[[quoteright:344:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pantsman_3332.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:344:To be fair, most superheroes [[SuperheroesWearTights just wear tights.]]]]

->''"Faster than a doughnut! Stronger than cardboard!"''
-->-- '''Description for Wario-Man''', ''VideoGame/WarioWare Touched''.

Many people feel that the SuperHero is an inherently silly concept. And certainly, many of the genre's conventions -- such as the use of strange, skintight costumes -- might look silly in RealLife. However, within their own setting, superheroes are usually accepted and admired.

Most of the time.

Certain characters are so obtuse that even other superheroes view them as -- well, dumb. Some people tend to use the derisive name "Super Zeroes" for these.

Most of these characters are intentionally created to be that way. Others end up that way due to later AlternativeCharacterInterpretation. Their purpose is mostly to serve as PluckyComicRelief, although they can be used in other ways.

There are several types of "super zeroes". There's the character who might actually make a good superhero... if he had [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway anything resembling useful powers or skills]]. Often their powers will also be (or make them) [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute bizarre or disgusting in appearance]]. Real heroes will try to [[NeverBeAHero dissuade them from fighting crime]], but usually they insist on trying anyway, getting themselves (and others) in danger. They usually end up scolded by other heroes and retiring after causing a particularly bad mess, though other times they continue being a thorn on an established hero's side, especially by trying to become that hero's {{sidekick}}. Often they [[TheWoobie inspire pity in fans]], and might even become an EnsembleDarkhorse. In such a case, they might actually get better with time, evolving into true heroes. DCComics's [[ComicBook/{{Legion Of Super-Heroes}} Legion Of Substitute Heroes]] is an example of this type.

Then there's the character who ''does'' possess great powers -- but happens to personally be such an idiot -- or even insane -- that he causes trouble anyway. They might even be considered dangerous sometimes. An example would be [[MarvelComics Marvel]]'s '''Impossible Man''', who can transform into ''anything'' and even the ComicBook/FantasticFour couldn't beat him -- but he had the personality of a hyperactive child!

Of course, some characters are ''both'' stupid ''and'' helpless, just to drive home how wrong it its for them to even attempt to be a hero.

Super Zeroes usually (but not always) look pretty ridiculous too -- either their costumes are poorly designed, or they themselves lack the kind of body that makes spandex-wearing superheroes look good. Or both. They are usually the result of a {{geek}} trying to [[AscendedFanboy live up his heroic ideals.]]

A common cliche is to feature a story where the "Zero" ends up saving the day despite [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman (or precisely because of)]] his absurd abilities. Another one is where a proud villain ''refuses'' to fight the "hero" for considering him an unworthy foe. If the 'zero beats him anyway, his shame is even greater.

Yet another cliche, though a rarer one, is where the zero gets mistaken for a competent hero by a clueless person. This either ends disastrously, or the zero actually succeeds for once -- but with [[TheGreatestStoryNeverTold none of his friends at hand to see it happen]].

Note that superheroes featured in humorous cartoons or comics do not really fit this trope, as every other character in those is also silly to some degree (though they might ''think'' that the superhero characters are dumber than they are.)

Note also that this trope applies to many supervillains, especially a HarmlessVillain.

Not to be confused with MyHeroZero.

Compare BlessedWithSuck. Contrast SuperLoser, who are characters who gain superpowers... but none of the cool you'd expect comes with the package.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The Majestic Twelve from ''Manga/ZatchBell''. They actually do have some pretty cool powers (or at least, some of them do), but they're never seen to do anything particularly useful unless you count Big Boing being funny.
* Radar Man from ''Anime/ParanoiaAgent'' is a tragic [[SubvertedTrope subversion]]. [[spoiler:Admittedly, he was doing pretty well up until the point he tried attacking Shonen Bat head-on.]]
* Mister Satan from ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' is a variation; he's not a superhero, but the series stresses how the main characters all outclass him(up to and including a six-year-old kid and his own daughter). And he does get the plot about saving the day against Buu.
* Suppaman from ''Manga/DoctorSlump''.
* Manga/{{Kinnikuman}} started out as one. He got better.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Inferior Five from Franchise/TheDCU, who were forced to become heroes by their [[StageMom Stage Parents]]. Team leader Merryman comes from a long line of {{Badass Normal}}s, but is a weakling and a fatalist. The Blimp shares his father's ability to fly but didn't inherit his super speed, giving him the ability to fly about as fast as he can walk, and as he's rather fat, that's not very fast. Awkwardman has incredible strength and can survive indefinitely underwater, but is so clumsy he's more a danger to friend than foe. Dumb Bunny is even more powerful than Awkwardman but is [[DumbMuscle so lacking]] [[DumbBlonde in intelligence]] she's usually even less helpful. Finally, the White Feather is an ace marksman and glamour photographer... when he's alone, at least; Whenever he even thinks someone else might be around, his skills go to crap and his cowardly streak emerges. When trouble arrives, Police Chief Geronimo will call them on the Lukewarm Line and they'll be there to make it worse; they never fail to fail.
* Indy comic book character '''Lethargic Lad'''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}''
** The Legion of Substitute Heroes from Franchise/TheDCU consists of this, all of them being rejects from the Legion of Super-Heroes. Considering that the Legion contains people like ''Matter Eater Lad'', this is saying something. The Subs have varied in terms of effectiveness across continuities, and most of them were rejected on the grounds that they needed more training in order to control their abilities more than because their abilities themselves were useless. Two members, Polar Boy and Night Girl, have since become Legionnaires, though some other members opted to stay in the Subs because they think of each other as a quirky family. Their most recent portrayal in what is referred to as the Johnsboot Legion sort of meshes together their previous incarnations by casting them as a team of superhero fan boys and girls who see each other as family and, while they may not have the greatest powers or the greatest control, and may in fact be a little legitimately crazy, are exceedingly reckless enough that you should ''not'' underestimate them.
** Then there's the Legion of Substitute Heroes Auxiliary, made of those "not yet ready for membership in the Substitute Legion". So far, the only members of this group have been Antennae Lad (who picks up radio signals, not all of them from this universe or time period) and Double Header (whose power is that he has two heads and will eventually split into two full people. [[MultipleHeadCase His heads hate each other]].)
** Beyond the Subs, the Legion has always operated on this pretense by introducing numerous reject applicants with ridiculously weak abilities. The Mess was a walking dirt cloud, Eyeful Ethel could just grow extra eyes, and Plaid Lad could just change fabric against his will. Basically, if you're in the 31st Century and you've got what you consider a superpower, you'll have tried out for the Legion at least once.
* The ComicBook/{{Great Lakes|Avengers}} Initiative from Franchise/MarvelUniverse. Most of the members have incredibly lame powers, like Mr. Immortal (immortal but has no other superpowers or any real combat training), Big Bertha (supermodel who can turn into a [[StoutStrength super-strong but incredibly obese]] version of herself), Doorman (who can become a living hole in any wall), and ComicBook/SquirrelGirl (talks to squirrels). Mind, Squirrel Girl is either [[KillerRabbit the most dangerous character]] in TheVerse [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation or]] a RunningGag [[MemeticBadass taken too far]]. Or both. To be fair to the team, Big Bertha's power isn't useless, just disturbing -- she's actually really quite strong (at least strong enough to stop a speeding truck with ease), and ImmuneToBullets. And they did genuinely save the universe once, although they did it by convincing the villain to commit suicide.
* ComicBook/{{Aquaman}} and ComicBook/BlueBeetle are examples of perfectly good superheroes who gained a reputation as losers with time. When your own sidekick turns out to be a cooler hero than you are, that's a bad sign.
* ''Franchise/SpiderMan''
** The self-proclaimed Revenge Squad, otherwise known as the Legion of Losers. Mind you, one of them was the Spot, who is often considered a loser but had the ability to create portals that could take him anywhere, which is a pretty dangerous power if he ever figured out how not to be an idiot. Which he did in ''Amazing Spider-Man #589'', where he managed to fight Spider-Man to a stand-still.
** The Fabulous Frog-Man, sometime-ally of Spider-Man. A pudgy, idealistic young man wearing the super frog suit that originally belonged to his father (the villainous Leap-Frog), he has yet to succeed in his mission to stop crime... on purpose, at least.
** Inept as he is, Frog-Man still ranks above his (and Spider-Man's) enemies The Walrus and The White Rabbit. The former is a rather dumb, fat minor villain with the proportional strength, speed and agility of a walrus (which would actually make him ''less'' able than a normal human) who can be knocked out by a single finger flick from Spider-Man. The latter is a deranged lunatic obsessed with the works of Creator/LewisCarroll who has a bunch of rabbit- and carrot-themed equipment and vehicles.
** In the same vein, there was the Spectacular Spider-Kid (now the Steel Spider), a pudgy preteen genius who wears a Spider-Man costume under his (functional) Dr. Octopus work-a-like tentacles. As Steel Spider, he grew up to be legitimately badass, but still distinctly C-list.
** In ''Amazing Spider-Man'' #247, The Toad, Frog-Man, and The Spectacular Spider-Kid were all vying to become Spider-Man's partner, much to his consternation. In the end the three Super Zeroes form their own super-team, the Misfits.
* Another Marvel team, The League of Losers, made up of heroes not killed off by the BigBad because their comics were not successful enough for him to know about them. Then again, this is probably more of a subversion, since the "losers" in question were in fact perfectly competent heroes in their own right. What they lacked was PopularityPower, not ''actual'' power. NFL Superpro is notable in this regard: He was too lame to even be a member of the Legion of Losers. Well, okay, it was actually a copyright dispute (since the character was co-owned by the NFL and all).
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''
** The Killer Moth was defeated by Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) on her first outing.
** Batman villain Catman. When he was created, he was a campy male version of Catwoman played for laughs. His incompetence led to him becoming a washed-up drunkard Post-Crisis. It was a major embarrassment to the newest ultra-villain team up that was trying to recruit all the world's villains that he refused. By this point though, he'd become a BadassNormal living with a pride of lions.
* The First American, a notably useless and stupid costumed hero created by Creator/AlanMoore for his America's Best Comics imprint. As TheOtherWiki [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_American_(comics) says]], "Given his incompetence, he demonstrates below average physical abilities." Which is to say, he can perform multiple backflips in rapid succession and knows how to pop a bad guy in the face -- he's just really ''bad'' at it.
* Bob Phantom from DC's short-lived ''Impact Comics'' line. Not even a hero as such, just a bumbling reporter who figured that ''dressing up'' as one would help him get a scoop on the real thing (the Comet, if memory serves) and quite by accident ended up helping save the day.
* Section 8 from ''ComicBook/{{Hitman}}''. The names say it all: [[TheAlcoholic Sixpack]], [[BlackComedyRape Bueno Excellente]], [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the Defenestrator, Dogwelder, Friendly Fire]], [[CaptainEthnic Jean de Baton-Baton]], [[NauseaFuel Phlegmgem]] and [[ConvulsiveSeizures Shakes]]. There's a reason their team is named after the clause for leaving the Army due to insanity. Dogwelder deserves special mention. Garth Ennis and his friends were in a bar one night and decided to come up with the worst possible superhero. Dogwelder was the first suggestion, and nobody could top it. Well, Bueno Excellente (whose name was inspired by the Spanish subtitles in a PORN FILM, we kid you not) and who owns the "power of perversion" can be pretty scary in fact. [[NoodleIncident Given]] [[SelfDemonstrating/{{Lobo}} The Main Man]] himself once was the victim of his indignities, and chose to leave rather than kill him... Though that have might have something to do with the fact it was all filmed. [[ComeToGawk For the galaxy's]] [[{{Squick}} viewing pleasure]].
* DC's Kid Devil was a straight-up super zero way back when he first appeared and tried to become Blue Devil's sidekick. Although being incredibly smart enough at the age of 12 to create a powersuit, he lacked experience and tended to get into trouble (he was pudgy too, like some examples mentioned). Even after being upgraded to a real devil and joining the ComicBook/TeenTitans, it still took him some time to grow out of his super zero reputation, and his issues over his competence and confidence was a major part of his character arc. Kid Devil's super zero status had more or less ended by he changed his codename to Red Devil.
* ''ComicBook/MarshalLaw'' features Sorry, the Nearly Man. He was nearly a superhero, you know. A pudgy, fearful moron whose only power is having a gigantic prehensile penis... He starts out as one of the few "heroes" Marshal Law tolerates, primarily because at least Sorry ''knows'' he never actually helps anyone. Eventually, though, he becomes a twisted serial killer after being driven mad by his obsession with superheroes.
* The [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] ComicBook/RedTornado can be considered a subversion. While her costume design (long underwear "tights", saucepan "helmet" and blanket "cape") are obviously intended as a joke, within the context of her original appearances in Sheldon Meyer's ''Scribbly'', she was a very competent BadassNormal hero(ine), highly effective against the street-level racketeers and hoodlums that were her usual opponents. Indeed, a latter-day JusticeSocietyOfAmerica adventure has none less than Franchise/WonderWoman declaring her "a true Amazon."
* While the vast majority of (contemporary) heroes from ''ComicBook/TheTick'' comics have elements of this, special mention must be made of Hand Grenade Man. "Super-powers? Bah! Who '''needs''' 'em? I've got a '''hand grenade'''!" He never actually uses it because it's the only one he's got.
* In-universe, Comicbook/{{Empowered}} is seen as this by the public at large, despite having several major victories to her credit.
* When Creator/GarthEnnis is the writer, ''all'' superheroes are like this due to his unending dislike of superhero comics. Even Franchise/{{Superman}}, the one superhero he likes, isn't completely immune.
* ComicBook/AmbushBug lives and breathes this. Considering he might as well be the Ur Example for {{Meta Guy}}s...
* Mind-Grabber Kid (who is in his 30s) is Franchise/TheDCU's premiere super-zero. His only real accomplishment is mildly annoying the Justice League by trying to discredit them due to his jealousy. After that, he's been showing up at superhero fan conventions and doing little else of note. He ''was'' one of ComicBook/BoosterGold's pallbearers in ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'', though, among such other luminaries as Beefeater, Odd-Man, and the Blimp.
* Hindsight Lad of the ''ComicBook/NewWarriors'' starts out like this, takes a brief ([[AuthorAvatar not entirely inexplicable]]) turn for the competent, then [[FaceHeelTurn ends up outing all his former teammates online]] during the ComicBook/CivilWar.
* At one point, ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol'' member Fever ran into the Purple Purposeless, a superhero who has made it his mission to refuse help to anyone in need. His origin involves serving in Vietnam and receiving ''hay fever'' from Agent Orange exposure.
* The eponymous protagonist of ''ComicBook/{{Rat-Man}}'' is an almost totally useless cretin and coward, whose attempts at being a superhero tend to end with his total humiliation. Keyword: almost. Once in a while he'll pull something worth of actual superheroes, like jumping on the head of a [[EldritchAbomination Shadow]]-possessed villain while being ''forced on an electric wheelchair'' (apparently there's the right sequence of commands for that) or ''[[SummonBiggerFish summoning freakin']] Creator/ChuckNorris'' on a [[HeroKiller killer robot designed specifically to kill superheroes]].
* The Trapsters, despite being a recurring member of the Frightful Four, he is considered a laughing stock by everyone. It all started when he first named himself Paste-Pot-Pete. Breaking in Four Freedoms Plaza in the absence of the Fantastic Four, he got easily captured by their ''receptionist''.
* ''ComicBook/AvengersTheInitiative'' introduced Butterball, a character who is physically invulnerable and has unlimited stamina, but is stuck with the body of an overweight teenager. This meant that he can never grow stronger or faster no matter how much he trains.
* Many of the heroes in ''ComicBook/DCOneMillion'' who gained superpowers through something a hero or villain from the past DC Universe wore at some point were ineffectual wannabees. In fact, there was one group that explicitly called themselves the "Justice Legion Wanna Bes". Notable examples include Aqua Fresh, Negative Gorilla Queen, and Gunfire One Million who accidentally turned his ''ass'' into an explosive and killed himself.
* Rainbow Raider is a member of Franchise/TheFlash's RoguesGallery who dates back to the TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks. His gimmick? He's a color-blind would-be artist who uses goggles that, somehow, let him shoot colored beams of light. He was so ridiculous that even Creator/GeoffJohns, a self-professed Silver Age AscendedFanboy who brought back and revamped many of the Flash's other rogues from that era (like The Turtle), couldn't think of anything better to do with him than have him be killed off by a new villain for "being so obnoxious".\\\
Later, a ''team'' found and divided his gear. They were even ''more'' pathetic now they each had a single color to wield. Eventually, during the ComicBook/BlackestNight, they had the brilliant idea of killing themselves to allow the black rings to possess them and thus gain a measure of revenge. However, the black rings ''only'' choose people with close attachments to those who have cheated death (heroes, mostly). Ergo, they died for, well, nothing.
* ''ComicBook/PS238'' is largely a subversion -- no matter what powers a meta-prodigy has, the school tries to find some useful way to employ those powers, and they largely succeed. A possible case of this trope being played straight appeared in an early strip, when a mother was trying to pick out a costume for her superpowered son, who turned out to have the ability to animate balloon animals.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Rod Rescueman, the bungling novice superhero from the animated film ''WesternAnimation/TwiceUponATime''.
* Syndrome, the villain in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' started as one, but [[TookALevelInBadass became a]] [[NotSoHarmlessVillain dangerous villain]] later on.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/MysteryMen'':
-->"We're not your classic superheroes. We're not the favorites. We're the other guys. We're the guys nobody ever bets on."
* ''Film/TheSpecials'', who are explicitly the seventh or eighth guys you call in an emergency.
* Most of the "Hero Support" students in ''Film/SkyHigh''.
* ''Film/{{Defendor}}''
* ''Film/{{Super}}''
* ''Film/KickAss'' starts off as this, being some overly idealistic teen with a stupid costume who managed to gain fame via in-universe MemeticMutation. However, he eventually is able to [[TookALevelInBadass Take a Level in Badass]] with the help of [[LittleMissBadass Hit-Girl]] and ends up a true hero by the end (if still utterly useless in an actual fight).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The Pharaoh from ''Literature/SoonIWillBeInvincible'' is a dumb and unambitious supervillain who is constantly mocked for his cheesy costume and lack of knowledge of topics relating to his supposed origin. However, if he put his mind to it he could be one of the most dangerous villains in the world, as his magic hammer makes him completely invincible.
* ''Literature/WildCards''
** Bumbling hippie Captain Trips often seems this way -- until he [[LetsGetDangerous calls one of his "friends" out to play]].
** The Projectionist was very much one of these, to the point of calling himself a "deuce," in reference to superheroes being called "Aces". This was back when he was a throwaway character; later on he TookALevelInBadass, changing his name to Mr. Nobody.
* This seems to be the point (or one of them, anyway) of Creator/JonathanLethem's story "Super Goat Man".
* ''Literature/HowToBeASuperhero'' has several, including Pogo Man, [[Creator/EECummings e e cummings man]], and Mr. Yoyo.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Making up such superheroes is a regular game on the American version of ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway''
* The old Mexican series ''Series/ElChapulinColorado''. With his honking horn of justice.
* Many of the characters on ''Series/NoHeroics'', but especially Alex.
* Seriously, Series/{{Batman}} from the '60s TV show, which has become a sort of non-canon DorkAge for the deadly-serious comic books and movies of today. He may be just a BadassNormal, but in truth, Batman's superpower is to have the single greatest example of {{Camp}} ''ever'' and still be taken seriously enough to help [[ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns kick off]] TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks.
* In the live-action version of ''Series/TheTick'': Arthur (even more so than in the comic or [[WesternAnimation/TheTick cartoon]]); Fishboy, Lost Prince of Atlantis; Friendly Fire (not to be confused with the one from Franchise/TheDCU); Tiny Man (kicked out of the League of Super Heroes for not being tiny ''enough''); and Metcalf. Metcalf deserves special mention: like Arthur, he was a DIY superhero, who bought himself a suit and a jetpack. He then got himself curbstomped (literally, according to the pilot), and now needs a machine to poop. Also, arguably Batmanuel.
* ''Series/AllThat''
** One episode features the L.A.M.O.S., a group of superheroes all residing in this trope. There's a guy who can shoot lasers from his fingers that have the intensity of laser pointers, an old guy whose power is being old and a toddler whose power is to toddle.
** Also from the show, one episode features a mayor auditioning for superheroes for her city only to find a series of this. The one exception is a FlyingBrick who is almost chosen, were it not for the fact that he's called "[[FailOSuckyname Superty-Duper Man]]". At the end, she decides to just do the job herself and proceeds to [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking put on a cape and fly through the roof.]]
* ''Series/ThatMitchellAndWebbLook'' features "Angel Summoner and the BMX Bandit"... no points for guessing which one of the pair falls into right this trope.
