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The Don

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"The underworld will now be run like a business... and the Chairman of the Board will be... the Kingpin!"

This is The Patriarch of a crime family — most often The Mafia. He is shrewd, ruthless, and very dangerous to cross. Often he will hold to an arcane code of honor, which is perhaps incomprehensible to non-mobsters. He will be very protective of his family and he will ensure that his dear little girl wants for nothing, all while maintaining the illusion of morality. Unlike other villains, this type is often fairly Genre Savvy. Quite likely he did read the Evil Overlord List. After all, you don't rise to become the head of dozens if not hundreds of criminal individuals by being careless. The Don is also more likely than many villain archetypes to be an Anti-Villain, whose sole interest is in keeping the peace in his town and the money flowing while genuinely believing that his role is needed for maintaining order. A sure sign that he adheres to the idea that Even Evil Has Standards will be if he opposes the drug trade and fights the Ruthless Foreign Gangsters who try to introduce it on his turf. When a Villain Protagonist, the Don may be willing to use coercion, bribery, and murder to achieve his goals, but there will remain lines he won't cross; it is also all but guaranteed that while the Don's family and operatives may be criminals, their enemies will be even more reprehensible.

The Oyabun is the Don's Yakuza counterpart, while in The Triads and the Tongs, he's known as the Mountain Master or the Dragon's Head. The King of Thieves is an equivalent for more fantastical settings. The Consigliere is one of his key subordinates. In a more fantastic setting, the boss might be required to be a Super Mob Boss in order to keep up with other threats.

See The Queenpin for his Distaff Counterpart.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Baccano! has several, all based in New York. One of the major families effectively has three Dons, a trio of brothers who chose to run the organization together after their father died.
  • Bungo Stray Dogs has Ougai Mori, the head of the Port Mafia. His pure aura of malevolence can stop Lucy and her demonic doll Anne dead in their tracks even when he isn't doing anything.
  • In Death Note, Rod Ross is nominally the leader of his particular Mafia faction in LA. But he always defers to Mello (who is a pretty Ambiguously Gay blond boy approximately half Rod's age and apparently planned to blow up their HQ building with everyone else in it once they were no longer useful to his investigation of Kira), because Mello is such a shrewd leader and it's good for "business."
  • Heat Guy J has Lorenzo Leonelli (whose character design is an Expy of Vito Corleone). He is dead at the beginning of the series, and his Ax-Crazy teenage son takes over the Family. The position's title is "Vampire," for reasons never really explained in the series.
  • The Boss, real name Diavolo, of the Stand-using Italian Mafia gang, Passione, is the Big Bad of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind. He takes the Don's typical elusive nature to an extreme, and his entire motivation is making sure that no one will see his face and live. To that end, he operates largely by transforming into his much younger-looking Split Personality, Vinegar Doppio, who he uses to move around without being detected. By the end of Part 5, Giorno Giovanna defeats Diavolo and becomes Passione's new Don. This was his goal from the start, because unlike Diavolo, Giorno wants to use his authority to remove the corruption within Passione and improve the quality of life for the community. One of the main ways he'll do this is by getting rid of drugs off the streets.
  • One Piece:
    • Capone "Gang" Bege, a pirate captain modeled as one of these, Al Capone in particular. His crew are even dressed as members of The Mafia and refer to him as "Father".
    • The earlier villain Crocodile was the head of the crime syndicate Baroque Works, hid his actions behind a legal business (a casino no less) and certainly had an air of this around him.
    • While it isn't as obvious as the above two examples, Donquixote Doflamingo is most certainly this, being the leader of the Donquixote Family while also being the most powerful underground broker in the New World, having his hand in almost all illicit businesses. Yet despite his ruthlessness, he is shown to deeply care for his most powerful subordinates.
  • Reborn! (2004) being a mafia-focused series with fantastical elements, there are lot of mafia bosses, although not all mafia families are evil in nature. The families usually reflect the bosses' characters.
    • The current boss of the Vongola family is the Ninth, Timoteo, who is leading the Vongola family to be a benevolent mafia family like the First did. The series also shows us who all the previous Vongola bosses were. The Second, Ricardo, was known for being a very violent and fearsome, who led the family to a dark path.
    • The Protagonist of the series is Tsunayoshi "Tsuna" Sawada, who is mentored by his home tutor Reborn to become the Tenth. Tsuna develops from a wimpy and unpopular boy to a strong and respected leader with many friends, and like the First, Tsuna is a kind boy who fights for the side of the good. Although he rather doesn't want to become a mafia boss or be part of it.
