Playing With / Bumbling Sidekick

Basic Trope: Due to vast stupidity and/or incompetence the main character's sidekick is far more trouble than he is worth.
  • Straight: When trying to make a cup of tea Joe gives himself 1st degree burns and scalds several bystanders.
  • Exaggerated: When trying to make a cup of tea Joe instigates war between Japan and Switzerland.
  • Downplayed: Whenever Joe tries to make his employer a cup of tea, he makes the wrong kind (such as English Breakfast rather than Earl Grey), spills some on his employer, or makes some other sort of small mistake.
  • Justified: Joe is so monumentally thick this kind of menial grunt work is the only job he can get.
  • Inverted: Hypercompetent Sidekick
  • Subverted: Joe seems utterly worthless as a sidekick, but that is just because he is out of his area of expertise.
  • Double Subverted: ...Which he is also totally incompetent at.
  • Parodied: No matter what Joe does, or ties to do, people get hurt and plans are ruined.
  • Zig Zagged: Joe is a skilled combatant and expert computer guy. But he's extremely clumsy out of combat and has No Social Skills, and for some reason the hero keeps assigning him to duties that don't include shooting or hacking.
  • Averted: The team are all competent and capable of performing their functions.
  • Enforced: "Joe needs to be incompetent so we can get some comedic relief into this show."
  • Lampshaded: "Why do you keep Joe around?!?"
  • Invoked: "You remember Joe, that utter incompetent from high school? What we need to do is set him up as secretary to your opponent, that way we are bound to win."
  • Exploited: The villain captures Joe and asks him about his boss's plans, since he's easy to capture and incapable of keeping a secret.
  • Defied: "You know what, I will hold an on the job interview."
  • Discussed: "I bet you this Joe guy is going to be a totally moronic and incompetent."
  • Conversed: "Why does he keep employing him? I mean he gets them into trouble almost every episode!"
  • Deconstructed: Joe gets abandoned by the main character for the sheer total and utter pain he causes.
  • Reconstructed: Joe tries so damn hard and is so loyal that the main characters value him above more competent assistants, because at the end of the day, he goes further for them.
  • Played For Drama: Joe manages to get his employer and several bystanders killed because he was too ashamed of not knowing how to use equipment to ask and so just tried anyway.

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