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Cloudcuckoolander's Minder

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The most valuable word in the Cloudcuckoolander's Minder's vocabulary is "No".

"I won't pretend I don't remember how unusual we were
The little mystic, and his handler. All some children do is work."
Dessa, "Children's Work"

Bob is a bit off. He might be a helpful member of The Team, but his habit of breaking into song and dance, or his obsession with rulers, or insisting that he carry a carrot of no less than 6.12 millimeters (and no longer) in length at all times, or saluting whenever the air temperature drops below... you get the idea. Put simply, he's hard to understand, talk to, or otherwise work with for everyone except his (long-suffering, but inexplicably loyal) friend Alice.

This trope is about someone who has the task (be it as a friend or their actual job) of keeping an eye on the resident Cloudcuckoolander, Fish out of Water or other strange person. They might be a close friend, relative, hired bodyguard or nanny or even just a plain old servant. As long as they accompany someone who's a bit crazy and try to prevent things from getting out of hand, they're this trope.

Services this minder can provide include:

Of course, since there needs to be a plot (or at least some gags), Failure Is the Only Option. If the person in question is dependent, then this is The Caretaker. Expect their roles to be reversed at least once.

Related tropes include Straight Man, Beleaguered Assistant, Nerd Nanny, Battle Butler, Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl, Old Retainer, Only Sane Man, Only Sane Employee, The Caretaker (who looks after someone who wouldn't look after themselves), Living Emotional Crutch, Translator Buddy (a friend who translates for him), The Reliable One, and The Friend Nobody Likes (if watching over that person is a chore). See also Women Are Wiser and Parenting the Husband, for when a wife plays this role to her husband.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ah... and Mm... Are All She Says: Tanaka is the only one who can interpret Toda's grunts as coherent speech, and often has to remind her to eat or bathe.
  • Several characters are burdened with this unfortunate task in Attack on Titan:
    • Moblit Berner may be deputy squad leader, but he has to make sure his superior Hange Zoe doesn't get into harm's way. An exasperating duty to say the least since Hange is one of the more colorful members of the cast, especially when it comes to hands-on Titan experiments. Word of God is that Moblit is the heaviest drinker in the series.
      [Hange tries touching a partially formed Titan arm]
      Hange: OW! Son of a BITCH! That mother is HOT when there's no skin!! THIS IS THE BEST DAY IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE!!!!!
      Moblit: You're a maniac! You hear me?! A maniac!
    • Anka Rheinberger is this to Commander Dot Pixis. Apparently, she has had to wake him up while he's sleeping in strange places before, and at one point she's said to be withholding his alcohol so that he stops drinking on the job.
    • As it turns out, Bertolt Hoover tries to act as one to his childhood friend, Reiner Braun, after he begins cracking under the pressure. Namely, he struggled to cover for Reiner's bouts of Trauma-Induced Amnesia or remind him of his true nature during critical moments. He ends up failing spectacularly, as a result of his submissive personality and inability to stop Reiner from plowing ahead recklessly on several occasions.
  • Azumanga Daioh:
    • Chiyo-chan is one of these to Osaka. Particularly amusing since the former is much younger than the latter.
    • Yomi could be considered one to Tomo, though Tomo isn't quite as loopy as Osaka, and Yomi is just as likely to let Tomo get herself into trouble as she is to hold her back. Their interaction is more along the lines of manzai comedy though.
  • A much more serious version shows up in Berserk with main female lead Casca. The horrific events of the Eclipse left her a nearly mute Ophelia, and she has to be watched at all times to keep her out of trouble. Farnese is currently her primary caretaker.
  • In Castle Town Dandelion, this is often the role of Shiori to keep her chuunibyou older brother Teru out of trouble.
  • Chainsaw Man:
  • Cecile Croomy, the Beleaguered Assistant to Lloyd Asplund in Code Geass, also serves as his minder in all things professional and social, since he has no interest in doing so himself, preferring his Humongous Mecha.
  • In A Cruel God Reigns, Pascal often ends up being this for Marjorie, as he is the one that she lives with mixed with the fact that he is her older cousin. Nadia sometimes also fills this role.
  • Word of God says that Death Note's Mello plays this role to some extent or another to his companion/assistant, Matt, "always looking out for Matt's well-being." It's probable that the reverse is also true since Matt seems to be much more level-headed and even-tempered than Mello.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, Lovable Rogue and Only Sane Man Chilchuck acts as this to The Leader Laios who's a Ditzy Genius lacking in common sense.
  • Free!: Though Haruka is much quieter and more solitary than most cloud cuckoo landers, his lack of common sense when it comes to water and the way Makoto tries to take care of him definitely puts them into this sort of relationship.
  • In GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class Mizubuchi is this to the art club president Awara. She even lampshaded it once, noting that she has a friend who she always needs to take care of.
  • Haikyuu!!: Akaashi is this to his teammate Bokuto due to the latter's mood swings and generally eccentric behavior.
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler Sharna Alamgir was, according to the mangaka, created to play the Straight Man to Fumi Hibino's goofball character and basically exists to provide snappy comebacks. It must be a bit hard for her since she is a foreign exchange student herself.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, it's often left to poor Germany to look after the other members of the titular Axis powers. His hands are usually full with whatever idiocy Italy has gotten into, but he also does his best to get Japan into shape to face off against the Allies. China tries to be this for his many siblings, but he ends up treating them as children so they don't take it kindly (except for South Korea which is just... weird).
    • In Hetaween 2011, Ukraine is this to Poland. She succeeds rather easily in a task that even Lithuania has difficulty with.
    • Latvia often serves as a grounding influence to the extremely plucky, somewhat deluded Cheerful Child Sealand; he tries to warn him of the dangers of becoming a country, and at one point calls to make sure he doesn't "do a stupid thing" when he goes to talk to the new micronation Wy. Unfortunately for him, Sealand isn't the best at listening to his elders.
    • England at one point has a dream where he goes crazy trying to keep America away from dangers like poisonous plants, snakes, and lizards in Africa, and he's relieved that none of it really happened when he wakes up. But then America shows up for real...
  • In Hunter × Hunter, the naive All-Loving Hero Gon ends up becoming this to the Ax-Crazy Yandere Palm Siberia in the midpoint of the Chimera Ant Arc, as he claimed to have experience with older women. Killua and Biscuit end up debating over who's really minding who.
  • Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! has this as its core dynamic in the film club. Midori and Tsubame are boundlessly creative and borderline prodigies in animation, but they're also impulsive and childish and tend to let their creativity get the better of them. On the other hand, Kanamori has no art skill, but is grounded, shrewd, and forward-thinking. This means that her "producer" role often involves wrangling Midori and Tsubame so that they can actually finish their projects instead of sitting around brainstorming.
  • In Kill Me Baby Sonya is this to her classmate Yasuna Oribe, who's always coming up with new (and stupid) ideas. The problem being that Sonya also happens to be a short-tempered, violent assassin...
  • In the second season of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!, Yuta becomes this for Rikka. It's noted by the other characters that even though they're a couple, their relationship looks more like that of a parent and child.
  • The title character of Magical Sempai has her Assistant. He's less enthusiastic about stage magic than she is, but he's much better at it, and often has to bail her out when her magic tricks go awry.
  • In My Hero Academia, Itsuka Kendo is the one who most often takes on the duty of handling Neito Monoma when his rabid rivalry with Class 1-A gets the better of him, usually with a Dope Slap. When she's unavailable, her classmate Awase takes over battering Monoma into submission before he can get too far ahead of himself.
  • In One Piece, the main job of the Straw Hats (particularly Sanji, Nami, and Usopp) seems to be acting as this for the rest of the crew (mainly their captain Monkey D. Luffy).
  • In Pokémon: The Series, Pikachu often acts as this role in comparison to his other party members eccentricities to the point where he's become the Only Sane Man of Ash's team in XY and Sun & Moon. Mallow also plays this role amongst the main cast of Sun & Moon, especially when dealing with Lana's bizarre stories, Togedamaru's antics and Rotom's... detective failures.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Luna always tries to reason with Usagi in telling her not to do anything foolish in contrast to what she is supposed to be doing. Not that Usagi ever listens.
    • Similarly, Artemis is this to Minako, though is much more patient with her than Luna is with Usagi.
  • At least part of Kenren's job in Saiyuki Gaiden is to make sure Tenpou can function in the real world and not get buried under mess, though it is a voluntary aspect of it.
  • In Senyuu., Alf is bluntly told that he's being promoted not on merit, but because someone needs to keep an eye on his best friend Elf, a Manchild of a wizard.
  • To some extent, Tsubaki to BlackStar and Liz to Death the Kid in Soul Eater. Yumi to Marie, as well, when she has to talk her hopeless romantic friend out of marrying... a toilet. And finally, Marie to Stein but in a much more serious way. She can snap him out of his insanity-induced rampages due to her ability to absorb and nullify Madness.
  • In the Tenchi Muyo! series where she exists, Kiyone Makibi is this for Mihoshi Kuramitsu.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: Jughead. Archie's girl-craziness, crazy schemes, and clumsiness would land him in even more trouble if Jughead wasn't always watching his back and trying to keep him out of trouble. He's practically Archie's keeper. He also sometimes played this role to Betty during her pre-Character Development years when she was kind of a ditz.
  • Deadpool:
    • Bob, Deadpool's CIA handler in Deadpool MAX. In addition to doing the parts of the job Deadpool is too insane to do and keeping Deadpool focused on the mission, Bob is essentially the only reason Deadpool is willing to do the job in the first place. In this continuity, HYDRA is a figment of Deadpool's psychosis. Part of Bob's job is to exploit this by maintaining the façade that he's a former HYDRA agent and the targets selected for Deadpool to assassinate are all high-ranking HYDRA operatives.
    • Then there is Cable, who often serves as Deadpool's minder in the regular continuity.
  • ElfQuest: In Elf Quest: Jink, Kullyn Kenn gets assigned to alien envoy Firstborn Newbreed, who (initially) sees nothing wrong with telling humans to their faces how ugly they are, for example.
  • Impulse: Tim Drake and Wally West (to name a few) are this for Bart Allen, the aptly named Impulse.
  • Loki:
    • Verity Willis became this pretty fast for Loki in Loki: Agent of Asgard; the guy/gal is perfectly capable, but has a mile-wide trickster streak (they are Loki), from a penchant for over-convoluted plans, to general trolling, and puns of varying painfulness.
    • In Loki (2019), Loki may be on the side of angels in a way they has never been before but they’re still Loki requiring someone to reel them in from time to time. This time that duty has fallen on Thor.
  • The Sandman (1989): Barnabas the Dog is assigned by Destruction to accompany and watch over his sister, Delirium.
  • The Smurfs: Brainy Smurf sees himself as this to the other smurfs. Bad thing, even if he is right (and sometimes he is)... he's also an Insufferable Genius, so the other Smurfs usually ignore him at best or get frustrated with him at worst.
  • Transmetropolitan: The Filthy Assistants — Channon Yarrow, an ex-stripper-nun turned bodyguard, and Yelena Rossini, a chain-smoking would-be writer - are this to gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem.

    Comic Strips 
  • Rob and Satchel take turns acting like this to Bucky in Get Fuzzy, although Satchel is a bit of a Cloudcuckoolander himself.
  • Peanuts
    • Marcie for Peppermint Patty, though Marcie has plenty of Cloudcuckoolander moments of her own, especially when it comes to sports.
    • Charlie Brown for Snoopy, though it's more like Cloudcuckoolander's owner. When Snoopy's bizarreness causes problems in the neighborhood, there's a tendency for everyone to blame him ("He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown!"), and he'll end up having to deliver a lecture, explain Snoopy's actions, or otherwise interfere.
  • Liz seems to have taken this role in Garfield after finally hooking up with Jon, mostly by getting him to tone down his more eccentric habits and clearing out his rather outrageous wardrobe.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In the universe of this Godzilla MonsterVerse fanfiction, Maia Simmons is a Minder to her Psychopathic Manchild father Walter Simmons — she prefers a practical and down-to-earth approach compared to her father's Screw the Rules, I Have Money!, and she shortens the rather suspicious names that her father gives two of their company's top-secret assets to on-site nicknames that are more inconspicuous.
  • Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium: is that Hawke needs Varric to be this for him, reminding him to do things like put on pants. Hawke is implied to mostly be of the "purple" personality.
  • Bird: Taylor usually falls into a role like this. Mimi, Elle, and Taylor end up forming a violent, spacy, and sane trio as a result.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Pepper is this to Tony, though most of the Avengers end up performing this at some point or another. This is very much required because Tony is brilliant, but he's also thoroughly eccentric, easily distracted, and has a somewhat limited sense of self-preservation.
    • By the sequel, Harry has examples in both Bucky (bodyguard/mentor) and Carol (close friend and absolutely-definitely-not-girlfriend until chapter 46, after which she's absolutely-definitely his girlfriend), who temper his habit of finding and jumping straight into trouble, his occasional eccentricity, semi-self destructive tendencies, and general habit of leaping without looking. Jean-Paul also sort of qualifies, but he mostly functions as the Only Sane Man bemoaning the antics of his friends. It should be noted that Carol sometimes needs one of her own, because she's arguably as nuts as he is — just considerably more stable. As Nick Fury inwardly bemoans in Unfinished Business, "Birds of a Feather might flock together, but those two maniacs deserved each other."
  • Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità, an Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic: Both Germany and Japan are this to Italy. However, Japan is a lot nicer about it than Germany is.
  • Many Harry Potter fanfics have Remus as this to Sirius. An example would be Harry Tano, where Sirius (having been released from prison upon the discovery that he wasn't the one who betrayed the Potters) officially becomes Harry's Wizarding World guardian/representative (with Ahsoka serving as his actual parent). Remus has to constantly rein in Sirius'... unorthodox approaches to politics, parenting, magic, life in general, etc. Remus is clearly relieved that, thanks to his Jedi training, Harry is more mature and responsible than his godfather.
  • The Last Seidr: One of the only reasons why the other Avengers allowed Tony to take temporary custody of Harry is because Pepper Potts can keep her boyfriend in check. The other reason was because Thor thought that taking Harry to Asgard with him was a good idea. The Avengers went with the Lesser of Two Evils.
  • Love, doubt and super cute babies! has Izuku fulfill this role for Mei, mitigating her more impulsive traits and reminding her to do things like eat lunch, with the school faculty also recognizing this by way of her not being allowed to enter the support lab without Izuku. Mei resents that others view their friendship purely in the form of Izuku being Mei's babysitter, though she does start to worry at one point that their friendship is possibly All Take and No Give, and resolves to be more attentive and look out for him more in turn.
  • The Oops Cycle: Mariel, after becoming the Angel of Appreciation and Haagenti's Number Two, serves as the rock of sensibility to her Archangel's torrent of eccentricity. She's noted to be the usual person that Haagenti's other angels go to when they need to ask where he's vanished off to this week and to remind him of the important meetings and commitments that he really needs to get to.
  • Seta Suzume's The Hunger Games stories feature a PTSD-ridden victor's minder. District 10's first victor, Emmy Polak, is utterly traumatized after winning the Hunger Games and needs her district's escort to help her function around other people.
  • So Not My Problem: Revan is a Comically Invincible Hero hobbled by his extreme apathy, and has a succession of minders to keep him on track. Carth Onasi, despite being a terrible shot, is one of the most important people on the mission because he can talk Revan into doing stuff.
  • Star Wars: Lineage: Obi-Wan and especially Mace Windu take turns acting as this to Qui-Gon. Given that Qui-Gon is a Bunny-Ears Lawyer and Cowboy Cop who's always treating the rules as optional, Mace, as leader of the Jedi Council, and Obi-Wan, as the guy who usually has to help clean up Qui-Gon's messes, spends a lot of time facepalming.
  • Three Can Keep a Secret deconstructs this with Dipper and Mabel of Gravity Falls. While the twins being treated as a set, and the adults' reliance on Dipper to effectively act as Mabel's impulse control, was far from healthy for both of them, suddenly separating them without any of the adults stepping up to help anchor Mabel in Dipper's stead led to Mabel going out of control, both emotionally and behaviorally.
  • We Must Be Killers: Despite being District 6's youngest victor until a few years before the 3rd Quarter Quell, Phillips acts as their spokesperson, primary mentor, and babysitter for the District's two older victors due to being the only one of the three who never uses drugs. He has been doing this since his teens, when he came out of the arena due to managing an Improbable Weapon User kill with the glitter and rolling pin his drugged-up mentor sent him as sponsor gifts.
  • Yin-Yang: Moss Man and Evilseed were this to Razzuma, aka Madame Razz, back when they were a singular being who embodied all of Eternia called Arbutus, as he kept her from going too far in her Mental Time Travel and helped her stay anchored to the present. After Mara sent Etheria out of Eternia's system, she had no one to keep her on track and is a lot more senile in present day as a result.

    Films — Animation 
  • Lilo & Stitch: Nani is this to Lilo. When Social Services threatens to separate them, she freaks out because she's the only one who can understand Lilo's actions.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: Aria Blaze of the Dazzlings (aka the Sirens) is this to Sonata Dusk, often watching out for her in case of her ditziness, and does most of the reporting to Adagio.
  • Toy Story: Woody takes on this role a bit to Buzz when they get lost, especially in the gas station and at Pizza Planet.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Daredreamer, Winston's friend Max is the normal one of their duo and tries to help him function in the everyday when all Winston can think about is daydreaming and not doing his schoolwork.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Among Ghidorah's three independent-minded heads, the leader middle head (Ichi) is a somewhat harsh Minder towards the left head (San/Kevin), berating Kevin and getting him back in line when his Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! tendencies cause him to get a bit distracted and go off-track.
  • In Nathan's Kingdom, Laura is under a great deal of strain from looking after her autistic brother Nathan, who is always getting into trouble involving his obsession with the titular magical kingdom.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, the rest of the cast take turns minding Jack Sparrow with varying degrees of success.
  • The Big Bad of The Professional, Norman Stansfield, is a murderous, drug-addicted lunatic. Most of the time, his right-hand man Malky has to keep him under control when his boss goes on a murderous rampage or starts lashing out at minor inconveniences. It doesn't help much, but it at least lowers the body count and keeps from drawing unnecessary attention. His death shows how valuable of an asset Malky was in keeping Stansfield in check.
  • In Rogue One, Baze Malbus seems to feel like this when he's paired with Chirrut Imwe.
    Baze: There are no Jedi here anymore. Only dreamers, like this fool.
    Chirrut: The Force did protect me.
    Baze: I protected you.
  • Striptease: Erb Crandall serves as the bagman, bodyguard, and personal assistant of Congressman Dilbeck, who he vainly tries to keep from losing his head over Erin and other strippers.
  • Subverted by Norma Desmond's butler Max in Sunset Boulevard who enables her delusions of grandeur.
  • Ben Stiller's Steve Arlo is explicitly stated to perform this role for Bill Pullman's Daryl Zero in Zero Effect.
  • Ghostbusters: Janine Melnitz starts out this way, being the only member of the Ghostbusters staff who isn't a mad scientist. She's later joined by Winston Zeddemore in the final third of the first film and Louis Tully in the second film.

  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: Having the mind of a modern-day Japanese young woman and the body of a sickly young child living in medieval setting, Myne ends up with an entire team. Lutz, a family friend the same age of her, is the one who watches her and makes sure she doesn't exert herself when her family members aren't around. Benno, her mentor in the merchant trade and main business partner, spends a lot of time putting a lid on her poor grasp on the value of her creations and the fact that negotiations work differently than what she's used to; without him, Myne would have accidentally disrupted the market by underpricing items that are luxury goods in the story's setting (but cheap and easy to find in modern-day Japan) and let herself be dragged in at least one bad deal. And Ferdinand is her Stern Teacher and boss at the temple, helping her learn her duty as a newly-minted shrine maiden and noble.
  • The Butcher Boy: Joe is this to Francie, calling him out everytime his pranks go too far. Eventually he gets fed up with how psychotic Francie is becoming and leaves him.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg is this to Rowley all the time, even though he's a Cloudcuckoolander too.
  • Discworld:
  • Doctrine of Labyrinths: Mildmay to Felix in Melusine.
  • In Dragon Bones, Ward's mother Muellen is a mix of a Cloudcuckoolander and The Ophelia. Her lady in waiting doubles as her minder. Ciarra, the Cute Mute daughter of Muellen, also has a lady in waiting who makes sure she looks representable at important occasions, as Ciarra goes around barefoot, and isn't very concerned about combing her hair, either. Ciarra is actually sixteen but acts more like twelve.
  • In Harry Potter, Ginny sometimes ends up like this for Luna — notably during Luna's first appearance, where Ginny convinces everyone that Luna's okay, just rather odd. Fits in, as Ginny was Luna's pretty much Only Friend.
  • Even if Haruhi Suzumiya hadn't been a Reality Warper, Kyon's life would have been a lot easier if he hadn't met the titular character to begin with. But instead, he allows himself to be forced into her self created club to search for aliens, time travelers, ESPers, etc. and keep her entertained.
  • The Hunger Games:
    • Beetee appears to serve as this to Wiress in Catching Fire.
    • From the same series, Finnick Odair could count like this to Annie.
  • I Need A Wee: Downplayed for Giraffe and Robot — Alan's not really a Cloud Cuckoolander, but he's bad at prioritising, and would rather do things he enjoys than go to the bathroom even when he knows he needs to, so they try to get him to go to the bathroom instead.
  • Jeeves to Bertie in Jeeves and Wooster. His mission in life is to make sure that the young master stays unmarried and out of trouble and doesn't leave the house wearing anything too ridiculous. For all his oddities, however, Bertie is fond of "the quiet life", and if anyone's the king of Zany Schemes, it's Jeeves. Bertie also sometimes plays this role for his crazier friends, Bingo Little in particular.
  • Journey to Chaos: A Mage's Power: It would seem that the major job duty of a Dragon's Lair lieutenant is babysitting their eccentric captains so they don't do something silly, stupid, or dangerous. Jemas, for instance, has to make sure Hasina doesn't pass her experimental remedies and Butterfly runs all over the city making sure her captain doesn't Jump Scare random people.
  • Poor Keith in My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! has to constantly follow around his (wo)manchild older sister or she will absolutely destroy the dignity of herself, her house and everyone around her. Catarina doesn't even understand that she's being a hassle to those around her.
  • The whole premise of Of Mice and Men revolves around Lennie and George as (mentally handicapped) Cloudcuckoolander and minder, respectively. While Lennie's quirks land them both in hot water and drive long-suffering George up the wall, George cares deeply about Lennie and ends up shooting him dead rather than let him die at the hands of a lynch mob.
  • Sorata to Mashiro in The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, the latter being an Idiot Savant. When she lived in Britain, it was Rita who acted this role towards Mashiro. In-universe, they refer to it as "Mashiro Duty"
  • In Radiance, Cynthia Brass was assigned to follow Anchises around and make sure he does the job he was given. Her boss even describes it as assigning him a nanny to look after him. Cynthia herself isn't too pleased.
  • Dr. Watson acts as one of these to the eccentric and blunt Sherlock Holmes.
    • He's also the guy's only friend that he'll look out for when Evans shoots him. Cue panic attack and a calm, cold death threat.
    • Zig-zagged. While Holmes is eccentric and definitely doesn't suffer fools, we don't often see Watson having to intercede on Holmes' behalf to prevent a crisis, and Holmes is perfectly capable of taking care of himself in his solo outings. It's suggested that aside from genuine friendship, Watson serves as a sounding board for his thought processes, supplements his own investigative skill in his own way, and helps calm whatever disturbing/unhappy thoughts Holmes gets in his head that leads him to brood and cocaine use.
  • Cloak serves as this for Gary Karkofsky a.k.a Merciless: The Supervillain without Mercy in The Supervillainy Saga. Cloak encourages Gary to act like a superhero rather than a supervillain but mostly ends up gently steering him against worse folk.
  • Tortall Universe:
    • The Immortals: Daine needs to watch Numair, despite his being the most powerful mage in Tortall.
    • Trickster's Duet: Nawat needs Aly to explain the inexplicable to him (like why breeding with her isn't a quick way to more warriors).
    • In "Elder Brother", Qiom needs Fadal, well, Fadala, to do the same, what with his being a former tree. It's even worse with Qiom, as some of the instinctive things an animal would do don't come naturally to him. His Minder needs to make sure he doesn't burn himself eating food too soon, or getting hauled up at the local temple for something equally (but obviously more disastrously) stupid.
  • Vigilauntie Justice: Peggy translates for Carole and keeps her on-track when she strays too far from the conversation.
  • The Wreck of the Mars Adventure by David D. Levine. The protagonist is freed from prison on the condition that he commands an expedition to Mars. One of his parole conditions is that he remain within a hundred feet of the scientist he's taking with him at all times. At first, he assumes the scientist is his jailor, but quickly realises it's because the man is so excitable and easily distracted he might get run down by a coach, fall into a canal or simply forget to breathe.
  • To his mild exasperation, Waver Velvet, now Lord El-Melloi II, has been given this role by the Clock Tower in relation to his bizarre student Flat Escardos. It's not that Flat's incompetent, oh no, it's that he doesn't have the slightest idea of how he does his reality-defying stunts, is utterly hopeless at magical theory, and is a perpetually-innocent teen trying to join a society of sociopaths. El-Melloi II is reluctant to pass Flat in his courses, since he doesn't like letting inexperienced mages out of his sight, but finds dealing with Flat's strange antics perpetually trying.
  • When the Angels Left the Old Country: Prior to getting a name of its own, Uriel is easily distractable, getting entirely consumed by any task that crosses its path and forgetting about everything else. Little Ash has to make sure it doesn't wander off and turn into a sunbeam. The name means Uriel can now choose whether to follow these impulses, so Little Ash doesn't need to do as much minding anymore.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Big Bang Theory: Penny, Leonard, and later, Amy often are this to Sheldon Cooper.
  • House was hardly the first time one of Hugh Laurie's characters needed one of these. In Blackadder the Third, Blackadder has to keep Prince George from putting his trousers on his head (not an exaggeration, by the way) and hates him for it.
  • Bones is a brilliant scientist, but finds social situations difficult and confusing (although it should be noted that her social skills do get somewhat better over time), so Booth often ends up in the role of her guide to the world outside the lab. Especially in the early seasons, he often interrupted her to prevent her from saying something too scientific or Brutally Honest to a witness or a victim's loved one.
    • This role could also go to Angela or Cam, who were both generally closer to earth than the other Jeffersonian staff.
  • The Burns and Allen Show: George Burns and Blanche Morton act as minders for Gracie Allen.
  • Community plays with this a lot, generally surrounding Abed. The group often has to help him, notable examples being Jeff promising to help him understand people, Annie explaining empathy, and Troy helping him function day-to-day. But seeing as Abed is so savvy and they are in a TV show, often the group needs him to explain or fix things for them.
  • Coupling: Steve is this for Jeff.
  • Sometimes, on Doctor Who, the companions are dragged into taking care of the Doctor!
    • One occasionally needed to be told that, for instance, "no, Doctor, you can't go investigating that dangerous abandoned city on a lark."
    • Peri was a more passive-aggressive variation for Six.
    • In the Made-for-TV Movie in which Eight appeared, his companion actually tried to dispense with all this rubbish and have him put in the psych ward (mostly because he tried to tell her about the imminent The End of the World as We Know It, although acting like a lunatic probably didn't help his credibility any). She also explained away his odd behavior to strangers as a result of his being British.
    • In Series 8, Clara Oswald tells several people that she is employed as the Twelfth Doctor's "carer", though sometimes Twelve is using the word in a different sense.
      Twelve: She cares so I don't have to.
    • "Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror": Dorothy Skerrit is this for Nikola Tesla, notably being visibly dismayed early on when he ignores her silent suggestion not to talk about his previous claims he'd detected a transmission from Mars since it makes him look like a kook.
  • Following in the great Watson tradition, Joan Watson on Elementary. It is, literally, her job as a sober companion to rein in Sherlock's self-destructive tendencies. Even when she quits her job to become Sherlock's assistant/apprentice, she still keeps the role.
  • Extraordinary Attorney Woo: Soo-yeon does what she can to help Young-woo (who is on the autistic spectrum) observe social norms while working, such as by trying to guide Young-woo away from talking at length about whales and getting her to eat foods other than gimbap.
  • Father Ted: Ted had to try and keep a handle on Dougal, who had a sort of... unique interpretation of reality.
    Ted: [holding plastic toy cows] These are small. But the ones out there are far away.
  • Firefly: Simon serves as River's minder, emotional crutch, and protector.
  • Friends: Chandler is this to the child-like Joey.
  • Fosse/Verdon: As Cy notes, Gwen essentially serves as this for Bob, keeping him in check and stopping him from doing anything too crazy; when he's left to his own devices, he does things like hiring prostitutes to serve as actresses and keeping the set under-lit.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Meera Reed to her brother Jojen. "Some people will always need help. That doesn't mean they're not worth helping." Although Jojen isn't exactly a cuckoolander.
    • Played with for Roose. He is a high-functioning sociopath himself, but he serves to rein in Ramsay's tendencies toward averting his Pragmatic Villainy. When he is murdered by Ramsay, the latter's unrestrained sadism leads to the end of House Bolton.
  • Get Smart: Agent 99 varied between this and The Watson for the Bunny-Ears Lawyer secret agent Maxwell Smart. Naturally, they ended up getting married.
    • The Chief functions as this for all of CONTROL, considering that 86 and 99 are probably the most connected to reality of any of the field agents.
  • On Girl Meets World, Maya is this to Riley's Cloudcuckoolander.
  • In Glee, Santana sometimes functions as this for Brittany early on, but it's increasingly revealed that Brittany's actually mostly capable of taking care of herself, and their relationship becomes more equal over time.
  • A dark version in the second series of Horatio Hornblower. Doctor Clive is quite aware that Captain Sawyer is losing his mind and becoming incapable of command. However, he refuses the lieutenants' pleas and demands to actually declare him unfit because he and Sawyer are longtime friends and instead tries to mitigate Sawyer's madness by holding down his paranoid impulses through calm tones and laudanum. Unfortunately, being high on an opiate doesn't help much, and no matter how much reason Clive tries to bring, Sawyer's authority as a captain at sea gives him the power to make any decision unchecked.
  • House: As befits their status as expies of Watson and Holmes, Dr. Wilson generally serves as this to Dr. House. Dr. Cuddy also served as one of these until leaving the show for the final season.
  • The whole gang is this to Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, especially Ted.
    • Ted and Lily both tend to play this role for Marshall at times too.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In "In Throes of Increasing Wonder...", Louis de Pointe du Lac is the caretaker of his brother Paul, who is mentally ill and believes that God communicates to him through the "birds" inside his mind.
    Daniel Molloy: Your brother sounds like a pain in the ass.
    Louis: Fragile. Stubborn. Indulged. I promised our father on his death bed to look after him. But when Paul's mind was right, he was no burden. Point of fact, I loved him more than anyone on Earth.
  • Every main character in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has taken this role towards another main character and vice versa, with resident full-time Cloudcuckoolander Charlie being the most common recipient.
  • Deconstructed with the main pair of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Detectives Goren and Eames. His unorthodox but effective methods paired with her simple practicality make them a fantastic team, but their partnership is implied multiple times to limit Eames' potential for upward career movement (although she isn't actually bothered by it and, in fact, refuses to keep a promotion that comes with the condition of firing Goren), and in one episode she is shown to be resentful of being considered nothing but the brilliant Goren's sidekick even though she's actually the senior partner. In addition, if Eames is absent for any extended period of time, Goren takes it very badly.
  • On Leverage, Sophie often serves as a minder for Parker, usually by giving her advice on how to survive in social situations and act like a normal person while trying to pull off a con. However, all the team members become minders for Parker at one point or another.
  • Dani Reese is this for her partner Charlie Crews in Life.
  • In The Mentalist, Agent Lisbon is this to Jane. It should be noted that Jane is not a genuine Cloudcuckoolander, being perfectly aware of his actions and their consequences. Nevertheless, Lisbon still tries to rein him in and contain the potential damage his never-ending psychological games cause.
  • The title character of the TV show Monk, who suffers from OCD, employs a helpful companion (Sharona in early seasons, then Natalie). She hands out sanitizing wipes, does all manner of dirty work, explains his odd mannerisms to others, and generally runs interference between him and the world.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Miss Brooks performs this role for Mrs. Davis in some of the latter's zanier moments.
  • Monarch: Legacy of Monsters: Amongst Monarch partners Tim and Michelle Duvall, Duvall's cold professionalism, pragmatism and intelligence makes her a healthy counter to Tim's bumbling and eccentricity who keeps the duo functional, and she ensures that Tim's cowboying to Tokyo in an effort to seize Bill Randa's files isn't a total clusterfuck when their superior Deputy Director Verdugo comes down on their heads, coming close to capturing the escaping heroes. Despite her cold exterior, Duvall is loyal to her partner, sticking her neck out for Tim in front of Verdugo, and even after she's defected from Monarch and ended up on the opposing side of the show's morally-gray conflict, Duvall still saves Tim's life when the Kazakhstan power plant collapses on them and the local authorities come knocking.
  • Scorpion: The titular team is loaded with child prodigies, Insufferable Geniuses, and people with No Social Skills overall - except Paige. Her primary job on the team is to act as an intermediary between the team and regular people and manage some of their more erratic tendencies with common sense logic. She shows her talents at genius-wrangling in her very first episode (which is also the first time she meets the team) when Sylvester is trying to do some time-sensitive calculations on a chalkboard but can't start until he has all the chalk arranged in order by length. Paige takes away all but one piece, stating that a list of one is always in order. Her role on the team is emphasised in the first season finale, where the team's interactions with law enforcement in her absence ends with Happy and Toby getting arrested without her there to act as a buffer.
  • Turk occasionally serves as this to JD on Scrubs but most of the time he just joins in on JD's antics. Carla, on the other hand, usually serves as this to everyone.
  • Floyd Robertson is a very begrudging one on SCTV to his co-anchor on SCTV News, Earl Camembert. Floyd hates Earl's guts and will loudly and proudly proclaim that to his face, but he still works to keep Earl in line.
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Dealership," Cloudcuckoolander-in-chief Cosmo Kramer, ironically, implies that he sees himself as this to Only Sane Man Jerry.
    Rick: Are you looking to buy, or to lease?
    Kramer: Uh, borrow. From my friend. Yeah, he'll be buying it.
    Rick: Maybe I should talk to him.
    Kramer: Oh, I don't think so! Uh, he's an entertainer. You know, all over the place. That's where I come in.
    Rick: I see, so you're his mana—
    Kramer: "Neighbor," that's right, yeah.
  • John to Sherlock on Sherlock, even more so than the original Watson.
    • He spends a lot of time apologizing for Sherlock or translating his behaviour.
      Sherlock: [accepting present from client without unwrapping it] Diamond cuff-links. All my cuffs have buttons.
      John: [to client] He means: "thank you".
    • An even better example was when Sherlock launches himself into investigating the kidnapping of two children with his classic enthusiasm for harrowing mysteries:
      John: Having fun?
      Sherlock: [grinning] Starting to.
      John: Maybe not do the smiling thing: kidnapped children?
      Sherlock: [composing face into an appropriately serious expression] Hm.
  • In Storage Wars, Brandi seems to be this to Jarrod.
  • In Supernatural, Meg becomes this to Castiel after he absorbs Sam's psychosis towards the end of Season 7. Once the boys get him back out of the mental hospital, Dean takes on most of this role.
  • On The X-Files, Scully acts as this to Mulder after being assigned to debunk his work. It's a twist on the arrangement, however, since Mulder is not a Cloudcuckoolander in the traditional sense. While he does believe in what he's telling superiors or local law enforcement, his reaction to their negativity is to act like he's nuts. He knows darn well nobody will believe him and that there are more tactful ways to get his ideas across, he just doesn't care. There are times where Scully calls him on it, but she still continues to work damage control so he (and by extension, she) doesn't get fired.

  • Behind the Bastards: The producer Sophie went from occasionally cutting in to remind host Robert Evans to do his ad breaks to almost becoming a full-time co-host constantly having to put down Robert's weird asides and antics, such as opening the podcast by atonally yelling "HITLER!" and sharing his plans to become a L. Ron Hubbard-style cult leader in Wyoming.
  • Dice Funk: Jayne is this, especially when it comes to Anne.
  • Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast: Frank Santopadre is this to Gilbert Gottfried to some extent, making sure the show stays on topic by asking relevant questions and reminding Gilbert of what the guest has done that interests him.
  • Fat, French and Fabulous: Janet tends to respond with dry exasperation to her co-host's flamboyant oddness.
    Janel: We really need to check on you more.
  • Less is Morgue: Evelyn is Riley's minder. Riley is a paranoid Basement-Dweller who makes some very poor decisions, from buying bizarre online products like instruction manuals on killing your parents and sometimes even eating pizza guys alive. Evelyn helps guide them in the right direction.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Scott Jagged Parker is this to his 3.0 teammate "Big Magic" Shane Matthews, since he's usually the mellower member of the team.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Nomine: Owing to her growing mental instability in the past millennium, the Archangel Gabriel is prone to bouts of irrational behavior and uncontrollable fury. As such, two Cherubim, Aluriel and Mordekial, are attuned to her at all times, following her from a safe distance and making sure that her worst episodes don't endanger others.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Downplayed with Lion El'Jonson, the Dark Angels Primarch. He's not a Cloudcuckoolander by any measure — he's arguably one of the most serious of his brothers — but he has No Social Skills, being most comfortable in combat situations. Since the Primarchs are required to be leaders and not just generals, however, Lion often needs someone else to act as a bridge of sorts between him and mortal humans. In the 31st millenium, this was Luther, his mentor and adopted father/brother, and eventual Evil Former Friend. In the 41st millenium, it seems that the Space Marine Zabriel has fallen into the role, being officially declared "The Lion's Herald" shortly after they met.
    • Ork Weirdboyz, the psychically receptive members of the Orkoid species whose barely understood innate psychic powers make them, as the name suggests, a bit weird. By Orkish standards anyway, since they usually prefer to run away from the heavy fighting that makes their brain hurt rather than towards it as a sane Ork would. As such they are usually accompanied at all times by two or more "minderz", unimaginative, no-nonsense Ork thugs whose job it is to keep the Weirdboy from doing anything too outrageous or running away when his mind blasts are needed in battle. This was the case for the tabletop game up until the 3rd edition, where the minders were represented with models and effectively fired the Weirdboy like a living weapon. In the current rules the Weirdboy has been safely escorted to the battlefield already, and the build-up of psychic energy has sent him crazy enough that he has given his minderz the slip and started to bounce around unpredictably on his own.
    • The Necron commander Nemessor Zandrekh, and his long-suffering aide-de-camp and enforcer Vargard Obyron. Zandrekh is a consummate tactical genius who was instrumental in promoting his dynasty's fortunes during the ancient Necron civil wars. Unfortunately, his cognitive processing circuits were damaged during his long hibernation into modern time, and while his genius is undimmed he can't tell the difference between the present and the past anymore (more of a problem than it already implies, as it has been more than sixty million years since the Necrontyr Wars of Secession and the subsequent War in Heaven between the Necrons and their C'Tan masters and the Old Ones and their creations the Eldar and the Krork), believing he's still fighting the civil wars against rival dynasties whatever new enemy he comes up against. Obyron, on the other hand, is perfectly aware of the situation, but as an indentured subordinate, he was programmed for absolute loyalty to Zandrekh and so has to make the best of things and sort out any anomalies caused by Zandrekh's delusions. Usually, this involves making sure that "honored prisoners" kept alive by Zandrekh according to ancient rules of engagement are conveniently disposed of via "little accidents" or "while they were trying to escape", and occasionally intervening scythe-first if any of the other nobles in Zandrekh's court are feeling rebellious.

    Video Games 
  • At least some of the cast of BlazBlue try to keep Taokaka out of trouble when they can (particularly her progenitor Jubei, his student Ragna and Tao's more level headed Cool Big Sis and mentor Torakaka, and occasionally, her 'very good friend' Litchi).
  • Disco Elysium has a downplayed example with Kim Kitsuragi, the Player Character's partner. He is mostly content to let the player character indulge in his various crazy impulses and weird behavior, because — as he comes to admit after only seeing him in action for a little while — they tend to be surprisingly helpful in furthering the investigation. That said, he will also occasionally try to rein him in if the player goes out on a tangent he thinks either is too time-consuming or otherwise doesn't appear productive in pushing the investigation forward, and he will especially protest if the detective do or try to do something violent. He will also often act as a walking disclaimer for the detective's various political opinions, butting in on conversations to explain to the interview subject that his views doesn't represent the RCM's official views.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Herren from Dragon Age: Origins is one to his boyfriend Wade.
    • In Dragon Age II, Varric serves this role for his older brother Bartrand, who lacks social skills. Later, he also serves this role for Merrill as she tries to adapt to life in the city.
      • Both examples get played more seriously after Bartrand goes insane from the Lyrium Idol. If spared, Varric is forced to commit his brother to an asylum for the rest of life. To a lesser degree, if Hawke does not romance her, Merrill becomes increasingly obsessed with restoring the Eluvian, to the point where Varric has food delivered to her house since she's stopped going out and Forgets to Eat.
    • Varric shares this role with Solas in Dragon Age: Inquisition with regards to Cole, a kindhearted but troubled Fade spirit. Iron Bull, Dorian, and possibly the Inquisitor also apply to a certain degree.
  • Dragon Quest IV: Borya and Kiryl are Tsarevna Alena's tutor and bodyguard, respectively. Given that Alena is a tomboyish, hot-headed princess who is constantly sneaking out of the castle to live adventures and - she hopes - smashing some heads, it is a good thing she is completely hopeless with magic. They have enough trouble keeping her from getting into too much trouble as it is.
  • DuckTales Remastered: Discussed during some of Scrooge and the triplets' dialogue. When Scrooge tells Webby she needs to stay behind to watch the boys, the latter three protest. Scrooge tells them to give him this one as he will already be having enough trouble watching over Launchpad and he doesn't need watching Webby on top of it.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, has one in his chamberlain, Haskill, who also doubles as the Only Sane Man within Sheogorath's realm, the Shivering Isles. His efforts don't always work since it's rather difficult to mind a mad god when you yourself aren't one (a god that is, not mad; frankly having the idea that it's even possible likely makes Haskill even crazier than the rest), but Sheogorath does appreciate him. His assistance is instrumental in the main plot of Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion.
  • Fallout 3: The protagonist minds Moira Brown during her quest chain to gather data for writing a survival guide. She can, however, be talked out of pursuing said dream.
  • Genshin Impact: Fischl has to be reminded of things by her familiar Oz, as well as having her dialogue being constantly translated into normal speak by him.
  • Hometown Story: Haruka minds her mother Miyo, who regularly drops things without noticing and forgets important stuff at other people's houses. On one occasion, Miyo forgot to put her shoes back on before leaving.
  • Overwatch: Roadhog officially serves as a bodyguard for Junkrat. But in practice, Roadhog is often having to reign in Junkrat's more impulsive and potentially self destructive behavior, and frequently has to remind Junkrat about the details of their current job. In the "Going Legit" comic, Roadhog has to frequently remind Junkrat that the job they were hired for was to save hostages and to do things quietly. In "Junkertown: The Plan", Roadhog stops Junkrat from setting up their bomb twice so he can think through and fill in the gaps of his otherwise Missing Steps Plan (like ensuring they don't kill themselves in the act).
  • Yosuke Hanamura from Persona 4 acts as this to Teddie, mostly to prevent Teddie's antics from ticking people off to the fact that the "mysterious foreigner" actually hails from an alternate dimension.
  • In Portal 2, Cave Johnson is usually held in line by his loyal secretary, Caroline, who periodically interrupts him once his recordings start getting a little too hot-headed (which is often). He holds her in genuinely high esteem.
  • After her Heel–Face Turn Viola tries to be this to the Boss in Saints Row: The Third.
  • Given the setting's preponderance of eccentrics, The Secret World has quite a few minders on standby.
    • The Stuart Twins are currently minders to Templar scholar Iain Tibet Gladstone. With Gladstone currently under house arrest after a long and disturbing series of practical experiments in the field, Catherine and Mary are there to help rehabilitate him, which usually amounts to ensuring that he's able to write, lecture and advise agents in the field without letting his obsessions spiral out of control; to whit, they keep him from drinking too heavily, ensure that his drug habit doesn't stray into more eldritch directions, politely remind him to get dressed, and ensure he doesn't leave the building.
    • Another example found in London is Callie James, the "squire" to John Galahad. At this point, nobody knows if Galahad is really an Arthurian knight turned Fish out of Temporal Water, or if he's just insane; in any case, given that both of them are homeless, it falls to Callie to look after him as any good squire would, even though he doesn't have any battles to fight. As a result, she's entrusted with bailing him out whenever he gets in trouble with the Templars, holding his hair out of his face when he's had too much to drink, and getting rid of lit cigarettes when he finally passes out.
    • Annabel Usher serves as both deputy and minder to Headmaster Hayden Montag of Innsmouth Academy. Despite his undeniable expertise in magic and impressive administrative abilities, Montag is almost completely clueless when it comes to social matters, and it falls to Usher to keep him from accidentally offending people - or terrifying them witless with his fascination for all things morbid. Plus, his propensity for monologues will occasionally require Usher to helpfully steer him back in the direction of a point. Played much more darkly in the intro to "To Sir With Love," in which Usher has to keep Montag from killing himself in an attempt to stop a wraith loose in the academy.
    • Harumi Nakahara serves as this to her big brother Yuichi; with the already socially-awkward young man having been driven to a nervous breakdown by his disastrous time with the Fear Nothing Foundation, Harumi now has to care for him as best as she can - especially given that both their parents have died in the aftermath of the Tokyo Bombing. Among other things, she cooks his meals, she reminds him that he's safe, and she keeps him just sociable enough to say hello to visitors. For good measure, Harumi notes the irony of having to look after Yuichi when she's almost as eccentric as him.
    • Played very darkly in the case of Adrian Zorlescu and Rada Nastase: both are members of the Morninglight, and Adrian has been specifically assigned to keep Rada from running off and potentially revealing the truth behind the cult to outsiders. As such, most of Adrian's time is spent keeping Rada sedated with booze and pills, ensuring that the already drug-addled heiress can't reveal anything incriminating to guests, much less run away. Worse still, her sober moments are spent being menaced by Adrian into pretending to be happy around strangers - and occasionally pleading for someone to put her out of her misery.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Akira is this to Kiyoharu, who was driven insane by torture, poison, and living in an irradiated glass desert. Kiyoharu thinks he leads the settlement and Akira is his trusted second-in-command; everyone knows that Akira's really in charge, but he gently humors Kiyoharu.
  • The Suffering: At one point, Torque has to guide around a drugged-up and traumatized teenager who's so out of it he thinks that Torque is his father.
  • At the beginning of Tales of Symphonia, Genis serves as this for Lloyd. Raine also takes this role with regard to Collette, to a degree.
  • The Engineer and Pyro, of Team Fortress 2, seem to be fairly close companions in the various comics. Though the Engineer isn't entirely normal himself, the Pyro is... well, the Pyro. Given that the two classes have a complementary playstyle in-game, this is likely intentional.
  • Violet's secretary in Tekken Tag Tournament 2's Fight Lab.
  • Youmu Konpaku from Touhou Project often acts as this to her mistress Yuyuko Saigyouji. In a subversion, Youmu is a bit half-baked herself, while Yuyuko is actually smarter than she behaves. So whenever the two go out to investigate an Incident, Yuyuko will make Cryptic Conversation suggesting she's already figured everything out, which goes completely over Youmu's head. Presumably, Yuyuko plays along with this arrangement so she can mess with her servant.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: Alicia is this to Welkin. Played up even more in the anime.
  • XCOM 2's Alien Hunters DLC reveals that the player Commander unknowingly served as this to head scientist Dr. Vahlen in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. When the Commander was captured by the aliens, Vahlen went into hiding and continued her research, only for her For Science! tendencies to compel her to create three incredibly powerful and dangerous alien "rulers," which predictably escape from her lab. She even laments that the Commander wasn't around to curb her enthusiasm.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Pandoria is a subversion. Although she will occasionally call Zeke out on his eccentric behavior and often acts as the bridge between his insanity and rationality, she mostly embraces her driver’s quirks. Pandoria knows that, despite it all, Zeke is actually a kind and reliable guy, and that his bizarre behaviors are just a part of who he is. Pandoria just wants people to see him the way that she does.

    Visual Novels 
  • The main characters in the Ace Attorney series tend to be this to their sidekicks (at the very least they occasionally manage to prevent them from doing something stupid), but it also goes the other way, as the sidekicks will chew out the protagonist (and by extension, the player) every time they present something irrelevant to court or come to a wildly off-base conclusion.
  • In CLANNAD, Tomoya Okazaki becomes one to Kotomi Ichinose, who is very intelligent but doesn't seem to grasp that, no, you can't cut pages out of library books.
  • In Gnosia, Stella serves as this to Jonas, who was once a revered space explorer but is now the somewhat loopy captain of the spaceship that the novel is set in. Stella acts as his secretary and keeps everything on the ship running as she is actually an avatar of the ship's AI, LeVi.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Emi Ibarazaki is the one who understands Rin Tezuka's odd trains of thought better. Also, if you make Hisao pick Rin as his girl, he'll fit in here as well. Actually, Hisao is a deconstruction of the trope. In Rin's path, as poor Rin falls into depression and insecurity since her art is becoming popular but she can barely handle the huge attention and pressure on her, Hisao's own emotional stability will be put through the grinder as he attempts to help Rin but he can barely do so. If you pick the wrong options, this will lead to them breaking off their relationship and to the Bad Endings: either Hisao gets fed up with Rin's erratic trains of thought/behavior and breaks up with her after a fight in her atelier, or Rin willingly and tearfully breaks up with him before she leaves and enrolls in an art school in Tokyo.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Seth towards Alex. Although its more like Heroic Comedic Sociopath's Minder, because he tries to keep Alex from going off the deep end, but usually ends up getting involved with his antics anyway.
  • In Les Kassos, agent Scoully is one for agent Muldor, obviously, trying to defuse the latter's obsession with Alien Abduction. And making sure he's taking his medication.
  • Zig-Zagged in Lackadaisy. Booze-runner Ivy appears jaded as to The Leader Rocky's propensity for engaging in "playtime," and makes attempts to keep him focused on practical tasks like lookout duty and shoveling, only for him to pull rank as her superior in their Caper Crew. She needs direction from him during a Car Chase Shootout, and he outright commandeers the wheel to get them to a quarry, but Rocky and The Berserker Freckle remain dependent on her more mundane high-pressure Getaway Driver and Wrench Wench skillsets to supplement their own more eccentric Improv Fu and Gun Nut proclivities.
  • Church could be seen as this to Caboose in Red vs. Blue. He's entered Caboose's mind a few times, and also seems to be the only one who knows how to get results from Caboose, either through manipulation or genuinely getting through to him.
  • RWBY:
    • Typically, Weiss is seen as an anchor for Ruby's Genki Girl antics. Subverted as of Volume 4 with Ruby taking a more heroic leader role.
    • Ren serves as this to Nora via a Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl dynamic. Nora is always eccentric in everything she does, while Ren holds her back from doing anything too irrational.
      • RWBY Chibi: Nora's Cloudcuckoolander antics have been upped to Yandere levels.
      • Interestingly, a possible reason why he's so good at minding Nora is that he's implied to be Only Sane by Comparison. Ren has several instances where he slips in to Cloudcuckoolander antics of his own, but his are never as potentially disastous as Nora's, meaning he can understand Nora's thought processes better and help reign her in without souring her generally positive mood.
  • Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers:
    • SMG4 and Luigi generally have to play this role to Mario, who's interpreted in the series as a violent, ignorant Psychopathic Manchild. SMG4 is generally the more successful of the two due to being more aggressive, but given how Mario acts, it's no surprise that one of the most common lines you'll hear from SMG4 during these moments is an aggravated "Goddammit, Mario!".
    • In sister series Guards N' Retards, Chris takes the role of reigning in Swagmaster when his goofball antics start being a danger. He will let Swagmaster off the leash when his more violent impulses would be beneficial for the situation at hand.

    Web Comics 
  • Copernicus winds up being this to Fletcher on occasion in Antics. Sometimes.
  • Credenza of Archipelago for Blitz. Apart from having his undying loyalty and friendship, she essentially acts as his caretaker, often telling him to "put down that shiny" and the like. When things get Darker and Edgier, she comforts him when he begins to be tormented with nightmares of his past and forgotten life. He also pines for her when she's not there, goes into a panic attack when she's in danger and essentially devotes himself to her.note 
    • Also, Paollo's guards, since he's a Fainting Seer and half-dreaming most of the time.
  • Bad Moon Rising has Persephone playing minder to her Cloudcuckoolander older brother Hyacinth. An argument could also be made that Chloe is this for Madison.
  • In Blood Stain, Serge acts as this for Absent-Minded Professor Dr. Vladimir Stein.
  • Lucas and Lilah in Ctrl+Alt+Del both fill this role for Ethan.
  • In Girl Genius the best minions make it a point to keep the Sparks they work for/with from getting to the "My God, What Have I Done?" stage.
  • In Grey is..., White is very much this to Black, especially in the flashbacks to 2 years ago where we see a depressed anorexic Black who is only really happy when White is there to distract him. Even in the present time, it is up to White to help keep Black from freaking out when he loses focus and can't remember things or when his boss starts nagging him.
  • In Mage & Demon Queen, Queen Elenoir Siegwald of Folstina is this to her husband, King Albert Siegwald. While he is a brave, determined, and hotblooded adventurer who fended off the demon threat, united the fractured human territories under his rule, and killed the previous Demon King 40 years ago, he is also an astoundingly dense idiot and it's her job to minimize the damage he can do to himself or to others.
  • Megatokyo: Piro is this to Largo, translating his l33t sp34k when necessary and trying to rein him in from trouble. Lately, however, Erika has been taking over the job — when she's not just running with the madness.
  • Louise of Miscellaneous Error spends most of her time trying to keep her brother, Jack, from killing himself or anybody else.
  • Raizel of Noblesse whenever Frankenstein loses his s**t & summons the Dark Spear.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Haley Starshine is the one to take this role most often with Elan, both before and after they're in a relationship. She knows him well enough to include an "Elan tax" in the shopping budget.
    • It turns out the apple didn't fall so far from the tree, as Elan's evil father's teammates occasionally act as this for him, especially Malack. Tarquin is dangerously competent when he's on his game, but is also a story-obsessed narcissist who'll go to absurd lengths to control "his" narrative. According to the author, it's no coincidence Tarquin gets more and more unhinged following Malack's demise.
    • Nale, Elan's twin brother, is constantly forced to babysit his Dumb Muscle Bumbling Sidekick Thog, as despite being a powerful fighter who'll kill anyone on command, Thog is otherwise a big kid in an adult's body and requires constant supervision. Case in point:
      Thog: oh, little ice-cream friends! Thog delays boredom-driven rampage only for you!
    • Bozzok acts as one for Crystal, the Thieves Guild dumb-as-rocks assassin. When Haley kills Crystal, he has her corpse made into a self-aware golem; one of the benefits of is in that state, she's now more focused and less likely to get distracted. Unfortunately, for him, this also fills her with constant pain, and keeps her smart enough to realize who is responsible for her misery.
    • The fighter Wrecan is the elven priestess Veldrina's official bodyguard on their pilgrimage as the Western Pantheon's representatives to the Northern Godsmoot. This mostly involves keeping her from walking straight into dangerous situations, as she's a Ditzy Genius with a strong scientific curiosity for divine magic and very little common sense.
      Veldrina: [bending to examine a vampire's face] Fascinating how properly applied negative energy can provide a semblance of biological functions, don't you think?
      Wrecan: Not as fascinating as your uncanny ability to find the straightest line between your nose and something dangerous. Back up.
  • There's a bit of a back-and-forth-ing of this trope in Questionable Content between the A.I.s Roko Basilisk and Melon. Initially it was pretty straight-forward, with Roko trying to keep Melon out of trouble, sometimes by telling her off and sometimes by advising other people on how to deal with Melon's brand of "logic." Later on in the series the trope becomes much more serious after Roko's original chassis is destroyed and she ends up integrating poorly with her new one, resulting in dissociative episodes. In these moments, Melon instead becomes the caretaker of Roko.
  • In Scandinavia and the World, Denmark is childish, tactless, accident-prone, usually drunk, and prone to freak out when left alone or in the presence of nature. It's usually up to Norway to extinguish his hair, placate the person he's offended, or just give him a hug.
  • In Snowflakes, Sloan is this to Wray, the Chuunibyou bully of the orphanage. However, once Wray, Greg, and Glory set out for El Dinoroboro, Greg ends up in this position instead.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Tuuri is this for Lalli, explaining to him why he has to do certain things, and that some of his behaviour is rude. In addition, she's a literal Translator Buddy as he doesn't share a language with anyone on the team besides Tuuri herself.

    Web Original 
  • Apollo believes he is this to Thalia in Thalia's Musings. Thalia disagrees. Apollo's been appointed official caretaker of the Muses, so technically he's this to all of them. It's just that Thalia causes the most trouble.

    Web Videos 
  • 3rd Life SMP: While he can't exactly tell an accident-prone GoodTimesWithScar "no" due to being indebted to him (long story), Grian frantically warns anyone who comes near of Scar's attempts to scam them out of their items, and is generally the voice of reason in their duo. However, this is subverted; while Grian is less inclined to backstabbing and similar forms of chaos, he is more than happy to cause death, having set at least one potentially deadly trap a recording session from Day 4 to Day 6.
  • Achievement Hunter's Michael and Geoff mind Gavin. This happens more so during videos than in real life, although it has been known to happen in their day-to-day lives, as well.
  • Agents of Cracked has Dan hired to be this to Michael, an Idiot Savant who is completely insane and is implied to have caused the deaths of his last eight partners but keeps his job because his articles (even if he writes them five minutes before publishing while asleep) are popular. Subverted in that Dan has no ability to keep Michael under control, as he just does what he wants anyway, and Dan undergoes considerable Sanity Slippage himself as a result.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • Being the only person who gives him any change, The Critic has basically put himself in charge in Chester. Seeing as how Critic isn't all there either, this can cause problems.
    • Played darker in the review of Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer, where, to keep him behaving and to stop his crazy bothering people, Malcolm put a chill pill patch on Critic. Tamara thinks it's disgusting, but taking the bolt off unleashes all his crazy.
  • SMPLive: Cooper often fills this role to Travis's Cloudcuckoolander, especially when he has to represent him in court.

    Western Animation 
  • All Hail King Julien gives King Julien two minders. He would have run the kingdom into the ground if not for his advisor Maurice trying to keep him under control and would have gotten himself killed long ago if not for his bodyguard Clover trying to keep him safe.
  • Komodo from Animal Mechanicals has to keep the other Mechanicals (mostly Sasquatch) in check.
  • Animaniacs:
    • Pinky and the Brain. The Brain's schemes to take over the world would run much more smoothly if he didn't need to play this role for Pinky.
    • Rita plays this role for Runt. The parallels with Of Mice and Men are so obvious that they once did a Whole-Plot Reference cartoon.
  • On Archer, Lana is this to resident Cloudcuckoolander (and possible undiagnosed autistic) Sterling Archer, which she realizes to her horror in "Coyote Lovely":
    Malory: ...But now I'm stuck with [this] because you couldn't control Sterling!
    Lana: Since when is babysitting Archer my j— oh, my God, that's exactly my job.
  • Tilly Green of Big City Greens is sometimes this for Cricket, depending on the episode.
  • This is Mulch's job on Dragons: Riders of Berk — keeping an eye on his brain-damaged friend Bucket.
  • DuckTales (2017): "The Ballad of Duke Baloney!" introduces Zan Owlson, who takes over Glomgold Industries after Flintheart went missing during the events of the season one finale. When Glomgold gets his memory back and takes back his company, Ms. Owlson becomes the new CFO and basically ends up as Glomgold's babysitter. She frequently tries (and fails) to keep Glomgold from embarrassing himself in public and/or spending too much of the company's time and money on hair-brained, needlessly-complex schemes to get back at Scrooge McDuck. She eventually gets fed up with Glomgold's antics and decides to work for the more level-headed Scrooge for a stint, only to get fed up with his reckless thrillseeking and decides to work for Louie after he takes over Scrooge's company, only to get fed up with his wasteful spending and wish-fulfillment. She eventually quits finance altogether to become mayor of St. Canard.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Edd is this to both Ed and Eddy. Well, at least he tries. Sometimes swap with Eddy when Edd's Control Freak tendency goes out of control.
  • Fangbone!: Bill is this to Fangbone, helping him get adjusted to life on Earth and loosen up a little whenever Fangbone's overly serious tendencies get the better of him.
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum: Kyle takes on this role most times, usually to watch over the titular duo's wackiness and to cope with their wild and outlandish behavior.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends:
    • Mac serves as this for his imaginary friend, Bloo. Normally he'll engage in fun activities with Bloo, but he'll be the voice of reason when Bloo is going too far and will even make Bloo apologize and make things right if need be. To a lesser extent, he can be this to the other imaginary friends as well.
    • Frankie generally fills this role (except for some rare OOC episodes where she was just as cloudcuckoolander as the other residents).
    • Mr. Herriman also fills this role for everyone, including Madame Foster. Invoked somewhat - unlike most of the imaginary friends, Madame Foster is the one who created Mr. Herriman in the first place, possibly for this exact purpose.
  • Futurama:
    • Leela is this to Fry (being his boss) for the first few episodes. After that, he adapts and stops being a Fish out of Temporal Water, though she still takes on this role from time to time.
      Leela: Once and for all, Fry, even though it's the future, most objects are still just objects, not aliens who look like objects.
      Fry: So my efforts to establish diplomatic relations with the Cactus People were doomed from the start.
    • The Planet Express crew frequently plays this role in regards to Professor Farnsworth. Left to his own devices, he probably would have destroyed the Earth, or worse.
    • Kif is this to a T to Zapp Brannigan, despite not wanting to be, although he can't bring himself to stop. In one of the comics, he becomes extremely depressed when Zap gets a new toady (and goes into an Unstoppable Rage when said toady is manipulating Zap).
  • On Gravity Falls, Dipper is a mild example for his twin sister, Mabel. While she is an independent and pretty stable girl, her wild enthusiasm can get her in trouble. One example is when in her determination to get Soos a date, she harassed several women in the ladies' room with a megaphone to get to date, forcing Dipper to intervene when security arrives.
  • Grojband: Laney Penn is this to the rest of Grojband, especially Corey (who she has a crush on), pulling them down to earth whenever necessary and pointing out flaws in Corey's Zany Schemes.
  • Harley Quinn (2019): Poison Ivy never stopped trying to talk sense into Harley about her being a victim of Domestic Abuse by the Joker and arranges a whole set up with the Riddler just so she can get into Harley's head that Joker doesn't love her. Afterwards, Ivy tries talking Harley out of her stupid attempts at becoming a better villainess. Not that Harley listens to her, which Harley herself even lampshades by saying she enjoys not-listening to Ivy's advice more than anyone else's. When Ivy has to rescue Harley from being beaten by Batman after a prank involving a giant shark nearly gets Robin killed, Ivy complains that her entire existence appears to revolve around cleaning up her loony best friend's messes.
  • Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Yumi serves the voice of reason to Ami.
  • Inside Job (2021)
  • Inspector Gadget is such an extreme Cloudcuckoolander that he requires two minders: his ten-year-old niece Penny and his mute but intelligent dog Brain.
  • Kaeloo: Kaeloo is this to Stumpy, although she herself is a bit of a cloudcuckoolander.
  • In The Legend of Korra, the mild-mannered Zhu Li, ostensibly Varrick's assistant, mostly serves as one of these. Sort of, anyways; despite appearances, Varrick himself is extremely intelligent and a master of Obfuscating Stupidity. A Book 4 side/subplot expands her character and explores Varrick's dependency on and appreciation for her and concludes with their wedding.
  • Bugs Bunny in The Looney Tunes Show. When the series begins, this is his dynamic for Daffy. He manages to pass that duty off to Tina, only to end up as Lola's minder.
  • My Little Pony:
  • Ready Jet Go!: Sean and Sydney play this role to the eccentric Jet, often trying to prevent him from revealing his alien identity and blend into Earthie society.
  • Regular Show: Especially earlier on, Benson acts as this for Pops, translating his flowery language and reminding him that you pay for things with money, not lollipops.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Waylon Smithers often plays this role to Mr. Burns when he has Scatterbrained Senior/Disco Dan tendencies, and Smithers needs to remind him who Homer Simpson is.
    • Springfield Police officer Lou becomes this to Chief Wiggum in later seasons, as he often contradicts him when the latter says something stupid.
  • Sharon Marsh is pretty straightforward when it comes to her husband Randy's Cloudcuckoolandings in South Park, with Stan often sharing this role.
  • Spongebob Squarepants
    • Barnacle Boy frequently has to keep Mermaid Man out of trouble due to being the more rational and less senile of the pair.
    • Don't tell Squidward this, but he often takes this role for SpongeBob — frequently trying to calm him down when he starts freaking out, warning him of the consequences of his crazy behavior ("Wigstruck"), cheering him up when his excessive naivete leads to depression ("Christmas Who?"), and defending him when he doesn't have the heart to stand up for himself ("Pizza Delivery").
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil, secondary protagonist Marco Diaz was introduced to Star for the explicit purpose of being her guide on Earth. Both "School Spirit" and "The Bananagic Incident" shows exactly what happens when a Fish out of Water armed with real magic is left to her own devices.
  • As seen in Total Drama Island and Total Drama World Tour, this is Noah for Owen and Izzy, the campers most likely to get themselves into trouble due to their skewed mindset (though more Izzy than Owen) and, ironically, the ones he is closest to and always supporting.
  • Cyclonus of The Transformers is usually the one charged with keeping Galvatron's violent, manic impulses in check. He once tried get his psychopathic leader psychological treatment, but, predictably, this ended in failure.
  • Sylvia of Wander over Yonder is this for Wander.
  • Disney's Winnie the Pooh cartoons usually have Rabbit in this role.
  • On Young Justice (2010), Klarion has Teekl. Teekl is a cat.
    Klarion: This isn't T. O. Morrow!
    Sportsmaster: Klarion, this is Professor Ivo.
    Klarion: I didn't order this! Send it back!
    Teekl: [purrs]
    Klarion: Morrow's in a coma? Did I already know that?
  • Sam Rutherford can often be this for D'Vana Tendi in Star Trek: Lower Decks. However, since he is his own different flavor of Cloudcuckoolander, sometimes they just go off together with no supervision, and it's usually Brad Boimler who reels them back in at the end to preserve Status Quo Is God.

    Real Life 
  • James Hutton, the geologist responsible for putting forward an important aspect of plate tectonics, was known for having very strange speech patterns, which made his papers unreadable. When he died, a friend of his (who knew what he was on about) rephrased things for him.
  • The late Wesley Willis had quite a few of these over the years, but Jello Biafra and Henry Rollins are the most well-known.
  • Billionaire Warren Buffett can get lost in his own world and needs people around him to remind him to take care of himself. In fact, his relationship with Astrid, his second wife, began after he'd separated from Susan, his first wife, who asked Astrid to occasionally check on Buffett out of concern that her estranged husband would simply forget to eat and damage his health.


Video Example(s):


Frieren Hates Mornings

Despite being an immortal mage Frieren hates waking up in the morning and forcing her adopted daughter Fern to dress her up and get her ready basically every morning, to the point Fern jokes she acts more like a mother. Frieren waking up early on her own is such a rare occasion that Fern celebrates when it occurs, which Stark finds very odd.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / NotAMorningPerson

Media sources: