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The Load

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A literal example.

"How about we do us all a favour and give him the slip? Mole is slow, stupid and tasteless."

Probably one of the most hated characters in a movie or series fandom, The Load is a liability to the heroes. They are not always the proximate cause of the heroes' failures, but they're weak, they're often Too Dumb to Live, and for some reason they've just got to hang around with the cool heroes and be a part of the action all the time. It doesn't occur to The Load that, being an unathletic Muggle, it really might not be such a good idea for them to rush headlong onto the battlefield along with the heavily armored and super-powered heroes. Said heroes will usually have to spend at least half the battle keeping The Load alive. It's not hard to see why the fans hate them so much.

The Load must be played carefully, lest they become The Scrappy — though, it is worth mentioning that often, even Scrappies have their usefulness, perhaps even being able to fend for themselves or put up a good fight when required, whereas The Load seemingly has absolutely none. If they must be protected, or come along despite lacking any useful skill, there should be a good reason for it, and not just as interaction, or perhaps they were not invited to the battle but brought themselves along. If a character who was once clearly the Load starts upstaging the characters who are competent or powerful, they are even more likely to be hated.

The Load is the TV/movie equivalent of a powerless NPC in a video game Escort Mission — only, unlike a video game, you don't have the power to press the "B" button and throw The Load to the zombies if you start getting irritated by them.

What makes this trope especially grating is that The Load often actually does have powers or an ability that will come in handy for the heroes, which is, of course, why they must keep dragging The Load around with them. The one instance where The Load uses this power to save the heroes, however, does little to make up for the 99 percent of the time that they have spent being a screeching boat anchor.

Closely related to the Damsel Scrappy, Non-Action Guy, The Team Normal (if this character is the load because of a lack of powers), and the Satellite Love Interest. Can lead to a Live-Action Escort Mission, Badly Battered Babysitter, or similar. Might result from a Story-Breaker Team-Up where one of the members is out of their league. The character may be a Living MacGuffin.

If a Time Skip occurs in the series, expect The Load to have Taken a Level in Badass. Compare The Millstone, who is much more proactive in making failure the only option, and Helpless Good Side, for when a character with a Split Personality is the load half the time. Contrast The Drag-Along, who wants to avoid danger, but is forced to join a party of heroes against his will.

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    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Great War in the Bizarre World, Jollie's so-called knowledge is supposed to help the goats find the Luminous Ray, but he's a Know-Nothing Know-It-All whose guidance proves more of a hindrance during the search for said item, slowing them down more than anything.

