[[quoteright:345:[[WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zapandkif_294.jpg]]]]

->'''Archer:''' Woodhouse, what're you doing?\\
'''Woodhouse:''' Uh, sitting down sir.\\
'''Archer:''' What, at the table? ''Like people?!''\\
'''Mallory:''' Sterling!\\
'''Archer:''' What? He thinks he's people!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}''

For every [[CluelessDetective bumbling investigator]], [[IdiotHero overly idealistic hero]], [[TheNeidermeyer delusional superior]], or [[BondVillainStupidity short-sighted "mastermind]]," there's an assistant, that one guy who has to do all (or most) of the work, deal with the consequences of his boss' antics, and generally play clean up. As a result of having to deal with his boss' foolishness, this character is continually exasperated, and would probably rather be ''anywhere'' else. On the bright side they singlehandedly [[ConservationOfCompetence keep their side relevant.]]

Expect this kind of character to be a ServileSnarker and/or a master of the FacePalm. Related to the SassySecretary. Not the same as a HypercompetentSidekick, who, despite the fact that they work their butt off for little pay and no credit, is generally fine with the way things are. The Beleaguered Assistant is not, and would probably have called it quits a long time ago, but stays around either out of a sense of duty, having been assigned to his post by the military or another authority, or because they owe their boss, or someone else, a fairly big favor, or simply out of fear for the repercussions (being labeled a deserter or being jobless).

Some Beleaguered Assistants treat their boss with contempt and rudeness, yet the boss simply ignores them because they are either too stupid to notice or don't care. Alternately, they act as if they are delighted to help, and hate themselves for it.

Note that the more [[PointyHairedBoss incompetent]] or [[CluelessBoss clueless the boss is]], the more likely this type of character will show up, though less incompetent (and more hyperactive) characters can have these as well.

Often the OnlySaneMan and TheReliableOne. OnlySaneEmployee is when this character has far more to deal with than just his incompetent boss. A good character to use when determining whether other characters are NiceToTheWaiter. See also ConservationOfCompetence and SuccessSymbiosis. Contrast ProfessionalButtKisser. If they are male and their employer is female they may be half of MistressAndServantBoy relationship.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/SnowWhiteWithTheRedHair'', [[ServileSnarker Sakaki]] is this to his hopelessly idiotic, useless master [[UpperClassTwit Raji]].
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', [[CloudCuckooLandersMinder Cecile Croomy]] is this to [[MadScientist Lloyd Asplund]]. Often turned [[UpToEleven up to memetic levels]] in the {{Fanon}}.
* Reever Wenham in ''Manga/DGrayMan'' is this to his MadScientist boss Komui Lee. When Komui is left to his own devices, he tends to lose important paperwork and wander off to build SchizoTech robots.
* ''Anime/LuckyStar'': [[TheDanza Minoru Shiraishi]] is Akira's Beleaguered Assistant on [[ShowWithinAShow Lucky Channel]]. He eventually [[BewareTheNiceOnes snaps]] under her abuse and [[TrashTheSet Trashes the Set]].
* Rumiya to his sister Ramia in ''Anime/MagicalProjectS''.
* Elise of ''Manga/NodameCantabile'' has to rein in her LoveableSexManiac boss Stresemann, even flying around the world to drag him back to Germany for work.
* Kyon from ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya''. One of the few cases where the Beleaguered Assistant is the main character.
** Itsuki may count as well, despite his apparent eagerness and his asskissing (as Kyon sees it) on the inside he finds her actions to be quite exhausting.
* Ijyuuin from ''Manga/TeamMedicalDragon'' is this minus the [[DeadpanSnarker snark]].
* Tomoe from ''Manga/KamisamaKiss'' is this to the energetic, prone to act without thinking heroine, Nanami.
* ''Manga/TonoToIssho'' could be called ''Beleaguered Assistants: The Anime'', since 95% of all the retainers count. In particular, Kagetsuna and Shigezane have become so used to Masamune's bizarre behaviour they rarely even try to prevent it any more.
* Artemis and Luna from ''Anime/SailorMoon'' have elements of this. They are the ones that tell their protegees, Sailor Moon and Sailor Venus, how to do their work, are very [[CatsAreSnarky snarky]] towards them and have to deal with their major obliviousness and clumsiness. Somewhat subverted since Moon and Venus are still [[BunnyEarsLawyer good at their job]] and acknowledge their cats' efforts and accomplishments, Also, Luna and Artemis can be very rude and tell them explicitly what they think of them. they are still are very fond of each other.
* ''Manga/MonthlyGirlsNozakiKun'''s Nozaki is a pretty competent mangaka, however he nonetheless acquires a cast of assistants who put up with his eccentricities. Of course, they each have their own share of eccentricities.
** Hori takes the cake in being the most beleaguered of his assistants. Where the others are merely in charge of things such as inking and adding tone or effects, Hori is landed with the task of drawing ''all'' of Nozaki's backgrounds because Nozaki doesn't know how to draw them himself. And on top of that Nozaki doesn't even give adequate instructions on what needs to be drawn most of the time.
** In chapter 59, we get to see that Mayu is even too lazy to reply to ''cell phone'' text, and entrusts his schoolmate Kobayashi to ''text on his behalf''.
* Ibushi Arima in ''BinanKoukouChikyuuBoueibuLove'', who spends most of his time managing his highly-strung fellow [[WorldDomination World Dominators]], Kinshiro and Akoya.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* {{ComicStrip/Dilbert}} to the PointyHairedBoss, at least in early strips. Dilbert's learned to game the system to a degree, so [[TheIntern Asok]] took over that role for a while until he became [[{{Dismotivation}} Wally's]] apprentice. Alice, who [[HonorBeforeReason stubbornly refuses to put her sanity before her work ethic]] is the one who fits this best currently.
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', Woodstock is occasionally one of these to Snoopy.
* Henchmen in ''ComicStrip/{{Nodwick}}'' have this as their stock in life: They're stuck hauling implausibly large amounts of loot and being used as monster bait for various adventurers, but are contractually obliged to stick to their employers to the degree that they're not allowed to pass on to the afterlife as long as there's any chance of them being brought back to life.
** Nodwick himself skirts between this trope and HypercompetentSidekick because he does care for his employers -- at least somewhat.
* Major Domo from the [[ComicBook/XMen various x-books]], beleaguered by his psycho-megalomaniac boss Mojo and his junior, Minor Domo.
* ComicBook/PepperPotts for [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Stark]] at times. It's apparently bad enough that [[spoiler:Pepper's fiance hated Tony for "ruining" Pepper's life, and this hatred made him a worthy candidate for a Mandarin ring.]]
* The Dutch comic [[ComicBook/StormDonLawrence Storm]] has Visfil, who is violently blamed for absolutely everything bad that happens to his master.
* When Marla was assistant manager to Stuart in ''ComicStrip/{{Retail}}'', she was always doing all his work and getting none of the credit for it. The few times she was on vacation, Stuart tried to push the job onto Val, despite Val's protests. Now that Marla's the manager, she tries ''not'' to do this, unless her assistant manager of the moment annoys her too much.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''They Just Don't Care Anymore'': Jazz for the Autobots, Cyclonus for the Decepticons.
* One strange d20 crossover game included the [[Series/StargateSG1 Goa'uld]] [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hermes]], whose First Prime Autolycus was a Beleaguered Assistant charged with ensuring that his boss' insane antics didn't get either of them killed.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Sir Hiss in Disney's ''Disney/RobinHood''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Igor}}'' (2008) is about an [[TheIgor Igor]] who hopes to rise about his station as Beleaguered Assistant and become a MadScientist himself. Has his own beleaguered assistants in the form of dim-witted Brain and DeadpanSnarker Scamper.
* Lawrence to Prince Naveen in ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'', so much so [[spoiler:that he ends up scheming with Dr. Facilier to get rid of him]].
* Gromit in the ''Franchise/WallaceAndGromit'' series.
* ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'': Assistant Mayor Dawn Bellwether describes herself as "a glorified secretary" who "never gets to do anything that's important", and Mayor Lionheart treats her disdainfully.[[spoiler: This helps turn her into TheResenter and fuels her MistreatmentInducedBetrayal.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Number 2 from ''Film/AustinPowers''. To wit, in the intervening years between when Dr. Evil was frozen and thawed, Number 2 had managed to turn his company into a legitimate business easily worth many times more than what Dr. Evil could manage.
* To a lesser extent, Semmi in ''Film/ComingToAmerica''. He likes Prince Akeem, but wishes he wasn't his servant.
* Andy Sachs to Miranda Priestly in ''Film/TheDevilWearsPrada''.
** Andy is a more unusual example in that Miranda is neither [[TheCaligula insane]] nor [[PointyHairedBoss stupid]], but is instead so much TheAce that she demands Andy be [[HypercompetentSidekick hyper-competent]] by default, [[DudeWheresMyRespect rarely acknowledges her successes]] and [[DisappointedInYou eviscerates her whenever she can't keep up]].
* Hercule Lajoy is one of these to [[InspectorOblivious Clouseau]] in the second ''[[Franchise/ThePinkPanther Pink Panther]]'' film, ''Film/AShotInTheDark''.
* The Secretary Bird in ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks''.
* Riff Raff from ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'' exemplified this trope and takes it a step further in the end.
* Planchet, as portrayed by Roy Kinnear, in ''The Three Musketeers'' and its two sequels. Became a bit HarsherInHindsight when he died after being thrown from a horse during the filming of the third one.
* Pepper Potts from ''Film/IronMan''. While she does end up running Stark Industries as the CEO by the end of ''Film/IronMan2'', there was no indication it was ever going to happen; Tony just dumped the job on her. The only reason she stuck around for all those years is because she was in love with Tony.
* In ''Film/AFaceInTheCrowd'', Marcia Jeffries is, in Mel Miller's words, "the little wheel of efficiency without which the great streamline express called Lonesome Rhodes plunges off the track and leaps to destruction." She tries to prevent him from firing people on a whim, and helps ensure that he doesn't embarrass himself by venting his most egotistical opinions on the air... until she has had enough and [[EngineeredPublicConfession allows him to do just that]].
* In ''Film/MapsToTheStars'', Agatha begins as the perky, attentive assistant to a needy actress; by film's end, she is playing the trope straight, and finally hits a RageBreakingPoint.
* Anne Hathaway's character in ''Film/GetSmart'' is this to JerkAss ManChild, Maxwell Smart.

* Sancho Panza to Literature/DonQuixote.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Ponder Stibbons among the faculty of Unseen University. Described as "the one person in the organisation who knows what's going on and why it's happening and who's doing it, although he often wishes he didn't"
** This gets to the point where he's accumulated enough of the jobs no one feels like doing that he has a majority vote.
** Before Stibbons, there was the Bursar, Dr. A. A. Dinwiddie, but the strain of working under [[BoisterousBruiser Archchancellor Ridcully]] proved too much for him and he'd completely snapped by ''Discworld/ReaperMan''.
* Abner Dowling, General Custer's adjutant in the first few novels of Harry Turtledove's Literature/Timeline191 series. He frequently has to explain to an oblivious Custer that sending wave after wave of your own men charging across an open field at machine gun nests is probably not a good idea. Also, Custer's career survives by being politically savvy, plus [[spoiler:one enormously lucky victory that finally breaks the stalemate and wins the Great War.]]
* ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'':
** Ivan often finds himself cast in this role to Miles, though Miles is by no means incompetent:
--->'''Gregor:''' As you know, an Imperial Auditor may request anything he pleases. The first thing he requested was an assistant. Congratulations.\\
'''Ivan:''' He wanted a donkey to carry his luggage, and the first ass he thought of was me.
** Even worse, after Gregor gets engaged, Ivan gets seconded to act as his ''mother's'' assistant in the wedding planning.
* Fisk to Michael, in the first book of the ''Literature/KnightAndRogueSeries'', where they put more emphasis on their 'knight and squire' relation. Fisk eventually develops into more of a perpetually exasperated friend.
* In ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'', Alec and Isabelle are this for Jace. While he ''is'' a very talented DemonSlayer, he is also extremely reckless and very frequently ends up as a DistressedDude. Early on it is noted that Alec has never killed a demon, despite being the oldest of their PowerTrio, mostly because his attention is focused on keeping Jace (and to a lesser extent Isabelle) from serious harm. This trope spreads, almost like a disease, when Clary enters the picture, giving her her own set (mostly Simon and Luke, although Isabelle and the others also take turns). Magnus eventually starts feeling like this for the entire group, since [[AWizardDidIt his magic]] is needed by just about everyone.
* Aliette de Bodard's ''Literature/ObsidianAndBlood'' trilogy has Ichtaca, the priest responsible for everything the High Priest of the Dead cannot be bothered to do. He basically, and grudgingly, runs the temple while Acatl, said High Priest, is off investigating things, and uses every opportunity to remind Acatl that he ''really'' should stop running away from his social duties as High Priest.
* ''Literature/OneNationUnderJupiter'': Servius, forced to work as Diagoras' slave during his quest to debunk the gods despite still believing in them himself.
* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': Lift insists that Wyndle, her BondCreature, is a [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Voidbringer]] she trapped, and now he has to do what she says. He's not.
-->'''Wyndle:''' ''I'' wanted to pick a distinguished Iriali matron. A grandmother, an accomplished gardener. But no, the Ring said we should choose you. "She has visited the Old Magic," they said. "Our mother has blessed her," they said. "She will be young, and we can mold her," they said. Well, ''they'' don't have to put up with--\\
'''Lift:''' Shut it, Voidbringer.
* Literature/NeroWolfe's assistant Archie Goodwin views himself as this to Wolfe -- not entirely without reason. While Wolfe is no fool or incompetent, he ''is'' very eccentric, lazy and demanding, expects Archie to do all the grunt investigation busywork that he can't be bothered to do (often without fully appreciating just how difficult this might be for Archie), sends Archie running around the city at all hours of the day or night in search of clues, evidence, or whatever Wolfe wants at that given moment, keeps vital information back from Archie until it suits him, and drops him into situations that get tricky very quickly and require Archie to think on his feet to try and get out of them. Needless to say, Archie usually responds to all of this with [[DeadpanSnarker generous helpings of sarcasm]].


[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheBeverlyHillbillies'': Originally, Mr. Drysdale is a responsible, intelligent banker. However, in later years [[CharacterizationMarchesOn he turns into a odious, deceitful, moneygrubbing maniac]]. Cue Miss Hathaway's transformation from his trusted and respectful confidante to a beleaguered assistant.
* ''Series/RulesOfEngagement'': Timmy to Russell. While Russell is more [[BrilliantbutLazy Brilliant but Lazy]] than grossly incompetent, he makes Timmy miserable by constantly having him complete degrading tasks under the guise of [[BlatantLies "mentoring"]] him.
* ''Series/{{Selfie}}'' {{invert|edTrope}}s this, Henry Higgs is a talented worker, and his assistant Charlie, a little goofy, lanky, and not exactly on the ball. He says his parents are in town to get out of work (Henry, newly on Facebook, finds out through a posted video), and when he's very willing to participate in a flashmob for a co-worker:
-->'''Henry:''' The flashmob is off. Find Larry!\\
'''Charlie:'''But then I'll never get to do this. (''shoots confetti out of his sleeves'')\\
'''Henry:''' Clean all of this up. *leaves. Beat. Comes back* Find Larry first, and ''then'' clean all this up.
* Ryan sometimes played this role to Michael in the early seasons of ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'', demonstrating more knowledge of the business world than Michael. [[spoiler: He would eventually become Michael's boss.]]
* [[ButtMonkey Captain Darling]] to [[TheNeidermeyer General Melchett]] in ''[[LiveActionTelevision/BlackAdder Blackadder Goes Forth]]''.
** Mr. Blackadder himself is one of these to [[TheDitz Prince]] [[UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfHanover George]] in ''Blackadder the Third''.
* The title character in ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'' embodies this trope. He runs around doing Arthur's chores, including extremely demeaning ones, while Arthur insults him and throws things at him. When Arthur wants to shirk his royal duties, it's Merlin's job to cover for him -- which has more than once landed him in the stocks. And of course he spends most of the series repeatedly saving Arthur's life. Using his very illegal magic that he could be killed for having. Possibly on the orders of Arthur himself. And he gets no credit for any of this. ItMakesSenseInContext why Merlin puts up with all this. Mostly.
* Leo from ''Series/FairlyLegal''. Not that Kate is incompetent, she just does not stick to schedules very well (she is always late, or haring off to do some other task), leaving him to juggle the various conflicts till some resolution can be reached.
* Ted from ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', officially he's the hospital's in-house counsel, but Dr Kelso largely treats him as a lackey, including making him run errands and help unload delivery trucks. Partially justified since Ted is so incompetent at his actual job that Kelso prefers to make him just do menial tasks.
* The TaiwaneseSeries ''Series/FatedToLoveYou''. Xi Yi never says no, so ends up handling all the menial tasks in her office, plus fetching coffee and lunch, and working into the late night hours doing the work of her other coworkers.
* Lee Yeon Jae from the KoreanSeries ''Series/ScentOfAWoman'' pretty much is dumped on by the entire staff of the travel agency she works at, as well as being sexually harassed by her boss.
* Teo, the assistant of Johnny Tolengo. It's hard being the assistant of such a greedy rich man
-->'''Tolengo:''' Teo, the cofee you served is cold.\\
'''Teo:''' Wait a moment sir, I will warm it right away!\\
'''Tolengo:''' No, forget it, I will drink it as it is.\\
'''Teo:''' But sir, it is not a problem for me to warm it.\\
'''Tolengo:''' It is not a problem ''for you'', but I don't get the gas for free.
* ''Series/ImAlanPartridge'' has Lynn, Alan's mousy and much put-upon personal assistant, who puts up with all his antics and is responsible for everything from negotiating jobs to delivering fungal foot powder.
* Nada from ''Series/TheLibrarians2007'', who actually gets the library in something approximating order in those times when Frances isn't around.
* ''Series/KluenCheewit'': Jeerawat's coordi P'Suki has to put up with pushy producers, timelines, murder attempts, pushy relatives, and still has to keep Jeerawat on time and beautiful for her acting roles.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Beaker to Dr. Bunsen Honeydew on ''Series/TheMuppetShow''.

* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'': In "The Dancer", Miss Brooks discusses with Mrs. Davis the fact that Mr. Conklin can never hold onto a secretary. Fed up with being yelled at by the hotheaded principal, they inevitably quit. The newest secretary quit before she started, she heard Mr. Conklin yelling at her predecessor. The result? Miss Brooks is forced to play the role of Mr. Conklin's beleaguered assistant when he finds himself without a secretary . . . HilarityEnsues.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Several ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' NinjaMaid or BattleButler characters are like this.
** Perhaps worst of all is [[{{Meido}} Sakuya Izayoi]], who has to constantly use her superpower to keep the mansion in its BiggerOnTheInside status, plus use [[TimeStandsStill time stopping]] to clean it because their army of fairy maids are all completely useless, plus cater to her [[{{Ojou}} selfish boss Remilia]]'s every whim, plus keep EnfantTerrible Flandre from using her OneHitKill superpower to destroy ''everything'', plus defend the mansion from various intruders, plus assist her mistress' friend Patchouli (who seems to believe that Sakuya is their cat) as needed, plus [[HumanResources it's heavily implied that she's the one that prepares the human-based food for her vampiric mistress and her sister]]. Technically, she's also in charge of protecting the mansion's library from the KleptomaniacHero Marisa but as Patchouli laments, her cat doesn't seem to do it's job chasing "rats"...and actually seems to just give Marisa tea and cookies while hiding her from Patchouli's wrath. Good thing she can stop time.
** When Youmu Konpaku isn't busy trying to keep her BigEater boss Yuyuko Saigyouji fed, she has to put up with Yuyuko's relentless teasing (which mainly stems from Youmu being very straightforward and Yuyuko trying to encourage her to "think outside the box").
** Reisen Udongein Inaba is an odd example. Her mentor Eirin is downright abusive at times, inflicting Reisen with "punishment time" that leaves her unconscious for several days at a time. Their mutual mistress Princess Kaguya tends to make completely unreasonable demands (in the vein of "get me a glass of water in three seconds"), and Tewi plays all manner of mean-spirited pranks on her. Even when she does things right, she gets punished, as seen in ''[[Manga/TouhouSuzunaanForbiddenScrollery Forbidden Scrollery]]'' where she invents a safe, humane form of pest repellent but still gets "gently scolded" because she did it without consulting Eirin first. What makes this odd is Reisen only really qualifies for this trope in stories where she's the main character; when she's just a supporting character, she's an UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist and the abuse she gets is karmic punishment for her arrogant attitude.
** There is also an [[InvertedTrope inversion]] of this trope, somewhat: In ''Subterranean Animism'', [[{{Telepathy}} Satori]] is troubled by her underlings' hijinks. Well, when you have a [[ILoveNuclearPower nuclear-powered]] [[CreepyCrows hell raven]] [[OmnicidalManiac obsessed with destroying the world]] as a ''pet''...
* Kamek serves this role to the impulsive, immature Baby Bowser in ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time]]''.
* Tachibana Muneshige to Otomo Sorin in ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara: Samurai Heroes'', having to constantly suffer through his lord's {{jerkass}} tendencies and fascination with [[PathOfInspiration Xavism]].
