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The Tramp
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.

The Tramp is most common in works Older than Television.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

Film
  • 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.

Literature
  • The classic (in Ashkenazi culture) folk hero Herschel of Ostropol is the very definition of this trope. His always-successful cons included telling a man that a table could lay golden coins, convincing a couple that he was insane/dangerous, and talking to a fish.
  • Older Than Radio: Pretty much everyone at the Court of Miracles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In fact, Gringoire becomes a tramp once he gets there on penalty of death. Later in the book Jehan joins up, too, mostly because he's run out of money and is tired of going to school.
  • The Astrid Lindgren book Rasmus And The Tramp (also known as Rasmus and the Vagabond)
  • A Vagabond Journey Around the World features Harry Franck in his voyage to make a trip around the world without spending any money. He inevitably falls into the character type, as do most of the other people he befriends.
  • In Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, what he looks like at first appearance:
    At a glance he might have been mistaken for a tramp, but he was truly seeking work.


Starving StudentPoverty TropesWallet Moths
Charlie ChaplinImageSource/Live-Action FilmsCharlie's Angels
Strange Pond WomanThe TricksterThose Wily Coyotes

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