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Sixth Ranger

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Above: The original five Power Rangers.
Below: The original five Power Rangers...
and the Green one.

Some series start out with a particular type of ensemble, with a certain number of characters and a defined role for each. Then in the second season, a mysterious new character appears. After many misunderstandings, the new character is revealed to be a good guy and joins The Team.

Any new character that joins an established cast and knocks it out of one of the traditional categories (and possibly into another) is a Sixth Ranger. There may be more than one per team, with either several joining in succession, or pre-established pairs coming in at once. In a Magical Girl show, it is not uncommon for the Sixth Ranger to be the lead character's boyfriend.

In some of the more extreme cases, a former Big Bad, Dragon, or Wild Card villain can take on this role after they have been defeated or performed an independent Heel–Face Turn, and may or may not act as a secondary Lancer. In Magical Girl shows, this is usually the role the Dark Magical Girl plays.


Their power and coolness is inversely proportional to the number of episodes since their début, since Good Is Dumb. Expect them to be single-handedly defeating enemies that the main team struggled against during their first appearance, falling in line as they become integrated into the group, then finally getting overtaken by the original heroes. In fact, they almost invariably tend to become a magnet for The Worf Effect so the writers can show off how powerful the new villain is.

If the show doesn't look like it's going to change its status quo, expect the Sixth Ranger to actually be the Sixth Ranger Traitor, or at the very least a Guest-Star Party Member if they have to leave for whatever reason. Since most Sixth Rangers used to be loners, they may serve as the Token Evil Teammate. If a Sixth Ranger candidate does join the Ensemble, but the series is nearly over, the candidate is an 11th-Hour Ranger. When the team started as a Power Trio and gets two Sixth Rangers, they make Three Plus Two.


Compare Hitchhiker Heroes and Magnetic Hero, where adding characters is the team's normal state. Sailor Earth is a Fan Work subtrope where the Sixth Ranger is an Original Character. Also see One Extra Member, especially when the team's name indicates the number of members and the Sixth Ranger doesn't force a change in the team's name. Honorary True Companion is when a would-be Sixth Ranger never officially joins the group. Compare with Token Houseguest where a character who isn't part of the immediate family lives with them and is treated as a major member of the cast.

Named for the introduction of the Green Ranger in the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers as well as its Japanese counterpart Dragon Ranger in Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger.

A common method for Merchandise-Driven works to add new characters to the cast — and the toy line.


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    Trope Namers: Super Sentai and Power Rangers 
  • The name of this trope comes from the Super Sentai/Power Rangers franchise, which has a yearly tradition of adding at least one new member to the initial roster of heroes during the course of each series. Specifically, the tradition was started by Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger with the addition of Dragon Ranger, which was carried over by its adaptation Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, where the introduction of the Green Ranger grabbed a lot of attention for the show and he became a Breakout Character. Almost every show in both franchises since then has featured at least one extra member.
    • Two Sentai shows prior to Zyuranger also had their own additional members before it became a regular thing. J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai started out with a four-man team until the introduction of their new commander Big One (Sokichi Bamba), while the team in Choujuu Sentai Liveman originally consisted of three members before the addition of Black Bison and Green Sai.
    • Hikari Sentai Maskman featured a sixth member for exactly one episode in the form of X1 Mask, a warrior in green who volunteered for the Maskman project before the actual team was formed. Other shows had guest heroes who would assist the team for two or three episodes at most, but none of them ever became recurring characters (most notably Choudenshi Bioman had a two-part storyline about a man who wanted to become the sixth member of Bioman, but ended up becoming a brainwashed villain-of-the-week, while Choujin Sentai Jetman had a birdman warrior who fought alongside the Jetman team before he was killed off).
      • Jetman also has the distinction of having a sequel manga with a sixth member, Green Eagle, to replace their dead member Black Condor.
    • MMPR is also a key example of just how much Popularity Power a Sixth Ranger can have. The trope-naming character, Tommy Oliver, is a mainstay in the Power Rangers setting, and he (and his actor, Jason David Frank) has been a regular for five seasons (two and a half of Mighty Morphin, Zeo, half of Turbo, and Dino Thunder) where the cast is now usually refreshed yearly. The only ones who even come close to such a record are Those Two Guys Bulk and Skull (all three seasons of Mighty Morphin, Zeo, Turbo, and in Space; plus Bulk's semiregular appearances in Lost Galaxy and Samurai). Big One is similarly popular after he completely stole the show in JAKQ, becoming one of the three possible candidates for being the Big Good of every Sentai team in existence.
  • Gekisou Sentai Carranger did not have an official sixth member; in fact, the show even parodied the concept with Radietta Fanbelt, a girl who dresses up as the White Racer, a self-appointed sixth member of the team. However, that did not stop Power Rangers Turbo from revamping the VRV Master, a supporting character in Carranger who appeared for a few episodes, into the Phantom Ranger. Because his Carranger counterpart was not a Ranger, there are those who also don't consider the Phantom Ranger a true Ranger despite his much-increased role and similarity to his predecessor the Gold Ranger, and feel that the sixth ranger role goes to the Blue Senturion (who was based on Signalman, the official extra hero in Carranger).
  • Invocation of this trope also created an interesting situation for the production staff of the Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. They wanted to carry on the tradition of the sixth ranger, but there was none in Kyukyu Sentai GoGoV, the corresponding Super Sentai show. As a result, the staff created the Titanium Ranger from whole cloth and assigned him a Zord that didn't belong to any of the GoGoV Rangers.
    • There was a sixth warrior in the Direct to Video The Movie in Jūma Hunter Zeek. He dies and passes on his powers to Sho's (Go Green) friend Kyoko, allowing her to transform into Zeek-Jeanne, but despite beingi a recurring character does not uses the Zeektector armor in the show.
  • The trope sometimes gets played with when a character has all the trappings of a Sixth Ranger, but doesn't join the team. The first Gold Ranger, Trey of Triforia, from Zeo and the aforementioned Phantom Ranger were Mysterious Protectors that only dropped in to give aid on occasion, while the Magna Defender, the Quantum Ranger, and Robo Knight were each an Aloof Ally to their resident teams, actively clashing with the Rangers over their goals. Even these were open to a Double Subversion; both the Gold Ranger and Magna Defender passed on their powers to people who did join the respective teams, while the Quantum Ranger and Robo Knight eventually become a genuine allies.
  • The concept really took hold when Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger and Power Rangers Ninja Storm reintroduced the Three Plus Two format last seen in Liveman, allowing for the addition of more new members than in previous shows. The Gouraigers/Thunder Rangers were added first to fill out a five-man team before the introduction of an actual sixth member in the form of Shurikenger/the Green Samurai Ranger. Many subsequent seasons followed suit with more than one addition - Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger/Power Rangers S.P.D. and Engine Sentai Go-onger/Power Rangers RPM even went up to seven full-time members each; Dekaranger/SPD with two single additions to a team of five and Go-onger/RPM starting off with three heroes and then adding two sets of two.
  • Ninja Storm is notable in that its Sixth Ranger was already an established part of the main cast since the first episode, whereas most Sixth Rangers are completely new characters introduced later. Therefore, the core team are already more familiar with this addition to the team than a new guy they've never met before and has to establish his place among them. Not only that, prior to being a Ranger, Cam was their tech GadgeteerGenius guy, the one who developed and maintained their morphers, gear, and Zords. Becoming a Ranger was part of his character arc.
  • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger had not only two additions (Abare Black and Abare Killer), but AbaRed also got a Super Mode called Abare Max. The writers of Power Rangers Dino Thunder, which was under production while Abaranger was starting to air in Japan, planned to turn Abare Max into an actual sixth team member known as the Triassic Ranger until Abare Max's debut episode revealed that it was just a powerup for the Red Ranger.
  • Power Rangers Jungle Fury added the three Spirit Rangers to the original roster of Three Plus Two from Juken Sentai Gekiranger. Gekiranger already had three mentor characters who had weapons and mecha associated with them, so Jungle Fury eventually gave them Ranger suits as well in order to create action figures of them. They're unique in that either the Rangers or the mentors can project them at a distance; made from spiritual energy like the Zords of the series, nobody even needs to be physically wearing the suits. The Rangers often summoned the Spirit Rangers from their own power to fight without the mentors needing to be present, and in the finale the mentors fought alongside their own Ranger forms, awesomely.
  • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger/Power Rangers Super Megaforce, keeping with its team's premise of transforming into any of the previous Sentai or Ranger teams, features a sixth Silver Ranger, who wields the Ranger Keys of fifteen previous "supplemental warriors."note  He has the ability to merge all of his Ranger Keys into the Gold Anchor Key, which allows him to transform into his "Gold Mode," where he wears a golden armor adorned with the faces of said warriors.
  • Power Rangers: Beast Morphers plays with the trope quite a lot. Nate, who was Mission Control in the first seven episodes (much like Cam) and the genius behind the rangers' powers, gains his own ranger form in episode 8, and, like his Sentai counterpart Masato Jin has a robot buddy as the second Sixth Ranger of their team. Steel, who is a Large Ham and a bit of a Cloudcuckoolander as opposed to Nate's more down to earth personality, is basically a sixth ranger taken to the max, only having been built in the episode of his debut and being enthusiastic as heck about all the ranger-y stuff. Not to mention the fact that he's easily the strongest when Ravi's not using his gorilla strength.
  • Uchu Sentai Kyuranger is a rather unique example. It actually starts with nine members (assembled over the first few episodes) and later adds three Sixths: Ryu Commander, Koguma Skyblue, and Houou Soldier. Played with in that Ryu Commander and Koguma Skyblue were introduced right after the core team was assembled,note  so it's not really true to say they joined "late" compared to everyone else; plus Skyblue doesn't even have the special equipment/mecha/etc. that usually sets a Sixth apart from the rest.
  • Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger has two rival Ranger teams of three going against each other, and when a Sixth (technically Seventh at this point) shows up he joins both teams. His entire gimmick is that all his gear has two different modes that each correspond to this dual allegiance - he even has two different super-identities, being the silver Lupin X when fighting with the Lupinrangers and the golden Patren X with the Patrangers.
  • Super Sentai Battle Dice O makes this into a playing feature. Players assemble a team of five Rangers, one robot, and an EX Card that can either be a one-round addition to the team or a team-wide special move. On the other hand, sixth / extra characters can still be part of the main five.

    Kamen Rider 
  • Super Sentai's sibling franchise, Kamen Rider, also carries on the practice of adding a major new Kamen Rider to the cast about a third of the way into the show. However, Kamen Rider tends to be less black-and-white than Super Sentai is; so the new Kamen Rider is usually not immediately presented as the heroes' ally and instead may be introduced as part of a new third faction in the conflict or even as one of the villains. Even ones that are unambiguously good generally start out as Headbutting Heroes that clash with the established group to a degree. Sooner or later, however, they will align themselves with the main hero and his supporting cast and become part of their team.
    • Kamen Rider Agito starts out with the titular Agito who is joined by G3, but the premise of the show is such that there are many people who have the potential to become an Agito, resulting in the later appearances of the flawed Gills and Another Agito.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki has several Riders, some good and some evil, that weave in and out of the story. The main heroes are Ryuki and Knight, who work as allies through most of the series with Ryuki as The Cape and Knight as The Cowl; the one who fits this trope and makes their duo a Power Trio midseason is Kamen Rider Raia. He eventually dies Taking the Bullet for Ryuki. Its adaptation Kamen Rider Dragon Knight has a similar setup with their counterparts Dragon Knight, Wing Knight, and Sting (complete with Sting getting "vented"); but later on it takes another Rider, Siren, and makes her an Ascended Extra (compared to her Ryuki counterpart Femme) as she joins the heroes' team as well.
    • Kamen Rider 555 starts out with just (the titular) Faiz before throwing Kaixa into the mix. Later, a 3rd set of gear for Delta appears, and although it is used by several people, eventually one user gets primary use of the armor.
    • Kamen Rider Blade starts with a duo (Blade and Garren) that becomes a Power Trio: Chalice is there from the start but takes a while to go from Aloof Ally to... still-not-quite-friendly ally. The Sixth Ranger position goes to the fourth, Leangle, after starting out as a bad guy.
    • Kamen Rider Hibiki has many Riders, starting out with the Power Trio of Hibiki, Ibuki, and Zanki, who each have (at least one) protege as an apprentice. Zanki's apprentice eventually becomes the fully fledged Todoroki and joins the main riders as their 4th regular member until Zanki's death late in the series. Ibuki's protege Akira Amami steals his transformation device in one episode to fight as an unnamed Kamen Rider, later dubbed "Amaki" in her parallel world appearance in Kamen Rider Decade. Hibiki's first protege Asumu Adachi never gets his own Kamen Rider form, turning into Hibiki in a special DVD minisode as does his parallel world self in Decade, while his second protege Kyosuke Kiriya does get a Kamen Rider form but it is unnamed in canon (dubs himself "Kyoki" in stage shows) and also gets to become Hibiki in Kamen Rider Zi-O.
    • As Kamen Rider Den-O and a group of Imagin allies work to protect the timeline, Ryotaro runs into Yuto Sakurai, another Kamen Rider (Zeronos) fighting the villains for personal reasons; as well as Yuto's own Imagin partner Deneb. In contrast to kind-hearted Ryotaro, Yuto is bad-tempered and antisocial, but he does mellow out over time and he and Deneb start to work more closely with the Den-Liner crew. Seig also qualifies; he's a friendly but arrogant Imagin who is perfectly willing to lend Ryotaro a hand, but the rest of the Imagin hate him and keep him from becoming a permanent member of their team.
    • Kamen Rider Kiva introduces Keisuke Nago AKA Kamen Rider IXA, a colleague of one of Wataru's friends who takes a liking to the guy and begins informally mentoring him — but as IXA he's an overzealous Vampire Hunter who thinks Kiva is a threat, not realizing that Wataru and Kiva are one and the same. And then later in the show comes Kamen Rider Saga, who goes through the Heel–Face Revolving Door as he's Wataru's friend and half-brother but doesn't understand why he sticks his neck out for humanity so much; plus they're in a Love Triangle over the same girl.
    • Kamen Rider Decade starts out with Tsukasa just the titular Decade, then halfway through the series Daiki Kaito appears who apparently knows truth about who Tsukasa is (though we never learn it ourselves) and has the power to turn into Kamen Rider Diend. While Decade has the power to transform into the 9 predecessor Kamen Riders, Diend has the power to summon any of the preceding series' non-title Kamen Riders, including those that only show up in The Movies; these Movie Riders also provide the basis of Diend's Super Mode which appears in his own movie (which itself was somehow a Den-O movie).
    • The second Rider in Kamen Rider Double is Kamen Rider Accel. Where the two people behind Double run a private detective agency, Accel is a member of the police newly assigned to the Dopant cases that Double investigates. They actually become fast friends almost immediately and start teaming together on those cases.
    • Kamen Rider OOO and his ally Ankh are joined midway through by Akira Date as Kamen Rider Birth, and they actually fall into a good working relationship fairly quickly; partly because Date is an easygoing Punch-Clock Hero and partly because their goals are compatible: Eiji just wants to protect people, Ankh desires the powerful Core Medals held by the Big Bads, while Date was hired to collect the less valuable but more numerous Cell Medals. Okay, Ankh doesn't like Date much, but Ankh is a greedy selfish jerk who doesn't like anybody. Late in the show, Date leaves to take care of personal matters and passes the mantle of Birth to Shintaro Goto. Goto had filled the secondary Riders' usual antagonistic role early on by being jealous that Eiji got to be the superhero, but after being reprimanded for his pride he spent time learning humility and acting as Date's backup. He gets to become the new Birth as a reward for this Character Developement, while Date eventually returns in the final episodes to act as Goto's backup with a spare prototype Birth armor.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze: Ryusei Sakuta starts off as a New Transfer Student who asks to join the heroes' group, the Kamen Rider Club. What they don't know is that he's got an agenda and infiltrating the club for his own ends, and that he's also the mysterious Kamen Rider Meteor that has started getting involved in Fourze's battles. Naturally, he starts Becoming the Mask and grows into an actual ally.
    • In Kamen Rider Wizard, Kamen Rider Beast shows up out of nowhere and declares himself Wizard's Rival, partly due to a misunderstanding about how Wizard's powers work that made him think they were competing for monster kills. Even so, he treats it as a Friendly Rivalry and they get along pretty well.
    • Averted in Kamen Rider Gaim. Like in Ryuki, there are a bunch of Riders with various levels of "good" and "evil", but in this case there are almost no true allies amongst them. Four "New Generation Riders" appear at the usual time for a Sixth Ranger, but they're antagonists. One of them, Kamen Rider Zangetsu, is a genuinely good person and tries to join Gaim's side once he realizes they're on the same page, but he's marked for assassination by his treacherous colleagues and blocked from providing any actual aid for most of the series.
    • In Kamen Rider Drive, Kiriko's little brother pops up with Rider powers of his own as Kamen Rider Mach and starts fighting alongside Drive on the battlefield and assisting the police unit that Drive and his sister are a part of off of it. Later, The Dragon Mashin Chaser has a Heel–Face Turn and joins the Riders as Kamen Rider Chaser.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost and Specter are later joined by Kamen Rider Necrom, who initially was part of the Gamma forces trying to conquer humanity but gradually gained an understanding and appreciation for humans, switching sides to protect people.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid mainly features a Power Trio of Ex-Aid, Brave, and Snipe; but plays with the "Sixth Ranger" concept with a number of other Riders:
      • The new Rider debuting at the usual time for such things is Para-DX, and Kamen Rider Genm gets a major upgrade complete with a new Transformation Trinket system around that time as well. But they're a Big Bad Duumvirate, using their new powers to step out of the shadows and take the fight to the heroes directly.
      • Much later on, supporting characters Poppy and Nico get powers and fight alongside the three as genuine allies, but they rarely take the field with the others and the show hasn't treated them as full teammates. Instead, an Enemy Mine situation develops with Genm, and he's the one who begins acting as the group's Sixth Ranger.
      • Kamen Rider Lazer was originally introduced as the fourth main character, only to get killed off at the end of the first act. He returns Back from the Dead later, but by that point has been absent so long that he functionally acts as another Sixth alongside Genm.
    • Kamen Rider Build: Kamen Rider Grease initially opposes the main duo of Build and Cross-Z due to fighting for an enemy nation, but he's a good man who just happens to be on the other side; and eventually alliances shift so they end up on the same side against other threats. Late in the series, longtime antagonist Night Rogue AKA Kamen Rider Rogue completes a long-brewing Heel–Face Turn and starts fighting alongside them as well.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O starts with Kamen Riders Zi-O and Geiz, who have Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, as well as supporting character Woz who idolizes Zi-O and acts as his Hammy Herald. The third Rider to appear is "White" Woz aka Kamen Rider Woz, an alternate-timeline version of the original "Black" Woz who reveres Geiz as much as the first Woz worships Zi-O (or at least claims to), heightening the rivalry between the two. Eventually Black Woz steals his powers and takes over as Kamen Rider, and a few episodes later White Woz is Ret-Gone when his home timeline will no longer happen. Decade and Diend also return from their own series, and effectively become Sixth Rangers to the Zi-O cast when they become heavily involved in the show's final story arc.
    • Kamen Rider Zero-One: The role is filled by Kamen Rider Thouser — but rather than a new ally, he's the new Big Bad. He was The Man Behind the Man manipulating the previous villains and is now taking a more active role since they were defeated and shifted Out of Focus. Very late in the series, though, he has an abrupt Heel Realization and starts fighting alongside Zero-One and his allies as he tries to make things up to them.
    • Kamen Rider Saber: After spending the first arc as a Mysterious Watcher, Kamen Rider Saikou steps in to defend Saber when the other Riders are manipulated into turning against him. He becomes Saber's only ally as the rest of the Riders try to hunt them down.

