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No Hero to His Valet

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"No man is a hero to his valet. This is not because the hero is not a hero, but because the valet is a valet."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Quite often, a character will end up idealized when he becomes acknowledged as a celebrity or a hero. All his little quirks and flaws will be overlooked by the general public because anyone who's that famous must be a great person, right? As a result, most people, especially the hardcore Fanboys and Fangirls, will simply assume that the character is, if not a paragon of virtue, at the very least someone who is better than they are, but there is always at least one person (and sometimes a small group of people) for whom the character's fame and heroic reputation mean nothing. It might be that the person has known the character from childhood, and thus remembers when they were an annoying nose-picker. It could also be that the character wronged them somehow, and the person's resentment makes them immune to the fame. Whatever the case, they refuse to be sucked in to the hype surrounding the character. They might also know a secret about the character or their accomplishments that nobody else does. Sometimes, they will be one of the few people the hero feels he can "be himself" with, because his confidante is reacting to the person and not the hero.

Sister Trope to No Badass to His Valet. Compare Secret-Keeper, Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond, Servile Snarker. Contrast Dude, Where's My Respect?, where nobody respects them even though their deed should've made them famous or at least respected.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kogoro from Case Closed is a revered detective; but that's because most people don't know he actually sucks at it compared with Conan and Conan solves almost every mystery that Kogoro is credited with solving.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Although Chi-Chi is very proud of her boys for all their accomplishments, that still doesn't stop her from yelling at them and forcing Goku to get a job to support his family.
    • Mr. Satan may be Earth's hero to all the Muggles, but the Z-Fighters know he is a Fake Ultimate Hero and treat him as such. After he becomes part of the group, he does get more respect, especially from Goku and his son-in-law Gohan, but his daughter Videl isn't afraid to stand up to him even before she learned that he didn't defeat Cell.
  • Food Wars!: Played with in an interesting way between Erina Nakiri and Hisako Arato. Erina herself wished that she was this trope for Hisako, since their relationship was always less than equal than she wanted. For her part, Hisako does worship Erina and somehow convinces herself that Erina being an immature Sore Loser is a mark of greatness, but Soma convinces her to relax and just be Erina's friend, which is what she really needed all along.
  • While clearly respected and loved by his subordinates, Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist also regularly serves as the butt of said subordinates' jokes. They enjoy teasing him about being useless on rainy days (because of his flame alchemy) and a notorious womanizer, but it's usually very good-natured and he dishes it out as well as he takes it.
  • Horimiya: Hori doesn't understand why so many girls have the hots for the cool and refined Sengoku because she's known him since they were toddlers and can't see him as anything other than the Extreme Doormat cry-baby he used to be.
  • Kaguya from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is looked up to in school, both as a the second highest scoring student and coming from a prestigious family. The only exceptions to this rule are Hayasaka and Maki, the former for being her childhood friend and confidant, and the latter for being her intellectual equal and cousin.
  • Nanoha from Lyrical Nanoha is a legendary combat instructor and known throughout the multiverse as the Ace of Aces. So naturally, her students are shocked to find out that her family treats her like a completely ordinary girl. In fact, her mother and sister were apparently unaware of her reputation until Teana brought it up in the first StrikerS Sound Stage (her family lives on on an Insignificant Blue Planet and she's never really been one to brag about her accomplishments).
    • Downplayed with regards to Vivio. While being fully aware of her mother's reputation as one of the best mages in the TSAB, Vivio always introduces Nanoha as a kind and cheerful government worker who occasionally teaches her magic. This causes people who do not know Nanoha personally (like Einhart and Irene) to picture Nanoha as a stereotypical housewife who plays lighthearted games with Vivio.
  • In Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, Sinbad is well-known in-universe through his adventures around the world. He has conquered seven dungeons, created his own kingdom that prospered within the span of only one generation, and is generally considered the most powerful character in the series. Nonetheless, his generals, most especially Ja'far, seem to have no problem calling him out on his stupidity.
  • Hashirama aka the First Hokage in Naruto is revered by the world as one of the greatest shinobi that ever lived, but his younger brother Tobirama aka the Second Hokage shows him less respect and at one point even shushes him like a misbehaving child.
    • This is averted both times Tobirama was adamant about killing an Uchiha (Sasuke when he announced his plan to maybe destroy the Leaf and Madara as he lies defeated and exhausted); Hashirama gives him a Death Glare, basically telling him to calm down and stop. He does. As laid-back and goofy as the man is most of the time, Tobirama will definitely back down when Hashirama gets serious.
