%% This list of examples has been alphabetized. Please add your example in the proper place. Thanks!
[[quoteright:298:[[Film/LeBoulet http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LeBoulet.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:298:Very [[DoubleEntendre straight]] example.]]

->''"How about we do us all a favour and give him the slip? Mole is slow, stupid and tasteless."''
-->-- '''[[TokenEvilTeammate Adder]]''', ''WesternAnimation/TheAnimalsOfFarthingWood''

Probably one of the most hated characters in a movie or series fandom, The Load is a liability to the heroes. They are ''not'' always [[TheMillstone the proximate cause]] of the heroes' failures, but they're weak, they're often TooDumbToLive, and for some reason they've just ''got'' to hang around with the cool heroes and be a part of the action all the time. It doesn't occur to The Load that, being an [[NonActionGuy unathletic]] {{Muggle|s}}, it really might not be such a good idea for them to [[LeeroyJenkins rush headlong onto the battlefield]] along with the heavily armored and super-powered heroes. Said heroes will usually have to spend at least half the battle keeping The Load alive. It's not hard to see why the fans hate them so much.

The Load must be played carefully, lest they become TheScrappy. If they must be protected, or come along despite lacking any useful skill, there should be a good reason for it, and not just as interaction, or perhaps they were not invited to the battle but brought themselves along. If a character who was once clearly the Load starts upstaging the characters who are competent or powerful, they are even more likely to be hated.

The Load is the TV/movie equivalent of a powerless {{NPC}} in a video game EscortMission -- only, unlike a video game, you don't have the power to press the "B" button and [[VideogameCrueltyPotential throw The Load to the zombies]] if you start getting irritated by them.

What makes this trope especially grating is that The Load often actually ''does'' have powers or an ability that [[PlotTailoredToTheParty will come in handy]] for the heroes, which is, of course, ''why'' they must keep dragging The Load around with them. The one instance where The Load uses this power to save the heroes, however, does little to make up for the 99 percent of the time that they have spent being a screeching boat anchor.

Closely related to the DamselScrappy, NonActionGuy, TheTeamNormal (if this character is the load because of a lack of powers), and the SatelliteLoveInterest. Can lead to a LiveActionEscortMission, BadlyBatteredBabysitter, or similar. Might result from a StoryBreakerTeamUp where one of the members is out of their league. The character may be a LivingMacGuffin.

If a TimeSkip occurs in the series, expect The Load to have [[TookALevelInBadass Taken a Level in Badass]]. Compare TheMillstone, who is much more proactive in making [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption failure the only option]], and HelplessGoodSide, for when a character with a SplitPersonality is the load half the time. Contrast TheDragAlong, who wants to avoid danger, but is forced to join a party of heroes against his will.
* TheLoad/AnimeAndManga
* [[TheLoad/LiveActionFilms Films — Live-Action]]
* TheLoad/{{Literature}}
* TheLoad/LiveActionTV
* TheLoad/VideoGames
* TheLoad/WesternAnimation


[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''
** Socrates tends to fit this category. Hobbes seems to be the only one who likes him, but over time, even he starts to find him annoying. Of course, Socrates does pull through for the group from time to time, often saving their lives.
** [[TVGenius Sherman]], [[DoAnythingRobot the]] [[TalkingApplianceSidekick MTM]], and [[SnarkyNonHumanSidekick Jack]] have all taken their turns as this also.
* In ''Fanfic/TheDarknessSeries'' Wormtail is this to the Death Eaters and Harry considers Ron to be this in his other life.
* In ''Fanfic/GodsOfThisNewWorld'' Matt is this to Mello and Near--he spends all his time eating their food and playing video games rather than plotting with them on how to take out Kira.
* ''Fanfic/MyLittleUnicorn'':
** Lightning Dawn. Despite his physical strength, most of the villains use magic and his inability to use magic is quite a liability in battle. Anytime he finishes a battle is with his Uniforce.
