Tag Team

Derived from a common professional wrestling gimmick match, a tag team is a group of players that take turns fighting, usually one-on-one. A common rule is that, in order to switch, the character must leave the stage and "tag" their partner so they can hop in.

In Video Games, whether or not the characters have separate HP meters is an important consideration — sometimes the HP meters are shared, and other times they are distinct. A Switch Out Move may be present, as might a Combination Attack.

Tag Team Twins is a Sub-Trope. Compare Swiss Army Hero.

Not to be confused with the 1990's rap group who wrote "(Whoomp!) There It Is" and "Pig Power In the House".


Anime and Manga
  • Tag-team matches occur frequently in Kinnikuman, most commonly in the American Tour and Dream Tag Tournament arcs.
  • In Sword Art Online, monsters only aggro on one player at a time. As such, players in parties take turns attacking a monster and "Switch" with teammates to recover, taking turns until the battle is concluded.

Card Games
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, one of the most popular and powerful card archetypes are the "Gladiator Beasts," each of which have the ability to swap themselves out on the field for another one after they've battled that turn. This allows the user of such a deck to have enormous, previously unheard-of flexibility. The ability of the Gladiator Beasts is unanimously called "Tagging Out" by the fans.

  • One of the Cars shorts, "Mater's Tall Tales", involves Mater spinning a yarn about once being a monster-truck wrestler. When McQueen interrupts him, he merely brushes it aside with a "Don't you remember nuthin? We was a tag-team!".
  • Top Secret. A Resistance fighter is battling a Nazi soldier in a tag team match inside a wrestling ring (don't ask). The fighter gets in trouble and tags his comrade outside the ring, who then enters and takes out the Nazi.
  • The Gamers: Done as a parody, because the male player switches between his testosterone guided "sorceress" into the actual attractive female actress for his character.
  • At the end of Toy Story 3, two of the toys are shown tagging out of the little kids' play area.
  • Owen's Velociraptor pack from Jurassic World fight the Indominus Rex head-on while Owen stands a bit away from them, shooting at the behemoth. The second part of the final battle has Blue and Rexy the Tyrannosaurus rex fighting the I. Rex, Blue often jumping from Rexy's back to launch herself at their foe.

Professional Wrestling
  • Every tag team match ever. Professional Wrestling also *averts* this with Tornado tag-team matches, where every participant is legal.
  • Most long running tag teams have their own names, signature double team and finishing moves. The especially lucky ones will have their own theme, in addition to those of the individual members. This is both downplayed and expanded in Mexican wrestling, where tagging is not the only method of switching and entire divisions for "tercias", trios, are common thanks to LLI/UWA.


Video Games
  • Art of Fighting
  • Donkey Kong Country: This is how the player switches between Kongs in all games; two-player co-op specifically assigns one player to each respective Kong.
  • Mortal Kombat Deception does this with Noob-Smoke, who share the same life bar.
  • Every Marvel vs. Capcom game, starting from X-Men vs. Street Fighter all the way up to Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Also Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
  • The Naruto: Clash of Ninja fighting games feature "Two-Man Squad" battles where each side fights in a tag-team manner, with the characters on standby regenerating their lost chakra and (some of) lost HP. Story-based missions which require a particular finishing move means We Cannot Go On Without You if that character becomes KO.
  • In Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the player could switch Mario's partner at any time, but doing so typically required one turn.
  • In regular Pokémon battles you can have a team of up to six pokemon but only one Pokemon is present in battle at a time; switching Pokemon requires a full turn (allowing the opponent a free strike). Later generations introduce a small number of two-on-two and three-on-three battles to mix things up.
    • The fifth generation also introduces "rotational" battles, three-on-three battles where only one pokemon on each team can participate at a time, but switching between them is a free action.
  • Skullgirls, in the same way that it works in Marvel vs. Capcom.
  • Soul Calibur 2 has a team battle mode where you fight with multiple characters, but you only switch when your current fighter is defeated.
  • The Super Smash Brothers Pokemon-Trainer doesn't do all the fighting himself, but can switch between each of his three Pokemon during combat, including Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard (in that order). However, all three of the trainer's Pokemon share the same damage-meter, meaning that switching Pokemon doesn't change the meter's damage-percent.
    • Captain Olimar of the Pikmin fame can utilize his army of pikmin for various attacks, much like in his own game-franchise. His pikmin can still die like in the Pikmin franchise. Thankfully, though, Olimar can just pluck new Pikmin any time the player controlling him pressed B to do so. The last used one will usually go to the back of the "line" so another can be used.
    • While Zelda and Shiek are actually the same character, they can still be switched between during each match to access one of two different ability-sets. Despite their lightweight, Zelda's magic possesses more damage-capacity, while Shiek's physical-attacks are much faster.
  • Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 have this as the basis of the game.
  • Street Fighter X Tekken
  • Viewtiful Joe 2: Joe and Sylvia share the same HP meter, physically tag in and out, and holding down the tag button results in a damaging Combination Attack.
  • In Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle, both characters have separate HP meters, and the round ends when one is depleted, no matter how much HP the partner has left.
  • Dead or Alive, starting from the second game, has a tag mode.
  • Some entries in The King of Fighters series have modes where characters can be swapped in and out of battle.
  • In the Warriors Orochi series, you form a team of three fighters, and while each of them has their own life meter, the game is over if any one of them is defeated by the enemy.
  • "Dramatic Change" mode in the Wii version of Castle of Shikigami III. One player controls two characters who share a life meter but can be switched in and out at any time.
  • Added to the Sengoku Basara series in the Expansion Pack of the third game. Rather than having a bodyguard, the player can bring in another playable character who they can swap with.
  • Mega Man X: Starting from the seventh game, the game allows you to bring 2 characters (of three, later six available ones) into a stage, and they would have separate health bars. Their different abilities lets them tackle different parts of the stages easier. The eighth game also lets them do a Combination Attack that demolishes everything on screen and does heavy damage.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons go to Japan and attend a Sumo wrestling match; Homer gets in a scuffle with one of the sumo wrestlers, then Bart tags in and uses a folding chair on the sumo wrestler.