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Memetic Loser

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Got so bad they had to start keeping count. Still better than Yamcha and Raditz, though. Plus, at least the former two got bones thrown their way.

Vegeta: Congratulations, you've just destroyed the equivalent of 3 Raditz.
Krillin: That's right. What now, you son of a bi—
Vegeta: Nappa here is worth 5 Raditz.
Krillin: ...what?
Vegeta: And I am worth 15 Raditz.
Krillin: [disappointed] I...oh.
Nappa: Aw, come on! Don't get so down on yourself! At least you've proven that your Raditz is still stronger than our Raditz.
Raditz: [in the afterlife] I...hate...all of you!
Dragon Ball Z Abridged, episode 8
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Sometimes a character is shown to be competent, maybe even heroic and badass. But that's not what they're remembered most for. Instead, they become remembered for their supposed "lameness". The fandom flanderizes that one time the character made a stupid mistake or got defeated in a shameful way, to the point that as far as the fandom is concerned they're a complete weakling who cannot defeat an insect.

Maybe a parody version of the character is more well-known than the character themselves to begin with. Maybe the character is weak or unskilled at the beginning of a series, but gains more skills and goes through Character Development later after the character's initial portrayal had already burned its way into most peoples' minds. However it happened the character's "lameness" undergoes Memetic Mutation and they reach Butt-Monkey status within Fanon. Expect no one to care because it's funny.

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In video games, particularly games with fan-tiered characters, this can happen to characters that are perceived as low-tier characters. Going into a multiplayer game with one of these can easily lead to mockery or even getting booted just for picking a character seen as weak, even if you're skilled enough to make excellent use of the character's abilities. Maybe the character is Difficult, but Awesome, but people only focus on the "Difficult" elements because the majority of people who use that character don't quite get a good grip on their potential. Or maybe the character is good and doesn't need hundreds of hours to be good at, but people still think the character is garbage for whatever reason.

Occasionally, the character may also be depicted as The Woobie because people also feel sorry for the character, and may end up as the Fan of Underdog. A Memetic Loser can actually become very popular as a loser if their Fanon characterization is amusing or sympathetic enough.

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Contrast Memetic Badass, Watch It for the Meme (for when it's something bad enough to draw people in). Compare What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? (which is a possible cause of this trope being in effect), What Measure Is a Non-Badass?, Butt-Monkey, The Scrappy, Tier-Induced Scrappy, and Never Live It Down. Super-Trope of Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • The "spokespuppet" mascot of the defunct online petshop Pets.com. Do to the store being the most high-profile victim of the dot-com bubble, their mascot is often used as the poster-child for the crash.

    Comic Books 
  • Hank Pym will forever be known as the lame guy that hit his wife that one time and has the not-so-useful power to controls ants and reduce his size, regardless of his portrayals in later comics or the fact that, when his powers are well portrayed, he's nothing short of terrifying. He started to grow out of it a bit, however, thanks to his appearances in Dark Reign, his portrayal as a Badass Pacifist in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! (among other things, he went toe to toe with Frost Giants, guys who usually give Thor trouble, and impressing Sif and the Valkyries in the process), and more recently his well-received appearance as a grumpy yet badass old man and former superhero who mentors Scott Lang in the Ant-Man film.
  • Aquaman often gets hit with this, mostly due to his memetic Super Friends incarnation. We even named a trope for the inane hoops one has to jump through to make Aquaman's hyper-specific skill set seem useful in a team setting. Though he started to shed this due to the public being introduced to his more badass interpretation, such as his appearances in Injustice: Gods Among Us and the DC Extended Universe.
  • Bucky Barnes used to vie with Robin for the position of the proverbial lame sidekick. Then Ed Brubaker brought him back as the titular character in Captain America: Winter Soldier and revealed he was essentially a Child Soldier and brought him back as a Brainwashed and Crazy assassin. Because of Adaptation Displacement, his original portrayal tends to be mostly overlooked by this point.
  • X-Men:
    • Cyclops gets this in some form; while certainly a badass, and a strategist on par with Captain America, he still stands next to Wolverine. He has a rather justified reason to be moody or angsty, and his dislike for Wolverine spending time with his wife is understandable given that Wolverine is constantly hitting on her, but some fans flanderize this as him being a real whiner baby; Twisted Toyfair Theatre being notable examples. He is also considered this by his actual fans, who seem to enjoy mocking his Accidental Innuendos, lack of social skills and general dorkiness, but (for at least a few of them) these are qualities that they view as adorable; still it's not uncommon for fans to say they like him because he's a badass but bad at being one.
    • Apocalypse has been considered this in some circles due to how many times he gets beaten by weaker mutants such as Magneto, being manipulated by the Celestials and his reliance on their tech, and his relative unimportance in the grand scheme of things compared to other villains like Thanos or Ultron. In the House of M continuity, he even cowers before Black Bolt and gets vaporized by a whisper from him. Thanos, in comparison, takes a full-on scream from Black Bolt and only gets his armor destroyed and a couple gashes. It doesn't help that he's easy to beat in X-Men vs. Street Fighter and its sequel.
  • Poor Killer Moth. He's been kicked around Gotham so many times that it's near impossible to remember that he was actually a pretty big threat to Batman when first introduced. He's a Memetic Loser in-universe, with his reputation going further and further downhill ever since he got effortlessly beaten up by Batgirl on her first night out. Writers tried to beef him up by having him become the genuinely scary Charaxes by making a deal with Neron, but ultimately Charaxes got retconned away and he went back to being the Butt-Monkey of Batman's Rogues Gallery. The Batman took this to its logical conclusion in terms of sheer lameness; he's not even a true independent supervillain, he's the Penguin's coffee boy.
  • While probably not as bad as Aquaman, Robin was famously considered lame for quite a while after the 60's Batman live-action series, mainly for the catchphrases, silly costume (complete with shorts), and Burt Ward not being very imposing or intimidating. It doesn't help matters that Batman & Robin is often considered one of the worst superhero movies ever made, or that Christian Bale publicly stated that he'd refuse to film anymore Batman movies if Robin were ever added to the franchise. This has started changing in recent years thanks to significantly more impressive portrayals in stuff like Teen Titans and the Batman: Arkham Series, but it's still not uncommon to find people who joke about Robin (or any sidekick) being lame.
  • Spider-Man villain Hydro-Man is infamous for constantly sabotaging his own victories. It's expounded by the fact that his power/gimmick (hydrokinesis) is insanely useful, so the only excuse he really has for constantly losing is incompetence. To give you an idea of how bad it is, the RiffTrax crew uses his name as a by-word for stupid and self-defeating villains.
  • Fanon portrayals of The Riddler seem to be stuck in the Silver Age. Batman has many incompetent foes, but Riddler is the one who is always brought up for it, even though he's actually right up there with Joker in terms of danger factor, and has been treated as equal or nearly equal to the Joker in many comics. For some, it simply boils down to his self-defeating Weaksauce Weakness, as it makes it difficult to believe he could ever succeed in anything when he deliberately and unavoidably sabotages himself.
  • Hawkeye. In canon, Hawkeye is the Badass Normal of the Avengers, trained by Captain America in close-quarters combat, an expert swordsman good enough to be able to pass for a ninja, and is literally the world's greatest marksman. In spite of this, thanks to his goofy sense of humour, his colourful costume, being Book Dumb, and a less-than-impressive depiction in The Avengers (which was his first real introduction to mainstream audiences), he's often regarded as a joke, dismissed as the weakest Avenger, if not weakest Superhero in general, and given serious disrespect. His portrayal in Avengers: Age of Ultron made things better for some, but he still struggles to get respect outside of his fanbase.
    • Making matters worse, the critically acclaimed Matt Fraction/David Aja run on his ongoing acted as a deconstruction of Badass Normal characters and explored a realistic take on Hawkeye's character; though he's still depicted as a competent fighter, it demonstrated how being a One-Man Army won't last long if they have enough mooks. However, fans and critics exaggerated it to the point Hawkeye appears completely incompetent, leading to accusations of Badass Decay. The following run by Jeff Lemire then made things worse by taking this interpretation and making it canon, with Clint now completely incompetent.
    • His poor reputation is even referenced in the movies themselves. In Age of Ultron, Black Widow jokes about how he actually keeps the team together because the other Avengers all have to work hard to pretend he's useful. In Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man calls him "Arrow Guy" because he doesn't know his name, and then later, this exchange occurs:
      Hawkeye: We haven't met yet. I'm Clint.
      Black Panther: I don't care.
    • Jeremy Renner, the actor who plays Hawkeye, even did a humorous skit on Saturday Night Live where Hawkeye's uselessness next to the other Avengers was Played for Laughs. Later, he did a parody musical performance on The Tonight Show about how even though Hawkeye's powers aren't that impressive, he still has other good qualities.
      • Humorously enough, MCU!Hawkeye's reputation actually swung in the opposite direction come Infinity War and Endgame. While he was the butt of jokes due to his exclusion from Infinity War and its advertising, fans began to change their tunes in the wake of the film's shocking ending, and when Clint returned—in his Ronin persona—for Endgame and ended up playing a role in the heroes' victory, the idea that the Avengers lost their only battle without him but were 3-for-3 with Clint was born. The fauxhawk he sports as Ronin is still a point of ridicule, however,
    • Hawkeye gets this treatment despite being made an honorary Justice League member in JLA/Avengers, making him the only character in comic book history to be a member of both the Justice League and The Avengers.
  • It's not uncommon for people to take out-of-context Archie Comics caps and portray Archie as a stereotypical "nice guy" who expects kisses and dates in exchange for being sweet. Some comic issues have portrayed him that way, but it's not his normal characterization.
  • Though canonically one of the strongest Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan is treated as this in some circles, mostly for the anomalous number of 50s and 60s comics where a guy who's battled entire alien warfleets gets hit on the head and knocked out by a random thug. Given his frequent cases of Plot-Induced Stupidity, those same circles tend to assume he's developed brain damage.
  • While not as maligned as Aquaman or (Gi)Ant-Man, you'll find very few people outside of the fanbase willing to stick up for any version of Hawkman. These three share the same general problem: most people only know of them through team books, which more often than not have lineups based on Popularity Powernote  instead of any real synergy. As a result, you'd often have at least two characters with overlapping powers/fighting styles, and whichever one had the bigger fanbase would often reduce the other guy to a Poor Man's Substitutenote . As the Western Animation section below notes: why give Hawkman any respect when Superman has all your Flying Brick needs and then some?
  • M.O.D.O.K. would be a fearsome villain — his name is an acronym for "Mental Organism Designed Only For Killing", and he more than lives up to it with his love of murder, torture and horrific human experimentation, with his sadism the only thing that matches his Super Intelligence... except that his design consists of a gigantic and hideously ugly head with tiny little limbs sticking out of it. Because of how stupid this appearance is to modern readers, he's become an absolute joke, with even the creators of post-90s non-comics depictions tending to play up his goofiness. The comics have begun to acknowledge that, but sometimes like to unsettle readers by reminding them that, yes, he looks silly, but he's a deadly serious monster. Just ask The Unbelievable Gwenpool, who got a firsthand demonstration that looking ridiculous doesn't make M.O.D.O.K any less a sadistic and ruthless killer.
  • When Sideways introduced Tempus Fuginaut, an expy of Marvel's Uatu The Watcher and a multiversal guardian, he quickly became this. While he would later be stated to be to protect the DC Universe from the Dark Multiverse first seen in Dark Nights: Metal, the fandom had a massive field day with this extreme case of Remember the New Guy?, as he'd logically been involved in events like the various Earth-One/Earth-Two pre-Crisis stories, Crisis on Infinite Earths itself, Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!, JLA: Earth-2, Infinite Crisis, 52, Final Crisis, Flashpoint, Forever Evil (2013), Convergence, The Multiversity, and the aforementioned Dark Nights Metal and yet was nowhere to be seen, leading to cracks about how bad he is at the job — a sentiment shared in-universe by Duke Thomas in the Tales from the Dark Multiverse story about Metal as, after having transformed into the Last Knight, he called out and attacked Fuginaut for his refusal to help the universes in the Dark Multiverse.

    Films — Animation 
  • The canon version of Elsa from Frozen is not this, however most modern AUs usually turn her into this. Elsa is depressed and anxious in canon but this gets exaggerated into her being a socially inept NEET. Part of this is due to fans having difficulties transferring her character into a modern, non-magical world. They end up making her a shut-in because she suffers from depression and social anxiety, instead of having her depression come from hating her powers (though Word of God is that she does have an anxiety disorder). Another reason for this is because of the popularity of the fanfic /r9k/Elsa Is Suffering.
  • Roshan, better known as the "Ice Age Baby", has become jokingly loathed by memers since early 2020 as they often portray him getting brutally tortured or killed due to him falling into the Uncanny Valley.
  • The title character of Bambi is frequently the poster child for Sweetness Aversion, and often exemplified whenever mocking Disney's cutesy, cloying image. This is despite the fact that only half the film has Bambi as a naive Momma's Boy fawn getting into cutesy antics (and losing his mother), with the latter half taking on a much darker tone and focusing on Bambi growing into a formidable stag. Counting the much later midquel, even the fawn-era Bambi had his badass moments.
  • Dick Grayson/Nightwing of the DC Animated Movie Universe has this reputation. He's a skilled fighter in his own right and was trained by Batman himself. However, his tendency to lose several fights, whether it's at the hands of Damian Wayne, Talon, a brainwashed Batman, Deathstroke, or Scarecrow, led both to complaints that he does not get the respect he deserves and to jokes that Dick's destiny is to be the whipping boy of the DC animated movies. It also doesn't help his case when in the Grand Finale he is killed by Darkseid's forces and then revived by the Lazarus Pit, only to be driven mad from its effects.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars:
    • The stormtroopers are so memetically bad at hitting their targets that they became the Trope Namer for Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. In reality, they are shown to be capable of shooting and killing characters without Plot Armor, like the rebels on Tantive IV at the beginning of A New Hope and the village in the opening of The Force Awakens, and a stormtrooper does non-lethally shoot R2-D2 and Leia in Return of the Jedi. Also, The Empire in Episode IV deliberately lets Leia escape so they can track the Millennium Falcon to the rebel base.
    • Jar Jar Binks is such a universally loathed character that he is quite easily considered the most noteworthy scrappy of all time behind the Trope Namer himself. The movies clearly meant to play him up as an incompetent buffoon, making him border on this status In-Universe already, but this intended portrayal plus multiple "jokes" involving him just being lame Toilet Humor plus being such an annoying racist caricature make this reputation in Real Life even worse to the point that most fans consider him to have singlehandedly ruined The Phantom Menace with his lameness. In-Universe he redeemed his reputation by doing well in the final battle, in Real Life he did not, especially because it’s clear to see that every single contribution he made to that battle was pure dumb luck meaning that he did not actually have any Character Development and simply had luck on his side. George Lucas saying "Jar Jar is the key to all of this" in the movie’s development footage instantly became a meme once it was discovered because of how unbelievably awful that idea was. Interestingly, he eventually somehow inverted this and became a Memetic Badass to some fans almost two decades later thanks to the popular fan theory about him actually playing up Obfuscating Stupidity to hide his true nature as a ruthless Sith Lord the whole time.
    • Even Qui-Gon Jinn gets this a little bit due to this popular video. He got this treatment even more after the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi when both The Grand Inquisitor and Reva were stabbed (the former by the latter and the latter twice by Darth Vader, with the first having happened when she was a child.) and managed to survive while Qui-Gon died from being stabbed by Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace. They justify it by them being Dark Siders using The Power of Hate to sustain themselves (much like how Maul survived his bisection courtesy of Obi-Wan and Vader survived being burned alive on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith.), which Jedi don't stoop to. Nevertheless, many have pointed out how these events make Qui-Gon look like a chump when he died. This is in great contrast to his actor, who is a well-known Memetic Badass.
    • In A New Hope, Obi-Wan describes Anakin as being "the best star pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend". However, fans enjoy mocking this flattering description of Anakin due to his behavior shown in the prequel trilogy. While most agree that he proved himself as a star pilot, he is shown losing to Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones almost immediately due to ignoring Obi-Wan and pulling a Leeroy Jenkins (even though he recovers and puts up a better fight shortly after, and then goes on to win against Dooku in the next film), which is seen as negating the "cunning warrior" description, and disrespects Obi-Wan at several points in the same film due to his whiny and entitled attitude (even though he is noticeably much more mature at the start of the next film), which is seen as negating the "good friend" description. While Anakin did match this characterization better in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, fans still enjoy ribbing Anakin for not living up to his reputation in the films themselves. It has even gotten to the point that whenever Darth Vader does something awesome but ends up losing his primary target (such as the Death Star plan or Obi-Wan), people take it as proof that Vader is indeed Anakin deep down.
    • A New Hope: Greedo became this after George Lucas edited his scene so that he shoots but misses Han Solo at point-blank range. Even LEGO got in on the fun with a Funny Background Event in Revenge of the Brick wherein Greedo repeatedly fails to hit a dartboard positioned only a few inches away from him. His infamous marksmanship forever defines him as the Butt-Monkey of the whole series, to the point that even fellow Rodians aren't safe from the misfortune that befell Greedo.
    • TIE fighters actually pull their weight in most engagements in the films, inflicting heavy casualties on the X-wings at Yavin. However, the video games used them as Mooks for the sake of balance, and they usually can't take more than one or two direct hits. Cue every EU work portraying them as flying death traps Made of Explodium. The films themselves would later double-down on this with incidents like the entire First Order starfighter corps being unable to stop a single X-Wing squadron in TFA, Poe destroying six of the fighters in five seconds (with one quarter-second burst each) in the same, three TIEs not only getting nailed by a girl with no training but getting over penetrated three times over by a single bolt from the Millennium Falcon's anterior gun in TLJ, a character shooting down a TIE with a bow in Rogue One, the protagonist taking out a TIE with a hand grenade in The Mandalorian miniseries, etc.
    • The Force Awakens: The film continues the trend with Kylo Ren. While he's an obvious stand-in for his idol and grandfather Darth Vader, he behaves more like a cross between Vader in the original trilogy and Anakin in the prequels, making him a bit of a Wangsty Psychopathic Manchild and a subject of mockery for some people (he has a popular parody Twitter account called Emo Kylo Ren). Not helping matters is the fact that he's a fairly inexperienced Force user, being defeated by two untrained lightsaber wielders (one of whom is likely not even Force sensitive) during the movie's climax. It's quite intentional, and The Last Jedi doubles down on it, playing his pathetic, entitled brattiness for both comedy and horror (because he is still a frighteningly powerful warrior in charge of a frighteningly powerful army, even if he is a childish, impulsive loser).
    • Bizarrely enough (and in a manner not particularly related to any of the movies), Yoda started getting this reputation in recent years, thanks to a series of shitposts and particularly bizarre memes portraying him as a racist, ketamine-addicted Mr. Plinkett-like deadbeat, often as the result of a messy divorce. The release of The Mandalorian only amplified this, with many fans joking that the real reason Yoda fled to Dagobah was to avoid paying for child support on Grogu.
    • The minor Jedi character Shaak Ti gets this treatment from fans when they realize that she more than perhaps any other character inexplicably keeps dying in different ways across multiple media, including not one but two deleted scenes where she is killed in Revenge of the Sith, her appearance in The Force Unleashed, a Force vision of the future Yoda has in The Clone Wars, and even LEGO Star Wars. Many fans ironically call her a Memetic Badass for being able to apparently resurrect herself, and at the same time unironically admiring her for at least being able to put up a good fight against Starkiller and General Grievous in Legends.
    • Speaking of General Grievous, many fans of his Legends depiction view Canon Grievous as this. While Grievous is supposed to be a feared Jedi-killer in both continuities, this mostly comes across as an Informed Attribute in Canon. In Star Wars: Clone Wars, he's an unstoppable Jedi-slaughtering machine. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, he only kills one Jedi (Nahdar Vebb, an inexperienced Jedi Knight) onscreen and while he's able to hold his own against Jedi more effectively than most other non-Force users, the majority of fights end with Grievous either running away or suffering humiliating defeats (he was once subdued by the Gungans, aka. Jar Jar Binks' race, though General Tarpals had to sacrifice himself in order for them to do so.) In Revenge of the Sith, he quickly loses to Obi-Wan in saber combat, but does nearly beat Obi-Wan to death when they fight hand-to-hand. Many parodies portray Grievous as a Harmless Villain who's obsessed with stealing lightsabers.
  • Cool Cat Saves the Kids: Cool Cat is probably supposed to be a kid, but the fact that he's played by an adult ends up making him look like a complete wimp/idiot who can't even defend himself from a six-year old.
  • Blade Runner: Rick Deckard is said to be the best of the best when it comes to hunting down replicants. He's actually called out of retirement to handle the four (or five or six) replicants in this movie. However, Deckard is mostly a punching bag for the replicants, and in one case it is Rachael who saves Deckard's life by shooting Leon. Deckard also shoots Zhora in the back while she is running away, and shoots Priss while she's attempting a useless somersault attack. And of course Deckard fails to kill his final target, Roy Batty, who in turn ends up showing him mercy and saving his life. All in all, Deckard doesn't look like an ace when he does his job.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Suicide Squad: Jared Leto's Joker, for a variety of reasons ranging from his actor's creepy on-set behavior (send co-stars used condoms and dead animals and becoming an extreme annoyance to Will Smith) to a character design that some have mocked as ridiculous, to Leto's pretentious hyping up of the character, to his extremely limited screentime to his laugh being unsatisfactory. The character has been subject to wide derision in contrast to the character's iconic and much-beloved portrayals in The Dark Knight, Batman (1989), Batman: The Animated Series and even Jerome Valeska in Gotham. Some people have even said that the Cesar Romero version was more intimidating. He has spawned a series of memes across the Internet dedicated to mocking him as well as more specific sub-memes on 4chan, with the most popular being "times you acted like the Joker" threads. The unanimous critical acclaim that Joaquin Phoenix received for yet another portrayal of the exact same character in the self-titled movie did nothing to diminish the Leto version's reputation as the weak link in the character's on-screen history. With all that being said, Leto's Joker appearance in Zack Snyder's Justice League was much better received (from his better looks to his memorable encounter with Batman that few still had hopes to see one day), instead spawning a resurgence of "We live in a society" memes.
    • Lex Luthor doesn’t fare much better in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for being a just-as-cringeworthy Expy of the Joker who, as a result of trying so hard to emulate style of the Joker or the Riddler, completely loses out on the intimidating presence and charismatic sway that Lex Luthor typically has in other movies and media. The movie does intentionally try to make this a different type of portrayal for Luthor, but he is also still meant to be intimidating in a similar way to the Joker. Unfortunately, this is considered to have mostly fallen flat, and he ends up just looking like a cringy teen emulating The Dark Knight’s version of the Joker (not helped by there being many people like this in real life), rather than as an intimidating villain himself.
    • In a similar vein is the theatrical version of Steppenwolf from Justice League. With his official design being radically different from the diabolical figure that was teased in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, coupled with his characterization lacking the dimension that previous antagonists had, even the most loyal DCEU fan has been making jokes at his expense. The mockery skyrocketed once Zack Snyder announced that his recut would use Steppenwolf's previous design, with fans comparing Steppenwolf's designs in the least flattering ways possible. Post-release, the new Steppenwolf is indeed considered a huge improvement, what with a more unique and striking design, much clearer motivations, him being a No-Nonsense Nemesis and, surprisingly, Puppy-Dog Eyes.
    • Similar to Steppenwolf, Ares from Wonder Woman (2017) is, In-Universe, a huge threat due to being an outright god. However, most fans simply cannot let go of his goofy-looking mustache that can be seen even through his war helmet and his portrayal as a quintessential British gentleman, which combined with his lack of screen time (as himself, not pretending to be Sir Patrick) making his actual character mostly forgettable to fans, leaves him mostly remembered as a silly mustache man who didn’t really have much of a presence in the movie rather than as the threat he was meant to be.
  • Spider-Man 3:
  • Thanks to Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), Rodan is often half-jokingly portrayed as a cowardly Quisling and Fair-Weather Friend who switches sides based on whoever’s winning at the moment... which is pretty much just a slight exaggeration of how the movie depicts him. Not helping matters is that he loses every fight he gets into in the movie, first against King Ghidorah, then against Mothra, who he completely dwarfs.
  • Downfall (2004): Felix Steiner, the unseen general that drove Adolf Hitler into his iconic Villainous Breakdown for failing to carry out an attack on the Soviets, is often jokingly mentioned in the comment sections of World War II videos as the guy who could turn the tide of the war in Hitler's favor, with replies below replicating the infamous Hitler rant scene word per word. Steiner is not the last hope for Hitler in the film as Hitler would cling on to Walther Wenck to be his last Hope Spot, but Wenck's failure never got Hitler emotional let alone angry as he was after hearing about Steiner's failure. Not helping are the Hitler Rants videos, which goes out of their way to make Steiner as the go-to-general for Hitler's crazy demands (and naturally failing, which sends Hitler into another long rant).
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Peter Quill, aka "Star-Lord" is introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) as a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass type; whilst he is a legitimately cunning, intelligent, adaptable and skilled space pirate, he also is a goofy Manchild and he blatantly yearns to be more famous than he is, which is most emphasized by the fact that virtually nobody uses the appellation "Star-Lord" that he tries to go by. Not helping is that he is also Overshadowed by Awesome, being a Badass Normal on a team of socially maladjusted super-powerful aliens where his greatest strength is he's the only one who can actually pretend to act like a normal, functional person, so he handles the social stuff. The sequel film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, largely continued this portrayal, showing him as flawed but also a legitimate badass type. The slightly greater emphasis on his Manchild attributes in this film took off, and led to the beginning of his downfall in Avengers: Infinity War, where Peter's own team starts openly dissing him in comparison with Thor, to the point the insecure Peter even starts trying to imitate Thor's own Badass Baritone. He also gets the brunt of the blame from fans for Thanos’s victory in this movie due to his Tragic Mistake of interrupting Mantis’s sleep powers on Thanos, which seemed to be working completely effectively and giving the heroes a chance to defeat Thanos right then and there until Peter screwed it up. This is despite Doctor Strange’s earlier use of the Time Stone confirming that Peter’s mistake here didn’t actually make any difference in the outcome. The focus on Peter as a failure and a screwup continued into Avengers: Endgame, where he is repeatedly beaten up or dismissed by technical allies. Taken to its peak in What If...? (2021), where episode 2 asks the question "What if Yondu accidentally took T'Challa instead Peter Quill?" The answer: T'Challa goes on to be ten times the space-hero that Peter ever was, reforming the Ravagers from Space Pirates into a network of freedom-fighting anti-slavery crusaders, redeeming Thanos from his genocidal quest, and generally being more badass than Peter ever dreamed of being, even stealing Peter's title of "Star-Lord" and using it for himself despite having no reason to do so. And all that this timeline's version of Peter accomplishes is to become a lowly janitor slopping out the local Dairy Queen.
  • In part due to the reputation he already established from his take on The Joker in the D.C. Extended Universe, Jared Leto’s take on Morbius in Morbius (2022) was received by fans this way as well. Soon after the first negative reviews of the film came out, memes such as this one became popular to mock how Jared Leto once again failed to deliver in a superhero movie. Similar to his Joker portrayal, his bizarre and unnecessary use of Method Acting during production, including his refusal to use the bathroom normally and inconveniencing production with those antics, was seen as hilariously pretentious just as before. The character on his own isn’t that bad or weak, but a combination of Jared Leto’s reputation and the film itself being a critical failure made fans end up treating Morbius the character as a loser due to these Real Life factors. However, in an accelerated version of what happened to characters such as Jar Jar Binks and Emo Peter Parker/Bully Maguire, Morbius the character ended up getting this reputation inverted by an ironic fanbase rather quickly, and now has an ironic Memetic Badass reputation among some of those who like to mock the film.

    Jokes 
  • Not even superheroes are exempt from this:
    "Riches, fame, and physical development don't change the fact that you're still a grown man living in his parents' basement, Master Bruce."

    Literature 
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Gerold "Darkstar" Dayne is regarded this way by a good portion of the fanbase. This stems partially from his rather cheesy name, appearance and persona, with lines like "I am of the night" seen as trying too hard to invoke Evil Is Cool, crossed with the fact that for all his boasting and buildup as a badass the only thing of note he does is try to kill Myrcella Baratheon (an unarmed and defenceless little girl) a task which he fails at. This has led to his nickname "Dorkstar" and general perception as a whiny, pretentious Emo Teen and incompetent poseur with an over-inflated opinion of himself. he inevitable comparison is to the Red Viper, who is actually a badass.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The entire Hufflepuff House has a reputation for being the "loser" house at Hogwarts due to them being made up of students who don't excel in bravery, intelligence, or ambition and being almost completely irrelevant to the plots and often being Flat Characters (especially in the films). Cedric Diggory is the only prominent member of said house in the series, and his biggest contribution to the plot was that he was killed off by Lord Voldemort. Dialogue from the books seem to indicate that they are memetic losers in-universe as well.
    • The Chudley Cannons, the Quidditch team Ron is a fan of. Word of God says when asked if they would win a game, "they'd need to replace the entire team and down several cauldrons of Felix Felicis."
    • Ron Weasley is often considered a loser among fans, despite his accomplishments, for his reputation as the weakest link of the main Power Trio. While Harry is respected for being The Chosen One and Hermione is respected for being The Smart Girl, Ron gets stereotyped as just being the dumb tagalong friend. Fans will often cite his actions in The Goblet Of Fire, where he briefly Took a Level in Jerkass AND Took a Level in Dumbass, despite him being much better in both previous books and later books. The films also gave him several goofy scenes where he’s casually eating rather than worrying about the problem at hand, and The Half-Blood Prince in particular gave him some dopey facial expressions and antics at times that get heavily memed, but this was under the effects of a love potion clouding his judgment. With his out of character moments accounted for, he really isn’t that much less competent than his friends, and was even crucial to destroying some of Voldemort’s horcruxes.
    • Lord Voldemort for instigating the entire series by losing to a baby (to be fair, it was Lily Potter's magic protection spell, but still a fail nonetheless). This hurts Voldemort's pride so much that he spends the entire rest of the series (and his life) trying to kill this baby in revenge... that baby grows up and ruins Voldemort’s plans, sometimes re-killing him in the process. Even worse is that Voldemort is meant to come across as The Dreaded, but due to losing over and over again to the same kid almost every book, he comes across as quite incompetent. The film adaptations exaggerate his loser status; he was decently intimidating in the first two movies, but ran into some Narm in movies 4 and 5 due to his strange antics, and then became a full-on loser in movies 7 and 8 due to his overused "NYEEEEAH!" shout in the trailers, hilariously awkward hug with Draco Malfoy, sounding like he sneezed during his most important use of the killing curse, and then having the most hilariously stupid villain laugh before the final battle. Neither version of Voldemort is taken very seriously anymore, but at least the book version didn’t hit the unbelievable amount of cheesiness the film version did. This is actually inverted among the fanfic sporking community, who tend to get very angry when a "clever" author downplays the threat he poses, with the sporkers saying Voldemort would effortlessly kill or torture the OC or "improved" Harry because it amuses him.
  • Warrior Cats fans will never let Longtail live down getting beat up by a kittypet in the first book. To make it worse, Rusty couldn't have been much older than a kit, so it's basically like getting beat up by a ten year old who's never fought anyone before.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
  • Ray Palmer/ The Atom from Legends of Tomorrow. This guy is supposedly The Smart Guy of Rip Hunter's makeshift Justice League; however, he also has the status of being a Butt-Monkey and a fine example of how Good Is Dumb as he makes mistake after mistake while trying to become a legendary hero.
  • The Rival from The Flash (2014), a minor villain from the start of season 3. He's evil speedster, a gimmick usually reserved for major villains, but is also a generic and totally weak bad guy with no discernible motivation; his only real role is to introduce the actual main villains of the season, Dr. Alchemy and Savitar. This has caused the fandom to jokingly treat him as a pathetic red-headed stepchild type character who's constantly being ignored by all the other, cooler speedsters.
    • HR is a heroic one, due to being a Non-Action Guy and Butt-Monkey who eventually turns out to have lied about being a scientist. Fans like to joke that he's either the biggest loser in the multiverse or the best actor in it. Possibly the latter, because he was shown to have deep-rooted anxiety and inferiority issues, and his Heroic Sacrifice became the only way to stop Savitar, saving Iris and their future. And the only reason Savitar was convinced he was 'Iris' due to his convincing acting during distress. It has gotten to the point that HR is also considered somewhat to be a Memetic Badass who can defeat anyone by just switching places.
  • Nobody is the world's biggest loser compared to Al "Cosmic Plaything" Bundy from Married... with Children. He's treated like crap by his wife, his kids, his neighbors, his friends, the town, the country, people he randomly encounters, and even God likes making his life a living Hell. He comes up with a zany scheme every episode to make his life suck just a little less, but always fails horribly. The only reason he goes on living is because his very existence annoys his family and enemies. He might even be the new poster boy for this page if he weren't so unlucky.
  • The Mole: Poor Ron Boszhart from the Dutch version. He was an Ascended Fanboy who was eliminated in his first season before he got to meet his fellow contestants. Then he returns for an all-stars season as a Joke Character and is treated with absolutely zero respect by anyone fans, contestants and even the hosts tend to make fun of him). He also quickly establishes himself as The Load and The Ditz.
  • Revolution: The way the Hatedom tells it, Charlie Matheson is the biggest loser in the entire show. This is in spite of the facts that she helped get Miles Matheson back into the game, put a sniper rifle in the hands of a rebel group, and took down a number of Monroe militia members like Lieutenant Slotnick and Sergeant Joseph Wheatley.
  • The Walking Dead (2010): Owen, AKA the Alpha Wolf/ W Man. This man is supposedly the biggest villain in the first half of Season 6, but he ends up being the biggest failure of a villain ever. He ends up killing no named characters himself, gets his ass handed to him in every fight scene he has, and dies rather unceremoniously getting shot by Carol in the middle of an apparent Heel–Face Turn. After turning into a zombie he never kills anyone then either before getting put down permanently by the same guy who beat him up in his debut appearance.
  • Hiromu of Tokumei Sentai Go Busters will forever be remembered for freezing in front of a chicken.
  • Harry Kim from Star Trek: Voyager. He spends the entire series as an Ensign, gets killed off and resurrected more than anyone else, gets kidnapped multiple times, and is the only character in the franchise to be formally reprimanded for Boldly Coming.
  • Barney & Friends: Barney the dinosaur, due to massive amounts of Anti-Barney Humor.
  • Survivor:
    • Francesca Hogi was the sole two-time first boot on the show. Good luck not trying to get this status from the fans after that.
    • Despite him playing a "perfect game" on his first season, J.T. Thomas has gained this status after making a bunch of idiotic moves such as giving somebody from his other tribe that he never had a chance to watch his first season nor played with the hidden immunity idol on Heroes vs. Villains, telling Brad his tribe's entire plans at Mana/Nuku Tribal Council leading into Malcolm's elimination on Game Changers, and not bring his own hidden immunity idol when he was clearly at the bottom of his own tribe within that same latter season. It has gotten to the point that a good portion of the fandom credits Stephen for J.T.'s strong Tocantins performance over J.T. himself.
    • From the Australian version: Sam Schoers definitely qualifies, just for being the only player on any (English-language) Survivor version to have zero Confession Cam segments.
  • Big Brother: Frenchie from Big Brother 23 has reached such a point of infamy with how badly he played (essentially, he won the first Head of Household competition and went on such a power trip with it that he scared nearly the entire house, and then got voted out immediately after his HOH power wore off because of the massive target he put on himself) that any time a contestant has a chaotic or otherwise terribly thought-out HOH, they will inevitably be compared to Frenchie. For example, Kyle from Big Brother Canada 10 was quickly called the Frenchie of his season once he won HOH and made such bad decisions with it that he alienated his entire house. It even became a sort of Ascended Meme during the interviews with the new houseguests for Celebrity Big Brother 3, when incoming houseguest Mirai cited him as an example of how NOT to play Big Brother and used him as an anti-role model for good gameplay.
  • 24: Kim Bauer tends to be the laughing stock of the series for being the Trope Namer of Trapped by Mountain Lions. The trope refers to irrelevant subplots that waste time from far more engaging main plots. The specific birth of the trope was when Kim got lost in the woods and encountered a cougar, which had absolutely nothing to do with the main plot of Jack Bauer trying to stop terrorists from nuking the city. It was far from the only instance of Kim getting into a random weird predicament and wasting episode time. She was only a main character in the first three seasons, and only got involved in irrelevant subplots in seasons 1 and 2, and her seemingly irrelevant subplot in season one actually did turn out to be orchestrated by the Big Bad and a huge part of his plan, meaning that season 2 was the only season where her subplots were truly irrelevant. It doesn’t help that she had so many of them within that one season, though... but she became so infamous for it that most people consider her the biggest loser on the show for her seeming inability to just have a normal day. Unlike the entire rest of the cast, this is without any of her misfortune even coming from the actual problems going on in the story! It really doesn’t help that her father, Jack Bauer, has Memetic Badass status, because it makes it look like the Bauer family apple fell very far from the tree.
  • Raj from The Big Bang Theory worries in one episode about becoming this because all the other guys have girlfriends:
    Even if I get one someday, I'll still be the guy who got a girl after Sheldon Cooper!
  • Cobb Vanth from The Mandalorian is a legitimately skilled Badass Normal in-universe, but unfortunately for him, the fact that he's wearing Boba Fett's scavenged armor (which does not fit him) when first seen makes jokes about him being a weird Boba Fett Fanboy who goes to work in cosplay all too easy and appealing, so that's the sort of portrayals he gets.
  • Kamen Rider Decade: Yusuke Onodera has often been the butt of all jokes for his uselessness since he doesn't transform that much and when he does, he doesn't make any difference in fight scenes. He has been the measuring stick for how useless a character can be in a Kamen Rider show.
  • Yua Yaiba/Kamen Rider Valkyrie from Kamen Rider Zero-One has been derided similar reasons, not that fans are particularly happy about it, mind you. When the show first began she was billed as a prominent character and the franchise's first female tertiary Rider, but by the second arc she's been Demoted to Extra and turned into Gai's puppet. Not helping matters, the only significant thing she does after that is inadvertently help set loose the Ark.
  • McManus from Oz. From the comment sections for clips on YouTube to the episode recaps on the late, great Television Without Pity, if the fandom is united on anything it's in dissing McManus for his incompetency, unreliability, and inability to not ask just about every female character out to dinner. Compilations of his lowest moments (be it getting shanked or otherwise insulted) are not uncommon.
  • Rocky of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and its direct sequel Power Rangers Zeo. It's partially because of his replacement of Jason, but most fans point out even his focus episodes have him bumbling comedically and taking the most losses (being turned into a plant, getting beaten up and stepped on by King Mondo, having to be dragged through the Power Chamber by Billy). This was solidified in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie when he somehow manages to break his back missing a spin-kick and is replaced by a 12-year-old kid....who is actually a more effective Blue Ranger.
  • The Defenders (2017): Out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Netflix heroes, Danny Rand a.k.a. the Iron Fist easily gets the most Butt-Monkey treatment from the fandom. After Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage all came across as cool, competent, and sympathetic heroes in their own series, Danny Rand gets portrayed as an Idiot Hero who lacks basic knowledge of social conventions due to being a Fish out of Water. His first scene alone is enough to make anyone have a major Facepalm at his impulsive decision-making and general idiocy. While he does have Character Development and becomes a more respectable person as his series progresses, especially in his show’s second season, the terrible first impression that he made tends to stick in fans’ minds above all else. In The Defenders itself, his Memetic Loser status even seems to catch on In-Universe where he gets disrespected by all of the other heroes (along with some other characters) at one point or another, culminating in when he gets called “a thundering dumbass.” He can pretty much be considered the television counterpart to the Marvel Cinematic Universe Films’ Peter Quill. It also really doesn’t help that even on paper he sounds far less impressive than his superhero peers:
    Reddit Post: The Marvel Netflix shows do such a great job at representing minorities that the films would never dare tackle. A blind man, a female rape victim with PTSD, a wrongfully-convicted black man with PTSD, a disabled vet with PTSD, and a rich white boy weeaboo.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Dodo is generally regarded as one of the least-loved companions of all time due to her poor acting, inconsistent accent, lack of personality and development and being as dumb as the bird she's named after. After four stories, she was written out and was deemed so unremarkable that she didn't even get a goodbye scene. The expanded universe didn't treat her any better, with one book giving her an STD and another killing her off entirely.
    • Adric is another unpopular companion due to his lack of any likable character traits - arrogant, condescending, sexist, whiny, self-important, egotistical, smug and having a bad habit of siding with the villains. Like Dodo, his acting also left much to the imagination. He did at least get a heroic exit, albeit he died failing to save the world. As if that wasn't enough, one of the Past Doctors books reveals that he suffers from body odour.
    • Adam Mitchell, who was literally designed to be a companion that doesn't measure up due to being a conniving, selfish opportunist. He remains the only companion to ever been booted out of the TARDIS. Add in the fact that his actor had career-ending allegations against him and you have a character that even Big Finish won't touch.
  • Kitchen Nightmares: Amy and Samy from the episode about Amy’s Baking Company became such memes by themselves that they singlehandedly gave the entire show nearly viral popularity. This is due to them having incredibly egregious Never My Fault attitudes where they managed to blame pretty much everything and everyone except for themselves for their failing restaurant, despite both of them being very obviously at fault for everything going wrong. This includes them illegally taking the tips of their wait staff and firing one of their employees right in front of Gordon Ramsay for simply asking for clarification. They even managed to be the one restaurant that Gordon Ramsay had to give up on because of their refusal to listen to him. Amy being an odd Crazy Cat Lady and Samy having a sketchy past certainly didn’t help either, along with them invoking the Streisand Effect with incredibly antagonistic responses to the online criticism they got. No Such Thing as Bad Publicity initially worked in their favor as the memes brought a huge wave of customers to their restaurant, who wanted to see if they really were as bad as the episode made them look, though ultimately they went out of business for all of their problems anyway.
  • Once Upon a Time: In the show, Robin Hood is shown to be quite a competent archer, but the main thing a lot of fans remember him for is him repeatedly getting beat up or knocked out in battle, often overplaying how much it happens. One of the main things these fans like to use is him being immediately knocked out by Zelena right after making a bold statement about aiming straight and true. A lot of fans also try to play him as a deadbeat dad due to him not naming his new born daughter until "he knows her" after leaving her not long after she was born. There's also a running joke among many of his detractors that he must be constantly constipated due to his actor Sean Maguire's habit of always scrunching up his face in a way not too dissimilar from someone who has to go to bathroom really bad.

    Music 
  • The majority of Korean Pop Music artists are seen as this by J-pop fans due to their heavy rivalries.
  • From the classical composers, Julius Fučík. Not only is his name awkward in English, but also his most famous work, "Entry of the Gladiators", is best known nowadays as the Standard Snippet in Happy Circus Music. Fučík wrote the piece to celebrate the champions of the Roman Gladiator Games, the epitome of manliness, but now it's associated almost exclusively with goofy clowns and afro-wearing zebras. Quite a big fall from grace.
  • Ringo Starr of The Beatles has become a meme within the Beatles fandom, with many jokes centering around his awkwardness, gloominess, and for lacking musical and songwriting talent when compared to the other Beatles. The cartoon Family Guy once featured a short skit where Ringo writes a song and it's instantly placed on the refrigerator as if it were a child's drawing.
  • Not as much the case today, but in the earlier days of the internet (late 2000s-early 2010s), teenage music artists on YouTube typically got this reputation almost automatically once they hit a certain level of popularity. Two artists in particular really got the worst of it.
    • Justin Bieber was mocked endlessly early on for his bowl haircut and “girly” prepubescent voice. It was extremely common to see Take That! potshots directed at him even on videos that had nothing to do with him. Even on videos that had nothing to do with music at all! At first he got even more hate when he desperately tried to turn his image around into something more “adult”, cutting his hair and sometimes acting like a Jerkass. But eventually, with the release of more radio hits and growing up naturally, public opinion softened on him. While he still has his haters, he’s no longer The Chew Toy of YouTube commenters.
    • Rebecca Black was the other teenage YouTube musician who got hit with this status. Her song “Friday” quickly got the reputation of being the worst song ever, due to being heavily autotuned, having cheesy lyrics, and a music video that includes teens who are definitely not old enough to drive cruising down the highway. However, unlike Justin Bieber whose Memetic Loser status simply faded away, Rebecca Black’s actually transferred to someone else once everyone realized that she was Mis-blamed for the song’s poor quality.
    • Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black being the Memetic Loser YouTube musicians of their time is most evident in the DEATH BATTLE! episode featuring the two against each other. Both get killed at a There Is No Kill Like Overkill level to the cheers of the YouTube commenters.
  • Nickelback has the reputation as “the worst band ever” among so many people that making fun of them is not just a meme on the internet (which it is), but common practice when anyone talks about bad music in general. It is for, as many agree, every song sounding the same and for that being very noticeable because of singer Chad Kroeger having a Yarling Large Ham voice. Still, they have made many catchy songs that have been radio hits despite this.
  • Machine Gun Kelly's foolhardy decision to drop a Diss Track attacking Eminem led to him being the subject of the highest charting diss track of all time when Eminem responded with a blistering Boastful Rap so strong it rebooted his reputation. Kells was so humiliated he went through a phase of getting booed off stage at his own shows, before switching to making pop-rock music, leading to a perception that Eminem dissed him so hard he switched genres. When he then started beef with Slipknot's Corey Taylor, who immediately revealed evidence proving Kells was lying about him in order to stir up drama, his reputation was sealed forever as a little irritant starting arguments with Gen-X-aged musical icons and losing — something he would incorporate into his persona in his album Mainstream Sellout.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Goliath from The Bible is only remembered as that abnormally large and heavily armored soldier who was easily killed by David, who was roughly half his size, far less experienced, and had practically nothing save for a sling and a rock. And, y'know, literally God's help on his side, but who cares?

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Thanks to a screw job finish, The Spider Lady became one. Originally managed by the Fabulous Moolah, Moolah would take the Spider Lady's mask after her "charge" failed to defeat Wendi Richter and "won" the belt from Richter herself, after which an incensed Richter, who had kicked out at one, unmasked Moolah. The original Spider Lady faded into obscurity and the gimmick would only be used by jobbers for the next 30 years.
  • Unfortunately for the Wildcat Chris Harris of an otherwise well remembered incarnation of America's Most Wanted with James Storm, Braden Walker is largely remembered for his much more stellar career.
  • Kevin Nash tends to mostly be remembered for the time he tore his quad on Raw while walking across the ring. He's hardly the only person to have suffered such an injury (Triple H has had multiple quad-tears and Vince McMahon managed to tear both his quads in one night), his massive unpopularity with the Smart Marks made sure he never lived it down. Now the fandom is convinced anything he does will cause his quad to tear.
  • Sin Cara, after botching one to many times during his tenure has become synonymous with the word.
  • As much as he is both loved and respected by fans, Sting falls here. Between his reputation as "The Dumbest Man In Wrestling"note and rarely, if ever, winning any feud he was in, he has been firmly categorized as this.
  • Kelly Kelly was, at worst, average in the ring, but fans often focus only on her earlier performances, exaggerated her weaknesses (such as being unable to properly run the ropes) and if you ask these fans why women's wrestling declined at the end of the 2000s, chances are that they blame her for it.
  • Ashley Massaro has it even worse than Kelly. You'd be hard-pressed to find a single Smart Mark or diva fan that is a fan of hers and doesn't blame her for kickstarting the decline in women's wrestling (she came along before Kelly, right around the same time that fan favorites Lita and Trish Stratus retired). While she was hardly the only factor, she seems to get a fair share of the blame mostly due to how hard she was pushed and how little training she had been given. Diva Dirt writers loved mocking her. Though opinions on her have likely softened in light of her suicide in 2019.
  • Becky Lynch. Not with her ring ability, but rather just her downright terrible luck with allies. Becky is infamous over the fact that the poor woman cannot keep a friend to save her life leading to her being compared to Sting with the amount of unfair backstabbing she is going through. Then La Luchadora (the Luchador Becky disguised herself on to fight Alexa Bliss) is impersonated by an unknown person (later revealed to be Mickie James) and distracts Becky to cause her to lose against Alexa Bliss, which basically means Becky was betrayed technically by herself.
  • Rosa Mendes is universally agreed to have been the most useless Diva on WWE's roster, especially since she was employed for nine years (eleven if you count her time in developmental). She was used as a jobber, only receiving one televised win and that was via DQ. Based on this information, it isn't really "memetic" though.
  • Marty Jannetty. Despite once being half of one of the greatest tag teams of all time, along with being a former Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion, Jannetty will be forever known as being "the untalented guy who was completely overshadowed by his former partner and fell into obscurity after the team broke up." Any wrestler who ends up on the bad side of a Breakup Breakout is dubbed "The Jannetty" of the group by the fandom.
  • Mike Jones, better known as Virgil or Vincent, is probably the Butt-Monkey of professional wrestling. He was the bodyguard of both Ted DiBiase and the New World Order and provided about as much protection as a broken condom. He's also not very popular with fans, with there even being photos of him alone at wrestling conventions.
  • Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake was once a fairly over midcarder in the WWF, until he got injured parasailing. Then he went to WCW and underwent so many gimmick changes that it became impossible to take him seriously. Not helping matters is that his best friend is none other than Hulk Hogan, so it's not uncommon for people to (understandably and not without justification) accuse Beefcake of riding Hogan's coattails. Nowadays he's commonly referred to as Brutus "the Fucking Barber" Beefcake in a derisive tone, thanks in no part to Ric Flair's son-in-law Conrad Thompson coining the term on his podcasts.

    Sports 
  • German association football team Tasmania 1900 Berlin is always referenced whenever a team as a huge losing streak in the Bundesliga. They just played one season, were immediately relegated to never reach the highest level again and the had by far the worst season's record in Bundesliga history (out of 34 games, they won 2, drew 4 and lost 28 and only scored 15 goals).
  • Several infamous "Draft Busts" are often referenced when a recently-drafted player fails to meet expectations.
    • In the NBA, the most infamous examples are Sam Bowie (picked before MICHAEL JORDAN), Darko Milicic, and Kwame Brown
    • In the NFL, we have Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell.
  • The Chicago Cubs used to be this during their 108-year World Series drought (and still are in St. Louis).
  • The Cleveland Browns have an absolutely abominable reputation among many United States football fans, enough that not one but two different fans made cracks about the Browns' lack of football prowess in their own obituaries. In 2017, they became only the second team in NFL history to finish a season with zero wins and sixteen losses, achieved the longest active playoff drought in the NFL, and are widely regarded as being one of the very worst, if not the worst teams in the entire league. This meme perhaps says it all. However, by 2020, they Took a Level in Badass and not only did they make the playoffs for the first time in 18 years, they won their first playoff game in 26 years by beating their hated rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • This song by The Happy Schnapps Combo makes a case for the Minnesota Vikings being this, with the reasons explained in the lyrics.
  • The New York Mets baseball team is the butt of jokes and is overshadowed by the New York Yankees.
  • Haru Urara, a Japanese racehorse that never won a single race and ended her career with a miserable 0 - 113 losing streak. Haru gained national attention during the economic crisis of the early 2000s, and became a symbol of pluck at a time when the public needed one. People credited the horse with inspiring them to never give up and ultimately saved her home track from bankruptcy before retiring.
  • Australian Rules Football
    • The St Kilda Saints have won only one premiership (1966), and hold the records for longest losing streak and most wooden spoons (last-place finishes) in league history.
    • The Gold Coast Suns, who joined the league in 2011 and are yet to make the finals.
  • The Los Angeles Clippers are the NBA's perennial whipping boys. Like the aforementioned Mets, the Clippers live in the shadow of their wildly-successful crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. Unlike the Mets, who at least play in their own stadium, and whose up-and-down tendencies gave them two championship rings and a host of signature players and moments to look back on, the Clippers have spent most of their history completely in the dumps while sharing the Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center) with the Lakers since 1999, and even in their best years, they've never made it to the Western Conference Finals until 2021, infamously blowing two 3-1 leads in the conference semifinals before even getting to that point in time.
  • The New Orleans Saints spent a solid 20 years in the NFL's doghouse from their founding in 1967 up through the mid-80s. The team's stats were consistently abysmal, with local fans usually referring to them as the "Ain'ts" rather than the Saints. In the 1980 season, they lost their first 14 games, prompting local sports journalist Buddy Diliberto to recommend that fans start wearing paper bags over their heads at home games so that they could not be associated with the embarrassments happening on-field. Many fans took his advice. The team finally started getting competitive in 1987 (their first winning season ever), then champion-caliber from 2006 on, with coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees leading the team to its first Super Bowl win in 2009.
  • The 1899 Cleveland Spiders team, generally agreed to be the worst in MLB history. They only won 20 games due to their owners forcing all the good players to go to St. Louis. They were so bad, the Spiders got an amateur baseball pitcher to play their final ever game.
  • National Hockey League
    • The Toronto Maple Leafs are technically the second-most-successful team in the NHL's history in terms of the number of Stanley Cups won, but they have not even made the final since their last win in 1967, and the seeming inability of even good Leafs teams to advance in the playoffs has made them a punchline in the NHL. Most recently seen in 2021, where they entered the playoffs as the #1 team in their division only to lose in the first round to their hated rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, who were the lowest-ranked team from any division to make the playoffs. Even worse as the Leafs had a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven series, only to lose the next three games straight. (They also got knocked out in the first round in 2022, but as that was to defending champions the Tampa Bay Lightning, it didn't sting as bad.)
      • The nadir of this loser status came in February 2020, when they lost a game to the Carolina Hurricanes...who was using an emergency backup goaltender...whose day job was a zamboni driver...who worked for the Maple Leafs (ok, technically their AHL affiliate but still). Toronto's humiliating loss ruined any chance they had of making good trades before the trade deadline, while David Ayres, the EBUG in question, became a folk hero to the NHL fans.
    • The Buffalo Sabres are also a frequent target for this sort of humour.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Abbadon the Despoiler, or, as fans like to call him, Failbaddon the Armless. Though the character canonically is a very badass and dangerous villain and is one of the most dangerous units in hand-to-hand in gameplay, the fact that he led no less than thirteen crusades against the Imperium and still failed to destroy it led to the development of his fanon portrayal as a General Failure. Even after the Gathering Storm books started to turn things in his favor (and even then, it's a Pyrrhic Victory), he hasn't quite shed his Failbaddon reputation. (As for the "armless" thing, it's because the arms on his old resin figurine fell off quite easily.)
    • While the Imperial Guard is acknowledged to be full of hardcore individuals, as a whole they will never escape their reputation as useless and squishy, losing horribly to anything the galaxy can throw at them. However this is mostly a reputation crafted by their fans, who love the idea of them suffering horribly but still getting back up. The Gathering Storm event mentioned above helped them get points in badass because even to the very end, Cadia didn't fall. The planet tore itself apart from a Negative Space Wedgie, sure, but in terms of "the Guard was defeated and Chaos conquered the planet", no, it didn't fall.
    • And then you have the Planetary Defense Forces, who are seen as this by fans and by the Imperial Guard in-universe. It's not exactly their fault, since the PDF tends to be made up of anyone who didn't meet the IG's recruitment standards, has Armchair Military superiors at best (and outright traitorous Chaos-worshipping seditious nobles/ Tyranid catspaws at worst), have equipment the IG finds laughable (and IG equipment is often compared to T-shirt and flashlight in comparison to the stupidly powerful standard weaponry the other factions have), and more often than not their planet is taken completely unawares by the threat of the day.
    • Very, very few players still take the Avatars of Khaine seriously. They're supposed to be fragments of a War God, embodied in a giant statue of pure, mobilized rage, but in terms of storyline they're usually just heavily crapped on by anyone the GW writers want to look good. Khaine himself ends up taking a bit of splash damage from it too, though he's too fragmented to be much of a character anyways.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Rainbow Dragon, thanks to being a "boss monster" that even in its own archetype is vastly outshined by other options the archetype has, note  and generally having lackluster effects for the amount of trouble needed to go through in order to summon him.
    • Sangan quickly became this thanks to a series of cards showing his trip to where banned cards go and his terrible luck along the way, along with shades of being The Woobie.
  • Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded from Magic: The Gathering was clearly intended to a terrifying villain, being a dimension-traveling half-demon man driven only by his joy in inflicting pain on others. However, this bloodcurdling concept didn't carry over to his extremely mediocre actual card as it can be easily ran over and takes ages to set up his good effects that are not worth the ridiculous amount of effort. It didn't do Tibalt any favors that his card was packaged in a Duel Deck set in which he is pitted against Sorin Markov; because Tibalt's story appearances were zilch afterwards, fans speculated that Sorin killed Tibalt in their fight that presumably lasted seconds before Word of God stated that he is still alive but elsewhere. This reputation has lessened in recent years as people have come to be distanced from his bad first card, allowing them to appreciate Tibalt's character in itself, culminating with an appearance in Kaldheim where he imprisons a god, steals their identity, and starts a short-lived war on the plane.

