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Unwanted Assistance

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Phileas Fogg: Watch out on the right! [Passepartout turns around to find nothing] ...No, no, my right.
[Passepartout gets ganged up on]
Passepartout: STOP HELPING ME!
Phileas Fogg: [embarrassed] Sorry.

In a crisis, nobody wants to feel useless or left out. Some people may want to run away, but otherwise they'll usually try to help. The problem is, sometimes this help turns out to be rather unhelpful. Depending on the situation, it can be anywhere from irritating to downright dangerous, for the "helper" and the "helpee". As such, this situation can have several different outcomes, ranging from simple annoyance on the part of the people being inconvenienced to extremely dire consequences that involve a lot of people getting killed.


Compare Chronic Hero Syndrome, Unwanted Rescue, Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like, and Ungrateful Bastard. Especially self-righteous and/or stubborn "helpers" may have Condescending Compassion. Contrast Shut Up and Save Me!. Can lead to Always Need What You Gave Up if the person ends up in a position where the aid of the person they ordered not to help is needed. May overlap with Overzealous Underling.

For "helpers" provided by a program who annoy or otherwise have a negative affect on the player, see Annoying Video-Game Helper.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bokurano has our little friend Koyemushi, which is supposed to be the guide for the kids while on Zearth. While he is forced to obey the kids while they are contracted, he is extremely cynical and cruel, and will often "forget" to give out certain pieces of information, all because he loves to see the kids agonize and cry. Extra points for actually helping the kids exclusively when he knew it would hurt them more than it would help them.
  • Brand New Animal: When Michiru discovers her old friend Nazuna is acting as the prophet for a growing cult, she assumes that she was forced into the position and works to help her escape, despite Nazuna's insistence that she's fine and that Michiru shouldn't get involved. Michiru's efforts eventually lead to a meeting with the city's mayor, which Nazuna decides to use to speed up the process of getting her cult seen as a legitimate religion. When Michiru tries to call Nazuna out for using her, Nazuna points out that she spent every conversation explicitly telling Michiru that she shouldn't do anything.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula: Earlier in the series, Asurada tries to teach its partner Hayato how to drive properly, but he ignores his advice, and he even tries to destroy Asurada when the machine indirectly caused the crash involving him and his friend Johji (which resulted in the latter's retirement from Cyber Formula).
  • In Infinite Stratos, when Houki, Rin, and Cecilia all try to explain to Ichika how to use the I.S. with their Techno Babble, it only serves to confuse him. On the other hand, Charles offers to duel Ichika, and after sounding stomping him, he offers some tips on Ichika's weaknesses and explains things that makes it easy for him to understand. He also helps train Ichika on using a rifle, and seems a bit too friendly, causing the girls to get quite jealous.
  • Legendz: In the manga, Ken gains possession of the Golden Soul Doll, except that he doesn't want to use it — he even goes so far as to dodge the beam that the Golden Soul Doll gives Shiron when they're almost down for the count. Eventually, of course, he gets so tired that he has to give in, and Shiron transforms massively. More a case of Holding Back the Phlebotinum, but in this case, the Phlebotinum is actively trying to help. The reason Ken doesn't want to use it is because he's afraid he'll start relying on it to get him out of every scrape.
  • Maken-ki!: For the female students at Tenbi Academy, Takeru's repeated insistence on interfering in their matches is a source of irritation. They and their Principal have told him several times that the girls are more than capable of defending themselves. In some cases, they end up having to save him instead. Thankfully, he eventually gets the message and stops butting in.
  • The Mazinger series:
    • Mazinger Z: Several times Kouji complained Sayaka she was getting in the way, hindering him and making more harm than good. And even though he can have a point, he could telling it in a more tactful way...
    • Great Mazinger: Jun Hono was a Tsundere Action Girl with a worth-of-years extensive training like mecha pilot and martial artist. Likewise, her Humongous Mecha Venus A was clearly more powerful than the Mazinger Z Fem Bots). During her first mecha battle she fought the Mykene War Beast skilfully, gaining the upper hand several times. She could have won... if Boss would have not gotten in the way EVERY TIME she was about of finishing the Robeast off, telling her girls should not fight and he would look after the Mykene monster. Whenever she managed to shove him off, the War Beast had recovered and she had to begin again. The ironical part is Boss thought he was being chivalrous, charming and kind instead of an offensive and hindering nuisance.
  • In Muhyo and Roji, Nana and her father provide this to each other: he anonymously takes and sells fake ghost photos, which upsets her. She in return takes a photo of a bank robbery, angering him by putting herself in danger.
  • In NAKAIMO - My Little Sister is Among Them!, Shougo runs away from Miyabi and Konoe in episode 3 due to their insistence on "training him to like girls".
  • No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!, Tomoko Kuroki's PE/Homeroom teacher notices that she has no friends and repeatedly tries to, rather bluntly and in a rather humiliating fashion, help her get friends or make it easier for her. Tomoko definitely wishes she'd stop doing that.
  • One Piece: During Luffy and Katakuri’s battle, Katakuri’s younger sister Flambé tries to impress and aid him by using her silent blowgun to covertly injure Luffy. Katakuri, who had been deeply enjoying the battle and sees Luffy as a Worthy Opponent, is infuriated and angrily tells her to stay out of his duel. He goes so far as to undo her assistance by stabbing himself so the fight will be evenly matched again.
  • Sgt. Frog: Pointing out the fact that Keroro made a doomsday device in front of the Hinatas at a time like this isn't really helping your cause, Mirara.
  • In Toriko, Midora's Start of Darkness featured this. He suffered serious injuries trying to gather "Cure Water" to heal his exhausted mother figure Frohze. Frohze used the last of her strength to prepare a meal to help Midora. He's spent centuries futilely trying to eat away the pain.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL has Yuma, who is irritated by Astral frequently giving him advice on what moves to execute in his duels, despite the fact that he is totally clueless without the help. In one early episode, in fact, Yuma gets so angry at Astral that he tells him he will not do what Astral tells him to do from this point. Astral then starts purposely giving Yuma ''bad'' advice, and as expected, Yuma does the exact opposite, which turns out to be what he has to do in order to win.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
    • In Marching to the New Wonderland, the Spider of Justice is not well-liked because, while he simply wants to help people, he drives them away instead because he has no idea his help annoys them more than anything.
    • In Flying Island: The Sky Adventure episode 18, the Rainbow Beans go around trying to assist people, not noticing until later that they're not helping by much (for example, they turn off the TV when someone was trying to watch a kaiju movie under the logic that the viewer was scared of it, and when Wilie says he's not hungry, they feed him anyway and intensify the stomachache he has).

    Comic Books 
  • This is a Running Gag with Archie, who's clumsiness tends to turn minor problems into major disasters. One story shows that catastrophe is usually preceded by the words, "Let me help!"
  • Betty Kane, who was the first Batgirl and current Flamebird. She is so useless that even Beast Boy does not count on her, although later her uselessness dropped when she Took a Level in Badass.
  • In Batman: War Games, Spoiler says she was just trying to help while collapsing into Batman's arms. It is quite a Tear Jerker, seeing as she is limping and half dead after being shot and tortured for many hours after trying to make a contingency plan of Batman's work and accidentally causing a gang war instead.
  • From the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, Donald Duck's cousin Fethry genuinely wants to help everyone — particularly Donald, whom he considers his favorite cousin — but his "help" tends to create more problems than it solves. A Nice Guy for sure, but a Cloudcuckoolander Determinator and borderline Klutz who never seems to learn when to leave well enough alone.
  • Red Robin: When Tim breaks into a museum in Germany to borrow a display there as evidence, Ra's al Ghul secretly sends some assassins to help him. This means instead of sneaking away from security, Tim has to save their lives from his "helpers", and the whole affair ends with making his go-to alias an internationally wanted art thief. He is very annoyed.
  • Robin Series and Batgirl (2000) villain Lynx is killed accidentally by one of her own men when he tries to assist her in a fight with Batgirl.
  • This is generally the response to Chase using fire-spewing gloves to fight a rock monster, in Runaways.
    Gert: Great job, genius! Now we have a flaming rock monster attacking us!
  • The Simpsons:
    • After getting caught in a police trap, Homer is nearly sentenced to community service, until the jury objects, citing Homer's previous attempts at it, such as using a flamethrower to dispose of highway garbage, or causing the OAPs at the retirement castle to riot.
    • In one Radioactive Man issue, as the team's combat simulator is turned against them, Plasmo the Mystic tries moving Purple Badge of Courage to safety. Everything he tries gets the guy beaten up worse, until Plasmo himself gets beaten up, much to Purple's relief.
  • Spider-Man attracts his share of wannabe heroes who are always looking to help him out. From the bumbling but earnest Frog-Man to portly wunderkind Spider-Boy (who disappeared for years before returning as the Badass Normal Steel Spider, having gotten into shape and learned how to fight in the interim period), for a time in the 1980s Spidey just couldn't get away from would-be sidekicks who screwed up everything that he tried to do. Reaches its zenith in The Amazing Spider-Man #266 by Peter David, where Spidey's big crisis is The Toad, Frog-Man, and the Spectacular Spider-Kid all competing with each other for the privilege of being his sidekick.
  • Supergirl:
    • In Superman #123, Jimmy Olsen created a Supergirl construct when he wished Superman had a companion (since Kara Zor-El hadn't arrived on Earth yet). That Supergirl tried to assist Superman but kept screwing things up. For example, when she tried to put out a fire with Super Breath, it was so powerful, it knocked the building over.
    • During the events of the "Amazons Attack" storyline, in where the Amazons went to war against the US, Supergirl and Wonder Girl try to end the war by kidnapping the President and bringing him to Queen Hippolyta to engage in peace talks with her. Predictably, their plan went awry. In her tie-in issue, Supergirl apologized to many people, saying that she had screwed everything up even though she just wanted to help.
  • There seem to be a whole lot of powerful beings, ranging from physical computer programs to Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, who are compassionate enough to try to rescue that poor Kryptonian orphan Superman from the horrible brainwashing and abuse he's been subjected to by those savage, vile, inferior humans who are unworthy to breathe the same air as him. Supes doesn't really appreciate this, the Ungrateful Bastard.
  • Reverend James Maddox, in X-Factor, has noticed a consistent association between members of X-Factor trying to help him and his life being in danger.

    Comic Strips 
  • There is a Close to Home comic strip, where a plumber stuck a plunger onto the face of the woman whose toilet he was fixing. The caption said something along the lines of "Despite (woman's name) helpful advice, (plumber's name) felt that he had a handle on the problem."
  • Garfield: Jon reminds Garfield how last time they went to the farm, Garfield tried to grow chickens by planting them in the ground.
  • What's New? with Phil and Dixie on helpful animal companions: "...These are worse."

    Fan Works 
  • In the Worm/Dishonored crossover fanfic A Change of Pace, the Outsider points out that Emma thought that shoving Taylor into the locker and letting her suffer for it would make her stronger for it. Riiiiiiiight...
  • Changed:
    Harry: [Hermione]’s going to become unbearable, isn’t she?
    Ron: Can’t say, mate. She could go either way, really. She might just be really supportive and try to help.
    Harry: Her ‘trying to help’ is usually the exact opposite of what I’m trying to do.
  • A variant happened in Fluffy Hero Izuku when Izuku recalls that when he started out cleaning Dagobah Beach as part of his training, an Instant Fan Club of all things formed to try and help him, which of course would have defeated the purpose of the training exercise.
  • Greenfire: Briefly when Rarity argues for an outside picnic as Greenfire tries to hide her on the day a knight comes trying murder Greenfire. This obviously drops when she meets the knight.
  • In Harry Potter and the Gaining of Faith Faith, Harry and Sirius go to Sunnydale to help Buffy and the Scoobies deal with Glory.
    Dawn: I really don’t think her kind of help is what we need. I think Glory has enough henchmen, don’t you?
    Faith: [sarcastically] Glory isn’t my type. Nowhere near affable enough.
    Buffy: Faith? Stop helping.
  • Harry Potter and Grief's Wisdom:
    Harry: So you're saying that muggle ideas are of no use?
    Ron: That's not what I said.
    Ginny: Actually Ron that is pretty much what you said.
    Ron: Stop helping Ginny.
  • In Laughing As I Pray, Thor fights the X-Men following a misunderstanding giving him the impression that mutants are a danger to Midgard. Fury bawls him out for almost starting a civil war.
    Thor: I was just trying to help!
  • Like a Red-Headed Stepchild:
    Hermione: Indeed. I had hoped those rumors about werewolves being vicious monsters were false, but it seems you're nothing but another Death Eater!
    Sirius: Moony? A Death Eater? Fat chance of that. He's a werewolf and a bit of a git, but he's no more a servant of the Dark Lord than I am.
    Remus: Sirius, that is not helping my case at the moment.
  • Celestia trying to save TD at the start of No, I Am NOT a Brony, GET ME OUTTA EQUESTRIA!!! ends up kicking off the plot when it traps him in Equestria. Later in the sequels, TD's pet phoenix also has a habit of trying to help, but ends up causing even more trouble for TD.
  • In Pawnstuck, Hearts Boxcars offers to prototype/upgrade Diamonds Droog's sprite with a doll in order to speed the game along. Droog explicitly tells him not to do so as he wants to make certain that the object he prototypes his sprite with will be helpful before doing so. Than, the second Droog turns around, Boxcars throws the doll in anyways, permanently turning the sprite into a snarky and only vaguely helpful Aradiasprite. This causes Droog to absolutely lose his shit and accidentally awaken the Lich Queen with his yelling.
  • In The Prayer Warriors, Stalin's last words are "But I was only trying to help," after the Prayer Warriors confront him over his deciding to allow freedom of religion (while it might seem like a Pet the Dog moment, it's treated as his Moral Event Horizon). They then say "They only person you were trying to help were yourself! You evil satanic Kant!" and kill him.
  • Tales Of Karmic Lies Aftermath has Damocles attempting to become a superhero and aid Team Miraculous as the 'Dark Owl'... despite his advanced age, lack of physical prowess or powers. This gets particularly bad when Ignoblia shows up, as his attempts to help only succeed in pissing her off and making her vow to destroy Paris in response to the insult of his challenging her.
  • This Bites!: The trope's older, pre-split title is quoted by Nami when Robin bribes her with Crocodile's jewels to get her on her side, much to Vivi's ire.
    Nami: C-C'mon Vivi! Th-this isn't what it looks like!
    Robin: Even though it really is.
    Nami: N-n-no, it isn't! I'm, ah, I'm... [grabs the bag of jewels] See, I'm stealing from her, I stole this! I-It was all just a ruse to get close to her! Cat Thief Nami strikes again! Hahaha...
    Robin: Actually... Those jewels were always intended for you, so really, all you're doing is taking my gift a little early.
  • When Raven attempts to teach Willow how to use wandless magic, starting with Balefire, in What Happens in Vegas, Professor Lupin interrupts and tries to show Willow how to cast it "properly" (with a wand). Raven is not remotely amused.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible encounters a really annoying boy, Buddy Pine, who tries to be his sidekick, Incredi-Boy. When turned down, Buddy gets mad and grows up to become the villain, Syndrome.
    Syndrome: All I wanted was to help you. I only wanted to help, and what do you say to me?
    Mr. Incredible: (flashback) Fly home, Buddy, I work alone.
    Syndrome: It tore me apart. But I learned an important lesson. You can't count on anyone, especially your heroes.
  • Although by the end of the movie he's actually managed to be fairly helpful, Mushu of Mulan starts off as an incredibly awful companion to her. Witness how he tries to help her "befriend" her fellow soldiers, thus leading to a free-for-all, a great deal of resentment, and a very bad first impression on Shang. Not to mention his advice on how to be a man is at best contradictory and at worst, just plain wrong. What makes this worse is that the only way he'll ever get in good with the ancestors again is if he succeeds in making Mulan a hero — so his pathetic attempts to help Mulan not only make things worse for herself, they shoot him in the foot as well. When Mulan is found out and subsequently disgraced, Mushu, equally disgraced, finally comes clean about himself.
    "The truth is, we're both frauds. Your ancestors never sent me; they don't even like me. But you risked your life to help people you love. I risked your life to help myself. At least you had good intentions."
    • Mulan got it better than the last member of the Fa family Mushu got assigned to, however: apparently Mushu got demoted from his position as a guardian because his guidance led to Fa Deng getting his head chopped off.
  • In El Arca (Noah's Ark), in the English dub at least, Xiro and Dagnino are having their final battle, and this happens-
    Kyrel: I'd like to see if you'll dare clobber the real king!
    [Dagnino punches the daylights out of Xiro]
    Kyrel: Are you so cruel as to kick him when he's down?!
    Dagnino: Haha! Yes, I am. [kicks Xiro into a wall]
    Xiro: Will you stop giving him ideas?!
  • Strange Magic: One of the Bog King's mooks keeps asking if he needs help during his duel with Marianne. He refuses it, even when it would be useful probably because of how flirtatious the duel had become.
  • In The Aristocats, the geese Abigail and Amelia find Thomas floating in a river, mistake his efforts to get to shore as him trying to teach himself to swim, and approach him to offer a swimming lesson. One of them attempts to cut the branch he's gripping in his mouth as a climbing rope, thinking it will encourage him to strike out on his own, and he panics and almost drowns.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Hudson Hawk, Anna tries to help Eddie (Bruce Willis), who's fighting Battle Butler Alfred, with a gun. Unfortunately, she's never fired a gun before. Her first shot ricochets off Eddie's belt buckle, causing him to quote the Fifth Commandment.note  Her next shot wings him, causing him to exclaim "Stop helping me!".
  • Jackie Chan's Passepartout in the 2004 adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days yelled to Fogg to stop trying to help, in the middle of a big fight with multiple opponents.
  • The Producers: In the original movie, when Leo Bloom stands up at their trial to speak in Max Bialystock's defense, he starts by listing all of Max's faults and shortcomings. "Stop helping me," Max says.
  • In All of Me, Roger provides a concise summary of the ways that Edwina, whose soul has been trapped inside his body for a large part of the film, has tried to help him, and the less-than-desirable effects this has had:
    Roger: Since you started helping me, in the last twenty-four hours, I've lost my girl, my job, I've alienated my dog! I broke my sunglasses! You can't even get that kind anymore. Stop helping me!!
  • Mr. Shoop from Summer School (1987) goes to court and his students try to help him, to which he replies, "Guys, don't help."
  • Neo holds this attitude towards "Kid" in the sequels to The Matrix.
  • In John Woo's Broken Arrow, the Big Bad tells one of his henchmen, with gritted teeth, "Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" when they're in a fight with the main protagonist.
  • In Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Harry manages to blurt this out a few times to Gay Perry, who is fiercely pissing off the thug who has some electrodes attached to Harry's googlies.
  • The Abyss: When Lindsey is trying to get the rest of the crew to believe her about the underwater aliens, Hippy, the resident conspiracy nut, goes into his usual Conspiracy Kitchen Sink speech. This results in a zinger:
    Lindsey: Hippy, do me a favor? Stay off my side.
  • Sir Robin's minstrels in Monty Python and the Holy Grail praise him as a hero to potential enemies he'd rather run away from.
    • There's also this exchange when Sir Lancelot shows up to "save" Sir Galahad from the "peril" of eight score blondes and brunettes between the ages of 16 and 19½:
      Lancelot: We were in the nick of time! You were in great peril.
      Galahad: I don't think I was.
      Lancelot: Yes you were, you were in terrible peril!
      Galahad: Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.
      Lancelot: No, it's too perilous.
      Galahad: It's my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can!
      Lancelot: No, we've got to find the Holy Grail. Come on!
      Galahad: Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril?
      Lancelot: No. It's unhealthy.
      Galahad: ...Bet you're gay.
      Lancelot: Am not!
  • In True Lies, Gib is trying to help Harry get over his wife cheating on him (she isn't, but Harry thinks she is):
    Harry Tasker: Stop cheering me up!
  • In Shaun of the Dead, friends' help is just as likely to hurt, to the point of a Running Gag. During Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" scene, Diane 'helps' Shaun fend off a zombie bartender by throwing darts, with mixed success.
    Shaun [after Diane scores a hit]': Yes! In the head! Aaaaow!
  • In Diamonds Are Forever, James Bond switches out a real computer tape for a fake one to derail a villain's plan... only to find that his latest Bond Girl, out to be helpful, also switched the tapes.
    James Bond: You stupid twit, you put the real one back!
  • Star Wars: This is the heroes' initial reaction to Lando getting them out of Cloud City's prisons:
    Lando, while being strangled by Chewbacca: Just trying to help...
  • The Dark Knight: Batman doesn't want copycats' help in taking down Scarecrow and his customers:
    Juvenile vigilantes: [after being tied up by Batman] We were just trying to help!
  • Blazing Saddles: Lyle had no use for Bart's extra information:
    Bart: Uh, excuse me, sir? [Taggart] specifically requested two niggers? To tell a family secret, my grandmother was Dutch.
    Lyle: Git on that handcart and take it to the end of that line!
    Bart: Just tryin' to help.
    Lyle: GIT!
  • In Sense and Sensibility, Marianne and Brandon are starting to become friendly with each other, until (as noted in Emma Thompson's commentary) Mrs. Jennings tries to push them together. This only causes Brandon to be embarrassed and Marianne to draw back sharply due to her dislike of Mrs. Jennings. Soon after she falls hard for Willoughby.
  • Dance of the Dead: The Sci-Fi club loudly yell out for Steven to ask Gwen out right as he's awkwardly trying to deny association with them while talking to her
  • Throughout the first Once Upon a Time in China movie, Wong Fei-Hung is facing considerable legal difficulties with the authorities, ultimately resulting in him being arrested. These difficulties are entirely the fault of his students recklessly brawling with the local gang and trying to help their teacher without thinking anything through, resulting in Fei-Hung getting blamed for the disruption and property damage they cause as their leader.

  • In the novel based on the Infocom game Wishbringer, the hero is supplied with a magic radio that provides helpful advice and alerts him to danger... by turning itself on and playing music very loudly, invariably alerting the danger to him as well.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Dobby's attempts to "save" Harry from danger in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets inevitably led to Harry being worse off, and in the end Harry makes him promise to "never try to save my life again." He keeps that promise for a while, but eventually breaks it, leading to his death.
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix even though Harry wholeheartedly appreciates their courage and they eventually become more competent in later books, it’s rather hard to say exactly how much use his friends really were during the Department of Mysteries. Neville and Luna probably stumble the hardest, as the former accidentally disarms Harry during a fight and later is taken as a hostage to force Harry into surrender (after Harry had bought them an opening to flee), and the latter breaks Ginny’s ankle trying to help her, effectively knocking one of the DA's best fighters out of the battle.
    • Percy has a few examples:
      • At one point, Harry alludes to a game of chess with Ron that he might not have lost so badly if Percy hadn't been trying to help him every second.
      • Another Percy example occurs in Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry is depressed over not being allowed to visit the wizarding village of Hogsmeade. His other friends try to cheer him up by promising to bring him home candy and such. Percy offers what Harry considers the worst attempt to cheer him up, by trying to describe Hogsmeade as dull and not worth the excitement, but only manages to make it sound like a lot of fun.
  • In Life, the Universe and Everything, Zaphod Beeblebrox's ship, the Heart of Gold, is invaded by deadly robots from the planet Krikkit. In an attempt to gain passage to the bridge without the robots noticing, Zaphod instructs a door to be completely silent upon entering, instead of its usual content sigh. It then proceeds to loudly ask him immediately afterwards if it did a good job.
  • In the picture book Too Many Babas, everybody attempts to help out with the stew to the point it tastes like crap.
  • In Darth Bane, during the Duel on Tython in the second book of the trilogy, Johun Othone's attempts to help are more a hindrance than a benefit. Darth Zannah herself remarks that had Johun not constantly been getting in the way of Sarro Xaj while both fought Zannah, she would have died. Later on, he does get called away. And she very nearly does get killed. Fortunately, Bane indirectly saves her.
  • Don Quixote: Many characters (most memorably Andres, the flogged boy) react this way to Don Quixote's interference.
    'For the love of God, sir knight-errant, if you ever meet me again, though you may see them cutting me to pieces, give me no aid or succour, but leave me to my misfortune, which will not be so great but that a greater will come to me by being helped by your worship, on whom and all the knights-errant that have ever been born God send his curse
  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles:
    • In Searching for Dragons, Mendabar has only one servant - an elf named Willin. Unfortunately for him, Willin is hellbent on fixing stupid things like Mendabar's dungeons and torture chambers not being properly stocked (as Mendabar notes, they haven't used those rooms for ages). He also keeps trying to arrange meetings between Mendabar and "proper" princesses, which angers Mendabar so much that he threatens to stick Willin in the rack he wanted to have bought, just for suggesting it.
    • In Talking to Dragons, the baby dragon's "shortcut" gets Daystar and Shiara caught by an evil firewitch. His next one turns out slightly better, in that they unexpectedly run into an ally instead of an enemy. By the time he offers a third shortcut through some underground caverns, the others have learned go with the instructions they were given.
    • In Dealing With Dragons, Cimorene has an unending stream of knights and princes showing up to "save" her from the dangerous dragon she's been "kidnapped" by. It's not until the second book that she figures out how to direct them towards princesses who do actually want to be rescued.
  • The Manuscript Found in Saragossa: Busqueros, a smug nobleman who loves "helping" people (often by manipulating them into marriage), and doesn't care that his "help" tends to end up badly for the recipient (up to and including causing their death). If he thinks he knows how to do you a favor, he'll latch onto you and won't leave you, ever, and act very offended if you complain.
  • In the misnamed book Moses May Have Been an Apache and Other Actual Facts, it mentions a Dane who was executed for being "too helpful".
  • The novels of P. G. Wodehouse include several characters so inept that you're better off without them on your side.
    • Bertie Wooster from Jeeves and Wooster, when he attempts to be The Chessmaster, can turn any minor predicament into a catastrophe.
    • Edwin the Boy Scout keeps getting behind on his "good deed a day" schedule and then causing trouble for his intended recipients by rushing to make up for it.
  • In Pride and Prejudice, Mrs Bennet's sole goal in life is to ensure that her daughters are married to eligible, respectable gentlemen, a goal she throws herself into with single-minded obsession. However, Mrs Bennet is also an incredibly tactless and ill-mannered woman who, in her enthusiasm to charm said gentlemen (or gloat to others about her daughters having charmed them) tends to come off as a Gold Digger-by-proxy. This, as Mr Darcy points out in a letter to her daughter Elizabeth, has had the effect of discouraging at least two of these gentlemen (including himself) from proposing to her daughters.
  • In Emma by Jane Austen, Mrs. Elton tries to help and "elevate" Miss Fairfax, an orphaned young lady from a local impoverished family who is nevertheless very talented, accomplished and educated because she was adopted by kind friends of her late father. Mrs Elton feels very superior to everybody in the neighbourhood and fancies herself "Lady Patroness". Because Jane is socially of less consequence than her insufferable mentor, she has to be civil and accept the unwanted attention, especially when she forces on her a position as a governess.
  • Journey to Chaos: Eric gets like this every time Tasio tries to help him, starting with the first time they met; it ended with him getting fired and looking foolish in front of his crush. Tasio is The Trickster, so it's hard to tell when he's sincerely trying to help, when it's just for shits and giggles, and when he's in a more mentor-y mood.
  • In Brightly Burning, Pol tries to help a victim of bullying by...pressing him to recount, in great detail, what the bullies did to him, and refusing to stop asking questions even after the boy becomes obviously distressed. This is exactly how not to interact with a traumatized person.
  • In White Night, Molly stows away on a heroic mission in the misguided belief she will be able to help. Since Molly is a teenager with no combat ability or experience in coping with dangerous situations, this hamstrings the actually competent heroes by forcing them to babysit her.
  • The Consu from Old Man's War take this Up to Eleven. They want to help humanity (and the rest of the galaxy) achieve a perfect, utopian society. Their method for doing this? Inflicting untold levels of horror, destruction, and suffering on everyone, under the idea that Misery Builds Character and will make us stronger. Obviously, humanity objects strongly to this “assistance”. They have a serious amount of Blue-and-Orange Morality going on: most species can't understand their goals at all, but everyone knows that they're the most technologically advanced species there is and anyone who refuses to play their games dies horribly.
  • In The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign, the feud between Kyousuke and the White Queen started when she annihilated a Sympathetic Murderer who was attacking Kyousuke involuntarily. From the Queen's perspective, she was just protecting him. From Kyousuke's perspective, the Queen just murdered a child, who he could probably have saved if she hadn't ignored his request not to butt in. The fact that she tries to seduce him into forgiving her doesn't help either.
  • Cueseg in Shadow of the Conqueror thinks distracting the women around him and offering them sex is just him helping them master their own lusts. To say that Lyrah doesn't want his help would be an understatement.
  • In the second Franny K. Stein book Attack of the 50-Ft. Cupid, Franny initially finds Igor's attempts at helping her with her experiments annoying, with such disasters as Igor mistakenly putting together a monster Franny was building with the body parts assembled in the wrong order, Igor aiming an X-ray projector at Franny and exposing her underwear and an explosion occuring when Igor tries to help Franny with mixing together chemicals.
  • In the first American Girls Collection "Girl Of The Year" book, protagonist Lindsey has a habit of trying to "help" people in ways that aren't actually all that helpful (to say the least) — like reorganizing her teacher's desk without asking or trying to covertly matchmake people without knowing enough about them or their situations to know if it would be appreciated. A large part of her Character Development over the course of the book involves her coming to understand the difference between "helping" and "meddling".
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: Benno has a sour relationship with his guildmaster mostly because of a long history of poorly timed or thought out attempts by said guildmaster to help his family through tough times, which all took the form of marriage proposals. First, when Benno's father died, the guildmaster offered to marry Benno's mother himself. While she was still mourning. Later, the woman Benno was about to Marry for Love died, and the guildmaster offered Benno to marry his daughter in a "for business" marriage. After that refusal, Benno's oldest sister ended up leaving town to escape a proposal to marry the guildmaster's youngest son. Later, the guildmaster offered the very same son for marriage to Benno's youngest sister Corinna. Corinna is married to a man who is not the guildmaster's son and proposed to her out of Love at First Sight upon her first appearance in the story proper.
  • There's a reason that I'M HALPING! is a Worm meme, although it's a massive spoiler. The shards that grant powers are genuinely trying to help people who Trigger. Thing is, being fragments of an Eldritch Abomination and designed to give people a Conflict Ball, they're really terrible at it. Hence, HALPING! being used to describe their particular brand of Blessed with Suck inducing "help".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: In season 3, after Coulson puts him on the bench, Hunter starts going around trying to find something to do, and winds up in the science lab trying to "help" Fitz until he gets asked to leave. He then adds himself to Daisy and Mac's mission to tail Banks, and again begins making unsolicited suggestions before finally taking matters into his own hands, much to their annoyance (although it could be argued that he saved them a lot of trouble).
  • Comes up in Angel, too, after Wesley kills an android disguised as his father, fully believing at the moment when he pulled the trigger that it WAS his father. His friends attempt to comfort him by telling stories about times in the past when they've had to kill their own parents as well. ("You know, I killed my mum. Well, first I made her a vampire, and then she tried to shag me, and THEN...") It isn't terribly comforting.
  • Seems to happen fairly frequently in Arrested Development. Usually they're just out for personal gain but occasionally they're sincerely trying to be useful. One obvious example is with Michael's girlfriend Rita, whom his family ultimately kidnaps, drugs, and beats. And that's when they were trying to be helpful.
    • Another lesser example is when George Michael plans a surprise party for Maeby. This causes her to lose the lucrative profession she'd only barely fallen into in the first place.
    • Anything to do with Lindsay being a stay-at-home mother. George Michael has to perpetually hover over her to keep her from destroying the house.
    • Tobias' brief and clueless stint as "The Mole". He does a pretty poor job and screws everything up for everyone.
    • Any doctor. Any doctor at all.
    • Almost any time a character save for Maeby (who, in this show's rare example of a subversion of this trope, actually helps when she tries to) attempts to be helpful, they fail abysmally.
