The Handicapped and the Helper

You have a character who is inflicted with a disability. They can be blind, deaf, mute, or lack the ability to walk. This character is what's known as the Handicapped. That's where the Helper comes in, a kind and helpful mentor who helps the Handicapped overcome his disability. Sometimes, the Helper will have the same disability as that of the Handicapped.

This trope will sometimes serve as An Aesop about how people with disabilities can't always do everything by themselves, so they need a caretaker to help them out. It may sometimes be spoofed if the Helper tries to help the Handicapped, only to discover that the Handicapped can do it by himself without much trouble, or that the Handicapped has actually been Obfuscating Disability and does not have a handicap at all.

Compare: The Caretaker, Handy Helper, Cloudcuckoolander's Minder.

See also Translator Buddy for The Unintelligible.


Anime and Manga
  • In Code Geass there was Nunnally, the blind and paralyzed exiled princess, cared for by her brother Lelouch. In Season 2 she returns to the rest of her family, and Lelouch, who is still exiled, is replaced by the definitely unloving and uncaring Miss Romeyer.

Comic Books
  • When Daredevil was rendered blind, he met another blind man named Stick who was able to teach him how to fight even without traditional sight.

  • For awhile, in Gensokyo 20XXV, while the latter was near-blind, Youmu used to play this role to Reimu, guiding her with her "Muhs".

  • In Murder by Death, two characters are an Expy of Miss Marple and her nurse - but it's Miss Marple who pushes the nurse around in a wheelchair.
  • In The Way He Looks, Giovana helps the blind protagonist Leonardo at school and takes him home everyday, even though this means she needs to walk two blocks further than her house. Until Gabriel arrives.
  • Earth To Echo features a small Mechanical Lifeform who was blinded in a crash and needs to use a young boy's cell phone camera to see.

Live-Action TV
  • In an episode of Quantum Leap, Sam leapt into a happy-go-lucky Vietnam vet who had lost his legs. Sam was there to convince another vet, who had been rendered almost completely immobile, not to kill himself.
  • The two characters in Little Britain, where a cunning person of challenged intellect (Matt Lucas) repeatedly and shamelessly exploits Andy, his gormless and over-helpful carer (David Walliams).
    • This is actually a subversion (since the Once A Skit gag is that Andy gets out of his wheelchair while Lou's distracted and a few also imply he's quite eloquent when he isn't speaking monosyllablically). He's also shown as manipulative and abusive, not cunning (for example, when Lou gets a girlfriend, Andy turns him against her with a Wounded Gazelle Gambit).


Web Comics
  • Inverted in a storyline at Something*Positive. Dalia was in a car accident years prior and can walk, with assistance, but spends most of her time in a wheelchair. For the storyline, she uses the wheelchair as a walker while Monette sits in it, and the two spend time shopping at the mall. Monette is quite distressed to learn that half of being disabled is putting up with being treated like a complete idiot by everyone you meet... if they bother to notice you at all.
  • Deconstructed in Sexy Losers, where a character of questionable morals starts taking care of a beautiful blind girl because she cannot see what exactly he is up to when he is "taking care of her".

Web Original
  • Toki and Doki are an unusual and interesting example, as well as inversion and reconstruction, in that both are crippled to a certain degree (Cerebral palsy and a robotic leg) but, despite suffering from a spinal condition, Doki can otherwise take care of herself and works as a nurse and is also Toki's conservator, as Toki is very mentally ill.

Real Life
  • Helen Keller, a deaf, blind, and mute child and her teacher, Ann Sullivan who teaches her the alphabet, sign language, and braille overcoming her handicap. Helen later went on to be the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor of art's degree. A film was made about her story, and her birthday is also an official holiday in the US.
  • Anyone working in nursing or social care will know the phenomena of Pyjama-Induced Paralysis, where a disabled person will either sink into lethargy expecting the nurse to do everything for them, or else deliberately exploit the situation to work it to maximum advantage. A new, inexperienced, or over-caring carer, might well allow themself to be exploited this way and the situation spirals up into a mutual co-dependency in which the ill person never gets better or learns to be self-reliant despite their disability. The characters in Little Britain are a classic case of this syndrome.