A type of Power Trio
in which the characters are distinguished by the amount of confidence they have, made up of these characters:
- The ordinary one: This character is confident enough to get by. May be slightly overconfident or moderately shy, but will be the middle of the road in the trio. Usually the main character or the leader of the group and often a Cool Loser.
- The shy one: This character could be a Shrinking Violet or an Extreme Doormat or maybe just The Quiet One, but is defined by being significantly more diffident than his friends. This character could be treated as The Woobie or a sympathetic comic relief character, and is often a Sidekick.
- The overconfident one: This character could be an Attention Whore or Life of the Party or just a pest, as long as he is significantly brasher than his friends. This character is usually treated as a Plucky Comic Relief and is also often a Sidekick.
Often seen among less popular groups in-universe because without enough confidence, a character can be invisible, and with too much, he can come off as annoying. On the other hand, the audience might love these trios
as they provide relatable characters for everyone on the confidence spectrum. Sometimes the shy and overconfident characters will be treated like Straw Losers
, but other times they will be treated with just as much respect and care as the ordinary main character. Sometimes you can get both on the same show.
Usually there is some degree of separation between how close the ordinary one is to the other two. Generally speaking, the character he is closer to will be the sidekick more frequently and have more plot-relevance. There is no set pattern for whether he will be closer to the shy one or the confident one.
Compare Comic Trio
and Freudian Trio
which are about confidence levels applied to courses of action.
Film – Animated
Film - Live Action
Live Action TV
- Coupling has two of these trios - Steve and Susan are the ordinary ones, Patrick and Jane represent extreme confidence and Jeff and Sally represent extreme fear.
- The Power Trio from Awkward. is this. It contains a self-doubting, mousy Shrinking Violet (Shy), a self-conscious Cool Loser whose Character Development is about trusting her Gut Feeling while remaining cautious in the warzone also known as high school (Normal), and an Attention Whore with Awesome Ego who just wants to be popular (Overconfident).
- They never quite work together, but there are three focal teenage girls in Suburgatory. There is the main character, Tessa, The Snark Knight, who thinks she has Awesome Ego, but really feels unloved and inadequate and ends up still sticking to her convictions because she knows she is right (Normal). Then, there is her sidekick, the Weak Willed Shrinking Violet Extreme Doormat Cute and Psycho Lisa (Shy). Finally, there is Dalia, the Crazy Awesome Alpha Bitch Cloud Cuckoo Lander Emotionless Girl who ends up succeeding in almost everything she does out of sheer boldness and luck, untill she turns into a huge Jerkass Woobie (Overconfident).
- Merlin has Gwen, the Shrinking Violet serving girl who has a good heart but never trusts herself in the first seasons, as the shy one. Merlin, the Only Sane Man who sees the future and doubts when he should and feels secure when he should, mostly, filling the normal one. It's Arthur the nobleman knight who oscillates between Awesome Ego and Inferiority Superiority Complex and puts Honor Before Reason because he is ''obviously'' the only one who can, while being The Bully because he thinks he desserves it. It extends to their woobiness: Gwen is a Stoic Woobie who keeps everything to herself, Merlin an Iron Woobie who lashes out when he thinks that what he is doing is unfair, and Arthur a Stepford Smiler who pretends to be a case of Angst? What Angst?, and whose all royal persona is about projecting the image of the future king the kingdom and his father would want.
- Once Upon a Time has Ruby, the Badass Adorable Boomerang Bigot with a Guilt Complex, Snow White, Incorruptible Pure Pureness and The Strategist who feels like she is always right (... and ultimately always is) and Charming, who has a sort of thing going on with remotivating others, fighting hopeless battles, and being much, much too brave for his own good.
- Ginger (ordinary), Dodie (overconfident), and Macie (shy) on As Told by Ginger. They generally try to climb up the social ladder, while Ginger has the easiest time, Dodie gets the most excited about it, and Macie is the most intimidated by it.
- Rocko (ordinary), Heffer (overconfident), and Filburt (shy) on Rocko's Modern Life. Filburt was not originally friends with them but became one when he became an Ascended Extra. Heffer often causes problems for Rocko while Rocko generally helps Filburt with his.
- Jimmy (ordinary), Carl (shy), and Sheen (overconfident) on The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron. In this case, however, Jimmy is not a Cool Loser but an Insufferable Genius, and despite the contrast in how much confidence they have, Carl and Sheen actually have quite a bit in common.
- Powerpuff Girls has Blossom (ordinary), Bubbles (shy) and Buttercup (overconfident).
- Alvin and the Chipmunks has this with both the main band and their Distaff Counterparts. Alvin and Britney are the overconfident ones, Simon and Eleanor the ordinary ones, and Theodore and Jeanette the shy ones. Strangely, it's the overconfident members that are the leaders of their respective trios.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has the Cutie Mark Crusaders: Apple Bloom (ordinary), Scootaloo (overconfident), and Sweetie Belle (shy).