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Newcomer Saves the Day

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"Nearly two tons of razor-sharp shards were about to hit Darman at explosive velocity, Force-smashed, Force-channeled into a tidal wave that would miss the crowd but slice through the squad[...] Rede suddenly swung his aim a meter above Yelgo's head and emptied his clip into the bulging transparisteel. Maybe it was the enormous stresses the sheet was now straining under; maybe Rede was a genuis at calculating weak points. Either way, the wall shattered and fell, raining glittering fragments like an avalanche of diamonds instead of blowing outward toward them[...] 'Rede,' Darman said, 'Rede, ner vod, I'll never say a bad word about you instant troopers ever again.'"

When the New Meat joins The Index Team for an adventure and ends up saving the day and everyone's asses on it, earning them a permanent membership. If this happens in the first episode and the new member becomes The Leader, this is a Rookie Red Ranger, a specific Sub-Trope.

Often a delayed Establishing Character Moment. Compare We Work Well Together, where everyone on the team is new, but they end up sticking together, anyway.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Digimon Adventure 02: Davis, Yolei, and Cody are all recruited ("chosen") to serve as replacement Digidestined, since the original team is incapacitated. Each of them gets to save the day during their respective first adventures in the Digital World.
    • Davis Motomiya's and Veemon's first day on the job as second-generation Digidestined is an example. Answering a distress call, Tai, TK, and Kari all enter the Digital World and discover that their Digimon partners can't evolve and are at risk of being enslaved by the Digimon Emperor. Davis enters later, meets his new partner Veemon and earns the Digimental of Courage, enabling Veemon to Armor-Digivolve to Flamedramon and save Kari (Davis' crush) from an enslaved Monochromon.
    • Yolei and Cody, also new recruits, save the day with their partners, Hawkmon and Armadillomon, during their first stint in the Digital World. The Digimon Emperor, learning from his mistakes, immediately imprisons Davis and Veemon, preventing them from evolving. He also nearly enslaves Veemon, but Yolei and Cody pull a last-minute rescue with their armor-digivolved partners Halsemon and Digmon.
  • In Claymore, Clare is the newcomer to the Paburo Hunting Party (Helen and Deneve were definitely working together before, and are implied to have at least known Miria) and to hunting Awakened Beings in general, being the lowest-ranked warrior of the Organization at the time. Still, it is quickly revealed that because she became a Claymore solely to destroy a specific Awakened Being, her entire skillset is geared towards killing them, and she ends up saving everyone from a Total Party Kill that the Organization hoped this would end in and becoming a True Companion of the other three.
  • Any time a new Cure is introduced in Pretty Cure.
  • In Sk8 the Infinity, absolute newbie Langa duct-tapes his feet to a skateboard, doesn't know how to move afterwards without help, and beats the heck out of the competition just to try it (and for the sake of a new friend).

    Comic Books 
  • Justice League of America:
    • Green Arrow does this in his first appearance with the League, when he shatters the diamond the League are trapped in with a diamond-tipped arrow.
    • In Issue #31, a penny-ante crook discovers an artifact from another dimension and uses it to launch the Justice League into space in an attempt to asphyxiate them. However, this was thwarted by their latest inductee Hawkman, who uses his anti-gravity belt to bring them back to land. The team was then able to track down the villain thanks to Hawkman, but the villain uses his device to create an amalgamation of the present team which defeats them all except Hawkman, who figures out the amalgamation's shortcomings and defeats the villain.
  • Frequent in the Silver Age Legion Of Superheroes, usually with a "We were wrong to laugh at your ridiculous powers" conclusion. For instance, Bouncing Boy defeating an unnamed Shock and Awe villain because he's not grounded after being rejected twice.
  • In the Runaways/Young Avengers Secret Invasion (2008) crossover, a standoff between Xavin and their mentor Chrell is broken by Klara Prast, who's only been a Runaway for less than a day.
  • In the end of the first volume of Death Vigil, it is the newest member of the Vigil, Clara, who saves everyone from the Pale Court's trap with her teleportation abilities and good old investigative skill, although this isn't the straightest example, as she is all but revealed to be the host of a Primordial—who is even older than the Vigil itself and just happens to work with them at the moment without them knowing.

    Fan Works 
  • Vow of Nudity: When Kay'la obtains a viper familiar named Trowser, she's originally disappointed and calls it "useless but cute" to its face. (And, to be fair, she's a level 7 paladin with a magic warhorse fighting incredibly deadly enemies on a daily basis.) Then, Trowser comes in clutch four different times while she fights her way through a harrowing dungeonnote , and by the end she's proclaiming it the greatest snake of all time and jokingly offering to make it her squire.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Secret of My Success, Michael J. Fox plays Brantley Foster, an up and coming business major who's trying to gain a foothold at his uncle's corporation - Primrose. Unfortunately, he applied at a time that it was ripe for a takeover. But after going over the company's ledger, and hearing from their dissatisfied business partners, Brantley soon realizes that the real problem is his uncle's lack of business sense. So he devises a way to save the company, by buying it out from under his uncle... with help from his uncle's wife: Brantley's aunt, Vera.

  • Downplayed in Labyrinths of Echo. On his first official Secret Investigations case, Max comes up with a creative solution that lets them save Melifaro's life and kill the Monster of the Week, while his new colleagues' ideas basically boil down to sacrificing Melifaro to make sure the monster cannot escape.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The first episode of Nash Bridges' sixth season introduces us to new detective Antwon Babcock just in time for him to participate in the investigation of a mad bomber. At episode's end, they find the bomb in the trunk of a car, but there's no time to defuse it. Antwon jumps into the driver's seat and drives it into the bay, bailing out at the last second. He earns a standing ovation.
  • Downplayed in Doctor Who, at least within the revived series, where it's typical for a new companion to save the doctor on her debut episode, more or less as a way of proving her mettle to his satisfaction.
  • In his debut episode, Lt. Reginald Barclay from Star Trek: The Next Generation ends up helping La Forge save the day, once he gets dragged off the Holodeck.
  • In From the Earth to the Moon, when Apollo 12 is hit by lightning, producing glitches everywhere, EECOM John Aaron proposes "try SCE to aux," a procedure unknown by most, including Flight Director Gerald Griffin and Commander Pete Conrad. Rookie Lunar Module Pilot Alan Bean does, and this saves the mission.

    Theme Parks 
  • At Universal Studios:
    • In Men in Black: Alien Attack, the guests, who were initially in the middle of their "training", end up being the ones to save New York from an alien invasion.
    • The guests, who are the latest recruits of NEST in Transformers: The Ride, ultimately are the ones to stop Megatron's invasion along with Evac, who too had never gone out into combat before.

    Video Games 
  • Happened twice on the galactic scale in the Mass Effect lore: during the Rachni Wars, the krogan, who have only recently joined the galactic spaceflight club, save the Council Space from the Rachni. Later on, when the krogan themselves go rogue, the turians, also newcomers on the galactic arena, hold them off, earning themselves a permanent place on the Council. In the series proper, humans are also the newcomers on the historical time scale, but end up rallying the rest of the galaxy to beat back the Reapers.
  • Advanced V.G. II introduced Tamao Mitsurugi's character as a huge fan of series protagonist, Yuka Takeuichi. Not only was it her first tournament appearance, she defeated several of Yuka's old rivals, as well as Yuka, herself. Then went on to ultimately defeat both the main antagonists: Saki Shinjo and Miranda Jahana, all of whom were older and experienced martial artists. Making this an egregious case of Instant Expert, since Tamao hadn't had any training, yet not only saved everyone, she became the third canonical champion of the VG tournament at the age of 14, by simply emulating Yuka's fighting style.

    Web Original 
  • In season 2 of Acquisitions Incorporated, Aeofel joins the eponymous adventuring company as The Intern. In the Final Battle, the villains are so busy taking down the core party members that Aeofel gets through relatively unscathed and ultimately goes mano-a-mano against the end boss, killing him in single combat and preventing a Total Party Kill. He sticks with the group for four more seasons.

    Western Animation