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Kerchak: Do you have any more of that money?
Fiction is loaded with Wish Fulfillment, and being rich enough to bend reality is one of them. These are characters whose wealth is almost impossible to quantify. More Money Than God is the bare minimum.
Now this could happen in Real Life, like royalty who owned literally thousands of Pimped Out Dresses, or a man in India who built a private skyscraper for his family, staff, and fleet of cars, or Marcus Licinius Crassus, who had three times as much money as Bill Gates and personally funded the reconstruction of the Roman army. But in fiction, that's on the lower end of this scale.
Stuff that generally does not qualify you to be a member of the Fiction 500: Big Fancy House, Cool Chair, Cool Boat, Cool Plane, Cool Car, Battle Butler, Maid Corps, or even simply having assets in the billions.
Stuff that generally does qualify you to be a member of the Fiction 500:
- You have become a cultural symbol for absurd wealth, and the story leaves no doubt your reputation is completely justified.
- You routinely spend money on a scale normal super-rich people might do once or twice in a lifetime. If a real amount is given, even if in the hundreds of millions, or billions, it's chump change to these characters.
- You personally fund projects usually associated with major corporations, governments, aliens, etc. This includes Crimefighting with Cash.
- You personally fund projects that apparently break the laws of physics using only wealth and the Rule of Cool, or sometimes Rule of Funny. But if some other convenient fictional trope makes something possible, it doesn't count. You don't buy sound in space when Space Is Noisy. It's not impressive to have Infinite Supplies when everyone else does. Building a Humongous Mecha is not noteworthy when any random scientist can make five in a weekend.
- When you have the resources of a global superpower without yourself ruling a global superpower.
- When you're surprised to discover your latest project's market success has not increased your net income because you have a monopoly on the product it's competing with.
Name is based on the top 500 grossing companies annually compiled by "Fortune" Magazine.
Now despite the name, there can be any number of characters here. And there is almost no way to objectively rank them, although Forbes tries with their "Fictional 15" list.
Anime & Manga
- In CLAMP School Detectives, the Imonoyama family founded CLAMP Academy, which acts not just as a school, but as a self contained city in the middle of Tokyo. And they don't even charge the students' families tuition.
- From Death Note, L Lawliet has a hotel built solely to house (and disguise) a heavily secured task force headquarters, pays for everyone on the task force's life insurance, hands them gadget belts, can afford to hire a professional con man and an international thief, and still has enough left over that his successor can just pour a waterfall of one-dollar bills out the top of a building.
- The five girls of Debutante Detective Squad are said to each have wealth greater than the annual gross national product of Japan.
- In Dragon Ball, the Briefs family owns the Capsule Corporation. Capsules are a perfect miniaturization technology, and the Briefs have a monopoly. The exact extent of their wealth isn't made completely clear, but they can summon a giant wish-granting dragon in the middle of a crowded city and people say "What is that thing? Oh, it's coming from Capsule Corp? Ah, looks like Dr. Briefs is experimenting again".
- In Eden of the East, all twelve of the Seleção who are given magic cell phones that they can use to make any request from the "concierge," whether material goods or to cause any event to happen - essentially a technological Genie in a Bottle. The cost for these "wishes" are automatically billed against a 10 billion yen limit. And all of it was arranged by the mysterious "Mr. Outside", who can apparently just give 12 people 10 billion yen each without it mattering overly much.
- According to Usami Akihiko, one billion yen is cheap change.
- In Gravion, Klein Sandman has the resources and cunning to build a bleeding edge deep space detection system and a bleeding edge Combining Mecha all without the notice of any major organisation on Earth. He also has a par-for-the-course gigantic castle that can house and train a veritable army of maids to pilot and provide logistical support for said giant robot. At least one of these maids was initially brought into the castle against their will and no one questions it. Oh and, just to prove it wasn't a fluke, he builds another one.
- In Hana Yori Dango, the parentage of the student body of Eitoku Academy is implied to almost entirely be made up of ridiculously wealthy people, and the F4 are the cream of the crop.
- In Hayate the Combat Butler:
- Mikado Sanzenin. By his own account, his wealth measures in the hundreds of trillions of yen (several trillion dollars at least). His granddaughter Nagi is wealthy in her own right, but not enough to maintain the smallest Sanzenin secondary residence (which includes a theme park and fully stocked lake) by herself.
- Athena Tennos, as head of the Tennos family, is said to have wealth to rival the Sanzenins'.
- From He Is My Master, Nakabayashi Yoshitaka.
- In Keroro Gunsou, Baio Nishizawa's company controls nearly half of the world's economy, he's got his own armed military and black ops brigade, and his daughter Momoka has, among other things, a tiered doll display so tall that it's built into the side of a rock spire and can only be viewed via helicopter. According to Tamama, "If people knew how rich they were, they would lose all faith in capitalism."
- From Mahou Sensei Negima:
- Ayaka Yukihiro's family owns a Mega Corp and several private islands, she herself lives in a Big Fancy House that would give the Palace of Versailles a run for its money, and was able to personally finance a massive campus wide war game. Keep in mind that said campus is an Elaborate University High that goes from grade school through university level and has over 30,000 students. She also owns her own private jet and brought roughly half her class to Wales in it when she heard that Negi was going there.
- Konoka's family comes close, if only because their Shinto temple-esque Big Fancy House would put Ayaka's own to shame in size and complexity. The Mega Corp-owning Yukihiro family still surpasses them in sheer wealth, though.
- Negi's mother could probably put Ayaka's money to shame without even trying.
- Yai's family, of Mega Man NT Warrior, regularly shows off their wealth in the form of private jets, a submarine, helicopters... And their mansion transforms into a Humongous Mecha. Naturally, she uses these things to help the rest of the gang get to places faster. Her Star Force counterpart, Luna, only has her wealth touched upon once, but her family's estate, her army of servants, and making countless orders to try and see Mega Man again practically puts her into this trope as well.
- In Monster,
- Hans Georg Schubert, also known as the Vampire of Bayern for his seclusion and mysterious nightly outings, is described as a juggernaut whose fortune keeps growing and growing without measure; rumors have it that he singlehandedly manipulates the entirety of the German stock market. His donation of his collection of rare and antique books to the University of Munich attracts local and international business alike.
- Johan, who started an enormous black market banking operation that made him incredibly rich...at the age of 15. Of course he doesn't care about the money. He did it to see how people would destroy each other because of money and to make it easier for him to murder a lot of people.
- In Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, Gentou Nogizaka bought an island, complete with castle and resort, as well as supersonic jets, for the express purpose of celebrating his daughter's birthday. Beyond that, he has his own private army and ninja maid staff, and apparently spends most of his time with world leaders and intelligence agencies. His father-in-law is retired, but remains outrageously influential: according to The Other Wiki, "If he wants, all great leaders in the world will gather at one place for a high level conference within three hours."
- Most of the cast of Ouran High School Host Club:
- The boys in the Host Club belong to insanely rich families, who own private islands, artificial jungle resorts and private armies.
- Renge decides to make a movie about the club and summons a Hollywood camera crew and a director (a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Steven Spielberg, no less) in one day.
- Kyouya Ootori is able to threaten others into submission by simply stating that he's able to eject someone from the country if they piss him off. That's not even including the insanely huge indoors beach that had a forest in it. He's also independently wealthy, being able to buy his family's failing company.
- From Perfect Girl Evolution:
- Tamao Kikunoi AKA 'Princess'. When her fiance asks for help in saving one of his friends from a group of cultists, she shows up with a private army... including full sea-and-air support, Elite forces numbering in the tens of thousands, and a butler with a Hyperspace Arsenal. When the same friend needed to be saved from a horde of amorous girls, she was able to make a Humongous Mecha materialize under a city block, complete with gigantic hangar-gates for the sole purpose of tricking the girls into leaving.
- if you stack all the men 'Auntie' has dated on top of one another, she's EASILY in the top-half of this list. One of them had a stretch limo that took nearly a minute to pass a single point - at full speed. She can also summon an entire FLEET of military choppers at will - equipped with rose-petal-spreaders.
- In Sonic X, Christopher Thorndyke, the child of a superstar actress and a gifted scientist, and his grandfather is The Professor to boot. In the second episode, he can provide the funds and materials for Tails to turn a modified WW 1 biplane into a transforming jet fighter.
- From Tenchi Muyo!:
- Probably can be safely assumed of the Jurai family given their status as being the monarch of an intergalactic government in a spacefaring society where a bedroom the size of a fair-sized house in Japan is considered working class. In addition, several members of the family own personal space yachs with more firepower than an average galaxy police warship. Note that this applies only to the Emperor and those who live with him; his relatives living on Earth don't fare quite as well - though technically they are considered missing persons stranded on a remote and uncivilized planet. Earth is implied to be an unofficial vacation spot for the royal family (though probably because some of its members are stranded there), so many of them are simply staying there by choice.
- The Kuramitsu family owns garden planets, as in planets for the sole purpose of the family and friends to spend nice weekends at. And their wealth is petty change compared to the Emperor.
- Kuramitsu clan is a royalty of a Jurai's rival empire of Seniwa, so it's really hardly surprising.
- In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Kinzo Ushiromiya. No one knows exactly where his wealth originated from, but he used it to buy his own private island off Japan, although the Japanese government supposedly doesn't allow it. Said money was used to singlehandedly revive the family from nothing after an earthquake killed the main family and destroyed everything they had using nothing more than the money and seemingly being able to turn the odds being against him into a SUPERPOWER. Not to mention, the guy has ten tons of gold just sitting around, or so the legend goes.
- In Urusei Yatsura, Shutaro Mendou. Fanon expands his wealth considerably, though. Mendou has a pretty much private everything.
- In Yes! Pretty Cure 5, Karen Minazuki has her own island, just happens to have multiple empty houses lying around for people who appeared out of nowhere, and once had to clarify that she was only joking about owning a mountain range.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Seto Kaiba has so much money he can screw the rules on a regular basis. He managed to become owner and CEO of an entertainment company (that until he took over also manufactured high-tech weapons) and his brother's legal guardian without graduating high school. At one point in season 4, he needs a car, so he and an Mokuba find one and get in (never mind how they got the keys). As the car comes on, a salesman rushes over, frantic and demanding to know what they're doing. Even as the man rants, Kaiba whips out a checkbook extremely dramatically, scrawls something, and tells the man to keep the change as they drive away. The distraught salesman frets that he's ruined, RUINED... until he looks down at the $500,000 check. While not quite so large a number as this trope normally deals with, the sheer attitude with which this example was done makes it rather noteworthy.
- In C the Money And Soul of Possibility, Mikuni has enough money to single-handedly shoulder Japan's national debt. Note that due to the show's premise, a lot of characters can fall into this trope (the protagonist went from a college student struggling to make ends meet to having a bank account of several hundred million overnight), but Mikuni still stands out.
- In Dance in the Vampire Bund, Mina Tepes pays of Japan's entire national debt, which is around 40 TRILLION dollars and does not seem financially hurt in the slighest by it.
- In Special A, almost every single character aside from the Hanazono family is ridiculously and obscenely wealthy, to the point where Kei Takishima slams down a blank check and tells Yahiro to fill in any amount he wants for the house they are currently standing in - and all he wants is his girlfriend back. In another scene, the Takishima Group Headquarters are portrayed as being several square MILES wide. (This is the fourth positively massive mansion to be shown to be owned by the Takishima's - and we're not even counting the manga, here.
- Hanaukyo Taro of Hanaukyo Maid Tai in addition to his mansion and army of maids has enough budget to create a weather altering machine and a computer that can manipulate all the world's markets when it's completed.
- In Sacred Seven, Ruri. "We didn't want to go to any trouble, so we just bought the school."
- This sort of character often shows up in The DCU:
- In Batman, Bruce Wayne can bury the cost of the Justice League of America Watchtower in his aerospace budget. To put this in perspective, the smaller and far more primitive International Space Station is projected to cost over $100 billion by the time it's finally completed. If it's ever completed. He is also funding his secret life of fighting crime using assorted wonderful toys. An entire issue of Robin was devoted to delivering a cost accounting of Batman's arsenal. In Batman Begins, Bruce and Alfred decide that the best way to disguise their purchase of ears for Batman costumes is to buy 10,000 of them.
Bruce: Well, at least we'll have spares.
- In 'Teen Titans', Robin (Tim Drake) smuggled a Batmobile from Gotham, by hiding it in the Batarang budget. Impulse promptly crashes it, thus notifying Batman.
Impulse: How'd you get a Batmobile shipped to San Francisco?
- In Doom Patrol, Steve Dayton, AKA Mento. Routinely described as the fifth richest man on Earth in The DCU.
- In The Green Team: Boy Millionaires, the only prerequisite for joining the Green Team is one million dollars. The boys paid fortunes to anyone who could offer them a worthy adventure. In their first and only published story, they funded the "Great American Pleasure Machine", a sort of roller coaster ride that brings so much pleasure, it drives the villain of the piece insane. As a text page in 1st Issue Special #2 (May 1975) explained, their jumpsuit uniforms had many pockets for money, with special locks, and they carried ticker-tape wristwatches, a chain of keys that would unlock any of their many labs and money vaults in far-flung lands, and a quarter-million dollars each that any of them could whip out at any time in the name of adventure.
- In Superman, Lex Luthor, since The Eighties. At the time, writers finally decided to literally Cut Lex Luthor a Check and made him incredibly rich through making money off his genius. He can also budget in plans to defeat Superman.
- The Most Excellent Superbat (no name given) states that his power is being rich enough to do anything, backed up in story by having his own private island made for him (complete with secret base), inventing an automatic mental Twitter, and in his definite Crowning Moment of Awesome, buying Japan - yes, the entire country - to rebuild it, again with his own money. Do anything indeed.
- They're no stranger to Marvel Comics, either:
- In The Incredible Hercules, the title character is shown being able to purchase entire bars with gold he had in his pocket, and his diverse portfolio required two superheroes a full week to even gather, let alone settle, in wake of his demise. One example alone that would qualify for this list was that he was one of the initial investors to Stark Enterprises, whose founder is listed below. When the size of the investment was calculated, a second line of zeroes was required - assuming a standard 1.25 inch margin on each side of the page and a 12-point font, the bare minimum amount of this investment alone would come out to be 10 novemdecillion (10^61) dollars. Though after the fourth novemdecillion dollars, who's really counting?
- From Iron Man, Anthony (Tony) Edward Stark. Even without any funds, he's a gadgeteer genius who built the Iron Man suit in a cave...with a box of scraps. That said, having loads of spare suits, many built in a lab in his own house most definitely counts. As does having a fully automated production facility in his garage that can build him another one in 5 hours. Case in point: Spider-Man thinks they should all get armor. Tony's response? And in Mini-Marvels Tony does give everyone power armour just to prove how awesome he is. He also keeps fully working versions of previous armors in a trophy room, has destroyed them to keep them out of enemy hands, and apparently rebuilt them for the unlikely occasions where they'd come in useful in the future.
- In X-Men Charles Xavier's inherited fortune made him able to turn the basement of a mansion into an Elaborate Underground Base with an absurdly advanced holodeck room, as well as affording/building various vehicles, including helicopters and a really advanced jet. Plus the Cerebro. Those can't come cheap. 
- From Disney Mouse and Duck Comics, DuckTales and elsewhere, Scrooge McDuck's wealth is a Running Gag.
- He is the owner of a windowless concrete block, affectionately called The Money Bin, filled with so much cold, hard cash that the bottom layer probably collapsed into electron-degeneracy sometime in the early 1990s. Don Rosa makes a point that the money in the bin is what Scrooge earned before he became the world's richest duck. He has dozens of times more, in bank accounts and in investments, but the money in the bin is there because every coin and bill is a mark of victory to its owner; he can actually tell how he earned each one by looking at them, and would never part with one unless the story behind it is not worth remembering.
- In one Don Rosa story it's shown that Scrooge has every federal and state organization, including the U.S. Armed Forces, at his beck and call because his taxes comprise about 90% of their income. When you put together all Carl Barks and Don Rosa stories, Scrooge could probably buy out every other person mentioned on this page. And yet he still figured he didn't have enough wealth to buy even a tenth of a solid gold moon, when engaged in a trade with the wealthiest man from Venus for it. And then he traded it for a handful of dirt.
- Scrooge has been the top person in the Forbes Fiction 15 for 25 years running. Total worth: 5 multiplujillion, 9 impossibidillion, 7 fantasticatrillion dollars and 16 cents. So rich, they make up numbers for it.
Scrooge: I can't go on like this! Losing a billion dollars a minute! I'll be broke in 600 years!
—(which implies that Scrooge's net worth is around $313 quadrillion - jst under 5000 times the world's GDP)
- From Richie Rich, Richard and Regina Rich, And their son, Richie. Richie apparently receives his allowance in stacks of $100 bills. Their personal maid, Irona, is a Do-Anything Robot which the Rich family paid scientists to invent. And one of Regina's hobbies is collecting gemstones — not to wear for jewelry, or keep in a vault or museum, but to display on her dresser.
- While maybe not as over the top as most others here, Archie Comics's Hiram and Hermoine, Veronica's parents, still rank high up the social ladder. Evidence would come from A. Veronica's spending sprees, she'll buy out whole boutiques, new cars, vacations, at a whim, and B. the cost to repair/replace the endless mayhem caused by Archie's visits.
- From Watchmen, Adrian Veidt, who became absurdly rich after creating the patent for spark hydrants, which power the electric cars of the Watchmen world. He also owns dozens of other companies, but his ultimate moneywasting venture is that of creating a massive "alien" creature on a private island which he then teleports into New York City and "saves the world" from. Oh, and he owns a palace in Antarctica, too. The funny thing is that he was already rich as a teenager, then gave up the wealth and got rich again. Appropriately, the movie features Veidt on the cover of Forbes magazine and the company themselves included him as part of a "fictional 500" list of richest fictional characters on their website.
- Multy the Millionare a strip from The Beano during the 1950s. It played this trope for laughs and featured a charcters whos only trait seemed to be his incredible wealth. Lord Snooty also occassionally had aspects of this trope with him living in a castle and being a lord and everything but occassionally he would be very poor and even used the Wallet Moths trope occassionally. Lord Snooty's 2000s revival as Lord Snooty the Third used this trope a lot more than the original Lord Snooty and has never been shown have any kind of un-absurdly-richness.
- The Magnate from Nintendo Power's Star Fox comics, being the CEO of the Starship Corporation in a universe where space ships are the most-used means of travel, also by funding research for a super-advanced fighter out of his own pocket and single-handedly supplying most of the Cornerian fleet. For a price, naturally. If he switched sides they'd be screwed.
- In Contact, S.R. Haddon lives on a private jet that reportedly never lands and funds a SETI expy out of his own pocket on a whim. In the finale it's revealed he bought up undisclosed numbers of other major corporations purely to obtain the plans to build a backup to the interstellar teleporter, which nearly bankrupted a consortium of world governments, and that he's manipulated nearly every terrestrial person or event in the film purely through use of his bank balance. Carl Sagan's novel goes into thorough detail about the ingenious ways he acquired his fortune, starting with a machine that automatically changes the TV channel the second a commercial starts and culminating in essentially a futuristic city-sized brothel based on ancient Babylon crossed with Las Vegas.
- In Inception, Saito bought an airline (the timeline of the film is implied to be over the course of a few weeks) because he thought it would be the simplest way to keep the crew out of their hair-- and it is implied that the Fischers' empire is far greater than his.
- The House of Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire are famous for being astonishingly rich thanks largely to controlling a large chunk of the realm's gold mines, tithing the lords of even more, and being ridiculously good at finance. They are the main creditors of the Iron Throne, and their unofficial motto is "a Lannister always pays his debts."
- From The Belgariad, Silk, AKA Prince Kheldar. In the Malloreon, people who are introduced to him will identify him as "the richest man in the world," though he admits that there might still be some governments that are richer than him. Interestingly, while he readily consider the art of making money "The Great Game," he has absolutely no interest in the money itself, readily calling them "nothing more than a way to keep count of the score." On at least one occasion he willingly just left all the cash and valuables he had gathered to that point behind. Oh, yeah, he took a moment to sigh over the loss, then just sorta tossed it over his shoulder and never looked back.
- In The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton we have the members of the B7 security council, the shady cabal running special security operations for the government of planet Earth, Govcentral. Officially. Unofficially, the members are about 400 year-old super-capitalist tycoons who Body Surf every few decades, and secretly control Earth and many other planets. Their financial institutions are said to a "healthy percentage of the human race". Note that in this case, the human race is spread across 800+ planets throughout the Milky Way.
- In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Willy Wonka owns the world's largest chocolate factory (so big it has an entire subterranean river system made from liquid chocolate) and develops things like teleportation just to boost his advertising revenues. At one time had a huge human workforce that he spontaneously sacked in its entirety due to industrial espionage issues (severance pay, anyone?); he then imported an entire unknown nation of people IN SECRET just to staff his factory, and had enough cash stockpiled to allow him to do this while the factory was closed and he was receiving no income. Better yet, he pays the Oompa-Loompa wages not in money but in leftover cocoa beans, so every penny spent on a Wonka bar goes straight to him!
- In The Count of Monte Cristo, a scene in the novel shows Edmond Dantes listing his assets, totaling an estimated value of 120 million francs, an impossibly huge figure by 1838 standards (As comparison, Napoleon Bonaparte's personal wealth in 1814 was estimated at somewhere in the region of 80 million francs). He is able to effectively "resurrect" a ship confirmed as lost at sea in a matter of weeks, is implied to control one of the most powerful banks in Europe, owns a fleet of ships, and single-handedly toys with the French financial market specifically to screw a single person.
In Gankutsuou, his wealth is measured in trillions of francs. It's suggested he might be able to buy and sell less important planets!
- From Count Zero by William Gibson, Josef Virek: "You will be given access to certain lines of credit, although, should you need to purchase, let us say, substantial amounts of real estate-" "Real estate?" "Or a corporation, or spacecraft. In that event, you will require my indirect authorization. Which you will almost certainly be given."
- In Dune, Shaddam Corrino IV is the CEO of CHOAM (Combine Honnete Ober Advanced Mercantiles), which has an exclusive monopoly on Spice, a drug found on the planet Arrakis. The main selling point of spice is that it prolongs the life of its user, cures all diseases, makes you clairvoyant, and gets you addicted with one dose. This is in addition to being The Emperor of a whole galaxy (which is a requirement to become CEO of CHOAM).
- In the German novel Eine Billion Dollar by Andreas Eschbach, John Salvatore Fontanelli unexpectedly inherits the titular fortune (a trillion dollars in American terms) from a distant ancestor by way of compound interest. Though he tries various things (the East Asian financial crisis of 1997 is ascribed to his failed bid to join the International Monetary Fund), his most impressive feat is to organize worldwide elections.
- From Ender's Game, Andrew Wiggin has three thousand years of interest to draw in, due to time-dilated relativistic interstellar travel, and a sentient AI (one who operates in real time) monitoring his finances. The size of his initial investment is pretty much irrelevant... and it would've been nothing to sniff at, since he was being heralded as the savior of the human race when they assigned him his pension.
His sister Valentine, who accompanied him on basically all of those journeys, is also a big shot. She didn't have a pension or AI help, and her fortune isn't made as big a deal of, but three millenia of interest is still bound to be sizable.
"Tell you what, you give me the interest on this for a week and I can buy this planet."
- In Everworld, Nidhoggr fills a large volcano with treasure, the least valuable of which is pure gold. The King of Fairy Land is similarly rich, with diamond-tiled roofs. The heroes sell technology to the fairies for a large bag of diamonds, which they lose after using the diamonds as a weapon against Hetwan fliers.
- In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the rock band Disaster Area not only qualifies as the loudest noise in the Galaxy of any kind, but makes such obscene amounts of money that you need sufficiently advanced mathematics just to do their accounting. Lead musician Hotblack Desiato once spent a year dead for tax reasons.
- In the In Death series, any time Eve begins to investigate a company or a property, there is approximately a fifty-fifty chance that Roarke owns it. And if he doesn't, he can buy it. Several of the books contain references to his development of an entire planet as a luxury resort, which eventually provides the setting for one of the series' short stories.
- In Roger Zelazny's Isle of the Dead, Francis Sandow owns at least one planet, and doesn't know how rich he is. He lost count a long time ago and was never that interested. There's just nothing buyable beyond his means.
- In Neuromancer, John and Marie-France Tessier-Ashpool retired from the public eye to legal death in a cryo-storage system at the Villa Straylight — the private half of their orbital citystation "Freeside".
- In Phules Company, Willard Phule is not only the sole heir to the owner of one of the largest corporations in the galaxy, Phule-Proof Munitions, but he has also amassed a sizeable fortune of his own. He solves nearly every conflict he and his unit encounter throughout the entire series by fast-talking his way out, practically burying the problem in money, or (most commonly) both.
- In Daniel Keys Moran's Tales Of The Continuing Time series, Francis Xavier Chandler, who is the wealthiest person in the Solar System, owns an orbital house which is larger than some of the Belt City-States. It is a huge slowly rotating cylinder with three levels of increasing gravity, roughly 800 rooms and a free fall swimming pool and zero G racquetball court in the center. The gym is usually attached directly to the house, but when someone wants to exercise, the gym and a counterweight are extended 800 meters away from the house, and a motor then spins both of them until earth normal gravity is achieved. The process takes roughly an hour.
- In H. G. Wells' When the Sleeper Wakes, Graham (no first name given), through an unintentional Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit, awakens in 2200 to a world groaning under the tyrannical misrule of his own trustees.
- Great Space Battles: The Terran Trade Authority 'verse, from Stewart Cowley's short story collection:
- All the members of the Nimrodian Club, an organization devoted to bringing back the practice of dueling to ease the boredom of being told how rich you are.
- Robin Maxwell, of Maxwell Textiles. It appears from the illustration that to accomodate rush hour traffic from the parking garage at one of his factories, he had an eight - lane highway built.
- Harcourt Apseley, Chairman of Consolidated Aerospace. "Three out of every major craft in production came off his slips."
- In The Hobbit, Smaug sleeps atop a pile of coins and jewelry, which Forbes had some fun evaluating. (be sure to read the comments, one of which raises the value of the pile substantially, and even adds Smaug's armor collection - the resulting sum is so absurd the article's author replies with "I don't find that credible") On the qualitative side, keep in mind that when Smaug died, all of the surrounding countries went to war, just over the argument of who got to loot his hoard.
- Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant is explicitly referred to as the "richest man in the world," and is the owner of United Blimp & Freight.
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo brags to The Professor Aronnax that he is so rich, he could pay France's entire national debt. Later Aronnax discover this is the truth in Vigo Bay: The superior tech of the Nautilus lets Nemo reclaim all the treasures lost to man in shipwrecking, before any other treasure hunter.
- The central characters of "The Totally Rich" by John Brunner would put anybody on the Fortune 500 in the shade. They wouldn't appear on any such list themselves; part of what it means to be totally rich is that, in a world of paparazzi and celebrity profiles, they can afford true privacy — how rich are they? They're so rich that you've never heard of them.
- In Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, several vampires are mentioned to be unimaginably wealthy with no indication where that wealth came from. Both Lestat and Armand started poor (even though Lestat was a nobleman). Lestat gained a small fortune from his maker, who committed suicide shortly after turning Lestat. By modern days, Lestat has no idea how much money he has. He has accountants for that. All he does is tell them when he needs money, and they wire it. It's implied they invest the rest. Given that he's a vampire, he doesn't actually need that much, especially after gaining the ability to fly. In Tale of the Body Thief, a man asks for $20 million for one day of swapping bodies with him. While for Lestat this is pocket change, he's still reluctant to just give the money to a potential charlatan. Armand owns an island. And not a small one.
- Lestat's latest protege, Quinn Blackwood, comes from an insanely wealthy Louisiana patrician family. His great-great-grandfather Manfred owned a large plantation and won the services of an exclusive law/investment firm in a poker game, letting him invest the family wealth for the kind of returns Wall Street executives have wet dreams over. Most of the Blackwood family is fairly low-key; for instance, Quinn's grandfather "Pops" attends cock fights and enjoys doing landscaping, while the plantation house itself serves as a bed-and-breakfast. Aunt Queen, on the other hand, has spent most of her life jet-setting across the globe, visiting wondrous sites and staying in five-star hotels. When Quinn comes into his inheritance, his first thoughts are of Pops and how money doesn't necessarily buy happiness, but then he concludes that money can lease happiness for as long as he'd like. He indulges in gifts for his family and friends and other extravagant purchases, but even so, these are done with the accrued interest. Despite everything he buys, he literally cannot spend his money faster than he makes it back.
- Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Myra Rutledge is the owner of a Fortune 500 candy company (almost like a reference to this trope!), and is at least a billionaire. Her friend Countess Anne "Annie" de Silva owns more money than Bill Gates, as Myra likes to point out.
Live Action TV
- In The Addams Family, the titular clan of loveable weirdos. In particular, the patriarch, Gomez, puts more value on losing money than making it, often paying for things with wads of cash he apparently left lying around the house earlier for that purpose.
- From Doctor Who, Henry van Statten, who owns the internet. Has enough money from slowly releasing elements of his hoarded alien technology that he can decide the next US presidential election on a whim.
- In Star Trek, insane amounts of wealth don't mean as much in a society that can replicate most of their daily goods, but a few beings manage to stand out.
- The Ferengi have had thousands of years to hone and refine their capitalistic arts to perfection, so it stands to reason that at least a few very successful Ferengi can fit onto this list. In fact, Grand Nagus Zek goes so far as to publish a series of Revised Rules of Acquisition in order to change his entire species' hat from Honest John's Dealership to something more respectable. He realizes that many prospective customers are leery of doing business with Ferengi because of their cutthroat business practices, and by regaining their trust they can expand their customer base. All for increased profits.
- In Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Quark's Cousin owns his own moon.
- In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, London Tipton. Heiress to a hotel fortune. Subverts the ditzy "I can see my house from here!" by actually being able to see her house. From space.
- In Game of Thrones and its source material, the Lannisters are by far the richest family in the Seven Kingdoms - it's mentioned in one episode that King Robert owes them 3 million in gold, and they still have enough left to fork over 80,000 for a tournament with no problem. "As rich as a Lannister" seems to be a well-known phrase, enough so that Tyrion Lannister is able to use it to bribe his way out of a dungeon. Taken Up to Eleven with the merchant price Xaro Xhoan Daxos, who according to Word of God (or at least word of his actor) is even wealthier than Tywin, and he could very well be the wealthiest person in the universe of the series. Xaro started with nothing, but is now wealthy enough that he could personally fund a successful invasion of the Seven Kingdoms and it wouldn't even be a huge investment.
- The Big Bang Theory - Sheldon describes Raj's parents as "Richie Rich rich...Somewhere between Bruce Wayne and Scrooge McDuck."
- The 1950s TV show The Millionaire dealt with a faceless philanthropist sending out $1 million checks to ordinary people to see how the money would change their lives, for better or worse. Showing how powerful TV was at the time, viewers wrote into CBS (the network of the show) asking for a handout.
Myth & Religion
- Santa Claus can afford to make toys for all the children in the world, which he is capable of maintaining without any apparent means of income. Not to mention a system capable of delivering said presents in one night, the elven city that houses his staff, etc.
- Keep in mind he lives in hiding and his helpers are magical creatures who can fix and mantain easily all that machinery, so he doesn't pay taxes, repairments or insurances.
- We can go the other route, and assume that he does in fact have a legitimate source of income and pays taxes, wages, pensions, etc, and the he's just rich enough to keep it all under wraps. The source? Advertising, of course! Think of how many products, films, novels, and commercials bear Santa's image; any person of company will need to pay the standard copyright fee. Christmas is a world-wide phenomenon, and if Claus has the copyright on any other holiday related stuff, it could push his total even higher.
- Ted DiBiase, Professional Wrestling's original "Million Dollar Man". So rich, he would flaunt his wealth by cramming $100 bills down the throats of his fallen opponents until they choked on them — at which point, his manservant, Virgil, would take the money back. He lived by the motto, "Everybody's got a price!" and he proved it by, at various points, essentially buying Andre The Giant, Nikolai Volkoff, and Tatanka. The only man he couldn't buy? Hulk Hogan, who turned down his overtures to buy the WWF Championship for obscene amounts of money. Eventually, he just made his own championship belt, the Million Dollar Belt, a creation of solid gold and diamonds that cost over one million dollars, and which served purely as a monument to his incredible wealth.
- In Dungeons and Dragons, one of Asmodeus' outfits costs about as much as a large country spends on food in a year. It just goes up from there.
- From Shadowrun:
- After years of audits and asset assessments after his death, the nearest estimate is that the dragon Dunkelzahn was worth well over 100 trillion nuyen, not including his collections of cultural artifacts, magical items, and so forth whose true value cannot be easily quantified. Just read his will. As an example, he left behind 20 million for the redevelopment of Jiffy Pop. And in the single largest endowment, he left Art Dankwalther $34,586,224,739.58 as repayment, accounting for inflation and interest, for a meal Art's ancestor once bought for him.
- Art Dankwalther, who turned out to be an obsessive lunatic and financial genius, then went on to use that money in a stock scheme that destroyed one of the world's ten largest megacorporations and forced another one to have an IPO and go publicly financed in order to survive his takeover attempt, the fallout of which helped shape the economic history of the planet for the next fifteen years, so Dunkelzahn appeared to have a much more significant Plan in play here than simply paying off an old debt in a massively frivolous way.
- In Warhammer, Greasus Goldtooth, Overtyrant of the Ogres. One of his special rules is 'Too Rich To Walk', and he is allowed to bribe anyone. No exceptions.
- This is what the Rogue Traders are in Warhammer 40000; people gifted with Warrants of Trade that allow them to go wherever and do whatever - so long as it doesn't hurt the Imperium - making absurd amounts of profit in the process. At the low end, a Trader is a merchant with a personal mile-long space battle-cathedral. At the high end, they operate entire fleets of starships and run a trade dynasty spanning dozens if not hundreds of worlds. It's not
- Exalted, like other Storyteller System games, has an abstract system for measuring wealth: a "Resources" rating, from 0 (broke) to 5 (fabulously wealthy). Let's go in detail: Resources 5 is described as "owning at least one excellent ship, an army of attentive servants eagerly awaiting every your whim, and either having a private army or being able to rent one at need". The chapter detailing the monetary system puts Resources 5 as an income of "60+ talents a year", a talent being describes as 64 pounds of silver. Characters with Resources 5 can afford nearly every mundane expense out of their pocket with little trouble.
- Enter Salary. Salary is what Sidereal Exalted have. Since they mostly live and work in Yu-Shan (a sort of bureaucratic Heaven where the gods running the world are), normal money is meaningless. Instead, they get paid in Quintessence, magical prayer energy which can be transformed into anything else (and is also delicious, to the point that young Sidereals are warned not to eat their allowances). Salary is Resources + 1 on Creation (the "normal" world), so having Salary 5 means you effectively have Resources 6 (an "impossible" rating) in Creation, making you effectively richer than most gods. The flavor text explains that you "can ruin economies at will" and suggests that it's virtually impossible to ammass such a fortune without being involved in suspicious, shady deals of some sort, and also encourages you to "decide what divine criminal or Celestial powerbroker you owe and how many Severity 3 to 5 offenses you are committing".
- Enter Wealth, Arsenal and Panoply. These three backgrounds appear in Dreams of the First Age, set in a time before the Realm of the First Age collapsed. Playing as one of the demigods which basically saved and are now running the world, you have access to them.
- Wealth describes your economic power, and is equivalent to Resources +2. With Wealth 5, you effectively have Resources 7, and are so rich you can't even keep your money all in one place (all in one bank, for example) or you'd break the economy.
- Arsenal is the amount of military hardware you are allowed to own. At Arsenal 5, you have an army of Humongous Mecha plus your own personal intelligent super robot, a fleet led by your enormous Cool Airship, a Thousand Forged Dragon, and basically all the firepower you'll ever need.
- Panoply, conversely, is the amount of non-military Magitek you have. Panoply 5 gives you a Traveling Pagoda, among other things. The "other things" are described as more or less "Everything".
- And finally, there are Legendary Backgrounds. Having a Legendary Backgrounds is like having the 6th point in those already-powerful backgrounds (that only go up to 5). It's explained that a legendary background carries immense consequences, since at that point everyone is worried about you wielding such power. Basically, with Legendary Arsenal you own a one-of-a-kind weapon of mass destruction, a Reality Warper device, an army of unstoppable giant plasma-breathing robot dragons, or, in other words, you are basically a military superpower. With Legendary Panoply you have... pretty much whatever you want. An example listed is a giant magitek utopian city as your personal property, where everyone has the benefit of having a Panoply rating of 3 and where every prayer is magnified by the town's geomancy and directed to you. Or entire stables of heroin-pissing dinosaurs. And, with Legendary Wealth, you have enough money that you can break the Order Conferring Trade Pattern if you spend it carelessly... in other words, literally break time and space and destabilize the fabric of reality WITH YOUR MONEY.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, Robert House. Before the Great War, he was the Owner and CEO of one of the largest corporations on the entire planet, bought out dozens if not hundreds of other large corporations, and personally funded research into a life support system that would give the Golden Throne a run for its money.
- After discovering that the world would end fifteen years prior with the Power of Math, he set about to personally fund the transformation of the greater Las Vegas Area (which by this point in time he owned, save for a single business owned by his half-brother, the reason for this being that he bought all of the Las Vegas area and screwed with the local economy solely to screw over said brother) into an impenetrable missile-proof fortress, complete with anti-missile lasers fitted into the rooftops of casinos, orbiting satellites designed to fry incoming ICBMs, and an entire army of extremely well armed robots armed with absurd amounts of weaponry and self-repair systems.
- After the war, he spent, on average, around a million caps a year on mercenaries and salvage teams for more than two hundred years in an effort to recover a platinum poker chip that contained the updated software that would turn his army of killer robots into even more killy killer robots. Robert House is on this list by virtue of being the only one with enough money to be able to survive a nuclear holocaust and thrive afterwards in a world where Everything Is Trying to Kill You.
- In Fate/stay night, Gilgamesh originally was the king of the world and possessor of all of its wealth. He has so much stuff that even he doesn't know what most of it is. His primary weapon, the Noble Phantasm called the Gate of Babylon, is a doorway to a pocket dimension that contains thousands upon thousands of priceless and powerful weapons, all of which belong to him. Consider this in comparison to other servants who might have two or three Noble Phantasms at most. At the same time, he has a particular character attribute called The Golden Rule, which measures a character's ability to attract wealth to himself. His is Rank A, which means that no matter what the situation and no matter when or where he might be, he is always guaranteed to have enough money to buy whatever he needs or wants and that more will simply fall into his lap.
- In Final Fantasy VII, President Shinra, being the owner of Shinra Electric Power Company effectively controlled the whole world by economic means. Except for one quasi-autonomous state, which was conquered by Shinra's own private army. Constructed a whole cyperpunkian city and had the only space program. Heir Rufus funded the next world-spanning organization and maintained infrastructure to fly Black Helicopters after the company downfall.
- In Guilty Party, Dorian Dickens, head of the world's most effective and famous detective family. Exact wealth unknown, but it's enough to purchase a couple hundred zeppelins--or their approximate worth in pudding.
- From the Mass Effect series, the Illusive Man. Cerberus' resources, while not unlimited, are still substantial enough to fund a two-year project to rebuild someone who is for all intents and purposes dead, and can replicate - with improvements - the most advanced starship in the galaxy, with unique, groundbreaking stealth technology. Now, if even that doesn't sound like much, consider how valuable element zero is, then consider how much eezo was sunk into the drive cores of both the Normandy SR-1 and the Normandy SR-2. Note that late-game, we actually do find out where Cerberus gets its money from: Cerberus operates several dozen legitimate Fiction 500 corporations, and receives substantial funding from "private investors" - ultra-wealthy pro-humanity individuals, especially within the Alliance's military-industrial complex. They were also able to build the Normandy SR-2 because the very companies that Cerberus established to fund themselves were among those who built the original Normandy SR-1, so Cerberus had access to the blueprints and equipment to build the replacement.
- From Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater, Colonel Volgin, to the point where the US are willing to sacrifice the greatest soldier the world has ever known to get their hands on his money, and he can personally bankroll his own assembly line of doomsday machines. With $100 Billion in 1964 money, which if adjusted for today's economy would be almost $1 trillion dollars, it's easy to see why.
- In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Nwabudike Morgan, richest man on any planet, who is wealthy enough to help fund a significant part of the cost of a spaceship large enough to take a decent fraction of humanity to another star system, after alliances of major countries (like the EU and Russia) have been forced to cut down their share after finding it too costly. Better yet, one victory condition requires you to be rich enough to buy the planet outright, so any player can easily join the Fiction 500.
- In Street Fighter Alpha, Karin Kanzuki. Her parents run the Kanzuki Zaibatsu, and they have a Kill Sat.
- In Super Mario Bros.:
- Bowser Koopa is insanely wealthy, having owned at least twenty castles, an equally ginormous villa and even a city. However, he isn't satisfied unless he can rule the cosmos.
- In Wario Land, Wario has a huge castle with apparent walls of gold, treasure and more gold lying around, a huge throne, and in Shake It, ends up with a gold filled, gold walled garage with it's own chandelier. He got a planet in the first game for getting all the treasure. Heck, the Mario Spinoffs alone show him with a personal gold mine, multiple stadiums, a colosseum, multiple whole cities and a lot of other stuff. Oh, and the Wario Ware games apparently sell thousands, if not millions in copies in the game stories. And he still wants more.
- Wilhelm of Xenosaga owns Vector, a corporation so large that their headquarters is a space station the size of Lebanon and with smaller branches on numerous planets. It's described as the largest and most wealthy corporation in existence. Later, it's revealed he also owns Hyam's Heavy Industries, the second-wealthiest corporation in existence.
- The Rosenqueen family of the Shared Universe of many Nippon Icchi games, from the Puppet Princess series to Disgaea, where they have shops across several worlds and planes.
- From Eight Bit Theater, Thief (no last name given) qualifies. He's:
- Prince of the richest, most decadent nation on the face of the planet.
- in charge of the entire economy of a town (well, ex-town; It was flattened by Australia).
- Stolen the entire treasury of King Steve while walking down a hall.
- Stolen riches that don't even exist.
- Filled an infinite bag of holding to capacity with wealth.
- From Schlock Mercenary, Petey, per the page quote. It helps that, for all intents and purposes, Petey is a god.
- Annie Warbucks (a grown-up version of Little Orphan Annie) in And Shine Heaven Now. Here, the claim is they earned their fortune by arms dealing.
- Hannelore's parents in Questionable Content are both obscenely wealthy, but for different reasons; her mother is a rich businesswoman who buys an entire restaurant on a whim, and her father is a robotics tycoon who owns and lives in a high-tech space station.
- In the Legion of Nothing webnovels, Giles Hardwick, one of Michigan's richest men, bankrolled the original Grand Lake Heroes League.
- In Whateley Universe, Ayla Goodkind comes from the richest family on the planet. The Goodkinds are estimated to be worth 750 billion dollars, according to Forbes. Ayla has actually seen the inside of a regular grocery store once. She was appalled.
- Conspiracy Theorists online tend to exaggerate the wealth of real figures to absurd levels. This one in particular claims that the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds both are worth 500 trillion dollars. Combined, that's about eighty times the GDP of planet Earth.
- In Beverly Hills Teens, Bianca Dupree. Okay, most of her friends could fit here, but Bianca mentioned her father owned Texas.
- In Danny Phantom, Vlad Masters. As prominent as Bill Gates, except shown to be much, much richer. The man is a billionaire with a huge castle in Wisconsin along with a huge home by the Rockies. Owns several of his own companies (i.e. Dalv), as well as many others he literally took over (like Mastersoft, formerly Microsoft). Owns state of the art ghost hunting technology and can easily pay to have everything rebuilt time and time again with no financial worry. Can pay for a professional ghost hunting team with superior technology once and easily set a million-dollar bounty on a single ghost. The only things he can't buy are Maddie's love, Danny's respect, and the Greenbay Packers.
- In The Fairly Odd Parents, Remy Buxaplenty's wealth can only be described as "Richer than you will ever be."
- In Futurama:
- Philip J Fry gains such wealth (for only one episode before losing everything), buying out entire auctions on a whim didn't seem to make a dent, nor did shooting skeet with the Mona Lisa. That's in addition to the time he and Bender got $1 every time one of their Poplers was sold: 198 billion were sold around the world.
- Mom, of Mom's Friendly Robot Company, stole the entire wealth of Fry, above, and owned the security camera system that helped her do it. Possibly has a monopoly on robot production.
- The Wong family owns the Western hemisphere of Mars — which they originally purchased from the natives using a car-sized diamond. When Amy Wong was introduced, she protested that her parents aren't as rich as people say, then reluctantly admitted that her college sorority was Kappa Kappa Wong. In fact, the Wongs are so wealthy that they consider it easier to brand the things that don't belong to them rather than the other way around.
- In Gargoyles:
- David Xanatos moved a castle to the top of a skyscraper. Apart from the cost of moving the castle, it's strongly implied that the entire building was created just to provide a platform for the castle to rest on. Granted, such a thing could be done, in principle, in real life, but still...
- Though per Word of God none of them is quite as rich as Xanatos, fellow Gargoyles cast members Renard, Demona, Macbeth and Thailog are definitely up there too.
- According to Thailog, his wealth combined with Demona's and Macbeth's would put him on equal footing with Xanatos. He comes up with a Plan to make this happen in one episode.
- In Goldie Gold and Action Jack, Goldie Gold has a flying car, has loads of tech on her person and in her mansion, and thinks a fur coat is proper adventuring wear.
- From Kim Possible:
- Señor Senior Senior's private island first had such a power load it was blacking out Europe. The bulk of it was going to a sun lamp bulb the size of a hot air balloon. He's one of the five richest people on Earth in the Kim Possible universe. The other four are his card club.
- Ron Stoppable (briefly). He invented the Naco, the top-selling menu item at Bueno Nacho, and in one episode received a check for 999 million dollars in royalties for his invention. Kim described him as "Just south of billionaire." He blew a great deal of the money on clothes, bling, and a private jet for himself and Kim, before Shego stole the balance, ending his brief tenure on the Fiction 500 list. A number of fan fics suggest that he's still getting Naco royalties, which his parents had enough foresight to invest in a trust fund for him, so he may still belong on this list.
- From Powerpuff Girls, Princess Morbucks' father. Princess finances a personal suit of Powered Armor with her allowance.
- Most of the families in Totally Spies!. All three protagonists are shown to be rich, while their rival, as shown that her mother bought an entire high-end shoe company chain to get a pair, is hinted to be even richer. Very much living proof of Reality Is Unrealistic, given that it is set in Beverly Hills.
- The Metalocalypse band Dethklok as a whole is considered the seventh largest economy on Earth. (They've just passed Belgium!)
- In The Simpsons, Charles Montgomery Burns, especially with his device to blot out the sun over Springfield and his (albeit limited) ownership of the world's only trillion dollar bill.
- Charlene Doofenshmirtz of Phineas and Ferb finances her ex-husband's projects every week. One day she helped Doof pay the mortgage of his whole office building which is has at least 20 floors tall.
- Lucius Heinous VII on Jimmy Two-Shoes. One episode shows he spends more on trival things for him than it costs to run his whole Mega Corp. And his sone Beezy spends even more.
- Eustace Strytch from Jimmy Neutron often battles Jimmy's brain with his wad of cash. He easily manipulates people with his money, is able to buy space ships and fly to Mars and gets anything he points at, constantly dragging along his butler.
- In a quick joke, Eddy from Class of 3000 is drawn with five fingers to show how rich he is in relation to all the other character, who just have the average cartoon four.
- An Al Brodax Popeye cartoon does a spoof of the 1950s TV show The Millionaire with Popeye the philanthropist doling out $1 million personal checks to Olive, Swee' Pea, Wimpy and--yes--Brutus. He then goes out in his sailor outfit to see how his friends spent the money. After seeing what they all did with the money (none too wisely), Popeye gives the rest of his money to the sailors' retirement fund.
- Yosho, for those wondering
- Although, with Magneto's help, all labor costs would pretty much become zero, meaning he's only really paying for parts.
- He won't. The bad guys were dumb enough to try kidnapping his daughter once...