Main Spotlight Stealing Squad Discussion

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10:36:03 AM Oct 19th 2017
While I do think the entry could be rewritten, Starlight Glimmer's entry should be restored. Not only is a bulk of season 6 dedicated to her development, she still features prominently in season 7 and has had pivotal roles in all two-parters since her introduction in season five, stealing spotlight from all main characters but Twilight. Not to mention her very controversial appearance in Equeatria Girls.
10:13:58 AM May 31st 2014
The sizable Warhammer 40,000 section under Tabletop Games needs a cleanup/rewrite; most of the points are either badly out of date or show personal bias. Can the Space Marines really be a SSS when they're the primary protagonists of the setting? 40K history essentially revolves around them, particularly anything involving the Horus Heresy (the foundational event for the setting).

A more appropriate example would be something like "Every army in Warhammer 40K becomes this whenever a new codex is released, as the fandom holds the new book under a microscope to find any changes in army units, strategies, or lore. Message boards will rage between posts approving or decrying the changes (or the need for an update at all), until the next army's codex is updated, whereupon the cycle begins anew."
03:11:34 PM Oct 1st 2012
edited by blazichu
As amusing as it is to watch fans do impressions of [presumably] their favorite turtles, the Ninja Turtles segment is kind of a disaster. There's a ton of piling-on about why Raphael isn't a SSS, how it's Leo instead, how something else is justified because, and so on and so forth. The impressions are actually spot-on, to the point where 'amusing' doesn't cover it. It's flat-out hilarious.

I'm familiar with most of the material, so I'd be happy to help clean it up, but since it's such a large block of text, I'd like to have a second opinion before making any changes.
01:54:07 PM Sep 20th 2012
12:19:42 AM Jul 7th 2012
Cleanup time. Again.

I'm currently trimming descriptions (as mentioned in the TRS thread), since this page is full of complaining. I'm also leaving inline comments for those cases that I believe may benefit from a cleaning by someone familiar with the work. You help is appreciated.
11:23:25 AM May 21st 2011

She receives less screentitime, backstory and personality than Zuko and the heroes.
06:05:51 AM May 14th 2011
  • The Academy new students can be considered a Spotlight-Stealing Squad in Season 3 of Yu-Gi-Oh GX, since they tend to use up what little dueling time Judai himself leaves behind.
  • The Tenchi Muyo! series as a whole is more or less just about Ryoko and Ayeka. Most of the other girls get pushed off to the side, since they're the only ones really fighting over Tenchi.
  • In the second season, Max Heart. Hikari joins the cast, and while early on she isn't too bad, as the series progresses there are more and more scenes of her, which is somewhat understandable because she gets more plot importance... until you realize Nagisa still hogs the spotlight a fair bit, which basically means Honoka, half of the titular Pretty Cure, just got demoted to secondary character. Or at least to having very little importance when compared to the other two. And while Hikari does some previous episode synopsis, Honoka still gets none. Just because.
  • ViVid was initially focusing much more on Vivio and the Nakajima family, while Nanoha has been restricted to civilian duties and Fate is busy with work. This changed, however, with the vacation trip their little girl gang took, with Nanoha and Fate again being in charge. To be fair, however, the two of them are getting an amount of attention equal to the rest of the (mostly introduced in StrikerS or later) characters, while Vivio and Einhart are still the ones getting the most development.
    • Hey, now, StrikerS also suffered of this. Remember early promotional art implying Nanoha and Fate were going to be mentors due to the Changing of the Guard? Yeah, no, they're still the most important characters on the show.
  • There's an odd example in To Aru Majutsu no Index. Originally, Accelerator really was just an asshole and Mikoto wasn't that important either. But both were extremely popular, so the author made Accelerator the second protagonist and had Mikoto move closer to main character and gave her a spinoff series. Note in the anime Accelerator is just picking up steam and Mikoto is still mostly minor, but tell that to the publicity staff.
  • Transformers fans often feel that comic writer Simon Furman spends far, far too much time writing about Grimlock, Galvatron, and Unicron - especially Grimlock. His other pet characters - Thunderwing, Bludgeon, Nightbeat, and now Hardhead - appear to be this, but it's more that Furman is the only writer who has ever done anything with them (as opposed to writers who stick to the first three seasons of the G1 cartoon). It got to the point that when Furman was given free rein to make his own Transformers universe for IDW comics, he made a point to announce that Unicron would not appear and limited Grimlock to one issue (before doing a miniseries about him way down the line). Galvatron was still a major player, but with a completely different personality than the usual Furman Galvatron that fans were sick of. Furman appears to be committed to averting the trope from here on out.
    • Leo in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. Karone faces down her evil alter-ego and manages to right a long-ago wrong while Astronema holds a beaten-up Leo hostage... and guess who gets a Battlizer out of the deal? ("Continue my fight as only the Red Ranger could" or some such.) Granted, the old warrior was probably a little pissy with Karone after being turned to stone who knows how many years ago, but still. Also, nearly every major villain was defeated by him alone, including the Big Bad. Well, until the teamup, in which it takes the combined might of the Lost Galaxy and Lightspeed Rescue teams to defeat her actual final form.
      • Mind you, this doesn't mean he was the only one who got focus, a la Nick. However, being the big hero in someone else's focus episode really does make that one grand theft spotlight.
  • Heroes keeps doing this by thrusting annoying storylines featuring Peter, Hiro, and Claire (and by extension, HRG) upon the fans; this leaves no time to properly build up the character arcs for Matt, Mohinder, Sylar, and other characters that might possibly be more interesting than those three. Any characters that do get brought back, like Meredith, get shunted to the side because the writers don't get that not everyone wants Heroes to be "The Peter, Hiro, and Claire Hour of Wangst-y Power".
    • Maddie and London on the original series. Their antics would usually be a lot more interesting and funny than the A plot with the twins.
    • Also, on Big Brother 6 (2005), Kaysar and Janelle were shown a lot. Then on all stars? It was pretty much the Will and Boogie show.
    • Some of Rob and Amber's fellow Survivors actually did call All-Stars "The Rob & Amber Show."
  • Linus actually evolved into a main character in Peanuts, though this happened moreso with any Animated Adaptation - The same thing happened with Peppermint Patty and Marcy. (Who were often the defined main characters - even moreso than Charlie Brown and Snoopy).
  • Many characters introduced in the later years of Dykes to Watch Out For, such as Stuart, Cynthia, Jasmine and her son Jonas (later, daughter Janis), and Samia. Mo's girlfriend Sydney eventually took much of the focus as well, with Alison Bechdel admitting that she now identifies more with Sydney than original Author Avatar Mo. None of these characters are particularly hated by fans, but there was some lamentation that they pushed aside other characters like Lois and Sparrow.
  • When Street Fighter II first became a mega-hit in the '90s, you never would've known that Ryu and Ken were the main characters. People were far more interested in Guile and Chun-Li, who, to be fair, both had motives for defeating M. Bison. Justified in that players preferred them because of their gameplay styles. The live-action movie even made Guile the main character, relegating Ryu and Ken to a minor role. Their popularity balanced out as the manga and anime adaptations began focusing more on them and later editions of the games tweaked the Competitive Balance, and Ryu and Ken finally took the spotlight back in the Street Fighter Alpha series. Chun-Li, however, remains popular for reasons unrelated to gameplay.
  • Axel and Zexion of Ansem Retort has a considerably large amount of focus compared to the other six characters.
  • Family Guy may as well just be "The Brian and Stewie Show" in its more recent seasons. Peter hasn't really suffered from it, but Chris and Lois have (whereas Meg's been Out of Focus for most of the show).
    • More and more episodes are about Brian dating someone and the 150th episode special is completly about Brian and Stewie being trapped in a bank vault. In fact, said 150th episode was simply called "Brian and Stewie".
      • Another example of this would be the episode "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven", where Peter flat-out states that this was a "Meg episode" and that he wouldn't blame the audience for changing the channel...the episode was actually more about Brian.
  • Rugrats is pretty much mostly about Tommy and Angelica taking the screentime, but oftentimes Chuckie and Angelica switch places as main characters of the series. And even within the supporting cast, some characters wind up being emphasized more. (Such as how you rarely see much of the Carmichael family other than Susie...she actually has three rarely seen siblings, two brothers and a sister)
  • Gizmo Duck and Bubba pretty much took over the last season of DuckTales.

The own examples note they are not the only focus. Quoting the trope's description: " a single character, family or group" and nothing hints otherwise in the description
08:25:10 PM Apr 7th 2011
Should we just rename this to Spotlight Stealing Character? It makes more sense.
04:05:55 AM Apr 8th 2011
edited by MagBas
In the first paragraph: "In short, when the author gets so incredibly fixated on a single character, FAMILY or GROUP that he or she forgets that they have an incredibly diverse and powerful cast"
11:33:06 PM Jan 17th 2011
edited by SpellBlade
I removed the image because I can barely read the text in the bottom-left corner. If anyone has any objections, make an Image Pickin' thread or chime in here.
12:27:17 PM Jan 19th 2011
Technically, shouldn't a image pickin thread be made before removing the image?
11:18:26 AM Jan 20th 2011
I should probably have done that - I'll do it before removing it again.
07:29:13 AM Nov 5th 2010
Whatever ends up as the image, if you want to make it a Self-Demonstrating Article, make it float.
01:01:24 PM Oct 20th 2010
On the entry for Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto, there is a quote from chapter 34 where Naruto lampshades him stealing the spotlight, although most fans would agree he wasn't at that point in time. Can someone put when exactly most fans agree Sasuke started stealing the spotlight? (I'm not entirely sure but I'm either guessing the retrieval arc or the hunt for itachi arc)
04:03:43 AM Nov 14th 2010
Hunt for Itachi arc.
10:58:03 AM Nov 28th 2010
Thanks :)
03:01:57 PM Sep 28th 2010

  • Late in Season 2, it seemed Aki would retake the spotlight - Crow was injured and Aki replaced him as the third teammate in the dueling tournament going on with Jack and Yusei. Then Aki crashed due to an evil card used by a rival team, and Crow took back his position after only a few episodes on the bench. Aki woke up a few episodes later, and the status quo is back to normal.
  • Lately in season 3, Yusei, Jack and Crow are the ones receiving ALL of the spotlight; poor Aki and the twins.

"Half of the team" only counts as Spotlight-Stealing Squad if said half of the team qualify as one group of his own. And the first have no relevance to this trope-only because one member of the team is Out of Focus not means that the others are.
12:32:04 PM Sep 8th 2010
Can we please change the trope picture? Naruto has LOOOOONG since taken his show back already.
10:58:40 AM Nov 28th 2010
Take it to the Image Pickin' forum if you want to discuss it.
08:20:11 PM Aug 30th 2010
  • The third season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha manages to do this twice. For the first half of StrikerS shifts Nanoha herself from protagonist to mentor to the four new trainee characters, and of the trainees Subaru and Teana get far more attention, Subaru in particular. Just when you get used to this in the middle of the season, Vivio is introduced and leads to Nanoha stealing her own show back with her and Fate doing most of the heavy lifting for the Grand Finale. And all of this leaves Erio and Caro, old supporting characters, new minor characters, and the Quirky Mini Boss Squad with little to no development.
    • This is offset somewhat by their appearances in the supplementary materials; the StrikerS manga focuses almost entirely on the Forwards and the other new characters while keeping Nanoha and the rest in their mentor roles (save for a really awesome duel between Nanoha and Signum in the epilogue). The SSX Sound Stage was actually specifically created to focus entirely on the new characters from StrikerS and give them their own exclusive story. Nanoha and the old crowd are mentioned several times but never make "on-screen" appearances.

this trope not means "have most focus than the old focus" means "have more focus than all"

  • Conner from Power Rangers Dino Thunder. His power-ups (he gets three Super Modes, two unique to him alone) would have maybe been justifiable if he wasn't such a whiny jerk about them.

actually, Power Rangers Dino Thunder have Trent and Tommy both with three times more episodes focused in them that Conner and more relevance to the plot.
12:31:04 PM Sep 8th 2010
edited by
07:50:23 PM Aug 30th 2010
edited by MagBas
  • Many seasons of Digimon do this, but Digimon Frontier was the worst about it, making Takuya and Kouji the main focus for the entire season. (Rumor has it that it also had four other characters, but little visual evidence of this exists.)
    • Actually, Tomoki gained the right of one two episode arc focused in him (and a group of random kids) in the start of the final arc. Koichi,thanks to his arc involving discover he is dead never really losed focus, only his focus changed of "fight" to "Character Development focus". About Izumi and Junpei, both were less focused than the others of day one, Izumi at least having the saving grace of her rivality (and killing) of Ranamon.
      • Jeez was that a google translated post? Anyway, no don't try to justify it. For almost all the last 15 episodes, only Takuya and Koji do anything. The others are used to help them evolve and that's it. They sit around being cheerleaders for all of their small screen time. Where's at the start, while anyone could tell the focus was slightly more skewed to Takuya and Koji (Since they're the Hero and Lancer), the others still got a respectable amount of screen time, and actually DID something. Koichi went from Badass to cheerleader as well. The only saving grace of what Frontier pulled is the last 2 episodes.

Quoting the "Just Bugs Me" entry in the Digimon Frontier page: "When you think about it, they're in exact same role as every other Digidestined in the previous seasons, only they're more proactive about it half the time, doing things like rescuing a village of helpless eggs and catapulting bolder-sized snowballs as distraction while Kouji and Takuya keep the bad guys busy. Just because they're not fighting doesn't mean they're useless, jeez. " I yet remember of said last arc and beyond this, they at least searched by the digi-code of the castle of Seraphimon . About Koichi, when near all the episodes of the arc have at least a scene advancing the individual character arc of a character, this character is not Out of Focus- especially if he is only in the group with any Character Development in the arc (And said two-episodes arc really is more focused in Tomoki than Takuya or Koji, specially the first of the two).
12:14:53 PM Jun 23rd 2010
Anyone else agree that a name change is needed? Because 'Spotlight Stealing Squad' heavily implies that it is a group of characters that is stealing the spotlight, whereas the actual trope in a single character stealing the spotlight. It's extremely misleading.
03:14:01 AM Jun 30th 2010
"on a single character, family or group"
11:26:08 AM Jul 6th 2010
Yes, but that's not in the title, is it?
08:50:45 AM Jul 11th 2010
edited by MagBas either case, considering that more than half of the posts is about a single character i not guess this is misleading.

11:52:18 AM Jul 31st 2010
Actually, guessing well this IS misleading... but the "spotlight stealing" part not the "squad" part.
12:40:19 PM Jul 31st 2010
edited by SomeGuy
Yeah...if you think about it the whole premise is pretty flawed. Usually the term "spotlight stealing" is used to refer to someone who takes up screentime because the crowd loves them, not a character the author just just to write about. I made a crowner.
05:58:54 AM Aug 22nd 2010
Actually, this is misleading because many persons put a character/group/family that is more focused than the main character in the place of a character/group/family that is more focused than all the other characters/groups/families.
02:16:55 AM Jan 4th 2011
If you're after renaming the trope, I'd recomend an alternate title of Spotlight Hog.
01:41:56 AM Jun 8th 2010
edited by Anaheyla
Is that redirect new? I've never noticed it before.
03:29:12 PM Jun 8th 2010
edited by cassius335
It's the Trope's previous name, so I suspect it's been there a while.
06:52:15 AM Jun 5th 2010
edited by MagBas
  • In Dragonball Z, the Saiyans eventually became the sole focus of the entire show, especially at the beginning of the Buu Saga and later in Dragonball GT. Characters such as Piccolo, Krillin, and the other Z fighters fell into the background while the Dragonball series gave almost all the battle glory to Goku, Vegeta, and their kids.

Goku not counts. He was the main character of day one and actually losed his spotlight in Z.

  • Yu-Gi-Oh GX: Even if he is the main character, Judai duels so often he might as well be the only duelist on the show; Sho, Manjome, Asuka and Rei get very little chance to duel, especially in the later seasons. For that matter, after Season 1 almost every Judai wins is due to Neos, the Neo-Spacians, or some fusion of them, and his standard E-Hero cards end up mostly cannon fodder until he draws Neos.

    • This happens with Judai and Manjoume in the manga, partly the result of it being a Tournament Arc and the characters who don't win being unable to fight other duels.

As noted, Judai is the main character.

  • Likewise, Masaru and Agumon of Digimon Savers. The early episodes could almost have been called "The GeoGreymon Show". Fortunately, this evened out later on.
    • See: the episode where Masaru, Touma and Yoshino lose their memories of their partners. Apparently, Masaru and Agumon's reunion is the only one important enough to show in any detail. But it gets a lot better after that, yes.

This IS "The GeoGreymon Show". Masaru was DESIGNED to be the main character.

  • Don't expect a character to get any development, or to come anywhere near winning a tournament, in Tekken if they have no relationship to the Mishima family. If they do somehow come close to winning a tournament or, *gasp*, actually beat a Mishima in a fair fight, they'll be dispatched by Diabolus Ex Mishima.
    • Especially evident in Paul Phoenix's storyline. Every tournament he enters, he loses on some technicality. One tournament he lost because he left before the real boss showed up.

Huhn!? The heroic-looking(haha) son of the Big Bad and Final Boss of the first gane, said Big Bad and the son(And Suspiciously Similar Substitute) of said son of the Big Bad?

  • Granted, He-Man is the main character in Masters of the Universe, but he did almost everything to save Eternia and didn't let the other toys... I mean characters to shine. This only applies to The '80s version (and maye a bit to the New Adventures), while in the 2002 remake, despite still being the absolute protagonist, He-Man allowed characters like Buzz-Off or Moss Man to show what were they capable of.

As noted, main character.

" Please restrict examples to when it would actually make sense for other characters to be in the spotlight; if someone is clearly supposed to be the main focus of the series from the beginning then it doesn't count."
03:51:10 PM Jun 7th 2010
edited by cassius335
"Goku not counts. He was the main character of day one and actually losed his spotlight in Z."

Except it's not talking about Goku on his own, so you're Missing The Point.

"As noted, Judai is the main character."

Um... He's the main character in quite a large cast of duelists, most of whom get very few duels, because Judai takes most of 'em. As main character, he gets more leeway, but not that much. There's a difference between "main focus" and "all the focus"...

"This IS "The Geo Greymon Show". Masaru was DESIGNED to be the main character."

Not True. Digimon Savers is supposed to (at first) have THREE main characters: Masaru, Yoshino and Touma. In the first several eps, Geo Greymon was not only Curb Stomping everything, he was stealing kills from Sunflowmon (Yoshino's Digimon), which messes with the intended Power Trio.

" " Please restrict examples to when it would actually make sense for other characters to be in the spotlight; if someone is clearly supposed to be the main focus of the series from the beginning then it doesn't count."

I'd argue otherwise. Note the "at the expense of a larger cast" part of the trope description. Look at Digimon Frontier: A main cast of 5 (later 6), with the focus supposedly therefore shared between them. Except all the focus shifts to The Hero and The Lancer, shafting the rest of the Five-Man Band.
07:25:02 PM Jun 8th 2010
About Dragon Ball Z: By this logic, Goku was the Spotlight-Stealing Squad in the original Dragon Ball. About Digimon Frontier: Junpei and Izumi were Out of Focus of day one(Junpei more than Izumi-specially thanks her rivality with Ranamon),Tomoki aways was more important than the other two and gained the right of a two episode arc focused in him in the start in the final arc(the lost boys arc).And Koichi,thanks his arc of discover he is dead never really was Out of Focus. Actually,considering Takuya(ie-The Hero) barely makes any thing beyond fight and be Curb Stomped in said fights(Being that he is a of the guys that more fights of the start) is possible argue HE is Out of Focus.

I have no argument to the others.(But why putted this disclaimer,by the way?)

06:03:36 AM Jun 30th 2010
Sorry I didn't reply to this sooner...

Remember the point of Spotlight-Stealing Squad is when a witer focuses on a few characters at the expense of the rest of the cast. The text of the DBZ/GT example is saying that happened to the non-Sayains (most noteably poor Picollo, who hit Can'tCatchUp midway through the Cell arc).

As for Frontier, I have two names for you: Kaiser Greymon and Magna Garurumon, reducing the other four Destined to mere cheerleaders. As I said, there's a difference between "main focus" and "all the focus"; it's even worse because of the Curb Stomping those two endured every damn episode for roughly the second half of the series.

As for the disclaimer, it's... misleading, since (as per the examples above) The Hero can be a Spotlight-Stealing Squad if he takes Spotlight away from other characters, especially if it's to the point that those other characters might as well not be there, despite being main cast members.
09:41:10 AM Jun 30th 2010
edited by MagBas
"All" the other four digidestined? Character focus and participation in combat are not the same thing. Koichi is the final arc was focused more than Takuya, that actually fights. And the Lost Boys mini-arc(the third and fourth episode of the Royal Knights arc) is more focused in Tomoki than both Magna Garurumon and Kaiser Greymon. And Tomoki is more focused than Junpei of day one, despite fighting less often at start.Actually, in terms of focus Takuya and Kouji are closer to the Digimon Adventure Digimon Partners(less Tailmon) in the final arc than the Digimon Adventure Chosen Children. By the way, reading the archived discussion, i am guessing the motive to this disclaimer be put is... well, i guess that i only need say that Aang of Avatar The Legend Of Aang was put.
02:40:45 PM Jul 12th 2010
I have no complaints to the second part("if someone is clearly supposed to be the main focus of the series from the beginning then it doesn't count.")be removed-this really is misleading. But the first part("Please restrict examples to when it would actually make sense for other characters to be in the spotlight") sounds necessary to avoid this trope be overcrowded with examples.
08:18:05 PM May 29th 2010
edited by greatpikminfan
Ignore this. It was about an entry that is now deleted.
01:14:59 PM May 15th 2010
On Suzumiya Haruhi:

I don't think Kyon is any kind of SSS, he is just the narrator. It makes no sense because then Watson is also the SSS of the Sherlock Holmes tales.
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