Four-Temperament Ensemble

aka: Four Humour Ensemble

"Splinter taught them to be ninja teens.
Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines.
Raphael is cool but rude, Michelangelo is a party dude!"

Note: All stereotypes can be any of the four temperaments, as style is a separate factor to ones temperament.

There are many ways to make a group of people diverse without giving them overly specialized roles within an ensemble. One way is through matching personality types according to a wacky ancient pseudoscience. The Four Temperaments (also called the "four humors") was a theory that behavior was caused by concentrations of body fluids — the "humors" of classical medicine: blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm.

A temporary imbalance would create an illness: too much blood caused a fever, too much yellow bile caused a cough, too much black bile caused depression, and too much phlegm caused a cold. A permanent imbalance led to a person having a certain type of intentions, behavior, and personality. Though this theory has long since been discredited from a scientific standpoint, the general idea still remains and the theory is still used for personality profiling. An ensemble based on these four humors can make the cast diverse without actually changing the roles of the characters in the story.

The four temperament system was an interesting one, but flawed. Several tests noticed people that did not conform to any of the behavior types, so a neutral temperament was created. Along with a sampling of related tropes, the five temperaments (humors) are:

  • Sanguine (blood): Extroverted, emotional, and people-oriented
    • Key Strengths: Friendly, cheerful, energetic, Compassionate, loves people, forgiving, confident, charming, talkative, an excellent comedian or sailor, and just plain fun.
    • Key Weaknessses: Weak-willed, egotistical, emotionally unstable, gullible, too people-pleasing, shallow, scatterbrained, disorganized, self-absorbed, too talkative, hyperactive and frivolous at times.
    • Expressive high, responsive high; response's delay short, duration short.
    • The Inspired Influencer of DISC.
    • Corresponds to the season of spring and the (hot and moist) air element.
    • Temperaments corresponding to the four divisions of the day: Morning
    • In a person's life, it corresponds to young childhood (roughly ages 0-13).
    • Will often correspond with the Optimist when in a Four Philosophy Ensemble.
    • Amongst the four main "Dere Types" can qualify as the Yandere.
    • Archetypal color: Gold, all shades of pink or aqua (the colors of the Sky).

  • Choleric (yellow bile): Extroverted, unemotional, and task-oriented
    • Key Strengths: Takes the lead, independent, hard worker, goal-oriented, strong-willed, practical, confident, loves a challenge, passionate, thrives under criticism, determined, an excellent strongman/woman of the team or drill sergeant at the most extreme.
    • Key Weaknesses: Hot-tempered, can be cruel, rebellious, stubborn, harsh, insensitive, arrogant, rude, workaholic, often dramatic, bossy, can become psychotic in overbearing situations, vindictive, a warmonger at times.
    • Expressive high, responsive low; response's delay short, duration long.
    • The Dominant of DISC.
    • Corresponds to the season of summer and the (hot and dry) fire element.
    • Temperaments corresponding to the four divisions of the day: Afternoon
    • In a person's life, it corresponds with adolescence and young adulthood (roughly ages 13-35).
    • Will often correspond with the Realist when in a Four Philosophy Ensemble.
    • Amongst the four main "Dere Types" can qualify as the Tsundere.
    • Archetypal color: Yellow, all shades of red or orange (the colors of a Volcano).

  • Melancholic (black bile): Introverted, emotional, and task-oriented
    • Key Strengths: Deep, thoughtful, sensitive, artistic, perfectionist, conservative, faithful to a fault, self-sacrificing, an excellent leader or medic, analytical, organized, practical, detailed, elegant (in the more dignified ways), an effective manipulator of people.
    • Key Weaknesses: Pessimistic, moody, vengeful, critical, depressed, impractical (yes, both practical and impractical), insecure, bashful, resentful, self-righteous, has unrealistically high expectations, snobbish, very paranoid, likes to be regarded formally such as Mr/Mrs.
    • Expressive low, responsive low; response's delay long, duration long.
    • The Cautious and Conscientious of DISC.
    • Corresponds to the season of autumn and the (cool and dry) earth element.
    • Temperaments corresponding to the four divisions of the day: Evening
    • In a person's life, it corresponds to middle-aged adulthood (roughly ages 35-65).
    • Will often correspond with The Cynic when in a Four Philosophy Ensemble.
    • Amongst the four main "Dere Types" can qualify as a pure Kuudere.
    • Archetypal color: Navy blue, dark purple, olive green, all shades of brown or black (the colors of the Underground).

  • Phlegmatic (phlegm): Introverted, unemotional, and people-oriented
    • Key Strengths: A real sweetheart, thoughtful, dependable, easygoing, patient, accommodating, pleasant, witty, gentle, calm, forgiving, quiet and stealthy, an excellent assistant or spy, a deep poker-face, elegant (in the simpler ways), very compassionate, empathetic to all, a good listener, sympathetic.
    • Key Weaknesses: Compromising, shy and docile, indecisive, slacker, lazy, slow, stubborn, indifferent, too yielding,teasing, forgetful.
    • Expressive low, responsive high; response's delay long, duration short.
    • The Support and Steadiness of DISC.
    • Corresponds to the season of winter and the (cool and moist) water element.
    • Temperaments corresponding to the four divisions of the day: Night
    • In a person's life, it corresponds to older adulthood (roughly ages 65 and up).
    • Will often correspond with the Apathetic or the Conflicted when in a Four Philosophy Ensemble.
    • Amongst the four main "Dere Types" can qualify as a pure Dandere.
    • Archetypal color: Teal, green, white, all shades of blue or black (the colors of the ocean).

Historically in plays, there was a whole genre: Comedy of Humors, where the impetus of the story is the sudden banding of these opposing types. This is in contrast to the Comedy of Errors, where the story is driven by the events and situations.

A Five-Man Band cannot be a Four Temperament Ensemble, as they're mutually exclusive. They are similar to the four Personality Blood Types, and are sometimes also a Four Element Ensemble.

See also Cast Calculus for the overarching archetypes in this and differently numbered ensembles. Here is an Image Archive for this trope. Additionally, Pseudolonewolf (of MARDEK fame) has a page that goes into great detail on the four temperaments, here, and The Other Wiki offers its information here. For another way to split up a group of four, see Four Philosophy Ensemble.


Examples:


    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, appropriately enough, the four gods of Chaos each represent an emotion and mindset. Khorne the god of anger and bloodshed is choleric. Slaanesh god of passion and lust is sanguine. Tzeentch god of ambition and hope is (ironically) melancholic. Nurgle god of despair and disease is phlegmatic.


Alternative Title(s):

Four Humour Ensemble, Five Temperament Ensemble, Four Humor Ensemble