Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Never Be a Hero

Go To

Basic Trope: A Double Standard where only superheroes can stay heroes while anyone else who attempts to become one is discouraged from trying/the attempt ends poorly.

  • Straight: Major Victory is a Flying Brick who protects Domino City. His Love Interest Mary temporarily gains powers of her own and tries to become a hero in her own right, but Major Victory immediately depowers her.
  • Exaggerated: Major Victory is part of a team known as the Justice Guard. Whenever somebody discovers a new way to gain superpowers, they step in to stop and depower them.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Mary wants to take martial arts lessons so she can defend herself against goons, Major Victory talks her out of it as the Big Bad will just send more goons.
  • Justified:
    • Mary's temporary powers didn't seem useful enough to risk the potential side-effects.
    • The Justice Guard learned the hard way that being a hero is a hard life style: the average hero has an extremely short lifespan and the call destroys one's personal life. Therefore they try to dissuade others from repeating their mistake and becoming heroes.
  • Inverted:
    • Major Victory wants to become a Battle Couple with Mary, so he tries to arrange for her to get superpowers and encourages her to become a heroine.
    • The Justice Guard has regular recruitment drives but few people show up because most of the muggles don't want to be heroes.
    • The Evulz Guild has an uptight recruitment which drives away villains who aren't evil enough.
  • Advertisement:
  • Subverted: When Mary has a super-powering accident but keeps it a secret because she thinks Major Victory will depower her. Instead, he welcomes her into the Justice Guard.
  • Double Subverted: However, he then secretly stages a huge fight to convince her of the dangers, leading her right into a depowering trap.
  • Parodied: "Sorry, Miss Mary, but we've only got ten chairs for the Justice Guard's big meeting table, and they're all taken already. You'll just have to give up those powers and become an ordinary non-super again. Now hold still."
  • Zig Zagged: How the Justice Guard reacts to a newly-empowered individual depends on the situation. Major Victory refuses to let people he knows, like Mary or Chase, retain powers for fear of compromising his Secret Identity. Other times, they welcome the newly-empowered into their ranks as young heroes need role models. It comes down more to the Guard's judgement of each individual and the risk versus reward.
  • Advertisement:
  • Averted: The Justice Guard warmly welcomes anyone who wishes to become a hero into their ranks, providing training, guidance, and offering them the chance to leave if they decide they aren't cut out for the superhero life after all.
  • Enforced: More heroes mean more (voice) actors and more special effects. The company simply doesn't have the budget so only the core team can be regulars.
  • Lampshaded:
    Mary: So when exactly did the Justice Guard become the 'Just-Us' Guard?
    Major Victory: Wow, Never Heard THAT One Before.
  • Invoked: The government tells the Justice Guard that no new superbeings are allowed. If they want to keep their own powers, they'll need to depower any new heroes (or villains for that matter.)
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Mary becomes a super hero and keeps Major Victory in the dark. He has no idea that "Admiral Triumpant" is his Love Interest wearing a mask.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed:
    • Major Victory preventing anyone else from becoming a hero, (super or otherwise), means that he's alone and overworked. Thus, he's more liable to mistakes or zerg rushes. Conversely, because he never took Mary on as The Apprentice, she doesn't have any help with the crime fighting learning curve.
    • Major Victory trying to forcibly depower Mary leads to a Let's You and Him Fight moment which causes collateral damage and also allows criminals to escape.
    • While the established superheros have their reasons for why they feel new superheros should give up their powers, the lack of proper communication between them breeds resentment among the newer generations. Feeling that the established heros rejected them, new heros try to strike out on their own while older heros feel that they pose a danger because they lack proper training. This causes a rift between the two groups.
    • Major Victory forces civilian Bob to give up the powers he just gained, even though Bob used it to stop a bank robbery. This causes people to question how much of a hero Major Victory really is and creates a rift between Major Victory and the public he protects. Because he made Bob give up his powers, people wonder if he's really interested in protecting the people, or just enjoys the public being powerless because if he's the only one with superpowers, he's the only one who can save them from danger.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Major Victory doesn't want anyone fighting crime without the proper preparation. If some young buck wants to follow in his footsteps then they have to pass his Training from Hell. When he feels they're ready they can join him on patrol but until then they should leave it to him.
    • Major Victory doesn't want to expose Mary to the dangers of Super Heroing but appreciates that she wants to help. He offers different non-combat roles.
    • The Justice Guard has a Master-Apprentice Chain where each established member selects a new hero (whether already superpowered or otherwise) to replace/fill in for them and allows them and only them to be heroes aside from each other. There are many Years Too Early boasts and "old people problems" taunts between them, and disagreements or dissent on both sides, but no rift.
    • Both civilian Bob and the general populace complain about Major Victory taking away the former's superpowers, until Major Victory explains that he's just holding them in reserve. He wants to evaluate Bob's powers to avoid future Power Incontinence and/or Bob's moral character because With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. He then says that while he definitely likes the acclaim that comes with being a superhero, he wouldn't mind sharing it if it meant getting a partner that could prevent his untimely death or Heroic Fatigue.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: Mary keeps getting superpowers while Major Victory keeps taking them away. Eventually, it's revealed that Mary is supposed to be The Chosen One, but Major Victory is Screening the Call because he learned during a Time Travel incident that she's supposed to make a Heroic Sacrifice. No superpowers means she won't be called upon to make that sacrifice. (Hopefully.)
  • Played For Laughs: Contrary Mary tries one Zany Scheme after another to try and get superpowers, only for Major Victory to launch a Counter Zany that takes them away.
  • Played For Drama:

Back to Never Be a Hero

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: