Created By: Exitus2000 on June 4, 2012

Indispensable Jerkass

The guy who can get away with sassing the Boss because he's too talented to dispose of

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The Boss runs a tight ship and has little patience for funny business. No one DARES give the Boss a hard time. However, there's one person on the team who is so talented, so irreplaceable, they get away with behavior that would get anyone else fired, MakeAnExampleOutofThem or worse. Often a bunny-ears lawyer who is so into their work they simply don't give a damn. When working for a Bad Boss, is likely to be subjected to You Have Outlived Your Usefullness.

Examples:

The mad scientist from Aachi & Ssipak. The Bad Boss is known to execute underlings for talking back, but grudgingly tolerates his incredibly rude behavior.

Boba Fett from Star Wars, the only character who has talked back to Darth Vader and lived.

Architect Vladimir Semyonov, Joseph Stalin's master planner, would grab Stalin's elbow when Stalin would try to remove a model of St Basil's Cathedral.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • June 4, 2012
    jatay3
    There was a salvage expert like that in Hornblower and the Atropos.
  • June 4, 2012
    Dacilriel
    Dr. Cox on Scrubs won't put up with anything from Chief of Medicine Dr. Kelso and he gets away with it because he's a great doctor.

    Anyone else who pulled half of Hawkeye's stunts on MASH would have been court-martialled, dishonorably discharged , or both. He was indispensable because of his skill as a surgeon.
  • June 4, 2012
    Mauri
    Wally from Dilbert can be a king of the trope... he avoids work finds way to annoy the boss and manages to keep the job. All while keeping the coffee cup with a constant income of coffee.
  • June 4, 2012
    captainsandwich
    House, seriously there are so many quotes from that show that belong here. Also there is a centaur in Artemis Fowl. He is skilled enough he is allowed to get away with his behavior but i am not sure if he is that big of a jerk, haven't read the series in a while.
  • June 4, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Somebody who has their job even though nobody likes them because only they can do it? This sounds like Vetinari Job Security.
  • June 5, 2012
    Arivne
    Literature
    • The Mote In Gods Eye. The Sailing Master (navigator) of the MacArthur is a man called Renner, who tends to be brutally honest when talking to people. Captain Rod Blaine keeps him as an officer for a reason.
    Renner was competent. Renner was also a smartass; but that was a good bargain. Rod would settle for a competent smartass.
  • June 5, 2012
    nielas
    Isn't this Bunny Ears Lawyer? That trope is specifically about people who are so indispensable that they get away with behaviour that would get a normal person fired.
  • June 5, 2012
    Exitus2000
    Would this be better as a subtrope of Bunny Ears Lawyer, considering that this trope applies to really nasty bosses that will not hesitate to kill you?
  • June 5, 2012
    captainsandwich
    I don't think the all the bosses in this trope are nasty and wouldn't hesitate to kill there employees.
  • June 5, 2012
    JoeG
    A possible page quote, from Memory.
    Canaba was carrying on as usual, brilliantly and obnoxiously. If his brilliance ever failed, he'd doubtless be quite surprised at what a load of retribution his obnoxiousness had brought him.
  • June 5, 2012
    TonyG
    ^^^^It doesn't have to be a Bunny Ears Lawyer. It can also be a Servile Snarker.
  • June 6, 2012
    Damr1990
    would Insufferable Genius be a subtrope?, or just a parallel to compare/contrast?
  • June 6, 2012
    TheHandle
    Vetinari Job Security, underling edition?
  • June 6, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^ The Same But More Specific, but not even that, since Vetinari Job Security applies to everyone, not just the boss.
  • June 6, 2012
    captainsandwich
    Insufferable Genius could be self employed I think so its not a sub trope.
  • June 6, 2012
    Exitus2000
    How about "Immune to the Bad Boss" as a subtrope of Bunny Ears Lawyer?
  • June 7, 2012
    AP
    I'd say this is a good subtrope of Bunny Ears Lawyer. Instead of a Cloud Cookoo Lander, this guy's a Jerk Ass. Perhaps a Jerk Ass With A Heart Of Gold even.
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