Shooting Lessons From Your Parents
A soldier, adventurer, or other protagonist with marksmanship skills is shown to have learned those skills as a child from a parent or guardian.
YKTTW now sponsored by Morgenthaler per Up for Grabs rules.
Marshall: How long have you been doing this?
Robin: My dad taught me how to shoot when I was a kid. Whenever I'm feeling lonely or depressed I just come here and it reminds me that...guns are fun.In Real Life, marksmanship and other martial skills are typically learned as an adult through military or police training. That doesn't have to be the case in fiction. If a character proves to be have Improbable Aiming Skills, their companions will assume that they gained these abilities through rigorous military discipline. Later in a flashback, however, it's shown that their skills were, in fact, simply a result of Dad taking them hunting as a child! In a fictional environment where shooting is a useful skill, it is natural for a family member (nearly always a father or grandfather) to pass on their skills as a rite of passage to their child (almost always a son or grandson), who will then hone these abilities to a military-grade degree by the time they reach adulthood. This trope is widespread in The Western and settings with Proud Warrior Race Guys, but understandably less common in works set in modern, urban societies, where the ability to use a firearm is not a necessary part of day to day life. May be used to humanize a Cold Sniper. See also Military Brat.
—How I Met Your Mother, "Where Were We?"
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In the Detective Conan movie "The Fourteenth Target", we find out that Shinichi was taught to shoot by his father during vacations to Hawaii, after he shoots Ran in the leg while she's held hostage by the villian
- Lyrical Nanoha: Teana's older brother taught her how to shoot from a young age (up until he died). It plays a large role in her character arc in StrikerS.
- In Brian Woods's Revolutionary War-set comic series Rebels, a young Seth Abbott is shown to have learned how to stealthily kill redcoats from his father, and continues to fight in the Vermont wilderness well into his twenties.
- Tulip in Preacher was taught to shoot by her father. This was part of her father, without actually challenging her biological gender, bringing her up to have stereotypically masculine talents because he'd have preferred to have a son.
- Thorgal: Thorgal tries to teach his children to fight so they can defend themselves during his frequent absences, though they have yet to reach his level (he once shot down another arrow midflight before it could hit a bird). Fortunately they all have powers to compensate for it.
- The prequel comic for Mortal Kombat X implies this was the case for Jacqui Briggs after her and Cassie's ordeal through Outworld. With Jax giving her a handgun at the end and promising her how to use it.
- In From Bajor to the Black, we learn that Kanril Eleya's father Torvo, who lost an eye fighting in the Bajoran Resistance, had schooled both of his daughters in wilderness survival, which Eleya says came in handy during the Bajoran Militia's Hell Week (though she still had to quit early when she broke an ankle stepping in an animal burrow).
- In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, Assassin sisters Johanna and Mariella Smith-Rhodes were both taught to shoot and swing a machete by their father, the formidable Barbarossa Smith-Rhodes. At the latest point on the timeline, an older Johanna is mother of three daughters. In a variation of this theme, she teaches all three how to shoot a crossbow accurately and how to swing a sword with intent. She considers this the absolute duty of a loving caring mother. While her oldest daughter is now a Witch and her youngest is keener on being artistically creative, the middle daughter is now following in Mummy's footsteps at the Guild of Assassins' School where she has the reputation, partly due to her mother's training, of being Little Miss Badass.
- The Cold Open of Enemy at the Gates has Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev as a child hunting in the woods with his grandfather, who urges him to shoot at a wolf.
- Luke Skywalker, hero of the Star Wars films, attributes his ability to make highly improbable shots in a X-Wing to his experience hunting vermin in his family's personal transport. - Zero-Context Example
Luke: "I used to bull's-eye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They're not much bigger than two meters."
- Time Enough for Love. When Lazarus Long was ten years old, his grandfather Ira Johnson taught him how to shoot. The most important lesson he learned was to never trust anyone else's word about whether a gun was loaded or unloaded, but to always check it yourself. He says that that lesson - expanded to cover most situations - saved his life several times.
- The Hunger Games: Katniss and Gale both learned their archery and survival skills thanks to their fathers having taken them hunting when they were children, allowing Katniss to have an edge in the games that District 12 tributes rarely have.
- Quantico: Shelby Wyatt quickly proves the best markswoman among the FBI trainees, being the heiress of a well-known hunter from Georgia.
- The Big Bang Theory: In the episode "The Beta Test Initiative", Leonard takes Penny to a pistol-shooting range on a date, having discovered she was taught to shoot by the father who really wanted a boy. It is also possible Sheldon's father, or other significant male relative, attempted to teach him the indispensable rites-of-passage skills necessary to a young Texan.
- One character in University Hospital was taught to shoot by her father.
- The Beyoncé song "Daddy Lessons" is a recounting of everything Beyonce learned from her father, including how to shoot.
- In Fallout 3, the Lone Wanderer is taught how to shoot by their dad, practicing on Radroaches in a deserted section of Vault 101.
- #2 on Cracked's "5 Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a Pussy" is then-Corporal Alvin York of the 82nd Infantry Division, who earned the Medal of Honor for singlehandedly capturing a German machine gun nest in World War I, killing at least 28 enemy soldiers, whereupon the other one hundred thirty-two surrendered to him. Afterwards he compared it to target shooting and turkey-hunting back home in Tennessee. - Zero-Context Example
- Some Truth in Television: people from rural areas, being taught to hunt from a young age, are at least familiar with gun safety and maintenance. They don't automatically have all the skills necessary for warfare, but they have some advantage over someone who has no experience at all or has only handled handguns.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.