Token Religious Teammate
There's this one guy or girl in the team that stands out from the other team members. They stand out because of their faith or their religious values. While many of the team members may be atheists or agnostics, or at least haven't given much thought to religion, this team member is devoted
to their faith.
Regardless of whether they serve one god, or multiple gods, or some divine cosmic energy, their beliefs have defined the way they see the world and the way they respond to any given situation. This may manifest in a Thou Shalt Not Kill
code, or they may be a violent, psychotic character who uses their faith to justify their actions
. Whatever the case, this causes the character to stand out from the other characters due to their faith. If they are militant, expect them to be a Badass Preacher
, or a Technical Pacifist
If they are Christian, they will almost invariably be Catholic
. Unless they're wacky or hypocritical
, in which case they'll be Protestant
Quite often the Token Good Teammate
, although psychotic examples could qualify for Token Evil Teammate
. May also be the Token Wholesome
At their worst, a Token Religious Teammate is Stupid Good
or Lawful Stupid
, or even a Churchgoing Villain
Contrast with Secular Hero
- Black Lagoon:
- Sister Eda is the only major side character who shows religious affiliation (Catholic) in an otherwise secular or atheistic Roanapur. It's subverted because not only is Eda rather irreverent, her "church" is little more than a gun cartel and an undercover CIA listening post built into a church.
- Claude Weaver from the Greenback Jane arc is implied to be a Mormon, but he's private about his faith and also has problems with some tenets of his faith, primarily the whole "thou shalt not kill" thing.
- Seikai, one of the Brave 10, left the Izumo temple to pursue his own brand of Buddhism.
- Mobile Suit Gundam AGE has Max Hartway, a pilot for Woolf's squadron who always prays to God for strength prior to battle.
- Yukariko of the Mai-HiME anime, as she is a nun.
- In the American official Gag Dub of Ghost Stories, Momoko becomes this.
- For the Death Scythes in Soul Eater, Justin Law is this, though he takes it a step farther in that he thinks his boss, the Grim Reaper, is God. In the manga, this doesn't change, though it isn't Lord Death he's worshipping...
- Subverted in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing with Duo. Although he wears Creepy Cool Crosses and a priest's collar, he's actually a Hollywood Atheist.
- Asia Argento, Xenovia Quarta, and Irina Shidou from High School D×D. And no, being demons didn't stop the first two from being religious at all.
- Implied with Megu-nee from School-Live!. She seems rather spiritual and carries around a rosary.
- Nightcrawler from X-Men is a devout Catholic, despite the fact that his appearance frequently causes him to be mistaken for a demon.
- Wolfsbane in New Mutants and later in X-Factor.
- In one of the later iterations of the series, there is Dust, a devout Muslim who still observes niqab.
- The title character in Nexus is a devout Christian (possibly Eastern Orthodox, since his parents were Russian), and makes more frequent reference to his faith than most of the main characters. By contrast, while his friend Judah Maccabee is introduced as a devout convert to Judaism (his name was Fred before he converted), in practice he doesn't actually talk about it that much; as a side note, Judah is an alien.
- Victor Mancha of the Runaways was raised as a devout Catholic. Teammate Nico Minoru used to be an altar girl, but has lapsed somewhat.
- Shizune from Perfection Is Overrated. Unfortunately, she also holds particularly extreme and uncompromising beliefs, and is willing to kill anyone who disagrees with her in almost any way, including the rest of the Himes.
- Downplayed in Peace Forged in Fire. Most of the characters are Romulan and pay at least lip service to the Romulan spiritual belief in the Elements, but it's not an organized religion in the manner of Jaleh Khoroushi's Shi'a Islam. Jaleh also pointedly doesn't keep halal for practical reasons. Meanwhile D'trel's crew has Omek'ti'kallan, a Jem'Hadar First and a devout follower of "Glorious Odo'Ital" (a.k.a. Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) who frequently quotes religious maxims from a Sparse List of Rules.
- The USS Bajor among Federation starships in Bait and Switch and related fics, due to having a crew that's about 15% Bajoran, including the captain and operations officer. They've even got a Bajoran monk for a chaplain. In "Shakedown Shenanigans" conn officer Park Jin-Soo asks Captain Kanril Eleya if she has a problem with him being Catholic, and she basically says that'd be hypocritical of her.
- This trope is often applied to works featuring Mello from Death Note, who because of owning some Catholic paraphernalia note and a real name that hints at a heritage that would make him more likely to actually be one, is thought to be a practicing Catholic.
- Relg in the Belgariad is a fanatic who observes strict religious rites, including stopping to pray several times a day, until the rest of the party force him to stop. He also has issues with sin, especially relationships with women, that he never entirely gets over even after he's married.
- Constable Visit-The-Infidel-With-Explanatory-Pamphlets is this for the Watch in Discworld.
- While in the Elenium most of the main characters are Church Knights, Bevier the Cyrinic knight is the most pious, stern and religious of the bunch, almost ending up in the Lawful Stupid ground. The other Church Knights in the group tend to have a much more pragmatic approach.
- April in Everworld.
- Jalil is an inversion as the only explicitly atheist (and anti-religious) member of the group. This had an interesting result when the gods of Everworld-Africa ordered the team to make a sacrifice to them, as Jalil and April actually teamed up in refusing.
- I, Robot features the experimental robot Cutie, who attempts to make sense of the world around him (really little more than a space station one mile across) by turning to religious faith.
- Robyn Mathers from Tomorrow: When the War Began. She isn't the only Christian in the group, but she's the most devout, even having a Thou Shalt Not Kill code. She eventually breaks it.
- In the Venus Prime series, Sparta's former classmate Khalid Sayeed is a devout Shiite Muslim.
- In The Red Tent, Zilpah is the most religious out of Jacob's wives.
- Lourdes from Falling Skies.
- Zhaan from Farscape was a Delvian Pa'u or priest(ess). At one point she committed acts of violence so repugnant to her own sense of morality that she renounced her status and spent about half a season reattaining it. She was the spiritual heart of the show up until her death in early Season 3. Stark and Noranti were similarly spiritual characters.
- Shepherd Derrial Book from Firefly is a Badass Preacher from a fictional Christian denomination (named the Order of Shepherds in the RPG). He doesn't push his beliefs on the crew (which includes at least one Buddhist and an unapologetic Hollywood Atheist, while the other crew members' preferences aren't known) unless they ask for it, but he practices what he preaches and follows the Ten Commandments to the letter. We should note here that, while The Bible is quite specific that Thou Shalt Not Kill, "it is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."
- In M*A*S*H, Father Mulcahy, the camp chaplain, is, as befits his position, the most devoutly religious member of the staff at the 4077th, dividing his time between giving religious guidance to the other personnel and the wounded soldiers passing through the camp (even those who are not Catholic or even Christian) and performing charitable works for local orphans. Many other characters have some religious faith, but they are not as overt about it (except when Major Burns' religious hypocrisy is being mined for laughs).
- Star Trek:
- Hershel from The Walking Dead. He seems to be the only character on the show so far with any serious religiosity.
- Shirley from Community.
- seaQuest DSV has Communications Officer Lt. Tim O'Neill, whose devout Catholicism is singled out as a plot point in a few episodes.
- In Bones, Arastoo is the only member of the Squints to voice a religious belief (Islam). While he never tries to hide this aspect of himself, he did attempt to put on a fake accent in hopes of making the others think that he was newly immigrated to the country and would thus not give him a hard time about it. Angela is the only other Squint that shows spiritual leanings, although she seems more spiritual than religious about the matter. The only other character to emphasize a religious preference is Booth, who rarely lets an episode pass without reminding everyone that he is Catholic.
- In the BBC's The Musketeers, Catholicism is the national religion, but (somewhat ironically) the Chivalrous Pervert Aramis is the only one amongst the Musketeers who seems to embrace it.
- On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Elliot Stabler is a somewhat devout Catholic, and is the only member of the SVU whose religious views get any significant mention.
- On The Mindy Project, Danny Castellano is a devout Catholic. When he and Mindy first discuss dating, he refuses because she has a boyfriend and it would be adultery. Mindy points out that not only is he divorced, he also had sex before marriage.
- Among the National Service aircraftmen in Get Some In!, vicar's son Matthew Lilley is by far the most overt when it comes to living life according to religious guidelines. He makes a point of attending church services every week, has religious iconography on his notice board instead of the pin-ups most of his fellow aircraftmen have, ascribes unexpected good fortune to divine intervention, regards using even mild profanity such as "Blimey" as blasphemous, and plans to follow his father into the clergy after finishing his National Service. His fellow aircraftmen may not share his religious convictions, but they do respect them, unlike their Drill Instructor, Corporal Marsh, who never misses an opportunity to insult Matthew for his devotion to his faith.
- Surprisingly for an RPG on a board that usually frowns on religious discussion, Dino Attack RPG got two spiritual characters. The first was Commander Pharisee, who believes he has a divinely-inspired right to impart justice on others. The second is Dr. Noomi Shaw, who despite being a capable surgeon tries to use prayer as a source of comfort.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, there is a general trend for the party's Cleric or Paladin to be the lone religious, pious member of the party.
- Lorgar (and by extension the entire Word Bearers Legion) was this for the Primarchs in Warhammer 40,000, which led to his downfall. Lorgar and his legion made very little progress during the reunification of the galaxy since they kept building churches and presenting the (very much atheist) Emperor as, well, God Emperor. The Emperor humiliated Lorgar and his entire legion for his worship, so when it turned out there were actual gods in the Warp more than willing to be prayed to, Lorgar jumped ship.
- William McCall from Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. He also doubles as the Token Good Teammate.
- Leliana from Dragon Age: Origins and Sebastian Vael from Dragon Age II. Leliana is a former spy / assassin who found religion while in hiding, and Sebastian is a Former Teen Rebel whose parents shipped him off to the Kirkwall Chantry to prevent him from further embarrassing them.
- Bethany Hawke also is shown to be very religious, despite the Chantry's official position that free Mages like her are Always Chaotic Evil.
- Rival Schools: of the three Pacific Highschool students, Boman is said to be a devout Christian.
- Vanilla H from Galaxy Angel is the only member of the team for whom religion is really important (superficial resemblance to Catholicism plus vegetarianism).
- Mass Effect has a few Religious Bruiser teammates:
- Ashley Williams is eventually revealed to be this in Mass Effect 1. She reports having faced some prejudice for her beliefs, giving Shepard the option to say that s/he is religious, too.
- Thane Krios from Mass Effect 2 is the most obviously religious teammate. He's introduced killing a Corrupt Corporate Executive and then saying a "prayer for the wicked"—referring to himself.
- Though those two are the most devoted, all of the various alien characters generally believe in whatever religion their society developed. Garrus prays to the spirits in Mass Effect 3. In the same game, Liara is seething with anger when Javik tells her that her goddess was actually the Protheans. Ironic, as she had spent her life looking to the Protheans for answers.
- Harvest Moon:
- Not a teammate but a love interest. Maria from Harvest Moon SNES and Harvest Moon: Magical Melody is probably the most religious person in the series that isn't a nun or priest. She worships the Harvest Goddess but the religion is a mashup of Catholicism and Paganism. She keeps her religious tone even in Magical Melody, where there isn't even a church in town anymore.
- Her granddaughter, Maria from Harvest Moon 64 is the same, though to a lesser degree. She attends church often and plays the piano on her free days. She's less religious in future incarnations.
- Erica Fontaine in Sakura Wars (which carries into her Project X Zone appearance).
- Chirinide and her protector Shan'naal from Drow Tales. Notably the other members of the "team" mostly just find her annoying or ignore her.
- Fletcher Emerson (AKA Pardus) is the only overtly religious member of Panthera.
- Reverend Theo Fobius in Schlock Mercenary is a multi-disciplinary chaplain for a company of mercenaries, most of whom actively avoid anything regarding religion as much as possible. He often acts as the company counselor more than a spiritual guide.
- Kurloz Makara, to the Pre-Scratch Trolls, in Homestuck. His particular Religion of Evil worships Big Bad Lord English and the Cherub species in general.
- In The Order of the Stick, every team needs some sort of cleric to balance to balance out their stats. Durkon holds this role for the Order, Redcloak for Team Evil, Malack for the Empire of Blood and whoever-Durkon's-Evil Counterpart-is-this-time for the Linear Guild.
- When Dumbing of Age premiered, some felt that Joyce was becoming this. As Dumbing of Age features characters re-imagined from his previous works, like Roomies!, It's Walky!, Joyce and Walky!, and Shortpacked!, where Joyce's faith wasn't so often commented upon, some felt that this was flanderization or inconsistency of her character. Later David Willis clarified that when he first created many of his characters, he was a Christian fundementalist and therefore made most of his characters the same as a default, inverting this trope.
- Phase of Team Kimba, and Loophole of the Whitman Lit Chix. They even have a talk about their faith in a Loophole story, with Phase revealing that he is having a crisis of faith since he has lost everything: his family, his old friends, his wealth and power and protection, his long-held anti-mutant beliefs, his identity, and even his gender.
- The Simpsons:
- Mentioned in "Lemons of Troy", when Bart is assigning identities to his squad. Todd Flanders is "the religious guy who goes crazy."
- Marge Simpson is clearly more involved in the church than the rest of the family. And while for example "Homer the Heretic" focuses on Homer's dwindling faith, it's obvious on several occasions that the kids wouldn't go to church unless Marge made them.
- In the thirteenth-season episode "She Of Little Faith," Lisa converts to Buddhism and seems at least as serious about it as Marge is about Christianity... when the writers remember to reference it, anyway.
- On South Park, both Kyle (Jewish) or Butters (Christian) get played this way in some episodes, though not as heavily as most examples.
- Tim (the talking bear with no pants) in The Cleveland Show.
- Beyal in Mon Suno.