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So, you have collectible Mons and might be able to catch them all? But there is only one or maybe two that take all the spotlights from all the others or hang around with you the most? Is the bond between you and your signature mon stronger than with any of your other mons? Congratulations, you have a Signature Mon.

Signature mons are often one of the most iconic character "traits" a person can have. Their relationship might get a lot of focus. Maybe they symbolize their strength or hope. For villains, they may symbolize their power and usually appear as their final trump card.

But you have to keep following things in mind if you want to figure out what a Signature Mon is:

  • It is only a Signature Mon if it is possible for people to have more than one mon in their "possession" in the work they are appearing.
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  • Other characters (and by extension the audience) might associate the character with their Signature Mon or vice-versa.
  • They often have a unique bond with the character.
  • They are either a good buddy of the character or may be a symbol of the character.
  • The Signature Mon may be a Spotlight-Stealing Squad. Even if they appear only for a short amount of screentime, they usual get the spotlight. Outside of fiction, the Signature Mon may actually receive special attention in promotions.
  • A Signature Mon may have its own (back)story. If its teammates also have their own stories, the Signature Mon tends to have a much more developed story. Due to that, a Signature Mon also is more likely to have a the most developed Character Development among its team, especially if it is owned by a main character.

A Signature Mon doesn't have to fit all criterias above (the first criterium is a must, though), but it is important that they do fit in several of these.

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Compare Series Mascot, if a mon happens to be the iconic character of an entire franchise.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bakugan: Most players have a unique Bakugan as their Signature Mon, also called Guardian Bakugan, but they also have an arsenal of Com Mons. While Dan always keeps Dragonoid as his Guardian Bakugan, Shun and Marucho on the other hand have to replace theirs at least once per season.
  • In Cardfight!! Vanguard and its spinoffs, a number of significant characters are associated with their favourite cards: Aichi has Blaster Blade, Kai has Draconic Overlord and Ren has Blaster Dark. Even of those, Aichi is the only one with a single copy of the card in question, due to its rarity. Most other characters - even those in the main cast - subvert this by frequently changing their decks much like a Real Life player would to avoid the Complacent Gaming Syndrome.
    • Lampshaded in season 2 of the original series, when Kai realises that something is terribly wrong because he subconsciously expected Aichi to ride Blaster Blade.
    • Cardfight!! Vanguard G brings this to far less realistic levels by making every single character have one of these regardless of their importance. Only the returning characters that didn't have such a card retain their old status.
    • An interesting case occurs in the 2018 reboot/Manga Adaptation, as for Aichi this trope is combined with Security Blanket. He has multiple copies of Blaster Blade, but the one he's attached to is of an earlier edition and has different artwork.
  • Digimon Fusion: This Digimon series actually uses this trope since the humans have multiple partner Digimon that form their armies, with their main partner being the core of DigiXros or the Digimon that can evolve.
    • The anime:
      • Taiki's is Shoutmon who forms the core of the DigiXros and evolves into OmegaShoutmon.
      • Kiriha's is Greymon who also forms the core of its DigiXros and evolves into MetalGreymon and ZekeGreymon.
      • Nene has AxeKnightmon at first, but after her Heel–Face Turn, it became Sparrowmon who truly cares about her and has the closest bond too. In season 2, it changed yet again to Mervamon, but Sparrowmon is still one of her closest friends and the one who usually fuses with Mervamon.
      • Yuu's partner is AxeKnightmon, but it ended after realizing he was just using him.
      • Akari wasn't truly partnered with Cutemon since she lacked a Xros Loader, but she was still very close to him.
    • Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time: In the sequel of Xros Wars every Digimon can evolve thanks to their partner and the DigiXros are more like enhancements instead of power ups like the previous series.
      • Tagiru has Gumdramon who can evolve into Arresterdramon.
      • Yuu's new partner became Damemon, the only digimon of Twilight whom genuinely cared about him.
      • Ryouma has Psychemon who can evolve into Astamonwho later turns out to be part of the Big Bad Quartzmon.
      • Ren has Dracmon who can evolve into Yasyamon.
      • Airu has Opossummon who can evolve into Cho-Hakkaimon.
      • After being given Xros Loaders by the Clock Man, Akari and Zenjirou were both given a third of Taiki's Digimon and their main partners became Dorulumon and Ballistamon, but unlike the others they can't evolve and form the core of their DigiXros instead.
    • The Manga:
      • Taiki and Kiriha still have the same partners they had in the anime.
      • Nene's partner is a bit hard to say since she kept being partnered to Darknightmon in this continuity and manipulated him instead of the other way around, but it could also be said that her partner is Shademon and later on Lumiamon after its purification since she fused with it.
      • In contrast to the anime Akari and Zenjirou were given Xros Loaders midway in the story so they could lead Xros Heart in Taiki's stead and just like Hunters became partnered with Dorulumon and Ballistamon, but unlike the anime they could actually evolve into YaegerDorulumon and AtlurBallistamon.
      • Instead of being partnered with Nene like the anime, Sparrowmon became the partner of Nene's sister Kotone who can also evolve her into RaptorSparrowmon.
