Created By: DouglasFir on November 18, 2012 Last Edited By: Nocturna on November 23, 2012
Nuked

Five Girl Band

The all-female version of the Five Man Band.

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For the moment, it's pretty much been decided that a Five-Man Band has more male members than female members. That trope is undergoing a lot of cleanup and the various all-female teams will eventually be cut, despite how well they otherwise fit. While there are many all-female Ensembles, there is as of yet no trope to cover groups of five girls.


The Five-Man Band dynamic of The Leader, The Lancer, The Smart Guy, The Big Guy and The Chick works very well in every medium or genre. Likewise, Ensembles consisting entirely of female characters are very common. It may be due to an Improbably Female Cast, it may be an Amazon Brigade, or it may just be a group of girls who happen to be working together.

In a Five-Man Band, The Chick is traditionally an example of The Smurfette Principle or else one of Two Girls to a Team, so it is still a male-dominated group. However, when everyone on the team is a girl, you get a Five Girl Band. The key roles are still pretty much the same, though:

  • The Leader is still the team leader and usually The Hero, who may be a mastermind, charismatic, levelheaded, headstrong or a combination thereof. She may also have qualities of any of the other roles, but as The Leader by default, she cannot be classified as anything else.
  • The Lancer is still The Leader's counterpart. She is still usually Number Two and the most likely to cause tension in the group. May have shades of Defrosting Ice Queen or Lovable Alpha Bitch. She and The Leader are Foils to each other. They have either a very close friendship or some conflict between them. Or both.
  • The Smart Girl is still the brains of the group. She is usually a female Nerd with a lot of book smarts, and is often somewhat shy and withdrawn, but may just be wiser, saner or more mature than the others.
  • The Big Girl is still the muscle of the group. Although there are exceptions, The Big Girl is usually not so much "big" as physical. Most of the time, she's an athletic Tomboy. Sometimes more of a Genki Girl, who is "big" in terms of presence. If the team does actual fighting, though, expect her to be very good at it.
  • The Chick is still a caring, emotional or mediating girl. On an all-girl team, she might be less of a representation of the "feminine" than usual, depending on how feminine the others are. She typically has aspects of The Heart, The Cutie or The Ditz.

A Five Girl Band also has the same basic rules as a Five-Man Band. It must have all five key roles, there must not be too many people in the group, and no character can cover more than one role. It is called a Five Girl Band for a reason.

They must work as a team. Just because a work happens to have five female main characters doesn't mean it's an example. Their status as a team can be unofficial, but at the very least, they all have know each other, and they all have work together at some point without extra people involved.

Finally, the characters must not be shoehorned into their roles. A short explanation as to why they fit their roles may be necessary, but keep it brief and relevant. The more you have to justify why they fit their roles, the less likely they are to be a Five Girl Band.

Compare Four-Girl Ensemble. Contrast Five-Bad Band.

Examples

Anime and Manga

Sailor Moon
The LeaderUsagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon (leader of the Sailor Senshi)
The LancerRei Hino/Sailor Mars (she and Usagi are either complete opposites or Vitriolic Best Buds, depending on the version)
The Smart GirlAmi Mizuno/Sailor Mercury (the most intelligent)
The Big GirlMakoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter (the strongest)
The ChickMinako Aino/Sailor Venus (the Soldier of Love)
Sixth RangerMamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask (The One Guy)

Tokyo Mew Mew
The LeaderIchigo Momomiya/Mew Ichigo (the leader of the Mew Mews)
The LancerMint Aizawa/Mew Mint (spoiled, selfish, but close to Ichigo and the first to join her)
The Smart GirlZakuro Fujiwara/Mew Zakuro (most mature)
The Big GirlPudding Fong/Mew Pudding (athletic Genki Girl)
The ChickLettuce Midorikawa/Mew Lettuce (The Heart)
Sixth RangerMasaya Aoyama/Blue Knight (The One Guy, in theoriginal), Berry Shirayuki/Mew Berry (in the sequel)

Film

Sucker Punch
The LeaderBabydoll (the leader and protagonist)
The LancerSweet Pea (the voice of caution and dissent)
The Smart GirlAmber (shy and in charge of transport)
The Big GirlBlondie (tough, ruthless, ferocious, carries the biggest weapons)
The ChickRocket (emotional personality-type, determined to hold the girls together)

Music

Spice Girls
The LeaderGeri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell (regarded this way by fans)
The LancerMelanie "Scary Spice" Brown (regarded as a secondary leader; allegedly, there was some conflict between her and Geri)
The Smart GirlVictora "Posh Spice" Beckham (fashion/society smart image)
The Big GirlMelanie "Sporty Spice" Chisholm (tough and athletic image)
The ChickEmma "Baby Spice" Bunton (cute, sweet and innocent image)

Western Animation

Winx Club
The LeaderBloom (leader of the Winx Club)
The LancerStella (Bloom's best friend, supports her the most)
The Smart GirlTecna (very smart technology expert)
The Big GirlMusa (her powers are very destructive and hard hitting)
The ChickFlora (the conscience, usually the one to stop the others from doing something bad)
Sixth RangerAisha (Season 2 addition)

W.I.T.C.H.
The LeaderWill Vandom (leader of the Guardians)
The LancerCornelia Hale (close to Will, but somewhat selfish and arrogant)
The Smart GirlTaranee Cook (the most intelligent)
The Big GirlIrma Lair (Genki Girl)
The ChickHay Lin (creative, emotional, ditzy but insightful regarding people)
Sixth RangerCaleb (The One Guy)


Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • November 18, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Is it worth emphasising in the main body of the explanation that the girls have to know each other and work together? E.g. in The West Wing you could probably rope one of these out of Donna, CJ, Amy, Abby and Zoe. However, they never work together towards the same goal, they generally work with men who they're closer to in rank or interest. For example, Zoe often shares plots with Charlie as they're the youngest members of the cast, CJ works with Toby and Josh and the other senior staff. Lumping these characters into the Five Girl Band form would be Square Peg Round Trope because they're not a team.

    Sorry, I just worry that people might do something like that in anything with Loads And Loads Of Characters.

    Oh, and obviously The Spice Girls are one of these! (I wasn't a huge fan though so please correct these assignments if you think they're wrong)

    • The Leader: Scary
    • The Lancer: Ginger
    • The Smart Girl: Posh
    • The Big Girl: Sporty
    • The Chick: Baby
  • November 18, 2012
    DouglasFir
    I was never a Spice Girls fan, but from what I've read, I think Scary and Ginger are the other way around. The rest are about right.

    Regarding your question, I think I mentioned in the description that a Five Girl Band is a team, but considering how Five Man Band always got treated, a little emphasis couldn't hurt. While I was working on this, I found that many works have exactly five main female characters that are not a team.
  • November 18, 2012
    shimaspawn
    <Mod Hat>

    ALL of the current "examples" of this fall under Zero Context Example. You need to flesh things out and not just list names and roles.
  • November 18, 2012
    DouglasFir
    Well, Five Man Band consists mostly of examples written this way. From that trope's description, if you have to justify why the characters fit the roles, it might not be a very good example. I guess that's why I didn't say anything beyond names and roles for this one either. I don't want to be accused of shoehorning the roles.
  • November 19, 2012
    DouglasFir
    Okay, shimaspawn. I added some context. I just hope nobody says that I'm shoehorning. I guess we'll just see what happens.
  • November 20, 2012
    Nocturna
    I removed the part about the Sixth Ranger because it was misuse. The Sixth Ranger must come later and must change the group dynamic--if a Sixth Ranger enters a Five Man Band, then the group will no longer be a Five Man Band. Sixth Ranger is not about being the odd one out; it is not a personality trope at all.

    ^^ Yes, the current Five Man Band examples are almost all written without context. We're trying to fix that as a part of the cleanup, though.
  • November 21, 2012
    johnnye
    If the problem here is that (a) Fast Eddie wants the specific trope Five Man Band, being a pre-existing term, to represent a specific gender dynamic, and (b) we have a lot of otherwise-good examples which don't fit that gender dynamic: why introduce another gender-specific variant of the same thing? Seems like it'd be easier to have a Gender Mixed Five Man Band trope. All the same roles, but no limits on gender. We can say it's based on the classic five-man band structure but representing more progressive views on sexual equality.

    I just don't get why we want to create unnecessary extra work for ourselves.
  • November 21, 2012
    Xtifr
    We already have a non-gender-specific version in Two Pairs of Foils and a Mediator (working title). I see no reason to add another gender-specific version of that.
  • November 21, 2012
    cubicapocalypse
    Same thing as a Five-Man Band.
  • November 22, 2012
    IndirectActiveTransport
    Five man band, but for girls! Chick was not originally about being female. It was just called chicks because most of them were not female, they did not need to be to fit the archetype. I know people are doing Square Peg Round Trope on five man band something fierce but this new trope is not going to help. You generally do not propose new tropes out of special efforts anyway. That is strictly a cleanup forum. If you want to change definitions that is repair shop.
  • November 23, 2012
    DouglasFir
    You all raise good points. And, to tell you the truth, I had my own concerns about this from the start.

    I was really just trying to create a trope about groups of five girls. I only went with an all-girl Five Man Band because:
    • (a) It was the best group structure I could think of at the time.
    • (b) There are already several five-girl groups described as Five Man Bands that will eventually have to be cut.
    • (c) The structure of Five Man Band is so universal and easy to work with.

    Maybe I should just discard this and start over with a new ykttw. I've got a few new ideas. Anyway, although there are many all-girl versions of Five Man Band, that's just one type of five-girl group.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=eh25m3v57hpcuenf49uh0sbi&trope=DiscardedYKTTW