* A short-lived sketch in the first season of ''HarryEnfieldAndChums'', titled "The Palace of Righteous Justice", revolved around four heroes who had fairly adequate superpowers, but were absolutely useless at their jobs. [[HeroesPreferSwords Lawman]] used his "Sword of Dobber" to mindlessly slice things in half, [[AnIcePerson Kometh the Iceman]] froze anything he could, [[PlayingWithFire Fireman]] set everything around him on fire, and [[CatGirl She-Woman-Cat-Type-Thing]] (Supposedly the most powerful of them all) just did ordinary cat stuff, like lick herself.
* This is the premise of the French series ''Series/HeroCorp'', which begins in a village where retired superheroes with fading or useless powers are sent. For instance, a superhero with the power to project acid with his hands becomes unable to project anything but shampoo, or a mutant who, being half-man half-chicken, has the "power" of having feathers growing from his backside.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The parody RPG ''Stuper Powers'' allows you to play a superhero with any of nearly a hundred [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway ridiculous powers]], from the weird but useful, like [[BloodyMurder acid blood]] or the power to channel the strength (and poor command of English) of Swedish pro-wrestler and BMovie actor Tor Johnson, to the merely weird, like the power to make any band play "Freebird" or the power to turn things plaid. Also the [[FridgeLogic Fridge]] {{Squick}} power that is (are?) prehensile nipples. Weird and creepy when you first hear about it, more and more disturbing the more you think of it...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Wario-Man from ''VideoGame/WarioWare'' and ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' Already PlayedForLaughs in all versions, it comes more under this in Touched where after a rather silly theme song, flying an inch off the ground and what not, he tries to stop a train and fails miserably (ATwinkleInTheSky). Heck, it's even called "Super Zero" in game! And now the top example of this on the page: in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOIRExwW9dU DIY Showcase]], he has to open jammed toilet doors for people and fly about an inch off the ground. Though somewhat subverted/averted in ''Super Smash Bros. Brawl'' where he is a legitimate [[LimitBreak Final]] [[OneWingedAngel Smash]] for Wario, with massively increased power and speed, invulnerability, ElementalPowers and what have you.
* ''VideoGame/SuperheroLeagueOfHoboken'' uses this as a premise, featuring the likes of The Crimson Tape (power to create org charts), Tropical Oil Man (raises cholesterol of his opponents), Captain Excitement (puts enemies to sleep) and Mademoiselle Pepperoni (clairvoyance into closed pizza boxes). Subverted in that they actually put those powers to good use: several can be used in combat (putting enemies to sleep or raising their cholesterol levels into the health hazard range, for example) or have beneficial uses outside of combat (Mademoiselle Pepperoni can easily determine of the pizza box contains anything of value or if it's a trap, and Treader Man's ability to tread water really well will open up additional areas). Several quests can [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman only be dealt with by a particular hero.]] ("A warehouse full of genetically engineered super-spicy jalapeņo peppers? This looks like a job for The Iron Tummy!")
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has The [=AntAgonizer=] and The Mechanist, two crazy losers who are constantly battling with each other. While the former is hardly anything to worry about since her power is the ability to control GoddamnedBats in a society where everyone is armed to some extent, the latter is a skilled engineer capable of making MechaMooks that are a bit more troublesome to deal with.
* A subversion occasionally comes up in the more roleplay-oriented crowd in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes''. While it's hard to design a truly useless character from the standpoint of game mechanics, and actual incompetence usually reflects badly on the player, there are a few people clearly trying for the appearance of this trope. Deliberately campy or lame designs, inane, naive or stupid ''characters'', characters bossed around by their minions, and "fake dysfunctional" groups, can in the hands of skilled ''players'' make both entertaining company and be impressive to watch.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/SuperFckers'' (the WebAnimation and the original [[Webcomic/AmericanElf James Kolchacka]] comic): Basically, the ComicBook/TeenTitans, if they were all rejected ''Series/JerseyShore'' cast members.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Captain Fist from ''Webcomic/{{Girly}}''.
* [[http://www.scottmccloud.com/1-webcomics/mi/mi-12/mi-12.html Inertia Man (and Rhetorical Question Man).]]
* Illumina of ''Webcomic/SidekickGirl''. She can float and glow, but she looks the part and in her [[TheVerse Verse]], that's what matters. Her boyfriend, Malestrom, is just as bad. But when Val takes over her body via FreakyFridayFlip, she shows what Illumina's powers can do in the hands of someone competent. (i.e. Use her floating powers as a "feather fall" spell and glow bright enough to stun a crowd of mooks into helplessness.)
* Literally, the ''[[http://www.amazingsuperzeroes.com/index.php Amazing Super Zeroes]]'' (unfortunately, no longer updating). A new team of second-rate superheroes is selected on a reality TV show.
* ''Webcomic/ChannelAte'' has a few of these show up from time to time.
* The Knifeketeer from ''Webcomic/BasicInstructions'' suffers from this. His power is his skill with knives, which doesn't sit too well with the other heroes and their ThouShallNotKill philosophy, and his sanity and intelligence have been called into question several times.
* The entire cast of ''Webcomic/LeagueOfSuperRedundantHeroes''. Particular mention must be made of Lazer Pony, who can fire powerful FrickinLaserBeams from behind his eyes. Yes -- ''behind.'' His first use of his powers resulted in permanent blindness. His hero uniform features a set of handlebars on his helmet so that others can aim his beams.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Zeroes'', NBC's parody of its own ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' show, is all about hero wannabes with utterly useless talents, who manage only to creep each other out.
* ''Website/{{Cracked}}'s'' [[http://www.cracked.com/video_18306_the-8-saddest-real-world-superheroes.html 8 Saddest Real World Superheroes]].
* The French Web series ''Series/FlandersCompany'' is at the beginning focused on the human resources manager of a society hiring wanabee supervillains. Many of the candidates fall under WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway, but even those with actual potentially-decent superpowers fails in many other ways. At best, the not-utterly-inept ones are fit for the {{Mooks}} squad (with a low life expectancy). Some highlights:
** The most extrement example is certainly Lose-Man. His superpower is to attract and absorb ambiant "lose" -- meaning at the best of time he's extremely unlucky, and people slap or hit him without even meaning to. Sure, he can release all this energy in a devastating blast... about once a month.
** Staive is a {{Cyborg}} who can move... in slow-motion (parodying ''Series/TheSixMillionDollarMan'').
** Then there's Kevin. He would have a rather decent set of powers -- his "groove" is so intense that he can force people into an InvoluntaryDance, he can use ThePowerOfRock to inflict pain, and he's basically immortal, [[ResurrectiveImmortality coming back every time he's killed]]. That should make him a great character, right? Except he's TooDumbToLive, a DirtyCoward (despite the aforementioned immortality; he's even called on this in-universe), has dubious musical tastes and ''horrid'' [[FashionVictimVillain fashion sense]].
** The Flander's Company is forced to engage some of those Super Zeroes in season 3, amongst them Recycle-Man (a former environementalist hero who beats up people for not properly recycling), Emo-Man (an archetypical {{Emo}} whose superpower is to [[BloodyMurder bleed on his enemies]]) and Sweaty-Man (a portly man who sweats a lot when nervous, and yes that's his superpower).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Powdered Toast Man from ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow''.
* Captain Hero from ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether''.
* Ratman, from one of the Justice Friends shorts on ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory''. He eventually earns himself a spot on the Justice Friends... as the team's personal butler.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'': [[Creator/AdamWest Catman]].
* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck''
** The eponymous duck himself. Both underpowered and underbrained ([[LetsGetDangerous most of the time)]]. Justified in that the cartoon is a parody of the superhero genre. Though Darkwing Duck is only underpowered when badly written (but unlucky often).
** However, even by the standards of this series, there's Comet Guy. He's won the SuperPowerLottery, but with those brains it only makes him more dangerously useless. Everyone else on his planet turns out to be the same, except of course Ordinary Guy.
** And then there's the mutants from the episode "Mutantcy on the Bouncy". The Rubber Chicken was essentially made of stretchy rubber, which is a pretty useful power [[spoiler:and is used to defeat the [[TheJuggernaut nearly unstoppable]] villain of the episode by flinging him away like a slingshot]], but is in the hands of someone too neurotic to properly use them. The others include a newscaster capable of displaying cold symptoms at will, a cashier with glue powers, and a secretary with the power to turn himself into '''a banana'''. The fact that all of them minus the Rubber Chicken get taken out of the final battle within about two seconds (and by themselves, no less) should say something.
* Voltar, Doktor Frogg and the Red Menace from ''The WesternAnimation/LeagueOfSuperEvil'' are all villainous Super Zeroes.
