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A trope most commonly seen in party-based Role-Playing Games but also Fantasy Literature, wherein the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits represents most of the spectrum of cultures, factions, social classes, species, and even ideologies found in the setting. Such setup has multiple purposes:

Sub-Trope of Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. Super-Trope to Five-Token Band, Mixed Animal Species Team and Multinational Team. Compare also Alike and Antithetical Adversaries. Not to be confused with a political party consisting entirely of elected representatives.


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Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • De Cape et de Crocs: Lampshaded by Armand (a French fox) on landing on the moon, when Don Lope (a Spanish wolf) wants to plant a flag and a cross, but is stopped by Armand who notes that they also have a French rabbit, a Turkish janissary, an Italian noblewoman, her brother and his servant, and a Hot Gypsy Woman (and almost had a German scientist), and thus the question of whose flag/religious symbol should go up is best left unanswered. Said German scientist arrives later in the company of a Spanish capitàn and an Italian merchant, all three of which end up working alongside English pirates for the Evil Prince.
  • New Warriors, especially the 2014 series, has a team which is not only racially diverse, but also contains a representative of most of the different types of heroes and human types (i.e. Mutants, Inhumans, demigods, Atlanteans, clones). This becomes a plot point in the 2014 series as the High Evolutionary tries to use the genetic makeup of each member as a template to help his superweapon target and eliminate all non-pure humans on Earth.

    Fan Works 
  • The Equestrian Wind Mage: The Changeling Queen Chrysalis, Rover the diamond dog, Zecora the zebra, and Gilda the griffon all join up with Vaati and the pony characters over the course of their quest.

    Literature 
  • Discworld: The Ankh-Morpork City Watch becomes this starting with Men at Arms, when they recruit their first troll, their first dwarf, and their first werewolf, onwards. Later books add more dwarfs and trolls, plus at least one each of a zombie, a gnome, a gargoyle, a pictsie, a golem, an Igor, a medusa and — under protest from Vimes — a vampire. It's considered notable in Unseen Academicals that Mr Nutt, believed to be the city's first goblin, didn't join the Watch.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring consists of representatives of each of the free peoples of Middle-Earth: four hobbits, two humans (a ranger from the north and a prince from the south, respectively), one elf, one dwarf, and one angelic being in human guise.
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    Music 

    Pinballs 
  • Dungeons & Dragons (1987): The adventuring party consists of a barbarian Warrior, a female Valkyrie, an elderly Wizard, and a Dwarf.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • BioWare: A staple in the games. The Dragon Age chief writer David Gaider stated in an interview that they do it specifically to give exposition of their worlds' various aspects (such as factions and ideologies) a face the players can associate them with.
    • Dragon Age: Origins has a Fereldan ex-Templar Grey Warden, an amoral Hot Witch from the swamps, an Orlesian bard-turned-lay sister, a Proud Warrior Race Guy from overseas, an elderly Circle spirit summoner, an Elven assassin from Antiva, a dwarven berserker, a golem (DLC only), and a mabari war hound. There is also the paranoid lesser Big Bad of the game, if you so desire.
    • Dragon Age II had this on a different level: the party members represented not cultures but views on the central conflict of the game (mages vs. Templars). The three mages are an anti-Circle extremist, a moderate sorceress who dislikes but tolerates the Circle, and an Elven blood mage who puts a personal agenda above the conflict. Similarly, the three warriors are a trained Templar (eventually), a city guard captain who just wants people to stop killing each other, and a Magic Knight who hates all mages on principle for personal reasons. The three rogues are a free-spirited Pirate Girl, a dwarven spymaster, and a member of the Chantry; of the three, only the latter is partial to the conflict, since the Chantry endorses the Circle system and the Templars.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition continues the trend. Party members include the aforementioned dwarf spymaster, a chivalrous Chantry warrior from Nevarra, a high-ranking Orlesian Circle Loyalist Mage, a burned-out yet boisterous Qunari spy, a Robin Hood-esque elf looking out for the little people, a rebellious Tevinter Magister, an elven apostate expert on the Fade, an aging idealistic Grey Warden who Jumped at the Call, and a Fade spirit in human form whose nature is anyone's guess. This is also much less of a Contrived Coincidence than in most games that feature this trope. Most of the party members specifically seek you out and offer you their services and the goodwill of their faction.
    • Knights of the Old Republic can't include more than a fraction of the species in the Star Wars universe, but takes care to hit the highlights. Your party notably includes a Mandalorian, one of the soldiers who fought them, a refugee from their invasion, and two Jedi. (And a Wookie. He doesn't represent anyone, he's just cool.)
    • Mass Effect: Your entire party in one way or another, especially your alien party members. Ashley lets you know how humans (their military in particular) are dealing with the first contact war, Kaiden and the training human biotics. Garrus lets you in on the rigidity of C-Sec and the military focus of the Turians. Wrex brings up the issues of the genophage, Liara is an asari and Tali lets you know of the Quarians and their involvement with the geth. Mass Effect 2 adds more races with a salarian, a drell, and a geth (an AI race formely believed to be Always Chaotic Evil); and Mass Effect 3 adds a human-made AI and a prothean. All of them represent a rather wide spectrum of all known sapient galactic races.
  • Chrono Trigger: You get one party member from each time period you visit if you're able to recruit the bonus Sixth Ranger.
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: By the end of the game, the main party contains one full demon, one half-demon, one angel, two humans, a robot, and a Prinny.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Each of your companions represents a certain group of people, allowing you insight into their beliefs and flaws. Veronica is a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, Arcade is part of the Followers of the Apocalypse and comes from the Enclave, Lily lets you witness the effects of schizophrenia present in all nightkin, Raul is from Arizona and is passably alright with Legion control. Boone and Cass are both NCR, but Boone represents the military side while Cass is a civilian business owner.
  • Final Fantasy X: The final party contains the White Mage daughter of a famed summoner, the former bodyguard of said father, her Gadgeteer Genius cousin from the barely-tolerated technological faction, a sports star and a Black Mage from her village, a Proud Warrior Race Guy lion man, and a guy from a technologically advanced world. Or so it seems at first, it gets complicated.
  • All of your companions in GreedFall are from different factions. Kurt is a captain of the Coin Guard, Vasco is a Naut captain, Siora is a Yecht Fradí princess, Petrus is a Thélème missionary, and Aphra is a Bridge Alliance scholar. De Sardet represents the Congregation of Merchants.
  • Golden Sun: From the first two games, you had the hero, his best friend, his girlfriend and her brother from the (not-quite) Doomed Hometown, an orphan brought up by the leader of a merchant town, a healer who failed her one duty to keep a Cosmic Keystone where it was, an orphan implied to be of the Precursors, and a native of the Atlantis equivalent. The third game gives us the children of the original heroes, plus the heir to a Hidden Elf Village, a Miko, and a Pirate. In both games, your party is accompanied by the same Cool Old Guy.
  • Grandia II: You have a vagabond mercenary, a priestess of The Church, a demon, a prince from a human kingdom, a guy from the Proud Warrior Race, and an an ancient humanoid robot servant of the Precursors.
  • Kings Raid features collectable characters that are gathered from all across the world, ranging from standard humans to dwarves, elves, demons, and Beast Men.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The recurring "Sage" characters and their Suspiciously Similar Substitutes from across the series typically consist of one person from each race depicted in a particular game, although Hylians tend to have more than one representative.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has Rauru (Hylian), Saria (Kokiri), Darunia (Goron), Ruto (Zora), Impa (Sheikah), Nabooru (Gerudo) and Zelda (Hylian again).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Princess Zelda's Champions serve this role, representing every major species/ethnicity of the game world: Link of the Hylians, Daruk of the Gorons, Mipha of the Zora, Revali of the Rito, and Urbosa of the Gerudo.
  • Pillars of Eternity: The party was apparently specially designed to give a broad representation of the various cultures, religions and factions in the setting. Your companions are: an elven wizard nobleman with a Split Personality; a snarky but kind-hearted war veteran who follows a religion dedicated to a dead god; a rather unpleasant old priest who's responsible for killing said god; an Orlan druid with a very dirty sense of humour; a naive young Aumauan adventurer; a creepy midwife who's also a cipher; an avian Godlike paladin who's driven to bitter cynicism by her nation's politics; and a dwarf ranger who's searching for the reincarnation of her village's previous elder. The expansion also adds a ruthless convicted criminal's soul inhabiting a bronze golem, an old monk who's Covered in Scars, and an older, experienced Aumauan pirate and explorer turned follower of a religious order.
  • Radiant Historia: You get four members from your home country of Alistel, with one later turning out to actually be from the southern country of Cygnus, someone from the "evil" country of Granorg (and the main hero is also from Granorg), one member of the satyr tribe, and one of the ape tribe.
  • Suikoden: This is a core aspect of every game in the series, which always has the protagonist recruit the 108 Stars of Destiny. By the end of each game, their army literally consists of volunteer soldiers, mercenaries, and key political figures from all cities throughout the continent.
  • Tyranny: Verse and Barik (the earliest companions you can befriend) represent opposing the Scarlet Chorus and the Disfavored. As a result of their different cultures, their loyalties often contradict each other, teaching the player early on that at least one side will be pissed off no matter what you do. The other companions are the Sage Lantry, the Tierswoman Eb who abandoned the Vendrien guard when it was clear they would lose, the beastwoman Kills-in-Shadow that follows your strength, and Sirin, who worked under both Kyros and the Voices of Nerat.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles has a final team composed by a group of Homs, a Nopon, a High Entia, and a Homs-turned-Mechon; thus covering all living sentient races in the game's world save for the Machina, although the last member covers them indirectly.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has a party consisting of Leftherian human Rex, Titan Azurda/"Gramps", Aegis Blade Pyra, Gormotti girl Nia, Nopon Tora, artificial Blade Poppi, Ardanian human Mòrag, Tantalese human Zeke, and the numerous mundane Blades they travel with. Furthermore, the Urayan mercenary Vandham is a Guest-Star Party Member, and Nia is revealed to be a part Gormotti, part Blade "Flesh Eater" late in the story, meaning that the only race in Alrest not represented in the team at some point are the Indoline.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang is supposed to go to each nation to find a master to learn their respective element. However, because he only has a year to do it, he instead recruits a master to follow him and train him on his way to the next place.
  • Legend of Korra does it as well, with Korra from the Water Tribes and master of all four elements, Mako and Bolin with mixed Fire Nation/Earth Kingdom heritage and respectively a firebender and earthbender, Tenzin the airbender from the Air Nation, and Asami the nonbender with a mixed heritage as well.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The six main characters count two of every primary type of pony — two earth ponies, two pegasi, and two unicorns, alongside a young dragon. After the third season, one of the unicorns becomes an alicorn instead.
    • The six primary students at the School of Friendship in later seasons are all of different species — a pony, a dragon, a changeling, a hippogriff, a griffon and a yak.

    Real Life 
  • During the Haitian revolution, a commission called the Tricolor Commission was sent to France, so named because it included two of each of the three racial groups in Haiti — a white person, a "colored" person, and a black person.
  • For some time after the end of the Second World War, Allied-occupied Berlin was divided into four districts controlled by the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Security patrols were carried out by military police personnel working in four-man teams, one from each nation.

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