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Five-Token Band

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Asian member not included.

"Okay, let's see... we got the Hispanic one, the black one, the Asian one, the one in a wheelchair... oh yeah, and the white one. Time to write the scripts."

A Five-Token Band consists of characters from very obviously different backgrounds and ethnic groups, but rather than being assembled disparately they all happen to live in the same area, regardless of how diverse the town should be. In school-centered shows and media, the "different backgrounds" may also include different social groups, hobbies, or cliques (ex. nerds, artists, jocks). Typically, this is designed for one of two purposes:

  • To bring diversity to a cast for the sake of mass market appeal, visual distinction, complaining Media Watchdogs, to represent an area, field or organisation that genuinely is just that diverse, or just because.
  • To deliver An Aesop about accepting others' differences. This version was commonly used in The '90s when diversity was considered a big deal (especially following the 1992 Los Angeles riots).

The first type is more likely to be benign than the second. The second may be handled poorly.

The Multinational Team will often have a reason for the cast's diversity, whereas the Five-Token Band may often be diverse for the sake of being diverse. This is not to say that a Multinational Team is immune to tokenism or stereotype — it is simply a different breed of trope.

Note that in real life, people often do have extremely diverse backgrounds. There really are Jewish Black Brits,note  or half-Polish half-Palestinian Polish-speaking Americans,note  or even lesbian, Malaysian-born Chinese Australians.note  It is not egregious to include such characters, as that merely reflects the diversity of the real world. When the diversity is shown in a way that is absurdly ham-fisted, too stereotypical or formulaic, or ignorantly written, however, that may be a problem. Specifically, it is very noticeable when the combination conforms to a standardized formula with set roles, typecasting, and numbers, as listed below.


Despite the emphasis on racial harmony, in this trope the Caucasian, blond, All-American male is all too often the leader, or conversely, the complainer. Other characters may also end up more as stereotypes than people. However, the Five-Token Band is usually created with no malicious intentions, and indeed, many of the bands listed below have well-developed characters or are from well-written shows.

The most common layout of a Five-Token Band, especially in the nineties, seems to go as followed:

  • White Male Lead. The guy in charge is always, always, ALWAYS a white male. It's not even that if he wasn't white it wouldn't be a Five-Token Band, but somehow, chances are 99% he is a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant male anyway. Usually associated with the color red and/or fire. Often a Standardized Leader. It's not rare for him to be a non-WASP male, like Irish or Italian, but it's not very common either.
  • Token Black Friend of the white male. Frequently The Lancer and Closer to Earth than the white male. Is either great at sports or Black and Nerdy, whichever makes him more different than the white male.
  • A white female lead. Love interest/designated crush of the White Male Lead. And all too often she's blonde too. If there are powers or vehicles of any sort, she's the one with air/wind and/or flight.
  • Another female. Usually not white, but if she is, she will always have a different hair colour to The Chick. Part of a Tomboy and Girly Girl or (more rarely) a Light Feminine and Dark Feminine duo with the white female lead. (If it's the latter, there'll be a third female to fulfill the tomboy role.) Once the white male and the white female hook up, expect her to either lean towards the black male.
  • As well as the top four, the fifth minority typically includes one of the below, or sometimes a Twofer Token.
    • Another brown male who is not American. He may variably be Native American, South Asian, or stereotypically brown Hispanic. He may be The Heart. Or he may just be there for window dressing.
    • Somebody who is fat or large with the stereotypes that go with it. May represent another minority group such as Jewish or other white groups like Polish and even white Hispanics.
    • Somebody who is physically handicapped, and The Smart Guy, to prove they're not useless in a mildly offensive way that assumes they can only provide any use with their brains.
    • Starting in the 2000s, versions of the disability trope might use a token mentally handicapped character (typically with Hollywood Autism) instead, in which case they're The Heart, and they wouldn't hurt a fly, to prove that mentally handicapped people are completely harmless and really nice. In Real Life, people with mental disorders can be just as pleasant or unpleasant as anyone else, and stereotyping them as only ever being either kind and incapable of being angry, or as violently aggressive when in a bad mood, are both equally unhelpful.
    • The Token Rich Kid who has to learn to be nice to non-rich people.
  • A Team Pet (usually a dog or cat, or in a sci-fi series, a Robot Buddy) may be added, usually for the sake of having a Kid-Appeal Character, or, in a more plot-driven work, a Mentor Mascot.

Compare the more economical Token Trio, and the villainous counterpart, Equal-Opportunity Evil. The All-Stereotype Cast is related, and the worst executions of this trope will probably cross over with it. If it's people with power, it's likely a Cosmopolitan Council. Compare/contrast Multinational Team. See also: Token Minority and Token White.


