Follow TV Tropes


Large Ham / Literature

Go To

Large Hams are always going to be found somewhere in a book series. These are frequently fan favorites.

  • 1632:
    • Gustav II Adolph and to a lesser degree, his Danish counterpart King Christian of Denmark. The hamminess is cranked to epic levels when the two are in the same room after the Danes are defeated and frogmarched into the Union of Kalmar.
    • "My name is Ruy Sanchez de Casador y Ortiz. Prepare to Die."
    • Mike Stearns can turn this on and off. Normally, he keeps it off, but put him in front of a crowd (or in a room with Gustavus Adolphus) and watch the ham flow.
  • Advertisement:
  • In Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, the aging actor and large cephalopod Extremely Ginormous Octopus is, predictably enough for his career, tremendously hammy.
  • Snowball and Squealer from Animal Farm. Fitting, because they are not only pigs, but based off Trotsky and Molotov, respectively
  • Animorphs:
    • Marco. Especially during a Breather Episode.
    • Forget Marco, Visser Three. The number of times he goes for the Softspoken Sadist approach can be counted on one hand (the one he just chopped off).
  • Ayn Rand's style is notoriously hammy.
    • Francisco d'Anconia from Atlas Shrugged has a habit throughout the book of strolling into whatever scene is happening and utterly hijacking it, particularly in Part II with his 'Money Speech.'
    • He is only upstaged in the final part of the novel by John Galt, who is basically the anarcho-capitalist Jesus and has an eighty page (that's right, eighty page) speech towards the end of the book.
  • Ciaphas Cain, the titular character, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM is actually a deconstruction of the Large Ham. He puts on one hell of a show for the average Imperial citizen, in reality, he just wants to get away from it all. He privately admits that he's never averse to being the center of attention when it doesn't involve incoming fire.
    • However, during his confrontation with a Chaos Warmaster (being recorded by said Warmaster and broadcast to the entire planet), he says he has no problem hamming it up.
  • Am Badassador Varg from Codex Alera has his moments
  • In Death Star, Admiral Motti has a hammy Oh, Crap! when he realizes the title battle station is about to blow.
  • Jupiter in Robin Jarvis' Deptford Mice trilogy is as hammy a villain as they come.
  • In Dinosaur Vs, Dinosaur treats everything he does like it's some sort of amazing challenge.
  • Discworld:
    • Archchancellor Ridcully, wizard of wizards is another candidate to be played by BRIAN BLESSED in any live-action adaptation, although in the Hogfather movie they went with Joss Ackland.
    • This trope is given a rather amusing nod in Wyrd Sisters when Granny visits the theater. While investigating the relative reality of theater, she catches a luckless former corpse backstage, still very much alive, and eating a ham sandwich.
    • Advertisement:
    • Otto von Chriek, the vampire photographer, deserves to be mentioned as well. Especially during the moments in The Truth where he has to fight his addiction. And because he is from Überwald, his more dramatic lines often get accompanied by equally dramatic thunderclaps.
    • Mr. Boggis is in danger of being killed by the god of Over-Acting in Thud!.
    • Wolfgang from The Fifth Elephant. May be justified in his case, he is a werewolf who cares little for human culture or normalcy. His personality may be based on the speaking version of an annoying, constantly barking dog.
    • Are You Forgetting Someone?
  • In The Dresden Files novel Small Favor, Harry hams it up when he's performing some carefully-controlled magic in front of a group of Muggles while evil faeries are assaulting the room they're in. Immediately afterward, Michael switches the ham up when he breaks down the door, and his holy sword Ammorachius erupts in white light so bright it blinds everyone watching and disintegrates the light-sensitive faeries while screaming a prayer to God in Latin that is literally being channeled from Heaven.
    • In other words, Heavenly Ham.
    • In Turn Coat, Big, Friendly Dog Mouse loads on the ham when he takes a bullet for Molly due to her poor judgment, and she has to dig it out and clean the wound. The entire time he makes pitiful whines at the slightest touch, and treats the wound as something terrible and debilitating. When Molly is done and has to leave, Mouse promptly springs back up, apparently completely fine. Even Harry is impressed that Mouse was smart enough to deliberately ham things up to drive home the point to Molly.
    • Changes has a moment where Murphy is apparently channeling the voice of the Archangel Michael as she pronounces heavenly doom upon the Red Court.
    "False gods! Pretenders! Usurpers of truth! Destroyers of faith, of families, of lives, of children! For your crimes against the Mayans, against the peoples of the world, now will you answer! Your time has come! Face judgment Almighty!"
    • Harry Dresden goes around burning down buildings, slaying vampires, riding a zombie T-rex down Michigan Avenue, leading the Wild Hunt, and dressing like he's on the set of ''El Dorado.'' He may not realize it, but the man is just as hammy in his own way as anyone else in the series.
    DON'T MESS WITH A WIZARD WHILE HE'S WIZARDING! Now get me that Snoopy doll!
  • Commissar Ibram Gaunt in the Gaunt's Ghosts novels does this all the time. He leads from the front and when inspiring his troops he usually yells "MEN OF TANITH!! DO YOU WANT TO LIVE FOREVER!!"
  • Hank of Hank the Cowdog is this most of the time. He loves showing off his supposedly amazing charm, bravery, and intellect whenever he gets the chance.
  • Gilderoy Lockhart, in Harry Potter, who constantly assumes everyone in the world is asking for his autograph. Whenever Harry makes a mistake, he automatically assumes he did it for attention, like himself, and gives him advice about media and popularity.
    • It's fairly understated, but Draco Malfoy always gives the impression of playing to the crowd whenever he's taunting Harry, especially when he's described as drawling (which is fairly often). And Snape gets in on the act too, with his introductory speeches to Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts, or when he gets really angry and starts to rival Harry's own infamous love affair with CAPSLOCK. Then there's Voldemort's love of dramatic, long speeches... apparently, the Slytherin qualities are cunning and hambition.
    • Lest we forget, MOTORBIKES DON'T FLY!
  • Hercules in The Heroes of Olympus. Promptly gets a surplus lampshade in form of being drowned in ham.
  • The titular character of Howl's Moving Castle. In fact, he really needs Sophie and co. to calm him down.
  • The meat monster in John Dies at the End. Extremely fitting as the creature is essentially a possessed pile of meat, making it a Large Ham in more ways then one.
  • Journey to Chaos: Remho the Trickster is found of Big Entrances, dramatic statements, and explosions. He announces the start of auditions with a pyrotechnic display that reads "Auditions are Open".
  • Spiro in the BBC adaptation of My Family and Other Animals, it helps also that he was played by BRIAN BLESSED.
  • The Hooded Man from No Good Deed..., aka, Lord Cuncz, particularly his fondness of lingering in shadows and wrapping himself in his cloak to play up his mysteriousness.
    "Well, what have we here? A whore, a friar, and an abbot all walk into an abbey. Hmm, I am sure you all have heard that one before, so let us forget the jokes."
  • Nicholas van Rijn, interstellar entrepreneur in Poul Anderson's Polesotechnic League stories. If these were made into movies, he'd have to be played by BRIAN BLESSED. He talks and acts Big Ham, certainly, but is also large and fat, just so you don't miss the point.
  • Pride and Prejudice: Lady Catherine du Burgh in any incarnation, but especially as played by Dame Judi Dench in the film version.
  • The titular character of Psmith, ridiculously.
    "Do I look as if I belonged here? I'm the latest import. Sit down on yonder settee, and I will tell you the painful story of my life. By the way, before I start, there's just one thing. If you ever have occasion to write to me, would you mind sticking a P at the beginning of my name? P-s-m-i-t-h. See? There are too many Smiths, and I don't care for Smythe. My father's content to worry along in the old-fashioned way, but I've decided to strike out a fresh line. I shall found a new dynasty. The resolve came to me unexpectedly this morning. I jotted it down on the back of an envelope. In conversation you may address me as Rupert (though I hope you won't), or simply Smith, the P not being sounded. Compare the name Zbysco, in which the Z is given a similar miss-in-balk. See?"
  • A lot of Redwall's hares, particularly Ballaw and Florian who are actually actors by trade. Also, in Salamandastron, two Mooks are caught trying to sneak into the Abbey and their response is to throw laughably overblown crying fits.
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: Doctor Impossible, when he's in Mad Scientist mode. Leads to some amusing scenes where he seems visibly annoyed that the heroes are forcing him to put on his game face and rant when he'd rather kick back and relax with a latte.
  • Several characters from A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Viserys Targaryen: I AM THE BLOOD OF THE DRAGON! I'M THE DRAGON!
    • Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne would like you to admit that you murdered his sister EEEEEEEEEEELIAAAAAAAAAAAA!
    • The Lords of the Seven Kingdoms like to stick Ham into their titles:
      • King Balon Greyjoy, Iron King of the Isles and the North, Lord-Reaper of Pyke, Son of the Sea Wind and King of Salt and Rock
      • King Robert I Baratheon, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm
      • The crown of hammy titles has to go to: Queen Daenerys I Targaryen, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, Stormborn, Breaker of Shackles, Breaker of Chains, Princess of Dragonstone and Mother of Dragons.
    • Tormund Giantsbane, Tall-talker, Horn-blower and Breaker of Ice, Husband to Bears, the Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Speaker to Gods and Father of Hosts. All of which are self-styled titles. He has the most boisterous, hammiest laugh in the series and he loves talking about anything to do with his member.
      • Belwas is a better-justified example than most, being a professional entertainer (gladiators are primarily entertainers and showmen) in a time and place where subtle, nuanced performances were not just looked down on, but technically impossible to pull off. It isn't so strange that he chews scenery and liver and onions with the same gusto.
  • Lloyd Henried and the guy he was on a crime spree with, in the beginning of The Stand. Randall Flagg got into it in a darker, creepy way, too, later on.
    • And the girl who had sex with Nick Andros and then started shooting at the two of them.
  • Strength & Justice:
    • One character announces his own arrival this way, and then proceeds to boast about his martial arts training and everything else in the same tone, with No Indoor Voice to boot. "IT IS I! WILLIAM NARL THE SECOND!"
    • Everyone who goes "haywire" has their speech bolded and incredibly melodramatic. "If I can't have you!"
    • Dan Dynamo sounds a bit too emphatic and over-the-top when it comes to his dyna-swapping powers.
  • In Thomas Mann's works
    • The tall, exuberant Dutchman Mijnheer Peeperkorn in The Magic Mountain. (He was modeled after Real Life German author Gerhart Hauptmann.)
    • Alois Permaneder, the Bavarian in Buddenbrooks.
  • In Time and Again a conversational duel between two nineteenth century LargeHams is observed by a time traveller from his twentieth century perspective: "And now Pickering and Carmody were acting their roles in a time when the melodramatic conventions of the stage were largely accepted as reality. Deadly serious, meaning every word, each of them, I think, was also appreciating his own performance."
  • Tigerstar and Brokenstar, main villains from Warrior Cats both qualify. It helps that there's a meeting every month where they can give hammy speeches, but when they die and go to the Dark Forest, they feel obliged to hold these meetings, just so their trainees know that a ham is in charge.
    • Oh, god, where to start with Hawkfrost? "We shall taste victory soon!" just speaks for itself...
  • "Excuse me! Elassar Targon, Master of the Universe, reporting for duty!" A pilot in the X-Wing Series, Elassar has the odd distinction of always reacting hammily.
    Thank you, thank you. Performances every hour, on the hour. Imperial madmen a speciality.


Example of: