open/close all folders
- In addition to Lelouch/Zero himself, Britannian TV producer Diethard Ried from Code Geass fits this trope for The Black Knights, the Japanese rebels/terrorists that are trying to overthrow Britannia. Instead of believing in their cause, Diethard is a Wild Card who joins because he worships Zero and he finds amusement in them.
- Major Miles from Fullmetal Alchemist is part Ishvalan and yet chose to join the military responsible for the genocide of his people.
- Kira from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED was treated as one - being a coordinator piloting a Gundam on an EAF vessel. At least, for as long as the series focused on the Archangel's journey to Earth (and then Alaska).
- In the X Astray Manga, his "brother" Canard was this as well - a coordinator serving with Eurasia (a member of the Earth Alliance.)
- Hillman's Air Fighters Comics (1941-48) featured two, reformed villainess Valkyrie (Liselotte von Schellendorf) and her Air Maidens in the Airboy feature (she would reappear in later incarnations of that franchise) and The Heap, a proto-Swamp Thing in Skywolf. The Heap was World War 1 German flying ace, Baron Emmelmann, merged with swamp vegetation.
- Pvt. Eric Koenig in Sgt. Fury's Howling Commandos was a defector from the Nazi military.
- Jim Morita as well.
- Dino Manelli.
- Although Sgt. Fury was not created until the 1960s, when West Germany, Japan and Italy were safely allies of the United States.
- Rampart in Chris Claremont's Genął (Arab Muslim during the War on Terror). Noble gesture, but unfortunately a bit Captain Ethnic; the guy said "Oh Allah!" so many times you'd think it was his Catch Phrase.
- Golden Girl in The Invaders (Japanese during World War II—note that she's a Retcon hero; real World War II comic books didn't do this).
- Tsunami in All-Star Squadron (Japanese during World War II; likewise).
- Colossus in X-Men (Russian during the Cold War).
- Dust in New X-Men (Afghan Muslim during the War on Terror).
- The Black Widow in The Avengers was a hero, despite being a Russian spy. She started out as a villain, before embracing capitalism.
- Similar stories for Darkstar of the Champions and Red Guardian of the Defenders during the 1970s. This Red Guardian costume-wise modeled herself on the Black Widow's late husband.
- Red Star from the 1960s Teen Titans comics, although he was not a regular character.
- Averted during the time when he WAS a regular (1991-1994), as the USSR ceased to exist around the time.
- Rocket Red #7 in Justice League International. It turned out he was The Mole... for invading aliens, not Russia. His replacement, Rocket Red #4, played the trope straight.
- Contessa DeFontaine for S.H.I.E.L.D.. At least for a while...
- In Before Watchmen: Minutemen, the WWII-era Minutemen briefly included Bluecoat and Scout, a Japanese-American father-son duo. Unfortunately for them, their heroic deeds (preventing a terrorist attack on American soil) ended up getting expunged from public record because the government didn't want anyone to find out how close New York had come to being irradiated.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- The 1994 action-comedy True Lies had a "good" Arab working with the government agents who are trying to stop a band of Arab terrorists. This didn't stop the movie from being widely tarred as anti-Arab.
- In The Siege, Tony Shaloub's character is this as an Arab-American FBI agent. This is of course a central conflict to the movie as racism against Arab-Americans increases after several terrorist attacks, with all of the Arab-Americans in New York City later being detained without charge, including his son, prompting his angry (temporary) resignation from the Bureau.
- General Gogol from several James Bond films — he was a Russian General, but was usually an ally to Bond. Even as the Greater Scope Villain in For Your Eyes Only he was a Friendly Enemy at worst, and is back to ally in the following movies.
- Hammer Films' Space Western Moon Zero Two had an American pilot hero with a Russian engineer sidekick (and a British everything else, but that's another trope entirely) as part of its philosophy that space exploration would dissolve all the old Earth prejudices.
100% Hubbard: Your engineer... what nationality is he?Captain Kemp: He's a foreigner.Hubbard: That's not quite what I meant...Kemp: We're all foreigners up here.
- The remake of Red Dawn (2012), in which the North Koreans are the enemy, had an Asian-American Marine played by Kenneth Choi (himself of Korean ancestry) working with Colonel Tanner.
- Captain America: The First Avenger:
- One of the Howling Commandos is Jim Morita, a Japanese-American man played, again, by Kenneth Choi. When another soldier comments on his race, Morita indignantly says "I'm from Fresno, Ace". And indeed, there were a number of Japanese-Americans soldiers in World War 2.
- Earlier, the scientist who creates the super serum that gives Captain America his strength is a German defector portrayed very sympathetically. When Steve asks where he's from he replies with his American street address, then the place in Germany. He also comments that the first country that the Nazis conquered was Germany, though politically rather than militarily, due to the conditions after WWI.
- Aces Iron Eagle III has an old British World War II pilot working alongside old World War II pilots...who are German and Japanese.
- Inglourious Basterds has Hugo Stiglitz, the only non-Jewish German in a Nazi-killing unit (Aldo Rayne is of course not Jewish, but he isn't German, either). In Stiglitz's case, it's unclear as to why he kills Nazis, aside from a flashback of him being flogged.
- The Boondock Saints: The main villain is the Mafia; one of the heroes is Italian, and a Mafia member himself who joins a vigilante crusade to wipe his bosses out.
- The Untouchables is about prohibition agents fighting Italian mobsters run by Al Capone. One of the agents, George Stone (birth name Giuseppe Petri), is also Italian. This leads to bigotry from Irish-American cop Jim Malone (Sean Connery) who calls him a "thieving wop" upon discovering that he is Italian. Interestingly enough, Stone is played by Andy Garcia who is actually Cuban, not Italian, but is famous for playing Italian characters.
- There's a good Reptoid helping the good guys defeat the evil Reptoids in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension .
- The action B-Movie Desert Thunder shows a team of outcast former American soldiers and an Iraqi defector going into a mission in Iraq to destroy a nuclear bomb.
- Fred "Ogre" Palowakski becomes this for the Nerds in Revenge of the Nerds II Nerds in Paradise after he defects The Jocks when he protests for them abandoning the Nerds in a desert island. He even joins the Lambda-Lambda-Lambda fraternity and appears as a “nerd” in the following movies.
- Zed Mc Glunk was the main villain in the second Police Academy film, yet he joins the police force in the third; yes, the leader of a violent gang is part of a police team.
- Herald Alberich of Karse in Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series was the Token Enemy Minority Herald, until he got two entire books as the protagonist and stopped being just a token. Then there're three other books (published earlier, taking place chronologically later) with a Karsite priest as one of the protagonists. As of the chronologically latest books in the series, Karse is now allied to Valdemar, but for centuries they were very bitter enemies fighting a perpetual war.
- Robert A. Heinlein's story Sixth Column was a reworking of a John W. Campbell story where the Yellow Peril invades America. Heinlein wrote that he had to remove racist elements from the original story, and the final story has a Japanese-American as one of the good guys. Assuming this was an addition by Heinlein (which seems likely), it may be unique as an example of the trope used during World War II.
- The trope is Invoked by Jacobson in Jo Walton's Half a Crown, who is prominently the only Jewish member of The Watch, a sinister State Sec organization that is more-or-less a British gestapo. The remaining British Jewish population perceive him as a Collaborator Figurehead, not knowing Jacobson is running a Zero-Approval Gambit and is using his resources within The Watch to help run a large-scale Underground Railroad.
- Song at Dawn: Al-hisba is a Muslim in France during the time of the Crusades. There is much culture clash.
- Most of Alatriste's enemies are aristocrats, but he is also friends with an aristocrat, the Count of Guadalmedina. In Corsairs of the Levant, Alatriste joins the Spanish galleys fighting the Muslims in the Mediterranean and is accompanied by Gurriato, a Muslim auxilliary from Wahran (now in Algeria, part of the Spanish Empire at the time of the novels).
- If you consider the Slytherins to be basically the bad guys in the Harry Potter universe (aside Death Eaters that are mostly Slytherins) then there are at least two Slytherins helping the heroes in their war against Voldemort, Slughorn and Snape. Also at the end of book seven the Malfoys do a discrete defection.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer a show about, well, a vampire slayer and her friends, always has a vampire among the main or recurring cast collaborating in the endeavors: Angel in seasons 1-3, and Spike in seasons 4-7.
- Grimm: Among the main cast both Renard and Adalind belong to an enemy race; the Hexenbiest/Zaucherbiest.
- Although for very traditional Grimms and Wesens alike even Monroe and Rosalee (a Blutbat and a Fuchsbau, two Wesen that are shown to be able to live peacefully among humans) are a case of enemies working with a Grimm (which in that case makes Nick the enemy minority as a Grimm working with a team mostly made of Wesens).
- Star Trek:
- Chekov on Star Trek: The Original Series (Russian during the Cold War). The producers spread a fake rumor that Pravda complained about the absence of a Russian on the show. Although you'll notice that the multi-ethnic cast is subordinate to the guy from Montreal.
- Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation is a fantastic variant of the same, as a member of what was the main Big Bad alien race in the original Star Trek, though by the time of the new series relations are tense, but no longer hostile, and they improve over the course of the franchise due in no small part to Worf himself.
- Before TNG, the Star Trek comics had Konom, a Klingon defector serving on Kirk's Enterprise.
- Star Trek: Voyager: Seven of Nine, being a de-assimilated Borg serving on a Federation ship, is arguably an example too, though she was human before assimilation.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- Odo is a Changeling raised by Bajorans. His native people are leaders of the Dominion, which ends up waging a war against the Federation.
- Garak is a Cardassian who, despite officially being a spy working for the enemy, typically sides with the Federation where it really counts.
- Illya Kuryakin in The Man From Uncle, who turned out to be a friendly Russian spy. Justified because the agency they worked against was hated by both the free world and the communist bloc. Quickly promoted to joint protagonist after positive fan reaction, so ceased to be 'token'. He later moved to Scotland, went to medical school, became a medical examiner and works for NCIS (actor David McCallum really is Scottish).
- A rare modern example is Djaq from the BBC's recent Robin Hood, a friendly Arab woman who's as good a fighter as the rest of the crew and gets to bag her chosen Merry Man at the end of Series 2.
- Sayid Jarrah from Lost. He served in the Gulf War. In the Iraqi Republican Guard. Dude.
- Danny Galvez from Homeland is a Muslim-American and a CIA operative working to take down Al-Qaeda terrorists. Though some fans theorize that he is The Mole.
- Leonard on Community is this trope played for laughs: despite appearing in every way to be an elderly American male and Korean War veteran, it is later revealed that he fought on the North Korean side.
- If it wasn't for the presence of Steven Gomez, one might think the writers of Breaking Bad are bigoted against Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and Hispanics in general.
- Tara in The Walking Dead is a former follower of The Governor living with Rick's people.
- German police drama GSG 9 – Ihr Einsatz ist ihr Leben, based on the real life anti-terrorist German Special Police deals constantly with the threat of Islamic terrorists, yet one of the members of the team is a moderate Muslim of Turkish descent.
- Considering that Daenerys is at war with the Lannisters, Tyrion has this role in Game of Thrones after they both met and he becames one of her closer advisors.
Mythology & Folklore
- Gerd, the Norse goddess of sex and Frey’s wife, is a Jotun, the normally antagonistic race of creatures enemies of the Aesir and Vanir. Skadi, the goddess of the Sky and wife of the sea god Njord is also a giant. Loki on the other hand is only half-Jotun.
