History Main / AdultsAreUseless

14th Jun '17 9:43:17 AM Kissinger113
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Not to be confused with HumansAreBastards, which deals with ''everybody'' being violently like this.

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Not to be confused with HumansAreBastards, HumansAreMorons, which deals with ''everybody'' being violently like this.
9th Jun '17 10:54:03 PM waters20
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* ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'' is pretty much the epitome of this trope. Aside from the fact that the adults are never shown physically throughout the series, the titular trio's parents also don't seem to be cognizant of their troubles. Ed's mother apparently favors his little sister over him, and his dad is implied to be little more than apathetic of his son. Edd's parents are hardly ever there for him, and only communicate through sticky notes. Eddy probably has the worst parents of them all. His brother has bullied him all his life, and their parents did ''absolutely nothing'' to stop him. On top of all that, the kids seem to take great pleasure in unnecessary cruelty towards the Eds, and the adults don't seem to punish them in any way for their troubles. [[spoiler:This is taken UpToEleven in the movie, where the kids actually tried to ''murder'' the Eds due to what their scam did to them. Seriously, ''where the hell are the adults at a time like this?!'']]
25th May '17 2:46:17 PM JJHIL325
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* 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:

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* 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:



** 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 his friends and still wants to sentence [[spoiler: Sirius]] to a FateWorseThanDeath. 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.

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** 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 his friends and still wants to sentence [[spoiler: Sirius]] to a FateWorseThanDeath. The characters who do believe Harry know they can't do anything to change the Ministry's point of view, leaving So Dumbledore leaves it to Harry and Hermione to save the day.



** The biggest subversion happens in the sixth book. Harry is aware of an evil plot, in which Draco Malfoy is one of the 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.]]

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** The biggest subversion happens in the sixth book. Harry is aware of an evil plot, in which Draco Malfoy is one of the 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 [[SecretlyDying was already fatally cursed and had only one year to live, live]], he used this murder plot to arrange his own death.a ThanatosGambit with Snape to prevent Voldemort from ever posessing the power of the Elder Wand. He left Harry out of the loop because these details would only distract him from what he really needs to know.]]
21st May '17 10:49:19 AM HighCrate
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* In Webcomic/ShootAround, adults are useless because they're generally not GenreSavvy about the ZombieApocalypse setting.
14th May '17 3:54:27 PM Gaby007
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* ''Fanfic/TheDragonKingsTemple'' [[ZigZaggingTrope plays with the trope]]: SG-1 does its best to protect and help Zuko and Toph, but PoorCommunicationKills hits them ''hard'' and they only manage to make Zuko sicker until Toph decides to put her foot down.
8th May '17 3:27:16 AM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* Oddly inverted in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}''. The high schoolers that star in ''Innocent Sin'' mess everything up, and the adults in ''Eternal Punishment'' have to fix things. Although Tatsuya ''does'' join in later on.
** Absent in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' which features adults in on the masquerade to some extent and try to help you outside of the main conflict region of the Midnight Hour, but can't do anything directly. Also, one of the first tier {{Big Bad}}s is an adult.
** Justified in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' where the conflict occurs in a region where the police have no access and the people who do are either indoctrinated into the masquerade or are former victims. This trope applies because they just couldn't know what's really going on. The police close the case when someone falsely admits to all of the murders; and, even late in the game when you are straightforward about your "extracurricular activities," Dojima-san doesn't believe you.
** This is a major theme in ''VideoGame/Persona5''. Most of the adults you deal with are this trope at best, and at worst they are outright evil bastards who routinely abuse their power to get away with everything from sexual harassment to outright murder. It ultimately comes down to your teenage protagonists to set everything right. [[spoiler:At the end of the game, one of the useless adults, Sae Nijima, acknowledges this trope and vows to defy it; it's noted that although you got the bad guys to confess their sins, it's her job as a public prosecutor to ensure they actually end up behind bars.]]
** The series does a complete inversion in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney''. The playable character and his crew are all highly-trained military personnel.
** Also inverted in ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'', where with only two exceptions the cast are exceptionally skilled doctors (Heat), scientists (Serph and Gale), and nurses (Argilla).

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* Oddly inverted in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}''. The high schoolers that star in ''Innocent Sin'' mess everything up, ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' generally downplays this; while the protagonist and the their closest friends tend to be teenagers, several games also include adults as party members and allies.
** The ''[[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Persona]]'' games are probably the straightest examples, and even they add a few wrinkles:
*** While the people doing the fighting
in ''Eternal Punishment'' have to fix things. Although Tatsuya ''does'' join in later on.
** Absent in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' which
''VideoGame/Persona3'' are all teenagers, the game also features adults who are in on the masquerade to some extent and try extent; they do their best to help you outside of the main conflict region of the Midnight Dark Hour, but can't do anything directly. Also, one of the first tier {{Big Bad}}s is an adult.
** *** Justified in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' ''VideoGame/Persona4'' where the conflict occurs in a region where dimension that the police have no access and to; the people only adults who do know about TV World are either indoctrinated into the masquerade or are former victims. [[spoiler:the antagonists]]. This trope applies because they just couldn't simply had no way to know what's really going on. The on; the police close the case when someone falsely admits to all of the murders; and, murders, and even late in the game when you are straightforward about your "extracurricular activities," activities", Dojima-san doesn't believe you.
** *** This is a major theme in ''VideoGame/Persona5''. Most of the adults you deal with are this trope at best, and at worst they are outright evil bastards who routinely abuse their power to get away with everything from sexual harassment to outright murder. It ultimately comes down to your teenage protagonists to set everything right. [[spoiler:At the end of the game, one of the useless adults, Sae Nijima, acknowledges this trope and vows to defy it; it's noted that although you got the bad guys to confess their sins, it's her job as a public prosecutor to ensure they actually end up behind bars.]]
]] However, several of the Confidants who help the heroes in their endeavors are working adults who are quite capable at what they do.
** The series does a complete inversion in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney''. The playable character and his crew are all highly-trained military personnel.
** Also inverted in ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'', where with
also has several games which outright invert this:
*** ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'': With
only two exceptions exceptions, the cast are exceptionally skilled doctors (Heat), scientists (Serph and Gale), and nurses (Argilla). (Argilla).
*** In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'', the playable character and his crew are all highly-trained military personnel.
*** In ''VideoGame/Persona2'', the high schoolers that star in ''Innocent Sin'' mess everything up, and the adults in ''Eternal Punishment'' have to fix things. Although ''Innocent Sin''[='s=] Tatsuya ''does'' join the party in ''Eternal Punishment'' later on.
6th May '17 12:08:05 PM infernape612
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** The series does a complete inversion in ''VideoGame/StrangeJourney''. The playable character and his crew are all highly-trained military personnel.

to:

** This is a major theme in ''VideoGame/Persona5''. Most of the adults you deal with are this trope at best, and at worst they are outright evil bastards who routinely abuse their power to get away with everything from sexual harassment to outright murder. It ultimately comes down to your teenage protagonists to set everything right. [[spoiler:At the end of the game, one of the useless adults, Sae Nijima, acknowledges this trope and vows to defy it; it's noted that although you got the bad guys to confess their sins, it's her job as a public prosecutor to ensure they actually end up behind bars.]]
** The series does a complete inversion in ''VideoGame/StrangeJourney''.''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney''. The playable character and his crew are all highly-trained military personnel.
23rd Apr '17 10:42:37 PM Svartalfar
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* In ''Fanfic/NeonMetathesisEvangelion'', nearly none of the idiots are helpful to the protagonist kids. Gendo, Fuyutsuki and Ritsuko are merely using them as tools to be exploited. Misato may care about them a bit, but her desire for revenge against the angels is stronger, and in any case she's unable to really show affection. Kaji may sympathize with the pilots a bit, but even as a U.N. inspector he can't do much, and he isn't there for Asuka when she would have needed him. The only adult who has some positive influence on the children is [[TheCutie Maya]].
9th Apr '17 7:03:33 PM merotoker
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** Most adults, and atleast one of them is a BadassGrandpa, have proven to be anything but useless, what with saving Negi's behind after he was OHKO'ed by the incoming BigBad.

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** Most adults, and atleast at least one of them is a BadassGrandpa, have proven to be anything but useless, what with saving Negi's behind after he was OHKO'ed by the incoming BigBad.



* In ''ComicBook/{{Champions 2016}}'', this is the main drive of the comic - tired of the LetsYouAndHimFight-driven attitude of the adults thanks to ''ComicBook/CivilWarII'', former ComicBook/AllNewAllDifferentAvengers members [[ComicBook/MilesMorales Spider-Man]] ComicBook/{{Nova}} and [[ComicBook/MsMarvel2014 Ms. Marvel]] for a team with other teens in order to show that heroes are better than just slugging each other, destroying things and leaving things alone as they disappear.

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* In ''ComicBook/{{Champions 2016}}'', this is the main drive of the comic - tired of the LetsYouAndHimFight-driven attitude of the adults thanks to ''ComicBook/CivilWarII'', former ComicBook/AllNewAllDifferentAvengers members [[ComicBook/MilesMorales Spider-Man]] ComicBook/{{Nova}} and [[ComicBook/MsMarvel2014 Ms. Marvel]] for form a team with other teens in order to show that heroes are better than just slugging each other, destroying things and leaving things alone as they disappear.



** 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 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.

to:

** 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 his friends and still wants to sentence [[spoiler: Sirius]] to AFateWorseThanDeath.a FateWorseThanDeath. 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.



** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in the episode ''On My Way''. When Karofsky [[spoiler: tries to kill himself]] the faculty of [=McKinley=] conference in the principal's office. Among the things said, Sue says that [[spoiler: she should've seen it coming, because she was principal when he was bullying Kurt and she knew something was up.]] Will says that [[spoiler: they were all hard on Dave because they thought he'd hurt Kurt, they just didn't imagine that he'd hurt himself]].

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** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in the episode ''On "On My Way''.Way". When Karofsky [[spoiler: tries to kill himself]] the faculty of [=McKinley=] conference in the principal's office. Among the things said, Sue says that [[spoiler: she should've seen it coming, because she was principal when he was bullying Kurt and she knew something was up.]] Will says that [[spoiler: they were all hard on Dave because they thought he'd hurt Kurt, they just didn't imagine that he'd hurt himself]].



** Since ''[[Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy Lost Galaxy]]'' the adults started to have a major role, especially in ''Lost Galaxy'', ''[[Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue Lightspeed Rescue]]'', ''[[Series/PowerRangersTimeForce Time Force]]'' and ''[[Series/PowerRangersRPM RPM]]''

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** Since ''[[Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy Lost Galaxy]]'' the adults started to have a major role, especially in ''Lost Galaxy'', ''[[Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue Lightspeed Rescue]]'', ''[[Series/PowerRangersTimeForce Time Force]]'' and ''[[Series/PowerRangersRPM RPM]]''RPM]]''.



* ''Series/SpaceCases''. The two present adults on the show are unable to pilot the ship and almost seem to be the ButtMonkey characters. The former may actually be a bit explained, since one can assume that since they didn't touch the walls as long as the kids did (in the first episode) or that they were the last two to board the ship that the living spaceship saw the kids as the "Complete" crew.
** The android Thelma is also worthless to CloudCuckooLander levels - then again, she's not really an adult to begin with.

