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The Team Wannabe

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Come on, guys! Let me describe The Team Wannabe here! I can be a great troper!

A character wants to be part of some group, whether a gang, club, or being a superhero's sidekick. They will follow them around constantly to the point of stalking. They will hang around wherever they hang around. They will keep begging and pleading until they get in. Sometimes they even might, but usually they just stay the wannabe since Status Quo Is God. In a few cases they might get spurred enough to start to resent the group that rejected them, becoming a villain (or hero, if the group turns out to be evil).

The Tagalong Kid is often this. An Ascended Fanboy is often a former wannabe.

A Sister Trope to Leader Wannabe.

Compare Never Be a Hero, I Just Want to Be Special, Hero with an F in Good, The Chosen Wannabe.

Contrast The Drag-Along.

Compare/Contrast Jumped at the Call, Honorary True Companion, 11th-Hour Ranger.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Gall Force, Mitty is the Tagalong Kid variant. Sandy allows her to follow them because she's the local expert on where the best hiding places are.
  • In Saint Beast, Shiva is desperate to enter the Saint Beast rank to be close to Judas, and even nearly gets another candidate killed over it. He ends up the only contestant who doesn't get in because of this, and his later petitions to be let into the group are shot down for the same reason.
  • Yukari from Girls und Panzer is a big tank otaku who really wants to join the school's tank club and particularly Miho Nishizaki's crew, Miho being the younger sister of a famous family of tank commanders. She becomes an Ascended Fangirl pretty fast.
  • William of Log Horizon wanted desperately to join Debauchery Tea Party while leveling his character, but they disbanded before he had a chance. Even after he formed a highly successful guild of his own he still resented the Party for not waiting for him. He grows out of it after going on a raid with Shiroe, after which he asks to add him to his friends list.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: The Baltic state Estonia really wishes he was the sixth Nordic member, to the point that he usually goes around introducing himself as such. He also attends their meetings, invited or not.
    • Romania is a huge fan of Ancient Rome, and considers himself to be one of his descendants (and thus an Italy brother). He tries to get acknowledged as such at one point, only for South Italy (also known as Italy Romano) to shoot him down immediately.

    Comic Books 
  • Jimmy Olsen always wanted to be a superhero like Superman, but he doesn't exactly gain much respect from the other superheroes. Even with the countless times he gains and loses superpowers unexpectedly, no one seems to bat an eye at him.
  • In an issue of Generation X, it's revealed that The Toad once tried joining the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle. He was later given shelter by Emma Frost because she felt sorry for him after the Inner Circle's members laughed so hard at him.
  • In Runaways (2015), Molly is this to the Night Witches - Jubilee is not keen on having an 11-year-old in her gang. She later gets in after Pixie's death creates a vacancy.
  • Deadpool is this to the X-Men. They've continuously turned him down; not only because he's not actually a mutant, but because they (like 99% of the superhuman community) find him extremely annoying (well, that and the whole "killing people for money" thing puts them off).
  • Hitman (1993): Tommy Monaghan applies for a spot on the Justice League, mentioning that he kills people for money. When turned down, he helps out the next applicant by telling him not to mention money. However, it's subverted as he had no real intention of joining the Justice League: he was just there to look at Wonder Woman with his X-Ray Vision.
    Now I can die a happy man.

    Fan Works 
  • In Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse, the giant Ahab tried to join the original Giant Warrior Pirates but was refused for being too young. He's still sore about this a century later and is trying to recruit a new pirate crew to free Dorry and Brogy so he can be part of the new Giant Warrior Pirates.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Anybodys of West Side Story really wants to join the Jets.
  • Katsushiro from Seven Samurai.
  • The naive young gun Chico from The Magnificent Seven, a Composite Character of Katsushiro and the other Seven Samurai team wannabe, Kikuchiyo.
  • The Kid from The Matrix, he wants to be like Neo, but Neo states he's better than that, he freed himself after all.
  • John McClane becomes this in A Good Day to Die Hard because of his stubborn obsession to protect his son, much to that son's annoyance.
  • In Deadpool 2 Dopinder wants to be a mercenary killer, but is treated as a Janitor by Weasel. He does eventually realize he's not the best in a direct fight. Though he can run over child abusers with his cab.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Chang in the second season of Community wants to be part of the study group.
  • John Cleese in the Monty Python Abbatoir sketch, which rails against the Freemasons who rejected his membership application.
  • Arrow:
    • Roy Harper spends late Season 1 to the middle of Season 2 relentlessly pursuing Oliver in his vigilante activities just so he can be his accomplice. Oliver initially hates the idea, but Roy being injected with Mirakuru forces him to take him in for closer monitoring.
    • Laurel Lance from the end of Season 2 desperately tries to join Oliver Queen's crime-fighting circle - despite the fact that essentially the first thing they told her was she had no place in 'Team Arrow'. Given the team are a group of highly skilled fighters and genius level hackers, who view each other as family, while Laurel's only connection is being Oliver's turbulent ex-girlfriend, it's not surprising they're wary of her (her almost rotting Oliver to the cops also did not help). To add insult to injury, she only knows about his secret identity because a villain told her, while Oliver invited everyone else in because he trusted them. By the end of Season 3 Laurel has undergone enough training to be useful, though most of the team are gone by that point. note Tragically, everyone's hesitancy about letting her become a vigilante is justified in Season 4, when she's killed in the field.
    • Malcolm Merlyn is a manipulative take of this trope, using schemes to force Oliver and his gang to cooperate with him on numerous occasions.
  • In Hi-de-Hi! Peggy's entire character arc was her desperately trying to join the camp entertainers, The Yellowcoats. Many a Zany Scheme was attempted in this aim.
  • Lab Rats has regular kid Leo who wants to join his bionic friends team.
  • One woman in Midsomer Murders committed a string of murders to get into her village's social club (the first saw her driving drunk, the second saw her killing the first, etc.).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In season 7, Jonathan, and later Andrew (who were originally part of The Trio in season 6) want to be a part of the Scoobies. Andrew isn't truly accepted until season 8 and in season 7, Jonathan is killed by Andrew, who was manipulated by the Big Bad into doing so.
  • Doctor Who: Adric, the first companion to be introduced in the Eighties, is first seen trying to get into the gang of teenagers (led by his older brother, Varsh) who have broken away from mainstream Alzarian society.

