: Congratulations, you've just destroyed the equivalent of 3 Raditz. Krillin
: That's right. What now, you son of a bi— Vegeta
: Nappa here is worth 5 Raditz. Krillin
: ...What? Vegeta
: And I am worth 15 Raditz. Krillin
: (disappointed) I...oh. Nappa
: Aw, come on. Don't get so down on yourself. At least you've proven that your Raditz is still stronger than our Raditz. Raditz
: I. Hate. All of you!
Got so bad they
had to start keeping count.
Sometimes a character is shown to be competent, maybe even heroic and badass. But that's not what they're remembered most for. Instead, they become remembered for their supposed "lameness". The fandom flanderizes
that one time the character made a stupid mistake
or got defeated in a shameful way, to the point the character looks like a complete weakling who cannot defeat an insect.
Maybe a parody version of the character is more well-known than the character themselves
to begin with. Maybe the character is weak or unskilled at the begining of a series, but gains more skills and goes through Character Development
later after the character's intial protrayal had already burned its way into most peoples' minds. However it happened the character's "lameness" undergoes Memetic Mutation
and they reach Butt Monkey
status within Fanon
. Expect no one to care because it's funny
Contrast Memetic Badass
, Watch It for the Meme
(for when it's something bad enough
to draw people in).
Compare What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?
(which is a possible cause of this trope being in effect), What Measure Is a Non-Badass?
, Butt Monkey
, The Scrappy
, and Never Live It Down
Anime and Manga
- Ant-Man will forever be known as the lame guy that hit his wife that one time and has the not-so-useful power to controls ants, regardless of his portrayals in current comics or the existence of the much more useful Giant Man.
- Aquaman often gets hit with this, mostly due to his memetic Superfriends incarnation. We even named a trope for the inane hoops one has to jump through to make Aquaman's hyper specific skill set seem useful in a team setting. Though he's starting to shed this due to the public being introduced to his more badass interpretations (such as his appearance in Injustice: Gods Among Us).
- Cyclops gets this in some form; while certainly a badass (check out the Crowning Moment of Awesome page for the X-Men as proof), and a strtegist on par with Captain America, he still stands next to Wolverine. He has a rather justified reason to be moody or angsty, and his dislike for Wolverine spending time with his wife is understandble given that Wolverine is constantly hitting on her, but some fans flanderize this as him being a real whiner baby; Twisted Toyfair Thetre being notable examples.
Table Top Games
- Star Wars
- The Stormtroopers are so memetically bad at hitting targets that they're the Trope Namers for Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
- Greedo as well, after George Lucas edited his scene so that he shoots but misses Han Solo at point-blank range. Even LEGO got in on the fun with a Funny Background Event in Revenge of the Brick wherein Greedo repeatedly fails to hit a dartboard positioned only a few inches away from him.
- TIE fighters actually pull their weight in most engagements in the films, inflicting heavy casualties on the X-wings at Yavin. However, the videogames used them as Mooks for the sake of balance. Cue every EU work portraying them as flying death traps Made of Explodium.
- Warhammer 40,000
- Abbadon the Despoiler, or, as fans like to call him, Failbaddon the Armless. Though the character canonically is a very badass and dangerous villain, the fact he led no less than Thirteen crusades against the Imperium, and still failed to destroy it led to the development of his fanon portrayal as a General Failure.
- While the Imperial Guard is acknowledged to be full of hardcore individuals, as a whole they will never escape their reputation as useless and squishy, losing horribly to anything the galaxy can throw at them. However this is mostly a reputation crafted by their fans, who love the idea of them suffering horribly but still getting back up.
- Almost no-one in the fandom treats Hong Meiling as anything other than a joke, who is either getting knifed by Sakuya for sleeping on the job or being so terrible at her job in the first place that everyone in Gensokyo can get into the mansion whenever they want. It doesn't help that the semi-official Fighting Gaiden Games show numerous characters getting in the mansion without trouble, with her route in Hisoutensoku being All Just a Dream while she... sleeps on the job.
- Ran Yakumo is a nine-tailed fox (who are at Physical God levels in the relevant mythology) and EX-Boss. Her role in the fandom is restricted to getting teased by Yukari and squeeing over how cute Chen is.
- In canon, Kaguya Houraisan is an Immortal lunar princess with powerful time-warping abilities, and actually one of the harder bosses in higher difficulties. In fanon, she's a NEET who can't do anything but "HELP ME, EIRIN!!".
- Shou Toramaru will never live down losing the pagoda and having to get Nazrin to find it for her, despite it being her explicit ability to be able to find treasures. Combine this with Nazrin as her Beleaguered Assistant, and you have the perfect comedy duo.
- Cirno is a bizarre example who gets both the Memetic Badass and Memetic Loser treatment. On one hand you have those who think she has the power to freeze the world, and on the other you have those who think she gets beaten up by other low-level characters (or even frogs) on a regular basis and/or is borderline retarded. It helps that she really is genuinely weak by Gensokyo standards (even though she's abnormally strong for her species, of which most members are mooks). She's also infamous for her special attack Icicle Fall which, on Easy Mode, can be completley dodged simply by sitting in front of her.
- Lunamaria Hawke, thanks mostly to her appearances in the Super Robot Wars games. While she missed a pretty big target once during the series (and the following times she opened fire during the series she had average marksmanship), the games turned it into her having outrageously bad aim (of the "wouldn't hit the moon if she was standing on it" variety) and she became a Joke Character.
- Mega Man Legends: Teisel Bonne, who whenever he has to fight against Megaman he is bound to lose however given simply fighting against a highly advanced precursor combat android in the Legends games. In the other games he gets captured early to the point that some parts of the Fandom think of him like this while forgetting that besides doing all the raiding schemes before Bon Bonne and Tron came into scene.
- Mike Dawson from Dark Seed 2. In the first game, he was fairly competent, but the sequel turned him into a whiny, ineffective, moronic, cowardly manchild who, among other things, spends a sizable chunk of the game finding ways to cheat at carnival games he can't win.
- Tingle from The Legend of Zelda is a 35 year-old man who dresses in a green onesie and wishes to become a fairy. He's meant to be a Man Child and is loved by the Japanese fanbase... But the Western fanbase love to loath him. When you have a trope called "Americans Hate Tingle" named after you, you know you're a memetic loser.
- Glass Joe, from Punch-Out!!, is a loser, no questions asked. Look at his win/loss record, though, and notice that he has a record of 99 losses...and one win. This begs the question: who the hell is enough of a loser to be beaten by Glass Joe?
- Spelunker will forever be remembered as one of the most fragile video game characters of all time for his inability to survive bat guano, pits anyone else could just easily climb out of, or falls greater than a few inches.
- While the Silver Surfer is unambiguously badass in his usual appearances, his NES incarnation will forever be remembered as a weakling who falls over and Face Palms in shame if he does as little as nudge a rubber duck with his board.
- Lester The Unlikely gets this for running in fear from sea turtles alone. While he does get better as the game progresses and fights off threats that would terrify normal people such as giant spiders and pirates, players usually never get that far and will always view him as a stereotypical, easily frightened nerd. Even some of those who did make it or at least know about his Character Development view him this way too.
- Super Mario Bros.: Luigi, the Goombas, and Waluigi. Luigi has this in a sort of weird way, he's also a Memetic Badass... But it's even more memetic that absolutely nobody will ever give him credit for it.
- Raditz's usual portrayal as this is played with in Dragon Ball Multiverse. Besides losing on the first round on the main storyline, a minicomic was published which made fun of the concept.
- Ma-Ti from Captain Planet and the Planeteers. To the point that this very Wiki named a trope after the supposed lameness of his powers. When in actuality, Heart Is an Awesome Power, and much more practical than say, his fellow Planteer Wheeler's ability to accidentally burn down a forest if he's not careful.
- Super Friends:
- NONE of the Super Friends are particularly cool in hindsight, not even the ones based agreed upon Badasses like Batman, even if they were all busy saving the world Once per Episode. It's common in parodies for the Super Friends to be portrayed as overly friendly, old timey, cheesey heroes that wouldn't be able to hold a candle to the Darker and Edgier later interpretations of the Justice League and what they go up against.
- As noted above Aquaman gets this a lot because of his Super Friends version. Unlike the other heroes on the show though, for a long time it tainted the public's perception of him in other media as well (hence why he also gets his own mention in the comics section).
- The Wonder Twins are often mocked and parodied for having a cheesey power set. Zan, the one that could take the form of water, gets this twice as hard because of how his power looks next to Jayna's ability to turn into any animal. As pointed in a Cartoon Network spoof commercial he could be beaten by a sponge...and not even an evil sponge.
- [adult swim]'s The New Adventures of the Wonder Twins shorts parodies them for all they're worth. They're depicted as very incompetent heroes. In one short, parodying the episode Superfriends episode Initiation, they try to stop a bear from attacking a boy by creating a small moat around it. The bear jumps out and kills the guy. At the funeral his mom calls them out and slaps them for their stupidity. In another short, parodying Drag Race, they try to stop some drag racing kids and end up making it worse. The car ends up hanging over an excavation pit. Zan turns into an ice bridge and tell them to get out, but the kids end up slipping. Two of them fall to their deaths while the remaining one breaks their ankle. In the final short they need to save some teens who are balanced over a ravine but end up getting stalled as a male eagle tries to Jayna. The kids die before they come.
- The original wonder duo, the powerless kid sidekicks Wendy and Marvin (and the Wonder Dog!) also get this often because of their percieved uselessness and unexplained presence (the powerless kids get to hang out with the all powerful grown up heroes, why exactly?). In one comic they show up only to later get mauled to death by The Wonder Dog, deconstructing their pressence in a superhuman setting.
- The Super Friends versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl are often mocked for having the ability to fly...on a team with an overfilled Flying Brick quota that already has that covered and then some. In a Fairly OddParents spoof, the Hawkgirl parody had "all the powers of a hawk and a gal!" And was the the last to arrive at a fight each time because how slowly she flew in comparison to the others...and then had her butt handed to to her once she actually got there.
- Vilgax from Ben 10 technically isn't one (far from it, actually), but his Alien Force incarnation's Villain Decay was so badly received by fans that AF Vilgax is now for ever remembered as a complete whimp who got easily defeated by Diamondhead and generally stays in the shadow of his former, much more badass self. The writers did try to rerail him in Ultimate Alien, but a lot of fans (especially the ones who hate the AUF era as a whole) still tend to ignore that.