* Nele Baeker of ''VideoGame/InfiniteSpace'' is the long-suffering aide to BunnyEarsLawyer Lord Roth, who needs constant prodding to wake up, show up at briefings, and conduct business instead of hanging out with his hordes of adoring fangirls.
* A downplayed example in ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank''. While Doctor Nefarious is pretty competent in his [[MadScientist chosen]] [[CardCarryingVillain fields]], it's pretty clear it's his butler Lawrence who is the one keeping things running smoothly, from handling all the domestics, to giving his master regular PercussiveMaintenance, to even bringing him BackFromTheDead, when need be. For his part, Lawrence seems to [[ServileSnarker very much enjoy not enjoying his position]].

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Jaehee Kang in ''VisualNovel/MysticMessenger'' works as Jumin's assistant... and works, and works, as he fails to realize that she needs a break once in a while. He also frequently forces her to babysit his cat when he's at work, much to her chagrin. The other RFA members, during her route, mention a time before the protagonist joined when she was overworked to the point of passing out. In some routes, she also gets the player in touch with the representative of a group dedicated to protecting the rights of Beleaguered Assistants, who is a potential party guest.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* The series ''Blockhead'' has the Conscience serving this role, who takes form as a [[DeadpanSnarker snarky]] fat guy on a couch whose duty as a voice within his head is to constantly shout at at the titular main character to stop whatever maniacal wackiness he's doing to no effect.
* Wayne the Goblin in One Ring to Rule Them All.
* Johnson Johnson in Dark Maze Studio's [[Film/PressStart Press Start Adventures]].
* ''WebAnimation/DSBTInsaniT'': Spoon tries to get his boss Dave to listen to reason about how a store should be managed and how to treat customers, but Dave is too much of a short-tempered brute to listen.

* Left-Hand Man Gary to [[CloudCuckoolander King]] [[TheCaligula Steve]] in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''. He has to keep tabs on King Steve while he drills for mana, orders assassins to KillTheMessenger, wages war on a whim in the name of pacifism, builds robot duplicates of himself that explode at random, and loses the kingdom in a poker game. ''To a length of string.'' Also, Gary is the "left-hand man" because the king's right-hand man is Rodney. Rodney is ''a coffee stain''.
* Dr. Wily of ''Webcomic/CaptainSNES'' was originally the HyperCompetentSidekick of potential president Hagar, but between Hagar's incompetence and Blues blackmailing him, he quickly degenerated into this.
* Moloch of ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' is the sane and reluctant minion to an excitable MadScientist. He plans to flee at the first opportunity, which she is fully understanding and supportive of, but he starts out this relationship with a bomb strapped to his neck and once Agatha has gotten rid of that he's stuck in her besieged town running around trying to repair its defenses so he can survive. As she gains more gleeful minions he finds himself being termed her chief minion and starts shifting closer to OnlySaneEmployee, though he's still planning on getting as far away as possible as soon as the opportunity arises.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', Dan's uryuom minion, Minion is this for Dan.
* [[ButtMonkey Lucy Hardt]] of ''Webcomic/{{Lackadaisy}}'' is the secretary to [[NiceGuy Sedge "Wick" Sable]], a childish alcoholic who spends all of his time working while having hallucinations about ducks he killed when he was a child, who also happens to be attracted to a widow running a failing criminal enterprise. Said woman threatens her with dismemberment the very first conversation they have.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Redcloak is somewhere between Beleaguered Assistant and HyperCompetentSidekick. On one hand, he constantly expresses frustration with the haphazard way Xykon runs the show (or doesn't, as the case may be). On the other hand, he continues to work with him out of choice, seeing Xykon as a powerful ally for [[DragonWithAnAgenda furthering his own agenda]].
** O-chul is this to Lord Shojo. He has to put up with his ([[ObfuscatingInsanity seemingly]]) crazy boss doing silly things like talking his cat into using the litter box, and Shojo apparently uses the threat of uncomfortable tasks to get him to be okay with infractions of the law that conflict with O-chul's LawfulGood[[invoked]] nature.
-->'''O-chul:''' My dignity may be at -9hp and bleeding, but I have to draw the line somewhere.
* In ''Webcomic/SidekickGirl'' many of the Sidekicks are far more competent than their assigned superhero; this is because intelligence, skill or even useful powers aren't qualifications to be a hero. You know what is? Looking hot in spandex or having a kickass backstory. Sidekick Girl, in particular, has great skills in martial arts and is highly intelligent, but is saddled with an idiot super who is best known in the business for getting all of her previous sidekicks killed or maimed.
