Created By: Wilsonator on January 28, 2008
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Poor in Comparison

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Where in a show or game that features ludicrously powerful people, a certain character or group of characters are overshadowed by their superior fellows and end up looking plain crap, even though they are still very competent in comparison to your average guy.

Similar to Badass Normal, except they rarely get a chance to actually be badass.

Hercule in Dragon Ball Z Most of the non-saiyan characters as well. Dan in Street Fighter

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • January 28, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    We had this a while ago, but it never got launched.
  • January 28, 2008
    Patsy
    Also Krillin of Dragonball and Luigi of Mario, if we're getting into this.
  • January 28, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Misa of Death Note isn't actually objectively stupid, but you wouldn't know it by comparing her to all the show's uber-geniuses.
  • January 28, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Sokka from Avatar would fit here more than he does in Badass Normal. Great guy sure...but Badass he ain't, especially compared to everyone else.
  • January 28, 2008
    BobbyG
    Most characters in Doctor Who. For example, Mickey, and Jack even more so - both are very capable individuals, but get totally overshadowed by the Doctor. This was particularly a problem with Martha Jones, who often comes across as completely redundant and useless in terms of the plot, despite being an extremely intelligent and capable character.

    And then of course there's Watson of the Sherlock Holmes stories, who is very intelligent, but still massively overshadowed by Holmes' deductive power.
  • January 28, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Dr Dedman: Dave Van Domelen had a bit on one of his websites. He referred to it as "Six Sigma problem". The point being that normally, everyone falls within 6 standard deviations of the median. Create a "super" character and they dominate even the dominators. The early example he uses is Doc Savage and his team. All of them are the "greatest" in their field (Archtecture/Construction, Archaeology, Electricity, Law, Chemistry). Doc is better that all of them (a "seven sigma"). Dragonball is the anime ur-example.
  • January 28, 2008
    FalconPain
    Do we have a trope for Sidekick Issues? It's closely linked to this, and a lot of the examples here would probably fit there.
  • January 28, 2008
    scooter007
    How about Normal Normal? or does that sound dumbdumb??
  • January 28, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Hercule doesn't really count on the list. He can hardly fight normal people, let alone the main characters.
  • January 28, 2008
    CountSpatula
    What do you mean (about Hercule)? He legitimately won the Tenkaichi Budokai when the main characters were off distracted by Cell. This would put him on the same level as some of the early-mid Dragonball (not Z) characters.
  • January 28, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Dr Dedman: Hercule/Satan is the referenced point in Van Domelen's bit. He's roughly a sigma five. Compared to the rest of the world, he's really strong. Compared to the central cast, he's one level down from the comic relief (even his daughter probably). Compared to the Saiyans, he's a joke. But it really isn't a fair measurement. And unfortunately for him, he's smart enough to know when he's outclassed most of the time.
  • January 28, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Tried to launch this once as The Krillin
  • January 28, 2008
    Masami Phoenix
    I vote for The Krillin.

    Sokka bounces between this and Bad Ass Norm depending on the episode.
  • January 28, 2008
    Gambrinus
    This seems like it's often related to So Last Season where a character who used to be considered powerful during one storyline is quickly outshadowed by other, more popular characters reaching higher and higher power levels. Is hugely common in fighting shows.
  • January 28, 2008
    thatother1dude
  • January 28, 2008
    Earnest
    @Gambrinus: That's Cant Catch Up. Thinking on it... what's the main difference between these two?
  • January 29, 2008
    Wilsonator
    So should we launch this under The Krillin ?
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