* Killer Moth is a Super-Zero villain in ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman''.
* Likewise, the Toilenator from ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''. Subverted a few times, when he snaps and makes it apparent that he can stomp colons just as well as wiping them.
* The Action League from the ''WesternAnimation/ActionLeagueNOW'' segments on ''WesternAnimation/KaBlam''
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans''
** [=LeBlanc=] lasted all of five seconds. That certainly didn't stop his boasting in prison.
** In the same episode, Control Freak is angry at "not being on the list" of villains to watch out for (even the Puppet King got on it!). But he's most certainly not a super zero!
** The Other Heroes Beast Boy managed to find in "Titans Together" seemed to be these, but they managed to win anyway.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyHeroes'' all seem to fit this bill, always winding up tangled up in a big mess.
* The ''ComicBook/WildCATS'' had a resident Super Zero in the form of Voodoo, whose ability to spot people possessed by the evil aliens was actually pretty useful, but countered by her lack of the most basic combat skills. She was such a load that she was briefly kicked off the team before a convenient PlotTailoredToTheParty reminded everyone that they needed her.
* ComicBook/BoosterGold was treated like one both in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' and ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold''. Though his ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' [[ADayInTheLimelight spotlight episode]] showed that this was due mostly to his GloryHound attitude rather than lack of skill. He manages to be heroic in his own right [[WhatYouAreInTheDark when no-one else in the league is there to see it.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTick''
** Arthur seems to fit this trope, although this is more evident in the Live-Action, as noted above.
** Also, there is a super team called the "Civic-Minded Five", who definitely fit, particularly The Carpeted Man, and another the "Decency Squad", especially Johnny Polite. The Decency Squad was apparently formidable... back in the 1940's. Now they're a bunch of mostly washed-up {{Old Superhero}}es stuck in a retirement home. It's a good thing their ArchEnemy has aged just as badly as them and is only ''slightly'' more effective.
** Caped Chameleon; Fishbor, Lost Prince of Atlantis; Human Bullet; Captain Lemming, and a number of others.
** And the Franchise/{{Batman}} {{expy}} Fledermaus, who spends most of his time making failed passes at superheroines.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls''
** An episode with this trope title has the girls decide to portray the superheroes in their favorite comics. Blossom becomes [[Franchise/WonderWoman Liberty Belle]], but as [[FridgeLogic she now drives]] the Freedom Mobile, she gets stuck in traffic. Bubble becomes [[{{Manga}} Harmony Bunny]] who attacks the monster by placing stickers on him. Buttercup as [[ComicBook/{{Spawn}} Mange]] won't do anything because of the [[WeaksauceWeakness sunlight]]. The monster eventually gets fed up and tells them to lose the identities.
** Another episode had a legendary supervillain group come out of retirement, and the girls convincing the heroes who opposed them to do likewise and save the day. The problem being that they're just a bunch of geriatric old men (which is why they got involved in the first place; Blossom refused to attack the elderly villains), and the hero and ex-sidekick spend most of the time arguing with each other. The whole affair ends with all the old characters in the hospital, and everyone glaring at Blossom for her part.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''
** [[TokenEvilTeammate Cartman]] as "the Coon". He is quickly showed up by [[{{Badass}} Mysterion]], and eventually becomes a much more effective villain, even though he still calls himself a hero as he does it.
** [[MakingASplash Seaman]] is treated this way by the rest of the [[CrossoverCosmology Super Best Friends]], though really his only flaw is an [[UnfortunateNames Unfortunate Name]].
** Captain Hindsight is an {{Inversion}}. His power is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin -- knowing how to avert a disaster ''after'' it already happens. Obviously this is pretty useless in stopping the current problems, but everyone somehow acts like he's going to save the day. (He can also fly, [[ForgotICouldFly but somehow that never comes up or is deemed useful]].)
** Anyone of Coon and Friends that isn't Mysterion is just a kid in a lame costume. Mint-Berry Crunch in particular is presented as having a really vague and lame gimmick involving mints and berries. Subverted later on as he's revealed to actually have superpowers that prove capable of [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu defeating Cthulhu]].
* Power Pig from ''[[WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends U.S. Acres]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAwesomes''.
[[/folder]]

----