    • Digimon Universe: App Monsters has the humans collect other mons like Pokémon and follows the same formula as Xros Wars with their main partner being the core of the fusion, but without the evolution part they had in the second half. The partners are as follows:
      • Haru has Gatchmon who can merge with Navimon to become DoGatchmon who can then merge with Timemon to become Globemon who in turn can merge with Charismon to become Gaiamon.
      • Eri has Dokamon who can merge with Perorimon to become Dosukomon who can then merge with Coachmon to become Oujamon who in turn can merge with Beautymon to become Poseidomon.
      • Asta has Musimon who can merge with Recomon to become Mediamon who can then merge with Dreammon to become Entermon who in turn can merge with Fakemon to become Ouranosmon.
      • Rei has Hackmon who can merge with Protecmon to become Raidramon who can then merge with Dezipmon to become Revivemon who in turn can merge with Biomon to become Hadesmon.
      • Yujin has Offmon who can become the Ultimate-level Logomon by himself, but still can merge with Bootmon to become Rebootmon.
  • Fate/Apocrypha: Within the Nasuverse, most Masters only can summon one Servant, but are able to make contracts with another Servant that has already been summoned. Shirou Kotomine manages to gain the contract of five additional Servants from the Red Faction, and thus has six Servants under his command. The one he himself summoned, Assassin of Red, serves as his Signature Mon and Love Interest.
  • Fate/Zero: As mentioned above, it's possible for Masters to gain the contract of other Servants, with only Kotomine Kirei having managed to do so during the Fourth Holy Grail War. Interestingly, the second Servant he obtains during the war, Archer (Gilgamesh) would serve as his Signature Mon for this war and the next one.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Caro has two dragons, Friedrich and Voltaire. Since Voltaire rarely appears and is just her trump card, it's Friedrich who is acting as her Animal Companion.
    • Lutecia has a lot of insect creatures as her summon beasts. Her most loyal one is Garyu who is acting as her bodyguard and Battle Butler and is shown to have a stronger will than his brethren.
  • Monster Rancher: Mocchi has the closest bond with Genki and has the most development among the main cast's monsters in terms of attacks. This becomes more apparent in the third season where Genki becomes Mocchi's coach, with the latter becoming more of a Spotlight-Stealing Squad and the team's main contestant in the Tournament Arc.
  • Pokémon has many examples across the franchise:
    • The anime tend to have two types of signatures; tiny companions that do cute/comical things and often seen with their trainers outside their Pokéballs, and badass powerhouses. Sometimes the tiny companions do participate in battles as well.
      • Pikachu is Ash's Starter Mon and he has been in his party all the time except for one battle (his Silver Conference match against Gary). The bond between the two of them often gets a lot of focus and is frequently mentioned. Pikachu is usually the only Pokémon to stay in Ash's party and travels with him to other regions, while everyone else is Put on a Bus.
      • Ash often has another Signature Mon who is acting as The Ace and is a Spotlight-Stealing Squad. In the original series, it's Charizard, which is especially seen during the battle against Gary in the Johto League, where Pikachu is absent from the battle. In Advanced Generation, Sceptile becomes this more or less after his final evolution, but he doesn't get overexposed with this trope. In Diamond & Pearl, Infernape is this, especially due to its relationship with its previous trainer Paul who is Ash's rival and therefore pushed him to the frontlines in helping Ash defeat his toughest opponent yet. In XY&Z, Greninja became this after his final evolution and then when his bond with Ash gave him access to a unique and exclusive Super Mode called Ash-Greninja. During Sun & Moon, Incineroar and Lycanroc seem to split this role when Pikachu (who is Ash's undisputed true Ace in Alola) isn't on the spotlight. In Journeys, this role is also shared between Dragonite and Lucario again when Pikachu isn't in the spotlight.
      • Misty started out with a Water-type team that was balanced in exposure, then got a Spotlight-Stealing Squad in Psyduck before Togepi finally settled in as her Signature Pokémon, although she rarely ever used it in battle. Togepi's introduction also marked a shift in Misty's characterization, in which she became less of a tomboy and more of a mother to Togepi. Because of this, Togepi has a mixed reception from the fanbase. After Togetic's departure, Psyduck still sticks around when she returns in Sun & Moon, and she gets a Gyarados as her powerhouse which she caught in Chronicles.
      • Brock's Signature Mon was initially Onix, but after travelling through other regions and leaving most of his Pokémon in his home, his Croagunk is his Signature Mon for two series. In Sun & Moon, Brock goes back to his original Signature Mon, Steelix (Onix evolved off-screen during Advanced Generation).
      • May starts out with her Starter Pokémon, Torchic. However, it gets overshadowed by Beautifly who receives favoritism from May due her being a Coordinator. However, once Torchic evolves into Combusken, it gets enough attention and screentime to become her Signature Mon again as well as her powerhouse. Its status is still retained as a Blaziken.
      • Dawn's is Piplup, who is basically acting as a second Pikachu. Her Mamoswine is her signature powerhouse.
      • Paul's is Torterra, which was his starter and is arguably his strongest Pokémon implied to have been his main mon in his journeys throughout Kanto, Johto and Hoenn. During the Sinnoh journey the role goes to Electivire as it proves to be his strongest Pokémon barring Torterra itself who isn't as used as it, and also as Ash's Infernape's rival, who in turn used to also count as Paul's signature before it was released.
      • Iris's Axew is basically her Pikachu/Togepi/Piplup. Although, her initial signature powerhouse is Excadrill who is then overshadowed by Dragonite. When Iris returns in Pokémon Journeys, Axew has already fully evolved into Haxorus and became Iris's new ace, just like in the games (but male in the anime).
      • Cilan's is Pansage, just like in the games, but in later episodes of the Black and White series he's often overshadowed by Crustle and Stunfisk.
      • Serena's is her Starter Pokémon, Fennekin. She still continues to be her trainer's Signature Mon as Braixen.
      • Clemont is first introduced with Bunnelby, but Chespin would eventually be his Signature Mon... until Luxray comes in. Prior to Bunnelby's capture, it was Heliolisk who is Demoted to Extra really hard.
      • While still technically Clemont's Pokémon, Bonnie is allowed to take care of his Dedenne who is always treated as her Signature Mon. Then a Zygarde Core becomes this to her, even though it is just travelling with her.
      • Alain's is his Charizard which can Mega Evolve into Mega Charizard X, it was his only Pokémon at first and it is very much the only one with focus outside of the Kalos League. It also is his most powerful and proves capable of overcoming foes such as Elite Four's Malva's Mega Houndoom and even Ash-Greninja (three times in fact).
      • Sawyer's is his Treecko which evolved all the way into a Sceptile that eventually Mega Evolved into Mega Sceptile and is the uncontested Ace of his team.
      • Lana started out with a Popplio. As it evolves into Brionne and then Primarina it became her powerhouse, and the stray Eevee that she eventually caught fills the small companion role.
      • Kiawe's uncontested signature is his Turtonator, who is his Ace and main user of Z-Moves.
      • Sophocles has his Togedemaru and Vikavolt competing for this spot.
      • Mallow has her Bounsweet which evolved into a Steenee and then a Tsareena. Partly due to being one of her few Pokémon at hand.
      • Goh's Scorbunny is his starter and companion, though once it fully evolves, it stops being a walking Pokémon and is now kept in its Poke Ball. Sobble now acts as his companion mon, while Cinderace is his powerhouse. Note that Cinderace stil appears more frequently than Sobble.
      • Jessie's Signature Mon started out to be Ekans, who later evolved into Arbok. After Arbok's release, Wobbuffet has become this.
      • James's Signature Mon started as Koffing, who later evolved into Weezing. Its place was taken later on by Cacnea and Carnivine, although from Unova onward he hasn't really had a Signature Pokémon.
      • Gary has two. His Eevee (later Umbreon) whom he's seen the most with, and his Starter and powerhouse Blastoise.
      • Most Gym Leaders keep their Signature Pokémon from their game counterparts. But there are many others who don't and have a different one.
      • The story of Pokémon Origins focuses on Red's journey with his Starter Pokémon Charmander, which evolves all the way to Mega Charizard X. Red's other Pokémon are relegated to having cameo appearances.
    • The manga is more or less the same as the anime:
      • Pokémon Adventures protagonists usually have their starters in this role. They also often have a second major Pokémon, such as Ruby and his Feebas or Red and his Pikachu.
      • Hareta from Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure! has his starter, Piplup, who eventually goes on to evolve into Empoleon.
      • Red from Pocket Monsters has two, his Clefairy and his Pikachu. They're his two Pokémon that stick with him throughout the regions.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Almost every character has at least one Monster Card as their Signature Card. They often appear as their Ace Monster or they might have another strong bond to the character. It is sometimes rare to have more than one of them. Protagonists tend to have evolutions of their Signature Card. Expect the characters to spam their Signature Card in almost every duel, if not every duel.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
      • Yugi's and especially Atem's Signature Card is Dark Magician. Unlike other protagonists, Yugi/Atem doesn't spam his favorite monster in most duels and his deck is not exclusively based around Dark Magician. Dark Magician's evolutions are usually only one-time-transformations and don't appear again. Dark Magician even gets an origin story in the final arc, revealing that he was a priest named Mahad who devoted himself to protecting Pharaoh Atem.
      • Jounouchi starts out with Flame Swordsman, but he later would get Red-Eyes Black Dragon as his Signature Card. Red-Eyes would later symbolize the bond between Yugi and Jounouchi and characters treat Red-Eyes like it's Jounouchi's spirit. Jounouchi would later reclaim Red-Eyes off-screen by beating Yugi.
      • Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragon appears in all of Kaiba's duels, and he even has three copies of her. The only duel where she doesn't appear is in one duel of the non-canon Non-Serial Movie. In Battle City, Blue-Eyes is often overshadowed by Obelisk the Giant God Soldier, although Kaiba tends to fall back to Blue-Eyes when Obelisk is out of question. Like her fated rival Dark Magician, Blue-Eyes is also given an origin story in the final arc, being the spirit of a woman named Kisara who fell in love with Priest Seto (Kaiba's past life).
