Scout Out

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"Turn to the All The Tropes section of your Fireside Girl Handbooks."

The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts (or "Scouts" and "Girl Guides" in the world outside Eagle Land) are ubiquitous institutions around the world. Almost everyone knows someone who's in them. So, it is no surprise that in the land of fiction that they would appear.

However, there's a problem. The Scouts are trademarked.

Thus, rather than bother with obtaining permission, they make a Bland Name version of the Scouts.

Compared to the real life Boy and Girl Scouts, these fictional versions are The Theme Park Version of the groups. All Girl Scouts will only deal with selling cookies (and often be evil) while the Boy Scouts will only do merit badges, often for random and absurd reasons. Sometimes they'll combine the two, and you'll have male and female scouts selling cookies to get merit badges. Boy Scouts also occasionally help old ladies across the street. Usually the Girl Scouts are renamed something involving flowers or other girly things, and the Boy Scouts are usually renamed something related to wilderness or camping.

There's some Truth in Television to this, as real life alternatives/knockoffs/spinoffs to the Scouts have appeared all over the world.

This trope is particularly common in animation, usually appearing one episode and rarely mentioned again.

Examples of Scout Out include:


  • Pucca has the "Dragon Girls" featured in one episode.

Comic Books

  • In Trinity #12, there's a throwaway gag about how on Anti-Matter Earth the "Bonfire Girls" and "Girl Sentries" are in the third year of their Cookie Wars. Fought with automatic weapons and explosives.
  • This rule does not seem to cover referring to characters as, say, "the big blue boy scout".
    • That probably is because a) he's Superman and b) he's a boy scout, not a Boy Scout (of America).
      • It's entirely possible that Clark joined the Scouts while growing up Smallville.
  • The Junior Woodchucks, in the Donald Duck/Disney Ducks Comic Universe of Carl Barks and his successors, take the "Be Prepared" motto of real-world Scouting into Crazy Prepared territory. Their Great Big Book of Everything is so universally comprehensive that they eventually evolve into The Illuminati, charged with protecting secrets forbidden to non-initiates.
  • Bone's "Tall Tales" anthology book featured the "Bone Scouts" in the stories' Framing Device.


  • Troop Beverly Hills: A movie about the "Wilderness Girls"
  • "Wilderness Girls" also sell cookies in National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1.
  • The "Firefly Scouts" sell cookies in the Vin Diesel movie The Pacifier.
  • In the movie Wag the Dog, the scandal that prompts the plot to happen involves a "Firefly Girl" that the President is accused of fondling just fourteen days before election time.
  • Up had Wilderness Explorers. Their uniforms are virtually identical to the Boy Scouts' official uniforms, though the colors are different.
    • The Wilderness Explorers apparently weren't satisfied with having just one Nuclear Science badge - two different ones (adorned with a radiation symbol and mushroom cloud, respectively) appear in the New Adventure Book.[1]
    • The uniforms being "virtually identical" may be due to preliminary plans to actually make him a Boy Scout; according to this (third message), Disney/Pixar dropped that idea after being reminded about the BSA's membership policies.
  • In Arlington Road a Scouts-like organization plays an important part in the story.
  • A Girl Scout appears in the first Addams Family film, trying to sell cookies. Wednesday asks if the cookies contain real Girl Scouts.
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington features the "Boy Rangers".


  • In Jingo, Carrot creates the Wolf Cubs (so called because Angua is involved), a version of the Cub Scouts. Its very reluctant and embarrassed membership actually comprises two of the nastier kid gangs in the city, who go along with it because when Carrot gets enthusiastic about something, it's very hard to say no.
    • Also Cub Scouts were originally known as Wolf Cubs in the UK.
      • "Wolf" is still one of the ranks in Cub Scouts (the second one, if you don't count the "Tiger Cub" organization for preschool kids).
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events book 10 introduced the Snow Scouts, whose alphabetical parody of the Boy Scout Law holds them to be "accommodating, basic, calm, darling, emblematic, frisky, grinning, human, innocent, jumping, kept, limited, meek, nap-loving, official, pretty, quarantined, recent, scheduled, tidy, understandable, victorious, wholesome, xylophone, young, and zippered."
  • Averted in several stories by Robert A. Heinlein, including the novel Farmer in the Sky, which feature protagonists actively involved in the Boy Scouts, and not a Bland Name version. This was because they were originally published in Boy's Life, the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • The Sharing in Animorphs models itself as a sort of combination Boy/Girl Scout group, but they are actually a front group of the Yeerks to make people into Controllers.

Live-Action TV


Newspaper Comics

  • Snoopy's "Beagle Scout" troop, in Peanuts.
  • Averted in Calvin and Hobbes, where early strips had Calvin as a member of the Cub Scouts.

Video Games

Web Comics

  • Eerie Cuties after some jokes from Dave about "Snakey Scouts" had melusine Brooke return home with "Snakey Scouts" emblem on the back and a bunch of merit badges, though in "Art Scholarship Interlude", not main continuity.
  • Dangerously Chloe once had Chloe show a "Scout Sign". Whether she picked this up on a side, back in Charybdis Heights or in Tartarus Academy, which evidently is as paramilitary as AA and has uniform vaguely similar to Girl Scouts, is not known yet.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • The Toy Scouts in Doctor Steel's fan club, the Army of Toy Soldiers.
  1. This may or may not be a reference to the real-life BSA, where there are two different nuclear-power related badges (though in this case, one of them ("Nuclear Science") was created as a replacement for the other ("Atomic Energy"), with Atomic Energy no longer being awarded)
  2. Though there's no Underwater Equestrian patch. That would just be silly. There's no Persistence patch either.