Created By: 32_Footsteps on May 8, 2012 Last Edited By: 32_Footsteps on October 16, 2015

Zero Competence (was Zero Chops)

A supertrope for general incompetence at a task

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(Note: The trope formerly called Zero Chops is now Wimp Fight. This YKTTW is proposed as per this TRS thread:

Some people are natural talents at a given skill. Some people get good through Training from Hell.

And then we get the folks that, no matter what, are incredibly incompetent at the skill in question.

We're not talking about simple mediocrity at the task in question. A character with Zero Competence will, at best, fail miserably at the task in question. Epic Fail is more likely as a regular result. Frequently, Hilarity Ensues, particularly as the story typically puts the character in a position to frequently demonstrate their lack of talent in this one area.

This is an extremely broad trope, and several types of Zero Chops have become their own subtropes:

When someone has Zero Competence and they're oblivious to this fact, they're also Giftedly Bad.

Compare Bad "Bad Acting" and Hollywood Tone-Deaf, where the Zero Competence in question act as an Informed Flaw.

No Real Life Examples, Please!.
  • In Scrubs, Doug is completely incapable of keeping a patient alive. Which is problematic for him, seeing as he's a doctor.
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