    Webcomics 
  • Radditz's usual portrayal as this is played with in Dragon Ball Multiverse. Besides losing on the first round on the main storyline, a minicomic was published which made fun of the concept.
  • Roy in almost every Awkward Zombie comic he appears in after his exclusion from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. While some of his loserdom is very much deserved, becoming an extremely petty and jealous person after his exclusion, that doesn't excuse the rest of the roster of fighters collectively forgetting about his existence, Master Hand blowing him up twice, or his own old roommate Marth barely tolerating him upon his return as DLC. He was barely even an afterthought when he was announced alongside Ryu.
  • Mayor Christian Weston Chandler from Sonichu gets this treatment for being an Author Avatar, being very corrupt, and taking up more page time than the title character.
  • This Hark! A Vagrant comic parodies the tendency of Sherlock Holmes adaptations to portray Dr. Watson as a bumbling idiot who doesn't really contribute anything to solving the mysteries by having a shorter, fatter Watson who mistakes a jar of jam for evidence replace the original, who complains "a brave, intelligent ladykiller wasn't interesting enough?"

    Web Video 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • Radditz, to the point that Vegeta and Nappa use him as a substitute for "weakling" and measure Power Levels in "Radditzes" (Nappa is five Radditz, and Vegeta is fifteen Radditz). The second season extends this to the point where he's used as a measure of currency (Around one dollar).
    • Krillin combines this with Lovable Coward. Krillin Owned Count, anyone? But in the end, Krillin finally gets his redemption when he hooks up with 18. It comes complete with the destruction of the Krillin Owned Count.
    • And of course, Yamcha. In one video the characters even state that the only reason they make fun of Krillin so often is because Yamcha isn't around as much. Word of God posits this is also the reason it wasn't called the Yamcha Owned Count.
    • This compilation video sums it up quite nicely.
      Yamcha:: Let's be honest. If I stay, I'll probably just get in the way.
      Tien: Yep.
      Piccolo: Probably.
      Gohan: No offense.
      Vegeta: Why are you even here?!
      (Beat, showing Yamcha looking hurt)
      Krillin: SENZU BEAN!
    • Hell, just about every team has their own Memetic Loser, as if there's a diversity quota or something. Radditz is this for the Saiyans, Appule is this to Freeza's force, and Guldo is this to the Ginyu Force. The androids have Android 19, the poorly programmed fat mime.
  • Escape the Night has Roi and Teala. In canon, Roi is very unlucky and often placed next to the way smarter guests. In fanon, Roi is usually The Ditz and The Klutz. He is not too far off from being Too Dumb to Live. He becomes an Expy of Tyler from Total Drama. All of Roi’s better qualities are removed and his lesser qualities are exaggerated. Teala is often portrayed as having no qualities that could be useful, but a dozen qualities that make her unfit to do a task or useless. The only good thing Teala has on her side is luck, which she only uses to never get picked for a challenge despite getting seemingly every vote against her. Teala being a Memetic Loser is not too far off from her canon counterpart, who only survives as long as she did through dumb luck.
  • Les Chevaliers du Zodiaque : La Série Abrégée: the Silver Saints. Whenever they get a mention by the characters, it's either as a synonym for "weakling" or to reference the fact they are essentially being used as cannon fodders by the Great Pope.
  • The YouTube parodies of Downfall frequently portray Adolf Hitler, a once feared and powerful man, as a slapstick magnet or a genuinely incompetent villain where his plans constantly fail, usually at the hands of Hermann Fegelein. He gets a fair amount of abuse in other series like The Frollo Show, especially in a scene where there's a question designed to send Scanty on a risky mission instead of him...
    Stocking: The first one to name five German cities won't go.
    (Smash Cut)
    Hitler: That question was hard! Why did it have to be so hard?!
  • On Barshens, Barry just can't catch a break. He typically ends up last in games, either through his own ignorance or Stuart's mastery of everything. Though sometimes, Barry gets robbed of victory thanks to Paul's incompetence.

    Western Animation 

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