    Pro Wrestling  

    Video Games  
  • Diana Allers in Mass Effect 3. A reporter for the Alliance News Network, she begs Commander Shepard to become part of the crew of the Normandy, positioning her reporting skills as vital to the war effort. Her overall contribution to both the story and War Assets system is very minor, and the player can choose to accept or reject her proposal.
  • Ivar in Tales of Xillia wants to be the warrior who helps Milla save the world. Unfortunately, he's hampered by his inability to understand the actual conflict, obsession with showing up Jude, and his general idiocy.
  • The partner character of Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon has dreams of joining the Expedition Society, but the organization doesn't allow kids to join. They eventually make an exception for them and the player character.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has Mia. She wants to follow in the steps of her adventurer parents by joining BLADE. When she's rejected, she strikes out into the wilds of Mira with a stolen Skell. There's a series of quests throughout the game to help her out of the various scrapes she gets into. Completing her entire quest chain averts this trope by not only letting her join BLADE, but becoming a party member.

    Web Animation 
  • Reynold, civilian contractor of the Cheat Commandos, insists that he would be "a good mission guy", but the Commandos proper treat him with derision and dismiss him - when they're not locking him up and starving him, anyway.
  • Dragonface in X-Ray & Vav is a humongous fan of our heroes and desperately wants to be their sidekick. They've put him on a 500 foot restraining order.

    Web Comics 
  • Scandinavia and the World's Estonia desperately wants to be one of the Nordics, "Because she wants to party with the cute booooys!"
  • Cyril, the unpleasant and asocial pregnancy-fetishist in Olympic Dames, who discovers the girls' secret and begs and pleads to be allowed to join the team. In their brief incarnation as crime-fighting superheroines, he embarrasses them by tagging along dressed as Darth Vader.

    Web Original 
  • Marty (Mega-Girl), in the Whateley Universe, wants to become one of the Empire City Guard. She keeps trying to fight with them and they keep telling her parents what she's been up to. She's an extremely powerful Flying Brick but she's a sophomore in high school and she can't legally be a superhero until she's eighteen. Meanwhile, the Empire City Guard is the premier superhero team in New York City.

    Web Videos 
  • Omega Zell from Noob wants to join Justice, the best guild of the game to be able to work by Fantöm's side. He eventually gets in, due to Fantöm ending up feeling in debt to his current guild after a certain chain of events.

    Western Animation 
  • Princess Morbucks in The Powerpuff Girls (1998) wanted to be a Powerpuff Girl ever since her debut episode, but only so she could have superpowers like them. When she's not out to destroy them, she's constantly scheming her way to get her way and be a Powerpuff Girl, but to no avail.
  • In The Simpsons, Rudy from the episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" really wanted to be in Homer's Super Bowl group. As he himself says while running alongside the team bus, "What I lack in size, I make up for in [puffs] obnoxiousness!"
  • Lorne (The Friend for Life!) from Sam & Max: Freelance Police really wants to be a freelance policeman. Sam and Max are less than enthusiastic about it.
  • Irving time and again tags along with his idols Phineas and Ferb, which is unwelcome to the rest of the kids in the group. Phineas and Ferb themselves welcome him, except in Irving's first appearance, when they are freaked out by his stalker nature.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) gives us Zach, an adolescent boy who wants to be the fifth Ninja Turtle.
  • The Pulverizer in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) wants to be a ninja like the turtles, but he sucks at it real bad.
  • Eddie the Squirrel from CatDog frequently wanted to join the Greasers, but Cliff, Lube, and Shriek are frequently annoyed by him and wouldn't give him the time of day.