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Unauthorized Mission

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A character or a group of characters go on an adventure without the others (usually staff or parents) knowing/not granted permission

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
LittleRamirez on Sep 6th 2017 at 5:39:15 PM
Last Edited By:
PistolsAtDawn on May 16th 2018 at 11:19:46 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Pistols At Dawn wuz ere takin over ur druft

A character really wants to go on a mission, but there is one problem: whichever authority figure they are under (be it superiors or parents) is unlikely to approve of it. When they don't let this stop them, it's an Unauthorized Mission. The character may be either going on the mission without asking anyone or go after being explicitly ordered not to go.

In any case, the authority figure will probably not be happy when they find out and most likely to punish the character when they come back. Or, if the mission ends up being helpful in some way after all, they may reward the character. This makes the Unauthorized Mission a frequent set-up for Chew-Out Fake-Out and/or Promotion, Not Punishment. Reasons for going on the mission can include Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! and ID Id What I Had To Do. It may lead to becoming The Unchosen One.


Examples

Film

  • The title squadron in Rogue One is "formed" when the main cast take off from the rebel base to strike at an empire base without any authorization. Because they are successful, however, "Rogue Squadron" becomes an official unit of the Rebel Alliance after the battle.
  • Kung Fu Panda: After Po is chosen to be the Dragon Warrior, a jealous Tigress sneaks out of the Jade Palace to fight Tai Lung, with the rest of the Furious Five following to make sure she doesn't get hurt.
  • Zootopia: Judy, a rookie cop assigned to be meter maid, chases after a weasel thief to fulfill her desire for an exciting mission. While she apprehends the crook, she lands in hot water for abandoning her post and not following police protocol.
  • Licence to Kill: James Bond goes on a private vendetta against Sanchez when he tortured Felix and murdered Felix's newlywed wife. He even willingly quit MI6 when they try to force him out to let the Americans deal with him despite having a few crooked agents working there. Fortunately for Bond, Q remains to be an ally.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Steve Trevor and Diana's mission stop General Ludendorff and Dr. Isabel "Poison" Maru from making Deadly Gas is being funded by Patrick Morgan behind his superiors' back, and later even he withdraws his support.
  • The Goonies go on their treasure hunt without authorization. Brand is assigned to babysit them while Mrs. Walsh and Rosalita go to run some errands, but they're able to escape when they tie him up. Mrs. Walsh sends Brand after them to bring them home and he somehow gets roped into the adventure.

Comic Books

  • Batman:
    • Jason Todd died going on an unauthorised mission that turned out to be a trap.
    • Spoiler, in her first probationary run as Robin, went on an unauthorized mission. She ended up saving Batman's life. He fired her because she had sworn to obey him, and had broken her word.
  • Adventures In The Rifle Brigade: The comic starts with the titular Rifle Brigade parachuting over Berlin (while it's being bombed). When they're captured, commander Darcy and lieutenant Milk ask each other the point of the mission (each assuming the other hadn't told them for security reasons). It turns out that when Milk called Darcy to tell him "It's on", with Darcy immediately arranging for transport, Milk was referring to a friend's birthday party. Fortunately, a Gestapo officer enters and smugly reveals he knew the Allies couldn't resist investigating the top-secret V2 fuel factory located right next to the building where the Brigade is held captive...

Literature

  • Harry Potter: The gang that heads to the Ministry of Magic in the end of the Order of the Phoenix is not granted permission in any way. Actually, this happens in Book 1, Book 2, and Book 5. Rowling must enjoy this.

Video Games

  • Vindictus has a number of these, the first of which is given to you by Gwynn and ends up pissing off the Gnolls, setting off the first real boss fight of the game.

Web Comics

  • El Goonish Shive. During the "Painted Black" arc, Elliott is kidnapped on the orders of the Big Bad Damien. Tedd Verres's father is in charge of a secret government agency dealing with the supernatural and unusual. Normally Elliott's friends would go to him, but he is out of town and can't be reached by phone. The protagonists decide to set out to rescue Elliott themselves. They succeed, but Mr. Verres is angry about the risk they took.

Western Animation

  • When Lexi Bunny of the Loonatics Unleashed learns that Tech's "space shooter game" was actually a planetary defense system, and that she'd damaged Melvin Martian's world-ship, she becomes The Atoner, going alone to accept full responsibility for her actions. Lexi left a holographic log to apologize to her teammates, bidding them farewell, and explaining her reasoning.

Feedback: 20 replies

Sep 7th 2017 at 12:44:11 AM

  • The title squadron in Rogue One is "formed" when the main cast take off from the rebel base to strike at an empire base without any authorization. Because they are successful, however, "Rogue Squadron" becomes an official unit of the Rebel Alliance after the battle.

Sep 8th 2017 at 9:51:42 PM

  • Batman: Jason Todd died going on an unauthorised mission that turned out to be a trap.

Sep 7th 2017 at 7:49:25 AM

  • Kung Fu Panda: After Po is chosen to be the Dragon Warrior, a jealous Tigress sneaks out of the Jade Palace to fight Tai Lung, with the rest of the Furious Five following to make sure she doesn't get hurt.
  • Zootopia: Judy, a rookie cop assigned to be meter maid, chases after a weasel thief to fulfill her desire for an exciting mission. While she apprehends the crook, she lands in hot water for abandoning her post and not following police protocol.

Sep 7th 2017 at 2:35:37 PM

  • License To Kill: James Bond goes on a private vendetta against Sanchez when he tortured Felix and murdered Felix's newlywed wife. He even willingly quit MI6 when they try to force him out to let the Americans deal with him despite having a few crooked agents working there. Fortunately for Bond, Q remains to be an ally.

Sep 9th 2017 at 11:46:12 AM

I think this could use a better description. How about something along those lines: A character really wants to go on a mission, but there is one problem: whichever authority figure they are under (be it superiors or parents) is unlikely to approve of it. When they don't let this stop them, it's an Unauthorized Mission. The character may be either going on the mission without asking anyone or go after being explictly ordered not to go. In any case, the authority figure will probably not be happy when they find out and most likely to punish the character when they come back. Or, if the mission ends up being helpful in some way after all, they may reward the character. This makes the Unauthorized Mission a frequent set-up for Chew Out Fake Out and/or Promotion Not Punishment. Reasons for going on the mission can include Screw The Rules Im Doing Whats Right and ID Id What I Had To Do.

Sep 9th 2017 at 7:45:19 AM

Is this 'doing a mission that you're not approved' to or' sneaking out fo your parent's house'?

Sep 9th 2017 at 3:20:32 PM

  • Wonder Woman 2017: Steve Trevor and Diana's mission stop General Ludendorff and Dr. Isabel "Poison" Maru from making Deadly Gas is being funded by Patrick Morgan behind his superiors' back, and later even he withdraws his support.

Sep 9th 2017 at 7:39:54 PM

Western Animation

  • When Lexi Bunny of the Loonatics Unleashed learns that Tech's "space shooter game" was actually a planetary defense system, and that she'd damaged Melvin Martian's world-ship, she becomes The Atoner, going alone to accept full responsibility for her actions. Lexi left a holographic log to apologize to her teammates, bidding them farewell, and explaining her reasoning.

Sep 9th 2017 at 8:17:24 PM

Vindictus has a number of these, the first of which is given to you by Gwynn and ends up pissing off the Gnolls, setting off the first real boss fight of the game.

Sep 10th 2017 at 9:30:06 AM

  • Comic Books/{Batman}: Spoiler, in her first probationary run as Robin, went on an unauthorized mission. She ended up saving Batman's life. He fired her because she had sworn to obey him, and had broken her word.

Oct 11th 2017 at 2:59:00 PM

Harry Potter: The gang that heads to the Ministry of Magic in the end of the Order of the Phoenix is not granted permission in any way. Actually, this happens in Book 1, Book 2, and Book 5. Rowling must enjoy this.

Oct 12th 2017 at 12:47:07 AM

Webcomics

  • El Goonish Shive. During the "Painted Black" arc, Elliott is kidnapped on the orders of the Big Bad Damien. Tedd Verres's father is in charge of a secret government agency dealing with the supernatural and unusual. Normally Elliott's friends would go to him, but he is out of town and can't be reached by phone. The protagonists decide to set out to rescue Elliott themselves. They succeed, but Mr. Verres is angry about the risk they took.

Oct 12th 2017 at 1:41:45 AM

Adventures In The Rifle Brigade: The comic starts with the titular Rifle Brigade parachuting over Berlin (while it's being bombed). When they're captured, commander Darcy and lieutenant Milk ask each other the point of the mission (each assuming the other hadn't told them for security reasons). It turns out that when Milk called Darcy to tell him "It's on", with Darcy immediately arranging for transport, Milk was referring to a friend's birthday party. Fortunately, a Gestapo officer enters and smugly reveals he knew the Allies couldn't resist investigating the top-secret V2 fuel factory located right next to the building where the Brigade is held captive...

Nov 8th 2017 at 7:11:39 PM

Film - Live Action

  • The Goonies go on their treasure hunt without authorization. Brand is assigned to babysit them while Mrs. Walsh and Rosalita go to run some errands, but they're able to escape when they tie him up. Mrs. Walsh sends Brand after them to bring them home and he somehow gets roped into the adventure.

May 16th 2018 at 1:46:39 AM

The character in question may be a Leeroy Jenkins.

May 16th 2018 at 4:04:58 AM

Cat Shit One: The heroes go on a fully unauthorized rescue mission (due to their No One Gets Left Behind mentality) that is absolutely not sanctioned by their superiors as the rescuees are in territory where the US officially should not be. The mission is successful, the colonel telling them they deserve medals... before telling them that there won't be any as they still need to be reprimanded for stealing American helicopters and using them for unknown purposes.

May 16th 2018 at 3:42:53 PM

  • In the Animorphs novel Visser, it's revealed that Edriss-562 (the titular Visser One) defied her then-current orders and stole a ship in order to go to Earth with an underling, since humans had been designated as a Class Five species (ideal in every way for Yeerk infestation without any means of resisting). However, since she had managed to verify that this was true, she received no punishment and was instead promoted to Visser One.

May 16th 2018 at 11:01:30 PM

I think Promotion Not Punishment should be bluelinked in the bit about being rewarded if the mission is still helpful

  • The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion: The last few quests you do in the Fighter's Guild questline are not approved by the guild because they involve working with Modryn Oreyn, who used to be the Guildmaster's second-in-command by was kicked out in disgrace for sending the Guildmaster's son on a mission which got him killed. When the Guildmaster learns of this, she briefly considers having you expelled, but then gives you an Arson Murder And Lifesaving speech about how your reckless actions have saved the guild and steps down from her post to offer it to you.

May 16th 2018 at 11:19:46 PM

Comic Books

  • In Overwatch, the organization is denied permission to intervene when London is attacked by Null Sector, but Jack Morrison authorizes a team to go in anyway.

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