Created By: Bisected8 on February 19, 2011 Last Edited By: Bisected8 on February 28, 2011
Troped

Cloudcuckoolander's Minder

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
YKTTW previously titled; Cloudcuckooland Tour Guide Other suggested names: Cuckoolandese Interpreter, Cloudcuckoolanders Caretaker, Cloudcuckoolanders Assistant Needs a Better Name

Bob is a bit off. He might be a helpful member of the nakama but his habit of breaking into song and dance for no reason, or his obsession with rulers or insisting that he carry a carrot of no less than 6.12 millimeters (and no longer) in length at all times, or saluting whenever the air temperature drops below...well you get the idea. Put quite simply he's hard for anyone to understand, talk to or otherwise work with. Everyone except his (long suffering, but inexplicably loyal) childhood friend Alice that is.

Put simply, this trope is about someone who has the task (be it as a friend or their actual job) of keeping an eye on the resident cloudcuckoolander, Fish out of Water or other strange person. They might be a close friend, relative, hired bodyguard or nanny or even just a plain old servant. As long as they accompany someone who's a bit crazy and try to prevent things getting out of hand, they're this trope.

Services this tour guide can provide include;

Of course, since there needs to be a plot (or at least some gags) Failure Is the Only Option. If the person in question is completly dependant then this is The Caretaker. Expect their roles to be reversed at least once.

Related tropes include; Beleaguered Assistant, Nerd Nanny, Battle Butler, Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl, Old Retainer, The Caretaker (who looks after someone who wouldn't look after themselves) and Living Emotional Crutch
Examples;
  • Seen It a Million Times
  • The geologist responsible for putting forward an important aspect of plate tectonics (who's name escapes me right now) was known for having very strange speech patterns. When he died a friend of his (who knew what he was on about) rephrased things for him.
  • Leela is this to Fry (being his boss) for the first few episodes of Futurama. After that he adapts and no longer acts like a Fish Out of Temporal Water.
  • The main characters in the Ace Attorney series tend to be this to their sidekicks (at the very least they occasionally manage to prevent them from doing something stupid).
  • A more serious version appears in The Suffering where there's an Escort Mission (optional, but you'll need to complete it to get the best ending) that involves guiding around a drugged up, traumatised teenager who's so out of it he thinks you're his father.
  • In Fallout 3 you essentially serve as this to Moira Brown when you're doing her (exceptionally long) quest chain to gather data for writing a survival guide. You can even talk her out of pursuing said dream (but only if you're feeling cruel).
  • Rincewind is assigned this role (as a literal tour guide) for Twoflower in the Discworld series.
  • At some of the cast of BlazBlue try to keep Taokaka out of trouble when they can (particularly her progenitor Jubei, his student Ragna and Tao's more level headed Cool Big Sis and mentor Torakaka).
  • The title character of the TV show Monk, who suffers from OCD, employs a helpful companion (Sharona in early seasons, then Natalie). She hands out sanitizing wipes, does all manner of dirty work, explains his odd mannerisms to others, and generally runs interference between him and the world.
  • Another serious version; Simon of Firefly acts as this for his "not altogether there" sister.
  • In Fringe Astrid and Peter are this to Walter.
  • Ronald Graham is a Real Life example.
  • Dr. Watson acts as one of these to the eccentric and blunt Sherlock Holmes.
  • In Transmetropolitan the Filthy Assistants, Channon Yarrow an ex-stripper-nun turned bodyguard and Yelena Rossini a chain smoking would be writer, are this to gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem. Yes, they really are the sane ones.
  • In Azumanga Daioh Chiyo-chan is one of these to Osaka. Particularly amusing since the former is much younger than the later.
  • In Sandman Barnabas the Dog is assigned by Destruction to accompany and watch over his sister, Delerium (her name says it all).
  • Aoi to Hayana in Twinkle Saber Nova.
  • In GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class Mizubuchi is this to the art club president; Awara. She even lampshaded it once, noting that she has a friend who she always needs to keep an eye on.
  • The titular character of Hayate the Combat Butler and Sharna Alamgir were, according to the mangaka, created to play the Straight Man to Fumi Hibino's goofball character and basically exists to provide snappy comebacks. It must be a bit hard for her, since she is a foreign exchange student herself.
  • Even if Haruhi Suzumiya haven't been a Reality Warper Kyon's life would have been a lot easier if he hadn't meet the titular character to begin with. But instead he allowed himself to be forced into her self created club and search for aliens, time travelers, ESP'ers etc. to keep her entertained.

Rolling Updates
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • February 20, 2011
    Bisected8
    No thoughts?
  • February 20, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Needs A Better Title. I Thought It Meant "a tour guide who is a Cloudcuckoolander" not "a tour guide FOR a Cloudcuckoolander."
  • February 20, 2011
    Josech
    The title character of the TV show Monk, who suffers from OCD, employs a helpful companion (Sharona in early seasons, then Natalie). She hands out sanitizing wipes, does all manner of dirty work, explains his odd mannerisms to others, and generally runs interference between him and the world.
  • February 20, 2011
    Bisected8
    Any ideas for a better name then?
  • February 20, 2011
    Erock
    Cuckoolandese Interpreter?
  • February 20, 2011
    CinnaThePoet
    Simon of Firefly acts as this for his "not altogether there" sister.

  • February 21, 2011
    Bisected8
    @Erock: It might work, but it doesn't roll off the tongue.
  • February 21, 2011
    X2X
    I'm Speak Loopy Too, perhaps? That sounds a bit misleading, though...

    Loopy Thesaurus, maybe?
  • February 21, 2011
    Bisected8
    Hmm, the second sounds more like an insane book. The problem so far is that the titles seem to focus too much on the "translator" aspect....
  • February 21, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Obligatory Fringe example: Astrid and Peter are this to Walter.
  • February 21, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    May be a Beleaguered Assistant (you may want to check there for crossover examples).
  • February 21, 2011
    Earnest
  • February 21, 2011
    jate88
    Cloudcuckoolanders caretaker or cloudcuckoolanders assistant sound like better names to me. When I read the name I missed the "er" on the end and thought this trope would be about the mind of a cloudcuckoolander.
  • February 21, 2011
    TwinBird
    I think this might be too close to The Caretaker

    Although if not, Watson and Ronald Graham are two obvious examples.
  • February 21, 2011
    Bisected8
    The Caretaker is someone who looks after someone who can't look after themselves. This is more of a level headed sidekick to a cloudcuckoolander (or vice versa).
  • February 21, 2011
    shimaspawn
    • In Transmetropolitan the Filthy Assistants, Channon Yarrow an ex-stripper-nun turned bodyguard and Yelena Rossini a chain smoking would be writer, are this to gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem. Yes, they really are the sane ones.
  • February 22, 2011
    DerScotten
  • February 22, 2011
    shimaspawn
    ^ Don't write X Just X examples. They aren't helpful.
  • February 22, 2011
    TwinBird
    Um... Watson isn't a Real Life example...
  • February 22, 2011
    JohnDiFool
    Sandman: Barnabas the Dog is assigned by Destruction to accompany and watch over his sister, Delerium.
  • February 22, 2011
    Bisected8
    @Twin Bird: Sorry, I didn't realie you meant Watson from Sherlock Holmes. I assumed you were talking about two related examples. ^^;
  • February 23, 2011
    Bisected8
    Well, I'll launch this tommorow or Friday as Cloudcuckoolanders Assistant, if there are no objections?
  • February 24, 2011
    Koveras
    Aoi to Hayana in Twinkle Saber Nova.
  • February 25, 2011
    Bisected8
    Launching later today.
  • February 25, 2011
    DannebrogSpy
    • In GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class Mizubuchi is this for the art club president Awara. She even lampshaded it once by saying that she is tired since she have a friend she always need to taka care of.
    • For Hayate The Combat Butler Sharna Alamgir according to the mangaka were created to play the straight man to Fumi Hibino's goofball character and basically exists to provide snappy comebacks. Must be a bit hard for her, since she herself is a foreign exchange student.
    • Even if Haruhi Suzumiya haven't been a Reality Warper the life of Kyon would have been a lot more easyer if he hadn't meet the title character to begin with. But instead he is forced into her selfcreated club with the porpouse to search after aliens, time travelers, ESP'ers etc. and keep her entertained. Which give Kyon and the other club members their hand full with anything she comes up with, be it baseball tournament, movie making or searching for the unnormal.
  • February 28, 2011
    Euodiachloris
    OMG - just thought of an example from Discworld: the talking, unnamed, (WMG: but, seriously, how is he not Gaspode?) thinking dog of Foul Ol' Ron's. He's Ron's translator, compass and memory all rolled up into one.
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