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Unlucky Everydude

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"They were not smart enough to get good grades"
"No jobs are reserved for their caste"
"They do not have enough money to bribe anyone"
"They do not know any Minister to influence anyone"
Danda Pindagallu (A controversial South Indian comedy series that lampooned unemployable people with BA, BSc and BComm degrees)

The Unlucky Everydude is the Ordinary High-School Student, grown up and with adult problems. He is not so much average as below average in some notable way, and aware of his mediocrity. But as unlucky as he is, he never quite reaches Butt-Monkey status, remaining solidly The Everyman. His exact problems vary quite widely depending on the comedic or dramatic mood of the series. He may be Book Dumb, stuck in Perpetual Poverty, or just suffer from anxiety unrelated to his external circumstances. But by far the most common one is an inability to deal with women.

On the bright side, though, he almost always has a deep sense of decency—typically what gets him involved in the plot in the first place—often alloyed with a level of persistence that borders on inappropriate. He will try to help people, and keep helping long after everyone else has given up on them. In anime, especially, this can make him a Clueless Chick-Magnet, which is why he's a staple in Bishoujo Series, especially love/harem comedies. Although you could argue that anybody who's the focus of a harem is the opposite of unlucky.

The depth of his flaws varies wildly from series to series, and being an Audience Surrogate, how likeable he is often depends on his chemistry with the other characters. In a Magical Girlfriend series, his personality tends to be more moderate since he'll inevitably get together with the lead. But in a Harem Series, his haplessness makes him appealingly harmless to the girls. He will also fill any basic role they project on him. His inexperience with girls is a constant source of humor, but since they usually won't have much experience with guys either (save the Hard-Drinking Party Girl, who finds him a source of amusement), the awkwardness is mutual.

His parents will not be around, for whatever reason; more distant relatives may be featured. If he has siblings, it will be a cute little sister or sexy big sister.

His design should ideally be muted to a basic outfit and a realistic hair color, although he'll sometimes be a Bishōnen simply due to being drawn in an appealing artstyle.

A poorly done case will result in Marty Stu—his only flaws are informed ones and he fixes other people's problems easily.

Compare: The Everyman. See also: the female counterpart to Unlucky Everydude, the Naïve Everygirl. If this character is gay, he is likely to be The Twink. No connection to The Dude.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Absolute Boyfriend: Riiko is an Unlucky Everydudette, she has a string of rejections and doesn't seem to realize that her Unlucky Childhood Friend has a crush on her (that or his teasing her simply puts her off).
  • Ah! My Goddess: Keiichi Morisato had trouble with girls due to his short height, which affected his self-confidence, but he is otherwise a moderate character; he has friends, went to a decent college, and has a knack for auto mechanics. His real problem is that he has absurdly terrible luck, to the point that even when things go his way, they do so via something else going horribly wrong.
  • Ai Yori Aoshi: Kaoru Hanabishi had no real obvious issues (and was considered attractive) until his "unluckiness" was revealed as being the victim of orphanhood and repeated child abuse from his grandfather.
  • Kouta from Elfen Lied. He is constantly found in compromising positions with female characters by... other female characters, and is given a lot of flack for this by Yuka. Not to mention his entire family ends up being killed because of one white lie.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler features Hayate, a debt-ridden butler who has poverty and bad luck written all over his face. Note that his parents named him Hayate (wind) so he could run fast as the wind from the debt-collectors and other "very nice people".
  • Here is Greenwood: Kazuya Hasukawa of is prone to nosebleeds whenever he's stressed (like around his first crush, who ended up marrying his brother), attracts the kind of people who pick on him, is prone to illness, and has such bad luck that he was hit by a car on his way to his new school, delaying his entry by a month. He's also extremely fast, reasonably athletic, and at least decent in his studies.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Jean Havoc is relatively attractive, an army officer, and generally a nice guy. Despite this, his bad luck with women is notorious among his friends and colleagues, who often add insult to injury by making fun of him for it. There's also the time his new girlfriend turns out to be Lust, who proceeds to stab him in the abdomen, effectively paralyzing him from the waist down. Poor, poor Havoc... But he gets his leg mobility back in the end.
  • Love Hina:
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: Akito Tenkawa of is traumatized (and continues to be so) to the point of actual Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But, for whatever reason, he still attracts a sizable Unwanted Harem.
  • Daikichi from My Lovely Ghost Kana ends up in the haunted apartment after losing his job and his previous residence. Even a chapter after he meets Kana, some of the residual bad luck shows back up, with over half his belongings being destroyed before he got them back from the moving company.
  • Fujiki in Cheeky Angel is constantly commenting on just how overwhelmingly average he is.
  • Rito, the protagonist of To Love Ru, has trouble confessing his love to Haruna, then after Lala comes along, he seems unable to go through a day without being an Accidental Pervert and chastised by any girl he happens to fall on.
  • The Twelve Kingdoms has Ikuya Asano (Youko's best friend), and Suzu as the Rare Female Example. Asano falls into despair, loses his sanity and dies, Suzu has to earn her happy ending.
  • Urusei Yatsura: Ataru was born on Friday April 13th, during an earthquake, under a full moon, after his mother walked under a ladder and a black cat crossed her path, etc. He's so unlucky that the sole attempt to exorcise his bad luck backfired on him while simultaneously accidentally helping the Miko who attempted the exorcism. He falls behind in the "everydude" part, though, seeing as how he's a Determinator and Lovable Sex Maniac of such intense perversion he's outright stated to be the most concentrated source of lust in the known universe. He comes off as average because everyone else he hangs out with is even more bizarre...
  • Phantom Quest Corp.: Karino is a nice guy and he's a reasonably good detective. The problem is, he's a bit of a bumbler, who's usually buried under a mountain of paperwork, due to the department he works for (U Division) being severely understaffed.note  To say nothing of his attempts to hook up with Ayaka Kisaragi, who he assigns his extra cases to, as a personal favor. Which she appreciates and knows he's a good man... it's just she prefers to play hard to get.
  • Guilty Crown: Shu Ouma is this. As if getting powers from the Void Genome is bad enough, he has to go through a lot of trouble from getting involved with freedom fighters, to becoming a student council president later on (not to mention a tyrant after Hare’s death). Mostly he did this to impress Inori.
  • Ryuuji from Toradora! has the Face of a Thug, but people seem to get over that early into the anime to instead spread the She Is Not My Girlfriend rumor.
  • The Unpopular Mangaka and the Helpful Onryo-san: As you might guess from the title, Senai isn't very successful as a mangaka and has to work a part-time job to make ends meet. He doesn't seem to have many friends either, only really spending time with Onryo-san and Hakuu.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man's first incarnation is a standard, if nerdy and weak, high school student, who just happens be at the right place at the right time. Steve Ditko forgot this and turned it into an Objectivist Author Tract. Then he turned college-age Peter into a Badboy. It continues to fluctuate Depending on the Writer.

    Fan Works 
  • In Risk It All, Ren is friendless, has middling grades, and lives in Gotham City of all places while his parents struggle to make ends meet. To try and ease their burden, he uses his gambling talent to make money as a "part-time job", but it ends up biting him in the rear when Black Mask shoots him, leaving him in a six-month coma that forces his dad to reach out to Ren's estranged uncle for financial support.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Pervert!: James is established as this from the beginning, though he seems to become a Chick Magnet for any of his father's lovers. It turns out voodoo powers have made him sexually irresistible to women and the voodoo curse has given his penis a life, and monstrous personality, of its own.
  • Scott Summers from the X-Men Film Series. Beaten down by Deathstrike, and his relationship with Jean ends up in the worst way possible.

  • A Certain Magical Index gives us protagonist Kamijou Touma, who has a tendency to get into various scraps because of his Chronic Hero Syndrome. Compounded even worse because of his ability Imagine Breaker, which is lampshaded to even negate his luck! This ability also justifies the light novel's Harem Genre, as his Imagine Breaker is even thought to be able to cancel the Red String of Fate. No fated lover means plenty of available options...
  • Neverwhere stars Richard Mayhew, an ordinary bloke in an ordinary London desk job. In one afternoon, he decides to be a Good Samaritan which both alienates his fiancee and gets him pulled into the Dark World of London Below somehow, making him a complete Unperson to everyone up above.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the early aughts, there was a short lived Carnatic language controversial comedy series called Danda Pindagallu, whose name transliterates to “lumps of waste”. The show poked fun at three guys who had earned only a three year Bachelor of Arts (humanities), Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Commerce degree respectively. Episode after episode featured these guys trying to get a job and failing because their degrees on their own are insufficient to get a job, their grades were average, they couldn’t qualify for affirmative action benefits and they had neither the wealth or connections to get them opportunities. The show came off as elitist and needless to say, very few people were laughing along with it.
  • Kamen Rider has three unlucky everydudes, and they are all from shows written by the same writer. Shinji Kido (who shares the same first name as the well-known Anime Butt-Monkey) Ryotaro Nogami (who is so unlucky it makes Donald Duck look like Lady Fortune's favorite boy) and Eiji Hino (who hides a Dark and Troubled Past).
  • Cory in Boy Meets World doesn't like being the middle child and he's insecure about his looks.
  • Dobie Gillis of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis is an average guy in every way, which isn't much help for trying to get with girls that are out of his league. The one girl who does like him, Zelda, is an Insufferable Genius who's more than a bit pushy.
  • The hosts of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are described as being not too different from the average person. However, they're all being held captive by mad scientists and subjected to cruel experiments.


    Video Games 
  • Larry Butz in the Ace Attorney series. He can't hold a girlfriend or a job and almost falls under ditz status. His friends mock his troubles by saying "When something smells, it's usually the Butz." Not to mention his annoying, unlucky and dumb-witted personality gets some of the characters in the 3rd game to point out just how much of a menace he is to society. Still, he's pretty cute, and even though he gets in the way, he always has good intentions and does his best to help his friends out however he can.
  • Makoto Naegi from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc presents himself as this, claiming his Super High School Level Good Luck is actually Bad Luck. Until he gets re-titled as Super High School Level Hope, that is.
  • Almaz from Disgaea 3 is pretty normal except for low courage (gets better in chapter 4) and his extremely awful luck.
  • Kouno Takaaki from To Heart 2 outright states in the third episode that he has problems in dealing with women, by virtue of growing up with an Imouto and Cool Big Sis childhood friends.
  • Nishiki from When Yanderes Cry. He starts the game by dating his Childhood Friend, but the vacation they attempt to share alone is changed when four girls "coincidentally" run into them. What follows is his girlfriend getting killed and him running around an abandoned mansion to hide from them.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • The titular trio from Ed, Edd n Eddy are textbook examples of this. Eddy in particular was this in the earliest episodes before he was turned into his better-known con-man persona.
  • Futurama: Philip J. Fry.
    "I've run over black cats who were luckier than me."
  • Kim Possible: Ron Stoppable. His parents almost never seem to be around, their approach to moving to Norway or adopting a baby is to present him with the outcome, he can never get a date, he's constantly picked on and considered a loser (despite being the valued sidekick to a world-saving heroine), and is the ne'er-do-well sidekick to the main character. This seems to act in his favor occasionally. It's dropped in the fourth season.
  • Rick and Morty: Amongst his whole family which includes a Mad Scientist, Jerry Smith's skills seem very mediocre on paper, and because of this he gets little respect from others. Rick and Beth (mostly the former) constantly belittle his intellect and spinelessness, and he's rarely the one to save the day when the family is in danger. "Total Rickall" for example has him mostly clinging to parasite-disguised-as-a-lover Sleepy Gary, and he gets stuck in a unseen side plot through most of "Solaricks" because he's been sent back to the universe he was swapped from.
  • For the title character of Rocko's Modern Life, every day is a very dangerous day... Especially if this involves sentient vacuum cleaners, runaway laundromat machines, messy hair, crazy friends and the like.

Alternative Title(s): Unlucky Everyman