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The opposite of Training Accident - people in training for something (usually military), get pushed into a real situation before they're supposed to be ready. They usually triumph.



  • Space Camp
  • G.I. Jane
  • XXX. Xander Cage gets chucked out the back of a plane into the middle of a drug war, hung from a roof and threatened with a machete, and he's wisecracking along thinking this is all just another test... then realising the blood on the machete is real... then finding out that it WAS real, but it was STILL a test...
  • Heartbreak Ridge
  • Mulan: Mushu writes a fake urgent letter that causes the troops to move out before they've technically finished their training. Unfortunately, when the troops get out to the pass where the General was, their need turns out to be heartbreakingly real.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The Enterprise is on a training mission with a crew of cadets when they're called to action to deal with the title villain.
    • Star Trek Generations, though it's the ship and not (theoretically) the crew that isn't ready. Though the crew is very young.
    • Star Trek had cadets and teachers pressed into service because the Federation Armada wasn't able to respond to a distress call from Vulcan.
  • In the first Police Academy, the cadets are assigned to maintain a safe perimeter when a riot breaks out downtown. Thanks to the help of Commandant Lassard, though (he never forgets a number), they mistakenly get dropped off right in the middle of all the chaos.

Graphic Novels

  • The Warhammer 40000 graphic novel Imperius Dictatio starts this way. During a routine patrol mission a titan's princeps (main pilot) dies of old age, leaving the giant warmachine immobilised a minute away from a combat engagement. Since the role requires a set of plug implants to connect the user's brain to the machine, none of the crew members can replace him. Fortunately, there is a princeps cadet on board, added to the crew to see the titan at work...


  • Ender's Game features an odd take on this- Ender and friends think they are just training on a simulator, they win the final battle, and are then told that it was NOT a simulation, and they had just won the war. The children were explicitly NOT told, because if they knew it was real lives on the line they may have froze up/been too cautious.
  • The Seafort Saga series uses this multiple times. In the first book a midshipman has to take over as ship captain when all other officers die. In another book cadets are sent on a Suicide Mission because there is noone else available.
  • Wraith Squadron is just departing their base at Folor to begin a training mission, but this is interrupted by the arrival of an Imperial Star Destroyer under the flag of Admiral Trigit. They're forced to evacuate the base, and to scramble against the fighters sent by the Star Destroyer. After Folor base is successfully evacuated, they continue the training mission they'd started...and end up falling into a trap set by Trigit, which ends up putting them on a full-fledged infiltration mission before the squadron is declared fully operational.

Live Action Television

  • In the pilot episode of Emergency, Gage and DeSoto were not yet allowed to set up IVs or do many other normal tasks. Then Dixie ends up one of the casualties, and there's no one else to give her treatment ....

Manga and Anime

Video Games

  • Pretty much any game which combines its tutorial with an action-packed first level are like this, especially for the player.
  • Halo has the tutorial end up like this.
  • Call of Duty II starts with a group of Soviet conscripts taking potshots at tin cans on an ad-hoc Shooting Gallery and practicing lobbing grenades by tossing potatoes (because "grenades are more valuable than you'll ever be!"). Then a recruit bursts in to inform the Commissar that he's caught a Nazi infiltrator, and an enemy raid is imminent...
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