Our Presidents Are Different

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

World leaders have provided much dramatic inspiration for creators over the years—the prestige and power these people are afforded and the intrigue, dangers, and tensions that surround them can make for great stories. However, including the real world leader in your story can have several ramifications, not all of them good: if the depiction isn't particularly flattering (or even if it is—just not to some people), this can see your work receive unwanted controversy, attention and (if the person in question happens to be alive and litigious) legal action. Or maybe your story takes place Twenty Minutes Into the Future. As such, many creators choose to create an entirely new and fictional leader out of whole cloth to include in their stories, and depending on the story these depictions can fall into several types, which are discussed below.

President Action

I'm going in there to save my men. And the reason is: because I'm the President of the great United States of America!
—President Michael Wilson, Metal Wolf Chaos
A common character in The Nineties, this President kicks ass consistently and thoroughly. Oftentimes, he's far more a Badass than his entire Secret Service detail combined. This particular detail is often Justified Trope by declaring that, before elected to office, he was a decorated military hero, as there are several real-world cases (see below). In fiction few leaders outside of the United States have been placed into this role. It is difficult (although not impossible, given the few examples below) to imagine a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom kicking ass in such a fashion, as much as we'd like to see it. King Action, however, is fairly common. Note connections with Eagle Land.

President Target

The President has been kidnapped by ninjas. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the President?
Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja
The direct opposite of President Action; this President is just the hapless target of whatever assassination attempt, kidnap attempt, assaulted-by-ninjas attempt, blackmail attempt, or otherwise evil conspiracy the bad guys have planned. Often has an evil deputy or members of his own government gunning for him/her. Can have elements of the other Presidents attached to him (for example, becoming President Action out of necessity at the last minute), but President Targets are often ciphers, with little information provided about them other than their status as President -- which means they might as well have a big target sign on their backs. This President basically exists for countless action heroes to answer this question: Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president? Sometimes, it's The President's Daughter who gets kidnapped.

President Personable

If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion love actually is all around.
—Prime Minister David, Love Actually
The "Nice Guy" President. This President isn't nearly the Badass that President Action is, and is often a bit older, but is often a decent, honourable, and kind man who treats his position, aides, and country with great respect and dignity. Often takes the role of the Reasonable Authority Figure. A President Personable needs to watch out, however, since the Evil Chancellor is usually waiting in the wings (often as a scheming Vice President or deputy), the Government Conspiracy is often gunning straight at them, and they can easily end up as President Target.

President Corrupt

If the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.
—President Richard Nixon, Real Life
The diametric opposite of President Personable -- your (stereo)typical scheming, shifty, and corrupt politician who is in it only for what he can get out of it, legally or otherwise. Often seems to take great pleasure in screwing over the people and system he represents for his own personal gain. Bonus points awarded if he's having extramarital affairs (usually with his aides or secretaries) on the side. When a President Corrupt is in office, you can often find him right at the centre of the Government Conspiracy, and is the quintessential Villain with Good Publicity -- at least, until the heroes get on his case. Sometimes appears to be one of the other types until the conspiracy is uncovered, with the possibility of a Have You Told Anyone Else? moment. President Corrupt is particularly susceptible to an Engineered Public Confession.

President Scheming

I said things. I said I'd seen proof of life on Mars. I said I'd intervened at the Justice Department to put 100,000 computers in the classrooms, which I thought made me sound like a good guy.
—Vice President Hoynes, The West Wing
A milder version of President Corrupt, President Scheming might not actually be involved in anything illegal, but he's certainly a devious and shifty political operative who tends to play dirty tricks and has very loose ethics at best. He's usually in it not so much for the cash benefits as the political power. Make this guy the second banana and he'll almost immediately be trying very hard to make sure that he gets himself into the top job as soon as possible, by whatever underhanded methods necessary.

President Jerkass

Checkers, shut up! Or I'll feed you to the Chinese!
—President 'Dick' Nixon, Dick
In contrast to the likeable President Personable, President Jerkass isn't a nice person at all. He's not necessarily corrupt or shifty: he's just a complete douchebag. He bullies his underlings, he's rude and thoughtless to his colleagues, he's arrogant, condescending and dismissive of the public he supposedly represents, and all in all is not a very nice guy at all. He's usually got very good P.R. skills, though, which explains how he manages to get elected: he's all huge smiles and smarmy charm in public, but behind closed doors he's a bit of a nasty piece of work. This President may be a less sympathetic President Target, or the story may require him to be taken down a peg or two in order to become more of a President Personable.

President Buffoon

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."
The Ditz President. It's not immediately clear how this guy (or, rarely, girl) ever got elected, because he can barely seem to stand up on his own at times, but nevertheless he's the boss, and everyone's got to put up with it until his term of office is, thankfully, over. (Although sometimes he wasn't elected: President Buffoon simply got the job by being next in line after a standing President dies.) President Buffoon typically shows his discomfort with the job of leading the country by taking lots of vacations. Often appears in kids' movies and TV shows and/or very broad satires. Depending on how savage the parody is, he may be either a lovable doofus or a hateful incompetent. President Buffoon lends himself very nicely to The Man Behind the Man. See also Stupid Boss, Pointy-Haired Boss, and Stephen Colbert.

President Lunatic

The missiles are flying! Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
—President Greg Stillson, The Dead Zone
This President may be President Buffoon turned up to eleven, may be a bit too eagerly into religion, or may see enemies behind every curtain and hear ominous whispering behind every pot-plant. Whatever the deal, if this President gets into office, it's a genuine cause to panic, as he is completely and genuinely insane. And he now has far-reaching governmental authority and a runaway military budget (often involving nuclear missiles) to back up his particular brand of delusion. This kind of President often just needs a few little nudges to send him right into becoming a full-blown President Evil.

President Iron

To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning.
—Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Real Life
President Iron doesn't compromise. Ever. Certain and correct in his (or her) every move (even if it's the wrong one -- good luck getting him to admit it), he charges ahead relentlessly with every action, every policy initiative, and especially every war he gets involved in. Women leaders tend to get placed in this trope, perhaps as a consequence of the lasting influence of Margaret Thatcher, the first female British Prime Minister, who was a living ideal of this trope -- she was called "The Iron Lady", first by the Soviet press in 1976 after an anti-Soviet speech.

President Focus Group


Sir Humphrey: So we trust you to make sure that your Minister does nothing incisive or divisive over the next few weeks.
Bernard: Yes, well, I think that is probably what he was planning to do anyway.

The opposite of President Iron -- this president does nothing but compromise. No action is taken without consulting the all-powerful Political Advisor (who is usually pulling the strings) or any number of focus groups: give this President an either/or choice and he'll be dithering all day, and the possibility of making a choice that might make him unpopular (or, even more importantly, lose him votes) will send him into a panic. So he'll most likely Take a Third Option by making a compromise. This way, instead of pissing off one side of the debate, he's sure to piss off everybody.

President Evil

And after I'm swept into office, I'll sell our children's organs to zoos for meat, and I'll go into people's houses at night and wreck up the place!
—President Richard Nixon's Head in a Jar, Futurama
President Corrupt or President Lunatic taken up to full-blown supervillainy levels. President Corrupt is often just a scheming jerk with few serious ambitions beyond lining his own pocket, and President Lunatic may have several screws loose but be otherwise harmless, but a President Evil genuinely wants to rule or destroy the entire world and has his own country as a power base with which to do so. For examples, see the linked trope.

President Minority

I am proud to be America's first straight female President.
—President Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons
When the President is female and/or from a minority background. How much his or her ethnicity is mentioned depends on the plot and whether anyone feels like invoking Othello. Resemblance to Barack Obama (in works made in 2009 or later) is somewhat common. Resemblance to Margaret Thatcher is surprisingly rare. Any resemblance to Benjamin Disraeli is even rarer. Sometimes used to depict a setting Twenty Minutes Into the Future in Zeerust-y sci-fi works. Now that it's actually happening, it should be interesting to see how it'll turn out.

