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[[quoteright:335:[[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/HanSolo_TheLancer_6589.png]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:335:"I used to live here, you know."\\
"You're gonna die here, you know. Convenient."]]-]

->''"It's my job to say crazy stuff. Your job is to stay cool and stop me."''
-->-- '''Gon''', to his Lancer '''Killua''' in ''Manga/HunterXHunter''

The {{Foil}} for a [[TheHero hero]] of the closely allied variety.

In general, the Lancer will often form one half of a RedOniBlueOni contrasting duo with the main character. While they may butt heads with TheLeader, they're usually the BestFriend by the end of it all.

Traits common to the Lancer include:

* Being TheHero's primary foil. Typically in some form of RedOniBlueOni. Their force of personality makes them a partner or FriendlyRival of relatively equal footing when paired up with TheLeader, rather than a Sidekick who is more of a helpful assistant.
* If they're also NumberTwo, they fill in the gaps in the hero's leadership style. If the hero is charismatic, they may be a mastermind. If the hero is levelheaded, they may be headstrong. If the hero is rash, they may be a calming influence.
* Having a different mindset in terms of goals, training, or culture. If the team works from a place of passion, the Lancer may be more diligent and thoughtful and vice versa.
* In a military setting, if the Captain is smooth, the Lancer will be [[CaptainSmoothAndSergeantRough Sergeant Rough.]] Since they're the hero's counterpoint, they may be more willing to [[CombatPragmatist employ dirty tricks]] or venture into moral gray areas. See: TokenEvilTeammate. To that end, [[HeelFaceTurn former bad guys]] or [[BadButt bad boys]] in general will become the Lancer on the good guys' side. This might also apply to their true EvilCounterpart (which is TheDragon).
* If TheBigGuy doesn't [[OpenSaysMe kick in the door,]] this guy will.

Due to most heroes being cheerful and passionate types, Lancers are often surly or analytical, but when the chips are down, Lancers are true as steel and will lay down their lives for the cause. If the rest of the members [[BreakingTheFellowship turn their backs on]] TheHero [[WhatTheHellHero for some reason]], the Lancer may be the only one who [[UndyingLoyalty sticks by his side]]. In the event that TheLeader of TheTeam is unable to lead, The Lancer usually steps up. This plot is used to contrast the leader's leadership style against what The Lancer's would be. A frequent ending for this plot is for The Lancer to gladly give up the reins of power while the Leader often notes that the team will be in excellent hands should he be absent after that.

On the other side of the coin, if the Lancer's dissent gets too out of hand, they're likely to go off on their own to do what they think is right.

Powers and skills common to the Lancer include:

* A contrast to the hero's abilities in a meaningful way. SuperPowerLottery vs. BadAssNormal, physical strength vs mechanical or spiritual strength, BareFistedMonk vs HyperspaceArsenal, direct attacks vs sneak attacks and so on.
* Where the hero [[CloseRangeCombatant gets up close]] with a [[HeroesPreferSwords sword]], the Lancer picks [[LongRangeFighter opponents off at range]] with [[ArcherArchetype with projectiles]] and [[TheGunslinger guns]], or pole weapons making for a [[BladeOnAStick literal lancer]]. See ShortRangeGuyLongRangeGuy and GunsVsSwords. If everyone is a ranged fighter then expect the Lancer to be the best shot, or an AcePilot.
* If TheHero and the Lancer have ElementalPowers, they will be [[ElementalRockPaperScissors complementary]], like [[PlayingWithFire fire]] vs. [[AnIcePerson ice]] (or [[MakingASplash water]]), [[LightEmUp light]] vs. [[CastingAShadow darkness]], or something else that makes sense in context.
* However, if the Lancer isn't the opposite of The Hero, they get a [[MovesetClone similar toolkit]] but in a contrasting style making a ForceAndFinesse or TechnicianVsPerformer duo.

This {{trope}} is named for the man-at-arms of TheMiddleAges, the term for a professional soldier. While the term also encompasses the members of the knightly class, a man-at-arms was not necessarily a knight. They were also men of lesser financial and social status than knights, but were equally trained and equipped to fight on horseback in full armour and with sword and [[BladeOnAStick lance]], just like their social superiors. In this regard, he is most [[TropeCodifier recognizable]] as KingArthur's greatest warrior and right-hand man, Sir Kay, according to the source Welsh legends (and who was later [[DemotedToExtra demoted]] to comic relief).