    Comic Books 
  • Mary West, the mother of Wally West, became a particularly notable Load during his early years as the Flash. What are her Load bonafides? Start with the fact that she treats her twenty-something son (with years of superheroing experience) like a fourteen-year-old. This leads her to beg Wally not to help people, and basically act unwilling to let Wally out the door at all. She also behaves like a shrill banshee regarding Wally's girlfriends, calling them gold-diggers — even when Wally is dirt poor! She manages to get herself into various dangers due to her own wanderlusts, and she also blindly sets up several dangerous situations by telephoning the villains and giving up important information because "they seemed nice". Readers undoubtedly cheered when she married a European secret agent; you can have her, buddy.
  • Rick Jones from The Incredible Hulk. What could be more useful to some of the most skilled and powerful super heroes in the Marvel Universe than some kid with a motorcycle following them around? Not to mention that he's apparently responsible for Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk. The only reason he's around is because, as his friend, he's one of the only people capable of calming the Hulk down.
    • Peter David eventually subverted this in his Incredible Hulk and Captain Marvel series by showing that Rick had spent so much time hanging around superheroes, he'd actually picked up enough general knowledge, including extensive combat training during the time he insisted on being Captain America's sidekick, Bucky, to be able to handle himself in almost any situation (like, say, carrying around a parachute in case he's suddenly stuck on an exploding spaceship).
    • Another instance was when two big strong tough guys tried to mess with Rick, only to discover that hanging out with the people he had, and his general experience, made him a very competent hand-to-hand fighter against other normals, he trashed them without much effort. By the standards of "normals", Rick Jones is not someone you want mad at you.
    • Modern Rick Jones has basically turned his history as the load into a superpower. Besides being the Marvel Universe's foremost hacktivist, it's noted in-universe that somebody who has a good 80 percent of all the current and former Avengers in his personal contact list is not to be trifled with. When he's hanging out with the New Avengers, it's also shown that the mementos he's picked up over the years include enough super-powered gadgetry to outfit a strong squad of B-level supervillains.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992): As Link is fighting a group of monsters off, The Boy cheers Link on by pounding the head of one the statues that pour into the fountain. This triggers the Swamp Palace in the Dark World to get flooded, washing away the monsters and Link. Subverted in that the flooding water helps him defeat the two enemies he was fighting and get him to a high hole in the wall.
  • Lucky Luke: No other companion to a hero holds him back more than Rantanplan the dog. He fancies himself a heroic hound but he never understands what's going on, is too easily distracted and contributes nothing but trouble for Lucky Luke. In more than a few video games during in a fight with dangerous villains, Lucky Luke has to go out of his way to avoid shooting him. It is no surprise that Jolly Jumper dislikes his company. A few times however, even a Load can save the day when it falls on an enemy's legs, and even then without realizing it.
  • Tin of the Metal Men is a very fragile guy (what with the metal he was made out of and all), yet he does his damndest to prove he does not fall under this trope, with little success. Tin isn't so much a Load as a kind of ablative armor for the team and comic in general. Need to show someone's a serious threat but not damage anyone that actually has useful abilities? Let Tin take one for the team — he's not strong, tough, or fast, but he's very brave.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Aunt May is such a load in Sixties comics, it's frankly bizarre. This isn't helped by her tendency of referring to "that awful Spider-Man," and her belief that Otto Octavius is a polite and charming man — while he's holding her hostage and Peter is trying to rescue her. Aunt May is a bit different from the usual instances. She isn't insisting on following Spider-Man around, for example, or trying to hang out with him. She's a Load, but she's Peter's Load, not Spider-Man's — and with the number of times Peter's had move back in with her, he's probably Aunt May's Load too. She's such a Load that everyone worries about her well-being when her nephew is a superhero... but not because she's so ridiculously old.
    • Sally Avril, prominently featured in Untold Tales of Spider-Man. Heady with the idea of being a super-hero, she created a blue-and-white costume, called herself BlueBird, and tried to help Spider-Man with an arsenal of egg-themed gadgets. Unfortunately, her inexperience and malfunctioning eggs caused her to be such a burden that Spider-Man even allowed one villain to hurt her quite badly in an attempt to dissuade her.
  • Superman:
    • Back in the day, Jimmy olsen's role in the Superman comics was to get into trouble and be rescued by Superman.
    • In Escape from the Phantom Zone, Benjamin Rubel slipping and falling into a dimensional vortex is the only reason that Supergirl and Batgirl become trapped into the Phantom Zone. During their adventure, Ben does nothing but tag along and react to things with shock while Supergirl and Batgirl use their powers, skills and brains to both survive in the Zone and prevent their friend from dying. Even though Ben insists that he does not want to be rescued, his actual attempt to help them out ends up with both Kara and Babs saving him from being pounded into paste by an enraged Zoner.
  • A number of sidekicks from the comics of The Golden Age of Comic Books and The Silver Age of Comic Books are The Load...
    • Such as Superman's pal Jimmy Olsen, the JLA's Snapper Carr, and the JSA's Johnny Thunder.
    • The Golden Age Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel, not the android) was part this, with a heaping dollop of comic relief. She was tough enough to at least hold her own in a fight against non-super-powered thugs, though.
    • Bucky of Captain America seems to be the ultimate (comicbook) example of The Load that Took a Level in Badass. He went from being saved from Hitler twice a month to a Badass Normal Legacy Character.
    • Robin usually subverts this, but not always. Let's just say there's a reason the Boy Wonder is sometimes called the Boy Hostage.
  • The Transformers (Marvel): Nautilator. In theory, transforming into a lobster monster should make him an oceanborne killing machine, what with the giant claws and a gun that crushes enemies to death. It also means he should be highly efficient in his function of performing undersea excavations. In practice, he's a bungling dolt and career loser who can't even swim properly. Inexplicably for a member of the Decepticons' underwater strike force, he has Super Drowning Skills and No Sense of Direction (though this last is partly due to a recurring malfunction in his gyroscopic system). He's been defeated by the undertow of all things. He also never owns up to his mistakes and his team sorely wishes they could just be rid of him — a sentiment that is apparently shared by the rest of the Decepticons. He's so bad that when they combine to form Piranacon, the Seacons discovered that they're much less effective when they let him form a limb rather than force him to transform into the team's gun. If he didn't somehow have a knack for bringing back useful salvage to Decepticon HQ when they have to fish him back from the bottom of the ocean, they probably would have left him to rust ages ago.

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series
    • Socrates tends to fit this category. Hobbes seems to be the only one who likes him, but over time, even he starts to find him annoying. Of course, Socrates does pull through for the group from time to time, often saving their lives.
    • Sherman, the MTM, and Jack have all taken their turns as this also.
  • Cheshire (Miraculous Ladybug): Cheshire quickly comes to see Misterbug's team as this. They have no experience, she keeps having to bail them out of their own messes and that's when they're not attacking her instead of fighting the Akumas. Later, even Misterbug thinks the same for King Monkey and Queen Bee.
  • In The Darkness Series Wormtail is this to the Death Eaters and Harry considers Ron to be this in his other life.
  • In Gods of This New World Matt is this to Mello and Near—he spends all his time eating their food and playing video games rather than plotting with them on how to take out Kira.
  • At one point in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, the narration mentions that outworlders have started to refer to Ringo as "the Load", because he's never seen to do anything except cower next to John. Hoo boy, are they wrong.
  • My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic:
    • Lightning Dawn. Despite his physical strength, most of the villains use magic and his inability to use magic is quite a liability in battle. Anytime he finishes a battle is with his Uniforce. He grew out of it in later seasons, and in a few cases even saved his whole team without being able to instantly finish his foes.
    • Krysta is more of a hindrance to the others than anything. While she can evacuate civilians and reflect fire with her portals, she has a habit of being kidnapped.
    • Brain also qualifies. While his inventions are useful, he offers nothing in combat.
  • Prehistoric Earth: Leon Gilbertson initially starts out as this amongst the titular park's rescue team due to his admittedly useful encyclopedic knowledge on the various prehistoric animals encountered not immediately translating to practical physical skill as a keeper or member of the rescue team. He eventually becomes more competent as time goes on.
  • Prehistoric Park Reimagined: As a Continuity Reboot of the above mentioned Prehistoric Earth, Leon is amongst the cast and once again starts out as the least competent member of the rescue team. As was the case in this story's aforementioned predecessor, he eventually grows out of this once he's had enough time to sufficiently practice and gain experience.
  • Turtles has the student council. In battle, Momo's aim is just as bad as in canon, meaning that they can't hit enemy tanks. Outside of battle, they're unwilling to listen to the more experienced Miho and Koume's proposals when it comes to the team.
  • In Surface Pressure TMNT, Mikey starts seeing himself as the Load after watching Encanto and seeing some uncomfortable similarities between his family and the Madrigals. Key words being Mikey sees himself.
  • Vow of Nudity:
    • Haara's mother, protagonist of the prequel story, is completely useless in a fight, making her particularly ill-suited for the hack-and-slash campaign she's found herself in. She spends most of her adventure distracting guards or simply taking hits that might have targeted more useful party members. In the end, this is the main reason the orcs let her live after massacring everyone else.
    • Bren, deuteragonist of The Naked Misadventures of Kay’la, is a comically-unhelpful kobold commoner who never does anything to help, even if Kay’la’s being beaten to within an inch of her life. Somehow she’s so self-centered she never seems to notice or care.
  • Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse: Nabiki Tendo, as an Ordinary High-School Student amongst a crew full of Supernatural Martial Arts-practitioners on a voyage into the Grand Line, has literally nothing to contribute to the Kamikaze Pirates at first. She's not even a decent "smart guy" team member, as back in Nerima she coasted by on emotional manipulation and exploiting the honor codes of her victims. Cue Training from Hell until she Took a Level in Badass, aided by eating a Mythic Zoan Devil Fruit.

