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"You can't beat me with strength.

Speed can't beat me.

You're gonna find out, you, just, can't, beat, me... period!

I am the world's strongest man! You better be worried about surviving through the night."

The World's Strongest Man is a character who is, well -- the strongest man in the world or universe, or, at the very least the strongest human. He may be brainy or stupid, attractive or ugly, but one thing is for sure -- you don't want to mess with him, as he will most definitely wipe the floor with you. He may be going on The Hero's Journey, or he may just be full of himself and his power. If he's a villain, he's usually the Big Bad.

This trope may be subverted by Samus Is a Girl or Fake Ultimate Hero. For the videogame version, see Mighty Glacier. See also Super Strength. Determining just who is the strongest leads to arguments about Character Tiers.

Examples of World's Strongest Man include:


Anime and Manga

  • The Tower of God was under the supreme rule of Zahard, the first man to climb up and settle down, and his supporters. Then Phantaminum, an existence Shrouded in Myth, came and not only scaled the tower much faster than Zahard, but in the process killed many of his high rankers. These are the 1000 strongest of 100,000 rankers, and even the lowliest ranker can give the main characters a run for their money. After Storming the Castle of the ruler, Phantaminum disappeared, never to be seen again, however, similar Irregulars followed, shaking the Tower up once more. It shoud be mentioned that Storming the Castle is the only battle he participated in and even so was immediately declared strongest.
    • And now try and guess what the Main Character is.
  • Sensui from Yu Yu Hakusho -- world's strongest human. Kuwabara later receives the title of world's strongest human. It's a shame that his other companions are stronger demons.
  • Dragonball Z.
    • Goku is the straight version of this trope
    • Mr. Satan/Hercule only lets people think he's the world's strongest man, whereas the Z Fighters leave him in the dust. Admittedly, he's pretty tough for a human, punching through a bus, but he's nowhere near the world's strongest man in the DBZ universe, and Word of God says that he's weaker than Bob Sapp.
    • In a weird twist, Krillin ends up being the strongest normal human in the group. He has occasionally pointed out friends of his, including the goofy Yamcha and even Education Mama Chichi, are still ridiculously strong compared to the average nondescript civilian. That is, if we're not counting Uub (biologically 100% human, but the magical reincarnation of an incredibly powerful alien) and Tien who is, according to the Word of God, an Alien.
    • At certain points in the story, both Tien and Master Roshi were the strongest men in the world before they were both surpassed by Goku.
    • By the end of the series, the true strongest person in existance is Gohan, thanks to having his true potential unlocked. A few episodes before that, however, the title belonged to Vegetto, who is without a doubt the single most powerful character alive in Dragon Ball, whether you include GT or not. And that's saying a lot considering the competition.
  • One Piece: Whitebeard holds this title. He is powerful enough that the World Government find it necessary to pool pretty much their entire military might in preparation for his onslaught when a single crewmember of his is caught and scheduled for execution. Even with all their powers combined, they aren't certain of the outcome. This partially because his long unknown Devil Fruit power is to create shockwaves. Big ones. As in "Punch an island in two." However, his mere strength alone is still insane, with him stopping an entire ship that was pushed along the ground with his arm and not budging a bit, holding off the strike of a giant one-handedly, defeating another giant with one hand and beating down Power-Nullifier Blackbeard, a very strong and powerful pirate in his own right, through strength alone.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima
    • Jack Rakan seems to currently hold this position. When you can blow up a mountain by accident or destroy a barrier dimension by flexing your muscles, you earn the position. On a scale in which an ordinary, non-magical human being is the baseline, and an expert magical warrior might break 1000, he estimated himself at 12,000 (he also likes to joke around, though, so it's possible he was exaggerating).
    • Nagi Springfield was also one of these, being even more powerful than Jack, at least until he mysteriously disappeared.
  • In Hellsing, Alucard is the world's strongest vampire, not only in magical power but physical strength as well.
  • Hayato Furinji in Historys Strongest Disciple Kenichi. While using 0.002% of his full power he can crush trees like twigs and split the earth without problems.
  • Baki the Grappler's Yujiro Hanma. His title is the "Strongest Creature in the World."
  • Mr. Don from Eyeshield 21. When a guy can hand a Worf Effect to Kurita Ryokan, Yamato Takeru, Shin Seijuro, AND Gaou Rikaya, holy crap. Hell, Gaou, the heaviest hitter on the entire protagonist team, had to use a Delta Dynamite just to knock the guy off balance! Good lord.
  • Claire Stanfield from Baccano and Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara. Word of God confirms that they are strongest persons in The Verse, which consists of Baccano!, Durarara, Vamp!, Hariyama-san and Etsusa Ōhashi series. And that's including immortals, vampires, and other supernatural creatures.
  • Sailor Galaxia of Sailor Moon's fame is the strongest woman in the universe, capable of destroying Tokyo with a warm-up without even bothering to transform and access her full power (nearly happened in the manga). When she transforms, she can depopulate the world with a small gesture (she did in the anime) and kill Sailor Senshi and similar enemies without even trying. Cue Oh Crap moment when she's found out to be the legendary hero the Sailor Starlights hoped would avenge them...
  • Teresa from Claymore is known as the strongest Claymore of all generations. This is understating her capability; she's an order of magnitude stronger than anyone else, and when she goes rogue, she's capable of single-handedly curb-stomping an entire team of high-ranked Claymores. (Priscilla is possibly stronger than Teresa by this point, but being an Awakened Being, she doesn't count.)
  • Nuriko, the strongest Seishi in Fushigi Yuugi.
  • Madoka turns out like this, one-shotting Walpurgis Night and all. Too bad it's that kind of show, and the only thing left after defeating the most powerful witch is to become an even more powerful witch and destroy the world.


Comics

  • Superman is generally thought of as the strongest superhero in the DC universe, though there are a number of cosmic and legendary beings who are stronger than him, including Heracles, Darkseid, Mongul, Doomsday, Despero, Monarch, Sodam Yat, Vartox (Pre-Crisis), Superboy Prime, Ariella Kent, and his Kingdom Come counterpart. Ostensibly Superboy Prime is, at the moment, the strongest character in the main DC universe - just not emotionally.
  • Wonder Woman is generally portrayed as the strongest woman in the DC universe. Depending on who's writing her, she's sometimes described as second only to Superman in terms of strength.
  • Power Girl is another contender for strongest women in the DCU, being, powerwise, a female Superman (with more muscle mass than Supergirl).
  • The Hulk's potential strength is theoretically unlimited, making him the Marvel Universe's strongest character. Green Scar in particular is the strongest version of the Hulk. Word of God is that the Green Scar Hulk is "stronger than any mortal and most immortals in the marvel universe." So he is literally the strongest man; anyone stronger than him is at least a Physical God, and he's stronger than most of those.
  • She Hulk is generally billed as the Strongest Woman in the World in the Marvel Universe.
  • Asterix the Gaul has Obelix, a dumb-but-super-strong sidekick who fell into a vat of strength potion as a child.
  • The Dandy has Desperate Dan, who memorably once won a World's Strongest Man competition by lifting all the other competitors, plus everything they were lifting.
  • Bamse is the world's strongest bear.
  • Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol has Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery. He is so strong that he can alter the fabric of reality with the precisely tuned vibrations of his muscles, at one point turning the Pentagon into a circle. Which may be some kind of record.
  • Some older adventure strips from The Beano featured characters like this such as Morgyn the Mighty.
  • Captain Marvel is often considered the "World's Mightiest Mortal", with strength slightly greater than Superman's due to his magical nature.


Fan Works


Films -- Live Action

  • Fezzik, from The Princess Bride.
  • Albrecht in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989).
  • There actually was a movie called The Strongest Man in the World. It starred a young Kurt Russell as college student who became the titular individual after drinking a secret formula.
  • Werner Herzog's film Invincible tells the story of Zishe Breitbart, a real-life Polish-Jewish blacksmith known in his time as "The World's Strongest Man." Jouko Ahola, two-time winner of the World's Strongest Man competition, plays him.
  • The Adventures of Captain Marvel film serial of the 1940's stars Captain Marvel, who channels the strength of Hercules, and is the strongest man in the world by virtue of being the only guy with out and out superpowers.


Literature

  • Gerard in The Book of Amber, who's effectively the Strongest Man in The Multiverse.
  • Saval Bork of the Matador Series, is established from the first book to be the strongest recorded man in the known universe. However, in Brother Death, he meets Brother Mkono, an assassin who's even stronger than him. After much existential angst, he remembers that he's also trained in the universe's most deadly martial art and proceeds to dismantle his opponent.
  • Mr. Strong of The Mr. Men Show fame.
  • While it's not stated outright in the novels, Conan the Barbarian might as well be this for his time; the only things he encounters that are unequivocally stronger than him aren't human. Of course, he runs into a lot of those.
  • Jean Valjean of Les Misérables is not established as actually being the world's strongest man, but he is so unusually strong that in all his life Javert has never seen any other person possess such strength, which is what causes him to recognize Valjean. Interestingly, Valjean is also about as far as you can get from being a meathead.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Ser Gregor Clegane is freakishly large and strong. He stands almost eight feet tall and wields a greatsword with one hand. While mounted, he makes even the largest destrier look undersized, earning him the name "The Mountain That Rides." His abnormal dimensions apparently cause him frequent migraines that drive him into a constant state of rage.
  • Pippi Longstocking from the books of the same name is the strongest girl in the world. Amongst other things, she can lift her horse singlehanded.
  • The Nameless Narrator of The Night Land is stronger than anyone he has ever encountered, and performs some truly incredible feats of endurance and strength (running for three days in full armor while carrying his girlfriend, for example).
  • In The Neverending Story, the knight Hykrion claims to be the strongest in the world. Another knight named Hero Hynreck defeats him one-on-one with superior strength. Then, Hynreck himself is thoroughly outmuscled by the real strongest man in Fantasia, Bastian himself, who had used AURYN to give himself godlike strength.
  • The Belgariad graces us with a number of phenomenally strong characters- there are so many Big Guys that they actually form their own Five-Man Band of Big Guys, but the knight Mandorallen is something of a standout, crushing a lion to death just by squeezing. Probably one of the most memorable bits, though, is when he was preparing to attack two opposing armies simultaneously, which his companions managed to talk him out of, as they considered it suicidal... although one of them noticed both armies were visibly relieved that he had been called off.


Live Action TV

  • Spoofed with Artie from The Adventures of Pete and Pete. Yes, he is pretty strong, but it's by the Pete's standards, and we don't know if he's simply crazy or not.
    • His on-camera feats include hitting a golf ball 300,003 feet, pushing a house to the left an inch (he wanted to knock it over, but he had strained a muscle earlier while lifting a brassiere emporium), rolling a bowling ball from whatever state Wellsville is in into Canada, skipping a stone on Neptune, and leaping across the city in a single jump.
  • The blink-and-it's-gone goofy '80s fantasy-comedy Wizards and Warriors had The Hero's sidekick Marko, the "strongest man in the kingdom" who often performed clearly superhuman feats in keeping with the show's over-the-top nature.
  • Nadine from Twin Peaks is already pretty strong earlier in the series (she involuntarily mangles a steel rail with her bare hands), but after she comes back in her "perky schoolgirl" persona on recovering from her overdose the gloves really come off. In the school gym, she's seen leg-pressing unfeasible amounts of weight without effort, to the astonishment of the watching jocks, and in a touch-down celebration she gleefully whirls the hunky quarterback round in her arms, before, forgetting her own strength, she flings him what appears to be about a hundred feet through the air.
  • Damaras of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger has the title "The Strongest Man in the Universe". When he finally goes into action against the Gokaigers, it shows us that he deserves it.


Mythology

  • Hercules in Classical Mythology is not only the strongest man, he's stronger than a good many gods as well.
  • Also, Hot-Blooded Judge Samson from The Bible.
  • Magni, from Norse Mythology, who had the combined strength of both parents at the age of two. For the record, his parents were a giantess and Thor.
  • Older Than Dirt: Gilgamesh, the first recorded epic hero, of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
  • Bhima in the Mahabharata. When he was two, his mother dropped him by accident on a stone and the stone broke. Keep in mind, he was two.


Newspaper Comics


Pro Wrestling

  • This is pretty much a stock wrestling character, though Mark Henry is currently billed as the World's Strongest Man in WWE (And apparently was a winner of several Strongest Man competitions as well as an Olympic weightlifter, which is the source of his gimmick. He is also the current world record holder for the ungeared squat, at 430kg). Previous World's Strongest Men include Bill Kazmaier (who also won a few Strongest Man competitions, and came to the ring holding a giant inflatable globe to evoke images of Atlas) and Ken Patera (who was an Olympic weightlifter). Let's not forget one of the first with this billing, Ted Arcidi.
  • Doug Furnas was so billed during his brief WCW days.
  • The late Dino Bravo in WWE, though being a Heel, he was usually billed as the Self-Proclaimed World's Strongest Man.
    • And sometimes he was billed as Canada's Strongest Man. Guess sometimes people just need more realistic goals...
  • The first Wrestlecrap book posited that any wrestler using this moniker will inevitably fail, especially if used to promote weightlifters who cannot actually wrestle (which is often the case).
  • The Iron Sheik is legendary in strongman circles thanks to his Persian Clubs challenge. 75lbs. may not sound much, but swinging that much weight on what is essentially a lever is extremely difficult. Mark Henry was the only wrestler to beat the challenge.


Video Games

  • Alex Mercer from Prototype is clearly the strongest man in his universe. He can throw a destroyed helicopter at another helicopter with ease.
  • Akuma from Street Fighter is considered to be this.
  • So far, Asura's Wrath has a lot of potiential examples, though Asura himself seems to be a likely candidate by the end of the game.


Visual Novels

  • Berserker in Fate/stay night is quite clearly defined as the strongest hero, only properly matched by Saber. But it's subverted in that while he is stronger than Gilgamesh, Saber etc. pure power isn't everything. He's even quite possibly the fastest. But he has no ranged attacks and the abilities all the other heroes possess means he never lasts very long. World's strongest, not world's toughest or best.
    • Part of this is because his class boosts his stats at the cost of preventing him from using any of his skills (which would have let him qualify for any other class, excepting Caster and maybe Assassin) or Noble Phantasms except for the auto-active one. As shown in Heaven's Feel, his Noble Phantasm is capable of killing someone of his own level 9 times over in one shot, which makes it even better than Caliburn, but not Excalibur.
      • Note also that Alter Berserker seems to be lacking the Godhand shield (which would cover his skin, but given his skin was disintegrated by the shadow..., meaning his insane defensive phantasm wasn't working, unlike when Caliburn hit.
      • The Fate/Zero Berserker went in the opposite direction, being able to use pretty much anything he got his hands on as a weapon, including some very dangerous Noble Phantasms, which made him a pain in the ass for both Saber and Gilgamesh to fight.
  • In Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai they're only high school students, but...
    • Momoyo is considered a "god of martial arts" and is pretty much the strongest person in the world by the beginning of the game;
    • Mayucchi's father told the Prime Minister of Japan that his daughter had already surpassed him in skill. Mayucchi's father, who just happens to be the current Sword Saint, a.k.a. the strongest swordsman in the world;
    • Though she doesn't get many chances to show off, Miyako is a skilled enough archer to be counted as one of the "Five Bows Under Heaven";
    • And finally, there's the "Four Sky Kings" that Momoyo belongs to, of which Ageha is also a member. Tsubame, one of the new heroines in the upcoming sequel, makes her cameo early as a member in the anime. Mayucchi also gains this distinction at the end of her path via Klingon Promotion.


Web Comics


Web Original


Western Animation

  • Afro Samurai : The wielder of the Number One Headband.
  • He-Man: THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE UNIVERSE!!!! His powerset is actually defined as being exactly as strong as he needs to be for any given task. Meaning that he'll always be at least slightly stronger than anyone he fights, no matter how strong they are.
  • Popeye has reached this level when spinached up; even without it, he's pretty strong.
  • Bam-Bam from The Flintstones is billed as the strongest baby in the world, and in later cartoons the strongest teen in the world.
  • Marshal Bravestarr from Bravestarr.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle. While a moose rather than a man, Bullwinkle J Moose every so often performs feats of incredible strength, which he attributes to his "mighty moose muscle", or sometimes just "moose-le".
  • Fairly Oddparents: Timmy once wished to be the toughest guy on the beach - ergo, he'd be stronger than the toughest fellow to turn up on that beach. This was going fine and dandy until a whale beached itself.


Real Life

  • The current record holder for an assisted bench press is Ryan Kennelly at 1,070 pounds.
  • The World's Strongest Man, an annual competition taking place around Christmas time, pits strongmen from all over the shop in a very broad range of events designed to test all-round strength. Events vary from from traditional weight lifting to dragging, flipping, carrying, pushing, pulling, holding, throwing and otherwise manipulating incredibly heavy items such as tractor tyres, anvils, tractors, trains, cars, beer kegs, giant stone pillars, and the iconic Atlas Stones. Pictured above is one such winner, Magnus ver Magnusson, whose name means "Big Guy Son of Big Guy who was the son of another Big Guy").
  • American Olympian Paul Anderson, allegedly back lifted 6,279 pounds in the Summer Olympics of 1956.
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