ImageLinks Laconic Main PlayingWith Quotes
: A group of five heroes consists of
the leader's counterpart
. Their archetypes complement one another, and their skills contribute to the group in a unique way.
Straight: Bob is the idealistic leader of The Guardians of Gameland, who also consist of the jealous and brooding Tony, the nerdy Jack, the muscular Charlie, and the peaceful Alice. They are later joined by the mysterious Sam.
There's safety in numbers, and they only have five Macguffins that will let people fight.
In the RPG Tales of Troperia, Bob wants a well-balanced team, so he recruits Jack, Alice, Charlie, and Tony.
Gender Inverted: The group consists of one man ( The Heart) and four women.
One of them eventually dies or quits.
Alternatively, their positions on the team don't match their appearances/skill.
Four of them have turned to the Dark Side, transforming them into a Big Bad Ensemble that the hero must defeat.
Double Subverted: The team goes through a succession of Optional Party Members.
Parodied: Their traits are too obvious: Bob is an Idiot Hero dressed like a knight and fights with a giant spoon, Tony is a Psycho for Hire dressed like a pirate, Jack is a Brain in a Jar in a robot body, Charlie is a Boisterous Bruiser dressed like a Viking, Alice is a Straw Feminist Action Girl, Sam is The Ace and a dragon, and there's also Yuki the Wonder Penguin who has Elemental Powers and wears a cape. They always act like Big Damn Heroes even when doing mundane tasks.
They are the Animorphs. Seriously, go look at the entry on that page and at the discussion.
As well as a Five-Man Band, there is a Five-Bad Band. Sam is a Sixth Ranger Traitor and leaves the heroes to join the villains (or vice versa).
Bob works alone, or with only one or two other people.
The Team doesn't correspond to a standard Five-Man Band.
Enforced: The writers use the Five-Man Band, since it is the ideal group.
Lampshaded: "Only a five-man team can look this good while beating evil!"
Invoked: Bob purposely seeks out other group members that fit certain roles.
Exploited: Alice is really a spy sent by Emperor Evulz knowing the team needed a girl.
Defied: "I don't need four other members, one or two is just fine!"
Discussed: Emperor Evulz: "Why do my troubles always come in fives?"
Conversed: "Hey, that's The Chick. And that's The Lancer!"
Played For Drama: Alice, Bob, and Tony form a Love Triangle. Alice ultimately decides to Take a Third Option with Sam. After Alice marries Sam, Bob and Tony are both Driven to Suicide. Then The Bad Guy Wins.
The members of the Five-Man Band, when alone, are helpless. Without Alice, the rest of the members fight among each other. Without Jack, they don't have a plan. Emperor Evulz uses this to his advantage. He also forces Sam into sacrificing himself at their darkest hour with a game of Xanatos Speed Chess.
Alternatively, they each become so tired of being constrained to their roles and having to deal with each other, so they all leave on their own adventures, but they all become injured without support. Sam realizes he's going to die and leaves the group, Tony gets sick of playing second fiddle, Jack gets fed up with being The Load, Charlie gets tired of not being as smart as the others, Alice gets bored with being The Medic, and Bob grows weary of being a vessel for Character Development, leaving Yuki asking everyone not to leave.
Go back to
and remind them that they are the best team ever.