    Films — Animation 
  • Rolly in 101 Dalmatians is constantly nearly getting the puppies caught — he can't squeeze through the hole without help because he's fat, yelps when Mr. Tibbs grabs his tail and alerts Horace and slips on the ice, nearly sliding into the torchlight beam. He also constantly reminds everyone how hungry he is while they're trying to get home.
  • The Black Cauldron has Fflewddur, who only proves useful twice in the entire movie: weakly trying to convince the feuding Taran and Eilonwy that they have to work together, and taunting the three witches into trading the restoration of Gurgi's life for the return of the Cauldron.
  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, it seems like Brent will be this when he invites himself along to help save the world, but he turns out to be a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
  • In Inside Out, Joy views Sadness as a whiny brat with a tendency to wander off and do useless things, but this is because Joy doesn't understand what Sadness's purpose is (allowing Reilly to cope with unhappy experiences and feel empathy for others). In fact, it's actually Joy treating Sadness as the load instead of trying to understand her that causes most of the problems.
  • Po in Kung Fu Panda 2 is a literal example. He is a capable kung fu master and can direct the members of the Furious Five in battle fairly well. However his mobility is so poor that he is often literally thrown and carried around by his much quicker comrades.
  • One could interpret the Squeeze Toy Aliens in Toy Story 3 in this role, as they exist either as superlatives or hindrances to the toys escaping from Sunnyside — from almost alerting Big Baby to getting stuck in the dumpster and (indirectly) causing the toys to get sent to the dump. Inverted in the incinerator scene, in which the Aliens save all of the toys via the claw.
  • Russell in Up at first seems to fit this category: he loses his Wilderness Explorer GPS, literally acts as a deadweight while Carl is towing the house, cannot put up his tent, and reveals to Muntz that he and Carl have met "the Monster of Paradise Falls" (i.e. Kevin the Bird). Probably meant to be an inversion of how in many films where a crotchety old man is paired up with a spunky kid, it's the adult who's portrayed as inept and in need of rescue. Plus, Russell has the excuse that he has no real way of getting home under his own power. If Carl doesn't do it, the poor kid is toast. However, he eventually takes a level in badass.

  • In Fathom, the divers' female companion can only sit in the boat and watch the waters uselessly while her friends are being attacked by deadly mermaids.
  • Some of the Houses in Game of Thrones act like this in certain modes. For instance, starting "Hand of the King" with House Baratheon requires seven shots to complete a set, instead of the regular four.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Undertaker saw his long-time friend and manager Paul Bearer as that. He had no choice but to get rid of him by burying him in cement. Six years later, this is actually proven true when Kane lost focus in his matches when Edge kidnapped Paul.

  • Cabin Pressure: Arthur. He means well, but never thinks anything through ever. Which isn't good when you're an airline perpetually on the brink of bankruptcy which seems to cater exclusively to tetchy customers, and a single disaster could tip them over the edge. In the second episode alone, he actually manages to kill a passenger by accident. Some episodes later, he nearly gets MJN Air put out of business through his sheer stupidity. They're only saved by Douglas' timely usage of Loophole Abuse to have Arthur designated a passenger (albeit one who "helps" a lot) rather than a steward.
    Carolyn: It is a maxim of MJN Airlines that when Arthur stops trying to help, we can accomplish anything.

