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Deuteragonist. The second guy. No, not the {{Sidekick}}, who follows the main character around. Not the SupportingProtagonist, who is the main character yet not the focus of the story. Not the DecoyProtagonist either. The second person the show revolves around.

The deuteragonist (from Greek: second actor) is the second important character in the story; the first is, of course, TheProtagonist. This person can be either ''with'', or ''against'' the protagonist - thus sometimes pulling double duty as a major antagonist or [[TheRival rival]] to the protagonist; though they are rarely the "[[BigBad main villain]]" in this sort of scenario, they may be a [[TheDragon high ranking]] minion. If on the same side as the protagonist they can be a [[{{Sidekick}} sidekick]], [[TheLancer lancer]], or love interest as long as they are given enough screen time independent of the main protagonist.

We can see how their actions drive the plot just as much as those of the protagonist. If there's another example of this trope in play following the previous one, then that character is the '''Tritagonist'''.[[note]]If another follows it can be called the '''Tetragonist'''.[[/note]]

An important aspect is that we see quite a bit of the story from this character's point of view, and that they get a good amount of screen time/pages.

Subtropes include SupportingLeader. The {{Sidekick}} or TheLancer can become a deuteragonist if given enough focus on their own. In a romance story, the OfficialCouple will usually be the protagonist and deuteragonist. If a character seems like a deuteragonist but doesn't get as much screentime, they're likely the HeroOfAnotherStory. Compare TwoLinesNoWaiting, where the plots don't actually intersect.

{{Dramatica}} calls this character the Impact Character, while TheHollywoodFormula refers to this as the Relationship character.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* [[IronWoobie Alphonse Elric]] from ''Manga/FullMetalAlchemist''.
** Though the manga has at least five characters that could be considered the tritagonist, [[SupportingLeader Roy Mustang]] definitely plays the part in [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]].
* In ''Anime/ValvraveTheLiberator'', L-Elf is this, and serves as a deliberate contrast to the main hero. They're both roughly the same age, but while Haruto is a normal teenage student, L-Elf is a ChildSoldier, genius tactician, and brutal fighter. Haruto gets super powers and a bad ass mecha, L-Elf relies on his years of skills. Haruto is trying to defend his homeland (which L-Elf initially invaded), and L-Elf is trying to overthrow his homeland and defend his childhood love. Its only under very specific and unusual circumstances that they're working together.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' switches the role of Deuteragonist to several different characters over the years. The first was Rukia Kuchiki, who served as [[TheHero Ichigo]]'s mentor, partner and [[PlatonicLifePartners pseudo]]-[[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend love interest]], as well as the DamselInDistress (something she willingly agreed to on account of being a DeathSeeker) for the Soul Society arc.
** After TheReveal over who the BigBad was, Rukia was then replaced by Orihime Inoue as the deuteragonist. Her own [[NeutralFemale personality]] [[StayInTheKitchen flaws]] and [[RealityWarper unique powers]] became the focus for the first half of the Arrancar arc, to the point where she was blackmailed into joining the BigBad's forces and thus became the second DamselInDistress of the series. Since the RescueArc in Hueco Mundo took place concurrently with a BigBadassBattleSequence in a replica of Karakura Town, Orihime lost the mantle of deuteragonist after [[ClimaxBoss Ulquiorra]] was defeated (leaving only [[SmallNameBigEgo Yammy]] as the last big opponent.)
** Sosuke Aizen, the BigBad, briefly became the deuteragonist following his LetsGetDangerous moment in Fake Karakura, where he became the primary focus via fighting just about every able-bodied combatant left in the series by that point. He defeated everyone who went at him, in some form or other, and ended up as the only other prominently featured character (along with Ichigo) who did not die or get shafted for the Deicide arc.
** The Millennial Blood War, the final arc of the series, has switched it to Uryu Ishida. Although the arc has technically featured him less than other characters, his race - the Quincies - have returned as the primary enemies to the Shinigami, and his FaceHeelTurn (disliked by ''his own side'', never mind that of his friends) will inevitably prove to become one of the focal points of the Blood War.
* Suzaku Kururugi from ''Anime/CodeGeass''. There is at least [[WordOfGod one interview from the creators]] stating that ''Code Geass'' was intended as a double narrative of Lelouch and Suzaku's stories. He even gets a spin-off "Suzaku of the Counterattack".
** C.C. and Kallen, the female leads, are the Tritagonist and the Tetragonist (though which is which is debatable).
* Anime/Persona4GoldenTheAnimation elevates Marie into the role of Deuteragonist, as she becomes the focal point of the story, has scenes with Narukami that never happened in the original game source, and is featured more prominently in promotional art than anybody that isn't the protagonist.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'''s Misato Katsuragi serves as this behind TheProtagonist, Shinji Ikari.
* Takamura Mamoru from ''HajimeNoIppo'' could also be considered one.
** With Itagaki Manabu and Miyata Ichiro as tritagonists.
* Batou of ''Anime/GhostInTheShell''. Long-time partner of The Major, he even becomes TheProtagonist after The Major vanishes. Fits the role in the TV series too.
** In the first season, Togusa might be this or the tritagonist, given that he does a lot of the actual legwork in investigating The Laughing Man and tends to have more [[ADayInTheLimelight Days In The Limelight]]. He's also used as a {{foil}} to the rest of the cast, being more down to earth and much more of a newcomer (having been recruited recently as a police officer and having virtually no cyborg implants [[spoiler: until the third movie]]). Not to mention he's almost always LockedOutOfTheLoop to set up TheReveal of [[UnspokenPlanGuarantee unspoken plans]] (the best example being the final episode of the first season, which recaps on the events entirely from his perspective and avoids revealing [[spoiler: the team survived and he's the last member to be brought back and debriefed]] until the end).
* Jounouchi/Joey in ''Manga/YuGiOh'', according to WordOfGod. In the [[Anime/YuGiOh anime adaptation]], [[TheRival Kaiba]] is made deuteragonist and Joey is the definite tritagonist.
** [[TheRival Manjoume]] takes on this role in the [[Manga/YuGiOhGX Manga]] version of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', complete with whopping helpings of {{Adaptational Badass}}ery and [[TheStoic Stoicism]]. Not only does he get a more badass [[InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons Spirit Card]] and [[spoiler: beat the [[Anime/YuGiOhGX normally]] InvincibleHero in the campus tournament]], he and [[TheHero Judai]] team up to duel the BigBad [[spoiler: in the final confrontation]].
* Madlax and Margaret Burton in ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'', though it's difficult to say who is the main girl and who, the second, since [[spoiler:technically, [[EnemyWithout they are the same person in two separate bodies]]]].
* Fate Testarossa in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha''.
** Depending on whom you think is TheProtagonist of ''[[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS StrikerS]]'', Nanoha or Subaru, the other one would be the deuteragonist.
* From ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'', Kaname Chidori is this to the series' protagonist Sosuske Sagara. One might even say she's even the main protagonist of ''Anime/FullMetalPanicFumoffu''.
* The roles of deuteragonist and tritagonist in ''Manga/DragonBall'' shift from arc to arc:
** Opening arc: Bulma as the deuteragonist and either Oolong or Yamcha as the tritagonist.
** First TournamentArc: Krillin as deuteragonist, Master Roshi the tritagonist.
** Red Ribbon Saga: No one, because Goku was on his own for most of the time.
** Second TournamentArc, King Piccolo Arc, and third TournamentArc: Tenshinhan is deuteragonist, Master Roshi is tritagonist.
** ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': In the Saiyan Saga (back when Vegeta was the primary antagonist), Piccolo shared the Deuteragonist role with Gohan, while Krillin took the Tritagonist role. By the time of the Namek and Android/Cell sagas, Krillin and Piccolo shifted to Tetragonist roles (with Piccolo briefly claiming the Tritagonist title after fusing with Nail and Kami, respectively). By the end of the Buu Saga, Gohan and Vegeta share the Deuteragonist role with Piccolo as the Tritagonist.
** The movies in particular are in love with switching this around. Goku himself even gets to serve in the deuteragonist role in a few of them (mainly movies 9 and 13 to Gohan and Trunks respectively) rather than his usual one of protagonist.
* Athrun Zala in the [[Anime/GundamSEED Cosmic]] [[Anime/GundamSEEDDestiny Era]] timeline.
** Disputed in ''Destiny''. Before POV shift, ''Destiny'' had Shinn as protagonist, Athrun as deuteragonist, and Kira as triteragonist. At the end, Kira is the protagonist, Athrun still deuteragonist, and Shinn is the triteragonist. On average, and in the Special edition anyway, Athrun is the main character (which is odd because he always pilots a red Gundam, while the hero's Gundam has to be white/blue/red).
** The ''[[Manga/MobileSuitGundamSeedAstray Astray]]'' spinoff as a whole has Lowe Gear as primary protagonist and Gai Murakamo as a deuteragonist. Jess Rabble and Ergnes Brahe have also been protagonists for specific story arcs, but are thereafter reduced to side characters.
* Sasuke Uchiha develops into this near the end of the first half of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}.'' ''Shippuden'' has had some full length arcs with Sasuke as the lead character and he plays a very important role in Naruto's motives.
* Homura Akemi of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' is this to Madoka's protagonist, with Sayaka as the Tritagonist and Kyouko as the Tetragonist.
* The deuteragonist shifts in ''Anime/WeissKreuz''. Omi holds the title for ''Kapitel'', Sena does for ''Gluhen,'' and Ken takes over for ''Side B.'' Youji, meanwhile, only ever gets as high as the tritagonist in ''Gluhen''.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' has a different one depending on what part of the story you're in. The first part it's Kamina (who is also the DecoyProtagonist), the second it's [[spoiler: Nia]], the third it's Rossiu and then [[spoiler: Viral]].
* ''Anime/KillLaKill'' has Satsuki Kiryuin, who zigzags between AntiVillain and AntiHero as she challenges Ryuko Matoi.
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan''-- in Osaka arcs Heiji is often this, while in {{Non Serial Movie}}s deuteragonists has become a common scene--some use recurring characters, but some used {{One Shot Character}}s.
* ''[[Manga/RanmaOneHalf Ranma 1/2]]'': As [[ArrangedMarriage Ranma's fiance]], Akane naturally receives a significant amount of focus, as much of her screentime is divided between [[BelligerentSexualTension their rocky relationship]] and having to compete with [[UnwantedHarem Ranma's other "fiancees".]] While Ryoga serves as Ranma's [[TheRival chief rival]] for Akane's affections (albeit, [[HopelessSuitor hopelessly one-sided]]), making him the tritagonist.
* In ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'', [[TheLancer Barnaby]] is the Deuteragonist to his partner Kotetsu's HeroProtagonist. Their screen-time division is about 40% and 60% respectively; Barnaby's past and involvement with the show's Big Bad is what leads to Kotetsu being drawn into the main plot. Kotetsu is effectively the catalyst for the emotions, ideals and philosophies that the story tries to put across while Barnaby provides the drive for the plot.
* Meeting, and subsequently providing shelter to, Tokito Minoru is the reason ''Manga/WildAdapter'''s AntiHero protagonist Kubota Makoto becomes involved in the plot proper. Page-time division is something like 45% and 55%, especially later on in the story where Tokito becomes more and more involved with Kubota's life and vice-versa.
* The ''Steel Ball Run'' arc of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' has an interesting variant. Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zeppeli share the protagonist role equally for the first 21 volumes, but [[spoiler: Gyro dies at the hands of the arc's Big Bad after failing to defeat him]], leading to Johnny taking the spotlight completely in the last 3 volumes.
* Another anomalous example can be seen in ''Manga/GetBackers''. Due to the anime being produced while the manga was less than halfway through its storyline, Ban, who's past and personality is explored much later on in the manga than his partner and best friend Ginji's, appears to be a cross between the Deuteragonist and TheArtifact. In the manga he is the Deuteragonist during the first 12 or so volumes, but is later promoted to share the protagonist role with Ginji.
* Reki from ''Anime/HaibaneRenmei''. Initially she serves as a mentor to protagonist [[NaiveNewcomer Rakka]], but it soon becomes clear she has a whole story of her own.
* Starting from the Advance Generation series onward, ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' isn't just about Ash Ketchum anymore. His female companions (May during the aforementioned AG saga, and later Dawn) also get their focus by having a quest running concurrently with Ash's. Dawn is notable for being mentioned in Japanese title scroll(a brief summary of the gist of the show shown at the begining of ever intro) as a main character alongside Ash, something that neither May nor the female companions after her(obviously she was removed when she stopped being a regular) got.
* In ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', Sapphire in the RS chapter, White in the BW. In the Sinnoh-based chapters, it's a little hard to say who among Dia, Pearl, ''and'' Platinum have this role seeing how the focus is on all of them near equally.
* Griffith from ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' plays this role, as well as being the main [[BigBad antagonist]] of the story.
* Kotomine Kirei from ''LightNovel/FateZero'' is the Deuteragonist to Emiya Kiritsugu's Protagonist, with Waver Velvet being the Tritagonist.
* In ''Manga/SangatsuNoLion'', the narrative implies early on that it would be either of the two eldest Kawamoto sisters, Akari and Hina. Once the character gets their own story arc well into the series run that does not intrinsically involve Rei until he steps in to help with their problems, the deuteragonist is made clear. [[spoiler:It's Hina, who begins to go through some rather nasty bullying problems, leaving Rei to prevent her developing trauma.]]
* Syaoran Li gradually evolves into one in ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', especially in the anime adaptation where he gets numerous [[ADayInTheLimelight spotlight episodes]] and almost as much SympatheticPOV and CharacterDevelopment as Sakura herself.
* Killua Zoldyck from ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' is this next to Gon Freecss for the majority of the series. In the current arc, both are seperated from each other ''and'' DemotedToExtra, so the two other DemotedToExtra main characters can [[TheBusCameBack get the focus back]]. But at this point, it's hard to tell, who is the protagonist and whether there is a deuteragonist or not.
* ''OokikuFurikabutte'' is just much about Abe Takaya as it is about the main character, Mihashi Ren.
* ''Manga/MedakaBox'': Kumagawa Misogi to the OfficialCouple. As the ArchEnemy, his storyline has continued to be linked with Medaka and Zenkichi as well as expanding on his character.
* The cast of ''Manga/KimiNiTodoke'' are easier to categorise in pairs than as individuals; [[OfficialCouple Sawako and Kazehaya]] would be our protagonists; Chizu and Ryu would be our deuteragonists; Ayane and Kent would be our tritagonists.
* ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'': Sagara Sanosuke after his [[DefeatMeansFriendship defeat]]. There are a few arcs where we delve into his past. Kenshin himself even states that Tokyo wouldn't be able to contain him and by the end of the series [[spoiler: he leaves Japan to explore the world.]]
* ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'': Seras Victoria is this to Alucard, while Alucard is one for Integra Hellsing.
* ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' has three or so Deuteragonists depending on the arc. Asuna for the SAO arc, Suguya for the ALO arc (Asuna is still in the show during this arc, [[DemotedToExtra but her role]] [[DamselInDistress is reduced]]), and Sinon for the GGO arc.
* ''Anime/{{Patlabor}}'': While Noa is the [=PoV=] character, her partner, Asuma, receives a near equal amount of focus as the series follows their growing partnership (and their ''[[EveryoneCanSeeIt implied]]'' [[MaybeEverAfter budding relationship]]).
* Satomi fills this role, in ''Anime/VariableGeo'', and stars opposite her best friend, Yuka. Satomi's half of the story deals with [[PerpetualPoverty her struggles to support herself and her brother]], [[IllGirl Daisuke]], and how she's scouted by [[NebulousEvilOrganization The Jahana Group]], who [[DealWithTheDevil manipulate her]] into entering the VG tournament so they can use her as a test subject.
* If one takes the Kumo brothers in ''Manga/DontenNiWarau'' as the protagonists, since each gets about the same amount of pagetime, Shirasu is the deuteragonist, who also doubles as the [[spoiler: {{Antagonist}}]]. This is driven home by the last pages of the manga being flashbacks and memories of him.
* Yukari from ''Manga/MurasakiiroNoQualia'' is the deuteragonist to Hatou, despite her lack of physical appearances in later chapters due to [[spoiler: Yukari dying setting off the main story of the manga, and her repeated deaths in parallel universes]].
* ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'': Though Sylia leads the Knight Sabres, her role in the series is secondary to her subordinate, [[TheProtagonist Priss.]] Which is {{justified}}, since Sylia spends half her time [[BigGood operating behind-the-scenes to oppose]] [[MegaCorp the Genom Corporation.]]
* ''Manga/OutlawStar'' is as much about [[ArtificialHuman Melfina]] as it is about Gene, as she gradually becomes his LoveInterest. More importantly, the Kei Pirates, the [=McDugal=] Bros., and [[BigBad Hazankou]], are all after her, because [[MacGuffinGirl she's the key]] to unraveling the mysteries of [[MacGuffin The Galactic Leyline.]]
* Frequently in ''Manga/OnePiece'' the Straw Hat Pirates will join forces with a secondary character who, while not a part of the crew, still has [[HeroOfAnotherStory their own story]] which frequently ties in strongly with the history of whatever island the Straw Hats happen to be on.
** The longest-running and best known is Princess Nefertari Vivi of Alabasta, who tags along for the entire Baroque Works Saga. The ultimate goal of said saga is the liberation of her kingdom from the evil Sir Crocodile, so a good case can be made than the journey is actually hers, and the Straw Hats are the means by which she can succeed at it.
** In the Skypiea arc, we have Wyper the Berserker, who leads the resistance against the tyrannical "God" Eneru. Wyper also functions as a one-man InfoDump for the history of the Sky Islands. Gan Fall, the disgraced former God attempting to win his title back from Eneru, is the tritagonist.
** Princess Shirahoshi in the Fishman Island arc, whose CharacterDevelopment from FragileFlower to brave leader takes up a good portion of the arc. She also has ties to both halves of the local BigBadDuumvirate.
** In the Punk Hazard arc, Luffy runs into fellow Supernova Trafalgar Law, and teams up with him to take down the archvillain Donquixote Doflamingo, of whom Law is a wronged former subordinate. The subsequent Dressrosas arc adds two tritagonists: Rebecca, the island's exiled princess, and her father Kyros, the kingdom's greatest warrior.
* Takatsuki is this in ''Manga/WanderingSon'', though by high school she's more and more OutOfFocus.
* While the series is mostly an ensemble slice of life, the first ending and second opening themes of ''Manga/{{Nichijou}}'' treat Yuuko & Nano as this, giving them the most prominent roles. The majority of segments in the show itself also focus on Yuuko and her school friends or Nano an the Shinonome household.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Destro from ''[[ComicBook/GIJoeARealAmericanHeroMarvel G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero]]''. Although to be honest, the old LarryHama comics are chock full of deuteragonists and tritagonists. Destro was the villain who wasn't so villainous, who had a code of honor, and who we very often see stories told through his Point-Of-View, so much to the point where we have two views of the evil Cobra organization - first through the eyes of the G.I. Joes, and second through the eyes of Destro, the arms dealer.
* In ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'' Jim Gordon is the deuteragonist of the story along with Franchise/{{Batman}}. Although as the story is essentially a retelling of Batman's origin with a large amount of focus put on Gordon's first year as a member of the Gotham City Police Department, the two are optional for both positions.
* In the ''ComicBook/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' comic, Zayne Carrick is the protagonist and [[BrokenBird Jarael]] is the deuteragonist. Particularly noteworthy is that the comic's arcs come to center as much around Jarael's personal journey as Zayne's, and while the main villains of the first major arc are Zayne's EvilMentor and EvilCounterpart, the main villains of the second major arc are ''Jarael's''. The third main character, [[LovableRogue Marn Hierogryph]], is by contrast defined mostly by his interactions with Zayne.
* In the grand scheme of ''GrantMorrisonsBatman'' Damian is the deutragonist for much of the run. Most prominently during ''Batman and Robin'' (to Dick Grayson) and the second half of ''Batman Incorporated''. He's also firmly the deutragonist in Peter Tomasi's ''Batman and Robin'' run with Alfred as a tritagonist [[spoiler: up until Damian's death.]]
* Wilson "The Kingpin" Fisk is this in the ''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'' comics. We've watched him run, lose, and rebuild his empire, seen the details of his messy personal life, and when he's not a part of Matt's life, it often feels like something is missing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In Sherlockian fanfic, Inspector Lestrade is a fairly popular deuteragonist to Literature/SherlockHolmes or [[TheWatson Dr. Watson]] as TheHero. (Some Scotland Yard-focused fics reverse the position and make ''Lestrade'' the {{Protagonist}} with Holmes and/or Watson secondary.)
** In ''Fanfic/AStudyInRegret'', Holmes is the {{Protagonist}}, while Lestrade is TheHero.
** ''[[Fanfic/DeliverUsFromEvilSeries Mortality]]'' stars Holmes as the {{Protagonist}}, Watson as TheHero, and Lestrade as the deuteragonist (special mention to Wiggins for being the HyperCompetentSidekick[=/=]TheLancer). Yes, really.
* In the Vocaloid fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7002672/1/Vocal_Vision Vocal Vision]]'', Gumi and Teto are this,with Miku as the protagonist and Luka as the tritagonist.
* ''FanFic/InnerDemons'' has Apple Bloom, who gets the second character billing after [[VillainProtagonist Twilight]], has a large amount of focus and CharacterDevelopment, and [[spoiler: is ultimately revealed to be [[TheChosenOne the Master of Harmony]]]].
* Hinata is this in ''Blind'' while Naruto is TheProtagonist.
* [[BrokenAce Obsidian]] fills this role in the HungerGames fanfiction ''Fanfic/SomeSemblanceOfMeaning'', to [[TheIngenue Vale's]] [[TheProtagonist protagonist]]. Though it is primarily her story, he is in the spotlight quite a bit and gets a lot of CharacterDevelopment. [[spoiler: He actually becomes the de facto main character after [[TheHeroDies Vale's death]].]]
* In ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'', [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Twilight]] plays this role to [[Franchise/AceAttorney Phoenix's]] protagonism. Not only does she assist Phoenix and is responsible for his involvement in the events, but is also central to one of the story's major conflicts, and gets a whole episode dedicated to her own side of the investigation via SimultaneousArcs.
* In ''Fanfic/PerfectionIsOverrated'', [[MaiHime Mai]] is the protagonist, Natsuki is the deuteragonist, Nao is the tritagonist, and Shizuru is the tetragonist.
* In ''Fanfic/GraduateMeetingOfMutualKilling'', the main character (Akane Ogata) ends incapacitated. The story now focused on Yukio Ohmoto and his actions, including internal thoughts and relationship with the rest of the graduates.
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8899978/1/History-s-Strongest-Shinobi History's Strongest Shinobi]]'': Kenichi to Naruto. Although in this case the story (at first) focuses on Kenichi's StoryArc and how Naruto influences it. It only starts focusing on Naruto as soon as the MythArc kicks in, at which point Kenichi's StoryArc gets influenced by Naruto's and vice versa.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Flynn Ryder in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''.
* [[TheLancer Buzz Lightyear]] in the ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' films, with Woody as the main protagonist and [[AffirmativeActionGirl Jessie]] is the tritagonist.
* [[ActionGirl EVE]] in ''WesternAnimation/WallE'', with WALL•E as the main protagonist and [[TheCaptain Captain McRea]] as the tritagonist.
* Vanellope Von Schweetz in ''Disney/WreckItRalph'', with Fix-It Felix as the Tritagonist and Sgt. Calhoun as Tetragonist.
* Master Shifu in the first WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda. In the [[WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2 sequel]], however, he's OutOfFocus, and Tigress takes over this role in his place.
* Elsa in ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'', with Anna as the main protagonist, Kristoff as the Tritagonist and Prince Hans as the Tetragonist [[spoiler:and primary villain]]. Notably, ''Frozen'' is the first film in the Franchise/DisneyPrincess franchise to add two characters to the official roster of Disney Princesses, with Anna and Elsa both considered "canonical" Princesses (the 12th and 13th additions to the list, respectively). By the climax of the film, Hans also ends up taking the role of [[spoiler: antagonist]] in the story.
* Jewel (primary) and Tulio (secondary) in ''WesternAnimation/{{Rio}}'', with Blu as the main protagonist, Linda as the secondary protagonist, and Fernando being the tritagonist.
* Queen Elinor in ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}''. The story is just as much about her as about Merida.
* In ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', the Beast is the protagonist and Belle is the deuteragonist. Only she is capable of saving him from the curse with his love, but that requires him to become a better person first, and both wind up with a common adversary in Gaston as they fall in love.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars''
** [[TheDragon Darth Vader]] is this in the series as whole (though [[WordOfGod Lucas]] disagrees), serving as the TragicHero of the first trilogy, while the second trilogy charts his time as TheDragon up until his final redemption. Ultimately Luke Skywalker is the protagonist of the whole series, with the first trilogy ending at his birth and the second trilogy ending with his heroic triumph.
** [[TheObiWan Obi-Wan Kenobi]] in the {{prequel}} trilogy, with [[BadassGrandpa Yoda]] as the tritagonist.
* Old Man Marley in ''HomeAlone'', The Pigeon Lady in Lost in New York, and Mrs. Hess in 3, with Kevin as the protagonist in 1 & 2 and Alex in 3, and their parents as the tritagonist.
* ''Film/{{Clerks}}'' has Randall as this to Dante's protagonist and Jay and Silent Bob sharing the tritagonist slot.
* ''Film/{{Network}}'' definitely merits mention, but it's very ambiguous as to which character is which. Max Schumacher is the most conventional audience surrogate point, being one of the few characters in the film who is both sane and (relatively) moral, but the film doesn't end when his part of the story does, since he exits the film shortly ''before'' the climax. Alternatively, ''he'' is the deuteragonist, and Diana Christensen is in fact VillainProtagonist; she doesn't really have an actual character arc, but she's more proactive than Max, and has slightly more screen-time. Howard Beale is the center of the story, whose actions initially drive the plot, but he becomes more of a plot point than a character in the second half of the film, and has some ten minutes fewer screen-time than his co-stars, so either way he's probably best described as the tritagonist. All three actors involved--William Holden, Faye Dunaway, and Peter Finch--were nominated in leading categories at that year's Academy Awards.
* Jack Sparrow was originally supposed to be the Deuteragonist in the original ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' Trilogy, but Jack's popularity just [[BreakoutCharacter took off]]. In the end, Jack became the Protagonist, Will the Deuteragonist, and Elizabeth the Tritagonist.
* Lois Lane in Superman I, II and Returns, Gus Gorman in III and Lacy Warfield in IV, with Superman/Clark Kent as the main protagonist of the series. In ''Film/ManOfSteel'', Lois returns to being this, while [[PosthumousCharacter Jor-El]] is the tritagonist in this case.
* Zaltar in Supergirl, with Kara/Supergirl as the main protagonist and Ethan as the tritagonist.
* Robin in ''Film/BatmanForever'' and ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'', with Chase Meridian as the tritagonist in ''Forever'' and Barbara Wilson/Batgirl as the tritagonist in ''Batman and Robin''.
** Selina Kyle/Catwoman in ''Film/BatmanReturns''.
* [[TragicHero Harvey Dent]] in ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' (Gordon as the tritagonist). Arguably Blake in ''TheDarkKnightRises''.
* Will Rodman in ''RiseOfThePlanetOfTheApes''. [[StarringSpecialEffects Caesar]] is the real protagonist.
* Thao in the ''Film/GranTorino'', as the character who develops alongside Walt.
* Annie Hall in ''Film/AnnieHall'', despite being the title character. She is the protagonist's LoveInterest.
* Ellis Boyd Redding in ''TheShawshankRedemption'', also serving as SupportingProtagonist.
* Doc Brown is this to Marty [=McFly=] in the ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' films.
* Mark from ''Film/TheRoom''.
* Edward Cullen from ''{{Twilight}}''. He is the main love interest of the heroine and protagonist, Bella.
** Bella is the main protagonist, Edward is the deuteragonist, and Jacob is the tritagonist.
* ''Film/TheSocialNetwork'': Eduardo Saverin to Mark Zuckerberg's Protagonist.
* M to James Bond's protagonist in ''Film/{{Skyfall}}''.
* In ''Film/DoubleTake'', Freddie Tiffany is the obvious Deuteragonist to Daryl Chase's Protagonist, being the titular Double.
* Brian O'Conner serves as this to Dominic "Dom" Toretto in ''TheFastAndTheFurious'' films beginning with the fourth installment; an inverse of their roles in the original movie where Brian was clearly the protagonist and Dom was the deuteragonist. Luke Hobbs serves as the tritagonist to the two of them in films five and six. The second and third movies change things up a little, since Dom is not in ''2 Fast 2 Furious'' and Brian is not in ''Tokyo Drift'' (Dom only briefly appears). In the second, Roman Pearce is the deuteragonist to Brian while in the third film either Neela or Han serves as the deuteragonist to protagonist Sean Boswell.
* Loki moves the plot along in ''Film/{{Thor}}'' as much as his brother as for most of the movie he is wrapped up with his own story that doesn't intersect with Thor's perfectly. At the end everything converges and Loki must bear the consequences of his actions.
* Spock in ''Film/StarTrek'' and ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness''. While Kirk is still the protagonist, [=McCoy=]'s role in the PowerTrio is downplayed in favor of focusing on Kirk and Spock's friendship and growth.
* ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'' has [[TheManWithNoName Blondie]] as its protagonist, Tuco as the deutragonist and Angel Eyes as the tritagonist.
** In the same trilogy, Colonel Mortimer is the deuteragonist to [[TheManWithNoName Manco's]] protagonist in ''Film/ForAFewDollarsMore''. Played by [[Creator/LeeVanCleef the same actor]] as Angel Eyes, strangely enough.
* Hit Girl in ''Film/KickAss''. Even more pronounced in ''Film/KickAss2''.
* Chris Sabian in Film/TheNegotiator. It is probably not a coincidence that, like the {{Protagonist}}, Danny Roman, he is ''also'' a [[TitleDrop Negotiator]].
* ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' movies typically have some main human character who helps move the plot along just as much as Godzilla. [[PsychicPowers Miki Saegusa]] most commonly plays this role in the Heisei films starting with ''Film/GodzillaVsBiollante''.
** In ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'', Ford Brody plays the other role of protagonist while Godzilla is the lead. This is alluded to when Ford faints at the same time Godzilla collapses after defeating the [=MUTO=]s.
* Kumar in ''Film/HaroldAndKumarGoToWhiteCastle.
* Peeta is this to Katniss' protagonist in ''Film/TheHungerGames'' series. Although [[spoiler:given what happens to him in "''Mockingjay''" he probably won't appear all that much in the third movie. Jennifer Lawrence has mentioned in more than on interview how upset she was when she read the script for the third film and saw that she would barely get to work with PlatonicLifePartners Josh Hutcherson in that film.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/{{Halvgudene}}'' is both [[EmoTeen Trigg]] and [[HollyWoodNerd Briskir]] deuteragonists. And [[BigBrotherMentor Askill]] as the tritagonist in the first book, but later [[ManicPixieDreamGirl Rasp]] takes that place and he is moved to tetragonist. [[LonghairedPrettyBoy Eld]] is tritagonist for a short while.
* Julius and Marci ''Literature/TheHeartstrikers" series
* In ''Literature/{{Kire}}'' [[CuteMonsterGirl Flora]] is the deuteragonist to Erik's protagonist. And [[TwinTelepathy Trine and Tore]] are the tritanogists.
* In ''Literature/{{Phenomena}}'' is [[AnIcePerson Ilke]] the deuteragonist to Alk's protagonist.
** There are quite a few tritagonists, [[CoolOldGuy Sha-ra]], [[BigBrotherMentor Arol]], and later; [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Jolsah]], [[MadeASlave Azur]], and [[CoolBigSis Millian]](the last tree later often switches from tetragonist to tritagonist often).[[spoiler: Late in the series [[DarkIsNotEvil Mentor]] joins too.]]
** In [[AscendedExtra Azur's spin-off]] is it [[BigBrotherBully Ezau's]] deuteragonist to [[CaptainObvious Azur's]] protagonist.
** In [[AscendedExtra Jolsah's spin-off]] is it [[FriendlyEnemy Lookhaler's]] deuteragonist to [[RunningGag Jolsah's]] protagonist.
* Holly Short from the ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' series, especially in the first two book before she teams up with Artemis, she acts as a HeroAntagonist in contrast to Artemis's intial role as VillainProtagonist, during this period the story revolves around her almost as much as with Artemis and the readers are made to sympathise with her. It is more evident in the Graphic Novels where she serves as the second narrator in the stories.
* Gawan in ''Literature/{{Parzival}}'', who is the focus of about a third of the poem.
* Will Parry in the ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' trilogy shares the spotlight with Lyra when he's introduced in the second book.
* Melanie Stryder in ''Literature/TheHost''.
* ''Literature/ThirteenReasonsWhy'' switches between Hannah Baker, who's narrating a series of tapes, and Clay, the boy who listens to them, responds to them, and confronts the people mentioned in them. And [[DrivenToSuicide the tapes are Hannah's suicide note to the people who convinced her to kill herself.]] The book is as morbid as it sounds. It sold extremely well, met rave reviews, and is getting a film adaptation.
* Mikael Blomkvist in ''TheMillenniumTrilogy''. He and Lisbeth Salander are developed quite a bit as separate characters, but once they team up the plot centers around them both.
* Edward Cullen in ''Literature/{{Twilight}}''
** Bella is the protagonist.
** Jacob Black is the tritagonist.
* In the first ''{{Mistborn}}'' book, Kelsier is the deuteragonist (while he's actually introduced ''first'' of the main characters, and is the BigGood, most of the [=POVs=] end up revolving around his protege Vin). After [[spoiler: he dies]], Vin remains TheProtagonist while Elend takes up the role of deuteragonist and Sazed gets promoted to tritagonist.
** In the same author's ''{{Elantris}}'', Prince Raoden is TheProtagonist, Sarene is the deuteragonist, and [[AntiVillain Hrathen]] is the tritagonist.
** All of Brandon Sanderson's fantasy books utilize this trope, such as ''{{Warbreaker}}'', where Vivenna is the protagonist, Siri is the deuteragonist, and Lightsong is the tritagonist, and ''[[Literature/TheStormlightArchive The Way of Kings]]'', where Kaladin is the protagonist, Shallan is the deuteragonist, and Dalinar is the tritagonist (the latter two get about the same amount of pagetime, but Shallan is introduced first).
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' has a number of perennial deuteragonists, including Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson (in the stories featuring Sam Vimes as the protagonist), Nanny Ogg (in stories focusing on Granny Weatherwax), and even [[TheGrimReaper Death]] himself (in the stories primarily centered around his granddaughter, Susan).
* In ''Literature/{{Skagboys}}'', Sick Boy plays this role to Mark Renton.
* In ''TheAdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn'', Jim plays this role to Huck, with Tom Sawyer as the tritagonist.
* In PC Hodgell's Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath, Torisen is the deuteragonist to Jame's protagonist from the second book and onwards.
* In ''Literature/PhoenixRising'': Tobimar, to Kyris protagonist. But Poplock has a tendency to steal the show, whenever he gets half a chance.
* Kahlan Amnell in the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series, with Richard as the protagonist and Zedd as the tritagonist. In the seventh book, Oba Rahl becomes this.[[note]]Richard and Kahlan have only a brief appearance, with Jennsen replacing them as the protagonist.[[/note]] In the ''Chainfire Trilogy'', it is uncertain who is what, given the shifting of roles, but the top three are definitely Richard, Kahlan, and Nicci in some order.
* [[BadassNormal Roran]] [[{{Determinator}} Stronghammer]] in ''Literature/InheritanceCycle,'' with [[{{Farmboy}} Eragon]] as the protagonist and [[AntiVillain Murtagh]] as the tritagonist, according to WordOfGod. Other possible interpretations include Eragon > Saphira > Roran, Eragon/Saphira > Roran > Murtagh, and Eragon > Roran > Nasuada.
* Skulduggery himself in the ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'' series, with Stephanie/Valkyrie as the protagonist. The tritagonist is swiched between the books.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' has several tiers of this going on, owing to its [[FourLinesAllWaiting sprawling nature]] and LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters:
** [[TheChosenOne Rand]] is the main character and obviously the protagonist.
** [[GentleGiant Perrin]], [[LoveableRogue Mat]], and [[DreamWalker Egwene]], peers of Rand from the same village who follow parallel story arcs, are clearly deuteragonists.
** [[TheMedic Nynaeve]], [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Elayne]], [[ProudWarriorRaceGirl Aviendha]], [[BlessedWithSuck Min]], and [[SupportingLeader Lan]] also hold down their own subplots, but get less focus than the above, making them more solidly tritagonists.
** Pretty much everyone else is either a supporting character or antagonist to at least one of the above.
* Fisk, in the ''KnightAndRogueSeries'', since he's 'just' the squire while Michael is the knight.
* Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium:
** In ''Literature/TheHobbit'', Thorin is the deuteragonist, while our hobbit Bilbo is the protagonist. The quest is to [[RightfulKingReturns restore Thorin as King under the Mountain]].
** In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', Frodo is the protagonist, Sam is the deuteragonist, and Aragorn is a tritagonist, along with some of the other members of the Fellowship, particularly Gandalf, Merry, and Pippin.
** In Tolkien's ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'', though Niënor isn't introduced as a major player until about two thirds of the way through, owing to the approx. ten year age gap between herself and her brother Túrin (the protagonist), once she ''does'' show up, she slips into this role.
* The eponymous unicorn in ''Literature/{{Cerberon}}'' is a very close second to George, who is the protagonist for most of the story. After George and Margaret are betrothed, and especially once they leave Aeronweyir for America, Cerberon becomes the protagonist, with George taking on a secondary role.
* Lt. Vincent D'Agosta in the Literature/AgentPendergast novels, serving as the one to protagonist Margo Green in ''[[Literature/TheRelic Relic]]'' and ''Literature/{{Reliquary}}'' with Pendergast himself as the tritagonist. D'Agosta serves in this role as well for the other novels he appears after Pendergast takes over as the protagonist.
** Additionally, other characters have also served in deuteragonist/tritagonist roles in the books. In ''Literature/TheCabinetOfCuriosities'' Nora Kelly is the deuteragonist, with William Smithback as the tritagonist, in the novel ''Literature/{{Thunderhead}}'' Kelly was the protagonist and Smithback was the deuteragonist, and in ''Literature/CemetaryDance'' Kelly is the tritagonist to Pendergast and D'Agosta. In ''Literature/StillLifeWithCrows'' Corrie Swanson serves as the deuteragonist with Sheriff Hazen as the tritagonist. In ''Literature/{{Brimstone}}'' Laura Hayward serves as the tritagonist to Pendergast and D'Agosta. Constance Greene acts as the deuteragonist in ''Literature/TheWheelOfDarkness''. Corrie again serves in the role for ''White Fire''.
** The "Helen Trilogy" novels begin mixing this up, as despite D'Agosta appearing in all three books he remains OutOfFocus. He initially starts out as the deuteragonist like usual in ''Literature/FeverDream'', but halfway through it [[spoiler: he is shot]] and Laura Hayward serves in the role for the rest of the book. In ''Literature/ColdVengeance'' Judson Esterhazy is the deuteragonist. In ''Literature/TwoGraves'' [[spoiler: Pendergast's son]] Alban serves as the deuteragonist as his relationship with Pendergast serves as a driving force in the novel, while roughly 3-4 different characters all serve in the tritagonist role.
* ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'': Jenna Heap. Especially in ''Physik'' she does get the major plot-driving role.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', [[CaptainObvious Harry Dresden]] is the protagonist and [[ActionGirl Karrin Murphy]] is the deuteragonist, being the only other human character to be a substantial presence in every book in the series (even ''Dead Beat'', where she barely appeared, still had her actions in the previous book as the impetus for a subplot). The tritagonist position tends to vary from book to book, but after book eight or so it tends to be either [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire Thomas Raith]] or [[TheApprentice Molly Carpenter]].
* In the ''Literature/MediochreQSethSeries'', Mediochre and Charlotte Johnson tend to bat the roles of Protagonist and Deuteragonist back and forth between them. The positions of tritagonist and tetragonist go to Joseph Carrion and Dhampinella respectively.
* ''Literature/SongAtDawn''': Estela and Dragonetz share the spotlight because the story follows the former but the plot is centered on the later.
* In ''Literature/BrimstoneAngels'', WordOfGod explicitly describes Lorcan (the devil who heroine [[BadPowersGoodPeople Farideh]] made a [[DealWithTheDevil pact with]]) as the deuteragonist. Who fills the tritagonist position isn't as explicitly described, but it's probably Farideh's twin sister [[CuteBruiser Havilar]].
* The ''{{Literature/Doom}}'' novels have Arlene Sanders. Once Fly reunites with her on Deimos, mid-way through the first book, she remains at his side for virtually everything. Together they take on the "demons" on the Martian moons, "hell", the ruins of Earth, and ultimately the enemy homeworld and beyond.
* Milla in ''Literature/TheSeventhTower'', to Tal's protagonist. Starting from the second book they get about equal focus.
* Mal and Laura are this in the sequel to ''Literature/ThoseThatWake''.
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' has Peeta Mellark as the deuteragonist. Until "''Mockingjay''", where [[spoiler:he spends the better part of the first third being tortured in the Capitol and the second third being kept away from Katniss because he's been brainwashed into wanting to kill her. He goes back to being the deuteragonist in the last third.]]
* In ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell'', the titular characters Gilbert Norrell and Jonathan Strange essentially share the protagonist role, but Stephen Black consistently serves as the deuteragonist, with Lady Charlotte Pole (née Wintertowne) as the tritagonist. Though the latter two don't directly affect Stange and Norrell's story until the end, they both prove crucial to resolving the plot, as [[spoiler: Lady Pole's liberation from the service of [[BigBad the Gentleman with Thistledown Hair]] signals his downfall, while Stephen ultimately defeats him]]. By the final act, the novel is just as much the story of Stephen and Lady Pole's [[spoiler: suffering at the Gentleman's hands]] as it is the story of Strange and Norrell reintroducing magic to the world.
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' has Charlie Bucket as the protagonist and Willy Wonka as the deuteragonist. While they don't meet until the 1/3 mark of the book and the halfway point of adaptations, Mr. Wonka's fame and reputation precede him, and it's his actions that set the plot Charlie gets swept into in motion. ([[Literature/CharlieAndTheGreatGlassElevator The sequel]] makes Mr. Wonka the protagonist and Charlie a {{Sidekick}}.) The 2005 film and 2013 stage musical adaptations take this trope further via AdaptationExpansion:
** In the 2005 film, the audience becomes privy to Mr. Wonka's {{Backstory}} via flashbacks, which reveal how he became an AntiVillain in the present and set up a NotHisSled climax.
** In the 2013 stage musical, Charlie and Mr. Wonka turn out to be NotSoDifferent -- both are {{Mr Imagination}}s. It's telling that they're the only characters who warrant solo songs (two apiece, in fact) about their personalities and motivations; all the other songs are crowd numbers or team-ups between two or more characters. And [[spoiler: Mr. Wonka sometimes ventures out of his factory disguised as an elderly tramp, whom Charlie meets in '''the opening scene.''']]
* In ''Literature/VampireAcademy'', Lisa Dragomir's storyline is secondary to Rose Hathaway's, and is always seen through Rose's eyes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''{{Series/Nikita}}''. Alex "Alexandra Udinov" is the overall deuteragonist of the series, while Nikita and Micheal swap roles of the protagonist and Main/TheLancer
* Series/BoyMeetsWorld had Shawn Hunter. Starting late in the second season.Shawn's Mother left and his father chased after him. Following this, Shawn got a large amount of focus as a character.
** Eric Mathews developed into the Tritagonist later in the series starting in about season 3 with him interning at a TV new station in order to beef up is college resume. This is followed by him not getting into college then trying to figure out what to do. This is followed by him seeking help from Mr. Feeny. This is less in play from season 5 onward after he gets into college. By season 7, his flanderization has turned him into the comic relief of the series and is mainly there to provide laughs.
* ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred''. Normally [[ActionMom Diana Skouris]] takes the role of the Deuteragonist with [[TheHero Tom Baldwin]] as the Protagonist, and several different 4400s filling in the role of the Tritagonist. In season 2 [[HealingHands Shawn Farrell]] is the Tritagonist. In season 3 its [[TykeBomb Isabelle Tyler]] with Shawn becoming the tetragonist. In season 4 Diana become the Tritagonist and the [[BackFromTheDead resurrected]] [[AntiVillain Jordan Collier]] becomes the Deuteragonist.
* Sarah on ''Series/MyBabysittersAVampire''. She's also the {{love interest}} of the protagonist. In the prequel movie, however, Sarah was the main character while Ethan and Benny acted as the {{Supporting Protagonist}}s
* ''Series/TwentyFour'': Depending on who you ask, either David Palmer or Tony Almeida serves as the Deuteragonist in the first three seasons, with the other being the Tritagonist. Beginning with season four things get more mixed up:
** In Season 4, Audrey Raines is the Deuteragonist while Tony Almeida is the Tritagonist.
** In Seasons 5 and 6, the Deuteragonist is Chloe O'Brian, with Bill Buchanan as the Tritagonist. Audrey also shares the role of Tritagonist with Bill during Season 5, with Charles Logan serving in the role of Tetragonist the same season.
** In Season 7, Renee Walker becomes the Deuteragonist. Either Tony and Allison Taylor share the role of the Tritagonist with Chloe as the Tetragonist, or Chloe and Tony share the role as the Tetragonist with Allison Taylor as the Tritagonist.
** In Season 8, Chloe is back to being the Deuteragonist, with Allison Taylor as the Tritagonist and Cole Ortiz as the Tetragonist. Renee shares a role with either Cole or Taylor.
** In ''Live Another Day'', Kate Morgan is set up as the Deuteragonist, with Chloe and President James Heller sharing the role of Tritagonist.
* Jack Donaghy on ''Series/ThirtyRock'', with Tracy as the Tritagonist (with Jenna occasionally taking Tracy's role in the show's later seasons).
* Londo in ''Series/BabylonFive''. WordOfGod has even said the story is almost as much about Londo as about Sheridan.
* [[AntiVillain Jesse Pinkman]] is the deuteragonist to [[VillainProtagonist Walter White's]] protagonist in ''Series/BreakingBad'', and his character arc, which runs parallel and acts as a {{Foil}} to Walter's, eventually becomes important as well. Hank Schrader and Skyler White alternate between tritagonist and tetragonist.
* Angel from ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' for its first three seasons, before he spun off to his own show.
** After Angel left, it's possible Spike takes on the role, at least in the final few seasons, due to him becoming more of a confidant to Buffy after [[BackFromTheDead her revival]] (as well as a love interest). In Season 7, following the reclaiming of his soul and increased [[SpotlightStealingSquad spotlight stealing]], this fully cements itself.
** Cordelia Chase initially starts as this on ''Series/{{Angel}}'', with Allen Francis Doyle initially starting out as the Tritagonist, and then Wesley Wyndam-Pryce taking his place not long after. Beginning with Season 3 Cordelia and Wesley begin alternating between the Deuteragonist role, with Wesley completely taking it over for Season 4. In Season 5, Spike appears and takes over as Deuteragonist, while Wesley resumes his role as the Tritagonist.
* Jimmy Darmody from ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' to Nucky Thompson's protagonist with Margaret as the Tritagonist and Van Alden as the tetragonist [[spoiler: for the first two seasons.]]
** Season 3 has Gyp Rosetti and Margaret as either the deuteragonist or tritagonist respectively.
** Season 4 sees Margaret DemotedToExtra and thus having Chalky as the deuteragonist and Eli as the tritagonist.
* Sarah Walker in ''Series/{{Chuck}}'', which is unsurprising since she's also the {{love interest}}. John Casey and Morgan Grimes respectively serve as the tritagonist and tetragonist.
* Debra Morgan in ''Series/{{Dexter}}''. She tends to have the second most important plot line, often solving a crime that relates to Dexter's victim.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Doctor's companion (when there's only one of them, anyway) fulfills this role.
** When there's two companions the second will always serve as the tritagonist, such as Harry Sullivan to the Fourth Doctor (protagonist) and Sarah Jane Smith (deuteragonist) in season 12 of the original series or Rory Williams to the Eleventh Doctor (protagonist) and Amy Pond (deuteragonist) in series 5-7 of the revival.
** Gwen Cooper in ''Series/{{Torchwood}}''.
** Though she's only a recurring Companion, River Song serves as the deuteragonist of Series 6, to the Eleventh Doctor's protagonist. The overarching plot line of that series has just as much to do with the mystery behind River's origins as it does with the Doctor's continuing adventures. The finale of Series 6 is even titled "The Wedding of River Song".
* River in ''{{Firefly}}'', as a substantial number of episodes in the series' short run centered around her. It became much more clear that River was the second protagonist during ''Film/{{Serenity}}''.
* ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' has Peter Bishop and Walter Bishop respectively acting as the deuteragonist and the tritagonist to protagonist Olivia Dunham.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' has [[HeroicBastard Jon Snow]] and [[GovernmentInExile Daenerys Targaryen]]. Both are engaged in their own plots that are almost completely independent of the main factions [[GambitPileup competing]] for the Iron Throne. Whilst it's true that in Dany's case, she ''is'' building an army to compete later, so far her story has remained on a separate continent to the main action.
* In ''Series/{{Grimm}}'' we have Captain Sean Renard.
* Depending on who you view as the protagonist, either Lorelai or Rory on ''GilmoreGirls''.
* In ''Series/{{Hannibal}}'' Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter arguably share the top spot and Jack Crawford is the tritagonist
* Spencer in ''Series/ICarly''
* ''TheInspectorLynleyMysteries'' has Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, in a ''rare'' example of an [[TheInspector Inspector's]] partner being this. Unlike most non-protagonist detective sergeants in British mystery fiction, Havers' storyline gets almost as much focus as the titular protagonist's right from the get-go. In addition, though she frequently acts as TheWatson to her partner, it isn't uncommon for ''him'' to act as TheWatson to ''her'' (for instance, the majority of "Natural Causes", or the caravan site in "One Guilty Deed"). This very trope has been cited as one of the things that sets this series apart from other {{Detective Drama}}s of its kind, and as one of the best aspects of the show.
* In ''Series/{{Justified}}'' local gang boss Boyd Crowder is the deuteragonist to U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens' protagonist.
* In ''Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger'' the villains Rio and Mele are just as important to the story as the main heroes.
* This really is a staple of later ''Franchise/KamenRider'' series, all of them have a secondary protagonist who provide as much if not more importance to the storyline as the titular character from their respective series. These second protagonists aren't necessarily the [[SixthRanger Second Riders]] that are another staple of the franchise and many aren't even Riders in the first place.
** ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'': Kaoru Ichijou
** ''Series/KamenRiderAgito'': Agito is a bit difficult since it technically has two secondary protagonists, neither of whom is really that much more relevant than the other; Makoto Hikawa/Kamen Rider G3 and Ryou Ashihara/Kamen Rider Gills.
* Prince [[spoiler: and later King]] Arthur from ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' had his journey from being a JerkJock WellDoneSonGuy to TheWisePrince and later [[spoiler: TheGoodKing]] parallel Merlin's development from his [[HypercompetentSidekick Hypercompetent Sidekick]]/[[BeleagueredAssistant Beleaguered Assistant]] to TheGoodChancellor.
** Morgana is the tritagonist as well as antagonist. A big part of the plot is about her rise from a young person who struggles with her magic in a kingdom hostile to her kind to High Priestess, which parallels Merlin's rise in power but is on the opposite side of the conflict.
** And Guinevere is the tetragonist. Never given a huge amount of focus in comparison to the other three, she quietly goes through a RagsToRiches storyline and ShrinkingViolet to [[TheHighQueen confident High Queen]] CharacterDevelopment before ending as the most powerful figure in the show. (In fact, the very last line uttered in the show's GrandFinale refers to her).
* Angela's parents in ''Series/MySoCalledLife''.
''{{Series/House}}'' [[TheLancer Wilson]] is most definitely this.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** Depending on who you ask, for the first 7 seasons either Mulder was this to Scully or the other way around with Skinner eventually developing into a tritagonist.
** In season 8, Scully is the protagonist with John Doggett as a deuteragonist with Mulder sharing or plain overtaking that slot [[CommutingOnABus on occasion]] with Skinner still as a tritagonist.
** Season 9 is hard to classify because it was a weird transitional period where they were minimizing Scully and giving Doggett a new partner but before anybody could settle into their new roles, they found out the show was cancelled and all that had to be thrown out the window for the GrandFinale which more or less reverted back to the structure of seasons 1-7.
* Gus in ''Series/{{Psych}}'' is a wonderful example.
* Turk in ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', along with Elliot as the tritagonist.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'':
** John doubles as TheLancer, since he's also helped out Sherlock and busted him out of crazy situations that could get him killed, and gets as much character development as him. Sherlock went from a [[JerkAss jerk]] to [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold one that has a likeable side to him]] with [[MoralityPet John's friendship.]] John went from [[NiceGuy gentle, unassuming guy]] with no purpose in life and [[FriendlessBackground no friends]] to [[BadassAdorable good-looking]] adrenaline junkie with a [[BigBrotherInstinct protective instinct towards Sherlock]] that shouldn't be activated.
** [[InspectorLestrade Lestrade]] often qualifies as the tritagonist. He seemed to get almost as much development as John, since he went from [[TheLestrade just a police officer]] to a [[FriendOnTheForce guy that Sherlock could trust]].
** [[BadassAdorable Molly Hooper]] often serves as the Tetragonist. She quietly went from a [[TheChewToy girl that Sherlock could pick on]] to [[DidYouThinkICantFeel standing up for herself]] and [[MoralityPet girl that Sherlock could rely on when he needed her help, especially when it comes to keeping John safe from Moriarty.]] Also, she [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome called Sherlock out on his idiocy for doing drugs and not telling John that he was on drugs again.]] Basically, the whole scene was a "Way to go, genius. You ''almost ruined your brain'' and didn't tell your best friend about it, even though he'd want to help you out with this problem" scene.
** Mary Morstan later Waston becomes the Tritagonist of Series 3. She seems to be like your [[NiceGuy gentle, unassuming girl]] but [[BewareTheNiceOnes she was an assassin from the CIA]], and likes Sherlock. Ironically, the main leads didn't realize this, but [[OhCrap when they did]], you ''know'' how stupid they were for not realizing it, though it's understandable since how were they supposed to know she was an assassin from the CIA? She ''fooled'' them. Plus, you would ''think'' she wouldn't hesitate to kill you if you screw with John because of her profession, but-''hello.'' [[HappilyMarried That's her husband]], for Pete's sake! As in, she fell in love with him. Screw with a [[RetiredBadass war veteran]] and you'll have to screw with [[RetiredBadass an assassin from the CIA.]]
** And [[BigBrotherInstinct good luck to you if you manage to get a war veteran pissed by threatening Sherlock's life. It'll end badly for you.]]
* ''Series/TheShield'':
** Shane Vendrell to Vic Mackey's Protagonist.
** Season 4 adds Monica Rawling as a rather prominent Tritagonist.
** Jon Kavanaugh in season 5.
* Spock emerges as the deuteragonist of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' fairly early on; [[WordOfGod David Gerrold]] has said that the show was originally supposed to be about "Kirk and X", where character "X" would alternate every week, but Spock was repeatedly placed in that position, and it stuck. This trend was amplified in the movies, and especially in [[Film/StarTrek the reboot]]. (In fact, in the reboot, Spock can be said to be the deuteragonist ''and'' the tritagonist). [[TheMcCoy McCoy]], on the other hand, despite being the third member of the PowerTrio, is defined largely by his interactions with [[TheKirk Kirk]] and [[TheSpock Spock]].
* Though ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' seemed to establish Riker as the deuteragonist at first (Kirk-ish personality, {{expy}} of would-be ''[[SequelSeries Star Trek: Phase II]]'' deuteragonist Willard Decker, and Jonathan Frakes having star billing alongside Patrick Stewart), he was quickly usurped by Data. This was readily apparent in the movies, which amounted to Picard and Data having grand adventures among talking set-pieces.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' and ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' both introduced their deuteragonist in the fourth season: Worf and Seven of Nine, respectively. In both cases, this resulted in the previous deuteragonist (Kira and the Doctor, respectively) being demoted to tritagonist.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' has Jerry as a protagonist with George as the deutragonist (given that he was an {{Expy}} or AuthorAvatar of series co-creator Larry David) with Elaine as the Tritagonist and Kramer as a Tetragonist.
* Ellen Parsons to Patty Hewes in ''{{Series/Damages}}''.
* Dean Winchester from ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. He's the deuteragonist to Sam, who's the focal character and the protagonist, especially from seasons one to six.
** John (Sam and Dean's father) was seen as the tritagonist in seasons one to two;
** Bobby was the tritagonist in the later seasons (seasons five to seven);
** Castiel can be seen as a tritagonist in the current seasons after Bobby's death (seasons seven to nine);
*** Prior to that, he could be seen as the tetragonist (particularly seasons five to six)
** Beginning in season 8, Crowley becomes the tetragonist of the series.
* Joseph Bede from ''Series/TheShadowLine''. His drug deal gets a lot of focus over the entire series, despite only rarely intersecting with protagonist Jonah Gabriel's investigation into Harvey Wratten's death. In addition, Gatehouse is a tritagonist.
** If you can apply this to a group of people, then the focus of each season ''apart'' from the Major Case Squad: the dock workers (season 2), Bunny Colvin and his people (season 3), the middle-school kids (season 4), and the newspaper people (season 5).
* ''Series/TheWire'':
** The first season has [=McNulty=] as the protagonist and D'Angelo Barksdale as the Deutragonist.
** Season 2 has Frank Sobotka as its Deutragonist with Stringer Bell possibly being a Tritagonist.
** Season 3 has Stringer Bell as the Deutragonist, Tommy Carcetti as the Tritagonist and Omar as the Tetragonist with Bunny Colvin sharing a role with either Carcetti or Omar.
** Season 4 becomes fairly muddled in this aspect as it finds [=McNulty=] CommutingOnABus for a lot of the season and the show takes on more of a true EnsembleCast.
** Season 5 has [=McNulty=] back as the Protagonist with Gus as the Deutragonist and Omar the Tritagonist.
* Sam from ''Series/TrueBlood''. In the third, fourth, and half of the fifth season, his storylines didn't intersect with Sookie's at all.
* The ''Franchise/UltraSeries'' has examples of this before even ''Kamen Rider''.
** Ultraman Agul/Hiroya Fujimiya from ''Series/UltramanGaia'' is the first and most notable.
** ''Series/UltramanNexus'' would then have Himeya Jun, later replaced by Senjyu Ren.
** Yuukou Minami in ''Series/UltramanAce'', until she left [=TAC=].
** Captain Dan Moroboshi in ''Series/UltramanLeo'' with Tohru as the tritagonist. In Episode 40, Commander Black becomes the Deuteragonist.
* Stefan Salvatore from ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' is more of a deuteragonist to Elena, who is the protagonist of the series. Stefan is also the hero as well as the narrator of the series (he's the one telling the story) while Elena is the heroine of the series. Damon can be seen as the tritagonist (as well as the anti-hero) of the show.
** Elena is the main protagonist, Stefan is the deuteragonist and Damon is the tritagonist.
* Niles Crane in ''{{Frasier}}'', especially after the early seasons.
* [[BromanticFoil Barney Stinson]] eventually becomes Deteragonist in ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', as more focus is put on his [[CharacterDevelopment growth]] from a womanizer to someone willing to settle down, especially since [[spoiler:it's at Barney's wedding that the titular event takes place.]]
* Allison Argent from ''Series/TeenWolf''. She is the main female character and serves as the love interest of the hero and protagonist of the series, Scott.
** Scott is the main protagonist, Allison is the deuteragonist and Stiles is the tritagonist.
* Nathan Scott from ''Series/OneTreeHill'' served as this to Lucas' protagonist in the first 6 seasons. Later on in the series after Lucas left, Nathan became TheHero and protagonist.
** From Season's 1 to 6, Lucas is the main protagonist, Nathan is the deuteragonist and Peyton is the tritagonist.
** From Season's 7 to 9, Nathan is the protagonist, Haley is the deuteragonist and Brooke is the tritagonist.
* Joey Potter from ''Series/DawsonsCreek''. She was the main female character. She also served as the main love interest of the series protagonist, Dawson. In fact, she was the only character to appear in every single episode of the show's six-season run; not even the ''title character'' has that distinction. Dawson is the main protagonist, Joey is the deuteragonist and Pacey is the tritagonist.
* Ally from ''Series/AustinAndAlly'' is the central character of the tv show, but the in-universe plot revolves around the Austin character becoming a famous musician. While Ally continues to have stage fright and stick to the shadows to write the songs for Austin she will be an in-universe deuteragonist to his protagonist.
* Booth is the deuteragonist of ''Series/{{Bones}}'', with the title character as the protagonist. He's also the LoveInterest.
* Ryan O'Reily is the deuteragonist to Tobias Beecher's protagonist and Miguel Alvarez's tritagonist on ''{{Oz}}''.
* In ''Series/{{Monk}}'', Sharona Flemming serves as the deuteragonist to the title character for the first two and half seasons, with Natalie Teeger serving in the role for the remainder of the show. Leland Stottlemeyer is the tritagonist and Randy Disher is the tetragonist.
* In ''Series/{{Homeland}}'', Carrie Mathison and Nicolas Brody switched roles between protagonist and dueteragonist depending on the episode with Saul Berenson being the steady tritagonist. In season 2, this began to change as Nicolas Brody slowly descended into a tritagonist, while Saul Berenson began to upgrade into a dueteragonist. By the end of season 3, Nicolas Brody is mostly OutOfFocus and ends up being [[spoiler: a DecoyProtagonist after he's KilledOffForReal, and Saul Berenson's role as the dueteragonist is set in stone.]]
* ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryMurderHouse'': Tate plays this to Ben and Vivien, who share the Protagonist slot (reflected by their credit switching order every episode). Violet comes in as a very close Tritagonist. [[spoiler:Tate also overlaps with the role of antagonist (which is also [[EvilMatriarch shared with his mother]]), as he is the rubber-man, who killed several peers in a school shooting, Chad and Patrick and raped Vivien - kick-starting the chain of events leading to the birth of the Anti-Christ]].
* In the first Season of ''Series/HouseOfCardsUS'', [[IntrepidReporter Zoe Barnes]] serves as the deuteragonist to [[TheChessmaster Frank Underwood]]'s protagonist, with [[FunctionalAddict Peter Russo]] as the tritagonist. [[spoiler: In Season 2, after Frank murders Zoe and Peter in his quest for power, Lucas Goodwin briefly steps into the deuteragonist role, with Rachel Posner serving as the tritagonist.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* ''Music/{{Jesus Christ Superstar}}'' functions this way, shifting its focus pretty evenly between the title character and Judas Iscariot, while giving equal weight and sympathy to the actions of both of them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Arbiter (Thel 'Vadam) in ''Franchise/{{Halo}}''; He's the main character in several levels of ''{{Halo 2}}'', and fights beside Master Chief in {{Halo 3}}.
* Zero in the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series, especially starting at around ''X4''. He even takes over as the main character in the SequelSeries, ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'', after X disappears.
** Axl, debuting in ''X7'', is the ''X'' series' tritagonist. Notably, ''X7'' and ''X8'' are (more) [[CharacterFocus focused]] on him than X or Zero.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', Luke is the protagonist, with either Asch or Tear as the deuteragonist, depending on how you view it.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'' has a more direct example, with main characters Jude and Milla even having separate dungeons and events. Alvin acts as the tritagonist to both of them.
* In the ''TokimekiMemorial'' series, and if discounting [[TheProtagonist the main male protagonist]]:
** ''1'' : Yukari was planned as this to Shiori in the initial development stages of the game, [[WhatCouldHAveBeen but the idea was ultimately scrapped]], and Shiori remained the sole main heroine ;
** ''4'' : Yuu (to Maki) ;
** ''Drama Series Vol. 3 : Tabidachi no Uta'' : Miharu (to Shiori), if going the Miharu route ;
** ''Substories 1 : Dancing Summer Vacation'' : Kaori, or the Shirayuki twins (to Miyuki), depending on which one you choose as Miyuki's [[VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution DDR]] partner.
* Rena or Claude in ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'', depending on which of the two you choose as the main character at the beginning.
* [[EnsembleDarkhorse Luigi]] fits this role in many ''SuperMario'' [[VideoGame games]], especially in the early ones, where he was playable as a sprite recolor of Mario. He still has that role in many of the later [[SuperMario Mario]] [[VideoGame games]], having just as big of a role as Mario in the ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi'' [[VideoGame games]], and even appearing in both ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' [[VideoGame games]] as an alternative to playing Mario. It's not called Super Mario '''Bros''' without a reason, y'know. [[BigBad Bowser]] is another example, strangely enough, having his own separate storyline in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' and technically being the [[TheHero the real hero]] of ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story]]''.
* Princess Zelda for the most part is this in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series naturally. In some games, however, she's the Tritagonist, while characters like [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Midna]] or [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Linebeck]] serve as the Deuteragonist.
* [[TheLancer Riku]] in ''KingdomHearts'' has progressively become this, starting with ''[[KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories Chain of Memories]]'', where [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent he takes over as the playable character in his own story]] once [[TheHero Sora's]] story finishes, and cemented past ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII''.
** Out of all the games in the series, KingdomHearts3D has the most fun with this trope. [[spoiler:In this one, ''Sora'' is the deuteragonist, while Riku himself gets [[ADayInTheLimelight a day as the protagonist.]]]]
* Miles Edgeworth plays an important role in the plot of the [[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney first two]] ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' games (as well as a minor role in the third), and the [[VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations fifth and sixth games]] feature him as the player character. The series' face, however, will forever be Phoenix Wright.
** Phoenix takes on the role of deuteragonist in ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney''.
** And in turn, Apollo is one in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies''.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' it's hard to tell who the primary protagonist is among [[HalfHumanHybrid Terra]], [[SuperSoldier Celes]], and [[LoveableRogue Locke]]. But there is a pro-, deuter-, and tritagonist, make no mistake.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' had Aerith in this role, while Barret and Tifa were pretty evenly tied as the tritagonists. Once [[ItWasHisSled Aerith dies]], Tifa steps into the deuteragonist role, leaving Barret as the sole Tritagonist.
** ''CrisisCore'' had Zack as TheProtagonist, Cloud as the deuteragonist and ''Sephiroth'' as the tritagonist.
** ''AdventChildren'' had Tifa as the Deuteragonist to Cloud again. Of all people, the one closest to tritagonist in this one was [[CheerfulChild Marlene]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' has two major candidates for this trope, depending on perspective.
** On one hand, [[WordOfGod Square officially considers]] Laguna Loire to be the deuteragonist. The manual emphasizes this as his role, with its summary of the storyline placing special note on how the story is of his and Squall's fates intertwining with each other ([[spoiler:it's heavily implied that Laguna is Squall's father]]), as well as listing the two on the same page. In addition, Laguna is responsible for and involved in many crucial aspects of the game's backstory, and he was added as the new VIII representative in ''[[VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy Dissidia Duodecim]]''. The creators made him with the intent of his being an "alternate protagonist".
** On the other hand, among fans it is usually Rinoa who is considered the deuteragonist, due to her prominence in the game itself as the heroine, her and Squall's romance being a major part of the storyline, as well as her overall popularity. It also helps that she is a permanent party member, unlike Laguna who is [[GuestStarPartyMember only playable during the flashback sequences]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has Garnet and Vivi. Which one is the Deuteragonist or Tritagonist depends on your point of view.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'': While Tidus often concludes much of his narration by saying it's ''his'' story, it has equally as much to do with Yuna, if not moreso. Much of the plot revolves around her pilgrimage to gather the Aeons in order to defeat SIN and usher in the next Calm. She even lampshades this by telling him, "It's your story, [[LampshadeHanging but it's my story too."]]
* While formerly TheBigGuy of the FiveManBand, Augustus Cole is promoted to this at the start of ''GearsOfWar 3.'' The second half of the first Act is played from his perspective, and is the only time in all three campaigns that player 1 isn't controlling [[TheHero Marcus Fenix]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' is a bit odd with this. Theoretically Reimu is the protagonist and Marisa the deuteragonist, but Marisa actually gets more appearances outside of the main games (while they're tied in the games). Reverse-wise, the games put Sakuya and later Sanae as the tritagonist, but this hasn't extended to the side material (where most of the story is).
* In ''FinalFantasyTactics'', it's Delita Heiral, the former best friend of Ramza Beolve who's actions play a major part in shaping the plot. The story is his as much as it is Ramza's, with them taking divergent paths that nonetheless criss-cross throughout the game from start to finish.
* Liara T'Soni for the Mass Effect series, she has the biggest role in the plot and major roles In the ExpandedUniverse that takes place between games and serves this role in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' and ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''
** However, for ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' specifically, Miranda Lawson has this role.
** In the first game, the role of Tritagonist is shared by Ashley and Kaidan, Shepard's first two party members ([[GuestStarPartyMember not counting]] [[LeeroyJenkins Jenkins]]) who are present throughout the story and cutscenes, and who force the main character into a SadisticChoice where one has to be left behind on Virmire to save the other. The tetragonist role is taken by Wrex, whose fate in the game can vary based on the relationship he forges with Shepard.
** In the second and third games, the Tritagonist role is taken over by Garrus, who [[TheLancer graduates to the role of Shepard's right-hand man]] ([[PromotionToLoveInterest and potential Love Interest for female players]]). In ''Mass Effect 3'', he's second only to Liara in available dialogue options, and his CharacterDevelopment throughout the trilogy is meant to paint him as a {{Foil}} and ShadowArchetype to Shepard. Meanwhile, the Virmire Survivor ends up becoming the Tetragonist, as his/her reaction to Shepard's time with Cerberus is meant to come off as a PlayerPunch. The attempts to convince them of your loyalty take up a good section of the third game, to the point that (like Wrex in the first adventure), they can potentially die standing against you if the player fails to sufficiently repair the relationship.
* [[TheLancer Alistair]] is the deuteragonist to the Warden in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''--especially if he's [[spoiler: picked to be king]]--and [[LovableRogue Varric]] serves as one to Hawke in the [[VideoGame/DragonAgeII sequel]].
* In other Bioware games, Imoen of the ''Baldur's Gate'' series, Bastila in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', and Dawn Star in ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''.
** In ''Knights of the Old Republic'', Carth Onasi takes on the role of Tritagonist.
* In the ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' series, John Price, "Soap" [=MacTavish=], and whoever is the "other" player character frequently switch off depending on the game; it is generally easiest to tell who is the protagonist by whomever you control in the final level. In order:
** In the first game, Soap was the protagonist, with Price playing deuteragonist and Sergeant Jackson playing tritagonist.
** In the second, Soap was again the protagonist, with Price again playing deuteragonist and Roach and Ramirez playing tritagonist.
** In the third, Price became the primary protagonist, with Yuri being the deuteragonist and Soap and Frost serving as tritagonist.
* In ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'', Mason is the protagonist, Hudson is the deuteragonist, Woods and Reznov are the tritagonists.
** In ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2'', in the flashback, Woods is promoted to deuteragonist since most of the past is narrated by him, but you still play all save one of the missions as Alex Mason. Woods can also be considered the deuteragonist of the story as a whole, since although Mason gets the spotlight in the 1980s missions, it is ultimately Woods' actions and mistakes that set up the 2025 conflict.
** For the 2025 story, David Mason is the protagonist, Mike Harper is the deuteragonist, Javier Salazar and Admiral Briggs (probably Crosby too) are the tritagonists.
* Bentley from the ''Franchise/SlyCooper'' series. Especially by the third game, ''VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves''. He's even the only other character aside from Sly to have a voiceover narration in the cutscenes.
* ''VideoGame/AdvancedVariableGeo'':
** As the heiress of The Jahana Corporation, Reimi Jahana serves as both the deuteragonist and as Yuka's [[TheRival primary rival.]] After being defeated by Yuka, she aids her in putting an end to [[EvilMatriarch her mother]], [[BigBad Miranda's]], ambitions.
** In ''Advanced V.G. II'', Tamao assumes this role, relagating Reimi to being the tritagonist. The game has Tamao looking for Yuka, who'd lost her will to fight [[ItsAllMyFault due to feeling responsible for the deaths of K-1 and K-2]][[note]]both were killed by Miranda [[YouHaveFailedMe for failing to defeat Yuka]] in the previous tournament[[/note]]. Tamao helps rekindle Yuka's spirit by making her see that she wasn't to blame for what'd happened, after which, they face each other in a friendly match. In the canonical version, Tamao wins and goes on to defeat Miranda as well.
* Jack and Leo from ''VideoGame/AnarchyReigns''. Both gets an equal amount of focus, and you have to play both sides of the single player campaign.
* Elizabeth in ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' after Booker frees her from captivity early in the game.
** This is flipped around in Episode 2 of ''BioShockInfinite/BurialAtSea'', where Elizabeth is the protagonist and Booker, [[spoiler:or at least a mental version of him]], is the deuteragonist.
* The ''[[Franchise/MetalGear Metal Gear Solid]]'' games are pretty complicated in this respect:
** The [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid first game]] the deuteragonist is either Liquid Snake, Meryl, or Otacon, with the other two serving in the roles of tritagonist and tetragonist.
** The [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2 second game]] is an interesting case, as Raiden is the Protagonist while Snake is the deuteragonist... at least that should be the case. HideoKojima actually states that Raiden is really a SupportingProtagonist while Snake is still the main hero.
** In the [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3 third game]], Naked Snake is the protagonist, The Boss is the deuteragonist, and EVA is the tritagonist.
** In the [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4 fourth game]], Snake is the protagonist, Otacon is the deuteragonist, Liquid Ocelot is the tritagonist, and Raiden is the tetragonist.
* ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting'': Robert is the next most pivotal character in the series' canon, as he and Ryo are both credited for taking down [[TheDragon Mr. Big's]] [[TheSyndicate Syndicate]], while Robert is credited for personally defeating Big. ''[=AoF=] 3'' [[CharacterFocus reveresed their roles]], making him [[TheProtagonist the protagonist]] of that game, while Ryo served as deuteragonist. Carmen Cole contacts him to help him find Robert, since he assumed Ryo knew him well enough to be able to anticipate where might've gone and what his next move would be.
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', [[FriendlyNeighbourhoodVampire Serana]] in ''Dawnguard'' and [[TheChiefsDaughter Frea]] in ''Dragonborn'' both serve as the deuteragonist of the main questline.
* Marie in ''VideoGame/IMissTheSunrise''. The developer even [[http://www.tilde-one.com/articles.php?id=378 makes an argument]] that she could be considered the ''protagonist'', with ''[[PlayerCharacter Ros]]'' as the deuteragonist. Tezkhra is eligible for the role of tritagonist, also, as his subplot gets a great deal of focus and is significant to the main story.
* [[TheRival Jin Kisaragi]] from ''VideoGame/BlazBlue''. A major part of the conflict in the series is the rivalry between him and the protagonist, [[CainandAbel who also happens to be his brother]], [[AntiHero Ragna the Bloodedge]]. Ragna is the "Destroyer of the World", and Jin is the holder of "The Power of Order" and destined to eliminate him.
** [[ShrinkingViolet Noel Vermillion]] also serves as the ''Tritagonist'', being the "Successor of the Azure" and has as large a role as Ragna & Jin as she is the only one who [[spoiler: can locate the Master Unit, which the BigBadDuumvirate are looking to destroy]]
** Rachel and Carl share the spot of Tetragonist, being the more active half of the BigGood [[BigBadDuumvirate Duumvirate]] and the son of half of the BigBadDuumvirate respectively
** Really, ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' has such a wide cast of characters with their own arcs that they could be Deuteragonist on their own. Bang Shishigami can be considered the Deuteragonist for his arc focuses on Ikaruga's restoration, which is culminated in ''VideoGame/BlazBlueChronophantasma''. Litchi Faye-Ling can be considered another Deuteragonist as she is the main focus of her quest to save Arakune [[spoiler:even if she would end up being an antagonist to the main story, as she received enough SympatheticPOV that details her own struggles.]] These two are also heavily linked to the aforementioned Carl. As of the third game, it's possible that Tsubaki is going up to tetragonist [[spoiler:or maybe tritagonist due to TakingALevelInBadass and her pre-existing bonds with Jin and Noel, with Ragna moving aside due to becoming an EldritchAbomination, and Jin and Noel therefore moving up one too.]]
* [[RobotGirl Aigis]] from {{Persona 3}} is notable because she's introduced into the story about a quarter of the way in, and only becomes really important by the last four months of the game, yet she's as central to the story as the Main Character, after it's revealed that she [[spoiler: Sealed Death inside him, creating the personality of Ryoji/Pharos]], and her arc about [[BecomeARealBoy starting to feel emotions and becoming more "human"]] really gets going. This is taken to its logical extent by having her be the protagonist of the PlayableEpilogue included in the UpdatedRerelease, as well has playing a central role in {{Persona 4 Arena}}.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' has the Avatar and Marth ([[spoiler: Actually Chrom's daughter from the future, Lucina]]), whose roles in the game are equally important as Chrom's, despite the fact that they aren't given as much focus.
* Lili of ''{{Psychonauts}}'' serves as the ''Deuter'' to Raz's ''Pro.'' Realizing that they're sharing a precognitive dream with each other, the two team up to get to the bottom of it. The second half of the game is dedicated to Raz trying to [[spoiler: find and rescue Lili.]]
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** Knuckles had this role in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' being that he shares a link with the Master Emerald and Chaos.
** For a while after his debut, Shadow had a major role in almost every main title alongside Sonic himself.
** Silver was one in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'' he along with Shadow fights against two halves of the main villain (and final boss), Mephiles and Iblis.
** Despite not being playable, [[spoiler: Tails in SonicLostWorld. While Sonic stops the villains, he doesn't actually help save the world - Tails does that part all on his own]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'''s Kotomine Kirei is a pretty obvious villain from the moment he first appears. However, it is not clear until ''Heavens Feel'' just how much he has truly shaped the plot of the series. Following slightly behind him as the tritagonist, Rin Tohsaka is one of the primary heroines (though not necessarily love interest). She's the only character besides [[TheHero Shirou]] who gets first-person P.O.V. scenes, and plays a major role in every route of the game (unlike the other villains and supporting characters, whose role may be significantly downplayed).
* Houzuki in ''VisualNovel/SharinNoKuni'' is Kenichi's mentor figure and guides him along from point to point in the story while forcing Kyousuke to confront his own past and his future. While he's Kenichi's boss, supervisor and even a father figure of sorts, he's also clearly the antagonist of the story due to his harsh methods [[spoiler:and later even becomes the villain.]] The identity of the tritagonist is much less clear: The main heroine that the story is focused around is Natsumi, but the person who really shaped Kenichi into who he is is his sister Ririko [[spoiler:who has been following him around the whole time.]]
* Kyousuke is the protagonist of ''VisualNovel/GSenjouNoMaou'' followed by main heroine Usami Heroine and antagonist Maou. Usami is almost a second protagonist and her introduction to the story starts off the plot with her obsession with both justice and revenge with Kyousuke acting as something of an actor for her. Maou, the tritagonist, is the villain of the story and is a criminal mastermind who killed Usami's mother and has a suspicious connection to Kyousuke. There's even a tetragonist: Azai Gonzou, Kyousuke's {{badass}} yakuza father, who is the primary target of Maou's schemes.
* Kyouko Kirigiri in ''VisualNovel/DanganRonpa'', to the point where Naegi might even be considered a SupportingProtagonist.
* In ''UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'', it progressively becomes very clear (especially from Episode3) that Beatrice is just as much the main character of the story as Battler is. The entire mystery is about understanding who she is, where she comes from and what her motivations are. If we add the 1998 part, Ange, who desperately tries to find the truth of what happened on Rokkenjima, would be the tritagonist.
* In ''{{VisualNovel/Ever17}}'', you have the choice in the beginning to play as either Takeshi or The Kid. [[spoiler:Blinkwinkel is either the tritagonist, or the actual protagonist]].
* ''{{VisualNovel/Remember11}}'' has Kokoro and Satoru as the deuteragonists in the respective other's route.
* ''VisualNovel/PhantomOfInferno'' changes it each act, also depending on which routes are taken:
** In Act I, either Ein or Claudia is the deuteragonist while the other is the tritagonist.
** In Act II, either Cal or Claudia is the deuteragonist while the other is the tritagonist.
** In Act III, if the player takes Mio's route she will serve as the deuteragonist while both Ein and [[spoiler: Drei]] share the tritagonist role. If not, then either Ein or [[spoiler: Drei]] serves in the role instead while the other is the tritagonist and Mio is automatically relegated to tetragonist.
* In ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'', Junpei is the protagonist and Akane/June is the deuteragonist. [[spoiler:This is subverted in the True Ending, where it's revealed that the positions were reversed the entire time - you have been playing as 12-year old Akane, who is viewing the Second Nonary Game through Junpei's eyes in order to survive the First Nonary Game.]] In its sequel, ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'', Sigma is the protagonist and Phi is the deuteragonist. [[spoiler:In Phi's ending, Junpei Tenmyouji is promoted to tritagonist and his romance subplot with Akane is finally resolved (although not on a happy note).]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Animation]]
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' has several characters who play the role of Deuteragonist to Protagonist Leonard Church depending on the season:
** The ''Recollection'' Trilogy (Seasons 6-8) has Agent Washington.
** ''Revelation'' (Season 8) has Agent Texas[[spoiler:, with Agent Washington serving as a villainous Tritagonist for most of it.]]
** Seasons 9 and 10 have Agent Carolina, with Agent Texas serving as the Tritagonist.
* In ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'', team JNPR is the deuteragonist to team RWBY's protagonist, particularly in regards to the teams' respective leaders, with Jaune playing deuteragonist to Ruby. [[WordOfGod Word of Monty]] is that originally, they were supposed to be the B-team, "but somewhere along the lines, they became a second A-team."
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Faye from ''QuestionableContent''. The ostensible protagonist is Marten, especially at first, but the comic's development meant it revolved equally around both of them, before becoming an {{ensemble cast}}.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Haley and Elan more or less take turns as deuteragonist and tritagonist.
** ''StartOfDarkness'' fits this perfectly: Redcloak is the protagonist, [[BigBad Xykon]] is the deuteragonist and antagonist, and Right-Eye is the tritagonist.
* According to WordOfGod, Karkat is the Deuteragonist in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' to Protagonist John, as he takes the role of John's {{foil}} when the focus shifts off of the kids and onto the trolls. When the series shifts yet again to a second set of kids, Jane becomes the series' Tritagonist. Meenah is the tetragonist of the Openbound arc.
* Amber in ''Webcomic/{{Matchu}}''. Neither her nor Protagonist Matchu know each other, and the stories revolve around their intertwining lives.
* ''{{Webcomic/Archipelago}}'''s becomes Raven, despite the role seeming to have always been set up for Blitz.
* Joseph from ''Webcomic/JosephAndYusra''. Despite both he and [[TheProtagonist Yusra]] are the main characters, he has no PointOfView of the story.
* Kat in ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' to protagonist Annie, her best friend and {{foil}}. MagicVersusScience is a recurring theme of the story and setting, and is represented in the two characters. Annie, who converses with {{psychopomp}}s and has connections to the ether and the forest, represents the supernatural. Kat, a GadgeteerGenius who grew up in the Court, represents technology.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* Minx, daughter of protagonist Battlecat, is the deuteragonist of ''[[Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse Night Life in the Big Easy]]''.
* ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'' has the eponymous low-level guild as the protagonist ensemble. The only other full team from their faction ever seen is the main roster from the high-level Justice guild, that is used to depict the elite's gaming life and have enough importance in the story to have their own rivals be semi-regular characters.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Jake is this for Finn in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime''.
* Buena Girl is this for Rikochet in ''WesternAnimation/MuchaLucha'' with The Flea being the tritagonist.
* Zuko from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is the deuteragonist of the series, his story arc and CharacterDevelopment have the most impact on the overall narrative next to Aang's. They are also great foils for one another, and their background and choices are constantly compared.
* Riley Freeman on ''TheBoondocks'', with his older brother Huey as Protagonist and their grandfather Robert as Tritagonist.
* ''{{Daria}}'''s best friend Jane serves as the deuteragonist of the series, with Daria's sister Quinn as the tritagonist.
* Chris from DanVs wavers between this and [[TheIgor minion]] on a regular basis. His wife, Elise, acts as the tritagonist just as often.
* Helga on ''HeyArnold'', to Arnold himself. As the seasons went on an Arnold became more of a FlatCharacter the focus on her family issues and neurosis made her the real protagonist. The canceled sequel series would've been told from her perspective from the beginning.
* Dib to ''InvaderZim'', of the [[HeroAntagonist opposing kind]].
* Rufus and Amberley of ''TheDreamstone'', much like Dib, flip flop between being this or {{Hero Antagonist}}s to [[VillainProtagonist the Urpneys]] depending on the episode.
* The [[PowerTrio Cutie Mark Crusaders]] are collectively the deuteragonist cast of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. As far as the primary cast goes, Twilight Sparkle is the protagonist, while the remaining five are equally deuteragonistic (with [[TheOneGuy Spike]] following closely behind as the {{tritagonist}}).
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' is an interesting case of [[{{Deuteragonist}} Kyle Broflovski]] and [[TheProtagonist Stan Marsh]] [[ZigZaggingTrope flip-flopping]] between this role in the series' narrative.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' tended to focus on one character per seasonal arc as the protagonist, but a couple of them had Deuteragonists as well- notably, Beast Boy was the Deuteragonist to [[AntiVillain Terra's]] Protagonist in season 2, and Robin was the Deuteragonist to Raven's Protagonist in season 4.
* Trevor Goodchild of ''WesternAnimation/AeonFlux''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', [[WarriorPoet Goliath]] is clearly the protagonist (WordOfGod even describes him as the prism through which all of the other characters were viewed), with [[BadassNormal Elisa Maza]] and the deuteragonist and [[TheLancer Brooklyn]] as the tritagonist (except during the Avalon World Tour arc, when Brooklyn is OutOfFocus along with the other non-Goliath clan members and [[AffirmativeActionGirl Angela]] takes over as tritagonist).
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' is primarly about Anakin and his slow slipping towards TheDarkSide. Obi-Wan and Ahsoka are the deuteragonists, with both of them having roughtly equal screentime, and entire arcs revolving around them. Finally there're Ventress and Fives as a tritagonists, who have rather complex and rounded arcs built around their CharacterDevelopment, despite being relatively minor characters.
* In ''GravityFalls'' the Pine twins are the stars of the show, but the main focus is Dipper while Mabel is a Deuteragonist.
* Both Tommy Anybody and Brattus are this to ''WesternAnimation/MrBogus'', the real star of the show.
* The Cartoon Network miniseries ''WesternAnimation/OverTheGardenWall'' has this happen with Greg, the younger out of the starring pair, while his brother Wirt gets more focus and CharacterDevelopment. Beatrice may function as a tritagonist as well.
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