On that note, if you were looking for a trope on the actual appearances and usage of lances, that's the JoustingLance trope.

TheChick is usually the mediator between TheHero and the Lancer, making for a PowerTrio (as well as a set-up for a LoveTriangle). If it's a LoveTriangle, the Lancer can either be the Hero's romantic rival or a potential love interest to [[BettyAndVeronica contrast]] TheChick.

If given enough individual focus, the Lancer may become the {{Deuteragonist}}.

Not to be confused with [[ButtMonkey/AnimeAndManga Lancer]] in ''Anime/CarnivalPhantasm''.

* TheLancer/AnimeAndManga
* TheLancer/{{Literature}}
* TheLancer/LiveActionTV
* TheLancer/VideoGames
* TheLancer/WesternAnimation


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Batman}} fills this role in most incarnations of the ''Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica''. The darker interpretations fall into the [[TheRival Rival]]/{{AntiHero}}ic version of this trope, with Franchise/{{Superman}} as TheHero.
** ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} is an example of how the Lancer's traits depend on who TheHero is: when he fills this role for Batman, his empathy, idealism, and approachability are played up as a contrast to Bruce.
** In a hilariously fitting EvilCounterpart, SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker tends to be the Lancer (or more apropriately, TheDragon) to ComicBook/LexLuthor on the rare occasions they team up.
* ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} of ''Comicbook/TheAvengers''. He tends to chafe under ComicBook/CaptainAmerica's leadership, but it's clear how much like Cap he is -- he led both his own Avengers franchise and the ComicBook/{{Thunderbolts}} for several years.
** ''IronMan'' has also acted as a Lancer to Captain America at times, often being pragmatic in the face of Cap's idealism.
* Wolverine of the ''Comicbook/XMen''.
** He was also the Lancer for [[ComicBook/LukeCageHeroForHire Luke Cage]] when the latter led the ''ComicBook/NewAvengers''.
** Iceman was the Lancer of the original five, with an attitude bigger than Connecticut and a constant bone to pick with TheHero, Cyclops.
** A solid case could be made for Angel as the Lancer of the original five, actually, right down to being a rival for the affections of TheChick. Unlike Iceman, Angel has actually done the leadership thing on occasion.
** Wolverine (and Rogue, under similar circumstances years later) panicked and tried to refuse when ordered into a leadership position (despite proving rather competent in same). Nobody has had the nerve to try that stunt on Iceman. In fact, Wolverine was even slated to lead ComicBook/AlphaFlight when he ran away to join the X-Men instead (he was also in love with the team's eventual leader's red-headed wife.) Then again Logan has taken leadership positions since.
* Moonstone of the ''ComicBook/{{Thunderbolts}}'' is somewhere between this trope and TheStarscream.
** Same thing in ''ComicBook/DarkAvengers'', though Comicbook/{{Ares}} also fills this role sometimes. {{ComicBook/Daken}} too for that matter.
* Speedy I/Arsenal/Red Arrow has often played this role against Robin/Nightwing in the ''Comicbook/TeenTitans'' (and later the ''Outsiders'').
** Oddly, the way he's been TheLancer has varied widely, sometimes being the hotheaded rebel willing to risk lives needlessly, other times calling out Nightwing for being callous about the danger he's putting the team in.
* [[ComicBook/SubMariner Namor]] is perhaps the MU's resident [[IncrediblyLamePun Freelancer]], having filled the role on every team he has ever been in, and simply filling that role for the MU heroes in general.
** DependingOnTheWriter, Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} can also be an all-purpose Lancer. Particularly on ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague''.
* ComicBook/{{Huntress}} was the Lancer to ComicBook/BlackCanary's [[TheHero Hero]] in ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'', at least until the Canary left.
** At which point she became the Lancer to Oracle.
** Subverted when it comes to her relationship with Batman. Batman once recruited Huntress to the Justice League expressly to try to force her into this role, hoping it'd curb her murderous urges -- it didn't take. For her part, Huntress tries to impress Batman, but her DaddyIssues clash too badly with his TechnicalPacifism for them to get on for long. Both want her to be the Lancer to him, but neither can tolerate the other long enough for it to happen.
* ComicBook/{{Deadpool}} would probably be horrified if he realised, but he ends up being this when he teams up with Comicbook/{{Cable}}. Sure, he wouldn't be anyone's first choice for a [[TalkativeLoon voice]] [[DidIJustSayThatOutLoud of]] [[MediumAwareness reason]], but no-one else can actually stand up to Cable when he's getting [[WellIntentionedExtremist way too into]] the [[CrystalDragonJesus future mutant messiah thing]].
