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Everyone on the team has the same, or extremely similar, superpowers.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
KingZeal on Sep 3rd 2013 at 9:28:13 AM
Last Edited By:
tioseafj on Dec 4th 2017 at 5:54:49 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

A Super Team, Five-Man Band, Badass Crew or Badass Army where everyone on the team has the exact same powers or abilities, by and large. Often times, The Chosen Many will also be given similar abilities.

This can take several forms:

  • Everyone on the team has the exact same abilities, in equal application and scale.
  • Everyone on the team has the same powers or skills, but with some able to use them better, or in different ways, than others.
  • Everyone on the team has the same BASIC ability (like Super Strength) but with slight differences (one gets their strength from a Hulk Out, another gets it from Powered Armor, and another gets it as a Charles Atlas Superpower).
  • The superpowers come from a costume, accessory, Background Magic Field or other Plot Device which bestows the same core abilities.

However, this does not include:

With some abilities, this makes it easy to have an All Your Powers Combined moment, since all they need to do is focus their identical powers on the same target at the same time. On the other hand, this may lead to Crippling Overspecialization. Sometimes, this is done to make sure everyone on the team is equal, without relying upon a Plot Tailored to the Party. It can also allow writers to focus on characterization to differentiate each teammate rather than rely on their powers to do it.

See I Believe I Can Fly, for when every member of a team can fly. Contrast Cast Speciation.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Claymore warriors are usually created having the exact same powers as cadets and rookies, aside from the exceptionally gifted ones. However, as they gain more experience and control, they usually develop their own techniques and powers which rarely makes any two the same.
  • Gantz: All players partaking in the titular Deadly Game get the same black suit that grants the wearer Super Strength and Super Toughness.
  • In Dragon Ball, while it's widespread to see characters with Ki Attacks and Ki Manipulation, the Z-Fighters specialize in ki-sense and power level varying. Later in the series where the Z-Fighters have mostly been whittled down to just Saiyans, all of them share the power to turn Super Saiyan, which multiplies their power to incredible levels.

    Comic Books 
  • Each of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by virtue of all being turtles, have the same extranormal abilities (swimming, limb retraction, etc.).
  • The Hulk was once part of a team billed as "The Incredible Hulks" on the cover, including She-Hulk, A-Bomb, Red She-Hulk, and a wielder of the Old Strong power. While each of these abilities differ in scale and application, they are each a Person of Mass Destruction with Super Strength as their core ability.
  • Superman:
    • The Man of Steel is often paired up with other Kryptonians like Supergirl, Power Girl, Superboy, Krypto, as well as Daxamites like Mon-El. Each of them (barring the occasional bizarre retcon) are basically Flying Bricks.
    • Likewise, the Phantom Zone criminals are all Kryptonians with the same set of powers.
    • The Superman Emergency Squad was made up of Kandorians (Kryptonians from the bottle city of Kandor). Inside Kandor they have no powers, but outside, as Kryptonians they have the same powers as Superman.
    • The Hypertension storyarc in Superboy's own book featured him leading an army of his alternate counterparts against another counterpart that had gone rogue.
  • Spiderman has clones, alternate universe counterparts, distaff counterparts, future children, symbiotes, symbiote spawn, and magical doppelgangers that have his core set of spider powers. They have teamed up, in various combinations, in many, many stories. Spiderverse, in fact, was built around this trope.
  • Green Lantern:
    • The Green Lantern Corps, except for a few outliers, all have the same Imagination-Based Superpower. They all vary in control and application, however, since it's fueled by willpower.
    • The other Corps also apply—but their abilities differ from color to color. The Orange Lanterns fit this best of all, because they are all ring constructs created by the one actual Orange Lantern, Larfleeze.
    • The creators of the Lanterns, the Guardians, all have the same powers as well. Of course, when that power is technically Reality Warping, you really don't need anything else.
    • The Manhunters, another group of space police created by the Guardians, are all androids with a uniform set of powers and abilities.
  • The Darkstars of the DC Universe wear advanced super suits which all have the same abilities, basically making them a Flying Brick with energy blasts.
  • The Nova Corps are pretty much the same as the Darkstars, with the exception of Nova Prime, who not only has greater power than the others, but various extra abilities.
  • Captain Marvel (now "Shazam") and the Marvel Family. They're basically people who not only have the same powers, but usually get them from the same source (or another mythological equivalent).
  • The Deadpool Corps, made up of various Alternate Universe counterparts of the merc with a mouth. Dogpool and Headpool, being a dog and a zombie respectively, are probably the biggest outliers.
  • Often Defied with the Legion of Super-Heroes. They wont let in new members if they have powers that are similar to any current members. The Legion of Substitute Heroes may take them, though.
  • One issue of What If? had four stories in which the members of the Fantastic Four all got the "same" powerset rather than four different ones. All flame-users like the Human Torch, all monsters like the Thing, etc. The invisibility chapter "cheated" as each member got a different power related to invisibility.
  • Marvel Comics has the C-List supervillain team the Death Throws, a team comprised solely of evil jugglers!
  • Comic book writer Dwayne McDuffie once satirically pitched a team called "Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers" due to the prevalance of black skatebaording heroes in the Marvel Universe.
  • The Boys: Compound V is responsible for humans gaining superpowers, but The Boys are only injected with enough to have Super Strength and super endurance (so when they get in a fistfight with supers, they end up with bruises and cuts rather than decapitation).
  • The Serpent Society from Marvel Comics, who all have snake-themed powers.
  • The Lizard League from Invincible, who are Expies of the Serpent Society and thus have similar powers.

