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Mar 3rd 2016 at 6:55:40 AM •••

Is this really a pirate trope? It seems to apply to any job rather than just pirates. The same way that Space Jews isn't a jewish trope because it can refer to any Earth culture rather than just jews.

Jan 12th 2014 at 1:04:08 AM •••

Since the description is essentially when a character, despite having a certain job, is rarely seen engaging that job, wouldn't a better name for this trope in particular be "The Pirates Who Don't Seem To Do Anything"?

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Jan 12th 2014 at 10:39:39 PM •••

On that note, I think that we need to distinguish better between this Trope and Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation, as well as, possibly, What, Exactly, Is His Job?. Here's what I think of it:

Yeah... we need to take this mess to the Shop. Again...

Edited by
Dec 16th 2012 at 9:26:07 PM •••

The following zero context example was placed on a second level bullet point in the Anime folder. If anyone wants to add context and put it on a first level bullet point in the web original folder, please do.

Aug 31st 2012 at 4:16:01 PM •••

I still think the example of the Tribulation Force being this trope in the Left Behind series is justified in the fact that in the series they couldn't fight fate, and I even mentioned that in the main Left Behind page why it is so. I mean, it's pretty hard to be a freedom fighter in a time period where everything is determined by God to happen regardless of what anybody does. It didn't stop people like Rayford from trying to do their own thing, like the assassination attempt, but still...

Edited by VicGeorge2011
Aug 4th 2012 at 12:46:50 PM •••

For the Princess Bride example, should the previous Dread Pirate Roberts be mentioned? Wesley didn't really say how much piracy he engaged in, making him just seem like a swashbuckling hero. That fits this trope, but the previous Dread Pirates Roberts did enough piracy to capture ships and steal gold. I was unsure if they should be mentioned since they're so small in terms of importance.

Jan 23rd 2012 at 6:37:49 PM •••

There seem to be a lot of "Don't 'the Xs' have jobs? Why aren't they doing them?" examples. To these types of examples really belong here?

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Aug 4th 2012 at 12:41:32 PM •••

Well if they have a job that's stated in the show/game/whatever and they don't do it, then it's this trope. Like an assassin who doesn't kill people, or a student who never goes to school. Though if an example is worded like that, then it should be changed to explain what they're suppose to do and how they're not doing it rather than say "Why aren't they doing their jobs?"

Nov 1st 2011 at 1:37:30 PM •••

What about the CIA in the James Bond movies? Especially Goldfinger, in which they spend a large part of the film deliberately doing nothing, even though Bond would very much like them to, because they're only keeping tabs on him by watching him through binoculars. Since the armed guards keeping an eye on Bond at all times are fairly discreet, the CIA just assume that his stay on a known villain's ranch and total failure to communicate with them can't be a problem, since he's walking around and being offered mint juleps, rather than being chained up and flogged.

It's true that at the end the film they actually do their job, but nearly all of that takes place offscreen, and they wouldn't have lifted a finger if James Bond hadn't cured Pussy Galore of being a lesbian because hey, he's James Bond, prompting her to switch sides and tell them that a loony funded by North Korea was about to kill tens of thousands of people with nerve gas, followed by an attack on Fort Knox with a tactical nuclear device which he had smuggled into the USA without them noticing! If that's what it takes to get them off their butts, they obviously don't get off them very often.

Also, since they do at least have Goldfinger's ranch under surveillance, it's odd that they fail to do anything at all about the arrival of a couple of dozen known crime-bosses, only one of whom leaves. And even he gets murdered a few minutes later, but they don't know that because they weren't paying much attention. They followed him only because Bond's emergency distress beacon was broadcasting from inside his car, and when it suddenly stopped, they almost instantly lost interest and forgot all about it!

See also Live And Let Die. After losing a couple of ridiculously conspicuous and inept agents in Harlem (the second one is at least black, but he's standing in precisely the same spot from which the first one disappeared, and behaving in exactly the same way), the CIA just kind of give up and import Bond, a secret agent working for an allied but still foreign power, to do their entire job for them by himself! Even though, what with his skin colour and everything, with the whole world to choose from, he's hardly the ideal guy to go undercover in Harlem.

Mar 31st 2011 at 7:27:24 AM •••

None of that Buffy stuff is any way correct.

Aug 5th 2010 at 3:08:50 AM •••

Did this trope exist before the Veggie Tale's show? In other words, is the title of the show a reference to a previously existing trope with that same name?

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Jan 2nd 2011 at 1:37:07 PM •••

That particular Veggie Tales song actually predates the entire Tv Tropes site.

("The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" was a bonus original song on the first sing-along video, back in 1997.)

Jul 15th 2010 at 12:29:41 PM •••

Removed Sailor Moon because it's not an example — the anime doesn't spend much time showing their school days for the obvious reason that it's usually irrelevant to the plot, but nonetheless it remains abundantly clear that school is an important part of their lives (e.g. throughout the third season they are studying for entrance exams; in the fifth season we do see them at school again as that's how the Starlights are introduced).

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May 30th 2011 at 6:34:02 PM •••

Just saying, you could be a pirate if you were english and went to the spanish colonies to sell bare necesities. You didn't need to kill, rape or pillage anyone. Just breaking the commercial monopoly Spain was having in their colonies would do. Sure there were the pirates that made a living pillaging other ships but most of the time pirate was just another name for a smugler.

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