* In ''Webcomic/{{MYth}}'', there's Delphin, Poseidon's assistant who's always worried about how Poseidon puts the paperwork aside. Hermes is one too for Zeus but in a lesser degree.
* In ''Webcomic/TheBoyWhoFell'' Lord Devil is competent and a great planner, but his servant Ramia has to deal with his slightly off-the-wall decisions and him not being where he's supposed to be because he wants to talk to Ren.

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* WebVideo/{{Phelous}} was this to WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic all throughout ''WebVideo/{{Kickassia}}'', what with getting constantly smacked and having the Critic say all his ideas were stupid, only to claim they were his own ideas. [[spoiler: Phelous turned the latter on the Critic during his overthrowing by getting him to suggest that everyone kick his ass.]] This went a long way to [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap rescuing Phelous from the scrappy heap]] in the eyes of Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses fans.
* BFF Nella tends to WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick, often falling victim of whatever madcap schemes the Chick thrusts her into. This lead to a number of fans thinking that Lindsy really ''did'' treat Nella like this, which in turn caused the pair to parody the idea with a skit that basically said the Chick was paying Nella to fill the role, because the Chick was HollywoodHomely and would look more attractive if next to someone even less desirable.
* Nail to [[InsistentTerminology Super Kami Guru]] in ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged''.
* Tails to Sonic in ''WebVideo/SonicTheOtherMovie''.
* Literature/WhateleyUniverse example: Greasy, the sidekick and inventor to Peeper. If Peeper isn't getting both of them beaten up for perving on girls, he's hitting Greasy because Peeper busted Greasy's latest invention before it got the desired result (perving on girls).
* ''Film/NoobLaCroiseeDesDestins'': The apprentice to a NonPlayerCharacter blacksmith. When they need to do something away from the shop to help a player, the blacksmith makes him carry his tools ''including the anvil'', a few swords because they may encounter monsters on the way and a few extra things because "he doesn't like him".

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Kif Kroker in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' is the poster boy for this trope, as pictured above. Kif has it so bad that an exasperated sigh is pretty much his CatchPhrase. His boss, Zapp Brannigan, is apparently aware of his frustration, at one point telling Kif not to groan and another time punishing (then-soldier) Fry by making him ''Kif's'' assistant. Needless to say, Kif proceeded to unload years of frustration on his new inferior.
* ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries'' had the the incredibly incompetent "bandit king" Abis Mal paired with his constantly annoyed advisor Haroud, who constantly made sure plans went the way they were supposed to and who, unfortunately for the heroes, happened to be very smart. So smart in fact, that he is able to trick Abis Mal into doing the things he just ordered Haroud to do.
** In the FisherKing episode "Bad Mood Rising," the king is a moody brat and the Wazir is a Beleaguered Assistant. He doesn't seem to be any less beleaguered once the king cheers up, because the king has ''awful'' proposals for improving the kingdom, like "We'll make EVERYONE a Wazir!"
* Arthur to WesternAnimation/TheTick. Honestly, he fits this like a guy in a moth suit wearing a glove.
* Brain in ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'', who is constantly facing personal injury in order to keep Gadget safe, and to a much lesser extent Chief Quimby, who is actually Gadget's boss. His niece Penny, who is possibly in the biggest position to be an example, seems [[HypercompetentSidekick not to mind]] solving the cases as much. Occasionally subverted when Gadget saves Brain from falling to his death, usually because he thinks Brain is a MAD agent who's trying to escape. Also subverted when Brain ''wants'' Gadget to think he's a MAD agent and give chase. All of this did, however take a toll on Brain as revealed in the spinoff series, ''WesternAnimation/GadgetAndTheGadgetinis'', where he's had to leave the family and simply uttering the word "Gadget" strikes fear into him.
* Woodhouse, the butler in ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'', who suffers constant belittlement, humiliation and occasional psychical torment at the hands of the [[{{Jerkass}} titular character]]. Woodhouse takes a bit of revenge every now and then by knocking Archer unconscious and afterwards claiming that his blackout was caused by another drinking-binge.
* Charles Foster Ofdensen of ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'', who's a one-man trope machine.
* Cornfed to ''WesternAnimation/{{Duckman}}''.
