Follow TV Tropes


Five-Man Band

Go To
Pictured: Everybody in the band. And no one else.
The Five-Man Band is a group of characters whose members fall into archetypes which all complement one another. They are a very specific team with skills that contribute to the group in a way oddly analogous to the members of a rock band. It can sometimes literally be a musical group, but much more often is not.

The group traditionally includes:

  • The Leader(lead singer) The leader of the group. Can be a mastermind, charismatic, levelheaded, headstrong, or some combination of the four. Often also The Hero.
  • The Lancer(lead guitar) Usually a contrast to The Leader. If the Leader is clean-cut and/or uptight, the Lancer is a grizzled Anti-Hero or Deadpan Snarker; if the Leader is driven and somewhat amoral, the Lancer is more relaxed and level-headed.
  • The Smart Guy(keyboardist) The physically weak, but intelligent or clever member. Often nerdy and awkwardly played for comic relief. Sometimes unconventionally young (early- to mid-teens). Sometimes The Trickster and a buddy of the Big Guy.
  • The Big Guy(drummer) The strongman of the team. May be dumb. Or mute.
  • The Chick(vocal effects, tambourine) A peacekeeping role to balance out the other members' aggression, bringing them to a nice or at least manageable medium. The Chick is often considered the heart of the group. This role is played by a woman or girl. Someone female. Otherwise, it is not a Five-Man Band.

The five-man rock band phenomenon, four guys and a girl singer, is no longer as current as it once was. It was very hard to escape in the 60's and 70's. However, the group structure, as you will see in the examples, turns up in a lot of storytelling. Like a whole lot of storytelling.

Subtrope of The Team. See also ¡Three Amigos!, Power Trio, and Cast Calculus. Fighting ability is usually determined by Fixed Relative Strength. Compare the Command Roster, for military-esque teams. The Psycho Rangers are the collective Evil Counterpart of a given Five-Man Band. See also Four-Temperament Ensemble.

These are examples of teams that fit all five of the character tropes. Remember that they form a team dynamic; it's always tempting to match two of the characters in a show, then try to convince yourself and others that the other characters can be squeezed/wedged/stuffed into the description of the other character types, but that's not the point of the Five-Man Band trope. The individual character types exist outside of the band. The Five-Man Band only occurs when the team as a whole fits, not just a few characters.


As a rule of thumb, if your band example has to justify more than two types, or a single trope with more than two sentences of qualifiers, you're trying to fool yourself. If it isn't a Five-Man Band, it isn't a Five-Man Band.


    open/close all folders 


  • The Weetabix Gang: In the early '80s, Weetabix cereal showed ads in Great Britain featuring a group of Weetabix who behaved and dressed like skinheads. Initially they just promoted the cereal, but later went on adventures and did several parodies and tie ins to pop music and films.
    • The Leader: Dunk, a tough guy who did the most talking, led the adventures, and set up the first half of the catch-phrase "If you know what's good for you."
    • The Lancer: Brian, a simple Plucky Comic Relief breakout character that finishes the catchphrase with "OK."
    • The Smart Guy: Brains, wore Nerd Glasses, and analyzed the titchy cereals.
    • The Big Guy: Crunch, the largest member, sometimes Dumb Muscle, often carrying smaller members like Brains and Bixie.
    • The Chick: Bixie, the only girl, often cheering on the other guys.

    Anime And Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 


  • Animorphs: The five human kids giving the andalite technology to morph to fight the Yeerk invasion together in secret. The are later joined by Sixth Ranger Ax, an andalite himself but never referred to as a core member of the team. (i.e. "The Animorphs and Ax")
    • The Leader: Jake, described as a natural born leader. Strong but kind, the one the others look to for guidance.
    • The Lancer: Marco, Jake's best friend who's always disagreeing with him, a cynical take on Plucky Comic Relief. He also plays The Consigliere or Number Two to whoever is giving orders at the time.
    • The Smart Guy: Tobias, a quiet thoughtful loner that got stuck in hawk morph, becoming the teams Army Scout to gather/relay mission intel before the others go in. As a full time bird he can spend his days with their alien allies and learn more about the lore of the series.
    • The Big Guy: Rachel, despite her model-like looks in human form, Rachel's morphs of choice (elephant and grizzly bear), and her blood lust make her well-suited to this role. As the series goes on, she starts becoming more like a heroic version of The Brute.
    • The Chick: Cassie, Jake's love interest, a young animal lover who helps her parents at their Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic (providing resources for rare morphs) and reminds them how important people and animals are.

