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[[quoteright:335:[[Literature/AnitaBlake http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wolverine-publicity-2_1019.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:335:Just to be clear, he doesn't appear in any of her other issues either.]]

->''"I stopped reading ''X-Men'' about the same time they started putting Wolverine on the cover of comics in which he didn't actually, technically, appear."''
-->-- '''Lore Sjöberg''', ''The Book of Ratings'', "Marvel Supervillains (Part I)"

Certain popular characters within a fictional universe (and sometimes in real life) get used in gratuitous and/or inappropriate ways purely to enhance marketing.

Superhero teams in comic books constantly change. Characters join and leave so often that any given superhero team is often unrecognizable within a year. Other superhero teams have a HeroesUnlimited setup, where there are LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters and no two issues will have the same group. As a result, there are a lot more fans of particular comic-book characters than there are fans of particular comic-book teams or titles. Fans will like a new team book not if it has a name they recognize, but if it has ''characters'' they recognize. A new title will often sell based on whether it has already-popular characters in it, and existing characters will often be [[PowerCreepPowerSeep made more or less powerful]] based on how popular they are with readers. This is done so that characters can be viewed by more readers, and also to find the best possible combination for a team for sales.

This leads to one of the most overused tricks in comic-book marketing. When a character is very popular, they will often get '''Wolverine Publicity''': appearing in every comic book title and format possible, smearing them all over even the non-related covers with all the fine delicacy of [[WesternAnimation/InvaderZim bacon-flavoured soap.]] The character will often have a flood of mini-series which desperately search for something new to do with them ("in this issue, Wolverine visits Turkmenistan!"), until the fans are sicker of them than they would be of bacon if ''they'' had to bathe in an offal gutter at the meat-packing plant too.

The next step of Wolverine Publicity is random cameos to drive other titles. The promoted character will appear in the first issue of every new title, and appear in old titles with flagging sales, regardless of whether the promoted character makes any sense there. Particularly shameless marketers will just [[RedSkiesCrossover slap the promoted character on the cover and have them appear for one panel in the issue]]. They will often suffer from TheWorfEffect; a new character hasn't 'made it' unless they can thrash the most important character in the universe. Even if the story is actually a team-up, this pairing might suffer from being a StoryBreakerTeamUp since the promoted character may not fit in with the title's story or tone at all.

If a team has multiple titles, with different members in each one, the promoted character will somehow manage to appear in both titles -- even if the two stories are supposed to be happening at the same time.

A subtrope of FaceOnTheCover. Compare SpotlightStealingTitle, BillingDisplacement, ClickbaitGag, CoversAlwaysLie, LadyNotAppearingInThisGame, OverusedCopycatCharacter, and RedSkiesCrossover. When an iconic ''villain'' shows up in an installment supposedly featuring someone else as the BigBad, this becomes HijackedByGanon. If an actor or character engages in ''self''-promotion (whether in-universe or out), this could shade into ItsAllAboutMe. In music this can be one of the factors that leads to one or two members being TheFaceOfTheBand.

Not to be [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant confused with]] the idea that Franchise/{{Wolverine}} is [[SpotlightStealingSquad becoming the focus of the Marvel Universe]] [[ByNoIMeanYes (although that certainly has spawned many examples of this trope)]]. Whenever Marvel wants to do without him for a while, they usually have {{ComicBook/Magneto}} rip the metal off his bones...

Note that if the popular character is a legitimate lead character in a specific work, then the trope should not be listed in it. It may count for the character as a whole, but not for that work. "Wolverine buys an ice-cream" may be an example; "Wolverine saves the universe during the CrisisCrossover" is not. Try to avoid trope misuse.

!Superhero Examples:

[[folder:Marvel -- Wolverine]]
The Creator/MarvelComics character Franchise/{{Wolverine}} (who is of course the {{Trope Namer|s}}) is the worst offender, hands down. So he gets his own section, which may be in itself an example of this trope. He's been so overused that his later appearances are prone to parody and LampshadeHanging. By the end of the 1990s, Wolverine had been paired up with practically every other Marvel hero in existence, all the way down to five-year-old Katie Power of ''ComicBook/PowerPack''. Twice. Why? Well, beyond his general popularity, he has a number of traits that make him the perfect storm for this:
# His long life-span means he can appear in all flash-back stories with his modern personality. He can appear in flash-forward stories for this reason, and also his popularity means he won't be KilledOffForReal.
# That long life means he has connections all over the world and beyond, meaning he can easily drop into any location: America? Japan? Canada? Germany? France? Russia? Hong Kong? [[RecycledInSPACE Space?]] [[ToHellAndBack Hell?]] Yep.
# He's both a RatedMForManly ActionHero and a [[TheWoobie Woobie]], depending on the story you want to tell.
# It's almost impossible to write him out of character: Is he in helpful teammate good-guy mode? Or berserker evil loner animal mode? A blow to the head can make all the difference.
# He seems to [[ThePornomancer know every hot babe in the Marvel Universe]], making an enticing cover design easy to draw.

Even his son {{ComicBook/Daken}} was following in his footsteps for a little bit; he was a member of both the ComicBook/DarkAvengers and the Dark X-Men, in addition to having his own solo title at the time. And of course Comicbook/{{X 23}} was added to the cast of ''ComicBook/AvengersAcademy'' to boost the falling sales. She was also one of the leads in ''ComicBook/AvengersArena''.

!!Parodies and Lampshades

[[AC:Comic Books]]
* The image at the top of this page is from a month when Marvel published every single one of their comics with a Wolverine variant cover ([[JustifiedTrope it was the 30th anniversary of his first appearance so they did something special for him]]), even if they didn't actually take place in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse. This includes their adaptation of the ''Literature/AnitaBlake'' UrbanFantasy books.
* Marvel had already recognized how absurd it was getting by the late 1980s. Their humor/parody comic ''What The?!'' showed Wolverine just trying to have a quiet day of fishing and going insane because of all the other characters popping up to get him to guest-star.
* A [[http://marvel.wikia.com/File:What_The_Vol_1_9.jpg cover]] of the first "What The?!" featured Wolverine saying he had to appear on the first cover, as it was in his contract.
** And Wolverine was appalled when he discovered how the editors were going to squeeze even ''more'' out of him when he's introduced to [[DistaffCounterpart Wolverina]]. Then came ComicBook/{{X 23}}... who would become a LegacyCharacter ''herself'' over a decade after her introduction.
* In another ''What The?!'' story, various characters tried to increase their popularity by wearing eyepatches... which Wolverine sported at the time. Said story ends with Wolvie 'cutting' their plans short.
* In an issue of ''New ComicBook/XMen'', a character mentions that Wolverine is the only mutant who finds time to be on all three X-Men teams at once.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''ComicBook/NewAvengers''. After discovering that [[spoiler:Elektra]] had at some point been replaced by a Skrull, they discuss who else might have been substituted. Wolverine himself pointed out that his ability to be on so many teams at once seemed ridiculous... unless he was trying to infiltrate as many as possible.
* Lampshaded in ''Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet'', an all-ages retelling of ''Comicbook/TheInfinityGauntlet''. When selecting a team of heroes to investigate the cosmic disturbance Comicbook/{{Thanos}} has caused, the Invisible Woman selects Comicbook/MsMarvel for her powers, leadership skills and familiarity with space, Comicbook/SpiderMan for his intellect and scientific know-how, the Comicbook/IncredibleHulk for his raw strength, and Wolverine "because he's on every super hero team."
-->'''Spider-Man''': Sounds exhausting. No ''wonder'' you're always so cranky.
-->'''Wolverine''': Grrrah.
* And from ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'':
-->ComicBook/IronMan: "[[LeaningOnTheFourthWall A Wolverine appearance?]] [[SarcasmMode How novel.]] Seriously, this is the third time I've run into you this week..."
* In ''SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}}'', Wolverine's appearance in issue #27 was declared "his most gratuitous guest appearance ever!" right on the cover.
* Also lampshaded in the ''Weapon X: First Class'' mini-series Deadpool gives a laundry list of Wolverine's powers ending with "the ability to appear in twenty books every month".
** [[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/251383 This]] ''House of M'' parody cartoon takes a shot at it, too.
--->'''Cyclops''': Since when are you in the Avengers anyway, Wolverine?
--->'''Wolverine''': I was getting bored only being on three teams while having my own solo adventures. A guy's got to live a little.
** Also from the same flash artist, Cyclops assigning teams to deal with the latest return of the Dark Phoenix. Team A is sent, with Wolverine, to track down Phoenix. Team B, with Wolverine, ( "Uh..." ) is sent to defend from an inevitable attack by the Brotherhood of Evil, and Team C, with Wolverine, to have adventures in Europe, or something.
---> '''Wolverine''': Now wait just a--!
*** Even funnier because it ''happened''. In one issue, Cyclops had pretty much the whole team in his face complaining about their assignments. Wolverine was among them, saying "Look, I appreciate the confidence, but I can't be on ''every'' team!" In the end, Cyclops told them ''nobody'' was having their assignments changed.
*** He wasn't even ''on'' all three teams at once beyond the first story arcs. Once things settled, he pretty much only appeared in Astonishing, basically proving that he was only thrown on the other two teams to boost sales.
* One ''ComicBook/XForce'' (with the team that would later become Comicbook/XStatix) cover actually has Wolverine baring his claws for the camera and say "I'm only doin' this to increase sales." Amazingly, this was revealed to be the first panel of the story, in which he legitimately was appearing in the issue. It's revealed that he was doing this to help legitimize the new X-Force as a favor to his old pal Doop, hence the LeaningOnTheFourthWall line about boosting sales. However, when a super-donnybrook breaks out the villains deride Wolvie as "the housewife's choice", a mass-market approved badass not to be taken any more seriously than Mr. Clean or Toucan Sam.
* ''Wolverine'' #73 (July 2009) has a short story that covers a month or so in Wolverine's life that parodies/riffs on the idea of his many appearances in various Marvel titles.
* Wolverine even manages to pull this off in non-Marvel publications. ''ComicStrip/TwistedToyfareTheatre'' in particular enjoys pointing this out -- one comic followed Wolverine through a day of his many crossovers. This included Wolvie plowing through a magazine stand, forcing his head through a copy of ''Wizard'' magazine, and a kid asking his mom to get the copy of ''Wizard'' with Wolverine on/through the cover.
** If you can't figure out for yourself, Wolverine has appeared on the cover of ''Wizard'' (the leading comics mag) more than any other character. In 2004, ''Wizard'' even released a supplement that was ''entirely'' about Wolverine, and proudly copped to the trend by displaying their ''favorite'' Wolvie covers -- listing ''all'' of them would just take all day.
* Lampshaded in an issue of ''Comicbook/NewAvengers'', when ComicBook/{{Mockingbird}} ask him how he can be on the X-Men and two Avengers (regular Avengers and New Avengers) teams at the same time. He jokes that multitasking is his mutant power.
* During the brief period where {{ComicBook/Daken}} was posing as Wolverine at the behest of ComicBook/NormanOsborn, he was a member of both the ComicBook/DarkAvengers and Dark X-Men. The writers decided to have several characters get in some digs by asking just how many teams Dark Wolverine could possibly be a member of.
* Spoofed in one cover of [[http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/12/08/comic-book-hanukkah/ Great Comics That Never Happened]], in which Wolverine converts to get his contractually-obligated spot on a Jewish superhero teamup.
* There is a backup story that shows a few weeks in the life of Wolverine. Every day is a different team-up. Except for Saturday. [[INeedAFreakingDrink Saturday, Logan Drinks.]]
* This was eventually {{lampshade|Hanging}}d and dealt with in issue ''Avengers'' (vol. 6) #24, where ComicBook/CaptainAmerica fired Wolverine from the team because he felt he was spreading himself too thin.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Comicbook/UncannyAvengers Annual'' #1. Mojo pitches a new show called "Avengers of the Supernatural", which stars characters such as Comicbook/{{Blade}}, ComicBook/DoctorStrange, and Comicbook/GhostRider. Upon seeing the pitch, the network execs immediately ask if he can add Wolverine to the team as well.
* One of the segments in ''Wha...Huh?'' written by Creator/BrianMichaelBendis featured this as its WhatIf: ''every'' single comic book in the world featured Wolverine, including manga and a [[http://marvel.wikia.com/File:Runaways_(Earth-200508)_Wha...Huh_Vol_1_1.jpg much more successful]] ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}''.

* The song [[http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1075 "Wolverine (Don't Stop Readin')"]] by Possible Oscar touches on this:
-->They printed you more, soon we wanted you less
-->Could not miss your likeness

* Wolverine has [[SelfDemonstrating/{{Wolverine}} his own self-demonstrating article]] right here on Wiki/TVTropes, in which he describes the article itself as a product of Wolverine Publicity and makes several other references to the trope.

[[AC:Web Comics]]
* In the second volume of ''WebComic/EnsignSueMustDie'', some of the protagonists land in the Marvel universe and Wolverine insists on joining the hunt ([[TheWorfEffect after getting thrashed by a Sue armed with the Infinity Gauntlet]]). When Spock questions how useful he'd be, Captain America points out that in their universe, all teams are required to have Wolverine included.
* When the F-Men are introduced in the webcomic ''Webcomic/BadGuyHigh'', their Wolverine parody Koala was outside a building one panel and inside it the next. When confronted with it he responded
--> It's in my contract to appear in every panel
* ''Webcomic/LeagueOfSuperRedundantHeroes'' has Wolverine-{{Expy}} "Badger Claw" revealed as doing this in [[http://superredundant.com/?comic=593-chance-meeting Strip 593]].

[[AC:Web Original]]
* WebVideo/HonestTrailers in their review of ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' lampshades the Wolverine publicity in the X-Men movie franchise.
--> In a world full of other cool X-Men, meet Wolverine.. for the seventh f**king time!
* Webvideo/TheCinemaSnob has a bootleg of the ''Comicbook/PowerPack'' unaired TV pilot with Wolverine in the cover (taken straight from [[http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/a/ae/X-Men_and_Power_Pack_Vol_1_1.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20101209004257 this]]). Needless to say, Logan doesn't appear.

[[AC:Western Animation]]
* Wolverine's super teaming-up abilities were lampshaded in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow''.
-->'''Wolverine:''' Just you and me, huh HERBIE? Okay, let's see... ''(Pulls out a huge list)'' Reptil, X-23, Dr. Doom, Firestar. Ah, here we go! HERBIE, Wolverine team up #640.
-->'''HERBIE:''' ''bzzt'' Wolverine and the Easter Bunny?
-->'''Wolverine:''' Yeah, that was a hairy one.
** "Too Many Wolverines" featured the clones present in the episode as an excuse for Wolverine publicity. And yes, X-23 is one of them, wearing a Wolverine outfit long before she actually took the mantle.

!!Straight Examples

[[AC:Anime & Manga]]
* And now Wolverine even appears in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTZxfPDKzCo anime form!]]
** As a tie in to that, he also saves [[spoiler: Tony Stark twice]] in the ''Anime/IronMan'' anime.
** He's also in the ''Anime/{{Blade}}'' anime. And, for obvious reasons, the ''Anime/XMen'' one. That's a year of constant Woverine anime-ness!

[[AC:Comic Books]]
* One of the earliest examples is ''ComicBook/AlphaFlight'' #13, released in 1984. On the cover of this issue we see a badass-looking Wolverine pointing his claws at some unseen menace, defending Heather Hudson from it, and saying: "Okay, sucker, the only way to get to the lady is through '''me!'''". Something like this does happen in the comic, but then we learn it was all just a nightmare by Heather (and even in the nightmare Wolverine only appears in a handful of panels), and the real Wolverine is not in this issue at all.
* The ''Wolverine: First Class'' title is this taken to its logical extreme: The book is really about ComicBook/KittyPryde as a young X-Man, but because Logan is her mentor, he gets the title. Had the ''Kitty Pryde and Wolverine'' title come out about three years later, the names would have definitely been reversed, although the book is 60% Kitty and 40% Wolverine.
* ''Wolverine and Power Pack'' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. One episode had the Power Pack (and Franklin Richards) accidentally travel back in time to the early 20th century and save a boy named James Howlett from kidnapping. A cynical reader might think they've been bilked out of their money, [[spoiler:until TheReveal: James Howlett is Wolvie as a kid]].
* ''Comicbook/{{Exiles}}'' is a comic where the members are drawn from different alternate universes. For one arc, the main characters are suddenly fired and a new team created, made up of Wolverine alone. Why? Because an evil alternate Wolverine is causing trouble and everyone knows the only way to beat Wolverine is with two or more Wolverines. What's more, we discover there have been several teams of Wolverines before that, and the main villain is a Wolverine. You end up with two entire issues with every version of Wolverine imaginable; the main team is the ''ComicBook/DaysOfFuturePast'' Wolverine, young James Howlett, ''ComicBook/MarvelZombies'' Wolvie, Albert (a robot made in Wolvie's image) and Elsie Dee, and a fresh from Department H Wolvie.
* The ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'' collection books have special covers depicting, in order, Wolverine, Wolverine, Wolverine, Wolverine, Wolverine, Captain America, Wolverine...
* [[http://www.thecomicfanatic.com/new%20images/nwavng35.jpg New Avengers #35]] is the perfect example of how CoversAlwaysLie.
* The ''ComicBook/OldManLogan'' miniseries published during ''ComicBook/SecretWars2015'' is an odd example of this. The protagonist of the series ''is'' Wolverine, and he ''does'' appear... the Old Man Logan version of him. Issue 2's cover depicted Old Man Logan fighting a version of Wolverine (almost all characters from ''Secret Wars (2015)'' are just versions of the original) who looks exactly like the mainstream incarnation. ''That'' Wolverine appears nowhere in the issue, nor does Logan meet any other Wolverine. So yes, it technically counts because the cover lies to us about the ''amount'' of Wolverines.
* For 2015 Marvel's relaunch called ComicBook/AllNewAllDifferentMarvel, Wolverine remains dead...Which means someone will have to take over his identity. Enter Logan's OppositeSexClone and adopted daughter, Laura Kinney aka Comicbook/{{X 23}}. The All-New Wolverine. She is featured in two books (solo and team book All New X-Men). But that's not all, because the popular alternate version of Logan, Old Man Logan, finds his way into the 616 Universe as well. Like Laura, in two books (solo and Extraordinary X-Men). That's four books featuring Wolverine in some capacity ([[UpToEleven all the X-line sans Deadpool actually]]). Amusingly enough, ''All-New Wolverine'' actually ''inverts'' the trope: Comicbook/{{Taskmaster}}, Comicbook/DoctorStrange and Comicbook/TheWasp all make guest appearances in the first arc to help establish Laura in the role of Wolverine. As of ''Comicbook/{{Resurrxion}}'', Jimmy Hudson, Wolverine's son and [[LegacyCharacter successor]] from the ComicBook/UltimateMarvel universe, is now part of the 616 universe too.
* As a part of Marvel Legacy, where the original Wolverine gets resurrected, Marvel starts including [[TheStinger "after-credits scenes"]] in various issues where Wolverine is just...roaming around in random parts of the world, maybe witnessing the events of the comics and commenting on it. It's never explained what he's doing, but at least his omnipresence is at least partially justified by his (rather contrived) possession of the [[SpaceMaster Space]] [[CosmicKeystone Gem]], ostensibly as a lead-in to ''ComicBook/InfinityCountdown'', but even then he eventually passes it off to Black Widow, so his presence is inexplicable.
* One ComicBook/IncredibleHulk collection appears to do this at first, featuring Wolverine and only Wolverine on the cover. Only when you look carefully at his claws do you realize you can see the Hulk reflected in them.

* The ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'':
** Wolverine, as portrayed by actor Creator/HughJackman, is one of only two characters (the other being Professor X, who has been played by both Creator/PatrickStewart and Creator/JamesMcAvoy at different points in his life) to be in all the '''nine''' main X-Men live action movies - a sidenote is ''Film/{{Deadpool|2016}}'' (which only mentions both characters, and has the title character wearing a Hugh Jackman mask--[[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ChKAiIkUUAACKpM.jpg:orig this Deadpool advert]] even pokes fun at Wolverine's and Professor X's SpotlightStealingSquad status) and [[Film/Deadpool2 its sequel]] (where they actually briefly appear, Xavier in the background of a scene, and Logan through StockFootage). Jackman has thus appeared more than any other actor in a superhero role.[[note]]close behind are Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, who will get their ninth appearances as Iron Man and Captain America in the fourth ''Avengers'' film[[/note]]
** Wolverine was the first X-Man to receive an entire movie about his character (not even ''a'' movie, but ''three'': ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'', ''Film/TheWolverine'' and ''Film/{{Logan}}''). Also, four of the six team X-Men films had him in a role of importance, even though in the comic book storylines the movies are based on, Wolvie does not play a central role in any of them. Magneto was also under consideration to receive an ''X-Men Origins'' film, but this idea was scrapped, and much of his history ended up being integrated into ''Film/XMenFirstClass''. Then {{Deadpool}} managed to get his own spin-off (which also got a sequel), while a Gambit solo movie has been green-lit.
** Due to getting his own prequel movie, ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'', he once used to hog '''every single ad spot''' in ''Quake Live'' during early May 2009.
** ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'':
*** The movie made Wolverine into a major character and gave him the role Kitty Pryde held in the [[Comicbook/DaysOfFuturepast original story]]. Website/{{Cracked}} had [[http://www.cracked.com/article_22058_6-insulting-movie-adaptations-strong-female-characters.html this]] to say:
---> Obviously the real reason for the lead character change-up is that Fox knew a ripped-to-shreds Creator/HughJackman would sell more tickets than an intangible Creator/EllenPage. It was both the wrong decision for the story, and one that instantly made them $500 million. The term "Wolverine Publicity" [[ReferencedBy/TVTropes is codified on TV tropes for a reason.]]
*** Although Creator/HughJackman does have the most screen time of any single actor, the central character of the story is the younger Xavier, but Creator/JamesMcAvoy takes up a meager amount of space on the [[http://cdn.bleedingcool.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-Poster-High-Res.jpg official poster.]] Creator/JenniferLawrence is more famous than [=McAvoy=], so Mystique's prominence on the poster is equal to Wolverine's despite her role being smaller than Charles' (albeit a very important one, given Mystique causes the PlotTriggeringDeath). Moreover, [=McAvoy=] is absent from the [[http://static.srcdn.com/slir/w375-h500-q90-c375:500/wp-content/uploads/X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-Rogue-Cut-Cover-Art.jpg Blu-Ray/DVD cover]] for ''The Rogue Cut'', which has Creator/MichaelFassbender's Magneto (who also is a bigger star than [=McAvoy=]) as its largest figure.
** Averted with ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', which didn't give any clue that Wolverine would appear, and his cameo made for a really effective OneSceneWonder.
** Then played straight with ''Film/XMenApocalypse'', where again he's a OneSceneWonder, but Fox decided to [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil allude to it in the last trailer]].

[[AC: Literature]]
* The audio book adaptation of ''Comicbook/CivilWar'' has Wolverine front and center on the cover, displayed prominently next to ComicBook/CaptainAmerica and Comicbook/IronMan. Wolverine ''literally'' shows up in one chapter and then completely disappears from the plot.

[[AC: Toys]]
* Wolverine is one of the most frequently used characters in the Marvel Legends line from Comicbook/{{Hasbro}} (and the original Marvel Legends line from [=ToyBiz=]), having been featured well over a dozen times at this point.
* He was the most frequently featured character in the toy line for the first ''Film/XMen1'' movie, popping up no less than ''six'' times in the primary 6" assortment. The 6" line for [[Film/X2XMenUnited the sequel]] was significantly smaller, and yet still managed to include four Wolverine figures. Strangely enough, this was averted with the Marvel Legends figures for ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'', which included Comicbook/JeanGrey, Beast, the Juggernaut and Colossus, but not Wolverine.
* Despite the film having LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters and Wolverine not even being the main character, he was the only person from ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' to get an action figure from Hot Toys.
* He was featured in the toy line for ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' despite never actually appearing on the show.

[[AC:Video Games]]
* Wolverine even shows up in the ''VideoGame/UltimateSpiderMan'' video game, as one of the boss battles for Venom.
* He's on the cover of ''VideoGame/SpiderManWebOfShadows'' (except for the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS version; Nightcrawler is the only mutant to be found there). You fight him, he gives you all of two missions, he (involuntarily) becomes Venom-Wolverine much later so you fight him again and then he disappears from the game. Luke Cage does more in the game than he does. And the game cover was voted by fans out of a choice of two. The other cover didn't feature Wolverine.
* In the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series, Wolverine is one of the most frequently-appearing characters on the Marvel side, showing up in almost every single installment, even ''VideoGame/XMenChildrenOfTheAtom'' and ''VideoGame/MarvelSuperHeroes''. He's even in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2'' ''twice'' (one with the adamantium claws and one with bone, since the metal had been removed from his skeleton at that time), with each version having different movesets (the adamantium version is based on his previous ''Marvel vs. Capcom'' appearance while the bone claw version takes after his style in ''X-Men vs. Street Fighter''). The lone exception is ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomInfinite'', which seems to be entirely because of [[ScrewedByTheLawyers the whole kerfuffle over the Marvel movie rights]] -- and even then there are rumors that the X-Men will join the game via DLC.
* He also appears in the ''VideoGame/{{Deadpool}}'' game. He does very little of note other than [[TheWorfEffect lying unconscious whilst Deadpool repeatedly slaps him in the face]].

[[AC:Western Animation]]
* And extending into animated adaptations, we have ''WesternAnimation/WolverineAndTheXMen''. In fairness, this show was originally going to be simply a Wolverine solo series. The rest of the X-Men were added later. A ''ComicBook/WolverineAndTheXMen'' comic launched a few years later, featuring Wolvie at the helm of a new mutant academy, leading his splinter version of the X-Men after an internal struggle led to the population of Utopia siding with either him or Cyclops.
* Wolverine was one of the first guest-stars in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ultimate Spider-Man}}'', and his arrival was promoted on Marvel's official website. By the way? He's the ''only'' member of the X-Men to make a full appearance on that show, at a time when Marvel's TV division seems to be reneging mutants as a whole.
* The ''WesternAnimation/HulkVs'' double feature was released in Scandinavia [[SarcasmMode under the much catchier title, "Wolverine"]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'':
** Season one might have retconned Wolverine into a member of the ComicBook/HowlingCommandos. He fought alongside them in the episode "Meet ComicBook/CaptainAmerica", and later appeared with them before Cap during his stay in Niflheim. However, no one refers to Wolverine by his codename in either of those episodes, instead using his original surname, Howlett.
** In the second season, Wolverine becomes TheLancer of the New Avengers. Interestingly, Iron Man explains that he picked each of the New Avengers based on past performance; each of the other five heroes did guest spots prior to this episode, but Wolvie just had the fleeting cameos mentioned above, and only gets accepted into the team after saving Franchise/SpiderMan.

[[folder:Marvel -- Others]]
* From 2008 onward, thanks to his explosion of popularity after his [[Film/IronMan1 movie]], this trope might as well be called "Comicbook/IronMan Publicity":
** In the Comicbook/MarvelNOW relaunch, not only did he have his own title, but is a main character in ''two'' different ''[[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avengers]]'' titles (''Avengers'' and ''Comicbook/NewAvengers'').
** He was a lead character in ''Comicbook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy''.
** He was the leader of the team in ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' and the mentor of ComicBook/TheFalcon, the show's AudienceSurrogate.
** He got multiple guest-starring roles in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ultimate Spider-Man}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/MarvelsSpiderMan''.
** In addition to another [[Film/IronMan3 live-action blockbuster]], he had two DVD films, ''Anime/IronManRiseOfTechnovore'' and ''WesternAnimation/IronManAndHulkHeroesUnited'' out in 2013.
** He's an immensely popular candidate for team-ups and even had an entire month of Iron Man variant covers (where nearly every book Marvel published had an Iron Man-themed cover, even if he had nothing to do with the series) devoted to him.
** Although it hit new levels with the movie, Iron Man's wide publicity in the comics began a bit earlier with ''ComicBook/CivilWar''. Tony was the face of superhero registration, and as such he appeared in almost every Civil War tie-in, often seeming to be everywhere at once -- and serving whatever political purpose [[WriterOnBoard each writer wanted]].
** Iron Man is also one of the few Marvel characters who have been granted two concurrent monthly books. (Again, the movie had a lot to do with this.) For about a year, ''Iron Man: Director of SHIELD'' and ''Invincible Iron Man'' were both on the stands. This is the case again with ''Invincible Iron Man'' and ''The International Iron Man'', plus starring in ''All-New All-Different Avengers.''. When he was put out of commission after ''Comicbook/CivilWarII'', two new books starring his [[LegacyCharacter successors]] were launched: ''[[Comicbook/{{Ironheart}} Invincible Iron Man]]'' and ''[[ComicBook/DoctorDoom Infamous Iron Man]]''.
** Like Wolverine, Iron Man has been featured multiple times in the 6" Marvel Legends series, receiving at least 8 figures under [=ToyBiz=] and (as of 2018) at least ''16'' figures under Hasbro. These also include instances of Iron Man figures being included in waves produced for movies that he doesn't actually appear in, like ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' and ''Film/BlackPanther''. And that's not even counting the figures produced in the other scales or sub-series that comprise the overall Marvel Legends brand. In probably the perfect example of this trope, when Hasbro later did an MCU 10th Anniversary line, Iron Man received ''five figures'' (Tony Stark and the Mark I armor from ''Film/{{Iron Man|1}}'', the Mark VII armor from ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', the Mark XXII armor from ''Film/IronMan3'' and the Hulkbuster armor from ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron''). For comparison, every other character in the anniversary line only got ''one'' figure each, and quite a few characters didn't even appear at all.
* In UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}} of the Franchise/MarvelUniverse, virtually any character who was supposed to get their own title would either appear in Comicbook/SpiderMan first, or have Spider-Man appear in their title's first issue -- in fact, there's a phrase to refer to most of Marvel's Silver Age that basically amounted to "Spider-Man is in the third issue". Trades soliciting comics to shop owners would often carry a picture of the title's third issue's cover. Thus, Spider-Man wound up on a huge number of these, encouraging owners to feel that at least up to that issue the title would be a sure seller. In the nineties, replace Spidey with Wolvie, and it still works.
** This even happened with the Marvel ''ComicBook/TheTransformers'' series which had the alien suit Spidey appear before being retconned away later.
** This trend continued even into the 1990s, with Spider-Man appearing in the second and third issues of ''ComicBook/{{Darkhawk}}'' and the fifth and sixth issues of ''ComicBook/{{Sleepwalker}}''. Wolverine didn't appear (and thank God for that), but Darkhawk and Sleepwalker would later team up with Spidey again when they tangled with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d on [[http://marvel.wikia.com/File:Excalibur_Vol_1_53.jpg this cover]] of {{ComicBook/Excalibur}}.
** [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] reviewed ''NFL Super-Pro #1'', guest-starring Spider-Man. He didn't wait a second after seeing the cover to point out he was there simply to boost sales. Things got worse as the story progresses, as Spider-Man and Super-Pro had little to no interaction, and had a solo scene where he broke into a mob boss's house and gave up searching for evidence after scanning ''only one room''. Simply put, Spider-Man didn't add anything to the plot whatsoever, which is ''worse'' than not appearing at all.
-->'''Linkara''': So this scene was: '''COMPLETELY POINTLESS'''.
** Spider-Man was featured in the second issue of Marvel's ''ComicBook/TheAwesomeSlapstick'' limited series (albeit not on the cover). Noteworthy only because Spidey was all but useless in the issue, with many jokes made at his expense.
** This extends to the current age, where C-lister Gravity finds Spider-Man watching him fight his nemesis, ''and he doesn't lift a single finger to help'' .
** As of 2011, Spider-Man is catching up with Wolverine for the number of books he's in per month. Besides his own book, he's now on two [[Comicbook/TheAvengers Avengers]] teams (same as Wolvie), and with [[spoiler:the Human Torch]]'s death Spidey's taken their spot in the ComicBook/FantasticFour.
*** This was {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in the first issue of ''Avenging Spider-Man''. While talking about how he has very little free time, Peter mentions that he's on ''two'' different teams of Avengers with an emphasis on the "two", as if to highlight how ridiculous that is.
*** Lampshaded as well in the first appearance of Yellowjacket in ''ComicBook/TheAvengers'' (who, [[LateArrivalSpoiler as you should know by now]], was actually Henry Pym with a double-personality crisis). After introducing the characters, we have two pages with J.J. Jameson praising the new hero and Spider-Man making fun remarks from the window. Then, the caption text reminds us that it was an Avengers comic book, and continued with them. Spider-Man's influence in the actual plot? [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse Zero]].
* During the [[UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks Bronze]] [[TheSeventies Age]], ''Comicbook/GhostRider'' was a cameo in some Marvel property about once a month.
* Comicbook/ThePunisher seemed to be ''everywhere'' in the Marvel Universe in the early '90s.
* In 1991 Marvel parodied their own tendency to do this with a three part ''Comicbook/FantasticFour'' story headlined "The World's Most Commercial Comics Magazine" which starred Wolverine and Spider-Man, as well as the then-hot Comicbook/GhostRider and Gray [[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk Hulk]], as a RagtagBunchOfMisfits brought together as [[strike:[[UnwittingPawn Unwitting Pawns]]]] "[[TakeUpMySword The New Fantastic Four]]". The issue also had another unnecessary cameo by ComicBook/ThePunisher in the last page (lampshaded on the cover blurb-- "World's Most Exploitative Cameo"), coming over pursuing a [[{{kaiju}} giant flying monster]] returning to Monster Island where the last part of the story takes place. When he sees the FF and the aforementioned "new FF" coming out of the island together, he went ''ah forget it'' and breaks off his pursuit.
* In a similar vein, a few years later, an issue of ''ComicBook/SheHulk'' was [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070412224748/marveldatabase/images/a/a4/Sensational_She-Hulk_Vol_1_37.jpg "starring on this issue"]] Wolverine, the Punisher and Spider-Man. She-Hulk helpfully informs us they are not starring (nor even technically ''appearing'') ''in'' this issue, however.
* The villain ComicBook/{{Venom}} from the Comicbook/SpiderMan comic was so popular that he was turned into a NinetiesAntiHero, then given endless cameos and mini-series. To give you an idea of this, he's advertised on [[http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/6/62/Quasar_Vol_1_6.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20080825135251 the cover]] of one of the ''Comicbook/{{Quasar}}'' tie-ins to ''Acts of Vengeance'' as though he's a prominent part of the story. He shows up at the very beginning of the issue, is defeated within ''two pages'', and then never appears again. When he began to feel over-exposed, the writers created the new character Comicbook/{{Carnage}} (a DarkerAndEdgier version of Venom-- think about it, darker and edgier than a ''brain-eating fanged BodyHorror'', they had to make Carnage totally AxCrazy and covered in blood) and repeated the process all over again.
* ComicBook/{{Gambit}} of the X-Men followed in Wolverine's wandering footsteps for a while too.
* ComicBook/EmmaFrost has been appearing in a great deal of comics, often [[{{Fanservice}} just so that she can be there]]. The worst example is the time when she showed up in one page of one issue of ComicBook/WhiteTiger's miniseries to tell her that white wasn't her color (after several thugs had mistaken her for Emma... because a dark-haired Hispanic woman and a blonde Caucasian woman are ''so'' alike).
* SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}} has been appearing everywhere since the late [=2000s=]. Within one year (Fall '08–Fall '09) alone, he was granted three of his own ongoing titles (more than ComicBook/IronMan and ComicBook/CaptainAmerica ''combined'') and a confirmed place as a regular character in ''ComicBook/XForce'', given his first animated speaking role (''[[WesternAnimation/HulkVs Hulk vs. Wolverine]]''), confirmed as making his first speaking television debut (Season 2 of ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow''), made one of the most prominent characters of ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance 2'', ... errr... "featured" in a live action film ("[[FanNickname Barakapool]]" in ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine''), and offered his own reboot movie.
** In 2010, there was a ''Marvel Team-Up'' between Deadpool and It the Living Colossus. For all that Deadpool actually did to help, it was basically an It one-shot. It seems Deadpool's role in this team-up was just to get people to buy the book. Sorry, did we say ''Marvel Team-Up''? Our mistake -- the book's called ''Deadpool Team-Up''. Yes, Deadpool was the star of a ''Marvel Team-Up'' book -- meaning Marvel editorial already considered Deadpool a flagship character. Oh, and ''Deadpool Team-Up'' started with issue ''900'' and counts down from there. Granted, this was a joke about the then-current release of ''[[Franchise/{{Superman}} Action Comics]]'' 900 -- the series got canned after a little over a year.
** Similar to the Wolverine variant covers, Deadpool was for one month featured on numerous variant covers, though the series were mainly in the Marvel Universe. The covers ranged from slight alterations of the original covers to parodies of classic covers (One ''Amazing Spider-Man'' cover parodied ''Amazing Spider-Man'' Annual #21, and featured Deadpool smoozing up Mary-Jane and pushing Spidey out of the way) to at least one completely original cover.
** He's prominently displayed on most of the artwork for ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'', and shown opposite [[VideoGame/DevilMayCry Dante]] in the intro. His eventual burst of popularity is lampshaded by ComicBook/SheHulk in the game, who annoyedly points out to Deadpool that in the 80s and early 90s she was very popular and even shared his signature fourth-wall-breaking powers.
** In 2013, Deadpool [[VideoGame/{{Deadpool}} got his own video game]]. The last line of the [[http://uk.ign.com/articles/2012/07/14/comic-con-deadpool-video-game-announced-trailer teaser trailer]]? "[[LampshadeHanging Suck it, Wolverine!]]"
** He's also given a prominent position on [[http://cdn.cheatcc.com/Screenshots/guide/title_card.jpg the promo]] for the ''VideoGame/LEGOMarvelSuperHeroes'' game, right up there with the cast of ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' movie, Spider-Man, and you guessed it, Wolverine.
** In [[http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=27732 this interview]], the writer of the 2010 ''ComicBook/AntMan and ComicBook/{{the Wasp}}'' miniseries felt the need to specify that neither Wolverine nor Deadpool appears in it.
** Lampshaded in [[http://aleskot.tumblr.com/post/86440735486/oliversava-this-solicit-cracks-me-up-secret one solicitation]] for ''Secret Avengers'':
** In the lead-up to his [[Film/Deadpool2016 first solo movie]], Deadpool got a lot of additional exposure. There's not only a Deadpool series, but also a ''Deadpool & Cable'' series, a ''Comicbook/SpiderManDeadpool'' series, and a miniseries. Oh, and if that's not enough, the omnibus collection of the popular ''Cable & Deadpool'' series? It's called the ''Deadpool & Cable Omnibus''. Yep.
** Deadpool shows up in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k52z71ty28E#t=233 this]] ''Film/XMenApocalypse'' trailer, despite ''not being in the movie'', to promote his own film.
** When part of the 90's ''[[Comicbook/TheDefenders Secret Defenders]]'' series (which briefly featured Deadpool as a member) was finally collected as a trade paperback in 2017, it was titled ''Deadpool and the Secret Defenders'', even though he only appears in 3 issues[[note]]Marvel also made sure to use a cover that prominently featured Comicbook/DoctorStrange and Comicbook/{{Luke Cage|HeroForHire}} (then recently the stars of [[Film/DoctorStrange2016 a hit movie]] and [[Series/LukeCage2016 a hit Netflix series]], respectively) as well, even though they too are only present in several issues each[[/note]].
** To promote ''Film/Deadpool2'', Walmart and 20th Century Fox teamed up to sell blu-rays with variant slip-on covers featuring Deadpool, ranging from [[Film/XMenFilmSeries the other movies in the X-Men universe]] to ''Film/TheTerminator'' and ''Film/RevengeOfTheNerds''. The idea primarily seemed to be about making a memorably absurd store display that would promote the forthcoming movie, but collectors would probably buy the old movies for the new covers too.
* Similarly, Marvel released a collection of Comicbook/{{Thanos}}' earliest appearances after he made a surprise cameo in TheStinger of ''Film/TheAvengers2012''. Even though the collection only contained two issues of ''The Avengers'' and more heavily featured other series like ''[[Comicbook/CaptainMarVell Captain Marvel]]'', ''Comicbook/AdamWarlock'' and ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'', it was still titled ''The Avengers vs. Thanos'' to capitalize on the success of the movie.
* Likewise, whenever a formerly B-list property shows up in a movie, Marvel likes to release a collection of stories featuring them. However, they'll often make sure to prominently place "Avengers" somewhere in the title, such as ''[[Comicbook/TheFalcon Avengers: Falcon]]'', ''[[Comicbook/ScarletWitch Avengers: Scarlet Witch]]'', ''[[Comicbook/{{Quicksilver}} Avengers: Quicksilver]]'' and even ''[[Comicbook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Guardians of the Galaxy: Tomorrow's Avengers]]''.
* Villains have started getting in the act too. ComicBook/TheHood and ComicBook/NormanOsborn especially. ComicBook/DoctorDoom did it before them though; he was even the first villain defeated by ComicBook/SquirrelGirl.
** Doctor Doom was involved in Marvel {{lampshad|eHanging}}ing of this in ''Strange Tales 122'', at the time a Human Torch series. Doom's face (or rather, mask) appears in the bottom-left corner of the cover, above the caption "Doctor Doom does ''not'' appear in this story! We just felt like drawing his face!"
** The first few issues of the Creator/WarrenEllis revamp of Marvel's ''Comicbook/{{Thunderbolts}}'' have Norman Osborn dressed in his Green Goblin suit displayed prominently in all the covers, despite the fact that he does not wear it until much later in the series.
* For a brief time in the '90s, the popularity of ComicBook/DeathsHead II led to him appearing in nearly every Marvel UK comic, either as a cameo or a guest appearance.
* The ComicBook/FantasticFour were pretty much this for most of TheSixties and TheSeventies; Strange Adventures and Marvel Two-In-One were just two ways Creator/MarvelComics tried to turn the Fantastic Four into a CashCowFranchise. The Fantastic Four even show up in The Amazing Spider-Man #1, back before the Web-head could start making his rounds.
* Comicbook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy:
** With the growing popularity of the comic, Marvel has started making a habit of inserting Rocket Raccoon into media, including his own mini-series being included with the first volume of The Annihilators to help boost sales, his surprising appearance in ''VideoGame/UltimateMarvelVsCapcom3'', his confirmed playable appearance in Marvel Heroes Online, and the raccoon even holds a prominent position in the promotional image for Marvel's upcoming Comicbook/MarvelNOW series, standing in the front next to Wolverine himself. Marvel has also included him as one of the four heroes on the banner of their News preview images on the Marvel website (alongside Iron Man, Thor and Nova). In 2014, alongside the Guardians' [[Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy film]], he got an ongoing series.
** When the Guardians were first set to appear in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'', almost all of the commercials and previews focused on Rocket, despite his relatively small role in the episode compared to the rest of the team.
** Most egregious is his role in ''Comicbook/OriginalSin''. Rocket shows up out of nowhere in the latter half of the series to rescue Gamora and the other heroes after they are left stranded by the [[ComicBook/BuckyBarnes Winter Soldier]], and then travels with them to confront ComicBook/NickFury. You can almost hear the editors saying "Remember, this guy has a movie in theaters right now!" whenever he's onscreen.
** The Guardians in general have become way more prominent in the Marvel universe because of the movie. Before 2012, they were a mostly obscure group of D-list characters with a book [[AcclaimedFlop that while acclaimed, very few people actually read]]. They mostly stuck to their own little corner of the Marvel Universe and didn't really factor into much. Now they're treated like A-list rock stars with a family of titles, prominent roles in big {{Crisis Crossover}}s, and frequent guest appearances in other books. Marvel even attempted to boost sales for lower-selling characters like [[Comicbook/MsMarvel Captain Marvel]] and Agent Comicbook/{{Venom}} by making them members of the Guardians and then relaunching their solo books.
* ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} has been living out this trope in the wake of ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' live-action movie. For a time, he was in several team books in addition to his own solo title, and was previously added to the cast of ''Comicbook/AvengersAcademy'' in order to help boost sales. Beyond that, he was one of the most heavily promoted new additions to ''VideoGame/UltimateMarvelVsCapcom3'' and ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' animated series. That's in addition to appearing in ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Ultimate Spider-Man}}''. He's also appeared in the Comicbook/IronMan [[Anime/IronManRiseOfTechnovore Anime film]].
* Fellow movie Avenger ComicBook/BlackWidow has also gotten a boost in terms of this trope. In comics, she stars in ''Avengers Assemble'', ''Avengers'', ''Secret Avengers'', and was also featured in ''Winter Soldier'' as a main character before getting her own solo feature in 2014. In addition, she's one of the leads in the ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' animated series, and the co-lead in the film ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''. She also appeared alongside Hawkeye in the aforementioned Iron Man anime feature.
* ComicBook/TheFalcon got in on this in the wake of ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', with Marvel temporarily making him the [[AffirmativeActionLegacy new Cap]] due to the sudden influx of interest in the character. In addition to his own solo book, he was also made a member of the Avengers (even becoming the leader in ''Comicbook/AllNewAllDifferentAvengers''), ''[[Comicbook/TheInvaders All-New Invaders]]'', the ''Comicbook/MightyAvengers'' (renamed ''Captain America and the Mighty Avengers''), and the ''Comicbook/UncannyAvengers''. This was spoofed in a solicitation for an issue of ''Comicbook/AntMan'': The solicit excitedly pointed out that Sam Wilson was showing up in the comics to team up with Ant-Man just like he did in [[Film/AntMan the movie]], but then reluctantly noted the number of ways both he and Ant-Man differed from their movie counterparts. It ended with a desperate plea for moviegoers to buy the comic anyway.
* Marvel has been doing this with [[Comicbook/MsMarvel Captain Marvel]] (formerly Ms. Marvel) in the wake of the Marvel NOW! relaunch. In addition to her own solo book, she had a guest arc in ''Avenging Spider-Man'', is present on two different Avengers teams, and is slated for team-ups in several other titles. She was also the main focus of the ''Enemy Within'' BatFamilyCrossover featuring her solo title and the ''Avengers Assemble'' comic[[note]]coincidentally, both series were written by Kelly Sue [=DeConnick=][[/note]].
* Around the time [[Film/TheAvengers2012 their film came out]], Marvel seems to have decided to pimp out the six characters featured in the film above all others, along with Coulson, Hill, and Nick Fury as the go-to SHIELD team. As well as each one now having their own book [[note]]though, Hawkeye's ongoing is ending soon[[/note]] and the above listed points of publicity-giving-ness, they now regularly appear as the ''default'' Avengers line up in any book besides the main Avenger book, with ''Secret Avengers'' being relaunched to be a SHIELD-focused team book that had the characters from the film featured heavily in promotional material but notably left out characters yet to be featured [[note]]notably, Mockingbird, Taskmaster, and Daisy Johnson, who were not only the most plot-relevant characters in the book, but were then ''written out'' to give the others more room[[/note]]. As well as that, these six, plus Falcon, now also have their [[WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble own animated show]], appear regularly in [[WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan Spidey's animated series]], and alongside Wolverine and Spider-Man (both of whom, as noted, are VERY guilty of this trope) were the main characters of ''Lego Marvel Superheroes''.
** It got to the point that when Marvel published their ''Avengers: Season One'' graphic novel, the artist made sure to omit ComicBook/AntMan and ComicBook/TheWasp from the cover because they hadn't yet been introduced in the movies.
** Some of the marketing for ''Film/AntMan'' basically consists of Marvel shouting "Hey, remember the Avengers?" One of the TV spots shows [[StockFootage recycled footage]] of the Avengers from their various movies, while a trio of posters for the movie have Ant-Man standing on Cap's shield, Thor's hammer, and Iron Man's armor, respectively.
* [[Characters/MCUPhilCoulson Phil Coulson]] is a weird example of a CanonForeigner-turned-CanonImmigrant who benefits from this. Not only did he get [[Series/AgentsOfSHIELD his own TV show]], but he appeared as a major character in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ultimate Spider-Man}}'' (until he was PutOnABus in Season 3), was a main character in ''ComicBook/SecretAvengers'' and ''[[Comicbook/UltimateFantasticFour Ultimate FF]]'', and has become the go-to guy to use whenever ComicBook/{{SHIELD}} makes a guest appearance in any other series.
* [[http://i.newsarama.com/images/i/000/137/994/original/swars-lores2-e8ee8.jpg?1415214988 One of the variant covers]] for ''Comicbook/SecretWars2015'' focuses almost entirely on characters who either have had or are getting their own movies, MCU or otherwise. The only exceptions are Miles Morales, the female Thor (both of whom got a bunch of publicity in their own rights) and [[ComicBook/SubMariner Namor]].
* A stated goal of the ''Comicbook/AllNewAllDifferentMarvel'' books is to avert this when it comes to team books. The general rule is that a character can only regularly appear in one team book and their own ongoing. Though it's already being played straight by Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers who is a member of A-Force and the Ultimates on top of having her own book. However, Marvel has said this was an oversight on their part and have reduced Carol to a guest character in future ''A-Force'' issues.
* A bizarre example was ''Models, Inc.'' The mini-series starred ComicBook/MaryJaneWatson and several old [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] girls' comics characters like Comicbook/MillieTheModel and Comicbook/PatsyWalker, but the cover of the collected edition omitted all of them in favor of an image of Iron Man and Tim Gunn from ''Series/ProjectRunway.'' While Gunn does appear in the series, it's only in one issue in a comedic backup story. Likewise, Iron Man doesn't appear ''at all,'' even though his armor does show up in the aforementioned short story. The actual main characters were regulated to the back cover.
* ''Comicbook/PatsyWalkerAKAHellcat'' #5 [[http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/6/6d/Patsy_Walker%2C_A.K.A._Hellcat!_Vol_1_5.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160422095024 parodies it]] with "Plus! You Won't Believe Who Shows Up [[AdvertisedExtra On The Last Page]]! (Psst! It's Comicbook/JessicaJones!)" (after all, Jessica Jones gave [[Comicbook/PatsyWalker Walker]] [[Series/JessicaJones2015 her live-action debut]])

[[folder:DC -- Batman]]
''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' has this, to the point where the trope could be renamed to "Batman Publicity". Like Wolverine, there are a few reasons for his constant cameos:
# He slides into any story quite easily; between his ComicallySerious nature, his Detective skills, and his ability to fight and sneak, he can show up in any story involving either crime or superpowers, and have an obvious role to fill.
# Batman's already [[StealthHiBye well known for being an in-and-out operator]], so having him show up for only a page or two and leave when he's no longer needed is entirely within his character.
# He's usually either the #1 or #2 most popular character at DC at any given time.
# He's got a very large supporting cast who have their own books, requiring he frequently cameo in them for subtly obvious reasons.
# He's got a lot of research and development infrastructure, which makes him a logical port of call for any story requiring a "hero consults with other heroes about something" scene, if that something involves Gotham City, crime in general, martial arts, or countering superpowers.
# He's innately suspicious of other heroes, is very sneaky, and always tries to have the advantage when "on-duty", making him a good candidate for a brief LetsYouAndHimFight scenario.