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
      • Judai uses an Elemental HERO deck, but his signature card throughout the series is his Winged Kuriboh, a Duel Spirit (not to be confused with the "Spirit Monster" type) who is given to him by Yugi during the first episode. He oftens acts as something of a Fairy Companion, coming out of the card to morally support him. Other signature monsters around the same level of Winged Kuriboh's significance include the Elemental HEROes Flame Wingman (his definitive favorite monster and original ace) and Neos (the definitive ace). Fusion (aka Polymerization in the west) has been shown to be Judai's Signature Spell Card in the series, with opponents prohibiting him to activate it, and Judai having a crisis to use it again in the last quarter of season 3.
      • Manjoume's Ojama Trio (not the Trap Card, but the three monsters on the card's artwork) who annoy him all the time, but symbolize the power of the weak, as well as his Armed Dragon LV7 who is his powerhouse and ace.
      • Asuka starts out with Cyber Blader, but would later go with Cyber Angel - Benten and more or less with the stronger Cyber Angel - Dakini.
      • Kaiser really loves to play with Cyber End Dragon. Even after becoming Hell Kaiser and relying more on Cyberdark Dragon, his Cyber End Dragon is still his definite Ace Monster.
      • Edo Phoenix plays around with this idea by introducing Elemental HERO Shining Phoenix Guy as an anti-hero counterpart to Judai's Shining Flare Wingman, but soon after revealing his true archetype, we are getting introduced to Destiny HERO Dread Guy, who only serves to cover for his true Ace Monster, Destiny HERO Dogma Guy. But later on, Edo eventually obtains Destiny HERO Bloo-D, who would serve as Edo's new Ace Monster and definitive Signature Card for the rest of the series.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's:
      • The Signers have their dragons as their Signature Card. Only a few of them have a secondary one: Yusei has Junk Warrior who was basically Yusei's replacement for Stardust Dragon, but is still used often enough later on and fully returns as his Signature Card at the finale. Crow has Blackfeather — Armored Wing as his initial Signature Card prior to getting Black-Feather Dragon. And Lua has Power Tool Dragon, which is just the downgraded version of his Life Stream Dragon.
      • In contrast the Dark Signers have their Earthbound Immortals as their Signature Card.
      • Similarly, the Emperors of Yliaster have their Meklord Emperors, Team Ragnarok has their respective Lords of the Aesir, and Team Unicorn each have their own horned lightning horse.
      • This trope is deconstructed in Aporia's duel against Z-ONE due to the former believing that Metaion, the Timelord is the latter's Signature Card. Only for Z-ONE to reveal that Metaion is just one of his many Timelords and summons Lazion to disrupt Aporia's strategy. Although later, he does reveal he has one, in the form of Sephylon, the Ultimate Timelord.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL:
      • Yuma has No. 39: King of Wishes — Hope. While he gets more and more Numbers, he is always relying on Hope who gets a lots of evolutions and even a de-evolution. This is justified, since Hope is his creation and symbolizes his hope. However, once Astral takes all Numbers in his possession, Yuma creates Number F0: King of Future — Hope as a replacement for the original Hope.
      • Shark keeps switching Signature Cards all the time. First, it's Black Ray Lancer, then Number 32: Marine Biting Dragon — Shark Drake, then Number 101: Silent Honor ARK, and finally Barian Hope.
      • Count the number of times where Kaito doesn't use Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon.
      • The Seven Barian Emperors' Signature Cards are their Over-Hundred Numbers, including their Chaos evolutions.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V:
      • Yuya's Odd-Eyes Dragon was something of a Living Emotional Crutch. After becoming permanently Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon, Yuya doesn't need to worry about his favorite monster that much because it can easily come back.
      • All of Yuya's counterparts have a Signature Card in form of an interdimensional counterpart to Odd-Eyes. Yuto has Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon, Yugo has Clear Wing Synchro Dragon, and Yuri has Starve Venom Fusion Dragon.
      • Reiji plays with the idea of having one. His DDD Great Death King Hell Armageddon is initially introduced as an Expy to Blue-Eyes, but the more Reiji duels, the more it becomes apparent that Reiji doesn't have one, as he keeps switching using different monsters, given that his entire deck doesn't focus on a single monster. Hell Armageddon comes back at the finale to showcase that he and his evolutions are Reiji's definitive aces, but he used many different other monsters in previous duels that could also qualify.
      • The legacy characters have different Signature Cards from their original counterparts. ARC-V' Jack's Red Daemon's Dragon Scarlight is the retrained counterpart of 5D's Jack's Red Daemon's Dragon and Scarlight is the closest to resemble the Signature Card of its owner's original counterpart, but the rest are far more different. ARC-V Crow lacks a dragon, similarly like his original 5D's counterpart initially did, but ARC-V Crow Signature Monster Assault Blackfeather — Raikiri the Rain Shower differs heavily from Blackfeather — Armored Wing and seems more like a much more better version of Blackfeather — Silverwind the Ascendence. ARC-V Kaito's Galaxy-Eyes Cipher Dragon looks visually very similar to ZEXAL Kaito's Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon, but Cipher Dragon is an Xyz Monster instead of an Effect Monster, works in a different second archetype and has a completely different effect. ARC-V Edo's Destiny HERO Dystopia Guy is the first Destiny HERO Fusion Monster and his visual appearance doesn't match the dark and edgy theme of the archetype and has no resemblance to GX Edo's Destiny HERO Bloo-D in terms of stats, appearance and effects and notably lacks the game-breaking power and dread Bloo-D has.
      • Fusion (aka Polymerization) is the Signature Spell Card of characters hailing from the Fusion Dimension. Because of that, the card is often treated with negative reactions in-universe.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS:
      • Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker plays around with his trope, because just like Yusei his first ace was Decode Talker which has 2300 ATK just like Yusei's Junk Warrior. It was later stated that Firewall Dragon is his ace since it has 2500 ATK just like the other ace monsters of the previous protagonists, but he rarely uses Firewall Dragon and it was only used a total of three times in season 1 while Decode Talker was used a lot more if not in nearly every duel in that season. Season 2 plays around with his trope even more especially because Yusaku stopped using Firewall Dragon and the Decode Talker series all that much, with both of them only appearing twice, and once respectively for the entirety of the season, with the former first appearance being essentially against a Mook. Season 2 would instead puts much of the focus towards alternative summoning method (which currently include Ritual, Fusion and Synchro) and all of those monsters have 2500 ATK and 2000 DEF just like the ace monsters of the previous protagonists, making it really hard to say which monster is his true signature mon. That said of them all Cyberse Clock Dragon, the Fusion is by far the most prominent, making consecutive appearance two more times after the first time it was summoned, and after its absence midway through the season, it appears in every duel for the remainder of the series, even ones that happened off-screen. While Cyberse Clock Dragon is not the official ace of Yusaku, its extremely frequent appearances is so notable that it was lampshaded during the final duel of the series.
      • Go Onizuka's ace monster is Gouki the Great Ogre, but he still has other ace monsters that are equally if not even more powerful. In season 2, he changes his deck to Dinowrestler and his ace monster became Dinowrestler King T Wrextle.
      • Aoi Zaizen has Trickstar Holly Angel as her ace monster.
      • Following in the footsteps of his predecessor Reiji, Revolver also has several ace monsters all of them having 3000 ATK. However, his main ace monsters are Topologic Bomber Dragon and Borreload Dragon.

    Fan Works 
  • Seijun Tombo:
    • Seijun Tombo depicts Red's Signature Mon as his high-leveled Pikachu. His second one is his starter Charizard.
    • Green's Signature Mons are his first two Pokémon Blastoise and Umbreon.
    • Blue's Signature Mon is her starter Venusaur.
    • In Pokemon: Festival of Champions, certain characters are associated with certain Pokémon. For example, Karen's main Pokémon is the Houndoom she met as a child.
  • The eponymous Jessica is Cameron's. He doesn't even want to evolve her into a Raichu, notwithstanding the increase in her power.
  • Megami no Hanabira: In keeping with the spirit of Shin Megami Tensei, Demons usually don't have the staying power to become 'signature', being fused for new ones to keep up with the Power Creep. That said, a few Demons fit the bill in one way or another, most notably Mai's Matador: she gets the Fiend on the fourth day of the outbreak and it's her ace-in-the-hole right to the the Final Battle against Phillips.
  • Neon Genesis EvangeléMon: In this crossover with Pokémon, each of the characters from Neon Genesis Evangelion has one, or sometimes two, signature Pokémon. Shinji has Genesect and Marowak, Asuka has Groudon and Primeape, Rei has Mewtwo, Gendo has Hydreigon, Misato has a Shiny Empoleon, Ritsuko has Espeon, and Kaji has Tropius. Kaworu doesn't have one— he is Giratina. However, in his human disguise, his Signature Mon is Mimikyu.
  • In Pokemon Strangled Red, Steven, the protagonist, has his Charmander/Charmeleon/Charizard, Miki.
    • Additionally, Steven's rival and brother, Mike, is implied as Squirtle/Wartortle/Blastoise as his own.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Noddy Shop has a variety of toy characters that appear in the shop. However, Truman has a close friendship with Planet Pup and is often seem playing with him. One episode even dealt with Truman wanting to give him up for a more interesting toy.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Although Magic: The Gathering is not a Mons game per se, the Commander format is still based around something similar to this trope. The main gimmick of this format is that each deck has a "commander" card, that starts in a special "command zone" instead of the deck (so it can be cast immediately when the player has the mana for it, without needing to be drawn from the deck). If the commander would be destroyed or otherwise removed from play, the player can choose to place it back into the command zone to be replayed later (though every cast requires more mana). This makes a commander very difficult to remove permanently and most decks are built to revolve tightly around it. In the early days of the format, the commander was always a Legendary creature, later on, some planeswalkers that can be commanders were also introduced. With the release of Strixhaven double-sided cards, you can even have a sorcery as your commander, making it more of a Signature Move than a Signature Mon.

