Created By: lacusness on March 4, 2011 Last Edited By: DAN004 on May 7, 2016

Advice For The Enemy

A character who gives advice to his opponents.

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Trope
DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft


For whatever reason, someone is giving an advice to the enemy. Frequently done as a taunt, of course. Tends to be done by a Worthy Opponent and Blood Knight who wants to see their opposition doing better. May be played with with the advice guy giving the wrong advice to trick the opponent.

Often overlaps with Mysterious Backer. Compare Evil Mentor (the mentored and the mentor are explicitly on the same side) and Explaining Your Power to the Enemy. Compare also Stealth Mentor, where the "mentor" is actually on the side of the heroes, and is teaching them how to fight by actively working against them. Here, the enemy teaching/advising the opponent he's fighting, even if he fully opposes the side his enemy is fighting for, and has no intention at all of fighting alongside them later on.

Compare to Deceptive Disciple and A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil, when the mentored was together with the mentor from the start before betraying him (the former is when the mentored is evil from the start, the latter is when he becomes evil).

Related are Warrior Therapist and Trickster Mentor, which may overlap with this.

Indexes: Characters as Device


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Askeladd to Thorfinn in Vinland Saga. Thorfinn follows Askeladd around in hopes of avenging his father, but whenever Askeladd kicks his ass he offers advice.
  • In Yaiba, his father Kenjuro ends up training Onimaru in order to fight Yaiba as if it was Kenjuro himself. Unlike other examples, Onimaru did seek for Kenjuro's advice first.
  • In Attack on Titan, two characters teach Eren how to do hand-to-hand combat during their days in military training. They (plus another character) are later revealed as having been The Mole since before the training. When faced with combat, Eren tells one of them that his biggest mistake was teaching him how to fight before trying to kick his ass.
  • In the football manga Eyeshield21, protagonist Sena's childhood friend Riku teaches him about the importance of protecting the ball to avoid fumbles... during a match in which their respective teams are playing against each other for a spot in the national tournament. Sena uses this knowledge to surpass Riku during the game, but his team loses anyway.
  • Occurs in One Piece with Roronoa Zoro and Dracule Mihawk, after the former is willing to throw away his pride and beg the latter for help to both defeat him and better serve his crew.

Comic Books

Fan Fiction
  • There's this Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic Change Partners and Dance. It has Spike arrive in Sunnydale at the same time as Buffy. He ends up teaching Buffy how to fight, if only so that when he kills her she'll be able to give him a real challenge, only to end up falling for her (and vice-versa)

Film

Literature
  • A large part of 1632 by Eric Flint. There is a policy of spreading knowledge relatively freely all over, especially medical. More specifically, Mike Stearns mentors Wilhelm Saxe-Weimar in how to build an effective and credible opposition to him in 1633.
  • Harry Potter: Snape was ordered to teach Harry legilomancy, and it was an ordeal for both of them because of how much they hated each other. Snape spends most of the series certainly appearing to be an enemy, and he definitely has shades of the Token Evil Teammate, so his teaching Harry, particularly at the end of HBP, probably qualifies, though it might ultimately be considered a subversion since Harry comes to respect Snape post-mortem as he, deep down, still cares for Harry for being his crush's son.

Live-Action TV
  • Q is either this or a Trickster Mentor, depending on the writer of the episode. ZCE
  • In The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Indy captures a German soldier in Africa during World War I. The German is a professional who winds up teaching Indy how to survive as they both make their way to safety.
  • Scorpius in the 4th Season of Farscape was this to Crichton. ZCE
  • White Wizard handed a guard of Koyomi and the belt from Kamen Rider Wizard after the Solar Eclipse created the Phantoms, he assist and helped in their evolution to many future forms, but the White Wizard himself has create the Solar Eclipse (Sabbath) to revive Koyomi again but to create the ceremony again, that's will coast many lives, but Kamen Rider Beast broke the act, and after Kamen Rider Wizard fights again with him. Don't forget the White Wizard is the leader of the Phantoms, Wiseman

Video Game
  • In Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy , Captain Edgar Grint of Albireo Squadron sometimes comments and advises Phoenix during their battle.
    Edgar Grint: Excellent. Use aerodynamics, not just thrust, to your advantage.
  • An early enemy in Earthbound (one of the street gangsters headed by Frank, to be exact) explains you part of the combat system just before starting a battle with him. He even lampshades it.
  • In Zeno Clash, Metamoq trains Ghat in advanced unarmed combat, only to end up attacking him for real and committing suicide via grenade.
  • In Chrono Cross, during boss fights with Solt and Peppor, you're explained some aspects of the combat system, when they try (and fail) to use those aspects against you.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3, Naked Snake gives young Ocelot tips and analysis on how his gun is being used, particularly after Ocelot gets his ass kicked by Snake.
  • Jade Empire: Master Li trains his student this way, introducing deliberate flaws in his teachings so he can exploit them later.

Web Comics

Western Animation

Real Life
  • Nations tend to open up their military and non-military schools and such to foreign nations. Thus, if the nations go to war, it happens that some of the people on the other side were trained by their current enemy. The United States tends to give military training to a great many foreign nationals. And of course, foreign students in American universities is par for the course. The British military has found themselves at times facing a native opponent who just happened to be trained by the British army...

Community Feedback Replies: 64
  • March 4, 2011
    Fanra
    In Real Life nations tend to open up their military and non-military schools and such to foreign nations. Thus, if the nations go to war, it happens that some of the people on the other side were trained by their current enemy.

    The United States tends to give military training to a great many foreign nationals. And of course, foreign students in American universities is par for the course. The British military has found themselves at times facing a native opponent who just happened to be trained by the British army...
  • March 4, 2011
    Puck
    Yes, under the title Stealth Mentor.
  • December 3, 2011
    TrevMUN
    Stealth Mentor doesn't sound anything like what lacusness is proposing. Stealth Mentor implies that the "mentor" is actually on the side of the heroes, and is teaching them how to fight by actively working against them.

    This sounds more like a case of the enemy teaching/advising the opponent he's fighting, even if he fully opposes the side his enemy is fighting for, and has no intention at all of fighting alongside them later on.

    I can give an example:

  • December 3, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Q is either this or a Trickster Mentor, depending on the writer of the episode.
  • December 4, 2011
    Omeganian
    There was a law in Sparta that the same enemy should not be fought too often, lest they'll learn from the Spartans how to fight well.
  • December 4, 2011
    kjnoren
    Literature:
    • A large part of Sixteen Thirty Two by Eric Flint. There is a policy of spreading knowledge relatively freely all over, especially medical. More specifically, Mike Stearns mentors Wilhelm Saxe-Weimar in how to build an effective and credible opposition to him in 1633.

  • December 4, 2011
    crazysamaritan
    Stealth Mentor would be a subtrope of this, and this is still a subtrope of Trickster Mentor.
  • December 7, 2011
    TrevMUN
    In that case, would it be better to name this trope "Enemy Mentor?"
  • December 7, 2011
    crazysamaritan
    Would make it a character trope, and could be fit onto the Character As Device index, so i support that.
  • December 8, 2011
    Chabal2
    Askeladd to Thorfinn in Vinland Saga. Thorfinn follows Askeladd around in hopes of avenging his father, but whenever Askeladd kicks his ass he offers advice.
  • December 8, 2011
    Tambov333
    Compare Evil Mentor.
  • December 8, 2011
    morenohijazo
    An early enemy in Earthbound (one of the street gangsters headed by Frank, to be exact) explains you part of the combat system just before starting a battle with him. He even lampshades it.
  • December 8, 2011
    Fanra
    In The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Indy captures a German soldier in Africa during World War I. The German is a professional who winds up teaching Indy how to survive as they both make their way to safety.
  • December 10, 2011
    nitrokitty
    I know one clear example:
    • In Zeno Clash, Metamoq trains Ghat in advanced unarmed combat, only to end up attacking him for real and committing suicide via grenade.
  • December 24, 2011
    TBeholder
    • An ironic example from Silverfall:
      Roeblen: For a mage centuries old, you're not very swift witted, are you? Only a fool yields information to an enemy.
      Alustriel: Mystra bids us educate the magically weak.
  • December 24, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Scorpius in the 4th Season of Farscape was this to Crichton
  • December 24, 2011
    Cider
    If this is a mentor trope then please call it something more indicative, like Mentoring The Enemy, Training The Enemy, Preparing The Enemy. "Teaching the enemy" implies that as you compete with an opponent they learn from the mistakes they made against you and from your strategy, which is exactly what this proposed trope would not be, as that is not intentional but happens all the time.
  • December 25, 2011
    Arivne
    Seconding Mentoring The Enemy. It's already in the Laconic, after all.
  • December 25, 2011
    TBeholder
    @ OP: links in the "laconic" line currently cause bugs (prevents proper editing)
  • December 25, 2011
    Ryuuma
    In Yaiba, his father Kenjuro ends up training Onimaru in order to fight Yaiba as if it was Kenjuro himself. Unlike other examples, Onimaru did seek for Kenjuro's advice first.
  • December 25, 2011
    LiberatedLiberater
    • Chase Young from Xiaolin Showdown is this to Omi, continually dropping hints so Omi could become a better fighter. Of course his actual goal is to slowly convert Omi into joining his side.
  • December 25, 2011
    Monhare
    • In AvatarTheLastAirbender, Iroh was about to be mugged, when he notices the mugger's stance with the knife is poor, and ends up fixing his stance. He did this by dodging the mugger's attacks, then quickly correcting his stance mid-stab.
  • January 8, 2012
    TBeholder
    Frequently done as a taunt, of course.
  • January 17, 2012
    TBeholder
  • January 18, 2012
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • Snape was ordered to teach Harry Potter legilomancy, and it was an ordeal for both of them because of how much they hated each other.
  • January 19, 2012
    crazysamaritan
  • July 24, 2012
    morenohijazo
    In Chrono Cross, during boss fights with Solt and Peppor, you're explained some aspects of the combat system, when they try (and fail) to use those aspects against you.
  • July 24, 2012
    HonestGent
    Video game example (I think) Big Boss in Metal Gear mentors and supports Snake in his mission while secretly running Outer Haven in the original game. Though we know how that turned out for him. I think we need more context on the mentor's motivations here.
  • July 24, 2012
    captainsandwich
  • July 24, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Caleb Carr mentions this in his 2002 book The Lessons of Terror. The Roman Empire ended up training the "barbarian" soldiers who would later defeat them, including the Auxiliaries who rebelled and destroyed Varus and his legions. I don't believe this was intentional on the part of the Romans, but then I'm not sure you require forethought for this trope.
  • July 24, 2012
    Bisected8
    Often overlaps with Mysterious Backer.
  • July 25, 2012
    Astaroth
    Used in an episode of Ben10 when Ben and Kevin are kidnapped to be used in Gladiator Games and forced to work together. Kevin has multiple superpowers but those powers are spread out and 'diluted', so Ben suggests he combine the superpowers to compensate, such as combining Super Speed with Super Strength to become a Lightning Bruiser.
  • July 25, 2012
    surgoshan
    • Snape spends most of the Harry Potter series certainly appearing to be an enemy, and he definitely has shades of the Token Evil Teammate, so his teaching Harry, particularly at the end of HBP, probably qualifies, though you might ultimately consider him a subversion.
  • July 25, 2012
    TBeholder
    So it's, essentially "Do-It-Yourself: A Worthy Opponent" (or a possible ally in the next scrap, depending on the whole picture)?
  • July 25, 2012
    isk2837
    There's this Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic Change Partners and Dance. It has Spike arrive in Sunnydale at the same time as Buffy. He ends up teaching Buffy how to fight, if only so that when he kills her she'll be able to give him a real challenge, only to end up falling for her (and vice-versa)
  • July 25, 2012
    NimmerStill
    I'm not sure this counts, or if it's a straight example, but:
    • In the Star Trek Voyager episode "Tsunkatse", Seven of Nine is captured as a gladiator. The fellow gladiator who trains her, a Hirogen Hunter, turns out to be her last opponent.
    Not sure to what extent it's an example since they're not really enemies, just forced to be opponents.
  • July 25, 2012
    morenohijazo
    In Metal Gear Solid 3, Naked Snake gives young Ocelot tips and analysis on how his gun is being used, particularly after Ocelot gets his ass kicked by Snake.
  • July 25, 2012
    Mauri
    A common theme in certain RP Gs some as tutorial battles.
  • September 23, 2012
    TBeholder
  • September 23, 2012
    Quatic
    Obi Wan trained Darth Vader. And, generally, the Sith train an apprentice who will eventually betray and kill the master to become the next one.
  • September 23, 2012
    TBTabby
    I think we should only include examples of people training their enemies while they are enemies.
  • May 27, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Would it count if the "teaching" isn't how to fight? I'm thinking of an "older worker forced to teach younger/overseas workers how to do his job so he can be fired" type of thing.
  • May 29, 2013
    Synchronicity
    In Shingeki No Kyojin, Reiner and Annie teach Eren how to do hand-to-hand combat seriously during their military training days. When the former two are revealed as The Mole (even since the military training), Eren tells Reiner that his biggest mistake was teaching him how to fight before trying to beat the shit out of him.
  • June 4, 2013
    LordGro
    This has a huge overlap with Warrior Therapist. A warrior is not necessarily an enemy, and an enemy not necessarily a warrior, but I don't know whether that is enough to justify two differen tropes.

    ^ That's how not to do spoilers.
  • June 4, 2013
    sgamer82
    • Occurs in One Piece with Roronoa Zoro and Dracule Mihawk, after the former is willing to throw away his pride and beg the latter for help to both defeat him and better serve his crew.
    • Isshinai Ogata of Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple almost actively encourages this. While most of his disciples are respectful, if not reverent, of him, he has absolutely no problem whatsoever if a student turns against him and trains with him with the intent to ultimately kill him, since if they succeed it means that student has surpassed him.

    ^x5 - Obi-wan training Anakin doesn't count since they didn't become enemies since well after Anakin was a Jedi in his own right. The Sith knowingly training apprentices who will attempt to kill them, however, probably does fit this trope.
  • September 2, 2013
    DAN004
    Yeah, Warrior Therapist is related. Though being a "therapist" doesn't necessarily mean "mentoring" in this case.
  • September 9, 2013
    KingZeal
    Lady Shiva does this with anyone she thinks has potential to be a Worthy Opponent. She'll attempt to drive them to want to kill her and threaten/kill their loved ones if that's what it takes to bring out the best in them.
  • September 10, 2013
    Synchronicity
    ^^^Okay, let's try that again.

    • In Attack On Titan, two characters teach Eren how to do hand-to-hand combat during their days in military training. They (plus another character) are later revealed as having been The Mole since before the training. When faced with combat, Eren tells one of them that his biggest mistake was teaching him how to fight before trying to kick his ass.
  • September 11, 2013
    reflaxion
    Added example from Eyeshield21. I think it's the first non-violent example.
  • September 20, 2013
    reflaxion
    There are a lot of mentor tropes. How does this differentiate from Evil Mentor, Trickster Mentor, and Stealth Mentor?

    Not saying it doesn't, but pointing out what makes it special in the description could really help this out.
  • September 20, 2013
    Nazetrime
    Multiple media example:
    • In Noob, it known ever since Season 3 finale / the middle of the third book that the strongest players of all three factions, Fantöm, Amaras and Spectre are going to have a three-way battle to see which of them is the best. Spectre mentors Fantöm both to get to know him better and beacause he wants to fight Fantöm, who's in the middle of recovering from a big blunder, at full strength.
  • September 20, 2013
    thEpirate
    In Ender'sGame, all the bugs ever learn of humanity comes from Ender's endless battles with them.
  • September 20, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    ^ No; Ender is not trying to teach the bugs anything at that time.
  • September 20, 2013
    RedBuster
    White Wizard handed a guard of Koyomi and the belt from Kamen Rider Wizard after the Solar Eclipse created the Phantoms, he assist and helped in their evolution to many future forms, but the White Wizard himself has create the Solar Eclipse (Sabbath) to revive Koyomi again but to create the ceremony again, that's will coast many lioves, but Kamen Rider Beast broke the act, and after Kamen Rider Wizard fights again with him. Don't forget the White Wizard is the leader of the Phantoms, Wiseman
  • September 21, 2013
    nitrokitty
    • Jade Empire: Master Li trains his student this way, introducing deliberate flaws in his teachings so he can exploit them later.
  • September 21, 2013
    Arivne
    Moved the Video Game item about tutorial battles to the description as per How To Write An Example - Keep It An Example. It's a blanket statement about video games, not a specific work example.
  • March 26, 2015
    DAN004
    I guess the better way to define this is: "during a fight between 2 enemies, one of them gives the other words of teaching, and it's supposed to be a spontaneous thing".

    If it's not spontaneous (i.e planned), it's Stealth Mentor. If the mentor-student relationship is blatant, it's not this, but Evil Mentor or Trickster Mentor.
  • March 26, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Not sure whether this counts; it depends on one's definition of "enemy."

  • May 6, 2016
    DAN004
    Opening the possibility for "wrong" mentoring.
  • May 6, 2016
    DAN004
    Kenichi, Star Wars, Lessons of Terror example (hidden) are more about Deceptive Disciple than this. The Metal Gear example with Big Boss sounds like Evil Mentor, dunno.

    Star Trek, Farscape example are ZCE.

    Noob example doesn't seem to have any advising/mentoring going on. Although, I need to know whether we have a trope about "learning from the enemy" (like in the Sparta example in Real Life) without the enemy actively mentoring them.
  • May 7, 2016
    Argon2
    [AC: Tabletop Games]]
    • The Crane martial arts style in [[Exalted gives combat bonuses to practitioners who analyze their opponent's skill and offer helpful suggestions to improve it.
  • Here is a quote I have for this article;

    Eggman: "I can't watch this anymore! You got no game, kid! Let me help you!"
    Tails: "You? But you're our sworn enemy!"
    Eggman: "Nonetheless, in situations this dire, the bro code trumps the whole enemy thing."
    Sonic Boom, episode, "Tails' Crush".

    As well as a Western Animation example from where the quote originated;

    • Throughout the Sonic Boom episode, "Tails' Crush", Tails tries to impress Zooey by taking advice from his friends that always backfires on him. note  Unknown to him, Dr. Eggman has witnessed every event while he tries to get a package he ordered from Leroy the Turtle. Eventually, Eggman has had enough and tells Tails to just be himself, and in the end, that turns out to be the best advice.
  • May 7, 2016
    Psi001
    • The Pokemon episode "Mending a Broken Spirit" has James secretly do so using one of his Paper Thin Disguises. After Serena's Braixen breaks her weaponised branch, Serena has trouble understanding why it's so indispensable. James, having similar sentimental fondness for collector's items, poses as "Jeeves", explaining Braixen much be attached to it for a reason.
  • May 7, 2016
    oneuglybunny
    Film
    • Melon farmer Mr Majestyk gets a visit from local thug Bobby Kopas, who tells Majestyk to hire his people instead of migrant workers. Majestyk makes short work of Kopas, and advises him, "You're in the wrong line of work." This quote becomes an Ironic Echo after Majestyk takes out the The Dragon and the Big Bad, leaving Kopas as the sole survivor.
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