The Ace

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The Ace is someone who is ridiculously good at what they do, whatever that happens to be, and everyone knows it. People look up to him, envy him, are in awe of him. He has a reputation for doing the impossible, and may be Shrouded in Myth, as people are unable to separate his real accomplishments from unfounded rumors.

In a work revolving around a specific activity, any kind of Serious Business, the Ace will be the best at it. In works lacking that sort of focus, they'll probably be extremely talented at everything.

The Ace is rarely the protagonist, typically acting as the living embodiment of Always Someone Better. They'll drive the protagonist to greater efforts either out of envy or by inspiring them. As such, if they're a main character, expect them to be either The Rival or The Mentor. If they're a minor but reoccurring character, then they'll almost certainly be Hero of Another Story.

However The Hero typically evolves into an Ace by the end of their story by virtue of having the most potential to unlock. By the time this happens the real Ace would've been hit by The Worf Effect a few times, that or they two will just finally be standing on equal ground.

It is common in Romance stories, as what they are good at usually has little effect on the romantic plot.

If the ace's talent is operating combat vehicles, then they're an Ace Pilot, but note that not all ace pilots are an example of the Ace. If the ace's private life isn't nearly as great as it seems from the outside, then they're a Broken Ace. Take this too far and you risk accusations of a Mary Sue. If he isn't really that amazing, then see Feet of Clay or Fake Ultimate Hero. If his talent is due to intelligence instead of simple awesomeness, see Impossible Genius.

See Ultimate Lifeform for a character that is literally perfect.

Examples of The Ace include:

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Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • Kintaro from Golden Boy.
  • Hiko Seijuro in Rurouni Kenshin. He is so ridiculously powerful that the story never pits him against anyone important, as there would be no dramatic tension involved. In the OAV prequel to the show ("Trust and Beatrayal"), Seijuro is introduced by essentially causing a man to evaporate into nothing by hitting him so quickly with his sword. In the show's proper run, main character Kenshin (himself already famous as a savant of swordsmanship) struggles for months trying to learn how to fight as well as his master, and only gains the right to inherit his master's mantle after a very, very hard struggle—at which point his master reveals that the cape he wears is literally lined with a large amount of metal weights, meaning that he was still probably twice as strong as his student.
  • Max Sterling in Robotech. He's made a nice guy and a hopeless romantic (who almost gets in a Star-Crossed Lovers romance at some point, but manages to make his Hot Amazon rival pull a Heel Face Turn) to make him more of a sympathetic character, though, and the heroes want to have him for a friend both on and off duty. For instance, Rick Hunter, one of the lead characters who was a cocky pilot himself, is more than ready to acknowledge that Max is far better than himself, which of course makes him a great wingmate to have with you in battle.
    • Max is considered basically undefeatable in the Robotech novelizations in either mecha-to-mecha or hand-to-hand combat, to the point that in the final battle of the first-generation novels engaging his blue-trimmed fighter is described as an instant death sentence.
    • He's even better in his original Macross appearance as Max Jenius, and even in Macross 7, where he becomes the Cool Old Guy. Hell, just look at his name!
    • Max is so cool that he manages to stay a Hot Dad even 40 years later entirely because he's so awesome - and that's a Word of God statement, too.[1] Unfortunately he and his (separated) wife have to be the Reasonable Authority Figure (him being the Admiral in charge of the entire fleet and she's the mayor of the civilians). Considering she's a long-lived Hot Mom, the only thing they have to be upset about is how their 7th and youngest daughter wants to be an idol rather than join the fleet or marry.
    • In the later stages of Macross 7 Max is ordered to sacrifice the entire million+ population of the Macross 7 fleet to bide time against the Protodevilin. Dismayed but not swayed, the Genius takes the battle to the enemy, even stealing the spotlight from main character Gamlin's 'death'. In the final battle, despite being a secondary character, Max outflys everyone, having the distinction of fighting closest to the Big Bad without having his VF explode
    • In Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, Macross 7 is included, and Max is mostly used as the pilot of the Battle 7. And he still dodges attacks and shoots down enemies with the best of them.
  • It's hard to decide if Great Teacher Onizuka is an example of The Ace or a Marty Stu but damn, he's cool. Though it's balanced out by his moments of sheer idiocy:

Onizuka: All right, I'll sell my organs then. No other choice, right?
Student: Sell the brain first! You never use it!

    • Onizuka is also a rare example of an Ace that's also a bona fide Butt Monkey.
  • Teresa from Claymore is the woman every ace in this trope aspires to be. She's a demon hunter, ranked at the top of her class, the most beautiful woman in her organization by far, and virtually unbeatable even in a group of her best subordinates. For example, after breaking the rules of the Organization by killing a group of bandits that were threatening to kill a child traveling with her, she is sentenced to death by beheading. In a flash of light, her comrades appear to have sliced right through her, only to find all five of them wounded and bleeding from her lightning quick counterattack. It doesn't even appear as though she'd even drawn her sword at all.
    • As if they didn't learn the last time, they attempt to bring her to justice again by recruiting members of the top ten ranked warriors in the Organization to seek her out and kill her. After having exhausted their capacity of demonic power, only Priscilla, the second ranked warrior puts up even a decent fight. Even after she pushes herself beyond her limit, Teresa evens the score by using only 10% of her power (a rare occurrence, considering she generally fights without using any power at all) and aptly defeating her. Her death at the hands of one of the most powerful beings in the series is clearly shown to be only possible through a very cheap sucker punch after she had let her guard down.
  • Judai of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: played with, lampshaded, and deconstructed every which way in Season 3 when he begins to feel that he's not a real hero without anything to burden him and success always coming too easily for him. As the Big Bad convinces him, his greatest weakness is that he has no weakness.
    • Also deconstructed with Ryou, who is the top student at the academy in Season One and has never lost a match (the only time he loses on-screen is when he forfeits to save his brother). When he goes to the Pro Leagues in Season Two, he suffers his first loss and has his confidence completely shattered, going into a losing streak that drives a Freak-Out and eventually a Face Heel Turn.
  • Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann invokes this trope and intentionally cultivates this sort of image when in public to inspire Simon and the rest of his allies, even though he's far more restrained in private and admits he's as dependent on Simon as Simon is on him. The Worf Effect aside it works out fairly well for him, all things considered, until his untimely death.
  • Char Aznable and the vast majority of his Expies in the Mobile Suit Gundam multiverse. Usually, they're The Hero's Rival or Evil Counterpart, making them less sympathetic (but no less Badass).
    • The most blatant example is Mu La Flaga from Gundam Seed, otherwise known as the "man who makes the impossible possible", who seduces the insanely hot Murrue TWICE! He's also arguably a better pilot than the actual main character Kira, without being a Super Soldier. Apparently he's actually a Newtype, even though SEED already has Newtype equivalents.
    • George Glenn, in the backstory, was The Ace Up to Eleven. He was a Nobel Prize winner, a star athlete, an Ace Pilot, a literal rocket scientist, and the creator of the space colonies. Shortly after becoming a celebrity he revealed to the world that he was a Designer Baby and released the means by which others could be like him; 40 years later he was assassinated.
    • Speaking of Char Clones (although not strictly in the Gundam multiverse), Lelouch and Suzaku come across to each other as this. Lelouch constantly felt cheated each time the mysterious white Knightmare showed up to ruin his plans with over-the-top acrobatics, whilst Suzaku felt that Zero was dirty terrorist who stole the "Good Guys'" thunder. It only got worse when they discovered each others' identities.
  • Nabeshin when he appears in Excel Saga by merit of being a parody of a Marty Stu. He is essentially a living Deus Ex Machina.
  • Goku of Dragon Ball, most definitely. He also happens to be somewhat Genre Savvy (about this at least) in the Cell and Buu Sagas in that he wanted to avoid having the other Z Soldiers rely on him too much, knowing the drawbacks of it.
  • Gary in Pokémon at the start of the series. He'd show up in a convertible (complete with cheerleaders) every so often and completely degrade Ash with just how better than him he was.
  • Portgas D. Ace (haha) of One Piece is the main character's badass big brother who rips through entire marine battalions effortlessly and with oppressive amounts of style. He's suave, friendly, helpful, polite, and everyone on the crew loves him, even going so far as to wonder how he could possibly be related to Luffy. Even before getting his Devil Fruit powers, he was tough enough to beat up his little brother after the latter got his (but Luffy doesn't begrudge him at all because he's just that cool). Plus, he's still a good enough guy to ask the crew to look after Luffy for him while he's gone. Interestingly subverted when he is defeated by Blackbeard in his first major fight, probably to show the power of Blackbeard.
    • In the end, he's really more of a Broken Ace: He wasn't quite as powerful as we thought, had severe daddy issues, was a bit too Hot-Blooded for his own good, and generally had problems of wondering if he was supposed to even exist.
  • Kei Takishima from Special A is consistently ranked #1 in the school, filthy rich, handsome, and athletic to the point that it borders on Charles Atlas Superpower. About the only thing he can't do is get Hikari to realize that he likes her.
  • Similar to Kei is Takumi Usui of Kaichou wa Maid-sama who excels at anything he does, whether it be athletics, cooking, academics, music, or anything else you can think of. Misaki thinks he's a space alien. It's probably true.
  • Tsubasa Ohzora from Captain Tsubasa constantly walks the thin line between The Ace and Boring Invincible Hero (and The Minnesota Fats, within the story). His Ace qualities are slightly downplayed in World Youth Cup and Road to 2002, but not that much.
  • Keigo "Ore-sama" Atobe from The Prince of Tennis is pretty much the incarnation of this trope.
  • Chao Lingshen in Mahou Sensei Negima. Mentally, she's a genius inventor, engineer, and studies robotics, medicine, bio-engineering and quantum physics at university level. In talents, she's an expert at Chinese cooking. Financially, she's a wealthy entrepreneur thanks to these cooking abilities and her business management skills. Athletically, she's a specialist in Shaolin Kung Fu. Supernaturally, she's a fire-using, device-based Time Master. She also happens to be fifteen years of age and the most intelligent student in the school (this school happens to hold over 30'000 residents).
    • She may act like an ace but she is also a time-traveling, possibly Sufficiently Advanced Alien relative of the Main Character whose true objective seems to change a Future Bad end. a scheme which seemly has joined a Gambit Pileup with the current arc she might be an almost Fixer Sue or at least trying to be one.
    • Jack Rakan could probably also count. He's obscenely powerful, capable of beating down the Quirky Miniboss Squad in their most powerful forms without taking a scratch. He can do pretty much anything (like reading minds, for some reason), and spends most of his fights goofing off because only about a dozen beings can seriously threaten him.
    • Not to mention Nagi, who is almost as hammy as Rakan, and is somehow still incredibly badass even without his magical powers.
  • Seta Noriyasu from Love Hina fits this trope, being a comedically impossible benchmark for the You Suck protagonist to reach after. He is pretty much better at everything than any of the other main characters are (except anything involving safe operation of a motor vehicle), and about the only thing that fazes him is a Megaton Punch from Haruka or Naru and the fact that he is a high-level Cloudcuckoolander.
    • He may start out looking like the ace but in the Manga later we see that he is way more like Keitaro then should be humanly possible, he failed to get into Tokyo U. 3 times, also was in a Love Triangle that ended badly (Sarah's Mom, Haruka and Seta) note: Sarah is not his kid. he always says the wrong thing to Haruka getting punch or taking a rocket to the face. He is good at Martial Arts, acts cool around anyone but his Love interest. Keitaro takes these traits too
  • Chrono Harlaown from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is a less over-the-top variant of this, since he does prove consistently more effective than both Nanoha and Fate through being Weak but Skilled. Instead of Hot Blood, we have The Stoic one.
    • And how can we forget Nanoha herself, who is known as the "Ace of Aces".
  • Alex Louis Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist, a Hot-Blooded and muscular guy who gives off Bishie Sparkle and is a master of alchemy and martial arts.
    • His sister Olivia Milla Armstrong is one, too.
    • And Roy. Remember that scene where Ed, Scar, Jerso and Zompano were in a futile battle to the death with philosipher-stone powered supersoldiers when Roy comes along and blows them all up with a snap of his fingers?
  • Rental Magica has a Deconstruction. The Association's investigator Kagezaki, who is apparently powerful and knows a lot, just stands nearby with a confident smile and interferes only when he absolutely must, however dire the case is. He's also royal pain in Astral's butt as their curator and seems to enjoy employing Jerkass Facade and constantly keeping the cast on their guard.
  • One of the few cases where The Ace is fully played for drama is Crying Freeman, where Yoh Hinomura is a handsome, skilled, very aesthetically-sensitive man known as the most talented and famous potter in the world... but he has been forcefully recruited and mind-controlled by the Chinese mafia to become their top assassin, and cries outta regret after each kill.
  • Hajime no Ippo: David "Golden" Eagle. The second world champ Takamura faces and the complete opposite of Brian Hawk in both character and boxing style: Friendly, honorable, intelligent, hard-working and dignified and an orthodox "text-book" boxer who's best at the very basics of boxing and a good strategist inside the ring. Ippo mentioned how he looks like a super-hero, contrasted with Takamuras' Jerkass image of a super-villain. And if that isn't enough, he also has the "same eyes as Ippo". Yeah, the ones with the ominous glow that never give up.
  • Just about every American football team in Eyeshield 21 has an ace, with Sena being the ace running back for Deimon. More prominent to this trope, however, is Riku of the Seibu Wild Gunmen, who taught Sena how to run properly.
    • Two more examples who fit this trope are Shin and the villainous version, {{[[[Jerkass]] Agon}}. Agon especially, since he has God-Speed Impulse, which allows him to react faster than anyone, can catch up with Sena (at his average pace) after being passed by, and also pretty much stole the Devilbat Ghost after only seeing it. It is cemented by the fact that he's allowed to pretty much do whatever he wants by his school.
  • Kaze to Ki no Uta: Serge is smart, athletic, good looking and, among other things, a musical prodigy and an excellent equestrian.
  • Cowboy Andy in the "Cowboy Funk" episode on Cowboy Bebop. Scenery-chewing, completely-off-his-rocker, the only person in the whole series to have a personal Leitmotif that plays whenever he appears (and breaks the fourth wall, considering all the other characters hear it too), and is able to stand up to Spike in a fistfight.
  • Baccano!'s Claire Stanfield is a deconstruction. On the surface, he's brilliant, handsome, ridiculously athletic, talented and generally so awesome at what he does that one must wonder if the universe revolves around him... Which is exactly the conclusion he's jumped to. This is not the sort of world-view you want someone whose many talents include murder to have.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula has Shinjyo, Randoll, and Osamu. Shinjyo is a 2-time European F-3 champion, Randoll is incredibly rich and excels at every sport and endeavor he could get his hands on and Osamu had an excellent record in F-3.
  • Kasuka Heiwajima from Durarara!! is ridiculously pretty, brilliant, talented in just about everything (his list of hobbies is The Long List), filthy rich, extremely popular, and just about everything that can possibly make his brother Shizuo look horribly inadequate in comparison (Shizuo himself adores him, but it is killing his self-esteem - he doesn't even like having their names mentioned in the same sentence because he thinks it's insulting to his brother).
  • Keith Goodman, aka "Sky High", from Tiger and Bunny. A ridiculously handsome, humble, Adorkable, Camp and well-meaning Cape with the title of "King of Heroes": he is the number one hero on Sternbild's HeroTV and is just as nice on-camera as off it. When an escaping criminal ends up being rescued by Kotetsu in episode 1, the criminal starts resisting and complaining because he would rather be rescued by Sky High.
  • The Megaplayboy from DNA² is an extremely handsome man who can swoon pretty much every woman in the world with a single smile and also has a ridiculous level of fighting skills that lets him defeat the worst enemies. There's a catch, tho: this comes from his DNA... and he will make 100 women pregnant with sons who will become megaplayboys in the future, causing a HUGE superpopulation problem. Therefore, Karin Aoi comes from the future itself to actually kill the DNA of this super special Ace...
  • Genshiken has Makoto Kousaka. Unlike the other socially awkward and mundane otaku in the show, he is an attractive, well dressed, charismatic, all around nice guy who also towers over the rest of the cast in intellect (hell, he managed to land a job as a programmer after studying for one month).
    • He's also the first member of Genshiken to get a girlfriend.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has Kaworu as a nice subversion. He synchronizes at a higher level than any other pilot and is probably the only sane person. He's also a Humanoid Abomination sent here to destroy humanity. He chooses not to, though. That gives humanity another thirty minutes.
  • Rosario + Vampire has Inner Moka. Not only is she one of the most Badass characters in the series (which is saying something), but she's also very intelligent and analytical, her only flaws being her complete inability to cook and her aggressive, withdrawn personality.
  • Several characters in Ben-To, but especially "The Wizard," legendary master of violent discount microwaveable dinner acquisition.
  • All of the Generation of Miracles from Kuroko no Basuke are this for their respective high school teams, but special mention goes to Aomine, who was considered The Ace of the Generation of Miracles.
  • Nago (the cleaned up one, mind you) is Yanagin's Rival, who outdid Yanagin in academics, karate, and ramen eating.
  • In Arisa, the titular character is seen as this. She turns out to be a Broken Ace.
  • Ranma Saotome of Ranma ½ is always the best at whatever fighting style, non-violent or semi-violent, feminine or masculine competition his opponents challenge him to. From coordinated team ice skating to the Tea Ceremony. All women want him, all men envy him (and sometimes want her).
  • Akisame Koetsuji of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is generally known as one of the greatest jujutsu masters in the world, but is also a talented sculptor, calligrapher, philosopher, medical practicioner, Go player... and pretty much everything else he puts his mind to. Quoth Kenichi: "Is there a single thing this guy can't do!?"
    • Answer: Be brave enough to take on the Elder in combat, apparently; in one instance when Koetsuji is arguing with the other Ryozanpakou masters about which of them could beat the others in a fight, the Elder comes on the scene and asks to be involved in the discussion. The other masters immediately change the subject.
  • Itachi Uchiha of Naruto was heavily implied to be one before the whole murdering his entire clan thing. Upon his resurrection, he seems to be dead set on reclaiming the title, as the first things he did were break free from the Edo Tensei, rescue Naruto and Killer Bee from the previously unbeatableNagato and successfully come up with a plan to defeat him.
    • The first thing Killer Bee does is own Sasuke. He's still yet to lose a fight, albeit he's sometimes given a bit of help.
  • Tatsugoro in Gintama. A cop in Kabukichou, respected by everyone (including his vigilante rival), a good fighter, an upright, honest guy, got the girl and was thereby deemed Too Cool to Live. Two characters (his vigilante rival-turned-Yakuza and The Hero) lampshade how awesome he was years later by saying that no matter how much they try to imitate Tatsugoro, they'll never be as good as him.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • FoxTrot gives us Grandma, Andy's mom, who has apparently traveled the world, is a world-class chef and well-informed in most all subjects. However, she deconstructs the trope when Andy finally reveals that living under her and her Monty Oum levels of awesome has made her almost unable to connect with her and feel seriously inferior to her.
  • Samuel Steele from Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck is a perfect example of The Ace. Not only does he give Scrooge a run for his money, but he stands unscathed as a warehouse full of kerosene explodes in his face point-blank (while everyone around him ends up with Amusing Injuries), simply because it is not proper for a superintendent of the North-West Mounted Police to be 'blown up'.
  • Rex the Wonder Dog from DC Comics is quite possibly the first and only instance of this being applied to a non-talking, non-anthropomorphic dog. Rex can and has literally done everything and anything. He can drive boats and cars. (?) He's a great fisherman. He can ski. He can rope cattle. And he once killed a Tyrannosaurus rex using an atomic bomb. (?!) All without opposable thumbs. Did we mention that he's a lauded investigative reporter and camera man? Or that he's a decorated World War II veteran and Super Soldier? And that nobody seems to find any of this the slightest bit strange? One only hopes that this was just meant as a huge satire. He can talk now, after having drank from the Fountain of Youth some time in the late '80s, but by that point his glory days were behind him.
  • In early strips of Zits, Jeremy's older brother Chad was this (at least in the eyes of his jealous brother) to the extent that he was The Faceless
  • The reason for Solaris The Tyrant Sun's second Face Heel Turn in DC One Million was that every single descendant of Superman proved far nobler than him, causing great jealousy on his part.
  • Superman himself has to count sometimes too, especially in certain stories like Our Worlds at War which were seemingly written just to show how much better than every other superhero he is.
  • Herbie Popnecker, as a sort of comical early deconstruction of superheroes, would qualify as a preeminent example, though he doesn't look or act the part, and his parents are oblivious. Invincible, endlessly talented, loved and trusted by his allies, respected and feared by his enemies, irresistible to women (on one occasion, much to his chagrin), famous throughout the universe, there's simply nothing he can't do with ease.
  • Dilbert character Topper at least claims he's this and he's never been successfully called on it. It doesn't matter what you've done whether its recycling, building a time machine, or giving birth, he claims he's done it better.
  • Hawkeye was this during the early run of West Coast Avengers. In a scene in which he's fighting to keep the Quinjet he's piloting from crashing, the narrator comments that many Avengers get praise for doing one thing well, but not Hawkeye—because he does MANY things well.
  • Batman is the Ace to such a degree that it's practically a super-power. He's the world's greatest detective, non-super-powered melee fighter, physicist, chemist, engineer, tactician, strategist, pilot, you name it.
  • Lucky Luke might be the most notable example from Franco-Belgian comics. A "poor lonesome cowboy" and gunslinger with impossible aim and reflexes (he can draw faster than his own shadow, after all!), he's always in control and usually two steps ahead of everyone else. This is purely Played for Laughs.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • Sara Nelson-Shimazu from the Lyrical Nanoha Fanfic series called the Deva Series. Although now a Posthumous Character and thus subjected to pre-emptive Deus Exit Machina, in the backstory she was said to have sealed two Lost Logia on par with the canonical Book of Darkness by herself - remember how much trouble the Book of Darkness gave the canon characters - as well as being a highly accomplished mage who invented the eponymous system of magic, which has spells of both destruction and utility far beyond anything existing systems had to offer.
  • Alexend from the French Pokémon Fanfic/Parody "Pokémon D/P: Plus qu'un jeu" (Pokémon Diamond/Pearl: More Than A game). Seemingly invincible, uses a sword rather than fight with his Pokémon, although he sometimes does so; always appears to help the main character, Zeronos (not related to Zeronos from Kamen Rider Den-O except his name which was taken from there, it's his ACTUAL NAME), when he's facing an opponent too strong for him, such as Drakness, or simply to destroy something too stupid for him to deal with normally (such as facing the Teletubbies in a Pokémon fight, Alexend just jumped in and killed them all in one slash of his sword before the fight even started, stating that it wouldn't have been funny to fight them anyway.). He have a tendency to show up (and go away when he's done) in an unnecessary cool looking fashion (includes Dramatic Wind, sparkles, lens flares and whatnot when he's in a good mood, but he his more likely to just pop up in a breeze of wind behind Zeronos and disappear the same way). Can be considered as a mix between Sidekick Ex Machina, Hypercompetent Sidekick and a bit of Parody Sue.
  • Zorro (not that Zorro) from Latias' Journey. Berry Stoo and Mariah Susanson might also count, but are more a case of Parody Sues.
  • Likewise, Auron from the sequel, Brave New World.
  • The Hunter in With Strings Attached. At least, Jeft is desperately trying to show the four that he's the Ace and they're feeble jerks. Unfortunately for him, the four force Character Development upon him, and he turns into quite a decent guy.
  • From Turnabout Storm, Ace Attorney and My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic crossover, there's the murder victim Ace Swift, an Equestrian pegasus athlete known for winning every event he's ever compited in (which lead to rumors of him cheating and using dubious methods to do so).
  • Mobius in Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, though it's justified, since he's a ponified version of the Player Character from Ace Combat 04 Shattered Skies.
    • The griffins have Black Star and Red Cyclone, though the latter is more of a Broken Ace.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Tom Cruise, who played the paradigm Ace Pilot in Top Gun made his early career playing a string of Aces : Ace Football Player in All The Right Moves, Ace Bartender in Cocktail, Ace pool player in The Color of Money, and Ace race car driver in Days Of Thunder.
  • Captain Amazing from Mystery Men is a subversion. He seems like The Ace for his first two scenes in the movie, then turns out to be a panicky, self-serving dolt.
  • Clark Devlin in the movie The Tuxedo.
  • Subverted in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. An overly heroic super messiah comes in at the last minute, gives a rousing speech on how everyone should work together to win the game and singlehandedly bursts through the giant gates. He is instantly shot in the chest and loses all of his 99 lives. Made even funnier by the fact that he's played by Elijah Wood, and instead of having an actual name, he's simply known as "The Guy."
  • Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz could be a Deconstruction of this. With how good and dedicated he is to his job, he has no room for any other part of his life. His improbably good abilities also get him shunted off to the country because he's making everyone else look bad. This backfires on the Met, because when they want him back he won't go.
  • Subverted beautifully with Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight. Aaron Eckhart actually seems to play nothing but deconstructed and subverted Aces, like in Thank You for Smoking and The Black Dahlia.
  • The Great Leslie from The Great Race is this, causing his less-than-perfect archrival to cry out, "Your hair is always perfect, your clothes are always white!" at him. Of course, Leslie is one-half parody of this trope. Since The Ace is already something of a parody, you're really getting 50% more bang for your buck here.
  • Buckaroo Banzai: cowboy, rock star, adventurer, brain surgeon.
  • Ash from the Evil Dead movies starts out as something of a nebbish, but by the last scene of the third film, has grown to become an Ace.
  • The Shaymin from Giratina & the Sky Warrior!, likes to think of itself as one.
  • Mufasa from The Lion King. Simba certainly counts too. (Like Father, Like Son.)
  • The Commander/Steve Stronghold from Sky High, to the annoyance of his son.
  • John Tucker from John Tucker Must Die. He's awfully handsome, good at sports and loved by everyone, especially the girls. Even though he's a famous womanizer every single girl still want to be with him. He's so perfect that no attempt to destroy his popularity works and even in the end he's still simply awesome.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore from Apocalypse Now. He has that aura around him that seems like he will come out of the war without a scratch. And he surfs! The Redux, however, subverts his aura of invincibility after the main characters steal his surfboard and he's reduced to sending out pre-taped messages begging for it back.
  • Jim Goose dominates the first half of the movie Mad Max. He has a great time even Just Before the Fall.
  • In Our Man Flint, Derek Flint is a ludicrously competent Captain Ersatz of James Bond, with all of the latter's traits turned Up to Eleven. The Government tries to give him a code book? No need, he's designed a better one. They try to get him a plane? He'll fly his own, thanks anyway. Training? He's a master fencer, martial artist, and dancer. He can meditate so deeply that it passes for death, and wake up with no ill effects. He can speak Italian so fluently that it fools natives. He does complicated surgery with a letter opener. He can tell you what city a Bouillabaisse was made in just from tasting it once. The whole movie is like this.
  • Darkly inverted in Captain Sternn of Heavy Metal. Outwardly he looks to be the typical Ace, with the heroic clothes, the swagger, the lantern jaw, etc., but we soon discover he's really a despicable character despite his outward charms.
  • David Hasslhoff's character from Click.
  • Dr. Glickenstein from Igor.
  • In Rio, the bird that replaced Nigel in a project.
  • The diminutive, middle-aged Mr. Miyagi in the original Karate Kid series is an absolutely invincible karate master who never comes close to losing a single fight, in any of the four movies in which he appears, even when he's up against several strong young men who are themselves black belts. Any time someone threatens him, it's a given the character will get his butt whipped before you can say "Banzai!"