    Video Games 
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Chaldea's summoning system allows Ritsuka Fujimaru, the Master, to summon multiple Servants that serve and fight for them. Fujimaru is almost always accompanied with Demi-Servant Mash Kyrielight, the Shielder, who is also Fujimaru's first Servant and the game's Series Mascot. In Singularities, Lostbelts and a couple of events and Interludes (especially the early ones), she's usually the only Servant (aside from the Servant whose Interlude you're playing) to stand beside her Master (except for most of Epic of Remnant where she's demoted to Mission Control as a consequence of the finale of Observer on Timeless Temple). Guest Servants aren't Servants you own, so they don't count as your Mons. Mash is unique in that her Ascensions, Rank-Ups, Bond Level and Noble Phantasm Level are story-locked, she is the only Servant who changes her rarity throughout the game, and she cannot be consumed by other Servants or be burned, so you can never get rid of her. She cannot even be put into the Second Archive. Mash also serves as Fujimaru's main Love Interest and compared to other Servants, she has the largest character arc. And unlike other Servants, you cannot obtain multiple Saint Graphs of her, you cannot increase her Bond Level beyond 5 nor can you enhance her via Palingenesis.
    • Kirschtaria Wodime has multiple Servants under his command, but the one whom he has the closest connection with is Caenis, who also is The Face of his Servants.
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth: Hackers are able to "capture" more than one Digimon, so there are various characters who use two or three Digimon in battle. Many Hackers treat their Digimon as mere programs, basically their own tools and weapons, but some Hackers later learn that their Digimon aren't programs, but living beings. Strangely enough, most of main characters stick with only one Digimon and are rather not interested in capturing another one.
    • The Protagonist Aiba has three starter mons to choose from: Terriermon, Palmon and Hagurumon. However, the player is able to capture any Digimon they want and can evolve their Digimon into anything they want. Their starter might not even be included in the final battle. Moreover, their starter can actually be consumed by another Digimon or deleted by the player. Yet, the Master Cup features a Mirror Match with Aiba. The opposing Aiba, however, uses straight-forward final evolutions of all three starters: SaintGalgomon, Rosemon and HiAndromon. Basically, Aiba's canon Signature Mons are all three starters.
    • Nokia's Signature Mon is Omegamon, and by extension, his two components Agumon and Gabumon. While hinted early throughout the game, it's revealed that Agumon and Gabumon already met Nokia eight years prior to the story of the game.
    • Arata's Signature Mon is the Keramon line. It is notable the only Partner Digimon of a main character that can be seen from its Child stage all the way up to its Ultimate stage, Diablomon, unlike the others who are usually seen to be skipping several stages or is already in a high stage to begin with. It's later revealed that Arata met his partner as a Kuramon eight years ago. As a further note, right before the finale, Arata actually tries out to capture another, strong Digimon in preparation, but changes his mind once his Infermon evolves into Diablomon.
    • Yuugo's Signature Mon is Mugendramon. It's much later revealed that he also has a RizeGreymon, but never actually uses it. It's later revealed that "Yuugo" is actually Yuuko using her brother's avatar. Mugendramon stays loyal to the "Yuugo" avatar and refuses to join Yuuko. RizeGreymon, however, switches to Yuuko and then evolves into Gaiomon. It's later revealed that Yuuko and the real Yuugo met their partners as Botamon and Pabumon eight years ago.
    • Fei's Signature Mon is TigerVespamon, but she also has Hououmon and Sakuyamon to back her up. Despite how she views Digimon as their mere tools, she's surprised to learn that her TigerVespamon has her own will and the Digimon assists the protagonist to save Yuuko because of TigerVespamon's loyalty to her master, Fei.
  • Pokémon might be the Trope Codifier of this trope. Even though there are over 800 Pokémon, and there will be even more in the future, every trainer has one Pokémon that is most assosciated with them. It's usually the last mon they use when battling them.
    • Gym Leaders, Elite Four members and Champions usually use them when their Signature Pokémon is their last one left.
    • Protagonists don't officially have canon starters, and in fact Red was given all three Kanto starters specifically to avoid canonizing one, however official artwork often depicts a protagonist with one starter more than the others. In the first generation, Red was associated with Bulbasaur, but come the third generation remakes and he is now associated with Charmander. Green and Leaf are associated with Squirtle, Ethan with Cyndaquil or Totodile, Lyra with Chikorita, Brendan with any of the three Hoenn starters (Treecko, Torchic, or Mudkip), May with Torchic (and sometimes Mudkip), Lucas and Dawn with Piplup (sometimes the latter has Turtwig or Chimchar), Hilda with Tepig, Nate with Tepig, Rosa with Snivy, Calem with Froakie, Serena with Fennekin, and Selene with Rowlet. Red is also associated with Pikachu due to the fact he is his highest leveled Pokémon and that he was Red's starter in Pokémon Yellow.
    • Some of the rivals have one. Blue has Pidgeot or Alakazam (or Eevee in Yellow), Wally has Ralts, Bianca has Munna, Calem or Serena have Absol, etc.
    • The Hoenn Frontier Brains usually keep one Pokémon in both battles.
    • Pokémon Masters features famous trainers and lets them have one Pokémon apiece; most either use their Signature Mon, or didn't have a specific signature to start but are assigned one from the Pokémon they're known to use. But it's also subverted in some cases, as some trainers' partners are Pokémon other than their signature. For instance, Lt. Surge is well-known for his Raichu, but in Masters he uses his other mainstay, a Voltorb.
