main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
The Apprentice

Obi-Wan: If you spent as much time practicing your saber techniques as you did your wit, you'd rival Master Yoda as a swordsman.
Anakin Skywalker: I thought I already did.
Obi-Wan: Only in your mind, my very young apprentice.

A character who is In Training for something, usually under some kind of Mentor. Since they're still learning, they are usually not good, but if the show is long enough, they'll improve. If they're in a movie, they'll improve after a Training Montage. Sometimes they have a chance of falling and becoming a villain, in which their former mentor will say they were A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil.

The life goal of some apprentices is To Be a Master.

The apprentice may have Opposed Mentors.

Related to The Squire.

For the TV Show, go here.


    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  

  • Doremi and her friends from Ojamajo Doremi.
  • Sugar from A Little Snow Fairy Sugar.
  • Berserk: Schierke and Flora.
  • Akari, Aika and Alice from ARIA.
  • Mana to Mahad in Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Kenichi. Take a guess on how much a teenager can learn about martial arts in 39 volumes and counting.
    • Bonus points for being an apprentice to multiple masters simultaneously, although they do share the same dojo.
  • Yahiko in Rurouni Kenshin. He does progress, although rather slowly over the course of the many volumes of the manga and accompanying TV series. At the beginning of the series, Yahiko is most useful to the heroes as a thrown weapon (it happens). At the end of the series he has become a master swordsman in his own right.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Nanoha Takamachi is the student of Yuuno Scrya in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, but she overshadows him very quickly.
    • The Forwards (Subaru Nakajima, Teana Lanster, Erio Mondial, Caro Ru Lushe) from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS are the students of Veteran Instructor Nanoha. Other teachers are Vita, Fate Testarossa-Harlaown and Signum, but Nanoha is the main teacher, with Vita as Nanoha's assistant. In Force, they train under Nanoha again.
    • Team Nakajima (Vivio Takamachi, Einhard Stratos, Rio Wesley and Corona Timil) from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid are the students of their coach Nove Nakajima. Also, Einhard, Rio and Corona have three other Big Sister Mentors, respectively.
    • Miura Rinaldi from ViVid is one of Zafira's students. She also has the other three Wolkenritter as her mentors.
    • Thoma Avenir, Lily-Strosek and Isis Egret from Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force are three new students of Nanoha (with Vita as her assistant again). Thoma and Lily have also Signum and Reinforce Zwei as their Big Sister Mentors, respectively.

     Comic Books  

  • Every Robin ever. Unless, of course, it's in their own comic book or until they graduate to something else (Nightwing, dead, Red Robin, Batgirl...)

     Fan Fic  



     Live Action TV  

  • Asumu in Kamen Rider Hibiki. He doesn't get the chance to be a Rider himself until Kamen Rider Decade: when the Decade crew visit the altered Hibiki world, that world's Asumu becomes a Legacy Character.
  • Shintaro Gotou in Kamen Rider OOO becomes one to Akira Date/Kamen Rider Birth, eventually using a second Birth Buster to back Date up. Differs from the Movie War Core continuity, where Date does not appear and Gotou becomes Birth.


     Tabletop RPG  

  • In early editions of Dungeons & Dragons it was customary for mages/wizards to learn by becoming apprentices of established mages/wizards. A number of wizard/apprentice relationships appeared in the Forgotten Realms setting. For example, Elminster has had many apprentices over his long life span (hundreds of years).
  • In Warhammer 40,000 Interrogators are apprentices to Inquisitors. They are slightly more experienced than is usual for the trope; by the time you are even considered for the rank of Interrogator you have probably been serving as a Throne Agent for several decades.
  • Apprenticeship is the standard way to learn magic in Ars Magica, to the point that a character's apprenticeship (15 years for the default Hermetic magus, and a good few other traditions) is incorporated into character creation. Then again, it's set in 13th-century Europe, so apprenticeship is the standard way to learn a lot of things.

     Video Games  

     Web Original  

     Western Animation  

  • In The Incredibles, Buddy is a perfect example of the Apprentice becoming the Big Bad. He idolizes Mr. Incredible and attempts to force his way into a role as his sidekick. When he is spurned by the hero, he becomes bitter and attempts to play a hero by causing catastrophes that only he can fix.
  • Spoofed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone in South Park and Team America: World Police
    ''If you wanna, in one day, go;
    from a beginner, to a pro;
    You need a plan; but more than that—
    You need a MONTAGE!''
  • Chowder is one of these to Mung Daal; other child characters are apprenticed to other chefs.
  • Brainy Smurf is this to Papa Smurf on The Smurfs; likely not the best decision Papa Smurf ever made, and at least on one occasion, he scolds Brainy and says he "has the right mind" to get a new apprentice after Brainy causes a disaster.
  • Although Terry was technically Batman in Batman Beyond, he could still be considered this to Bruce Wayne. (Lampshaded in one episode where Bruce was getting treatment from the Lazarus Pit and the possiblity of him becoming Batman again was brought up; Terry said firmly that he was "not wearing the Robin outfit".)

     Real Life  

  • Before the age of streamlined education most (if not all) professions were learned by apprenticing under a master. Children usually apprenticed under their parent until said parent was too old to work, at which point the child would take over the business. This is the origin behind such surnames as Smith, Carpenter, and many other last names that sound like jobs.

    Index of Pupils and ProtégésA Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil
Apocalypse MaidenCharacters as DeviceThe Archmage
The Karate KidImageSource/Live-Action FilmsKill Bill

alternative title(s): In Training
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy