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A-Team Montage

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A team of characters build something that will pull everyone's bacon out of the fire. A montage is used to show each person exercising their speciality (usually without lines) in the pursuit of this goal.

Named after the 80's series The A-Team, which had such montage Once per Episode. The true "A-Team Montage" will often include large quantities of Stock Footage. This can lead to humorous mistakes, such as an obvious set of black hands building the superweapon, even though Mr. T's character had been captured by bad guys.

The A-Team was also famous for the apparent genius-level DIY skills they employed during the montage; in a matter of a few minutes, the A-Team could turn six feet of PVC piping, a golf-cart, and several kilograms of semi-volatile chemicals into a heavily-armored tank. That their captors were routinely stupid enough to lock them in a warehouse full of PVC piping, golf carts and semi-volatile chemicals is not relevant to the trope, though it is an example of extreme Genre Blindness.

Special case of the Hard-Work Montage, and similar to the Lock-and-Load Montage. Commonly used in The Caper or The Con, especially if it's an Impossible Mission.

See also Creation Sequence, the Super-Trope. Compare Avengers Assemble and Plot Tailored to the Party.


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    Films — Animation 
  • This is used in a way in the animated film Once Upon a Forest, when the three furlings come together and use teamwork to build a flying machine using Bamboo Technology.
  • Big Hero 6 has a montage showing each of the six team members exercising their new skills.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In From Dusk Till Dawn, the remaining protagonists (Seth Gecko and Jacob, Scott, and Kate Fuller) perform an A-Team Montage when they jury rig a number of weapons against the vampires besieging them as they are hiding in a storage room of a biker bar.
  • The remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004) features one of these as the heroes retrofit some parking shuttles, preparing to break through the zombie army that has besieged their shopping mall.
  • Every one of the new Ocean's Eleven trilogy. Interestingly, we usually end up seeing that what they were building was merely a cover for the real con.
  • Tremors 3: Back to Perfection features one, with characters building weapons off what they find in a junkyard.
  • Evil Dead:
    • Ash has a one-man version in Evil Dead 2, single-handedly refitting a chainsaw to replace his severed appendage.
    • Army of Darkness plays it straight, as the blacksmith and various other medieval screw-heads assist with the construction of a replacement gauntlet/hand and conversion of his beat-up Oldsmobile into a crazy war machine.
  • In Fair Game, a montage is used to show Jessica working through the night to booby-trap the farm before the hunters arrive in the morning. We are not shown how the traps work until they are activated, however.
  • Napoleon Dynamite has a Shout-Out montage which uses the actual A-Team theme song while Napoleon and Pedro are putting up flyers for the student election.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A contemporary of The A-Team, MacGyver (1985) also featured a similar montage towards the end of each show.
  • The CSI shows employ this trope frequently, as the various forensic specialists build a case.
    • CSI: NY's episode 9.04, "Unspoken," does this for the first 20 minutes or so.
  • Mission: Impossible often featured sequences where characters worked on a project without dialogue, but this was never done as montage.
  • Seen often in Top Gear (UK), although the presenters being what they are to each other, it seldom goes smoothly.
    • Lampshaded in the Vietnam special, where James May actually hums the theme to The A-Team during the A-Team Montage of the presenters modifying their motorbikes into watercraft.
    • In the Reliant Robin review, Clarkson "cues the music", only for it to stop suddenly when he drives the front wheel straight into the inspection pit of the garage.
    • Played with when building a car for the elderly. The montage is there as usual, but it gets a much more sedate and classical version of the music to match.
  • MythBusters frequently has these, due to the show being only an hour long and some of the builds taking many man-hours to complete. Occasionally, the A-Team may even be referenced.
  • In the working script for the Firefly episode "Heart of Gold," the scene where Mal and his scrappy crew prepare their literal Army of Thieves and Whores is described with "A-Team-style 'getting shit done' music plays under this."
  • The pilot episode of The IT Crowd uses this - with the A-Team music included as a Brick Joke since Denholm had mentioned the A-Team earlier when telling the IT Department how much he loved teams.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect 2 features something like this in its finale. First each of the 3 main ship upgrades are shown doing their job in various ways to protect the crew getting to the enemy base, if you missed one then it won't fulfill its role. Then throughout the final mission you're given the chance to pick different people to perform different jobs and treated to a cutscene of them either performing it perfectly or messing up and letting someone die. The best ending is a picture perfect montage interspersed with gameplay, showing each of the chosen teammembers doing what they do best to keep everyone alive.

    Web Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Summertime Shorts: "Get the Show on the Road" has some aspects of this trope when the Rainbooms work on the derelict bus, notably each of them using their respective powers to fix it, and numerous close-ups on the reparation, along with Split Screen. And they provide their own song with the montage, too.

    Western Animation 
  • Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: "Tired and Feathered," a Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner cartoon from 1965 whose major gag a phony bird sanctuary with a rigged pay telephone begins with the Coyote building said structure; a montage of the Coyote at work is shown before cutting to a scene of the Coyote admiring his completed work ... until he hears the phone ring for real! You know what happens next.
  • In The Tick a group of brilliant inventors from different eras (and Mona Lisa), who were all kidnapped and imprisoned by a villain, managed to do this with what they had in their cell, turning it into mobile vehlice armed with several kinds of weapons.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "One Bad Apple" features the Cutie Mark Crusaders putting together a parade float as part of a Batman Gambit to deal with a bully. The sequence even features a Suspiciously Similar Song to The A-Team theme.
  • Drawn Together has two, first when they're modifying Foxxy's van for an assault (then they immediately crash it into a tree), then when they're making a completely unnecessary ad-hoc escape vehicle to get out of their van when they're trapped in a parking lot.
  • Sonic Boom: In "Closed Door Policy", during a yard sale at Sticks' burrow, Amy accidentally takes a surfboard holding back the entrance to the underground lair of the Froglodytes, a race of frog-like warriors. Although Team Sonic attempt to hold them back, the Frog Men nonetheless kidnap Sticks, prompting the rest of the team to initiate a rescue operation, gathering up the possessions from the yard sale so they can be used as weapons. Said montage is complimented by generic but fitting music.
  • South Park: "Night of the Living Homeless" had one of these depicting the boys modifying a bus so they could use it to deal with the homeless epidemic. By singing a song telling them that California is the best state for homeless people, just like what all the other states did.
  • Centaurworld: In "My Tummy, Your Hurts" the herd is crushing ice to separate themselves from the coldtaurs, with each character utilizing their strengths - Durpleton is seen hammering ice with his head, and Wammawink uses her knitting needles. The scene is even set to a tune similar to The A-Team theme.


Video Example(s):


Do You Believe In Magic?

During this montage, we see Fly, Chuck, Stella and Sasha getting the ingredients for the antidote, before time is up.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ATeamMontage

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