    • Every Gym Leader in Pokémon Sword and Shield has one of these, but what separates them from prior trainers is that the Signature Mon for each of them has Gigantamax potential that can — and will — be used against you when you fight them. Milo and Nessa don't do so at first, resorting to regular Dynamax, but when you rematch them, expect the worst.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • If Yoshis can be considered Mario's Mons, then his signature Mon is the green one, who is not only the one that Mario is most commonly seen riding, but also the only playable Yoshi in most of the spin-offs.
    • Mario Party 3: The game's Duel Mode has many of Mario's enemies acting like Mons, with each playable character having a specific Mook that they start the duel with. Mario has a Koopa Troopa, Luigi has a Goomba, Yoshi has a Boo and so on.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • The hero of Shin Megami Tensei I is often associated with the Cerberus that used to be his pet dog Pascal. Unlike almost every other demon in the game, this Cerberus will join even if he has a higher level than the hero.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei Liberation: Dx2, each of your party members is associated with a specific demon. They join you with that demon and has a trial fight against you with that demon as a boss. Later, in the protagonist's Dx2 Quest, they will fight you again with much buffed versions of those demons.
      • Templar Dragon has Nekomata.
      • Megakin has the Series Mascot Jack Frost as his signature. This may play into the fact that he's a famous figure and is somewhat like a mascot himself.
      • Chalk Eater has Forneus. Forneus is one of the earliest demons with multiple elements, and when Awakened he loses his elemental weakness. Fittingly, Chalk Eater's skillset is based around exploiting elemental weaknesses.
      • Eileen has Mermaid, who has a lot of random target attacks. Eileen herself has a skillset based on casting random attacks.
      • Kangaroo Boxer has Ammut. Ammut is fast and has Rebellion, a skill that guarantees a critical hit for the next turn. Similarly, Kangaroo Boxer's skillset focuses on going first and scoring critical hits.
      • Shionyan's signature is Isis, who can inflict Mute. This plays well with Shionyan's skills to strengthen status ailments.
      • Meat Balloon's signature is Horkos, a tanky demon who can counter attacks and has Endure, a skill that lets it survive its first death. Meat Balloon's skillset is based on staying alive and countering attacks.
    • In Persona, the protagonist is mostly associated with Vishnu, in spite of not actually being a unique Persona. This stems from Vishnu being the strongest Persona of the Emperor Arcana, and it is featured in both the original American release's box art and the popular manga adaptation.
    • In Persona 2, all the characters are associated with their Ultimate Personas (as they can all use multiple), though with the Eternal Punishment cast their initial Personas are considered to be just as iconic.
    • The protagonists of Persona 3, Persona 4 and Persona 5 are usually associated with their initial Personas, but the P3 one is also associated with Thanatos.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, a Pixie is the first demon the Demi-Fiend finds in the new world. While it's a partnership of convenience (she wants to get to Yoyogi Park), she'll stay with you if you ask. If you keep the Pixie that you started the game with all the way until the end (this includes Pixie being fused into another demon), you will be rewarded with an absurdly powerful "Uber-Pixie" which has several valuable late-game skills. It's hard to interpret this as anything other than Pixie's original bond with the Demi-Fiend being rewarded. As a result, cameos in later games often include a powerful Pixie in his party, and fanartists tend to draw him with Pixie, as his one companion in the hostile Vortex World.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Jimenez has Boogaboo. He ends up fusing with him.
  • In Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido, most of the major characters wield a Sushi Sprite that either only they use or are otherwise closely associated with them. Some of the minor characters do too. Most have powers reflecting the humans they've bonded with:
    • Musashi, the Player Character, comes across Jinrai, a unique and legendary Sushi Sprite very early into the game. Jinrai's high rank among Sushi Sprites allows him to serve as Mr. Exposition, but he also can sense potential in people, which is why he chose to partner up with Musashi.
    • Franklin has the tanuki-like Ara-o as his traveling companion. Also a legendary Sushi Sprite, Ara-o's Clean Plate, which stops other Sushi Sprites' abilities, reflects Franklin's Martial Pacifist approach to sushi-striking.
    • Kojiro rapidly changes from one Sushi Sprite to another, but he will always have either Hakkan, Konkan, or Ghozo on his team, and he's the only one to use them until he's kicked out of the Empire and the Sushimancers take over. Befitting Kojiro's nature as The Bully, all three of them are Purposely Overpowered.
    • Archie is a Non-Action Guy but stumbles onto Kyatten. As they share an interest in bringing diverse people together, they partner up to open a sushi stand.
    • Celia is the only character to pledge with Pyonten, at least until she retires and lets Musashi pledge with him. A Broken Bird attempting to find peace, Pyonten's Fruits Paradise ability is a Healing Shiv.
    • Rio has the only known Kerozo in existence on his team. A Cloud Cuckoolander to the core, Kerozo has the equally baffling ability to reduce all players' attack power by a factor of 10 for the rest of the battle.
    • Each of the Empire's Generals have a signature Sushi Sprite as well: Kodiak, a man who cares very much about looking manly, has Wani-o, which lets him rapidly scarf down sushi; Ausprey, the land's biggest fan of wasabi, has Kama-o, who can replace sushi with heaps of wasabi; Purrsilla, who had a romantic breakup with a man who loved salmon and tuna sushi, has Plasm-o, who allows Purrsilla to No-Sell any attacks that involve salmon or tuna; and Tiburon, the commanding General, has Jinrai's Evil Counterpart Gourai, whose Lightningzap increases his attack power and pairs well with his ruling with an iron fist until Emperor Octavius takes over and seizes control of Gourai from Tiburon.
    • Masa, leader of the Sushi Liberation Front, is associated with Crowkan. Crowkan's ability, Blackout, obscures information for the target, matching his role as a Villain with Good Publicity.
    • Emperor Octavius uses Gourai, but whereas he uses Lightningzap when under Tiburon, Octavius has access to Gourai's What's Yours Is Mine. Just as Octavius simply takes whatever he wants from other people as he sees fit, What's Yours Is Mine allows Octavius to take and eat sushi from Musashi's side of the playfield, which is normally completely off limits.
    • Emperor Octavius's father, the man who mentally damaged him, was the only user of Chamelva, a Hollywood Chameleon with the Skill Copy ability, which copies the Sushi Sprite ability the opponent had last used. The man was revered by Empire loyalists as a master striker, and his use of Chamelva suggests he liked to humiliate his opponents by using their Sushi Sprites' skills better than they could.
  • Rexxar from the Warcraft series has many animal companions to fight at his side, but his most prominent one is a brown bear named Misha. Notably in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Misha is the only animal companion who has no set duration when summoned unlike the other beasts that Rexxar can summon.
  • Yo-Kai Watch:
    • Nate is associated with Jibanyan, the Cute Kitten Series Mascot. He also has Whisper, his yo-kai butler and the first yo-kai he encounters.
    • Zig-zagged with Katie. Official artwork depicts Komasan (the second Series Mascot) as this to her, however in-game she's actually more associated with Jibanyan due to the fact both protagonists' stories are more-or-less identical. Katie as the protagonist is also associated with Whisper.
    • Hailey Anne has Usapyon, an astronaut-themed rabbit (actually otter) yo-kai. He's the first yo-kai she meets.
  • ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal features 77 types of fairies to be captured, but the vast majority of promotional materials for the game seem to focus on Viteria. This is probably because she evolves from the default Starter Mon Sillia, is easily the most powerful Nature fairy in the game, and sports the iconic "butterfly-winged waif" look of a storybook fairy creature.
  • In Gotcha Force, most of the kids bonded with Gotcha Borgs has one named borg which is a powered-up redesign of a basic borg of their specialty, and which only appears as a foe as the ace of the kid's team - for example, Girl Borg specialist Usagi uses Kei, a Battle Girl with a different outfit, hair, and has several levels of improvement compared to bog-standard Battle Girls. There are two exceptions - Player Character Kou gets G-Red, who is named but is unique (and the player is not obligated to use G-Red at all or as the last choice if they do); and Orochi, whose signature borg is a regular Death Wing (which can appear outside of Orochi fights).

    Visual Novel 
  • Fate/stay night: As mentioned with Fate/Zero and Fate/Apocrypha above, Masters are technically able to make new contracts with already summoned Servants that have their original contracts severed, and in within the three routes of the visual novel, several Masters obtain another Servants due to circumstances. Similarly, because of those bizarre situations within the Fifth Holy Grail War, the trope can also be inverted and certain Servants have a Signature Master instead.
    • Tohsaka Rin's original Servant is Archer, but she loses her contract with him to Caster, thus she makes a new contract with Saber after Caster dies and all contracts with Casters are nullified. Archer still serves as her Signature Mon within the franchise, and likewise, Rin serves as Archer's Signature Master.
    • Caster is interesting due to having killed her original Master Atrum Galliasta and making a new contract with Kuzuki Souichirou, who would become her Signature Master within the franchise. Caster herself summons Assassin, and, in ''Unlimited Blade Works, she steals the contracts of Saber and Archer. Assassin still serves as Caster's Signature Mon.
    • Speaking of Assassin, in Heaven's Feel, when True Assassin is summoned by Matou Zouken from Assassin's body, True Asssassin is still bound to a contract with Caster, thus he forces her to cancel their contract. Zouken would then later become True Assassin's Master and Signature Master.
    • Kotomine Kirei still works with his previous partner Gilgamesh as a pseudo-pair of Master and Servant, but due to Gilgamesh's incarnation and Independent Action, he doesn't act like a real Servant towards Kotomine. Kotomine steals Lancer's contract from Bazett Fraga [Mc Remitz] and serves as Lancer's Signature Master within the franchise, but it's Gilgamesh who acts as Kotomine's Signature Mon. Gilgamesh, who has five different Masters within the franchise, has two Signatur Masters: Kotomine Kirei and Kishinami Hakuno (particularly the female version).

    Western Animation 
  • Huntik: Seekers usually have more than just one titan, but their personal favorite titan is the one whose amulet they were around their neck as well... an amulet.

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