* Skywise from ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'' has a great number of complementary traits with his buddy and heroic leader Cutter. A drinker and womanizer, he is more lively and easygoing than Cutter, who naturally bears a keen sense of responsibility for the tribe. Skywise is a studious, curious dreamer, while Cutter prefers to live in the here and now.
** A more likely interpretation is that among the Wolfriders, ''Strongbow'' is the lancer and Skywise is the smart guy. Unlike Skywise, Strongbow makes a habit out of disagreeing with Cutter a lot. In the later series, e.g. Shards, Rayek becomes the lancer.
* For the current New Avengers line-up Hawkeye/Ronin seems to be The lancer for Captain America (Bucky).
** Actually, it's the other way around.
* In ''ComicBook/YoungAvengers'', Kate/[[LegacyCharacter Hawkeye]] is the Lancer to Eli/[[LegacyCharacter Patriot]]. They butt heads near-constantly (though that might just be [[SlapSlapKiss them flirting]]), but Kate genuinely believes Eli is the only one who can actually lead the team.
* WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck fills this role nicely for Scrooge in the Creator/DonRosa ''Uncle Scrooge'' comics, serving as a practical, pessimistic {{Foil}} for the overly-eager treasure hunter, ever ready with either a complaint or a [[DeadpanSnarker snarky observation]].
* In ''ComicBook/SinCity'', Dwight has had two lancers over the course of the series. In the story ''A Dame To Kill For'', he employs the help of SociopathicHero, Marv. Later in the same story and subsequent stories after that, his lancer is ActionGirl, Miho. Both lancers are extremely loyal to Dwight but are also far more violent, causing him to be unsettled more than once by their brutality.
** Dwight also acts as the Lancer for Gail in her leadership of the Old Town girls. Gail's more vengeful and murderous than Dwight's strategic approach, but Gail's unquestionably in charge and Dwight doesn't forget it for a moment.
* Woody plays this role against his friend Eric in ''ComicBook/QuantumAndWoody''.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Runaways}}'' Nico was originally this to Alex. These days [[TheSmartGuy Gert]], [[SixthRanger Victor]], and [[BadassNormal Chase]] have all been known to alternate the role amongst themselves.
* In ''ComicBook/{{The Walking Dead}}'', Rick Grimes, as {{The Hero}}, has gone through FOUR lancers:
** Shane Walsh, his old police partner and the most short-lived of his lancers.
** Tyreese, whom many speculated would actually become the main character before [[spoiler: his own death, which shocked many readers.]]
** Abraham Ford, who served a dual role as {{The Big Guy}}.
** Paul Monroe is Rick's current lancer and has had much better luck filling the role. He also serves as one for [[spoiler:Maggie]] after she becomes leader of the Hilltop.
** Michonne can also be considered Rick's lancer, at one point being explicitly identified as Rick's right-hand woman.
** As can Andrea, Rick's trusty sharpshooter and eventual [[spoiler:SecondLove]].
* Douglas Pope from ''ComicBook/{{Circles}}'' is the Lancer to his husband Paulie. While Paulie is a kind and caring leader, Doug can come off as brash and aloof if you get on his bad side.
* ''{{ComicBook/Crimson}}'' had Joe, a wacky Mexican-Indian vampire to TheChosenOne vampire hero Alex Elder. Whereas [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire Alex resists drinking blood at every turn]], Joe is a FullyEmbracedFiend who loves being a vampire and targets only criminals for lunch. Joe becomes a valuable ally and his best friend despite these differences.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* [[Fanfic/DeliverUsFromEvilSeries Mortality]]: Davy Wiggins, to [[TheLeader Watson]], though, ironically, [[TheHero Watson]] is the one who [[TheBigGuy who is the designated fighter since he killed]] [[TooDumbToLive a captured criminal and Smith.]] [[LampshadeHanging Understandable,]] he was ''[[BewaretheNiceOnes very furious]]'' at [[WhatAnIdiot those idiots]] for [[BerserkButton messing with]] [[LivingEmotionalCrutch his friend.]] You don't want to mess with him. Heck, like [[{{Series/Sherlock}} his]] [[{{Series/Sherlock}} counterpart]] this [[NiceGuy gentle soul]] [[BewaretheNiceOnes WILL end your life-and show no mercy about doing so]], if you [[LivingEmotionalCrutch mess with a detective.]] And to make matters worse? He'll use his medical skills [[DeadlyDoctor in a VERY merciless way.]] Basically, for [[TheMedic a doctor]], he's [[DeadlyDoctor MERCILESS with you]] if you ''really'' get him [[BewaretheNiceOnes SO PISSED OFF]] by messing with his friend.
