A group of people formed up into a team, whose members are split along particular roles and possess skills which complement one another and contribute to the entire group in their own unique way. Many of the most common team roles are listed under The Index Team
. The Team may or may not have an actual name of its own.
, the Team has to have teamwork
as its basic modus operandi
; that is, they would seek to tackle any problems that any of their group encounters together
, unless circumstances dictate otherwise (e.g. one of them has been ambushed while away from the others, or the problem involves participating in an official competition of one-on-one matches).
They can sometimes be a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
. They may eventually become a Fellowship Of True Companions
, if they don't start as one in the first place.
The roles typically hit most of the archetypes of the Five-Man Band
but without numerical or gender restrictions. There may be two or more characters holding the same "role", though often in different ways; a team may for example have an Omnidisciplinary Scientist
as the tech-savvy Smart Guy
and The Strategist
as the tactics/manipulation-savvy Smart Guy
. Likewise, you may have two Big Guys, one being a long-range heavy-weapons specialist, and the other being a Big Freaking Sword
-wielding close-quarters bruiser; or they're a Battle Couple
duo, with the female half
being possibly a case of Cute Bruiser
and/or Muscles Are Meaningless
(unless Amazonian Beauty
is in play), and their respective fighting styles follow some sort of a "masculine vs. feminine" contrast (and not necessarily with the "right" sex
This is the Super Trope
to Power Trio
, Five-Man Band
, Five-Bad Band
and The Magnificent Seven Samurai
. If it's a military group, it's either The Squad
or a Command Roster
. If enough members are legitimately Badass
, it may also be a Badass Crew
. They can also be a Dream Team
. Compare and contrast Band of Brothers
and True Companions
. See also Cast Calculus
for typical breakdowns.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- The Z Fighters / The Earth's Special Forces of Dragon Ball - the team that kept on growing. Almost all of them started out as enemies and settled into a different role.
- The Hero / The Leader - Goku, he techinically founded the team when he partnered with Picollo to fight Raditz. The others look to him for leadership, not only because he's almost always the strongest and has the best battle instincts, but because he's a genuinely lovable guy who they trust will want to do the right thing.
- The Lancer / Number Two - Piccolo, co founded the group with Goku and stepped up as The Leader whenever Goku was dead/hospitalized/traveling the universe. Initially threatening where Goku was approachable he became wise where Goku was simpleminded, especially after fusing with Kami. When he falls behind in power he still gives counsel.
- The Team Benefactor / The Smart Guy (Gadgeteer Genius variety) / The Chick - Bulma, the first and most recurring female character and Ms. Fanservice. As the head of Capsule Corp she not only has enough money to fund the team, but she's also an inventor and scientist who can build armor, time machines, and spaceships with training rooms in them.
- Sidekick / Cowardly Lion - Krillin, plays second banana to Goku, Piccolo, Bulma and even Vegeta on occasion. While he's not that useful in a fight, he's never far from the action, and he'll faithfully back up whoever is currently holding down the fort.
- The first Tagalong Kid / The Heart / The Smart Guy (Badass Bookworm variety) - Gohan, Goku's son is a prodigy as a fighter, but also homeschooled by Chi Chi to be incredibly well read for his age. His kindness melts the heart of Piccolo.
- Lovable Rogue: Yamcha, moreso in Dragonball when he was the Desert Bandit. In Z, he devolves into The Generic Guy when he stops fighting.
- The Big Guy: Tien, evolving from Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy to Gentle Giant but he keeps fighting even after getting outclassed by robots and aliens.
- Sidekick to Tien: Chiaotzu, with little character development or screentime but always by Tien's side. The first to officially retire from fighting.
- Lazy Bum - Yajirobe, rarely shows up, but when he does its to complain on the sidelines. He also delivers Senzu beans.
- The Rival / Token Evil Teammate - Vegeta, Goku's cunning and ruthless Evil Counterpart. It takes several years for the team to warm up to him being around, but when he finally mellows out he becomes Co-Lancer as Goku's only equal on the battlefield.
- The Quiet One / Shell-Shocked Veteran - Future Trunks, polite, humble and extremely paranoid about evil threats.
- The second and third Tagalong Kid / The Dividual - Goten and Trunks, young kids who antics are mostly cute, innocent, and harmless. They become Bratty Half-Pint Gotenks when they Fusion Dance, who's an arrogant showboat.
- The Stoic - Android 18, joins late, rarely joins the fight, and even more rarely speaks. When she does its usually snark.
- Shorttank - Videl, a tomboyish go-getter that wanted to be on the front lines. Unfortunately she joins so late as a regular human that she's irrelevant.
- The Face / The Team Normal - Mr. Satan,the only one the public trusts, but he can't use ki at all. Having a celebrity on the team comes with advantages however.
- Big Fun / The Berserker - Mr. Buu, usually docile, always hungry, but extremely powerful and dangerous when angered.
- The last Tagalong Kid / Genki Girl - Pan, just a baby but has the same zest for fighting as a full blooded Saiyan, unlike the other hybrids.
- The Riot Force 6 of the TSAB from the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S:
- Mahou Sensei Negima! starts it off in the Kyoto Arc by combining the original Battle Couple-and-mentor of Negi (The Leader), Asuna (The Lancer) and Chamo (The Mentor) with Setsuna (The Big Gal) and Nodoka (The Smart Gal). The group evolves over the Mahora Festival to include several others. By the time the Magic World Arc begins, the Team has reached over 10 people in membership.
- In Soul Eater, there is a complicated example. Maka's Resonance Link team consists of herself (The Hero and The Leader), Black Star (The Big Guy), and Death the Kid (Sixth Ranger, maybe with a bit of The Smart Guy as well). However, there are also their weapons, that all have their own roles. Soul is Maka's scythe, and is The Lancer. Tsubaki is Black Star's sword, and is The Heart. Liz and Patty are Kid's guns, and are The Chick and the Cute and Psycho one, respectively.
- The Sasuke Retrieval Team in Naruto truly fits the Rag Tag Bunch of Misfits type; it was cobbled together from four different three man teams to make one five man team. Shikamaru led the team because he was the only Chunin and The Strategist and brought along four people with unique fighting styles: Choji's meat tank, Kiba's combos with Akamaru, Neji's Gentle Fist and Naruto's shadow clones. The Plan was to work as a team but the Sound Four said You Shall Not Pass one by one until they were all fighting alone.
- BoboboboBobobo: Bo-bobo's gang grows as the series goes on until it composes the following members.
- Girls und Panzer: Tankery teams are a double layered version. Each school has a group of tanks that work together on the field and each tank requires five people (commander, radio operator, driver, gunner, and loader) to operate at maximum effectiveness.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team:
- Highschool of the Dead: this is how Takashi's group is built to take on the raging Zombie Apocalypse.
- The Leader: Takashi Komuro, a Jack of All Stats with great leadership skills to boot.
- The Lancer: Rei Miyamoto, Takashi's childhood friend and main love interest.
- The Big Girl: Saeko Busujima, by far the best fighter in the group, and is also Takashi's secondary love interest.
- The Smart Girl: Saya Takagi, the most intelligent of the group, although that is also what causes her to be quite arrogant at times.
- Friendly Sniper: Kohta Hirano, an excellent sniper and gun enthusiast, takes this role due to his chubby appearance which might hinder him in close combat.
- The Medic: Shizuka Marikawa, the school medic, who takes this role... At least, when not driving.
- Tagalong Kid: Alice/Arisu Maresato, although she can't do much because of her incredibly young age.
- Haruhi Suzumiya: The SOS Brigade. Interestingly, the Brigade actually counts twice: The roles Haruhi thinks everyone plays, and their real roles. The musical part of the trope is played with in the drama CD, Sound Around, when Haruhi makes the Brigade into a band and gives them the proper (from her point of view) instruments, though Yuki and Kyon's guitars are switched.
- Haruhi's Version:
- The Leader: Haruhi calls herself the brigade 'super commander' and has a unstoppable Type III personality.
- The Lancer: Itsuki is Haruhi's offical Number Two/Yes-Man and is far calmer than her.
- The Big Guy: Kyon is assigned all the miscellaneous heavy lifting and grunt work.
- The Smart Guy: Yuki wears glasses and reads books all the time.
- The Chick: Mikuru is dragged into the brigade to be the 'moe mascot' because she's "Cute, tiny and exceptionally well endowed".
- Sixth Ranger: Tsuruya isn't officially in the Brigade, but still frequently involved.
- Real Version:
- The Lancer: Haruhi to Kyon, because the others actually put Kyon's orders above hers. She also contrasts his snarking 'do not care' attitude with her boundless energy.
- The Smart Guy: Itsuki is the go-to guy for explanations (even if that explanation is just "explain Yuki's explanation") and spends most of his time contemplating or scheming.
- The Leader: Kyon is snarky and apathetic, but when things get out of hand he takes control to guide everything back on track. Even Haruhi listens to him on occasion.
- The Big Guy: Yuki is a super-human alien bio-robot who can alter reality, so she tends to be a catch-all solution to most problems. Not to mention she's Nigh Invulnerable with Super Strength.
- The Chick: Mikuru is still The Chick. Itsuki theorizes she was chosen for her mission specifically to appeal to Kyon's protectiveness, which would also make the standard The Hero / The Chick romance an Invoked Trope.
- Sixth Ranger: Tsuruya doesn't count as Sixth Ranger quite as much as Haruhi thinks (since the main Brigade keeps her out of the supernatural stuff), but she still has some elements. Not to mention that she might be a humanoid interface like Yuki, though there's not enough evidence to be sure.
- Bakusou Kyoudai Lets And Go!! WGP has this as the main theme: five Mini 4WD racers build up a team to go heads-to-heads with other teams in an international competition.
Film - Live-Action
- The Fellowship of the Ring in The Lord of the Rings, which was formed for the purpose of destroying the One Ring by going into the deepest parts of Mordor and casting it into the volcanic fires of Mount Doom, where it was originally forged.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: With two Big Guys and at least two if not three foils in contention for The Lancer.
- Inception: Extractions have to be done by a team because there are different roles involved.
- The Extractor: Dom leads the operation and does the talking. He is the one pulling out information. In this case, the one planting it. The Hero of the story.
- The Point Man: Arthur is in charge of doing the research and he's smart enough to figure out how to simulate falling in zero gravity. Dom's longtime partner and foil. The Lancer.
- The Architect: Ariadne was recruited to construct the dreamworld that The Team would use. A newcomer to the extraction business, and an emotional sounding board for Dom's personal problems. The Chick.
- The Chemist: Yusuf mixes the phlebotium that allows The Team to reach the third level. The One True Smart Guy by way of Hollywood Science and never getting to shine in a fight scene.
- The Forger: Eames has the ability to copy someone's appearance in a dream world. He also has a grenade launcher.
- The Tourist: Saito; yes even he counts because he's a CEO that twisted Cobb's arm into doing this in the first place. The Sixth Ranger, who under normal circumstances wouldn't be there, but he is and plays a significant role.
- Mystery Men: Part of the plot is building a team that can infiltrate Casanova's mansion and rescue Captain Amazing. They hold try-outs and everything.
- The Big Guy: The Mystery Men have a number of heavy hitters
- Spleen's gas attack is 'silent but deadly'.
- Dr.Heller has an arsenal of non-lethal weaponry
- Bowler's bowling ball is like a guided missle and returns when she throws it.
- When Mr.Furious is truly angry, he's a good fighter.
- The Face and The Heart: Invisible Boy's biggest contribution to the team is his networking and idealism. "I know lots of super heroes."
- The Leader — The Shoveler gives the Rousing Speech. Interestingly, when he says "Leadership, it's what we've been missing." He was looking at Mr.Furious as if disapointed that he didn't live up to this role.
- The Smart Guy—
- The Blue Raja with his vast array of specialized forks and well-researched back story.
- Dr. Heller made their gear and their transport.
- Mentor Archetype — The Sphinx trained them all.
- Log Horizon: Teamwork is crucial in Elder Tales. Shiroe, a enchanter, has abilites that weaken enemies and support allies but even at his high level his attack power is weak. Naotsugu is a guardian and so his abilities are based on defending allies. Both of them can only turly shine when they work in a team.
- A Mage's Power: Dragon's Lair mercenary teams are composed of four members: A tank fighter to draw attention, a battle mage for artilery support, a healer for buffs and health, and a Magic Knight as a back up for all roles.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The First Evil assembles one (consisting of characters from its Wishverse-inspired "pet" universe) in the game Chaos Bleeds. Members include Adam, Kakistos, Ripper (Evil Giles), Anyanka and Vampire Tara.
- Spartacus Series
- In The Walking Dead
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- The women had a dynamic until season 3
- Leverage, being a caper series, naturally has the main characters as a team with well-defined roles, although, as seasons progress, many try their hand in different roles.
- Nate Ford is The Leader. He's the one who typically plans out and coordinates the week's caper. He's also frequently plays a role in convincing the mark.
- Sophie Devereaux is The Chick and Con Artist. She's usually at the front, working the mark.
- Eliot Spencer is The Big Guy. No equal to him in battle... or in the kitchen.
- Parker is the Classy Cat-Burglar. Surprisingly, despite her lack of social skills, she is occasionally sent into to work the mark and actually does well (when she's not stabbing a guy with a fork for touching her).
- Alec Hardison is The Smart Guy, providing all the team's equipment, hacking, and doing the research. He also absolutely loves to act the part of a Con Man (he can also paint and do a mean violin solo).
- Dexter's Miami Metro Homicide, until the last seasons of the show.
- The Leader is, surprisingly, not Da Chief. It's Lt. Maria LaGuerta. Yes, she's incredibly manipulative, but we can all agree that the department would fall apart without her.
- Debra is a downplayed of The Lancer, having the 'opposite of the leader' part but not the 'second in command' part. In fact, Maria hates her, but she's smart and has excellent detective skills, so that's why she's still around, and she's still an incredibly important team member.
- Angel Batista is both The Big Guy and a straight Lancer.
- Our title character, Dexter Morgan, is a Token Evil Teammate as well as one of the two Smart Guys. Naturally, he doesn't work with them on his "Code of Harry" stuff but he's a good co-worker otherwise.
- Vince Masuka is our resident Butt Monkey, as well as our other Smart Guy.
- The book In Search Of Excellence tells how some companies, such as W. L. Gore, General Electric and 3M, often don't have regular assignments for some functions or projects. Instead, either people volunteer to be on a team, and the team members decide if they want to admit the person, or some projects are done by management selecting the necessary members, a manager, then creating an ad hoc team for the project, such as development of a new product, then once the project is finished,the team is dissolved and its members go on to other teams.
- Every one of the Suikoden games has it. 100% Completion requires having 108 characters on your team, a significant number of which are fighters, and using all their abilities to succeed in certain areas. Go ahead and try to divide them all up into classic character rolls.
- Wild ARMs 3: There's four of them and they travel together across the wasteland. The Chick is also The Leader, The Lancer is the actual emotional center, that The Big Guy is the best mage in the party with the worst melee attacks, and The Smart Guy is a Mighty Glacier with a sniper rifle. It gets to where one suspects the party's design is an intentional instance of playing with the usual personality-to-party-role stereotypes in your average RPG.
- World of Warcraft: The Horde is an organization composed of races that fufill different roles for the sake of The Horde's goals. Since Vol'jin is the new Warchief, it is unclear if Trolls and Orcs will switch roles, with Trolls being The Leader and Orcs being The Lancer. Time will tell.
- Orcs are The Leader.
- Trolls are The Lancer. Frequently The Sneaky Guy, along with the Forsaken.
- Tauren are often The Big Guy, abeit of a Gentle Giant variant. Sometime take the Big Brother Mentor role.
- The Forsaken, considering their aptitude for science and cunning, would be The Smart Guy. Also the Token Evil Teammate and The Sneaky Guy.
- The Blood Elves, ironically, could play The Chick. They could also play The Smart Guy considering their aptitude for advanced magic.
- Goblins are The Team Benefactor, since they supply a majority of the Horde's technology and weapon. They could also be The Smart Guy, as they are one of the most technologically advanced races in Warcraft, being pretty skilled in alchemy, engineering and science in general.
- The Huojin Pandaren are The Sixth Ranger.
- Team Fortress 2. It's right there in the title—teams that do not cooperate suffer crushing, embarrassing defeats against teams that actually use teamwork. RED and BLU teams are identical in composition, broken down into three sub-teams (offense, defense, and support) of three members each. The nine classes act as The Squad and started as parodies of classic team compositions and character archetypes, but have become more nuanced by expanded game content and supplemental material. Their sheer diversity, colorfulness, and parodic nature makes it hard to pin down a precise team breakdown.
- The Order of the Stick was formed by Roy to hunt down and kill a lich. It is a group of six adventurers and eventually two Team Pets. Some of the roles are distributed among several characters, notably by having two or three major damage-dealers and two people capable of outsmarting the leader. Whether or not they work well together is...a crapshot.
- RWBY: Beacon Academy expects its students to form four-man teams on their first day at the academy. The teams consist of two sets of pairs created by making eye contact with the first student encountered in a Grim-filled forest. The pairs are then put together on the basis of which sets of pairs collect the same relics at the end of their task. The leader of each team, as well as the team's name, is chosen by the headmaster on the basis of each student's performance during the task, with the team name being created from the first letter of each member's name (starting with the team leader). The teams are expected to stay together for the full four years of the course, work together, fight together, attend classes together and even share the same dorm room.
- Team RWBY (pronounced "Ruby") consists of Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, Yang Xiao Long. The team was formed from choosing the white knights.
- Team JNPR (pronounced "Juniper") consists of Jaune Arc, Nora Valkyrie, Pyrrha Nikos, Lie Ren. The team was formed from choosing the white rooks.
- Team CRDL (pronounced "Cardinal") consists of Cardin Winchester, Russel Thrush, Dove Bronzewing, Sky Lark. The team was formed from choosing the black bishops.
- By Season 3 / the third novel / the eighth comic, the Noob guild has six permanent members.
- Arthéon is The Leader. Moves to Sparadrap in Season 5.
- Omega Zell is The Lancer to Arthéon. Ivy seems to naturally slip in the role in Season 5, both as the only other member consistently showing up and having a personality complementary to Sparadrap's.
- The Big Guy (and usually tank) role has Arthéon, Nazetrîme during her brief tenure, then Fantöm gets hired due to his capacity to fill the role (according to the webseries and novels) despite the opportunity to show it never coming up afterwards. Sparadrap's warrior (Spärädräp) and Couette's earth build seem to be taking turns at the role in Season 5.
- The Smart Guy (and usually the one who nukes), is shared by Gaea (mostly self-serving planning), Ivy (Gadgeteer Genius), Arthéon due to his background knowledge and Fantöm on select occasions. Only Ivy remains in Season 5 and Gaea gets replaced by her archer reroll.
- The Heart / The Chick role is shared by Sparadrap and Couette, who are also both (sort of) The Medic. This is the only position that remains unchanged in Season 5.
- The Sixth Ranger is naturally Golgotha (who's technically more of a Honorary True Companion), the closest thing the team has to a second permanent big guy. Couette, qualifies also with her sporadic presence and Ystos is somewhere between this and Big Brother Mentor.
- The Justice Guild main roster qualifies for the trope too:
- Each animated adaption of My Little Pony has their own groups (except the first animated specials/TV series.)
- My Little Pony Tales: Starlight, Sweetheart, Melody, Bright Eyes, Patch, Clover, and Bon Bon
- G3/3.5: Pinkie Pie, Scootaloo, Toola-Roola, Rainbow Dash, Sweetie Belle, Cheerilee, and Melody
- G4 (Friendship is Magic): Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Applejack, and Fluttershy.