Created By: Vree on August 20, 2010 Last Edited By: animeg3282 on February 22, 2012

Finding One's True Talent

Everyone has a talent. Not always the one they think they have.

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Trope
alt title: Find Your True Calling Plot

Some characters Never Live It Down that they have not become what they wanted to be; they go around telling everybody that I Coulda Been a Contender.

This trope is the optimistic side of the same coin. The character who has been trying for something in vain for an episode (or sometimes even longer) finds out that their talents lay in a different area all along; it's just the fact that they have been so focused on their goal that didn't let them realize it. Usually their true calling is very similar or related to what they had originally intended, but allows them to fully utilize their hidden abilities while not forcing them to try in areas where they have been shown to lack real talent. .

See also You Can Put Your Skill To Use when this happens to a reformed villain. If the character realized their talent but not its significance, it is I Thought Everyone Could Do That.

This is typically an ending trope.

Examples:
  • Ryou Kuroyanagi in Yakitate!! Japan. His teacher prevents him from becoming a baker like the other characters, as it turns out, because he believes that his talents lie elsewhere: he eventually becomes a world class food critic thanks to his above average sense of taste and extensive knowledge of bread.
  • Jim 'Wash Out' Pfaffenbach the near-blind pilot in Hot Shots!! who becomes an air traffic controller after getting kicked out of his unit.
"You bet, they put me in charge of radar! From now on, I'll be your eyes on the ground!"
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • January 4, 2010
    animeg3282
    In The World Ends With You, Shiki is told that she isn't meant to be a designer, but learns that her skills as a seamstress are useful.
  • January 4, 2010
    the grene kni3t
    In Scrubs, Butt Monkey Doug finally realizes that he's a terrible doctor, but turns out to have a knack for pathology... due to his extensive experience with killing patients.
  • January 4, 2010
    berr
    Oh So Tropable.
  • January 19, 2010
    FalconPain
    At the end of Ratatouille, Linguini stops pretending to be a chef like his father (and rat) and instead becomes an outstanding waiter.
  • March 31, 2011
    FalconPain
    Subverted by the Cutie Mark Crusaders on My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, particularly in the talent show episode. When Twilight suggests that they stick to what interests them, it's quickly revealed that they aren't particularly good at what interests them, and yet the scenes clearly show that they have great talent at something that one of the others is doing. Yet in the end, they never pick up on this.
  • February 20, 2012
    animeg3282
    anyone want to save this?
  • February 20, 2012
    pawsplay
    Real Life: Adolf Hitler failed as a painter and was mediorce as a military man, but after getting recruited to spy on the Nazis, joined them and discovered a talent for oratory. The rest is history.
  • February 21, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Old joke:
    There was a man with the carnival whose job it was to clean up the smelly bucketloads of prolific elephant dung. A passerby, who saw him hip-deep in the excrement, asked, "My good man, how can you put up with such demeaning conditions? Haven't you ever thought about another line of work?" To which the carnival worker replied, "What - and give up show business?"
  • February 21, 2012
    pawsplay
    For a name, how about Put A Talent To Good Use?
  • February 22, 2012
    Catbert
    I think it is a good trope idea and is worth keeping.
  • February 22, 2012
    Koveras
    • In The Winter Queen, Lady Esther's public schools enforce this trope by figuring out children's talents at a young age and developing them throughout the years at school.
      • In The Coronation, this is also used by Afanasiy Zyukin in regards to among employees: he figures out what activity the person has talent and passion for and makes it their sole duty.
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