Follow TV Tropes


Five-Man Band

Go To
Good things come in pairs, three is a magic number, Four Is Death, and for some reason we just like the number five. Maybe because there are five fingers to count on one hand. Or two legs, two arms and a head. Something about it makes it the perfect amount of intrigue but still simple enough to understand. Sounds like a good set up for a team.

A group of five can get a ton of combinations out of the ensemble without it feeling bloated or unwieldy.note  Longrunning Toku series like Science Ninja Team Gatchaman in 1972 and Super Sentai in 1975 (adapted into Power Rangers in 1993) were iconic for five member teams.

Many groups will have members fulfill defined archetypes. This makes their contribution to the team reliable and consistent. Even without perfect role lineups however, what makes the five man band work is the sheer variety of dynamics you can observe by mixing and matching different characters and subgroups. Like with Power Trios, the odd number of characters creates the constant need to find balance. Dynamics aren't rigid and can change depending on which collection of characters the story focuses on. Characters get depth from both their closest relationships, and how they interact with the relationships around them. Some common five man band set ups are:

In sum, while any collection of five people can make a group, it's the bonds between them and the way they are explored that elevates them to a band.

With the rare exception of having dividuals operating together in the same role, examples should be actual groups of five. The Sixth Ranger is meant to be a new member that shakes up the dynamics of an already existing and established five man band. If they have been there from the start or close to it, then it's a six person team and should be listed under The Team. If the team is featured as a band either In-Universe or supplementary material, then it's a Five-Man Band Concert.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Asian Animation 

  • Rimba Racer: The starting team, which lasts from around the start of season 1 to near the end of it, consists of five people; the main contrasting duo, Tag and Miles, and a varied supporting trio, Sonny, Meika, and Meelo. Over time, the team does away with the five-man structure, obtaining more members later on.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 


  • The Bad Guys (2022): The Bad Guys are a team of five criminals who specialise in grand heists. Mr. Wolf, a skilled mastermind and pickpocket, leads his four colleagues and close friends in committing several crimes. The crew is filled out by Mr. Snake, Mr. Wolf's close friend and expert safecracker; Mr. Shark, a Master of Disguise capable of fooling anyone; Ms. Tarantula, the resident hacker; and Mr. Piranha, who is the best of the group at beating people up.
  • Kung Fu Panda: The Furious Five, as of the first portion of the movie where they don't accept Po as one of theirs, form a team of five (as their name states). Tigress is considered by all of them to be a leader-figure who works with the four others — Monkey, Crane, Mantis, and Viper — and their vastly different fighting styles and skillsets.


  • Now You See Me: The Four Horsemen, with their secret Fifth Horseman, always have five members through the films they appear in.
    • The first film starts off with the Fifth Horseman, Dylan Shrike, helping four magicians pull off incredible heists. These four magicians are J. Daniel Atlas, a Smug Snake and the closest thing to a protaginist; Henley Reeves, an Escape Artist who helps the Horsemen escape from unlikely situations; Merritt McKinney, a hypnotist who gets others to help the Horsemen with their crimes, and Jack Wilder, a straightforward conman and pickpocket who gets to throw a lot of punches.
    • Now You See Me 2 continues the above formula with some minor changes. Aside from Dylan now being known to the rest of the group be the Fifth Horseman, Henley is replaced with Lula, who is an expert of faking deaths, but nevertheless fills the same niche as he predecessor.
  • The Suicide Squad: Bloodsport's original Squad B nearly fit the classic roles. Bloodsport himself is specifically chosen to lead the team. Peacemaker often clashes with Bloodsport over his leadership style. Ratcatcher II is an overall caring member and a Morality Pet for Bloodsport as they form a father/daughter-like relationship. The group is rounded out by King Shark a Dumb Muscle Beast Man, and the socially awkward Polka-Dot Man.


  • Air Awakens: In Crystal Crowned, the group of five sorcerers travel through the Empire to rally people to fight the false king. The group includes Aldrik, crown prince and future Emperor; Jax, his old friend and opposite; Vhalla, the smallest yet the most powerful once she gets her powers back; Elecia, well-educated healer and cleric; and Fritz, the only one among them who has not lost his innocence during the war in the North.
  • Whateley Universe: In Ill Winds, the Grove assembles The Five: Fey as The Queen, Razorback as The Champion and Bard, Jericho as The Healer, Chaka as The Mistress of Chi and finally Chou as The Overseer of Balances.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 

    Western Animation