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Men of Sherwood

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Meet the (Green Shirt!) Trope Namers.note 

This is the competent converse of the Red Shirt Army.

They are not the protagonists, but just their support (or cavalry). We probably won't get to know many of them well, though those we do meet we'll probably know better than a Mauve Shirt. As far as Character Focus goes, they could be Cannon Fodder...

...but they are not. Most of them still have no names given and will dress alike, but whereas the Red Shirt Army is not guaranteed to, these guys will live. Furthermore, they are competent at fighting their enemies, especially those who can kill just by one looking at them funny; they are truly helpful in a tactical situation (or "hot zone"). Whether this help is acknowledged depends on the writer.

They can hit their opponent most of the time, unlike their opponents who graduated at the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. Regardless of how many hits they take, they can go head-to-head with the enemy without being wiped out in seconds, and often without losing any men at all.


The key difference between these guys and a Badass Army is that they are not technically an army. Usually they'll be a relatively small and elite fighting force, and they're more likely to answer to a single individual or be devoted to a specific cause. Contrast with Badass Crew, which will also encompass a small team, but is made up of distinct characters and more likely to be the focus of any given story.

Named for Robin Hood's army of outlaws in the classic film The Adventures of Robin Hood (known as the "Merry Men" in folklore). Not to be confused with Brad Sherwood or Sherwood.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Guilty Crown, the United Nations task force sent to stop the GHQ in the final two episodes. At first they seem like a Redshirt Army when a powerful Void Genome destroys almost 90% of their fleet. But then the fleet's commander orders the remnants of his men to keep pushing forward, and they do, meaning they end up attacking the enemy base at the same time Funeral Parlor's offensive is occurring. The UN forces face off against Arisa, one of the GHQ's Void users who has a nigh-invulnerable shield, and severely injure her when Shu purges the Apocalypse Virus from the world. They also kill Rowan, though that was more a Kick the Dog moment.
  • The Osaka based forces in Kill la Kill. When Honnouji Academy launches their three pronged attack on the various schools, they easily cut through most of the resistance, until they get to Osaka and tangle with Takarada, a man who can channel Success Through Insanity to rival the main characters. From the school students firing guns that shoot money, to Takarada himself paying the various merchants to bust out machine guns and rocket launchers, Sanageyama soon finds his forces on the retreat, and even his Elite Mooks are beaten back. Eventually Satsuki herself has to enter the battlefield to get them all to back down.
  • Anonymous Bureau Mages in Lyrical Nanoha series, they are good at doing their job as inter-dimensional magic police, and could hold of against hordes of enemy Mooks thrown at them, just not good enough to face the main villains that even the Protagonists find hard to handle with.
  • The GM in Mobile Suit Gundam is the mass-produced version of the Gundam. They're completely expendable, but they hand out as much punishment as they take. While the central protagonists are equipped with the Super Prototype, it's the GMs in the background who won the war. Such as the Londo Bell, an army of aces.
    • Continuing the tradition are their Expy Strike Daggers from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, mopping the floor with enemy forces while being introduced as cheap incomplete knockoffs. Until they get Gungnir dropped on them, that is.
    • There is another memorable instance in Gundam Seed: in the final episode, Athrun and Cagalli are fighting their way through Jachin Due to try to get to Athrun's Archnemesis Dad Patrick. They are accompanied by a third mobile suit pilot who is fighting just as hard as they are with a submachinegun in one hand and throwing grenades with the other. This fellow does not have any dialogue and wears a polarized helmet so we don't even see his face, but what's notable is that he survives the entire assault (in this series, that's really saying something)! While Patrick dies in his son's arms, this nameless soldier stoically stands next to him watching the whole thing unfold, and he is also seen evacuating with Athrun and Cagalli when the fortress begins to self-destruct.
  • Rebuild World: Sheryl's gang Took a Level in Badass from a helpless Street Urchin band into this, after the Misfit Mobilization Moment of their relic shop being attacked. This is thanks to Akira’s Virtual Training Simulation bouts with them as well as The Team Benefactor Inabe securing them advanced equipment as part of a company's trials for Flawed Prototype gear, being led in the field by the gang's Number Two Erio.
  • The army in the Raijuta arc of Rurouni Kenshin. When the government hears of Raijuta's amassed forces, they send the military to quell the rebellion. At first, they seem like a Red Shirt Army as their initial attack is repelled and they sustain heavy losses, but when the next episode premiers their counter attack is very successful and it's clear the army's heavy reliance on western guns puts them at an advantage over the samurai. They even manage to kill one of Raijuta's lieutenants, Sutapzaimo, before Kenshin steps in to stop the fighting.
  • In Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online, the four contracted mercenaries from Pitohui & M's squad in the second Squad Jam tournament prove to be very competent and skilled players in their own right. Despite all of them wearing generic camouflage, thick ballistic helmets with polarized visors, and no namesnote , all of them end up proving their worth in SJ2, with even three of them making a Heroic Sacrifice for Pito & M near the end.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • The Gotham cops zigzag between this trope, a Red Shirt Army and Dirty Cops, largely Depending on the Writer. Still, they survive far more often than not, and there are lots of minor, honest, competent cops who appear for pretty long runs.
    • The Dark Knight Returns: The Sons of Batman Vigilante Militia made up of ex-gang members takes a while to become non-violent enough for Batman to trust them, but they help break up a riot after a blackout, and help stock his new Bat-cave after he fakes his death at the end.
  • Clone Wars Adventures: The local settler militia in "The Order of The Outcasts" start out as antagonists but quickly form an Enemy Mine alliance with Joc Sah during Order 66 and prove just as capable of killing clone troopers as Joc does.
  • Crossed: It is very rare to play this straight from start to finish, which makes the few times it occurs more notable.
    • In The Thin Red Line, the soldiers and cops at the Prime Minister's bunker do an effective job of containing any outbreak inside the bunker (minus stuff outside of their control) and killing anyone who attacks from outside.
    • In the third issue of the untitled Gavin Land arc, Wentz has an army of volunteers helping evacuate women and children to an offshore island by boat. They save lots of people that way and are all last seen alive (save for the one guy who Land has a personal grudge against and won't let walk away).
    • Later in the Gavin Land arc, the San Diego Naval Base Marines do a good job conducting a Citywide Evacuation for several issues, but none of them are named. Very few of them are allowed on the ships evacuating people, but they take this stoically. As the Crossed attack the docks, they depart the story in a Bolivian Army Ending fashion, but that's still better than most characters get.
  • Surprisingly few S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the Marvel Universe are Red Shirts.
  • The Green Lantern Corps has many well-developed, long-appearing minor members.
  • Checkmate in The DCU has some long-lived government special troops.
  • The Punisher MAX: In the Man of Stone arc, Yorkie Mitchell's four SAS subordinates are (unhappily and under orders) acting as bodyguards for some unsavory ex-terrorists who are being targeted by some far more dangerous people. Two of the four aren't even named. When they first show up, they capture tough-as-nails CIA agent Kathryn O'Brien and shoot up some Russian special forces Mooks. They later hang around, observing their boss's unsanctioned interactions with Frank and Kathryn without trying to intervene. The only reason their bodyguard charges later end up dead is because Yorkie withdraws the bodyguards due to what big scumbags the men are.
  • Punisher: The Platoon: Less than a third of Castle's subordinates in the eponymous platoon get names and dialogue, but all of them do pretty well in fights against the North Vietnamese Army and none of them die while serving under him, although some get a Deadly Distant Finale fate.
  • Sin City: The Girls of Old Town is the only large force of tough combatants that isn't working against the heroes (except briefly, due to a misunderstanding when Marv is framed for Kevin's crimes). None of them are ever killed except when they're caught alone, and the unnamed background members help wipe out a lot of Mooks in The Big Fat Kill.

  • In The Night Unfurls, Sir Kyril Sutherland's company counts as this, along with several named supporting characters. They include Bergen, Indriga, Alaric, Lucius, Roland, and many more. Compared to the hunters, these men and women neither stand out in any way, nor go through some sort of major character arc. Nevertheless, their competence and discipline prove to be vital for ending any battle as swift as possible. Every soldier has went through a rigorous training regiment, have both studied and applied various strategies and tactics, and are fully equipped with everything they need (i.e. adequate food, weapons, etc.) in order to fulfil their role and survive. No wonder they do their job well.
  • The Victors Project:
    • The large interchangeable mass of Anasazi and Settler rebels of District 10 don't get a Flawless Victory against the Capitol like District 3 does, but after a string of retaliatory executions, they lure the peacekeepers into a cunning trap and then take them out with low casualties, while most of the other districts experience major losses of life.
    • During the dangerous mission to rescue a kidnapped Katniss from her well-armed captors, the remaining victors and other established characters are accompanied by thirty-one soldiers who are only introduced right before that point. These soldiers are a mixture of District 13 soldiers and former Career cadets seeking a new purpose, with only one of the thirty-one being named. More than 4/5ths of the soldiers survive the rescue mission, and they provide some vital (although mostly offscreen) help to the main characters.

    Films — Animation 
  • *Batman Unlimited: Mechs Vs. Mutants: The oil drillers in the second scene seem like the kinds of generic monster attack victims who always get killed (or beaten up and chased away in PG films like this one) without too much trouble. Then they get out a laser drill and easily defeat Mr. Freeze’s monster.
  • Epic: The minor Leafmen archers are outclassed by the Big Bad, but are several degrees tougher than his Mooks even when they're badly outnumbered.
  • Leroy & Stitch: Stitch's 625 fellow genetic experiments all do a good job in the final battle against Leroy despite their limited experience working together. They probably would have been overwhelmed in a Zerg Rush eventually if not for the main characters, but it would have been a close fight.
  • The lionesses of Pride Rock in The Lion King who fight the hyenas while Simba is fighting Scar.
  • Curiously, at the beginning of the Disney retelling of the original men of sherwood story, Robin only has one full-time helper but the soldiers of the Sheriff of Nottingham prove to be an evil example. One of them even manages to get an arrow through ol' Rob's hat ("they're getting better, you know")!
  • Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy?: The city of Egypt-obsessed luddites who Shaggy and Scooby encounter later get recruited to pose as a real Egyptian army (and then fight like one) to counter the army of undead mummies. The mummies themselves also surprisingly qualify, as they're a bunch of archaeologists being led by Velma who are conducting a heroic "Scooby-Doo" Hoax to scare off or fight off hostile tomb robbers. There's more fighting than in most Scooby-Doo movies, but like in most Scooby-Doo movies, no one dies.
  • Scooby-Doo! Spooky Games: The Olympic security guards remain on keen alert for the monster attacks, try to taser Fortius, and then help tackle him before he can escape after the gang defeats him.
  • Superman vs. the Elite: Superman's detachment of robots at the Fortress of Solitude handily yank civilians out of harm's way and take custody of the defeated members of the Elite in the finale battle without any trouble when Superman couldn't have done all of that himself.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 3:10 to Yuma (1957): The local posse members who help arrest Wade and set up a Decoy Convoy to divert his gang survive the movie, as do the men hired to guard a hotel room in another town, closer to the eponymous train, although the latter group decide to flee rather than do their jobs. note 
  • 3 Ninjas: Many minor reservation residents play minor roles in a couple of fight scenes (the pow-wow and the road ambush) and help the boys deal with Zerg Rush numbers of Mooks.
  • 300: The Arcadian army receives limited screen time, only their leader is named, and the members have far less military skills and training than the Spartans. However, they do their part in defending the pass for several days and barely any of them die onscreen before they ultimately retreat.
    • 300: Rise of an Empire: The Athenians are great seafaring warriors who pick up the war where the 300 Spartans left off and hundreds of them survive the conflict, even though fewer of them are named and fleshed out than Leonidas's Spartans.
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood is the Trope Namer for a reason: The Merry Men not only competently carry out the attack on Sir Guy's treasure caravan, but they also execute Robin's rescue from hanging even without his leadership.
  • An American Werewolf in London:
    • The crowd of surly, unnamed pub dwellers venture out to kill the first werewolf and do so quickly and with no trouble, albeit too late to stop him from killing one of the main characters and infecting the other.
    • The unarmed Scotland Yard officers manage to trap and contain the werewolf for a while and later kill him after getting guns.
  • Andersonville: Limber Jim's Vigilante Militia against the POW camp's gangs does contain the main characters, but they don't take an active role in it for a while and there are dozens of other prisoners involved. Once Jim's followers finally take up arms against Collins and his raiders, they handily crush them.
  • Brazil: The resistance fighters who help Tuttle rescue an imprisoned Sam are a bunch of interchangeable masked men. Nonetheless, they are formidable gunmen who win against overwhelming odds and a few of the minor members successfully escape. Of course, the whole rescue turns out to be All Just a Dream.
  • The Car: Zigzagged with the dozen or so local deputies. Several of them are killed without much trouble during one encounter with the eponymous villain, but the rest play a successful role in helping to trap and destroy the car in the climax.
  • Cargo (2013): Besides Thoomi's mom, in the 2017 remake, the indigenous Australian hunters don't get much focus or characterization, but they kill zombies quickly and efficiently in every fighting scene they have. Other members of their community are also seen guarding their sanctuary and have apparently kept it safe.
  • Chisum: Chisum's ranch hands fare surprisingly well against the Mooks in a couple of shootouts, given their status as fictional characters with little dialogue in a movie about one of the Wild West's most infamous range wars.
  • Golden Swallow's team of female warriors in Come Drink With Me shows up in the finale to back her up against the bandit army, and proves to be far more competent than their male counterparts, the Imperial redshirts, where they slaughters a massive chunk from the villains while suffering relatively minor casualties.
  • The scores of chimpanzees and orangutans who rally around Caesar in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and its sequel Battle for the Planet of the Apes are mostly unnamed and interchangeable, but they deliver Curb Stomp Battles against the humans and mutants without taking any casualties.
  • The Court Jester: The Black Fox's guerrillas (who are Expys of Robin Hood and his Merry Men) only appear at the beginning and the end of the film, but they are an effective and successful band of heroes (particularly their new recruits from the carnival) who don't take any onscreen losses.
  • Dances with Wolves: The men and boys of the Native American tribe prove to be a brave and well-coordinated fighting force and only lose one person in the two battles they engage in.
  • The Gotham SWAT Team in The Dark Knight, once they see through the Disguised Hostage Gambit, take down the Joker's minions with ease.
  • The Darkest Hour: The Russian cops with jury-rigged equipment do an impressive job of fighting back against the aliens and survive in a movie where Anyone Can Die.
  • The Dead: Only three of the soldiers and deserters from the unnamed African country (implied to be Ghana) the protagonist is stranded in get much dialogue or screen time, but almost every soldier who appears is evacuating civilians to defended areas, defending their homes, or killing zombies, and doing so effectively. Any serious failures they do experience are only because there are more zombies than the soldiers have bullets.
  • The Deadly Duo have the titular duo being supported by a legion of less than a dozen trainee warriors, all of them expert fighters who slices up a huge chunk of the enemies' numbers before getting killed.

  • The Death of Stalin: General Zhukov and his soldiers do almost all of the work in the coup against Hate Sink Beria, while Krushchev and the other politicians merely stand poised to conduct a show trial and then step into Beria's shoes. Zhukov and his men succeed almost effortlessly.
  • Dick Tracy: The city's many unnamed uniformed cops are alert, well-armed professionals. Some of them get ambushed and killed when they're alone a few times, but in force, they're capable of conducting daring raids and help gun down several well-armed elite hitmen in the climax without any trouble.
  • The Eagle Has Landed: Initially subverted with the American soldiers when their commanding officer displays a sense of Hollywood Tactics. However, once the idiot gets himself killed, his second in command rallies the survivors in an effective way against the Elites Are More Glamorous Forced into Evil German paratroopers.
  • The Black Robes in the big fight scene in Enter the Dragon.
  • The SWAT Team from John Woo's Hard Boiled during the hospital shootout definitely qualify.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): The Nova Corps Space Police and Yondu's Space Pirates fight a lot of villains effectively in the climax, with fewer losses than the average fan would expect.
  • Hocus Pocus: At the beginning of the film, Mr. Binx, his wife, Thackery's best friend and a bunch of Living Prop Puritan townsfolk march on the home of three immensely powerful and murderous witches...and capture and execute them without any apparent difficulty.
  • Hook: The Lost Boys have much greater numbers and combat skills than in past versions and handily help win the final battle, although their new leader dies fighting Hook.
  • Ice Spiders: The soldiers take a backseat to the main protagonists, but they respond to the breakout at the lab, kill the spiders, and evacuate any nearby civilians they can in an impressive and effective way.
  • The British colonial soldiers in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. When they finally show up, that is. They kill several Mooks without losing anyone and only their leader gets named and listed in the credits.
  • Most allied armies in the James Bond movies. They always keep the mooks busy while Bond goes after the Big Bad, and they always end up in possession of the field. Examples include:
  • Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday: In the opening scene, an FBI team lure undead Serial Killer Jason Voorhes (who has killed almost every authority figure to meet him up until that point) into a trap and blow him apart. His powers let him come back, but those agents avoid encountering him again and survive.
  • Jeepers Creepers: The cops arm themselves against the Creepeer to try and kill, capture, or drive off the mysterious attacker. While they fail, largely due to being too shocked by the sight of the monster to shoot in time, a large number of them survive.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Captain Nemo's submarine crewmen don't accompany the eponymous Badass Crew during the big battle scenes but are exposed to a lot of danger (like the submarine nearly sinking) and handle themselves effectively and with few to no casualties (minus a guy The Mole shoots after revealing his true colors).
  • The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires: The local peasants constantly put up a valiant fight against vampiric raiders but lack the skill to be anything more than additional victims. During the climax, they're being backed up by Professor Van Helsing and a group of martial arts trained siblings and prove much more effective, helping to kill one of the eponymous vampiric overlords.
  • Living Dead Series
    • Night of the Living Dead (1968): The heroes turn on the TV and watch a redneck posse shooting their way through zombies to clear the area for survivors. The posse eventually reaches the house, no worse for the wear, and kills all of the zombies surrounding the house. Unfortunately, they also mistake the last survivor for a zombie and shoot him too.
    • Dawn of the Dead (1978): The heroes' helicopter passes over a large crowd of national guardsmen and small-town citizens who, rather than being decimated by the zombies, are calmly sitting around, having cookouts, and efficiently shooting the undead down as soon as they show up .
    • Land of the Dead: Riley’s Disaster Scavengers are shown easily fighting their way through zombies in the opening scene. Unfortunately, most of the ones who show up after that scene decide to extort the Citadel City rather than keep protecting it.
    • Diary of the Dead: The military as a whole doesn't do well, but one video the protagonists watch online shows a group of men in riot gear efficiently, albeit ruthlessly, moving from house to house and clearing out the undead. The one man they lose doesn’t go down easily.
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior: The survivors at the oil refinery spend the film fighting against a Wasteland Warlord and his army but, after the first few scenes, they only lose a few people and those people are mainly leaders rather than the soldiers who man the defenses throughout the film.
  • The Magnificent Seven (1960): The villagers need to hire the eponymous gunmen to have a chance against the bandits, but they're willing to help out in the climax and handle themselves well.
  • Master and Commander: The marines and sailors aboard the ship all make up a cohesive and efficient unit that carry out their captain's orders in an impressive way.
  • Matewan: In the climax, the miners, including lots of extras, nearly wipe out the (mostly) experienced Baldwin-Felts strikebreaker, mainly due to having better cover and being ready for a potential fight. They win very decisively, but, as a Curb Stomp Cushion, four miners are killed or wounded due, three due to shooting without taking proper cover, and union organizer Joe and the mayor are also fatally shot in the crossfire.
  • The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns: The Medaji guard the eponymous villain's tomb to keep him from being awakened and to fight him if he does return. Their rank-and-file members are overshadowed by their leader's skills but are quite competent, especially when they're fighting on the same side as the main cast.
  • Near Dark: The group of police officers at the motel provide a Hero Antagonist example (they're trying to catch or kill a group of dangerous murderers, it's just that the protagonist and his love interest happen to be accompanying the group). Only one of the cops is killed, despite how heavily armed the vampires are, and his colleagues do shoot a couple of the vampires (while only aiming to wound when an unnamed Caleb is running for a getaway vehicle) before the group escapes, although this doesn't accomplish much due to regular bullets not being a vampire weakness.
  • The Negotiator: The snipers and breaching team who remain on standby during the negotiations are minor characters who show a lot of skill and attention to their job and help keep the situation from devolving. Some of them are Dirty Cops, though.
  • Never Cry Werewolf: In most movies, the crowd of customers in Redd's gun store who join him in trying to kill the undead hellhound would end up as monster chow, but here, they manage to distract the hellhound without being killed by it until Loren uses her knowledge to kill it.
  • The Newton Boys:
    • The Canadian bank messengers whom the brothers ambush during a money drop put up a fierce fight and almost capture the brothers and recover the money before being non-fatally injured.
    • The local cops are surprisingly tough and competent, and one of them keeps shooting after the gang even after being wounded twice.* Next of Kin: Numerous Gates uncles, cousins, and friends show up in the final act to help fight the mobsters. They help Truman take out a mob of thugs who outnumber him, and all survive the movie.
  • The Europol commandos in Ninja Assassin. They don't seem it the first time they had to fight the ninjas, but when they got their act together and came prepared, things went their way.
  • The second One-Armed Swordsman movie have the titular hero leading his own band of martial arts protégé bent on avenging the deaths of their schools, and can put up a serious fight killing large quantities of mooks besides helping the hero in fighting named major villains.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Jack's pirate crew is largely made up of silent, unnamed characters who are outclassed by the immortal villains and are reluctant to push their luck. However, they do a good job of crewing the ship, only lose one man to the villains, and help rescue Jack at the end in a Changed My Mind, Kid fashion. Averted in the sequel though, where most of those same characters end up dead in a Red Shirt Army fashion, as do the men Jack hires to replace them.
  • The Postman:
    • The Restored Postal Service, despite being mostly manned by adolescent teens and (very) young adults, works as an effective and efficient mail delivery, completely outside Shakespeare's influence (or control, for that matter) despite how dangerous the roads are, although many of them are tragically ambushed and killed.
    • Most factions who help the Postman take heavy losses, but the people of Bridge City field a fighting force that force a standoff with the Holnist soldiers, leading to a Let's You and Him Fight conclusion.
  • Robin Hood's Merry Men in The Prince of Thieves. Only Little John and Will Scarlet are named, but this large band of outlaws are essentially a commando force. They are able to storm a castle, and silently take out all of the soldiers guarding the village and size control without the Normans noticing until one of the slain guards falls of the roof, by which time it is too late.
  • Another Hong Kong Heroic Bloodshed flick, Return Engagement has the hero Lung Ho-tin's backup, a small team of punks led by Lung's Hypercompetent Sidekick Wah who backs up the hero in the final shootout, and did an amazing job killing dozens and dozens of enemy mooks without suffering casualties.
  • Rio Lobo: Cardona has about thirty fellow Confederate guerrilla train robbers, although only Tuscarora and Bide get much dialogue or characterization, all of them are tough and resourceful men who survive the movie. Interestingly, they start out as the antagonists of the movie, but after the end of the war in the first quarter of the movie, they become friendlier to The Hero. Many of them show up to help right before the final shootout when the heroes initially seem badly outnumbered.
  • Robocop 3: The army of cops and rebels resisting the villains at the end take a few losses to a tank before Robocop blows it up, but mostly come out intact.
  • The Rocketeer: The FBI agents aren't the best investigators, but the climax shows that they're worth a lot in a Tommy gun fight, especially when they bring more men for backup and team up with some competent gangsters who don't like working for Nazis.
  • The Running Man:
    • Most of the convicts who aid Richards in shooting his way out of the government labor camp at the beginning escape and are never shown being killed or recaptured. The unnamed, uncredited ones actually have a higher survival rate than the Mauve Shirt characters.
    • In the final scenes, Mic and his armed rebels flawlessly take over the broadcast booth and expose the government's lies with almost no trouble.
  • Snatch.: The other male Travellers in Mickey's clan are a rowdy bunch of interchangeable petty crooks who are nominally allied with the protagonists and are subjected to Shame If Something Happened threats by the villainous Brick Top. Then they ambush and gun down Brick Top and all his goons.
  • The seven dwarfs in Snow White and the Huntsman, who sneak into the castle through the sewers and open up the gates from the inside without getting caught.
  • Stake Land: The volunteers guarding Strivington and the first lock-down town are all unnamed (save for their leaders) but do effective jobs of keeping themselves and their citizens safe from vampires, even if most of their efforts are offscreen.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Empire Strikes Back: The Cloud City guards are silent and unnamed characters, are armed less well than the stormtroopers and rebels, and work for a (at that point) morally dubious character. However, they take several Imperials prisoner without much trouble and help the heroes escape.
    • Return of the Jedi: Dozens of unnamed, barely appearing members of the Ewok tribe are primarily responsible for winning the surface portion of the Battle of Endor and only take one or two onscreen casualties.
  • The Stuff: The Right-Wing Militia Fanatic group recruited to hijack a TV studio and expose the sinister nature of the eponymous substance do their job successfully and without being killed.
  • Toy Soldiers: Barely any of the commandos who end the hostage situation at the boarding school and rescue the kids are named or get characterization, but they are responsible for every fatality the villains suffer, including the Big Bad, and only lose a few of their own people. Throughout this, the main characters (the hostages) settle for overpowering a few guards, disarming a booby trap, and taking cover.
  • If the NEST Team from the Transformers films are the resident Badass Army, the conventional armed forces in the background are the Men of Sherwood. They take heavy casualties but ultimately are vital to defeating the Decepticons.
  • The Untouchables: The Chicago cops outside of the main quartet are unreliable due to widespread corruption, but the Mounties provide a lot of tactical assistance in ambushing over a dozen bootleggers at the Canadian border and kill many of them without losing anyone.
  • Vigilante: Nick and the other members of his vigilante group (only two of whom help him in many attacks on criminals) have less characterization and more moral ambiguity than the protagonist who ends up working with them, but all of them survive, although one is injured.
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: The submarine crew is portrayed as a highly efficient group of men on a dangerous, world-saving mission despite many harrowing human and environmental obstacles. Interestingly, many of them distrust their boss and his vision, although the one outright saboteur isn't a crew member. Hardly any of them die, although several do decide to Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.
  • War of the Worlds (2005): The U.S. military only appears in a few scenes, but when they do, they're brave and effective without getting wiped out. This is most notable in the final scene, when several soldiers on foot bring down a tripod using missiles.
  • Warm Bodies: The Citadel City's soldiers are surprisingly competent and long-lived, with the exception of most of Julie's fellow salvagers. Only a few soldiers die in the climax, and most live to join forces with the zombies who've regained their humanity and wipe out the Always Chaotic Evil Bonies.
  • Went the Day Well?: The escaped villagers who arm themselves and the arriving soldiers from the next town all take out large numbers of Nazi paratroopers without getting into much trouble or taking many casualties.
  • We're No Angels (1989): The local sheriff's department and border guard corner and wound Bobby (who easily shot through a bunch of prison guards in an earlier scene) and finish him off with some help from the warden in a later scene after he escapes, and only one deputy is wounded in the process.
  • Willow:
    • Vohnkar and his fellow village warriors slay a Death Dog that's much bigger than them and is menacing their village and then provide The Hero and the Living MacGuffin with an escort for a while before going home.
    • The Galladoorn army starts out as a Red Shirt Army and is slaughtered offscreen, but in the final act, the few dozen survivors and lots of village volunteers prove to be an effective fighting force with a good life expectancy.
  • Zombieland: Double Tap: The hippie residents of Babylon are pacifistic and Too Dumb to Live for the most part, but they perform their limited role in the climax (forming a corridor with shields to herd the charging zombies to the edge or a roof where they'll fall to their deaths) surprisingly well and without losing anyone.

  • Given that they were only a three-man team, Able Team would often hook up with local tribal militia or guerilla units (as long as they weren't Dirty Communists) whenever a Storming the Castle scene was required.
  • Black Tide Rising: In the short story "Maligator County", several of the drivers during the Construction Vehicle Rampage against the zombies don't appear until right before the battle. Additionally, most of the gunmen and archers providing covering fire from the backs of the vehicles. Only one man dies, in exchange for 7,000 dead zombies.
  • Bob Lee Swagger:
    • The Japanese soldiers in The 47th Samurai do an effective job helping in Storming the Castle in the climax and only suffer a couple of mild injuries.
    • In Sniper's Honor, Von Drehle and his small paratrooper unit expertly accomplish every job that they're forced to handle for the Nazis but resist them in several small ways before finally turning on the regime and carrying out a Curb-Stomp Battle against the SS without losing a soldier.
  • Bret King Mysteries: Sheriff Buxton, the other local cops, and volunteers who help them, like Mr. King and Dan Evans, don't get the Adults Are Useless treatment they would in many teen mystery stories. In the first and third books, they use tactics and gunplay (no one is ever killed, only wounded) to capture many of the villains themselves.
  • Ciaphas Cain: It varies from book to book. Sometimes, almost all of Cain's escort troops and other companions get killed, but a lot of the time minor characters fare pretty well, like the militia soldiers, prison camp escapees and tank crew stragglers in Death or Glory; members of the Valhalla 597th after their first two appearances; and the commissar cadets in Cain's Last Stand.
  • Dirk Pitt Adventures: Some books have Dirk and his supporting cast (or Kurt Austin and his supporting cast) save the day single-handed, but often, they need government forces or public-minded citizens to provide backup to Hold the Line (if they're being attacked on friendly ground), raid the villain's headquarters, or stop some doomsday plot in the climax. Notable examples include NATO troops in Sahara, Navy SEALs, Marines, and Delta Force operators in Atlantis Found, Coast Guardsmen in Valhalla Rising, Civil War re-enactors in Deep Six (1984), local Native Americans in Inca Gold, CIA agents in Cyclops, Navy SEALs in Black Wind, and Cargo Cult members in The Storm. Sometimes the Men of Sherwood don't take a single casualty, like in Inca Gold, Deep Six, and Black Wind, sometimes they take some casualties but aren't deterred by them, like in Atlantis Found, and on rare occasions they're nearly wiped out, like in Cyclops, but when they show up, they always help save the day when the heroes wouldn't be able to do everything alone.
  • The City Watch in Discworld. They're no match for a proper army, as we see in Jingo, but they're extremely capable at dealing with ordinary criminals and lackeys when the heroes don't have the time.
  • Down To A Sunless Sea: Only a few of the SAS soldiers are named, but their Elites Are More Glamorous skills are on full display when the one fight they get into is a handy Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Dune: The Fremen. Even though Paul Muad'ib Atreides is a fierce fighter in his own right, he doesn't win the throne through a series of duels. He wins it by having a huge army of highly-skilled, fanatical, and utterly faceless troops. Who won against another huge army of highly-skilled, fanatical and utterly faceless troops that were until then feared by everyone in the whole galaxy. Granted, the Sardaukar by the time of the first Dune book were arguably at their weakest due to Shaddam IV's rule and general arrogance/decadence, though they were still formidable. They're far more competent in the prequel books and Farad'n's Sardaukar in the sequels are as well (though we never really see them in action). Interestingly, the Dune Encyclopedia provides background material that states Fremen who traveled off-world were stricken by disease and failed to adapt to humid environments.
  • ''Emberverse: The Corvalis militia, the Dünedain Rangers (who model themselves after the works of J. R. R. Tolkien), and the Morrowland survivors (grown up Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) are all heroic secondary or tertiary factions who handle themselves just as well as the main ones do.
  • The Executioner: In Battle Mask, several small-town policemen are caught completely off-guard by a shootout triggered by the protagonist, but still manage to kill or capture most of the mobsters under risky circumstances without being decimated.
  • Ex-Heroes:
    • The Disaster Scavengers are Badass Normals who provide regular support to the superheroes. They are treated as trusted, essential allies, many of them are named, and they aren't treated as disposable Red Shirts or too Overshadowed by Awesome. The wall guards are less prominent, but no less effective.
    • The Unbreakables who survive Ex-Patriots are mostly minor characters, but they have amazing combat skills, bolster the Los Angeles survivors' defenses, and only suffer one or two fatalities over the next three books.
  • From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back: Theta Squadron from "Amara Kel's Rules for TIE Pilot Survival (Probably)" is a Punch-Clock Villain example. It has many rookie pilots (mostly conscripts) in a profession with a high casualty rate while chasing the protagonists, but all of them survive the chase through the asteroid belt.
  • Halo: The Cole Protocol: The "Helljumpers" special forces troops have a higher survival rate than in the games and other books and provide effective support for Keyes and the Spartans.
  • Honor Harrington: In normal battles, War Is Hell and Anyone Can Die, but the ragtag army of prisoners Honor recruits for the Great Escape in Echoes of Honor do their job amazingly well and survive.
  • The Host (2008): Several of the thirty-five humans in Jeb's compound venture aboveground to spy on the alien race that conquered Earth and scavenge supplies or act as guards at the cavern's entrance. Several of them are pretty minor characters and/or behave hostilely to the main character, but only one of them dies in the book and only two die in the movie (under different circumstances).
  • The Last Days of Krypton: The Argo City guards. Not a a single one of them is named, but they do a good job of reacting to threats and helping Zor-El prepare the city's defense. They also form the core of the La Résistance army against General Zod and defeat his better-armed and more experienced army without War Is Hell levels of bloodshed. While they seem Doomed by Canon to casual Superman fans like in the comics, they survive the destruction of Krypton due to the force field surrounding Argo City.
  • The Grey Company in The Lord of the Rings is just about thirty Dunedain (plus two elves who wanted to kick some Orc ass). And kick ass they do.
    • The Riders of Rohan are almost all unnamed except for their leader, but they are a bold and heroic military force that acts as The Cavalry more than once.
  • The Lost Fleet: Boarding operations and land battles that require Geary to deploy the Alliance Marines almost invariably end in success, with most to all of the Marines making it out alive.
  • Robert R. McCammon
    • Stinger: Aside from a few prominent members, the delinquents who make up the Renegades and Rattlers are largely interchangeable besides a few prominent members and seem like they'll be Canon Fodder Asshole Victims. However, the Enemy Mine scenario that follows an enemy attack sees them working together against the eponymous antagonist and almost all of them live.
    • Swan Song: Downplayed with the soldiers and volunteers at Homewood. They're an efficient group of survivors and are the only big faction that (regardless of moral alignment) doesn't take heavy losses, but they're also never seen fighting against human enemies. However, they do skillfully fight off a pack of wolves attacking Sister, Paul, and their companions, when wolves in other scenes seem capable of doing damage to large bodies of men.
    • They Thirst: In the final act, Marines do a good job of evacuating the remaining people of Los Angeles and there's no indication that any of them die in the process. Most of them serendipitously avoid the vampires rather than fighting them, but a chaplain at the refugee camp mentions that several Marines have co
  • Literature/Parker}}: The Right-Wing Militia Fanatic group in Flashfire are an odd combination of Accidental Hero and Villain of Another Story. They're a pretty vile bunch, but when they stumble across two hitmen trying to murder a wounded and defenseless Parker, they gun down the hitmen and save Parker's life, displaying perfect marksmanship and discipline as they form a firing line and have the same number of men shoot at each hitman (none of the militiamen miss) without flinching, even as the hitmen shoot back and kill two militiamen.
  • The Passage:
    • The Watch defends the First Colony from vampires and, while it is a Dwindling Party, the minor members are almost all skilled and developed characters who kill vampires with and without the main cast's help, help prevent Torches and Pitchforks mobs, and only keep dying because of the dissent Babcock is sowing within the community with his psychic powers.
    • The Army of Texas is the only survivor faction that is gaining ground against the virals instead of losing it, the heroes only encounter them late in the story, and they have a higher survival rate than The Watch.
  • Peter and the Starcatchers
    • In the first book, Captain Scott and the crew of the Wasp are brave, intelligent, and skilled in fighting the pirates. They probably could have inflicted serious damage if Scott hadn't surrendered early to avoid a massacre.
    • Fighting Prawn and his Mollusk Tribe are stealthy, strong, cunning fighters who are only ever at a disadvantage due to superior numbers or I Have Your Wife hostage situations. Even when they're taken prisoner in The Secret of Rundoon, they launch an effective Slave Revolt.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
    • The half-blood army of campers that Percy raises in the books, who successfully hold the island of Manhattan against a legion of monsters.
    • And the Twelfth Legion of New Rome in the sequel series, which is more militarized and has an even higher survival rate.
  • The Pillars of Reality: Mari's allies are competent, but are more of Badass Army due to their size and eventual military nature. Multiple pirate groups in the Empress of the Endless Sea prequel trilogy play this straighter, though.
    • The other other members of Jules's pirate crew are accomplished fighters who have a good survival rate.
    • In The Fate of the Free Lands, the prisoners Jules liberates and works alongside of while she's separated from her crew prove to be reliable, resourceful, and lucky enough to avoid dying at the hands of multiple threats. M* The Rangers of Ranger's Apprentice are this. Very few of them get killed in battle (that we see or hear of, anyway), and most of them are the Hero of Another Story. When they work together, such as in The Battle of Hackham Heath, they are truly formidable.
  • Rats Bat And Vats: Van Klomp and his parachute troops (barely any of whom are named) are described as being well-trained but untested soldiers, and there is a lot of trepidation about how successful they'll be in their first battle. They prove to be highly effective troops who succeed at their mission without losing many, if any, people.
  • The Scholomance: Minor characters from the larger student body are willing and able to help with the plans to keep mals from killing graduating seniors in the climaxes of the first and second books, doing a lot of work the heroes couldn't do alone and suffering few casualties in the first book and none in the second.
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth: the very first page of the story reveals that U.S. government raided the town of Innsmouth, arrested most of the citizens, shot any armed cult members who resisted, dismantled the cult ruling the town, seized or dynamited several of their buildings, and bombarded the Deep Ones' undersea city with torpedoes to drive them off.
  • A group of stranded Riflemen from the 95th Rifles and the South Essex Regiment they're attached to in Sharpe, which the protagonist Sharpe leads. The Sharpe TV series based on the books reduced the few dozens of Riflemen to a few characters comprising a Badass Crew and omitted the South Essex for budget reasons.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The Legion of Lost Souls Night's Watch has dozens of rank and file members who handle themselves well and never act as a Red Shirt Army except during the Great Ranging, and plenty of minor characters still survive that bloodbath. Even members who die tend to have prominent scenes in multiple chapters, or even multiple books, first.
    • The Brotherhood without Banners, a Vigilante Militia La Résistance group that repeatedly shows up fighting against bandits and the worst of the noble houses. A The Dead Have Names speech implies that they've taken lots of casualties in the past, but in books 3-5 (and possibly beyond), they have a nearly miraculous survival rate for the setting.
  • The Greencloaks of the Spirit Animals series.
  • Stephanie Plum: The employees at Ranger's security company are all skilled former soldiers or criminals who are miles more competent than the protagonist and provide a lot of help without suffering much misfortune almost every time any of them besides Tank appear.
me to him with stories about off-screen encounters with the vampires.
  • Threat Vector: A Navy SEAL team is sent to capture a Chinese hacker who the main cast is surveilling without having any idea of how heavily guarded he is. Amazingly, they succeed in their objective (with some help from the leads) and only take one fatality, even though almost all of them are shot at least once.
  • Tom Swift:
    • About half the books in the second series end with a villain's base being swarmed by either a party of Swift Enterprises guards and workers or local authorities (generally composed largely of unnamed and/or One Shot Characters), who easily defeat the antagonists and sometimes rescue a captive Tom.
    • In the fourth series, Harlan Ames and his security force are generally formidable enough to deter attacks on the plant with their mere presence, and even when they don't, they're nothing to scoff at in a fight.
      • In Quantum Force, some mercenary commandoes do briefly make it into the base due to having face field technology and an inside source, but as soon as Tom disables the force fields Ames and his men quickly gun down or capture the mercenaries.
      • Almost all of the guards who accompany the Swifts to field test a new invention are gunned down, but some go down fighting, and the two survivors, including Harlan, are blazing away throughout their retreat. Later, when the Black Dragon has an army teleport into the Swifts' complex, the guards do an effective job of fighting the intruders and protecting the heroes, and win handily. Unfortunately, this becomes a Pyrrhic Victory when the Black Dragon then uses his time machine to teleport his surviving men into an unstable device to make it blow up and kill a scientist everyone is trying to protect.
  • Twilight: Jake's wolf pack is constantly growing over the last three books and has several members who get little or no focus or development. They protect the area from hostile vampires, ultimately avoid coming to blows with the Friendly Neighborhood Vampires, and survive every battle or showdown they have with vampires without losing a single shapeshifter.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 24, the CTU response teams have only two settings: they either prove ineffective at containing the bad guys, letting them escape, or they trap the bad guys, at which point the villains get their faces wrecked.
  • The Rangers in Babylon 5. At various times in the series, various other forces fill this role as well, ranging from B5's security troops and Starfury squadrons, to individual starships such as the Hyperion and Agamemmnon, to the combined forces of the Army of Light.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978): The Viper pilots aren't completely safe, but more than 2/3rds of the named ones (most of whom only appear in a couple of episodes) survive the show and/or inflict decent casualties against the Cylons..
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The rest of the seniors in Buffy's class come to graduation with armor and weapons beneath their robes and help Buffy and her friends fight Wilkins and his minions, with only a few kids being killed or turned into vampires.
    • The Potential Slayers from the final season need a lot of training and lose some of their prominent members, but their numbers and combat abilities are a big asset and far more of them survive than not. This is reinforced in their cameo during the final season of Angel, where they're operating with more military precision.
  • Cobra Kai: Most of the cast are competent fighters, and named secondary characters frequently lose one-on-ones with unnamed mooks. That said, it's generally recognized that the main cast (Miguel, Hawk, Sam, Robby and Tory) are a cut above the rest.
  • Doctor Who:
    • UNIT in the new series. (Not so much in the old.)
    • There's also Red Wings and Torchwood. Usually competent and able to make pretty good attempts at protecting Earth.
  • Fargo: Mostly averted, as minor cops are often useless and/or get killed. Lou’s fellow state troopers in season 2 play this straighter though, despite not actually firing their guns. During The Siege after Charlie Gerhardt's arrest, they successfully assume strategic defensive positions and deter the monsters outside until Lou and Karl can talk down the would-be jailbreakers.
  • Hogan's Heroes: Hogan and his four main subordinates do about 90% of the espionage and resistance work, but there are at least a couple dozen prisoners who know what they're doing and help out, and some episodes imply the whole camp knows and they are occasionally shown doing things like acting as lookouts and helping dig new tunnels. The most prominent are Sergeant Olsen (who has prominent, credited roles in four episodes across three seasons) and a quarter of Recurring Extras who are in almost every episode but only have about half a dozen lines of dialogue between them. There are also a few distinguishable one-shot characters, like Sgt. Wilson the medic, Barns and Davis (who act as scapegoats for a failed escape attempt conducted by two men who aren't supposed to be in the camp), a meteorologist who helps plan a balloon escape, three men who impersonate members of Hitler's staff, and two men who fill in for regular characters during episodes with an actor absent. None of the minor prisoners die over the series or act like The Load save for one One-Shot Character tries to betray them, but he's The Friend Nobody Likes.
  • Jeremiah: The militia army that Alexander forms in the seance season is a good deterrent against the villains and ultimately avoid dying in a massive battle when the lie driving their opponents is exposed.
  • A non-heroic example: the Others in Lost. The protagonists almost always come out worse off, and whenever they score a victory it's usually because they have the element of surprise, or some other clear advantage.
  • The Knights of Camelot in Merlin fluctuate between this and a Red Shirt Army depending on the battle.
  • Miami Vice: Late in the episode "Glades", the cops join forces with several local small-time drug smugglers for an Enemy Mine rescue mission against The Cartel. Only one or two of them get any notable dialogue or quirks, but all of them survive.
  • The BBC's latest take on The Musketeers. Though most of the focus remains on the Badass Crew of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'artagnan, the rest of the Musketeers garrison is just as competent in their training and missions.
  • Power Rangers
    • Power Rangers Zeo: The Cogs are a rare villainous example of villainous interchangeable soldiers who avoid being a Red Shirt Army at least some of the time. They chase all of the established villains out of the galaxy without help from their superiors (although The Dreaded reputation of their group as whole helps), do better against the Rangers in combat than any other Mooks in the franchise (although that might be a case of being Damned by Faint Praise), and sometimes successfully accomplish missions (like stealing a computer disc) without the supervision of a Monster of the Week. They also tend to retreat at the end of battles they lose instead of being killed, unlike most Mooks.
    • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Galactic Space Alliance Soldiers onboard the Terra Venture space station help fight aliens and monsters. Some of the Galaxy Rangers are recruited from their number. Although the regular soldiers never manage to save the day singlehandedly, they can recognize and fight back against threats decent enough.
    • Power Rangers Time Force: The Silver Guardians Private Military Contractors are capable of taking on regular Mooks. When they face Villain of the Week characters, they tend to fare less well, but they're never killed, only knocked around some.
    • Power Rangers S.P.D.: The SPD cadets and support personal are always hovering around the SPD Rangers and their superiors but, aside from a guest character, don't really go into the field until the finale, where they provide some effective The Cavalry help.
    • Power Rangers RPM: Colonel Truman's soldiers are hardened veterans of a global war who Hold the Line to evacuate citizens and themselves in the opening scene and remain impressive, albeit minor, characters afterward.
  • The Punisher: All of the One-Shot Character cops who are defending a jail Punisher is locked up in during a Rio Bravo-esque episode end up surviving.
  • As the name of the trope suggests, any team of outlaws in any retelling of Robin Hood, including Robin of Sherwood, Robin Hood and The New Adventures of Robin Hood — though these groups do tend to involve at least one Load.
  • The Stargate-verse has the SGC teams, the Atlantis Expedition, and crew of the Destiny.

  • Long before any of his many adaptations that provided the Trope Name, Robin Hood, naturally. Any time Robin took on larger forces, his Merry Men always proved a vital resource. The ballads had a recurring theme of Robin recruiting more members to the band by picking a fight with any random passerby, and if/when they kicked his ass, he'd invite them to join the band, so this actually makes sense since it means each and every member of the band were capable of fighting Robin one-on-one and winning. It seems Robin himself was only The Hero by virtue of being a charismatic leader rather than Authority Equals Asskicking.

    Video Games 
  • The Co-Commander in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 handles things quite handily in the medium difficulty and usually is evenly matched with the AI forces sent against him/her. In easy, they'll slowly win without your help at all. on hard however......
  • Conquests of the Longbow has two parts in the game where you have to decide on a strategy to rescue Marian, and rob a treasure convoy. Depending on what you pick determines both the success of that situation, AND the casualties the outlaws take on. There is one choice in each situation where the outlaws suffer no casualties, and no way of knowing which it is. Interestingly, it's the same strategy both times: surprise attack from multiple directions.
  • The Stonehelm Guards in Dark Messiah prove their competence in the very first setpiece. One of them gets jumped by an Elite Mook in what seems to be a designated Red Shirt scene to encourage you to keep running, only to impale said mook and stagger off. A nameless guard even finishes off the Cyclops attacking the city (after you weaken it, of course). Throughout the rest of the game, the guards prove about superior to enemy mooks in combat, and unexpectedly competent during gameplay. Quite often the player will finish a difficult combat that he only survived by the skin of his teeth only to discover his nameless guard ally has survived handily as well and is now wondering whether one can die of boredom.
  • The Inquisition soldiers and scouts are this in Dragon Age: Inquisition. They're very good at what they do, and thoroughly committed to the cause.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the Bouyant Armigers are the Tribunal Temple's elite special forces, hand-picked by Vivec himself, and primarily serve in the extremely dangerous Molag Amur and Red Mountain areas defending the land from threats including Dagoth Ur's minions, necromancers, and lesser Daedra. Unlike the Temple's overzealous Ordinators, the Bouyant Armigers are extremely well respected throughout the land, even by outlanders. One Thieves' Guild quest actually has you return a special dagger that was stolen from a Bouyant Armiger along with a note of apology. Once the Temple's persecution of the Nerevarine is lifted, the Bouyant Armigers within Ghostgate will give you full scouting reports of the Red Mountain region, filling in several of the Ash Vampire citadels on your map which makes navigation in the mountainous, permanently blight storming area much easier.
  • In Mass Effect 3, the "N7 Special Ops" from the multiplayer, an unofficial coalition of individuals from across the Galaxy who've banded together to fight in warzones and aim to halt the advance of Cerberus and Reaper forces.
    • In the singleplayer campaign, we see examples from most of the races, fighting to defend their homeworlds, or lending support to help the others (Turian fighters providing air support for the Krogans on Tuchanka, for example).
  • The Marines in Parasite Eve 2 easily take out a platoon of cyborg super-soldiers that the player character, Aya, has to struggle to get through, then proceed to clear out a monster and cyborg-infested underground base, with very few if any casualties. This is very much a change from the first game in the series, where the military was very much a Red Shirt Army.
  • Pirate Hunter gives you between 2 to 4 British Redcoats at the start of each stage as you raid pirate ships, and while on their own the Redcoats can actually put up a decent fight, even defeating elite pirate enemies and sustaining plenty of hits before they expire. That being said, they usually don't last long in boss fights, but you do receive a new batch of Redcoats in the following area regardless if your previous batch survives or not.
  • The RWS Staff in Postal 2 are possibly the best allies one could have in a open-sandbox game. They wield M16s and have the highest hitpoints out of all non-boss npcs making them very useful allies in firefights which become more and more frequent as more hate groups become hostile. They are also the only group (aside from the Police and National Guard) that don't turn hostile to you during the Apocalypse.
  • The Long Range Desert Group in Sniper Elite III prove to be not only a good source of transport for Lt. Karl Fairburne, but fairly competent allies in combat as well, managing to save him at the end of the Siwa Oasis level, and then wiping out a sizable chunk of the German Paratrooper garrison (plus some parked Stukas) during the Pont du Fahs Airfield level.
  • The former Tekken Force members led by Lars Alexandersson in Tekken 6. Bonus points for Lars's second-in-command being a Mauve Shirt.
  • The Blood Raven and Ultramarine Tactical Squads on the bridge nearing the final level in Warhammer 40000 Spacemarine. They can actually clear up the bridge of Chaos Marines and Bloodletters without you really having to do anything and can go that far without casualties.
  • In the Warlords of Draenor expansion of World of Warcraft, after a player avatar becomes the commander of a garrison, they can summon a small number of garrison soldiers to fight in Shadowmoon Valley or Frostfire Ridge. The soldiers are valuable in soloing quest enemies that normally would take three players to kill.
  • XCOM 2: War of the Chosen shows that the resistance fighters are surprisingly competent. When they appear in the Haven Assault variant of Retaliation missions, they can do a lot of damage to the attacking ADVENT forces; their assault rifles don't deal exceptional damage (although it scales with the player's own firepower), but their Aim is on par with an XCOM lieutenant, and they often score crits by flanking the aliens.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Unmatched, a board game based around the players staging Cool vs. Awesome Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny-type match-ups between entities from folklore and pop-culture, features Robin Hood as one of the possible characters. Several playable characters come with assist characters (IE, Dracula has his sister brides, Sherlock has Watson, Buffy has Giles, etc), so naturally Robin uses his Merry Men, and they're each as capable as he is at inflicting damagenote , moving around, etc, and there are several ability cards that utilise them effectively. Among which includes being able to replace any that fall with another, meaning you have an unlimited supply of highly effective assist characters. Suffice to say, Robin Hood can be quite a Game-Breaker thanks to them.

    Web Comics 
  • The Azure City soldiers in The Order of the Stick tend to die a lot, but they are also more than capable of killing large numbers of goblins. In fact, if Redcloak had not used the titanium elementals to breach the wall, and created Xykon doubles beforehand, the city might not have fallen.

    Web Original 
  • The unnamed students of Cobra Kai (and Miyagi-do, as of the second season) got their moment to shine in "No Mercy." During the school-wide brawl, they were all shown to be adept fighters, with none of them going down in a Curb-Stomp Battle or One-Hit KO. While they generally lose to higher-level opponents, even an unnamed mook or Red Shirt can put up a solid one-on-one battle against a named secondary character.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The men of the Southern Water Tribe left to fight the Fire Nation before the story starts. The heroes fight alongside them in several battles.
    • The Kyoshi Warriors are a team of all-women fighters fashioned after Avatar Kyoshi. They protect their home town from marauders. Despite only being teenagers they're a match for Fire Nation troops.
    • The White Lotus society are a organisation of old masters who form connections and friendships across nation boundaries. In the finale they prove themselves a formidable fighting force, and win a major victory against the Fire Nation while the latter is taken off guard.
    • The Yu Yan Archers from "The Blue Spirit" are an antagonistic example.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold:
    • The many unnamed Rann soldiers from "Mystery in Space", aren't pushovers. In one battle, several ground soldiers cause an enormous Walking Tank to retreat by firing on it with hand weapons. After the Gordanians get a game-changing weapon, the soldiers fire as they retreat and are among those who listen to and approve of Aquaman's Rousing Speech.
    • The lion, serpent, bear, rat, and bat mutant armies from "The Last Bat on Earth" all ally against Grodd and his gorilla men. They are briefly incapacitated by a sonic weapon but help defeat the gorilla Mooks once it's disabled.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command had the rest of the Space Rangers, who in all their appearances came across as a well-trained army of competent law-enforcers.
  • Generator Rex: The Providence agents all show degrees of competence, like defending the great wall and mowing down thousands of insects, a battle which they win when Holiday gives them pheromones for the bugs. When Van Kleiss attacks Providence, he beats his way through them, but by the end of the episode, they fight off all his EVO mooks. When Black Knight takes charge, they lead an Assault on Abyss, and defeat the Pack, sans Van Kleiss. Other days, they're cannon fodder, to die, or to hold off the monster until Rex can cure it.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero: The unnamed "Greenshirt" soldiers at the G.I. Joe headquarters occasionally help in gunfights or guard prisoners but always come out little the worse for wear.
  • Justice League:
    • The Watchtower staff are non-powered technicians working for superheroes in a show that averts Never Say "Die" and get drawn into the fray during a few super villain attacks. However, they're shown as brave, useful, and (with one exception) loyal people who keep things running on a day to day basis.
    • Travis Morgan's army in the subterranean kingdom of Skartaris put up a good fight against technologically superior forces and it's made clear that while they probably wouldn't have won without the heroes' help, both their leaders and the average soldiers would have still put up a pretty good fight before going down.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: In "Message in a Bottle", the citizens of Kandor don't join the heroes in fighting Imperiex right away, and initially get battered around easily once they do. Then they are exposed to the light of a yellow sun, get the same powers of Superman, and play a big part in dishing out a Curb-Stomp Battle to the villains.
  • The clones in Star Wars: The Clone Wars are competent as support for the Jedi and while working on their own, as showcased in clone-centric story arcs like the Umbara Arc.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: The Special Crimes Unit of the Metropolis Police Department are Overshadowed by Awesome whenever Superman and his enemies show up, but they do gamely fight against stronger villains. Occasionally, they even help turn the tide with their manpower and firearms, such as during Darkseid's invasion of Earth.
  • TaleSpin:
    • Cape Suzette has a large staff of artillery gunners stationed on the cliffs outside the city to fight invaders. They don’t appear often, but when they do, they’re just as likely to drive invaders (usually Karnage and his air pirates) away as they are to fail due to some trick or super weapon. Even when they are defeated, they always survive. The airplane pilots who make up the city’s second line of defense are also quite competent, but whenever a threat is dire enough to send them against it, it will also be formidable enough to shoot down the planes (although the pilots always bail out) and require Baloo to save the day.
    • Shere Khan's private air force tends to be defeated (although not always easily), either by Baloo or the air pirates, but his navy is an impressive force in "A Bad Reflection on You." The villains' only hope of bating them is a minefield trick, and when that fails, they play a decent role in routing their enemies.
    • Rick Sky's old military squadron from "Bygones" only show up at the end of the episode, after being thawed out of an iceberg, and only have two or three lines of dialogue between them. However, when they fight the Air Pirates in their antique planes, they subject Don Karnage to a devastating defeat and only one squadron member is (non-fatally) shot down.
    Baloo: There's five times as many of them as you.
    Sky: I know it seems a tad unfair, but we'll let them have the first shot.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): Only one or two of the Utrom Guardian Ninjas have any dialogue or prominence, but when a whole detachment of them join in the battle against Shredder in "Return to New York Part III", they help win the day.