History Main / TheMeddlingKidsAreUseless

16th Jul '17 9:45:34 PM azul120
Is there an issue? Send a Message





* In the [[SelfInsert self insert]] {{Manga/Naruto}} fanfiction ''Fanfic/SugarPlums'' for a long period of time, the main character and her companions can actually do very little to improve their situation or the situation of Kirigakure. This is actually noted several times in character as a major frustration for the main character because of the lack of [[RealityEnsues control and influence she has in the situation as the lowest rank of shinobi]]. It's also noted she lacks information because the events in Kirigakure are not very well documented at all in the Naruto universe and most of the underlying problems were started decades ago and have been perpetuated since then. This changes however once they catch up the the beginning of the series (the first eighty chapters or so take place starting five years before the start of the main series).

to:

* In the [[SelfInsert self insert]] {{Manga/Naruto}} SelfInsert Manga/{{Naruto}} fanfiction ''Fanfic/SugarPlums'' for a long period of time, the main character and her companions can actually do very little to improve their situation or the situation of Kirigakure. This is actually noted several times in character as a major frustration for the main character because of the lack of [[RealityEnsues control and influence she has in the situation as the lowest rank of shinobi]]. It's also noted she lacks information because the events in Kirigakure are not very well documented at all in the Naruto universe and most of the underlying problems were started decades ago and have been perpetuated since then. This changes however once they catch up the the beginning of the series (the first eighty chapters or so take place starting five years before the start of the main series).


Added DiffLines:

14th Jul '17 8:27:09 AM BloodPlum
Is there an issue? Send a Message



to:

[[folder:Fanworks]]
* In the [[SelfInsert self insert]] {{Manga/Naruto}} fanfiction ''Fanfic/SugarPlums'' for a long period of time, the main character and her companions can actually do very little to improve their situation or the situation of Kirigakure. This is actually noted several times in character as a major frustration for the main character because of the lack of [[RealityEnsues control and influence she has in the situation as the lowest rank of shinobi]]. It's also noted she lacks information because the events in Kirigakure are not very well documented at all in the Naruto universe and most of the underlying problems were started decades ago and have been perpetuated since then. This changes however once they catch up the the beginning of the series (the first eighty chapters or so take place starting five years before the start of the main series).
[[/folder]]
22nd Jun '17 7:41:11 AM salvadorfranz
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel II'' has Class VII try to minimize the damage of the CivilWar as much as possible but ultimately aren't the ones who could end the war itself.
[[/folder]]
30th Nov '16 2:28:38 AM Morgenthaler
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** This also happened in "Warriors' Gate" (where it was intended to be AnAesop about "doing nothing" sometimes being wiser than pointless action), and in certain stories during Eric Saward's tenure as script editor (where it was probably because of Saward's belief that the Doctor just wasn't as cool as his own {{Badass}} military characters).

to:

** This also happened in "Warriors' Gate" (where it was intended to be AnAesop about "doing nothing" sometimes being wiser than pointless action), and in certain stories during Eric Saward's tenure as script editor (where it was probably because of Saward's belief that the Doctor just wasn't as cool as his own {{Badass}} badass military characters).
19th Sep '16 12:01:35 PM GrigorII
Is there an issue? Send a Message


This is a way to get kid characters (or average, non-professional adult characters) into an exciting adventure while providing the realism of showing the real police or other professionals doing their jobs and saving the day. Note that despite the title, this doesn't have to be about young characters specifically; this is about when the ''main'' characters, regardless of who they are, are not the ones who save the day (though CharacterDevelopment ''does'' happen).

to:

