History Main / ReedRichardsISUseless

19th Jul '16 6:45:48 PM Agent333
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[[TheStinger As a side note,]] Doom is pleased with the name of this trope. He would prefer it to be lengthened, but the censors wouldn't allow it.

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[[TheStinger As a side note,]] Doom [[SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom Doom]] is pleased with the name of this trope. He would prefer it to be lengthened, but the censors wouldn't allow it.
18th Jul '16 12:05:34 PM DesertDragon
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# The idea that technology which could solve serious human problems ''does'' exist, but is either withheld from the public, or otherwise not used.

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# The idea that technology which could solve serious human problems ''does'' exist, does exist but is either withheld from being [[WithholdingTheCure actively kept out of the public, or otherwise not used.general public's hands]]. Reed Richards, for example, has developed countless mundane inventions that would shut down entire industries overnight, leaving countless people out of work. As a result, companies often pay him millions ''not'' to put his gadgets on the market.
1st Jul '16 9:22:31 AM Vir
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* Averted for the most part with Stu Pickles in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}''. His income actually ''comes'' from his selling his inventions. The one time he seems useless is when he builds a fully functional HumongousMecha of [[Franchise/{{Godzilla}} Reptar]] that can stretch its limbs, has a [[JetPack butt rocket]], is surprisingly durable, and can throw a mean punch...and sells it to a stage show in France instead of the military or NASA for millions.
* [[spoiler: Ford Pines from]] ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''. [[spoiler: This guy is a genius who's invented a light bulb that can last several thousand years, a mind control device, along with some other impressive stuff. Instead, he used his grant to study the unnatural rather than change the world. However, he does admit that he was rather foolish and somewhat naive back then, and he's gotten a bit wiser now.]]

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* Averted for the most part with Stu Pickles in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}''. His income actually ''comes'' from his selling his inventions. The one time he seems useless is when he builds a fully functional HumongousMecha of [[Franchise/{{Godzilla}} Reptar]] that can stretch its limbs, has a [[JetPack [[{{Jetpack}} butt rocket]], is surprisingly durable, and can throw a mean punch...and sells it to a stage show in France instead of the military or NASA for millions.
* [[spoiler: Ford Pines from]] from ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''. [[spoiler: This guy is a genius who's invented a light bulb that can last several thousand years, a mind control device, along with some other impressive stuff. Instead, he used his grant to study the unnatural rather than change the world. However, he does admit that he was rather foolish and somewhat naive back then, and he's gotten a bit wiser now.]]
22nd Jun '16 11:40:40 PM Anicomicgeek
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* Unlike ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'', where Mr. Freeze made headway into curing Nora's condition, the ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'' version had made no such progress. This is likely because of the third reason for the trope: avoiding trivializing real life problems as film!Nora has the [[SoapOperaDisease fictional]] [=MacGregor=]'s Syndrome, and ''[[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins Arkham Origins]]'' identified the disease Nora has as the real-life [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntington%27s_disease Huntington's Chorea]]. [[spoiler: ''[[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight Arkham Knight]]''[='=]s "Season of Infamy" DLC even has her come out of cryosleep and ask Freeze to [[FaceDeathWithDignity let her face death with dignity]].]]
8th Jun '16 8:31:28 PM DanaO
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** While it's unclear ''how'' much this is so, the [[PragmaticVillainy Illuminati]] in particular both originally invented and abandoned a surprising percentage of the Orochi Group's current lines of experimentation, having discovered reasons they just don't work out in the long term. This coincidence (and it mostly ''is'') eventually merges into a plot point.
7th Jun '16 9:42:02 AM AnotherGuy
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* ''ComicBook/{{Justice}}'': The Legion of Doom start using their skills to help humanity, such as Captain Cold creating oases in the Sahara. They call out the superheroes for not doing the same. [[spoiler: Turns out they're controlled by Brainiac and are just using their humanitarian aid as a vector for his mind-controlling bots.]]
30th May '16 7:14:24 AM SpoiltCheese
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** There's a [[FridgeBrilliance explanation for it:]] [[spoiler: they got ''[[RealityEnsues married]].'']]
21st May '16 4:07:15 AM erforce
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* The ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'' movies (and [[VideoGame/GhostbustersTheVideoGame the 2009 video game]]) play with this. While they ''do'' use the technology they've created for personal profit, the game has them as licensed contractors for New York, and they ignore the potential profit they could make from developing that tech for other uses. One of the upgrades for one of the weapon modes in the video game sort of {{lampshade|Hanging}}d the use of the tech by saying that while it can punch small holes in the fabric of reality, the holes can't even be used to dump away trash.

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* The ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'' ''Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}}'' movies (and [[VideoGame/GhostbustersTheVideoGame the 2009 video game]]) play with this. While they ''do'' use the technology they've created for personal profit, the game has them as licensed contractors for New York, and they ignore the potential profit they could make from developing that tech for other uses. One of the upgrades for one of the weapon modes in the video game sort of {{lampshade|Hanging}}d the use of the tech by saying that while it can punch small holes in the fabric of reality, the holes can't even be used to dump away trash.
20th May '16 11:55:55 PM mariic
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* In the [[ShortRunner short lived]] NFL Superstar, the protagonist's armor was designed to be the safest and most durable football uniform ever built. When Superpro points this out to the suit's creator, he explains that [[RealityEnsues the superstrong materials needed to make it cost millions of dollars,]] [[AwesomeButImpractical making it totally impractical for mass production.]]
14th May '16 3:07:40 PM merotoker
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* During the ''Comicbook/DarkReign'' storyline, ComicBook/NormanOsborn reveals that he has the cure for cancer, too. Except he decides to use it on ComicBook/{{Deadpool}} after the Merc With A Mouth goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge for Osborn stealing his thunder at the end of ''ComicBook/SecretInvasion''.

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* During the ''Comicbook/DarkReign'' storyline, ComicBook/NormanOsborn reveals that he has the cure for cancer, too. Except he decides to use it on ComicBook/{{Deadpool}} SelfDemonstrating/{{Deadpool}} after the Merc With A Mouth goes on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge for Osborn stealing his thunder at the end of ''ComicBook/SecretInvasion''.



* The presence of ComicBook/CaptainAmerica and the Invaders didn't make World War II turn out any differently, even though Cap punches out Hitler and Tojo on at least one cover along with the Invaders routinely decimating Axis forces. Nowadays it's assumed that those super-heroes mostly served to cancel out the efforts of the equally fantastic ComicBook/RedSkull and other Axis supervillains, resulting in a war that played out exactly as though neither of them had existed. Later on in the Marvel Universe, it was implied that the US did not use any superhuman soliders in real-world wars, out of threat of retaliation from other nations' superhuman forces. It is worth mentioning that in ''Dark Reign'', ComicBook/{{Bucky|Barnes}} (the Captain America at the time) claims that he killed Adolf Hitler. The circumstances and consequences of this are never elaborated on.

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* The presence of ComicBook/CaptainAmerica and the Invaders didn't make World War II turn out any differently, even though Cap punches out Hitler and Tojo on at least one cover along with the Invaders routinely decimating Axis forces. Nowadays it's assumed that those super-heroes mostly served to cancel out the efforts of the equally fantastic ComicBook/RedSkull and other Axis supervillains, resulting in a war that played out exactly as though neither of them had existed. Later on in the Marvel Universe, it was implied that the US did not use any superhuman soliders soldiers in real-world wars, out of threat of retaliation from other nations' superhuman forces. It is worth mentioning that in ''Dark Reign'', ComicBook/{{Bucky|Barnes}} (the Captain America at the time) claims that he killed Adolf Hitler. The circumstances and consequences of this are never elaborated on.






** {{Justified}} with the various attempts from good guys to reproduce the title character's [[LatexPerfection plastic masks]], as only Diabolik knows how to prevent them from melting. In fact, attempts at reproducing them drove one scientist ''insane''.

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** {{Justified}} {{Justified|Trope}} with the various attempts from good guys to reproduce the title character's [[LatexPerfection plastic masks]], as only Diabolik knows how to prevent them from melting. In fact, attempts at reproducing them drove one scientist ''insane''.



* In ''Film/{{Flubber}}'', the Creator/RobinWilliams remake of ''Film/TheAbsentMindedProfessor'', Professor Braniard (Williams) has to come up with some sort of scientific breakthrough to secure enough funding to keep his college solvent. If only he had some sort of supertech available to show potential investors... like a flying, self-aware RobotBuddy. Oh, wait... This is later {{justified|Trope}} when he explains that Weebo was a "happy accident", he actually has no idea why she's intelligent. To figure that out would probably involve dismantling her... ie, "killing" her. [[spoiler:Weebo herself managed to figure it out, though, and leaves lbehind a set of blueprints that will allow Braniard to re-create the process.]] It's also explained his previous sucessful inventions have been stolen by a rival.

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* In ''Film/{{Flubber}}'', the Creator/RobinWilliams remake of ''Film/TheAbsentMindedProfessor'', Professor Braniard (Williams) has to come up with some sort of scientific breakthrough to secure enough funding to keep his college solvent. If only he had some sort of supertech available to show potential investors... like a flying, self-aware RobotBuddy. Oh, wait... This is later {{justified|Trope}} when he explains that Weebo was a "happy accident", he actually has no idea why she's intelligent. To figure that out would probably involve dismantling her... ie, i.e., "killing" her. [[spoiler:Weebo herself managed to figure it out, though, and leaves lbehind a set of blueprints that will allow Braniard to re-create the process.]] It's also explained his previous sucessful inventions have been stolen by a rival.



* ''The Modest Genius'' by Vadim Shefner is about a brilliant but timid inventor whose greatness no one recognizes. It's occasionally {{lampshade|Hanging}}, when his {{Love Interest|s}}'s best friend keeps mentioning how ordinary the protagonist is and that she's looking for an "extraordinary man". She appears to find and marry one, and occasionally excitedly describes his new inventions. They're all horrible and needlessly complicated ideas, such as square spokes for bicycle wheels and a building-sized can opener. Meanwhile, the protagonist has developed ArtificialGravity (he keeps his desk on the ceiling to create extra space in the room), a camera that shows the future (he accidentally predicts UsefulNotes/WorldWarII), a spray that allows one to walk on water, a [[FountainOfYouth youth restoration device]], and many other ''much'' more useful inventions. He never sells any of them and destroys some for fear of misuse. Both his wife (who later leaves him for another man) and his son think he's a failure. He eventually reunites with his original LoveInterest (who left him after the same future-seeing camera showed him marrying another woman, thus creating a StableTimeLoop) when they're both well past their prime. He uses the above-mentioned youth device, the last of his inventions, to turn them both into their 20-something selves (that device is [[AwesomeButImpractical justifiably useless]], since it was shown to require the entire power output of the Sun just to restore them).

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* ''The Modest Genius'' by Vadim Shefner is about a brilliant but timid inventor whose greatness no one recognizes. It's occasionally {{lampshade|Hanging}}, when his {{Love Interest|s}}'s best friend keeps mentioning how ordinary the protagonist is and that she's looking for an "extraordinary man". She appears to find and marry one, and occasionally excitedly describes his new inventions. They're all horrible and needlessly complicated ideas, such as square spokes for bicycle wheels and a building-sized can opener. Meanwhile, the protagonist has developed ArtificialGravity (he keeps his desk on the ceiling to create extra space in the room), a camera that shows the future (he accidentally predicts UsefulNotes/WorldWarII), a spray that allows one to walk on water, a [[FountainOfYouth youth restoration device]], and many other ''much'' more useful inventions. He never sells any of them and destroys some for fear of misuse. Both his wife (who later leaves him for another man) and his son think he's a failure. He eventually reunites with his original LoveInterest {{Love Interest|s}} (who left him after the same future-seeing camera showed him marrying another woman, thus creating a StableTimeLoop) when they're both well past their prime. He uses the above-mentioned youth device, the last of his inventions, to turn them both into their 20-something selves (that device is [[AwesomeButImpractical justifiably useless]], since it was shown to require the entire power output of the Sun just to restore them).



** This trope was played with in the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness. Spectacular changes like a Universal Translator or a superpowered healing magic were certainly available to player characters, especially in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension''. However, they were prone to malfunction because the world was a WorldHalfEmpty running on ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve and humanity just didn't believe in the super-tech or old magic. Many supernaturals and human groups also had very good reasons to enforce the {{masquerade}}, and would make sure any Reed Richards who drew too much attention was discredited and then buried in a shallow grave. However, using your power to make the world subtly better was certainly possible. Running around the hospital ward curing folks like a ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' cleric was right out, but having a "health spa" that believably helped assuage sicknesses was possible. The Technocratic Union from Mage, in particular, were creating super-science and trickling it out to normal humans when "reality" could handle it, averting this trope.

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** This trope was played with in the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness. Spectacular changes like a Universal Translator or a superpowered healing magic were certainly available to player characters, especially in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension''. However, they were prone to malfunction because the world was a WorldHalfEmpty [[CrapsackWorld World Half Empty]] running on ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve and humanity just didn't believe in the super-tech or old magic. Many supernaturals and human groups also had very good reasons to enforce the {{masquerade}}, and would make sure any Reed Richards who drew too much attention was discredited and then buried in a shallow grave. However, using your power to make the world subtly better was certainly possible. Running around the hospital ward curing folks like a ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' cleric was right out, but having a "health spa" that believably helped assuage sicknesses was possible. The Technocratic Union from Mage, in particular, were creating super-science and trickling it out to normal humans when "reality" could handle it, averting this trope.



* Justified in ''Webcomic/{{Mindmistress}}'' -- the title heroine has the most advanced technology in the world, but is afraid that released it could change our society for the ''worse''. On the other hand, Forethought, the only person smarter that Minidmistress, is actively trying to save the humanity from [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt self-destructing war]] he forseen. Too bad his first idea was to create more people like him, well aware that humanity would turn on them. And lost.

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* Justified in ''Webcomic/{{Mindmistress}}'' -- the title heroine has the most advanced technology in the world, but is afraid that released it could change our society for the ''worse''. On the other hand, Forethought, the only person smarter that Minidmistress, is actively trying to save the humanity from [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt self-destructing war]] he forseen.foresees. Too bad his first idea was to create more people like him, well aware that humanity would turn on them. And lost.



* Dexter of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' (and his rival Mandark) is in the same boat as Jimmy, though in his case he's something of an egotist that pursues science purely for his own satisfaction.
** Also there's the fact that, unlike Jimmy, Dexter is determined to keep his lab and inventions a secret from his parents, and selling his inventions could potentially blow the secret.

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* Dexter of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' (and his rival Mandark) is in the same boat as Jimmy, though in his case he's something of an egotist that pursues science purely for his own satisfaction.
**
satisfaction. Also there's the fact that, unlike Jimmy, Dexter is determined to keep his lab and inventions a secret from his parents, and selling his inventions could potentially blow the secret.
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