  • The Dresden Files:
    • The Leader: Harry, a reluctant hero, and a wizard who helps the police with cases involving magic.
    • The Lancer: Karrin Murphy, a police officer and a skeptic who often seeks out Harry's help with magic cases.
    • The Smart Guy: Bob, a "spirit of intellect" that is bound to a skull Harry owns, and is more than willing to help him on a case.
    • The Big Guy: Michael, a stalwart Knight of the Cross who wields a legendary sword and Molly's protective father.
    • The Chick: Molly, with a natural apitude for "sensitive" magic, Harry's love interest and apprentice after he helps her.

  • The Famous Five: The titular famous five, four kids and their dog who go on adventures together.
    • The Leader: Julian, the eldest, he's clever, strong, and responsible.
    • The Lancer: George, the headstrong, and courageous tomboy.
    • The Smart Guy: Dick, cheeky, but dependable. Relies on his wits to help the team.
    • The Big Guy: Timmy, also the Team Pet, a loyal dog that provides physical protection for the children.
    • The Chick: Anne, the youngest, brave and resourceful and also handles the domestic duties.

  • Guardians of Ga'Hoole: Lampshaded in the movie by the Echidna, this is the band.
    • The Leader: Soren, the main protagonist of most of the books, the unofficial leader of the band, and the eventual king of Ga'Hoole.
    • The Lancer: Gylfie, Soren's closest companion and the smallest member of the team, who is skilled in navigation.
    • The Smart Guy: Digger, the burrowing owl who has a penchant for getting philosophical.
    • The Big Guy: Twilight, a large great gray owl who is the most skilled in terms of combat.
    • The Chick: Mrs. P, the band's female house-snake who provides a soft, motherly, and emotional touch.

  • E. W. Hidick's The Mc Gurk Mysteries was a series about a group of pre-teen detectives called the McGurk Detective Agency. Starting from the sixth book in the series, they were also a five man band. They added a Sixth Ranger in Book 16.
    • The Leader: Jack P. McGurk, the Jerk with a Heart of Gold leader of the group, also the main detective whose "hunches" usually saved the day.
    • The Lancer: Joey Rockaway, who served as the First-Person Peripheral Narrator of the series. He was intelligent but more along the lines of a librarian/archivist type, and rational where McGurk was intuitive.
    • The Smart Guy: Brains Bellingham, real name Gerald. He was the inventor and Gadgeteer Genius, but skeptical, sometimes too much so for his own good. Also an Insufferable Genius. At first an enemy of the group he joined at the end of Book 5 after the group collectively outsmarted him.
    • The Big Guy: Willie Sandowsky, who was very much the Gentle Giant/Lovable Coward type Big Guy, but intimidating the one or two times he did actually lose his temper. His main contribution to the group was actually his abnormally powerful sense of smell.
    • The Chick: Wanda Grieg, a tomboy who was usually the first to get aggressive, but was also the mediator to any fights she didn't start, knowledgeable about etiquette and other 'chick' things, and the one who was good with both younger kids and adults.

  • The Railway Series (Thomas the Tank Engine): The original Ffarquhar Line.
    • The Leader: Thomas, the cheeky hero.
    • The Lancer: Percy, the bratty prankster and Thomas' best friend.
    • The Smart Guy:Toby, the wisest one.
    • The Big Guy: Mavis, the tomboy who can lift the heaviest loads.
    • The Chick: Daisy, the somewhat elitist passenger car who later mellows out.

    Live Action TV 

  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future.
    • The Hero: Captain Jonathan Power. A good strategist and a fine soldier, but impetuous, immature, and still learning what it means to be a leader.
    • The Lancer: Major Matthew "Hawk" Masterson. A war veteran and friend of Jonathan's father, Stuart.
    • The Smart Guy: Sergeant Robert "Scout" Baker. Good with infiltration of both enemy bases as well as their computer networks.
    • The Big Guy: Lieutenant Michael "Tank" Ellis. The team's heavy weapon and Stone Wall, short on character development.
    • The Chick: Corporal Jennifer "Pilot" Chase. In addition to being the only female, she was rescued from the Dread Youth and quite The Stoic; ironically, becomes the heart and soul of the team.

  • Hawaii Five-0: The Core 5 members of the 5-0 Task Force.
    • The Leader: Steve, a gung-ho former Navy SEAL. The head of the Task Force who formed the team to find out the truth about his father's murder.
    • The Lancer: Danno, the de-facto Number Two, a seasoned detective to counter balance Steve, and being from the mainland gives him an outsiders perspective on island life.
    • The Smart Guy: Dr. Max, an eccentric medical examiner.
    • The Big Guy: Chin-ho, a hard boiled disgraced detective, very protective of his family and good in a fight.
    • The Chick: Kono, the youngest member of 5-0, she starts off as the most pacifistic of the team, and is able to deal with suspects in such a manner.

  • House of Anubis: The Sibuna members, who team up in each season to uncover the mysteries of the house and stop the antagonists in their evil plans. The team was nearly a FMB barring gender restrictions in seasons 1-2, but roster changed a bit in season 3, with two members leaving and two new members joining in their place making it a traditional band.
    • Season 3:
      • The Leader: Eddie, the season 3 protagonist and another one of The Chosen One, who was given the leader title after Nina left. He's compassionate and loyal, though also rebellious and impulsive as a leader.
      • The Lancer: Patricia, who once again takes up the role due to being Eddie's Belligerent Sexual Tension love-interest. She's jealous over his friendship with KT, and ends up being the first Sibuna member to pull a Face–Heel Turn and become a sinner.
      • The Big Guy: Alfie, who remains the largest and strongest member of Sibuna. He takes his role much more seriously than in later seasons, and even gets physically forceful against the evil team threatening to harm his girlfriend.
      • The Smart Guy: Fabian, who continues making the plans and solving the puzzles to allow Sibuna to advance.
      • The Chick: KT, taking the role in Amber's absence, is the emotional core of Sibuna. She is sweet, respectful, and is actively opposed to causing drama within the group.

  • Lost:
    • The five original A-Team members. While they are part of a greater ensemble cast, these five are held in higher esteem and typically deployed together on important missions, make the big decisions that affect the community together, or are the leaders of smaller units whenever they split up. They are:
      • The Leader: Jack, the doctor who lead the most missions and became the overall leader for the survivors.
      • The Lancer: Sawyer, a rebellious crook, and hoarding willing to go to lengths most others won't. Jack's rival, but he eventually softens.
      • The Smart Guy: Sayid, specialized diplomacy, intelligence gathering (torture), and fixing technical equipment.
      • The Big Guy: Locke, a Warrior Poet, hunter, and man of faith who bullheadedly fought for his beliefs.
      • The Chick: Kate, resourceful, quick witted, and always eager to help on both big missions and domestic matters to hide her mysterious past.
    • The Science Team that traveled to the Island together consisting of a black ops soldier guarding a group of civilians, however the team quickly loses its leader on arrival:
      • The Leader: Naomi, a kind black ops soldier, hired to lead and defend the civilian science team (though she is killed early on)
      • The Lancer: Miles, a snarky punk and spiritualist who specializes in the recently deceased.
      • The Smart Guy: Daniel, a Hollywood Nerd physicist, who became The Hero after Naomi's passing.
      • The Big Guy: Lapidus, a veteran military pilot, and rugged Cool Old Guy.
      • The Chick: Charlotte, a cultural anthropologist looking for her home, and Daniel's love interest.

  • MythBusters: The core recurring group putting myths to the test together throughout the shows run. Considering it is a pseudo-reality show you know it was mostly intentional.
    • The Leader: Jamie. He owns M-5 and was responsible for the initial concept of the show, alongside Peter Rees. He often develops the plan for how a myth will be tackled and keeps everybody on-track in their respective roles within the build, although a lot of his leadership is cut out because he can come off as very gruff when telling people what to do.
    • The Lancer: Adam. He was chosen by Jamie as co-host because he considers himself too dull. Also The Face as he is the most gregarious and outgoing of the team, and gives the most public presentations. While Jamie is the most iconic person on the show, Adam is the one most responsible for presenting the show to the audience.
    • The Smart Guy: Grant. Makes the robots. Grant is not necessarily smarter than anyone else, but is the only member of the team with a degree related to what they do (electrical engineering), giving him a larger base of knowledge to tackle certain builds.
    • The Big Guy: Tory. Reasonably athletic, he is the one who usually tests the more physically challenging myths, like test driving cars or actually using Grant's other inventions. Also has the most jokes at his expense, often involving slapstick.
    • The Chick: Kari. The only (permanent) girl of the group. Known mostly for her artistry skills, but she's more than willing to get her hands dirty when the situation calls for it. Usually more reasonable than the others but is just as fond of explosives as everyone else on the show.

  • Power Rangers: A longrunning franchise built with this trope at its very core. The Trope Codifier and first exposure to the Five-Man Band for many children around the world. Several teams have played it straight and some have subverted roles here and there over the series history since the 1990s (or 1970s via Japan's Super Sentai). The Red Ranger is almost always The Leader unless shown up by a Sixth Ranger. Typically the Pink Ranger is The Chick, though it sometimes goes to a female Yellow, or light Blue Ranger. The other usual rangers (Blue, Green/Black, Yellow etc) rotate roles more frequently depending on the series or continuity.
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Zordon and Alpha had to Recruit Teenagers with Attitude to stop the return of Rita Repusla. The original line up, later joined by Breakout Character Sixth Ranger and The Rival Tommy, the Green Dragon Ranger. He would later upgrade and lead the team as the White Tiger Ranger.
    • Power Rangers S.P.D.: The B-Squad Rangers
      • The Leader: Red Ranger Jack. A former delinquent turned hero who proves himself a capable commander.
      • The Lancer: Blue Ranger Sky. A By-the-Book Cop that clashes with Jack's Just Like Robin Hood mentality. Graduated the academy with top marks but passed over for leadership due to his ego.
      • The Smart Guy: Green Ranger Bridge. A Bunny-Ears Lawyer that tracks enemies using psychic powers, and stands on his head to think through complex issues.
      • The Big Guy: Yellow Ranger Z. A tomboy and fellow delinquent with Jack. She's tough, courageous, and can become a one man army with her duplication ability.
      • The Chick: Pink Ranger Sydney. The Lovable Alpha Bitch Idol Singer from a rich family. Initially vain, she later learns the value of friendship and becomes the one to inspire the other rangers to be better.
    • Power Rangers Mystic Force: the teens that become wizards destined to Save Both Worlds.
      • The Leader: Red Fire Ranger Nick. A loner that finds he's the only one who can bring together the other rangers.
      • The Lancer: Green Earth Ranger Xander. The Charmer and the team's supervisor, leading to clashes with Nick as the leader.
      • The Smart Guy: Yellow Thunder Ranger Charlie. A self proclaimed super hero expert, and the most eager to learn magic to solve riddles and unlock secrets.
      • The Big Guy: Pink Wind Ranger Vida. The most aggressive of the team, eager to fight, and hates being assigned the color pink. A subversion of usual ranger dynamics by being the most butch girl where pink rangers tend to be overtly femme.
      • The Chick: Blue Water Ranger Madison. The demure counterpart to her aggressive sister Vida. She cheers the others up, or talks them down when they go off the deep end.

  • Torchwood: The Torchwood Three team investigating paranormal activity together.

  • A Very Potter Musical: Towards the climax, five characters come together in the song "Not Alone" and pledge themselves to fight Voldemort together.
    • The Leader: Harry, who's The Chosen One, an inspiring, cool, guitar-playing guy, and the leader of the team.
    • The Lancer: Draco, Harry's very uncool rival and 11th-Hour Ranger who joins the team after a Heel–Face Turn.
    • The Smart Guy: Hermione, the Only Sane Man and smartest character, who frequently uses her brains to fix Harry's problems.
    • The Big Guy: Ron, Harry's Big Eater best friend who spends most of the climax running around with a sword instead of a wand and whose plans mostly involve punching people.
    • The Chick: Ginny, Harry's love interest, who genuinely cares for everyone (even Draco, whom the others can't stand) and inspires Harry when no one else can.

    Video Games 

  • Blue Dragon: The team of the first two games (and the anime)

  • Breath of Fire III:

  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: The main heroes introduced in this game.
    • The Leader: Laharl, the protagonist who sets upon claiming the throne for himself. Cocky, spoiled, and quick-tempered.
    • The Lancer: Etna, highly ambitious and has the tendency to transparently plot Laharl's overthrow, if only to keep him in line.
    • The Smart Guy: Jennifer, Captain Gordon's sidekick who obtained every PHD by the age of ten.
    • The Big Guy: Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth, a Hot-Blooded Large Ham with a complete inability to keep quiet. Racks up heavy damage with axes.
    • The Chick: Flonne, "Love Freak" and self-appointed guardian angel of Laharl.

  • Eternal Sonata: The core team for the first two chapters.
    • The Leader: Allegretto, the protagonist that primarly uses swords. The other characters defer to him for some reason, even getting lampshaded by Viola.
    • The Lancer: Beat, Retto's longtime friend and strikes a contrast with him; childish, naive, long distance attacker, etc.
    • The Smart Guy: Chopin, a composer, a pianist, and a bit of a romanticist born in a village in Warsaw. Tge only one with a formal education.
    • The Big Guy: Viola, a goat herder living on the outskirts who can deal major damage due to her physical upbringing.
    • The Chick: Polka, the deuteragonist, Innocent Flower Girl and moral compass of the team.

  • Fallout 3 Your Ragtag Band of Misfits in Mothership Zeta for most of the story. Kago also pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment in the final battle become sixth, or 11th-Hour Ranger.
    • The Leader: You, as the one who leads the group through the ship.
    • The Lancer: Somah, your first ally and the only one from the same timeframe as you.
    • The Smart Guy: Elliot, the Combat Medic who adapts some of the alien technology you find into workable items
    • The Big Guy: Paulson, a cowboy sheriff and general tough guy.
    • The Chick: Sally, the child who brings the group together and acts as adviser and Mission Control.

  • Final Fantasy V: The main heroes on a quest to save the world.
    • The Leader: Bartz, chosen by the Wind Crystal, symbolizing passion. It turns out that his father Dorgann was one of the Warriors of Dawn, further linking his destiny to saving the world. He often speaks on the party's behalf even when he's not the overworld leader.
    • The Lancer: Faris, a Pirate Girl chosen by the Fire Crystal, symbolizing courage. She's more on the ball than Bartz.
    • The Smart Guy: Krile, Galuf's granddaughter, who takes up his Crystal. Her psychic powers give her a variety of unique skills to help the team.
    • The Big Guy: Galuf is an amnesiac but gutsy old man, chosen by the Earth Crystal symbolizing hope. A Mighty Glacier Large Ham that rescuses the others singlehandedly more than once.
    • The Chick: Lenna, the princess and heir to the throne of Tycoon, chosen by the Water Crystal symbolizing devotion. A caring young woman who puts the lives of others before hers.

  • Final Fantasy XIII: The main heroes on a quest to save the world. They are later joined by Fang, the Sixth Ranger whose allegiances were ambiguous for part of the story.

  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
    • Ike's inner circle among that remain cutscene relevant. The heads of the Greil Mercenaries, and their Laguz Ambadassador.
      • The Leader: Ike, the stoic company leader who commands the respect of everyone he meets.
      • The Lancer: Ranulf, particularly during the march on Crimea in Path of Radiance and the Laguz-Begnion War in Radiant Dawn. And Honorary True Companion that Ike trusts him as much as one of their own. His wit and upbeat pluckiness contrast Ike's pragmatism and unfazed personality. As a laguz he also provides the greatest visual and cultural contrast, and some chapters require him to work together with Ike.
      • The Smart Guy: Soren, he's The Strategist, book keeper, and delivers daily reports. Cynical and cold but totally devoted to Ike.
      • The Big Guy: Titania, the strongest mercencary (pre-promoted unit in Path of Radiance and the highest-leveled on rejoining in Radiant Dawn.) Though an intimidating training partner (and potentially enforcer), she's big-hearted and kind. Her warmth makes her The McCoy to Soren's Spock.
      • The Chick: Mist, Ike's younger sister, she's allowed into more important meetings than experience as a mercenary would suggest, and is integral to keeping the Medallion safe because her emotions are in balance.
    • Elincia's inner circle comprised of her personal retainers and native Crimean Royal Knights.
      • The Leader: Elicina, the hidden princess and later idealistic Queen of Crimea
      • The Lancer:Geoffrey, leader of the Royal Knights, Elincia's champion, renowned for being a strait-laced and honest figure.
      • The Smart Guy: Bastian, a Large Ham that belies his role as The Spy Master and Chess Master.
      • The Big Guy: Kieran, A Large Ham that embodies his role as Geoffrey's over zealous Number Two among the Royal Knights.
      • The Chick: Lucia, Geoffrey's sister, and Elincia's personal bodyguard, but as her "adopted" sister, she's also her best friend and confidant.

  • Fire Emblem Awakening: Chrom's core team among the Shepherds, a militia group led by royalty.

  • Fire Emblem Fates: The Nohrian siblings in general but especialy on the Conquest path.
    • The Leader: Xander is the direct and honest first born, heir, and commander of their of armies. Wields a magic sword.
    • The Lancer: Corrin, beloved by the siblings and takes command in Xander's absence. In contrast to Xander's direct nature and sense of duty to Garon, Corrin is conflicted and more caring towards the enemy.
    • The Smart Guy: Leo, a genius that attacks with spell books.
    • The Big Guy: Camilla an Amazonian Gentle Giant, who smothers the people she likes, but revels in killing and bringing pain to people she doesn't. Wields an axe.
    • The Chick: Elise, the youngest, innocent and joyful member with a Simple Staff.

  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn: The adventuring party for most of the early game.

  • Guild Wars 2:
    • Destiny's Edge was once a guild formed to fight the Elder Dragons together, until they split up due to differences. Most of the plot of the main game involves Putting the Band Back Together to fight the dragon Zhaitan.
      • The Leader: Eir Steagalkin, who is the member most devoted to fighting the Elder Dragons and sparks the initial push to reconcile.
      • The Lancer: Logan Thackary, who is distrusted by the other members for his conflicting loyalties which caused him to abandon the group in the past. Wields a sword in contrast to Eir's bow, and is short and stocky while Eir is tall. Logan is more conflicted and angsty in contrast to Eir and Rytlock's straightforward personalities.
      • The Smart Guy: Zojja, the Squishy Wizard of the team who like most Asura is adept with inventions.
      • The Big Guy: Rytlock Brimstone, a Blood Knight who excels at melee combat. As a Charr he has tremendous strength and towers over the other members of the guild.
      • The Chick: Caithe. As a Thief her combat skills are more evasive than the other members, and she is the most waiflike in appearance. Caithe focuses more on keeping Destiny's Edge together than any other member, and repeatedly brings members together to try to reconcile their differences.
    • There's also Dragon's Watch. Initially there were more people involved, but several characters leave at the end of the Heart of Thorns story. During the Path of Fire main story, the remainder work together as a team of five to fight the new threat Balthazar.
      • The Leader: The Commander (player character), who makes the main decisions and carries the group in combat.
      • The Lancer: Canach, who takes a much less serious attitude to the fight than the Commander, and seems to be in it just for fun (he even places a bet on the outcome of the final battle).
      • The Smart Guy: Taimi, who's The Voice for nearly the entire storyline, delivering intel from behind the scenes and directing strategy.
      • The Big Guy: Rytlock again, who's still a huge, beefy Blood Knight, now with additional Magic Knight capabilities. He's calm, direct, and mostly in the fight in order to kick ass.
      • The Chick: Kasmeer, a feminine beauty who specializes in support magic. She's even pink-and-white themed in her appearance and dress. As The Heart, she usually has the strongest emotional response to any horror that occurs, and often reminds the group of the human side of things.

  • Half-Minute Hero: Parodied, to the extent that everyone in the party's name name pretty much sums up their role.

  • Kingdom Hearts

  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards: The adventuring crew that Kirby purifies and puts together in the first world.
    • The Leader: Kirby the main hero
    • The Lancer: Waddle Dee, the first companion to aid in the quest, complimentary Kirby's classic platforming with onrails Minecart Madness style gameplay.
    • The Smart Guy: Adelaine, the most versatile by bringing drawings to life. In levels she has puzzle rooms that can only be solved if Kirby has the right Copy Ability.
    • The Big Guy: Dedede, the largest and toughest member of the crew. His sections are mazes where he breaks down walls with his hammer.
    • The Chick: Ribbon, the Pursued Protagonist, and Implied Love Interest to Kirby in this game. Their bond allows her to power him up for the final boss fight.

  • The Last Remnant: Lord David of Athlum and his Elite Four Generals
    • The Leader: David, the lord of Athlum.
    • The Lancer: Torgal, the internal leader of the four generals, and David's Number Two. Slightly conniving and emotionally detached.
    • The Smart Guy: Pagus, a history buff and intelligence gatherer.
    • The Big Guy: Blocter, the biggest and strongest. He's passionate but a Gentle Giant at heart.
    • The Chick: Emma, the courageous matriarch of the Honeywell who strives for justice. The Team Mom who is later succeeded by her daughter Emmy.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: The Indigo-gos, who are also literally a band.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The Resistance Group investigating the temples together (and aiding Link by storming Hyrule Castle with him).
    • The Leader: Rusl, a retired master swordsman and leader of the group.
    • The Lancer: Ashei, the stoic tough girl.
    • The Smart Guy: Shad, the only member of the resistance group without any combat experience. But, should you need intel about "the Sky People" and ancient texts, he's your man.
    • The Big Guy: Auru, judging from his size and muscularity.
    • The Chick: Telma, Team Mom who lets the others meet in secret in her bar.

  • Need for Speed: The player character's crew in the 2015 reboot can be laid down as follows.