  • Being Human:
    • In one episode, Tully gives George advice on how to get a date with Nina. Said advice pretty much boils down to crudely hitting on her (Tully...isn't the most refined person) and George does not realize why that might offend a girl. Nina, being her Deadpan Snarker self, has a few words in return.
    • Later in the season, Annie tries to help Mitchell get a new job by sitting in on his interview and coaching him nonstop. All this does is distract him and make him look insane, since he, as a vampire, can see Annie but the human woman he's interviewing with can't. Annie's next attempt at helping him (forging a letter of recommendation) actually does help him get the job.
  • In The Beverly Hillbillies, as Jed tries to soothe the raging Granny, this exchange occurs:
    Jed: Why don't ya sit on the porch an' rock a spell...
    Elly May: And play your harp!
    Jethro: Yeah, that generally cools your temper!
    Granny: WHAT TEMPER?!?
    Jethro: Well, even Uncle Jed says you's a savage beast...
    Jed: Don't help me, boy.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Season 3, episode "Dead Man's Party".
      Cordelia: Put yourself in Buffy's shoes for just a minute, okay? I'm Buffy: Freak of Nature, right? Naturally, I pick a freak for a boyfriend, and then he turns into Mr. Killing Spree, which is pretty much my fault—
      Buffy: Cordy! Get out of my shoes!
      Cordelia: I'm just trying to help.
    • And later that season, in the episode "Doppelgangland", when Buffy and Xander try to cheer Willow up.
      Willow: Old Reliable? Yeah, great, there's a sexy nickname.
      Buffy: Well, I-I didn't mean it as...
      Willow: No, it's fine. I'm Old Reliable.
      Xander: She just means, you know, the geyser. You're like a geyser of fun that goes off at regular intervals.
      Willow: That's Old Faithful.
      Xander: Isn't that the dog that- that the guy had to shoot...
      Willow: That's Old Yeller!
      Buffy: Xander, I beg you not to help me.
    • Similarly, Buffy tells Xander "Maybe you shouldn't help" in "Amends", after his hilarious attempt to threaten Willy the Snitch. (Afterwards, Willy deadpans "You did great, by the way. I was very intimidated by you." Xander buys it.)
    • Season 4, Spike becomes something of a good guy and assists during a fight with demons trying to open the Hellmouth. He picks up one of the demons and throws him into the Hellmouth (unaware that was their goal all along). When everyone calls him out on it his response is a heartfelt "What? I was helping!"
  • Frasier: Frasier himself usually tries giving his friends and family advice, which often tends to make situations worse. After a while, his brother Niles catches on.
    Frasier: If you want my advice-
    Niles: You really need to stop doing that.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jaime loves fighting and wants to test himself against his Worthy Opponent Ned Stark, so he doesn't appreciate it when a guardsman steps in behind Ned and hobbles him, ending the fight before it could be resolved. Jaime reacts by punching the guard in the face.
    • Brienne isn't happy about being saddled with Podrick, insisting she doesn't need a squire at all. At first it seems she was right to be so hesitant as Podrick is quite inexperienced with knightly activity and often makes more work for Brienne. Eventually he becomes more useful, thanks in no small part to her begrudging training.
    • Sansa stops trusting Littlefinger's efforts to "help" her, since the last one got her into an abusive marriage with Ramsay. He does come through one more time, though, but after that...
    • Both Sansa and Arya reject Brienne's initial offers to take them to safety. Sansa changes her mind later due to Littlefinger's above screw-up.
    • Yara and the ironborn storm Winterfell to rescue Theon, who by now has become so psychologically tortured by Ramsay that he freaks out at the idea of leaving him, forcing Yara to go back without him.
  • The Great British Bake Off: Mel and Sue float among the contestants during the challenges, and appear to be allowed to offer limited physical support in addition to their morale-boosting chores. This usually results in leftovers or random bits of cut off food being eaten at the table, but at least once a genuine component of a bake that had merely been set aside for later use was eaten.
    • A particularly funny example happened in the finale of series 4 with Mel, Sue, and Mary(!) scarfing as much of Frances' asparagus as they could while Frances was busy elsewhere in the tent.
    • Poor Frances had already been 'helped' during the Biscuit week of that same series, when Mel tried to assist with keeping her towering showstopper balanced. To be fair, it's not clear whether it was technically Mel's fault or just coincidence... but the instant she touched the delicate tower, it collapsed in utter ruins.
    • Meanwhile, in one technical challenge earlier in series 4, Sue leant on what she thought was just a bit of cloth on a contestant's bench—it was actually a bit of cloth with his English muffins underneath. When it came to the judging, she had to confess to Paul and Mary that it was her fault a couple of them were somewhat squashed.
    • Happened again in series 6 when Sue accidentally squashed the top of Nadiya's biscuit box. Once again, she was very apologetic and admitted it when Paul and Mary asked what went wrong. Though it did lead to this gem from Nadiya to Sue:
      Nadiya: ...if I leave, you're coming with me.
  • One of the 'Adventure Call' sketches from Limmy's Show features Jingle the Jester, a condescending assistant with an Annoying Laugh who speaks entirely in rhyme. The player uses his first command to kill her, and while this costs him the game, he says it was worth it.
  • Little House on the Prairie Carrie tries to help Caroline with the laundry, but ends up dropping some linens onto the soil. Needless to say, Caroline tells Carrie to please stop helping.
  • The Magicians: One of the resident gods decides to remove the amnesia curse on Julia. Without permission. The one that was preventing a traumatic rape memory from driving her insane right before the big fight next to a nexus of unparalleled power. "No need to thank me." And he wonders why gods in his universe are going extinct.
  • M*A*S*H: In the episode "Promotion Commotion", many of the enlisted men were up for promotion and were trying to ingratiate themselves to Hawkeye and BJ, who were on the promotions committee. While Hawkeye was chatting up a nurse, Sergeant Rizzo joined the conversation and tried to talk Hawkeye up, but made him sound like a Lothario, prompting the nurse to leave and Hawkeye to yell at Rizzo that he didn't want his help.
    • In another episode, a soldier whom Hawkeye operated on insists on paying him back for saving his life. Unfortunately, the soldier is a hulking bruiser whose idea of repayment is to intimidate and bully anyone who isn't unfailingly nice to Hawkeye.
  • Odd Squad:
    • In "Training Day", Otto tries to help his partner deal with the sudden return of her old partner, but she brushes him off with every attempt he makes. Eventually she cracks and begins to tell Otto the entire story of how her old partner made a Face–Heel Turn.
    Otto: I wanna help you. But I can't help you unless I know the whole story.
    • In the Season 2 premiere "First Day", Olympia outright states that Odd Squad agents, such as herself and her new partner Otis, shouldn't need help and should be able to solve problems on their own because agents are supposed to be strong, intelligent and fearless. Of course, she ends up learning that the complete opposite is true thanks to Otis himself giving a heartfelt speech to her after she rescues Oprah from floating up into space.
    • In "Failure to Lunch", Otis lampshades the trope by admitting to Olympia that he most definitely could have called for backup to deal with a loose laser chicken so he could have a quiet lunch with her, but wanted to battle it on his own because battling a laser chicken seemed cool. What's more, he's far more beat-up than the laser chicken is, showing that turning down assistance from his fellow agents hasn't been working out as well as he thought.
    • In "Three's Company", Oprah is forced to work downstairs in the bullpen due to her office being overrun with oddness at Olympia's suggestion. This manages to unnerve everyone from the get-go as they try to work their hardest to impress her, but their anxiety only grows worse when she decides to make improvements to the precinct that are more hindrances to her employees than anything else, including Olympia, who begins to regret ever suggesting her boss move downstairs.
  • The Partridge Family: In "Go Directly to Jail", the prison warden is setting up the band's equipment. Reuben tries to provide advice, but everything he says is something the warden already knows, and he only succeeds in slowing him down.
  • In Red Dwarf series IV episode "Justice," Rimmer is put on trial for killing the entire crew of the Red Dwarf. Kryten serves as Rimmer's defense attorney. His argument is that Rimmer exaggerated his own importance in the events.
    Kryten: I simply have to establish that you're a neurotic, under-achieving emotional retard whose ambition far outstrips his miniscule ability, and consequently blames himself for an accident for which he could not possibly have been responsible..
    Rimmer: You're going to prove that I was innocent of negligence on the grounds that I'm a half-witted incompetent?
  • In one episode of The Red Green Show, the title character's nephew Harold does multiple projects for his school's science fair. Red insists on helping his nephew at every turn, against Harold's continuous objections, eventually producing for him the numerous projects he was doing, such as a telescope made from car mirrors and an extremely large crystal radio set. Eventually, Harold decides to enter the fair with something that Red can't help him with: sex, by way of a "frank and explicit look at the germination of soybeans".
    Red: Sex? I can't help you there, Harold. You're on your own. 'Course, you're used to that, aren't you?
  • Schitt's Creek: Jocelyn accuses Alexis of plagiarizing her term paper, and Alexis realizes that Johnny must have written-edited it without her knowledge. Johnny seems incredulous that this kind of help is against the rules, while Alexis insists her sub-par work was just fine, a point on which she and her teacher agree.
  • Sports Night: In the first season episode "Dear Louise", Dan has writer's block, and Natalie attempts to help him through what she calls shock therapy, which mostly seems to involve throwing a glass of water in his face, or, at one point, blowing an air horn behind him as he's sitting at the anchor desk trying to drink his coffee.
    Dan: Natalie, I don't have the hiccups. Writer's block doesn't go away just by- (Natalie throws another glass of water at his face)
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: In "Canamar", Trip and Archer have been arrested on bogus charges and are en route to prison when two other prisoners, Kuroda and an unnamed Nausicaan, break free and take over the ship, eventually freeing the humans to make use of their expertise. Turns out the plan is to escape while destroying the ship with the other prisoners on it so the authorities will think they're dead. The extremely annoying alien who was seated next to Trip refuses to believe this when Trip explains why he knocked out the Nausicaan, and shouts a warning to Kuroda before Trip can shoot him. When Trip comes to, the alien says he did him a favor by not screwing up their chances of escaping, with a chirpy "You're welcome!" Trip looks like he wants to strangle the idiot.
  • In the early episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data has a habit of giving out information that's either more detailed than needed (prime example is giving out even the milliseconds of a time span) or not even asked for (like defining a term he heard along with listing related terms and information). He's usually interrupted by the annoyed Picard as sort of a Running Gag. This happens in the later episodes as well, but less often due to Data catching on to the more obvious cases. Some specific examples:
    • From "Up The Long Ladder", regarding the name of a ship:
      Data: Mariposa. The Spanish word for "butterfly".
      Picard: Thank you, Data.
      Data: I thought it might be significant, sir.
      Picard: It doesn't appear to be, Data.
      Data: No, sir.
    • In one instance, the ship's computer cut in while he was talking and said, "Thank you, sir. I comprehend."
  • In That Metal Show, Eddie Trunk can't stand when the co-hosts and guests "help" him when he's trying to puzzle out a Stump the Trunk answer, mainly because said "help" is anything but.

  • Father Ted actor Frank Kelly (Father Jack) released a parody version of the carol The Twelve Days of Christmas from the point of view of the recipient of Twelve Days worth of increasingly extravagant and extraordinary gifts, sent by an Abhorrent Admirer. The person on the receiving end gets more heartfelt and eloquent concerning the expenses and damage caused by, for instance, a cumulative total of thirty-five swans-a-swimming or thirty-two maids-a-milking (with associated cows to be milked), considers this taking the gift-giving too far, and begs for it all to come to an end right now.

  • In the Book of Acts, a spirit-possessed girl saw who was influencing the prophets, and was so awed that she started following them around, crying out to everyone that they were sent by Him to save people. This continued for a few days, until Paul, "greatly annoyed", ordered the spirit to leave her body. note 

  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, failing to complete an objective, either by having time run out or the ball draining, causes Data to say "Had you projected the ball at the proper velocity, you would have been rewarded." Hitting the flippers while he's talking causes Captain Picard to interrupt (in a very annoyed tone) "Thank you, Mr Data," and the game will award a small bonus.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • One of the more common tropes back in the territory days to create friction between friends/tag team partners was to have one try and help the other during a match, only for it to go horribly wrong.
  • Kazunari Murakami, in his efforts to help Naoya Ogawa almost compromised his friendship with Shinya Hashimoto at the 2005 Rikidozan memorial. He apologized, but never really got the hint, continuing to try and "help" Ogawa.
  • When Shawn Michaels and Triple H lost the tag titles as Degeneration-X during the build-up to Michaels versus Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26. Michaels tagged in on an unaware Triple H, who turned to argue with him over it. The opponents charged into them, rolling up Michaels and knocking Triple H into a position where he couldn't break the sudden pin. Other examples include managers or teammates who attack their ally's opponent in a match, causing the opponent to win by disqualification.
  • Madison Rayne's second TNA Beautiful People feud saw her get some unexpected assistance from "fan" Brittany...who she told not to get involved with for her own health after they gave her a concussion, leading to her appear but literally do nothing when Madison was cheated out of the knockout's title to see if she really didn't want help...

  • Cabin Pressure: Arthur Shappey loves helping people, whether they want his help or not, and since Arthur is a tremendous ditz, they very often do not. But he'll help anyway.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Luna asks Jenna to go and help Zia with preventing Crispin's escape when they try to kidnap him. She then regrets it when Jenna, as a sentient insect swarm, disperses herself over the two of them and only makes things more chaotic.
    • Sebastian's superpower also comes with an eldritch spirit that serves as his advisor. However, a lot of her advice involves murder to some degree, leading to him ignoring her a lot.

  • Microsoft Office Assistant could be turned off, but it caused a certain amount of teeth-grinding first. It tried to help with various office-software tasks, but it was rarely helpful enough, and its interface tried too hard to be cute.

    Tabletop Games 
  • This is the general reaction Sin Eaters have to Hunters in the New World of Darkness. Sin Eaters are humans who died, but came back by agreeing to share their body with a Geist (a hybrid of human ghost and death spirit). As a result, they have a wide array of necromantic powers, from the innate ability to see and touch ghosts, to arcane rituals that can be used to send ghosts forcibly back to the underworld and make them stay there. Hunters, meanwhile, are ordinary humans who are trying to take a stand against the creatures of the night. Whilst some select groups do have access to magic (or near-magical technology), as a general rule, they have very little they can do to detect or interact with ghosts. More often than not, if the hunters even realize the ghosts are there, they tend to make things worse, complicating the mission of the Sin Eaters. And that's without getting into the fact that Fantastic Racism means hunters will tend to mistake Sin Eaters as witches or people suffering from Demonic Possession and react accordingly. Which generally translates to trying to murder the Sin Eaters.
  • In the The Dresden Files, there is often side commentary from Harry, Bob, and Billy on the game and its contents. Harry's and Billy's are often related to useful notes on gameplay or the wizarding world. Bob's range from him just putting his (usually unwanted) two cents in to asking Harry an Armor-Piercing Question. Harry's response is always "Shut up, Bob"; it becomes so prolific that an entry for "Shut Up, Bob" actually appears in the game's index.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: This is the drawback to the Subsumed By Another Shadow Umbra. Any servant of the Darkness possessing this Umbra will automatically try to enthrall any Darkspawn that enters his vicinity. On a good roll, the Darkspawn believes the possessor of the Umbra to be its natural master, and will protect him to the best of its abilities, seek to gratify what it thinks are his desires, and even follow simple orders. Of course, being creatures thoroughly corrupted by the All-Consuming Darkness, and usually with little more mind than an animal, Darkspawn have a lot of trouble grasping that their master might not want them to kill anyone who does anything remotely offensive to him, or that you're really supposed to pay for groceries rather than just taking whatever the master wanted and breaking the cashier's arms to make him stop bothering you.
  • In Ravenloft, a paladin summoning their magic warhorse or a spell-caster calling for a familiar gets a dread companion, which is exactly the same except its alignment is always evil. Rather than being opposed to its master, it is loyal to a fault and aware of its master's secret thoughts and desires, and will try to "help" him by, for instance, stealing an item he covets, or secretly murdering someone who annoyed him a bit.

  • "When the Foeman Bares His Steel", from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, has police officers singing about how song helps them gain courage for the battle with the pirates. Then, the woman chorus tries to help. By praising their noble sacrifice in facing pirates, focusing all on how screwed the policemen are. The chief goes on to "observe too great a stress on the risks that on them pressed, and of reference a lack to their chance of coming back. Still, perhaps, it would be wise not to carp or criticize, for it's very evident these attentions were well-meant..."
  • RENT: Mark was caught filming a homeless woman who didn't appreciate the exploitation.
    Woman: Who the fuck do you think you are? I don't need no goddamned help from some bleeding heart cameraman, my life's not for you to make a name for yourself on.
    Angel: Easy, sugar, easy. He was just trying to—
    Woman: Just trying to use me to kill his guilt?

    Theme Parks 

  • Transformers: Generation One: Wheel Blaze of the Micromaster Metro Squad means well, and actually is pretty smart, but somehow his every attempt to help generally makes things worse. His squadmates live in terror of his uttering the phrase "I'll handle this!"

    Video Games 
  • When Trevor first meets the Lost Soul in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, it states its intention to guide the Belmont on his journey. A few lines later, it reveals that Trevor will fail on his mission and You Can't Fight Fate. Trevor promptly whips it, breaks its mask, and renders it speechless for the remainder of the game.
  • Golf Story: A few times through the game, the player will be paired up with another golfer. Unfortunately, the other golfer is usually out of shape, leaving most of the work to the player. Oh, but don't worry, they'll still "help" by hitting the tee shot, which usually lands the player in a sticky situation.
  • This is a problem with the Grimmchild charm in Hollow Knight. It summons a Familiar who shoots fireballs at any attackable targets... including the Mantis Villagers after you've made them friendly (probably resulting in you being chased out by a horde of angry mantises), the Ooomas (who explode when killed), and Millibelle, a harmless bug trying to run a banking service (who will rather sensibly hide once she's been burned). Of course, Millibelle is actually trying to scam you, so Grimmchild was right on the money with that one at least. Shooting mantises and Oomas is still unhelpful.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Toadsworth stops the brothers to explain how to escort Peach through the desert, delaying them long enough for Peach to wander off and get kidnapped.
  • The three main characters of Spec Ops: The Line have a tendency to make things worse because Capt. Martin Walker didn't really understand the situation that was going on. One villain known as the Radioman points this out multiple times.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei, Lucifer ends up doing this by helping Dahn complete his doomed attempt at claiming the throne of King Abaddon: as a result of Dahn's plan and the previous interference of Raidou Kuzunoha the XL, the timeline leading to the cataclysmic events of Shin Megami Tensei I and Shin Megami Tensei II was stamped out of existence.
  • Downplayed to a humorous extent in Fallout: New Vegas. Ranger Station Bravo's communications officer complains that the station is low on water but keep getting an ample supply of ammunition. Whenever he sends a request to communication headquarters at Camp Golf, they just send more ammo. True to form there are 17 ammo boxes full of rounds... and only a single bottle of pure water for four rangers. If you have good standing with the NCR you can ask Ranger Ericsen about the extra ammunition and she'll give 30 .357 Magnum rounds and a good amount of 5.56mm rounds.

    Visual Novels 
  • Katawa Shoujo: Hisao tells Jigoro not to give him so much advice, mentally adding that he at least does not want advice that Jigoro does not follow himself. Hisao can refuse advice at other points, but it's never a good idea.

    Web Animation 
  • FreedomToons depicts big government as this via The Social Contractor and Jason, with the former often portrayed as making things worse for the latter whenever he tries to "help" him.
  • Meet the BLU Medic has the rest of the BLU Team dreading getting healed by the Medic, particularly since the "healing" does the opposite. In fact, for once the team had the upper hand up until the Medic stepped in.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Caboose is a frequent offender. The character that is so inept that other characters tell him that their enemies are on their side, just so Caboose will "teamkill" his enemies. They even have a macro on their keyboards at command to record Caboose's teamkills (Ctrl+F+U).
    • When Sarge is pinned against the base by the Warthog, Doc, at the Warthog's controls, keeps attempting to back it up but accidentally accelerates it repeatedly, just causing further harm to Sarge.
      Doc: I'm really sorry guys. I was only trying to help.
      Grif: Oh is that all? I for one was totally confused. I thought you were savagely trying to kill our sergeant by ramming him over and over with a six thousand pound steel death machine. Now that we know that you're just trying to help, by all means, please continue.
  • Private Partz in A Day in the Life of a Commissar, a Dawn of War machinima, brings down all three Space Marine heroes on poor Commissar Steeve, by saying things like: "I bet he could take on all three of ya! even if you had, like, Psychic Powers!"

  • The Order of the Stick
    • Elan's enthusiastic attempts to help his friends with his music are sometimes... less than useful.
      Elan: ♪ Bluff, Bluff, Bluff, Bluff the stupid ogre! ♪
    • Possibly even better:
      Elan: ♪ Sneak, Sneak, Sneak Sneak silently across the battlefield! ♪
      Haley: Elan, that's the one example the Players' Handbook gives of a situation where that doesn't work!
  • Girl Genius:
    • Sparks often get a little carried away with having fun and forget they're supposed to actually, you know, be doing things.
    • Also, Moloch trying to argue with what was sadistically insane A.I. when it was functioning properly.
    • Gil's plan on getting into Castle Heterodyne required a large crowd knowing that he went in (so that his father wouldn't try to level it in the meantime). Unfortunately for him, his companions were a bit.. salacious in describing why he was going in, and the crowd's roars of approval drowned out his attempts at getting them to stop. The impression left was rather different and more risque than Gil intended.
    • When Tarvek is making is way to England, the forces Martellus send against him include one highly trained and sophisticated assassin and a pack of excitable Spark Hounds.
      Jaron: Ugh — out of my way, fools! tch. I really wanted this done before —
      Spark Hounds: Lord Jaron! Wait for us! We are here to help you! Helping! Look, helping! Treats!
      Jaron: Yep. Perfect.
  • Happens all the time in Schlock Mercenary.
    • On one occasion, when Schlock accidentally lets slip to the clients they're planning to con that they made plans to... well, con them. Elf manages to explain it away as a security precaution.
      Schlock: Nice cover.
      Elf: Stop helping.
    • In this strip Dr. Bunnigus tells Schlock to shut up while she's trying to counsel a distraught Para Ventura over her fear about killing others.
  • Done in this Darths & Droids comic.
  • Gail hits Ben with this line in When She Was Bad.
  • Weregeek:
    • A Shadowrun campaign where a pyromaniacal rigger Twitch (Abbie's PC) saved Aeon (Mark's PC):
      Mark: You're totally not allowed to rescue me any more.
    • Later his PC needs some help once more:
      Abbie: Never fear!! Twitch will come to the rescue!
      GM: Heh. I don't even need to throw bad guys at you. I just have to give Twitch half a chance and you all go boom!
  • In Life With Lamarr, Kleiner's "helpful advice" drives Magnusson insane.
  • In Impure Blood, Dara resents her bodyguard, but since she didn't hire her, can't get rid of her. Not that Elnor likes it very much either.
  • In Sinfest, after Squiggly ruined Slick's date, he volunteers to help with fixing this. Slick explains what he wants his friend to do.
  • Happens to Big Boss in The Last Days of FOXHOUND.
  • Jareth in Roommates is really enthusiastic about helping his friends but he sucks at being good or even at vaguely helpful. Direct examples: His plan for fixing his roommate's relationship involved turning the guy into a kid again. And when they needed to rescue someone from a stuck elevator he was the one shouting and being in the way (at least he wasn't the one with the dynamite).
  • Erfworld has most of Stanley the Tool's major units take this attitude towards their boss. In the second book Maggie uses hypnosis and thus successfully asks Stanley to put Lord Hamster in charge and leave their headquarters so that he could think. This is actually a double example, as it was the exact opposite of Lord Hamster's actual plan to promote someone on-site since the command bonus would be enough to turn the tide.
    Lord Hamster: Y'know... as far as helping his own cause goes, Stanley is somewhere between Gilligan and Starscream.
  • Kin in Goblins yells to stop helping, when Minmax stabs her a second time while attempting to stab the alternate Kin who's attacking her.
  • Freefall: When talking with the police about Clippy, in this strip, Mr. Kornada is forced to order Blunt to shut up, despite Blunt believing he was helping Kornada by revealing that he was responsible for the release of Gardener in the Dark.
  • xkcd strip Zealous Autoconfig presents a laptop that takes drastic measures just to for internet connection. Its owner is not pleased.
  • Zebra Girl: Sandra's vampires apologize for their actions by saying they were "Just Trying to Help" after she scolds them.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: On his first day a Little Stowaway to the crew, Reynir's offers to make himself useful didn't quite line up with the need of help, to the point that Tuuri pretended to need something just to get him out of the room in which she was working. Mikkel's motivations in sending Reynir back to bed were probably split 50-50 between genuine worry that he hadn't gotten enough sleep during the night and a desire to keep him out of the way. Ironically, Reynir ends up helping people during his sleep by complete accident: in the midst of making himself familiar with the mage-exclusive dreamspace, a mix of sheer luck and Wrong Context Magic enables him to help the crew's official mage (who was sleeping as well) make contact with his cousin back home after some trouble doing so in previous chapters.
  • In one Questionable Content storyline, Hannerlore's mom assigns her a P.A., Tilly, who is hypercompetent, incredibly eager to serve, and has been instructed to ignore all evidence that Hanners doesn't want or need a P.A. This leads them to doing things like climbing over the counter at Coffee of Doom because it's their job to make Hanners coffee, despite the fact Dora has already made it clear that Hanners works there and Tilly doesn't.

    Web Original 
  • In the webseries TotalBiscuit and the Yogscast 'play' Magicka, Simon is prone to this, though he is not the only one of the three. An incident caused by Lewis named the third episode Please Stop Healing Me.
  • The general premise of Gandalf Goes to the World Cup. The new members of the Fellowship use vuvuzelas as their method of furthering the quest. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In There Will Be Brawl, Link finally says it: "SHUT THE FUCK UP, NAVI!", and throws his canteen at her.
  • The (seemingly defunct) RP blog White Feminist is a parody of Straw Feminists and social justice activism. The blogger's attempts to spread equality and improve other's lives caused more harm than good. Highlights include correcting a black woman on her usage of the term black and changing an Asian-descended friend's computer language to Chinese in an attempt to keep said friend from forgetting her cultural identity.

    Western Animation 
  • ReBoot has several of these. In one episode, the people of Mainframe get dumbed down to the point of utter stupidity, and during a Game session, try to help Enzo but end up only getting in the way. He only manages to save the day by convincing them to "help" the User. In another episode, Bob recounts how two binomes enetered a Game and set off an explosion that blew up a planet to beat the User. Unfortunately, they were INSIDE the planet at the time and only escaped by the narrowest of margins. This prompts Bob to give an informational seminar on the nature of Games and why people should stay the hell out.
  • Futurama: In "Bender Gets Made", Leela gets temporary blindness and has to wear a blindfold. Throughout, she is too stubborn to ask for help. This leads to her mistaking a centerpiece for a salad, and for mistaking Nibbler's dish for the ship's steering wheel.
    Leela: I'm back at the wheel, Fry. Everything's under control.
    Fry: Great, great. [to himself] The one time I forgot to buy flight insurance!
  • In the episode of Sealab 2021 where the guys' evil twins show up, Bizarro Dr. Quinn "helps" out Bizarro Sparks, by shattering the jar that houses his disembodied head which is the only thing keeping him alive, then pouring salt on him while jumping up and down while shouting "I'm helping!"
  • An episode of 101 Dalmatians: The Series, Cadpig sees an argument between the Cows; Duchess & Princess, about room in their stalls. She tries to help, just as the two are apologsing to each other, asking them to express themselves. This help soon causes the entire Dearly Farm to be at each others throat's, to Cadpig's horror, before Spot just suggests Duchess & Princess open their stall up, a bit, which they agree would work, which then causes a Mediation Backfire from the Dalmatians and Animals of the Dearly Farm, on Cadpig?
    Spot: Hey, you were just trying to help a fellow creature. We know your heart was in the right place.
  • Robin's doppelganger Larry, from an episode of Teen Titans, a parody of the aforementioned Bat-Mite.
  • From The Spectacular Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus should really think about kicking Electro out of the Sinister Six: In "Group Therapy" he (accidentally) electrocuted Doc Ock SEVERAL TIMES in his attempt to kill Spider-Man. Not happy with that, he, along with Shocker, knocked out Rhino, thanks to Spidey's Deadly Dodging. Then, in "Reinforcements" Electro tried to free the Vulture from Spidey's web... by, once again, electrocuting him. Oh, but that doesn't end here: In "Shear Strengh", Spider-Man intentionally presses his Berserk Button by calling Electro repeatedly Max (his real name), making him shoot lightning bolts everywhere. The result? The destruction of the Master Planner's base.
  • Justice League:
    • Flash, Batman and the Martian Manhunter are trying to fly a Thannagarian ship, which is currently on the lawn of Wayne Manor. Flash, being his usual self, randomly presses a button on the ship's control panel out of curiosity. The button turns out to be the "fire" button for the ship's armaments, which leads to a rather large hole in Wayne Manor that Alfred happened to be behind.
    • Lobo strong-arming himself into the Justice League after Superman's death in "Hereafter". It's clear that the others tolerate Lobo only because it's easier than not keeping him under their supervision, and when they finally get the impetus to kick him out in the end:
      Lobo: Next time you lollipops need help, don't bother asking the Main Man!
      Martian Manhunter: We didn't ask you this time!
  • One episode of Danny Phantom had Jazz fill this role for Danny, becoming his "sidekick" after finding out his secret identity. She not only refuses to listen to Danny's knowledge on ghosts, but also hacks into his computer to look at his ghost files, gives names to ghosts that Danny already knows, gets in Danny's way when he's trying to fight, and is generally unhelpful, leading to...
    Jazz: I was just trying to help.
    Danny: Nobody asked you to help! You're a lousy ghost hunter, an overbearing sister, and an annoying, obnoxious know-it-all with no respect for her brother's privacy, so STOP! HELPING!
  • From Krypto the Superdog, ep. 47 "Bat Hound and the Robin" has Robbie the Robin wanting to becomes Ace's sidekick after he saves his life. Unfortunately, his attempts to "help" all end up getting worse and worse for the Bat Hound, to the point the usually Stoic dog flees Gotham City and the persistent Robin to hide into Krypto's spaceship.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Rarity tends to react this way whenever her little sister tries to help her with things.
    • Also what happens whenever Derpy tries to help with setting up for a party.
    • In the "Winter Wrap Up" episode, Twilight's attempts at using magic to help clear off snow backfire spectacularly. And she wasn't supposed to use magic in the first place!
    • This is the plot of the episode "Spike at your Service". After Applejack saves Spike from a pack of timberwolves (wolf monsters made out of wood that regenerate Dry Bones-style when killed), he feel that he owes his life to her and starts helping her at the farm. After his help causes too much trouble, the ponies decide to fake another timberwolf attack for Spike to stop, in order to make him feel as if he repaid his "debt" and stop helping.
    • In "Daring Don't", Rainbow Dash tries to help her idol A.K. Yearling, much to her chagrin, when she finds out she's really her literary hero Daring Do, but her attempts to help cause her to get captured by the villain Ahuizotl. Unlike most examples, though, Dash immediately comes to regret this, and she refuses to help even when her friends want to help Yearling out of her fix.
      Applejack: We can't go back now. Looks a mite like he needs our help more than ever.
      Rainbow Dash: Trying to help is how I got into this mess in the first place!
  • One episode of Captain Planet and the Planeteers has an annoying little boy who is obsessed with becoming a hero and constantly screwing up. When his school bus is caught in smog and everyone panics, he yells, "Turn on the headlights!" and tries to do it himself, but opens the door instead, letting in the smog and choking everyone. When Wheeler gets injured, he steals his ring and charges into battle, despite Wheeler warning him that only a chosen one can properly use the ring. Sure enough, when the kid tries to blast the villain, he can't control the fire and blows up random stuff.
  • In the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michaelangelo is even more prone to this than ever. The most obvious example is when his brothers are arguing about how to pick a lock in a Kraang stronghold, Mikey asks whether any of them had bothered just hitting the nearby button... Which actually activates the alarm. Which all of them knew because they had all seen the same buttons used to activate the alarm system in the past... include Mikey. He still presses the button before anyone can stop him.
  • Sofia the First: When Sofia goes hiking with her fellow Buttercup Scouts, King Roland is afraid she'll get hurt and orders Baileywick to go along. Baileywick insists on doing things for her, which causes her to lose several chances of earning merit badges - and she's just one away from winning a sunflower pin.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode "Operation L.U.N.C.H." the villain is a Robin Hood imitator, Robin Food, who takes food from kids at school and gives it to the elderly. The elderly, of course, have difficulty eating the solid food that he brings them and would rather he bring them something easier to chew... which is what he's supposed to be doing in the first place, since he works in a nursing home cafeteria.
  • American Dad!:
    • By the Hurricane! episode, Francine now has this attitude toward Stan in a crisis. She points out how, in every previous crisis the family has gone through, Stan's poor judgement and Insane Troll Logic have made situations even worse. No matter how rational Stan's ideas sound, they're all doomed to failure simply because he thought them up. Naturally, Stan doesn't listen to Francine and insists on trying to fix the situation. By the episode's end, he's managed to turn the house upside down, flood it, and let loose both a shark and a bear. Hayley and Steve get mauled by the shark and bear respectively, Stan knocks Jeff out in an effort to calm him down, he electrocutes Roger, and impales Francine to the wall with a javelin through her shoulder. The family is only saved by the arrival of their neighbor Buckle, who uses tranquilizer darts on the shark, the bear, and Stan. He says he wasn't sure who was doing the most damage.
    • Roger has had a couple of these moments, particularly with Steve. "A Ward Show" has him setting Steve getting Principal Lewis fired and setting up Freddie as a replacement best friend, and in "The Full Cognitive Redaction of Avery Bullock by the Coward Stan Smith" Roger tries getting rid of Steve's school bully problem by having him beaten up by Stelio Kontos first. The latter backfires when both bullies tag team on Steve.
  • In The Smurfs, Gourdy the genie, who wants to fulfill his master Farmer Smurf's wishes, gets this a lot from his master.
  • Occurs when Aang tries to contact the Spirit World in the Avatar: The Last Airbender first season finale:
    Katara: He's meditating. Trying to cross over into the Spirit World. It takes all his concentration.
    Yue: Is there any way we can help?
    Aang: How about some quiet?! Come on, guys, I can hear every word you're saying!
  • Beetlejuice: In one episode, Beetlejuice finds himself (thanks to his Literal Genie powers) saddled with a character physically attached to his back, "Pat on the back." At first he's pleased to have someone who seems to appreciate his comedic genius, but soon the guy's constant praise and encouragement cause him to end up in some severe trouble with the law, and he actually resorts to trying to smother him to keep him from talking.
  • Bat-Mite says he was "Just trying to help!" all the time in The New Adventures of Batman after causing Batman, Robin, and/or Batgirl a major problem that sets them back.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Clock King", Mayor Hill pleads that he was just trying to help when he is confronted by the Clock King, who had his Start of Darkness thanks to the mayor.
  • In the House of Mouse short "Donald's Goofy World", Goofy screws up and Donald tells him he doesn't want to see his face again.
  • In the Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Justice Masters", Mr. Cat gets a doctor's prescription saying he needs to relax since he is stressed. Kaeloo, Stumpy and Quack Quack try to help him, but as usual, they only end up stressing him out further.
  • This is the basic premise of "Franklin's Nature Hike" from Franklin. Mr. Owl takes Franklin and his class on a nature walk and Franklin decides to help out Snail, but basically just keeps doing stuff for Snail when Snail is actually capable of doing stuff on his own and only needs help with some things, like traveling on Franklin's shoulder to travel long distances. The episode ends with Snail breaking away from Franklin and climbing up a small cliff to find some crystals. He tells Franklin that he doesn't mind getting help when he actually needs it, but that he'd like to do things on his own too.
  • Family Guy:
    • At the beginning of the episode "The King is Dead", the fire department attempts to "save" a fish under a frozen lake. They get the fish out of the water, then when it starts to suffocate they attempt to defibrillate it.
    • In the episode "The Story on Page One", Peter sneaks into the classroom in the middle of the night to replace the news article Meg wrote on Mayor Adam West with an article alleging Luke Perry is gay, which he thinks everyone will love. Even though Meg gets a standing ovation, she is mortified when she finds out what happened as she sees the ghostwritten article framed in the hall.
  • The Sheep in the Big City episode "Flock, Up in the Sky" has Sheep get unwanted protection from the X Agent, who goes so far as to attack people unprovoked just for getting within ten feet of Sheep.
  • The Angry Beavers episode "Muscular Beaver" had Daggett attempt to help people out as the superhero the Muscular Beaver, but instead he only causes trouble for them. He bothers a bear trying to fish by attracting a giant fish that eats the bear. After that, he sees some baby birds learning to fly and annoys the mother by convincing her children that they can fly just by jumping in the air and shouting "Whoosh". Lastly, he sees a raccoon near a picnic and assumes that the raccoon is hungry, so he steals the family's food in a misguided attempt to help, only for the raccoon to get in trouble when the family catches him with the stolen food.
  • Disenchantment: On arriving at Elfland, Bean accidentally injures one of the elves at the gate. Her attempts to be helpful just manage to injure him further, and he insists she go away before she helps him to death.
  • In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Tony has to tell Pepper to stop helping him so much it's practically his catchphrase.
  • Wander of Wander over Yonder, being afflicted with compulsive and indiscriminate Chronic Hero Syndrome, serves this kind of "help" up pretty often. A notable example was when he found himself in a locale where not one person needed his help and drove the residents so batty that they finally enlisted his services to run someone out of town: himself. Which he did, with gusto.
  • At the end of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Naughty Nautical Neighbors", SpongeBob and Patrick demolish Squidward's house from burping up so much carbon dioxide from binging on soda. SpongeBob offers to help him clean up, but Squidward angrily kicks them out.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Happens many times, usually with Mitchell trying to solve a case. If another character offers to help, Mitchell will usually turn them down, claiming that he works alone. Usually, this is out of shyness or overconfidence.