    • Xanxus is a candidate for the position of the Tenth and is essentially the same as the Second in terms of personality. Xanxus is the leader of Vongola's independent assassination squad, the Varia, and he behaves like how you'd expect an evil mafia boss would behave.
    • Dino of the Cavallone family is also a very benevolent boss and acts as Big Brother Mentor for Tsuna and one of Tsuna's Guardians, Hibari. Like Tsuna, Dino was trained by Reborn to become a mafia boss and he succeeded. Dino embodies A Father to His Men, especially since he is only able to show off his competence when his mafia family is around. Without them, the boss is useless.
    • Naito Longchamp is the eighth boss of the Tomaso family, and although he isn't evil, he's depicted as extremely annoying and has no understanding about his surroundings. He can't see that Tsuna doesn't like him or that one of Longchamp's own subordinates tries to assassinate him all the time.
    • Byakuran is the boss of the Millefiore family, the first family to be introduced as evil, and they're also very powerful, having almost defeated the Vongola in the future. The future Byakuran is the first mafia boss Tsuna gets to fight and is also one of his most dangerous opponents. After the future Byakuran is killed, the present Byakuran, who has gained knowledge of the future, later becomes an ally of the Vongola family, although the other characters are still vary of him because they also have gained knowledge of his evildoing in the future.
    • The Simon family act as the Earth counterpart to the Vongola's sky, with Enma Kazato acting as Tsuna's most similar counterpart. Like Tsuna, Enma doesn't want to be part of the mafia and he's a no-good boss who is mostly bossed around by his second-in-command, but also like Tsuna, he can be very competent and powerful if the situation calls for it. Similar to how Enma and Tsuna have become friends, their predecessors were also best friends, and the conflict between their families is resolved by Enma and Tsuna ending it.
  • Shirogami Ryuji of Tokyo Crazy Paradise, the third-generation head of Kuryugumi, the largest crime syndicate in the Kanto region, despite still being in high school. He succeeded to the position after his father was murdered.

    Audio Drama 
  • Wolfsbane, a lupine alien who controls all of New Vegas in the Big Finish Doctor Who Destiny of the Doctor audiodrama Night of the Whisper.
  • Don Maestro in the Big Finish Doctor Who Companion Chronicles drama Mastermind is a twist on the "protective of his family" element of the trope. The reason he's so protective is because he's the Master in his body-stealing phase, and plans to keep jumping into the bodies of successive generations.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Carmine "The Roman" Falcone from The Long Halloween miniseries.
    • The Penguin also fills this role in Gotham City, having retired from committing crimes personally — for the most part.
  • Black Lightning's archenemy Tobias Whale is an albino African-American mafioso and head of the Metropolis branch of The 100.
  • The Kingpin and Silvio Manfredi of Marvel Comics are two reoccurring leaders of the Maggia, Marvel's expy of The Mafia.
  • Wallenquist from Sin City is a rare German gangster mob boss. He doesn't appear very often, but looks-wise he's a giant, bald-headed Sharp-Dressed Man (i.e. basically a Captain Ersatz of the Kingpin), and ruthlessly pragmatic. He considers seeking revenge on his enemies "a loser's game with no interest", for instance.
  • In Starfire's Revenge, the titular villain is a crime kingpin with world-conquering aspirations.
  • Zatanna: One of her villains, Brother Night, is the top crime boss in the Mystic Underworld of San Francisco mystical realm, even having his own gang of bizarre magical beings to serve as his muscle. In Zatanna (2010) he wants to expand his criminal empire to the mortal world, with his first move towards doing this is by killing The Don of the real San Francisco.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • Shark Tale has Don Edward Lino (voiced by Robert De Niro), the godfather of a Mafia-like shark gang. His main concern is his younger son Lenny being a vegetarian, a huge embarrassment for any shark father. There's also the one-off appearance by Don Ira Feinberg (voiced by Peter Falk), who appears to be the don of another shark gang.
  • Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear from Toy Story 3. While his regime is not a criminal organization per se, the way Lotso runs his regime is identical to the way a criminal organization is run, complete with torture, interrogation, harassment, bullying, kidnapping, and members of the group enjoying themselves and playing poker.
  • Mr. Big from Zootopia is Tundratown's most notorious crime boss (right down to being a parody of Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone), despite being a diminutive arctic shrew. Judy is lucky enough to get in his good graces by saving his daughter's life.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Paul Vitti (played by Robert De Niro, who seems drawn to such roles) in Analyze This is supposed to be a respected and high-ranking member of the Mafia; trouble is, he's having so many issues in his life...
  • Similarly, original character Carl Grissom plays the role of Gotham's ruler in Tim Burton's Batman (1989). Like Falcone in other versions of Batman he managed to be shrewd and tough enough to hold a twisted city like Gotham under a firm grip for a very long time, but in the end it wasn't the firmness of his grip that mattered for the city but rather who had the money and the gun in his hand and that was The Dragon after he lost his grip with reality.
  • The aforementioned Carmine Falcone (see Comic Books) in Batman Begins and his successor Salvatore Maroni in The Dark Knight are two old-school mob bosses who are put out of business by both Batman and The Joker.
    • The Joker himself from The Dark Knight certainly qualifies as an unusually Ax-Crazy example of this trope. He runs a criminal organization that somehow serves as his main resource to carry out his monstrous plans. He also usurped the Chechen's organization. That said, his actions go far beyond your typical organized crime when it is revealed that his intentions are much, much worse. In fact, after taking the organized crime of Gotham, the Joker turn to full-scale terrorism.
    The Joker to The Chechen: Tell your men they work for me now. This is my city.
  • In The Crow, Top Dollar apparently has authority over all major crime in the city of Detroit.
    Top Dollar: Nothing happens in this town without my say-so.
  • Frank Costello in The Departed is a cunning and brutal leader of The Irish Mob and the target of the joint undercover operation by the Boston PD and the FBI. He is a Faux Affably Evil guy who gathers the destitute and the abandoned around himself to mold them into his enforcers, and he's also an FBI informant, whose own undercover agent ends up betraying him.
  • Fear City: Matt Rossi visits his old employer in the Italian district for advice on how to deal with the elusive killer who is carving up his strippers.
  • Ray Vargo starts out as this in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. At the end, after his death a little more than halfway through the movie, he gets replaced as the head of The Family by his daughter Louise.
  • Vito and Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Trope Codifier.
  • Paul Cicero in GoodFellas is a relatively blue-collar version. His real-life inspiration, Paul Vario, was merely a caporegime in the Lucchese family, meaning there is a Don that goes unseen as well (or three, going by the history; namely Tommy Lucchese, Carmine Tramunti, and Anthony Corallo).
  • Marc-Ange Draco, head of the Unione Corse in the James Bond novel (and film) On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
  • In Spielberg's Munich, the main character encounters a maxed-out Papa Wolf version of The Don — The Patriarch of a crime family, who is just as attentive and reasonable as a regular fiction farm daddy, and also performs a "man test" for the main character — specifically, if he can hold his own in a kitchen (he can, on account of being raised in a kibutz). Plays out all the tropes of a wise old Don to a tee, with BIG emphasis on family.
    Papa: Let me see your hands.
    [he grabs Avner's hands and compares them to his own]
    Papa: Too big for a good cook. That was my problem too! I would've been a master, but I have thick, stupid butcher's hands just like yours. Oh, we are tragic men. Butcher's hands, gentle souls.
  • In Robin Hood: Men in Tights, the Sherrif of Rottingham enlists the help of Don Giovanni (Dom De Luise), a mafia boss from the actual island of Jersey, to get rid of Robin Hood.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Hutts are notorious for being mobsters in continuity. Jabba was the most well-known example, but Expanded Universe books mention many others. Since the heads of the Kajidic (crime syndicates) control the entirety of Hutt Space, this reputation is self-perpetuating. It's almost impossible for a Hutt to make a name for himself without becoming a mob boss.
    • Dryden Vos in Solo is an intimidating Crimson Dawn crime lord that enlists the crew to pull a heist for him. With that said, he isn't the leader of the organization. That would be Darth Maul, but he is probably on a whole new level than just being The Don.
  • Murad Hoxha in Taken 2 is the boss of the Albanian mafia and the main antagonist of the movie, seeking revenge against Bryan for his son's death.
  • Big Louie from UHF seems to be one of these from his limited screen time. He notably has a fake right hand, which he can replace with a meat cleaver.

  • In the German modernist City Noir classic, Berlin Alexanderplatz, Pums is portrayed as this, coming off as more urbane, dressing better and showing more sophistication than his fellow lowlifes.
  • Colonel Bozzo-Corona, the il'Padre d'Ogni (Allfather) of The Black Coats is perhaps the Ur-Example.
  • Discworld:
    • Ankh-Morpork has "Legitimate Businessman" Chrysoprase the troll, allegedly a 'Ton' in the disorganized crime syndicate, the Breccia. Of course, every sensible troll knows that the Breccia doesn't exist. Definitely not. If it did exist without his permission, Mister Chrysoprase would be very upset. In the animated Wyrd Sisters, Chrysoprase is clearly based on Don Corleone.
