Created By: RLNice on September 9, 2012 Last Edited By: captainmarkle on January 26, 2016

Eager Rookie

A young and inexperienced character wants to join a battle, but their older and more experienced peers refuse to let them.

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Trope
When you have a young and/or inexperienced (and often idealistic) character who is eager to join a group of warriors or adventurers on a big battle or other dangerous undertaking, but they are refused by their older, more experienced (and sometimes more cynical) peers for a variety of reasons, usually out of concern for their safety, because they don't want the younger character descending down the same dangerous life that the older character leads, of if the character is a female who wants to be an Action Girl, plain old sexism.

One common plot element: after being denied, the rookie sneaks out and gets involved in the fighting anyway, leading to:
  • Having to be rescued by the protagonists.
  • Getting killed by the enemy.
  • Succeeding, thus showing that he did have what it takes.

See also:

Examples:

Film
  • The Matrix Revolutions. The Kid is only 16 years old but joins the Corps to fight the Machines. Captain Mifune tells him he can't serve because the minimum age is 18, but relents when the Kid points out that the Machines won't care how old he is, they'll kill him whether he fights them or not.
  • In Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong, the character of Jimmy wants to help on the expedition to save Ann Darrow, but his father figure Hayes doesn't let him.
  • Two examples in The Lord of the Rings. Merry and Eowyn both want to join the battle of Minas Tirith but have to sneak in with the rest of the Rohirrim, since them joining the fight is met with disapproval from the others due to being a hobbit and a woman, respectively.
  • Another example pops up in the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes.
  • Happens to Tom Mason's son Matt a lot in Falling Skies.
  • The infamous fanfic DOOM: Repercussions of Evil has this as the motivation for why protagonist John Stalvern wanted to join the marines, despite his father dissuading him by saying he would be kill by demons.

Literature
  • Played with in the Elenium. Sparhawk told a young knight to guard Sephrenia, but agreed to let him take part in the battle (his first) when Sephrenia said she didn't need a guard. The knight was then killed by Adus.
  • In Warrior Cats all new apprentices are eager to go into battle but their mentors won't allow them till they've had proper battle training.
  • Lampshaded, deconstructed, and reconstructed again in a short succession in book one of Reflections of Eterna: a young officer under First Marshall Roque Alva's command is eager to take on the enemy and eventually defies his orders to give battle. The attack goes bad, so Alva brings his troops to flank and rout the enemy, saving the young officer, only to have him court-marshaled for insubordination later. When other officers point out that Alva used him as a bait intentionally, he just shrugs and tells him that had the rookie obeyed his orders, he would still be alive—but if he disobeyed them and WON, he'd be made a Marshall someday.

Video Games
  • You can do this in Mass Effect 2, if you stop the very young, very obviously inexperienced boy from signing up as a mercenary to fight Archangel. If you do, he'll eventually send you an email and thank you for saving his life.
  • Brynn in Dreamfall: The Longest Journey is very eager to prove his worth to the rebel cause but his more experienced commanders Chawan and April keep him on a short leash, much to his frustration.
  • The first two Carmine brothers in the Gears of War series, though their big brother Clayton is a bit more experienced and lives a lot longer.

Western Animation
  • Transformers Prime has Smokescreen, who was most excited to fight the 'cons when they attacked his station at Iacon.
Community Feedback Replies: 34
  • September 9, 2012
    JonnyB
    Happens to Tom Mason's son Matt a lot in Falling Skies.
  • September 9, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Names that look like a line of dialog are no longer allowed, as noted in the middle of No New Stock Phrases.
  • September 9, 2012
    MrRuano
    • The infamous fanfic Doom Repercussions Of Evil has this as the motivation for why protagonist John Stalvern wanted to join the marines, despite his father dissuading him by saying he would be kill by demons.

    Also, I feel like this could be something along the lines of asking for a Call To Adventure. Is there any trope like that?
  • September 9, 2012
    Goldfritha
    Compare Least Is First.
  • September 9, 2012
    Damr1990
    the title sounds a little too dialogue-ish, Rookie Eager To Fight ,perhaps?

    see also
  • September 10, 2012
    Antigone3
    Played with in the Elenium. Sparhawk told a young knight to guard Sephrenia, but agreed to let him take part in the battle (his first) when Sephrenia said she didn't need a guard. The knight was then killed by Adus.
  • September 10, 2012
    KTera
    • You can do this in Mass Effect 2, if you stop the very young, very obviously inexperienced boy from signing up as a mercenary to fight Archangel. If you do, he'll eventually send you an email and thank you for saving his life.
  • September 10, 2012
    Tiiba
    Why not just "Eager Rookie"?
  • September 10, 2012
    acrobox
    I was about to say the same thing. Two votes for Eager Rookie
  • September 10, 2012
    theTwoFacedAngel
    I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned before, call the character a "Scrappy-Doo"
  • September 10, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^No. 1) No New Trope Namers 2) We already have The Scrappy.

    Although Scrappy-Doo would be a good example.
  • September 11, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • The Matrix Revolutions. The Kid is only 16 years old but joins the Corps to fight the Machines. Captain Mifune tells him he can't serve because the minimum age is 18, but relents when the Kid points out that the Machines won't care how old he is, they'll kill him whether he fights them or not.
  • September 11, 2012
    Damr1990
    @theTwoFacedAngel if i recall correctly, nowdays Tropes named after characters tend to be shut down quite fast, also we already have The Scrappy(that trope is protected under the grandfather clausule); however, Scrappy-doo, as a character does count as an example
  • September 11, 2012
    theTwoFacedAngel
    @randomsurfer Hadn't realized that, guess I didn't do as much research as I thought x3
  • September 11, 2012
    captainsandwich
    This reminds me of Leeroy Jenkins (At least the title does). Noob (rookie) eagerness beats the crap out of his sense of reason and patience.
  • September 11, 2012
    YC19916
    'The Mulan' ?
  • September 11, 2012
    Polymer
    Scrappy's catchphrase- "Let me at 'em!" should work here.

  • September 11, 2012
    LOAD
    ^ No dialogue titles.
  • September 11, 2012
    Polymer
    ...ah. Must do more research!
  • September 12, 2012
    Koveras
    • Brynn in Dreamfall The Longest Journey is very eager to prove his worth to the rebel cause but his more experienced commanders Chawan and April keep him on a short leash, much to his frustration.
  • September 12, 2012
    saintdane05
    • Transformers Prime has Smokescreen, who was most excited to fight the 'cons when they attacked his station at Iacon.
  • September 12, 2012
    acrobox
    I feel like Scrappy Doo should be on the examples list somewhere
  • September 12, 2012
    Jir
    In Warrior Cats all new apprentices are eager to go into battle but their mentors won't allow them till they've had proper battle training.
  • September 12, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • The first two Carmine brothers in the Gears Of War series, though their big brother Clayton is a bit more experienced and lives a lot longer.
  • September 14, 2012
    Arivne
    One common plot element: after being denied, the rookie sneaks out and gets involved in the fighting anyway, leading to him:
    • Having to be rescued by the protagonists.
    • Getting killed by the enemy.
    • Succeeding, thus showing that he did have what it takes.
  • September 14, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ That reminds me of another example:

    • Lampshaded, deconstructed, and reconstructed again in a short succession in book one of Reflections Of Eterna: a young officer under First Marshall Roque Alva's command is eager to take on the enemy and eventually defies his orders to give battle. The attack goes bad, so Alva brings his troops to flank and rout the enemy, saving the young officer, only to have him court-marshaled for insubordination later. When other officers point out that Alva used him as a bait intentionally, he just shrugs and tells him that had the rookie obeyed his orders, he would still be alive--but if he disobeyed them and WON, he'd be made a Marshall someday.
  • September 18, 2012
    TBeholder
    • Schlock Mercenary has Toughs running into this problem and promptly extracting the solution out of it:
      Tagon: You said most of the new recruits went charging down the hall, right? That's great! Enthusiastic cannon fodder like that just needs cautious leadership.
      Shodan: And where do I find that?
      Tagon: Promote everyone who hung back to corporal.
  • May 7, 2015
    captainmarkle
    Moved TF Prime because it was in the wrong category.
  • January 26, 2016
    captainmarkle
    Bump
  • January 26, 2016
    Ominae
    • In Shades of Blue, Michael Loman of the NYPD's 6-4 prescient is a newly recruited officer when he gets into trouble in his first day on the job while being partnered by Det. Harlee Santos. Santos bails him out when he shoots an unarmed drug dealer by accident staging the scene to make it look like Loman fired his sidearm in self-defense.
  • January 26, 2016
    Chabal2
    Berserk: Ricket is prevented from joining a battle by the other Hawks. He turns out to be the only survivor as the battle becomes the Eclipse where Apostles devour all his companions save Casca and Guts. And Casca ends up raped and insane, Guts ends up with one arm and one eye.
  • January 26, 2016
    randomsurfer
    • Unforgiven: the Scofield Kid wants William Munny to help him go after a $1,000 reward by killing two cowboys who had disfigured a prostitute. After they kill the second, Scofield reveals that he's actually a rookie who had never killed anyone before, and is disgusted by it.
    • The Jeffersons: Jenny, a journalist, is working on a story about a street gang and visits them to get the scoop. One of the gang members is only a pledge, he can't become an official member until he has a "medal" (a scar) from a rumble. They're having a rumble that night and the pledge is looking forward to it; when Jenny visits them the next day she learns that the pledge was killed during the fight.
  • January 26, 2016
    DAN004
    Do they have to be refused, by the way?

    This doesn't involve any refusal, but he is eager and rookie.
    • Mega Man X 8: Axl, the new Maverick Hunters member, is quite younger than the veterans X and Zero. He's also an energetic person who's very spirited, Trigger Happy and doesn't like deep talks.
  • January 26, 2016
    captainmarkle
    • In Star Wars The Clone Wars, more than a few of the clones are eager to get into combat and prove their worth, which sometimes hinders their training simulations when some of them rush in. Some of them rise to the challenge, whereas others suffer severe PTSD.

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