* Shego to Dr. Drakken in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''.
* Luxor the cat to ''WesternAnimation/{{Tutenstein}}''.
* Steve to Dr. Weird in ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce''.
** It's also sort of implied that Emory is this to Oglethorpe. Emory is usually the one who comes up with plausible ideas or points out Oglethorpe's lack of logic, but is often overruled.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'', Eager Young Space Cadet always has to tag along with whatever dangerous missions his narcissistic, selfish and [[LordErrorProne considerably less competent]] higher-up, Duck Dodgers, gets himself into.
* Porky served as one of these to Daffy in several of the classic ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' shorts, as well.
* While Montgomery Burns from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' is a competent businessman, he also lacks the skills for dealing with people, is out of touch with any cultural development that has taken place since the end of World War II, and is extremely physically weak. Naturally it falls to Smithers to make up for these defects and make sure Burns remains as successful as he is. Subverted when it's made clear that Smithers actually ''enjoys'' this, and has an almost psychological need to serve Burns.
* Schnitzel in ''WesternAnimation/{{Chowder}}'', who gets more and more comically unappreciated as the series goes on.
* ''WesternAnimation/SheepInTheBigCity'' has Private Public trying to keep up with General Specific's less-than-sound schemes.
* Samy Garvin on ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes''.
* Slinkman in ''WesternAnimation/CampLazlo''.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** The pageant in the episode "Hearth's Warming Eve" features three such characters: Clover the Clever (played by Twilight Sparkle) is the Beleaguered Assistant to the unicorn ruler [[RoyalBrat Princess Platinum]] (played by Rarity), Smart Cookie (played by Applejack) is the Beleaguered Assistant to the earth pony ruler [[TheCaligula Chancellor Puddinghead]] (played by Pinkie Pie), and Private Pansy (played by Fluttershy) is the Beleaguered Assistant to the pegasus ruler [[DrillSergeantNasty Commander Hurricane]] (played by Rainbow Dash).
** More generally, Angel Bunny sometimes feels like this when taking care of Fluttershy.
** Spike often fills the Beleaguered Assistant role to Twilight Sparkle, keeping things together when Twilight's head is in the clouds or she's running off the rails.
* Robotnik's assistant Snively in ''WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM''. Robotnik isn't exactly incompetent, but he is prone to great outbursts of rage with Snively as the only target. Snively hates his job and ''despises'' Robotnik.
* Jared to the Warden in ''WesternAnimation/{{Superjail}}''
* PJ from ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'' is, depending on the episode, either this or a HypercompetentSidekick to Max. While Max isn't really incompetent, he's [[FearlessFool shortsighted]], [[HighSchoolHustler self-centered]], and [[DistressedDude danger-prone]]. On some occasions, PJ is the only reason Max is ''alive''. [[NoRespectGuy Despite his hard work and consistent helpfulness, even in the face of unreasonable hostility, PJ gets almost no credit]]. PJ is usually [[DeadpanSnarker cynical about Max's plans]] and is treated as TheDragAlong.
* Mina to Trina in ''WesternAnimation/{{Grojband}}''.
* Zhu Li in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' is still working for Varrick as lab assistant, cleaner, bodyguard and pretty much anything else he asked, despite his shocking treatment of her. She does call him out for his behavior in Book 4, and it takes several episodes before he swallows his pride and admits he was treating her poorly [[spoiler: They get married soon after]].
* Commander Peepers from ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' tries (and often fails) to keep his boss Lord Hater on track and not let him be distracted by Wander's antics. Sylvia sometimes serves this role to Wander when his curiosity and/or desire to help gets them in hot water.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* This trope is often TruthInTelevision for college grads whose first entry level to get their dream career is being some kind of assistant. In addition to the day-to-day grunt work to "pay their dues" they are often responsible for their bosses's schedule which range from the reasonable like scheduling meetings, managing correspondence, and making travel arrangements to less reasonable duties making sure your boss's car always has a full tank of gas, to doing their online traffic classes because their boss got a ticket.
* Similar to the grunt work of an entry-level position, various world militaries have had (under various names) the position of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_(military) "batman,"]] a soldier assigned to assist an officer (who sometimes continued into civilian life). How beleaguered they actually were (and are) varies, though ostensibly much less now in many countries thanks to rules against officers abusing their aides for personal benefit. That these rules had to be spelled out probably says it all, though.