    • Very upset [emphasis in the original, usually] is typically how Mister Chrysoprase is described as about to be, generally because someone shows signs of balking at the "eminently reasonable suggestions" being put forth at the present moment by his underlings. However, just about every time Mister Chrysoprase is actually present, he exhibits the tolerance and affability of someone who knows he's going to get his way in the end. However, he does take very decisive action when his underlings act without authorisation, for example making barely-veiled threats to Vimes' family when Chrysoprase is trying to be diplomatic. Vimes is later offered a nice rock garden...
  • "Gentleman Johnny" Marcone of the The Dresden Files is this to a tee. He's so formidable and Genre Savvy that he even manages to come out ahead when tangling with wizards, vampires, and werewolves.
  • Chodo Contague from the Garrett, P.I. novels is a classic Don. His predecessor was also, although he dies in the first novel before getting much chance to act out this trope.
  • Capa Vencarlo Barsavi in Gentleman Bastard fits this trope perfectly.
  • Vito and Michael Corleone in The Godfather, Trope Codifier before the (deservedly lauded) movies.
  • "Papa" Friedlander Bay from George Alec Effinger's Marîd Audran series is a classic version, with a strong sense of honor, and strong religious beliefs — which don't stop him from having a hand in most of the organized illegal activities in and around the Budayeen. The primary way that he differs from the archetype is that he's an Arab Muslim, rather than an Italian Catholic.
  • Don Bruce the Fairy Godfather of the Myth Adventures series.
  • Nick Velvet: Nick is hired to steal a Right-Hand Cat from a Mafia don in "The Theft of the Mafia Cat".
  • In Relativity, the town has a number of gangs, each with their own leader, but Stefan Donalli is the overseer of all of them. When he gets sent to jail, all the other gang leaders, including Donalli's sister, get into a giant war to see who takes over next.
  • Scavenge the Stars: The Slum King, aka Salvador, runs the criminal underworld of the city-state of Moray. He uses gambling and blackmail to profits coming in and is not afraid to dish out torture and mutilation to those who don't pay up.
  • No Hutt could have ever matched the influence held by Prince Xizor, the Big Bad of the Expanded Universe novel Shadows of the Empire. A crimelord who commanded the Black Sun, a galactic criminal empire with millions of members, he was secretly loyal to Palpatine, and was quite likely the third most influential person in the Empire. His goal was to become number two, replacing Darth Vader in that role.
  • Uncle Enzo from Snow Crash, possibly the most legitimatly benevolent example in fiction.
  • Anthony Luca, the father of main character Vince Luca in Son of the Mob is the most powerful mob boss in New York, having killed his rival, Mario Calabrese and inherited his late mentor's empire. He's nicknamed "Honest Abe" by his allies, with word on the street being that if you deal with Anthony Luca, you'll never get ripped off. Conversely, rip off Anthony Luca and you'll never deal anywhere again. Not in this life.
  • Wulfgar from Valhalla is the archetypical Don, first with his brother and then alone.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Black Books: Gus, the title character of "The Fixer," is head of an unnamed London crime syndicate. He only appears onscreen briefly, but his... requests (for the bookstore to host his nephew's book reading, and in exchange, another associate to give Fran a job) drive the plot. Oh, and he's played by Mick Walter. Luckily he doesn't overhear Bernard's inability to take a four-foot-tall Don seriously.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • Gustavo "Gus" Fring is a white-collar version of this trope. As the undisputed leader of a large criminal organization whose illicit businesses are money laundering and meth distribution, he's incredibly professional in keeping a low profile and presenting himself as a honest businessman and philanthropist who gladhands with high-ranking DEA agents. Basically, he's everything Heisenberg wants to be: Feared, powerful, rich, and one of the biggest drug kingpins in the region, with state-of-the-art infrastructure.
    • Don Eladio Vuente is the little-seen leader of the Juarez Cartel. Given his high position, he's more of an Orcus on His Throne than anything, lounging in his villa while his capos and enforcers do all the dirty work.
  • The Guatrau, leader of the Ha'la'tha, on Caprica.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • Using 'Kingpin' as his code name, Wilson Fisk is the mastermind of an immensely powerful criminal network that straddles the line between legality and illegality. His influence is so extensive that he has both the police and the media in his pocket.
    • Before Fisk, there was Don Rigoletto. He was the mob boss of Hell's Kitchen in the 1970s and 1980s from whom Fisk's father borrowed money for a failed City Council run.
  • Datak Tarr is one in Defiance. Naturally, he prefers the world see him as an entrepreneur. In the pilot, his bodyguard nearly breaks the arm of a man who runs up to him on the street with his weekly protection payment, as the regular pick-up guy didn't show up. Datak quietly (but angrily) tells the man to go home and wait for someone to come, but never to approach him like that on the street. His wife Stahma, meanwhile, distracts the man's children by offering them sweets.
    • True to this trope, Datak strives to maintain the culture of his lost homeworld, despite the fact that he was the lowest of the low there. His son Alak was born on Earth and wants nothing to do with his father's "business", preferring to immerse himself in human culture (i.e. a typical second-generation immigrant), working as the titular town's radio DJ and nearly squealing with delight when he gets his hands on some old records.
  • Fargo has had (in chronological order) Dieter Gerhardt, Donatello Fadda, Josto Fadda, Loy Cannon, Mort Kellerman, Otto and Floyd Gerhardtnote , the leadership of the Kansas City Mafia, Moses Tripoli/Hanzee Dent, and now V.M. Varga & Ruby Goldfarb
  • Gotham has Don Carmine Falcone, who's been ruling the city's underworld for at least fifteen years, a pretty impressive feat on its own. He has a bunch of sub-don's, of which three get a significant role: Fish Mooney, Nikolai and Oswald Cobblepot and a new, much younger rival Salvatore Maroni. All three of his underbosses are The Starscreams but Oswald is the one who succeeds in this and in merging the role of a Batman freak with the Don's position, a valuable asset in order to remain in charge.
  • Hawaii Five-O, the original: The Vachon patriarch, played somewhat against type by Harold Gould, who was usually seen in comedy series. The "V for Vachon" arc ran about five episodes spaced over a season.
  • Jimmy Reardon of Intelligence (2006) has most of the qualities associated with the Don.
  • Justified:
    • Bo Crowder, head of the Crowder family and former criminal kingpin of Harlan County, was about as close as you can get to a rural mafioso. During his heyday there wasn't an illegal transaction that took place in the county without him receiving a cut of it. During his five-year stint in prison his empire collapses; Season 1's main arc is driven by his attempt at reclaiming it, while the rest of the show deals with the fallout from his death.
    • Bo's partner, Gio Reyes, was a more traditional example, as patriarch of the Reyes' Cartel in Miami, which included his nieces and nephews in addition to other henchmen.
    • Mags Bennett was a female variant, as Evil Matriarch of the Bennett family, a clan of Hillbilly Moonshiners and marijuana dealers who control the town of Bennett, and have tendrils throughout the rest of Harlan County.
    • Theo Tonin was the head of the Tonin family, who ruled much of organized crime in Detroit, and acted as The Man Behind the Man to the Dixie Mafia and many of Harlan's local criminals. His son, Sammy, and several of his henchmen, including Robert Quarles and Nicky Augustine would eventually try to take his place as The Don.
  • Dogranio Yaboon from Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger. A crime lord stylized after both a mafia don and a Yakuza Oyabun (it's in the name), he was the leader of the Interdimensional Crime Group Gangler for more than 500 years. The series starts with the organization celebrating his 999th birthday. During this, Dogranio announces his intention of seeking retirement as his age has made him weary of continuing to lead the group. He claims that whoever conquers Earth first will be made the new leader, setting the events of the series.
  • Lois & Clark had the Intergang head Bill Church Sr., after he and his son Bill Church Jr. end up in prison the family business is taken over by Mindy Church... Bill Sr.'s till that point thought to be airheaded Trophy Wife who set him up and who had been Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Lost has Mr. Paik, Sun's father and Jin's employer.
  • Luke Cage (2016): While the Stokes gang isn't as powerful and all-encompassing as Fisk, whoever is the boss runs the crew with an iron fist. It's largely women who've been in charge of the family, or at least with the largest influence over how the gang is run, with Mama Mabel and Mariah Dillard as proof of this.
  • Monk has had the occasional run in with these, including once when he was hired by one who wanted to find out who had attacked their barbershop front so as to be sure they were not going to start a needless Mob War.
  • Omertà, la loi du silence features Giuseppe Scarfo, the big boss of the Montrealese mafia and father of Gabrielle Provost (whom he loves dearly). Later on, he's succeeded by Gino Favara, a younger, ambitious upstart.
  • Thomas Shelby, don of the Shelby clan and their gang, the Peaky Blinders, in the thusly-named Peaky Blinders. An unique example, in that he's not the father of the family, not even the eldest son. After him and his siblings father became a Disappeared Dad, Thomas surpassed his elder brother, and took control of the family business, simply because he's much better at it than his brother.
  • Person of Interest has several Mafia dons, most of whom look the part, and prioritise their families and territories. The most important don, though, is Elias, who looks so nebbish and unassuming that he's able to work undercover in his enemies' territory for three years. He's the bastard son of a Don who murdered his mother and attempted to have Elias himself garotted, which drives Elias to have his father killed and take over all the territories of New York. He does highly value oath-keeping and personal loyalty, to the point that he maintains a truce with the protagonists.
  • Tony Soprano of The Sopranos, and Uncle Junior before him, and Jackie Aprile, Sr. before him. Technically, all three were Acting Boss for Ercole "Eckley" DiMeo, who was convicted and sent to federal prison in Missouri in 1995 (four years before the series begins) until Tony formally takes the title of Boss for himself in Season 6 (Eckley was ancient — over 80 — incarcerated, and quite probably senile). In the premiere the remaining Capos do discuss the possibility of establishing a forum, but reject it because the old hierarchy is much more efficient at settling disputes. The rival New York family has Carmine Lupertazzi, a classic old-school Don. He is replaced by Johnny Sack and Phil Leotardo.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "A Piece of the Action", Captain Kirk, of all people becomes the biggest don on the planet.
    "Nobody's gonna put the bag over Me anymore..."
    • The climax has Kirk implicitly make the Federation President this, by painting the Federation as an interplanetary crime syndicate which Kirk is an enforcer for and which is now muscling in to get its cut of the profits.
      • A follow-up Expanded Universe novel has the people of that planet show up again, this time as a space-faring power, having used the communicator McCoy dropped to reverse-engineer the tech. Apparently, all this time, they have been dutifully setting aside 10% of the cut for Kirk to take back to the big boss.
  • In Season 2 of The Wire, "The Greek", unnamed patriarch of the Greek crime syndicate. He's very soft spoken, has a calm civility of another age, masking an icy ruthlessness. Most of the other Baltimore gangsters we see are too street-level to be considered such, though Stringer Bell was trying to set himself up as this before his death.

  • Lord Howard Hurtz from Medieval Madness.
    "I'm gonna make you look like an accident."

    Video Games 
  • Bruto Cadaverini and Winfred "Big Wins" Kitaki from Ace Attorney, though the latter is trying to go clean.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day has the infamous Don Weazo, leader of a group of criminal weasels and owner of the Rock Solid.
  • In Constructor: Street Wars (AKA Mob Rule), you play as one.
  • In Double Homework, Dennis’s dad has this air about him (wealthy career criminal, family man with a somewhat incomprehensible code of honor).
  • Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime has Don Clawleon, the leader of the Plob.
  • Each New Reno crime family in Fallout 2 has a leader of this type.
    • Fallout: New Vegas starts off with Nero in this role for the Omertas and Benny filling it for the Chairmen, with Robert House over them both as capo del tutti capi. Marjorie of the White Glove Society is also "under" House, but is more of a conventional CEO type; Mortimer fits the Don trope better, though he's nominally subordinate to Marjorie. Pretty much any part of this can change as a result of the player's actions, with Cachino taking over the Omertas and Swank taking over the Chairmen (and, in one possible ending, with the player taking over from Mr. House as overlord of the entire strip).
  • Far Cry 3: Hoyt Volker qualifies as an unusually Ax-Crazy example of this trope. He is the mastermind who runs the largest human and drug trafficking ring in the South Pacific.
  • Don Corneo of Final Fantasy VII fame. One of the less smart and Genre Savvy examples.
  • Don Genie from F-Zero is so rich that he scoffs at a billion credits worth of prize money.
  • Gate of Thunder's villain is Don Jingi, leader of the Obellon crime syndicate.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Grand Theft Auto III: Don Salvatore Leone. In fact, his entire character parallels with John Gotti, a real-life mob boss.
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City:
      • After having taken all the operations of Vice City, Tommy Vercetti becomes the absolute kingpin of Vice City. In fact, he's one of the few mob bosses in the entire GTA franchise whose immensely powerful organization oscillates between the legal and the illegal.
      • Sonny Forelli is also this, although from a much smaller league than Tommy's.
    • Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories: Besides Salvatore Leone again, we have both Paulie Sindacco and Franco Forelli, two Dons of the Italian-American Crime Families of Liberty City.
    • Grand Theft Auto IV:
      • Mikhail Faustin, Dimitri Rascalov and Ray Bulgarin. The three men are the leaders of the Russian Mob, the most dangerous and powerful criminal organization in Liberty City.
      • The Dons of the Italian-American Crime Families. Although, unlike the previous ones, they are in a minor league. The only exception is John Gravelli.
    • Grand Theft Auto V:
      • Martin Madrazo is the leader of a large drug cartel based on Los Santos. He's also the most powerful mob boss in the city, so much so that when he expels you from the city, he sends you endless minions. Commonly, he likes to see himself publicly as an honest businessman, which is the main reason he eliminated all the men who know about his corruption.
      • Later on, Wei Chang, the head of the local Triads becomes an antagonist after Trevor tries and fails to strike a deal with him.
      • Trevor certainly qualifies as an unusually Ax-Crazy example of this trope. As the CEO of Trevor Philips Industries, Trevor is the head of a meth/gun-running ring consisting of him, his neighbors and any goon he can hire. He can also buy properties in Los Santos, which is quite common for a mob boss.
  • Ranzak "Razor" Razman in Just Cause 2 is the leader of the Roaches, one of the three main rebel factions that can assist Rico in toppling The Generalissimo.
  • Don Pygoscelisnote  of the Kingdom of Loathing's Penguin Mafia.
  • In the Like a Dragon series, there are various crime bosses of varying influence, with the Chairman of either the Tojo Clan or the Omi Alliance being the biggest ones. Daigo Dojima of the Tojo Clan is a recurring ally while the Omi Bosses tend to be antagonists. Series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu was made the Fourth Chairman in the climax of the first game before he chose to step down to raise his adopted daughter, though he still holds some degree of power and influence among those who recognize him due to his personal deeds making him the stuff of legends.
  • You meet a lot of Dons in the Italian-American Families both in Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven and Mafia II.
    • Sal Marcano from Mafia III. His backstory has clear similarities to Carlos Marcello, the real-life Don of New Bordeaux — sorry, New Orleans — in the 1960s. After his death, Lincoln is given the option of replacing him as the Boss of the city (with the epilogue showing that he becomes the biggest crimelord of the entire Southeast) or if he chooses to leave the city, one of his surviving lieutenants will try to pick up the pieces (with Vito being the most successful).
  • Mappy: Goro evokes the appearance of a mafia boss, wearing a suit and tie and pilfering priceless treasures and artifacts with his subordinates.
  • Don Punchinello in Max Payne is somewhat a subversion of the stereotype: as Max puts it, "Punchinello was a pushover", justified by the fact that he is just a public figurehead used by the real villain to pin the Valkyr distribution on.
  • Don Pianta from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Later his son-in-law Franky takes over, although his daughter is really the one in charge.
  • Persona 5 has Junya Kaneshiro, the head of a mafia family that's been terrorising Shibuya, including several students of Shujin Academy. He ends up as the Phantom Thieves' third major target.
  • Pokémon:
    • While Team Rocket falls squarely under The Family for the Whole Family, Giovanni is The Don through and through. He even later on picks up a fedora/long coat/corsage combo. However, unlike most examples here, he seems to put his family below his organization. He also eventually escalates his plans to world domination and eventual multiversal conquest, putting him above the typical crime lord (and even most series villains) in terms of scope.
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet introduces Mabosstiff, a Dark-type canine Pokémon that is modeled on a mafia don. It is noted to be fiercely protective of its family and use intimidation to fend off threats to them.
  • Romacing Saga Re Universe: Don Scaccini is a big time arms dealer who operates out the Great Arch resort town and is the game's first antagonist.
  • Mister Tayama in Shin Megami Tensei IV. Plans to keep Tokyo forever under his thumb as his "utopia", built on evil so unimaginable even demons are outright horrified. His Ashura-Kai ran largely unopposed, except by the Ring of Gaea and a few scattered demons. However, of the game's antagonists, he's by far the least in the know of what truly is at stake, and is promptly Dragged Off to Hell by the activation of the Yamato Perpetual Reactor.
  • David Wai-Lin "Uncle" Po, the Chairman of the Sun On Yee Triad in Sleeping Dogs (2012). After his death, he's succeeded at the end of the game by Broken Nose Jiang.
  • Li Yuan the pirate chief and extortionist in the old game Taipan!
  • Dermot "Lucky" Quinn is the boss of the Chicago mob (predominantly Irish instead of Italian in this game) in Watch_Dogs.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs:
    • The Godpigeon is yet another parody of Vito Corleone and is modeled after him, complete with Mumbling Brando speech. The Goodfeathers treat him with deep respect whenever he shows up.
    • In one Warner Siblings short, the trio go to an Italian restaurant and annoy "Don Pepperoni", a Vito Corleone parody. For example, when they hear he's the "Godfather", they take the "father" part literally and ask him if he's their new "daddoo".
  • Arcane: Silco is the boss of the criminal underworld after the Time Skip. Known as a leading industrialist to the law abiding, in truth he's recognized as the leading chembaron in the underworld.
  • The most powerful mobster in Gotham city at the outset of Batman: The Animated Series is Rupert Thorne, who seizes the position in an early episode from aging mobster Arnold Stromwell. His old-school methods provide a contrast to those of Batman's more colourful foes. In late seasons, the Penguin gives up committing crimes personally to control organized crime behind the scenes, much like he did in the comics.
    • Rupert Thorne and Arnold Stromwell actually deconstruct this trope: They follow it completely except at The Patriarch part: Rupert Thorne cares for his brother Mathew, but he is the reason his brother has become a Back-Alley Doctor. Stromwell has destroyed his marriage, driven his son to drugs, and has not seen his priest brother in years. Both of them are a curse on their loved ones.
  • The Fairly OddParents! subverted this with Wanda's father Big Daddy. He acts like a stereotypical mob boss and expresses his desire for Wanda to run the "family business" that Cosmo and Timmy assumed to refer to the mafia, which in reality turned out to be a garbage pickup company.
  • Peter has dealings with one in an episode where he gets into debt with the Mob in an episode of Family Guy.
  • Futurama has the Donbot. That's his function in the Robot Mafia, although it's obviously carried to the point of parody.
    Donbot: Their desire to keep living shows me no respect.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law had a funny example. Harvey defended Fred Flintstone, who was thought to be this, and who certainly believed himself to be this. Harvey successfully argued that Fred suffered from Identity Amnesia yet again, causing himself to believe he was this trope. Meanwhile, the episode shows plenty of evidence that Fred was indeed The Don. Which is why the Twist Ending showed that Fred never was The Don. Barney Rubble was.
  • In a second season episode of Inspector Gadget Claw rings up his former teacher Les Renown, who runs a villain retirement home, to call upon the services of the Great Great Godfather.
  • The Legend of Korra has a few Dons running around Roaring Twenties Republic City leading the bending triads. One was Predecessor Villain Yakone, and a more recent one is Lightning Bolt Zolt.
  • Los Trotamúsicos: In this adaptation of The Bremen Town Musicians the gang of robbers is lead by a maffiosi Expy named Chef. He dressed in a borsalino hat, a white suit and has Sinister Shades.
  • The Simpsons: While Fat Tony is an Underboss and the most well-known mobster in Springfield, he's not The Don. In fact, he answers to a more powerful one named Don Vittorio DiMaggio, the real Don of the Springfield Mafia. However, Vittorio shows up so rarely that Tony usually takes the role of The Don in stories, and viewers often assume he's one.
  • South Park has Loogie. Despite being an elementary school kid, he's styled after a classic Italian mafioso and runs a racket that steals tooth fairy money from kids around the neighborhood.

    Real Life 
  • Mario Puzo based Vito Corleone off of several real-life Mafia bosses, including Carlo Gambino, Frank Costello, Joe Bonanno, Tommy Lucchese, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Santo Trafficante Sr., Raymond Patriarca Sr., Angelo Bruno, Russell Bufalino, Tony Accardo, Sam DeCavalcante, Frank Balistrieri and Carlos Marcello.
    • His son Michael was loosely based on Bill Bonanno (the son of Joe Bonanno), Santo Trafficante Jr. (the son of Santo Sr.), Tommy Gambino (the son of Carlo Gambino), and Ray Patriarca Jr. (the son of Raymond Patriarca Sr.)
    • Frank Costello might be the nearest analogue. He was chairman of the Commission (basically the Mafia's Board of Directors) and his talent for managing the syndicate earned him the nickname "Prime Minister". Technically he was merely filling in for his buddy Charlie Luciano (you may notice, also on the list), but Luciano spent most of those decades either in prison or exiled to Havana, making Costello the brains of the outfit.
  • Salvatore Maranzano was the last mafioso to try and declare himself capo di tutti capi (Boss of all the bosses) — basically a Mafia overlord in charge of every Mafia family in the States. This didn't play out as he planned, as his lieutenant Charlie Luciano (there's that name again!) promptly offed him and set up a new structure so that each city had its own boss, and they answered to a committee of bosses from NYC and Chicago (the "Commission").
  • And of course, there's Al Capone, the most powerful mob boss in Prohibition-era Chicago, and possibly the most archetypical and famous mobster of all time. Capone wasn't technically a member of the Mafia, as he was not of Sicilian descent, but he sat on The Commission with the Mafia bosses representing his organization, the Chicago Outfit.
  • Santo Trafficante Sr. became the most powerful mob boss in Tampa Bay (and by extension, the rest of Florida) after staying neutral during the Mob War between the other crime families in the region, letting them wipe each other out so he could take over. His son, Santo Jr., eventually succeeded him after his death, and is considered to have been one of the most powerful mobsters of the time; he would also later claim he helped the CIA arrange assassination attempts against Fidel Castro.


Big Boy Caprice

Big Boy makes a play to become the boss of bosses.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / TheDon

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