    open/close all folders 

  • The Burger King Kids Club Gang - illustrated at the top of the page. Obviously the intent was to make Burger King appeal to all ethnicities, but nowadays, it's very grating. Since they clearly thought they weren't being diverse enough already, an Asian girl named Jazz was added later.
  • The Sweet Cred Gang. It's hard to tell whether their efforts were inspired by political correctness, though — the black kid plays basketball, raps, and sports a gold tooth and chains.
  • One "Must Drink More Milk" ad featured the "Teen Power Team", who seem to be a '90s-esque mishmash of the Power Rangers and the Animorphs: white male leader, blonde girl, vaguely Native American boy, Indian boy and Spanish-speaking Hispanic girl.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the early 1990s, before DiC acquired the rights to the North American release of Sailor Moon, an outfit called Toon Makers made a bid for them. As part of their pitch, TM made a short demo film of what they wanted to do with the property. They threw out the original cast and diversified the cast of all-Japanese girls into two white girls (one of which is in a wheelchair), a black girl, and a Hispanic girl. Curiously, only one was kept Asian (Mars), and the leader is one of the white girls. The result is often called "Saban Moon" or "The Saban Nightmare" due to people mistaking the relatively unknown TM for a more well-known company. (See it here or search They've even got a wheelchair that can sail through space.
  • Gundam:
    • A similar thing would have happened to the Gundam series, but it would have been a decision of Sunrise. Doozy Bots was a way to get the Gundam franchise to America, and it would have featured a cast of a Football-playing Char look-alike, a skater/surfer, a cheerleader, a hockey player, and a black kid on a wheelchair. For an extra dose of Unfortunate Implications, while the heroes turn into Super-Deformed versions of various Gundam mecha, the paraplegic kid turns into...a Guntank.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is the most famous Gundam example, with Heero (Japanese), Duo (American), Quatre (Middle Easternnote ), Wu Fei (Chinese), and Trowa (...somethingnote ). That said, the characters' ethnicities have absolutely no impact on the plot, and no special attention is drawn to them (except for explaining why Wu Fei is an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy).
    • Mobile Fighter G Gundam did it first, although there is a slightly reasonable explanation for this, since the setting is a worldwide tournament (with each nation getting to send a single fighter to represent them) and the Five-Man Band were the ones who realized there was something more important going on.
    • Done again in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, but instead we focus on four Gundam pilots with no extras to pop in and instead of a centralized theme focused on individualizing the characters, the pilots do not particularly act like their nationality rather they are based on their own personality templates. An example is that although Tieria is by technicality the Glasses character, he is the complete opposite of most of them where he is in fact completely capable killing just about anyone who gets in his way. Likewise, the fact that team sniper Lockon is Irish and main character Setsuna is an Iranian Kurd are simply pieces of their backstories. Nobody has a name that fits their nationality, because they stopped using their birth names after joining Celestial Being.
  • The main team of Black Lagoon consists of a black man, a Jewish guy, a Half-Chinese-Half-American girl, and a Japanese ex-salaryman.
  • One Piece is set in a fantasy world, but Word of God has given each of the Straw Hats a real-world nationality based on their looks, and they are very diverse:
    • Luffy: Brazilian
    • Zoro: Japanese
    • Nami: Swedish
    • Usopp: African
    • Sanji: French
    • Chopper: Canadian (and that whole reindeer thing)
    • Robin: Russian
    • Franky: American
    • Brook: Austrian
  • In Sonic X, Chris Thorndyke (who is white) has a black friend (Danny) and a white female friend in a wheelchair (Helen) who is also Chris' Implied Love Interest.
  • Shaman King works with this:
  • The main cast of Tiger & Bunny.
    • Kotetsu/Wild Tiger: Japanese
    • Barnaby: White
    • Karina/Blue Rose: White
    • Nathan/Fire Emblem: Black and Gay
    • Keith/Sky High: White
    • Huang/Dragon Kid: Chinese
    • Antonio/Rock Bison: Latino
    • Ivan/Origami Cyclone: White
  • In the Digimon World Tour arc of Digimon Adventure 02, the New York team is revealed to be a Seven Token Band, in contrast to the Australian team which doesn't even have one Token Minority:
    • Mimi: Japanese
    • Michael: White
    • Phil/Sam: Black
    • Maria: Latina
    • Tatum: Irish-American
    • Steve: Jewish
    • Lou: Native American
  • The pilots of Team Harlequin from Eureka Seven Ao are quite diverse:
    • Liu Ing: Chinese
    • Lerato: Black
    • Rajkumar: Indian
    • Hanna: White
  • Any Five-Man Band from Hetalia: Axis Powers would have to be this by default due to the premise. As it stands, the only canon example is the Allied Forces, with an American, an Englishman, a Frenchman, a Russian and a Chinese. And sometimes a Canadian.
  • The Riot Force 6 from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S has soldiers from different worlds, the majority being from Mid-Childa. Some of them aren't even actually human. For example:
    • Forward StarS has Nanoha (Earth human), Vita (a living program), Subaru (Cyborg), and Teana (Mid-Childan human).
    • Forward Lightning has Fate and Erio (clones), Signum (living program), Caro (Alzas human) and Friedrich (dragon).
    • The Forwards are a Cyborg (Subaru), a clone (Erio), a human from Mid-Childa (Teana), a human from Alzas (Caro) and a dragon.
  • Digimon Tamers: The Wild Bunch (Monster Makers in the dub) were/are a group of programmers with different nationalities and ethnicity.
    • Jiang-yu Lee (a.k.a. Tao) is a Chinese man.
    • Gorou Mizuno (a.k.a. Shibumi) is Japanese (and you couldn't tell that without looking at his name, as he looks more like Jesus than a Japanese man).
    • Rob McCoy (a.k.a. Dolphin) is a white red-headed man (possibly Irish).
    • Rai Aishuwarya (a.k.a. Curly) is an Indian woman.
    • Daisy is a white blondine (possibly American).
    • Babel is a black man (possibly American).
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon's main group fits the bill. Aside from Ash himself (who is Asian), there's:
    • Lillie: White blonde female. Is also rich.
    • Kiawe: Ambiguously Brown male.
    • Mallow: Ambiguously Brown female, though she's nowhere near as dark-skinned as Kiawe and only slightly darker than Ash.
    • Lana: A female who appears to be of Asian descent.
    • Sophocles: Fat white male.
  • A Centaur's Life: Invoked and Exaggerated, all due to the worldbuilding: race is an extremely touchy subject In-Universe. As a result, all of the Magical Girl anime produced for young girls (though it can be reasonably assumed a great deal more cartoons besides) in this world, as an unwritten rule, must have a supporting cast containing a magical girl of each race, with the focus character being from a different race every episode.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men:
    • The All-New, All-Different X-Men. The wheelchair-bound mentor (Professor X, representing the handicapped) and Caucasian male team leader (Cyclops from the original team, which was all-white and all American) were joined by an African woman (Storm), an Asian (Sunfire), an Apache (Thunderbird), a German (Nightcrawler), an Irishman (Banshee), a Russian (Colossus), and a Canadian (Wolverine). The in-universe reason the "All New All Different" X-Men were so diverse was that, back then, mutants were assumed to be danged rare, and Professor X had to gather together those few he could find on short notice from all around the world. Of course, as more and more mutants kept getting introduced in subsequent years, mutant rarity became a forgotten concept, until a bit of House of M forcibly restored it decades later.
    • X-Men: Deadly Genesis Retconned in a team of X-Men who were recruited to rescue the original team before the "All-New, All Different" cast. This new team consisted of an Afro-Latino boy (Darwin), a Chinese-American girl, (Sway), a Danish-American girl and a Caucasian boy (Kid Vulcan).
    • The New Mutants spinoff is no better. Ambiguously Lesbian Vietnamese (Karma), check. Son of Brazilian self-made millionaire (Sunspot), check. Neurotic Scots werewolf (Wolfsbane — devout Calvinist half-convinced she is damned to Hell for bonus Wangst), check. Angry young Cheyenne Action Girl (Mirage), check. Appalachian coal-miner's son (Cannonball), check. As for the ones who joined up later, let us say that the only Ordinary High-School Student (Cypher) joined the same night as the shapeshifting alien of living circuitry (Warlock).
    • The teen series Generation X. The Asian girl (Jubilee) is the class clown, the Latino (Skin) is physically the ugliest member and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, the redneck (Husk) is the brain, the black girl (M) is the Rich Bitch / Alpha Bitch, etc.
    • Brian Wood's all-female line-up from the adjectiveless X-Men fits as well. Aside from the two white ladies (Rogue and Rachel Grey), the team consists of Storm (Kenyan), Jubilee (Chinese-American, a single mother, and suffers from a learning disability), Psylocke (white British woman in the body of a Japanese assassin), M (Afro-Algerian and a Muslim), Karima (Indian), and Bling (African-American and bisexual). Wood has said he didn't set out to create a racially-diverse cast, but is proud of how diverse the book turned out.
    • The original line-up of X-Men 2099 featured Krystalin (black, female), Cerebra (Arab, female), Serpentina (white, female, quickly killed off), Xian, Meanstreak, and Metalhead (Vietnamese-, Chinese- and Japanese-American, respectively) and Skullfire (the Token White who quickly became the leader). They were later joined by La Lunatica (Hispanic albino, female), amd two more Caucasians in Bloodhawk (who normally appears as a scaly, red-skinned dragon man) and Sham (who is incidentally female). This was probably intended in the spirit of the All-New, All-Different X-Men, though this incarnation wasn't much of a Multinational Team.
  • The Relative Heroes are made up of Aviva and Joel Weinberg (Jewish heritage), their adopted brothers Tyson Gilford (African-American) and Cameron Begay (Native American name, mixed appearance, but actually a mode-locked shapeshifting alien), and Damara Sinclair (white female).
  • In Robin Tim's high school clique worked out to fit here, especially after they were down to five. There was Tim Drake the white rich kid protagonist, Sebastian Ives the nerdy Jewish leader, Callie Evans the twitchy tomboy, Kevin Hudman the smart nerdy black boy, Hudson the ambiguously brown chubby boy, and Ariana the refugee girly girl who eventually stopped hanging out with the others.
  • Runaways, as a result of creators intentionally trying to avoid many superhero team cliches. They even lampshade it as looking like those multiethnic gangs you only see on TV. Original line up (not counting Old Lace the dinosaur): Alex Wilder (black male, first leader), Gertrude Yorkes (Jewish female), Karolina Dean (looks white but actually an alien, female and gay), Molly Hayes (white female, mutant), Nico Minoru (Japanese-American female, second leader), and Chase Stein (white male). Later members: Victor Mancha (looks hispanic but actually a robot, male), Xavin (shapeshifting alien, sometimes looks like a black female, sometimes black male, sometimes Skrull male, involved in lesbian relationship, genderfluid), Klara Prast (white female).
  • Chris Claremont's rebooted Gen¹³ has a team of a poor Irish-American kid (whose father was a firefighter who died in 9/11), a black girl, a Chinese-American girl and a Black Muslim boy in a wheelchair.
  • The Young Avengers, now that their white male leader is gone, are a shining example of how Marvel are really, really trying. Patriot (black) leads an interspecies gay couple, two girls and an android. Young!Kang looked Asian in the Young Avengers (or at least biracial).note 
    • The Marvel NOW! relaunch consists of the Caucasian Kate Bishop and Marvel Boy, Caucasian-looking Norse God Loki, Wiccan (Gay and Jewish), Miss America (Latina), Prodigy (African-American and bisexual), and Hulking (Gay). Kieron Gillen noted once that this trope resulted from, as it usually does in such cases in comics books, trying to include members of as many marginalized groups possible, until the cast grows too big to include more than one of each. When Prodigy joined the team, Gillen noted he actually faced the dilemma of whether to add more LGBT men or another woman.
  • The original New Warriors had (among others) Nova (white), Night Thrasher (African-American), Justice (half-Jewish and a mutant), Firestar (mutant), Namorita (Atlantean), Rage (African-American), Silhouette (half-African-American and half-Vietnamese), Speedball (white), Turbo (Japanese-American), and Rage (African-American).
    • The Marvel NOW! relaunch has the new Nova (half-white and half-Mexican), Scarlet Spider (white and a clone), Water Snake (blue-skinned Atlantean), Haechi (Korean and an Inhuman), the above-mentioned Speedball and Justice, Hummingbird (Latina), and Sun Girl (African-American). Word of God states that the diversity is intentional, as a major theme of the book is different fantasy races (such as mutants and Inhumans) being forced to unite against a common foe.
  • The Marvel NOW! relaunch of Mighty Avengers is another example of Marvel listening to criticism about their Monochrome Casting and trying to do better. The team is lead by African-American superhero Luke Cage and consists of Monica Rambeau and Blue Marvel (both African-American), Superior Spider-Man (white), Power Man (Dominican), White Tiger (Puerto Rican), and She-Hulk (white/green). There's also a new Ronin, but their identity has yet to be revealed (it's Blade, who is black and English). Superior Spider-Man got kicked out fairly quickly, and got replaced by another white guy, Immortal Iron Fist.
  • The main cast of X-Factor volume 3 had a black Algerian Muslim, a time-displaced half-black, half-Latino teenager, a bisexual Mexican male and a gay futuristic gladiator from another dimension.
  • The Justice League goes back and forth on this. As of 2013, the main Justice League team had Cyborg (African-American), The Atom (Latina) and Element Woman (Asian-American), while the spin-off team had Green Lantern Simon Baz (Lebanese-American), Katana (Japanese), and Vibe (Mexican-American).
  • Lampshaded in Justice League Elite, where Sister Superior refers to the team's ethnic make-up as a "PC Nightmare". Coldcast was black, Manitou Raven and Dawn were dark-skinned Atlantean Natives, Batgirl was Asian-American, Menagerie was Latina and Naif al-Sheikh was an Arab. The only white males on the team were The Flash, Green Arrow and Major Disaster.
  • Justice League International usually had a pretty varied roster. At various points the team included Doctor Light III (Japanese woman), Fire (Brazilian woman), Martian Manhunter (last of his kind extraterrestrial), Ice (Roma woman), and Tasmanian Devil (gay man).
  • Very much so in the first Atari Force series, which featured two Caucasians, a Token Black Friend, one Asian Indian, and a Chinese/Irish security chief out to save humanity.
  • Avengers Academy was arguably an example, as Reptil (the leader of the group) was Latino, Mettle was Polynesian, Hazmat was Asian-American, Finesse and Veil were women, and the only Caucasian man on the team, Striker, was a gay teenager from a working-class background and a survivor of sexual abuse. The West Coast revamp of the title introduced White Tiger (Puerto Rican), Power Man (Black Dominican), Spider-Girl (Latina), Wiz Kid (Asian American), Rocket Racer (African American) and Hollow/Penance (originally Yugoslavian, retconned into being a black Algerian, current ethnicity unknown) into the Academy. It also added Julie Power (bisexual), and X-23 to the cast.
  • Pride High has this: Mindsweeper (half black, gay), Kid Mischief (Puerto Rican, gay), Suravi (Indian, blind, lesbian), Scotch Bonnet (Scottish, bi-curious), Chip Cheetah (British), Unison (from Hong Kong), Kid Olympus (half Chinese, half Greek), Kilauea (Hawaiian), Cameron Ashton (gay), and Lightspot (gay). Word of God says that diversity was not the reasoning as the characters were created by different people, and his own experiences in high school were just as diverse (though the diversity of gay characters was intentional).
  • The Flashpoint version of Captain Marvel is a group of six children who can turn into Captain Thunder. In addition to the original Caucasian Power Trio of Billy and Mary Batson and Freddy Freeman (who's disabled), there's Eugene (Asian-American), Pedro (Latino), and Darla (African-American). Following the Cosmic Retcon caused by fixing Flashpoint, the six of them become a new Shazam Family, sharing Billy/Shazam's power.
  • The Marvel event Fear Itself had a teenage superhero team consisting of Caucasian X-23 and Thunderstrike, Amadeus Cho (Korean-American), Power Man (Dominican), and Spider-Girl (Hispanic).
  • Mingamanga from Germany: One Bavarian from the countryside, one Turk, one black African, and one Vietnamese.
  • The Adventures Of Olivia doubles as Foreign Fanservice (being an American porn comic) with the title character originally being an obvious Sassy Black Woman before further designs made her more like vaguely Puerto Rican with "Mickey Mouse-like afro puffs" on the side of her head bordering otherwise straight hair, Sandy, South Asian (never specified what country) Fatima, Mexican-American Lupe, Ambiguously East Asian Mi-Hy, Native American Penny, tanned, but apparently Caucasian Sylvia Wellington Jewish-American Meganekko Naomi and Italian-American Anna Provalone. Additionally, the whole team appear together as nurses.
  • Blood Syndicate is about, well, the Blood Syndicate. Formed by the survivors of a freak accident at a multi-gang war, the group is mostly black and Latino (including a couple black Latinos, a gay Latino, and a black Muslim), but also features two Asians (one Korean-American and the other a Chinese-American woman) and a Token White.
  • Fearless Defenders was one of the better-handled and more organic examples seen in comics. The entire team was female, and included Misty Knight (African-American and an amputee), Annabelle Riggs (lesbian), Dani Moonstar (Cheyenne), and the Inhuman Ren Kimura (Japanese-American and a lesbian).
  • La Ribambelle, a Belgian comic book, features Phil the White Male Lead, Grenadine The Chick, Archibald The Smart Guy (who happens to be a white Scot), Atchi and Atcha (two Asian twins) and Dizzy (a black kid who enjoys playing trumpet).
  • The Movement: Virtue is African-American (and lesbian), Tremor is Indian-American (and asexual), Karthasis is Laotian-American, and Vengeance Moth and Burden are both Caucasian. Moth is also transgender and wheelchair-bound from muscular dystrophy, while Burden is Amish and gay.
  • Champions (2016) had a bunch of them, whoo boy. You had Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American and an Inhuman), Spider-Man (Miles Morales, African-Hispanic mix), Totally Awesome Hulk (Amadeus Cho, a Korean-American), Nova (Sam Alexander, half Mexican), Viv Vision (android) and the time-displaced Cyclops (Scott Summers, mutant). Cyclops subsequently left and was replaced with two others: the Unstoppable Wasp (Nadia Van Dyne, part-Hungarian) and Ironheart (Riri Williams, African-American)
  • Lampshaded with the The Ultimates, who a National Security Council member compares to a Benetton ad.
  • W.I.T.C.H. and its animated adaptation has the title team like this. The lead Will is biracial (half-Ambiguously Brown and half-white), Irma is white and implied to be Latina in the cartoon, Cornelia is white, Taranee is black (her father is black, her mother is unidentified asian, and she's adopted), and Hay Lin is American-Chinese.
  • The titular team in C.O.V.E.N.: Jaxon is Latino, Motoko is Half-Japanese and Ambiguously Jewish, Vivi is an albino, Hunter is Ambiguously Brown (possibly biracial since her dad is white,) Lissie is white, and Stéphane is a Cute Monster Boy with green skin and a few lizard traits like scales and a tail.
  • Zodiac Starforce: Emma is biracial, Kim and Savanna are white (while Savanna is also bi), Molly is Asian, and Lily is black (and a lesbian).
  • Junior Braves of the Apocalypse: The main team displays a wie variety of ethinicities, backrounds, and religions. Pabir is the glasses-wearing Indian Hindu. Amir is a redheaded Jewish second-generation immigrant. Lucas is a black Lutheran. Johnny is Apache and adopted. Travis is a bit overweight, but otherwise fits the role of the token white guy, complete with blond hair and blue eyes.

    Comic Strips 
  • Alison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For. Bechdel herself has joked that, yes, the cast is almost diverse to a fault (with a main cast comprising just about every ethnicity, religion, political affiliation—-yes, there are indeed lesbian Republicans out there). However, as they're all fully-fleshed characters with their own personalities, they tend not to suffer from being the token something-or-other. Thea (disabled, with MS) is the only possible exception, even lampshaded by her in an Animated Actors segment: "I move that no new personnel be introduced until I get properly established here! I thought I was gonna be a fully-fledged, three-dimensional character like everyone else, but nooooo! I just show up on my crutches every tenth episode like a goddamn poster child!"
  • The "N Gang" in the german Club Nintendo promotional magazine.
  • Wee Pals (and its Animated Adaptation Kid Power) featured a cast full of kids from different races and cultures. The strip came out during the 1960s Civil Rights movement, aimed at supporting desegragation.

    Fan Works 
  • In Alexandra Quick this is Justified and mildly deconstructed. Alex's core group of friends is formed from those in her class who, for whatever reason, do not fit in with the mainstream school culture. The deconstruction comes when the diverse cultural backgrounds of the group, and the intra-group conflicts they sometimes cause, are explored rather than ignored as is typical for this trope.
  • Thirty Hs parodies this when describing a group of children: "They were well-groomed and impeccably attired, and there were 5.8 of them, just enough to represent an array of genders and races that would leave no-one unhappy, save for the Eskimos."
  • Always Having Juice definitely features this. Visit the page for the full description.
  • Invoked by the superhero team Concert's corporate sponsor in Worm: More Than Meets the Eye as part of a PR campaign, due to the owner's son being arrested six members of Geselleschaft.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: All six of the new Bearers are different species: Xvital is an Ahuizotl visiting from the Cuanmiztl Kingdom, Night Blade is a batpony/nox pony (essentially a pegasus with tufted ears, bat-like webbed wings, non-hairy tails and a crest on their heads) from a noble family, Page Turner is a unicorn (supposedly; she's later revealed to be actually a unicorn/Changeling hybrid), Wind Breaker is a griffon, Vix-Lei is a minotaur visiting from the Minos Islands, and Rex is a doberman pinscher-like Diamond Dog originally from the Under, but who moved to Middle Canterlot.

    Films — Animation 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: So we have the French geologist, the Italian demolitions expert, the female Hispanic mechanic, the half-black/half-Native American doctor — and the white American guy. He's near-sighted though — does that count? Either way, he's clearly the Butt-Monkey, at least for the first half. After that he's the naive idealist before finally becoming the hero.
  • The Secret of Kells has possibly the most bizarre version of this of all time: a Five-Token Band of Irish Catholic monks. We get a French monk, a Russian monk, an English monk, a Chinese monk, and Black monk. It's not even alluded to how they all came to be at the same Irish monastery in the 9th century. The creators state that this was to represent diverse influences in the Book of Kells. There was a large amount of immigration to Ireland during this period, especially among the clergy. It had a bit to do with Ireland being one of the few countries in Europe to escape The Dark Ages.
  • Big Hero 6 has a black guy, a Korean girl, a light-skinned Latina girl, a half-Japanese/half-white boy, and a rich white guy as the members of its titular team. (Oh, and a robot too.) However, the white guy isn't the lead but the Plucky Comic Relief, and the mixed-race Teen Genius is the main character. The whole team was Japanese in the Marvel comic series the movie is loosely based on.
  • The human kids that Mary Beth who's actually La Muerte in disguise, talks to at the museum during the Framing Device of The Book of Life are this: Sanjay is Indian-American, the Goth Kid is Mexican-American, Sasha is Russian-American, Jane is Chinese-American, and Joao is Brazilian-American. Here's a page from the movie's official guidebook.
  • Disney Fairies:
    • Disney Fairies, where there are five fairies in the group. They consist of the blonde Tinkerbell, the black Iridessa, the Latino Fawn, the Asian Silvermist, and the Southern-accented redhead Rosetta.
    • This is different from the original books. They feature Tinker Bell, Fira, Beck, Prilla, Rani, Bess, and Lilly. All of them are white except for Fira and Lily, though Rani ended up with a Disability Superpower after giving up her wings.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: the six Spider-People consist of two white guys (Peter B. Parker, who may or may not be Jewish, and Spider-Man Noir, who is presumably white by virtue of being an alternate Peter Parker but never takes off his mask), a white teenage girl (Gwen Stacy), a younger, Japanese-American girl (Peni Parker), an Afro-Latino teenage boy (Miles Morales), and a talking, intelligent spider-turned-pig (Peter Porker). Peter B. starts out as the de facto leader, although Gwen and subsequently Miles take over when Peter's issues start to act up.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A nice early example are the Our Gang theatrical shorts. Despite the fact that every kid was some obvious stereotype, the series broke major ground in depicting the group in an informal manner and as getting along with each other despite their differences without really calling attention to it. Their major shared trait was being lower-middle class and a dislike of icky girls.
  • The Warriors is a prime example of this (although it falls more under White Gangbangers). The title street gang is a mixture of blacks, whites, and Latinos. The enemy gangs are portrayed much more realistically: there is an all-black gang and a white biker gang. And then there's the Baseball Furies.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons movie goes a step further and enforces representation of fictional minorities. After the white man the leader and destined hero, naturally, there's a white girl as the snobby wizard, a black man as the comic-relief bumbling sidekick, another white man as the tallest dwarf in the world, and a black woman playing the elf (making her a threefer, maybe?). Worst of all, each and every one of them is 100% pure, concentrated stereotype.
  • The commando team in Executive Decision consists of a white guy, an Asian guy, a Hispanic guy and a black guy, and is led by Steven Seagal, who might be part Native American (seriously, does anyone know for sure what Steven Seagal is?). To add bonus minority points, the black guy is injured early on and spends most of the movie paralyzed from the neck down.
  • In the notorious Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave, the heroic Bruce Lee Clone must track down and defeat some villains consisting of "A Japanese, a black man, a white man, a Mexican, and a cowboy."
  • The Big Hit has the Irish-American protagonist working for and later against the most diverse criminal syndicate of all time. The crime boss is black, Melvin's fellow and rival hitmen are black, Latino, East Asian and Italian-American, and he spends part of the film juggling his blonde Jewish fiancée, his black mistress, and the Japanese girl he kidnaps for ransom. This is partly lampshaded for laughs in a scene where the aforementioned Jewish fiance's father wanders in drunk, sees the aforementioned protagonist and hitmen (not knowing that they were sent to confront him about his suspected betrayal and remarks how happy he is to see four young men of different races sitting together in friendship, in contrast to his wife's rejection of Melvin as a future son-in-law for not being Jewish.
  • In The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, the crew of Steve's ship (on the hunt for the Jaguar Shark) consists of Steve himself, Klaus Daimler, Vikram Ray, Bobby Ogata, Renzo Pietro, Vladimir Wolodarsky, Anne-Marie Sakowitz, Pelé dos Santos, and seven interns from the University of North Alaska. Of course, as a world-sailing international icon, this is justified, even though Steve points out that none of them actually have outside nautical experience.
  • In Power Rangers (2017), the Red Ranger is Caucasian, the Black Ranger is Asian, the Blue Ranger is African-American, the Yellow Ranger is Hispanic, and the Pink Ranger is half-Indian.
  • In Twilight, Bella's school "friends" are this. Jessica is a white female, Eric is Korean, Mike is a white male, Tyler is black, and Angela is Hispanic/Italian/Irish.
    Rifftrax: Our surprisingly diverse group of friends certainly does have fun.
  • In Battleship, the main characters are Hopper (white male), Nagata (Japanese male), Raikes (Black Female), Sam (White love interest) and Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales (Black male).
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, the Howling Commandos represent this trope. The group consists of Dugan (white American), Morita (Japanese-American), Falsworth (Brit), Jones (African-American), and Dernier (Frenchman).
  • The new mutants from X-Men: Days of Future Past consist of Bishop (black), Blink (Chinese), Warpath (Apache), and Sunspot (Brazilian).
  • Little Annie Rooney is a 1926 film with one of these. Annie's gang consists of Annie herself (who is Irish), a Jewish boy, a Chinese boy, and a black boy. Annie is the sole female out of either of the gangs in the film.
  • D.E.B.S. has an all-girl version. Amy Bradshaw (white) becomes the captain of her D.E.B.S. squad, Max is her black frenemy, Dominique is a French-speaking Asian, and Janet is a naive, immature other white girl.
  • The Single Moms Club consists of two white women, two African-Americans, and one Hispanic, with a socioeconomic range from wealthy to blue-collar.
  • The Shazam family ticks a lot of boxes, between one black kid, one Asian kid, one hispanic kid (who is Ambiguously Gay besides) and one disabled kid. However, much like the trope description they also have a White Male Lead (Billy), there is Two Girls to a Team (making it two thirds male), and the character who is shown as the most equal to the hero (Mary, being the oldest sibling and the other one besides Billy who doesn't "specialise" in her powers) is the only other white abled-bodied one.
  • Intentionally evoked in Heroes Wanted, where the five members are drawn from the different ethnic groups of Spain as a diversity measure... despite them being an elite task force whose missions stay off the books.

  • Discworld
    • In the novel Men at Arms, the Night Watch is forced to admit a dwarf (other than Carrot), a troll and a female who is also a werewolf. They've had a Nac Mac Feegle who thought he was a gnome since Feet of Clay, hired because he was six inches tall and thus had certain capabilities biggers lack (he rides an assortment of birds, buzzards and falcons and such, as the Watch's airborne division). In Thud!, they are forced to enlist another woman (this time a vampire). Though they have a lot of women, but a lot of them are dwarves, who tend to be less open about gender (the first exception being Corporal Littlebottom, who possibly counts as a minority group just for that). In terms of humans, Feet of Clay also introduces Constable Visit, who's from Omnia (which ethnically speaking is part of the Disc's Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the Middle East) and Snuff has Lance-Constable Precious Jolson whose family is from Hwondaland (the Disc's Darkest Africa). In Unseen Academicals it's considered notable that Mr Nutt (believed to be the first goblin in the city) doesn't join the Watch, because that's what members of new minority groups in Ankh-Morpork do.
    • Monstrous Regiment, where the army recruits are also varied but the title is, if you know a different title, a deliberate spoiler of a subversion. Try Googling "First Blast of the Trumpet Against".
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: It went beyond having to have a black girl and an Asian girl. A diabetic, a boy, and a girl in a very large family also counted for diversity points, as well as family relationships that got to the point where the Backstory of the characters was The Theme Park Version of Dysfunction Junction. The Cousin Oliver seemed to be everything the author left out crammed into one: she was Jewish, an asthmatic and a twin. All the girls also have different areas of interest: writing, art, sports, fashion, etc. One of the main characters in the spinoff series California Diaries is Latina.
  • Animorphs does this with its main cast. The white Jewish male leader Jake, his female cousin Rachel, his black girlfriend Cassie, his Hispanic best friend Marco, and Tobias who has a messed-up family (and is a bird). They later add an alien, Ax. Toward the end of the series, they get a Redshirt Army made up of disabled children (though Justified—they specifically picked disabled kids because Yeerks wouldn't bother to infest them). Rachel's parents are divorced, too — she's raised by her mother, who isn't Jewish.
  • Remnants has a large cast that can justify its racial diversity, but for a group thrown together by the American government at the last minute, the survivors of Earth's destruction include a surprising number characters born outside the United States (Billy, T.R., Kubrick's dad, possibly 2Face's dad...)
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Invoked: the original lineup for the rebuilt Rogue Squadron in the eponymous books was deliberately chosen on politically correct grounds by the Alliance leadership, given how important a propaganda symbol the squadron is. However, this is a Star Wars Galaxy Twelve Token Band, so it consists of: the token Bothan (for their work in finding the second Death Star), the token Twi'lek (Ryloth is coming into its own at this time), other other token aliens (an insectoid, a wolfman, and another... thing, to represent the more non-human ones), the token refugee (a woman), the token kid brought up in jail (also a woman), the token precocious kid (who's also from Tatooine), and two token Thyferrans (including one woman) because that's the only way to please the two factions of the planet producing the most critical medical supply in the galaxy. In fact at one point, a good Corellian pilot isn't allowed to join because they already have two Corellians. Wedge is highly displeased about leadership picking the squadron for him, but he grows to like his people.
    • Young Jedi Knights has as its main characters: one male human, two female humans (one of whom is from a primitive planet), one male Wookiee, and a miniature protocol droid. The Sixth Ranger is also a male human, but was written in the Dark Nest trilogy as bisexual. It's somewhat subverted by the fact the droid was built by C-3PO, and the Wookiee is Chewbacca's nephew.
  • In The Egypt Game, the Egypt gang consists of a white girl, a black girl, her younger brother, an Asian girl, a white boy (who in the sequel The Gypsy Game is revealed to be one-quarter Romani) and an Asian boy. The white girl is more-or-less the protagonist.
  • The Lord of the Rings has this with the Fellowship: four Hobbits, two Men, an Elf, and a Dwarf all to represent the Free People of Middle-earth. Leading them? A Wizard originally from the West. Of course, the process of their meeting was well-described by Tolkien: the Council did not want to have Elves, Dwarves, or Men to be carrying the Ring (since they would resent each other, which would be bad for morale); and although Gandalf called the meeting and needed to go south to help prepare the war, he didn't want the Ring either, so it fell to Frodo (who volunteered, at any rate); Sam, Merry, and Pippin insisted on joining Frodo; Aragorn was The Chosen One; Boromir is from Gondor and would be going that way anyway; and then Gimli and Legolas are intentional Tokens to ensure that all races are represented in the quest.
  • In Stephen King's It, the Loser's Club is made up from kids who are ostracized by the others for various reasons: Bill stutters, Ben is fat, Eddie is physically weak, Stan is Jewish, Mike is black, Beverly is poor, and Richie just can't keep his mouth shut.
  • The House of Night has Damien and later Jack, two gay boys who quickly become a Token Minority Couple, Shaunee, a black girl, her white mental "twin", Erin, and Stevie Rae, a country girl from the middle of nowhere with an Oklahoma accent. Add in Zoey, the main character of Cherokee descent, and you definitely have one of these forming.
  • The Virals series by Kathy Reichs has the main character Tory, a white girl, Sheldon, a biracial (black and Japanese) guy, Hiram, who is Jewish, and Ben a white guy who claims he is part Native American.
  • Harry Potter has an example that only works in-universe; the main ¡Three Amigos! has Harry, the half-blood, Ron, the pure-blood, and Hermione, the Muggle-born.
  • Parodied in John Dies at the End, where one of these appears in the final pages to promptly save Another Dimension both John and Dave deemed to lame to bother with.
  • In the followup series to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, Riordan goes from having a protagonistic band of two whites and a satyr to a ten-man band of two white male leads, an Italian male (who is Straight Gay), a white girl, a Native American girl, a black girl, a Chinese-Canadian boy, a Hispanic boy, a Puerto Rican girl, and a different satyr. On top of this, all of the listed kids (except Frank, the Chinese-Canadian boy) have some combination of ADHD and/or Dyslexia, due to the way demigod brains are wired. Frank is lactose intolerant. Justified because they are all the offspring of the Greek and Roman Pantheons, and they all met up at the only two summer camps in the world where it is safe for demigods.
  • Unusually well Justified in the Spirit Animals series. The world of Erdras is divided into four main continents, each of which has a different ethnic phenotype and patron deity (Zhongese correspond to Asians, Nilosians to Africans, Eurans to Europeans, and Amayans to Native Americans (though their society is closer to Modern America with medieval technology)). The plot is kicked off when the four deities choose four mortal children to partner with, and naturally each chose to bond a person from their region.
  • The group in Seeker Bears consists of a captive-raised black bear named Lusa, a grizzly bear named Toklo, another grizzly bear (who can shapeshift into other species) named Ujurak, and a polar bear named Kallik.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Glee takes this to the next level, starting with ten tokens who aren't exactly a band, but sing and dance, and adding more as time goes on.
    • Season one starts with a Sassy Black Woman, an Asian Perky Goth, a white Hollywood Nerd wheelchair user, a white Jewish girl with two gay dads and a white Camp Gay. The later additions to the team are black and Asian boys, an Ambiguously Jewish kid, a Spicy Latina girl, a pregnant teenage girl, and Brittany.
    • Invoked by Sue in the episode "Throwdown" when they split the glee club into two groups and Sue picked all the minorities for her half in an attempt to drive a wedge into the group.
    • The current roster now stands as follows. Graduated members: Rachel (Jewish female), Mercedes (black female), Puck (Jewish), Kurt (gay), Mike (Asian), Santana (Hispanic and lesbian), Quinn (former pregnant teen and female), Brittany (bisexual female), and Finn (white male). Current members: Tina (Asian female), Artie (handicapped), Sam (poor, Blaine (gay), Marley (poor and female), Unique (transgender female and black), Jake (half black, half Jewish), and Ryder (dyslexic). Former members are Rory (Irish exchange student), Joe (conservative white male Christian), Sugar (claims to have Asperger's), Lauren (female wrestler) and Matt (black).
  • The cast of Saved by the Bell combined the ethnic and clique versions of the trope into one group. Slater was Hispanic, Lisa was African-American, and the rest were white, although Zach had some Native American ancestry and Kelly was less well off than her friends, if that counts.
  • British sitcom All About Me centers around a man with an Indian partner and a wheelchair-bound child with cerebral palsy. It scores high for political correctness, low for comedy or interest.
  • Power Rangers in most of its incarnations.
    • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers started off with Caucasian Red (mixed-race), Blue and Pink, African-American Black, Asian Yellow, and Native American Green.
      • After cast changes in Seasons Two and Three, the team was Hispanic Red, Caucasian Blue, Asian Black, African-American Yellow, (Caucasian) Australian Pink, and Native American White.
      • The Aquitian Rangers were all Rubber-Forehead Aliens, but going by their actors, they had Caucasian Red, Yellow and Black, African-American Blue, and Arab-American White.
      • The original series gets a lot of flak because the Black Ranger was African-American and the Yellow Ranger was Asian (specifically, Vietnamese). Word of God from the producers and Word of Saint Paul from Walter Jones (Zack) himself confirm this was unintentional and something they didn't notice until several episodes had been filmed, and the real reason why the Rangers were swapped is due to either budget or popularity issues. Not to mention, Trini was played by a Hispanic actress in the Pilot, only to be recast before the show entered full production.
    • Zeo reshuffled the Mighty Morphin' cast into Native American Red, Asian Green, Hispanic Blue, African Yellow (not the same as the previous season, though), (Caucasian) Australian Pink, and Caucasian (mixed-race) Gold.
    • Turbo's first half used the same cast as Zeo, with the exception of swapping the Hispanic Blue for a preteen Caucasian. The second half had African-American Red, preteen Caucasian Blue, Caucasian Yellow, Hispanic Green, and Asian Pink.
    • In Space, which was two-thirds returning Turbo cast, had (Caucasian) Human Alien Red and Silver, African-American Blue, Caucasian Yellow, Hispanic Black, and Asian Pink.
    • Lost Galaxy had Caucasian Red, Magna Defender (brothers), and first Pink, African-American Green, Asian Blue, and (Caucasian) Human Alien Yellow and second Pink (the former played by Cerina Vincent, who is Italian-American).
    • Lightspeed Rescue had Caucasian Red, Yellow, Pink, and Titanium Ranger (the latter two being siblings), African-American Green, and Asian Blue.
    • Time Force had Caucasian Red and Pink, Eurasian Blue and Quantum Ranger, African-American Yellow, and Rubber-Forehead Alien Green (played by a Eurasian).
    • Wild Force had Caucasian Red, Yellow, and Silver, African-American Blue, Latino Black, and Native American White (played by a Filipino-American actress).
    • Ninja Storm had Samoan Red, Caucasian Blue, Yellow (whose actor is half-Brazilian) and Crimson, Latino Navy Blue, and Asian Green. Notably, this was the first (and so far only) season where the dark-skinned member of the team (Shane) was not of African descent.
    • Dino Thunder had Caucasian Red and Yellow, African-American Blue, Native American Black, and Latino (played by an Italian-Filipino actor) White.
    • SPD had African-American Red, Caucasian Blue, Pink, and Green (with Green being Ambiguously Jewish as well thanks to one or two lines of dialogue), Latina Yellow, dog-lizard-alien Shadow Ranger, and ball of light Omega Ranger (though being a ball of light was temporary for the duration of the series, and was later revealed to be Caucasian).
    • Mystic Force had Arab (Human Alien) Red (Firass Dirani has Lebanese descent), Latina (Filipino/mixed-race) Blue and Pink (sisters), Caucasian Yellow, (Caucasian) Australian Green, and a (Maori) Human Alien Solaris Knight.
    • Operation Overdrive had Caucasian Red (an android who becomes human in this season's finale) and Yellow, Afro-Caribbean Black, Asian Blue, Latina Pink (played by a Filipino actress), and Human Alien Mercury Ranger (played by a Caucasian).
    • Jungle Fury averts this noticeably; it had Caucasian Red, Yellow, Wolf Ranger, and Rhino Ranger, and an Asian Blue.
    • RPM had African-American Red, Caucasian Blue (Scottish, played by a New Zealander with a fake accent), Yellow, Green and Black, and Asians Gold and Silver (brother and sister).
    • Samurai had Caucasian Red (actually Reds, brother and sister) and Yellow, African-American Blue, Latino Green and Gold (Gold was played by Thai-German Steven Skyler, but was Ambiguously Brown and threw around a lot of Gratuitous Spanish), and Asian Pink. Particularly odd this season as all of them but Gold were supposed to be descended from actual samurai.
    • Megaforce had Caucasian Red and Yellow, Eurasian Pink, African-American Blue, Arab-American Black/Green, android Robo Knight, and Human Alien Silver (played by a Caucasian).
    • Dino Charge had Hispanic Red and Aqua (son and his father), Caucasian Green and Purple, (Caucasian) New Zealander Black, prehistoric Native American (specifically, of the Dakota tribe) Blue (played by an Indonesian), African-American Pink, "Zandarian" (that is, ambiguously-European) Gold and Graphite (Gold has a Brazilian actor, Graphite is Caucasian), and bird-alien Silver.
    • Ninja Steel had Hispanic Red and Gold (brothers, played by Desi and Maori actors, respectively with their father played by a white man), Asian Blue (Indonesian, like the previous season's Blue actor; Peter and Yoshi Sudarso are brothers), African-American White (whose actress is half-Caucasian), and Caucasian Pink (played by a white Brazilian) and Yellow (whose actor is half-Colombian). Yellow was originally a light skinned black actor, but was replaced early in filming.
    • Beast Morphers had African-American Red, Indian Blue, Caucasian Yellow, Latino Gold, and robot Silver (who, much like the Red Overdrive Ranger, becomes human in the finale).
    • Power Rangers Dino Fury has Human Alien/ Rubber-Forehead Alien (played by an Afro-Asian) Red, Asian Blue, Hispanic Black and Green, Caucasian Pink, and an African-American Gold (who, judging from the actor's comments on social media, is also an alien and from the same planet as Red.)
    • And let's not forget Power Rangers Hyperforce, where we have Human Alien Red and Green (who was also Silver for Time Force beforehand, long story) (played by the aforementioned Indonesian brothers from Dino Charge and Ninja Steel), Caucasian Pink, Hispanic Ridiculously Human Robot female Black, big-bodied Caucasian Yellow, and African American Blue.
  • The casts of every incarnation of Star Trek. Also, there are Loads and Loads of Characters, so you'd expect some variety. And today it's easy to forget how shockingly radical the original series was to do this. Maybe Uhura was a switchboard operator in a go-go dress, but she did it on the bridge of an (essentially) military spaceship; Martin Luther King Jr. personally told Nichelle Nichols how important it was she keep plugging away at the role. The Original Series also famously featured one of the first interracial kisses to be shown on TV (Kirk and Uhura) — but as a sop to the standard 1960s racist Southern audiences made it involuntary, forced to happen by Jerkass aliens. Of course, every later series developed the characters far beyond their ethnicities. Indeed, they were never brought up outside of the occasional time travel story. This makes them more an aversion of Humans Are White than Five-Token Bands... except Star Trek: Enterprise.
  • Parodied by Stephen Colbert's "friends". When his Black Friend Alan betrayed him by being seen at an anti-war protest, he advertised for a new one. He has an assortment of other ethnic friends, the best known being Jewish Friend Jon Stewart. Many fans who have met him have reported getting him to take a picture with them under the promise that they'll be his ____ best friend: deaf, French, asexual, bipolar. Presumably he's being Crazy-Prepared in case the need should ever arise for any of those. Note that, beginning with Alan, the photos of Stephen with his ____ best friend have always showed him beaming at the camera and pointing at his companion, while the companion has his/her arms folded and a "You've got to be fucking kidding me" facial expression.
  • An arguable example of a villainous version is in the series Sleeper Cell. The terrorists in both seasons are from several nations and ethnicities as a deliberate counterpoint to the stereotype of all terrorists being Arabs. They were all based on real terrorists.
  • The Knights of Prosperity. Obviously, the only American one is the leader.
  • Ghostwriter, which had a black male leader, rich white girl and Hispanic brother and sister as the original team, later adding a Vietnamese girl, white male Military Brat, Puerto Rican boy and black female Tagalong Kid. In one episode, a music company decided to sign cast member Lenni, and the record executive actually said out loud that her multiethnic friends would be demographically perfect for the music video.
  • The Swedish kids show Vintergatan 5A (Milky Way 5A) had a cast consisting of a Spanish-Swedish youngster, an African-American-Swedish youngster, a Swedish youngster, and a Swedish oldster. In the sequel, Vintergatan 5B, a Russian youngster was added.
  • Community:
    • Lampshaded when the dean sees the main cast assembled:
    "Well, look at this group, having some kind of meeting and being so diverse. There's is just — boy! — there is just one of every kind of you, isn't there?"
    • The trope is played straight up until this point, as the Spanish 101 study group has two black characters, one guy of Middle Eastern descent, a Jewish woman, an array of socioeconomic backgrounds, and a massive age range, from 18 to sixtysomething. Also, the leader is "All American" and he has the hots for the other blond in the group.
    • The gag is extended later in the same episode when designing the mascot for the new school team, The Human Beings. Wanting to represent every ethnicity and background without explicitly mentioning any of them, the Dean eventually creates a powder-white, amorphous blob man with a slit for a mouth as the new mascot.
    • It's taken even further in the Holiday episode where it's revealed they all have different religions as well. We have Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Jehovah's Witness, Atheist, Agnostic and "Buddhist" (Pierce thinks he's Buddhist, but he's actually in a cult without knowing it).
    • In "Documentary Filmmaking Redux", they're described as "Greendale's brightest,note  most coincidentally diverse — Hispanics notwithstanding — study group."
  • Doctor Who:
    • Lampshaded. The Master congratulates the Doctor's team on "ticking every demographic box". His posse at that point consists of himself (could currently pass for white British despite being an alien), Martha (black British and female) and Jack (white, bisexual and apparently American).
    • In Series 11, the Doctor's TARDIS team consists of herself (alien who could currently pass for a white British woman), Ryan (black British man with dyspraxia), Yasmin (British Desi woman), and Graham (white British man).
  • Ironically (or not) The Beeb itself does this, or at least looks like it. Some children's shows which invite viewers onto the show as one-episode characters appear to use carefully-selected representatives of almost every conceivable ethnic and religious demographic, or as many as a small cast makes available.
  • Joked about on Scrubs, which also somewhat uses the trope (four white main characters one of whom is female, a black doctor, a Hispanic nurse and plenty of variety for the supporting characters). Turk mentions that he always got special treatment because he was black, and schools always wanted to seem like they are ethnically diverse. When J.D. mentions that everyone was put on the cover of their college newsletter, Turk retorts that he was put in there twice... in the same picture.
  • Look Around You spoofs the tendency for math textbooks to go for an unlikely level of diversity in the characters in their problems, as well as the general nature of such problems themselves:
    "Jean is shorter than Brutus but taller than Imhotep. Imhotep is taller than Jean, but shorter than Lord Scotland. Lord Scotland is twice the height of Jean and Brutus combined but only one-tenth of the height of Millsy. Millsy is at a constant height of (x − y). If Jean stands exactly one nautical mile away from Lord Scotland, how tall is Imhotep?" (Answer: Imhotep is invisible.)
  • The kids in Space Cases were each from a different planet, and one was from a different galaxy. Harlan Band, the token human, is an interesting case in that he very much played the role the white guy usually plays in this trope as both the leader and the complainer, but he was played by a black actor. Also, he had a strong case of Fantastic Racism.
  • Victorious pulls one of these together, without making it feel forced. The main character and her sister are half-latina, Andre is black, Robbie is Jewish, Beck is Indian but not a Bollywood Nerd. The last 2 characters are Cat, who is a white redheaded Genki Girl, and Jade, a white Goth, for whom the fandom believes might be bisexual.
  • Lampshaded in House:
    House: Our Five-Token Band is missing Brown and Bi.
  • Both versions of Zoom revolve around this concept. The cast was always supposed to be ethnically diverse.
  • On Jessie about a famous (white) couple who adopted 3 foreign-born children, they have the white Jessie (their nanny), Emma (their only biological daughter), Luke (Ambiguously Brown), Ravi (Indian), and Zuri (black).
  • Season 3 of New York Undercover, there was Williams (a black man), Torres (a latino man), Lt. Cooper (a white woman), Moreno (a Latino woman) and McNamara (a white man).
  • Unintentionally on The Amazing Race 10 with the Back Pack alliance that formed out of the teams on the second bus in the second leg. There was Lyn & Karlyn (black single moms from Alabama), Erwin & Godwin (Asian brothers, one of whom went to Harvard), David & Mary (a coal miner and his wife from Kentucky), Tom & Terry (boyfriends), and Kellie & Jamie (college cheerleaders).
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine actually drew positive reception for being a show set in New York with a cast that actually looks like the citizens of New York for once. The main cast consists of two white guys (one is Jewish), two black guys (one of whom is also gay), and two Latina women (one of whom is also bisexual). Terry Crews actually went so far as to tout the realistic level of diversity as "What Friends should've been".
  • Chicago P.D.: Intelligence Unit is made up of various incarnations of this throughout the series. The current makeup is Voight, Halstead and Ruzek (Caucasian), along with Upton(Greek-American, as is her actress, Tracy Spiridakos), Burgess(played by Italian-American Marina Squerciati), Atwater(African-American) and Rojas(Latina). Before their departures there were Jin (S1 Asian-American) and Sumner (S1 African-American) , Lindsay(S1-4 Caucasian), Dawson(S1-6 Latino), and Olinsky (S1-5, Polish, played by Greek-American Elias Koteas).
  • Both of the Ultra Series non-Japanese International Coproduction series use this.
    • Ultraman: Towards the Future: Three white members (one of whom was female and one who was the captain), one black member, and two Asian members (one who was female and the other is Ultraman's human host)
    • Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero had an African-American team captain, three white members (two of whom were female), and one Asian member (who was also Ultraman's human host).
  • The team in Season Two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a bit like this — out of a team of 9, there are three white males (one American, one English, one Scottish and mentally disabled), two white females (one American, one English), two black males, one Chinese-American female, and one mixed-race female (Chinese and white).
  • At the start of Season Three of The Last Man on Earth, the main group consists of one white male, three white females, a Hispanic American male, a black Australian female, and an Asian American male.
  • While Empire is primarily about a black family with the occasional non-black love interest, this trope was directly invoked when Hakeem tossed around the idea of forming a multiracial Girl Group named "Rainbow Connection", composed of a black girl, a white girl, and a Latina. However, the others minced no words in telling him how corny that sounded, and when Andre informed him that Latin Americans are the fastest-growing consumer base in the country, Hakeem opted to form an all-Latina girl group instead, Mirage a Trois.
  • Ironically, Empire's sister-series Star is about a girl group not unlike Hakeem's original idea: a white girl, her biracial half-sister, and their black friend.
  • Barney & Friends always had a diverse cast of children every season:
    • The Backyard Gang had Michael and Amy (white), Tina and Luci (Hispanic), Jason and Derek (Black), and Adam and Jeffrey (Asian)
    • The first three seasons included Michael, Jason, Julie, Kathy, Shawn, and Kenneth (White), Tina, Luci, Carlos, and Juan (Hispanic), Derek and Tosha (Black), and Min (Asian).
    • The next three seasons included Stephen, Kristen, Hannah, Chip, Linda, Emily, Jeff, and Jill (White), Robert, Maria, and Kim (Hispanic), Ashley, Alissa, Keesha, and Curtis (Black), and Danny (Asian).
    • The following two seasons featured Beth, Scott, Sarah, and Nick (White), Angela, Gianna, Mario and Tony (Hispanic), Whitney and Jackson (Black), and Kami (Asian).
    • The ninth season featured Nick, Rachel, David, Stacy, and Laura (White), Miguel (Hispanic), Whitney and Jackson (Black), and Kami (Asian).
  • grown•ish has in the main group Zoey, Jazz, and Sky who are all black women, Aaron who is also black, Vivek who is Indian-American, Ana who is Cuban-American, and Nomi who is Jewish and bisexual.
  • The Real The hosts (and guest co-host Amara La Negra) had a whole discussion about this trope. Tamera Mowry-Housley said she and her twin sister Tia were the first African American twins to have a TV show. Jeannie Mai said "I feel lonely" being one of three Asian-American woman (and the first one of Vietnamese descent) who co-hosted a daytime talk show. Adrienne Bailon was "sad" to find out she was the first Latino-American on an English language talk show. Loni Love joked that she was the second plus size African-American woman on daytime TV (referring to her friend Sheryl Underwood of The Talk as the first). They said their show was important so they can see more daytime TV hosts that look like them years from now.
  • On Kirby Buckets, Kirby, Eli, and Dawn are white, Fish is black, and Belinda is Asian.
  • On Shake it Up, Cece, Flynn, Gunther, and Tinka are white, Rocky and Ty are black, and Deuce is Hispanic.
  • Mighty Med: Kaz, Oliver, and Gus are white, Alan and Horace are Hispanic, and Skylar is an alien who takes the appearance of a Filipino.
  • Bella and the Bulldogs: Bella and Newt are white, Ace is Italian-American, Sawyer is Jewish,

