A subtrope of Hobos
, The Tramp is a romanticized vagrant. He rarely has any significant material possessions. He survives from day to day via grifting
, mooching, petty thievery, and playing off others' sympathies. He's usually quite intelligent, though, and generally won't do anything truly horrible. Walking the Earth
is part and parcel of a Tramp character — if he stays in one place he's not a Tramp.
If the heroes are looking for a down-to-Earth character to restore their faith in humanity, the Tramp can usually do it. He's also usually well-connected, with other tramps; they form something of a cooperative union.
In some works, the existence of the Tramp can be proof of a Crapsack World
Tramps are sometimes portrayed as straight villains, but this role usually falls to Crazy Homeless People
in modern fiction.
is most common in works Older than Television
Anime and Manga
- The best known characters portrayed by Charlie Chaplin fall under this type (and, in fact, "the Tramp" is often the closest thing the character has to a name). Before Hilarity Ensues, the Chaplin character can often be found trying to think of a way to get dinner, but he will jump at the chance for a paying job when it comes up.
- Although Chaplin wore that costume for almost every movie he made from 1914 through 1940, his Tramp wasn't always a homeless person. In Mabel's Strange Predicament (1914), Chaplin's second film appearance and the debut of the Tramp, he is a drunken hotel guest. In A Day's Pleasure (1919) he has a wife and kids. However, in Chaplin's features, starting with The Kid (1920), he is in fact always portrayed as a vagrant.
- The Tramp character of Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp. Although he is, admittedly, a dog.
- Both versions of My Man Godfrey, though the forgotten man (a.k.a. tramp) starts out rich, goes on to be a tramp, makes the money back, and uses it to help the other tramps. Oh, and marries the pretty rich girl.
- The title character in Aladdin is like this, a tramp and beggar living on the streets off his own wit and what he can con/steal — until he gets the lamp, at least.