What drives those characters who pick up the pieces left for others? And are they doing this deliberately or have they somehow got in the way? I always felt sorry for the three bears in Goldilocks as they were left to pick up the pieces literally!
That reminds me that picking the pieces up usually has obvious tragic implications but can you use it for comedy too? I think so. How do your characters cope with being laughed at? Does it lighten mood or raise tensions?