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Playing With / Bumbling Sidekick

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Basic Trope: Due to vast stupidity and/or incompetence, the main character's sidekick is far more trouble than he is worth.

  • Straight: When trying to make a cup of tea for his supervisor, Bob, Joe gives himself first-degree burns and scalds several bystanders.
  • Exaggerated: When trying to make a cup of tea, Joe instigates war between Japan and Switzerland.
  • Downplayed: Whenever Joe tries to make his employer a cup of tea, he makes the wrong kind (such as English Breakfast rather than Earl Grey), spills some on his employer, or makes some other small mistake.
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  • Justified: Joe is so monumentally thick this kind of menial grunt work is the only job he can get.
  • Inverted: Hyper-Competent Sidekick
  • Subverted: Joe seems utterly worthless as a sidekick, but only because he is out of his area of expertise.
  • Double Subverted: ...At which he is also totally incompetent.
  • Parodied: No matter what Joe does, or tries to do, people get hurt and plans are ruined.
  • Zig-Zagged: Joe is a skilled combatant and expert computer guy. But he's extremely clumsy out of combat and has No Social Skills, and for some reason the hero keeps assigning him to duties that don't include shooting or hacking.
  • Averted: All members of the team are competent and capable of performing their functions.
  • Enforced: "Joe needs to be incompetent so we can get some comedic relief into this show."
  • Lampshaded: "Why do you keep Joe around?!?"
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  • Invoked: "You remember Joe, that utter incompetent from high school? What we need to do is set him up as secretary to your opponent, that way we're bound to win."
  • Exploited: The villain captures Joe and asks him about his boss' plans, since he's easy to capture and Cannot Keep a Secret.
  • Defied: "You know what, I will hold off on the job interview."
  • Discussed: "I bet you this Joe guy is going to be a totally incompetent moron."
  • Conversed: "Why does he keep employing him? I mean he gets them into trouble about Once per Episode!"
  • Implied: Whenever people meet Joe, they make sure to ask Bob "What, Exactly, Is His Job?"
  • Deconstructed: Joe gets abandoned by the main character for the sheer total and utter pain he causes.
  • Reconstructed: Joe tries so hard and is so loyal that the main characters value him above more competent assistants, because at the end of the day, he goes further for them.
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  • Played for Laughs: Every time Joe hurts somebody, it's hilarious.
  • Played for Drama: Joe manages to get his employer and several bystanders killed because he was too ashamed of not knowing how to use equipment to ask and so just tried anyway.
  • Played for Horror: Joe is such a hindrance to Bob because he's a puppet of an Eldritch Abomination.

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