%% Image and caption selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1307847148029640100
%% Please do not change or remove either without starting a thread.
%% Also, a little note to the Whovians here: Don't start a thread just to replace the Delgado Master with a new series Master.
[-[[caption-width-right:308:L-R, top to Bottom: [[Series/DoctorWho The Master]], [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer The Master]], [[ComicBook/AlphaFlight The Master]], [[VideoGame/{{Fallout1}} The Master]], [[Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome The Master]], and [[Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate The Master]]]]-]

->'''The Master:''' I like it when you use my name.\\
'''The Doctor:''' You chose it... [[DeadpanSnarker Psychiatrist's field day.]]
-->-- ''Series/DoctorWho'', [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E12TheSoundOfDrums "The Sound of Drums"]]

Beware of any character whose name is simply "The Master." They're often in charge of things (duh) but most often these things include a reclusive mansion in the middle of nowhere, or [[BigFancyCastle a castle]], or [[MadScientistLaboratory a laboratory]], or all three! If they don't rule in the periphery of civilization like an old-school noble, they may rule right under our noses in civilized society. Whatever they're up to, expect them to have a big mustache, a great dining hall, and any number of {{Evil Plan}}s.

Note that characters who have a name to go with "Master" are exempted from this--for example, Master So-and-So who teaches martial arts. Often a student will simply refer to their teacher as "Master," but that's also an exemption.

See also NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast, SpellMyNameWithAThe, JustTheFirstCitizen.

AuthorityEqualsAsskicking is usually in effect.

Not to be confused with the Creator/PaulThomasAnderson [[Film/TheMaster film]], or with the TV show ''Series/MasterNinja'' (also known simply as ''Series/TheMaster''), or the similarly named trope OldMaster.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': Lelouch has a theme called [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWn0nF-PFcE "THE MASTER"]] for his most ominous, overlordly, badass scenes.
* ''Manga/MaisonIkkoku'': The bartender at the [=ChaChaMaru=] is known as "Master." Suppose this may double as EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep, but he DOES fit with the big mustache and the great dining hall. As for evil plans, well, he has a crush on his boozy redhead slacker alcoholic waitress [[spoiler:and eventually marries her]], so he's got that going for him. "Master" is actually what Japanese people call bartenders in general; you can see it in a few other series, like ''Manga/KimagureOrangeRoad''.
* Inachika Akitani from ''Manga/TheLuciferAndBiscuitHammer'' tends to end his introductions with "Also known as, The Master."
* Caesar Clown of ''Manga/OnePiece'' bears the nickname "Master" (also written in English in the original Japanese edition), often just shortened to "M". He's a BitchInSheepsClothing MadScientist that you just LoveToHate...
* Averted in ''Anime/ToukenRanbuHanamaru'' - the Master of the citadel [[NonEntityGeneral doesn't actually appear]], as they're supposed to represent the player of [[VideoGame/ToukenRanbu the game on which the series is based]], but they love all of the Sword Warriors dearly. The master does things for them like buy them books and sew [[BeachEpisode swimsuits for them]], and when their master gets sick, the Sword Warriors all worry and do things like make soup, and go out to find a special herb to make medicine from. It's all very [[{{WAFF}} hanamaru]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ''ComicBook/AlphaFlight'' villain later known as the Master of the World.
* Not the exact name, but [[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk The Leader]] has pretty much the same vibe.
** And in his appearance in the Dan Slott ''ComicBook/SheHulk'' series, he was [[ComicBookFantasyCasting drawn]] as [[Series/DoctorWho Roger Delgado]] with hydrocephalus.
** Lest we forget, the [[FutureMeScaresMe evil future Hulk]] who calls himself [[GratuitousItalian The Maestro]].
* In the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' {{Elseworld}}s story "The Master of the Future", a turn-of-the-century Batman battled the so-called "Master", Alexandre [=LeRoi=](very likely inspired by the Jules Verne example in Literature below), who attempted to destroy the Gotham City World's Fair Exposition from his airship, via a [[{{Steampunk}} solar cannon composed of an array of lenses that concentrated sunlight into a cohesive beam]].
* In the late 1980s revival of ''Radio/TheShadow'', the Shadow's agents frequently referred to him by this title.

