"All you guys can do this awesome bending stuff, like putting out forest fires, and flying around, and... making other stuff fly around. I can't fly around, ok? ... I'm just the guy in the group who's regular."
In a nutshell, any team of superpowered people will often have members without powers.
So when the majority of the members are a Flying Brick
, have mystical skills, wear Powered Armor
, wear a Ring of Power
, have a Charles Atlas Superpower
, or even heart
, The Team Normal
has nothing. Okay, they can be really smart and have gadgets, but nothing that could confuse them for superpowered people (at least not unless that's what they want you to think).
These Sister Tropes
are the most common ways this character is part of a team (just not the only ways):
- The Badass Normal: This character doesn't have to be part of a team, but when he/she is, being Badass is often the best way to keep up.
- The opposite is Brought Down to Normal, when a character with powers loses their powers (and stays a member of the team.)
- The Load: The team has a Tagalong Kid, just as a way to appeal to the kids watching (when those kids are watching for the superheroes in the first place). This character often becomes The Scrappy.
- Mission Control: Once in a while this character can have powers, but they are just as often watching things back at the base where it's safe when they don't, if not more often.
- The Face: If the team lives in Dysfunction Junction, then exceptional social skills are a superpower.
- An Unfazed Everyman: If the character joins a superpowered team instead of just hanging out with people in a wacky world.
- Muggle Born of Mages: The Team Normal may become bitter from being a Muggle among the superpowered.
Again, in order to count for this trope, a character has to be part of a team, and the majority of the team has to have some kind of powers.
Compare Team Pet
, Team Mom
, Team Dad
, What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?
(when the character has powers on the team, just the weakest). Often subject to afterthought status.
Contrast Story Breaker Team Up
, when a pair of heroes has one who can't really contribute.
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Anime and Manga
- Gourry in Slayers, save for his magic light sword, but it seems to be rarely useful enough to count as a superpower.
- Togusa in the Ghost in the Shell series has none of the cybernetic limb upgrades his other Section 9 teammates have. The Major says that he's on the team because they needed someone with a "normal person's perspective."
- He is also Badass Normal (getting shot multiple times and still carries on) and Crazy-Prepared (his secret arsenals in "Drive Space Part 1").
- Kyon from Haruhi Suzumiya. That is unless some hints and Wild Mass Guessing is correct.
- Boss and his gang -Nuke and Mucha- were Plucky Comic Relief characters and Team Normal from Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger. They had no special abilites and they were not the offspring of some scientist, and as the heroes had cool Humongous Mechas Made of Indestructium and loaded with dozens of awesome weapons (Rocket Punch, Chest Blaster, Eye Beam, Torpedo Tits, BFS, Armed Legs...) got periodical upgrades, they controlled a Humongous Mecha made with garbage, had no weapons, was quite fragile and was easily riped apart in every fight.
- Huang in Darker Than Black is The Handler and resident Badass Normal of a team that otherwise consists of a superpowered ninja, a clairvoyant Extreme Doormat, and a talking cat.
- Rua in Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds is this to the majority of the cast. While Yuusei, Jack, Crow, Aki, and even his twin sister Ruka are all backed by the Crimson Dragon's powers, he tends to be the most normal member of the group in the Tagalong Kid variety. Eventually subverted when he gets a Signer mark. Bruno would count, but Being Dark Glass - a rider who's got the ability to pull off the ultimate Synchro Summon tends to disqualify him from that role. Crow was the Badass Normal until Season 2's finale, where he got upgraded to Signer status.
- Futaba in There, Beyond the Beyond possesses neither the grandiose magic powers or the homicidal insanity that make his groupmates special; he's just a kid Trapped in Another World.
- "I'm the only normal person in this freakshow!" -Maes Hughes, Fullmetal Alchemist
- Sango from Inuyasha is the only one in the team that doesn't have either demonic or spiritual powers.
- Zenkichi Hitoyoshi was The Team Normal of the Student Council in Medaka Box until Ajimu turns him into an Empowered Badass Normal by giving him Parasite Eyes. Every other member is either a "Special" (Kikaijima, Akune), a "Plus" Abnormal (Medaka herself), or a "Minus" Abnormal (Kumagawa). In chapter 116 it turns out that Zenkichi's normality was apparently the only thing about him that really interested Medaka, which leads to a rift in their relationship after the aforementioned loss of his normality and the induction of five Normal girls into the Council, also introduced by Ajimu.
- Usopp and Nami are this in One Piece, being the only characters in the crew without Devil Fruit powers or impossible physical abilities. It actually causes some self-worth issues for Usopp at one point, though he eventually gets over it.
- Batman is not the only normal in the Justice League. He's just the most prominent.
- Green Arrow is the second most prominent. The question of who the third most prominent is is a matter of dispute but would probably be either the Ted Kord version of Blue Beetle.
- The Hawkpersons have been through several incarnations (pun partially intended), but some versions of Carter and/or Sheila Hall have been more or less of the Badass Normal variety who just happen to have some cool gadgets ... like the wing harnesses they take their name from.
- In X-Men, Storm for a time.
- Several in B.P.R.D. and Hellboy comics, most notably Kate Corrigan.
- ElfQuest has quite a few, but Kahvi is the trope's poster girl. When she joins the main tribe she seemingly isn't even capable of telepathy. She kicks ass regardless. Later on, during the Shards war, the two troll characters very much fit this trope.
- Alex and Chase from Runaways - the latter had weapons stolen from his parents, but he lost those near the end of the first run, around the time Alex was revealed to be The Mole and Killed Off for Real. Gert technically doesn't have any powers, but a telephathic link with a genetically-engineered dinosaur mitigates this somewhat. She passes this link to Chase when she dies.
- The Teen Titans core line-up, in most of their (squillions of) rosters, is built around Robin, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl, plus a variety of other characters who almost all have some flavour of superpower. Robin is The Team Normal (Badass Normal variety), although he's sometimes joined by a Speedy, mirroring the Batman and Green Arrow roles in the Justice League.
- Dick Grayson was the Robin for the original Teen Titans and all 20th century, as well as the 80s New Teen Titans. (He does shift identity to Nightwing somewhere in there.) Roy Harper was Speedy on and off, depending on how addicted to heroin he was at the time.
- Tim Drake was the Robin for the 2003 Teen Titans revival, and was joined briefly by Mia Dearden as Speedy. (He was also The Team Normal for Young Justice, which had a very similar core lineup to the 2003 Teen Titans, before and after Cissie King-Jones' tenure as Arrowette.)
- After Tim quits, the team is without a Badass Normal for awhile until Damian, the latest Robin, joins the Teen Titans - on the advice of his mentor and founding TT member, Dick Grayson.
- A Posse Ad Esse makes this an Invoked Trope in the form of Dub. While he initially appeared to not have superpowers, he discovers in Chapter 2 that he can pause time for thirty seconds with his stopwatch. Since the one who established who had what on the power scale, and the recently established villain, is not there for this discovery, Dolly decides that this can be utilized as a secret weapon: Dub appearing to be the Team Normal and using his power covertly to get better attack angles and escape routes.
- Myers, in the Hellboy films. And then he gets transferred to Antarctica in the second movie!
- The Avengers have two: Black Widow and Hawkeye. Mostly Black Widow, as Hawkeye at least has Improbable Aiming Skills and Trick Arrows. Though, Black Widow does have minor super soldier abilities in the main Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe version, which the film draws on, is explicitly super powered, and Natasha does do some pretty impossible stunts and can stay on track with Captain America, so she may have some unmentioned skills.
- On the other hand, Hawkeye is a soldier, Black Widow is a spy and assassin. She's still extremely capable, but her skillset is aimed less towards straight-up combat and more towards infiltration. Which makes her even more awesome.
Live Action TV
- Eureka has Sheriff Jack Carter, the only person of average intelligence in a small town full of supergeniuses.
- Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was so obvious that even Cordelia pointed it out by comparing him with Jimmy Olsen.
- Matt from The Vampire Diaries
- Noah Bennet from Heroes.
- This is actually a rule at his company, Primatech, one normal partner and one metahuman partner per team. Naturally, this pretty much requires them to be Badass Normal.
- In the second season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, each of the Thunderzords has a special ability. The Dragon could transform and fight totally alone, the Unicorn could throw boulders, the Griffin could throw thunderbolts, and the Firebird could create whirlwinds. The Lion couldn't do anything other than combine with the rest of the bunch. In Dairanger, the Lion could create illusions, but since they didn't use the mythology aspect of the series, it was left as nothing but moving armor.
- The MC Bat Commander from The Aquabats! Super Show!.
- Shingo Yabuki from The King of Fighters is the only fighter on Team Kusanagi without any sort of special powers.
- Jeff has no psychic powers, but has a genius's IQ and MacGyvering skills to compensate. Also, he's the only one who can wield fireworks as weapons.
- Golden Sun games usually have Cool Old Guy Kraden following the superpowered teen heroes around through dungeons and disasters, providing exposition. By Dark Dawn, he's also something of a celebrity who can get the kids meetings with local leaders just by being Kraden.
- In Sonny 2, Roald is the only party member who isn't a superpowered zombie, but since he's still a heavily-equipped Badass Normal he holds his own just fine.
- Stryker is the only Mortal Kombat hero with no special powers whatsoever. He compensates with lots and lots of police ordinance.
- Within the ATX Team from Super Robot Wars Original Generation, team leader Kyosuke Nanbu is this. Similarly, while the rest of the SRX Team have Psychic Powers, Raidise F. Branstein in Super Robot Wars Alpha does not. In both cases, Kyosuke and Raidiese double as Badass Normal.
- In Sluggy Freelance Torg gets thrust into this role whenever the series does a Harry Potter parody and sends him off to the Hogglerynth school of magic. There he's surrounded by witches and wizards who can reshape reality with a few latin words and a flick of their wands. His power? He's a full-grown, adult man surrounded by prepubescent children. Turns out that counts for a lot.
- In Magellan, Kaycee usually falls into this role, even if, as primary character, she sometimes has to go solo as a Badass Normal..
- Bugs of Team Kimba, their inventor who has no physical powers. She sits on the sidelines and dates one of the members, although she sometimes get frustrated with the way stuff always comes up.
- Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog in the 1973/74 season. In the first episode "The Power Pirate" Marvin was able to levitate, which indicated he had burgeoning metahuman powers. This was never followed up in subsequent episodes, and at the end of the season they were all Put on a Bus.
- Batman and Robin.
- Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Later, Suki joins the team as another Badass Normal.
- Asami Sato fills the role in The Legend of Korra.
- Robin from Teen Titans, who despite being the only member of the team with no powers is its leader. Of course, having been trained in hand-to-hand combat and detective work by Batman himself may have had something to do with that...
- Noah from Generator Rex is the only character of the five man band who doesn't have superpowers, a P.H.D, or skill and training. Fortunately, this character avoids being The Load (except for that one time) by steering clear of the action.
- Eric Normal from Super Normal.
- In Young Justice both Artemis and Robin have no trouble keeping up with the Martian Manhunter's niece, Aquaman's apprentice, Kid Flash and a clone of Superman. Speedy/Red Arrow could have been The Archer, but he got fed up with the Sidekick Glass Ceiling as he saw it. This concept was heavily deconstructed in "Homefront" through Artemis, whose insecurities are hindering her ability to fight the villains, who took out her super powered team mates.