Mary Sue. Once just a type of fancy kids shoe, but now a horrifying term that men throw around anytime a woman in film seems vaguely capable of anything. Are you a cool space wizard who’s good with a laser sword? Great! Unless you’re a woman, because that is totally unrealistic dude.
With the release of the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer, the misogynistic hot takes are already burning holes in our souls, and to be honest I’ve had enough. So I compiled a list of beloved male characters who constantly do outrageous stuff with no training or story explanation that for some strange reason–it’s because they’re men–men on the internet never get outraged about. So, without further ado, I present…
Ten Times Men Did Stuff With No Prior Training and You Never Called Them A Mary Sue
10. Tim Drake, a.k.a. Robin
Oh, Tim Drake, how tough it must be to be you. Absolutely no-one’s favourite Robin. You don’t have a great butt, you’re not dead, you’re not a woman, and you’re not even Batman’s real son. But what you ARE is unbelievably lucky, because, low and behold, like some untold Mary Sue, you just appear one day and discover that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Like no one else has ever found that out, not one of the villains, not the police and you’re just a kid who happens upon this fact. You out detectived the world’s greatest detective. Well done, but you broke my suspension of disbelief, so fuck you tbh.
9. Barry Allen, a.k.a. The Flash
Hey! Hey you, Barry Allen. Did you have a good time at forensic science school? What was your favourite class? I’m guessing it was “How to fit my human sized suit into a tiny ring 101,” because otherwise HOW THE FUCK DID YOU COME UP WITH THAT? Seemingly just being fast also makes you incredibly talented at finding ways to fit stuff into really small places. I’m just pretty sure that that would never happen in real life.
8. Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man
I must have missed the part in his origin story where being a weapons manufacturer trains you to also be super good at knowing how to fly and shoot beams out of your hands in a robot suit. Also, how did he learn how to make that robot suit, huh? I never saw him being trained in robotics. Last time I saw a bomb, it didn’t just randomly turn into an autonomous robot suit. Sorry bros.
7. Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr.
This colonial motherfucker. One, he’s a creep who bangs his students. GROSS. Two, he steals things from indigenous populations so they can be put in museums! Three, when did this jumped up school professor get any kind of formal training as a world-renowned thief? The only flashback we get is when he’s young and falls in some snakes on a plane train, plus he doesn’t even actually get to keep the thing that he steals. Useless.
Look, I know that at some point he plugs a wire into his head and programmes a bunch of new information into his brain, but if we’re buying that as a valid training technique then you can all shut up about Rey and the Force. So anyway, this random hacker guy makes friends with some people who’re really into long leather jackets and suddenly he can jump across buildings, dodge bullets, and do it better than all the people who’ve been doing it for years? NOPE.
5. Daniel From Karate Kid
Ah, Daniel Larusso, an OG Mary Sue. Gets bullied at school, washes some cars, paints a fence, and suddenly he’s the king of karate. Winning the entire tournament. Against all these kids who’ve actually worked really hard for years. Plus he wears a black belt when he has no formal training, which is completely disrespectful. ALSO, THE CRANE KICK ISN’T REAL. God Daniel.
4. Harry “The Boy Who Lived” Potter
Firstly, let’s talk about the fact this fool is celebrated simply for BEING ALIVE. Literally just not dying. Already being hyped from when he was a baby. Spoiled little rich kid, has a bank full of money, and is a teacher’s pet. Magically manages to free a snake from the zoo, which canonically makes no sense, because literally no one taught him how to do that, certainly not those muggles that he lived with. Totally unrealistic tbh. Only made it through school cos of the intellectual and emotional labour of his black female friend Hermione. Truly a wasteman with no talent.
3. Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man
Marvel’s favourite undeserving hero. You never see Peter attend Spider School. He gets bitten by a spider, and suddenly, he’s great at all kinds of stuff that they never gave him a background in: wrestling, fighting, and even being a talented seamstress. What a joke. How am I meant to take this guys power set seriously?
2. Anakin Skywalker, a.k.a. Darth Vader
This guy. He’s a nine-year-old who can build and fly a spaceship. ‘Nuff said.
*DRUM ROLL PLEASE*
1. Luke Skywalker
The original Mary Sue. This whiny baby lived on a farm doing nothing but moaning, leeching off his aunt, and supping on sweet blue milk. He could barely walk in a straight line before old Ben, “I know this guy is your dad, but I’m not gunna tell you, plus you should kill him” Kenobi showed up and suddenly Luke is blindfolded hitting floating balls with a brand new laser sword. I call bullshit.