Cloudcuckoolander's Minder


(permanent link) added: 2011-02-19 17:12:40 sponsor: Bisected8 (last reply: 2011-02-28 09:36:48)

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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.

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