Created By: TrueShadow1 on February 22, 2013 Last Edited By: TrueShadow1 on April 23, 2013
Troped

One Extra Member

A group has one more member than what the group's name suggest

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Just like a person has a name (sometimes more), most groups also have a name. This name may come from different sources, such as the founder's own name, an acronym of the members' names, a random thing you just happen to see, or a random cool-sounding foreign word. One popular method is to name the team after the number of members.

We can expect that the Furious Five will have five members, and the Three Templars to have three members. After all, it's outright said in the name, right? Not always. These groups often have one extra member in them.

The reason why this one member is excluded from the team naming varies. It might be because they're supposed to be a secret member nobody is supposed to know, or that their task is different than the other members, or it's just for the lulz, and many other reasons. Or they're another member's twin.

A Sub-Trope to Non-Indicative Name. May overlap with Sixth Ranger if the Five-Man Band is named after the number of members. If applied to elements, see Element Number Five.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • The original Seven Soldiers were Green Arrow and Speedy, Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy, Vigilante, Shining Knight, and the Crimson Avenger and Wing. Wing, the Avenger's sidekick/chauffeur, was the "unofficial eighth soldier", even though there were two sidekicks as full members. When Green Arrow was removed from the line-up Post-Crisis, and replaced with the sidekickless Alias the Spider, Vigilante's sidekick Stuff, the Chinatown Kid was added, so Wing was still the unofficial eighth soldier.

Film
  • The Three Stooges -- there were actually 6 of them, though only 3 in any given short. (Larry, Moe, Curly, Shemp, Curly Joe, and Joe)

Literature
  • There are actually four musketeers in The Three Musketeers: d'Artagnan becomes one pretty early in the story, albeit assigned to a company different from the other three.

Live Action TV
  • On The Late Show with David Letterman's "Small Town News" segment, one of Dave's self-described favorite categories of news is things like "Classical Trio performs" with a picture of 4-6 members.
  • Blake's 7 never had more than six human members. You had to include one or more of their sentient computers to bring the group up to seven.

Music
  • The Grammy-Award-winning Girl Group Salt-n-Pepa consisted of Salt, Pepa, and DJ Spindarella - who I guess was the 'n'?
  • Similarly, Run-D.M.C. constisted of Run, DMC, and Jam Master Jay.
  • The band "The 4 of Us" has had five members at some points in its history.
  • Inverted by Ben Folds Five, a group with 3 members.
  • The Thompson Twins, a British New Wave pop band, had three members at the height of their success, and as many as seven in some years.

Mythology and Religion
  • The Four Gods in Chinese Mythology actually has five divine beasts. The fifth one is Huang Long, the Yellow Dragon that governs the element of Earth and the direction of center. He's absent in the Japanese version, where the center is associated with void instead.

Sports
  • When the Big Ten Conference of the NCAA added Penn State as a member in the 1990s, they became a group of 11 schools rather than 10. The University of Nebraska became their 12th member more recently--but they are still called the Big Ten.
    • And the Big 12 Conference currently has... 10 member schools.
    • Averted by the Pac-10 Conference, when it renamed itself the Pac-12 Conference very shortly after the additions of the University of Colorado and the University of Utah in 2010.
  • Professional Wrestling: The Four Horsemen had anywhere from four to six members. "Classic" Horsemen was Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, two members of the Anderson Wrestling Family, and JJ Dillon. Lex Luger was brought on for a little while, and after he left Flair had "Woman" as his valet. Towards the end Jeff Jarrett was brought on as an "associate Horseman" and was briefly given full Horseman status.

Video Games
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days introduces Xion, the fourteenth member of Organization XIII. She isn't actually a member. She's not even a Nobody, just a manifestation of Sora's memories. By the end of the game, she was Ret Gone'd from everyone's memories.
  • The Septentriones (septem = seven) in Devil Survivor 2. There are eight of them. The eight one, Alcor, is the only one not presented as a mindless abomination. He is the true identity of the Anguished One. He is the one that created Nicaea so that humanity can fight their fate of being erased from existence. In one of the routes, he even become a party member.
  • In EarthBound, the Runaway Five apparently consists of six members onstage, though there are only five of them when you speak with them backstage. Averted in the original Japanese, where they were the non-numerical Tonzura Brothers.

Western Animation
  • The Hive Five in Teen Titans have six members. Lampshaded by Kid Flash.
  • A Popeye cartoon "Jeopardy Sheriff" in which Popeye starts to read Swee'Pee the story of the Three Bears: Moe, Sam, Lefty, and George. Also referred to as "The three bears of which there were four".

Real Life
  • The Atlantic 10 conference has an ever-changing number of teams greater than ten.
  • The Pleiades Star Cluster are named after the seven Pleiades sisters from Classical Mythology. However, there are actually nine bright stars in the cluster (the other two are named after their parents, Atlas and Plione). What's more, the star Sterope is actually two close stars sharing the same name. Finally, a look through even a low-power telescope shows way more than 7 stars.
Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • February 22, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • The Grammy-Award-winning Girl Group Salt-n-Pepa consisted of Salt, Pepa, and DJ Spindarella - who I guess was the 'n'?
    • Similarly, Run DMC constisted of Run, DMC, and Jam Master Jay.
    • On The Late Show with David Letterman's "Small Town News" segment, one of Dave's self-described favorite categories of news is things like "Classical Trio performs" with a picture of 4-6 members.
  • February 23, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    In [[Earthbound]], the Runaway Five apparently consists of six members onstage, though there are only five of them when you speak with them backstage. Averted in the original Japanese, where they were the non-numerical Tonzura Brothers.
  • February 23, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Sports

    When the Big Ten Conference of the NCAA added Penn State as a member in the 1990s, they became a group of 11 schools rather than 10. The University of Nebraska became their 12th member more recently--but they are still called the Big Ten.
    • And the Big 12 Conference currently has... 10 member schools.
    • Averted by the Pac-10 Conference, when it renamed itself the Pac-12 Conference very shortly after the additions of the University of Colorado and the University of Utah in 2010.
  • February 23, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Related somewhat, though regarding the ordinal aspect of the number:

    Music

    The name of the fourth Violent Femmes album is... 3.

    [note: although I'm not sure this was a tongue-in-cheek subversion of a common album-naming convention--none of their other albums were so numbered--or just a reference to the band having three members.]
  • February 23, 2013
    Koveras
    • There are actually four musketeers in The Three Musketeers: d'Artagnan becomes one pretty early in the story, albeit assigned to a company different from the other three.
  • February 23, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    @randomsurfer What category is "The Late Show with David Letterman"?

    @We Are All Kosh Sorry, I don't think that is an example...
  • February 23, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Edited main page to complete the sentence at the end of the Pac-10 example.

    ^ Yeah, I assume you mean the Violent Femmes example--admittedly a stretch at best (if it referred to album order at all).
  • February 23, 2013
    MokonaZero
    In Naruto the "Sound Five" actually counts Sakon and Ukon as one person, instead of making it the Sound Six.
  • February 23, 2013
    Triterope
    The Atlantic 10 conference has an ever-changing number of teams greater than ten.
  • February 23, 2013
    ronotswt
    The Hive Five in Teen Titans have six members. Lampshaded by Kid Flash.
  • February 23, 2013
    GoldenDarkness
  • February 23, 2013
    m8e
    • Outlaw Star: The Anten seven consist of seven assasins(nine counting two cats) and the leader Lord Hazanko.
  • February 23, 2013
    MaxWest
    One of the adventures of Rocky And Bullwinkle had the title duo facing off against a crime syndicate called the Light-Fingered Five Minus Two. While they had three members, Boris Badenov also worked with them.
  • February 23, 2013
    randomsurfer
    The Late Show is Live Action TV.
  • February 24, 2013
    robinjohnson
    Music
    • The band "The 4 of Us" has had five members at some points in its history.

    Literature
    • In The Hobbit, Gandalf makes a big deal early on that the company of thirteen dwarves needs to recruit Bilbo so that they won't number unlucky thirteen. Gandalf doesn't seem to count as a company member proper, although he stays with them almost all of the time.
  • February 24, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    ^^^^Is the leader truly counted among the 'seven', or is he another rank above them all?

    ^^^Is Boris Badenov counted among the three?

    ^Are the dwarves' group actually named?
  • February 24, 2013
    robinjohnson
    ^ The group is called "Thorin and Company", so no number in the name, but it seems to be a party of fourteen worried about being a party of thirteen, so I thought it might come close enough.
  • February 24, 2013
    reub2000
  • February 24, 2013
    SharleeD
    • The Thompson Twins, a British New Wave pop band, had three members at the height of their success, and as many as seven in some years.
  • February 24, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    ^^^I don't think it counts, since this trope concerns names.
  • February 24, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Not sure if this counts (it'd be an inversion if it does), I'll try to find more info if it passes muster.
    • On Barney Miller squad room is serviced by an older man from "[Someone] and Son Painters." Barney asks if his son will be along later. The man tells Barney "I'm the son." He left his father's name on the business; his own son doesn't want to be a wallpainter, he's a musician.
  • February 25, 2013
    DaibhidC
    [[Comic Books]]
    • The original Seven Soldiers were Green Arrow and Speedy, Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy, Vigilante, Shining Knight, and the Crimson Avenger and Wing. Wing, the Avenger's sidekick/chauffeur, was the "unofficial eighth soldier", even though there were two sidekicks as full members. When Green Arrow was removed from the line-up Post Crisis, and replaced with the sidekickless Alias the Spider, Vigilante's sidekick Stuff, the Chinatown Kid was added, so Wing was still the unofficial eighth soldier.
  • February 25, 2013
    JoeG
    • Blakes Seven never had more than six human members. You had to include one or more of their sentient computers to bring the group up to seven.
  • February 26, 2013
    m8e
    @ True Shadow 1: He definitely outranks them. He is the Big Bad and he also have other underlings, but I think it's unclear if the leader of the group is part of the group or not. Not sure if those two cats counts as members either.

    So that example probably don't count then.
  • February 26, 2013
    SquirrelGuy
    The Three Stooges -- there were actually 6 of them, though only 3 in any given short. (Larry, Moe, Curly, Shemp, Curly Joe, and Joe)
  • February 26, 2013
    SquirrelGuy
    Real Life: The constellation "Pleadies" has 5 bright stars, yet it is also known as the "Seven Sisters". (A look through even a low-power telescope shows way more than 7 stars, though.)
  • February 27, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    ^Don't you mean 9 bright stars? But I think it belongs in this trope anyway.
  • February 27, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^ Minor spelling correction: Pleaides.
  • February 27, 2013
    FalconPain
    Bobobobo Bobobo has the Battleship Five Quartet. It has six members.
  • March 6, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    bump
  • April 4, 2013
    Koveras
    @OP: Make sure to link this trope from Skill Scores And Perks and Analysis.Skill Scores And Perks when it gets launched.
  • April 4, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    A Popeye cartoon "Jeopardy Sheriff" in which Popeye starts to read Swee'Pee the story of the Three Bears: Moe, Sam, Lefty, and George. Also referred to as "The three bears of which there were four".

  • April 20, 2013
    StarSword
    Hatted.
  • April 21, 2013
    Koveras
  • April 22, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Professional Wrestling: The Four Horsemen had anywhere from four to six members. "Classic" Horsemen was Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, two members of the Anderson Wrestling Family, and JJ Dillon. Lex Luger was brought on for a little while, and after he left Flair had "Woman" as his valet. Towards the end Jeff Jarrett was brought on as an "associate Horseman" and was briefly given full Horseman status.
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