[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/DragonQuestIX http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dq9-inn_3573.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Another good reason not to use the drive-thru.]]

->'''Elan:''' Next, we go to the tavern.\\
'''Roy:''' Why? I need adventurers, not a drink. Well, not JUST a drink.\\
'''Elan:''' That's where adventurers are hired, silly!\\
'''Roy:''' Why? It's not like they're looking for jobs on the wait staff.\\
'''Elan:''' I dunno, it's just tradition.
-->-- ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick: On the Origins of [=PCs=]''

The stereotypical opening to an adventure in tabletop [=RPGs=]: the protagonists are all [[JustForFun/HowToGatherCharacters gathered by prior intent]] or a [[ContrivedCoincidence "coincidence" of authorial fiat]] by the GameMaster in an inn, bar room, or other common public meeting spot. Once there, [[{{Messenger}} some mysterious stranger]] or {{NPC}} of varying dubiousness will approach them with some job offer or plea for assistance. These strangers tend to seat themselves in the darkest corner of the tavern [[Literature/LordOfTheRings for some reason]] (probably to make themselves seem even more mysterious). Thus do our heroes receive their [[CallToAdventure ticket to board the plot]].

Careful, though, for the mysterious stranger has an odds-to-even chance of being the BigBad or a similar miscreant. Expect a BarBrawl or two in the tavern as well, particularly if the [[PlayerCharacter PC]]s start to get rowdy. Fortunately, though, the barkeep is usually a [[RetiredBadass retired former adventurer]] willing and able to kick the asses of anyone who gets too uppity.

This trope is OlderThanPrint -- no less an author than [[Creator/GeoffreyChaucer Chaucer]] had his adventuring party meet in an inn -- but it later began to be considered a DiscreditedTrope through overuse. Actually starting an adventure with the words "So, you all meet in an inn..." may be seen as roleplaying's equivalent to "ItWasADarkAndStormyNight..." Thus, a lot of sources advise against using it, and give pointers on how to avoid it. The 3rd Edition Dungeon Master's Guide for ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', in a list of ways to bring a party together, dubs this "The Cliche". David Morgan-Mar, of ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' and ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' fame, provides a list of [[http://www.dangermouse.net/gurps/reject/tavern.html less overused ways]] to start an adventure, as do the folks at the [[http://diceofdoom.com/blog/2009/02/8-ways-to-start-a-campaign-thats-not-in-a-tavern/ dice of doom blog.]]

On the other hand, cliched as it may be, it really is a logical opener. Taverns are the center of social life in many cultures, making for a good place to meet new people, and food and drink are good for bonding with new acquaintances. Some people even use the trope deliberately as an invocation of gaming tradition. It's also quite easy to play for laughs, emphasizing the comedy potential of enjoying a few pints down at the pub and deciding to go out and slay a dragon with your new-found acquaintances.

RealLife group meetings at an Inn are usually a convention of some description. The "adventuring" usually takes place entirely within the building, and does not normally involve bloodshed, swordplay or dragons. ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Normally]]''.

Compare YouAllMeetInACell. Contrast ClosedCircle, for when the DM wants to keep you in the tavern.


* ''Anime/SamuraiChamploo'': Two of the three protagonist meet at a tea house, where they immediate start a massively violent bar brawl. The third one wanders in by coincidence and joins in the fight. This ''very'' quickly leads to YouAllMeetInACell.

[[folder:Comic books]]
* ''Legends From Darkwood'' involves several scenes with characters posting jobs or looking for jobs in "adventuring" posting to a bulletin board in an inn.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** In ''On the Origin of [=PCs=]'', Roy attempts to recruit party members on the street unsuccessfully. He is greeted by Elan, who says that to have a reasonable chance of finding willing party members, he must not only be in a tavern, but also sit in the corner, stare sullenly into his mug of ale, and wear an eyepatch.\\
The back cover blurb reads "Like all good stories ever, this one starts in an inn!" and in a fit of undoubtedly intentional irony, the book actually ''doesn't'', and the inn scene quoted above happens near the end of the book.
** In ''Start of Darkness'', [[spoiler:Right-Eye]] meets Eugene in an inn to attempt to convince him to resume carrying out his BloodOath against Xykon. When Eugene mentions he doesn't have a party to take Xykon on anymore, [[spoiler:Right-Eye]] shouts "Hey! Who in this tavern is an adventurer?", and everybody else in the room raises their hand, even the waitress.
* ''Comicbook/TheSandman'' volume ''World's End'' takes place entirely in an InnBetweenTheWorlds. The coincidence that contrives to bring together so many dimensional adventurers and agents also keeps them there, telling stories that in some way involve The Dreaming and The Dream King.
* This is how the ''Comicbook/DemonKnights'' meet. Creator/PaulCornell says the trope hadn't occurred to him when he wrote the scene, but he's glad it plays into something like that.
* Selune's Smile (shown as more of a bar than an inn, but definitely with the occasional paying guest as well) in the city of [[TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms Waterdeep]] in DC's old ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Advanced Dungeons & Dragons]]'' comic justified the trope by having one of the protagonists work there as a bouncer in her spare time and at least some of her friends adopt it as a favorite hangout spot as well...thus making it often more a case of "you all are at your usual inn when trouble shows up on the doorstep".

[[folder:Fan Fics]]
* In ''FanFic/TheCommission'', the girls of Team RWBY weren't actually together in a team when they were in Beacon. Instead, they met in a bar at a particular low point in their lives, bond over cookies and work out their [[TheConspiracy conspiracy]] after.
* The opening of notorious OffTheRails TropeCodifier ''FanFic/ThatGuyDestroysPsionics'' gives one of the best descriptions of this trope;
--> '''That Guy''': ''We congeal off the walls of a high end tavern in some urban area.''

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/NorthwestPassage'': Towne and Marriner meet Robert Rogers in a tavern while running from the redcoats.
* The entire plot of ''Film/FromDuskTillDawn'' is driven by the "Anti-Hero" meeting an ally in a bar.
* ''Film/ReservoirDogs'': The first scene is the bankrobbers relaxing in a diner making small talk before their heist. They've all met and planned the job beforehand, however. A later flashback reveals that Mr. Orange received his interview with Joe in a bar.
* Only slightly different, the founding members of the ''Film/MysteryMen'' meet in a diner, and while they do recruit the Bowler II at a backyard barbecue, the Spleen was recruited at the same diner and the Sphinx was found by going to a Mexican Restaurant and giving a secret phrase, and it is after sending out feelers for membership from the diner that they meet Invisible Boy who ends up being the one to go against the trope and say they need to do a recruiting drive with a backyard pool party barbecue. In addition Mr. Furious meets his love interest at the diner, she's their waitress.
* ''Film/{{Ronin}}'' has a tavern as a pre-arranged meeting place for the team of mercenaries. It's even the [[BookEnds first and last scene]].
* In the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' movie, ''[[Film/{{DungeonsAndDragonsTheBookOfVileDarkness}} The Book Of Vile Darkness]]'', after the main hero's order is slaughtered, this is how he meets up with the unsavory band he's infiltrating to get closer to the ones that killed his companions and kidnapped his father. A blatant and unapologetic ShoutOut to many a classic D&D campaign start, as stated in the trope description.
* ''Film/{{Stalker}}'' - Stalker, Writer, and Professor start off in a bar.
* ''[[Film/TheMerryWidow1925 The Merry Widow]]'' with evil Crown Prince Mirko and his devil-may-care cousin Prince Danilo meeting at an inn, where they encounter the lovely Sally O'Hara, a dancer with a theater troupe. Romance ensues.
* ''Film/ThePetrifiedForest'': A roadside gas station and diner in Arizona is where wandering tramp Alan meets and falls in love with Gabrielle the waitress. Wealthy tourists Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm also arrive at the diner, and then escaped gangster Duke Mantee and his crew arrive at the diner and make things really interesting.
* [[Film/ANewHope The original]] ''Franchise/StarWars'': While not all the characters met there (Leia is already held on the Death Star by this point, the droids had met Luke after being bought, and then they all go to meet Ben Kenobi to find out if the droids belong to him), the meeting with Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Mos Eisley cantina does represent the first time the main hero (Luke) is set to interact with the outside universe, and since the meeting is where the mission to Alderaan is planned that will link them up with Leia and set the plot for the rest of the movie (as well as set all the events of the trilogy in motion), it certainly counts as where the main adventure starts.
** In Episode VII, Han and company go to a similar establishment, a thousand-year old watering-hole run by his friend, Maz Kanata. Here, Finn, deserter from the New Order Stormtroopers, takes the opportunity to flee to the Outer Rim by getting himself hired with a couple of guys on a different ship.
* ''Film/HeatLightning'': Many people find themselves meeting in Olga's gas station/mechanic shop/motel. The people among them are two criminals running from the law, two wealthy women and their chauffeur, and a local Mexican family.
* ''{{Film/Mythica}}'': The party meets in a tavern. It's somewhat justified as this was frequented by mercenaries, and Teela comes in hoping to hire some that will help rescue her sister and retrieve the Darkspore. Also the owner, Hammerhead, is a former mercenary who acts as a sort of broker for teams to pursue such missions.

* OlderThanPrint: As noted in the trope description, all the characters [[FramingDevice meet at an inn before starting their pilgrimage]] in Creator/GeoffreyChaucer's ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales''.
* In the 14th century Chinese {{wuxia}} novel ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'', Liu Bei and his sworn brothers first meet in a small town tavern.
* ''Literature/AncillaryJustice'' starts with [[SoleSurvivor Breq]] finding [[FishOutOfTemporalWater Sievarden]] in the snow outside of a bar.
* ''Literature/DragonQueen'': the story starts with an old man entering an inn where the protagonist is.
* In Joel Rosenberg's ''[[Literature/GuardiansOfTheFlame The Sleeping Dragon,]]'' the heroes (a group of college-age roleplayers) are transported to a fantasy world, and the first thing they decide to do is...go to an inn, where [[spoiler:one of their number is killed when he tries to pick the pocket of a nobleman]].
* ''Literature/TreasureIsland'' begins with Jim Hawkins listening to Billy Bones' tale of Flint's treasure in the Benbow.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'':
** Gandalf meets Thorin in a bar in events '''before''' ''Literature/TheHobbit''. He later states outright that the entire future of Middle-earth and the outcome of the War of the Ring was affected by their meeting.
--->'''Gandalf:''' Yet things might have gone far otherwise and far worse. When you think of the great Battle of Pelennor, do not forget the battles in Dale and the valour of Durin's Folk. Think of what might have been. Dragon-fire and savage swords in Eriador, night in Rivendell. There might be no Queen in Gondor. We might now hope to return from victory here only to ruin and ash. But that has been averted--because I met Thorin Oakenshield one evening on the edge of spring in Bree. A chance-meeting, as we say in Middle-earth.
** Though not at the beginning of the story, Frodo and friends meeting Aragorn in the Prancing Pony in ''TheLordOfTheRings'' likely influenced many later examples.
* ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'':
** The first novel in the series (which is based on ''Dungeons & Dragons'' to begin with) opens with the heroes meeting at an inn. This is [[JustifiedTrope justified]]; not only are the protagonists old friends who promised to meet here many years prior, but one of them has backed out on her promise, foreshadowing far worse things to come. There's even a mysterious hooded guy in a corner, though he turns out to be a good guy. He even rearranges the furniture for dramatic effect.
** The heroes meet the people who start off their major quest in the inn, as well.
* The action of Robert Jordan's enormous ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series begins with Rand al'Thor meeting up with both established friends (Mat & Egwene) and newcomers (Moiraine, Lan & Thom) at the Winespring Inn in the local village. Which, to be fair, is pretty much the only location of note, in the widest sense of the term, in the entire region. Additionally, the first place the group stays outside of the Two Rivers once they are forced to flee Emond's Field is at an inn in the town of Baerlon, and this is not only where the Wisdom Nynaeve catches up with them but where they encounter the oracular Min who will be a key character in the series.
* ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'':
** In ''Spellfire'' Ed Greenwood as the creator of the setting sets the trend and subverts this classic trope deliberately, by having a party of adventurers meet at an inn, spontaneously decide to investigate the nearby ruined city of Myth Drannor, and then [[spoiler:be annihilated (the main character aside) by the denizens of the ruins, whom they lacked the ability or experience to face]].
** ''Azure Bonds'' starts this way. After a fashion -- one character was found unconscious on the tavern's porch, another was a client who happened to be a wizard and got curious about her tattoo, third followed her to the tavern.
** ''Smoke Powder and Mirrors'' by Jeff Grubb proposes a good hypothesis on this trope:
--> On reflection, Jehan Wands realized why most adventures begin in taverns. It takes a combination of noise, bustle, the late hour, wrong-headed opinions, and ale, all in specific amounts, to convince otherwise rational people to do stupid things like go on quests and slay dragons. And only a tavern could bring all this together in one spot.
* Sharon Shinn's ''Literature/MysticAndRider'' begins with the main characters saving a NaiveNewcomer from a tavern brawl, evidently so they'll have someone to [[{{Exposition}} exposit at]].
* Parodied (like everything else) in the ''Literature/MythAdventures'' series, in which Skeeve recruits troops to save Possiltum in a fast-food restaurant.
* Khaavren and the others in ''Literature/ThePhoenixGuards''. It's played dead straight.
* The short story "The Most Precious Of Treasures" by Desmond Warzel. It's only two people meeting there, and it occurs because one has left a note for the other, but it's still an example.
* And then of course there's [[Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon Callahan's Place]] where strange people of unusual talents meet in a bar and more or less stay there. Which still doesn't stop them from fulfilling this trope [[spoiler:since the barkeep, Callahan, turns out to have specifically opened the bar so he could recruit people to help him save the world.]]
* Happens a few times in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** In ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'' , there's a BadGuyBar Broken Drum in which adventurers meet and fight each other.
** In ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'', a group of "businessman" meet in even worse BadGuyBar, answering the call of BigBad Teatime. They mostly know each other and are on edge because Teatime is late to meet them and tell them what their assignment is. Then, it turns out the place never had waiters... Cue OhCrap moment.
** Lampshaded by Vimes in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'': "You'll be surprised how many people were ready to do business with a complete stranger they have met in a bar just a few minutes ago."
* In ''[[Literature/SpecialCircumstances Queen of Wands]]'', invoked by Hjalmar at the start of the quest to [[spoiler:rescue Janaea]].
* Not precisely an inn (nor are they all necessarily on friendly terms with each other), but the common interest of staying at Rotherwood for the night on the same night at the start of the story is what brings most of ''Literature/{{Ivanhoe}}'''s main characters together for the first time.
* The modus operandi of the short story series ''[[Literature/AstralCafe The Astral Cafe]]'' is the main characters sitting around a restaurant until they are needed to go on an adventure.
* The short story ''Literature/TheCrystal'' starts with this, and even provides a nice bit of narration to lampshade it.
* Justified in the ''TabletopGame/{{Ironclaw}}'' novel ''Dream Carvers'', based on one of the author's campaigns. Baron Treeden was specifically looking for [[TheDrunkenSailor Capt. Salvatore]], one of his house's {{Privateer}}s, and Sister Annarisse in turn was trying to find the baron, to whom she'd just been assigned as a confessor.
* Literature/TheNameOfTheWind
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', the characters all meet in a mall. And just happen to be walking home together when they encounter the CallToAdventure.
* The novel ''V.'' by Creator/ThomasPynchon begins with Benny Profane going back to his old watering hole in his Navy days.
* In Creator/AndreNorton's ''Quag Keep'', the point of view character is magically transformed into his RPG character and dumped into Greyhawk -- in a tavern. Where he meets another such player character's character -- because they both sense something is wrong. The rest of their party, however, is collected by a wizard who's noticed there is something wrong about them.
* In Creator/DrewHayes's ''[=NPCs=]'', the four main characters knew each other already. But they are all in the inn when a party of adventurers arrive and die, and the only way to resolve the problem is to set out adventuring in their place.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' Bronn's adventures with Tyrion began after Catelyn persuaded him and a group of knights at an inn to arrest Tyrion for allegedly pushing her son Bran off a tower. This paid off after he championed and won a trial by combat for Tyrion, and he's been following him around since ([[spoiler:at least until Tyrion gets falsely accused of and arrested for murdering Joffrey, and Bronn is bribed with a lordship in order to send him away]]).
* ''Literature/TheDragonWaiting'' begins with three chapters separately introducing the three protagonists, and then the fourth chapter is set some time later at an inn where they are, more or less coincidentally, all staying as guests. Events cause them to become acquainted and to join forces.
* First averted in ''Literature/TheWanderingInn'' where the main character finds an abandoned inn in the wilderness. Later played straight as the inn begins to attract customers and regular visitors.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Each episode of ''Series/EstateOfPanic'' begins this way in the foyer of the estate.
* ''Series/{{Cheers}}'', the show that's entirely about a bar, its employees, and its patrons.
* ''Series/Daredevil2015'': Matt Murdock, Karen Page and Foggy Nelson get dragged into the mess of the Punisher manhunt due to Grotto, the sole survivor of a Punisher attack, stumbling into Josie's Bar while the trio are there playing an after-work game of billiards.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Several inns at the Riverlands facillate chance encounters between characters. Catelyn and Tyrion in Season 1, Arya, the Brotherhood without Banners and Sandor Clegane in Season 3, Arya and the Hound with Polliver and Mountain's Men in Season 4, Brienne and Pod meeting Hot Pie at the same Inn where he, Arya and Gendry last parted in Season 4, and later the two encounter Sansa and Littlefinger in Season 5. This is justified because the Riverlands is the networking region that connects all the major kingdoms so it would be common for travellers to have surprising chance random encounters.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E21AllHellBreaksLoosePartOne "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" (S02, Ep21)]], the Special Children meet in a haunted ghost town called Cold Oak.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warlord}}'', a self-referential ''D&D''-inspired card game, has a card called "Meet At The Inn". Its FlavorText:
-->"Come on, guys! I have an overwhelming urge to go to the nearest inn and meet a pair of strangers who will help us in our quest!"\\
"What, so soon after our two friends died?"
* The most common version of this in ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' is, "So, you receive a letter/package/telegram from [NPC]..." The second most common one is, "You are investigating the mysterious death of a friend/ally"; third most common is "You all meet in a Speakeasy/on a University Campus..." Various resources for [[GameMaster Keepers]] have tried to provide alternative means for introducing Investigators into a scenario and setting up the plot without relying on these so much.
* ''TabletopGame/DeltaGreen'' has "you are all called into the briefing by a handler", although there's much fun on HOW you are called.
* ''TabletopGame/FengShui'', which makes no effort to hide the fact that everything in the game that's not a fight scene is a mechanism to get to the next fight scene as quickly as possible, ''demands'' this. [=GMs=] are instructed to decide where all the players will be when the story begins, and then simply inform the players of this unassailable fact. Players must then give a reason for why their character is at this place, with rewards given for reasons that tie well into their character's backstory in some way. An example:
-->'''GM:''' You're all in a restaurant. Tell me why.\\
'''[[AmateurSleuth Player 1]]:''' I heard a rumor that some operatives for the shadowy cabal that kidnapped my sister like to eat here and I'm staking the place out.\\
'''[[PerpetualPoverty Player 2]]:''' Since my character's very poor, he's been taking odd jobs lately to help pay the bills. I'm cleaning tables here.\\
'''[[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Player 3]]:''' This place [[Film/TheMatrix has really good noodles]].
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'':
** This game has its own version: "You all get a call from a man calling himself 'Mr. Johnson'..." This was intended to be a ''Shadowrun'' trope from the beginning, as it's established in the rulebook that all sorts of "Mr. Johnsons" all over the country are looking to hire shadowrunners to do their dirty work.
** Lampshaded in one of the ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' novels, in which an employer admits that her name really ''is'' Johnson after screwing her hirelings over.
** "You All Meet in an Inn" is also played straight in ''Shadowrun''. Since Johnsons often treasure their anonymity, places like bars, taverns, restaurants and nightclubs are often where runner teams will meet up. White noise generators help ensure privacy from anyone trying to listen in. Some establishments who deal more regularly with the shadowrunning business often have booths with built-in white noise generators to allow for private meetings between Mr. Johnson and shadowrunners.
** There's also the "Stuffer Shack" convenience stores. One module has the PC's patronizing such an establishment when it gets robbed.
** In the Sega Genesis and SNES ''VideoGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' [=RPGs=], nightclubs are specifically used as a place to purchase fellow shadowrunners' services.
* The modern-day equivalent is "You All Meet at a Nightclub". Given the typical diet of the denizens of, say, ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'', you could easily see the nightclub as just another inn, providing food, drink and entertainment. Often simultaneously.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'', the city of Sharn has two adventurers' district. Those districts both have taverns that are specifically designed to serve this trope: they not only offer the usual services expected of a tavern but also offer services allowing adventurers to find people to team up with, as well as employment. Incidentally those taverns tend to be owned or be operated by retired adventurers. These taverns also tend to have irregular shapes, and intentionally poor lighting, so that they have more shadowy corners than usual.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'''s ''WFRP'' rulebook justifies this trope: taverns are common meeting places; and, given the likely diversity of the party members, may well be the only reasonable way for the [=PCs=] to meet.
* ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Dungeons & Dragons]]'' is so {{Troperiffic}} that a cliché like this was bound to be used in a handful of modules:
** Sometimes it [[{{Subversion}} turns out]] another [[HilarityEnsues way]].
---> [[http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mb/20041117a ...and went to Baldur's Gate to celebrate their victory.]] Thick-headed with too much ale, they agreed to take on a job from a mysterious merchant (now believed, after several divinations, to be an agent of the Red Wizards) who sent them into the Troll Hills, [[spoiler:which is the last anyone ever heard of them]].
** Special mention has to go to the 2nd Edition module "Reverse Dungeon", where the players are a group of goblins trying to save their tribe from an (apparently endless) stream of adventurers. The way the module suggests they achieve this is to destroy the tavern, so that the heroes can't recruit replacements for their fallen comrades.
** Before the Spellplague, the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' had a justified example - one of the bars in Waterdeep, one of Faerûn's great metropolis, was not only run by a retired adventurer, but also happened to have an entry-point to Undermountain (a very, very large dungeon) in it. That, of course, made it a convenient place for adventures looking to strike rich in Undermountain to gather.
** The 1977 Holmes Basic D&D boxed set. In the sample dungeon the {{PC}}s could gather at the Green Dragon Inn in the city of Portown before going on an adventure.
** The AD&D 1st Edition ''Dungeon Master's Guide'' (1979) has this suggestion for getting a party of {{PC}}s together.
-->As background you inform them that they...met by chance in an inn or tavern and resolved to journey together to seek their fortunes in the dangerous environment.
* In ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'', "you all wake up in a [[BodyBackupDrive resleeving facility]]" is a standard start to an adventure, including the example in the manual.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'', following in the footsteps of D&D, has a few cases like this, some especially [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]]. For instance, Cayden's Hall in Absalom is a temple devoted to Cayden Cailean (god of freedom, adventurers, and booze), meaning it's part-temple, part-boozefest, part-rallying point for anybody who wants to go off and punch evil and tyranny in the face.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' has this built into certain locations for ease -- like in [[WretchedHive Nexus]], where no-one is allowed to eat alone after dark, so it's easy to just say, "You're all in Nexus, it's nighttime, so you all had to sit at a table together." Although it still strains WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief when you're one of, at best, 700 Chosen in a world of billions. The answer to that is usually BecauseDestinySaysSo and/or Sidereals (which are often the same as the former and becomes extra convenient if you have one in the party.)
* ''TabletopGame/TalesFromTheFloatingVagabond'' deliberately shortcuts this trope by making the primary setting an InnBetweenTheWorlds, one which can pluck new customers from across time and space thanks to a device the landlord installed on the entrance.
* Classic ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'':
** There was an early lampshading of this in Adventure 2 ''Research Station Gamma''. The characters are space travelling ex-Navy, Scouts and whatnot, and where do they all meet? In an inn on some backwards world with 18th/19th century technology. All of them had the great idea to go there and now don't have enough credits to get off this hole. Of course the adventure then takes exactly the course you would expect from this beginning [[spoiler:it's a dungeon crawl, just in a high-tech psionics research station.]]
** Adventure 0 ''The Imperial Fringe'' plays it straight. The Referee is encouraged to tell the players "You're all sitting in the Starhaven tavern". The {{PC}}s quickly get into a BarBrawl and meet their patron, who gives them a mission that will take them the length and breadth of the Spinward Marches.
* The boardgame ''{{Tomb}}'' by AEG has a board that consists of two sections. One is the titular Tomb, full of monsters, traps, and treasures galore. The other section is the Inn, where you build your party to invade the Tomb.
* ''TabletopGame/RedDragonInn'' is an inversion. The entire game takes place back at the Inn ''after'' the grand adventure, where the adventurers gamble and attempt to drink each other under the table.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' adventure "Orcbusters" starts here, and the D&D tropes keep on going...
* ''TabletopGame/D20Modern Urban Arcana'' has a medieval-fantasy-themed fast food chain called the Prancing Pony. Shadowkind like the places because it reminds them of the inns of their homeworlds, and "many an adventure has started with a chance meeting in the dark corner of a Prancing Pony franchise".

* All of ''Theatre/IdiotsDelight'' takes place at an Italian ski resort on the Swiss border. The various travelers get stuck there when rumors of impending war cause the closure of the border crossing.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'':
** The Barbarossa campaign of ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII'' is narrated by a drunk tavern guy [[spoiler:who is really Henry the Lion]].
** In ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresIII'' European civilizations can build a saloon from which to hire PrivateMilitaryContractors.
* ''Franchise/BaldursGate''
** At the start of [[VideoGame/BaldursGate the first game]], you are placed at the entrance to an inn. Then, for the first part of your adventure, your stepfather tells you to meet some friends in a nearby inn.
** [[VideoGame/BaldursGateII The second game]] includes an inn (The Copper Coronet) where a total of three potential party members make their first appearances. Most party members, should you drop them, will wait for you here.
** The minor (as much as an Ancient Red Dragon can be "minor") villain Firkraag [[ExploitedTrope exploits]] this very trope. He waits at the Copper Coronet for adventurers he can trick and toy with. After all, a Red Dragon is just a few steps away from a [[CatsAreMean cat]].
* In ''VideoGame/BladestormTheHundredYearsWar'', the tavern is where you get new contracts, upgrade your weapons, meet fellow mercenaries and recruit new squads.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Darklands}}'', inns and taverns are where you start the game, and where you can hire and fire members of your party.
* In ''Videogame/DragonAgeOrigins'', after the basic party is assembled and and the main quest starts, the characters stop at the village of [[DoomedHometown Lothering]] and meet the first potential new follower at the local inn. The next potential follower is located literally down the road.
* From the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series:
** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'' has Ruida's Tavern, where TheChosenOne meets all their allies. ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'' (which the picture at the top of the page is from) has [[DubNameChange Patty]] reprising this role as a ContinuityNod, along with a few helpers to handle the [=WiFi=] aspects.
** Patty and her tavern return in the crossover game ''VideoGame/DragonQuestHeroesTheWorldTreesWoeAndTheBlightBelow'', where it serves as a place to change your party members between missions.
* ''[[VideoGame/EyeOfTheBeholder Eye Of The Beholder III: Assault to Myth Drannor]]'' begins this way.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** Bars are where you go for sidequests in ''Videogame/FinalFantasyTactics'', but your party begins as soldiers of the same troop.
** In homage to its spiritual predecessor, Vaan looks up his very first Hunt in ''Videogame/FinalFantasyXII'' at the local tavern, the Sandsea. He will graduate up to Clan Hunts afterward, but he can always find a minor Hunt or two on the tavern's billboard.
** The two ''Videogame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' games similarly use the bar as a quest hub (both main and sidequests), and many {{cutscene}}s play out in one of them as well, including the main character's introduction to the clan. By contrast, it's not used as a place to hire new members.
* ''Videogame/IcewindDale'' opens with the party in an inn, though they have not just met each other. [[spoiler:Unless you rewrite their histories so that they really did just meet up at the inn...]]
* In ''Videogame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', you meet no fewer than three party members in bars. It is also possible to meet Calo Nord, a minor villain, for the first time in the first bar. One of said characters even tells you how to acquire a fourth character when you meet him at the bar.
* While averted with the first partner in ''VideoGame/{{Miitopia}}'', subsequent allies the player recruits are met in an inn between chapters.
* ''Videogame/NeverwinterNights'':
** In the third expansion, the PC starts out and meets several future party mates in an Inn (a specific inn the source material had already established as being a common meeting place for adventurers seeking to enter Undermountain). Only one of them will stay with you until the end of the story--the other four in the Inn all go back to the surface at the end of the first chapter. The three potential party members that are not in the Inn at the beginning are met under much more unusual circumstances.
** Several fan-made expansions also contain examples. In "VideoGame/ADanceWithRogues", your first encounter with Pia is in a private dining room at an inn, your first encounters with Bran, Norah, and Gemli in the second chapter are also in an inn. You technically meet Diane in an inn in the first ''VideoGame/TheBastardOfKosigan'' module, but you actually recruit her in a forest if you so choose. Several possible henchmen in A Hunt Through The Dark, in the final chapter, show up in the inn for the first time.
** ''Videogame/NeverwinterNights2'' has the expansion pack ''Storm of Zehir'', with all the original party members meeting (technically) on a ''ship''. Additional party members can be in a variety of places, but you'll find a good third of them in inns.
** In just vanilla ''Neverwinter Nights 2'', you meet the fighter Dwarf at the inn you're just passing by. Starting a bar brawl. And then, when you meet him, another bar brawl happens. You also meet the DeadpanSnarker wizard and SociopathicHero ranger inside a later inn that's the party's base of operations in Neverwinter, and the pyromaniac sorceress outside its front door.
* The eight protagonists of ''Videogame/ResidentEvilOutbreak'' have never met before, but all happen to be in the same bar right before it all hits the fan with the zombies.
* ''VideoGame/DragonsCrown'' begins in an inn where your character and a thief named Rannie recounts how you both met. The inn is also where you recruit AI party members.
* In fantasy strategy game ''Videogame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'', buying the Inn building in your castle allows you to recruit other Heroes (army leaders).
* [[ShoutOut Shouted out]] to in ''[[Videogame/WarCraft Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne]]'', with the Tavern neutral building, from which players can enlist a variety of mercenary heroes.
* Averted in ''Videogame/WorldOfWarcraft'', since party and guild recruitment can be done anywhere. However, players can set inns as their save points, and are popular venues on designated role-play servers.
* ''Videogame/FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles: Videogame/MyLifeAsAKing'' features the Inn building, which allows you to form your adventurers into parties. (Before building one, your adventurers all travel and fight individually.)
* Paradoxically, in the ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' game ''[[Videogame/VampireTheMasqueradeRedemption Vampire: Redemption]]'', taverns and pubs play no role in the Dark Ages portion of the game. In the modern era, however, you meet most of your party members (and undertake half the plots) in bars and nightclubs.
* ''Videogame/{{SaGa Frontier}}'' and its sequel both exhibit this. The first game has a bar in Scrap; a visit here at the start of a game could completely fill your first fighting party. The second game starts as a team joining to search for treasure and ends 3 generations later fighting a ''CosmicHorrorStory antagonist''.
* While most recruitable characters are found in random houses, the fact that Adventurer's Inns in ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic VIII'' serve as the mechanism for storing surplus recruited characters and exchanging characters is very likely a reference to this trope (possibly by way of Heroes of Might and Magic).
* During ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'''s development, units like the Reaper were hired at the Merc Haven, a bar with a holographic dancing Night Elf. It ended up being phased out (the building is still used, but just as a prop), but in the campaign you hire mercenaries from a man in the Hyperion's cantina.
* The two games in the ''BaldursGateDarkAlliance'' series both use this trope.
** The first game plays it utterly straight--the player character (or characters, if you go by the sequel which suggests all three available ones form an adventuring group together) is robbed in the streets of the city and ends up in the Elfsong Tavern. Not only is this where the player meets lots of [=NPCs=] of various trustworthiness who give them their quests, but the whole thing actually starts with being given the task of killing rats in the basement sewers under the tavern.
** The second game inverts it--the player character(s) is/are traveling to Baldur's Gate in order to deal with the villains from the first game (not yet having gotten the memo they were defeated already), only to encounter merchant Randalla Brasshorn along the way and save her from goblins working for the new ThievesGuild. In gratitude Rondalla asks to be escorted to the city and once there, will meet with the hero(es) at the Purple Wyrm Inn, which is where she will give out quests (though she isn't the only one in the city who will do so). So the hero meets their benefactor elsewhere (and if it's a group of heroes, they already met on the road while coming to deal with the villains), and only meet her at an inn afterward.


* ''Webcomic/GoblinHollow'' includes an arc where the characters are playing ''D&D''. The GM opens the tale with the traditional phrase, is interrupted by snarks from the players about his lack of originality, and continues by smugly adding, "...and wake up the next morning [[YouAllMeetInACell in the county jail]]."
* Also abused in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' proper: [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0357.html #357.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' provides an example of this trope [[http://xkcd.com/244/ eating itself.]]
* In ''Webcomic/HeroesOfLesserEarth'' this trope is so common that taverns normally have bulletin boards for adventurer recruitment.
* ''Webcomic/{{Weregeek}}'':
** There's a tavern [[http://www.weregeek.com/2007/12/07/ specifically designed with a very large number of dark-shadowy corners]] to accommodate this trope.
** The Shadowrun campaign has the nightclub variant.
* This is [[DoubleSubverted double-]][[DefiedTrope defied]] in ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'', where [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/2268.html the characters]] meet this way, even though they ''didn't''.
* ''Webcomic/DMOfTheRings'' lampshades the Prancing Pony scene in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' in [[http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=613 this strip.]]
* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' regarding the [[http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0745.html Mos Eisley cantina scene]] in ''Film/ANewHope''.
** An alternate strip where the game they're playing is based on ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' has the GM resentful that he planned a globe-trotting adventure, while his players hardly left the bar they met in.
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' has it lampshaded in [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2001-12-11 this]] strip. [[DoubleSubverted At first they avoid it, but]] soon enough, [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2002-01-01 they go to one and immediately find exactly what they're looking for]] ([[ItMakesSenseInContext which isn't as much of a coincidence as usual]] for this trope).
* In ''Webcomic/{{Yamara}}'', local bars double as employment centers, even officially. The title character goes out drinking with her friend Stress, and warns against trying to fight off the hordes of adventurers, sages in dark cloaks, and barmaids with the low-down on local dragon hoards, since a bar fight will likely lead to a memorable encounter and forming a lifelong fellowship with some dweeb, and who wants that? Then she announces they'll join the party of whichever group buys them the most drinks, and the two of them get plastered for free.
* ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'' begins at The Wayside, the tavern/inn where Julie tells her boss she has to quit. Angelika and Rocky meet with them [[CrashIntoHello right outside.]]
* ''WebComic/RustyAndCo'' has the [[http://rustyandco.com/comic/2/ tavern of choice]] ''named'' "[[YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe Ye Olde]] [[CallToAdventure Proverbial Hook]]".
* Spoofed in ''Webcomic/{{Exiern}}'' in an [[http://www.exiern.com/?p=43 entire arc]] where Tiffany (and several background characters) are just trying to have a quiet drink without being bothered by the stereotypical adventure seekers, fortune tellers, and quest-givers (they fail).
* ''Webcomic/{{Crawlers}}'': A flashback reveals that [[http://crawlers.thecomicseries.com/comics/93 the original Crawlers]] met in an inn. Earlier in the series the trope is made fun of as a device to let readers know the generic soldiers are actually [[http://crawlers.thecomicseries.com/comics/57 new players.]]
* Lampshaded in the [[http://dungeoncrawlinc.tumblr.com/post/22586843065 first strip]] of ''Webcomic/DungeonCrawlInc'':
-->"Wait a minute! You're telling me that by pure chance I happened to walk into a bar where a group of would-be adventurers are forming a group, conveniently coinciding with a kobold attack on the farmsteads of Nashkell?"
* In the first major story arc of ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan'', the characters meet up at an inn/bar in Barthis. Subverted however in that most of them had either met the heroes previously (Siegfried) or were actually old friends from the past (Milov and Jayden); this is simply the first place they could stop to rest and look for information.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://wiki.rpg.net/index.php/File:MPost310-Motivator904574fa6edb988f8724f82419.jpg This]] FauxtivationalPoster. Déjà vu, anyone?
* ''Literature/NewYorkMagician'': Most of Michel's escapades start in bars.
* The eponymous Drogans of ''WebVideo/DungeonsAndDrogans'' meet several new members in a number of inns.
* Discussed in Ferret Steinmetz's anecdote, "[[http://theferrett.livejournal.com/2004/01/04/ The Worst Game I Ever Played In]]", about an incompetent ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' Game Master, describes the opening of the game thus:
-->The DM sighed, and in a voice that sounded like a very bored computer, he read the opening portion: "All right you guys are in a bar and a woman comes up to you and says 'Hey do you guys want a job?'"
* In the opening of the parodic fantasy audio webserie ''AudioPlay/RefletsDAcide'', the first protagonist hires his team in a tavern. The player playing the character complains to the DM because how stereotyped it is.
* ''Roleplay/YouHaveBecomeYourAvatar'': The transformed users all met in an unspecified hotel in the middle of nowhere. So far, the only clue to their whereabouts is a news report saying it's in the middle of New Mexico, overlooking the SCP explosion.
* Toyed with in ''Podcast/FalloutIsDragons''. The party did all meet in an inn... which Powder Keg promptly blew up, causing the mayor to exile them all and forcing them to team up to survive the wasteland.
* The party in ''WebVideo/TheGamersLive.'' Justified in that they're playing a one-shot side adventure and don't have a lot of time, so they don't want to do an elaborate set-up.
* ''WebVideo/WalkingInCircles'': It's revealed that the group leader, Krag, invoked this trope. Krag theorises that this is why he's SurroundedByIdiots:
--> ''"Next time I do interviews, it will '''not''' be in a bar, because when you're in a bar you drink, and when you drink you hire people who can do lute riffs behind their back and not people who can guide you through unfamiliar forrested areas."''
* Despite DM Creator/MatthewMercer [[https://twitter.com/matthewmercer/status/953039504918568962 admitting to hating this standard beginning to D&D campaigns,]] the second generation of ''WebOriginal/CriticalRole'' heroes do meet in a tavern. A bit tricky for one character though -- Nott, a Goblin, has to disguise herself as a Halfling to avoid trouble.

* WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb: Played with in the episode "Excaliferb". Phineas and Ferb-alot receive their quest and get their first ally in their own backyard. Then they go to the Inn of the Prancing Platypus to hire some muscle (and have a great taco salad). There they meet [[CanisLatinicus Bufarbalus and Baljeetalus]]. Only then does the adventure truly begin.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Public houses, coffee houses, cafes, beer gardens, saloons, etc. have historically served as meeting places for various groups who would, in turn, discuss politics, religion, economics, revolution, science, etc. Hence, not only adventures, but great societal movements, began with someone meeting in an inn:
** The Raleigh Tavern was the spot of several noteworthy (minor but crucial) events in the lead-up to the American revolution and was a spot where many leading Virginians, including UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington, were known to dine. The United States started at an inn. Okay, that's stretching it a bit but it's a historical location you wouldn't want to overlook as concerns this trope....
** The French cafes were notorious as meeting places of various Enlightenment thinkers, some of whom became the later revolutionaries who overthrew the monarchy.
** On a rainy day, a group of youths gathered in a coffee house somewhere in a subjugated country to discuss a list of social demands they planned to submit to the government office. Things like stopping censure, release of political prisoners, that sort of thing. By the end of that day, a full-blown peaceful revolution involving tens of thousands was behind them, eventually escalating into a war of independence that saw, among other things, {{The Empire}}'s military and various armies of [[DivideAndConquer imperial-supported minorities]] getting so utterly ''[[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu humiliated]]'' by the insurgents that they had to SummonBiggerFish in the form of another superpower to quell the uprising. Sounds like a fictional story but this is actually what happened in Hungary during 1848. All caused by a meeting in Coffeehouse Pilvax[[note]]although the original building was demolished in 1911, the coffee house is still in business[[/note]]. That's one hell of a resume...
** In their early days, both the London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange were a bunch of broker-traders who hung out at a set of coffee shops in the same neighborhood, like [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_Alley,_London Change Alley]] in London circa 1700, or the Merchant's Coffee House and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tontine_Coffee_House Tontine Coffee House]] in NYC circa 1790. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd%27s_of_London Lloyd's of London]] started in Lloyd's Coffee House circa 1688.
** In some cases, coffee houses got such a reputation for being dens of anti-establishment dissent that the government actually tried to suppress them. Naturally, this only added fuel to the fire in a lot of cases.
* UsefulNotes/TheInklings, an informal literary discussion group at the University of Oxford (notable members include fantasy-fiction legends Creator/CSLewis and Creator/JRRTolkien), would often meet at local pubs, the most well-known being The Eagle and Child, and later on, The Lamb and Flag.
* The three guys who would go on to form Austrian black metal band Music/{{Summoning}} met up at a pub. Oddly appropriate, seeing as how the main theme of the band is Tolkien high fantasy.
* Then there's the Pixar Lunch, where after finishing ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'', several key members of the Pixar team got together to discuss future films, which would later become ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'', ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'', ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo'', and ''WesternAnimation/WallE''. [[PowerUpFood You have to wonder just WHAT was in the food there.]]
* UsefulNotes/GuyFawkes worked with twelve other people, one of whom was drafted for being the only person sitting at the next table in the pub. (Unfortunately for them, this was the man who wrecked their plan by writing a letter to his friend in parliament [[WhatAnIdiot telling him not to go because of the plot.]])
* There is a diner called Buck's in Woodside, a small town in Silicon Valley, where several IT / Internet firms were founded. ([[http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128874569 See here]]).
* The United States Marine Corps is traditionally regarded as having been founded at the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tun_Tavern Tun Tavern]] in Philadelphia.
* The Shu faction of the Three Kingdoms period in Ancient China supposedly started in a "Peach Garden". This can be interpreted to be anything from a bunch of trees, an inn, a restaurant, a brothel or something else.