  • Persona:

  • Pokémon X and Y: With a 2:3 female to male ratio with the opposite gendered player characters and the 3 friendly rivals as a departure from the usual Power Trio of the only having one rival. They even fit the stereotypes color-wise with the leader and lancer as red and blue, big as yellow, smart as green, and chick as pink.
    • The Leader: The Player (Calem/Serena) the Rookie Red Ranger who is welcomed into the team, quickly becoming their strongest trainer and forming deep bonds with starter, mega, and legendary Pokemon.
    • The Lancer: The Rival (Serena/Calem) the protagonist not chosen, who is the team's veteran and closest counterpart to the player. Initially showing them the ropes, later becoming jealous of being upstaged, and finally accepting a Friendly Rivalry and Number Two status.
    • The Smart Guy: Trevor, who is more focused on finishing the Pokédex and learning about new types of Pokémon.
    • The Big Guy: Tierno for both his large size, and his focus on dancing moves that all either boost offensive ability, or are strong attacking moves.
    • The Chick: Shauna, as the most supportive, and girly member, who rounds out the core Power Trio with Calem and Serena by getting the last starter.

  • Super Mario Bros.: The most often recurring heroes, though there are sometimes other set ups in the role playing and party games.

  • Tales of Phantasia: The main RPG traveling party.

  • Tales of Symphonia the initial guard and first five party members.
    • The Leader: Lloyd, a Stock Shōnen Hero that matures into a capable and grounded leader.
    • The Lancer: Genis, Lloyd's childhood friend who is usually the one that figure out how to make his insane schemes work.
    • The Smart Guy: Raine, an extremely well-read and quick, logical thinker. Also a schoolteacher.
    • The Big Guy: Kratos, A stoic mercenary who just happens to be passing through the vicinity to save the Chosen's life and be offered the job of protecting her during her journey.
    • The Chick: Collette, a Mystical Waif Cute Clumsy Girl with a martyr complex.

  • Trauma Center The Trauma Team protagonists.
    • The Leader: CR-S01, for Surgery mode. A skilled surgeon sentenced to 250 years in cryogenic prison for his involvement in a biological terror attack at Cumberland College.
    • The Lancer: Maria, for First Response mode. A hot-blooded paramedic who has quick reflexes and a desire to be a hero. However, she lacks patience with others and dislikes teamwork.
    • The Smart Guy: Gabe, for Diagnosis mode. An intelligent diagnostician with great powers of deduction. After years of work, he became desensitized to human life.
    • The Big Guy: Hank for Orthopedics mode. Lampshaded in that his chapter is called "The Big Guy." A former soldier in the US Special Forces with a strong sense of justice.
    • The Chick: Tomoe, for Endoscopy mode. The heiress to a wealthy Japanese family. She rebelled against her status by studying abroad in America.

  • Valkyria Chronicles: Squad 7.

  • The World Ends with You: The kid heroes who have to work in rotating pairs to survive a purgatory like game.
    • The Leader: Neku, the anti-heroic main protagonist.
    • The Lancer: Joshua, a highly-intelligent, cheery enigmatic foil to Neku's brooding blunt personality. A jerkass player who eventually warms up.
    • The Smart Guy: Rhyme, the brains to Beat's brawn who drops proverbs and other nuggets of wisdom to help the others.
    • The Big Guy: Beat, the strongest and largest of the group, and the one who relies on physical combat.
    • The Chick: Shiki, the energetic and friendly Genki Girl who first tries to bring Neku out of his shell.


    Western Animation 

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Team Avatar formed when Sokka and Katara found the reincarnated Avatar and vowed to escort him around the world to learn the elements. The final lineup in Season 3 includes the founding friends and the masters they found to help train Aang. (With unexpected help from 11th-Hour Ranger Suki.)

  • Ben 10: Alien Force: The Amalgam Kids.
    • The Leader: Pierce - The most logical member who holds the rest of the team together.
    • The Lancer: Alan - Had a distinct contrast with the rest of his team and was as an outcast early on.
    • The Smart Guy: Cooper - Being a Techno Wizard, he is one of the smartest characters on the show.
    • The Big Guy: Manny - Physically the strongest member, and loves to act before thinking.
    • The Chick: Helen - She is the only female, and is the kindest, most compassionate member, serving as the Team Mom.

  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Nigel Uno's unit in Sector V, a parody of secret agents from a kid perspective.
    • The Leader: Nigel Uno / Numbuh One, who is not only the literal leader of Sector V but also tactically gifted and dedicated to his job
    • The Lancer: Abby Lincoln / Numbuh Five, a Deadpan Snarker who was once the leader of Sector V and stands out as the cool and laid-back member of the team, contrasting Nigel's paranoid and work-oriented nature.
    • The Smart Guy: Hoagie Gilligan / Numbuh Two, who makes the gadgets used by Sector V and is seen as one of the smartest KND operatives in general.
    • The Big Guy: Wally Beetles / Numbuh Four, who is the least intelligent member of Sector V but the most skilled at hand-to-hand-combat, and prefers to just beat down all obstacles in his way.
    • The Chick: Kuki Suban / Numbuh Three, the sector's excitable girly-girl who cares for the hamsters and focuses on medical work rather than combat or tech.

  • Darkwing Duck: Darkwing's Troop:
    • The Leader: Darkwing Duck / Drake Mallard, The crime-fighting hero with a lot of pride. This being his troop, they follow his orders (or don't, in Gosalyn's case). Launchpad actually works for him.
    • The Lancer: Gosalyn Mallard, Drake's spirited daughter who joins him on missions against his will.
    • The Smart Guy: Gosalyn's shy, hyper-intelligent and glasses-wearing companion who joins her and Drake in crime-fighting antics.
    • The Big Guy: Launchpad McQuack, the tallest and strongest member of the team who is nonetheless a Nice Guy.
    • The Chick: Morgana Macawber. Feminine, magical, and seductive, pulled a Heel–Face Turn after falling for Darkwing and eventually became his girlfriend.

  • Jelly Jamm: These five friends live on the planet of Jammbo, the planet where all music in the universe originates.
    • The Leader: Bello, an insatiable curiosity and boundless energy make the scrappy Bello a driving force among his friends.
    • The Lancer: Ongo, the most mysterious character of them all and the one that is most connected to the planet.
    • The Smart Guy: Mina, science and invention are her world of play. Like any good scientist Mina wants to see “what will happen next!”.
    • The Big Guy: Goomo, A Big Fun Gentle Giant.
    • The Chick: Rita, a Cute and Psycho girl who loves tea parties and playing with her doll princess.

  • Robotboy: Professor Moshimo entrusts Robotboy to 10-year-old Tommy Turnbull, his biggest fan. While being protected by Tommy and his two friends, Lola and Gus, or "G-man" as he calls himself, Robotboy learns how to behave and act as if he were a real boy.

  • Scooby-Doo: The teen detectives of Mystery Inc.
    • The Leader: Fred, the brave detective who makes the plans, designs the traps, and decides when to split up.
    • The Lancer: Shaggy, the Cowardly Lion, when the gang does split up, Shaggy leads one half. Shaggy (along with Scooby) often notices creepy things that Fred had missed.
    • The Smart Guy: Velma, the girl who examines the clues. When Fred unmasks the monster, expect Velma to explain today's "Scooby-Doo" Hoax.
    • The Big Guy: Scooby, though he may require a Scooby snack — he's a loyal member of the team that often has to do the most physical tasks like luring villains into traps, or even taking them on directly in certain iterations.
    • The Chick: Daphne, the fashionable Girly Girl who comes from a well-to-do family. She's often the team's talker.

  • SilverHawks: The SilverHawks, a team of heroic Space Police who defend the Limbo Galaxy from Mon*Star and his mob.

  • Thunder Cats 2011: Shades of it in most iterations, but played particular straight in this one where they're the surviving cats of a mutant invasion on the kingdom of Thundera.

  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: The paladins that form Voltron take up this dynamic for some time beginning in Season 3 as a shoutout to the formation in previous continuities in the franchise.

  • Young Justice from the end of the pilot to Artemis' introduction, the Team, a black ops-esque unit of teen heroes under the Justice League, fit perfectly. They're even shown in the first season's theme song in this exact order.
    • The Leader: Aqualad. He was voted into the position during the team's first away mission, as he was the oldest and the most level-headed of the bunch.
    • The Lancer: Robin. While he has the most crimefighting experience on the Team, he's also the youngest. Though he tried to lead the Team, he eventually realized he had no experience leading others and lacked the maturity to do so.
    • The Smart Guy: Kid Flash. He gained his powers by successfully recreating the Freak Lab Accident that gave the original Flash his powers. He's also a endless source of scientific knowledge.
    • The Big Guy: Superboy. As Superman's clone, he's a stoic rage monster with invulnerability and Super Strength.
    • The Chick: Miss Martian. She is the only girl on the team until Artemis shows up and is very traditionally feminine. She has patterned her Earth appearance, clothes, and mannerisms after her favorite character from Earth television.


Video Example(s):


Trope Talk: The Five Man Band

Red from Overly Sarcastic Productions, talks about this trope on her show: Tropes Talks. In particular, the various roles, their uses, the additional roles and how they can often be varied or mixed up from time to time.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / FiveManBand

Media sources:

Main / FiveManBand