Created By: danfan1 on June 19, 2012 Last Edited By: Arivne on January 29, 2016

Refusing the Promotion

When the hero has a goal that is out of their reach but realises he was always happy just where he was.

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Some times the hero is a Failure Hero and wants to be something more. He'll struggle and get nowhere. But after he over comes his challenges, he'll be offered what he always wanted. Only now he knows what he truly wants. This leads to him ultimately rejecting the offer.


Examples

Film - Animated
  • Part of the plot of the animated movie Cars, Lightning is certain that if he wins the Piston Cup, he will be offered a sponsorship with Dinoco (whom he views as the most prestigious sponsor on the Racing circuit) at the end of the movie we see the head of Dinoco offer him the sponsorship just for lightning to turn it down and staying with his current sponsors.

Film - Live Action
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop. He wants to a state trooper, but he fails because of his hypoglycemia. He saves the day and is offered to join them but he turns him down to continue working at the mall.

Live-Action Television
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation. Over the course of the series Commander William Riker, first officer of the Starship Enterprise, has promotions and his own starship commission dangled in front of him on a few occasions by Starfleet Command. He always chooses to remain as first officer and serve under Captain Picard. * M*A*S*H: Ed Bagley Jr. plays a hapless, clumsy GI who is also a great chef. When a visiting general discovers this, he wants him transferred to his personal staff. The GI declines, requesting that he be sent back to his unit on the front - but as the camp cook this time
  • In the Heights: Usnavi wants to retire on a lovely island, but when he gets lucky enough to get out of his job and do it, he ends up staying in the barrio with his friends and family.

Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • June 19, 2012
    CosmicRock
    • Commander William Riker, first officer of the Starship Enterprise throughout "Star Trek: The Next Generation" has promotions and his own starship commission dangled in front of him on a few occasions by Starfleet Command over the course of the series. He always chooses to remain as first officer and serve under Captain Picard.

  • June 19, 2012
    raven2785
    • Part of the plot of the animated movie Cars, Lightning is certain that if he wins the Piston Cup, he will be offered a sponsorship with Dinoco (whom he views as the most prestigious sponsor on the Racing circuit) at the end of the movie we see the head of Dinoco offer him the sponsorship just for lightning to turn it down and staying with his current sponsors
  • June 19, 2012
    chicagomel
    I'm not sure if CSI NY counts or not. Danny actually made sergeant, but after an incident with the rookies he was training, he was told he could keep the job, but chose to return to the lab and give up his stripes.
  • June 19, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • MASH: Ed Bagley Jr. plays a hapless, clumsy GI who is also a great chef. When a visiting general discovers this, he wants him transferred to his personal staff. The GI declines, requesting that he be sent back to his unit on the front - but as the camp cook this time.
  • June 19, 2012
    Duncan
    In The Heights: Usnavi wants to retire on a lovely island, but when he gets lucky enough to get out of his job and do it, he ends up staying in the barrio with his friends and family.
  • June 19, 2012
    dalek955
    Most of this is currently covered by Limited Advancement Opportunities. If you do launch this, you might want to steal examples and/or modify the description of that trope, which currently covers both the voluntary and involuntary versions.
  • June 30, 2012
    planswalker
    I'm not so sure splitting the voluntary and involuntary versions of Limited Advancement Opportunities is a good idea. There are some gray areas where trope bleeding is bound to occur.
  • June 30, 2012
    Dawnwing
    • In Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy often teases Ron Weasley for being poor and for Ron's father being lower-ranking in the Ministry of Magic than Draco's. Ron comments to Harry that Mr. Weasley could get a promotion anytime; he just likes it where he is.
    • In the Warrior Cats series, it's mentioned in Bluestar's Prophecy that Crookedstar offered his brother Oakheart the position of deputy. Oakheart turned it down because he didn't feel he deserved it yet, but he took the job later on when Timberfur retired.
  • July 1, 2012
    Koveras
    In military settings, this is kinda like a subversion of Rank Up.

    • In the Nanoha Striker S epilogue, the eponymous character is revealed to have refused promotion many times in order to stay on active duty.
    • In the beginning of Hot Fuzz, Nicholas is Reassigned To Antarctica. Towards the end, they want him back in London but he refuses.
  • July 15, 2012
    LordCirce
    Disney's Hercules is a perfect example of this. He is offered the position of a god on Mount Olympus, but gives it up to be with the girl in the end.
  • January 28, 2016
    DAN004
    • One Piece: It's mentioned that Vice-Admiral Garp frequently refuses promotion to Admiral, probably because it's the highest position he can have that still allows him to go around freely.

    Related to Almighty Janitor.
  • January 28, 2016
    notShemp
    Compare Declining Promotion, when refusing the promotion for other reasons.
  • January 28, 2016
    Kartoonkid95
    • At the beginning of Prep And Landing, Wayne is turned down the position to Head of the Naughty List in favor of his partner. At the end, after his adventure with his new partner Lanny, Santa offers him a position of Head of the Nice List; he turns it down, saying that he's "more of a Prep & Landing guy".
  • January 28, 2016
    DAN004
    ^^ wait a sec, Yes We Do Have This One?
  • January 29, 2016
    Arivne
  • January 29, 2016
    gallium
    Yep, this is Declining Promotion
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