** Krysta is more of a hindrance to the others than anything.
** Brain also qualifies.
* At one point in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'', the narration mentions that outworlders have started to refer to Ringo as “the Load,” because he's never seen to do anything except cower next to John. [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower Hoo boy, are they wrong.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Mary West, the mother of [[Franchise/TheFlash Wally West]], became a particularly notable Load during his early years as the Flash. What are her Load bonafides? Start with the fact that she treats her twenty-something son (with ''years'' of superheroing experience) like a fourteen-year-old. This leads her to beg Wally ''not'' to help people, and basically act unwilling to let Wally out the door at all. She also behaves like a shrill banshee regarding Wally's girlfriends, calling them gold-diggers -- even when Wally is dirt poor! She manages to get herself into various dangers due to her own wanderlusts, and she also blindly sets up several dangerous situations by telephoning the villains and giving up important information because "they seemed nice". Readers undoubtedly cheered when [[PutOnABus she married a European secret agent]]; you can have her, buddy.
* Rick Jones from ''ComicBook/TheIncredibleHulk''. What could be more useful to some of the most skilled and powerful super heroes in the Marvel Universe than some kid with a motorcycle following them around? Not to mention that he's apparently responsible for Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk. The only reason he's around is because, as his friend, he's one of the only people capable of calming the Hulk down.
** Creator/PeterDavid eventually subverted this in his ''Incredible Hulk'' and ''[[ComicBook/CaptainMarVell Captain Marvel]]'' series by showing that Rick had spent [[GenreSavvy so much time hanging around superheroes, he'd actually picked up enough general knowledge]], including extensive combat training during the time he insisted on being ComicBook/CaptainAmerica's sidekick, Bucky, to be able to handle himself in almost any situation (like, say, [[CrazyPrepared carrying around a parachute in case he's suddenly stuck on an exploding spaceship]]).
** Another instance was when two big strong tough guys tried to mess with Rick, only to discover that hanging out with the people he had, and his general experience, made him a ''very'' competent hand-to-hand fighter against other normals, he trashed them without much effort. By the standards of "normals", Rick Jones is not someone you want mad at you.
** Modern Rick Jones has basically turned his history as TheLoad into a superpower. Besides being the Marvel Universe's foremost hacktivist, it's noted in-universe that somebody who has a good 80 percent of all the current and former Avengers in his personal contact list is not to be trifled with. When he's hanging out with the New Avengers, it's also shown that the mementos he's picked up over the years include enough super-powered gadgetry to outfit a strong squad of B-level supervillains.
* Tin of the ''ComicBook/MetalMen'' is a very fragile guy (what with the metal he was made out of and all), yet he [[{{Determinator}} does his damndest]] [[GenreSavvy to prove he does not fall under this trope]], with [[http://sacomics.blogspot.com/2007/04/greatest-hero-of-silver-age.html little success]]. Tin isn't so much a Load as a kind of ablative armor for the team and comic in general. Need to show someone's a serious threat but not damage anyone that actually has useful abilities? Let Tin take one for the team -- he's not strong, tough, or fast, but he's very brave.
* ''Franchise/SpiderMan'':
** Aunt May is such a load in sixties comics, it's frankly bizarre. This isn't helped by her tendency of referring to "that awful Spider-Man," and her belief that Otto Octavius is a polite and charming man -- while he's holding her hostage and Peter is trying to rescue her. Aunt May is a bit different from the usual instances. She isn't insisting on following Spider-Man around, for example, or trying to hang out with him. She's a Load, but she's ''Peter's'' Load, not Spider-Man's -- and with the number of times Peter's had move back in with her, he's probably Aunt May's Load too. She's such a Load that everyone worries about her well-being when her nephew is a superhero... but not because she's so ridiculously old. And then... then there was ComicBook/OneMoreDay. Aunt May became such a Load that Peter Parker lost his marriage in a literal DealWithTheDevil just to keep her from dying ([[IdiotHero thanks to circumstances Peter brought upon her himself]]). In a subsequent storyline, she unknowingly dates a supervillain, but [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt nothing could have ever come out of it]] because we had already seen reality itself get altered for the sake of her not dying.
** Sally Avril, prominently featured in ''Comicbook/UntoldTalesOfSpiderMan''. Heady with the idea of being a super-hero, she created a blue-and-white costume, called herself [=BlueBird=], and tried to help Spider-Man with an arsenal of egg-themed gadgets. Unfortunately, her inexperience and malfunctioning eggs caused her to be such a burden that Spider-Man even allowed one villain to hurt her quite badly in an attempt to dissuade her.
* A number of sidekicks from the comics of UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks and UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks are The Load...
** Such as Franchise/{{Superman}}'s pal ComicBook/JimmyOlsen, the [[Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica JLA]]'s Snapper Carr, and the [[ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica JSA]]'s Johnny Thunder. [[ComicBook/PostCrisis Modern]] comics have managed to avert this to an extent, such as by making Jimmy a closer friend of Clark Kent's than Superman's, or by making Johnny a hero in his own right.
** The Golden Age ComicBook/RedTornado (Ma Hunkel, not the android) was part this, with a heaping dollop of comic relief. She was tough enough to at least hold her own in a fight against non-super-powered thugs, though.
** [[ComicBook/BuckyBarnes Bucky]] of ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'' seems to be the ultimate (comicbook) example of The Load that TookALevelInBadass. He went from being saved from Hitler twice a month to [[spoiler: a BadassNormal LegacyCharacter.]]
** ComicBook/{{Robin}} usually subverts this, but not always. Let's just say there's a reason the Boy Wonder is sometimes called the Boy Hostage.
* In the various ''ComicBook/TheTransformers'' comics, there's Nautilator. In theory, transforming into a lobster monster should make him an oceanborne killing machine, what with the giant claws and a gun that crushes enemies to death. It also means he should be highly efficient in his function of performing undersea excavations. In practice, he's a bungling dolt and career loser who can't even swim properly. Inexplicably for a member of the Decepticons' underwater strike force, he has SuperDrowningSkills and NoSenseOfDirection. He's been defeated by the undertow of all things. He also [[NeverMyFault never owns up to his mistakes]] and his team sorely wishes they could just be rid of him--a sentiment that is apparently shared by the rest of the Decepticons. He's so bad that when they [[CombiningMecha combine to form Piranacon]], the Seacons discovered that they're much less effective when they let him form a limb rather than force him to transform into the team's gun. If he didn't somehow have a knack for bringing back useful salvage to Decepticon HQ when they have to fish him back from the bottom of the ocean, they probably would have left him to rust ages ago.
* ComicBook/LuckyLuke: No example is better suited for this trope than Rantanplan. He is a total moron who never quite understands what's going on, fancies himself a heroic hound but is too easily distracted and contributes nothing but trouble for Lucky Luke. In the video games the player even has to avoid shooting him, while in a fight with dangerous villains. It is no surprise that Jolly Jumper dislikes his company. A few times, Rantanplan saved the day without realizing it and completely by accident.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs'', it seems like Brent will be this when he [[TagalongKid invites himself along]] to help save the world, but he turns out to be a CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass.
* Po in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'' is a literal example. He is a capable kung fu master and can direct the members of the Furious Five in battle fairly well. However his [[MightyGlacier mobility]] is so poor that he is often literally thrown and carried around by his much quicker comrades.
* One could interpret the Squeeze Toy Aliens in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' in this role, as they exist either as superlatives or hindrances to the toys escaping from Sunnyside. From almost alerting [[TheDragon Big Baby]] to getting stuck in the dumpster and (indirectly) causing the toys to get sent to the dump. [[spoiler:{{Inverted}} in the incinerator scene, in which [[BigDamnHeroes the Aliens]] [[DeusExMachina save all of the toys via]] ''[[BrickJoke the claw]]''.]]
* Russell in ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'' at first seems to fit this category: he loses his Wilderness Explorer GPS, literally acts as a deadweight while Carl is towing the house, cannot put up his tent, and reveals to Muntz that he and Carl have met "the Monster of Paradise Falls" (i.e. Kevin the Bird). Probably meant to be an inversion of how in many films where a crotchety old man is paired up with a spunky kid, it's the adult who's portrayed as inept and in need of rescue. Plus, Russell has the excuse that he has no real way of getting home under his own power. If Carl doesn't do it, the poor kid is toast. However, he eventually [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]].

* In ''Pinball/{{Fathom}}'', the divers' female companion can only sit in the boat and watch the waters uselessly while her friends are being attacked by deadly mermaids.
* Some of the Houses in ''Pinball/GameOfThrones'' act like this in certain modes. For instance, starting "Hand of the King" with House Baratheon requires ''seven'' shots to complete a set, instead of the regular four.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/TheUndertaker saw his long-time friend and manager Wrestling/PaulBearer as that. He had no choice but to get rid of him by burying him in cement. Six years later, this is actually proven true when Wrestling/{{Kane}} lost focus in his matches when Wrestling/{{Edge}} kidnapped Paul.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. In early editions, amongst the many scrappy mechanics -- a big one was how experience points were allotted. Besides completing the quest or dungeon, the vast majority of your experience came from being conscious in a fight. That's it... there is no bonus or penalty to whether you do anything in a battle. This leads to some players becoming the Load. They would go picking their butts or jerking off in a safe corner and earn thousands of xp, while someone who fights in 90% of the battle but is unlucky enough to get knocked out will get 0 xp. To top it off, there was an experience reward earned from finding loot too so the Load would get that as well while the unconscious participant might not if the party doesn't give him or her a share while they're still knocked out.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* In several rides at Ride/UniversalStudios, the riders themselves are this from the perspective of the attraction's storyline:
** In ''Ride/HarryPotterAndTheEscapeFromGringotts'', the riders are attacked at every turn from the likes of security trolls as well as Bellatrix and Voldemort themselves. The main trio end up having to spend extra time in the bank just to save them.
** Despite being quickly recruited by Jimmy himself in ''Ride/JimmyNeutronsNicktoonBlast'', the riders do absolutely nothing to help stop Ooblar and only get tossed around all over the place in the attraction, with Jimmy having to pilot their ride vehicle via remote control throughout the whole.
** In ''Ride/TheAmazingAdventuresOfSpiderMan'', the riders nearly get themselves killed multiple times by the Sinister Syndicate, leaving Spider-Man to save them again and again.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The {{Yuri}} VN ''VisualNovel/AkaiIto'' is an interesting example. Hatou Kei, the ''main character'' is The Load and all fighting are done by her ActionGirlfriend. This eventually [[DamselScrappy gets so grating]] that the sort-of sequel ''VisualNovel/AoiShiro'' has a hypercompetent ActionGirl as the main character. [[spoiler:As a ContinuityNod, ''Aoi Shiro'' has an unlockable minigame based on one of the MultipleEndings in ''Akai Ito'', where (long story short) Kei TookALevelInBadass and become a DemonSlayer.]]
* The main point of view character of ''Hakuoki'' is Chizuru, a young woman who becomes closely involved with UsefulNotes/TheShinsengumi during the end of the Edo period. Given the time period, it's no surprise that Chizuru has very little fighting ability, and she's painfully aware of her status as The Load; throughout the action of the VN she frets constantly over how much of a burden protecting her places on them and how little she can do to help them, especially once the Boshin War breaks out and the Shinsengumi have to leave Kyoto.
