The Stock Phrase
answer to why the main character, despite being a Bunny-Ears Lawyer
, Cowboy Cop
, Commander Contrarian
, Dr. Jerk
, Military Maverick
, Sadist Teacher
, etc. etc. etc...hasn't been fired yet, and in fact, keeps getting tasked with doing Important Stuff: He's the most qualified for the position, i.e. "He gets the job done!" (replace with other pronouns where appropriate).
This is the trope for the Stock Phrase
and its variants and parodies only. Examples of the trope itself go under Ultimate Job Security
, or possibly Vetinari Job Security
. Compare Closest Thing We Got
, where there may be better qualified candidates, but there's not enough time to get another one.
- Honor Harrington: This is the main reason the Republic of Haven's leadership merely debates whether or not they should fire (or fire at) Special Agent Victor Cachat. His mentor Kevin Usher is just as bad.
- Cuddy has mentioned this at least once per season with regards to House.
- Heard begrudgingly from McCoy in Star Trek at the end of "Operation: Annihilate!":
McCoy: I said, please don't tell Spock I said he was the best first officer in the fleet.
Spock: Why, thank you, Doctor McCoy.
Kirk: You've been so concerned about his Vulcan eyes, Doctor, you forgot about his Vulcan ears.
- NCIS: Gibbs (whose Dope Slap to compliment ratio is over nine thousand) to Tony's father: "Tony likes to hide behind the face of a clown, but he's the best young agent I've ever worked with."
- From Stargate SG-1:
General Hammond: [talking on phone]: I'll put my best man on it. [hangs up] Dr. Jackson, that "best man" is you.
- In 24, George Mason says a variation of this about Jack Bauer. "What can I say? The guy's a little crazy, but he gets results."
- On The X-Files, this is the idea that surrounds Mulder. He's mocked behind his back and sometimes to his face about his fascination with the paranormal, but his original work for the FBI had nothing to do with that at all. His nickname "Spooky" is fitting for his work on the X-Files, but he actually got the nickname because he had amazing profiler skills—he was so good he was "Spooky". It's mentioned several times that he was the Violent Crimes Section's Golden Boy before the X-Files and that many were dissapointed when he left. At one point, a superior defends Mulder when an agent mocks him, saying that the agent could even learn from Mulder. Scully admits early on that even though his methods are "out there", he's a great agent. He's also seen helping out other FBI teams during the series; the cases always turn out to be X-Files, but they don't start out that way.
- JAG: Whenever Admiral Chegwidden is compelled to put his best people on a sensitive case or mission, it is usually Harm, Mac or both.
- When Congress demanded that Abraham Lincoln replace Ulysses Grant as commanding general of the army, Lincoln's response was "I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
- This defined the reason why Dominic Hasek was so effective in his NHL career. He played an extremely unorthodox style of Goaltending, often falling to the ice and flailing about. The result? The highest save percentage in NHL history. When asked about his style he would respond with something like, "what does it matter when I'm keeping pucks out of the net?"
- In World in Conflict, when General Morgan reports to the President about the Soviet invasion, he explains that Colonel Sawyer has been put in charge of defense, because "he is as tough as they come."
- Mass Effect describes a Commander Shepard with the "ruthless" background as being exactly this. Despite being infamously known as the "Butcher of Torfan", it's a trait (similarly with the other backgrounds) that also makes him/her the #1 human Spectre candidate.
- This is pretty much the case no matter how you play Shepard. Whether you play him/her as Paragon or Renegade s/he will piss off many people including the Council, his/her superiors. But s/he gets crap done.
- Malory says this about Stirling Archer in Archer.