- In Alexandra Quick, this is zig-zagged. The adults do attempt to help, but many refuse to believe Alex when she warns them or tells them what's happening, and often she ends up taking action because she can't see any sign that the adults aren't being useless.
- Atonement: With few exceptions, the kids drive the story and handle the important things. Main character Madison lampshades it often.
- The counselors in Calvin At Camp let the kids get away with anything, aside from actually leaving.
- From Swing123 and garfieldodie's Calvinverse fics:
No, The town won't save Calvin. They'll be worthless. Worthless to the end.
- The former author's Calvin and Hobbes III: Double Trouble has an author's note that lampshades this:
They really are idiots, aren't they?
- The latter author's Attack of the Teacher Creature does the same in a narrative aside.
- In Christopher Weston Chandler & Magi-chan's Stone, Voldemort attacks Chris at school and fails, killing Voldemort. Not only is school not immediately called off, all Borb hear about it is when Chris says he was bullied worse than usual at dinner the next night.
- In Code: Half Demon, this trope is currently in full swing of this trope. It is a crossover with Code Lyoko so this is expected.
- In Co-op Mode, as this is Worm, this automatically applies. A special example though is the Winslow's gym coach Wolf Shane - due to James being possibly conducive to his own goals, he can be seen as a Reasonable Authority Figure when James and Taylor get into a fight with the Trio and their cronies. However, he ends up as a Double Subversion, as he does not particularly care for his job, being more interested in his own wants than actually being a coach.Coach Shane: "Ill be honest here. I dont approve of steroids. But with the girls track team bringing home medals, Blackwell wants the other teams to earn some trophies. If our football team doesnt start winning games, shes going to make me do weekend training for the guys. And that would cut into my weekend plans. I think I can turn you into a decent running back or a passable lineman, but theres no point if youre going to get disqualified. So. Can you pass a drug test?"
- Crimson And Emerald: Izuku brings up how none of his teachers ever helped him nor intervened on the bullying. The teachers saw Izuku as Quirkless kid with no future and didn't even bother.
- The Dragon King's Temple plays with the trope: SG-1 does its best to protect and help Zuko and Toph, but Poor Communication Kills hits them hard and they only manage to make Zuko sicker until Toph decides to put her foot down.
- Jet certainly feels this way in Foxfire:Jet: Adults are all the same. They talk, and plan, and act without asking the opinion of anyone actually involved in the situation. In this case: us. They just ignore us or treat us like we're not there.
- Lampshaded and then averted in Futari Wa Pretty Cure Blue Moon. Dawn/Ogata Kirei/Cure Dawn notes that she's supposed to leave fighting evil to the thirteen-year-old title characters because she's without her powers, but doesn't seem to be very happy about it. Near the end of the series, she becomes an active combatant.
- A major topic of discussion in Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, with Harry frequently telling others how adults who do not treat him as an equal are obstacles to be dodged or manipulated (including those very adults).
- In the Hey Arnold! fanfic Hey Arnold: the Furnace, Grandpa Phil was under the assumption that his grandson was playing a game with his friends, unfortunately not realizing that his grandson's life was in danger, and that it would be the last time he'd see him alive.
- In A Sky Of A Million Stars:
- Played straight at Izuku and Katsuki's middle school, Aldera Junior High. The environment is toxic and bullying is rampant. The only member of the faculty to show any genuine concern for the students is the vice-principal; most of the teachers are ineffectual, apathetic, or, in the worst cases, complicit. The principal is more concerned about keeping his hands clean than actually helping his students, and doesn't hesitate to throw a few under the bus to achieve that.
- Refreshingly subverted at U.A., where the teachers are all concerned with the well-beings of their students and desire for them to reach their full potential. In fact, after the USJ incident, a downtrodden Aizawa actually tried to accuse himself of this trope, but an encounter with Izuku reminds him that he did everything he could and it wasn't his fault he had been overpowered like that. If anything, what he did manage to do (take out the bulk of the villains' army of mooks) made things easier for his students when they were forced to face off against Tomura, Kurogiri, and the Noumu.
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon's parents are like this. Other adults are, fortunately, far more useful.
- In LadyBugOut, Miss Bustier has allowed Chloe to get away with her bullying for years, expecting her better behaved students to 'set a good example' by turning the other cheek. When her class is divided over Alya's use of the Ladyblog and Ladybug starting her own blog in response, she stays out of it... and does nothing when Alya drops her duties as Class Deputy, hoping that dealing with the burden of being Class Rep without her will force Marinette to make up with her without her having to lift a finger.
- Worse yet, when Bustier does finally decide to intervene, she asks Marinette to delete the LadyBugOut blog behind Ladybug's back (unaware that Marinette IS Ladybug). Why? Because despite how the blog is being used to spread self-defense tips and counter Hawkmoth's operations, Miss Bustier only cares about the fact that it's led to tension in her classroom, and hopes that its deletion would reset things back to normal. And when Marinette calls her out on it, she declares that she's disappointed in her student and is about to revoke her position as Class Rep before the rest of her outraged students intervene.
- Le Papillon Rising has Gabriel, who might not be useless, but is bad at parenting. Gabriel somehow doesn't notice that he's been neglecting his traumatized son so much that the kid's gone completely insane, even though Adrien is doing very little to hide it. Oh, but he's a great "Dad" to Ladybug, who he's protective of and tries many times to convince not to date Papillon... oh, the irony.
- Leave For Mendeleiev: Ms. Mendeleiev averts this, while Miss Bustier plays it straight. Chloe is so used to getting her way in Miss Bustier's class that she waltzes right into Mendeleiev's and starts harassing Marinette right in front of her, expecting her to turn a blind eye to her behavior as well. This leads to her No-Selling Chloe's attempt to intimidate her:Chloe: Do you know who I am?
Mendeleiev: Do you know who I am? I am the meanest teacher in this school, and if I find you disrupting my class again, I'm going to see to it that you get suspended. Now, out!
- Played straight in Like Pinning Butterflies, where the adults are all too happy to overlook murder, arson and kidnapping for the sake of a quiet life.
- The Lone Traveler plays with this trope in every which way except conversed.
- The Many Dates of Danny Fenton (Danny Phantom Western Animation, TV Series, and Comic Books.): Katie's parents are helpless to stop her transformations; later Subverted. As they are trying to help her get control of her powers.
- Stephen Ratliff's Marissa Star Trek universe is notorious for this. In order for Marissa's "kids crew" to be great, every adult they come up against has to be a bumbling imbecile. In one episode, the Maquis even invented a drug that knocked out everyone over the age of 15.
- This gets Played for Laughs during a scene in Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!. While clearing out the game stalls at the U.A. Culture Festival, Izuku accidentally butts heads with Kendo Rappa, a hulking man with a Super Strength Quirk. Izuku glances over to his parents for a way out of this situation, but Inko is too frightened to do anything. Hisashi is the opposite, shrugging at his son with full confidence that he'll emerge unscathed thanks to Izuku winning the Superpower Lottery.
- In Neon Metathesis Evangelion, nearly none of the idiots are helpful to the protagonist kids. Gendo, Fuyutsuki and Ritsuko are merely using them as tools to be exploited. Misato may care about them a bit, but her desire for revenge against the angels is stronger, and in any case she's unable to really show affection. Kaji may sympathize with the pilots a bit, but even as a U.N. inspector he can't do much, and he isn't there for Asuka when she would have needed him. The only adult who has some positive influence on the children is Maya.
- The adults in Oh God Not Again! are more useless than usual, but mainly because, unlike Harry, they don't have knowledge from the future, so you can hardly blame them for being behind. Harry does sometimes get them involved on purpose when they can help, such as going straight to Dumbledore when Hagrid gets Norbert.
- One More Time, One More Chance plays this straight for the most part. With the exception of Rei and Satsuki (and any adults associated with them), the staff at the orphanage and Ryuuko's school do practically nothing to protect her from bullies and, in the latter case, especially, they bully her, too. Likewise, said orphanage also adopted or sent her out to crap homes. Satsuki is really not amused with this trope.
- In The One To Make It Stay, this naturally depends upon the adult in question:
- Ms. Bustier plays it straight, with Rose realizing that they can't rely upon their teacher to help with the Lila situation after reflecting upon her past track record with handling Chloe and other conflicts. In direct contrast with her, Ms. Mendeleiev refuses to entertain Lila's antics, which convinces Marinette, Juleka, Rose and Ivan to request a transfer into her class instead.
- Master Fu shows himself to be a Reasonable Authority Figure who supports and encourages Marinette, proving to be a valuable confident who actually hears her out and values her opinions.
- Sabine and Tom strive to be Good Parents. However, Sabine openly acknowledges during a conversation with her daughter that they haven't been the most attentive in the past, and are working to become better about that.
- Unusually for a story about runaway orphans, this trope is strongly averted in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fiction Our True Colors. Here the adults catch on to the true state of affairs quickly and are working behind the scenes to help resolve things.
- The Pieces Lie Where They Fell:
- Played with in much of the story - the protagonists themselves are young adults, but most of the adults in Canterlot who are older than them are unaware of the situation with the Nightmare and, though skilled at their actual jobs, are led to believe the protagonists are the villains. They drop this entirely when Memorizing Gaze finds out the identity of the Nightmare's host and informs Captain General Gentle Step of the truth, at which point the Guards do all they can to help the heroes.
- Utterly averted by the Equestria Girls arc, as Principal Celestia and Vice-Principal Luna are, unlike their canon counterparts, absolutely not oblivious to Sunset's behavior; they just can't act against her without physical proof or personally catching her in the act of breaking the rules (and she's very good at not being seen doing so), and go out of their way to help the Bearers. Also unlike their canon counterparts, they are present during the final battle and, though they aren't very effective, are still part of the group that tries to get the Element of Magic from Sunset.
- Played with in Danny Phantom fanfic Resurrected Memories: While the adults in Ember's past qualify, as her parents and teachers were completely ignorant to how she was being severely bullied at school, it's averted in the present. Most of the modern adults are shown to be kind-hearted individuals much better at their jobs, such as Mr. Lancer doing what he can to make Danny's life easier and Mrs. Murray, who is shown to enjoy her job as a teacher, is a great mother to her two daughters and a loving sister once the two figure out each other's identities.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: As in canon, Headmaster Mikogami's general response to any threat amounts to "sit on my ass and do nothing while Tsukune's group risks their lives in my place." Best displayed in Act III chapters 40-44; both Kuyou and a Fairy Tale armada invade and attack Yokai Academy one after the other, and instead of trying to stop them, he sits back and watches as Tsukune's group fights them back in his stead.
- Constantly averted in Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm, where the two main adults are shown to be extremely competent. The escalating threat of the Negaverse leads Luna to take Serena to the titular Lightstorm for training in The Celestial Renegade. Though he has lost his powers, Lightstorm proves intelligent enough to build weapons and other devices infused with "Moon Kingdom science" out of common human materials and technology, such as grapple gauntlets that automatically adjust to whatever surface he latches onto with them. His prowess in combat makes him one of the deadliest characters in the series, and the Sailor Scouts are shown to train under him constantly. The other main adult, Tuxedo Mask, appears to be far stronger than in most other incarnations. His razor roses have been seen to slice through material as tough as Negaverse drone armor, his strength has increased significantly, he constantly gets into the middle of battles to fight back-to-back with Sailor Moon, and his durability is high enough to withstand an exploding subway while shielding another person.
- Demonstrated by the school faculty in the Cardcaptor Sakura fic Shadow of the Dragon. Said faculty repeatedly refuses to take Satome's bullying seriously even when he threatens Sakura and her friends with rape, which leads to multiple rape victims. It takes his Attempted Rape of Tomoyo, which is only stopped by Sakura's Big Damn Heroes moment and Satome's subsequent arrest, that they finally take him seriously.
- Shining Pretty Cure. The only adult who even suspects something might be going on is Ren, the friendly owner of the neighbourhood cafe.
- In Swinging Pendulum the instructors at Shin'hou Academy never help Asuka with her coursework and ignore her when she's bullied. Her cousin, Kyouraku Shinsui tried to intervene, but it gave the impression that Asuka was coasting on her family name.
- White Sheep (RWBY): Well, their advice is.
- Jaune explains to Yang that his dad always said "All you need is confidence" to attract a woman. Yang then points out that Jaune's mom wasn't drawn in by his dad's confidence, she locked him in her basement and "sexed him into submission." Jaune then agrees with her and starts wondering what the hell his father was thinking.
- When Ruby is faced with the moral dilemma of "take Jaune for my own," or "let Yang have happiness with him," she tries to think of her mother as an inspiration. Then she realizes that her mother made moves on her father pretty much the instant his ex-wife left him, without even waiting, and had Ruby just over two years after the ex left. Ruby quickly starts looking for a different inspiration (for her immediate problem).
- Parodied in Episode 3 of Gag Dub Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series by, of all people, Tristan — "Don't our parents even care that we're missing?"
- Averted in Yu-Gi-Oh! GSTART: All adults seen so far are competent and helpful individuals who take the odd goings-on quite seriously.
Adults Are Useless / Fan Works