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Flawless Token
aka: Positive Discrimination

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"See, it's not enough for the new black kid on the team to be just as competent as everyone else on the team, oh no. He has to be Super Negro and beat the snot out of everybody else in the entire gymnastics world."
The Agony Booth's recap of the Mister T episode "Mystery of the Golden Medallion"

When the Token Minority and/or Token Female character can do no wrong. They will never bumble or make a mistake, even in a show where the majority of the cast does. They will be much smarter and have more common sense than average, they have more knowledge and skill than they have any reason to possess given their professional background, and they will definitely be of superior moral character. If the show is a comedy full of idiots and other wacky characters, the token is almost always The Straight Man.

When this trope appears in dramatic works, in addition to the typical qualities of being both impossibly badass and irreproachably moral, the Flawless Token will nearly invariably have suffered a horrifically tragic past of abuse and injustice from evil white/male/heterosexual/whatever oppressors, making their rise to greatness from total abjection all the more indicative of their perfection. Despite this, they will never harbor any resentment or desire for revenge towards their oppressors as a whole and will be perfectly happy to work alongside people in the majority group who treat them fairly.

If the Flawless Token is a foreigner to their oppressor's society, their English (or whatever language) will always be absolutely perfect. When required, they will interact with this oppressive society with total confidence and will have no complaints or criticisms against its culture or customs. This allows the (likely predominantly white) audience to nod their heads in agreement at how righteous the Flawless Token is without having to face any anxiety or discomfort from having to choose between them and the institutions the audience cares about.

Physically, the Flawless Token will generally be attractive, but not quite a supermodel. Naturally, they are far too noble to ever be concerned with such a shallow and meaningless thing as beauty, but - in a remarkable coincidence - will just so happen to meet most of those beauty ideals anyway. Even a crossdressing or Transgender token will typically have little trouble "passing" as an attractive member of his or her preferred sex.

Though this trope is more common with women, racial minorities, and LGBT characters, it is sometimes applied to disabled people as well. This often leads to Disability Superpower, Handicapped Badass, Idiot Savant, Inspirationally Disadvantaged, and other tropes that, done wrong, will imply that disability actually makes a person inherently superior. In an effort to compensate for a history of stigmatizing the disabled by using them as Morality Pets, objects of pity, or the subjects of miraculous cures, writers will often completely overshoot the mark, going from "inferiority" to "superiority" and skipping "equality" altogether and never addressing issues such a character might realistically face.

Speculative Fiction can create a culture where women or groups that are minorities in Real Life are in positions of power and no one thinks it's unusual (invoking Fantastic Racism optional), but sometimes they dip into this trope anyway.

While usually a well-intentioned attempt at giving the minority in question some much-needed positive representation, another likely reason behind the presence of Flawless Tokens is the fear of misrepresenting minorities and being accused of bigotry as a result, making this trope the safest way of portraying one. This has the unintended consequence of pigeonholing them into being the dullest characters of the entire work and in the worst case scenario, make them The Scrappy. Some media may be shrewd enough to give a minority the odd token flaw or Not So Above It All moment, but they tend to dilute it as much as possible (occasionally to the point of near non-existence), or at least emphasize the fact that such a trait or moment is rare. In other cases, they may actually indeed be just as flawed as the rest of the cast, but still treated as having the moral high ground regardless. In the long run, however, their shortcomings will usually at the very least be far less detrimental than others'.

Compare Character Shilling, Closer to Earth, Females Are More Innocent, The Unfair Sex and Everything Is Racist. Almost all instances of You Go, Girl! and Battle of the Sexes are this when women are displayed as superior to their male competitors in sports or other traditionally male domains. The Innocent Bigot may expect a token character to be perfect, but in this case, it will be lampshaded as a bad thing. You Are a Credit to Your Race is a related trope, as is Noble Savage. Taking the polar opposite tack leads to Mighty Whitey and Men Are Better Than Women. Almost always leads to a Right Way/Wrong Way Pair.

Contrast the Sub-Par Supremacist.

See also Magical Minority Person and its subtropes.

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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Eyeshield 21, Patrick "Panther" Spencer, a well-known, dark-skinned individual, gets this treatment. By the final story, where a chapter or play doesn't seem to be able to go by without saying he's greater than everyone else due to "his black genes", it truly sticks out. It's odd when you consider that in a football series about players who casually pull off superhuman feats regardless of ethnicity, the narrative claims that one character's defining ability to his football skill is "because he's black".
  • Nils Nielsen is the only genuinely black Gunpla Fighter in Gundam Build Fighters, and one of the precious few black people in the entire Gundam world in general. He's a 13-year-old Child Prodigy with several PhDs, as well as the son of a famous detective and a prominent female martial arts champion. On the other hand, he does mix up his Chinese and Japanese cultures when he builds a Japanese-themed Gundam that fights using the Chinese martial art fa Kendall, something that gets lampshaded by the show's Japanese cast members.
  • Motoko Kusanagi of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, the sole female on her team, is the most skilled member of Section 9, being an expert hacker and skilled in both hand-to-hand combat and firearms. She even outdoes some of the other team members at their own specialties. Anyone fighting her will usually lose because the Major is a Genius Bruiser and will turn people's advantages against them.
  • The "Djeeta Arc" episodes of Granblue Fantasy has Djeeta blaze through the same plots Gran took the whole season to finish and accomplish near all the classes, with just enough time to have fun with her crew and team up with fan-favorite characters.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics:
    • Chuck Clayton has zero flaws whatsoever, is Riverdale's top athlete who plays on every team, a terrifically talented artist, an A student, has a hot steady girlfriend who he rarely (if ever) has any quarrels with, has his father on staff at school meaning he's guaranteed access to a Reasonable Authority Figure, and is basically beloved by the entire town. Really the closest thing to a "flaw" he has is he's not much of a ladies' man... and that's only because for the longest time they didn't dare put him with anyone other than the one Black girl in school.
    • Kevin Keller's character basically begins and ends with "is gay". Aside from that, he's basically a living Ken Doll with zero flaws, is one of the nicest and handsomest people in school, and is basically loved by everyone in town.
  • In Sonic the Comic, after Amy's initial portrayal as a standard Damsel in Distress, she fairly rapidly developed into a more level-headed Action Girl with Improbable Aiming Skills, ultimately becoming the Freedom Fighters' Number Two after Sonic himself. Writer Nigel Kitching revealed this to have happened at the behest of the comic's editors, who wanted to make her a more positive female role model. Kitching resented this imposition, as he claims that he had planned to make her into a more competent contributing member of the Freedom Fighters over time anyway, and he felt that she ended up becoming a much more one-dimensional character as compared to her more flawed male comrades.
  • Milena from Monica's Gang was added so that the main cast would have an afrodescendent on it after being comprised of four caucasian children for almsot 60 years. Many of her character bios mention flaws that aren't that big of a deal or are non-existent in the actual comics, and most of the time, she just reacts to the weirdness that her friends usually bring but never becomes a victim of them. If anything, most conflict she gets is getting blamed for something she didn't do and preaching about it like a BLM activist.
    • Jeremiah, who has been in the franchise even before Monica herself, became this around the same time Milena was added. In the original comics, the most racist thing about him was his design, but he was otherwise The Generic Guy personality-wise, specially compared to Franklin, Bucky and Hummer. But around the 2010's, not only he started appearing more alongside the main cast (despite him being a preteen whereas the others are 7), but also would have his personality changed to an upbeat, perfectionist and dedicated student. Which wouldn't be so bad, but he's also no longer the target of being a Butt-Monkey like he was decades prior, something no other character had the privilege of, and despite the fact that he was never targeted because of his ethnicity.
    • The same also applies to other token characters in the comic, like Lucanote , Doranote , and Andre note , among others. The worst flaw they could have is being kind of snarky, but it never goes to the same extent as the main characters, who can be truly unlikable people if the plot calls for it. They also got less and less Butt-Monkey moments, although to be fair, these were mostly related to their disabilities in one way or another. Even Hummer's speech impendiment was retconned to him being mute, and ever since he learned sign language, he no longer has trouble communicating with the other kids, granting him immunity to the misfortunes he was presented with in earlier comics.
  • In an issue of Ms. Marvel, two supporting characters, Mike and Nakia, commiserate about this trope:
    Mike: I feel like I need to be the well-adjusted, straight-A-getting, all-American kid at all times, because it I'm not, people will blame it on my moms.
    Nakia: I know that feeling, Mike... It's like being an immigrant kid, you have to be the best because if you're not, it's proof that your parents and their culture messed you up. Meanwhile, the nice apple-pie kid is in the corner sniffing glue, but nobody is asking what culture messed him up.

    Comic Strips 
  • Delta, the main black cast member of Luann, is the smartest and most level-headed of the entire group. Unless you count "being a workaholic" as an actual flaw, she's about as absurdly perfect as they get. (She was written out of the strip after the main characters graduated from high school. In an interview, cartoonist Greg Evans explained why, saying, "Delta was always a hard character to write because she’s too good (giving a minority character negative traits is always problematic).")
  • Nearly all the characters in Peanuts have some kind of flaw or insecurity, with the noted exception of Franklin, the only black character in the cast. He's a decent athlete, does well in school, and he's one of the handfuls of individuals that is genuinely nice to Charlie Brown. In fact, when he came to Charlie Brown's neighborhood to visit, he found everyone to be strange and unusual.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Occurs in the movie version of Get Smart due to Values Dissonance. Agent 99 being the competent and experienced professional while Maxwell Smart was a blundering incompetent was originally a surprising and subversive twist.note  Today it just seems like this trope. In fact, they seem to have made Maxwell more competent in order to compensate. This may be to rectify the fact that in the original, 99 admires Smart, likes him being in charge, and is prepared to completely ignore his lack of ability in favor of his experience, character, and tendency towards dumb luck. The modern 99 is clearly aware of Max's inexperience, so they had to give him at least some capabilities. The funny thing is that the experienced character is younger than the inexperienced one in real life - Anne Hathaway is twenty years younger than Steve Carell. This is actually referenced in the film. 99 reveals that she recently underwent plastic surgery after botching a mission and had the surgeons make her look younger. Smart's inexperience is mostly due to him having been too obese to be a field agent until just before the events of the film.
  • The Last Voyage: Lawson is the only prominent African-American character and might be the bravest, most levelheaded character in the movie.
  • George A Romero's Living Dead trilogy played this fairly straight:
    • Black Ben in Night of the Living Dead is not only the Final Guy, but the only person in the film to be competent at both gunplay and tire-iron-to-temple combat. He was also smart and resourceful, and not stupid (Johnny or Mrs. Cooper), emotionally unstable, or incapacitated (Barbara and Karen) or just a plain Jerkass like Harry Cooper. Tom and Judy are fairly useful, but not as useful as Ben and they're the first in the house to die in an accident that was their fault. Keep in mind though, this was likely unintentional, as the script didn't call for Ben's character to be black, and Duane Jones was just the best actor to audition for the role. It was also pretty groundbreaking at the time to cast a black actor as the heroic lead among an otherwise white cast, which apart from the movies of Sidney Poitier was highly unusual back then.
    • The rest of the trilogy plays it fairly straight. In Dawn of the Dead the African-American SWAT officer is both the groups' best fighter and savvy enough to not get overconfident, and the film's survivors are him and the only female of the group. The same goes for Day Of The Dead, as the female and/or non-white characters are both the most moral in the film and its only survivors.
  • Lampshaded in The Animal: Miles, the only black man employed at the airport, is constantly complaining that, because he's black, the others treat him as if he could do no wrong, and ignore anything he does - such as smoking in a federal building - that would prove otherwise. This becomes a Chekhov's Gun when Miles claims to be the monster to keep the mob from killing the main character. The mob immediately disbands to avoid getting charged with a hate crime, and Miles stands there as they walk off, screaming about 'reverse racism'.
  • In The Gamers: Dorkness Rising a female joins the group and two of the guys flip out (the other two being the ex-boyfriend and the DM who knew ahead of time). And in spite of being completely new to gaming, she's able to build a monster 9th level fighter using only the Players Handbook and a combination of feats that only exist in this movie that the Munchkin Powergamer Rules Lawyer somehow missed. She's far more mature than the other players and after only one game session is able to give the Game Master all the insight he needs to run his group correctly. The guys are a milquetoast, a Jerkass, and two emotionally stunted clowns. Circumstances are contrived to make sure her character is the most effective. She excels against several weak opponents, but her low hit points make her weak against a tougher foe and the group has no real tank due to this. Though to be fair, players who have to campaign to take part in the...campaign are far more likely to obsess over the game to find exploits and create an OP charector, and the books aren't really that complicated.
  • Lampshaded in Miss Congeniality. Victor the beauty pageant coach is explaining to Gracie how he had a near-perfect record of the girls he coached winning the pageant. On one year his girl lost, the winner was a deaf-mute. You can't beat that.
  • YMMV, but Sidney Poitier was criticized for this during the late 1960s. Nearly all his characters were almost impossibly virtuous paragons of middle class values that some critics claimed gave an incomplete view of African-American life and ignored ongoing issues.
  • Boy Eats Girl: Jessica is a black girl and the Twofer Token Minority for her town (even her dad is white) and she's easily the most competent fighter in the movie, and also one of the nicest characters.

    Literature 
  • The saintly Uncle Tom in Uncle Tom's Cabin: Harriet Beecher Stowe intended him to be a model of a perfect Christian: he was portrayed in the novel as being young and strong but still aspiring to be nonviolent. It eventually backfired when later readers began to interpret Tom's goodness as weakness, and a different version of the character emerged in minstrel show adaptations (which Stowe neither approved nor profited from): an older, weaker man who groveled and kowtowed before whites and was essentially a slavery apologist. Thus we have Uncle Tomfoolery.
  • Of the four protagonists of Patrick Tilley's The Amtrak Wars, the two guys are pretty deeply flawed, get slightly better or a lot worse, and die. The two girls wind up more or less saints by the end.
  • Conversational Troping in Jingo, when 71-Hour Achmed accuses Vimes of this:
    Achmed: Shall I tell you how I know you are a good man, Sir Samuel? After the attempt on the Prince's life I suspected everyone. But you suspected only your own people. You couldn't bring yourself to think the Klatchians might have done it. Because that'd line you up with the likes of Sergeant Colon and all the rest of the Klatchian-fags–are–made–of–camel–dung brigade. [...] Be generous, Sir Samuel. Truly treat all men equally. Allow Klatchians the right to be scheming bastards, hmm?

    Live-Action TV 
  • NewsRadio — the sole black character, Bill's co-anchor Catherine Duke, was by far the least ridiculous person at the station. Also the dullest, which is why few noticed her departure in the middle of the fourth season. Dave and Lisa were also more or less normal, as well as more successful. Still, in one episode when Bill is listing the positive traits of all his coworkers, for Catherine he simply says, "You're a woman, and you're black, oh what I wouldn't give!"
  • In the BBC version of Robin Hood, the character of Djaq is a double token minority- the one non-white outlaw and the only female member of the group. She is frequently shown to be more intelligent than the other characters and is usually the one to tell them off for being idiots, kicks butt while fighting, has incredible healing powers, and can always get herself out of a fix with her Saracen know-how. It got worse in S3, in which Djaq (whose flawlessness was at least alleviated by a likable personality and a plausible backstory for her assortment of skills) is written out and replaced by Kate, whose characterization was a mess of Double Standards. Essentially, the portrayal was a strange blend of blatant sexism and wannabe feminism: on the one hand, the only female of the gang was invariably the one that was constantly getting arrested, kidnapped, or injured (usually due to her inability to keep a lid on her emotions), her only objective on the show was to become Robin's girlfriend (with a Love Triangle with two other outlaws on the side), and she was an otherwise completely useless member of the gang who contributed nothing and was in need of constant supervision. At the same time, none of the male outlaws ever seemed to notice just how much of a liability she really was. Instead, she was allowed to abuse and criticize them constantly, was never required to take responsibility for her actions, and had all the outlaws fall inexplicably in love with her despite her serious attitude problem. Too useless to be an Action Girl and too obnoxious to be a worthy Damsel in Distress, no one truly knows what the writers were trying to achieve with her.
  • Orange Is the New Black: While the show is filled with well-rounded characters of almost every imaginable race, gender, and sexual orientation, it's somewhat noticeable that the most good-natured prisoner at Litchfield — by a pretty wide margin — is the sole transgender character, Sofia Burset. Tellingly, her closest competition in the niceness department is probably Sister Ingalls, the former nun. While Sofia has her share of personal drama, she's one of the only prisoners who's consistently friendly to Piper from the beginning, she had one of the most stable pre-Litchfield lives of any of the prisoners, and her crime (stealing credit cards) is one of the most minor of any of them.
  • Deconstructed in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Holt is both black and gay, which made his early police career very difficult as the '70s and '80s were a much less tolerant time period. However, in the present, the problem has swapped: he finally got the various promotions he had earned over the years, but only because his higher-ups want to make themselves look good. This infuriates Holt, as it makes him feel like he didn't truly earn his position. Not only that, but he had to constantly struggle with his superiors because they wanted to shunt him off to a quiet but visible desk job so they could tout their progressiveness without putting him in charge of anything.
  • Red Dwarf: The seventh season introduces a female crewmember who quickly proves the most competent of any of them (not a challenge given the competition, granted...) They thankfully back off this some in later episodes. It should be pointed out, however, that she came from an alternate universe where the Red Dwarf crew were all more competent than their "regular" universe counterparts. A recurring theme has Kochanski berating Lister for not being as competent as her Dave. However, there is a lot of implication that they were more competent because of her, so it still stands.
  • In the comedy Chalk, Suzy Travis is the sarcastic, intelligent straight man to the rest of the teaching department's idiotic fools — especially deputy headmaster Eric Slatt. However, this is subverted in the second season as she slowly turns into Slatt herself. Likewise, Eric's wife Janet is a typical Closer to Earth sitcom wife. However, it's averted entirely with Ms. Trippley, a complete mess of a woman who sacked all the students at Galfast High School. Twice. There's still something to be said for the fact that while there are Straight Men amongst the female staff, all the male staff have individual quirks and flaws.
  • In the short-lived series The Lone Gunmen, Yves Adele Harlow was the lone female on the primary cast, and also the only fully competent one. The individual characters all got their moments to shine, but Yves owned almost every single time she was on-screen (and off-screen). Only exceptions: in the pilot, Frohike managed to outwit Yves, and Jimmy manages to save the day often as well. (Yves was also dark-skinned and a foreigner, making her a threefer.)
  • Fate: The Winx Saga: The series portrays Aisha as a Go-Getter Girl who's also an avid swimmer - able to do so twice a day. She's also the responsible, Only Sane Man and Team Mom of the group. She does occasionally struggle with Power Incontinence and mentions once being so distraught over failing a math test that she accidentally flooded her old school.
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor:
    • Both the non-white employees of Bly Manor, Hannah Grose and Owen Sharma, are shown as nice caring people and are the most moral in the cast. This puts them in contrast to the white characters who are more ostensibly flawed.
    • Rebecca Jessel is a Reconstruction of this trope, as she's shown to be extremely qualified in several different areas in her job interview, and is an Instant Expert when acting as an au pair for the first time. But it's later revealed that she's had to work twice as hard as a woman to get to where she is, especially since it's the 1980s. Quint rightly guesses that she's more ambitious than she's letting on, and she confirms that she wants to be a barrister and is looking for a different way in.

    Toys 
  • In the LEGO series BIONICLE, each Toa team has only one female on it, the main three so far being Gali, Nokama, and Hahli. In the latter two cases, they are the least flawed and the wisest members of their teams. Particularly noticeable in Legends of Metru Nui in which each Toa Metru is given a major character flaw which they must overcome to unlock their individual mask powers, such as Vakama's lack of confidence and Matau's inability to stop and think before rushing in. Not only is Nokama's flaw relatively small (not admitting when she's wrong), it is only referenced once and she overcomes it very early on, extremely quickly. Note that this stopped applying to her after her team's transformation into Turaga elders.

    As for Gali, this is kind of zigzagged depending on the story, as Onua, a male, was just as wise and never argued with the others, whereas Gali frequently argued with Tahu and Kopaka, although that was mainly trying to get the two to stop their own fights. Notably, Gali was also the only Toa who properly heard the vision about the Toa Kaita (the others tried to fight it) and the only one to protest the Toa Nuva going solo before all went wrong (proving to be wiser than Onua); however, in The Movie, Gali became just as arrogant to Tahu as he was to her.
  • Natalie Breez of Hero Factory, the only female Hero ever to be featured prominently, was, for the most part, a minor character who didn't have much to her. Suddenly, in the animated special Invasion from Below, she becomes the most competent of the bunch: She defeats a giant beast all by herself when the rest of the Heroes can't deal with them even in their mechs, learns that the beasts can communicate, finds out why they are attacking by reading ancient carvings (the others dismiss her), and at the end saved the day by offering peace to the beast queen. After that, the beasts attack again and the Heroes kill them, but that wasn't her fault.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Daniela, the only black character in Double Homework, is very bright with a strong work ethic and moral compass.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue used to have this issue, when the only female characters were Tex and Shiela, one of whom is canonically the best warrior in the series and the other is a tank's AI. Later seasons grew out of this to some extent, after introducing a female character who is just as laughably incompetent as the main cast (Sister), and giving real flaws to the more hypercompetent ladies (Tex).

    Webcomics 
  • Invoked as part of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff's ever-present Stylistic Suck. Most of the comic's humor comes from the protagonists' struggles with basic motor skills and their own rampaging stupidity. When the Token Black Friend Geromy is introduced, he's too smart to get involved in that nonsense—so he stands around doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the comic. In the print edition, Dave's author's notes even acknowledge this:
    Dave Strider: geromy is always the new friend. hes always there and adds much needed racial diversity to these two white assholes who fuck everything up. geromy doesnt fuck anything up because hes perfect. i love geromy.

    Web Original 
  • On the blog Regretsy (which mocks pretentious or ridiculous items on the craft site Etsy), people who leave honest criticism in threads full of fawning approval have their own name and avatar replaced by a default one made up by Regretsy and the name "The Only Sane Person in the World". The icon is of a black woman.
  • Deconstructed in this blog post. The author argues that having a single highly competent black person in the company of many white people of varying competence only shows that black people have to work harder than white people for the same rewards. According to an article, she quotes "...one of the ways in which we will know when black people in the United States are truly liberated and equal to their fellow white citizens will be when there are as many mediocre blacks in academia as there are currently mediocre whites."

    Western Animation 
  • Gwen of Ben 10 was The Load in the beginning. Later events generally portrayed her as smarter, more competent, and all-around better than Ben, despite Ben being the main hero. It culminates in the TV Movie, in which Gwen is portrayed as selfless and Ben as pettily selfish, respectively.
  • In Yin Yang Yo!, the two main leads are girl and boy versions of each other. Yin is the overly girlish girl who likes ponies and anything pink and naturally is the more studious, mature, and level-headed of the two. Yang is a crass, crude-humor spouting blue bunny who likes boyish things like monster trucks, mindless video games, fighting anything that moves, and not studying. Also, Yang is more likely to receive physical slapstick. Once again, the three shows share writers and directors, it is not much of a surprise. Subverted later on when Yin herself is more prone to the dark side because she loves bad boys and that Yang shows that he's more competent and talented than he looks because he prefers to hide it so he can get away with his Book Dumb status. Fridge Brilliance since Yin is the name of darkness while Yang is the name of light.
  • An Animated Adaptation of The Little Rascals in the early 1980s has Buckwheat going from Bad Stereotype to the group's resident Gadgeteer Genius who can build anything from junkyard parts. His speech impediment, of course, is no more.
  • Barbie in A Christmas Carol has Barbie's black friend Christi playing a living saint while Barbie is in the role of The Grinch.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • Subverted in the short "12 Angry Little People" in which the only black juror starts to loudly complain about how the police once took his shoe-shine box and beat him with it while using a stereotypically unaware inflection. When the others stare at him in disgust he says, "What? Every black man on the TV gots to be a posi-a-tive role model?" Done again immediately afterward when the other minority juror (a dog) gives a technical explanation and another juror brushes him off with, "Uh, you're a f**king dog."
  • Family Guy:
    • Joe, who is by far one of the most more competent male character characters in the show, despite being confined to a wheelchair.
    • Cleveland, despite his rather boring nature, is way more competent than Peter, and saner than Quagmire.
  • In Rugrats, and sequel series All Grown Up!:
    • African-American Susie is the smartest of all the babies, her dad is the creator of a widely successful TV show and her mom is a doctor. Susie was a late addition to the original cast who quickly was utilized as a counter/foil to Angelica and to play a good 'big sister' role for the younger babies. It is likely that the intent was to add an older character that the babies could look up to, so she would have had the same positive traits no matter what race she was given. She may very well be an example of an intentionally good character who just happened to also be black for diversity's sake. Her earliest role, "Meet the Carmichaels", has her introduced as a fickle crybaby. "Tricycle Thief" also greatly subverts her saintly role. Her voice actress Cree Summer was told to make sure Susie always sounded as smart and well-spoken as possible. All Grown Up! tries to undo some of the effects by adding realistic flaws to an older child. In the first episode, she is easily conned by a woman into giving her $1000 thinking it's for a record deal, in another she completely buckles under pressure when she has to juggle an audition and a spot on her language team, she's shown to resent how the others look on her as perfect as well as sometimes acting rudely towards Angelica.
    • In the first movie, the black female rookie park ranger is much more competent than the experienced white male park ranger.
    • Susie's mother Lucy is an even more glaring example of the trope. From her very first episode, she's shown to be an incredibly talented artist and chef who studied in France and that's in addition to being a fully qualified doctor. All Grown Up also reveals that she was a successful blues singer at the age of eighteen.
    • Averted with Eve in the 2021 reboot. She's African-American and just as dimwitted as her original series counterpart Steve.
  • Kanga of Disney's The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh adaptations is presented as being much more logical and mature than the rest of the Hundred Acre Wood for the most part, albeit largely due to taking on a Team Mom role. This is why Kanga is often left Out of Focus. The majority of Disney's attempts to bring in other female additions are similarly far less zany and have less distinct personality flaws than the male leads. This is interestingly subverted in the original novels, where Kanga is more equally idiot-prone as the rest of the cast while the unofficial sequel Return To The Hundred Acre Wood introduces Lottie the otter, who is actually one of the more obnoxious and scatterbrained characters. Winnie the Pooh (2011) returns Kanga to her original book portrayal.
  • Penny of Inspector Gadget, the most down to earth person on the show and several times more competent than her Uncle Gadget and the entire police department combined, it is not rare for her to save the day almost single-handedly while the latter completely screws things up (she is a 10-year-old girl). Granted Brain is near equally skilled if far more blundering and neurotic in execution. Other female characters such as bumbling MAD agents appear but are rare. This probably has less to do with her gender than her age and status as an Audience Surrogate character. The 2015 series gives Penny more flaws, though she still looks far more competent than Gadget.
  • In the eighties cartoon Bionic Six, the family started out with three children, two of their own (a boy and a girl) and an adopted child who was black. The male son was a jock, and go-to guy for saying or doing anything stupid. The adopted black son was not only just as big of a school hero jock as the white son but was a supergenius on top of that.
  • Daria: Jodie herself is sort of a Deconstruction of this trope. Along with Mack, she's the only character who's consistently smart and popular, but she feels like she needs to be perfect at everything, which is only augmented by her parents and the fact that she's a black kid at a mostly-white school. She's probably Daria's closest friend beside Jane and admits that she longs to be as indifferent as they are. In the series finale, she explains to her parents that she's choosing to attend a prestigious HBCU (their alma mater) over an even-more-prestigious faux-Ivy League university, specifically so she can finally exist in a space where she doesn't have to maintain this trope.
  • Defied by King of the Hill. Not only is everyone given realistic flaws, but the most prominent Token Minority characters have some of the worst traits. Laotian Kahn and Minh Souphanousinphone are utter jerkasses and the most openly bigoted of the regular cast, John Redcorn exploits Magical Native American stereotypes to get laid and spent years cuckolding his friend while whining that "his" son isn't being raised properly, while Peggy Hill sees herself as a wise, long-suffering Only Sane Woman when she's really a Small Name, Big Ego who constantly overestimates her own expertise. Kahn Jr. ("Connie") is the closest to playing it straight, being very intelligent, hard-working, and far kinder than her parents, but even she isn't portrayed as being perfect.
  • Kim Possible: Felix Renton is a Genius Cripple, Handicapped Badass and lovable all-around Nice Guy with a cool, flying wheelchair.
  • America: The Motion Picture is an Anachronism Stew-laden satire of the foundation of the United States where every white character is dumb or cartoonishly evil, misguided, an obnoxious fratbro stereotype, and so on. Meanwhile, all the minority characters (including Thomas Edison who, for whatever reason, is a Chinese girl here) are intelligent, resourceful, determined and only get dragged down because of the idiocy or superstitious attitude of the people around them.

Alternative Title(s): Positive Discrimination

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