Whatever uniform you wear
You can fight like a krogan
Run like a leopard
But you'll never be better than Commander Shepard!"
The Ace is someone who is ridiculously good at what they do, whatever that happens to be, and everyone knows it. People look up to them, envy them, and are in awe of them. He or she has a reputation for doing the impossible, and may be Shrouded in Myth, as people are unable to separate their real accomplishments from unfounded rumors.
In a work revolving around a specific activity, any kind of Serious Business, the Ace will be the best at it. Other characters may refer to the Ace as "the best of the best" at this activity. In works lacking that sort of focus, they'll probably be extremely talented at everything.
The Ace is rarely The Protagonist, typically acting as the living embodiment of Always Someone Better. They'll drive the protagonist to greater efforts either out of envy or by inspiring them. As such, if they're a main character, expect them to be either The Rival or The Mentor. If they're a minor but reoccurring character, then they'll almost certainly be Hero of Another Story.
However, The Hero typically evolves into an Ace by the end of their story by virtue of having the most potential to unlock. By the time this happens the original Ace will likely be hit by The Worf Effect a few times or both will be standing on equal ground. However, The Hero starting the story as an Ace is not unheard of it, and can serve as a reconstruction.
The Ace is common in the Romance genre, but what they are good at usually has little effect on the romantic plot. Some Dystopian settings feature an Ace, though they tend to be the victim of Tall Poppy Syndrome to show they're also good at dying. Protagonists in role-playing video-games are almost always Aces.
If the Ace's talent is operating combat vehicles, then they're an Ace Pilot, but note that not all ace pilots are an example of this. If the Ace's private life isn't nearly as great as it seems from the outside, then they're a Broken Ace. Take this too far and you risk accusations of a Mary Sue (especially if the Ace is female). Though this trope is often played for comedy, Ace's impossible talents being the joke. If (s)he isn't really that amazing, then see Feet of Clay or Fake Ultimate Hero. If their talent is due to intelligence instead of simple awesomeness, see Impossible Genius. In a High School setting, they're typically the Big Man on Campus.
See Ultimate Life Form for a character that is literally perfect, and see World's Best Warrior where this is solely about combat success. Compare Broken Ace. Contrast Loser Archetype and Classical Anti-Hero.
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Films Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Professional Wrestling
- Video Games
- Western Animation
- The Air-Mazing Kid from this 2013 SKECHERS Commercial.
- Tennessee's Farm Bureau Insurance has Charlie, a farmer who can do open heart surgery, answer any question, an even helped the Titans win a game after getting a call from the coach.
- The Man Your Man Could Smell Like from the 2010 Old Spice commercials. He's on a horse.
- The Most Interesting Man in the World from the Dos Equis beer commercials. For more of his exploits, see the other commercials here.
- The bearded guy from the 2011 Heineken commercial, The Date.
- Dilbert character Topper at least claims he's an ace and he's never been successfully called on it. It doesn't matter what you've done whether its recycling, building a time machine, or giving birth, he claims he's done it better.
- FoxTrot gives us Grandma, Andy's mom, who has apparently traveled the world, is a world-class chef and well-informed in most all subjects. However, she deconstructs the trope when Andy finally reveals that living under her and her Monty Oum levels of awesome has made her almost unable to connect with her and feel seriously inferior to her.
- In early strips of Zits, Jeremy's older brother Chad was this (at least in the eyes of his jealous brother) to the extent that he was The Faceless.
- Mobius in Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, though it's justified, since he's a ponified version of the Player Character from Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. The griffins have Black Star and Gilda, though the latter is more of a Broken Ace.
- Subverted in The Fifth Act. Cloud is adored throughout ShinRa for his skill, known to match Sephiroth and being a good mentor to those willing to seek him out. He falls off this when they find out that he essentially planned a murder-suicide for himself and Sephiroth. This ends up being for the best as they can finally help Cloud and truly befriend him.
- Fist of the Moon: A lot of Reis sniping comes from the fact that Usagi wasnt this, despite being more powerful and experienced (as well as her leader the Princess). When Usagi starts growing up, Rei gets a lot more complimentary, though theyre still Vitriolic Best Buds.
- A Fool Named Fortune has Roy, who is good at what he does in almost any situation.
- In A Force of Four, Power Girl takes up the mantle of world's greatest protector after the death of the Golden Age Superman, being the mightiest hero of Earth-Two by far and Justice Society of America greatest asset when a trio of Kryptonian criminals comes along.
- Yukihana from A Growing Affection has the skills of an S-Rank Jonin buy chooses to remain is a Genin. During the Demon Fox attack she hurt the demon enough to save the lives of the original Ino-Shika-Cho, and then proceeded to help Minato with his plan to seal the fox. All only day after giving birth. She was lethally wounded in the process.
- Pyrrha in The Commission is this compared to the Broken Ace she was in canon, thanks to her interactions with Weiss and Cinder, with the former even encouraging the girl to refer to her on a First-Name Basis. Aside from her more balanced humility, her combat prowess grows to the point where she easily scores win after win in the Vytal Festival, even single-handedly defeating Team CFVY after the rest of her team gets downed.
