Sometimes, "help" can be more trouble than it's worth.
Every gamer knows the scenario: It's taken you the best part of three hours to get to this stage of the game. Your mission involves skill and dexterity, but that's all right — you're a professional by now. A few more seconds and you're home free. Sneak behind the guard... good, he didn't see you. Now go left... move forward... you're almost safe...
Bang goes your concentration. You were so focused that the whiny voice that just screeched from the screen made you jump five feet in the air. Worse, you dropped the controller and made your character bolt from his hiding place and fire the gun. Now every guard in the vicinity is beating you to a pulp. Game Over.
Who was responsible for your last nanosecond failure? Was it The Dragon? A cunning mole? An agent of the Big Bad, programmed by the AI to be unbelievably skillful, with flawless timing? Nope, it was your Exposition Fairy, and it just couldn't keep its damned mouth shut for two more seconds.
It can't be simple coincidence that so many characters that are meant to "help" you sport irritating voices, social ineptitude and the worst sense of timing on the planet. It has to be a conspiracy. It's also sadistic — in the game manual, it says that this character is a loyal best friend or devoted assistant. He's there to help you. You wish he wouldn't.
The character that has you screaming "Stop helping me!" is usually an Exposition Fairy who either has an attitude problem or interrupts when you really wish they wouldn't. Sometimes it's a party member who's a master of theUseless Useful Spell — or who keeps getting overexcited and killing you with friendly fire. In extreme cases, it's the character the player is controlling, if they're annoying/inept enough; stupid catchphrases and idiotic behavior during cutscenes have resulted in many a player wasting a life by directing their playing character off a cliff, just for revenge.
Unfortunately, these annoyances are never disposable characters. You're stuck with them for the entirety of the game. The best you can hope for is that they do a Face-Heel Turn and become the bad guy's problem. In fact, sending them to the opposite faction might be a good tactical maneuver on your part. However, in that instance, Murphy's Law will kick in and they'll be just as effective fighting against you as they were ineffective fighting for you. C'est la vie. At least you don't have to listen to their voice constantly and you finally have that excuse to kill them that you've been waiting all game for.
In fact, most "guide" characters will try the player's patience if they've played the game through a couple of times — like the tutorial levels, they're not really needed after the first play through. And maybe not even then. Smarter game designers will give players the option of turning the character "off" when the player doesn't want their help, or the guide only helping when the player specifically asks him or her to.
This should go without saying, but try to avoid sticking AI sidekicks in here that are simply not perfect. If they can pull their own weight in a fight, but have different priorities and thresholds for doing things than a player might, then they probably don't belong here. (Complaining that the computer is trying to use its healing items on you earlier than you necessarily want it to, for example, does not put them in Stop Helping Me! territory — especially in a game without a Hyperspace Arsenal.)
Compare Escort Mission, Offending the Creator's Own, The Millstone, Worst Aid. Compare Mission Control Is Off Its Meds, where the voice is intentionally designed to be unhelpful or confusing. Related to For Your Own Good and Don't Shoot the Message. When it happens regardless of what is happening, it's Continue Your Mission, Dammit!.
Contrast Hero Harasses Helpers, which is when the helpers don't deserve to be harassed by the hero.
Bokurano has our little friend Koyemushi, which is supposed to be the guide for the kids while on Zearth. While he is forced to obey the kids while they are contracted, he is extremely cynical, cruel, and will often "forget" to give out certain pieces of information, all because he loves to see the kids agonize and cry. Extra points for actually helping the kids exclusively when he knew it would hurt them more than it would help them.
Future GPX Cyber Formula: Earlier in the series, Asurada tries to teach its partner Hayato how to drive properly, but he ignores his advices, and he even tries to destroy Asurada when the machine indirectly caused the crash involving him and his friend Johji (which resulted in the latter's retirement from Cyber Formula).
In Infinite Stratos, When Houki, Rin, and Cecilia all try to explain to Ichika how to use the IS with their Techno Babble, it only serves to confuse him. On the other hand, Charles offers to duel Ichika, and after sounding stomping him, he offers some tips on Ichika's weaknesses and explains things that makes it easy for him to understand. He also helps train Ichika on using a rifle, and seems a bit too friendly, causing the girls to get quite jealous.
Legendz: In the manga, Ken gains possession of the Golden Soul Doll, except that he doesn't want to use it — he even goes so far as to dodge the beam that the Golden Soul Doll gives Shiron when they're almost down for the count. Eventually, of course, he gets so tired that he has to give in, and Shiron transforms massively. More a case of Holding Back the Phlebotinum, but in this case, the Phlebotinum is actively trying to help. The reason Ken doesn't want to use it is because he's afraid he'll start relying on it to get him out of every scrape.
The Mazinger series:
Mazinger Z: Several times Kouji complained Sayaka she was getting in the way, hindering him and making more harm than good. And even though he can have a point, he could telling it in a more tactful way...
Great Mazinger: Jun Hono was a TsundereAction Girl with a worth-of-years extensive training like mecha pilot and martial artist. Likewise, her Humongous MechaVenus A was clearly more powerful than the Mazinger ZFem Bots). During her first mecha battle she fought the Mykene War Beast skilfully, gaining the upper hand several times. She could have won... if Boss would have not gotten in the way EVERY TIME she was about of finishing the Robeast off, telling her girls should not fight and he would look after the Mykene monster. Whenever she managed to shove him off, the War Beast had recovered and she had to begin again. The ironical part is Boss thought he was being chivalrous, charming and kind instead of an offensive and hindering nuisance.
Yu Gi Oh ZEXAL has Yuma, who is irritated by Astral frequently giving him advice on what moves to execute in his duels, despite the fact that he is totally clueless without the help.
In one early episode, in fact, Yuma gets so angry at Astral that he tells him he will not do what Astral tells him to do from this point. Astral then starts purposely giving Yuma ''bad'' advice, and as expected, Yuma does the exact opposite, which turns out to be what he has to do in order to win.
Then again, all of this may be because Yuma can't take any criticism from Astral.
Spider-Man attracts his share of wannabe heroes who are always looking to help him out. From the bumbling but earnest Frog-Man to portly wunderkind the Steel Spider, for a time in the 80s Spidey just couldn't get away from would-be sidekicks who screwed up everything that he tried to do. Reaches its zenith in The Amazing Spider-Man #266 by Peter David, where Spidey's big crisis is The Toad, Frog-Man, and the Spectacular Spider-Kid all competing with each other for the privilege of being his sidekick.
Reverend James Maddox, in X-Factor, has noticed a consistent association between members of X-Factor trying to help him and his life being in danger.
In the first appearance of Supergirl (a construct created when Jimmy Olsen wished Superman had a companion), she tried to assist Supes but kept screwing things up. For example, when she tried to put out a fire with Super Breath, it was so powerful, it knocked the building over.
There is a Closer to Home comic strip, where a plumber stuck a plunger onto the face of the woman whose toilet he was fixing. The caption said something along the lines of "Dispite (woman's name) helpful advice, (plumber's name) felt that he had a handle on the problem."
This is generally the response to Chase using fire-spewing gloves to fight a rock monster, in Runaways.
Gert: Great job, genius! Now we have a flaming rock monster attacking us!
Films — Animation
In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible encounters a really annoying boy who tries to be his sidekick. When turned down, the boy gets mad and grows up to become the villain.
Although by the end of the movie he's actually managed to be fairly helpful, Mushu of Mulan starts off as an incredibly awful companion to her. Witness how he tries to help her "befriend" her fellow soldiers, thus leading to a free-for-all, a great deal of resentment, and a very bad first impression on Shang. Not to mention his advice on how to be a man is at best contradictory and at worst, just plain wrong. What makes this worse is that the only way he'll ever get in good with the ancestors again is if he succeeds in making Mulan a hero — so his pathetic attempts to help Mulan not only make things worse for her, they shoot him in the foot as well. Mulan got it better than the last member of the Fa family Mushu got assigned to, at least. Apparently Mushu got demoted from his position as a guardian because his guidance led to Fa Deng getting his head chopped off.
In El Arca (Noah's Ark), in the English dub at least, Xiro and Dagnino are having their final battle, and this happens-
Kyrel: I'd like to see if you'll dare clobber the real king! Dagnino:*punches the daylights out of Xiro* Kyrel: Are you so cruel as to kick him when he's down?! Dagnino: Haha! Yes, I am. *kicks Xiro into a wall* Xiro:Will you stop giving him ideas?!
Films — Live-Action
The Trope Namer is none other than infamous Nineties flop Hudson Hawk. In it, Anna tries to help Eddie (Bruce Willis), who's fighting Battle Butler Alfred, with a gun. Unfortunately, she's never fired a gun before. Her first shot ricochets off Eddie's belt buckle, causing him to quote the Fifth Commandment.note "THOU SHALT NOT KILL! THOU SHALT NOT KILL!" (It's the Fifth Commandment in Catholicism, and in this film Christianity is Catholic) Her next shot wings him, causing him to name the trope.
As seen in the page quote, Jackie Chan shouts this in the 2004 remake of Around the World in 80 Days.
Jackie Chan also uses Stop Helping Me! in Rush Hour, when his partner (played by Chris Tucker) tries to shout directions at him in a fight.
The Producers: In the original movie, when Leo Bloom stands up at their trial to speak in Max Bialystock's defense, he starts by listing all of Max's faults and shortcomings. "Stop helping me," Max says.
In the musical remake, Max says "Don't help me" to both Leo's attempt to defend him to the chorus of old ladies who are singing off-key in the background as he tries to sing his verse to Leo.
In All of Me, Roger provides a concise summary of the ways that Edwina, whose soul has been trapped inside his body for a large part of the film, has tried to help him, and the less-than-desirable effects this has had:
Roger: Since you started helping me, in the last twenty-four hours, I've lost my girl, my job, I've alienated my dog! I broke my sunglasses! You can't even get that kind anymore. Stop helping me!!
Mr. Shoop, from Summer School (1987), an hour and seven minutes in, goes to court and his students try to help him, to which he replies, "Guys, don't help."
Neo holds this attitude towards "Kid" in the sequels to The Matrix.
The Abyss: When Lindsey is trying to get the rest of the crew to believe her about the underwater aliens, Hippy, the resident conspiracy nut, goes into his usual Conspiracy Kitchen Sink speech. This results in a zinger:
In True Lies, Gib is trying to help Harry get over his wife cheating on him (she isn't, but Harry thinks she is):
Harry Tasker: Stop cheering me up!
Shaun of the Dead, friends' help is just as likely to hurt, to the point of a Running Gag. During Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" scene, Diane 'helps' Shaun fend off a zombie bartender by throwing darts, with mixed success.
Shaun[after Diane scores a hit]': Yes! In the head! Aaaaow!
In Diamonds Are Forever, James Bond switches out a real computer tape for a fake one to derail a villain's plan ... only to find that his latest Bond Girl, out to be helpful, also switched the tapes.
In the novel based on the Infocom game Wishbringer, the hero is supplied with a magic radio that provides helpful advice and alerts him to danger... by turning itself on and playing music very loudly, invariably alerting the danger to him as well.
Harry Potter: Dobby may be the personification of Stop Helping Me. His attempts to "save" Harry from danger inevitably led to Harry being worse off, and in the end Harry makes him promise to "never try to save my life again."
In The Card Game, the "Dobby's Help" card gives your opponent a bonus so excessive (drawing 10 cards) it brings them closer to losing. The flavor text is a line of Ron's from the book: "If he doesn't stop trying to save your life he's going to kill you."
At one point, Harry alludes to a game of chess with Ron that he might not have lost so badly if Percy hadn't been trying to help him every second.
