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Sixth Ranger

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Above: The original five Zyurangers/Power Rangers.
Below: The original five Zyurangers/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, in some cases, 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 Dragon Ranger/Yamato Tribe Knight Burai in Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger as well as his American counterpart the Green Ranger/Tommy Oliver in the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. However, the term became an Evolving Trope, since many teams don't have this character as the sixth member of the team. It should be added that this an English-specific issue, since the common Japanese term for this is "additional warrior" (tsuika senshi).

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. 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.
    • Excepting Big One, the first prototype Sixth Ranger appeared in episode 41 of Dai Sentai Goggle Five, in which a comical family man, while making it clear he is not a member of the team, wears a bodysuit which exposes his face and rides a Cool Bike, making him more of an ''Un''Kamen Rider''. Heck, his super suit was even created by the bad guys.
    • 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 Evil Knockoff of the rangers and didn't keep his powers after being set free.
    • Hikari Sentai Maskman featured a sixth member for exactly one episode in the form of X1 Mask, a warrior in a green prototype suit who volunteered for the Maskman project but ended up quitting before the rest of the team was recruited after the villains killed his girlfriend. Though he manages to regain his will to fight with some encouragement, he doesn't stick around because he loses his powers shortly after as a result of shielding the other rangers from an explosion.
    • Kousoku Sentai Turboranger episode 43 is entitled "The Sixth Warrior", but rather than introduce another prototype Sixth Ranger, the title actually refers to a young man who ends up as the Blue Ranger temporarily. This was notably poked at in Zenkaiger (see below). By this logic, Daigorou Kumano the replacement Yellow Ranger in Himitsu Sentai Gorenger would count as their sixth warrior, Maria Nagisa (Miss America II) and Makoto Jin (Battle Cossack II) the sixth and seventh warriors of Battle Fever J, Takayuki Hiba (mid-season replacement VulEagle) as the fourth warrior of Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan and Jun Yabuki (Yellow Four II) as the sixth warrior of Bioman.
  • After Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman was incorporated into Power Rangers canon in Super Megaforce as the Supersonic Rangers, Boom! Studios comics introduced their Sixth Ranger. Since the Supersonic Rangers have the same colors of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, their Sixth Ranger is also green.
  • The predecessor to Zyuranger, Choujin Sentai Jetman had a trio of ranger-like warriors from another dimension with their own mech join up with the Jetman team only to get killed off in their second episode with two of them never even getting to transform, although their mech survived and became part of the Jetman arsenal). 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, the other two being Akarenger and the recurring anniversary hero (And Tōru Furuya voiced) AkaRed, who first debuted in GoGo Sentai Boukenger vs. Super Sentai, and has been a mainstay in every anniversary season since (Except for Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger).
  • 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).
  • Denji Sentai Megaranger (Power Rangers in Space) notably introduced the Nezirangers / Psycho Rangers as a match for the Five-Man Band. Though they never had a genuine equivalent to the Sixth Ranger, he did once disguise himself as a "Psycho Silver" to confuse them. note 
  • 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 Kyūkyū Sentai GoGoV, the corresponding Super Sentai show (And despite Liner Boy being proclaimed as such on his debut episode by GoPink, he doesn't count). As a result, the staff created the Titanium Ranger from whole cloth and assigned him a Zord (The afforementioned Liner Boy) 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 being a recurring character, she does not use the Zeektector armor in the show, only to keep the number five theming.
  • 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 became genuine allies.
  • In Mirai Sentai Timeranger, The Sixth Ranger Naoto Takizawa/TimeFire doesn't officially join the Timerangers, and is instead affiliated with the City Guardians. The same goes for his Power Rangers Time Force counterpart, Eric Myers/Quantum Ranger, but unlike Naoto he's Spared by the Adaptation and by the time of the Wild Force episode "Reinforcements from the future" he has become a full member of Time Force.
  • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger, which was adapted as Power Rangers Wild Force, was the first Sentai to feature the Sixth Ranger as a cast member in the opening credits; in comparison, Power Rangers featured them all the way back to Tommy. Funnily enough, GaoSilver is also the sixth 6th Ranger officially acknowledged in Gokaiger. Hurricaneger vs. Gaoranger is also the first of the crossover movies to feature both teams' Sixth Rangers, with all subsequent vs. movies following suit.
  • 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.
    • As GaoSilver was still a loner, Shurikenger was faceless and AbareKiller was a villain for the most part, some count Deka Break as the first modern Sixth Ranger of Super Sentai, the one who dispensed with the Early-Installment Weirdness as he firmly became a piece of the team. Again, for Power Rangers this goes back to Tommy.
    • Dekaranger, in fact, went even further. "Deka" is Japanese slang for 'detective,' but since the 'deca-' prefix means ten of something, they went ahead and had ten Rangers total with the aforementioned seven full-time teammates, plus one reserve member and two One Shot Characters: Deka Swan (Normally acts as Mission Control and suits up only during emergencies), Deka Bright (a Distaff Counterpart to Deka Break, one of the regulars, who also is Deka Break's superior), and Deka Gold (a movie-exclusive character who barely gets to do an Ass Kicking Pose before being blasted). SPD carried over the first two as the Cat Ranger and Nova Ranger, respectively. But it is also implied that there are far more Dekarangers that haven't been seen.
    • Several other series have since driven their total number of heroes up past six with One-Shots, Eleventh Hour Rangers and the like. Mahou Sentai Magiranger/Power Rangers Mystic Force, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger/Power Rangers Samurai, Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, and Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger all added one or two Eleventh Hour Rangers near the end of the series, plus Ninninger had two additional One-Shots. Power Rangers Jungle Fury had five regulars plus three recurring Rangers (see below), and Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger/Power Rangers Dino Charge had six regulars plus three recurring and one at the Eleventh Hour. note 
  • 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 Gadgeteer Genius 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.
  • Tensou Sentai Goseiger would have actually started with six members if gosei green hadn't been killed before the team came together.
  • Basco ta Jolokia, a recurring villain in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, initially possesses the Ranger Keys belonging to the Sixth Rangers throughout the past 35 years (which at that time was only 15) and unlike the Gokaigers he can only summon clones of the Sixth Rangers with his Rapparatta trumpet weapon. Shortly afterwards, the Gokaigers defeat him and reclaim these other Ranger Keys, just in time for their own Sixth Ranger Gokai Silver to join the team and he gets those Ranger Keys for his own use.note  He has the unique ability to merge Ranger Keys together, first used to merge the Go-on Gold and Go-on Silver Keys together into a single Go-on Wings Key after being unsure about which to use when the five core Gokaigers became the Go-ongers. He can also fuse all 15 of the keys together into Gold Anchor Key that allows him to transform into the Super Mode Gold Mode. A later episode also shows him merging both Gokai Red and Green's Keys into a Gokai Christmas Key to fight a Christmas Episode Monster of the Week.
    • Basco later reveals he has 10 more Ranger Keys, this time belonging to the "Extra Heroes" representing the Rangers beyond Sixths Deka Master, Deka Swan, Magi Mother, and Princess Shinken Red, as well as non-Ranger allies Signalman, Black Knight Hyuga, Wolzard Fire, Zubaan, Rio, and Mele. Upon his defeat, these enter Gokai Silver's arsenal as well.
    • Gokai Silver's Power Rangers Super Megaforce counterpart the Super Megaforce Silver Ranger does not have to contend with having to obtain his Legendary Ranger Keys from a villain, and has already found them prior to joining the team. He also does not use the Extra Hero Keys aside from Wolf Warrior in one episode and Magna Defender in the extended cut of the finale.
  • 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 Super 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. In one of the movies the Go-Busters actually did get a sixth member who was literally the sixth in the form of a green ranger who died tragically and temporarily got a black seventh member when the ranger's mentor gets his own suit but those two are not canon because they only appeared in an alternate timeline that was erased.
  • 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 Violet / Ryu Commander (the Eccentric Mentor / Mission Control), Koguma Skyblue (an Ascended Fanboy who Jumped at the Call), and Houou Soldier (a Sealed Good in a Can Super Prototype). 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. Houou Soldier was ultimately claimed as the series' Sixth Ranger (in that he is more unique than the rest) in interviews and his inclusion amongst other Sixth Rangers in official mobile games, supported by his color scheme not matching the rest of the team (having red accents on a galaxy-print black outfit rather than black accents on their own color's outfit), his unique helmet (with the headset microphone), and piloting his own solo combining robot; Ryu Commander comparatively only has black shoulder armornote  and a long flowing cape/trenchcoat making his Ranger suit unique and is the pilot of a mecha that makes up the majority of a 3-part combining robot with two of the other Kyurangers, one of whom is Koguma Skyblue.
  • 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 as a fourth Ranger. 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.
  • Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger has the traditional Ryusoul Gold with Nada becoming a seventh warrior after taming the violet Gaisoulg armor. Then there is Ryusoul Brown, a one-shot ranger who is identical to Gaisoulg in all but color.
  • Mashin Sentai Kiramager has the traditional Kiramei Silver and also teases a seventh when the team mistakenly thinks that Support Party Member Muryou will become Kiramei Gold, only to subvert this to make the point that he does not need to transform to be of value to the team.
  • Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger has Twokaizer as the sixth member, who uses a golden suit based on the red ranger and mech of Gokaiger and wields Sentai gears with powers based on the Sixth Rangers and other additional Rangers of past teams; he ends up using the powers of anyone from Big One to Abare Killer to Geki Chopper to Koguma Skyblue and even the other Blue Turbo from that one episode of Turboranger. Near the end of the show they are joined by Stacaesar, an Evil Knockoff of Zenkaizer who is based on Battle Japan from Battle Fever J after he has a Heel–Face Turn. In the movie Avataro Sentai Donbrothers VS Zenkaiger, the Zenkaigers are also finally joined by Hakaizer, another knockoff of Zenkaizer who is based on Fire-Stealth Captor 7 from Ninja Captor and was freed from the villain's control during the show but didn't previously join them because he was busy looking for his missing wife.
  • Avataro Sentai Donbrothers is joined by a sixth member who has both a gold dragon-based form and a silver tiger-based form, which reflects his Split Personality. He, like the main team, can also transform into Sixth Rangers from previous seasons like Gokai Silver, but does not use this ability as often. Late in the season, three members of the Nouto Quirky Miniboss Squad join the Donbrothers and become honorary 11th-Hour Ranger since they had formed a friendship with the Donbrothers over the season and made enemies with the other Nouto. The evil violet ranger Don Murasame also joins the Donbrothers in the last episode after refusing to help the Nouto Executioners.
  • Ohsama Sentai King-Ohger
    • The sixth of the King-Ohgers is the white Spider Kumonos, the Half-Human Hybrid son of a sixth warrior erased from the original legends due to his forbidden relationship with a monster from the enemy forces who survived to the present due to being The Ageless but had his powers sealed away until he was able to trick the villains into unsealing them with a fake prophesy. Until the end of the first arc of the show, he is the only member of the team who is neither a king nor a prince, but plans to eventually become a king by overthrowing the first arc's Big Bad so he can make peace between humans and monsters. Interestingly, in a sense he is not a late addition to the team because while he does not appear in the beginning of the show, the team is not officially formed until episode 19, after he has already joined. So if spin-offs are not counted, this would technically make the King Ohgers the first team to start with six members. In another twist, he turns out to have been present in the show from the very beginning as The Narrator.
    • Near the end of the show, the team is joined by Ohkuwagata Ohger, a Super Prototype of the King-Ohgers who had been pretending to be evil for most of the show as part of a plan to find a way to kill the true Big Bad. Due to his evil actions, he is not trusted by the rest of the team and so only gets to fight with them a few times.
  • The second season of Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger teases this trope a few times but it never actually happens. In an altered reality where the Akibarangers replaced the Dairangers, Kibaranger has a grudge against the Akibarangers because he was supposed to be their fourth member but never got to appear on television due to the show being cancelled, and it is speculated that they would have also had a fifth member called Aranger. In one episode, Luna suggests that they recruit a famous idol star as their fourth member to be Akiba White but this idea is rejected. In the following battle with the Monster of the Week in the delusion world, said idol does actually appear to help the rangers but in the form of a Magical Girl instead of a ranger. Later when it seems the Big Bad of the season has become unbeatable a new hero called Prism Ace shows up to save the rangers and at first it seems like they are getting a fourth member but it actually turns out to be a Hostile Show Takeover.
  • This has become such a standard that The High School Heroes had a silver sixth member even though the whole show is an homage to Himitsu Sentai Gorenger, which did not have one.
  • 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.
  • To make sense of all of this, Japanese fans ended up having to make separate terms to distinguish between their usual term for the most traditional form of Sixth Ranger (tsuika senshi, or "additional warrior") from terms for 11th-Hour Ranger or semi-regular types (bangai senshi, or "extra warrior) and one-shots (guest senshi, or guest warriors). Using the above Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger as an example, Deka Master and Swan would be "extra warriors" since they're major recurring characters but not part of the advertised core teamnote , whereas Bright and Gold appear as one-offs and are thus guest warriors. Of these terms, "additional warrior" is the only one used officially.

    Kamen Rider 
  • Super Sentai's sibling franchise, Kamen Rider, also carries on the practice of adding a major new Kamen Rider to the cast at about a quarter of the way into the show, often distinguished from the original Riders by new gear (aka a new set of toys to buy). 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. (Keep in mind, though, that while "Second Rider" is the Rider fandom's counterpart term to Sentai's "Sixth Ranger", it isn't quite the same — they tend to use it to refer to the show's Deuteragonist, which often overlaps with "new character" but can just as easily be someone who was a cast member from the beginning.)
    • Kamen Rider Agito starts out with the titular Agito, as well as a technological Rider named G3. However, 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, and eventually all four Riders ally themselves with one another. Dishonorable mention also goes to resident jerkass Toru Hojo who, mid-way through the series, assumes a pseudo-Rider suit designated V1 for Victory (essentially a Frankenstein of Metal Heroes costume parts) in a bid to replace G3, only to fail spectacularly.
    • 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, who was only in the questionably canon/retconned Episode Final movie) as she joins the heroes' team as well.
    • Kamen Rider 555 starts out with just Faiz before throwing Kaixa into the mix. Later, a third 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
      • At first, the show focuses on Kamen Riders Hibiki and Ibuki, and their respective (not-yet-Rider) apprentices Asumu and Akira. Instead of a single "Sixth", they're joined by another master-apprentice pair of Kamen Riders Zanki and Todoroki.
      • In an example that doesn't involve a new Rider, a Retool adds a new cast member named Kyosuke Kiriya as a Jerkass Rival for Asumu.
      • For the record, none of the apprentices ascend to Riderhood and become Sixth Rangers to their masters, at least not during the show's main plot. Akira did manage a half-transformation at one point and Kyosuke has become a full Rider by a post-Time Skip epilogue, but Asumu and Akira ultimately walked away from that life.
    • In Kamen Rider Kabuto, Kamen Riders Drake and Sasword both debut during the second quarter of the show (though Drake ends up Commuting on a Bus and only appears occasionally). Technically, so does Kamen Rider Gatack, but that's just a new powerset given to someone who has always been part of the cast (and is arguably more of the series protagonist than Kabuto is).
    • Kamen Rider Den-O:
      • As 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.
      • Sieg 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. As such, he is only relegated to his debut which was itself a tie-in to The Movie I'm Born!; Sieg later appears in the finale and has appearances in a few other movies that feature Den-O and friends.
    • Kamen Rider Kiva introduces Keisuke Nago a.k.a. 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 nine predecessor Kamen Riders, Diend has the power to summon any of the preceding series' non-title Kamen Riders.
    • The midseason Rider in Kamen Rider Double is Kamen Rider Accel. Where the two people behind Double run a private detective agency investigating the Dopant Monsters of the Week, Accel is a member of the police newly assigned to Dopant cases. They actually become fast friends almost immediately and start teaming together on those cases.
      • A sequel manga/anime, Fuuto P.I., adds a woman named Tokime to the existing TV show cast, as a person of interest in the first case who joins the detective agency afterwards.
    • Kamen Rider OOO:
      • 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 Development, while Date eventually returns in the final episodes to act as Goto's backup with a spare set of 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 end-of-quarter mark, 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 Kiriko 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 in the second quarter 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 story 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. Later on, after Saber is able to get most of his friends back on his side, Co-Dragons Kamen Riders Sabela and Durendal realize that their boss is a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist; and when he betrays them with "You Have Outlived Your Usefulness" they begrudgingly join Saber's group to help stop him.
    • Kamen Rider Revice:
      • Averted early on, as the show introduces all its main Riders in the first quarter and doesn't add new ones in the second. However, Kamen Rider Demons can be considered an honorary one, as while the rest of the Riders are a Sibling Team, Demons is instead an outside ally. In fact, it could be considered an inversion, as instead of adding a new Rider, the show removes one by writing Demons out (he's seemingly killed off, and even when he turns up alive later he's still too frail to return to active duty).
      • Multiple Riders join the heroes late in the story, though none of them really rise to the level of the main Sibling Team. Most have little role in the plot and merely help fill in fight scenes: Aguilera and the second Over Demons are redeemed villains who had already completed their character arcs, while the first Over Demons had always been a bit character. Meanwhile, Kamen Rider Destream has an actual role in the plot, being the siblings' father; but he only appears a few times in which he only fights solo, never alongside his kids.
    • Kamen Rider Geats features Riders competing with each other in a Deadly Game would inevitably have Riders come and go much like Ryuki. While there are more Riders that are involved alongside the normal players, the show begins and ends with the main quartet of Geats, Tycoon, Na-Go, and Buffa.
      • Of the additional players that are outside of the quartet that are introduced as such, PunkJack and Nadge-Sparrow are the most recurring ones. The two don't appear as Riders much once they become recurring characters however.
      • The end of the first quarter sees the introduction of Kamen Rider Glare, another case of the new Rider being an enemy. He's the Game Master who is tired of Geats' snooping and uses his own Rider gear, completely unlike those of the players', to take care of him for good. Subverted when he only lasts three episodes before his boss catches wind of his breaking the rules and fires him. Other staff members would continue to suit up from time to time with Palette Swaps of Glare's suit to keep the game on track, but even as a collective group they don't show up that often.
      • A little while later at the halfway point, the game's audience start inserting themselves into the game as well, with their own Rider equipment separate from both the players and staff. It starts when one tries to usurp the game for her own ends and the others jump in to stop her. Of these, Ziin is most like a traditional Sixth, as he enjoys fighting alongside Geats whenever the opportunity arises, while the other allied sponsors prefer to provide support from the sidelines and only make token appearances in battle as Riders. But even then, Ziin is only a regular for one story arc and makes few appearances afterward.
    • In Kamen Rider Gotchard, Gotchard's friend and ally Rinne had been backing him up the whole time, but she resolves to step up and fight for her own beliefs more strongly and becomes Kamen Rider Majade, joining Gotchard on the field as an equal partner. At about the same time, The Rival Valvarad upgrades his powers to become Kamen Rider Valvarad, but he makes clear that I Work Alone and won't be joining Gotchard, Majade, and their friends just yet.

    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.)
  • Though mostly a homage to the classic Super Sentai which aired in France prior to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, France Five also has a Sixth Ranger in the form of the Silver Mousquetaire.
  • The classic Super Sentai parody Kanpai Senshi After V has a team of five as well as Lame Gold who is more of a DekaMaster-style boss than a traditional Sixth Ranger. Following the Turboranger example above, there is also the temporary, female replacement for Yellow.
  • 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's (Kaitlin's counterpart), with her weapon from the time she was Hellvira included.
  • 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!
    • The same can be said for Ryoma Kagawa from Tokkei Winspector when he comes to the sequel series Tokkyuu Shirei Solbrain as their sixth member, complete with getting his own upgrade from the Fire armor to the KnightFire armor, and also acts as The Lancer of the team as 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. Even then, it's used rather sparingly compared to both Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, being either not appearing much in their series proper or introduced in the post-series movie.

    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.
  • One of the two aversions the series has to this trope is Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star, where the Cures instead get a power up and new identities to boot. You could make a case for the Kiryuu sisters becoming this when they join the Cures in the final arc of the series, but they are not officially counted as Cures by Toei.
  • Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo! 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.
  • The other aversion to this trope is Smile Pretty Cure!. No new Cure joins the group, nor do the cures get a power up.
  • Doki Doki! PreCure added a Fifth Cure to the original quartet: Cure Ace (Glitter Ace in the English dub), 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 Pretty Cure! adds the incarnation of Mother Rapapa, Haa-chan a.k.a. Hanami Kotoha as Cure Felice.
  • KiraKira★Pretty Cure à 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 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 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.
  • Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure adds Laura, the mermaid who started this whole series, as Cure La Mer.
  • Delicious Party♡Pretty Cure adds Amane Kasai, the girl formerly brainwashed to be Gentlu, as Cure Finale.
  • Hirogaru Sky! Pretty Cure gives some interesting twist: like Happiness Charge, Cure Wing (Tsubasa Yuunagi) and Cure Butterfly (Ageha Hijiri) are included in main visual at the start but it would take until Episode 9 for Cure Wing to appear while Cure Butterfly wouldn’t make her first appearance until Episode 18. In Episode 31, Ellee transforms into Cure Majesty, although her proper debut doesn’t appear until one episode later and like Tropical-Rouge, Ellee is the one that started the series’ plot at the first place.

    Asian Animation 
  • Block 13: After the Core 4 is established in Season 1, Season 2 introduces Honey, who quickly becomes part of the boys' misadventures.
  • BoBoiBoy: After the heroes' group is established in the first season, Fang appears in the second one, initially as a rival, but is considered to be one of them by the end of the season.
  • Catch! Teenieping: Happing, who joins the team halfway through Part 2, only long after the other Royal Teenieping have already joined and once she's purified from being Akdongping.
  • Happy Heroes starts off with four Supermen before a fifth one, Careful S., joins the team at the end of Season 1 as a permanent mainstay of the team. In Season 3, a sixth member, Kalo from Planet Adeli, is inducted into the team, but doesn't appear nearly as often as the Supermen in earlier seasons.