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Carter (and, to a lesser extent, every other male protagonist) from John Carter of Mars.
  • Any Heinlein hero you care to name
    • Lazarus Long a.k.a Woodrow Wilson Smith a.k.a The Senior from the Future History series is the Ace other Aces aspire to be, and practically a deconstruction of the trope.
    • Zeb and Jacob from The Number of The Beast
    • Oscar Gordon in Glory Road is another super-competent warrior-engineer. Rufo as well.
    • Colin Campbell in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. His all-around competence is unsurprising considering that Lazarus Long is his father
  • Gilderoy Lockhart of the Harry Potter series likes to maintain a public facade of The Ace, but he's really more of a Small Name, Big Ego.
    • Cedric Diggory, however, is more of a textbook Ace in Goblet of Fire. Which ends up brutally subverted as he is killed in seconds upon confronting the actual villains.
    • Harry himself also counts in way. At least in the areas of Quidditch and Defense Against the Dark Arts, it's shown that he is exceptionally talented; almost naturally gifted.
  • Dirk Pitt from Clive Cussler's novels. Officially a marine engineer by trade, he also is an cunning action hero who has defeated the world-threatening schemes of a veritable menagerie of villains, made a number of discoveries that changed history and has little difficulty getting a Girl Of The Novel. I have not mentioned the nice collection of antique cars he owns, have I? ... I guess I just did.
  • Three words: Bond. James Bond. (The film version anyway; the literary version is somewhat more realistic.)
  • Professor John Kenner of the Michael Crichton novel State of Fear: graduated from an MIT engineering course and a Harvard Law course both at higher than average speed, became a professor at MIT at 25 and still manages to be a hot-shot federal agent. Oh, and he is apparently able to quote geological surveys from memory. The only thing keeping him from being absolutely perfect is him at one point confessing he isn't good at languages and a major What an Idiot! moment.
  • Discworld's Carrot Ironfoundersson. So much so that it was played for full shock effect when in The Fifth Elephant he challenged the Big Bad to a fair fight (a very foolish move in itself) and promptly got his ass handed to him. He got to Ace his way out of danger again by the end, though.
  • Tycho Celchu, an Ace Pilot of the X Wing Series. He's a fairly major character, but never the main one, which is just as well since he could very easily become a Canon Sue, at least in the novels - in the comics he's one pilot out of twelve and mostly distinguishable because of his origin, his original hairtrigger temper, and his romance with Winter. He's an insanely good pilot, as a Force-Sensitive protagonist finds - so good that flying against him is apparently the hardest thing Corran has ever done, and he'd fought a Sith Lord not that long before - and gets a lot of praise from the people on his side, to the point where everyone on his side who doesn't think he's a double agent loves him. He's also a bit of a woobie in-universe and very, very popular out of it. This exchange, taken entirely out of context:

Celchu: "I've been reviewing engineering records and damage statistics."
Janson: "While we've been maneuvering?"
Celchu: "Restraining myself so you could keep up with me left me plenty of time for intellectual pursuits. I also composed a symphony and drafted a plan to bring peace to the galaxy."

  • While on the subject of Star Wars, Kyp Durron averts The Ace, at least in I, Jedi. Yes, he grew up in a penal colony, where he was a slave. Yes, he is extremely powerful as a Jedi, rivaling Luke in raw talent alone. Then things go downhill: he gets possessed by the spirit of Exar Kun and goes on an anti-Empire rampage, killing his brother and twenty-five million innocents with the help of a superweapon. At the end of it, Luke lets him rejoin the Jedi after he breaks free, which causes Mara Jade and "Kieran Halcyon" to resign as Jedi students.
  • Shadows of the Empire has Han Solo's Suspiciously Similar Substitute, Dash Rendar. He's a very good pilot and a very good shot, and he's ridiculously arrogant, though this does at least annoy the characters. Failing to destroy something he was shooting at actually causes a Heroic BSOD on his part, and then he shapes up a bit.
  • Appleby in Catch-22 is good at everything he puts his hand to. He's handsome and charismatic and everybody likes him. Yossarian hates that son of a bitch.
  • Slim in Of Mice and Men.
  • Lee Child's Jack Reacher is either the Ace or the Marty Stu, depending on the variation of your mileage.
  • Dick King-Smith, author of The Sheep-Pig (better known as Babe after the filmatization), wrote a sequel to the book called, amusingly enough, Ace. The eponymous Ace is Babe's great-grandson, and while not a straight example of the trope, if you compare him to Babe he actually does have some qualities of The Ace: He's more intelligent, being depicted as the only animal around who can perfectly understand human language, he learns how to communicate with his owner (on the "one grunt for no and two for yes" variant, but still), he charms just about everyone he meets—human or animal—and even becomes a huge star from a guest appearance in a TV show. It's specifically stated by the narrative that Ace is the only pig who ever got more media attention than Babe did in his day.
  • John Galt of Atlas Shrugged, complete with one of the longest monologues ever written.
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Henry "Hank" Jellicoe is introduced in Game Over as this. He is in charge of Global Securities, an organization that is like the Vigilantes, but it spans the entire world. It has network even greater than Charles Martin's, and indeed Charles looks up to the man like no one else does. However, the books Cross Roads and Deja Vu reveal that Henry is actually a Broken Ace.
  • Jeff Raven of Anne McCaffrey's Tower and The Hive series: A "Wild Talent"[2] from a boondocks colony no one had ever heard of until aliens attacked it. He first shows up - as a mental presence in the middle of The Rowan. By the end of the book, not only are he and the title character a couple (with a child), he's on the fast track to take over as head of Federated Teleport & Telepath - a position The Rowan had been considered for.
  • In The Princess Bride, Westley tracks down men on a secret mission and climbs a mountain with his bare hands before easily defeating a master swordsman at fencing, a giant at hand-to-hand combat, and a clever thief at a mind game. Later, through his skills and cunning he and Buttercup become the first people ever to survive the Fire Swamp, and even in a physically weakened state after having been revived from the dead, he helps two other men storm a castle surrounded by sixty armed guards, all before bluffing his way out of a swordfight with a man dead-set on killing him, which the man had done once before.
  • Jeeves spends ninety percent of his time pressing Bertie Wooster's shirts and solving his problems for him, yet somehow manages to be highly popular and sought-after, know everything about what's going on, and have a more active social life even than his master.
  • Asher in Someone Elses War is pretty much a walking, talking encyclopedia when it comes to exactly two topics: survival, and useless trivia.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • "Ace" Rimmer (what a guy!) in Red Dwarf, the Trope Namer. Interestingly, when the regular Rimmer decides to become the new Ace Rimmer, it appears that he will intentionally avoid acting in the same way the Ace he met did because he found Ace to be an annoying prat.
  • Played with in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the episode "Superstar". Jonathan appears to be this, and turns out to be using a spell that made him so perfect. Played somewhat straight with Riley on his return episode in season 6.
  • A character named Ace appeared in Gap. Prior to his appearance, it was mentioned that he must be a hell of a guy to have earned the name, but was revealed to be just a normal person.
  • Lord Flashheart (WOOF!) in Blackadder is so much of an Ace that on his first appearance, he gets his own version of the Theme Song.