[[folder:Computer Science]]
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_theorem Master Theorem,]] for deducting the computation time of divide-and-conquer algorithms.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBraveLittleToaster'': The owner of the titular character.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/KnockedUp'', Martin can only get out of the ''dirty man challenge'' by explicitly referring to Jason as ''The Master''.
* ''Barry Gordy's Film/TheLastDragon'': Sho'Nuff, The Shogun of Harlem insisted everyone call him "The Master".
* ''Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome'': A character called Master was one half of [=MasterBlaster=] in the film. He was played by Angelo Rossitto, co-founder of the Little People Society of America and star of ''Film/{{Freaks}}''.
* ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'': ThE mAsTeR wOuLd [=NoT=] aPpRoVe [=BeInG=] oVeRlOoKeD fRoM tHiS lIsT. nO, tHe [=MaStEr=] [=WoUlD=] nOt [=ApPrOve=].
* ''Film/TheMaster'' is about the rise of a ChurchOfHappyology-style cult leader.
* ''Film/{{Tron}}'' gives us a digital example in the Master Control Program (MCP).

* One of the titles of [[TheDragon Gerridon]] from the ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'' is "The Master of Knorth", usually shortened to just "the Master".
* Subverted in Marc Twain's ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'': the tittle yankee was styled ''The Boss'' by the whole Britain.
* A "stale beer with a martini olive" SpyFiction series by William Garner featured a British [[TheSpymaster intelligence chief]] who was referred to and occasionally addressed only as the Master. The main character had been one of his agents before the series began, and sometimes wound up reluctantly working for him again.
* The Master of Laketown in ''Literature/TheHobbit'', though he's by no means an evil mastermind; more of a [[DirtyCoward cowardly]] ObstructiveBureaucrat.
* The villain from Creator/GarthNix's story "Hope Chest" is called the Master. He's a Hitler-like character in an alternate America.
* ''Literature/TheMasterAndMargarita'': One of the eponymous characters from M. Bulgakov's novel -- though this Master is not a villain, but one of the most good and kind-hearted characters in the book. He was a writer, but after his book was banned, he went out of his mind, and started to call himself "the Master" (an important note: in Russian "master" means not "lord", but something like "maestro"). He was actually given the name by his lover (that would be Margarita) who was devoted to him and his novel. His real name is never revealed, but it's implied that his skill is so great that Master is the more fitting name anyway.
** Despite not being a villain, he's still pretty scary in his own way, when you consider that the devil himself comes to Earth just to find him, and he seems to be channeling the consciousness of a biblical figure who's been dead for 2,000 years...
* In ''The Master of the World'' by Creator/JulesVerne, the titular character is the inventor/pilot of the speedboat/submarine/automobile/aircraft called "The Terror" (it was 1904, folks).
* In ''Literature/TheSistersGrimm'', the leader of the Scarlet Hand and BigBad gets the title "The Master".
* ''Literature/TheStrain'' has an ancient evil vampire simply called The Master.
** That's revealed to be a pseudonym, and his true name is [[spoiler: Sariel/Ozaryel, and implicitly he's the ''Angel of Death''.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}: Literature/LastSonOfKrypton'' pits the Man of Steel, and Lex Luthor, against a tyrant named The Master, who is determined to wrest the rule of the entire galaxy away from the Guardians of Oa.
* The race of aliens in ''Literature/TheTripods'' are called the Masters. [[AlienInvasion Guess what they're like.]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Bones}}'' the SerialKiller Gormogon apparently preferred to be called "The Master", though admittedly the only people who did so were his apprentices.
* The season 1 villain for ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', a vampire ancient enough to have outgrown human features, who wanted to open the Hellmouth and bring about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
** Occasionally, [[{{Fanfiction}} fanfics]] will make both Masters the same guy, with the explanation that the ''Doctor Who'' villain gave vampirism a shot in his pursuit of immortality. Sadly, there appears to be no team-ups or fights between the two because they would be too confusing (although theoretically, the confusion could be averted by referring to the ''Doctor Who'' Master by one of many aliases like "Harold Saxon").
** He shows up again in Season 8.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The series' longest recurring solo villain and the Doctor's EvilCounterpart -- who actively chose the title just as the Doctor did theirs, which tells you rather a lot about them as a person,
** Going by this name so amused the Master that even while incognito, they often chose a paper-thin-disguise alias based on its sound or [[ThisIsMyNameOnForeign meaning]] (Mister Magister, Professor Thascales, Col. Masters, Missy, etc.). On the rare occasions anyone's asked what they're the master ''of'', the answer tends to be "the master of all matter" or simply "The Master of All". By the same token, the Doctor is "a doctor of many things" or "The Doctor of Everything" plus a couple of less-used versions referring to time-travel. It's been suggested that the Master's name comes from their degree at the Time Lord Academy. Bear in mind that a master's degree is just one step below a doctorate -- this might explain the enmity between the Doctor and the Master! In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E7AGoodManGoesToWar "A Good Man Goes to War"]], it's hinted that the word "doctor" (which means "person of knowledge" or "healer") comes from the Doctor himself. So it would be fitting for the word "Master" (which means "controller" and "man of knowledge") to come from him as well.
** On at least three occasions in the Second Doctor's run, the Doctor is told that "The Master" wants to see him (on one occasion it's the Great Intelligence, on another it's the Master of the Land of Fiction, and on the other it's Professor Maxtible). In each case he reacts with alarm. Since the Master proper hadn't been invented then, his misgivings can only be down to [[GenreSavvy his knowledge of this trope]]. (In-universe, in the Master's debut story, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS8E1TerrorOfTheAutons "Terror of the Autons"]], a Time Lord informs the Doctor that the Master has taken to referring to himself by that title; though the Doctor knew the character before this, he is apparently unaware of the change in his moniker). After the Master proper had already been established, the Fifth Doctor, while playing cricket, was informed he played as well as "the Master", and got progressively more nervous until the other man clarified that he was talking about "the other Doctor" -- [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._G._Grace W. G. Grace.]]
** Other ''Series/DoctorWho'' Masters:
*** The Master is a pseudonym that the Great Intelligence is going by in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS5E2TheAbominableSnowmen "The Abominable Snowman"]].
*** "The Master of the Land of Fiction" from [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E2TheMindRobber "The Mind Robber"]], who was usually called the Master for short. He wasn't a villain, though. [[DoubleSubversion However,]] he was controlled by a computer called the MASTER Brain.
* The Master of Lonsdale College in the ''Series/InspectorMorse'' episode "Death is Now My Neighbour" is a very nasty piece of work.
* In ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'', the male confessor son of Darken Rahl in the final episode of season 1 was referred to as The Master.
** This seems to be a side effect of confessor powers, as female confessors are usually referred to as "Mistress" by those they've confessed.
* In ''Series/MidsomerMurders'', ''Death in Disguise'' the Master is actually a very nice guy who wants to look after people and help them.
* Aversion: Even though Lee Van Cleef was "[[Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly The Bad]]", his titular character in the TV series ''Series/TheMaster'' (a.k.a. ''Master Ninja'' to ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]'' fans) was a good guy.
* The Master is the name of the SealedEvilInACan of ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce''.
* On ''Series/RedDwarf'', the Master is the title given to the monster from ''Terrorform''. [[spoiler:It's revealed to be a representation of Rimmer's self-loathing, and attempts to torture him with a hot poker]].
* The main antagonist in ''Series/TheStrain'' is known as The Master.

