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Mirabel: ♫ I'm part of the Family Madrigal!♫
Kids: Omigosh, it's them! ...
Cecelia: Tell us everything! What are your powers?

An Introdump is a type of Infodump specific to a large ensemble show, in which hordes of characters are introduced and immediately all referred to by name. They may be new characters, they may be old characters being reintroduced after a break, but they're all standing in a line and they're all perfectly happy to say their own names.

Intro Dump is a cross between Dramatis Personae and Everyone Meets Everyone in the middle of a scene. It's different than Avengers Assemble because everyone is already in one place. Sometimes each character will say their own name during a Training Montage. Other times, the head of their Cast Herd segment will call everyone by name - and always by the order they're already standing in.

In comics, this is sometimes simplified by having a page at the front, outside the actual story, which simply shows a picture of each character along with their name and superpowers. The advantage here is that long-time fans can skip this page entirely, without having to worry that they missed part of the story.

The Trope Namer is

May be called as a sub-process during the bridge of an Expository Theme Tune. If the characters introduced are from a Merchandise-Driven work, then it's a Product-Promotion Parade. Also see Theme Tune Roll Call. This often averts Nominal Importance by giving names to people who happen to be on the same team as the principal characters but afterwards fade back into the ensemble and receive no further characterization.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • This happens in Negima! Magister Negi Magi in the form of Negi's class register, including the class' clubs and special notes on certain students. The new teacher himself wonders how he'll remember all this. (he figures it out by the next volume)
  • The first episode of the second season of Queen's Blade has Nanael looking through her magical book and listing off every major character from the first season to quickly get the audience back up to speed.
  • This is parodied in episode 17 of My Bride is a Mermaid when a group of 8 gang leaders are introducing themselves to Akeno. After the third one, a card pops up explaining that they're just going to skip right to the last one.
  • My Hero Academia: Seasons 3 and 4 of the anime begin with a filler episode that's basically a recap of the previous season. Where this trope comes into play is that they also include a rundown of each student in Class 1-A and their Quirks.
  • The second episode of the second season of Bakugan spends a significant segment describing the main villains.
  • Banner of the Stars: The intro shows pictures of the various military commanders involved in the campaign, along with their name, rank, title, and fleet commanded
  • In episode 7 of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann when Kamina and Simon meet their soon to be allies.
  • At the end of the English opening of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles, there is a scene dedicated to Ash's party Pokémon (of the time) suddenly shouting out their names. Later on, starting with the episode "The Lonely Snover!", said Introdump is removed in favor of a revised, updated opening that includes scenes from the Japanese openings of "High Touch!" and "Pillars of Friendship!".
  • Played for Laughs in the first episode of Haiyore! Nyarko-san W, in which Nyarko explains the central premise of the series (that the gods of the Cthulhu Mythos were aliens and H. P. Lovecraft's works were based on stories they told him) and she, Cuuko, and Hasuta identify themselves. Mahiro asks what they heck they're doing, and Nyarko explains that they're playing Call of Cthulhu.
  • Kengan Ashura has many characters due to the series being 90% fighting tournaments. The first time a character appears in each chapter they will have a box containing their name, and the author has them rotate providing commentary just so you don't forget about any of them.

