->'''Soldier:''' Wait, does this kid even have a driver's license?\\
'''Lloyd:''' No, no he doesn't.\\
'''Soldier:''' Then why the hell is he in a goddamn prototype Gundam?\\
'''Lloyd:''' Because we are very, ''very'' desperate.
-->-- ''Anime/CodeGeass: The Abridged Series''

A common device whereby a character, usually an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent, is thrust into piloting a machine that they wouldn't be allowed anywhere near under normal circumstances due to a disaster or enemy attack.

Our hero might have an assload of [[BeginnersLuck raw talent]], secretly be a ReplacementGoldfish, part of the next [[EvolutionaryLevels stage in Human evolution]] or just [[IKnowMortalKombat play videogames a lot]], but whatever the reason, he now has to pilot the thing in the middle of a battle (where he is now a prime target) [[DieOrFly just to get out of the situation alive]]. And boy, does he!

Of course, the problem afterwards is how to ''keep'' them in the machine after the crisis has passed. It could be that all the [[DisposablePilot normal pilots]] were wearing [[RedShirt Red Shirts]] that day, or the fact that the machine is kind of an EmpathicWeapon, and can only key itself to its first pilot (or just ''likes'' him better), but for the time being, he's stuck in the cockpit of an engine of destruction, whether he [[JumpedAtTheCall wants to]] or [[RefusalOfTheCall not]].

This trope isn't necessarily as contrived or nonsensical as it might first appear. Some military vehicles (helicopters, aircraft) will never be easy to pick up on the fly, but there's equipment out there that's specifically designed to be easy to operate. The Soviet Union particularly valued easily-learned equipment (and Russia has inherited that priority); the T-54/T-55 series of tanks (and engineering vehicles based on them) have basically the same controls as a large truck, except that they have steering levers instead of steering wheels. (To turn, pull the lever on the side you want to turn to, then release it once you've re-oriented.)

Also note that in all militaries, part of learning to handle equipment is learning to handle it safely. Many devices are easy to use in reckless fashions -- and [[TheLastDance if things are desperate enough, using things recklessly is fine]].

Widely used in {{Mecha Show}}s. A SubTrope of PowersInTheFirstEpisode.


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* The ''Mazinger'' series:
** ''Anime/MazingerZ'': The first HumongousMecha anime used this trope showed it [[UnbuiltTrope in a more realistic way than later shows]]. Kouji Kabuto, the first HumongousMecha pilot, knew absolutely nothing about piloting a giant robot -or any manner of robot, really- and in the first few episodes [[SubvertedTrope it shows]]. Mazinger went on a rampage the first time he activated it because he kept punching random buttons as he tried to learn controling the damned thing (in the original manga he almost destroyed one whole city; and in the anime he almost gets his little brother killed), and he got beaten in his first battles. Sayaka and her father did their best to teach him quickly, but until then he only survived due to Mazinger's impressive weaponry and sturdy body armor... and Kouji soon revealed he was a quick-thinker that could come up with new strategies on the fly.
** It was subverted with Sayaka, who was taught to pilot Aphrodita A.
** And averted by Tetsuya and Jun from ''Anime/GreatMazinger'', that were trained for years.
** On the other hand, Duke -and Hikaru- from ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'' play it straight. Maria, on the other hand, was trained to pilot the [[MidSeasonUpgrade Drill Spacer]].
** On the other hand, Kouji avoided the trope twice: Kouji tried to pilot Grendizer once during an emergency and he was unable. He stated the controls were too complicated to him. And in another occasion he got to pilot Great Mazinger, and he was worried he would have forgotten how handling it. Fortunately, Great Mazinger controls were pretty similar to Mazinger's and he got several years worth of experience for that time.
** It happens again in ''Anime/{{Mazinkaiser}}'' - when Kouji finds and takes up the titular mecha, it goes on a rampage. It isn't until episode four that Kouji's actually shown controlling it without it falling on its ass.
* ''Manga/GetterRobo'':
** The series plays it mostly straight. However, in a manga chapter, Ryoma literally shoved a shell-shocked Hayato into the cockpit, placed a helmet-like contraption on his head and told it was a computer would help him to drive the jet. Hayato -who was still shellshocked after seeing a humanoid lizard eating his friends and a giant, flying dinosaur bringing down his school-, tried to protest he did not want to doing this. Ryoma did not care.
** In ''Getter Robo Go'', Go and Sho try to hijack a {{Robeast}} in the first arc. However, Sho does not manage keep it under control, not matter what she does. Finally Go lost his patience and blew the controls up, thinking it would stop it. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Unfortunately the only thing he managed was the monster went completely and unstoppably berserker]].
** ''New Getter Robo'' makes a ShoutOut with this in Hayato's introduction episode.
* ''Anime/KotetsuJeeg'' subverts it: Since Hiroshi transforms into Jeeg, he did not need prior training.
* ''Anime/{{Raideen}}'' subverts the trope. Raideen was a sentient mecha led Akira into his cockpit by telepathy. When Akira woke up from his trance and saw he was inside a HumongousMecha and surrounded by monsters, the first thing he did was to scream: "LET ME OUT OF HERE!". Raideen calmed him down stating he could read minds, so the only thing Akira needed to do was think about what he wanted Raideen to do.
* The ''Anime/RobotRomanceTrilogy'':
** ''Anime/CombattlerV'' played it straight with the main characters. The first time they deployed Combattler, they handled it reasonably well in spite of Chizuru was the only pilot could be expected having got basic training. It was justified later: there is one computer built into each one of their helmets, and it help them to pilot it. And it was deconstructed, too. In one episode, a child sneaked into the cockpit, thinking he could use Hyoma's helmet to drive Combattler. As a matter of fact, he could not, and he almost got himself -and everyone else- killed off.
** It was apparently played straight but quickly subverted in ''Anime/VoltesV'': When the Voltes team was roughly shoved into their vehicles, Kenichi protested they did not knew how driving them. Then his mother reminded him flatly they HAD got training to pilot aircrafts.
** ''Anime/{{Daimos}}'' justified the trope: Kazuya was a space pilot but nobody had taught him to pilot Daimos before shoving him into the cockpit. However, his MotionCaptureMecha was piloted through a mental interface, allowing him piloting it and using his martial arts to fight (and still in the first battle he needed being informed of the weapons of Daimos).
* ''Anime/{{Zambot3}}'' justifies it: Kappei gets roughly shoved into the cockpit of Zambot Ace by his grandparents and big brother. Before he can ask "What the heck am I supposed to do now?" he realizes he just ''knows'' how handling it... and his family informs him they taught him to pilot it through SleepLearning.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'':
** More or less happens with Amuro Ray in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam''... who later is revealed to be a "Newtype". Of course, in addition to being a tech geek to the point he could build his own RobotBuddy (Haro), [[HandWave he got a hold of the Gundam's manual just before he even saw the robot.]] And the thing was largely designed by his father. --Still, in his first battle he could barely move it, and won mostly because its advanced armor stood up to everything the mook suit pounded it with.
*** In the reimagining ''Manga/MobileSuitGundamTheOrigin'' Amuro had hacked his father's computer and already read the manual, avoiding the rather embarrassing scene of him moving the Gundam while reading the manual. The first battle still goes as in the original anime.
** And Kamille Bidan in ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'' since he, off screen, reviewed the data on the Gundam Mk.2 by hacking his dad's computer... though Kamile, TeenGenius that he is, does ''invent his own MidSeasonUpgrade''. It is some what justified because he is also the champion of the Junior Mobile Suit competition, which involves designing, building and piloting a smaller version mobile suit in a race that can attack your opponents, and the standard control of those ARE made by the same companies that manufacture cockpits for the military Mobile Suits.
** Subverted by Judau Ashta in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ'', who is initially ''horrible'' at piloting, to the point that he can barely get the Zeta Gundam to stand up straight. It takes a few episodes of practice before he's reliably able to pilot with any skill at all. Even then, it's suggested that the only reason he was able to learn quickly was 1. he's a Newtype and 2. he's been making a living working in a junkyard, which involves some basic worker-suit piloting.
** ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn Gundam Unicorn]]'':
*** Banagher Links, who fought his first battle essentially [[SuperpoweredEvilSide on autopilot]].
*** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in episode 5, when Bright Noa points out that this happened to all the Gundam pilots who came before Banagher.
*** Also subverted for the fact that he actually got a license in piloting Junior Mobile Suits and his father, who is the person behind the syndicate Anaheim Electronics that manufactures literally everything from radios to space colony, before handing him the SuperPrototype, told him the controls are pretty much the same as a Junior Mobile Suit that he just piloted earlier in show.
** Uso Evin in ''Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam'' gets the excuse that he's played with MS simulators as a kid, so he has a fairly good idea how a Mobile Suit works from the beginning.
** Garrod Ran in ''Anime/AfterWarGundamX'' has no justifications at all. At the beginning of the series he can fly a Mobile Suit, and it's simply implied to be a skill he picked up growing up in a Post-Apocalyptic wasteland.
** Loran Cehack in ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' plays with the trope: he came upon the Turn A accidentally, as is usual, but he was already trained in MS piloting by the Moonrace. He is also shown studying the Turn A's manual in great detail over the next few episodes.
** Tobia Arronax of ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'' manages to subvert this - when SpacePirates attack, he jumps into a grunt MS, gets defeated but explicitly not killed, and joins up with the Crossbone Vanguard despite two completely separate chances to walk away. And he's still not a terribly competent pilot until halfway through the second volume. Of course, it's subverted another way in that when he takes that first MS, he tells a soldier who protests that he's an engineering student with a license to pilot construction MS, and at the very least he'll be another gun out there.
** And Kira Yamato in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'', the Series basically being a retooled update of the original makes this a necessity.
*** SEED does try to justify it a little. Kira, like Amuro, is a tech geek. Unlike Amuro, he's a bit older and actually studying robotics in college. That, and he puts his [[RapidFireTyping Improbable Hacking Skills]] to good use, AND had been helping his professor in writing the very machine code for the Mobile Suit he is piloting without his own knowledge.
*** Also, Kira had to re-configure the Strikes OS in order to get the mech to operate properly ([[Awesome/MobileSuitGundamSEED in the middle of a fight, no less]]). Being a Coordinator, he put in a system that was too complex for unaltered humans to use, so for a long time he was the only person on board the Archangel who ''could'' operate it.
** Averted in ''Manga/MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray'' as Lowe Guele had NO idea how to pilot the Red Frame, thus left a lot of it to his new computer, 8, until he could properly handle it.
** Shinn Asuka in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'', who is a Kamille's {{Expy}} of sorts, is actually a trained pilot when the series starts. Not to mention the pilots in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00''...
** Speaking of ''Gundam 00'', this trope played straight with [[spoiler: [[TagAlongKid Saji Crossroad]]]] when [[spoiler: he was asked by Ian to pilot the 0-Raiser and deliver it to [[TheHero Setsuna]] so they can [[CombiningMecha combine]].]] He becomes its permanent pilot afterward.
** In Tomino's own Gundam novels Amuro is a trained, if young, military pilot, and is a lot less whiny than in the series.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'':
*** Subverted along the lines of Zeta Gundam, the first protagonist had a hand in designing the mobile suit and knows how it works.
*** And completely averted during the second generation. Flit deliberately leaves the Gundam where Asem can find it because he had always intended to give it to him.
*** Inverted in the third generation when Flit literally ''brings'' the cockpit to his grandson, Kio, when Kio's home town is under attack. The cockpit then becomes a jet which attaches to the rest of the Gundam.
* ''Anime/HeavyMetalLGaim'' -another Creator/YoshiyukiTomino series- averted the tropes, though: Nearly everyone is a trained pilot. Those that aren't are quickly removed from the picture.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'':
** Shinji Ikari. Initially, he refuses to pilot it owing to his sense of self-survival, but agrees once he sees that Rei is in no condition to even [[YouCanBarelyStand stand on her own]]. Of course with no training, combat experience or even a clue where the power button is, Shinji basically gets his ass kicked in his first Angel fight until his Eva takes over and beats it up. (However, given the nature of what Evangelions are, it wasn't a matter of luck that Shinji was designated a pilot.)
** Averted with the other pilots. Asuka was selected from age six and trained for years to earn her title. Rei was literally ''built'' to pilot the Evangelion. Kaworu's pretty much perfect for the job. If only he [[spoiler:weren't an Angel]]. And Mari? She's just nuts.
* Akito Tenkawa in ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico''. He was trying to run for it and the mecha was a handy getaway vehicle; everyone else thought he was volunteering to draw the enemy's attention.
** Also being a machinery operator back on Mars meant that he still had an active implant for controlling vehicles, luckily for him the mecha in the setting use the same interface that everything else appears to be standardized on. Otherwise the mecha would not have even started up for him.
* Renton in ''Anime/EurekaSeven'' ends up almost literally falling into the cockpit of the Nirvash typeZERO while delivering a crucial part to it. He then proceeds to unlock its true potential and earn his place as co-pilot. Although really, the cockpit falls on Renton (the Nirvash crashes into his house) before he takes the leap that puts him in the driver's seat. He also does jack squat for quite some time. His first solo sortie in the Nirvash is in episode 15.
* A variant of this trope is used in ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'': Sousuke is already a highly skilled HumongousMecha pilot when he is forced to pilot the experimental BlackBox Arbalest mecha, though he does return to using his normal mech type for a bit eventually he is forced into becoming the Arbalest's designated driver when it turns out the machine's AI calibrated itself to him and can't be reset.
* ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' plays with this in a number of different ways:
** ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' offers a deconstruction, as Hikaru Ichijo (a.k.a. Rick Hunter of ''{{Anime/Robotech}}''), a stunt-flying prodigy, ends up in the cockpit of a Transforming HumongousMecha/Fighter Jet just when the day needs saving. He proceeds to stumble around and cause a great deal of property damage, because while civilian display team flying is fairly applicable to flying a jet fighter, it has ''nothing'' to do with robot piloting skills. A crash course from a mentor keeps him from falling into buildings, but he only becomes competent after enlisting in the army and spending a reasonable amount of time in training.
** Alto, and later Sheryl (with considerably less success), in ''Anime/MacrossFrontier''. Apparently the fact that Alto (and later, Sheryl) was going to piloting school might have been supposed to justify this, but this is the same as someone who's only partially completed real life flight school Falling Into The Cockpit of the military's latest top-secret fighter! Sheryl's attempt has more realistic results. When Alto himself tries to get to fly it a second time Ozma punches him in the face for his insolence and has him thrown out. It's only afterwards that Ozma gives him a chance, but he has to go through the [[TrainingFromHell proper channels first]].
** In ''Anime/MacrossDelta''[='s=] first battle, Hayate jumps into an abandoned VF-171 and proceeds to show off some fancy dance-like footwork while dodging enemy fire at close range, which is justified by the fact that he was already a fairly good civilian mecha pilot, with him explicitly noting that the 171's controls are set up similarly to the Destroid Work's. However, his complete lack of ''aircraft'' experience results in him being quickly shot down after transforming his ride into fighter jet mode.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'':
** Suzaku is the only soldier available to pilot the new Lancelot Knightmare Frame because he's at base recovering from [[OnlyAFleshWound a point-blank bullet wound]] while everyone else is out [[KickTheDog slaughtering civilians]]. It later turns out that he's the best match for the mecha. The dialog implies that Suzaku's aptitude was tested when he first enlisted, but since only native Britannians are allowed to pilot Knightmares his high marks meant bupkis. He does mention simulator training at one point.
** An oft-overlooked example are the Japanese rebels; it's overtly stated that, until a certain point in the series, they don't have any Knightmare Frames of their own, only ones that they've stolen from the Britannians. Given how large the things are, what opportunity would they have had to practice with them enough to be good enough to go toe-to-toe with the military? Particularly JustForFun/{{egregious}} in Kallen's case, since her group operate in a city; at least the JLF could conceivably have found a quiet patch of countryside. Not only that, but she later manages to master the new [=KFs=] sent to the Black Knights by Kyouto and Rakshata with extraordinary speed and ease... Her group does manage to get hold of a single Glasgow - the older military-use KMF type - and apparently they all try it out. Kallen, of course, is the best, and gets to pilot it in their operation.
** Lelouch is a close one. He's not amazing or anything, but he handles a Sutherland quite well on his first try, only briefly admitting that it's not as easy as it seems. He's had some minor training, using the test type Ganymede, but that didn't have even half of the features of the modern Sutherland, like the weapon/grappling cable, and the ''gun'', which he uses to great effect in his first deployment. Admittedly, he doesn't even remotely fall in, but he never gets actual training, either. And, to be perfectly blunt, Lelouch is still a pretty crappy pilot. He may be a notch above the common run of {{Mooks}}, but against trained pilots he's practically a Mook himself. His most impressive feats only happen because his personal machine was made specifically to play to his strengths; it doesn't fight with guns or swords like regular Knightmares, but instead uses a scattering laser weapon and BeehiveBarrier that have to be controlled manually, something only someone with Lelouch's intelligence and quick wits could accomplish.
* ''Franchise/{{Zoids}}'':
** The main protagonist in ''Anime/ZoidsNewCentury'' (the first series broadcast in America) Bit Cloud fits this trope to a T. Not only is he thrust into piloting the Liger Zero in the first episode, with no piloting experience beforehand, but the Liger also refuses to allow anyone else to pilot it.
** In ''Anime/ZoidsChaoticCentury'', the first series in Japan and the UK, Van comes across an abandoned Shield Liger in the desert, but would not have been able to pilot it were it not for [[ABoyAndHisX his robot companion]] [[MacGuffin Zeke's]] help. Unlike many examples of this trope, he keeps piloting it not because others make him, or because only he can, but because the [[HumongousMecha Zoid]] belongs to him, having previously been abandoned.
** In ''Anime/ZoidsGenesis'', a shockwave causes protagonist Ruuji Familon to LITERALLY fall into the Murasame Liger's cockpit when he first pilots it. Ruuji continues to pilot the Liger to save his village and to eventually seek out a generator mechanic.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'':
** Simon ends up having to pilot the Lagann almost immediately after he finds it, despite his protests. Fortunately for him, it's an EmpathicWeapon of sorts. And '''''[[HotBlooded HOT BLOOD]]''''' accomplishes everything in TTGL.
** ''ALL'' HotBlooded characters end up being able to pilot a Gunman eventually, usually after only a little bit of fumbling. Rossiu manages to learn in the brief time he's in Gurren's cockpit and Kamina's away during the HotSpringsEpisode.
** Gunmen are explicitly stated to have ridiculously intuitive controls. It's said that one just has to "do what feels natural" and the machine practically pilots itself, which does provide some [[JustifiedTrope Justification]].
* In keeping with its love of mecha tropes, ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' does this as well--Nanoha comes into possession of [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Raging/Raising]] Heart completely by chance. The third season later implies that ''trained professionals'' with similar weapons don't even come close to what Nanoha managed to do immediately. They can't match her POWER, but as Chrono made clear, many likely outmatched her SKILL until she underwent her own brand of TrainingFromHell. The difference between latent-talent/power and hard-work practice/skill is one of the minor themes of the series.
* Ayato from ''Anime/RahXephon'' has this happen.[[spoiler:Sort-of. He thinks he's an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent, but the mech was actually made for him and he was guided to it mid-battle on purpose.]]
* Hibiki Tokai in ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'' is a partial subversion: He was trying to steal the mecha in the first place. Also he made his mech at the Factory, and knows which part is what so he knows, in theory, how to pilot it.
* Hokuto and Ginga come near the eponymous mecha of ''Anime/GearFighterDendoh'' during an enemy attack, while the assigned pilots are still on their way; predictably, they end up inside. In fact, the mech itself picks them up and deposits them in the cockpit... At which point, showing more common sense than most other mecha pilots, [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere they use it to escape]], and have to be ''tricked'' into fighting.
* ''Anime/StrainStrategicArmoredInfantry'' also features Sara Werec, another trained field mecha pilot, getting into an experimental machine in the middle of a battle. Her ''superiors'' have no idea that she's ever piloted a Strain before.
* In ''[[Anime/SuperDimensionCenturyOrguss Orguss 02]]'', HumongousMecha mechanic Lean is forced to pilot in order to escape an ambush of the cargo plane he was in. This trope is subverted in the following episode; he's brought into the organization that pilots Decimators, but told flat-out that only the best of the best are even considered as pilots. He does fall back in in the last episodes, where he's the best pilot available to stop an OmnicidalManiac -- even though he's ''blind'' at the time...
* ''Anime/FafnerInTheAzureDeadAggressor'' is a perfect example of this. In the first episode Kazuki has to pilot Fafner despite the fact that up to that point he was not even aware that such a mecha existed. It's later [[JustifiedTrope explained]] that he was made (literally) to pilot the mecha, along with the rest of his generation.
* In ''Anime/DualParallelTroubleAdventure,'' Kazuki Yotsuga only climbed into that mecha cockpit to rescue its injured pilot... then it slammed shut on him, and he had no other choice...
* Subverted in ''Anime/FangOfTheSunDougram'' - the good guys take the protagonist to their secret base where they keep the eponymous HumongousMecha and offer to let him pilot it. Suddenly, enemies attack, and just as our hero gets ready to invoke this trope, the Dougram is snatched away by a cargo helicopter.
* Gram River sort of has this happen to him in ''Anime/MarsDaybreak'': It actually came out to ''catch'' him, and given that they were underwater at the time, it was more of a ''sinking'' than falling.
* Subverted in ''Manga/PilotCandidate''. In very first episode main hero of series finds 5 most powerful mechas during a battle and literally falls into the cockpit of one of them. Yet, even when MECH ITSELF was asking him to pilot it and join the battle, he refused because he didn't know anything about piloting.
* In ''Anime/ZettaiMutekiRaijinOh''. [[TheHero Jin]], [[TheLancer Asuka]], and [[TheHeart Kouji]] [[spoiler:(and later [[TheChick Maria]], but only through remote control)]] become mech pilots only because they happened to be there when the Mech's previous owner was dying. Then it's played literally as OnceAnEpisode, during the school's massive TransformationSequence, the said pilots are literally ''thrown'' into the cockpit before launch.
* Averted in 'Manga/BreakBlade''. Rygart was a gifted student in the military academy who couldn't operate a golem because he is an Unsorcerer; he suddenly has to pilot an ancient Golem he can use.
* Hirono Keita from ''Anime/{{Betterman}}''. Not only fits the trope to a T; he almost literally falls into the cockpit of the mecha, and happens to be a Dual Type, able to pilot it.
* Seina Yamada of ''Anime/TenchiMuyoGXP'' is actually ''tossed'' into the cockpit, mostly because the people who did so realized the ''god'' (the machine he was tossed into) had chosen him. And mostly because he accidentally dragged a bunch of pirates in with him and they wanted him to get rid of them.
* In ''Anime/IdolmasterXenoglossia'', Haruka Amami falls into an iDOL's open cockpit after being tossed high into the air by the same iDOL. Later we find that Haruka had passed a blind test on her aptitude as a potential iDOL Master, however, even the ones who set up the test were surprised that the iDOL had a seemingly arbitrary attraction to Haruka, when it had not even respond to a trained and experienced Master.
* Non-mecha example: in ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula'', during a delivery of Asurada GSX to the Fujioka circuit, the machine is attacked, and Hayato Kazami ends up driving it to get out of the mess. Unfortunately, Asurada locks Hayato's driving data, so he has to enter the Fujioka race since Sugo's present driver can't even get the GSX to move and he quit the team because of that.
* The first experience of piloting [[SuperRobot Gaiking]] that [[IdiotHero Daiya]] has in ''Anime/GaikingLegendOfDaikuMaryu'' s initiated by {{Robeast}} Daiku Maryu ''eating him''. The head then detached and flew off, [[CombiningMecha combining with head and leg parts]] to form Gaiking, the Daiku Maryu's head forming the torso and head, with the cockpit inside, where Daiya had been "eaten" into. [[JustifiedTrope It's explained that]] Daiya's the only one who can pilot the thing in any case, since Gaiking will only respond to his signature [[AppliedPhlebotinum Flame Energy]].
* Zigzagged like crazy in ''Anime/BuddyComplex''. After being hurled into the future, the lead character finds himself inside the cockpit of an experimental mecha, during an armed attack. That particular mecha was designed to synchronize the two brain patterns of the designated pilot and the AcePilot. The entire series is spent training him how to both pilot the mecha and "couple" with the ace.
* In ''Anime/PanzerWorldGalient'', when [[HomeBase White Valley]] is being attacked, [[TheHero Jordy]] gets in [[HumongousMecha Galient]] and fights, despite having no training. Justified, since he was being mind-controlled by someone who knew how piloting the mecha.
* Subverted in ''Anime/DarlingInTheFranxx''. Hiro was a piloting prodigy, but washed out of the Parasite program due to an inability to properly synchronize with his co-pilot. When he does fall in with a partner he can synchronize with, he still only has basic skills and it takes a few sorties for him to live up to her potential - and he only gets that opportunity due to ending up less dead than said co-pilots previous partners.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Creator/KurtBusiek's short-lived ''{{Shockrockets}}'' begins with this trope.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'' story ''Comicbook/TheSupergirlFromKrypton'' after emerging from her pod and swimming to the surface, Kara finds the Batboat, a vehicle she has never seen before, built by an alien, primitive culture. She crawls into the driver seat and manages to start it, although she crashes the boat into the docks.
* In ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}: [[Recap/TintinTheBlackIsland The Black Island]]'' Thompson and Thomson commandeer an airplane mechanic to fly a plane to chase after Tintin. The untrained pilot performs a lot of accidental aerobatics, and ends up winning a prize in an aviation contest.

[[folder: FanWorks]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'':
** Asuka learns to pilot [[TransformingMecha Red Whirlwind]] in one morning thanks to Avaloni learning gear (it zapped the full basic piloting and technical course into her head).
--->'''Shinji''': Um, Asuka, how do you know how to pilot one of these things? You didn’t this morning!\\
'''Asuka''': And I’ve had a whole morning to learn. Relax, Third, I know this beautiful beast inside and out. They’ve got some awesome learning gear around here. I’ve already had the full basic piloting and technical course zapped into my head.
** She also lampshades the trope when Shinji and she talk about Shinji’s first time piloting:
--->'''Shinji''': Wait, I don’t know anything about how to drive one of these things!\\
'''Asuka''': And you didn’t know anything about how to pilot an Evangelion when you tore apart the third Angel. Since when has not knowing anything slowed you down?
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'': When Matarael and its spawn came along and invaded the city Shinji was dragged along to the Evangelion Unit 01 and ordered to pilot it. Later he describes the episode to Asuka and she is flabbergasted -since he piloted an Eva without prior training- and horrified -since nobody informed him of the risks (most people die or go mad when they try to pilot one)-.
* ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'': Subverted. When Shinji gets into his giant robot, Gendo and everyone else believe he is piloting EVA for first time, with no previous knowledge or training. He is not, due to time-travel, but it is in his best interest making everyone believing that he has never met an Evangelion, and he successfully deceives them.
* The ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6023957/1/The_Shining_Dark The Shining Dark]]'' does this with Ichigo fittingly. {{Justified|Trope}}, as Ichigo is already trained and has a strong knack for it.
* ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'': A hilarious example. In chapter 2 Asuka wants to drive a car for first time in spite of she has never got driving lessons. Shinji thinks it is not a good idea, but she argues if she is able to drive a HumongousMecha, she is able to drive a car. Shortly after she finds out that... nope. She is not able. At least she did not crash the car and them...
* In the first FanFic/MarissaPicard fanfic, ''Enterprized'', the kids' shuttle pilot (named [[RedShirt Ensign Throwaway]]) dies, leaving the kids to pilot the shuttle to safety. The kid chosen to take the controls was the one who had the most experience with the shuttle simulator, which is kind of like selecting your pilot based on who's played Microsoft Flight Simulator the most. Later fanfics have the Kids Crew taking over for entire incapacitated ''starship crews.''
* Discussed and ultimately averted ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]''[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover. The younger Maya (ItMakesSenseInContext) ''wants'' to do this, but neither [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Admiral Nimitz]] nor [[CoolBigSis Samantha Shepard]] are about to stick an inexperienced youngster into an advanced starfighter without at least some semblance of training lest her first time out become a SuicideMission. By the time she's allowed to pilot a SpaceFighter, she's already trained properly.
* Parodied in "[[https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads/nge-father-knows-best.375333/#post-20744330 NGE: Father Knows Best]]". During an Angel attack, Gendo tells that Shinji is capable to pilot Unit-01. Assuming that Shinji must be trained, everyone ask him to pilot. When they realize that Shinji has no idea what he's doing and they sent out a rookie, everyone want to punch Gendo.
-->“He doesn't know what he's doing!” She spins on Ikari, pushing past Akagi. “You said he was trained!”\\
“I said he had potential, not training.” Gendo smirks. “This will take care of itself.”
* Suzaku in ''FanFic/MyMirrorSwordAndShield'' becomes the Lancelot’s pilot while trying to escape the Battle of Shinjuku due to the death of the original test pilot. While he was given a choice to leave, he decides to fight for Lelouch by returning to the Britannian army. Along with [[BeginnersLuck his natural talent,]] Suzaku had two things on his side: [[IKnowMortalKombat years of playing Knightmare simulators ]]and being [[KidFromTheFuture the future adoptive son]] or the Lancelot’s creator.
* ''Fanfic/DoingItRightThisTime'' makes a point of averting this trope: Since Unit-00 didn't go berserk during the activation test and Rei was able to deal with the Third Angel, Shinji doesn't have to be thrown into battle with no training out of desperation and his first day in Tokyo-3 is taken up by getting some proper training. [[PeggySue Not that he really needs it]], but Misato doesn't know that. [[spoiler:At first.]]

* ''Film/StarWars'':
** Anakin Skywalker in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace''.
--->'''Anakin:''' Qui-Gon told me to [[ExactWords stay in this cockpit]], so that's what I'm gonna do!
** And it sort of happens to Luke in ''[[Film/ANewHope Star Wars]]''. Both only had extremely limited experience flying civilian craft before ending up flying starfighters at decisive battles in their respective conflicts. In Luke's case, there's an ExpandedUniverse HandWave / AllThereInTheManual statement that an X-Wing's controls aren't that different from the [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/T-16_skyhopper Incom T-16 Skyhopper]], a very fast, small three-winged civilian airspeeder that's parked in his garage in ''Film/ANewHope''. In the original trilogy novels, he's been grounded from it for reckless flying. He'd damaged the hull, which was why he took the landspeeder when looking for R2. You see him playing with a small model when he's talking to the two droids for the first time. When he talks of "tagging womp rats", he's referring to aerial target practice. [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Incom_Corporation Incom]] is also the same corporation that designed the X-Wing, so it makes sense that there would be some similarities.
--->'''Biggs:''' Sir, Luke's the best bush pilot in the outer-rim territories.
** In ''Film/TheForceAwakens'', Rey is able to pilot the ''Millennium Falcon'' to escape from two TIE fighters in a high-speed chase across the desert ScavengerWorld of Jakku. Admittedly, she does have some initial difficulty with handling the ship, and tends to scrape the ground a lot during maneuvers. But she quickly gets the hang of it.
** Also, in the expanded universe, Maarek Stele (the player character of ''VideoGame/TIEFighter'') was originally a mechanic who was in a fighter (testing it), and happened to be in a position to save a high-ranking officer from attack.
** Anakin ''Solo'' gets to use the EmpathicWeapon variant, the hyperspace repulsors of Centerpoint Station. Are we sensing a pattern here?
* Spencer from ''Film/StarKid'' literally got shoved into the cockpit of the intelligent, armor plated, alien super suit Cy.
* In ''Film/FlightOfTheNavigator'', a little boy that had been TouchedByVorlons is recruited to pilot a UFO. Technically, the UFO only needs the starmap stored in the boy's brain, as its own navigational database was wiped by an electrical shock.
* In ''Film/{{Airplane}}'', Ted Striker is a former Air Force fighter pilot with a [[ShellShockedVeteran severe neurosis]] about flying. When he musters his courage to get on a jet airliner to chase after his girlfriend, he turns out to be the only one aboard with any flying experience after the pilots all succumb to food poisoning. It doesn't help that the airline officer assigned to talk him down happens to have been his commander during The War.
* In ''Film/SnakesOnAPlane'', Troy is the one with the most experience to land the plane - [[IKnowMortalKombat through video games]]. Thankfully, he gets some help from air traffic control.
* In the 1980 ''Film/{{Flash Gordon|1980}}'' film, Flash has to take over over the controls of a plane when the pilots are sucked through the windshield (or maybe [[DisintegratorRay disintegrated]]) by Emperor Ming. Not to mention that he also pilots a Jetbike and the huge "Ajax" cruiser later in the film without much trouble.
* In ''Film/TheLastStarfighter'', Alex is EverybodysDeadDave coerced into piloting the last fighting starship in the peace-loving part of the universe. The videogame/recruiting device counts as a training simulator to a certain extent: he's already familiar with the controls and with the enemy ships he's engaging, and he was selected precisely ''because'' he was the best player on Earth at a game designed deliberately to prepare him for the experience.
* Happens twice in ''Film/IndependenceDay'':
** Civilian pilots are recruited and given a few hours of lectures before taking to the sky in modern fighter jets without any actual flight simulations and manage to help win a battle against the aliens.
** Creator/WillSmith's character pilots the crashed UFO to dock with the mothership. Despite not knowing about aliens until two days prior, he defends himself as the best choice because he's "seen these things in action" and therefore knows of their maneuvering capabilities. Though, to be fair, that IS more experience than anybody else has.
* ''Film/TheMatrix'':
** Played with in the first film, because when Trinity needs to fly a helicopter but doesn't know how to, she gets the knowledge uploaded to her brain in an instant.
** Played straight in Revolutions. Captain Mifune is mortally wounded and tells Kid to take control of his APU and keep fighting. When Kid says he didn't complete the training program, Mifune smiles and says "neither did I".
* In ''Turbulence'', a serial killer gets loose aboard a nearly-empty 747 in midair, incapacitating the entire flight crew except for one stewardess-- er, flight attendant. She gets talked down through a landing at LAX by an airline pilot on the ground. Fortunately for her, this is a modern 747 with all the automated bells and whistles, and landing procedures basically consist of pressing the "fly me to LAX" button followed by the "land me" button. The two sequels also have untrained passengers successfully landing planes: one is an aerospace engineer, so he has some knowledge of how planes work, the other is a rock star, who's being guided by a hacker on the ground.
* In ''Film/LazerTeam'', a RagtagBunchOfMisfits ends up accidentally shooting down a UFO, which is on the way to deliver a suit of PoweredArmor to the [[ChosenOne Champion of Earth]], who has been trained from birth to use it. The four guys end up with different pieces of the suit, which bond to them and refuse to be taken off. Each piece has its own abilities, but they're meant to be used together in order to unlock the suit's true potential.

* The ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' series has Captain Lawrence in a similar situation with a dragon, minus the initial battle. He's simply bonded to one of the rarest dragons in the world. A lot of the conflict is derived from various authority figures trying to get Temeraire to let someone else be his partner.
* 'May Day' has a light aircraft pilot attempting to fly a damaged supersonic airliner after an accidental missile strike. With most of the passengers in a [[FromBadToWorse near-zombie state]] due to oxygen deprivation.
* Happens literally to Ford in ''Literature/MostlyHarmless'', after he jumps off a skyscraper to see what happens.
* ''Literature/{{Domina}}'': One of the many [[OurHomunculiAreDifferent Jefferies clones]] crawls into a damaged [[MiniMecha echo]] and uses it with a reasonable amount of skill. It's pointed out that since echoes are {{Mo Cap Mecha}}s, in theory piloting one is no different than fighting normally. It's just not enough when fighting [[BioAugmentation the Erlking]].


[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The climactic scene of the ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' episode "Chuck vs. the Helicopter".
* ''Series/PowerRangers'':
** This is more or less how Ziggy becomes Ranger Green in ''Series/PowerRangersRPM''.
** Really, most of the Power Rangers in general fall into this category. It IS a show that depends on HumongousMecha to win the day, after all.
** In the premiere episode of the original ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' Trini and Billy [[LampshadeHanging comment]] on how piloting their Zords comes naturally to them.
* Played with in ''Series/SuperRobotRedBaron'': Kenichiro Kurenai does teach his brother Ken about Red Baron's functions and how to use them, during a test run. But then, [[MechaMook Troy]] [[MonsterOfTheWeek Horse]] shows up and attacks Red Baron, knocking it down. Despite this, Kenichiro continues his instructions so that Ken can do a proper counterattack.
* Averted in the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Valiant", which feels like a {{Deconstruction}} of the ''Franchise/StarWars''-style plot; an advanced warship falls into the hands of a bunch of inexperienced but brave cadets, whose charismatic leader decides to try and destroy the Dominion's new super-battleship with an experimental weapon. They fail, their ship is blown up, and then the Dominion plays SinkTheLifeboats with the escape pods.
* Played for laughs in a ''Series/GilligansIsland'' episode where Gilligan attempts an escape from the island using a UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Japanese mini-sub. Although he has small-craft handling experience, Gilligan spends a good deal of time circling around the lagoon because the controls of the submarine were unfamiliar to him and labeled in Japanese. Specifically, he blames the compass, but [[FridgeLogic a compass will still point toward magnetic north no matter what language the card is printed in]].
* Deconstructed in a ''Series/BuckRogersInTheTwentyFifthCentury'' episode where a teenager steals a SpaceFighter but quickly ends up in over his head and unable to return to base. Buck talks him through the procedure and compliments him on getting that far...[[RealityEnsues then turns the kid over to his parents for punishment]].
* The PilotMovie of ''{{Series/JAG}}'' plays with this trope. Harm was a Tomcat driver before he was a Navy lawyer, but was forced to change careers due to an undiagnosed eye problem that resulted in a plane crash. He [[BackInTheSaddle goes for a ride-along]] during a combat recon mission. The pilot is wounded, and Harm has to take the stick. Unusually for the trope, Harm doesn't have to deal with any bad guys, but he has his hands full with an in-flight emergency and [[ComingInHot landing a complicated aircraft he hasn't been in for five years.]]
* In ''Series/RedDwarf'', Lister and Rimmer, essentially the ship's janitors and unskilled odd-job men at the very bottom of the Space Corps ladder, find themselves - by default - in charge of a city-sized mining ship and all the technology it has at its disposal. As EverybodysDeadDave, men who previously only unclogged blocked nozzles in the chicken soup dispensers are now in the captain's chair.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' comic ''Titan'', Princepts cadet Hekate is thrust into commanding the massive Warlord Titan Imperious Dictatio when the previous Princeps he was assigned to observe unexpectedly dies in the middle of a battle.
* R. Talsorian Games' ''TabletopGame/{{Mekton}} Zeta'' is a roleplaying game geared to the HumongousMecha genre, and this trope may (and probably will) be invoked at least ''once'' in any given campaign, no matter the setting.
* Generally soundly averted in ''{{TabletopGame/BattleTech}}'' in that it takes literally years to train somebody to be a good [=MechWarrior=] -- even just to cadet level. The [[Franchise/BattleTechExpandedUniverse novel]] ''Hearts of Chaos'' sees super-scout and [=BattleMech=] hunter Cassie Suthorn invoke this trope twice (once via hijack, once borrowing a friend's ''Atlas''), and despite everything she knows about 'Mechs from the outside and having taken some lessons in between the two incidents she barely manages to get the machines to do anything useful at all.
* Perfectly plausible in ''TabletopGame/{{Remnants}}''. The [[MiniMecha Ishin]] will still repair themselves if their pilot is killed, to a basic state with no apparent abilities; they were designed to be [[RagnarokProofing self-sufficient to a ridiculous degree]], but have no security until they have accepted a new pilot. These are constantly being found abandoned, and whoever gets in will be accepted as a new pilot, without question or instructions, and it will begin to configure itself to match the new pilot.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha'':
** In the [[SuperRobot Super]] route, your character gets into the Grungust Type 2 when the plane carrying it crashes into his or her school during a fight between Anime/MazingerZ and the MonsterOfTheWeek. On the [[RealRobot Real route]], your character is a young pilot in the military...who also falls into the cockpit of an experimental mech that happened to be at the base you're assigned to during an enemy attack; this time being the Huckebein Mk II and the Titans. As it turns out, the whole thing [[ThePlan was a set-up]] by Ingram.
** Ingram pulls the same trick on Ryusei with the Gespenst Type-TT in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration''. Despite Ryusei's lack of training ([[IKnowMortalKombat aside from his skills playing Burning PT]]) Ingram calls the idea that Ryusei wouldn't be able to win in that situation "nonsense".
** In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsJudgment'', playing as Touya will have the unit you picked crash into a school building near him, complete with UnwantedHarem while Anime/MazingerZ and its female sidekick defend the school from enemies. It's also [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Gai early on, who says that anyone that gets a mech that way is destined for greatness.
** The [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ Z series]] on the other hand has so far [[AvertedTrope Averted this]] with its {{Original|Character}}s. Setsuko Ohara, while TheRookie, is still a trained pilot, Rand Travis was piloting Gunleon for years, and Crowe is a retired veteran ([[spoiler: and was a member of an [[AcePilot Elite Black Ops unit]] at that]]).
* ''VideoGame/ZoneOfTheEnders'':
** Nearly every protagonist in the series, with the exception of Radium in ''IDOLO''. It helps that the Orbital Frames typically have some sort of AI to help.
** James Links in ''Dolores, i'' is a bit of a subversion: The mecha in question was actually being sent to him in the first place. James Links IS an experienced veteran, while the AI (Dolores) has personality of an [[KidHero innocent child]]
** Dingo Egret is actually an experienced pilot by the time he finds Jehuty. Dingo however was asked if he would like a refresher VR training program since it was several years since he piloted a military grade frame (He was using LEVs until he found Jehuty)
* Played straight in the rare, yet extremely enjoyable 'Mech sections of ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon FEAR 2]]''. A possible [[LampshadeHanging Lampshade]] in that the manual specifies that only a highly trained 'Mech pilot should even think about touching the controls. Michael Beckett is the furthest thing from a pilot. Michael Beckett in a 'Mech is all but unstoppable.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', [[TraumaInducedAmnesia Amnesiac]] Hero Fei stumbles into the cockpit of a downed mech when his DoomedHometown gets caught in the crossfire. Fortunately, he was a skilled pilot before losing his memory. Unfortunately, his forgotten self [[EnemyWithin isn't a very nice guy]]. And by [[ThePlan purest coincidence]], the mech he happens to crawl into is a special kind that only he can unlock the true potential of. [[spoiler: He ends up accidentally wiping out what's left of the town, and the surviving villagers [[DeconstructedTrope blame him for trying to use the thing when he didn't know how]], causing Fei to stop using the mech out of disgust until a few scenes later.]]
* The concept is used in the video game ''VideoGame/SteelBattalion'', where your character is told he will have many months of simulator training before being allowed near the cockpit of a VT. True to form, the enemy attack, the character gets in the cockpit with the manual (the game is trying to tell you to do the same) and begins mission number 0. Actually [[NintendoHard much harder]] than [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam Amuro]] makes it look...
* In US version, the hero of ''VideoGame/BlasterMaster'' just finds a machine lying around there.
* In ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheUnwoundFuture'', the professor must do this at the end.
* A variation occurs in ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar''. Archer ''is'' a trained pilot...more or less. He's been through flight school, anyway, he just...hasn't completed his qualifications training yet when his base comes under attack and he climbs into a spare fighter. He ends up being a member of Wardog ([[spoiler: later Razgriz]]) squadron, ''the'' most accomplished aces in the game.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'':
** Technically, most of your NPC crew. The game starts with Shepard bugging out as the Reapers invade Earth, with everyone aboard the Alliance-impounded Normandy forced to come along for the ride. They're all professionals in one field or another (Anderson was planning to use the ship as his mobile command center), so they make the best of it. Shuttle pilot Steve Cortez is officially your logistics guy, and shares armory duty with Vega - you're just lucky he's ''also'' a damn good pilot. Considering Vega's piloting skills include crashing into other shuttles - deliberately as a case of RammingAlwaysWorks and after Shepard furiously demands that someone take the enemy shuttle down, admittedly - you're lucky to have Cortez. Samantha Traynor, the CommunicationsOfficer, was actually working in R&D, but, like Cortez, she ended up being put into the job and was good at it.
** Subverted with the actual ship cockpit itself, as the two [=NPC=]s that do occupy that area are a fully trained and qualified pilot who has been flying the ''Normandy-[=SR2=]'' since it first launched (Joker) or the ship's computer in an android body ([=EDI=]).
* This happens to the Federation players in ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline''. On your first Voyage, you get attacked by a Klingon fleet. The captain has you run minor tasks, so he can get himself captured and executed, but not before promoting you to the captain. You then proceed to annihilate the attacking fleet with just a bit of help.
* ''VideoGame/TheWarOfEustrath'':
** Powerful [[HumongousMecha GEARs]] have their own persona and are able to choose to their rider. When country girl finds herself drawn into an enemy base by the GEAR Tianerx she hides in Tianerx to avoid detection by the Kradionese soldiers she synchronizes with Tianerx and ends up becoming its pilot. In time she develops into one of the game's best characters.
** In the same game Robin ends up piloting Zeeyown similarly. Even though Zeeyown doesn't have its own persona, Robin has an ability that allows him to communicate directly with the elemental forces that drive [=GEARs=]. Even though his decision to pilot Zeeyown onto the battlefield was intentional he ends up in the cockpit in the first place because the elements respond to his desire to help Tiana.
* ''VideoGame/FarCry3'': A character who has only recently qualified as a fixed wing plane pilot has to fly a helicopter with no preparation, while being shot at. It is said that any landing you can walk away from is a good landing, and that if you can use the plane again it's a bonus. He gets the bonus.
* Downplayed in ''VideoGame/Titanfall2''. While the player character was not an officially trained Titan pilot, by the time they end up with their own Titan they've received ''unofficial'' training from their mentor, Captain Lastimosa.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Grif in ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' has never had any special vehicle training, as far as we know, yet somehow he always manages to end up as the designated driver. While he's great with a jeep, unlike a lot of examples he's not necessarily a ''good'' driver of some of the more exotic vehicles he drives... like the Pelican he crashes.
-->'''Sarge:''' You do know how to land this, right?
-->'''Grif:''' Sure. That just means "stop flying", right?
-->'''Sarge:''' ''Brace for impact!''
* As part of the work's parody of SuperRobot anime, Moeko of ''Literature/HyperFightingMachineMarmalade'' literally falls into the cockpit of the eponymous mecha, thereby forcing her to pilot it even though she is not suited for the job at all.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'':
** Played with. Coop finds the Megas in a junkyard after it's flung into the past and becomes the hero and pilot... but only because the cockpit was beyond repair to the point where Coop rebuilt it out of a CoolCar and several [[IKnowMortalKombat jury-rigged video game systems]], which means that Coop is literally the only one who can pilot it.
** Played straight by Kiva, who lands in and learns to drive a car in all of about five seconds, rationalizing that such a simple machine should be easy if Coop could pilot Megas.
* ''Animation/CubixRobotsForEveryone'': In the first season finale, four of the Doctor K's five personal mechs are revealed to have cockpits and manual overrides (up til then, they just followed his orders). The kid heroes end up piloting them when they sneak into his base to [[spoiler: retrieve the damaged Cubix.]] This comes in very handy when K [[spoiler: ''transforms the entire base'' into the skyscraper-sized Kulminator.]]
* This is how Taz ends up piloting a space shuttle to save earth from a meteor swarm in the ''WesternAnimation/TazMania'' episode "Astro-Taz". Of course, he thinks it's just a video game.
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Fear of Flying", when Homer after going to a pilots-only bar is forced into the cockpit of an airliner only to wreck it by ''[[EpicFail raising the plane's landing gear even before starting take-off procedures]]''
* In season one of ''WesternAnimation/VoltronLegendaryDefender'', none of the Voltron Paladins are trained in handling Altean spacecraft when they find the lions. On top of that, only one of them is fully trained in piloting ''Earth'' spacecraft, and two of them have had no pilot training whatsoever (Being in training to become engineering and communications specialists). It takes half the season before they have any real understanding of what they're doing, and as of the season finale have yet to truly master Voltron.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* During the battle of Stalingrad, which had a tank production facility present, several of the T-34s were being rolled out ''directly'' into combat. Their crews consisted of literally anyone that could work the things, including the very factory workers who ''built them.''
* On the Western Front, M4 Sherman casualties mounted so much at times that tank commanders would replace lost crew members with anyone they could find from the infantry units they worked with. The results varied, but in a pinch, anyone really can operate a tank[[note]]This was due to the fact that at the time tanks drove just like tractors and there were a lot of farm boys that had grown up driving tractors. Manning the guns took some work, but it was better than having empty tanks.[[/note]]
* A non-vehicular example goes to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_Miller Doris Miller]]. To clarify, Miller was given very little if any training on ANY firearm prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, and his battle station was nowhere near a gun or turret. However, he still found his way to a .50cal Heavy Machine Gun, and manned that gun until it ran out of ammo. ''Film/ToraToraTora'' and ''Film/PearlHarbor'' both show that he shot down at least one or two aircraft, but considering how many other sailors were shooting at them at the time, it's unsure if he managed to hit anything. However, he still goes down in history as someone doing the right thing, even when the times would not allow him to do so (for instance, a black man manning a gun station that was officially supposed to be manned by a white guy).