A few examples:
* A particularly bad offender of this is the back cover of the ComicBook/{{Catwoman}} collected volume ''Relentless''. The back cover shows Catwoman and Batman kissing. While this TECHNICALLY takes place Batman doesn't show up until the last 5 pages, barely has 2 pages of screentime and serves mostly to talk Catwoman out of her HeroicBSOD The kiss is Catwoman drunkenly coming on to him.
* [[GoodCopBadCop A common theme will be Superman for the most part being supportive of the new hero, while Batman will be a bit more suspicious.]] DC's former policy regarding the two was actually an inversion, as they were kept away from other titles (and even off the covers of Justice League of America, which they actually appeared in regularly) to prevent them from becoming overexposed.
* In a rather surprising aversion of this, ''Simon Dark'', a series set in Gotham City, went more than a year without an appearance by the Bat. Or Robin. Or Catwoman.
* Tim Drake, who appeared in his [[Comicbook/RobinSeries own title]], ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'', and ''ComicBook/TeenTitans''. This was lampshaded once when he was helping Batman on a case. Batman reminded him that he had to be on a plane to San Francisco that night, and that he should honor his commitments. Robin still appeared for the rest of the arc, and this would also imply that the Titans' adventures (at least those that include him) all occur over the course of a weekend.
* This also happens with Comicbook/{{Robin}} (Damian Wayne), who appeared in ''ComicBook/{{Batgirl| 2009}}'' and a bunch of other titles shortly after ''Final Crisis''. He was even briefly added to the floundering ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'' series as part of a heavily-promoted sales stunt, complete with multiple variant covers celebrating his arrival.
* While Franchise/{{Batman}}'s appearances in the ComicBook/BlueBeetle series were never particularly gratuitous, they do provide an interesting contrast to his perceived constant distrust of new heroes. Even when he doesn't show it to him, Bruce always seems to keep an eye out for Jaime and is proud of his growth as a superhero. Whether this is because he has a soft spot for the kid or because he feels guilty for accidentally leaving him for dead on the Brother Eye satellite is [[WildMassGuessing certainly up for debate]].
* After the ComicBook/{{New 52}} DC comics relaunch, it seems Batman Publicity is the name of the game. Not only is he a member of both the ''Franchise/{{Justice League|ofAmerica}}'' and the new ''ComicBook/JusticeLeagueInternational'', he's got no less than FOUR books where he's the main character (''Batman'', ''Batman: The Dark Knight'', ''Batman and Robin'' and ''Detective Comics''). Plus tying into the Batman books are the new ''ComicBook/{{Batgirl| 2011}}'', ''ComicBook/{{Batwoman}}'', ''ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}'', ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'' and ''ComicBook/{{Catwoman}}'' comics, plus the all new comics ''Batwing'' and ''ComicBook/RedHoodAndTheOutlaws''. That's a lot of Bat (to be exact, thirteen issues, or ''an entire '''quarter''''' of DC's relaunched comics line).
** If you count Red Robin in the ''ComicBook/TeenTitans'', Harley Quinn in the ''ComicBook/SuicideSquad'', and even old-time Gotham City in ''[[ComicBook/JonahHex All-Star Western]]'', the number of books with Bat-related characters is raised to ''sixteen''; that's almost a full '''''third''''' of the relaunch.
** DC has also occasionally refreshed the line by cancelling and replacing a few books at a time, though the net result has been the Bat-family ''gaining'' three new books: ''[[ComicBook/GrantMorrisonsBatman Batman Incorporated]]'', ''Worlds' Finest'' (with ComicBook/{{Huntress}} as co-lead), and ''Talon'' (with a new Bat-related character). The only cancelled book with a Bat-character was ''Justice League International'', but even that was eventually replaced with another Justice League team (''Justice League of America'') that included Catwoman. An alternate version of Batman was also used to hype ''[[ComicBook/{{Earth 2}} Earth-2]]'', along with an alternate Superman and Wonder Woman, but [[spoiler:the three were killed off in the first issue]].
** A second Batman was added to the ''Earth 2'' series and featured on the cover of ''Earth 2'''s first Annual -- despite the story mainly concerning Earth 2's Atom.
** ''Justice League of America's Vibe'' had an issue with Batman on the cover, with the tagline being "Betrayed by Batman!". Except he only appeared for one-and-a-half pages, and it wasn't even him -- It was someone who made herself look like him.
** July 2014 almost parodied this in its exposure. The line-wide variant covers all included Batman, even if he had nothing to do with the comic and had never been involved, or even didn't really fit in on the cover either. July 23 was proclaimed "Batman Day" by DC Comics on top of this. The exposure would not be much of a problem in hindsight, considering this was in fact the month of Batman's [[MilestoneCelebration 75th anniversary]], but no similar publicity ever came up regarding Superman the year prior, on his own 75th anniversary. Other examples pervaded media in this month, but they were related to [[Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice his then-upcoming movie]], which is an entirely other story altogether.
** After Bruce was removed from the Batman role and Jim Gordon became the new Batman, this trope applied... to Dick Grayson, probably because Jimbats was a massive BaseBreakingCharacter while Dick continued to be a BreakoutCharacter with a beloved new series, ''ComicBook/{{Grayson}}''. Dick began appearing in other titles a lot, from ''Batgirl'' to ''Starfire'', while at the same time being the main character in ''Batman and Robin Eternal'' and ''Titans Hunt''. And out of the Robins, Dick plays the most prominent role in the ''Robin War'' crossover, which basically exists to lay the foundation for a new ongoing for Dick when ''Grayson'' eventually wraps up.
* There is a trade paperback featuring 3 issues that detail the first meeting of ComicBook/GreenArrow and Franchise/GreenLantern and 5 issues about the first meeting between Green Arrow and Batman. What this Green Arrow team up book called? ''Batman: The Ring, The Arrow and the Bat'', of course!
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie'' features appearances by [[ContinuityPorn characters from The LEGO Company's licensed theme sets]]... and Batman happens to be the most prominent of them all. To the point he earned [[WesternAnimation/TheLEGOBatmanMovie his own movie]].
* When ''Film/ManOfSteel'' proved more divisive among fans and critics than expected, WB's solution was to insert Batman into the sequel and name the movie ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice''. They also made sure to give Batman a cameo in ''Film/SuicideSquad2016'', complete with the trailers making it clear he was in the movie.
* Lampshaded in ''ComicBook/BrightestDay'', where SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadman}} assumed that his role in proceedings was to bring the [[RingOfPower White Lantern Ring]] to Batman, reasoning that Batman is usually the one who ends up becoming the main hero in situations like that. Turned out not to be the case that time around, but still.
* Despite having jack-all to do with the comics' version of ''ComicBook/JusticeLeagueDark'', Bruce is a main character in [[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueDark the animated movie]].
* This trope is hit with RealityEnsues with Batman in the ''Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}}'' storyline "The People vs. the Justice League"; Batman's solo stories, his time with the regular League, [[ComicBook/JusticeLeagueOfAmericaRebirth the other League he started]] and [[ComicBook/DetectiveComicsRebirth the Gotham Knights]] has left him seriously sleep deprived to the point where, when multiple disasters start up, he makes disastrous mistakes that leads to the death of an innocent.

[[folder:DC -- Others]]
* This is not exclusive to Marvel. Franchise/{{Superman}} has sometimes been used this way, especially when he always turns up in a flagging new series starring an untested character (of course, given Superman's speed he could actually pull this off if he wanted to).
** At one point Superman had four monthly comics -- Superman, Action Comics, Man of Steel, and Adventures of Superman. After the Death of Superman storyline, these were each headlined by a different 'replacement Superman' for a time.
** As of October 2014, Superman is the lead in ''Superman'', ''Action Comics'', one of two leads in ''Batman/Superman'', ''World's Finest'', and ''Superman/Wonder Woman'', and a member of the main cast in ''Justice League''.
** In 1976, DC Comics released a special oversized comic titled ''Superman Salutes the Bicentennial'', in honor of the United States' 200th birthday. The book itself was actually reprints of DC's colonial-era hero Tomahawk, with Superman appearing on the cover and first two pages only.
** As DC's most popular character in the 1950s and 60s, Superman had the most books out of anyone at DC: ''Superman'', ''Action Comics'', one-half of ''World's Finest Comics'', ''Adventure Comics'' (as ComicBook/{{Superboy}}), ''Superboy'', prominent appearances in ''Superman's Pal, ComicBook/JimmyOlsen'' and ''Superman's Girl Friend ComicBook/LoisLane'', and regularly seen in ''Justice League of America.''
* In the 90's, after his creation and ''ComicBook/ZeroHour'', Franchise/GreenLantern Kyle Rayner was somewhat guilty of this, too. He had his own title, adventures with the Nightwing-less Titans incarnation, joined the JLA, had cross-overs with Superboy, Franchise/TheFlash, Connor!Green Arrow, ''still'' had his own monthly, made an appearance or two in ''Franchise/WonderWoman'' during the period Donna Troy had just lost her ex-husband and son, and basically showed up in a lot of titles. More of an inversion, though, since he was also establishing himself as a hero in his own right and had to run across these other heroes at ''some'' point; his guest appearances weren't about using him to hype other characters, they were using the other characters to hype ''him''.
* NinetiesAntiHero Lobo has also been used in this way. One ''Superman'' cover had the strapline "In this issue: Lobo appears on one page!" As a parody of Wolverine, this is to be expected.
* Parodied with the cover of the last issue of ''Comicbook/CaptainCarrotAndHisAmazingZooCrew'', prominently featuring a member of the popular ''Comicbook/TeenTitans'' -- "[[MyFriendsAndZoidberg All right, it's just Changeling, you can't have everything]]." Also, Superman's appearance in the first issue.
* The second trade paperback of DC's ''Comicbook/{{Justice}}'' miniseries has the LegionOfDoom on the cover, with ComicBook/TheJoker front and center. Except that the Joker was never ''in'' the Legion of Doom, wasn't broken out of prison when Legion member Scarecrow escaped from Arkham Asylum, and only makes cameo appearances in the rest of the series, in a PaperThinDisguise as an Amish man most of the time, and he blows up a building. None of those things have any bearing on the actual plot. The ''actual'' main villains of the series, Lex Luthor and Brainiac, are shoved off to the side behind Joker, as if to insinuate that they're supporting characters instead of the main antagonists. This may be a MythologyGag in reference to the various ''{{WesternAnimation/Superfriends}}'' series, which ''Justice'' is heavily inspired by; Joker was originally slated to be a member of the Legion of Doom, but due to a {{Creator/Filmation}} cartoon being produced at the same time getting the rights to him first, the Ace of Knaves was [[ExiledFromContinuity largely left out of]] ''Super Friends''.
* Creator/{{Wildstorm}} also tried to pull this off with [[ComicBook/WildCATs Grifter, Zealot]] and, later, [[ComicBook/TheAuthority Midnighter]], by having them make as many guest appearances as possible. Grifter and Midnighter actually starred in ''two'' miniseries just about them teaming up! Generally the best way to tell if a comic was in trouble was by how prominently Grifter appeared on the cover. When Wildstorm was still an Image imprint, Grifter and Zealot shared the spotlight with ComicBook/{{Spawn}} and [[ComicBook/{{Youngblood}} Badrock]]. Badrock is an oddity in that his solo series was short-lived and he's much better known for Youngblood, but he was the star of the ''Marvel Team Up''-like ''Badrock and Company'' and has had many crossover minis -- including ones with Wolverine ''and'' Grifter!
* Believe it or not, [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] was often shoved on the cover back in the 40s, when he was the decade's most popular hero. Of course, since the number of genres was a lot more eclectic, you'd see him promoting the latest FunnyAnimal book or Western.
* ''ComicBook/ForeverEvil'': Though it is more or less par for the course, Batman's exposure in Villains Month far outshines most others. In all of his goings-on taking place in the present day, he has four villain issues, making for a total of ''sixteen'' between ''Batman'', ''Batman and Robin'', ''Batman: The Dark Knight'', and ''Detective Comics'', seventeen if ComicBook/SupermanBatman counts. The next highest amount is Franchise/{{Superman}} at eight or nine following the same rules between ''Action Comics'' and ''Superman'' as his personal goings-on. The third member of the Big Three, Franchise/WonderWoman, has only two issues in her one ongoing, less than many of the other series going on. The Batman situation would not be so jarring but for the fact that some of the villains involved in it have no connection to ''Forever Evil'' (ComicBook/TheJoker being highly publicized, but one of these), are very new to Franchise/TheDCU ([[ComicBook/NightOfTheOwls the Court of Owls]]), are just being introduced at this time (Joker's Daughter) or are actually a rogue of another member of the Batfamily (Ventriloquist III).
* Harley Quinn could be considered Deadpool's AlternateCompanyEquivalent in this regard. She's been a popular character for years, but this trope was taken UpToEleven after the launch of her ComicBook/{{New 52}} [[ComicBook/HarleyQuinn series]] and her role in the ''Film/SuicideSquad2016'' movie. She appears in nearly all of the ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'' publicity despite her fairly minor role, is likely to turn up in almost any ''Batman''-themed merchandise, and ended up as one of the most prominent characters in the ''WebSeries/DCSuperHeroGirls'' line ''despite not actually being a hero''. That's not even getting into her many comic book appearances, including two separate months where many books had Harley Quinn-themed variant covers (much like the Deadpool variants mentioned above).
* The ''Comicbook/DCRebirth'' relaunch got rid of many of the smaller, more experimental DC books in favor of an increased focus on franchises that are either already popular, or are connected to the Series/{{Arrowverse}} or Franchise/DCExtendedUniverse. More specifically, ''Comicbook/BirdsOfPrey'' was renamed ''ComicBook/BatgirlAndTheBirdsOfPrey'' after the recent burst of popularity Batgirl enjoyed in her solo series.
* The Jaime Reyes ''Comicbook/BlueBeetle'' (see above under "Batman") actually got this a lot, with Franchise/{{Superman}}, Oracle and Comicbook/ThePhantomStranger showing up for a few pages and getting a picture on the cover of various issues. Though VindicatedByHistory, the series was never a huge seller when it was running, so this might well have been an attempt to promote it. It was never ''too'' JustForFun/{{egregious}}, though, and is even kind of entertaining in the way that it makes Jaime seem like a WeirdnessMagnet.

!Other Examples:

[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* For ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' this is the norm, with the main character Keiichi rarely making the cover page.
** That's a staple of any manga HaremSeries (such as ''Manga/ToLoveRu'', which does the same). Probably because readers [[SexSells are more interested on the girls]] and the male leads are often [[UnluckyEverydude kinda bland]] and intended as audience-surrogate characters. On that topic, if a girl is a bit [[EnsembleDarkhorse more popular]] or [[SupportingHarem more main]], expect to see her about as much as all the other girls combined when it comes to official art, advertisements, and the like.
* In ''Manga/{{Gyo}}'', the main characters only encounter a single infected Great White [[SpiderTank Land Shark]]. In the OVA Adaptation, several appear throughout the chaos.
* Most of the promotional art for ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' features [[EnsembleDarkHorse Mi]][[TsunDere ko]][[ShockAndAwe to]] in a rather notable way, as if she formed a PowerTrio with main characters Touma and Index. In reality, she only makes bit appearances on various episodes, the only notable ones being a StoryArc about her (Which she shares with one of her clones and [[JerkAss Accelerator]], with the clone having similar screentime and more CharacterDevelopment) and ADayInTheLimelight ShipTease episode later on the season. [[OlderThanTheyLook Komoe]] and [[ActionGirl Kaori]] have as much importance than her if not more (At least in the anime first season), but they get very few appearances in the official art and tend to share them with ''Mikoto'', despite never meeting in the anime (Stiyl, being a guy in a ImprobablyFemaleCast, was never in the running, even if he's more relevant than any girl). This goes even more so for her roommate [[SchoolgirlLesbians Kuroko]], who is in most of the aforementioned art, but only gets 2-3 minor appearances with Mikoto and a UsefulNotes/BarackObama gag, yet outdoes in appearances everyone else on the series but Mikoto and actual heroine [[{{Moe}} Index]].
** Mikoto and Kuroko are also the focus of the artwork of the ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'' anime, their spin-off series', but at least there's it's justified: They're TheHero and TheLancer. Uiharu and Saten complete the FourGirlEnsemble, but the artwork always makes them seem less important for some reason.
** The second anime season took the same route as the first, with Mikoto (Kuroko too, but less so this time) being shoved in on nearly every official artwork, but she's only been a secondary character on ''Kuroko'''s arc, helped a little on the final arc and got ''another'' ShipTease date, but she was never the main focus at any time. All her other appearances are ShipTease cameos (Generally [[{{filler}} made up for the anime]] at that) with no relevance to the current arc. Oddly enough, official art is more likely to come out when she is around, so they have an excuse to stick her in pics ''every'' time, even if the arc has like 5-6 important girls. Meanwhile, more important or relevant characters get one or two pictures tops and barely any cameos (With one exception marked below). Remember, this is after Mikoto got her already mentioned SpinOff with her on the lead and lots of artwork focused on her. At this point she may as well be the ''Index'' equivalent of Wolverine.
** The exception is [[ShrinkingViolet Itsuwa]]. She's had a grand total of three appearances, one in a mob with no lines, and two short ones where she gives the main guy a hot towel. [[SarcasmMode Truly important things]], which is why she appears the most in official art after Mikoto, Kuroko and Index. Never mind that the two arcs with Itsuwa had WAY more important girls (mostly [[ChurchMilitant Agnese and Orsola]]), Itsuwa gets all the art. Subverted in that she becomes more important on later novels, but that's hardly a justification to have her appear so much now, when she hasn't done a single thing, while the girls who actually do stuff get ignored. Funnily, there's a picture of her with Mikoto. They've never met, and on most of Itsuwa's screentime she was on a different continent than Mikoto. The preview for the second season also featured three of the four members of God's Right Seat, Vento, Terra and Aqua, which seems to imply that they had originally intended to go as far as volume 16, but apparently didn't get there. As a result, only Vento plays a role and Aqua puts on a brief appearance in the second-to-last episode, but otherwise...
** Most openings and endings also emphasize Mikoto (Again, to PowerTrio levels). The second season openings also highlights Accelerator (who has little screentime on the anime but is loved by the fans), as well as throwing in a Uiharu cameo, even though she's a very minor character on ''Index'', but since she's a main on ''Railgun'', there we go.
** All in all, this is par per the course for Creator/JCStaff, which loves PanderingToTheBase to CripplingOverspecialization and promotes the 1-2 most popular females while ignoring everyone else. Only that's usually the ''lead'' girl (Such as [[LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana Shana]] or [[LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero Louise]]), not a secondary character with little to no relevance on over half the arcs, making Mikoto's case stand out the most.
* Nearly all of the promotional art for ''Anime/ErgoProxy'' solely features supporting protagonist Re-l Mayer, indicating that she is the main character. [[DecoyProtagonist And, to the marketing team's credit, the first few episodes certainly make it look this way.]] However, once the series kicks into high gear, it becomes obvious that the true protagonist is the [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass comparatively unassuming Vincent Law]].
* When the [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=3617 Wild Swans]] movie was dubbed into Italian, the dubbers tried to cash in on the popularity of the Heidi anime by claiming that the princess was Heidi, even calling the movie, "Heidi Becomes a Princess."
* This happens in the ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' franchise, with none other than Char Aznable. The first opening credits sequence for ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Gundam ZZ]]'' features Char opposite the main character, and yet he never appears in the series.
** Char's sister Sayla appears on the cover of the Laserdisc boxset for the second half of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'', but she only appears in one episode, with no speaking parts at that.
* In the ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' franchise, whenever official art comes out and it's not from the manga {{spinoff}}s ''[=ViVid=]'' or ''Force'', there's a 95% chance it'll be from the third season ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'', which came after a 10-year TimeSkip that [[SheIsAllGrownUp radically changed the appearance]] of Nanoha and Fate, the main girls, plus introduced a lot of new characters and got rid of several others. While this made sense back in 2007-2008, when ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' had just aired and was the Cool New Thing, nowadays we've had two movies retelling the events of the first two seasons, set before the big TimeSkip, and [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaReflection a third movie with an original story set during the same time zone]], manga adaptaions of said movies and two VideoGame adaptations set in the ''A's'' timeframe. (Though the second game has ''[=ViVid=]'' characters, but it's still mainly an ''A's'' game). Despite this the majority of fanart will depict Nanoha and Fate post-TimeSkip (and often alongside [[BreakoutCharacter their adopted daughter Vivio]]), or otherwise characters from the ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' period, with the usual exceptions being movie or spin-off advertisements. Likewise Nanoha and Fate tend to get the lion share of art even on the pics of said spin-offs, where they aren't the main characters or appear for long periods of time.
* Unusually, Nel's adult form from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' is featured heavily on manga covers and anime openings, despite only appearing in a few chapters and not really accomplishing anything important.
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and all of its related works in the Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} have this with the insanely popular [[LadyOfWar Servant]] [[JeanneDArchetype Saber]]. She (or one of her incarnations) gets top billing in almost everything related to Fate, and even if she doesn't show up personally, you can bet one of her [[FanNickname Saberfaces]] will pick up the slack. The page image for ''LightNovel/FateZero'' (which was also the 1st promotional image released for its anime adaptation) is a perfect example: Saber is front and center in the picture and is illustrated in bright, eye-catching colors while everyone else is a mere silhouette (and while she ''is'' a major character of said series, she's not the main protagonist).
** The same can also be said of Shirou Emiya [spoiler: or his future self, Archer]. In series where Saber does not even show up, he does instead, in one form or another.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'':
** Walpurgisnacht is the [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever biggest, baddest witch in the series]], so naturally SHAFT didn't stop marketing her even after the two episodes where she appeared and was KilledOffForReal -- ''even'' in merchandising and promotional lines for ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'', where she ''doesn't even appear''.
** Charlotte also gets this treatment, and is a major character in said movie. In fact, she gets as much merchandise as Kyubey, the BigBad SeriesMascot, despite only having appeared in one episode in the original series.
* Levi from ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' is a supporting character, but insanely popular with the fandom. This has resulted in official merchandise and promotional material frequently replacing the ''actual'' {{Deuteragonist}}s of the series with him. Based on these, one might be surprised to learn that [[TheSmartGuy Armin]] is the third member of the PowerTrio, and not Levi -- who almost always replaces Armin in anime-related materials.
* Pretty much the only reason why Yugi Moto/Muto, the protagonist from the previous series, appears in the pilot episode of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX''.
* [[StrongerSibling Cooler]] and [[DarkMessiah Broly]] from ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' are among the most popular villains the series has produced, which is especially impressive considering they're [[{{Filler}} movie-exclusive]]. They were so impressive, in fact, they got ''multiple'' movies (Cooler two, Broly three) and games starring them.
** Freeza himself has also become guilty of this, appearing no less than '''seven times''' in various animated ''Dragon Ball'' media, canon and non-canon, since Trunks killed him early in the manga's ninth arc. What's more, he's received a CaptainErsatz in the form of Frost in ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' and both have returned in the Universal Survivor Arc.
* For works by Creator/{{CLAMP}}:
** Sakura Kinomoto of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' is considered to be the most popular character and the TropeCodifier of {{Moe}} as she had an alternate version in ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'' where she also made a cameo in the OAV and her Clow staff appeared in ''Manga/{{Xxxholic}}'' and had tons of merchandises compared to the rest of the CCS cast or any Clamp character.
** Asides from ''Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle'', Kimihiro Watanuki of ''Manga/{{XxxHolic}}'' made cameos in several Clamp works such as ''Manga/DrugAndDrop'', ''Manga/{{Kobato}}'' and ''Anime/BloodC''. He doesn’t have the merchandising powers as Sakura but every time you see in another Clamp work, you know that he’s the bridge of the Clamp multiverse.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' has Jotaro and Dio Brando from ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventureStardustCrusaders''. Jotaro is the most popular Joestar in Japan and was not in just one but four different arcs (''Stardust Crusaders, Diamond is Unbreakable, Vento Aureo, and Stone Ocean'') and plays a big part is three. Dio Brando is a cruel, coniving, and somewhat classy vampire who's anger gets the better of him easily and who's greatest rival is... Jotaro Kujo. Not Jonathan Joestar, the man he was raised with as a brother and and the only man he could respect and even love (in a twisted sort of way), but Jotaro. Both of them have become the default hero/villain duo due to the massive popularity of their apperances in ''Stardust Crusaders''.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Sort of {{parodied|Trope}} in ''Comicbook/{{PS238}},'' when the students start forming their own super-teams--most kids wind up in three or four different groups, mostly as "beta teammates." This is mostly presented as a cliquey popularity thing.
* Issue #58 of ''ComicBook/ThePowerpuffGirls'' (DC run) features a cover with the girls wearing 3-D glasses and Him coming out of the TV, hypnotizing the girls. Neither story in the issue features Him, nor do they entail the girls getting hypnotized.
* Spoofed on the very first cover of ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' comics, which featured WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain dressed in costumes they wore in a story later in the comic. (It could be argued, of course, that Pinky and the Brain are the most popular ''Animaniacs'' characters; but since they're not the main characters, you wouldn't expect to see them on the cover of the ''first issue''.) The spoof part comes from Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, who "tear" their way through the front of the cover so that Yakko can complain [[MediumAwareness "Whose comic is this, anyway?!"]]
* WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck is on most of the covers of ''Walt Disney's Comics and Stories''. Somewhat fair, since he also probably has at least one story in every one of them, but there are a few times where the cover art in question is actually from a story that isn't actually published in said issue.
** The Scandinavian Disney trades, which didn't start printing home-produced material until the late 90s, could always be counted on to feature ''DuckAvenger'' on the cover if he made the slightest appearance in the book. Amusingly enough, he appears more often than ever nowadays, but has only had two cover appearances in 20 years. His popularity dropped. This is because the Scandinavian trades only ever put Donald Duck's name in the title anymore (as mentioned above), no matter who are the main characters of the stories inside.
* The Comicbook/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic comics are set ~4000 years before ''Film/ANewHope''. Yet, the [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Star_Wars_Knights_of_the_Old_Republic_25:_Vector,_Part_1 cover of issue 25]] has Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Cade Skywalker on it. Granted, they appear, although in a vision.
* IDW Comics clearly hoped that they could do this in their ''[[ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW Transformers]]'' comics with new character [[ShooOutTheNewGuy Drift]]. They even said as much.
** [[http://tfwiki.net/mediawiki/images2/thumb/a/a5/MTMTE34_regcvr.jpg/390px-MTMTE34_regcvr.jpg The cover]] of ''ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'' #35 parodies this, with [[ByTheBookCop resident rule stickler]] Ultra Magnus telling readers that by purchasing a comic featuring a character that doesn't appear within, they promote false advertising.[[note]]True to the trope, Magnus is absent from the actual comic's story.[[/note]]
** An issue of ''ComicBook/TheTransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'' in which Ultra Magnus does not appear [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/File:MTMTE34_regcvr.jpg features him on the cover]]... Giving a warning that under the Autobot Code, putting a character on the cover who does not appear in the comic is considered a crime, and that [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou for purchasing the issue, you will be charged as an accessory.]]
* Some variant covers for ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'' prominently feature popular [[RecurringExtra background ponies]] from [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic the show]]. Two covers feature Time Turner decked out in ''Series/DoctorWho'' {{Shout Out}}s implying the first StoryArc is an epic crossover, one of them for an issue with ''no background ponies'' much less Time Turner and the other flat out having the TARDIS on it. He does appear in the first issue, but only as an incidental pony with no allusions to ''Doctor Who'' (just like in the show). The biggest offender however has to be [[OneSceneWonder Vinyl Scratch]], who shares a cover with Applejack for Issue #1 (the only BG pony to appear on one of the Mane Six covers by Andy Price) and appears by herself or with others on later covers. Like Time Turner she does appear in the first issue, but as an incidental character.
* Sonic appears on the cover of the first issue of ''[[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog Sonic Universe]]'', despite not actually appearing in the issue other than a brief flashback.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' is the second most popular fiction to be used in [[IntercontinuityCrossOver crossover fanfics]]. They pretty much have RuleFifty on every single Fanfic you can imagine. Thanks to this trope, readers will often only read and give a ton of reviews to ''Naruto'' crossovers even if the story makes no sense and/or very poorly written while overlooking the other non-''Naruto'' ones.
* Every ''LightNovel/BokuWaTomodachiGaSukunai'' doujinshi features Sena in some shape or form. Every single one. While most do it because they're focused on her, it's rather jarring to see a book about Yozora with her on the cover and all the plot being about her, yet the first three pages being Sena love just because. Or having her on the cover with Yozora yet not appear even once inside the thing. While she may be popular, this is a little annoying to non-fans of her, as other "EnsembleDarkHorse" characters, using the term loosely here, don't do this kind of stuff, it's just Sena.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The Blu-Ray cover of ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' features the Queen in the front and center, in her hag form, with Snow White relegated to the bottom of the picture.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfsAndTheMagicFlute'' was originally a ''ComicBook/JohanAndPeewit'' film, but when Franchise/TheSmurfs became really popular the title was changed to make it look like they were the stars, even though the film really focused much more on Johan and Peewit.
* ''Disney/TheJungleBook2'' had megastar actor Creator/JohnGoodman providing the voice of Baloo the Bear, and ads for the movie loudly proclaimed "Baloo is back!", even though this story was supposed to be about Mowgli.
* ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' is about video game characters, both original and already famous from other titles. So while the story only deals with Disney's original characters created for the film, a lot of posters prominently featured Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog, Zangief, M. Bison, Q*bert, Clyde the Pac-Man Ghost, and Bowser in them, even though they only have seconds to minutes of screentime for each of them. Calhoun, one of the four major characters, didn't even make it onto the front cover of the DVD case because of all space taken up by the extras. In-Universe, it's PlayedForDrama[[spoiler:/Averted; Ralph seeing Vanellope's picture on the console is what causes him to realize that she is supposed to be in the game]].
* The posters and covers of ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerryTheMovie'' prominently featured Droopy, [[AdvertisedExtra despite his only getting a short cameo]]. One could even argue Tom and Jerry themselves were victims of this trope, since the movie wasn't really about them anyway [[HumanFocusedAdaptation but about a poor little orphan girl]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' animated shorts ''Secrets of the Furious Five'' and ''Secrets of the Masters'' are both advertised as being "brand new Po adventures" when they're actually about, [[CaptainObvious well,]] the Furious Five and the Master's Council. Po is just the narrator.
* For ''Disney/MelodyTime'', WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck, who appears in the "Blame It On the Samba" sequence, receives some fanfare in the VHS trailer and is the only character on the DVD case. On the other hand, most theatrical posters, both domestic and international, prominently featured another character from a different segment, Pecos Bill.
* In the poster for ''WesternAnimation/{{Foodfight}}'', the ProductPlacement characters are featured first and foremost on the film poster, even though the characters in question aren't featured prominently in the film.
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'': EnsembleDarkhorse Olaf, who first appears (alive) halfway into the movie, is easily the most visible character on the poster, while the leads are buried in snow. The DVD switches the Wolverine Publicity to Elsa, who gets half the cover despite her being an offscreen presence for most of the second act. In both cases, the film's lead, Anna, is the least noticeable character.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePeanutsMovie'' suffered this in some countries, tackling Snoopy and Charlie Brown's names in the beginning of the title, easily the two most popular characters.
* ''WesternAnimation/HappyFeet'' stars Creator/RobinWilliams in a side role. At this point, you don't need to guess who was most heavily featured in teasers - and [[NeverTrustATrailer why many assumed the film would be a wacky family comedy rather than the environmental drama it really was.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KuboAndTheTwoStrings'' heavily advertised Creator/GeorgeTakei, to the point that in some trailers, he got higher billing than Creator/MatthewMcConaughey. In reality, [[AdvertisedExtra he played a minor villager in the beginning and end the film]].
* When Periwinkle became a BreakoutCharacter in the ''Franchise/DisneyFairies'' movies ''just'' when Disney decided they were going to pull the plug on the franchise for low toy sales, the toy line decided to shove her into every line they had, elbowing out characters who had earned the spotlight she took. She barely appeared in ''The Pirate Fairy,'' but she was on more merchandise for it than Iridessa, Fawn, and Vidia combined, and all three were present and important to the plot; the same happened for ''Legend of the [=NeverBeast=].'' Peri might have started showing up more again in the movies too, but the ones after that were scrapped.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Creator/JackNicholson became (at the time) the highest-salaried actor in film history for his performance as ComicBook/TheJoker in ''Film/{{Batman}}'' (1989), even getting a share of the film's enormous box-office take. Creator/WarnerBros promoted him as the movie's main star on posters, on videotape boxes, and in the credits of the movie itself. This extended even to DC Comics' official adaptation, which, despite being clearly titled ''Batman'', showed the Joker's face [[EvilOverlooker looming like a godlike apparition over Gotham City]], while a smaller image of Batman himself appears below.
* The American DVD cover of ''Film/InfernalAffairs'' shows Kelly Chen posing with a gun. At no point in the movie does she have a gun, or even an action scene. The two main characters get much less space on the cover. On the other hand, this might just be a case of SexSells. The Chinese [=DVDs=] rightly put Andy Lau and Tony Leung up front, but since fewer Americans know who any of them are, they decided to sex things up a bit.
* At at least one video store, in the French film section, there is a sub-section called "Films in which Creator/AudreyTautou has less screen time than the box art would suggest." There's also a [[CreepyChild "Non-Satanic Malevolent Children"]] section in Horror, but that's neither here nor there.
* "[[BruceLeeClone Bruceploitation]]" refers to the wave of Creator/BruceLee imitators, and Lee-style martial arts movies, that followed the superstar's death. Actors adopted stage names like Bruce Li, Bruce Lei, and Dragon Lee in an attempt to cash in on Lee Mania. Jackie Chan recalled how his early movie posters would say "the next BRUCE LEE, [--Jackie Chan--]," with Lee's name much larger than his own.
* Similar to the general ''Series/SesameStreet'' example below is the second DVD release of ''[[Film/SesameStreetPresentsFollowThatBird Follow That Bird]]''. Elmo is featured prominently on the cover in spite of appearing for roughly three seconds, in a silent cameo as part of a crowd scene.
* The undisputed king of Wolverine Publicity in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' universe has to be Darthwiki/DarthVader -- this trope could have well been called "Vader Publicity". Even when the main focus of Lucasfilm's marketing is a series that doesn't involve Vader as a Sith Lord, such as the first two prequels or ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'', one can be absolutely sure to see zillions of different products featuring Vader in the current merchandising line. Often, original trilogy characters are included in the line, or the line itself becomes partly original trilogy-focused, for the sake of including Vader merchandise. One can also expect a cameo or two from the Sith Lord in some form in the media itself (such as a vision to his former self Anakin in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars''), or at least a new character that happens to be a blatant {{Expy}} (such as Darth Malak in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'').
** ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' had a heavy marketing campaign focused on featuring Anakin finally becoming Darth Vader and his first chronological appearance in the Vader suit. While the movie ''does'' detail his turn to the dark side, he doesn't don the outfit until the very end of the movie.
** It's even parodied in ''Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace'' where throughout the movie, Darth Vader would appear out of nowhere to take center stage of a scene, only for a Lego mini-figure of George Lucas to call cut and tell Vader he's not in the movie because it takes place in the prequel era.
** The original ''Star Wars'' movies were the rise, fall and redemption of Darth Vader - the last part meaning [[RedemptionEqualsDeath he dies in the last one]]. Well, once Disney decided to make more movies, ''Film/TheForceAwakens'' just had to include Vader's destroyed helmet as early as the trailer and a DarthVaderClone as the villain (in-universe, a deliberate case of copycat, as it's [[spoiler: his grandson]] who also fell for the Dark Side).
** In the original pitch for ''Film/RogueOne'', Vader had a single minor appearance with no dialogue. The execs requested that his part be beefed up, so he was given dialogue [[spoiler: and a truly spectacular action scene at the end of the movie]]. [[EvilOverlooker His helmet is also featured prominently on the movie's poster]], and is actually larger than many of the ''main characters''. [[spoiler:Coincidentally, he's the only character in the poster [[KillEmAll that doesn't die]].]]
* The DVD release of ''Film/MazesAndMonsters'' has on the cover a dragon, a castle and a maze. None of these things appear in the movie. The title refers to a roleplaying game (a reference to ''Dungeons and Dragons'') played by the characters. Furthermore, while Tom Hanks is in the movie, the picture of him on the cover is from when he was much older and well established. Furthermore, despite how much the breakdown of his character drives the plot, he was actually a supporting character and given rather low billing compared to the other cast members (the movie seems to treat Jay Jay as the main character).
* ''Film/DazedAndConfused'' was promoted with posters prominently featuring Creator/MillaJovovich simply because she was, at the time, the most famous person in the cast. She only has one line in the movie, is not a focus character in the ensemble action, and only pops up a handful of times. She's also on the cover of the DVD cases (excluding Creator/TheCriterionCollection edition) since those reuse one of the movie's promotional posters.
* ''Deep In The Valley'' has Kim Kardashian on the front cover. She appears in the actual movie for all of ten seconds and her character does nothing other than lets the heroes into a night club.
* The DVD cover for ''Frankenstein Island'' features only Creator/JohnCarradine's name at the top, and his face is on all of the different DVD covers. In the movie he plays the ghost of Dr. Frankenstein, and his screentime is less than five minutes combined.
* The DVD cover for Showtime's 2005 musical parody ''Film/ReeferMadness'' features Neve Campbell, both with her picture displayed in the foreground and her name at top-center - yet her character is in two scenes in the whole movie, once for the length of a musical number and the other for literally the three seconds it took to say her line, and like Creator/JohnCarradine above, has less than 5 minutes total screen time.
* In ''Film/SkyCaptainAndTheWorldOfTomorrow'', you could be forgiven for thinking that Angelina Jolie's character was the main character, being the focus of basically every commercial and having a spot on the cover. Turns out that her character gets around 10 minutes of screentime.
* The Hungarian movie ''SacraCorona'' featured FrancoNero on the cover. He appears in the role of Gerard Sagredo in the opening scene, where he's promptly killed. He makes a second appearance as a ghost towards the end of the film.
* Although Creator/StevenSeagal is featured prominently in the promotional material for the film ''Film/ExecutiveDecision'', his character meets an untimely death barely a quarter of the way through the movie.
* The American DVD for ''Film/TheTwinsEffect'' (retitled ''Vampire Effect'') places Jackie Chan prominently on the cover. His appearance only amounts to a cameo.
* The White Witch, BigBad of ''Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe'', has made a cameo in the film versions of both ''Film/PrinceCaspian'' [[spoiler: (when her three worshipers try to force Caspian to resurrect her)]] and ''Film/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader'' [[spoiler: (as a form taken by the Mist of Evil)]], despite being completely absent from the respective books. (In this case, it has more to do with Creator/TildaSwinton's contract, as she signed on to do and get paid for three films.)
* ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'':
** Advertising for ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' puts the spotlight on Film/IronMan, whose movies became the highest grossing in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse, at the time. The Blu-Ray box art for the film shows Iron Man, [[Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger Captain America]], Film/{{Thor}} and [[Film/TheIncredibleHulk the Hulk]], the four Avengers who had their own movies prior to the big team-up. ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} and Comicbook/BlackWidow are completely absent.
** Due to the character's obscurity, a lot of the marketing for ''Film/AntMan'' referenced the Avengers. A series of posters were made showing Ant-Man posing on top of Iron Man's armor, Captain America's shield, and Thor's hammer, complete with the tagline "No shield. No hammer. No problem," even though none of those characters appear in the movie proper.[[note]]Captain America does appear in the second [[TheStinger Stinger]], which is actually a scene from ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' that has very little bearing on the plot of ''Ant-Man''. Cap himself never meets or interacts with Ant-Man at any point in the film.[[/note]] Additionally, the TV spots spoiled Comicbook/TheFalcon's cameo in the movie, and even made sure to include the scene where Luis excitedly points out that Falcon is one of the Avengers, just in case there was anyone left in the audience who didn't realize the movie takes place in the same universe as the Avengers flicks.
** The studio did the same thing for ''Film/DoctorStrange2016'', with one TV spot showing prominent shots of Iron Man's helmet, Thor's hammer and Cap's shield, likely for the same reasons as ''Film/AntMan''. Another TV spot took this even further by using recycled footage from ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'', ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' and ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''. Furthermore, one TV spot (narrated by Creator/BenedictCumberbatch himself) [[ItMakesSenseInContext depicts the Avengers as dogs]] and then ending with...[[PunnyName Dogtor Strange]]. Yet ''another'' spot has Cumberbatch analyzing the injuries of the cast of ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''.
** One of the selling points used to market ''Film/SpiderManHomecoming'' after the failure of ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan2'' was the presence of Iron Man as Peter's mentor. Some fans complained about this, to the point that the film's poster (which managed to feature Iron Man ''twice'') became a [[MemeticMutation meme]] [[https://twitter.com/agentbizzle/status/867529152194256896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fuproxx.com%2Fviral%2Ftwitter-roasts-spider-man-homecoming-poster-best-tweets%2F in its own right]].
** Likewise, while the second ''Film/BlackPanther'' trailer includes a voiceover from Ross that references the other heroes of the MCU, the international version of the trailer took this a step further by actually showing recycled footage of Thor, Iron Man, the Avengers and the Chitauri.
** The first trailer for ''Film/AntManAndTheWasp'' actually begins with reused footage of Scott fighting Iron Man's team during ''Civil War''.
** In an inversion, after ''Film/BlackPanther'' ended up as an insane hit at the box office (becoming the highest grossing solo film in the entire MCU), the later promotional material for ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'' made sure to prominently feature the character, as well as Okoye and Shuri.
* Wonder Woman has quickly become this for the [[Franchise/DCExtendedUniverse DCEU]] following the massive success of [[Film/WonderWoman2017 her own movie]], as well as her well-received supporting part in the otherwise-panned ''Film/BatmanVSupermanDawnOfJustice''. Aside from the marketing for ''Film/JusticeLeague2017'' greatly playing up her presence, the cover for the "Ultimate Edition" of ''Batman v. Superman'' made sure to [[https://blogs-images.forbes.com/johnarcher/files/2016/08/BatmanVSupermanUHDBDUSCoverArt.jpg feature her front and center]]. The same thing happened with [[https://i.imgur.com/I9KlsaG.jpg both the Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD home releases]] of ''Justice League''. The trend has become so pronounced that the first teaser for ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGoToTheMovies'' actually parodied it by opening with a shot of the Titans dressed in Wonder Woman costumes.
* Pee-wee Herman makes a cameo in the 1987 comedy ''Film/BackToTheBeach''. His scene [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment doesn't really advance the plot]] (not that ''Back to the Beach'' had much plot to begin with, anyway), and seems to have been included only because Pee-wee's portrayer, Creator/PaulReubens, was one of the biggest stars in the world at the time. (You'll also notice that he's prominently featured on that movie's video box cover, despite appearing on screen for only a few minutes.)
* Ultimately subverted by Anna Nicole Smith in ''Film/ToTheLimit'' (1995). She was heavily promoted as the star of this direct-to-video action flick, despite not portraying the main character ''and'' despite ''To the Limit'' being a sequel to an earlier film -- ''Da Vinci's War'' -- in which Smith hadn't even appeared! (This was a year or so after Smith had been named ''Magazine/{{Playboy}}'' Playmate of the Year, appeared in some sexy ads for women's jeans, and been cast in relatively small roles in two major Hollywood movies, so at the time it seemed like she was everywhere.) Throughout the movie (which, continuity-wise, is pretty much a mess anyway), her character is featured to a ridiculous degree, at one point with the story stopping dead in its tracks just to [[{{Fanservice}} show an extended sequence of her naked in the shower]]! And yet, despite her character being both TheDitz ''and'' a FauxActionGirl, Anna Nicole is the one more responsible than anyone else for defeating the villain in the end! Weird.
* [[TheHero Optimus Prime]] is the most advertised character in the ''Film/TransformersFilmSeries'', followed by [[KidAppealCharacter Bumblebee]] and the [[TokenHuman human characters]]. Also, the Dinobots are heavily featured in the marketing campaign for ''[[Film/TransformersAgeOfExtinction Age of Extinction]]'', [[AdvertisedExtra even if they only are on-screen for 15 minutes]].
* Based on marketing, you would think Creator/DrewBarrymore was the main character of ''Film/{{Scream|1996}}'', when in reality her character [[spoiler:dies several minutes into the movie.]] Despite this, she even received top billing on some promotional material (she was credited toward the end as [[AndStarring "And Drew Barrymore"]] in the actual film).[[note]]She ''was'' originally cast as the lead, Sidney, but due to scheduling issues she had to take the smaller role of Casey instead[[/note]] This was a marketing gimmick since they were paying homage to ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' by killing off the supposed main character early on, shocking audiences.
* ''Film/TheHobbitTheDesolationOfSmaug'': Legolas gets minimal screen-time in this film, but he was an EnsembleDarkhorse in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''. Three guesses who got the most coverage in all the trailers.
%% * In addition to the {{Trope Namer|s}} [[Franchise/{{Wolverine}} himself]], ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' also features fan-favorites Wade Wilson and Gambit.
* Both movie adaptations of ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' place more focus on Willy Wonka than protagonist Charlie Bucket in their advertising, DVD box art, etc. (The first film, of course, is actually titled ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory'', but the reasons why didn't have to do with this trope.) Mr. Wonka is a {{Deuteragonist}} who is offstage for the first half of both films, aside from a few brief flashbacks and a voiceover in the 2005 version. Mr. Wonka also tends to be the most prominent figure on cover illustrations and in advertisements for other adaptations, but the films are the worst about this trope.
* When ''Film/TwelveYearsASlave'' was promoted in some countries overseas, the poster they used was different than the one promoted in America. Instead of the promotional posters showing the large image of the film's lead, Creator/ChiwetelEjiofor, his image is mostly replaced by a huge one of Creator/BradPitt who has a small role in the film. This caused a huge backlash among many movie goers. The studio explained this trope as being the reason for the poster change, claiming Brad Pitt was more popular and well known among foreigners.
* The advertising for the television debut of ''Film/LogansRun'' made it sound like Farrah Fawcett, who'd just become a superstar with ''Series/CharliesAngels'', was one of the main characters. Nope. She just had a bit role as a nurse.
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Se7en}}'', where in order to keep the antagonist's identity a secret to cinema-goers, Kevin Spacey wasn't used in promotion for the film at all despite being a significantly bigger star than anyone else in the cast at the time.
* Inverted with Creator/JamesMcAvoy, who generally receives the short end of the stick when it comes to marketing. Even when he portrays the lead character, he is occasionally ignored or placed in the background of promotional materials.
** ''Film/TheLastKingOfScotland'': [=McAvoy=]'s Dr. Nicholas Garrigan is the main protagonist, but Creator/ForestWhitaker's Idi Amin completely dominates the [[http://www.impawards.com/2006/posters/last_king_of_scotland.jpg theatrical poster]] and the North American [[http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Nnwj5qvuL.jpg Blu-Ray/DVD cover.]]
** ''Film/{{Atonement}}'': For the official [[http://www7a.biglobe.ne.jp/~nishiken/images/img318.jpg Japanese poster]] and the [[http://images2.static-bluray.com/movies/dvdcovers/96487_front.jpg Canadian DVD artwork,]][[note]]which incorrectly lists Knightley's name first[[/note]] Creator/KeiraKnightley is much more noticeable than her male co-star, even though James has the most screen time.
** ''Film/{{Wanted}}'': Despite receiving first billing, [=McAvoy=] is considerably smaller than Creator/AngelinaJolie on the [[http://www.impawards.com/2008/posters/wanted.jpg poster]] and the standard DVD cover (which used the same picture), but he's treated more fairly on the [[http://images4.static-bluray.com/movies/covers/837_front.jpg Blu-Ray artwork.]]
* ''Film/VictorFrankenstein'': The story is told from Igor's perspective, yet Creator/JamesMcAvoy has slightly more prominence than Creator/DanielRadcliffe in the trailers, the [[http://cdn2-www.shocktillyoudrop.com/assets/uploads/gallery/victor-frankenstein/victorpostersmall.jpg theatrical]] [[http://1.fwcdn.pl/an/49468/72114.12.jpg posters]] and the [[http://moviepilot.com/posts/2015/08/18/exclusive-interview-with-victor-frankenstein-poster-designer-ciara-mcavoy-3480148 old-fashioned alternate poster]] created by professional artist Ciara [=McAvoy=]. Moreover, the film was known as ''Igor'' for a time, but the title was later switched to ''Victor Frankenstein''. Radcliffe is more famous than [=McAvoy=] (e.g. the former's Website/IMDb [=STARmeter=] is almost always consistently higher than the latter's), so it's unusual that the marketing department chose to give more focus on the less well-known actor.
* During the credits at the beginning of ''Film/LifeOfPi'', they give a special emphasis in Creator/GerardDepardieu having a role in it, but his total screen time, as the ship's cook, is no more than four minutes.
* Marketing for ''Film/ThePlaceBeyondThePines'' prominently features Ryan Gosling, making him out to be the main character. This is true, [[spoiler:for the first third of the film, as he is killed and the rest of the movie revolves around his death]].
* [[http://incinerama.com/gsetads.jpg This print advertisement]] for ''Film/TheGreatestStoryEverTold'' features the face of Creator/JohnWayne as the Roman Centurion-- neglecting to mention that it was a {{cameo}} role in which he has exactly one line.

* Franchise/CthulhuMythos:
** Cthulhu himself. In the original works of Creator/HPLovecraft, he appeared only once, in "Literature/TheCallOfCthulhu", but has since come to be adopted as the symbol of Lovecraft, no doubt due to the work of Lovecraft's "protege", Creator/AugustDerleth, who did more than anyone else to help keep Lovecraft's writings in print after his death and also basically created (and certainly named) the Cthulhu Mythos. Most of the core ideas that people today would describe as being part of the "Cthulhu Mythos" come not from Lovecraft at all, but Derleth's later imitative stories.
** Same applies to all of the Old Ones, really. The only Lovecraftian god that actually plays a prominent role in more than a couple of stories is Nyarlahothep. Yog-Sothoth often has a fairly important role, but usually he's just invoked in spells, rather than making an actual appearance. Azathoth gets mentioned a lot too, but never actually appears in any of Lovecraft's stories.
** Of course, none of this stopped Lovecraft from mentioning Cthulhu, Yog Sothoth, Azathoth and the Old Ones in general every chance he got, regardless of relevance to the story at hand. The moment someone mentions the Necronomicon, or starts muttering about other old books, or gives any sort of long expository speech, you have a fairly safe bet some of the big names will pop up.
* Cross-promotion. Aside from the common example of "''[---story in book---]'' [---by the author of---] ''[++ popular book ++]''", there's when older books get hijacked by adaptations into other media. One example: All of Creator/ArthurCClarke's books getting reissues whose covers depicted spaceships from the then-recent film ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''... Including ''Tales From The White Hart'', [[CoversAlwaysLie which didn't even HAVE spaceships]].
* This got an author acknowledgement in regards to the Discworld universe. After a few Ankh-Morpork/City Watch books, he got away from them for a while. When asked, he admitted that when he wrote Ankh-Morpork books, the City Watch took over, and when the City Watch took over, Sam Vimes took over.
* Then there are things like "Creator/TomClancy's Op-Center," where Clancy's name is often the biggest thing on the cover even though he didn't actually write the series. He's credited as "creator", which usually means coming up with the core setting concepts, and leaving them to be fleshed out by other creators.
** This is a common publishing phenomenon wherein a bestselling author's name is placed prominently on the front cover in order to attract the sales that author normally generates, wherein his or her contribution may have been limited to an idea or an outline at most. Generally speaking, if a best-selling author's name appears on the cover in massive print followed by the name(s) of another author you've never even heard of in smaller letters, this trope's in play.
** This is especially true for those suffering from AuthorExistenceFailure; usually, whomever is finishing their work, or writing in the style of that person, gets their own name printed on the cover in a much smaller, less noticeable typeface.
* As noted below in Magazines, Radio/RushLimbaugh is sometimes used for Wolverine Publicity, and Limbaugh claims it's no coincidence that ''Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations'' sold significantly more copies than Al Franken's other books.
* In the wake of ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'', we're being inundated with reissued classic romances such as ''Literature/WutheringHeights'', ''Literature/JaneEyre'', and ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' -- all featuring black covers with close-up pictures of something red (usually a rose) and a very familiar typeface. In the case of the relatively short ''Romeo and Juliet'', the typeface has been blown up to a ridiculous point size to inflate the page count to more closely match the ''Twilight'' readin' experience. (Nothing wrong with the last one, though; no matter your reading level, it's always nice not to have to squint.) Then there's the ''Literature/WutheringHeights'' editions with not only the aforementioned cover art but also plastered with a huge sticker that says '''"EDWARD AND BELLA'S FAVORITE BOOK!"'''
* Roger [=McBride=] Allen wrote three novels[[note]]''Caliban'', ''Inferno'', and ''Utopia''[[/note]] that take place in the same Universe as Creator/IsaacAsimov's Robot series. Asimov's name is so large on the cover of these books that you could be forgiven for thinking he wrote them.
* ''Literature/WildCards'', which is a series of books written by dozens of different authors set in the same universe, was edited by George R. R. Martin. After ''Song of Fire and Ice'' started becoming popular the ''Wild Card'' books started featuring his name more and more prominently over the actual authors' names. Then when ''Game of Thrones'' started airing some printings and online book stores went as far as giving him top author credit.
* Mark Tavener's novel ''In the Red'' is a comedy thriller starring a BBC journalist, which features minor roles by the unnamed Head of Radio 2 and Head of Radio 4. When it was adapted for BBC radio, these roles were played by Creator/StephenFry and John Bird, who reprised them in the BBC TV adaptation. These devious figures became {{Breakout Character}}s in Tavener's radio spin-off ''Radio/AbsolutePower'', at which time the TV tie-in of the book duly had [[http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/415ES76K0DL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg a photo cover of Fry and Bird]], with no sign of Warren Clarke, who played the main character, at all.
* The sixth edition of ''Broadway Musicals Show By Show'' contains ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'', ''Theatre/{{Hairspray}}'', and ''Theatre/JerseyBoys'' on the cover because they were some of the biggest musicals when the edition came out. However, those musicals are given bare minimum synopsis' with little-to-no historical information, and the latter two don't even have photographs in the book.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Parodied on ''Series/ThirtyRock'' with "Series/{{Seinfeld}}-Vision", in which Jerry Seinfeld is digitally inserted into every single NBC show, whether he's appropriate or not.
* This actually happened to live-action {{sitcom}}s on Creator/{{ABC}}, with [[Series/FamilyMatters Steve Urkel]], at the height of his popularity, being [[CrossOver crossed over]] onto almost every show in the TGIF lineup at one point or another.
** He even had cameo appearances in shows on completely different networks. "Hey, what's Urkel doing on ''Series/AllThat''? ... for the third time?"
** Later syndication advertisements of earlier episodes often were ONLY about his small scene unrelated to the actual plot of the episode.
* ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'' features a Portuguese actress (Daniela Ruah). The local version of ''FOX'' only stated it a few rare times, and then only in the first few weeks. When the show started airing on a native TV channel, she was the focus. As in ''The Trailers Were All Around Her Character''.
* Castiel is starting to get this in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'''s sixth season, with most of his appearances cameos at best, and Cas mostly showing up to explain why he's too busy off-screen to help out this week. Also, Misha Collins is now receiving credits for episodes ''in which he doesn't even appear''.
** He also gets his own solo TV bumper (Dean and Sam had to share one) and is one of the only three cast members to be included in the official publicity photos despite only appearing for about ''thirty minutes total in the entire sixth season'' so far.
** Extends to Creator/MishaCollins himself--ever since he started appearing in the fourth season he's been doing as many, if not more, interviews as Jared and Jensen and appearing at just about every convention.
* ''Blunt: The Fourth Man'' was a British TV movie from the '80s. The video was released in the late '90s or the 21st century. Anthony Hopkins's face featured prominently on the cover. Ian Richardson played the eponymous Blunt (not a drug reference), the main character, while Hopkins played someone else. But then Richardson never played a cannibal (or at least not Lecter).
* ''Franchise/KamenRider'' has been doing this to a point with Momotaros from ''Series/KamenRiderDenO''. If it's a ''Kamen Rider'' production, and Den-O is in it, you WILL at least hear his voice, even if other Riders don't even have a line. (That being said, it should be noted that his voice actor, Creator/ToshihikoSeki, being a voice actor, is indeed the most readily available of all the lead actors in the entire franchise when it comes to role reprisal.) The ''Den-O'' series itself counts as well, having more crossovers with other Riders and more spinoff movies than any other in the franchise.
** Both of {{the movie}}s for ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'' extend this. There is no real need for Momotaros to be on-screen, but they put him in anyway just because of his Wolverine Publicity.
*** ''Decade'' is at least [[MagicAIsMagicA consistent]] with this; each Rider has a [[ShapeshifterWeapon Final Form]] related to their abilities that [[PowersAsPrograms Decade can activate]] but, due to the DemonicPossession that Den-O is known for, his Final Form is Momotaros himself. Diend can also summon former Riders, including Momotaros in one episode. And the first of ''Decade'''s movies was the epilogue to the ''Den-O'' arc in the show and the second was a ReunionShow featuring every single main Kamen Rider in history.
*** Lampshaded in said second movie. The final line before the credits roll is Momo telling Tsukasa to stop pestering him because he's "super busy" (the Chou Den-O Trilogy of films soon followed.) Busy doing some Wolverine Publicity, we presume...oh, wait, not just Wolverine Publicity: he's also a Wolverine ''Publicist''!... and he even advertised for '''UsefulNotes/McDonalds'''! Choke on that, Wolverine.
*** In the show itself, ''Den-O'''s world is the only one to not have any kind of key alteration, for no apparent reason other than to have all the original characters readily there for crossover movie purposes. Even characters that weren't as important (like Naomi, who could have just as easily been discarded or at least given an [[TheOtherDarrin Other Darrin]]) were there.
** The franchise's [[MilestoneCelebration 40th anniversary movie]] stars the original Series/KamenRider, then-current Rider [[Series/KamenRiderOOO OOO]]... and Den-O. And Momotaros is part of OOO's movie-exclusive powerup mode. At least they made it a TimeTravel plot, which is right in Den-O's wheelhouse and justifies his presence.
*** Den-O aside, in that particular movie, ''Double'' got a bit of this as well, with Shotaro and Philip being the only one(s) of the remaining Heisei Riders to appear out-of-suit and have proper lines. They also appeared prominently out-of-suit in the following year's ''Movie Wars Megamax'', and Double and Accel got to appear with OOO (who got to show up out-of-suit himself) and Birth in the following ''Movie Wars Ultimatum''.
** Den-O's presence in crossovers has generally been dialed back since then, getting at most a line or two more than other non-leading Riders, though he did have more of a presence in ''Kamen Rider Taisen''. In this case, it's kind of justified: the movie guest-stars ''Franchise/SuperSentai'', it's traditional for ''Sentai'' mecha to use a ''Rider'' powerup in such situations, and the ''Sentai'' [[Series/ResshaSentaiTokkyuger at the time]] and ''Den-O'' shared a CoolTrain theme. Having Den-O's train combine with the ''Sentai'' train mecha is a natural fit.
* "Hey guys I heard this rumor that Libby/The Smoke Monster/Walt/Christian/Desmond is going to be in this episode! Oh look there they..." [=* =]''blink''[=* =] Series/{{Lost}}.
** Australian promos, especially in the early seasons, would sometimes imply that the upcoming episode would reveal that a particular character would be the key to ''everything''. One promo claimed that the season 1 episode with the first Hurley flashback would answer the already answered ([[WordOfGod off screen]]) question "is it a dream/purgatory/Truman Show?"
* The Creator/{{Sky}}1 adaptation of Creator/TerryPratchett's Hogfather went to DVD with David Jason (who had probably ''minutes'' of screen time, total) front and centre, making him look like the most important character in the story. However, his character was barely necessary and most of his minutes were padded, timewasting scenes to show off the big name star. He was also used in all their advertising and his name dropped constantly in all promo material.
* If you look online, you'd be excused for thinking ''Series/ICarly'' was actually ''i[[{{Jerkass}} Sam]]'' or even ''i[[DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale Seddie]]'' and that the star is Creator/JennetteMcCurdy and not Creator/MirandaCosgrove.
* Creator/NickAtNite did this with ''Series/TheGeorgeLopezShow'', during its syndication on the channel. At first, they would look for any excuse they could find to air a ''George Lopez'' marathon. ("Hey, it's St. Patrick's Day! How can we celebrate Irish culture? George Lopez is Mexican -- close enough!") Then they dropped the pretenses altogether and aired ''George Lopez'' marathons without even giving an excuse.
* Advertisements for [[Series/DrakeAndJosh Merry Christmas Drake and Josh]] on Nick, which focus much more on ''iCarly'' stars Miranda Cosgrove and Jerry Trainor, despite their characters relatively minor roles in this show. Heck it won't even say the stars' names until the end, and that's because they're the title characters (and they have to say what show they're advertising).
* ''Series/SesameStreet'':
** Since 1985, Elmo has been given more prominence than older characters on the show such as Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster, much to the chagrin of longtime fans.
** The DVD cover and trailer for ''A Special Sesame Street Christmas'' give Music/MichaelJackson more emphasis than deserved for a singer whose guest spot lasts shorter than a minute. Not only that, but one of the bonus features is a StupidStatementDanceMix of Jackson's [[Film/TheGreatMuppetCaper very brief cameo]]!
* Almost every CBS episode promo for ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' heavily features Barney Stinson, so if you didn't actually watch the show, you could be forgiven for thinking he's the main character. In the actual show, he gets lots and lots of entertaining subplots, being a legitimate BreakoutCharacter, but is actually the focus of the A-plot only around 1/4 of the time. So that promo you just saw that dedicated 15 out of its 20 seconds to Barney pulling some crazy stunt? Chances are, said stunt takes up only around three minutes of the episode.
* The ''Franchise/StargateVerse'' franchise has a particular case of this with Samantha Carter, every episode where she appears she is heavily advertised regardless of screentime. A particular notorious episode was early in the first season of Atlantis where she was identified as "guest starring" in the commercials. In the episode, she had ONE WORD and 10 seconds of screen time.
** Richard Dean Anderson, being easily the most famous star and face of the franchise, started getting this after he left the show. Stargate Continuum was particularly marketed as ''The Return of O'Neill!'' when in actuality he appeared for all of two scenes that could have easily been cut without loss.
* ''Series/DesperateHousewives'' in season 7 had Renee, a character who had no major ties to any of the plot lines that season standing front and center on the DVD cover, with all of the other main characters in the background.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Spike. Friggin' Spike. After he joined the main cast of Buffy he essentially became the face for the franchise as a whole. He pretty much became shoehorned into every following episode even if his appearances were limited to just less than a minute, with the same even applying after he moved over to ''Series/{{Angel}}'' after Buffy ended. The comics have been no different: ''Angel's'' canon ''After the Fall'' sequel gave him not one but ''two'' spinoff comics that tied in with its main story with Buffy season 9 doing the same. He's also heavily featured in marketing, even if he appears very little (heck, Buffy's third season DVD heavily featured him in cover images, even though he's only in one episode!). By this point it's surprising they don't just call it the Spikeverse instead.
* A DVD containing Christmas-themed episodes of ''The Garry Moore Show'' bore the title, "''The Garry Moore Show'' Presents: A Creator/CarolBurnett Christmas", and also had a cover featuring only Carol Burnett. Since early pressings just used the title, "A Carol Burnett Christmas", she actually sued the producers of the DVD for false advertising.
* ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'':
** Based on how prominently he was featured in the merchandise for the series, you might think that King Sphinx was a member of the main FiveBadBand, maybe even to the point of being CoDragons with Goldar. In the show itself, he was just a standard [[MonsterOfTheWeek MOTW]] featured in a single filler episode who did nothing that would make him particularly memorable and was never seen or even mentioned anywhere outside of that one episode.
** After Adam made a brief return in ''In Space'' (then believed to be the last season) and "Forever Red" brought back Jason and Tommy for the tenth anniversary special in ''Wild Force'' (also believed to be the last season at the time of filming) it's become more and more prevalent for series to try and harken back to the original series and bank in on its popularity and nostalgia. Tommy was specifically brought into ''Dino Thunder'' to help boost ratings. Since then, it hasn't been uncommon to try and bring back Rangers/characters/suits/plot devices from the Mighty Morphin' era, knowing that people's nostalgia for that series will prompt a ratings boost and make it a popular/talked about episode, or in the hopes that it will get people to watch the season. The reuse of the theme song from ''Samurai'' onwards is also a version of this. Hell, ''Megaforce'' has basically marketed itself to older viewers on the fact that, "Past rangers are going to appear in it, so you should watch it for that reason!"
* In print ads for the Son of Series/{{Svengoolie}}, whenever they ran a film with the word "Frankenstein" or "Dracula" in the title they'd use a still shot of [[Film/{{Frankenstein 1931}} Boris Karloff as the Monster]] or [[Film/{{Dracula 1931}} Bela Lugosi as Drac]], even if they weren't in the film running. Or even if the character didn't appear, such as in ''Film/DraculasDaughter''.
* ''Series/ChildrenOfDune'': Leto Atreides II is the central focus of two of its three episodes, but he's very small on the [[http://images.moviepostershop.com/children-of-dune-movie-poster-2003-1020477364.jpg poster]], and you don't even get to see Creator/JamesMcAvoy's face. This gets rectified for the [[http://pic.pimg.tw/lunablue/49cfb2861ad7d.jpg North American DVD release]].
* For the third and final season of ''Series/RobinHood'' the new characters of Kate and Tuck were widely publicized, outranking every other character except Robin himself. Considering the two of them were [[ReplacementScrappy Replacement Scrappys]] for the far more popular characters of Marian, Will Scarlet and Djaq (written out at the end of season two) this backfired rather spectacularly.
* When ''Series/TheNoddyShop'' was imported to the UK as ''Noddy In Toyland'', Creator/TheBBC had a particular fondness for Johnny Crawfish out of all the new puppet characters created for the framing segments. The first two episodes of the show they aired were focused on him in some matter[[note]]The first was "The Fish Story", which had a subplot about Johnny Crawfish getting a new tankmate, and the second was "The Tooth Fairy", in which he has a solo song about his first childhood experience with the Tooth Fairy[[/note]], and he was featured on the back cover of [[TheChristmasAnnual the Noddy annual]] for the first year the framing segments aired in the country.
* ''Series/ThePunisher2017'' heavily hyped up its use of Karen Page during the marketing campaign, presumably to draw in viewers from ''Series/Daredevil2015'', even though she's only in four episodes and her contribution to the overall plot is minimal.

* In 1995, Time Magazine ran a cover photo of a cigar-chomping Rush Limbaugh with the blurb, "Is Rush Limbaugh Good for America?" The article inside only tangentially dealt with Limbaugh and mainly concerned the rise of "electronic populism" that would result from people having more TV and radio choices and from consumers getting more of their news from the Internet. This trope tends to involve Limbaugh a lot; a controversial, polarizing figure with 20 million daily listeners can attract a lot of attention even if he doesn't have much to do with the real guts of the project.
* ''Cosmopolitan'' often promises BRAND NEW SEX SECRETS, but really just tells the reader the same stuff everybody knows. The worst cover example was "Orgasm Guaranteed", while inside the magazine, it says there's no such thing.

* The only reason Music/MichaelJackson sang on Music/TheJacksons' album ''Victory'' and tour was because his father and brothers wanted to capitalise on his success with ''Music/{{Thriller}}''. Around the same time Michael was making guest appearances on other things, such as Music/PaulMcCartney's "Say Say Say" and Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me", to name a few. Too bad [[TroubledProduction/{{Music}} the tour was a disaster]] that led Michael to leave. Jackson then appeared on the Jacksons' album ''2300 Jackson Street'', singing only the title track because his father and brothers were desperate for a sale, but the album still flopped.
* This is extremely common with [[AWildRapperAppears hip-hop artists]], such as Music/BoneThugsNHarmony, Music/SnoopDogg, Music/KanyeWest, Music/FiftyCent, Music/{{Akon}}, Music/LilJon, and Music/LilWayne, etc. It's even worse with producer-types like P. Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Timbaland, whose collaborations are better-known than their own songs. Likely because popular artists are used as crutches for newer artists, or older artists to help them sell to a very fickle hip-hop crowed with [[FleetingDemographicRule short attention spans]]. Interestingly enough this was somewhat rarer in TheNineties (except maybe Music/TupacShakur), and TheEighties. This type of publicity causes ''A LOT'' of HypeBacklash and {{Internet Backdraft}}s. Case in point: in late 2007 Music/TPain was in ''four'' top 10 singles at the same time.
* In the late '90s, Music/PuffDaddy ([[IHaveManyNames or whatever he's called now]]) was in so many videos that Chris Rock made a joke about it during the 1997 MTV Music Video Awards.
* Music/{{Rihanna}}. Until 2013, her record company pushed for for her to [[ExecutiveMeddling release at least one new album every year (for fear of her losing star power)]], and that's on top of nearly every mainstream hip hop album within the last five or six years having at least one song with her doing guest vocals.
* The album "Wolverine Blues", by DeathMetal band Entombed, actually featured Marvel's Wolverine on the cover of some early versions. This was done by the record company cutting a deal with Marvel without the knowledge of the band. Obviously, the album had nothing actual to do with Wolverine at all.
* [[Music/GunsNRoses Slash]]. Parodied in the "Crack Baby Athletic Association" episode of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''.
* Music/DaveGrohl
* [[Music/QueensOfTheStoneAge Josh]] [[Music/{{Kyuss}} Homme]]
* [[http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=10414 This review]] of a mediocre German recording of Music/LeonardBernstein's ''Literature/{{Candide}}'', narrated by Creator/{{Loriot}}, notes that Loriot's name is "twice the size of Bernstein's name" on the cover and that he "is the only person whose picture is printed in this package. The same picture, six times."
* Angus Young of Music/{{ACDC}} always seems to be emphasized as the FaceOfTheBand, even though the singers Bon Scott and Brian Johnson could be more fit that role. Granted, he ''is'' the lead guitarist and always co-writes the songs along with his brother Malcolm (they even do the lyrics ever since ''The Razors Edge''); but it seems as if his face is featured front and center on ''every'' piece of AC/DC merchandise, while Malcolm, Bon or Brian are hardly featured at all.
* Same with Gene Simmons of Music/{{KISS}}, probably because he wears the most outlandish face paint. He's been a guest judge on ''American Idol'', recorded a spoken-word album, and was even a guest in a documentary about Franchise/{{Superman}}. Many fans are surprised when they first learn that Gene is only the co-lead singer (splitting the duties with Paul Stanley) and plays bass and not lead or rhythm guitar.
* [[Music/DyingFetus Kevin Talley]]. Even when he was in Dying Fetus, he was already making a name for himself as an in-demand live session player, and once he left, it seemed as if he had made it his life's goal to do session work for every single band in metal. It goes like this: if a band suddenly needs a fill-in drummer or needs someone to do studio work due to lack of a full-time drummer, chances are high that Talley will get the job due to his extreme precision, protean adaptability, and uncanny ability to learn entire sets in a matter of hours and play them perfectly.
* For an artist who has yet to have her own real top 40 hit, singer Music/BebeRexha has become almost a staple for other artists to have hits and is featured on a new hit song almost once a week.

* {{Medusa}}. Despite the fact that her only solid presence in the original myths is against Perseus, her [[TheWoobie woobieness]] in retrospect and being a stock ShoutOut means that if someone's doing '''anything''' remotely related to [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], she's pretty much an obligatory presence even if claiming to be mythologically accurate yet making the setting during the time of The Argonauts (the Argonauts had Heracles, Medusa was slain by Perseus, Perseus was Heracles' great-grandfather, you do the math) as a reviewer noted in ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheArgonauts'' that she's just there to be there. Granted she's not the only Gorgon in the myths, but she's a perennial favorite to use.
* Hercules. Hercules, in some plays and stories, at some point, was in almost every major thing Greece ever did, including riding along with Jason and the Argonauts. He also apparently stopped off at every island and city-state he could find and had about 300 kids, all of whom are the ancestors of kings. He often makes cameos in stories where people go to the underworld, as well. Even accounts of the Trojan War, which took place decades after Hercules' death, have one of his sons make a cameo appearance (and be killed by a son of Zeus despite his own divine heritage). At least the Argonauts story gets rid of him fairly quickly, when he abandons the expedition out of grief at the death of his AmbiguouslyGay friend Hylas.
* Hermes, better known to the Romans as Mercury. Although he was not one of the highest-ranking gods on Olympus (being Zeus's son and the official messenger for the other gods), the Greeks loved him for his penchant for mischievous adventure, and tried to work him into every one of their stories.

* For Creator/SternPinball's ''[[Pinball/XMenStern X-Men]],'' SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}} was teased in the initial game menus, but did not appear until an early 2014 software update. If the player can make a certain number of {{Combos}}, Deadpool appears during various Villain Modes and increases the amount of damage the player inflicts.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* During the entire "Rock n' Wrestling era" of the Wrestling/{{WW|E}}F and well into the '90s, they promoted Wrestling/HulkHogan endlessly. This [[JumpingTheShark jumped the shark]] at Wrestlemania IX, where after Wrestling/MrFuji's interference caused Wrestling/BretHart to lose the heavyweight title to Wrestling/{{Yokozuna}}, the Hulkster himself came out and demanded an immediate match with the big sumo, which was granted...and [[SquashMatch ended 20 seconds later]] with Hogan as the new champion. Hogan later refused to put over Bret and was shamed out of WWF, so he could repeated the process in Wrestling/{{WCW}}.
* A common complaint about the WWE's Wrestling/AttitudeEra was that too much focus was put on Wrestling/VinceMcMahon's own family. He even went so far as to have daughter Wrestling/{{Stephanie|McMahon}} become a part-time wrestler and gave an on-air role to his wife Linda, even though neither had any significant experience with the "sport". Luckily, the [=McMahon=] family's Wolverine Publicity slowly declined once [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock]] became champion at King of the Ring 2000, and daughter Stephanie was later given the much more appropriate role of general manager. This became a problem again in 2001 though with the Invasion storyline. Apparently, they didn't think WWF fans/wrestling fans would be interested in seeing guys from WCW and Wrestling/{{ECW}} wrestle against WWF guys, so they made the whole storyline about Wrestling/ShaneMcMahon and Stephanie trying to take out Vince and take over his company, and it eventually turned into a continuation of the [[Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin Austin]]/Vince [=McMahon=] feud, which basically meant it was a rehash of everything the Attitude era had already done long after it had gotten stale in the hopes that it would work twice, which is why this era is generally looked upon as a massive waste of potential.
* [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock]] was originally billed as Rocky Maivia. He was publicized so much, that everyone got sick of him. Even Rocky Maivia hated Rocky Maivia.
* Attempted in-universe by Wrestling/ChrisJericho. ("''[[IAmTheNoun Raw]]'' [[IAmTheNoun is Jericho]]!")
* Wrestling/TripleH, circa 2002-2005 (give or take). Led to Pat Patterson quitting after his suggesting using "less Triple H" to stop ratings from falling fell on deaf ears, and led to the [[Wrestling/TheDudleyBoys Bubba Ray Dudley]] line "This is not the Triple H Show!" This criticism actually dates as far back as 1999-2000, when the infamous "Rock vs. Triple H" feud was in full swing. It became so bad, in fact, that when Wrestling/MickFoley became the new WWE commissioner after King of the Ring 2000, one of the first things he opted to do was reduce Triple H to a midcarder role. Even in the time when he wasn't on the show, Spring 2010 to July 2011 (with the exception of the lead-up and actual PPV of ''Wrestling/{{WrestleMania}} 27'') he was still in the opening, toward the end, in one of the more prominent spots. When he was out with an injury in 2001, he was still mentioned pretty much constantly and they were running a sequence that showed his rehab pretty much every night. This, of course, is one of the benefits of being married to [[Wrestling/StephanieMcMahon the boss's daughter]] who [[WagTheDirector is also the head of "Creative"]].
* ARSION's head booker was guilty of it, or so it was thought, until 2001 when she left the promotion they still continued to advertise her on shows Wrestling/AjaKong obviously would not be on, having ''left'' and all. She eventually took them to court to put a stop to it. Also, combining this trope with loophole abuse kicked off the career of ''[[Wrestling/KiaStevens Amazing]]'' Kong, previously known as Vixen, who was given to fans by promoters [[ExactWords who had promised A Kong]] but couldn't get Aja.
* Since the foundation of Wrestling/{{TNA}} up until the acquisition of Wrestling/KurtAngle, the promotion basically existed to put over Wrestling/JeffJarrett, who was greeted by chants of "drop the title" due to many extended title reigns as Wrestling/{{N|ationalWrestlingAlliance}}WA World Heavyweight Champion, including the deletion of Ray Gonzales's title reign from the record books, a tactic WWE fans had seen used by Triple H, leading to the FanNickname Triple J ([[AlternateCompanyEquivalent Jackass Jeff Jarrett]])
* Wrestling/JohnCena was in a main title bout at every ''[=WrestleMania=]'' from 2005 to 2016, going 9–3. By the end of that run, if you never watched wrestling, you would have thought John Cena was the only wrestler because he was the only one in every promo commercial.
* Wrestling/JohnMorrison and Wrestling/TheMiz most definitely. Not just because they appeared on all three Wrestling/{{WWE}} brands regularly, featured on most pay-per-views if only for a short segment and had their own Internet talk show but also because the [[http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwe/wwe-world-t.html World Tag Team Championships]] they wore were supposed to be exclusive to one show, ''[[Wrestling/WWERaw Raw]]''. As ECW superstars they never should have gotten a title shot in the first place. Even worse, ''[[Wrestling/WWESmackDown [=SmackDown!=]]]'''s equivalent [[http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwe/wwe-t.html WWE Tag Team Champions]], Wrestling/{{Carlito|Colon}} and Primo, weren't even guaranteed to appear on their own show, then Miz and Morrison stole their [[Wrestling/BellaTwins girlfriends]]. It was justified by ECW having kayfabe "talent sharing agreements" with both Smackdown and Raw, but it seemed that they were the only two wrestlers smart enough to take advantage of the agreement. (Interestingly, therefore, Morrison and Miz [[SmallRoleBigImpact may have been the ones responsible]] for ECW being discontinued two years later and ''Raw'' and ''[=SmackDown=]'' being reintegrated a year after that!) And fans really wanted to see them take a beating.
** Carlito and Primo later defeated Miz and Morrison for the Unified Tag Team titles, belts that were ''supposed'' to crossover between different shows, and still weren't as overexposed as Miz and John Morrison were.
** 1. The talent scene at the time was so pitifully dead compared to previous years that "rules" aren't going to get in the way of entertainment. 2. Miz and Morrison were heels, thus [[CaptainObvious ''should'' be hated]] and 3. Carlito's growing issues with the company was counterproductive.
* After Wrestling/BrockLesnar walked out on Wrestling/NewJapanProWrestling, the IWGP Heavyweight Title picture could be described as Wrestling/HiroshiTanahashi and the challenger of the month, as no one else really stuck around until the unexpected rise of Wrestling/KazuchikaOkada and the acquisition of Wrestling/AJStyles. To a lesser extent, Wrestling/ShinsukeNakamura got heavy press for his decent showings in MMA and a victory over Kurt Angle that resulted in the return of the belt Lesnar took, or to a greater extent considering he was the actual champion for a much shorter time relative to his press, more so than Tanahashi.
* Even though Wrestling/{{WWE}} was divided into the ''Raw'' and ''Smackdown'' brands, pretty much the entire main event crew, including John Cena, Triple H, Wrestling/CMPunk, Wrestling/RandyOrton, Wrestling/MarkHenry, and others appear on both shows with alarming regularity.
* Wrestling/KellyKelly is one of the most overexposed Divas [[StealthPun (and no, not because she used to be an exhibitionist)]]. Except for Wrestling/TheFabulousMoolah, she was the only Diva featured in the 2011 opening montage for all WWE programming till the day of her release. WWE's writers dredged up one excuse after another to have her appear in segments, most infamously her fake pregnancy prank when Jerry Springer was the special guest host. (And this was before she was booked to win the Divas' Championship!) Not-so-subtly {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in a TV commercial for 7-Eleven, one of the sponsors of the 2009 ''[=SummerSlam=]'' show (in which Kelly barely even appeared), in which [[ItsAllAboutMe she knocks away a row of commemorative]] Wrestling/{{Edge}}, John Cena, Triple H, [[ItsAllAboutMe and]] Wrestling/TheUndertaker [[ItsAllAboutMe drinking cups with a Kelly Kelly cup]].
* Wrestling/AJLee is another Diva who started hogging the spotlight in later years. Despite rarely competing in the ring, she was made the focal point of almost every main-event feud on ''Raw'' for seven months, culminating in her becoming the [[StalkerWithACrush psychotic lover]] of CM Punk, [[Wrestling/BryanDanielson Daniel Bryan]] ''and'' Wrestling/{{Kane}}. Then it was taken to extremes when she was named the new ''Raw'' General Manager. Vince has surprisingly been listening to viewers who frequently request he build back up the Divas division to where it was during its peak in the early-to-mid-2000s. However, at this time, the Divas division was pretty heavily based around Wrestling/TrishStratus, and to a lesser extent, Wrestling/{{Lita}}, then Wrestling/MickieJames. Vince feels that, much like Cena, the Divas division needs a "central character" to work as a keystone, saying he "needs a Trish" to build from. He's tried with Kelly Kelly, Wrestling/EveTorres, and AJ, and to a lesser extent, Maryse and the Bella Twins, but these have all fallen apart for one reason or another.
* To tie in with A.J.'s increased screentime, the ever popular Daniel Bryan saw his increase significantly post-''[=WrestleMania=] 28''. As of late 2012 he and his tag team partner Kane are a major part of shows as [[Wrestling/TeamHellNo dysfunctional WWE Tag Team Champions]], appearing in multiple segments on any given night. Consequently, this has brought more focus to the {{tag team}} division than it's seen in years.
* Also attempted in-universe by Wrestling/JohnLaurinaitis, who while General Manager of both ''Raw'' and ''[=SmackDown=]'' booked himself into the ring (sometimes to compete, sometimes not) at every opportunity, and even tried to have his face put on the cover of WWE's latest video game instead of CM Punk's.
* Yet another in-universe attempt involves Wrestling/BrockLesnar making this part of his demands on signing a contract with WWE, specifically asking for ''Raw'' to be re-christened as ''WWE Monday Night Raw: Starring Brock Lesnar''. (What makes this ''really'' strange is that, in RealLife, [[PlayingAgainstType Lesnar is a notoriously private person -- almost to the point of being a recluse -- so he'd be one of the last people in the world to ever demand such a thing]].)
* {{Invoked|trope}} in Wrestling/RingOfHonor by Jay Briscoe. After he was forced to vacate the World Title due to an injury, he showed his defiance by creating his own world title and doing everything he could overshadow the official champion Adam Cole, [[NoFourthWall including taping his image over Cole's on promotional posters]]. Wrestling/MattHardy and Wrestling/JayLethal in turn would use Bricoe's own tactic against him, thought neither went to quite the same extremes.[[/folder]]

* UsefulNotes/LeBronJames from 2010 to June 2012. The media paid attention to EVERYTHING he did, to the point of stalking.
* Shaquille O'Neal anyone? Within his first four years in the NBA, Shaq released two rap albums, starred in two movies, had his own video game, and appeared in commercials endorsing Pepsi, Taco Bell and more. Years later, he would go on to do even more endorsements, get his own reality TV show, release a couple more albums, and make cameos in video games. Shaq has been everywhere, and this isn't even getting into his basketball career.
* The Yankees and Red Sox at ESPN. BaseballTonight should be renamed the Yankees and Red Sox show.
* For the final few years of his career, Troy Polamalu was promoted as virtually the equal of Ben Roethlisberger on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Granted, Polamalu ''was'' a top-notch player, but he was only a safety while Roethlisberger was (and still is) the quarterback.
* Tim Tebow, definitely. Despite a fairly average quarterback, he was ''the'' most talked about person on ESPN during the 2011 NFL season. His overexposure declined a little bit during the 2012 season when he spent it entirely as the backup to Mark Sanchez, but he still got way too much attention. Now a thing of the past since he's out of football and trying his hand at a pro baseball career.
* NBC Sports Network airs one or two games of UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer every weekend. The overwhelming majority of the matches they air feature the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders FC, and/or Philadelphia Union. However, they are pretty good at not hyping up star players on the level of other examples, so unless a player is having an incredible day, don't expect the commentators to ramble on about them for half the match.
* Danica Patrick, first in UsefulNotes/{{Indycar}} and then UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}} gets constant promotion and coverage no matter how well she's doing. Since there are 42 other drivers in a NASCAR race Danica gets far more coverage than any other driver with similar career stats. Somewhat lampshaded by the fact that [=GoDaddy.com=] sponsored both Patrick in NASCAR and James Hinchcliffe in Indycar; Hinchcliffe won several races with their name on his car, as opposed to Patrick who won nothing except the pole position at the Daytona 500, yet [=GoDaddy=] dropped Hinchcliffe and kept sponsoring Patrick.
* Cristiano Ronaldo. To the point that in the European Championship ''Final'' 2016 he was prominently featured on the international TV stream (unlike the NFL with Football, the UEFA and FIFA don't allow TV stations to shoot their own feed instead making one pre-mixed for the world to take at face value or leave) even though he wasn't on the field for most of the game, falling victim to an early injury. Maybe France also fell victim to this trope as they lost to a team "that only consists of Cristiano Ronaldo" - without Cristiano Ronaldo.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII-2'', the cover of the game shows only Lightning in a badass pose, but we only get to play as her younger sister Serah and Noel.
** Although the main character from ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' is the Warrior of Light, Lightning appears always in the middle of all Dissidia 012 images. It doesn't help the fact other character from the game such as Laguna and Kain Highwind contribute more to the story.
** Lightning began to take the spotlight again as Square's press releases pegged ''Final Fantasy XIII'' and ''Final Fantasy XIII-2'' as the "Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Saga." Not bad for someone who was the Protagonist in a game with an ensemble cast (XIII) and a background character for the sequel (XIII-2). Then the third game in the trilogy was called ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'' and featured her as the ''sole'' playable character.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse is featured on the cover of ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' alongside the main characters, but he only actually shows up for one scene and as a SecretCharacter in multiplayer mode. Presumably he was on the cover to remind folks that ''Kingdom Hearts'' is still a Disney property, as series mainstays Donald and Goofy are entirely absent outside said multiplayer mode.
** Similarly, Mickey is front and center in much of the official artwork for ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsX'', including all the app icons for ''[[UpdatedRerelease Unchained]]''. His actual role inside the game is minor, being featured on a few medals and making a cameo appearance during a filler subplot.
** These examples seem to stem from the fact that Mickey is depicted on ''every'' cover in the series, starting with ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', in most cases he has a large, or at the very least significant, role, unlike the two exceptions listed.
* Creator/ChristopherWalken appears on the box cover and on the serigraphy of every single CD of ''VideoGame/BlackDahlia''. He has a three minute bit part in the game.
* Mario, his supporting cast, and to a lesser extent Link has a habit of making cameos in games on Nintendo systems. The ''Mario'' gang has made appearances in even third party games for Nintendo systems, sometimes even as playable characters. The Gamecube release of ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur II]]'' was the best selling version of that game almost entirely because Link was a character in it. This has even been {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in some of the ''Mario'' [=RPGs=].
* Zero, EnsembleDarkHorse was a supporting character in the first ''VideoGame/MegaManX1'' who got promoted to co-protagonist in the sequels, had a [[EarlyBirdCameo retroactive cameo]] in the [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic original series]], gained his own series in the form of ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'', and [[spoiler:returns from the dead]] as a [[TransformationTrinket Biometal]] in ''[[VideoGame/MegaManZX ZX]]''. Aside from that, he was also mentioned in two more (''[[VideoGame/MegaManLegends Legends]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork Battle Network]]''), with the latter even including an {{expy}} in one of its {{Gaiden Game}}s as well as the [[Anime/MegaManNTWarrior anime]]. ''[[WhatCouldHaveBeen Legends 3]]'' was set to introduce a character who would fill that series Proto Man/Zero niche before it was [[InternetBackdraft unwisely canceled by Capcom]]. Last but not the least, he appears as a playable character in ''VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSVCChaos'', ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom: [[UpdatedRerelease Ultimate All-Stars]]'', ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'', ''Videogame/ProjectXZone'' '''and''' ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomInfinite''. The only series he hasn't appeared in, ''yet'', is ''[[VideoGame/MegaManStarForce Star Force]]''.
** The original Mega Man finally gets a taste of this in ''Super Smash Bros.'' for Wii-U and 3DS. Capcom allowed him to be included with virtually no restrictions, so unlike Sonic and Pac-Man, he frequently shows up in official character trailers and gameplay videos as if he's a full-blown Nintendo character.
* Always expect [[Franchise/StreetFighter Ryu and Chun-Li]] to pop up in [[VideoGame/CapcomVsWhatever Capcom's crossover games]]. Excluding the ''Street Fighter''-less ''VideoGame/CrossEdge'', they're the only characters with a perfect attendance record, and Ken would had got it too if it wasn't for him being one of Ryu's transformations in ''Marvel vs. Capcom'', [[Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman an entirely different character with the same name]] in ''Tatsunoko vs. Capcom'' and the developers deciding Akuma was enough in ''Marvel vs. Capcom 3''. And predictably, the trope namer has appeared in nearly all of Capcom's Marvel-licensed fighting games. He even has two versions of himself in ''Marvel vs. Capcom 2''.
** Franchise/SpiderMan, Comicbook/CaptainAmerica and Comicbook/IncredibleHulk are all tied for second place when it comes to Marvel characters with the most appearances in the ''Marvel vs. Capcom'' series. The only entries not to feature them were ''VideoGame/XMenChildrenOfTheAtom'' and ''VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter'', which didn't include Marvel characters who weren't tied to the X-Men franchise.
** Zangief is also present in nearly all of the crossover fighting games; his absentee counts are ''SVC Chaos'' (where he's replaced by Hugo from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII: 2nd Impact''), ''Tatsunoko vs. Capcom'' (where he's replaced by Alex from ''Street Fighter III''), ''Marvel vs. Capcom 3'' and ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcomInfinite'' (both of which replace him with Haggar from ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' as the Capcom side's grappler) as the Capcom side's grappler.
** [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Morrigan]] is next to them. Since the first ''Marvel vs. Capcom'' she was always present, except in ''SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos'' where she's replaced by Demitri as the ''Darkstalkers'' character. And it's still played straight, since said game wasn't developed by Capcom, but by Creator/{{SNK}}.
*** To put it in perspective, she's the sole Darkstalker in FOUR games: ''Marvel vs. Capcom'', ''Capcom vs. SNK'', ''Capcom vs. SNK 2'', and ''Tatsunoko vs. Capcom''. Given that she's essentially a [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything Pirate Who Doesn't Do Anything]] (succubi are supposed to use their charms to corrupt good men's souls, not get modelling gigs), that's pretty impressive.
** Capcom [[http://www.destructoid.com/capcom-loves-frank-west-wants-him-in-everything-172114.phtml intends]] to give [[VideoGame/DeadRising Frank West]] the same treatment.
** On the topic of ''Street Fighter'': When Akuma first appeared in ''Super VideoGame/StreetFighterII Turbo'', he was in every piece of promotional material for the game. The home conversions of the game prominently featured him on the cover art. Lastly, Akuma appears in the intro of the game opposite Ryu. In spite all of this promotion, the conditions to fight Akuma are so exceedingly difficult to attain due to the game's difficulty that it's safe to say that most people have never seen him in the arcade version. In addition, the code to play as that character requires such precise timing that the average player probably wouldn't get it right after the first 30 tries. After all of this, though, Akuma has been guaranteed an appearance in almost everything ''Street Fighter''-related since.
** Oddly enough, when it came to the initial release of ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha SFA3]]'', [[VideoGame/FinalFight Cody]] ended up taking this spot. Despite not being a 'main' character story-wise or even the most high-profile of the new additions, he ended up a major presence, if not the focus, of most promotional art for the game, including one of him vs. Ryu, with the rest of the cast in the background.
* In the MMOFPS ''VideoGame/PlanetSide'' there are three factions to play as, and the blue/yellow clad freedom fighters, the New Conglomerate, are the poster boys. They're on watermarks, the game's loading screens (giving it to the other two factions), all the promotional material and trailers. Even the lead developer of the game shamelessly promotes them as his favorite faction, so it comes as no surprise that they're everywhere.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'':
** Despite the multitude of characters showing up in the games, [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]], [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]], Franchise/{{Kirby}} and [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Pikachu]] always feature front and center.
** ''Super Smash Bros. Brawl'' prominently featured [[Franchise/MetalGear Solid Snake]] and Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog on its back cover. While they are indeed playable characters, both have to be unlocked, and Sonic doesn't appear in the game's story mode until the final boss battle.
** Mega Man in ''Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS'', to the point that he gets twice as much screen time as Sonic and Pac-Man in the game's opening cinema.
* Marisa Kirisame of ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' is the second playable character, having been in the games since the second on the PC-98. To date (up to UFO), her head is the icon for all ZUN-made Touhou games in the Windows domain -- even the one where she doesn't even appear in, ''Shoot the Bullet''. Not even Reimu (''the'' lead) is capable of boasting that she's appeared in every game in one form or another. Marisa is '''not''', however, the icon for ''Double Spoiler'' or ''Fairy Wars''. She is, however, fightable in both, and Reimu isn't in ''Fairy Wars'' outside an ending appearance. As {{doujinshi}} are a major part of Touhou, it also happens to all the fangames Marisa takes a starring role in, more than Reimu by far.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** From ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', Cloud Strife. In addition to the media directly related to his universe -- ''VII'', ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'', ''[[Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren Advent Children]]'', ''VideoGame/DirgeOfCerberus'' -- he's popping up in other universes with frightening regularity. He gets a ShoutOut in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', he's an unlockable GuestFighter in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', a recurring character in ''Kingdom Hearts'', in ''VideoGame/ItadakiStreet'', and he's in ''VideoGame/{{Ehrgeiz}}'' and ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' ([[{{Crossover}} Which he would have been in either way, being the hero of a main numbered entry]]). He also joined ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros 4'' as a playable character, cementing his status as the [[FaceOfTheBand Face of the Brand]]. The character designer of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', Creator/TetsuyaNomura, was specifically told they wanted a [[DistaffCounterpart female]] Cloud Strife for a main character, which is how he came up with Lightning.
** With Cloud comes Sephiroth. If Cloud shows up in the work, chances are Sephiroth is going to be his nemesis or get a shout out.
** Gilgamesh, originally from ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyV V]]'', is a recurring character in several numbered entries (or, if they preceded his game, their [[VideoGameRemake remakes]]), thanks in part to his status as a BreakoutCharacter. To date, he's appeared in more games ''than any other character''. Additionally, [[DimensionalTraveller it is heavily implied]] that it is the ''very same'' Gilgamesh from ''V'' in most of his reappearances.
** Ultros from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' has started appearing in more games as a BonusBoss recently, although he's no one close to Sephiroth or Gilgamesh in terms of appearances.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'':
** [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsCompact2 Kyosuke Nanbu]] of ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'': either him or his Alt Eisen HumongousMecha ([[{{Expy}} or any variation of the machine]]) will undoubtedly be displayed on the game covers of the ''Original Generation'' series, including the ''[[VideoGame/EndlessFrontier Super Robot Wars OG Saga: Endless Frontier]]'' GaidenGame.
** In the regular MassiveMultiplayerCrossover titles, sometimes [[{{Filler}} a series will be added to the game without its plot]], with the biggest one being ''Anime/MazingerZ''; even without it being a {{Filler}}, it's on every game. However, a DoubleSubversion occurs in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsUX'': ''Mazinger Z'' doesn't appear, but rather its SpinOff ''Anime/MazinkaiserSKL''.
** Likewise, expect at least one ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' series (often two or three ''minimum'') per installment, which counts as regular examples. In fact, if Universal Century ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' is included in a game, players can anticipate [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Amuro Ray]] and the Nu Gundam, no matter if he's the incarnation from ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack Char's Counterattack]]'' or ''[[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Zeta Gundam]]'' or even the original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam''. The poor [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam RX-78-2 Gundam]] hasn't been in a fully animated ''Super Robot Wars'' game since ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAdvance Super Robot Wars Advanced Portable]]'', while the [[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Dijeh]] has only ever appeared [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ once]].
** Played straight with ''Mazinger Z'' after getting shafted in ''UX'' by ''Mazinkaiser SKL'', but averted a second time in franchise history with Amuro and Universal Century ''Gundam'' in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsBX'', yet justified given the events of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' occurs after [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack Amuro's final involvement in Universal Century]]. Additionally, ''Anime/DancougarNova'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'' aren't featured in ''BX'', a first since their [[SpotlightStealingSquad constant appearances]] starting from ''Video/SuperRobotWarsL'' for ''Dancougar Nova'' and ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ'' for ''SEED Destiny''.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'':
** The BonusBoss of ''Attack of the Saiyans'', none other than "Legendary" Super Saiyan ''Broly'', despite the game covering until the saga before Super Saiyans ''appear on the plot'', about 15 volumes and 150 episodes before the point Broly's movie could happen. Proving why he belongs in this trope, ''they used him on ads for the game''. Broly appeared in a total of 17 games, including a "WhatIf" ''Super Saiyan 3'' form in ''Raging Blast'', the other being Vegeta, who's more fitting for the status.
** ''Anime/DragonBallZ: Taiketsu'' was heavily promoted as the first game in the US to include Broly, which is probably ''Taiketsu''[='s=] ''only'' claim to fame.
** Cooler gets a lot of advertising, and has appeared in 9 games.
** ''Revenge of King Piccolo'' only has King Piccolo himself show up for the last few stages. Most of the game is spent covering the Red Ribbon arc. The Japanese name counts too, as it refers the TournamentArc that gets even less stages than King Piccolo's arc. At least the Red Ribbon is prominently featured on the cover.
* The AC Nine Ball from ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'' has only shown up in ''four'' out of ''thirteen'' games, yet is the series' unofficial mascot and every AC fan worth their salt will instantly recognize him.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** Shadow. It's Sonic & Tails that generally get top billing on merchandise (with Knuckles & Amy added sometimes as well), but Shadow still gets significant focus on games and comics that feature him. For example, Shadow was highly publicised for ''Anime/SonicX'' even though he only got a handful of episodes, almost some of which were dedicated to him and that's excluding the adaptation of ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2''.
** Back in the Genesis era, an enemy named "Splats the Rabbit" often appeared in promotional artwork, comics, and toy lines, despite [[DummiedOut not having made it into the actual game]].
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'':
** Sub-Zero is the only character who is present and playable in every fighting game in the series, and is present in every spin-off except for ''VideoGame/MortalKombatSpecialForces''. He was also the main character in ''VideoGame/MortalKombatMythologiesSubZero'', and he has made cameos in other Creator/{{Midway|Games}} titles such as ''MLB Slugfest''.
** For a while, even he was upstaged by Goro, who created an amazing amount of buzz for a game ''he wasn't even in''. No, he was not in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat2''. Any version. At all. No, that didn't prevent a kajillion hours of speculation about whether he was alive, where he could be, what exactly happened to him after ''VideoGame/{{Mortal Kombat|1}}'', whether Shao Kahn knew about him, etc. When he did finally return, in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat4'', he was given a superstar's welcome-back and placed front and center on the cover art, despite the fact that he had virtually no story to speak of and no connection to Shinnok's scheme whatsoever.
** Scorpion. It doesn't hurt that he's not only Ed Boon's favorite character, but a fan-favorite for many. In fact, his omission in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat3'' led to some fan backlash that caused Midway to release a ''[[UpdatedRerelease Champion Edition]]'' revamp of the game titled ''Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3'' that added Scorpion and Kitana (plus all their palette swaps) back to the roster. He and Sub-Zero have become the series' SpotlightStealingSquad, usually receiving top-billing or spots on the covers despite initially having minimal ties to the overall plot. The only exception was in ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeception'', where the Elder Gods made Scorpion into their Champion to deal with the threat of Onaga. It has gone beyond top-billing: Scorpion's the logo mascot for Netherrealm Studios.
** Unsurprisingly, Scorpion and Sub-Zero were the ones chosen [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci6lMQNLKZU to debut]] ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'' to the world.
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'':
** Pyramid Head, after his popularity in ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'', was put in [[Film/SilentHill the movie]]. He appears in two scenes. He serves no real purpose other than fanservice and to be scary as hell.
** Appeared again in ''[[VideoGame/SilentHillHomecoming Homecoming]]'', said movie's [[VideoGame/SilentHillRevelation3D sequel]], and had an {{expy}} in ''[[VideoGame/SilentHillOrigins 0rigins]]'' with The Butcher. Again with no real reason other than fanservice.
* Thrall and the Horde (or at the very least the Orcish race) in modern ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' media. A giant statue of a Orc riding his wolf into battle was even erected right at the headquarters of Creator/BlizzardEntertainment because of how popular they are.
* If your knowledge of ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' is small to barely existent, chances are the only class you know from this game is the Heavy.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'': The adult incarnations of Link have appeared in less than half of titles of the series, but you'd never know it from all the times he's showed up. He's been in on the default roster of all three ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' games labeled as just "Link", with his Young incarnation (who has in comparison appeared in eight games in the series, including one where the Adult form appears as well) as a secret character in ''Melee'' who was replaced with his Toon incarnation (who has appeared in six titles of the series) in ''Brawl''. Adult Link even appeared as a GuestFighter in ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soul Calibur II]]'' and was the star of ''VideoGame/LinksCrossbowTraining'' one of the few spin-offs in the series. At this point, Adult Link is probably the most recognized incarnation of the character.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Charizard's case probably most closely resembles that of the {{Trope Namer|s}}. In many circles, it ended up becoming one of the (if not ''the'') most popular Pokémon and overshadowing SeriesMascot Pikachu for being the series' definitive RatedMForManly character, just as Wolvie himself ended up overshadowing Marvel's mascot Spider-Man in similar circles. As a result, from 2013 onwards, it started getting a ton of gratuitous anime (including [[EnsembleDarkhorse Ash's]] being shoehorned into the second half of ''Best Wishes!'' in an attempt to soften the DorkAge), manga and merchandise appearances (many of them in starring roles), acting as the franchise's backup SpotlightStealingSquad not named "Pikachu", and getting ''two'' [[SuperMode Mega Evolutions]] while other Pokémon (except Mewtwo, who is also an example of this trope) only get one. They even managed to work Charizard into ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'', despite it not being in the regional Pokédex (it appears as a "Ride Pokémon" and it allows players to fly from area to area). In fact, a strong case can be made for Charizard being ''more'' aggressively marketed than Pikachu during this period, largely due to Game Freak's efforts to appeal to older ''Pokémon'' fans.
*** In the case of the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' series, Charizard started out as a Pokémon that can be summoned through the Poké Ball item. In ''Brawl'', it becomes a playable character through the Pokémon Trainer, alongside Squirtle and Ivysaur. Finally, in the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U installments, Charizard returns as an independent character.
*** Mega Charizard X in particular has been getting this treatment, being marketed much more heavily then its Y counterpart. It's made multiple anime appearances, on top of being the form utilized in the 2014 ''Super Smash Bros.'' games, whereas the latter ended up only showing up in the Kalos League of the X and Y anime... Where it gets beaten by Mega Charizard X.
** [[SeriesMascot Pikachu]] is the best-known example, appearing in almost every single piece of merchandising available (you wouldn't even know that it's actually a fairly rare Pokémon species, and unobtainable via normal gameplay in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite''). It was the franchise's poster boy for this trope for the longest time, until Game Freak decided to [[MultipleDemographicAppeal change its marketing strategy]].
** The cute "Pikaclones" (Pichu, Plusle/Minun, Pachirisu, Emolga, Dedenne, and Togedemaru) tend to get a lot of focus, especially in the anime, where it's become a tradition since generation 4 for one of the main characters to own the one introduced in the current generation of games.
** [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Lucario]] was the first widely-noted example of this after Pikachu. One got to star in its own movie, and also appeared prominently in every single aspect of the franchise (including a playable appearance in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBrosBrawl''). It ended up getting even more attention after receiving a Mega Evolution in X/Y.
** Then after trying again and failing with [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Zoroark]] (an {{Expy}} of Lucario), the Pokémon Company noticed how popular Zekrom was, and proceeded to give it a prominent appearance in nearly ''everything'' (including as the main Pokémon in ''Manga/PokemonReBurst'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonConquest'').
** Similar to Charizard, Blaziken received a Mega Evolution and a distribution event when X and Y came out, with no word of its counterparts Sceptile and Swampert getting a similar treatment until Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
** Goomy also ended up with a lot of representation due to its unexpected popularity for being an "underdog", UglyCute, and evolving into a pseudo-legendary. The anime even has a CharacterArc dedicated to the little Dragon-type, which includes Ash catching and fully evolving it.
** Greninja ended up becoming the most popular of the Kalos starters. Much like Charizard and Lucario, it was made a playable character in ''Videogame/SuperSmashBros'' and was even given a new Mega Evolution-like transformation that was invented for the anime. This form, dubbed "Ash-Greninja" in that it slightly resembles Ash's design for the X and Y anime, was later added to ''Pokémon Sun and Moon'' as part of the playable demo.
** Legendary Pokemon usually receive most of the promotion and publicity, despite being the rarest and most difficult 'mons to obtain in-game. The most prominent example is Mewtwo, who is largely perceived as a SingleSpecimenSpecies and is regarded as much as a singular character as the human characters (as opposed to an entire species as most Pokemon are). Part of the reason why the 16th Pokemon movie was disliked was due to the fact that it took away that distinction by introducing ''a second Mewtwo''. Mewtwo is still highly regarded enough to get two Mega Evolutions (a distinction shared only with Charizard) and made available as a [[DownloadableContent DLC character]] for ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros for 3DS and Wii U''.
** Starter Pokemon received plenty of marketing due to being the "ambassadors" of the game (they are the very first Pokemon that players start out with). When a new generation is revealed, marketing switches to the newest starters while the previous generation starters [[DemotedToExtra are swept under the rug]]. That being said, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle are still marketed like crazy (''Pokemon X/Y'' having them as a second set of starters probably helped with this), sometimes even appearing alongside Pikachu.
** For the [[VideoGame/PokemonGo Pokemon GO]] 2017 Halloween update, a new hat item resembling Mimikyu was added. Mimikyu is from generation VII and not available to capture, while the game was only on generation II.
** Eevee began getting this treatment during Generation 5. It's a rare Pokémon in most regions and there are usually only one given out per game. It was popular for years but eventually Game Freak ''really'' began noticing how cute and popular it is. It also helps that Eevee is a gender-neutral Pokémon liked equally by boys and girls. As a result, Eevee has essentially become the second mascot of the franchise. It has a lot of merchandise and regularly appears in the anime (with May and Serena even both having one). Eevee even received [[VideoGame/PokemonLetsGoPikachuAndLetsGoEevee a game]] alongside Pikachu where it's a starter Pokémon.
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'':
** Samus' Varia Suit. It was optional in the first game, surpassed by the gravity suit in ''Super'', and outranked by several other suits in the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'', yet the suit gets used in all of the promotional art.
** The [[LatexSpaceSuit Zero]] [[{{Fanservice}} Suit]] to a lesser extent, particularly thanks to ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'', even though you hardly see Samus in it in her own games.
* Heihachi Mishima is the ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' series' designated cameo character, appearing in ''Xevious 3D/G'', ''VideoGame/SmashCourtTennis'', ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries SoulCalibur II]]'', ''Pac-Man Fever'', ''VideoGame/NamcoXCapcom'', ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone'', ''VideoGame/PlaystationAllStarsBattleRoyale'' and ''Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS''.
* In the MascotFighter ''VideoGame/CartoonNetworkPunchTimeExplosion'', ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'' was the only represented series that was still running at the time of the game's release. All other Creator/CartoonNetwork shows represented had been finished for a while now.
* ''VideoGame/{{God of War|Series}}''[='=]s Kratos has become Creator/SonyComputerEntertainment's Wolverine, seeing as how he appeared in ''VideoGame/SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny'' as per fan-request as well as the UsefulNotes/{{P|layStation3}}S3 version of ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9''. He's also stated to be the "beginner's character" in ''VideoGame/PlayStationAllStarsBattleRoyale'', similar to Mario in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''
** Franchise/{{Ratchet|AndClank}} also seems to be going the same way. He's essentially to Sony as to what Mario is to Nintendo.
* Five of the first eleven characters revealed for ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'' were ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' characters. [[http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/1014 Commented in this webcomic.]]
* Six of the first twelve characters revealed for ''VideoGame/InfiniteCrisis'' were ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' characters, including three versions of Batman.
* Judging by ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' fanworks, you'd think Unrelenting Force (aka "Fus Ro Dah!") was the only Shout in the game, and that the Dragonborn is required to use it all the time. While it can stagger foes (or knock them off their feet with its full power), it's not that powerful or useful unless you employ a very specific strategy.
** Not to mention the Iron Helmet used in almost all promotional materials and even as a crossover item in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''. It's bottom tier gear in-game; by the time the Dragonborn has obtained the final level of the aforementioned Shout, they'll likely have moved on to Steel gear at the least.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelPuzzleQuest: Dark Reign'' has roughly thirty playable heroes and villains (at the time of this update). Wolverine and Black Widow, each in three different costumes, are six of them.
* Another Marvel example: ''Lego Marvel Super Heroes'' heavily leans on three characters:
** Phil Coulson, who serves as the guide icon for story missions and serves as the voice of hints as to what powers you need to use to solve a particular puzzle.
** Deadpool, who serves as the guide icon for side missions and voices the intro and outro to EVERY side mission.
** Stan Lee, who you need to save 50 times over the course of the game, including once in every single mission. (Deadpool even says "He's in this game more then I am!")
** Wolverine, the {{Trope Namer|s}}, only appears in a few missions where his presence is more or less justified, thereby kinda averting the trope for him.
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'''s American and Japanese versions subvert this. The European cover, however, is very happy to zoom out of the main character just so they can stick in a poorly photoshopped version of Dante in and adding a "[[MemeticMutation Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry Series]]" right there in the front.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfCthulhuDarkCornersOfTheEarth'' does not contain the titular Great Old One. There are many ''mentions'' of Cthulhu, a few statues... you even fight one of his Chosen, but Cthulhu himself does not appear. This actually caused a bit of a rift among people who played the game, between those who appreciated the game giving greater focus to lesser known Old Ones Dagon and Hydra, and those who felt that it's not a real ''Call of Cthulhu'' game without Cthulhu.
* Shortly after Creator/LJNToys (and therefore Creator/{{Acclaim}}, which bought them out around the same time) acquired the rights to churn out Spider-Man {{Licensed Game}}s, they made sure to shoehorn a "SPECIAL APPEARANCE BY SPIDER-MAN®" (as MissionControl) into their UsefulNotes/GameBoy version of ''ComicBook/ThePunisher''. Oddly enough, LJN/Acclaim also held the rights to Wolverine but didn't give him this sort of treatment.
* Likewise, Spider-Man was added as a GuestFighter in ''VideoGame/XMenMutantAcademy 2'', making him the only playable combatant in the game who isn't actually part of the X-Men franchise.
* The NCR Ranger Combat Armor of ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' features prominently on the cover, advertising, opening cinematic, and main menu of the game. Despite this, it's rather rare in-game and can only be used by members of one faction, the New California Republic (good luck waltzing into the Legion's main encampment wearing the clothing of the enemy faction's most powerful soldiers - you will be shot on sight). A nearly identical version of the armor, called Riot Gear, was included in the game's final DLC ''Lonesome Road'', and, unlike the Ranger Armor, can be used by members of any faction. However, the difficulty of the DLC ensures the armor's rarity.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** Lucina, who first appeared in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' and has since appeared in every single spinoff and sequel since (barring ''VideoGame/TokyoMirageSessionsFE'') in some form or another. She constantly tops popularity polls and appears to represent the series in crossovers like ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' and ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone'' and in [[VideoGame/FireEmblemHeroes even has multiple versions of herself appear as playable characters.]] While she's mostly an extremely popular character, her heavy marketing and constant presence in the spotlight has attracted the ire of fans, particularly of the older games, who feel that other equally popular characters get disproportionate amounts of love from Nintendo and Intelligent Systems.
** While Lucina may be the worst offender, she's not the only one. Marth, Robin, Corrin, Ike, Roy, and Lyn are the characters most likely to get publicity. With the exception of Lyn, they're all playable characters in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'', and Lyn's an [[AssistCharacter Assist Trophy]].
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'': ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'' does this with New Donk City and by extension with Pauline. You don't reach New Donk City for several levels into the game, and in the grand scheme of things neither it nor Pauline are important, however it is ''the'' level that is most marketed for the game. Pauline isn't actually that major of a character but advertisements treats her like she is in the main female. The reason why New Donk City gets this treatment is due to it being one big CallBack to the original ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'', with Pauline also having her first major appearance in years.
* ''VideoGame/NintendoBadgeArcade'' features Isabelle from ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'', Ashley from ''VideoGame/WarioWare'', and Nikki from ''VideoGame/SwapNote'' in a large number of badge sets in a variety of different costumes.
** [[https://www.mariowiki.com/images/6/63/Ashley_tank_troopers.jpg One piece of promotional art]] for the game ''Tank Troopers'' has ''VideoGame/WarioWare'''s BreakoutCharacter Ashley posing with the game's cast. While Ashley did feature in some cross-promotional badges for the game on VideoGame/NintendoBadgeArcade, she doesn't actually appear in the game or its online comic.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series does this on occasion, promoting popular characters from previous installments in games they barely appear in. ''Justice for All'' has Miles Edgeworth on the box cover despite not appearing at all until the final case and being assumed dead until he shows up. ''Investigations'' gave major promotion for Ema Skye despite her only showing up for one scene in case 3. ''Spirit of Justice'' made a big deal about Maya Fey's return, giving her a spot on the box cover and dedicating an entire trailer to her. In the actual game, her only major role (excluding DLC) is as the defendant in case 3 and a plot device in case 5.
* In ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', almost all chapters prominently feature [[GirlWithPsychoWeapon Rena]] in the cover, even those that have nothing to do with her. She is missing only in ''Meakashi-hen'' and ''Minagoroshi-hen''. That's 2 out of 8, people! Rena is also on the [=PS2=] remakes covers, except for ''[[UpdatedRerelease Kakera Asobi]]'', where Rika and Hanyuu are there instead. Rena ''does'' have an important role in the plot, though Keiichi is the DecoyProtagonist and Rika the real one. That being said, it's a sure thing she gets the most attention due to her popularity.
* Used, like many VN and HaremSeries tropes, to play with the reader's mind in ''VisualNovel/DokiDokiLiteratureClub.'' Monika, a character with no route, is given equal billing in the promo pictures, the blurb to advertise it is written from her point of view, and she has more merchandise than others. It's like if Ryou were on the cover of ''VisualNovel/{{CLANNAD}}'' and Nagisa were hidden in the corner. [[spoiler:But then you find out there's a reason for that: Monika may have been a side character for the romantic comedy the game started as, but she pulls a HostileShowTakeover and becomes the villain of the horror game it turns into.]]

* For a while in the [=late 90s/early '00s=], Max Blackrabbit's Zig Zag was like this in {{Furry Comic}}s (especially those of a {{Fan Service}}y bent); a member of the ''WebComic/SabrinaOnline'' cast from the strip's third year onward, she was also a supporting character in ''Webcomic/BadlyDrawnKitties'' (before the reboot) and had cameos and guest spots in at least a dozen other comics. Zig Zag isn't quite as popular in the fandom now as she was at the beginning of the [='00s=], so this sort of thing has been averted as of late.
* Parodied by ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' in their transcript blurb-- whenever the true transcript is not available, this message replaces it, trying to attract advertisers by using popular tags:
-->The transcript for today's comic has not yet been entered. Had it been entered, instead of seeing this message you would have seen the text of the strip, rendering this page searchable, and providing all kinds of yummy words for our advertisers to twig on, like "mercenary" and "iPod Warcraft xBox Playstation widescreen TV".
* Parodied in an ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'' strip, where the cast splits up into multiple teams and Fighter appears in all of them, a team consisting of ''multiple'' Fighters, [[SerialEscalation all in the same panel, ''with two of them high-fiving each other'']]. [[LogicBomb Black Mage doesn't get it.]] Neither does Fighter. The strip is even titled "Fighterine" in reference to the Trope Namer.
* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': Chapter 25 was announced as Bibidi's special, even though he only appears during the first part of the special and the Kaioshins have much more time.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses'':
** The site has been so rife with [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Dr. Insano]] and ''Spooning With Spoony'' crossovers that Noah Antwiler says they've frequently left him ragged and that he worries his fans will tire of them. Thankfully, there's a good supply of {{Expy}} Insanos willing to pop out of TheMultiverse at any time.
** WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic is no stranger to this kind of exposure either; given Doug has multiple characters, it is common for the other reviewers to get him to cameo or crossover at least once as one of these characters. Inverted too though; he's had just about every contributor on the site crossover and cameo once in his videos, which probably helps get their names out to his fans and encourage them to watch his videos. His recent videos, meanwhile, tend to be filled with skits and cameos by actors/actresses from his Demo Reel series, leading many to complain that show is starting to focus more on guest star hijinx than on actual reviews.
* ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'': Linkara has appeared in other peoples' reviews several times. Admittedly, these reviews are usually comic-book related, but he also usually appears with less well-known reviewers of the site like WebVideo/MarzGurl and [[WebVideo/BadMovieBeatdown Film Brain]].
* Many Website/{{YouTube}}rs use this tactic in order to get views, by labeling things that have nothing to do with their video, or [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcbzAepoRqg&ob=av3e using a gratuitous image of a hot woman]], and misnaming their video.
** Raocow does this in reverse -- he sticks random tags that [[ItMakesSenseInContext make sense in context]] on his videos. The Related videos section typically gets some comments on the video in question.
** The WebVideo/VlogBrothers tend to get more views from guys on videos where the picture giraffe sex on the preview, even though the giraffe sex is not typically actually in the video.
* Amazon Prime Video has slapped Creator/JonathanFrakes' face on the header images for every season and episode of ''Series/BeyondBeliefFactOrFiction''. You'd never know James Brolin was involved unless you watched those episodes.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* During the early seasons of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Bart Simpson constantly took front and center in publicity materials, even if the upcoming episode focused on someone else. Some of the more gratuitous examples include ''Magazine/TVGuide'''s advertisements for [[http://www.platypuscomix.net/bored/tvguidesimpsons18.html "Old Money"]] and [[http://www.platypuscomix.net/bored/tvguidesimpsons19.html "Lisa's Substitute"]]. (In later years, Homer has often replaced Bart.)
** As a whole, ''The Simpsons'' franchise is this for Fox. They will be included wherever Fox is trying to promote themselves and gain an audience.
** On the audio commentary for the episode "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy", then showrunners Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein discuss FOX's marketing for the episode, which featured a picture in TV Guide of Bart taking a peek under a doll's skirt.
* Each episode of ''The Marvel Action Hour'' consists of one story featuring the WesternAnimation/FantasticFour and one featuring WesternAnimation/IronMan, but Netflix lists streaming episodes of the show under, ''Iron Man: The Complete Animated Series''.
* Creator/DisneyXD's updated opening of ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' showcases Comicbook/IronMan, Comicbook/TheMightyThor, Comicbook/IncredibleHulk, and Comicbook/CaptainAmerica, but not the superheroes who ''didn't'' have movies released before the premiere of ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''. Also, ComicBook/NickFury narrates, even though he sometimes goes several episodes without appearing.
** Another JustForFun/{{egregious}} example involves a DVD titled, "Iron Man Unleashed". In actuality, three of the included episodes showcase other Avengers' CharacterDevelopment, and the other three feature the heroes ''working together''[[note]]except for ComicBook/BlackPanther, who had to aid his subjects in Wakanda[[/note]] to save the world from Kang the Conqueror. (Iron Man seems to have become TheSmartGuy for most of that arc, except for a few times when he blasts Kang with his repulsors.)
** Australia got a season 1 Blu-Ray with a case depicting all eight Avengers. However, it also shows Nick Fury and Comicbook/BlackWidow standing alongside them. Black Widow only appears in six episodes of the first season (though she is rather important) and is ''not an Avenger''.
** The Australian season 2 Blu-Ray did the exact same thing, positioning Black Widow, Nick Fury, Spider-Man, and Wolverine next to the team, even though the former two were supporting players and the latter two [[AdvertisedExtra only appeared in about 2-3 episodes each]]. Basically those four took prominence because people know them from the movies.
** The cover for the sixth American DVD shunts Captain America for an alien disguised as [[Franchise/UltimateMarvel Ultimate Captain America]], whose costume inspired that worn by Cap in the live-action ''Avengers'' movie. It also features Black Widow, despite her not having any lines in the included episodes.
** When Marvel finally released a DVD collection of ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersUnitedTheyStand'' to coincide with the popularity of the [[Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse MCU]], Captain America and Iron Man were given the most prominent placement on the box, despite the fact that they ''only appeared in one episode each''. The actual Avengers highlighted in the show like ComicBook/TheWasp, ComicBook/TheFalcon, and ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} were all shunted off to the side, including ComicBook/AntMan, who was actually ''the leader and the main character''.
* ''Comicbook/IronMan,'' for a while, was a lead in no less than four series at once: ''WesternAnimation/IronManArmoredAdventures, WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow, WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes,'' and ''Anime/MarvelAnime: Anime/IronMan.'' Ol' shellhead gets around these days.
** Creator/CartoonNetwork uses different symbols to represent its shows. For ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', it uses a Pokeball. For ''Hot Wheels'', it uses the Hot Wheels logo. For ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow''? '''A profile of Iron Man's face.'''
* For a time, the Comicbook/IncredibleHulk was a main character in both ''WesternAnimation/HulkAndTheAgentsOfSMASH'' and ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'', while also making guest appearances on ''WesternAnimation/UltimateSpiderMan''.
** However, Iron Man gets a series of teamup movies. So far there's been ''WesternAnimation/IronManAndHulkHeroesUnited'', followed by ''WesternAnimation/IronManAndCaptainAmericaHeroesUnited''.
* Spider-Man's not totally neglecting his crossover duties, popping up a few times in both Avengers series and ''Agents of S.M.A.S.H.''
* One of the most controversial aspects of ''WesternAnimation/AvengersAssemble'' is that it largely focuses on heroes featured in the ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'', with the seven lead Avengers being the six Avengers from the first movie plus Falcon (who was added in anticipation of his then-upcoming movie debut in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''). The cast eventually expanded with new characters like Comicbook/BlackPanther, [[Comicbook/MsMarvel Captain Marvel]], Comicbook/TheVision, Comicbook/AntMan and Comicbook/TheWasp in later seasons, but only ''after'' they'd either debuted in the movies, or had movies officially greenlit and in production. There are a few exceptions like [[Comicbook/MsMarvel2014 Kamala Khan]] or the [[Comicbook/{{Thor 2014}} Jane Foster version of Thor]], but the show still heavily favors the MCU.
* Firefly from ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' was on ''everything'' in the [[http://www.ponylandtours.com/PonyInfo/Firefly.htm first Generation]]. Her only appearance in the cartoons was the pilot where she was the SpotlightStealingSquad and protagonist, but she appeared on the most merchandise for sure.
** Pinkie Pie seems to appear on most of the promotional material for ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Even moreso than Twilight Sparkle (who's supposed to be the main character). Mostly because of her bubbly personality. And she's {{pink|ProductPloy}}.
*** She was also quite popular in G3. She went from a cute background pony with a lisp to being the leader of the generation within a few years, appearing on most merchandise and even being on toothpaste (her G4 counterpart has replaced her on the toothpaste now).
** Rainbow Dash, an {{Expy}} of Firefly, seems to be inheriting this trope from her as well. She's on most of the official t-shirts and was the center of the hype leading up to "Cutie Mark Chronicles", a popular episode expanding on the main cast's backstories. [[spoiler:However, she ''did'' turn out to be vital to all of them.]]
** Hasbro seems to want to use their pretty pink pony Princess Cadence for all she's worth. She has ''two'' toylines centered around her, the logo for one of them (The Crystal Empire) is just a picture of her. She's also on the DVD artwork for one of the Season 1 box set DVD's. She's not introduced in the series until the Season 2 ''finale''.
** Hasbro is also well aware of bronies' love for [[EnsembleDarkhorse background ponies]] and thus have started using them quite a bit in merchandise and advertising, usually Derpy, Time Turner, and Vinyl Scratch. Vinyl in particular has a bunch of t-shirts, a brushable toy that came in a "collector's set", was the first to get an [[AscendedFanon Ascended Fan Nickname]] ("DJ-[=Pon3=]" in a commercial), and appears on several comic book covers (see the comic books folder). Her three appearances in the show barely make up [[OneSceneWonder a minute of screentime]]. At least Derpy & Time Turner are {{Recurring Extra}}s!
** Bizarrely, Fluttershy seems to be receiving this favorable treatment too. The Topps trading card and sticker packs and related merchandise (such as tins and lunch boxes) all feature either Fluttershy only or Fluttershy (sometimes accompanied by Angel) with everyone else to the side. If you didn't know any better and you were just in a department store's trading cards and tins shelf, you might think Fluttershy was the main character--and not shy at all, considering the way she hogs the spotlight for these materials. (The lunch box even has the other five main characters visibly annoyed at her smiling front and center!)
* ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'': A [[ShowWithinAShow Movie Within a Show]] example, actually. Though Duck Dodgers had the lead role in a movie, Bugs Bunny was announced as the star. It was lampshaded when Cadet explained to Dodgers that it was to attract a larger audience.
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'': During the intro sequence of Daffy Duck's Quackbusters, they've called more attention to Bugs' presence than Daffy's. Which is, of course, [[PlayedForLaughs the point]].
* Brian and Stewie are starting to become this for ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': if a story has a B plot with these two and the main plot with somebody else, the promos will focus on the Brian and Stewie (sometimes only Stewie) plot. "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven" and "Stew-roids" were the most JustForFun/{{egregious}} examples.
* Despite only being a secondary character in ''Disney/PeterPan'', Tinker Bell has been used to introduce just about every Disney TV special of the past several decades. Younger generations of kids might not even know why she's important!
* Despite only appearing in ''two'' of his shorts, the [[MsFanservice bombshell character]] of WesternAnimation/RedHotRidingHood is prominently displayed in packaging and artwork of the WesternAnimation/{{Droopy}} DVD collection.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyHeuRQfKU4 THIS VIDEO]]. During 2005, Creator/CartoonNetwork made a summertime song as a promotion that around the time, the Cartoon Network original shows that were running consistently around that time included ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'', ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'', and ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''. Well Cartoon Network tended to give a lot of emphasis to the older characters like WesternAnimation/{{Dexter|sLaboratory}}, WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo, and WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls that didn't have their shows running as consistently. And that was also the same summer that introduced ''WesternAnimation/CampLazlo''.
* Ben 10 seems to have become this for Creator/CartoonNetwork. He's had 4 different series, a [[WesternAnimation/Ben10GeneratorRexHeroesUnited crossover]] with WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex, and 2 direct-to-TV live-action movies. Plus, he's in [[VideoGame/FusionFall both]] [[VideoGame/CartoonNetworkPunchTimeExplosion crossover games]].
** Before Ben, ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' seemed to fit this trope. They were the only CN original to have their own comic series (before it merged with ''Cartoon Network Block Party''), an [[Anime/DemashitaPowerpuffGirlsZ anime remake]], and that time they saved Franchise/WonderWoman and Aquaman from the LegionOfDoom. ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac9ZxPHjBdU You think we're kidding.]]) They were even mentioned briefly in the ''[[WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor KND]]/[[WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy Billy and Mandy]]'' crossover, and at the end of the ''Billy & Mandy'' episode "My Fair Mandy", the [=B&M=] universe becomes the PPG universe.
-->'''Billy:''' ''(opening door)'' I'm so glad you're here- HEY! You're not the Powerpuff Girls!
-->'''Numbuh 1:''' No, we're not.
** The series also got a [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls2016 reboot]].
* ''WesternAnimation/RawToonage'''s opening titles featured Webby from ''WesternAnimation/{{DuckTales|1987}}'', but she never actually appeared in any of the show's cartoons or host segments. At the time ''Raw Toonage'' was on the air, WesternAnimation/TheDisneyAfternoon was still going strong, and ''[=DuckTales=]'' was its flagship show.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'':
** Four characters are primarily used to advertise most incarnations of the franchise -- Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, and Starscream. Even in ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', a series which takes place both millions of years in the future ''and'' in the past, the original Starscream still managed to get an episode starring himself.
** In a well-stocked Toys 'R' Us in the US in 2014 it would have been possible to find no fewer than 9 different Starscream toys on shelves simultaneously[[note]]Year Of The Horse, Generations Armada Starscream, Construct-Bots, Hero Mashers, Legends Class(G1), Legends Class (IDW), Titan Warriors, Beast Hunters Warrior Class and Cyberverse Commander[[/note]].
* ''WesternAnimation/YogisSpaceRace'' isn't so focused on WesternAnimation/YogiBear as the title suggested.
** It was originally a 90-minute umbrella show which featured ''Galaxy Goof-Ups'' (in which Yogi stars), "The Galloping Ghost" and "Space Race" (again Yogi is in it). It was split up at mid-season into three separate shows. A similar case was ''Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics'', which some would argue on which Scooby-Doo is barely focused. But it was originally a two-hour show which featured Scooby in a full hour (repeats of ''Where Are You!'' followed by new eps and repeats from 1976) before handing it off to the show's co-stars (Dynomutt, Captain Caveman) and ''Laff-A-Lympics.''
** ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' is definitely no slouch in this department either. The franchise is still going strong, with at least one TV movie produced each year, new television shows being made at least every couple of years, comic books produced by several different companies (including DC ''and'' Marvel) and tons of merchandise, up to and including its own set of Franchise/{{Lego}} mini-figures.
* In examining DC's three flagship characters:
** Number of Batman animated series in the past ten years: 4. Number of Batman animated movies: 9. [[http://comicbook.com/blog/2014/06/18/batman-unlimited----new-animated-series-teased-at-licensing-expo/ With one more]] for one or the other on the way.
** Number of Franchise/{{Superman}} animated series in the past ten years: 0. Number of Superman animated movies: 6. Not including the various movies and episodes where Supes teams up with Batman and various other heroes.
** Number of Franchise/WonderWoman animated series ever: 0. Number of Wonder Woman animated movies: 1
* Beast Boy from ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo'' has been treated this way. Because of him being the most popular character among the target audience, more episodes have been centered on him than any other character. They also gave him three birthday episodes and Cartoon Network has had an annual birthday marathon for him each year since 2015.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* It wasn't really deliberate, but it ended up happening during the 1900 U.S. presidential election. President UsefulNotes/WilliamMcKinley was running for reelection that year, but in those days presidential candidates usually didn't campaign for themselves. The task instead fell to [=McKinley's=] running mate, New York Governor UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt, who had been added as a last-minute replacement but by that point was justly famous for his participation in the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba and many other larger-than-life adventures, particularly his days as a rancher in the Dakota Territory. On the campaign trail, Roosevelt dressed as a cowboy and managed to keep the spotlight consistently on him, to the point that many of the Americans who ended up voting for the Republican Party ticket did so more for Roosevelt than for [=McKinley=]. This was parodied in a popular cartoon of the time, which showed Roosevelt leading the inaugural parade on horseback... while just behind him, President [=McKinley=] was riding on a bandwagon and being forced to hold up a sign on which was written "ROOSEVELT is just ahead! Look at ROOSEVELT!" (Eight months later, [[HarsherInHindsight McKinley was murdered by an anarchist]], and the rest is history.)
* UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan: Practically every modern Republican politician will cite his name as someone who inspired them in some way -- 'Reagan made me a Republican' is very much a full-swing CatchPhrase to the right wing. Nevertheless, Ronald Reagan's fans will attribute popular conservative policies to him even if he had little or nothing to do with them, and likewise, he provides convenient scapegoat excuses for unpopular policies he personally implemented. Conservative radio shows and Creator/{{Fox News|Channel}} portray him a messiah for the American conservative workingman, to the point where the more unhinged among them claim he singlehandedly won the UsefulNotes/ColdWar. 'What would Ronnie do?' is constantly applied to every current issue in Washington, even if that problem is something Ronnie had absolutely zero interest in or did not exist in his time. It even extends to the nominal left wing, as this hero worship of Reagan created a bloc of conservative Democrats (known as Blue Dogs) who originated as... Democrats who voted for/supported Reagan. This even goes far enough to whitewash whatever flaws the man himself had, as well as ignore policies he implemented and/or endorsed that no longer reflect the GOP's current agenda.[[note]](Providing amnesty to undocumented immigrants, supporting gun control, a twice-married man who legalized abortion in California when he was Governor of the state despite the glowing endorsement from the Christian Right, taking any advice from Democrats, etc.)[[/note]] On the other hand there has been a backlash among people farther to the left that point out true or imagined flaws of Reagan making him into a boogeyman who single-handedly - and deliberately - destroyed the American Middle Class, while being corrupt, committing war crimes and being too riddled by dementia and other ills of old age to find his pants ''[[LogicBomb while he was supposedly master-minding his evil master-plan]]'' even though the good as well as the bad was not Reagan's doing alone.
* UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy serves as the AlternateCompanyEquivalent of Reagan for the Democrats and left-leaning artists. Most democrat senators cite his presidency at the start of the 60s as a GoldenAge ("Camelot")[[note]]A nickname that,incidentally, originally referred to him being a fan of the musical[[/note]], with even some of his posthumously revealed flaws (such as his incorrigible womanizing) lending him an image of a LovableSexManiac in internet videos and biographies, while films like Film/TheButler and Film/{{JFK}} and others will demonize his successors, UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson and UsefulNotes/RichardNixon for ruining his "good work". In truth, it was JFK who, however reluctantly, committed troops into Vietnam, he was far less committed to Civil Rights than Johnson, and while many praised him for his statesmanship on the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was his incompetent handling of the Bay of Pigs invasion that led to that incident to begin with, not to mention that it was Kennedy who passed the controversial and widely criticized Cuban Embargo. His spectacular ConspicuouslyPublicAssassination and the [[WhoShotJFK debates surrounding it]] has ironically done more to preserve his memory, preventing him from facing the backlash to the initially popular [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar Vietnam War]] that his successors faced as well as his slippage into increasingly ill health that he had spent a lot of effort to cover up for the public. He's become in effect a legendary figure in the age of mass media.
* There's been much discussion of this over whether UsefulNotes/SarahPalin fell into this during John [=McCain=]'s 2008 Presidential Campaign. Despite being the Vice President candidate on the ticket, Palin, in both the news and popular culture, ended up overshadowing [=McCain=]. This ended up being the source for HBO's ''Film/GameChange'' movie.
* [[TheDeadRiseToAdvertise Other legendary figures who've been pressed into mascot duty]] (often for products or services they have absolutely nothing to do with) include UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln, Creator/JohnWayne, Creator/MarilynMonroe and Creator/CharlieChaplin.[[note]][[{{UsefulNotes/Pennsylvania}} William Penn]] could also have counted at least until Quaker Oats said their mascot was [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial no one in particular]].[[/note]] At its worst, this phenomenon will result in UnintentionalPeriodPiece if the celebrity featured is clearly a product of his/her time and will be forgotten by everyone in about a decade or so.
* You also see this in the case of culture where whole periods of literature, painting, architecture and landscape are reduced to a few names and individuals who end up being way more overexposed.
** In the case of UsefulNotes/{{India}}, UsefulNotes/{{China}}, UsefulNotes/{{Japan}} and other nations, tourist industries and advertising promotes and identifies a particular group of monuments (Taj Mahal, Great Wall, Sensoji Temple) over others despite each nation having real diversity and several different buildings and places that are quite diverse from each other.
** Creator/LeonardoDaVinci is often promoted as the ultimate embodiment of UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance based on the fact that he painted two of the most iconic paintings (Mona Lisa, The Last Supper) as well as his notebooks. In actual fact, he was BrilliantButLazy, forever procrastinating his commissions and only left few complete paintings at the time of his death, his so-called "inventions" and designs while certainly striking and ahead-of-its-time, were absolutely unworkable and certainly never had any influence when these inventions eventually went into production. As for RenaissanceMan Michelangelo was equally multi-talented (a poet, a sculptor, a painter) but he was more prolific in his different fields and more importantly ''completed his commissions'' as did the other artists of his generation (Giotto, Massacio, Ghirlandio, Tiziano, Donatello, Bramante) yet Leonardo is the SpotlightStealingSquad for 300 years of Italian cultural greatness.
** Gustav Eiffel was primarily a structural engineer yet he supplied his name to the {{Eiffel Tower|Effect}}, even if the iconic design of the monument was the work of two employees for his firm, Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, who let's face it you just heard about them on this page. Eiffel is also associated with the Art/StatueOfLiberty, even if the designer of the statue was the sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. Eiffel is a genius and innovator in his field of course, but the people who created the look of his famous works end up being overshadowed by him.
* This can happen with Website/YouTube's "related videos" service. Most times the "recommended for you" video will be something you watched ages ago and don't care to revisit. This can be rather annoying if you watched one [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic Nostalgia Critic]] video out of curiosity and the site keeps trying to get you to watch it again even though you don't have any interest in his videos whatsoever. It can also base recommendations off of a video that you clicked ''by accident'' a while ago, or repeatedly recommend the same {{shipping}} video for months at a time because you watched a few non-shipping videos related to the fandom. Or, more annoyingly, you watch a political video that's anti-X, and suddenly your "related videos" feed includes mostly pro-X videos, because the pro-X video producers use similar tags and get more views. This might be less of a problem now that Website/YouTube has installed a "not interested" button in a dropdown menu for each item. Clicking it immediately hides the item from view and, no doubt, will tweak the site's algorithms to avoid it & others like it in the future.
* Angela Merkel seems to be turning into this. Despite her "leading from behind" style (which is similar to that of her erstwhile mentor Helmut Kohl) that makes it hard to determine whether she actually ''has'' political positions, half of Europe seems to think she single-handedly does whatever happens in Greece (even though she does much less to enforce EU rules than her minister of finance Wolfgang Schäuble and those rules were written long before Merkel had any power). People to her right in Germany also seem to think every single refugee from Syria decided to come just because of her, putting her image on placards at rallies and accusing her of being some multiculturalist, race mixing evil incarnate (in the eyes of the right wing). Even when things go wrong due to policy decisions taken ages ago, some people will find a way to connect it to Merkel in her previous capacities as minister for the environment and minister for families.
* This often happens with many national [[OurFounder Founding Fathers]] or IconOfRebellion. Many of them start out as RebelLeader and upon their passing, either by natural causes, or early death, they recieve HistoricalHeroUpgrade, HistoricalBadassUpgrade and a CultOfPersonality, either deliberate or spontaneous, takes root and they tend to have their faces spread everywhere and anywhere, often overshadowing the work of other people and groups in the public consciousness.
** UsefulNotes/MahatmaGandhi is possibly the most famous Indian in the world, and certainly the IconOfRebellion for India's Independence movement and a TropeCodifier for non-violent resistance. He inspired the UsefulNotes/CivilRightsMovement and Nelson Mandela. He's also the only Indian leader represented on its currency, and the only one whose birth is celebrated with a national holiday, and he's considered the "father of the nation". So who governed India, who wrote its constitution and who oversaw the nation-building in the early years? Naturally you would assume that it's Gandhi, but the answer is no on all fronts. In fact, Gandhi never really held any public office or official post. He was primarily a community organizer and protest strategist, who spoke on a series of moral issues and social justice questions. The Constitution of India was in fact written by B. R. Ambedkar, a man who was critical of Gandhi. India's state-building, negotiation of boundaries and joining in territories from princely states was overseen by Sardar Vallabhai Patel, while India's first Prime Minister was Jawaharlal Nehru, who promoted secularism, modernization and industrialization. Furthermore, India's independence movement is really an umbrella term for a huge range of social movements, sometimes at odds with each other and while Gandhi was certainly important, movies like Film/{{Gandhi}} tend to make him far more central than others are.
** UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington is America's First President and Commander in Chief and has the highest military rank any general can ever achieve. America's capital city, Washington DC, is named after him, as is Washington State, and his name adorns many streets and places across the United States of America. He is still ranked among the three greatest American presidents (alongside Lincoln and FDR) and he certainly played a major role in the founding of America. Yet from the way Washington's presence is emphasized, it tends to get lost that he rarely had any role in the great events of the American Revolution. He had no involvement in the Boston Tea Party and the early parts of the Revolution and he only came on the scene as a behind-the-scenes colonial property-owning landholder. As Commander in Chief, he was actually a fairly mediocre general who never really won any battles and he had little participation on the decisive American victories (such as Saratoga). Indeed, Washington was [[TheSpymaster far more effective spymaster]]. Washington had no involvement in authoring the Declaration of Independence and is not included among its signatories. He had no say in the writing of the Constitution and its debate (Madison, Adams and Hamilton were far more relevant) and as President, he more or less tried to be above-the-fray and rarely interfered in any of the debates or proposed his own policies.
** UsefulNotes/SimonBolivar really ''was'' instrumental in the history and independence of several Latin American countries, but had he gotten his will, Venezuela Bolivia (which is named after him) Colombia and Panama would still be one country. He was by far not the only independence leader, by far not the only general of note and certainly not the most capable politician of his generation. Bolivar in fact repeatedly tried to pull a Cincinnatus/Washington, only it always turned out to be a TenMinuteRetirement because someone, somewhere just ''needed'' him to lead an army or serve ''yet again'' as President or Dictator.
* UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte deliberately went out of his way to publicize and promote himself over and above his already considerable level of accomplishments, while posthumously his memory is elevated inside and outside France over and beyond proportion. The famous Napoleonic Code was authored by Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès, and it was more or less a codification of laws put in place by the governments of the First French Republic, with Napoleon's main contribution being the political stability he brought about to consolidate the process. His own coup to take power was essentialy an opportunistic power grab of a pre-existing plot by a group of liberals who wanted to topple the Directory government by using the military (already a common occurence for the last four years by that time), and the plot would have gone ahead with another general in place of Napoleon, who barely got out of a military disaster in Egypt to luck in on a plot that had it gone another way would have brought him to task for his misadventure in Egypt. Within France and Europe, historians and commentators commend him for being a founder of Modern Europe, even if what he really wanted to do is rise in the social ladder and become part of the nobility of Europe and put a halt to the changes he had to put in place to maintain his legitimacy as a "son of the Revolution".
* Is it safe to say UsefulNotes/BarackObama is an example of this trope yet? Even before he was President, it seemed like he was EVERYWHERE.
* Ron Paul. He didn't fare well in the 2008 or 2012 Presidential race, but he seems to be often praised as the future of American politics...despite being nearly eighty years old.
* This sometimes happens to entire civilizations. People know Angkor Wat as a ruined temple in the jungles of Cambodia (to the point it's on the flag) and at least recognize Bayon; that they were built in the biggest city in the world (by area) at the time, which was the capital of the Khmer empire that spanned half of southeast Asia, gets forgotten unless it's in connection with those monuments. Similarly, a lot more people recognize the Taj Mahal than can tell you what a "Mughal" is.
* The Manhattan Project owes its existence to this: when Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner escaped to the US to flee from Nazi Germany, they knew that atomic bombs were on the cusp of being invented, and Germany had a good chance of being the ones to do so. They wrote a letter advising the US President (UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt) of the danger and that the US should start their own atomic bomb project so as not to fall behind. Of course, getting a letter to the US President during a time of war is very difficult, so they had UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein sign the letter, since his name was big enough to get the White House's attention. It worked, and the seeds for the Manhatten Project were planted.