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Character as Himself

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When a TV show gives a fictional character billing in the credits as himself. Frequently done as a joke or to give additional verisimilitude to a "based on a(n) (un)true story", although it can also be used to hide a spoilerific cast change. Another reason this is done is if the "character" in question is an inanimate object, animal, or otherwise not actually played by an actor, or if the media is targeted towards children and the specific character is a mascot popular with children credited as playing themselves to maintain the illusion to the youngsters that the character is a real person.

Please note the distinction between this and As Himself. This trope is when a fictional character is credited as himself; As Himself is when a real person is credited as himself.

Compare Not Named in Opening Credits and Animated Actors.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Sumiyoshi, a silent character in Excel♡Saga is credited as "Himself" in the ADV dub.
    • Weirdly inverted in Puni Puni☆Poemi as the main character, Poemy, thinks she's her own voice actress, even going so far as calling Nabeshin "Mr. Director", talking to her agent on the phone and showing up at a recording studio.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei gives every single character a billing as themselves in the title credits, even going so far as to list characters who either don't have a voice or aren't even in the series! (Emperor Penguin as Emperor Penguin, Oriental Stork as Oriental Stork) Anyone they miss then gets the odd billing of "Everyone else - Staff".
  • Haruhi Suzumiya is credited as the director of the Haruhi Suzumiya anime. And not just director, but Ultra Director, as in her Show Within a Show. The series composition of the anime is also credited to "Haruhi and her friends"; in "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya VI", that credit shows right before Kyon wonders if Haruhi "wrote this scenario". Also, the anime's copyright somehow belongs to Nagaru Tanigawa, Noizi Ito (the author and illustrator of the original light novels, respectively) and the SOS Brigade (or in the English dub, "a member of SOS").
  • Played with in a collaboration between Bakuman。 and Sket Dance where a minor character in Sket Dance episode 31 is credited as being played by Miho Azuki, a character in Bakuman who is a voice actress. Miho (and by extension, Miho's role in Sket Dance) is actually played by Saori Hayami. The characters of Bakuman are also shown watching said episode of Sket Dance in episode 30 of their own show.
  • Not really the series itself, but's listing for Seiyu's Life! lists the characters Futaba Ichinose and Rin Kohana as actors.

    Fan Works 
  • Exaggerated in The Marionette tries to listen to his musicbox; not only are all the animatronics in the video credited as themselves, but so are things like the music, the animator's headache, and the video itself.
    Marionette as Marionette
    Freddy as Freddy
    Balloon Boy as Balloon Boy
    Music as Music
    Credits as Credits
    Background as Background
    My Headache as My Headache
    This Video as This Video
    You as the one who is probably confused about what just happened and why everything exploded
    You as the one pausing to read all of this, again

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Muppets:
    • The Muppet Christmas Carol credited "Rizzo the Rat as Himself," partially because most of the other Muppets were playing characters in the story, while Rizzo just happened to be hanging around.
    • Muppet Treasure Island: The opening sequence credits ends with "The Great Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat as Themselves." Same reason—all other Muppets (except Beaker) played the characters from the original story, while Gonzo and Rizzo were... well, themselves.
  • Back to the Future: Michael J. Fox's performance of "Johnny B. Goode" is listed in the credits as "Performed by Marty McFly". Probably because he wasn't actually singing.
  • Star Wars:
    • Jabba the Hutt is credited as Himself in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Presumably partially done because Jabba was a purely CG character (so he didn't have a puppeteer) so there was no human being playing him. He did have lines, though, and some nonfictional person must have provided them.
    • The opening to The Star Wars Holiday Special credits R2-D2 as R2-D2, as does the Droids animated series. Kenny Baker wasn't credited in the former for the simple reason that he wasn't involved - since R2 wasn't scripted to move, no actor was needed.
  • The mischievous gopher in Caddyshack gets this treatment in the trailer.
  • Wes Craven's New Nightmare had "Freddy Krueger as Himself", to suit the Real-World Episode plot. Of course Robert Englund (who played Freddy in the movies, including this one, and figures into the plot), was also credited with playing himself.
  • In one of the live-action Sinbad series, one of the characters is a falconeer and comes equipped with a real falcon. The falcon is named Dermott and is listed in the credits as played by himself.
  • Ghostbusters II has "and Slimer" in the credits, which is a nod to the cartoon, where he got his name.
  • Otto the Autopilot from Airplane!.
  • Field of Dreams has The Voice as Himself.
  • Ocean's Twelve had a slightly different version: the character Tess (played by Julia Roberts) impersonates Julia Roberts as part of a caper. The end credits include the credit "Introducing Tess as Julia Roberts". Which was a callback to the first movie's credit of: "Introducing Julia Roberts as Tess"
  • The Wizard of Oz The Wizard is credited as "Himself" (though the actual actor is also credited). Toto is credited as played by "Toto."
  • The credits for The Truman Show start with "Truman Burbank as himself", echoing the fact that in the show, he's the only person not playing a scripted part.
  • And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself. (Villa was actually played by Antonio Banderas).
  • The Little Rascals movie has Pete as himself.
  • The Amateurs is framed as a movie in itself. When the credits start, it lists several people from the movie with the role they had in making the movie within the movie the movie? Eh, something like that.
  • Space Jam bills Bugs Bunny alongside Michael Jordan.
  • Tony Clifton, Alter-Ego Acting persona of Andy Kaufman, was always billed and treated as a separate person from Andy. This carried over to the 1999 Biopic Man on the Moon (in which he is played by both Jim Carrey [Andy] and Paul Giamatti [Bob Zmuda, Andy's friend - who ultimately took over the role to maintain the illusion]), with the credits billing "Tony Clifton as himself".
  • S1m0ne went one step further, giving the eponymous computerised actress the starring role in the credits "And introducing Simone as herself". Interestingly, this PR move gave Rachel Roberts (who actually did play Simone) the world record for "most screentime by an uncredited actor/actress". The home media releases change the credits to list Roberts as playing the character.
  • Slight variation: In The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, the credit is "And introducing the Skeleton."
  • House on Haunted Hill (1959) featured a sequence involving a skeleton emerging from a vat of acid. The end credits included: "SKELETON....BY HIMSELF (sic.)"
  • Hot Shots! Part Deux: "...and Saddam Hussein as himself." This is in the showcase credits; in the actual cast credits the real actor (Jerry Haleva) is credited.
  • In Harvey, the eponymous character (a giant invisible white rabbit) is introduced as playing himself, while the camera shows an empty set.
  • In Mac and Me, spokesclown Ronald McDonald is credited "as himself." (It was actually Squire Fridell, the fourth actor to play Ronald McDonald in nationally syndicated TV commercials.)
  • In the first Mortal Kombat: The Movie movie, Goro is credited as playing himself.
  • In The Eyes Know, the credits list Mr. Nibbles the mouse as playing himself. He's the director's pet mouse and was filmed running around the dirty hotel the film takes place in because they couldn't afford multiple rats or mice. His biggest scene is when he grooms himself for a minute and a half... And he gets top billing over the human stars anyway.
  • The Hunt for Red October lists Stanley the stuffed toy Teddy bear, "as himself".
  • In Evil Toons the evil wolf beast drawing is credited as himself.
  • The Live-Action Adaptation of The Flintstones has Dino listed as himself. This made the family of Mel Blanc (the original voice of Dino) very angry, as some of Blanc's vocals from the show were used.
  • In 2011 russian movie Vysotsky. Thank You For Living Vladimir Vysotsky is credited as himself (he was actually played by Sergey Bezrukov).
  • In Robowar, the eponymous war machine is credited as "Robowar as himself"
  • In The Adventures of Captain Marvel, the Scorpion was credited as himself, to hide which of the other characters it was supposed to be. (His voice actor, Gerald Mohr, wasn't credited at all)
  • In the 1982 sci-fi film Android, the eponymous character, Max 404, is billed as "Max 404" in the closing credits (the android was actually played by Don Keith Opper, best known as Charlie McFadden in the Critters franchise).
  • In the the Franco-Belgian movie HOUBA! On the Trail of the Marsupilami, the Marsupilami as well as his mate, the Marsupilamie, are credited as themselves.
  • In The Wizard of Speed and Time, the credits list the titular Wizard as playing both himself and "The Man in the Green Jacket," Mike Jittlov. They happen to also be the same character.
  • Juggernaut gets this treatment in Deadpool 2. It's actually Ryan Reynolds voicing and motion capturing him.
  • King Kong (1933): Kong is credited with the rest of the cast in the opening titles.
  • The opening credits for Annie has Bingo, an otterhound playing the role of Annie's Canine Companion, credited as "Sandy as himself".
  • Pee-wee's Big Adventure: Pee-wee Herman is credited as "Himself". This coincides with the actor Paul Reubens portraying the character as a real person and making media appearances in-character.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): The credits list Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Rodan, and Mothra as "him/herself".
  • Cool Cat Saves the Kids adds a bizarre twist to this by not only crediting Cool Cat as himself, but also crediting him as an associate producer.
  • A rare example of a main character: the bizarre, absurdist comedy Sylvio (based on the "Simply Sylvio" Vine account, no less) stars the gorilla Sylvio Bernardi as himself. He's a man in a gorilla costume, but the actual performer goes uncredited. (It's probably the series' creator Albert Birney)
  • In Cannibal Girls, Bunker's part is credited as "Bunker as himself".
  • Tom & Jerry (2021) credits the famous cartoon duo as themselves.


    Live-Action TV 
  • On 7th Heaven..."Happy the Dog as Happy".
  • In The Addams Family, Thing is credited "as itself". It was actually the hand of Ted Cassidy, who played Lurch (except in scenes where Thing and Lurch appeared together, in which case Thing would be played by various crew members, most prominently AD Jack Voglin).
  • The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. combined this with And Starring for "And Comet", Brisco's horse.
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete opening montage has clips of each character, with the character's names going where the actors' usually go. (The actors are put in the end credits, though.) The metal plate in Ms. Wrigley's head and Little Pete's tattoo Petunia are played by themselves, to the point where cast biographies on a website make passing reference to the fact that "Mom's Plate" has yet to appear in any other films or TV series.
  • In Atlanta, Teddy Perkins is credited as himself. It's really just Donald Glover (who also plays Earn) under a ton of makeup.
  • "Cursor as Himself" in Automan.
  • The finale of the first series of Blackadder featured Mad Gerald. He was quite mad. Also he was Rik Mayall, but that's not what the credits say.
  • The Cube has The Body as herself, in a game show example that's actually more similar to The Stig than The Banker.
  • Deal or No Deal UK has The Banker as himself. A few lesser British game shows have done this gimmick since.
  • Doctor Who appended "and WOTAN" to the credits of "The War Machines", possibly to reinforce the idea that the computer was so intelligent that it could speak for itself rather than through an actor.
  • Sean Williamson is credited as "Barry" in Extras, a play on the fact that in the show, everyone refers to him thus because he is most (only?) famous for playing that character in EastEnders.
  • In one episode of The Games, fitting the name of this trope, but with none of the entities involved really fictional: John Howard (the character) played by John Howard (the actor) in order to be mistaken for John Howard (the then Prime Minister of Australia).
  • A two-part episode of Get Smart featured a villain (actually played by James Caan) billed only as "Rupert of Rathskeller as himself."
  • Inquizition's host the Inquizitor - to the point where ten years after the show was cancelled, still no one knows who played him.
  • The opening credits for the Children in Need special of Lark Rise to Candleford featured "and introducing Pudsey Bear".
  • An early episode of M*A*S*H, "Captain Tuttle," featured Hawkeye and Trapper inventing an officer so they could get out of Officer-Of-the-Day duty. They managed to convince everyone in camp that Captain Tuttle really existed, even though no such person existed...and in the ending credits, Captain Tuttle was credited as playing himself.
    • This particular story may have been influenced by the fact that Kerry Thornley (who would eventually go on to create Discordianism) did something similar as a US Marine - creating a fictional private, Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, which started as a joke and became a somewhat surreal example of how perception can shape reality. No word, however, on whether or not Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst ever starred as himself - though Kerry Thornley spent most of the rest of his life starring as Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst.
  • The opening credits of Saban's Masked Rider read "and introducing Ferbus" when they credit him. This is could be down to the fact that in early episodes he was an animatronic puppet.
  • In the Maverick episode "Pappy", James Garner plays Bret and Bart's Dad, while Jack Kelly plays Uncle Bently Maverick. Pappy is listed as "Himself", while Uncle Bently is listed as "?".
  • In The Millionaire, fictional Eccentric Millionaire John Beresford Tipton acts as an Anonymous Benefactor changing the lives of people he's never met. To add to his mystique, Tipton is The Faceless, and is billed in the credits as "and John Beresford Tipton". (He was actually played by Paul Frees.)
  • Mister Ed was always billed "as himself", although the horse's actual name was Bamboo Harvester and the uncredited voice was provided by Allan "Rocky" Lane.
  • Cambot, on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • Out of This World (1987): Evie's father, Troy, is an alien who only "appeared" as a disembodied voice from a communication device. He was is credited "as Himself" and actually voiced by Burt Reynolds.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse: "Pee Wee Herman as Himself", actually played by Paul Reubens.
  • To maintain the mystery around the Big Bad Serial Killer for several seasons, Profiler ended the opening credits with "and Jack".
  • On Psychoville, the doll Freddie Fruitcake is credited as himself. As is, on at least one occasion, The Silent Singer.
  • In one Red Dwarf episode, spliced WWII footage was used. Inevitably: "...and Adolf Hitler, as himself."
  • Shining Time Station in addition to ending the opening titles with an "And Starring Thomas the Tank Engine", also credited the Flexitoon Puppets as the Juke Box Band. In the final season when it was retooled as "Mr. Conductor's Thomas Tales", all of the Thomas main cast got credited in the opening titles.
  • In BBC's Top Gear (UK), The Stig is only ever listed in the credits as "and The Stig", even after supposedly unmasking.
  • Icelandic celebrity Örn Árnason was for quite a while the main star of a series titled "Waking up with Grandpa" or something like that. So as not to spoil the illusion for kids watching, Grandpa was always credited as himself.
  • Father Ted plays with this is a complex inversion involving Richard Wilson, who is NOT pleased to be referenced to his (real life) screen character Victor Meldrew .... whatever the eponymous priest might think...
  • Don Novello's character Father Guido Sarducci would often be introduced and/or credited in this manner wherever he appeared, be it on Saturday Night Live or It's Garry Shandling's Show.

  • The music video for Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" features Sir Stewart Wallace (played by MCA) guest-starring as himself.
  • Sound Horizon albums always credit Revo's vocals not to himself, but to whatever character he's playing in the album.
  • Eminem's Kamikaze credits the album as being executive produced by Dr. Dre and Slim Shady, Eminem's Heroic Comedic Sociopath alter-ego. In short, Satan is taking the wheel.

  • "And Death as himself" in The BBC Radio adaptations of several Discworld novels.
    • In Good Omens, the Dramatis Personae describes each of the characters, but the Horsemen are just described as themselves ("Famine - Famine")

    Puppet Shows 
  • In ALF, no one is credited as "ALF" or "ALF's voice", nor are the puppeteers listed as such. But the credits do list these people as "Personal assistants to ALF" (one of the series' creators, Paul Fusco, provided — and still provides — the voice).
  • Done almost universally in promotions for works starring The Muppets. While the actual credits do list the performers by name, pretty much everything from press solicitations to interviews to DVD extras will present the Muppets as real actors.
  • Done in every Supermarionation production. Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Stingray (1964), Joe 90... you get the idea.

  • In The Actor's Nightmare the Executioner is credited As Himself, and he then chops off actor George Spelvin's head during the final scene of A Man For All Seasons.
  • A young Scottish actor named Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith began his career in a show called Ken Campbell's Roadshow. Here, he starred in a play about a circus stuntman by the unlikely name of Sylvester McCoy. As a joke, the programs proclaimed "Sylvester McCoy played by himself". The critics missed the joke and assumed that was his name, and Kent-Smith decided to make it his stagename.

    Video Games 
  • In the Japanese version of Space Channel 5, under the vocal cast Ulala is credited as herself.
  • In the final cinematic before the actual credits of Final Fantasy VI, the characters are credited by the name you gave them, and then their full, official name, before a short cut-scene with them. If you kept the originally suggested names, this gives you stuff like "Cyan as Cyan Garamonde", or "Mog as Mog".
  • The video game Left 4 Dead, which portrays its campaigns as horror movies, features movie posters and end credits which show the names of the four characters and their "actors" (being the players controlling them). When they're controlled by the CPU, they're credited as being played by themselves.
  • In the Star Wars First-Person Shooter Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, Gorc, The Voiceless member of the group of Dark Jedi the player character must hunt down, is credited "As Himself". The sequel to its sequel, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, credited Chewbacca in the same manner.
  • Star Wars: Rebel Assault II credits Admiral Ackbar as himself.
  • Brick from Borderlands gets this, as his name more or less describes his character type. In the introduction and all other scenes/materials referencing him, it explicitly gives him this subtitle.
  • An unusual zig-zagged version occurs like this: Some of the You Don't Know Jack games are hosted by Josh "Schmitty" Schmitstinstein, voiced by Phil Ridarelli. Ridarelli also voiced characters on several Mortal Kombat games, but was credited there as "Josh 'Schmitty' Schmitstinstein."
  • In the Monkey Island series:
    • The original Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge has "Featuring Walt as himself" in the end credits (Walt being the dog in the prison scene).
    • And in a Shout-Out to the aforementioned game, the end credits of Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 5: Rise of the Pirate God finishes the "Cast" section with "and Franklin as himself."
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the character of Nastasha Romanenko is credited as the writer of "In the Shadow of Shadow Moses", an in-game document which retells the events of the first Metal Gear Solid from her side of things.
  • In The Adventures of Bayou Billy, Billy and Annabelle (the hero and his girlfriend) are credited by their full names as Billy West and Annabelle Lane, while the enemy characters are referred by generic titles and credited by their names (e.g. Swamp Gas Charlie as the Dogmaster).
  • Temmie of Undertale is credited as herself. Justified that Temmie is the Author Avatar of Temmie Chang.
  • Mystery Case Files 15: The Black Veil credits "Homeless man as Himself" and "Ankou as The Goddess of Death."
  • In the sound test section of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift's Gallery, the lyricist for the introduction song Shinsou is credited to Tsubaki Yayoi followed by the name of her Japanese voice actor in brackets. The Central Fiction version of Stardust Memories and the Chronophantasma version of the Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan theme are credited to Noel Vermillion and Bang Shishigami in a similar way.
  • The credits for the Live A Live remake list Cube as voiced by "himself", as he's a robot that only makes beeps and chirps.

    Web Originals 
  • In The Cult of Scratchwood and its prequel series The Adventures of Matt & Derek, Derek the Dalek is credited in the Doctor Who-style opening where the name of the actor playing the Doctor's companion would appear in a real intro. (In the end credits however, his voice credit properly goes to Matthew Alden-Farrow.)
  • Marcus of Mega64 is credited as himself.
  • Cthulhu is credited as himself in the Calls for Cthulhu sketches.
  • Stalkkus is credited as himself in the Godzilla Fan Film Godzilla vs the Kaiju Killer
  • Episode 2 of The Dr. Steel Show credits Hamster 65 as himself.
  • Everyone on Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Movie was listed "as him/herself" in the credits, including Kaiba's ego, Tristan's voice and Mai's breasts. Except Mokuba, he was listed as "Not in the movie".
  • A credits gag in Dangeresque 1: Dangeresque, Too? has the character of Killingyouguy played by "himself" (in-universe, he's played by Strong Mad).

    Western Animation 
  • A unique variation: an episode of Big City Greens had Fozzie Bear credited with voicing a non-Muppet dentist, with an accompanying promo video of Fozzie in the recording booth. A similar thing happened with Kermit being promoted as voicing a character on Amphibia, but the credits actually list Kermit's performer, Matt Vogel, as the voice actor in that case.
  • The second season of Megas XLR has Goat listed in the end credits as being voiced by himself, when the first season actually credited his voice actor Scot Rienecker (who Goat is based on in both appearance and personality).
  • In-Universe in Milo Murphy's Law—the opening of The Doctor Zone Files has "Time Ape as Himself".
  • Star Wars:
    • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Wookiees on the show don't have voice actors, but in "Wookiee Hunt", in which Chewbacca guest-starred, he was listed in the credits as himself.
    • Star Wars Rebels:
      • Chopper, the Ghost crew's irascible astromech droid, is credited like this. He was the first astromech droid in any canon Star Wars media to be given such an honour. Then again, he was defictionalized later on, so the trope seems to be more literal.
      • Ultimately averted, however. Per the Grand Finale, "Family Reunion — and Farewell", Chopper was actually voiced by Dave Filoni.
      • In the final season, the white Lothwolf is credited for portraying "himself". And the Dume Wolf (who may-or-may-not be Kanan's ghost) from "DUME" is credited as being voiced by "the Force".
    • Star Wars Resistance: Bucket, Team Fireball's ancient astromech droid, follows Chopper by being credited as himself. Whether or not Bucket secretly has a real voice actor is unknown.
    • In the opening titles to the old 80s Droids cartoon, R2-D2 was also credited as himself.
  • Steven Universe: "Last One Out of Beach City" ends with fake credits listing the main characters with descriptive titles ("Pearl as Repressed Nerd", etc.) The unnamed girl whom Pearl was crushing on is listed as "Mystery Girl as Herself".
  • For Ultimate Spider-Man (2012)'s episode "The Howling Commandos", the end credits lists The Invisible Man's voice actor as "himself."
  • All six The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald videos credit Ronald McDonald as playing himself.
  • Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? listed Robot Jones as himself for the episodes where he was voiced by a computer program. His credit changed to the human actor Bobby Block upon recasting (or, in this case, casting).