Created By: aschwartz07901 on September 21, 2011 Last Edited By: aschwartz07901 on January 12, 2016

The Alleged Ship

When the Space/sea ship that all the main characters are serving on is an old, outdated, piece of crap

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When the main Characters of a novel serve in a navy, whether that navy sails through sea, or space, out of all the ships in that navy, The Hero and the other main characters are stuck on an old piece of Crap, that is usually described as rusty, and decades out of date, and the ship should have been scuttled for parts long ago. nevertheless, this ship becomes the hero's Flagship, either through jerry-rigging on better equipment, or through the tactics of A Guile Hero.

There are several explainations for this trope, but usually it boils down to two reasons

1: The ship is a dumping ground for problem officers, Wildcards, and incompetants that High command doesn't want on better warships (one of thses misfits is usually the hero who can transform the rest from a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits into his Badass Crew

2: Financial difficulties and/or lack of funds makes all the ships like this, and this one is operated by an especially Badass Crew

Compare to The Alleged Car

examples

Literature
  • Mike Reznick's Starship novels put the hero on the Teddy Rosvelt, an old dilapidated, rust bucket, that the hero turns into one of the most feared ships in the galaxy

  • In the Destroyermen books, the Walker is this in the real world, but becomes an engine of destruction in the Parallel Universe. Then it turns back into one when it faces the Amagi

Film
  • Down Periscope U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Thomas Dodge is given command of a rusty World War II era submarine and ordered to take part in a war game with a modern Los Angeles class attack sub. His crew is a motley group of rejects and misfits.

TV
  • since it is actually an older obsolete model by time-lord standards, the doctor's TARDIS technically counts

Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • September 21, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    The Navy Lark's HMS Troutbridge, despite being a pre-WW 2 era vessel the crew managed to keep her afloat until the end of the 70s (Navigation Officer Sub-lieutenant Phillips's best efforts notwithstanding) since having the ship decommissioned would mean the crew would have to do real work.

    In Nu Who the TARDIS, of course it isn't like the Doctor can pop in for repairs. In Classic Who not so much (maybe at the very beginning of the William Hartnell era, but not beyond that).

    In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe Jason Kane has one of these as his ship.
    "Whoosh, whoosh. Bang, bang, kersplat sometimes admittedly"
  • September 21, 2011
    GinaInTheKingsRoad
  • September 21, 2011
    Allronix
    • Don't let Kaylee (or Mal) hear you, but Serenity from Firefly really qualifies.
      • Several characters (especially in "Shindig") refer to the ship as a "flying piece of [dog crap]"
  • September 21, 2011
    Jordan
    The space ship used by Space Captain Smith is a type one example

    The Soyokaze (spelling?) of Irresponsible Captain Tylor is a type one example.

    Some type two examples (admitedly not military) would be Serenity in Firefly, the Bebop of Cowboy Bebop, and I think the Milenium Falcon in Star Wars. Interestingly, in all of these, while the ships aren't at all Starship Luxurious, they seem to be unusually good ships in terms of speed and durability.
  • September 21, 2011
    TBeholder
    "Stay clear. They say paint job is a structural component."
    -- from Uln pilots' chat lines in Vega Strike

    =)

    Spaceships like this currently are the main internal subtrope of the Used Future. Also, it's what Space Trucker often get to ride.

  • September 21, 2011
    lars_h
    The BS Galactica in Battlestar Galactica (at least the new series)? At the beginning of the mini-series, it's just about to be turned into a museum.
  • September 21, 2011
    TwoGunAngel
    If the ship actually qualifies as a Cool Ship despite its rundown exterior (as quite a few of these ships do), then this is What A Piece Of Junk.
  • September 22, 2011
    nitrokitty
    I think Serenity qualifies. Really, if we look at it, it really is falling apart at the seams and held together with spit, duct tape, and Kaylee's frantic ministrations. The episode Out Of Gas shows what happens when the ship finally does break.
  • September 22, 2011
    Ryuuma
    In an Italian Fairy Tale, the hero is forced by the wicked king to perform some dangerous sea travels using a decrepit, half broken ship. Thankfully he can count on the Archangel Michael who aids him with a far better ship.
  • September 23, 2011
    Arivne
    Film
    • Down Periscope. U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Thomas Dodge is given command of a rusty World War II era submarine and ordered to take part in a war game with a modern Los Angeles class attack sub. His crew is a motley group of rejects and misfits.
  • September 23, 2011
    oztrickster
    In the new doctor who, its mentioned that his model of tardis was outdated when he originally stole it, with however many centuries have passed and all the trouble he gets into, its pretty understandably beaten up
  • September 23, 2011
    Wackd
    Moreover, this was actually a plot-point several times in classic Who as well, with it often being remarked upon that the Doctor's TARDIS is unreliable and prone to breaking down or missing it's target.
  • September 23, 2011
    jate88
    Has nothing to do with Shipping?
  • September 23, 2011
    Lumpenprole
    The Caine in the Caine Mutiny is an obsolete destoyer pressed into duty in the desperate early months after Pearl Harbor; but by the events of the novel it has been relegated to such tasks as escort and towing gunnery targets.
  • September 23, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • Operation Petticoat: the submarine is sunk and is given emergency repairs, including being painted pink.
  • September 23, 2011
    Allronix
    • In the first Knights Of The Old Republic, the Ebon Hawk was a Cool Ship. In the second, it takes so much damage and is repaired so hastily that is qualifies for Alleged Ship.
      • Jolee Bindo flying one of these "Alleged Ships" was why he crash-landed on Kashyyyk and was strandeed untul your party recruits him.
    • Deep Space Nine is the Alleged Space Station. The Bajorans sabotaged it, the Cardassians stripped it for parts and sabotaged it on the way out. And the Federation really didn't give a shit about it until the Dominion War. As a result, O'Brien really had his hands full.
  • September 23, 2011
    Worldmaker
    Film
    • The titular craft in the film PT-109 (a biopic about John F Kennedy's naval service during World War II) is in this condition when Kennedy is assigned command of it.

    And I'm surprised that someone mentioned Down Periscope without using the epic quote from Commander Tom Dodge: "Well, no disrespect to the USS Rustoleum here, but I'd be better off in the Merrimack!"
  • October 30, 2011
    Insignificant
    ^Titular. That word does not mean what you think it means.

    Also, Worldmaker, why did you discard this? You haven't made a case against it's tropability, in fact you contributed an example. Split personality much?
  • October 31, 2011
    aurora369
    Millenium Falcon, anyone?
  • November 1, 2011
    Tambov333
    Savage Chicken, pre-repairs.
  • November 1, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^^That'd be What A Piece Of Junk, which could be considered a subversion of this.
  • November 19, 2011
    Tambov333
    Bump.
  • November 12, 2012
    TBeholder
    • "Flotsam" in Skybreaker.
      The ship looked like it hadn't been refitted since the Flood, and it smelled like Noah's old boot. The crew quarters were little more than hammocks slung alongside the keel catwalk, where your sleep was soured by the stench of oil and Aruba fuel. The hull looked like it had been patched with everything including cast-off trousers. The engines rattled. The food quite simply defied comprehension. [...]
      Why the illustrious Academy used the Flotsam as a training vessel I couldn't guess, unless they wanted to teach their students how to mutiny.
  • November 12, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Expanding on a previous example:

    • The Soyokaze from Irresponsible Captain Tylor is an old rustbucket of a destroyer used as a dumping ground for all the misfits, screw ups, and undesirables that the brass wants out of the way without actually relieving of duty. Naturally, in keeping with the trope, they become the Ragtag Bunch Of Misfits that save the day.
  • November 12, 2012
    Stratadrake
    [[quoteblock]]That word does not mean what you think it means.[[/quoteblock]]
    Oh yes it does. Now there can be several reasons to pick a different word still, but "ur doin it wrong" is not one of 'em.
    *clears throat* But anyway...

    • In Skylanders Giants, Flynn was thrilled to purchase his ship, the Dread-Yacht, despite that it's barely airworthy (its first mission involves, among other things, securing a new engine and navigation compass), the original owner seemed in a hurry to sell it off, and some characters believe it's haunted by a curse.
  • January 12, 2016
    shimaspawn
    • In Freefall, Sam's ship is basically an extremely large paperweight until he manages to shanghai an engineer, Florence, to fix it up for him. Even afterwards, it may be spaceworthy, but it's far from the nicest ship in the system.
  • January 12, 2016
    NateTheGreat
    Does the Eureka Maru from Andromeda count?
  • January 12, 2016
    shimaspawn
    ^ No one shall ever know if you don't write it as a proper example.
  • January 12, 2016
    Chabal2
    Zigzagged with the Hyperion, Raynor's flagship in Starcraft II. When they stole it several years before, it was a top-of-the-line ship (being Emperor Mengsk's personal space fortress) but has since fallen behind modern battlecruisers since technical advances and high-quality repairs aren't available to the most wanted man in Dominion space. However, it's still a total Game Breaker against unprepared enemies, and over the course of the games it gets several upgrades.
  • January 12, 2016
    zoop
    This is just The Alleged Car. I see no reason to split that trope into "car" vs "not car" examples. The TARDIS, The Millenium Falcon, Down Periscope, and Freefall are all already mentioned on that page.
  • January 12, 2016
    TBTabby
    When Freefall begins, Sam's ship, the Savage Chicken, is completely inoperable and in such poor shape that it leaks in the rain, among other things. With the aid, of Florence, the ship is eventually repaired enough that it can go into orbit.
  • January 12, 2016
    DAN004
    What A Piece Of Junk

    Discard please.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=nqekmtpl70zhkso0nn11oll4