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Rookie Male, Experienced Female

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Our hero has just received The Call and goes to join the group of good guys. He is joined by a woman or girl, who is already a member of the group and has experience and successes under her belt. It may start with Samus Is a Girl. If he is The Leader, she will frequently be The Lancer.

Despite the fact that the female is more experienced and empowered in Act I, she still usually falls subject to Badass in Distress or Surpassed the Teacher by Act III so that either the male hero can take center stage on his own, or he'll have to use all he's learned to help her for once as payback for showing him the ropes.

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Having a naive male trained by an experienced and capable female is often aimed to avert tropes like Women Are Delicate and Men Act, Women Are, but when poorly handled it can play them painfully straight by the end, with particularly awkward examples falling into Faux Action Girl and Quickly-Demoted Woman. As with most tropes, the handling makes the difference between a talking prop and a character with her own depth.

Will They or Won't They? is usually involved, and examples may overlap with Weakness Turns Her On and/or Amazon Chaser. The pair frequently starts as an Everyman/Action Girl pair, and can often end as a Battle Couple.

Compare and contrast Merlin and Nimue, a closely related trope that tends to have strong Teacher/Student Romance undertones and often turns sour on one side or the other, Student and Master Team, where from the start the senior member needs the rookie as much as the rookie needs them, and Female Fighter, Male Handler, where the male half of the duo is the supporting member to an (often less experienced or tech-savvy) Action Girl.

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Compare Men Are Generic, Women Are Special, Action Girlfriend, Sage Love Interest, Violently Protective Girlfriend, More Deadly Than the Male, Useless Boyfriend, and Talented Princess, Regular Guy.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Accel World has Haruyuki "Silver Crow" Arita, and Kuroyukihime, aka Black Lotus. The latter was the one who installed Brain Burst on the former's Neurolinker, thereby becoming his "parent" and mentor. While Haruyuki has proven capable, he still has yet to surpass Kuroyukihime, who's able to defeat him in a one-on-one duel, since she's Level 9(out of 10), while he's only Level 5.
  • Black Lagoon: Between the two leads, male and female, Revy is a hardened underworld Gunslinger, while Rock is a Naïve Newcomer slowly engulfed by the life of crime.
  • The first several volumes of Bleach had this dynamic as Rukia trained Ichigo in how to be a shinigami.
  • Zigzagged with the first season of the Pokémon anime, where rookie trainer Ash ends up travelling with Misty who grudgingly teaches him a lot of the basics. Misty is only relatively more capable than Ash at the beginning however (and almost equally childish and overconfident), with the even more experienced Brock later escorting them and usually playing The Straight Man to them both.
  • In Sands of Destruction, Morte and Kyrie may count. At the start of the first episode, Kyrie has zero experience as an action hero or villain - he's a petty con artist who makes a living pretending to be a beastman so he can work as a waiter. Morte, on the other hand, has wanted posters in every bar in town.
  • Zoids: New Century: Between the leads, Leena Toros is the experienced female to Bit Cloud's rookie male.

    Film — Animated 
  • Kate and Humphrey from Alpha and Omega. The trailer says it best: "Kate is at the top of the pack; Humphrey is at the bottom of the heap."
  • Lucy to Gru in Despicable Me 2. Lucy the accomplished secret agent shows newbie Anti-Villain Gru the ropes in their mission to defeat another villain.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Hiccup and Astrid. Astrid is the best in the arena; Hiccup is new to the scene.
  • Po and Tigress from Kung Fu Panda. Po is completely new to kung fu, having just been selected as the Dragon Warrior by Master Oogway. Tigress is the leader of the Furious Five due to her sheer expertise in kung fu.
  • The LEGO Movie: Emmet and Wyldstyle.
  • Puss in Boots: Kitty Softpaws' gender was not revealed until after she beat Puss in Boots in a fight. Later, due to her experience fighting and engaging in criminal activities, she becomes a member of his Power Trio.
  • In Ratatouille, male newbie cook Linguini is specifically assigned to female veteran Colette for training.
  • The Rescuers: Miss Bianca is the experienced member, although she has apparently never led a mission before, while Bernard is merely a janitor.
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    Film — Live-Action 
  • Avatar. Jake Sully just got to Pandora and is just getting used his new body and surroundings. Neytiri is selected to be his guide and teacher.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Steve Rogers is a young, unproven recruit that works closely with Major Peggy Carter. Even after he becomes Captain America, he never completely loses his "greenness", and she still outranks him.
  • The Matrix. When Neo joins Morpheus' team aboard the Nebuchadnezzar he's completely new and has no idea what's going on. A large fraction of the movie shows him learning how to act in the Matrix. Trinity is Morpheus' trusted second in command and thoroughly experienced and knowledgeable about the Matrix, as shown by her escape from the Agents at the beginning of the film. After Neo becomes "The One" he gains super powers and comes into his own as a hero.
  • Star Wars:
    • Luke is a naïve farmboy who happened to get the memo from the droids he stumbled across; Leia is a senator running covert missions for the Rebel Alliance.
    • Downplayed with Han and Leia; Han has experience in the criminal world, but not the Rebel Alliance.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • In Blade Runner, protagonist Ray McCoy is a rookie Blade Runner, while his female colleague Crystal Steele is a hardened veteran and also the best shooter of the department.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has Toph as Aang's Earthbending teacher.
  • T.U.F.F. Puppy: Dudley Puppy and Kitty Katswell. He's a rookie agent who was taken on due to his potential; she's a special TUFF agent who's caught countless bad guys and is assigned to coach Dudley.


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