Created By: Topazan on May 20, 2013 Last Edited By: Topazan on June 2, 2013

Childhood Play Foreshadows Future Profession

Children pretend to do the job they'll have as adults

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Do We Have This? Needs a Better Name.

Generally, the audience is most familiar with the character as an adult. Either during a flashback or introductory scene, we see them as a child, playing at the same job they'll be as an adult.

I'll work on the description as we go.

Examples:

  • In the first scene of the first episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, we see Jonathan Archer as a preteen painting a model of a starship. He grows up to be the captain of the Enterprise.
  • At the beginning of The Wedding Planner, we see the titular character acting out a wedding scene with dolls. (Right? My memory of this movie is vague, and I only saw a small part.)
  • At the beginning of Contact, we see Eleanor Arroway being taught how to use a HAM radio by her father, foreshadowing her work at SETI.
  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, Takano vows to become an expert in medicine to avenge her guardian as a very young girl.
  • There is a legend that King Cyrus was raised by a peasant family (he was supposed to be killed at birth, but the man responsible disobeyed), but his heritage became clear when he was chosen as a king in a childhood play and behaved like a real one.
  • There's a legend the the mother of the Chinese philosopher Mencius moved three times out of concern for her son. Their first home was near a cemetery, where the young Mencius imitated the rites at funerals. Their second home was near a marketplace, where he imitated the merchants hawking their wares and haggling over prices. Finally, they moved near a school where he imitated the politeness and studiousness of the scholars and teachers.

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • May 20, 2013
    SKJAM
    See also Playing Doctor for those that will grow up to become medical professionals.
  • May 20, 2013
    Bisected8
    Also compare Weapon Jr, for when a child's using a kiddy version of a weapon they'll use as an adult.
  • May 20, 2013
    lexicon
    Are there any examples? I can't think of any. All I can think of is children pretending to be what they can't grow up to be. Princess Phase.
  • May 21, 2013
    hawaiianflower
    Does a very young kid promising to get a specific job count? She practices for the job, though in a less cutesy dress up, more studious way. If so, here's an example (but spoiler-marked, I can't think of anything else right now).

    Anime and Manga:
  • May 21, 2013
    Topazan
    I've added the examples I can think of. I could have sworn I've Seen It A Million Times, but I can't think of many unambiguous examples. There are probably some examples of parents expecting this which may count as well, even if it doesn't play out in the show.

    ^Hm, let's say yes for now until we narrow down more what this trope is about.
  • May 21, 2013
    Omeganian
    There is a legend that King Cyrus was raised by a peasant family (he was supposed to be killed at birth, but the man responsible disobeyed), but his heritage became clear when he was chosen as a king in a childhood play and behaved like a real one.
  • May 21, 2013
    Marz1200
    Could this be expanded to include direct references to this but not necessarily a flashback? i.e. a police officer saying that they used to play cops and robbers as a kid.
  • May 21, 2013
    Topazan
    ^Sure.
  • May 21, 2013
    Lorialet
  • May 23, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Zig Zagged (though probably not on purpose) on The Brady Bunch. In an episode of the original series, Greg has to write a paper on "what I want to be when I grow up." Since he can't think of anything, he writes that he wants to be an architect like his father. In the same episode, Jan decides that she wants to be a nurse. Flash forward to The Brady Girls Get Married and it turns out that Greg has become a doctor and Jan an architect.
  • May 23, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    • In the book Do The Funky Pickle, Salem uses this as evidence for her argument that Women Are Wiser: as children, girls play with dolls because they're already preparing to raise a family, while boys play with toy trucks and bulldozers because they can't think ahead past getting their first job.
  • May 29, 2013
    Topazan
    I've lost interest in this. Up For Grabs.
  • June 2, 2013
    Omeganian
    Admiral Xen: Rael should have felt no more guilt experimenting on geth than I did while performing surgery on a childhood toy!
    Tali: The fact that you performed surgery on your childhood toys explains a great deal, Admiral.
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