    Comic Books 
  • G.I. Joe was particularly fond of this one, in both the comics and cartoons.
  • Transformers:
  • X-Men comics usually averted this only by spreading it around: Chris Claremont used Talking Is a Free Action to have everyone announce who they were and what they could do — just not all at once.
  • Ultimate X-Men, however, is not so successful. They do introdump with every other sentence, to the point where is becomes crossed with Department of Redundancy Department.
  • ElfQuest does this in the first issue; while the characters are in different areas, they're all called with "sending" (telepathy) and drawn in a single panel, each with their name. The only ones absent are the chief who calls them and the few characters who'd been introduced in the Universe''.
  • Justice League Detroit does this at the end of issue 1 of Legends when they show up to deal with Brimstone, much to the benefit of Cosmic Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes.
  • Mickey Mouse Comic Universe: Parodied in a comic. Goofy writes a mystery book where he and Mickey investigate to find a criminal who is able to manipulate cyclones to destroy select buildings, and when the culprit is revealed Mickey makes Goofy notice that his identity was blatant since he didn't introduce other characters outside from the two of them, the town mayor and the culprit himself. Goofy's idea to fix this is to add at the beginning of the book a random scene where a bunch of random people introduces themselves to them with no reason whatsoever.
  • In Silver Age The Flash comics in which the Rogues appear as a group, they do this. For instance in #174 ("The Stupendous Triumph of the Six Super-Villains!"), in which Captain Cold, Pied Piper, Heat Wave, Captain Boomerang and the Top all announce their names while thanking Mirror Master for busting them out of prison.
  • Marvel did this blatantly for both villains and heroes in the first Secret Wars (1984), roll calling a ton of characters in a single panel in the very first issue.

    Fan Works 
  • Generally inevitably in stories taking place in other time-periods than the source material. A Harry Potter fic about his father's time at Hogwarts for example requires a lot of new characters (students and teachers) to fill the world. Inexperienced authors also often introduce too many original characters at once.

    Films — Animation 
  • Encanto opens with "The Family Madrigal", a Patter Song in which Mirabel introduces said family (the principal cast of the film) to a group of village children, listing their names, relations, and Gifts. When repeatedly prompted to explain her own Gift, she tries to change the subject by rattling off more of the extended family and then recapping it all at breakneck speed, setting up the reveal shortly after that Mirabel doesn't have a Gift.
  • In Turning Red, Mei's friends are introduced this way with all of them identified by name.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), we get introduced to 3/5 of the titular Guardians via police lineup. Quill and Drax get their own earlier and later in the film, respectively.
  • In The Sound of Music, Captain Von Trapp has trained his children to march around and introduce themselves at the sound of a whistle: "Liesl! Friedrich! Louisa! Kurt! Brigitta! Marta! Gretel!"
  • The opening credits of The Dirty Dozen has a roll call of all the "Dozen" as they stand before Major Reissman (Lee Marvin). An MP reads each members name and his prison sentence while his face is in closeup.
  • Serenity has a particularly elegant one to introduce viewers unfamiliar with Firefly to nine people with varied personalities and some significant backstories who already know each other and live in a star system distant from Earth That Was with its own considerable history, including a Great Offscreen War. A lot to get through without resorting to something like an Opening Scroll.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I does this in the second scene in an Infodump meant to cover plot holes left by the previous movies; Bill Weasley in particular manages to claw his way out of the memory hole.
  • Clash of the Titans has Zeus address all the gods by their name and what they are god of just so the audience won't be confused.
  • Morpheus does this in The Matrix when he introduces Neo to the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar. It gets a minor subversion, though. Since Morpheus has been going in the order everyone is standing in as the camera pans across them, the viewer naturally assumes that Tank is The Big Guy lurking in the background between two other characters. In fact, Tank is the considerably smaller guy on his right, the big guy is his older brother Dozer.
  • Turkish Star Wars starts with one, and none of it makes any sense at all. Apparently there's a wizard, who wants to destroy the Earth, which has apparently already been destroyed but is also protected by a force field of human brains. There's actually even more exposition in this Intro Dump, including about our heroes, but you get the picture by now.
  • John Carter has this once the hero gets to Mars. Too many alien terms and people are introduced (at times with the explanation only coming later), to the point the viewer might feel Lost in Medias Res.
  • Happens in universe to Karen Hill at her own wedding in Goodfellas. Fortunately for her, almost everyone she was introduced to was either {Paul, Paulie, Pete} or {Marie, Mary}.
  • Most Bring It On movies have a roll-call song, used to introduce the characters that make the cheer squad. The third one even had an embarrassing "ghetto" version of it, being set in an Inner City School, lead by none other then Solange Knowles.
  • In Mission to Moscow, U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union Joseph Davies and his family are introduced to such personages as Bukharin, Tukachevsky, and Yagoda at a party thrown to welcome Davies to Moscow. All of those characters are shortly thereafter defendants in treason trials.
  • Transformers has a scene where the Decepticons perform a roll-call for Megatron across America, and the scene in "exposition alley" where Prime introduces the other Autobots to Sam and Mikaela.