    Real Life — People 
  • Most people will have at some point or other encountered a variation on the Centipede's Dilemma, where you were doing fine at an activity - until someone distracted you with some unwanted advice on how you should be doing it.
  • The Cracked article "5 Popular Forms of Charity (That Aren't Helping)" has several examples that fall under this:
    • Participation in awareness campaigns in general makes people less likely to give money to charity, as they feel that they've already done their part. Breast cancer awareness campaigns are especially bad with this, because, in order to make themselves more marketable, they often misrepresent the problem by focusing on young, sexy women instead of the older women who are the most likely to get breast cancer.
    • Clothing donations crippled the textile industries in African nations, which couldn't hope to compete with floods of free clothing donated by the West. They're also incredibly inefficient, taking up space on transports that could go to food and medicine.
    • Choosing a charity based on its overhead (i.e. how much is spent on administrative costs and bureaucracy versus actual aid) can cause the exact problem that it is supposed to prevent. As it turns out, the money "wasted" on overhead is actually necessary for keeping the charity operating smoothly, and charities with low overhead costs are typically a lot less competent due to them Cutting Corners in their work.
    • Earmarking the money you donate so that it goes to a particular cause can lead to the more high-profile causes getting more attention at the expense of others. After the 2004 tsunami, charities started building McMansions in Indonesia in order to do something with all the money that had been earmarked for housing, and Japan received so much aid after the 2011 earthquake/tsunami that they had to tell aid workers to stop coming in.
    • Volunteering to do aid work overseas is usually a bad idea unless you are properly trained for what it is you're doing and you know the local language and customs. There are tons of people already there who can do the work you're doing, and you'll wind up getting in the way and consuming food and water that could go to the people you're trying to help. This is especially true in the critical few days and weeks after a major natural disaster where many thousands of people are in need of rescue (case in point, the thousands trapped beneath rubble after the 2010 Haiti earthquake). Unless you're trained for this sort of thing specifically, you'll just waste everyone's time.
  • Snooker phenomenon Ronnie O'Sullivan once insisted that the referee measure whether a re-spotted ball would fit on its mark (which it clearly didn't), which necessitated laboriously removing and marking several other balls. Although the ref dutifully completed the manoeuvre, she did remark, "Ronnie, I could do this a lot faster if you weren't helping me!" when he wouldn't stop commenting on her performance.
  • In the 2012 Abu Dhabi GP, Formula One driver Kimi Räikkönen got a little fed up with his engineer updating him over the pit to car radio first telling him to "leave me alone, I know what I'm doing", and then when being reminded to keep his tyres up to temperature during a safety car period; "Yes, I'm doing all the tyres. You don't have to remind me every second". Räikkönen proved he didn't need the help by winning the race, but saw the funny side by distributing T-shirts with his statements on to the team.
  • Geraldo Rivera in 2003 tried to help viewers at home understand where he and the troops with him were by sketching out a map in the sand, showing the objective, then showing where he was in relation to it. Arguments have been made on both sides of the matter - that the enemy was unlikely to be able to find the troops based off of this, or that his actions led to many deaths by alerting the enemy to the army's actions. It is generally agreed to have been a dumb maneuver on Rivera's part.
  • Elon Musk's attempt to use a submarine to save the children trapped in a cave in Thailand was waved off by professionals who had the situation handled, and was largely seen as him trying to capitalize on the trapped kids as part of a publicity stunt for his company. His meltdown on Twitter afterward certainly didn't help.
  • Deliberately used in the lead-up to the 1953 coup in Iran, where the communist Tedah party threw support toward the Prime Minister (also the target of MI6/CIA propaganda) in order to discredit him further, since he actively and vocally opposed policies they wanted to enact.
  • Police, firefighters, and EMT personnel have a strict stance against assistance from civilians for exactly this reason. In addition to being a distraction you can also be a liability and, if injured, will become another casualty they now need to assist. Honestly the best thing you can do once these people arrive is tell them what you know (if they even need that) and promptly get out of their way and let them get to work.
  • Election campaigns usually feature messages from a wide range of organizations supporting a favored candidate. This can be counterproductive if the outside messages come across as dishonest, absurd, scare-mongering, personal attacks, etc, forcing the candidate to distance himself from the mess.
  • The organization Autism Speaks is infamous among actual autistics, as it promotes unscientific claims about autistics, promotes 'therapies' designed to mold autistic people to be more 'neurotypical' (ABA was created by the same person who created conversion therapy, using the same underlying principles, and has been shown to leave autistic individuals at greater risk of suffering from PTSD), uses scare tactics to make the parents of autistic children view them as a burden, AND has zero input from actual autistic people.
  • One behavior found in Abusive Parents is to insist on helping their child with something or to do something for the child without asking first, only to later complain about the effort the help took and/or use the event to make the child do something for them in return out of a sense of obligation. The behavior lasting long enough can result in the child becoming wary of any help offered by their parents. Another variation of this is when the parent insists on helping the child with something despite the child saying they don't want help, then scolding the child when the child isn't effusively grateful for the parent's "help".
  • In feminist circles, this is known as "mansplaining": a man approaches a woman, assumes she knows nothing about an activity she's doing or topic she's discussing, and explains every single detail to her under the assumption that she knows less than him, even when she makes it clear she's knowledgeable about the subject.
  • As a rather sad example there is this story of a bunch of strippers who raised a bunch of money for charity yet had trouble getting anyone to accept it, presumably because they disapproved of their life style.
  • This is a recurring problem for disabled people. A lot of people have no problem just grabbing the handles of someone's wheelchair and moving them or manhandling a blind person to point them in the right direction. One woman resorted to putting spikes on her wheelchair handles to stop strangers from trying to move her.
  • For people who enjoy doing puzzles, which can include assembling items, about the last thing they want is for someone else to complete the task for them - or to keep offering unwanted suggestions on how to complete said puzzle. After all, part of the thrill of doing a puzzle is being able to figure solutions out yourself. If they should get stumped somewhere along the way - they can look at the manual instructions themselves, thank you very much!
  • The above goes double for video games. Trying to "help" a player advance through a game, in addition to denying the player the opportunity to figure out solutions on their own, such "help" deprives the player of gameplay experience, including bits of the storyline, and may conflict with the player’s style of play.
  • More particular eaters will be quite annoyed by someone else filling their plate, especially if they do so without even asking what they'd like. Furthermore, attempting to order for them at a restaurant without asking what they want is a deal-breaker for them. Of course, this can even be potentially lethal to people with food allergies!
  • This was one of many things that waylaid the Second Pacific Squadron: they got a message from High Command that reinforcements were on the way, and they should sit tight and wait for their salvation before engaging the Japanese. Rozhestvensky, the admiral of the fleet in question, was fully aware that the Second Squadron essentially consisted of every ship available at the time that had even a hope of contributing against the Japanese—hence, the Third Squadron was likely to consist of the absolute dregs that he'd turned down already. Not to mention, he was on a tight schedule, had been delayed already, and his ships really weren't meant for sailing most of the way around the world through tropical waters, so he wanted to spend as little time as possible sitting around waiting for reinforcements. Rozhestvensky was so firmly against it that he deliberately sent back the wrong directions in the hopes that High Command would simply give up and have the Third Squadron go back home. They didn't.
  • After the RMS Titanic struck the iceberg on April 14th 1912, the Marconi wireless operators sent out CQD and SOS distress signals explaining that they were slowly sinking. One of the first ships to respond was the German cruise liner SS Frankfurt. It is assumed that the Language Barrier made it difficult for the Frankfurt's operator to properly translate the Titanic's increasingly frantic calls for help to his captain, and he repeatedly had to ask the Titanic to clarify her situation for the better part of two hours. At some point, the Titanic's operator (quite famously) lost his patience and essentially told him to shut up, stop jamming the airwaves and simply stay out of it:
  • Well meaning people might try to help a introvert/loner or a shy person open up and be more social. They tend to either not realize that said person is perfectly fine being alone or fail to realize that they are making things worse.
  • Overweight people will generally get others offering advice on how to lose weight or make insensitive comments as a way to motivate them to lose weight. The former comes off as annoying (especially if the overweight person is already trying to lose weight and are doing fine) and the latter can come off as very meanspirited, especially if the person had to deal with bullying in regards to their weight in school or social circles.
  • Giving advice to parents on how to raise their children is a very risky subject to talk about. While people are compelled to give advice to new parents or parents that are having trouble with their children, the advice giver can come off as condescending or even question the adult's parenting skills without meaning to. Unless the parents ask for advice first, it's usally best to ask if they need help before giving advice.

    Real Life — Computers 
  • "Hey! It looks like you're reading an article on TV Tropes! Would you like help with that?" If those words set off an involuntary shudder, you almost certainly used Microsoft Office during the deeply unloved era of Clippy, the "helpful" assistant that constantly interrupted your work to tell you it thought you were doing work and would you like it to help with that work that you would have finished already if you weren't desperately seeking the GO AWAY AND NEVER BOTHER ME AGAIN!!! button. (There wasn't one, but it was at least possible to disable Clippy with a bit of effort.)
  • When writing computer programs for multi-core machines, due to unwanted assistance from the CPU, sometimes a variable won't be what you set it to — for example if you set, say, x to 1 and read it back, you might get something else. The cause? The CPU is executing instructions out of order to "grease the wheels"; normally safe on programs that run on a single core, but for ones that run on multiple cores, the effects can cause bugs or cause garbage to be read back, since something wasn't updated when you thought it was supposed to be. Luckily there are ways to force the CPU to synchronise memory access to avoid this problem.
  • In programming languages that aren't strongly typed, you can usually declare a variable without specifying what kind of information it has to hold, and the compiler will just do its best to figure it out from context. Which can lead to some fairly spectacular (and sometimes difficult to diagnose) failures if, for instance, you intend a variable to hold an integer but accidentally refer to it as if it were a boolean — where a 0 will be read as "False" but any other value at all will be interpreted as "True". Weakly-typed languages try to help you, the coder, get the job done quickly, and they work great — right up to the point where they suddenly don't.
  • Many modern art programs have a "vectorizing" feature which smooths and simplifies strokes made by the user. A handy feature for those with shaky hands or seeking to create ultra-clean Animesque linework. To experienced artists, it is an anathema called "shoestringing" which turns precisely controlled twitches and pressure changes into bland smears and tapering streaks only vaguely related to the actual stroke.
  • Many word processing programs have automatic features such as spelling correction, whole-word selection, etc, that get in the way in some situations (deliberately misspelling a word for effect, trying to select letters in the middle of a word, unusual proper names, etc). And then came the virtual keyboards...
    • So-called “smart quotes”, which make apostrophes and quotation marks point different ways depending on their position at the beginning or end of words. Unfortunately, particularly on This Very Wiki, double and triple apostrophes are used to italicize and bold words, and smart quotes don’t count for this. Consequently, tropers have to take extra steps to italicize or bold text.
  • The Microsoft Windows 10 Updates. It won't take no for an answer, it decides on its own if and when it will update, and it takes hacky Loop Hole Abuse of Good Bad Bugs to almost turn them off. Very annoying if you're the kind of person who leaves your computer running overnight to perform tasks only to later find that your computer spontaneously decided to install updates and reset itself in the night, cancelling and ruining the task you expected it to have completed by morning.
  • Anti-virus software:
    • While well-intentioned (at least software that isn't straight up scammy malware), it can sometimes delete or quarantine false-positive files that it thinks are viruses. While you can usually undo the action, or shut your anti-virus off temporarily, it's possible it'll just zap the innocent file again.
    • Avast Antivirus is infamous for its "sandbox" mode that is triggered when you open an executable for the first time. This is meant to help catch malicious software by running it for 15 seconds in an isolated environment. However, not only does it take up time, it can even interfere with the functionality of the file or files that depend on it, or even permanently cripple whatever software you were going to run, forcing a reinstall of it.
  • Passwords:
    • Some services impose restrictions on what you can have in a password, like requiring at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one number, or either requiring non-alphanumeric "special" characters or banning them. This is supposed to help people come up with more secure passwords, but for many it just ends up forcing them to make a less memorable password that, ultimately, isn't much more secure than the password they initially had in mind (xkcd is known for the "string some random words together" method of password creation, which is widely regarded as secure but will often lead to rejected passwords if the above password requirements are in place). Restrictions on passwords also make it easier for malicious individuals to Try Everything for a password in hopes of gaining access, since there are less possible passwords to attempt; to be fair, some services and systems lock out the user after too many failed password attempts, but that has its own problems.
    • Some services, such as PayPal, disallow pasting passwords into the password field, usually when generating a new password. This is supposed to, according to a PayPal representative, prevent malware-related attacks, but it also ends up punishing users who use password managers to quickly and safely protect their accounts since you now have to type the password you want to change to (as opposed to generating a new password in your password manager and copypasting it with minimal hassle), and while the "type your password a second time" field found on many password change forms is supposed to prevent you mistyping your password, it's possible to have Caps Lock on by mistake (and anything that cares about being secure will make passwords case-sensitive) or even make the same typo twice.
  • YouTube has a list of suggested search terms if you type in something broad, which is nice except for the fact that the suggested search terms block the top search results and they're hard to get rid of, almost forcing you to use a more specific search term. Worse yet, it sometimes appears randomly when watching a video (especially when making it full screen). So suddenly this list of suggested, more specific search terms that's supposed to help make finding what you want easier is actually intruding on your ability to watch videos that you want to watch by forcing you to use a more specific search term by blocking the video you're trying to watch.


Video Example(s):


Helped Too Much

Brendan just wanted Molly and Cole's feedback on his kite performance, but they both instead changed his choreography and made him wear a costume for the competition in an effort to be supportive to him. This results in Brendan not wanting to compete because Cole added too much to his choreography and can't remember it all and he doesn't understand the costume he's wearing (plus he's the only competitor wearing a costume).

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / UnwantedAssistance

Media sources:

Main / UnwantedAssistance