President Playboy

Well, I gotta go, but... look, if you're ever near the White House, there's a tool shed out back. I'm in there most of the day.
When the President is bedding attractive women -- or men -- that he or she is not married to. Although the trope may overlap with President Corrupt (who, amongst his other sins, is usually getting some on the side as well), a President Playboy might be an otherwise perfectly decent, honorable and satisfactory leader who just has trouble keeping it in his pants.

President Strawman

Politics being what it is, many not-that-great writers (and, to be fair, many great ones as well) can't resist beefing up their own views by constructing an easily torn-down version of their opponents or an overly wonderful version of their own and putting him in high office. President Strawman is, essentially, any President who exists solely as either an easily lampooned caricature of an opposing point of view or an overly idealistic and wonderful wish-fulfillment version of the writer's own beliefs (and who usually bears a not-entirely-coincidental resemblance to a current or former holder of office), and if he does possess any characteristics of any of the other presidents, it's usually a thin veneer at best -- savage versions often become President Buffoon. Note that a fictional President who happens to hold opposing viewpoints to yours isn't automatically President Strawman: it's only if the sole purpose of the character is to tear down or worship a particular point of view that he becomes a Strawman. It can, however, be a matter of opinion as to when this occurs, and theoretically from a certain perspective all of these characters could be Strawmen to an extent. Basically, it's when any resemblance of the above to a real-life President or Prime Minister isn't coincidental.

President Mary Sue

A sort of extreme version (on the friendly side) of President Strawman, President Mary Sue is perfection itself: the sort of President that, say, Atticus Finch would make. Every decision is correct and impeccably moral. Every action is noble and heroic. Every belief is valid and correct and, not coincidentally, conforms to the beliefs of the person who created him. Count on President Sue to single-handedly save the whales, stop global warming, defeat the enemy, uplift the downtrodden, personally read aloud to all school-aged children, and have twelve national holidays in his or her honor.

President Not-Appearing-In-This-Film

When, for various reasons, the President simply doesn't appear in the story, but is merely mentioned. For a complete and extensive list, see the link provided.

President Unmodified

A specific, thinly veiled parody of a real President (usually, the one in office when the story was made, or, if the story is set in the past, the one in office at the time). This can range from a brief cameo that touches on the President's superficial traits, to a full-fledged political satire, although in the latter case the sitting President is usually named.

The above President types are not all-encompassing: depending on how they're written, each character can be composed of elements of more than one type of President. The following categories are also not limited to the President of the United States and can be applied to any fictional world leader. However, given the sheer volume of fiction produced by the United States and the unparalleled[1] influence and stature that its political leaders hold both at home and internationally, many creators choose to focus on the office of the President of the United States for inspiration. The presence of a fictional President is often explained by setting the story either in an Alternate Universe or Twenty Minutes Into the Future.

Examples of Our Presidents Are Different include:

Anime and Manga

  • The Legend of Koizumi takes this trope and runs with it, oozing with enough Patriotic Fervor to give Metal Wolf Chaos a run for its money! Pretty much every world leader is a sort of President Action that delegates over games of mahjong.
  • President David Hoope from Death Note is mainly a President Personable: he even commits suicide rather than risk being mind-controlled into starting another world war.
    • Unfortunately, his successor George Sairas, meanwhile, is closer to a President Buffoon, but certainly not a funny one: rather, he's a weak-kneed appeaser of Kira who, predictably, just opens the door for Kira to directly threaten him into working for him.
  • The unnamed President of Read or Die is a Buffonish President Target, whose only role in the plot is to get attacked, wet himself, unsuccessfully order an attack on the enemy, and wet himself again.
    • Before he learns about Joker's real plan he's President Gullible, afterwards he's a President Iron Wannabe who just can't keep up, as his only solution is basically "get bigger guns" which are not helpful against Martian tripods and pterodactyls, for whatever reason.
    • In the OVA, his specific orders were to nuke the I-Jin superfortress (before wetting his pants)
  • Fuhrer President King Bradley (King being his name) of Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the most powerful and evil characters in the series, effortlessly defeating a foe who was a match for Ed about 16 times in a row, using only swords? If that's not president action, you're crazy. He also puts on a front of being President Personable, which is to a degree part of his real personality (along with the A Nazi by Any Other Name part)
  • Averted in Golgo 13: whenever the US government hires the eponymous assassin, the president is... whichever president was in office at the time the story was written. (The Clinton administration hired him twice.) They're also drawn surprisingly accurately, and portrayed in a fair light. Hell of a change from the usual anime presentation.
  • George Reitmann, President of "A" Country from Mai-Chan's Daily... WAITNO--
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog OVA, the President of South Island is both a Target (he's held hostage at the beginning, and has to be rescued from a burning aircraft at the end) and a Buffoon. (That aircraft he had to be rescued from? He crashed it.)
  • Gurren Lagann's second half makes Simon the leader of Kamina City, who rules as Commander-in-Chief Action, of course.
    • Rossiu would be President Strawman, not even aware that he's taking his former village leader's tactics down a destructive path, though it's made clear to the audience. Though not a strawman for any real life politics, his defining characteristic is that he's acting out of an ideology completely at odds with the series' themes.
  • President Funny Valentine from Steel Ball Run is a President Evil, who uses his power as a means to obtain the series' MacGuffins to become a god.
  • Trun Union President Mission Routh in The Five Star Stories has a Grand Slam—he's a President Personable, President Action, and President Playboy[2] to the point of being a President Buffoon sometimes. Fortunately, he has much more responsible friends and allies to bail him out when his escapades turn South.
  • The Gundam Wing sequel novel Frozen Teardrop, set 22 years after the end of the anime, has Dorothy Catalonia as the Earth Sphere President, with the nickname "The Neo-Titanium Lady", presumably making her a President Iron. However, the Martian President a brainwashed Relena Peacecraft is decidedly a President Evil, considering they apparently ordered the assassination of the previous President Milliardo Peacecraft, her own brother. Endless Waltz has an unnamed President who doesn't really factor into the plot, but looks kinda like Andy Griffith.
  • A portly and dimwitted Chairman Yajnik in Gunnm:Last Order, who couldn't even stand straight without his trusty second-in-command, is a textbook example of a President Buffoon.

Comic Books

  • Possibly the ultimate President Action—a cartoon called Super President featured an actual superhero as the President of the United States.
    • An 'Armageddon 2001' issue of DC Comics had an alternate-future Superman as President of the United States.
      • This would, of course, require a Constitutional amendment, due to Article II. Not because he's an alien, but because Article II prohibits anyone not born in the United States from holding the presidency. There actually ain't no rule that says the president must be a human being, just a natural-born citizen.
      • Actually, the comic addresses exactly that, and very elegantly so. The Supreme Court rules that the opening of his life-support pod in Kansas counts as "birth" for eligibility effect.
        • Amusingly, although the writer was apparently unaware of it, by real-world immigration law Superman would have legally counted as a natural-born citizen anyway. (A child under five years old of unknown parents, discovered within US jurisdiction, is automatically presumed to have been born within US jurisdiction unless it can be conclusively demonstrated before they reach age 21 that they were born elsewhere.)
    • Another alternate version of Superman, President Calvin Ennis, is also America's first African-American President. First appearing in Final Crisis, he is obviously inspired by former President Barack Obama.
    • The ultimate President Action has to be Ronald Reagan in the comic series Reagan's Raiders. Best described by Don Markstein:

The basic idea was to go the 1960s TV cartoon Super President one better, putting presidential incumbent Ronald Reagan himself, along with several top members of his administration, in red, white and blue costumes like Captain America's or The Shield's, and sending them out to do superhero work among the rice paddies and sand dunes of America's most hated enemies. This was accomplished by means of a technological marvel invented by a Professor Cashchaser, that gave the Raiders the bodies of young men (and instantly instilled commando training too, apparently).

  • This undoubtedly epitomizes President Action. Note: that is actually the Martian Manhunter in disguise.
  • Tales from the Bully Pulpit has a couple of panels of Abraham Lincoln telling Adolf Hitler: "Come on, boy. I'm gonna emancipate your teeth."
  • Prez Rickard in DC Comics is that rare kind—a President Teenager.
    • Also extremely Personable, and possibly a Messiah figure in the context of the story. Something of a Sue, to be honest.
    • While President Lex Luthor was... well, it's Lex flippin' Luthor. What do you think he was?
    • In "Red Son", Lex Luthor was the greatest American President, he brought 14 states back into the union and defeated Communism, at the same time bringing the nation out of economic depression and defeating Superman with a single handwritten note. His presidency is so amazing, his political and scientific policies eventually turn Earth into the paradise Krypton, in a bit of causality loop. He laments that if Superman were raised in America they could have been friends...
  • In some versions of the Marvel Universe, Steve Rogers (a.k.a Captain America) has served as President—often as something of a President Action himself. Well, what else did you expect?
    • In the core Marvel Universe, Cap was approached to run as a third-party candidate for the presidency in 1980. After considering it, he declined. In a What If story, however, Cap accepts the nomination and defeats Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter to win the presidency. Rogers is the ultimate President Personable and President Action, as epitomized by both his inspirational inaugural speech and the fact that he takes off in the middle of it to disarm and capture his would-be assassin! After which:

Secret Service Agent #1: And we're supposed to be guarding him?
Secret Service Agent #2: Yeah! But just seeing him makes me feel... safer somehow.

  • Mad Jim Jaspers of the Marvel Universe is one of the few non-American President Action-characters (in this, as an Evil Prime Minister Action of the United Kingdom). His Reality Warping powers make him one of the most powerful characters in the entire multiverse, although his Lunacy (as suggested by his name) reduce his effectiveness somewhat.
  • In Transmetropolitan, "The Beast" is a full-blown President Corrupt (who does resemble Nixon quite a bit). He is mild compared to his replacement Gary Callahan, known as "The Smiler", who is a President Evil and then some (and who, sans Slasher Smile, looks surprisingly like Tony Blair). The differences can best be summed up by their usage of the quote "If the president of the United States does it, it can't be a crime." (a reworking of "If the President does it it isn't illegal"; an actual Nixon quote) during their final interviews with Spider—The Beast uses it in black humor, while Callahan says it with utter conviction.
  • Black Panther, King of Wakanda in the Marvel Universe, was already King Action by benefit of being a superhero in his original appearances. Over the last several years, he's ascended to King Canon Sue, so thoroughly Badass that by using simple wrestling moves he can have Heralds of Galactus wincing in pain, and defeating Mephisto by willingly giving him his soul (his soul belongs to the Panther God and he wouldn't let Mephisto take it) .
  • Zenith's Peter St. John is a Government Minister and the secret ruler of the UK, and sits somewhere between President Personable, President Scheming and Magnificent Bastard. He freely uses Mind Control, Telepathy and deception to get and stay in power, because he feels only his genius can do a good job of running things. Trouble is, from all appearances, he's right. He's arguably the real "hero" of the story, not Super Dick Zenith; He drags Zenith into the Superhero business and makes him stay despite his whining, he saves the world from Master Man's inner monster, he tricks the Lloigor into getting trapped in a Lotus Eater Machine for all eternity, etc.
  • Kitty Pryde - of The X Men - becomes mayor of Chicago and later President in the alternate continuity of X-Men: The End.
  • In Marvel's The New Universe, the Villain with Good Publicity Philip Voigt becomes POTUS with the help of his mind-control powers. He probably fits the Action, Scheming and Evil subtypes, at least.
  • At other times in The Marvel Universe, the President just happens to be whoever's in office at the time, with varying degrees of any of the above-mentioned stereotypes. In Uncanny X-Men alone, we see Jimmy Carter (during the Dark Phoenix Saga), Ronald Reagan (in follow-on stories to Days of Future Past), George H W Bush (in X-Men #1), and Barack Obama (The Amazing Spider-Man #583 and Thunderbolts #129). In a discussion board thread, Chris Claremont, talking about how his new X-Men Forever simultaneously follows on from X-Men #1 yet is set in 2009, essentially said "Assume that the gent sitting in the White House was always Barack Obama, or perhaps George W. Bush, depending on when exactly the story takes place." One assumes that this also includes the fact that there was still a Soviet Union in X-Men #1...
  • The Squadron Supreme limited series started with Kyle Richmond, a Captain Ersatz of Batman, as the President of the United States. After being mind-controlled by an alien being to conquer the Earth, he steps down from power... then things get worse.
  • In Superman/Batman Generations, Hal Jordan becomes President in the 1980s. While in this version of reality Hal never became Green Lantern, he's still a President Action. After his term ends, he does end up becoming GL in order to fight Sinestro, who is out to kill anyone who wore or was capable of wearing the ring.
  • In the current DC Universe, the President is Martin Suarez. A Democrat President Minority who was elected in the 2008 election (as seen in DCU Decisions), but not the same minority as the RW winner.
  • Give Me Liberty has several, such as the Howard Nissen, former Secretary of Agriculture who fell into the job after a terrorist attack, and President Rexall, a Brain In a Jar Expy of Ronald Reagan.


  • A President Personable with an Evil Vice President appeared in The Day After Tomorrow. Curiously, the Evil Vice President later reformed.
    • Also, the Vice President is a thinly veiled stand in for Dick Cheney, making this President Strawman and President Unmodified as well.
  • My Fellow Americans casts Jack Lemmon and James Garner as two bickering ex-US Presidents from different parties who end up on the run as the result of the machinations of a President Corrupt who frames them for his own dirty dealings. For their part, both Lemmon and Garner are President Personable, despite their ideological and personal differences, and Garner has a touch of President Playboy to him as well.
  • National Treasure: Book of Secrets featured a President Personable.
  • Merkin Muffley in Dr. Strangelove; or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb is either an ineffectual President Personable or a President Buffoon or a President Unscathed (being a thinly disguised satire of Real Life Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson). Or perhaps all three.
  • The President of the United States in Escape from New York is both a President Target and, given that he's something of a slimy fascist dictator, a President Corrupt as well.
    • His successor in Escape From L.A. is a President Lunatic and verges into President Evil towards the end of the movie. Given that the character is a very thinly veiled version of televangelist Jerry Falwell, he's a President Strawman as well.
  • Billy Bob Thornton's unnamed President in Love Actually is a very mild President Corrupt: we never actually see him do anything illegal, but he's certainly a bit of a bullying sleaze who isn't shy about coming on to the Downing Street staffer whom the British Prime Minister has a crush on (making him President Playboy as well).
    • On the other hand, David, the film's Prime Minister played by Hugh Grant is a Prime Minister Personable. He later becomes a Prime Minister Iron to an extent, publicly standing up to the President's arrogance—not because of ideological disagreements (although those certainly didn't help), but because the President made the moves on his girl.
  • Absolute Power features a President Corrupt who murders his mistress and frames a passing crook for the crime.
  • James Marshall in Air Force One is a President Action played by Harrison Ford.

President Marshall: Get. Off. My. Plane.

  • President Thomas Whitmore of Independence Day is a President Action who used to be a fighter pilot. He flies an F/A-18 and leads a squadron into the final battle.

General Grey: (as the President straps into a flight suit) Mr. President, I'd sure like to know what you're doing.
President Whitmore: I'm a combat pilot, Will. I belong in the air.

  • President Skroob in Spaceballs is a Corrupt President Buffoon. "I can't make decisions! I'm a President!"
  • President Bill Mitchell from Dave is President Corrupt. Dave starts off as President Buffoon before working his way up to President Personable.
  • The French President in District 13 is a President Corrupt who thinks nothing of atom-bombing an entire slum just to get rid of the criminals living there.
  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle Escape From Guantanamo Bay portrays George W. Bush as both President Personable and President Buffoon.
  • The unnamed and (almost) unseen President in In The Line of Fire is a President Target. The story is about the Secret Service Agents assigned to protect him and the assassin out to kill him.
  • In Idiocracy, President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, porn superstar and five-time ultimate smackdown wrestling champion is a President Ditz with a side dish of President Buffoon, because he lives in a future where the idiots have outbred intelligent people, thus leaving only the morons to march (and destroy) the planet.
  • President Joseph Staton of American Dreamz is both a President Buffoon and a President Focus Group, but with a twist—the plot involves him deciding to actually learn about world politics so that he can make some decisions for himself, much to the dismay of his staff.
  • President Judson Hammond from the infamous Gabriel Over The White House embodies almost all the tropes. He starts off as a Strawman Buffoonesque Scheming Corrupt Playboy Personable President until he suffers a car accident and is possessed by Archangel Gabriel and becomes the Iron Action president and thanks to Your Mileage May Vary, also Evil.
  • The unnamed president in the 2007 Transformers movie was seen only briefly, with his face conveniently covered by his feet (which were pointed at the camera), making him bordering on President Invisible. His characterization during his brief appearance was more or less President Buffoon. (Also, he did sound a bit like George Bush II.)
    • President Obama becomes President Invisible in Revenge of The Fallen where he never appears but is mentioned as being taken to a bunker for protection.
      • The way that scene is set makes it pretty clear that when they filmed it they intentionally set it up so the voiceover newscast could refer to whomever the President would be when the film was released. Oddly, Michael Bay said he put his name in there as a sort of tribute...except it ends up being that Obama's administration is asking the Autobots to leave.
  • The President in Canadian Bacon is a total President Focus Group who's trying hard to be a President Personable but gets maneuvered into being a President Scheming by his cabinet. He's a gutless moderate loser (probably a parody of Bill Clinton) whose sleazy aide and warmongering general persuade him to declare war on Canada.
  • The President in the 2008 Get Smart movie is a Personable President Buffoon. Guess who he's based on. No, go on, guess. In the movie, he's also a President Target.
    • Although he's presented as being a lot more likable and sympathetic than his Vice President, who is presented as a Vice President Jerkass (the President even stated he didn't really like him). Also a Vice President Action, given that his preferred method for handling arguments during a National Security Council meeting is to hold a full-contact sparring session in the middle of the conference table. Although he does by all accounts get his ass kicked.
  • Let's not forget "Tug" Benson, the President Action of Hot Shots Part Deux who does things even James Marshall couldn't do, despite being an extreme President Buffoon at the same time.
  • The Star Trek films have featured a total of two Federation Presidents:
    • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home had a President Personable who court-martialled Admiral Kirk for various violations of regulations (mostly taking place in the two previous films)... but seeing as he and his crew just saved the world, the president "sentences" him by demoting him to Captain and placing him in command of a brand-new top-of-the-line ship.
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country had a President Target whose (planned) assassination was one of many gears in a conspiracy that dug to the core of Starfleet. His equivalent on the other side, Chancellor Gorkon of the Klingon Empire was also one.
  • The President in The Sentinel is a President Target. The whole film revolves around the hunt for a mole within the secret service who's out to kidnap and possibly kill him.
  • In the film The American President, President Andrew Shepherd (isn't that such a presidential-sounding name?) is President Personable, with a 63% approval rating. The film is about how the widowed president finds love again, so he's a President Romantic and also President Mary Sue. The film was the spiritual predecessor to The West Wing, which was created by the screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
  • The unnamed President in Advise And Consent is a President Scheming, although he's one of the nicer versions: he genuinely is interested in doing what he thinks is right for the country. It's just that sometimes that involves breaking the odd metaphorical kneecap.
  • In Salt, both the American President Lewis and the Russian President Matveyev are President Targets.
  • Contact, based on a novel by Carl Sagan, features an appearance by an unmodified Bill Clinton. Almost. Creative editing of press conference footage, combined with judicious use of voice impersonators and body doubles, gave the appearance that the President was participating in the events of the film. White House staff were not amused.
  • Under Siege begins with President George HW Bush giving the ship its sendoff, though he does not participate in the main action of the film.
  • President Barbara Adams in Whoops Apocalypse is a President Minority and President Focus Group. British PM Sir Mortimer Chris is a Prime Minister Lunatic (his policies include creating new jobs by pushing employed people off cliffs).
  • Ex-President Monroe "Eagle" Cole in "Welcome to Mooseport". He's comes across as a mixture of a President Personable and a President Mary Sue; a nice, grandfatherly charismatic man, so beloved by people that he retired with an 85% rating of approval (the highest FDR got was 84%), so popular that even a really small town like Mooseport knows him well (although it is his hometown as well). Also, he describes himself as "the most environmentally conscious president since Teddy Roosevelt". Nevertheless, at the same time, he's revealed to be an moderate President Jerkass who jokes about getting his adviser beaten up for not succeeding in his tasks, is arrogant, despised by his ex-wife, dates with the beloved one of his opponent running for Mayor, and plays it dirty when it comes to golf. By the end of the movie, President Jerk with a Heart of Gold probably sums him up, however.
  • Americathon's Chet Roosevelt is President Personable to an annoying degree. In his speech, he finished saying to the people, "This is the President and I love you." and when he got sworn in, he hugged the Justice of the Peace.
  • In a rare instance where President Target is blended with President Iron, Dreamscape's president defies his own advisers to pursue nuclear disarmament treaties, spurred on by nightmares about World War III. Unable to shake his resolve, the Big Bad resorts to an attempted assassination using the film's dream-penetration technology.


  • President Jack Ryan in Tom Clancy's novels was actually an action hero before he became President. He doesn't continue on to be President Action, though: the one time in his term that he's actually in the presence of an armed villain, his Secret Service detail physically restrains him from risking himself and arrests the would-be assassin.
    • He's also a President Iron and President Jesus, which isn't surprising since he is a Marty Stu. To be fair, he's a Wish Fulfillment character, and Clancy did subvert many of his ideals by the next book (not everything he attempted came to pass). Ryan himself lampshades in a rather Genre Savvy fashion how odd it is that he is so loved (which actually creeps him out a little), and why most of the time his idealism and reality don't mix. This is probably Ryan being Clancy's Meta Guy realizing what Marty Stu Ryan looks like and reminding the audience that his Author Avatar isn't perfect, either.
    • Ed Kealty, in Debt of Honor, is Vice President Playboy and Vice President Strawman. In The Teeth of the Tiger, he's President Invisible, losing the "Vice" and "Playboy" parts, but not "Strawman".
  • Tom Kratman's A State of Disobedience features Wilhelmina Rottemeyer, a thinly veiled pastiche that goes past President Evil / Strawman territory. Read the Teaser for yourself, but don't say you weren't warned.
    • To be fair, the author himself has admitted it's not that good a work, even for being his first one.
  • Greg Stillson in The Dead Zone, in the future that the main character witnesses, becomes a religious fundamentalist President Lunatic who ends up starting World War III ("The missiles are flying! Hallelujah, Hallelujah!")
  • Lancelot R. Gilligrass is the President Buffoon in Roald Dahl's novel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. He has a Vice-President Iron in the person of Miss Tibbs, his childhood nanny.
  • The Dan Brown novel Deception Point revolves around a stunning scientific discovery and its implications in the upcoming presidential election. However, the two candidates are probably some of the most over-the-top examples in this page:
    • The President in office, Zach Herney, goes beyond President Personable into what could be described as Saint President: he insists on having NASA be funded by the federal government instead of the intelligence community to avoid its purpose being corrupted despite the billions of dollars in losses that entails; refuses to have evidence of his opponent's indiscretions be made public so that the American public doesn't lose its faith in its politicians (HA!) and when a massive conspiracy involving the aforementioned discovery that would otherwise cause devastating consequences to his reputation comes to light, he tells the entire truth on national television. One even wonders how the hell someone like that managed to succeed in politics in the first place.
    • By contrast, Herney's opponent, Senator Sedgewick Sexton is a Presidential Candidate Evil of the highest order: he has had affairs for most of his married life; used his wife's death in an accident to further his political career, both financially and as a means to gain support; when questioned about his stance in same-sex marriages he thinks to himself that if he were in charge "the faggots wouldn't even have the right to vote;" he is in cahoots with several private aerospace companies who illegally fund his campaign so that Sexton can dismantle NASA and sell it to them; and worst of all, was willing to let his own daughter die just so he could release evidence that could potentially destroy Herney, with the added bonus of her "cementing [his] sympathy vote".
  • The premise of Fletcher Knebel's Night Of Camp David is the question of how to deal with a President Lunatic.. or is he?
  • Irving Wallace's The Man is the story of the first accidental President Minority.
  • In Dougal Mac Leish's Canadian political thriller THE TRAITOR GAME, not only Prime Minister Target but PARLIAMENT Target is blown away by the machinations of Premier Corrupt; and Governor General Iron steps in to save the day.
  • In Eric Romer's ULTIMATUM, Canada is threatened by a President Iron who, by Word of God, is supposed to be John Connolly.
  • In the Harry Potter series, Cornelius Fudge started off as Minister Buffoon and Minister Focus Group (responding to people like Lucius Malfoy) before eventually becoming Minister Scheming/Corrupt, with a nice side helping of paranoia.
    • Fudge's successor, former Head of the Auror office Rufus Scrimgeour, was supposed to be a Minister Action instead. However, he ended up a Scheming Minister Iron.
    • Voldemort's puppet Pius Thicknesse was a Definite Minister Focus Group, since, being Imperiused, he wasn't even in control of himself.
    • Kingsley Shacklebolt, former Auror and member of the Order of the Phoenix, became the first true Minister Action after the war, and is also a Minister Minority.
    • The Muggle Prime Minister seen at the beginning of the sixth book was Minister Focus Group. His Inner Monologue was pretty much devoted to "What will the voters think?" and is believed by some to be a parody of Tony Blair, whom J. K. Rowling is said to be not fond of. His mannerisms are also reminiscent of Jim Hacker, enough to be considered a Shout-Out if deliberate.
  • In the Posleen War Series, there's a couple of them. The president at the start of the series is somewhat of a minor President Strawman, but becomes President Action towards the end of When the Devil Dances. In his CMoA, he engages (along with his Secret Service and Marine guardians) Posleen emerging from a lander that came down near a human refugee camp he was visiting. His successor falls into the President Minority (woman) category, with more than a touch of President Strawman, with a strong aversion to using nuclear weapons (not entirely unjustified, given that nukes used by the Chinese didn't do more than delay the PRC's ultimate destruction, while poisoning the land for hundreds of years).
  • Dave Barry promised in Dave Barry Turns 40 that he would be a President Buffoon if elected:

I can hear you saying, "Oh yeah, Mr. Smartass? Well, what kind of leader would you be?" The answer is, I'd be a terrible leader. I'd be such an inadequate leader that within a matter of days the United States would rank significantly below Belize as a world power. But at least I'd try to be an interesting leader.

  • In Why Not Me?, Al Franken portrayed himself as a Corrupt President Playboy and much more of a jerk than he really is.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. One guess as to what kind of president this is.
  • The unnamed President in the Illuminatus-trilogy believes himself to be the President Iron, but in actuality he's straddling the line between President Buffoon and President Lunatic in his incessant drug addiction and willingness to start a nuclear war over a tiny Pacific island possibly going Communist.
    • The unnamed General Secretary of the Soviet Union in the Illuminatus-trilogy believes himself to be the Premier Iron, but in actuality he's straddling the line between Premier Buffoon and Premier Lunatic in his incessant drug addiction and willingness to start a nuclear war over a tiny Pacific island possibly going Communist.
    • The unnamed Chairman in the Illuminatus-trilogy believes himself to be the Chairman Iron, but in actuality he's straddling the line between Chairman Buffoon and Chairman Lunatic in his incessant drug addiction and willingness to start a nuclear war over a tiny Pacific island possibly going Communist.
  • Given that the political side in Honor Harrington books often eclipses its military half, it's no wonder that the books are chock-full of various heads of governments, running the whole gamut.
    • Manticore during the series run have had one Queen and three Prime Ministers:
    • Haven swung even wider:
      • Hereditary President Harris of old Legislaturalist regime was a Personable President Target—largely ineffective and harmless,
      • His successor, Chairman Pierre was, despite his tyrannical rule, more of a Scheming President Iron, being the Well-Intentioned Extremist that he was, while his successor, Chairman Saint-Just was simply a tyrant and largely a President Strawman.
      • After their next revolution, current President Pritchart is clearly a President Iron, bent on returning Haven back on the right path.
    • And this list may go on, and on, and on...
  • Johnny Gentle, the President of the United States in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, is a former lounge singer and rabid germophobe who campaigns on making for a "neater, tighter America," and founds the Clean US Party to get elected. His solution to the supposed dirtiness of America is to blast all the country's waste off the planet; when that proves to be too expensive, he sections off much of New England and Upstate New York as a gigantic toxic waste dump (with gigantic Lucite walls), hands it all over Canada, and forms the Organization of North American Nations to make the whole thing work. Definitely a combination of President Buffoon and President Lunatic.
  • In the Carrera's Legions series, the president of Balboa before he was tossed out in the next election was a President Corrupt.
  • In a variant not listed above, the president from Snow Crash, while technically a President Corrupt, probably ought to rate as a President Loser: he holds office at a time when federal authority has diminished so catastrophically that nearly all of the current United States has been sold off to extraterritorial corporations. Upon meeting him, Y.T. doesn't even have a clue who he is, or care once he tells her.
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox was chosen as President of the Hitchhiker's Guide galaxy, specifically because he's a natural for President Buffoon (with a side order of Playboy, Scheming and Personable), so would distract attention away from anyone holding genuine authority.
  • Although a senator rather than a president, Evangel McDowell of the web-novel Domina is a President Action. He helps fight off a horde of zombies and organize the survivors.
  • 1632 and its sequels have Michael Stearns, who starts out as President of the New United States (later renamed the State of Thuringia), then later serves as Prime Minister of the United States of Europe, and then as commanding general of the USE Army's Third Division. President Action (in the first book, he has to dust off his professional boxing experience), Iron, Marty Stu, and Personable all rolled into one, with a small dose of Scheming in The Dreeson Incident, when he lets it be known that the incident was caused by anti-Semitic activists, even though he knows that's not true (leading to a bloody campaign against them by a pro-tolerance revolutionary group).

