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Playing With / The Chosen Zero

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Basic Trope: The Chosen One is jerkish, incompetent, cowardly, or otherwise seemingly useless.

  • Straight: Bob, chosen to save his homeland of Tropeon from Emperor Evulz, is a cowardly, selfish loser who would rather get rich than save the world.
  • Exaggerated: Bob can't even hold a sword properly, treats the people of Tropeon like garbage, and doesn't care about his Chosen One duties. His Mentor and Emperor Evulz laugh at him.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob has his flaws, but is still basically decent enough that the people of Tropeon can see him as a hero, and he possesses enough clearly heroic traits that he is accepted after some initial skepticism.
    • Bob's basic decency is never in question, only his talent and ability to carry out the task.
  • Justified:
    • Bob was chosen because someone who has to learn to be a hero gains more from the process than someone who already is.
    • The entity that chose Bob saw potential in him that no one else does, and Emperor Evulz underestimates the threat Bob poses because of how useless he looks.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...but Bob is still the Chosen One, just more useful as a sidekick.
    • Bob learns that the entity is evil and manages to foil it anyway.
  • Parodied: Bob is utterly deadpan about his role, views being The Chosen One as an inconvenience, and, while not heroic at all, is Genre Savvy or oblivious enough to get the job done anyway.
  • Zig-Zagged: Bob is a Jerkass when he is selected as the Chosen One, and during his quest to defeat Emperor Evulz he undergoes Character Development and becomes a better person in the process. However, he still has trouble being taken seriously, and is still prone to some less-than-heroic impulses or behavior.
  • Averted:
    • The Chosen One is someone more along the lines of a traditional hero.
    • There is no prophecy or Chosen One.
  • Enforced: The creator believes that an Anti-Hero Chosen One is a more interesting character than a traditionally heroic one.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Why Bob? I mean, the guy's totally useless!" "Yeah, Chosen One standards must have gone down."
    • "The Chosen One is an intolerable Jerkass. Who else saw this coming?"
  • Invoked: Emperor Evulz kills off all of the more likely Chosen One candidates in the hopes that the one he faces will be somebody absolutely pathetic.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Because the situation is too dire to train Bob in time, The Powers That Be choose a more traditional hero.
  • Discussed: "Chances are we'll be stuck with Bob as The Chosen One. This Is Gonna Suck."
  • Conversed: "Who chose Bob to be The Chosen One? Were the spirits asleep or something?" "Maybe you should have watched the first three episodes first."
  • Deconstructed: Bob makes a Face–Heel Turn or ignores his duties because he has nothing to gain from saving Tropeon and isn't about to risk his neck for people who don't respect him, or he snaps as a result of the expectations placed on him.
  • Reconstructed:
    • For all his faults, Bob has enough basic decency to feel ashamed of himself for abandoning people who depended on his help. He returns to redeem himself, standing up to Emperor Evulz and defeating him, proving himself to be The Chosen One after all.
    • Bob's Mentor finally discovers a method to train him by appealing to Bob's talents, regaining his faith in Bob and shaping him up enough to fight Emperor Evulz.
  • Played For Laughs:
    • Bob is blissfully oblivious to how much everyone laughs at him, and approaches his duties with zeal despite his incompetence. Alternately, his unsuitability for the task becomes a Running Gag.
    • Bob is a snarky Jerkass who spends most of his time complaining about being The Chosen One, and is only in it for the money and fame.
  • Played For Drama: Bob's serious flaws and lack of faith in himself provide a major obstacle for him and alienate him from the Tropeans, and a large part of his Character Development involves overcoming them or succeeding in spite of them.
  • Played For Horror: Bob's incompetence becomes the cause of a brutal Hope Spot.

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