This is a way to get kid characters (or average, non-professional adult characters) into an exciting adventure while providing the realism of showing the real police or other professionals doing their jobs and saving the day. Note that despite the title, this doesn't have to be about young characters specifically; this is about when the ''main'' characters, regardless of who they are, are not the ones who save the day (though CharacterDevelopment ''does'' happen).
happen). Also note that the full story of the defeat of the bad guy may be available ''elsewhere'', simply not at this particular story we are reading. In that case, the villain was defeated by a HeroOfAnotherStory.
6th Sep '16 3:55:27 PM ImpudentInfidel
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' is sort of like this. The Planeteers are the real main characters, with Captain Planet himself usually only getting about two minutes of screen time per episode. He ''is,'' however, the DeusExMachina that solves all the major problems, while the heroes are mostly there to just [[AllYourPowersCombined summon him]] and learn the {{Aesop}} ([[GreenAesop green]] or otherwise) ''du jour,'' after getting into a lot of danger and adventurous situations, of course.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' is sort of like this. The Planeteers are the real main characters, with Captain Planet himself usually only getting about two minutes of screen time per episode. He ''is,'' however, the DeusExMachina that solves all the major problems, while the heroes are mostly there to just [[AllYourPowersCombined summon him]] and learn the {{Aesop}} ([[GreenAesop green]] or otherwise) ''du jour,'' after getting into a lot of danger and adventurous situations, of course. Although FridgeLogic often comes in since the Captain's solutions are usually things they could have done just as easily without him; he's usually only useful at all because they have terrible teamwork and don't realize they can use their powers in combination.
20th Aug '16 10:06:14 AM ImpudentInfidel
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In the ''Literature/LeftBehind'' books, the main characters, calling themselves the Tribulation Force, basically sit around and try to survive the tribulation, but do nothing that actually affects the events of the story in any way. The books could basically be described as a travelog for TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.

to:

* In the ''Literature/LeftBehind'' books, the main characters, calling themselves the Tribulation Force, basically sit around and try to survive the tribulation, but do nothing that actually affects the events of the story in any way. Their main contributions are actually the minor tasks they do for the villain (writing press releases and flying his plane mostly). The books could basically be described as a travelog for TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
20th Aug '16 10:03:08 AM ImpudentInfidel
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Literature/{{Discworld}}'': ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' has the Watch figure out who the Supreme Grand Master is, but it is implied that [[TheChessmaster Vetinari]] was already aware of what was going on, and the Watch are ultimately useless in getting rid of the Dragon - [[spoiler: Errol ends up defeating it by creating a sonic boom, which was part of his mating dance to the female dragon]]. Their investigation for the first half of the story is already invalidated: firstly, by the audience knowing about the Brotherhood's antics; and second, by the Brotherhood getting killed shortly before the Watch learn that they were behind it. Of course, [[spoiler:Errol]] was in a position to do so because [[spoiler: the Watch had adopted him and let him eat assorted random stuff for a good chunk of the book.]] In other words, the Meddling Kids weren't ''useless''... it just turned out the useful thing they did was [[SubvertedTrope something else than the snooping and the getting into exciting situations]].

to:

* Literature/{{Discworld}}'': ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'': ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' has the Watch figure out who the Supreme Grand Master is, but it is implied that [[TheChessmaster Vetinari]] was already aware of what was going on, and the Watch are ultimately useless in getting rid of the Dragon - [[spoiler: Errol ends up defeating it by creating a sonic boom, which was part of his mating dance to the female dragon]]. Their investigation for the first half of the story is already invalidated: firstly, by the audience knowing about the Brotherhood's antics; and second, by the Brotherhood getting killed shortly before the Watch learn that they were behind it. Of course, [[spoiler:Errol]] was in a position to do so because [[spoiler: the Watch had adopted him and let him eat assorted random stuff for a good chunk of the book.]] In other words, the Meddling Kids weren't ''useless''... it just turned out the useful thing they did was [[SubvertedTrope something else than the snooping and the getting into exciting situations]].
11th Jun '16 1:26:04 AM StFan
Is there an issue? Send a Message





[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* In ''Film/The13thWarrior'', main character Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan is a useful extra swordsman but doesn't actually do anything to resolve the plot, with the single exception of figuring out how the group can escape from the Wendol cave. Of course, since the story is really about Bulliwye/Beowulf, this is understandable.
** Ahmed also figured-out that the Wendol liked to act, and maybe even think of themselves as bears, and this allowed the group to find the Wendol cave to begin with. However, he was mostly an audience identification character and eventual chronicler of Bulliwye/Beowulf, so he still fits the trope well.
* In ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'', the role of James Bond in the plot is actually rather limited. He spends most of his time tailing Goldfinger and hanging out in his base as a prisoner, always ''trying'' to get intel outside, but failing. [[spoiler:Sure, he does manage to kill both Goldfinger and Oddjob, but that doesn't affect the plot very much, and the bulk of the work ends up being done by the US Army and the CIA. They even disarm the nuke for Bond. The only vital thing Bond does manage to do is, ironically enough, screwing Pussy Galore (who then performs a HeelFaceTurn and sabotages Goldfinger's 'grand slam')]].
* True, to an extent, for ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk.'' If Indy hadn't been there to battle the Nazis, would the ending have been much different? [[spoiler: Maybe a little. The flying wing was going to take the ark to Berlin, so if Indy hadn't interfered, it might have been opened in front of the top Nazi brass, thus killing Hitler and ending the war early.]]