* In the world of the metal band Music/{{GWAR}}, "The Master" is a giant pair of buttocks.
* The Music/{{Rammstein}} song "Der Meister" (The Master) is about the apocalypse.

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* In his role as the BiggerBad[=/=]EvilMentor of the Wrestling/DungeonOfDoom in Wrestling/{{WCW}} in 1995, Wrestling/KingCurtisIaukea's character was ''named'' the Master.

* ''Radio/TheNavyLark'' had its own recurring villain, The Master, played with gusto and a surprisingly-for-the-[[WorldOfHam usually-over-the-top-show]]-restrained Chinese accent by Jon Pertwee -- who at the same time was also portraying on television [[Series/DoctorWho the mortal foe of a completely different Master]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Master (formerly Richard Grey) from ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}''.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMario'': The BonusBoss and most powerful enemy in [[VideoGame/PaperMario64 the original game]], the [[OldMaster head of a martial arts dojo]], is known simply as The Master.
* Porky/Pokey from the ''VideoGame/{{Mother}}'' franchise likes to identify himself with the prefix of "Master".
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManZX Advent'' "Master" is given as the title to the members of the Sage Trinity. [[spoiler:Two out of the three are evil.]]
* ''VideoGame/MegamanLegends 2'' has "The Master", [[spoiler:the last true human being there is, with everyone else in the world being [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots robots]] or [[ArtificialHuman clones]] or [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs robot clones]]. He's actually [[SubvertedTrope very benevolent]]. Unfortunately, he's also [[PosthumousCharacter already dead]], and most of his direct creations are [[AIIsACrapshoot much]] [[OmnicidalManiac less]] [[KillEmAll benevolent]] than he was.]]
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'', the leader of the [[ProfessionalKiller assassins]] is named Al Mualim, literally 'The Master'. [[spoiler:Turns out at the end of the game that he was just using you to give him undisputed control of the Piece of Eden, an ancient artifact capable of brainwashing the world.]]
* ''VideoGame/ActRaiser'' subverts convention. You ''are'' the Master and you're not at all evil.
** That is, in the Western version. In the Japanese version, the Master is known as '''God'''. Considering that you play as a powerful benevolent being watching human settlements from the skies to help them grow and protect them from evil, assisted by a little cherub angel, the name change isn't fooling anyone. Makes one wonder if the translators chose the term because it's a Nintendo-censorship-friendly synonym for "The Lord".
* From ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden 2'' there's the Master who doesn't spell her name with a "the".
* The Master in ''VideoGame/DestroyAllHumans: Path of the Furon'' is a a {{Jerkass}} OldMaster [[spoiler:and also the game's BigBad]].
* The villain from ''VideoGame/EvilTwinCypriensChronicles'' is known as simply "The Master".
* Ditto for ''VideoGame/HeartOfDarkness''.
* Franchise/StreetFighter has a half example. In Japan the villain is named Vega. However, in america, he got a more famous name: Master Bison.
* And from [[VideoGame/{{Strider}} another Capcom game]] we got Grandmaster Meioh, commonly simply referred to as The Grandmaster. Of note is that "Meioh" isn't his name but is simply another title meaning "Dark King" or "Lord of Darkness".
* The Master Hand from the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series. [[spoiler:And, as of the Wii U and 3DS versions, [[SNKBoss Master Core]].]]
* The Master is a major boss in ''VideoGame/TalesOfMajEyal''.
* The Element Dolls refer to the PlayerCharacter as this in ''[[VideoGame/DonPachi DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou]]''.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsX'' introduces to the Kingdom Hearts franchise a character called "The Master of Masters," with no other name. Amongst his powers is the ability to see the future, which he uses to [[AmbiguouslyEvil unknown ends]]. To clarify, he saw the Keyblade War coming, and not only did nothing to stop it, but he practically encouraged it to happen through his apprentices.
* The NES game ''VideoGame/BionicCommando'' featured Master-D, leader of the now defunct BADDS, a villain born as a result of ExecutiveMeddling. Before Nintendo censored it, he was Adolf Hitler, [[CameBackWrong brought back from the dead]] by TheEmpire to help them finish a superweapon. Master-D probably felt at home, as The Empire was clearly PuttingOnTheReich. Fortunately, the player will have a chance to make Hit...Master-D's [[YourHeadAsplode head explode in a very graphic scene for the SNES]].

[[folder: Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/CharbyTheVampirate'': The cruel and sadistic necromancer that brought back Mye and Hex as his zombie slaves was only known to them and referred to by them as The Master. His true name remains unknown but he is also known as the "Bear Witch".
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' The Master of Paris is an over two-hundred year old powerful spark who instills dread in most of the other players in the political sphere of Europa and can control everything including the very bricks in his city to use as weapons against his opponents or those who would defy him.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''ARG/DarkDreamChronicle'', [[Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos Slendy]] is referred to as "the Master" except by a few Rebels.
* ''Fansadox'' #37 has the titular psycho tattooed on his back the word "Master" in Japanese (or so he says), and he likes (read: forces girls he rapes) to be called this. This becomes a plot point [[spoiler:when the girls escape, they find the sheriff and demand the supposed rapist-slash-sadist show his back. Turns out he wasn't the psycho, but the sheriff himself.]] Prime example of BondageIsBad.
* Averted entirely by the Magistra of ''Roleplay/SuburbanSenshi''. (The Magistra being the feminine Latin word for Master) This was brought up exactly once in RP where someone compared her name to that of [[Series/DoctorWho the Master]] and the fact that she is a Time Lady. It was quickly pointed out that [[HilariousInHindsight the Master was male and dead]] and that her name came from [[Manga/MahouSenseiNegima Magistra Magi]] (despite not being one) because she was the first spell-casting Time Lord and wanted to reference that. (Which match previous and later statements made by her player.)

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/RoadRovers'', The Rovers' boss is called The Master, [[spoiler:but he was originally known as Professor William F. Shepherd.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Subverted by the not-at-all evil and thoroughly ''fabulous'' Creator/NoelCoward, nicknamed "The Master."
* The [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1609168.stm Enigma machine theft]] involved "an unnamed buyer in India, referred to as 'The Master.'"
* UsefulNotes/JosefStalin was referred to by his underlings (but not to his face) as ''Vozhd''. This translates roughly to boss, chief, or master.
* Anyone who claims to be a member of the "MasterRace" is clearly worth keeping an eye on.