  • She Lover of Death: Columbine's boyfriend Petya takes her to her first meeting at the suicide club, where she is introduced to almost all the other main characters in the narrative.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club does this in the beginning of each book, to the point where the first two chapters are completely formulaic - the first chapter will establish the main character and the plot, the second chapter will be a club meeting and will describe each character. It's easy to just skip the first two chapters and still comprehend what's going on.
  • Ditto with Animorphs - just about every book begins with a quick summary of the premise and the heroes' most obvious character traits. In fact, most serial Scholastic books probably begin with an introdump.
  • In Chapter 3 of Nine Princes in Amber, the amnesiac main character stumbles onto a deck of cards bearing the images of his 12 living siblings. This simultaneously jogs his memory and serves to allow the author to name each sibling, physically describe them, and tell the reader what the protagonist thinks about them.
  • After Betrayed in the The House of Night series, this happens in every book. Usually with the same stock descriptors, such as describing Jack and Damien as gay, describing Erin and Shaunee being exactly alike except for their race, describing Zoey's best friend Stevie Rae, and in later books, describing Aphrodite.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • The Doctor Who Novelisations tend to start with a quick rattling-off of the name and backstory of the companion and a physical description of the Doctor. In novelisations by Terrance Dicks (by far the most prolific writer for the range, with 64 of them to his name), the formulaic nature of the books and the need to quickly and transparently establish which Doctor the story is about mean the physical descriptions are kept almost identical (no Left Field Description to speak of), leading to fandom in-jokes and quick code-phrases used to establish Doctor identity even in much more carefully-crafted bits of the Expanded Universe — especially the Fourth Doctor's 'all teeth and curls' and 'beaky' nose and the Fifth Doctor's 'pleasant, open face'.
      • This is spoofed in The Pirates series of books, which always introduces the Pirate Captain on the second or third page as 'all teeth and curls and with a pleasant, open face', which at least makes for some fun Comic-Book Fantasy Casting mental images if you get the Shout-Out. Some books (like In An Adventure With Communists) make it more obvious that this is actually how the Captain himself likes to describe his appearance in writing or conversation, emphasising his hackiness.
      • This is also spoofed in the fanzine "Five Hundred Eyes", which made a write-a-Terrance Dicks-intro generator table:
        [Somewhere in the space-time continuum there was a police box which was not a police box at all.] [Inside was a large ultra-modern control room. By a many-sided central console] was [a tall man with a flopped hat jammed on top of a mop of curly brown hair]. The man was that mysterious traveller in time and space known as the Doctor.
    • Timewyrm: Genesys, the first book of the Doctor Who New Adventures series starts off with the Seventh Doctor rattling off to a conveniently amnesiac Ace his identity, her identity, her real name, her background, the premise of Doctor Who itself, key locations like the TARDIS and Gallifrey, and even adds in a Continuity Cameo from the Fourth Doctor (the most iconic Doctor at the time, easily recognised by even non-fans) in the form of a recorded message so the Doctor can explain to Ace and the reader that he and that person are the same character.
  • Spoofed in Michael O'Donaghue's humorous essay "How to Write Good." For the sake of brevity, the example won't be printed on this page, but you can find it here. ("Lesson 4—Exposition")

    Live-Action TV 

  • Nearly every MAD television or movie parody starts off with a two-page scene featuring all the characters, who each state their (parody) names and a snarky rundown of their role in the show for anybody not familiar with the series or film.

  • X Minus One's "The C-Chute": While waiting for the Kloros to finish killing the ship's crew, Stuart narrates the five remaining passengers on. In the original work, the narration introductions were done by Col Windham due to the Switching P.O.V..

  • The first third of the musical Starlight Express is one giant IntroDump, where each of the 20+ characters gets at least a verse to introduce themselves.
  • In the original production of Starmites, the eponymous band of heroes had four members aside from their leader, and they briefly introduced themselves to AscendedFangirl Eleanor in their We Are Song. Four names, each followed by "At your service, miss!" isn't so bad and is a pretty concise introduction, but subsequent youth theater productions have expanded the mites' ranks to sometimes as many as twenty kids. And they all say their names in the song. Every. Last. One of them.
  • The song "Jacob & Sons" in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (originally the opening number) introduces all 12 sons by name.
  • "It Sucks to Be Me" introduces the residents of Avenue Q along with their various grievances.
  • After the audition in A Chorus Line is narrowed down to the principal cast, Zach has them go down the line and introduce themselves.
  • The show inside the musical Hairspray features a very fast paced version of a roll call in the song "Nicest Kids in Town". It features some character establishing moments - Amber stealing screen time, Link as the star of the show, flaunting his trademark pelvic gyrations, and in the second time - features Tracy as the underdog new star of the show.
  • The dress rehearsal at the beginning of The Phantom of the Opera partially serves as an excuse to introduce the new managers to several other principal cast members (and vice versa).
  • In The Golden Apple, the victory pageant put on by the townspeople of Angel's Roost for the twelve heroes returning from the Spanish-American War introduces all of them by name in rhyming couplets, with protagonist Ulysses coming "last but not least."
  • The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny introduces its ensemble of protagonists this way in the fifth number of the first act.
  • The Drowsy Chaperone gets into the action with "Fancy Dress", the opening number of the eponymous Play Within a Play. Each of the main characters introduces themselves and gives a brief explanation of what they're doing at the resort that serves as the show's setting, showing off a bit of their personality while filling in the audience on the basic premise. Fortunately, it's a relatively small cast, and the introductions are about two sentences apiece, so it doesn't overstay its welcome.
  • Balaga is fun, Bolkonsky is crazy, Mary is plain, Dolokhov is fierce, Hélène is a slut, Anatole is hot, Marya is old school, Sonya is good, Natasha is young, and Andrey isn't here... but what about Pierre?
  • In the opening number of Six, "Ex-Wives", each of the Queens get a verse to sing about themselves.

    Theme Parks 
  • Many of the live musical acts at the Disneyland Resort include a roll call as a regular part of their repertoire. For example, the (now defunct) Red Trolley Car Newsboys at Disney California Adventure sound off in the middle of their rendition of "California Here We Come".

    Video Games 
  • Metal Gear Solid's opening cutscene has Colonel Campbell reel off to the player the names of the terrorists, their roles, the hostages (including Meryl), their roles, and the support team and their roles.
    There are six members of FOXHOUND involved in this terrorist activity. Psycho Mantis, with his powerful psychic abilities. Sniper Wolf, the beautiful and deadly sharpshooter. Decoy Octopus, master of disguise. Vulcan Raven, giant and shaman. And Revolver Ocelot, specialist in interrogation and a formidable gunfighter. And finally, in charge of them, FOXHOUND's squad leader... Liquid Snake.
  • Rakenzarn Frontier Story spends the first part of Chapter 1 with Makoto introducing the Danganronpa cast for those aren't familiar with them.

    Visual Novels 
  • Umineko: When They Cry has the infamously long airport scene, just after the opening credits, where most of the Ushiromiya family is introduced through cheerful mundane conversations (although the names and explanations are given in the narration rather than the dialogues). Both the anime and manga adaptations removed the scene, putting bits of it on the boat, during the lunch on Rokkenjima, or even in Episode 2. The story gets to the point much faster as a result.
  • Danganronpa frequently will introduce the other students with a long pan of them all standing in a room together, with the protagonist being the last to arrive while several unmarked voices talk. The first game had everyone getting their introductions out of the way right there with your own protagonist already knowing some basic data on them from his previous night's research on the internet. Meanwhile the second game had everyone introduce themselves before you woke up and subsequently scatter across the island, while the one student to stay by your side guides and gives background information on everyone that he learned on the internet.

  • Sluggy Freelance plays it straight up in this comic where the main character is dumped in a magic school against his will.
    • Also done at the start of the K I T T E N storyline, during which Torg and Zoe go on a trip into the woods with her crush Dex and his friends (and Bert).
  • Last Res0rt doesn't do this immediately... until the eponymous Reality Show's Series Premiere, which introduces all the players in short order. Mostly justified in that, well, it's what Reality Shows DO, even if we already know a few of the players that were introduced earlier.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama:
    • Bender's Big Score, the first Futurama movie, begins with a roll call of the main cast - just in case viewers forgot who was who in the years since the show went off the air, or for the benefit of some poor schlub who bought the DVD without seeing the show first.
    • This would happen again in the first Comedy Central episode, Rebirth, where Fry names off each character as they come out of the machine, including their surname. This was due to this episode being a Jumping-On Point, and first-time viewers who hadn't seen the original episodes produced for FOX or the Direct to Video movies could be confused.
  • In Superfriends, Lex Luthor would frequently introdump the Legion of Doom. This was memorably parodied in a Cartoon Network commercial.
  • The Backyardigans has an expository opening song which begins with the five main characters introducing themselves.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! had an Introdump during its opening sequence as well, with the six members of the eponymous Hyperforce (if Chiro counts as one) shouting out their names.
  • The first episode of Metalocalypse quotes the not-very Expository Theme Tune: "Gentlemen: Skwisgar Skwigelf, taller than a tree. Toki Wartooth, not a bumblebee. William Murderface Murderface Murderface. Pickles the Drummer, doodeley-doo, ding-dong, doodeley-doodeley-doo. Nathan Explosion. I'm afraid that's all we know, gentlemen."
  • Transformers, as pictured above. has a page just for this.
    • Any episode of the Transformers: Generation 1 cartoon introducing a new subgroup will have a scene where all of them gets a line or two and says their name (such as "Heavy Metal War" where Scrapper feels the need to call out all the Constructicons instead of just saying "We're all here.")
    • Beast Wars opening 2 parter has LOTS of this. First the Maximals picking their own new names (Based off their beast modes). Every transformation sequence in the two parter is also this, with a character being zoomed upon, saying his name and activation code as he transforms.
    • Transformers: Animated has a scene in the first episode where most of the Decepticons are named and show off their personalities.
    • Transformers: Robots in Disguise does this in "Battle Protocol!" while the Autobot Brothers are responding to Optimus Prime.
    • The opening sequence to every episode of Transformers: Cybertron has Optimus Prime announce six Autobots' names - these six only form the main team at the start of the series, meaning it gets less useful as time goes by.
    • The first episode of The Transformers: Power of the Primes has Grimlock introdump himself and the other Dinobots. Perceptor points out that the introductions are unnecessary, as they've known each other for years.
  • Parodied in the The Simpsons episode The Twisted World of Marge Simpson. Cletus buys 300 pretzels to feed his children, and then proceeds to call them all out of the house by name... all twenty-six of them. Cletus' children, of course, aren't consistent from episode to episode, with only a few appearing more than once.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes begins its second season premiere with Dr. Doom's assistant delivering him information about the Avengers and their powers.
  • "Just Like Their Names" from the United States English dub of The Smurfs and the Magic Flute (and "Personality" from the United Kingdom English dub) is Papa Smurf's Introdump of the Smurfs to Johan and Peewit set in song.
  • Blinky Bill does this, not so much with season 2, but seasons 1 and 3 do give you an idea of the plot which will follow in the episodes. In the first season, this also couples with a backstory of how the season kicks off.

    Real Life 
  • Meeting any group of new people and being told each of their names in turn. The Centipede's Dilemma often makes this harder than it otherwise would be, if you panic about being socially obligated to remember all these names. That's why good icebreaking sessions usually either make a game out of it or encourage people to meet each other one by one or in small groups so they have a chance to match a personality to each name/face.


Video Example(s):


Usual Suspects

The film, "The Usual Suspects" introduces its character through an interrogation montage narrated by one of the characters.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / InterrogationMontage

Media sources: