Created By: JtheDrafter on December 20, 2011 Last Edited By: JtheDrafter on December 25, 2011

Mr. Wimp With the Cool Sword

A certain character's gadget would be put to better use if someone else on the team had it.

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
This trope is in effect when one character gets his/her powers from a weapon or tool that someone else could use better. Needs More Examples

Needs a Better Name

Comic Books:
  • Hawkgirl and her mace. Hawkgirl's mace displayed alot of power in the show (it had considerable hitting power, never once got damaged, was found to disrupt magic and even deflected a planet-destroying blast at one point), but the weapon would have been more effective in the hands of J'onn, Superman, and Wonder Woman, three people who have Super Strength as well as the ability to fly like Hawkgirl.
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • December 20, 2011
    Zeta
    From the proposed title, I thought it was about a less superpowered character getting a power-up artifact to compensate them being Overshadowed By Awesome or Cant Catch Up team-mates.
  • December 20, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    We don't like character named tropes and this one is particularly unintuitive.
  • December 20, 2011
    Sligh
    I, on the other hand, thought the title is pretty fitting and understood it perfectly when I read it (of course you'd have to know the Justice League). Also, I don't mind character named tropes. We have a lot, you know? I guess you could go for something like "The lame one gets the sword", but its not as entertaining.

    By the way, do we have the trope for a character who is clearly less powerful than the others in a series focused around multiple characters acting together? If so, you should probably substitute "The Lame One" for it.
  • December 20, 2011
    captainpat
    Bad Trope Namer

    With the exception of wonder woman, it was never stated out right that Hawkgirl's other teammate could use her mace "better" (you have to factor in things like skill as well), plus that would ruin the team dynamic if they had the mace instead of her.

    I like Zeta of a team member who relies on a power-up artifact or item to keep up with the other members
  • December 20, 2011
    JtheDrafter
    Superman and J'onn both have high-level Super Strength; I find it impossible to believe that superior swinging technique can overcome such a large gap in physical power. Hawkgirl can probably swing faster than J'onn, since J'onn doesn't have Super Speed and Hawkgirl knows how to use the mace (though J'onn's superior strength may help his recovery time after a swing). The point about having less effective team dynamics if Hawkgirl is unarmed is also valid. On the other hand, Superman (or Wonder Woman, or J'onn) would probably win alot of fights they lost if they had the mace.
  • December 20, 2011
    Sligh
    Oh, yes, I'm quite aware of Bad Trope Namer. I just think it should overall be enforced with more flexibility. Justice League is probably the most famous Comic Book's team of all, so it would probably be ok. I don't have a problem with changing the trope namer, though. Anyway:

    1- Yep. Clearly Superman could use it better and quite probably so would J'onn. Wonder Woman is actually SHOWED to use it better.

    2- I don't know if group dinamics really matter here. The point of the trope is, as far as I understand, whether other people could use it better, not if it makes sense or not for the character to keep its weapon. If you think Hawkgirl should keep it because of group dynamics, then it's a Justified Trope.
  • December 20, 2011
    Tuomas
    Justice League may be kinda well known, but in the comics Hawkgirl hasn't been a member for decades, she's only in the team in the animated series. I've read plenty of Justice League comics, but I've only seen a few episoded of the animation, so the trope title doesn't say anything particular to me. I do know Hawkgirl has a mace in the animation, but "Hawkgirl gets the mace" could refer any number of things that have to do with her and her mace. And there are plenty of readers to whom "Hawkgirl" (or her mace) is a completely unfamiliar reference; it's not like she's in the rank of Superman or Batman when it comes to pop culture icons.

    Also, I don't want to sound too harsh, but you need to come up with other examples, otherwise this will sound like you're complaining about one particular show.
  • December 21, 2011
    Deboss
    Famous for a comic book is not famous enough. Hawkgirl, and the episode in particular your thinking of, are far from popularly engrained enough to make sense. It has to be above the level of famousness where someone who has never seen the source work gets it.

    Please, try to find a name that actually makes sense to someone who isn't well versed in specific shows.
  • December 21, 2011
    peccantis
    This doesn't sound like a trope as much as a platform for speculative complaining.
  • December 21, 2011
    KJMackley
    Any Trope Namers need to be understandable regardless of knowing the trope namer, I would have guessed this trope had something to do with a Weapon Of Choice if the laconic wasn't posted right underneath. Whenever possible there has to be something intuitive about the name structure. Boxing Lessons For Superman, Go Karting With Bowser, even The Other Darrin gives you something to guess the trope without knowing anything about them.

    And if there is anything to this trope, we need more examples. I think there may be something here about giving a lesser powered character something to put them on par with the big leagues when that same item would be of more use to a big leaguer.
  • December 21, 2011
    Sligh
    To all who complained about the name of the Trope: I don't really care about the name, as long as it sounds good and witty. I just said it sounds good TO ME. Any sugestions for an alternative?

    Deboss, the name does not mentions a particular episode. It's about a weapon or equipment not being with whomever could use it best. Read description, please.

    Peccantis, there's no complaining. I believe that in the case pointed by the author of the YKTTW the trope is actually pretty much justified.

    And yes, desperately Needs More Examples.
  • December 21, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    One demotivational poster lampshaded how broken it would be to give Batman the green lantern ring.
  • December 21, 2011
    Deboss
    It doesn't mention a particular episode, but I'm guessing it's based on the episode where Diana tries to steal Shayora's mace and uses it significantly more effectively on a magical opponent.
  • December 21, 2011
    captainpat
    Unless it's stated within the work that a character's equipment would be put to better use in the hands on another character, then this in just gonna become a speculation page, and I don't think we want that.
  • December 21, 2011
    Sligh
    The description should probably make clear that examples must be really clear-cut. They don't really want to be shown in-universe, though. Some things are just deductible. If Alice is stronger and faster than Bob, why wouldn't she use the BFS better?
  • December 21, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Would these count?

    Literature:
    • In Lord Of The Rings, none of the ringbearers (Ilsuldor, Gollum, Bilbo and Frodo) were able to use the ring to maximum effectiveness (In Gollum and Bilbo's cases, the ring was used solely as an Invisibility Cloak) - and that was fortunate - had they been able to use it more effectively, it would have corrupted them more quickly, and Sauron would have likely obtained the ring.
    • The Endless Quest book series seemed to like this one.
      • In Mountain of Mirrors, Landon (the protagonist) is a very low - level elven warrior who has been given "The Sword of the Mangus", a powerful magic item probably more suited to use by more experienced hands. It's a deliberate attempt by desperate village elders to invoke the trope Unlikely Hero. In the Good Ending, it works, because the army of ogres sees only a child trying to pretend he can fight, but the Starfish Aliens see an elven warrior with a magic sword.
      • In Dragon of Doom, Morgan, the protagonist, is a young wizard ordered by a council of wizards to find the missing legendary wizard Zed and return his ring of wishes, which Morgan doesn't know how to use. Shaffron, an optional sidekick, has an amulet that would enable Morgan to read Zed's mind but it is a priceless family heirloom and she'd rather risk her life helping Morgan than give it up. Of course it turns out that Zed is really the Big Bad.
      • In Under Dragon's Wing, Prince Treon, the protagonist, has the option of choosing between two magic items: a book and a ring. Either could be an Amulet Of Concentrated Awesome in the right hands, but Prince Treon is a Royal Brat who wouldn't know one end of a magic wand from the other. Fortunately, in the Good Ending, it works out because either can allow Treon to carry out Hit And Run Tactics, and even if he screws up, he can still create diversions so that the real magic users are able to defend the country.
  • December 22, 2011
    moocow1452
    How does this split from Superman Stays Out Of Gotham?
  • December 22, 2011
    Sligh
    ^^^^^^ They seem quite different to me.
  • December 23, 2011
    TBeholder
    The title reads in the vein of "coward with a big cannon"
  • December 24, 2011
    Ryuuma
    From One Piece, Brook's fighting style is a speed-focused fencing style that makes him a Glass Cannon. When his shadow and fighting skills are put in the body of Samurai Ryuuma he's shown to be much more powerful and destructive with those skills, to the point that he can riddle a whole tower with holes with a quick series of stabbing attacks.
  • December 25, 2011
    hevendor717
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=fy9jdaquhkf9p7imlrjmd5oz