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Playing With: Non-Action Guy
Basic Trope: A male counterpart to a female adventurer that is a total wuss.
  • Straight: Bob frequently tags around the Action Girl Alice on her various adventures, but he's useless in a fight and seemingly has no reason to join Alice.
  • Exaggerated: Bob is a totally pathetic and useless guy who never helps Alice and hinders her quests more than the villain(s).
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice is the superior fighter, but Bob can hold his own in a pinch.
    • Bob does not fight in combat. Instead, he is a sniper who assists Alice by shooting down several enemies while Alice handles the rest.
    • Bob is a Technical Pacifist who only uses violence as last resort which is to say, only occasionally.
  • Justified:
    • Bob has other skills whose values are not immediately visible. Or are immediately visible, but are unrelated to combat.
    • Bob and Alice are in a relationship, and both enjoy the time together, whether Bob is of much use or not.
    • Alice is Bob's bodyguard. If she wasn't more capable of protecting him than he was of protecting himself, it would defeat the entire point of having a bodyguard.
  • Inverted: Bob is a Badass Bookworm adventurer who is constantly having to bail Alice, a Faux Action Girl, out of trouble.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • It is made explicitly clear that the asskicking was a one-time thing and was Bob's fight-or-flight response working.
    • It is then revealed that Alice doubles as Bob's Living Emotional Crutch to keep him as his "typical" quiet Lovable Coward self.
  • Parodied: Bob is completely incapable of doing anything, and would lose a fight to a malnourished three-year old.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob starts out as The Load, until Alice gets tired of him and leaves him. But then Bob returns after becoming a better fighter, that is, until he suffers severely from The Worf Effect, but Alice decides that she likes him anyway.
  • Averted: From the outset, Bob is established as having at least some fighting ability.
  • Enforced: "This is the 2000s, so people are expecting a female hero with a useless male sidekick!"
  • Lampshaded: "Alice, this is your new partner, Bob. He's...well, he does...OK, he does nothing."
  • Invoked: Da Chief, seeing that Alice is heading towards Cowboy Cop territory, intentionally gives her a useless partner to rein her in.
  • Exploited: The villain(s) constantly attack and kidnap Bob, knowing that he can't defend himself.
  • Defied: After a few adventures in which he only survives by the skin of his teeth, Bob decides to Take a Level in Badass.
  • Discussed: "As long as we take out Alice, we won't have to worry about anything — Bob is worthless."
  • Conversed: "Do you notice those shows where the girl is Badass and the guy is totally useless?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Having to both save the world and rescue Bob all the time puts an undue amount of strain on her - this causes her to leave the hero business for good.
    • Alternatively, Alice realizes that Bob is useless and abandons him at the first convenient opportunity.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Alice enjoys keeping Bob around because she's taken a shine to him, or he helps her keep a sense of perspective.
    • Bob can contribute in other ways.

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