Live Action TV

  • The woefully short show Commander in Chief starred Geena Davis as a Minority President (with a side order of President Iron and President Personable), and a very competent one at that. Noteworthy that while her status as the first female President got plenty of mention, in practice her status as the first independent President (i.e. no party affiliation) since George Washington proved more important.
  • President Jed Bartlet in The West Wing is a President Personable. He's also been accused from some quarters (particularly right-wing) of being a liberal President Strawman, and his staff occasionally view him as a President Sue, but he presents arguably enough well-rounded Character Development, deep-seated character flaws and contrary opinions to avoid falling into this trap.
    • He was supposed to be a President Invisible, or nearly so, when the series began. But Martin Sheen is awfully good at what he does.
    • He also showed moments of being a President Buffoon in the first season. His first mention was of him riding a bicycle into a tree, and in a later episode he comes into the Oval Office loopy on medication and can't remember any of his staff's names.
    • He is also President Target, being wounded in one assassination attempt and having his youngest daughter kidnapped on another occasion.
    • President Matt Santos is a President Minority. Probably the first of what will presumably be a long list of that character type to be intentionally based off of Barack Obama. The writers actually talked to David Axelrod for characterization help.
      • Extremely notable for being based on Barack Obama before Obama collected a dime for 2008 - the character was introduced shortly after the latter's 2004 convention speech, because in The West Wing, for never-explained reasons, the Presidential elections were offset by two years from the real world, and Santos was running for election in 2006.
    • British Prime Minister Maureen Graty of the same series is firmly an Iron Prime Minister, launching a full-scale war over the terrorist shooting of a British plane.
    • Bartlet's first VP, John Hoynes, was a Vice President Scheming who eventually had to resign when it was revealed that he was a Vice President Playboy as well. His replacement, Robert Russell, was a mild Vice President Buffoon.
      • "Bingo Bob" Russell was a Genre Savvy VP Buffoon, as he recognized that his ties to mining companies could paint him as a VP Scheming if his opponents took him more seriously.
  • U.S. President Arthur Winters in the Doctor Who story The Sound of Drums is something of a President Buffoon—although technically, he's only a President-Elect. (Which is rather odd considering it was broadcast in spring of 2008. Even odder: it was first broadcast in the UK, the series' home country, in the summer of 2007. This troper is unaware if the previous troper was referring to its first US broadcast or was just mistaken. Since there was only a single reference to Winters as President-Elect, and in all other respects he appears to be the actual President—the President-Elect does not travel on Air Force One, for instance—it was probably a continuity error.)
    • Mr. Saxon in the same episode is a Lunatic Prime Minister Evil hiding behind a facade of Buffoonery. He's also the Master, and thus an Alien Prime Minster Evil too.
    • Arthur Winters appears to be a thinly veiled President Unmodified based on then-President George W. Bush, playing up the widespread European perception of Bush as an arrogant, overbearing cowboy-type. (The Master has him disintegrated.) Two years later, in "The End of Time," they dispensed with the veil and referred to President Obama by name.
    • Harriet Jones on Doctor Who starts as a Prime Minister Personable. She pushes for improved hospital care in her constituency and would prefer to remain working for her constituents. However, by the time of The Christmas Invasion, she's become firmly an Iron Prime Minister and a thinly veiled Margaret Thatcher analogy, who will override the US, UN and several secret organisations and blow up a retreating spaceship.
    • Also from Doctor Who, Queen Victoria became Queen Action in "Tooth and Claw," when she shot the leader of the evil monks.
      • Liz-10 is the bloody Queen, mate. Basically, she rules.
    • Lord President Rassilon in "The End of Time" is most definitely President Evil. Saxon pales in comparison.
      • Particularly as The Master is revealed to have gone mad because of Rassilon's machinations to escape the Time Locked Time War.
  • Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood had Prime Minister Jerkass Brian Green. He spends the entire 4-5-6 incident making his most loyal civil servant take bullets for him, to the point of forcing him to sacrifice his own children, which drives him to commit suicide. When the whole incident is finally cleared up, he says he feels "lucky" because his reputation has not been marred. Also President Corrupt.

Fortunately, in his last appearance of the miniseries, it's strongly implied that the Home Secretary is going to blackmail him into standing down so that she can take over.

  • President Paul Hollister, played by Beau Bridges in 10.5, is a President Personable.
  • Jim Hacker of Yes, Prime Minister tends to be a Personable Prime Minister Focus Group, easily swayed by his Cabinet Secretary Humphrey Appleby, although he can develop a very strong Iron streak when he feels his moral integrity is threatened.
  • President David Palmer of Twenty Four was President Personable who had a habit of being a President Target every now and then. And he succumbs to it in season five. President Charles Logan was President Evil with a bit of Obfuscating Stupidity at first.
    • Palmer was also the first black President Minority, at least on a well-known scale. It's mentioned a bit in Season One, but becomes utterly irrelevant (as it should be) after then.
    • Palmer had a tendency to stray into President Mary Sue territory occasionally.
      • President Allison Taylor looks like a sweet, middle-aged lady (she is, after all, played by Cherry Jones). Do not let this fool you. President Taylor will not budge once she has made up her mind about something... she's an Iron Lady and thus President Iron personified.

President Taylor: "I want that sonofabitch found."

    • And now President Hassan of Kamistan has gotten in on the action, mostly as President Target but now edging into President Action territory after saving Jack Bauer.
  • Francis Urquhart in the House of Cards (British series) trilogy of books and TV serials is a Prime Minister Corrupt.
  • Stargate SG-1's President Hayes is a President Personable, replacing an Invisible President in season 7. Of course his first VP is the resident Corrupt Politician and corporate stooge, (ex-Senator) Kinsey.
    • Hayes is also a President Iron. This shows most when he confronts a holographic projection of Anubis.
  • Randall Winston from Spin City is definitely a Buffoon Mayor. The only reason New York City runs is because of Hypercompetent Sidekick Mike Flaherty.
  • Reginald J. Priest in Season Four of Lexx is a viciously presented Corrupt President Buffoon.
    • He borders on President Evil at times (such as nuking countries that piss him off and letting the plant aliens eat Japan), but that is to be expected when you remember that he's Prince's puppet.
  • President Gaius Baltar in the Battlestar Galactica reboot is... um, probably most of the less positive forms on this list at one time or another. And President Personable, which makes it worse.
    • President Laura Roslin of the same series is mostly President Iron. Except for brief forays into religious zeal that arguably make her President Lunatic.
    • Acting President Lee Adama of the same series recently[when?] morphed into President Action. In some sense, the trope was avoided, however, considering that Adama was a crack Viper pilot earlier in the series, making his actions in Season 4.5 more credible than usual.
  • Prime Minister McLaughlin at the beginning of the Canadian mini-series H2O is Prime Minister Target, as the series starts with his mysterious death. He is succeeded by his son, Tom, who is Prime Minister Corrupt, arguably flirting with Evil.
    • There is also a President Minority
  • Babylon 5 had almost all of these variants during its run, including:
    • President Iron: arguably the female Earth Alliance president from In the Beginning, as well as Sheridan
    • President Target: Luis Santiago, Sheridan, and Delenn in her roles as both ISA VP and president.
    • President Evil: William Morgan Clark, Londo Mollari
    • President Jesus: First almost played straight, but then averted with Sheridan during the fifth season
    • President Mary Sue: Definitely Sheridan.
    • And that's not counting heads of state other than actual Presidents.
  • The Taming of the Shrew segment of Shakespeare Retold had Katherine as a Margaret Thatcher-esque Conservative politician who at the end of the show becomes Prime Minister. Presumably, she would be a Prime Minister Iron, although oddly, she also seemed to be slightly Prime Minister Personal.
  • In the spinoff of That's So Raven, Cory in The House, the eponymous Cory is living in the White House because his father got a job as head chef. The president is President Buffoon and President Minority, as he is Latino.
  • Heroes has had a few variants:
    • In the dystopian future of "Five Years Gone," Nathan Petrelli in reality, Sylar was President Evil, not to mention President Action when he felt like it.
    • The current president in the main timeline, first seen in the Volume Three finale, is President Minority (he's black). Interestingly, while the episode was aired after Obama won the 2008 election, it was probably filmed, and Michael Dorn almost certainly cast as the President, late in the campaign, when Obama's victory was likely, but far from certain. He hasn't actually been given a name, though some fans call him President Worf.
      • In the Volume Four finale, he's President Target, as Sylar, who has gained the power of Voluntary Shapeshifting, plans to kill him and take his place.
  • The Thick of It has two invisible PMs, at least one of whom is also Unmodified (Tom Davis is pretty obviously Gordon Brown). The other one went almost totally unmentioned, but given the circumstances, is also more or less Unmodified (for Tony Blair).
  • The Event features a President Minority in U.S. President Elias Martinez (played by Blair Underwood), who is Cuban.
  • In an episode of Time Trax, the time-traveling hero saves the life of an African-American senator whom he knows will one day become a President Minority.
  • President Johnny Cyclops in Whoops Apocalypse is a President Buffoon; a former film star who has actually been lobotomised. The British PM, Kevin Pork, is a Prime Minister Lunatic who believes he's Superman (probably a dig at Harold Macmillan's "Supermac" nickname).
    • Cyclops does sometimes seem to show some good sense, in contrast to everybody elses insanity, in which case he slides more towards President Focus Group.

Tabletop Games

  • Dunkelzahn of Shadowrun fame is this trope crossed with Our Dragons Are Different. Let that sink in a bit. As a great dragon, he was powerful enough to change reality through force of will, but he was keenly interested in humanity, running charities, humanitarian organizations and even a talk show. He eventually ran for president and got in before dying ten hours later, breaking numerous records including largest president, oldest president, only president born before the Christian era, and shortest presidential term.


  • John P. Wintergreen, main character of the musical Of Thee I Sing, presents himself to his party bosses as "nominated by the people, absolutely my own master, and ready to do any dirty work the committee suggests." He becomes something of a President Buffoon once he's elected (with the backing of corrupt political operatives and a campaign based on The Power of Love). His Vice-President, Throttlebottom, is a non-entity acknowledged by nobody until he reminds them who he is (which he has to do quite often).
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt in I'd Rather Be Right was predominantly a President Personable, trying to think up a way to balance the budget that the Supreme Court wouldn't disallow. He could also dance, unlike the Real Life FDR but like George M. Cohan (who played him).
  • In Evita Juan Perón shows certain elements of President Buffoon. In the musical number "A New Argentina", he expresses a desire to retire from politics and live the easy life in Paraguay. He is quickly shut down by his scheming wife, Eva, who convinces him to run for president.

Video Games

  • In what is definitely the most utterly insane version on this list, President Michael Wilson in Metal Wolf Chaos is a completely over-the-top President Action who spends the game in a heavily-armed Humongous Mecha yelling So Bad It's Good one liners and blowing up about half of the United States (and killing lots of people in the process) in an attempt to rescue the remaining half from his Evil Vice President (who, of course, is also in a Humongous Mecha). Seriously, mere words cannot do this justice.
  • Rivaling him for insanity—The Boss from Saints Row, who in Saints Row 4 becomes President of the United States. Sadly, most of his actual Presidency is offstage in backstory, as the bulk of Saints Row 4 is after the Earth has been destroyed by aliens.
  • Sam & Max: Abe Lincoln Must Die! had a President Buffoon who turned out to be literally a puppet. He's replaced by Max, of all people living things, who is the definition of President Lunatic.
    • Max mixes in a lot of President Action since he still rides around town with Sam and solves crimes
    • Max is also President Corrupt since he abuses his power as much as he can in order to advance the story.
      • He starts a civil war between the Dakotas to obtain emergency powers and access to the War Room and its missiles. He then blows up Antarctica and Krypton (if the missile ever gets there)
      • Later Max sells the US to Canada to get one of Bosco's inventions thus making him essentially President Traitor
      • The Secret Service has contingency plans for when Max goes "really bad". The second most probable scenario is Max turning into an Eldritch Abomination and rampaging through New York.
  • George Sears (aka. Solidus Snake) from Metal Gear Solid is something of a President Action and President Corrupt - he's running his own conspiracy to kill the conspirators. Then a player-controlled Tyke Bomb comes after him, and he's dual-wielding high frequency blades in some kind of power suit...
    • President Johnson from the same series is more of a President Target then anything, though he does have overtones of President Corrupt.
  • President Jacobi from Freelancer turns out to be President Action Girl.
  • President John Henry Eden from Fallout 3 is an uncommon combination of both President Evil and President Personable, having an impeccably polite manner and delivering morally uplifting "talks" on his radio station to the people of the Capital Wasteland in the vein of FDR's fireside chats, promising to bring back America's glory days and deliver its inhabitants from despair. Of course, he neglects to mention his ultimate plan for doing this would result in nearly everyone in the Capital Wasteland dying. He also has something of a treacherous Second-in-Command in the form of Colonel Augustus Autumn who, while not ultimately as sinister, is also much less affable.
    • Colonel Autumn is really more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist. For instance, the reason he is rebelling against President Eden is because he DOESN'T want everyone in the wasteland to die.
  • President Aaron Kimball of Fallout: New Vegas is a warhawk President Iron as well as a President Target during a mission where he appears to make a speech. The player has the option to either try and save him or help the assassination attempt go off without a hitch.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, you have President Shinra, a President Evil before becoming a President Target, and his son Rufus, who is simultaneously a President Evil and a President Action, before becoming an atoner President Magnificent Bastard.
    • Technically they're only presidents of an electric company. Said electric company basically runs the world, but still.
  • 'Mr. President' from Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog is a President Target.
  • Final Fantasy VIII has two characters as examples. The first is a President Evil, Galbadian President Vinzer Deling. The second is Estharian president Laguna Loire, who fits several of the subtropes. He's a subversion of President Buffoon. Prior to his being revealed as the President, the game portrays him as awkward, dimwitted, and reckless. However, he seems to be doing quite well as president. He's also President Action (You get to control him for several portions in the game, and he wields a machine gun, his theme is even called "The Man With The Machine Gun"), he's also a pretty nice guy once you finally meet him, making him President Personable as well. He's also the main character's father.
  • In Destroy All Humans! 2, Crypto has risen to the presidency of the United States, allowing the player to control a combination President Evil and President Action. Mwahahahaha!!!
  • President "Screw 'Em All!" Ackerman of Red Alert 3 pretty much epitomizes the concept of President Iron along with President Lunatic/President Evil. His solution to illegal immigration? Attack dogs! His position on serving special interests? None; he's too busy serving the Commies a steaming platter of shame, with a side order of suck it! Vote for Ackerman, if you want to live. His hatred for the Soviets leads him to try and use superweapons (not nukes; they haven't been invented thanks to the eradication of Albert Einstein from the timeline) to obliterate the USSR from a secret base in Mount Rushmore after the rest of the Allies are readying a cease-fire with them, though he turns out to be right not to trust them.. Then again, his militant attitude is due to the fact that he's a Japanese Cyborg Spy sent to make the Allies more aggressive towards the Soviets.
    • This game also includes the rare non-American President Action, as the Japanese Emperor personally takes to the field in his Humongous Mecha.
  • President Orwen from Front Mission: Gun Hazard definitely qualifies as a President Personable; he's a genuine nice guy, but gets screwed over by his subordinates early on. Orwen doesn't go down without a fight though, and has a President Badass moment when he rams the truck he's driving into Ark Hellbrand's Wanzer, forcing Ark to retreat.
  • The unnamed President in Ghost Squad is President Target, and high-fives you the second time you rescue him.
  • The unnamed President in Perfect Dark is both President Minority (being black) and President Target, with the intense mission where you sneak aboard Air Force One to save him before the plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, at which point you must rescue him again and kill the clone the villains made to be more agreeable to their plans. He could also be described as President Suicidal, what with his bizarre habit of running right in front of you when you're firing a submachine gun.
  • Two examples in Guilty Gear: President Gabriel of the floating military nation of Zepp, who took power in the successful staging of a coup-d-état; and the President of a nation implied to be a heavily-weakened United States of America, who is a young girl and a puppet of The Assassin's Guild.
  • President Richter Karst of the Republic of Bastok in Final Fantasy XI is President Jerkass. At least until you so later missions and find out that he isn't that much of a Jerkass. He has a (very) gruff persona, but did a lot for the citizens of Bastok that few people actually know about.
  • Call of Duty Black Ops's zombie level that takes place in the Pentagon ("Five") makes President Kennedy a President Action via the player. As the level can be 4-player co-op, it also allows for a Cuban President Action (Fidel Castro), a Secretary of Defense Action (Robert McNamara), and a Presidential Candidate/Future President Action (Richard Nixon).
  • President Baelheit in Baten Kaitos Origins is a blatant President Evil despite being a President Personable as well. Despite being the villain for the entirety of the game, you still can't stop him from being fairly elected because the people of his home continent love him so much.
  • Abraham Lincoln in Code Name S.T.E.A.M., is the leader of a group of other heroes[3] fighting alien invaders with Steampunk technology. Yeah, it's that kind of game, but not as bad as it sounds.
  • Qwark from Ratchet & Clank becomes President of the Polaris Galaxy in Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, making him technically a President Action type. Unfortunately, he is woefully incompetent as both a hero and a politician, causing far more trouble for the two eponymous heroes than he prevents; not that this isn't the case when he isn't President.

Web Comics

  • Killroy And Tina has Jesse Ventura as a President Action who doesn't need Secret Service protection, he kicks down walls and takes his cabinet to strip clubs. A one-off joke that later became a plot point, especially when Dubya seemingly declares himself president and challenges him to a fight for the title.
  • In one of the worlds visited by the cast of Strange Candy, Sarah Palin is a bizarre Sailor Moon parody and the US is threatened by Robotic Bears. As you would expect, the President is basically Stephen Colbert as he appears in his TV show, a President Buffoon which is completely incompetent and was, according to Palin, elected because he makes people laugh.
  • In Fake News Rumble, George W. Bush is a classic President Buffoon.
  • Irregular Webcomic has President Allosaurus, who mainly roars and eats people.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has a standard figure for the president of the United States (sometimes in practice representing all humanity). He's an older black guy with glasses, but his personality isn't really set between comics, since they all tell a variety of different stories/jokes, so he can fit various other types aside from President Minority.

Web Original

  • At one point in The Spoony Experiment, Dr. Insano is elected president. Three guess as to which one he is. He even lampshades this in his inaugural address:

"I even used my real name! You voted for guy named Dr. Insano!!! What the hell is wrong with you people?"

  • His platform includes: building a giant sawblade to cut Canada off at the top and then attach it to Australia, forcing the zombified corpses of political dissidents to fight to the death for his amusement, replacing the entire US population with robots, and turning the Suicide Girls into his own personal harem. Also, Fu Manchu was his running mate. He won by a landslide.
  • "Optimus Prime for President" returns 145,000 hits on Google. Like the aforementioned Superman, he's disqualified, having been born on Cybertron, not in the US. Would be counted as President Action (with the BFG to back it up).

Western Animation

  • Curiously, The Simpsons Movie casts Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of a US President Buffoon—curiously, because they already have an Arnie parody (Rainer Wolfcastle) who could just as easily have been put in the role to make the same joke and point (and possibly make it in a less-obvious fashion as well).
    • It was also odd because while it fits the parody, it doesn't exactly fit the governor we all know and love. A Take That, perhaps? Matt Groening is supposedly a friend of Phil Angelides (who ran against Arnie in 2006).
  • Richard Nixon('s head in a jar) in Futurama is an Evil Scheming Corrupt Lunatic Gargantuan Cyborg President. In his own words:

Nixon: Computers may be twice as fast as they were in 1973, but your average voter is still as drunk and stupid as ever. The only thing that's changed is me. I've become bitter and, lets face it, crazy over the years, and once I'm swept into office I'll sell our children's organs to zoos for meat, and I'll break into people's houses at night and wreck up the place! Mwahahahahahaha!!

  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, you have Stephen Colbert playing "himself" as a president buffoon, who attempts to make contact with a robotic probe by playing a kickass keyboard solo, puts Big Red Buttons for launching nukes and making coffee next to each other, and tries to take out a 50-story alien robot with a handgun.
  • In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the League visits a mirror universe where their heroes are bad guys, and their villains, good guys. The president in this world is Slade Wilson, also known in the main universe as frikkin' Deathstroke the Terminator.
    • In the Justice League episode "A Better World", the Alternate Universe where Luthor became President Evil briefly showed his replacement: an incredibly meager President Focus Group that bends to the Justice Lord's every order (his only objection to keeping elections from being held was that they were a tradition like football and Macey's parade), who Justice Lord Superman likely personally appointed.
  • In Totally Spies!, one episode has world leaders of multiple nations including Malaysia, Japan and the United States all become President Targets and replaced with Evil Twin cyborg copies who turn national landmarks into crazy and dangerous theme park attractions.
  • President Man from Invader Zim is a mix of President Buffoon and President Lunatic.
    • Considering the setting of the series, this is probably the best they could hope for.
  • Men in Black: The Series - The MIB are forced to break cover and work with the government during the Grand Finale. The US President is female (President Minority) and a Reasonable Authority Figure (President Personable).
  • Barack Obama made a cameo (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) in one episode of Batman: The Brave And The Bold.
  • In a couple of Earthworm Jim cold opens, the president is just some random guy whoever's meeting him doesn't recognize. The "president" then explains that he's just a generic president animated shows use so they don't show their age as time goes by.
  • The president, for some strange reason in the 1988 Mighty Mouse episode "Mundane Voyage," is Abraham Lincoln.
  • We never see a presidential figure in the Danger Mouse episode "The Statue Of Liberty Caper" because he is surrounded by Secret Service agents at his Oval Office desk. We can only hear him mumbling which his Service charges translate in government-ese.

D.M.: Thank you, Mr. President...uh, nice to have almost met you!

  • President Curtis in Rick and Morty (possibly intended as a parody of President David Palmer, whom he resembles) is a cross between a President Action and a President Evil. Notably, he is one of the few human characters on the show who has proved able to survive a physical confrontation with Rick without Rick's skills having been physically compromised.
  • In the continuity of Miraculous Ladybug, the President of the United States is Camilla Hornbee (an anagram of former First Lady Michelle Obama, whom she vaguely resembles) a President Action who is also the heroine Victory and leader of the United Heroz. Unlike most heroes in this series, her identity is publicly known, as she revealed it as a pledge of honesty during her campaign. Her costume and use of a shield suggests she was intended as a Distaff Counterpart Homage to Captain America.
  1. Except by the leaders of Russia and China, but who remembers them?
  2. Apparently, Megara tolerated his relentless skirt-chasing only due to being a Fatima and thus a subject to mind control.
  3. Henry Fleming, Paul Bunyan, Queen Victoria, Princess Tiger Lily, Tom Sawyer, Randolf Carter, Queequeg, and the main cast of The Wizard of Oz