- Older Than Steam: In Shakespeare's Henry V, Henry is accompanied in his French war by (fictional) Scottish, Welsh, and Irish soldiers. It is Macmorris the Irish captain who really fits this trope, as Henry V was written in 1599 in the middle of a very bloody English war against Irish rebels.
- In 1776, George Read is the only anti-independence member of the Delaware delegation, which leads to a critical deadlock during the independence vote that can only be broken by bringing back the absent Caesar Rodney on an eighty-mile ride during a thunderstorm. (Which was Truth in Television, albeit a little more dramatic in the show. The feat is depicted on the back of the Delaware quarter.)
- In Home Front, Resistance member Hopper Lee is Korean-American. He mentions that anyone who looked even slightly Asian had been getting lynched when he left Oakland, and he was "lucky" to only have his home burnt down.
- Oddly, its a better example than most because Hopper is surprisingly understated about the horrific treatment he's received. The Resistance Fighters are pretty stunned about it when he does mention it.
- The Medal of Honor game Rising Sun has the heroes fighting Japanese soldiers in WWII. The main villain is Masataka Shima (Mako Iwamatsu), a high ranking officer for the Imperial Japanese Army. The protagonist works with Ichiro Tanaka, a brave and loyal Japanese-American OSS agent.
- In Borderlands 2, one of the playable characters is Krieg, who is a Psycho. In gameplay, you will kill hundreds of Psychos - every two-bit bandit gang seems to have a bunch of them to run around throwing axes at you. Krieg is the only one who's semi-consistently portrayed in a relatively positive fashion.
- Aladdin: The Series has Iago, former servant of Big Bad Jaffar and, although seemly rehabilitated, still pretty much the nastier of the team having more in common with most villains of the show than the heroes.
- A similar case of Fencer is Tyger in the animated series Fievel's American Tails, series base in Don Bluth's movie An American Tail, Tyger is Fievel's friend and the only good cat in a town full of villain cats.
- Two good tomatoes in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!; Tara and F.T. Tara looks humans if not expose to salt whilst F.T. is so obvious a tomatoe (albeit fuzzy and with legs) that is incredible how is pass for a dog.
- Considering that the Fire Nation are the main antagonists of the series, then Zuko will fulfill this role after he joins Team Avatar in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Beast Wars uses the fantastic version, with "ex-"Predacon Dinobot on the Maximal side. "Ex-" in quotes because despite officially changing allegiances, Dinobot still holds on to his ideals of Predacon honor.
- Black Arachnia takes the role after Dinobot's death although unlike Dinobot, she never consider herself a Maximal and even protests if is not call a Predacon.
- Marsala in Exo Squad is a Neosapien working with humans in a Human-Neosapien war.
- Fencer the Cat in Foofur, the only cat in a gang of dogs in a series were Cats Are Mean (with some exceptions).
- In The Get Along Gang, a show where all the good guys are mammals and the main villains are reptiles, they had one unique friendly reptile recurring character name Breaker the Turtle, describe in the show's Wiki as "the token minority".
- Razer the Red Lantern in Green Lantern: The Animated Series, after his Face–Heel Turn the Green Lantern Corps is trying to reform him.
- Fantastic Racism example on The Legend of Korra: Benders and non-Benders are at war. Non-Bender Asami Sato joins the New Team Avatar, fighting against her father.
- Slimer in The Real Ghost Busters, yes the series shows that not every ghost is evil and some ghosts can be very cooperative with the Ghostbusters, but that doesn't change the fact that Slimer is a ghost helping the GHOSTbusters. He was call a traitor for several spirits, like Samhain. Naturally he has a similar role in the successor series Extreme Ghostbusters.
- Garahl nar Hhallas in Wing Commander Academy, the animated series based in the game of the same name. Hhallas acomplishes more or less the same role of Hobbes in the aforementioned game.