Created By: BrokenEye on September 14, 2012 Last Edited By: BrokenEye on December 7, 2015

The Call Got a Wrong Number

The hero who got the call wasn't its intended recipient

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Carol mysteriously receives a message or an item of some sort, triggering the plot. Later, Carol finds out that the message wasn't intended for her at all but for Bob, the mysterious old man who lives just outside of town. As it turns out, Bob is a retired member of some ancient order of do-gooders, and the senders thought he would be the perfect person to take care of their problem, perhaps they even believe Bob is the Chosen One. Occasionally they didn't intend it as The Call To Adventure at all, and merely wanted Bob to keep an eye on the item while continuing to lie low.

So why did Carol get the message instead? Maybe Bob is dead. Maybe Bob wasn't in at the time. Maybe the senders of the message just had really lousy aim. For whatever reason, they got Carol instead and Carol, not Bob, ended up as The Hero, possibly even the Chosen One.

Oftentimes, Bob will end up joining Carol's party anyway, usually as The Obi-Wan.


Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • In the original Star Wars trilogy has a partial example. Although Princess Leia's message was intended for Obi-Wan and not Luke, this was clear from the start.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • In Eragon, the dragon egg was supposed to go to Brom, but due to a hastily prepared spell, ended up appearing to Eragon in middle of the nearby wilderness
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • September 14, 2012
    OmarKarindu
  • September 14, 2012
    CrankyStorming
    Bad Reception is about the Call going to the right person but they turn out to be incompetent.
  • September 14, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Missed The Call? Not exactly the same but very similar.
  • September 14, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Sounds the same to me. I never liked that name, though....
  • September 15, 2012
    BrokenEye
    Trust me, I checked all the The Call related tropes. None of 'em are this one.
  • September 15, 2012
    Desertopa
    In the first Kingdom Hearts game, Sora receives the Keyblade because Riku, the real prime candidate to receive it, had already been corrupted by darkness.

    Later games have made keyblades much more common, and this may have been retconned since, but that was the explanation as of the original.
  • September 15, 2012
    foxley
    In Ben 10, it is ultimately revealed that the Omnimatrix was supposed to have been delivered to Grandpa Max, not Ben.
  • September 16, 2012
    MorganWick
    Eight Bit Theater. (please expand)
  • September 16, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Broken Eye, please explain how this isn't Missed The Call. Looks identical to me too.
  • September 16, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Quoting from Missed The Call, halfway through the description (which should probably be given a rewrite anyway):


    ...[then] Destiny calls back: "Remember when you answered The Call? Turns out I had the wrong number, I was actually trying to find that other orphan with a plot trinket."

    What? The Hero was actually just an Innocent Bystander in the "wrong" place at the "wrong" time?
  • December 7, 2015
    henke37
    The title of "Missed The Call" suggests something different. I propose that it is moved to this new name instead.
  • December 7, 2015
    DAN004
    Uh... I'm super confused.

    So what is this ykttw, what is that trope currently named Missed The Call, and how should the two be named?
  • December 7, 2015
    NoirGrimoir
    The difference seems to be:

    Missed The Call: The Call unknowingly goes to the wrong person.

    This: the person The Call was intended for isn't available at the exact moment it happens, or The Call is intercepted, so someone else Jumped At The Call in their place.

    The difference seems to be awareness. In Missed The Call, The Hero believes they are the one The Call is intended for, or are the only one who can accomplish some task, when in fact this isn't the case. In this, either a) the person who The Call is intended for isn't around, so The Hero decides they'll take on the task, fully aware that they aren't the intended recipient, or b) The Call is so cool or their current circumstances so terrible that upon hearing about it, The Hero decides to intercept The Call before it even reaches it's intended recipient, either for glory and adventure or to change their own circumstances i.e. Jumped At The Call. The Hero knows The Call isn't for them, they just do it anyway. The latter version tends to include impersonation of some kind.
  • December 7, 2015
    DAN004
    Then the description of this ykttw should make it clearer.
  • December 7, 2015
    DAN004
    Where would this go?
    • Mega Man Zx Advent: Model A, the Biometal for Grey/Ashe (our playable characters, depending on who you choose), turns out to be intended for Grey, as he's the backup body for Master Albert and Model A contains Albert's plans and portion of his abilities. So while Grey is pretty much destined to use the Biometal, Ashe isn't - in her storyline, Grey either doesn't exist or is dead, and she had to take the Model A to protect herself. She's also an unaccounted-for element in Albert's plans, unlike Grey.
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