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Aloof Ally

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"Sheldon, is proving that you're single-handedly smarter than everyone else so important that you would rather lose by yourself than win as part of a team?"
Leonard Hofstadter, The Big Bang Theory

Your super team has a habit of getting into trouble — they're too naive, too inexperienced, and may want to hug the Monster of the Week instead of hurt it. You could send in a Mysterious Protector to help them out, but you've either done that already or you're saving it for later, and besides, you haven't even filled up all the slots in the team yet! But wait — what if you could send in your occasional cavalry and use those character slots?

Enter the Aloof Ally. This ally is explicitly going after the same thing as you for the same results, and shows up to help you, being initially stronger. Don't confuse that with being "on your side", though. When the heroes ask them "Why aren't you joining us? We're teammates!", they'll snap and brush them off for being too naive, trusting, and/or comparatively useless.

The Aloof Ally may reject The Power of Friendship now, but later — because the heroes keep trying — they'll end up re-evaluating their position and join up with the team anyway. Sadly, this usually involves a usefulness drop. Though if not, they may become The Lancer to the main character.

Stock Phrases for the Aloof Ally include "I Was Just Passing Through" and "I Did What I Had to Do". A standard pose would be the casual badass slouch.

May also be The Rival.

Compare with the Enigmatic Minion, a villainous version. For attitude, compare to Tsundere. If the "initially stronger" part is badly done, it may result in a God-Mode Sue.

Compare and Contrast with Who Needs Enemies? which is the more cynical version of this trope. Unlike the Aloof Ally, they only work with the characters out of circumstance. Their goals and agenda are generally distinct enough from the heroes that while they may cooperate if it suits their own interests, they can just as easily throw the heroes under the bus if it lets them succeed in their personal goals...


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Code Geass: C.C. had elements of this, particularly at the beginning of the series, in regards to our Byronic Hero, Lelouch. According to her, "their relationship is strictly a contract", although she defrosts as the show continues.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, while stunned by the amnesiac trauma that made him become a Demon Slayer, Muichiro Tokito comes off as incredibly cold, even more so than Giyu at first, seeming a little rude to others with how little he seems to care about anyone; however, when he finally awakens in the Swordsmith Village arc Muichiro becomes his old kind self, only towards his new friends though, he can still be cold to acquaintances.
  • Piccolo and Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z. Though they get less and less aloof as the series goes on, though. It eventually gets to the point where they're hanging out at parties and playing karaoke with the other fighters.
  • The Universe Survival arc of Dragon Ball Super has quite a few, but the biggest are Frieza who, despite a few teases, loyally spends the tournament as a Token Evil Teammate, and Jiren, up to then uncontested most powerful mortal in every universe. Jiren has very little regard for his teammates or anything, really, besides the pursuit of even greater strength. Android 17 is also a more benign example who has been protecting a park on an island from poachers and raising a family all this time since the end of the Cell Games. He is not attending the party after the end of the tournament, but being on perfectly fine terms with the rest of the cast.
  • Kaze in Final Fantasy: Unlimited. Sure, he "just happens" to arrive just in time to help the protagonists in practically every episode.
  • Caren from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch refused to join with the Power Trio because she was bitter about a rumor that Rina had abandoned Caren's sister Noel when they were in danger. (In fact, Noel had made a Heroic Sacrifice for Rina to escape.) Between random rescues, she sabotaged their civilian lives, interrupting Lucia's love confession to Kaito and leaving the three of them with a giant food bill.
    • Rina herself was like this for an episode or two before joining the main team.
  • Nao from My-Otome. It's not so much that she doesn't want to fight evil - she dislikes Nagi's evil and ambitious nature as much as Natsuki does - but that doing so takes away from her "Nao" time. She still complains after her rapid promotion to Pillar late in the original series, but tends to have a lot of fun beating up on the Slaves when it's time to throw down.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Subverted with Milky Rose from Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!. She starts out exactly like this, saving Pretty Cure at the last minute with her awesome power and showing them up in everything at school. Then, when it turns out she's actually just the Bratty Half-Pint mascot creature in humanoid form, she reveals that she only acted that way because she'd seen it too many times on TV. From then on, she reverts to her original personality, though not to her original level of usefulness.
      • Cure Muse masked herself with a black costume and occasionally helps the other Cures to fight the villains from Minor Land. In speaking of helping, she really only helps them, but never finishes any Monsters of the Week off, claiming that she's not on any side. The reason is that she hasn't the courage to fight Mephisto directly who is her Brainwashed and Crazy father. After revealing her true identity as Ako Shirabe and rescuing Mephisto, she becomes a regular main character.
    • And while we're on the topic, we have Makoto Kenzaki/Cure Sword from Doki Doki! PreCure (also known as Mackenzie Mack/Glitter Spade) - mostly because of her personal issues. She gets over it quickly.
      • Likewise with Cure Ace. She actually wants to join them at first, but she uses Secret Tests of Character to strengthen before she finally joins them. Her Stealth Hi/Bye is also justified by having a time limit for using her powers.
      • Cure Fortune of HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! is this, too, due to the fact that the Phantom Empire took her family and she doesn't trust Cure Princess because of her Dark Secret. When she decides TO gain allies, it's less because she's accepted The Power of Friendship, it's because she wants to use them so that they can protect her while she grows stronger. It ends up being her Hoist by Her Own Petard moment when she runs off to fight Phantom on her own and she's Brought Down to Normal. It's only Cure Princess' arrival that she's spared and Came Back Strong and she ultimately realizes where she screwed up.
      • Deconstructed with Cure Cosmo of Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure. Having worked on her own since her entire world was petrified, even when she becomes a Cure, she stays away from the rest of the team even when they're in civilian forms. When Fuwa suffers a bit of Power Incontinence, she tries to shoulder the responsibility and work solo, but Cure Soliel tells her that it's better to work together than alone, she cuts it out.
  • In Reborn! (2004) this is actually Kyoya Hibari's job description as Tsuna's Cloud Guardian.
    Reborn: To be the aloof, drifting Cloud that protects the Family from an independent standpoint, and whom nothing can ever bind.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Tuxedo Mask in the first season. Especially because they didn't even know if he was an ally or an evil 3rd party much of the time. He would show up, briefly fight the Monster of the Week and leave often not even bothering to see if the Sailor Soldiers lived or not. Until the ball where he and Usagi rescue each other when he finally admits he's searching for the Silver Crystal for altruistic purposes (to rescue the princess of his dreams), they don't trust him.
    • Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune (and later the Sailor Starlights), whose main issue with the Five-Man Band was that they were all too idealistic and refused to use lethal force. In both cases, they devolved into cynics due to the idealistic nature of the show itself and the fact that any character's effectiveness against a monster tended to be plot-controlled rather than skill-controlled.
  • Ikki from Saint Seiya dislikes teamwork; he comes to battle whenever Athena's Saints need his help and is often seen coming in the nick of time to save his younger brother and friends from certain death. This tactic has always been exploited to their advantage since the enemies are caught by surprise upon meeting/fighting him.
  • Sonic X:
    • Knuckles prefers to do things alone and tends to get pretty annoyed with Sonic's reckless ways and the group worshiping him. It was only in later episodes, that he grew more attached to the group.
    • Shadow in season 3. He helps Sonic and his friends out when they need it, but he remains distant and is not an actual member of the team and sometimes ends up in conflict with them due to his extreme measures.
    • Downplayed and mostly averted with Sonic himself. He is friendly and cheerful, but not very expressive and tends to prefer being beside himself until a threat appears. This is far less apparent in the comics.
  • D-Boy from Tekkaman Blade almost fits with the description word for word. He's initially stronger than everyone else, wants to defeat the Radam, and doesn't really join forces with either the military or the Space Knights. The catch is, his reason to not join forces with either side is a bit complicated.
  • Transformers: Robots in Disguise has Ultra Magnus. Jealously over his brother Optimus Prime being the one to be given the Matrix and command of the Autobots keeps him from fully joining the team (and thus being under Prime's direct command) and he's got a bad case of I Was Just Passing Through. Yes, Magnus, you just happened to be wandering through the Sahara Desert at the right time to save the team. A Jerk with a Heart of Gold, he goes from "hates the 'cons a little more than he hates Optimus" to series regular who helps out in every episode but makes sure to remind everyone that he was just in the neighborhood and is not part of the team, really. As TF Wiki puts it, "This is either because Magnus can't deny his (somewhat buried and tarnished) noble Autobot nature, or because if Prime gets blown to tiny bits, the Matrix could get blown to tiny bits with him."
  • Wolfwood in his first few appearances in Trigun. It's likely Chapel the Evergreen intended to carry out his mission this way, but he had far too much in common with Vash; that and circumstance led to them becoming virtual blood brothers.
  • Kurama and especially Hiei of YuYu Hakusho. Though Kurama is nice, he does not often hang out with the group outside of battle. Hiei is a more extreme example, during the Sensui arc, he appears just to save Yusuke from "Sniper" and take part in the main battle.

    Comic Books 
  • Knuckles in Sonic the Comic. Of course, it doesn't help that Sonic's so arrogant he always puts off new allies anyway.
  • Bloodhawk in X-Men 2099 was occasionally an ally of the X-Men, but initially declined offers to join the team for reasons of his own. He did eventually join up, though.
  • In Death of the Family, Batgirl acts like this to the Teen Titans. Kid Flash even tries to hug her...only to find out that she has devices on her suit to give people a shock!
  • Xadhoom starts out this way in Paperinik New Adventures, only caring about the hero as someone that could help her kill more Evronians. They became closer over time.
  • Mostly downplayed in Batwoman's case. She's definitely an ally of Batman and the rest of the Batfamily and will help them if she's available, but generally keeps to herself as far as superheroing goes.
  • Thor was this at the beginning of Ultimate Marvel, helping the Ultimates take down major threats but not being an official, government-sanctioned member of the team. In his case, he abstained from joining due to his distrust of the American government and disapproval of the ways in which it used the Ultimates. Unlike most examples, he was always rather jovial and willing to help the team.
  • Post-New 52 Red Hood became this to the bat family after his stint as an enemy in Batman (Grant Morrison). While the others take their time in trusting him, they at least appreciate his help as long as he doesn't kill again.

    Fan Works 
  • Tatl Beryllia in The Blue Blur of Termina. Initially, she only teamed up with Sonic because the Skull Kid abandoned and (indirectly) injured her. In fact, as shown by her letting Sonic fall in the Subterranean Forest, she makes it clear that she couldn't care less about his safety.
  • General Olivier Mira Armstrong in the Elemental Chess Trilogy is this to the main cast in the third installment. She really has no use for Roy Mustang, but she has enough regard for the rest of his team to take an interest in what's happening, and she even outright pities him when he's unjustly sentenced to death.
  • The Night Unfurls: When travelling with the Black Dogs to the Grim Up North, the Hunter opts to keep to himself, believing that there's no point in befriending anyone, and that the fates of other mercs don't matter to him. He subverts this trope after the Black Fortress is taken. Though his asocial and dispassionate attitude persists, the Hunter gains allies for a goal (e.g., travelling back to the South to bring Olga to Celestine with a few companions in tow, training apprentices, fighting against the Black Dogs with his Men of Sherwood, etc.note ) and proves to be invested in their safety rather than being dismissive of them.
  • Lisa Lavender in A Rabbit Among Wolves. She doesn't believe Jaune can actually reform the White Fang and make a difference, but she is moved enough by his sincerity that she sends him information about organizations that have oppressed Faunus. Once the resulting raid does make a difference, Lisa finds her passion for investigative journalism reignited, and drops the "Aloof" aspect entirely by aligning herself with Jaune.

  • In Blood's Pride, the mercenary called the Mongrel has been hired by the Shadari rebels to lead their uprising, but although the rebellion is indeed successful, she certainly didn't work closely with her employers in the course of achieving it (to the point where they often thought she'd betrayed them). She is contemptuous towards the self-appointed rebel leader who hired her and has no particular interest in whether he and his gang survive to see the fruits of their rebellion. In fact, nobody is quite sure what she actually wants, and she deliberately keeps it that way.
  • In Simulated Rose counts, she doesn't talk much and doesn't really seem that interested in getting to know or talk to Sam but is willing to back up the mansion when required.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: One can never predict when Illyria will assist Team Angel, or why. At one point, she rescues Gunn from a torture dimension just so she can throttle him in front of Wesley, apparently to play the You Owe Me card.
    • Wesley himself qualifies for the majority of season four. He rescues Angel from the bottom of the ocean, and even allows Angel to feed on him when he realizes that pig's blood is not enough for the severely malnourished vampire. Wesley's motive in all of this is not to earn Angel's forgiveness and get back on the team; he simply does it because he recognizes Angel's importance as a force for good in their ongoing struggle against evil. Angel actually does forgive him and offers to let him back on the team, but Wesley responds coldly and still stays the hell away for a while. When he does eventually rejoin Angel Investigations, it's more out of mutual necessity than anything else, and there's still a lot of tension between him and the rest of the group (namely Gunn).
  • Sailor Mars and, later, Sailor Venus from Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, which is part of the reason that they grow to become friends after a long struggle of the former trying to get the latter to join the Sailor Team.
  • Power Rangers has a number of examples:
    • The big mystery for a good deal of Power Rangers Zeo was "Who is the Gold Ranger?" The badass with his own Theme Song would appear in a golden streak of energy, save everyone's butts, and then vanish. He eventually said that he'd lose his powers if he revealed his identity. We found out who he was after he lost them anyway due to his three souls coming apart. Eh, It Makes Sense in Context.
    • It worked well enough to be repeated next season. Who is the Phantom Ranger? We never found out his deal, and when asked about it later, different writers had different ideas and all said: "Well, that's what I think it'd be cool, but nothing like that was anything like official."
    • The Magna Defender from Lost Galaxy was against the bad guys, but out for revenge and viewed the Rangers as being in the way. He eventually had just enough of a Face Turn to make a Heroic Sacrifice, and his successor was a proper Sixth Ranger.
    • Time Force's Quantum Ranger tended to treat the main team with no small amount of bitterness, often bordering on outright contempt... especially toward the Red Ranger. He mellowed out somewhat as the series went on, but he was never more than a Jerk with a Heart of Gold until the finale.
    • The Lunar Wolf Ranger from Wild Force is a partial example: he liked the main team well enough and was totally on their side, but he wasn't a very social guy and couldn't forgive himself for making their lives difficult while he was Brainwashed and Crazy, despite the Rangers' easy forgiveness. So outside of battle, they didn't see him much.
    • The Omega Ranger of SPD started out this way (being from the future, he thought their gear was So Last Season) but got better quickly. The Shadow Ranger, on the other hand, kind of had to be aloof as he was the team's commanding officer, and he made perfectly clear that he wouldn't bail them out of every little scrape they got in.
    • The Robo Knight from Megaforce. Justified, as he's a superpowered, emotionless robot programmed to protect Earth and its environment: while he's aware that his programming overlaps with the Megaforce Rangers' main mission, he still believes that, since humans are inefficient beings, inherently fragile and valuing more other humans than their mission, he would be more efficient by working alone, and more useful to the mission and the team by embodying this trope.
    • Deconstructed in Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger with Burai the Dragon Ranger. He usually only showed up to bail the Zyurangers out of a jam, but that's because he's Living on Borrowed Time and when he's not fighting he's always fretting about the little time he has left.
  • Yuto Sakurai/Kamen Rider Zeronos in Kamen Rider Den-O, who works towards the same goal as Ryotaro/Den-O, but chastises his fellow Rider for thinking that protecting the timeline is the same thing as protecting people. He does eventually mellow out, though.
  • Noah Bennet can be like this in Heroes whenever he's working for the latest Big Bad. For example, when he joins Danko in Season 3 he's doing it to protect Claire and moderate Danko, though he actively works against the heroes.
  • Subverted by the titular character of The Mandalorian, who seems stoic and dismissive and often leaves his allies, but he's actually polite and friendly around people who aren't unsavory. His aloofness comes from social awkwardness and shyness more than anything else, and he only leaves because he has other commitments (i.e., the Child) to take care of.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Eldar from Warhammer 40,000 are often thought of as a "good" race, and are often lumped in with the Imperium in campaigns. However, there is a famous quote that sums up that they are not trusted allies: "Make no mistake, human. We do not fight for your Emperor. We fight against Horus."
    • The Imperium's Space Marine chapters can fall under this as well, choosing when and where they fight. The Dark Angels and their successors in particular are known for this. Showing up and providing aid without warning, then leaving just as fast.
    • During the Horus Heresy, the Alpha Legion often went out of their way to aid Imperial forces even though they were on Horus' side, leading to speculations that they were Fake Defectors, or at least just nominally tied to the traitors.

    Video Games 
  • Etna in Disgaea 2. Like you, she is also out for Overlord Xenon's blood. Unlike you, who is doing it for the good of the world, Etna's just doing it for the bragging rights and doesn't want your woefully underleveled ass stealing her thunder. She does eventually join you. However, it's not because she's warmed up to you or learned the the meaning of friendship, but because you accidentally depowered her and now she needs a meat shield until she's back up to snuff.
  • Midna in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess starts out as a version of this, but has a gradual change of heart.
  • Rave Heart: Although Milo helps break Chad out of prison, he makes it clear that this is an alliance of convenience. After the boss fight with a wyrm, Milo takes a shuttle for himself and leaves Chad behind. Though he does have the decency to leave a key behind so that Chad can operate a different shuttle.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Shadow the Hedgehog. He helps out every now and then, but he's a pretty standoffish individual, even to his own friends. He lampshades this in Sonic Chronicles:
    Shadow: Don't expect me to join in on your group hugs and picnics!
    • Knuckles the Echidna (apparently) prefers to work in solitude and keep his distance from the others. But that's understandable since he is destined to live alone, guarding the Master Emerald.
  • Proto Man, the brother of Mega Man, is a free-spirited robot who prefers to live life on his own terms. Nonetheless, when his family and allies are in danger, he'll come to their aid.
  • Judas from Tales of Destiny 2 is one for a short while at the beginning of the game, but he eventually comes around and agrees it would be easier for everyone to just travel together. There's several good reasons he was reluctant to join, including a poor reputation and the fact that he ended up betraying his last group of friends.
  • Yuan from Tales of Symphonia seems to flip between this and Enigmatic Minion. Ultimately, he's an Aloof Ally who fully supports the heroes, though he never joins the party itself.
  • Asch, Luke's original from Tales of the Abyss fits this trope perfectly. While he does join the party sometimes and is on their side, he mostly does his own thing off the side and has an Oranyan attitude towards the party and outright refuses to join them most of the time, mostly because of his resentment towards Luke. He also acts like a Jerkass to everyone that's not Natalia.
  • Fallout's Mysterious Stranger perk gives the player one, albeit one who never gets Character Development. As does Fallout 3 (which has him turn up randomly to kill any enemies you targeted in VATS).
  • Advanced V.G.: While the other girls befriend Yuka soon after their defeat, Reimi regards her as a Worthy Opponent, rather than a friend. But she isn't completely without feeling for her and has used her status as Chairwoman of the Jahana Corporation to conduct investigations of Section-9, on Yuka's behalf.
  • Super Robot Wars: Original Generation: Axel Almer becomes this after his Heel–Face Turn. He makes sporadic appearances In OG Gaiden, aiding the heroes during tough fights, then leaving after the fight's over. He becomes a permeate ally in 2nd Original Generation but admits that he feels uncomfortable being around them because of the bad blood between them. (the fact that one of them is the Good Twin of his Arch-Enemy doesn't help in that regard.)
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics: Orran is this regarding Ramza, also the trope arguably may fit for Delita.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia occasionally does this, with certain storyline characters appearing in cutscenes throughout a chapter but not becoming playable the end. This is the case for Shantotto, who spends most of Chapter 6 finding answers in her own way, which occasionally involves teaming up with the party's enemies and causing them to question her motives. However, her investigations reveal that the "light" is only as benevolent as the person who has it, which exposes Mog into an Unreliable Expositor. After this, she joins their ranks.
  • Kasumi Yoshizawa in Persona 5 Royal was marketed as the Sixth Ranger and shows up to save Joker during the In Medias Res sequence at the start of the game, but in the actual story, while she admires Joker she doesn't particularly care for the Phantom Thieves and is more concerned with her gymnastics career than their crusade against authority even after awakening to her Persona. However, she does ultimately become the 11th-Hour Ranger during the endgame's third trimester.
  • In Lords of the Realm 2, any nobles you ally with will typically not send help to you when you ask, especially the Bishop. The only practical use for an ally is to prevent them from openly attacking you, so it's often wise to ally with whichever noble is closest to you so you can build up your forces and take them down when they eventually call off the alliance.
  • Both Morrigan and Sten fit the bill in Dragon Age: Origins. Sten is accompanying the Warden because s/he negotiated his release from prison in exchange for his help against the Blight, while Morrigan has been sent along on the quest by her mother for unknown reasons. Both are societal outsiders (Sten is from a country with a Blue-and-Orange Morality system, Morrigan is an apostate mage raised in the wilderness) and neither is at all friendly to anyone else in the group, including and especially each other. Whether they thaw at all depends on the player's interactions with them.
  • Amarant in Final Fantasy IX is a bounty hunter who Zidane defeats and convinces him to join his group. Amarant gives minimal support at best and constantly criticizes Zidane for always being reliant on others. He also couldn't care less about the current happenings of the world and is only sticking around to see why he lost to Zidane and why he din't kill him after losing to him. When the party reaches Ispen's Castle, Amarant proposes that he and Zidane should have a race to see who can reach the innermost room first. Amarant reaches the room before Zidane's group and says that he won because he didn't have to rely on other people that would have slowed him down like Zidane's allies did. Amarant leaves the group but falls through one of the castle's trapdoors and is immobilized from his injuries. Zidane runs back to the castle alone to find him and after having a talk with him, Amarant realizes that his full potential can only be achieved if he works together with others and decides to stay with the party permamently. In a meta sense, this also extends to some of his battle skills that involve aiding his party.

    Visual Novels 
  • Eriko in YU-NO has goals that seem to match up with Takuya's and is perfectly trustworthy, but she's rather distant and doesn't feel like lending Takuya much direct assistance if she can help it.
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
    • Ange kind of walks the border between this and the Mysterious Protector. She has all of the attitude of this trope ("Leave the jokes to your hairstyle," was her response to Battler claiming that he was trying hard to beat Beatrice) with the aims of the other.
    • Bernkastel appears to be this but from the end of EP4 onwards, it's made clear that she is most certainly not Battler or Ange's ally.
  • Kai Satou of Your Turn to Die is a deconstruction. He is generally helpful toward the group, but because he is so distant and suspicious, no one fully trusts him. As a result, he gains the majority vote during the first Main Game despite his frantic pleas, only being saved from execution by going out on his own terms. As the game progresses, the group learns that while he knew more than he let on, he was truly on their side, and remains the most important person in their quest to escape even posthumously.

    Web Original 
  • In Survival of the Fittest version three, Dominica Shapiro's part in SADD was very much one of these, although she was slowly becoming more a part of the team.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman likes to think he is one of these for the Justice League, but let's be honest, he's just fooling himself. He's a part-timer, you know.
    • Justice League's real example is Aquaman, who'll generally help out when called on, but isn't actually a league member and is more concerned with ruling his kingdom than doing good.
    • Nightwing in the episode of The New Batman Adventures "You Scratch My Back".
  • Red Arrow fills this role early in Young Justice (2010). This turns out to be justified by the fact that Red Arrow is a clone who was programmed to get into the Justice League, and going solo achieved that goal faster than joining the team would have.
  • In the Thunder Cats 2011 episode "The Duelist and the Drifter", when young hero Lion-O stops at the Swordsmans' Town, an eccentric, rabbit-like drifter appears to deliver several suspiciously ambivalent Adventure Rebuffs. He warns against getting involved in the Sword Fight culture there, and notes repeatedly that he will not help, and does not care what happens to Lion-O should he fail to heed him. He cares so little, in fact, that he keeps showing up wherever Lion-O happens to be, full of advice.
    The Drifter:: "...if you expect me to help, you haven't been paying attention."
  • In any X-Men cartoon, pretty much any character who's a member of the team in the comics but not the cartoon fills this trope, helping the X-Men on occasion but declining to officially join for one reason or another.
  • Steven Universe has Lapis Lazuli, whose interests regarding helping the main characters stop at "protect Steven", as he was the first being in millennia to ever show her kindness. She has no love for the rest of the Crystal Gems or the planet Earth, as she deems every faction of the Gem War as responsible for the horrible things that have happened to her. So while she's willing to work with and help the team for Steven's sake, she's generally a Wild Card more interested in her own self-preservation than anything else. At least until she officially joins the team at the end of the fifth season.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Even when Mitchell became an ally to Team Propulsion towards the end of season 1, he is still rather snarky and aloof towards others. Best demonstrated in season 2's Halloween Episode "That's One Gigantic Pumpkin, Jet Propulsion!", wherein he doesn't really want to go along with Mindy and Lillian's fun. He also continues to reject help from others when trying to solve his detective cases, such as in "You Can Call Me Albedo". Despite all this, he will always pull through for his friends when the time is right, best demonstrated when he rescued his comrades from drowning in Little Dipper Lake in "One Small Step".
  • The Transformers: Though the Dinobots wear the Autobot badge, they consider themselves a separate group, challenge the authority of Optimus Prime and are more loyal to each other than to the rest of the Autobots.