Follow TV Tropes


Geodesic Cast

Go To
So there's four kids. Each of them has a parental guardian, an exile advising them, and an internet troll to hassle them.

Let's say you have a large cast and you don't want to do a Love Dodecahedron. How do you keep track of all your characters, while still making your desired points? One way is to take your central character grouping and duplicate it with groups of contrasting characters. Do this a few times and the copies can even provide contrast and commentary on each other without reference to the main group.

Most of the time, you will be replicating your "core" grouping with a Similar Squad. If you have a romantic couple, then you provide other couples with different problems and reactions. If your Main Characters are Heterosexual Life-Partners, bring in more pairings (most cop shows). If you have a Power Trio, build another one. Compare the Five-Man Band with The Psycho Rangers. Throw in a group of Evil Counterparts, too!

Named after a geodesic dome, a half-dome structure built out of triangles. Notable for being stronger the bigger it is made.

See also Satellite Character, Similar Squad, Cast Herd, and Theme Table.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion is built around the three pilot "children" (Shinji, Rei and Asuka) and their adult supervisors/mentors in Nerv (Misato, Ritsuko and Kaji). Many of the twists relationships and complications within each group are contrasted with similar situations in the other group. To complete the picture, each group gets a support trio of its own: Shinji and gang get Those Two Guys and the Class Representative, and the adults get the Bridge Bunnies. Now each of the kids from school has a corresponding grownup: the geek, the jock and the chick.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena does this starting with its second story arc. Each character has their own corresponding temporary duelist counterpart, who all learn An Aesop when they try to enter into the duels. Utena and Anthy both get their own Spear Counterpart during this storyline, although Anthy's turns out to be Anthy in disguise. Kind of. Mind Screw ensues.
  • Dragon Ball: By the time of the Buu saga you have at least four cast herds in roughly similar molds. The main guy (Goku-Vegeta-Gohan-Krillin) their girl (Chichi-Bulma-Videl-18) their kid (Goten-Trunks-Pan-Maron) the quirky father-in-law or patriarch with an honorific in their name (Ox King-Dr. Brief-Mr. Satan-Master Roshi), an auxiliary fighter (Gohan-Future!Trunks-Buu-Yamcha) and a non-human companion usually more attached to someone who's not the main guy (Nimbus-Oolong-Puar (or Turtle)-Bee)
  • Naruto takes place in a world where everyone, even some villains, is forced to team up in squads of four ninja. The characters in each team of main characters all seem to fit particular molds as well. Each team has:
    • An either goofy or incompetent ninja; generally gutsy/impulsive (Naruto, Choji, Kiba, Lee, Kankuro, Konohamaru, Hiruzen, Jiraiya, Obito, Yahiko, Zaku)
    • A smart, clever, or strategic ninja that is much Darker and Edgier; the Blue Oni to the aforementioned Red Oni. (and generally superior, at least initially) than the first (Sasuke/Sai, Shikamaru, Shino, Neji, Gaara, Udon, Homura, Orochimaru, Kakashi, Nagato eventually, Dosu).
    • The token girl (Sakura, Ino, Hinata, Tenten, Temari, Moegi, Koharu, Tsunade, Rin, Konan, Kin), this one being the most variable. For example, Temari is only girly relative to her even more brutal brothers Gaara and Kankuro.
      • Although it seems that for the majority of the Ame Orphan's life as a team Nagato was even more girly than Konan was.
    • The more experienced mentor (Kakashi, Asuma, Kurenai, Gai, Baki, Ebisu, Tobirama, Hiruzen, Minato, Jiraiya)
    • And yet unlike the normal dynamic for this trope, they have a Love Dodecahedron anyway.
    • And to make things even more confusing, even though they're supposed to follow this dynamic, plenty of them don't. (To name a few, Akatsuki, Taka, Team Samui, the Kin/Gin Brothers, and the Kages with their bodyguards. Not to mention three of the four Konoha teams getting messed up due to people leaving, people arriving, people dying, and people going on maternity leave.)
    • There's also the Sannin specific mold where you have the Sannin leader (Jiraiya, Orochimaru, Tsunade) their protege (Minato/Kakashi, Kabuto/Anko, Shizune) and a new apprentice from team 7 (Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura)
  • Clamp's X/1999 has seven main good characters grouped around Kamui, and seven main villains (sort of) grouped around Kamui's twin star and childhood friend Fuuma. Both groups also have their own stargazer, who are two sisters.
  • The Prince of Tennis has several teams of 7 regulars, coach and a couple of supportive characters.
  • Minami-ke has numerous groupings of a reserved character, a childish character, and an intelligent character. Respectively among the sisters we have Haruka, Kana, and Chiaki. Among their friends we have: Haruka, Maki, and Atsuko; Riko, Kana, and Keiko; and Yoshino, Uchida, and Chiaki.
  • Lucky Star cast is made up of interlocking girl trios.
  • Roughly in Soul Eater, as we have the two main groups of students - Maka, Black Star, Death the Kid being the first and Ox, Kirikou and Kim the second. Each has the 'bookworm' (Maka and Ox) the 'bruiser' (Black Star and Kirikou, though in different ways) and the unusual one (Kid the god, Kim the witch). The less geodesic attribute is Dual Wielding: Kid and Kirikou. A flashback to how Black Star ended up in Death City indicates the teachers followed a similar pattern for at least one group (Stein/Spirit, Sid/Nygus, possibly Joe/Marie), and parallels between the character types can definitely be made. Plus, there is the fact that each character's weapons are characters in their own right.
  • Reborn! (2004) showcases multiple mafia families each having seven members and each member having one of seven flames.
  • GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class features the main Five Girl Band and the separate-but-similar Fine Arts club.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes has this on an interstellar level. At the outset of the show, you have Reinhard von Lohengramm in the Galactic Empire, a highly principled strategic genius of an admiral with strong ethics, who has a close right-hand man, a close right (left?) hand woman who later becomes his wife, and a group of admirals who are loyal to him and question the prevailing social order since they are trying to serve better ethical principles (honor, loyalty, transparecy and relative equality) than the ruling aristocrats. Over in the Free Planets Alliance you have Yang Wen-Li, a highly principled strategic genius of an admiral with strong ethics, who has a right-hand boy, a close right (left?) hand woman who later becomes his wife and a group of officers who are loyal to him and question the prevailing social order, since they are trying to serve better ethical principles (honor, loyalty, transparency and democratic equality) than the ruling bureaucrats.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has an equivalent female character for every male pilot, usually one who mirrors and/or balances his personality, and who is important to his character development in some way. Heero-Relena, Duo-Hilde, Trowa-Catherine, Quatre-Dorothy, Wufei-Sally, and even Zechs-Noin, and Treize-Une.
  • The cast of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is broken up into pairs of dragons and the human that they most associate with (Tohru and Kobayashi, Kanna and Saikawa, Lucoa and Shouta, Fafnir and Takiya, Ilulu and Taketo, Tohru's father and Shouta's father). The only exception to this rule is Elma, who is instead paired up with food.

  • The Last Supper: The twelve apostles are separated into four groups of three, who all respond differently to Christ's announcement. James(the Greater), Thomas, and Philip are skeptical. Jude Thaddeus, Matthew, and Simon the Zealot display questioning expressions. Andrew, Bartholomew, and James (the son of Alphaeus) are surprised. John, Judas Iscariot, and Peter can only be grouped by the variety of their reactions and because they play an important role in the events to come: Jonh will become Mary's honorary son, Judas will sell Jesus, and Peter will react aggressively to Jesus' capture.

    Comic Books 
  • Justice League of America:
    • Grant Morrison's run used this as a major theme. The League's first major foes are a group of extremist superheroes called the Hyperclan, whose members are idealized versions of the League's lineup that mirror their powers. A later storyline has them go up against literal evil duplicates of themselves. Yet another has them face The Injustice Gang, a team consisting of each JLA member's greatest enemy (i.e., Lex Luthor for Superman, The Joker for Batman, etc.) Finally, in a later adventure they discover the existence of a Mirror Universe and must deal with the Crime Syndicate, consisting of their incredibly sadistic counterparts from that universe. What's amazing is that Morrison managed to make "The JLA vs themselves" a recurring theme without it ever becoming repetitive.
    • A few years later when Joe Kelly was writing the book, he gave us the League of Ancients, a group of JLA counterparts from 1000 BC. Their Superman counterpart was a highly religious golem, their Wonder Woman was a member of a fierce warrior tribe, and so on. Notably in comparison to Morrison's groups, this bunch turned out to be good guys (though, in grand superhero tradition, the two Leagues still fought each other upon first meeting).
    • In Justice League of America (2013), Amanda Waller chose the JLA's members based on how their powers can combat the Justice League. Martian Manhunter's telepathy is strong against Superman, Stargirl can easily destroy robots like Cyborg, Vibe can sense the Flash's speed force, and so on.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • Inside Out has Riley, her mother, and her father having the same set of five emotions governing their minds.
  • In Turning Red, Mei and her friends have a Celebrity Crush on a different member of 4*Town (including Tyler). An additional group of five characters is made up of Grandma Wu and Mei's four aunties.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The two families in The Legend of Frenchie King consist of one female leader, her four siblings (all female in one family, all male in the other) and their non-Caucasian servant.

  • The Deryni novels feature a cast of duos (Morgan and Duncan, Cardiel and Arilan, Kelson and Dhugal, Alyce and Vera, Charissa and Ian Howell, Wencit and Rhydon, Loris and Gorony) and groups (Camber and his family, the Camberian Council, the evil human regents of the tenth century, the de Corwyns/Morgans/McLains, the religious hierarchy, the royal courts - Festillic, Haldane, Torenthi, Mearan, Trailian). Justified in that this reflects the many loyalties individuals have: to family, to feudal overlord (and ultimately the king), to Church and its God, to the human race(s). The loyalties and the conflicts between them are a large part of the interest for the reader. As a fellow Camberian Council member tells Denis Arilan, "Pray to every god in heaven that you are never forced to choose among your oaths."
  • The Fourth book of The Dark Tower book, Wizard and Glass, shows through flashback how Roland's childhood Ka-tet parallels his current group of companions, most notably the similarities between Eddie and Cuthbert, while between the two of them Susannah and Jake have almost all of Alain and Susan's personality traits ("The Touch", the similarity between Susan & Susannah's names, Susan & Jake's being the loves of Roland's life).
  • The Harry Potter books start with a Central Power Trio: Harry, Ron, Hermione. A villainous trio is soon added: Draco, Crabbe, Goyle. Soon after we hear stories of the trio plus one that Harry's dad led, which got many thinking that Neville was going to be promoted to the central cast. As it turns out, Neville becomes part of a mirror-image Power Trio with a Weasley [Ginny] and a Brain [Luna] which carries on the trouble-making tradition of the original (mostly offstage) in the final book. Also, Neville could have been the Chosen One if Voldemort had attacked the Longbottoms instead of the Potters when he and Harry were babies. The prophecy did not specify a name, and both Neville and Harry fit the bill.
    • The most prominent teachers of the story also fall under this: Dumbledore being the self-sacrificing one (like Harry), McGonagall the brainy one (Hermione) and Snape the one with the issues (Ron).
  • Good Omens. Let's see now, there's the human-loving devil a long way from Hell and the human-loving angel a long way from Heaven, then there are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, their four Hell's Angel counterparts and then their four child counterparts, then there's the young Odd Couple and the old Odd Couple, then there's Metatron and Beelzebub, there's Agnes Nutter and Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer and their modern-day happens a lot.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien did this, but spread his cast members out through time. Many of the characters in Lord of the Rings, or The Hobbit, mirror characters from the First and Second Ages (whose stories are found in The Silmarillion). Usually this is done by having the characters make similar choices: with either the same outcome, or a different one. Arwen mirrors Luthien, choosing a mortal life where she can accomplish important tasks over an immortal life of happiness. Eowyn mirrors Haleth, taking up the sword to avenge her father's death and then founding a new lineage in a new country. Thranduil mirrors Thingol: greedy, and blinded by racism. But importantly, Thranduil ends up making a different choice than Thingol. Galadriel mirrors Fëanor: creating both a new palantir and a new silmaril (Fëanor's greatest, and also most problematic, creations). But of course, her personality is dramatically different from Fëanor's. Gimli also contrasts with Fëanor: the characters are both stubborn craftsmen and proud of their heritage, but Gimli is not greedy, nor does he have mommy issues. Aragorn mirrors several characters: Beren and Tuor, in that he is a man living within elven civilizations. He also contrasts with Isildur: refusing the Ring that Isildur took, and committing to the cause of destroying it. As King Elessar, he mirrors Elendil: he makes the same oath that Elendil did when he founded the Kingdom of Gondor, as well as wearing the same crown and replanting the White Tree. Sam and Frodo mirror Maedhros and Fingon: but of course, are better people who make better choices. Legolas and Gimli mirror Merry and Pippin as well as Beleg and Turin. Boromir is also set up to mirror Isildur, and Faramir to mirror Anarion.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire does this often, although it's not the entire cast. In particular, the trio of Jon/Sansa/Arya mirrors the trio of Eddard/Robert/Lyanna who were behind Robert's Rebellion (two warriors and the woman they both fight for). There are also parallels between Daenerys and Aerys Targaryen (starting with their own names, and the names of their first children). Though Daenerys also acts as a gender-inversion of Aegon the Conqueror. Jeor Mormont giving Jon Longclaw contrasts with Tywin Lannister stealing Ice from Eddard.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Chou Sei Shin Gransazer has twelve protagonists based on the Western Zodiac separated into four elemental tribes, each composed of two guys and a girl, and the two men of each tribe are distinguished by relative seniority. Each tribe also has Transforming Mecha of their own, and an animal motif.
  • Westworld has an example with an In-Universe explanation - chief writer Lee Sizemore felt too overworked]] to come up with an original narrative for a second park. As a result, many characters revolving around the Mariposa brothel storyline in the Westworld park have direct counterparts in Shogunworld, with the same storylines, similar personalities and even familiar fighting techniques.

  • Tsukipro started with the Tsukiuta series of 4 units of 6 Moe Anthropomorphism idol characters based on the months of the year, one boy and one girl for each month, with a set Vocaloid producer composing songs for each month pair. The four units are Six Gravity (boys' December to May), Fluna (girls' December-May), Procellarum (boys' June-November) and Seleas (girls' June-November). Within those units, the idols are further sorted into Junior, Middle, and Senior pairs, who sometimes combine between units to form groups of four (all 4 male Juniors, for example, or one Junior from each group). The stage plays usually have one of these foursomes as their rotating main characters. As the series grew, they continued with the pattern of two-unit "series" - the "SQ" series of Solids and Quell, "Alive" of SOARA and Growth, "Vazzrock" of Vazzy and Rock Down. The idols within these groups are also separated into pairs, like the Tsukiuta members.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Being a company with a large cast, WWE is divided in several brands: Raw, Smackdown, NXT, NXT UK and (before the Cruiserweight title became part of NXT) 205 Live, each with its own roster and set of titles. With the exception of 205 Live, each brand has a main title (WWE World Championship, Universal Championship, and NXT (UK) Championship), a Tag Team title and a women title. In addition, the first three also have a secondary title (United States, Intercontinental and North American, respectively). And then there are the women's Tag Team title and the 24/7 title, which can be disputed in any of these shows.
    • The original Brand extension of WWE to Raw and Smackdown. Each show had one world title, one second-tier title, and one tag-team titles. The only difference was the Cruiserweight and Women's titles. After the Cruiserweight title was retired in 2007, the Diva's title was created the following year thus playing this trope straighter. The Women's Championship and one of the tag team titles has since been retired, after they were unified, in 2010. The Diva's championship and the Tag Team Championship can be challenged on both shows. The brands eventually merged together and the championships were pared down— one world title, one tag-team title, one women's title— but still two second-tier titles. At the same time, however, the NXT brand went from a glorified wrestling game show to becoming its own brand, and had its own main title, tag-team title and women title, and in 2018 it would gain a secondary title (the North American title) as well. And if that wasn't enough, it also got the Cruiserweight title in 2019, previously disputed in 205 Live and rechristened it as the NXT Cruiserweight title.

  • The Red and Blue Teams in Red vs. Blue both have an irritable leader (Church/Sarge), a lazy subordinate (Tucker/Grif), and a dim-witted rookie (Caboose/Donut).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Each faction in Monsterpocalypse is made of five Monsters and eight kinds of Units. One of the Monsters is always made up of 4 smaller ones. Five of the Units have Elite versions, and three of them (not necessarily the other three) have 'Glass' or 'Shadow' versions. There are currently 12 such factions, released in two blocks of 6.
  • In more recent editions of Dungeons & Dragons, as well as the Spiritual Successor Pathfinder, has True Dragons. It doesn't matter where they come from or what they do. If a new class of True Dragons is introduced, there will be at leastnote  five species of them.
    • In 4th Edition all player classes were split into four roles: controller, tank, damager, and support. These four roles would be repeated for each source concept they could come up with (martial, primal, holy, magic, etc)

    Video Games 
  • This happens just about every time Ace Attorney introduces a new protagonist, with very few outliers. the main group consists of the defense attorney, who often plays the role of Only Sane Man and Butt-Monkey (Phoenix Wright, Apollo Justice, Ryuunosuke Naruhodo), his quirky teenage girl sidekick, usually a Nice Girl, Plucky Girl, and/or Genki Girl (Maya Fey, Trucy Wright, Susato Mikotoba, sometimes Ema Skye), a rival prosecutor who is deeply tied up in the tragedy of game's overarching plot, and it's up to our heroes to help (insert literally all 7 main prosecutors here). There's also usually a detective character playing the role of Clueless Detective and/or Inspector Lestrade who is an obstacle to our heroes' mystery solving, but usually pulls through to help (Dick Gumshoe, Ema Skye, Bobby Fulbright, Tobias Gregson/Gina Lestrade; the last of which being literally inspector Lestrade, although it gets subverted with Fullbright and Gregson. There might also be a Tagalong Kid (Pearl Fey, Iris Wilson, debatably even Rayfa). Even in the Miles Edgeworth spinoff games, which play very differently, they attempt to fill these roles, with Edgeworth as the "defense attorney" role, Kay as his quirky girl sidekick, with various adversaries filling "prosecutor" and "detective" roles (Shi-Long Lang, Tyrell Badd, Justine Courtney, Sebastian Debeste, etc.)
  • In Kingdom Hearts, practically every incarnation focuses on a different triangle of the "Two Guys and a Girl" variety.
  • Tales of the Abyss gives each of the six player characters a counterpart/rival in the Six God-Generals.
  • A variation in all the Bioshock games, even central and important to the plots, and lampshaded in the third entry, Bioshock Infinite:
    Elizabeth: There's always a lighthouse, there's always a man, there's always a city.
  • Halo's Spartan-IIs rarely operated as one large force. From early in their training, their quasi-family was split into several teams that drilled, ate and later fought together. From what we've seen, teams tend to be arranged in "Two Guys and a Girl" or "four-man Gender-Equal Ensemble" groupings: original Blue Team (John, Kelly, Sam), Red Team (Jerome, Alice, Douglas), Gray Team (Adriana, Jai, Mike), current Blue Team (John, Kelly, Linda, Fred), Black Team (Margaret, Roma, Otto, Victor), etc. Even temporary and makeshift S-II teams tend to fall into these arrangements.
  • Touhou Project, especially in the Windows era, does something like this based on the stages the characters are bosses of, regardless the game's theme and its features. There are some exceptions to all of these such as Phantasmagoria of Flower View and Gaiden Games, and they're becoming increasingly frequent.
    • The stage 1 boss is usually being a Warmup Boss, especially to the newcomer of the series lore.
    • The stage 2 boss is similar to the stage 1 boss, but role wise, they mostly being a gatekeer or a dweller of a certain place. Personality-wise, despite being a gatekeeper or dweller of that place, they are trying very hard to do or be something different, to the point where they deliberately halt the heroines' journey in order to do so.
    • The stage 3 boss is mostly denoted by their personality that akin to two sides of a coin. While in general they are friendly, polite and/or honest, they become tenacious and merciless once the battle ensues. Some of these bosses may possessing Super-Strength or Super-Toughness, and more often than not they are also proficient in close combat in some Interquel fighting games. They are also the first and only boss to tell your character which way to go after being defeated.
    • The stage 4 boss has about equal odds of being connected to the Final Boss of the game and is usually the most serious when compared to other bosses, both in terms of personality and difficulty. Their role and/or Spell Cards always seem to change, depending on which character you play or shot type you choose.
    • The stage 5 boss is the Final Boss's Battle Butler, with few (if one) exceptions. These bosses are well-known for their unique Spell Cards and gimmicks, so much so that their bullet patterns are more experimental and can end up being harder than the Final Boss. They are also wielding a weapon of choice to engage the heroines. Depending on how popular they are, these bosses might be Promoted to Playable in main games and spin-offs. This is especially true in the main games when they become a Deuteragonist for Reimu and Marisa, effectively becoming a heroine of their own story.
    • The stage 6 boss is responsible for whatever incident is going on, and is in charge of a handful of subordinates and some prime real estate. Like the Stage 5 bosses, some of these characters may possess a weapon of sorts to help them engage the heroines. They are also previewed in some jewel cases in silhouette appearance, signifying their status as the perpetrator of the game.
    • The Superboss is usually optional and is supposed to be a challenge for the player that only appears in the Extra Stage. They can only be encountered if certain conditions are met in the main scenario of the game. These bosses are considered tougher to deal with due to their bizarre bullet patterns and having more Spell Cards than the final boss, often up to ten in general. In addition, these bosses are usually immune to the player's Smart Bomb. Story-wise, while they have little to no relevance to the main story, they do have some connection to the final boss of the game, such as being a relative, a friend, a benefactor, an Arch-Enemy or even a low-level youkai with tremendous power.
  • Although Luigi has yet to save Princess Daisy from King Boo, the three characters mirror Mario, Princess Peach and King Bowser respectively. We also have Wario and Waluigi acting as a twisted version of the Super Mario Bros. themselves, with many more parallels to be drawn.
    • Every main Mario character also has a counterpart that acts as their doubles partner and Moveset Clone if necessary. Mario Kart: Double Dash!! was based on this concept, and even introduced a new character (Toadette) for such a purpose. Every character is an offshoot created from the base of another that deviate to become their own characters, like Mario (Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi), Peach (Daisy, Rosalina, Pauline), Yoshi (Birdo), Toad (Toadette, Toadsworth, and other Toads), Donkey Kong (Diddy Kong and other Kongs), and Bowser (Bowser Jr, The Koopalings, Boom-Boom/Pom-Pom). Even the Mooks like Goombas and Koopa Troopas have different forms and variations that eventually evolve into their own species.
  • Pokémon: With the sheer amount of Recurring Element internal tropes, every Generation of Pokemon is a variation of the first. Up until Gen VI, all games were even referred to as '_ Version.'
    • In the games you are guaranteed the starter trio, Com Mon bird and rodent duo, and at least one legendary trio. Other common elements are the early game bug duo, fossil duo, and other legendary groupings. Among the humans you have the Professor, The Hero, The Rival, a Distaff\Spear Counterpart to the hero, 8 Gym Leaders, a villainous group called Team [INSERT WORD], the Elite Four, and The Champion.
    • In the anime, Ash always travels with a girl about his age (usually a newer trainer), and a tall slightly older guy (usually a more experienced trainer). On two occasions there's been a fourth member who is the younger sibling to one of the first two partners. This in addition to the game tropes.
    • The Pokémon Adventures Manga takes the game tropes, mostly based on appearance, and gives them a stronger plot to drive the formula even more, such as the hero, girl, and rival acting as a Power Trio.
  • Sonic Heroes organizes Sonic's friends into four teams with roughly the same speed-power-flight gameplay mechanic. There's also a similar personality lineup as well as each team have the following, with one exception:
    • A boisterous and somewhat arrogant speedster (Sonic, Shadow, and Amy)
    • A much more level-headed flyer (Tails, Rouge, and Cream)
    • A simple-minded powerhouse (Knuckles, Omega, and Big)
    • Team Chaotix serve as the main exception as the personalities are flipped a bit: Espio is the level-headed one, Charmy is the simple-minded one, and Vector is the boisterous one.
  • Each of the academic Houses, plus the academy staff, in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is comprised of individuals who fulfill a particular set of roles. Some fulfill more than one. Even the DLC house manages to hit most of these despite being half the size of the rest. To wit, there is:
    • The house leader: Edelgard, Dimitri, Claude, Seteth, Yuri.
    • The leader's second in command: Hubert, Dedue, Hilda, Flayn, Balthus.
    • The Rival of the house leadernote : Ferdinand, Felix, Lorenz, Catherine.
    • The commoner from a poor background: Dorothea, Ashe, Leonie, Manuela, Yuri.
    • The noble acutely conscious of their own nobility: Ferdinand, Sylvain, Lorenz, Constance. This is the one the Church doesn't get.
    • A pair of childhood friends: Caspar and Linhardt; Annette and Mercedes; Felix, Ingrid, and Sylvain; Raphael and Ignatz; Flayn and Seteth. This is the one the Ashen Wolves don't get.
    • An outsider: Petra, Dedue, Claude, Cyril/Shamir, Hapi.
    • Someone whose life is directly affected by those who slither in the dark: Edelgard, Dimitri, Lysithea, Flayn, Hapi.
    • Someone whose Crest has brought them grief: Edelgard, Sylvain/Mercedes, Lysithea, Flayn, Hapi.
    • Designated healer: Linhardt, Mercedes, Marianne, Flayn/Manuela, Balthus.
    • Designated offensive spellcaster: Hubert/Dorothea, Annette, Lysithea, Hanneman, Constance/Hapi.
    • Designated war master (axes + gauntlets): Caspar, Dedue, Raphael, Alois, Balthus.
    • Designated cavalry: Ferdinand, Sylvain, Leonie/Lorenz, Seteth, Hapi.
    • Designated flier: Petra, Ingrid, Claude, Seteth, Constance.
    • Designated heavy armor: Edelgard/Ferdinand, Dedue, Raphael/Hilda, Alois, Balthus.
    • Designated archer: Bernadetta, Ashe, Claude/Ignatz, Shamir, Yuri.
    • Someone attuned to the Thief/Assassin line: Petra, Felix, Claude/Ignatz, Shamir, Yuri.
    • A physical fighter with no penalized skills: Ferdinand, Ingrid, Leonie, Gibert.

    • The toy releases followed roughly the same pattern. (Year A) Introduce a team of heroes and their villains, (Year B) heroes get transformed, and new villains show up, Myth Arc ends, (Year A') new location is introduced with new heroes and villains. Repeat.
      • 2008 and 2010 switched up the "each group of six sets is either heroes or villains" by having half of each group be heroes and half villains.
    • Every team of heroes and every group of villains always aligned with the setting's Elemental Powers: fire, water, stone, ice, air, and earth. The heroes always drew their powers from the elements themselves, while the villains' association with the elements varied from year to year.
      • At least until 2009, which was set in a world where nobody had elemental powers (at first, anyway), and were instead aligned with "elemental villages". They were largely the same, but replaced Earth and Stone with Sand and Rock (or rock and sand; the difference between the first two always seemed ambiguous), and air with Jungle.note  There were also fewer designated "villains" that year, since the Skrall were identicalnote  Mooks rather than a Legion of Doom or Quirky Miniboss Squad.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick has this with the titular Order, the Linear Guild, Team Evil, the Order of the Scribble, and the Vector Legion. Also, most of Haley's opponents, which is appropriately lampshaded:
    Haley: Hey, can someone explain to me why I'm always fighting skanky chicks who fly? I mean, Sabine, Samantha, Tsukiko... I bet even the druid's hawk was some sort of a bird-hussy. I should take a level of ranger so I can choose Favored Enemy (Airborne Tramp).
  • 8-Bit Theater has three teams of four warriors apiece: the Light Warriors, the Dark Warriors, and the appropriately named Other Warriors. The Elemental Fiends may fit the mold as well. A team of real Light Warriors also exists, but this team is less developed than the rest and has not made any contact with any other team on-panel, aside from being cut off at every corner by the Light Warriors' random acts of violence and Zany Schemes. Not to forget the four white mages that killed Chaos. Although the comic didn't last long enough to flesh them out.
  • Problem Sleuth used this to an extent, with the three protagonists, their various Distaff Counterparts and time-travel clones. However, Homestuck has four kid protagonists, four corresponding guardians, four exiles, and four sprites. And then there's twelve trolls, who turned out not to be counterparts at all- but they also each have a corresponding lusus, ancestor, and exile... and some of their exiles are alternate universe characters from the kids' session... Argh.
    • The kids and their guardians have post-scratch counterparts, and the trolls and their ancestors have pre-scratch counterparts.
  • Debugging Destiny does this with each color representing a set of related roles for Destiny. There's always one warrior, one mage, one strategist, and one person who helps keep things together. Complicating this is that not everyone is with the right group.
    • King is the Red Warrior, Osborne is the Red Mage (since he relies on his specials), Ignacia is the Red Strategist, and Alvis is the Red Cheerleader.
    • Ambrose is the Blue Warrior, Shanahan is the Blue Mage, Strider is the Blue Strategist, and Mercury is the Blue Cheerleader.
    • Elizabeth is the Green Warrior, Quinn is the Green Mage, Morton is the Green Strategist, and Alexander is the Green Cheerleader.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998) has the eponymous trio, of course. Then it introduced their spear counterparts, the Rowdyruff Boys. The comics introduced a further trio, the Powerpunk Girls — evil versions of the Powerpuff Girls from an alternate reality in which good and evil are seemingly totally reversed.
  • Ready Jet Go!: For the older kids, there's Jet, the upbeat leader, Sydney, the levelheaded nice one, and Sean, the anxious intelligent one. The younger kids directly mirror them: Mindy is the upbeat leader, Lillian is the nice girl, and Mitchell is the smart guy with many emotional issues. The DSA scientists also mirror these dynamic: Dr. Skelley is levelheaded, Bergs is energetic, and Rafferty is a Nervous Wreck.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) exploited the tar out of this dynamic, especially in the third season. The Mighty Mutanimals, the Punk Frogs and the Dream Beavers were all four-man groups with members that can be matched up to specific turtles with little trouble.
  • Steven Universe has the Crystal Gems (minus Steven). Every group of three characters they meet shares character traits with Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl. The first three Homeworld Gems introduced, the Diamonds, the Off-Colors (and the Cool Kids) all consist of a stoic leader, an eccentric Smart guy and an impulsive warrior.