Created By: TomWalpertac2 on January 3, 2013 Last Edited By: TomWalpertac2 on January 19, 2013
Nuked

The Fobbit

This character never leaves the saftey and comforts of home.

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Trope
Fobbits are boring characters. The Fobbit never bothers to go on adventures. The Fobbit rarely if ever leaves the safety and comforts of his home environment. Fobbit is a portmanteau of FOB (Itself an acronym of Forward Operating Base) and Hobbit. The term originates around 2004 with the US Military and the tendency of some soldiers to actively avoid leaving the base to go on patrol. Some soldiers, however, were assigned "Desk" jobs which required them to remain behind within the safety of the base.

The Fobbit can easily be a Basement-Dweller or a lab rat, or anybody else whose job doesn't require them to leave their safe little cubby hole. For any character to qualify as a Fobbit there must be more than the standard "random traffic accident" risk of injury and/or death. We're talking full on warfare here. Major threat hazards like getting mowed down by machine gun fire or blown up by random roadside bombs or RPGs.

Fobbits come in two varieties:
  • Type 1 Fobbits actively avoid going outside "the wire". These Fobbits are often cowardly.
  • Type 2 Fobbits are assigned to jobs that require their continued presence on the base in order to get part of the job done while others go out into the field to do the rest.

Examples of The Fobbit:


Comics
  • Beetle Bailey: Beetle himself tends to be a decent exampleof a Type 1, but half the soldiers on Camp Swampy may well qualify.

Literature
  • ''J R R Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins would be the Ur-Example of a Type 1, even if he predates the creation of the term by several decades.

Live Action TV
  • Star Trek:The Next Generation Features Reginald Barclay as a Type 1. Due to issues relating to transporters and Trek's reliance on same, he really hates away missions.
  • NCIS: Abby Would be a type 2 due to being a lab rat.

Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • January 3, 2013
    TomWalpertac2
    Possible source of page image: http://www.rangerup.com/fobbit.html
  • January 3, 2013
    DRCEQ
    Hikikomori already exists.
  • January 3, 2013
    elwoz
    I don't think this is the same as Hikikomori. A hikikomori stays at home in order to avoid social interaction, because other people are terrifying. This proposal is about someone who stays at home in order to avoid the Call To Adventure, because adventure is dangerous, or because adventure is work. Very different characterization that. Neither Beetle Bailey nor Bilbo Baggins dislikes the company of their peers; in fact they're quite gregarious (Bilbo gets a bit flustered when the dwarves all turn up, but only because he wasn't expecting them and hadn't prepared enough food).

    Having said that, I think Type 2 shouldn't qualify unless the character actively seeks out such jobs in order to not have to go adventuring. Otherwise Type 2 is not functionally different from just being a Lab Rat or Mission Control or like that.
  • January 3, 2013
    DRCEQ
    Hmm, well in that case I suppose it would work, but I'm not too thrilled by the name. Safe Inside My Home, perhaps?
  • January 3, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    Not adhered to without exception, and on occasion the "safety" of home was questionable; but Nero Wolfe preferred never to go outside his brownstone without compelling reason, letting his associate Archie Goodwin do the legwork of their cases.
  • January 3, 2013
    InsanityPrelude
    As far as I'm aware, we're trying to avoid the "types" thing in new tropes.
  • January 3, 2013
    lexicon
    Yes, please no types. It either is the trope or it isn't. If you need a separation you should make it two tropes. What's wrong with calling it a homebody?
  • January 3, 2013
    elwoz
    I should maybe say that I don't particularly like the current title either, and I'm reserving judgment on tropeworthiness until I see how many examples turn up. I can't myself think of any more examples right now.
  • January 3, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Subverted in Blackadder Goes Forth.Captain Darling, normally an Adjutant of General Melchett and thus safely behind the lines, is ordered by Melchett to join Captaian Blackadder in the trenches for an attack which is ultimately unsuccessful and gets everybody killed.
  • January 4, 2013
    AgProv
    The British Army equivalent of a Fobbit is a REMF..... a Rear Echelon Mother Fucker.
  • January 4, 2013
    MetaFour
    • David Abrams' book Fobbit is a satire about the Iraq war, depicting the subculture of battle avoidance at Baghdad's FOB Triumph.
  • January 4, 2013
    SharleeD
    If staying home and avoiding the excitement everyone else is involved with is all that's required, here's one to add:

    • Mycroft from the Sherlock Holmes stories is an example, spending virtually his entire life either at home or at his gentleman's club. He could have been as fine a detective as his brother, but was too lazy and habit-bound to bother.
  • January 5, 2013
    Catbert
    We already have Soldiers At The Rear and Non Action Guy. What does this contribute?
  • January 5, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Soldiers At The Rear seems to cover it: It specifically mentions REMF, too. Could use a better writeup, though.

    Now as for titles: Though the arugment is pre-existing term, the term seems to be limited to military jargon only - 60k hits on Google or so.
  • January 5, 2013
    elwoz
    "Fobbit" is actually mentioned on the Soldiers At The Rear page. Do we think it's worth adding redirects from Fobbit and/or REMF?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=hc08lp6hz679z2min6pf71r1&trope=DiscardedYKTTW