Created By: tryourbreast on June 13, 2012 Last Edited By: Sleepy on June 26, 2012

Being The First Whatever

Being first in an aspect is awesome!

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Did you know that this is the first trope to talk about the importance of bring first? And it's the first time we've mentioned this fact on this page! Isn't it amazing? If you're the first one who see this, so are you!

Just like being the best is, well, the best, being the first one to do something is the first (in awesomeness). In real life, people put great stock in being the first X, or the first to do Y, or the first to do the first X, etc...

This really only applies to accomplishments that can be repeated. Saying you were the first person to kill the Big Bad is pretty much equivalent to saying you killed the Big Bad, unless, of course, Death Is Cheap.

Super Trope of First Post. See also Second Place Is for Losers and First Installment Wins. Can overlap with Overly Narrow Superlative, if what they're first in is an extremely specific category.

Please include in-universe examples only - to list all the Real Life examples would take most of the internet.

Examples

Television
  • An episode of Law & Order: SVU concerned the first case of female-on-male gang rape under a new law which basically de-genderized all existing rape law. The cops and prosecuters aren't even sure at first if what happened could be considered a crime.

Video Games
  • Cid from Final Fantasy VII was going to be the first man in space. Eventually he finally got into space, with a crew of other player characters (and Shera).

Western Animation
  • In TheSimpsons episode "You Only Move Twice", Homer's friendly new boss Hank Scorpio brags about being the first rich guy to wear jeans with a sport coat.
  • On the Futurama episode "A Leela of Her Own", Leela becomes the first woman to play professional blernsball, although only as a novelty (her poor depth perception meant that everyball she threw would bean the batter). She is beaten by Jacqueline Robinson, who, according to the announcer, is the first woman to play the sport well.
Community Feedback Replies: 34
  • June 13, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    It would probably be smart to limit this to non-real life examples. We could probably fill a page with notable historical 'firsts' alone.

    Also related to First Installment Wins, I think.
  • June 13, 2012
    randomsurfer
    An episode of Law And Order SVU concerned the first case of female-on-male gang rape under a new law which basically de-genderized all existing rape law. The cops and prosecuters sren't even sure at first if what happend could be considered a crime.
  • June 14, 2012
    aurora369
    Cid from Final Fantasy VII was going to be the first man in space. Eventually he finally got into space, with a crew of other player characters (and Shera).
  • June 14, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In the backstory of LA Law Jonathan Rollins had been the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.
  • June 14, 2012
    TonyG
    On the Futurama episode "A Leela of Her Own", Leela becomes the first woman to play professional blernsball, although only as a novelty (her poor depth perception meant that everyball she threw would bean the batter). She is beaten by Jacqueline Robinson, who, according to the announcer, is the first woman to play the sport well.
  • June 14, 2012
    Sheora
    I don't know if this is tropeworthy. What is the actual concept here? Everything has a first, it sounds like chairs to me. Please explain and clarify why this is actually a trope.
  • June 14, 2012
    Koveras
    ^ It is a valid character motivation, like To Be A Master. You can build entire characters and plots around it.

    @OP: I think you also need to make it clear that you mean "the chronologically first to achieve something" rather than "the first, as in, the best in some discipline".
  • June 14, 2012
    NimmerStill
    @Sheora, it's not about being the first, it's about lampshading being the first or aspiring to be the first, if I understand correctly, which is another reason why it should only be in-universe examples.
  • June 14, 2012
    NimmerStill
    In The Simpsons episode "You Only Move Twice", Homer's friendly new boss Hank Scorpio brags about being the first rich guy to wear jeans with a sport coat.
  • June 14, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Come to think of it, this probably sometimes overlaps with Overly Narrow Superlative.
  • June 14, 2012
    Sheora
    ^^^OK, then it needs clarification so that comes across immediately in the description. As it stands now, it just sounds like being the first, which is definitely chairs.
  • June 14, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Agreed. Tough though because we're not allowed dialogue titles like "I'm the first! Awesome!"
  • June 14, 2012
    Sheora
  • June 14, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^Sounds good. Sponsor?
  • June 14, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Rewrited the entry.

    That title sound good to me.
  • June 15, 2012
    Sheora
    It's getting there. Can the description be condensed a bit? It's bordering on a wall of text.
  • June 15, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    How about First Boast?
  • June 16, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Suggested elaboration: "Can overlap with Overly Narrow Superlative, if what they're first in is an extremely specific category."
  • June 16, 2012
    InsanityPrelude
    I like First Boast.
  • June 17, 2012
    tryourbreast
    ^^ Done.
  • June 20, 2012
    Sheora
    I'm voting for First Is Awesome. It seems to embody the idea of the trope much better. First Boast could be easily misconstrued. Are you boasting that you are first? Or is it the first time you've boasted?
  • June 21, 2012
    darkgloomie
    Not sure if it's an example or should be allowed, but on many webcomics that allow comments on each single page, there is a tendency of people to race each other to see who can get the earliest comment (to the point that, very often, mods get fed up and ban anyone who does that)
  • June 21, 2012
    MiinU

    Anime and Manga

    • Bleach: In chapter 159, Soi Fon notes that Yoruichi was the first female to become head of the Shihouin Clan in 22 generations, and the first female to lead the Onmitsukido as well.
      • Soi Fon is also the first female to serve as head of the Fon Clan, in addition to being the first (and only) member, in her family's history, to attain the rank of captain, since the Fons traditionally served under the Shihouins.

    Film

    • In The Rock, John Mason (Sean Connery) was a former inmate at Alcatraz Island, having been wrongfully imprisoned for possessing a micro-film exposing the darkest secrets of the U.S. government, and is the first and only innmate, in the prison's history, to successfully escape.

    Video games

    • Art of Fighting: Robert Garcia has world wide acclaim as both the first known foreign practioner of Kyokugenryu Karate, and the first foreigner to ever master the discipline. This has earned him the title of "Saikyo no Tora"; which means, "Raging Tiger" or "Mightest Tiger".
  • June 21, 2012
    MiinU
    name suggestion: First Ever Whatever.
  • June 21, 2012
    NimmerStill
    I like either ^ or ^^^^.
  • June 22, 2012
    MiinU
    For the sake of clarification, the following is a suggested REVISION OF THE OP

    In media, the significance of being the first to accomplish something, or being the first to attain a certain level of distinction, is almost always regarded as a momentous occasion. Those that do, are often bestowed with various levels of prestige, honor, or recognition.

    Expect to hear, from other characters, how X was the first to to do Y, which no one else had envisioned, or may have thought to be impossible. Further, regardless of any advances made in whatever field of study, fighting style, or the magic arts, those that follow will always pay homage to the originators, by reminding others, and the viewer, where it all began. Dojos will have wallscrolls of its founder, who first created their style, and business establishments will usually have either a picture of its founder or a plaque in their honor.

    Whatever the case may be, being the first is treated as very big deal, because without those firsts, it wouldn't be possible for others to follow. This may be due to boundaries and restrictions determined by race, or gender. So being the first woman to achieve a certain title, or rank, that women (or, in rarer cases, men) previously weren't permitted may be seen as doubly important. Just as being the first of one's race, or their kind (in regard to species) to accomplish this.

    Whichever is the case, the message is clear: history will always remember them, and so should we, as the viewer.

    Super Trope of First Post. Compare Cool Of Rule and To Be A Master. See also: Second Place Is For Losers and First Installment Wins. Can overlap with Overly Narrow Superlative, if what they're the first in is an extremely specific category.

    Please include in-universe examples only as real life examples are far too abundant.
  • June 22, 2012
    Jir
    Real Life

    • Youtubers make a big deal of having the first comment on a video by a popular youtuber.
  • June 22, 2012
    MiinU
    ^@Jir - Ironically, darkgloomie already mentioned that.
  • June 22, 2012
    Jir
    @Miin U Actually that was about Web Comics, I'm talking about Youtube....
  • June 22, 2012
    MiinU
    ^@Jir - I was referring to First Post related examples in general.

    Also, both the OP and the suggested revision calls for in-universe examples only. Meaning, examples from Yotube or message boards wouldn't count.
  • June 22, 2012
    Jir
    Oh Okay,I see the No Real Life Examples Please thing sorry!
  • June 22, 2012
    Sleepy
    Name suggestion: To Be The First (to emphasize the similarity to To Be A Master), or To Be The Very First (to play off the Pokemon theme song, the best example of To Be A Master).
  • June 22, 2012
    MiinU
    ^@Sleepy - To Be The First would imply that the character is striving to be the first, purely for the sake of being the first. When the trope is supposed to be about the significance of being the first to achieve whatever they've accomplished.
  • June 22, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • Star Trek The Next Generation: Riker volunteers to be part of an Officer Exchange Program, becoming the First Officer of a Klingon battlecruiser, mostly because nobody's ever done it before. ("It" being OEP-ing on a Klingon ship, not OEP-ing in general.)
    • Peanuts: Strongly averted by Linus, who, in a strip made in 1966, expresses an interest in being the 47th (or 34th, or some other specific number) Man On The Moon.
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