Playing With: Hypercompetent Sidekick
Basic Trope: The hero is actually incompetent while the Side Kick is the one who does most of the work.
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- Straight: Bob is a bumbling detective who has a young partner: Alice, who actually solves most of the cases.
- Exaggerated: Bob is nigh brain-dead while Alice is a genius.
- Downplayed: Bob is smart in his own right but has Alice along because she has a particular set of skills that he has need for from time to time.
- Bob is really just an actor who looks good for the public and takes credit while his "secretary", Alice, is the real detective and prefers to remain anonymous so that she can solve crimes more easily.
- Alice is by no means an attention seeker, and doesn't mind being the "sidekick" so long as the job gets done.
- Alice, being as young as she is, would never be taken seriously as a detective, while Bob would be, so she uses Bob to help herself get assigned to cases.
- Alice is some form of strange being, either being an enhanced human or some mythical creature or even a human in odd circumstances, and thus cannot risk being the center of attention for some reason. Bob getting all the credit means nobody looks too much into Alice.
- Inverted: Bumbling Sidekick
- Subverted: Alice does not appear to be very smart while Bob is the hero solving all the crimes.
- Double Subverted: Alice is actually an idiot savant who has an extremely good knack for problem solving, making her an asset to Bob.
- Parodied: Bob is The Ditz who sometimes even forgets to breathe and doesn't even realize that Alice is the one solving all the crimes.
- Zig Zagged: Bob appears to not be nearly as smart as Alice who seemingly solves the crimes for him. It turns out, Bob is Alice's eccentric instructor who is training Alice by appearing to know nothing so that she can take charge. Eventually, Alice becomes a better detective than even Bob.
- Averted: Bob solves all the crime and Alice simply helps out when she can.
- Enforced: The writers decide to flip the hero/sidekick dynamic around for a change.
- Lampshaded: "Sometimes I wonder why I let myself be the sidekick."
- Invoked: Bob wants to start a detective agency but isn't all that good at detective work so he hires Alice, who has been a police detective for years and is actually much more skilled.
- Exploited: Bob is just a Guile Hero who is good at suckering other people into doing things for him. Case in point: Alice, a sweet, easily manipulated girl who just so happens to be good at detective work, martial arts, weapons, etc.
- Defied: Alice believes she is the competent one but really, Bob is every bit the hero he appears to be.
- Discussed: "Bob is the leader but really, Alice is the one doing all the work."
- Conversed: "In this series, the sidekick is the real hero!"
- Implied: Detective Bob arrives on the scene along with his partner Alice. He doesn't seem to be able to figure out the mystery unless Alice makes various remarks about the crimescene that gives him the proper Eureka Moment when he needs one.
- Alice eventually becomes resentful of Bob since she is better at solving crime and demands to be placed in charge of the detective agency.
- Deep down, Bob knows full well that Alice is the one who gets everything done and feels deeply jealous of her superior ability. Rather than trying to improve himself, he either keeps doing things "his way" (and failing), deliberately falls behind so Alice can take care of the mess or gives Alice demeaning tasks so he can still feel superior...
- As it turns out, Bob is a bit of a Bunny-Ears Lawyer when it comes to running a detective agency while Alice's detective skills do nothing for her when it comes to business management. They both quickly realize that their previous roles were better suited for the agency, despite all appearances.
- ...but Alice knows that Bob knows and is so hypercompetent that none of his antics get in her way at all.
- Played For Laughs: Bob constantly bumbles his way through crime scenes while Alice rolls her eyes and solves the mysteries for him.
- Played For Drama: Alice has a friend named Bob who is mentally handicapped but always wanted to be a detective. She pretends to be his sidekick and guides him through each mystery while he "solves" crimes.
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