  • In Survival of the Fittest, Cara Scholte becomes this for Maxie Dasai. The latter has to literally pull Cara around for a good half a day and was prevented from fleeing from a dangerous encounter with Adam Reeves in concern for her companion's well-being. Sure, Cara was catatonic at the time, but given the outcome of the fight...

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In early editions, amongst the many Scrappy Mechanics, a big one was how experience points were allotted. Besides completing the quest or dungeon, the vast majority of your experience came from being conscious in a fight... that's it. There was no bonus or penalty to whether you did anything in a battle. This let some players earn thousands of XP from hiding in a corner, while another party member who did all of the actual fighting, but was KO'd right before the combat ended, got nothing. There was also an XP reward from finding loot, which could lead to situations with a selfish player prioritizing searching a room for hidden treasure while the rest of the party dealt with a monster.
    • Umplebys, eight-foot-tall humanoids covered in shaggy hair, come from the "DM messing with the players" days of D&D. As such, they have a habit of attaching themselves to a party of adventurers, refusing to be left behind, getting in the way, and foiling attempts at stealth. Even if they do contribute something, umplebys will demand a share of any shiny treasure the party comes across. They can, at least, blast threats with static electricity generated by their hairy bodies, though once they deal enough hit points of damage, umplebys will immediately fall asleep.

    Theme Parks 
  • In several rides at Universal Studios, the riders themselves are this from the perspective of the attraction's storyline:
    • In Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, the riders are attacked at every turn from the likes of security trolls as well as Bellatrix and Voldemort themselves. The main trio end up having to spend extra time in the bank just to save them.
    • Despite being quickly recruited by Jimmy himself in Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast, the riders do absolutely nothing to help stop Ooblar and only get tossed around all over the place in the attraction, with Jimmy having to pilot their ride vehicle via remote control throughout the whole.
    • In The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, the riders nearly get themselves killed multiple times by the Sinister Syndicate, leaving Spider-Man to save them again and again.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Yuri VN Akai Ito is an interesting example. Hatou Kei, the main character is The Load and all fighting are done by her Action Girlfriend. This eventually gets so grating that the sort-of sequel Aoi Shiro has a hypercompetent Action Girl as the main character. As a Continuity Nod, Aoi Shiro has an unlockable minigame based on one of the Multiple Endings in Akai Ito, where (long story short) Kei Took a Level in Badass and Takes to Demon Slaying.
  • The main point of view character of Hakuoki is Chizuru, a young woman who becomes closely involved with The Shinsengumi during the end of the Edo period. Given the time period, it's no surprise that Chizuru has very little fighting ability, and she's painfully aware of her status as The Load; throughout the action of the VN she frets constantly over how much of a burden protecting her places on them and how little she can do to help them, especially once the Boshin War breaks out and the Shinsengumi have to leave Kyoto.
  • Mach in SC2VN starts out as this. He gets better.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Andy is The Load quite often, and proud of it! In fact, he usually invokes this trope because he thinks its funny.

    Web Comics 
  • What would it be like to assemble a team of so-called heroes where every member is The Load to everyone else through stupidity, greed and general antisocial behavior? The answer is the Light Warriors of 8-Bit Theater!
  • Darths & Droids:
    • It depicts Jyn Erso/Bria Tharen as a useless, terminally stupid NPC that the party is having to escort for their quest. She pisses off the party's contacts, repeatedly wanders into the middle of firefights, forces the pacifist Cassian into killing to save her, accidentally shoots K-2SO (forcing the DM to pretend she hit a different droid to prevent the game from derailing), and generally just gets in their way.
    • Jim's character in the same campaign (Saw Gerrera/Kyle Katarn) nearly becomes this, thanks to being a near-crippled old man who accidentally cut off his own legs while using a lightsaber. Fortunately for the party, Saw ends up getting killed shortly after they meet him and Jim takes over Bria, making her at least somewhat more useful by taking her out of the DM's hands.
  • Justin of El Goonish Shive feels like The Load during the Painted Black Arc because everyone assumes he's not strong enough to help rescue Elliot. (All of the other candidates for the team had magic and/or super powers.) In fact, his dream that night casts him as a helpless hobbit who's forced to stay behind while the girls who saved Elliot are cast as the Fellowship.
  • Homestuck: Among the Pre-Scratch trolls, Kankri a) never realised his Seer of Blood powers, and b) when shown onscreen, does nothing except deliver trillion-word sermons that manage to passive-aggressively insult everyone they are directed at, so they could probably have done without him entirely and would quite happily have done so.
  • Bogey in Kid Radd, who, being a One-Hit-Point Wonder who can only attack by walking into people, is outclassed by nearly everyone else. He knows it, too, frequently angsting over his general uselessness, which eventually causes him to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to give Radd his power-up before he gets killed by the Final Boss.
  • Iki of Off-White is a Big Eater wolf that is bad at hunting, is clumsy, and slow. If he was not part of a pack, he would have died by now.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Elan in most early arcs was by far the least useful member of the team. His Quirky Bard skillset proved difficult for him to leverage, which meant most of his contributions to combat consisted of either standing in the back and singing, casting an illusion spell too poorly-crafted to do anything useful, or ineffectually poking things with his rapier. Being The Ditz also meant that he had a habit of getting himself into trouble or derailing situations. Over the course of the comic, he matures and improves his skills, with his advancement in Dashing Swordsman being a particular break point.
    • In social encounters (or actually any encounters that require something other than wanton violence and destruction), Belkar takes over the role of The Load from Elan, as less useful than rocks when it comes to negotiating due to his extremely short attention span and tendency to cause random violence and destruction when bored.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, Kiki is by far the most useless character in a fight, and her tendency to play with anything shiny has often put the characters in danger from explosions, dimensional portals, and radiation poisoning. However, because she is The Ditz, the Genki Girl, and the Team Pet, most readers love her anyway. To be fair, it's not Kiki's fault that only Bun-Bun has figured out how to utilize (read: weaponize, using a pixie stick and a cardboard tube) her.
  • Reynir from Stand Still, Stay Silent is a good example of this trope done right. Reynir is pretty useless (at least to begin with), but unlike most Loads he keeps out of harm's way, listens to instructions from people who know better, tries to develop his skills and has a good sense of his own limitations.
  • Although every member of the team in Sturgeon's Law is incompetent or a sociopath or both, Jenn is too much of a slacker to be of much use to the party.
  • Alex from Weak Hero is in the unfortunate position of being an "only decent" fighter who's best friends with Ben, one of the greatest fighters in the webtoon — this leads to him frequently taking a beating from antagonists who specifically want to rile up Ben. By Season 3, he's really started to beat himself up for how many times Ben has saved him without him able to return the favour, and he starts training harder than ever so that he can stop being a burden to the group.

    Web Original 
  • The main character in the blog novel Flyover City! is a slacker / fanboy in a world where superheroes are real. His mundane call center job for the "big evil empire" eventually leads him to the sidelines of several super-powered battles.
  • The "Shut The Fuck Up, Carl" meme, or what happens when recruiters get desperate.
  • Shadowrun Storytime has Trout, the team's first infiltrator. Despite supposedly being a self-proclaimed ninja badass and master gunfighter, he flatly refuses to infiltrate (despite that being his job) on the grounds of it being "too dangerous," and constantly defaults to trying to sell out the team at the first sign of a threat to himself, even if that threat is one he could kill in seconds. Capping it all off is his massive bounty and Criminal SIN, which constantly broadcast his name and location to every cop within several blocks. Overall, this makes him a massive albatross around the team's collective neck during their early 'runs.
  • Kyle's character in Statless and Tactless is the team's load. Having his stats spread out to make him a generalist (as well as having terrible dice rolling luck), means he pretty much can't pass any check. Joe attempts to be the load as a form of coercion, but is actually fairly useful.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Chou in the thinks that she is becoming The Load for Team Kimba due to her complete lack of powers when not doing what the Tao wants, which has lead to serious injury for her in some battles. Not wanting to be this trope any more is the cover story for her leaving Team Kimba during the spring term.
    • Pretty much the only current members of the Vindicators training team who aren't liabilities are Sizemax and Lemure, and neither of them are really good enough to carry the rest of the team. Of them all, it is probably Kismet (the team leader) who is the worst offender; when she is knocked out cold during a training session, the others manage to pull things together enough to successfully complete the mission. Cerebrex and Dynamaxx would be passable team-mates if it weren't for their personality flaws (serious enough in the case of Cerbrex, aka Captain Canada!, that it's been used against him in a Combat Final), but Donner is just an incompetent boob.

    Web Videos 
  • Achievement Hunter usually has theirs in the form of Gavin Free, but not solely because of his usual status as Troll — certain games go way over his head, such as American sports games (due to him being British), and thus he needs to be handheld across it. In Let's Play Grand Theft Auto IV and V, he's a very poor driver, prompting Michael and Ray to tell him to get out of the car when he's driving during a Team Lads vs. Team Gents match.
  • Critical Role:
    • Trinket barely ever contributes to the group's exploits in a meaningful way. On the contrary, the group frequently has to go out of it's way to make sure he isn't left behind since he's too big to fit on the flying carpet, or to save his bacon when Vex actually does send him into the fray (which she usually avoids; he could get hurt, after all!). Subverted once the "pokeball" is acquired, as Trinket can be easily carried and only come out when needed.
    • Doty is even worse. It only attacked a couple of times and was quickly destroyed twice in the main story and once in the Battle Royale.
  • Escape the Night:
    • In Season 1, Sierra does little more then whine and complain to the point where her closest allies are the ones who stab her in the back. Matt starts out as The Smart Guy, but his Jerkass and Dirty Coward tendencies eventually cause him to become this, And There Was Much Rejoicing by the time he kicked the bucket.
    • In Season 2, Lauren tries her best to help out the group when she can, but her Pimped-Out Dress ends up limiting her movement, causing her to be captured quickly. This, combined with her own nervousness, causes her to be seen as this by most of the group and voted into the first death challenge of the season.
    • While most of the cast in Season 3 stands out for being much more skilled at puzzles then their predecessors, Teala stands out in contrast to them for being indecisive, quickly panicking, and not doing much useful for the team, cauisng her to quickly become The Friend Nobody Likes. After Teala dies, the group is having a much easier time solving puzzles and becomes a Badass Crew as a result.
  • Noob:
    • Valentin seems to be this to Relic Hunter guild, via going Casanova Wannabe on female players at very inappropriate moments, such as in the middle of a fight. His actual talent in battle in unknown, but the webseries version has him beaten offscreen by one of the protagonists and resort to running away when two of his magic-using guildmates basically become People Puppets and start attacking him.
    • The webseries and novel version show Saphir having that sentiment towards Omega Zell after he joins Justice.
  • TCNick3 of the Party Crashers easily has the lowest skill level of the group, so as such he tends to be extremely unhelpful in team minigames, almost always being the first one to be eliminated in 1-vs-3 minigames and getting carried by his teammates as a result. Even in other games he's still of no assistance, as he does nothing but sit back and let his teammate do all the work, such as the Mario Kart: Double Dash!! 2-vs-2 video and their fourth Sporcle video.
  • Simon Lane, while hardly useless in the Jaffa Factory series (part of the Yogscast Minecraft Series), does less work than Lewis Brindley or Duncan Jones and spends a lot of his time easily distracted, forcing them to get him back on track.
  • In this Camping Episode of the Italian Web Series Insopportabilmente Donna, Tess Masazza is shown as not exactly the most useful member of the group. Partially, this is because she is Crazy-Prepared to the point of having brought with her too many supplies to carry tham around comfortably.


Video Example(s):


Cumbersome Shrek Costumes

Wolf and Honeybee chose to go dressed as Shrek and Fiona so they could go to what they think is a Shrek convention. Their costumes makes it impossible for them to do anything useful and their inability to take off their costumes ends up slowing down the trip.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / TheLoad

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