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* ''Series/SpaceCases''. The two present adults on the show are unable to pilot the ship and almost seem to be the ButtMonkey characters. The former may actually be a bit explained, since one can assume that since they didn't touch the walls as long as the kids did (in the first episode) or that they were the last two to board the ship that the living spaceship saw the kids as the "Complete" crew.
**
crew. The android Thelma is also worthless to CloudCuckooLander levels - then again, she's not really an adult to begin with.



* Miho from ''VisualNovel/LiarLiar'' was being stalked by [[StalkerWithACrush Wakabayashi]] for a while. He sent her letters daily, called her house, and took pictures of her behind her back and left some on her desk. She feared for her life but the police couldn't do anything until he physically harrassed her and the adults at school didn't believe her. She decided to kill him, though she couldn't get herself to do it so she got [[VillainProtagonist Yukari]] to do it instead.

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* Miho from ''VisualNovel/LiarLiar'' was being stalked by [[StalkerWithACrush Wakabayashi]] for a while. He sent her letters daily, called her house, and took pictures of her behind her back and left some on her desk. She feared for her life but the police couldn't do anything until he physically harrassed harassed her and the adults at school didn't believe her. She decided to kill him, though she couldn't get herself to do it so she got [[VillainProtagonist Yukari]] to do it instead.



* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' is [[ZigZaggingTrope zigzagged]]. Most of the times it's played straight when the kids solve most of their problems without the help of any adults, like in the episode "Arthur's Birthday" when they solve the problem of Arthur and Muffy's birthday's being on the same day with no adult interaction, besides Arthur's dad telling Arthur that his idea is a good idea. Occasionally it is averted, like in Arthur's Knee when the Arthur's Parents are the only people who can help Arthur with his knee. Further played straight with adults like Arthur's Parents and Mrs. Tibble, who rarely discipline the bad behavior of their children and grandchildren, D.W. and the Tibble Twins, respectively.

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* Adults in ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'' are either never around (most of the parents), completely stupid (Jimmy's dad) or don't get onto the kids until the end. The quite possible worst example of this is probably one episode where Jimmy was being beaten up by a bully repeatedly at school. His parents assumed it was a ''girl'' and that ''he had found a girlfriend, even though he was coming home with BRUISES''. It eventually got to the point where Jimmy had to invent something to protect him!
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' is [[ZigZaggingTrope zigzagged]]. Most of the times it's played straight when the kids solve most of their problems without the help of any adults, like in the episode "Arthur's Birthday" when they solve the problem of Arthur and Muffy's birthday's being on the same day with no adult interaction, besides Arthur's dad telling Arthur that his idea is a good idea. Occasionally it is averted, like in Arthur's Knee "Arthur's Knee" when the Arthur's Parents are the only people who can help Arthur with his knee. Further played straight with adults like Arthur's Parents and Mrs. Tibble, who rarely discipline the bad behavior of their children and grandchildren, D.W. and the Tibble Twins, respectively.



* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''. In it, almost all the characters over thirteen (including [[TeensAreMonsters teenagers]]) are either malicious, ignorant, or incompetent. [[BlatantLies This is excusable]] since as the title implies, it's a show for young children. But older viewers who can't take the show for what it is may try to overthink it and see the adult villains as criminals; perhaps even omnicidal maniacs because a few villains wish to eliminate every child in the world. Heck, one episode taking place in a possible future has the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES of all people about to sign a bill stripping kids of all their Constitutional rights. Then again, [[spoiler:this was really Numbuh 1 being placed in the Happy Headband, and thus, it never happened.]]

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* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''. In it, almost all the characters over thirteen (including [[TeensAreMonsters teenagers]]) are either malicious, ignorant, or incompetent. [[BlatantLies This is excusable]] since as the title implies, it's a show for young children. But older viewers who can't take the show for what it is may try to overthink it and see the adult villains as criminals; perhaps even omnicidal maniacs because a few villains wish to eliminate every child in the world. Heck, one episode taking place in a possible future has the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES of all people about to sign a bill stripping kids of all their Constitutional rights. Then again, [[spoiler:this was really Numbuh 1 being placed in the Happy Headband, and thus, it never happened.]]happened]].



* ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'': Roger is pestering Patty, disrupting class. It annoys Doug so much but Ms. Wingo doesn't even lift an ounce of effort to stop the bullying. When Patty finally loses it since Roger's disrupting her homework, Ms. Wingo then sentences Roger to detention...''and'' Patty despite her being the victim. Most school systems in America have a Zero-Intelligence Zero-Tolerance policy of fighting where the aggressor AND the student defending themselves receive more-or-less equal punishment.

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* ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'': Roger is pestering Patty, disrupting class. It annoys Doug so much but Ms. Wingo doesn't even lift an ounce of effort to stop the bullying. When Patty finally loses it since Roger's disrupting her homework, Ms. Wingo then sentences Roger to detention...''and'' Patty despite her being the victim. Most TruthInTelevision as most school systems in America have a Zero-Intelligence Zero-Tolerance policy of fighting where the aggressor AND the student defending themselves receive more-or-less equal punishment.



** Ironically, Babs deals with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon in "One Bad Apple" by threatening to tell their mothers. Come "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", [[spoiler:Tiara's mother is revealed to be nastier than she is]], so this really wouldn't be a valid solution. The same episode has adults be useless again; Cheerilee does nothing about Tiara's rude behavior, and in the end, [[spoiler: the one to stand up to Diamond Tiara's mother is Diamond Tiara herself!]]

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** Ironically, Babs deals with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon in "One Bad Apple" by threatening to tell their mothers. Come "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", [[spoiler:Tiara's mother is revealed to be nastier than she is]], so this really wouldn't be a valid solution. The same episode has adults be useless again; Cheerilee does nothing about Tiara's rude behavior, and in the end, [[spoiler: the one to stand up to Diamond Tiara's mother is Diamond Tiara herself!]]herself]]!



* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** While not every adult is useless, most are fairly incompetent. Creator/MattGroening talks about many of the adult characters as morons. He said in an interview that authority isn't always quite as smart as it should be, and people like teachers and doctors all have flaws.
** Invoked in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E6TreehouseOfHorrorV Nightmare Cafeteria]]" where Bart and Lisa tell Marge about the cannibalism going on in their school, and Marge promptly dismisses them telling them that she cannot fight all their battles and they should forcefully tell the teachers to not eat them.



* Adults in ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'' are either never around (most of the parents), completely stupid (Jimmy's dad) or don't get onto the kids until the end. The quite possible worst example of this is probably one episode where Jimmy was being beaten up by a bully repeatedly at school. His parents assumed it was a ''girl'' and that ''he had found a girlfriend, even though he was coming home with BRUISES''. It eventually got to the point where Jimmy had to invent something to protect him!
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** While not every adult is useless, most are fairly incompetent. Creator/MattGroening talks about many of the adult characters as morons. He said in an interview that authority isn't always quite as smart as it should be, and people like teachers and doctors all have flaws.
** Invoked in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E6TreehouseOfHorrorV Nightmare Cafeteria]]" where Bart and Lisa tell Marge about the cannibalism going on in their school, and Marge promptly dismisses them telling them that she cannot fight all their battles and they should forcefully tell the teachers to not eat them.
28th Mar '17 1:33:51 PM Golondrina
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* In Marvel's ''Comicbook/{{Runaways}}'', the teen heroes don't trust any of the adult characters, even Comicbook/CaptainAmerica. ''ComicBook/CivilWar'' only cements their "Adults are tools" mentality.
** Comicbook/CloakAndDagger nearly subvert this, by finding out what's really going on in Los Angeles and telling the kids that they'll get in contact with Captain America and send him to take out the Pride. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, they are caught and brainwashed by Molly's parents into forgetting everything.]]
** Franchise/SpiderMan's cameo also subverts it, to a degree.
** Parodied when the Runaways show up at Comicbook/AvengersAcademy. Chase goes off on a defensive tirade about how adults are always meddling in the Runaways' business... before sheepishly admitting that he actually needs the Avengers' help in retrieving Old Lace. That arc also finally put an end to the Runaways' abuse of this trope; after a pointless fight breaks out between the Runaways and the Avengers, Nico breaks it up with a spell that magically forces both sides to see each other's viewpoints, and the Runaways realize that their longstanding distrust of adults has left them with some disadvantages. They ultimately decide that adults don't suck as much as they thought.
* The ''Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan'' series by Creator/BrianMichaelBendis puts a big emphasis on Peter Parker being a teenager, and hanging out with his teenage friends. The other books of the ''ComicBook/UltimateMarvel'' line also retool every other major Marvel hero as an asshole ([[DarkerAndEdgier because that's way edgier]]). This can lead to plenty of times when Peter risks his neck for his heroes only to find they don't share his ideals or views of responsibility, and are often ungrateful for his efforts. While the Adults aren't exactly useless, Spidey has good reason to be pissed off whenever he deals with them.
** Even Comicbook/NickFury can often make stupid decisions that come back to haunt Peter, like building the Spider-Slayers or locking up supervillains without trial. Peter even once got beaten up by Daredevil for attempting to help him in a fight and yelled at for being too young. Really, binging on the Ultimate Spider-Man books really makes you realize just how many people are dicks in the Ultimate Universe.
*** When you think about it, you have to feel really bad for the guy. The entire series takes place over only 6 months, and he's still just a high schooler who's in way over his head. And he can't get help from the super-hero community, because they're ALL JERKS. There is not a single super-hero who was kind or supportive to him except maybe for three X-Men and the Fantastic Four, and they're the same age he is. Kitty even got kicked out of the X-Men when she insisted they go help him.
*** Peter even lampshades this in one exchange with a teacher at his high school; he questions why the Kingpin (a known crime lord) is allowed to walk free, she gives a pat answer about due process and such, and he explodes, asking whether people's idealism somehow disappears the moment they turn twenty.



* Aversion: The adults in ''Comicbook/GladstonesSchoolForWorldConquerors'' are typically famous super villains and are quite important to the plot.



* Averted in ''ComicBook/SuperDinosaur'' where the adults perform important support roles if they aren't directly in the action. The Kingstons repair SD's armor while Dr. Dynamo creates valuable new technology.
* Justified in the second volume of ''ComicBook/YoungAvengers'' - [[BigBad Mother]] is a trans-dimensional parasite, who feeds on kids and teenagers with {{reality warp|er}}ing superpowers and one of her abilities is to hide her existence from adults, so they won't belive their kids telling them about her and won't notice her activities, even as they're happening in front of them. Worse, if you're a parent, the first person a kid targeted by her would come to, she can turn you into her brainwashed minion. And if your parents are dead, she will bring them back as her minions [[spoiler: through they cannot get too far away from the place of their death]].
* Webcomic/{{Dreamkeepers}}: Mostly played straight as an arrow in Prelude, especially when Mace and Whip are the focus. Averted in the graphic novels, with several competent adults in the story.
** Although Mr. Nibbs plays it straight in the novels as well.
* In ''Comicbook/SexCriminals'', middle-school girl Suzie tries to find out what happens when someone has an orgasm. She turns first to a gynecologist and than her mom. Neither are any help.
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', it was just as well that adults were never fully seen, because the rare situations where the main characters had to interact with them portrayed them as ''incompetent''. In one story arc, Charlie Brown went to talk to his pediatrician to find out why the school board (which the doctor was a member of) had banned a book called ''The Three Bunny Wunnies Freak Out'' from the school library. The doctor ''fainted''. The nurse later told Charlie Brown that ''little kids made him nervous''. (Remember, this was a ''pediatrician''.) Later, Charlie Brown told Linus that the doctor admitted that he only reads medical journals, but the pictures upset him.
** Another story arc shows that Peppermint Patty's teacher is a LawfulStupid type. A hole in the ceiling classroom was causing rain to fall on Patty's head. According to Marcie, the teacher couldn't move Patty to another desk, because that would disrupt the alphabetical seating arrangement.
* {{Justified| Trope}} in ''ComicBook/LockeAndKey'' - similar to ''Literature/PeterPan'', children are the only ones who can believe in magic. Adults might see it, but they wouldn't quite process it as being abnormal. If fact, once the children hit 18, they forget everything to do with magic, meaning the Locke siblings are more or less on their own when all hell quite literally breaks loose. This is averted in more mundane situations, where adults are shown to be anything but useless. Like in issue 1, when Nina kills a psycho [[AnAxeToGrind with a hatchet]] for [[MamaBear threatening her son]].
* ''ComicBook/MyFriendDahmer'' presents a tragic RealLife example. No adult during [[SerialKiller Jeffrey Dahmer]]'s formative years noticed his mounting psychological problems. His parents are too consumed with their marital strife and both eventually abandon him. His teachers are either clueless or indifferent to his binge drinking at school. His classmate-turned-biographer, Derf Backderf, links the lack of attention from adults to Dahmer's obsessive drive to find the perfect victim who would never leave him, resulting in his grisly killing spree.



* Aversion: The adults in ''Comicbook/GladstonesSchoolForWorldConquerors'' are typically famous super villains and are quite important to the plot.
* {{Justified| Trope}} in ''ComicBook/LockeAndKey'' - similar to ''Literature/PeterPan'', children are the only ones who can believe in magic. Adults might see it, but they wouldn't quite process it as being abnormal. If fact, once the children hit 18, they forget everything to do with magic, meaning the Locke siblings are more or less on their own when all hell quite literally breaks loose. This is averted in more mundane situations, where adults are shown to be anything but useless. Like in issue 1, when Nina kills a psycho [[AnAxeToGrind with a hatchet]] for [[MamaBear threatening her son]].
* ''ComicBook/MyFriendDahmer'' presents a tragic RealLife example. No adult during [[SerialKiller Jeffrey Dahmer]]'s formative years noticed his mounting psychological problems. His parents are too consumed with their marital strife and both eventually abandon him. His teachers are either clueless or indifferent to his binge drinking at school. His classmate-turned-biographer, Derf Backderf, links the lack of attention from adults to Dahmer's obsessive drive to find the perfect victim who would never leave him, resulting in his grisly killing spree.
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', it was just as well that adults were never fully seen, because the rare situations where the main characters had to interact with them portrayed them as ''incompetent''. In one story arc, Charlie Brown went to talk to his pediatrician to find out why the school board (which the doctor was a member of) had banned a book called ''The Three Bunny Wunnies Freak Out'' from the school library. The doctor ''fainted''. The nurse later told Charlie Brown that ''little kids made him nervous''. (Remember, this was a ''pediatrician''.) Later, Charlie Brown told Linus that the doctor admitted that he only reads medical journals, but the pictures upset him.
** Another story arc shows that Peppermint Patty's teacher is a LawfulStupid type. A hole in the ceiling classroom was causing rain to fall on Patty's head. According to Marcie, the teacher couldn't move Patty to another desk, because that would disrupt the alphabetical seating arrangement.
* In Marvel's ''Comicbook/{{Runaways}}'', the teen heroes don't trust any of the adult characters, even Comicbook/CaptainAmerica. ''ComicBook/CivilWar'' only cements their "Adults are tools" mentality.
** Comicbook/CloakAndDagger nearly subvert this, by finding out what's really going on in Los Angeles and telling the kids that they'll get in contact with Captain America and send him to take out the Pride. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, they are caught and brainwashed by Molly's parents into forgetting everything.]]
** Franchise/SpiderMan's cameo also subverts it, to a degree.
** Parodied when the Runaways show up at Comicbook/AvengersAcademy. Chase goes off on a defensive tirade about how adults are always meddling in the Runaways' business... before sheepishly admitting that he actually needs the Avengers' help in retrieving Old Lace. That arc also finally put an end to the Runaways' abuse of this trope; after a pointless fight breaks out between the Runaways and the Avengers, Nico breaks it up with a spell that magically forces both sides to see each other's viewpoints, and the Runaways realize that their longstanding distrust of adults has left them with some disadvantages. They ultimately decide that adults don't suck as much as they thought.
* In ''Comicbook/SexCriminals'', middle-school girl Suzie tries to find out what happens when someone has an orgasm. She turns first to a gynecologist and than her mom. Neither are any help.
* Averted in ''ComicBook/SuperDinosaur'' where the adults perform important support roles if they aren't directly in the action. The Kingstons repair SD's armor while Dr. Dynamo creates valuable new technology.
* The ''Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan'' series by Creator/BrianMichaelBendis puts a big emphasis on Peter Parker being a teenager, and hanging out with his teenage friends. The other books of the ''ComicBook/UltimateMarvel'' line also retool every other major Marvel hero as an asshole ([[DarkerAndEdgier because that's way edgier]]). This can lead to plenty of times when Peter risks his neck for his heroes only to find they don't share his ideals or views of responsibility, and are often ungrateful for his efforts. While the Adults aren't exactly useless, Spidey has good reason to be pissed off whenever he deals with them.
** Even Comicbook/NickFury can often make stupid decisions that come back to haunt Peter, like building the Spider-Slayers or locking up supervillains without trial. Peter even once got beaten up by Daredevil for attempting to help him in a fight and yelled at for being too young. Really, binging on the Ultimate Spider-Man books really makes you realize just how many people are dicks in the Ultimate Universe.
*** When you think about it, you have to feel really bad for the guy. The entire series takes place over only 6 months, and he's still just a high schooler who's in way over his head. And he can't get help from the super-hero community, because they're ALL JERKS. There is not a single super-hero who was kind or supportive to him except maybe for three X-Men and the Fantastic Four, and they're the same age he is. Kitty even got kicked out of the X-Men when she insisted they go help him.
*** Peter even lampshades this in one exchange with a teacher at his high school; he questions why the Kingpin (a known crime lord) is allowed to walk free, she gives a pat answer about due process and such, and he explodes, asking whether people's idealism somehow disappears the moment they turn twenty.
* Justified in the second volume of ''ComicBook/YoungAvengers'' - [[BigBad Mother]] is a trans-dimensional parasite, who feeds on kids and teenagers with {{reality warp|er}}ing superpowers and one of her abilities is to hide her existence from adults, so they won't belive their kids telling them about her and won't notice her activities, even as they're happening in front of them. Worse, if you're a parent, the first person a kid targeted by her would come to, she can turn you into her brainwashed minion. And if your parents are dead, she will bring them back as her minions [[spoiler: through they cannot get too far away from the place of their death]].



* Parodied in Episode 3 of GagDub ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'' by, of all people, Tristan -- "Don't our parents even care that we're missing?"
* ''Fanfic/ShiningPrettyCure''. The only adult who even ''suspects'' something might be going on is Ren, the friendly owner of the neighbourhood cafe.
* In ''Fanfic/CoOpMode'', as this is Worm, this automatically applies. A special example though is the Winslow's gym coach Wolf Shane - due to James being possibly conducive to his own goals, he can be seen as a ReasonableAuthorityFigure when [[spoiler: James and Taylor get into a fight with the Trio and their cronies]]. However, he ends up as a DoubleSubversion, as he does not particularly care for his job, being more interested in [[ItsAllAboutMe his own wants]] than actually being a coach.
-->''Coach Shane'': “I’ll be honest here. [[DrugsAreBad I don’t approve of steroids.]] But with the girls’ track team bringing home medals, Blackwell wants the other teams to earn some trophies. If our football team doesn’t start winning games, she’s going to make me do weekend training for the guys. [[AdultsAreUseless And that would cut into my weekend plans.]] I think I can turn you into a decent running back or a passable lineman, but there’s no point if you’re going to get disqualified. So. Can you pass a drug test?”



* Lampshaded and then averted in ''Fanfic/FutariWaPrettyCureBlueMoon''. Dawn''/''[[spoiler:Ogata Kirei''/''Cure Dawn]] notes that she's supposed to leave fighting evil to the thirteen-year-old title characters [[spoiler:because she's without her powers]], but doesn't seem to be very happy about it. Near the end of the series, she becomes an active combatant.
* Stephen Ratliff's [[FanFic/MarissaPicard Marissa Star Trek universe]] is notorious for this. In order for Marissa's "kids crew" to be great, every adult they come up against has to be a bumbling imbecile. In one episode, the Maquis even invented a drug that knocked out everyone over the age of 15.
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', Kyon's parents are like this. Other adults are, fortunately, far more useful.
* A major topic of discussion in ''FanFic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', with Harry frequently telling others how adults who do not treat him as an equal are obstacles to be dodged or manipulated (including those very adults).
* The adults in ''Fanfic/OhGodNotAgain'' are more useless than usual, but mainly because, unlike Literature/{{Harry|Potter}}, they don't have knowledge [[PeggySue from the future]], so you can hardly blame them for being behind. Harry does sometimes get them involved on purpose when they can help, such as going straight to Dumbledore when Hagrid gets Norbert.

to:

* Lampshaded ''Fanfic/{{Atonement}}'': With few exceptions, the kids drive the story and then averted in ''Fanfic/FutariWaPrettyCureBlueMoon''. Dawn''/''[[spoiler:Ogata Kirei''/''Cure Dawn]] notes that she's supposed to leave fighting evil to handle the thirteen-year-old title characters [[spoiler:because she's without her powers]], but doesn't seem to be very happy about it. Near the end of the series, she becomes an active combatant.
* Stephen Ratliff's [[FanFic/MarissaPicard Marissa Star Trek universe]] is notorious for this. In order for Marissa's "kids crew" to be great, every adult they come up against has to be a bumbling imbecile. In one episode, the Maquis even invented a drug that knocked out everyone over the age of 15.
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', Kyon's parents are like this. Other adults are, fortunately, far more useful.
* A major topic of discussion in ''FanFic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', with Harry frequently telling others how adults who do not treat him as an equal are obstacles to be dodged or manipulated (including those very adults).
important things. Main character Madison lampshades it often.
* The adults counselors in ''Fanfic/OhGodNotAgain'' are more useless than usual, but mainly because, unlike Literature/{{Harry|Potter}}, they don't have knowledge [[PeggySue ''Fanfic/CalvinAtCamp'' let the kids get away with ''anything,'' aside from the future]], so you can hardly blame them for being behind. Harry does sometimes get them involved on purpose when they can help, such as going straight to Dumbledore when Hagrid gets Norbert.actually leaving.



* The counselors in ''Fanfic/CalvinAtCamp'' let the kids get away with ''anything,'' aside from actually leaving.
* Unusually for a story about runaway orphans, this trope is strongly averted in the WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic fan fiction ''Fanfic/OurTrueColors''. Here the adults catch on to the true state of affairs quickly and are working behind the scenes to help resolve things.
* Averted in [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9030904/1/Yu-Gi-Oh-GSTART Yu-Gi-Oh! GSTART]]: All adults seen so far are competent and helpful individuals who take the odd goings-on quite seriously.



* In ''Fanfic/CoOpMode'', as this is Worm, this automatically applies. A special example though is the Winslow's gym coach Wolf Shane - due to James being possibly conducive to his own goals, he can be seen as a ReasonableAuthorityFigure when [[spoiler: James and Taylor get into a fight with the Trio and their cronies]]. However, he ends up as a DoubleSubversion, as he does not particularly care for his job, being more interested in [[ItsAllAboutMe his own wants]] than actually being a coach.
-->''Coach Shane'': “I’ll be honest here. [[DrugsAreBad I don’t approve of steroids.]] But with the girls’ track team bringing home medals, Blackwell wants the other teams to earn some trophies. If our football team doesn’t start winning games, she’s going to make me do weekend training for the guys. [[AdultsAreUseless And that would cut into my weekend plans.]] I think I can turn you into a decent running back or a passable lineman, but there’s no point if you’re going to get disqualified. So. Can you pass a drug test?”
* Lampshaded and then averted in ''Fanfic/FutariWaPrettyCureBlueMoon''. Dawn''/''[[spoiler:Ogata Kirei''/''Cure Dawn]] notes that she's supposed to leave fighting evil to the thirteen-year-old title characters [[spoiler:because she's without her powers]], but doesn't seem to be very happy about it. Near the end of the series, she becomes an active combatant.
* A major topic of discussion in ''FanFic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', with Harry frequently telling others how adults who do not treat him as an equal are obstacles to be dodged or manipulated (including those very adults).
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', Kyon's parents are like this. Other adults are, fortunately, far more useful.
* ''Fanfic/LePapillonRising'' has Gabriel, who might not be useless, but is bad at parenting. Gabriel somehow doesn't notice that he's been neglecting his traumatized son so much that the kid's gone completely insane, even though Adrien is doing very little to hide it. Oh, but he's a great "Dad" to Ladybug, who he's protective of and tries many times to convince not to date Papillon... oh, the irony.



* In ''FanFic/SwingingPendulum'' the instructors at Shin'hou Academy never help Asuka with her coursework and ignore her when she's bullied. Her cousin, Kyouraku Shinsui tried to intervene, but it gave the impression that Asuka was coasting on her family name.

to:

* Stephen Ratliff's ''[[FanFic/MarissaPicard Marissa Star Trek universe]]'' is notorious for this. In ''FanFic/SwingingPendulum'' order for Marissa's "kids crew" to be great, every adult they come up against has to be a bumbling imbecile. In one episode, the instructors at Shin'hou Maquis even invented a drug that knocked out everyone over the age of 15.
* The adults in ''Fanfic/OhGodNotAgain'' are more useless than usual, but mainly because, unlike Literature/{{Harry|Potter}}, they don't have knowledge [[PeggySue from the future]], so you can hardly blame them for being behind. Harry does sometimes get them involved on purpose when they can help, such as going straight to Dumbledore when Hagrid gets Norbert.
* Unusually for a story about runaway orphans, this trope is strongly averted in the WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic fan fiction ''Fanfic/OurTrueColors''. Here the adults catch on to the true state of affairs quickly and are working behind the scenes to help resolve things.
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'': As in canon, Headmaster Mikogami's general response to any threat amounts to "sit on my ass and do nothing while Tsukune's group risks their lives in my place." Best displayed in Act III chapters 40-44; both Kuyou and a Fairy Tale armada invade and attack Yokai
Academy never help Asuka with her coursework one after the other, and ignore her when she's bullied. Her cousin, Kyouraku Shinsui tried instead of trying to intervene, but it gave the impression that Asuka was coasting on her family name.stop them, he sits back and watches as Tsukune's group fights them back in his stead.



* ''Fanfic/{{Atonement}}'': With few exceptions, the kids drive the story and handle the important things. Main character Madison lampshades it often.
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'': As in canon, Headmaster Mikogami's general response to any threat amounts to "sit on my ass and do nothing while Tsukune's group risks their lives in my place." Best displayed in Act III chapters 40-44; both Kuyou and a Fairy Tale armada invade and attack Yokai Academy one after the other, and instead of trying to stop them, he sits back and watches as Tsukune's group fights them back in his stead.
* Fanfic/LePapillonRising has Gabriel, who might not be useless, but is bad at parenting. Gabriel somehow doesn't notice that he's been neglecting his traumatized son so much that the kid's gone completely insane, even though Adrien is doing very little to hide it. Oh, but he's a great "Dad" to Ladybug, who he's protective of and tries many times to convince not to date Papillon... oh, the irony.

to:

* ''Fanfic/{{Atonement}}'': With few exceptions, ''Fanfic/ShiningPrettyCure''. The only adult who even ''suspects'' something might be going on is Ren, the kids drive friendly owner of the story and handle neighbourhood cafe.
* In ''FanFic/SwingingPendulum''
the important things. Main character Madison lampshades it often.
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'': As in canon, Headmaster Mikogami's general response to any threat amounts to "sit on my ass and do nothing while Tsukune's group risks their lives in my place." Best displayed in Act III chapters 40-44; both Kuyou and a Fairy Tale armada invade and attack Yokai
instructors at Shin'hou Academy one after never help Asuka with her coursework and ignore her when she's bullied. Her cousin, Kyouraku Shinsui tried to intervene, but it gave the other, and instead of trying to stop them, he sits back and watches as Tsukune's group fights them back in his stead.
* Fanfic/LePapillonRising has Gabriel, who might not be useless, but is bad at parenting. Gabriel somehow doesn't notice
impression that he's been neglecting his traumatized son so much Asuka was coasting on her family name.
* Parodied in Episode 3 of GagDub ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'' by, of all people, Tristan -- "Don't our parents even care
that we're missing?"
* Averted in [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9030904/1/Yu-Gi-Oh-GSTART Yu-Gi-Oh! GSTART]]: All adults seen so far are competent and helpful individuals who take
the kid's gone completely insane, even though Adrien is doing very little to hide it. Oh, but he's a great "Dad" to Ladybug, who he's protective of and tries many times to convince not to date Papillon... oh, the irony.odd goings-on quite seriously.



* The entire town in ''WesternAnimation/TheBoxtrolls'' really but a special mention should go to Lord Portley-Rind, if it's not about cheese, he has absolutely no interest.
* Played straight and averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheChristmasTree''. Judy's a decent person, if a bit dim, and genuinely cares for the children. The mayor, however, doesn't seem to have the slightest inkling that anything is amiss at the OrphanageOfFear, and is perfectly willing to fork over large sums of cash to [[BigBad Mrs. Mavilda]] without much question.



* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueVsTeenTitans'': Zigzagged -- Batman can't keep Damian on a leash forever and thus opts to send him to the Titans to cool him off. However, when the potential for Raven's danger is made real, the League steps in, not wanting a threat like this to spread. That last bit is vastly different from both the comics and previous animated variations, which they are either ignored or AdaptedOut.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime III''. Not long after a meteor storm, the Great Valley's main water supply, a river running down from beyond the wall, mysteriously dries up. Rather than say, investigating the river's source (they could have sent fliers if they were worried about carnivores), the adults decide to wait in the valley and hope the water returns. In the meantime, water is running low, tempers are running high and all the food is quickly dying off. In the end, it's the children who accidentally find out that the water was blocked off and the adults can't agree on a plan of action and guess what? The children save the day! Again! By accident! Again!
** This is a ''very'' common occurrence throughout the series. None of the adults want to risk personal safety going out into the Mysterious Beyond for ''any'' reason whatsoever, leaving the children to do everything themselves.
*** In the 4th film, where Littlefoot's grandmother (who had been willing before to leave and search for a flower with healing properties) and the mother of a new character not only fail to go after their runaway children but don't even seem worried or concerned that the kids are gone.



* The entire town in ''WesternAnimation/TheBoxtrolls'' really but a special mention should go to Lord Portley-Rind, if it's not about cheese, he has absolutely no interest.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueVsTeenTitans'': Zigzagged -- Batman can't keep Damian on a leash forever and thus opts to send him to the Titans to cool him off. However, when the potential for Raven's danger is made real, the League steps in, not wanting a threat like this to spread. That last bit is vastly different from both the comics and previous animated variations, which they are either ignored or AdaptedOut.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime III''. Not long after a meteor storm, the Great Valley's main water supply, a river running down from beyond the wall, mysteriously dries up. Rather than say, investigating the river's source (they could have sent fliers if they were worried about carnivores), the adults decide to wait in the valley and hope the water returns. In the meantime, water is running low, tempers are running high and all the food is quickly dying off. In the end, it's the children who accidentally find out that the water was blocked off and the adults can't agree on a plan of action and guess what? The children save the day! Again! By accident! Again!
** This is a ''very'' common occurrence throughout the series. None of the adults want to risk personal safety going out into the Mysterious Beyond for ''any'' reason whatsoever, leaving the children to do everything themselves.
*** In the 4th film, where Littlefoot's grandmother (who had been willing before to leave and search for a flower with healing properties) and the mother of a new character not only fail to go after their runaway children but don't even seem worried or concerned that the kids are gone.
* Played straight and averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheChristmasTree''. Judy's a decent person, if a bit dim, and genuinely cares for the children. The mayor, however, doesn't seem to have the slightest inkling that anything is amiss at the OrphanageOfFear, and is perfectly willing to fork over large sums of cash to [[BigBad Mrs. Mavilda]] without much question.



* ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'':
** The first ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984''. Nancy's mother helped start the whole thing, her father doesn't do anything and the rest of the police only hinder her or ignore her frantic cries for help.
** The sequels more or less follow suit, but there's a bizarre subversion in ''Film/FreddyVsJason''. It turns out that [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve the more people are aware and afraid of Freddy (these two usually go hand by hand) the more powerful he becomes]]. Hence when the adults really got down to it they effectively eliminated the threat by erasing all written notions of Freddy, banning his name or any details from mentioning and submitting those kids who still remembered about him to a dream-depriving drug treatment. He did eventually find a loophole but still they did their best.
* Every single ''Creator/JohnHughes'' film. The adults are either oblivious (''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff''), stupid (''Film/SixteenCandles''), or [[AbusiveParents causing]] [[ParentalNeglect all]] [[MyBelovedSmother the]] [[DeanBitterman problems]] (''Film/TheBreakfastClub'').



* Most of the adults in ''A Christmas Star'' either ignore Noelle's warnings about the CorruptCorporateExecutive trying to destroy their village or angrily rebuke her for trying to stop their town's main form of income being closed down or everyone in the village being made homeless! [[spoiler: Although when the villain's boss finds out what his employee has been doing (mainly, trying to demolish the village to create an amusement park instead of developing in the local area) he fires the man instantly.]]
* ''Film/TheGoodSon'' has Elijah Wood's character trying to tell the adults what a monster his cousin is, but nobody believes him.
* [[TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily The Fratellis]] in ''Film/TheGoonies'' suffer this from time to time in their confrontations with the Goonies. They seem to be able to handle the cops (and Feds) just fine, but they can't quite handle a bunch of teenagers.



* Every single Creator/JohnHughes film. The adults are either oblivious (''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff''), stupid (''Film/SixteenCandles''), or [[AbusiveParents causing]] [[ParentalNeglect all]] [[MyBelovedSmother the]] [[DeanBitterman problems]] (''Film/TheBreakfastClub'').



* This was subverted in ''Film/TheKarateKid2010''. Mr Han trained Dre for the tournament. Dre's mother supported him and would have [[MamaBear beat the snot]] out of the kids who messed with her son, if she knew who they were. And the school principal sent both Dre and Cheng out after Cheng purposely tripped Dre, not favoring one side over the other. And she kept an eye out for Dre on the school trip, indirectly preventing Cheng from bullying him. The original plays it straight and subverts it. On one hand, Mr. Miyagi is there to stop the fighting between Daniel and Johnny. On the other hand, the kids' parents do nothing at all to prevent the fights. Daniel's mom provides moral support for her son, but doesn't do much. Ali's parents shrug off the fighting like it is nothing. Johnny's parents don't even appear in the film.
* Part of the charm of ''Film/TheLittleRascals'' film series was that the kids would regularly (and unintentionally) teach the adults a lesson.
* ''Film/TheLostBoys'' has a group of 12-year-old vampire hunters attempting (and at one point succeeding) to kill the group of teenage vampires. In fact all the main characters are younger than 20 with the adults being unaware until the big reveal at the end where one character displays he knew what was going on all along. Even then, he doesn't know everything that was going on, although he immediately knows that his house has just been destroyed in a vampire attack. That his daughter was dating a master vampire appears to have been completely unknown to him.



* ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'':
** The first ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984''. Nancy's mother helped start the whole thing, her father doesn't do anything and the rest of the police only hinder her or ignore her frantic cries for help.
** The sequels more or less follow suit, but there's a bizarre subversion in ''Film/FreddyVsJason''. It turns out that [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve the more people are aware and afraid of Freddy (these two usually go hand by hand) the more powerful he becomes]]. Hence when the adults really got down to it they effectively eliminated the threat by erasing all written notions of Freddy, banning his name or any details from mentioning and submitting those kids who still remembered about him to a dream-depriving drug treatment. He did eventually find a loophole but still they did their best.
* ''Film/TheNightOfTheHunter'': Rachel Cooper, the foster mother who takes in the Harper children, is the only adult in the film who is immune to [[ManipulativeBastard Harry Powell's]] charms. Uncle Birdie does put in an effort, but after [[spoiler: he discovers the mother's body he apparently doesn't report it because as the town eccentric/drunk he fears people will blame him]].
* In the Hallmark Channel made-for-TV movie ''The Santa Incident'', Santa has to rely on the help of a couple of kids. Most of the other adults are Homeland Security goons who mistake him for a terrorist.



* ''Film/TheGoodSon'' has Elijah Wood's character trying to tell the adults what a monster his cousin is, but nobody believes him.
* [[TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily The Fratellis]] in ''Film/TheGoonies'' suffer this from time to time in their confrontations with the Goonies. They seem to be able to handle the cops (and Feds) just fine, but they can't quite handle a bunch of teenagers.
* Part of the charm of ''Film/TheLittleRascals'' film series was that the kids would regularly (and unintentionally) teach the adults a lesson.
* This was subverted in ''Film/TheKarateKid2010''. Mr Han trained Dre for the tournament. Dre's mother supported him and would have [[MamaBear beat the snot]] out of the kids who messed with her son, if she knew who they were. And the school principal sent both Dre and Cheng out after Cheng purposely tripped Dre, not favoring one side over the other. And she kept an eye out for Dre on the school trip, indirectly preventing Cheng from bullying him. The original plays it straight and subverts it. On one hand, Mr. Miyagi is there to stop the fighting between Daniel and Johnny. On the other hand, the kids' parents do nothing at all to prevent the fights. Daniel's mom provides moral support for her son, but doesn't do much. Ali's parents shrug off the fighting like it is nothing. Johnny's parents don't even appear in the film.
* ''Film/TheLostBoys'' has a group of 12-year-old vampire hunters attempting (and at one point succeeding) to kill the group of teenage vampires. In fact all the main characters are younger than 20 with the adults being unaware until the big reveal at the end where one character displays he knew what was going on all along. Even then, he doesn't know everything that was going on, although he immediately knows that his house has just been destroyed in a vampire attack. That his daughter was dating a master vampire appears to have been completely unknown to him.
* ''Film/TheNightOfTheHunter'': Rachel Cooper, the foster mother who takes in the Harper children, is the only adult in the film who is immune to [[ManipulativeBastard Harry Powell's]] charms. Uncle Birdie does put in an effort, but after [[spoiler: he discovers the mother's body he apparently doesn't report it because as the town eccentric/drunk he fears people will blame him]].
* In the Hallmark Channel made-for-TV movie ''The Santa Incident'', Santa has to rely on the help of a couple of kids. Most of the other adults are Homeland Security goons who mistake him for a terrorist.



* This was probably the single worst thing about the 2004 ''Film/{{Thunderbirds}}'' movie, which shoved most of International Rescue out of the way to leave the plot to the KidAppealCharacter Alan Tracy, Brains' [[GenerationXerox son]], and Tin Tin (all of whom are pre-teens). Yeeah.



* In the first ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie, much of the first tier of authority that Sam Witwicky encounters regarding the title being is best summed up by his disbelieving question of a police officer, "Are you on drugs?!" This only applies to the ''civilian'' adults. Those involved in the military usually perform rather well considering the circumstances, even if it's not always the best actions to take.
* In ''Film/WarGames'', two teenagers are the only people who seem to be willing and able to avert nuclear holocaust, while parents, four-star generals and nuclear scientists act befuddled or indifferent.



* This was probably the single worst thing about the 2004 ''Film/{{Thunderbirds}}'' movie, which shoved most of International Rescue out of the way to leave the plot to the KidAppealCharacter Alan Tracy, Brains' [[GenerationXerox son]], and Tin Tin (all of whom are pre-teens). Yeeah.
* In the first ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie, much of the first tier of authority that Sam Witwicky encounters regarding the title being is best summed up by his disbelieving question of a police officer, "Are you on drugs?!" This only applies to the ''civilian'' adults. Those involved in the military usually perform rather well considering the circumstances, even if it's not always the best actions to take.
* In ''Film/WarGames'', two teenagers are the only people who seem to be willing and able to avert nuclear holocaust, while parents, four-star generals and nuclear scientists act befuddled or indifferent.
* In Film/WhatWeDidOnOurHoliday the children end up honouring their granddad's wishes and [[spoiler: giving him a Viking funeral after he dies on the beach]] because the adults are too busy getting ready for a party and arguing for them to be able to tell them what has happened.
* Most of the adults in ''A Christmas Star'' either ignore Noelle's warnings about the CorruptCorporateExecutive trying to destroy their village or angrily rebuke her for trying to stop their town's main form of income being closed down or everyone in the village being made homeless! [[spoiler: Although when the villain's boss finds out what his employee has been doing (mainly, trying to demolish the village to create an amusement park instead of developing in the local area) he fires the man instantly.]]
* 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.

to:

* This was probably the single worst thing about the 2004 ''Film/{{Thunderbirds}}'' movie, which shoved most of International Rescue out of the way to leave the plot to the KidAppealCharacter Alan Tracy, Brains' [[GenerationXerox son]], and Tin Tin (all of whom are pre-teens). Yeeah.
* In the first ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie, much of the first tier of authority that Sam Witwicky encounters regarding the title being is best summed up by his disbelieving question of a police officer, "Are you on drugs?!" This only applies to the ''civilian'' adults. Those involved in the military usually perform rather well considering the circumstances, even if it's not always the best actions to take.
* In ''Film/WarGames'', two teenagers are the only people who seem to be willing and able to avert nuclear holocaust, while parents, four-star generals and nuclear scientists act befuddled or indifferent.
* In Film/WhatWeDidOnOurHoliday
''Film/WhatWeDidOnOurHoliday'' the children end up honouring their granddad's wishes and [[spoiler: giving him a Viking funeral after he dies on the beach]] because the adults are too busy getting ready for a party and arguing for them to be able to tell them what has happened.
* Most of the adults in ''A Christmas Star'' either ignore Noelle's warnings about the CorruptCorporateExecutive trying to destroy their village or angrily rebuke her for trying to stop their town's main form of income being closed down or everyone in the village being made homeless! [[spoiler: Although when the villain's boss finds out what his employee has been doing (mainly, trying to demolish the village to create an amusement park instead of developing in the local area) he fires the man instantly.]]
*
Miss Gulch in ''TheWizardofOz'' ''Film/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.



* With the exception of the Snicket siblings, nearly every adult in ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' is outrageously stupid, and often cruel. Even the adults who genuinely want to help the Baudelaires fail them at a crucial moment due to their fears or strange philosophy.
** (This is referenced, at least, in ''Lemony Snicket -- The Unauthorized Autobiography'', in which it is revealed that the supposedly volunteer organization V.F.D. kidnaps small children to join its ranks.)
** "Mr. Poe meant well, but a jar of mustard probably also means well and would do a better job of keeping the Baudelaires out of danger."
** The adults in Snicket's prequel series ''Literature/AllTheWrongQuestions'' are just as stupid, or evil, or in some cases out of commission, leaving their children to run several businesses in their stead. At one point all the kids agree that their parents have given up on trying to make the town a better place, and it's up to them to fix everything.

to:

* With ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub'':
** Played straight and averted in
the exception books. Some of the Snicket siblings, nearly every adult in ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' is outrageously stupid, parents, particularly those of the sitters themselves, are intelligent, reasonable, helpful people. Others are well-meaning but a bit clueless, and often cruel. Even have to be given insight into their children's fears and wants by the adults sitters because they don't pick up on them otherwise. Possibly the straightest example of the trope are Jessi's parents, who genuinely thought it was perfectly acceptable to leave their 11-year-old daughter in charge of her 8-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother for ''a weekend''.
** Mrs. Arnold not realising that her identical twin daughters are acting out because they're sick of being treated like they're one person.
** Mrs. Addison failing to realize that her kids
want to help the Baudelaires fail them at a crucial moment due to their fears or strange philosophy.
** (This is referenced, at least, in ''Lemony Snicket -- The Unauthorized Autobiography'', in which it is revealed that the supposedly volunteer organization V.F.D. kidnaps small children to join its ranks.)
** "Mr. Poe meant well, but a jar of mustard probably also means well and would do a better job of keeping the Baudelaires out of danger."
** The adults in Snicket's prequel series ''Literature/AllTheWrongQuestions'' are just as stupid, or evil, or in
spend some cases out time with her instead of commission, leaving their children to run several businesses in their stead. At one point being dumped on sitters all the kids agree that their parents have given up on trying to make time.
** Mrs. Barrett, when she's first introduced, is in
the town middle of an unpleasant divorce; as a better place, result she is highly disorganized and it's up does things like neglecting to them leave the sitters with contact information and even forgetting to fix everything.inform Dawn of one kid's allergies.
** In a later book, Mrs. Prezzioso not noticing her older daughter's obsessive finicky behavior and then acting out, as she was too distracted by becoming a pageant mom for her younger daughter.



* Zigzagged in ''Literature/TheCandyShopWar''. The kids parents are completely unhelpful [[spoiler: thanks to mind-controlling white fudge]]. The other adults, however, do manage to help the kids.



* Literature/EmilyTheStrangeTheLostDays: a thirteen-year-old girl who has amnesia is alone in a small town and lives in a refrigerator box behind a diner. Why should anyone care?

to:

* Literature/EmilyTheStrangeTheLostDays: ''Literature/{{Eludoran}}'': No one over the age of 14 seems capable of making important decisions or getting anything done. Somewhat TruthInFiction since the adults tend to become mired in larger issues of state security and politics. It takes a year-long absence of his daughter before Arulaine even starts to take matters seriously, and even more time to spur himself to do something about it. Then again, he WAS battling depression at the time, so that might be an explanation.
* ''Literature/EmilyTheStrangeTheLostDays'':
a thirteen-year-old girl who has amnesia is alone in a small town and lives in a refrigerator box behind a diner. Why should anyone care?



* The Literature/GreenSkyTrilogy has a lot of this. Raamo and his friends (considered young adults at 13) are members of a caste that actually shuts out family, so after meeting Raamo's parents in some detail at the beginning of Book One, they drop out of sight except for rare glimpses. Neither they nor Teera's parents are important to the plot. They cannot be confided in or help with the vastly important goings-on. On the other hand, the elderly priestess D'ol Falla is a central figure, and Genaa's dad contributes to Book Three.



* The ''Literature/GreenSkyTrilogy'' has a lot of this. Raamo and his friends (considered young adults at 13) are members of a caste that actually shuts out family, so after meeting Raamo's parents in some detail at the beginning of Book One, they drop out of sight except for rare glimpses. Neither they nor Teera's parents are important to the plot. They cannot be confided in or help with the vastly important goings-on. On the other hand, the elderly priestess D'ol Falla is a central figure, and Genaa's dad contributes to Book Three.



* Creator/JaneAusten tended to have ineffectual parents and guardians in her books.
** ''Literature/MansfieldPark'' has manifestly useless parents. Lady Bertram is more interested in her dog than her children. Sir Thomas overcompensates with his sternness, and otherwise leaves their upbringing in the care of Mrs. Norris, who raises Maria and Julia with rampant favoritism. Fanny, the Bertrams' niece, never gets any positive notice except from her ''cousin'', who is only a couple of years older.
** In ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey'', Mrs. Allen fails to do her job when it comes to advising Catherine on etiquette. Enough so, in fact, that Catherine finally complains that she's being left dangerously to her own devices.
** In ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', Elizabeth and Jane do a lot of futile work trying to improve their younger sisters. It never sticks because Mrs. Bennet spoils Lydia and neglects Kitty and Mary, and Mr. Bennet prefers to laugh at their antics rather than correct them. He, at least, finally admits his error after Lydia elopes.



* In ''Literature/SavingTheWorldAndOtherExtremeSports'', one of the characters starts a child uprising against adults. Naturally, there's no such thing as a web-faring adult to also support/argue the issues, and the adults really are responsible for it all. After all, ''every'' adult so far in the series is evil, no matter how long they spend being friendly to begin with, except Valencia Martinez, who is fairly useful and kind. [[note]]Although admittedly, [[spoiler:she did apparently allow her daughter to be made into an avian-human hybrid, but she does say that she was locked out of the project against her will. Possibly if she hadn't been, things might have turned out a little better]])[[/note]]
* Creator/JaneAusten tended to have ineffectual parents and guardians in her books.
** In ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey'', Mrs. Allen fails to do her job when it comes to advising Catherine on etiquette. Enough so, in fact, that Catherine finally complains that she's being left dangerously to her own devices.
** In ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', Elizabeth and Jane do a lot of futile work trying to improve their younger sisters. It never sticks because Mrs. Bennet spoils Lydia and neglects Kitty and Mary, and Mr. Bennet prefers to laugh at their antics rather than correct them. He, at least, finally admits his error after Lydia elopes.
** ''Literature/MansfieldPark'' has manifestly useless parents. Lady Bertram is more interested in her dog than her children. Sir Thomas overcompensates with his sternness, and otherwise leaves their upbringing in the care of Mrs. Norris, who raises Maria and Julia with rampant favoritism. Fanny, the Bertrams' niece, never gets any positive notice except from her ''cousin'', who is only a couple of years older.

to:

* In ''Literature/SavingTheWorldAndOtherExtremeSports'', one ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'':
** Every single higher-up is at a Clave meeting. ''All
of them.'' While Jace's group of inexperienced youths are pursuing the characters starts a child uprising against adults. Naturally, there's no such thing as a web-faring adult Mortal Instruments, the maniacal Valentine, and attempting to stop TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Anyone who isn't is either insane with power, revenge, or a spy.
** Subverted with Magnus Bane. Physically he looks to be about nineteen, slightly older than the protagonists. But he is actually centuries old and thus technically more of an "adult" than even the oldest Shadowhunters. He is
also support/argue the issues, incredibly useful.
* Played with in ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety''. Rhonda, Mr. Benedict, Milligan,
and the Number Two are actually quite useful however being adults really are responsible for it all. After all, ''every'' adult so far in the series is evil, no matter how long they spend being friendly are unable to begin with, except Valencia Martinez, who is fairly useful and kind. [[note]]Although admittedly, [[spoiler:she did apparently allow her daughter to be made into an avian-human hybrid, but she does say that she was locked out of the project against her will. Possibly if she hadn't been, do certain things might to prevent the Emergency. They have turned out a little better]])[[/note]]
* Creator/JaneAusten tended
to have ineffectual parents and guardians in her books.
** In ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey'', Mrs. Allen fails
get a gang of children to do her job when it comes to advising Catherine on etiquette. Enough so, in fact, that Catherine finally complains that she's being left dangerously to her own devices.
** In ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', Elizabeth and Jane do a lot of futile work trying to improve their younger sisters. It never sticks
which makes them ''feel'' useless because Mrs. Bennet spoils Lydia and neglects Kitty and Mary, and Mr. Bennet prefers to laugh at their antics rather than correct them. He, at least, finally admits his error after Lydia elopes.
** ''Literature/MansfieldPark'' has manifestly useless parents. Lady Bertram is more interested in her dog than her children. Sir Thomas overcompensates with his sternness, and otherwise leaves their upbringing in
they're stuck on an island while the care of Mrs. Norris, who raises Maria and Julia with rampant favoritism. Fanny, the Bertrams' niece, never gets any positive notice except from her ''cousin'', who is only kids are out undergoing a couple of years older.dangerous spy mission.



* In ''[[Literature/RachelGriffin The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin]]'', the teachers of the AcademyOfAdventure are good at helping deal with bullies, but not with invisible vampire-wraiths after curfew. [[spoiler: And at least one of them is evil.]] Summed up in this quote from one senior student:
--> "Someone please fetch one of the ''competent'' tutors."
* ''RoomOne'' by AndrewClements (author of ''Frindle'') zigzags and plays with this. The hero reads mysteries, and when he encounters one, decides not to tell adults because in all the books he has read, they are useless or obstructive.

to:

* In ''[[Literature/RachelGriffin The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin]]'', Generally averted in ''Literature/ThePosterChildren''. When informed, the teachers adults insist on helping; especially, when a pair of students are [[spoiler:savagely beaten and one almost drowned during a test out of campus]], the AcademyOfAdventure are good at helping deal with bullies, Sheriff is incredibly frustrated that such a thing was able to happen and wanting to find the perpetrators but not with invisible vampire-wraiths after curfew. [[spoiler: And at least one of them is evil.]] Summed up in this quote from one senior student:
--> "Someone please fetch one of the ''competent'' tutors."
being unable to.
* ''RoomOne'' ''Room One'' by AndrewClements Andrew Clements (author of ''Frindle'') ''Literature/{{Frindle}}'') zigzags and plays with this. The hero reads mysteries, and when he encounters one, decides not to tell adults because in all the books he has read, they are useless or obstructive.obstructive.
* In ''Literature/SavingTheWorldAndOtherExtremeSports'', one of the characters starts a child uprising against adults. Naturally, there's no such thing as a web-faring adult to also support/argue the issues, and the adults really are responsible for it all. After all, ''every'' adult so far in the series is evil, no matter how long they spend being friendly to begin with, except Valencia Martinez, who is fairly useful and kind. [[note]]Although admittedly, [[spoiler:she did apparently allow her daughter to be made into an avian-human hybrid, but she does say that she was locked out of the project against her will. Possibly if she hadn't been, things might have turned out a little better]])[[/note]]



* With the exception of the Snicket siblings, nearly every adult in ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' is outrageously stupid, and often cruel. Even the adults who genuinely want to help the Baudelaires fail them at a crucial moment due to their fears or strange philosophy.
** (This is referenced, at least, in ''Lemony Snicket -- The Unauthorized Autobiography'', in which it is revealed that the supposedly volunteer organization V.F.D. kidnaps small children to join its ranks.)
** "Mr. Poe meant well, but a jar of mustard probably also means well and would do a better job of keeping the Baudelaires out of danger."
** The adults in Snicket's prequel series ''Literature/AllTheWrongQuestions'' are just as stupid, or evil, or in some cases out of commission, leaving their children to run several businesses in their stead. At one point all the kids agree that their parents have given up on trying to make the town a better place, and it's up to them to fix everything.



* ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub'':
** Played straight and averted in the books. Some of the parents, particularly those of the sitters themselves, are intelligent, reasonable, helpful people. Others are well-meaning but a bit clueless, and have to be given insight into their children's fears and wants by the sitters because they don't pick up on them otherwise. Possibly the straightest example of the trope are Jessi's parents, who thought it was perfectly acceptable to leave their 11-year-old daughter in charge of her 8-year-old sister and 2-year-old brother for ''a weekend''.
** Mrs. Arnold not realising that her identical twin daughters are acting out because they're sick of being treated like they're one person.
** Mrs. Addison failing to realize that her kids want to spend some time with her instead of being dumped on sitters all the time.
** Mrs. Barrett, when she's first introduced, is in the middle of an unpleasant divorce; as a result she is highly disorganized and does things like neglecting to leave the sitters with contact information and even forgetting to inform Dawn of one kid's allergies.
** In a later book, Mrs. Prezzioso not noticing her older daughter's obsessive finicky behavior and then acting out, as she was too distracted by becoming a pageant mom for her younger daughter.
* Zigzagged in ''Literature/TheCandyShopWar''. The kids parents are completely unhelpful [[spoiler: thanks to mind-controlling white fudge]]. The other adults, however, do manage to help the kids.
* ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'':
** Every single higher-up is at a Clave meeting. ''All of them.'' While Jace's group of inexperienced youths are pursuing the Mortal Instruments, the maniacal Valentine, and attempting to stop TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Anyone who isn't is either insane with power, revenge, or a spy.
** Subverted with Magnus Bane. Physically he looks to be about nineteen, slightly older than the protagonists. But he is actually centuries old and thus technically more of an "adult" than even the oldest Shadowhunters. He is also incredibly useful.
* Generally averted in ''Literature/ThePosterChildren''. When informed, the adults insist on helping; especially, when a pair of students are [[spoiler:savagely beaten and one almost drowned during a test out of campus]], the Sheriff is incredibly frustrated that such a thing was able to happen and wanting to find the perpetrators but being unable to.



* The ''Literature/TrixieBelden'' series is full of this. The main characters are teenagers who solve mysteries that the adults cannot.



* The ''Literature/TrixieBelden'' series is full of this. The main characters are teenagers who solve mysteries that the adults cannot.
* This is the lesson Coira learns very young in ''Literature/WhiteAsSnow''; her parents don't remember she exists, her nurse resents having to take care of her, and her nurse's replacement fails to give her what she really needs. Coira ends up practically raising herself and talks to none of them.

to:

* In ''[[Literature/RachelGriffin The ''Literature/TrixieBelden'' series is full Unexpected Enlightenment of this. The main characters Rachel Griffin]]'', the teachers of the AcademyOfAdventure are teenagers who solve mysteries that good at helping deal with bullies, but not with invisible vampire-wraiths after curfew. [[spoiler: And at least one of them is evil.]] Summed up in this quote from one senior student:
--> "Someone please fetch one of
the adults cannot.
* This is the lesson Coira learns very young in ''Literature/WhiteAsSnow''; her parents don't remember she exists, her nurse resents having to take care of her, and her nurse's replacement fails to give her what she really needs. Coira ends up practically raising herself and talks to none of them.
''competent'' tutors."



* Literature/{{Eludoran}}: No one over the age of 14 seems capable of making important decisions or getting anything done. Somewhat TruthInFiction since the adults tend to become mired in larger issues of state security and politics. It takes a year-long absence of his daughter before Arulaine even starts to take matters seriously, and even more time to spur himself to do something about it. Then again, he WAS battling depression at the time, so that might be an explanation.
* Played with in ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety''. Rhonda, Mr. Benedict, Milligan, and Number Two are actually quite useful however being adults they are unable to do certain things to prevent the Emergency. They have to get a gang of children to do so, which makes them ''feel'' useless because they're stuck on an island while the kids are out undergoing a dangerous spy mission.

to:

* Literature/{{Eludoran}}: No one over This is the age of 14 seems capable of making important decisions or getting anything done. Somewhat TruthInFiction since the adults tend to become mired lesson Coira learns very young in larger issues of state security and politics. It takes a year-long absence of his daughter before Arulaine even starts ''Literature/WhiteAsSnow''; her parents don't remember she exists, her nurse resents having to take matters seriously, care of her, and even more time her nurse's replacement fails to spur himself to do something about it. Then again, he WAS battling depression at the time, so that might be an explanation.
* Played with in ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety''. Rhonda, Mr. Benedict, Milligan,
give her what she really needs. Coira ends up practically raising herself and Number Two are actually quite useful however being adults they are unable talks to do certain things to prevent the Emergency. They have to get a gang none of children to do so, which makes them ''feel'' useless because they're stuck on an island while the kids are out undergoing a dangerous spy mission.them.



* In ''Series/ThreeTwoOneContact'''s "The Bloodhound Gang" segments, the adults who are the targets of con artists are typically complete idiots to the point where one easy mark has ''his own child'' have control of his own finances.



* In ''Series/TheFactsOfLife'', the only adult who serves a purpose is Mrs. Garrett, the school's nutritionist.



* Based on the end of the ''Series/HenryDanger'' episode, "Jasper's Real Girlfriend," how could Charlotte's parents not have heard the commotion [[spoiler: involving their guest attacking their daughter with a mini chainsaw]] in Charlotte's room?



* ''Series/IncredibleCrew'' plays this trope for laughs in the "Cola Thief" sketch, where a teacher keeps her class after school because someone stole and drank nearly ''sixty'' sodas from her cabinet and won't let anyone leave until the thief confesses. One of the students points out that a boy named Wyatt, who's very plainly going out of his mind from a sugar rush, probably did it. The teacher just says they can't accuse someone without proof.



* In ''Series/TheFactsOfLife'', the only adult who serves a purpose is Mrs. Garrett, the school's nutritionist.

to:

* In ''Series/TheFactsOfLife'', the only adult who serves a purpose is Mrs. Garrett, the school's nutritionist. On ''Series/TheTroop'', when someone turns 18, they lose their courage and can no longer fight monsters.



* In ''Series/ThreeTwoOneContact'''s "The Bloodhound Gang" segments, the adults who are the targets of con artists are typically complete idiots to the point where one easy mark has ''his own child'' have control of his own finances.



* On ''Series/TheTroop'', when someone turns 18, they lose their courage and can no longer fight monsters.
* ''Series/IncredibleCrew'' plays this trope for laughs in the "Cola Thief" sketch, where a teacher keeps her class after school because someone stole and drank nearly ''sixty'' sodas from her cabinet and won't let anyone leave until the thief confesses. One of the students points out that a boy named Wyatt, who's very plainly going out of his mind from a sugar rush, probably did it. The teacher just says they can't accuse someone without proof.
* Based on the end of the ''Series/HenryDanger'' episode, "Jasper's Real Girlfriend," how could Charlotte's parents not have heard the commotion [[spoiler: involving their guest attacking their daughter with a mini chainsaw]] in Charlotte's room?



* Played straight in ''TabletopGame/LittleFears'', which is all ''about'' children fighting against not-so-imaginary monsters that even the most well-intentioned adults just plain can't see or otherwise perceive as real. As player characters grow older, they become more and more competent in the general sense but increasingly lose the inner "magic" that comes with childhood, until around their fourteenth birthday (if nothing worse has befallen them before then) they too will forget about or dismiss their adventures and join the ranks of the ignorant soon-to-be-adults...
* In ''TabletopGame/MonstersAndOtherChildishThings'', adults are completely useless as only monsters can fight monsters... and only kids have monsters. Well, an adult can have a monster, but he's more likely to be a PsychopathicManchild than anything remotely helpful. The closest most adults get to useful is if your character has a [[LevelUpAtIntimacy5 Relationship]] with one, like their parents, which means they inspire the kid to do better.



* Played straight in ''TabletopGame/LittleFears'', which is all ''about'' children fighting against not-so-imaginary monsters that even the most well-intentioned adults just plain can't see or otherwise perceive as real. As player characters grow older, they become more and more competent in the general sense but increasingly lose the inner "magic" that comes with childhood, until around their fourteenth birthday (if nothing worse has befallen them before then) they too will forget about or dismiss their adventures and join the ranks of the ignorant soon-to-be-adults...
* In ''TabletopGame/MonstersAndOtherChildishThings'', adults are completely useless as only monsters can fight monsters... and only kids have monsters. Well, an adult can have a monster, but he's more likely to be a PsychopathicManchild than anything remotely helpful. The closest most adults get to useful is if your character has a [[LevelUpAtIntimacy5 Relationship]] with one, like their parents, which means they inspire the kid to do better.



* In the musical ''Theatre/{{Thirteen}}'', the only kid whose parents are mentioned is Evan, when his parents get divorced and when Archie guilts Evan's mom into buying tickets to the R- rated movie "The Bloodmaster."



* This is probably the fourth strongest theme in ''Theatre/SpringAwakening''. The first three being sex, sex and sex.



* In the musical ''Theatre/{{Thirteen}}'', the only kid whose parents are mentioned is Evan, when his parents get divorced and when Archie guilts Evan's mom into buying tickets to the R- rated movie "The Bloodmaster."
* This is probably the fourth strongest theme in ''Theatre/SpringAwakening''. The first three being sex, sex and sex.



* [[BrattyHalfPint Carl Clover]] of ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' holds this a core belief. All adults are stupid, selfish and usually outright evil. [[FreudianExcuse He has a very good reason for thinking like this]], though. He has since loosen up, now considering that there's at least two honest-to-god decent and good adults, Bang and Litchi. The jury's still out about that adult and CampGay performer chasing him (Amane).
* ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}''. Surprisingly one of the most accurate portrayals of this trope. It's set in a school, one that's plagued by bullying. Even if the student body consists of [[ThrivingGhostTown about 70 people]], the adults and the four prefects seem to just stand there going, "Duuuuuuuuh" while Gary manipulates all the cliques into fighting with each other. Even if the prefects (and adults) ''do'' chase Jimmy and can be seen occasionally busting a student, it's obvious the prefects are power-hungry jerks who're oblivious to most of the stuff that goes on in the school, and so are the adults. (i.e., the nerds are able to construct ''potato gun turrets'' in the astronomy club building without alerting adults and it's implied they have no supervision, the jocks throw ''explosive-laden footballs'' at a student, the gym gets ''lit on fire'' and nobody calls the police unless you fail and nobody even ''mentions'' it afterwords.) It's safe to say even if the game has a realistic portrayal of how useless adults can be in a school setting; you can probably rest easily given that if this happened in real life, people WOULD call the police and the school would be closed in a year. (Mr. Burton ''especially'' would be fired for ''encouraging'' the bullying and [[spoiler: the implications that he ''sexually harassed Zoe''. Which he is anyway]].)
** It's shown that Dr. Crabblesnitch actually ''can'' be a ReasonableAuthorityFigure, too. He just didn't ''know'' what was going on until it was too late. This leads to a couple of the (realistic) interpretations where the adults aren't necessarily useless, they just seem that way because they're unaware. Chances are, Dr. Crabblesnitch would have stepped in sooner or later; but [[GameplayAndStorySegregation you can beat up as many prefects as you want, even his own secretary, and merely get detention]].
* ''[[VideoGame/{{TCT RPG}} The Colour Tuesday]]'' has the adults of the world at the mercy of being turned into puppets by the Others. Children aren't affected. Combines with CompetenceZone.
* Defied in ''VideoGame/Conception2ChildrenOfTheSevenStars''. Despite a divinely-enforced CompetenceZone meaning only teenagers can actually fight, it's made clear everyone knows that leaving them to actually coordinate the war effort would be an unmitigated disaster. Senior military ranks, positions of authority, mission coordinators and the R&D team are all comprised of highly-educated adults.



* Strongly featured in the ''VideoGame/TouchDetective'' series. The most competent ones often turn out to be psychopaths.
* Oddly inverted in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}''. The high schoolers that star in ''Innocent Sin'' mess everything up, and the adults in ''Eternal Punishment'' have to fix things. Although Tatsuya ''does'' join in later on.
** Absent in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' which features adults in on the masquerade to some extent and try to help you outside of the main conflict region of the Midnight Hour, but can't do anything directly. Also, one of the first tier {{Big Bad}}s is an adult.
** Justified in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' where the conflict occurs in a region where the police have no access and the people who do are either indoctrinated into the masquerade or are former victims. This trope applies because they just couldn't know what's really going on. The police close the case when someone falsely admits to all of the murders; and, even late in the game when you are straightforward about your "extracurricular activities," Dojima-san doesn't believe you.
** The series does a complete inversion in ''VideoGame/StrangeJourney''. The playable character and his crew are all highly-trained military personnel.
** Also inverted in ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'', where with only two exceptions the cast are exceptionally skilled doctors (Heat), scientists (Serph and Gale), and nurses (Argilla).
* ''VideoGame/MegamanBattleNetwork'' is ''especially'' cruel - ''all'' of the adults are either just standing around, willing to netbattle instead of try to fix things, or nothing. The only competent adults are either involved with the WWW (Even Baryl & Colonel), Mr. Higsby, (For different reasons) or Lan's dad.
** Chaud lampshades this when he mentions that the official netbattlers are all off in la-la-land.
** The spiritual sequel series ''VideoGame/MegamanStarForce'' also uses this, but since there are only a handful of people around the world capable of wave changing, including the villains, all of whom have roughly the same amount of experience, there is no logical reason why a kid can't be the most naturally gifted member of that group.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}''. Surprisingly one of the most accurate portrayals of this trope. It's set in a school, one that's plagued by bullying. Even if the student body consists of [[ThrivingGhostTown about 70 people]], the adults and the four prefects seem to just stand there going, "Duuuuuuuuh" while Gary manipulates all the cliques into fighting with each other. Even if the prefects (and adults) ''do'' chase Jimmy and can be seen occasionally busting a student, it's obvious the prefects are power-hungry jerks who're oblivious to most of the stuff that goes on in the school, and so are the adults. (i.e., the nerds are able to construct ''potato gun turrets'' in the astronomy club building without alerting adults and it's implied they have no supervision, the jocks throw ''explosive-laden footballs'' at a student, the gym gets ''lit on fire'' and nobody calls the police unless you fail and nobody even ''mentions'' it afterwords.) It's safe to say even if the game has a realistic portrayal of how useless adults can be in a school setting; you can probably rest easily given that if this happened in real life, people WOULD call the police and the school would be closed in a year. (Mr. Burton ''especially'' would be fired for ''encouraging'' the bullying and [[spoiler: the implications that he ''sexually harassed Zoe''. Which he is anyway]].)
** It's shown that Dr. Crabblesnitch actually ''can'' be a ReasonableAuthorityFigure, too. He just didn't ''know'' what was going on until it was too late. This leads to a couple of the (realistic) interpretations where the adults aren't necessarily useless, they just seem that way because they're unaware. Chances are, Dr. Crabblesnitch would have stepped in sooner or later; but [[GameplayAndStorySegregation you can beat up as many prefects as you want, even his own secretary, and merely get detention]].
* There are whole two adults in the Rose Garden Orphanage in ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose'', and the one with actual authority is a problem, not a helper, with his implied sexual abuse of the teenaged residents, and while the cleaning lady is more observant, it doesn't matter since the PoliceAreUseless and won't listen to her, and she gets murdered for her troubles.
* [[VideoGame/{{TCT RPG}} The Colour Tuesday]] has the adults of the world at the mercy of being turned into puppets by the Others. Children aren't affected. Combines with CompetenceZone.



* [[BrattyHalfPint Carl Clover]] of ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' holds this a core belief. All adults are stupid, selfish and usually outright evil. [[FreudianExcuse He has a very good reason for thinking like this]], though. He has since loosen up, now considering that there's at least two honest-to-god decent and good adults, Bang and Litchi. The jury's still out about that adult and CampGay performer chasing him (Amane).



* Defied in ''VideoGame/Conception2ChildrenOfTheSevenStars''. Despite a divinely-enforced CompetenceZone meaning only teenagers can actually fight, it's made clear everyone knows that leaving them to actually coordinate the war effort would be an unmitigated disaster. Senior military ranks, positions of authority, mission coordinators and the R&D team are all comprised of highly-educated adults.
* ''Sir Basil Pike Public School'', a ZapDramatic game about bullying, has the uselessness of adults as one of its central themes. There's no situation in the entire game where actually going to an adult for help will get you anything but a headache. At best, he'll tell you that it was a good idea, but he doesn't have time to listen to your crap right now and you should solve your own problems, at worst, he'll babble a warped version of the JudgmentOfSolomon that has no answer.
* ''VideoGame/YandereSimulator'' [[ZigZaggingTrope zig-zags]] this. If a teacher is called to a murder scene by a student, but Yandere-chan has successfully cleaned up after herself, she will assume it was a prank, scold the student and leave. Similarly, [[PoliceAreUseless the police]] won't conduct further investigation if multiple calls come from the school in a short space of time [[spoiler: thanks to the Headmaster bribing them to stay away from the school after his reputation was nearly ruined by a murder years ago]]. Otherwise, the police can quickly pick up on any evidence Yandere-chan leaves lying around and arrest her. And if the teachers know that you committed a crime, then [[BadassTeacher they WILL]] [[GameOver apprehend you]].
* ''Videogame/{{Psychonauts}}'': Pretty much every adult at Whispering Rock will be of little direct help once the serious trouble starts. Agents Nein and Vodelo get sent away on some unrelated mission, Coach Oleander [[spoiler:is a villain]], and Agent Cruller can't leave his HQ [[spoiler:because his mind is too fractured and keeps devolving into the custodial staff roles he has all over the camp if he tries to leave]]. Although Cruller does play a decent MissionCommand, providing useful tactics and advice. After freeing Fred Bonaparte (who's actually an orderly) from his psychological issues, Raz assumes he'll help get rid of Crispin (who's actually an inmate) and avoiding the need for a disguise. Fred decides to take a ''nap'' instead. (After you've gotten past Crispin, Fred will show up and chase him away. At least this means you'll be able to use the elevator again without a disguise.)



* ''VideoGame/MegamanBattleNetwork'' is ''especially'' cruel - ''all'' of the adults are either just standing around, willing to netbattle instead of try to fix things, or nothing. The only competent adults are either involved with the WWW (Even Baryl & Colonel), Mr. Higsby, (For different reasons) or Lan's dad.
** Chaud lampshades this when he mentions that the official netbattlers are all off in la-la-land.
** The spiritual sequel series ''VideoGame/MegamanStarForce'' also uses this, but since there are only a handful of people around the world capable of wave changing, including the villains, all of whom have roughly the same amount of experience, there is no logical reason why a kid can't be the most naturally gifted member of that group.
* Oddly inverted in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}''. The high schoolers that star in ''Innocent Sin'' mess everything up, and the adults in ''Eternal Punishment'' have to fix things. Although Tatsuya ''does'' join in later on.
** Absent in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' which features adults in on the masquerade to some extent and try to help you outside of the main conflict region of the Midnight Hour, but can't do anything directly. Also, one of the first tier {{Big Bad}}s is an adult.
** Justified in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' where the conflict occurs in a region where the police have no access and the people who do are either indoctrinated into the masquerade or are former victims. This trope applies because they just couldn't know what's really going on. The police close the case when someone falsely admits to all of the murders; and, even late in the game when you are straightforward about your "extracurricular activities," Dojima-san doesn't believe you.
** The series does a complete inversion in ''VideoGame/StrangeJourney''. The playable character and his crew are all highly-trained military personnel.
** Also inverted in ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'', where with only two exceptions the cast are exceptionally skilled doctors (Heat), scientists (Serph and Gale), and nurses (Argilla).
* ''Videogame/{{Psychonauts}}'': Pretty much every adult at Whispering Rock will be of little direct help once the serious trouble starts. Agents Nein and Vodelo get sent away on some unrelated mission, Coach Oleander [[spoiler:is a villain]], and Agent Cruller can't leave his HQ [[spoiler:because his mind is too fractured and keeps devolving into the custodial staff roles he has all over the camp if he tries to leave]]. Although Cruller does play a decent MissionControl, providing useful tactics and advice. After freeing Fred Bonaparte (who's actually an orderly) from his psychological issues, Raz assumes he'll help get rid of Crispin (who's actually an inmate) and avoiding the need for a disguise. Fred decides to take a ''nap'' instead. (After you've gotten past Crispin, Fred will show up and chase him away. At least this means you'll be able to use the elevator again without a disguise.)
* There are whole two adults in the Rose Garden Orphanage in ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose'', and the one with actual authority is a problem, not a helper, with his implied sexual abuse of the teenaged residents, and while the cleaning lady is more observant, it doesn't matter since the PoliceAreUseless and won't listen to her, and she gets murdered for her troubles.
* ''[[Creator/ZapDramatic Sir Basil Pike Public School]]'', a game about bullying, has the uselessness of adults as one of its central themes. There's no situation in the entire game where actually going to an adult for help will get you anything but a headache. At best, he'll tell you that it was a good idea, but he doesn't have time to listen to your crap right now and you should solve your own problems, at worst, he'll babble a warped version of the JudgmentOfSolomon that has no answer.
* Strongly featured in the ''VideoGame/TouchDetective'' series. The most competent ones often turn out to be psychopaths.
* ''VideoGame/YandereSimulator'' [[ZigZaggingTrope zig-zags]] this. If a teacher is called to a murder scene by a student, but Yandere-chan has successfully cleaned up after herself, she will assume it was a prank, scold the student and leave. Similarly, [[PoliceAreUseless the police]] won't conduct further investigation if multiple calls come from the school in a short space of time [[spoiler: thanks to the Headmaster bribing them to stay away from the school after his reputation was nearly ruined by a murder years ago]]. Otherwise, the police can quickly pick up on any evidence Yandere-chan leaves lying around and arrest her. And if the teachers know that you committed a crime, then [[BadassTeacher they WILL]] [[GameOver apprehend you]].



* Miho from ''VisualNovel/LiarLiar'' was being stalked by [[StalkerWithACrush Wakabayashi]] for a while. He sent her letters daily, called her house, and took pictures of her behind her back and left some on her desk. She feared for her life but the police couldn't do anything until he physically harrassed her and the adults at school didn't believe her. She decided to kill him, though she couldn't get herself to do it so she got [[VillainProtagonist Yukari]] to do it instead.



* Miho from ''VisualNovel/LiarLiar'' was being stalked by [[StalkerWithACrush Wakabayashi]] for a while. He sent her letters daily, called her house, and took pictures of her behind her back and left some on her desk. She feared for her life but the police couldn't do anything until he physically harrassed her and the adults at school didn't believe her. She decided to kill him, though she couldn't get herself to do it so she got [[VillainProtagonist Yukari]] to do it instead.



* ''Webcomic/BugMartini'': Instead they [[http://www.bugmartini.com/comics/gamblin-guardians/ gamble on your every move]].



* ''Webcomic/{{Dreamkeepers}}'': Mostly played straight as an arrow in Prelude, especially when Mace and Whip are the focus. Averted in the graphic novels, with several competent adults in the story.
** Although Mr. Nibbs plays it straight in the novels as well.



* In Webcomic/ShootAround, adults are useless because they're generally not GenreSavvy about the ZombieApocalypse setting.



* In Webcomic/ShootAround, adults are useless because they're generally not GenreSavvy about the ZombieApocalypse setting.
* ''Webcomic/BugMartini'': Instead they [[http://www.bugmartini.com/comics/gamblin-guardians/ gamble on your every move]].



* In ''Literature/{{KIKEN}}'', this is a DeconstructedTrope. That's because adults aren't ''entirely'' useless -- some want to change the world, but are trying to balance their careers (i.e. Emiri, Juuri, Yukari and Yamato) and some are too cynical or apathetic to even ''believe'' in a changing Earth (i.e. Takeo).



* In ''Literature/{{KIKEN}}'', this is a DeconstructedTrope. That's because adults aren't ''entirely'' useless -- some want to change the world, but are trying to balance their careers (i.e. Emiri, Juuri, Yukari and Yamato) and some are too cynical or apathetic to even ''believe'' in a changing Earth (i.e. Takeo).
* Taylor Hebert, protagonist of the {{superhero}} story ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', begins the story as a student at Winslow High and subject of [[PlayedForDrama an extended and vicious]] [[TheBully bullying campaign]]. Of all the teachers and administrators at the school, exactly one notices, exactly zero offer any meaningful assistance, and some are actively, willfully against her. It's tragically telling that when Taylor finally meets a genuine ReasonableAuthorityFigure, she suspects she's under some mental compulsion.


Added DiffLines:

* Taylor Hebert, protagonist of the {{superhero}} story ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', begins the story as a student at Winslow High and subject of [[PlayedForDrama an extended and vicious]] [[TheBully bullying campaign]]. Of all the teachers and administrators at the school, exactly one notices, exactly zero offer any meaningful assistance, and some are actively, willfully against her. It's tragically telling that when Taylor finally meets a genuine ReasonableAuthorityFigure, she suspects she's under some mental compulsion.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.AdultsAreUseless