[[spoiler:That equals [[CaptainObvious 5]].]]

Common subtype of the FiveManBand composed by starting with a PowerTrio and adding some form of duo or a pair of [[SixthRanger Extra Rangers]]. While the five characters [[CastCalculus will generally still fit]] into some variation on the FiveManBand archetypes, three of the characters will get decidedly more play.

In terms of plot, the core trio will generally have a relationship which pre-exists their introduction, while the remaining members are newcomers. Common archetypes for the non-core members include TheAce and the OldMaster. Surprisingly, the NaiveNewcomer is rarely one of the peripheral duo (as NaiveNewcomer characters are usually given a more central role), but he ''can'' be a member of the core trio.

Even if the relationship between the core trio is not pre-existing, their bond will be immediate and close. You will find them interacting "off the clock" in a way you are less likely to see with the peripheral characters.

The leader is liable to be a member of the core trio, but if he is not, expect the dominant member of the trio to be TheLancer, and expect serious rivalry between him and the leader.

When the core trio works for HeroesRUs, the setup will often involve the trio's higher-ups assigning two new members to a long-standing team because they have somehow overlooked the fact that this would cause serious friction. The band may alternatively be formed by the core trio absorbing another group, either rivals with a common goal or enemies making a HeelFaceTurn.

Plots involving ThePowerOfFriendship will focus on the core trio, while plots about teamwork will include the whole band. The two peripheral members may even duck out (via HeroicSacrifice) before the GrandFinale.

The major advantage of this setup is that it covers the broad range of character types which makes the FiveManBand a popular ensemble, but by relegating two members to the periphery, it prevents spreading the audience's time too thin, as is often a difficulty with large ensembles.

See also CastCalculus.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' starring Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine and Jet Black! Oh, and also Ed and Ein.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}''
** ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' inverted it, then played it straight, doing another Two Plus Three. The two were Kari and T.K., the youngest two of the previous season and the only main cast holdovers. In the first episode, three more [[SixthRanger (and then a fourth)]] join them to complete their team, but this season was more about these new characters.
** ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' had something more like three plus three - ThoseTwoGuys and the love interest join the team, but the PowerTrio never really loses the spotlight. Toss in one more traditional SixthRanger (or arguably two more) and another "plus one", and the final result is a cast of Four (or Five) plus Four.
** ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'', however, plays it a little more like [[InvertedTrope Two Plus Three]] [[SixthRanger (Plus One)]]. Takuya and Kouji are the first to get their Human Spirits and Beast Spirits, and the ''only'' ones to get a Double Spirit Evolution and a Hyper Spirit Evolution, boosting them up to the Ultimate level. It's glaringly obvious in that, while they're in their Hyper forms, the other members of the FiveManBand can only just stand around doing nothing.
** ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'', however, both played it straight ''and'' subverted it at the same time. Taiki, Akari and Zenjirou appear to be the three, with Nene and Kiriha as the Two. However, by the time that Kiriha and Nene have joined Xros Heart, Akari and Zenjirou are stuck in the real world[[spoiler:, only being reunited when they return for the GrandFinale]]. So, in the end, Taiki, Kiriha and Nene serve as the Three, with Akari and Zenjirou as the Two.
* The first arc of ''Manga/DragonBall'' originally had Goku and Bulma adventuring together, with Oolong joining them shortly after. After this Yamcha and Puar were introduced, with the two pursuing the trio in hopes of stealing the dragonballs from them. Once Pilaf was introduced (or in the anime's case, became more of a threat), they officially joined into a FiveManBand for the rest of the arc.
* During the Freeza arc of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', we have originally Gohan, Krillin and Bulma. When Vegeta joins them, we have Gohan-Krillin-Vegeta plus Bulma. Later Piccolo and Goku appear as extra ones, but when Goku joins the battle against Freeza and Vegeta ends up being killed, we have Goku as the SpotlightStealingSquad and Gohan-Krillin-Piccolo as the extra trio ''plus'' Bulma.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'' started with [[TheChick Lucy]], [[TheHero Natsu]], and [[TheSmartGuy Happy]], but later [[TheLancer Gray]] and [[TheBigGuy Erza]] officially joined the team after tagging along enough times. To look at it chronologically (and disregard Happy), Natsu, Gray and Erza form the Power Trio, while Lucy and Wendy are the extra two that complete the group later.
* ''Anime/JewelpetTwinkle'' has the students at the Magic Academy; a PowerTrio of girls (Akari-Miria-Sara) that is occasionally joined by two boys (Leon and Nicola) in their adventures.
* In ''LightNovel/KokoroConnect'' Taichi-Inaba-Iori triangle is clearly in the center of the plot, while Yui and Aoi serve as BetaCouple.
* ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh'' has [[FreudianTrio Yuri, Wolfram and Conrad]], who have a much closer bond and spend more time together than with the other members of the FiveManBand. When the FiveManBand breaks up, the most often configuration is the trio going off on a mini-adventure, while Gwendal and Gunter man the castle.
* ''Anime/TheLittlBits'' has two examples within one gang: Willabit, Lillibit and Snagglebit plus Chip and Browniebit, or Snagglebit, Browniebit and Chip plus Willabit and Lillibit.
* The three in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' tends to be Asuna, Konoka and Setsuna. The plus two is usually Nodoka and Yue. That being said, this trope can shift about the cast, [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters given its size]].
* In the first season of ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'', Doremi, Aiko and Hazuki were the main trio, while Pop later came as a TagAlongKid and Onpu as a DarkMagicalGirl. Next season, Onpu became part of the main roster as the series went on. Pop, however, stayed in her position.
* ''Manga/OutlawStar'', where Gene, Jim, and Melfina were the main crew of the Outlaw Star, and Suzuka and Aisha tended to act more like people who just happened to be traveling on the same ship.
* ''Franchise/PrettyCure''
** ''Anime/FreshPrettyCure'' was previously a Three Plus One show, and for a while, fan theories have spread like wildfire as to whether there would be a fifth. [[spoiler:It becomes Four Plus Two, because of Westar and Soular's HeelFaceTurn]].
** Both ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure'' and ''Anime/SuitePrettyCure'' wound up becoming Two Plus Two shows.
* [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]] and [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-Zagged]] in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' which starts off with Madoka, Sayaka, and Mami as the trio, and there is one DarkMagicalGirl named Homura around. They remained like that until [[spoiler:Mami dies]] and a new MagicalGirl named Kyoko shows up. Sayaka and Kyoko hate each other the minute they meet making any chances they have at teaming up slim and then nothing after [[spoiler:they both die]]. All hopes seems lost for this trope until we learned that [[spoiler:Homura has been resetting the timeline. The original trio has been different with each new timeline, though there is at least one timeline where this trope was played straight but was quickly ended after Mami had a FreakOut over the AwfulTruth and killed Kyoko before she herself was killed]]. By the end of the series the trope is ultimately [[spoiler:averted because Madoka would AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence and Sayaka is the only one who stayed dead making any chance for this trope to happen impossible]].
* The first season of the 90s ''Manga/SailorMoon'' anime spent an inordinate amount of time with just Sailor Moon, Mars and Mercury. Jupiter and Venus came later. Of course, as the season progressed, the five became a true FiveManBand. (Note that this is not the case in the manga or in ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon''; both had a trio for only a handful of episodes, added Jupiter quickly, and spent most of the arc with four before Venus showed up.)
* ''Manga/YuGiOh5Ds'' follows three plus two, then added a third to the main cast. In the beginning it was Yuusei, Jack and Aki, with the two being the twins Rua and Ruka. Later on, after Crow was introduced, it became Yuusei-Jack-Crow, with Rua-Ruka-Aki serving as their own trio.

* The first ''Franchise/ArchieComics'' story introduced Archie, Betty and Jughead, with [[RichBitch Veronica]] and [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Reggie]] added a few months later. They grew into a FiveManBand, but the first three still have their ThreeAmigos bond after all this time.
* IDW's ''[=BattleBeasts=]'' comic began with the trio of Vorin, Gruntos and Merk, then added Bliss Reynolds and her brother Tate.
* Quite common in various configurations of the JusticeLeagueOfAmerica. Franchise/{{Batman}}, Franchise/{{Superman}}, and Franchise/WonderWoman generally form a PowerTrio, often called The Trinity or The Big Three, while Franchise/TheFlash and Franchise/GreenLantern usually take on the role of ThoseTwoGuys.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', the '70s trio of Charles, Logan, and Hank are joined by Peter, then Erik. [[spoiler: Subverted in that Peter is PutOnABus almost immediately after rescuing Erik, and then Erik reassumes his BigBad position]].
* There's a Soviet film with ''this exact title'' (but ''not'' the TropeNamer), which is a romantic comedy (inevitably) built around this trope. Basically: guy PowerTrio meets girl HairContrastDuo, HilarityEnsues.
* {{Dracula}}, the FrankensteinMonster and a [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent Werewolf]] are generally the essential trio of the MonsterMash, some films add Film/{{The Mummy|1932}} and the Film/CreatureFromTheBlackLagoon, one of the most well-known examples is ''Film/TheMonsterSquad''.

* The ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series naturally focused primarily on the PowerTrio: Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Starting in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix Order of the Phoenix]]'', Ginny, Luna, and Neville became more involved in the central plot.
* The Fellowship from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' comes across as a seven plus two, with Merry and Pippin more or less along for the ride. In ''The Two Towers'', it's essentially a three plus one plus three (Aragorn-Legolas-Gimli plus Gandalf plus Théoden-Éowyn-Éomer) and then two two plus ones (Frodo-Sam plus Gollum and Merry-Pippin plus Treebeard).
* For the first half of ''Literature/RemoteMan'', the main characters are Ned, his cousin Kate and his best friend Rocky. Their investigation leads them to make two further contacts, Cleverton from Jamaica and Yvette from France, thus cementing the FiveManBand. Worth noting that, Ned and Rocky excepted, person-to-person contact between them is minimal - Ned spends a few weeks with Kate in Wakwak at the beginning, and she joins him and Rocky in Concord at the climax, but otherwise most of their communication is via chatrooms.
* In the ''[[Literature/WarriorCatsPowerOfThree Power of Three]]'' arc of ''Literature/WarriorCats'', Jayfeather, Hollyleaf and Lionblaze form a PowerTrio because they think they are three cats all-powerful cats spoken of in a prophecy. At the end, Jayfeather realizes that Hollyleaf is not the true third. Then in the ''[[Literature/WarriorCatsOmenOfTheStars Omen of the Stars]]'' arc, the true third Dovewing and her sister Ivypool team up with the others.
* Part I of ''Literature/KillTimeOrDieTrying'' has a FiveManBand consisting of three first-year students and two much older guys.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', the Undersiders fit this mold once [[spoiler:Taylor]] joins. She, Grue, and Tattletale not only handle most of the planning, but interact more frequently with one another in their everyday lives than Bitch or Regent do with the others or one another. This dynamic gets more complicated over time, due to [[spoiler:Taylor]] and Bitch becoming friends, and due to [[spoiler:Imp (Grue's little sister and later a romantic interest for Regent) joining the team]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Some seasons in the ''Franchise/SuperSentai''/''Franchise/PowerRangers'' franchise have started with three rangers instead of [[FiveManBand the usual team of five]], usually a trio composed of Red, Blue and Yellow (and it's usually TwoGuysAndAGirl), who are then joined mid-series by at least two [[SixthRanger extra rangers]]. They typically get just as much, if not more, exposure as the primary heroes, much like the sixth rangers.
** Before ''Power Rangers'', [[OlderThanTheyThink this practice was done first]] in the 1988 ''Super Sentai'' series ''[[Series/ChoujuuSentaiLiveman Liveman]]'', where the original heroes of Red Falcon, Yellow Lion and Blue Dolphin were joined by Black Bison and Green Sai (Rhino) in Episode 30.
** ''[[Series/NinpuuSentaiHurricaneger Hurricaneger]]''/''[[Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm Ninja Storm]]'': The Hurricanegers/Wind Ninjas form the main trio, with the Gouraigers/Thunder Ninjas (two brothers from a rival academy) joining later to form a team of five. An actual sixth ranger was later introduced in the form of Shurikenger/Samurai Star Ranger.
** ''[[Series/BakuryuuSentaiAbaranger Abaranger]]''/''[[Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder Dino Thunder]]'': The extra rangers were Abare Black/Black Dino Ranger, who served as an older brother figure to the main trio, followed by Abare Killer/White Dino Ranger, a former villain who underwent a HeelFaceTurn.
** ''[[Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger Gekiranger]]''/''[[Series/PowerRangersJungleFury Jungle Fury]]'': Geki Violet/Wolf Ranger and Geki Chopper/Rhino Ranger were mentor figures to the main team. The heroes' two main rivals later switch sides, though only at the very end.
** ''[[Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger Go-onger]]''/''[[Series/PowerRangersRPM RPM]]'': The series introduced not one, but two pairs of extra rangers: Black & Green (who were part of the main team) and Gold & Silver (twin siblings who formed a separate team).
** ''[[Series/TokumeiSentaiGobusters Go-Busters]]'': The main trio were joined by Beet Buster and Stag Buster, another pair of beetle-themed extra rangers. Beet and Stag are notable for being the first non-sixth extras who are gold and silver, colors normally reserved for sixth members and above. Much like ''Abaranger'' before it, the team never had more than five members.
** ''[[Series/UchuSentaiKyuranger Kyuranger]]'': Oddly enough, this time the team starts out with Chameleon Green, Oushii Black, and Kajiki Yellow, and gains Shishi Red and Ookami Blue[[note]]In all prior Sentai series, Red and Blue are part of the team at the beginning; in ''Kyuranger'', Lucky and Garu, the team's blue rangers, are discovered by Hami, Champ, and Spada - the team's Green, Black, and Yellow rangers - before the former 2 become Kyurangers[[/note]] by the end of the first episode. Following ''[=Go-onger=]'' and ''[=Go-Busters=]'' above, the next two to join the team are Gold and Silver (Tenbin Gold and Hebitsukai Silver), and after that, Sasori Orange and Washi Pink joined the team separately. After that, the team gains Ryu Commander, Ooguma Skyblue, and Ho'ou Soldier.
* ''Series/KnightRider'' (2008): Mike, Sarah, KITT as the core, with Billy and Zoe as the periphery.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' was like this in the middle of its run, with the main power trio functioning as TheHero, TheLancer, and TheChick, going in birth order, while Leo and Cole were TheSmartGuy and TheBigGuy respectively.
* ''Series/OrphanBlack'': Clone Club. [[TheLeader Sarah]], [[TheLancer Alison]] and [[TheSmartGuy Cosima]] make the PowerTrio while the late [[TheBigGuy Beth]] and [[TheChick Katja]] round out the FiveManBand. Felix counts as a SixthRanger.
* The ''Series/ICarly'' PowerTrio of Sam, Freddie and Carly getting the most screen time, with Gibby and Spencer getting sub-plots, and occasionally being part of the main plot with the trio.
* Inverted with ''Series/MythBusters''; they end up being more like Two Plus Three. For the first season, it was just the OddCouple of Adam and Jamie getting the focus. The Build Team were later given some of the spotlight, then spun off into their own team of "myth busters". Adam and Jamie are TheHero and TheLancer, with the PowerTrio of the Build Team rounding out the band.
* Flashbacks from ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' shows Ted, [[BetaCouple Marshall and Lily]] having the TwoGuysAndAGirl dynamic in their college days right before meeting Barney. They met Robin at the series premiere.
* Sibuna in ''Series/HouseOfAnubis''. What first begins as a club between three students (Nina Martin, Fabian Rutter and Amber Millington) eventually expands to include two other students (Patricia Williamson and Alfie Lewis).
** This happens again in the second season, as the original trio recreate Sibuna but only have Patricia and Alfie come in later when they really need the help.
*** Happens AGAIN in season 3, as once [[spoiler:Nina never comes back and Amber leaves]] it's down to Fabian, Patricia and Alfie as the remaining original members, and the new trio, with the addition of Eddie Miller and KT Rush.
*** Throughout Season 3, it becomes clear that the Nina-Fabian-Amber trio has been replaced by the Eddie-KT-Fabian trio, with Patricia and Alfie seeming like the added/background two once again.
* ''Series/{{Bunheads}}'' has a pairing off within the group of four students of Sasha with and Melanie with Ginny, with the first pair gettimg far more attention. Then of course the foursome is seperate from the adult grouping of Michelle, Fanny and sometimes Truly.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' started out with the PowerTrio of Buffy, Xander, and Willow, adding and subtracting various others (Oz, Cordelia, Faith, Anya, Tara, Riley, Dawn) at varying levels of "insider-ness" over the seasons. At any given point there were usually five or six Scoobies, but only Buffy, Willow, and Xander remained constant throughout.
* ''The View'' has Whoopi Goldberg serving as moderator, but has more recently changed things so that Whoopi is absent on Fridays and free to attend to other commitments. Instead, an alternate cohost joins the table and Joy Behar moderates.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' is a Three plus Two plus Two. Penny, Leonard and Sheldon are clearly the main three characters all the way through the series, complemented by Howard and Raj, with Bernadette and Amy joining later. The addition of Stuart as a main character in Series 6 makes it Three plus Two plus Two plus One.
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica1978'' has the warriors Apollo-Starbuck-Boomer plus Sheba-Bojay in "The Living Legend".
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': The series started with the 'Original Team Arrow' of [[{{TheHero}} Oliver]], [[{{TheLancer}} Diggle]] and [[{{TheSmartGuy}} Felicity]]. From the second half of Season 2 several others characters join the team, starting with [[{{TheBigGuy}} Roy]] and [[{{TheChick}} Sa]][[{{ActionGirl}} ra]] and by the end of Season 3 they've left and been replaced by [[{{TookALevelInBadass}} Thea]] and [[{{TheTeamWannabe}} Laurel]], respectively. However the central trio are still much closer.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' uses this trope, especially in WholeEpisodeFlashback that discusses how they met. You have two (Mal and Zoe, old friends) plus three (Wash, Jayne, and Kaylee, who join the crew). But later, they add four more (Inara, Simon, River, and Book) who aren't technically part of the crew.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* OlderThanFeudalism: The Pandavas in the ''Mahabaratha'' were the three sons of Kunti (Yudhisthira, Arjuna and Bhima) plus the twin sons of Madri (Nakula and Sahadeva).

* An odd example, but there was once a Simon Says-type of handheld game called ''Bop It'' that had three commands: "Bop It" ("bop" a large button), "Twist It" (turn a rotating handle), and "Pull It" (pull a telescoping handle on the other end). The follow-up, "Bop It Extreme", added "Spin It" (spin a wheel) and "Flick It" (flick a spring-loaded nub).

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The action in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' begins with SEES comprised of a FiveManBand... but only the three newest members are available to fight at the start. The other two are more experienced members, one serving as your initial MissionControl, and the other recovering from injuries, but both of them join the front lines in relatively short order.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' has two separate groups. Lan, Mayl and Chaud plus Dex and Yai form the first, while [=MegaMan=].EXE, Roll.EXE and Protoman.EXE plus Gutsman.EXE and Glyde.EXE form the second. As the former are partners of the latter respectively, clearly it's a case of like to like.
* The quintet of characters you end ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' with works like this, with the [[PowerTrio core trio]] composed of [[TheHero Cecil]], [[TheLancer Kain]], and [[TheChick Rosa]] in a TwoGuysAndAGirl dynamic, with the addition of Rydia and Edge, who are somewhat SlapSlapKiss.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' starts you out with Alistair, [[BlackMagicianGirl Morrigan]], and the [[PlayerCharacter Warden]]; then adds [[JeanneDArchetype Leliana]] and [[TheBigGuy Sten]] in the first town. You get even more characters later, but Alistair, Morrigan and the Warden are always the most important party members to the story, [[spoiler:at least until you can recruit Loghain]].
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'' starts off with a ThreeAmigos PowerTrio before adding two more midway through the first disc of the game to form a FiveManBand.
* In the ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' MagicalGirl / SuperRobotGenre [[ShowWithinAShow show/game within a show]] ''[[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly]]'', the power trio was Strawberry ([[CallingYourAttacks on the Shortcake!]]), Blueberry (Cheese Brownie!), and Cranberry (Chocolate Sundae!). In the sequel ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle'', they add Gooseberry (Sugar Donut) and [[OddNameOut Nutberry]] (no attack given). The new opening to the show highlights the ThreePlusTwo trope.
* The Eeveelutions from ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', not counting Eevee itself from Gen II to Gen III. Interestingly enough they had Sentai like colors attached to them also. The Trio of Flareon (Red) Vaporeon (Blue) Jolteon (Yellow) plus the duo of Espeon (Pinkish Purple) and Umbreon (Black). Now they're more of a 3 + 2 + 2 + 1 with Leafeon (Green) and Glaceon (Whitish Blue) in Gen VI and Sylveon in Gen VI (Pink). Fans anticipate that number continuing to grow until it reaches 17 in total.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'' 3 has new cast members [[TheSmartGuy Alph]], [[TheChick Brittany]], and [[TheBigGuy Charlie]] joined by returning characters [[spoiler:[[TheHero Olimar]] and [[TheLancer Louie]]]].
* ''Videogame/MinecraftStoryMode'' initially revolves around three friends -- Jesse, Olivia, and Axel. Once the BigBad shows up, the three are joined by [[LonerTurnedFriend resident loner]] Petra and [[TheRival rival builder]] Lukas (who already know each other).
* In the classic ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' games on Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, the playable characters consisted of Sonic the Hedgehog, Miles 'Tails' Prower, and Knuckles the Echidna, who became a Power Trio by the end of ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles''. They were the only characters to be playable in any of the side-scrolling platforming installments released in the 90's, with the exception of ''VideoGame/KnucklesChaotix''. In the ''[[VideoGame/SonicAdvanceTrilogy Sonic Advance]]'' trilogy, all three were playable again, this time alongside Amy Rose (making her playable side-scrolling platforming debut after being playable in the ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 games]]) and Cream the Rabbit (who debuted in ''Sonic Advance 2'').
** The initial release of VideoGame/SonicMania featured the series' iconic PowerTrio of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles as playable characters, with [[VideoGame/SegaSonicTheHedgehog Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel]] slated to join them in an update set to release on July 17th, 2018.
* ''[[VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight]]'' features this with the main cast of its Story Mode. The Fafnir Knight and his best friend Flavio join Princess Arianna as her bodyguards to make up a party of three, and they later meet the duo of Bertrand and Chloe while exploring Ginnungagap.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' has two sets of 3+2 in the same group of five.
** Agatha, Gil and Tarvek -- a LoveTriangle, crossed with WeUsedToBeFriends for Gil and Tarvek, with all three being extremely powerful [[MadScientist Sparks]] -- Zeetha and Violetta lack the mad science aspect, and lean towards being sidekicks in the more science-heavy arcs.
** Agatha, Zeetha and Violetta -- BeautyBrainsAndBrawn with a twist -- in Zeetha's words, ''"'''You've''' got the brains, '''I've''' got the muscle, Violetta's got the '''sneaky!'''"'' In the current story arc, they're the only three of the five to actually still be together -- Gil and Tarvek are elsewhere, and occasionally [[spoiler:else''when'']].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Centurions}}'', the core trio of Max Ray, Jake Rockwell and Ace [=McCloud=] is joined by new members Rex Charger and John Thunder in later episodes. However, this MerchandiseDriven variation of the trope has less to do with character dynamics than the toy company's desire to add new heroes to the action figure line.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' starts with [[TheHero Aang]], [[TheSmartGuy Sokka]] and [[TheChick Katara]], and later picks up [[TheBigGuy Toph]] and [[spoiler:[[TheLancer Zuko]]]] to complete the band. Suki joins the main cast as a full member near the end.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' starts out with [[TheHero Korra]] meeting [[BigFun Bolin]] and [[TheStoic Mako]], with Mako's girlfriend [[UptownGirl Asami]] joining later. {{Old Master}}s [[TeamDad Tenzin]] and [[DaChief Lin]] make it a full force of six.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' Optimus, Rattrap and Rhinox are the core trio, the leader and his two lieutenants (acting as the Kirk, The [=McCoy=] and the Spock, respectively). The three of them are in on all the secrets and will be trusted with things the others aren't. When Optimus is gone, leadership will generally be handled jointly by the two of them. Cheetor and Dinobot (the idealistic new guy and the cynical veteran) are the other two. Cheetor is trusted, but because of his youth and inexperience, he's still on the outside and is not involved in any decisions. Dinobot can't always be trusted because of his Predacon heritage and tendency to do some decidedly un-Maximal things, and is thus also kept at a distance. There's a revolving door of "outsider" Maximals, but the three "insiders" remain Optimus, Rattrap and Rhinox for the whole run.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' jumps back and forth. It starts off with Ulrich, Yumi, and Odd as the only action heroes ([[DamselInDistress Aelita]] has no attacks and Jérémie is MissionControl). Then in season 3, Aelita [[TookALevelInBadass Takes a Level in Badass]], and later on the team picks up [[SixthRanger William]]. [[spoiler:For about half of an episode anyway, before he gets semi-permanently possessed by XANA]].
* ''WesternAnimation/WorldOfQuest'' has [[InvertedTrope Two Plus Three]]. While all of the main characters except Anna share a past, the show is quite obviously focused on the interaction between Nestor and Quest.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' centers its action around Fry, Leela and Bender, but at times others have been added: Zapp Brannigan and Kif on a few occasions, but more generally it's Zoidberg and Professor Farnsworth, or Zoidberg and Amy, or ''Zoidberg'' (notice a pattern?) and Hermes. In later episodes, sometime Cubert and Dwight too.
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'''s first season: the Team begins with Comicbook/{{Robin}}, [[FragileSpeedster Kid Flash]] and [[MakingASplash Aqualad]], experienced sidekicks who already know each other. The three rescue ComicBook/{{Superboy}} and are later joined by [[SuperPowerLottery Miss Martian]] and {{Ar|cherArchetype}}temis, making a case of Three Plus Three. However, it's the newcomers who wind up getting more focus and CharacterDevelopment by the time the season ends.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' has two brothers, Phineas and Ferb, plus three friends: Isabella, Buford, and Baljeet.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Lolirock}}'' focuses on Iris, Talia, and Auriana, but starting in season 2, they are sometimes joined by Carissa and Lyna.
* The main team in ''WesternAnimation/VoltronLegendaryDefender'' has Pidge, Lance, and Hunk initially as fight cadets who are later joined by Keith and Shiro.