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"Okay, let's see... we got the Hispanic one, the black one, the Asian one, the one in a wheelchair... oh yeah, and the white one. Time to write the scripts."
A Five-Token Band consists of characters from very obviously different backgrounds and ethnic groups, but rather than being assembled disparately they all happen to live in the same area, regardless of how diverse the town should be. In school-centered shows and media, the "different backgrounds" may also include different social groups, hobbies, or cliques (ex. nerds, artists, jocks). Typically, this is designed for one of two purposes:
To bring diversity to a cast for the sake of mass market appeal, visual distinction, complaining Media Watchdogs, to represent an area, field or organisation that genuinely is just that diverse, or just because.
To deliver An Aesop about accepting others' differences. This version was commonly used in The Nineties when diversity was considered a big deal, before it became Snark Bait.
The first type is more likely to be benign than the second. The second may be handled poorly.
The Multinational Team will often have a reason for the cast's diversity, whereas the Five-Token Band may often be diverse for the sake of being diverse. This is not to say that a Multinational Team is immune to tokenism or stereotype — it is simply a different breed of trope.
Note that in real life, people often do have extremely diverse backgrounds. There really are Jewish Black Brits,note Sophie Okonedo for example or half-Polish half-Pakistani Polish-speaking Americans,note Abed Nadir from Community, though he is portrayed by the Indian-/Polish-American Danny Pudi. or even lesbian, Malaysian-born Chinese Australians.note Penny Wong, current leader of the Australian Senate. It is not egregious to include such characters, as that merely reflects the diversity of the real world. When the diversity is shown in a way that is absurdly ham-fisted, too stereotypical or formulaic, or ignorantly written, however, that may be a problem.
Despite the emphasis on racial harmony, in this trope the Caucasian, blond, All-American male is all too often the leader, or conversely, the complainer. Other characters may also end up more as stereotypes than people. However, the Five-Token Band is usually created with no malicious intentions, and indeed, many of the bands listed below have well-developed characters or are from well-written shows.
The most common variant of a Five-Token Band, especially in the nineties, will go as followed:
The Burger King Kids Club Gang — illustrated at the top of the page. Since they clearly thought they weren't being diverse enough already, an Asian girl named Jazz was added later.
The Sweet Cred Gang. It's hard to tell whether their efforts were inspired by political correctness, though — the black kid plays basketball, raps, and sports a gold tooth and chains.
Anime & Manga
Anime typically only uses a Five-Token Band to add some exotic flavor where diversity is an important feature of the show (e.g., Sci-Fi, Humongous Mecha); otherwise, much like the real country, everyone is Japanese.
In the early 1990s, before DiC acquired the rights to the North American release of Sailor Moon, an outfit called Toon Makers made a bid for them. As part of their pitch, TM made a short demo film of what they wanted to do with the property. They threw out the original cast and diversified the cast of all-Japanese girls into two white girls (one of which is in a wheelchair), a black girl, and a Hispanic girl. Curiously, only one was kept Asian (Mars), and the leader is one of the white girls. The result is often called "Saban Moon" or "The Saban Nightmare" due to people mistaking the relatively unknown TM for a more well-known company. (See it here or search YouTube.com.) They've even got a wheelchair that can sail through space.
A similar thing would have happened to the Gundam series, but it would have been a decision of Sunrise. Doozy Bots was a way to get the Gundam franchise to America, and it would have featured a cast of a Football-playing Char look-alike, a skater/surfer, a cheerleader, a hockey player, and a Token Twofer black kid on a wheelchair. For an extra dose of Unfortunate Implications, while the heroes turn into Super-Deformed versions of various Gundam mecha, the paraplegic kid turns into... a Guntank.
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is the most famous Gundam example, with Heero (Japanese), Duo (American), Quatre (Middle Easternnote This gets a lot of debate because Quatre is blond-haired and blue-eyed, but Fanon typically explains it as Berber heritage or simply taking after his mother.), Wu Fei (Chinese), and Trowa (...somethingnote Because Trowa was orphaned at a very young age, his ethnicity is vague. Even if you accept that he's Cathy Bloom's long-lost brother, that doesn't change the fact that official sources have variously labeled her Latino, Russian, and "Eastern European". All we know for certain is, he's some kind of European.). That said, the characters' ethnicities have absolutely no impact on the plot, and no special attention is drawn to them (except for explaining why Wu Fei is an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy).
Mobile Fighter G Gundam did it first, although there is a slightly reasonable explanation for this, since the setting is a worldwide tournament and the Five-Man Band were the ones who realized there was something more important going on.
Done again in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, but instead we focus on four Gundam pilots with no extras to pop in and instead of a centralized theme focused on individualizing the characters, the pilots do not particularly act like their nationality rather they are based on their own personality templates. An example is that although Tieria is by technicality the Glasses character, he is the complete opposite of most of them where he is in fact completely capable killing just about anyone who gets in his way.
The main team of Black Lagoon consists of a black man, a Jewish guy, a Half-Chinese-Half-American girl, and a Japanese ex-salaryman.
One Piece is set in a fantasy world, but Word of God has given each of the Straw Hats a real-world nationality based on their looks, and they are very diverse:
Chopper: Canadian (and that whole reindeer thing)
In Sonic X, Chris Thorndyke has a black friend (Danny) and a friend in a wheelchair (Helen).
The All-New, All-Different X-Men. The wheelchair-bound mentor (Professor X, representing the handicapped) and Caucasian male team leader (Cyclops from the original team, which was all-white) were joined by an African woman (Storm), an Asian (Sunfire), an Apache (Thunderbird), a German (Nightcrawler), an Irishman (Banshee), a Russian (Colossus), and a Canadian (Wolverine). The in-universe reason the "All New All Different" X-Men were so diverse was that, back then, mutants were assumed to be danged rare, and Professor X had to gather together those few he could find from all around the world. Of course, as more and more mutants kept getting introduced in subsequent years, mutant rarity became a forgotten concept, until a bit of House of Mforcibly restored it.
The New Mutants spinoff is no better. Ambiguously Lesbian Vietnamese (Karma), check. Son of Brazilian self-made millionaire (Sunspot), check. Neurotic Scots werewolf (Wolfsbane — devout Calvinist half-convinced she is damned to Hell for bonus Wangst), check. Angry young Cheyenne Action Girl (Mirage), check. Appalachian coal-miner's son (Cannonball), check. As for the ones who joined up later, let us say that the only Ordinary High-School Student joined the same night as the shapeshifting alien of living circuitry (Cypher).
Brian Wood's all-female line-up from the adjectiveless X-Men fits as well. Aside from the two white ladies (Rogue and Rachel Grey), the team consists of Storm (Kenyan), Jubilee (Chinese-American, a single mother, and suffers from a learning disability), Psylocke (white British woman in the body of a Japanese assassin), M (Afro-Algerian and a Muslim), Karima (Indian), and Bling (African-American and bisexual). Wood has said he didn't set out to create a racially-diverse cast, but is proud of how diverse the book turned out.
Runaways, as a result of creators intentionally trying to avoid many superhero team cliches. They even lampshade it as looking like those multiethnic gangs you only see on TV. Original line up (not counting Old Lace the dinosaur): Alex Wilder (black male, first leader), Gertrude Yorkes (Jewish female), Karolina Dean (looks white but actually an alien, female and gay), Molly Hayes (white female, mutant), Nico Minoru (Japanese-American female, second leader), and Chase Stein (white male). Later members: Victor Mancha (looks hispanic but actually a robot, male), Xavin (shapeshifting alien, sometimes looks like a black female, sometimes black male, sometimes Skrull male, involved in lesbian relationship, genderfluid), Klara Prast (white female).
Chris Claremont's rebooted Gen 13 has a team of a poor Irish-American kid (whose father was a firefighter who died in 9/11), a black girl, a Chinese-American girl and a Black Muslim boy in a wheelchair.
The Young Avengers, now that their white male leader is gone, are a shining example of how Marvel are really, really trying. Patriot (black) leads an interspecies gay couple, two girls and an android. Young!Kang looked Aasian in the Young Avengers (or at least biracial).
The Marvel NOW! relaunch consists of the Caucasian Kate Bishop, Loki, and Marvel Boy, Wiccan (Gay and Jewish), Miss America (Latina), Prodigy (African-American and bisexual), and Hulking (Gay). Kieron Gillen noted once that this trope resulted in, as it usually is in such cases in comics books, from trying to include members of as many marginalized groups possible, until cast grows to big to include more than one of each. When Prodigy joined the team, Gillen noted he actually faced dilemma whenever add more LGBT men or another woman.
The original New Warriors had (among others) Nova (white), Night Thrasher (African-American), Justice (half-Jewish and a mutant), Firestar (mutant), Namorita (Atlantean), Rage (African-American), Silhouette (half-African-American and half-Vietnamese), Speedball (white), Turbo (Japanese-American), and Rage (African-American).
The Marvel NOW! relaunch has the new Nova (half-white and half-Mexican), Scarlet Spider (white and a clone), Water Snake (blue-skinned Atlantean), Haechi (Korean and an Inhuman), the above-mentioned Speedball and Justice, Hummingbird (Latina), and Sun Girl (African-American). Word of God states that the diversity is intentional, as a major theme of the book is different fantasy races (such as mutants and Inhumans) being forced to unite against a common foe.
The main cast of X-Factor volume 3 had a black Algerian Muslim, a time-displaced half-black, half-Latino teenager, a bisexual Mexican male and a gay futuristic gladiator from another dimension.
The Justice League goes back and forth on this. In the current Justice League series, the team has Cyborg (African-American), The Atom (Latina) and Element Woman (Asian-American), while the spin-off team has Green Lantern (Lebanese-American), Katana (Japanese), and Vibe (Mexican-American).
Lampshaded in Justice League Elite, where Sister Superior refers to the team's ethnic make-up as a "PC Nightmare". Coldcast was black, Manitou Raven and Dawn were dark-skinned Atlantean Natives, Batgirl was Asian-American, Menagerie was Latina and Naif al-Sheikh was an Arab. The only white males on the team were The Flash, Green Arrow and Major Disaster.
Very much so in the first Atari Force series, which featured two Caucasians, a Black Best Friend, one Asian Indian, and a Chinese/Irish security chief out to save humanity.
Avengers Academy was arguably an example, as Reptil (the leader of the group) was Latino, Mettle was Polynesian, Hazmat was Asian-American, Finesse and Veil were women, and the only Caucasian man on the team, Striker, was a gay teenager from a working-class background and a survivor of sexual abuse. The West Coast revamp of the title introduced White Tiger (Puerto Rican), Power Man (Black Dominican), Spider-Girl (Latina), Wiz Kid (Asian American), Rocket Racer (African American) and Hollow/Penance (originally Yugoslavian, retconned into being a black Alegerian, current ethnicity unknown) into the Academy. It also added Julie Power (bisexual), and X-23 to the cast.
Pride High has this: Mindsweeper (half black, gay), Kid Mischief (Puerto Rican, gay), Suravi (Indian, blind, lesbian), Scotch Bonnet (Scottish, bi-curious), Chip Cheetah (British), Unison (from Hong Kong), Kid Olympus (half Chinese, half Greek), Kilauea (Hawaiian), Cameron Ashton (gay), and Lightspot (gay). Word of God says that diversity was not the reasoning as the characters were created by different people, and his own experiences in high school were just as diverse (though the diversity of gay characters was intentional).
The Flashpoint version of Captain Marvel is a group of six children who can turn into Captain Thunder. In addition to the original Caucasian Power Trio of Billy and Mary Batson and Freddy Freeman, there's Eugene (Asian-American), Pedro (Latino), and Darla (African-American).
Blood Syndicate is about, well, the Blood Syndicate. Formed by the survivors of a freak accident at a multi-gang war, the group is mostly black and Latino (including a couple black Latinos, a gay Latino, and a black Muslim), but also features two Asians (one Korean-American and the other a Chinese-American woman) and a Token White.
Fearless Defenders was one of the better-handled and more organic examples seen in comics. The entire team was female, and included Misty Knight (African-American and an amputee), Annabelle Riggs (lesbian), Dani Moonstar (Cheyenne), and the Inhuman Ren Kimura (Japanese-American and a lesbian).
Alison Bechdel's Dykes To Watch Out For. Bechdel herself has joked that, yes, the cast is almost diverse to a fault (with a main cast comprising just about every ethnicity, religion, political affiliation—yes, there are indeed lesbian Republicans out there). However, as they're all fully-fleshed characters with their own personalities, they tend not to suffer from being the token something-or-other. Thea (disabled, with MS) is the only possible exception, even lampshaded by her in an Animated Actors segment: "I move that no new personnel be introduced until I get properly established here! I thought I was gonna be a fully-fledged, three-dimensional character like everyone else, but nooooo! I just show up on my crutches every tenth episode like a goddamn poster child!"
In Alexandra Quick this is Justified and mildly deconstructed. Alex's core group of friends is formed from those in her class who, for whatever reason, do not fit in with the mainstream school culture. The deconstruction comes when the diverse cultural backgrounds of the group, and the intra-group conflicts they sometimes cause, are explored rather than ignored as is typical for this trope.
Thirty H's parodies this when describing a group of children: "They were well-groomed and impeccably attired, and there were 5.8 of them, just enough to represent an array of genders and races that would leave no-one unhappy, save for the Eskimos."
Atlantis The Lost Empire: So we have the French geologist, the Italian demolitions expert, the female Hispanic mechanic, the half-black/half-Native American doctor — and the white American guy. He's near-sighted though — does that count? Either way, he's clearly the Butt Monkey, at least for the first half. After that he's the naive idealist before finally becoming the hero.
The Secret of Kells has possibly the most bizarre version of this of all time: a Five-Token Band of Irish Catholic monks. We get a French monk, a Russian monk, an English monk, a Chinese monk, and Black monk. It's not even alluded to how they all came to be at the same Irish monastery in the 9th century. The creators state that this was to represent diverse influences in the Book of Kells.
There was a large amount of immigration to Ireland during this period, especially among the clergy. It had a bit to do with Ireland being one of the few countries in Europe to escape The Dark Ages.
Big Hero 6 has a black guy, a Korean girl, a white Hispanic girl, a half-Japanese/half-white boy, and a white guy as the members of its titular team. (Oh, and a robot too.) The lead isn't the white guy, though, but the mixed-race Kid Hero.
The human kids that Mary Beth who's actually La Muerte in disguise, talks to at the museum during the Framing Device of The Book Of Life are this: Sanjay is Indian-American, the Goth Kid is Mexican-American, Sasha is Russian-American, Jane is Chinese-American, and Joao is Brazilian-American. Here's a page from the movie's official guidebook.
Films — Live-Action
A nice early example are the Our Gang theatrical shorts. Despite the fact that every kid was some obvious stereotype, the series broke major ground in depicting the group in an informal manner and as getting along with each other despite their differences without really calling attention to it. Their major shared trait was being lower-middle class and a dislike of icky girls.
One of the archetypical examples: The Steven Spielberg comedy The Goonies (1985). The formulaic band of seven kids includes a jock (the big brother), the smart quiet kid (the younger brother), the geek/gadgeteer (who is also Asian), the fat comic-relief boy (Jewish), the token pretty girl (and love interest of the older brother), the tough girl (the tomboy), and the loudmouthed guy who just can't shut up. Not so much different ethnicities (all except the Asian kid are white) but rather different personality archetypes.
The Warriors is a prime example of this (although it falls more under White Gang-Bangers). The title street gang is a mixture of blacks, whites, and Latinos. The enemy gangs are portrayed much more realistically: there is an all-black gang and a white biker gang. And then there's the Baseball Furies.
The Dungeons & Dragons movie goes a step further and enforces representation of fictional minorities. After the white man the leader and destined hero, naturally, there's a white girl as the snobby wizard, a black man as the comic-relief bumbling sidekick, another white man as the tallest dwarf in the world, and a black woman playing the elf (making her a threefer, maybe?). Worst of all, each and every one of them is 100% pure, concentrated stereotype.
The commando team in Executive Decision consists of a white guy, an Asian guy, a Hispanic guy and a black guy, and is led by Steven Seagal, who might be part Native American (seriously, does anyone know for sure what Steven Seagal is?). To add bonus minority points, the black guy is injured early on and spends most of the movie paralyzed from the neck down.
The Big Hit has the Irish-American protagonist working for and later against the most diverse criminal syndicate of all time. The crime boss is black, Melvin's fellow and rival hitmen are black, Latino, East Asian and Italian-American, and he spends part of the film juggling his blonde Jewish fiancee, his black mistress, and the Japanese girl he kidnaps for ransom. This is partly lampshaded for laughs in a scene where the aforementioned Jewish fiance's father wanders in drunk, sees the aforementioned protagonist and hitmen (not knowing that they were sent to confront him about his suspected betrayal and remarks how happy he is to see four young men of different races sitting together in friendship, in contrast to his wife's rejection of Melvin as a future son-in-law for not being Jewish.
In The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the crew of Steve's ship (on the hunt for the Jaguar Shark) consists of Steve himself, Klaus Daimler, Vikram Ray, Bobby Ogata, Renzo Pietro, Vladimir Wolodarsky, Anne-Marie Sakowitz, Pelé dos Santos, and seven interns from the University of North Alaska. Of course, as a world-sailing international icon, this is justified, even though Steve points out that none of them actually have outside nautical experience.
In the movie of Twilight, Bella's school "friends" are this. Jessica is a white female, Eric is Korean, Mike is a white male, Tyler is black, and Angela is Hispanic/Italian/Irish.
Rifftrax: Our surprisingly diverse group of friends certainly does have fun.
In Battleship, the main characters are Hopper (white male), Nagata (Japanese male), Raikes (Black Female), Sam (White love interest) and Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales (Black male).
In Captain America: The First Avenger, the Howling Commandos represent this trope. The group consists of Dugan (white American), Morita (Japanese-American), Falsworth (Brit), Jones (African-American), and Dernier (Frenchman).
The new mutants from X-Men: Days of Future Past consist of Bishop (black), Blink (Chinese), Warpath (Apache), and Sunspot (Brazilian).
In the novel Men at Arms, the Night Watch is forced to admit a dwarf (other than Carrot), a troll and a female who is also a werewolf. They've had a gnome since Feet of Clay, hired because he was six inches tall and thus had certain capabilities biggers lack (he rides an assortment of birds, buzzards and falcons and such, as the Watch's airborne division). In Thud!, they are forced to enlist another woman (this time a vampire). Though they have a lot of women, but a lot of them are dwarves, who tend to be less open about gender.
And then there's Monstrous Regiment, where the army recruits are also varied but the title is, if you know a different title, a deliberate spoiler/Fanservice of a subversion. Try Googling "First Blast of the Trumpet Against".
The Baby-Sitters Club. It went beyond having to have a black girl and an Asian girl. A diabetic, a boy, and a girl in a very large family also counted for diversity points, as well as family relationships that got to the point where the backstory of the characters was The Theme Park Version of Dysfunction Junction. The Cousin Oliver seemed to be everything the author left out crammed into one: she was Jewish, an asthmatic and a twin. All the girls also have different areas of interest: writing, art, sports, fashion, etc.
One of the main characters in the spinoff series California Diaries is Latina.
Animorphs does this with its main cast. The white Jewish male leader Jake, his female cousin Rachel, his black girlfriend Cassie, his Hispanic best friend Marco, and Tobias who has a messed-upfamily (and is a bird). They later add an alien, Ax. Toward the end of the series, they get a Redshirt Army made up of disabled children. Rachel's parents are divorced, too — she's raised by her mother, who isn't Jewish.
A meta-example: the original lineup for the rebuilt Rogue Squadron in the eponymous books was deliberately chosen on politically correct grounds by the Alliance leadership, given how important a propaganda symbol the squadron is. However, this is a Star Wars Galaxy Twelve Token Band, so it consists of: the token Bothan (for their work in finding the second Death Star), the token Twi'lek (Ryloth is coming into its own at this time), other other token aliens (an insectoid, a wolfman, and another... thing, to represent the more non-human ones), the token refugee (a woman), the token kid brought up in jail (also a woman), the token precocious kid (who's also from Tatooine), and two token Thyferrans (including one woman) because that's the only way to please the two factions of the planet producing the most critical medical supply in the galaxy. In fact at one point, a good Corellian pilot isn't allowed to join because they already have two Corellians. Wedge is highly displeased about leadership picking the squadron for him, but he grows to like his people.
Young Jedi Knights has as its main characters: one male human, two female humans (one of whom is from a primitive planet), one male Wookiee, and a miniature protocol droid. The Sixth Ranger is also a male human, but was written in the Dark Nest trilogy as bisexual. It's somewhat subverted by the fact the droid was built by C-3PO, and the Wookiee is Chewbacca's nephew.
In The Egypt Game, the Egypt gang consists of a white girl, a black girl, her younger brother, an Asian girl, a white boy (who in the sequel The Gypsy Game is revealed to be one-quarter Romani) and an Asian boy. The white girl is more-or-less the protagonist.
The Lord of the Rings has this with the Fellowship: four Hobbits, two Men, an Elf, and a Dwarf all to represent the Free People of Middle-earth. Leading them? A Wizard originally from the West. Of course, the process of their meeting was well-described by Tolkien: the Council did not want to have Elves, Dwarves, or Men to be carrying the Ring (since they would resent each other, which would be bad for morale); and although Gandalf called the meeting and needed to go south to help prepare the war, he didn't want the Ring either, so it fell to Frodo (who volunteered, at any rate); Sam, Merry, and Pippin insisted on joining Frodo; Aragorn was The Chosen One; Boromir is from Gondor and would be going that way anyway; and then Gimli and Legolas are intentional Tokens to ensure that all races are represented in the quest.
In Stephen King's It, the Loser's Club is made up from kids who are ostracized by the others for various reasons: Bill stutters, Ben is fat, Eddie is physically weak, Stan is Jewish, Mike is black, Beverly is poor, and Richie just can't keep his mouth shut.
The House of Night has Damien and later Jack, two gay boys who quickly become a Token Minority Couple, Shaunee, a black girl, her white mental "twin", Erin, and Stevie Rae, a country girl from the middle of nowhere with an Oklahoma accent. Add in Zoey, the main character of Cherokee descent, and you definitely have one of these forming.
The Virals series by Kathy Reichs has the main character Tory, a white girl, Sheldon, a biracial (black and Japanese) guy, Hiram, who is Jewish, and Ben a white guy who claims he is part Native American.
Harry Potter has an example that only works in-universe; the main ¡Three Amigos! has Harry, the half-blood, Ron, the pure-blood, and Hermione, the Muggle-born.
In the followup series to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, Riordan goes from having a protagonistic band of two whites and a satyr to a ten-man band of two white male leads, a white male who isn't a lead (and is Straight Gay), a white girl, a Native American girl, a black girl, a Chinese-Canadian boy, a Hispanic boy, a Puerto Rican girl, and a different satyr. Justified because they are all the offspring of the Greek and Roman Pantheons, and they all met up at the only two summer camps in the world where it is safe for demigods.
Unusually well Justified in the Spirit Animals series. The world of Erdras is divided into four main continents, each of which has a different ethnic phenotype and patron deity (Zhongese correspond to Asians, Nilosians to Africans, Eurans to Europeans, and Amayans to Native Americans (though their society is closer to Modern America with medieval technology)). The plot is kicked off when the four deities choose four mortal children to partner with, and naturally each chose to bond a person from their region.
Glee takes this to the next level, starting with ten tokens who aren't exactly a band, but sing and dance, and adding more as time goes on.
Invoked by Sue in the episode "Throwdown" when they split the glee club into two groups and Sue picked all the minorities for her half in an attempt to drive a wedge into the group.
The current roster now stands as follows. Graduated members: Rachel (Jewish female), Mercedes (black female), Puck (Jewish), Kurt (gay), Mike (Asian), Santana (Hispanic and lesbian), Quinn (former pregnant teen and female), Brittany (bisexual female), and Finn (white male). Current members: Tina (Asian female), Artie (handicapped), Sam (poor, Blaine (gay), Marley (poor and female), Unique (transgender female and black), Jake (half black, half Jewish), and Ryder (dyslexic). Former members are Rory (Irish exchange student), Joe (conservative white male Christian), Sugar (claims to have Asperger's), Lauren (female wrestler) and Matt (black).
The cast of Saved by the Bell combined the ethnic and clique versions of the trope into one group...and helped make a trope of their own. Slater was Hispanic, Lisa was African-American, and the rest were white.
British sitcom All About Me centres around a man with an Indian partner and a wheelchair-bound child with cerebral palsy. It scores high for political correctness, low for comedy or interest.
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers started off with Caucasian Red (mixed-race), Blue and Pink, African-American Black, Vietnamese Yellow, and Native American Green.
After cast changes in Seasons Two and Three, the team was Hispanic Red, Caucasian Blue, Asian Black, African-American Yellow, (Caucasian) Australian Pink, and Native American White.
The original series gets a lot of flak because the Black Ranger was African-American and the Yellow Ranger was Asian (specifically, Vietnamese). Word of God from the producers and Word of Saint Paul from the Black Ranger himself confirm this was unintentional and something they didn't notice until several episodes had been filmed, and the real reason why the Rangers were swapped is due to either budget or popularity issues. Not to mention, the Yellow Ranger was played by a Hispanic actress in the Pilot, only to be recast before the show entered full production.
Zeo reshuffled Mighty Morphin' cast members into Native American Red, Asian Green, Hispanic Blue, African Yellow, Caucasian Pink and Caucasian (mixed race) Gold.
The second half of Turbo had African-American Red, Caucasian Blue and Yellow, Hispanic Green, and Asian Pink.
In Space, which was two-thirds returning Turbo cast, had Caucasians Red, Yellow, and Silver (though Red and Silver were Human Aliens), African-American Blue, Hispanic Black, and Asian Pink.
Lost Galaxy had Caucasian Red, Yellow and Pinks — yes, plural Pinks — (though Yellow and the second Pink were Human Aliens, the former played by an Italian-American actress), an African-American Green and an Asian Blue.
Lightspeed Rescue had the same race balance as Lost Galaxy, plus another Caucasian with the Titanium Ranger (Pink's brother).
Time Force had Caucasian Red and Pink, an Asian Blue and Quantum Ranger, an African-American Yellow and a space alien Green (played by an Asian).
Wild Force had Caucasian Red, Yellow and Silver, an African-American Blue, a Latino Black, and Asian (Filipino) White.
Ninja Storm had Samoan Red, Caucasian Blue and Crimson, Latino Yellow, and Asian Navy and Green.
Dino Thunder had Caucasian Red and Yellow, African-American Blue, Native American Black, and Asian (Filipino) White.
SPD had an African-American Red, Caucasian Blue and Pink, Jewish Green, Latina Yellow, Dog-alien Shadow Ranger, and ball of light Omega Ranger (though being a ball of light was temporary for the duration of the series, and was later revealed to be Caucasian).
Mystic Force had an Arab Red, Latina(?) Blue and Pink (sisters), Caucasian Yellow, (Caucasian) Australian Green, and a Maori Solaris Knight.
Operation Overdrive had Caucasian Red (an android) and Yellow, African-Carribean Black, Asian Blue and Pink, and alien Mercury Ranger.
Jungle Fury had Caucasian Red, Yellow, Wolf Ranger, and Rhino Ranger; and an Asian Blue.
RPM had an African-American Red; Caucasians Blue (Scottish, played by a Kiwi with a fake accent), Green, Black and Yellow; and Asians Gold and Silver (brother and sister).
Samurai had Caucasian Red (actually Reds, brother and sister) and Yellow, African-American Blue, Latino Green and Gold (Gold was played by a Thai-German, but he threw around a lot of Gratuitous Spanish), and Asian Pink. Particularly odd this season as all of them, barring Gold, were supposed to be descended from actual samurai.
Megaforce had Caucasian Red and Yellow, Caucasian-Asian Pink, African-American Blue, and Indian Black.
Dino Charge has Hispanic Red, Caucasian Green and Black, Asian Blue, and African-American Pink.
The casts of every incarnation of Star Trek. Also, there are Loads and Loads of Characters, so you'd expect some variety. And today it's easy to forget how shockingly radical the original series was to do this. Maybe Uhura was a switchboard operator in a go-go dress, but she did it on the bridge of an (essentially) military spaceship; Martin Luther King Jr. personally told Nichelle Nichols how important it was she keep plugging away at the role. The Original Series also famously featured one of the first interracial kisses to be shown on TV (Kirk and Uhura) — but as a sop to the standard 1960s racist Southern audiences made it involuntary, forced to happen by Jerkass aliens. Of course, every later series developed the characters far beyond their ethnicities. Indeed, they were never brought up outside of the occasional time travel story. This makes them more an aversion of Humans Are White than Five-Token Bands... except Star Trek: Enterprise.
Parodied by Stephen Colbert's "friends". When his Black Friend Alan betrayed him by being seen at an anti-war protest, he advertised for a new one. He has an assortment of other ethnic friends, the best known being Jewish Friend Jon Stewart. Many fans who have met him have reported getting him to take a picture with them under the promise that they'll be his ____ best friend: deaf, French, asexual, bipolar. Presumably he's being Crazy-Prepared in case the need should ever arise for any of those. Note that, beginning with Alan, the photos of Stephen with his ____ best friend have always showed him beaming at the camera and pointing at his companion, while the companion has his/her arms folded and a "You've got to be fucking kidding me" facial expression.
An arguable example of a villainous version is in the series Sleeper Cell. The terrorists in both seasons are from several nations and ethnicities as a deliberate counterpoint to the stereotype of all terrorists being Arabs. Of course, this is probably Truth in Television as well.
Ghostwriter, which had a black male leader, rich white girl and Hispanic brother and sister as the original team, later adding a Vietnamese girl, white male Military Brat, Puerto Rican boy and black female Tagalong Kid. In one episode, a music company decided to sign cast member Lenni, and the record executive actually said out loud that her multiethnic friends would be demographically perfect for the music video.
The Swedish kids show Vintergatan 5A (Milky Way 5A) had a cast consisting of a Spanish-Swedish youngster, an African-American-Swedish youngster, a Swedish youngster, and a Swedish oldster. In the sequel, Vintergatan 5B, a Russian youngster was added.
Lampshaded when the dean sees the main cast assembled:
"Well, look at this group, having some kind of meeting and being so diverse. There's is just — boy! — there is just one of every kind of you, isn't there?"
The trope is played straight up until this point, as the Spanish 101 study group has two black characters, one guy of Middle Eastern descent, an array of socioeconomic backgrounds, and a massive age range, from 18 to sixtysomething.
Gag is extended later in the same episode when designing the mascot for the new school team, The Human Beings. Wanting to represent every ethnicity and background without explicitly mentioning any of them, the Dean eventually creates a powder-white, amorphous blob man with a slit for a mouth as the new mascot.
It's taken even further in the Holiday episode where it's revealed they all have different religions as well. We have Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Jehovah's Witness, Athiest, Agnostic and "Buddhist" (Pierce thinks he's Buddhist, but he's actually in a cult without knowing it).
In "Documentary Filmmaking Redux", they're described as "Greendale's brightest,note Well, counting out Pierce and Troy, who are, shall we say, rather dimwitted... most coincidentally diverse — Hispanics notwithstanding — study group."
Lampshaded on Doctor Who. The Master congratulates the Doctor's team on "ticking every demographic box". His posse at that point consists of himself (could pass for white British despite being an alien), Martha (black British and female) and Jack (white, bisexual and apparently American).
Ironically (or not) The Beeb itself does this, or at least looks like it. Some children's shows which invite viewers onto the show as one-episode characters appear to use carefully-selected representatives of almost every conceivable ethnic and religious demographic, or as many as a small cast makes available.
Joked about on Scrubs, which also somewhat uses the trope (four white main characters one of whom is female, a black doctor, a Hispanic nurse and plenty of variety for the supporting characters). Turk mentions that he always got special treatment because he was black, and schools always wanted to seem like they are ethnically diverse. When J.D. mentions that everyone was put on the cover of their college newsletter, Turk retorts that he was put in there twice... in the same picture.
Look Around You spoofs the tendency for maths textbooks to go for an unlikely level of diversity in the characters in their problems, as well as the general nature of such problems themselves:
"Jean is shorter than Brutus but taller than Imhotep. Imhotep is taller than Jean, but shorter than Lord Scotland. Lord Scotland is twice the height of Jean and Brutus combined but only one-tenth of the height of Millsy. Millsy is at a constant height of (x − y). If Jean stands exactly one nautical mile away from Lord Scotland, how tall is Imhotep?" (Answer: Imhotep is invisible.)
The kids in Space Cases were each from a different planet, and one was from a different galaxy. Harlan Band, the token human, is an interesting case in that he very much played the role the white guy usually plays in this trope as both the leader and the complainer, but he was played by a black actor. Also, he had a strong case of Fantastic Racism.
Victorious pulls one of these together, without making it feel forced. The main character and her sister are half-latina, Andre is a Black Best Friend, Robbie is Jewish, Beck is Indian but not a Bollywood Nerd. The last 2 characters are Cat, who is a white redheaded Genki Girl, and Jade, a white Goth, for whom the fandom believes might be bisexual.
House: Our Five-Token Band is missing Brown and Bi.
Both versions of Zoom revolve around this concept. The cast was always supposed to be ethnically diverse.
On Jessie about a famous (white) couple who adopted 3 foreign-born children, they have the white Jessie (their nanny), Emma (their only biological daughter), Luke (Ambiguously Brown), Ravi (Indian), and Zuri (black).
Season 3 of New York Undercover, there was Williams (a black man), Torres (a latino man), Lt. Cooper (a white woman), Moreno (a latino woman) and McNamara (a white man).
Unintentionally on The Amazing Race 10 with the Back Pack alliance that formed out of the teams on the second bus in the second leg. There was Lyn & Karlyn (black single moms from Alabama), Erwin & Godwin (Asian brothers, one of whom went to Harvard), David & Mary (a coal miner and his wife from Kentucky), Tom & Terry (boyfriends), and Kellie & Jamie (college cheerleaders).
The Smashing Pumpkins started out this way, with a dark-haired white man, a redhead (before he went bald), a blonde woman and an Asian.
After their performance at the 2013 Super Bowl, several news outlets noted the diversity of Beyoncé Knowles' band, The Sugar Mamas. There's guitarist Bibi Mcgill (African American), keyboardist Rie Tsuji (Japanese), saxophonist Kat Rodriguez (Afro-Latina), and trumpeter Crystal Torres (Hispanic).
Girl Authority is a nine-token music band consisting of both racial and social/hobby tokens.
The Pussycat Dolls
Casted girlgroups come to mind; just think Sugababes (they eventually replaced a white redhead with a white blonde, Filipina girl with a Moroccan girl, and the black one with a biracial girl [black and white parents]).
The Black Eyed Peas have a black guy, a Mexican/Native American guy, another black guy who's half-Filipino, and a white chick who's also Mexican and Native American.
The Defictionalized band The Cheetah Girls has a black member, a mixed-race member, and a Latina member. In the book series, though, all of the girls were black except for Chanel, who was Cuban and Dominican.
Pentatonix, the winner of season 3 of NBC's a capella competition The Sing-Off, came to be an organic literal example of this. The group consists of a square-jawed blonde white guy, a black dude, a Jewish fella, a gay guy and a Latina girl.
The five-piece Girl Group the Beach Girl 5 (BG 5), whose members include dark-haired dancer/singer Mandy Jiroux (of The Miley And Mandy Show fame), consists of black Dominique Domingo, white Austrailan blonde Laura New, American white blonde Brooke Adams and Asian Noreen Juliano.
An in-universe example: the Rubberbandits song "Black Man" is about a gang that includes every conceivable minority except for, well...
Gogol Bordello consists of Ukrainian, Russian, Ethiopian, Ecuadorian, Chinese-Scottish, American, and Belarusian members. Previously, they had Israeli and Romanian members. Fittingly, the band's music is a fusion of Eastern European Folk Music with American Punk Music, and other influences such as Jamaican dub and Brazilian music.
A variation appears in Bally's Playboy pinball, with the five Playmates the player can collect — there are three Caucasians (two blondes and a redhead), along with an African-American woman and a black-haired Asian.
Done literally in Diner, whose five customers are a stereotypical Indian (Haji), a stereotypical Britian (Babs), a stereotypical Russian (Boris), a stereotypical Hispanic (Pépé), and a stereotypical American cowboy (Buck).
All of the NXT seasons with the possible exception of season 4 have a pretty diverse set of wrestlers:
Season 2 had Kaval (white), Michael McGillicutty (white), Husky Harris (white), Titus O'Neill (black), Eli Cottonwood (Jewish), Percy Watson (black), Alex Riley (white) and Lucky Cannon (white).
Season 3 had AJ Lee (Puerto Rican), Naomi Night (black), Kaitlyn (white), Jamie Keyes (white), Maxine (mixed-race — Cuban, Chinese, Mexican and Lebanese to be specific) and Aksana (white and Lithuanian).
The cover of every textbook (especially ones about health or social psychology) will have the Five-Token Band laughing together at something.
Math textbooks are also prone to having word problems with non-Caucasian names.
This is a common theme in pamphlets and brochures, especially those extolling the virtues of an organization.
The Jehovah's Witnesses, in New Zealand at least, often brought pamphlets showing children of all races happily playing together... as well as a Five-Token Band of animals as well.
Possibly the example to beat all others: the cast of the PBS KidsPuppet ShowThe Puzzle Place consisted of a Chinese-American, a Lithuanian-Jew, a White boy, a Mexican, a handicapped Irish-American, a Black boy, and an Apache boy from an Indian reservation in Arizona. Whew. And oh yeah, the cat and the dog. The show was created in response to the 1992 LA riots as a way to teach kids about racial harmony.
The Young Turks. Let's see, a Turkish host, an Armenian-American female co-host, a black producer, a Mexican director, and a white guy. And occasionally Ben Mankiewicz shows up, and he's Jewish.
Team Fortress 2 takes this to ridiculous lengths — the classes consist of a crass teenager from Boston, an older and severely unhinged man from elsewhere in the US, a black Scottish cyclops, a burly Russian, a guitar-playing Texan, a German doctor, an Australian bushwhacker, a French secret serviceman, and... someone (or... something) in a hazard suit that's anyone's guess. This is deliberate.
The 3rd Street Saints in Saints Row 2 is one of the aforementioned inexplicably diverse gangs. Their most prominent members include the Asian Johnny Gat, the Caucasian female Shaundi, the black (and Ambiguously Gay) Pierce, the Latino Carlos, and whomever you decide to be. Later added the Russian Oleg Kirrlov.
Mass Effect: Commander Shepard's team could be seen as an in-universe version, especially in Mass Effect 2. Excluding humans, there's only one teammate of any species per game at a time, but most species are represented on the team at some point. The characters are well-developed regardless of race, but some fit their stereotypes and some don't. Mordin fits the salarian mold: he's smart, lives at high speed, and good with technology. Garrus wonders aloud if he's bad turian: he's never been with rules and regulations, but on the other hand he's excellent in combat. Wrex is unlike almost any other Krogan you meet: he knows when to be diplomatic and when to fight, and he's good at both.
Teams in multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 have potential for this. Every species that Shepard can recruit can be used in multiplayer, plus Batarians, Vorcha, and Volus. though the Prothean character in multiplayer is actually an awakened collector.
No One Lives Forever had a trio of multiracial go-go girls who were actually a Quirky Miniboss Squad with sniper rifles. Before you encountered them, they lounged around their dressing room moaning about how so very bored they were.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey's four major (human) characters are a Japanese man (who became American in the localization, but hey, he could still be Asian), a black man, a Hispanic man, and a white Russian woman.
Backyard Sports featured 30 characters and lot of them were ethnic, so most of the time you could make your team like this trope.
Lara's supporting cast in the Tomb Raider reboot. Samantha is Japanese, Joslin is Afro-Latina, and Jonah is Māori.
Star Trek Online: The command crew of the USS Enterprise-F. One white womannote Dr. Mathias, ship's counselor, one gay white male humannote Cdr. Samuel Winters, first officer, one half-Irish, half-Japanese humannote Lt. Kirayoshi O'Brien, chief engineer, one Vulcannote Cdr. Savel, chief medical officer, one Andoriannote Capt. Va'Kel Shon, commanding officer, one Caitiannote Lt. Kyona, tactical officer, one Betazoidnote Lt. Jirelle Kav, operations officer, and one black Bajorannote Lt. Cdr. Tem Inasi, science officer.
Parodied in The Noob, when the incompetent design team for the MMORPG "Cliche Quest" decides to show they embrace ethnic diversity in a commercial for their video game, to emphasize to the viewer that they don't follow "the old Fantasy stereotype where everyone is white" ("...or a squid"). Of course, after casting actors for the roles of "a Jewish-American, an Irish-American, an Italian-American, a Latino, an Asian and an African-American", the lead developer is furious because "no one will recognize them": His "solution" leads to even worse racial/cultural/ethnic stereotypes. Oh, and because they forgot to cast the "Caucasian with the rural or Southern accent", they come up with a last-minute alternative. Not to mention all those Scottish-accented dwarves sprouting Communist propaganda and Euro Nerd Techno...
While Homestuck's trolls, being aliens, do not have the same concept of race as humans, they're diverse as their hemospectralcaste system allows (all the way from the future Empress to a mutant who would be hunted down and summarily executed should his mutation become known, and their group includes a blind girl, a wheelchair boy, a monosexual, and a religious minority.
At the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe, the main characters are in Team Kimba and form a pretty good Five-Token Band. The trope is slightly averted and somewhat reinforced in the reason they come together and stay together: they're the transgender mutants in their high school grade. Chaka, the nominal leader, is black, but comes from an upper-middle-class family. Generator is Japanese-American. Shroud? Not even really alive. Phase is a WASP and the disinherited scion of one of the richest families on the planet. Lancer is an Army brat. Tennyo? Her mutation has made her look like an anime character. Fey not only looks like one of the Sidhe, she literally is. Other characters around them include a hermaphrodite who is Lakota (American Indian), a half-demon, a Hispanic... You get the idea.
College Humor parodies this in their honest college ad (at about 1:00). It shows a group with a black man in a wheelchair, an Asian girl, a white guy, an Ambiguously Brown girl and an Indian guy, who says, "We're actors. This literally never happens."
The cast of Bravest Warriors. Of the four leads, Beth is Japanese, Wallow is African American, and Danny is Latino. Chris is the only white person in the main cast.
Parodied with the Rubberbandits song "Black Man" where one of the Bandits starts singing about needing a black man to complete his gang. The list he has already is a Puerto Rican, Orthodox Jew, a Russian thug, a well-endowed blonde girl, a dumb guy, a Tag Along Kid, a Mafioso, guy in wheelchair, Asian who's "good with knives", Butch Lesbian, "both types of Indians", a fat guy and an Ambigously Brown guy who apparently isn't dark enough to qualify.
Demo Reel. Donnie was bisexual and grew out of his White Male Lead tendencies fast, Tacoma was the black guy who was okay with wearing a dress, Rebecca was the badass feminist lady, and Karl and Quinn were east-German and Irish manly men, respectively.
The cast of Captain Planet and the Planeteers takes this to its most logical extreme — every member of the band is from a different continent. But no Aussies. Or penguins, for that matter. Also, subtle Fridge Brilliance. For Europe, they had a large portion of the continent that was on good terms with America to choose from. Instead, they went with the Soviet Union (tagline later changed to "Former Soviet Union" and then simply to "Eastern Europe").
The cast of Recess. Chunky, smart-aleck white boy (who's supposedly Jewish), nerdy white girl with glasses, Italian tough girl, athletic black boy, big-bodied, over-dramatic white boy, and nebbishy white boy with glasses. Studio exec: "We missing anyone? Cool, let's make this thing." Actually lampshaded in a Christmas special episode in which the principal tries to put together a culturally diverse Christmas show while complaining about "political correctoids"
The Ashleys as well. Ashley A. is the stuck-up white leader, Ashley B. is the prissy, sarcastic second-in-command black girl, Ashley Q. is the tough, Jerkass white girl, and Ashley T. is the quiet Hispanic girl.
Spoofed for all it's worth in Minoriteam, which is about team comprised entirely of Captain Ethnic minority superheroes. For reference, it's Dr. Wang (Chinese), Nonstop (Indian), Fasto (black), El Jefe (Mexican), and Jewcano (Jewish).
The PBS show Maya And Miguel. The main characters are Hispanic, but the show painfully attempts to include just about every other race too. There's the Black Best Friend, the Afro-Dominican girl, the Asian girl and a disabled white guy. The fat, stupid, forgetful soccer coach is Polish.
In Extreme Ghostbusters, there was a black guy, a Goth girl, a guy in a wheelchair, and a Latino slacker. Oh, and Egon, the white (and Ambiguously Jewish) nerd. But the Goth girl's (stereotypical) interest in the paranormal came in handy; the African-American was a rather uncool smart guy; the Latino, while a slacker, had a brother who was a cop; and the paraplegic was the team jock.
The show could be pretty honest about that. In the episode "The True Face of a Monster", the paraplegic was thrown out of his wheelchair (amazingly, by somebody he thought was his friend) and there was really nothing he could do until he got back in. Most shows are far too kid-friendly to show the wheelchair kid being actually helpless. And the Ecto-1 needed a ramp. That's not the only episode where Garrett is somehow forced out of his wheelchair. They actually have quite a few. Two that come to mind immediately are the gremlin episode (although he holds his own) and the one with the demon that turns metal into rust (where he has to sit out of a minor fight and then uses an old-fashioned wicker chair for the duration of the episode). Eh, well, as the said paraplegic is a Boisterous Bruiser, there's nothing wrong to balance that a bit by some realistic helplessness.
The four main characters of the Bratz cartoons (and doll line). There's the white girl Cloe, the sassy black girl Sasha, the super smart Asian Jade, and vaguely GranolaGirlish Latina Yasmin. The fifth ethnicity is usually covered by whatever one-shot character is hanging out with them in that particular episode/movie.
One of them is even in a wheelchair...and despite Chemical X allowing him to fly he flies still holding on to the chair.note The Chemical X eventually wore off, so it turns out this was a good thing, but while Mojo knew this was going to happen, the kid didn't.
Codename: Kids Next Door: While the worldwide KND is logically diverse, the main characters (all living in the same town) include a white Jewish American, a white Australian, a Japanese-American girl, a black girl whose mother is French and a Brit with a Spanish surname. And a Scottish operative lives in the same town. While it requires a healthy suspension of disbelief to accept the Australian, Scottish, and English kids, the idea of the other three leads being friends and living in the same area isn't far-fetched in the slightest. Many areas, particularly cities, have very diverse populations.
Teen Titans gives us a more fantastic variation of this trope. The leader of the team, Robin, is a badass normal Caucasian. Raven is part demon on her Dad's side and part (supposedly Caucasian) human on her mom's side. Cyborg is African American and, well, a cyborg. Starfire is an orange-skinned space babe. Beast Boy's race/species however is ambiguous due in part to his green skin and hair.
The East Coast spin-off team features Bumblebee (black female), Speedy (white male raised on a Navajo reservation), Mas and Menos (both Hispanic males) and Aqualad (white Atlantean male). Justified in that with the exceptions of Mas and Menos, the Titans East was made up entirely of teen heroes who had met and teamed up with the original Titans in earlier seasons.
Jem, where the Holograms were made up of redhead keyboardist Kimber, the Asian guitarist Aja, the Black drummer/guitarist Shana, and later, the Latino drummer Raya.
The Histeria! Kid Chorus consists of one brunette boy, three blonde boys (one short, one dumb, and one from California with a permanent sunburn), a blonde girl, an African-American girl, a teenaged red-haired girl, an Asian girl, a German boy without an accent, and a Native American girl. Oh, and an Asian boy and two more kids with tan skin, but they're only in crowd shots or songs.
A villainous example in the Samurai Jack episode "The Princess and the Bounty Hunters". A team of bounty hunters includes a white female leader, a Russian, a Southern American, an Aboriginal Australian and two asian-ish cat aliens.
When it came time to expand the Super Friends from the original Batman-Superman-Wonder Woman-Aquaman cadre to the 11-member Justice League (for Challenge of the Super Friends), they added a token black (Black Vulcan), a token native American (Apache Chief), and a token Asian (Samurai). The following season added a token Hispanic (El Dorado).
Explicitly parodied with the Ultimen in Justice League Unlimited. The team contains Wind Dragon (Asian American), Long Shadow (Native American) and Juice (African American), with Shifter and Downpour (Albino alien teenagers) rounding out the team. The Ultimen are explicitly formed as a marketable, publicity-friendly alternative to the Justice League. It makes sense that the team would need to be as diverse as possible in order to hit all the key demographics.
Averted with the actual titular team of superheroes. It's very diverse, but the characters themselves aren't tokens. Blue Beetle (Latino), Aqualad, (African-Atlantean), and Artemis (half-Vietnamese) have large roles in the plot, and that's not even counting Guardian, Bumblebee, or Rocket (all black).
In The Replacements, Riley and Todd's circle of friends (and Shelton) includes the Japanese Tasumi, the African-American Abby, the Hispanic Jacobo and the Jewish Shelton.
Handy Manny. School principal-Asian. School's coach-black. Town handyman-Hispanic. Lazy Hispanic-Manny's grandfather. Camp gay-Mr. Lopart. Seriously, could a children's show be any more stereotyping?
One more example of a fantasy token band; ThunderCats, but especially Thunder Cats 2011. The members belong to clans based on real life cat species, though Panthro is the only one whom most obviously looks and sounds black.
This is expanded upon in the reboot, where it's made much clearer the divide between the various clans as well as the introduction of tailed Thunderians, who are considered lower class. Kit and Kat have tails, as did Panthro once, who is still obviously the black guy of the group. Then there's Tygra, whose race has it's own separate culture and society, and could be seen as being vaguely Asian. Cheetara's comparatively fair coloring would almost make her look Scandinavian, and Pumyra could count as Ambiguously Brown due to her unique appearance and brown hair.
Ironically, it's the bad guys who outdo the Thundercats by having Equal-Opportunity Eviland a Multinational Team. There is Slithe (Lizard), Grune (Cat), and later Kaynar (Dog/Jackal), and Addicus (Primate). Except for Slithe though, they're considered traitors and criminals to their own kind.
The Safety Patrol on Fillmore!. The protagonist is a black guy partnered with a white girl, the forensics expert comes from a Japanese family, Da Chief is Mexican-American, the main Mauve Shirt is Italian-American, and the photographer is a loony white guy who does the comic relief, if "Cloud Cuckoolander" can be considered a token role. A similar effect was shown in "A Cold Day At X", with the team of villains featuring a girl in a wheelchair and a very well-spoken, extremely English black guy.
The protagonists of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic consists of two members of each race - unicorn, pegasus and earth pony. (Until Twilight became an alicorn, that is.) They also provide a wide range of personality types. The beta protagonists (the Cutie Mark Crusaders) similarly have one of each. (Babs Seed, the fourth crusader, breaks the configration somewhat, but is a minor recurring character and is trying to start her own team.)
The US federal government at the beginning of the Barack Obama Administration had: a Black-looking Biracial president with a Black first family and a half-Asian half-sister, Jewish Chief of Staff, Irish-Catholic vice president, blonde Secretary of State, three Asian secretaries, (rumored) lesbian Homeland Security Secretary, black UN Ambassador, and first female Speaker of the House (also an Italian-Catholic grandma, nonetheless representing the gayest city in America). Add in Dick Cheney in a wheelchair and Sarah Palin's family and you've got a full house. Since then, the Chief of Staff has been replaced by an Irish-Catholic and then again by a different Jew, and the Speaker had been relegated to Minority Leader status and replaced as Speaker by a German-Catholic with a really bizarre tan.
Obama won a second term by defeating a Mormon (whose father was born in Mexico) and his Irish/German Catholic running mate.
Australia's government between 2007 and 2012 is this. English and Mandarin-speaking PM, Italian-Australian Deputy PM, Muslim Parliamentary Secretary to the PM, and the government's political party led in the Senate by a lesbian Malaysia-born Asian-Australian.
Australia's government was very much this in the early 2010s - female atheist Welsh-born Prime Minister, male Anglo-Australian Treasurer, lesbian Malaysia-born Asian-Australian Finance Minister, ethnically Polish female Attorney General, and Arab-Italian-Australian Sports Minister. The government also had Australia's first Muslim MP.
Truth in Television if you live in a racially diverse area. Your circle of friends will probably look like this.
The "Four Ladies of Hollywood" gazebo at the western border of the Walk of Fame: Mae West (Caucasian), Dolores del Río (Latina), Dorothy Dandridge (black) and Anna May Wong (Asian).