Stop Helping Me!

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

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!

Sometimes, "help" can be more trouble than it's worth.

Every gamer knows the scenario: It's taken you the best part of three hours to get to this stage of the game. Your mission involves skill and dexterity, but that's all right—you're a professional by now. A few more seconds and you're home free. Sneak behind the guard... good, he didn't see you. Now go left... move forward... you're almost safe...


Bang goes your concentration. You were so focused that the whiny voice that just screeched from the screen made you jump five feet in the air. Worse, you dropped the controller and made your character bolt from his hiding place and fire the gun. Now every guard in the vicinity is beating you to a pulp. Game Over.

Who was responsible for your last nanosecond failure? Was it The Dragon? A cunning mole? An agent of the Big Bad, programmed by the AI to be unbelievably skillful, with flawless timing? Nope, it was your Exposition Fairy, and it just couldn't keep its damned mouth shut for two more seconds.

It can't be simple coincidence that so many characters that are meant to "help" you sport irritating voices, social ineptitude and the worst sense of timing on the planet. It has to be a conspiracy. It's also sadistic -- in the game manual, it says that this character is a loyal best friend or devoted assistant. He's there to help you. You wish he wouldn't.

The character that has you screaming "Stop helping me!" is usually an Exposition Fairy who either has an attitude problem or interrupts when you really wish they wouldn't. Sometimes it's a party member who's a master of the Useless Useful Spell—or who keeps getting overexcited and killing you with friendly fire. In extreme cases, it's the character the player is controlling, if they're annoying/inept enough; stupid catchphrases and idiotic behavior during cutscenes have resulted in many a player wasting a life by directing their playing character off a cliff, just for revenge.

Unfortunately, these annoyances are never disposable characters. You're stuck with them for the entirety of the game. The best you can hope for is that they do a Face Heel Turn and become the bad guy's problem. In fact, sending them to the opposite faction might be a good tactical maneuver on your part. However, in that instance, Murphy's Law will kick in and they'll be just as effective fighting against you as they were ineffective fighting for you. C'est la vie. At least you don't have to listen to their voice constantly and you finally have that excuse to kill them that you've been waiting all game for.

In fact, most "guide" characters will try the player's patience if they've played the game through a couple of times—like the tutorial levels, they're not really needed after the first play through. And maybe not even then.

This should go without saying, but try to avoid sticking AI sidekicks in here that are simply not perfect. If they can pull their own weight in a fight, but have different priorities and thresholds for doing things than a player might, then they probably don't belong here. (Complaining that the computer is trying to use its healing items on you earlier than you necessarily want it to, for example, does not put them in Stop Helping Me! territory—especially in a game without a Hyperspace Arsenal.)

Compare Escort Mission, Offending the Creator's Own, Worst Aid. Compare Mission Control Is Off Its Meds, where the voice is intentionally designed to be unhelpful or confusing. Related to For Your Own Good and Don't Shoot the Message. When it happens regardless of what is happening, it's Continue Your Mission, Dammit!

Examples of Stop Helping Me! include:

Anime and 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, 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. He agreed to get Jun out of the contract at one time, for example. All he had to do was to force his sister/cousin into the contract so she would fight for him in the next battle.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula: Earlier in the series, Asurada tries to teach its partner Hayato how to drive properly, but Hayato ignores his advices, and Hayato even tries to destroy Asurada when he 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 IS 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.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh Ze Xal 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.

Comic Books

  • 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 the Steel Spider, for a time in the 80s 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.
  • 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.
  • In the first appearance of Supergirl (a construct created when Jimmy Olsen wished Superman had a companion), she tried to assist Supes 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.
  • Dudes, Bat-Mite!
  • Betty Kane, who was the first Batgirl and current Flamebird. She is so useless that even Beast Boy does not count on her. You have to suck pretty hard for that to happen.
  • On a less direct level, 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 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.
  • Fethry Duck, cousin of Donald Duck 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.

Films -- Animation

  • In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible encounters a really annoying boy who tries to be his sidekick. When turned down, the boy gets mad and grows up to become the villain.
  • 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.
    • Mulan got it better than the last member of the Fa family Mushu got assigned to, at least. 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?!

Films -- Live-Action

  • The Trope Namer is none other than infamous Nineties flop Hudson Hawk. In it, Anna tries to help Eddie (Bruce Willis), who's fighting Jeeves, with a gun. Unfortunately, nuns cannot and should not handle firearms. Her first shot ricochets off Eddie's belt buckle, causing him to quote the Sixth Commandment. Her next shot wings him, causing him to name the trope.
  • As seen in the page quote, Jackie Chan shouts this in the 2008 remake of Around the World in 80 Days.
  • 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 the musical remake, Max says "Don't help me" to both Leo's attempt to defend him to the chorus of old ladies who are singing off-key in the background as he tries to sing his verse to Leo.
  • 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), an hour and seven minutes in, 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.
  • John Woo's Broken Arrow: "Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?"
  • 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 definitely fit this one.
  • 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 trying to cheer me up!

  • 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!

Fogg: Look out on your right!
Passpartout: *misses*
Fogg: Oh, no, my right.
Passpartout: *gets hit* Stop helping me!


  • In the Infocom novel 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 may be the personification of Stop Helping Me. His attempts to "save" Harry from danger inevitably led to Harry being worse off, and in the end Harry makes him promise to "never try to save my life again."
    • ... He broke that promise, too. And then he died.
      • More like Fridge Brilliance. Dobby was a free elf when he made that promise. He had the freedom to choose whether or not to keep that promise. When he broke that promise, that was in the last book, and he helped them escape from the Malfoy's house when Voldemort was going to be arriving any minute. He had a good reason to break his promise, and Harry and his friends really needed his help at that point. His death was shocking and sad, and he died being free and happy that he helped Harry Potter one final time.
    • In The Card Game, the "Dobby's Help" card gives your opponent a bonus so excessive (drawing 10 cards) it brings them closer to losing. The flavor text is a line of Ron's from |the book: "If he doesn't stop trying to save your life he's going to kill you."
    • 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.
  • In the third The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy book 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.
    • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is full of these, in fact. Most of them are the work of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, such as Marvin the Paranoid Android and Eddie the Shipboard Computer, as well as the aforementioned doors on the Heart of Gold. One of the non-robotic examples is Zaphod's set of Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses, which help you develop a relaxed attitude to danger; at the first hint of trouble, they turn totally black, and thus prevent you from seeing anything that might alarm you.
  • Relatively minor example, in the picture book "Too Many Babas", everybody attempts to help out with the stew to the point it tastes like crap.
  • Darth Bane: Johun Othone is made of this trope during the Duel on Tython in the second book of the trilogy. 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

Live-Action TV

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.)
  • 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 miliseconds 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.
    • A specific example 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.

    • Picard eventually managed to get Data to shut up, but it took fifteen years (and a dopey wedding).
    • In one instance, the ship's computer cut in while he was talking and said, "Thank you, sir. I comprehend."
    • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation pinball game, you actually get a bonus for cutting off Data when he talks at times.

Data: "Had you projected the ball at the proper velocity, you would have been rewa-" *hit flipper buttons*
Picard: "Thank you, Mr. Data."

  • A tweaking of this has appeared on The Daily Show in the recurring segment "You're not helping!", in which Jon lambastes someone for an idiotic statement or action that counteracts what their expressed purpose is.
  • Gilligan's Island. Gilligan. Enough said.
  • 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.
  • 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 Maebe. 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.
    • Actually, almost any time a character save for Maebe (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.
  • Good Eats: Don't say it! Culinary anthropologist!
  • 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?

  • Being Human (UK) has Tully giving 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.

New Media

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  • Clippit (a.k.a. Clippy), the animated paper clip "assistant" in Microsoft Office. Clippy is just one of several assistants (including a dog and a wizard) which differ from him by animations and little else—i.e., they're equal on annoyance level. Clippy just gets all the sass because he's the default one.
    • Parodied on an episode of The Simpsons: A python attacks a Springfield school computer, and Clippy springs up to say, "You look like you're trying to eat me. Need some help?"
    • Parodied again in another Simpsons episode. "It looks like you're trying to blow up the computer. Mind if I hug my kids?"
    • Also parodied on an episode of Family Guy. "It looks like you're trying to take over the world. Do you need some help?" Stewie's response: "Go away, you paper clip! No one likes you!"
    • Also parodied in a small spoof "advert" for Windows RG ("Really Good"), where typing anything causes Clippy to appear.

Clippy: Hey! It looks like you're writing a letter! And if you're not, you should. Letters are neat!

    • Yet another parody on 2DTV: during a sketch in which Matrix characters end up inside the Windows system, Clippy turns up with a cheery "Hey, you look like you're trying to write a letter -- want some help?" only to be smited away. Later, she reappears with a "Hey, you look like you're trying to beat up Bill Gates, want some help?", only this time she is left alone as she kicks the dustbin Bill Gates is currently sticking out of.
    • I believe this story is appropriate here. And also cathartic.
    • As is this. Corruption blackmail, suicide attempts, Cthulhu... this story has it all!
    • From Mass Effect 1 "It looks like you are trying to restore the station. Would you like assistance?" "Oh crap. A pop-up."
    • And to drive the point home, Microsoft cast Gilbert Gottfried as the voice of Clippy in a series of Flash shorts that were part of an advertising campaign for Office XP promoting the fact that he finally bit the dust.
      • Though despite this, Office Assistants were still there; they were just disabled by default. They were completely removed in Office 2007.
      • Arguably, Office 2007 was the only one that needed the Assistants there. Microsoft completely redesigned Word, which was amazingly unhelpful, something they apparently realized. When they released Office 2008, they went back to the classic format (sans Assistants), with everybody breathing a sigh of relief.
    • Parodied in several freeware games, such as a Clippy Blaster shoot-em-up, as well as an intentionally-unhelpful assistent for Unix editor VI, called VIgor. This was first suggested as a joke in webcomic User Friendly, but the internet being the internet, somebody actually created it, sporting such gems as "You seem to be trying to move the cursor to the left. Are you sure you want to do that?"
    • Also, the assistant Cuppit from adventure game spoof META.
    • Clippy's "assistance" methods have since spread to Hotmail and Windows Vista, which will block various things without allowing you the option to manually override the block. To add to the problem, the false positive rate is astounding, to the point where the majority of positives will be false positives.
    • Clippy is seen when The Matrix Runs on Windows:

"Looks like you're trying to free humanity. Want some help?"

    • Comedian Demetri Martin once did a joke about Clippy helping to write a ransom letter. "You should use stronger language, you'll get more money!"
    • The guys at Red vs. Blue created an episode in which the character of Sarge (stereotypical Texan Turned Up to Eleven) reminisced about being "next in line to be one of those little Office Assistant thingies." It then had a shot of Sarge being an Office Assitant - popping up on page and screaming "WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO TODAY DIRTBAG!) which was Crowning Moment of Funny. Crowning Moment of Awesome came when mere hours after the episode was released a Red Vs Blue fan actually created a Sarge Office Assistant that popped up and scream at you "WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO TODAY DIRTBAG"
    • In 2005, when Microsoft ("a company with a doubly un-erotic name") backed out of supporting a gay rights bill in Washington because of threats of a boycott, The Daily Show showed the explanatory company-wide email as it would have been typed into Microsoft Outlook: "I don't want the company to be in the position of appearing to dismiss the deeply held beliefs of any employee by picking sides on a..." Up pops Clippy: "You seem to be composing a lame cop-out. Need help?"
    • A Captain Ersatz of Clippy appears in the first issue of IDW's Eleventh Doctor comic series. When the TARDIS lands on a planet that is essentially a halfway home for holographic spam email, one of the holograms is a talking stapler that offers advice at the most inopportune moments (sample dialogue: "You appear to be about to be disemboweled by a monster. Would you like any assistance?") Subverted in that the stapler proves in the end to be genuinely helpful and resolves the "B" plot—which is Amy and Rory about to be disemboweled by two monsters.
  • Automatic spelling correction—it often a) corrects a word that isn't wrong, or b) picks the wrong correction. Bonus points for correcting into the wrong language, e.g. a name of an English book in a bulk of Czech text. (Infamously, the Czech edition of one version of MS Word corrected "n" [as a single-letter word] to "a". Woe to you if you want to use the letter N as an abbreviation or a symbol for something.)
    • The English version also "corrects" lower case i to upper case I.
  • Any internet search engine that tries to predict what you're going to type before you type it by offering up a list of suggestions, especially if that list covers up or moves the "search" button so that you try to click on "search" and end up hitting the suggestion instead, as seen here. Especially when you copy something, paste it into the search engine, and go to click "search."
    • Google is always VERY helpful, as seen here. You type something in, and it searches for something else under the assumption that you're too stupid to type in what you want.
      • Not to mention the highly distracting "instant search" which looks for things as you type them, and often searches for all the wrong things until you're done typing completely. But for every letter you type, it seems to find something drastically different, combined with the previously-mentioned "covering of the Search button". To use Google with instant search on, I have to look at the keyboard as I type, because looking at the screen messes with my mind. Luckily, this can easily be turned off.
  • YouTube now offers helpful suggestions in case you spell something correctly, as seen here.
    • Which became especially stupid when searching for The iDOLM@STER when it would replace the a with @ and then FAIL TO FIND ANYTHING because it couldn't recognize the @ symbol.
  • Yahoo Answers seems to panic if one uses proper punctuation, as seen here.
  • The imageboard 4chan briefly gained a Clippy-inspired "helper" one April first. Asking Sticky the 4chan Assistant for help with "trolling" emptied your post and name fields, and replaced it all with the words "DICK BUTT".
  • Bonzi Buddy.
  • Rogue security programs. They're not even really trying to help you (quite the opposite, actually), but that's how they try to come off.

Newspaper Comics

  • What's New with Phil and Dixie on helpful animal companions: "...These are worse."
  • There is a Closer 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 "Dispite (woman's name) helpful advice, (plumber's name) felt that he had a handle on the problem."


Theme Parks

  • In the T2 3-D: Battle Across Time show at Universal Studios, this is The Terminator's response to John Connor's repeatedly telling him how close the baddie was.

Video Games

  • In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Mario and Luigi join Popple to fight a Wiggler (why they accept to help him in his schemes is a mystery), and Popple's "attacks" do absolutely nothing except make the Wiggler angrier and its next attack more dangerous. The player has the option to hit Popple with an attack every turn to make him begrudgingly back down.

Web Animation

  • In Red vs. Blue we have Caboose. 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).
  • 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!"

Web Comics

  • In 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! ♪

  • The sparks of Girl Genius 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 AI when it was functioning properly.
  • Happens all the time in Schlock Mercenary. One notable occasion is 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.

Mark: You're totally not allowed to rescue me any 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!

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.

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 by getting in the way. He only manages to save the day by convincing them to 'help' the User. In another episode, two binomes sneak into the 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 they should stay the hell out.
    • I am helping by making your boots go faster!
  • This is the entire premise of Best Ed.
  • 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!"
  • Robin's doppelganger, Nosyarg KcidLarry, 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" he 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 him repeatedly Max (his real name), making him shoot lightning bolts everywhere. The result? The destruction of the Master Planner's base.
  • In Justice League, Flash, Batman and the Martian Manhunter defeat A Thannagarian scouting party on the lawn of Wayne Manor and attempt to hijack their ship without knowing how. Flash, being his usual self, ends up randomly pressing 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 and promptly leads to a rather large hole in Wayne Manor.
    • Lobo strong-arming himself into the Justice League following Superman's death in "Hereafter". It's clear the others only tolerate him 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!
J'honn: 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. This eventually leads to him screaming the trope name in a rather Punctuated! For! Emphasis! fashion.
  • 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.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender features an episode in Book 2 with this as the plot. An Earth Kingdom General tries to help Aang reach the Avatar State... by tormenting him. The fort where this happens gets smashed to pieces.
  • "Pepper! Stop Helping!!"
  • In 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.
  • One episode of Captain Planet had an annoying little boy who was 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.

Real Life

  • Anyone who has ever had a hypochondriac for a friend has probably felt this way at some point.
  • Many an EMT or firefighter has at least thought this when someone untrained, unfortunately frequently a cop, attempts to "help". No, grabbing the suspected spinal injury victim by the arm and trying to pull him to his feet to move him isn't optimal, thank you.
  • Backseat Drivers. Ironically, constantly needling the driver actually makes them so nervous they're more likely to be in an accident. You've had one. Panicky parents who are screaming at already-nervous teenagers are especially bad.