  • The Smashing Pumpkins started out this way, with a dark-haired white man, a redhead (before he went bald), a blonde woman and an Asian.
  • After their performance at the 2013 Super Bowl, several news outlets noted the diversity of Beyoncé's band, The Sugar Mamas. There's guitarist Bibi Mcgill (African American), keyboardist Rie Tsuji (Japanese), saxophonist Kat Rodriguez (Afro-Latina), and trumpeter Crystal Torres (Hispanic).
  • Girl Authority is a nine-token music band consisting of both racial and social/hobby tokens.
  • The Pussycat Dolls
  • Casted girlgroups come to mind; just think Sugababes (they eventually replaced a white redhead with a white blonde, Filipina girl with a Moroccan girl, and the black one with a biracial girl [black and white parents]).
  • British girlband The Saturdays are literally the most diverse group of five women imaginable: a blonde, a brunette, a sort of mixed race-looking girl, an Asian girl and a black girl.
  • The Black Eyed Peas have a black guy, a Mexican/Native American guy, another black guy who's half-Filipino, and a white woman who's also Mexican and Native American.
  • The Defictionalized band The Cheetah Girls has a black member, a mixed-race member, and a Latina member. In the book series, though, all of the girls were black except for Chanel, who was Cuban and Dominican.
  • The five-piece Girl Group the Beach Girl 5 (BG5), whose members include dark-haired dancer/singer Mandy Jiroux (of The Miley And Mandy Show fame), consists of black Dominique Domingo, white Austrailan blonde Laura New, American white blonde Brooke Adams and Asian Noreen Juliano.
  • An in-universe example: the Rubberbandits song "Black Man" is about a gang that includes every conceivable minority except for, well...
  • Gogol Bordello consists of Ukrainian, Russian, Ethiopian, Ecuadorian, Chinese-Scottish, American, and Belarusian members. Previously, they had Israeli and Romanian members. Fittingly, the band's music is a fusion of Eastern European Folk Music with American Punk Music, and other influences such as Jamaican dub and Brazilian music.
  • Pentatonix consists of two gay white men (one of whom is of Italian descent), a Hispanic woman, a Jewish guy, and a black guy. And when the Jewish guy left the group, he was replaced with another black man.
  • Culture Club's name lampshades this. As Wikipedia explains, they comprised "an Irish gay man as the lead singer, a black Briton on bass, a blond Englishman on guitar and keyboards, and a Jewish drummer".
  • Fifth Harmony's original line up had two Cubans (Camila Cabello and Lauren Jauregui), one Mexican-American (Ally Brooke), one black girl (Normani) and one person of Pacific Islander descent (Dinah Jane).
  • Parodied with the Music//Rubberbandits song "Black Man" where one of the Bandits starts singing about needing a black man to complete his gang. The list he has already is a Puerto Rican, Orthodox Jew, a Russian thug, a well-endowed blonde girl, a dumb guy, a Tag Along Kid, a Mafioso, guy in wheelchair, Asian who's "good with knives", Butch Lesbian, "both types of Indians", a fat guy and an Ambiguously Brown guy who apparently isn't dark enough to qualify.
  • One Direction contains three white Brits, a British Pakistani, and a white Irishman.

  • A variation appears in Bally's Playboy pinball, with the five Playmates the player can collect — there are three Caucasians (two blondes and a redhead), along with an African-American woman and a black-haired Asian.
  • Done literally in Diner, whose five customers are a stereotypical Indian (Haji), a stereotypical Britian (Babs), a stereotypical Russian (Boris), a stereotypical Hispanic (Pépé), and a stereotypical American cowboy (Buck).

    Pro Wrestling 

    Print Media 
  • The cover of every textbook (especially ones about health or social psychology) will have the Five-Token Band laughing together at something.
    • This cover from the Internet book in the 90s starring a gang of kids who look like the cast from The Magic School Bus who are literally surfing on a keyboard. There's the blonde-haired boy (the leader since he's the one in the front) and trailing behind him is the blonde girl, the black boy, the Asian, and two tannish-skinned boys who are probably Hispanic. The only thing missing is the kid in the wheelchair.
  • Math textbooks are also prone to having word problems with non-Caucasian names.
  • This is a common theme in pamphlets and brochures, especially those extolling the virtues of an organization.
    • The Jehovah's Witnesses, in New Zealand at least, often brought pamphlets showing children of all races happily playing together... as well as a Five-Token Band of animals as well.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Possibly the example to beat all others: the cast of the PBS Kids Puppet Show The Puzzle Place consisted of a Chinese-American girl, a Lithuanian-Jewish girl, a white boy of German and Norwegian origin (who is definitely "the Scandinavian guy" and not "the white guy"), a Latina, a handicapped Irish-American (added towards the series' end), a Black boy (probably of West African origin), and an Apache boy from an Indian reservation in Arizona. Whew. And oh yeah, the cat and the dog. The show was created in response to the 1992 LA riots as a way to teach kids about racial harmony.

  • The Young Turks. Let's see, a Turkish host, an Armenian-American female co-host, a black producer, a Mexican director, and a white guy. And occasionally Ben Mankiewicz shows up, and he's Jewish.

    Video Games 
  • Present in Gears of War, with Mighty Whitey Marcus, his Hispanic best friend Dom, the Asian Delta squad leader Kim, and the black Uncle Tomfoolery Big Guy Cole. Now if The Smart Guy Baird was disabled, he would complete the band. Unfortunately, he's only a rather Jerkass blond. You could even count Jack as the Robot Buddy.
  • The cast of Left 4 Dead, while not including enough people for a Five Token Band, is something of a Multi-Ethnicity Team.
  • Team Fortress 2 is a downplayed example if you think about it. It's a multinational team whose members all hail from predominantly white countries, for an important reason: Their national and/or regional origins are all Played for Laughs and reduced to wacky stereotypes. That wouldn't play well if there were, say, an Asian on the team. Even the one black guy is also Scottish so they can make fun of that instead. Contrast with its spiritual successor Overwatch, which has a far more diverse cast (even for its comparative size) and plays it completely straight.
  • The 3rd Street Saints in Saints Row 2 is one of the aforementioned inexplicably diverse gangs. Their most prominent members include the Asian Johnny Gat, the Caucasian female Shaundi, the black (and Ambiguously Gay) Pierce, the Latino Carlos, and whomever you decide to be. Later added the Russian Oleg Kirrlov.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Commander Shepard's team could be seen as an in-universe version, especially in Mass Effect 2. Excluding humans, there's only one teammate of any species per game at a time, but most species are represented on the team at some point. The characters are well-developed regardless of race, but some fit their stereotypes and some don't. Mordin fits the salarian mold: he's smart, lives at high speed, and good with technology. Garrus wonders aloud if he's bad turian: he's never been with rules and regulations, but on the other hand he's excellent in combat. Wrex is unlike almost any other Krogan you meet: he knows when to be diplomatic and when to fight, and he's good at both.
    • Humans on Team Shepard tend to be pretty diverse as well, and the melting pot nature of the Alliance makes for some weird combos. There's Kaidan Alenko (seemingly white Canadian with a Japanese/Russian name), Joker (disabled; brittle bones), Ashley (female, Hispanic), Dr. Chakwas (very fair-skinned British-accented woman with implied Indian heritage), Pressley (black), etc. The sequels throw in an Aussie (Miranda), a black man (Jacob), a Japanese woman (Kasumi), a probably Arabic guy (Zaeed), a Latino guy (Vega) even a semi-recovering addict (Jack).
    • Teams in multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 have potential for this. Every species that Shepard can recruit can be used in multiplayer, plus Batarians, Vorcha, and Volus. though the Prothean character in multiplayer is actually an awakened collector.
  • No One Lives Forever had a trio of multiracial go-go girls who were actually a Quirky Miniboss Squad with sniper rifles. Before you encountered them, they lounged around their dressing room moaning about how so very bored they were.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey's four major (human) characters are a Japanese man (who became American in the localization, but hey, he could still be Asian), a black man, a Hispanic man, and a white Russian woman.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2, you start with the fantastic version: Two humans and one of every other race.
  • Backyard Sports featured 30 characters and lot of them were ethnic, so most of the time you could make your team like this trope.
  • Lara's supporting cast in the Tomb Raider reboot. Samantha is Japanese, Joslin is Afro-Latina, and Jonah is Māori.
  • Star Trek Online: The command crew of the USS Enterprise-F. One white womannote , one gay white male humannote , one half-Irish, half-Japanese humannote , one Vulcannote , one Andoriannote , one Caitiannote , one Betazoidnote , and one black Bajorannote .
  • Shadow Watch features a team consisting of a black British man, a Canadian woman, an Anglo-Chinese woman, a dark-skinned Brazilian man, an Eastern European man and a Canadian man. They're the security force for a corporation hired to foster co-operation between many different nations - it makes sense that their security force would be suitably multicultural.
  • The kids from The ClueFinders. The Leader is Joni Savage, a red-haired white girl, with Hispanic Santiago Rivera as The Smart Guy and The Lancer, Leslie Clark as the Black and Nerdy girl, and Owen Lam as the Totally Radical Asian dude. They also have a Robot Buddy who's a floating laptop and a highly intelligent dog named Socrates who serves as the gang's Team Pet.
  • The main group in Pokémon X and Y is made up of the customizable protagonist (can be white or Ambiguously Brown), the implied Arabic Shauna, the hispanic/latino Tierno, the redheaded Trevor, and the white rival (who is the opposite gender of you).
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Boy howdy, the Van der Linde gang sure does consist of people of all ages, races, nationalities, genders, and creeds to go by... that is, until one bigot and rat among them decides to have the authorities either capture them or wipe them out. They include:
    • Dutch van der Linde, the leader and founder of the gang, who is Ambiguously Bi and seems to have been mentally disabled and becoming paranoid, and easily being manipulated by Micah Bell himself.
    • Hosea Matthews, an old conman who is also Ambiguously Bi.
    • Arthur Morgan, who is of Welsh descent and irreligious, and yet is able to read and write and has a lot of respect for all races, genders, sexual orientations, and creeds. He can also be customizable into being very thin or obese. Oh, and he suffers from tuberculosis too.
    • John Marston, who is of Scottish descent and blinded in his left eye, yet is very semi-literate and has barely legible writing skills.
    • Abigail Roberts, a former prostitute who is John's future wife and one of the few members who are completely illiterate.
    • Bill Williamson, who is an obese former US Army soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his experience in Indian Wars and from growing signs of dementia he inherited from his father; he is also implied to be either gay or bi.
    • Javier Escuella is Mexican by birth, and is said to be a practicing Catholic.
    • Uncle, Karen Jones and Molly O'Shea are habitual drinkers.
    • Josiah Trelawny is a city slicker who is a native New Englander.
    • Lenny Summers and Tilly Jackson are Black Americans, while Charles Smith is a half-Black Native American.
    • Leopold Strauss is Austrian by birth.
    • Sadie Adler is a Determined Widow who has her husband killed by the O'Driscolls and is driven to avenge him, as well as only female who mainly operates as gunwoman.
    • Sean MacGuire and Molly O'Shea are Irish by birth, and Kieran Duffy is implied to be the same descent by the way he was formerly an O'Driscoll.
    • Orville Swanson is a former clergyman who is a drug addict and a habitual drinker.
    • Simon Pearson is an obese and jolly chef who formerly serves in the US Navy.
    • Susan Grimshaw is an elderly but wise lady.
    • Of the entire gang, nine of them (six alive, three dead) are women.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • In the first game, the main heroes were a Token Trio consisting of Liu Kang (Chinese and male), Johnny Cage (white, American and male) and Sonya Blade (white, American and female). The second game introduced Sonya's partner Jax Briggs (African-American male), Kuai Liang the second Sub-Zero (Chinese-American male), Kung Lao (Chinese male) who is Liu Kang's fellow Warrior Monk and the Princess Kitana who hails from the fictional realm of Edenia and has been depicted as latina, white or Asian depending on the media.
    • Other recurring heroes include Nightwolf, a Native Amarican shaman and historian; Jade, Kitana's black friend; Kai, a black Shaolin monk; Smoke,a Czech ninja; Kenshi Takahashi a blind Eurasian swordsman and Stryker a white police officer.
    • Mortal Kombat X introduced four new heroes who were relatives and/or apprentices of previous heroes. Cassie Cage is the daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade and is white. Jacqui Briggs is the daughter of Jax Briggs and is black. Takeda Takahashi is Scorpion's apprentice and the son of Kenshi and a Thai woman named Succhin. And Kung Jin is a gay Chinese man and the cousin of Kung Lao.

    Web Animation 
  • The cast of Bravest Warriors. Of the four leads, Beth is Japanese, Wallow is Samoan, and Danny is Latino. Chris is the only white person in the main cast.
  • In La Golda, the kids soccer team is made up of La Golda, who's Columbian (presumably), Liam, who's British, Sanya, who's Russian, Santana, who's American, and Malcolm, who's Chinese.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • At the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe, the main characters are in Team Kimba and form a pretty good Five-Token Band. The trope is slightly averted and somewhat reinforced in the reason they come together and stay together: they're the transgender mutants in their high school grade. Chaka, the nominal leader, is black, but comes from an upper-middle-class family. Generator is Japanese-American. Shroud? Not even really alive. Phase is a WASP and the disinherited scion of one of the richest families on the planet. Lancer is an Army brat. Tennyo? Her mutation has made her look like an anime character. Fey not only looks like one of the Sidhe, she literally is. Other characters around them include a hermaphrodite who is Lakota (American Indian), a half-demon, a Hispanic... You get the idea.
  • The Onion: "Graphic Artist Carefully Assigns Ethnicities To Anthropomorphic Recyclables"
  • This header from a now defunct "Ask the humanized cast of Undertale" fan blog that was briefly hosted on tumblr. Note that some of the combinations of genders and sexualities don't even make sense when put together like that.

    Web Videos 
  • In The Guild, the Axis of Anarchy consists of a white man, Angry Black Man, Ambiguously Gay Hispanic, Korean man who can't speak English, and white, paraplegic woman.
  • CollegeHumor parodies this in their honest college ad (at about 1:00). It shows a group with a black man in a wheelchair, an Asian girl, a white guy, an Ambiguously Brown girl and an Indian guy, who says, "We're actors. This literally never happens."
  • Demo Reel. Donnie was bisexual and grew out of his White Male Lead tendencies fast, Tacoma was the black guy who was okay with wearing a dress, Rebecca was the badass feminist lady, and Karl and Quinn were east-German and Irish manly men, respectively.
  • The Nostalgia Critic created his very own Token Troop, featuring:
    • The Token Cool Kid (Jim Jarosz)
    • The Token Black Kid (Malcolm Ray)
    • The Token Geeky Kid (Rob Walker)
    • The Token Fat Kid (Jason Laws)
    • And, of course, the charming, awkward, shy main character with a heart of gold (Critic himself)
    • The Token Girl (Tamara Chambers) was only included when the token troop realized the error of their way halfway through the third act.
  • Pretty Dudes plays this pretty straight (for a queer show), where the differences in race and sexuality between the characters drive a lot of the plot (the straight characters trying to get a boyfriend for one of the queer characters) and leads to many of the more heartfelt moments (like Afro-Latinx Ellington bonding with Mexican Zario on the different ways they feel ostracized from the main group).
    • Interestingly, half of the main characters in season one are Asian. Eagle is played by a Chinese-American actress, Sunji by an Indonesian of Chinese descent, and Jay is played by a Korean American. The other leads are Afro-Latinx, Mexican, and white.
    • According to Word of God, this impacted the format of the show. Originally the character Alexander was supposed to narrate all of the episodes, but after casting the role with a white guy, the producers wanted to avoid the perception that this was a show about a white man and his ethnic friends. Although Alexander does narrate a few episodes, all of the characters became narrators.
    • Even with the expanded cast in season two, out of the nine lead characters, three are Asian, three are Black (with two Afro-Latinx), two are white, and one is Mexican.

    Western Animation 
  • Anna's Tales, a cartoon about disabled girl named Anna who tells all sorts of fairy tales to her friends (who metaphorically reenact those stories in turn, along with Anna) whenever they visit her, features a quite "diverse" cast. According to the English dub, they should include Olga the East Asian American with a Russian-sounding name, Tod the white Brit, Anna, Theo and Agnes the white Americans, and Zach the black American.
  • Barbie:
    • The main group includes Barbie (Swiss-French-American), Teresa (Latina), Nikki (black), Renée (Japanese-American), and Daisy (Greek-American).
    • Barbie in the Nutcracker: Indian Captain Candy is featured amongst all the other Russian characters.
    • Barbie of Swan Lake does something similar, with everyone being Russian except Carlita, who's Spanish.
    • Barbie and the Rockers: Out of This World features Diva (Scotch-Irish-American), Dee-Dee (black), and Dana (Korean-American).
    • Barbie and the Three Musketeers: Corinne, Aramina, Viveca (white French) and Renée (black French).
    • The Barbie Diaries: Barbie, Tia (black) and Courtney (Japanese-American).
    • Barbie in a Mermaid Tale: Merliah (American), Hadley (Latina), Fallon (black), Xylie and Kayla (British). Minor characters in bith movies include Ally Mahoney (Asian), the lipstick fish (Hungarian accent) and Syrenka (Polish). In the sequel we have Kylie (Australian) and the Ambasaadors: Kattrin (Korean), Selena (Russian), Mirabella (Brazilian), and Renata (African).
    • Barbie In Rock N Royals: Courtney, Olivia (European), Erika, Rayna and Zia (American), Sloane (Scottish-American), Aubray (Irish), Genevieve (black British).
    • Barbie: Princess Charm School has Blair, Delancy, and Lorraine (European), Hadley (Latina), Isla (Japanese), Portia (Scottish), Josette (black) and Miranda (American).
    • Barbie: A Fairy Secret: Barbie, Raquelle (American), Carrie (brown but of Irish descent), Taylor (British), and Zane (Italian).
    • My Scene: Barbie, Kennedy (American), Nolee (Japanese-American), Nia (Mexican), Madison (black), Kenzie (Irish-American), Delancey and Chelsea (Irish-Danish-Italian-American).
  • Dee Dee from Dexter's Laboratory (white), and her posse, Mimi (black) and Lee Lee (Asian).
  • The Magic School Bus:
    • The cast of the original cartoon is almost mathematically precise: Four boys, four girls. Four white students (one of whom is Jewish, one British with implied partial Mediterranean descent, one Quebecois, and one Italian), two black students (one of whom is Jamaican), one Asian (of Chinese extraction), and one Hispanic (of Venezuelan extraction). All of them have very different personalities, except for the one who doesn't have a personality at all.
    • The Magic School Bus Rides Again changes it up a bit as the white Phoebe has been been replaced. This means that the class consists of three white students, one latino student, two Asian students (Wanda and the new kid, East Indian Jyoti), and two black students.
  • Recess:
    • The main cast. T.J. the chunky, smart-aleck white boy (who's implied to be Jewish), Gretchen the nerdy white girl with glasses, Spinelli the Italian tough girl, Vince the athletic black boy, Mikey the big-bodied, over-dramatic white boy, and Gus the nebbishy white boy with glasses. Actually lampshaded in a Christmas special episode in which the principal tries to put together a culturally diverse Christmas show while complaining about "political correctoids"
    • The Ashleys as well. Ashley A. is the stuck-up white leader, Ashley B. is the prissy, sarcastic second-in-command black girl, Ashley Q. is the tough, Jerkass white girl, and Ashley T. is the quiet Hispanic girl.
  • M. A. S. K.: The M. A. S. K. team has a Caucasian leader, Matt Trakker, and numerous other Caucasian members: Gloria Baker, Brad Turner, Calhoun Burns, Dusty Hayes, Buddy Hawks, Ace Riker, Alex Sector (British), and Boris Bushkin (Russian). The other members are African-American (Hondo Mac Lean), French Canadian (Jacques LaFleur), Native American (Nevada Rushmore), Indian (Ali Bombay), Japanese (Bruce Sato), and Latino (Julio Lopez).
  • The cast of Class of 3000. More specifically, we have a black boy (Lil D), a black girl (Tamika), fraternal Asian twins (Kim and Kam), a nerdy white redhead (Philly Phil), a white girl with Greek ancestry (Madison), a white boy (Eddie), and of course their black teacher (Sonny Bridges).
  • Spoofed for all it's worth in Minoriteam, which is about team comprised entirely of Captain Ethnic minority superheroes. For reference, it's Dr. Wang (Chinese), Nonstop (Indian), Fasto (black), El Jefe (Mexican), and Jewcano (Jewish).
  • The PBS show Maya & Miguel. The main characters are Hispanic, but the show painfully attempts to include just about every other race too. There's a black friend, the Afro-Dominican girl, the Asian girl and a disabled white guy. The fat, stupid, forgetful soccer coach is Polish.
  • In Extreme Ghostbusters, there was a black guy, a Goth girl, a guy in a wheelchair, and a Latino slacker. Oh, and Egon, the white (and Ambiguously Jewish) nerd. But the Goth girl's (stereotypical) interest in the paranormal came in handy; the African-American was a rather uncool smart guy; the Latino, while a slacker, had a brother who was a cop; and the paraplegic was the team jock.

    The show could be pretty honest about that. In the episode "The True Face of a Monster", the paraplegic was thrown out of his wheelchair (amazingly, by somebody he thought was his friend) and there was really nothing he could do until he got back in. Most shows are far too kid-friendly to show the wheelchair kid being actually helpless. And the Ecto-1 needed a ramp. That's not the only episode where Garrett is somehow forced out of his wheelchair. They actually have quite a few. Two that come to mind immediately are the gremlin episode (although he holds his own) and the one with the demon that turns metal into rust (where he has to sit out of a minor fight and then uses an old-fashioned wicker chair for the duration of the episode). Eh, well, as the said paraplegic is a Boisterous Bruiser, there's nothing wrong to balance that a bit by some realistic helplessness.
  • The four main characters of the Bratz cartoons (and doll line). There's the white girl Cloe, the sassy black girl Sasha, the super smart Asian Jade, and vaguely Granola Girlish Iranian-Jewish (default)/Latina-Jewish (live-action movie) Yasmin. The fifth ethnicity is usually covered by whatever one-shot character is hanging out with them in that particular episode/movie.
  • Sky Dancers. The original VHS opening also has suspiciously ethnic-sounding leit motifs.
  • Another token family is the Bennetts, aka the Bionic Six. The Black kid JD aka IQ doubles as The Smart Guy and the Asian kid Bunji is naturally code-named Karate-1.
  • Parodied in an episode of The Powerpuff Girls when a group of varied kids get Chemical X powers as part of Mojo Jojo's Batman Gambit. One of them is even in a wheelchair...and despite Chemical X allowing him to fly he flies still holding on to the chair.note 
  • On King Arthur & the Knights of Justice, two of the twelve heroes are black, one is Latino and one is Asian. Another one, while white like the rest, may be Italian.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: While the worldwide KND is logically diverse, the main characters (all living in the same town) include a white Jewish American, a white Australian, a Japanese-American girl, a black girl whose mother is French and a Brit with a Spanish surname. And a Scottish operative lives in the same town. While it requires a healthy suspension of disbelief to accept the Australian, Scottish, and English kids, the idea of the other three leads being friends and living in the same area isn't far-fetched in the slightest. Many areas, particularly cities, have very diverse populations.
  • On Phineas and Ferb, the main characters' Five-Man Band is rather diverse with British Ferb, Indian Baljeet and Mexican-Jewish Isabella (who is also the only permanent girl in the group). Added to the extended cast are Stacy (Japanese), Coltrane (black), Doofenshmirtz and his Druelselsteinian relatives (including his white American ex-wife and his daughter) and Perry, who may or may not have been hatched in Down Under Australia. And don't forget resident smart kid Irving. The Fireside Girls are also racially diverse.
  • Teen Titans:
    • The show gives us a more fantastic variation of this trope. The leader of the team, Robin, is a badass normal Caucasian (and Romani, if we're going by the comics and assume that he's Dick Grayson). Raven is part demon on her dad's side and part (presumably Caucasian) human on her mom's side. Cyborg is African American and, well, a cyborg. Starfire is an orange-skinned space babe. Beast Boy's race/species however is ambiguous due in part to his green skin and hair, though his comic book origin has him as a white blond human who turned green.
    • The East Coast spin-off team features Bumblebee (black female), Speedy (apparently white, but part Navajo if we go by the comics), Mas and Menos (Hispanic male twins) and Aqualad (white Atlantean male). Justified in that with the exceptions of Mas and Menos, the Titans East was made up entirely of teen heroes who had met and teamed up with the original Titans in earlier seasons.
  • Jem:
    • Jem and the Holograms are made up of redhead keyboardist Kimber, her blonde biological sister Jem (Jerrica) as the singer, the Asian (implied to be half-white and half either Chinese or Japanese) guitarist Aja, the black drummer/guitarist Shana, and later, the latina drummer Raya. Aside from the Sixth Ranger Raya, they were all raised together as Shana and Aja were the Benton's foster daughters.
    • The Misfits are also fairly diverse with the Hungarian Jewish-American Pizzazz (Phyllis Gabor), Italian-American Roxy (Roxanne Pellegrini), American Stormer (Mary Phillips) and British Jetta (Sheila Burns).
    • The Stingers also include Riot (Rory Llewelyn), who appears to be Welsh-American based on his last name, German Minx (Ingrid Kruger), and American Rapture (Phoebe Ashe).
  • The Histeria!! Kid Chorus consists of one brunette boy, three blonde boys (one short, one dumb, and one from California with a permanent sunburn), a blonde girl, an African-American girl, a teenaged red-haired girl, an Asian girl, a German boy without an accent, and a Native American girl. Oh, and an Asian boy and two more kids with tan skin, but they're only in crowd shots or songs.
  • The five girls from Winx Club. They lacked a black girl, but one later became the Sixth Ranger and eventually The Lancer.
  • A villainous example in the Samurai Jack episode "The Princess and the Bounty Hunters". A team of bounty hunters includes a white female leader, a Russian, a Southern American, an Aboriginal Australian and two asian-ish cat aliens.
  • When it came time to expand the Superfriends from the original Batman-Superman-Wonder Woman-Aquaman cadre to the 11-member Justice League (for Challenge of the Super Friends), they added a token black (Black Vulcan), a token native American (Apache Chief), and a token Asian (Samurai). The following season added a token Hispanic (El Dorado).
  • Explicitly parodied with the Ultimen in Justice League Unlimited. The team contains Wind Dragon (Asian American), Long Shadow (Native American) and Juice (African American), with Shifter and Downpour (Albino alien teenagers) rounding out the team. The Ultimen are explicitly formed as a marketable, publicity-friendly alternative to the Justice League. It makes sense that the team would need to be as diverse as possible in order to hit all the key demographics. Specifically, the Ultimen were close parallels to the characters created for Challenge of the Super Friends to add some ethnic diversity to the team.
  • Young Justice:
    • The "Runaways" are reimagined, Younger and Hipper versions of the Captain Ethnic Super Friends: Virgil is black, Tye is Native American, Eduardo is Hispanic, and Asami is Asian. In their later appearance they add Arsenal, who is disabled and arguably their Token White (in the comics he identifies as Native American).
    • Averted with the actual titular team of superheroes. It's very diverse, but the characters themselves aren't tokens. Blue Beetle (Latino), Aqualad, (African-Atlantean), Robin/Nightwing (Romani), and Artemis (half-Vietnamese) have large roles in the plot, and that's not even counting Guardian, Bumblebee, or Rocket (all black).
  • In The Replacements, Riley and Todd's circle of friends (and Shelton) includes the Japanese Tasumi, the African-American Abby, the Hispanic Jacobo and the Jewish Shelton.
  • One more example of a fantasy token band; Thunder Cats, but especially ThunderCats (2011). The members belong to clans based on real life cat species, though Panthro is the only one whom most obviously looks and sounds black.
    • This is expanded upon in the reboot, where it's made much clearer the divide between the various clans as well as the introduction of tailed Thunderians, who are considered lower class. Kit and Kat have tails, as did Panthro once, who is still obviously the black guy of the group. Then there's Tygra, whose race has it's own separate culture and society, and could be seen as being vaguely Asian. Cheetara's comparatively fair coloring would almost make her look Scandinavian, and Pumyra could count as Ambiguously Brown due to her unique appearance and brown hair.
    • Ironically, it's the bad guys who outdo the Thundercats by having Equal-Opportunity Evil and a Multinational Team. There is Slithe (Lizard), Grune (Cat), and later Kaynar (Dog/Jackal), and Addicus (Primate). Except for Slithe though, they're considered traitors and criminals to their own kind.
  • On Danny Phantom it's oddly the jerky popular kids who fill this trope: Dash (white guy), Paulina (Hispanic girl), Kwan (Asian guy), Valerie (black girl) and sometimes Star (white girl). They're like Equal Opportunity Jerk Asses. (Valerie is eventually exiled from the group when she becomes a Fallen Princess, though, and becomes kind of nicer.)
  • The Safety Patrol on Fillmore!. The protagonist is a black guy partnered with a white girl, the forensics expert comes from a Japanese family, Da Chief is Mexican-American, the main Mauve Shirt is Italian-American, and the photographer is a loony white guy who does the comic relief, if "Cloud Cuckoolander" can be considered a token role. A similar effect was shown in "A Cold Day At X", with the team of villains featuring a girl in a wheelchair and a very well-spoken, extremely English black guy.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The protagonists are the fantasy equivalent of this, consisting of two members of each race — unicorn, pegasus and earth pony. (Until Twilight became an alicorn, that is.) They also provide a wide range of personality types — notably, three are gradually revealed to be in line with the stereotypes of their races (Applejack the country bumpkin farmer, Rarity the haughty artisan, Rainbow Dash the hotheaded jock) while the others are wildcards (Pinkie Pie the happy-go-lucky party planner, Twilight Sparkle the bookworm and Humble Hero, and Fluttershy the bashful animal lover). The beta protagonists (the Cutie Mark Crusaders) similarly have one of each. (Babs Seed, the fourth crusader, breaks the configuration somewhat, but is a minor recurring character and is trying to start her own team.)
    • In "School Daze", a band of six students at Twilight Sparkle's Friendship School, all different species, become fast friends. There's Sandbar (an earth pony), Ocellus (a changeling), Gallus (a griffon), Yona (a yak), Silverstream (a hippogriff), and Smolder (a dragon).
  • The Burners in Motorcity consist of Mike Chilton (mixed race), Dutch (black), Texas (Filipino) and Chuck and Julie (white, but Julie is also the only girl). You also have (at times) a robot and a man old enough to be their grandfather.
  • Futurama has a fantastic variation with the Planet Express crew. Fry, Leela, and Farnsworth are white Americans (with Leela also being a one-eyed mutant); Bender is a robot who was built in Mexico; Hermes is a black Jamaican; Amy is ethnically Chinese, but was born and raised on Mars; and Zoidberg is a member of an aquatic alien race with a quasi-Jewish culture.
  • The kids in South Park, believe it or not. Their circle of friends includes Kyle Broflovski (Jewish), Token Black (Take a wild guess), Kenny McCormick (Poor) and Jimmy Valmer and Timmy Birsh (both mentally and physically disabled). Despite poking fun at them mercilessly, the series has been praised by equal rights groups for treating them all as equals.
  • Polly Pocket: The main group is made of white (British-American) Polly Pocket, Shani Mayne/Smith (black), and Lila Draper (Scottish-American). Formerly there was Lea Torney (Irish-American), Ana Leeth (American), Crissy Maxwell (white American, then Latina, then Asian) and Kerstie Perx (American).
  • In the same vein as South Park, Family Guy has a surprisingly diverse core cast. The part where this trope truly comes into play, though, is with Peter Griffin and his regular drinking buddies: Peter is the white male leader as well as the "big guy". Cleveland is the token black character, Joe is the disabled one in a wheelchair. And then there's Quagmire, who, while not fitting into any of the categories described above, definitely has his own way of standing out. . .
  • Totally Spies! has Sam (Irish-American), Clover (American), Alex (Latina) and Britney (Japanese-American).
  • The Weekenders averts the racial variant as the main characters are three white children and a black boy. It becomes glaringly obvious in the holiday episode though that their backgrounds are very different. Italian-American Tino celebrates Winter Solstice, Lor celebrates Christmas, the African-American Carter celebrates Kwanzaa, and Tish who has Eastern-European parents celebrates Hannukah.
  • Though not as pronounced as many other examples, the cast of Arthur count even if you ignore the fact that they aren't human. Francine is Jewish, The Brain is black, Muffy is the "rich kid", and they later introduced Carl, who's on the autism spectrum, as the disabled character.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender has Asian (Japanese) Shiro, Half-Human Hybrid (with an ambiguous ethnicity) Keith, Latino (Cuban) Lance, biracial (Samoan/African American) Hunk, Caucasian (Italian) Pidge, and Ambiguously Brown Space Elf Human Alien Allura.
  • The band of the Magical Girl show W.I.T.C.H. includes two white girls (Irma and Cornelia, with Irma being implied to be Latina), two biracial girls (Will is white/Ambiguously Brown possibly middle-eastern and Taranee is unidentified asian/black), and one Chinese girl (Hay Lin).
  • The Backyardigans gives us (based on the voice actors—the characters themselves are animals) Austin (white male), Tasha (white female), Tyrone (black male), Uniqua (black female), and Pablo (Hispanic male). An unusual example, as Uniqua is the only one to appear in every single episode and Austin is absent from more episodes than anyone else. However, it's worth mentioning that the show was created by a black woman.
  • The eponymous Planeteers in Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Kwame (African), Wheeler (white American), Linka (Eastern European), Gi (Asian), and Ma-Ti (South American).
  • On Hero Elementary , show's main human characters are Lucita Sky (who's Latina), AJ Gadgets (who's black and autistic), Sarah Snap (Asian American), Benny Bubbles (Caucasian), and their teacher Mr. Sparks (also Latino).
  • The main group of Horseland gives us Sarah (blonde), Molly (African American), Alma (Hispanic), Bailey (brunette), Zoey (redhead), Chloe (Irish American) and Will (also blonde). They are soon joined by Nani (Native American).


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