Meta Knight: A what-?
Kirby: Meta Knight has joined the team! He can carry people to higher areas, also occasionally teaming up with Tails to do so. When Team Luigi takes control, his cape transforms into wings that allow him to fly. His battle ability is being able to don brief invincibility for a short time.
Knuckles: I like mine better.
Princess Peach: Do I even need to mention that I still didn't get one?
RPGs tend to make a big deal about who is and who isn't part of the player's travelling band of heroes racing to save the world from those evil machinations of the Big Bad. Expect to see some fanfare (such as a possible music riff) whenever a Chekhov's Gunman sheds their "NPC" label and submits to the player's team management; typically with a message announcing how "X joined the party".
Compare Item Get!.
Common enough that only examples that are played with should be listed.
- Shadow Hearts series has a Running Gag that Roger Bacon pretends to join your party (complete with 'Naming screen') but never actually does it. The naming screen shows up in the later two games, even though you can't rename characters in either of them.
- Chrono Cross's messages are personalized for each character's accent/verbal tic/gimmick. "Marcy, like, joined your party!" "ZOAH JOINED YOUR PARTY." "Greco tagged into your party!" "Razzly joined your party-hee!" "~Doc joined your party, dude!" "Grobyc-joined-your-party."
- In Star Ocean: The Second Story, if you refuse to help Ashton out after putting him into his unfortunate predicament, then return to him immediately after the party expresses some guilt over ditching him, he'll chew them out and force himself into the party with an appropriate notice.
- Whenever a team member joins the party in Super Mario RPG, Mario spins around and makes a V-Sign, in addition to a short musical ditty. The actual text varies depending on who joined and how; for example, since Bowser refuses to admit that he's joining Mario's cause and claims he's only letting Mario join his Koopa army, the game announces "Mario and his friends have joined the Koopa Troop! (or so they're pretending) Bowser joins the group..."
- In the first Paper Mario after you reach the top floor of Boo Mansion, Bow joins your party, as the text box notes, "like it or not!"
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, after you beat Doopliss (for the second time) in Chapter 4, Vivian is said by a text box to have "really joined your party now!" Also, in Chapter 5, when Flavio accompanies Mario to the entrance to the Pirate's Grotto, a message appears stating that "Flavio will join you for a short time" even though he only follows Mario around and does not act as a partner. Most of the other tag-along characters join without a message of that sort.
- Skies of Arcadia announces that "Drachma joined your party... again" after said character rejoins for good after dropping in and out of the party several times in a short timeframe. Much later, one crewmember brings with him a twist on the "X joined your crew as a Y" message: "Pow joined your crew as a Jester... of sorts."
- In Final Fantasy IV, a minor NPC joins your party at one point even though it's full. But before you regain controls he already turns out to be a monster in disguise.
- When Cait Sith joins in Final Fantasy VII at the Gold Saucer, it's shown as Cait literally walking into Cloud's body while Cloud tries helplessly to stop it from happening.
- Dragon Quest VIII has the characters do a little pirouette and bow to cutesy music when they join your party.
- In Persona 4 if you return to a certain dungeon (that happens to be built entirely as a homage to 8 and 16 bit jRPGs) at one point and add Yosuke to your party he will comment "Yosuke joined your party! ... or something like that, right?"
- Fallout: When someone joins your party in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, a pop-up message appears telling you so. This was absent in the first two games of the series, when potential companions would just start following you after their recruiting conditions were met.
- In Knights of the Old Republic, one character who will later join your party has some rather awkward lines about how if you help him and allow him to "join with you" he'll help you out.
- You get this with eggs and in game gifts in Pokémon games. "*player* received the Egg from the day care man!"."*Player* received *Pokemon!*". Played mostly straight in Ilex Forest in the Gen II remakes during the Pichu event and the Gen V Zorua event.
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: How does Marin "join" you as a temporary companion? Link (literally) picks her up and the Item Get! jingle plays!
- You're told "(X monster) has joined you" when you successfully recruit demons in most Shin Megami Tensei games. However, sometimes you can say the right things to a demon and have them join without negotiations. In which case you're told "(X monster) forces itself into your party!"
- Lunarosse does this for both party members who fight on the front lines and for new recruits for help out at your base.
- Rakenzarn Tales plays it straight for both regular party members and Support members. One humorous moment is if you recruit Deadpool in Chapter 10, in which his theme plays instead of the normal jingle and the text declares he's now brigade leader. In a rare moment of fourth wall observation, Kyuu notices this and complains.
- Rakenzarn Frontier Story has a variant on this. If a party member joins and has a Rune Class that is equippable, you'll see what level they're going to be at as well as what skills they gained via Leaked Experience. If you get this message and it doesn't say what level they are, it means they're a Guest-Star Party Member with a class only they can use.
- Parodied to hell and back in Deltarune. After Susie joins your party, a fanfare plays along with the prompt message "Susie joined your party!" To which Susie responds by slowly backing away off-screen... which also got a fanfare and a message prompt. The same fanfare and prompt would reappear when Lancer joins the party... and then later when the team found a candy, to which Susie had enough of and cuts the whole thing short.
- Played straight later in the game; after Susie promised to be more cooperative, a short piano jingle plays with the message prompt "Susie joined your party for real."
- Epic Battle Fantasy 2: Due to Defeat Means Friendship, against the only human enemy that's faced, this message appears at a very important point, the very final end of the game, being a Sequel Hook, since how else will the new member be used?
- The Disgaea series:
- Disgaea has at least two people who join your party without your consent, and a few more who are actually enslaved by Laharlnote .
- Disgaea 2 plays with this for most of the main characters, to whit:
[Rozalin] is bound to you by the terms of the ritual.
Deeply swayed by Adell's manliness and cologne, [Yukimaru] joined the group.
Beauty Queen [Etna] is stalking Adell.
Under the condition of three square meals a day, [Overlord Laharl] has joined the group.
- Disgaea 3 continues to play with this for its downloadable characters:
- And in Disgaea 4:
Warden Axel was forced to join your party, but he's so weak and useless that he won't fight in the battles.
- Whenever a new unit is recruited in Fire Emblem, it will play a theme that indicates that they are recruited.
- Shining Force has a fanfare and message whenever a new unit is recruited into your army. Usually, it is a happy sounding fanfare but when you recruit an unit in a less pleasant moment, it will play a sorrowful version of it.
- Yggdra Union has a fanfare whenever a new unit is recruited into your army.
Non-video game examples:
- In Scott Pilgrim, of course. On the first pages of the fifth volume, Scott and his friends are at Julie's new apartment's Day of the Dead party. Scott and Ramona encounter her fifth and sixth exes, the Katayanagi twins, experts on robots and technology. When they challenge Scott to a fight, a robot goes inside and just... joins the party.
- Which happens in the video game as well. "Robot-01 joined the party!"
- Noob has it from time to time due to being set in a MMORPG and the main group having a Honorary True Companion.
- A Certain Magical Friendship: From Context_SHIFT: "Round up the stragglers - RESURGENCE_part_two": Referenced when someone joins up with someone else:
If life was an RPG, this would be when the text Kamijou Touma has joined your party! would appear on screen.
- As seen in the page quote above, Super Paper Mario X does this every time a new character joins the team. Makes sense, since this is a crossover with a RPG. Usually it's Link who does these, but when the gang got split up starting with chapter 42, other characters have done these introductions instead. Link was quite upset that he didn't make those intros.
Kirby: Ooh! Ooh! Link! You have to give Malon an intro! I gave Meta Knight his!
Sonic: I gave one to Knuckles.
Mario: I gave Luigi's and Tails'!
Link: Aw, you couldn't have waited for me?
Kirby: What? We had to improvise!
- Early in Errant Story, Meji met Chris, a deeply stupid young man who is a parody of jRPG protagonists. He invites her to join his party, and she responds by casting an invisibility spell and slinking away from him.
- A Big Damn Heroes moment during Penny Arcade's "Armadeaddon" arc: "FRUIT FUCKER has joined the party!"