Follow TV Tropes


Loads and Loads of Characters

Go To
More characters than the
Japanese Language. note 

"Starring...the ten characters whose names you actually remember, and all these other characters whose names you actually don't remember."

A show that has so many regulars that you can't fit them all into one episode. Therefore, one week some characters will appear, while some different characters will appear in another. You'll rarely get the same combination twice. This is especially common in Long-Runners, as characters tend to accumulate over time. Shows with this many characters tend towards one-dimensional characterization for many of them (but not always, if the writers will put in the effort), and often make filler easy to create.

Similarly, some video games involve collecting as many distinct, unique soldiers for your army as possible. Other video games, such as fighting games, start with just a few characters but keep adding characters to the roster as more sequels come out, until you eventually have enough characters to populate an entire Verse.


Creating a Cast of Snowflakes with these loads is an achievement and will make the story lively and colorful. If the writers are smart, they'll start making a Cast Herd. The Love Dodecahedron is a way to spice things up, the Geodesic Cast makes use of the characters through variations on a theme, and The Clan happens when the loads are related. A Character-Magnetic Team can sometimes create this effect. Gets really convoluted if everyone is somehow related.

Please note that this is for extreme examples of regularly occurring characters. It's really not all that uncommon for a story to have ten or fifteen characters, especially with a Villain of the Week format.

This can cause crediting issues for shows with an OBB (opening billboard), leading to Fake Guest Star or being shunted into the Closing Credits for logistical reasons.


See also Crowded Cast Shot, Ensemble Cast, and Loads and Loads of Races. May result in/from You All Share My Story. Can contribute to Continuity Lockout in Long-Runners. Compare Revolving Door Casting and Heroes Unlimited. The inversion of this trope is Minimalist Cast. We have an article on how to write this variety of character roster.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • GEICO cycles between so many mascots, it's become ridiculous. The have their eponymous Australian gecko, the googly-eyed stack of money, the offended cavemen, Michael McGlone the spokesman, the guitar playing duo that are always spouting hyperbolic comparisons, and Maxwell the anthropomorphic pig. This isn’t counting the many characters who show up for one commercial or characters from other series.
  • Orangina itself already have a bunch of characters in their commercials, but they have many models (mostly female) in their website (although their old website had MORE females, including a female penguin!).

  • Sistine Chapel:
    • The ceiling covers nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, depicting God, Adam, Eve, the serpent, Noah, Noah's family, all the people fleeing the global flood, a host of characters from other Biblical episodes, and a host of prophets and sibyls who foreshadowed Christ,
    • The Last Judgement is covered with dozens of saints, prophets, and sinners that are either ascending to Heaven or descending into Hell, with Christ and Mary in the center below the throne of God.

    Board Games 
  • Talisman has a large number of playable characters for a board game. With all of the expansions released so far, the current edition includes: Elf, Dwarf, Priest, Warrior, Thief, Troll, Ghoul, Monk, Wizard, Sorceress, Minstrel, Druid, Assassin, Prophetess, Highlander, Valkyrie, Cleric, Rogue, Swashbuckler, Vampiress, Knight, Dread Knight, Chivalric Knight, Merchant, Alchemist, Sprite, Warlock, Sage, Philosopher, Gladiator, Magus, Gypsy, Amazon, and Necromancer.
  • Talisman has nothing on Tomb, which has 84 different recruitable characters in the original, and as many twice more in two standalone expansions.
  • Taikyoku shogi, the largest known Shōgi variant, uses 209 different types of pieces.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics and Marvel Comics both possess incredibly large casts of characters, due to both being long-running multi-media franchises involving shared multiverses. They each have a total amount of characters numbering somewhere in the thousands.
  • Scott Pilgrim, definitely. The third volume even included a diagram of the 30-odd characters and their relationships to each other.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes:
    • The comic has even more characters than its animated counterpart. Over the entire run, there have been more than 80 distinct members of the team. Because of frequent continuity reboots, who is actually on the team varies from time to time but the core group is generally the size of 20-30 or so members at any time.
    • And in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, well, you do the math...
    • Hilariously spoofed in Valentino's Normalman, where the Roll Call for the "Legion of Superfluous Heroes" has to be spread out over several whole issues!
  • The post-Infinite Crisis JSA roster grew to Legion-sizes at the end of Geoff Johns' reign, as countless Legacy Character-types were drawn from the ether. The new writers eventually split them into two teams to properly write them. It got even crazier when the two teams were reunited under Marc Guggenheim, and several other new characters like Manhunter Ri, and Libery Belle were added to the cast. At that point, Guggenheim ReTooled the team into a literal society of superheroes living in the city of Monument Point.
  • The X-Men have so many characters that there's two separate books just for the core team, another one for the Junior Team/Reserves, and when you get into the various spin-off groups...
    • And that's not counting the various characters that have been Put on a Bus, had a bridge dropped on them, got Stuffed in the Fridge, or (most recently) got depowered, or just plain old forgotten about.
    • For a better understanding, just look at the gatefold cover of X-men #200, which features everyone who had been part of the core team, even those who only hung around for a year or so.
    • That's actually the main reason behind M-Day. The people who did it felt that there were getting to be too many super-powered people in the Marvel Universe.
    • Matt Fraction brought up as many mutants he can to the new X-Men base, Utopia island. Not only all X-Men members, their students, New Mutants, his original creations and characters he brought back from the death or Comic-Book Limbo but even Magneto and... Namor. One wonders why, as he clearly crossed the line and cannot handle so much of them (it's doubtful that anybody would), yet brings back many other ones.
    • There are currently eight separate X-Books in the aftermath of Schism. Three books deal with the Jean Grey Academy alone.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics)'s character roster, taking from both the games, Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), and original characters, number in the triple digits. However, thanks to a heaping dose of Screwed by the Lawyers, most of the original characters got jettisoned from the comic, bringing down the number significantly. The number started climbing back up in the wake of reboot; while all the characters from the games and most from the TV series stayed on, new original characters were introduced consistently, leading to several new groups of freedom fighters and factions working under Eggman, and the introduction of even more obscure game characters such as Honey the Cat and Wendy and the Witchcarters.
  • Current Marvel canon has established that there are 100 Eternals on earth - all million-year old immortals. Previous series have focused on a relatively small cast, with others sometimes turning up as guest stars elsewhere. Whereas Kieron Gillen started his 2021 series by naming and listing (almost) all of them, assigning them to the various cities and factions. It remains to be seen how many play major roles, but an increasing number are being mentioned in conversation and data pages, even if they remain offstage.
  • The Avengers have issued "Avengers Assemble" calls to the entire roster several times, resulting in anywhere from 30 to 100+ members showing up. After Heroes Reborn, when the team was assembled to fight Morgana, the issue after showed 30 Avengers attempting to take down one B-list villain, with disastrous results. Typically these assemblies also show one-time Avengers Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, or the Fantastic Four making an excuse not to tag along. (Although Spider-Man later became a full time member)
    • This was lampshaded in one short "What If?" story, ''What if Everyone Who Had Ever Been an Avenger Stayed an Avenger?" (issue #34). In the story, Avengers Mansion was so full of superheroes that one couldn't swing a dead Skrull without knocking down a dozen or so of Marvel Comics finest.
    • Geoff Johns' run had one of the largest casts. The team included Captain America, Iron Man, The Wasp, Yellowjacket, Black Panther, The Falcon, Namor, Ms. Marvel, Scarlet Witch, The Vision, Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Hawkeye, She-Hulk, and Jack of Hearts. Looking at his tenures on the above-mentioned JSA and the New 52 Justice League, it seems that he loves working with huge casts.
    • Jonathan Hickman's team has a similarly huge cast, to the point that they had to launch a second title, Avengers World, just to give more screentime to some of the underused players.
  • The Runaways may be largely divorced from the greater Marvel Universe (but not without some crossover), but don't let that make you think the series will have a Minimalist Cast as a result. In the first arc alone, consisting of eighteen issues, you have the Alex, Gert, Karolina, Chase, Nico, and Molly as well as their Team Pet Old Lace making up the Runaways themselves. Then you have their parents: The Wilders, Yorkes, Deans, Steins, Minorus, and Hayeses compose the Pride. Various other characters such as Lt. Flores, Topher, Cloak & Dagger make appearances throughout, and of course, there's the Gibborim. Oh, and Captain America makes an appearance at the end. This amounts to 27 characters in just a mere eighteen issues. It only goes up from there.
  • Usagi Yojimbo had a big group photo of all its featured characters (good and evil, living and dead) as of vol. ~15, roughly about three-dozen characters.
  • Batman probably has the largest cast of villains, allies and supporting characters of any one superhero. He's perhaps the ultimate Ineffectual Loner.
  • Spider-Man may be the one solo hero who can rival Batman — between Spidey, his allies, his supporting cast, the other Spider heroes, and of course, his very extensive Rogues Gallery, the wall-crawler alone tends to be very magnetic. That's not counting the fact that characters from other series tend to stop by all the time.
  • Neil Gaiman's The Sandman built up an impressive cast over the years. Dream himself has six siblings and over half a dozen recurring servants. that's not getting into the recurring humans, Faeries, Gods angels and demons.
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths put together every version of every major hero at once while throwing in a couple of unique characters. That's just counting the main story line, side stories eventually pulled in virtually every single character in DC history. Ultimately, Crisis on Infinite Earths had almost every DCU character who had their own series ever.
  • ElfQuest characters all have distinct personalities and appearances, and varying, unique, pretty outfits.
  • Disney Mouse and Duck Comics hits this trope pretty hard; just the family trees of Mickey, Donald Duck, and Goofy alone are really big, and the long number of other supporting cast members...
  • Kingdom Come to the point that a guide book had to be published, though only a dozen or so hold any real bearing on the plot, most of them just exist for giant group shots of people fighting.
  • Gotham Central has between eight and who knows how many major, recurring, or named minor characters in each issue. And that's not counting the villains who pop up from time to time. This happens because it follows two shifts of the Major Case Unit at the Gotham Police Department, and each shift has eight detectives and a shift commander.
  • Antarctic Press series Gold Digger and Ninja High School indeed have an incredible amount of characters from mainstays to one shots, mostly because the creators love using Expy to create new characters.
  • DC Comics' World War II-based All-Star Squadron consisted of every DC and Quality Comics (a publisher eventually acquired by DC) hero from the 1940s, plus all newer DC characters established as having been active at the time. The ASS had upwards of 75 members (though a good number of them only appeared in cameos or at occasional full-roster meetings.)
  • Over the 50 year history of the Justice League of America, there have been 116 full-time members and entire slate of part-timers, reservists, associates, and buddies who just occasionally show up to help.
  • Their young counterpart team the Teen Titans aren't slouches either. Between their various main teams, ancillary teams, associates, and iterations, there have been over 70 members at some point or another. Chances are, if you're a young superhero in the DC Universe, you will have been a Titan at some point. In fact, DC Rebirth gave us two variations of them: Titans (Rebirth) (focusing on classic members all grown up) and Teen Titans (Rebirth) (focusing on newer/younger members). They crossed over, naturally.
  • Even excluding one-shots and background cameos, the lack of a single main character/team (along with the Cryptic Background References and Continuity Nods) causes Astro City to have several dozen characters with regular appearances scattered throughout the series' run. This is especially true in extended story arcs like "Tarnished Angel" and "The Dark Age", which often star characters who only get a brief appearance in other stories.
  • Pride High has its reader characters on its message boards, which has more characters than one may be willing to count — and many of these have made cameos in the comic itself.
  • Love and Rockets, particularly the Palomar stories, which follow the intertwining lives of residents in a small town and their descendants.
  • The Knight and Squire miniseries from DC Comics featured dozens and dozens of new British heroes and villains, both currently and retroactively. Most of them were identified in annotations added in the trade paperback release.
  • Afterlife with Archie features many and many main and supporting cast member from the Archie universe. Just in the core group, we have Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, Kevin, Cheryl and their family, which would bring up the tally to roughly 8-10 characters. And that doesn't count Jughead, who was Patient Zero of the zombie apocalypse and the leader of the zombies. The series even made an effort to pull out obscure characters such as the Lodge's butler Smithers, Jughead and Betty's sister Jellybean and Polly, Nancy and Ginger (who are Promoted to Love Interest to each other) and even from different titles such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch and even Josie and the Pussycats.
  • Rob Liefeld is well-known for the many, many characters he creates, especially in the early Image Universe kickstarted by his series Youngblood. However, this is one of the best-known cases of a misuse of this trope, considering that many of them are Ersatz versions of famous heroes who get little development if any at all before Rob throws another team, group or set out of nowhere and starts writing about them. Not to mention that Only Six Faces is in effect, making a lot of them hard to distinguish from one and other. It's actually been suspected that the large cast was accumulated because Liefeld would quickly get bored of what he's currently writing. As Linkara put it...
    Linkara: A good creator is capable of making more that just one good character. Liefeld, on the other hand, settles on inventing 60,000 characters and none of them are good!
  • Another Marvel instance played for the LOLs: The Fantastic Four Roast (February, 1982) has the Marvel Universe en masse at the titular fete, villains included.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1987): The three issue "The Witch and the Warrior" story made an attempt to use every female villain and hero active in the DCU at the time. There are over 60 female villains and 60 female heroes identified by Oracle alone, and that's not including the male heroes who were victims of Circe's magic.
    • Wonder Woman 600: Phill Jimez's valiant effort to cram as many Wonder Woman characters as possible into one two-page spread contains more than 80 characters.

    Comic Strips 
  • Large casts are especially rare in newspaper comics, due to new papers constantly picking up the series and almost no reruns to catch up with, but Doonesbury is a famous exception. At one time a Sunday strip ran that was just one big panel with a group-photo-style picture of the entire cast. Along the side of the panel was a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-style chain of how they are connected to one another.
    • A previous strip, published about five years earlier, Lampshaded this by doing a similar chart and having Zonker explain that this was being done because "most 19th century Russian epic novels have fewer characters than this feature." Since then, the cast has only GROWN (as this was before everyone started having kids.)
    • This was lampshaded in the comic strip Foxtrot once. A tossed-off gag in the middle of a Sunday strip involved Jason downloading the cast list of Doonesbury, and the file was many megabytes in size.
    • The Other Wiki counts 68 characters.
    • Lampshaded again here.
  • Peanuts, a notable Long Runner, contains about twenty principal characters (Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Rerun, Schroeder, Woodstock, Sally, Marcie, Frieda, Peppermint Patty, Franklin, Pig-Pen, Spike, Shermy, Eudora, Molly Volley, Crybaby Boobie, Patty, Violet, 5, Peggy Jean), and the unseen Little Red-Haired Girl, Mrs Othmar, and all the parents, and a sentient schoolhouse. A few of them were brother chucked, though.
    • If Crybaby Boobie and Molly Volley count as "principal characters", then so does Roy, the kid who introduced Peppermint Patty to Charlie Brown. He appeared in quite a few summer camp strips. And what about the pig-tailed girl who's friends with Rerun?
    • A complete list of all the characters is here. Oh, and that's just the named cast members.
    • The core of the cast is probably Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Woodstock, Sally, Peppermint Patty, and Marcie. Due to the strip's Long Runner status, the core of the cast has evolved as it's gone on. Shermy, Patty, Violet, Pig-Pen, Frieda, Franklin, Rerun, and Eudora have been members of the core, or at least the main cast, at some point or another; a case could also be made for 5, Roy, Spike, and Rerun's aforementioned friend. That's 17-21 main cast members, a pretty remarkable tally, though no more than ten or so at any one time.
  • Beetle Bailey has around thirty characters.
    • Even creator Mort Walker stated that he had more characters in Beetle than any other comic strip that is running.
  • Tumbleweeds has a good thirty characters in its main cast, split between members of the town and the surrounding lands' Native tribes.
  • For Better or for Worse has a core family of five, plus friends, relatives, and pets. And then the kids started having families of their own...
  • Mutts started as just a man and his dog, then added a couple with a cat. Several dogs, many cats, an array of invertebrates and other animals, and a few humans later, it definitely qualifies.
  • Gasoline Alley is unusual in being a Long Runner where the characters have aged in real time. In that time, many castmembers have died, new ones have kept getting introduced, baby Skeezix is now an old man, and Walt Wallet, the original protagonist, is now over 100. The cast is very big, and long stretches can go by without Walt or Skeezix popping up, although together they are still both the heart of the strip.

  • In the manhwa Faeries' Landing, there's Fanta and the other faeries, then the gods and creatures in the faerie realm, then Ryang, his family, friends, classmates, and other human extras, and the 108 pairs of affinities. And all the characters from the past and the present...
  • Ravages of Time takes the original characters from Romance of the Three Kingdoms and adds original ones, as if there weren't already enough.
  • Tower of God has about 40 recurring and/or plot relevant characters.

  • Any rap record that has a lot of guest features.
  • This is generally invoked by several entertainment companies in the Kpop scene.
    • SEVENTEEN has 13 members.
    • The Boyz had 12 members at debut but became 11 after Hwall's departure.
    • This seems to be a favorite concept for SM Entertainment in particular, as they have the following groups under them:
      • NCT has 23 known members and they are supposed to continue expanding infinitely as their main concept.
      • Super Junior had 13 members at debut but now have 9 active members with one more inactive member.
      • EXO used to have 12 members but after 3 members leaving the group they became 9.
  • Hello! Project. They're currently at 61 members, and have had 128 members in total to date.
    • A few years ago, Morning Musume had 15 members.
    • The Eggs (trainees) are now at 28 members. And they keep adding more of them every few months.
  • AKB48 — as their name implies, you'd think they have 48 members. Right now they're at 83.
    • They actually were at 48 members at one point in 2007..
  • The now-defunct group Bishoujo Club 31 (Saki Fukuda and Beni Arashiro were in it) had - you guessed it - 31 members.
  • Bang Camaro has 16 members for their studio and touring band, but to add to this, when the venue is big enough, they add on some session members to get as many people on stage as possible. Their lineup is basically a typical 4 piece rock band, plus 12 or more singers; part of their trademark sound is that there's a small choir of voices singing the lyrics rather than a traditional "lead" vocalist.
  • The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has 41 members, touring or otherwise.
  • Only few people were able to keep track of exactly how many different band members Laibach had until now. The fact that the active band members change regularly and often use pseudonyms or don't use any individual names at all makes it worse. Intentionally. The list on the Wikipedia article seems to be complete though.
  • The Fall's former band member list rivals their discography in size. This article details a journalist's attempt to track down all of them.
  • Menudo definitely has them. The band has been around since 1977, and members are thrown out and replaced when they turn 16, their voice changes, the start to shave, or get too tall. This has led to a revolving door of singers.
  • The Wu-Tang Clan. If you have no trouble keeping track of The RZA, The GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Masta Killa, Method Man, Cappadonna, and their countless aliases and alter egos, there are dozens if not hundreds of associated groups, rappers, and singers to get lost in.
  • The Doobie Brothers, so much so that there used to be a joke: "She's had more members in her than the Doobie Brothers."
  • Vocaloid, if we include unreleased Vocaloids and private voicebanks, and don't include Append, Extend, V3 Updates, fanmades like Haku & Neru, or things like Ice Mountain, there are 94 Vocaloids.
  • GAGGLE, an all female "alt-choir" has between 20-25 members at any one time.
  • Swedish pirate folk band Ye Banished Privateers currently has a lineup of 24 official members, according to their Wikipedia page, though only about a dozen go on tour at a time (which is still pretty impressive on its own).
  • The Band from TV — founded by Greg Grunberg and boasting Hugh Laurie and Teri Hatcher in its ranks - is a large group consisting entirely of TV stars.
  • In another lesser example, Typhoon tours with twelve people.
  • As The Polyphonic Spree is basically a small indie rock orchestra with a choir of varying size on vocals, the sheer number of people it brings onstage is one of its trademarks.
  • Film and TV soundtrack albums are no stranger to this trope.
    • The soundtrack album of Furious 7 features a whopping 31 artists, consisting primarily of rappers, DJs, latin artists, and pop singers. This is mainly because a lot of the artists collaborated with one another.
    • The Pirate Radio soundtrack has almost as many as Furious 7, with 29 artists featured over two discs.
  • The Ocean has had over 50 people working on their projects. So many people have worked that the website even admits to giving up listing everyone who has been involved.
  • So far, Vision Divine had two singers, three keyboard players, two bassists and five drummers. The only constant members on the lineup are Olaf and Federico, the guitar players.
  • Ayreon is basically a who-is-who of Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal. The other wiki lists 84 guests vocalists as of now (post-Transitus), and plenty of guest instrumentalitst. The in-universe storyline has even more characters - many of the guests vocalists appear on multiple albums but there are almost no recurring characters so the average guest vocalist plays ~3 different characters.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Epics and holy scriptures tend to be this, due to them having been collected from stories told for eons.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Homer's The Iliad. Most of them die, usually within a page of being introduced.
    • The character sheets for The Odyssey run to several pages, however most of them only appear in one or two books.
    • This probably was the case for the six other epics in the Trojan Cycle, considering it covered everything from The Trojan War's origin to Odysseus's death.
    • This is because every Greek family claimed to have some ancestor who fought in The Trojan War. Every character, even the throwaways, would have been hugely important to someone.
  • Virgil's The Aeneid is just as bad as Homer's works.
  • Classical Mythology in general is like this. You have the Olympian gods, the Titans, heroes, demigods, monsters, kings... Here's a list
  • The ancient Hindu epic Mahabharata, part literature and part mythology, defined Loads And Loads Of Characters for possibly the first time ever, and then redefined it just for fun. For most of the story, it's just the five heroes and their wife having wacky adventures. In the final year of the story, the cast suddenly balloons as the heroes are boarded up with a royal family, which naturally includes the extended family and several orders' staff and servants, all named. Then you get to The War Sequence, and it's the main heroes, miscellaneous friends and political allies, their extended families, and sons and nephews in the double digits each, against the enemy force of one hundred named villains and their allies, cousins, sons and nephews. This is just the named characters — mooks are in the thousands. And each named character gets his own story. This, kids, is why the Mahabharata is the longest poem ever written by an incredibly wide margin.
    • Also the Ramayana. The main story is about Rama. It starts before his conception and ends with his ascension to his celestial abode. Its characters include His father, his wife, his wife's parents, his father's three wives, their offspring, their offspring's wives, their wives' parents, the respective households, Rama's teacher Valmiki, Hanuman, the other monkeys, some eagles, Ravana, Ravana's offspring and other related people in the households, Rama's two children etc. There are a lot more, but you get the idea.
  • The Bible. Each book has a whole new array of characters, and it even goes into their family trees for a bunch of generations. Several characters have multiple children who then have their own children. Several of those books were religious history texts, covering religious, political, and cultural events relevant to not only a nation, but several generations of that nation. Add to that the New Testament, made up primarily of letters to entire churches...
    • It should be noted that the Bible isn't a single book written by one author, but a collection of scriptures written by multiple authors throughout several generations.

  • Stern Pinball's X-Men has one of the largest casts in a Pinball game, with nearly fifty characters making appearances, many of them voiced.

  • The Cool Kids Table game Creepy Town has twelve player characters, more than any other game played on the show. Justified, though, since in this game two-thirds of them are going to die before the final act.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Pili Fantasy: War of Dragons: The cast has several dozen characters sharing complex interrelated backstories. Here's a quick visual primer.
  • The Muppets, by their very nature, embody this trope. The Muppet Show alone has a sizable "lead" cast (Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie, Rowlf, Statler and Waldorf, the Electric Mayhem, Sam Eagle, the Swedish Chef, Robin, Scooter, Bunsen and Beaker, and, for a time, Rizzo), along with background characters (both recurring and one-off) out the wazoo. Likewise, Sesame Street has a boat load of Muppet characters, and an equally large cast of human characters (especially when you count both the series regulars and the various one-offs and interchangeable background figures). Factor in the characters from Fraggle Rock, The Jim Henson Hour, Muppets Tonight, Sam and Friends, and the various Muppet TV specials and movies on top of the above two examples, and you get almost enough characters to populate a small country.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In 1980s WWF was the result of Vince McMahon Jr crushing or buying out most of the visible promotions of USA and Canada while signing the talent he wanted most. Only a portion of the entire roster was featured each week. Usually, two tag teams and four singles wrestlers would be spotlighted (often, evenly divided between faces and heels), and even with backstage interviews (pre-filmed interviews, frequently promoting an upcoming card in the viewing area) and segments such as "Piper's Pit", there still wouldn't be enough time in a 60-minute program to give camera time to, much less even mention, every wrestler in the promotion every week. If 50 percent of a promotion (of 50-60 headline-type wrestlers, not including those who were strictly jobbers) were featured each week, they did well.
    • The annual Royal Rumble Match (held the last Sunday of January every year) is a good way to bring all these characters together. Thirty (forty in 2011, and twenty when it began in 1988) wrestlers compete in the match over the course of about an hour, and typically only about ten of them will be recognizable to casual fans. Even WWE diehards may have trouble keeping track of all the cameos. Remember Daniel Puder? Probably not - but if you're a Royal Rumble connoisseur, you do.
  • In 1987, Jim Crockett Promotions took over/bought (Nobody seems to know which is the absolute truth) Championship Wrestling from Florida and bought the Universal Wrestling Federation. This gave them four more hours of TV to fill each week. While there were three distinct and separate crews, wrestlers would move over constantly. Late in the year, the UWF shows stopped having their own crews while CWF kept losing importance. At the end of the year, the UWF shows were the same as the JCP shows with different names/intros (UWF was the same as NWA Pro Wrestling and Power Pro Wrestling was the same as NWA World Wide Wrestling. The announcers would only mention "The Wrestling Network" during the shows.), while CWF's B Show (Southern Pro Wrestling) was cancelled and CWF became a NWA Pro Wrestling with localized commentary and a different name/intro. UWF disappeared as 1988 started, PPW disappeared a few weeks later, and CWF stuck around for a few more months.
  • Part of WCW's grand "Kill The WWF in Five Years" plan was to hire as many quality wrestlers as possible- veterans, foreign stars, up-and-comers and indy standouts alike. The problem was that this was mainly done to severely limit the WWF's available talent pool and WCW, who had only a 2-3 hour show, had no intention of using most of these people. Wrestlers were paid not based on whether they were booked for matches, but if they showed up to tapings, and even then, all a performer had to do was sign a register and he was given a full payday no questions asked, regardless of whether he had actually worked that night or not. This left WCW with a bloated roster, many of whom were getting paid for doing nothing, and who often resented the fact that they weren't being used, and willingly took a paycut to jump to WWF where they were actually shown on TV as soon as their contracts expired. This was one of the lesser poor management decisions that lead to The Death of WCW.
  • The nWo, by necessity of it being a group meant to takeover WCW. However, this became a problem when the angle was extended much longer than originally planned and keeping up with all the nWo members became a chore.
  • AAA's Legion Extrajera, a Powerstable lead by Konnan that basically every foreigner in AAA at the time was thrown into. It was so large it had its own sub groups. But AAA would not stop there. La Legion Extranjera later merged with Los Maniacos(three people), La Milicia(ten), El Consejo(ten) and Los Perros Del Mal(an entire invading promotion, though it often limited its AAA presence to a "core" five or ten) to create La Sociedad, one of the largest stables to ever exist. The tecnicos were so desperate they resorted to internal sabotage.

  • The Archers - thanks in part to its Extreme Long Runner status - has a regular character list of about 60, with a couple of dozen appearing each week. Include occasional and silent characters, and you're into the hundreds.
  • The Goon Show had three main cast members, a handful of supporting players (which included the announcer and some of the regular musicians) and a few recurring guest stars. Between them they played something like fifty roles, over thirty of them regulars. The bulk of these were voiced by Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, though Milligan claimed he only had so many parts to prevent Sellers from talking to himself.
  • The cast of The Session on The Brewing Network expanded over time to include a stable group of regulars, as well as a much larger group of people who regularly appear in episodes. Add on regular listeners who call and contribute, plus the stable of hosts of the various shows that got added after The Session
  • Lo Zoo Di 105: Due to each sketch having its own characters, and the abundance of sketches themselves throughout the years.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse has this in spades, with 36 playable heroes, 47 villains, and more than a dozen minor characters who are either cards in someone else's deck or not seen in the card game.

  • The Laramie Project has over seventy characters, all of whom are regularly played by eight people.
  • The Crucible has about twenty parts, all of which are given, if not deep character development, then something to do at least.
  • Most Cirque du Soleil shows have at least fifty performers apiece; a few of the non-touring shows have upwards of 70. This can roughly be broken down into:
    • 5-10 principal characters and/or character groups, including clowns, singers, and lead dancers.
    • Characters and/or groups that exist for one act in particular, but might have a member or two appear elsewhere in the show (i.e. the Zebras in "O", the Nymphs in Alegria) for character work. Acting for Two applies here.
    • The musicians.
  • Many William Shakespeare plays have dozens of named characters, particularly the histories. Often modern productions cut the plays down (since uncut most would last over four hours), merge bit parts with one or two lines into single characters, and double- or even triple-cast actors in medium and sometimes even larger characters.
  • Twilight: Los Angeles is a docudrama that tells the story of the riots in Los Angeles in 1992. Lot of people.
  • The Blue Bird has a fairy give two children eight sidekicks for their journey, into lands with even more named characters — ranging from the kids' dead grandparents to Night to a forest's worth of tree spirits to Luxuries and Happinesses to unborn children waiting to go to Earth. Tellingly, lesser sidekick characters like Water are sidelined for significant stretches of the action.
  • Between the main 3 engines, Poppa, Electra's components, the coaches, the freight trucks, the Rockies/Hip-Hoppers and the national engines (and Greaseball's lackies, the race marshalls and Control), Starlight Express has a rather sizeable cast.
  • Into the Woods has approximately 20 to 24 characters depending on the production that have at least a few lines or non-ensemble singing duties.
  • Finale has several different major characters and story arcs.
  • Les Misérables has 9 main characters (Valjean, Javert, Marius, Cosette, Fantine, Enjolras, and the Thenardiers, including Eponine) plus many supporting characters (the other students, including Gavroche, Joly, Combferre, Coufeyrac, Prouvaire, Grantaire, and Feuilly), several one-scene wonders (the Bishop, Bamatabois, Fauchlevant, and Major Domo), other unnamed extras who show up for a line or two (the women in the factory, the prisoners in the workyard, the women who sing "Turning", the wedding guests), and unnamed characters who nonetheless serve a purpose (the nuns at the Bishop's convent, the non-singing Lovely Ladies, the patrons of Thenardier's inn, and the general chorus of poor people).
  • The Ring of the Nibelung: through the 16 hours that last the 4-part opera series, we get the names of 3 Rhine Daughters, 3 Nornes, 7 Gods, 8 Valkyries...
  • Utopia, Limited features a whopping seventeen individual named speaking and singing roles, most of whom are on stage at the same time so they can't be doubled. That combined with the fact that most of them also require at least two wardrobe changes (the characters appear first in their "traditional" Utopian dress and later in formal English attire) probably has something to do with why this one isn't produced nearly as often as other Gilbert and Sullivan shows.

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks: In addition to hundreds of characters from the Disney Animated Canon, Classic Disney Shorts, and a few television properties, there's also dozens of characters exclusive to the parks, like the Ghost Host (The Haunted Mansion), the Country Bears (Country Bear Jamboree), and Figment (Epcot's imagination-based pavillion).
    • At Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, there are days when the managers all dress in character costumes for a day. The sheer number of "forgotten" major characters is mind-boggling, and the fact that they usually have characters left over is simply jaw-dropping.
  • Weeki Wachee Springs, a Florida Theme Park famous for its mermaid show, debuted in 1947, making it understandable that something that has been around so long would have seen many performers come and go.

  • Transformers. Being a Long Runner, the Trope Codifier for Merchandise-Driven (Hasbro's 'king' of toy lines) and having the most infamous Continuity Snarl ever from being so Adaptation Overdosed, this trope was inevitable. And then there's when this trope occurs within adaptations:
    • The Transformers: Generation 1 and Generation 2 comics are notable for featuring somewhere in the region of 300 named characters over the course of their ten-year run. Of these, over 120 are permanently killed off, some for dramatic effect to drive the story, but mostly because there were simply too many of them for the writer to keep track of, and because their toys had come off the shelf and no longer needed to be "sold" through the comic. They often went out in large batches (for instance, in issue #19, Omega Supreme offlines nearly every Decepticon from the first year of the series in about two pages), with the most famous instance surely being issue #50, in which a cosmically-powered Starscream unceremoniously kills almost every other surviving character from the first three years of the series with a few waves of his hands. This is without even bringing up the unnamed background characters, such as the entire population of San Francisco.
    • Transformers Armada had a relatively small cast. However, the sequel series Transformers Energon went so overboard in cramming in Autobot characters and using them at any excuse that in certain shots you can't actually tell what's going on. Needless to say, this left all but a few with no characterization at all. This got better in Transformers Cybertron, which may or may not be a followup to Energon, but it didn't improve by that much.
      • Supposedly the reason for the many accents that the characters of Transformers: Cybertron was that they were so underdeveloped that otherwise they were virtually the same beyond their names and appearances.
      • Transformers: Super-God Masterforce and Transformers Victory, which featured all-new, considerably smaller casts in an obvious effort to start afresh.
  • G.I. Joe. Since the franchise was revived in 1982, the action figure lines have featured hundreds of characters, most of whom have appeared in the various TV shows, movies and comics at some point.
  • My Little Pony has a huge cast of primary, secondary, tertiary, and background characters, spread across several generations of toys, shows, comics, and other assorted media. The toy line itself did briefly play with the idea of using a Minimalist Cast instead of this trope in 2008-2009, with only 10 characters - three of whom weren't even named - having toys during that time, but even then the cartoons still included enough other characters that the Christmas Special Twinkle Wish Adventure easily filled out crowd scenes with them. Although My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic downplays this, with the show's central cast being somewhat small and consistent, it still has a very large number of characters overall. The total number of My Little Pony characters is debatable, due to issues such as the existence of multiple versions of some characters, but the answer is somewhere in the thousands.
  • BIONICLE, definitely. The main cast comprises over 200 characters, and there are countless Red Shirt villagers scattered all throughout the islands that the story hasn't covered.
    • According to the comics and stories, some of those Faceless Mooks were also sentient.
  • The Japanese stationery company Sanrio has been in business since 1962, though they didn't start creating characters until 1973, but didn't became common place until they created Hello Kitty in 1974. After creating Hello Kitty, the company decided to create more and more characters to see how successfully they would sell in stores. While some characters are hardly ever heard of outside of Japan, or are forgotten, others become very popular. The Japanese and American websites for Sanrio have lists of how many characters they have, mostly the popular and successful ones. In total, they have over 400 characters note  Unlike Sanrio's other websites, their Japanese website has a complete history of their characters sorted by decade. Heck Sanrio's official Japanese Youtube channel even released a music video titled "Mell's Sanrio Cute Memory Song" which featured Mell from Wish Me Mell singing about almost every single Sanrio Character up to that period. The song length is 5:27 minutes long showing how many characters (outside of some of their family and friends) Sanrio has created over the years.
  • Monster High has a designated main cast, and nearly 100 other supporting characters who appear with varying frequency.
  • Uglydolls have a giant variety of characters in the line, even out of the core main ones.
  • Mixels has had 81 characters released via the toys, with countless Nixel characters, along with multiple show-exclusive ones.
  • GoGo's Crazy Bones. Ho boy, where do we begin? It's nigh-inevitable for collectible toy series in this vein to fall victim to this trope, but Gogo's Crazy Bones, which has had a ton of sets of Gogos released for it over the years, contains over 700 characters in the sets from the reboot series alone. Heck, each separate set of Gogos usually consists of loads and loads of characters, usually ranging from 60 to 90 characters, but the "New Generation" set has 120 characters, the most out of any set in the series! To a lesser extent, Magic Box Int.'s other collectible toy series, such as Star Monsters, fall under this too.
  • The Tamagotchi franchise of digital pet toys introduces several new characters that your pet can grow up to become for each new release. Given that it's been going since 1996, the character count reaching a high level was a given; according to the franchise's wiki, there are over 730 documented characters in the series.
  • Sylvanian Families: Due to it's status as a Long Runner of over 30 years, this is unavoidable. Each core set contains 4 figures of the family, some families are actually bigger and have booster packs (for example, the core Chocolate Rabbit Family, a four-figurine set, can be added on with three more babies, an older sister, and two grandparents. The Milk Rabbit Family, while smaller, also has booster sets of at least one baby. There are at least three rabbit families (Chocolate, Milk and Cottontail). There are plenty more families, some seasonal, some permanent, some retired, some are even regional. Advise: Crack Is Cheaper, consider focusing on only one or two species, and avoid going for characters that are no longer produced, to avoid having your finance spiral out of control.
  • Lalaloopsy has about 156 ragdoll characters, with their origins ranging from fabrics of simple clothes (or in Pillow's case, a blanket) to things that are utterly ridiculous and impossible to sew into dolls.
  • What happens when a toy company devotes almost all of its product to vinyl figures from various franchises, many with Loads and Loads of Characters themselves? Two words: Funko. Pops.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner has a relatively small core cast (twelve main characters), but add in all the spin-offs that are counted as part of the series' world and the list of recurring characters and one-shot characters alone pushes quadruple digits. Some of these characters are a popcorn maker, a printer, or a wagon full of pancakes. Not anthropomorphized. Just a regular popcorn maker named Frank Benedetto.
  • Broken Saints features about 40 speaking roles, over half of which are major players in the plot.
  • By the end of the first season, Red vs. Blue's core cast included thirteen characters (Church, Tucker, Caboose, Sheila, Tex, Grif, Sarge, Simmons, Lopez, Donut, Vic, and O'Malley), and it's only grown from there: Red and Blue soldiers (Captain Flowers, Sister, Doc, and Andy the Bomb), Freelancers (Wyoming, York, Wash, South, North, Maine, CT, and Carolina), A.I.s (Gamma, Delta, Epsilon - who replaced Church in the main cast - Sigma, and Theta), important Freelancer personnel (the Director, the Counselor, the Chairman, and the Pilot\479er), aliens (Crunchbite and Junior), and people from - or met in - Chorus (Felix, Locus, Kimball, Dr. Grey, the Lieutenants). And that's not counting more minor characters such as the Green Alien or "imaginary" versions of characters from Caboose's mind or the capture unit.
  • Slush Invaders has the Slush Fighters, who consist of around 27 regulars, each with their own unique abilities. Two of them are named Brian, which doesn't help. And that's not counting the antagonists...
  • RWBY features over 30 named characters by the end of Volume 2, almost all of whom are integral to the plot in some manner. The Vol.2 finale is almost entirely dedicated to showing as many of them kicking ass as possible, and even manages to introduce three more characters in the process (four, if you count Adam). Volume 3 introduces even more given it features a Tournament Arc, though it started to phase many of the original cast Out of Focus - not that it reduced the new characters, helped by how Vol. 4 indulged in Party Scattering and separate plots for the main characters. The main cast are mostly reunited by Vol. 6, and Vol. 7 features a Lampshade Hanging — General Ironwood comes to a party at Schnee Manor accompanied by sixteen other characters, half of whom are the main cast and every one of them named and well-established, leading Whitley to snark about the party's size.
  • DSBT InsaniT: The main cast alone consists of 26 characters, and thats just the initial members! The massive cast being split up so thin in 'VRcade' is what led to the episode's massive length too.
  • Given that GoAnimate allows you to make pretty much any character ever, the grounded videos have starred everyone from Leafy Is Here to color coded clones of Pingu. A search for "gets grounded" on YouTube yields 513,000 results as of early 2017, hence the truckload of characters.
  • Battle for Dream Island had lots of characters to begin with. Then Jackenjellify (the creator) gave people the choice to send in their own characters, and there's over 100 of them. The new season, BFB, has 65 contestants. With Four, X and Two included, that's 68 named characters excluding all of the recommended characters.
  • Gaming All Stars: Considering the staggering number of franchises involved (Even more than, say, Super Smash Bros.), this trope definitely comes into play. In 2, the amount of characters involved becomes so enormous that the title card of each episode lists the franchises being represented in any given episode, much to the viewer's convenience.
  • Nijisanji has been recruiting members since their debut back in 2018 and they currently have over 100 members.
  • Similarly, hololive has over 50 talents. Each sorted by generations, both from Japan and overseas.

  • 8-Bit Theater has the Light Warriors, the Real Light Warriors, the Dark Warriors, the Elemental Fiends, the Other Warriors, White Mage and Black Belt, Onion Kid, Akbar and Jeff, King Steve, Princess Sara, Left-Hand Man Gary, Matoya, Bahamut, Dragoon, Sarda, The Trickster God, Dr. Swordopolis, Dodecahedron, Darko the Dark God of the Dark, Chaos, and more. For added goodness, two strips showed the Light Warriors, the Dark Warriors, the Other Warriors, and Warmech all on panel at once. The Light Warriors, Real Light Warriors, Dark Warriors, Elemental Fiends, and Other Warriors are each made up of 4 characters. So that's a total of 37 listed here, and there's more supporting cast than that.
  • Arthur, King of Time and Space. Arthurian myth, being made of various legends and ballads bolted together by Malory, has Loads And Loads Of Characters and AKOTAS includes most of them. (And the others are probably due to be introduced later.) Lampshaded here
  • Baskets of Guts: Starting off with two protagonists, the number of characters involved in the story dramatically increases, after said pair reaches the city.
  • Buildingverse works tend to have a massive cast, or to be precise a limited main castnote  which inflates over 20 with all the regulars and to ridicculous levels with everybody (The character page for Roommates lists more than 100 characters).
  • The cast page for Captain SNES: The Game Masta lists 120 named characters - and it's incomplete. Including four different Links and the Nintendo Censorship Angel. And along the same lines, how bout we introduce Kid Radd here as well? Tons of bit parts (hah) who were nonetheless named, or at least referenced in such a way as to make them notable...
  • Charby the Vampirate oh god, just look at the picture on the character page! The character page is incomplete and lists 80 named characters, not including the split off character page for the Kellwood city residents who have their own side comic, Here There Be Monsters, and are therefore listed on that character page.
  • Consolers is a comic about game companies. Every game company (and even a few non-game companies) has a potential personification in this comic, and there's almost 40 of them so far.
  • In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, even the artist has admitted that there are too many characters to keep up with, with at least one of the main characters in the beginning being moved to nearly invisible.
  • Dear Children By the end of the second chapter nearly 30 major and minor characters have been met, and the authors have hinted at many more to come.
  • Debugging Destiny is lighter than a lot of these examples, at only 18 characters. However, every one of those eighteen is a major character with real consequences on the story, even if they do not personally make an appearance very often. Most episodes only include two to six.
  • Deep Rise Over 25 named non-humans identified by color, hard-to-remember names and eye-configuration.
  • As of October 2014, Deviant Universe has over 300 named characters.
  • Draw Your Own Story has accumulated tons of self-inserts, as well as canon characters taken from other works. Here's a pic, and there's not even half of everyone in there.
  • Drowtales. There are several noble houses, each with its leader, officers, counsellors and soldiers. There is the imperial house - ditto. There are the demon-busting Templars - ditto. There are the renegades and diabolists - ditto. There is the great school, with its staff and pupils. There are Ariel's friends (where not previously covered). And that doesn't even start on the supporting characters, citizens and walk-ons. Plus, they all have long, straight white hair and narrow builds. There is a very good reason why the drow in this universe favour distinctive jewellery, facial decals, and hair dye patterns...
    • In later chapters, the creators have started adding cameo appearances for fanmade characters, further expanding the named cast. Some of the "cameos" went on to become fairly important characters.
  • Dumbing of Age, while a less extreme example, actually uses this as an advertising point: one of the banner ads for the comic reads "Dumbing of Age has too many characters". As an Ultimate Universe of the entire Walkyverse, this was inevitable.
  • Everything you wanted to know and more about the cast of El Goonish Shive.
  • Everyday Heroes has a cast page that lists twelve major characters, plus a couple of dozen minors, not including one-episode appearances.
  • Furry Fight Chronicles has four protagonists, a biker gang, an elite team of Combagals with more than a dozen members, individual Combagals, friends, relatives, acquaintances, and a cast that expands with each chapter.
  • Girl Genius, between the Circus, Castle Wulfenbach, Sturmhalten, Beetleburg, Mechanicsburg, the Knights of Jove, the Jägers, and the assorted wandering types... let's just say there are a big damn lot of people who go in and out of the story.
    • Kaja Foglio has stopped trying to maintain a big character bio page, and now just deletes the old page and starts from scratch at the beginning of each chapter, adding in characters as they become relevant. Only 10 pages into chapter 9, there's already seventeen characters up there, and that's not including the "Old Heterodynes" (included on the page for generic backstory) and the author-insert bit characters. Ten pages of comic. Seventeen characters.
  • Greystone Inn started out with just a few core characters, but quickly expanded, with minor characters getting plotlines that would last for weeks. When the original main characters started getting less and less time, the strip gave way to Evil, Inc..
  • Hazard's Wake. So many damn characters! At least the author eventually had the good sense to stick them into one of three groups and rotate them ala Four Lines, All Waiting.
  • Homestuck's provides around 26 main charactersnote , which seems underwhelming until Alternate Universe and Bad Future triple that count. The sheer quantity eventually forces focus to be split by Geodesic Cast, spending whole Acts focusing on one group while everyone else is relegated to sporadic Intermissions. A full list, including the host of minor characters, can be found here.
    • The current count tips the scales at over 95 recurring characters. Even with much of the cast above having been Killed Off for Real.
    • And now, after John averted the Game Over Timeline,, there are two sets of at least 12 different major characters. note  These can surely be handled as separate characters, since the differences in their respective timelines go back to three entire years.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has at least Bob Smithson, Jean Poule, Molly, Princess Voluptua, Galatea, Snookums, Hibachi, Rocko Sasquatch, Fructose Riboflavin, Agent Ben, Agent Jerry, Djali, Mr. Bystander, Dean Martin, Floyd Fitznewski, Heywood J. Lookathat, Abby Primrose, Ahem, Oogrook/Rainbow Sunshine, the Bear, the Grammar Squirrel, and the Halloween Monster. That's not counting characters who've only appeared in one story so far, like Mook, Goona, Zodboink, or Zippobic...
  • Juathuur has almost 50 characters in the part one cast page. At least 20 of them are very, very important to the plot.
  • The KAMics, although if you eliminate all the one shots & isolate characters who stick to their own series (usually) it seems a little more manageable.
  • Khatru has four main characters and twelve (and counting) minor ones.
  • Kubera has 10 main characters as defined by the author, but has about 80 recurring characters. Each of them has a distinct design and One Degree of Separation is very much in effect.
  • Lackadaisy currently features 28 characters, and that's just the ones listed on the website's biography page. There are dozens of named characters with speaking roles in the comic beside the main 28 and Tracy has hinted that there are at least a couple more major players yet to be introduced.
  • Last Res0rt has at least 20 "main" characters to keep up with (12 criminals + 4 volunteers + 4 members of the Vaeo Family), and staff and various other family members associated with them. The main justification? It's a Reality Show — which, in the tradition of most shows, has a huge cast (to start) and then settles down into more important Characters. There's also a few clans starting to emerge, which increase the numbers further. The official cast page listed 40 characters at one point, give or take whether you think Daisy is really Scout Arael or not, and it was already out of date then.
  • New characters are introduced at a positively frightening rate in Magical Misfits. To be fair, they are usually given distinctive backstories, but it does somewhat lead to a Kudzu Plot.
  • Liberal Art: Justified in that a typical liberal art school has about 400 students at any given time.
  • A Magical Roommate: Aylia is sent to college by her parents, mocked by her sister, and one roommate is replaced every semester. This doesn't account for even a quarter of the cast. Everybody in this strip has a name and personality, and blood relation with each other. Only the one in the first panel is part of the core cast.
  • The Mansion of E has 30 main and semi-main characters listed on its cast page.
  • Mountain Time is an interesting example. About half the strips don't have any recurring characters. The other half, however, draws from a cast of characters much larger than the 25 or so listed on the Characters page.
  • N Fans The Series had practically an army of characters. Yes, they were all Self Inserts, but they actually played the trope rather well since most of them weren't afraid to have some pretty bad things happen to them. Sadly, because the plot fixated on a couple, at least half the cast was Put on a Bus or removed from the comic after getting very little screentime beyond their arcs. (Team Lalala was one of the worst, having been left on the same screen for almost a year of real time.)
  • The Order of the Stick. After the inclusion of notable Azure City paladins and Greysky City thieves, the author seems a little quicker to kill off any new faces. The characters pages for the webcomic on this wiki include 13 subpages so far.
  • Our Little Adventure is getting there, with over forty characters notable enough to get an entry in the character sheet section of the website.
  • Penny and Aggie has almost 30 characters on its cast page and regularly diverts attention from the two female leads to focus on them. Aggie in particular seems to have been demoted to supporting cast in her own comic.
  • Questionable Content has a massive cast, leading to many characters ending up overlooked much of the time. There's Marten and his roommates, as well as other people in the building, the Coffee of Doom workers, Deathmole, various people at the college where Marten works, and a few robots. As of #3090 I count 87, disregarding the unnamed (including several named characters' parents) and those who appear in only one strip. A looser count gets well over a hundred.
  • Realmwalker has most of the Norse pantheon, alongside lots of monsters, villains, and creatures from folklore.
  • Red String has 8 main characters, which doesn't seem like a lot. However, there are almost thirty secondary and tertiary characters, all of whom get as much development as the author can realistically cram in. This means there are some chapters where main characters (the main main character Miharu, even) don't show up at all. Only 2 or 3 chapters so far—in 40 chapters—have included most of the main characters at once.
  • Schlock Mercenary has expanded into something of a Cast Herd over the years, and keeps getting steadily bigger. While the company grows, we mostly follow the Special Ops squad and the officers, and people die in combat. Sometimes, they also come back. Tagon, Petey, and especially Kevyn, who did so three or four times in one story arc. And sometimes they opt out (Doythaban, TT!Kevyn, Der Trihs, Shep, Nick, LOTA, a number just before the "Longshoreman" arc, a squad after "Mandatory Failure"...)
  • Sinfest: You have the original humans, the religious deities, the demons, numerous added humans (especially with the Matriarchy Arcs), characters symbolizing America and other abstracts, supernatural characters, living items, pets,... Perhaps something of every type one could imagine.
  • Sins. You've got the Seven Deadly Sins...that's not so bad. Then consider that all but two have been replaced. And some have been replaced twice. And then there's the Seven Holy Virtues, the golems, the Vices, the hosts... and Murdock.
  • Sluggy Freelance. This webcomic was started in 1997, and an old count of characters on this website puts the number at 156. A lot more have been introduced since.
  • Something*Positive The main cast isn't overly large for a webcomic, but once you get to the past main characters (Jhim, Kim, Monette) to the supporting cast (Cab, Berenger, Claire, Anna, Lisa, Celie, The Teddy-Bear Liberation Front Guy, etc), things get a little crazy. Made worse by the occasional recurrer that only appears a total of five times in six years (Davan's friend Andy), and the fact that often a year goes by between Jhim or Anna appearances.
  • Sonichu has at least 30 characters in only 10 issues.
  • Sunset Grill features an Ensemble Cast and the cast page has over 65+ characters. And nearly all of them are not background characters.
  • In Tower of God, the number of members of the protagonist's extended team alone is in the dozens as of 2020.
  • The Walkyverse: At the end of It's Walky! alone, there were 247 named or otherwise identifiable characters.
  • Wapsi Square used to have dozens of them, but now the main cast has been downsized (reducing best friends and significant others to bit parts) to just eight. And their multiple personalities and personal demons. Not bad for a comic that is mostly about Monica's bust :).
  • Wayward Sons: Over 30 characters, with more being introduced periodically.
  • The Word Weary features a cast of nine canonical main characters and many, many secondary characters who contribute to the plot.
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: The author has been so kind as to do a Where Are They Now-style recap for all of his characters. The number of characters and stories contained within this single comic is truly staggering.
  • Zoophobia: 5 months after it began and it's at 30 characters and counting. With 248098402 more expected to come.

    Web Original 
  • By the end of the first Part of Blood and the Stars, the number of named characters is already in the double digits. The number only keeps going up with each sucessive part.
  • The Colmaton Universe has this due to the growing number of characters made by the various authors that are part of the group.
  • The Gamer's Alliance has had dozens of players, each of whom has introduced a multitude of both player characters and NPCs over the course of several years.
  • B Zp B: Consider the fact that there are about 7-8 active players, and there have been plenty of other players so far. Now consider the fact that each has his own CAST of characters, complete with a Big Bad, or several Big Bads. Many of the characters are constantly interacting with each other. Otherwise, they separate into their own Cast Herds.
  • Warrior Cats RPG has had, over the course of its history, as many as 100,000 different characters.
  • We Are All Pokémon Trainers has nearly 30 players representing at least one human character, and that's without their Pokémon and other NPCs.
  • We Are Our Avatars, the longest running forum Role Playing Game, has so many characters (including one-shots, regulars, background characters, NPCs, and so on) that it could possibly rival many of the items on this page for cast size!
  • ZOOOOOmmxBIES started with more than thirty player characters. And while not many of them survived until the end, there were still lots of well characterized NPCs added.
  • Dino Attack RPG has had many, many characters. Just in the titular Dino Attack Team there are 241 characters. That's not counting the numerous villains, civilians, and official LEGO characters that appeared in the almost seven-and-a-half year story.
  • Campus Life, having been going on for around four or five years now, was bound to fall under this trope. As of adding this, there are no less than 20 main plot important characters, and who knows how many supporting characters.
  • BZPRPG: To be expected, with six years(and counting)and innumerable players.
  • Since Absit Omen's creation more than three years ago, no less than 707 characters have been created. While many are inactive, the currently active roster still includes more than a hundred at a time.
  • As expected with any semi-open RPG, Cirque des Rêves has over 100 characters at almost any given time.
  • Destroy the Godmodder: has had hundreds of summons, many of which have little tid-bits here and there, and every last one is named, and many players do not deal well with losing them. The only thing that keeps the world update from being pages in length is the fact that few entities last more than a week or two. It gets even worse when you realize that you could technically include all of the other characters from the various universes that affect what is going on if you include off-screen characters, which all in all sends the character sheet into the thousands.
  • The Massive Multi-Fandom RPG is not called "massive" for nothing. Even if you ignore all the characters who only appeared in a couple of posts, at any given time there are a lot of more major characters taking part. By Season 3 the characters needed to be split into a number of separate groups to limit the number of characters a player needs keep track of.
  • Fluidanims' Rock Hard Gladiator program is filled with all sorts of stickmen, each with (mostly) different powers. Examples include Andre, a brute with a giant hammer, Umbrella, who has a Swiss Army Weapon umbrella, Tentionmaru, whose scarf transforms into a sword, and Fry, who fights with a frying pan.
  • The SCP Foundation, with Foundation personnel and their groups/persons of interest adding along side the number of SCPs themselves, the amount of which has past 5,000.
  • Gildedguy's Slush Invaders series, hosting a vibrant cast of similarly colored rainbow stickmen.
  • Worm has an enormous cast of superheroes, supervillains, ordinary people and giant monsters. Several hundred capes are mentioned at least briefly in the story, and many of those have at least basic information about their powers or allies given. The range of powers is probably more notable than the number of characters, as the setting largely avoids having superpowers, so virtually everyone who's powers are used or mentions has a unique, unusual set of powers. Also somewhat unusual for the trope, the main story happens entirely from Taylors point of view, although various major and minor other characters get A Day in the Limelight during the numerous interludes.
    • The Sequel Series Ward just continues on, with new main character Victoria Dallon, and a whole host of returning and new characters and an ever expanding list of absurd superpowers.
  • The Chronicles of Taras, for a Web Serial Novel with seventeen episodes, sure does had tons of characters even if so many of them are dying left and right. There's the core cast of eight, Mr. Taylor the Counselor, the Guards Johnson and Brown, Najis Rakkasiak, the Big Bad, and tons of other characters referenced in the series.
  • The Whateley Universe is still growing. There are something like 15 Canon authors, writing 20 or so protagonists. Then there are all the other main characters and friends (and enemies and teachers) at Superhero School Whateley Academy. There are supposed to be nearly 600 students, plus dozens of teachers, researchers, security officers, and so on. It seems like we've met about a third of them. Maybe more. Plus the families of the main characters, an assortment of heroes and villains outside the school... Since there are now something like 150 novels, novelettes, short stories, novel chapters, and vignettes, it isn't surprising that we've met hundreds of characters. So far. One fan put together a spreadsheet: the authors may have introduced or namechecked 80% of the roughly six hundred students currently at Whateley Academy. And we got to meet every new student who started in Winter Term.
  • Every season of Survival of the Fittest has a very large cast, with over one hundred students and several terrorists on top of that. One of the test runs had 200 students. By the end of a season only one student is left, but it's still a huge cast. Version 3 itself hit the two hundred mark, and that isn't even counting those who didn't get into the game or NPC characters. V4 has 276 students total playing in the game. Add to that terrorists, teachers, family members, friends, students not in the game....
  • The Series. The has a crew of about twenty, as do the ships of many of their recurring villains and allies, and then there's all the people they might meet in this week's timeline. Usually an episode will only focus on five or six crewers and the others just get one or two lines each.
  • Tales of MU starts by introducing the two dozen girls that live on protagonist Mack's floor and goes from there.
  • Alternate History timelines can span centuries, of not a millennium or more. Hence, they also tend to have this, like Decades of Darkness, Look to the West and the Chaos Timeline.
  • The League of Intergalactic Cosmic Champions.
  • That Guy with the Glasses. It doesn't help that there's lots of Alter-Ego Acting going on. Makes writing Fan Fiction very confusing indeed.
  • The Bounty Hunter Inn topics at GameFAQs tend to have this, as except for the latest administrator everyone has at least one player character... and can introduce as much NPCs as needed. Thankfully, many of these go unheard of if their creator quits, unless they were deeply connected to the current Arc.
  • As Darwin's Soldiers is an online RP which has had eighteen writers across two forums, with no limit to the amount of characters a writer can control, this is a given.
  • Parodied in this Upright Citizen's Brigade sketch
  • The Salvation War. The number of characters you really need to keep track of is pretty reasonable, and helped by the large number of real life people, but the number of minor characters quickly goes off the charts. Not helping is that many of Hell's residents have absurdly long, complex names.
  • Trinton Chronicles has 5 main authors and 2 part-time authors; 15 main characters, 20-something secondary, and over 100 throw-away characters.
  • Fate/Nuovo Guerra is heading toward this way, what with the infinite servant, master and magus slots.
  • The Insane Quest: While the number of characters may not be as large as that or Darwin's Soldiers, it is still fairly sizable. Despite characters occasionally being Put on a Bus due to player inactivity, the core cast rarely dwindles below twenty, and nearly every seemingly minor NPC introduced by the GM is almost guaranteed to gain a more important role later on. The Character Sheet for the RP currently lists 56 characters and growing.
  • Inevitable in Chaos Fighters due to every new installment contains entirely new characters, save for a few recurring characters.
  • With each member having access to at least four characters, Marvels RPG has ended up with this.
  • The ever-growing Geodesic Cast of The Trading Post.
  • The Gungan Council has had over 8,000 members, each creating at least one character, with many forever lost due to the site's transfer to Yuku and the ezHack. But that's just the entire site's twelve year history. At any one moment, the current number of characters per faction averages at at least 25 active at the time, not including lurkers, bumping the character count at the time to around 200.
  • We're Alive: Over a dozen main cast members who are often split into multiple storylines.
  • Being a universe made by dozens of writers, and including the entire world in that setting, Metamor Keep.
  • The Tyrannosaur Chronicles had to make a People Tracking Centre for the numerous amounts of dinosaurs and humans that popped up over its existence.
  • Cerberus Daily News: Being a RP site modeled after actual internet forums will do that
  • Fan Pro adds a new batch of characters every week, with at least 1000 total having been confirmed. One of the goals of the fandom is to break the world record for the largest amount of characters in a work.
  • Furry Basketball Association is definitely this. You have at least 12 players per team. With 24 teams, that's 288 characters right there. Then you have coaches, managers, agents, retired players, notable fans, etc. etc. etc...
  • Pyrrhic has 30 students as its basis for the experiment, but also a mysterious family seeking to save them, flashbacks showing the student's families, and the members of the Sons of the Constitution. All in all, considering it's not even halfway through, there may be more coming.
  • Re Evolution has a massive meta universe, with several dozen plot-relevant NPCs in the main universe alone. This is in addition to the 20+ player characters and their families and friends.
  • Pooh's Adventures... Well, not all the time, but most of the time, they'll want to cram every. Single. Character. The end result is making the movies twice as long, with the major contributor to the length being introduction sequences and villain arrivals and a cast list that's... Alright, you just have to see how long a cast list for this.
  • The Vinesauce Tomodachi Life has had around 70 islanders overall (for the record, Tomodachi Life has a hard cap of 100 Miis at a time), including characters from other fictional works, from in-jokes, from real life, and some original characters, with all being unique in some way. It's less daunting than it sounds, however, as only about 10-15 of them are consistently involved in the many plot threads and/or have a developed personality. Also, Vinny is actively making sure that the population doesn't grow out of control with various methods, including the assimilation arc, which eliminated more than a dozen of the least-memorable islanders. By the time the original run wraps up, the population of the island is less than 50.
  • Void Domain has a primary Point-Of-View cast of about ten characters. Then there are all the background and side characters and plenty of main characters who simply do not get point-of-view segments. The cast page tends to grow every handful of chapters.
  • Critical Role, as a live streamed Dungeons and Dragons campaign. There's the main party of eight - Vax, Vex, Pike, Grog, Percy, Tiberius, Keyleth and Scanlan. Then there are the guest players - Zahra, Lyra, Kashaw, Thorbir, Lilith, Kerrek, Gern, Garthok, and Shale - who appear for anywhere from one to four episodes each. Some party members have family, like the twins' father or Keyleth's father, and both Percy and Scanlan have family they don't know about at first. There are recurring allies (Gilmore, Kima, Clarota, Garmelie, Jarett, Allura, Seeker Asum, Sovereign Uriel), and because the party played for a few years before streaming, there are some allies the viewers might not be as familiar with. There are major and minor villains and their followers (K'varn, the Briarwoods, Saundor, Kevdak, Ripley). There are deceased characters (the twins' mother, the entire De Rolo family, and Mistress Asharu). There are named shopkeepers, clerics, major religious or political figures, bureaucrats, organizations, tavern-owners, pilots and assistants who might show up again at any time (Sherrie, Captain Damon, Viktor, Tyriok, Osysa, Keeper Yennin, the members of the Clasp, Vanessa, J'Mon Sa'Ord, Kynan). There are unnamed shopkeepers and swindlers (the Vasselheim potion merchant, the fortune-teller in Ank'Harel, the "spice dealers", the hat shop owner). There are friendly boss fights (Kern, Earthbreaker Grune, Kamaljiori). There are gods and almost-gods (The Raven Queen, Sarenrae, Vecna, Orcus, Artagan). There are demons (Orthax, Hotis, Yenk). And, of course, there are dragons (Brimscythe, Rimefang, Thordak, Raishan, Umbrasyl and Vorugal). There are dozens and dozens of named characters, and players and viewers alike are baffled as to how the Dungeon Master, Matt, keeps them all straight.
  • Mattwo: Mattwo's universe is a nexus universe, so pretty much every character from every universe he feels like having in his universe lives there, though characters his writer doesn't feel comfortable writing for naturally won't get much of the spotlight.
  • The Jenkinsverse: The main "Deathworlders" plot alone has enough characters that even relying on a Rotating Protagonist system can make characters absent for long stretches. Hell, Kevin Jenkins himself was absent for five chapters in the middle, including "Warhorse" which is a Doorstopper by itself. Then there are the characters of Salvage (some of them popping over to the Deathworlders for a crossover), Humans Don't Make Good Pets...
  • Farce of the Three Kingdoms: Inevitable, given the source material. Occasionally lampshaded, as lists of characters might be compressed to the relevant ones and "forgettable guys."
  • The Dream SMP, as of May 2021, has 34 main members of the SMP, each with their own unique POV, while discounting the sheer number of side characters played by the main content creators, pets, and one-off characters unique to the spin-off Tales From the SMP.
  • In Stacy Plays' Dogcraft series, Stacy has her all the Minecraft equivalents of her and her family's real life pets (Page, Molly, Polly, Chica, Milquetoast, Pipsqueak), her six wolves, nine (other) cats, 101 dalmatians, 16 colourful poodles, and that's just scratching the surface.
  • Stampy's Lovely World features an extremely vast cast list, including Stampy himself, the old and new Helpers, all of the pets (numbering at 25 dogs, 2 cats, and a horse), antagonists like Hit The Target and Veeva Dash, fictional characters like Renna and BrickIt, friendly mobs like Fred, Hilda, and Henry...the list goes on. Justified given how long the series has been around for (it started in May 2012).
  • Pretending to Be People has multiple shadowy organizations, each with a roster of employees. Then there's the seemingly-normal citizens of Contention. Then there's the figures from Contention's founding. And then there's the characters from the side arcs, some of whom can be seen in the series itself. And every once in a while, their families appear.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Lots And Lots Of Characters


Loads of Simpsons characters

A couch gag that shows many of the popular recurring characters in the series besides the main Simpsons family.

How well does it match the trope?

4.96 (25 votes)

Example of:

Main / LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters

Media sources:

Main / LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters