This is when you have a (usually supporting) character who establishes fairly early on that he's desperately wanted something highly valued or unique (and considered by all to be extremely rare
) in the world of the story, whether it be an ultra-powerful weapon
, legendary magical powers
, or acceptance into a highly coveted group
, but never gets it
, despite numerous other characters
in the story getting the power, item or position.
Maybe it's because of spiritual or emotional reasons
that he never receives what he's after. Maybe it's because there's only six positions or items to go around, and they've all been claimed by other characters
. Maybe he's just the Butt Monkey
of his universe, and his failure at achieving this supposedly rare
power that everyone else has gotten at a certain point
is used as a Running Gag
Point is, despite knowing about the legendary weapon or secret magic power longer than the other characters, or even after relentless life-long training to use it, this character will never, ever be able to have it for himself.
Contrast with The Call Put Me On Hold
- In Kingdom Hearts, it's implied that Leon wanted to be the Keybearer fairly early on in the game, and is shown to have extensive knowledge of how Keyblades work. Despite this, after many other characters had received their own Keyblades, Leon still never gets one of his own.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", Rainbow Dash never gets the Apple Family's special cider (which they can only make once a year, and always run out of extremely fast), despite her determination. Eventually at the end, Pinkie Pie, who usually hoards cider for herself, decides to share her cider with Rainbow (which at this point, the special cider is plentiful and common enough to keep the entire town's thirst quenched).
- In the Futurama episode "Time Keeps on Slippin'", Bender desperately wants to be a Harlem Globetrotter and asks Bubblegum Tate (who was helping Professor Farnsworth find a way to keep time from skipping forward) if he could be a member of the team. Bubblegum Tate tells Bender that he can't, despite Bender's numerous attempts at trying to impress Bubblegum, but goes on to make every other member of Planetary Express an honourary Globetrotter after Farnsworth offers up a doomsday device to destroy a nebula to stop the time skips. Bubblegum then explains to Bender that he's not funky enough to be a Globetrotter.