TV Tropes Needs Your Help
View Kickstarter Project
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here
and discuss here
No Respect Guy
The Only Sane Man
(let's call him Bob) who is surrounded by morons and never gets a break
. If anything good happens to him
in a given episode, it will inevitably be undone by episode's end
No matter what Bob does, no matter how noble his intentions, he just cannot get the respect of his peers. It's not that Bob deserves to be unhappy. He's a genuinely Nice Guy
who in some other story would be loved and respected. But since he's in a comedy ensemble, his role is to suffer to keep the humor rolling, even if the audience finds him sympathetic.
While the "I don't get no respect" line is indelibly associated with Rodney Dangerfield
, the characters he plays are not
examples of No Respect Guy (those are the Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
). Also note that the other characters have to treat Bob unfairly for him to be playing this trope. If he's as stupid as everyone else, he's just a Butt Monkey
Subtrope of Only Sane Man
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Empowered... dear Lord, Empowered. Setting aside the fact that the general populace and criminal element all regard her as a joke, the level of emotional abuse and sexual harassment she deals with from the 'Superhomeys' reaches the point where they are the ones posting pictures of her on the internet after the villains leave her chained up humiliatingly for them to find. Not to mention the fact that her teammates forgot about her after a battle and left her trapped/embedded in the landscape more than once. At least one reader has wondered why she has not thrown her lot in with the Forces of Evil out of sheer spite.
- Probably because the Forces of Evil also humiliate her and sell pictures of her tied up and half-nude on the internet. Who'd kill the, um, cash cow?
- She's also genuinely dedicated to fighting crime and being a hero. Presumably it's the only thing keeping her from buying a muumuu and running off to become a hermit.
- Nick Schaffer (Breckin Meyer) in Rat Race. The most serious character, and the only one who doesn't jump at the opportunity of 1 million dollars, only entering the race after he gets an advantage (a helicopter pilot when the airport tower is broken). From there on, it gets worse.
- Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo: Beast Boy. Always Beast Boy.
- Honsou from Graham McNeill's Storm of Iron and Ultramarines series. He is at first hated by the other Iron Warrior Space Marines for being a 'half breed'. After his promotion to Warsmith, the other Warsmiths hate and disrespect him, making extreme and insane demands of him. After destroying armies worth of enemies he still gets no respect, with random human mooks in bars telling him he's an idiot.
- Ponder Stibbons from Discworld's Unseen University branch. At least until Unseen Academicals when he realizes he's had so many jobs foisted on him over the years, he wields enough power to make people listen to him.
- Specifically, he holds twelve jobs at the university (not counting football coach), giving him twelve votes on the university council. This means that no matter how anyone else votes, he forms a majority all by himself.
Ridcully: Didn't anyone notice that you were getting all this power?
Ponder: Yes, sir, me. Only I thought it was responsibility and hard work. None of you ever bother with details, you see. Technically, I have to report to other people, but usually the other people are me.
- Mat Cauthon in The Wheel of Time. By the middle of the series, he's one of the best fighters and generals in the world, but due to Poor Communication Kills, few of the other characters realize this, and many treat him like he's a worthless jerk. He gets crap thrown at him, Locked Out of the Loop during an important mission, molested by a queen, etc. When his army defeats a much larger force against all odds, the enemy commander rides out to congratulate... Thom Merrilin, who he thought was the general.
- Poor Gunner First Class Jurgen from the Ciaphas Cain series always gets overlooked by everyone — most of his fellow soldiers don't consider him a "proper" Guardsman and none of the official histories or memoirs so much as mention him. (Exception: Sulla's... "writings"... mention him as Cain's aide, but never by name.) Admittedly, he's a walking disaster area hygenically and a blank, which makes people either respond to him with revulsion or flat-out ignore him, but you'd think someone would notice the number of situations he'd personally melta-gunned into submission. Luckily the one person who's opinion matters to him is Cain, and Cain thinks Jurgen is the more heroic of the pair and is constantly annoyed by the oversight.
Live Action TV
- Fargo of Eureka, and deservedly so, but his new role as head of GD has actually lent itself to making him become a more responsible, and yes, respected character. Even before then, and acknowledging he caused plenty of problems thanks to certain tendencies, he was still the assistant to the director of GD and apparently competent enough as an Omnidisciplinary Scientist himself to participate or be made responsible for whatever was needed that week, but had his position derided by other specialists at GD. Except Larry, who is always competing to take over his position that is.
- Freddie in iCarly. He is often abused by Sam, manipulated by Carly, and oh yeah, humiliated in front of the whole school.
- Michael Bluth in Arrested Development.
- Though Characterization Marches On and in later episodes/seasons, we discover that Michael is almost as much of a hopeless weirdo as the rest of his family. He just pretends that he's not.
