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Student–Master Team

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Lu-Tze: That was how it used to be, your reverence. You recall? Master and pupil go out into the world, where the pupil may pick up practical instruction by precept and example, and then the pupil finds his own Way and at the end of his Way—
Abbot: —he finds himself.

A variant of Odd Couple featuring an older veteran character, and a younger novice. Often the former is a Retired Badass who is somehow rendered powerless (or just helpless against current threats) and has to rely on a newbie, who happened to be around and accidentally shows a lot of promise, so they tutor them.

Perfect setup for Red Oni, Blue Oni - the Hot-Blooded younger character is kept in check by their Older and Wiser Mentor.

If they're cops, this is Old Cop, Young Cop. If they're father and son, see Badass Family. If these two are being shipped, that's a Mentor Ship. With magic users, see Merlin and Nimue.

See also Master-Apprentice Chain, when this trope is recursed over several generations.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • The first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, with Yuuno getting injured and going ferret mode to recuperate, requiring him to rely on the then ordinary elementary school student Nanoha. Except that Nanoha completely overshadows him in a few eps.
    • The StarS and Lightning Teams in StrikerS consisted of two experienced instructors and two students. However, Vita is the only instructor to help the students during the missions, and Nanoha and Fate are elsewhere.
    • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, "Riot Force 6 Instructor (Nanoha) and Student (Erio) vs. Fate".
  • Robin Mask and his disciple Warsman form the Choujin Master/Student Combo in Kinnikuman's Dream Tag Team Touranment arc. Though the two are on more equal footing than most examples.
    • During the same arc, Prince Kamehame, Kinnikuman's mentor during the American Tour arc, returns to act as Suguru's partner for the tournament and forms the Muscle Brothers with him under the guise of Kinnikuman Great.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: When ever Kenichi gets thrown into one of these with any of his masters (and it happens a lot), it's not because he's needed, its because the masters want to train him by having him fight their opponents' disciple.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Across its various spin-offs and timelines Mami has been the master to three different students: Kyouko, Sayaka in A Different Story and Madoka in the main series' original timeline. She taught each one the basics of Magical Girl life and fought alongside them against witches.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! often features the team-up between the Dark Magician and his apprentice, the Dark Magician Girl.
  • Gunslinger Girl. The relationship between cyborg girl and handler resembles this, as the handlers are all experienced members of the police or military whose job is to train their cyborgs in combat techniques before acting as The Handler in the field.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman and Robin are the ur-example. So much so that as the Robins have aged and grown to other roles, a new child has taken their place as Batman's pupil. Dick Grayson, the first Robin, has even taken the mantle of Batman from time to time, taking a new Robin under his wing, continuing the Master-Apprentice Chain.

    Fan Works 
  • In the KanColle fic Eternity, due to manpower shortage and general inexperience of the late-Pacific War carriers, the IJN Carrier Shipgirls work in teams of two: One veteran and one rookie, with the former training the latter until deemed combat-ready by herself.
  • Severus Snape was already working closely with Dumbledore in canon, but in The Peace Not Promised he also becomes Dumbledore's alchemy student, and is able to use his memories of the afterlife to achieve groundbreaking results and confirm theories that were previously only speculation. And, in the process, advance the fight against Tom Riddle.

  • Both the Jedi and the Sith in Star Wars tend to work in teams like this such as Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan/Anakin, Obi-Wan/Luke, Sidious/Maul and Sidious/Vader.

  • Numair, a mage who has specialized in studying rare forms of Wild Magic, and Daine, a wild mage who really needs some instruction to understand and control her talents, adventure together in The Immortals quartet. Then she gets Hot for Teacher.
  • Amara (student) and Fidelias (master), at least at the start of Codex Alera.
  • The Rangers of Ranger's Apprentice run on a master-apprentice training system. The first series focuses on the team-up of apprentice Will and full-fledged Ranger Halt, with the occasional addition of Halt's previous apprentice, Gilan.
    • The prequel series The Early Years introduces Halt (and Crowley) occasionally adventuring alongside their teacher, Pritchard.
    • The sequel series The Royal Ranger pairs Will, now a full ranger, and his apprentice Maddie.
  • Ding Chavez (student) and John Clark (master) from the Jack Ryan novels. They've worked together for so long that it is unthinkable for either of them to go into the field without the other.
  • Wolf Hall has Cromwell going about with a few of his apprentices, but the most prominent is his ward Rafe Sadler. Rafe learns how to maneuver in court politics as a teenager (such as when Rafe says he believes Catherine of Aragon's account of her first marriage and Cromwell advises him to believe no one). By the time Anne Boleyn is Queen, Rafe is an experienced and clever young man who is a very effective agent.
  • Dreamblood Duology:
    • Nijiri and Ehiru have to team up to uncover what's going on within the city and the Hetawa. While Ehiru is officially Nijiri's master, after his first gathering of the story goes awry and he begins to suffer dreamblood withdrawal due to refusing to gather any more, Nijiri becomes something like his caretaker, doing his best to get Ehiru away from danger. However, while Nijiri is both young and rash and awfully in love with Ehiru, the latter is too caught up in his Honor Before Reason mindset to be of any use. Eventually, they both manage to overcome their respective faults and work together to prevent a war between Gujaareh and Kisua.
    • Sunandi and master Kinja worked as a team before Kinja's untimely and suspicious death. Kinja took Sunandi along with him on his diplomatic (and spying) mission to Gujaareh and made her his successor as the Kisuati ambassador in Gujaareh, just in case something happened to him.
  • In Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore is the (head)master and Harry Potter is a student, with Dumbledore teaching Harry how to defeat Lord Voldermort. They even go on an adventure in an isolated cave to find a horcrux and defeat a horde of Inferi.
  • Present in a general way in Star Wars, and the entire premise of Jedi Apprentice and Jedi Quest in the Star Wars Legends continuity, which focus on different eras in the lives of the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan/Anakin Master-Apprentice Chain.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor and his companions, although less so with the reboot's tendency for younger (-looking) Doctors. Also, there's never any suggestion of them filling his shoes, for obvious reasons.
    • With a few almost exceptions - Romana leaves to serve a similar role in another universe, while the never completed plot arcs may have had Ace eventually becoming a Time Lord. Sarah Jane also gained a similar role in her own spin-off, complete with apprentices of her own.
    • To date, however, only one companion has been treated not only as the student, but also a Distaff Counterpart: Clara Oswald, who ends her association with the Doctor in possession of her own time machine, a similar form of immortality, and a companion of her own.
  • A staple of Highlander, where veteran immortals would train newborns.
  • The MST3K episodes "Master Ninja" and "Master Ninja II" feature a team like this, in the form of Lee Van Cleef and Timothy Van Patten, as does "The Master," the TV show from which the movies were hastily spliced.
  • Power Rangers sometimes uses a team version, where the Mentor suits up and takes the field with his students as a Sixth Ranger. Mentors that have done this include Dr. Tommy Oliver, Commander Cruger, Daggeron (and Udonna and Leanbow on occasion), and RJ.
  • Buffy and Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the television adaptation of the film mentioned above. The job of a Watcher is to train and look after The Slayer, though the Watcher doesn't always engage in combat.
  • In the television adaptation of Wolf Hall, Rafe Sadler remains Cromwell's apprentice. Since the series was filmed over 17 weeks, Rafe doesn't appear to age and remains more of Cromwell's sidekick than in the books, less independent but still assisting him as an interrogator and spy.
  • The 100 has Octavia form a strong bond with her warrior-mentor Indra.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Toni Rose got her first big break as the Tag Team partner of The Fabulous Moolah, who was billed as her trainer and at the very least helped her get a foot in the business. Also, Beverly Shade and her student, Natasha, who she trained alongside her husband Billy Blue River.
  • While not a particularly noteworthy tag team, The Great Muta and Akebono are such legends that the fact one was trained by the other and they have teamed together makes them worth mentioning.
  • Fresh and Master, a tag team who wrestled for International Championship Wrestling in the English loving Quebec Canada area.
  • Último Dragón teamed on and off with his mentor, El Gran Hamada, for twenty four years.
  • Navajo Warrior and his trainee Shooting Wolf, the Ultimate Pro Wrestling tag team known as Native Blood. Shooting Wolf later shed his master's likeness and became Hawaiian Lion, but they still acted as a tag team, now going by The Native Warriors in Impact Zone Wrestling and NWA Pro.
  • Homicide with several of his trainees, such as The Hit Squad (Dan Maff and Mosta Mack) in Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Low Ki and Julius Smokes in The Rottweilers.
  • Ace Steel with his student CM Punk in the Second City Saints. Punk has also teamed with Danny Dominion, his other trainer, less frequently.
  • Master: Shelton Benjamin, Student: Brock Lesnar. The Minnesota Stretching Crew.
  • MsChif added her two Nightbreed proteges, Jackal and Cabal to Diabolic Kaos to turn it from a tag team to a Power Stable.
  • Delirious whenever he teamed up with Daizee Haze, whom he had a personal hand training with Kid Kash or Leech Landa, whom he was one of the trainers of in the ROH Wrestling School.
  • The Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling and All Pro tag team "Girls Gone Wrestling" made up of Cheerleader Melissa (master) and Tiffany (student).note 
  • The Dirty Rotten Scoundrel William Regal and his simple minded savant Morality Pet Eugene on Monday Night Raw.
  • Chris Hero and his student Claudio Castagnoli have frequently teamed as "The Kings of Wrestling" and are the group's two most consistent members. Another student of Hero's who has teamed with him is Nadia Nyce, whom he aided against one of her other trainers, Dave Prazak.
  • Alex Koslov is a student of Rocky Romero, who is also his partner, them being the first team to hold IWGP and ROH gold at once, Forever Hooligans!
  • Sheamus O'Shaunessy and his loyal if unpredictable student, Mad Man Manson in Irish Whip Wrestling.
  • Christina Von Eerie student of and backup to Big Ugly in the Northwest Wrestling Alliance.
  • The Australian Pink Ladies, Jessie McKay and Madison Eagles, after a year long student-teacher feud.
  • Chasyn Rance has trained numerous future tag team partners and stablemates, the most frequent being Mister Saint Laurent and Santana Garrett. The latter has taken a hand training many of Rance's following students and teamed with Raquel (otherwise known as Gabi Castrovinci).
  • The Pantheon Of Gods featured master, the greatest manager who ever lived, Austin Aries and student Rhett Titus. Oh, Kenny King was a member too.
  • Two thirds of Trouble 2 Maker, Yoshiko and her teacher Natsuki*Taiyo. The third wheel, Act Yasukawa, ended up turning on them. Also, after Yoshiko's 10-Minute Retirement she returned in SEAdLINNG to challenge and then team with Nanae Takahashi.
  • The Kimber (Leah) Bombs aligned in SHINE mainly due to Leah Von Dutch's mission to "defend" the youth coinciding with the Tag Team being in a prolonged feud with Legendary but Cherry Bomb being credited as Von Dutch's teacher was a bonus.
  • Across NJPW and ROH Alex Shelley has this relationship with KUSHIDA, ACH, Lio Rush and Jay White, all of whom were already wrestling before they met Shelley but comparatively inexperienced and willing to be guided to "the next level" by him.

    Video Games 
  • Advanced V.G. II: Invoked near the end of the game's story mode, when Yuka finally accepts Tamao as her student and teams up with her to face the Material Twins and Miranda Jahana.
  • The King of Fighters has two such teams on its roster: The Kyokugen Team, which consists of Takuma Sakazaki, who's the team's patriarch and founder of their school, along with his son/heir (Ryo), his daughter (Yuri), and his other student, Robert Garcia. The other is the Psycho Soldier Team, which has Chin and his two students, Athena Asamiya and Sei Kensou.
  • Kreia and the Exile in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Kreia is among the first characters you recruit and functions as a Crutch Character early on gameplay-wise (thanks to her min-maxed stats) and a mentor in both Sides of the Force for the Exile, narrative-wise.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, if you play as either a Jedi or a Sith (regardless of the class), one of your companions will be your apprentice: Kira Carsen for the Jedi Knight, Nadia Grell for the Jedi Consular, and Jaesa Willsaam for the Sith Warrior. The Sith Inquisitor gets two of them: the Light Side-leaning Ashara Zavros and the very Dark-Sided Xalek (who is the only male apprentice in the game).
  • In Suikoden, the hero's mentor is one of the characters you can recruit. They can even do a Combination Attack called "Master-Pupil Attack", where they beat up every enemy on screen together.
  • Disgaea has an entire mechanic where characters can serve as mentors to other characters they were used to create with useful advantages for both (for example masters can use the skills of any apprentices that are nearby).
  • League of Legends has a few potential team-ups:
    • Master Yi (master) and Wukong (student). This pair is terrifying for the enemy team, as Wukong is able to create picture-perfect setups for Master Yi, and both champs have a great deal of Magikarp Power.
    • Aatrox and Tryndamere are a twisted version of this, though Aatrox considers Tryndamere a work of art more than a student.
    • Singed was the apprentice of Warwick in the past, though whether this still holds true after Retcons is anyone's guess.
    • Yasuo (master) and Taliyah (student). Though the two don't have a lot of synergy in-game...which, given their respective masteries over wind and earth, makes perfect sense.
  • Uncharted: Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan played it straight.
    • After a scuffle in Cassablanca, Cuba, Sulley is impressed in Nate's pickpocket skills and after their introduction Sully teaches Nathan a thing or two to become a treasure hunter. Ironically Sullivan treats Nate like a son he never had.
  • You become this if you choose Tornado in Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge, as Carol has to instruct you herself on account of Rola being late. Carol also knows more about the plot than Mike, so she has more to tell you while Mike figures more things out at the same pace you do.
  • Kogoro Tenzai and Mii Koryuji from Project × Zone, with Kogoro as the master and Mii as the student.
  • In Ninja Gaiden III, Ryu Hayabusa fights alongside his apprentice Momiji for a chapter and they defeat Obaba together.

    Visual Novels 
  • In a similar vein would be Tsukihime where we have Arcueid The Ultimate Vampire Hunter who loses her powers and has to rely on Ordinary High-School Student Shiki, who just happens to have the Ultimate Evil Eyes.
  • Ace Attorney has a few of these:
    • In the original trilogy, Phoenix' mentor Mia Fey would frequently show up to help him, most notably in the second case of the first and the final case of the third game.
    • In Apollo Justice onwards, Phoenix himself takes on the role of mentor, and this trope goes into effect when he assists Apollo or Athena in court, notably the first case of Apollo Justice and the final case of the fifth and sixth game.
    • In the Ace Attorney Investigations series, the flashback case of the second game has the player using the duo of Edgeworth's father and his then-apprentice.
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, Rosé takes Akira on as her spiritual disciple, even though he gets no say in the matter. Despite that, she does genuinely help him out and teach him some things about spirits that he didn't know before.

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Retiree And Prodigy Team, Students And Master Team