Anyone who has watched the television shows CHUCK or 24 will have noticed a recurring motif in both of the shows: the appearance of a particular character foreshadows (sometimes immediately) trouble that befalls the heroes. And this sort of trouble isn’t in the traditional sense that they are the antagonists. No, these characters function as, essentially, damsels in distress, so to speak. So, without further ado, we shall have a competition to see who can cause more trouble, CIA operative Bryce Larkin or Kim Bauer! (Warning, SPOILERS for both shows)
The former, Bryce Larkin, is first introduced in CHUCK in the beginning of the very first episode, where he is being pursued by Adam Baldwin’s character John Casey, who shoots and and appears to fatally wound Larkin, but not before he could send an email to the title character and main protagonist, Chuck Bartowski. Later, we find that this email contains a program known as the INTERSECT, which sets the show in motion. (It could be argued that, indirectly, everything in the show is caused by him, but for the purposes of this “Fight of the Week! Crossover!” only direct consequences will be examined). First, in chronological order, Bryce, along with a professor at Stanford, work together to get Chuck expelled with the purpose of protecting him, but this in fact causes his life to spiral off-track, as he goes from a future Stanford grad to a longtime Buymore employee. Later, after it is revealed Bryce was alive and captive by FULCRUM agents, Team Bartowski has to rescue him, as FULCRUM agents believe Larkin has the INTERSECT instead of CHUCK. Larkin also appears at the wedding of Chuck’s sister, prompting a confrontation with Ted Roark. Throughout the show, Bryce gets between the developing relationship between Chuck and Sarah, as he was Sarah’s partner before working as Chuck’s handler. In his last appearance, he is trying to download the INTERSECT 2.0 (the “fighting Intersect”), but requires rescue in order to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Ring.
Kim Bauer, the daughter of the 24 protagonist Jack Bauer, gets herself into more trouble than any other character on the show. When a character reveals she is coming to meet with Jack, viewers cringe in fear of what is going to happen to her. This is first established in the very first season, where she spends the first quarter of the season held captive by two seedy appearing guys whom she thought were her and her friend’s dates and then most of the rest of the season captured, along with her mother, by terrorists attempting to assassinate Senator Palmer. In another season, she is being chased by her employer who hired her to be the nanny for his daughter. This goes on and off for most of the season, from early on when she takes his daughter to protect her to again later on in the show after he kills his wife and chases her again. In day 3, Kim is held hostage by someone believed to be working with the terrorists (although we find out that he is actually working for CTU as a double agent). Later, right after Kim arrives in CTU, it is hit with Cyntox gas. Coincidence? I think not.
The main difference in trouble making capacity between Kim and Bryce is that Kim causes disasters that inhibit the major plot solutions whereas Bryce inadvertently brings about the solutions. For example, in the respective first seasons, Kim is captured by the terrorists in order to get Jack to be the trigger man for the attempt on Senator Palmer’s life, whereas Bryce sends Chuck the INTERSECT which causes the ultimate betterment of his life, even though it is hectic and stressful at times. If the definition of trouble making is trouble with a purely negative result, Kim wins by a landslide. If it is trouble making with greater significance, Bryce claims victory.