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Basic Trope: Compared to other races in the setting, humans discover and implement new technology or social policies much faster.

  • Straight:
    • Aliens attack, and even though they have lasers and UFO's, we are quickly able to match their technology by stealing/adapting it.
    • When humans are finally able to go out into space, we discover the aliens have already formed a intergalactic alliance, whose technology we are quickly able to match.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • The Alien technology consists mainly of minor improvements to technology humans already have, so adapting it is simple.
    • The aliens are not more advanced than us in every possible way, just in a few areas, so it doesn't take too many resources to improve.
      • Every species advances their technology; humans just do so faster.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Humans are technologically advanced, but a new, alien race, starts picking up human technology and using it to advance faster than us.
  • Subverted:
    • At first, it seems like we are successfully using alien technology to quickly advance up to their level, but then it turns out that they were much more powerful and advanced than we thought.
    • It turns out that humans aren't special in this regard, and every new species that discovers the The Federation is able to quickly adapt to the new technology.
  • Double Subverted:
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    • ...but no matter how much more technologically superior they are, we are still able to survive and adapt, and eventually we truly do catch up to them.
    • ...but once humans have mastered the technology of the Federation, we are quickly able to advance beyond it, which no other alien race had really been able to do.
  • Parodied: An alien scientist laments that no matter how revolutionary his discoveries are, that humans are able to steal his secrets and put them into practice faster than his own government.
  • Zig Zagged: Humans enter into a technology race with a superior alien civilization, and periodically advance beyond them only to fall behind again.
  • Averted: Humans stay technologically inferior for the duration of the series. Any discoveries we make are matched by discoveries from the other civilizations.
  • Enforced: "Our viewers won't like it if we make humans the worst race, so let's get them up to speed."
  • Lampshaded: "Did you notice how fast those hairless apes caught up? How are we supposed to compete with that?"
  • Invoked:
  • Exploited: The aliens know we can advance more quickly than them, so they help get us up to speed and count on us to create yet more powerful technology in order to fight the Eldritch Abomination threatening the universe.
  • Defied: In order to stop us from advancing past them, Aliens purposely sabotage their own technology so it will destroy itself if we ever get our hands on it.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Played For Laughs: Humans advance swiftly but in massive cases of Skewed Priorities. A dying polluted earth running low on resources doesn't get them going into space habitats or even asteroid mining. The discovery of GreenSkinnedSpaceBabes however causes them to be the firsgt to invent FTL for alien booty.

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