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The Team Normal

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"All you guys can do this awesome bending stuff, like putting out forest fires, and flying around, and... making other stuff fly around. I can't fly around, okay? ... I'm just the guy in the group who's regular."

In a nutshell, any team of superpowered people will often have members without powers.

So when the majority of the members are a Flying Brick, have mystical skills, wear Powered Armor, wear a Ring of Power, have a Charles Atlas Superpower, or even heart, The Team Normal has nothing. Okay, they can be really smart and have gadgets, but nothing that could confuse them for superpowered people (at least not unless that's what they want you to think).

These Sister Tropes are the most common ways this character is part of a team (just not the only ways):

  • The Badass Normal: This character doesn't have to be part of a team, but when he/she is, being badass is often the best way to keep up.
  • The opposite is Brought Down to Normal, when a character with powers loses their powers (and stays a member of the team.) It helps if they are also Brought Down to Badass.
  • Mission Control: Rather than getting into fights themselves, the normal character is watching things back at the base, a job that doesn't require superpowers (other than those of the Charles Atlas kind) to be good at.
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  • The Face: If the team lives in Dysfunction Junction, then exceptional social skills are a superpower.
  • An Unfazed Everyman: If the character joins a superpowered team instead of just hanging out with people in a wacky world.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: The Team Normal may become bitter from being a Muggle among the superpowered.
  • The Team Wannabe: Someone just wants to be in the group, but lacking powers is often the reason they aren't allowed in yet.

Again, in order to count for this trope, a character has to be part of a team, and the majority of the team has to have some kind of powers.


Compare Team Pet, Team Mom, Team Dad, Muggle, What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? (when the character has powers on the team, just the weakest), Story-Breaker Team-Up (all members of a team-up have superpowers, but one is so strong, the rest might as well be normal). Opposite trope to the Token Super.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Justice League:
    • There have been several, including Batman, Green Arrow, and Blue Beetle (Ted Kord, not Jaime Reyes).
    • The original Silver Age version of the League, in addition to a handful of Badass Normal characters (namely Batman and later also Green Arrow), had the genuinely-normal Snapper Carr, an enthusiastic teenager who the League let hang around their base and act as record-keeper for their adventures. Notably, he was less a Tagalong Kid (trouble tended to find him whenever he got into trouble at all, and he saved the team about as often as that happened), and closer to something between The Watson and the Team Pet.
    • The Hawkpersons have been through several incarnations, but some versions of Carter and/or Sheila Hall have been more or less of the Badass Normal variety who just happen to have some cool gadgets like the wing harnesses they take their name from.
  • In The Avengers, usually Hawkeye or Black Widow take the role.
  • In X-Men, Storm for a time.
  • Several in B.P.R.D. and Hellboy comics, most notably Kate Corrigan.
  • ElfQuest has quite a few, but Kahvi is the trope's poster girl. When she joins the main tribe she seemingly isn't even capable of telepathy. She kicks ass regardless. Later on, during the Shards war, the two troll characters very much fit this trope.
  • Runaways:
    • Technically, half the original cast doesn't have powers, but Alex is the most obvious of the six, having been born to the most mundane family of the Pride. Nico is a witch, Molly is a mutant with Super Strength, Karolina is an alien with Flying Firepower, and the other normals Chase and Gert have super advanced technology and telepathic links to dinosaurs to compensate. Alex only has his wits to rely on in comparison. He's also the secret villain of the first arc and Decoy Protagonist.
    • Later on, there's a reshuffle that leaves Chase as the only one with no powers. Alex and Gert both die, and they get two new members in the form of Victor and Xavin, the former being the cyborg son of Ultron and the latter a Skrull. They even gain an additional member for a while with Klara, who has a Green Thumb, which only highlights this more. He does inherit Gert's telepathic link to Old Lace, though.
  • The Teen Titans core line-up, in most of their (squillions of) rosters, is built around Robin, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl, plus a variety of other characters who almost all have some flavour of superpower. Robin is the Team Normal (Badass Normal variety), although he's sometimes joined by a Speedy, mirroring the Batman and Green Arrow roles in the Justice League.
    • Dick Grayson was the Robin for the original Teen Titans and all 20th century, as well as the 80s New Teen Titans. (He does shift identity to Nightwing somewhere in there.) Roy Harper was Speedy on and off, depending on how addicted to heroin he was at the time.
    • Tim Drake was the Robin for the 2003 Teen Titans revival, and was joined briefly by Mia Dearden as Speedy. (He was also the Team Normal for Young Justice, which had a very similar core lineup to the 2003 Teen Titans, before and after Cissie King-Jones' tenure as Arrowette.)
    • After Tim quits, the team is without a Badass Normal for awhile until Damian, the latest Robin, joins the Teen Titans - on the advice of his mentor and founding TT member, Dick Grayson.
  • Kate Bishop / Hawkeye II in the Young Avengers is a Badass Normal on a team that includes a super-soldier, a Kree-Skrull hybrid, a robot, a speedster, a Sizeshifter and a wizard. Volume two adds Prodigy, who used to be a mutant but now "just" has the enormous amount of info his power let him absorb (plus his own smarts).
  • Night Thrasher is the only one of the original New Warriors who doesn't have any super powers, instead relying on his skill in martial arts and engineering.

    Fan Works 
  • A Posse Ad Esse makes this an Invoked Trope in the form of Dub. While he initially appeared to not have superpowers, he discovers in Chapter 2 that he can pause time for thirty seconds with his stopwatch. Since the one who established who had what on the power scale, and the recently established villain, is not there for this discovery, Dolly decides that this can be utilized as a secret weapon: Dub appearing to be the Team Normal and using his power covertly to get better attack angles and escape routes.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: Carrot Top. Of the Element Bearers, she's the most normal, having no special powers, chequered past, or connections to important personages. She also generally lacks any specific quirks or character flaws, beyond being a bit of doormat, at least in the first season.
  • In Deku? I think he's some pro... Izuku Midoriya remains Quirkless and gets into UA's Hero Course by impressing several Underground Heroes with his analysis and strategy skills. As a result, he becomes this for Class 1-A.

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • Eureka has Sheriff Jack Carter, the only person of average intelligence in a small town full of supergeniuses.
  • Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was so obvious that even Cordelia pointed it out by comparing him with Jimmy Olsen. He becomes an Action Survivor, and eventually something of a Badass Normal. This is also deconstructed, as part of Xander's Stepford Snarker nature clearly comes from the fact that he's got no special training or superpowers while living in a Death World.
  • Matt from The Vampire Diaries, not a vampire or werewolf, although he does date one of the former.
  • Noah Bennet from Heroes.
    • This is actually a rule at his company, Primatech, one normal partner and one metahuman partner per team. Naturally, this pretty much requires them to be Badass Normal.
  • Angel had a rather interesting relationship with this trope. The series begins with a trio consisting of Angel, a centuries old vampire; Doyle, a half demon with precognition; and Cordelia, who initially doesn't have powers or combat training. Midway through season 1, Doyle passes on his precognitive powers to Cordelia before making a Heroic Sacrifice and the role of team normal is filled by Wesley, a Watcher from Buffy's show. Later on Gunn, a demon hunter with no powers; and Fred, a physicist and inventor, are added to the group raising the number of normal humans on the good guys side to three. By the end of the series, Cordelia, Wesley and Fred are dead, and Spike (another vampire) and Illyria (an Old One) have joined the team leaving Gunn as the only normal human among the main cast.
  • In the second season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, each of the Thunderzords has a special ability. The Dragon could transform and fight totally alone, the Unicorn could throw boulders, the Griffin could throw thunderbolts, and the Firebird could create whirlwinds. The Lion couldn't do anything other than combine with the rest of the bunch. In Dairanger, the Lion could create illusions, but since they didn't use the mythology aspect of the series, it was left as nothing but moving armor.
    • Power Rangers Operation Overdrive: The anniversary team-up episode saw the heroes teaming up with a group consisting of veteran Rangers, each one from a previous season. All but one of these Rangers had a special super power they could use in civilian mode. Kira had a sonic scream, Tori could control water, Xander was a wizard with control over plants and Bridge had Psychic Powers. Adam had no civilian powers and was just a really good martial artist. It should be noted that the other four Rangers came from the Disney Era seasons which often gave the entire team powers to be accessed in human form while Adam came from the Saban Era where civilian powers were usually limited to one or two members of the team.
  • The MC Bat Commander from The Aquabats! Super Show!.
  • Stiles in Teen Wolf is a normal - albeit very bright - human civilian among all manner of supernatural creatures including werewolves (Scott, Derek and Isaac), a kitsune (Kira), werecoyote (Malia) and banshee (Lydia). Even Allison, the only other human in the pack, is a werewolf hunter and therefore just as combat capable as any other creatures so Stiles is a case of The Team Normal rather than Token Human. He does however, more than prove his worth as the smart guy of the gang and takes to the supernatural world like a duck to water. (And indeed jumps in more eagerly than most of his friends who actually have powers). It also helps that he and Scott are virtually never apart so he's in the middle of things more than almost any other character.
  • Hank in Grimm becomes this in the latter seasons as he is the only normal human in a team with Nick (a Grimm, Demon Slaying), Wu some sort of ape-like lychantrope, Eve/Julliette and Adalind both Hexenbiests, Rosalee a Fuchsbau and Monroe a Blubat. Of course he's also Badass Normal.
  • Game of Thrones: As of Season 7, Sansa is the only surviving Stark who isn't tied to some supernatural phenomenon. Jon was brought Back from the Dead by Melisandre's magic, Arya is a rogue Faceless Man (an assassin who can change her face), and Bran is the Three-Eyed Raven. Sansa is grounded entirely in the political reality of Westeros, but her grasp of the Game lets her still be a powerful asset nonetheless.
  • Played for Laughs with Marilyn in The Munsters as she looks like a normal human in a Creepy Family made of classic monsters. Of course, from their perspective she's actually the only abnormal.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Mundane playbook in Monster of the Week has this its main shtick, bringing no superhuman abilities to the table (except The Heart) that all other playbooks sport. The rulebook even admits that it is based on Xander and Cordelia from Buffy.
  • Similarly, the Beacon playbook in Masks: A New Generation has this as its core mechanic. They can have abilities like martial arts training or gadgets, but the rules specifically say that if they have any supernatural powers, they're barely noticeable. Their central emotional issue for them to play out (or the game master to play into) is their insecurity about even deserving to be on their team even though they have no powers.
  • In many editions of Dungeons & Dragons, classes like rogues or fighters will find themselves as the only member of the party with no magical abilities at all. Generally at lower levels they're actually a bit stronger their spell-casting teammates, but tend to quickly fall behind once casters get their more powerful spells.

  • The Spongebob Musical: SpongeBob embodies this trope for the majority of the musical, pointing it out most obviously in '(Just a) Simple Sponge':
    SpongeBob: We'll be the best team ever! Sandy's brains, plus Patrick's brawn, plus myyyyyy.... I'm not sure what my thing is, but that won't stop me!

    Video Games 
  • Shingo Yabuki and Goro Daimon from The King of Fighters are the only characters in the recurring Japan Team without any special powers, though in 2000 Seth temporarily joins as a third Team Normal alongside Poisonous Person Lin in the Benimaru Team. There are other entire teams made up of Team Normals, such as the Korea Team/Korea Justice Team, the Agents Team, and the American Sports Team.
  • Jeff from EarthBound has no psychic powers, but has a genius' IQ and MacGyvering skills to compensate. Also, he's the only one who can wield bottle rockets as weapons.
  • Golden Sun games usually have Cool Old Guy Kraden following the superpowered teen heroes around through dungeons and disasters, providing exposition. By Dark Dawn, he's also something of a celebrity who can get the kids meetings with local leaders just by being Kraden.
  • In Sonny 2, Roald is the only party member who isn't a superpowered zombie, but since he's still a heavily-equipped Badass Normal he holds his own just fine.
  • Stryker is the only Mortal Kombat hero with no special powers whatsoever. He compensates with lots and lots of police ordinance. Sonya also qualifies as she relies on weaponry and tools to fight, though in the original timeline her Energy Rings have no clear explanation. In Mortal Kombat X, Jacqui Briggs is the only member of Cassie's team who doesn't have any magical abilities instead relying on her wrist-mounted guns.
  • Within the ATX Team from Super Robot Wars Original Generation, team leader Kyosuke Nanbu is this. Similarly, while the rest of the SRX Team have Psychic Powers, Raidise F. Branstein in Super Robot Wars Alpha does not. In both cases, Kyosuke and Raidiese double as Badass Normal.
  • Avengers Academy emphasizes The Falcon as one. Some focus is put on how his only power is a Jet Pack.
  • Everyone in Nexus Clash starts as a Mortal with no supernatural powers whatsoever, and some people choose to stay this way as a form of Self-Imposed Challenge.
  • Injustice 2 has Robin/Nightwing (Damian Wayne) of the Regime remnants. In the company of four flying bricks and a technopath, he's the only one with no actual powers.
  • Devil May Cry: Lady is the only playable character in the entire franchise with no demonic powers. She instead gets by with determination, skill and a lot of bullets at her disposal.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, Thancred was left unable to manipulate aether following the events from the finale of A Realm Reborn, making him the only member of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn without any magical powers. He gets by afterwards by acting as a spy who keeps an eye on the goings-on in the Garlean Empire using guile and cunning. In Shadowbringers, he becomes a Gunbreaker, a tanky gunblade user. Because gunblades use aetherically-charged cartridges, he is reliant on the help of those magically inclined to provide his firepower.
  • Mass Effect: As Ashley Williams can point out to Shepard, on a team that includes three biotics, a badass turian sniper and a quarian hacker, she... has an assault rifle, which isn't really much good against two kilometre high death machines, and she feels useless in the face of that.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe has Bugs of Team Kimba, their inventor who has no physical powers. She sits on the sidelines and dates one of the members, although she sometimes get frustrated with the way stuff always comes up.
  • Lillian in Twig is the only member of the Lambsbridge Gang who hasn't had her brain altered in some way by the Academy of Evil. Instead, she has a lot of knowledge on medicine and various sciences, allowing her to function as The Medic.
  • Jaune starts out this way in RWBY. He's the only character with no prior combat training or experience, his weapon is merely a sword with none of the mechanical additions seen in nearly every other weapon in the series, and as he only learns what Aura is during his orientation, he has no Semblance, the unique superpower everyone on Remnant has which has to be unlocked through developing Aura and combat skills. As he takes levels in badass, he goes from Action Survivor to The Strategist to, eventually, a combatant nearly as useful as his friends and teammates. He finds his Semblance near the end of Volume 5 and gains some gadgetry to supplement his weapons early in Volume 7, but he still comes off as comparatively normal, as he still has no ranged combat capabilities and his demeanor in combat lacks the confidence of his peers.

    Western Animation 
  • Elisa Maza on Gargoyles, though this actually became a superpower by comparison, especially during the World Tour arc. Being a normal human meant that Elisa could protect her friends when they turned to stone during the day.
  • Rook Blonko has this role in Ben 10: Omniverse. Ironically, he also is the only protagonist in the entire franchise to be one hundred percent non-human; he just happens to be from an alien species with nothing qualifying as a super-power, while the other heroes are a an alien-human hybrid who inherited powers from her alien side and practice of magic (Gwen), a guy from a human subspecies with superpowers (Kevin) or a regular human using a Transformation Trinket (Ben).
  • Superfriends
    • Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog in the 1973-74 season, with one exception. In the first episode "The Power Pirate" Marvin is able to levitate, which indicates he has burgeoning metahuman powers. This is never followed up in subsequent episodes (making it Early Installment Weirdness), and at the end of the season they are all Put on a Bus.
    • Batman and Robin have no superpowers at all, just their gadgets and skills.
  • The founding members of the DCAU Justice League have Batman, as usual. This is the main source of tension in the season one story "Injustice For All". After a near-fatal poisoning, he refuses to stay in sickbay and throws himself back into an investigation. J'onn tactfully suggests that besides his natural stubbornness, he doesn't want to show weakness in front of his super-powered teammates.
  • Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender is the only non-bender in Team Avatar. He starts off as something of a comic relief character, but as the series goes on he proves himself to be both a competent warrior and clever strategist, qualifying him as Badass Normal. Later, Suki joins the team as another Badass Normal.
  • Asami Sato fills the role in The Legend of Korra. She doesn't have bending abilities, but still contributes to the team with effective martial arts skills and by far the most capable person on the team when it comes to driving cars and motorcycles. She's also easily the smartest member of the team, and has tons of resources in terms of gear and money that the team take advantage of.
  • Robin from Teen Titans, who despite being the only member of the team with no powers is its leader. Of course, having been trained in hand-to-hand combat and detective work by Batman himself may have had something to do with that...
    • Speedy serves this role on the Titans East.
    • This is played up in Teen Titans Go!, where Robin being the team normal is a common plot point and an insecurity of his.
  • Noah from Generator Rex is the only character of the five man band who doesn't have superpowers, a P.H.D, or skill and training. Fortunately, this character avoids being The Load (except for that one time) by steering clear of the action.
  • Eric Normal from Super Normal.
  • In Young Justice both Artemis and Robin have no trouble keeping up with the Martian Manhunter's niece, Aquaman's apprentice, Kid Flash and a clone of Superman. Speedy/Red Arrow could have been The Archer, but he got fed up with the Sidekick Glass Ceiling as he saw it. This concept was referenced in "Homefront" through Artemis, whose insecurities are hindering her ability to fight the villains, who took out her super powered team mates.
  • After two seasons of W.I.T.C.H., Caleb is the only member of the team who doesn't have superpowers, including the guy who started off not even knowing alternate universes existed. But he's a Badass Normal.
  • In season 2 of Steven Universe, Connie starts learning how to swordfight, with the explicit goal of helping Steven and the Gems protect the planet. She uses Rose's sword, but the sword itself isn't magic at all. While she can fuse with Steven to become the Badass Abnormal Stevonnie, she herself doesn't have any supernatural powers. She's just a regular human girl with a quick wit and a big-ass sword.
  • Played with in the Comic Within A Show in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic with the Power Ponies. Each of the titular heroes is a mare with superpowers, except for character Humdrum who was completely normal. When the Mane Six were transported to the comic world, Spike wound up being quite disappointed when he wound up playing Humdrum. Didn't stop him from saving the day though.
  • Daemona Prune from Phantom Investigators is the only member of the titular team who doesn't posses any powers. This doesn't stop her from being a Badass Normal and a very competent leader, though.

Alternative Title(s): Team Normal


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