The Icon is the noblest of all heroes in their universes, considered by many to be the world's greatest hero, embodying all the qualities a hero should have: courage, humility, kindness, a willingness to sacrifice themselves to save others, and a strong moral code which includes not killing an opponent no matter what (though Goku and The Toxic Avenger may be an exception). The Icon inspires other heroes and ordinary people to do their best and to follow their dreams, despite the obstacles they face.
Coincidentally, the Icon can be two terms:
- Morality Chain: A character is the only reason that another person remains good. For example, Integra Hellsing is this to Alucard, with the former being a character the latter acknowledged to serve.
- Morality Pet: A character who humanizes a villain or an anti-heroic character. For example, Steven Universe is this to a huge amount of characters: for his noble bigot caretakers who have trouble interacting with humans; for Lapis, to who he is the only person besides Peridot in season three onwards that she trusts and cares for; for Peridot, to who he showed the beauty of Earth and taught her to let go of her lack of empathy; for Onion, the town's troublemaker who genuinely cares about his friendship with Steven.