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Playing With: The Worf Effect
Basic Trope: A (supposedly) powerful fighter is defeated, for the narrative purpose of showing how strong is the (usually new) opponent.
  • Straight: Bob, a supposedly-almighty warrior, is easily defeated by Charlie when he shows off his new Artifact of Doom.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob, touted as a Physical God, is knocked out by a monster out of the blue in one blow.
    • The team has an entire subdivision of what are supposedly highly-trained, top-of-the-line elites, but are still continually wiped out by a common thug.
    • Sacrificial Lion
  • Downplayed: Bob loses against the Big Bad, but still fares well against the run-of-the-mill Mooks that pop up later.
  • Justified:
    • Bob knows he's not that strong, but he's fighting to help Alice, The Hero.
    • Bob has become an Actual Pacifist after he gained his reputation.
    • He's tough, but they're tougher.
    • Bob is pretty strong, but overconfident and fights people stronger then him.
    • Because Bob is so mighty, he is sent to fight the most powerful enemies.
    • Bob doesn't have enough information on Charlie's powers to effectively counter them.
    • Bob fights honorably, but his enemy fights dirty, winning not through superior skills but willingness to go after the groin.
    • Bob is ambushed or otherwise attacked when unprepared.
  • Inverted: Bob is portrayed as a wimp. He beats up the new opponent himself, showing how pathetic this guy is.
  • Subverted:
    • Worf Had The Flu
    • It was a feint of some kind.
    • Charlie floors Bob in a single hit... Then Bob gets back up and curb stomps Charlie.
  • Double Subverted: However, when Bob gets better, he is still defeated by Charlie.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob, supposedly The Big Guy, gets his ass kicked by anyone who enters the room. He can't even win arguments against newer people.
    • Alternatively, the new villain has a poster with Bob's name on it saying "Easy Target"
    • A Furby easily kills Bob.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob defeats a powerful opponent, who turns out to be Only Mostly Dead. After this, Bob unveils an Eleventh Hour Superpower, in which he defeats the opponent again, only for them to get back up...
  • Averted: Bob isn't a jobber and instead has a normal win-loss record.
  • Enforced: "Hey, we need to show off how powerful this new opponent is! I know, put him up against Bob!"
  • Lampshaded: "Can't I ever win a fight?"
  • Invoked: Charlie decides to intimidate Alice with his new powers and chooses the strongest member of her team, Bob, to destroy first.
  • Exploited: New characters deliberately attack Bob, knowing that most chances are that he'll lose.
  • Defied: Bob, fighting a critical battle, decides to shed his role as a jobber once and for all.
  • Discussed: "So, has Bob ever won a fight for this team?"
  • Conversed: Bob and Alice are doctors, and while sitting in the lounge, the topic turns to Bob's impressive musculature, at which point Alice comments, "But, then again, it means you're the first one to get knocked out if a supervillain shows up".
  • Deconstructed: Bob realizes that he's ultimately a jobber, and this starts to take a mental and emotional toll on him, leading him to quit...
  • Reconstructed:
    • ...However, he decides that his purpose is to lose so his teammates can learn the fighting styles of his opponents, and rejoins.
    • Bob chooses to learn from Charlie about his strength and weakness.
    • Bob accepts that he is Overshadowed by Awesome and deliberately fights using a highly defensive style to tire his opponents rather than defeat them. When the time is right, he wisely retreats so The Hero can do his job.
    • Bob actually handles a few of them; the tougher ones, though...

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