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[[quoteright:350:[[Theatre/WaitingForGodot http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/waitingforgodotw.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Waiting for a third character.]]

->"''How did I end up on an island where you can put the entire population inside a minivan?"''
-->-- '''Mike Mazinsky''', ''WesternAnimation/MikeLuAndOg''

The Minimalist Cast happens when the only characters that appear at all onscreen are the main characters. No supporting characters, no extras, no guest stars. There may be [[TheGhost ghost characters]], who never appear onscreen but still exist for the main characters. Or an actor in a monster suit. Or there may be a CompanionCube, especially if this state of affairs is expected to last an entire series.

This is rarely pulled off successfully in long running serial material. Even ''Series/GilligansIsland'' -- a show whose premise was ''designed'' for this -- got guest stars. But sometimes it can be made to work. Serials which ordinarily feature more characters may restrict themselves to a Minimalist Cast for a one-off BottleEpisode.

In non-serial material, it is more easily arranged, as then TheLawOfConservationOfDetail no longer fights ''against'' the RuleOfDrama or the FirstLawOfMetafictionalThermodynamics. Note that the limited number of characters in no way guarantees their immortality; a DwindlingParty in these situations can be very frightening.

The Minimalist Cast is the essence of monologue-plays. Compare with {{Minimalism}}. See also BeautifulVoid. You should choose carefully between this, and EconomyCast (similar but less logical). The inversion is LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters. By definition, any work with a Minimalist Cast is also one where TheMainCharactersDoEverything, but a work in which TheMainCharactersDoEverything does not necessarily have a Minimalist Cast.




[[folder:Anime and {{Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/{{Bakemonogatari}}'' only has about a dozen named characters. A few of them (such as Hitagi's father, or Koyomi's sisters) might seem less significant, but they only appear for actual significant interaction. Furthermore, there are no walk on extras at all (unless you count blurred and censored images in some flashbacks). In place of extras, they sometimes show [[FacelessMasses a sort of person-shaped cut-out]]. It gives an eerie sort of feeling, considering things take place in what should be crowded places, and gets particularly creepy when you realize that every character in [[EvolvingCredits Hajikuji's opening]] are [[FacelessMasses cloned extras]] of Hajikuji herself.
* The only people we ever see in ''Anime/AngelsEgg'' are [[NoNameGiven the little girl with the egg and the young warrior with the cross-shaped riffle.]] Apart from them and couple of ghostly fishermen who can't really be considered characters, the [[BeautifulVoid highly-detailed world the two live in is completely deserted.]]
* ''Manga/GirlsLastTour'' focuses mostly on Chito and Yuuri, two survivors of the end of the world, with other characters being few and far in-between.
* ''LightNovel/SeitokaiNoIchizon'' has around 12 named characters as well. The five main characters are usually tho only ones shown, though.
* The only real characters of the GirlsLove {{anime}} ''Anime/{{Kuttsukiboshi}}'' are Kiiko, Aya, and Aya's brother Kota. Background characters have very few lines and contributions to the story.
* ''Anime/HoukagoNoPleiades'', due to its short length, is completely focused on the five {{Magical Girl}}s, the [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter goofy bloboid]] "President," and Minato. Other students are seen a couple of times, but they stay in the background and don't interact with any of the main characters.
* Most chapters in ''Manga/MyNeighborSeki'' are built around just Yokoi and Seki interacting, with neither input nor interruptions from anyone else.
* ''Manga/HowToMakeAnInvisibleMan'' is an interesting case, as it initially features numerous teachers and classmates, but they all disapear from the radar when the main character becomes completely "invisible". After chapter 3, the only characters appearing or speaking are Shinji, his ChildhoodFriend Kana who keeps unconsciously waiting for him, and Miki, who made Shinji invisible, reinforcing the impression that these three are quite literally removed from the world.
* ''Manga/SchoolLive'' has only five major characters - Yuki, Kurumi, Yuuri, Miki, and Megumi-sensei (plus the dog Taroumaru in the anime). Fitting, as they're trapped in their school during a ZombieApocalypse and have no way of finding any other survivors. We briefly see other characters in flashbacks, and [[spoiler:a man in a helicopter appears only to die when it crashes]], but that's it. [[spoiler:Also, Megumi is [[DeadAllAlong actually dead]], only appearing as part of Yuki's delusions.]] Later in the manga, [[spoiler:the girls encounter another batch of survivors when they're forced to leave the school]], but they're gone at the end of the arc [[spoiler:though one tags along with the girls]].
* Tomoko from ''Manga/NoMatterHowILookAtItItsYouGuysFaultImNotPopular'' is an extremely awkward introvert so this is expected. The only major characters in the anime adaptation are her brother, her mother, her friend Yuu, and an upperclassman who tries to befriend Tomoko. Later chapters of the manga would make more of her classmates recurring chapter as Tomoko's social skill slightly improve.
* ''Anime/YukiYunaIsAHero'': the only characters are the five protagonists, their animal familiars, "Taisha"--the shadowy leaders of the MagicalGirl system, only seen in the form of text messages--and later [[spoiler:Sonoko]]. The non-magical students have no lines and rarely appear.
* ''Anime/TokyoMagnitude8'' only has three recurring characters: Mari, Mirai, and Yuuki. It's justified in that it's about Mari trying to reunite the siblings with their parents after an earthquake.
* In ''Manga/HotarubiNoTomoruKoroNi'', the seven Tadamuras are literally the only characters in the story (save for a couple of {{Posthumous Character}}s [[spoiler:and Takano Miyo]]). Everyone else in the village has vanished.
* Befitting the {{Minimalis|m}}t presentation, Creator/MakotoShinkai's first three major works - ''Anime/VoicesOfADistantStar'', ''Anime/ThePlacePromisedInOurEarlyDays'' and ''Anime/FiveCentimetersPerSecond'' - only star up to five named characters of major significance and a bunch of interchangeable bit parts.
* ''Manga/PopTeamEpic'' stars two characters, Popuko and Pipimi. Other characters come and go, typically for one-shot strips. The anime adaptation introduced a small handful of recurrent villains, but they only appear in a few episodes.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* 1980s comic strip ''ComicStrip/{{Arnold}}'' (created by Kevin Mc Cormick) only featured three characters: the titular character, his friend Tommy, and their teacher Mr. Lester. In the end of the strip's run a fourth character, Arnold's baby brother, was seen, but that's it. All other characters shouted from off-screen.
* Most of the stories from The Fox and the Crow comic books in the '50s and '60s featured only the two {{Funny Animal}}s from the title. Even in the few ones where some other characters appeared, it was for only a few panels and always as non-recurring extras in incidental roles.
* ''ComicStrip/QuickAndFlupke'': The series only featured three recurring characters: Quick, Flupke and the police officer Agent 15.
* ''Cowboy Henk'': Henk is the only recurring character in all gags.

* Exaggerated in ''Animation/GogonaDaTovlisGunda'', whose cast consists of only two characters, Snowball the snow boy and an unnamed human girl.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* For the most part, ''WebVideo/PotterPuppetPals'' has only Harry, Ron, Hermione, Snape, Dumbledore and Voldemort. And Neville, played brilliantly by a squash. When fans requested a puppet of Draco, the puppet Harry held a proportionally smaller puppet version of Draco.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fics:
** Most of the ''Fanfic/SilentPonyvilleChronicles'' have this trope, with the first installment including only Pinkie and Twilight. Being based on ''Franchise/SilentHill'' (see below) will do that.
** The short fanfic ''Fanfic/GimmeShelter'' has all of two characters, Fleur de Lis and Fancypants, appear in the story.
** The only characters in [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/145660/octaves Octaves]] are Vinyl Scratch and Octavia, and they as well as a bartender in Chapter 6 are the only ponies with speaking roles. Other characters, such as Vinyl's boss or the music critic that gave Vinyl's album a negative review, [[TheGhost are mentioned frequently but never actually appear]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' fics:
** The first act of ''FanFic/TouhouIbunshu'', ''Reinterpretation of Scarlet Devil'', only includes Reimu, Marisa, Rumia, Cirno, and the five Scarlet Mansion denizens, along with brief appearances of some fairies.
** ''FanFic/AtChirei'' has some animals and nameless youkai in a few panels at the beginning, but other than that only has twelve characters total, two of which only appear in a dream.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Franchise/WallaceAndGromit'': ''WesternAnimation/AGrandDayOut'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheWrongTrousers'' each had a cast of only three, and only Wallace spoke. The later two shorts also skimp on the speaking parts (two and three, respectively), although the cast is a little larger.
* The Franchise/DisneyPrincess franchise only composes of ten characters within said franchise (although with some exceptions, however). They originally wanted more than that, but then they learned the awful fate of 1985's ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron'' upon the franchise's debut. The villain franchise, on the other hand, consists of [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters every single animated Disney]] [[MyFriendsandZoidberg (and Pixar)]] villain to date.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Some EarlyFilms are this. ''Film/RoundhayGardenScene'' only features four people, all friends of the man who made the film. ''Film/TheKiss'' just features two people kissing.
* ''Film/OneHundredAndTwentySevenHours'': There are a couple of people for short parts at the beginning, and a family of hikers at the very end. The rest of the film is entirely focused on Aron.
* ''Film/{{Alien}}'' only features only seven characters (possibly eleven depending on whether you count the cat, the computer, the alien, and the space jockey). The later films starting with ''Aliens'' used much larger casts.
* ''Film/TheThing1982'' is centered entirely around the twelve members of the Antarctic research team. The only other people who show up ''alive'' and in person are dead in the first ten minutes. Otherwise you just have a corpse and a few people who show up in video recordings.
* ''Film/TheBreakfastClub'' features the five kids in detention, the janitor and the principal (the kids' parents briefly appear at the beginning).
* ''Film/{{Gerry}}'' has Gerry and Gerry. Some other people are seen in the background but nobody else.
* ''Theatre/DinnerForOne'' has two characters.
* ''Film/HiroshimaMonAmour'' has only four speaking parts, and in fact the two lovers who are the protagonists of the story have about 98% of the spoken dialogue. An old lady gets a couple of lines as she talks to the man, and another man gets a couple of lines as he talks to the woman, and that's it. There are a few more actors who have wordless parts, such as the woman's parents and her former soldier lover, who appear in flashbacks.
* The film ''{{Film/Moon}}'' by Duncan Jones has a grand total of two main characters: Sam Bell and GERTY. There is technically Sam's wife, but she is only seen in pre-recorded messages and a short dream sequence. Similarly, any other characters involved only appear in recorded messages from Earth. Nonetheless, Sam and GERTY are the only people to appear in person until the end.
%%* ''Film/{{Timecrimes}}''.
* The 1968 film ''Hell in the Pacific'' features an American pilot (Creator/LeeMarvin) and a Japanese navy captain (Creator/ToshiroMifune) marooned in a desert island during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. They're the only characters in the film.
* The 2001 independent film ''Tape'', based on a stage play, features Creator/EthanHawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Creator/UmaThurman and nobody else.
* ''Film/TheShapeOfThings'' was made from Creator/NeilLaBute's stage play of the same name. Like ''Tape'', the only characters to have speaking parts are the four characters of the play -- portrayed by the same cast too!
* ''Film/TheHouseOfYes'' features five characters. There is a brief shot of a restaurant where we see three or four extras and that's about as expanded as it gets.
%%* ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968''
* ''Film/{{Buried}}'' is a good example: Ryan Reynolds is the only actor we see.
* The 1972 film adaptation of ''Theatre/{{Sleuth}}'' has only six credited characters, of whom only three spend any significant amount of time onscreen. [[spoiler:And of those three, Inspector Doppler turns out to be one of the other two in disguise. The film credits try not to spoil the twist by claiming the Inspector is played by someone called "Alec Cawthorne".]] In his [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19720101/REVIEWS/201010323/1023 review]] of ''Sleuth'', Creator/RogerEbert [[spoiler:gets in on the joke, saying Cawthorne is "a veteran stage actor making his movie debut"]].
* After the opening shot, the rest of Alfred Hitchcock's ''Film/{{Rope}}'' takes place inside one apartment. The only characters we meet are the apartment's residents, their maid, and their dinner guests, a total of nine people (and the movie begins with one of them getting murdered).
* ''Film/TwelveAngryMen''. At the beginning, other people (such as the defendant and the judge) are briefly shown, but for the rest of the film, we only see the twelve jurors and the baliff.
* ''Film/IAmLegend''. Three humans. One dog. Millions of [[spoiler:[[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire... things]].]] Go. (Although with the Flashbacks, theres another 20 speaking parts and hundreds of extras.)
* ''The Happiness Cage'' has only seven characters excepting two brief scenes at the beginning and end. Unsurprisingly, it was based on a play, but the clastrophobia is also an effective part of its theme.
* ''Film/TheDisappearanceOfAliceCreed''. Two kidnappers. One girl. Have at it.
* ''Film/{{Exam}}''. Eight [[spoiler: quickly dwindling]] characters in a room, plus the silent and immobile guard and The Invigilator who only shows up twice.
* ''Film/{{Cube}}'': Only seven people. One of them appears only in the first scene and doesn't interact with the rest.
%%* ''Film/HardCandy''.
* Other people are about at the start and end of ''Film/CastAway'', but for the majority of the film it's just Creator/TomHanks and [[CompanionCube a volleyball]]. The ball's name is Wilson, but he doesn't have any lines.
* The only characters in ''Film/{{Zathura}}'' are the protagonists: Walter and Danny; Lisa, their older sister, their father (whose barely in it at all) and the astronaut.
* ''Film/{{Lo}}'' has Justin, Jeez, April, and Lo. [[spoiler:So, only three characters.]]
* ''Film/{{Carnage}}'' by Creator/RomanPolanski features only four actors, with the exception of a few extras in the intro and epilogue, as well as a few voices heard over the phone.
* ''Film/{{Antichrist}}'''s plot involves only the principal couple, He and She, with their son dying early in the film and any other brief characters having their faces deliberately blurred.
* ''Film/TheQuietEarth''. The name should give a hint.
* In ''Film/EdenLog'', the man and the botanist are the only two major characters.
* The first ''Film/ParanormalActivity'' had only four onscreen characters, two of them only appearing in two scenes. Later films in the series had somewhat larger casts.
* Ingmar Bergman's ''Film/{{Persona}}'' has only five actors [[spoiler:(and, depending on how you interpret the film, [[SplitPersonality possibly even fewer actual characters]])]], three of them only appearing briefly. Another Bergman film, ''Film/ThroughAGlassDarkly'', has only four characters--the four people spending a beach weekend together--and doesn't even feature any extras.
* All of the ''Film/{{Tremors}}'' movies feature relatively small casts, but [[Film/Tremors2Aftershocks the second]] in particular has only eight people on screen, and two of those only appear in the first few minutes.
* ''Film/{{Gravity}}'' stars Creator/SandraBullock and Creator/GeorgeClooney as two astronauts stranded in space. Another astronaut appears in the background in the opening, but he, like everybody else who isn't Bullock or Clooney, is a voice role.
* ''Film/OpenWater'' has only two cast members for most of the film, the couple lost at sea.
* ''Film/AllIsLost'' stars Creator/RobertRedford as a sailor lost at sea. [[LogicalExtreme He is the only cast member]].
* ''Film/{{Closetland}}'' has a cast of two, Madeline Stowe and Creator/AlanRickman, performing in a single interrogation room for all but the [[AmbiguousEnding final minute]].
* ''Film/TheNakedSpur'', a 1953 Western starring [[Creator/JimmyStewart James Stewart]], has only five speaking roles--Stewart as a bounty hunter, the criminal Stewart's chasing, the criminal's girlfriend, and two other men that the bounty hunter gets stuck with as partners.
* ''Film/KnifeInTheWater'', the film debut of Creator/RomanPolanski, has only three parts--the married couple going for a ride on their sailboat and the young hitchhiker they take with them.
* ''The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh'' has six credited actors, and for the most part only one of them, Aaron Poole, appears on screen (unless you count characters who are shown on a videotape within the movie). Everyone else is TheVoice, including the PosthumousCharacter of the title, who is only present through narration [[spoiler:until the very end]].
* ''Film/TheKillerShrews'': Just the 5 inhabitants of the island and the 2 who came by boat.
* ''Film/{{Locke}}'': The title character, played by Creator/TomHardy, is the only person you see on screen. He speaks with a total of 11 other characters by phone, but mostly about five.
* The cast of the low-budget sci-fi film ''Film/{{Coherence}}'' consists of eight characters.
* The bulk of ''Film/{{Triangle}}'' is told using five characters.
* ''Film/{{Saturn 3}}'' has a cast of Creator/KirkDouglas, Creator/HarveyKeitel, Farrah Fawcett, and one other onscreen speaking character who gets killed in the first five minutes. All other characters are heard only via intercom or long-range radio. And none of them have an actual dialogue with the main characters. All other characters are background extras, including a completely masked space pilot. The total could be five characters if you count Hector the robot. Six if you count the fact that Keitel's voice was dubbed over by Roy Dotrice.
* ''Film/KillingWords'': Almost all of the movie is an interaction between two people alone in a basement. A few additional scenes have two other people talking to one of the main characters.
* ''Film/CheapThrills'': Four characters, with fleeting appearances by two other people.
* ''Film/{{Honeymoon}}'': Two characters, along with brief appearances of two additional characters, for a total for four people ever visible on camera. The lack of anyone else around is a plot point.
* ''Film/LetterNeverSent'' has only six speaking parts, with almost all the lines going to the principal characters, the four geologists hunting for diamonds in the Siberian forest. The lead geologist's wife appears in one DreamSequence, and the sixth speaking part is the voice on the radio when the geologists are calling back to Moscow.
* ''Film/PhaseIV''
* Except for the helicopter pilot, the [[spoiler:robot]] characters who appear only in the flashback footage, and the faceless extras at the end--all of whom have short appearances or no lines--Ava, Caleb, Kyoko, and Nathan are the entire cast of ''Film/ExMachina'', and Kyoko is TheSpeechless.
* ''Film/DinosaurIsland2014'': After Lucas ends up on the island about 11 minutes into the movie, it's all about him and Kate. There are no other ''characters'', with the exception of a man who is shown as the prisoner of the WackyWaysideTribe and is onscreen for only a few minutes, and plays a most minor role. The WackyWaysideTribe exist, but are technically not "characters", in the sense of total lack of dialog or characterization.
* ''Film/ThrowMommaFromTheTrain'' has an InUniverse example. Larry criticizes Owen's story ''Murder At My Friend Harry's'' for being too hard to follow. Owen asks how that can be possible since there's only two characters and one of them is dead by the end of page two.
* The Ryuhei Kitamura film ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aragami Aragami]]'' (made on a bet in only a single week) features only five actors, two of which are non-speaking parts on-screen for barely a minute between them, a third of which (the woman) has only two lines in the entire movie. And one of the two remaining characters (the protagonist) [[NoNameGiven doesn't even have a name!]]
** ''Aragami's'' opposing number in the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duel_Project Duel Project]], ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2LDK 2LDK]]'' went even further, with a cast of only ''three'' actors, one of whom was only a voice heard over the phone at the end.
* ''Film/TheManFromEarth'' has only twelve people: John, the seven other professors, two movers, and [[spoiler: two policemen]].
* ''Film/{{Creep 2014}}'' has two onscreen characters, Aaron and Josef. A third character, Angela, is introduced near the end of the film as TheVoice; She gives Aaron some unsettling information over the phone and is never seen in person.
* ''Film/TenCloverfieldLane'' features three characters almost exclusively.
* The film adaptation of the stage play ''Theatre/{{Fences}}'', other than a handful of scenes with GhostExtras, has only 7 characters: Troy, Rose, Bono, Cory, Lyons, Gabe and Raynell (who only appears in the last few scenes). Additionally, there are two [[TheGhost ghost characters]]: Bono's wife Lucille, and Alberta, [[spoiler: Troy's mistress.]] On top of the small cast, these characters are rarely all on screen at the same time, making the cast seem even smaller.
* Aside from the BookEnds in the orchestra hall where the titular work is played, ''Film/DeathAndTheMaiden'' features just three main characters, Paulina, Girardo, and Dr. Miranda, mostly in the home of the first two. As mentioned above, Polanski seems to like using this trope.

* Creator/AgathaChristie's ''Literature/AndThenThereWereNone''. Ultimately, ten people are on an island in this house after being sent a letter, and one by one, they start to die off.
* ''Literature/TheManWhoFoldedHimself'' by David Gerrold -- the main cast is an indeterminate number between one and five, inclusive. However, all of them are future, past, or alternate-timeline versions of the protagonist. The scores of extras are ALSO future, past, or alternate-timeline versions of the protagonist. [[spoiler: Since even Uncle Jim is this, the only non-Dan character seems to be the lawyer at the beginning of the story who informs Dan that he's nearly broke.]]
* Creator/HarlanEllison's short story "Literature/IHaveNoMouthAndIMustScream" consists of only five characters, six including [[BigBad A.M]], [[spoiler: though it's reduced to two by the end of the story. One if you exclude A.M.]]
* ''Literature/EdenGreen'' consists of three characters: the title heroine, her best friend, and a shady manipulator named Tedrin. Each becomes infected with an alien needle symbiote, forcing them to remain isolated.
* Patrick Rothfuss's novella ''Literature/TheSlowRegardOfSilentThings'' has only a single character: Auri. Only one other human is witnessed in the whole narrative, spied briefly in a window at a distance.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The German TV series ''Series/DerTatortreiniger'' rarely has more than two characters (counting the protagonist) per episode. Any other ones would usually be void of any lines or impact.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Way back in 1964 there's the slightly surreal two-part serial [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E3TheEdgeOfDestruction "The Edge of Destruction"]].
** When an episode was cut from the previous story and "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E2TheMindRobber The Mind Robber]]" was expanded from four to five episodes, its first episode became this. There was no budget (even by ''Doctor Who''[='=]s notoriously low standards) for additional cast, props, costumes or even sets. The only resources available was the standing TARDIS control room set, the 3 leads, the robots that would appear later on in the story and a large empty stage painted white. Surprisingly it worked.
** If the above implies that "and robots" doesn't disqualify an episode for this, then [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E10TheGirlWhoWaited "The Girl Who Waited"]] counts as one of these. It features only the three main characters, some robots and [[TheVoice a disembodied voice-interface]]. The cast list is the shortest of any new-series ''Doctor Who'' episode...
** ...until [[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E11HeavenSent "Heaven Sent"]], which features a grand total of four characters: one who isn't really there, another who doesn't appear until the final moments of the episode, the Doctor himself, and the MonsterOfTheWeek (which doesn't speak). Capaldi carries the vast majority of the episode on his own and delivers ''all but one line of dialogue''.
** The Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry are the only characters on-screen in the first episode of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS12E2TheArkInSpace "The Ark in Space"]].
* Irish sitcom ''Dan and Becs'': two characters, whose total onscreen time together amounts to maybe one minute, out of two full seasons.
* ''Series/DegrassiJuniorHigh'' didn't really have extras, because everyone you see was a character who would get an episode of their own.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'':
** "Marooned" principally takes place on a crashed spaceship, and focuses on Lister and Rimmer, with the rest of the main cast only appearing at the beginning and end.
** "Duct Soup" focuses entirely on the crew while inside Starbug.
* Creator/VanKootenEnDeBie: A long-running Dutch TV series, presented and performed by just two actors: themselves. Sometimes a celebrity guest appeared, a few extras or a real actress whenever they needed an extra female character, but most of the time it was either Van Kooten alone, De Bie alone or both of them together.
* Australian kids TV series ''Series/JohnsonAndFriends'' only featured a cast of five toys (six after season three), while the toys' owner and his family remained TheGhost.
* ''Series/OneFootInTheGrave'' took this to the ultimate in "The Trial," where Victor is the ''only'' person in the episode.
* ''Series/BlackBooks'' has only three people in the regular cast and no recurring characters of note.
* ''Series/TheLastManOnEarth'' starts out as being ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, but new characters dribble in as the first season progresses; as it winds down the total reaches [[spoiler: seven survivors.]]
* ''Series/RootIntoEurope'': Mr. and Mrs. Root are the only main characters who appear in every episode.
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'' The episode "Hawkeye" (4-18). Hawkeye has been injured in a jeep accident, and aware that he is concussed, talks continuously (to keep himself awake) to the members of the Korean family who found him. None of the other regular or supporting members of the cast appear, and the Koreans are petty much {{Living Prop}}s, since they don't understand a word of English.
* ''Series/LazyTown'' has a cast of nine characters, without recurring or background characters. Every time the kids meet a "new" character, it's just one of [[MasterOfDisguise Robbie's disguises]], yet somehow they fall for his [[PaperThinDisguise tricks]] ''every time''.

* The cast in ''Music/SchweigtStillePlaudertNicht'' consists of Lieschen, Schlendrian, and the narrator. That's it.

* ''Radio/{{Lum and Abner}}'', although there was always the (very rare) exception.

* This is commonplace for smaller plays, especially one-acts such as every single play from Creator/DavidIves' ''All in the Timing''. Contest productions, themselves often being limited to a set running time, often only have a handful of characters and simply delegate the roles of cut parts to the main characters to save time on both blocking and rehearsal. As such, smaller casts should be taken relative to the length of the play: An hour-long cutting of ''Theatre/ADollsHouse'' is minimalist even at the full nine-person cast, while a ten-minute one with three characters is fairly dense.
* The play ''Two for the Seesaw'' has a cast no larger than the number in its title, though TheMusical adaptation ''Seesaw'' added a lot more.
* The play ''The Fourposter'' features one married couple. No other characters appear. When it was adapted into the musical ''I Do! I Do!'', the cast of characters was not expanded into the typical musical comedy ensemble and chorus -- indeed, it was not expanded at all.
* The play ''Same Time Next Year'', is restricted to a single courting couple.
* The Australian play ''Ruby Moon'' ''appears'' to have LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, [[spoiler:but then it turns out that the two main characters are the only ''real'' people there, the others all being figments of their imagination.]]
* Creator/DavidMamet plays:
** ''Theatre/SpeedThePlow'' has a cast of three: film producers Bobby and Charlie, and secretary Karen.
** ''Theatre/BostonMarriage'' has a cast of three: best friends Anna and Claire, and Anna's maid Catherine.
** ''Theatre/AmericanBuffalo'' has a cast of three: Donny, Bobby and Teach.
* Edward Albee's ''Theatre/WhosAfraidOfVirginiaWoolf'' has only four characters.
* ''Theatre/TheGlassMenagerie'' has just four characters.
* ''Theatre/NoExit'' features four actors on one set, one of whom is a OneSceneWonder.
* ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot'' has four main characters and one cameo.
* ''Theatre/MasterHaroldAndTheBoys'' manages to get by with exactly three actors, a restaurant, and a black man's ass.
* ''Theatre/DannyAndTheDeepBlueSea'' has only two characters, Danny and Roberta.
* ''Speaking in Tongues'' has nine characters, played by four actors across three acts, plus a few Ghosts. The film adaptation ''Film/{{Lantana}}'' subverted this by turning a few of the Ghosts into more significant characters.
* ''Theatre/TheMousetrap'', by dint of everybody being stuck in a snowstorm and the entire play taking place in a ''single room''.
* ''I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change'' has only four actors--two male, two female, just enough to hit all four VoiceTypes. It helps that the show does not have a plot as such and is instead a series of vignettes.
* ''Theatre/SongsForANewWorld'' by Jason Robert Brown has the same cast and the same structure as ''I Love You'', though it's about moments of transformation rather than romance.
* ''Educating Rita'' features Frank and Rita as the only characters, although TheMovie adds more.
* ''Faith Healer'' by Brian Friel has one set and three characters, and there's never more than one character onstage at any given time.
* Patrick Süskind of ''Literature/{{Perfume}}'' fame has written ''Der Kontrabass'' (''The Double Bass''). One set, one character, one giant success on German theaters.
* Jason Robert Brown's ''Theatre/TheLastFiveYears'' has two actors total. Even better, there's only a couple of songs when they're even on stage at the same time.
* Samuel Beckett's ''Krapp's Last Tape'' has a cast of one: an old man listening back to a tape recording he made earlier.
* ''Vanities'' has a cast of just three women, although external characters are mentioned.
* ''The Dumb Waiter'''s only cast members are the two hitmen.
* The play ''Golda's Balcony'' (on the life and times of Golda Meir) is an interesting inversion. The play is a one-woman show, with the actress using accents and mannerisms to portray over a dozen different people ranging from Golda's parents and husband to historical figures such as Henry Kissinger.
* Zigzagged by ''{{Theatre/Godspell}}''. Its smallest cast is 10 people, but parts can be chopped up and farmed out to support much larger ensembles. This is part of why it's popular for schools or community theatres.
* ''Theatre/GreaterTuna'' has an interesting twist on this: while there are more than 20 characters, traditionally the play is performed with only 2 actors.
* ''Murder For Two'' works in a similar vein. One actor plays a detective, the other one plays about a dozen suspects and the victim. The detective's partner doesn't have an actor despite [[spoiler:being the murderer, and]] getting a verse of his own. Oh, by the way, the show's a musical. And there's no band. Both actors play the piano in center stage, in character, for the entire show.
* Most Creator/ReducedShakespeareCompany productions have only three actors to cover all the roles they're parodying.
* In ''Trouble in Tahiti'', the cast consists of one couple and a GreekChorus distant from the action. There are no other singing or speaking parts, though the presence of other characters is occasionally implied.
* ''Theatre/NextToNormal'' has a cast of six: the family (mother, father, son, daughter), the daughter's boyfriend, and the mother's psychologist.
* ''Theatre/TitleOfShow'' has two actors, two actresses, and the pianist.
* ''The Voice of the Turtle'' has two actresses and one actor.
* ''Theatre/TheMoonIsBlue'' has one supporting actor who appears for one scene only, but the central LoveTriangle has the stage all to themselves for the rest of the play.
* In the opera ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew'', the maximum on-stage ensemble consists of no more than the six main characters: the two children, the two ghosts, the Governess and Mrs. Grose. This does not include the Narrator, who disappears after the OpeningMonologue and is played by the same tenor as Quint by OriginalCastPrecedent.
* While ''{{Theatre/Finale}}'' was originally written to have a large ensemble, [[RealLifeWritesThePlot complications with the cast]] caused the final original cast to all be playing major characters, and the ensemble scenes consisted of [[ActingForTwo the actors whose characters weren't currently in said scenes]].
* ''Theatre/PerfectPie'': The only characters are adult and child versions of Patsy and Francesca, meaning a total of four characters.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'' has only Mario, Pauline, Donkey Kong and some living fire enemies.
** ''Donkey Kong Jr'' has only Mario, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. and a few kinds of mooks.
** ''VideoGame/MarioBros'' has only Mario, Luigi, and few kinds of mooks.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'' has only Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, Bowser, the Toads, and mooks.
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'' is fond of this trope, most games containing a handful of characters amongst a lot of monsters. Isolation is a strong theme throughout the series.
** ''VideoGame/SilentHill1'' has five or six characters (depending on whether or not Cheryl's infrequent appearances qualify her as a character), one of whom [[spoiler:is DeadAllAlong]].
** ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'' has five characters, one of whom [[spoiler:is a hallucination]].
** ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'' has four characters total.
** ''VideoGame/SilentHill4'' has a surprisingly high number of eight, but four are dead soon after they're encountered and one is little more than a ContinuityNod.
** ''VideoGame/SilentHillDownpour'' has less than a dozen characters to populate a whole realistically sized city, with sprawling ghettos and subways, and the vast majority of those characters are enigmatic manifestations of the city. However, there are a few more characters in flashbacks, and lots of haunted houses with detailed histories and motivations behind their ghosts, so it feels like there are slightly more characters than are actually there.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' has two characters (one of them a HeroicMime, the other [[TheVoice a disembodied voice]]) and the CompanionCube, plus a few robotic {{Mooks}} and three briefly-appearing Personality Spheres. ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' adds three more characters, two of whom [[PosthumousCharacter died decades ago]] and are only heard from recordings, and three more Spheres.
* ''VideoGame/ApertureTagThePaintGunTestingInitiative'' follows the example of its predecessor ''VideoGame/{{Portal}},'' with the only two characters being the mute [[HeroicMime player character]] and the personality core Nigel.
* ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' game characters are usually limited to [[TheHero Kirby]], {{Well Intentioned Extremist}} [[TheRival Rivals]] [[TheBigGuy King Dedede]] and [[TheLancer Meta Knight]], the MonsterOfTheWeek, and ''maybe'' a [[MascotMook Waddle Dee]] or other "sidekick" character.
** [[FanNickname The]] [[VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand2 Dark]] [[VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand3 Matter]] [[VideoGame/Kirby64TheCrystalShards Trilogy]] expanded on this a bit with the introduction of Gooey and the Animal Friends. In fact, had the Animal Friends [[http://tcrf.net/Kirby_64#Unused_Graphics not been]] DummiedOut for [[VideoGame/Kirby64TheCrystalShards the last game]][[note]]Which got new characters itself, including Kirby's FairyCompanion LoveInterest Ribbon[[/note]], the Kirby series would be entering LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters territory. However, they'd been PutOnABus for over a decade before returning in ''VideoGame/KirbyStarAllies''.
** TheAnimeOfTheGame ''Anime/KirbyRightBackAtYa'' ran into this problem, so that explains why there's a lot of {{Canon Foreigner}}s there. ''VideoGame/KirbyMassAttack'' made some of them {{Canon Immigrant}}s.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Sonic The Hedgehog|1}}'' was this, consisting of only [[TheHero Sonic]] and [[BigBad Eggman]]; but from ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'' onward the series began to move out of it until it until it eventually had LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters. Like the ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' example above, this became an issue when the earlier AlternateContinuity [[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog animated]] [[WesternAnimation/{{Sonic SatAM}} shows]] were in development which made it necessary to add a lot of {{Canon Foreigner}}s to balance out this problem.
* ''VideoGame/PandorasTower'' only has three characters, Aeron, Elena, and Mavda. However, after eating Master Flesh, Elena has visions of a few {{Posthumous Character}}s, [[spoiler:one of whom turns out to be alive and becomes the BigBad.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheStanleyParable'' has just Stanley and the narrator, although two of the endings introduce a new character.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'' has The Kid, Rucks, Zulf, and Zia. Unless you count the Ura who are human, and have a role in the plot, but don't have any lines or characters amongst them aside from Zulf and Zia.
* The only characters that appear ''at all'' in ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'' are: Wander, Agro (who is a horse), Mono (who is dead), Dormin (who is a sealed demon or god), Emon, and Emon's three henchmen.
* ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'':
** The first game has a total of four characters: [[PlayerCharacter You,]] Sirrus, Achenar, and Atrus.
** ''VideoGame/{{Riven}}'' has [[PlayerCharacter You,]] Atrus, Catherine, Gehn, and a few unnamed Rivenese villagers and rebels.
** ''VideoGame/MystIIIExile'' has [[RuleOfThree You,]] Atrus, Catherine, Yeesha (as a baby), and Saavedro.
** ''VideoGame/MystIVRevelation'' has [[RunningGag You,]] Atrus, Yeesha, Catherine (though in voice only), Sirrus, Achenar, and the inhabitants of Serenia.
** ''VideoGame/{{Uru}}'' has [[OverlyLongGag You,]] Atrus (in voice only), Yeesha, Jeff Zandi, and the DRC ([[TheGhost who aren't present]]). Kadish may also count, [[spoiler:[[PosthumousCharacter but he's long dead.]]]]
** ''VideoGame/MystVEndOfAges'' has [[PlayerCharacter Dr. Watson,]] Yeesha, Esher, several Bahro, and Atrus.
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 3'' featured only four characters. Bosses with speaking roles appear but they usually contribute little to the story aside of most of them becoming new weapons for Dante (and, in one case, Vergil). When it boils down to it the only characters appearing in the story with any relevance are Dante, Vergil, Lady, and Arkham[[spoiler:/Jester]].
* While ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'' has a rather sizable secondary cast [[TheVoice heard in audio flashbacks]] or [[TheGhost mentioned in the various documents]] lying around, the only people actually in the castle are Agrippa, Alexander, and [[PlayerCharacter Daniel.]] Not counting the Gatherers and the large pile of bodies in the basement, of course.
* ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' starts several hours after an outbreak has swept through a mining colony, resulting in everyone on the planet and orbiting ship either dying horribly or becoming a monster. Not including the monsters and two RedShirts in the intro, only 6 characters appear: Isaac Clarke, Zach Hammond, Kendra Daniels, Dr. Mercer, Dr. Kyne, Nicole Brennan. [[spoiler:It's actually 5, as Nicole is a hallucination, and the number decreases until only Isaac is left.]]
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' and ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' mostly has the four survivors who are seen alive.
* ''VideoGame/SkyOdyssey'' only has one character that is ever seen on screen, and he [[HeroicMime doesn't say anything]]. There are also a few radio operators and pilots that appear in the background, but they number no more than 4 throughout the entire game. Even then there appearance is very brief and doesn't affect the story. If you count the narrator (who isn't seen outside
* Like ''Bastion'' above, ''VideoGame/{{Transistor}}'' could also count. There are a collection of side characters, but [[PosthumousCharacter they've all been processed by the time you meet them]], and while some of them get lines post-processing, [[TheUnintelligible they're too garbled to understand]], leaving just Red, the Man in the Transistor and the four members of the Camerata. The only person who could be considered a (still-living) side character is the news reporter [[spoiler: who Red never meets, and who ends up serving as an on-going ApocalypticLog anyway.]]
* The only characters in the original ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' series are [[FanNickname Doomguy]] and the hoards of demons that he fights. ''VideoGame/{{Doom 2016}}'' is only slightly more crowded, with [[BenevolentAI VEGA]], [[WellIntentionedExtremist Samuel Hayden]], and [[BigBad Olivia Pierce]] adding commentary from time to time, but is still mostly Doomguy doing what he does best (while Hayden chides [[TheBerserker his methods]]).
* ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' has only a handful of human characters who are never seen, along with a number of animatronic characters.
* The ''VideoGame/BitTrip'' series revolves entirely around [=CommanderVideo=]. In BEAT, CORE, and VOID, the only other characters we see are unnamed beings who look identical to him. RUNNER adds [=CommandgirlVideo=], Junior Melchkin, Radbot (who is actually Mr. Robotube), [[VideoGame/SuperMeatBoy Meat Boy]], and [[BigBad Mingrawn Timbletot]] to the cast, and the DenserAndWackier spinoff games add even more.
* ''VideoGame/VibRibbon'' only has the player character, Vibri.
* ''VideoGame/HelloNeighbor'' has two characters: the player character, and his neighbor (who is only referred to as 'the Neighbor').
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia2008'' has the Prince and Elika as the heroes, the BigBad, and his four-person QuirkyMinibossSquad. There are more characters, but they are either only present in a single cutscene or have little more "character" than a vaguely humanoid form.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' starts out with a grand battle with lots of human soldiers and the Prince's father and the Sultan of Azad as side characters, but once TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt happens within the first half-hour, it's down to just the Prince, Farah and the Vizier.
* ''VideoGame/{{QUBE}}'' is mostly just the protagonist and two [[VoiceWithAnInternetConnection voices over the radio]].
* ''VideoGame/TheTalosPrinciple'': There are only two characters that interact with the player directly, Elohim and Milton, and [[{{TheGhost}} neither appears onscreen]]. There are also only two voices, Elohim's and Alexandra Drennan.
* ''VideoGame/TheTuringTest'': There are only seven characters, counting the player character, and only three actually make an appearance outside of audio logs: the player character Ava Turing, the AI TOM, and Sarah Brook (the latter appearing only a few times).
* The first ''VideoGame/ClockTower'' game was this, with only the Player Character Jennifer Simpson, her three friends who become murder victims, the Evil Mrs. Burroughs and her two monster sons, her crazed husband who only appears in a cage and barely has any bearing on the plot, and Jennifer's father, whom is only seen as a corpse. Later Clock Tower games would add on more victims and or killers.
* Not at all uncommon for the SurvivalSandbox genre of games, as a lack of support is an almost quintessential part of the experience.
** ''VideoGame/TheLongDark'' has only the main character, human corpses, and animals.
** ''VideoGame/StrandedDeep'' has no humans but the player and plenty of animals.
* The ''VideoGame/BoxBoy'' series only has the player character, Qbby, his two friends Qucy and Qudy, and some unnamed spiky-headed enemies that have to be lured into traps in a few levels. ''Bye-Bye [=BoxBoy=]!'' also has the Qbabies, who Qbby has to escort through certain levels.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/JunipersKnot'' has only two characters and no one else even appears on-screen. A third character is very vaguely described in the backstory, but not really fleshed out.
* ''{{VisualNovel/Narcissu}}'': The only characters of any importance are the protagonist and Setsumi. There's just one blurry shot of the protagonist in the whole game, and Setsumi only appears on-screen three times. No other characters are ever visible.
* ''VisualNovel/WeKnowTheDevil'' has main characters Jupiter, Neptune, and Venus, and very minor characters Group South (technically three people, but treated as a whole) and the Bonfire Captain, the latter two appearing in only one scene each. The vast majority of the game involves only the three main characters. [[spoiler: And arguably, there's the Devil and God.]]
* Aside from Natsuki's father being alluded to, the only characters in ''{{Doki Doki Literature Club}}'' are the Player Character, Sayori, Yuri, Natsuki and Monika. [[spoiler: In all endings, by the end of the game, there's only ONE character, Monika, until you force her to restore the other girls. The player character is effectively PutOnABusToHell by Monika taking to [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou you]].]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheArtistIsDead'' has exactly six characters. [[CaptainObvious Not counting]] [[PosthumousCharacter the Artist]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Furmentation}}'' rarely shows more than a few characters, some of whom have no knowledge of another's existence.
* ''Webcomic/FiveKidsAtFreddys'', a fancomic, has very few human characters; the kids themselves, Jeremy Fitzgerald and presumably, the purple guy.
* ''Webcomic/CountYourSheep''. Only the five main characters appear. Even as they're talking to one of the few other characters to be mentioned, said character remains out of view. Occasionally a comic or two is from this character's point of view.
* ''Webcomic/DinosaurComics'', Though some characters "appear" offscreen. From time to time, we meet a head-only Franchise/{{Batman}} due to the creator's interest in the character.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Fleep}}''. Our protagonist is a man in a phone booth. The only other characters are a woman two booths over (only shown for a single panel), and a handful of voices on the other end of the phone line.
* ''Webcomic/TheBookOfBiff'' takes this to its logical extreme. Not only is the Biff himself the only character to appear on-panel, the comic has ''no'' dialogue whatsoever, meaning that other characters are mentioned at best.
* ''Webcomic/GarfieldMinusGarfield'' removes every other character but Jon for an ultimately creepy and sad effect.
* ''Webcomic/{{Superego}}'' has only the ten characters who are trapped in an AbandonedHospital in the middle of an abyss.
* In ''[[Recap/GameOverTalesCrouchingOstrichHiddenVulture Game Over Tales: Crouching Ostrich, Hidden Vulture]]''', if all the ninjas are taken as a single character, a grand total of three characters appear in the story.
* In ''Webcomic/RiverPassage'', if the jaguar is counted as a character, a total of four characters appear in the story.
* ''Webcomic/TwoGuysAndGuy'' only has Frank, Wayne and Guy, plus four sporadically appearing minor characters. Anyone else is just a nameless one-shot.
* ''Webcomic/TiffanyAndCorey'' features only the two title characters, Tiffany and Corey, regularly with a third supporting character, Alessandra, sometimes. Extras appear as needed but that's pretty much it.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/AnAdventureOfSheepAndChicken:'' There are only three main characters, Sheep, Chicken, and the hiker. The only other characters are relatively minor.
* ''WebVideo/BenMcYellow'' has a grand total of six named characters (eight if you add the ones from the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37r2XHm4cIo first video]], nine if you count the [[GreaterScopeVillain Skeleton]] [[UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump King]]) along with the hordes of FacelessGoons for the title character to dispatch. This is probably to be expected when you only have four ''[[NoBudget actors]]''.
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' may be the only work to successfully use both this trope and LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, as the central world revolves around twelve main characters, with a small number of recurring extras and minor characters, but there are also {{Alternate Universe}}s, "[[CompanionCube pseudocharacters]]", and [[ShowWithinAShow fictional TV shows and video games]].
* ''WebVideo/CarmillaTheSeries'' season one has the five main characters, four secondary characters, and two minor roles adding up to less than a dozen people appearing on screen. Season two increases the main cast and minor characters past the point where it fits this trope.
* ''WebAnimation/Eddsworld'' is basically just Edd, Tom, Matt, and Tord, with the latter dropping out. Minor characters like Zanta or Edwardo made a handful of recurring appearances.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Any old theatrical cartoon series, despite having dozens of available characters in their recurring cast, will mostly have just one or two main characters and at least one antagonist in any individual cartoon. The ''WesternAnimation/{{Wile E Coyote and the Road Runner}}'' cartoons are a good example of this: no character other than Wile E. and the Road Runner appear[[note]]except for a few[[/note]]. Sometimes the series character will be the only one on screen, such as many of the early ''WesternAnimation/PinkPanther'' shorts, or the Goofy "How-To" cartoons, where even the ones with team sports will have Goofy as every player.
* Possibly the biggest example in shorts was "Good Night Elmer", which was Elmer Fudd ''alone''. And he had no dialogue, the cartoon being pretty much a mime act.
* WesternAnimation/BettyBoop: Betty Boop is the central character. Occasionally WesternAnimation/KokoTheClown and Bimbo appear.
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'': Tom and Jerry are the only two main characters in most shorts. Occasionally Mommy Two-Shoes, Spike and Tyke and Tuffy the mouse appear too.
* ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy''. Throughout the show's entire 5 seasons, the cast of characters never expanded beyond twelve people and [[CompanionCube Plank]]. No background characters or adults ever appeared, and even when a school was added to the setting in later seasons, no additional kids appeared, and all 12 kids were all in the same class. There were a number of ''slight'' exceptions, such as SantaClaus in the Christmas special, Ed's NotSoImaginaryFriend, small body parts of adults appearing in a few episodes, and ''very'' vague FacelessMasses, but the rule was finally, truly broken for the first and only time in the GrandFinale movie, where [[spoiler:we actually get to meet Eddy's much-vaunted older brother]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBackyardigans'': We only see the five young FunnyAnimal friends.
* ''WesternAnimation/MuppetBabies''. Even in their imaginations, there are rarely any additional characters.
* ''WesternAnimation/DinoBabies,'' similarly, only has four main babies, with Zach being the "guest star" who adds a bit of diversity now and then. The babies' parents (or at least their legs) make occasional cameos.
* In the second season of the ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' cartoon (based on the novel ''Mattimeo''), the show migrates towards this. Slagar the Cruel captures most of the Abbey's young ones and adds them to his band of slaves, but midway through the season, he inexplicably only has the main characters in chains. Nowhere along the line does he sell any slaves; they're just gone.
* The original ''WesternAnimation/FiremanSam'' had a cast of ten main characters. One wonders how they make a living in Pontypandy.
* Almost every short on ''WesternAnimation/{{KaBlam}}!''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'' has only seven[[note]] Kaeloo, Stumpy, Quack Quack, Mr. Cat, Pretty, Eugly and Olaf [[/note]] characters. While it could be argued that the seemingly sentient plants and the random sheep that pops up every now and then might count, they're still little more than props in terms of how they're used.
** In the extremely rare event that somebody apart from these characters is shown, they'll always be off-screen.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBremenAvenueExperience'' is a series of shorts about a FunnyAnimal GarageBand. Most of the shorts feature only the four bandmates; the only guest star is the father of one of the band members.
* The 2009 reboot of ''WesternAnimation/StrawberryShortcake''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JellyJamm'', there appear to be only seven people ON THE ENTIRE PLANET.
* ''WesternAnimation/ZigAndSharko'' has a grand total of four characters.
* ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' has multiple episodes where Jack is almost alone throughout its entirety, such as "Jack and the Monks".
* The typical ''WesternAnimation/RubyGloom'' episode only features characters seen in the intro. Exceptions tend to become recurring characters in their own right or are related to Misery.
* ''WesternAnimation/MikeLuAndOg'' has a grand total of eight human characters living on the island, plus a few animals. The cast was slightly expanded in the second season with the coming of the Cuzzlewitz clan, and a number of one-shot characters have visited the island (including a cruise ship full of people).
* The only reason why ''WesternAnimation/{{Grojband}}'' has a cast of too few characters is mainly because of Mina being Trina's slave. There are a few one-shot characters, but that's about it.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DonkeyKongCountry'' animated series takes place on an island which basically houses eight monkeys (DK, Diddy, Cranky, Candy, Funky, Bluster, Dixie, and Eddie the Mean Old Yeti) and three crocodiles (K. Rool, Krusha, and Klump)[[note]]and a seemingly endless army of Kritters and Klap-Traps[[/note]]. Once in a while, a ship with three pirates shows up. It's also mentioned there are offscreen residents, such as Bluster's mom, but it's unclear if they live on the island or somewhere off-island.
* ''WesternAnimation/PatAndMat'': There's two of them and that's it.
* ''WesternAnimation/SidTheScienceKid'' has the title character, Sid, his parents, little brother and grandma, his three friends and Teacher Susie and that's it, except for TheMovie.
* The entire first series of ''WesternAnimation/PostmanPat'' was "voiced" by Ken Barrie alone. The second series added Carole Boyd to do the women and children, before the third series finally got a full voice cast.
* Plenty of real-life animals are explored on ''WesternAnimation/WildAnimalBabyExplorers'', but the only actual characters seen are Skip the rabbit, Sammy the skunk, Benita the beaver, Izzy the owl, and their mentor, Miss Sally, the salamander. That's it.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' as a whole had a very large cast, but several of the internal casts were Minimalist: Rita and Runt shorts never involved any other characters. Neither did Pinky and The Brain. Mr Skullhead appeared, always alone, in vignettes.
* ''WesternAnimation/PJMasks'' has a main cast of only six characters; three heroes (Conner/Catboy, Amaya/Owlette and Greg/Gekko) and three villains (Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl), and in the case of the villains, only one or two appear per episode. The rest of the cast consists on unnamed kids (only during the daytime, so they play no important role) and the Ninjalinos (Night Ninja's {{Mooks}}).
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Family Guy}}'' had the episode "Brian and Stewie". Three guesses to who were the only characters shown. [[spoiler: Brian and Stewie.]]