Hero Harasses Helpers

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
You should let her help. What could go wrong?

Dex: Consider us your reinforcements.
Blade: What? You amateurs are supposed to be helping me? You? Look at you. You're kids. You're not ready to roll with this. I mean, look at the way you're dressed. What, that's supposed to be tactical? [about Hannibal's name tag]
Blade: What is this? What is that? "Fuck you." It's a joke, huh? What the fuck is wrong with y'all? You think this is a joke? You think this is a fucking sit-com?

Hannibal King: Okay, first off, that's just rude. Second, I'm pretty sure we saved your ass back there.
Blade: Trinity

Being a hero is hard, having no one to help with the harrowing work of heroing. However, Heaven has seen fit to bless the hero with helpers... that he won't hesitate to harass.

Perhaps these helpers hope to form a Hero Secret Service, La Résistance, or just want to be part of Fighting for Survival and actually manage to aid the hero in his fight. Be it by hindering The Dragon, freeing him from horrors, or healing his wounds. However the hero doesn't hail their effort with high praise, advice, or most strangely of all, gratitude... but becomes an Ungrateful Bastard and tells them to pack it up and go home.

Perhaps the hero works alone, prefers a populace Holding Out for a Hero, or has a bad case of Samaritan Syndrome and generalized case of It's Not You, It's My Enemies. Sometimes he's justified in his being hidebound by the helpers being hopelessly helpless and incompetent. Sometimes he's just not a nice person. Whatever the case, he at least strongly urges the helpers to disband and might verbally abuse them, or even take steps to ensure they can't try to help him again.

This can end up one of three ways.

  • The helpers persevere, and by saving the hero a second time get him to admit they are competent enough to hang with him and fight alongside each other from then on.
  • They become embittered and choose to turn to a life of crime. The latter can be justifiable if it's one of the cases of Never Be a Hero that has the helper be empowered by bad means, which in turn make them go bad because The Dark Side Will Make You Forget.
  • The helpers can persevere while the hero complains about them eternally, because any Aesop he learns about them is obliterated by each episode's Reset Button and the status quo remains God.

Compare Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like and Minor Insult Meltdown, see also The Scrappy.

Examples of Hero Harasses Helpers include:

Anime and Manga

  • Happens in an episode of G Gundam. Domon's rudeness to Rain, despite her aid AND putting up with his rude attitude for the past 11 months, inspires her to quit as God Gundam's mechanic. Schwarz offers her a job as his mechanic, primarily to teach Domon a lesson. During the fight with Schwarz, Domon refuses to learn his lesson until God Gundam is crippled by a faulty repair job, and Rain tells him how to fix it himself, allowing him to win the match.
  • L in Death Note mostly treats the police force like this. Subverted: it's a weeding-out ploy to ensure that the people he's working with are the ones who will stick with him, come hell or high water, and give their lives if necessary, to bring Kira down.
  • One Piece's Ussop Pirate Gang (from when he joins the crew) could fit. When Ussop decides to fight, he tries to get the trio to think he isn't, and then in the battle, gives them an important job when they show up to try and help. He's even proud of them at the end, but ends up leaving them for the Straw Hats.

Comic Books

  • Batman's treatment of Stephanie Brown, full stop. Heck, Batman's treatment of most of his sidekicks in various adaptations.
  • The Avengers on almost anything. Most recently and prominently on the Young Avengers who aren't much younger than themselves when they began. Instead of helping them fight crime, they talk down to them and do everything to disband them and even Captain America has to help them IN COGNITO.


  • Blade did this when he gets saved by the Nightstalkers, calling them rookies playing at vampire slayer.
  • In The Incredibles, a young fan is trying to become Mr. Incredible's sidekick. He later becomes Syndrome, and turns out to be the big bad (case 2). Later, he wants Elastigirl to stay back, but she convinces him they need to fight as a team (case 1). In both cases, he's just trying to keep his would-be sidekicks from getting killed.
    • He does seem to be pretty grumpy with his would-be sidekick's obsession with him rather than being afraid of his life being at risk, but then again when Buddy gets involved it's clear that that was what Mr. Incredible was afraid of. Especially since Syndrome later seems to still not understand that being a hero is genuinely life-threatening rather than a glory trip.
      • It's also fairly clear that this is not the first time Mr. Incredible has had this conversation with Buddy, so we can add to the list, "For the love of Mike, how often do I have to tell you this?!"
  • Batman again in The Dark Knight. What's the difference between himself and his imitators? He's not wearing hockey pads.


  • Griboyedov is not very fond of Maltsev during the Persian mission, and therefore tends to indulge in this trope, albeit relatively subtly.


  • In the early years of Bionicle, Kopaka was like this with pretty much everyone who tried to assist him. He has improved in this regard over the years, but he is still considered a bit of a loner.

Western Animation

  • Jackie Chan Adventures has... Jade. Every episode Jackie tells her to stay with Uncle, leave the fighting to him, and stay out of danger. She never, ever listens. To her credit, she at least helps as much (if not more) than she hinders, Jackie never accepts her as his sidekick.
    • Which would be because she's like eight years old and he's her uncle, and he's supposed to be protecting her! And she nearly gets herself killed a lot of the time! Heck, most of the time, Jackie doesn't want to have to fight either.
    • Not to mention, she causes most of the problems in the first place, and Jackie wouldn't have to save to world all the time if it wasn't for her refusing to listen to him when he tells her not to do dangerous things because she thinks it's cool or fun.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command at the beginning of the cartoon, was bitter about his partner sacrificing his life. And so when several people came up to be his partner, he turned them all down. Eventually, he let them all join him and they become Team Lightyear.
  • Darkwing Duck often treated Gosalyn like this, much like in the Jackie Chan example above. Being her legal guardian, Darkwing sincerely didn't want Gosalyn getting hurt.
  • Inspector Gadget has two, his niece "Penny" and the dog "Brain" which not only help but almost do everything entirely themselves.