The Same But More: Sidekick Ex Machina

Total posts: [23]
This trope is just Hypercompetent Sidekick taken Up to Eleven. It even says so in the description.
That's been said before, but the two tropes don't seem to be written in quite the same way. Hypercompetent Sidekick, at least in the description, seems to focus more on the sidekick's intelligence; Sidekick Ex Machina is about the sidekick being more powerful. I do think that a rename is in order.
I think Prfnoff makes a good point. Sidekick Ex Machina's description does say that "[t]his is an extreme form of Hypercompetent Sidekick, in which the sidekick isn't just more competent and sensible, but is more powerful, capable, and tends to resolve the plot with little help of the protagonist." Still, I am not sure that being more competent and sensible is that different from being more powerful and capable. I might be wrong about that though.

Still, I feel like a rename is at least in order given the misuse of "Ex Machina" in the trope title. I think the name suggests "sidekick saves the day" (All Up to You) more than "extremely powerful and competent sidekick." Plus, the trope does not have many wicks or inbounds so it should not be too tough to rename if that is what people want to do.
Sidekick Ex Machina found in: 67 articles, excluding discussions.

Since January 1, 2011 this article has brought 69 people to the wiki from non-search engine links.

edited 30th Dec '11 8:36:18 PM by LouieW

"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
Wow. This died fast.
Is there any difference in the independence or effectiveness of the sidekick between the two memes? Not just he can destroy the Universe with a wave of his hand, but has he done it already?
"Show us the Galaxy Warp."
6 Spark95th Jan 2012 08:00:31 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
I lean towards merging the two.

That said, this has very little to do with Deus ex Machina, so at the very least it's a bad Snow Clone.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
I think they're splittable. Hypercompetent Sidekick is more about general competence, while Sidekick Ex Machina is focused on sidekicks at a higher Super Weight than their bosses. I wouldn't be opposed to a rename of Sidekick Ex Machina, though we should check for misuse first.
There is now a page action crowner for this trope here, feel free to add options as you see fit.

I am not sure my wickcheck was that great, but from what I can tell, Sidekick Ex Machina is used in a few different ways. The most common of those seems to be using the trope to mean a character who is officially a sidekick to the main protagonist, but because of supernatural powers or a great deal of expertise tends to be the one who resolves most of the plot. A second use of the trope I saw looking through the wicks was "character who often saves the protagonist when he/she is in trouble."

Another type of use I classified as misuse below is "character who saves the protagonist and resolves the plot, but who is not really a sidekick." There was also some misuse for "sidekick saving the day" which I think was probably caused by the current name.

Anyway, I was confused about a lot of the examples, partly because of a lack of expertise/critical thinking skills and partly because these two tropes seem pretty similar. I apologize for that. If someone else would like to try to do another wick check, he or she can feel free to do so.

Officially A Sidekick, But Resolves Most Of The Plot Because Of Supernatural Powers etc. (17)

Character Often Bails Out The Protagonist When He/She Is In A Bind (3)
  • Fallout 3 (Sidekick bails out the protagonist)
  • The Brady Kids (Sidekick generally helps out when characters are in a jam)
  • The Ninth Gate (The Girl is always there just in time to save Corso)

Misuse for Hypercompetent Sidekick (4)
  • Filmation's Ghostbusters (other characters rely on Tracy, a scientific genius)
  • Hong Kong Phooey (Spot does most of the work, but his boss gets the credit)
  • Sidekick Ex Machina (Some of the examples seem to fit the trope, others, especially the Star Wars ones seem to just be about especially competent sidekicks)
  • The Green Hornet (Sidekick is comparatively better at fighting and is better at fighting than the protagonist)

Unclear/Little Context (21)

General Misuse (5)

edited 5th Jan '12 3:27:29 PM by LouieW

"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
vigilantly taxonomish
The page action crowner has been nailed to the base of the thread.
The impression I would get from the title is either:
  • Sidekick saves the day despite being absent for most of the episode, or in particularly bad cases, isn't even mentioned and comes from out of nowhere.
  • The snowclone they were looking for is Sidekick Sue.
For The World God Only Knows' example, the character in question is Elsie. She is in fact extremely incompetent, but because she has magical power the main character can say 'Elsie, do X with magic so I can solve the plot.' Thus, she's basically a walking plot device for whatever the main character needs her to do.

What trope would this really fall under?

edited 5th Jan '12 6:08:00 PM by Arha

Does this have enough consensus to call?
13 Firebert9th Jan 2012 03:13:03 PM from Somewhere in Illinois
That One Guy
It could use some more votes.
Yeah, were would you put an incompetent, but plot resolving character?

"If only we had a McGuffin!" "I found this one thirty minutes ago."
"Show us the Galaxy Warp."
This crowner has been stable for quite a while now. I think it's time to call it.
Given that Hypercompetent Sidekick has so many more wicks than Sidekick Ex Machina does, is it alright to go ahead and merge the two tropes under Hypercompetent Sidekick or is it necessary to make another crowner to decide the name of the merged trope?

I feel like we do not really need another crowner and we can just start the merge since Hypercompetent Sidekick has 594 wicks and is fairly indicative, but I am interested in hearing what other people have to say about this too.

edited 26th Jan '12 11:24:25 AM by LouieW

"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
I'd say just use Hypercompetent Sidekick for the name.
So, what about the situation I mentioned then? Elsie is most certainly not hypercompetent. I wouldn't even say she has regular competence.

And yeah just go with Hypercompetent Sidekick for the name of the merged trope.
As far as I can tell, that example does not fit under any preexisting tropes. It might be a good idea to go to YKTTW with "Sidekick As Plot Device" or "Magical Sidekick" and use the examples from the wick check labeled "Officially A Sidekick, But Resolves Most Of The Plot Because Of Supernatural Powers etc." Of course, whether you feel like it is worth it to make that YKTTW is up to you. It might not be.
"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
Reopened by request.
23 ccoa19th May 2012 07:28:29 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Doesn't look like anyone was interested in doing this. Don't request a thread be unlocked if you're not going to do anything with it.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.

Page Action: Sidekick Ex Machina
5th Jan '12 2:04:16 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:

Total posts: 23