    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, any more than 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, as well 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 
  • The Avengers: Captain America, who joined the Avengers in the fourth issue of the series, and ended up becoming The Hero of the team.
  • Circles: Marty Miller 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.
  • Fantastic Four: 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, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, She-Hulk, and the Black Panther.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: The original team starts out as four guys. They're joined by Aloof Ally Starhawk in their third appearance, in a crossover with The Defenders, and he joins permanently in their following series. The second issue of that then introduces Nikki Gold, who rounds out the classic team's roster. (Starhawk's sister, Aleta, who's introduced at the same time, however, doesn't get this status. She isn't treated as an official member until the 90s, and since then has largely been forgotten whenever the team shows up.)
  • Justice League of America:
  • Les Légendaires: The comic has had two sixth rangers so far:
  • Rat Queens: The first issue 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.
  • 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.
  • Shazam!: One of the key plot points in the 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. He turns out to be brainwashed by Mr. Mind, and when freed wants nothing to do with Billy. The real seventh champion turns out to be Black Adam.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): The comic 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.
  • Supergirl: In the story arc Red Daughter of Krypton, Supergirl joins Guy Gardner's Red Lanterns. A Superman 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 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.
  • Teen Titans: Aqualad (the Kaldur'ahm version) is this in Teen Titans (Rebirth), complete with a "Next: The Sixth Titan" preview.
  • 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.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Actually, I'm Dead
    • Trixie slowly becomes an associate of the Mane Six, after Twilight's forced to take her in, due to her experiencing a rather... unfortunate side effect of using The Alicorn Amulet.
    • 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.
  • The MTM from the Calvinverse was with Calvin from the start, but (as of the Calvin & Hobbes: The Series episode "An MTM Episode") gained speech and started becoming more of his own character, making him this.
  • In A Chance for a New Dawn, Monica is 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.
  • The Friends fic "This Charming Life" makes it clear that Mike is now considered basically part of the group after his marriage to Phoebe. While he is still sometimes taken aback by how involved the group are in each other's lives, such as when talking about Monica's troubles getting pregnant, the rest of the group make it clear that he's part of their dynamic now, such as Monica affirming that he can consider himself an Honorary Uncle to their children just as Phoebe is an honorary aunt, observing that "Aunt Phoebe and her husband Mike" would just feel wrong.
  • Cinders and Ashes: the Chronicles of Kamen Rider Dante: As per traditional Kamen Riders, a secondary Rider in the form of Kamen Rider Verge joins the story after the first half of the fanfic, though only joining the heroes at the end of his introductory arc. The same applies for Alicetaria (who officially joined the heroes earlier), Hikayu (much like in the show), Melt (who joins at the same time as Verge), and Kotoha (who joined soon after Verge's introduction).
  • Dæmorphing: After adding David, as canon did, and having to remove him, the Animorphs end up adding Tobias's mother, Loren, to the team. Loren, understanding the stakes and being motivated to help as David never was, has friction with her teammates sometimes but is a much better Animorph. Later in the series, Tom also receives the morphing power, but it doesn't last very long. Afterwards, Melissa, Julissa, Jamal, and Walter join the Animorphs, followed by Mr. Tidwell.
  • Doki Doki Club Meetings has Ms. Ida, who joins the Literature Club after she's briefly promoted to Club President and learns about the nature of the simulation.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. In the early days, it's half a joke and half an insult, as a lot of people assume he's a Glory Hound or a kill-stealing jackass. As the game goes on, however, everyone realizes he is absolutely genuine, and he becomes Shrouded in Myth.
  • In The Ghost of Ochs, after spending a few days recovering from being kidnapped, Monica is reinstated to the Officers Academy and formally joins Edelgard and the other Black Eagles during the midway point of the school year.
  • 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".
  • Invader Zim: A Bad Thing Never Ends: At the end of the second Story Arc, after Fizzmitz learns about the Irkens' existence and how they're in an Evil Versus Evil fight with each other and Aldrich Coathanger, the Membranes convince him to join them in fighting all the villainous factions. He agrees to do so, and to teach the siblings Poopmancy as well.
  • 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 J-WITCH Series:
    • 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.
  • Tsuruya was officially recruited into the SOS Brigade in Kyon: Big Damn Hero, as well as the unnamed girl from Dissociation.
  • Ma Fille: The Girl Posse that antagonizes Katrina originally consists of Claire, Veronica, and Sasha. When they reach high school, a Fourth Ranger named Mia joins them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Prehistoric Park Reimagined: In contrast to her Prehistoric Earth counterpart Cynthia Night, who joined the rescue team at a point where the initial five team members' general positions and dynamics with each other on the team still hadn't yet been fully defined and set in stone by the narrative, Cynthia Knightly ends up joining the rescue team in this story immediately after an entire prior 'season' has unfolded long enough to allow Drew, Jack, Adrian, Leon and Alice to comfortably solidify themselves as a Five-Man Band.
  • 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 Spider-X, Peter Parker joins the X-Men: Evolution version of the X-Men, being immediately 'promoted' to X-Men level rather than the New Mutants given his prior experience as an independent vigilante. He is actually the seventh member of the team rather than the sixth, but he checks most of the usual qualities, particularly with his unconventional status as the team's first mutate rather than mutant member (he acquired his powers by chance rather than a natural biological development).
  • Tales of Blaze and Artemis introduces Nick in chapter 10, holder of the Earth Miraculous that transforms him into Onyx. At the end of the chapter, Allen and Bianca warn him that it's too dangerous for him to show up to every villain, and that he should stay back unless they contact him.
  • 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.
  • What if Tom was never a Controller?: After the Animorphs make a mess of retrieving the morphing cube from David's house, Tom tells them it's a bad idea to add a stranger to their team... so they offer to make Tom an Animorph instead.
  • In What Tomorrow Brings, the Animorphs free Tom as soon as possible so his suffering won't weigh on Jake's mind. It turns out that he was sent back in time as well, and his inside knowledge on Yeerks is a valuable asset, so Jake decides to re-give him the morphing power.
  • Yin and Yang Series: Kirere, after the first story, ends up becoming this for the Keroro Platoon.

