOLDIER, etc. He did nearly everything Cloud's famous for and did it first, up to and including riding on the top of trains, fighting rogue SOLDIERs and arguably did a better job of all of it. He's the first to meet Aerith by falling into her flower bed, as Cloud does years later. Almost everyone Zack encounters likes him, or at least they don't hate him even though he works for Shinra — this includes Cissnei, Tseng, Sephiroth, Yuffie, Tifa, etc. The only time Zack really fails at a critical moment is in trying to stop Sephiroth during the Nibelheim Incident — unfortunately, Zack's efforts are Doomed by Canon. Though he eventually loses to Sephiroth, Zack manages to put up a darn good fight. Zack is the sort of guy who's just Too Good for This Sinful Earth. His death is a Foregone Conclusion, but he naturally dies in an epically heroic way, still every inch a Hero and every ounce an Ace.
Even death doesn't stop Zack, because he appears to Cloud just as Sephiroth is charging for the kill and manages to give Cloud a time-stopped heroic pep talk from beyond the grave, inspiring Cloud to find the strength not only to fight on, but to win decisively in a single attack.
Zack's position as The Ace is lampshaded in episode 8 of Before Crisis, when Zack first shows up and works with the player character Turk. The title of that episode is "A Light That Penetrates Through the Darkness" or "A Light Even Darkness Can't Penetrate". Guess who they're referring to.
It even gets a bit meta; Zack is one of, if not THE most popular characters of the FFVII compilation. Possibly the entire franchise.
Though Crisis Core also shows that Zack had some serious issues due to all of the misery the game puts him through. To Cloud and others Zack was an awesome heroic figure — but Zack himself had Heroic Self-Deprecation in spades and died still wondering if he had managed to become a true hero.
Deconstructed in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. Ephraim starts off so damn amazing he's a borderline GodModeSue. However, when he gets back to Renais, Seth tells him that the citizens are not cheering for his return. They're only happy because Orson's reign of terror is over. Ephraim takes this as the sign that his Leeroy Jenkins tendencies haven't been great for his people and begins to mature from then on.
Not only that, but his fame as The Ace is one of the biggest reasons why his friends Innes and Lyon, despite both being very talented in their own areas, show quite the degree of inferiority complexes and covert/not-so-covert envy. In the first case Ephraim only sees it as normal Friendly Rivalry, but Innes takes it more seriously to the point of telling Eirika that he'll only propose to her after defeating Ephraim; in the latter, it's massively Played for Drama since Ephraim adores Lyon and never ever sees him as inferior, so he's struck hard (read: he's driven to tears) when he learns about Lyon's psychological troubles and how a part of them can be linked to seeing himself as inferior to Ephraim.
Fire Emblem Tellius has a few of them. Ike qualifies in his Radiant Dawn incarnation, the Black Knight is busy being the best general for both Daein and Begnion at the same time, and Bastian seems to be a man of many talents.
The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3, who not only managed to fight in World War II while pregnant and give birth on the battlefield, she gave herself a Caesarean section! She's the fictional Mother of American Special Forces, and the reason behind all of the events of the Metal Gear saga.
Snake from the same series is superficially The Ace, a legendary One-Man Army who's saved the world on multiple occasions and capable of wooing any woman (or man) he encounters, but the player, those close to him and Snake himself know that the truth is far less flattering. (It turns out that much of Naked Snake/Big Boss' accomplishments are fabrications created by Zero, while Solid Snake is an imperfect — and rapidly aging — clone of Big Boss. He may have saved the world, but it's revealed that in doing so, he's been an unwitting part of a not-so-Ancient Conspiracy's feud with Big Boss, then Revolver Ocelot.)
Grey Fox. "Fighting was the only thing... the only thing I was good at...". He was considered a hero and The Ace even after his defeat in Metal Gear 2.
Dan Murray of The Next Big Thing is a sports writer of no little renown, and good friends with most of the important Hollywood types. Everyone loves him so much that he can belittle, insult, and demean them until he's blue in the face and they'll just laugh and say, "What a guy!"
Tom Goodman from No One Lives Forever. Subverted because he's already dead, and the one you meet is an impostor.
The protagonist of Radiant Historia is this; he was able to learn an invisibility spell after seeing an enemy use it once. From the perspective of the non-time travelers, its even more ridiculous. "We need a one-of-a-kind magic item protected by the most powerful army in the world!" "Oh, I have that right here in my pocket." He had to jump between two different timelines a few dozen times to get it, but they don't see that.
Deconstructed in the Hentai game Season of the Sakura; protagonist Shuji Yamagami is instantly good at any sportnote except swimming without needing to practice or train, but refuses to participate in any club unless its members can beat him fair and square. Eventually he explains to his friends that he tried being the "school hero", but the people who actually had to work to get where they were resented him for just having skill handed to him on a silver platter, and he ended up being shunned and hated, which was why he transferred to this new school in the first place.
At first, Shadow appears to be this to Sonic, but it's subverted pretty quickly. Sonic himself could be counted as one.
Mario himself. Going through all his accomplishments would take all day.
Sanger Zonvolt from Super Robot Wars. A Large Ham whose only real weakness is that his mecha's attacks all cost energy. He gains Ace status during the Earth Cradle where he takes on a cyborg zombie version of himself from another dimension in a duel, accidentally destroys a bunker that was supposed to withstand the apocalypse, and then one hit kills a boss. Like Kamina he can say the cheesiest crap and make it look badass.
Sanger Zonvolt: I am Sanger Zonvolt! The sword that cleaves evil!
Sanger's partner, Elzam von Branstein Ratsel Feinschmecker fits this trope as well. Every one of his appearances is heralded by his memetictheme song, and will inevitably involve much ass-kicking, bullet-dodging, and/or Supreme Chefery. Before he took on his Paper-Thin Disguise, however, he spent a game as a Broken Ace.
Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider series. She has excellent acrobatic and fighting skills, and iconic sex appeal. She is broadly intelligent with a witty sense of humor, and can speak multiple different languages. Not to mention she owns a fortune, living in a manor and has her own butler.
Maniac from Wing Commander straddles the line between actually being The Ace and merely pretending to be—he starts as a reckless nutcase with a superiority complex, but eventually becomes every bit as formidable as he thinks he is, with two thousand confirmed kills by the start of Wing Commander Prophecy.
Miranda Lawson from Mass Effect is a noteworthy example, what with being genetically engineered to the summit of human perfection. She doesn't seem to have a problem with mentioning it from time to time.
Miles Edgeworth of Ace Attorney comes across as this. Handsome, rich, extremely intelligent, cultured and a living legend at his job. Subverted though, he's got a whole heap of personal problems and starts as something of an Amoral Attorney.
Shirou Emiya from Fate/stay night is considered the star of the archery club years after having left, is just as good a fencer and martial artist as he's with the bow, is technologically savvy, a Supreme Chef, incredibly handsome, filthy rich and lives in a giant mansion with 5 beautiful young women who are all madly in love with him. Oh, and he's also a powerful wizard and has the willpower of a god. Makes it all the more infuriating to hear him monologuing every five minutes about how much of a loser he is.
Not really. He's got some horribleself-worthissues, his beliefs and mindset are outdated and unrealistic, and at some point he's so destroyed on the inside that his VERY badass and cynical future self, Archer, comes to show exactly what kind of person he will grow into — and intends to murder him. Even with all of his talents, there is something deeply wrong with Shirou.
Each in their own way, both Shizune and Lilly from Katawa Shoujodeconstruct this trope. Shizune (representing the anime heroine archetype of the willful, energetic, "super charismatic" club/student council president most iconically depicted by Haruhi Suzumiyah) is so naturally excellent at everything she does that (perhaps combined with her deafness making it hard for her to relate to other people) she doesn't seem to fully realize that some people may not be as good as she is, considering them lazy or lacking sufficient drive if they fail to match her (impossible) standards. Meanwhile, Lilly (who represents the perfect, princesslike, motherly, borderline saintly character) means well when she takes care of those she believes need her help, but is so unbelievably good at everything that she inadvertently only causes them to feel even less sure of themselves because they can never hope to be as good as she is.
Kurugaya is good-looking, athletic (to the point where she can Flash Step), intelligent enough to have one of the highest scores in maths despite constantly skipping and having no bad subjects, charming, and more than able to take care of herself in a fight. This actually leaves Riki feeling a bit insecure during their route, feeling that she's helping him out much more than vice versa.
Also, Kyousuke. A charismatic, intelligent Bishounen that pretty much all of the characters look up to. He even has his own 'advice service' that is really just random students fawningly asking him for details about all the impossibly incredible things he's done. Of course, it's hard to say what is and isn't a result of him manipulating the fake world, and by Refrain he's turned into one hell of a Broken Ace.
Jack Fortinbras, of Academia. A running joke about his character is the unanswered question of how he has time to captain the school's rugby team and get straight As in his Physics program.
Jack: I couldn't possibly do my research without my team. Stephen: Nice to hear there are things you can't do. Jack: That's not fair. There's lots of things I can't do. Stephen: Name three. Jack: I can't fly an aeroplane. I can't carve stone especially well. I can't think of a third thing.
Bob from Bob and George is an interesting case, as he is actually the main antagonist. The things that he can do are hilariously ridiculous, like how he can kill a hologram, because "he's just that good". He also always gets himself up by doing a back-flip, because he's that cool, and not because the author couldn't find any good sprites of him standing up.
Fred from The Chapel Chronicles never loses a board or card game. Never. Since games are one of Chapel's obsessions, she finds this astonishingly unfair.
In City of Reality, newcomer Hawk thinks that SUEPR Team Five leader Todo is this: idealistic and generous to a fault, skilled enough to defeat any challenge, and recipient of general acclaim and affection. However, as the entire story is a Deconstruction of a Mary Sue Topia, Todo's idealism is sorely challenged by the world outside Reality.
Possibly Nanase from El Goonish Shive. She is a black belt in Anime-Style Martial Arts, can currently bench-press 160 pounds before her burnout she could press 200, has "insanely potent" magic, and is trilingual in Japanese, English, and French.
Will from Fanboys. Made sixty-thousand-plus a year in prize money from gaming tournaments, can hold his own in a fight against Berserk!Lemmy, has "hacked" a board game, and now he's apparently a Bond-style government agent.
Girl Genius has Othar Tryggvassen (Gentleman Adventurer!) who's always willing to swashbuckle and ham it up like nobody's business, and who's somehow able to survive all manner of ridiculous dangers (plummeting to his death and turning up unharmed a few pages later is his specialty). He's also dangerously insane, but since he firmly believes he's the dashing hero in a thrilling scientific romance, being insane doesn't get in the way of him playing the Ace role to the hilt. He also has a rather large amount of charisma, though for a Spark it's normal.
Gunnerkrigg Court has a female example — Jones. She's both medium instructor "among other things" and embodiment of some sort of perfection which includes beauty (she's the single character consistently drawn with more details than the protagonist, just to make a point) and godlike toughness with undercurrent of deadpan "Seen It All". There is also Robox, who is the Yin to eternal Butt Monkey Boxbot's Yang. The comic has yet to say what exactly either of them do, beyond the fact that "Everybody likes Robox" and "Nobody likes Boxbot".
From Homestuck, Bro Strider, elder brother of Dave Strider, by far surpasses any of the Kids or the Guardians in combat ability, and trumps Dave for sheer irony.
Dirk acts like this, and he certainly has shades of it, but the stress of Living in a Bad Future in which he and Roxy are the last of humanity, having to raise himself without anyone but Li'l Cal to help him, and having to maintain the charade of being asleep on Derse make him more of a Broken Ace.
Dora of Questionable Content has serious issues with her brother Sven due to his being an Ace. Sven himself has serious issues with him being an Ace. He becomes a Broken Ace when he starts to realize he doesn't really have much to his personality besides picking up hot chicks, using wacky situations to get out of uncomfortable ones and writing music he hates.
Carlyle from Sam and Fuzzy, a very humble form as he does not seem to want to be identified — he is The Faceless and shows up on several points to dispense Koans to the characters (who never realize it's him); most of his heroic deeds happen off-screen and are referred to by others. The first major arc of the comic kicks off when Sam tries to take on one of Carlyle's assignments and ends up in a spat of trouble with the Ninja Mafia.
In Sheldon, Flaco is a former cosmonaut, a gold medalist in the modern pentathlon, read several hundred books over the course of one summer, and - according to one strip - will eventually become an admiral in the Bulgarian navy. Did we mention that he's a foot-tall lizard who talks in squeaking sounds?
The main character of Too Much Information is named Ace. He doesn't even have a last name. And while he does make mistakes on occasion, he seems to fall into this quite often, especially where women are concerned - practically every female in a 5-mile radius seems to automatically fall for him (including lesbians and ghosts), and he had racked up 7 marriage-proposals before he turned 18. His foot-rubs are internationally renowned. At a charity Bachelor Auction, he brought in $5.000, which resulted from one woman bidding 2.500, and two others pitching in 1.250 each, while agreeing to 'share'. The two who are sharing? A grandmother and granddaughter. The granddaughter is a supermodel. The high bidder? A vampiress who thinks he's hot.
Oh! Now it turns out that Ace is also a whiz at hapkido.
However, his cooking is not 'inedible', it's just so ultra-spicey you have to be that manly to eat it, and only Ace is that manly. His favorite ice-cream flavor is 'Habanero'.
Recent evidence also suggests that he has 'spiritual power' on par with a Demigod or a Seraphim. And that his former 5-mile radius of seduction has been extended to the point where girls in Korea are committing suicide to be with him. If this man isn't stopped soon, his aura will extend to Babeatron IV, and then we'll be facing an invasion of Green Skinned Space Babes...
The Armory Master of Einsteinian Roulette. Fiery and incredibly beautiful, she is capable of impressing feats of crafting and combat, going unscathed through several high-risk missions without having so much as a scar to show. Before being put under the service of the HMRC, she worked in a bakery. She was good at that too.
Ace from The Insane Quest was (fittingly) one of these at first, but as time went on his team began to lose respect for him when he started becoming less of an ace and more of a traditional Marty Stu. Lori could also be considered a female example. This has given Mortal enough basis to accuse them both of being a Mary Sue. Though the author is trying to fix that.
In Noob, Fantöm, Amaras and Spectre for their respective factions. Fantöm is that in the overall game because the creator has been geting his avatar illegally enhanced behind his back. Amaras becomes number one once the whole thing is discovered.
ProtonJon of The Runaway Guys by being the best at everything, except for luck. For example, in the Super Smash Bros video they did, it came to a point where all three of them were facing each other. Jon had to use a controller he wasn't used to, but still managed to beat both Chugga and NCS at the same time, while still having 2 stock out of 5 left. In the New Super Mario Bros Wii LP, while everyone else was having problems with their lives, Jon had reached 99 lives while still screwing everyone else (mostly Chugga) over.
The Whateley Universe has this with Chaka, whose instinctive ki mastery lets her pick up more than just wire-fu martial arts tricks within moments and who's certainly prone to hamming it up. Or going after half-demonic hybrid weres with a rolled-up newspaper.
Slickis, Ickis' famous father from Western Animation/Aaaah!Real Monsters is this Academy's Most Esteemed Graduate and gets treated like a celebrity when he stops by for a visit. He's a champion athlete, a talented and innovative Scarer, great at public speaking, and he's such a Nice Guy everybody loves to be around him. His relationship with Ickis is strained at first, because Slickisspends more time being famous than being a Dad but they reconnect after Slickis reveals he wasn't always so skillful and reaffirms that he believes Ickis can do great things.
Hello Nurse of the Animaniacs in not only the Trope NamingHello, Nurse!, but also The Ace. According to the song about her, her list of accomplishments includes winning the Tony, Nobel Prize, and Pulitzer, obtaining several P.H.Ds, playing Chopin without rehearsing, singing opera at the Met, starring as the lead role in King Lear, becoming the ambassador to China, and not smoking.
