Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Past Discussions can be found at Five-Man Band

Get Rid of the (so-called) Voltron force picture!

How do a band that is both a Five-Man Band and a Five-Bad Band is defined? Just a double entry? (most character are both the good and evil side of the same archetipe, but some use different ones) (I'm talking about Angel Densetsu btw)

Why remove the Voltron picture? It seemed like a rather iconic and classic use of the trope in action, to me. - Replis Monathin
Wolvie Pris: Thank you to whoever cleaned up this page. It was getting out of hand with all these fake members like The Mystic and The Funny Guy.
Shay Guy: Seeing as parts two and three are way longer than part one, should there maybe be some redistribution to make things more even?
fleb: The Smart Guy's position in the band as the foil to The Big Guy seems like it has about equal chance to be filled by a Fragile Speedster, who might be impetuous, hot-headed, and far from fitting the actual trope The Smart Guy. Think that could be reworked, somehow, into something like The Small Guy?
I was thinking of Transformers Animated, where I'd invert Ratchet and Bumblebee, making Ratchet The Chick by virtue of being The Medic and using indirect weaponry like a magnet— or, as resident Grumpy Bear, he's a second Lancer.

Ojuice5001: How about the characters on Murphy Brown? Miles seems like a very good example of The Lancer, and Murphy and Corky are clearly examples of The Hero and The Chick, respectively. I think they'd make a good example I'm not familiar enough with the show to have any idea how the other characters fit it (I barely know their names).
  • I'd call Frank The Lancer, filing him and Murphy under the heading of the Friends-But-Rivals dynamic. Also, I've seen this comment in here since my first encounter with TV Tropes; it's time it was done! These guys fit this trope to a T.
  • Go for it. Click the Live TV examples section and edit away.

Also, why don't any of the Animorphs editors mention Ax as The Smart Guy? I think it's obvious, since he's the one who knows all about Techno Babble physics, alien species, and all the rest of it. Sure, he's clueless about human life, but when did that ever stop a character (even one who doesn't have the excuse of coming from another planet) from being The Smart Guy?

Ununnilium: I'm pulling out...

Justice League (Diniverse incarnation)
Hero Superman 
Lancer Batman 
Big Guy Hawkgirl (and sometimes Superman or Green Lantern) 
Smart Guy J'onn J'onzz 
The Chick Wonder Woman (not so much The Ditz as simply naive about "Man's World") 

Digimon Adventure
Hero Taichi 
Lancer Yamato 
Big Guy Arguably filled by the Mons. 
Smart Guy Koushiro 
The Chick Mimi 
Mentor Gennai 
Tagalong Kid Takeru 
Sixth Ranger Hikari 
Filled out by Jou, a "guardian" to the younger kids, and Sora, an Action Girl to contrast Mimi and Hikari.

...because neither one fits. Both started at seven and expanded, and the stretching to even get a subset of those into the roles should be obvious from the above. Digimon Adventure 02 fits, though.

Lale: Alphabetized the page- didn;t think anyone would object. Ununnilium, I hadn't looked at the discussion before I added the Digimon Adventure group. I asked about it in Digimon Adventure Discussion. Well, mine's different than the one that was removed.

Ununnilium: That's weird, I thought I commented on that one. For the record, I don't think it fits this way, either. First, it starts out at seven men. Second, there's really no Big Guy. IMHO, the only reason it even vaguely seems to fit is because there's so many character types.

Lale: With pets and Mentors thrown in, it's certianly not the first example to include more than five members.

Ununnilium: But it stretches even beyond those.

Later: Anyway. The case against it: No Big Guy, Sora doesn't fit anything, neither does Jou (he's not the Smart Guy at all), and, really, its juxtaposition with an actual Five Man Band in the second season shows how little it fits, so I'm taking it out.

Digimon Adventure
The Hero Taichi 
The Lancer Yamato 
The Smart Guy Koushirou and Jou 
The Chick Mimi 
The Kid Takeru 
Sixth Ranger Hikari 
Mentor Gennai 

Sora, as The Hero's best friend and a big sisterly-leader type, may count as a second Lancer.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering why nobody's addded Digimon Frontier, which features a Five Man Band that fits the trope incredibly precisely.

Dark Sasami: Heh, sorry about that, Licky Lindsay. Wiki Magic jumped the gun.

Lale: I assumed the origin of the term "Lancer" comes from the squire who would carry the knight's (The Hero's) lance.

Licky Lindsay: Was this trope (and the roles in it) identified and named by other people before this wiki came along? Like most tropes I'd noticed it before but I never knew it had a name until I saw this.

Also, does anyone else think it's ironic that Grey's Anatomy actually fits this trope more exactly than half of the action/adventure/superhero shows? The only thing I'd maybe quibble with is that possibly George is The Chick..

Seth: I don't think it is intentional but you would be surprised what shows fall under what tropes. Its half the fun of editing here that you spot stuff like that. As for the trope name, god i couldn't tell you this page is waaay older than my time editing here.

Licky Lindsay: whoah... I just realized the team I'm a part of at my work is a Five-Man Band too.

Fast Eddie: Huh. Following a track-back to this LJ entry (Thursday, March 22nd, 2007, 9:43 AM), we find an interesting take on a Five Man Band. BTW, LL, which one are you?

Licky Lindsay: weird as it seems, I guess I must be The Hero since I'm the boss of the other four (recent promotion... w00t)

Seth: We might want to Bag of Holding some of this discussion.

Fast Eddie: Do it, dude. They ain't no special people around these parts. ;-)

Ununnilium: I don't see why, though. `.`
Removed to Archive 03-April-2007
Fast Eddie: Licky, the term and roles were around before the wiki formed. The formulation is ancient. Check this: Arthur, Lancelot, Gawain (the "greatest Knight"), Galahad ("of mightye Craft"), and Guinevere. If I were a woman, I think I should be more than a little pissed off about Guinevere. She was plainly The Chick.

Ununnilium: I dunno, though; how often did those five act as a team? It seems more like Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere as a Power Trio, and the rest of the Round Table as mostly solo heroes with their own stores except when they need to team up against Starro. I mean the barbarians.

Dark Sasami: I disagree with the cut to Bag of Holding. At the very least, bring back the parts that give the history of how the page was created, including the comment by the original author of what made him choose the term "Lancer." It would help to eliminate outlandish speculation such as that seen above.

Seth: How about Five-Man Band?

Ununnilium: Yeah, I honestly don't think we should be getting rid of discussion page content.

Seth: Okay i set up the archive page for usability's sake. Its not too different from what Wikipedia do and this page was massive. '

Ununnilium: Yes, more whining from me about this page! Collect them all!

Anyway... Star Trek: The Next Generation doesn't feel like this trope, to me. It seems to be squeezing twice as many characters as are supposed to fit.

Later: Thus, pulled out!

Star Trek: The Next Generation
The Hero  Jean Luc Picard  
The Lancer  William Riker  
The Big Guy  Tasha Yar, then Worf  
The Smart Guy  Geordi, then Data  
The Chick  Deanna Troi and Beverly Crusher  
The Pet  Data at first  
The Kid  Wesley Crusher, sometimes Geordi  
Mentors  Guinan  

Chazzers: I think TNG definitely settled into this trope, at least for the seasons I watched. I'd boil it down to:
The Hero  Jean Luc Picard  
The Lancer  William Riker  
The Big Guy  Worf  
The Smart Guy  Data  
The Chick  Deanna Troi 
The rest were supporting characters.

Tanto: It is possible to have a male The Chick. In single-sex bands (and in some integrated bands), The Chick is the ditziest and most immature member of the team. Will edit both the main page and The Chick to clarify.

Ununnilium: The Stargate Atlantis entry really needs cleanup; at this point, it doesn't really look like a band.

Fast Eddie: This:
The following two FMBs are the bands that cemented the trope solidly into the collective unconscious:

Is followed by two shows I have never seen, and probably never will. The assertion is not really needed, to understand the entry. I'll yank it (and the 'imitators' thing), after we pause for comment. // later ... Okay. Here are the bits that were yanked:
The Ur-Bands
The following two FMBs are the bands that cemented the trope solidly into the collective unconscious:

Jisu: Animated movies are still movies, and Bone as live action TV? Galaxy Angel II as Western animation? Guys, if you don't know what a series is, put it in an "unknown, please place" category, or look it up, or something.

Morgan Wick: I know this is half a month later, but I suspect someone mixed up Bone with Bones.

Sikon: I disagree with the Sailor Moon lineup. It lists Venus as The Hero and Moon as The Chick, but I'd say it's the other way round. Minako is the one obsessed with dating, aesthetics and other "girly" stuff, and she never really does anything heroic, except for a Heroic Sacrifice once a season along with the entire team. Whereas Usagi is the primary focus of the series, and Rei's role as The Lancer is clearly in contrast to Usagi, not Minako.

Ununnilium: Venus, in her early role as Sailor V, was clearly The Hero; her later silliness was basically an attempt to distance her from Usagi, her Expy.

noyb_bg: Hi, my first attempt at this. Has anyone seen the rather obscure DiC series Trollz? I only bring it up because I saw it as an obvious five-girl band (I caught it by accident turning on the TV at an odd time). The Trollz are color-coded girl trolls with big hair: Topaz is the airheaded fashion maven, Ruby the sassy 'feisty' girl, Onyx (who's actually dark purple) the sarcastic goth girl, Sapphire the smart girl, and Amethyst the nice/domestic girl. While they don't fit the 'heroic' list we have here, they seem to approximate the Sailor Moon five pretty well, in the case of Sapphire and Ruby even matching associated colors. Maybe there's a different five-man band for primarily female series? Grouping all the female series together, we might find a different pattern and possibly even a different entry. What do you guys think?

Also consider the pattern of trios of women, one smart, one tough, one ditzy or girly; this was seen in the book Black Trillium, the Powerpuff Girls, and Charlie's Angels...

Lale: No, I've never heard of them, but what you're looking for might be Amazon Brigade.

Ununnilium: The "trios" are Power Trio.
Adam850: Does anyone think the picture I picked for Split-Screen Reaction might be better here?

Janitor: Damn, dude. The picture is great, but I am worried about the folks who will go "Anime picture. I'm out!"

Adam850: Either way is fine. I think it should be at least a linked picture under the Voltron section.

Cassius335: Real Ghostbusters, yay or nay? Janine's The Chick, Slimer's The Pet, Egon's the Smart Guy... and I'm a tad fuzzy from there. Maybe Peter for Big Guy, Ray For The Hero (and back-up Smart Guy), leaving Winston with The Lancer (he's calmer than Ray, certainly)?

(later): Or Do I have Peter and Winston backwards?

Ununnilium: Eh, I don't think any of those three roles really exist in the series. It's not a Five-Man Band.

Jefepato: In Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu, is Itsuki really categorized right? He doesn't really fit as The Big Guy (and although Yuki is clearly The Smart Guy, Itsuki possesses the usual annoying-ness of that archetype). I'm not sure the stereotypes Haruhi chose the group to fulfill fit the standard Five-Man Band exactly...

fleb: All the others fit basically perfectly, but Itsuki's the one weak link, yeah. The best distinction that can be made is he goes into direct flying-around-combat against Kaiju, while Yuki fights with spells.

Mark Lungo: This is a great entry! However, The Invisibles should be moved from Western Animation to Comic Books.
Tanto: I'll thank you for ceasing to change Sixth Ranger into The Sixth Ranger. One of these is formatted correctly, the other is not.
Fast Eddie: The lead quote from Simpsons doesn't quite illustrate the idea. I sets up a "five" that doesn't pay off. Pulled ... "Alright, here's how it works. I'm the leader, Milhouse is my loyal sidekick, Nelson's the tough guy, Martin's the smart guy, and Todd's the quiet religious guy who ends up going crazy."
Bart Simpson, "Lemon of Troy"

// later: The quote doesn't work. Don't put it in again.

Fast Eddie: Moved the picture over to the anime. If you're an anime fan it is easy to overlook the fact that there are just a whole lot of people who have no idea whatsoever who the people in the picture are.

Etrangere: I think you've missed the point. I've no idea who the people are nor where they come from but I can tell which member is which Man of the Five-Man Band in two seconds. Thus the picture was an excellent illustration of the trope, anime or not. I think it should be put back.

Fast Eddie: Interesting point. Maybe a tweak on the caption to that effect would help. I'll give it a shot.

Lale: I got that point. As to who they really are, I want to say "Visionaries," but it's been a few years.

Mark Lungo: Nope, they're from Voltron.
Hiro Masaki: Since Greg has become a more "Regular" cast member, and Gil is technically the most senior CSI and everyone else's boss, I moved Gil to Mentor, and inserted Greg Sanders as Smart Guy. It didn't quite make sense to put "The Boss" in the Band with someone as qualified for that position as Greg available in the cast.
Mark Lungo: Since The Invisibles was incorrectly placed in Western Animation, and Jem was incorrectly placed in Comic Books, I switched them. Hope nobody minds.
Twin Bird: I was very close to pulling out Torchwood because, while there's no question that Captain Jack is The Hero and Toshiko Sato is The Smart Guy, the rest seemed "shoehorned." For contrast, I'd thought of matching them earlier before deciding I was "shoehorning," and I came up with feminine Sarah Jane knockoff Gwen Cooper as The Chick and right-hand man Ianto as The Lancer, and the fact that that made Owen The Big Guy was what made me decide I was pushing it.

HOWEVER...and this is important, so I repeat, HOWEVER, I looked under the description for The Lancer out of idle curiosity, and thought "That's Owen, right there." Then, I looked up the description for The Big Guy, where someone had tried to put the 5'8" Owen, and saw The Gentle Giant, which made me think of Ianto, the receptionist/booty call, towering over nearly any other character he appears in a scene with.

So, bottom line, instead of removing it, I'm going to put the cast in a position that feels more organic to me.

Drew: For me, Gwen is The Lancer, Owen is The Big Guy, and Ianto is The Chick.

Gwen replaced Suzie, the previous Lancer; she joined the team because Jack felt that her worldview would provide a necessary contrast to his own; and after Jack disappears following Series 1, she assumes his leadership role. Owen isn't big, but he does fit the "gruff, mean, scarred and withdrawn warrior" class of The Big Guy, especially in light of "Combat." And Ianto is definitely The Chick. Initially, his character wasn't intended to last past "Cyberwoman," so he's something of an afterthought; he's vaguely royal, what with the suit; he's the caretaker of the group, who cleans up after them; he's out of place in the field, even compared to Tosh; and he's dating The Hero.
arromdee: Does putting the Avengers in make any sense? The team constantly changes membership and you don't usually see the same group of five. .hack is rarely a band of five either.

I'm also skeptical about New X-Men really being close enough.
Qit el-Remel: Is anyone else familiar enough with The Pirates of Dark Water to figure out where the characters fit? First of all, there were only four main characters on the crew who stayed throughout the series. And Ren is obviously the Hero, Niddler is obviously the Team Pet...but Ioz and Tula each seem like combinations of at least two archetypes. (At least before Tula got Chickified, that is...)
Razide: I'm thinking that the roles should be switched between Murdock and Face in The A-Team, not because Murdock is necessarily smart (he's more of a Cloudcuckoolander), but because Face very much seems like The Lancer.
Tanto: I'm beginning to feel that if your example has more than two sentences of qualifiers, you're trying to pull a fast one. Five-Man Band is a trope where the examples should fit without a lot of hand-wringing; saying "So-and-so is The Lancer in some episodes but this other guy is The Lancer in others and The Big Guy the rest of the time" seems to be stretching it.

Janitor: I could not figure out what this meant ...
  • See also: An Adventurer Is You, where — in multiplayer, Class-based games — the five man band is either deliberately modelled, or resulted from convergent design. Competitive Balance is similar, yet something of the inverse.

... so I pulled it over to discussion.
Some Guy: I watched The Daily Show tonight, and it struck me in the segment where they spotlight Samantha Bee's role in the team (The Woman), that this trope might be applicable to that show. Which would be interesting, at the very least, since this is a live-action news show. Just throwing this out there, since I don't regularly watch and I don't know who else would be who.

Futurama feels exeptionally shoehorned. Zoidberg as The Chick?? Leela may be the Lancer but she allso fitt the description of the smart guy and the she is the Love interest. I dont think this does fitt, should I pull it?

Trogga: What was wrong with the "band positions"? This is TV Tropes people.

Large Blunt Object: Not to put too fine a point on it, they sucked. And yes, it is. Since when has that meant "no such thing as quality control"?

Trogga: It meant something more under the lines of "Rule of Funny".

Large Blunt Object: To be covered by that they'd have to be actually funny.

Trogga: What the Grandfather Clause? OK I'll stop.
Large Blunt Object: "Even if you don't know who these people are, you know what role they fill, just by the colours they wear."

...oh, you gave up, okay then.
Frank75: Pages Two and Three have become pretty long. Maybe we should split them, one page for each medium. That would get rid of the un-intuitive titles too. Mind if I do? (Edit: Anime, Literature, Video Games and Western Animation are long enough to qualify for their own page. The rest can be sorted into Other.)
Blue Byrd: OK, this may be a case of Metaphorgotten but - who plays bass guitar? It Just Bugs Me!...

Plasma Wing: Removed the example for Final Fantasy VI.

Final Fantasy VI
The Hero  Celes
The Lancer  Locke or Setzer
The Smart Guy  Edgar or Shadow
The Big Guy  Sabin or Cyan
The Chick Terra
The Mentor Strago
Tag Along Kid Relm or Gau
Team Pet Mog
Remember what we said about trying to shoehorn in examples that don't really fit? Trying to make a Five-Man Band out of a team of 12 people probably qualifies (and that's already ignoring Umaro and Gogo). Also removed the example for Bamboo Blade.

Bamboo Blade
The Hero   Tamaki 
The Lancer   Miyamiya (of course, being a Yandere, she spends a lot of time acting more like The Chick) 
The Big Guy   Kirino 
The Smart Guy   Saya 
The Chick   Satori (of course, it's an all-female team) 

Even if they assigned themselves colors, most of these roles are debatable. The girls really don't make much of a Five-Man Band.


Naruto The Sasuke Retrieval team is a group of five protagonists but it's no very clear where everyone should be placed, this is as near as I can make it.
The Hero with traits of the The Smart Guy Shikamaru  
The Lancer with traits of The Hero Naruto  
The Big Guy and The Chick Kiba  
The Smart Guy and The Big Guy Neji  
The Chick and The Lancer Chouji  
Team Pet Akamaru  
Sixth Ranger Lee
It's not much of a Five-Man Band if each person could potentially have two roles.


As for the Naruto, it's a team of five quirky protagonists plus one small cute animal plus one walking pun protagonist that joins them later that spends a season fighting a miniboss squad up one end of the anime's geographic setting and down the other. It's clearly a five man band as the trope intends to define. What you're getting thrown off by is that The Smart Guy is the one in charge and The Hero isn't. But The Smart Guy is the one that's only there to uplift Truth Justice and The Ninja Way so he's filling the role of The Hero, The Big Guy is The Smart Guy's The Lancer nomally but not the The Lancer, and so on. Giving trope definitions to everyone doesn't require any stretching, it's the role reversals from Naruto's usual dynamics that's confusing wiki-referee types.

Alan: Well thanks anyway to the one that cleaned it up and reposted it.

KJMackley: I've been working on cleaning up the various Five-Man Band tropes over the last few weeks after Trouser Wesring Barbarian talked about needing to do so on a YKTTW. Right now it seems someone is trying to push in The Heart as an alternative to The Chick. While I think it has some merit as a very specific personality trait, to say it is the same as The Chick will only make things more confusing. I took The Heart down to an associated character trope until that page can take its course either as an unique trope or to the Cut List.

I also grouped all the associated character tropes together and other tropes related to the band like Transformation Trinkets together. Partly because the title for the second list of associated tropes specifically said "Character Tropes," which not all of them were.

I don't think this whole process is far from over, but I think it is a start.


Removed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles example, as it meets only three of the five required slots. Important as they are, April and Casey are not, and have never been, part of the core unit; they're an excludable part of the mythos (see "Fast Forward", and any incarnation in which Casey is absent or made significantly less prominent) and therefore are not part of the band. Michelangelo is not The Big Guy, since his offensive power is not significantly superior to the others' and he is in fact the smallest turtle in incarnations where they are different sizes—Raphael fits the role better, but he's already unquestionably the Lancer. Heck, one can even claim that Leonardo, while the clear leader, isn't The Hero, given that his role as protagonist is hugely variable, and he doesn't stand "front and center" compared to the rest of the ensemble. The only way you can get something resembling the traditional Five-man band is if you decide to count Venus de Milo, and nobody does.

savage: I might be opening a whole Can O' Worms(tm) here, but would it be remiss to suggest that The Hero be renamed to The Leader? It seems to fit better as a whole, seeing as many series with Five Man Bands don't necessarily -focus- on the Leader as the -main- hero, he's just... the Leader. Many times they're all given equal screen time, and in a few series the Leader of the group is almost a secondary character to the one(s) actually being focused on.

KJMackley: I briefly thought about the same thing, but not every hero is the leader and vice-versa. 95% of them are, but The Hero is synonymous with the Protagonist. Sometimes the hero is recruited to the team but The Smart Guy is the actual leader as Mission Control or something else. Or the hero is the smart guy and The Chick is the actual leader. The Five-Man Band needs to account for these slight variations. Stories like the Stargate film, Code Lyoko and Power Rangers Time Force still keep the characters but change around the chain of command.
Janitor: This one has been locked. It's five years in this form, with all the recent changes attempts to dilute it or digress from the perfectly good trope.

stardust_rain: In that case, can someone please change the line "if your band example has to justify more then two types" to "than two types"?. I know notability isn't worth nowt here, but can we at least have good grammar?

Game Guru GG: Again, isn't keeping pages locked going against the entire definition of a Wiki?

The 5MB from the Star Wars prequels seems quite forced. Aside from the issue of some characters not interacting with each other during the movies, there's also the problem of roles getting switched out from movie to movie with no proper Five-Man Band ever showing up at a particular point. The example is preserved below in the event that anyone wants to dispute its deletion.

What about the prequels?
The Hero  Anakin Skywalker 
The Lancer  Padmé Amidala 
The Big Guy  Mace Windu 
The Smart Guy  C3PO and R2D2 
The Chick  Obi-Wan Kenobi  (He fits better than anyone else.) 
Team Pet  Jar Jar Binks 
The Mentor Qui-Gon Jinn
The Mentor Yoda  

This is one that I came up for fun, involving the five Mega Man warriors (not including Zero 2.0 and Vent/ Aile), please comment on it if you want to.
The Hero  Mega Man  the original 
The Lancer  Mega Man Geo-Omega  due to his frowning expression on the game box 
The Big Guy  Mega Man X 
The Smart Guy  Mega Man. EXE 
The Chick  Mega Man Volnutt-Trigger 

Game Guru GG: After looking at the Locked Pages uhh... page and seeing that two of the pages that I've complained about have been locked are now unlocked, I shall also compromise. I desire to add this image to the trope in lieu of the Voltron Image. I figure Power Rangers is sufficently well known enough and also to help in eliminating anime pictures from non-anime tropes. The caption should be something on the order of "Sixth Ranger also pictured," and with a link to the Power Rangers page. I hope Janitor responds to this request in a timely manner.

Pteryx: Why was the Voltron image removed in the first place anyway? The only problem with it to my mind was the caption Edit War.