In The Mummy Returns, there is a henchman that gets lucky number of times when he dodges a blade/shot meant for him, just to watch another henchman behind him take the hit.

Is there a name for such characters that play a non-essential role but yet add quite a flair to scenes?

In each scene where he dodges the inevitable it is quite noticeable yet the actor never says a line until his demise, where he is paired with a luckier one than him and his luck runs out.

  • 7
    My first instinct is "comedy relief" but it's not quite on point.
    – Paulie_D
    Nov 26, 2019 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


It sounds like a few tropes are in effect here, though I can't find a single term that encompasses all of them.

He is lucky that he's wearing Plot Armor that protects him from the other bad guys.

The element of luck is Lampshaded because it's always noticeable.

And yet his luck runs out in the end, which could be an example of Chekhov's Gag:

The fact that this secondary character keeps getting lucky needs to have a payoff, otherwise why should the audience care, over, and over again? By killing him, the joke (I guess is) that his luck ran out.

As a side note, it reminds me of a similar moment in Saving Private Ryan where a soldier takes a shot to his helmet, and others comment on how lucky he was/is. He then takes off his helmet and is promptly shot again, this time fatally. Similar to The Mummy, there was a setup and a pay-off.

I think ultimately, he's just an Unlucky Extra.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .