History Main / AdultsAreUseless

22nd Mar '17 2:10:39 AM Khrunwahl02
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* ''Film/BadMoms'': Applies to the protagonist Amy's children Jane and Dylan. Amy quits her motherly duties to party and run rampant. She doesn't appear too concerned about her children missing meals or falling behind in school, but she snaps right back to her senses when the kids run away to their dad and desert her as payback for her neglectful behavior.

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* ''Film/BadMoms'': Applies to the protagonist Amy's children Jane and Dylan. Amy quits her motherly duties to party and run rampant. She doesn't appear too concerned about her children missing meals or falling behind in school, but and insults them at every chance she gets whenever they ask her for help. She then snaps right back to her senses when the kids run away to their dad and desert her as payback for her neglectful behavior.



* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'': John Connor's foster parents Todd and Janet are very neglectful of him, which angrily coerces John to spend his whole time outside home. Later on, T-1000 mimicking Janet on the phone calling John "honey" and offering him beef stew for dinner makes John point out Janet would never do that.

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* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'': John Connor's foster parents Todd and Janet are very neglectful of him, which angrily coerces John to spend his whole time outside home. Later on, T-1000 mimicking Janet on the phone calling John "honey" and offering him beef stew for dinner makes John point out Janet would never do something like that.
9th Mar '17 7:14:05 PM Khrunwahl02
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* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'': John Connor's foster parents Todd and Janet are very neglectful of him, which angrily coerces John to spend his whole time outside home. Later on, T-1000 mimicking Janet on the phone calling John "honey" and offering him beef stew for dinner makes John point out Janet would never do that.
9th Mar '17 7:05:13 PM Khrunwahl02
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* ''Film/BattleRoyale''. Not only does the government allow the capture of entire classrooms of children, but they allow putting them on an island, giving them deadly weapons, and telling them to go kill each other, last one alive wins and is free to go. On top of that, the parents never even TRY to save their children from being murdered, and instead the entire country (or possibly even the world) allows it to happen, waiting for the competition to end and see the winner.

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* ''Film/BadMoms'': Applies to the protagonist Amy's children Jane and Dylan. Amy quits her motherly duties to party and run rampant. She doesn't appear too concerned about her children missing meals or falling behind in school, but she snaps right back to her senses when the kids run away to their dad and desert her as payback for her neglectful behavior.
* ''Film/BattleRoyale''. Not only does the government allow the capture of entire classrooms of children, but they allow putting them on an island, giving them deadly weapons, and telling them to go kill each other, last one alive wins and is free to go. On top of that, the parents never even TRY to save their children from being murdered, and instead the entire country (or possibly even the world) allows it to happen, waiting for the competition to end and see the winner. The protagonist, Shuya Nanahara, loses his father who commits suicide by hanging himself with a belt without any concern that Shuya now has to fend for himself, and Mitsuko's mother tried to pimp out Mitsuko when she was only 6 years old to a pedophile for the money.
8th Mar '17 7:00:59 PM infernape612
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* Averted in ''Literature/TheBFG''. Late in the book, the KidHero Sophie's plan to save the day is to tell the Queen of England everything and get her to send a gajilion soldiers to pump the evil giants full of holes.



** Subverted in the first book. When Harry and his friends tell Professor Mcgonnagal someone is planning to steal the Philosopher's Stone, she merely tells them off for interfering with business that isn't their own. The problem here is that the Stone's presence at Hogwarts should have been top secret and if three first year students know of it, she should have realized security has been compromised. On the other hand, Dumbledore saves Harry's life by arriving at the nick of time during his confrontation with the Voldemort possessed [[spoiler:Quirrel]].

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** Subverted in the first book. When Harry and his friends tell Professor Mcgonnagal [=McGonagall=] someone is planning to steal the Philosopher's Stone, she merely tells them off for interfering with business that isn't their own. The problem here is that the Stone's presence at Hogwarts should have been top secret and if three first year students know of it, she should have realized security has been compromised. On the other hand, Dumbledore saves Harry's life by arriving at the nick of time during his confrontation with the Voldemort possessed [[spoiler:Quirrel]].
26th Feb '17 11:23:18 AM Tsukireiko
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** Ran's ''mother'' Eri Kisaki is a highly successful lawyer and is actually quite competent at detective work when the need arises. However like Yuusaku above, she only makes a paltry handful of appearances in the series.
18th Feb '17 7:12:46 PM Oncefan21
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* Miss Gulch in ''TheWizardofOz'' practically controls half the county even forcing Aunt Em and Uncle Henry to surrender Toto. In the Land of Oz Dorothy looks to many adult figures to solve her problems such as Glinda and the wizard, but the wizard is powerless. However Dorothy discovers the power to return home was inside of her and didn't need help from either Glinda or the wizard.
11th Feb '17 4:48:16 PM rva98014
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* ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'' typically does not play by this trope, as there are no kids on the police force, but there is one instance where it comes into play. [[spoiler:You have to wonder where the parents and/or counselors were when the Junior Ranger Scouts decided to harass and muzzle Nick. Granted, it was during the night and it was clearly an unauthorized hazing practice, but you can't help but wonder if they cared that a fox was getting bullied if news got out about it.]]
11th Feb '17 1:33:17 AM Dark_Lord_
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* This happens constantly in ''Literature/HarryPotter''. On the other hand, it is also occasionally averted and subverted, particularly in the massive battle near the end of the last book:

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* This happens constantly Zigzagged in ''Literature/HarryPotter''. Because the books are written from Harry's point of view, the adults in the books sometimes seem useless, but several adult characters, most notably Dumbledore, are actually aware of whatever evil plot Voldemort is trying to execute, but have very good reasons to leave Harry out of the loop. It is also lightly implied that Dumbledore gives Harry this feeling intentionally in order to train him without the him being aware of it, especially in the first book. And, when the adults do something themselves, they actually save the day most of the time- the Battle in the Atrium and the Inferi cave, in particular. However, there are also several examples in which adult characters don't act very responsible at all. Specific examples of both sides of this trope are:
** Subverted in the first book. When Harry and his friends tell Professor Mcgonnagal someone is planning to steal the Philosopher's Stone, she merely tells them off for interfering with business that isn't their own. The problem here is that the Stone's presence at Hogwarts should have been top secret and if three first year students know of it, she should have realized security has been compromised.
On the other hand, it is also occasionally averted Dumbledore saves Harry's life by arriving at the nick of time during his confrontation with the Voldemort possessed [[spoiler:Quirrel]].
** Played straight in Prisoner of Azkaban. When the truth about [[spoiler:Sirius']] innocence comes to light, the Ministry of Magic does not believe Harry
and subverted, particularly his friends and still wants to sentence [[spoiler: Sirius]] to AFateWorseThanDeath. The characters who do believe Harry know they can't do anything to change the Ministry's point of view, leaving it to Harry and Hermione to save the day.
** Played straightest in ''Goblet.'' Several powerful wizards vow to find out how Harry's name got into the cup, and apparently find out ''nothing'' over the course of a school year. (The fact that one of those wizards is actually behind it all merely highlights that the others never noticed anything even though he was circumstantially a prime suspect.)
** The biggest subversion happens
in the massive battle near the end sixth book. Harry is aware of an evil plot, in which Draco Malfoy is one of the last book:key players. When he tries to warn the adult characters, most notably Dumbledore, of this plot, he gets the feeling he is constantly brushed off and tries to stop Malfoy himself. [[spoiler: It turns out that Dumbledore is aware of this evil plot, but chooses not to act to keep Malfoy safe from Voldemort's wrath, should he fail. The evil plot in question is in fact a murder plot against Dumbledore himself. Since Dumbledore was already fatally cursed and had only one year to live, he used this murder plot to arrange his own death. He left Harry out of the loop because these details would only distract him from what he really needs to know.]]
** Book seven lampshades this trope with this exchange:



** It is lightly implied that Dumbledore does this intentionally in order to train Harry without the latter being aware of it, especially in the first book. And, when the adults actually do do something, it tends to be pretty spectacular- the Battle in the Atrium and the Inferi cave, in particular.
** Played straightest in ''Goblet.'' Several powerful wizards vow to find out how Harry's name got into the cup, and apparently find out ''nothing'' over the course of a school year. (The fact that one of those wizards is actually behind it all merely highlights that the others never noticed anything even though he was circumstantially a prime suspect.)
26th Jan '17 4:29:14 PM Malady
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* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'': Both averted and played straight. Many adults in the Whateleyverse are in fact quite competent when shown, at least within their areas of expertise; yet since the focus is generally on the (mis)adventures of mutant ''teenagers'', it's just as common to see some adult or other left holding the {{Idiot Ball}}. (This is occasionally justified; at least one story has a house mother being unable to see the very real problems between two roommates due to magical manipulation and thus refusing to reassign them.) According to older characters, Adults used to not be useless when it came to the bullying situation in previous years. [[spoiler: However Carson has admitted to have committed herself to a {{plan}} involving allowing bullies free rein. What exactly that plan entails, has not yet been revealed.]]
** We know a bit more about the plan. [[spoiler: Apparently, it involves making sure the Don stays at the school, as he has a part to play in a coming Apocalypse-level event.]]
** Played straight later when the students band together against the ultimate enemy and decide to exclude all adults because they would either take too long to convince or take too much time to act.
18th Jan '17 1:07:07 PM maximsk
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** "Mr. Poe meant well, but a jar of mustard probably also means well and would do a better job of keeping the Beaudelaires out of danger."

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** "Mr. Poe meant well, but a jar of mustard probably also means well and would do a better job of keeping the Beaudelaires Baudelaires out of danger."
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