Jet from Avatar The Last Airbender is portrayed like this; he's strong, he's a good leader, he sweeps Katara off her feet, and Aang doesn't even seem to notice because he thinks Jet is awesome too. Only Sokka is suspicious of him, and for good reason; they later find out that Jet is rather psychotic and was willing to kill innocent people in order to wipe out a few fire nation soldiers.
Aldrin Pesky from The Buzz on Maggie combines this with Jerk Jock and Big Brother Bully in his attitude towards younger siblings Maggie and Pupert. He actually cares for Bella, the baby of the family. He's the captain of all the high school sports teams, has at least one in-universe fangirl swooning over him at his Burger Fool job, and his teeth sparkle when he smiles. Deconstructed partly when Maggie wants to get a better part-time job than Aldrin (or at least let everyone think she has). Aldrin discovers the ruse and is FURIOUS that she would lie about her accomplishments when he worked very hard to get where he is (a later episode confirms how insanely hard his sports training routines are), but he still offers to recommend Maggie to the manager once she admits she was wrong. Usually, he's too much of an Aloof Big Brother to even bother giving advice, possibly because he's The Unfavorite in their extended family, as Uncle Jeb blatantly favors Maggie (and later Pupert) and only compliments Aldrin when he realizes that gaining muscle mass means Aldrin can do more work.
Captain Planet — seriously, is there any power this guy doesn't have? If pollution weren't more prevalent than kryptonite, he'd make Superman look like Aquaman.
Captain Star of the eponymous series is called the "greatest hero any world has ever known", and a legendary captain and explorer with hundreds of worlds named after him. Despite being effectively exiled to a remote corner of the universe still manages to save the day on numerous occasions. On his Show Within a Show, he's even more so.
Used to its fullest in the Danny Phantom episode "Identity Crisis" where Danny splits in two, one of which embodies his heroic qualities. So much so that Large Ham speeches are an everyday occurrence for him, no tasks is too great or small for him to command—he can fight crime and vacuum his room with much pumped glee—his dramatic entrances are peppered with flashy backgrounds, imaginary wind dramatically blows his hair no matter where he is, and the music blasts triumphantly every time he appears on screen or does something over-the-top, including practicing appropriate superhero facial expressions.
Chalky Studebaker in both series of Doug, incredibly smart, amazing athlete. However in both series, he's hinted at being a Broken Ace. Outright deconstructed in one episode when he and Doug get identical results on a test. Doug knows he didn't cheat, so the only other possibility is that Chalky cheated. After spending a day chasing Chalky through three different sports and band practice he finally corners him at his house and finds out that Chalky's been so busy with all his extracurricular activities he never had time to study. Then Chalky's dad proudly shows off his son's Trophy Room, then adds that he's got a long way to go to catch up to his brother. Doug comments that it's a pretty big wall to fill and Chalky agrees and misses a game to re-take the test.
Cornfed Pig from Duckman fits this to a tee. He has dozens of degrees, has worked hundreds of jobs, and is a certified expert at everything. He materializes new skills whenever it is necessary or funny, from performing surgery on the fly, constructing a working helicopter from bamboo, or performing the works of Hendrix, he can do it.
Ed, Edd n Eddy: Subverted with Eddy's older brother. Throughout the series, Eddy has been building up his brother as heroic and compassionate for him, but the Grand Finalemovie revealed that he's actually a sociopath who's been torturing Eddy for as long as they've been together and that Eddy made up everything he said about him. And from what we've heard, Eddy's not the only one.
Kim Possible is a rare example of this being the protagonist herself. She's a straight-A head cheerleader who is involved in nearly every extracurricular activity, and she is quite Genre Savvy and can learn how to pilot something in just a few seconds. She can do anything, indeed.
Mei Ling in Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five. She was the top student at the martial arts academy where Crane worked as the janitor and is a true blue friend who helped the underconfident bird achieve his dream to enroll in the school.
Experiment 262 from Lilo & Stitch: The Series is a superhero compared to the other experiments. He was originally designed as a war weapon, but Jumba screwed up the formula and created a being with no capacity for evil. Jumba considers him a failure and locked him away whenever company came around. Oh, and his name actually is Ace.
Rick Thunderbolt of Oban Star Racers is famous, gorgeous (complete with waist-length black hair and Cool Shades,) beloved, one of the world's best racers - and knows it. Over the course of the show's first arc, he is crippled so he can never race again, and ends up as a mentor figure to Molly, teaching her everything he knows so that she can succeed where he did not.
In one episode of The Proud Family, Trudy hires a housekeeper called "Renee" who is good at almost everything. Trudy gets jealous because she feels that she doesn't fit to everyone's standards and she feels that she has been replaced, so she decides to let her go because she's too "perfect."
Vince LaSalle from Recess. T.J. was one in the early season one episodes. Played with in "Here Comes Mr. Perfect" with Jarad Smith, a new student who ends up being the best ateverything, though deconstructed when it's revealed that he doesn't have many friends because he's better than every other student at everything.
Regular Show has Skips. In general, he's good at everything.
Deconstructed in one episode, where Skips is shown to be horrendously computer-impaired.
Also, Rigby's little brother Don fits this trope perfectly. He is a successful accountant who is a large contrast to his groundskeeper brother.
Brian Boitano is presented as The Ace on South Park, despite never appearing on the show. According the musical number about him in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, he has magical fire-breath and once punched out Khublai Khan. He does appear in the 1995 "Spirit of Christmas" short, though only to give An Aesop speech.
Spongebob Squarepants has 4 of them. Spongebob is this compared to Squidward, as are Mr. Krabs to Plankton, Squilliam to Squidward and Sandy to basically everyone.
Stressed Eric lives next door to the Perfect family. Ray Perfect is Eric's coworker and excels everywhere that Eric fails dismally.
TaleSpin has at least two examples (one appearance each):
Whistlestop Jackson, hero to millions!
And the appropriately-named Ace London! ("You got that right!") He's good, knows it, makes a big point of it, and unsurprisingly, gets on Baloo's nerves as a result of his insufferable attitude.
A possible third example played with is Rick Sky. Ace Pilot and squadron commander during TaleSpin's equivalent to World War I, and a living legend. Except for the fact he disappeared with a load of silver vital to the war effort and was branded a traitor. He claims that he really didn't steal the silver after all, and instead crashed on a glacier with his squadron and was trapped there for a couple decades. Of course he doesn't help his case when he steals the Sea Duck. But he did it to try and get the silver back. Any disillusionment Baloo felt over these events is pretty thoroughly dashed when Rick and his recovered squadron willingly take on Don Karnage in what's implied to be a Suicide Mission to give Baloo time to escape with the silver, ultimately clearing their names.The Ace indeed.
Aqualad is portrayed this way in his debut episode of Teen Titans.
Underdog — completely invincible to all natural physical harm, Super Strength taken Up to Eleven, speed of lightning, treats bullets like they're raindrops, destroys bad guys' vehicles (from cars to train to tanks) just by standing there doing nothing and letting them crash when they hit him, takes out monsters in one or two punches like they're toys, and loves to make dramatic entrances where something gets destroyed and he declares "There's no need to fear!/Underdog is here!" The catch? His powers are the effect of a Super Serum pill, and he often spends half the episode dangerously weak if not nigh-helpless until he's able to take it and re-charge, which makes for an interesting balance of strength and vulnerability.
Jonas Venture Jr. also qualifies... and only gets more infuriating as the series progresses.
Jonas Venture Sr. too, albeit posthumously. Everyone who ever knew him considered him a god among men. Even Rusty, who knows full well what a self-absorbed asshat he was, can't bring himself to break out of his father's shadow.
Dr. Henry Killinger takes this Up to Eleven while still playing it straight. In his two major appearance so far in the series, he completely rebuilds the Monarch's criminal organization while reuniting him with Dr. Girlfriend, and then rebuilds Venture Industries to its former glory almost overnight while giving Rusty Venture a much needed Heel Realization. He is terrifyingly good at what he does.
Played straight in The Weekenders with minor character and Lor's crush, Thompson Oberman. Nicely lampshaded by Tino and Carver: