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The Intern
Variant form of Na´ve Newcomer. The young guy (often the Plucky Comic Relief) who is still new to the whole place. He's often brilliant, almost always irreverent, and almost always "not ready for prime time" (i.e. throwing up the first time he sees a serious accident, etc). Commonly treated as a Butt Monkey.

Often, it's clear that The Intern was a former Teen Genius, but is now learning that life is much tougher in the field.

See also Ensign Newbie, which is much he same trope but referring strictly to the military.



  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou had a group of college interns whom the titular character (and to some extent the rest of the crew) treats like crap: Steve refers to each as "intern!" rather than by name, forces them to loot an underwater research station owned by his rival and when they quit after the ship was briefly taken over by pirates, he sends them all home with "Incomplete" in their evaluations (his reason being that he didn't want to fail them, but he didn't want them to pass either). One of them, however, decided to stick around. Zissou immediately promised him an "A".

  • Uli Divini in the Medstar Duology, although by Death Star he was much older and more experienced.

Live-Action TV
  • Ryan Howard of The Office is this when he is introduced. He later becomes a Smug Snake.
  • John Carter (Noah Wyle) on ER. It lead to a really cool Character Development of John Carter from The Intern to The Veteran Instructor, followed by him handing off his title to the next in line, much as Dr. Green had done to him, when he left the show. Of course, it took ten years...
  • Greg the Lab Rat on CSI.
  • Dr. Bashir in the first few seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • The entire premise, especially in the first season, of Scrubs which comes full circle as JD, Turk, and Elliot, who were the first batch of interns in season 1, become residents and then attendings, acquire their own interns, and eventually wind up as senior staff by season 8 and are now in the role of mentors.
  • In the first season of The Muppet Show, Scooter is cast as an inexperienced newbie whom Kermit was forced to hire as a gofer because his uncle owned the theater. Several early episodes feature Scooter coming to Kermit with ridiculous "fresh new ideas" for the show that Kermit puts into action against his will for fear of losing his lease. As the show went on, Scooter's antagonistic side was dropped and his uncle was barely ever mentioned.
  • Calum Buchanan in All Creatures Great and Small.
  • McGee was like this during his first season on NCIS, and Tony still taunts him for being this trope.
  • Meredith, Christina, Alex, Izzy and George were all Interns for the first three seasons of Greys Anatomy.
  • Kenneth in 30 Rock. Unusual in that he's implied to actually be the oldest person there, and yet he still does menial tasks.
  • The main cast of the Russian sitcom The Interns.
  • Yuki in Casualty, and to a lesser extent, Lenny. A few seasons earlier, Toby fit the role pretty well.
  • Zach on Bones, at first. When his internship ends, the team keeps him on. After he leaves the show, he's replaced by a rotating roster of interns.
  • Bud Roberts (Patrick Labyorteaux) on JAG served as an assistant to Harm & Mac during seasons 2-4, before he graduated from law school and became a judge advocate (military lawyer) in his own right.
  • Emily Owens, M.D.: Emily, Will (Emily's friend from med school), Cassandra (Emily's high school Alpha Bitch nemesis) and Tyra (Emily's confidante). They are supervised by brilliant but strict Dr. Bindari (heart surgeon) and friendly young doctor Micah, and they also compete for a position of Bindari's assistant.
  • Dr. Robidaux on Monday Mornings. She's actually a resident, but she's the youngest and least experienced on the team. Obviously, she's a very capable and competent doctor.
  • House: Late in the series, there was an intern on House's team, Martha Masters. She must have been a genius of epic proportions to make it to the all stars team of all medical dramas at so young an age.
  • The Late Show with David Letterman:
    • Donnie, the Intern Who Likes To Suck Up (played by Andy Dick pre Newsradio)
    • Johnny Dark as CBS's oldest intern - he's in his mid-50s and just doesn't give a crap anymore.
    • Todd the Intern, who as of 2014 is still in the intern program, having started in 2009.

Web Original

Western Animation

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