[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/FantasticFour http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fantastic_four_vol_1_191.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-After several internal problems, the ComicBook/FantasticFour resigned, and each one took his own career. Of course, they reunited some time later.-] ]]

Our heroes are a force of nature. United, there is nothing in this world that can stand against them. Divided is another story.

Whether due to a plot device, a scheme by the villain, or internal strife, the heroes separate. They may be [[PartyScattering scattered all over the world]], they may just go their separate ways, but the point is they are no longer [[TheTeam a team]]. It may take multiple story arcs to [[PuttingTheBandBackTogether get them back together.]] They [[NothingIsTheSameAnymore may never get back together]] and even if they do, their separate adventures and tribulations will have caused them to change and drift apart in ways they could not have foreseen.

When this happens, expect it to be even the DarkestHour. No group would ever do this willingly because you NeverSplitTheParty. Expect the episode where this happens to be a WhamEpisode.

Note: For it to count as this trope, it should be a whole arc, not just one or two episodes. If just one character leaves, or it lasts for a very short time, it falls under other tropes.

Compare LetsSplitUpGang, where they split up, but intend to find each other again later, PartyScattering, where they are split up involuntarily and sent on {{Solo Sequence}}s by an external force, and TheFellowshipHasEnded, where the split-up becomes permanent.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'': The Attack of [[spoiler: Bartholomew Kuma at Sabaody Archipelago scatters the Straw Hat crew to the four winds. The crew meets up again after the two year timeskip. See PartyScattering]]
** Happens in the sixth movie ''Anime/BaronOmatsuriAndTheSecretIsland''. As the games progress, the Straw Hats' [[TrueCompanions friendly and tight-knit relationship]] becomes strained and they start to fight amongst each other more and more. It got bad enough that at one point, they all split off to find their missing crew mates. [[spoiler: This was intentionally done by the Baron who wishes to break any pirate crew's spirit before feeding them to Lily.]]
** When Jinbe became a Warlord of the Sea, Arlong detested the idea of becoming a dog of the World Government so he and the original Arlong Pirates left, followed by Macro and his gang.
* Following the defeat of Etemon in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', the Digidestined separated and scattered throughout the Digital World. When Tai returns, he has to spend a whole arc finding them and getting them back together.
** They actually went through this a couple of times. The first was when they first encountered Devimon, who split them up. Then there's the aforementioned Etemon example. While searching for the eighth child back at home, some of Myotismon's forces kept them divided for a short time. Finally, in the Dark Masters arc Matt went off on his own, Joe and Mimi went off another way, and the group doesn't properly reunite until just before the very of end of the series.
* In ''{{LightNovel/Slayers}} Try'', the group is divided for a few episodes when Valgaav's plan to summon the Dark Lord Darkstar goes awry.
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', Ala Alba was split up for a while soon after entering the Magic World.
* In ''Manga/TwentiethCenturyBoys'' most of the main characters are split up after the first major WhamEpisode, which ends with a [[spoiler:15 year]] TimeSkip that sees [[spoiler: the main character dead, another in prison, two presumed dead and the rest scattered]].A lot of the series sees them trying to [[PuttingTheBandBackTogether reunite.]]
* In ''Anime/RoninWarriors'', this happens to the FiveManBand after their first confrontation with the villain, who scatters them across the countryside and places them in prisons based on their PoweredArmor's elements. It's up to TheChick and the BrattyHalfPint to find and reunite the team.
* In ''Anime/ZoidsChaoticCentury'', after Prozen and the Death Saurer are defeated, Van and his friends go their separate ways. Van joins the Republic military for formal Zoid pilot training, Fiona accompanies Dr. D in pursuit of the Zoid Eve, and Irvine and Moonbay return to their mercenary and trading ways, respectively. They all reunite 2 years later in Guardian Force, however.
* Villains they may be (at least they ''want'' to be), ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'''s [[GoldfishPoopGang Team Rocket]] is also a very good example of TrueCompanions. However, there are still times that they couldn't tolerate each other, resulting in a breakup ([[StatusQuoIsGod temporary]], anyway, they barely last an episode). "''The Ole' Berate and Switch''" and "''Noodles: Roamin' Off''" are notable examples.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', [[ColonelBadass Colonel Mustang]] has a very close-knit group of five hand-selected subordinates, who are unquestionably loyal to him and to each other, and are working feverishly to help him with his long-term goals. To disrupt his plans, [[spoiler:the villains break up his team and send them to where they can't help him. Three of the men are sent to distant outposts; one, recently paralyzed in the line of duty, is discharged from the hospital and sent back to his family's home; and the fifth, the lone female, is forced to become the personal assistant of one of the villains in order to hold her hostage for Mustang's good behavior.]] Of course, it doesn't really stick.
* In ''AudioPlay/SaintBeast'', the formerly inseparable Saint Beasts are drawn apart after four of them [[CavalryBetrayal betray]] the other two as a result of being BrainwashedAndCrazy and Judas and Luca get sent to hell. Then, after shaking off the brainwashing and plotting to save their friends [[spoiler:the other four are are betrayed in turn by the goddess, separated and TakenForGranite]].
* ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'': After Guts defeats Griffith and earns his freedom from the Band of the Hawk, everything begins to take a turn for the worse. Griffith suffers from an emotional breakdown and gets his ass landed in the [[spoiler:Tower of Rebirth for a year after an indiscretion with Princess Charlotte]]. The King then declares the rest of the Hawks {{outlaw}}, to be hunted down without mercy. During this time, many of the Hawks are [[KillEmAll either killed]] or [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere just abandon the group]], [[DwindlingParty leaving only a small amount of dedicated followers.]] A year later, Guts returns, bringing back a small glimmer of hope when the Hawks, under the leadership of Casca, reveal to Guts that they are about to execute Operation: Rescue Griffith with the hopes of [[PuttingTheBandBackTogether restoring Griffith to his former glory and bringing the Hawks back together.]] Unfortunately, [[spoiler: a year of horrible torture]] [[NothingIsTheSameAnymore has taken its toll on Griffith]], [[DarkestHour effectively quashing everybody's hopes.]] And then things go FromBadToWorse as Griffith himself [[DespairEventHorizon loses all hope]] and a certain ArtifactOfDoom returns to him just in time for the Eclipse...
* In ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', the main characters have parted ways for very long periods of time, with [[HeterosexualLifePartners Gon and Killua]] continuing to travel together while Leorio and Kurapica go off on their own individually. The first time this happened was after the Zoldyck Family arc, and the [[TrueCompanions true companions]] eventually met up again in the York Shin Arc. The second time, it takes ''much'' longer for Gon and Killua to meet up with Leorio, and even then, Gon and Killua go their seperate ways and Leorio meets up with Kurapica some time later.
** This also happens to whatever group of allies Gon and Killua join up with during a given arc (Biscuit, Goreinu, Tsezgerra's team and Hisoka in the Greed Island Arc, and Morel's team during the Chimera Ants Arc). The group itself usually stays together while Gon and Killua leave to [[WalkingTheEarth go on their next adventure]].
* Happens three times in ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'':
** First, Kenshin decides to leave for Kyoto himself, triggering a HeroicBSOD in LoveInterest Kaoru.
** Then, Kenshin gets a HeroicBSOD when [[spoiler: Kaoru is apparently murdered]].
** Finally, by the end of the series, [[spoiler: Sano is a fugitive]], Megumi has gone back to her hometown, Aoshi and Misao returned to Kyoto, and it's implied that one day Yahiko will set out to blaze his own path. They still do meet up for reunions, though.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Sasuke's [[FaceHeelTurn betrayal]] of Konoha caused a seemingly permanent example of this for the original Team 7. Partially subverted in that the remaining members (Naruto, Sakura, and their sensei Kakashi) reunite after the TimeSkip, and Sasuke is replaced with Sai.
* ''LightNovel/TokyoRavens'': [[TheHero Harutora]] leaves his [[WizardingSchool high school]] friends after he [[{{Reincarnation}} regains his memories]] as [[LivingLegend Yakou Tsuchimikado]].
* After the battle with Tartarus in ''Manga/FairyTail'', [[spoiler:Natsu leaves to go train and Makarov disbands the guild, causing everyone to go their separate ways, with Lucy becoming a reporter and Wendy and Carla joining Lamia Scale]].
* In the sequel to ''Manga/Brave10'', [[spoiler:just before the Battle of Ueda, Jinpachi leaves out of anger over Ana's treatment[[labelnote:*]](having been asked to stay after [[FaceHeelTurn her betrayal]], which makes her more miserable than any punishment[[/labelnote]] and Kamanosuke disappears after some [[LoveHurts very cutting remarks]] from Saizo. With the Braves short-handed, they go into a battle where [[OneHitKill Seikai dies]], Isanami chooses to leave and become [[DestroyerDeity Izanami]] to protect the rest of the Braves from [[PsychopathicManchild Susanoo]], Ana gets so badly hurt protecting Ueda she's in a coma, and in the aftermath Yukimura, Rokuro and Benmaru are forced to live in [[TheExile exile]], and [[SoloSequence Sasuke, Kakei, Hanzo and Saizo]] all wander searching for their lost members.]]
* For a change, Fujiko's antics in ''Anime/TheMysteryOfMamo'' get Lupin to swear off her -- until she's found abandoned in the wilderness and TheDulcineaEffect kicks in. This is the last straw for both Goemon and Jigen, and the trio only barely avoids coming to blows before turning their backs on each other. (And, naturally, Fujiko's running the WoundedGazelleGambit for Mamo.) The gang regathers at Mamo's Caribbean island, but after Fujiko getting kidnapped and Goemon suffering a HeroicBSOD, Lupin is eventually forced to StormTheCastle alone, despite Jigen's attempts to talk him out of it (with bullets).

* In ''Negation'', [[spoiler: after months eluding the Negation forces and having many of their number die, Kaine still wants to lead the band of fugitives back to their home universe, but the others decide to hide out on a world and make the best of it there, since they're tired of running and fighting. Only Zaida, Memi and Lizard Lady stick with Kaine]].
* In Creator/DCComics' ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'', it is the deep divisions that have grown between Franchise/{{Batman}}, Franchise/{{Superman}} and Franchise/WonderWoman that create the power vacuum the villains seek to exploit.
* This is what happened to Franchise/TheAvengers due to the ComicBook/ScarletWitch going insane and blowing up the mansion and killing several long term members. Creator/BrianMichaelBendis used the opportunity to get rid of characters he didn't want to write and bring in his own team as the Comicbook/NewAvengers.
** It also happens to specific teams whenever there's a change in the roster. For instance, after Roger Stern was fired in TheEighties, Creator/WaltSimonson's first run involved Stern's Avengers roster being torn apart piece-by-piece (including Marrina being killed off) so that Simonson could introduce his own line-up.
* The ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'' series has had the Freedom Fighters break up a number of times during its DorkAge. The first two times they were broken up, it was King Max Acorn-mandated - he preferred Geoffery St. John's Secret Service over them. [[WhatAnIdiot Despite the fact that Robotnik was still around in some form.]] The most recent time was because [[spoiler: Sally was turned into a robot, Bunnie was BroughtDownToNormal and Antoine was nearly killed.]]
* The Changelings do this to the Mane Six in issue #2 of ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'', and Queen Chrysalis even [[LampshadeHanging Lampshades]] this in issue #3 but by the end of issue #3, though, they're back together. Chrysalis claims that [[XanatosGambit this helps her in the long run]].
* The "Breakdowns" arc of ''ComicBook/JusticeLeagueInternational'' was this for the League, despite Max Lord's efforts to avert it right at the end. Rather bizarrely, however, DC decided to let the readers vote on who would be in the new version of the Justice League that was planned for after "Breakdowns." The problem, of course, was that the readers who voted were the ones who were reading the comics, so, unsurprisingly, the new League had almost the exact same membership as the old League. The only exceptions were the addition of Superman to the JLA and Green Lantern[[note]]Hal Jordan; Guy Gardner stayed with the JLA[[/note]] and Aquaman to the JLE, and the removal of Captain Atom[[note]]most likely because the character had been sent back in time and was presumed dead during the [[CrisisCrossover Armageddon 2001 crossover]] that coincided with "Breakdowns," not because the readers didn't like him[[/note]] from the JLE.
* The original ''Comicbook/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'' ended in similar manner. Comicbook/{{Zatanna}} had already disappeared, Elongated Man left to spend more time with his wife, Comicbook/{{Vibe}} was killed off, Comicbook/{{Steel}} was rendered braindead, Gypsy returned to her family and Comicbook/{{Vixen}} resigned to try and pursue a more peaceful existence. This left the world without a Justice League for a brief period, until a new team (the aforementioned Justice League International) was formed at the end of the ''Comicbook/{{Legends}}'' crossover.
* In the 2017 ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' series, this is revealed to have happened to the team after Nico left the team to join ComicBook/AForce. With her gone, the state came and took away Molly and Klara, Victor left to join ComicBook/AvengersAI, and Karolina went off to college, as she no longer had anyone to care for, leaving Chase and Old Lace as the only remaining members.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''FanFic/AGrowingAffection'': Not the main fellowship, but Team Hizashi (Anko, Iruka, and Yugao) split up after Hizashi's death, with extremely hurt feelings. They make up and partially reunite thirteen some years later.
* ''FanFic/ThePowersOfHarmony'': After [[BigBad Cetus]] and [[TheDragon Eclipse]] defeat the Mane Six and their allies, the only way Luna is able to save them is to [[spoiler: teleport them to different places around the world]]. While they survive, they're scattered, with no means of communication, while the villains are still in a power position.
* ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauConquerTheStars'': Between the events of the prequel ''[[Fanfic/TheConversionBureauNotAlone Not Alone]]'' and the start of this, Fluttershy has [[HeelFaceTurn stopped seeing Equestria's ideals eye to eye anymore]]. To prevent against any retaliation, she has abandoned her Ponyville residence and gone into hiding along with her animal friends. Considering she wields one of the [[CosmicKeystone Elements of Harmony]] and Equestria has just been effectively banished to an alien DeathWorld to escape total annihilation, it goes without saying that this is downright '''catastrophic''' for the ponies.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'' DarkFic ''Fanfic/TheTimesTheyAreAChangin'', Penny Ling is forced to leave the group when her owners move away, causing the remaining pets' relationships with each other and their human friend Blythe to deteriorate.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo'' fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3742061/1/The-Mystery-Machine The Mystery Machine]]'', Mystery Inc has disbanded due to internal strife and other reasons. Years later, Fred comes across the aged and rusting Mystery Machine, and one by one, the gang [[spoiler: minus Scooby, who died]] gravitates to the old car. Unfortunately, [[NothingIsTheSameAnymore they don't get back together]].
* ''Fanfic/PokemonStorySinnohJourney'': This happened between Aaron and Ian in the past thanks to their diametric philosophies and views of each other clashing.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'', Cera and Littlefoot fight over which is the right way to the Great Valley. The others end up following Cera, because her route seems easier, leaving Littlefoot alone. Cera's way, however, leads them into danger, and Littlefoot has to rescue them.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheRugratsMovie'', Tommy's devotion to protecting his baby brother Dil angers Phil and Lil enough that they opt to abandon them in the forest. Chuckie follows suit when he admits he feels betrayed that his best friend wasn't trying to protect him instead of his brother. This proves to be a problem when the trio gets lost in a rainstorm and Phil's nearly crushed by a falling tree. It's enough to send the babies running back to save Tommy and Dil the next morning.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** In ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', this is part of Loki's EvilPlan early in the film to [[spoiler:cause Bruce Banner to Hulk out and help break the Avengers apart so they will be out of his way when he summons the Chitauri to Earth.]] It nearly works.
** The sequel ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' [[spoiler:ends with the Hulk lost, and Iron Man, Thor and Hawkeye leaving the team. ComicBook/CaptainAmerica and Comicbook/BlackWidow end up forming a new Avengers line-up consisting of ComicBook/WarMachine, ComicBook/ScarletWitch, ComicBook/TheFalcon and ComicBook/TheVision]]. Kevin Feige has stated that the company plans to alter the Avengers line-up in each movie they appear in.
** In ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' the Avengers are pitted against one another over a registration act (one side in favor of it, the other against it), and the question of what do with Bucky Barnes. It tears the group apart, and by the end of the film, [[spoiler: Steve Rogers/Captain America and his anti-registration team (Clint/Hawkeye, Wanda/Scarlet Witch, Sam/Falcon, and Scott/Ant-Man) are fugitives, Rhodey/War Machine is paralyzed, Tony and Steve are not on good terms with each other, Thor and the Hulk are still missing, and now so is Black Widow. Tony/Iron Man and Vision are the only active Avengers left, plus one pseudo-Avenger in Peter/Spider-Man]].
* ''Film/It2017'': After their first confrontation with IT at Neibolt, the Losers Club all panics and falls out, being apart from one another for an entire month. When Pennywise kidnaps Beverly, Bill rallies them back together to save her.

* ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'' is the TropeNamer here. They never do all meet again, since one of them dies and one is irrevocably transformed in the interim. They manage 8 of the original 9.
* Creator/DavidEddings' ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'': Towards the end of the novel the main party splits off to protect the ones they love, so to speak. Happens again in the Mallorean too.
* The protagonist Stark family (including the illegitimate son, [[HeroicBastard Jon Snow]]) of ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is separated early on in the first novel, and further separates from there. As of the fifth book, [[spoiler:two of them are almost certainly dead, one is ambiguously dead, one is lost north of the Wall and presumed dead, one is undead, one is a glorified captive of a sociopathic manipulator with a creepy sexual interest in her, one is learning to abandon her entire identity, and one is living on an island of cannibals]]. The outlook of a happy reunion seems bleak.
* The ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'' series by Tamora Pierce has three arcs. In the first four books, four misunderstood children are brought together by their alienating special powers, X-Men style. In the second four books, titled "The Circle Opens," we follow the main cast as adults, when they have all split up and taken an apprentice of their own. There is minimal contact between them, and each of books 5-8 is effectively independent of the others. The 9th book serves as a literary equivalent of TheMovie, getting them all back together for a reunion, although their travels and the horrors that they've seen ([[DirtyBusiness or even participated in]]) have made them grow apart.
* In Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' Chronicles, the main party is forced to separate early in the second book when the city of Tarsis is under attack. The groups mostly reassemble before the end, except that two died and another seemingly switched sides.
* In ''Literature/{{Dune}}'' Thufir Hawat and Gurney Halleck are separated from Paul and Jessica in the wake of the Harkonnens' attack, and Duncan Idaho is killed. They're finally able to get together again at the end of the book.
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', the chosen cats from ''[[Literature/WarriorCatsTheNewProphecy The New Prophecy]]'' have to split back to their Clans after the Great Journey.
* In ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'', whenever this happens...things start getting wrong. For example, in ''Darke'', between Septimus and Jenna splitting up at the Palace gates and meetign again in the Dragon Field [[spoiler:the Castle is overrun by a Darke Domaine and their mother Sarah Heap is trapped inside of it.]]
* In ''Literature/TheHerewardTrilogy'', the breakup of [[spoiler: Wild Edric's Wish Hounds]] foreshadows the eventual fate of Hereward's own gang. There's a failed attempt to regroup the former, and the latter do regroup (those of them still alive) - [[spoiler: but not for long]].
* In ''Literature/{{Zeroes}}'', the Zeroes began training as a superhero team, but they had an argument which resulted in the group dissolving and each member going their separate way. The story begins several years later with them PuttingTheBandBackTogether.
* The first book of ''Literature/TheWitchlands'' ends with Merik staying in Nubrevna to help his kingdom, Safi going to Marstok on Vaness' ship and Iseult leaving Nubrevna for the Contested Lands to try and find out what happened to Safi.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* A famous example comes from ''Series/BlakesSeven'' which saw most of the cast being split up after the loss of their CoolShip and the main title character departing the series (only to [[spoiler: return and get killed in the last episode.]]
* One season of ''Series/{{CSI}}'' saw the usual ensemble split up between night and swing shifts.
* The ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' gang went their separate ways at one point, only to find that the bounties on their heads made splitting up too dangerous.
* Happened to ''Series/{{House}}'', twice. Once at the end of Season 3, and again in season 4. It wasn't until midway through season 6 that he got most of both teams back, but given his personality it is probably only a matter of time before it happens again.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}''. The last time "the whole gang" (minus everyone who's died along the way) is gathered has to be [[spoiler: 4.01, "The Beginning of the End"]]. A very [[GreyAndGrayMorality fundamental split in ideology]] occurs in that episode, and the majority of the core group aren't united in one place again until two seasons later where 3 years have passed in the show.]]
** The initial disagreement, despite causing the separation, [[spoiler:eventually became less important, but various new events and threats kept the group from being as one for the remainder of the time afterwards.]]
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}''; The FourTemperamentEnsemble composed of Merlin, Arthur, Morgana and Guinevere slowly falls apart throughout the course of season two due to Morgana's increasing isolation, and sundered forever at the end of the season when she's taken away by her half-sister. In the wake of her absence, the remaining three become a tight PowerTrio, and at the end of season three there's a brand new Fellowship in the form of the Knights of the Round Table.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' splits up Gibbs' team after Leon Vance takes over. They all eventually come back together.
** In the Tenth season finale, [[spoiler: the team resigns in a show of support for Gibbs when a congressional witch hunt threatens his career.]]
* ''Series/RobinHood'': At the end of the second season, Will Scarlett and Djaq opt to stay in the Holy Land instead of returning to England with their comrades. A sad example, considering the writers completely forget about their existence, and they're never seen or heard from again.
* The latter half of the fourth season of ''Series/BabylonFive'' had the human crewmembers split up between ''Babylon 5'', Mars, and in between fighting in [[spoiler: the Earth Alliance civil war]]. A number of the alien characters also got involved in this plotline when they weren't tied up in the problems of their home worlds.
* In the fifth season finale of ''Series/{{Bones}}'', Brennan and Daisy join an excavation in Maluku, Booth becomes a military adviser in Afghanistan and newlyweds Angela and Hodgins go to Paris for an extended honeymoon. During the following season premiere when Cam's position as director of the Jeffersonian is in jeopardy, Judge Caroline sends word to the others, PuttingTheBandBackTogether
* Series/{{Leverage}} has this at the first season finale in which all of the various characters disappear on their own. [[PuttingTheBandBackTogether They get back together]] in the [[StatusQuoIsGod first episode of season 2]].
* In third SeasonFinale of Series/BrooklynNineNine Jake and Holt are sent to UsefulNotes/{{Florida}} on witness protection, the first three episodes of season 4 deal with them getting back, an example with lower stakes was at the start previous season where Holt and Gina where KickedUpstairs by [[SitcomArchNemesis Madeline Wuntch.]]
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', in the final episode after [[spoiler: Barney and Robin's divorce]], the gang slowly drifted apart due to work and family reasons. Especially Robin who intentionally kept her distance because [[spoiler: it was difficult for her to be close to her ex-husband and Ted, who she believed she ''should'' have married]]. A sad truth [[RealityEnsues in real life]].
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest''. At the end of Season 3, Team Machine has to abandon their secret headquarters in the library and escape separately under false identities the moment [[ArtificialIntelligence Samaritan]] comes on line.
* Inverted on {{Angel}}, when Angel explains the Circle of the Black Thorn would be invulnerable if they were all attacked together, but they can be attacked like any other demons when each member is doing things away from the Circle.

* Music/{{Gorillaz}} did this twice, all detailed in their autobiography.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', the team from the first game has scattered [[WeWereYourTeam after Shepard's death.]] You get a couple of them back, but the others refuse to come back for various reasons (can't leave their work, won't work with Cerberus even for you). In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', all of the surviving squad members from the first game (with the exception of Wrex, who remains an important ally) end up back with you.
** And if you [[FireForgedFriends secured the team's loyalty]] in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', then this is in full effect for them as well in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', bordering on TheFellowshipHasEnded. You can bring a few minor crewmembers back onto your team permanently, but most of the others are either tied up [[HeroOfAnotherStory in their own quests]], if not outright back with their own people trying to fight the Reapers. It doesn't help that most of them are considered outlaws in Alliance space, and Shepard is back with the Alliance Navy.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': The entire second half revolves around tracking down each member of your old party and rallying back into the fight. The final dungeon is available very early on, but until you've glued your fellowship back together you won't stand much of a chance where MarathonLevel and BossRush join forces to beat you up.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'': A rather sad example from Hope's perspective. During [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII the first game]] the five other party members became his TrueCompanions, going to Pulse and back to ScrewDestiny. When you meet a 24-year-old Hope in 10 -AF-, he describes how all of the former party members from the previous game ([[MyFriendsAndZoidberg plus Serah]]) disappeared from his life; after [[spoiler:Fang, Vanille (and Lightning, from his perspective)]] pulled a joint HeroicSacrifice, the others slowly faded out of his life altogether (first because of the physical distance between them, then because they all went time-travelling), and Serah is the first one he's seen in the last ''7 years''. He is understandably quite put out when Serah and Noel inform him that he cannot join their quest because of the way time travel works.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'', this happens to the Scions of the Seventh Dawn at the end of Patch 2.55 when [[spoiler:they are accused to assassinating Ul'dah sultana Nanamo ul Namo. The main Scions - Minfillia, Thancred, Y'shtola, Yda and Papalymo - all mysteriously disappear holding back the Crystal Braves and the Brass Braves, leaving only you, Alphinaud, Tataru and Urianger left. Urianger stays behind hidden in the Waking Sands and the remaining three run to Ishgard to hide. You spend a vast majority of the ''Heavensward'' expansion playing ClearMyName and finding your friends while killing dragons.]]
* ''VideoGame/VandalHearts''
** In ''Vandal Hearts'' the party is split at the end of Chapter II. This is because [[spoiler:The Magic Stone sends Ash, Grog and Sara into a pocket dimension that exists outside of time. The rest of the party is variously arrested, off joining the rebellion or in Kira's case, going back to the BigBad after having betrayed the team.]]
* In ''Vandal Hearts II'' at the end of the prologue, the five main characters split up and never join up again. [[spoiler: Joshua becomes a noble brigand who goes on to play a vital part in the founding of Central Natra and then become its top Knight, one childhood friend joins the priesthood, one goes to a big city to protect Joshua's step-sister who works as a prostitute, one carries on her life as a noblewoman and becomes a political tool and the last succeeds in forging an army to try to seize the crown, but becomes a drunken washout.]] The player's actions within the game affects the final fates of these characters.
* In ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'', two of your canonical party members from the first game are killed offscreen, and you lose another one at the end of the prologue dungeon. The first two are DeaderThanDead, but you can get the third one back much later.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' ends like this, with all surviving party members going their separate ways after Hawke disappears (except for [[PlayerCharacter Hawke]]'s LoveInterest, who went with him/her).
* In ''VideoGame/MSSagaANewDawn'', your team is separated after one leaves due to feeling inadequate and the rest are separated from you after the bad guy's base is destroyed, killing one of your allies in the process. They get back together soon after and the guy who leaves comes back after TakingALevelInBadass.
* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiI'', Chaos Hero will leave the party after fusing himself with a demon and killing Ozawa, stating that the other characters will only slow him down or get themselves killed.
* Happens to an extent in the beginning of the final volume of ''VideoGame/DotHackGU''. Despite building up a team of 7 of the 8 Avatar users and a bunch of others, Yata is promptly fired by CC Corp, forcing him to abandon the team in despair. Pi leaves as well to try to talk sense into him, while Endrance seemingly betrays you and Sakubo (who never liked Haseo anyway) going with him. With the non Avatar users still locked out of the loop, that leaves only Atoli and Kuhn as the only people Haseo can rely on to stop Sakaki. Endrance was pulling a FakeDefector though and Yata eventually comes to his senses and returns.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'': We see only two of the previous games' eight protagonists (Isaac and Garet, who live in a cabin near what's left of Mt. Aleph), although the others are occasionally mentioned (Jenna and Ivan live in Kalay, Piers is out at sea, Mia might be in Imil, and Felix hasn't been heard from since, no word on Sheba though). Particularly aggravating as the game features many a PointOfNoReturn and BrokenBridge that prevent you from going to see them, ''and'' ends on a CliffHanger to boot.
* At the end of ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}} Liberation Day'', the Sunriderís crew is forced to split up following [[spoiler:the Liberation Day massacre and the destruction of the Sunrider. Chigara is dead, having been mind-controlled by the BigBad into committing the massacre. Ava and Asaga have gone to Ryuvia Prime to gather military support from Asagaís people and see if they canít dig up any LostTechnology to use against the PACT. Sola and Kayto have gone into hiding on the desolate planet Tydaria, as he is now a fugitive. Icari has gone to seek out her old contacts in the black market in order to get equipment and mercenaries. Kryska turns herself in to the Alliance authorities, hoping to regain Alliance support for their cause and expose what the Alliance military nearly did to Cera. And Claude, who has been revealed to be a time traveller and a goddess, is doing god knows what.]]
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, the Morag Tong is a legal [[MurderInc assassin's guild]] of {{Professional Killer}}s officially sanctioned by the [[OurElvesAreBetter Dunmeri]] government to avoid destructive [[AllowedInternalWar open warfare]] between the [[TheClan Great Houses]]. Following a [[TraumaCongaLine series of calamities]] in the very early 4th Era, culminating with the [[ChekhovsVolcano eruptions of Red Mountain]] which rendered a large portion of Morrowind uninhabitable, the Morag Tong was forced to "scatter to the nine winds", as former Morag Tong assassin and current ThievesGuild member, Ravyn Imyan, puts it in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]''. They made a pact to reunite one day, but Imyan believes that time is a ''long'' way off. (However, the ''Dragonborn'' DLC has evidence of the Tong's continued activities in [[GrimUpNorth Solstheim]].)
* In ''VideoGame/Persona5'', with [[spoiler: the Conspiracy and Yalbadoth being taken care of]], the Thieves are reluctantly forced to disband as [[spoiler: Joker's probation has ended and he is to return home]] and [[spoiler: Morgana]] decides to go with the latter. Though the True Ending shows all the Thieves tagging along with [[spoiler: Joker and Morgana]] as a road trip, serving as their last hurrah for the time being.

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'', this happens to AlphaBitch(Chrys'tel)'s FiveManBand; later Ariel's group splits over an internal disagreement, only to find each other via BigDamnHeroes. They later split up again on much more amicable terms to pursue different goals.
* Happened in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' following the battle of Azure City. Eventually they got back together, but with all party members having gone through a lot of CharacterDevelopment. The arc was even titled "[[NeverSplitTheParty Don't Split The Party]]".
** Also happened in the backstory to the "Order of the Scribble," the Order of the Stick's predecessors in confronting the dangers of the Snarl. They never reunited and, at least in the case of Girard Draketooth, hated [[strike:the others]] Soon Kim beyond rational thought.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Juathuur}}'', Faevv's group splits relatively fast. When they reunite, they act slightly hostile. "A lot happened after you left" is a sentence that gets used a lot.
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'' had the group formerly containing Surma, Anthony, Eglamore, Anja, Donald and (presumably) Brinnie. By the time the comic starts, the group has been broken -- Anja, Donald and James remained in the Court as teachers, Brinnie's whereabouts are unknown (appeared only in flashback) and Surma and Anthony in Good Hope Hospital, with Surma as a patient and Anthony as the doctor. Surma ended up with Carver instead of Eglamore and the Court's three [[http://www.formspring.me/gunnerkrigg/q/240035834122734325 lost contact]] with Brinnie and [[http://www.formspring.me/gunnerkrigg/q/1896667898 didn't know]] where Surma and Anthony were (Anja apparently discovered that Surma died only when Annie was transferred to the Court). ''Why'' they broke up on such bad terms is yet unknown. The only plausible apple of discord revealed so far was Reynardine possession incident.
* ''WebComic/VampireCheerleaders'': The [[HeroWithBadPublicity Paranormal Mystery Squad]] was a privately run organization of [[DemonSlaying cryptid hunters]], which was lead by [[HeroAntagonist Stephanie]] [[HeWhoFightsMonsters Kane.]] But their group was disbanded [[http://www.vampirecheerleaders.net/strips-vc/searching_high_and_low by order of PETM]], after Stephanie was [[spoiler: abducted by the mothmen]] at the beginning of vol.4.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/SuburbanKnights'' starts off on the adventure by splitting the group in two. [[JustifiedTrope It makes sense here, though]]; the map they're using has two distinct paths and there's still nine people in each group.
* Done throughout Seasons 2 & 3 of ''AudioPlay/WereAlive''. First [[spoiler: Lizzy]] gets kicked out of the Tower in Chapter 20, then [[spoiler: Saul, Victor, Burt and Lizzy]] get left behind in Chapter 24, finally [[spoiler: Pegs, Kelly, Datu, and Hope]] get sent to Boulder in Chapter 29. The group finally comes back together in Chapter 36.
* In ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' it's eventually revealed that the team of Hunters and Huntresses that Ruby and Yang's parents belonged to, Team STRQ, wound up falling apart. Yang's mom Raven ran out on her shortly after she was born, Ruby's mom Summer went MIA during a mission and is presumed dead, while their father Taiyang and their uncle Qrow settled down (somewhat) to teach the next generation of Huntresses but aren't on great terms with each other. Qrow still has a battered old team photo, with a glass stain and tear drops over the missing women's images.
** By the end of Season Three, [[spoiler:this has happened to Team RWBY as well. After the Battle of Beacon, Weiss has been taken home by her father, Blake has ditched her friends so they won't be targeted by her enemies, Yang has fallen into an apathetic depression after losing her arm (and Blake), and Ruby is adventuring with the surviving members of Team JNPR. It takes all of Seasons Four and Five for the group to get back on their feet and get back together again]].
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', when Tex defected from Project Freelancer, this resulted in the remaining Freelancers' loyalties being divided and the Project Freelancer was ultimately fractured. Maine (now known as the Meta) started hunting down the remaining A.I. fragments and killing their hosts. North left the Project with South, only for South to betray him and allow the Meta to kill him. York became a thief. Washington became Recovery One and was charged with retrieving fallen Freelancer equipment.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'':
** In "Who Can You Trust?", news of a Skrull among the Avengers causes everyone to lose trust in one another, and three Avengers quit because of this distrust. [[spoiler:Iron Man even renounces his leadership position, which gets taken by the Skrull, Captain America]].
** [[TheMole The Skrull]] uses his position beforehand as well, and sows discord in the group. [[spoiler: The Hulk]] gets locked up because of a doppelganger, and Thor went off world an hour or two before the Skrull arrived, so eventually at one point the team shot in the beginning of the theme [[EvolvingCredits is just three members]], while the song blares triumphantly "[[SoundtrackDissonance Forever fight as one..!]]"
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': In "A Sitch in Time", part of [[spoiler:Shego's]] plan is splitting up Kim and Ron by having Ron's mother transferred to Scandinavia.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'': The first season finale ends with Fred leaving to find his real parents, Daphne leaving because Fred called off their engagement, Shaggy being sent to military school, Scooby being sent to a farm, and Velma left as the only one to investigate the mystery of Crystal Cove.
-->''[[WhamLine Mystery Inc. is dead.]]''
* This was Discord's plan for the [[FanNickname Mane Six]] in the season two premiere of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' so they would be unable to use the Elements of Harmony against him. Fortunately, he underestimated just how powerful ThePowerOfFriendship was.
** In ''WesternAnimation/EquestriaGirls'', Sunset Shimmer did this to the Humane Five before Twilight arrived in their world and reunited them.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', this happens to New Team Avatar in Book 4, after the three-year TimeSkip from the end of Book 3. Mako and Asami are pursuing their own lives in Republic City, Bolin [[spoiler:is signed up with KnightTemplar Kuvira (not knowing just how bad she is)]] and Korra is still recovering [[spoiler:from the Red Lotus poisoning her with what should have been a fatal dose of mercury]]. This changes later, after Korra [[spoiler:manages to recover mentally, physically and spiritually]] and Bolin [[spoiler:realises that Kuvira is nuts and bails]]. Mako and Asami welcome the other two back with open arms in Republic City.

* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'': after being transformed by Energized Protodermis and sparring with each other, the Toa Nuva team disbands so each would be off protecting their villages. Then the [[EliteMooks Bohrok-Kal]] show up and nearly kill them, forcing them to band back together.