    Other Toku series 
It ain't just for Rangers and Riders, though it's not as ironclad a rule for similar shows (especially the ones that came before Super Sentai made it a rule.)
  • VR Troopers had one that didn't stick around: when an ally of theirs was warped into the Red Python, it was assumed she'd join the team much like the then-recent introduction of the original Power Rangers' own dark Ranger. Alas, no such luck. The only addition to the Power Trio can be said to be the clone of Kaitlin (that two-parter ends with Kaitlin and the clone being merged, and Kaitlin gaining a "Double Team" duplication ability.)
    • In Jikuu Senshi Spielban, the situation was more like a typical sixth ranger; Red Python's counterpart, after being freed, joined the team with a new suit that matched Diana (Kaitlin's counterpart.)
  • Masked Rider similarly had the Robo Rider who was a brainwashed ally of the hero, given makeshift Rider powers developed from a power-up device he'd been bringing to him. Once freed, he delivered the power-up as promised instead of being a good Robo Rider. What are you gonna do when Shadow Moon from Black and RX never became a good guy?
  • Big Bad Beetleborgs also had an evil counterpart, Shadow Borg. It was never assumed that he'd have a Tommy-like role, as he was created by the Big Bad from a broken piece of one of the heroes' armor, making him more like a monster that happened to look like a Beetleborg. However, a new character and The Rival to main hero Drew for Heather's affections is given a new shiny suit to help the Beetleborgs get their powers back after Shadow Borg had stolen them. Unfortunately, he's connected to Shadow Borg in a way that means his powers vanish with the villain's final destruction. (As for his Japanese counterpart, Kabuto the "Extradimensional Supplier" was a weapons dealer who was actually a lousy fighter who'd charge in and get in the way. No footage from his brief time on the show being exactly "awesome new hero" material probably played a part in White Blaster Borg's temporary nature.)
    • The second season Beetleborgs Metallix had the Astralborgs join the heroes briefly before their powers were just used to summon the Beetleborgs' new Giant Mecha. Their B-Fighter Kabuto counterparts had slightly more airtime and were more 11th-Hour Ranger than Sixth.
  • The Metal Heroes franchise is no stranger to this trope, though: Tokusou Robo Janperson has a robot named Gun Gibson, a redeemed villain who's at first far more concerned with getting revenge on one of the main villains than he is with anything like helping people, and so clashes with the hero even after his initial arc as a proper 'bad guy.' He fits the secondary Kamen Rider mold pretty well!
  • Some of the shows in the Ultra Series have featured secondary Ultrabeings that help out the main hero in times of need, although most of them were just guest characters that appeared for a few episodes or heroes from previous shows. It wasn't until Ultraman Gaia that the show featured two regular Ultra Heroes, the eponymous Gaia and his rival Ultraman Agul.

    Pretty Cure 
If Super Sentai and Kamen Rider are brothers, Pretty Cure is their little sister. Each PreCure series adds one or two new main cast members who are fighting alongside the already existing heroines, generally around the halfway mark of the season. The new girls tend to have either different outfits, different powers, different weaponry, different transformations, or some of the above combined.
  • Hikari in Futari wa Pretty Cure MaX Heart attaches herself to the existing Odd Couple as Shiny Luminous. She's only a Support Party Member with no forms of offensive power whatsoever. Shiny Luminous is not even a Cure herself, thus everything about her is different.
  • Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO! brings out Milky Rose as the "mysterious" sixth member. Unusually for the trope, she keeps her power level throughout the series, still defeating the Monster of the Week on her own after the Five-Man Band has resorted to using the Combined Energy Attack every week. Like Shiny Luminous, Milky Rose isn't a Cure, and she represents the blue rose as opposed to the red rose the team of five is representing.
  • Fresh Pretty Cure! added a Fourth Cure to the original Power Trio: Cure Passion, a reformed villainess. She uses a different weapon than the others, thus she has has different attacks.
  • HeartCatch Pretty Cure! added a Third Cure of its own, Cure Sunshine, as well as a later fourth Cure, Cure Moonlight (although Moonlight was a Cure from the first episode who temporarily lost her powers then got better). Cure Sunshine has a different weapon, which gives her unique attacks, while Cure Moonlight has a different transformation.
  • Suite Pretty Cure ♪ introduced Cure Muse early on, although she doesn't join the team, let alone reveal her identity until much later in the series, where she does both. Later, it followed Fresh's example and added a reformed Dark Magical Girl of its own: Cure Beat, who joins the team before Cure Muse. Both of them have different powers/weaponry from the already existing duo and each other, and both of them can transform on their own while the duo never transform without the other.
  • Doki Doki Pretty Cure added a Fifth Cure to the original quartet: Cure Ace, a completely new character who acts as The Mentor. She has overall different powers and a very different transformation.
  • HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! has Third Cure Honey and Fourth Cure Fortune. Like Moonlight and Muse, Fortune appears early in the series but doesn't join until later. Cure Honey still joins relatively early, but later than one would expect, and she uses a different weapon than the others. Cure Fortune gains a new transformation and a new weapon as a result of her original Transformation Trinket being destroyed, and she joins the team around the time the other Sixth Ranger characters would. Notably, both, Cure Honey and Cure Fortune, had been promoted to be members of the quartet even before the show began, so it was only a matter of time when they would officially join.
  • Go! Princess Pretty Cure adds former Princess Twilight (a.k.a. Princess Towa Akagi of the Hope Kingdom) as Cure Scarlet midway. Her addition leads to the creation of a completely new set of Princess Keys, and she uses a different weapon and has different powers than the other three girls. Also unlike the others, Cure Scarlet doesn't represent one of the individual aspects of a princess, but combines all three of them due to her Blue Blood status.
  • Maho Girls PreCure adds the incarnation of Mother Rapapa, Haa-chan a.k.a. Hanami Kotoha as Cure Felice.
  • Kirakira★PreCure a la Mode adds Ciel Kirahoshi as Cure Parfait. Her secret? She's also a fairy.
  • Hugtto! Pretty Cure adds two: Ruru Amour, an enemy android turned good, as Cure Amour, and Emiru Aisaki, a classmate of one of the original three Cures' younger sister, as Cure Ma Chérie. The kicker? The two of them form a duo, similar like the very original Odd Couple, making a Three Plus Two team. Cure Ma Chérie even has the same theme color as the lead Cure: pink. Cure Amour and Cure Ma Chérie transform only as a duo and they attack as a duo.
    • An interesting bit about Hugtto's Sixth Cure case is that there's only four Transformation Trinkets available initially. Since three were already taken by the initial 3 members (leaving only one left), how did Hugtto ended up with two extra Cures? Because Ruru and Emiru's desire to become Cures together was so strong, the fifth one was created by duplicating the fourth transformation device thanks to an appropriately-timed Deus ex Machina.
  • Star★Twinkle Pretty Cure adds Phantom Thief Blue Cat as Cure Cosmo, who was initially a The Mole infiltrating the enemy team as a means to restore her doomed home planet. Her real name is later revealed to be simply Yuni.
  • Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure adds Cure Earth, who is a Cure by default, and a manfestation of the Earth's desire to protect Latte and the Cures. It's only later that she adopts the civilian identity of Asumi Fuurin.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Kagura from Azumanga Daioh. She starts out as a rival in another class, but joins the group in the second year, as part of a plan by Yukari to win the Athletics Festival. Kaorin to an extent, too.
  • Izutsumi of Delicious in Dungeon is technically party member number five, but as the team already has the other archetypes for team members (with Laios being a combination of The Big Guy and The Leader) she fits squarely in this role.
  • At least one every Digimon season, the first of which is always heavily hinted at in the twenty-first episode but introduced an arc later. But it comes as the result of a Heel–Face Turn every time.
    • Digimon Adventure: Hikari/Kari and Tailmon/Gatomon. Kari should've joined at the beginning with the other Digidestined, but was sick and missed the event when they all got sucked in together. As a result, her partner was abducted and raised by one of the later villains.
    • Digimon Adventure 02: Ken/Wormmon, the villain of the first arc before making a Heel–Face Turn, and joining as The Atoner.
    • Digimon Tamers: There could be seven Sixth Rangers if you want to be technical, but the Wild Card turned Dragon turned Atoner Impmon fits best if you want to look at just one. Ryo also has a good claim. He's the last to officially join the team and the only one on par in terms of power and competency with the core Power Trio. He's also the only one outside the core three to biomerge with his partner.
    • Digimon Frontier: Koichi and The Spirits of Darkness, the twin brother of The Lancer who was trapped in a coma and corrupted by darkness initially.
    • Digimon Data Squad: Ikuto/Keenan & Falcomon, a wild child the core trio meets when they enter the digital world. It takes some time to get him to acknowledge them.
    • Digimon Xros Wars: Nene/Sparrowmon and Monitamon. (Joining Xros Heart)note 
    • Digimon Adventure tri.: Meiko and Meicoomon. Unlike all the others, the series is only one-sixth of the way done by the time they're officially inducted, but the fact that the other eight have been a team for more than half a decade makes up for it.
    • Digimon Universe: Applimonsters: Yuujin and Offmon.
  • Eyeshield 21:
    • Taki, who becomes the tight end for the Devil Bats. He joins during the middle of the Death March through America and is eventually Flanderized into becoming a huge idiot and an extra person to make short passes to. Only in one instance was he a winning factor for the team.
    • Musashi even more so. His existence has been alluded to since chapter 1, first appeared in volume 5 as a nameless contractor, and had his identity revealed in volume 7. He appears to be a jerkass at first, but it's soon revealed to be a facade and he's actually a really good guy. He doesn't join the team till volume 18, and his importance to the team only being hyped up during his first two matches. Afterward, we rarely even get to see his kicks and his role in the story significantly decreases... until the final match of the Christmas Ball that is, where he performs his first real 60-yard kick and seals the victory for the Devil Bats.
  • Soldat J and King J-Der from GaoGaiGar fit pretty well. In his first appearance, he shows up out of nowhere and massacres the three Primevals that had just annihilated the hero's main base and, it appeared at the time, the entire main cast aside from the hero himself. While Soldat J never truly joined the heroes, coinciding goals caused him to fight alongside them all the way to the end of the series and OVA. Interestingly, while the main protagonists did somewhat catch up to him, he was still more powerful than any other major character in the series except for the main character himself.
  • Ghost Hunt has two examples of this. The first is Lin Koujo, who was injured in the first episode and then left out to heal until the end of episode three. The second is Yasuhara Osamu, who shows up in episode 14. These two characters also follow the 'power is inversely proportional to the number of episodes in' rule mentioned at the top of this page: Lin is easily the strongest character in the series excluding The Hero Shibuya Kazuya, but he doesn't show his power until the final episode, while Yasuhara has absolutely no power whatsoever and does all of the research for the group.
  • Gundam series:
    • Schwarz Bruder and Allenby Beardsley from G Gundam. Super Robot Wars Reversal ran with this idea towards Allenby, especially as the game seemed to have portrayed the Shuffle Alliance as a Super Sentai-esque team.
    • Zechs from Gundam Wing is the Sixth Ranger when he's on the Gundam Pilots' side and The Rival when he's not. Appropriately enough, his name is derived from the German word for "six", fitting in with the series' Theme Naming.
    • After War Gundam X has a traditional example in Ennil El. She's an enemy for most of the show thanks to a grudge against Garrod, but when she accidentally befriends Bridge Bunny Toniya she starts on the road to a Heel–Face Turn. Then she joins the crew outright to help them fight the SRA and New Federation, and would have gotten a Gundam of her own had the series completed its full run.
    • Even though he joined too late, Yzak Joule is this to the Three Ships Alliance in Gundam SEED.
    • Tag Along Guy Saji Crossroad and Action Girl Marie Parfacy fill the role in Gundam 00. Graham Aker, formerly The Rival, becomes one in The Movie.
  • Guyver, being an homage to Kamen Rider and Kikaider, has Guyver III in the role of the Second Rider (to those who don't know, Guyver II was the Evil Counterpart).
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, Tsuruya, for the Five-Man Band SOS-Brigade is very involved in their activities, but for some reason isn't recruited. That is, despite being a natural co-conspirator of Haruhi, since they are so similar. She also appears to know that the SOS-Brigade isn't "normal", telling them to work on their masquerade more. She actually states that she prefers looking from outside, though other people on the outside sometimes considers her part of the group.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers has Canada, to the point that few ever notice him with the ones that do mistaking him for America.
  • Alice Maresato joins the band of survivors in Highschool of the Dead after being saved by Komuro and Hirano.
  • In the Hourglass of Falces manga, the main four from the anime are also joined by Luke and Milina, who serve as Zelgadis and Amelia's replacements in the second half of the novels. Luke acts as Lina's Lancer in this story, thus the snarky, well-rounded fighter Milina fits this trope.
  • Lucky Star had a whole slew of sixth rangers that joined the cast about halfway through the show's 24-episode run. Misao and Ayano start off as Living Props before eventually becoming recurring characters, while Yutaka, Minami, Patty, and Hiyori don't show up until the new school year starts. Humorously, Misao lampshades this by pointing out that she and Ayano had been there from the beginning, but were simply Out of Focus.
  • If you take it loosely, Hayate from Lyrical Nanoha. Actually, since Defeat Means Friendship, everyone in the show except Nanoha herself and Yuuno might count, with the good guys going from two people to a whole army (Hayate's, namely).
  • Done over and over in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. Lucia, Hanon, and Rina are a Power Trio throughout most of the series, but the plot of the first season is dedicated to finding the other four girls needed for a whole team... one of whom is a rogue fighting both the good and bad guys, while another is The Man Behind the Man (well, the woman behind... oh, whatever).
  • Kotaro from Negima! Magister Negi Magi, who started out as an enemy, but thanks to Defeat Means Friendship, turned into The Rival and eventually this. Though in a series where Loads and Loads of Characters are constantly being added to the main cast, several more can fit this.
  • Nichijou:
    • Nano is a major character from the start of the series, but never interacts with the other leads. It isn't until halfway through the series that she actually starts attending school and joins the group. Accordingly, the credits change to reflect this.
    • Also Fe-chan, Weboshi, and Mihoshi. The first two were present in the background, but didn't become recurring characters until about halfway through the series' run, while Mihoshi doesn't even show up until episode 18. Like Nano, the three girls were added to the opening credits right around the time they joined the cast.
  • One Piece essentially works this way, even though Luffy didn't have a Five-Man Band established since the beginning. However, by the time he went through Reverse Mountain, he had The Hero, The Lancer, The Big Guy, The Smart Guy and The Chick. Vivi joined after this, and for a while was the Sixth Ranger until she left again. You could say all the True Companions that joined him after that are Sixth Rangers, though, including her.
    • Jimbei is a more traditional example, being the first person to join the core Straw Hat team after the Time Skip, much later than their last official member, Brook. For this reason, Jimbei is initially unaware of the full dynamics of the crew.
  • The Prince of Tennis:
    • Shitenhouji: Chitose Senri transferred to the school late (in fact, he was never supposed to even be part of the team, but the author changed this to accomodate the story, and in so doing pushed the team's vice-captain into almost complete irrelevancy), and in many ways remains a loner
    • Hyoutei: Hiyoshi Wakashi is a loner, initially held as a reserve. He would like to change the status quo but is not able to do so. In some way he is the Token Evil Teammate
    • Rikkai: Kirihara Akaya is the lone second year among a team of third years. From the start he does aim to shake the status quo. He's actually simply assimilated.
    • Seigaku: Echizen Ryoma starts out as a Sixth Ranger and becomes Designated Hero.
  • In Sailor Moon, first Chibiusa, and later, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn, and still later, the addition of Chibi-Chibi and the Starlights.
    • The Outer Senshi provide egregious examples. They are somewhat xenophobic, but disappear for vague reasons whenever it'd be tricky to have overpowered characters the next season around. Whether or not they become weaker is moot, since the last season sees them as Cannon Fodder. Another example is Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen, as he joins before any girl other than Usagi.
  • Ikki from Saint Seiya is the quintessential Sixth Ranger... despite being the fifth member of the core team.
  • Jokingly deconstructed in Samurai Pizza Cats, where a set of proud Sixth Rangers is snidely narrated as the "B-team", who fight villains that main crew are too busy or can't be bothered to fight.
  • The Slayers TV series features frequently this trope:
    • At the beginning of the series, Lina and Gourry form a duo and Zelgadis is an enemy, then later fighting against both sides, and finally settles in as an ally.
    • By the beginning of the second season, they've established themselves as a standard four-man RPG team, but Martina keeps pursuing them and trying to curse Lina, before finally more-or-less joining them near Katahto.
    • Borderline example: Filia attacks the team at the beginning of the third season, but she's joined by the second episode.
    • If you count only his third-season appearances, Xellos starts out pranking them, then joins them to fight the apparent villain, then switches sides a half-dozen times before finally joining them for the last couple of episodes.
  • The Mother's Rosario arc of Sword Art Online centers around the "Sleeping Knights", a tight-knit guild lead by Yuuki. While Asuna never officially joins the guild, she becomes their seventh ranger, joining them in a party and aiding them in their quest to clear a floor boss by themselves.
  • The Blue Knight / Masaya Aoyama was this to the Mews in Tokyo Mew Mew. Mew Berry from the sequel was also very much like this.
  • Voltron has two that could be considered sixth rangers: Either Princess Fala/Allura or Sven/the Shirogane Brothers. In the twenty-episode second season of Voltron, made not from GoLion but new animation, Sven actually gets one last chance to pilot Blue Lion before the second finale.
  • Wedding Peach, originally featured a Power Trio consisting of Wedding Peach, Angel Daisy, and Angel Lily. But in the second season, a "Sixth Ranger" is added in the form of Angel Salvia, a mysterious character with a modified costume who wields a sword, is much more mature and powerful, and frequently acts independently of the main trio.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's had Crow become the Fifth Signer, while Rua/Leo became the Sixth Signer with about a dozen episodes left to the end of the series, making the latter more of an 11th-Hour Ranger.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico had Loads and Loads of Characters as it was, but continued to pick up more as the series progressed. First was the three spare Aestivalis pilots, Ryoko, Izumi, and Hikaru. After they returned to Earth, they reluctantly allowed military-appointed leader Admiral Munatake, the company chairman's secretary Erina, and fifth pilot Akatsuke Nagare the chairman himself. Finally after the exiled crew's hijacking of the Nadesico, the Jovian pilot Shiratori briefly joined.
  • Hana in the 4th season of Ojamajo Doremi. She transformed from her baby form to her human form to become the same age as the girls. Before that, Onpu was the Sixth Ranger to the original Power Trio, though she was fully integrated into the team in Sharp.
  • Lupin III started out with the main cast being just Lupin's friend Jigen and the stranger Fujiko. The samurai Goemon was added later on because the creator thought there should be a clearly Japanese character. True to the trope's usual form, he was a bad guy at first - an assassin sent to kill Lupin - but they soon became allies instead.
  • Cyber Team in Akihabara started with Hibari, Suzume, and Tsugumi as a Power Trio. About halfway in, Kamome shows up and acts antagonistic, but forces her way into the team somewhat awkwardly. In the second half, Tsubame is introduced as a villain and eventually Heel Face Turns close to the end of the series.
  • Fairy Tail has Gajeel, who started off as an Evil Counterpart to Natsu until he joined the guild, whereupon he became The Rival, and is still not trusted by some members of the guild. He is, however, a Double Agent for Makarov and takes on the tough job of spying on Raven Tail for him. There's also Wendy Marvel and her sidekick Carla, who fills the temporary 6th character spot in their intro arc, but proceeded to become a permanent addition to both the guild, and the usual focused team of Natsu/Lucy/Gray/Erza/Happy.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Bakura, moreso in the manga than the anime, who joins the core four of Yugi, Jonouchi, Honda, and Anzu. He notably has this role for most of the manga, while in the anime it only really lasts for the Duelist Kingdom arc. If anything, for the majority of the anime, Kaiba actually somewhat fills the role moreso than anyone else.
    • Despite having been there from the start, Pharaoh Atem himself is this to an extent; he and Yugi only really identify as entirely separate characters to each other. Ishizu and all the major antagonists (except Pegasus) act as if there is only Atem, while everyone else acts as if there is only Yugi.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Yuzu is a main character who never joins the Lancers due to being separated from them 99% of the time, but she's generally considered to be their friend and ally. Other prominent forefront members who are fighting along the Lancers are Kaito, Edo and Jack whereas people like Sora and Crow become official members of the Lancers and thus do not count.
    • Earlier than that, Gongenzaka was somewhat of a regular visitor of the You Show Duel School. He's a student of another Duel School, but he appeared in You Show so often that he was even allowed to duel for them as one of their three defenders.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion will introduce a new Magical Girl named Nagisa Momoe, who is clearly meant to evoke this trope. But they don't exactly play it straight. For one thing, she spends most of the film as Team Pet "Bebe", which is a slightly altered version of Nagisa's witch form Charlotte.
    • The online RPG game places this situation on Homura in regards to the pre-existing Magical Girl team of Madoka, Mami, Sayaka, Kyoko, and the Player Character. The combination of Homura's newness to the rest of the group (beyond just her New Transfer Student status), her unsociability and aloofness, and her choice of firearms and explosives presenting an ever-present risk of Unfriendly Fire on melee-fighters Sayaka and Kyoko make her integration into the group difficult - the later chapters of the main storyline place more focus on this.
    • The manga Puella Magi Oriko Magica has an example in the form of Yuma Chitose, a young girl who is convinced to contract by Oriko. Unlike most examples, however, it only happens for this timeline, and her fate in the other timelines is never revealed.
  • Renji Abarai is the most obvious example in Bleach, becoming committed to fighting alongside sworn enemy Ichigo and his close pals after getting defeated by him in the Soul Society, and succeeding in rescuing Rukia together. Renji's still an abrasive guy but likes chilling around with Ichigo whenever nearby, especially in the anime's numerous filler arcs.
  • Pokémon has a whole horde of recurring secondary characters, including the Pokémon themselves, who join the main party for specific episodes or arcs. Sometimes, they will be counterparts to characters from the games, but they're just as often Canon Foreigners. Misty, Brock, May and Dawn also act somewhat like Sixth Rangers in their return appearances. The Sun and Moon series has an odd variation where the protagonist is the Sixth Ranger, due to Ash meeting up with an already existent Five-Man Band (Pikachu is not the Sixth Ranger of their Pokemon however, as Lillie would not obtain her starter Pokemon, Snowy until after they had met).
  • Berserk: Post-Eclipse, Guts forms a loose Five-Man Band with Schierke, Serpico, Farnese, and Isidro, with the elves as Team Pets and Casca as a rather tragic example of The Load. Then their journey takes them out to sea, and Farnese turns out to have a fiancée with a Cool Ship. Enter Rodrick, the Sixth Ranger.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Iggy from Stardust Crusaders joins the main characters' group on their journey to defeat DIO halfway into the part, serving as the Sixth Ranger in Joseph, Jotaro, Polnareff, Kakyoin and Avdol's pre-existing team.
    • Rohan Kishibe from Diamond is Unbreakable joins the cast half-way into the part, and helps the Joestars hunt down Yoshikage Kira.
  • Sgt. Frog: Dororo and Angol Mois like to trade places being this and The Chick, depending on the episode.
    • In the anime, Joriri joins the Keroro Platoon officially during an episode of the 6th season. However, because Status Quo Is God, it turns out there was a mistake and he leaves... That event was still referenced afterwards though and he continued to be a minor recurring character for the anime.
    • The manga introduced an actual sixth ranger in chapter 174. The "Second Keroro Platoon", a young recruit also named "Keroro", whose Keron Star gives him alternate modes based on the data of each platoon member. He befriends a human child called Tomosu, who's an occult fan and member of an occult club, similar to Fuyuki, but he's younger and actually a Fuyuki fan himself.
  • Karin first appears in episode 3 of Yuki Yuna is a Hero. The rest of the Heroes had been friends for months and had been Heroes for a few weeks before Karin popped up. She is The Ace of the group, as she had been training for years to be a Hero. The Taisha told Karin to supervise the others. She acts uppity due to the others being less experienced than her, but is mostly tsundere and is heavily implied to have an Inferiority Superiority Complex.
  • In Flowering Heart, the mysterious, aloof Syuel ends up joining the team eventually.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has the 5 colors that represent 1/5 of the universe each, as well as artifacts that can do mostly the same things, though not as well. True to the trope, artifacts were almost nonexistent in Alpha, but have become more important (and useful) over time.
    • Although not "good" (but, as of Eldritch Moon set plotline, not "bad" either, anymore then the spring thaw's floods), the recent arrival of Eldrazi does add a more straight "sixth color" feeling to that "colorless" thing that used to be artifact's domain: a dedicated colorless mana. Prior to that, "colorless" mana meant "mana of any color you happen to have, aswell as mana produced as colorless from the get go". Now the latter is a special kind, making it for many intents and purposes the sixth color. There's even a sixth type of "basic land" added - Wastes - for its basic production.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men:
    • Back when the X-Men were a Five-Man Band, Mimic was the first new student at Xavier's (also the first non-mutant X-Man). He's been a low-level criminal since leaving the team (a waste of potential after seeing his Exiles counterpart in action).
    • When the original X-Men "graduate" to make room for the next team, the lineup remains fairly constant...Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Cyclops, with Banshee or Jean Grey "Phoenix" rounding out the squad on occasions...until after The Dark Phoenix Saga, when the team picks up Tagalong Kid Kitty "Sprite" Pryde. In an interesting inversion, she started off without much combat effectiveness, and took several levels in badass as her time with the team progressed.
  • Runaways:
    • Topher is set up a little too obviously as one of these, and then reveals himself as a Sixth Ranger Traitor in short order.
    • Played straight with Victor Mancha, who is the first member to join the team after the initial Myth Arc with the Pride. He is followed by Xavin and, later still, Klara Prast.
  • In the Supergirl story arc Red Daughter of Krypton, Supergirl joins Guy Gardner's Red Lanterns. A late addition, she is the youngest and smallest of the group, and she's also the most powerful by far due to her Kryptonian natural powers.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • In the original Mirage series (and most of the adaptations) this role is usually filled by Casey Jones who first met the Turtles after getting into a fight with Raphael when the latter stopped him from almost beating some street hoods to death.
    • About a fourth of the the way into its run, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, the Archie-published book based on the first animated series introduced Ninjara, a ninja foxwoman, as an antagonist. A few issues later, she joins the turtles and becomes a series regular, appearing in every story since.
  • The Fantastic Four have had a few extras over the years—Johnny's ex-wife Lyja, Ben's girlfriend Sharon Ventura, the time displaced teenage version of Valeria Richards, and others; not counting substitute members who have filled in temporary vacancies in the team like Crystal, Luke Cage, She-Hulk, and the Black Panther.
  • Green Arrow was the first new recruit to join the Justice League back in the 60's. As a Mythology Gag, his son Connor Hawke was the first new recruit to join the reformed League during Grant Morrison's run.
  • Captain America, who joined The Avengers in the fourth issue of the series, and ended up becoming The Hero of the team.
  • Les Légendaires got two sixth rangers so far:
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog has had a number of Sixth Rangers since its inception: Bunnie Rabbot (who wasn't part of the team here), Dulcy the Dragon, Tails and Amy Rose. The Continuity Reboot altered things so that Big the Cat and Cream and Cheese are now Freedom Fighters and the backstory revealed that Sonic and Tails were the first Sixth Rangers in the Freedom Fighters.
  • Marty Miller from Circles a is a late addition who joins the Five-Man Band at only the beginning of the story. He is also the youngest and most inexperienced of the group, so he doubles as an Audience Surrogate.
  • Aqualad (the Kaldur'ahm version) is this in Teen Titans (Rebirth), complete with a "Next: The Sixth Titan" preview.
  • Justice League (2018) had Alpheus the World Forger and Shane J'onzz join the league in its 25th issue.
  • One of the key plot points in the Shazam story arc "Shazam and the Seven Magic Lands" is who the seventh champion of the Magic Lands could be. The first six champions are established to be the Shazam Family — Billy, Freddy, Mary, Pedro, Eugene, and Darla. The eighth issue of the story ends with Billy sharing his power with his own father, C.C. Batson.
  • The first issue of Rat Queens establishes the four Queens as one of several adventuring parties - the Peaches are a rival group. Braga of the Peaches fights alongside the Queens several times until she is officially inducted in the fourth arc.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The MTM from the Calvinverse was with Calvin from the start, but (as of the Calvin and Hobbes: The Series episode "An MTM Episode") gained speech and started becoming more of his own character, making him this.
  • The Rescue Rangers often have a One-Shot Character as a literal Sixth Ranger in fan fiction, and it's Foxglove way more often than not. If any other one-shot joins the team, you can be sure that Foxy is already a Ranger.
  • Copy Cat in The End of Ends, though in the sense of him being a Guest-Star Party Member. He gets promoted to a more permanent position after Beast Boy kicks it.
  • Evangelion 303: Mari Makinami and her weapons officer Kelly joined the "Evangelion" squad at the end of the Part 2, and during her debut onscreen fight Mari matched skills with Asuka, the top pilot of the squad.
  • Many Danny Phantom fics, such as the Facing the Future Series, have Danielle as this for Team Phantom.
  • Fate Revelation Online: Shirou is explicitly nicknamed this, due to his rampant heroism in the early days of SAO. He even gets an appropriate white jumpsuit and mask made for him.
  • Monica of Fire Emblem: Three Houses plays this role to two different teams in two different stories:
    • In A Chance for a New Dawn, she's the unofficial tenth member of the Golden Deer, with the (official) ninth member being Bernadetta after she requested a transfer from the Black Eagles at her first opportunity. Monica was originally recruited by Edelgard to fill the void left by Bernadetta's departure, but she winds up spending most of her time playing sidekick to Bernie because she finds the Golden Deer's missions more exciting.
    • In The Ghost of Ochs, after spending a few days recovering from being kidnapped, she is reinstated to the Officers Academy and formally joins Edelgard and the other Black Eagles during the midway point of the school year.
  • Tsuruya was officially recruited into the SOS Brigade in Kyon: Big Damn Hero, as well as the unnamed girl from Dissociation.
  • Common in Miraculous Ladybug fanfiction, as there are at least three Miraculous still inactive, plus one whose holder is probably due for retirement. Typical candidates for these stories are Nino becoming the Turtle Miraculous holder (soon to be canon) and the Guardian when Master Fu retires (or dies, as in Serendipitous Fate), Chloe getting the Bee Miraculous (also soon to be canon) and the Fox Miraculous going to either Lila, Nathanael or Alya (the latter has happened temporarily in Season 2, no word yet if it'll be permanent in the future).
  • On the subject of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanworks, its pretty common to depict background filly Dinky (who is usually depicted as the daughter of Memetic Bystander Derpy Hooves) as the Fourth Cutie Mark Crusader. Similarly, it's also quite common to have Trixie ultimately become a seventh member of the Mane Six.
    • Actually, I'm Dead has Trixie slowly becoming this to the Mane Six, after Twilight's forced to take her in, do to her experiencing a rather... unfortunate side effect of using The Alicorn Amulet.
      • Later on in the story, Lightning Dust joins the mane cast, after working out the lingering issues she and the others (namely Rainbow Dash and Trixie) had with each other, after the events of Wonderbolts Academy.
    • Breeze Rider from Dusk's Dawn is generally comic relief throughout the episode.
    • Equestria's First Human: When Connor permanently ends up in Equestria, he is reincarnated as a pony, and joins the Mane Cast in it and the rest of the sequels. While the sequels are written from his perspective, they take place during canon events of the show which tend to focus on the Mane 6, and thus he qualifies.
    • Pony POV Series:
      • Trixie serves this role, being a second Element of Magic and performing a Heel–Face Turn when Twilight saved her from her Discording and an Enemy Within named Loneliness, joining the group afterwards. She proves to be a powerful ally, not only sharing Twilight's Power Copying ability, but by being a cunning Guile Heroine who makes good use of her weather generating abilities.
      • Fluttercruel also ends up joining the team, after she pulls a Heel–Face Turn, nearly performs a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat Nightmare Whisper, is discovered to be a second Element of Kindness, and she and Fluttershy are given the ability to swap control of their body by Celestia.
      • In the Dark World arc, Ditzy Doo/Derpy Hooves, Apple Pie, and Spike join the redeemed members of the Mane Cast as the new Elements of Loyalty, Laughter, and Generosity, respectfully.
      • Also in Dark World, there's a villainous example, as Discord's sister Rancor joins up with the villains just as the Elements of Harmony start their campaign to liberate Equestria from Discord. Becomes a Sixth Ranger Traitor, as it turns out she was only bidding her time until she could steal Destruction's power from Discord for herself.
      • Rainbow Dash gets demoted to this — unlike the other Mane Six, she goes into a Deep Sleep after her redemption in order to recover spiritually from the trauma of everything Discord put her through. As such, she doesn't join in the fight against Discord's forces until she shows up in time to save the others from Odyne!Cruelty. Likewise Pinkie Pie, who isn't redeemed until close to the end of the arc and dies soon after anyway.
      • Shining Armor's side story has a rather literal example — Cadence has Private Garnet reassigned to Misfit Actual (Shining's unit) not just for her medical skills, but because regulations dictate that units need to have six members.
      • Silver Spoon ends up joining the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and is rather determined to make former friend Diamond Tiara join them too.
    • Rainbooms and Royalty: Zecora joins the Mane Six and guides them through the Everfree forest to find the Elements of Harmony. Ditzy Doo, after being freed from Nightmare Moon's mind control, likewise joins during the Final Battle. Zecora seems set up to take the role again in Hot Heads, Cold Hearts, Nerves of Steel.
  • In Justice League: The Spider, when Spider-Man arrives in the DC Animated Universe, while he's never explicitly identified as the equivalent of a 'Sixth Ranger' as he becomes part of the Justice League's mass recruitment drive, he still ticks most of the key boxes even with the other heroes joining the team, as he had spent time living on the Watchtower with the rest of the League, was close friends with all seven founders, and officially joined the team a day or two before everyone else.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim:
    • The fic opens with Zim getting a new minion in the form of the vampire Norlock. Later, Dib is assigned reinforcements from the Swollen Eyeballs in the form of the twins Steve and Viera. Later still, Tenn arrives on Earth, and the Tallest form her to team up with Tak.
    • By Season 2, Norlock is out of the picture due to being dead, and Zim's team gets two replacement members in the form of his Psycho Supporter Nyx and her robot Battle Butler Ying.
  • In the Tamers Forever Series Takeru Takaishi becomes this during Silent Sorrow.
  • Total Drama What If Series:
    • Unlike the others, Topher joins the game in "Brunch of Disgustingness" after interning for Chris.
    • Charles and Georgia, two new characters, join the cast at the Action reunion special.
  • Yin And Yang Series: Kirere, after the first story, ends up becoming this for the Keroro Platoon.
  • J-WITCH Season 1:
    • Jade's friendship with the Guardians is strong enough that they consider her an official member of the team even without powers (hence the fic's name). It later becomes official after Will using the Heart of Kandrakar to cure Jade's Queen of the Shadowkhan corruption creates a sixth Auremere, turning Jade into the Guardian of Shadows.
    • After the bad guys manage to get Elyon to Meridian, Alchemy ends up discovering the Guardians and Chans' magical adventures, so she starts helping them out in said adventures. Hay Lin lampshades it by commenting that J-WITCH has a new supporting member.
  • Sarabi of Junior Officers, who didn't join the main cast until Season 2.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: The main heroes are the Red Lotus Trio consisting of Chloe Cerise, Atticus and Lexi. In Act 2, they add Amelia to their ranks because they have the same agenda to trap the Apex to prevent them from causing more harm and rename themselves the "Red Lotus Quarto".

