Main Five Man Band Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

11:23:51 AM Jan 25th 2017
This trope was edit-locked because of too much shoehorning, right? Can we add a note about how shoehorned entries should go in The Team instead of Five-Man Band?
11:37:11 AM Jan 25th 2017
I think the edit-locking is less because shoehorns (or else we'd lock the subpages) and more because, since every medium has its own subpage, there's no reason for anyone to edit this unless they're making a change to the definition.

If you want to suggest an edit, please go to the Edit Requests thread in the Forum.
11:55:57 AM Jan 25th 2017
But all of the subpages ARE locked.

Regardless, I'll do as you suggest and check out the forums.
12:01:39 PM Jan 25th 2017
Huh, so they are. I had no idea. Learn something new every day.
01:18:08 PM Sep 27th 2016
I don't think Star Wars is a very good example of this trope. There's always at least six members, and usually seven. Lando is probably at least partially responsible for the fact that everybody thinks the Sixth Ranger is a part of the band, even though it actually isn't. And Leia is only The Chick as far as she's the only girl, which is a different trope entirely. And let's not even get started on Obi-Wan.
04:22:49 AM Aug 30th 2016
edited by nightelf37
Where do I suggest additions to this page?

Steven Universe

-The Crystal Gems-

The Leader Garnet
The Lancer and Smart Gal Pearl
The Big Gal Amethyst
The Heart Steven Universe
Fifth Ranger Connie Maheswaran
Sixth Ranger Peridot
Aloof Ally Lapis Lazuli

05:17:55 AM Aug 30th 2016
Nowhere, it is a major shoehorn and would be deleted.
12:49:29 AM Jun 19th 2016
Ok, admins, look. All of this can be settled with the removal of 19 words. 19. I mean come on, Admins, this is getting ridiculous at this point. Just remove the last part about The Chick, please
02:12:00 PM Aug 15th 2015
edited by robwebster
<<<delete this please! already covered...>>>
05:52:19 PM Aug 11th 2015
edited by ANTMuddle
If the administrator in question steadfastly insists the Band be very specifically four males and a female, with The Chick being that last archetype, there is no point in arguing with them. However, times have changed, we’ve changed with them, the role of The Chick is now much broader than ever (to the point of graduating to become The Heart), and (find “consensus” in your search criteria) So You Want to Write a Five-Man Band has duly noted that. Stalemate, point blank.

See X Company for this trope being played all but completely straight.
02:46:41 AM Mar 26th 2015
You know what I noticed about the Five Man Band trope? It's technically Red Oni, Blue Oni, including the Hero/Leader (Red Oni) and Lancer (Blue Oni), combined with the Freudian Trio, including the Big Guy (Id), the Smart Guy (Superego) and the Chick/Heart (Ego).
09:49:01 AM Dec 10th 2014
Okay. So, disregarding the fact that the trope in and of itself has extraordinary sexist undertones (and it does, but that's society's fault, not the moderators'), it seems to me that the best way to temper inappropriate uses of it would be to emphasize not only that the five characters must fit the roles exactly in order to qualify but also that it is VERY RARE to encounter the trope in modern works. Downplay this notion that it is so very central to storytelling, because if people are trying and failing to apply it to so many works of fiction, it must mean it's not as common as we think it is.

I'm not saying that the trope doesn't exist; I've seen it in play before, and I think it's a solid, concrete concept. This page just suffers from a serious lack of self-awareness. So the moderator has said repeatedly that four guys with one girl as The Chick was "the original trope?" Fine. But that means the trope page needs to acknowledge the Unfortunate Implications inherent in this structure. Namedrop The Smurfette Principle, because it's clearly in play here. In addition to further clarifying just how specific the trope is, this will dispel the myth that the Five Man Band is some kind of ideal model for ensembles, which a good number of tropers seem to believe.
10:09:00 AM Dec 10th 2014
Well, whatever the issue with sexism is, the trope is indeed way overused for works where it doesn't apply. Especially problematic for recent works because they tend to use modifications of the classic setup rather than the setup proper.
01:58:19 AM Apr 27th 2015
edited by Khyron42_Prime
I have to agree: why, exactly, is a group of 5 characters, one of whom is a male character who balances out the other characters' aggression, bringing them out to a manageable medium, and serves as The Heart of the team, disqualified from being a Five-Man Band simply because exactly ONE of those roles is inexplicably restricted by gender?

That's bizarrely sexist. Men exist who fill this role within teams, just as women exist who serve as The Leader - and THAT trope certainly doesn't say "This character is played by a man. A male. Otherwise, the Five-Man Band trope DOES NOT APPLY." - even though ORIGINALLY, certainly all examples of The Hero were male across most of Western society.

This gender restriction is ridiculous, and should be removed from the description.
02:11:08 AM Apr 27th 2015
Our ex-administrator did say that the original form of the trope didn't allow for a different gender.
02:28:45 AM Apr 27th 2015
edited by Khyron42_Prime
Can our understanding of tropes not change over time? When a trope is "misused" in such a vast number of cases, would it not make sense to re-evaluate how we define it? Isn't the point of a wiki that its content is determined by contributor consensus, not simply the word of one individual from some bygone era?
03:01:44 AM Apr 27th 2015
Sometimes, staff fiat happens. Authoritarian micromanagement is bad but we do at times give orders.

It'd be a discussion for the forum, anyway.

