Follow TV Tropes


Characterization by Item

Go To

Fleshing out characters, by connecting them to objects.

Sub-index of Characterization Tropes.

Signature Tropes have a lot of overlap, in being something that's tied to a character, so automatically it characterizes them... But, some examples aren't In-Universe physical objects, so they don't count here.

See also Characterization by Relation.




  • X2: X-Men United: John, aka "Pyro", carries a lighter with him wherever he goes. John is a Jerkass, rebellious teenager itching to use his fire abilities and show the world what he's really made of. As such, his unique lighter is adorned with a shark motif, demonstrating the predator within that John wants to unleash. However, at the same time, the lighter is also something of a crutch for John; unlike his main rival, Bobby (aka "Iceman"), Pyro cannot create flames from thin air. Thus, he is dependent on the lighter and is seen carrying it with him wherever he goes. This characterization is best symbolized in John's brief conversation with Magneto; after heckling Magneto a bit, the villain uses his power to take the lighter from John to his shock (effectively making John powerless despite his arrogance), and when John meekly admits that he cannot create flames without it, Magneto refers to him only as "Pyro" and tells him "you are a god among insects" and gently hands Pyro back his lighter. This display of empowerment firmly sways Pyro to Magneto's side at the end of the film.