* Mach in ''VisualNovel/{{SC2VN}}'' starts out as this. He [[CharacterDevelopment gets better.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' depicts [[Film/RogueOne Jyn Erso/Bria Tharen]] as a useless, [[TheMillstone terminally stupid]] NPC that the party is having to [[EscortMission escort for their quest]]. She pisses off the party's contacts, repeatedly wanders into the middle of firefights, forces the pacifist Cassian into killing to save her, [[UnfriendlyFire accidentally shoots K-2SO]] (forcing the DM to pretend she hit a different droid to prevent the game from [[OffTheRails derailing]]), and generally just gets in their way.
** Jim's character in the same campaign (Saw Gerrera/Kyle Katarn) nearly becomes this, thanks to being a near-crippled old man who [[EpicFail accidentally cut off his own legs while using a lightsaber]]. Fortunately for the party, [[spoiler:Saw ends up getting killed shortly after they meet him and Jim takes over Bria, making her at least somewhat more useful by taking her out of the DM's hands]].
* Justin of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' feels like The Load during the Painted Black Arc because everyone assumes he's not strong enough to help rescue Elliot. (All of the other candidates for the team had magic and/or super powers.) In fact, his dream that night casts him as a helpless hobbit who's forced to stay behind while the girls who saved Elliot are cast as the Fellowship.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': Among the Pre-Scratch trolls, Kankri a) never realised his Seer of Blood powers, and b) when shown onscreen, does nothing except deliver trillion-word sermons that manage to passive-aggressively insult everyone they are directed at, so they could probably have done without him entirely [[TheFriendNobodyLikes and would quite happily have done so]].
* Iki of ''Webcomic/OffWhite'' is a BigEater wolf that is bad at hunting, is clumsy, and slow. If he was not part of a pack, he would have died by now.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Elan the bard. Once he's separated from the party (and stuck in a prison cell, no less), he [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in Dashing Swordsman]].
** In social encounters (or actually any encounters that [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0157.html require something other than wanton violence and destruction]]), Belkar takes over the role of The Load from Elan, as less useful than rocks when it comes to negotiating.
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', Kiki is by far the most useless character in a fight, and her tendency to play with anything shiny has often put the characters in danger from explosions, dimensional portals, and radiation poisoning. However, because she is TheDitz, the GenkiGirl, and the TeamPet, most readers love her anyway. To be fair, it's not Kiki's fault that only Bun-Bun has figured out how to utilize (read: weaponize, using a pixie stick and a cardboard tube) her.
* What would it be like to assemble a team of so-called heroes where ''every'' member is The Load to everyone else through stupidity, greed and general antisocial behavior? The answer is the Light Warriors of ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''!
* Although every member of the team in ''Webcomic/SturgeonsLaw'' is incompetent or a sociopath or both, Jenn is too much of a [[TheSlacker slacker]] to be [[http://sturgeonslaw.net/comic/technical-knowledge/ of much use]] to the party.
* Bogey in ''Webcomic/KidRadd'', who, being a OneHitPointWonder who can only attack by [[CollisionDamage walking into people]], is outclassed by nearly everyone else. He knows it, too, frequently angsting over his general uselessness, which eventually [[spoiler: causes him to perform a HeroicSacrifice to give Radd his power-up before he gets killed by the FinalBoss.]]
* Reynir from ''WebComic/StandStillStaySilent'' is a good example of this trope done right. Reynir is pretty useless (at least to begin with), but unlike most Loads he keeps out of harm's way, listens to instructions from people who know better, tries to develop his skills and has a good sense of his own limitations.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Creator/AchievementHunter'' usually has theirs in the form of Creator/GavinFree, but not solely because of his usual status as {{Troll}} -- certain games go way over his head, such as American sports games (due to him being British), and thus he needs to be handheld across it. In ''[[LetsPlay/AchievementHunterGrandTheftAutoSeries Let's Play Grand Theft Auto IV and V]]'', he's a very poor driver, prompting Michael and Ray to tell him to get out of the car when he's driving during a Team Lads vs. Team Gents match.
* ''WebVideo/CriticalRole'': Trinket barely ever contributes to the group's exploits in a meaningful way. On the contrary, the group frequently has to go out of it's way to make sure he isn't left behind since he's too big to fit on the flying carpet, or to save his bacon when Vex actually does send him into the fray (which she usually avoids; he could get hurt, after all!). Subverted once the "pokeball" is acquired, as Trinket can be easily carried and only come out when needed.
** Doty is even worse. It only attacked a couple of times and was quickly destroyed twice in the main story and once in the Battle Royale.
* ''WebAnimation/DSBTInsaniT'': Andy is The Load quite often, and proud of it! In fact, he usually invokes this trope because he thinks its funny.
* The main character in the blog novel ''Literature/FlyoverCity!'' is a slacker / fanboy in a world where superheroes are real. His mundane call center job for the “big evil empire” eventually leads him to the sidelines of several super-powered battles.
* In ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'',
** Valentin seems to be this to Relic Hunter guild, via going CasanovaWannabe on female players at very inappropriate moments, such as in the middle of a fight. His actual talent in battle in unknown, but the webseries version has him beaten offscreen by one of the protagonists and resort to running away when two of his magic-using guildmates basically become PeoplePuppets and start attacking him.
** The webseries and novel version [[spoiler:show Saphir having that sentiment towards Omega Zell after he joins Justice.]]
* The "[[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/shut-the-fck-up-carl Shut The Fuck Up, Carl]]" meme, or what happens when recruiters get desperate.
* Kyle's character in ''Literature/StatlessAndTactless'' is the team's load. Having his stats spread out to make him a generalist (as well as having terrible dice rolling luck), means he pretty much can't pass any check. Joe attempts to be the load as a form of coercion, but is actually fairly useful.
* LetsPlay/SimonLane, while hardly useless in the ''Jaffa Factory'' series (part of the ''Machinima/YogscastMinecraftSeries''), does less work than LetsPlay/LewisBrindley or LetsPlay/DuncanJones and spends a lot of his time easily distracted, forcing them to get him back on track.
* In ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'', Cara Scholte becomes this for Maxie Dasai. The latter has to literally pull Cara around for a good half a day and was prevented from fleeing from a dangerous encounter with Adam Reeves in concern for her companion's well-being. Sure, Cara was catatonic at the time, [[RapeAsDrama but given the outcome of the fight...]]
* In [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrg8Ycd3dYk this]] CampingEpisode of the Italian Web Series ''Insopportabilmente Donna'', Creator/TessMasazza is shown as not exactly the most useful member of the group. Partially, this is because she is CrazyPrepared to the point of having brought with her too many supplies to carry tham around comfortably.
* Chou in the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' thinks that she is becoming The Load for Team Kimba due to her complete lack of powers when not doing what the Tao wants, which has lead to serious injury for her in some battles. [[spoiler: Not wanting to be this trope any more is the cover story for her leaving Team Kimba during the spring term.]]
** Pretty much the only current members of the Vindicators training team who ''aren't'' liabilities are Sizemax and Lemure, and neither of them are really good enough to carry the rest of the team. Of them all, it is probably Kismet (the team leader) who is the worst offender; when she is knocked out cold during a training session, the others manage to pull things together enough to successfully complete the mission. Cerebrex and Dynamaxx would be passable team-mates if it weren't for their personality flaws (serious enough in the case of Cerbrex, aka Captain Canada!, that it's been used against him in a Combat Final), but Donner is just an incompetent boob.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* After a decade of nigh-bankruptcy, the American Motors Corporation was bought out by Renault. AMC was floundering and Renault had to downsize their own operations in France to keep the company afloat; anger sparked by shutting down French factories caused extreme nationalists to assassinate the CEO of Renault as revenge. Renault then dumped AMC onto Chrysler, who took what they wanted (the Jeep division) and sold everything else. Later, Chrysler itself became the load to Mercedes-Benz after a merger; incompetent management and TwoDecadesBehind design and [[TheAllegedCar reliability]] meant that Chrysler became a sinking ship, and were the laughing stock of the American industry until they were finally bought out by FIAT in 2011, who were actually interested in revitalizing the brand.
* The American Vice President will more than often be seen as this. Usually if they were competent enough, they would have gotten the nomination. It helps that they have very little power.
** Quite frequently, the Vice President is chosen by his party to [[KickedUpstairs move him out of a more valuable office]] because the VP position is so powerless. In one [[UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt particular case,]] this [[ReassignmentBackfire backfired]] ''spectacularly,'' at least for the party. (It worked out pretty well for the country.) Most of the time, when the VP becomes the UnexpectedSuccessor, [[UsefulNotes/JohnTyler he proves]] [[UsefulNotes/MillardFillmore competent if]] [[UsefulNotes/ChesterAArthur not really]] [[UsefulNotes/GeraldFord noteworthy.]]
* UsefulNotes/{{Germany}} has been plagued by this in both World Wars. In UsefulNotes/WorldWarI they had to prop up their ally UsefulNotes/{{Austria}}- UsefulNotes/{{Hungary}}; in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII it was their ally UsefulNotes/{{Italy}}.
** And there's UsefulNotes/{{France}} in World War II - the French are often portrayed as incompetent, cowardly buffoons who couldn't do anything without British and American help. In fact there's a whole trope about it: CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys. But as noted on that page, the truth is a bit more complicated (and this applies to the Austria-Hungary and Italy examples above, too).
*** Played ''absolutely'' straight, however, by [[GeneralFailure Charles]] [[ItsAllAboutMe De]] [[UngratefulBastard Gaulle]], an ''unbelievably'' arrogant buffoon who focused more on jockeying for political power than aiding the war effort ''despite France being occupied at the time'', radioed news about D-day to French resistance fighters to bolster morale ''after the Allies spent downright herculean efforts to obfuscate the exact date of the invasion'', and even having the audacity to claim that [[BlatantLies France liberated itself]]. Post-war, De Gaulle set about sabotaging NATO, securing France special treatment, and attacking the Anglophone world however he can, such as rousing separatism in Quebec and repeatedly vetoing Britain's efforts to join the [[UsefulNotes/TheEuropeanUnion European Economic Community]]. Not for nothing did Churchill say "The heaviest cross I have to bear is the Cross of Lorraine".[[note]]The Cross of Lorraine being the French resistance's symbol[[/note]] Also, when one of his cabinet mentioned that De Gaulle seemed to have delusions of being the reincarnation of UsefulNotes/JoanOfArc, Churchill only half-jokingly lamented that he couldn't have De Gaulle burned at the stake.
* A popular acronym for South East Asia Command in [=WW2=] was Save England's Asian Colonies.
* This is recognized in the world of business by "The Peter Principle", where skilled employees are promoted through the ranks eventually to management -- where they are no longer doing what they are qualified to do and thus no longer competent in their jobs, making them The Load.
** And expanded upon using "The Dilbert Principle" by the cartoonist Scott Adams in his book of the same name. The principle states that incompetent employees are promoted to middle management where they will safely become The Load instead of remaining in their former positions where they could do actual damage to the company as TheMillstone. Another name for this phenomenon is being KickedUpstairs.
*** Expanded further in "The Way of the Weasel" where it's explained that incompetent employees that cannot be fired tend to be moved where they will do the least damage: management.
* As mentioned in the video game section any player who doesn't pull their own weight on a team can easily be the load. Hence the term "carrying." This can easily happen to any team based sport or game of any type when a player isn't performing at their best.
* Easily applicable to those people on group projects for school or work who don't contribute anything. Sometimes, they might not even know a single thing about the task at hand.
* Remoras, a taxon of bony fishes which specialize in adhering to larger sea creatures' bodies, have often been considered TheLoad for the animals they attach themselves to. {{Subverted|Trope}} by some remora species, which pick parasites or dead skin cells from the bigger animals from which they hitch rides.