    Films — Animation 
  • Kung Fu Panda: After Po proves himself as the true Dragon Warrior in the first film, he regularly fights with the Furious Five. However, considering he is still unsure of himself to a certain degree, he defers to Tigress as leader and is content to keep the relationship known as "The Furious Five and the Dragon Warrior."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Agent Clint Barton/Hawkeye in The Avengers. He's absent for a good chunk of the film due to being mind-controlled by Loki, but joins up just in time to help the heroes kick ass in the climax. Appropriately, he's a dark and brooding type, with incredible Improbable Aiming Skills.
  • Storm Shadow from G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
  • The GhostBusters where originally a Power Trio in formation, then Winston Zeddmore joins immediately after the Montage. In the sequel he also oddly appears in only 1 Pre-montage scene.
  • In Justice League (2017), Batman (The Leader) and Wonder Woman (The Lancer) assemble the titular league, with Aquaman (The Big Guy), The Flash (The Chick), and Cyborg (The Smart Guy) rounding out the Five-Man Band. They are joined at the last minute by Superman, recently resurrected.
  • In The Magnificent Seven there is a bit of this going on in two ways. The character Chico is viewed as this by the other characters, although the character Lee, played by Robert Vaughn, unlike the others, does not have a counterpart in the Seven Samurai and was created specifically for the film, making him also a Sixth Ranger.
  • Captain Barbossa of Pirates of the Caribbean, who becomes a good guy in At World's End (until the end, when he steals the Black Pearl from Jack...again). A more minor example might be Jack Sparrow, who joins up with Will Turner after them being quite at odds.
  • Stagecoach: The Ringo Kid. John Wayne's character in the classic western is introduced after the other characters and joins them later in the story. With the characters opposed to each other, he acts as a catalyst to bring the other characters into reconciliation.
  • Star Wars: Luke, Han, and Leia form a Power Trio in the first film, with Chewbacca as a Satellite Character attached to Han and Obi-Wan to Luke as The Mentor, and the droids as Plucky Comic Relief. In The Empire Strikes Back, Lando Calrissian joins as the Sixth Ranger. He double-crosses the heroes and Chewbacca nearly strangles him to death. However, he was just trying to protect Cloud City, and he eventually pulls a Heel–Face Turn to join the Rebellion.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon - After the Autobots learn of an Autobot starship hidden on the moon's dark side, they go up to retrieve its captain, Sentinel Prime. Sentinel then joins the Autobots at NEST, before revealing himself to be a traitor. Unknown to the others, he had struck a deal with Megatron near the war's end to work together rebuilding Cybertron. He then murders Ironhide, before taking the Space Bridge pillars and meeting up with Megatron, with the intention of bringing Cybertron close to Earth, and using humanity to rebuild Cybertron as a slave labor force.
  • Emma Frost to Magneto's original Brotherhood in X-Men: First Class.

  • David from Animorphs is the straight example, identified on book covers as the "Sixth Animorph", though he is actually a Sixth Ranger Traitor. Ax is the more commonly accepted Sixth Ranger: he and the original five initially consider themselves "five kids and an Andalite," but by the final book, Ax refers to the group as "We, the Animorphs," when speaking to Jake.
  • Harry Potter:
    • After the events of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius Black largely fills this role in the fourth and fifth books, becoming Harry's go-to guy when in need of advice or moral support.
    • Starting in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Neville, Luna, and Ginny (all of whom but Luna had been recurring characters before) began to function as a sort of auxiliary trio to the main characters.
    • Averted in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Remus Lupin tries to become this by offering the Trio to join them on their quest to defeat Voldemort, but Harry refuses the offer when he discovers Lupin is trying to escape the responsibilities of being a good husband and father, by leaving the pregnant Tonks to her fate. Since Harry lost his parents when they gave their live to save him, Harry really dislikes it when someone tries to abandon his or her responsibility as a parent. Tragically, not only does Lupin die in the final battle, but so does Tonks, leaving their son an orphan. Word of God rubs the salt further by stating that Lupin has lost most of his dueling reflexes because he doesn't get to fight much (which joining Harry would lead to plenty of), leading to his demise. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe occasionally does this. Most obvious is Zekk from Young Jedi Knights. Zekk even looks like Tommy in the art.
  • Thomas from Malevil. He's the one member of the World War III survivors that wasn't part of the group from their youth. He's also college educated, don't speak the local patois, and an atheist without a religious upbringing.
  • The Camp Half-Blood Series:
    • A three-man team is actually sanctioned by the gods; breaking it often leads to misery. In The Titan's Curse, Percy's team ends up consisting of himself, Grover, Thalia, Bianca, and Zoe. The team was originally without Percy, but he can't help but join (since what is at stake is Annabeth, Percy's Love Interest), making him the Sixth Ranger to them. Bianca dies in the middle of the quest, while Zoe dies during the final battle.
    • In The Heroes of Olympus series, the gods break the usual rule by sanctioning a seven-man team, justified since there are two camps participating and because their enemy is the Earth herself. But even then, Leo stands out among the group, being the only one not to have a love interest on the ship. He is outright called "the seventh wheel" once. Besides Leo, the group is also accompanied by Coach Hedge, who insists on joining as their protector, and later Nico. Both of them leave the group in the final book, leaving the seven without a Sixth Ranger.
    • In The Trials of Apollo, the only permanent members of the trials are the titular Apollo and Meg McCaffrey. Everyone else is basically a Sixth Ranger, joining the two at one time and leaving at another. In The Dark Prophecy, it's Leo and Calypso. In The Burning Maze, it's Grover and Piper.
  • There are some borderline examples in the first Dinoverse in Loki and Beanie. Loki never really joins so much as he comes and goes, mostly overseeing Janine. Beanie shows up late and sticks right to Bertram's side. There is a much clearer example in the second set in Green Knight/GK, who in his first appearance tries to eat Zane. (It should be noted that GK is a predatory dinosaur.) GK's love for Patience is strong enough that he follows her around and refrains from eating her friends, and in fact tries to save one of them in the climax.
  • In Trainspotting Second Prize accompanies the main four (Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie) at the end of the novel as they go down to London for a drug deal, and is also subsequently one of the people Renton rips off, which makes his absence in the film adaption more noticeable.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Richard Grieco's character, Dennis Booker, on the crime drama, 21 Jump Street. His character was then given his own short-lived spinoff.
  • Kat of Alphas was introduced in the second season and spent the majority of the following episodes trying to officially join the team, which she eventually succeeded in doing.
  • Arrow: Season 1 establishes 'Team Arrow', the Power Trio of Oliver, Diggle and Felicity and they gain more members and allies throughout the series.
    • Quentin Lance became the group's outsource and police intel starting Season 2 up until the mid-Season 3 due to a fallout. He resumes this position in Season 4.
    • Sara Lance comes on board as an on-off member in Season 2 and Roy Harper later joins in the same season on a permanent basis.
    • Lyla Michaels becomes a recurring ally starting the Season 2 finale.
    • Laurel Lance from the Season 2 finale onwards spends her time as an outsource and legal aid. Come mid-Season 3, she tires to take her sister's place against the rest of the team's objections. Oliver eventually takes her on board.
    • Thea Queen becomes an ally partway through Season 3 and officially a member during the Season Finale.
    • Season 3 also introduced recurring allies such as The Flash and his team, The Atom, and Katana. Malcolm Merlyn also allied with Oliver briefly, though the relationship was more antagonistic. Nyssa Al-Ghul, though helped Team Arrow in an Enemy Mine scenario at the previous Season Finale, also officially becomes a recurring Friendly Enemy during this season.
  • Barney & Friends started off with just Barney and Baby Bop, and then added B.J. a short while afterwards. In 2006, the series introduced a fourth dinosaur, Riff.
  • Done multiple times on Babylon 5.
    • Most of the time, it was to replace a departing character (Sheridan for Sinclair, Lochley for Ivanova), but Marcus Cole, introduced in the third season, is a straight example.
    • Bester during his brief Heel–Face Turn functioned as the Token Evil Teammate version.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In season 4, Buffy herself becomes the Sixth Ranger to The Initiative, the newly-introduced organization staffed by guest-stars.
    • During season 5, the Knights of Byzantium start off as possibly ally or enemy (attack Buffy, but also beat up Glory's Mooks) before becoming full-on enemies due to their unwillingness to show mercy.
    • Spike started off as a Big Bad in Season 2, later performed a Heel–Face Turn, and did indeed end up as the protagonist's boyfriend.
    • Anya starts out bad, but performs a prolonged Heel–Face Turn, and ends up part of the group.
    • And finally Andrew, who spent most of season 6 fighting against Buffy, only to end up becoming one of the Scoobies the following season.
    • Inverted during Season 3. Faith starts out good and ends up good, so she is not only Inverted, but also a true Sixth Ranger, two different times. Three times if you include her short stint in the fourth season of Angel. Faith serves as a sort of wild card for either show when the dynamic needs a good shaking.
    • Lorne fits this trope in the Buffy spinoff Angel. While he debuts in season 2 as a neutral contact when the team has 4 members (Angel, Cordy, Wes, Gunn), he moves in with them and becomes far more involved with them in season 3 when they have 5 members (the previously mentioned, plus Fred) then joins the team officially in Season 4. But during season 3, while he is considered an ally, he isn't considered a core member. After Cordy departs, and Lorne makes up the fifth member, it could be said that Spike becomes the new sixth ranger.
  • Jesse joins the Burn Notice Power Trio in Season Four. However, tensions are a bit high, given that he's yet to find out that he's the spy Michael (accidentally) got burned.
  • Charmed has Leo, Cole, Chris, Billie, and Coop all acting as sixth rangers to varying degrees.
  • Daniel Shaw from season 3 of NBC's Chuck. He occasionally joins the Power Trio of Chuck, Sarah, and Casey on missions but only those concerning his area of expertise, the evil organization known as the Ring.
  • In the second season of Community, Chang attempts to join the study group.
  • Hawkes in CSI: NY, who joined the team as a field investigator in season 2. He was coroner before.
  • Disney Channel does this in some of their shows:
    • Chad Dylan Cooper in Sonny with a Chance, then became Sonny's replacement in So Random!.
    • Marcus Little in The Suite Life on Deck, although he left the series later on and Maya fills the role after he leaves.
    • Gunther and Tinka Hessenheffer in Shake it Up, despite the latter being billed as a recurring character.
    • Carrie in the 3rd season of Austin & Ally, combined with Official Couple to Dez.
    • Season 2 of Girl Meets World introduces Zay Babineaux, Lucas' old friend from Texas. He combines this trope with being an Audience Surrogate, especially as he has been present for episodes with a more serious plot. Isadora Smackle also fills this role before Zay came in the picture, but she's more of an "Extra Hero" kind of character at first.
    • Zane and Rodney from Bizaardvark is this in Season 3 combined with Four Plus Two. Amelia's little sister Willow acts as this too in that season, but most of the time is only seen with her sister.
    • Terry Perry in Lab Rats was mostly an antagonist to the main characters, but becomes a full-fledged ally late Season 3 onwards, even though she still antagonizes them every now and then.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Jack Harkness fits this trope in Series 1, temporarily changing the Doctor and Rose's The Hero/Sidekick duo to a Power Trio (once he stops trying to con them). He shows up again two seasons later, just in time to help the Doctor and Martha against the Master.
    • Series 5 has Rory to Eleven and Amy. He's a bit character when he first appears, but eventually becomes a companion midway through it. And then he dies and is blinked out of existence a few episodes later, only to return for the finale. And then by Series 6 he becomes a full-time companion for the rest of Amy's tenure.
    • In Series 8, starring the duo of Twelve and Clara, Clara's Love Interest Danny and snarky student Courtney looked like they would become this, but it didn't happen.
    • Chris Chibnall's scripts generally tend to take this to an extreme by often introducing multiple one-shot companions at a time. "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" introduces Rory's dad Brian, the Great White Hunter John Riddell and the Egyptian queen Nefertiti to make a temporary TARDIS Team, and the trend continues into Series 11, for which he acted as showrunner.
  • Double the Fist has Tina T, The Chick who replaced Mephisto after he was taken over by an Aztec Demigod. In Series Two we got Tara, a shapeshifting cyborg assassin who was on par with Steve in combat. Comically, she was mostly used for paperwork. Blue Womp would also technically count.
  • Friends: Charlie Wheeler, who happened to be a Twofer Token Minority. Also Richard and Pete, two of Monica's early boyfriends that got their own arcs. Other examples include Mike Hannigan, who marries Phoebe in the end; Fun Bobby, Marcel the Monkey, and Gunther who appeared in the most episodes after the main six.
  • Tina, Rob, Hector and Casey from Ghostwriter.
  • On Glee, later additions to the club have included Rachel's boyfriend Jesse from a rival glee club in the first season, new student Sam and Deadpan Snarker Lauren in the second, and Irish exchange student Rory, spoiled rich girl Sugar, Christian dreadlocked hippie Joe, and Kurt's boyfriend Blaine in the third. The fourth (after Rachel, Finn, Kurt, Mercedes, Puck, Quinn and Santana graduated) brings us Unique, Finn and Rachel clones Ryder and Marley, Puck's brother Jake, and Alpha Bitch Kitty. As of the midway point of the fifth season, all original members have graduated, but the Glee club was disbanded, although it will presumably return in Season 6
  • Heroes - Sylar, by the season four finale. Doesn't look good for him though. Made worse in that he already tried it once a season before, and that didn't work out so well. The writers kept flip-flopping on what side they wanted him on, so he'd realize that being a good guy is more meaningful, and then realize that Evil Feels Good, over and over. He happened to be on the good side of the Heel–Face Revolving Door when the show was cancelled, but that doesn't mean he's a good guy.
  • Lieutenant Bush is cast this way in Horatio Hornblower (since the adaptation gave Horatio a different Lancer in Archie). Bush comes aboard pleased to serve under the heroic Sawyer, gets irritated at the other lieutenants' criticisms of Sawyer's erratic behavior, and observes with an unreadable expression. So when he seeks out their mutinous assembly in the middle of the night, they're quite frozen, until he expresses his own opinion of Sawyer's unfitness and that if they're planning to do something, he'd like to join them.
  • Jerome from House of Anubis who technically joins Sibuna for protection from his "boss" Rufus Zeno. Joins up with Sibuna again in Season 2 So they could rescue Trudy who had been kidnapped by Rufus.
    • Joy also counts as she was important to the mystery in the first season and was added into Sibuna by the end of season 2 after helping to rescue Nina from under the Senet board. In season 3 she is a full member of the team, but she quits after Fabian breaks her heart.
    • Eddie also joins Sibuna at the very end of season 2 when it turns out he's the Osirian. He didn't officially join until season 3, however.
    • Willow joins for a bit in the season 3 finale, but it's cut short when she becomes a Sinner.
    • The Movie adds Mara to the team, as well as the new students Dexter, Erin and Cassie. Sophia was also a member, but she was soon revealed to be the Big Bad of the movie.
  • The then-love interests of anyone of the Five-Man Band sans Lily and Marshall fill the role on How I Met Your Mother. If the actual mother counts, she did so very late in the game, i.e. 11:58 pm.
  • Oddly, Iron Chef has one of these: Kobe in the original series fits the trope almost perfectly (as he even has his own customised entrance).
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Frank appears and joins as the fifth member of "The Gang", which had previously consisted only of Dennis, Dee, Charlie and Mac. Frank has become a staple of the show.
  • Bob Fossil of The Mighty Boosh is a sort-of Fifth Ranger to the main group of Howard, Vince, Bollo and Naboo. He was in the radio show and tv show from the beginning, but as an antagonist with not much focus. After series one ended, he vanished from the show, as the main characters no longer worked for him. He had a single cameo in series two, then in series three, he appeared in a neutral role in a few episodes, though the other characters still don't like him. In the live shows, however, he's updated to full group status, fights on the side of the heroes, and seems to be at least somewhat friendly with Vince and Howard.
  • Mighty Moshin Emo Rangers, a UK fan-made series (that made its way to MTV) which parodies both the Power Rangers and "emo" culture, did this in its first season with the addition of Fai, the Purple Fashioncore Ranger.
  • Misfits:
    • Played with on episode 2.4, which introduces a guy named Ollie with all the traits of a sixth ranger: he joins the community service with the main gang, starts to get along with them and even has a superpower like them... but he's killed ten minutes into the episode. Ironically, Ollie's heart is transplanted to Ill Girl Nikki, who eventually becomes the sixth ranger for the rest of Season 2.
    • Seth becomes the sixth ranger in Season 3.
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg starts out with four heroes who have the power to command the elements of fire, air, water and earth. Around the middle of the series, they are joined by Prince Garret, who gains power over the element of forest.
  • NCIS:
    • Jimmy Palmer jumped in for Gerald after he was shot in the first season, and became a member of the main cast in season ten. Unlike the substitutions of Ziva, Vance, and Bishop, he didn't fill an existing role as a cast regular, as Gerald was never a member of the main cast. McGee or Shepard might be considered Sixth Ranger material as well, although the creation of their roles was so early in the series and so ingrained into the show's early identity as a straight procedural that they could not be said to have really altered the show's character. Palmer's increasing relevance goes hand in hand with the development of NCIS as a misfit family series as much as a procedural.
    • After Ziva leaves in the tenth season, it is open if she'll be a recurring guest from time to time.
    • Tobias Fornell, Hollis Mann, Mike Franks, Abigail Borin, Diane Sterling, EJ Barrett, and Jake Malloy are/were notable recurring allies of the main cast.
  • Reno 911! gave us Deputy Kimball in season 3.
  • Nasir silently joins the Merry Men at the end of the pilot episode of Robin of Sherwood after being set up as a minion of the bad guys. Yes, that's one episode in, but it's also a brand new Robin Hood character after about 600 years.
  • Madan Senki Ryukendo starts off with two warriors; Ryukendo and Ryuguno. Around episode 14, a third warrior, Ryujinou appears, who first spends his time as an Anti-Hero, then as an Aloof Ally, before finally joining the others for real.
  • Sherlock gives us Mary Morstan (who then becomes Mary Watson) in Series 3. Seems to be inverted/subverted in that she comes across as one of the good guys from the beginning; then it seems like she's secretly evil when we find out that she was formerly an assassin. Ultimately double-subverted, as she turns out to be an ultimately good woman with a dark past who truly loves John.
  • Major Evan Lorne from Stargate Atlantis. He joins the Atlantis expedition in the second season, becoming a regular face on the show and a leading member of the expedition (he's the Number Two of Atlantis' military), and unlike other newcomers such as Ronon, Keller, Carter and Woolsey, he fills an entirely new role instead of being a replacement for a departing character.
  • Vala Mal Doran in Stargate SG-1. In mid-season eight, she unsuccessfully hijacks the Prometheus. In Season nine, she gradually moves from minor villain to anti-hero, being partially responsible for bringing the Ori to the Milky Way among other things. In season ten, she becomes a full SG-1 member, though not after losing her memory once.
  • Stranger Things:
    • In season 2, Steve and Max end up becoming this to the Party. The former spent the first season barely knowing them, while the latter starts out as the new kid in school. By the end, they're pretty much accepted into the fold after bonding with the Party and proving their skills. This gets lampshaded with Max, as most of the group except Lucas are initially wary of letting her in on the masquerade expressly because they feel they don't need a Sixth Ranger (that and, it's implied, Mike unconsciously seeing her as a Replacement Scrappy for Eleven). They only change their minds when Max saves Steve from Billy and helps out during the mission to distract the Mind Flayer.
    • Robin and Erica in season 3. Robin is a new girl introduced as Steve's coworker and former classmate, and Erica previously appeared as Lucas' little sister before joining the main cast. Dustin and Steve recruit them out of necessity but try to keep them out of the Masquerade. It doesn't stick. After the four of them discover what the Russians are really up to, the girls end up learning everything that's been going on in Hawkins for the last couple of years.
  • Supernatural has seen several attempts at adding a Sixth Ranger to the Winchester brothers, with varying degrees of success. Ruby turned out to be a Sixth Ranger Traitor, but Castiel and Bobby seem to have well and truly worked their way into Team Free Will.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, a fifth, female turtle named Venus was introduced to the previously all-male quartet. (She could be a sixth ranger if you count Splinter, though.)
  • Derek Reese in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, who showed up late in the first season.
  • Torchwood:
    • For the first half of Season 1 or so, this is Ianto, but by the end of the season he's just as much a part of the gang as the others. Season 2 has Martha and Season 3 has Lois.
    • Rhys is the recurring Sixth Ranger from the middle of Season 2 onwards.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In the Eastern Zodiac, or works that adapt from it, the Cat is sometimes treated as the 13th and additional element to the group generally consisting of its twelve signs.
  • Similarly, because of its recent astrological upgrade as a solar constellation, Ophiuchus can enjoy this role in the Western Zodiac.
  • In Acts of the Apostles, Saul of Tarsus starts out persecuting Christians, but after his Heel–Face Turn on the road to Damascus, he joins the twelve Apostles in spreading the Gospel. He later became known as the apostle Paul, went on to write half the New Testament, and is widely considered the greatest evangelist in Christian history.

  • Iron Maiden had five men line-ups since 1980. Then when Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith decided to return to the band, Janick Gers served as a Sixth Ranger to a reunion of the golden years Maiden. This meant that the band had THREE GUITARISTS and is one of the few (and certainly the most popular) band to do so. It is said that Janick was kept on for three reasons - he had worked with Bruce solo, he kept the group entertained, and so that Adrian and Dave able to do twin solos and have a rhythm guitarist underneath.
  • The Black Eyed Peas were originally a trio (the three guys), before Sierra Swan, Kim Hill and Fergie joined.
  • Saxophone player King Curtis was considered the "Fifth Coaster" to the vocal quartet The Coasters.
  • Keyboard player Billy Preston joined The Beatles for their Let It Be album/movie in 1969, was the only musician after 1963 to be co-credited on a Beatles single. and was commonly called the "Fifth Beatle". George Harrison, who brought Preston into the studio in the first place, unsuccessfully tried to convince the band to make him an official member, noticing the positive effects Preston's presence had on the band on the band musically and personally.
    • Other candidates for the role of "Fifth Beatle" include their producer George Martin, and sometimes their manager Brian Epstein. Others who were involved with them are ex-drummer Pete Best, ex-bassist Stuart Sutcliffe (who quit the band to get married before they made it big, then died of an undiagnosed aneurysm a year later), and Eric Clapton (he played on several of their tracks and was seriously considered for membership in the band at one point).
  • Raymond Watts had this effect when he briefly rejoined KMFDM for their album Nihil. The usual vocal lineup of Sacha K, En Esch, and whatever female singer they were working with at the moment (typically Dorona Alberti) was disrupted as Watts took over lead vocal duties on half of the album's tracks and En Esch was only the featured singer on one song. This paved the way for the band to become more reliant on guest singers for the next four albums with Watts, Chris Connelly, Ogre and Tim Skold (who was also something of a Sixth Ranger himself) appearing on multiple tracks.
  • Linkin Park's bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell. He was a part of the original lineup, known as Xero from 1996-1998, but had commitments with another band called Tasty Snax, so left the band until 2001, when he returned. During the period he was away, the band recorded their first album Hybrid Theory and got their first mainstream exposure, which brought them great popularity. On the back cover of this album, only the five main members are shown, which led many to assume those were all the people in the band. On the Hybrid Theory album itself, bass duties were split between usual guitarist Brad Delson, touring bassist Scott Koziol and session bassist Ian Hornbeck. played the rest. When Phoenix returned in 2001 shortly after the release of One Step Closer as a single, many fans who didn't know about him felt that he was the Sixth Ranger joining an established band, and to many it still feels like that.
  • Swedish Garage Rock quintet The Hives credit their manager Randy Fitzsimmons as their sixth member and main songwriter. However, Fitzsimmons may or may not actually exist. The Hives claim he is a real person. The music press are deeply skeptical.
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra have always been primarily thought of as a trio, but several of their collaborators (such as Chris Mosdell and Peter Barakan, who wrote most of the band's English lyrics) have been unofficially considered the band's "fourth member". The primary candidate, however, is Hideki Matsutake, who produced most of the band's early releases and has actually performed as part of their touring lineup.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, as noted in the eponymous song's lead in. He was created about a century after the other eight:
    You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen
    Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.
    But do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all?
  • Rammstein started out with four members; guitarist Paul Landers joined shortly after hearing Rammstein's fist demo recordings, making them five. The sixth, keyboardist Flake, was essentially badgered into playing with them: they needed a keyboardist but he refused because it seemed blunt, boring, and strict. Eventually he did start to play with them on the condition that he'd leave if he'd get bored. According to Landers Flake has in fact never actually answered the question whether he'd join them or not.
  • The Foo Fighters have a variant: the band always performed live as a quartet, until the In Your Honor tour made them hire touring musicians. One of those, guitarist Pat Smear (who was also part of the band's first formation), was reinstated as an official member in 2010, and another, keyboardist Rami Jaffee, earned the same status in 2017.
  • Matt Mangano had been collaborating with Zac Brown Band even prior to officially taking over on bass in 2014 (notably, he played on one song on 2012's Uncaged but was credited as a guest at the time). His addition to the lineup allowed existing bassist John Driskell Hopkins to take over on other instruments.
  • Grateful Dead member Robert Hunter joined the group in 1967 just after they recorded their debut album, remained an official member until they broke up in 1995 and was inducted with the other members into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What made him different from all of the other members was that he wasn't part of the band as a musician, but as their primary lyricist. Band leader Jerry Garcia even referred to Hunter as "the band member who doesn't come out on stage with us" and considered him to be just as much of an official member of the Grateful Dead as the musicians in the group were.
  • In 2019, The Wiggles added a fifth Wiggly Friend, Shirley Shawn the Unicorn. At various points in time, they've had celebrities act as a honorary Wiggle— for example Kylie Minogue was once designated as the Pink Wiggle.
  • After drummer Bill Berry retired from music due to a combination of health concerns, burnout, and a desire to shift focus in life, R.E.M. used a variety of session drummers to fill the void before eventually recruiting Bill Rieflin in 2003. While never inducted as an official member of R.E.M., Rieflin filled the same role as Berry once did, serving as the band's chief percussionist until their dissolution in 2011 (both on-stage and in the studio) and additionally contributed bouzouki, keyboards and guitars.

  • Played straight in many series of BIONICLE. Beginning in 2003 (and ending in 2009), Lego sold an extra basic-sized figure (usually referred to as a "Seventh Toa") packed in with a vehicle and sold at a higher price point, and usually joined the main team of heroes in-universe later in the story, though almost every year deviated from this in some way;
    • 2003 - Takanuva was a new member who joined the team just before the finale of the first movie (and stayed with them afterwards) and was packed with the Ussanui (which existed for about 30 seconds before being destroyed in the movie) and is considered the basis for the seventh toa in the rest of the franchise.
    • 2004 - Toa Lhikan was packed in with a Kikanalo, though in-universe, he existed before the main heroes and is the one who gave Toa Metru their powers. In addition, by the time he had joined the main heroes he'd already lost his Toa power and became a Turaga; he had to empower them with his own toa powers. He also never rode a Kikanalo, although other Toas of similar stature have.
    • 2005 - The only year without a true Seventh Toa, though the special edition "Toa Norik" and Toa Iruni were sold on the side and fill the seventh toa slot (though both were sold at the same pricepoint at the regular figures, neither had a vehicle, and were completely disconnected from the main story in-universe).
    • 2006 - Vezon filled the seventh toa slot but was a villain instead of a hero. Vezon was packed with the mechanical spider Fenrakk, and (in-universe) was a clone of the Piraka Vezok (Vezon is even the Matoran word for "Double") and fought both the Piraka and the Toa Inika.
    • 2007 - Lesovikk filled the seventh toa role toy-wise (being packed with a "Sea Sled"), but never met the main heroes (the Toa Mahri) in-universe.
    • 2008 - Toa Ignika, packed with a "Skyboard" was, in-universe, the Mask of Life given a physical body who joined and fought beside the team after initially being questioned. In addition the original Seventh Toa, Takanuva, also made an appearance (though in a much larger, Titan-sized form). This year also introduced two extra matoran, Vultraz and Mazeka, who were both packaged with their own vehicles (a jetbike for Vultraz, a spidertank turret for Mazeka). As this year divided the small sets into "good" and "bad" matoran, both of them would be considered the "sixth" (or rather fourth in the case of Mazeka and fifth for Vultraz, as Vican was also released but packaged with Mutran) rangers for their respective sides.
    • 2009 - It could be argued that Fero falls into the seventh toa slot as he was a basic figure (though he was matoran sized, not toa-sized) and was packed with a large reptilian steed, Skirmix.

    Video Games 
  • Chroma Squad, being a parody of Super Sentai and Power Rangers, features several Sixth Rangers, most of whom are guest stars in an episode who join your Sentai team for a single battle. Late in the game, you can also recruit a Sixth Ranger, Tammy, as a permanent member of your team's roster.
  • Chrono Trigger gives you the option of finishing off Magus shortly after you learn his backstory and reach the game's Darkest Hour. Should you spare him, he joins the party, albeit significantly less powerful than when you fought him before. Magus very much has an "odd man out" feel to him in other ways as well - he has no two-person Combination Attacks, and can only use Triple Techs by finding and equipping special items. And don't expect him to apologize for trying to kill you earlier.
  • Depending on how you played the game, you probably went through the majority of Devil Survivor with only 3-5 party members. Cue the final day when the rest of the supporting cast get tired of being NPCs. Depending on the decisions you've made throughout the game, it is entirely possible for your party roster to double in size.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Later on in Dragon Age: Origins it's possible to recruit Loghain into your group. However in doing so your Lancer Alistair will leave you for allowing the man who let countless people, including the King and his father figure Duncan to die, into the Grey Wardens. Few people get along with him, particularly Wynne, who insists on calling him out for his former actions whenever possible.
    • Dragon Age II has DLC character Sebastian Vael. His earliest appearance is in the first act along with everyone else, but he doesn't become playable until Act II. If you download the mission in Act III of a playthrough, he's more of an 11th-Hour Ranger.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition has either Cole or Dorian; you can recruit one of them shortly after the other optional teammates become available, but doing so locks you out of recruiting the other until they show up in the Act 1 finale.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest III: You'll recruit one Merchant late in the game because you will need them for one quest, but you won't want to use your own character for it.
    • In remakes of Dragon Quest IV, Psaro, the main villain in the original story, will join the party after being redeemed by his resurrected lover, Rose, and discovering that Aamon (one of his subordinates) had orchestrated her murder.
    • Played with in Dragon Quest VIII, as the Playstation 2 version only consists of four members: Hero, Yangus, Jessica and Angelo. But in the 3DS version, Red and Morrie (both NPCs in the PS2 version) can or will join the party, with Red joining after defeating Captain Crow (storyline so cannot be missed) and Morrie joining after beating Rank S in his Monster Arena (optional).
    • After chasing the Luminary and his friends in Act 1 of Dragon Quest XI, Hendrik joins the party in order to liberate Erdrea from the forces of evil and make up for the misdeeds he caused earlier. In order to not spoil his inclusion, many fans refer to him as "Eight".
  • In the final route of Duel Savior Destiny Princess Crea takes up a more prominent role, turning what was originally a harem route into one that is still technically a harem route in the end, but one that is centered around her. She even gets to follow the group to the final battle area despite having no combat ability and the scenes not really being written to include her.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy II continues shifting out the fourth party member without the player's control straight up until the final dungeon, at which point one of the main villains joins your team.
    • In Final Fantasy IV, Baigan invites himself into the party at a time when the party limit is five characters, and Baigan joining brings the line-up to six. In a subtle case of Lampshade Hanging, Palom and Porom note that something is suspicious about this. Baigan then reveals himself as a monster and attacks.
    • Final Fantasy VI: Of the non-optional characters, Strago and Relm are the last to join and do so after you feel "done" recruiting. They are both naturally powerful mages who have the misfortune of joining after your existing magic specialists, Terra and Celes, are likely already trained up with Magicite and shortly before the party is scattered in the World of Ruin, meaning they can easily suffer a fate of Can't Catch Up if you don't go out of your way to develop them.
    • Final Fantasy VII has Cait Sith, who is recruited into the party after the majority of the main cast (although he is actually the 6th party member after Cloud, Tifa, Barret, Red XIII, and Aerith not counting players who recruit Yuffie 'early') but does almost nothing until he is revealed to actually be a bad guy who then turns to the good guys' side for real later on.
    • Towards the end of disc 3 of Final Fantasy VIII, you get Edea, who has just been freed from being Brainwashed and Crazy as a party member. She stays with the party until you go into space.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII you have Oerba Yun Fang, who joins the party during their encounter at Palumpolum. She first appeared in Chapter 3 when she captured Snow for being a L'Cie, but later helps Snow escape and they both catch up with Lightning and Hope. This could have been rather well done and unexpected, if Square Enix hadn't given it away within a week of first announcing the character.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age has an interesting variant - the heroes from the first game will join the party as Fifth through Eighth Rangers after a certain point in the story.
    • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn ratchets the party size up to four from the starting two over the course of the opening act, then adds a fifth member almost immediately after the prologue concludes and a sixth about a third of the way through the game who acts as the functional main character due to being massively important to the entire rest of the plot. A seventh member gets added slightly past the three-quarters mark to provide the rest of the characters with a Global Airship, followed immediately by an eighth who never says or contributes anything of note after her introduction and seemingly joins just so there will be two characters of each element.
  • Glory of Heracles III has two examples: Heracles, the only non-amnesiac hero of the party; and the Hero, the final party member and a fourth amnesiac immortal who joins the party after they learn there should be only three human immortals. The Hero is one of Prometheus's three immortals, while the Fourth Ranger immortal is in fact the Protagonist.
  • Serena Corsair in Guardian Heroes. Although she technically joins forces with Han and his friends at the very beginning of the game, she doesn't become a playable character until the player completes the game once on Normal.
  • SPARTAN-B312, a.k.a. Noble Six from Halo: Reach, is the newest addition to Noble Team and completely fits the trope, up to and including surpassing the rest of the group.
    Carter: Six! That AI chose you. She made the right choice.
  • Iori Yagami in The King of Fighters, who was initially introduced as Kyo's rival (to the point that Iori was trying to kill him most of the time), and then became his reluctant ally when Orochi showed up.
  • Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals has an interesting case with Dekar, who first joins as the fifth member but rejoins as the Sixth Ranger after he returns from his apparent Heroic Sacrifice. He also holds this role in Lufia: The Ruins of Lore.
  • In Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, the party is in flux for most of the early part of the game, gradually picking up additional characters, eventually stabilizing on 5 members (not including Lucia, who is not always player-controllable, and is occasionally abducted and must be rescued by the party). One of the antagonists, Leo, joins then leaves the party several times as a Sixth Ranger, both as himself, and as his blatantly obvious alter-ego "Mystere" (the absurdity of his disguise is lampshaded by the other characters).
  • Mass Effect:
    • Thane Krios and Samara of Mass Effect 2 are amongst the last of the recruited members of the team. Tali might also count, though she fits more into The Smart Guy. Legion would also count as an 11th-Hour Ranger.
    • Mass Effect 3 has DLC squad-mate Javik. He's not necessarily the last guy to join you, depending on when you do his mission, but everyone else in your team is a returning character except James, who's with you from the start of 3 and fits The Big Guy better anyway.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda has Jaal. He's the last recruitable squadmate, and the only one actually native to the Andromeda galaxy - everyone else on your team came as part of the Initiative.
  • Mega Man (Classic) has this in Proto Man, who first appeared in Mega Man 3 as a recurring miniboss. The end of the game reveals that he was the first of Dr. Light and Dr. Wily's Robot Master series and, consequently, Mega Man's older brother. From that point on Proto Man would become a mainstay in the Classic series, even being Promoted to Playable in Mega Man 9 and 10.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 2: In Innocent Sin, Jun Kurosu is the last member to join the party, only doing so after he has a Heel–Face Turn. In Eternal Punishment, Tatsuya Suou, the protagonist of Innocent Sin, only joins the party when he's finally forced to accept their help.
    • In Persona 4, Naoto Shirogane is the last character to join. Given that Naoto is also an actual Detective rather than an Amateur Sleuth like the rest of the Investigation Team, it also marks the point where they are finally able to make some headway into the murder cases.
    • Persona 5 has Goro Akechi, who like Naoto is a detective who is the final character to join the party. He only does so briefly and leaves after the protagonist is arrested. In the game's Updated Re-release Persona 5 Royal, he comes back during the third-term events provided the player has done the necessary steps to obtain the True Ending.
  • Most veteran players in Pokémon will have one 'mon in their six-slot party learn nothing but Hidden Machine moves, which are needed to get through various environmental obstacles. The reason why these moves are given to one Pokémon is because they cannot be replaced by newly learned moves, and typically range from mediocre to useless in battles. As a result, trainers will end up with a Five Mon Band for matches and a utility knife who will never see the next level-up. In such cases, the player will usually pull out and raise a brand new replacement 'mon for the HM slave (usually a late-game catch, such as a plot Legendary or the Red Gyarados) so as to have a full team for the Elite Four and Champion. This is an interesting case, as it was the player, not the plot, that added the Sixth Ranger to the team.
    • In terms of Pokémon Power Trios, in Pokémon Black and White, Keldeo is the D'Artagnan to Cobalon, Terrakion, and Virizion's Three Musketeers.
    • Ho-oh and Lugia round out the bird trio, providing fourth and fifth rangers in Gen II. In Gen VIII, Galarian forms of the original trio (which have different primary types) complement this even further.
    • Many legendary trios have a Fourth Ranger; in addition to the above cases,note  the Golem Trio has Regigigas from Gen IV and Regieleki and Regidrago from Gen VIII, and the Creation Trio has Arceus.
    • Also, the Eeveelutions; we began with Normal, Water, Electric, and Fire, added Psychic and Dark in Gen II, added Grass and Ice in Gen IV, and then a Fairy-Type in Gen VI.
  • In Saints Row: The Third, Viola Dewynter joins the Saints shortly after Killbane kills her sister Kiki.
  • In The Simpsons: Hit & Run, Apu is the only playable character who isn't part of the family.
  • Knuckles started out as Sonic the Hedgehog's enemy only to eventually team up with him and Tails to form a Power Trio.
  • Krystal from Star Fox Adventures starts off as the lone wolf Decoy Protagonist before Fox takes over the player character role. After he rescues her during the game's climax, Krystal joins the Star Fox team out of gratitude (among other things) and by Star Fox: Assault an elderly Peppy resigns to Mission Control status while she takes up Peppy's position as Fox's third wingman.
  • Sheena, in Tales of Symphonia; her joining the party (formerly a Five-Man Band) marks the point at which the plot begins to twist. The Sixth Ranger added to the earlier PSX remake of Tales of Phantasia was Fujibayashi Sheena's possible descendant, Fujibayashi Suzu.
  • In Super Robot Wars W, the Golion team actually asks Guy of GaoGaiGar, an old friend of theirs from the space academy, if he wants to be their Sixth Ranger. Although he politely declines, he occasionally ends up playing the role anyway, especially considering that in this game, both Ghaleon and Golion have the same origins. The game actually references the Sixth Ranger trope a bit; when Guy points out that Ghaleon can't combine with Golion, Kogane comments that the sixth member of such teams typically has a special Humongous Mecha that tends to overshadow the other five in terms of power.
    • The GoLion team helps out Guy, too. During the battle between Guy's GaoFighGar and an enemy repli-GaoGaiGar in the FINAL storyline, another Replijin of GaoGaiGar's own Sixth Ranger, King J-Der, shows up to make things worse... at which point the Hundred Beasts King appears to even the odds.
    • In the Original Generation series, the crew of the Kurogane is a team of Sixth Rangers. In the first two games, it was made up of reformed Anti Villains and Stealth Mentors, and they consider it their duty to operate independently until it's time to join the main cast halfway through the latest game's plot. The leaders of the crew, Sanger and Elzam, could also each be treated as a Sixth Ranger in his own right to one of the protagonists' sub-teams (Sanger to the ATX team, Elzam to the SRX team).
    • Speaking of the SRX team, Mai Kobayashi, aka Levi Tolar, starts off being an enemy, but after switching sides, she unlocks the SRX's most powerful attack, which in some games is a OHKO Wave-Motion Gun.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Asch fits this role perfectly: he's a powerful antihero with ambiguous motives who joins the party for a while (and is much more powerful than the person he replaces). Later you get a second chance to recruit him into the party, only this time he's way behind the power curve, due to being stuck with the same equipment he had twenty levels ago. This is lampshaded with the Abyss Rangers costumes you can acquire: Asch becomes "Abyss Silver", a typical Sixth Ranger colour in Super Sentai.
  • Vandal Hearts has what feels like several of these, as the party eventually numbers out at thirteen members. Ash, Clint, Diego, Huxley, Eleni, Zoha'ar, Kira, Grog and Dolan all get their own plotlines, if not development. On the other hand, Sara and Amon just join with Dolan and contribute nothing to the plot though most egregious is Darius, who joins a little before the halfway mark because he was in the same cell, tags along with the party for a reason that's never even given and only has one him-centric scene after he joins where he's revealed to have been from Huxley's village and doesn't like him. After that, he only gets the odd line that anyone could give.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The game has an entire character class being introduced like this: the Death Knight. They were the first new class introduced to the game since launch, start the game at level 55 with equipment that surpasses just about anything that any other character may have by this point, are former minions of the villainous Lich King, tend to act explicitly antisocial (as both non-player characters and death knight roleplayers in-character) and, in a meta example, were considered the overpowered new kid on the block before ultimately being accepted.
    • The Forsaken (and later even the Blood Elf race) faction joining the Horde can be seen as this taking into account that the original Horde races share a history in previous Warcraft games and settle close together whereas the Forsaken not only reside on a different continent, they also start with the lowest reputation toward their allied races in the game.
    • For the Alliance side, there's the Worgen (and later the Void Elf race) who joined the Alliance out of necessity after the loss of their homeland and were only initially welcomed by the Night Elves. Gilneas has shared a turbulent history with the other nations due to their nationalistic and reclusive nature, but nonetheless have taken steps to prove to be worthy allies.
  • In XCOM 2, it's quite likely for your Psi Operatives to end up as this for your squads, unless you go hard for the class from the start of the game and get lucky on research inspirations and discounts. This Mechanically Unusual Class is only unlocked with the Psionics technology and requires that you build a facility to train psionic soldiers, who must start as Rookies and can't earn experience on the battlefield, but gain in power as they spend days and weeks in training. Since all of this requires a substantial investment of time, rare resources and base space, in most campaigns you'll only have Psi Operatives by the midgame at the earliest (about when you'll have unlocked the sixth soldier slot for your squads, funnily enough). On the bright side, their unique way of leveling means it's also possible that said Sixth Rangers join the team as a full-fledged Magus possessing every psionic ability in the game.
  • Only six Yoshis are playable from the outset of Yoshi's Story, running the usual ROY G BV gamut, but the black and white Yoshis, each more powerful than the other six, are unlockable in various ways. If you die while using one of them, though, it disappears from the Yoshi select screen and you have to unlock it again.
  • Watch_Dogs: At the end of act 2, Aiden and Clara discover some encrypted code, which prompts them to track down Ray Kenny, aka T-Bone, who then joins them at the end of Act 3.
    • Ray plays this role again in Watch_Dogs 2; after the team suffer Heroic BSoD following the discovery that Blume had been manipulating them Marcus encounters Ray at Swelter Skelter, a desert festival, after which Ray comes back to San Fransisco to accompany the team throughout the rest of the game.

    Visual Novels 
  • Shion from Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • Mion's identical twin sister Shion is introduced in the second arc, with foreshadowing in the first arc (Mion knew that Keiichi talked to Oishi at Angel Mort because her sister works there). She becomes a core character in the Answer arcs, where she transfers to the local school and becomes Satoko's Cool Big Sis.
    • Hanyuu has been a character since the first arc and is foreshadowed early on, but she isn't properly introduced until the Answer arcs. She becomes a part of the main gang in the final arc.
  • Jay from Lovely Little Thieves, who is a newcomer to the main character's group of friends, of, quite fittingly, five people. The only one who knows Jay is Danielle, as he is her lab-partner in college, and even she brought him along to get to know him better.
  • Athena Cykes from Ace Attorney, she joined the main cast in the fifth game directly as a playable main character and introduced a new mechanic to the series that became a mainstay of the series since then. Conveniently, she also became the sixth person to join Phoenix's little group of assistants/family (after Maya, Pearl, Apollo, Trucy and Phoenix himself).

    Web Comics 
  • Meenah Peixes in Homestuck is sort of seen as the thirteenth troll. While most of the other pre-scratch trolls are okay with being dead, Meenah and Aranea are constantly fighting to remain relevant, to the point that Meenah has probably become a more essential part to the story than even her dancestor, Feferi, was.
  • El Goonish Shive started with a Comic Trio and now has an eight-person main cast. Justin and Nanase aren't really Sixth Rangers, but Grace qualifies if Aisha (below) does. Susan and Ellen are definitely better examples, though: Susan started out disgusted with Elliot and Tedd before befriending them through Sarah, and Ellen began her life as Elliot's self-proclaimed Evil Twin. There's also Catalina added as a Sixth Ranger. She's a buddy of Susan's from the feminist club whose main purpose was to have an unrequited love for Susan.
    • Given that six out of eight main characters were introduced in the first arc and Susan and Ellen in the second arc, it can be argued that none of them really count as Sixth Rangers. Instead, if one considers which characters outside of the eight have become significantly close to them (to the point of inviting them over to a main character's house, especially the Verres' house) then the ones that best fit are Ashley or Diane. Case in point, Ashley is the first non-main character to be invited to the Verres' house (and hence potentially have access to all the magical stuff it contains) and Diane credibly argues for her inclusion. Catalina (and Rhoda) are less like Sixth Rangers by this metric; Grace has considered inviting them but still has misgivings about it because they don't know enough about each other for Grace to be confident of a positive outcome of expanding the circle of trust to include them.
  • Frivolesque mostly focuses on five main characters. And then there's Clementine, one of the secondary cast members, having her own subplot and appearing every so often. Many people consider her to be the sixth main character.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Aylee starts off as your standard Alien parody trying to eat our heroes, but after accidentally returning to their dimension, makes peace with them and becomes Torg's secretary, and eventually a full-fledged True Companion.
    • Riff's girlfriend Sasha became one of these shortly after being introduced. She was a versatile character, able to get along with the Mad Scientist Riff just as well as the Only Sane Woman Zoë. However, she stuck around after Zoë moved away, but left at the same time Zoë returned. Sasha returned seven years later, to round out the main cast after a couple vacancies opened up.
  • Aaron/Jackson from Sam & Fuzzy. Although most characters besides the titular duo are confined to one particular story arc (outside of cameos), Aaron managed to join with them at the end of the third story arc and has stayed a major character since.
  • Alexander from The Dreamer counts, as he first appears in issue #8.
  • Earthsong: Willow is an interesting version of this: the story starts around her, so we don't see much of the Five-Man Band before she showed up, but part of the background is that it has been there a good, long time.
  • Pella from Looking for Group joined the party during their time-travel adventure. Adding the Dwarven Bard was part of the writers' initiative to distance themselves from the World of Warcraft parody they started as.
  • Emily the wizard joins Julie's group in 'Book 2' of Our Little Adventure. Later, Jordie also joins the team and officially takes her place when Emily is exposed as a Manchurian Agent Sixth Ranger Traitor.
  • Bayn from True Villains joins the group after dealing with Xaneth and surpassing the Big Bad in terms of power. Xaneth turns him into a kid to take away his powerful magic.
  • Shining Armor helps out his sister and her friends during Act I of Three Apples. While temporary, it underscores Applejack's growing insecurity, as he effectively replaces her as The Big Guy during their travels together.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Reynir is Little Stowaway to an otherwise complete exploration crew. He also happens to have magical powers that he wasn't aware of before going on the trip and work a little differently from those of the mage who's actually part of the crew.
  • Tadeo plays this role to the rest of the team in We Are The Wyrecats.
  • The Order of the Stick: Minrah Shaleshoe becomes this at the end of Book 6.

    Web Original 
  • This rather "bizarre video" parodies this trope with a 'kale ranger.'
  • French amateur Super Sentai parody France Five starts out with the introduction of the Sixth Ranger ("Silver Mousquetaire") to the Five-Man Band, but still faithfully follows the trope since the episode is supposed to be in the middle of a hypothetical TV series. Also, he doesn't actually join the band before his Heroic Sacrifice, Taking the Bullet for his de-brainwashed cousine.
  • Most team members of Channel Awesome qualify, if you consider the main "team" to be The Nostalgia Critic, Linkara, The Nostalgia Chick, Suede and MarzGurl. Spoony could even be said to follow this Trope full circle- he became immensely popular and then left (due to business deals in 2012- Spoony still appears in some videos). In Suburban Knights, Todd in the Shadows, Kinley, and Obscurus Lupa are this, as they were added to the specials after The Year One Brawl and Kickassia had basically the same major cast both times.
  • To Boldly Flee adds JesuOtaku, CR and Sad Panda to the team.
  • The titular guild from Noob gets a few additions over the course of the series: Ivy and Couette joined at the same time, giving the guild a Gadgeteer Genius and a second healer. Ystos eventually joined via a second character, but was almost one beforehand between his somewhat Big Brother Mentor status and his takeovers of Sparadrap's avatar. (Those who think Golgotha is missing from the list please check Honorary True Companion.)
  • Hero House has He-man, who joins the crew far later than the rest, yet ends up being an invaluable addition.
  • Lewis Brindley to Sips for the Trouble in Terrorist Town playthrough, and eventually many other Garry's Mod-themed videos. Initially, the series had involved Sips, Hat Films and Turpster playing various Garry's Mod gametypes, but adding Lewis to it shook up the dynamic, adding a sixth member to the videos. On top of that, Lewis only appeared in TTT and not in other gametypes until September 2014, where he eventually joined Murder and Prop Hunt as well. Prop Hunt on Sips' channel eventually adds both Lewis and PyrionFlax, and then Sjin joined up with Sips and company for a new series of TTT, bringing the total number of players to seven. Strippin then joined up for Murder and Prop Hunt in November 2014, staying for one series. After this, the lineup changed for some videos altogether, with Lewis and Sips returning and newcomers Hannah Rutherford, Simon Lane, Kim Richards, and Duncan Jones replacing everyone else.
  • Eugene, Matt Santoro's clone. Matt, Big Shine, Lorrenzo, and Hugo had already been introduced as characters, but Matt didn't bring him on board until his video Star Wars in 3-D!!!. Matt is quick to explain to the audience who he is.
  • Achievement Hunter's team used to be comprised of Geoff Ramsey, Jack Pattillo, Ray Narvaez Jr., Michael Jones, Gavin Free with the original Sixth Ranger being Caleb Denecour. However, he ended up being phased out in favor of Ryan Haywood, who stuck on. With Ray having left the team, his role is usually filled in with either Matt Bragg or Jeremy Dooley. Episode 177 of Let's Play Minecraft officially made Jeremy the newest member of the team with his first Tower of Pimps win.
  • DSBT InsaniT:
    • Chilly and Perry become a part of the ensemble from episode 5 onward.
    • Several Non-Human Sidekicks are added to the cast as of episode 7.
  • Dream: Originally, it was only Dream and George in the Minecraft Manhunts, but when the time came for two hunters, Sapnap joined in. BadBoyHalo came later when the hunters needed three of them to even have a chance against Dream.
  • In Twig, the Lambsbridge Gang are a group of children who work for Radham Academy, an Academy of Adventure focused around the construction of Frankenstein-esque monstrosities, in order to hunt down the occasional Mad Scientist who challenges the Academy's monopoly. After investigating a mad scientist looking to build a Clone Army to replace the children of powerful politicians, they pick up one of the surviving clones, Mary, as a member.

    Western Animation 
  • Dinobot fills this role in Beast Wars as a disillusioned Predacon who joins the Maximals in the second episode.
  • Rugrats started out with a main cast of Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, and Angelica, with occasional appearances by Susie. About halfway through the show, Tommy gained a little brother, Dil, and Chuckie later got a stepsister, Kimi. Both were introduced in one of the movies: The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris respectively.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • Season 1 started with a core cast of five engines (although James was only named a few episodes into the season). About halfway through, Percy was introduced. Poetically, like the Trope Namer pictured above, he's both green, and the 6th member of the team.
    • This also applied to Duncan and Rusty from the narrow gauge railway. Also, Emily is considered a sixth ranger to the main cast, from season 8 onwards.
  • Winx Club:
    • Aisha is introduced in the 2nd season premiere and becomes the sixth fairy in the Club. She's on the good fairies' side from the start, and the biggest misgiving anyone has is Aisha feeling left out when Stella mentions "the five of us" in one episode.
    • Roxy is introduced in the third episode of season 4 and becomes the (occasional) seventh fairy in the Club. She was heavily promoted as the seventh Winx, so there was never any doubt about her joining the good guys, but it takes Roxy a few episodes to warm up to the fairies. In the thirteenth episode, she even tells off Bloom, saying "I don't want to be a fairy... I didn't ask for this."
    • Helia joins the Specialists in season 2. Nabu joins them at the end of season 3 and dies toward the end of season 4. Nex is introduced in season 6 and soon joins the other Specialists full-time.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Additional members of Team Avatar (or the Gaang) have an in-story justification of them filling the spot of Aang's bending teachers. Katara, the Waterbending teacher, is with him from the start (with Sokka essentially tagging along, though he later Took a Level in Badass), but the other two teachers come later:
    • Toph, the Earthbending teacher, joins the group near the middle of Book Two, turning Team Avatar from ¡Three Amigos! into a Five-Man Band when she filled the empty The Big Guy spot as a Cute Bruiser. After a few episodes, she fits in pretty well despite the occasional argument with Katara. Since she appears in nearly episode afterward, the fanbase don't see her as a Sixth Ranger anymore, but rather as a main member that joins late.
    • Zuko, the Firebending teacher, joins the group as the more archetypal Sixth Ranger shortly after the middle of Book Three (where he undergoes his Heel–Face Turn). Initially, there is much suspicion and distrust and at least one death threat from Katara, though he quickly manages to earn the team's trust.
    • The last one to join, Suki, averts the above reasoning since with Zuko's induction, there are no more teachers to search for and the team is complete. Instead, she is in as a combination of coincidence (between Zuko's induction and Suki's own, the Gaang actually take up seven people on board, including them, but a later conflict forces most to seek refuge elsewhere. Zuko and Suki are the only ones who remain behind with the Gaang) and because Sokka is on the team. Suki can be considered an 11th-Hour Ranger since she joins just three episodes before the four-part series finale.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • The gang invites William to join the team in "Double Trouble", only for him to get turned evil half-way into the next episode, "Final Round", and not be freed until the end of Season 4, by which time the Warriors are about to destroy XANA for good. As of Season 5, Code Lyoko: Evolution, where it is revealed that XANA barely managed to survive, William plays the trope straight, albeit after a struggle to earn the position back.
    • Season 5 also introduces Laura, a Techno Wizard at least as skilled as Jérémie and Aelita, who forces her way into the team after sabotaging their Reset Button so that her Laser-Guided Amnesia wouldn't be complete. She doesn't appear regularly but proves helpful on occasion. Aelita, however, doesn't take it kindly to have a second "Mrs. Einstein" in the picture, and the conflict between those two never goes away. It finally ends with Laura turning into a Sixth Ranger Traitor, but it only lasts for the duration of a single episode, after which her memory is permanently erased of all things related to Lyoko.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door subverted the Sixth Ranger without creating a Sixth Ranger Traitor with Tommy Gilligan. Notably, after the episode where he almost becomes a Sixth Ranger, he becomes an outright parody Sixth Ranger tropes. He dresses in a ridiculous cape and fedora, attempts to make dramatic entries, tries to be mysterious (when everybody is well aware he's the Annoying Younger Sibling of The Smart Guy) and refers to himself as "The Tommy."
    • Numbuh 6, a quite literal Sixth Ranger, is joined in a couple episodes, being...a cyborg skunk named Bradley.
  • Terra in the animated version of Teen Titans (until it was revealed she was a spy for Slade).
  • Danny Phantom: The Power Trio group is composed of Danny, Sam, and Tucker, then upgrades to include a fourth member in their Team Phantom with Jazz a little ways into Season 2, though she played Secret Secret-Keeper for almost the entire series before that.
  • X-Men: Evolution: Rogue pulls a Heel–Face Turn and joins the X-Men after she realizes Mystique tricked her into joining the Brotherhood and thinking the X-Men wanted to kill her. Also Iceman becomes this after Spyke is Put on a Bus when he can no longer control his mutation and moves Underground with the Morlocks.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: After Catra makes a Heel-Face Turn around the end of the series, she officially becomes the fourth member of the Best Friends Squad.
  • Young Justice has several examples:
  • There's a whole slew of Sixth Rangers in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!. Black Panther and Hawkeye don't join until several episodes into the first season, and then Ms. Marvel and The Vision join the group in the second season.
  • ReBoot had Mouse as a Sixth Ranger, especially with how she didn't get along with Dot. After a few appearances her skills became invaluable to the team, and she filled in The Smart Guy role. In the fourth season, a much more traditional Sixth Ranger joins: former villain Hexadecimal.
  • Subverted in an episode of Chaotic, when a character joins the main characters possessing all the traditional fifth ranger qualities,note  but later leaves after gaining fame from becoming the first person to scan a M'arrillian.
  • Blinky Bill: Shifty Dingo in the second season after the dingo family performed their Heel–Face Turn. He also qualifies as The Smart Guy of the team, probably due to being the weakest and most timid of the males.
  • Street Sharks, featured Moby Lick, a whale.
  • Transformers Animated has two sixth rangers. The first and more conventional one is Jazz, who joins at the end of the episode before the finale, and the second is Sari, who is upgraded from Tagalong Kid. Gets weapons and armor installed and everything.
  • In the first few episodes of 6teen, Caitlin tries to earn her way into the group, but later fits right in.
  • In the dinosaur-flavoured Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-style cartoon Extreme Dinosaurs, the team originally consists of four dinosaurs - T-Bone the t-rex, Spike the triceratops, Bullzeye the pterodactyl, and Stegz the...yeah. In the latter half of the series, they are sent to an alternate dimension and bring back the ankylosaur Hardrock to become their fifth ranger. Except he's barely mentioned or acknowledged even after then. Hmmm.
  • 1980s Jonny Quest added two extra members to the initial five-character ensemble; Hardrock, an ancient stone man who became the team's second bodyguard; and Jesse Bradshaw, a Distaff Counterpart to Jonny. Hardrock joined the group during an early episode and was featured prominently for more than half of the series, but Jessie only appeared in one episode before the series was canceled. Jessie would later appear as a regular character in future incarnations of the franchise, where she would be retconned into "Jessie Bannon" (Race's daughter), but Hardrock never returned following the 80s version.
  • Drawn Together has two subversions: Sid from "Drawn Together Babies" and Excludie from "Lost In Parking Space" (the first part) are both presented as ninth housemates (and Remember the New Guy? characters at that), but Sid sleeps on his stomach and got sudden infant death syndrome, and Excludie was excluded from everything, even the episodes prior to his only appearance. 'Steve from Long Island' acts like this as well, only appearing in two episodes seemingly only to balance out whatever bizarre faction split the contestants had created at the time.
  • South Park: Butters. He's been around as a background character since the show's beginning, and gradually increased in prominence, but ascended to protagonist status during Season Six. Unlike other instances of this trope, all five leads are rarely seen together since the boys are not a genuine Five-Man Band, but Butters has had almost as many character-centric A-Plots as Stan and Kyle by this point in the series, and will oftentimes pair off with one of the boys for an adventure ("My Future Self 'n Me," "Super Fun Time," "Sexual Healing," "Going Native", etc.) as their foil.
    • The boys even had an audition to see who would be Kenny's replacement after he was Killed Off for Real; Tweek was the initial winner but the writers found Butters' innocence an endearing foil to the rougher boys, and that he had more potential for Character Development.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Though he was technically an Ambassador, Zozo was in a surprising amount of episodes, often acting as an auxiliary, non-powered Ranger. He was even addressed as "Ranger Zozo" several times, implying he was at least an honorary, if not full, Ranger in his own right. His fellow ambassador, Waldo, was in fewer episodes, and more a Non-Action Guy - but was still capable of self-defense. The show tried to make Buzzwang into a "fifth Ranger," but he wound up being The Scrappy instead.
  • In Futurama Kif Kroker is the team's Sixth Ranger, having come late to the main Planet Express ensemble by means of dating The Chick, Amy. Cubert (Prof. Farnsworth's clone/son) and Scruffy the janitor fill this role in later seasons.
  • The Land Before Time TV Series had two, Chomper, the baby Sharptooth from the second film, and Ruby, a 'Fast Runner' who was entrusted with Chomper's safety by his parents. Both came to live in the valley to escape the series Big Bad Red Claw.
  • John Thunder and Rex Charger from Centurions.
  • Spiral Zone had four Sixth Rangers, two each for the heroic Zone Riders (Ned Tucker and Ben Davis) and the evil Black Widows (Crook and Rawmeat).
  • Rambo: The Force of Freedom added two new heroes (Chief and T.D. Jackson) and three new villains (Dr. Hyde, X-Ray and Snake Bite) in later episodes.
  • Recess:
    • Gus became the sixth ranger to the other main five characters, and a rare example by joining in the second episode.note 
    • Later on, Cornchip Girl became an unofficial seventh ranger to the main gang in the later seasons.
  • Mike and Penny's Popples on Popples might count. They came in halfway through the series, and seemed to hang out with them most of the time.
  • In Season 2 of Shirt Tales, Kip Kangaroo is introduced as the sixth member.
  • Garfield and Friends: Aloysius Pig is this to the U.S. Acres gang, according to Mark Evanier. He was even supposed to show up in a fourth episode, but it was later canned due to the show being Screwed by the Network.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the Equestria Girls movie, Twilight Sparkle has Sunset Shimmer join her group of human friends at the end of the movie, though she isn't seen fulfilling the role until the sequel, where she and DJ PON-3 play important roles in defeating the Dazzlings. The third film, removes Twilight to have Sunset become the leader of the Rainbooms from that point on, with a new sixth ranger in the form of the human world's Twilight joining the group at the end of the movie. Both characters also fit the foe-becomes-friend formula, though the former more so.
    • Starlight Glimmer, the Big Bad of Season 5, does a Heel–Face Turn and joins the Mane Six in the Season 5 finale, with her Promotion to Opening Titles the following season and given a new place to live in the Friendship Castle.
  • Happened in-universe on the Animaniacs Pinky and the Brain segment "Puppet Rulers", when on the Treckle and Meaney show, two new characters called "Big Ears" (Pinky) and "Noodle Noggin" (Brain) joined the show.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated jumps around with this. When Daphne temporarily leaves the group, Hot Dog Water/Marcie acts as this until she's kicked out when Daphne returns. For a little while, Nova sticks around with the group, but this also doesn't last.
  • In the second season of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), Dulcy the Dragon becomes part of the Freedom Fighters at the very start of the season, though we're not shown how exactly. A straighter example comes from Tails, who joins in at the tail end of the series.
  • Normally, the Phineas and Ferb gang consists of the title characters, Isabella, Buford, and Baljeet. Irving is introduced in the second season as the president of the Phineas and Ferb fan club and is sometimes accepted as the sixth ranger.
  • The series based on Dora's Explorer Girls, Dora and Friends: Into the City!, includes a new male character named Pablo.
  • Kayo in Thunderbirds Are Go is this. Unlike her 1960s counterpart Tin-Tin, she has her own Thunderbird, called Thunderbird S (the S stands for shadow), which she receives at the end of the second episode.
  • Played with via Stanford Pines of Gravity Falls fame. While he ostensibly wants to stop the impending apocalypse as much as anyone, slips into the role of the Big Good that he already sort of filled through his writings, and completes the Pines family's Four-Philosophy Ensemble as its Apathetic member, the circumstances of his arrival — along with the ensuing backstory reveal about his damaged relationship with his brother — end up disrupting the established team dynamics, causing more harm than good.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Steven's best friend Connie. She starts as a friend who is interested in the Crystal Gems and their activities, but undergoes character development and begins taking combat lessons from Pearl in order to better help Steven. She's now a respected and important ally of the Crystal Gems who acts as a reserve member for missions.
    • Former villain Peridot who underwent a Heel–Face Turn after becoming close with Steven and the other Gems during the construction of the Gem Drill and learning the value of Earth.
    • It was implied that Bismuth would be a new character joining the team in the advertisements leading up to her appearance, but it's quickly revealed in the episode proper that she is a former member of the Crystal Gems, whose more lethal methods were at odds with the others. She later returns late in Season 5 and after undergoing her long-awaited Heel–Face Turn, becomes a reserve member of the Crystal Gems.
  • Regular Show.
    • Subverted with Thomas. He debuts in the show's fourth season as the park's new intern and, at first, appears as if he's going to fill the role of 8th ranger. However, he quickly devolves into background/recurring character and rarely got involved with the other guys' antics during his time at the park. Word of God says this was because "no one ever hangs out with the intern".
    • Benson serves as an in-universe example of this in the episode "Format Wars II", when he is revealed to be the fifth Disc-Master alongside Mordecai, Rigby, Hi Five Ghost, and Muscle Man.
    • After being a supporting character for a majority of the series, Eileen becomes the 8th ranger in the final season, as she ends up stranded in outer space with the Park Crew.
  • At the start of season 2 of Jem, two of these characters were introduced. When Shana temporarily left Jem and the Holograms to pursue her fashion designer career, her bandmates scouted for a new drummer. Raya won their contest and became their new drummer, with Shana taking up a new instrument. The Misfits tried (and failed) to outshine Jem's band by getting their own new member, Jetta who was a saxophonist but who usually played bass guitar. Raya never got any spotlight past her introduction episodes however Jetta became on par with the rest of the Misfits.
  • Boo Boom! The Long Way Home has two of these who temporarily join the main group of 6 characters (thus technically making them 'seventh rangers'):
    • The first one is Mr. Rossellini, an elderly school teacher who joins the group in episode 7, along with his dog, until episode 10, when he hurts his ankle and is thus forced to stay behind at the castle of a friend to recover. He is not seen again afterwards, but he is mentioned occasionally.
    • The second one is Viola, a teenage Street Urchin who joins them from episode 8 till episode 12. At first, she borders on a Sixth Ranger Traitor who is motivated by greed and not afraid to doublecross her friends if it benefits her, but she gets better. After meeting and falling in love with Mario, a member of the Italian resistance, Boo-Boom urges her to stay with him and his resistance group. Unlike Mr. Rossellini, she comes Back for the Finale in episode 25 to assist Boo-Boom in rescuing his parents.
  • The eccentric artist Gusto Gummi in Adventures of the Gummi Bears, he’s not one of the original six Gummi Bears. He was discovered by accident as a shipwrecked in an Island in the middle of the Ocean and become later a recurring character, but do not appears in every episode only when it was plot-convenient. Of course, other surviving Gummi Bears are discovered in later seasons.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, unlike the original series, Allura is the sixth hero of the team but doesn't fall into this trope as she's part of the team from the start, while Shiro is The Leader in season 1 and 2 until Keith takes over for season 3 before handing it back to Shiro in season 4. However, Team Voltron would have a true Sixth Ranger in season 4, when Pidge's brother Matt joins the team, given that he becomes literally the sixth hero as Keith joined the Blade of Marmora during the season.
  • Poof in The Fairly OddParents in the sixth through eighth seasons. The ninth season introduced Sparky and the tenth introduced Chloe, causing Poof to get Put on a Bus due to having difficulty with too many characters to work with, though he returned in the episode "Certifiable Super Sitter". Sparky was put on a bus, though, due to him being The Scrappy.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • In the original series, the girls attempted to create a fourth sister with Bunny. It didn't turn out well.
    • On the 2016 reboot, Bliss was introduced as a Powerpuff Girl that was created before Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup were. Her powers were still in beta so she consigned herself to patrolling outer space while making occasional visits to the girls. She's now an official member of a galactic task force.
  • Teen Titans Go! had Bumblebee join the team as part of a summer-long event, though her addition wasn't permanent as she later leaves the team to become a solo superhero, with a card confirming she wouldn't be coming back.
  • Dragon Tales started out with just Max and Emmy as the kids using the Dragon Scale to visit Dragon Land. Towards the end of the series, Enrique joined them on their adventures.
  • Kid Cosmic: After being betrayed by his leader, Stuck Chuck pulls a Heel–Face Turn and becomes this to the heroes.

    Real Life 
  • The Iroquois Confederacy (originally the Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, and Cayuga nations) became known as the "Six Nations" after the Tuscarora joined.
  • Sioux dialects: There are four. In Teton, in some places one uses an L, hence Lakota. However, in Santee and Yankton, one uses a D. While the N-using Assiniboine were the enemies of the Sioux, making for one more, the true sixth, well, fifth ranger, is Stoney, much farther to the northwest, which also uses an N. This wouldn't be so bad, except that their word for "ally" is Lakota. No version uses an R, though.
  • In The United States, Vermont was the first state to join the Union after the original 13 colonies. 36 others would follow. However, some people only regard Alaska and Hawaii, the two non-contiguous states, as this trope, since they were both added in 1959 (within the lifetime and memory of older Americans) long after the 48th contiguous state, Arizona, was added in 1912. Still others would say the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. They are not states (the former is the federal capital district and the latter is an unincorporated territory), but they are frequently included with the states in statistical reports released by the federal government, and DC is informally considered a state in all but name. Of all the US's non-state regions, these two are the most populous (moreso than some actual states, for that matter) and have the most proponents for actual statehood.
  • The Five Nations rugby union tournament later added a sixth team, Italy, to the existing five of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France. It was renamed the Six Nations. France is actually a Sixth Ranger too, as the tournament used to be called the Home Nations, a name referring to the four countries of the United Kingdom. In the same sport, Argentina became the Fourth Ranger in 2012 in what used to be the Tri Nations (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa); the tournament was renamed The Rugby Championship when Los Pumas joined.
  • Penn State became an Eleventh Ranger to the Big Ten; they redesigned their logo to hide an "11" in there without having to change their name. When Nebraska joined, the logo changednote  but the name didn't.
  • Whenever you have a functional team of your coworkers and a new person is hired without anyone leaving, they become this.
  • Many examples in international politics and warfare. A fairly famous example being the United States in both World War I (war began in 1914, US joined in 1917) and World War II (Britain and France declaring war on Germany in 1939, the US joined at the end of 1941), leading to a bit of a joke between Europeans and Americans; the former insist that the US is always Late to the Party, while the latter complain that they're the ones who have to do all the work. It's all in good fun, though (usually). The Soviet Union can be considered a Sixth Ranger in the latter as well, due to them also joining in '41 (earlier than the U.S. by way of Mistreatment-Induced Betrayalnote ). Unfortunately, they're barred from the jokenote  due to disputes about the spoils and... other matters.
  • In Major League Baseball after the All-Star Break teams with no hope of making the playoffs will often trade their most expensive talent to teams that are still in contention. Moneyball popularized the term "Rent-a-Star", but they serve the same role as Sixth Rangers.
  • New York City has five boroughs. The title of the Sixth Borough has been tossed around to Yonkers (a inner suburb that falls within New York's sphere of influence), New Jersey (given how much of it falls within its sphere of influence), Hudson County (which is right across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan), and Philadelphia (which is reasonably close to New York to have the title).
  • In Australian Rules Football, the Victorian Football League began in 1897 with eight teams (Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy, Geelong, Melbourne, South Melbourne and St Kilda). The Australian Football League (which it evolved into) currently has eighteen:
    • Richmond and University joined in 1908 (although University only lasted until 1915)
    • Footscray (now the Western Bulldogs), Hawthorn and North Melbourne joined in 1925, and the league remained at 12 teams for over 50 years (with South Melbourne relocating to Sydney in 1982)
    • Brisbane and the West Coast Eagles joined in 1987
    • Adelaide joined in 1991
    • Fremantle joined in 1995
    • Port Adelaide joined in 1997
    • Gold Coast joined in 2011
    • Greater Western Sydney joined in 2012
  • Expansion teams in closed-shop sports leagues (i.e., those in North America that don't practice promotion and relegation), whether granted and created from scratch or imported from the merging of a rival league.
  • Basketball subverts this with the "Sixth Man", which is the title of a team's primary substitute.note  Such subs are on the court just about as much as any of the starters, and so the chemistry between the Sixth Man and the starters is just as important as the chemistry between the starters themselves. What takes the subversion further is that these subs are more often than not part of the team since a moment, not recent additions.
  • The origins of the term "Fifth Column" combine this Trope with The Mole: General Mola, of the Nationalist (Fascist) faction of The Spanish Civil War, led 4 Columns of troops against Republican (Communist)-held Madrid and declared that Nationalist Sympathizers within the city would form a "Fifth Column" and help him take the city. Given that the city held for over 2 years, this example was ineffectual at best.
  • Any time a new fossil species is discovered that falls within an established clade of organisms, yet its traits stretch the boundaries of what that clade was previously presumed to have been like, it's this trope for paleontologists, kicking off controversy and bickering until its significance is either debunked or embraced. Particularly noteworthy is Deinonychus, the first genus of velociraptor-style therapods to be described, whose features plainly fell within that group of carnivorous dinosaurs, yet also shattered older preconceptions about dinosaurs' agility and metabolic rates.
  • The neighboring cities of Davenport, Iowa, Rock Island, Illinois and Moline, Illinois began to be referred to as the "Tri-Cities" after World War I. In the 1930s, nearby East Moline, Illinois had also gained a substantial population to be of equal status of the other three, and the region was renamed the Quad Cities. Another nearby city, Bettendorf, Iowa, now has a larger population than East Moline and is considered part of the metropolitan area, but the name of the region remains the Quad Cities.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Sixth Ranger


Percy the Small Engine

The introduction scene of Percy, the literal sixth ranger to Sir Topham Hatt's railway.

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