Misery loves company.
A gang of misfits whom no one likes and/or don't like themselves get together or an elder, often a Zen Survivor
, brings them together. A circle of True Companions
forms out of everyone's lives sucking so much they ended up stuck with each other. If they actually want to stick together because otherwise they would be alone, they are Lonely Together
Very common in superhero teams who, while, fighting evil, tend not to have flashy headquarters or get a lot of public support or respect. Also could be used for villains, when they're not qualified to be a Quirky Miniboss Squad
. The villain version is usually led by a Straw Nihilist
A concise way of saying it: most, if not all of the cast, in the group count as The Woobie
(or at least have a lot of Angst
) in their own individual way, even if it may not seem so at first.
Named after the classic teen film The Breakfast Club
Compare Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
Anime and Manga
- Villainous example: The Seven from YuYu Hakusho. They're all pretty troubled people...
- The main characters themselves. Yusuke and Kuwabara are two juvenile delinquents who aren't liked or trusted all that much by authority figures or their fellow classmates, and Hiei and Kurama are a pair of demon criminals forced to work for the spirit world as punishment for their crimes.
- The Sinners from Chrono Crusade. Disowned by their people, and dwindled down to frighteningly small numbers, this group of demons formed together around Aion to carry out his plans, while becoming an odd sort of family.
- The Kyoto Animation adaptation of Kanon, thanks to its refusal to just toss the haremettes after their story arcs were over, seems to have the harem grow into something like this in the end.
- Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai is a comical take on the trope, featuring seven friendless, attractive-looking teens with not-so-attractive quirks and personalities Lonely Together under the banner of the "Neighbors Club", whose ostensible goal is to help its members make friends: Kodaka — a boy who happens to be the sanest of the lot, whose solitude stems mostly from his intimidating appearance; Yozora — an abrasive loner with a hobby of talking to Imaginary Friends; Sena — the ridiculously hot daughter of their school's chairman with a snobby attitude; Yukimura — a highly-effeminate, gullible Wholesome Crossdresser/Recursive Crossdresser; Rika — a Teen Genius with an incredibly dirty mind; Kobato — Kodaka's little sister under a constant self-delusion of being a vampire-loli; and Maria — a ten-year-old Hollywood Nun with severe reality-testing issues.
- The Culture Club from Kokoro Connect is a group of five students who, for various reasons, didn't fit in with Yamahoshi Academy's available clubs. Taichi, Aoki, and Yui wanted to join clubs that didn't exist, Inaba left the Computer Club because she didn't like the president, and Iori let her homeroom teacher choose for her.
- In Brave10, the Braves are a bunch of lonely misfits with Dark and Troubled Pasts slowly recruited by Yukimura who end up forming a Family of Choice.
- The Elysium Project has the group of escaped test subjects that the story centers around. They've all been lied to and experimented on for years and now they're constantly running for their lives, but their shared trauma has brought them together.
- The Breakfast Club is the Trope Namer and are seen in the above image.
- John Ford's acclaimed Western film Stagecoach did this trope way back in 1939, making the trope Older Than Television. The seven passengers on the stage to Lordsburg, New Mexico, include an outlaw, a prostitute, an alcoholic, and an ex-Confederate who isn't shy about expressing his political views. note In the end, however, they have all developed respect for each other, largely as a result of cooperating to fight off a war party of Apaches - except for the ex-Confederate, who is killed by the Apaches.
- The Faculty is basically The Breakfast Club as a sci-fi horror movie with parasitic aliens, with the protagonists' personalities and roles mapping fairly closely to their counterparts in that film. (Stan —> Andy, Delilah —> Claire, Casey —> Brian, Zeke —> Bender, and Stokely —> Allison.) The fact that Marybeth doesn't have an obvious counterpart from The Breakfast Club is, in fact, a pretty early clue that she's actually the Big Bad.
- The characters in The Boys in the Band are a Breakfast Club of dysfunctional gay men.
- Michael Mann's early action flick Band of the Hand is about turning the Breakfast Club into a bunch of badasses.
- The characters in Unaccompanied Minors are young versions of this.
- The main characters who become a herd in the Original Ice Age are a form of this.
- The Sun Also Rises is about a Breakfast Club of American expatriates living in France in The Roaring '20s. The group consists of a World War I veteran (who is impotent due to an injury sustained during the war), a jaded Christmas Cake party girl, and a shy guy who just wants everyone to get along. Each dealing with their own problems and drama. The book is a deconstruction of the trope.
- The book Clean even lampshades this, with Chris saying, "We're kind of like a fucked-up version of that movie The Breakfast Club."
- Animorphs. The group is a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that all met by chance by virtue of being friends of friends with everyone, who decide to take the wrong shortcut one night. Jake, their fearless leader, is probably the only actually normal one of the group, and his brother is trapped inside his own mind by a parasitic alien. Marco lives with a depressive single father who never got over his wife dying, although she's actually not dead and the real truth is far, far worse - she's the leader of the alien invasion. Rachel is a shopaholic who's also an Action Girl in disguise to the point where Marco calls her Xena on a regular basis (and can become quite Ax-Crazy and sometimes, dangerously, dangerously sane if you threaten her friends...), while her best friend Cassie is a socially awkward African-American who is unpopular because she doesn't care anything for fashion and works as a vet assistant on her family farm. Tobias is The Woobie of the series, whose parents are dead (well, sort of... it's seriously complicated) and who suffers horrible treatment at the hands of his aunt and uncle. Did we mention that he's permanently trapped in the body of a hawk? Because being an animal was so much better than living at home that he didn't care if it happened? It most likely was deliberate. And his father's the alien that gave them the Imported Alien Phlebotinum Certainly fits the Dysfunction Junction element quite nicely. And their hideout, if it could be called one, is Cassie's barn. At least, until they tell everyone about the alien threat. And Ax, the alien, is the "student living in his amazing brother's shadow" who (from what he missed in school) was a total slacker. And also Tobias' uncle on his father's side.
- The victors in The Hunger Games lean towards this. At least, the ones who aren't trying to kill each other. Katniss, Peeta, Finnick and sort of Johanna, for the most part, and also Wiress and Beetee at first and Annie later.
- They're implied to have been more like this before the twist of the Quarter Quell (i.e., that they'd be competing to kill each other now) was announced. Katniss notes they (both competing victors and the victors mentoring them) are much more social than the usual pack of brand-new scared kids are every year. Haymitch in particular is seriously bothered by the whole thing, at one point telling Katniss and Peeta that he didn't want to be responsible for them getting his friends killed off.
- Billy Joel's "Piano Man". The bar is full of lonely, sad people drowning their sorrows "sharing a drink they call Loneliness, but it's better than drinking alone".
- Dead Like Me. The main cast regularly eat breakfast together at a Greasy Spoon, as well, making them a literal example of the trope name.
- Most definitely the cast of Lexx, though the robot head guy would not qualify as The Woobie.
- The members of the 4077th M* A* S* H. It's not so much that no one liked them at home (except maybe for Frank Burns) and more like they all happen to be stuck in a war zone together (they hate it).
- Cheers . Even the theme song is about this.
- Misfits, oh so much. Five criminal teens find themselves united by social alienation, superpowers, and the accidental murder of their rampaging Ax-Crazy zombie probation worker.
- Community. Lampshaded mercilessly in the pilot.
- Deconstructed on 3rd Rock from the Sun. Harry goes to night classes to get his GED. He takes advice from Tommy on how to act like the Big Man on Campus, but eventually comes to realize everyone there is from disparate age groups and backgrounds and that trying to act cool is completely pointless. Eventually, he finds a study group like this.
- The four mains of Gossip Girl, Nate, Chuck, Blair and Serena, call themselves the Non-Judging Breakfast Club. The foursome grew close as kids when none of them had reliable parents and it's been mentioned that they more or less raised each other.
- The Inbetweeners: The four friends at times seem like they have little reason to be friends due to their contrasting personalities. At the same time, their misfit status in school means that they're the only people who can stand each other.
- Chickens: Cecil, George, and Bert. The only similarity they have is that they're the only men left in their after WWI has started. As a result, they end up being forced to bond.
- Red Band Society: A group of kids who have nothing in common except for being in hospital together? Big tick.
- Leverage: Five self-proclaimed loners discover that their whole is more than the sum of their parts, at first professionally, but increasingly emotionally as the series progresses.
- The companions of Dragon Age II could be called the Breakfast Club of RPGs without being much of a stretch. Suffice it to say they all have massive issues, shaky self-worth, questionable social skills at best, and no-one looking out for them but each other. The glue holding this motley crew together is a Fight Magnet refugee who can be anything from diplomat to Sad Clown to highwayman. They stay together for six years (although a lot of that's covered by time-jumps), and meet up for drinks and card games when they're not out killing people. Unlike the average Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, there's no overriding mission that keeps them all together - they all have their personal ambitions, and stick together out of choice.
- Hell, any BioWare game is going to end up with a crew like this.
- Shepard's crew includes a thousand year old mercenary, an archaeologist, a Cowboy Cop, a Wrench Wench, a gruff soldier with a spiritual side and a gentle soldier who went through a special kind of Training from Hell... and that's just the first game.
- The Spirit Monk ends up with a childhood friend and long-lost princess, a former Lotus Assassin, a thief, a Creepy Child possessed by two demons, a Rebellious Princess, a former arena fighter who's willing to do anything to avoid his wife, a nutcase mercenary, and at least two minor deities.
- The Ebon Hawk? Star Padawan of the Jedi Order, Properly Paranoid (and possibly Force Sensitive) Republic soldier, a Mandalorian mercenary fallen on hard times, Twi'lek street kid and her big Wookiee BFF, Cathar Jedi with anger management issues, Cranky ex-Jedi who was slumming it in the Kashyyyk shadowlands, troublemaking astromech droid, gleefully homicidal assassin droid with a long string of dead masters...Oh, and you - the mind-wiped, ex-Sith Lord.
- Of all the protagonist ensembles in the series, the cast of Persona 3 fits this trope best.
- Team Kimba in the Whateley Universe. They get together because they are put together on their first day since they all have a secret that makes them outsiders. They are all transgender, most of them against their will. Subversion: they rapidly become well-liked and considered heroic, after they happen to defeat a band of superpowered ninjas before the first day of school.
- Outcast Corner takes this Up to 11: It's as though the only reason they haven't demolished the school yet is because they have each other. Everyone on the team is either a rager, a devisor, insane or all of the above, and even Diamondback and Jericho, the most sane of the bunch, have some major issues.
- The Crimebusters of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe. Unappreciated, possessing superpowers that fall squarely into the What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? territory (one of their members is a dog that talks... that's his power; he's a dog, and he talks). But they're not disheartened, and somehow save the day anyway.