* In ''Film/WithoutAClue'' (1988), Sherlock Holmes is actually an incompetent stooge that fronts for Dr Watson, the true detective.
* Bough in ''Film/JohnnyEnglish''.
* Gobei from ''Film/BeverlyHillsNinja''.
* Cato Fong of the original ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' movies. Gilbert Ponton in the SteveMartin Reboot.
* ''IntolerableCruelty'' names this trope "The Tenzing Norgay", after the Sherpa who helped Edmund Hillary get to the top of Mount Everest.
* Vadinho from ''Film/PumaMan'' is a BadassNormal who constantly hand-holds the nominal superhero Tony through the adventure and displays power and badassery in such quantity that you wonder why he needs Tony at all.
* An extreme example in Kato from ''Film/TheGreenHornet'', who does all the work and is treated like a worthless sidekick until he rebels. This is because Creator/BruceLee, who played Kato in the series, is far better remembered than the actual character of the Green Hornet. Creator/SethRogen, who plays the Green Hornet in TheMovie, [[TypeCasting also specializes in playing idiot slackers.]]
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Film/SkyHigh''
-->'''Will''': Do you hand [your Hero] A) his silver-tipped crossbow, B) a wooden stake, C)...
-->'''Zach''': I'm already holding his crossbow, why can't I just shoot it myself?
* A prevalent running gag in ''Film/BigTroubleInLittleChina''. Jack Burton acts like the hero, but it's his sidekick Wang who actually knows what's going on.
** And yet it's Burton who [[spoiler:kills the BigBad by catching a knife thrown at him and "returning" it]].
* Nobody will ever really understand why Jules agrees to serve under Reynolds ''Pirates XXX''.
* ''Warriors of the Wasteland'' (aka 'The New Barbarians'): the bow-and-arrow-wielding Nadir does a better job of dealing with the homicidal Templars than the purported hero, Scorpion. He does it so well that it's usually his character depicted on the cover.
* [=R2D2=] in ''Franchise/StarWars'', particularly if viewed as specifically C-3PO's sidekick. In the original trilogy, he hacks the Death Star main computer to show its internal lay-out and shut down the trash compactors, keeps Luke's X-wing flying, and functions as a spy and monitoring station. He's also shown a number of times to be particularly brave and determined. In the prequels, it's the same story again: repairing a ship in hard vacuum while other droids blow up around him, ''flying'', and once again hacking in the enemy's flagship.
** In the Expanded Universe Artoo continues this trend. He's effectively saved entire planets and civilizations of the Galaxy numerous times thanks to saving Han, Luke, Leia, or whoever the hell he's with repeatedly despite great personal risk to his tiny droid self. It's all the more impressive that he accomplishes this without really having any direct defenses of his own.
** Of course, WordOfGod from Lucas himself has ([[FlipFlopOfGod sometimes]]) been that what we see aren't the true events, it's R2 telling the story to an alien race. It's entirely possible that he embellished a bit, especially since most of his biggest heroic moments had no organic witnesses.
* In ''Film/{{Steel}}'', Steel's sidekick, [[HandicappedBadass Sparky]], has [[SuperWheelchair a wheelchair that can shoot rapid fire energy blasts and fly.]] Since she has better powers and a better backstory, wouldn't the movie have been better if [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot she was the lead]]?
* Played straight from the point of view of the Literature/WatershipDown rabbits in that Bigwig is tougher, stronger and more experienced in combat than Hazel, and in many warrens this would qualify him to be Chief, yet these rabbits have been through so much and come to respect [[TheChessmaster Hazel's qualities of leadership, lateral thinking and delegation]] that he is, without having to even decide on it, the Chief. It's beautifully played with, though, when Bigwig faces down Woundwort at the end and informs him that his Chief told him to defend the run - Woundwort is visibly [[OhCrap taken aback]] since he can't help but imagine the rabbit that could command Bigwig to be even stronger than him!
* Played with in ''TheDevilWearsPrada''. On the one hand, Andy and Miranda's other employees are regularly expected to do the impossible instantly and perfectly. On the other hand, this is not because Miranda is a FakeUltimateHero; rather, she's TheAce and demands the same from everyone else. When Andy arrives for her interview during the fim's opening, she is informed that Miranda has burned through a long string of assistants because they were not hypercompetent ''enough''.
* In ''Film/IronMan'', Tony Stark may be able to build a miniature arc reactor [[MemeticMutation in a cave, with a box of scraps]], but it is no secret that for all his genius, he can't function without his ever faithful assistant, the beleaguered Pepper Potts. To the point that Tony doesn't even hesitate in making her the CEO of Stark Industries during the first sequel, seeing as she's essentially been running the company for him for years.
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