- The character of Dick Louden on Newhart was a No Respect Guy.
- Dave Nelson on NewsRadio, at least after the rest of the cast has been flanderized into stupidity.
- To some extent, McGee on NCIS.
- I'd say so, Probie!
- Really, McGee and Tony sort of trade this role back and forth (although, many would argue Tony partly brings it on himself). Although neither of them is surrounded by morons.
- Drew Carrey in The Drew Carey Show. Despite being the most mild mannered and logical person in the whole cast, he doesn't get much praise from his boss, his co-worker Mimi disrespects him every chance she gets, and Drew's friends are just outright morons.
- This became Mike Nelson's shtick in the Sci-Fi seasons of MST3K.
- Whenever The Kids in the Hall did a skit as themselves, Kevin MacDonald inevitably took on this role.
- Justin in Wizards of Waverly Place.
- On classic Doctor Who, Harry Sullivan spent most of his short time as a companion being picked on, insulted and belittled by the Fourth Doctor. To the point that the Doctor felt justified in shouting "HARRY SULLIVAN IS AN IMBECILE!" to the sky over a misjudgement (which, granted, would have blown up both Harry and the Doctor). He returned to his regular job very quickly and never looked back.
- American football has an excellent example in Donovan McNabb. In 11 years with the Philadelphia Eagles, he took them to a Super Bowl, five NFC championship games, and set most - if not all - of their passing records; this amounted to the fans booing him at every opportunity and his name being brought up every offseason when it came trade time.
- With McNabb's retirement in 2012, Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears has moved into the role of the NFL's #1 no respect guy. In terms of starts, wins, and statistics, Cutler is arguably the best overall quarterback the Bears have had since Sid Luckman in the 1940s, but you wouldn't guess it by listening to the fans and media. The Bears have had one of the worst offensive lines in the league since Cutler joined the team, which leads to him being amongst the most sacked (and injured) quarterbacks in the league in a given year. He was injured in the 2010 NFC Championship game and did not return in the 2nd half. The resulting backlash from other players and the media questioning his toughness is something he may never live down. (Nevermind the fact that he had a legitimate MCL sprain and was benched on the orders of his coaches.)
- Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants might be the coaching answer to McNabb. In ten seasons, he's had a fair deal of success, including eight non-losing seasons and two Super Bowl wins in 5 years (one of the which is considered one of the greatest upsets in NFL history), but if he loses so much as a single game, he's suddenly on the hot seat.
- John Adams of 1776 who is universally described as "obnoxious and disliked," a phrase taken from Adams' writings later in life.note He perceives himself as being Surrounded by Idiots—that is, Congress. He predicts, accurately, that he'll be forgotten by historians in favor of colorful figures like Franklin and Washingtonnote despite the fact that he was one of the principal individuals in the independence movement. However, Franklin gives Adams a sharp lecture near the end of the show about how he should have a little more respect for his colleagues, as they are as proud and accomplished as Adams.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Despite all the cases he won and how he solved cases most people thought were lost causes, no one ever respects him; the judge is always quick to scold Phoenix and rarely does so for the prosecution, all the witnesses berate Phoenix and treat him like an idiot, all the prosecutors denounce Phoenix as some newbie lawyer who don't know jack about how trials work, and Maya is a complete idiot when it comes to even the most basic logic and she even busts Phoenix's chops a few times, yet Phoenix swore to Mia to look after Maya so he can't just ditch her. The only other person who has it slightly worse than Phoenix is Detective Gumshoe.
- Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice arguably has it worse than his predecessor/mentor/employer Pheonix. Absolutely everybody he meets will take time out of their usual shenanigans just to make fun of him in some manner. Even his own mother and little sister along with Phoenix himself mess with him. On the plus side, he didn't get quite as much hostility from the prosecution... until Blackquill came along.
- In one case Edgeworth fills in for Phoenix as a defense attorney and, accordingly, becomes one of these as well. He comes away with a new respect for his friendly rival; after all, Edgeworth knows that after this case he can go back to his cushy, everyone-loves-me job of being a prosecutor, but Phoenix puts up with this bullshit every day, on purpose, because of his dedication to truth and justice.
- Luigi from Super Mario Bros. could be this. Mario rushes head-first into extremely dangerous situations that no normal person would be able to survive. Yoshi will blindly follow whatever Mario does. Luigi's the one who thinks of the possibility of them actually getting hurt.
- Luigi isn't given much respect in the RPG spin-off games. In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, most people don't know who Luigi is and refer to him as the guy in green or some other variant. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the game hints that Luigi's successes in his own adventure is exaggerated since most of Luigi's allies always complains about how he screwed up a lot.
- However, in The Thousand-Year Door, there is one Toad child who thinks Luigi is cooler than Mario (with apologies to Mario). There's also Pennington the detective, who takes one look at your outfit and deduces that you can only be the famous Luigi, and nothing can convince him otherwise. So Luigi gets respect sometimes.
- Luigi being the Only Sane Man is a very questionable affirmation, also, the fact he isn't always in danger or that he has a abhorrently big fanbase doesn't make him less of a Chew Toy?
- Youmu Konpaku from Touhou, who is 'too sweet'. She's a Hypercompetent Sidekick, Beleaguered Assistant, and Cloudcuckoolander's Minder for her lady and spiritual sensei, Yuyuko Saigyouji. Youmu is a playable character, which means that she regularly squares off against threats to Gensokyo, which usually includes Reality Warping Physical God or other individuals of equivalent power. And yet, the other characters treat her like she's an ignorant child and a mere apparatchik of Yuyuko.
- Webcomic example: Rudasor in Elijah and Azuu. "Even from myself I get no respect."
- She isn't one anymore, but in her original few appearances, Zoe from Sluggy Freelance had shades of this. In particular, in her first appearance, she was locked out of her car, trampled twice by a mob of people, and then beaten up twice by Bun-Bun. While is was never as pronounced as her first appearance, nor is it still in effect, but random unfortunate stuff (such as failing her midterms due to changes to history that she had a hand in being on the test) happening to Zoe was a bit of a running gag for a few years after the strip started. Eventually, she got past it, but she's still a Weirdness Magnet, so it's not all gone.
- White Mage from 8-Bit Theater. She sometimes appears to be the only person in the world with both a fully developed moral compass and an IQ above room temperature.
- Oscar and (sometimes) Penny from The Proud Family.
- Cat in Catdog. While Cat is intelligent and classy, admittingly his brother Dog is more moral and jovial.
- Edd from Ed, Edd n Eddy usually. However, sometimes his nebbish attitude is impeding, such as when it led to conflict between him and Ed.
- Stan and Kyle from South Park, and it gets worse in later seasons. Stan would usually get no respect from his father at the very least, while Kyle would get that treatment from not just Cartman, but sometimes, EVERYONE ELSE.
- In a two-parter episode, Craig pointed it's because the two, along with Cartman and Kenny, end up going on strange and useless adventures, saying he along with most of the town blame them for the shannigans.
- Danny Fenton (aka Danny Phantom), although he isn't the smartest in the trio consisting of himself, Sam, and Tucker. And then came Reign Storm, where from there, Danny steadily loses that status.
- Tucker is a much more proper example. In one episode, a ghost frames him for the bad things happening to other people. However, once Tucker became the mayor of Amity Park in the Series Finale, it's safe to say he got a good bit of respect.
- Kitty Katswell from T.U.F.F. Puppy. She's pretty much the only competent agent yet her accomplishments are usually glossed over by the agency in favor of celebrating Dudley.
- Frylock of Aqua Teen Hunger Force usually manages to avoid being injured by his roommates' stupidity, but he usually receives little to no gratitude for cleaning up their messes.
- Dexter of Dexter's Laboratory.
- Jerry and Mary from Code Monkeys. Jerry's chops are busted either through his association with his best friend Dave or pointing out a critical flaw in his plans, and Mary gets the brunt of Mr. Larrity's bad attitude because he's unapologetically sexist.
- Henry from KaBlam!, though sometimes he gets respect from June, who apparently, has a crush on him.
- This also works for Meltman of Action League Now!.
- Squidward Tentacles from Sponge Bob Square Pants is either this or a straight Jerkass Butt Monkey, Depending on the Writer (albeit more often the latter than the former since The Movie).
- It's less he varies between the two as he's always both.
- Dib from Invader Zim.
- Jabberjaw the shark. His catchphrase is "No Reshpect"
- Shifty Dingo from Blinky Bill ESPECIALLY in season 2. Marcia treats him like a piece of trash and he's one of the nicest characters on the show.
- Violently deconstructed in a Robot Chicken sketch where a new sniper joins the Gi Joe team, only to be given an Embarrassing Nickname, repeatedly humiliated, and left behind like he's The Load. This drives him to join Cobra, (amazingly enough Cobra Commander also gives him an embarrassing nickname, but by this point the sniper had Stopped Caring and Given Up On Logic) and he gets his Who's Laughing Now moment by killing every single Joe... except Duke, who gets some Cruel Mercy when he pleads for death too.
- PJ from Goof Troop. He's The Drag-Along. Nobody ever listens to him when he tries to convince them to think through consequences or to prepare (such as reading the manual) or when he tries to tell them something has gone wrong, and he's usually right. He is also routinely treated badly by other characters (though the universe itself seems to like him fine) and multiple episodes have made him the butt of a Shaggy Dog Story... which wouldn't have happened if people had just listened to him in the first place.