History Main / InspirationallyDisadvantaged

25th May '18 11:41:03 AM rjd1922
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The PBS series ''Arthur'' does a pretty good job of averting this. It has featured at least two characters with disabilities; Marina Datillo is blind and Lydia Fox uses a wheelchair. Both girls are given talents and hobbies outside disability, but none of these are treated like a DisabilitySuperpower. The characters make jokes about their disabilities (ex.: Marina says she can't read super-fast because "[she'd] get blisters.") In general, they are portrayed as normal kids with both good traits and flaws.
** Recent seasons have given us Carl Gold, a boy with Asperger's Syndrome who's a good friend of George Lundgren. Although George sometimes has to act as Carl's "interpreter," explaining what he needs and why, Carl is a three-dimensional character.

to:

* The PBS series ''Arthur'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' does a pretty good job of averting this. It has featured at least two characters with disabilities; Marina Datillo is blind and Lydia Fox uses a wheelchair. Both girls are given talents and hobbies outside disability, but none of these are treated like a DisabilitySuperpower. The characters make jokes about their disabilities (ex.: Marina says she can't read super-fast because "[she'd] get blisters.") In general, they are portrayed as normal kids with both good traits and flaws.
** Recent seasons have given us Carl Gold, Gould, a boy with Asperger's Syndrome who's a good friend of George Lundgren. Although George sometimes has to act as Carl's "interpreter," explaining what he needs and why, Carl is a three-dimensional character.
18th May '18 5:27:42 PM WildeOscar
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''Film/BeingThere'' (and the SeeminglyProfoundFool character type in general) was actually an '''aversion''' of this, and now can be seen as a subversion of straight examples such as ''Film/ForrestGump''. Chance Has an intellectual disability and is forced out on the streets when the master of his household dies. He rises to great heights and inspires others - but not because of any of his own qualities. Instead, he happens to encounter powerful people who ''think'' he's extremely intelligent, and interpret his concrete statements as metaphors. He's a sweet fellow but has no great inner reserves of strength or wisdom.

to:

* ''Film/BeingThere'' (and the SeeminglyProfoundFool character type in general) was actually an '''aversion''' of this, and now can be seen as a subversion of straight examples such as ''Film/ForrestGump''. Chance Has an intellectual disability and is forced out on the streets when the master of his household dies. He rises to great heights and inspires others - but not because of any of his own qualities. Instead, he happens to encounter powerful people who ''think'' he's extremely intelligent, and interpret his concrete statements as metaphors. He's a sweet fellow but has no great inner reserves of strength or wisdom. He's just very lucky.
5th Apr '18 9:42:33 AM JJHIL325
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''Film/TropicThunder'' mocks this trope with the OscarBait FilmWithinAFilm ''Simple Jack''. It wound up backfiring on its star, Tugg Speedman, and it came to be viewed as one of the worst films of all time (though it's [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff inexplicably popular among Golden Triangle drug lords]]). Kirk Lazarus attributes the film's failure to the fact that the character was portrayed as ''too'' mentally disabled (or, in his parlance, Tugg "went full r*tard" in his performance) and lacking the "inspirational" part of this trope, citing ''Film/IAmSam'' as an example. As a result, Tugg's performance [[UnfortunateImplications was just plain insulting and uncomfortable to watch]].

to:

* ''Film/TropicThunder'' mocks this trope with the OscarBait FilmWithinAFilm ''Simple Jack''.Jack'', which provides the trope image. It wound up backfiring on its star, Tugg Speedman, and it came to be viewed as one of the worst films of all time (though it's [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff inexplicably popular among Golden Triangle drug lords]]). Kirk Lazarus attributes the film's failure to the fact that the character was portrayed as ''too'' mentally disabled (or, in his parlance, Tugg "went full r*tard" in his performance) and lacking the "inspirational" part of this trope, citing ''Film/IAmSam'' as an example. As a result, Tugg's performance [[UnfortunateImplications was just plain insulting and uncomfortable to watch]].
5th Apr '18 9:24:40 AM JJHIL325
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** Another good aversion shows up in "Little Miss Meanie." Muffy and Lydia enter the Little Miss Crocus pageant, and Muffy assumes the judges will let Lydia win because she’s paraplegic. She even considers asking Lydia to drop out because she can't "win" on her own merits — but then hears another girl tell Lydia the same thing, and [[JerkassRealization realizes how mean the assumption is]]. When Lydia finds out about it from Francine, she’s initially angry, but [[NotSoDifferent then admits that she’s not really one to talk]]. Lydia initially assumed that Muffy, being from an extremely rich family, was going to [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney bribe the judges so she could get the grand prize]], so Lydia was thinking about asking ''her'' to drop out of the pageant. She had a similar JerkassRealization when she saw the same snob who told her to drop out accusing Muffy of using her affluence as an unfair advantage. This shows a character with a disability having to deal with, and overcoming, her own prejudices, which is rare especially in children's programming. Afterwards, Muffy and Lydia decide to team up and help improve each other’s acts. They end up tying for first runner-up, while the snobby girl receives no honors.
4th Apr '18 1:26:31 AM romanpixie
Is there an issue? Send a Message


A.K.A. the Magical Differently Abled Person (to go with MagicalNegro, MagicalQueer, MagicalNativeAmerican and all their magical friends.)

to:

A.K.A. the Magical Differently Abled Disabled Person (to go with MagicalNegro, MagicalQueer, MagicalNativeAmerican and all their magical friends.)



Advocacy groups have spoken out against the practice, since it's [[{{Glurge}} more than a little patronizing]] to portray a handicapped person as heroic for doing something the rest of us do all the time - comparable to YouAreACreditToYourRace. That's one reason that this trope is a lot less common than it used to be, though a few shows that aren't afraid of a little {{Glurge}} still do it from time to time. It's also been noted that [[OscarBait people seem to like to shower actors who portray these kind of characters with awards]], thus prompting more than a little cynicism about the motives of actors who take on these roles.

to:

Advocacy groups have spoken out against the practice, since it's [[{{Glurge}} more than a little patronizing]] to portray a handicapped disabled person as heroic for doing something the rest of us do all the time - comparable to YouAreACreditToYourRace. That's one reason that this trope is a lot less common than it used to be, though a few shows that aren't afraid of a little {{Glurge}} still do it from time to time. It's also been noted that [[OscarBait people seem to like to shower actors who portray these kind of characters with awards]], thus prompting more than a little cynicism about the motives of actors who take on these roles.



All types are seen as exploitative, with disabled characters often being little more than gimmicks to tug the heartstrings of able-bodied and able-minded viewers and make them feel "inspired" without actually challenging them to ''do'' anything about the systems that make life so difficult for the disabled in the first place, objectifying actual disabled people (hence the reason why disabled people refer to this trope as "inspiration porn"). In addition, the trope is so well known that many people slap ANY handicapped character with the label regardless of how they're portrayed.

to:

All types are seen as exploitative, with disabled characters often being little more than gimmicks to tug the heartstrings of able-bodied and able-minded viewers and make them feel "inspired" without actually challenging them to ''do'' anything about the systems that make life so difficult for the disabled in the first place, objectifying actual disabled people (hence the reason why disabled people refer to this trope as "inspiration porn"). In addition, the trope is so well known that many people slap ANY handicapped disabled character with the label regardless of how they're portrayed.



* ''Film/BeingThere'' (and the SeeminglyProfoundFool character type in general) was actually an '''aversion''' of this, and now can be seen as a subversion of straight examples such as ''Film/ForrestGump''. Chance is mentally challenged and is forced out on the streets when the master of his household dies. He rises to great heights and inspires others - but not because of any of his own qualities. Instead, he happens to encounter powerful people who ''think'' he's extremely intelligent, and interpret his concrete statements as metaphors. He's a sweet fellow but has no great inner reserves of strength or wisdom.
* ''Film/IAmSam'' is about a mentally challenged single dad fighting the state for custody of his daughter. Unfortunately, Creator/RogerEbert [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20020125/REVIEWS/201250303/1023 was just one of the critics who thought]] the movie represented a bad case of StrawmanHasAPoint when it came to portraying Sam as in the right.

to:

* ''Film/BeingThere'' (and the SeeminglyProfoundFool character type in general) was actually an '''aversion''' of this, and now can be seen as a subversion of straight examples such as ''Film/ForrestGump''. Chance is mentally challenged Has an intellectual disability and is forced out on the streets when the master of his household dies. He rises to great heights and inspires others - but not because of any of his own qualities. Instead, he happens to encounter powerful people who ''think'' he's extremely intelligent, and interpret his concrete statements as metaphors. He's a sweet fellow but has no great inner reserves of strength or wisdom.
* ''Film/IAmSam'' is about a mentally challenged single dad with an intellectual disability fighting the state for custody of his daughter. Unfortunately, Creator/RogerEbert [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20020125/REVIEWS/201250303/1023 was just one of the critics who thought]] the movie represented a bad case of StrawmanHasAPoint when it came to portraying Sam as in the right.



* ''Film/TropicThunder'' mocks this trope with the OscarBait FilmWithinAFilm ''Simple Jack''. It wound up backfiring on its star, Tugg Speedman, and it came to be viewed as one of the worst films of all time (though it's [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff inexplicably popular among Golden Triangle drug lords]]). Kirk Lazarus attributes the film's failure to the fact that the character was portrayed as ''too'' mentally disabled (or, in his parlance, Tugg "went full retard" in his performance) and lacking the "inspirational" part of this trope, citing ''Film/IAmSam'' as an example. As a result, Tugg's performance [[UnfortunateImplications was just plain insulting and uncomfortable to watch]].

to:

* ''Film/TropicThunder'' mocks this trope with the OscarBait FilmWithinAFilm ''Simple Jack''. It wound up backfiring on its star, Tugg Speedman, and it came to be viewed as one of the worst films of all time (though it's [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff inexplicably popular among Golden Triangle drug lords]]). Kirk Lazarus attributes the film's failure to the fact that the character was portrayed as ''too'' mentally disabled (or, in his parlance, Tugg "went full retard" r*tard" in his performance) and lacking the "inspirational" part of this trope, citing ''Film/IAmSam'' as an example. As a result, Tugg's performance [[UnfortunateImplications was just plain insulting and uncomfortable to watch]].



-->''"A black dude who plays a slave that gets his ass whipped gets the nomination, a white guy who plays an idiot gets the Oscar. That's what I need, I need to play a retarded slave, then I'll get the Oscar."''

to:

-->''"A black dude who plays a slave that gets his ass whipped gets the nomination, a white guy who plays an idiot gets the Oscar. That's what I need, I need to play a retarded r*tarded slave, then I'll get the Oscar."''



* Averted in ''Film/SlingBlade''. Karl is mentally handicapped and the film focuses predominantly on how difficult everyday life is for him, displaying no ''RainMan''-esque abilities save for a knack for mechanics. He has just been released from an institution after murdering his mother and her lover when he was twelve and finds it almost impossible to adjust to life outside. Karl's early hardships are also deeply horrific (his younger brother was stillborn and his father forced him to bury the body), but never played for inspiration or a source of glurge.

to:

* Averted in ''Film/SlingBlade''. Karl is mentally handicapped has an intellectual disabled and the film focuses predominantly on how difficult everyday life is for him, displaying no ''RainMan''-esque abilities save for a knack for mechanics. He has just been released from an institution after murdering his mother and her lover when he was twelve and finds it almost impossible to adjust to life outside. Karl's early hardships are also deeply horrific (his younger brother was stillborn and his father forced him to bury the body), but never played for inspiration or a source of glurge.



* ''Film/TheRinger'' is a film about a guy who fakes being mentally challenged in order to join and rig the Special Olympics. Surprisingly, it manages to avoid being as disparaging to the disabled as one would expect from the premise, but it's also been praised for not going in the other direction, either. The Olympians are treated more like actual people ([[EnforcedMethodActing it helps that people with actual mental disabilities were hired to play them]]) crowd-favorite Jimmy Washington [[SmallNameBigEgo has a massive ego]] and is hated by the other Olympians, and uses their disabilities for one or two jokes (like when main character Steve has to break out a whiteboard and provide visual aids to explain his plan once he's caught) while the Olympians also get to crack a few jokes of their own.

to:

* ''Film/TheRinger'' is a film about a guy who fakes being mentally challenged intellectually disabled in order to join and rig the Special Olympics. Surprisingly, it manages to avoid being as disparaging to the disabled people as one would expect from the premise, but it's also been praised for not going in the other direction, either. The Olympians are treated more like actual people ([[EnforcedMethodActing it helps that people with actual mental disabilities were hired to play them]]) crowd-favorite Jimmy Washington [[SmallNameBigEgo has a massive ego]] and is hated by the other Olympians, and uses their disabilities for one or two jokes (like when main character Steve has to break out a whiteboard and provide visual aids to explain his plan once he's caught) while the Olympians also get to crack a few jokes of their own.



* ''Film/TheRoom'' gives us a bizarre subversion of this trope with Denny, an orphaned teenager who's essentially Johnny and Lisa's adopted son. Though he apparently came from poverty, and he struggles to put himself through school, he's never actually said to be disabled at any point in the film...but Tommy Wiseau himself [[WordOfGod went on record]] saying that he's "retarded, a little bit", apparently to explain some of the character's [[NoSocialSkills more bizarre behavior over the course of the film]] (most memorably, [[ItMakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext he tries to creep into Johnny and Lisa's bedroom mid-foreplay at one point]]). Hilariously, Wiseau never actually told Denny's actor about that little detail, leading most fans to conclude that it's a {{Retcon}}.
* A rather blatant example of "Type C" can be seen in a Colorado made short film ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCQUktSyCL8 Menschen]]'' that has been making rounds on the festival circuit. It deals with a group of runaway Nazis in the last days of World War II who come across a sickly sweet boy with Down Syndrome who is just so precocious and adorable, he redeems their evil genocidal hearts and makes them see the error of their ways through the power of love. What makes this even more obnoxious is that the filmmakers [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3D2VXgGZ6c unknowingly repeated a joke]] from ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad,'' but under the pretense of them making a serious historical drama. Real Nazis would more likely have killed the boy, as people with Down Syndrome were among those they targeted for involuntary "euthanasia" in the Aktion T4 program.

to:

* ''Film/TheRoom'' gives us a bizarre subversion of this trope with Denny, an orphaned teenager who's essentially Johnny and Lisa's adopted son. Though he apparently came from poverty, and he struggles to put himself through school, he's never actually said to be disabled at any point in the film...but Tommy Wiseau himself [[WordOfGod went on record]] saying that he's "retarded, "r*tarded, a little bit", apparently to explain some of the character's [[NoSocialSkills more bizarre behavior over the course of the film]] (most memorably, [[ItMakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext he tries to creep into Johnny and Lisa's bedroom mid-foreplay at one point]]). Hilariously, Wiseau never actually told Denny's actor about that little detail, leading most fans to conclude that it's a {{Retcon}}.
* A rather blatant example of "Type C" can be seen in a Colorado made short film ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCQUktSyCL8 Menschen]]'' that has been making rounds on the festival circuit. It deals with a group of runaway Nazis in the last days of World War II who come across a sickly sweet boy with Down Syndrome who is just so precocious and adorable, he redeems their evil genocidal hearts and makes them see the error of their ways through the power of love. What makes this even more obnoxious is that the filmmakers [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3D2VXgGZ6c unknowingly repeated a joke]] from ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad,'' but under the pretense of them making a serious historical drama. Real Nazis would more likely have killed the boy, as people with Down Syndrome were among those they the first targeted for involuntary "euthanasia" in the Aktion T4 program.
31st Mar '18 6:22:41 PM KeithTyler
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* Taylor Lautner's ill-advised role as Lil' Pete in ''Film/TheRidiculousSix.''
31st Mar '18 1:45:21 AM system
Is there an issue? Send a Message
29th Mar '18 4:56:12 PM MinghamSmith
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Averted with Nathan, the one-legged kid from ''WebComic/TheScumthorpeFiles''. He becomes furious when people call him "inspiring" or "inspirational" for doing simple everyday tasks, and can't stand to be [[DontYouDarePityMe pitied for his disability]].
21st Mar '18 5:59:36 PM Premonition45
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''Film/TheTheoryOfEverything'' naturally has Creator/StephenHawking shown this way, as we see him overcoming his body getting weaker and weaker from ALS. But it also deconstructs this trope. While Stephen's mind remains brilliant, he is shown as a flawed human being while his body deteriorates. He makes references to sex like a normal man would, sneaks beer into church to drink it with Jonathan, gets frustrated as he loses motor control, and [[spoiler: eventually leaves his wife Jane despite her years of faithfulness and being TheCaretaker.]]

to:

* ''Film/TheTheoryOfEverything'' naturally has Creator/StephenHawking shown this way, as we see him overcoming he overcomes his body getting weaker and weaker from ALS. But it also deconstructs this trope. While Stephen's mind remains brilliant, he is shown as a flawed human being while his body deteriorates. He makes references to sex like a normal man would, sneaks beer into church to drink it with Jonathan, gets frustrated as he loses motor control, and [[spoiler: eventually leaves his wife Jane despite her years of faithfulness and being TheCaretaker.]]
21st Mar '18 3:50:27 PM Premonition45
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''Film/TheTheoryOfEverything'' naturally has Creator/StephenHawking shown this way, as we see his body getting weaker and weaker from ALS. But it also deconstructs this trope. While Stephen's mind remains brilliant, he is shown as a flawed human being while his body deteriorates. He makes references to sex like a normal man would, sneaks beer into church to drink it with Jonathan, gets frustrated as he loses motor control, and [[spoiler: eventually leaves his wife Jane despite her years of faithfulness and being TheCaretaker.]]

to:

* ''Film/TheTheoryOfEverything'' naturally has Creator/StephenHawking shown this way, as we see him overcoming his body getting weaker and weaker from ALS. But it also deconstructs this trope. While Stephen's mind remains brilliant, he is shown as a flawed human being while his body deteriorates. He makes references to sex like a normal man would, sneaks beer into church to drink it with Jonathan, gets frustrated as he loses motor control, and [[spoiler: eventually leaves his wife Jane despite her years of faithfulness and being TheCaretaker.]]
This list shows the last 10 events of 168. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.InspirationallyDisadvantaged