Another Percy example occurs in Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry is depressed over not being allowed to visit the wizarding village of Hogsmeade. His other friends try to cheer him up by promising to bring him home candy and such. Percy offers what Harry considers the worst attempt to cheer him up, by trying to describe Hogsmeade as dull and not worth the excitement, but only manages to make it sound like a lot of fun.
In the third The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book Life, the Universe, and Everything, Zaphod Beeblebrox's ship, the Heart of Gold, is invaded by deadly robots from the planet Krikkit. In an attempt to gain passage to the bridge without the robots noticing, Zaphod instructs a door to be completely silent upon entering, instead of its usual content sigh. It then proceeds to loudly ask him immediately afterwards if it did a good job.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is full of these, in fact. Most of them are the work of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, such as Marvin the Paranoid Android and Eddie the Shipboard Computer, as well as the aforementioned doors on the Heart of Gold. One of the non-robotic examples is Zaphod's set of Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses, which help you develop a relaxed attitude to danger; at the first hint of trouble, they turn totally black, and thus prevent you from seeing anything that might alarm you.
Relatively minor example, in the picture book "Too Many Babas", everybody attempts to help out with the stew to the point it tastes like crap.
Darth Bane: Johun Othone is made of this trope during the Duel on Tython in the second book of the trilogy. Darth Zannah herself remarks that had Johun not constantly been getting in the way of Sarro Xaj while both fought Zannah, she would have died.
Later on, he does get called away. And she very nearly does get killed. Fortunately, Bane indirectly saves her.
Don Quixote: Many characters (most memorably Andres, the flogged boy) react this way to Don Quixote's interference.
'For the love of God, sir knight-errant, if you ever meet me again, though you may see them cutting me to pieces, give me no aid or succour, but leave me to my misfortune, which will not be so great but that a greater will come to me by being helped by your worship, on whom and all the knights-errant that have ever been born God send his curse
In Searching for Dragons, Mendabar has only one servant - an elf named Willin. Unfortunately for him, Willin is hellbent on fixing stupid things like Mendabar's dungeons and torture chambers not being properly stocked (as Mendabar notes, they haven't used those rooms for ages). He also keeps trying to arrange meetings between Mendabar and "proper" princesses, which angers Mendabar so much that he threatens to stick Willin in the rack he wanted to have bought, just for suggesting it.
In Talking to Dragons, the baby dragon's "shortcut" gets Daystar and Shiara caught by an evil firewitch. His next one turns out slightly better, in that they unexpectedly run into an ally instead of an enemy. By the time he offers a third shortcut through some underground caverns, the others are Genre Savvy enough to go with the instructions they were given.
In Dealing With Dragons, Cimorene has an unending stream of knights and princes showing up to "save" her from the dangerous dragon she's been "kidnapped" by. It's not until the second book that she figures out how to direct them towards princesses who do actually want to be rescued.
The Manuscript Found In Saragossa: Busqueros, a smug nobleman who loves "helping" people (often by manipulating them into marriage), and doesn't seem overtly concerned that his "help" more often than not ends up more or less badly for the recipient (up to and including causing their death.) If he thinks he knows how to do you a favor, he'll latch onto you and won't leave you, ever, and act very offended if you complain.
In the misnamed book Moses May Have Been an Apache and Other Actual Facts, it mentions a Dane who was executed for being "too helpful".
The novels of P. G. Wodehouse include several characters so inept that you're better off without them on your side.
Bertie Wooster, when he attempts to be The Chessmaster, can turn any minor predicament into a catastrophe.
Edwin the Boy Scout keeps getting behind on his "good deed a day" schedule and then causing trouble for his intended recipients by rushing to make up for it.
In Pride and Prejudice, Mrs Bennet's sole goal in life is to ensure that her daughters are married to eligible, respectable gentlemen, a goal she throws herself into with single-minded obsession. However, Mrs Bennet is also an incredibly tactless and ill-mannered woman who, in her enthusiasm to charm said gentlemen (or gloat to others about her daughters having charmed them) tends to come off as a Gold Digger-by-proxy. This, as Mr Darcy points out in a letter to her daughter Elizabeth, has had the effect of discouraging at least two of these gentlemen (including himself) from proposing to her daughters.
Jed: Why don't ya sit on the porch an' rock a spell... Elly May: And play your harp! Jethro: Yeah, that generally cools your temper! Granny: WHAT TEMPER?!? Jethro: Well, even Uncle Jed says you's a savage beast... Jed: Don't help me, boy.
Cordelia: Put yourself in Buffy's shoes for just a minute, okay? I'm Buffy: Freak of Nature, right? Naturally, I pick a freak for a boyfriend, and then he turns into Mr. Killing Spree, which is pretty much my fault— Buffy: Cordy! Get out of my shoes! Cordelia: I'm just trying to help.
And later that season, in the episode "Doppelgangland", when Buffy and Xander try to cheer Willow up.
Willow: Old Reliable? Yeah, great, there's a sexy nickname. Buffy: Well, I-I didn't mean it as... Willow: No, it's fine. I'm Old Reliable. Xander: She just means, you know, the geyser. You're like a geyser of fun that goes off at regular intervals. Willow: That's Old Faithful. Xander: Isn't that the dog that-that the guy had to shoot... Willow: That's Old Yeller! Buffy: Xander, I beg you not to help me.
Similarly, Buffy tells Xander "Maybe you shouldn't help" in "Amends", after his hilarious attempt to threaten Willy the Snitch. (Afterwards, Willy deadpans "You did great, by the way. I was very intimidated by you." Xander buys it.)
Comes up in Angel, too, after Wesley kills an android disguised as his father, fully believing at the moment when he pulled the trigger that it WAS his father. His friends attempt to comfort him by telling stories about times in the past when they've had to kill their own parents as well. ("You know, I killed my mum. Well, first I made her a vampire, and then she tried to shag me, and THEN...") It isn't terribly comforting.
In the early episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data has a habit of giving out information that's either more detailed than needed (prime example is giving out even the milliseconds of a time span) or not even asked for (like defining a term he heard along with listing related terms and information). He's usually interrupted by the annoyed Picard as sort of a Running Gag. This happens in the later episodes as well, but less often due to Data catching on to the more obvious cases.
A specific example from "Up The Long Ladder," regarding the name of a ship:
Data:Mariposa. The Spanish word for "butterfly". Picard: Thank you, Data. Data: I thought it might be significant, sir. Picard: It doesn't appear to be, Data. Data: No, sir.
Picard eventually managed to get Data to shut up, but it took fifteen years (and a dopey wedding).
In one instance, the ship's computer cut in while he was talking and said, "Thank you, sir. I comprehend."
Said word-for-word in Reba, when the eponymous character brings detailed informstion about pregnancy to her daughter.
Little House on the Prairie Carrie tries to help Caroline with the laundry, but ends up dropping some linens onto the soil. Needless to say, Caroline tells Carrie to please stop helping.
Seems to happen fairly frequently in Arrested Development. Usually they're just out for personal gain but occasionally they're sincerely trying to be useful. One obvious example is with Michael's girlfriend Rita, whom his family ultimately kidnaps, drugs, and beats. And that's when they were trying to be helpful.
Another lesser example is when George Michael plans a surprise party for Maeby. This causes her to lose the lucrative profession she'd only barely fallen into in the first place.
Anything to do with Lindsay being a stay-at-home mother. George Michael has to perpetually hover over her to keep her from destroying the house.
Tobias' brief and clueless stint as "The Mole". He does a pretty poor job and screws everything up for everyone.
Any doctor. Any doctor at all.
Actually, almost any time a character save for Maeby (who, in this show's rare example of a subversion of this trope, actually helps when she tries to) attempts to be helpful, they fail abysmally.
M*A*S*H had an episode (Promotion Commotion) where many of the enlisted men were up for promotion and were trying to ingratiate themselves to Hawkeye and BJ, who were on the promotions committee. While Hawkeye was chatting up a nurse, Sgt. Rizzo joined the conversation and told the nurse what a great guy Hawkeye was, prompting the nurse to leave and Hawkeye to yell at Rizzo that he didn't want his help.
In Red Dwarf series IV episode "Justice," Rimmer is put on trial for killing the entire crew of the Red Dwarf. Kryten serves as Rimmer's defense attorney. His argument is that Rimmer exaggerated his own importance in the events.
Kryten: I simply have to establish that you're a neurotic, under-achieving emotional retard whose ambition far outstrips his miniscule ability, and consequently blames himself for an accident for which he could not possibly have been responsible.. Rimmer: You're going to prove that I was innocent of negligence on the grounds that I'm a half-witted incompetent?
Being Human has Tully giving George advice on how to get a date with Nina. Said advice pretty much boils down to crudely hitting on her (Tully...isn't the most refined person) and George does not realize why that might offend a girl. Nina, being her Deadpan Snarker self, has a few words in return.
Later in the season, Annie tries to help Mitchell get a new job by sitting in on his interview and coaching him nonstop. All this does is distract him and make him look insane, since he, as a vampire, can see Annie but the human woman he's interviewing with can't. Annie's next attempt at helping him (forging a letter of recommendation) actually does help him get the job.
In That Metal Show, Eddie Trunk can't stand when the co-hosts and guests "help" him when he's trying to puzzle out a Stump the Trunk answer, mainly because said "help" is anything but.
Clippit (a.k.a. Clippy), the animated paper clip "assistant" in Microsoft Office. He doesn't actually do anything (if you chose to click on him, you discover he's just a glorified search function) but he pops up almost as soon as you start typing and makes noises during his animations. Clippy is just one of several assistants (including a dog and a wizard) which differ from him by animations and little else — i.e., they're equal on annoyance level. Clippy just gets all the sass because he's the default one.
Parodied on an episode of The Simpsons: A python attacks a Springfield school computer, and Clippy springs up to say, "You look like you're trying to eat me. Need some help?"
Parodied again in another Simpsons episode. "It looks like you're trying to blow up the computer. Mind if I hug my kids?"
Also parodied on an episode of Family Guy. "It looks like you're trying to take over the world. Do you need some help?" Stewie's response: "Go away, you paper clip! No one likes you!"
Also parodied in a small spoof "advert" for Windows RG ("Really Good"), where typing anything causes Clippy to appear.
Clippy: Hey! It looks like you're writing a letter! And if you're not, you should. Letters are neat!
Yet another parody on 2DTV: during a sketch in which Matrix characters end up inside the Windows system, Clippy turns up with a cheery "Hey, you look like you're trying to write a letter — want some help?" only to be smited away. Later, she reappears with a "Hey, you look like you're trying to beat up Bill Gates, want some help?", only this time she is left alone as she kicks the dustbin Bill Gates is currently sticking out of.
this. Corruption blackmail, suicide attempts, Cthulhu... this story has it all!
The Mira VI: It looks like you are trying to restore the station. Would you like help? Shepard:Oh crap. A pop-up.
And to drive the point home, Microsoft cast Gilbert Gottfried as the voice of Clippy in a series of Flash shorts that were part of an advertising campaign for Office XP promoting the fact that he finally bit the dust.
Though despite this, Office Assistants were still there; they were just disabled by default. They were completely removed in Office 2007.
Parodied in several freeware games, such as a Clippy Blaster shoot-em-up, as well as an intentionally-unhelpful assistent for Unix editor VI, called VIgor. This was first suggested as a joke in webcomic User Friendly, but the internet being the internet, somebody actually created it, sporting such gems as "You seem to be trying to move the cursor to the left. Are you sure you want to do that?"
Also, the assistant Cuppit from adventure game spoof META.
Clippy's "assistance" methods have since spread to Hotmail and Windows Vista, which will block various things without allowing you the option to manually override the block. To add to the problem, the false positive rate is astounding, to the point where the majority of positives will be false positives.
"It looks like you're trying to bend a spoon with your mind. Can I help you with that?"
And then Neo bends Clippy with his mind.
"Looks like you're trying to free humanity. Want some help?"
Comedian Demetri Martin once did a joke about Clippy helping to write a ransom letter. "You should use stronger language, you'll get more money!"
The guys at Red vs. Blue created an episode in which the character of Sarge (stereotypical Texan Turned Up to Eleven) reminisced about being "next in line to be one of those little Office Assistant thingies." It then had a shot of Sarge being an Office Assitant - popping up on page and screaming "WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO TODAY DIRTBAG!) which was Crowning Moment of Funny. Crowning Moment Of Awesome came when mere hours after the episode was released a Red Vs Blue fan actually created a Sarge Office Assistant that popped up and scream at you "WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO TODAY DIRTBAG"
In 2005, when Microsoft ("a company with a doubly un-erotic name") backed out of supporting a gay rights bill in Washington because of threats of a boycott, The Daily Show showed the explanatory company-wide email as it would have been typed into Microsoft Outlook: "I don't want the company to be in the position of appearing to dismiss the deeply held beliefs of any employee by picking sides on a..." Up pops Clippy: "You seem to be composing a lame cop-out. Need help?"
A Captain Ersatz of Clippy appears in the first issue of IDW's Eleventh Doctor comic series. When the TARDIS lands on a planet that is essentially a halfway home for holographic spam email, one of the holograms is a talking stapler that offers advice at the most inopportune moments (sample dialogue: "You appear to be about to be disemboweled by a monster. Would you like any assistance?") Subverted in that the stapler proves in the end to be genuinely helpful and resolves the "B" plot — which is Amy and Rory about to be disemboweled by two monsters.
Automatic spelling correction — it often a) corrects a word that isn't wrong, or b) picks the wrong correction. Bonus points for correcting into the wrong language, e.g. a name of an English book in a bulk of Czech text. (Infamously, the Czech edition of one version of MS Word corrected "n" [as a single-letter word] to "a". Woe to you if you want to use the letter N as an abbreviation or a symbol for something.)
The English version also "corrects" lower case i to upper case I.
If you are British/Irish/Australian/etc, you would be familiar with the infuriating experience of getting perfectly legitimate words like realise and centre "corrected".
Any internet search engine that tries to predict what you're going to type before you type it by offering up a list of suggestions, especially if that list covers up or moves the "search" button so that you try to click on "search" and end up hitting the suggestion instead, as seen here◊. Especially when you copy something, paste it into the search engine, and go to click "search."
Google can be a pain sometimes, as seen here◊. You type something in, and it searches for something else under the assumption that you're too stupid to type in what you want.
Not to mention the highly distracting "instant search" which looks for things as you type them, and often searches for all the wrong things until you're done typing completely. But for every letter you type, it seems to find something drastically different, combined with the previously-mentioned "covering of the Search button".
YouTube now offers helpful suggestions in case you spell something correctly, as seen here◊.
Which became especially stupid when searching for The iDOLM@STER, when it would replace the a with @ and then FAIL TO FIND ANYTHING because it couldn't recognize the @ symbol.
Also on the subject of YouTube, it has a tendency to respond to slowly-loading videos by reducing the quality automatically. Some people would rather have their video load slowly than play poorly, and these people are the most likely to notice YouTube doing this and respond by putting the quality back up again, taking up more time than it would have if YouTube had simply left the video alone. Even worse is that sometimes YouTube will lock off the higher quality option when it does this, forcing the user to refresh the page, and taking up even more time.
Particularly nasty is how YouTube gives an option to never play high-quality video to improve load times...but no option to never play low-quality video.
Yahoo Answers seems to panic if one uses proper punctuation, as seen here.
The imageboard 4chan briefly gained a Clippy-inspired "helper" one April first. Asking Sticky the 4chan Assistant for help with "trolling" emptied your post and name fields, and replaced it all with the words "DICK BUTT".
Rogue security programs. They're not even really trying to help you (quite the opposite, actually), but that's how they try to come off.
In fact, you can generalize this to any "user-friendly" program on the computer that does things for you, especially if you're well-versed in computers and probably knew exactly what you wanted to do before the oh-so-helpful program did something else and totally screwed everything up. All computer geeks have stories about this. There is a reason most Linux distros let you do everything yourself: it's because Linux is written by and for geeks and geeks DO NOT LIKE programs that think they know better than the user does.
Pokemon Showdown, a website used to simulate competitive Pokemon battling, has a few tools to help beginners be as competitive as reasonably possible. It lists Pokemon by tier, moves by how viable they are on the Pokemon in question, and optimal EV spreads based on the Pokemon's stats and moves. While this is all well and good in theory, it's mostly automatically generated and a few Pokemon can really screw up how it's built. For an example, Magmortar is very notorious among the RU crowd for this reason; it needs high Speed to function with any real degree of success, but the automated EV generator will almost invariably give it high HP at the expense of Speed. It's also based on the assumption that players will be using maximum-level Pokemon, meaning that players of Little Cup (a spinoff metagame where all legal Pokemon are at level 5) can sometimes encounter hilarious results like this◊. note 255 is the maximum number of E Vs legal in any one stat, and negative E Vs are never possible.
An early (1970s) example was Warren Teitelman's DWIM ("Do What I Mean") package which was designed to correct common errors in programming, making the program do what the programmer (supposedly) intended as opposed to what was actually stated in the source code. (This is in contrast to most problem-finding softwarenote such as lint, which simply prints out warnings about possibly error-causing source code constructs and leaves it to the programmer to decide whether to act on those warnings.) Critics were of the opinion that while DWIM might work well with Teitelman's idiosyncrasies, it would tend to aggravate other people's errors and make programs display unpredictable behavior. Since 2003, Teitelman works for Google.
Data: Had you projected the ball at the proper velocity, you would have been rewa— [hit flipper buttons] Picard: THANK YOU, Mr. Data.
Both Monster Bash and The Addams Family have features where the machine tries to control the flippers for you (Phantom Flip and Thing Flips, respectively). If they miss, tough luck. If they mess and the rebound drains, really tough luck.
One of the more common tropes back in the territory days to create friction between friends/tag team partners was to have one try and help the other during a match, only for it to go horribly wrong.
In-Universe, this is the general reaction Sin Eaters have to Hunters in the New World of Darkness. Sin Eaters are humans who died, but came back by agreeing to share their body with a Geist (a hybrid of human ghost and death spirit). As a result, they have a wide array of necromantic powers, from the innate ability to see and touch ghosts, to arcane rituals that can be used to send ghosts forcibly back to the underworld and make them stay there. Hunters, meanwhile, are ordinary humans who are trying to take a stand against the creatures of the night. Whilst some select groups do have access to magic (or near-magical technology), as a general rule, they have very little they can do to detect or interact with ghosts. More often than not, if the hunters even realize the ghosts are there, they tend to make things worse, complicating the mission of the Sin Eaters. And that's without getting into the fact that Fantastic Racism means hunters will tend to mistake Sin Eaters as witches or people suffering from Demonic Possession and react accordingly. Which generally translates to trying to murder the Sin Eaters. Admittedly, this doesn't tend to turn out very well for the hunters, since the powers Sin Eaters have access to include commanding angry ghosts, laying curses upon their enemies, high levels of damage resistance, and, oh yeah, the ability to come back to life whenever they get killed.
In the T2 3-D: Battle Across Time show at Universal Studios, this is The Terminator's response to John Connor's repeatedly telling him how close the baddie was.
In Red vs. Blue we have Caboose. The character that is so inept that other characters tell him that their enemies are on their side, just so Caboose will "teamkill" his enemies. They even have a macro on their keyboards at command to record Caboose's teamkills (Ctrl+F+U).
Private Partz in A Day in the Life of a Commissar, a Dawn of War Machinima, brings down all three Space Marine heroes on poor Commissar Steeve, by saying things like: "I bet he could take on all three of ya! even if you had, like, Psychic Powers!"
Parodied in the Mega Man X episode of Sequelitis, which focuses on ways of implying what actions the player can take without directly stating them.
Jareth in Roommates is really enthusiastic about helping his friends but he sucks at being good or even at vaguely helpful. Direct examples: His plan for fixing his roommate's relationship involved turning the guy into a kid again. And when they needed to rescue someone from a stuck elevator he was the one shouting and being in the way (at least he wasn't the one with the dynamite).
Erfworld has most of Stanley The Tool's major units take this attitude towards their boss. In the second book Maggie uses hypnosis and thus successfully asks Stanley to put Lord Hamster in charge and leave their headquarters so that he could think. This is actually a double example, as it was the exact opposite of Lord Hamster's actual plan to promote someone on-site since the command bonus would be enough to turn the tide.
Lord Hamster: Y'know... as far as helping his own cause goes, Stanley is somewhere between Gilligan and Starscream.
Used word for word by Kin in Goblins, when Minmax stabs her a second time while attempting to stab the alternate Kin who's attacking her.
Freefall: When talking with the police about Clippy, in this strip, Mr. Kornada is forced to order Blunt to shut up, in spite of Blunt believing he was helping Kornada by revealing that he was responsible for the release of Gardener in the Dark.
Ursula's specialty in Precocious, demonstrated especially during the Fall Festival.
In the Let's PlayTwitch Plays Pokémon Red, it became a sort of cruel running gag where Dig Rat, their Rattata that knew Dig, would constantly dig them out of trouble spots right when they were about to accomplish something big. Normally the ability is meant to escape from trouble spots in caves and such and return you to a Pokemon Center to heal. For instance, after a full 24-hour day in the Team Rocket maze and right in front of Giovanni? Dig. In the Safari Zone, a few steps away from the Surf house? Dig. Needless to say, it caused a lot of frustration.
In There Will Be Brawl, Link finally says it: "SHUT THE FUCK UP, NAVI!", and throws his canteen at her.
MLB.com recently added a scout feature to its gameday feature that spurts out random facts that fans traditionally don't care about. You used to be able to turn it off, but that no longer does anything.
Yugi mocks Kaiba in Episode 60 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series by repeatedly asking whether he needs a reminder of De-Fusion's effect. Despite Kaiba constantly refusing, he explains the effect under Kaiba's cries of "SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!"
The RP blog White Feminist is a parody of overreactive feminists and Attention Whore social justice bloggers who's idiotic attempts to spread equality and improve other's lives cause more harm than good. Highlights include correcting a black woman on her usage of the term black and changing an Asian-descended friend's computer language to Chinese in an attempt to keep said friend from forgetting her cultural identity.
Exaggerated in Cracked's Antiheroes. In episode 5, the protagonists are so bad at being superheroes that Tim travels back in time to tell them not to help anyone ever. Tim also says they end up in prison and accidentally kill themselves and destroy the city in a fire they started in prison.
ReBoot has several of these. In one episode, the people of Mainframe get dumbed down to the point of utter stupidity, and during a Game session, try to help Enzo by getting in the way. He only manages to save the day by convincing them to 'help' the User. In another episode, two binomes sneak into the Game and set off an explosion that blew up a planet to beat the User. Unfortunately, they were INSIDE the planet at the time and only escaped by the narrowest of margins. This prompts Bob to give an informational seminar on the nature of Games and why they should stay the hell out.
I am helping by making your boots go faster! *Hits reverse*
This is the entire premise of Best Ed.
In the episode of Sealab 2021 where the guys' evil twins show up, Bizarro Dr. Quinn "helps" out Bizarro Sparks, by shattering the jar that houses his disembodied head which is the only thing keeping him alive, then pouring salt on him while jumping up and down while shouting "I'm helping!"
Robin's doppelganger Larry, from an episode of Teen Titans, a parody of the aforementioned Bat-Mite.
From The Spectacular Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus should really think about kicking Electro out of the Sinister Six: in "Group Therapy" he (accidentally) electrocuted Doc Ock SEVERAL TIMES in his attempt to kill Spider-Man. Not happy with that, he, along with Shocker, knocked out Rhino, thanks to Spidey's Deadly Dodging. Then, in "Reinforcements" he tried to free the Vulture from Spidey's web... by, once again, electrocuting him. Oh, but that doesn't end here: in "Shear Strengh", Spider-Man intentionally presses hisBerserk Button by calling him repeatedly Max (his real name), making him shoot lightning bolts everywhere. The result? The destruction of the Master Planner's base.
Lobo strong-arming himself into the Justice League following Superman's death in "Hereafter". It's clear the others only tolerate him because it's easier than not keeping him under their supervision, and when they finally get the impetus to kick him out in the end:
Lobo: Next time you lollipops need help, don't bother asking the Main Man! J'honn: We didn't ask you this time!
One episode of Danny Phantom had Jazz fill this role for Danny, becoming his "sidekick" after finding out his secret identity. She not only refuses to listen to Danny's knowledge on ghosts, but also hacks into his computer to look at his ghost files, gives names to ghosts that Danny already knows, gets in Danny's way when he's trying to fight, and is generally unhelpful. This eventually leads to him screaming the trope name in a rather Punctuated! For! Emphasis! fashion.
From Krypto the Superdog ep. 47, "Bat Hound and the Robin", has Robbie the Robin wanting to becomes Ace's sidekick after he saves his life. Unfortunately, his attempts to "help" all end up getting worse and worse for the Bat Hound, to the point the usually Stoic dog flees Gotham City and the persistent Robin to hide in Krypto's spaceship.
Avatar: The Last Airbender features an episode in Book 2 with this as the plot. An Earth Kingdom General tries to help Aang reach the Avatar State... by tormenting him. The fort where this happens gets smashed to pieces.
Rarity tends to react this way whenever her little sister tries to help her with things.
Also what happens whenever Derpy tries to help with setting up for a party.
This is the plot of the episode "Spike at your Service". After Applejack saves Spike from a pack of timberwolves (wolf monsters made out of wood that regenerate Dry Bones]-style when killed), he feels that he owes his life to her and starts helping her at the farm. After his help causes too much trouble, the ponies decide to fake another timberwolf attack for Spike to stop, in order to make him feel as if he repaid his "debt" and stop helping.
One episode of Captain Planet and the Planeteers has an annoying little boy who is obsessed with becoming a hero and constantly screwing up. When his school bus is caught in smog and everyone panics, he yells, "Turn on the headlights!" and tries to do it himself, but opens the door instead, letting in the smog and choking everyone. When Wheeler gets injured, he steals his ring and charges into battle, despite Wheeler warning him that only a chosen one can properly use the ring. Sure enough, when the kid tries to blast the villain, he can't control the fire and blows up random stuff.
In the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michaelangelo is even more prone to this than ever. The most obvious example is when his brothers are arguing about how to pick a lock in a Kraang stronghold, Mikey asks whether any of them had bothered just hitting the nearby button... Which actually activates the alarm. Which all of them knew because they had all seen the same buttons used to activate the alarm system in the past... include Mikey. He still presses the button before anyone can stop him.
Sofia the First: When Sofia went hiking with her fellow buttercup scouts, King Roland was afraid she'd get hurt and ordered Baileywick to go along. Baileywick insisted in doing things for her, which made her lose several chances of earning merit badges. And she was just one away from winning a sunflower pin.
In Jackie Chan Adventures the titular character finds himself saying this on an almost daily basis to his overly enthusiastic niece Jade.
In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation L.U.N.C.H." the villain is Robin Hood imitator Robin Food, who takes food from kids at school and gives it to the elderly. The elderly, of course, have difficulty eating the solid food that he brings them and would rather he bring them something easier to chew. Which is what he's supposed to be doing in the first place since he works in a nursing home cafeteria.
By the Hurricane! episode of American Dad! Francine now has this attitude towards Stan in a crisis. She points out how, in every previous crisis the family has gone through, Stan's poor judgement and Insane Troll Logic have made situations even worse. No matter how rational Stan's ideas sound, they're all doomed to failure simply because he thought them up. Naturally, Stan doesn't listen to Francine and insists on trying to fix the situation. By the episode's end, he's managed to turn the house upside down, flood it, and let loose both a shark and a bear. Hayley and Steve get mauled by the shark and bear respectively, Stan knocks Jeff out in an effort to calm him down, he electrocutes Roger, and impales Francine to the wall with a javelin through her shoulder. The family is only saved by the arrival of their neighbor Buckle, who uses tranquilizer darts on the shark, the bear, and Stan. He says he wasn't sure who was doing the most damage.
Anyone who has ever had a hypochondriac for a friend has probably felt this way about that friend's "advice" about healthy living at some point.
Many an EMT or firefighter has at least thought this when someone untrained, unfortunately frequently a cop, attempts to "help".
"Back seat drivers" tend to inspire this reaction. Ironically, constantly needling drivers from the back seat actually increases the odds of an accident because they get distracted and nervous. Panicky parents screaming at already-nervous teenagers can be especially difficult since well-behaved teens don't have the authority to say this out loud to their parents.
Demonstrated on shows such as Canada's Worst Driver when the problem for some of the candidates isn't actually their driving skills, it's the pain in the ass their passenger is.
Also inspired by "shotgun drivers" as in the case of some people's spouses or other close relatives sitting in the seat next to them.
Your likely reaction to a GPS unit, particularly if it has a voice guide on it; especially if either it confuses the street you're on with another, doesn't understand how exit ramps work and tells you to turn in the middle of a bridge, or you get royally lost, making "Turn left" a Most Annoying Sound of epic proportions.
Breast cancer awareness campaigns, in order to make themselves more marketable, often misrepresent the problem by focusing on young, sexy women instead of the older women who are the most likely to get breast cancer.
Participation in awareness campaigns in general makes people less likely to give money to charity, as they feel that they've already done their part.
Clothing donations pretty much crippled the textile industries in African nations, since they can't hope to compete with floods of free clothing donated by the West. It's also incredibly inefficient, taking up space on transports that could go to food and medicine.
Earmarking the money you donate so that it goes to a particular cause can lead to the more high-profile causes getting more attention at the expense of others. After the 2004 tsunami, charities started building McMansions in Indonesia in order to do something with all the money that had been earmarked for housing, and Japan received so much aid after the 2011 earthquake/tsunami that they had to tell aid workers to stop coming in.
Volunteering to do aid work overseas is usually a bad idea unless you are properly trained for what it is you're doing and you know the local language and customs. There are tons of people already there who can do the work you're doing, and you'll wind up getting in the way and consuming food and water that could go to the people you're trying to help. This is especially true in the critical few days and weeks after a major natural disaster where many thousands of people are in need of rescue (case in point, the thousands trapped beneath rubble after the 2010 Haiti Earthquake). Unless you're trained for this sort of thing specifically, you'll just waste everyone's time.
Every parent eventually hears at least one of their children exclaim "No! I'll do it myself!" while trying to tackle a task for which they're probably really not qualified just yet, such as tying their shoes. A good remedy for this is just to recite the old parents' curse "I hope you have a kid just like you!" and then kick back and watch to see whether the kid screws up royally or actually pulls it off after all.
On the other side of the coin, there are helicopter parents who insist on hanging around to "help" in their children's lives long after they should be independent. While most people assume a child would simply love having their parent dote on them well into their 30's, a large number of kids hate it (and some will say so in their memoirs), since it really cuts into their self-esteem when they grasp some of the implications of it (their parents apparently don't trust them or think they're mature).
Snooker phenomenon Ronnie O'Sullivan once insisted that the referee measure whether a re-spotted ball would fit on its mark (which it clearly didn't), which necessitated laboriously removing and marking several other balls. Although the ref dutifully completed the manoeuvre, she did remark, "Ronnie, I could do this a lot faster if you weren't helping me!" when he wouldn't stop commenting on her performance.
Handicapped people tend to think this a lot about many otherwise well-intentioned people. The main problems are with people constantly asking if you need help, acting like one handicap causes you to have other handicaps as well, and assuming physical handicaps make you stupid or clumsy or something.
Of note, there is autism awareness group Autism Speaks, who have come under fire by autistics en masse for, among other things, repeatedly invoking Hollywood Autism and devoting much of their budget to researching discredited theories regarding the cause(s) of the disorder. Some of these critics allege the organization doesn't even allow autistics to hold leadership positions.
People with mental illness often find themselves unnecessarily fussed over by well-meaning others who take "mentally ill" to mean "mentally incompetent."
In the 2012 Abu Dhabi GP Formula One driver Kimi Räikkönen got a little fed up with his engineer updating him over the pit to car radio first telling him to "leave me alone, I know what I'm doing", and then when being reminded to keep his tyres up to temperature during a safety car period; "Yes, I'm doing all the tyres. You don't have to remind me every second". Räikkönen proved he didn't need the help by winning the race, but saw the funny side by  distributing t-shirts with his statements on to the team
Geraldo Rivera in 2003 tried to help viewers at home understand where he and the troops he was with were by sketching out a map in the sand, showing the objective, then showing where he was in relation to it. Arguments have been made on both sides of the matter: that the enemy was unlikely to be able to find the troops based off of this, or that his actions could lead to many deaths by alerting the enemy to the army's actions. A great many generally agree that Rivera was being stupid regardless.
Picking up baby birds found on the ground and taking them inside "to care for them" virtually always ends in tears, as they often die of shock or poor care, and even those that survive lack the skills they'll need to function in the wild or socialize with their own species as adults. Unless there's a cat nearby (in which case, it should be returned to the nest), it's best to leave a fallen baby bird completely alone: the parents will know where their offspring is, even if you don't see them, and will not appreciate your meddling.
Owners of pet rats know that when one rat tries to help another groom itself, it's more likely to get shoved aside with squeaky protests than to be welcomed. Unlike most mammals, grooming another rat demonstrates dominance over it rather than submission to it, so being helped to clean one's fur is apparently humiliating to the ratty ego.
Canadian Conservatives are usually not happy when Republicans in America show overt support or invite them to speak at American conservative rallies. Any association with American conservatives is political poison in Canada, even as the Conservatives and factions of the GOP are increasingly agreeing on issues and Republicans are looking to the current Harper Government as an example of conservatism implemented in the 21st Century.
Friending Network sites will often nag you to fill out your profile as completely as possible. Usually you're not strictly required to fill out all data to have an account, but often Exact Progress Bars and alerts will remind you that your profile is incomplete and tell you to add more details, such as your city of residence (even if you're private about where you live) and places of work (even if you have no work experience and thus are unable to do so).
Sometimes polarizing political groups will engage in this kind of "help" in order to cripple those with whom they disagree. Case-in-point with the lead-up to the 1953 coup in Iran, where the communist Tedah party threw support towards the Prime Minister (also the target of MI6/CIA propaganda) in order to discredit him further, since he actively and vocally opposed policies they wanted to enact.
In the wake of the death of Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church (the well-known holders of the "God Hates Fags" picket signs), many are re-evaluating his effect on lesbian and homosexual issues, saying he actually helped them with their Guilt By Association ploys by equating all objections to their objectives to his hateful picketing against both them and American troops' funerals. Even while he was alive, many churches, particularly Baptist ones, were constantly having to clarify that Phelps & Co. were persona non grata with pretty much all other Baptists.
Many members of minority groups have this feeling towards "social justice warriors", feeling that their idiotic, reactionary, or Not So Different behavior undermines legitimate debate over social issues and makes discussing said issues more difficult. Others feel that said SJWs give minority groups a bad reputation that makes it harder for other people to take them very seriously, or that increases hostility toward said groups. Others also feel that they waste everyone's time obsessing over trivial things like making everyone talk in a politically correct manner when there are more serious topics or problems at hand.