"I promise you life," I replied; "but with the understanding that you serve me faithfully and none other, undertaking no business of your own, until mine has been carried to a successful conclusion."
"That means that I shall have to serve you for life," he replied, "for the thing you have undertaken you can never accomplish; but that is better than lying here on a cold ersite slab waiting for old Ras Thavas to come along and carve out my gizzard. I am yours! Let me up, that I may feel a good pair of legs under me again."
He's joined The Hero
to save the day. If The Hero
appealed for a group of characters to join him (a group of which he was likely the oldest or the leader, or both
), he argued against it
and was the last to join, but he did
, and he will work quite hard, perhaps more than anyone else on the team
. He is likely to be one of the most skilled and useful members and may even overlap with the Cynical Mentor
. He may even make a Heroic Sacrifice
But if so, he will regard it as Senseless Sacrifice
. Grumpy Bear
that he is, he makes no bones about considering The Hero
futile, and may join only because his friends are
, and anything else is also futile. Possibly even only because it's his only way to avoid Dying Alone
. Often the oldest member of the group, and prone to Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!
. (Though not often so gloomy as to be The Eeyore
.) When it dawns on him that victory is possible, an attack of Hope Is Scary
is not uncommon.
In lulls in the action, he may explicitly observe that they are all going to die. Indeed, he may be the Sarcastic Devotee
, though he is capable of making this observation only once or twice, or not at all.
In very hard cases, tragically, he may decide that the effort is not worth it and leave
. He may even encounter the villain
and have a Face-Heel Turn
, but this is uncommon. Usually he's no worse than the "Disney Anti Hero
Contrast Divided We Fall
. May contrast with Least Is First
as his Foil
, but more often is a foil
for The Hero
, who will likely tell him that Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!
when he gets heavy on the sour. Compare with The Resenter
, who actively resents the hero, and with Determined Defeatist
, in which it's the hero
who has a bad attitude about the odds of success. Often overlaps with be a Knight in Sour Armor
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Anime and Manga
- Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. Unfortunately (fortunately?) for them, the SM-verse is a real Sugar Bowl at times, and everything really can be set right with The Power of Love, so really, their sourness just makes them look Wangsty sometimes.
- Sawamura in Wa Ga Na Wa Umishi is a textbook example. It's a mystery why he still works for Nanba Salvage, given his proven world-class skills and obvious disdain for Rintarou.
- Inchiki, from the first Menchi-Centric episode of Excel Saga, appears to be this. We later learn that he is actually The Mole.
- Kai Shiden from Mobile Suit Gundam, specially before his Character Development.
- Serpico as a part of Guts' new entourage in Berserk. He's the most cynical person in the group next to Guts himself, but he's wrapped in a sarcastic layer of goodness that prevents him from deserting the group, primarily for his half-sister Farnese's sake, but it goes without saying that he does care for his other companions.
- Peace Forged in Fire: Discussed. Morgan is a more traditionalist Romulan than D'trel, a Unificationist, and tells Praetor Velal of the Romulan Star Empire that she thinks that Proconsul D'Tan of the Romulan Republic is a "naive idealist" and says she doesn't agree with his politics. But she follows him because whatever his faults, he's sincerely trying to help, while the Empire was useless after Hobus and the Tal'Shiar caused it.
- Star Wars: Han Solo
- Warlock from Live Free or Die Hard.
- McCoy from Star Trek is this, particularly towards Kirk. He's known to be a grouch and Deadpan Snarker, but he's loyal to Kirk, sneaking him aboard the Enterprise and arguing with Spock after the latter had marooned Kirk on an icy planet.
- Sucker Punch plays with this in the character of Sweet Pea. She plays the part of Sour Supporter perfectly, even going so far as to Opt Out at one point. The trope play comes in when she rejoins the team and ends up the only survivor by way of the rest of the team's Heroic Sacrifices, which "redeems" her of her sourness.
- In the film 1776 (and musical, both of which are Truth in Television to some extent), John Dickinson refuses to sign the Declaration of Independence, instead choosing to join the militia and fight for independence even though he believes the effort will fail.
Live Action TV
- Kratos from Tales of Symphonia. In more ways than one, as you eventually learn.
- Victor Niguel in Trauma Center - a rather unpleasant chap, but works hard to find a vaccine for GUILT.
- Magus in Chrono Trigger, if you let him join you.
- Sonya Shulen near the end of the first Suikoden, after a very hard boss fight against her. If you allow her to join, she repeatedly states that she does so in order to get the pleasure of seeing you die.
- Though after the final war, if you DO ever speak to her, it sounds like she got better and sees you in a more positive way.
- Also Flik. He's at first REALLY pissed that you got his lover Odessa killed. But he joins you anyway, and his mindset is like "Let's see if you're worthy of replacing Odessa." It wasn't until Gremio's tragic death that he starts letting off with you and eventually develops further until he's the series' Ensemble Dark Horse.
- Archer from Fate/stay night; you get the feeling he only helps Shirou because his contract with Rin forces him to. As "Unlimited Blade Works" reveals, this is both utterly true but also an extreme simplification of Archer's true motives.
- Cid in Final Fantasy VII joins the party only because you took and crashed his plane and constantly complains about the other party members. However, he does end up commanding the Highwind airship crew for the player and even is promoted to party leader at one point.
- He does undergo Character Development to become a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Plus he has awesome theme music.
- He calls the party numbskulls, but states that he likes the idea of fighting Shinra. That, and that he doesn't see a reason to hang around Rocket Town anymore, are the only reasons he joins.
- Xan, the clinically depressed enchanter in Baldur's Gate. He is very vocal about how your quest is futile, but he helps you anyway, presumably because he sees everything else in the world as equally pointless.
- Nick in Left 4 Dead 2 fits this trope to a T. He sees Coach as a foolishly optimistic and finds Ellis so incredibly naive and stupid that he won't care if Ellis gets left behind. He also constantly complains about everything, between mud from the swamps and flooding from a storm. Despite all this, Nick stays with the group because being alone would get him killed by the zombies.
- Morrigan from Dragon Age: Origins, and Shale the DLC character.
- Any companion with enough rivalry in Dragon Age II. Some will consistently begrudge the player's support of mages or templars, and Isabella won't believe she returned The Artifact she originally stole.
- Clive Handforth from LittleBigPlanet 2.
- Subject 16 in Assassin's Creed: Revelations. He's rude to Desmond, borderline mocks Lucy's death and seems to be plotting some sort of Grand Theft Me. And then he pulls a Heroic Sacrifice and saves Desmond from deletion.
- The second one is somewhat justified in that Clay knew that Lucy was actually a Templar agent all along.
- Also, Lucy is the one essentially responsible for his shattered mind and his suicide, so really, he was far more respectful than he had any right to be. Still a sourpuss about the other stuff, though to be absolutely fair, being dead and crazy is enough to make anyone a little bit cranky.
- The Star Fox team's second Ace Pilot, Falco Lombardi, doesn't think too highly of Fox and is Only in It for the Money.
- Planescape: Torment features a Baatzu (a race of Lawful Evil demons) who was bound into a lifetime of good deeds by the angel Trias, to last until the angel's death. As such, he has to do everything he can to accommodate the Nameless One when he shows up on his doorstep, but he's more than happy to let him know that sure as hell isn't going to enjoy it.
- Rocky the rogue from Our Little Adventure didn't really want to join the group, but he frequently does give them his best.
- Karkat from Homestuck shows no respect for anyone, insults everyone he meets, gripes a lot and has grown grimly accustomed to disaster at every turn, but is near-religiously devoted to the good of his group and, after some early false starts, the human kids too, even if there are times he clearly wants to strangle them.
- Pato, from M9 Girls! is not always fond of the other girls' decisions, from being treated with cosmic radiation to Karla's choice of costumes.
- In Girl Genius Otto von Zinzer epitomizes this trope. He frequently and vocally professes a dislike of all things Sparky and constantly says he will leave at the first opportunity...and yet he never does and has helped save the day more than once with his non-sparky mechanical skills
- Kirby from The Brave Little Toaster certainly didn't keep his objections to himself when the group set out to find the master.
"I just know I'm gonna regret this..."
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Sokka is cynical, started out thinking Aang could be a Fire Nation spy, and initially objected to going on this journey, but by the end of the series, through Character Development, he becomes a great leader and warrior. Lampshaded at one point when Sokka complains that apparently the rest of the team has decided he is the "Plan Guy" and he always has to be the one to come up with something to save the day. Toph points out that he's also "the Complaining Guy", but Sokka says he is actually OK with filling that role.
- Katara also becomes this at the start of the second half of Book 3 when Zuko joins the Gaang; understandably, she's not happy since he's tried to capture and/or kill them for a while and betrayed Aang and Katara the one time she let her guard down. She makes it vocal that she isn't happy Zuko is there (even when he saves them from Azula) and it's only when Zuko aids her in finding her mother's killer that she finally trusts him.
- Stork from Storm Hawks. He's very cynical, but has a calm acceptance of everything that happens.
- Rattrap from Beast Wars is cynical, sarcastic, complains about every plan, responds to every negative turn of events with "We're All Gonna Die", and starts out incredibly reluctant to put his life on the line. Nevertheless, he's never seriously considered abandoning his friends, even jumping into the fray to try and rescue even Dinobot.
- Lance of Sym-Bionic Titan often falls victim to a two to one vote.
- Specifically, in Under The Three Moons after saying he doesn't want to go to the school dance, Ilana and Octus make him go anyway. The same thing happened in the matter of whether he brought a date or not.
- In A Family Crisis, after the trio get a distress call from Soloman, Lance brushes it off and asks for more cake. Ilana and Octus, however, think they should save him anyway even though they agree with Lance that Soloman's a jerk and doesn't deserve saving.
"How is it that everyone agrees with me, but we're still doing this?"
- In the first few episodes of Recess, Vince was this. This faded, and was given to Spinelli on a few occasions.