I figured I'd tag the biggest offender of this trope, but it also has issues with being incredibly
vague and unclear, which is what's causing it to become a dumping ground for bad examples.
Here's the current description for reference:
"This trope is when, compared to the many compelling "supporting" characters, the character whose point of view we have to look through is less interesting. This can cause the side plots (those involving the supporting cast) to be seen as more important than the main storyline.
This isn't about the popularity of the protagonist with fans. Sometimes the protagonist isn't even intended to be a fan favorite. They are just there to provide a way to watch the characters that are cool. The protagonist is generic in order to provide an Audience Surrogate
or The Everyman
Not to be confused with Designated Hero
, which is a character who the story plays up as being heroic, but comes off as being distinctly unheroic. A Pinball Protagonist
may also result in this trope—the poor sap is simply dragged around the plot by stronger characters. Compare the Standardized Leader
who is similarly generic in order to lead The Team
of more complex characters and be accessible to viewers."
So this trope seems to be trying to slam together a lot of very distinct tropes (most of which are not flagged as subjective anyway) into a bizarre trope blender and somehow try to describe a single character that really just boils down to "I don't think this protagonist is nearly as interesting as this other guy." The third paragraph in particular points out a lot of trope types a protagonist could fall into, but right now, this trope is seemingly clumping them into a pile. It also seems to be a dumping ground for people to complain that they like the Ensemble Darkhorse
or Spotlight-Stealing Squad
better...but as we already have perfectly good pages for describing them, it's odd to have this one basically be the whining page (i.e. "Wolverine is WAYYY cooler than cyclops!")
I also find it curious that it doesn't want to be related the Designated Hero
, in spite of literally using that trope's name for a syndrome.
If there's something salvageable, I think it does need a really strong scrubbing and a solid rewrite of the description to make it clear and distinct from the tropes it's slamming together. And also a good rename to boot if it's literally not supposed to be the Designated Hero