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Five-Man Band
The Five-Man Band is a group of characters whose members fall into archetypes which all complement one another. They are a very specific team with skills that contribute to the group in a unique way.

The group traditionally includes:

  • The Leader(lead singer) The leader of the group. Can be a mastermind, charismatic, levelheaded, headstrong, or some combination of the four. Often also The Hero.
  • The Lancer(lead guitar) The second-in-command, usually a contrast to The Leader. If the Leader is clean-cut and/or uptight, the Lancer is a grizzled Anti-Hero or Deadpan Snarker; if the Leader is driven and somewhat amoral, the Lancer is more relaxed and level-headed.
  • The Smart Guy(keyboardist) The physically weak, but intelligent or clever member. Often nerdy and awkward played for comic relief. Sometimes unconventionally young (early- to mid-teens). Sometimes a Trickster and a buddy of the Big Guy. May be the one with all the "street" connections.
  • The Big Guy(drummer) The strongman of the team. May be dumb. Or mute.
  • The Chick(vocal effects, tambourine) A peacekeeping role to balance out the other members' aggression, bringing them to a nice or at least manageable medium. The Chick is often considered the heart of the group. This role is played by a woman or girl. Someone female. Otherwise, it is not a Five-Man Band.

Associated Character Tropes

See also ¡Three Amigos!, Power Trio, and Cast Calculus. Fighting ability is usually determined by Fixed Relative Strength.

Compare the Command Roster, for military-esque teams. Contrast with the Five-Bad Band. The Psycho Rangers are the collective Evil Counterpart of a given Five-Man Band.


Associated Tropes:

This can sometimes literally be a musical group. Characters can also be divided by personality instead of function: See Four-Temperament Ensemble.


Notable five person bands

These are examples of teams that fit all five of the character tropes. Remember that they form a team dynamic; it's always tempting to match two of the characters in a show, then try to convince yourself and others that the other characters can be squeezed/wedged/stuffed into the description of the other character types, but that's not the point of the Five-Man Band trope. The individual character types exist outside of the band. The Five-Man Band only occurs when the team as a whole fits, not just a few characters.

As a rule of thumb, if your band example has to justify more than two types, or a single trope with more than two sentences of qualifiers, you're trying to pull a fast one. If it isn't a Five-Man Band, it isn't a Five-Man Band.


Five-Bad BandThe Index TeamFive-Token Band
First-Person SmartassHeroesFolk Hero
Finagle's LawPt/Índice de TraduçãoFlanderization
Five-Bad BandEnsemblesFive Races
555Number TropesSingle Tear
Finagle's LawJustForFun/Tropes of LegendThe Leader
Ruby-SpearsThe Dark Age of AnimationFollow the Leader
And I Must ScreamOverdosed TropesDoes This Remind You of Anything?

alternative title(s): Nakima
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