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Science Brat

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A character who grew up traveling with their scientist parents

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
KaiYves on Dec 19th 2013 at 5:16:07 PM
Last Edited By:
Synchronicity on Mar 14th 2018 at 4:49:31 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Similar to the Military Brat and Circus Brat, this character spent their childhood traveling across the world of the story, probably having many adventures— but in their case, it was on expeditions or research trips with their parents or guardians, one or both of whom were scientists of some sort. Like those character types, they may have picked up languages and other skills in places they've visited, as well as having science and tech skills learned from their parents. Common in media for children, as it provides an excuse for a young character to be Walking the Earth and having adventures involving exotic technology, although examples can show up elsewhere, and established adult scientist characters may be revealed to have had this as their background.


Examples:

Film

  • Cady from Mean Girls grew up traveling through Africa because her parents are wildlife biologists. It doesn't come up much beyond being the reason she has No Social Skills.

Literature

  • Tash and Zak Arranda from Galaxy of Fear, except that they're traveling with their uncle rather than a parent. Needs more context

Live-Action TV

Western Animation

  • Jonny Quest, in both the original series (Jonny Quest) and Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures. He traveled around the world with his Omnidisciplinary Scientist father Dr. Benton Quest having all sorts of adventures.
  • Alex O'Connell from The Mummy: The Animated Series. Zero-Context Example
  • Eliza Thornberry from The Wild Thornberrys is fascinated by the animals her family encounters on their travels, as her father Nigel is a zoologist and naturalist. (This technically applies to her siblings Debbie and Donnie as well, although they show less interest in wildlife biology than she does.)
  • Rusty Venture from The Venture Bros. is a deconstructive parody of this, living his entire life in the shadow of his Super Scientist dad, and ending up depressed, neurotic and abusive of his own children.

Feedback: 17 replies

Dec 19th 2013 at 6:00:04 PM

  • Rusty Venture from The Venture Bros is a deconstructive parody of this, living his entire life in the shadow of his Super Scientist dad, ending up depressed, neurotic and abusive of his own children.

Dec 19th 2013 at 6:24:17 PM

the first three Western Animation examples are Zero Context Examples. so is the literature one, film one, and the two Live Action TV ones.

although those have context, it doesn't explain how they count.

Dec 19th 2013 at 8:14:28 PM

^ so basically every example has zero context?

Dec 19th 2013 at 8:32:20 PM

^ only the Venture Brothers actually explains how the character counts, since it mentions he has a super scientist dad, you know, the job which is kinda a requirement for the trope? so with that context we can assume he grew up as a scientist trying hard to be a man of science like his dad.

Zero Context Example is the closest administrativia article i know that's about bad examples. How To Write An Example explains (mainly) how to do write one, not what's wrong on them.

i was hanging around a bit in the forum and found Is this an example?, which shows what a good and bad example is in the OP. most of the ones here are the first. meaning they make no sense to those who don't know the work.

archiving the ZCE's for reference 

Film

  • Cady from Mean Girls WAS this before the events of the movie, although it doesn't come up much beyond being the reason she has No Social Skills.

Live Action TV

  • In The River, Lincoln Cole was this growing up, but he didn't enjoy it very much, causing him to hate both his father and fieldwork.
  • Indiana Jones himself was this early in his life, as shown in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Literature

  • Tash and Zak Arranda from Galaxy Of Fear, except that they're traveling with their uncle rather than a parent.

Dec 20th 2013 at 3:14:30 AM

Namespaced and italicized work titles, alphabetized the examples section by media, and fleshed out the Jonny Quest Zero Context Example.

Dec 22nd 2013 at 8:23:38 AM

Star Trek Voyager: Seven of Nine's parents, anthropologists, had planned a research study of the Borg that would involve tracking one of their vessels for about a decade, and they brought her along. Unfortunately, all 3 were assimilated early on in the trip and Anika Hanson grew up in the care of the Borg as Seven of Nine.

Dec 22nd 2013 at 3:55:16 PM

I think The Secret Saturdays count, but I can't provide context...

Dec 22nd 2013 at 4:03:36 PM

^ I can fix that.

Better?

Oct 27th 2014 at 7:36:04 PM

I guess Jimmy Neutron doesn't count. Where would he count, though?

Oct 27th 2014 at 7:45:33 PM

^^^ Or you could just leave the spoiler out of the Secret Saturdays example entirely; it doesn't appear to be relevant to this trope.

Nov 4th 2014 at 5:42:49 PM

  • Henry Griffin from Unnatural History grew up travelling the world with his anthropologist parents and managed to master many skills from the cultures that his parents studied and lived with.

Mar 14th 2018 at 1:41:03 AM

  • Honey We Shrunk Ourselves: Wayne's son Adam is interested in sports rather than science, to his dad's dismay, but manages to save his cousin Mitch from a potassium deficiency-induced faint (combined with seeing his mother and aunt less than an inch tall) by feeding him bananas, a factoid he remembered from his father's lectures.
    Can't always ignore my dad's science talk.
Later Wayne and Adam bond over the Game Of Nerds, Adam being proud to have a dad capable of instantly calculating every player's batting average.

Mar 14th 2018 at 10:52:00 AM

  • In The Kane Chronicles, Carter Kane grew up travelling around Africa and Europe with his archaeologist father. His knowledge of Egyptian history comes in very useful in their experiences with Egyptian gods later in the story.

Mar 14th 2018 at 4:49:31 PM

Description should explain the difference from/relationship with the Mad Scientists Beautiful Daughter.

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