In many films, TV shows, and books, there exists a character who begins the story as a "normal" person, and then gets caught up in some larger, ongoing conflict. This person becomes the "new guy" on a team of people already familiar with the conflict. This creates a vehicle for the team members to teach the new character, and therefore the viewer, the important points of the story already in progress.

What is the name for this type of character?

The clearest example I can think of is Ellen Page's character in Inception. Sometimes this charcater is also the main character, like Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, and Neo, but it doesn't have to be.


1 Answer 1


The trope is called "the new guy" https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NaiveNewcomer?from=Main.TheNewGuy

If troubles turn the character into a protagonist, you might invoke the reluctant hero instead https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IJustWantToBeNormal?from=Main.Reluctanthero

  • Exactly what I was picturing. TV Tropes is great, but nearly impossible to guess the name of the concept you're looking for, and too many tropes to read them all. Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 20:19

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