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As a result, he holds off on stopping most crimes and natural disasters; his general philosophy is that if humanity can handle it on their own, he's going to let them try. This is arguably Lex Luthor 's beef with Superman In Superman: Red Son , wherein a communist Superman had no problems with using his abilities to prevent every bad thing possible from each according to his abilities and all that , people did indeed grow too reliant upon him to solve all their problems.

Eventually cars stopped being manufactured with seatbelts — the citizens expected Superman to save them if they got into a wreck. Ironically enough, Lex Luthor opposed him on those grounds in that reality, too. Superman : You could have saved the world years ago if it had mattered to you. Professor Gordon : Say you were somewhere really out of the way, Miss Lane. In Zaire. In the abandoned shaft of a diamond mine. The mine caved in. You had about an hour's supply of air. Absolutely no one knew where you were, and even if they did there would be no chance of getting you out in time.

What goes through your mind? Lois Lane : I wish Superman would stop stalling. I've got a deadline to meet. Rorschach : The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us! The Trope Namer song is immensely popular for fan-made music videos Two Halves : Naruto calls out an entire clan of Bare Fisted Monks on waiting for someone to come along and solve their problems , when they can just as easily fix their own problems.

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In The Bridge , Princess Celestia worries that this has happened, that she's protected and coddled her citizens for so long that they always depend on her or a hero to protect them and solve their problems. Justified in Venus Flash : when the Japanese police discovers that Panther Claw has returned they're ordered to stop investigating by corrupt politicians with the excuse that the organization has already been destroyed and investigating on an alleged return would cause panic, hence why superintendent-general Sakurada gets Sailor V's help. Sakurada is also savvy about the consequences of being overreliant on a superhero, given that her request is not to take care of the organization but to find evidence that Panther Claw is back , thus allowing the police to intervene.

This trope drives the four crazy in The Keys Stand Alone : The Soft World , because they're always being asked to do something heroic that the city guards really should have done, such as search for a missing citizen or rescue a kidnapped baby. The official excuse is usually that the guards are not empowered to do much outside the cities proper, or that the gods themselves chose the four to perform this heroic deed. Eventually they start refusing every request they get and pointing at other nearby outworlders who could do the job. Films — Animated.

Megamind deconstructs this trope by showing the effects of the mentality on the various parties involved when it seens the Villain Protagonist Megamind kills off the Hero Antagonist Metro Man: For the citizens of Metro City, they're so dependent on the hero to solve their problems that when the hero's no longer around, there's no one brave enough to stand up to the eponymous villain. For Megamind though, he is absolutely demoralized due to the fact that everything's so easy for him now that the hero's no longer around and practically everyone else is too cowardly to oppose him.

Moreover though, he suffers an existential crisis because he has defined himself as a villain since childhood he was raised in a prison albeit Happily Adopted and his antagonism with Metro Man happened since they were children. As such, he has no idea what to do with his life after he wins. In a deseperate attempt to alliviate this, Megamind gives someone else superpowers in an effort to find someone who'll challenge him, and when the newcomer kicks his ass, everyone flocks toward their new 'hero' Titan — unfortunately for them and Megamind , they haven't considered the possibility that someone having superpowers and beating up a villain doesn't mean they're not a potentially worse villain.

As for Metro Man himself? Turns out that he had been suffering his own existential crisis over whether his life was defined over what people want him to do as a hero that he came up with a plan to fake his death.

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Lampshaded in The LEGO Batman Movie : during Jim Gordon's time as commissioner, he seems to have responded to every problem by simply turning on the bat-signal, to the point he carries the remote for it and pantomimes pressing the button when accepting applause, indicating that this was his signature response. When Barbara Gordon takes over for him, she points out that Batman has simply not been enough, and that Gotham has the highest crime rate in the world.

In Incredibles 2 Winston and Evelyn's father chose to try calling the superheroes for help when his house was being burgled and was gunned down as a result. Evelyn notes that had he taken the more sensible route of hiding in the house's dedicated safe room, he would have been fine.

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Evelyn becomes a jaded cynical individual and later a supervillain, who blames superheroes as a result for her dad's death, believing that their presence was what led to him making his choice. Films — Live-Action. The first step was to have Hancock turn himself in for his vigilante actions and reckless destruction.

The purpose was twofold; it first gave showed that he was willing to own up to his actions and show the city he was not above the law. The second purpose was to show how things would be like if he wasn't around. According to Ray, he believes the city takes Hancock for granted and it turns out he's correct given how without a super-powered Cowboy Cop like Hancock around, crime skyrockets and eventually the chief of police calls, thus beginning Hancock's wrk with them Justified by Hancock being a powerful deterrent by his powers and him not afraid to put cheap shots.

Hell, when the criminals he put in prison try to harass him during his time there, he threatens two that if they don't back off, he will put one's head in the other's ass It's implied in Hot Fuzz that pretty much the only thing stopping London's crime rate from spiraling completely out of control is P. C Nicholas Angel And then he turns them down anyway. Lampshaded in The Meteor Man. When the hero learns that his powers shut down for a time if he uses them too much, the entire community expresses their disappointment in him and decides to surrender to the Golden Lords.

The hero then calls out all of his followers turned detractors, saying that they had no right to say he hadn't done enough to stop the gangs when they had done nothing. This shames the entire community into pulling a Big Damn Heroes moment during the final battle. Spider-Man Trilogy : The first Spider-Man movie features the song "Hero", by Chad Kroeger , which mentions this trope: And they say that a hero can save us I'm not going to stand here and wait. In Animorphs , while they try to slow the invasion on their own, the kids spend the better part of the series waiting for Andalite rescue.

And waiting. And waiting They finally go on the true offensive when they realize that not only is no rescue coming, but the Andalites have just decided to blow up the Earth, sacrificing the humans to kill the Yeerk forces on the planet. In Dragon Bones , the dwarves, after the dragons vanished which negatively affects the dwarves just sit around and twiddle their thumbs, and are only motivated to take action when one of them has a prophetic dream about a chosen one. In their defense, they didn't know what made the dragons disappear, and as it turned out in the end, only one of the Hurog family could do something about the problem.

Of course, instead of sending a son to work as valet in Hurog to keep an eye on the family , they could have sent a spy to find out what was wrong. On the other hand there aren't many half-dwarves who can pass as human, and Axiel might have done some spying, he doesn't tell. In the Tower and the Hive installment Pegasus in Flight , Russia used an old law to forcefully draft the entire group of telekinetic talents.

This caused a problem with some factories that were not upto safety regulations because these telekinetics were not available to assist in planet-side accidents. In Tales of an Mazing Girl , Sarah occasionally agonizes over the effects that her superpowers including the superpuppetry skills she learned at Cal Arts from one of the original Muppet creators have on the world and how they become dependent on her doing its dirty work.

The Worthing Saga deals with this issue. An entire planet of telepaths and telekinetics has, from altruistic motives , eliminated pain on all the worlds. They heal any injuries instantly, they block grief at death which is only from old age , etc. They finally figure out this has turned all of mankind into slaves, and commit mass suicide. Of course then when Pain returns, no one is equipped to deal with it Sort of used in the sixth Sword of Truth book, when Richard decides that if he continues to force the fight against the Imperial Order with his amazing super-powers, he will cause his people to become what he is fighting to protect them from.

The premise of John Ringo 's Council Wars series is that humanity well, the lazy dregs left on Earth anyway has become utterly dependent on the all powerful AI Mother, and when that goes away they revert to panicked barbarism. This happens to John Galt in Atlas Shrugged , when the economy is about to collapse and the government asks for his help. He refuses. Ultimately, it's why most of the heroes stop trying to save people, leaving them to save themselves.

Andre Norton 's The Crossroads of Time offered this as part of the explanation for the Wardsmen's non-interference directive: "We must not lend crutches and so produce cripples. It turns out the aliens invading the planet are also the ones who created all the comic-style heroes and villains in the world. They did so banking on this trope , figuring humanity would get complacent and not bother developing defenses capable of repelling an alien invasion because if anything like that ever happened the superheroes would take care of it for them, and thus the human race would be defenseless when their heroes turned out to be under the enemy's control.

They were right. Invoked in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Hagrid tells Harry that the reason wizards hide from the normal world is precisely to avoid this trope. People would request magical assistance for all their problems, so they'd never advance on their own. It's certainly demonstrated that it works in a roundabout way: magical society has become so dependent on their own abilities that its technology became stale centuries ago, and people who are born without magical powers squibs are either forced to live with normal people muggles or relegated to menial jobs, while being dependent on others for such normal things as transport.

In Renegades , this is Nova's main problem with the eponymous superheroes: because the Renegades promise that they will take care of all the problems and protect everyone, no-one is trying to solve any of Gatlon City's innumerable issues on their own. People aren't interested in learning medicine because there are prodigies with Healing Hands ; the economy is near-stagnant because Renegades make money by selling their skills abroad; the police force is non-existent because Renegades patrol the streets; and no-one's bothered about the city turning into a well-meaning, but still dictature, because everyone assumes the Renegades will take care of everything.

Live-Action TV.


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Averted in Doctor Who episode "Turn Left": The episode shows an alternate timeline where the Doctor ends up dying and thus the Earth is robbed of its greatest protector in a hostile universe. However, humanity wasn't sitting around waiting for a hero but instead successfully fought off several threats that were defeated by the Doctor in the original timeline. Unfortunately, the methods and means used resulted in huge casualties that added up and led to devastating consequences. Buffy the Vampire Slayer : In one episode, Jonathan casts a spell to make himself into a badass so great that the whole town worships the ground he walks on, and everyone remembers things as if Jonathan had always been that way.

One consequence is that Buffy is less strong and confident than normal, since she remembers Jonathan rather than herself saving the town. It stands to reason that the Muggles must have suffered a similar loss of self-reliance. In general, Buffy tends to rely on this — it's hinted that most people in Sunnydale are aware of what's going on but choose to pretend to be oblivious in the hope that someone else will take care of it , and anyone who is aware of the town's "secret" other than the hero and her friends and actually does something about it is generally a malevolent schemer with their own sinister plans.


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Furthermore, in the early seasons especially, much is made of the necessity for keeping Buffy's mission a secret without it ever being made clear why this is necessary, especially not to fill in Buffy's mom on what's happening. In fact, Sunnydale was created as a subversion of this trope, as a place for demons to feed, with their police and such kept deliberately incompetent and with an extra-strength masquerade.

When others step up and try to help, they're rarely punished for it, though told they shouldn't. That Buffy empowers people around her is part of the premise and shows up in the pilot, with Willow standing up for herself, and at the end of the series with the use of the scythe. Of course, part of her de-evolution into a person that the rest of the Scoobies can barely tolerate and later kick out of her own house so they and The Potential Slayers can train in peace during the last season is her getting this mentality in her brain, with her being the "hero" in question, and becoming The Neidermeyer because of it.

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The plot simultaneously tried to preach the strength to stand against the drug dealer A similar episode had another teacher, this time a student of Walker, stand up to and thoroughly trounce three gangbangers who had barged into his classroom and started harassing one of his students Apparently only Walker's martial arts can stop crime. This is taken to almost absurd proportions in one episode of Xena: Warrior Princess. Xena and her entourage enter a town just in time for a feud between two noble houses to erupt into all-out war, with a tragic, bloody conclusion.

But then, a "Groundhog Day" Loop starts, which threatens to start the battle again. Xena tries everything to stop the loop; she tries getting the two families to make peace, and succeeds , but that doesn't stop it; she makes them angry enough at her to get them to stop fighting , but still, the loop happens. Finally, a young man tells her why it's happening: he and the daughter of the opposing house were Star-Crossed Lovers , and mades a deal with Cupid to have the day repeat itself until he finds a way to keep his lover from killing herself and their families from killing each other; until a "Hero would come along to save [the girl], make peace between the houses and end the loop.

Tuck : The Lord helps those who helps themselves, Robin. This sporting life. Stage and screen. Birds and the bees. Are all heroes heroic? Denis Till, London, UK A hero is someone who gives of himself, often putting his own life at great risk, for the greater good of others. However, such as in war situations, what is good for others will always divide opinion into opposing camps. Think Mother Teressa or Ghandi. The word "hero" is far too often applied these days without much thought. The Doctor: Yeah! And doesn't that scare you to death?

Rose: Yes, Doctor? The Doctor: I'm coming to get you. Most deserve to be forgotten. The heroes will always be remembered. The best. The best and the worst. And a few who were a bit of both. Martin, A Feast for Crows. He's dirty and he does his best to deny the fact that he's a hero the whole time. They're just braver 5 minutes longer.

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And if they did, I wouldn't be one of them. I am Aragorn son of Arathorn; and if by life or death I can save you, I will. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring. No one is chosen. Not ever. Not in the real world. You chose to climb out of your window and ride on a leopard.

You chose not to let the Marquess hurt your friend--you chose to smash her cages! You chose to face your own Death, not to balk at a great sea to cross and no ship to cross it in. And twice now you have chosen not to go home when you might have, if only you abandoned your friends. You are not the chosen one, September. Fairyland did not choose you--you chose yourself. You chose. You chose it all. Just like you chose your path on the beach: to lose your heart is not a path for the faint and fainting.

I like my heroes complicated and brooding, James Dean in oiled leather, leaning on a motorcycle. You know the color. There are no good Epics.