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Blog / Survival Tips for S.H.I.E.L.D. Recruits

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Not even the top covert intelligence organization in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is immune to the occasional Loonie.

In the model of Skippy and Mr. Welch, this blog provides a bewildering array of things a SHIELD recruit is not allowed to do if they want to survive their career. Thanks to numerous reader contributions (and a setting that combines the militarism of Skippy's world with the fantasy and science-fiction of Mr Welch's) it is impressively long, managing to total over five hundred entries.

And counting.

It can be found here:



  • Action Girl: Every SHIELD agent with two X chromosomes, and don't you forget it.
    • Tip #532: If you are stupid enough to voice any sexist or misogynistic opinions within earshot of any female agents, you deserve whatever you get.
  • Actor Allusion: In-Universe.
    • Tip #306: Maria Hill is not Robin Sparkles, and attempts to have her sing either of that popstar’s greatest hits may result in either bodily harm or instant assignment to the most inane and annoying tasks she can find.
    • Tip #313: Yes, Jonathan Storm and Steve Rogers look eerily similar. No, you are not allowed to ask why.
    • Tip #391: Asking Tony Stark to do a critical analysis of your character by just using the way you look is not a good idea. It usually ends in tears and/or quitting. In short, he is not Sherlock Holmes.
    • Tip #437: Those caught with snakes anywhere near Director Fury's private jet will be put on latrine duty for a year.
    • Tip #522: Do not bring snakes onto the Helicarrier. Director Fury will not be amused.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Defied
    • Tip #289: Despite what Agent Barton claims, the air ducts are not an approved method of traveling through buildings. You will get stuck before you really get anywhere.
  • Artificial Limbs
    • Tip #125: Should you end up losing extremities in the line of duty, it is entirely possible that Tony Stark will attempt to create an enhanced prosthetic device to compensate. This is not an excuse to actually attempt to lose limbs.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Tip #539: Although we recognize that motor pool security duty is extremely boring, any attempts to remove Johann Schmidt’s Hydra Coupe for a ‘drive-thru run’ will be met with immediate disciplinary action. Also note that there are no fast food restaurants within 50 miles with a drive-thru large enough to accommodate that car.
  • Badass Bureaucrat:
    • Tip #457: Do not, under any circumstances, harass the office workers in any way, shape, or form. Organizational skills weren’t the only reason they were hired.
  • Berserk Button: Several examples.
    • Director Nick Fury's Eyepatch of Power is not an excuse to make pirate jokes.
      • Tip #59: Don’t mention Director Fury’s name and the word ‘Pirate’ in one sentence.
      • Tip #441: Do not ever suggest that Director Fury should be a pirate for Halloween. You’ll end up swabbing the deck of the Helicarrier. While it’s in the air.
      • Tip #450: 'Airship Pirate' is not an appropriate ring tone to assign to Director Fury.
      • Tip #538: Do not ask Director Fury if he was a pirate in his previous life. When you wake up on a deserted island, we will not feel bad for you.
    • Nor is Agent Clint Barton's code name, "Hawkeye" an excuse for bird jokes.
      • Tip #497: Do not ask Agent Barton if he has a nest up in the rafters. Nor if he has any eggs.
      • Tip #556: If you do indeed catch Agent Barton ‘nesting’ in the rafters, do not tease him about it. Any injuries from distasteful bird jokes being made are entirely your fault.
    • While Agent Phil Coulson is generally a Nice Guy, agents are advised to keep their hands off of his vintage S.H.I.E.L.D. tech.
  • Big Eater:
    • Tip #284: Don’t stare at Captain Rogers while he eats. He can’t help that his metabolism operates at four times the average speed.
  • Busman's Holiday: The only type of holiday a SHIELD agent can expect to have.
    • Tip #94: Should you actually utilize your vacation time, keep in mind that there is always a chance you could get recalled in case of emergency. Should that be the case, you will retain the balance. Of course, some senior agents have accrued years of backlogged vacation time.
    • Tip #158: The odds of you ever being able to take an uninterrupted vacation again are miniscule. Welcome to S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • Tip #478: While we do try to provide safe and unknown vacationing areas for our agents, there is only so much we can do. Make sure to pack heat with that sunscreen.
  • Crazy-Prepared: SHIELD is ready for ANYTHING.
    • Tip #194: Do not antagonize cats found on SHIELD premises. There are better than average odds that they may be a transformed operative, and you would not like the consequences when he or she recovers.
    • Tip #197: Please consult your intake handbook for the list of ways to most easily tell if a fellow operative is under the influence of mind control and always keep that list in mind.
    • Tip #244: You should memorize the answers to your security questions in case of Doppelgänger incidents, and answer said questions seriously. There’s always one idiot sent to the detention area for joking around - don’t let it be you.
    • Tip #72: Zombie Apocalypse Training is neither a joke nor an optional course.
    • Tip #542: If you suspect you have superpowers, do not try to use them in a combat situation. Using them without practice may do more harm than good, especially under such high-stress scenarios. Inform your superior officer, and do not be surprised if they require a demonstration. You will not lose your job for revealing your powers.
    • Tip #48: There really is a form for any situation you can likely think of. Or at least one that can be adapted to the purpose. Therefore, creating your own makeshift templates is entirely unnecessary.
  • Dead Fic: Has not updated since approximately 2013.
  • Dressed to Plunder: The references to Director Nick Fury's Eyepatch of Power, and piracy.
  • For Science!:
    • Tip #14: Saying you did something 'for science' will not absolve you of culpability for any destruction that might result from your actions.
  • Gender Bender: Recruits are warned that Loki can use this for nefarious purposes.
    • Tip #275: Keep in mind that Loki is a shapeshifter and has been known to change genders. So the next time that ‘hot chick from Sector 7’ takes a sudden miraculous interest in you and offers you a drink, it is advised you get a full scan done by the lab technicians to make sure it is actually a martini and not snakes.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The ability to command squirrels or other cute woodland creatures is not to be underestimated, no matter how absurd it might seem.
    • Tip #560: Never underestimate Squirrel Girl.
  • "How Many?" "All Of Them": Variations include:
    • Tip #272: Stop asking Stark what items he can weaponize, and just operate under the assumption that the answer is 'all of them'.
  • Just Following Orders
    • Tip #543: Tony Stark is not in the SHIELD chain of command. He cannot make you do things, therefore "Tony made me do it" is not a valid excuse for anything.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Jokes about the coffee are all over the place, starting from the very first entry.
    • Tip #1: Always make more coffee if you empty the pot. You do not want to know what will happen to you if you fail to do so.
    • Tip #35: It may seem like a nice gesture, but refrain from giving Dr. Banner coffee. Especially of the kind brewed around SHIELD premises.
    • Tip #40: There is not a single senior agent who believes in decaf.
    • Tip #43: Filling coffeepots with water and aquatic wildlife is not a prank. It is a health hazard.
    • Tip #54: When a caffeine-deprived Tony Stark is in sight, use strategically-scattered coffee machines to calm him down and prevent hacking and reprogramming of SHIELD computers and security systems.
    • Tip #58: All recruits are advised not to lean on or otherwise touch Mr. Stark’s cars without his express approval. Nobody wants to see him start destroying coffeemakers as retribution.
    • Tip #98: If you notice the stock of coffee powder in the break room start to drop below average, please take the responsibility to replenish it.
    • Tip #114: If you try to hide a secret cache of gourmet coffee, it will be found, and it will be used.
    • Tip #117: Good coffee is indeed a valid currency type in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s unofficial economy of favors.
    • Tip #139: Please recognize the signs of sleep deprivation in you as well as your colleagues and advocate rest when possible. When it’s not possible, provide coffee.
    • Tip #211: Giving up caffeine is an admirable goal under most normal circumstances, but at S.H.I.E.L.D., it is likely doomed to fail.
    • Tip #238: Replacing the regular coffee with decaf in the coffeemakers is both unwise and hazardous. You do so at your own risk and S.H.I.E.L.D. is not responsible for any actions taken against you when you are found out.
    • Tip #253: Stop swiping the lab technicians' coffee. Not only is it highly unprofessional, but you have no assurance that the cup actually held coffee in the first place. Any consequences suffered are your own fault.
    • Tip #276: Playing laser tag is prohibited on S.H.I.E.L.D. premises. All participants engaged in laser warfare will be put on coffee runs for a week if caught.
    • Tip #328: Do not touch Agent Coulson’s coffee. Ever. Even if Tony Stark offers to give you a large sum of money to take it. Just don’t.
    • Tip #462: Do not serve decaf to anyone except Dr. Banner unless specifically requested, and treat each such request as an isolated incident.
    • Tip #507: Do not touch, alter or otherwise mess with Agent Hill’s, or indeed anyone’s, coffee if you value your life.
    • Tip #562: If you see Wade Wilson tampering with the coffee machines, report it immediately and don’t let anyone drink from them.
  • Murphy's Law: Lampshaded.
    • Tip #62: Always keep Murphy’s Law in mind. And remember that what can go wrong here is exponentially worse than what can go wrong in most places.
    • Tip #212: It may be true that whatever can go wrong will go wrong, but we also follow a very important corollary to Murphy’s Law. When something goes wrong, we fix it.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Tip #422: For your own safety, do not tell Agent Barton he is 'pretty in purple'.
  • Properly Paranoid: As it is S.H.I.E.L.D, their Crazy-levels of preperation usually pay off.
    • Tip #32: Be sure to familiarize yourself with the sections in the handbook concerning proper procedure in case of accidental or malicious defenestration.
  • Pun:
    • Tip #305: 'We are SHIELD agents, aren't we?' is not a viable excuse for using fellow agents as human shields.
  • The Nicknamer: Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) has exclusive rights.
    • Tip #291: Tony Stark gets away with the nicknames for various reasons, including close friendship with his teammates. SHIELD disclaims responsibility for injuries suffered by, for example, referring to Agent Barton as ‘Legolas’.
    • Tip #502: Calling the god of thunder ‘Goldilocks’ is not recommended, no matter what certain others might say.
    • Tip #512: Please refrain from referring to Captain Rogers as ‘Capsicle’. For that matter, please refrain from using any of Mr. Stark’s nicknames for anyone.
  • Noodle Incident
    • Tip #329: In light of the 'pancake incident' (which is not to be discussed), Wade Wilson is no longer allowed in the kitchen of any SHIELD building, to ensure that no similar event happens in the future.
  • Not So Above It All: While primarily concerned with curtailing dangerous hijinks, SHIELD has nothing against harmless fun.
    • Tip #531: Planning the most efficient shopping sprees is not the intended use for your tactical training sessions, but doing so is not actively discouraged. There may, in fact, be unofficial contests involved.
  • The Other Darrin: In-Universe.
    • Tip #440: Yes, Doctor Banner has always looked like that. No, he did not have reconstructive surgery when he went to India.
  • Person as Verb
    • Tip #484: The phrase 'Loki'd' is strictly prohibited.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica
    • Tip #205: S.H.I.E.L.D. has facilities in some of the most remote places on the face of the planet. There are certain people you do not want to upset if you have no desire to be assigned to one.
  • Seen It All: A natural effect of joining SHIELD.
    • Tip #500: Monumental occasions are near-daily occurrences. Get used to them, but try to retain a sense of wonder anyway.
    • Tip #451: Always remember that even when things seem dire, sometimes having faith in the impossible is exactly what works. In this job, the impossible happens all the time.
  • Side Bet:
    • Tip #29: Yes, there are betting pools for virtually anything you can think of. No, none of them are officially sanctioned. Hunt them down on your own time, and join them at your own risk.
    • Tip #468: There will be no taking of bets anytime one member of the Avengers gets into a fight with another.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Tip #460: Under no circumstances should you ever utter the phrase ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’
  • 10-Minute Retirement: A common occurrence.
    • Tip #407: Yes, it is actually possible to reach retirement. Just don’t get too comfortable if you manage to stay alive long enough to achieve that feat. If you do so, your retirement will likely not last long.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Tip #19: Refrain from insulting Odin. No further elaboration required.
      Anonymous ask: Who was the idiot that made Tip #19 needed?!? WHO would be that stupid? Does Fury really have to put up with this kind of thing?
      shieldrecruitssurvivaltips: In the case of the unfortunate recruit who required the creation of Tip #19, Director Fury did not have to directly intervene. However, the culprit is no longer employed at S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • Tip #514: Asking Agent Romanov if she earned her nickname due to her bedroom habits is so far past ill-advised that it becomes borderline suicidal.
  • True Companions: Many tips point out that if the targeted Avenger doesn't retaliate for a given shenanigan, the rest of them will almost certainly do so on his/her behalf. And they're called Avengers for a reason.
  • Unflinching Walk: Subverted.
    • Tip #234: Walking away from an explosion without looking at it is generally considered ‘cool’. Less cool is ending up in the hospital for months because you didn’t see a piece of shrapnel flying in your direction. Bear this in mind.


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