* [[spoiler: Chaos]] from the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries''. An interesting example, as he is [[spoiler: a split personality of TheHero Takato]]. He is essentially Takato's equal and opposite. They posses the same skills, but [[spoiler: Chaos]] is ruthless where Takato is compassionate.
* Ciara to Link in [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7831829/1/Looming_Darkness Looming Darkness.]]
* Hobbes takes on this role in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''.
* Dub in ''Fanfic/APosseAdEsse''.
* Lightning Bolt in ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar'' fulfills this role toward [[TheLeader Firefly]].
* Lind is this to Jago and the Archs in Ah! Archfall! Not only is she his lover but she is the only one who can match his Papa Jupiter form in combat.
* Aigis gets one in Midori come The Answer Arc of ''FanFic/SevenDaysSurvivor'', thanks to their contrasting personalities, and Midori's support through ThePowerOfFriendship.
* Azazel from ''Story/AesirCrossWars'' is this to Azrael. He is the HotBlooded NumberTwoForBrains with [[PlayingWithFire Fire]], [[DishingOutDirt Earth]], and [[CastingAShadow Darkness]] powers, to contrast Azrael's MellowFellow BadassBookworm with [[ShockAndAwe Lightning]], [[AnIcePerson Ice]], and [[LightEmUp Light]] powers. They're also a case of PolarOppositeTwins, FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling, and an inversion of RudeHeroNiceSidekick.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Timon from ''Disney/TheLionKing''. To a quite hilarious extent.
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'': Buzz Lightyear is Woody's Lancer in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'' and ''[[WesternAnimation/ToyStory3 3]]'', after their rivalry is settled in the first film. He fits the definition so well it's almost scary. He begins as a rival to TheHero, has a similar design (law enforcing hero of a [[MerchandiseDriven television show's toyline]] with a voice clip feature), acts as the team leader when [[TheHero Woody]] is away, [[spoiler:ends up BrainwashedAndCrazy in the service of the BigBad for a while]], and as is made obvious during [[spoiler:said BrainwashedAndCrazy time]] he's the most combat-skilled and dangerous of the cast.
* In ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'', Astrid eventually becomes Hiccup's Lancer, with her energetic ferocity and physical nature contrasting against Hiccup's more quieter and intellectual manner. They initially are at odds first with Hiccup's goofing up at dragon training and then when he completely upstages her with his newfound knowledge of dragons giving him a overwhelming advantage. Eventually, she finds out his secret and Hiccup and Toothless win her over. From then on, she is not just in growing love with Hiccup, but [[SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl is glad to be the muscle to Hiccup's brains both on the job and in their relationship]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Pictured above: Han Solo in ''Franchise/StarWars'' is this to Luke, who is the Hero.
-->"[[CombatPragmatist Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match]] for [[RayGun a good blaster at your side, kid]]."
** He also is a lancer to Leia (even as their romance blossoms).
-->"Your Worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person, me"
** The Prequels have Obi-Wan to Qui-Gon in Episode I and then Anakin to Obi-Wan in Episodes II and III.
* Being a loose film adaptation of the same original story, Lancelot fits this trope to a T in ''King Arthur''.
* Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan in ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' seem to take turns playing TheHero and the Lancer. They switch sides and betray each other so frequently it can be hard to keep track of who's on which "team" and who's just out for their own ends. The only person who seems to ''consistently'' fulfill this role is Joshamee Gibbs, as the Lancer to Jack Sparrow.
* Cosmo to Sam in ''Film/TheFugitive''.
* Rusty Ryan to Danny Ocean in the ''Film/OceansEleven'' movies.