    Live-Action Film 
  • In The Last Airbender, there are entire nations of people with similar bending abilities, and it often takes multiple benders to perform a feat.

    Literature 
  • In Animorphs, everyone on the team can morph into an animal after acquiring its DNA via contact, but only rarely do they all morph into the exact same animal. One notable exception was the time they all turned into polar bears, and this almost ended up being their downfall.
  • In Worm, the Chinese Yangban have a pair of members (Null and One) whose powers give each member reduced forms of every member's powers. They're extremely hard to fight, because they're also trained to attack in concert, and they usually bring a power that lets them resurrect dead teammates.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Power Rangers fit (and indeed, most Super Sentai teams do, barring the Sixth Ranger). Their insignificant differences typically encompass their weapons/mechs, fighting styles, colors, and general costume schemes, but their abilities are usually uniform.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In most Old World of Darkness and New World of Darkness games, the player characters will play a group all from the same supernatural type: vampires, werewolves, fae, mages, wraiths, or whatever.
  • Warhammer 40K: The Eldar specialize in this, with each of their units being a specialist in some form of combat. However, it is expected that each Eldar try to maintain some flexibility, so their units' leaders are referred to as "having lost themselves on the Path" they were following.
  • Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG:
    2157. Doesn't matter if we all have different costumes and names, the group is vetoed if it's clear we're all Thor.

    Video Games 
  • Warcraft III: Night Elf females have the Shadowmeld ability, which makes them invisible at night when immobile. As two of their starting heroes and their basic units have it, early games Night Elves can apply this trope for effective ambushes and night attacks, with no unit being targeted more than the others.
    • While the standard game doesn't allow having two of the same hero type, team matches can use do this to very good effect (the paladin is a good tank with a big healing spell, but can't cast it on himself. Two paladins, on the other hand...).
  • Dragon Quest VI's Vocation system allows this to be used to devastating effect. When a PC switches class, he keeps all the skills and spells he already learned, and only his stats change. Thus if your Gladiator trained as a Priest beforehand, he won't have much MP... but he will have enough to cast a full-heal spell on himself or others.
  • Dragon Quest IX zigzags this: Unlike VI, spells are not kept when switching classes, but the huge stat boosts that can be acquired during that class are, helping to avert Squishy Wizard. In addition, the combo system makes a party composed entirely of a single class not unattractive, as casting the same spell or ability repeatedly (including a standard attack) increases the damage done.
  • Averted in Golden Sun. It's possible to switch Djinn around until your entire party has the same spell loadout, but doing so greatly decreases your stats and makes using Summon Magic tricky (since the Djinn you use to summon also govern what type of magic you have).
  • The essence of the Zerg Rush in strategy games: Instead of a balanced force of different units, build up as many of the cheapest one you can and send them all at the enemy (this strategy fails dismally if the enemy is correctly prepared for it though).
  • In Sonic Heroes, each of the four Power Trios has their own Speed (Sonic, Shadow, Amy, and Espio), Flight (Tails, Rouge, Cream, and Charmy) and Power (Knuckles, Omega, Big, and Vector) team members, each one having similar abilities required to complete the action stages.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, this is the entire reason the Avatar is special. Different nations and groups of people can bend earth, wind, fire and water, and indeed teams with different abilities (like our heroes) are an exception. The Avatar is, himself, a walking One-Man Army capable of bending every element on a scale equal to entire armies, especially in the Avatar State.
  • The Powerpuff Girls all have identical powers, which included flight, super strength, and laser vision. Among others. Later, however, they each started gaining new superpowers; for example, one story dealt with Blossom gaining frost breath. Said episode also explains that each of the girls has one ability unique to themselves. For example, Bubbles is apparently an innate omniglot.
  • Parodied in a South Park Halloween episode where we discover the band Korn all have the ability to turn into various forms of corn.
    "Korn Powers Activate!"

Feedback: 66 replies

Sep 4th 2013 at 3:43:02 AM

  • Superman
    • The Superman Emergency Squad was made up of Kandorians (Kryptonians from the bottle city of Kandor). Inside Kandor they have no powers, but outside, as Kryptonians they have the same powers as Superman.

Sep 4th 2013 at 4:09:57 AM

  • Animorphs: Everyone on the team can morph animals, after acquiring their DNA via contact, but only rarely do they all morph the exact same animal. One notable case was when they all went polar bear, this almost ended up being their downfall.

AP
Sep 4th 2013 at 6:19:24 AM

^ Doesn't seem like it.

Sep 4th 2013 at 6:47:00 AM

The Psycho Rangers is the evil counterpart of a superhero team.

Sep 4th 2013 at 8:18:05 AM

Ah, I misread the description then. :P

Often times, The Chosen Many will also be given similar abilities.

Sep 4th 2013 at 9:12:04 AM

  • In Real Life, while superhero teams don't exist (in the literal sense anyway), many professions which involve specialised areas often involve working in teams who all had the same basic training before specialising in one area (e.g. doctors are taught the basics of medicine before choosing their field, soldiers are taught the same basic skills before or while being trained for more specialised roles, software engineers specialise in something specific, like database, graphics or network programming despite all working with code, etc).

Sep 4th 2013 at 9:38:26 AM

^ That is exactly why the description asks not to include Muggles. Because, technically, you could say: "Every fillable job position ever".

Sep 4th 2013 at 10:22:27 AM

Pretty much every single Power Rangers and Super Sentai team ever, barring the Sixth Ranger usually. They differ in what weapons/mechs they use and their fighting styles and of course colors and some design details.

Sep 4th 2013 at 11:31:25 AM

  • Deliberately averted sometimes with the Legionof Super Heroes. They wont let in new members if they have powers that are similar to any current members.

Sep 4th 2013 at 12:31:06 PM

I believe that in one of the DC animated series, each member of the Justice Legue could be issued an item which gives the ability of flight, for those not gifted with it already. I could be wrong, and only vaguely remember seeing something like it.

Sep 4th 2013 at 12:36:44 PM

That's The Legion Of Superheroes, and their Flight Ring.

However, they're already listed, and the flight ring is just one ability the team members possess.

Sep 4th 2013 at 4:51:49 PM

I don't think either of the Avatar examples really count. For starters both incarnations have Sokka on their team who doesn't have any powers. And the description for the example of the animated series reads like it belongs on All Your Powers Combined.

Anyway it's redundant to have both the movie and the series in the examples.

Sep 4th 2013 at 7:34:33 PM

  • Marvel Comics has the C-List supervillain team the Death Throws, a team comprised solely of evil jugglers!

Sep 4th 2013 at 10:10:48 PM

^^

  1. That's exactly why the Gaang is listed as an exception.
  2. The trope description flat out tells you that this can overlap with All Your Powers Combined.
  3. The movie and show handle the trope completely differently, despite being part of the same franchise. The movie is notorious for having a team of benders needed to do the same feats as only one bender from the show, and that's noted above.

AP
Sep 4th 2013 at 10:10:50 PM

  • In Dragon Ball Z, the Z-Warriors (and pretty much anyone who practiced martial arts) had the same chi-based energy powers to various degrees. There were some slight variations as different heroes learned different techniques or had additional powers due to their alien heritage but for the most part, they all had super strength, flight, energy blasts, etc.

Sep 4th 2013 at 10:14:12 PM

Comic book writer Dwayne Mc Duffie once satirically pitched a team called "Teenage Negro Ninja Thrashers" due to the prevalance of black skatebaording heroes in the Marvel Universe.

Sep 4th 2013 at 10:24:36 PM

^^ That really doesn't count.

I should make a note saying that stories which use "The Force" or an equivalent only qualify if the core set of powers everyone gets starts out the same. The problem with Dragon Ball Z is that few characters start out with the same set of abilities. Ki Attacks are way too vague to count, and Super Strength can't count because EVERYONE in the setting has it aside from {{Muggles]].

Apr 16th 2014 at 10:36:01 AM

How about "Team Hero" or something like that, not the best examble but in Kim Possible they have several "Teams": Team Impossible- team of high-danger operatives Team Go- Family of superheroes (though they technically have different powers they are of the same origin)

Apr 16th 2014 at 10:53:06 AM

Western Animation:

  • Parodied in a South Park Halloween episode where we discover the band Korn all have the ability to turn into various forms of corn.
    • "Korn Powers Activate!"

Apr 16th 2014 at 11:46:14 AM

For western animation:

  • The Powerpuff Girls all had identical powers, which included flight, super strength, and laser vision. Among others.

Apr 16th 2014 at 12:03:00 PM

Fixed a Red Link.

EDIT: An example:

Anime and Manga

Apr 16th 2014 at 12:32:36 PM

I revealed a note, since they son't expand in YKTTW and it's a pain to click the edit button just to read what's inside.

Apr 16th 2014 at 1:02:28 PM

by the way, very few of the examples are teams... why?

Apr 16th 2014 at 1:39:23 PM

I'm not sure how well this applies but...

Role Playing Games:

Apr 16th 2014 at 1:40:10 PM

^ What do you call a "team"?

Apr 16th 2014 at 1:43:04 PM

Would Super Sentai groups count where characters have small differences, like their Weapon Of Choice, but functionally identical powers?

Mention must be made of Superhero Speciation.

EDIT: Well, Power Rangers are already there. Nevermind.

Apr 16th 2014 at 2:25:13 PM

@King Zeal.

The Justice League is a team. The Justice League Unlimited is an organization.

The Gaang is a team, any country in the avatar verse is a well, country.

aka, team is a small group of people.

Apr 16th 2014 at 3:47:11 PM

That doesn't explain how your definition of team excludes any current examples.

Apr 16th 2014 at 5:34:28 PM

One issue of the What If? series from Marvel Comics had four stories in which the members of the Fantastic Four all got the "same" powerset rather than four different ones. All flame-users like the Human Torch, all monsters like the Thing, etc. The invisibility chapter "cheated" as each member got a different power related to invisibility.

Apr 16th 2014 at 6:09:48 PM

Single Powered Super Team?

Cuz current title can be confused with "two teams with each members having similar powers to their corresponding counterparts"...

Apr 16th 2014 at 6:12:21 PM

^^ That doesn't convey the trope properly. If it was more than one team, the trope would be plural.

Apr 16th 2014 at 10:33:07 PM

King Zeal

I mean "teams" should be a small group of people. a general "this society has identical powers" seems like a different trope to what this is supposed to be.

Apr 17th 2014 at 2:55:23 AM

^ If you mean stuff like the Green Lanterns and Darkstars, your objection is flawed due to the tendency of people in those organizations forming smaller teams. And even then, "team" is more broad a term then just "a small band of individuals".

Apr 17th 2014 at 3:32:59 AM

^ I dunno man. dictionary says Team does not cover organizations and countries.

Similarly Super Powered Society? Society Of Similar Superpowers?

^^ CHO is not under this one, it's supertrope is The Hunter. And that isn't limited by similar powers, just similar origins.

Apr 17th 2014 at 4:10:05 AM

What's with all the semantic talk? I personally prefer "group", but either way, bpth society and squad examples should count.

Apr 17th 2014 at 4:32:27 AM

^^ The dictionary doesn't say that at all.

Apr 17th 2014 at 5:26:19 AM

^ yeah... poor word choice on my part. What I mean is that a country or whatever cannot qualify as a team based on dictionary definition.

plus, some teams are call "society" making "society" an even better option that "team".

Plus look at the Alliteration opportunities!

Apr 17th 2014 at 6:06:27 AM

As DAN said before, I think this is just semantics. "Team" is simply two or more persons working toward a similar goal.

Apr 17th 2014 at 7:55:01 AM

bleh, fine.

also, "ninja skills" isn't a Superpower.

Apr 17th 2014 at 8:02:11 AM

^I agree. The TMNT example should focus on them being mutant turtles, not on the skill set.

Apr 17th 2014 at 8:24:07 AM

Added foldercontrol + namespaced and italicized a couple examples.

Apr 17th 2014 at 9:40:38 PM

On Power Puff Girls, can't remember the Eye Beams but it may be worth expanding upon the powers exclusive to each girl. Blossom had Ice Breath, Bubbles can talk to squirrels, and Buttercup could roll her tongue. Said tongue rolling was actually part of the episode in which them having identical superpowers was a plot point.

Dec 31st 2014 at 11:09:17 PM

Bump to see if this goes anywhere

Jan 8th 2015 at 9:40:35 AM

Actually, this just needs enough hats for me to launch it.

Jan 8th 2015 at 9:14:06 PM

  • Warcraft III: Night Elf females have the Shadowmeld ability, which makes them invisible at night when immobile. As two of their starting heroes and their basic units have it, early games Night Elves can apply this trope for effective ambushes and night attacks, with no unit being targeted more than the others.
    • While the standard game doesn't allow having two of the same hero type, team matches can use do this to very good effect (the paladin is a good tank with a big healing spell, but can't cast it on himself. Two paladins, on the other hand...).
  • The Boys: Compound V is responsible for humans gaining superpowers, but The Boys are only injected with enough to have Super Strength and super endurance (so when they get in a fistfight with supers, they end up with bruises and cuts rather than decapitation).
  • Dragon Quest VI's Vocation system allows this to be used to devastating effect. When a PC switches class, he keeps all the skills and spells he already learned, and only his stats change. Thus if your Gladiator trained as a Priest beforehand, he won't have much MP... but he will have enough to cast a full-heal spell on himself or others.
  • Dragon Quest IX zigzags this: Unlike VI, spells are not kept when switching classes, but the huge stat boosts that can be acquired during that class are, helping to avert Squishy Wizard. In addition, the combo system makes a party composed entirely of a single class not unattractive, as casting the same spell or ability repeatedly (including a standard attack) increases the damage done.
  • Averted in Golden Sun. It's possible to switch Djinn around until your entire party has the same spell loadout, but doing so greatly decreases your stats and makes using Summon Magic tricky (since the Djinn you use to summon also govern what type of magic you have).
  • Warhammer 40 K: The Eldar specialize in this, with each of their units being a specialist in some form of combat. However, it is expected that each Eldar try to maintain some flexibility, so their units' leaders are referred to as "having lost themselves on the Path" they were following.
  • The essence of the Zerg Rush in strategy games: Instead of a balanced force of different units, build up as many of the cheapest one you can and send them all at the enemy (this strategy fails dismally if the enemy is correctly prepared for it though).

Jan 9th 2015 at 10:04:53 AM

Does this include situations involving Super Empowering?

Jan 10th 2015 at 8:28:38 AM

  • In Worm, the Chinese Yangban have a pair of members (Null and One) whose powers give each member reduced forms of every member's powers. They're extremely hard to fight, because they're also trained to attack in concert, and they usually bring a power that lets them resurrect dead teammates.

Jan 10th 2015 at 1:32:01 PM

I'd suggest two different game franchises, but I'm not sure if they count and they only have one game each in which that remotely fits (Since all the playable characters have at least one similar ability in those specific games (Unless you're counting DLC, which throws the Neptunia example out the window), while the other games don't have that)

Apr 16th 2016 at 1:18:10 PM

Oops, replied to the wrong YKTTW.

Apr 16th 2016 at 1:12:54 PM

Worm has the Yàngbǎn, a group of Chinese superheroes who all have the same powers, despite the fact that a rule of the Wormverse is that no two capes can have the exact same powers. This is because one of their members, Null, has the ability to take away powers and grant them to people en masse, albeit with a proportional reduction in the potency of said powers for each individual. To get around that issue, they use another cape called Two whose power is to amplify the powers of other capes.

Apr 16th 2016 at 3:18:30 PM

Should Similar Squad be linked on the page somehow?

Apr 17th 2016 at 8:52:32 PM

^ the title of this trope could be mistaken with Similar Squad.

Apr 17th 2016 at 9:15:27 PM

The Serpent Society from Marvel Comics, who all have snake-themed powers.

Also, the Lizard League from Invincible, who are Expies of the Serpent Society and thus have similar powers.

Apr 17th 2016 at 10:09:58 PM

Contrast Cast Speciation.

Also the Powerpuff Girls example, they all have always had eye beams. Blossom is the only one who has Ice Breath.

Dec 1st 2017 at 4:39:01 PM

Video Games

  • In Sonic Heroes, each of the four Power Trios has their own Speed (Sonic, Shadow, Amy, and Espio), Flight (Tails, Rouge, Cream, and Charmy) and Power (Knuckles, Omega, Big, and Vector) team members, each one having similar abilities required to complete the action stages.

Dec 1st 2017 at 5:35:24 PM

Fixed the PPG example. The episode being discussed had Blossom gaining frost breath, not eyebeams.

Dec 1st 2017 at 6:21:51 PM

siince i took this one and its been out for a while, does anyone think it needs anyhting else before it launches?

Dec 2nd 2017 at 6:59:52 AM

Providing a modified DB example, since the last one got rejected.

  • In Dragon Ball, while it's widespread to see characters with Ki Attacks and Ki Manipulation, the Z-Fighters specialize in ki-sense and power level varying. Later in the series where the Z-Fighters have mostly been whittled down to just Saiyans, all of them share the power to turn Super Saiyan, which multiplies their power to incredible levels.

Dec 2nd 2017 at 2:08:18 AM

League Of Super Redundant Heroes: The multiverse turns out to have an entire team of heroes with Lazer Pony's powers (firing Energy Beams from behind their eyes, whose masks have handlebars so teammates can aim them). While Lazer Pony is a Super Zero, his counterparts (the Lazer Stallions) are highly capable despite being blind (and one's in a wheelchair).

Dec 2nd 2017 at 6:54:30 PM

See I Believe I Can Fly, for when every member of a team can fly.

Dec 4th 2017 at 8:23:51 AM

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