You're playing your favorite MMORPG, First-Person Shooter or other online combat game. You and your team have painstakingly come up with a workable strategy to tackle a challenging opponent. It will require organization and good timing, but you're sure that it will work if you get everything properly set up in advance... hold on, did KillerMonkeyz548 just go ahead and open fire? Congratulations, your brilliant plan has just been ruined in one move by a Leeroy Jenkins.
A Leeroy Jenkins (or just Leeroy for short) is a specific type of Noob who's got no patience for complicated plans, preferring to charge full-tilt into the fray and immediately start attacking whatever's in front of him. Because this can actually be a semi-viable strategy under at least some circumstances (depending on what game you're playing and the difficulty of the opposition), a Leeroy will sometimes remain undetected right up until his team hits its first real challenge, whereupon his recklessness gets everyone killed. Any attempt to point out that he totally ignored the plan will likely be met with words to the effect that "plans are stupid". He will, in short, be The "Why Wait?" Combatant, although a Leeroy will represent the worst possible version of that behavior. And he will never retreat.
On the plus side, a Leeroy can sometimes be detected before he causes calamity. When you see him utter (or type) words to the effect of "Hey, watch this!" in groups with experienced players, the phrase can be translated as "We'd better stop moving toward those enemies with very big guns and back out of Alpha Strike range because Sir Badassboi is about to do something incredibly stupid and attention-grabbing." Never attempt to rescue a Leeroy from the consequences of his mad charge; this will only encourage him, as well as provide repeated amusement – he will often attempt the exact same thing again when he's revived. And should the group somehow miraculously pull through, don't expect him to wait for you to recover; he's already charging the next target.
If your leader doesn't wise up and punt him from the team after the first couple offenses, a Leeroy can become a real-life gaming example of The Millstone, ruining any chance you have of completing your quest or mission successfully.
"Stop being such a Leeroy" has become multiplayer jargon in the time since, and it's sometimes used as a verb, with "to Leeroy" meaning to act in this manner. Ironically, the original staged video can be seen as sympathetic towards Leeroy in that it also mocks and parodies excessive planning in parties. Considering that many of the mistakes made by the group in their attempt to save Leeroy were part of their original plan, the implied point would seem to be that if you have a Leeroy Jenkins in your party, you probably deserve him. The exception is a Pick-Up Group... in which case, you should know what you're going to get.
If an A.I. character that you need to keep alive does this, you have a classic example of a bad Escort Mission.
Some players also use "pulling a Leeroy" to refer to rushing in heedless of your own safety even when this is a viable tactic.
If, rather than being a Noob, the Leeroy is doing this purposefully to get a laugh out of disrupting the Serious Business that internet gaming has become or just to mess with his group in general, then he is a Griefer and should be kicked from the group posthaste.
Something of a Player Archetype. Compare Attack! Attack! Attack!, The Real Man, Indy Ploy, and Strategy, Schmategy. See also some Challenge Gamers. Not to be confused with avant-garde musician Leroy Jenkins or the sports columnist of the same name. Underequipped Charge is related, but a character may perform one out of desperation rather than recklessness.
For other similar character behaviors, see Reckless Sidekick, Unwitting Instigator of Doom, and Fearless Fool, as well as some incarnations of The Berserker. This type of character may have been inspired from living with a Martyrdom Culture, or trying to perform a Zerg Rush by yourself. Usually, he is a bane of The Strategist, unless the latter is so Crazy-Prepared they've factored it in from the beginning – and, occasionally, indeed counted on it. A Defensive Feint Trap is an attempt to bait the enemy into doing this. If he is on the road, it is very likely he Drives Like Crazy.
Of course, the most important thing to remember is that—
All right, time's up! Let's post examples! LEEROOOOOYYY!! JEEEENKIIINS!!
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Film — Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Western Animation
- Real Life
- In Horrible Histories, Richard III becomes this, immediately jumping into the war of The Battle of Bosworth against Henry VII after they have a slang match. Unsurprisingly, he is betrayed by some of his army and dies on the battlefield, leaving Henry Tudor to revoke his dignity by hanging Richard's naked body on a horse on a parade float around England.
- Backgammon: Do. NOT. Be. This. Kind. Of. Player. Rushing toward an easy jump is more often than not a surefire way to lose a game in which your luck depends on a roll of the dice.
- The Scholar's Mate is a version of this, which involves bringing out the queen and bishop to try to checkmate the opponent in the first few moves. It's popular with beginners, but any experienced player can easily fend it off and get a much better position.
- Another popular tactic amongst inexperienced players is a form of blitzkrieg, attacking any target of opportunity that presents itself. While often unsuccessful at winning the game, the random movements make it difficult (if not impossible) for the opponent to accurately predict what move will be made next, making a counterattack difficult to formulate.
- The Poisoned Pawn variation is a more sophisticated version of a chess Leeroy. The point is that Black sends his queen deep into enemy territory to capture a pawn and runs the risk of getting her trapped behind enemy lines.
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft:
- Leeroy Jenkins returns as a card for this game, complete with Chargenote and summoning two Whelps for your opponent that are enough to kill him off next turn. His inclusion is actually a subversion however: Leeroy originally is 'breaking a planned tactic by charging blindly like an idiot', but in this game, if you don't want him to attack, then Leeroy will not attack. He's actually most often used as a finisher in Aggro decks thanks to his high damage, and is considered a very powerful card. This is one of the times where Leeroy will obey orders and plans perfectly.
- The various ogre minions from Goblins vs Gnomes can be this thanks to their Forgetful mechanic. 50% of the time they attack the wrong target, which can mean they go right for the opponent's face and leave a dangerous minion in play. Mogor the Ogre gives the Forgetful effect to every minion.
- Kobold Barbarian is this to a tee, since it always attacks a random target at the start of the owner's turn.
- Magic: The Gathering:
- There are many creatures that say "this creature attacks each turn if able", which essentially makes them Leeroy Jenkins, and a few other cards that let you turn your opponent's creatures into Leeroy Jenkins.
- In a similar vein, several creatures (normally black and/or red) read "this creature can't block," making it more practical to constantly use them to push for damage and hope to force trades.
- A particularly notable card is "Lust for War," which has your opponent's creature go all Leeroy Jenkins, and whenever it taps (which it usually does when attacking), it does three damage to its controller. Red is generally the color of rage.
- A Red Burn deck uses this concept for the player. It essentially is filled up with a lot of direct damage spells, and hopes that you draw enough of them to kill the opponent with sheer momentum. The problem with this deck is, no matter what, the game will likely end on Turn 6; either they kill the opponent with their spells or die from the inevitable counter attack, since burn decks seldom have any creatures to actually defend the player.
- World of Warcraft Trading Card Game has Leeroy Jenkins as an actual playable card. It used to be the page image. His effect caused your other allies to be unable to attack, and he could attack the turn he came into play if you yelled his name.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has a few cards of this type.
- Berserk Gorilla, for instance, must attack if at all possible, and Battle Mania, a trap that Yusei once used, forces all of your opponent's monsters into attack mode, and forces them to attack during the Battle Phase.
- It also appears in card lore. Enishi is often mocked for his recklessness. As a result, Enishi is known as "The Daredevil." Since he knew Shi En when they were part of the "Legendary Six Samurai," he ended becoming "Shien"'s Chancellor because Enishi is not intimidated by him.
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: In the Wind in the Willows segment, the animals try to be quiet while sailing to the secret entrance to Toad Hall lest they alert a weasel guard of their presence. Toad, however, tries to shoot the guard, and they barely end up being spotted.
Toad: I'LL POP 'IM OFF!
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, Tigress has ordered Po to stay put in the dungeons because she knows that it's too personal for Po. What does he do next? He rushes headlong into the factory against her orders, inevitably screwing up the Furious Five's plans to blow up the factory along with Shen and his wolves inside it.
- Sulley charging for the flag during the library challenge in Monsters University, after he grows impatient with Mike's attempt at stealth.
- The Monsters vs. Aliens DVD includes a bonus feature of a storyboarded Leeroy Jenkins scene. It mentions Leeroy Jenkins by name. You've gotta love B.O.B.
Dr. Cockroach: B.O.B., you idiot!
- Transformers: The Movie: Hot Rod was this when he leaped at Megatron, and ended up getting Optimus Prime killed.
- The Adventure Zone: Balance: Magnus has a tendency to barrel into dangerous situations without waiting for the others to finish planning. It basically becomes the player Travis's catchphrase: "Magnus rushes in!"
- Binary Break: Heirmon wasn't present to meet Penny when he landed in the Digital World because he rushed into the woods early hoping to take care of the monster problem and keep him safe.
- Shawn Stasiak's gimmick upon his return to the WWE during The InVasion Angle basically involved him charging into a situation and knocking himself out on ringposts or whatever happened to be scattered around the area, which culminated in him charging into a suit of armour that happened to be at ringside.
- Bobby Lashley has had at least three teammates that fit this mold. The first two were Mike Mondo and Ms. Blue while he was a part of Bolin Services, where he would end up getting in fights and matches he really wanted no part of in order to save them. Then when he was working with MVP in TNA, Kenny King was always provoking fights that they sometimes had to save him from and once nearly cost Lashley the World Heavyweight Title to Tommy Dreamer. King possibly saved Lashley from Samoa Joe the Impact prior though, so he was not completely useless.
- Future Of Wrestling Heavyweight champion Sean Allen had an entourage of four men accompanying him, but Frank Stone was confident, because he came up with a three step plan on Caged Heat Radio's Reality Check.
"Let me see, I'm just gonna put my foot up his ass and hopefully he'll be in space. That's number one. Two, take goldie white, put her across my shoulder and parade around the ring and say it's mine. Three, walkout of there as the new FOW champion, that's a great freaking plan."
- ACH in Adrenalin Rush in Ring of Honor, with Ta'Darius Thomas having to rein him in. Jimmy Jacobs uses this tendency to injure him and draw Ta'Darius into Decade.
- In a case of some things never changing, Asuka once again display this type of behavior in Godzilla vs. Evangelion: The Real 4-D, repeatedly jumping onto Godzilla and trying to pummel him to no avail.
- Makuta Icarax doesn't like the complex plan that Teridax has thought up to conquer the universe and thinks that everything would be easier if the Brotherhood of Makuta simply demolished everything in its path (which to be fair, they could legitimately do). He's by no means dumb and capable of coming up with good plans himself, but as fellow Makuta Krika notes, the only way Icarax's own plans would be accepted over Teridax would be if they had even better chances to succeed...and Icarax's average plan is called out as "about as subtle as an axe to the face and usually about half as interesting."
- While Icarax's attitude has gotten him seriously hurt a few times, he at least hasn't endangered his fellow Makuta or their plans yet. Toa Vakama, however, is another story: in his determination to make a rescue, he refused to acknowledge that something was very wrong and wouldn't make time for little things like "caution". He ended up marching his team straight into the enemy base, where they got captured, mutated into half-beast freaks, and nearly killed. His team wasn't happy, and they didn't let it go until they realized their griping was helping to lead him to a Face–Heel Turn.
- Icarax ultimately inverts the trope when he tries to throw a wrench into Teridax's plan. Teridax's supporters kill him for his effort — but when the plan succeeds, said supporters have suddenly Outlived Their Usefulness...
- Reidak of the Piraka is actually quite intelligent, but he doesn't like to rely on his brain because he thinks it's much more fun to just break and crush everything in his path like a Dumb Muscle. This has led to occasions where he just bulldozes his way through obstacles and enemies without putting much thought into it, like when he came across a double coup among his fellow Piraka and, not knowing who was on whose side, just grabbed one of the guys who wasn't fighting and tossed him right into the dog-pile.
- Wocky Kitaki in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney claims to have been shot in an ambush, but he is soon revealed to be a Leeroy: "According to my sources... 'you ran in 15 minutes before the appointed time... by yourself.'"
- Fate/stay night:
- Shirou, several times. Most notable? Charging out of cover unarmed at Gilgamesh in order to save a girl. A girl who just had her eyes slashed and a lung stabbed. And he didn't know her, and she was clearly about 30 seconds from death. Oh, and Gilgamesh just killed Berserker at least thirteen and more like thirty times in terms of damage without getting scratched. Or moving.
- Saber pulls an impressive one way back in the Fate scenario, where refusing to take the fight to the enemy will prompt her to rush off by herself. Especially irksome since this is what you actually have to do. Agreeing to go with her makes her more cautious, but gets Shirou killed by a third party. If you try and refuse, the delays involved mean said third party is not present when very similar events go down, resulting in a better outcome.
- In Reflections on the River, Zheng sometimes rushes into situations in pursuit of the jewel which might be better approached with care.
Zheng: Come on! I'll grab some smoke bombs and we can kick down the palace door!
Prince Shun: Hold on. [...] Aren't you in a bit of a rush?
Zheng: Have I forgotten something?
Prince Shun: Quite... an astonishing amount, actually.
- In Doraleous & Associates, Neebs does this so often that he's responsible for at least half of the story's conflict. This eventually got him fired.
- In Extra History's series on Joan of Arc, her battle tactics are described in two words: "GET 'EM!"
- The Leet World's Ahmad acts like this early in the series. His enthusiasm gets fellow terrorist Ellis killed in the first challenge (he got better). In the mid-season finale, he tosses a grenade into a room full of fellow housemates after hearing gunfire, seriously injuring Player.
- The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: During his attempt to barge in and attack Little Miss Epic during the skateboarding competition, Ridiculously Epic shouts the trope name. It goes just as well for him as the original Leeroy Jenkins.
- Red vs. Blue:
- Season 9, Episode 2: While infiltrating an enemy base, Agent South Dakota refuses to take a moment to activate her motion trackers, despite Agent North Dakota's insistence she do so, as it'll "Take too long". As such, she doesn't realize that a guard has spotted her from behind and the rest of the mission becomes a shoot-out. As such, South goes down a rank on the Freelancer Leaderboard.
- Season 9, Episode 10: Agents York, Maine, and Wyoming had a three on one sparring match with Texas. York tries to coordinate his team, but Maine and Wyoming just keep ignoring him and charging forward, getting their asses kicked.
- Season 14, Episode 2: Grif and Simmons are paired up with another recruit named Hammer for a "special" scouting mission, exploring a base that was attacked by Blues. Hammer wants to get in closer to search the base, but the other two shoot him down by saying they already have enough intel from watching via sniper rifle and can go back to base where it's safe. Hammer charges in anyway and get himself blown up by an IED the Blues had set up.
- Season 15, Episode 17: Tucker charges the Red and Blue grunts guarding the Blues and Reds' hanger and Pelican, ruining the element of surprise Locus wanted to exploit and resulting in them being pinned down by a heavy machine gun. Furthermore, his actions resulted in Washington being shot through the neck after walking into the middle of the battlefield while in a daze due to being starved and dehydrated.
- Yusuke's default strategy in Girl-chan in Paradise is screaming "I'll attack them head-on!" before getting his ass kicked.
- Meta Runner: Theo does this while shouting his catchphrase as the group is entering Scrapbeard's Fortress. Lamarr's reaction is also exactly the same as in the original Leeroy Jenkins video.
- In RWBY, Ruby Rose has this problem, for example charging into battle and almost getting shot in the back by her own teammate Weiss because she wasn't paying attention to Weiss's position. Her Character Development is spent learning to work as a team.
- Team Fortress 2 is about teamwork, so this tactic is frequently criticized in the Team Service Announcement videos, which are intended as tutorials for the game.
- In Over-Extending and Over-Committing, the poor RED Medic gets dragged into a suicidal charge by the Soldier. This goes as well as you'd expect.
- The BLU Scout in Scout Combat doesn't understand how to run in anything but a straight line.
- All it takes for the Sniper to avoid the W+M1 Pyro is to just move out of the way, and watch him hurl himself off a cliff.
- Subverted in that the World of Battlelore: obsessed Counter-Terrorist Leeroy is quite cautious and level-headed.
- Evan, The Big Guy of Everyman HYBRID, prefers to run headlong at the Slender Man rather than away from him. The first time he tries it, Slendy just disappears. When he does it again with a baseball bat, he gets mind-crushed and left to stumble around with blood in his mouth.
HABIT: Evan? He's just an animal. He just runs in, doesn't care what the fuck's going on, he's an idiot.
- Zhang Fei and Cao Hong are the biggest Leeroys in Farce of the Three Kingdoms. Cao Hong even shouts "Leeeroy Jenkins!" when charging at one point.
- Geoff and Gavin have proved to be this (moreso Gavin) in Achievement Hunter's Let's Play videos.
- Ryan has a literal example in Chapter 4 of Let's Play Spartan Ops Episode 1; yelling this as he runs head on at a Promethean Knight in order to steal Jack's chances of getting an achievement. Given that they're playing on Legendary, the Knight promptly bisects him.
- The Trope Namer comes from the original Leeroy Jenkins Video, which can be viewed here and elsewhere. It's something of an Unbuilt Trope, though, as the group's original plan was already incredibly stupid to begin with, so all Leeroy did was accelerate their inevitable deaths.
- Golgotha in Noob:
- In the webseries, a scene shown from her point of view has her put a mental target on the first enemy she sees, then directly attacking it. Arthéon is in the middle of explaining the strategy while this is happening, but his speech is perceived as unintelligible.
- All three media have shown her run to attack an enemy much stronger than her, just because it's an enemy and it's within her eyesight. Gaea puts it best in the comic by saying that she's basically unable to see an enemy without attacking it immediately.
- Aragorn IS... Leeroy Jenkins! He even looks like the WOW CCG card above as he races in ahead of his troops. This youtube video parodies some of the Hollywood Tactics you may spot in the filmed version of The Lord of the Rings.
- One of the NPC's in Open Blue is Lance Corporal Jenkins, a member of Avelion's special forces. How he managed to get in the special forces, moreover survive multiple operations is generally regarded as a miracle.
- Ian from Psychronicles is the embodiment of this. Rina even lampshaded on it in chapter 3.
- In Tales of MU Mack's lawyer is named Lee Jenkins, but he's a calm and competent attorney who encourages her to think things through.
- In Team Four Star's Let's Play series, Takahata101 generally fills this role, charging in recklessly most of the time.
Hey! At least I have chicken!