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Basic Trope: Everyone thinks Bob is The Hero, but his reputation is grossly inflated.

  • Straight: Bob gets public credit for heroic deeds he never actually performed.
  • Exaggerated: Bob is a Dirty Coward who ran away from every battle he's been in, but everyone thinks he's the biggest hero in the army.
  • Justified: Bob is set up as a public hero by the government/media despite his lack of qualifications in order to give the public an inspirational role model.
  • Inverted: Bob is a Hero with Bad Publicity who constantly performs heroic deeds while getting absolutely no public acknowledgment for them.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob is every bit the hero that his reputation would suggest.
    • Alternately, Bob starts off as a Fake Ultimate Hero, but ultimately grows into a true hero.
    • While Bob isn't as heroic as his reputation, he always assists the true heroes using his fame.
  • Double Subverted: ...until the situation gets bad, and he decides Screw This, I'm Outta Here.
  • Parodied: The falseness of Bob's reputation is blatantly obvious, but nobody ever figures it out.
  • Deconstructed:
    • The constant stress of basing almost his entire public life on a lie slowly wears Bob down, until he finally confesses everything.
    • Although Alice doesn't mind Bob getting the reputation for himself, Bob has very low self-esteem knowing he doesn't deserve it and eventually breaks down.
    • Alice gets frustrated at Bob getting all the reputation for himself and makes a Face Heel Turn.
  • Reconstructed: However, the person Bob confesses to helps Bob deal with his guilt and agrees to keep his secret.
  • Zig Zagged: Nobody is really sure how much of Bob's reputation is based in reality, and how much of it is lies; not even Bob himself.
  • Lampshaded: "My reputation for heroism is exaggerated."
  • Exploited:
    • Bob's inflated reputation results in people expecting him to act the part, and is a constant source of trouble for him.
    • Alternately, someone finds out the truth behind Bob's Fake Ultimate Hero-dom, and uses it to blackmail Bob.
  • Discussed: "Sometimes, I wonder if Bob is really as much of a hero as people think he is..."
  • Played For Laughs:: Bob has to engage in constant Zany Schemes to maintain his fake reputation.
  • Played For Drama:: Everyone decides to count on Bob when they need a hero, and he lets them down.

Back to Fake Ultimate Hero.

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