In certain group dynamics, you will notice three characters with different mannerisms, attitudes, and personalities that are easy to identify with - a character who is nice and gentle
, a character who is mean and tough
, and the character who is caught in between the two other characters.
- Relatively Nice Character: This character shows everybody a great deal of respect and kindness, even to his worst enemies. He's the one who usually doesn't engage himself in violence, although he does when pushed too far. Other variations would have him to be seen as naive due to seeing no reason to be justifiably angry with others and always believes there's some goodness in them.
- Relatively Mean Character: The polar opposite of the Relatively Nice Character. The mean character will often bully the nice character and get into fierce arguments with the inbetween character. He may turn out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but with a heavy emphasis on "Jerk". If he isn't a mere jerk, he may be the gritty and violent Anti-Hero who will go the extra mile in doing what he has to do and will show no amount of kindness or mercy to anyone whom he feels are a threat to him.
- Inbetween Character: This character isn't as well-mannered as the nice character since he has a few negative traits. But unlike the mean character, he's doesn't have many bad manners as he does, and he's mainly a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with a heavy emphasis on "Heart Of Gold". Another variation would be that he isn't a jerk, he's just serious about his duties. He can be a Nice Guy, but not to the point of being naive or a pushover. He may be too introverted to be nice or mean, usually. Often, he will be the leader who shows respect to his comrades while keeping the two in line in one way or another, mostly the mean one.
Note that this group dynamic can be a unique way to establish moments of how each character acts and what defines them. This is a snippet in the Power Trio
explaining the basic makeup of trios - "Trait 1, Trait-opposite-of-Trait-1, Trait-Between-the-Two."
[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
[[folder: Comic Books]]
- Sleeping Beauty has the Three Good Fairies: Flora (nice), Merryweather (mean), and Fauna (inbetween).
[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
- ''iCarly: Carly is the nice one due to her being a Morality Pet to Sam, who happens to bully Freddie all the time. Freddie is the mediator since he is nice to Carly while finding it hard to get along with her best friend who treats him with zero respect even while they're temporarily in a romantic relationship.
- As far as judging is concerned, the early seasons of American Idol has Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, and Paula Abdul. Paula is more supportive, but Simon is very critical, though he really does mean well, and Randy is a balance.
- From The Big Bang Theory, Leonard is the nice one, Sheldon a grade-A vain and pompous genius, and Penny mediates with her sweetness, average intelligence, and Alpha Bitch tendencies.
- The famous Freudian Trio from Star Trek: The Original Series. Kirk is the kind-hearted one, Spock is logic-oriented and stoic which can make him come across as rude, and McCoy is in between where he can be grumpy, but does show more compassion than Spock.
- Out of the Outnumbered children, at least in the early seasons, Jake is the nice one, Ben is the biggest 'problem child' due to his constant lying, and Karen is in the middle.
- All in the Family: Edith is the motherly, warm-hearted one in contrast to her cranky, bigoted, Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist husband, Archie, who bickers with his son-in-law Michael who can be opinionated, but is nicer than Archie.
- From Gilligan's Island, Gilligan is the dumb, but nice one, The Professor is heavily prideful of his own intelligence, and The Skipper is a little nicer than The Professor; for he always loses his temper for Gilligan's incompetence, but does show he can be a nice guy every now and then.
[[folder: Video Games]]
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- We have the trio of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. Tails is the mild-mannered best friend of Sonic, Knuckles is the tough, hot-headed friendly rival, and Sonic mediates the two, combining the kind-hearted attitude with his cocky and snarky attitude (although it's mostly geared towards his foes).
- In the OVA, however, while Tails is still the nice one, Sonic and Knuckles' roles have been switched, where it's Sonic who's a trademark Jerk with a Heart of Gold while Knuckles mediates where he's more friendly than his game portrayal but retains his seriousness.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), there's the trio of Sonic, Shadow, and Silver. Sonic is the nice one in contrast to Shadow who is the stoic and aloof Anti-Hero. Silver mediates between the two due to his belief in making a better future, despite being poorly misguided in doing so.
- In Mega Man X, X is the nice one who is pacifistic and a bit naive. Even so, Zero is the mean one who is snarky and cynical and rebukes X for his idealism. Axl mediates between, for he isn't naive as X, but doesn't have the same extent of having a shoot-first-questions-later mentality like Zero.
- In BlazBlue the three main characters, Noel, Ragna. and Jin fit this. Noel is a kind girl, while Ragna is a bit hard around the edges, and Jin is named the god of being a Jerkass.
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, we have the Shadow Sirens; Beldam, Vivian and Marilyn. Beldam, the leader, treats the other two members horribly, verbally berating them and punishing them for the slightest transgressions. Vivian is kind and non-confrontational, and she pulls a Heel-Face Turn mid-game due to her treatment at the hands of Beldam. Then we have Marilyn, whose personality is sort of an enigma due to her tendency to speak in grunts and moans, rather than actual words.
[[folder: Western Animation]]
- SpongeBob SquarePants is pretty much the kindest and idealistic character of the series, often to the point where others are annoyed about it, taken for granted, and to the point of being naive. Squidward is the grouchy Jerkass who barely shows his heart of gold, but this is because of dealing with Spongebob and Patrick as neighbors. Finally, Patrick mediates between the two, but this is mainly because of his stupidity.
- The Powerpuff Girls: Bubbles is the most nicest and gentle of the three girls, though she can come across as naive. Buttercup is the aggressive one who constantly argues with Blossom and picks on Bubbles, though she does have a soft spot on occasions. Blossom, the leader, mediates between the two, where she can be mild-mannered, but can come across as bossy at times.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, we have the Cutie Mark Crusaders: Sweetie Belle is the nice one, Scootaloo the mean/tough one, and Apple Bloom the one who is the middle point between the two.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: Edd is the nice one, always trying to find a reasonable, non-violent solution and apologizing for his friend's behavior. Eddy is the mean one, always getting the other two involved in his scams and screaming at them when he doesn't get his way. Ed is inbetween, not as mean as Eddy, but more impulsive than Edd.
- Thomas the Tank Engine:
- Thomas, Percy, and Toby from the earlier seasons. Toby is nice and respectful, Thomas is cheeky, arrogant and a bit troublesome, (although he has become nicer and kind-hearted later on the series). Percy mediates between the two where he can be nice, but has moments of being cheeky and troublesome like Thomas.
- There's also the Terrible Trio of Gordon, James, and Henry. Henry is nicer and more sympathetic than the other two while James is more vain and arrogant than Gordon, who occasionally shows his soft and humble side more than James does.
- There's the trio of Fry, Leela, and Bender from Futurama. Fry is the nicest guy of the group, albelt a bit dumb. Bender is the loud-mouthed, abrasive jerk who likes to drink and smoke a lot. Leela mediates between the two for she's calm and level-headed, although she would often appear as a nag to others if they did something immoral.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks:
- Theodore is the nicest of the chipmunks, serving as the Morality Pet to Alvin, who is an egotistical Attention Whore. Simon stays inbetween due to him being the smart one and his constant bickering with Alvin.
- Their Distaff Counterparts, The Chipettes, are this, too. Jeanette is sweet-natured but shy, Brittany is hot-headed and selfish, and Eleanor is caring but more assertive than Jeanette.
- The trio of Aang, Katara, and Sokka in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Aang is easily the nicest character of the group, although he can be quite scary when pushed too far. Sokka is a full-on sarcastic, cynical, Insufferable Genius, but he does has his moments. Katara is nice and reasonable, but she has mood swings and can have a quite nasty, vengeful side when betrayed by those who were close to her.
- There's also Azula (the mean one), Ty Lee (the nice one) and Mai (The inbetween one; mostly because of her Sugar and Ice Personality).
- The Goodfeathers from Animaniacs. Squit is the friendly Na´ve Newcomer in contrast to Pesto, who has a violent temper and would always beat Squit up. Bobby is the leader and mediator often keeping Pesto in check or just get a good laugh at him beating up Squit.
- Sam, Alex, and Clover from Totally Spies!: Alex is the nice one, Clover is the Lovable Alpha Bitch (in contrast to the series' Alpha Bitch Mandy), and Sam is the leader and mediator.
- The main siblings from Phineas and Ferb. Phineas is the most nicest and optimistic guy in the series aside from formerly being a Bratty Half-Pint from the pilot episode. Candace is always mean to her brothers and always want to bust them for their everyday activities. Ferb is inbetween, for he doesn't say much, although he'll speak a line at the end of every episode.
- The trio of Buster, Plucky, and Hampton in Tiny Toon Adventures. Hampton is the nice Adorkable one, Plucky is the narcissistic Attention Whore, and Buster mediates between where he can be level-headed, but still has the tricker side similar to his counterpart.
- In Time Warp Trio, the main male trio has: Sam, the nice and nerdy one, Fred, the mean and tough one, and Joe, the inbetween and well-meaning leader of the group. For the female trio, we have: Freddi, the Shrinking Violet, Jodie, the snobby and needy one, and Samantha, the Brilliant but Lazy one who remains inbetween most of the time. Jodie is the leader, despite being the mean one.
- Ben, Gwen, and Kevin from Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. Kevin is clearly the mean one, while the nice and the inbetween are Ben or Gwen, Depending on the Writer.