- Pyrrha in Ruby and Nora started off this way, though she is later revealed to be even more of a Broken Ace then in canon.
- Forum of Thrones has multiple examples:
- Elias Tyrell is one of the most famed knights in the Reach. At a rather young age, he is incredibly gifted in combat and openly embodies the virtues of a knight, at least in public.
- Orys Baratheon is one of the few genuine examples of a Knight In Shining Armour this story has, as well as a highly skilled tactician. His polite and chivalrous behaviour makes it easy to forget that he is also one of the most deadly fighters in Westeros.
- Aegon Targaryen himself proves himself to be one. He is a great commander, brave in battle, handsome as all Valyrian's are, as well as an actually inspiring leader with a strong vision of uniting the continent and ruling justly over a peaceful realm.
- Harmony Theory has Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie. This is due to their vast amount of innate magic, which the ponies of future Equestria have little of. Twinkle Shine even comments that Rainbow Dash was a phenom even by pre-Schism standards.
- Hellsister Trilogy: In absence of her cousin, Supergirl is the Legion of Super-Heroes's strongest, fastest and most powerful member, as well as one of the smarter Legionnaires.
- Zorro from Latias' Journey. Berry Stoo and Mariah Susanson might also count, but are more a case of Parody Sues. Likewise, Auron from the sequel, Brave New World.
- Sara Nelson-Shimazu from the Lyrical Nanoha Fan Fic series called the Deva Series. Although now a Posthumous Character and thus subjected to pre-emptive Deus Exit Machina, in the backstory she was said to have sealed two Lost Logia on par with the canonical Book of Darkness by herself — remember how much trouble the Book of Darkness gave the canon characters — as well as being a highly accomplished mage who invented the eponymous system of magic, which has spells of both destruction and utility far beyond anything existing systems had to offer.
- The Fire Emblem works of Naryfiel Lilith deconstruct this trope. A Thief's Legacy, chronologically the earliest entry in the Elibe saga, sees the Legendary Heroes of the Scouring seeing themselves coming to be viewed as divine beings and recognizing the dangers of this (while also using this to their advantage to make sure that their corrupt leader gets his comeuppance), and by A Tactician's Legacy, the FE6 novelization, the heroes of FE7 have been placed on a similar pedestal, again with warnings about the dangers of this.
- In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Commander Samantha Shepard actually ends up averting the trope once the story moves into and past the Mass Effect 2 canon. She suffers from a (justifiable) Heroic BSoD into Broken Ace territory and subsequent FaceHeel Turn, leading to other characters openly wondering if she's fit for duty anymore or even if she should be killed. In spite of this, the people in charge assume she will simply return to being The Ace once she snaps out of her depression, and treat her accordingly. This only makes it worse and Shepard's psychologist indirectly calls them out on this during Sam's therapy. Ultimately a downplayed Double Subversion as she returns to duty as combat-proficient, diplomatic, and creative as ever, though she spreads The Chains of Commanding around by deferring to Garrus on occasion.
- Alexend from the French Pokémon Fanfic/Parody "Pokémon D/P: Plus qu'un jeu" (Pokémon Diamond/Pearl: More Than A game). Seemingly invincible, uses a sword rather than fight with his Pokémon, although he sometimes does so; always appears to help the main character, Zeronos (not related to Zeronos from Kamen Rider Den-O except his name which was taken from there, it's his ACTUAL NAME), when he's facing an opponent too strong for him, such as Drakness, or simply to destroy something too stupid for him to deal with normally (such as facing the Teletubbies in a Pokémon fight, Alexend just jumped in and killed them all in one slash of his sword before the fight even started, stating that it wouldn't have been funny to fight them anyway.). He have a tendency to show up (and go away when he's done) in an unnecessary cool looking fashion (includes Dramatic Wind, sparkles, lens flares and whatnot when he's in a good mood, but he his more likely to just pop up in a breeze of wind behind Zeronos and disappear the same way). Can be considered as a mix between Sidekick Ex Machina, Hypercompetent Sidekick and a bit of Parody Sue.
- Pokémon Master: Ash Ketchum is the best and most powerful Pokemon Master in this setting... to his chagrin.
- In Fire Emblem story Queen Of Sorrow, both Ike and Zelgius are portrayed this way, as well as being a One-Man Army each. Subverted in that despite all their strength and charisma, they end up being defeated by clever strategy.
- Victory At Ostagar has Adam Hawke, to his brother's constant consternation. He is both talented and very, very lucky.
- All of Team Seven have shades of this at the beginning, and as the story goes on they all progress to full Ace status.
- Even in this alternate universe, Minato and Itachi are still considered leagues above everyone else. Minato achieved Nirvana as a teenager using Seals, and even half dead and blind Itachi is considered a Paragon of ninja skill.
- Wings To Fly: Do you want to invent an entirely new style of beamsaber combat that's better than the existing one? Lock Duo Maxwell in a room for three months and slip pizzas under the door. The room won't hold him though, you really do need the pizzas for that. Need an expert in salvage equipment? Duo's got your back. Diagnose Zero System exposure psychosis? He's got a checklist in his back pocket. Ironically he'll elaborate at length on his terrible childhood and why he ought to be a Broken Ace. But isn't.
- The Hunter in With Strings Attached. At least, Jeft is desperately trying to show the four that he's the Ace and they're feeble jerks. Unfortunately for him, the four force Character Development upon him, and he turns into quite a decent guy.
- The Italian remake of Battle Fantasia Project has a few, but they tend to be Broken Aces. On the other hand Sunset Shimmer plays it straight (to the point her character sheet describes her special talent as "completing and exceeding all her goals"), and Twilight Sparkle and Trixie are implied as such by the fact they were Sunset's rivals (especially Twilight, as she's the one Unicorn more powerful than Sunset herself).
- Some examples in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines include:
- Erika of Celadon City. She's an excellent gym leader, the head of one of the largest department store chains in the world, and a major player in Kanto politics. And she carries a lot of respect in all three fields.
- Elite Four member Lorelei. She's a beautiful woman with plenty of smarts, charisma, determination and one strongest trainers of her region.
- Steven Stone, full stop. The regional Hoenn Champion, heir to the Devon Corporation, and a well-respected researcher.
- A very common attribute of Princess Celestia in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction, due to her nature as an immortal alicorn (combining the traits of all three types of ponies) who raises the sun in the morning and puts it to bed at night.
- The Triptych Continuum makes both Luna and Celestia aces in their own ways.
- Among the various cooks in the Magic Chef competition in Harry Potter and the Lack of Lamb Sauce, Arjuna Belaji is the best in every category and gets through most rounds without any criticisms, usually being ranked the best each time. This results in a fair bit of Tall Poppy Syndrome from the other competitors, especially since most of them have sympathetic reasons for enteringnote , but Arjuna is only in the competition for the sake of winning it. Eventually becomes deconstructed when Arjuna's refusal to practice with the other competitors causes her to start struggling, especially during a round where use of magic is forbidden, and Arjuna eventually is disqualified for cheating due to letting her competitiveness overcome her common sensenote .
- Aladdin disguises himself as the completely over-the-top Prince Ali to woo Princess Jasmine, and he's introduced with a preposterously epic song that's one long hymn to his awesomeness.
- Hercules: Once he defeats the Hydra, Herc's rise to fame and fortune is meteoric, and the Zero to Hero song states outright that he doesn't lose. Throughout the song, the Muses talk Herc up as an unbeatable yet Humble Hero, a Nice Guy and a Chick Magnet with a 100% Adoration Rating.
- In Barbie in a Mermaid Tale and its sequel, Merliah is a champion surfer.
- The Book of Life:
- Manolo Sanchez. When it comes to bullfighting, Carlos states that Manolo is destined to become the "greatest Sanchez bullfighter ever", and he probably would be the greatest if it weren't for his unwillingness to deliver the finishing blow on a bull. He also has a talent for thinking up song lyrics on the spot.
- Maria Posada is easily the best fighter of the series, and is able to give an epic encouraging speech to all of San Angel to fight Chakal and his bandits.
- Joaquin Mondragon, or so it seems, but he is actually using The Medal of Everlasting life, making it impossible to kill or even hurt him. Though by the end he decides to earn his reputation honestly.
- In The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ash's cousin, Kristofferson, is a fox kit who seemingly can do no wrong, although he tries not to make a big deal of it. Regardless, young Ash feels belittled by him, but eventually both achieve a mutual understanding and become friends.
- A Cut Song from Frozen named "More Than Just A Spare" has Anna refer to her older sister Elsa as an "athlete, scholar, poet". The song was written from an earlier script when both sisters weren't forcibly introverted. Elsa having athletic skills in the final product is unlikely due to her upbringing, however she most likely was well-educated as a part of her education towards being the future queen of her country.
- Subverted with Captain Sternn of Heavy Metal. Outwardly he looks to be the typical Ace, with the heroic clothes, the swagger, the lantern jaw, etc., but we soon discover he's really a despicable character despite his outward charms.
- Dr. Glickenstein from Igor.
- The Lion King: Mufasa, who is a strong lion, capable king, and good father.
- Subverted by Metro Man in Megamind. While otherwise fitting the trope to a tee, he really doesn't want to be a hero and fakes his own death in order to retire.
- The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!: Black Bellamy, much to the Pirate Captain's frustration.
- In Rio, the bird that replaced Nigel in a project.
- Toy Story: Buzz Lightyear is this to Woody for most of the first movie, and retains a bit of it after he comes to terms with the reality that he's a toy. In the spinoff series, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Buzz is The Ace played straight as The Protagonist.
- In "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "CNR", Charles Nelson Reilly is The Ace.
Charles Nelson Reilly won the Tour de France with two flat tires and a missing chain
He trained a rattlesnake to do his laundry, I'm telling you the man was insane
- Classical Mythology:
- Achilles and Odysseus of The Iliad and The Odyssey are this trope to different degrees. Achilles borders on Boring Invincible Hero while Odysseus is one of the earliest known examples of a Guile Hero.
- Hector as well; since antiquity, it's been common to note that Hector is in many ways the better of the two between him and Achilles, being more loyal and conventionally virtuous than Achilles, who can be selfish and vindictive. He's immensely respected by friend and foe alike, and without Achilles fighting with them, Hector pushes the Greeks back to their ships after a series of running battles. He's also fighting to defend his country, compared to the Greeks who are invading; when he's killed, the whole city erupts into mourning for their coming doom.
