My friend C-Will recently sent me a link to this article. The question is:
You're in a tight spot, it doesn't look hopeful. Who do you want to have with you?
a) John McClane
b) Jack Bauer
c) Indiana Jones
e) Lara Croft
f) Jason Bourne
According to the article, MacGuyver won the poll. But I think there's a better answer.
Initially, I've got to look at the mortality rate of those around the heroes. I'm ruling out Jack Bauer right away because almost all the people he cares about are killed. The odds of surviving with Jason Bourne are only about 50/50.
Odds of surviving with the rest are pretty good, so then it's a matter of looking at how much each had to deal with and how they were able to get out of it. I would rank MacGuyver at the lowest level of danger and a high level of suspension of disbelief. So, translate that to the real world, is he going to have the experience to get me out of a tough scrape and is he going to be able to use his usual tricks in real life? I'm going to say no and rule him out.
I'd put Lara Croft (movie version according to the article) at the next highest level of danger and then Indiana Jones at a level slightly higher than her. However, both have a supernatural/sci-fi element to their stories that also may not translate to the real world. It's hard to give either the edge because of that.
John McClane has certainly been through the most dangerous circumstances of anyone on the list and come out with the most surviving companions. So, with that in mind, I choose John McClane as my answer to the question. Indy would be my second choice.
Some other ideas...you don't want to be in a tight spot with Captain Kirk, Ripley from the Alien movies, and probably not James Bond. You'd be in good shape if you were in a tight spot with the good Terminator from T2 or T3, most of the super heroes (Superman, Batman, Spider-Man), and The A-Team. Also, if you are an old friend of Captain Picard, you might want to renounce that friendship. My dad and I used to joke about how many "old friends" of Picard's used to get killed on the show.