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Archive: Five-Man Band
From Five Man Band Discussion

This entry rocks hard -- Gus

// Please modify names and such so these point to other character archetypes already done here. This page exists because this is a common group.

//What about The Visionary? Cordelia, Chiana, Zhaan, Doyle, Buffy to a certain extent. Someone with preternatural knowledge, often a mystical connection. In D&D you'd call them a Cleric.

//more props to this entry. The Chick is probably an amalgam of many weak characters, either to stand in for the viewer or be the reason for the four people's efforts. Someone who is just not superpowered. I think A-Team had A Chick, and I would posit that Xander is both comic relief and A Chick.

//Legolas has a similar body count to Gimli -- I wouldn't mark him as The Smart Guy. Also? Not that smart. -- Capoeira Girl

//Re Legolas as Smart Guy - Elves are generally (at least in fantasy and role-playing games) the fast, quick, quick-witted archer types, whereas Dwarves are stony, dour, strong axe-wielding maniacs. So even though Gimli the dwarf is smaller and Legolas just as capable, as a pair they offer the Big Guy/Smart Guy pairing.

// Is there another group similar to Five-Man Band with a higher count? Firefly The Series with nine, the Fot R, Robin Hood's Merry Men, for example?

Hmm. Robin, Marian, Friar Tuck, John Little, Will Scarlet. Never mind that last one. -- Gus

Grev: I was able to pare Firefly down to five by leaving out the "paying customers"...and a bit of shoehorning...

I think there's a whole class of shows with larger groups than the Five-Man Band, but smaller than Loads and Loads of Characters--say, seven to ten regulars. All of the Star Trek series, Babylon 5, Justice League, etc., and while these do have common character types across them, I'm not sure the composition of the groups is nearly as consistent with respect to the character types as the Five-Man Band. I don't think there's currently an entry that would cover these, but maybe there should be. -- Devil's Advocate

//I don't think Legolas in the movie is portrayed as either weaker or more smart than Gimli, though. And I'm also pretty sure about the book. I'd also say that Gandalf is smarter (maybe also Aragorn -- the movie did elevate his sagacity), and any of the hobbits weaker. Either way, I think there are plenty of cites, so there's not much need for any extra-media ones that aren't slam dunks.

//The A-Team started out with a chick (Amy) who only lasted the first2seasons - CT

//Blake's 7 is an example of this, even despite the numbers. In the first season, I'd say Blake is 100% Leader, Avon is about 60% Lancer and 40% Anti-hero (changing to 100% Anti-hero in later seasons), Gan = 100% Big Guy, Villa = 100% Comic Relief, Jenna = 100% Chick, Orac = 100% Smart Guy and Cally = about 30% Mentor and 70% Mystic, a la Willow.

//Are the CSI crews a Five-Man Band?

Five-Man Band

//Though a comic book & not TV, "The Knights of the Dinner Table" forms a Five Man Band. A comic epic about the roleplaying hobby and the centerpiece of the gaming magazine of the same name, the Knights of the Dinner Table include five friends who get together to play Hack Master (a spoof of Dungeons and Dragons). B.A. Felton is a Hero and the group's DM, who struggles to present an intelligent campaign against his friends' hack&slash and munchkin tendencies. Brian Van Hoose is a Lancer and a games lawyer who invents incredible applications of the rules. Dave Bozwell, the youngest member, is a Big Guy who prefers a fighter armed with a Hack Master +12 sword. Bob Herzog is a Smart Guy - not because he plays intelligently, but rather for his preference for devious thief characters. Sara Felton, B.A's cousin, is the Chick (one who'd violently disagree with that characterization), a consummate roleplayer and B.A's ally for sensible RP. In their original Hack Master campaign, Bob, Dave & Brian's characters called themselves "The Incredible Trio", until Sara joined and it became "The Incredible Trio plus One". Sara's "special power", it would seem, arises directly from her feminine sensibility - rather than a compensation for weakness, her attenuation to social relationships prepares her to make smarter choices that satisfy B.A's interest in a plausible story.

//Nice addition, Mac Guges. Frankly I am a little surprised we don't see more examples from the world of static graphics, since that world is inspiring so much of today's animated/acted material.

//Would it be worthwhile to separate this into examples of the archetypes used by a five man band, and actual five man bands? The current lists have characters from a number of series that act as one of the stereotypes, but don't have them all, have extra characters, what have you. Shouldn't there be a section for exemplary, unquestionable five man bands, in this format:

Science Ninja Team Gatchaman
  • The Hero: Ken "The Eagle" Washio
  • The Lancer: Joe "The Condor"
  • The Big Guy: Ryu "The Horned Owl" Nakanishi
  • The Smart Guy: Jinpei "The Swallow"
  • The Chick: Jun "The Swan"

{Darksasami}: I didn't get any feedback on this at all, so I'm replacing the entire article in one swell foop.

Gus: The rewrite works for me. Very clear.

Red Shoe: I'm not quite sure how much of a stretch this is, but I'm thinking that The West Wing might constitute a Five-Man Band:
  • The Hero: Leo
  • The Lancer: Toby
  • The Big Guy: Josh
  • The Smart Guy: Sam
  • The Chick: CJ
  • Mentor: Bartlett
It's really more of an analogue than a straightforward application, since they're *all* smart guys, but, eg, I identify Josh as the "Big Guy" since, more than anyone else, he's used as the political "muscle" in fights with congress, and he's generally not as smart (by the show's standards) as Toby and Sam. Too big of a stretch?

Gus: I can agree with most of these role assignments, with the exception of CJ as the Chick. I think I could see Donna (Josh's assistant) as the Chick. From CJ ... I want to put her in the same category as Alan A'Dale or Will Scarlet, the Minstrel of the bunch.

Adonic Meki: Out of curiousity, what is the origin of the term "lancer" in this context? The other four are pretty self-explanatory, but I can't figure out that one.

Dark Sasami: I don't know, but it sure puts me in mind of Final Fantasy-type games in which the "other hunky male character" is never allowed to have a sword: it's always a spear or a lance or something like that. Main character always has a sword, though.

Adonic Meki: Ahh, good point. I suppose Kain the spear-using Dragoon from FF IV is a perfect example of the type.

Silent Hunter: CSI:Vegas is an example of a Five-Man Band, so let's try the rest of the franchise.

Miami (pre Speedle's death, I haven't seen much of S3):
  • Hero- Horatio Caine
  • Lancer- None stand out.
  • Chick- Calleigh
  • Smart Guy - Speedle?
  • Big Guy - Delko (the resident diver)

Ergo, it just about rides, but I'd need to see about Ryan.

  • Hero - No-one really fits.
  • Lancer - Mac, definitely
  • Chick - Stella
  • Smart Guy - Aiden
  • Big Guy - Nope, Danny and Flack aren't particularly strong.

Two characters missing, ergo no band.

Silent Hunter: Can someone put the Kids Next Door operatives into the categories?

Bluetooth The Pirate: I added some caveats to the Star Wars chart. Artoo becomes the Smart Guy when it's time to fix stuff. He's like a dog that's also a mechanical autistic savant. It's actually one of the better portrayals of what a furturistic AI robot would probably be. Also, pointed out for the uninitiated that Numbuh4is for all intents and purposes the Big Guy in action and ability, even though he's the smallest KND operative.
Gus: Looney Toons's recent clarification of the roles of Hero and Lancer raises an interesting notion. These two roles serve as foils of one another, making their characteristics clear in the contrast. It seems like this holds true for Big Guy and Smart Guy, as well. Big Guy punches through to the bottom line, for instance, while Smart Guy dithers about and over-elaborates. It seems like The Chick most often serves to leaven all the rampant testosterone.

Looney Toons: I didn't clarify -- I edited someone else's clarification slightly.
Silent Hunter: I haven't said it already, so I'll say it now- this entry is brilliant. I'd advertise this wiki with this entry.

Do you think the MythBusters are an RL example of a Five-Man Band, or am I stretching it too far? For example:
  • Adam: Big Guy
  • Jamie: Smart Guy
  • Tory: Hero
  • Carrie: Chick
  • Scottie: Lancer


My version (which is on the page), with reasoning
  • Jamie: was first approached about doing to show, so he is the Hero, the sort of leader of the group
  • Adam: Jamie's Odd Couple, therefore the Lancer
  • Tory: Big Guy, because he does the stunts (and takes the damage), even though Adam would rather do them himself.
  • Grant: Smart Guy... although each member is smart, when Grant came in to replace Scottie, Jamie explained his inclusion with Grant's expertise on electronics. Also, Grant's nerdiness and knowledge has been joked about occasionally
  • Kari: Well, she is the only female, but also vegetarian diet, her artistic rather than mechanical skills and her reaction to the meat on the pig's spine in an early episode...

Drop Dead Gorgias: Just stumbled across this article too. It rocks, if just for the TMNT theme song tie-in. Also, this discussion page should almost be subdivided into its own page, as it is mostly shout-outs of people who have stumbled across it and had to proclaim how awesome it is.
Teen Titans: Five-Man Band or not? Four of the characters are easy to fit into the character types:
  • Robin: Hero
  • Cyborg: Big Guy
  • Beast Boy: Smart Guy
  • Starfire: Chick

Leaving Raven. A Lancer? I'm not sure. There is definitely a contrast with Robin, in that Robin is all about the team, while Raven likes to be alone a lot of the time, but I'm not feeling that she fits into the Lancer category very well. Thoughts? -- Devil's Advocate

Silent Hunter: The rule states if one doesn't fit, it's still a band. It flies.

Dark Sasami: Actually, I think Raven is a perfect Lancer: dark, brooding, cynical, and second fiddle. What I don't see is where you get Beast Boy as Smart Guy. Smart Aleck, maybe. But still, four out of five works.

Devil's Advocate: Beast Boy may not be particularly smart, but he fits every other aspect of the Smart Guy to a T: comic relief, a trickster, and buddy of the Big Guy. I'll edit the entry to clarify.
Drop Dead Gorgias: Would Sealab2021 constitute a Five-Man Band?
  • Hero: Captain Murphy
  • Lancer: Sparks (fairly level-headed foil to murphy's rashness)
  • Big Guy: Marco
  • Smart Guy: Quinn
  • Chick: Debbie
I don't know where Stormy fits in there, but they also have several mentor/pet side characters too...
Aeon Ite: When I originally created this I used the term "Lancer" as a reference to the medieval sense; the lancer was a guy associated with lancing, as in "straight ahead gutsy charging in-your-face attacks", as opposed to the more general term Knight which carries with it connotations of nobility and such. I also had in mind Lance, from Voltron, and his corelation in the "band" to Lancelot from Arthurian myth. Both serve the same role, as secondary to the leader, probably the better all around fighter, yet obviously not cut out for leadership per se, due to some flaw.

Croaker: Hrm. Robotech/Invid Invasion:

  • The Leader: Scott Bernard
  • The Big Guy: Lunk
  • The Lancer: Rand, Rook
  • The Smart Guy: Lancer
  • The Chick: Mint

Ununnilium: If Galaxy Angel varies that much from the formula (and it does, believe me), it doesn't belong in the entry.

Janitor: Yup. I pulled it out:

The Angel force from Galaxy Angel does it a little bit differently...
Leader      Forte Stollen  
Smart Girl      Mint Blancmanche  
Chick      Ranpha Framboise  
Kid/Comic Relief      Milfeulle Sakuraba  
Team Pet      Normad/Nomad  
Vanilla      Vanilla H. (She really doesn't fit anywhere but in her own category. :) 

... because it is more about what the entry isn't than what it is.
Janitor: Hmm. I wonder if there is enough data here for a Lump about teams that are not a 5MB or a Power Trio?

Seth: I thought more than a 5 man band was an ensemble? I believe we have a trope like that somewhere. This is a pretty cluttered page by design so adding more than examples from now on might make it unreadable to a casual reader (I believe the technical term is "Too long; Didn't read")
Seth: Melancholy of Haurhi Suzimiya yay or nay?
  • Hero: Haruhi Suzimiya
  • Lancer/Straight man: Kyon
  • Big Guy: Itsuki Koizumi
  • Smart Guy: Yuki Nagato
  • The Chick: Mikuru Asahina

Seems to fit the trope. //Later: So any opinions? this has been here a while so if there is no input i will just assume that means no opposition and put it in.

Seth The formatting on this page is really strange, why is there so much code when every other page just uses basic
  • Line
  • After
  • line formatting.
It makes it hard to edit and errors can slip past. If I don't get any objections i am going to reformat this page tonight since every other page on the wiki is more or less uniform and this one stands out. (Yes I am aware I am a neat freak.)

Kendra Kirai: By the way, I think I've got a new one for Galaxy Angel...
  • Leader: Forte
  • Lancer: Ranpha
  • Smart Girl: Mint
  • Chick: Milfeulle
  • Team Pet: Normad
  • Vanilla: Vanilla

Gus: I think the page makes a nice clean presentation, now, Seth. Also, when a self-professed dyslexic wants to start re-org-ing things, I get itchy.;-)

Ununnilium: But Ranpha's very Chick-like, and Mint's specialty isn't being smart so much as it is being elegant and upper-class, et cetera. It still doesn't fit, IMHO.

Kendra Kirai: Mint is the information specialist of the team, and Ranpha's more Lancer-like than Chick-like. She isn't nearly as ditzy as milfy, and she fights with Forte a lot...

Gus: Pulled out Faux Action Girl: Rukia from the Bleach list, as Faux Action Girl isn't a band member of the five, or one of the usual supplementals.

Drop Dead Gorgias: I'd like to propose Grey's Anatomy as a five-man band:
  • Hero: Meredith (title character of the show, narrator)
  • Lancer: Christina (meredith's best friend, level headed in contrast to Meredith's frazzled)
  • Big Guy: Alex (the jock, kinda dumb)
  • Smart Guy: George (smart is a relative term in this group...)
  • The Chick: Izzie (of course)
  • Mentor: Bailey

Fast Eddie: DDG, I'd say it is a slam dunk. Meredith is clearly the Sun of this system... Oh, yeah. Yes. Dunk the sucka.

Fast Eddie,some more: DDG, I axed your apologias. If someone wants to argue the thing, they can come in here and get slapped around like the time they stole they Momma's party-money.

Dark Sasami: I have to dispute the new addition of Galaxy Angel. I haven't played the games, so that may be accurate there, but at least in the anime, in no way is Milfeulle The Hero. The anime has no heroes. Definitely, definitely no heroes. Milfeulle is The Chick. And Mint is very much The Smart Guy. And Vanilla is not--well, she's not anything that fits in a Five-Man Band. She's Vanilla.

Oh, hey, looking up, I see that Galaxy Angel has been pulled out once already for not fitting. And we've got no The Hero and one doesn't-fit...I'm going to pull it again. I'll leave the second series alone, because I know nothing about it.
Seth: I have to dispute the Fantastic Four as being a Five Man Band

Lale: The roles matter more than the numbers IMHO.

Fast Eddie: Oddly enough, the shoe does fit, number size aside.

Dark Sasami: Well, when I appointed myself Official Five Man Band Nazi and kicked out a whole bunch of bad examples, I set down the arbitrary rule that you have to match at least four out of five. And I can't argue with the characterizations. I'll give them a yea.
Moved over on 15th April 2007

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