- A better example would be Diomedes, a Greek commander who, while also badass, is much more mature and wise. Also, he manages to defeat (and even wound) Ares and Aphrodite in a fight.
- Heracles was a great athlete, warrior, general, sailor, explorer and trickster among other things.
- Cu Chulainn, hero of the Táin Bó Cúailnge and other stories of Celtic Mythology, had a reputation of being awesome at everything, be it fighting, sports, chess, crafting and solving riddles, chariot-riding, being ridiculously good-looking, or turning into a horrific, bloodthirsty monster and going on a killing-spree.
- Gilgamesh of The Epic of Gilgamesh was such an Ace, his bored fits caused his people to beg the gods to send him a friend.
- In other tales, Lugh joined the Tuatha Dé Danann because while the gods had a master smith, warrior, bard, sorcerer, and harper, they did not have among their number someone who excelled in them all simultaneously.
- Norse myth makes every god but one into the butt of many jokes, including Thor for being such a dumb meathead. Odin, however, gets away with being an unstoppable warrior, leader, maker of the world with the bones of Ymir, who knows all the charms and has the wisdom of Mimir as well as literally irresistible (as in, they are magically compelled) charm for the ladies.
- Hindu Mythology has a few, especially in the Ramayana and Mahabharatha:
- Krishna. Whether it comes to war, statesmanship, love, philosophy, or religion, Krishna is peerless. Yes, he is an avatar of one of the Hindu pantheon's most active gods, but even among the avatars, he is pretty awesome. Rama from the Ramayana fits the bill as well, being described as possessing all the attributes that man aspires to, but can never attain. Both are also All Loving Heroes with a 100% Adoration Rating to boot.
- The son of Ravana, Meghanada, later called Indrajit for his feat of defeating Indra, defeated Rama and his brother in battle more than once, and they only survived because of various interventions. He also mastered the art of sorcery, something that very few could claim, and on top of all that he was the only human who once possessed the ultimate Astras of the Trinity. The trope is subverted when Lakshmana calls out Indrajit for being a dirty fighter. Indrajit used to spread darkness, make himself invisible and fight people. Lakshmana promptly kills him.
- Krishna's friend Arjuna from the Mahabharata is the legendary archer who can slaughter thousands of enemies from a moving chariot. He is also well-versed in the use of supernatural missiles. He vanquished the gods and other inhabitants of the three worlds and subjugated all the kings of the Earth after the Kurukshetra War. The only time he got defeated in a duel was against Shiva, the God of destruction who taught him the Pashupatastra as a reward. He was also Drona's favorite pupil, is favored by the elders and others around him and many beautiful women fell in love with him. Arjuna is famous for his discipline.
- The tall tales of Pecos Bill catalogue his many outlandishly improbable accomplishments, such as eating dynamite and lassoing a tornado.
- Sun Wukong from Journey to the West borders on Canon Sue. He is so capable and has so many powers and so much prowess, he is able to tell both Heaven and Hell off, defying first the various Hells to avoid punishment, and then Heaven when he was given a low-ranking posting for a god. The Monkey King has strength, speed, superior fighting prowess, magic transformations, and knows many magics. After defeating 10,000 warriors of Heaven by himself, he is finally bound by the Buddha. He eventually brokers a deal to get out by accompanying a monk, and on the pilgrimage earns nothing less than full Buddhahood.
- Zhuge Liang of Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a gifted prophet, thinker, inventor, strategist, poet, musician, and statesman. He is so cunning, he kills a man with a sternly worded letter. Guan Yu also qualifies, as he is a brilliant general, sage, and scholar whose sheer badassery lets him keep playing calmly playing go as surgery is done on his arm. Cao Cao is an example of the Ace as an Informed Ability, because after a few episodes of sheer mind-blowing brilliance, he quickly turns into General Failure
- In There is no GATE; we did not fight there, Kytheus Rhavenfell excells at almost anything he puts his minds to, and learns terrifyingly quickly. He is most well known for his incredible martial, magical, and musical prowess. Subverted when it comes to swimming, which he struggles with. He's getting better, though.
- The Armory Master of Einsteinian Roulette. Fiery and incredibly beautiful, she is capable of impressing feats of crafting and combat, going unscathed through several high-risk missions without having so much as a scar to show. Before being put under the service of the HMRC, she worked in a bakery. She was good at that too.
- Ace from The Insane Quest of Unfathomable Randomness was (fittingly) one of these at first, but as time went on his team began to lose respect for him when he started becoming less of an ace and more of a traditional Marty Stu. Lori could also be considered a female example. This has given Mortal enough basis to accuse them both of being a Mary Sue. Though the author is trying to fix that.
- Joey Percival of George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance is a daring, intelligent, handsome pilot who shows up in Act 2 to
stealbe pursued by another man's fiancee and generally outshine most of the rest of the cast, although arguably he himself is outshone by the even more daring Lena Shc Sch Szczthe Polish Lady.
