10 Times Men Did Stuff With No Prior Training and You Never Called Them A Mary Sue

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

Tim Drake Robin by Tom Grummett (C) DC COMICS

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

The Flash 1990 (C) DC

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

Iron Man 2008 (C) Marvel Studios

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.

Indiana Jones and The Raiders Of The Lost Ark 1981 (C) Lucasfilm

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.

6. Neo

The Matrix 1998 (C) Warner Brothers

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

Karate Kid 1984 (C) Columbia Films

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

Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone 2001 (C) Warner Brothers

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

Spider-Man 3 2007 (C) Sony Pictures

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

Star Wars Attack Of The Clones 2002 (C) Lucasfilm

This guy. He’s a nine-year-old who can build and fly a spaceship. ‘Nuff said.


1. Luke Skywalker

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back (C) Lucasfilm

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.

So there we have it! All your faves are undeserving, women are allowed fantasies too, and your terrible hot takes are terrible. Thank you and good night.

Rosie Knight

Rosie Knight

writer. fake geek girl. makes comics, occasionally sells some.

4 thoughts on “10 Times Men Did Stuff With No Prior Training and You Never Called Them A Mary Sue

  1. Rosie… none of these… you don’t… frak. Ok – the pbm w Rey is only half Rey – like so: 1) Have your main baddie disappear the prev chapter’s hero (Luke), stop a plasma bolt, and take stuff out of people’s minds (which D. Vader needed a little CIA torture-drone to do – and still failed.) 2) Set up your heroine as a no-nonsense srsly talented force user! Awesome. 3) Have a treasured char killed by the BBad – only to be Dominated DOM ee NATed – by … the plucky heroine? Not outsmarted. Not force-with-her skin-of-teeth win – just dunked on. It just didn’t WORK!
    The examples u give – i don’t know them all, but Harry Potter? What does he do better than true-prodigy Hermione besides the Patronus?
    Luke – can’t save his family OR mentor, force-lucks the win on the DeathStar, ultimately sa ed by his dad! So… yeah.
    Rey is awesome, that win was one of a few Irksome mistakes in plotting.

  2. I’d like to add Batman for everything he’s ever done since the release of The Dark Knight Returns.

  3. Damn right. Also Sherlock Holmes discovered Batman secret identity before Tim Drake… so Timmy is better than Batman and just as good as Sherlock Holmes. What a good boy.

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