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Sixth Ranger Traitor

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You're a Power Trio or Five-Man Band who just got themselves a new Sixth Ranger. Things are looking pretty good right now — your team is expanding, you're making new friends. Looks like things might change permanently!

NOT!

Surprise! It turns out your fancy new Sixth Ranger is evil! He now knows all of your secrets, how to exploit them, and how to push all of your emotional buttons. You've got a new enemy, and the best part is — you'll have an excuse to keep your team down to a Power Trio or Five-Man Band from now on, so the status quo will remain unchanged.

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Just fair warning, this is a trope about betrayal. The names mentioned below may spoil the emotional drama their moment of betrayal brings. However, since Sixth Ranger Traitors tend not to stay with their adoptive teams for long, that may not exactly be much.

Like the Sixth Ranger, The Sixth Ranger Traitor is its own villainous counterpart, instead reflecting the member of the group who betrays the others, either by pulling a Heel–Face Turn, faking one, simply for their own ends, or on rare occasions against their will.

The name is derived from Sixth Ranger. Sub-Trope of The Mole.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, Floch Forester is a late arrival to the cast, having been a classmate of the main characters that did not enlist in the Survey Corps. He has a change of heart and decides to switch branches to begin working with his old classmates and seems to be a Red Shirt in the making. Instead, he's the Sole Survivor of the suicide charge against the Beast Titan. After the Time Skip, he quickly establishes himself as a Token Evil Teammate that clashes with Jean over ethics and eventually betrays the Survey Corps entirely as The Dragon to Eren's radical Yeager Faction.
  • Corrector Yui - One of the nearest Yui's friends was the true Chosen One to be the titular Corrector, but I.R. chose Yui because an error later explained she was then infected by Grosser its Haruna, and no, its not "a hidden grudge" it was pure Mind Control like it was later demonstrated with Shun before being recruited after Inukai told everyone in the group about it, then after she tried to leave the group (cause Yui was better for the Correctors) Grosser takes her and turned her against Yui, it was fixed on the next episode but she didn't return as a Corrector until the next season. Haruna is eventually cured by Yui herself in an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, goes under temporal retirement (she was still remaining as Mission Control) and, in the second season, she rejoins the team as Sixth Ranger.
  • In Death Note, Light Yagami joins the secret police taskforce in charge of finding and stopping Kira, a brilliant but crazy serial killer who's using an Artifact of Doom to anonymously murder anyone he deems evil, which can reach triple digits on a single day. Unfortunately, Light is Kira.
    • It's played with, in that L, the leader of the task force, is never in any doubt that Light is Kira - inviting him to join the task force is just a ploy to attempt to prove his guilt. It works. Eventually. Not that L's around to see it.
  • In Digimon Universe: App Monsters, the Applidrivers gain a Sixth Ranger in the form of Yuujin Oozora, Haru's best friend, and his Buddy Appmon Offmon mid-series. Rei finds the new addition to the team too eager to help and friendly, but the other Applidrivers and their Buddy Appmon see this as a bonus and welcome their new teammates with open arms. In the climax of the series, the horrible truth is revealed: Yuujin is actually YJ-14, an Artificial Human created by Leviathan to keep tabs on Haru and collect data on humans by living among them. Even his own Buddy Appmon didn't know this! This is obviously devastating to the Applidrivers, especially Haru. However, being Haru's friend for half a decade made Yuujin grow a heart and personality of his own, so Leviathan has to take total control of his body to make him fight against his loved ones. When he regains control of his body, Yuujin is heartbroken over Leviathan's actions, and ends up making the choice to delete Leviathan at the cost of his own life, partially to prevent Haru from making that awful choice himself and living with having killed his best friend for the rest of his life.
  • Kaworu from Neon Genesis Evangelion, although there's enough visual and in-plots hints about people wondering about him that he was deliberately a mysterious character. His character showed up in one episode, which means the time from Introduction to The Reveal about his identity as The Last Angel was about fifteen minutes. Subsequent versions of the story reveal it even faster, likely because almost anyone watching a remake will know it anyway. Death & Rebirth reveals Kaworu's betrayal before introducing him! The fact that he's first seen in Rebuild of Evangelion hanging out with Keel Lorenz is a pretty big indication by itself that he's not on NERV's side in the latest iteration of the story, either. note 
    • There's also EVA-03 and its pilot; however, the case of their betrayal was unintentional, as an Angel managed to hijack them before they even made a sortie.
  • Meowth of Team Rocket pretends to become a new ally for the heroes of Pokémon Best Wishes for one short Story Arc, but it was just to lure them into a trap in Nimbasa City.
  • In the second season opening of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, the team gets a new G-2 as a replacement for dead Lancer "Condor Joe" Asakura, much to the others' discomfiture. Surprise! He's a Galactor agent. Double surprise! Joe, Back from the Dead, kills him.
  • Crona from Soul Eater is taken in after turning good, then is manipulated back to Medusa to be The Mole
    • In the anime, Crona decides to stop working for Medusa and leave the DWMA out of guilt. Maka catches them on the way out and convinces Crona to stay and be their ally for the rest of the show.
    • In the manga, Crona disappears just after being discovered, having been called back by Medusa to her lair. Eventually, Crona kills Medusa, but thought so lowly of themself for it that Crona decides to become a Kishin as Medusa planned and cause The End of the World as We Know It. Maka manages to talk Crona back, but by that point Crona had done so much wrong they ended up being a Barrier Maiden for the rest of their immortal life as repentance, or until Maka manages to rescue them, depending on your personal interpretation.
  • Played with in Sword Art Online: After losing in a duel to Heathcliff, Kirito is forced to join the Knights of the Blood. After a costly boss raid with KoB, Kirito realizes Heathcliff is actually Akihiko Kayaba, creator of SAO and the one responsible for trapping all the players in the game. His ruse exposed, Kayaba reveals that he was setting himself up to betray the KoB and set himself up as the game's Final Boss.

    Comic Books 
  • The Avengers: The Swordsman, a Villain with Good Publicity, joined The Avengers under orders from Iron Man's enemy the Mandarin to sabotage the team. After gaining the trust of most of the team, he planted a bomb in their headquarters. It was after he had a change of heart and disarms the bomb that he was found out and the team sent him packing.
  • Nemesis Kid of the Legion in Legion of Super-Heroes. He joined the Legion to spy on them for the evil Khund Empire (and later became a member of the Legion of Super-Villains).
  • Shun-Day was this to the Legendaries, acting as The Mole to her creator Skroa. She however become the mask and ends up saving the other Legendaries from him. Danael agreed to let her go as a gratitude, but warned her that the next time they'd meet, it'd be as enemies.
    • Later subverted during the Anathos Cycle when Tenebris, Darkhell's daughter, joins the team. Her motivations for helping the heroes are selfish, she is known to love her father, and two of the Legendaries (namely Shimy and Gryf) were expecting her to betray them, to the point Shimy tried to murder her once it appeared she was of no more use. Ironically, it turned out she never betrayed the team, even when Anathos gave her the opportunity to join her after he single-handedly defeated the other heroes. After the Cycle, she has become a full-time member of the group.
  • Runaways:
    • Topher is introduced as a kid apparently in a similar position to the heroes, and is a little too charming and eager to get on with everyone. He turns out to be a vampire and tries to murder them all. His betrayal causes the team to be initially suspicious of Sixth Ranger Victor Mancha, especially since they know he's the son of a villain (though they don't know which one for a while) and supposedly destined to turn evil. Given that every single fricken one of them is the child of at least one, and in most cases two villains, what do ya expect?
    • It's also implied to have happened on purpose, because Alex knew all along that Topher was a vampire (or at least evil) and brought him to the Hostel so that the rest of the group could end up fighting him to be toughened up.
  • Star Wars (Marvel 1977) does have regulars added to the cast not infrequently. Most of them work out okay - but Shira Brie, Luke Skywalker's Wing Guard and incipient Love Interest, turns out to have been hand-picked by Darth Vader.
  • Teen Titans: After the New Teen Titans formed, their first new member was Terra, a cute teen girl with a sad backstory. One year later...well, there's a reason that Terra's grand finale is called The Judas Contract. (However, the Titans didn't return to status quo; The Judas Contract also introduced Jericho, who became a long-standing member of the team.)
  • Titan's Transformers: Animated Comic had a new character called Afterburn, who is one of the greatest Autobots to ever live, who cured a fatal infection and has recommendations from Ultra Magnus himself. He's really a soulless drone created by Megatron, who faked his credentials.
  • In an example that would have made fans of the original series cry, Sven, one of the most popular characters of the original Voltron: Defender of the Universe series became this in the 2003-4 Devil's Due Darker and Edgier Continuity Reboot.
  • Wonder Man, the first Avenger to join the team after Captain America, was one of these. An industrialist driven out of business by Tony Stark, he was approached by the Masters of Evil and offered superpowers and revenge. It wasn't until after he'd gotten his powers that the Masters revealed the catch -that his powers would kill him without regular treatments that only Baron Zemo could provide - and sent him to infiltrate the Avengers. Since Good Feels Good, though, Wonder Man discovered he preferred being a hero and ended up saving the team from the Masters' trap at the cost of his own life. (Being comics, he got better. Then worse. Then better again.)
  • In Grant Morrison's run on X-Men, where the core team starts out as a Five-Man Band, Xorn isn't just a traitor, he's Magneto in disguise! (For a while, anyhow.) Change and (perhaps futile) attempts to escape the status quo were major themes in this run. The first to join the original Five-Man Band (not counting the Professor) from the sixties, Mimic, also betrayed the team.
    • New X-Men: Academy X has an interesting case with this happening to both the New Mutants and their rival team at the same time. Both teams were five groups of friends short of one to make a full training squad. Icarus was added to the Hellions, whom he barely knew, because Julian convinced him to join, and Wither joined the New Mutants after he returned to school. Once the FBI tried to arrest Wither, the Hellions decided to bust him out and Icarus, realizing how horrible the consequences such act would have, contacted the New Mutants and both groups fought. Once Wither was cleared of all charges he realized who his real friends were and asked to be re-assigned to the Hellions, while Icarus jumped at the opportunity to take his spot on the New Mutants.

    Fan Works 
  • In 72 Hours, Bo is this to the wrestlers. When he moves to America, he falls in naturally with the sadistic group, but has no interest in slaughtering innocents with the others; he simply can't escape. During a battle with SABRE, he not only joins the enemy (pulling a complete Heel–Face Turn in the process) but does so in a way that cripples the enemy attack, saving his new friends' lives.
  • Miyako in Death Note and Phantom Thief Jeanne fanfic, To Kill A Thief is unknowingly helping Light. When she realized of what he wanted, she turns her back on him.
  • The Dark World arc of the Pony POV Series, Discord's sister Rancor joins him and his minions in fighting the Elements of Harmony's rebellion... only to stab him In the Back (literally) at the opportune moment, in order to steal Destruction's power for herself.
  • In Devil's Advocate Takato joins the Digidestined to help them defeat the Digimon Emperor. However as soon as the Emperor dies Takato plans to turn on the others and kill them.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: The epilogue of the fourth story, The Diplomat's Life, reveals that Lady Aputsiaq is secretly working for the same being who was served by Subtle Dancer from the Doa-verse, and stole the Gem of Sacanas from where Twilight had it stored and turned it over to them. Twilight herself remains unaware of the thief's identity.

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    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Avengers: Hawkeye, an archer, the sixth member of the Avengers, who had no speaking lines prior to this film, is mind-controlled by Loki and fights for him until the third act of the movie. Hawkeye is particularly dangerous because of his knowledge of SHIELD protocols and weaponry, particularly the weak points thereof.
  • Dog Soldiers - Megan, who was a werewolf in secret from the start and believed the squad could somehow save her, betrays the soldiers after coming to the conclusion that either they weren't there to help her and that they'd kill her if they found out her secret, or that their chances of surviving the night were nil, or a combination of both.
  • Eternals: The Eternals consider one another family. However, Ikaris is so troubled by the idea of saving Earth from the birth of a Celestial that he kills their leader, Ajak, in hopes of replacing her, which would allow him to keep the plan from the rest of the group and ensure all goes according to their original orders. When that fails, he attempts to kill any member of the group who works against the Celestial's emergence. It proves a difficult fight as Ikaris was their Second-In-Command and knows them quite well. He is also aided by Sprite who has Loki-like powers of illusion and misdirection.
  • In The Faculty, Marybeth is this in a meta sense. While the other five protagonists didn't know each other before the events of the movie, they are pretty obviously based on the group from The Breakfast Club (Stan's counterpart is Andy, Delilah's is Claire, Casey's is Brian, Zeke's is Bender, and Stokely's is Allison), leaving one to wonder where Marybeth fits in. The answer: she doesn't. She's the queen alien leading the Puppeteer Parasites that are taking over the school.
  • In Grave Encounters 2 Lance appears out of nowhere, having apparently survived the first movie and shows up to aid the remaining survivors. Too bad for them he is taking orders from the hospital itself which speaks by scratching words into the walls or following him around invisible in the darkness of the hospital. To make this even worse, he kills Trevor and attempts to escape the hospital himself. too bad the demons of the hospital double crossed him too.
  • In Seven (1979), Mailei reveals herself to The Mole inside The Syndicate: providing to information to Harris and the feds on their plans to take over Hawaii, and then sent to help the Seven to stop them. However, she later turns out to be a double agent, providing The Syndicate with information about how much the feds know, and tries to kill Cowboy.
  • X-Men: First Class: The Mutants are initially happy simply to have found others like them, but the group eventually splits over fundamental differences in ideology.
    • After a fun evening spent demonstrating their powers, Angel abandons the team after their CIA safehouse is attacked, agreeing with Shaw that Mutants should not have to fear the humans.
    • After the combined US and Cuban militaries attempt to kill the Mutant squad that has just kept the two countries from initiating what promised to be a costly and destructive war, Magneto and Raven decide it's dangerously naive to continue to work with the CIA-backed team. Magneto will go on to use the leadership skills he learned from Charles and the increased abilities Charles helped him hone to establish the X-Men: Brotherhood of Mutants which will frequently clash with the X-Men.

    Literature 
  • Animorphs - David. Note that no one really wanted him to join, and he didn't either, but he'd found the morphing cube and his parents had been taken by Yeerks. He ends up permanently trapped in rat morph, and his fate (a Mercy Kill by Rachel or left to live as a rat) is left deliberately vague.
  • Senna from Everworld is sort of an odd example—she technically put together the group, but keeps flitting in and out of it herself (until book #7, when she stays with them until her final betrayal). She's definitely a Token Evil Teammate, though, and after a while doesn't even try to conceal the fact that she's manipulating them, though she keeps her exact plans hidden. Unfortunately, the others have to put up with her, since she's MacGuffin Super Person and the only one who can bring them home.
  • In Harry Potter: Severus Snape is actually a Sixth Ranger Traitor for the villains, earning himself a (sudden) special place in the hearts of many readers who had previously hated his guts.
  • In The Clockwork Prince, Jessamine Lovelace betrays the Institute because of her love for Nate.
  • Villains by Necessity: Robin, the last and sixth member of the party to join, is a spy from Mizzamir. However, he isn't really evil, and switches sides after learning their quest is right.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In season 3, Faith is introduced as a second Slayer and hedonistic Shadow Archetype to Buffy. It takes a few episodes, but a fatal accident sets her on a spiral into a Face–Heel Turn. She eventually makes a Heel–Face Turn and goes back to being one of Buffy's most important allies, though.
    • Rather amusingly, Spike (who now has a Restraining Bolt to keep him from killing people) plays the Sixth Ranger Traitor role in season 4 — selling out Buffy and the Scoobies to Adam — despite the fact that he makes no bones about being evil and hating the Scoobies the whole time.
      Spike: Tell you what I'll do then. I'll head out, find this girl, tell her exactly where all of you are, and then watch as she kills you.
      *shocked silence from Xander and Giles*
      Spike: Can't any one of your damn little Scooby club at least try to remember that I hate you all? Just because I can't do the damage myself doesn't stop me from aiming a loose cannon your way. And here I thought the evening'd be dull.
  • Oddly enough, the reality show Dance Moms has an example of this, when the newest mother to the group, Cathy, defects back to her own dance studio, then decides to directly compete against her erstwhile colleagues in an upcoming competition. She even specifically states that now she's seen the Abbey Lee company from the inside, so she can use their own methods against them, going so far as to steal one of the children's music. Like most Sixth Ranger Traitors, she fails spectacularly.
  • Zoey from How I Met Your Mother became one of these, after she grew very close with the gang and even dated Ted. However when Ted said "no" to preserving an old building called the Arcadian, said person revealed to have kept the recording she made of Ted praising the Arcadian despite having promised to get rid of it.
  • Chester Lake from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit eventually ends up killing a rapist cop who was found not guilty at trial. To Lake's credit, said cop had previously tried repeatedly to kill him, and in the end he made no attempt to conceal his crime. Much more fitting to the trope is The Scrappy Dale Stuckey, who turns out to have masterminded a plot to kill the lawyers and judge in a serial killer's murder trial in order to frame the killer, who he had originally accidentally set free due to screwing up the forensic evidence. He ends up killing the Mauve Shirt CSI tech, and almost ends up killing Stabler.
  • NCIS had both Chip, who inserted himself into NCIS as part of a long term scheme to get revenge on Tony for ruining his career years ago, and Agent Lee, who was an enemy double agent. For a while the team took it for granted that Ziva was one of these, being a double agent for the Israelis, but she eventually proves her loyalty to the team.
  • Power Rangers and Super Sentai:
    • Zhane in Power Rangers in Space actually disguised himself as a "Sixth Psycho Ranger" in order to confuse The Psycho Rangers.
    • To the point, despite the trope name, this really hasn't happened in Power Rangers. Sixth Rangers have started as antagonists and even villains, but it's always been due to mind control or the manipulation of the truth. The closest examples would be Power Rangers Ninja Steel, where Brady's brother Aiden turns out to be Actually a Doombot sent by The Starscream, and the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers comic which introduced an actual "Sixth Psycho Ranger" called Psycho Green who is later revealed in the Year Two Deluxe Edition to be the former Sixth Ranger of the Supersonic Rangers of Xybria who, after being benched too many times by his leader, lured the core Five-Man Band into a trap and killed them all. An act of betrayal that won over the favor of Dark Specter.
    • One of the few examples of this happened in Choudenshi Bioman in a two part story where a man tries to join the team and fights beside them but gets rejected when the test for bio particles comes back negative. The villains take advantage of him by tricking him into letting them turn him into an evil ranger whose suit is powered by magne metal instead. Unlike future sixths rangers he does not keep his powers after he is freed.
    • Shuriken Sentai Ninninger had a green ranger join the team in one of the movies only for her to be revealed to be possessed by a villain.
  • Revenge: If you go by Alternative Character Interpretation, Ashley Davenport, although she also isn't fully aware of her role in Emily's scheming and is at least partially loyal to the Graysons.
  • The Torchwood episode "Adam" had the eponymous mind-altering alien acting as the team's most trusted member. The viewers know he's the bad guy all along.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Hushai plays the role of The Mole for King David in the story of Absalom's rebellion. The guy even has the balls to lampshade it in front of Absalom.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • CM Punk played the good version of this in WWE's ECW revival, infiltrating the New Breed in order to break them apart from within.
  • EVIL played the... well, evil version of this in NJPW, betraying Los Ingobernables de Japon and joining Bullet Club in 2020. LIJ had been a full-blown heel stable when he joined, but had transitioned to being tweeners by the time he left.
  • MJF played the evil version twice in AEW:
    • In late 2019, he allied himself with Cody Rhodes and his Nightmare Family, seemingly turning face, but betrayed Cody a few weeks later, cementing himself as a heel.
    • A year later, he joined AEW's top heel stable, the Inner Circle, but manipulated them for months, driving original member Sammy Guevara from the stable and attempting to usurp Chris Jericho as leader. Jericho then booted MJF from the stable in March 2021, only to find that MJF started his own heel stable. MJF's group, soon unveiled as The Pinnacle, beat the Inner Circle down, effectively turning the latter face.

    Video Games 
  • Khunag of Albion joins the party as the sixth ranger. He has little role for awhile. Then at one point, the player must infiltrate the cult he once belonged to, and he's the only guide available. He 'guides' the player into declaring war on the cult, slaughtering their best warriors and eventually killing the leader, with whom he had a score to settle.
  • In Another Day, the bonus chapter of The World Ends with You, Rhyme, of all people note  pulls this on Neku...er, Shuto's team of Tin Pin Slammer-playing heroes.
    • Defied in NEO: The World Ends with You with Shoka. Originally joining the Wicked Twisters as a mole to spy on them for the Reapers' benefit, she felt incredibly guilty betraying her teammates who considered her a friend. She ends up fully defecting from the Reapers and permanently joining the Wicked Twisters.
  • In Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, your starting party consists of entirely of characters from the first game... and Yoshimo. Guess who betrays you?
  • Onef of The Banner Saga. Is recruited from Frostvellr, and fills out this role in the party. Invariably turns on the party later on, as pointed out by their class title "Backbiter". Ends up killing a good number of your clansmen along with Egil, and Oddleif comes scarily close to dying as well.
  • Harle in Chrono Cross, twice, betraying Lynx for you because you are Lynx and then betraying you for the Dragons after you beat FATE.
  • Final Fantasy series
    • In Final Fantasy IV, when returning to Baron, you run into Cecil's old friend Chancellor Baigan. He "joins" your party (despite the fact that your party is already full; the game doesn't allow six playable characters to be used at once) and he follows along behind you (unlike all the other party members who aren't shown on screen during normal gameplay). He is revealed as a monster in disguise about five seconds later. In the DS remake, this is played as a cutscene and Baigan has a new 3D model, and he immediately reveals himself as a monster in the cutscene.
    • Final Fantasy X - Maester Seymour, since he joins the party briefly before turning out to be an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • Final Fantasy XII offers one for both sides: The heroes get Vossler, and the villains get Gabranth.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics gives us Algus/Argath, the guest for about half of Chapter 1. Also Gafgarion, a guest for several battles during Chapter 2.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 gives us Adelle, though she's merely Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Played with in Fire Emblem Fates. The Avatar unintentionally becomes one in the Conquest version of the game when they return to their adopted family in Nohr after being reunited with and fighting alongside their biological one in Hoshido for a while.
  • Aydana Kozlova in Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is a subversion of this trope. She seemed to betray the team and released the enemy that The Squad had just captured. It turns out that she only released him so the team would be able to track him down and lead them to the Big Bad. Then she rejoined your team and was Easily Forgiven.
  • Grim Fandango: Shortly after joining the LSA, Olivia betrays Manny and the rest of the group for her new boyfriend, Hector LeMans.
  • Dark Pit from Kid Icarus: Uprising was created by Pandora to be an Evil Knockoff of Pit who'll fight for the Underworld Army. 10 seconds after his creation, he defects and becomes a neutral Wild Card during most of the game until he joins with Pit near the end of the game.
    • This is all due to Dark Pit being Pit's opposite. But rather than morality, Pit's core virtue is his loyalty.
  • Mass Effect 3: Maya Brooks in the "Citadel" DLC. She pretends to be a low level, bumbling but well-intentioned Staff Analyst, helping to uncover the assassin who is attempting to kill Shepard by providing the team with dossiers, information, and advice. In actuality, she is behind the attempt, intending to kill Shepard and replace him with a clone that will allow her to use Shepard's connections and reputation to push her Human Supremacist agenda on the galaxy.
  • Onmyōji: Yaobikuni, who suddenly turns on her friends and reveals her motives after being taken to Kuro Seimei's place. She is still a playable character after this revelation.
  • Goro Akechi in Persona 5. Subverted in that the gang already knew he was The Mole from the start and actually finds a way to counter his plan (to kill Joker and have the Phantom Thieves arrested) with a very clever Batman Gambit. He later joins the party for real in the Royal Updated Re-release. There's also Yoshizawa, who briefly turns on the party during a Heroic BSoD before coming to her senses.
  • Phantasy Star IV has "Seth" who you meet at the entrance of a dungeon. At the end of said dungeon, he turns out to be the third incarnation of Dark Force that you fight in the game.
  • At the end of Planescape: Torment, depending on your alignment either the Token Evil Teammate Ignus or the insane Sixth Ranger Vhailor will turn on you at the behest of the Big Bad in the final dungeon.
  • Courtney Gears in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal. At first, it looks like she agrees to assist the Q-Force in helping out with their battle against Dr. Nefarious, but soon betrays the team by kidnapping Clank and using Skidd as a test subject for the Biobliterator in her lair, the Obani Draco. She soon meets her end at the hands of Ratchet, but is later restored.
    • Rusty Pete may also count, since he only allys himself with Ratchet to find the body of Angstrom Darkwater so that he can revive Captain Slag.
  • Penelope in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is technically the second recruit, and therefore the fifth ranger, but the way she joins is different from the Guru, Panda King, and Dimitri; they all join out of gratitude for the Cooper Gang's help with their own problems, while Penelope joined to keep her promise to Bentley. Nobody knew she had a very selfish motivation for joining until it was too late, and she betrayed the gang to Le Paradox in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time in order to harvest Bentley's "potential" and Take Over the World.
  • Applicable to two different character routes in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
    • The Republic Trooper story inverts the trope, casting the player character as the newest member but being the only one squad member to remain loyal after everyone else defects to the Empire.
    • The Imperial Agent story plays this straight and has this happen twice over; the player character themselves serves as one for a team of Republic spies, acting as a double-agent to get info - only for another member of the team to be a double-agent themselves, except that they serve a third group who is inflaming the war for their own ends.
  • The only playable character in Tales of Xillia 2 not previously established from the first game is the protagonist Ludger Kresnik, who in the Bad Ending kills the rest of the party in order to stop them from sacrificing his brother.
  • Ultima V has Saduj who can join your party, but it turns out he's a spy for the Big Bad, not just that but he'll flee every battle you enter massively dropping your karma eventually making the game unwinnable. Really the only use for him (Without him having to join) is that he's the only clue to the existence of the Sandalwood Box that is one of many items you need to beat the game, and that you can make him a Hairu in a particular battle.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers:
    • Foxglove helped the Rangers mainly so she could steal the episode's Plot Coupons they found, and give them to the villain/goons she worked for... and also because of an affection for Dale, which lead to her Heel–Face Turn back to the Rangers.
    • Desiree D'Allure, Monterey Jack's old crush, does this as well... except unlike Foxglove, she stays evil, and gets away with it! (Well, not completely.)
  • William from Code Lyoko joins the team in the second-to-last episode of the third season, even though he was already considered 7 episodes ago. Although he is not evil and never becomes evil, his inexperience and cockiness combined with some errors from the heroes themselves led to XANA taking him over in the following episode. The surprise factor was actually legitimate, because the build-up was so long.
  • In G.I. Joe: Sigma 6, Firefly ends up betraying the team to Cobra.
  • In the second season of The Legend of Korra Varrick is this for a while to the Krew. Even when he begins manipulating and betraying some of the members, it takes them a while to figure it out. Even after he's exposed, he still thinks they're friends. He does eventually do a Heel–Face Turn a good two books later, but he had to earn everyone's trust and forgiveness again because of said betrayal.
  • Discord pulls this stunt in the Season 4 Finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic after listening to Tirek's Hannibal Lecture. Getting swiftly backstabbed, drained of his powers, and still forgiven by his former friends kicks him back to the pony's side for good... probablyhopefully.
  • Terra from Teen Titans. Unlike in the comics, where Terra was Evil All Along, Terra started as an ally, rejected membership over a misunderstanding, and had become The Mole by the time she took it up. If it wasn't obvious enough that Terra as a Titan wasn't going to last long, the episode following her joining the team has her suspiciously absent save a very brief non-speaking cameo in the end, and the title of the next episode when she actually appears as a member of the team? "Betrayal"
  • In ThunderCats (2011), Pumyra is actually a Dead All Along Femme Fatale who wants Lion-O dead for accidentally abandoning her to die in the rubble of Thundera.
  • Longarm Prime from Transformers: Animated is introduced in a flashback as Bumblebee and Bulkhead's loyal classmate in boot camp, but the end of the episode reveals him to be Shockwave in disguise.
  • In Robotix, the Protectons eventually revive another of their frozen comrades into a robot body, but unknown to them, Nemesis switched things so the body actually houses the mind of one of his minions, Venturak.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In the episodes Downfall of a Droid and Duel of the Droids, R2-D2 goes missing in battle. He is replaced by R3-S6, a bumbling droid who tries to do as commanded but can't seem to do anything. While Ahsoka gives R3-S6 the benefit of the doubt, believing the droid just needs time to master all the skills that R2-D2 was capable of, it's eventually revealed he is actually a malicious bot planted by General Grievous to spy on the Jedi and to actively thwart as many plans of action as possible.
  • An episode of Steven Universe pulls a twist on this trope. In "Bismuth", the eponymous Gem joins the main group, and even shows up with the rest of the main cast in eyecatches. While the character isn't a traitor, they do turn out to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist who ends up fighting the main character Steven. Ironically, Bismuth views Steven's mother as having betrayed her, since Rose imprisoned her for crafting a weapon that can shatter gems... and failing to see the hypocrisy of turning Homeworld's most heinous tactic of intimidation against them. The character is re-imprisoned at the end of the episode. Two seasons later, in "Made of Honor", she comes back and permanently rejoins the team with no violent intentions.

Alternative Title(s): Sixth Column

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