Created By: abk0100 on August 30, 2012 Last Edited By: acrobox on January 5, 2015

Definite Article Band

A team where members each have their own role starting with

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Trope
When you want to show off a Badass team, you introduce the members by giving them all a short, one-or-two-word, description beginning with "the," such as "The Brains" or "The Brawns." Ideally, the roles won't overlap, and will give each team-member something to do when it comes time for a mission. Very common when putting together a team for The Caper.

See also Spell My Name with a "The".

Examples:

Film:
  • Inception, being an unusual take on the heist movie genre, uses unique rolls; The Extractor: Dom, The Point Man: Arthur, The Chemist: Yusuf, The Forger: Eames, The Architect: Ariadne, The Tourist: Saito
  • The advertising posters for Fantastic Mr. Fox show off the characters this way; The Brains, The Muscle, The Brains-Behind-the-Brains...

Live-Action TV:
  • Frequently used by characters in Angel to describe the main cast. Angel is The Champion, Wesley is The Brains, Gunn is The Muscle, Cordelia is The Heart, and Fred is The Science Expert. When Holtz starts investigating the team, he classifies them using the same names.
  • In an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the gang tries to work out what their roles are, mentioning The Brains, The Muscle, The Looks, The Wild Card, and The Useless Chick.
  • Leverage advertises its team this way; The Brains, The Hitter, The Hacker, The Grifter, and The Thief. Since the second season, Ford has been referred to as "The Mastermind."

Music:
  • The Beatles: John is "the smart one," Paul is "the cute one," George is "the quiet one," and Ringo is "the funny one."
  • The Rutles makes fun of the Beatles example by having Stig, "the quiet one," and having him literally never speak.
  • In the musical group Steam Powered Giraffe, one of the robots is called "The Spine." Oddly, another of the trio is called "The Jon." (Possibly because the actor portraying the robot is named Jon and they couldn't think of a better name.) Among the humans in the group, Michael Reed is often referred to as "The One-Man Band" and their sound guy, Steve Negrete, is often referred to as "The Sound Engineer."

TVTropes:

Video Games:
  • Borderlands does this during the opening scene of the game. Roland; The Soldier, Mordecai; The Hunter, Lilith; The Siren and of course Brick, As Himself.
  • Star Fox Assault ommits the "the":
    • Team Starfox: Fox: Leader, Falco: Ace Pilot, Slippy: Mechanic, Peppy: Adviser, Krystal: Telepath
    • Team Starwolf: Wolf: Leader, Leon: Killer, Panther: Pilot
    • Both: Pigma: Betrayer
  • Sly 2: Band of Thieves calls Murray "the muscle", Bentley "the smart guy", and Sly "the master thief", at least on the back of the box.

Western Animation:
  • The Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles series invokes this in the advertising; Leonardo: The Leader, Raphael: The Muscle, Donatello: The Brains, Michelangelo: The Wild One
  • The Simpsons:
    • When Homer, Apu, Barney & Principal Skinner from a barbershop quartet, they have a press conference similar to the one the Beatles have in A Hard Day's Night.
      'Reporter: "Principal Skinner, you've been referred to as "the funny one." Is that reputation justified?"
      Skinner: "Yes. Yes, it is."
      gales of uproarious laughter
    • When Bart leads a group of kids into Shelbyville to get Springfield's lemon tree back:
      Bart: "OK, here's how it goes: 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."
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • August 30, 2012
    acrobox
    • The Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles series invokes this in the advertising. Leonardo: The Leader, Raphael: The Muscle, Donatello: The Brains, Michelangelo: The Wild One
    • Inception did this as well: The Extractor: Dom, The Point Man: Arthur, The Chemist: Yusuf, The Forger: Eames, The Architect: Ariadne, The Tourist: Saito
  • August 30, 2012
    acrobox
    Starfox didn't use the 'The' but did assign everyone a one word role in Star Fox Assault
    • Team Starfox: Fox: Leader, Falco: Ace Pilot, Slippy: Mechanic, Peppy: Adviser, Krystal: Telepath
    • Team Starwolf: Wolf: Leader, Leon: Killer, Panther: Pilot
    • Both: Pigma: Betrayer
  • August 30, 2012
    HawkofBattle
    Borderlands does this during the opening scene of the game. Roland; The Soldier, Mordecai; The Hunter, Lilith; The Siren and of course Brick, As Himself.
  • August 30, 2012
    Xtifr
    I think the description should try to avoid listing tropes as examples, or people may think this is one of the many attempts at building a trope to take up some of the misuse of Five Man Band.

    In Leverage, Ford has been referred to as "The Mastermind" since the second season.
  • August 30, 2012
    JonnyB
    In the musical group Steam Powered Giraffe, one of the robots is called The Spine. Oddly, another of the trio is called "The Jon." (Possibly because the actor portraying the robot is named Jon and they couldn't think of a better name.) Among the humans in the group, Michael Reed is often referred to as "The One-Man Band" and their sound guy, Steve Negrete, is often referred to as "The Sound Engineer."
  • August 30, 2012
    shastab24
    Would The Beatles count? They had "the" names associated with every one of them (sadly, the only one I can think of at the moment is George: The Quiet One).
  • August 31, 2012
    abk0100
    ^^^probably a good point.

    ^I don't know, I'll look if I can find the other names.
  • August 31, 2012
    kjnoren
    The Five Man Band should probably not be listed in the description, but as an example. Several other group tropes also fits the pattern: The Hecate Sisters, The Three Faces Of Eve, Four Man Band...
  • August 31, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^^John: The smart one. Paul: The cute one. Geroge: The quiet one. Ringo: The funny one.

    On The Simpsons when Homer, Apu, Barney & Principal Skinner from a barbershop quartet, they have a press conference similar to the one the Beatles have in A Hard Day's Night.
    Reporter: Principal Skinner, you've been referred to as "the funny one." Is that reputation justified?
    Skinner: Yes. Yes, it is.
    gales of uproarious laughter

    In The Rutles Stig is known as "the quiet one" (he actually never talks) but IDK if any of the others have similar nicknames.
  • August 31, 2012
    spideydude
    Another Simpsons example, when Bart leads a group of kids into Shelbyville to get Springfield's lemon tree back:
    Bart: OK, here's how it goes: 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.

  • August 31, 2012
    abk0100
    @kjnoren What about the way I have it now?
  • August 31, 2012
    kjnoren
    Better, but I think they would do better as examples of this trope.
  • September 10, 2012
    Xtifr
    Wait, I thought this was about use of the definite article in the work itself or its advertising materials, in which case Five Man Band and the like would not be examples!
  • September 11, 2012
    kjnoren
    A specific Five Man Band isn't necessarily an example of this trope, but the Five Man Band trope is in itself an example.
  • September 11, 2012
    abk0100
    Right. This isn't the supertrope to five man band, it's sort of the trope-behind-the-trope.

    The way I have it now might be clearer. I see you're point about it making sense just to list them like the other examples so that people don't get confused.
  • September 11, 2012
    kjnoren
    Maybe not a straight example of the trope as described, but I think it deserves its place.

    Film:
  • October 10, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Doctor Who In Series 6 opener (The Impossible Astronaut) the Doctor (whose actual name just is this) refers to the Ponds and himself as 'The Doctor', 'The Legs', and 'The Nose' when introducing them to President Nixon. River Song ('Mrs Robinson') and Canton Delaware III create the rest of the 'team'.
  • January 5, 2015
    DAN004
    Dunno why this isn't In Universe Nickname.
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