    Films — Animation 
  • Inverted in Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters with Chicken Bittle. He was the fourth member of the Aqua Teens and he was with the team since the very beginning, but he got eaten by a lion in Africa, explaining why he never appeared (physically) in the show.
  • 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."
  • In Turning Red, Tyler starts the movie off on bad terms with Mei, but eventually joins her friend group after they discover his love of 4*Town.

    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.
  • Gleahan and the Knaves of Industry: Penelope joins the team after spending the first half of the film as an adversary to Gleahan and Mark.
  • The Italian Job (2003): Wrench, a mechanic whom Rob recruits to modify the Caper Crews cars, later becomes an official part of the crew when they need additional support.
  • DC Extended Universe:
  • 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.
  • The Beginning After the End:
    • Volume 2 introduces the Lances, the six elite Magic Knights oathbound to the royal families of Dicathen. At the start of Volume 6, Arthur is inducted by Virion into their ranks as a replacement for the late Alea, whom he had discovered dying in Widow's Crypt at the end of Volume 3.
    • The end of Volume 7 reveals that the Scythes, the elite cabal of Alacryan mages spearheading their invasion of Dicathen and the Evil Counterparts and Psycho Rangers to the Lances, have their own latecoming member to parallel Arthur. That member is none other than his former boyhood friend, Elijah Knight, who has been seemingly brainwashed into serving them. Except it turns out he is Not Brainwashed, and that "Elijah Knight" was merely a smokescreen for his true identity: Nico Sever, the former boyhood friend of Arthur's past self King Grey.
    • The end of Volume 10 introduces Chul, a djinn/phoenix hybrid and resident of the Hearth whom accompanies Arthur in order to avenge the death of his mother at the hands of the Legacy. To an extent, Wren also qualifies in that he ended up in the Hearth after becoming a Defector from Decadence and accompanying Aldir in his exile, and after throwing in his lot with Arthur, he puts Wren to work alongside Gideon and Emily to develop new innovations for the war effort.
  • 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.
  • Lockwood & Co. has Quill Kipps, who starts out as a minor antagonist before going through some Teeth-Clenched Teamwork (and a hefty dose of Break the Haughty), eventually graduating to an official Sixth Ranger by the last two books. Doesn't mean he's not going to complain about it, though.
  • 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 Good, the Bad, and the Mediochre has Danny, who may also count as The Team Benefactor and The Driver since he only turns up when the heroes need someone with a van and an above-average knowledge of the Scottish road system. He leaves the group once they arrive at their destination, but turns up again in time to perform a You Shall Not Pass! moment, disappear for a while and eventually turn out to have been a Sixth Ranger Traitor all along.
  • 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.
  • Roys Bedoys:
    • Roys’s friend group was initially him, Wen, Truly, and Maker. Since “Meet the New Student, Roys Bedoys”, Flora joined the group.
    • Downplayed for Hopper and Coder, who became Roys’s friends in later stories, but they never became members of the main group.
  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades: More like the Seventh Ranger. Yuri Leik is introduced in volume 6 as a New Transfer Student from a non-magic school, and quickly becomes a sort of auxiliary member of the Sword Roses, even joining the combat leagues as Oliver and Nanao's third after Team Mom Chela declines to participate. Arguably he's actually the Sixth Ranger Traitor, as he is in fact an Artificial Human created by Professor Demetrio Aristedes to be a Manchurian Agent to spy on the student body after the murders of two other professors.
  • Wagons West: Lt. Colonel Lee Blake is introduced after the midpoint of Nebraska!, joining the wagon train to help defend from British and Russian forces. Similar to the trope namer, he will become the most important male character that was in the book for the series as a whole.

    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, who 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, their manager Brian Epstein, their road manager/assistant Neil Aspinall, and their public relations manager Derek Taylor. 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 While My Guitar Gently Weeps and was seriously considered for replacing George when he temporarily quit).
  • 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:
    • Fans usually consider bassist Dave "Phoenix" Farrell as this. In actuality, he was a part of the original lineup, known as Xero from 1996-1998, but had touring commitments with another band called Tasty Snax, so he temporarily left the band. 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. During the recording of the album, bass duties were split between lead guitarist Brad Delson, touring bassist Scott Koziol and session bassist Ian Hornbeck, and on the back cover, only the five main members are shown, which led many to assume those were all the people in the band. When Phoenix returned in November 2000, right as Hybrid Theory began raking up sales and the band started to enjoy stardom, 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 that way.
    • Officially, however, the band seem to consider their late lead singer Chester Bennington to be their Sixth Ranger. Of the Long-Runner Line-up that the band would carry until his death in 2017, Chester was the last member to join, having replaced original lead singer Mark Wakefield in 1999; the only one to not have any past connection with another band member prior to joiningnote ; and, being a child of Phoenix, Arizona, the only member to not grow up in Californianote .
  • 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 honorary Wiggles—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.
  • After Fishmans was reduced from a quintet to a trio in 1995-98, consisting of lead vocalist/guitarist Shinji Sato, bassist Yuzuru Kashiwabara and drummer Kin-ichi Moteginote , several supporting musicians took over the vacant positions both in studio and on tour, including multi-instrumentalist Honzi as well as guitarist Michio "Darts" Sekiguchi and Shinya Kogure.
    • Producer ZAK can also be considered their Sixth Ranger, as he was behind the desk for the band's seminal "Setagaya Trilogy" released during this period.

  • 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 Toa of similar stature have.
    • 2005 - The only year without a true Seventh Toa, though the special edition Toa Norik and Toa Iruini 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 Hover Bike for Vultraz, a Spider Tank 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.

    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 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).

  • 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.
  • M9 Girls!: Golden wants to belong with the M9 Girls. She goes thru the Dark Magical Girl stage before unofficially joining the team.
  • El Goonish Shive started with a Comic Trio and spent over a decade with an eight-person main cast before expanding to 10. Among the eight, Justin and Nanase aren't really Sixth Rangers, but Grace might qualify if Aisha from Winx Club 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 (introduced 11 arcs in) occasionally added as a Sixth Ranger. She's a buddy of Susan's from the feminist club whose original purpose was to have an unrequited love for Susan and subsequently hangs out with her and Sarah sometimes.
    • Given that six out of the original 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 given the length of the comic. 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 (introduced a decade in) or Diane (introduced eight arcs in but spent a decade as a minor character). Case in point, Ashley is the first new character to be invited to the Verres' house (and hence potentially have access to all the magical stuff it contains) in a decade and Diane credibly argues for her inclusion. Catalina (and Rhoda who was introduced eight arcs in) 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. Indeed, post said party, Ashley and Diane have cemented their status as main characters racking up over 300 cumulative canon appearances each while Rhoda and Catalina have less than 100.
  • 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.
  • Through its first nine chapters, Swords and Sausages follows the misadventures of Lovable Rogues Tor and Silver. In Chapter 10, Kiela the sorceress (who had appeared in a couple of Early Bird Cameos) becomes their partner, and her Dark and Troubled Past drives much of the plot from then on.

    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.
  • Buster Girls:
    • Saya Amou/Fenraizer during the "Heartbreaker" arc. Pinpointing the exact moment she joined is tough due to her not considering herself part of the team for the longest time.
    • Akira Kintaro becomes "Buster Gold" in Chapter 32 and joins the team from then onward.
  • 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. Antfrost eventually joins when a fourth hunter is required, and Awesamdude is later recruited as the fifth hunter.
  • 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.
  • Certain guests on Game Grumps (or "Guest Grumps") have appeared frequently enough that lovelies consider them honorary Grumps. Ben Schwartz is probably top of the list, since he usually takes point on the game they're playing whenever he's around. After him is Finn Wolfhard and Jacob Anderson.

    Real Life 
  • The Iroquois Confederacy (a.k.a. the Haudenosaunee) originally consisted of five nations based in Upstate New York (Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, and Cayuga), then the Tuscarora nation, based in the Carolinas but from the same language group, were invited to move up to the region and officially joined in 1722, marking the beginning of the famous "Six Nations" moniker.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): The Sixth Ranger


Iggy Arrives

The group is introduced to their sixth member. Jotaro isn't pleased with him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (17 votes)

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Main / SixthRanger

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