Lord Flashheart, Lord Flashheart, I wish you were the star.
Lord Flashheart, Lord Flashheart, you're sexier by far.

    • Also: "Hurrah! It's the Scarlet Pimpernel!"
  • Occasionally seen as a visiting doctor in M*A*S*H. And just as often subverted. One doctor, coerced into visiting by Hawkeye and BJ, has a Heroic BSOD midway through the episode, just before having to perform a delicate and life-threatening surgery on a patient. He's found in the Swamp, drunk, much to Hawkeye's disgust. A second Ace doctor, filling in for a sick Potter also breaks down just before a suspiciously similar operation. A surgeon, temporarily appointed to the 4077th wasn't even a surgeon, but someone pretending to be one. There was one episode involving an Ace colonel that was played by... wait for it... Leslie Nielson.
    • The drunk doctor (played by Alan Alda's father) was a veteran of WWI and WWII, and he simply explained that war and age had taken their toll such that experience and expertise were of no avail against the ravages of time and the horrors of war.
  • Scrubs:
    • Dr. Kevin Casey is an example where the Ace has a "hidden" Fatal Flaw.
    • A first season episode had an intern named Murdoch also appear to be the Ace, handling all of the problems that came his way without flinching, but breaking down at the end of the episode.
    • Dr. Molly Clock, a brilliant shrink who could not only heal The Todd, make any character realize their problems, but her everlasting good mood couldn't be crushed by Dr. Kelso and Dr. Cox combined either.
  • On Leverage, the entire main cast is largely this. Eliot even falls into the category of Invincible Hero.
  • Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica. But see also...
  • Starbuck in the 2000s Battlestar Galactica started out this way, but in a subversion, she began slipping over the course of the series due to childhood trauma, her tumultuous relationship with Apollo, and the machinations of the Cylon Leoben Conoy. By the end of season three, the character is a nervous wreck incapable of flying a simple patrol mission without endangering the fleet.
  • Chuck:
    • Captain Awesome in the TV show Chuck.
    • Bryce Larkin is also quite the Ace.
    • As is Cole Barker, who appears to be at least partly based on James Bond.
  • Takaoka Eiji of Go Go Sentai Boukenger. Before becoming BoukenSilver, he, alone, in his human form, is an even match for the Ashu demons, whom the other five Boukengers can barely defeat when morphed. He uses the pronoun "ore-sama" and consistently acts like The Ace.
    • There's a reason for this... Eiji is half-human. His mother was an Ashu.
    • Plus, that was his debut. Once he's more set into the series, he starts getting less badass.
  • On Cheers Sam Malone had an unseen older brother who was The Ace.
  • Frasier episode "The Perfect Guy" features Dr. Clint Weber (played by Billy Campbell), an outrageously good-looking (even Frasier's father is stunned) Oxford-certified M.D. (who put himself through med school working as a sous chef, leaving him an expert cook), polyglot (speaking at least English, French and Korean), pilot, squash champion, and generally charming individual. After an episode of slowly giving in to envy after a series of increasingly unlikely upstagings, Frasier gleefully discovers the man can't sing.
  • Souji Tendou is a particularly grating version of this, cranked to 11. And he's the protagonist. You end up rooting for the bad guys very, very quickly.
    • Or you root for Kagami, who has to struggle through a long period fighting monsters with nothing but normal weapons until he finally gets a Transformation Trinket to call his own.
    • Before Tendou, there was Jou Shigeru/Kamen Rider Stronger, who was a self-absorbed Ace at the beginning of the series but grew to be a likeable hero like most Riders.
    • After Tendou, Tsukasa Kadoya would've been one, if it wasn't subverted by the fact that his photos always come out wrong and he's always the target of the Hikari-style Laughing Pressure Point.
      • Tsukasa proves how you do such a character right. With a couple chinks in his armor you make him fun instead of a Mary Sue. Tendou really was as perfect in every way as he thought he was, which makes him fun sometimes, but it's also a weakness.
  • From The Adventures of Pete and Pete Artie, The Strongest Man... IN THE WORLD! Was a subversion of this trope. He was ridiculous looking, but from the protagonists' standpoint there was no denying he was quite possibly the Strongest Man... IN THE WORLD! Saves the day countless times, then vanishes.
  • A few episodes of the ancient detective show The Rockford Files contrasted James Garner's hard-luck PI Jim Rockford with Lance White, a handsome Ace Detective with a snazzy suit and car who needed only to walk into a room or step into a field of weeds to discover the needed clue...Lance was played by Tom Selleck with an XL serving of ham. The annoyed Rockford is left to complain that "It doesn't work that way!"
  • The Big Bang Theory has David Underhill to Leonard. He's a physicist like Leonard except he's smarter, incredibly attractive, suave, and has loads of cool hobbies. He's introduced to Penny and starts dating her almost immediately, when it took Leonard ages to even get one date with her. At the end it turns out he's actually married.
  • Power Rangers in Space had Zhane, the Silver Ranger. As a Sixth Ranger, he'd of course be expected to be cooler than the rest... but he did it with flash.
  • Krod Mandoon and The Flaming Sword of Fire has Ralph Longshaft (spelled Ralph, pronounced Rafe) introduced this way. He's everything Krod aspires to be up until he is revealed as The Mole and betrays them to the Big Bad.
  • The Middleman's main character of the same name. A Gosh Dang It to Heck type who very rarely curses, drinks only milk, walks in and out of wretched hives of scum and villainy with barely a scratch, and can be an annoyingly perfect Badass Normal. Luckily, he's an excellent Middleman and mentor to his partner, Wendy Watson, and his Ace-ness just provides amusing fodder when he isn't quite so perfect.
  • Hilariously averted in Black Books. One of Bernard's friends tries to extoll his virtues to a girl. "You! What did you say to Kate? She thinks I'm the Renaissance! She'll think I've lied. I have to go along with all this 'reclusive genius' stuff. She's going to be very upset when she finds out I'm a reclusive wanker!"
  • Tom Paris in Star Trek: Voyager; designed a warp engine that went to infinite speed, picks locks, leads commando teams, is an ace pilot, and he's the field medic.
    • Add in holodeck programmer/writer and 20th century historian.
  • "Rod" McKay from "McKay & Mrs. Miller" is basically an imitation Ace Rimmer; he's Rodney McKay from an Alternate Universe and charms everyone on Atlantis (save Rodney himself) while saving the day.
    • It's subverted at the end when everyone says they prefer Rodney because Rod was overbearing and too nice.
  • An episode of China Beach features a hot-shot colonel who comes in with a mustache and sunglasses, talks The Rambo out of his self-pity, goes swiming and kills a shark for dinner, becomes the grand-prize in a sex-lottery among all of the women, and then flies out on a helicopter heroically (and stupidly) standing on the skid, while a poem is spoken about how great he is. (Oh did I mention, this show was a chick-flick program?)
  • In the Community episode Beginner Pottery, Rich is introduced as an Ace in the pottery class that Jeff, Abed and Annie take. Rich's inherent brilliance at pottery and life in general (he is also a doctor and just does the class to relax) ends up getting Jeff so mad that he performs "the hilarious guy on guy" variant of ghosting on Rich and then leaves the class.
  • Groo from Angel falls into this category to some extent
  • Captain Jack Harkness, in his early Doctor Who appearances.
    • The Doctor became the ace to poor Craig in "The Lodger". He was better than Craig at football, and his job, and convinced his girlfriend to leave town, and talked to a cat, and had a sexy shower scene, and...
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Barney sees himself as this. It's true to some extent, he's pretty damn awesome. And I hear his penis is enormous. True story...
    • Barney Stinson, stop making edits about yourself.
    • He develops a great deal as the seasons progress, however, to the point of becoming a Broken Ace.
  • Chris Traeger on Parks and Recreation is blindingly handsome, so positive that his own girlfriend doesn't notice when he breaks up with her, runs at least ten miles a day, and is immediately well-liked by nearly everyone he meets. (The positivity is justified by his admission that he was born with an extremely rare blood disorder and was only expected to live for a few weeks, thus making every day a gift.) It's all subverted by the fact that he actually isn't very good at his job: as a state auditor, he's in the business of making budget cuts, but because he finds it hard to say no to anyone, he never got anything done until he was paired with the comparatively dour Obstructive Bureaucrat Ben.
    • And he now has tendonitis from overexercising.
  • In Bones, Angela's ex-husband Grayson is an ace. He build a house for her with his bare hands while smuggling medical supplies into Cuba and supporting an orphanage. On top of that, he is simply beautiful.


Myth[edit | hide]


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Hulk Hogan, of course. Whenever he would perform his "Hulk Up" maneuver, did he ever fail to block an opponent's punch?
  • John Cena, who somehow manages to "win" even when he loses. Which he rarely does.


Theatre[edit | hide]

"Electra is cool. Electra is hot. Cool. Hot. A megastar. A megawatt. Rich, hot, powerful. Rich, hot, cool."

  • Joey Percival of George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance is a daring, intelligent, handsome pilot who shows up in Act 2 to steal be pursued by another man's fiancee and generally outshine most of the rest of the cast, although arguably he himself is outshone by the even more daring Lena Shc Sch Szcz the Polish Lady.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Saxton Hale from Team Fortress 2.
  • Zack Fair in the Final Fantasy VII-verse, especially in Crisis Core. He's everything Cloud wants to be—upbeat, popular with everyone, cheerful and fun-loving, Jumped At the Call and never came down, actually a member of SOLDIER, etc. He did nearly everything Cloud's famous for and did it first, up to and including riding on the top of trains, fighting rogue SOLDIERs and arguably did a better job of all of it. He's the first to meet Aerith by falling into her flower bed, as Cloud does years later. Almost everyone Zack encounters likes him, or at least they don't hate him even though he works for Shinra—this includes Cissnei, Tseng, Sephiroth, Yuffie, Tifa, etc. The only time Zack really fails at a critical moment is in trying to stop Sephiroth during the Nibelheim Incident—unfortunately, Zack's efforts are Doomed by Canon. And even though he eventually loses to Sephiroth, Zack manages to put up a darn good fight. Zack is the sort of guy who's just Too Good for This Sinful Earth. His death is a Foregone Conclusion, but he naturally dies in an epically heroic way, still every inch a Hero and every ounce an Ace.
    • Even death doesn't stop Zack, because he appears to Cloud just as Sephiroth is charging for the kill and manages to give Cloud a time-stopped heroic pep talk from beyond the grave, inspiring Cloud to find the strength not only to fight on, but to win decisively in a single attack.
    • Zack's position as The Ace is lampshaded in episode 8 of Before Crisis, when Zack first shows up and works with the player character Turk. The title of that episode is "A Light That Penetrates Through the Darkness" or "A Light Even Darkness Can't Penetrate". Guess who they're referring to.
    • It even gets a bit meta; Zack is one of, if not THE most popular characters of the FFVII compilation. Possibly the entire franchise.
  • Final Fantasy VIII gives us a straight example, Squall Leonhart, who is also the main protagonist. At one point, he is given command of Balamb Garden, despite being a new graduate, regardless of your current SeeD rank. You're also given missions like abducting heads of state. Yes, typical stuff a newbie who just graduated does. And we should mention that your party includes your former teacher.
  • Tidus the "Blitz Ace" in Final Fantasy X. Yuna also fits this role quite well in Final Fantasy X-2 as well, as demonstrated through her Chronic Hero Syndrome.
    • Tidus is only really The Ace in Blitzball; he's an Idiot Hero for a lot of the game.
  • Miles Edgeworth of Ace Attorney comes across as this. Handsome, rich, extremely intelligent, cultured and a living legend at his job. Subverted though, he's got a whole heap of personal problems and starts as something of an Amoral Attorney.
  • Sanger Zonvolt from Super Robot Wars. A Large Ham whose only real weakness is that his mecha's attacks all cost energy. He gains Ace status during the Earth Cradle where he takes on a cyborg zombie version of himself from another dimension in a duel, accidentally destroys a bunker that was supposed to withstand the apocalypse, and then one hit kills a boss. Like Kamina he can say the cheesiest crap and make it look totally badass.

Sanger Zonvolt: I am Sanger Zonvolt! The sword that cleaves evil!

    • Or on one memorable occasion:

I am Sanger Zonvolt! The sword that cleaves the gods!

    • Sanger's partner, Elzam von Branstein Ratsel Feinschmecker fits this trope as well. Every one of his appearances is heralded by his memetic theme song, and will inevitably involve much ass-kicking, bullet-dodging, and/or Supreme Chefery. Before he took on his Paper-Thin Disguise, however, he spent an entire game as a Broken Ace.
  • The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3, who not only managed to fight in World War II while pregnant and give birth on the battlefield, she gave herself a Cesarean section! Not to mention being the fictional Mother of American Special Forces, and the reason behind all of the events of the Metal Gear saga.
    • Snake from the same series is superficially The Ace, a legendary One-Man Army who's saved the world on multiple occasions and capable of wooing any woman (or man) he encounters, but the player, those close to him and Snake himself know that the truth is far less flattering. (It turns out that much of Naked Snake/Big Boss' accomplishments are fabrications created by Zero, while Solid Snake is an imperfect -- and rapidly aging -- clone of Big Boss. He may have saved the world, but it's revealed that in doing so, he's been an unwitting part of a not-so-Ancient Conspiracy's feud with Big Boss, then Revolver Ocelot.)
  • Captain Falcon in F-Zero.
  • At first, Shadow appears to be this to Sonic, but it's subverted pretty quickly.
  • Drake Redcrest from Chibi-Robo!. Or at least he's a toy based on an ace from a show within the game.
  • Duke Nukem is the quintessential Ace, mixed with a bit of Jerkass for good measure. He publishes a book titled Why I'm So Great, collects his own memorabilia, and, while saving the world from aliens, is more concerned with the aliens stealing Earth's nubile women than Earth itself, and has a virtually endless collection of one-liners.
  • Devil May Cry's flagship Badass, Dante. Mostly in DMC3 and DMC4. In the first few minutes of DMC3, he takes scythe blades through the arm, leg and chest. He casually rips the blade from his chest without flinching, then proceeds to kick the crap out of a bunch of Mooks using only a bunch of billiard balls and a gun. While munching on pizza. Almost always has a one-liner ready for the situation at hand, while also succeeding in not being a heartless Sociopathic Hero too.
    • And don't make me bring up acquiring Lucifer in DMC4. See for yourself. (Bonus Suck My Rose and Double Entendre.)
    • Though he is the villain, Vergil could be considered this way too. The Daniel Southworth-voiced, blue-clad, katana-wielding Aloof Evil Twin beats Dante most of the time and has more fans than his brother.
    • Dante is more of an Ace in DMC4. Every time he shows up he upstages Nero in some way and spends half the game killing the villains that Nero couldn't kill.
  • Maniac from Wing Commander straddles the line between actually being The Ace and merely pretending to be—he starts as a reckless nutcase with a superiority complex, but eventually becomes every bit as formidable as he thinks he is, with two thousand confirmed kills by the start of Wing Commander Prophecy.
  • Prince Peasley in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. Whenever he smiles, the entire screen flashes white. Luigi swoons over him.
  • Pierce in Battalion Wars 2. He even pulls off three Big Damn Heroes moments in a single mission--the last one, no less.
  • In most of the Fallout series, you can take the special trait "Mysterious Stranger," which lets the player be occasionally and spontaneously aided by a man in a coat and fedora, armed with a six-shooter, who shows up, shoots everyone who has any intent of hurting the player, and then leaves. It's rare that it happens, but his overwhelming badassery makes up for it.
  • In Tokimeki Memorial 1, main heroine Shiori Fujisaki is gorgeous, booksmart, kind-hearted, athletic, feminine, popular... What does she not have, as the "golden girl" of Kirameki High? Ah, she's very picky in regards to boyfriends... Well, you can still try to woo her and become her Victorious Childhood Friend! Unless you choose to court other girls, that is.
  • Tom Goodman from No One Lives Forever. Subverted because he's already dead, and the one you meet is an impostor.
  • By reading his CV, it is clear Santino from Tales of Monkey Island was every bit the ace... Just too bad that by the time you meet him, he's been dead for decades. None of his crew-members seem to have realized this, however, as they still think he's awesome.
  • Subverted by BlazBlue's Bang Shishigami—he's got the attitude of The Ace down pat, what with his over-the-top theatrics, constant attempts at taking the centre stage of every scene he's in, Cloudcuckoolander traits, Leitmotif (he's also got a second one, complete with vocals by JAM Project, for his Super Mode), Hot-Blooded-ness and dedication towards being a true 'Hero of Justice'. He's also the resident Joke Character who, though not in any way lacking in competence, is still only a human in a cast consisting of Super Humans, various Monsters, Beastkins, Robot Girls, a Samurai Ghost Robot Time Traveler and people possessing Artifacts of Doom, making him horribly Wrong Genre Savvy and making everybody else treat him like a joke.
  • Deconstructed in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. Ephraim starts off so damn amazing he's a borderline God Mode Sue. However, when he gets back to Renais, Seth tells him that the citizens are not cheering for his return. They're only happy because Orson's reign of terror is over. Ephraim takes this as the sign that his Leeroy Jenkins tendencies haven't been great for his people and begins to mature from then on.
    • Fire Emblem Tellius has a few of them. Ike qualifies in his Radiant Dawn incarnation, the Black Knight is busy being the best general for both Daein and Begnion at the same time, and Bastian seems to be a man of many talents.
  • The protagonist of Radiant Historia is this; he was able to learn an invisibility spell after seeing an enemy use it once. From the perspective of the non-time travelers, its even more ridiculous. "We need a one-of-a-kind magic item protected by the most powerful army in the world!" "Oh, I have that right here in my pocket." Of course, he had to jump between two different timelines a few dozen times to get it, but they don't see that.
  • Dan Murray of The Next Big Thing is a sports writer of no little renown, and good friends with most of the important Hollywood types. Everyone loves him so much that he can belittle, insult, and demean them until he's blue in the face and they'll just laugh and say, "What a guy!"
  • Van Grants is the Ace in a world that's just a few competent civilians short of being a World of Badass and, in a weird way, while he's very much a broken one, he's also a straight one... to the villains.
  • Deconstructed in the Hentai game Season of the Sakura; protagonist Shuji Yamagami is instantly good at any sport[3] without needing to practice or train, but refuses to participate in any club unless its members can beat him fair and square. Eventually he explains to his friends that he tried being the "school hero", but the people who actually had to work to get where they were resented him for just having skill handed to him on a silver platter, and he ended up being shunned and hated, which was why he transferred to this new school in the first place.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Commander Kitty has an ace named Ace. His crew is almost a Mirror Universe version of CK's, but better looking and more capable.
  • Bob from Bob and George is an interesting case, as he is actually the main antagonist. The things that he can do are hilariously ridiculous, like how he can kill a hologram, because "he's just that good". He also always gets himself up by doing a back-flip, because he's that cool, and totally not because the author couldn't find any good sprites of him standing up.
  • Bro Strider, elder brother or rather, paradox clone father - It Makes Sense in Context - of Dave Strider, by far surpasses any of the Kids or the Guardians in combat ability, and trumps Dave for sheer irony. Or at least, he did - Jack Noir, in his final form as Bec Noir, finally takes Bro down in their second duel.
    • Dirk, Bro Strider's Post-Scratch incarnation acts like this, and he certainly has shades of it, but the stress of Living in a Bad Future in which he and Roxy are the last of humanity, having to raise himself without anyone but Little Cal to help him, and having to maintain the charade of being asleep on Derse make him more of a Broken Ace.
  • The main character of Too Much Information is named Ace. He doesn't even have a last name. And while he does make mistakes on occasion, he seems to fall into this quite often, especially where women are concerned - practically every female in a 5-mile radius seems to automatically fall for him (including lesbians and ghosts), and he had racked up 7 marriage-proposals before he turned 18. His foot-rubs are internationally renowned. At a charity Bachelor Auction, he brought in $5.000, which resulted from one woman bidding 2.500, and two others pitching in 1.250 each, while agreeing to 'share'.
    • The two who are sharing? A grandmother and granddaughter. The granddaughter is a supermodel. The high bidder? A vampiress who thinks he's hot.
    • Oh! Now it turns out that Ace is also a whiz at hapkido.
    • However, his cooking is not 'inedible', it's just so ultra-spicey you have to be that manly to eat it, and only Ace is that manly. His favorite ice-cream flavor is 'Habanero'.
    • Recent evidence also suggests that he has 'spiritual power' on par with a Demigod or a Seraphim. And that his former 5-mile radius of seduction has been extended to the point where girls in Korea are committing suicide to be with him. If this man isn't stopped soon, his aura will extend to Babeatron IV, and then we'll be facing an invasion of Green Skinned Space Babes...
  • Girl Genius has Othar Tryggvassen (Gentleman Adventurer!) who's always willing to swashbuckle and ham it up like nobody's business, and who's somehow able to survive all manner of ridiculous dangers (plummeting to his death and turning up unharmed a few pages later is his specialty). He's also dangerously insane, but since he firmly believes he's the dashing hero in a thrilling scientific romance, being insane doesn't get in the way of him playing the Ace role to the hilt. He also has a rather large amount of charisma, though for a Spark it's normal.
  • Ogrek the Undisciplined in Yamara. Irredeemable Munchkin? check. Has a big bonus to spot ladies whom he deems "cute" even if they are hiding? check. "Heroic" scar and "veteran parade" uniform? Right here. Evading compromising situation with grace? check. Comment on having 20,000 hobgoblings as neighbours? "Nice, quiet professionals". Crazy Prepared while carrying almost nothing and remembers her birthday no matter what's going on? check. And let's not start on his other wife.

Fea: Now she's reading Socrates and Tao Te Ching.
Joe: Perhaps she's trying to improve herself.
Fea: --Simultaneously.

  • Gunnerkrigg Court has a female example—Jones. She's both medium instructor "among other things" and embodiment of some sort of perfection which includes beauty (she's the single character consistently drawn with more details than the protagonist, just to make a point) and godlike toughness with undercurrent of deadpan "Seen It All". There is also Robox, who is the Yin to eternal Butt Monkey Boxbot's Yang. The comic has yet to say what exactly either of them do, beyond the fact that "Everybody likes Robox" and "Nobody likes Boxbot".
    • On the other hand, it's been explicitly stated that Jones has no talent for magic, though how common that is isn't entirely clear.
    • She's also not a robot.
  • In City of Reality, newcomer Hawk thinks that SUEPR Team Five leader Todo is this: idealistic and generous to a fault, skilled enough to defeat any challenge, and recipient of general acclaim and affection. However, as the entire story is a Deconstruction of a Mary Suetopia, Todo's idealism is sorely challenged by the world outside Reality.
  • Carlyle from Sam and Fuzzy, a very humble form as he does not seem to want to be identified—he is The Faceless and shows up on several points to dispense Koans to the characters (who never realize it's him); most of his heroic deeds happen off-screen and are referred to by others. The first major arc of the comic kicks off when Sam tries to take on one of Carlyle's assignments and ends up in a spat of trouble with the Ninja Mafia.
  • Will from Fanboys. Made sixty-thousand-plus a year in prize money from gaming tournaments, can hold his own in a fight against Berserk!Lemmy, has "hacked" a board game, and now he's apparently a Bond-style government agent.
  • Dora of Questionable Content has serious issues with her brother Sven due to his being an Ace.
    • Sven himself has serious issues with him being an Ace. He becomes a Broken Ace when he starts to realize he doesn't really have much to his personality besides picking up hot chicks, using wacky situations to get out of uncomfortable ones and writing music he hates.
  • Sheldon Flaco is a former cosmonaut, a gold medalist in the modern pentathlon, read several hundred books over the course of one summer, and - according to one strip - will eventually become an admiral in the Bulgarian navy. Did we mention that he's a foot-tall lizard who talks in squeaking sounds?


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • The Whateley Universe has this with Chaka, whose instinctive ki mastery lets her pick up more than just wire-fu martial arts tricks within moments and who's certainly prone to hamming it up. Or going after half-demonic hybrid weres with a rolled-up newspaper.
  • Captain Hammer ("the Hammer is my penis") from Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog sends up the Ace along with everything in the Superhero genre, but with a twist.
  • Super 55 from AH Dot Com the Series is an example turned all the way up to Canon Sue levels for comedic purposes.
  • Ace from The Insane Quest was (fittingly) one of these at first, but as time went on his team began to lose respect for him when he started becoming less of an ace and more of a traditional Marty Stu. Lori could also be considered a female example.
  • Chuck Norris, via Memetic Mutation.
  • Proton Jon of The Runaway Guys by pretty much being the best at everything, except for luck.
    • For example, in the Super Smash Bros video they did, it came to a point where all three of them were facing each other. Jon had to use a controller he wasn't used to, but still managed to beat both Chugga and NCS at the same time, while still having 2 stock out of 5 left. In the New Super Mario Bros Wii LP, while everyone else was having problems with their lives, Jon had reached 99 lives while still screwing everyone else (mostly Chugga) over.
  • Pom Pom from Homestar Runner.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Aqualad is portrayed this way in his debut episode of Teen Titans.
  • Kim Possible is a rare example of this being the protagonist herself. She's a straight-A head cheerleader who is involved in nearly every extracurricular activity, and she is quite Genre Savvy and can learn how to pilot something in just a few seconds. She can do anything, indeed.
  • Captain Planet—seriously, is there any power this guy doesn't have? If pollution weren't more prevalent than kryptonite, he'd make Superman look like Aquaman.
    • He does get completely incapacitated if he's as much as sprinkled with oil, though.
  • Sir Victor in Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
  • Captain California in Hero High is a subversion. Physically he fits, but he's not quite competent enough.
  • Cornfed Pig from Duckman fits this to a tee. He has dozens of degrees, has worked hundreds of jobs, and is a certified expert at everything. He materializes new skills whenever it is necessary or funny, from performing surgery on the fly, constructing a working helicopter from bamboo, or performing the works of Hendrix, he can do it.
  • Hello Nurse of the Animaniacs in not only the Trope Naming Hello, Nurse!, but also The Ace. According to the song about her, her list of accomplishments includes winning the Tony, Nobel Prize, and Pulitzer, obtaining several P.H.Ds, playing Chopin without rehearsing, singing opera at the Met, starring as the lead role in King Lear, becoming the ambassador to China, and not smoking.
  • Danger Mouse. His ending Theme Song even tells you outright: "He's The Ace! He's amazing!! He's the strongest, he's the quickest, he's the BEST!!"
  • Rick Thunderbolt of Oban Star-Racers is famous, gorgeous (complete with waist-length black hair and Cool Shades,) beloved, one of the world's best racers - and knows it. Over the course of the show's first arc, he is crippled so he can never race again, and ends up as a mentor figure to Molly, teaching her everything he knows so that she can succeed where he did not.
  • Captain Star of the eponymous series is called the "greatest hero any world has ever known", and a legendary captain and explorer with hundreds of worlds named after him. Despite being effectively exiled to a remote corner of the universe still manages to save the day on numerous occasions. On his Show Within a Show, he's even more so.
  • Used to its fullest in the Danny Phantom episode "Identity Crisis" where Danny splits in two, one of which embodies his heroic qualities. So much so that Large Ham speeches are an everyday occurrence for him, no tasks is too great or small for him to command—he can fight crime and vacuum his room with much pumped glee—his dramatic entrances are peppered with flashy backgrounds, imaginary wind dramatically blows his hair no matter where he is, and the music blasts triumphantly every time he appears on screen or does something over-the-top, including practicing appropriate superhero facial expressions.
    • All of this, however, doesn't do him any good against a ghost shield, since he is Danny's ghost half and therefore cannot change back to human.
  • Hunter from Road Rovers is kind of a mix of this, The Hero and Idiot Hero. Nothing bad ever happens to him and he's always cracking jokes during missions.
  • Professor Membrane in Invader Zim. Or at least he could be, if he had enough common sense to believe Dib about anything.
  • A character simply known as "The Kid" from Codename: Kids Next Door. And, somewhat appropriately, he's also an Ace Pilot.
  • In The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ash's cousin, Kristofferson, is a fox kit who seemingly can do no wrong, although he tries not to make a big deal of it. Regardless, young Ash feels belittled by him, but eventually both achieve a mutual understanding and become friends.
  • Stressed Eric lives next door to the Perfect family. Ray Perfect is Eric's coworker and excels everywhere that Eric fails dismally.
  • In The Venture Brothers, Brock Samson is a Rated "M" for Manly God Mode Sue, Played for Laughs. It helps that he picks up some character depth along the way.
    • Jonas Venture Jr. also qualifies... and only gets more infuriating as the series progresses.
    • Jonas Venture Sr. too, albeit posthumously. Everyone who ever knew him considered him a god among men. Even Rusty, who knows full well what a self-absorbed asshat he was, can't bring himself to break out of his father's shadow.
  • Experiment 262 from Lilo & Stitch: The Series is basically a superhero compared to the other experiments. He was originally designed as a war weapon, but Jumba screwed up the formula and created a being with no capacity for evil. Jumba considers him a failure and locked him away whenever company came around. Oh, and his name actually is Ace.
  • Aladdin disguises himself as the completely over-the-top Prince Ali to woo Princess Jasmine, and he's introduced with a preposteously epic song that's one long hymn to his awesomeness.
  • Brian Boitano is presented as The Ace on South Park, despite never appearing on the show. According the musical number about him in South Park Bigger Longer and Uncut, he has magical fire-breath and once punched out Khublai Khan.
    • He does appear in the 1995 "Spirit of Christmas" short, though only to give An Aesop speech.
  • I.M. Weasel from I Am Weasel. It got toned down in later seasons, but his first season incarnation is very much this and played the role of foil to the resident Butt Monkey I.R. Baboon.
  • Regular Show has Skips. In general, he's pretty much good at everything.
    • Deconstructed in one episode, where Skips is shown to be horrendously computer-impaired.
    • Also, Rigby's little brother Don fits this trope perfectly. He is a successful accountant who is a large contrast to his groundskeeper brother.
  • Zapp Brannigan from Futurama is a subversion. Most people think he's an amazing hero, until they meet him.
  • Tale Spin has at least two examples (one appearance each):
    • Whistlestop Jackson, hero to millions!
    • And the appropriately-named Ace London! ("You got that right!") He's good, knows it, makes a big point of it, and unsurprisingly, gets on Baloo's nerves as a result of his insufferable attitude.
  • Played straight in The Weekenders with minor character and Lor's crush, Thompson Oberman. Nicely lampshaded by Tino and Carver:

Carver: He's a jock and a nerd!
Tino: Yeah, way to ruin the curve, Thompson.

  • Jack Royal from Squirrel Boy.
  • Subverted by Metro Man in Megamind. While otherwise fitting the trope to a tee, he really doesn't want to be a hero and fakes his own death in order to retire.
  • Jet from Avatar: The Last Airbender is portrayed like this; he's strong, he's a good leader, he sweeps Katara off her feet, and Aang doesn't even seem to notice because he thinks Jet is awesome too. Only Sokka is suspicious of him, and for good reason; they later find out that Jet is rather psychotic and was willing to kill innocent people in order to wipe out a few fire nation soldiers.
  • Mei Ling in Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five. She was the top student at the martial arts academy where Crane worked as the janitor and is a true blue friend who helped the underconfident bird achieve his dream to enroll in the school.
  • Reggie Bullnerd in ChalkZone.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has 3 of them. Spongebob is this compared to Squidward, as are Mr. Krabs to Plankton and Squillium to Squidward.
    • Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen. He was number 1!
  • Howie from Almost Naked Animals.
  • In Bob's Burgers, Bob grows envious of Jimmy Pesto.
  • Chalky Studebaker from Doug.
  • Eddy's Brother was built up for ten years to be the coolest being ever. Then in The Movie, we were all shocked out of our wits when we found out what he really was.
  1. Character designer Haruhiko Mikimoto: "Because he's a genius. Growing old is a state of mind for average men..."
  2. A human with Psychic Powers and no formal training
  3. except swimming