Fiction is littered with teams of individuals who collectively kick more ass than an abusive donkey farmer. While teamwork, as they say, makes the dream work, some of these teams could probably get by with only a single member who makes the rest of their teams seem obsolete with their skills, abilities, and general ability to get the job done. For example…
10. Why Does Legolas Need the Fellowship of the Ring?
Like any good RPG party, the Fellowship of the Ring is comprised of characters with complementary skills. Aragorn is the warrior, Gandalf is the white mage, and Legolas is the immortal, nigh-unkillable elven god-king. Though at first glance Legolas appears to simply be an archer, throughout the films he displays a number of superhuman abilities that make him infinitely more capable and effective than any of his teammates.
Legolas can run forever, is light enough to walk on snow, has eyes that function like binoculars, and can kill a giant rampaging elephant beast singlehandedly. While his age is never stated in either the films or books, it’s estimated that he is somewhere in the region of several thousand years old, meaning he also has literal millenniums worth of battle experience and knowledge that nobody ever thinks to take advantage of. Legolas is a walking SWAT team, capable of murdering a small army on his own, and is swift and agile enough to outrun or simply sneak around any potential threat. Which begs the question: What possible use could he have for human or dwarven allies?
Hobbits are said to be naturally sneaky and great at remaining unseen, which complements Legolas’ ability to nail an orc through the eyes with an arrow from 8 football fields away, but why would he bother traveling with a dwarf in heavy plate armor that admits to being useless at traveling long distances, when the whole point of the journey is to travel hundreds of miles? The Fellowship should have simply given the ring to Legolas and watched him rage-sprint his way to Mount Doom to shoot it directly into the heart of the volcano while giving Sauron the elven equivalent of the finger.
9. Does Optimus Prime Really Need the Autobots?
Optimus Prime is the wizened leader of the Autobots, a team of giant and kind of dumb looking robots who, throughout the course of the live action Transformers movies, suck more than the actual series itself. Seriously, go back and watch the films (we did, and we regret not drinking more). Optimus Prime is the only competent member of the Autobots. Every significant victory comes as a direct result of Optimus whipping out his flaming arm blades and carving through the Decepticons like they’re made of testicle-warm butter.
In the second movie Optimus takes out the three most powerful Decepticons on his own after being shot through the chest with a giant arm-cannon, while apparently being fueled by nothing more than rage and the desire to perform a 30 hit combo on Megatron’s face. This exact same thing happens in every movie: the Autobots lose and Optimus Prime responds by singlehandedly punch-stabbing everything in his way until there’s nothing left. It’s no wonder Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots, but the real question is: Why isn’t he the leader of everything when it’s clear nothing can stop him? Hell, in the new movie coming out this year they’ve just gone ahead and made Optimus the villain, just so he can fight the only opponent apparently worthy of his skills: himself.
8. Tommy Oliver Could Do Without the Power Rangers
There’s a lot of Power Rangers media out there, and a lot of it is stupid. So for this one we’re just going to focus on the first season of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and the first live action movie. In these it is established that Tommy Oliver, the Green (and later White) Ranger is, by a wide margin, the best member of the entire team.
As both the Green and White Ranger, Oliver is clearly more powerful than even the combined might of his teammates. He has cooler armor, his zord is a giant Godzilla-sized dragon that can compete with the Megazord, and when he dons his white armor, he gets access to a magic sword that flies. In the live-action Power Rangers movie it’s also established that Tommy’s ninja-zord (just roll with it) has missiles that instantly destroy a giant, building-sized robot that had previously held it’s own against two of his teammates. So, why doesn’t any other Zord have access to this kind of firepower? It clearly works and nobody ever comments on the fact Oliver vanquishes their most powerful foe to date from 10 blocks away with a single button press.
7. Mace Windu Doesn’t Exactly Need Backup… Like, Ever
The Jedi are basically space-wizard-samurai, and while every Jedi is a skilled combatant, they tend to specialize in different disciplines and there is a definite hierarchy in terms of sheer combat prowess. Firmly atop this list is Mace Windu.
Skilled in a style of lightsaber combat known for its unpredictability, Windu is known in Star Wars canon for being the most ferociously terrifying master of slapping people to death with lasers swords in the universe. Windu defeated the Dark Lord of the Sith in a one-on-one duel and only lost when he was betrayed by Anakin Skywalker, proving that his only real weakness is other people, since if Anakin hadn’t been there, Windu would have likely drop-kicked the elderly space-racist Emperor out of a nearby window and used his bright purple lightsaber to write insulting messages in the air as he fell.
6. Groot is the Only Guardian the Galaxy Needs
Despite having a vocabulary of only three words, one of which is his own name, Groot, the sentient tree-man from Marvel’s biggest surprise hit is actually supposedly pretty smart in the comics. In addition, Groot is among the strongest individuals in the Marvel universe, possesses a near impervious hide, and is functionally immortal – provided a single sprig of his gigantic tree-like form survives whatever damage he sustains.
Which makes it kind of odd that the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t the invincible tree-man who physically cannot die, but the human with a gun and a cool mask. This isn’t to say that the Guardians of the Galaxy aren’t a force to be reckoned with, it’s just that Groot is clearly the member who needs the least help. Hell, in the live action film he takes out a small force of soldiers by stabbing them with his fist and punching them all at the same time. Why bother risking everyone’s life to steal that Infinity Stone when the immortal tree creature, who can grab things from 200 feet away, was standing next to you?
5. Dobby is More Useful Than Any Member of the Order of the Phoenix
In the Harry Potter series, on their quest to destroy wizard-Hitler, Harry and friends reform the Order of the Phoenix, a collection of wizards intent on stopping Voldemort, armed with only their wits (…and unlimited magical power). Truly an underdog story for the ages.
The thing is, most every member of the Order, save for perhaps Dumbledore, is completely outclassed in terms of power and ability by Dobby the house elf, begging the question: Why didn’t Harry just ask him for help all the time? Think about it for a second. Dobby is shown to be capable of disarming witches as powerful as Bellatrix Lestrange (Voldermort’s most trusted lieutenant and presumably his best duelist) with a simple click of his fingers. No other wizard in the entire series is shown to have that kind of power and nobody ever thinks to ask Dobby, or even Harry’s other house elf which is literally forced to obey his every command, to help or assist them in any way until it’s their last resort.
Dobby can teleport anywhere (and charms that prevent wizards from teleporting certain places, including Hogwarts itself, don’t apply to house elves), can remain totally unseen if he wants, and most impressive of all is shown in the second book and film in the series to be capable of blasting back Lucius Malfoy as he’s about to cast the killing curse. For anyone unfamiliar with Harry Potter canon, the killing curse is effective 100% of the time and there is no known defense for it, save for having someone sacrifice their life for you moments before it hits… and Dobby casually waves it away with a flick of his wrist. Dobby is the ultimate trump card for every conceivable situation and is made doubly useful when you consider the evil wizards in the story see elves as subhuman, and thus don’t consider them a threat.
The only reason (SPOILER) Dobby dies is because someone stabs him. If Harry had given him a flak jacket instead of a sock, the series would have ended after the fourth book with Dobby tea-bagging the remnants of Voldermort’s soul while levitating his giant snake into a blender.
4. Cortana Could Probably Save the World without Master Chief
For most of the Halo games, you, the player, take control of Master Chief, a faceless embodiment of humanity’s justice boner, capable of effortlessly slaughtering hundreds of cowering alien foes. Supporting you through most games is Cortana, a sentient artificial intelligence who helps with things like opening doors and checking your email. Initially it would seem like you are the most useful member of the team, until you realize Cortana probably doesn’t need you all that much.
For most of the games, Master Chief basically functions as a glorified USB drive, physically taking Cortana from place to place so she can solve the problem. She can hack any known human or alien system, has an infinite potential for learning, and has no physical form, meaning she is immune to harm. Master Chief may be a crackshot with a battle rifle, but Cortana could just as easily destroy the same enemies he shoots by wirelessly shutting down the life support in their suits, making their guns explode in their hands, or taking command of a ship in orbit and having it crash directly into them at mach 3. The possibilities are endless.
Even if she didn’t have you, the player, to cart her holographic ass around, she could probably upload herself to a robot body or cruise missile and just fly to the destination needed before emailing herself to safety. Then again, that wouldn’t make for a very fun game.
3. Raphael is the Only Ninja Turtle You Need
We’re guessing that most of the people reading this had a favorite Ninja Turtle as a kid and would argue at length about why their turtle was best, so we’re going to go right ahead and explain why Raphael is the only reasonable choice. At least in the live-action Michael Bay movies, anyway.
Like with their cartoon counterparts, the live-action Ninja Turtles are shown to have conflicting personalities and complementary skills that make them all more useful than each other in certain situations. An idea that is certainly interesting, but is largely moot when the only situation the heroes in a half-shell ever seem to encounter is ninjas. As a result, the best turtle is objectively the strongest one, and that is clearly Raphael.
Along with being the physically largest turtle, in the Bay movies Raphael blocks hits from Robo-Shredder with what basically amount to forks, is capable of physically lifting and throwing grown men across the room, and kicks Robo-Shredder so hard he flies 20 feet through the air. The Ninja Turtles are undeniably a great team, but only one member is ever shown to be able to whup as much ass on his own.
2. Reed Richards Doesn’t Need the Fantastic Four… or Anyone, Really
Fun fact: In Marvel Canon, Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, is regarded as one of the single most intelligent people in the entire universe, supposedly only being outclassed by Doctor Doom (who is really in a league of his own).
During his tenure as a comic character, Richards has invented dozens of world-changing devices from universal translators to an actual time machine. In the comics he also uses his dong to make a child called Franklin Richards, who can warp reality at will and travels to other dimensions and encounters other versions of himself in possession of an infinity gauntlet, a device that makes the wears the equivalent of a god.
The thing is, Richards never actually does anything with all this world-changing tech. He could have cured super-cancer in his sleep and ended world hunger with a gun that fires sandwiches, but, just… doesn’t. This is such a running joke that Richards is the basis of a trope pointing out how a guy who calls himself “Mr. Fantastic” actually kind of sucks at helping people. So while it’s evident he doesn’t actually need the help of a guy who can set himself on fire or a man made of rocks, he probably wouldn’t do anything differently if they weren’t there anyway.
1. Bugs Bunny Could Have Solved Space Jam in Seven Minutes
We’re not going to insult anyone by pretending that there’s a person reading this who isn’t familiar with Space Jam. Michael Jordan dunks on a bunch of aliens with the help of Bugs Bunny and the other Looney Tunes. ‘Nuff said.
Here’s the thing, though: According to the closest thing the Looney Tunes world has to a god, Chuck Jones, the entire plot of Space Jam was unnecessary because in his opinion, Bugs Bunny could have solved the entire thing in the space of a normal 7 minute short. Now, Jones never explained exactly how Bugs would have bested an entire team of monsters infused with b-ball energy on his own in a game of basketball, but considering his pedigree and the fact he spent four decades writing Looney Tunes stories, we’re just going to take his word for it that it would have been glorious.
So yeah, the film the internet has possibly the biggest hard-on for was, according to the guy who had the most authority to say so, unnecessary, out of character, and nowhere near as awesome as it could have been if he’d been allowed to write it. Now that is a sentence that’s going to ruin some childhoods.