    • In Shikamaru Hiden, Shikamaru is completely unimpressed with the legendary status Naruto, Sasuke and Kakashi have attained after the War ended. After all, he knows them and all their flaws, so he's really not in any kind of awe. He does respect Naruto more than some of the others and holds him in higher regards than some of his other peers though.
    • Most of Naruto's friends refuse to treat him any different even after he became a hero to Konoha and (eventually) the world at large, aside from some good-natured ribbing, more or less.
    • Hinata is very much in the same vein, yet probably in sees Naruto in the best possible light of his loved ones. While she greatly admires and loves Naruto, she is fully aware of his faults, and she is the only one Naruto ever opened up to about his insecurities and his despair. She has never loved the hero the rest of the world came to see; she only ever loved the Naruto who never gave up even when it seemed the entire world was against him, and stayed true to the good in himself despite everyone else thinking the worst of him. Naruto realizing this in The Last: Naruto the Movie is one of the reasons why he marries her in the end.
  • One Piece: Shanks and Buggy treat each other this way. Shanks is a Yonko, one of the four strongest and most dangerous pirates in the world. After the time-skip, Buggy is one of the Shichibukai, a pirate notorious enough to become a privateer for the world government. Granted, he achieved this by pretending to be more dangerous than he really is, abusing his status as a former crew member of Pirate King Gol D. Roger. But when they run into each other, they talk the same way they did back when they were cabin boys.
  • The Your Name side novel Another Side: Earthbound shows that Mitsuha's late mother was very revered by the Itomori townspeople, something that annoyed her father who just saw her as a normal person rather than a saint.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Alfred Pennyworth has a relationship similar to this with Batman; while he remains unfailingly loyal through thick and thin, he's also acted as Bruce's surrogate father since his parents died and even taught him several of the tricks he would later come to use as Batman, with the result that he never fails to vocally criticize Batman to his face when he thinks it's needed and is practically the only person Batman can't intimidate with his usual tricks.
    • Dick Grayson, the first Robin, went from Batman's apprentice to striking out on his own. While the two retain implicit trust in each other, he is not blind to Batman's failings. He'll offer support or condemnation to Bruce, as he deems appropriate.
  • Lord Morpheus, Dream of the Endless, in The Sandman (1989), is met with reverence from almost everyone, including gods and other supernatural beings. His handyman Mervyn Pumpkinhead, however, sees him mostly as a bothersome poseur.
  • Spider-Man:

    Fan Works 
  • In Broken Bow, Apollo receives this treatment from his adopted son (and nephew) Armani, who finds the god's Large Ham antics generally exasperating (he does love Apollo...he just doesn't always like him all that much).
  • The Forever Captain series: Edwin Jarvis to Howard Stark. While Jarvis is clearly devoted to and affectionate towards Howard, he knows the man’s foibles and frequently teases him about them.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Tokiomi Borealis is known to the people of Gringy City and the world as a kind man who helped revive the city and made it liveable, with even the slums of the old slums now a lot nicer, but still somewhat slummy. Only a few people are aware of his relationship with his daughter and how for all his kindness, she eventually lost all of it.
  • Invoked in Triptych Continuum with the (quasi-official) position of the seneschal, the one pony in every generation whom the Princesses let all the way in, allow to see the pony rather than the title and share the secrets of their origin with. Celestia's current seneschal is Fancy Pants, while Luna has yet to choose a seneschal since her Return.

    Films — Animation 
  • Coco: Ernesto de la Cruz was a musician and singer beloved by his hometown and all of Mexico. However, Hector is rather unimpressed with him, which he justifies by saying that he taught him everything he knows. He graciously leaves out the fact that Ernesto stole his guitar and all of the songs he wrote, and never gave him any credit for it, not breaking his silence until he's so close to being forgotten and never seeing his daughter again that he's desperate and angry.
  • In Inside Out, it seems that no one outside Headquarters recognizes or cares about the emotions and their critical role in Riley's well-being. Not even Bing Bong recognizes Joy until she identifies herself.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alfred from The Dark Knight qualifies in some scenes.
  • In Gigi, elderly playboy Honore quips "one cannot be a Don Juan to his valet" after Manuel lists several of his past lovers who wound up cheating on him.
  • Played with for a little character-building moment in High School Caesar. While Matt greets his harmless, matronly cook in a polite way and gives off the air of a humble and sweet rich young man, he then calls in his butler — someone who has actual, real power in the household — and coldly informs him that he'll be fired if he can't manage to keep Matt's car in impeccable condition. As a result, only the butler is aware of how phony his whole act is.
    Lucy: It seems like that boy's folks oughtta stay home, 'stead of gallivantin' all over Europe and places like that.
    Carter: Well, I don't blame them — if I had a brat like that, I'd take off, too.
    Lucy: You just don't understand Matthew.
    Carter: (Glancing at the camera) Oh, I've got him pegged, all right.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man: Tony Stark is a larger-than-life celebrity to just about everyone...except Pepper Potts. The same goes for his best friend James "Rhodey" Rhodes, who, much like Pepper, never hesitates to call him out whenever he's making unwise decisions or just simply being a Jerkass.
    • Captain America: The First Avenger: While everyone has come to admire Steve Rogers as Captain America, the pinnacle of human perfection, his childhood best friend Bucky Barnes still sees as him as that skinny kid from Brooklyn whose ass he always had to save from a fight. The same can be said for Agent Peggy Carter, who was falling for Steve Rogers long before there was super serum running through his veins.
    • Sam Wilson picks up this role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. While he's aware of Steve as a public figure, he also instantly recognizes Steve as a fellow Shell-Shocked Veteran and reaches out to him on that level. He's also one of the few people, if not the only person, who encourages Steve to quit being Captain America if it isn't making him happy.
  • Downplayed slightly in the 2016 film Neruda. Famed Chilean poet and former Senator Pablo Neruda is almost universally beloved by the population of Chile, and becomes a symbol of the Resistance around the world when he has to go into exile to avoid being arrested or killed by the power hungry president who is rounding up his political opponents. Neruda's young bodyguard, who is assigned to him first to help him evade arrest and later to get out of the country, comes to see Neruda as The Load thanks to Neruda's insistence on counterproductive actions and behaviors like going out to visit brothels in the middle of a manhunt, being out among people to spread his poetry and anti-government messages, and even driving around the presidential mansion in the middle of the night relentlessly beeping his car horn to try to disrupt the president's sleep. Notably, the young man was initially as starstruck and awed by Neruda as everyone else, but months together spent trying to save Neruda from himself leaves him jaded, cynical, and angry with the poet. Still, he seems happy at the end when he learns that Neruda has managed to evade capture and escape the country.
  • Kincade the groundskeeper from Skyfall feels this way about James Bond. He might be one of Britain's best professional killers who has saved the country (if not the world) single-handedly many times, but he's still a "jumped-up little shit" if he thinks he can tell Kincade what to do. However, it's Played with since Kincade is initially unaware that James grew up to be a world-class spy, so he is visibly quite shocked at seeing James' masterful shooting:
    Kincade: What did you say you did for a living?
  • Chewbacca often acts like this towards Han Solo in Star Wars. For instance, The Force Awakens has a bit where Finn asks if Han really is a war hero like all the legends and rumors about him say. Chewie's response is to shrug and growl as if he's saying "ehh, kind of."
  • Inverted in The Wrestler. Wrestling fans see "The Ram" as a former great and current has-been, but the other wrestlers he interacts with, who know all about his warts, treat him with the utmost respect and affection. After their hardcore match, Necro Butcher shakes his hand and tells him what an honor it's been to work with him. Another wrestler, who very well knows Randy can't even afford to have a phone, provides him with various expensive medicines, in spite of being certain he'll never see a cent of the money Randy now owes him.

  • Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain is a Fake Ultimate Hero and among the most successful. Inquisitor Amberley Vail, his long-term associate and (apparently) lover, is perhaps the only person who can see past his sterling reputation. However, she herself thinks that he is too hard on himself, and possesses many heroic attributes. On the other hand, Cain's own adjutant/bodyguard Jurgen thinks the world of him - but clearly doesn't see Cain as infallible or superhuman, and is usually prepared for eventualities he knew Cain would overlook. Cain deliberately cultivates a good appearance among the soldiers under him, partially because it makes them more effective, partially to avoid Unfriendly Fire. On the one hand, he tries to play up this reputation whenever possible, but on the other hand he earned it by genuinely caring about them (for whatever reason).
  • The Death of the Vazir Mukhtar: Sasha doesn't seem to think all that highly of the great playwright and diplomat Aleksandr Sergeyevich Griboyedov. Definitely the "knew him from childhood" version. The abuse interpretation of this trope works pretty well too, even though Griboyedov still considers Sasha his closest friend.
  • In Emma, George Knightley is explicitly stated to be the only person who can see faults in Emma Woodhouse and will not hesitate to call her out on them.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Sirius Black in Order of the Phoenix, to the family house-elf Kreacher. While Sirius is kind and respectful towards house-elves in general, Kreacher doesn't get it so well from his master as Kreacher is just another reminder of the Big, Screwed-Up Family Sirius hated and whose house he's being forced to hide in. To sum up, Sirius fits because both parties are assholes; Sirius is strained because of his situation and seems unable to find a constructive way to deal with his issues (though being a wanted man stuck in his old home he hates, along with possibly Stiff Upper Lip and There Are No Therapists, means he's got no real practical options) while Kreacher provokes Sirius by being disrespectful, hateful, and bigoted towards all present. The implications that their interactions were like this since Sirius was a child makes it even worse.
    • Albus Dumbledore is The Greatest Wizard Ever to practically every non-evil character in the series, except for his own brother Aberforth Dumbledore. Aberforth knows all about Albus's Dark and Troubled Past in which he didn't exactly come off as a hero, but these events are largely forgotten due to Albus's in-universe Historical Hero Upgrade. Albus, for the record, is well-aware of this and holds his brother in very deep, personal esteem, even though Aberforth is seen by the wizard community as an oddball who doesn't appreciate his ingenious brother.
    • In turn, Voldemort gets the villainous version of this from Dumbledore. Dumbledore is the only wizard who saw through the young Tom Riddle's charismatic facade, and even when Tom grows up and becomes the most powerful dark wizard of the 20th century, Dumbledore still calls him Tom and wishes that he could still punish Tom for his many crimes like a misbehaving child rather than a mad criminal. During their duel in Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore chastises Voldemort for believing that 'there is nothing worse than death', and when unravelling the magical traps Voldemort set up to guard one of his Horcruxes in The Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore is disappointed, as he expected a man of Voldemort's skill to be more creative and sophisticated with his spells.
    • Harry's father, James Potter, is often lauded to Harry as a paragon of the virtues that Gryffindor stands for and an overall excellent young man, with the exception of Severus Snape, mainly because both men mutually despised one another, albeit for different reasons (Snape's being that he was envious of James' life compared to his). Eventually, Harry gets a look into Snape's past, and sees James using magic (later revealed to be one of Snape's invented spells) to mess with Snape and Harry is surprised and shocked to see Lily's vehement reaction to James' action (later revealed that this was because she was closeish friends with Snape though the fallout of the event would actually be the breaking point for her.) Lupin and Sirius later reassure Harry that they were just immature at that age and that he shouldn't let it get to him.
      • Snape's attitude and comments imply that it was a matter of pride. Snape's ambition gives him a sense of pride and anything that would harm it (such as James' showing him up or pranking him) would infuriate him.
      • The hero aspect is a bit more literal when you remember that James saved Snape's life when they were back in school (sometime after said incident), which did nothing more but infuriate Snape for being in James' debt.
    • The relationship between Viktor Krum and Hermione is an understated example. Krum is a celebrity Quidditch athlete (while still in school) who is fawned over wherever he went. While at Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament, Hermione becomes one of the few that is completely impassive to Krum's fame, which ironically is what thoroughly intrigues Krum with her and eventually leading to a brief relationship forming between them.
  • Hercule Poirot:
    • Even the great detective Poirot is scared of the dentist, and when visiting Dr. Morley in One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, he reflected how decidedly unimpressive he is, and how the dentist would only see Poirot as just another patient, and not the famous detective he fancies himself as.
    • Ironically, Poirot's valet George is the very model of The Jeeves, and thus his opinion on Poirot remains completely unknown.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, Companions can be that friend to their Heralds. On top of everything else they do to assist Heralds (without actually doing their jobs for them), each Companion remembers when his or her Herald was just a confused teenager, and no matter how much the populace may admire or fawn over Heralds, their Companions help keep their heads out of the clouds. The Monarch's Own Herald also has the official job of being this for the Monarch (in addition to the Monarch's Companion) by becoming the Monarch's best friend, knowing them personally, and providing unflinchingly honest criticism when necessary.
  • In Death: Summerset is not only Roarke's butler, but he raised Roarke when he was a boy. Portrait In Death makes it clear that Summerset knows the best, the worst and everything in between of Roarke.
  • One of the points of Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal is that Biff just doesn't believe in miracles, because he saw them performed from childhood on. It's a deeper example since Biff is the only person that Josh can feel very human with, including lie to him.
  • While most people in The Legend of Sun Knight think the Sun Knight is the epitome of perfection, all the knights who take orders directly from him are fully aware of the fact that he's not quite the kind, merciful man he's painted as, and are more than willing to crack jokes or complain about it when they think he can't hear them.
  • Mark Twain's "Luck" is based on the supposedly true account of a clergyman who taught at Woolwich. According to the latter, "one of the two or three conspicuously illustrious English military names of this generation" was a good-hearted but utterly stupid soul who achieved much of his success due to sheer luck.
  • Hatsumomo from Memoirs of a Geisha is beautiful and popular among men, but Sayuri, Mameha and some others know that she is cruel, selfish and an all-round Jerkass.
  • Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day is a study in this trope: Stevens must come to grips with the fact that Lord Darlington, what with consorting with the Nazis and all, was very much not a wrongly-oppressed hero.
  • In Harry Turtledove's Southern Victory Alternate History, General George Armstrong Custer goes on to be a famous, heroic, and long-serving general still in combat command during the Great War. His adjutant, Major Abner Dowling, allows the reader to see Custer's many flaws. Later, after Custer's death, Dowling has to admit that it was because Custer was a stubborn Glory Hound that he was able to bring a faster, victorious end to the Great War during the Barrel Roll Offensive for the United States. Of course, as Dowling also notes, if Custer hadn't been such a glory hound, he might well have been able to advance on the Confederates without barrels, as happened in the RW war by French "infiltration" tactics.
  • In the Wheel of Time series, Seanchan nobility have truth-speakers, high-ranking servants who are expected to see their masters objectively and cut them down to size when necessary.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Agent Carter Howard Stark's butler Jarvis has seen his master at his best and worst. During the war, Howard went to great lengths to save Jarvis from a charge of treason, and he helped Jarvis's Jewish fiancée escape from the Nazis. Jarvis is eternally grateful for this and has Undying Loyalty toward Howard... but it does not stop him from despising Howard's irresponsible womanizing and selfish business practices. Peggy Carter has known Howard even longer, and while she is willing to risk her life for him, she knows quite well how much of a Manipulative Bastard he can be at times.
  • In Babylon 5, Londo Mollari is seen as being a great hero and patriot for the Centauri Republic, but his assistant Vir sees through the hype and is the only one willing to speak frankly with Londo. Of course, it doesn't help that the Republic is a Vestigial Empire rife with backstabbing and assassination, so Londo rarely feels like he can "be himself." By the beginning of the fourth season, Londo admits that Vir is the only true friend he has, because he is the only one who is honest to him.
    • Also seen when Londo is given permission to divorce two of his three wives; he choses to keep the one who despises him and has never tried to hide it, as at least he knows where he stands with her. Given that one of the more sycophantic wives tried to murder him, this is not surprising.
    • Played with in regards to Sheridan in season four. After Sheridan comes back from the dead and reunites both the army against the Shadows and the Earth resistance, some people start to treat him like he's a divine being or a literal godsend. Only his very close friends and worst enemies are willing to criticize him at that point. Unfortunately, Garibaldi walks the line between the two; throughout the season their relationship becomes strained because of Sheridan's "cult of personality", and even though it's revealed that Garibaldi betrayed Sheridan because Bester had messed with his head to heighten his mistrust of authority, at least some of Garibaldi's reaction is due to genuine closeness to Sheridan that was able to reveal his flaws.
  • Although it's not really brought up directly, when Dave Rossi first joins the cast of Criminal Minds, most of the team is in awe of him, except Hotch. It's explained as Hotch having known Rossi for years. The rest of the crew does eventually become more comfortable around him.
  • River Song, The Doctor's... whatever constantly undermines his brilliance, at one point flying the TARDIS flawlessly (when the Doctor seems to think six pilots are required for that) and informing him its characteristic landing sound was due to his leaving the brakes on. She does mention him teaching her at one point, which might suggest that he's simply less practical than her, though she could have been just messing with him.note  Over time it's revealed the trope is more downplayed than we're led to believe; she does think he's an amazing hero, but if he knew that, he'd get a big(ger) head.
    • The Doctor's companions often play this role. Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, Zoe Heriot, Sarah Jane Smith, Romana, Tegan Jovanka, Peri Brown, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Amy and Rory Pond, and Nardole are all stand-out examples who stood up to the Doctor, played Morality Chain, and reined him in whenever he started getting a big head or thinking he always knew best. As "The Waters Of Mars" shows, this is very much needed.
  • The iCarly trio, despite being essentially much minor celebrities, famous all over the world for their webshow, are for the most part just treated like ordinary kids at school or in their hometown.
  • The Jack Benny Show: One of the best examples of this was Rochester, Jack Benny's Valet; no one else on the show could deflate Jack faster.
  • Knight Rider: The autonomous car KITT is usually like this with his driver Michael Knight. Of course, the fact that KITT does a significant percentage of the actual heroics himself may have something to do with this.
  • Merlin (2008):
    • Prince (later King) Arthur is no hero to his manservant, who just thinks he's a prat. And a clotpole. Somewhat subverted in that Merlin really does think Arthur's a great man and does (eventually) believe he'll lead the kingdom into a golden era. He just sees no reason to fawn over him the way other people do.
    • Gwen (Guinevere) also turns into this after some Character Development.
  • The Nanny: Maxwell Sheffield and his butler Niles have an odd relationship: Niles is obviously subservient to him, but the two also grew up together and every so often relate more like brothers than master and servant. Niles is devoted to Maxwell and the family, but isn't above trolling him, criticizing him or - even in the early seasons - even refusing to do as he asks if it's a sufficiently stupid idea, and their relationship only becomes more casual over the series.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Kor was a famous warrior and commander, enjoying respect and political power within the Klingon Empire. Martok however loathed the man, as years ago Kor had personally spoken against Martok becoming an officer in the military. Martok was descended from a commoner family and Kor felt that only nobles should be given commissions. The "mark of Kor" not only derailed what would have been a certain placement, it also blacklisted Martok from serving as even a common warrior. Despite having earned his command through battle and rising to general, Martok never forgave Kor.
    • The episode "Dax" features (Jadzia) Dax taking the heat for a murder of a man who was a great hero to his people, including his son. The man's wife, however, remembers him as a bully and a lousy husband, which was why she was in bed with (Curzon) Dax at the time of the murder. Ironically, he's not a hero either, as he was killed by the enemy when planning to sell out his own side.
    • Kira has a unique relationship with Sisko, because not only is he her direct superior officer, he is also her religion's messiah. This makes him understandably intimidating, even though she knows he's as fallible as any other humanoid and would happily abnegate his religious title if anyone would let him. When Sisko is critically concussed during "Starship Down", Kira is forced to engage with him on a more personal level to keep him conscious, which helps her move past her reverence and be more comfortable around him.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • Jesus was never really accepted as a prophet in His hometown (including pretty much His whole family save for His mother). He says rather dryly that while He is a known as a great teacher and healer everywhere else, to His own village, He is just the carpenter's son.
      "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?"
    • In Mark 6:4 and Matthew 13:57; considering He also says that "he who is greatest among you shall be your servant" (Matthew 23:11), Jesus makes this one Older Than Feudalism.
      Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home."Mark 6:4, NIV

  • Andrew McNair, Congressional Custodian, in 1776. While the delegates are present, he limits himself to back talk and complaints about what they ask from him. In his one scene without them and their powdered wigs, he's very clear to his assistant and the Courier (neither of whom are named, due to them not being based on people from the historical record) that he holds them in utter contempt, pointing out that they're so fussy because they're rich, and you don't see them marching off to fight the British. He's talking about the United States Founding Fathers, and he's not wrong.
  • In the Mrs. Hawking play series, Clara Hawking serves this role to the titular character. Most people who know what Mrs. Hawking is capable of are in awe of her, including Clara's husband Nathaniel, but Clara believes that her gifts do not make up for what an unpleasant person she can be.
  • In Othello, Emilia is the only person who doesn't think the world of her husband Iago.
  • In Peter Pan, after his children leave, George Darling blames himself for tying Nana up in the yard, and takes upon himself the Cool and Unusual Punishment of living in her kennel—even riding it to work. Before long, he's become a celebrity of sorts, with crowds following his cab through the streets and girls scaling the kennel to get his autograph. His wife is as supportive and patient as ever, but their servant, Liza, becomes a full-blown Servile Snarker.

    Video Games 
  • The housecarls in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (most notably Lydia) are just as likely to snark or otherwise harmlessly disrespect the Dragonborn regardless of how famous, influential, or badass he/she has become.
  • Tact Mayers of the Galaxy Angel videogames is a downplayed example. When the chips are down, nobody doubts his capacities as a commander, and everyone aboard the Elsior has the utmost faith in him. But off the clock, those who know him well, especially his best friend and subcommander Lester Coolduras, never sugarcoat their thoughts about Tact's laziness and knack for dumping his work on others, not to mention that the Angels aren't above making him pay the bill for their meals, or using him as the bag mule when they go shopping. By the time of the Galaxy Angel II trilogy, Kazuya and the rest of the Luxiole's crew can't help but compare him to Coco, who handles the administrative duties much better, and feels guilty for half-wishing he wouldn't return.
  • Zigzagged in Just Cause 3. Mario is quite impressed by Rico's badassery and views him as the savior of Medici. At the same time, he and Rico have been friends since childhood, so he thinks nothing of getting into casual conversations with Rico, inviting him over for a personal dinner, or goading him into kissing a cow.
  • Ratcheted up to its logical conclusion in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, where Snake not only works diligently to dispel Raiden's "legendary mercenary" conception, but also ends up showing that he's really a Jerkass. With a heart of gold, perhaps, but no less Jerkass.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • Johnny Cage is a celebrity - or used to be one - but according to the Konquest Mode of Deadly Alliance, Cyrax absolutely loathes his films, and "felt especially robbed of his eight bucks when he saw Johnny's Ninja Mime."
    • Stryker doesn't seem to like Johnny Cage much either. In Striker's non-canon ending for Mortal Kombat 9, Johnny plans to star as Stryker in Stryker: I Was Doing My Job. The project is cancelled when Stryker himself refuses to sell the movie rights, claiming "Never would he allow himself to be portrayed by Johnny Cage." In fact, Cage tends to get into arguments - and often actual fights - with the other Earthrealm warriors in 9 a lot, who don't tend to take him seriously. (However, Sonya does develop at least some respect for him, which clearly becomes more than just "respect" as X reveals that the two eventually have a daughter.)
  • Space Quest: Roger has saved the day countless times, but he's an annoying, lazy, obnoxious, and by-and-large incompetent mooch who frequently steals from his peers even when he's not saving the day. Most people who deal with him quickly realize this. The Interactive Narrator doesn't like him much either, telling a lot of bad jokes at his expense.
  • Tales of Symphonia has Mithos, who Kratos and Yuan (and later the main characters) know is no ancient hero, but a boy who wanted to save his sister. In the same way, this same group know that his sister, Martel, was no goddess. Perhaps most importantly, Martel is also well aware of this, and tells him so when he finally revives her. Unfortunately, since he was already unstable enough to try the whole scheme in the first place, this just makes his brain snap clean in half, rather than set him straight.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, despite all the accomplishments and fame (or infamy in the lawyer community) Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth has, Phoenix Wright only sees him as his once childhood friend who wanted to be a lawyer but changed for some reason. By the time of the third game, Edgeworth becomes this for Wright as well.

    Web Comics 
  • Paollo's guards in both Archipelago and the sequel, City Of Somnus, love him like a brother, have Undying Loyalty for him, and know better than anyone how much of The Klutz with Power Incontinence Paollo is.
    Zatachi: Paollo is the prince of the Solid Tower, the destined ruler of the Eastern Continent! In his hands lies the future of our country!
    Tatami: God save us all.
    • But at least Paollo does have a formidable power. Bean, whose Imperfect Ritual results in a thorough trashing of the room and no magical boost whatsoever, only gets a:
    Morg: I'm not cleaning this up!
  • In Blue Matter [1], Admiral Astler Leit is feared and revered by the lower ranked soldiers and even his equally ranked compatriots for his power and skill with Cael. But Shinsa is an exceptional demon strong enough to not be intimidated, and more importantly sees through his persona to the socially awkward and kind teen that he is, and so pulls him out of his shell to interact with the rest more.
  • In a Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic, Don Quixote kills the last dragon, who was hiding in a windmill. When Sancho praises him for his heroic deed, Don rebukes him. Sancho proceeds to write Don Quixote as the senile lunatic we know and love.
  • In Tower of God, Jue Viole Grace is an often feared and sometimes imitated terrorist with rising infamy, but Hwaryun still knows him as Twenty-Fifth Bam, a cute little kid that just wanted everyone to get along until his best friend betrayed him and nearly killed him.

    Web Original 
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: While Captain Hammer is seen as a major hero (perhaps even a country-wide one), the Anti-Villain Protagonist, Doctor Horrible, sees him as a total dick. The Doctor's view is more accurate than you would expect.
  • Noob:
    • Sparadrap's real life job seems to have him be just famous enough to get interviewed from time to time. However, one of his lines from Season 2 hints that one of the reasons he gets away with spending so much time on the MMORPG in which the story is set is that his father and grandmother prefer having him play video games than doing anything else. His guildmates also count as he's a Noob at the MMORPG in question.
    • Arthéon doesn't make a big deal of any of the members of the game's top guild due to being in a We Used to Be Friends situation with them.
    • Being his father probably factors into the fact that Tenshirock has no respect for Judge Dead's authority as a Game Master.

    Western Animation 
  • Alfred Pennysworth from Batman: The Animated Series is an excellent example. In one issue of the comic sequel, he comes down to the Batcave with a covered tray, and Bruce says he doesn't have time for dinner. Alfred lifts the lid to reveal an empty tray as he complains that the nothing he prepared will have to go to waste. As Bruce leaves, Alfred tosses nothing into the garbage bin, just to underline his point.
  • Kif Kroker from Futurama knows all too well that Zapp Brannigan is nothing more than a cowardly braggart whose "exploits" are sewn wholesale from a lavish blend of sending wave after wave of his own men to their deaths, turning any mission into a death sentence, outright lies, and the occasional genuine (if imperialistic) victory against a vastly inferior opponent. Any such comment from Zapp is inevitably met with snark and a depressed sigh. Turanga Leela is also this to Zapp for much the same reasons, though also because he's a huge lech who wont stop hitting on her and/or gloating to everyone about the one time he managed to trick her into pity sex with him back when she still had some respect for him.
  • On My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Princess Celestia is the God Empress of Equestria, and everypony holds her in high regard. When she first appears to her subjects in the series premiere, Applejack and the others bow, but Twilight, being her protegée, just walks up to her and says hello.
    • Celestia's younger sister Luna respectfully defers to her older sibling but happily plays the role of Annoying Younger Sibling when she can.
  • Phineas and Ferb take Gadgeteer Genius to ridiculous levels and are Famed in Story for their ability to create anything within one morning, not to mention having saved the world a couple of times, but to Candace, she sees them mainly as her annoying little brothers. However, she does not deny their capabilities (and one episode even is centered around her showing off her brothers to new neighbors when they act rude), but her frustrations stem from the fact that she knows that she would never get away with doing similar things.
  • An extreme example happens on The Simpsons. The town's founder, Jebediah Springfield, is worshiped by its citizens at a hero who did great deeds, and Lisa is no exception...Until the episode "Lisa the Iconoclast" when she discovers it was all lies. A confession written by Springfield himself before he died of syphilis admits that his real name was actually Hans Sprungfeld, and he was actually a cruel pirate, who among other crimes, tried to assassinate George Washington. At first, no one believes Lisa at all when she tries to expose him (except for Homer, surprisingly) but when she does find proof that might convince them (causing Mayor Quimby to consider shooting her before she can reveal it) she changes her mind, telling everyone that she was wrong the whole time. (Why? After seeing the positive factors of the town's bicentennial celebration like the veterans at the parade and children having fun, she decided that the town knowing the truth would destroy hope and morale.)
  • On The Venture Bros., Captain Sunshine's butler seems pretty unimpressed with him. This may have something to do with the fact that he was the original Captain Sunshine, and the current Captain was the first Wonderboy, his sidekick.

    Real Life 
  • A skit in Mr. Show about old-school entertainers was based on a documentary David Cross watched about Al Jolson, in which old business underlings talked about what a bastard he was in real life, but seemed to completely forgive him because "boy could he sing!"
  • Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is revered by almost everyone in India, and has a large number of fans outside of India too. But one other prominent person in India has had some not very nice things to say about Tendulkar for about two decades - his old classmate and fellow cricketer, Vinod Kambli. Because Kambli couldn’t handle the spotlight well, he descended into alcoholism. The lack of fitness, lack of consistency and attitude problems resulting from that, caused Kambli’s career to crash and burn in the late nineties, while Tendulkar would go on to become a sporting legend. As a result, Kambli now goes around, complaining that his old friend has abandoned him in his time of need.