* The WWII biopic ''Film/{{Patton}}'' depicts a "lancer reversal" between American generals George S. Patton and Omar Bradley. At first Bradley is Patton's lancer when Patton is made commander of the II Corps in North Africa and Bradley his deputy. Then after the invasion of Sicily, Patton is reprimanded for slapping a shellshocked soldier and Bradley is promoted over him. Bradley commands the U.S. 1st Army during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Meanwhile Patton was used to decoy the Germans into thinking the invasion would be at Calais. Patton becomes Bradley's lancer when he gives Patton command of the Third Army to implement "Operation Cobra", the Allied plan to breakout of the Normandy beachhead.
* Snowman is this to [[Film/SmokeyAndTheBandit The Bandit]], hauling the all important cargo and occasionally saving the Bandit when the cops decide to get serious.
* Arthur, the Point-Man, is the sensible and cool-head Lancer to the dark and troubled Cobb in ''Film/{{Inception}}''.
* Bucky to ComicBook/CaptainAmerica in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger''.
** Sam Wilson aka "The Falcon" becomes Cap's new lancer in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''.
* Iron Man to Cap in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''. Out of the whole DysfunctionJunction, they have the most personality conflict for any number of reasons (idealist vs. cynic, reluctant soldier vs. ex-weapons maker), but still end up working well together. Hawkeye, by contrast, is the SixthRanger who only really opens up around ComicBook/BlackWidow.
* Gene Hackman is the lancer to a by-the-book Willem Dafoe in ''Film/MississippiBurning''.
* In ''Film/MrSaturdayNight'', Stan had the makings and ambitions to be a comedian but his brother Buddy Young had the guts to go and perform, so Stan becomes the more grounded manager to egotistical Buddy.
* In ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', Inigo Montoya fulfills this role rather well to the Man In Black/Westley. At first he is arrogant and apprehensive of Westley's skills, but eventually goes on to be a faithful right-hand man and gains a deep-set respect for his skills to the extent that he believes that Westley is capable of anything (which essentially turns out to be the case).
* Sam French is the Lancer to Jake Wyer, TheHero, in ''Fifty/Fifty''.
* In ''StarTrek'' Spock is Kirk's Lancer.
* Subotai from the ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982'' film. He teaches Conan how to be a thief, saves him from the Tree of Woe, and stands by his side during the Battle of the Mounds.
* ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' and ''Film/TheHobbit'':
** Legolas and Boromir both fill this for Aragorn.
** Sam fills this for Frodo.
** Balin fills this for Thorin.
* In ''Film/SevenPsychopaths'', Billy fits the role of the Lancer to Marty. Marty and Billy are almost perfect foils for eachother, since they have different opinions on Marty's alcoholism, Marty's girlfriends, and lifestyle. Marty has the Badass power (Billy says that Marty is the "best writer of his generation"), and Billy dies for the cause.
* Ripcord from ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''.
** Flint from ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation''.
* Steven Prince from ''Film/TheWorldsEnd''. Despite being friends, he's a bit of a rival to Gary.
* Hugh Mercer to UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington in ''Film/TheCrossing''. He's Washington's NumberTwo and best friend and is more cautious, skeptical, and even-tempered.
* Pete to Teddy in ''[[Film/{{Neighbors2014}} Neighbors]]''.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries''
** ''Film/XMenFirstClass'':
*** Erik Lehnsherr serves this role to Charles Xavier for much of the film. They specifically fulfill the AntiHero and AllLovingHero dynamic.
*** Havok to Beast somewhat.
** ''Film/TheWolverine'': Yukio becomes Logan's.
%%* Al Giordino in ''Film/Sahara2005''.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' has a tribe originally made up of Lancers: The Shadowlords. In former times, their task was to act as the Beta of packs and [[IDidWhatIHadToDo did what the Alpha]] [[ShootTheDog couldn't be seen to do]]. Unfortunately, more and more of them feel that the Silverfangs [[TheStarscream are no longer up to the task of leading...]]
* This trope can be found in the makeup of any ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' party due to the variety of roles that need to be performed in a campaign. The Hero of this group will generally be the one who is the obvious leader of the group, whether by being a great warrior or diplomat. Conversely, the Lancer will probably be the Leader's opposite, being the team's negotiator in the former case or being the taciturn combat leader in the latter.

* Every Toa team in ''Toy/{{BIONICLE}}'' has one of these, usually a Toa of [[AnIcePerson Ice]] to balance out the Toa of [[PlayingWithFire Fire]] leader. The most prominent example would be Kopaka, who has a RedOniBlueOni dynamic with Tahu.
** And to continue the tradition, Stormer is this to Furno in Toys/HeroFactory.

* ''{{Hamlet}}'': Horatio.
* ''Orestes'': Pylades acts in this capacity to his friend Orestes, in Euripides' play.
* ''RomeoAndJuliet'': Mercutio is Romeo's right-hand man and best friend. He even goes so far as [[spoiler: fighting and losing a duel in his name.]]
* Casio, in Shakespeare's Theatre/{{Othello}}. Casio is Othello's faithful lieutenant. He is a good friend to his general, but has a weakness for drink and women.

* ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'': Koon Agero Agnis, the brains, and in a literal sense Rak Wraithraiser, the brawn (and TheHeart), choose to climb the [[PlaceOfPower Tower]] with Baam, one to find his lost self, the other because Baam happens to own a really CoolSword he wants to compete against.
* Humorously enough, the author of ''[[http://www.drunkduck.com/Cwens_Quest/ Cwen's Quest]]'' was unaware of this particular trope when he named his character Riddly Lancer. Fits the bill too, well actually only up to the third sentence of the description that is... but Cwen is definitely the leader between the two characters.
* Haley Starshine from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' starts out as a flighty, greedy foil to her leader, who's big on duty. She grows into a genuine [[NumberTwo second-in-command]] who can check his thinking when it comes to subterfuge.
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', while Torg usually takes center stage and, in his "[[CloudCuckooLander unique]]" way, come up with a solution to the big problems, Riff is usually there as well, ready to solve things his own way. Which usually involves laser weapons, giant robots, and blowing stuff up.
* In ''Webcomic/TheNoordegraafFiles'', Akila is this to Theo. Her introduction page is TITLED "The Lancer".
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
** Dave Strider has taken this on this role voluntarily, at least for the human team. He's [[TheHero John's]] best friend, and is the badass [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana-wielding]] [[TimeTravel time-travelling]] [[TheStoic stoic]] DeadpanSnarker to John's IdiotHero/ AllLovingHero. Despite the fact he's probably the most all-round skilled of the human players, was the first to fully assume the mythological responsibilities placed upon him (as the [[TimeMaster Knight of Time]]), and proceeded through the game significantly faster than John (until the latter CameBackStrong anyway), he resigned himself to a supporting role out of [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter feelings of inadequacy]] and the inability to face his own mortality.
--->TG: im not a hero\\
TG: my [[TheAce bro]] was\\
TG: john is\\
TG: im not
** On the side of the trolls, Terezi Pyrope plays this to [[TheHero Karkat Vantas]], countering [[HatesEveryoneEqually his raving abuse of everyone and everything]] with... [[{{Troll}} messing with him]].
** Despite Dave's contention, his bro Dirk, for all his badass heroics, appears to be either the Lancer to Hero Jake or TheBigGuy to Heroine Jane.
* Giancarlo of ''Webcomic/RoninGalaxy'' plays lancer to Cecil. Giancarlo is his foil to the point of [[http://www.roningalaxy.com/comic/page-66/ talking morality when he doesn't]], and [[http://www.roningalaxy.com/comic/page-56/ tells him to drop it when he does.]]
* Theo from ''WebComic/GoldCoinComics'', who is also TheSpock.
* UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton from ''Webcomic/TheDreamer'' is definitely the Lancer.
* Susan of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' is Tedd's foil.
** [[TheHero Elliot himself]] has two Lancers, varying by situation. Ellen usually takes the role when Tedd is playing TheSmartOne instead, while Tedd assumes the role in most other cases.
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' Jean is Bob's lancer. Where Bob is absurdly mellow in most situations, Jean is a MoodSwinger with a host of [[BerserkButton berserk buttons.]] She's also a good deal more educated and intellectual than he is.
* Guenevere in ''Webcomic/ArthurKingOfTimeAndSpace''. Not Lancelot, who is Arthur's right-hand man but doesn't really act as a foil, whereas [[http://arthurkingoftimeandspace.com/0117.htm Guenevere's outspokenness contrasts neatly with the more easy-going Arthur]].
* Tyler Dawn fills this role in ''[[{{Webcomic/morphe}} morphE]]''. Tyler lacks [[TheLeader Billy's]] intellect and charisma but is on his level in terms of skill with magic and shows signs he may overtake him in future chapters.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[PsychopathicManchild The Chief ]], from ''Machinima/ArbyNTheChief'' counts as this to the [[OnlySaneMan The Arbiter.]] During their various adventures of both regular Halo games and SeriousBusiness, The Arbiter is clearly the only skilled one of the duo. Their opponents would often only die to The Chief just from how utterly unpredictable he tends to be, both ingame and out. Beyond season 6 however, his actual skills grow a bit, but his main advantage is still his ConfusionFu.
* Wyn from the web fiction serial ''Literature/DimensionHeroes''.
* Star Whistle from ''WebAnimation/DusksDawn'', as she's a major plot point in the first half and is the last pony standing when fighting the EvilTwin.
* ''WebAnimation/{{Dreamscape}}'': Anjren is TheLancer of the FiveManBand. She is almost like a DistaffCounterpart to Dylan, in that she is also a {{Determinator}} that is not to be underestimated.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Kobe Bryant to Shaquille O'Neal from their generation of the LA Lakers. The seasoned Shaq was TheBigGuy and the captain, while the rambunctious Kobe was the rookie. Their relationship was frequently punctuated by feuds played out in the press. Now that Shaq retired, Kobe's become the face of the Lakers, with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum sharing the role of the Lancer.
* When they were both on the Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen was seen as a lancer for UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan.
* Russell Westbrook, the cocky Red Oni, to Kevin Durant, the collected Blue Oni. Unlike Kobe and Shaq, Durant and Westbrook are HeterosexualLifePartners.
* Dwyane Wade to [=LeBron=] James in the Miami Heat. James is the theatric champion on the court; Wade is the leader and the face of the team.
* The Chicago Blackhawks are led by young superstars Jonathan Toews, nicknamed "Captain Serious", and Patrick Kane, who does not exactly carry the same reputation.
* Alex Rodriguez to Derek Jeter after he joined the New York Yankees.
* Bobby Bonilla to Barry Bonds, during the competitive 90s Pittsburgh Pirates, before their downward spiral to becoming one of the worst teams in over a decade. Bobby Bonilla would go with coach Jim Leland and win a world series with him on the Florida Marlins. Barry Bonds would go to the San Francisco Giants and put up great career numbers. But he would never win a World Series and then you have the steroids accusations.
* Formula 1 team Ferrari has been using this, with Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barichello and Felipe Massa playing the lancer to Michael Schumacher. Massa continued as the lancer for Fernando Alonso. Will probably be subverted in the 2014 season with Alonso being paired with Kimi Raikkonen. This trope is also evident in the Red Bull team with Sebastian Vettel being paired with Mark Webber and now Daniel Riccardo.
* Music/TheWho is an interesting example. Pete Townsend was the band's artistic leader, but was also violent and dealt with depression. He wasn't the band's frontman, though. He left that up to "second-in-command", Roger Daltrey who was more reserved in comparison and often served as the more mature member of the group.
* Music/TheBeatles are another interesting variation: Music/JohnLennon started out as TheHero, with Music/PaulMcCartney as the Lancer. And as time went on, they switched.
* Music/TheRollingStones has Keith Richards as The Lancer to Mick Jagger.
* Beanie Sigel, during the early 2000s, was The Lancer to Music/JayZ. It [[RageAgainstTheMentor didn't work out in the end]].
* Speaking of Jay-Z, Music/KanyeWest is his Lancer on ''Watch the Throne''.
** In West's own crew, GOOD Music, Pusha T is the Lancer to West's hero.
* AcePilot Staff Sergeant Nils Katajainen (36 kills) to Captain Hans Wind (78 kills) in the Finnish Air Force in WWII. They usually flew as a pair. ''Both'' were awarded the Mannerheim Cross, roughly the Finnish equivalent of Victoria Cross or Congressional Medal of Honor.
* Michael Vick to Donovan [=McNabb=] in the Philadelphia Eagles. [=McNabb=] was the calm, collected quarterback leader with a passion for the sport, while Vick was the "bad-boy" second-in-command who was in legal troubles, especially with the dog-fighting.
* UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton. Hamilton served as UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington's NumberTwo during the Revolutionary War and Washington's time as president. While Washington was stoic, deliberative, and against bare knuckle politics, Hamilton was brash, quick witted, and famously one of the most vicious political fighters of his generation. This proved useful to Washington, who relied on Hamilton's intricate thinking and writing skills to serve as his Army chief of staff and most trusted secretary, much to the annoyance of others on Washington's staff.
* Likewise Rahm Emanuel. A [[JerkAss dirty]], armtwisting guy from UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}, who was once a senior advisor to UsefulNotes/BillClinton, as he was to UsefulNotes/BarackObama. Did you know he studied ballet?
* Shuuichi Ikeda to Toru Furuya; they voiced for the main antagonist and the main protagonist of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' respectively.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Wittmann Michael Wittmann]], one of the most successful armored commanders of all time, had [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balthasar_Woll Bobby Woll]] as his gunner. They were so in tune that, eventually, all Wittmann had to do was give Woll a direction where enemy tanks could be found and let Woll do the rest. Luckily for Woll, he wasn't with Wittmann when the latter's [[InTheBack luck ran out]] in August, 1944.
* General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, to General Robert E. Lee once Lee earned command of the Virginian forces in 1862. When Jackson was killed, accidentally shot by his own men at Chancellorsville, Lee said "He had lost his left arm, but I have lost my right."
** General James Longstreet is arguably a better example of Lee's Lancer. Lee described him as the "staff in my right hand" after the Seven Days' Battles, an series of engagements in which Longstreet performed well and Jackson did not. Longstreet rather than Jackson was the official second-in-command of the army. Where Lee shared personality traits with Jackson, including general reserve, an explosive temper when pressed, and a deep religiosity, Longstreet had a more laid-back, fun-loving personality, and did not share Lee and Jackson's objections to drinking and gambling. Despite that, Lee more often spent time at Longstreet's headquarters than Jackson's, apparently preferring the atmosphere there. He also served as more of a foil to Lee in a military sense as well. Jackson usually embraced Lee's offensive strategies and tactics. Longstreet on the other hand repeatedly opposed Lee's decisions and argued for alternative tactics, such as at Gettysburg, and he criticized many of Lee's decisions in his memoirs. For all of that, he and Lee were personally good friends, and on campaign, where Jackson was often sent out for detached duty, Longstreet would more often remain with Lee and serve as his principal subordinate and adviser.
** On the Union side, William Tecumseh Sherman was the Lancer to UsefulNotes/UlyssesSGrant. "Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk. Now, we stand by each other always." Grant entrusted Sherman to handle the Western theater of the Civil War while Grant assumed command in the East to fight Lee. It worked. Philip Sheridan, a fiery and aggressive Union commander and cavalryman, also played this role for Grant in the East in Sherman's absence.
* Allan Kuhn, the assistant manager of Aalborg BK, is a good example of the lancer. He took over management in [=AaB=] in 2008 as caretaker after Bruce Rioch was sacked, and didn't lose a single match for the remainder of the fall (which includes a draw at home against Villarreal and away against Manchester United). In the beginning of the 2009 season, he took over the manager seat at Midtjylland, which he left in the late 10/11 season due to him finding the work of a manager incompatible with his family life. Since that, he has been assistant manager.
* A very important role in professional cycling. It's very hard to win any race without a good lancer, who would usually play the role of TheSmartGuy and/or taking on a very offensive role to wear down the rider from other teams.