Created By: piemanpie24 on October 30, 2012 Last Edited By: piemanpie24 on December 28, 2012

Those Who Can't Do, Teach

When a mentor is physically unable to do the things that they teach

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When a mentor or teacher is physically unable to do the things that they teach due to a disability or lack of powers, etc.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • October 30, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    • In Paolini's Inheritance Cycle both of Eragon's mentors are unable to help him fully. The first had his dragon die, rendering his incapable of fighting with his dragon. The second, has both himself and his dragon crippled.
  • October 31, 2012
    aurora369
    Aahz the Pervect from Asprin's Myth series of books. By the start of Skeeve's adventures, Aahz has lost his ability to do magic. Instead, he opts to teach Skeeve magic.
  • October 31, 2012
    Frank75
    May be justified in some cases. Imagine a disabled veteran teaching how to fight. If he can't be active in the military anymore, it's just fair to give him a job as a teacher.
  • October 31, 2012
    Bisected8
    Compare Obsolete Mentor, who can do what they teach but is a bit behind in the field. May also invoke I Coulda Been A Contender.
  • October 31, 2012
    DracMonster
    The title is clever but since its a Take That against teachers it's probably not acceptable.

    Cant Teach By Example maybe?
  • October 31, 2012
    polarbear2217
    In Harry Potter, Gilderoy Lockhart teaches Defense Against The Dark Arts while all his experience has been manufactured. He also tries to teach Harry Expelliarmus In Dueling Club, when he is unable to perform the spell himself.
  • November 2, 2012
    Astaroth
    Ranger Andy in Fallout New Vegas. Forced to retire from the NCR Rangers after being severely wounded by a grenade, but still able to teach a martial arts technique which he calls the 'Ranger Takedown' to the courier.
  • November 2, 2012
    Omeganian
    Isocrates, a famous Athenian rhetoric teacher, was that:

    He was an utter stranger to ostentation, insomuch that, when there came at one time three persons to hear him declaim, he admitted but two of them, desiring the third to come the next day, for that two at once were to him as a full theatre. He used to tell his scholars that he taught his art for ten minas; but he would give any man ten thousand, that could teach him to be bold and give him a good utterance. And being once asked how he, who was not very eloquent himself, could make others so, he answered, Just as a whetstone cannot cut, yet it will sharpen knives for that purpose.
  • November 2, 2012
    CobraPrime
    In Assassins Creed III, Achilles is an old Assassin who needs a cane to move around in any amount and can't really do much assassinating or Le Parkour. He's also the mentor figure for the main character, Connor.
  • November 2, 2012
    Antigone3
    Doesn't quite apply to Bazie in Take a Thief. His hands are still nimble enough to pick pockets and locks, but a man with no legs would be caught easily if he stole directly. So, he teaches several boys (including Skif) to steal instead.
  • November 2, 2012
    BlueIceTea
    I'd shorten the title to "Those Who Can't, Teach", which is more in line with the common saying.
  • November 2, 2012
    acrobox
    • Master Splinter alludes to this as he trains Keno in Ninja Turtles 2 Secret Of The Ooze. "I have experience, you have youth. Only those who now fight possess both."
  • November 3, 2012
    tardigrade
    ^^ Yes, came here to say this. The saying is "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach". Rather than "Those who can do, do; those who can't do, teach". Do do.
  • November 4, 2012
    MetaFour
    • Mystery Science Theater 3000: While watching a short film about Home Economics, one of the protagonists states that she wants to become a teacher. Joel immediately chimes in to finish her sentence: "Because I can't do!"
  • November 4, 2012
    blueflame724
    Legend Of Korra: The father of Amon and his brother was formerly a bloodbender but had his bending taken away.
  • November 4, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Please don't use any part of that saying for the trope name. The saying is unrelated to this trope, and is used to abuse teachers, implying that they tried but failed to be a highly-paid professional in some white-collar job.
  • December 28, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of MASH Charles encourages an infantryman/pianist who has lost the full use of one hand to continue with his musical gift via teaching.
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