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Jumped at the Call
"Normal? Who wants to be normal?! If you're not a hero, you're a zero."
Ben, Ben 10

For some heroes, when they receive the Call to Adventure, they refuse the call. When they finally accept the call, they continue to complain that "I Just Want to Be Normal".

Heroes who Jumped At The Call wonder what's wrong with those people.

These heroes are excited when adventure comes calling. They never, ever, ever say "I Just Want to Be Normal". They already have a costume, already picked out a codename, and they have been practicing how to deliver a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner. They're already swallowing the red pill before you can even offer them the blue. About the worst thing you could do to them is to bring them down to normal. Or tell them someone else Missed the Call. They don't even care that more experienced people are reluctant; Least Is First.

Often, had a Changeling Fantasy once upon a time, and generally has otaku tendencies. He is truly living the dream. Such a hero is also the most likely to be The Unchosen One, the Chosen hero that chooses himself.

However, you can also be too eager to jump, and end up jumping off a cliff. Beware shady strangers offering you everything you want. Genre Savvy bad guys, especially the Big D, will try to get you to miss the real call by jumping at theirs instead. They also sometimes tend to forget the baggage that comes with answering with the call, namely the fact that The Call Knows Where You Live.

When a hero is given a chance at returning to heroism and jumps at it, he is usually in love with being In Harm's Way. Neophytes might think themselves in love with it, and may actually turn out to be, but they may also discover, after real adventures, that they do not love it after all.

If a hero loses whatever power or abilities that made them a hero, and forces themselves into The Call again, one could say they've Got the Call on Speed Dial. A variant path through The Hero's Journey.

Compare/Contrast The Team Wannabe.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime/Manga  

  • Takamachi Nanoha from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. At the age of nine, she was already Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life, though she certainly wasn't thinking "magical girl". Though she has a hesitant beginning, she soon becomes extremely enthusiastic about her new "destiny". Let's be honest here, the girl loves to fight as a magical girl.
  • In the Mazinger series:
    • Mazinger Z: Kouji Kabuto. His grandfather died after explaining him Dr. Hell, an ex-colleague of his, was a Mad Scientist wanted to Take Over the World, and had attempted against his life because he had built a Humongous Mecha to stop him. After this, Kouji was just eager to pilot Mazinger-Z and avenge his grandfather's murder. In Shin Mazinger Zero we saw what could have happened if he would have Refused The Call. It was... non-pretty.
    • Great Mazinger: Tetsuya Tsurugi has been a Humongous Mecha pilot most of his life. He devotes himself to his job, loathes the idea of being just normal and is perfectly right with having to kill giant monsters. However he used to be a lonely orphan little kid yearned for having a father. When Prof. Kabuto told him he would adopt him if he was willing to train to pilot a humongousMecha and defeat ancient bio-mechanical monsters from Beneath the Earth, Tetsuya agreed gleefully. Nevertheless, his obsessiveness combined with his abandonment issues, lacking of self-confidence and slef-worth and a massively low opinion of himself (that he tried to hide behind of a mask of arrogance and pride) led to many troubles and finally to a masive breakdown. His Battle Couple Jun also jumped at the call, but she managed to get it more together than him.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: Duke Fleed subverts it slightly. He was a reluctant hero hated fighting and just wanted being normal. when the Vegans attacked he could have remained lying low and nobody would have him forced to battle. He willingly decided fight, nonetheless (knowing the consequences of not acting are your new home will become an uninhabitable radioactive wasteland all people you care for will be dead or enslaved no doubt helped factored into his decision).
  • Yui Kasuga from Corrector Yui was an Otaku obsessed with Magical Girls, and loved the idea of being one herself.
  • Though Minto Aizawa in Tokyo Mew Mew wasn't happy about working with Ichigo at first, manga extras note that she thought it was her destiny to become Mew Mint and was even secretly delighted, which fits well with her reaction to her object of affection's Refusal of the Call.
  • Subverted in The Twelve Kingdoms: the Genre Savvy Yuka Sugimoto is thrilled at the prospect of being the heroine of a Trapped in Another World adventure story when a mysterious blond Bishōnen and a flying monster or two show up at her high school... except she isn't and they weren't there for her. The real heroine of the story, her classmate Youko Nakajima, has a typical (and one might say extreme) Refusal of the Call reaction to the early events of the series. Unfortunately, Yuka's stubborn insistence that she was the one being called causes her to act as an antagonist for a significant chunk of the first Story Arc. To her merit, opnce she does realize how mistaken she was, Yuka conceeds and goes back home, letting Yoko take over.
  • Antihero example: Alucard of Hellsing isn't really a hero, but he's willing to do heroic deeds just for the action. Very willing. Enough that one of his catchphrases is demanding he be given an order by his master.
  • Kazuki from Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure provides an excellent example of this. The second-in-command of Sanada's organization prepares a long, overwrought speech trying to convince him to fight in a mecha on behalf of their organization, and she is barely able to get five words out before Kazuki readily agrees.
  • Gai Daigoji from Martian Successor Nadesico (real name: Jiro Yamada, but he didn't think that sounded heroic enough) is so eager to be a giant robot pilot that he arrives to his post three days ahead of schedule. He promptly breaks his leg from showing off (literally).
  • Suzumiya Haruhi fits this trope so much that instead of waiting for the Call, she actually goes out looking for it (never realizing that it could be behind her back the whole time).
  • In Wa Ga Na Wa Umishi, although Rintarou intially refuses the call to be a salvor, once he makes his decision, he tends to jump at any and every call to salvage something, even when his older and wiser advisors try to tell him it's a bad idea. This has happened at least 4 times in 8 volumes alone.
  • The main protagonist from the anime MÄR (Marchen Awakens Romance) does not seem to be bothered one whit that he was sucked into a magical world of adventure without his consent. Indeed, he rather enjoys the new life he finds there.
    • When a shopkeeper informs him that the particular ARM he's looking for (Monpierre Blanc, which can send him back home) isn't in her selection and would probably be far too rare and expensive to just buy somewhere, he's relieved; he'd been worried his adventure would end too soon.
  • Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion has been a Mecha pilot most of her life and revels in it. In fact, facing alien invaders is about the only thing she doesn't complain about. Finding herself paired up with a reluctant hero who is all "I Just Want to Be Normal" (Shinji) leads to a certain amount of tension. Add in an Emotionless Girl, and the whole gig starts to lose its luster. When it starts to become clear that she isn't The Chosen One and is likely to end up a Sidekick at best, she starts down the Hourglass Plot path, ending up in Mind Rape and Convenient Coma.
  • Midori in Mai-HiME is not only enthusiastic about her powers, but also seems to think she's Sailor Moon, complete with the "V" gesture, over-the-top introductions, and inspirational speeches about justice and friendship. Doubly ironic because not only is the series notably devoid of all that (and is significantly darker), but also because the original just wanted to be normal.
  • Princess Amelia from Slayers is Jumping at the Call as well. Despite being a magical princess in a fantasy setting, she draws up long speeches about Justice, names attacks — like punching someone really hard — and generally tries to be a superhero. She also always has the high ground (even if she tends to fall off of it). This is largely because she's a parody of Sailor Moon.
    • Admittedly, this seems to be a family trait - her father does exactly the same thing.
    • Prince Phil (Ameila's dad) went so far as to fake his death and start running around the rooftops in a frikkin' Batman costume. Despite being the bloomin' King!!
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: The Mighty Kamina! When a giant mech, technology that was completely unknown to them, drops into their underground village, he stands up to it and threatens it with a completely ordinary nodachi which he took from the Village Chief, heroic speech at hand note . Even after the girl with the absurdly powerful rifle, also unknown technology to the village, barely damages it. Then again, Katanas Are Just Better. This is just the start - his entire job in the series seems to be heroic speeches and epic-but-ridiculous action, down to called attacks like the "WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM?! KICK!".
  • In Yes! Precure 5, Nozomi Jumped at the Call before she even knew there was one, and in fact this is what brings the Call to Adventure to her.
    • Megumi of Happiness Charge Pretty Cure, being a fangirl of the Pretty Cure, was more than willing to become Hime's partner... after she beaned the girl with the item to find her partner.
  • After seeing Shizuru effortlessly demolish a fleet of battleships in the first episode of Mai-Otome, Arika made the decision on the spot to start her path toward becoming a full-fledged Otome just like Shizuru, as part of her journey to find her long-missing mother.
    • It probably doesn't help matters much that she receives encouragement from Haruka Armitage shortly thereafter.
  • While it would be considered normal within the context of the involved world, Ash Ketchum of Pokémon jumps at any chance to test his skills as a Pokemon Trainer, visiting whatever lands on his quest to become the Pokemon Master.
  • Chiko, from The Daughter of Twenty Faces. Never has a "kidnapping victim" been so willing.
  • Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece. Can you picture him wanting to be anything but a pirate?
    • Luffy didn't jump at the call so much he IS the call. He didn't need (or really have) any particular reason to become a pirate other than that he thought pirates were cool. And he pretty much functions as a walking call when it comes to recruiting members of his crew.
    • Interestingly, a early short story that would later evolve into One Piece exists. After eating the Devil Fruit and losing the ability to swim, he tells his grandfather (who owned the fruit) he's fine with it since he doesn't want to become a pirate anyway. However, at the end of the story his cool slips and he admits he's devastated since he wants to become a pirate more than anything. (As this doesn't match Luffy's backstory in the series, this cannot be considered canon.)
  • Several characters in Mahou Sensei Negima!, unsurprisingly. Haruna stands out, as when the Masquerade is broken for her, she threatens to torture her three best friends for not letting her in on it sooner.
    • It took her half a picosecond to immediately snog Negi when she learned this would give her magic powers. When this failed to work the first time (Chamo didn't have the contracting spell ready), the only reason it took her a little longer to snog him again was because Negi was running scared by then and she had to catch him first.
  • The Digimon Frontier kids had to follow the directions of a literal call on their cellphones to make it to the Digital World, but Takuya was the one who actually jumped. Also, Daisuke, Miyako and Iori from Digimon Adventure 02, although the last two almost immediately regretted it and while they never quite made it to I Just Want to Be Normal, they never managed to be as gung-ho as Daisuke in the most critical moments. Mikey in Digimon Xros Wars takes it even further and drags his friends into the Digital World.
  • Kenji in Koutetsushin Jeeg - much to the surprise of the base staff, who had a big "I know this isn't going to be easy for you" speech lined up. It should be noted that Kenji, while Hot-Blooded, isn't the brightest star in the sky.
  • Hunter Steele in Spider Riders definitely fits this trope. Heck he had to go out of his way to prove he was a rider. Not to mention swallowing his pride and actually asking for help from Shadow.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami: "I just killed two men... no wait... this is exactly what I've been thinking about lately. The world is rotting and those who are making it rot deserve to die!" Normal kid to A God Am I in less than a 5-minute sequence.
  • Yuji Sakai from Shakugan no Shana, once he learns that he's just a Torch and will disappear one of these days, figures that he'd rather do something else than just waiting until he disappears, and does what he can to aid the titular Action Girlfriend, Shana.
  • Bakemonogatari: Would you run after the girl that just stapled your mouth and told you to not involve yourself with her in order to offer her help? Araragi's charm is in Jumping At The Call Sight of an Oddity.
  • Naruto Uzumaki of Naruto. Pre-Timeskip, he always jumps at the call to prove himself. Post? When the Fourth Shinobi World War had started and he didn't know, but when he learned he broke out of his confinement with Killer Bee, faced the Raikage to prove he was up to the challenge, and finally reached the battlefield to protect his friends.
  • The Call to Adventure merely sped up Lelouch's schedule, at least the first time. The second time he recieves The Call, the caller is a terrorist he really should be running away from very from very fast, but his subconscious urge to jump trumps basic survival.
  • Transformers Super God Masterforce: the kids approach Metalhawk and ask him for The Call.
  • Once he learned there was a call to be answered, Kotetsu T. Kaburagi from Tiger & Bunny charged in its direction and never looked back. Back in high school he spent most of his time trying to come up with cool superhero names and beating up street gangs as a "vanguard of justice".
  • Genki from Monster Rancher may not have been expecting to be sucked into the game world but he sure didn't have any issue being there.
  • Ojamajo Doremi gives us the main characgter, who accidentally discovers a witch's true identity and gets her transformed into a green... blob or something. When said witch says Doremi must compensate via becoming her apprentice...
    Doremi: To tell you the truth, I've always wanted to be a witch... Please make me a witch? Pleasepleasepleaaaaase?!
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, Hikaru is instantly eager and willing to take up Clef's charge of saving Princess Emeraude while Umi and Fuu are still protesting that they need to get back to Tokyo. Throughout the journey she's the one who takes the lead and keeps them going. As a consequence, The Reveal of their true mission is so painful to her that the second season of the anime gives her an Enemy Without created from her sorrow.
  • Idiot Hero Daiya in Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu could not wait to get aboard the Daiku Maryu as Gaiking's pilot and head into the world of Darius, because it meant a quest to find his father.
  • A crossover between Crayon Shin Chan and Kamen Rider Den-O, Shin-chan throws himself at Ryotaro as he's slapping on his driver because he thinks transforming is cool, becoming "Shin-O".

     Comic Books  

  • Steve Rogers wanted to be a soldier before Pearl Harbor, but was rejected for poor physical health. Didn't stop him from trying to put on weight and heading to a recruitment station, time and time again. Eventually, a General took him aside and told him 'What if we shot you up with drugs and stuck you in the path of radioactive materials?'
  • Jakita Wagner in Warren Ellis's comic-book series Planetary is an example of this, but not out of a sense of heroism. At one point in the series, she gets to destroy several thirty-foot mutant ants with her bare hands. Though she doesn't say anything, the expression on her face in the close-ups clearly reads "I have the best job in the world."
    Elijah: Why'd you join? The money or the secrecy your Fourth Man can buy?
    Jakita: Neither. I get bored easily. Planetary stops me getting bored.
    • In a nice cross-trope subversion in one issue, she's all happy and feeling good after saving the Red Shirt helicopter pilot from exploding.
  • Guy Gardner in The DCU. Not only does he revel in being a Green Lantern, but whenever his powers get taken away, he goes out and finds entirely new powers. He even spent a brief period as a Bad Ass Normal before Executive Meddling gave him tattoos and morphing powers. Guy didn't just jump at The Call, he tackled it and made it his bitch.
  • DC Comics' Eddie Bloomberg wanted to be a superhero so badly that he built his own power suit at the age of 12 and dubbed himself Kid Devil, Blue Devil's sidekick.
  • In the Marvel line Young Avengers the titular young avengers are often described as super-powered fanboys, especially Billy (Wiccan) and Teddy (Hulkling). The first five members of the team had pretty strong ties to the original Avengers that fueled their desire to become superheroes, and although Kate (the fifth member) had no such ties, she was pretty set on becoming a hero as well.
  • Squirrel Girl. Her entire existence revolves around this trope. When she met Iron Man in her first appearance, she was a fourteen year old girl who had already created her own costume, her own power set and her own code name, and she desperately tried to become Iron Man's sidekick. After moving to New York she protected Central Park from muggers. After GLA, er GLX-, now GLC, yes GLI asked her to join their team she quickly agreed, not even bothering to consider asking her parents. What a trooper!
  • Kyle Rayner. A “blue midget in a dress” gives him a ring and he’s not sure what is going on but thinks it is way cool that when he puts on the ring his clothes change. Then his girlfriend points out that is Green Lantern’s costume and Kyle gets even more enthusiastic. Even after his girlfriend became the Trope Namer of Stuffed into the Fridge Kyle still told both Ganthet and Hal Jordan to get stuffed when they wanted the ring back rather than take the chance to back away from the call.
  • Angela Spica of The Authority decided as a child that she was going to be a superhero when she grew up. As soon as she designed the technology, she exchanged her blood for nine pints of liquid nanotech, called herself The Engineer, and got right on saving the world (and overthrowing a few sovereign nations that pissed her off). Unique among her teammates, she both chose to be a superhero AND didn't regret the choice the minute the consequences kicked in. Catchphrase: "This is the best job in the world."
  • In Runaways, Molly Hayes is very enthusiastic about superheroing. She's reduced to awkward Shy Finger Twiddling when she realizes no one else came up with a costume.
  • Beast Boy of the Teen Titans is a green freak who can shape-shift, and wouldn't have it any other way. Being able to date Raven was probably a plus too.
    • Before he was in the Titans, he was with Doom Patrol, a group entirely based around Blessed with Suck. Most of the Patrollers were adults who had lives and careers they lost when they changed. Gar was changed into a metahuman before preschool, and thinks being a shapeshifter is great fun. He's been heroing since before his teens and it's pretty much all he knows. The Wolfman-Perez era was very quick to point out he's got some Patrol-level issues under the goofball mask.
  • The Mighty: When Gabriel Cole got the opportunity to help his hero, Alpha One, out. He accepted the promotion to Section Omega Captain.
  • Joshua Carver of No Hero not only jumped at the call but he chased after it aggressively.
  • Empowered, full stop. You can see how much she wanted to become a superheroine if you consider that she gets her powers from a Stripperiffic super suit which loses powers immediately when ripped (which happens constantly) and still doesn't give up.
  • Misfit is a rather tragic take on this. She Jumped at the Call because she doesn't have a normal life to return to after she accidentally killed her own family with her powers.
  • Cassie Sandsmark went to great lengths to become a superhero, starting at stealing enchanted artifacts to empower herself, and eventually marching right up to the king of the gods and asking him for powers.
  • Batman's Tim Drake jumped at the call even when Batman said "no". He knew that Batman needed a Robin and if Dick Grayson wouldn't be Robin again, then he would. Boy, did it pay off?
  • Faith of Harbinger was a cheerful comic geek who was overjoyed when she was offered the chance to get superpowers. As in the Runaways example above, she's the only one of her teammates to put together a homemade costume, as well as the only one to really think of herself as a 'superhero'.
  • The third Black Knight, Dane Whitman, starts off this way. Originally just an ordinary physicist, he had a habit of jumping at everything. Follow his dying supervillain uncle's request to redeem the Black Knight legacy? All right! Take up the family sword? Sure! Stay to fight in the Crusades after accidentally taking over his ancestor's body? Why not! Join every superhero team that's asked him to? Right on! He even jumps headlong into romantic relationships. But, in Captain Britain and MI13, after he's discovered the Crusades sucked, his family sword is hideously cursed yet he can't get rid of it, every single team he's joined and woman he's dated has pretty much forgotten him, and he feels like the only one still trying for idealistically heroic ideals, he's wondering if all that jumping was a good idea.
  • Amy Rose in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog. Going so far as to snatch up a powerful ring and using it to initiate an age-up. Of course, despite that, it takes Amy quite awhile to officially be made a Freedom Fighter, but when she is, she takes it with pride.

     Fan Works 
  • Nonoko in Kyon Big Damn Hero is a little too eager to become a Magical Girl. So when she's left with her brother's supernatural weapons and protective gear when the school he attends is attacked she is eager to go — not to return her brother's stuff to him, but to rescue him.
  • Sort of, in With Strings Attached. In the Prologue, Varx offers Paul the chance to go on “a great adventure.” Paul, thinking he's dreaming, readily accepts. Except Varx then reveals he's not dreaming, so he suddenly has second thoughts—but whoops, too late.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality has Harry jump pretty quick and far: breaking into Azkaban, fighting aurors, and breaking out Bellatrix Black because Quirrell convinced him it was a heroic quest. Deconstructed when he realizes that it is a rather serious flaw of his.
    Sorting Hat:"You're just guessing, or to put it more exactly, wishing that you have some ready-made heroic role that is your personal property."
  • Eidolon and Shift from DC Nation are raging, hard-core superhero fanboys who totally jumped at the chance to become heroes in their own right. Green Lantern Travis Grey pickpocked his ring, used it to clean up his crappy, inner-city neighborhood. When the senior lanterns come back for the ring, he just dares them to take it. Guy is so impressed by this, he offers to train the kid.
  • Unsurprisingly for a Hunger Games fanfiction, the Career tributes in Some Semblance of Meaning. (Obsidian apparently volunteered to keep his little cousin from having to go into the Games before he was ready, although he undoubtedly would have done so, anyway.)

    Film 
  • Trish from Angels Revenge. You do have to wonder about the wisdom of a teenaged scholgirl with no combat skills deciding to force her way on to a team plannning to take on a ruthless drug cartel.
  • Lampshaded by Rhino the Hamster, the Ascended Fanboy from Bolt.
  • Johnny Storm in the 2005 Fantastic Four film. One of the few positive points critics cited towards the film was the refreshing portrayal, away from the more depressing, wangsty examples, such as that of Spider-Man.
  • Robert Parr, aka Mr. Incredible, from The Incredibles. When he was forced to retire, he didn't fall into civilian life like other heroes did (like his wife Helen, alias Elastigirl, and his best friend Lucius alias Frozone) and missed the action. So much in fact, that he jumped at an opportunity that turned out too good to be true.
    • This was subverted in the opening act, with Mr. Incredible saying in an interview that he doesn't see himself doing superhero work forever, and Elastigirl boasting about being on top of her game and not about to quit. They end up switching attitudes when they're later forced to act normal.
    • Edna Mode also jumps at the chance to make superhero outfits again, after Robert calls her to patch up his old suit. She gets so into it, in fact, that she ends up making 5 new suits as well as patching the old one.
  • Until fairly recently, any James Bond film fits this trope; Bond is briefed on some threat to the world and, without more than a few moments flirting with Moneypenny and collecting Gadgets from Q, dives straight into the fray. The few times when he's dodged the orders he's been given are still, mostly, him answering the call; his bosses are the ones who've misheard it. The Call has, however, been very, very personal in a few movies, most recently Quantum of Solace, where Bond runs off chasing a relatively minor bad guy with disproportionate interest, just because that bad guy is connected to the death of Vesper. He still hits the big bad guys where they live, but he almost stumbles on them by accident along the way. A similar pattern was last seen in Licence to Kill, which was followed by the Bond series stalling for six years. Thankfully, MGM/EON has overcome their financial difficulties enough to announce that the next film should be released in 2012.
  • Dave Livewski the title character of "Kickass", who gets his powers (pain resistance and lots of titanium bones) as a result of answering the call before it's even been made.
  • In the reboot of Star Trek, the young Jim Kirk doesn't get the call for a few years after his peers. But once he does, he wastes no time in answering it.
  • Though the call in question is dubiously heroic, the Schofield Kid from Unforgiven not only eagerly accepts it, but enthusiastically spreads it to the baddest ass he knows. He has a change of heart after he finally kills someone.
  • Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger was very eager to answer the call, despite being put on hold multiple times due to his poor health. When offered the chance, he jumps at it with all his might and does everything he can to make sure he uses his powers for good. This logic also extends to his friends, who are only too happy to follow him into battle even after just escaping near-certain death.
  • This is part of the reason why the Iron Man films have been so successful. In contrast to heroes like Spider-Man and Batman, Tony Stark is a man who seems to genuinely enjoy being a hero and makes the most of his talents. It's refreshing to see a film where being a superhero actually looks fun and not like a chore.
  • Condorman features a lead character who doesn't merely jump at the call — he steals it. Woody Wilkins is a comic book writer who insists that his character (the titular Condorman) not do anything that he himself couldn't do in real life. It turns out that his friend works for the CIA and Woody talks him into letting him go on a routine courier mission, where he meets up with a lovely KGB spy named Natalia, who subsequently chooses to defect.
  • Imperium: Augustus shows the titular character so eager to answer The Call from his uncle Julius to fight in the Civil War that he decided to do so even though he was sick and remains so in the way to battle.

    Literature 

  • Stephanie Edgely, the 12-year old heroine of the book Skulduggery Pleasant, is only too glad to enter a fantastic world of magic, living skeletons, and vampiric museum guards.
    • It's subverted in the second book where many characters point out that Stephanie appears a bit too eager to join the supernatural world, and misses out on a lot of experiences with her family and people her own age and they try to explain to her that this is not a good thing (to little avail). It's most poignantly illustrated when the mirror image she sends to live her normal life tells her at one point that she has no friends at school (something she had been unaware of).
  • Galen Waylock of War of the Dreaming leaps at the call. He had the training, the skills, the attitude. Unfortunately, his timing was a little off.
  • In The Chronicles of Prydain, Taran jumped into the (literal) thornbush of adventure. When older and more experienced, he looked back at that incident of a sign of what an impulsive idiot he was when all he wanted was an adventure.
  • Lampshaded in one of The Executioner novels. A female journalist asks Vigilante Man Mack Bolan why he's engaged in his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against The Mafia. Bolan replies that he was "simply the one there when the duty roster was handed out". When she scoffs at this answer, Bolan replies that, just as it's ridiculous for him to assume she should give up her career in journalism and become a housewife, it's ridiculous for her to think he'll forsake his far-more extensive military skills (which he lists in detail) and ignore what the mob is doing to his own country.
  • Sam Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings is thrilled by the prospect of "going to see Elves and all." Merry and Pippin are also insist on coming along - and even have a "conspiracy" set up to keep Frodo from leaving the Shire without them - but that's more the Power of Friendship.
  • In Secret of the Three Treasures by Janni Lee Simner (author of Bones of Faerie), the fourth-grade protagonist, Tiernay West, is so eager to become a professional adventurer like the protagonist of her father's novels that she wears her Indiana Jones hat everywhere and interprets everything by the relevant tropes. When she hears of a local legend about buried treasure, she jumps at the call so quickly, it leaves her mother's head spinning.
  • Harry Potter gets to adventure even before the call, then when the call actually comes it's his uncle who tries to prevent him from receiving it. But The Call Knows Where You Live, (in the form of Hagrid) then during the second book Dobby tries to prevent him from going back to his school of adventure. Interestingly enough, even after accepting the call he is reluctant about having to fight Voldemort, that's until he realizes how much fun he has fighting evil (and even gets his own little army), he's also willing to hurt anyone who gets in the way of his adventure (even his own friends).
  • Most of the main characters of The Wheel of Time were terrified at having to flee their isolated little village in order to lead the ravening monsters away from their loved ones. Egwene hid in a hayloft to make sure they didn't leave without her.
  • Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: Danny can't wait to become a Knight of the Light, and neither can his friends. Their first year of training is a test of their comittment to the call.
  • This trope was what made Archmaester Marwyn so memorable and well-liked in the fandom of A Song of Ice and Fire. While most characters are frightened of the rapidly shifting world around them, Marwyn showed up in one chapter, and by the end he was on a boat to Essos to become Daenerys' maester.
  • The Dresden Files has at least two examples.
    • The protagonist, Harry, jumped at the chance to use his inborn magical powers for heroism, because (A) he was orphaned at a young age, and the evil warlock who adopted him was actively trying to either brainwash him into complete submission, or murder him horribly. And (B) he had briefly felt hopeful under said warlock's care before said warlock revealed his true nature, basically annihilating his innocence, and he was sick of evil just randomly coming into his life and destroying everything he held dear. Once Harry actually got a decent mentor and some training in ethics, he was quite good at it, too.
    • A less traumatic example occurs later in the series, with young wizard Molly Carpenter. She is extremely naive when first coming into her power — unfortunately, her magical talent is mental, i.e, telepathy and brainwashing — and in attempts to help her friends, she ends up breaking their minds. And the psychic backlash of that attracts sadistic Fae that would like nothing more than to torture her in their distant, Alcatraz-esque fortress. Fortunately, Harry realizes this in time to rescue Molly, and after he becomes her mentor and teaches her about the dangers of the supernatural world, she becomes much more responsible and disciplined with her magic (Noticing a pattern here?)
  • Exagerrated in Legacy of the Dragokin where Benji jumps at every chance he gets to be a hero despite his mom's best efforts to keep him away from them.
  • Elin from Of Fear and Faith jumped at the chance to join Phenix's party, especially since she'd been alone in the woods for who knows how long before then. North and Tel also seem quite enthusiastic about going on a mysterious and dangerous journey and the three of them are probably having the best time out of the group.
  • Destined To Lead The main character Kajiya, is certainly this. But her eagerness to Jump At The Call caused her to fall flat on her face. She ends up getting banished from the very tribe she is destined to lead.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, Rachel and Kirsty agreed to help the fairies immediately.
  • Mark, from Mark Delewen And The Space Pirates, not only jumps at the chance, he specifically convinces the Space Patrolman to take him along, although he wouldn't have otherwise.

     Live Action TV  

  • Heroes:
    • Hiro Nakamura recognised his powers the second he got them, and did everything he could to develop them so he could become a Super Hero. He didn't just jump at the call, he'd spent his life sitting by the phone.
    • Early in the series, Peter Petrelli shows similar tendencies, spouting lines like "Do you ever think you were meant for something greater?" to then-strangers.
    • Gabriel Gray would give up his abilities in a heartbeat for a little approval. When he remakes himself as Sylar, however, he not only jumps at his call but at anyone else's he can get his hands on.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor didn't jump at the call, he stole a TARDIS and went looking for it.
    • In terms of the Doctor's companions, this serves as a distinction between the old and the new series. Becoming a companion in the old series is much less voluntary, a moment of what's in that box and sometimes continues under some duress. In the current series, the Doctor seems to choose his companions based on this trope.
    • Jenny, the Doctor's daughter / Opposite-Sex Clone from series 4, follows in her Dad's footsteps after recovering from a Disney Death, stealing a spaceship and flying off in search of adventure.
    • As of "The Doctor's Wife", the TARDIS of all things turns out to have jumped at the call as well. She wanted to see the universe, so she left her doors unlocked and stole a Time Lord.
  • Faith's far more enthusiastic acceptance of being The Chosen One compared to Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • In the seventh-season episode "Potential", this trope is turned on its head when Dawn at first jumps at the Call - after all, she's one of the only non-powered people among a bunch of superheroes, and the youngest to boot! - only to find out that the Call wasn't for her after all. Talk about a downer. Then again, in the Season 8 comics she gets perhaps more than she bargained for.
  • Mack from Power Rangers Operation Overdrive jumps at the call to become Red Ranger. This is against his father's wishes, as said father was originally going to be Red himself before his son snuck the morpher out from under him. This is notable within PR because 95% of Rangers over the course of the franchise either refuse the call initially or accept with I Just Want to Be Normal undertones.
    • Most Rangers Jumped at the Call when initially offered ("We get to be POWER RANGERS? AWESOME!"), only to later realize what being a Ranger actually means and develop an I Just Want to Be Normal attitude.
    • In the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Jason (the Red Ranger) is the first to agree with the giant floating head telling him and his friends they have to save the world from an evil alien witch.
  • Supernatural:
    • While his brother, Sam, instead jumped at the chance to go to college, Dean stayed on with hunting and loved it. (This was before he was broken. Now he's not exactly so eager about it.) Arguably this could be more because he followed his Dad's orders without question and couldn't even comprehend disobeying than anything to do with noble heroics.
      • And it took a confused English teacher at a random school to teach Sam that he could go to college himself.
    • And then there's Jimmy, who didn't so much jump at the chance to serve God as Castiel's vessel as wildly fling himself at it. It's kind of an understatement just to say he actually prayed for this... Though he regrets it once he figures out what it actually entails.
  • Orphan Black: Sarah seesaws between this and Refusal of the Call in the early episodes.
  • The X-Files: Special Agent Leyla Harrison, who had been following Mulder's and Scully's adventures through their expense reports, was thrilled to team up with Doggett in the episode "Alone".
  • John Watson in Sherlock, not long returned from the war in Afganistan.
    Sherlock: [You've seen a] bit of trouble too, I bet.
    John: Of course, yes. Enough for a lifetime, far too much.
    Sherlock: Want to see some more?
    John: Oh God, yes.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze Gentaro Kisaragi jumpped so fast he forgot to ask what he was being called for. Or how to use his newly acquired Transformation Trinket.
  • Almost all the women working at the munitions factory in Bomb Girls were eager to do so, for many different reasons.
  • Jeff and Lester jump at the call in season 5 of Chuck when Casey asks them to liberate his daughter, Morgan and Awesome. Lester turns to Jeff and lampshades this rather dramatically, before rushing to get guns. Give them credit, though, it worked.
    Lester: It's the call.
  • William of Downton Abbey, who is eager to fight for his country on the front lines in World War One. He finally gets drafted and goes to war....and is mortally wounded at the battle of Amiens.
  • Similar to the above, patriotic Charlotte from Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter eagerly volunteers to serve as a nurse on the Eastern Front.

     Religion/Mythology  
  • The Bible: Isaiah, after having a vision of God and having his sins (symbolically) cleansed (Isaiah 6:8):
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
    • Other Old Testament figures who jumped at the call: Noah, Abraham (though he did have lapses later), Jacob (but he only wanted God's blessings; it took more Character Development to turn him into a proper patriarch), Elisha, Jerobam (it didn't last), Jehu (it didn't last)...
    • When Jesus gathered the Twelve Apostles, it was simply a matter of going to their homes/jobs and saying "Follow me". It is described that they left immediately, including leaving their nets in the water (some were fishermen).
  • Muhammad's early Sahabah ("the Companions") immediately believed in his Prophethood the moment he told them about it. They would become prominent figures in Islam later, including the successors to Muhammad's leadership of the Islamic civilization after his death.

     Video Games  

  • Sam & Max will take any case from anyone (as long as they get paid) and always eagerly fight to answer the phone when it starts ringing. Sam always wins. (Except when the timestream was messed with, or when hell froze over.)
  • Dante of the Devil May Cry series loves his work and actively flaunts his powers whenever possible.
  • Joe of Viewtiful Joe, who had watched tokusatsu films and TV shows all his life and actively embraced his own chance to be an action hero.
    • Which is reversed in the anime adaptation, where Joe doesn't seem to want more than an autograph.
  • Betrayal at Krondor: After initially trying not to get himself involved in the situation, Owyn has a chance to continue with the quest - and eagerly takes it. When Gorath and James sneak out of Krondor to go and investigate the moredhel threat, Owyn intercepts them and insists that if he isn't taken along, he'll surely talk to the wrong person by accident on the way home and jeopardize their mission - essentially throwing the reason he was initially forced to come along back in their faces.
  • Zack Fair from the Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core, and to an initially less-successful extent, Cloud, in the original Final Fantasy VII game.
    • Zack continued to want to be a hero to the end. Cloud became far more reluctant after a while, though he still demonstrates a need to protect and rescue people he cares about.
  • Tidus in Final Fantasy X is generally unconcerned about suddenly being yanked out of his world, and eagerly follows Yuna around even after initially being told he can't be one of her guardians.
    • Considering he may have been a Unwitting Pawn, created by the fayth to stop Sin, and based on the poor bastard from Zanarkand who tried and failed to stop the senseless war, his eagerness makes sense.
    • In the sequel, all it takes is one blurry, ancient sphere of someone who looks kind of like Tidus for Yuna to put on a Stripperiffic outfit, strap on a pair of pistols, and start globetrotting.
  • Riku of Kingdom Hearts felt that there was something more for him beyond his homeworld. He was right. Unfortunately, The Dark Side was apparently aware of this as well, and Riku was too impatient to wait one more night.
  • Everyone in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance but Marche and Cid.
    • And everyone period in the sequel, especially the protagonist Luso.
  • Travis Touchdown of No More Heroes fame is an otaku who spends 95% of his time watching wrestling tapes, various anime, and occasionally going out and slaughtering en masse. He literally buys a beam katana off of eBay, then when a random woman in a bar asks him to decapitate someone with it, is only too happy to do so. Then again, he also loves to grab the Idiot Ball as well.
  • Midori 'Dolly' Komaki of Devil Survivor is a cosplaying camgirl. Once she witnesses your small band of survivors battling demons with your own summoned Mons, she squeals at the thought of "real heroes!" and literally snatches up a COMP of her very own. Unfortunately, she apparently snags an Idiot Ball along with it...
  • The protagonist in Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero goes out looking for quests to complete so that he can gain the title of hero after graduating from the "Famous Adventurer's Correspondance School".
  • One of the Aesops of Last Scenario is that jumping at the call is a stupid, stupid idea. Late in the game, the protagonist lists off four major characters who each tried to become heroes, and each wound up doing something horrible.
  • All the Villain Protagonist leads in the Overlord series eagerly embrace their destinies. Even the Overlord of the original game completely ignores the reveal that he's actually a literal Hero groomed to be the previous Overlord's puppet placeholder, and instead kicks his predecessors butt and keeps the title and power for himself
  • Most of the Origin stories in Dragon Age: Origins allow the player character to either drag his/her feet and try to reject recruitment by the Grey Wardens, or eagerly badger authority figures to be allowed to join.
    • In Dragon Age II, according to the codex, this is true of a Mage Hawke. Part of the reason Bethany was so close to her elder sibling was because she looked up to them with a mixture of envy and awe for being able to so completely embrace their mage identity, while she always viewed their gift as a terrible burden.
  • Twilight Sparkle eagerly decides to investigate Rarity's case in My Little Investigations
  • Dragon Quest V, the speechless hero either wanders or sneaks off to adventures to save people three times during his childhood, much to his father's worry.
  • The player does this in Dark Souls. Given that the choice was either this or rot in his cell for all eternity, it's easy to see why.
  • While no Link is terribly reluctant to receive the Call to Adventure, Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker stands out in that, not only was there no divine destiny planned out for him by the goddesses as there was for the others, but he straight out demanded to be taken to the Call (after unsuccessfully following it off a cliff - literally). The fact that the Call kidnapped his little sister might have something to do with it.
  • Most of your companions in Mass Effect go willingly, but Garrus spends the next three games thanking you for getting him out of C-Sec and on to saving the Galaxy.
  • Ryusei Date of Shin Super Robot Wars, Super Robot Wars Alpha and OG might as well be the posterboy for this trope. In his first appearance in Shin, Hamaguchi orders him to sortie in his R-1, telling him not to press his luck since reinforcements will arrive soon. Ryusei has been waiting for this chance a long time, and isn't planning on not pushing his luck. His highly confident battle cry does little to inspire the staffers, but they have little choice but to leave it up to him. He beats up the aliens with backup from Raideen, but Hamaguchi gives Ryusei a good chewing out for pushing the still experimental R-1 so hard, threatening to ground him if he pulls any more reckless stunts.
  • Prince Keifer in Dragon Quest VII didn't just jump at the call, he's spent years tracking it down. When he finally finds it, his first battle causes him to burst into enthusiastic laughter.
  • In X3: Terran Conflict the minor character Jesan Nadina is extremely gung-ho about joining the fight against the Khaak because he hero-worships Julian Gardna-Brennan, the Player Character of the previous two games who was instrumental in defeating the first two major Khaak offensives. He gets killed off-screen two missions into the corresponding plot.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2: After losing Lightning and Snow, and hearing nothing for two years, all it takes is a small-scale monster invasion and the word of mysterious youth Noel to send Serah traipsing across time and space in search of her sister.
  • Subverted in Kingdoms Of Amalur Reckoning. The call (Fate) doesn't have any hold over you. High King Tatarion praises you if you choose to save the world saying that while answering the call is all well and good, YOU pretty much chose to be the hero and that makes you a true hero.

    Webcomics 

     Web Original  

  • Himei of Sailor Nothing initially jumped at the chance to be a magical girl just like on TV and fight The Heartless. Unfortunately for her, this turns out to have been a Bad Idea and completely irreversible.
  • Chaka, from the webfiction Whateley Universe. She was a very unhappy transgender boy who finally got the hot (female) body she had always dreamed of, ass-kicking Ki powers, the chance to finally tell off her two older siblings, and the chance to go to Superhero School and drag her new friends into mishaps and adventures.
    • Or Monolith/Stronghold, who was dying to get superpowers as soon as his older sister did and he realized it was even a possibility. Now he's a Flying Brick who looks like he was drawn by Rob Liefeld, and loving every minute of it. Except he has to get through high school too.
  • As much as Rob from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes was reluctant at first, it didn't take him long to realize that kicking inter-dimensional monster butt with futuristic super powers is a lot more fun than sitting around the house all summer.

     Western Animation  

  • Ben Tennyson from Ben 10. Watch an episode, any episode; he's running headlong towards the Monster of the Week (or a filler fight scene) before the first ad break. He has a code name for each of his many alter egos, never backs down from a fight... and several episodes heavily imply that he'd still like even more excitement in his life. Deconstructed a bit in the Made-for-TV Movie The Secret Of The Omnitrix, when Ben has to own up to the selfish and thrill-seeking motivations behind his superheroing.
    • In the Alternate Universe episode "Gwen 10", Gwen, while calmer and more responsible, is simlarly thrilled with the powers of the Omnitrix and the adventure it entails. In the regular universe, she starts learning magic and becomes part of the adventure.
  • Coop of Megas XLR both plays it straight and subverts it. As implied by the opening theme song, he digs his giant robot. However, The Call is actually Kiva's insistence that he save humanity in the future, and Coop's fondness of that is decidedly lacking. He likes to fight, but it's more about having a giant robot than following the call.
  • The young Planeteers from Captain Planet fit the trope.
  • Sari of Transformers Animated is remarkably eager to serve as ally to the titular giant alien robots, actively befriending them and trying to sneak aboard their ship within their first meeting. When she discovers that she's half machine, her main concern is more that she wasn't told sooner. When she is barred from a mission after this, she promptly upgrades herself.
    • Miko from Transformers Prime follows suit - when she spots Arcee trying to convince Jack to meet the other Autobots, she has no idea why he's hesitating and eggs him on. Much to Arcee's exasperation, being spotted means she has to bring Miko along too.
  • Kim Possible's Teen Superspy adventures begin when her website, intended to pick up odd jobs for pocket money, accidently gets a call meant for heroes-for-hire Team Impossible. Still, she jumps at the chance to save the day and never looks back.
  • The titular character in Manowar's 'Defender'.
  • So completely inverted in the "Pandemic"" episodes of South Park. The boys and Craig experience an end of the world scenario, and then find an ancient prophecy saying that Craig is the chosen one who will save everybody; except Craig's spent the entirety of the two episodes complaining about the whole situation, and stating that he wants nothing to do with any of it. He literally refuses to explore an ancient ruin in one part, noting that nothing is forcing them to go further in. Subverted when, by walking away from the ancient ruins, Craig inadvertently walks into the episode's villain and steps onto a mystic stone that converts Craig against his wishes into a living laser beam.
  • 'Tis the whole point of Adventure Time (hence the title of the show).
  • In The Legend of Korra Korra, unlike her predecessor Aang, seems to LOVE being the Avatar. This may be justified by the difference in their ages when they each found out they were the Avatar. Aang was twelve, old enough to have his own identity as a person, leaving him to struggle to incorporate this new facet into himself. Korra was four, so it's likely she can't remember a time when she didn't know she was the Avatar.
    • Later deconstructed. Her mentors were so busy training her in how to wield the elements that they separated Korra from her family, and wouldn't let her have a social life. (In the second episode she makes a full-blown escape attempt just to see a sports match, and her interactions with teens her own age make it rather clear she's never had any human friends.) This blows up in everyone's face around the series finale, when Korra is unable to defeat the conquering tyrant and has her elemental powers completely erased- meaning that her status as the Avatar, which she has been training for her entire life, is essentially useless, and that hundreds of people will die because of her failure. She literally doesn't know who she is outside of the Avatar's current incarnation, and that knowledge nearly kills her. (Fortunately, she gets better, but it was still a pretty brutal story arc.)
  • Static in Young Justice is abducted, placed in a pod, and watches several experienced heroes get thrashed by Black Beetle, and what does he do? Grabs a gun and points it at him. This was before he got his powers.

     Truth In Television  

  • Project Chanology, Of all things. The self-styled biggest bunch of jerks on the internet organised and took on a more sinister group. There's several other stories of the hive awakening for some cause (of wildly variable benefit or justice) that catches on with them.
  • Charles Darwin jumped at the call when he took the post as the ship's naturalist on board the HMS Beagle, a move which eventually resulted in the development and publication of his revolutionary Theory of Natural Selection. (Although he was reluctant to publish his evolutionary theories, when his friends called him to do so, predicting how the world at large would react.
  • Volunteering for the military, but applying to enter the special forces isn't so much jumping at the call as it is running at the call with a knife while the call is deep in enemy territory and holed up in a secret complex filled with fanatical armed guards after you've been without rest, water, or food for three days in the desert and you don't have even half of what would normally be needed to get at the call.
  • In 1941, Japan was advancing deep into China. Claire Lee Chennault managed to get funding and airplanes for the American Volunteer Group (Flying Tigers) from the US Government (which was still neutral at the time) but he needed pilots. So Chennault put the word out that he needed pilots who were interested in leaving the US military and fighting in his and FDR's little mercenary group in China. 100 pilots and 200 ground crew, plus 10 flight instructors joined up. Once the war had actually started, Robert Lee Scott of the US Army Air Force was delivering supplies to the AVG when he begged his way out of his obligations and into the Tigers, because he was so excited to get into action.


It Began with a Twist of FateCall to AdventureKidnapped By The Call
Japanese SpiritHero TropesKill Me Now or Forever Stay Your Hand
Judge, Jury, and ExecutionerCharacters as DeviceJungle Princess
Jerk Ass GodsOlder Than DirtJust So Story

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