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I'm thinking of a person who is accepted as part of a social group despite being annoying, awkward, slow, or otherwise undesirable. As a trope, this person tends to fall victim to the whims of others in the group, often serving as a scapegoat, a punching bag, or a prop in an unfavorable comparison with someone else in the group.

I like punching bag but I'm wondering if there's something that more specifically references that this person is accepted for the fact that they make everyone else look good.

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  • How about sap or fall guy?
    – Mamta D
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 5:31
  • Lightweight, patsy, stooge, laughingstock Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 5:33

3 Answers 3

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Such a person is playing the role of "foil" to others. Thereby making them look good.

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There's the example of the DUFF, which is designated ugly fat friend. Their main role is to make the rest of the people of the same sex in the group look more attractive by contrast.

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Fall guy or whipping boy. Fall guy seems to have a wide range of meanings.

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  • 2
    Fall guys take the blame for others' transgressions. They're not necessarily "annoying, awkward, slow," and they don't necessarily make others look good. They merely keep the blameworthy out of trouble.
    – deadrat
    Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 9:50
  • 3
    Please add a proper explanation as to why either of these phrases is a good option. At the moment you're posting an answer for someone who already knows the answer. You need to write answers as if the person asking doesn't already know the answer. Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 15:26

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