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Where the most powerful member is the Naive Newcomer. In some series the protagonist starts his adventure by joining a group that's already been in business for a while before the events of the story. This is often to help the audience to relate to the hero more, as we're meeting the main ensemble with him. Because the ensemble are already close to each other, but not the protagonist, expect him or her to receive a Chilly Reception.

Compare Ensign Newbie.

Contrast Team Prima Donna.

Examples of Rookie Red Ranger include:

Trope Namer

  • There have been several Power Rangers series where the Red Ranger is last one of the Five-Man Band to join up.
    • Power Rangers Time Force: Wes didn't even appear until the second part of the two-part season premiere (and didn't officially join the team until the episode after that); the rest of the team were trained Time Police. The only reason they bothered involving him was because they needed a DNA match for the previous Red Ranger.
    • In Power Rangers Wild Force, Taylor, Alyssa, Max and Danny were actively fighting monsters for a year, six months, six months, and two months respectively before Cole even joined up.
      • And Cole's a Raised by Natives orphan who made his way from South America to Turtle Cove by boat. He's not just new to Rangering, he's new to modern civilization.
    • In Power Rangers SPD, Sky, Bridge and Syd had been going through training for a good while before Jack and Z were drafted into the Ranger program as the Red and Yellow Rangers. Though while Z Jumped At the Call, Jack took a while longer to heed it.
    • In Power Rangers Mystic Force, while the entire team was new to magic and superheroics, Nick was The Drifter passing through Briarwood, while the other four were already a tight group of friends.
    • Power Rangers Jungle Fury had it deconstructed with Casey assigned to be one of the Order of the Claw's guardians, even though he was just a "cub" with years less training than Theo and Lily, and thus, constantly worries about not catching up.
    • Inverted in Power Rangers in Space: Red Space Ranger Andros was the experienced one, having been operating in outer space for some time, and the other four (who had already established themselves as True Companions in the prior series Power Rangers Turbo) joined him.
  • Super Sentai also has had its fair share as well.
    • Gosei Sentai Dairanger: Ryou was the last to be recruited. Rin was simply the last to arrive, but she'd had prior training.
    • Seijuu Sentai Gingaman: Ryouma wasn't the first choice as Gingared, and only received his powers from the actual first choice, his brother Hyuga, when the latter presumably died.
    • Mirai Sentai Timeranger: Tatsuya met the team completely by accident, and they recruited him solely because the first use of the Chrono Changers required five people.
    • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger: Kakeru was the last of his team recruited and made GaoRed because GaoLion chose him.
    • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger: Ban was a newcomer in the Earth branch SPD.
    • Mahou Sentai Magiranger: Kai is passed over in becoming a Magiranger at first over his older siblings because their mother didn't believe him to have enough courage to be a Magician of the Red
    • Juken Sentai Gekiranger: Jan was picked up months after Retsu and Ran began training with Master Shafu.
    • Tokumei Sentai Gobusters: Hiromu joins the team later because his sister wouldn't let him train with the others.

Anime & Manga

  • Digimon:
    • Davis of Digimon Adventure 02. He was pretty much thrust into the leader role from the beginning despite the fact that Kari and T.K. had already done most of this before, whereas Davis hadn't. Tai even symbolically gives Davis his old goggles in a Passing the Torch moment as part of this.
    • Takato of Digimon Tamers was the last to get his partner, the last to have it evolve, and the last to learn how to fight, let alone win a fight on its own. However, he seeks to learn as much as he can from Henry and Rika, and they make for a fairly balanced Power Trio.
    • Marcus of Digimon Savers was hired by DATS specifically because of this - within less than a day of meeting Agumon, he had already manged to activate his D.N.A. and evolve him, taking down a rampaging Cockatrimon where seasoned agent Yoshi was pretty much useless. Upon witnessing this, Sampson remarked that he absolutely needed someone like Marcus because of his ability to do that so quickly. After some consternation with Thomas, Marcus eventually becomes the de-facto leader of their DATS field team Power Trio.
    • Tagiru of Digimon Xros Wars the Young Hunters Leaping Through Time. He'd been on the Xros Heart basketball team for a while, but he had no idea that the other two members were part of a different kind of team. He doesn't really act as the leader of the team until the Crisis Crossover finale where Taiki is wounded and the responsibility of joining the other five legendary heroes (including the aforementioned Davis, Marcus and Takato) in combating Quartzmon is up to him.
  • Kyrie in Sands of Destruction, though you don't know that until the last episode.
  • Matsumoto from Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman. He's also the only one to think of red as a good sentai color in the first place.
  • Joe Shimamura, the titular Cyborg 009. As the ninth prototype, he's the most recently converted member of the team; while the other eight have all had time to adjust and adapt to what's been done to them, he's literally thrown into the midst of their escape attempt with no idea what's going on and has to be brought to speed on the fly. He also happens to be the most powerful, as the organization learned as they worked. And the later cyborgs just keep getting stronger with each new model...
  • This can also apply to Ash in the original season of Pokémon. He was a beginning trainer just starting his journey when he gathered together his first group of friends, who, incidentally, were experienced Gym Leaders.
    • Though to be fair, he had already beaten Brock when the latter joined him, and he got around to beating Misty. However, the real reason he's considered the "leader" is that it's his journey, and the others are just tagging along.
  • Usagi/Sailor Moon is effectively this in (obviously), Sailor Moon. While three of the other four were awakened after her, she is the last to come into her own as a warrior. Given that Sailor Moon is a Super Sentai/Magical Girl hybrid, this makes her a Rookie Red Ranger in all but colour.
  • Amu Hinamori of Shugo Chara is an interesting case: She's the last to join the Guardians, but the first to reach full power.

Comic Books

  • The early issues of the Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog comic book show in an origin story that Princess Sally had been leading a band of Freedom Fighters for a while before she and Sonic first met.
  • While Captain America is the most famous leader of The Avengers it may come as a suprise to know that he wasn't actually one of the original members.

Fan Fiction


  • Luke Skywalker joining the rebellion in A New Hope.
    • It should be noted, though, that 90% of his story (that we see) takes place away from the group. He doesn't join the ranks until the end of ANH.
  • In Wanted, Wesley (James McAvoy) learns that his late father belonged to a secret assassin organization. He joins the organization and trains to be a professional killer himself, partially to avenge his father's death.
  • Neo is this trope in The Matrix
  • Part of the entire point of Crimson Tide. Lt. Commander Hunter is replacing the USS Alabama's XO, who has appendicitis. Naturally, most of the crew (except for Weps) doesn't really have any sense of loyalty toward him.
  • Star Trek has Kirk acting in this role.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 has Po the Dragon Warrior, having proven himself, fights with the Furious Five and for all his remaining naivety, he has proven an asset to the team.


  • d'Artagnan and The Three Musketeers.
  • Max in Labyrinths of Echo by Max Frei joined the "Minor Secret Investigative Force" much later than other personnel; half of them worked there from the group's creation, and that was more than a century ago.
  • In Soon I Will Be Invincible, one of the two viewpoint characters is Fatale, a rookie Cyborg superhero who is asked to join the most famous superteam in the world. Much is made of the fact that she's so new on the scene that many people can't pronounce her name right (and the villain keeps forgetting it entirely).
  • Vin from Mistborn was a new recruit to Kelsier's thieving crew; the other members were all much more experienced and familiar with each other.


  • NHL player Sidney Crosby was touted as the next Wayne Gretzky prior to joining the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2004. At the time the Penguins were pretty much an entire team of Mooks on ice so Crosby was instantly thrust into the role of their main goal-scorer. To further drive him into this trope, he was named Alternate Captain in his rookie season and Captain the following season, becoming the youngest one in NHL history. This lead to Don Cherry famously stating "An 18-year-old kid says he's going to give us ideas. What, from the Quebec League, he's going to give them ideas? Come on. That's ridiculous."
    • Then he lead them to a Stanley Cup...and then he helped lead Canada to an Olympic gold medal....
      • Then he suffered such a severe concussion that he might yet have to retire early, but that doesn't undo the above.

Video Games

  • Used in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky: The Hero and their Partner join the Wigglytuff Guild as its newest members, allowing for introductions and for the player to be taught all about Treasure Town and the ins and outs of exploring mystery dungeons.
  • Star Trek Bridge Commander provides a couple of interesting cases for this, depending on who you view as the "Main character". Commander Larsen says in her first Log entry that while the player controlled character spent many years as a first officer, he'd only been on The USS Dauntless for four months. Larsen herself is the newest member of the Dauntless' crew, and she is often considered The Hero of the game's Five-Man Band.
  • Star Trek Online combines this with a hefty dose of Ensign Newbie. The player character is given command of a starship at the rank of Ensign. The game attempts to justify this by saying that the player is the only officer left, and by the end of the tutorial, you're at least promoted to Lieutenant (not much better).
  • In Final Fantasy X, Tidus joins Yuna's party. Yuna's party hadn't actually started its journey, but she'd already recruited her longtime friends Wakka, Lulu, and Kimahri...and the next person to join the team is Auron, who went on a summoner pilgrimage in the past. Not only had Yuna, Wakka, Lulu, and Kimahri had been training and preparing for their journey for a while, but Tidus was from another world and knew practically nothing about Spira.
    • Lulu's place as the foil to Tidus's inexperience is earned not so much by her age (only 22) as by the fact that she was a Guardian to not one, but two previous summoners who failed in their pilgrimages.
    • This is an aversion, though: Tidus is inexperienced but relatively powerful, but he's not any more powerful than his friends. He's also not the leader, instead acting more like the Tagalong Kid for most of the story, and serving as Yuna's emotional crutch and the team's naive conscience.
  • It's not so jarring when Squall is made the leader of the team right after graduation - his teammates, Zell and Selphie, are also new graduates. Quistis has more experience, though, but she joins the team later after Squall has already been established as the leader. Final Fantasy VIII nevertheless contains a major instance of this trope: Squall is named leader of Balamb Garden, despite still being a fairly new graduate, around the middle of the game. This is mostly justified by the fact that Headmaster Cid is working off of Edea's foreknowledge of Squall's role in defeating Ultimecia. The fact that he's extremely competent helps too.
  • Both Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics a 2 involve the respective protagonists joining a pre-existing clan. That said, both clans start out with one significant character each and a bunch of generics before the heroes join.
  • Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII is given this position after the group get out of Midgar and most of the original AVALANCHE members are dead. It's more realistic than most cases, though; only two of the five group members were a part of the original AVALANCHE, the new group doesn't have much continuity with the old one, and nobody really likes Barret.
    • Later on, when Cloud is out of commission, Cid Highwind, the last member to join, is nominated by Barret to lead the group, because despite his seniority, Barret has decided that he really isn't leader material, and Cid is an experienced veteran of Shinra's space program. Well, that, and the fact that the Highwind belongs to him.
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance suddenly promotes Ike to leader of the Greil Mercenaries, despite almost everyone else having more experience than him. This actually is a sore point for many characters who leave the squad as a result. Later event prove this was a good idea.
    • Blazing Sword has Lyn, who never knew she was royalty and is suddenly Lord Caelin when her Grandfather dies a few years after she finds out. Also, the player character, technically, being trusted to guide pretty much an army when he/she has zero experience in the matter.
  • When the Player Character of Persona 3 is named official field leader of SEES, he (or she, in the PSP Updated Rerelease) isn't quite the newest member, but might as well be thanks to being a New Transfer Student on top of being new to SEES and the concepts of Personas and the Dark Hour.
    • Justified in that the more senior members couldn't go out into the field at first, either due to injury (Akihiko) or to stay behind as Mission Control (Mitsuru). They needed someone to call the shots out in the field, and the kid with multiple Personas is as good a choice as any. Further justified in that the other two choices were not ideal leader material due to one being even greener and far more reckless, not to mention as dumb as a post (Junpei), and the other tended to fold under pressure (Yukari).
      • After Akihiko heals up, he opts to let things stand, partially because he wants to focus on training against the shadows, and partially because he admits to having very little experience in fighting as a group. The matter isn't even brought up by the time Mitsuru joins the front lines, as the MC has been leading the team for several months, and doing a darn good job at it. Mitsuru still acts at the strategic leader, but follows orders in the combat team.
  • Ryusei Date is the last member to join the original SRX Team. He's pretty much the de facto leader of the group, mostly because his machine is the head of their team's titular robot.
  • Zero joining La Résistance in Mega Man Zero. The other members look up him as a field leader (Ciel, the actual leader, is more of a pacifist) because he's a legendary hero.

Web Comics

  • Willow of Earthsong is very much this, as she is missing all of her memories since that's what happens on Earthsong, and she's also a completely new being. So, minor skills aside, she is as rookie as they come.
  • Keti of Footloose could be argued as this. Although she's not a hero, per se, and is certainly not the most talented of the group, she is the protagonist of the story (thanks to the in-universe "Primary Protagonist Syndrome") and her arrival at the dojo places her well behind her friends who have been there training already for a number of years.

Western Animation

  • By extension of D'Artanian, Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds.
  • It was intended that the Theodore Tugboat episode Theodore and The Big Harbour be the series pilot. It shows Theodore arriving as a Naive Newcomer to the Big Harbour and finding out about the V-Word system.
  • The Thomas the Tank Engine series had planned a Spin-Off series about a team of construction machines. In the Poorly-Disguised Pilot episode Jack, who was to be the main character, is introduced to the rest of the pack machines.
  • Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender. While he's the youngest, he's also seen the most of the world, and is the most powerful, since he's a master airbender compared to Katara's rudimentary waterbending and Sokka's...boomerang.
    • Aang can be a debatable case as even though he is the youngest, new to the world after sleeping after a hundred years, and rather carefree, he is also a airbending master officially.
    • It carries over to his successor, Korra, who has a "bend first, ask questions later" approach to solving problems.
  • From Thundercats, Lion-O had the misfortune of being a twelve-year-old in a twenty-four-year-old's body, thanks to a malfunctioning cryosleep pod. He adapted pretty well, all things considered (the sanity of his teammates placing him in charge before the trials to prove his capability as leader can be questioned, however).
  • Pearl from Steven Universe has been associated with Rose Quartz for a lot longer than Garnet but in the end Garnet became declared leader of the Crystal Gems after Rose's birth of Steven.