03:47:11 AM Apr 27th 2015
edited by Khyron42_Prime
I'm fascinated to know how simply declaring that everyone defining a trope differently than one particular moderator is wrong for no other reason than "because somebody in the past said so" is anything other than authoritarian micromanagement, but I've moved to the forums as requested.

Judging by the use so far, these pages would be more aptly titled "Dismissal" than "Discussion". Orders make sense when issued relating to conduct, inappropriate content, and site-wide administrative rules. They do not make sense when used to enforce an obsolete trope definition.
01:37:52 PM May 5th 2016
edited by EBsessed
I'm reading the page for The Brave Little Toaster and Blanky is listed as The Chick even though he's a boy and the Five-Man Band page says The Chick HAS to be female or it's not a five man band. So then that either means that the Five Man Band trope has to be removed from the Brave Little Toaster's page because it's not accurate, Blanky's role has to be changed from The Chick to something more applicable (The Heart or Tagalong Kid), or the fifth role in the Five Man Band trope needs to be changed to be able to cover different combinations of Five Man Bands.
02:09:16 PM Dec 1st 2014
Is Guardians of the Galaxy a perfect Five Man Band?

The Leader — Peter Quill/Starlord. Charismatic, levelheaded, obviously The Hero.

The Lancer — Drax the Destroyer. A contrast to the leader in that he is headstrong and impulsive. While Starlord is a rake, Drax refers to Gamora as a 'whore' so he's obviously more conservative by comparison.

The Smart Guy — Rocket Raccoon. Physically smaller, intelligent/clever, comic relief, a Trickster and a buddy of the Big Guy.

The Big Guy — Groot. A strongman, but one of 2 in the group I guess. Is borderline mute.

The Chick — Gamora. Not sure if she is the 'heart' of the group, but she is a female, so she fills that role.
02:45:14 PM Dec 1st 2014
Might want to ask here.
03:41:10 PM Dec 1st 2014
They're not. They'd be absolutely perfect if Groot were female, as he's definitely The Heart, Gamora is a classic Lancer, and Drax is The Big Guy.

Seriously, they fit the roles perfectly... except Groot isn't female.
11:38:38 AM Jan 3rd 2015
edited by
The Heart is not one of the Five Man Band roles. The Guardians are a textbook FMB. Gamora's status as the moral compass of the group comes up repeatedly; she is the one pushing to secure the orb for the protection of the galaxy, but the group doesn't actually do it until the Leader agrees.
05:08:44 AM Nov 4th 2014
Okay, the Advertising page is bothering me, mainly because there is only one example. Is it truly necessary to keep the example of Weetabix on a desolate page?
08:07:25 AM Nov 4th 2014
Eh, I think its own page makes more sense than merging it elsewhere. You could propose it in the forum thread though.
06:09:12 PM Oct 25th 2014
edited by
Sorry for bringing this up again, but I just noticed that on the Evil Counterpart trope page, Five-Bad Band, it is stated that The Dark Chick doesn't have to be female. Even though the two tropes were probably written by two different people, do we really want the evil trope to be more open-minded than the good trope? In the end, they ARE basically the same trope, only on opposite sides of the moral compass.
01:49:44 AM Oct 26th 2014
Seems like a question for its TRS.
10:07:34 AM Aug 2nd 2014
edited by
Honestly, when the examples listed for a trope almost never reflect what's written on the main page of said trope, the trope needs to be reworked. I don't understand why no one has done this yet. Plus, the author of the page clearly does not know that tropes can be played with, since there are a few lines (especially the part of The Chick being always a female, as many others have already pointed out) that outright deny any possibility of interpretation by users of this trope. Hell, I'm sorry to say that it's almost written in a fascist fashion.
10:26:33 AM Aug 2nd 2014
Let's not engage in Godwin's Law here, please.

Now, you are right about "reworking the trope" but "reworking a trope" can mean both "changing the trope" or "removing bad examples". We are doing that here - the linked post explains a bit on why the trope is in its particular shape.
11:20:03 PM Aug 1st 2014
edited by
I'm just snowballing here but maybe we should consider reworking this trope; specifically changing the role of "The Chick" to "The Heart". I know that traditionally the chick is supposed to be the glue/conscious/heart of their respective teams but these days that role is just as likely to be played by a male character (IE-Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, Bumblebee in Transformers Prime) while female characters are just as likely to play the Lancer, Leader, or even the muscle of their group. In other words, maybe it's time to modernize the concept of "the chick" into something a little less gender specific and limiting.
01:45:26 AM Aug 2nd 2014
Actually, the trope that we are presenting here only works with The Chick. Male examples do not fall under this trope. Maybe tropes derived from this one, but not the original.
10:47:06 PM Aug 2nd 2014
What I'm saying is that perhaps its time we redefined the concept of the five-man band because as gender roles continue to be redefined in both society and fiction, it may no longer be appropriate to constantly refer to the heart of the five man band as "the chick." That's the argument I'm making
01:22:28 AM Aug 3rd 2014
The site owner has insisted that the trope here should only cover the "The Chick as a woman" version, despite many people trying to convince him otherwise. As far as I know, the original trope was exactly like that. So I don't see a point in arguing this further.
10:14:12 PM Aug 12th 2014
In other words you don't want to admit that I have a valid point.
12:24:27 AM Aug 13th 2014
I am not seeing it. "the original trope was exactly like that." seems pretty plain to me.
11:47:41 PM Aug 16th 2014
edited by
Wow. That was rude. Too many of this kind of thump will bring a suspension. Please keep it civil. Thumped.
04:13:43 AM Aug 17th 2014
Ronin6401, knock it off. Discuss the topic, not the person.
The Five-Man Band is falling out of use; it was tied up in gender roles but these are becoming less important so it's not being used as much any more. Redefining it would lose detail and context about what the trope used to be. Instead, we are keeping this trope as-is and putting examples of groups with different characters and genders under other tropes like The Team.
04:32:10 AM Aug 17th 2014
I would appreciate a less personal tone, thanks.

Anyhow, the limitation is forced by administrative decision, so continuing to discuss it here isn't likely to lead to anything.
02:22:50 PM Sep 1st 2014
I think the gender ratio has not to be that specific. Many modern works actually have the Five-Man Bands without the "correct" gender ratio. Why should there not more than two female members? Tropes change over the time. And the Five-Man Band stereotype has also changed. For example, various harem series have either only one male or no males at all in the FMB, but the girls fit in the five tropes (of course, when they have five members) I don't think that the gender ratio is that important.
02:43:14 PM Sep 1st 2014
The gender ratio is important. The people who own this site have always insisted upon it.
02:00:31 PM Sep 3rd 2014
Personally, I agree with Ronin, in that the Five-Man-Band concept works just fine with a male character playing the conscience of the team. Nowadays there are still this trope.

I'm not saying that Men can be classed as The Chick, because a glance at the trope for the chick would show that the chick MUST be female. But just because your gooey conscience isn't a girl, doesn't mean it's not a Five Man Band.

The fifth member should be The Heart. Maybe with a nod to how the old shows used to give this role to their token chick so that she actually had a reason to be there.

Of course, the Site Owners probably have a good reason, or they're approaching the Band from another angle.
02:14:06 PM Sep 3rd 2014
They are approaching it from the "original archetype describes a team with The Chick as a female role".

We do have a YKTTW going for a supertrope, though. Here if anybody wants to contribute.
01:32:02 PM Sep 4th 2014
I have to agree that insisting on specific gender roles seems unnecessarily restrictive. I mean, a lot of the entries on this page aren't even five people, but the Chick must be female?
01:43:59 PM Sep 4th 2014
Those are also misuse. It should be five and only five.
02:18:03 AM Sep 5th 2014
Also, folks, we've had this discussion many times. I very much do not think that pushing it another time will convince them.
05:28:52 AM Jul 10th 2014
edited by
The Examples pages need to be cleaned up. Not by removing Examples (although there are a few that can go), but by taking out a lot of the 'The Mentor' and 'Team Pet' and even The Sixth Ranger and so on in the Examples. This would make the page easier to scroll through and fit the new definition better.

Also, I feel like having The Chick there kinda invalidates the trope. In a Five-Man Band The Chick has ALWAYS been The Heart, but nowadays The Heart, while certainly completing the Five-Man Band, is not always a chick.
06:37:05 AM Jul 10th 2014
That cleanup is already being done here for the record.
06:24:13 AM Apr 27th 2014
edited by
The Associated Character Tropes doesn't feel right. It needs to be re-written. After all, when you start adding these guys, you're heading for The Magnificent Seven Samurai - as a result some of the examples have seven or more members of their Five-Man Band. For example, people are mentioning The Mentor as a member when they're just another character among the cast.

They are additional character types, not the sort of thing that should be added to the list.
10:06:17 PM Feb 8th 2014
edited by
Honestly, the mod who locked this trope needs to be fired. The page itself and the examples are full of mistakes, omissions and inconsistencies. Not the least of which is the description involving The Chick. Which, despite what some may think does NOT always have to be female.
01:12:24 AM Feb 9th 2014
Honestly, you are simply wrong. The original trope has only female chicks. The trope you mention is a different item.
03:44:31 AM Feb 9th 2014
To address your first point, you may request corrections and additions in this thread.
06:15:02 AM Apr 27th 2014
Even if The Chick does have to be female, I feel like they CAN be replaced by The Heart, who does not have to be female.
08:21:44 PM Nov 8th 2013
Why are there no real life examples? I can think of some.
12:44:08 PM Dec 7th 2013
Calling a group of people as good is just as controversial and flamebait-worthy as calling them evil.
01:46:24 PM Dec 7th 2013
It's not that so much as that this is a very specific trope which invokes a very specific meaning in a story and there basically aren't real-life groups that would fit.
08:15:24 AM Oct 25th 2013
It says on the page for The Chick that a Five-Man Band is always four guys and a girl, yet every other subpage of the Five-Man Band talks about the roles for both genders in the context of the Band. Is that simply a mistake on the The Chick page, or am I missing something?
01:32:42 PM Dec 19th 2013
edited by
Probably because (other than The Chick,) the other pages are still unlocked.

According to another post, they've now allowed an additional female to join one of the other roles, but no more than that.
03:30:27 AM Oct 22nd 2013
Is it possible to have a six-man-band, with one spot being filled by two people (eg. The Smart Guy - one is a Teen Genius while another is a Gadgeteer Genius)?
01:40:07 PM Jun 15th 2013
One thing I've noticed is there seem to be allot of Four Man Bands (And Four Bad Bands) that have all the first 4 represented, (possibly wiht atleast 1 being female) but no fifth to be The Chick, The Face, The Heart, or whatever you want to call it.
01:54:02 PM Jun 15th 2013
Fair enough. In that case, they may fit under The Team, and the individual characters can certainly be listed under their individual tropes, but it is not an example of a Five-Man Band.
02:05:29 AM Jun 7th 2013
"Five-Token Band — When everyone is a different enthnicity." — Can we do a spell check on that extra n? This is the second time I've run though it late at night and had it take me a second to figure out what it said.
02:18:11 AM Jun 7th 2013
You can request an edit to a locked page here. I've done so for you; it should be fixed soon.
09:58:14 AM Apr 14th 2013
edited by
What was the reason the Bleach examples were all removed, besides The Hero for Ichigo and the Sixth Ranger for Renji?
09:13:07 AM Mar 27th 2013
This page is beginning to be very frustrating. It's like no one reads these discussion posts, refuses to change the page, and keeps it locked. This page could be much better than it is, and the lack of attention the discussion is getting is unacceptable.
04:00:48 AM May 29th 2013
Here's something I've noticed—- if the Chick is Always Female, why is Pops from regular show listed as an example?
04:33:22 AM May 29th 2013
He shouldn't be. That combined with the role doubling in the FMB entry on Regular Show's page means that I'll ask for it to be removed.
05:29:51 PM Mar 12th 2013
Can we have some music genres corresponding to each of the five man band? I'm thinking something along the lines of Smart Guy = Techno and somesuch.
01:32:12 AM Feb 7th 2013
04:17:14 AM Feb 11th 2013
We could and maybe should, especially with the missing supertrope (Five Man Band as known before without fixed genders) aspect - but to be fair to our article, websnark sees it from a different viewpoint. His conclusion goes along the lines the TV tropes article is "an accurate entry, describing a recurring trope in several media. But it’s not a blueprint for what a successful superhero team comic needs." - And since we aim for the former more than the latter, since it will always be a trope even if badly executed, the point does not really hit home for our purposes.
05:56:30 PM Feb 16th 2013
Agreed that the main point of the article the OP linked to does not entirely apply, but the article's secondary point—and the OP's primary one—certainly does: we could DEFINITELY stand to make this page less sexist.
06:41:11 AM Mar 27th 2013
I love this trope. Hell, I live it. That being said, this page is certainly broken. The Chick need not be female, plain and simple. This should be a forward thinking place, seeing as here we identify the very basic storytelling trends of our very existence. Sexism need not apply.
01:38:59 PM Dec 19th 2013
edited by
Except that now The Chick is now officially Always Female. That being an official edit from Fast Eddie himself. Whatever this place "should" be need not apply.
09:14:33 PM Feb 19th 2014
I completely agree.

If we want to have the Five-Man Band actually be this (very specific IMHO) trope, then we need to have something gender-neutral to fit similar emotional functions, at the very least.

At this point, we technically can't have a group of all-women up there, either, or a group where there are two women and three guys. Or three women and two guys. Or four women and a guy.

This is a really frustrating change to the trope. It's become way too specific, and especially in the case of The Chick, far too literal. I understand the issues with everybody putting any group of five characters they could stretch to fit in, but specifying gender for these tropes really limits them.
04:28:14 PM Feb 4th 2013
edited by AvocadoAvenger
I sincerely believe that the previous version of the five-man-band page was far superior to the version we view now for several reasons, many of which have been touched on by others on this page. What is written about each archetype in the five man band is extremely specific, and rules our a lot of cast configurations that should be five man bands. If a male character was intended by the writers to be a calming presence in a group of a Leader, Lancer, Big Guy, and Smart guy, how is he not the chick? Order of the stick even lists Elan as it's chick, and rightfully so as Haley is a clear pick for the groups Lancer because she is a rouge and the second in command. Secondly, for this same reason I feel that "The Hero" is much more fitting than "The Leader." It is more general; a hero could be present, but the smart guy- for example- could be the one calling the shots. This is not the leader, but is the hero, and may thus fit into a five man band. IE, we COULD consider any leader a hero, but not ever hero a leader. For example, In Star Wars, there is a five man band where Luke is the hero, but Obi-Wan in the one calling the shots as well as the smart guy. The description of the smart guy sounds wrong to me as well, but that isn't as bad as the other things. It would be better if it focused on the smart aspect of him, just a guy who knows what he's doing, rather than things that several specific smart guys have in common. Tricksters and Steer connections may be common in law enforcement movie teams, but not in fantasy settings, for example.

Finally, the associated tropes are just confusing. I have no problem with them, they just aren't explained anywhere. Is the Sneaky Guy supposed to take the place of both Lancer and Smart guy, or is he supposed to be a sixth man?
05:59:29 PM Mar 26th 2013
I agree with your issue with the Chick, although the Leader part is a bit fuzzy. I guess it is possible for the main protagonist to not be a leader, but being put in another role doesn't imply demotion if it might seem that way, but it does imply that. I think changing "The Leader" back to "The Hero" would do no harm.
09:18:51 AM Mar 27th 2013
That's fair, perhaps it would be best to list the general trope as "The Leader/The Hero," and specify depending on the example.
06:10:43 AM Jan 14th 2013
Has there ever been a complete Gender Inversion of The expected Five-Man Band? with females filling The Leader, The Lancer, The Smart Guy, and The Big Guy, and then rounding it off with The Dude?
06:47:57 AM Jan 14th 2013
... She Ra? I don't know if they fit the Five Man band but if I recall correctly, they did have a Token Male (Bow).
06:43:40 AM Jan 15th 2013

Perhaps Sailor Moon briefly, between Jupiter and Vensus's introductions.
07:31:39 AM Jan 15th 2013
No, Tuxedo Mask was The Sixth Ranger, never The Chick. That's going to be the problem with most female Five Man Bands; the random guy will almost always be The Sixth Ranger while a girl will be The Chick.
10:11:12 AM Nov 29th 2012
This Article is locked now, so someone needs to correct the statement about The Chick.
10:52:20 AM Nov 29th 2012
1) Post here when you have an edit request for a locked page.
2) Please write up fully what you want done — it isn't clear what you mean at the moment.
3) If it's to do with The Chick being a girl, you'll have to convince Eddie to make the change.
05:47:59 AM Dec 28th 2012
Unfortunately that is a quite confusing thread - how can you find over there, if this suggestion has alrady been brought up and/or turned down? Because I think as well, that the change from the clear cut "Chick does not need to be female" to the opposite without any explanation is really messing things up.
04:19:46 AM Dec 30th 2012
If The Big Guy need be neither physically large nor male, then The Chick need not be physically female. Either the names are based on roles, or they are literal descriptions—setting different rules for each one is inconsistent.
09:46:50 AM Oct 9th 2012
So? Didn't there used to be a music section. Could have sworn there was one that included many many bands. What happened to it?
09:59:26 AM Oct 9th 2012
Here. I've requested it be added to the index.
01:25:54 PM Oct 2nd 2012
Why has the description been changed to say that The Chick has to be female? Are you seriously telling me that if there's an ensemble with a clear hero, lancer, big guy and smart guy and a very girly man who serves as the emotional, spiritual and moral centre of the team and keeps the peace between the others while otherwise being fairly passive, I am no longer allowed to refer to that ensemble as a Five-Man Band because it happens to not have a vagina in the right place?
03:58:19 PM Oct 17th 2012
Agreed. That's bothering me too. Seems like it should be more about character dynamics than what's between your legs.
01:06:31 PM Nov 5th 2012
edited by IDoStuffWithThings113
My thoughts exactly. With this edit, to me it almost feels like a Five-Man Band with a male The Chick should be given their own trope. (Please note that I'm saying that allowing a male The Chick again would probably be the better solution, I'm not advocating to create a new page to contain any Five-Man Band with a male The Chick).
06:34:52 PM Nov 9th 2012
I'm certain that whoever changed it so the Chick must a woman has clearly forgotten that Tropes Are Flexible.
02:26:59 AM Nov 24th 2012
edited by MithrandirOlorin
And about Gender-Inverted Trope.

I find it more awkward when it's an all Female group yet one is still designated The Chick (Like Sailor Moon) but of course it is still accurate.

Has anyone ever written a complete inversion, with 4 girls and 1 guy?
06:08:40 PM Oct 27th 2013
I suggest a couple of things:

(1) Make the following edit to The Chick (final version below):

I suggest the following edit to the locked article.

The Chick — (vocal effects, tambourine) A peacekeeping role to balance out the other members' aggression, bringing them to a nice or at least manageable medium. The Chick is often considered the heart of the group. This role is played by a woman or girl. Someone female. Otherwise, it is not a Five-Man Band. If a male fills this role, you instead have a Power Stable. Or The Team.

(2) Since the Power Stable article explicitly states that it's not restricted to wrestling examples, there ought to be folders or subpages created with examples from music and other genres.

06:18:50 AM Mar 1st 2012
edited by MarqFJA
Is there a reason why The Lancer is called as such?

Also, the article designates The Hero as the Band's leader, but The Hero's article explicitly states that the character type isn't always The Leader; they can just as well be a Supporting Protagonist. It therefore seems logical to me to swap The Hero with The Leader in the Five-Man Band's formation, no?
09:55:24 AM Oct 30th 2012
edited by VandalHeartX
Traditional, pre gunpowder armies' infantries consisted of spearmen and swordsmen, for the most part. Spearmen would take cavalry off their horses most of the time, and swordsmen would move in to kill the rider while he was struggling to get to his feet. Since the swordsman got the kill and the spearman ruined a perfectly good horse (and that's how the generals would see it more often than not), the swordsman was the hero, which is yet another reason Heroes Prefer Swords.

Lastly, "Lancer" sounds better than spearman, pikeman, or anticavalry unit. The idea is that The Lancer could have been the primary protagonist, but that's just not how it is. It's the Hero's story, not the Lancer's.
11:54:18 PM Jan 5th 2012
We've got a YKTTW going for a different fifth member of Five-Man Band, of which The Chick would be a subtrope. Many Five Man Bands do not have any female members, and many others do not have a female who fits as The Chick, so the new fifth role could solve that problem. It would mean that The Chick is not a core role, although it could be used as an auxiliary role in bands where the new fifth is not already The Chick.
09:47:47 PM Jan 8th 2012
The YKTTW has been launced as The Face. Is there a specific thread in the forums for asking the mods to edit this page, or will this one do?
06:18:24 AM Mar 1st 2012
You could use the "send report (on this article)" feature or Ask The Tropers to get the mods' attention.
07:09:22 AM Mar 1st 2012
This is about a group with a mandatory female in the role as described. There is another five person group in YKTTW development that may have this Face you speak of.
09:19:40 AM Mar 7th 2012
edited by AllsparkSpinOut
I kind of support The Face being added as an alternative to The Chick, especially since a lot of series are using a Smart ''Girl'' instead of a Smart ''Guy''.
05:15:14 AM Mar 8th 2012
^^ Link to said YKTTW?
08:00:18 PM Aug 7th 2012
@Fast Eddie

When did you last read the description or the examples? The description out-right says "Not always female." The idea of The Chick being the mandatory female was abandoned a long time ago.
07:50:13 PM Aug 27th 2012
I agree with abk0100. I don't care what the page says now, the role described of the chick has been played by male characters countless times. The old description was better.
03:41:32 AM Nov 24th 2012
Yes a Male can be a Chick. And I've noticed that most examples that lack The Chick have the 5th simply being a Tagalong Kid. Meaning there is always one who's less of a fighter and liable to be a Damsel in Distress.
10:58:17 AM Nov 30th 2012
We have an unfortunate situation where the Moderator is the ONLY person viewing the trope the way he personally does.
05:15:19 AM Dec 12th 2012
edited by NorthernDruid
In either case, if this trope is now to be so specific in contrast to how flexible it used to be. We need a supertrope about team dynamics. Really, a supertrope to describe and collect tropes about team dynamics and specific roles connected to a position in such a dynamic, Including when there's no real team dynamic.

As it is, one of the most widely known tropes has gone from something to include all sorts of various teams where you can recognize this sort of pattern, to a very specific occurence of this pattern down to the gender segregation.

So what do i call it now when i have A Leader, a Lancer, a Big Guy, a Smart Guy and a male The Heart.

Used to be i could have all the four first ones and a sixth ranger and call it a band, but if that's no longer the case, we need somewhere to put all the other, quite similar patterns (to use the music band metaphor, all the cases where i have no tambourine but have a bassist and a flute player).
07:18:09 AM Oct 14th 2011
As a general rule, which band member serves as the "Last Line of Defense" before The Hero is in genuine danger?
05:51:26 AM Dec 30th 2011
The Lancer, perhaps?
12:31:43 PM Jun 3rd 2011
Very minor wank, but shouldn't they have a bassist? The Chick seems like it would be good, as the bass supports the rest of the band.
08:17:26 AM Jun 8th 2011
I wholeheartedly agree; the metaphor fits perfectly.
10:05:59 AM Mar 16th 2012
Agreed, specially as this page is being referenced in Nobody Loves the Bassist...
07:43:35 PM Feb 5th 2013
edited by CrimsonChampion
Fourthed! Let it be done, I say.
07:21:49 AM May 20th 2013
Fifthed. I believe persoanlly the Smart Guy can alternate between Keyboard and Bass.
06:25:55 AM Aug 26th 2014
If The Hero is Lead Guitar as well as Lead Vocals, then The Lancer is usually Bassist.
11:13:10 AM Apr 29th 2011
I would like to change one of the topics. First of all, the other 4 look alright, but I would like to replace "Smart guy" with "Kid." The reason why is because there always seems to be a kid in all the Five Man Bands, but not always a smart guy. Pidge from Voltron, Jim from Outlaw Star, Bun from Choushinsei Flashman, Shunsuke from Kousoku Sentai Turboranger, Isshu from Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger, etc. What do you say?
06:24:04 PM Mar 7th 2013
A smart guy is important for the dynamic. I feel like a kid would fit into the chick role more than excluding a smart guy role. Besides, that would eliminate all groups where everyone is the same age. And if a kid happens to be the smartest guy on the team then there is no problem.
07:05:33 PM Dec 18th 2016
I seem to remember that an older version of this page had that slot with the option of using either a Smart Guy as contrasted with big and not intellectual, or a Fast Guy as contrasted with powerful but slow. I feel like the elimination of the "fast guy" option eliminates a number of valid five man bands. It also creates shoehorn situations.

For example, the Outlaw Star example lists Giliiam as their "smart guy". with Suzuka hanging on as a "sixth ranger"... and that seems entirely wrong. Suzuka belongs in the core group, but obviously doesn't count as an "intellectual". Still, she and Asha can be contrasted by their emphasis on sheer strength vs. a speed and training based style. Gilliam, meanwhile, doesn't even belong in the band.
03:58:53 AM Apr 4th 2011
Firstly, I want to know if we can do another picture for Western Animation N-Z. (My vote is the Phineas and ferb gang as super heroes).

Secondly, should we create folders to hold series like Super Sentai, which is on it's 35th 4 Man Band?
01:15:09 PM Feb 18th 2011
Is there any trope as comically overused as this one ? Some tropers are apparently able to find five man bands everywhere, no matter the number of characters and the natures of their personalities. It's a pretty funny joke when it's done tongue-in-cheek (see the Tetris page, for instance), but I'm afraid that most of the tropers who overuse this trope are actually serious.
03:51:27 PM Feb 21st 2011
You're absolutely right. I have half a mind to delete any where it's a group of three, four or any one I know where a character obviously doesn't fit. One character shouldn't be listed as two members of the band. There are plenty of times the trope applies but close doesn't cut it. Obviously I'm only familiar with so many examples. Can I get some help or at least input?
06:18:49 AM Feb 28th 2011
edited by DonaldthePotholer
A key point to remember is that the Five Man (and Five Bad) Band Tropes are built around roles within a team. This is as opposed to the Four Temperament and Four Girl Ensembles, which focus more on personalities. To that end, Power Trio, as currently devised, is set along a sliding scale of personalities, as opposed to the multi-dimensional Ensemble. Cliques tend to depend on a mix of personality and appearance (which shouldn't be surprising given where they usually operate  *).

Therefore, I'm cool with teams of four so long as one of the following two situations applies:
  1. One character is pulling double duty (fulfilling two roles). But they must obviously be doing so. In this case, the same character can not be both The Hero and The Lancer.
  2. Each character plays one role with the leftover role is obviously shared by two people. EDIT: There still has to be a single, obvious Hero and, again, that Hero can't share the part of The Lancer. (The other 3 roles are fair game.)

As emphasized in both points, the key word is "obvious." The margin for error in accepting reduced teams should be less than accepting full teams. i.e. The roles have to be there with very little, if any, justification text.

Though it may be prudent to create a separate Trope for that. Four-Man Band perhaps? Alternately, we may need a handy guide to converting Four-Temperament Ensemble roles to Five-Man Band roles (or Five-Bad Band roles).

As for "teams" of 2 or 3 or 7+, yeah, mainly needs dropping unless, in the case of the latter, if a subset of 5 fits all 5 roles exactly with one and only one character per role. (In that case, redact the outside members unless they form their own [~5MB~]. On the other hand, a series with multiple Five Man Bands can have two teams share one (at most) member. Bonus points if the shared member fills two different roles between the two teams and neither role is The Hero. Also acceptable IMO are teams that shift their rosters over time while retaining members.

As for the Mother3 3-person+pet example, it may fit better in Five Man Band Concert.

EDIT: Just so you know, I've always held that the five main Tropes for the Band are a requirement for that band. i.e. only The Hero, The Lancer, The Big Guy, The Smart Guy, and The Chick / The Heart can be members of the band proper. There is still room for Sixth Rangers, kids and pets, mentors (Big Sibling or otherwise), and Missions Control, but these are not actual team members.

And, again, the role-based nature of the Bands make it more attractive than Ensembles, which are personality based. Which admittedly does lend more easily to misuse.

EDIT 2: The page itself agrees with me! Take this notice from after the section on "Associated Character Tropes" (emphasis mine):

Note: Variations occur where the core five are different or overlap. Don't take the title too literally — it's the roles more than the numbers that matter.

Or, in Ace Attorney form. (I don't think they can handle italics there.)
03:32:02 PM Feb 28th 2011
@Donaldthe Potholer Thank you for your lengthy option. A good number of the examples I've found in the Five-Man Band I don't believe belong there. Are there any that you can find that you think should be removed or are you just saying that most everying is fair game?
11:11:31 PM Feb 28th 2011
You're actually using the discussion page to discuss fixing an article? While I'm glad these pages are finally getting use, this big a change is probably Repair Shop level. We'll need more people in on this than actually read the discussions.

Anyways, the first pass should probably be those that blatantly don't fit. I just went through the first Anime set, and I already counted a bunch of examples with more than one justification, which is a no-no, as well as admissions that people were just getting shoehorned in.

Oh, and good call, Donald. A lot of these people aren't even on a team—and, again, the examples flat out admit that.
11:43:03 AM Mar 1st 2011
@Big T I'm sorry but I guess there's still things I don't know how to do on here. I looked for it and I couldn't find anything called Repair Shop. Also I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Can you use an example and how it applies. I'm finding a lot that don't work but I should probably get other options before cutting the list down.
03:17:01 PM Mar 16th 2011
edited by DoktorvonEurotrash
Go to the forums (by clicking the "Forum" button in the menu on the regular pages). You'll find one forum called Trope Repair Shop.
09:34:34 PM Feb 1st 2011
I love how all the pages for Five Man Band members are Star Wars characters. It really helps to illustrate the points.
01:44:05 PM Jan 26th 2011
Well, I think I've found a new item to add to the image links. All we need is an actual still shot. I'd caption as: "Apparently, The Rival wants to be a hero. (Wait a minute...) Meanwhile The Smart Guy is on drums."
05:39:38 AM Feb 28th 2011
Never mind. Found a better Trope.
02:04:08 AM Dec 27th 2010
I don't like the intruments chosen for the five heroes. Personally, I would have it as follows:

The Hero should be Lead Guitar and The Lancer should be Bass Guitar because they are essentially rivals on the team. In addition there are very few bands without a Bass Guitar.

The Big Guy and The Smart Guy are good with their Drums and Keyboard roles respectfully.

The Chick however should be described as the singer or at the very least as female singer with The Hero serving dual roles as male singer and lead guitar.
05:42:18 PM Jan 6th 2011
I thought maybe it should be:

The Hero-Lead Singer/Lead Guitar The Lancer-Lead Guitar/Rhythm Guitar The Smart Guy-Bass Guitar The Big Guy-Drums The Chick-Keyboards
04:32:13 PM Mar 12th 2011
edited by
The Hero and Lancer should stay as Singer and Guitarist respectively, as all bands (bar very few) tend to have that dynamic anyway

Personally I think that The Smart Guy or the Chick should be the bassist. The Smart Guy and the Big Guy tend to chum out with each other, kinda like the bassist/drummer dynamic. The bassist also usually comes of as the introverted one, which would fit either the Smart Guy or The Chick fine.

If the Chick isn't the bassist then they should be the Keyboardist, since most bands don't have one, and in bands that do have one it's kind of seen as the odd one out. Keyboards also aren't seen as 'rock' like as the other instruments. In any case, no band should have a member solely dedicated to shaking a Tambourine and Vocal effects.
04:19:48 PM Jun 25th 2011
The bassist tends to be either The Smart Guy or The Chick. Either way, it should be included, since the bass is more a part of the traditional rock band than the keyboard or tambourine/vocal effects.
05:18:54 AM Nov 30th 2015
Does this debate, as well as the fact that "Tambourine and Vocal effects" isn't really a musical role, not just present an argument for getting rid of the musical analogy altogether?
11:30:10 PM Nov 30th 2015
There is an administrative fiat in force that sets the existence of these analogies.
12:35:45 PM Dec 25th 2010
For secondary functions: Big Brother/Main Mentor/Team Dad/Team Mom/Cool Sis can be called in the Band´s Allegory as "The Manager", and be a liason of the group with the real world, struggling to keep them safe from potential moral setbacks that everyday life might deliver to the band.

The Medic can also be one of the Mentors (one that often dont die, kepts himself ouside action but has a very long experience), the Big Brother (BT´X) or the Team Dad/Team Mom/Cool Sis. Also it can be The H Earth, speacially if combined with the Messiah trope, as the Messiah is often related to healing.
06:41:34 AM Dec 11th 2010
Okay, who's the idiot who deleted the Western Animation page?
10:24:25 AM Dec 11th 2010
edited by WackyMeetsPractical
According to the Cut List, it was cut in order to be split into WesternAnimationA-M and WesternAnimationN-Z. However, since the page is locked, nobody can get into it to replace the link.
06:36:02 PM Oct 6th 2010
I think that "Token Evil Teammate" should be put in Associated Character Tropes since it is a character class.
04:18:34 AM Aug 27th 2010
I wanted to make new subpages for Professional Wrestling, Tabletop Games and Web Original. Can someone addd them to the index? Thanks.
07:28:05 PM Jul 28th 2010
edited by OOZE
Hey, can the Team Pet be combined with The Big Guy?
07:30:36 PM Jul 28th 2010
edited by Brick3621
Any member can theoretically combined with another. Katara for Avatar: The Last Airbender is both The Lancer and The Chick.
07:31:47 PM Jul 18th 2010
I haven't been happy with the way The Chick is described as the vocal effects/tambourine of the band. It makes it sound like her role in the group is incredibly trivial, which it really isn't.

I suggest "Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals" as what she would do, but at any rate I think it needs discussion.
03:47:26 PM Aug 23rd 2010
I actually agree wholeheartedly. My circle of friends is a 5 man band, with my close nakama as the leader and lancer, myself as the smart guy, the leader's girlfriend as the bruiser, and my girlfriend as, well, the chick, but she doesn't fit the archetype at all. She does fit the Team Mom archetype, and/or the little sister archetype, but definitely not the chick. I'd appreciate a redefining of that archetype, personally, but that's just me.
09:29:27 PM Dec 27th 2011
^ A real life anecdote isn't relevant in changing a trope, because tropes are used with author intent in mind. Probably the reason your girlfriend isn't The Chick is because, well, an author didn't insert her as the Chick. Y'know.
07:06:39 PM Jan 26th 2012
I think The Chick should be the drummer, because the drums provide a beat that keeps the band together. The Big Guy should be bass guitar, as bass players are stereotyped as being big and quiet.
06:59:25 AM May 10th 2010
I've been doing some thinking.

Most groups where there are four guys and one girl really are five man bands. In modern works, The Chick often becomes less "chicky" by swapping some of her attributes with one of the other archetypes. Thus, The Chick picks becomes a little more like a lancer, big guy, or brains, while the lancer, big guy, or brains becomes more like a chick.

You can have a five man band where ALL FIVE are strong, the "Big Guy" then is the one who is strongest. Similarly, you can have a five man band where ALL FIVE are smart, the "Brains" then is the one who is the smartest.
09:08:36 AM Apr 19th 2010
I have made a list for toys, probably because some popular series with five man bands got their start with toys.
01:49:18 PM Apr 19th 2010
I added to the list so it could be indexed.
07:22:56 PM Apr 7th 2010
I've always had a different formula for this trope.Brains, Badass, Buffoon, Braggart, Babe. To use the A-Team as an example.

Brains: Hannibal Badass: B.A. Buffoon: Murdock Braggart:Face Babe: Amy or in later seasons the girl of the week.

or for Firefly

Brains: Zoe Badass: Mal Buffoon: Wash Braggart:Jayne Babe: River

I'd also like to add that the more of these types you can put in one character the more likely that character is to be a fan favorite. Ash from Evil Dead is a Badass, Buffoon, Braggart hybrid with moments of Brains. Same could be said for Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
05:15:53 PM Oct 19th 2013
edited by
I feel like it should be mentioned that The Chick does not absolutely have to be female, as long as they are very clearly and consistently The Heart.
05:47:35 PM Oct 19th 2013
edited by
Except The Chick does absolutely have to be female.

EDIT: ... and did you mean to reply to this, or were you trying to make a new thread?
Collapse/Expand Topics