Created By: Bisected8 on June 23, 2014 Last Edited By: Bisected8 on July 9, 2014
Troped

Recruited From The Gutter - Launching Soon

Someone rescued their morality pet or collegue from a life of poverty, crime, etc

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Indexes: Empowerment, Loyalty Tropes, Friendship Tropes, Index to the Rescue, Gratitude Tropes

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This trope is about characters who work for or with someone who (and often because they) saved them from a life of crime, poverty or another situation with bleak prospects. With heroic (or neutral) characters, this reinforces how close the two of them are. With villains, it serves to establish a Villainous Friendship or to explain why the Mook Lieutenant or The Dragon is so loyal despite working for a Bad Boss (or demonstrate that the villain isn't - or wasn't - so bad).

The trope can also be treated more cynically (especially with villains). The sponsor might have an ulterior motive, or simply be extremely patronising and insincere; possibly even abusive (or both if the sponsor is helping because they feel they owe them). A particularly nasty villain might even recruit their mooks this way (with the implication they're preying on the vulnerable). Heroes should be aware that the rescued character might be loyal enough to end up Avenging the Villain. Conversely, the rescued character might be a Token Evil Teammate or Poisonous Friend, thanks to the habits from their old life, in which case their reformation will factor into their Character Development (especially if they were recruited by The Messiah).

N.B. This doesn't include characters who were only rescued by a Good Samaritan but don't work for/with them (although they might decide to invoke this trope and work for their benefactor later) or characters who were happy with their life but joined up for their own reasons after having a more immediate problem solved (that falls under Recruitment By Rescue).

Compare; Changeling Fantasy, Better Living Through Evil, Defeat Means Friendship (if the character in question was antagonistic at first), My Master, Right or Wrong (if this is the reason a good character is in league with a villain), Because You Were Nice to Me, Satisfied Street Rat and The One Who Made It Out. If an entire team's formed this way, you'll have a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. Contrast Boxed Crook (who's employment is their punishment). For characters who were rescued from more acute danger see I Owe You My Life and/or Recruitment By Rescue.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga 
  • On Soul Eater it's revealed that the Thompson sisters were originally criminals before Death the Kid recruited them as his weapons. Liz originally planned to take Kid for a ride, but relented when she realised how happy Patty was now they finally had a home.
  • Chibodee Crocket of Mobile Fighter G Gundam recruited his entire support team this way; they were Street Urchins who'd been caught trying to stowaway on a spaceship just as he walked by. Apparently they had a glint in their eyes which reminded him of himself.
  • Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine shows Oscar's backstory, where Inspector Zenigata rescued him from the gutters. Afterwards, Oscar became very dedicated to helping him.
  • In One Piece:
    • Robin was a criminal who asked Luffy for a place on the crew instead of the other way around (Luffy's usual MO). At first it appeared they were just the latest in a long string of criminals she'd associated herself with, but it turns out that she'd been on the lam for 20 years and this was the first time she felt like she had a "home".
    • Shiliew is bored to death with Impel Down prison and, when the Blackbeard Pirates broke in, he asked them to join their crew, and they let him in.
    • Luffy specifically recruited Nami to free her from Arlong's rule. That, and he needed a navigator.
  • In Naruto, Kimimaro was the lone survivor of his clan as the result of severe infighting. Orochimaru showed up and offered him a new life, as well as being the first not to discriminate against him (because of his freaky powers). It is implied that Orochimaru recruited his other henchmen this way, too, but only Kimimaro shows a high amount of loyalty because of this.
  • In Kodomo no Omocha, Rei is literally begging on the streets when Sana finds him and brings him home with her. After that he works he works for Sana's mother as Sana's combination manager/bodyguard/nanny.
  • In Gundam Build Fighters, Aila was "rescued" as a poverty stricken orphan by Nine Barthes, who treats her less than pleasantly. Later Reiji rescues her from him and she goes to Arian with him in the finale.

     Comic Book 
  • Batman: In some versions of the origin of Robin II, Jason Todd was a street urchin that tried stealing the wheels off the Batmobile. Bruce Wayne takes him as his ward and trains him up as his new sidekick.

     Film 
  • In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indy relates how he first met his Kid Sidekick, Short Round, when the latter was a street orphan trying to pick his pocket. Short Round's loyalty saves him from "the black sleep of Kali Ma" later in the film.
  • In the second The Matrix film, The Kid wants to serve on the Nebuchadnezzar with Neo (who helped him escape from the Matrix), which he'll soon be old enough to do. However, Neo defies the trope:
    Neo: I told you, Kid, you found me, I didn't find you.
    Kid: I know, but you got me out! You saved me!
    Neo: You saved yourself.
  • The Star Wars prequels reveal that this is how Anarkin Skywalker became a Jedi; the second act of the first is basically devoted to freeing him from slavery so he can be trained as a Jedi.
  • An unusual example in Batman Begins. Ra's al Ghul finds Bruce Wayne in a Third World prison and sets him on the path to becoming Batman, though they ultimately betray each other.
  • Played for Laughs in Happy Gilmore, where Happy's caddy is a homeless man he hires (who eats the crackers Happy sets down to mark his ball). After the events of the film, he hires him full time as a butler.

     Literature 
  • In Sir Terry Pratchett's Dodger, the title character is a street urchin and scavenger from the sewers who lives on his wits. His realisation that there are better things in life, and his introduction to morals and principles, comes first from an old Jewish craftsman, who adopts him, and later from Charles Dickens. Who finds him engagingly interesting.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Smuggler Davos Seaworth delivered a lifesaving ration of onions to Stannis Baratheon while his fortress was under siege and starving. As repayment, the lawful Stannis raised him to knighthood and shortened the fingers of his left hand to punish him for his smuggling. Davos remains one of Stannis' most loyal servants.
  • The Stand: Lloyd Henried is in prison when the super-flu hits. He winds up the only survivor in this prison. He would have starved to death in his cell if the Anti Christ Randall Flagg hadn't rescued him. Because of this, he remains Flagg's most loyal follower.
  • Talen from The Elenium starts out as a street thief and is brought into the travelling group by Sparhawk after Annias finds out he's been spying on his behalf. He later ends up a royal page (and Pandion novice-to-be) in the Tamuli. Although at least part of Sparhawk's motive is to keep Kurik's son safe.
  • Antonina in the Belisarius Series was a courtesan who married the Roman general of the title, thus becoming "respectable" (and occasionally joining him on campaigns). She later used her husband's reputation as well as her own intelligence to become a great stateswoman.
  • Sgt Bothari from Vorkosigan Saga was an Ax-Crazy slum orphan who entered the Barrayaran Imperial Service to find someone to control his violent impulses. Later he was used as a minion by a sadist to torture prisoners, until he refused to torture Cordelia Naismath, the heroine, and killed his master. When Cordelia married a Barrayaran aristocrat Bothari became an honoured bodyguard.
  • 1632:
    • In "Seas of Fortune", Henrique Pereira da Costa's friend and assistant Mauricio was his father's slave. On his inheriting his father's estate, Henrique immediately freed him and employed him as an equal.
    • In the original story Gretchen was rescued from being a Sex Slave by the Grantsville Army and marries a soldier, gaining a reputation as a Rabble Rouser.

     Live Action TV 
  • One Victim of the Week on CSI: New York was an up-and-coming musician who was a homeless drug addict until his girlfriend and her band took him in. It turns out that they'd been invoking this trope; rescuing a drug addict to join their band and arranging a relapse/overdose when their life insurance had "matured" enough to give them a big payout.
  • In the original pilot of The Big Bang Theory Sheldon & Leonard take in a recently homeless woman and decide to reform her. She goes along with it mostly because she has nothing better going on in her life.
  • In Nikita, Division recruits young runaways, criminals and/or junkies and gives them a second chance in exchange for Undying Loyalty. Alex is a downplayed example; Nikita rescued her only because she was the one inadvertently responsible for Alex's situation. Alex then volunteered to infiltrate Division since they had her parents killed.
  • Subverted in a Season X episode of Red Dwarf, when Rimmer, pretending to be a Space Corps captain, introduces his brother Howard to the crew:
    Rimmer: When we found Kryten, he was a burnt-out wreck of a junkie.
    Howard: And you rebuilt him, gave him something to live for?
    Rimmer: No, we just hosed him down and gave him a hat.
  • Grimm: A Bad Guy of the Week recruits homeless young women, dresses them in fine clothes, then sends them out to shoplift from high-end fashion boutiques.
  • In Seven Days Frank is recruited/drafted into the Backstep program from a military mental institution because he's the only person they could find on short notice who proved able to pilot the Sphere.
  • On Gang Related part of the premise is that Ryan Lopez was protected from the violence and poverty of his neighbourhood by Javier Acosta, the leader of the local Los Angelicos street gang after being orphaned. As a result Ryan has Undying Loyalty towards Acosta and acts as The Mole, helping Acosta stay ahead of the LAPD's Gang Taskforce.
  • On Person of Interest John Reese is living as a homeless man on the streets of New York when Finch recruits him to help save the people on the Irrelevant List. Reese's homelessness is voluntary since he has reached a Despair Event Horizon and really does not care how he lives and what happens to him. Finch is able to pull him out of it by showing him a way to atone for his past actions by helping to save people who have been deemed not important to the big picture.
  • Jayne Cobb on Firefly met Mal and Zoe at gunpoint while robbing them. When Mal offers him a spot on his own team, a better salary, and his own bunk, Jayne immediately turns on his partners and joins the crew. Possibly a subversion, as the crew of Serenity spends most of the series in Perpetual Poverty themselves and Jayne is never the most stalwart ally.
  • On Scandal Huck was a government assassin who fled a Resignations Not Accepted situation. He lived as a homeless man on the subway where he rescued Olivia ( the daughter of his former boss) from some muggers. An arrangement was reached which ended with Huck working for Olivia as one of her Gladiators when she formed her own PR firm.

     Video Games 
  • In the Metal Gear series:
    • In Metal Gear Solid, Naomi reveals that her adopted brother rescued her (and put her through medical school) after she was orphaned. Her brother was Grey Fox, Snake's old Friendly Enemy; she joined the team to get revenge on Snake for killing him.
    • In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Grey Fox reveals that he's defected to Big Boss's side because he was recruited to Foxhound by him as a child soldier (the later games which starred Big Boss would elaborate on this).
    • Big Boss in general founded Outer Heaven as a refuge for disenfranchised soldiers and war orphans...albeit to form a private army. To his credit, he does sincerely care about them.
  • Most of the Family's agents in A Dance with Rogues have been rescued from the streets by Master Nathan and his cohorts. For instance, Pia was a Starving Artist before her recruitment as the Family's in-house bard (and sex instructor).
  • In the back story for Soul Calibur 2, Raphael is on the run from the king's men when he comes upon a village ravaged by plague. A young girl (Amy) hides him in a nearby building and when asked by the king's men, she sends them in a different direction. Since Amy's parents died from the plague, Raphael adopts her as a daughter.
  • The Thief series contains a few examples;
  • The entire postgame sidequest featuring Looker in Pokémon X and Y revolves around this trope with Emma, who was living as an orphan in the streets of Lumoise City. At the end of the storyline Looker has to move on, but purchases the agency building for her to live in and lets her keep the expansion suit so she can fight crime as Essentia.
  • Happens to a lot of Gray Wardens in Dragon Age. Depending on the Origin you choose in Dragon Age: Origins, this could be how your character ends up in the Wardens, with backstories involving everything from a lift of crime and poverty to being exiled for a crime they didn't commit to being orphaned.

     Western Animation 
  • In the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Ghost in the Machine", Mercy Graves explains to Superman that Luthor took her in off the streets, explaining her loyalty to him. Unfortunately, Luthor doesn't return the sentiments and abandons her when the room collapses, prompting her to turn on him in Justice League.
  • In the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Toph becomes Aang's Earthbending teacher to escape from the Gilded Cage her parents keep her in.

Community Feedback Replies: 93
  • June 23, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    In the Superman The Animated Series episode "Ghost in the Machine", Mercy Graves explains to Superman that Luthor took her in off the streets, explaining her loyalty to him. Unfortunately, Luthor doesn't return the sentiments and abandons her when the room collapses, prompting her to turn on him in Justice League.
  • June 23, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    "Similarly to [other example]" is Word Cruft.

  • June 23, 2014
    kjnoren
    The name and the description have different implications:

    Name: you can come with me to do thing X (recruit)

    Description: you can come with me and I will help you
  • June 23, 2014
    notafraid
    • In Nikita the title character is groomed into being an assassin as an alternative to being punished to the full extent of the law.
  • June 23, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^^ They're bringing someone over to their side (recruiting them) by giving them a better life. I thought my description made the "someone who works for/with them" part clear?

    EDIT: Gah! I guess I did let that creep in a bit. I'll try rewriting it...

    ^ That sounds more like Boxed Crook?
  • June 23, 2014
    kjnoren
    ^ That's not implied with the first paragraph of the description, only loyalty is implied there.

    There's also word cruft, like "this trope often shows up". Better to let the examples show how common a trope is.
  • June 23, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    In Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, Indy relates how he first met his Kid Sidekick, Short Round, when the latter was a street orphan trying to pick his pocket. Short Round's loyalty saves him from "the black sleep of Kali Ma" later in the film.
  • June 23, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^^ It outright said "...to a partner or boss" (unless I'm having a brain fart and I edited that in later)...

    EDIT: I've tweaked it and removed some cruft. How's that?
  • June 23, 2014
    kjnoren
    Can't find those words (or at least not "partner" or "boss") in the description.

    To explain what I mean in another way: "recruit" implies that there is a purpose that the person in the gutter is meant to do or fulfill. However, that isn't implied in any way in the description. Ie, the description is much broader than the name.
  • June 23, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^ I changed it to a more explicit "who work for or with" in the aforementioned tweaking.

    "Recruit" just means to bring someone new over to your cause or organisation. It doesn't have to be for a specific purpose (the general gist of this trope is that the person's given a job to help them as much as because their help is needed).
  • June 23, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    In the Star Wars universe, Chewie became Han's copilot when Han rescued him from an Imperial soldier.
  • June 23, 2014
    Bisected8
    Was he just being menaced by the soldier (if he was rescued from that one thing, it's I Owe You My Life or Recruitment By Rescue)?
  • June 23, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ To be sure, ask someone who knows more about Star Wars than I do.
  • June 23, 2014
    DAN004
    This is already Recruitment By Rescue.
  • June 24, 2014
    Bisected8
    Recruitment By Rescue is about solving your potential ally's problem before they join you.

    This is about improving someone's lot (rather than rescuing them from an immediate problem) by recruiting them - basically a reversed cause and effect.
  • June 24, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Rescue By Recruitment it should be, then.

    Compare Token Evil Teammate.
  • June 24, 2014
    DAN004
    Not sure if this counts
    • In One Piece, unlike Luffy's other crewmates, Robin was a criminal who opposes the crew and she joins in because he defeated her boss Crocodile, leaving her nowhere else to go but with Luffy's pirate crew, and Robin asked Luffy for a place on the crew instead of the other way around (Luffy's usual MO). Being a part of the Straw Hats crew slowly but surely makes her more open towards other people.
  • June 24, 2014
    Arivne
    • Added blank line(s) for readability.
    • Examples section formatting
      • Changed media section title(s) to our standard style.
      • Blue Linked media section title(s).
  • June 24, 2014
    Arivne
    @Tropers/Bisected8: Re the The Matrix example.

    I have watched The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions many times and I can't remember Neo ever saying or doing that.

    In The Matrix Reloaded it was The Kid himself who said the following:

    The Kid: Hey, you know, next year I'm old enough to join a crew, right?

    That indicates that it's an official rule that he can't join until he reaches a certain age, not Neo's (or anyone else's) decision.

    Are you perhaps remembering Captain Mifune's conversation with The Kid in The Matrix Revolutions where Mifune tells him that the minimum age to join the APU Corp is 18?

    Transcript of The Matrix Reloaded

    Transcript of The Matrix Revolutions part 1
  • June 24, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^^ Cheers

    ^ I'm pretty sure the was a conversation The Kid had with Neo in the second movie that went (paraphrased);

    Kid: I've been thinking, and I've decided that I want to join the Nebuchadnezzar[The ship Neo serves on].
    Neo: You don't owe me anything.
    Kid: You saved me, Neo!
    Neo: You saved yourself!

    EDIT: I looked up the exact conversation; it looks like I got the reason Neo rebuffed him wrong (it was less "don't put yourself in harms way" and more "you don't owe me"). I'll fix the example.
  • June 24, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    Batman: In some versions of the origin of Robin II, Jason Todd was a street urchin that tried stealing the wheels off the Batmobile. Bruce Wayne takes him as his ward and trains him up as his new sidekick.
  • June 24, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Live Action TV
    • Subverted in Halt And Catch Fire; Joe and Gordon recruit Cameron to write the BIOS code for their new computer, but it's blatantly obvious that Joe's just exploiting the hell out of her, and that he plans to cut her loose as soon as she finishes the code.
  • June 24, 2014
    DAN004
    Does this count?
    • In Na Ruto, Kimimaro was the lone survivor of his clan, who was wiped clean by the clan's inside war. Fortunately, not long after Orochimaru showed up and offered him a new life, as well as being the first not to discriminate against him (because of his freaky powers). Kimimaro then becomes his loyal supporter, right until his death. It is implied that Orochimaru recruited his other henchmen this way, too, but only Kimimaro shows a high amount of loyalty because of this.
  • June 24, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^^ Was Cameron in a bad situation at the time (I'm not familiar with the show and I can't find any further information on the work page)?
  • June 24, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In the original pilot of The Big Bang Theory Sheldon & Leonard take in a recently homeless woman and decide to reform her. She goes along with it mostly because she has nothing better going on in her life.
  • June 24, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    @Bisected: It's pretty heavily implied that without her job, she'd be homeless - she appears to be living in her workspace, and in the most recent episode, had be taken to a coworker's home for a shower.
  • June 25, 2014
    Koveras
    • Most of the Family's agents in A Dance With Rogues have been rescued from the streets by Master Nathan and his cohorts. For instance, Pia was a Starving Artist before her recruitment as the Family's in-house bard (and sex instructor).
  • June 25, 2014
    Bisected8
    Does anyone have any thoughts on the title?

    Also, can anyone recommend a page quote?
  • June 25, 2014
    nielas
    ^^^ @Strix Obscuro We do not really know much about Cameron's backstory. She was in the final year of college when Joe recruited her so she wasn't exactly "in the gutter". She is homeless when she moves to Dallas because she does not have any money until she gets her paycheck. So she would fit more a "starving student" stereotype rather than "street urchin". We don't know if she had any other job prospects lined up before Joe hired her. The shoplifting and homelessness could be just part of her "punk" lifestyle.
  • June 25, 2014
    BKelly95
    Video Games
    • In the back story for Soul Calibur 2, Raphael is on the run from the king's men when he comes upon a village ravaged by plague. A young girl (Amy) hides him in a nearby building and when asked by the king's men, she sends them in a different direction. Since Amy's parents died from the plague, Raphael adopts her as a daughter.
  • June 25, 2014
    AgProv
    In The Victorian London of Sir Terry Pratchett's Dodger, the title character is a street urchin and scavenger from the sewers who lives on his wits. His realisation that there are better things in life, and his introduction to morals and principles, comes first from the old Jewish craftsman who adopts him, and is enhanced later by a meeting with a writer called Charles Dickens. Who finds him engagingly interesting.
  • June 25, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^^^ In that case, I'll comment the example out for now.
  • June 26, 2014
    GuyIncog
    TV Series:
    • In Nikita, the title character rescues Alex from the streets in exchange for her becoming a mole within Division.

    Film:
    • An unusual example in Batman Begins. Ra's al Ghul finds Bruce Wayne in a Third World prison and sets him on the path to becoming Batman, though they ultimately betray each other.
  • June 26, 2014
    Daefaroth
    Anime And Manga:
    • In Kodomo No Omocha, Rei is literally begging on the streets when Sana finds him and brings him home with her. After that he works he works for Sana's mother as Sana's combination manager/bodyguard/nanny.
  • June 26, 2014
    TheTitan99
    There's an example I know of, where a villain saves some kids' lives. The kids came from well off families, but in that situation, there lives were at risk. Afterwords, they villain and kids drift apart, but awhile later reconnect in a sort of mentor/student bond after meeting years later, due to the villain saving their life. Would this count, or not? It's a little unusual due to the time gaps involved, so I'm not sure if it'd work entirely.
  • June 26, 2014
    jatay3
    Sergeant Bothari in Vorkosigan Saga is so traumatized by his life in the worst part Barrayaran slums that he is almost a Psycho For Hire and he has barely a grip on his personality and obeys whomever gives him orders. If he is assigned to an evil person he does evil things but assigned to a heroic person he can be a hero.
  • June 26, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^^ Sounds about right (at the very least it could be considered a Downplayed Trope example).

    ^ Did anyone specifically recruit him from said slums or did he just become a Psycho For Hire after leaving them himself?
  • June 27, 2014
    arbiter099
    Does this count?

    • A Song Of Ice And Fire: Smuggler Davos Seaworth delivered a lifesaving ration of onions to Stannis Baratheon while his fortress was under siege and starving. As repayment, the lawful Stannis raised him to knighthood and shortened the fingers of his left hand to punish him for his smuggling. Davos remains one of Stannis' most loyal servants.
  • June 27, 2014
    surgoshan
    • Various incarnations of Sherlock Holmes have him with a network of informants among the invisible underclasses of British society.
  • June 27, 2014
    Bisected8
    Does he generally pull any of them out of the underclass or otherwise help improve their lot? I was under the impression he recruits them because of their position?
  • June 28, 2014
    Bisected8
    So, any thoughts on the title?
  • June 29, 2014
    robinjohnson
    • Subverted in a Season X episode of Red Dwarf, when Rimmer, pretending to be a Space Corps captain, introduces his brother Howard to the crew:
      Rimmer: When we found Kryten, he was a burnt-out wreck of a junkie.
      Howard: And you rebuilt him, gave him something to live for?
      Rimmer: No, we just hosed him down and gave him a hat.
  • June 29, 2014
    MetaFour
    • The Stand: Lloyd Henried is in prison when the super-flu hits. He winds up the only survivor in this prison. He would have starved to death in his cell if the Anti Christ Randall Flagg hadn't rescued him. Because of this, he remains Flagg's most loyal follower.
  • June 29, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Grimm: a Bad Guy of the Week recruits homeless young women, dresses them in fine clothes, then sends them out to shoplift from high-end fashion boutiques.
  • June 30, 2014
    DAN004
  • June 30, 2014
    DAN004
  • June 30, 2014
    nielas
    The Nikita example is incorrect but the actual plot still fits the trope. Nikita rescued Alex because Nikita was the one inadvertently responsible for Alex getting sold into a life of prostitution and drug addiction. Alex then volunteers to infiltrate Division since Division had her parents killed. Division itself is built on this trope as it recruits young runaways, criminals and/or junkies and gives them a second chance in exchange for Undying Loyalty to Division.
  • June 30, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^ I've edited it. Is this accurate?:

    • In Nikita, Division recruits young runaways, criminals and/or junkies and gives them a second chance in exchange for Undying Loyalty. Alex is a downplayed example; Nikita rescued her only because she was the one inadvertently responsible for Alex's situation. Alex then volunteered to infiltrate Division since they had her parents killed.
  • July 1, 2014
    Bisected8
    Can I get a second opinion on the indexes? I'm not sure this trope fit in all of the ones I've listed.

    Also, any support or suggestions for names?
  • July 1, 2014
    Antigone3
    I'm not sure if Talen from The Elenium qualifies. He starts out as a street thief, and is brought into the traveling group by Sparhawk after Annias finds out Talen's been spying on Sparhawk's behalf. OTOH, at least part of Sparhawk's motive is to keep Kurik's son safe. That's definitely why Talen ends up a royal page (and Pandion novice-to-be) in the Tamuli.
  • July 1, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^ Sounds like an example to me.
  • July 1, 2014
    TheTitan99
    Alright, I'll try to write out that example then. It's kind of hard to summarize quickly, but I'll do my best.

    • A variation happens in Gyakuten Kenji 2, after the assassin Ryoken Hoinbo rescues two children from freezing to death. Years later, one of the boys, due to this life saving event, would become his student. Ryoken admits that the boy is one of the few things in life he has a soft spot for.
  • July 1, 2014
    JDogindy
    Here's a recent one:

    • The entire postgame storyline featuring Looker in Pokemon X And Y revolves around this trope with Emma, who was living as an orphan in the streets of Lumoise City. Looker adopts her and later is stunned to find out that Emma was Essentia and was working for Dr. Xerosic, all because Emma was worried that she was a liability to Looker in the expenses department. In the end, though, Emma admits that she had no problems working with Xerosic and even liked him, so much that the doctor wound up changing his views on humanity. Feeling grateful for Emma, both of them leave her with several possessions, including the Expansion Suit that allows Emma to be Essentia to ensure she keeps defending Lumoise.

    A more recent anime example:

    • Gundam Build Fighters featured Aila, although the individual who "rescused" her was far from noble and merely used her as a pawn. It's actually the efforts of Reiji to save her from the heartless Nine Barthes, and she eventually becomes the princess of Reiji's kingdom.

    Of course, neither seem to fit the trope itself, but this is up to debate.
  • July 1, 2014
    TheTitan99
    No, the kids weren't abandoned in my example. They were trapped in a frozen car, and needed to be rescued, but they weren't abandoned at the time...

    Well, they were later, and memory loss takes place, and... well... the example's kind of weird, and I'm trying to condense it to a few sentences, as to not overdo the unnecessary details. They were trapped in a frozen car, and got rescued. Later, one became a student to the rescuer. I think that's all that's needed.
  • July 1, 2014
    Bisected8
    Oh, if he just rescued them from immediate danger, it isn't this trope; it's about recruiting characters who have a crappy life at the time...unless he took said student in after they were abandoned.
  • July 1, 2014
    TheTitan99
    Well... it's a mystery story franchise, so it has a purposely ridiculous and convoluted narrative. I THINK it fits here, but give me some time to rewrite the example, and re-look up some stuff on the characters.
  • July 1, 2014
    Bisected8
    OK, I'll leave it commented out until then.
  • July 1, 2014
    jatay3
    Antonina in Belisarius Series was a courtesan who was married by the Roman general of that name thus becoming respectableized. She later used her husband's reputation as well as her own intelligence to become a great stateswoman.
  • July 1, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Does This Count
    • In Seven Days Frank is recruited/drafted into the Backstep program from a military mental institution because he's the only person they could find on short notice who proved able to pilot the Sphere.
  • July 2, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^ How pleasant was his situation in the institution?
  • July 2, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Well, by TV standards I guess it was OK, but we didn't see much of his time there.
  • July 2, 2014
    Bisected8
    I guess we can just go with "being in a mental institution is bad by default", then.
  • July 2, 2014
    nielas
    • On Gang Related Ryan Lopez was orphaned at a young age and had to live with his grandmother in a poor, crime-ridden Los Angeles neighborhood. Seeing potential in the boy, Javier Acosta, the leader of the local Los Angelicos street gang, took Ryan under his wing and treated him like a member of his family. Ryan was kept safe from the violence and poverty surrounding him and as an adult he served with distinction in the army and later became a detective with the LAPD. As a result Ryan has Undying Loyalty toward Acosta and acts as The Mole, helping Acosta stay ahead of the LAPD's Gang Taskforce.
  • July 2, 2014
    Andygal
    • Happens to a lot of Gray Wardens in Dragon Age. Depending on the Origin you choose in Dragon Age Origins, this could be how your character ends up in the Wardens.
  • July 3, 2014
    nielas
    • On Person Of Interest John Reese is living as a homeless man on the streets of New York when Finch recruits him to help save the people on the Irrelevant List. Reese's homelessness is voluntary since he has reached a Despair Event Horizon and really does not care how he lives and what happens to him. Finch is able to pull him out of it by showing him a way to atone for his past actions by helping to save people who have been deemed not important to the big picture.
  • July 4, 2014
    Bisected8
    Any thoughts on the name at all? Anyone?
  • July 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Current name's okay, although I prefer Rescue By Recruitment.
  • July 4, 2014
    Bisected8
    I like Rescue By Recruitment, too, but I'm worried that it'll be too easy to mix up with Recruitment By Rescue.
  • July 5, 2014
    acrobox
    Yeah Rescue By Recruitment can be read as like rescue from imprisonment, like a Damsel In Distress or something. Not from a life of crime and or poverty.
  • July 5, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ speaking of which
    • In One Piece, Luffy recruits Zoro this way; specifically, he was about to be execured by Marines before Luffy breaks in. As well, Shiliew is bored to death with Impel Down prison and, when the Blackbeard Pirates broke in, he asked them to join their crew, and they let him in.
  • July 5, 2014
    Bisected8
    The first one sounds like Recruitment By Rescue; they saved Zorro from being killed, rather than from a crappy life.
  • July 5, 2014
    DAN004
    Actually there's more (not 100% sure if they apply)
    • One Piece
      • Luffy specifically recruited Nami to free her from Arlong's reign. That, and he needed a navigator.
      • Franky at first doesn't want to leave his home because of his men's safety, but his men, caring for his wellbeing (because he has become a wanted man) made a plan with the Straw Hats so that the latter can make him join them and ensure his own safety.
  • July 5, 2014
    Bisected8
    Nami sounds like one, but Franky needs more info; what was his situation before joining?
  • July 5, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ he became a wanted man with bounty in the first place cuz he helps Straw Hats rescue Robin, ransacking Enies Lobby and defeating one CP 9 member in the way.

    Franky's men trusts Franky to Straw Hats cuz they feel he can be safe with Straw Hats after what they did in Enies Lobby incident (declaring war on the world just to save Robin). That, and Franky's parents were (rumored to be) pirates too, so Marines will hunt him either way.
  • July 6, 2014
    aradia22
    It seems like this might be invoked by the Kingsman: The Secret Service movie coming out with Colin Firth but of course that's jumping the gun.
  • July 6, 2014
    StrangeBro
    May be an example.

    • Jayne Cobb on Firefly met Mal and Zoe at gunpoint while robbing them. When Mal offers him a spot on his own team, a better salary, and his own bunk, Jayne immediately turns on his partners and joins the crew. Possibly a subversion, as the crew of Serenity spends most of the series in Perpetual Poverty themselves and Jayne is never the most stalwart ally.
  • July 6, 2014
    TheTitan99
    Alright, so, looking more into the example I had earlier..... it doesn't quite fit this trope. Oh, it's so close, but it just doesn't quite fit well enough. Oh well.

    That being said.. this is looking quite good! Have a hat!
  • July 7, 2014
    IncoG5nito
    Added the bum caddy from Happy Gilmore. Solid Trope!!!
  • July 7, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^ Good, good.

    Well, we still need to agree on a name. Any more thoughts, anyone?

    Also, is the description clear?
  • July 7, 2014
    jatay3
    I thought I mentioned Sgt Bothari in Vorkosigan Saga? He was an Ax Crazy slum orphan who entered the Barrayaran Imperial Service to find someone to control his violent impulses. Latter he was used as a minion by a sadist to torture prisoners, until he refused to torture Cordelia Naismath, the heroine, and killed his master. When Cordelia married a Barrayaran aristocrat Bothari became an honored bodyguard.
  • July 7, 2014
    Dalillama
    • In the Sixteenthirty Two book Seas of Fortune, Henrique Pereira da Costa friend and assistant Mauricio was his father's slave. Upon his inheritance, Henrique immediately freed him with declarations of friendship.
  • July 7, 2014
    jatay3
    In the original Sixteen Thirty Two Gretchen was rescued from being a Sex Slave by the Grantsville Army and marries a soldier.
  • July 8, 2014
    Bisected8
    ^^^ I asked for more context. That should do.

    Well, this seriously can't launch until a title's been agreed on...
  • July 8, 2014
    nielas
    • On Scandal Huck was a government assassin who fled a Resignations Not Accepted situation. He lived as a homeless man on the subway where he rescued Olivia from some muggers. She befriended him and tried to help him. Things became complicated since Olivia's father was Huck's former boss. An arrangement was reached that set Huck free from his former employers and Huck then started working for Olivia and became part of her Gladiators when she formed her own PR firm.
  • July 8, 2014
    robinjohnson
  • July 8, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ That title is okay to me as well.
  • July 8, 2014
    acrobox
    Recruited From The Gutter sounds fine to me
  • July 9, 2014
    Bisected8
    Well, that sounds like a consensus, unless someone has an objection to the title?

    Since the Three Rules Of Three have been satisfied, I'll launch the trope this evening.

    If anyone has any last minute examples, index suggestions or issues with the description, speak now or forever hold your peace.
  • July 9, 2014
    DAN004
  • July 9, 2014
    Bisected8
    We already have Rescue Tropes listed (it's a redirect to Index To The Rescue).

    I don't think this belongs on Heel Face Index; it doesn't have anything specifically to do with changing sides.
  • July 9, 2014
    NemuruMaeNi
    I don't really understand if they count, but someone may want to dig deeper on Zabuza (exploitive master) and Haku (I Just Want To Be Loved) from Naruto.

    This part of description feels shaky: "<...> saved them from a life of crime, poverty or another unpleasant living situation." Like, what? made a job offer to save from a life of unpleasant living situation of being jobless? ~_~
  • July 9, 2014
    Bisected8
    Hmm...I've changed it to "another situation with bleak prospects". Does that work better?
  • July 9, 2014
    Bisected8
    OK, another hour so and I'll launch....
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=d1azengpjeobbh55demum60l&trope=RecruitedFromTheGutter