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TV Tropes Monday: Overranked Soldier

Tweet of the Day: Introducing the Villain


As a military enthusiast, one of my pet peeves of science fiction works is how author’s mangle military hiearchy in general and ranks in particular.

Overranked Soldier:

Over-ranked Soldier refers to a character whose rank is, quite simply, impossible for him to possess. The character’s rank is so high, it breaks the audience’s suspension of disbelief. While the creator might just mean to use the character’s rank to show his importance to the work, it shows the creator did not research the plausibility of the character possessing said rank.

The article breaks it down into several categories:

  • Character is too young
  • Character is too disruptive
  • Character is incompetent
  • Character is as dangerous to his side as he is to the enemy (or more so!)
  • Character is disrespected by his subordinates

I think these are self explanatory, although you can always cruise over to the site and read them in detail.The thing about it is that outside of comedic stories, using this trope is unnecessary to say the least.

It shows that the writers  a) did not do the research, b) did not do the bloody research, c) didn’t give a F*@#! It is also one of the reasons many shows are considered “mildly military”  since portraying the real military (or it’s futuristic equivalent) is hard and plays havoc with all kinds of drama tropes.

So for goodness sake, as well as the sake of my sanity, do the research, please?


One comment on “TV Tropes Monday: Overranked Soldier

  1. […] Little Tune: What you didn’t know about that song you sing once a year. Mon- TV Tropes: Overranked Soldier or I can’t believe they gave that idiot a promotion! Tue- Urban Fantasy: Magic vs. Technology […]


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