One good way to establish a character's backstory
and personality is to give them a Trophy Room or wall full of trophies and mementos of their accomplishments. It may be revealed with a camera pan in the intro (which can double nicely as exposition
thanks to newspaper clippings), as background Scenery Porn
to their home, or worked into the script when another character discovers it and becomes awestruck (or fearstruck, read on). Potential owners include but are not limited to: actors, Adventurer Archaeologists
, football players, hunters, officers (police and military), politicians, and high-ranking members of an Artifact Collection Agency
If they have had an adventurous and eventful life it may become a full blown museum, taking up not just a wall or room but an entire wing of their mansion as it verges on becoming (or surpassing) a Superhero Trophy Shelf
. The nature and content of the Trophy Room says a lot about the owner; it may be a modest acknowledgment of their achievements (which is not indicated anywhere else in the house), a narcissistic Shrine to Self
, a creepy Egomaniac Hunter
's room full of stuffed animals (and not the huggable kind), a creepier Stalker Shrine
full of "trophies" won from preying on others, a selection of Battle Trophies
won in combat, or a small scale Bazaar of the Bizarre
full of archaeological wonders or curious kitsch
Expect youngsters who think their parents/relatives are boring to radically reassess their assumption once they accidentally stumble upon this room.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- For most superhero examples, see Superhero Trophy Shelf.
- The Shadow Gallery, V's stronghold from V for Vendetta, is where he keeps various cultural items stolen from the hyper-censoring megalomaniacal government.
- The Shadow Gallery exists in the film adaptation, too. It also shows Gordon Deitrich as having a similar trophy room, including a satirical painting of the Big Bad in drag and a copy of the Qur'an. Unfortunately, his owning the latter has him put to death by Sutler's thugs when they arrest him.
- Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
- Scrooge McDuck has one of these in the Carl Barks and Don Rosa continuities, containing various valuable mementoes from his previous adventures, often referencing earlier comics. For Scrooge, the Money Bin itself is also an enormous trophy room, where every coin represents a unique, personal memory.
- The Black Knight: Arpin Lusène, Scrooge's Worthy Opponent Gentleman Thief, is himself is shown to have a sizable collection of stolen art and treasures in his French villa during the news item on him.
- In B.P.R.D. the new CEO of Zinco Corporation, Mr. Pope, has a secret room stuffed to the gills with Nazi memorabilia, including from some of their wacky supertech and disturbing occult artifact collections, including stuff related to Project Ragna Rok.
- In Violine, Violine's father had one of these in his mansion.
- Famously featured in the Predator franchise, most notably in the second movie: Aboard a Predator ship is a trophy rack including a Xenomorph skull from the Alien series.
- They have trophies from Earth, also: when Harrigan kills one Predator, the others give him a flintlock pistol from the 18th Century, presumably from their own collection.
- In Ransom, Mel Gibson plays a rich airline owner with several magazine covers featuring himself (Business Week, etc.) on his wall. The villain points to them and mocks him.
- In the Coen Brothers film The Big Lebowski, Jeffrey Lebowski (the titular "Big Lebowski") has a trophy wall displaying various awards which he and his "Little Lebowski Urban Achievers" (underprivileged youths Lebowski has sponsored) have won over the years.
- Roland Copping's room in Frauds, where he keeps things once belonging to the subsequent victims of his little games.
- Highlander: Connor MacLeod's Wall of Weapons is most likely one of these, reminding him of those he faced over the centuries.
- In Sky High, a superhero's trophy room becomes a plot point. A villain deliberately loses a fight to the superhero at the beginning of the movie, correctly anticipating that the superhero will bring a trophy from that fight back to the superhero's trophy room. The villain, who is employing a Trojan Horse strategy, is counting on this.
- In Tremors 2: Aftershocks, we get a look at gun enthusiast Burt Gummer's trophy room, among them include a wildebeest and a graboid head-presumably the one he killed in the first movie.
- Speed Racer has shelves of trophies in the living room.
- Ace Ventura sees one of these in When Nature Calls. He freaks out in the funniest way possible.
- Quint's shack in Jaws is filled with the jaws of sharks that he has killed over the course of his career.
- The film adaptation of Sahara uses one of these to provide Establishing Character Moment for Dirk Pitt in the opening titles, loaded with ContinuityNods to other books in the series.
- All the versions of "The Most Dangerous Game" (where a mad hunter hunts humans for sport) feature a variation. In "Surviving the Game" it's the victim's heads in jars. In "Bloodlust" he sets up tableaus of his victims at the moment of the kill.
- Done amusingly in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Harry's office is covered with the front page of issues of the Sun from days when he completed some important mission. Because of the utter anonymity of the Kingsmen and their work, none of the headlines of those papers have anything to do with whatever crisis he averted. Most of the headlines are incredibly shallow celebrity news titbits, like 'Brad Pitt Ate My Sandwich'.
- A variation in Big Game — rather than their Rite of Passage hunts themselves, Oskari's family keeps photographs of various family members with their thireenth birthday's hunting's trophies.
- Dave of John Dies at the End has a shed in his backyard where he keeps mementos of his and John's "adventures" dealing with paranormal horrors.
- Gilderoy Lockhart's office in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. What isn't portraits of himself are trophies he had taken from other people and claimed that he earned.
- In the Vorkosigan Saga, Cordelia sees Aral's trophies; His early medals are all carefully mounted and displayed, but the later ones, including some incredibly prestigious medals, are stuffed carelessly into a desk drawer. Miles repeats the pattern with his own awards, partly because they all relate to covert operations, and what's the point of a medal you can't tell a good story about? He does, however, have a wall display of seemingly innocuous items that reference important events of his life, like a millipfennig, his old leg braces, a copy of the holy book he used to 'uplift' the Marilacan POWs from Dagoola IV, etc.
- In the Seeker Bears book called Smoke Mountain, peeking into a hunter's cabin, the journeying bears are horrified to see a bear's head mounted on the wall. They are shocked that the humans would mount their prey on a wall instead of eating it. But seeing three brown bear pelts waving like flags during a storm did not help them at all.
- The X-Wing Series reveals that after taking power, Emperor Palpatine sealed off a wing of the Jedi museum on Coruscant to use as his personal trophy room, where he defaced or destroyed exhibits presumably as the people they honored were killed in his Jedi purge.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, the Bolton family is rumored to have one, filled with the skins of enemies they've flayed alive, including some Kings of Winter.
- A comical version of this would be the TV show Top Gear. After they won an Emmy, they kept the trophy in the toilet of their offices, which are little more than portable cabins. However, they prominently display a selection of vehicles from previous adventures in their studio. Notable among these (and the only one to be a permanent fixture) is the Toyota Hilux pickup truck which survived their prolonged, intense campaign to destroy it.note It now rests on an enormous tilted plinth behind the main platform.
- Done on Blood Ties, with the heads of shapeshifters on a wall.
- CSI: NY: The episode "Yahrzeit" showed the Trophy Rooms of two Neo-Nazi characters, both full of Nazi memorabilia, guns and items taken from Holocaust victims. Definitely at the creepier end of the spectrum.
- In Justified, an art expert keeps badgering Raylan Givens to come and see his collection of Hitler paintings. Raylan is understandably not keen, but is surprised by what he finds when he finally gives in. The expert has dedicated his life to buying up all of Hitler's paintings, so that he can burn them and keep the ashes in jars.
- This is what your personal room in any house you build, or any other place you collect your stuff, in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind inevitably turns into if you care to collect the artifacts.
- Similarly, buyable houses in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim contain weapons racks for this purpose. The Hearthfire expansion, which allows the player to build a house, has a trophy room as one of the options. Most other rooms, especially the armory, also allow for construction of display cases, weapon racks, and armor mannequins for showing off your epic loot.
- The Lucky 38 Casino's executive suit, from Fallout: New Vegas are designed with this in mind. Many players extend this to the entire Casino, particularly its Cocktail lounge, which often becomes filled with Nuka Cola and other culinary trophies that wouldn't be safe from the greedy guts of your Companions in the main suit.
- Tomb Raider: Anniversary
- The Croft Manor training level had a room with display cases for the ancient relics the player collected during the game. They can be examined in closeup and Lara will make an admiring comment.
- The Wii port went one step further, with an additional trophy room with even more mementos, including big game Lara killed. Seriously nice.
- Tomb Raider III also has a secret trophy room, filled with all of the items Lara got in her quests (and Gaiden Games), as well as the skull of the Tyrannosaurus rex from Tomb Raider II.
- Bully has Jimmy Hopkins' room become filled with mementos from all his exploits during the game, be it the main missions or side quests. Pretty much everything he accomplishes is marked with a new trophy. Jimmy can also buy a few items to add, like posters. The Bully: Scholarship Edition also adds a few new ones to the already crowded room.
- Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening has Vigils Keep being filled with items you collect over the course of the game. Including a dragon skull and a golems armour.
- The Captain's Cabin of Normandy SR-2 in Mass Effect 2 gets gradually filled with various trinkets and mementos as you progress through the main plot and side quests.
- The most amusing being the Prothean Orb from the Firewalker missions. Shepard uses it as a paperweight.
- The cabin reprises this role in Mass Effect 3, picking up some notable items from the various DLC packs, like Petrovsky's chessboard from Omega or a husk head "experiment" from Leviathan.
- Fable II allows you to hang the trophies of your choice on the walls of your home(s).
- Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time features one from artifacts collected in the games. Some of them can even affect gameplay.
- In Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode 2, Dr. Wolfington's office at the insane asylum is filled dangerous animals that have had encounters with a taxidermist, including a narwhal, multiple bears, and a rhinoceros.
- NieR has one in the village Library across from Popola's office, with statues of all the bosses you've killed. Taking into account some very late game and NG+ revelations, and it ends up as a Shrine to the Fallen.
- In R.C. Pro-Am and Championship Pro-Am, finishing a race in first, second, or third will add a trophy to your collection. You even get trophies based on your total score.
- In Dungeon Defenders, the trophy case in the tavern fills up as you earn achievements.
- In Mario Tennis Power Tour, your bedroom houses every trophy you win in singles and doubles tournaments.
- The villa in Assassin's Creed II serves this purpose, serving as a storehouse for all the weaponry and artwork you collect over the course of the game.
- The Player Headquarters in all succeedant games also are this. The Tiber Island Headquarters in Brotherhood, the Galata hideout in Revelations, and the Homestead's manor in AC 3 all feature weapon and armour racks, as well as some kind of memoria of your primary targets (portraits in AC 2 and Brotherhood, books in Revelations, personal items in AC 3).
- The addition of item frames in Minecraft allows you to build trophy rooms into your constructions.
- After wirtually every plot mission and many side missions in X-Wing Alliance, another memento shows up in your quarters that serve as the player/mission management screen.
- Lord General Castor from Dawn of War II: Retribution mentions having one where he stores the heads of the Tyranids that he's killed over the course of his life, and orders his men to aim low so as to not damage the Hive Tyrant they are facing.
- Super Smash Bros. has the recurring trophies viewable under a specific menu ever since Melee; SSB for Wii U groups them together in related families when you pick "Trophy Box" when viewing one.
- The GCPD evidence locker serves as this in Batman: Arkham Knight, being full of artifacts from each villain that Batman defeats, including some from previous games.
- In the military, a wall in your office with your awards, photos of you with famous people and so forth, is called an "I Love Me" wall. See also Shrine to Self.
- It's common for politicians to have such a wall in their office as well.
- Lawyers and doctors do this a lot; partly from pride in their accomplishments, but also partly to impress (and reassure) their clients. Judges and politicians (which are really just lawyer prestige classes), do this to an often absurd extent; a lifetime of accumulated honours takes up a lot of real estate.
- Sports stars will often have a wall or room with their trophies, Hollywood stars, of course, have with their Oscars, etc.
- Enthusiastic hunters are known to have rooms filled with trophy sized animals they have caught. The safari hunter of yore is pretty much where this trope comes from.
- "Deal Toys" are memorabilia of important mergers, acquisitions, and other business deals: Sometimes they're semi-practical, like expensive watches or pens, but more often they're solely intended to be displayed as part of a Trophy Room. A particularly memorable example, from the collapse of Enron, were the mounted life-size busts of Chewbacca awarded to those who participated in the creation of a subsidiary called ChewCo.