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"And if I'm dismissed from service, who will defend planet Earth?"
"I believe Corbett is available."
"Tom Corbett?" said Proton in disbelief. "That space cadet!"
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For those of you who came here looking for the term's idiomatic meaning, that's a Cloudcuckoolander.

As for actual space cadets:

A Discredited Trope from the early Pulp Magazine days of media science fiction (peaked in the 1950's in movie serials and TV shows), involving a hero who was part of an organization that handles law and order in outer space, much like in a Western... in space. Frequently the titular Space Cadet was a child or teen who was a new recruit or a sidekick to an older hero. May be the equivalent of Walking the Earth with isolated outposts and frontier planets; especially strange when the Kid Hero seems not to have a family at home. His training place would be the Space Cadet Academy. His great goal in life is to someday become Captain Space, Defender of Earth!.

For the Robert A. Heinlein novel, see Space Cadet. For the virtual pinball table, see Full Tilt! Pinball.

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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Audio Dramas 
  • In the story record for Atari's Asteroids, the first act consists of space patrolman Jim Stanton doing a lot of Expo Speak banter with an eager young space cadet. Oddly, the cadet vanishes from the story after the second act for no obvious reason.

    Film 
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    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • Tom Corbett: Space Cadet. Tom and his companions Astro and Roger Manning, are all cadets on a training ship. The series would go on to become a franchise in radio, comic strips and novelisations.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • AAA was visited by "Los Cadetes del Espacio" tecnico stable in the 1990s. Abismo Negro, Maniaco, Mosco de la Merced, Histeria and March-1 got together and formed Los Rudos de la Galaxia in an attempt to get rid of them.

    Radio 
  • Son of Cliché with their sci-fi spoof "Dave Hollis: Space Cadet". The underlying but underdeveloped theme of the last living human lost in space was later re-used; many of the gags from SoC were later recycled into Red Dwarf.

    Western Animation 

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