'''The Protagonist''' is the principal character of a story, [[HeroProtagonist usually]] TheHero, but not always. Beyond any and all other traits, whether they are a VillainProtagonist, TheHero, or simply an InnocentBystander, and whatever the story's POV may be, you can generally tell who the protagonist is because the story is ''about'' them. This is present in pretty much all fiction, making it an OmnipresentTrope. As a result, this page only defines the term.

Compare and contrast TheAntagonist, who is equally important because they oppose the actions of the protagonist. Unless there is NoAntagonist altogether. Also see {{Deuteragonist}}, the other character whom the story is about, but to a lesser extent than the protagonist; in other words, a secondary main character.

Compare DecoyProtagonist, a character appears to be the protagonist but turns out to be not, RogueProtagonist, a protagonist becoming the antagonist in a sequel, and SupportingProtagonist. This trope tends to run on SurvivorshipBias, since we care more about them than other characters.