Created By: Psi001 on January 8, 2013 Last Edited By: Psi001 on January 8, 2013

Formidable Loser

They always go down with a fight.

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There's a character that pits itself against another, be it The Hero, the villain or just the hyped new addition, and loses. Almost always. So why do they still maintain any shred of dignity or mystique? Because they usually only lose by that much.

This is an opponent that is pit against a hopeful cast member, and puts up enough of a challenge and hardship for them that their defeat is something rather creditable to their list of accomplishments.

Can be considered a sub trope for The Worf Effect (though while the main trope can range anywhere between this and an utter curbstomp, this trope always involves going out with dignity. See also Worthy Opponent. Often a good way to downplay an Invincible Hero.


  • King Arthur regards the Black Knight as this in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Unfortunately he is unwilling to accept that and continues "dueling" despite having his limbs hacked off one by one, becoming a somewhat less formidable loser.

Professional Wrestling:

  • Many higher profile jobbers amount to this, particularly those demoted from a more creditable career. The majority of new powerhouses will face them after a number of curbstomps against regular jobbers, and while they will eventually be vanquished, they will pressure the newcomer enough to show they are as resilient as they are powerful.
  • Pretty much the majority of The Undertaker's opponents concerning his undefeated winning streak in Wrestlemania. He always wins, but the sheer resilience and offense he takes always leaves at least some suspension of disbelief as to whether his streak will be broken.
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