to:

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/The13thWarrior'', main character Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan is a useful extra swordsman but doesn't actually do anything to resolve the plot, with the single exception of figuring out how the group can escape from the Wendol cave. Of course, since the story is really about Bulliwye/Beowulf, this is understandable.
**
understandable. Ahmed also figured-out that the Wendol liked to act, and maybe even think of themselves as bears, and this allowed the group to find the Wendol cave to begin with. However, he was is mostly an audience identification character and eventual chronicler of Bulliwye/Beowulf, so he still fits the trope well.
* In ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'', the role of James Bond in the plot is actually rather limited. He spends most of his time tailing Goldfinger and hanging out in his base as a prisoner, always ''trying'' to get intel outside, but failing. [[spoiler:Sure, he does manage to kill both Goldfinger and Oddjob, but that doesn't affect the plot very much, and the bulk of the work ends up being done by the US Army and the CIA. They even disarm the nuke for Bond. The only vital thing Bond does manage to do is, ironically enough, screwing Pussy Galore (who then performs a HeelFaceTurn and sabotages Goldfinger's 'grand slam')]].
"grand slam")]].
* True, to an extent, for ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk.'' ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''. If Indy hadn't been there to battle the Nazis, would the ending have been much different? [[spoiler: Maybe [[spoiler:Maybe a little. The flying wing was going to take the ark to Berlin, so if Indy hadn't interfered, it might have been opened in front of the top Nazi brass, thus killing Hitler and ending the war early.]]




[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* [[Discworld/GuardsGuards Guards! Guards!]] has the Watch figure out who the Supreme Grand Master is, but it is implied that [[TheChessmaster Vetinari]] was already aware of what was going on, and the Watch are ultimately useless in getting rid of the Dragon - [[spoiler: Errol ends up defeating it by creating a sonic boom, which was part of his mating dance to the female dragon]]. Their investigation for the first half of the story is already invalidated: firstly, by the audience knowing about the Brotherhood's antics; and second, by the Brotherhood getting killed shortly before the Watch learn that they were behind it.
** Of course, [[spoiler: Errol]] was in a position to do so because [[spoiler: the Watch had adopted him and let him eat assorted random stuff for a good chunk of the book.]] In other words, the Meddling Kids weren't ''useless''... it just turned out the useful thing they did was [[SubvertedTrope something else than the snooping and the getting into exciting situations]].

to:

\n[[AC:{{Literature}}]]\n[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* [[Discworld/GuardsGuards Guards! Guards!]] Literature/{{Discworld}}'': ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'' has the Watch figure out who the Supreme Grand Master is, but it is implied that [[TheChessmaster Vetinari]] was already aware of what was going on, and the Watch are ultimately useless in getting rid of the Dragon - [[spoiler: Errol ends up defeating it by creating a sonic boom, which was part of his mating dance to the female dragon]]. Their investigation for the first half of the story is already invalidated: firstly, by the audience knowing about the Brotherhood's antics; and second, by the Brotherhood getting killed shortly before the Watch learn that they were behind it.
**
it. Of course, [[spoiler: Errol]] [[spoiler:Errol]] was in a position to do so because [[spoiler: the Watch had adopted him and let him eat assorted random stuff for a good chunk of the book.]] In other words, the Meddling Kids weren't ''useless''... it just turned out the useful thing they did was [[SubvertedTrope something else than the snooping and the getting into exciting situations]].



* Despite having the most screen-time in ''Literature/GoodOmens'', NobleDemon Crowley and the pragmatic angel Aziraphale have no effect on the main events of the story, though not for a lack of trying. Arguably though, having [[spoiler: Armageddon be averted by humans only, without angelic or diabolical help]] was the whole point.
** Really, most of the [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters rather large cast]] is like this--the final battle pretty much comes down to the Them vs. the [[HorsemenOfTheApocalypse Horsepeople]]. [[OccultDetective Shadwell]], [[NotSoPhonyPsychic Madame Tracy]], [[PsychicPowers Anathema]], [[UnluckyEverydude Newton]], and [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Ligur]] all turn out to be pretty pointless, not even counting other characters who had died/disappeared from the plot by this point. (Admittedly Newt's presence might have contributed, it's kind of unclear if the Horsepeople's defeat stopped the nukes or just made it possible for him to.)

to:

* Despite having the most screen-time in ''Literature/GoodOmens'', NobleDemon Crowley and the pragmatic angel Aziraphale have no effect on the main events of the story, though not for a lack of trying. Arguably though, having [[spoiler: Armageddon be averted by humans only, without angelic or diabolical help]] was the whole point.
**
point. Really, most of the [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters rather large cast]] is like this--the final battle pretty much comes down to the Them vs. the [[HorsemenOfTheApocalypse Horsepeople]]. [[OccultDetective Shadwell]], [[NotSoPhonyPsychic Madame Tracy]], [[PsychicPowers Anathema]], [[UnluckyEverydude Newton]], and [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Ligur]] all turn out to be pretty pointless, not even counting other characters who had died/disappeared from the plot by this point. (Admittedly Newt's presence might have contributed, it's kind of unclear if the Horsepeople's defeat stopped the nukes or just made it possible for him to.) )




[[AC:LiveActionTV]]

to:

\n[[AC:LiveActionTV]]\n[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]




[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', who were based on the ''HardyBoys'' and ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'' both, really did nothing in the show during the first season, but are the main characters nonetheless. This changed in later seasons.
* In the original 1960s series, ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'' basically just hung around while his dad and Race dealt with all the dangerous stuff. Ocassionally, he, Hadji and Bandit would need rescuing, and would even take down a {{mook}} or two, but otherwise did little but comment on the action.
** This was realized when ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures'' was made, resulting in the younger cast members being much more capable of fighting and getting out of trouble, not to mention being aged up a bit.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo'''s Scooby Gang, the [[TropeNamer meddling kids]] themselves, are an odd case, as they actually ''do'' manage to solve mysteries... or rather, Velma does, with a little help from Freddy and occasionally Daphne. Our main heroes, Scooby and Shaggy, on the other hand, mostly just have exciting {{chase scene}}s and [[BigEater eat lots]], while Daphne is kidnapped by the villain ("[[DamselInDistress Danger-prone Daphne]]", indeed) and Freddy makes traps that invariably fail but somehow manage to [[AccidentalHero accidentally capture the villain anyway]]. In the end, it's Velma who figures out who the villain is and explains the mystery to the others.
** To be fair to Scooby and Shaggy, their chase scenes sometimes involved them being chased by the villain right into Fred's trap, inadvertently capturing the bad guy. Shaggy himself is the TropeNamer for the ShaggySearchTechnique, and is often the one who finds the clues to the cases.
** This is averted hilariously in the movies, in which the cast also realize their shortcomings - Daphne takes down a good number of bad guys after [[IKnowKarate taking martial arts classes]] and Shaggy and Scooby spend the entire second movie performing investigations on their own to prove their worth (of course, the success of said investigations is pretty limited...)

to:

\n[[AC:WesternAnimation]]\n[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', who were based on the ''HardyBoys'' ''Literature/TheHardyBoys'' and ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'' both, really did do nothing in the show during the first season, but are the main characters nonetheless. This changed changes in later seasons.
* In the original 1960s series, ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'' basically just hung around while his dad and Race dealt with all the dangerous stuff. Ocassionally, Occasionally, he, Hadji and Bandit would need rescuing, and would even take down a {{mook}} or two, but otherwise did little but comment on the action.
**
action. This was realized when ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures'' was made, resulting in the younger cast members being much more capable of fighting and getting out of trouble, not to mention being aged up a bit.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo'''s Scooby Gang, the [[TropeNamer meddling kids]] themselves, are an odd case, as they actually ''do'' manage to solve mysteries... or rather, Velma does, with a little help from Freddy and occasionally Daphne. Our main heroes, Scooby and Shaggy, on the other hand, mostly just have exciting {{chase scene}}s and [[BigEater eat lots]], while Daphne is kidnapped by the villain ("[[DamselInDistress Danger-prone Daphne]]", indeed) and Freddy makes traps that invariably fail but somehow manage to [[AccidentalHero accidentally capture the villain anyway]]. In the end, it's Velma who figures out who the villain is and explains the mystery to the others.
**
others. To be fair to Scooby and Shaggy, their chase scenes sometimes involved involve them being chased by the villain right into Fred's trap, inadvertently capturing the bad guy. Shaggy himself is the TropeNamer for the ShaggySearchTechnique, and is often the one who finds the clues to the cases.
** This is averted hilariously in the movies, in which the cast also realize their shortcomings - -- Daphne takes down a good number of bad guys after [[IKnowKarate taking martial arts classes]] and Shaggy and Scooby spend the entire second movie performing investigations on their own to prove their worth (of course, the success of said investigations is pretty limited...)



** In "A Clue for Scooby Doo", "Bedlam At The Big Top", and "Never Ape an Ape Man", Scooby and Shaggy do have a major role in solving the case.

to:

** In "A Clue for Scooby Doo", "Bedlam At The at the Big Top", and "Never Ape an Ape Man", Scooby and Shaggy do have a major role in solving the case.



** Not to mention in many later spin offs where Velma and Fred were absent, leaving Shaggy and Scooby to use WesternAnimation/BugsBunny style antics to take down the MonsterOfTheWeek (who were often ''real'' this time).
*** Shaggy is quite often shown to be considerably smarter than he looks. He and Scooby are perfectly capable of solving a mystery on their own, if they have no choice but to focus on it. He was also the first one to recognize the unmasked Capt. Cutler.

to:

** Not to mention in many later spin offs spin-offs where Velma and Fred were are absent, leaving Shaggy and Scooby to use WesternAnimation/BugsBunny style antics to take down the MonsterOfTheWeek (who were are often ''real'' this time).
***
time). Shaggy is quite often shown to be considerably smarter than he looks. He and Scooby are perfectly capable of solving a mystery on their own, if they have no choice but to focus on it. He was is also the first one to recognize the unmasked Capt. Cutler.


Added DiffLines:

[[/folder]]
19th Apr '16 11:30:41 PM erforce
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In ''{{The 13th Warrior}}'', main character Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan is a useful extra swordsman but doesn't actually do anything to resolve the plot, with the single exception of figuring out how the group can escape from the Wendol cave. Of course, since the story is really about Bulliwye/Beowulf, this is understandable.

to:

* In ''{{The 13th Warrior}}'', ''Film/The13thWarrior'', main character Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan is a useful extra swordsman but doesn't actually do anything to resolve the plot, with the single exception of figuring out how the group can escape from the Wendol cave. Of course, since the story is really about Bulliwye/Beowulf, this is understandable.



* True, to an extent, for ''RaidersOfTheLostArk.'' If Indy hadn't been there to battle the Nazis, would the ending have been much different? [[spoiler: Maybe a little. The flying wing was going to take the ark to Berlin, so if Indy hadn't interfered, it might have been opened in front of the top Nazi brass, thus killing Hitler and ending the war early.]]
* In "The Desperate Hours" (1955) a family is taken hostage. They have two or three perfect escapes foiled by the same kid. In one they get outside, find the kid missing and see he's still in the house at gunpoint. IIRC (it's been a long time) this kid also mouthed off to the bandits with something like "Oh, yeah? Well, when my father gets to his gun which is in the drawer right there ..."

to:

* True, to an extent, for ''RaidersOfTheLostArk.''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk.'' If Indy hadn't been there to battle the Nazis, would the ending have been much different? [[spoiler: Maybe a little. The flying wing was going to take the ark to Berlin, so if Indy hadn't interfered, it might have been opened in front of the top Nazi brass, thus killing Hitler and ending the war early.]]
* In "The ''The Desperate Hours" Hours'' (1955) a family is taken hostage. They have two or three perfect escapes foiled by the same kid. In one they get outside, find the kid missing and see he's still in the house at gunpoint. IIRC (it's been a long time) this kid also mouthed off to the bandits with something like "Oh, yeah? Well, when my father gets to his gun which is in the drawer right there ..."
This list shows the last 10 events of 74. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TheMeddlingKidsAreUseless