- Electra the Electric Engine in Starlight Express, who shows up in the railyard and promptly outdoes even the local Jerk Jock Greaseball. His component/assistant cars sum make it very obvious that he's the best around:
"Electra is cool. Electra is hot. Cool. Hot. A megastar. A megawatt. Rich, hot, powerful. Rich, hot, cool."
- BattleTech has Kai Allard-Liao. There are other great MechWarriors in the setting, of course, but after getting over his initial self-esteem issues Kai is just about universally acknowledged as essentially unbeatable in a 'Mech, period, with the main mitigating factor simply being that even he can only be in one place at a time. When he finally died in combat, his opponents openly acknowledge that the only reason they won was because he ran out of ammo. They put a homing beacon on his mech and left it otherwise undisturbed so that his allies would have no trouble finding it and recovering his body.
- Anyone on the miraculous Aspect Arc known as "The Ace" in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine is just plain better than you at doing skill-based things, especially after 3+, to the extent that eventually they gain the ability to surf sound waves and punch characters out of comic books. Of course, the other Miraculous Arcs offer options such as control over large areas, becoming a fairytale monster, control over elements, blasting things out of existence, reality warping, binding powers to various pacts and injuries, or the ever-popular turning into a giant snake, so it's not a guaranteed "I Win" button all that often. It's also balanced by being an incredible MP hog when used too often.
- Allison Carter in the Costume Fairy Adventures demo playset, The Big Pie Caper. It's hinted that she may be the rightful queen or something similarly heroic. She also has a massive 15 Stress in a game where non-player characters only rarely get more than 10 (putting her on par with the toughest of player character types, the pixies), has higher stats than them, and wins ties. Successfully pranking her is considered to be a harder achievement than rebuilding the village if fae shenanigans burn it down.
- In basically any field of human endeavour, the Solar Exalted are better than any ordinary human than they have any right to be, and they are the most powerful of the Exalted. Abyssals and Infernals share a similar power level (give or take) but are Broken Aces and just plain weird respectively.
- Games Workshop games:
- In Blood Bowl Griff Oberwald, Star Blitzer and captain of the Reikland Reavers, is said to be the most talented human to ever pick up a Blood Bowl ball with a plethora of awards, good looks and a massive fan following. Griffs game rules represent this by giving him the best overall stats and skills of any human player but at the cost of him being the second most expensive individual Star Player in the game.
- Warhammer 40,000: Most of the Primarchs are the best of the best there is, and are quick in learning what they are taught, as they are all genetic clones of the God Emperor. Most notably Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines who was a great statesman and powerful warrior. Then there's Fulgrim, he had the looks, the skills, and in his quest for perfection, he ended up corrupted by Slaanesh. The Ace of Aces however, was Sanguinius. Sure, he may not have had Guilliman's statesmanship skills, Fulgrim's passion, or the physical prowess of, say, Russ or Vulcan, but he was widely considered the best blend of all of the Emperor's attributes, and he was a Nice Guy and All-Loving Hero of the highest caliber. He was also probably the most skilled fighter of the Primarchs, though not necessarily the strongest — just look at how he single-handedly held the gates of the Imperial Palace against literally everything the Forces of Chaos had. To top it off he was the prettiest Primarch.
- The Hero System's ''Dark Champions'' proved that this trope can show up in any genre with The Harbinger of Justice, aka "The Blue Moon Killer." The creator swears that he developed naturally, not as an example of Min-Maxing Up to Eleven; still, he's an amalgam of the most powerful versions of The Shadow, Batman, and The Punisher with the additional power of weapon summoning and a moral code slightly less merciful than Walter Kovacs.
- Popular players in The Splinter are this, especially if theyre player academy graduates. They have to be or else they would have died long before getting recognition.
- Miles Edgeworth of Ace Attorney comes across as this. Handsome, rich, extremely intelligent, cultured and a living legend at his job. Subverted though, he's got a whole heap of personal problems and starts as something of an Amoral Attorney.
- Fate/stay night:
- Rin Tohsaka is the star of her high school: great at academics, great at sports, possibly the most beautiful girl in school, and always classy and elegant. All the boys want her but know she's out of their league (except for the arrogant Shinji, whom Tohsaka takes down a peg when he tries to sweet talk her); All the girls think she's the coolest, but also find her to be hard to approach. Unbeknownst to her muggle classmates, she is also heir to the rich and venerable Tohsaka family of mages and has prodigious skill in magic. Rin's father wanted her to compete in the Holy Grail war when she grew up, and from an early age she was motivated to work harder and achieve more than anyone else. When asked what wish she wants granted by the Holy Grail, she says "nothing": she wants to beat the other mages and win the Grail purely to find out if she can become the best through her own talent and hard work. And you'd think that if anyone can do it, she can: the development of her magic circuits and ability to control her servant are far beyond what Shirou is capable of, she can perform all kinds of advanced magic with the help of her family crest and jewels, and she is extremely savvy about the tricks and subterfuges of the Grail War. At the same time, Rin is only human and is often frustrated by her limitations: she accidentally botches her summoning ritual by getting the hour wrong, summoning a snarky, amnesiac archer servant instead of Saber as she had intended, and feels kind of miffed that the clueless Shirou managed to summon Saber instead of her. Even as she repeatedly criticizes Shirou for his lack of training and reckless behavior, she also acknowledges that Shirou has something she doesn't: Rin can push herself to the limit for something she knows is extremely difficult but still possible, yet because she's conditioned to think about things rationally she lacks Shirou's capacity for Achievements in Ignorance and pushing himself Beyond the Impossible.
- While all servants are heroes of myth and legend, possessing powers far surpassing those of mortal humans, Saber stands out as an ace even among servants, which is why Rin was trying to summon her. Her A-rank magic resistance means that in practice, no magi of Shirou's time are able to hurt Saber; her riding ability allows her to ride most vehicles and mounts with above-average skill; her Instinct level A gives her a sixth sense in combat that borders on precognition; and her A-level magical energy burst provides something like magical jet propulsion that increases the power of all her movements, while ensuring that her magical energy-fueled attack can destroy any weapon in one blow unless it has strong divine protection. Furthermore, her noble phantasm has an attack that is almost impossible to avoid or withstand. The reason that Shirou doesn't get the full benefit of Saber's power is that the unintentional summoning was imperfect, failing to create a proper magical connection between master and servant. All of Saber's stats including Strength, Agility, and Magical Energy are about one rank less than what they should have been, and because Shirou cannot refill her magical energy she is struggling to conserve a finite supply, which severely curtails her combat options since her strongest abilities absolutely guzzle magical energy. It's shown that with a different master Saber would be able reach her full potential, and perhaps even be able to defeat Illya's Berserker in a straight up fight.
- Shirou starts off as a loser among mages, and has serious issues with Survivor Guilt and Chronic Hero Syndrome, but particularly in Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel he Takes A Level In Badass and performs feats that aren't supposed to be humanly possible. The epologues imply that he may have an illustrious future as a mage.
- Each in their own way, both Shizune and Lilly from Katawa Shoujo deconstruct this trope. Shizune (representing the anime heroine archetype of the willful, energetic, "super charismatic" club/student council president most iconically depicted by Haruhi Suzumiya) is so naturally excellent at everything she does that (perhaps combined with her deafness making it hard for her to relate to other people) she doesn't seem to fully realize that some people may not be as good as she is, considering them lazy or lacking sufficient drive if they fail to match her (impossible) standards. Meanwhile, Lilly (who represents the perfect, princesslike, motherly, borderline saintly character) means well when she takes care of those she believes need her help, but is so unbelievably good at everything that she inadvertently only causes them to feel even less sure of themselves because they can never hope to be as good as she is.
- Little Busters!:
- Kurugaya is good-looking, athletic (to the point where she can Flash Step), intelligent enough to have one of the highest scores in maths despite constantly skipping and having no bad subjects, charming, and more than able to take care of herself in a fight. This actually leaves Riki feeling a bit insecure during their route, feeling that she's helping him out much more than vice versa.
- Also, Kyousuke. A charismatic, intelligent Bishounen that pretty much all of the characters look up to. He even has his own 'advice service' that is really just random students fawningly asking him for details about all the impossibly incredible things he's done. Of course, it's hard to say what is and isn't a result of him manipulating the fake world, and by Refrain he's turned into one hell of a Broken Ace.
- Shouichi "Capt" Kazama from Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai! possesses ungodly good luck and is blessed with good looks, popularity, charisma and general skill in everything he tries. Howevever, he's not without his flaws.
- Tei in Nameless quickly become the most popular guy in school, is considered the most attractive of his already very attractive friend group, succeeds at everything he tries, and constantly takes care of and solves problems for his less mature friends. Ultimately subverted.
- Grisaia Series:
- In Grisaia no Kajitsu Yuuji is codename 9029, a number that is reserved for the best agent. Indeed he is probably their best sniper, not to mention excelent martial artist, master of being on the run, infiltration and other covert operations.
- In Grisaia no Rakuen we see Sachi from Grisaia no Kajitsu show up to Mihama. She's a straight A student, athletic enough to almost match a former basketball club member about six inches taller, pretty, diligent, friendly and a good cook, though not at Amane's level. She's referred to as an honor student, which the class doesn't really understand until they learn that she's actually obsessive about fulfilling responsibilities and orders so that she can be a 'good girl.'
- In Danganronpa, Hope's Peak Academy is a school made for those who are talented in a specific skill. The exceptions are the "Ultimate Lucky Students", ordinary high school students who are accepted from a random lottery. However, the students of Hope's Peak Academy didn't all get to where they are without their scars.
- Jupiter of We Know the Devil is athletic, smart, and generally the golden girl, but it's noted by the narration that she has a tendency to screw things up when it really counts — like 'blanking on the last question' or 'missing the winning goal'. She has issues stemming from being put on a pedestal.
- From Turnabout Storm, there's the murder victim Ace Swift, an Equestrian pegasus athlete known for winning every event he's ever compited in. It's subverted in the end, as he blackmailed everyone that had a chance to beat him.
- Pyrrha from RWBY. A famous athlete who graduated from Sanctum with highest honours and won several fighting tournaments before joining Beacon, she backs up her reputation by being the most skilled fighter on Team JNPR and, if Weiss is correct, the most skilled student in all of Beacon Academy. She fights in battles with an incredibly complicated shortsword/spear/rifle switch weapon, and possesses a very powerful Semblance. Despite her reputation and prowess, she is a Humble Hero and all-round Nice Girl, a stark contrast to Weiss' Rich Bitch personality. Her only significant character flaw is her occasional Extreme Doormat tendencies. Sadly, not even she is a match for Cinder once she inherits the Autumn Maiden's powers. note
- Ariel from Bugged Run, as the stand-in for the canon player character, breezes through every challenge she encounters, starting with beating Gary Oak in a Funny Background Event while having a conversation with someone else.
- Jack Fortinbras, of Academia. A running joke about his character is the unanswered question of how he has time to captain the school's rugby team and get straight As in his Physics program.
Jack: I couldn't possibly do my research without my team.
Stephen: Nice to hear there are things you can't do.
Jack: That's not fair. There's lots of things I can't do.
Stephen: Name three.
Jack: I can't fly an airplane. I can't carve stone especially well. I can't think of a third thing.
- Bob from Bob and George is an interesting case, as he is actually the main antagonist. The things that he can do are hilariously ridiculous, like how he can kill a hologram, because "he's just that good". He also always gets himself up by doing a back-flip, because he's that cool, and not because the author couldn't find any good sprites of him standing up.
- Fred from The Chapel Chronicles never loses a board or card game. Never. Since games are one of Chapel's obsessions, she finds this astonishingly unfair.
- In City of Reality, newcomer Hawk thinks that SUEPR Team Five leader Todo is this: idealistic and generous to a fault, skilled enough to defeat any challenge, and recipient of general acclaim and affection. However, as the entire story is a Deconstruction of a Mary Sue Topia, Todo's idealism is sorely challenged by the world outside Reality.
- Commander Kitty has an ace named Ace. His crew is almost a Mirror Universe version of CK's, but better looking and more capable.
- Possibly Nanase from El Goonish Shive. She is a black belt in Anime-Style Martial Arts, can currently bench-press 160 pounds before her burnout she could press 200, has "insanely potent" magic, and is trilingual in Japanese, English, and French.
- Will from Fanboys. Made sixty-thousand-plus a year in prize money from gaming tournaments, can hold his own in a fight against Berserk!Lemmy, has "hacked" a board game, and now he's apparently a Bond-style government agent.
- Girl Genius has Othar Tryggvassen (Gentleman Adventurer!) who's always willing to swashbuckle and ham it up like nobody's business, and who's somehow able to survive all manner of ridiculous dangers (plummeting to his death and turning up unharmed a few pages later is his specialty). He's also dangerously insane, but since he firmly believes he's the dashing hero in a thrilling scientific romance, being insane doesn't get in the way of him playing the Ace role to the hilt. He also has a rather large amount of charisma, though for a Spark it's normal.
- Gunnerkrigg Court has a female example — Jones. She's both medium instructor "among other things" and embodiment of some sort of perfection which includes beauty (she's the single character consistently drawn with more details than the protagonist, just to make a point) and godlike toughness with undercurrent of deadpan "Seen It All". There is also Robox, who is the Yin to eternal Butt-Monkey Boxbot's Yang. The comic has yet to say what exactly either of them do, beyond the fact that "Everybody likes Robox" and "Nobody likes Boxbot".
- Bro Strider, elder brother of Dave Strider, by far surpasses any of the Kids or the Guardians in combat ability, and trumps Dave for sheer irony.
- Dirk acts like this, and he certainly has shades of it, but the angst and self-loathing he feels over his dysfunctional personality make him more of a Broken Ace.
- Dora of Questionable Content has serious issues with her brother Sven due to his being an Ace. Sven himself has serious issues with him being an Ace. He becomes a Broken Ace when he starts to realize he doesn't really have much to his personality besides picking up hot chicks, using wacky situations to get out of uncomfortable ones and writing music he hates.
- Carlyle from Sam & Fuzzy, a very humble form as he does not seem to want to be identified — he is The Faceless and shows up on several points to dispense Koans to the characters (who never realize it's him); most of his heroic deeds happen off-screen and are referred to by others. The first major arc of the comic kicks off when Sam tries to take on one of Carlyle's assignments and ends up in a spat of trouble with the Ninja Mafia.
- In Sheldon, Flaco is a former cosmonaut, a gold medalist in the modern pentathlon, read several hundred books over the course of one summer, and — according to one strip — will eventually become an admiral in the Bulgarian navy. Did we mention that he's a foot-tall lizard who talks in squeaking sounds?
- The main character of Too Much Information is named Ace. He doesn't even have a last name. And while he does make mistakes on occasion, he seems to fall into this quite often, especially where women are concerned — practically every female in a 5-mile radius seems to automatically fall for him (including lesbians and ghosts), and he had racked up 7 marriage-proposals before he turned 18. His foot-rubs are internationally renowned. At a charity Bachelor Auction, he brought in $5.000, which resulted from one woman bidding 2.500, and two others pitching in 1.250 each, while agreeing to 'share'. The two who are sharing? A grandmother and granddaughter. The granddaughter is a supermodel. The high bidder? A vampiress who thinks he's hot.
- Oh! Now it turns out that Ace is also a whiz at hapkido.
- However, his cooking is not 'inedible', it's just so ultra-spicey you have to be that manly to eat it, and only Ace is that manly. His favorite ice-cream flavor is 'Habanero'.
- Recent evidence also suggests that he has 'spiritual power' on par with a Demigod or a Seraphim. And that his former 5-mile radius of seduction has been extended to the point where girls in Korea are committing suicide to be with him. If this man isn't stopped soon, his aura will extend to Babeatron IV, and then we'll be facing an invasion of Green Skinned Space Babes...
- Ogrek the Undisciplined in Yamara. Irredeemable Munchkin? check. Has a big bonus to spot ladies whom he deems "cute" even if they are hiding? check. "Heroic" scar and "veteran parade" uniform? Right here. Evading compromising situation with grace? check. Comment on having 20,000 hobgoblings as neighbours? "Nice, quiet professionals". Crazy-Prepared while carrying almost nothing and remembers her birthday no matter what's going on? check. And let's not start on his other wife.
- The "official" Ace is Ultima Thule. She's "eidolon of humanity" and as such has all stats at the Human racial maximum. Since it includes Intelligence and Wisdom, she's not an adventurer (high-risk waste of time!) but a banker.
Fea: Now she's reading Socrates and Tao Te Ching.
Joe: Perhaps she's trying to improve herself.
- Magick Chicks: Faith and her boyfriend, Ash, are the respective alphas at Artemis and Apollo Academy.
- In addition to being multi-talented, Faith has been noted as the most powerful esper in her school's history and already possesses numerous abilities even though her powers are still developing. And is said to be formidable even without them:
T Campbell: "Layla's not exactly a pushover, but she's had a relatively easy life, and has never before even faced a slayer who consistently wanted to kill her. Even if Layla were well-trained for combat, the odds would heavily favor Faith. As it is, anything resembling a fair fight was going to more or less end like this."
- Ash has been shown capable of fighting Faith on even ground, despite having no powers of his own. Instead, he relies on speed and agility along with extensive martial arts training and careful preparation.
- In addition to being multi-talented, Faith has been noted as the most powerful esper in her school's history and already possesses numerous abilities even though her powers are still developing. And is said to be formidable even without them:
- Payet Best of Guilded Age became a destined hero when The Call suffered a case of mistaken identity and chose him over the real hero, who was mere minutes late. He'd then go on to become a widely-renowned adventurer, slaying wicked monsters and bedding eager women as a talented musician, unbeatable combatant, and master of the Indy Ploy. This has led to some minor issues with hubris, however, which often makes him impossible to approach among his peers who do not, in fact, believe the world revolves around him.
- The Korean webcomic Fluttering Feelings gives us Baek Seol-A, a girl who is as intelligent as she is pretty, and when asked if she knows how to surf she responds by telling the person she can ride any type of board.
- Aviatar in Realm Of Owls travels, fights and meditates so confidently that he obviously knows what he is doing.
- Super 55 from AH.com: The Series is an example turned all the way up to Canon Sue levels for comedic purposes.
- The Clickhole quiz How Well Do You Know Johannes? will say you know Johannes if you click on the many extremely elaborate and dramatic answers, but if you click on anything remotely normal or boring, the quiz will insist you're thinking of Frank, cause Johannes is just too cool to be 53.
- Whateley Universe:
- Chaka, whose instinctive ki mastery lets her pick up more than just wire-fu martial arts tricks within moments and who's certainly prone to hamming it up. Or going after half-demonic hybrid weres with a rolled-up newspaper.
- Heck, Team Kimba has so many of these that the one who OWNS MARVEL COMICS, is a density manipulator who can instant-KO anyone without a force field, and is trying to become the new Batmannote ...considers himself the weakest link.
- Captain Hammer ("the Hammer is my penis") from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog sends up the Ace along with everything in the Superhero genre, but with a twist.
- Downplayed with Luke of Hobo Bros. In some games (particularly Super Mario 64), he is very knowledgeable of most of the levels, and usually knows what he's doing. But there are other games where he does... not so well, particularly Super Mario Maker, where he gives up constantly, and Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, where he goes Lovable Coward.
- In the Noob franchise, Fantöm, Amaras and Spectre for their respective factions. Fantöm is that in the overall game because the creator has been getting his avatar illegally enhanced behind his back. Amaras becomes number one once the whole thing is discovered.
- ProtonJon of The Runaway Guys by being the best at everything, except for luck. For example, in the Super Smash Bros video they did, it came to a point where all three of them were facing each other. Jon had to use a controller he wasn't used to, but still managed to beat both Chugga and NCS at the same time, while still having 2 stock out of 5 left. In the New Super Mario Bros Wii LP, while everyone else was having problems with their lives, Jon had reached 99 lives while still screwing everyone else (mostly Chugga) over.
- The Law from Video Game High School is recognized as one of, if not the best player In a World... where video games have become Serious Business. He's popular, intelligent and a Chick Magnet to boot. He is also a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing that only cares about himself and torments people that get in his way or show him up (like the protagonist did in the first episode.)