[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/KimPossible http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nonactionguy350_8656.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Seriously. ''Man. Up.'']]

->''"Seven years, Dawn. Working with the slayer. Seeing my friends get more and more powerful. A witch. A demon. Hell, I could fit Oz in my shaving kit, but come a full moon, he had a wolfy mojo not to be messed with. Powerful. All of them. And I'm the guy who fixes the windows."''
-->-- '''Xander''', ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''
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%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.
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A Non-Action Guy is a male who is ''not'' heavily endowed with a certain quality that's expected of males in shows; usually courage or combat ability. He's usually a {{sidekick}}; often to the ActionGirl (or ActionGirlfriend), or sometimes to an entire FiveManBand. Expect him to need [[DistressedDude occasional rescuing]]. This combo has the added danger of the audience seeing him as TheChick, a role that can de-masculinize him (to male viewers) or [[TheScrappy just make him annoying]] (to all viewers).

The Non Action Guy seems much more likely [[DoubleStandard to be played for comedy]] than the traditional female version of TheChick as while women are not expected to kick ass ([[ActionGirl and thus those that]] ''[[ActionGirl do]]'' [[ActionGirl are exceptional]]) men often are and so a Non Action Guy's lack of ability is written as something to laugh at.

Often he'll either [[TookALevelInBadass grow into]] a more action-oriented role, [[CousinOliver become ignored]], or become the ButtMonkey as punishment for his [[ARealManIsAKiller failure at masculinity]]. A common, more acceptable practice is to put him on the MissionControl, where he can be of actual help without having to use any sort of action skill.

Expect {{Fix Fic}}s to be written where his character is changed to fit expectations as a CanonSue. If he's the protagonist, then he's likely an ActionSurvivor. If he's the Villain, he's likely a NonActionBigBad. Compare UnfazedEveryman.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Reki from ''Manga/DotHackLegendOfTheTwilight'', since he's never seen fighting or indeed as having ''any'' combat skill whatsoever.
* [[TheSmartGuy Computer expert Yoshiki Yaegashi]] from BlueSeed is this in the beginning due to his non-existent field experience prior to the series (he worked for the Economic Planning Agency before being transferred to the TAC). He eventually [[TookALevelInBadass mans up and rises to the challenges]] presented at the end of the series.
* Yuuno Scrya from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' is the only Mage in the cast without a magical weapon (he had given it up to the series's titular ActionGirl -- for whom it was much better suited anyway), so his contribution in battle is largely limited to offering backup, rather than throwing around spectacular offensive spells. He's actually extremely handy in a fight, but he ends up [[PutOnABus accepting a position in the library of all knowledge]] where he can pursue his passions as an archeologist/scholar (and give more screentime to the female cast). After that, he participates in only one more fight, and the rest of the time he just researches whatever big nasty or mystery the main cast is dealing with now.
** It's possible that Yuuno remains a Non Action Guy because his one demonstrated offensive ability, forcing someone to teleport off the field against their will, offers so many [[PortalCut unpleasant]] [[TeleFrag possibilities]] that neither he nor the series creators want to go there.
* ''BlackButler'''s Ciel is considered the least physically capable in the entire series, despite being one of the most dangerous in intentions and actions.
* Negi Springfield of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' isn't lacking in courage or combat ability. He is, however, a [[ImprobableAge ten-years-old mage and teacher]] with 31 gorgeous female students. As such, he still finds himself in situations where one of the more experienced fighters (the {{ninja}}, the vampire, the demon-hunting mercenary) among his students ends up bailing him out. Anime-only trope, in the manga he is [[BadAss anything but that]]...
** The resident Non Action Guy of the manga is probably Chamo, who doesn't really do anything combat related other than occasionally acting as TheStrategist. Although this is probably because [[TalkingAnimal he's an ermine]], so his lack of combat ability isn't really his fault.
** Interestingly, [[MetaGuy Chisame]] also fits this, despite being female, especially when compared to [[ActionGirl most of the other girls in the cast.]] Eventually she [[MagicContractRomance forms a Pactio with Negi]], gaining MagicalGirl [[{{Technopath}} hacker powers]], [[TheWorfBarrage which fail to have any effect nine times out of ten]].
* Rock of ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' is one of two Non Action Guys in the Lagoon Company (the other is [[MissionControl Benny]], the resident techie), but Rock has the distinction of being the Non Action Guy thrown right in the middle of most of the violence that Revy and Dutch get into. However, he also stands as a prime example that "non-action" does not automatically equate to "weak" -- put a gun to his head, and [[BadAss he'll not only keep it]] but quite possibly ''[[FacingTheBulletsOneLiner throw it back in your face]]''. This fearlessness, combined with his ability to network, have made him recognized as one of [[WretchedHive Roanapur's]] most dangerous figures, despite his never even touching a gun.
* Yuichi Tate from ''Anime/{{Mai-HiME}}'' usually gets into situations where he finds himself over his head. It isn't until the final episode that he finds his... er, manliness.
** Less apparent in the manga, where he's still largely useless but at least ''tries'', and his presence is in fact necessary for Mai and Natsuki to access their full powers.
** He tries in the anime, he just ends up realising quite quickly that there's very little a normal person can do to help in those sorts of situations and decides to take himself out of the game to [[spoiler: take care of Shiho, whom he thinks got hurt because he left her alone while he ran off to try to play hero.]] Also, while the method of his involvement in the finale is arguably a bit stereotypically manly, he wasn't trying to play hero there. [[spoiler: He just decided he cared enough about Mai to be willing to put himself on the line to help her out a little.]] Anime Tate only gets to be cool when he's not trying to be.
* Ruby from the ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'' manga. [[ObfuscatingStupidity But only when other people are watching.]]
* In ''Manga/MiraiNikki'', Yukiteru spends the vast majority of his time running crying and screaming from the people determined to kill him. He occasionally fights back when cornered, but more often than not he's saved by the wrath of his [[PoisonousFriend psychotic stalker]]-[[{{Yandere}} girlfriend]].
* Sakai Yuji during the first season of ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'', who still managed to find use as a sort of on-site MissionControl and by being an intentional source of HeroicResolve for the titular {{Tsundere}} heroine.
** He gets increasingly [[TookALevelInBadass more action-oriented]] during the second season, culminating in [[spoiler:episode 19, when he single-handedly destroys a (albeit somewhat pathetic) Guze no Tomogarra with five bodies by flambéing three of them, snapping one's neck, and impaling the last on his {{BFS}}]], and becoming a nice asset to the team until he [[spoiler: falls to TheDarkSide and ''becomes the BigBad'']] in season three.
* Syuuichirou Oishi, the gentle Seigaku sub-captain from ThePrinceOfTennis. Putting other people's well-being before his own actually causes more than a bit of trouble, both physical [[spoiler: (as he gets his arm injured right before the Hyotuei matches and such an injury has repercusions later)]] and mental [[spoiler: (not only he has quite the breakdown in the Jyousei arc of the anime, but he later gives up his spot in the regulars to Tezuka (manga) or Echizen (anime), thinking he's a burden when he's not)]]. This makes him look less skilled and strong than he really is, and as a result he's unfairly ignored in fandom and only featured in fanwork regarding his partner, [[BunnyEarsLawyer Eiji Kikumaru]] [[spoiler: even when Eiji has him in such high regards that, after he loses Oishi, he swears to not have * any* other doubles partner than him.]]
* In ''Anime/{{Mnemosyne}}'', Maeno plays a role much like ''Manga/BlackLagoon'''s Rock, mostly playing a helping hand in investigations, but avoiding the combat, for good reasons.
* Tsukune from ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' was initially the weakest student at Youkai academy, due to being human. He was heavily reliant on Inner Moka's strength, as well as that of his other friends. About halfway through the first season, he [[TookALevelInBadass gained the power to fight on his own]], but he doesn't become a full-time combatant until the second season. In the anime, none of that happens, so he remains the Non-Action Guy in both seasons.
* Aoyama, Ryou and Keiichiro from ''TokyoMewMew'' -- although the constant switching around of one of the boys in question was used to set up a few {{Red Herring}}s as to the identity of Ao no Kishi.
* Raki from ''Manga/{{Claymore}}'', whose only actual use in the show appears to be [[JamesBondage getting in the way]] and saving the heroine Clare from her SuperpoweredEvilSide with ThePowerOfLove. This has rendered him something of TheScrappy amongst fans of the show.
** With his first re-appearance after the time-skip in the latest manga chapter, this is hopefully a thing in the past. He now seems capable of taking down yoma singlehandedly, and all fans are now praying to the Character Development Gods that he has [[TookALevelInBadass taken multiple levels in badass]].
*** Oh yes, he has. Has he ever. His latest exploits include holding off two of the eponymous Claymores by himself (they were still rookies, and they were holding back, but ''still''), and facing down about a dozen of the Organization's {{Mooks}} and ''winning'', without even taking as much as a scratch.
* In ''Anime/KaleidoStar'' there's the stage manager Kenneth "Ken" Robbins, who has a heart condition and can't join the troupe of acrobats and artists. To make up for it he becomes Sora, Anna and Mia's [[TheLancer Lancer]] when it comes to training, strategies and planning.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Usopp is generally a coward that runs from all signs of danger, and he's a lot weaker then everyone in the main cast (he ''is'' [[MadeOfIron quite durable]]...but his crewmates are even moreso). The few times he gets a serious fight, he usually wins by nifty use of a wide array of gadgets.
** Eventually he becomes quite a bit stronger and ''less'' of a coward, but he still relies on his tricks and gadgets.
* Light Yagami from ''Manga/DeathNote'' only writes people's names in the titular ArtifactOfDoom. It's not that he's ''incapable'' of holding his own in a fight, it's just that [[TheChessmaster he considers getting his own hands dirty to be beneath him]].
* Lelouch Lamperouge from ''Anime/CodeGeass'' is an odd case: He's a MagnificentBastard and genius ChessMaster, but so [[SquishyWizard horribly unfit]] you'd be excused for thinking he's [[NoodlePeople anorexic]]. He has been easily outrun by girls wearing mascot costumes, fancy dresses with petticoats and high heels. He's routinely [[CurbstompBattle curbstombed]] in mecha battle. It's even lampshaded symbolically with the show's chess theme, where Lelouch plays the part of the king, simultaneously the most important piece and the slowest moving. Yet despite all this, he's ''anything'' but cowardly or harmless: On his own he has managed to easily infiltrate and take control of several aerial battleships, and from the very first episode he killed large groups of hostile soldiers with ease. Even without his Geass he is shown to be very competent with a gun and can score [[BoomHeadshot headshots]] if his targets aren't endowed with CharlesAtlasSuperpower, and in the second episode he doesn't even flinch when Villetta is firing her ''[[MiniMecha knightmare]]-mounted'' machine gun at him. Essentially, half-Non Action Guy, half-{{Badass}}.
** Rivalz Cardemonde also counts, as he's present in all the Ashford scenes, but never does anything relevant, although as a genuine OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent (as opposed to the multiple characters who only pretended to be), he may just never have any opportunities to show off.
* Manta/Morty Oyamada from ''Manga/ShamanKing''. [[spoiler: 95% of the time. The remaining 5% contributes to either him becoming a shaman in the anime pr him saving his friends with the Soul Train in the manga]].
* Makubex from ''Manga/GetBackers.'' Doesn't stop him from being a [[TheSmartGuy computer genius]] or ruling Lower Town, though.
* Kyon in ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' (who is also the UnfazedEveryman), at least when compared to Koizumi and ''especially'' Yuki. This is justified by his being the only member of the Brigade without any sort of supernatural ability (WildMassGuessing aside). Interestingly, in spite of this, he's still able to get his stuff done, even if it takes him three tries to clear a level.
* Ouri in ''Manga/ShikabaneHime''.
* Roderich/Austria from ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia''. He was "created" by Vash/Switzerland to be a fighter, but it failed spectacularly and he ended up as a pint-sized JamesBondage. He didn't get a lot better as he grew up into one of the two {{Team Dad}}s of the series, but he had the good sense of mostly staying as MissionControl and leaving the fights to the NinjaMaid Elizaveta/Hungary, whom he later married.
** Feliciano/North Italy. His whole character seems to be based on this trope.
* Kabuto from ''Manga/{{Psyren}}'', who's the only person who can't boost his physical power using [[PsychicPowers PSI]], so has to resort to using his ability to sense incoming attacks to run away praying he dodges in time. [[spoiler: [[TookALevelInBadass That changes after he almost dies, discovers his]] MentalWorld [[TookALevelInBadass and learns boosting his physical power.]]]]
* Chiba Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen from ''Anime/SailorMoon'' is totally this in the anime. He says [[RousingSpeech a few words]] to bolster Sailor Moon's spirits, throws a rose, and wanders off. He has to be [[JamesBondage saved from]] death/possession (season one), brainwashing/[[WhatAnIdiot his own stupidity]] (season two), villain-induced [[IllBoy illness]] (season four), and [[spoiler: death]] (season five), not to mention many smaller instances. Except for providing ThePowerOfLove a few times and a pivotal future cast member, he's kind of useless in battle. Possibly a case of CantCatchUp, since the Sailors get [[SoLastSeason regular upgrades]] while he... uh, doesn't. In the [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]] he had an actual attack and awesome mind powers -- including healing, a psychic connection to his loved ones, and the ability to feel the earth's pain -- and beat up bad guys more often. He was much more BadAss as a villain, as well. Still a prime target for the WorfEffect, though...
* Nijima of ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'' is the only member of the Shinpaku alliance (well, other than that guy who carries the flag) who has absolutely no fighting skill.
* Futaba Kudo from ''Manga/ThereBeyondTheBeyond''. Justified in that he's a 12-year-old boy TrappedInAnotherWorld.
* Gau from ''Manga/NabariNoOu'', despite technically being a ninja. His only function seems to be to hold Raikou's sword, stand at the sidelines, shout [[SayMyName "Raikou-san!!"]], and to be attacked by the enemy, effectively turning Raikou's battles into [[EscortMission escort missions]].
* ''Manga/{{Monster}}'s'' Johan Liebert has three ways to kill people: shoot, poison, and [[DrivenToSuicide drive them to suicide]]. Though this is probably less "useless in a fight" than "so terrifyingly good at manipulating people that he doesn't ''need'' to fight."
* Cruz from ''Manga/{{Needless}}'' is literally the single most harmless guy in the series as he does not have any powers and always end up saved by third parties.
* Mikiya Kokuto from ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'' could be considered [[BadassNormal pretty badass by normal standards]] but there is only so much that a normal can do. He does have his moments at times when he felt it is necessary but for the most part, he sticks to investigation and information gathering, which he is very good at, and leaves all the fighting to his ActionGirl LoveInterest, who is also very good at what she does.
** Considering how dangerous investigations can be in his line of work, he gets a decent amount of action trying to get away from danger.
* Yuuen from ''Manga/WildRock'', to the point his father decides he will be more useful pretending to be a girl to get food rather than hunting for it.
* Kyohei from ''Anime/BurstAngel''.
* Teruharu Kousukegawa from ''Manga/{{Change 123}}'' is a particularly standout example, given that he nevertheless has a nasty habit of trying to interpose himself between danger and his friends, who are usually fifteen to twenty times stronger than he is.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'':
** Dr. Farzenberg of ''Anime/AfterWarGundamX'', which is justified by him being a doctor and thus an ActualPacifist. He ''never'' picks up a weapon, though he does substantially assist an escape from the Federation.
** Guin Sard Lineford of ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' is the ruler of Inglessa and a [[TheChessmaster competent strategist]] who is one of the most active forces in the show. But the only time he picks up a weapon himself is either to take it off someone else or to fake a HostageSituation.
** Several in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'', all of them useful or competent in other fields. Sai Argyle is leader of the ''Archangel'''s BridgeBunnies, and is far more valuable when it comes to running the ship than he ever would be in a fight. [[GeneralRipper Patrick Zala]] and later [[DarkMessiah Gilbert Durandal]] serve as ZAFT's leaders and as such don't have to get their hands dirty (although given Patrick's past as a general it's entirely possible that he'd do just fine in a fight; the key here is that we never see him actually in one). And [[TheSociopath Muruta Azrael]] and [[DirtyCoward Lord Djibril]]? As the leaders of the anti-Coordinator terrorist group Blue Cosmos, they don't ''need'' to be fighters in order to be dangerous. Azrael in particular combines this trope with SmugSnake, AxeCrazy, BadBoss, and NukeEm.
* [[ThoseTwoGuys Bucky and Pauly Cracker]] from ''Manga/KimbaTheWhiteLion''.
* Mizuki from ''Manga/KamisamaKiss.'' He is far stronger than any normal human and has quite a bit of magical power but so far he hasn't shown any fighting skill whatsoever and has a real laid back personality.
* Tanda and Chagum in ''SeireiNoMoribito'', the former being pretty much the male version of TheChick to ActionGirl Balsa, and the latter being a prince with no combat training (though Balsa does give him a little training while he's in her care) and serving as the series' [[MacGuffinGirl MacGuffin Guy.]]
* Joseph Joestar devolves more into this during Part 3 of ''JojosBizarreAdventure''. While he was the main character of Part 2 and involved in a ton of action, by Part 3 the entire cast has moved on to using stands instead of the vampire-killing Hamon powers of the previous parts (while any remaining vampires are either never encountered by Joseph, aren't any threat, or are so far beyond him that even his Hamon won't help him.) And while Joseph gets a stand of his own to compensate, it's a support stand revolving around intelligence gathering, resulting in him sitting on the sidelines for the majority of the series' fights. Fortunately, his biggest strength has always been his nature as a GuileHero, and he does at least get to take out one enemy stand user all on his own. He gets even worse in Part 4 when he's become a senile old man who can't put up a good fight with ''anyone'' (though he does still at least get one more moment of badassery.)
** Speedwagon has exactly ''one'' fight against Jonathan before he becomes outclassed by pretty much everyone, and from that point on he joins Jonathan to hunt down Dio as simply a tagalong character providing the occasional act of support (like helping to thaw out Zeppeli's frozen arm.) However, he does eventually go on to create the Speedwagon Foundation, an organization that supports the Joestar family through several other storylines.
** Many enemy stand users don't have stands suited for direct combat, and thus generally have to resort to guile and trickery to try and defeat the heroes (Oingo and Boingo and the D'Arby brothers being examples from Part 3 alone.) These same characters usually go down pretty quickly when they finally take a hit.
* ''Manga/MotherKeeper'', Lint is this, he talks a big talk about being a great fighter and is mentioned to be a serial killer, however he only seems to get in one fight [[spoiler: which very quickly results in his death]]. During most fights he's either plugged in to the computer or just no where to be seen.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* ''TheTick's'' {{sidekick}}, Arthur, is a pudgy accountant in a moth-suit that he barely knows how to work. His battle cry is "Not in the face! Not in the face!"
* Marvel Comics had a villain who fit this trope: Sidewinder, especially after he'd founded the Serpent Society. He acted as the group's MissionControl, setting up deals, deciding who would go on which assignments, etc. He still managed to give the superhero community fits, because he'd also habitually teleport his teammates out of jail. A perk which is the biggest reason for villains to join the Serpent Society.
* Yorick Brown from ''YTheLastMan''. He is well aware of the irony.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Legion Of Super-Heroes}}'', Dyrk Magz loses his magnetic powers in a fight with Mordu. However, he can't bring himself to stay in civilian life and comes back to work as MissionControl. He served a crucial role in a battle with the Fatal Five (see the Quotes page).
* Fone Bone from ''{{Bone}}'' -- all the threats he faces in The Valley are so much larger than him that he invariably has to run away or get rescued. He's no coward, but his courage involves giving moral support and good advice to to resident ActionGirl Thorn, rather than busting heads himself.
* Cacofonix the bard and Getafix the druid in ''{{Asterix}}''. The entire rest of the male half of the village just loves beating up Romans, but they both only engage in fights on special days (like the anniversary of the battle of Gergovia), or when personal honour is at stake - for example, in ''The Mansions of The Gods'', when Cacofonix gets kicked out of his Roman-built flat and the Gauls declare war on them on his behalf, he takes pride of place on the front line, and if someone insults his music in the critical moment just before a punchup starts, he'll join in. This does make sense, as both of them have important political roles in the village, with Getafix the druid in particular being the only thing keeping them from Roman domination, and they are too precious to risk (well, Getafix is). Both tend to take DistressedDude roles as a result.
** Their non-action-ness leads to a CrowningMomentOfFunny in ''The Roman Agent''. The greatest battle the village ever had is in full swing, with [[ArtShift labels and a key so we can keep track of how everyone is fighting]]. One of the labels is in the middle of the village far away from the action, pointing out Cacofonix, asking Getafix if he has any idea what's going on.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* Ringo in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. Lacking any defensive or reliable movement magic, he has to be toted around and protected by the others. He's hardly useless, though, even if he does have a moment or two where he feels like TheLoad.
** Actually, in a sense all four are [[NonActionGuy Non-Action Guys]], since they do not want to be involved in adventure and have zero interest in combat.
* In the fanfiction [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3442555/1/Street_Sharks_Redux ''Street Sharks: Redux'']], Bends is painfully aware of how useless he is in combat.
* ''FanFic/BetweenMinds'', a {{HalfLife}}/{{Videogame/Portal}} fic by [[https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3336431/3theCaptain 3theCaptain]] has Marcus, who helps main characters during battle... by carrying things, opening doors, navigating, operating shields, and applying first aid.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* Mr Ping of ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda''. He has no kung fu skills whatsoever, and devotes almost all his time to manning his noodle store.
* Chi Fu of ''Disney/{{Mulan}}''.
* The character ''WesternAnimation/{{WALL-E}}'' qualifies in comparison to trigger-happy EVE. That doesn't stop him from being a {{Determinator}} who saves humanity from its own indolence.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]
* Rick Moranis' character Louis in the movie ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'' fills this role for the Ghostbuster team. Even when he tries to be a Ghostbuster himself he is a goof.
* Rick Moranis' character Billy Fish in ''StreetsOfFire'', on the other hand, at least has bowling-ball-sized testicles to make up for the fact that in action situations he's utterly useless.
* Abe Sapien is mostly the geeky backup to the burly Film/{{Hellboy}} in the first movie. When he faces Mr. Wink in ''The Golden Army'', he proves to be quite acrobatic, but still barely escapes with his life until Hellboy shows up to save the day.
* Every single Racer in ''Film/SpeedRacer'' is a capable hand-to-hand combatant. Except for Sparky, who's... not.
* Lenny Nero in ''StrangeDays'' is a classic example of this ''as a protagonist!'' He spends much of the action in the movie getting saved by Mace. This is made a little strange when it's revealed that he's a former cop.
* "Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot, who had nearly fought the Dragon of Angnor, who had nearly stood up to the vicious Chicken of Bristol, and who had personally wet himself at the Battle of Badon Hill" from ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail''.
* Harry in ''{{Condorman}}'' is the titular hero's friend and a {{CIA}} DeskJockey who is really not all that well suited for the dramatic CloakAndDagger world of spying that the WrongGenreSavvy Woody ''thinks'' they're in. He manages to pull off a few rescues nonetheless.
* In ''Film/BladeII'', Blade's new sidekick Scud is a noncombatant. When confronted by Reapers, Scud retreats into his van and nearly has a heart attack. In contrast, Whistler ambushes a den of vampires with a gatling gun in the first film and guns down a few SWAT guys in the third.
* Topher Grace's character in ''Film/{{Predators}}'' is introduced this way. In a team of professional and criminal badasses, he is an unassuming doctor with no particular combat or survival skills. The badasses spend most of the movie protecting him or at least trying to keep him from getting them all killed, [[spoiler: until the end, when he reveals his true nature as a murderous psychopath]].
* Declan, Beck's bush-pilot sidekick in ''Film/TheRundown'', eschews any direct involvement in the action, blaming a "dodgy knee" which presumably would inhibit his mobility in combat. Still, he is not without courage- unable to fight, he walks to the edge of Hatcher's compound [[EverythingsLouderWithBagpipes playing the bagpipes]], then delivers a [[KirkSummation crazy sermon]] warning Hatcher of the [[LaserGuidedKarma coming judgement]]... just before [[spoiler: a [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome herd of cattle stampede through the town]]]].
* Matt Farrell in ''Film/LiveFreeOrDieHard''. Although not very good in a fight, his computer savvy still helps John [=McClane=] keep up with [[BigBad Thomas Gabriel]].
* Breaker from ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''. Scarlett and Snake Eyes are [[StormingTheCastle Storming The Control Room]], bullets are flying everywhere, and what does he do? He's standing there calm as you please, fiddling with his Palm Pilot. (It's like [[MediumAwareness he totally knows]] he has {{Character Shield}}s or something.)
* [[TheWoobie Frodo Baggins]] in "Film/{{Lord Of The Rings}}" is more or less this. Whilst Hobbits generally are Non Action Guys, Merry, Pip, and Sam can and do throw themselves into the action when the 'taters are down. Frodo tends to whimper and swoon when faced with combat against anyone but Gollum.
** In fairness, having to resist [[TheCorrupter the ring's influence]] nonstop had to have been taking its toll on him.
* ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'': 1973 Charles invokes this trope to explain to Logan why he always tries to talk his way out of a problem (even if it results in ineffective rambling) instead using brute force. However, Xavier can still throw a mean punch if someone ''really pisses him off'' despite not being much of a fighter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/EncyclopediaBrown'': a brainy adolescent detective whose tomboy [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend not]]-[[ToyShip girlfriend]] acts as his bodyguard.
* ''{{Neuromancer}}'': Henry Case is a [[TheCracker console cowboy]] of CyberSpace. His job usually requires him to sit comfortably at homebase and monitor his ActionGirlfriend while she handles all the wetworks.
* Erek King from ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' is an ageless, nearly-indestructible android perfectly capable of being a OneManArmy but is bound by his programming which prevents him from harming other living things. This is probably for the best - the one time he ''does'' fight, it's so brutal it leaves the resident BloodKnight ''in tears''.
** It's probably a good thing that the narrator for that particular book was out cold during the battle, so whatever he did happened offscreen. Though others that have witnessed it made references to what happened, without going into any detail.
* Ron Weasley... of all the characters in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series, he always seems to be the one so friggin' out of his league it's not even funny.
** Actually, Ron is less so in the books than the movies.
** Neville Longbottom is an even better example of this, particularly with him "becoming" a man in the final book when the "worthier" dominant males (Harry and Ron) have vacated the position.
** Ron also bleeds over into ActionSurvivor: doesn't exactly seek out danger and thrills, but is pretty good at reacting to the stuff his friends drag him into ([[ForgotICouldFly "ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?!"]])
* Rincewind is one main character in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' who prefers running away from... everything, really.
** A more straight example is Nijel the Destroyer, son of Harebut the Provision Merchant. He wants to become a barbarian hero (by reading books), but has some... problems. He promptly fall in love with [[ActionGirl Conina]], who's the daughter of Cohen the Barbarian and has [[LamarckWasRight inherited her mother's looks and her father's urge to kill]]. She really wants to become a hairdresser.
** Moist von Lipwig is another protagonist example; he's not at all comfortable with fighting, preferring [[ConMan trickery]] and [[MasterOfDisguise disguise]] instead.
* Every single [[Literature/TheHobbit Hobbit]] almost without exceptions. Of course Hobbits have HiddenDepths and the book can be mildly Anvilicious about that sort of thing, though fortunately the author's skill keeps it in control.
* Foaly in the ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' series.
** Artemis is far better suited to orchestrating everything from behind [[BattleButler Butler]] and letting his more athletic companions do the dirty work, but as often as not circumstance forces him to at least try to do something physical anyway. It seems like he resolves anew to start getting fit at least [[OnceAnEpisode once a book]], but it never quite happens.
** This is subverted by [[spoiler: Artemis's SplitPersonality Orion whose shooting skills (something that Artemis doesn't have) disabled a controlled Holly.]]
* [[Literature/VorkosiganSaga Miles Vorkosigan]]: With brittle bones and stunted growth due to a pre-natal poison attack on his parents, it is often pointed out to Miles that his proper place is ''behind the action, giving directions to the more physically capable.'' This usually happens while Miles is in the hospital, recovering from injuries he sustained while being in the middle of the action.
** That makes Miles a subversion. Yes, he's short and frail (at least until [[NightmareFuel all of his bones are replaced by prostheses]]). But that [[{{Determinator}} doesn't slow him down]] - and probably [[HandicappedBadass makes him more dangerous]].
** And Commodore Baz Jesek, while Miles's nominal second-in-command for several books, starts the series as a deserter. Honour regained, he's never seen in a combat setting again, being more gifted at engineering and organising and supporting the more action-y types - such as his wife.
* Elend Venture of {{Mistborn}} is this in the first two books, perhaps most powerfully illustrated when he rushes off, armed only with a [[SimpleStaff duelling cane]] to rescue his girlfried, [[ActionGirl Vin]]. ''She'' winds up saving ''him'' (though the [[BrokenBird cynical]] Vin ''was'' very touched that he actually cared enough about her to risk his own life). [[spoiler: Elend takes level in Badass in the third book, and though he never eclipses Vin he establishes himself as more solidly on her level]].
** Spook from the same series is pretty tough by normal standards, having grown up on some very nasty streets, but he's only a Tineye (translation, he has SuperSenses but is otherwise baseline human) in a setting where most of the really important people are superhuman badasses and/or have said badasses working for them. Consequently, he knows better than to get mixed up in the action [[spoiler: until he too takes a level in badass in the third book]].
** Sazed subverts this. He insists that he's no a warrior but is perfectly capable of holding his own against for more powerful characters [[spoiler: such as Marsh, whom he comes within seconds of defeating during their only fight]].
* To the general populace (in-universe, not to most readers) of Creator/TamoraPierce’s Literature/TortallUniverse, George Cooper is this. He's a just an ex-commoner who married Alanna, Champion of the Gods, first Lady Knight, heiress to an ancient dukedom and all around {{badass}}. Of course George does have his claims to fame—like being the former King of Thieves and current Spymaster for the nation.
* Waldo Butters, M.E., in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. He is, as Thomas insists on pointing out, kind of a coward, and when the baddies wind up targeting him in ''Literature/DeadBeat'', spends most of the book hiding from them. However, this ''is'' [[WorldOfBadass the Dresdenverse]], so he [[spoiler:eventually winds up saving Harry by attacking Cassius ''with his teeth''.]] He also gets non-action awesome cred for helping with the Dinosaur Incident.
* Simon, in ''MortalInstruments'', is the only main character that is [[spoiler:100% a mundane]] and is depicted as totally normal and needs rescuing from a hotel crammed with vampires. However, this is ended when he [[spoiler:kills a Greater Demon]], and then is [[spoiler:turned into a vampire in the second book]].
* Jason Richter from ''DaleBrown'' books starts as non-action guy. Although he's a Major, he's really an engineer who hasn't touched a gun since Officer Cadet School, unlike Pat [=McLanahan=] who can handle himself on the ground even before receiving further combat training and becoming a [[PoweredArmor Tin Man]]. At one point, he even visibly winces at the prospect of having to kill. He gets better, partly due to having [[MotionCaptureMecha El CID]]. Some Sky Masters personnel also joined the company without being part of the military first and thus are ill-prepared to actually use the equipment in a live-fire situation against hostiles actively trying to kill them.
* Karal in the ''Mage Storms'' trilogy of the ''HeraldsOfValdemar''. He's a priest in training, is a certified NiceGuy, has no magical or psychic powers (except for one, which is completely passive), and has absolutely no interested in heroing. It doesn't stop him from playing a pivotal role in saving the world.
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': Peeta Mellark is the series GuileHero and plays Non Action Guy to his ActionGirl love interest. This is especially prominent when he's compared with [[ManlyMenCanHunt her other love interest]]. He is mentioned being good with a knife and a wrestler, but it's more of an InformedAttribute since we never actually see him fight and all his badass moments involve playing the crowd. This actually turns out to be a good thing as while Katniss has the skills to surivive in the arena, its only through his charisma that they're able to manipulate the audience and so stay alive. Ironically if she'd been in there with her [[{{ManlyMenCanHunt}} other love interest]] they probably would have died.
* It's the default in the world of ''Literature/ABrothersPrice''. Because men are so rare, they are kept sheltered and are almost universally more tenderhearted than the women who run the world. Jerin is seen as weird because unlike most he ''was'' taught to shoot and ride a horse, which serves him well when he is [[DistressedDude abducted]], but he quickly falls off said horse into the protective arms of a much tougher love interest, and when he actually uses said gun it is textbook BleedEmAndWeep.
* [[CassandraTruth Pantalaimon]] and [[NiceGuy Roger]] in HisDarkMaterials both count as this, although in the former's case he can be relied on [[LetsGetDangerous when push comes to shove.]]
* Marvin the Paranoid Android of Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy is a rare case of this trait [[EnsembleDarkhorse making a character extremly popular.]]
* Johnny from ''Literature/TheTruthOfRockAndRoll''. That's okay, though. [[ActionGirl Jenny]] doesn't mind taking care of these things for him.
* In a series where virtually ''every'' naval protagonist is tremendously tactically gifted, the Literature/{{Honorverse}}'s Admiral Augustus Khumalo, station commander of the Talbott Quadrant, is notable for bucking that trend rather violently. A pedestrian tactician at best -- and not even considered ''that'' before he TookALevelInBadass -- Khumalo instead distinguishes himself by being a deft politician, exceptionally capable administrator, and -- critically -- ''excellent'' judge of his subordinates' capabilities. The moment that got the entire Royal Manticoran Navy to look up and realise his excellence as an officer came not from a spectacular display of tactical prowess, but instead of taking a chance and risking his own career by backing a ''subordinate'''s initiative and tactical genius. As a result, despite the Talbott quadrant becoming an absolute hotbed of tactical genius with the arrival of Aivars Terekhov, Michelle Henke, Naomi Kaplan, Michael Oversteegen, and Abigail Hearns, among others, he remains in overall command because his skills as an administrator and politician make him the ideal ultimate military authority in a corner of space which is rather distant from Manticore's home system and government.
* Luxa's grandfather, Vikus from ''Literature/TheUnderlandChronicles'', who would rather [[FriendToAllLivingThings talk out problems]] than fight.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Alias}}'': Will. He's not an agent like most of the men on the show. He manages to get himself in trouble trying to be tough and Sydney has to rescue him. Even though he starts to work for the CIA and makes some results, he's still only a paperpusher.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Lorne. While the rest of the team fights evil, Lorne's major skill is singing. It's not so much that Lorne is incapable of combat as that he ''hates'' it.
* ''BandOfBrothers'': Nixon, an intelligence officer, is this, having never fired his weapon in combat. He did however have a sniper shoot through his helmet in Holland.
* ''Series/BigWolfOnCampus'' - The three main characters (from season two onwards) are a male werewolf, a kickboxing ActionGirl, and a media-saturated goth who pulls his weight by being CrazyPrepared.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Xander. He gained in combat ability throughout the series, but was still a second-line fighter at best by the end, taking on the MissionControl role in the "Season 8" comics. Even so, he's another example where lack of combat ability is compensated by extreme testicular fortitude; his more powerful friends often worry about his near-suicidal charges against superpowered opponents.
** Drusilla rarely fights, preferring to use her powers of hypnosis and her tactical planning. Not that that makes her any less terrifying.
* ''Series/ByAnyMeans'': [=TomTom=] is the team's computer genius and not very good at the physical stuff. In episode 1x06, he attempts to help subdue a drug dealer and ends up having to be rescued by Jessica.
* ''{{Chuck}}'':
** Chuck Bartowksi was this for the first two seasons until an upgrade in the Intersect in his brain at the end of Season 2 allowed him to access some serious fighting skills in an instant.
** Even before he got the Intersect 2.0, however, Chuck had already picked up some serious marksmanship ability [[IKnowMortalKombat thanks to years of training on]] ''DuckHunt''.
* ''Series/{{Columbo}}'': Which is about exactly the same as Lieutenant Columbo.
* ''CriminalMinds'':
** DR Spencer Reid. He's the only member who failed all physical FBI phisical exams, but because he's a genius with 4 [=PhD=]s, PhotographicMemory, and reads ''20 000'' words a ''minute''. There's a reason that any time a character is kidnapped or in danger its Reid, the writers even named those kind of episodes as "'''R'''eid '''I'''n '''P'''eril" episodes.
** In the season 2 episode Revelations he [[spoiler: manages to kill Tobias Hankel after being drugged repeatedly, tortured for two days, being forced to dig his own grave, and actually ''dying.'']]
* ''DarkAngel'': ActionGirl Max had Logan Cale (Michael Weatherly) as her Non-Action Guy; in a wheelchair, partly [[WordofGod because]] it would help prevent him from being seen as TheChick in comparison to Max's superhuman strength.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the first season of the new show, Mickey Smith is explicitly set up as The Guy Who Doesn't Have What It Takes, in contrast to ActionGirl Rose Tyler. In the second season, to justify his continued inclusion in events, it turns out that he does Have What It Takes after all.
** The Doctor himself qualifies for the trope as well, as with the exception of his third and sixth incarnations he runs ''away'' from the MonsterOfTheWeek as often as he runs toward it.
** Original series companion Harry Sullivan was conceived as an Action Guy in case an actor too old to handle action was cast as the Fourth Doctor. But when they cast Tom Baker as the Fourth, Harry ''immediately'' became this instead and was quietly dropped in Baker's second season.
--->"[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGdxMJ1H_Mo Harry Sullivan is an imbecile!!!]]"
** Rory Williams was very much this before he became The Last Centurion. He would much rather become a small town doctor than fighting aliens.
* ''{{Dollhouse}}'':
** Topher once gets beaten up by a one-armed Non Action Girl. That pretty much sums up his physical prowess.
** Of course, he punched out that one-armed non-ActionGirl earlier in the season. ([[ItMakesSenseInContext It's Less Dickish In Context]].)
*** Isn't it hilarious to find a situation where punching out a tiny one-armed female scientist makes you ''more'' masculine?
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'':
** Wash knows that his job is limited to flying the ship and providing needed levity and snark, and leaves the fighting to his amazon-like wife Zoe. His acceptance of their non-standard relationship (aside from a brief bout of unfounded jealousy in "War Stories") results in them having arguably the happiest and most stable relationship in the whole show. To his credit, he does make it through two personal firefights late in the series, at a starting disadvantage in both.
** SubvertedTrope with Shepard Book. At first glance he seems a kindly, elderly preacher, with elements of the WideEyedIdealist and at best, seems to be BadassPacifist. Our first clue is him working out with [[TheBigGuy Jayne]]. Our second is his surprisingly large knowledge of the military arts. Our third is him shooting a man in the kneecap from the hip holding a large rifle with one hand. From the hip.
* ''HomicideLifeOnTheStreet'': Det. Pembleton is a rare example of "empowered" Non Action Guy; Pembleton is constantly portrayed as an ace detective and as one of the most prominent and charismatic characters of the show, and yet he detests weapons and is a lousy shot.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Bud Roberts.
* ''Series/JonathanCreek'':
** The title character himself. If there's buildings to be broken into or criminals to be confronted, expect Maddie/Carla/Joey to do it. Jonathan hangs back, watching what's going on and deducing the truth from what happens.
** Except that one time where Jonathan disarmed a gun-wielding multiple murderer [[spoiler: by throwing, of all things, a playing card at his hand]].
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': [[TheSmartGuy Hardison]] has this role as the team's [[PlayfulHacker hacker]]. He is often paired with [[TheBigGuy Eliot]] or [[ClassyCatBurglar Parker]]. As the series begins, he fights the wounded, though by season four he [[TookALevelInBadass is getting better]].
* ''TheLoneGunmen'': All three of them (four, if you count Jimmy). None of them were anything close to action guys. What they did have was a copious amount of brainpower and bullshit.
* ''{{Series/Merlin}}'': Subverted with the title character. He's weak, clumsy, unskilled with a sword (or any type of weapon) and is easily thrashed in a physical fight. But as soon as he gets to use his magic, he's a PersonOfMassDestruction bordering on InvincibleHero.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'': Adrian Monk. As an ex-cop, he's fully capable of holding his own in physical combat, but his complicated network of phobias and neuroses make him freak out at the thought of physical ''contact'', placing him here.
* ''{{NCIS}}'':
** [=McGee=], who is only this in comparison to his more experienced, more physical teammates.
** Ducky and his autopsy gremlin, Palmer, (of-the-series) are closer to this trope. [=McGee=], while more cerebral than [=DiNozzo=] or Ziva or Kate, could still pull the trigger or fight when necessary.
* ''[[Series/NUMB3RS Numb3rs]]'': Charlie and Larry. Though Charlie [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]] later on, he's still on the sidelines for the most part.
* ''PowerRangers'':
** In the transition from ''MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' to ''Series/PowerRangersZeo'', BadassBookworm Billy Cranston was demoted from a full-fledged team member to a Non Action Guy.
** Ironically, the reverse often happens in more recent PR. Most notable is Cam of ''Ninja Storm'', although the SuperSentai version combined with Cam's wardrobe made it [[EpilepticTrees an easy enough guess.]]
** Mention must be made of Ziggy in ''RPM'', as he starts out a Non Action Guy and pretty much remains one throughout the season, even after he becomes Ranger Green. He's competent in a fight, but ''only'' competent, and still a bit of a coward.
* ''{{Primeval}}'': Connor fills this role.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'': Arnold Rimmer. JustifiedTrope at first, since he's just an intangible hologram, but even after getting a "HardLight" upgrade in Series Six, [[EnforcedTrope he remains a feckless, neurotic coward]].
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'':
** In "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E5SoulTrain Soul Train]]", Ken 'Hutch' Hutchinson. According to him, this was what he was before his ActionGirl wife died. Of course, when push came to shove, he stabbed Nora Clayton in the gut when she tried to stop him from bombing a train.
** Aaron Pittman. His non-action status is justified, because he is a former Google CEO who is overweight and serves as the comic relief of the show. However, he does become more badass, like when he pretended to have killed himself and then shot dead the drug lord Drexel in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E6SexAndDrugs Sex and Drugs]]", as well as defending kids from the Monroe militia in "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E7TheChildrensCrusade The Children's Crusade]]".
* ''Series/TheSentinel'': Blair Sandburg.
* ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
** Most of the male scientists qualify. Of the three main male science-oriented characters -- Carson, Zalenka, and [=McKay=] -- [=McKay=] is the only one who regularly has to go off base, and he is all but worthless in a fight. (A good example is the time he has to be explicitly instructed to open fire on an advancing Wraith, and then again to reload once he's run out of bullets!) Of course, as many missions involve the rest of the team protecting him while he performs some variety of technobabble, so he is far from [[TheLoad useless]]. Carson and Zalenka are even less action-oriented due to how rarely they leave Atlantis. (Though Carson's ATA gene allows him to cause quite a bit of damage with drones, he is very nervous at the idea of using them and has a VERY difficult time controlling them. It doesn't help that, as a doctor and a truly gentle man, he is about as much of a pacifist as he could be without packing his bags in protest.)
** While Zelenka doesn't see much action and clearly dislikes it, his age and nationality suggest that he probably has some background in the military. For all that most people probably wouldn't look to him in a fight, he drops a marine in "Tabula Rasa" and manages to avoid many more of them for most of the episode when forced to fall back on instinct.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': Daniel Jackson. Gradually became more suited for action.
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'':
** Ianto Jones in has absolutely no desire to leave MissionControl, and reckons the rest of the team are adrenaline junkies. But he ''gets'' action from the hero, if that counts....
** Ianto seems to be getting in on the action (in multiple senses of the word) more in the second season. And by the third, he spends more time by [[TheLeader Jack's]] side than anyone else. [[spoiler: Although that doesn't end well.]]
** Owen even mentions this at one point when he's sidelined, more or less implying that this is what Ianto actually wanted... Of course, this could just be Owen being [[JerkAss Owen]].
* ''XenaWarriorPrincess'': Joxer. He ''tries'', oh how he tries, but he's just too dumb to ever be an effective warrior. Even Gabrielle routinely wipes the floor with him.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': Agent Alex Krycek had no action qualities while partnered with Mulder. [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadAss Of]] [[BitchInSheepsClothing Course...]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Bands are littered with spare wheels. Usually a friend of the talented one who works okay with the band.
* Ringo Starr, as Lennon once famously quipped, "isn't even the best drummer in Music/TheBeatles." [[TheChick But he kept everyone together.]]
* [[LesserStar Andrew Ridgeley]] from Wham! is the canonical example in British music journalism. To his credit, he actually broke up Wham! when he realised just how ridiculously far ahead of him Creator/GeorgeMichael was. That said, he still released an utterly superfluous solo album.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{WWE}} wrestler Wrestling/StevieRichards once spent a considerable length of time not wrestling, and instead accompanying borderline-psychotic woman wrestler [[Wrestling/LisaMarieVaron Victoria]] to the ring for her matches and acting like a submissive, lovestruck little puppy. He also wore pink tights. Maybe he just got sick of being a {{jobber}}....
* Back in the mid 90s, [[strike:Triple H]] [[Wrestling/TripleH Hunter Hearst Helmsley]] was perfectly happy to hide behind his female bodybuilder bodyguard Wrestling/{{Chyna}}. Although he wasn't purely non-action, back then he did completely rely on her.
* A particularly domineering heel will often have a non-wrestling male attendant whose job is to help them cheat and to get beaten up by the face so that [[DirtyCoward the heel can use the distraction to flee the arena]]. Examples of this type of character include Daivari for Wrestling/MuhammadHassan (although Daivari did have some wrestling skills himself), Ranjin Singh for The Great Khali (before their HeelFaceTurn), and Ricardo Rodriguez for Wrestling/AlbertoDelRio. Sometimes, though, the attendant will be even more physically intimidating than the wrestler he serves (Ezekiel Jackson or Tyson Tomko, for example), with such "enforcer" types obviously being more likely to end up wrestling on their own and throwing off the "Non Action" status.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Danuvian men in ''{{Talislanta}}''. (The women are {{Action Girl}}s.)
* In the ''[[{{Series/Firefly}} Serenity RPG]]'', a male character who takes the "Non-Fightin' Type" complication will be this by definition.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Most of the playable characters from ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilOutbreak'' are this, except [[DarkAndTroubledPast David]] and [[CowboyCop Kevin]]. Jim Chapman is about as non-action as you can get: all his combat abilities and stats are low and his ability is to ''play dead''. Ironically he's one of the best characters since his infection meter climbs so slowly and he, being a subway worker, can operate machinery and mechanisms no one else can.
* Allen Ridgeley from the ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' games is a textbook example. Despite accompanying the hero party everywhere, he is only called upon to fight once [[spoiler:as a guest party member during Episode 3]] and is laughably bad; during the final climax, he managed to combine heroism with trope loyalty by [[spoiler:pulling a Gandhi when confronted by the heroine's now-antagonistic ex-boyfriend, saving HER from MoreThanMindControl, redeeming the ex-boyfriend, and then machine-gunning a Gnosis to death. He took a level in Bad-Ass, after being useless for three games!]].
* Otacon of the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series is about as Non-Action as possible, a BunnyEarsLawyer of an engineer with nerd glasses thick enough to rival [[VideoGame/HalfLife Gordon Freeman]], but that doesn't stop him from being vital to Snake's success in all three of his appearances.
* Zexion of Organization XIII fame in the ''KingdomHearts'' series prefers scheming over combat. Even when he finally gets to fight in RE:Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix, he doesn't do much (He can't attack unless he absorbs Riku's power in the former game, and in the latter his only move is to trap Sora, Donald, and Goofy into his Book dimension, from which he can attack them completely indirectly.)
** Demyx from the same Organization in the same series likes to pass himself off as one of these, running away from enemies, claiming he really doesn't know how to fight very well, and using a ''sitar'' as a weapon. [[ObfuscatingStupidity He's]] [[BrilliantButLazy lying.]] ''[[MakingASplash Big]]'' ''[[ThatOneBoss time.]]''
*** In 358/2 Days, Demyx's claims tend more towards laziness than incapability, probably because he's more likely to stay not-Duskified if he keeps them thinking that he IS good for something, and it's just a matter of getting him to do it.
*** He's also apparently the greatest scout in the organization.
* Dan from ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'', who takes up MissionControl for his cyborg ActionGirl sister.
* Thomas of ''SuikodenIII'' has the same Star as the previous two names' badass heroes, but if you're expecting Kung-Fu Badass... you're sorely mistaken. He's rather meek in personality and is quite terrible in combat. Fitting since he's not a fighter, but a businessman. However, he makes up for it for being TheDeterminator.
** If you bother to level him up to be on par with the other main characters, he can be competent in a fight, but most players ''don't'' bother since he starts all the way down at level 1 and even when built up he'll still only be an average fighter.
*** [[MagikarpPower Then you realize he has a ton of skill slots and, when built right, can become pretty nasty in his own right.]]
* At one point in ''BreathOfFireIII'', you have to train a bookworm named Beyd to ''become'' an Action Guy in order to get into a lighthouse. (He has authorization, but has to prove he's stronger than his romantic rival to justify going.) If trained properly, he wins his fight... and ends up so badly battered that he just gives you the go-ahead to enter while he recuperates. (On the plus side, he gets the girl.)
* Most of the player characters in the SilentHill series are not someone you expect to be able to [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu kill gods]] with whatever weapons they find lying around, though as the plot progresses it's clear that the ordeal causes them to TakeALevelInBadass. (How well the level takes depends on which of the MultipleEndings you get.)
** Notable exceptions to this are Travis, a trucker whose DarkAndTroubledPast is fairly obvious even before TheReveal, and Alex, whose combat abilities are explained as having come back from the military ([[spoiler: though even THAT comes into question, and is somewhat foreshadowed throughout the plot]]).
* [[WeaselMascot Daxter]] is one of these at the start of the ''JakAndDaxter'' series, but CharacterDevelopment quickly [[TookALevelInBadass took care of that]].
* Luka from ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' isn't very good at the whole "fighting" thing... he ''is'' good at escaping, though. Justified as while Bayonetta is a PersonOfMassDestruction fighting {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, Luka is just an amazingly lucky human whose only tool is some kind of [[GrapplingHookPistol grappling hook device]].
* Knox, from ''[[VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines]]'' is a ghoul, and very, very aware that he cannot reasonably be expected to survive a fight against a vampire. Which is why he cons you into doing it for him.
* NeverwinterNights features [[WideEyedIdealist Fenthick]] [[StupidGood Moss]], the pacifistic, priestly counterpart to his ActionGirl love, Aribeth de Tylmarande.
* Henpecked Hou from ''JadeEmpire'' was once a competent and respected Drunken Master... until he got tricked into marrying a woman who disapproved of drinking and fighting, and could back up her words. If you have him accompany you, he won't fight enemies, but instead throws wine bottles that allows you to use Drunken Fighting style. On the other hand, he has enough courage to follow you into any sort of danger... as long as you're there to protect him.
* Emil from ''TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'' is the Non Action Guy who uses his SuperpoweredEvilSide to fight [[spoiler:until Chapter 8.]]
* The [[TheScrappy Adoring Fan]] in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]''. Especially if you are playing as a female character.
* ''HeavyRain'''s Ethan Mars. Despite that, he is willing to save his son, Shaun.
* Roman Bellic from ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'' is the protagonist's overweight, optimistic and somewhat cowardly cousin. Niko kills people for a living, Roman runs a cab depot. He puts up with an incredible amount of abuse through the game, being beaten up, having his home and business burned down, shot, kidnapped, stuffed into a trunk, and more, mostly as mission fodder for the player. At the end of the game [[spoiler:he may or may not be killed at his wedding.]] Still, he takes it with reasonable good cheer, and having his cousin around does make him rich.
** Gay Tony in ''GrandTheftAutoIVTheBalladOfGayTony'' rarely does any damage, preferring to let Luis do his work.
* In ''VideoGame/GoldenSun: The Lost Age'', the scholar Kraden is the fifth member of protagonist Felix's party for 99% of the game, yet never takes part in any of the fighting. Weirdly enough, appears to make him immune to monsters, since he's never actually endangered by the constant monster attacks. In the sequel ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' [[spoiler: he again takes on this role]].
** He also inexplicably never needs to pay to stay at an inn. [[FridgeLogic Where exactly does he sleep, then...?]]
* ''MakaiKingdom'': Lord Zetta is very much a non-combatant, since he is trapped in the form of a book and cannot even hold a weapon, and has to rely on his servants to fight for him. When [[TheRival Alex]], God of Destruction, challenges him to a one-on-one fight, defeat seems inevitable... until Salome, Zetta's former apprentice and lover, swoops in and tears Alex a new one.
* [[PlayerCharacter Daniel]] in ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent''. When the monsters come by, all he can do is hide in a corner, and pray they don't find him.
* Joker from ''Franchise/MassEffect''. Not a playable character [[spoiler:(bar a short sequence, mostly involving running/limping away, in the second game of the series)]] his brittle bone disease makes him worry about breaking bones whilst '''DANCING''' let alone fighting. Of course he '''can''' make the Normandy do things that no-one else thinks it should be able to do.
** Then inverted in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' during the final scenes, where he wields an assault rifle holding off Collectors so that Shepard can escape onto the Normandy.
*** [[PlayerCharacter Shepard]] got a lot of upgrades from Cerberus. It's never stated that Joker didn't get a few.
** Your engineering crew also mostly stay out of frontline combat, except Tali.
* ''FireEmblem'' has the Priest Class (a counterpart to the female Cleric and Troubadour classes); they can only use staves, which are usually used for healing, but they can also be used to cast StandardStatusEffects. The [[FireEmblemElibe Elibe]] games also include a DistaffCounterpart to the Dancer class, the Bard class. The bards in those two games (Elphin, a sickly tactician in ''Sword of Seals'', and Nils, a young boy from ''Blazing Sword'') are definitely ''not'' combat material, and unlike priests, who can promote into classes that can effectively fight back, bards are out of luck. The herons in the [[FireEmblemTellius Tellius]] games are similar in that regard as well.
* ''{{Ib}}'' has Garry, who begins his appearance by lying down on the ground and painfully (nearly) dying. You get to save him. Especially evident when you contrast him with Ib (a 9-year-old girl), who is the one to do the saving, and solve pretty much everything. [[spoiler:However, Garry does get a CrowningMomentOfAwesome and save Ib if you complete a certain event a certain way. If not, Ib has to save him instead]].
* ''[[VideoGame/TombRaider2013 Tomb Raider]]'' brings us ''Endurance's'' technician Alex Weiss. [[spoiler: It gets him killed when [[LoveMakesYouStupid he tries to board the wreck alone]] to recover equipment needed to repair an abandoned PT boat for the survivors' escape attempt [[TooDumbToLive to impress Lara]], because he's afraid an ActionGirl like her [[AmazonChaser would never notice him]].]]
* Robert Ripley in ''VideoGame/TheRiddleOfMasterLu'' is a typical AdventureGame PlayerCharacter -- relying on his wits, not strength or physical skill. His girlfriend Mei Chen is the one who knows how to fight. There's a scene in which she starts having a go at it with a large, skilled thug, who simply smacks Ripley aside when he tries to intervene, leaving him to figure out a way to help Mei indirectly.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' has King Trode, who spends most of the game in a BalefulPolymorph. Much like Kraden from the ''Golden Sun'' series, he seems unfazed by the constant battles with monsters. However, he doesn't go into the dungeons himself with the rest of the party, instead staying outside to take care of the wagon and his daughter, Medea. He can be seen in one of Yangus's attacks, Golden Oldies, where a large group of old men bum rush the enemy.
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* {{MAG ISA}} -- [[http://mag-isa.thecomicseries.com/comics/pl/119402 Eman Cruz didn't start off as someone capable of fighting]]. Later on in the comic though, we see him capable of [[http://mag-isa.thecomicseries.com/comics/pl/121330 major ass-kicking]].
* Tedd of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' is like this. He acts as MissionControl in the only combat arc he is involved in, and he can be rather cowardly at times. Then again, he is a scientist-type character surrounded by shapeshifters and supernatural martial artists, so it is to be expected.
* In ''AmericanBarbarian'', [[http://www.ambarb.com/?p=182 the nomadic scientists feature as this]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2012-04-22 when two demonic bullies show up, Crimney needs to be rescued by Tomey and Fuchsia, who can actually match the demonic powers.]]
* Jordie, from ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure''. He's the team's Cleric and is quite useful for his divine magic, but his combat skills are awful and he [[TechnicalPacifist won't willingly fight]] non-evil sentient creatures.
* Rick [=MacFarlane=] of ''Webcomic/{{Terra}}'' is a [[MrFixit flight engineer]] who only joined the military to feed his family. After he and Alex are shot down he pulls a gun on the guy who finds him, Resistance agent Grey O'Shea. Grey is a former infantryman and it's clear to him that Rick has never actually had to use a weapon in combat before, so he [[DefensiveFailure disarms him with little effort]] then gives the gun back to show he's not an enemy.
* Tavros, of ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', is this trope- unfortunately so, as he belongs to a ProudWarriorRace. [[TheSocialDarwinist Vriska]] bullies him to break him out of this peaceful mindset, and she's very angry that it hasn't worked.
* Acheron, the protagonist of ''Webcomic/{{Inverloch}}'', has little ability or inclination to fight. This is unusual for da'kor, and it actually gets him into fairly serious trouble over the course of the story. He does lament his need to be protected by his more combat-ready friends after these incidents, but he's just not a fighting type.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* Dr. Shelton and Dr. Kerzach from ''DarwinsSoldiers'' start the first RP as this. Dr. Kerzach and Dr. Shelton do end up taking a few [[TookALevelInBadass levels in badass]] but they are still nowhere as badass as the other characters. Dr. Bailey from the third RP plays this straight.
* Donnie [=DuPre=] from WebVideo/DemoReel was subject to a fair amount of homophobic WhatMeasureIsANonBadass because he knew full well that he wasn't experienced enough to survive in woods (after being kidnapped no less) without having a breakdown.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Ron Stoppable of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' fame starts out as this, though he gradually becomes better (and even saves the day in the very last battle of the GrandFinale). Most of the time, he only demonstrates his competence when Kim ''isn't'' around, so OvershadowedByAwesome may also be in play.
* Jérémie Belpois of ''CodeLyoko'', who operates MissionControl while the others fight all the battles. Yet he is also the team leader, since when your enemy is an evil computer AI, the most crucial member of your team is the computer genius.
* In ''LiloAndStitch'', in all its incarnations so far, Pleakley is a Non Action Guy whenever the action shows up.
* [[BlackAndNerdy Tucker Foley]] from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', who rarely saves the day with his techno gizmo. The rest of the time, he's either the ButtMonkey or ungracefully ignored.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StormHawks'', we have [[EnsembleDarkhorse Stork,]] who as the carrier pilot, is the one member of the team who usually won't be fighting {{Mooks}} out in the open, on flying motorcycles, or both. [[LetsGetDangerous Usually.]]
* While [[TheSmartGuy Numbuh Two]] of ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' manages to keep up with the rest of his team of kid badasses fairly well, he's the most likely of the FiveManBand to be left out of the direct action and the most easy-going of the main male characters. Like [[WesternAnimation/KimPossible Ron]], however, this might be another case of being overshadowed by the others, as he can be a rather BadassBookworm PrivateDetective AcePilot MrFixit when he's on his own.
* Professor Utonium of ''ThePowerpuffGirls''. Don't worry; [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming he's a perfect dad otherwise]].
* Rattrap was forcibly turned into one in ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'', much to his annoyance. However, he was as resourceful as ever, and when the need arose was usually able to exploit the environment to defeat his enemies.
* Fry from ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''. While he certainly has his moments ([[spoiler:only person who can defeat the Brainspawn?]]), in most stand-up fights he's cowering behind [[ActionGirl Leela]].
* Mad Mod of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' qualifies for this. In his first appearance, he is an old man who attacks the Titans with a holographic version of his young self who uses hypnotics and moving objects. Then, in his second appearance, it's hypnotics and robots. Oh, in the same episode, he is back to his younger self thanks to absorbing Robin's youth.
* Cameron of ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama Revenge of the Island'' falls into this category. It's most prominent in "The Enchanted Frankenforest", where he teams up with ActionGirl Zoey for a challenge and ends up becoming TheLoad.
* Averted in the WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague animated series as Martian Manhunter is usually the "inacton guy" on the satellite directing things and he just happens to have pretty much the same powers as Superman, plus psychic abilities, plus he's a shape-shifter.
* While he does have his moments, [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Spike]] almost never fights, is rarely actively involved in fixing problems the protagonists have and usually contributes to the group through managing small scale tasks for them and doing their menial work, fitting this trope quite readily. Though let it be known that when he has his moments, he ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E19ADogAndPonyShow really]]'' [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E21DragonQuest has]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E2TheCrystalEmpirePart2 his]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E10SpikeAtYourService moments.]]
* Chuck, the CowardlyLion [[ScoobyDoo Shaggy]] {{Expy}} in ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}''. Especially when it's revealed that [[spoiler: he doesn't know how to drive]].
* Rufus of ''TheDreamstone'', eventually fell to this due to ensemble setup. Though originally a BadassNormal and the main protagonist, it soon became evident Rufus was [[OvershadowedByAwesome outshone by nearly every other hero character]], who was smarter, more experienced and/or granted with some far greater array of powers than him. As such he very quickly ended up tossed into this trope to let others shine, even becoming TheLoad for some time. He started to gain some credibility later on, if mostly by placing the others OutOfFocus.
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