History Main / UselessProtagonist

13th Mar '16 10:17:12 PM Sabrewing
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* Dave in ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'' leads the charge to rescue his girlfriend Sandy from Dr. Fred's clutches, but all he is is an ItemCaddy. Every other character has a skill they can lend to the cause on ''top'' of carrying items, even Jeff with his measly ability to repair the telephone.
8th Mar '16 4:47:07 PM timotaka
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* The works of Creator/FranzKafka make such a brutally effective use of this that he might as well be the trope namer. His stories often have protagonists who have next to no agency in how the events unfold. This is not even necessarily because they actually lack any real power, but because they are unwilling to take action due to fear, uncertainty or (misplaced) faith in organizations and proper procedure.



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12th Jan '16 6:58:07 PM Ramidel
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* Sakai Yuuji of ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana''. The [[MacGuffin Reiji Maigo]] is the only reason he even gets to remain in the world, and he tends to hide behind his semi-protective [[ActionGirl flaming swordswoman]] when push comes to shove. [[TookALevelInBadass Except in the last two arcs of the second season]]. And VERY MUCH not so for the third season.
5th Jan '16 10:16:15 AM JohnnyChimpo
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*** Bond seduced Pussy Galore, which apparently convinced her to warn the army and switch the poison gas out for something harmless. Without Bond's roll in the hay, hundreds of soldiers and civilians are gassed to death and Goldfinger probably gets away with it.
16th Dec '15 11:53:02 AM wrm5
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** ''Film/AgentForHARM'''s protagonist Adam Chance's main contributions to the narrative are killing {{Mooks}}, getting tricked, and failing to save the day.

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** ''Film/AgentForHARM'''s protagonist Adam Chance's main contributions to the narrative are killing {{Mooks}}, getting tricked, and failing to save the day. In the end his greatest contribution was taking out the villain's mooks so that the aging elderly scientist could finish the villain off himself.
10th Dec '15 11:15:58 PM Llygodenfawr
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A Useless Protagonist is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin exactly that]], a Point of View character who can only watch as the {{Badass}} supporting characters bust their asses saving both him/her and the world. They may become more BadAss later on, but they always start as something of a pansy.

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A Useless Protagonist is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin exactly that]], that]]: a Point of View character who can only watch as the {{Badass}} supporting characters bust their asses saving both him/her and the world. They may become more BadAss later on, but they always start as something of a pansy.
10th Dec '15 9:06:39 PM Llygodenfawr
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* Winston Smith of ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' is a brutally {{justified|Trope}} version of this trope. All he gets to do as the hero of the piece is keep a diary and have an affair[[spoiler: before being arrested, tortured, and brainwashed]], but the Totalitarian state he lives in considers these ''[[FelonyMisdemeanor very]]'' serious offences.
%%* Bella Swan from ''Literature/{{Twilight}}''.

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* Winston Smith of ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' is a brutally {{justified|Trope}} version of this trope. All he gets to do as the hero of the piece is keep a diary and have an affair[[spoiler: before affair [[spoiler:before being arrested, tortured, and brainwashed]], but the Totalitarian state he lives in considers these ''[[FelonyMisdemeanor very]]'' serious offences.
%%* * Bella Swan from ''Literature/{{Twilight}}''.''Literature/{{Twilight}}''. What little actual action there is is performed by other characters; Bella mostly just hangs out and watches as people compete for her attention, fight each other, debate whether or not to fight each other, etc. Bella doesn't even watch that much.
10th Dec '15 8:59:13 PM Llygodenfawr
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* Sheriff Bell in ''Literature/NoCountryForOldMen.'' In both the book and film, he serves more as the role of {{narrator}} than a protagonist.

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* Sheriff Bell in ''Literature/NoCountryForOldMen.'' ''Literature/NoCountryForOldMen''. In both the book and film, he serves more as the role of {{narrator}} than a protagonist.



* Wilbur from ''Literature/CharlottesWeb''. His job is get his life saved by Charlotte.[[note]] He does, however, afterward man up and take steps to preserve Charlotte's eggs, acting as a surrogate parent to three of her children and many subsequent descendants[[/note]]

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* Wilbur from ''Literature/CharlottesWeb''. His job is to get his life saved by Charlotte.[[note]] He does, Charlotte. (Later, however, afterward man up and take he takes steps to preserve Charlotte's eggs, acting as a surrogate parent to three of her children and many subsequent descendants[[/note]]descendants.)
29th Nov '15 3:25:13 AM Adept
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Contrast PinballProtagonist where a character does have useful skills, but is incapable of acting on her own initiative because stronger characters have set the plot on rails. Not related to a SpotlightStealingSquad taking focus from the lead.

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Contrast PinballProtagonist where a character does have useful skills, but is incapable of acting on her their own initiative because stronger characters have set the plot on rails. Not related to a SpotlightStealingSquad taking focus from the lead.



* Nearly every male lead-type character in Harem Anime and Exotic Girlfriend shows will tend towards this trope, often being an [[UnluckyEverydude incredibly bland character]] completely overshadowed by the girls to the point of not even appearing on the promo images and trailers for the show. Case in point: Tsukune Aono of ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' is, in the beginning, limited to being Moka's [[RestrainingBolt Rosary]]-remover.



%% * The kids in ''FinalFantasyUnlimited''.

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%% * The kids in ''FinalFantasyUnlimited''.''Anime/FinalFantasyUnlimited''.
29th Aug '15 11:59:21 PM Polokun
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* Snake from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4''. When you think about the story as a whole in the game, most of what he tries to accomplish ends up failing and when he does succeed, it's only because someone else planned it and did all the actual heroics, reducing Snake to be nothing but a glorified delivery boy.
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