Follow TV Tropes


Hero Harasses Helpers

Go To

Dex: Consider us your reinforcements.
Blade: What? You amateurs are supposed to be helping me? You? Look at you. You're kids. You're not ready to roll with this. I mean, look at the way you're dressed. What, that's supposed to be tactical? [reads Hannibal's name tag] What is this? What is that? "Fuck you." It's a joke, huh? What the fuck is wrong with y'all? You think this is a joke? You think this is a fucking sitcom?
Hannibal King: Okay, first off, that's just rude. Second, I'm pretty sure we saved your ass back there.

Being a hero is hard, having no one to help with the harrowing, hellish horror of heroing. However, Heaven has seen fit to bless the hero with helpers... that he'll hardly ever hesitate to harass.

Perhaps these helpers hope to form a Hero Secret Service or La RĂ©sistance, and actually manage to aid the hero in his fight. Be it by hindering The Dragon, freeing him from horrors, or healing his wounds. However the hero doesn't hail their effort with high praise, advice, or most strangely of all, gratitude... but becomes an Ungrateful Bastard and tells them to pack it up and go home.

Perhaps the hero works alone, prefers a populace Holding Out for a Hero, or has a bad case of Samaritan Syndrome and generalized case of It's Not You, It's My Enemies. Sometimes he's justified in his being hidebound by the helpers being hopelessly helpless and incompetent. Sometimes he's just not a nice person. Perhaps he feels duty-bound to do the job without help. Whatever the case, he at least strongly urges the helpers to disband and might verbally abuse them, or even take steps to ensure they can't try to help him again.

This can end up one of three ways.

  • The helpers persevere, and by saving the hero a second time get him to admit they are competent enough to hang with him and fight alongside each other from then on.
  • The helpers become embittered and actually do stop, perhaps even choosing to work against the hero or turning to a life of crime. The latter can be justifiable if it's one of the cases of Never Be a Hero that has the helper be empowered by bad means, which in turn make them go bad because The Dark Side Will Make You Forget.
  • The helpers can persevere while the hero complains about them eternally, because any Aesop he learns about them is obliterated by each episode's Reset Button and the status quo remains God.

Compare Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like, Minor Insult Meltdown and Wait Here.

Contrast Annoying Video Game Helper, which is when the helpers deserve to be harassed by the hero. Also compare Unwanted Assistance.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Happens in an episode of Mobile Fighter G Gundam. Domon's rudeness to Rain, despite her aid AND putting up with his rude attitude for the past 11 months, inspires her to quit as God Gundam's mechanic. Schwarz offers her a job as his mechanic, primarily to teach Domon a lesson. During the fight with Schwarz, Domon refuses to learn his lesson until God Gundam is crippled by a faulty repair job, and Rain tells him how to fix it himself, allowing him to win the match.
  • L in Death Note initially treats the police force like this. Eventually subverted: it's a weeding-out ploy to ensure that the people he's working with are the ones who will stick with him, come hell or high water, and give their lives if necessary, to bring Kira down. He mellows out after bringing the remaining officers into his inner circle, though he's still not exactly polite.
  • One Piece's Usopp Pirate Gang (from when he joins the crew) could fit. When Usopp decides to fight, he tries to get the trio to think he isn't, and then in the battle, gives them an important job when they show up to try and help. He's even proud of them at the end, but ends up leaving them for the Straw Hats.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman's treatment of Stephanie Brown, full stop. Batman has a tendency to treat most of his sidekicks this in both the comics and various adaptations, though the severity of this attitude and how much they put up with it depends on the writer.
  • The Avengers on almost anything. Most recently and prominently on the Young Avengers who aren't much younger than themselves when they began. Instead of helping them fight crime, they talk down to them and do everything to disband them and even Captain America has to help them INCOGNITO. To be absolutely fair, the Avengers themselves had recently disbanded after an absolutely disastrous event involving an utter betrayal by a fellow Avenger they'd all trusted, which left a number of them dead and the rest devastated. After that, none of the former Avengers were exactly in the right frame of mind to allow a bunch of teenagers to follow them down the same road, especially when one of those kids was the daughter of an Avenger who was killed in action.

  • The new Council in First Knight are so quick to tell any other demon hunters they see to stay out of things (rather belligerently) that several dozen Slayers who had been found by Xander refuse to deal with them. Granted they're trying to keep civilian casualties down, but they never bother to learn said "civilians" are Slayers and their manner of telling them to "leave things to the professionals" makes them come across as self-righteous jerkasses.

    Films — Animated 
  • In The Incredibles, a young fan is trying to become Mr. Incredible's sidekick. He later becomes Syndrome, and turns out to be the Big Bad (case 2). At least it was justified: Buddy showed up unexpectedly, put himself and others in danger, and forced Mr. Incredible to choose between apprehending the villain and saving everybody. He perhaps wasn't as tactful as he could have been in pointing this out, but Buddy definitely deserved it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Blade: Trinity: Blade did this when he gets saved by the Nightstalkers, calling them rookies playing at vampire slayer.
  • Batman again in The Dark Knight. What's the difference between himself and his imitators? He's not wearing hockey pads.note 
  • Throughout most of Licence to Kill, James Bond doesn't look highly upon CIA operative Pam Bouvier, that is, until the end.

  • Griboyedov is not very fond of Maltsev during the Persian mission, and therefore tends to indulge in this trope, albeit relatively subtly.
  • This is Harry Dresden's initial reaction to the Alphas — and in his defense, when they're introduced in Fool Moon they obviously are still quite green and new to this whole "werewolf" thing, plus they originally start out as some of his suspects —, but he does come around fairly quickly once they've proven themselves.
  • In the Discworld series, Vimes pretty clearly divides people in his own mind into two categories: "Coppers" and "(Other) Criminals I just haven't yet caught doing anything illegal". (He's not stupid, so he's aware that there's a third possibility ... "Innocent Bystander" ... but it's such a small category that he feels justified in ignoring it most of the time.) Until you've established that you're in category 1, he'll treat you as if you're in category 2. Repeats over and over again, pretty much every time a new person is added to the Watch, which generally happens because Vetinari forces him to do so.

    Live Action TV 
  • In The Big Bang Theory episode "The White Asparagus Triangulation" Leonard is starting to date a doctor named Stephanie Barnett and surprisingly, Sheldon considers her tolerable and wants to make her the final member of his social group. To accomplish this he starts helping Leonard with every detail in the dates fearing that Leonard will screw up the relationship if he doesn't act. Leonard, annoyed by his interference, tries to get rid of him at every opportunity he gets without success. The funny thing is that Sheldon actually ends up succeeding in making Leonard and Stephanie a couple despite all of Leonard's complaints.

  • In the early years of BIONICLE, Kopaka was like this with pretty much everyone who tried to assist him. He has improved in this regard over the years, but he is still considered a bit of a loner.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Jackie Chan Adventures has... Jade. Every episode Jackie tells her to stay with Uncle, leave the fighting to him, and stay out of danger. But to be fair he never tells her which Uncle.note  She never, ever listens. To her credit, she at least helps as much (if not more) than she hinders, but Jackie never accepts her as his sidekick. However, like with Mr. Incredible, Jackie is justified in refusing her help because she's a very tiny little girl with poor impulse control who he's supposed to be taking care of for his family in Hong Kong.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: At the beginning of the cartoon, Buzz was bitter about his partner sacrificing his life. And so when several people came up to be his partner, he turned them all down. Eventually, he let them all join him and they become Team Lightyear.
  • Darkwing Duck: Darkwing often treated Gosalyn like this, much like in the Jackie Chan example above. Being her legal guardian, Darkwing sincerely didn't want Gosalyn getting hurt.
  • Inspector Gadget has two, his niece "Penny" and the dog "Brain," who not only help but do everything entirely themselves. Unlike most examples, Gadget doesn't know they're helping, thus he can't berates them for their work, though he can be very condescending in general.