Follow TV Tropes

Following

Token Good Teammate

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/flonne_laharl_etna.png
Even demons need a guardian angel.
Sarda: You are all evil monsters who need to die for the good of everybody else.
Black Mage: Wait, even Fighter?
Sarda: Except Fighter.
Fighter: Yay!
Sarda: He's a casualty.
Black Mage: [as Fighter pouts] Yay!
Advertisement:

A Token Good Teammate is someone in The Team whose greater principles stick out like a sore thumb. A typical example might be a Justified Criminal forced to go native among real criminals, perhaps because of deliberate persecution or simple error by The Government. Or maybe they are horribly misguided and following this evil cause because they honestly believe it is good.

Despite their high moral standards, they need not be The Heart for the party, as they may not be interfering with their questionable activities. They can remind the others (or teach them for the first time) that there is more at stake than money, power or personal vendettas. Alternately, they may be someone who simply holds themself aloof from the "debauchery" of the rest of his team. In extreme examples, they may become hated by other characters as they try to foist their ideas on the others, becoming a terribly annoying Commander Contrarian.

Advertisement:

They will likely have struggles between loyalty to their friends and their conscience, creating inner conflict and conflict with their teammates, but sometimes a Token Good Teammate can also inspire the team to rise above themselves by the idealism they show.

Alternatively, a Token Good Teammate can be found amongst a group of dastardly villains, in order for the show to make sure that the antagonist side does not go too black in terms of morality. Perhaps this character shows restraint in doing atrocious evil, or is forced against their own will to be a bad guy (due to a hostage or some other leverage held by the bad guys, for example), or has other goals that are noble, but require them to be on the bad guys' side, or is merely just following orders from the higher ups that they have sworn loyalty to (high honor standards can cause such). This character has a high chance to become a sympathetic character that the audience can root for, or perhaps even call it quits and jump ship to the good guys. They may also be the Team Face by virtue of not being an asshole. The other members will trust them more than each other and have this character talk to the muggles when needed. In more cynical works, expect the Token Good Teammate to be killed off by the Big Bad to show how ruthless they are.

Advertisement:

Compare Token Evil Teammate, Token Wholesome and Hero Antagonist. Related to the Fish out of Water, the Only Sane Man, and The Heart. See also All-Loving Hero. For possible variations on the 'good guy amongst irredeemable villains', you could try the Sliding Scale of Anti-Villains.

Real Life? Suffice it to say that this is Truth in Television for even the vilest of causes, and leave it at that.


Example subpages:

    open/close all folders 

Other examples:

    Films — Animation 
  • Phoebus is this in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He is a professional soldier who however has moral standards that contrast with the orders he is supposed to follow. Especially when after freeing himself, he takes leadership of the people he was ordered to oppress, and turns them on Frollo's soldiers.
  • There is a deleted scene that was cut from the Disney movie Mulan where a soft hearted Hun tries to rescue a canary only for them both to end up dead soon after.
  • Though Sonata Dusk in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks gleefully goes along with the other two siren's plans to Take Over the World via Mind-Control Music Hate Plague, she's shown to have enough virtues that suggest she's at least a nice person when left to her own devices like making punch for everyone, being a friendly (if Innocently Insensitive) enemy to Sunset Shimmer, and actually enjoying Snips and Snails' cringeworthy rap.
  • Bronze Tiger from Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay. He has a rule against harming innocents, doesn't share his teammates' selfish natures, and he draws his conflicted morality from his religious faith. The movie is about Amanda Waller and several supervillains fighting over the fabled "Get Out Of Hell Free" Card, which allows one person to go straight to Heaven when they die, bypassing divine judgement. Ultimately Bronze Tiger was the one given the card after being mortally wounded by Zoom. Ironically, he was the one character who probably would have gone to Heaven anyway.

    Music 
  • The Megas give this characterisation to Hard Man (an old boxer whose town clearly reveres him, even after his death) and Clash Man (who's programmed to kill but spends his entire song Fighting from the Inside).

    Myths and Religion 
  • Basically the only gods in Greek Mythology who aren't Jerkass Gods are Hermes, Dionysus and, ironically, Hades. All of whom you should never piss off, however, as they are still gods. Dionysus in particular can drive men and women into frenzies that make them lose all touch with reality and sic them onto people as shown in the tragedy The Bacchae.
    • Then there is Hestia, who is the nicest goddess of them all. So nice in fact that if you do do something to insult, hurt, or anger her it won't be her that does the Greek God overboard rage thing. It will be every other Olympian God as furious as if you insulted them specifically. Don't be mean to Hestia.
  • In a pantheon full of astoundingly creative ways to demand Human Sacrifice, Quetzalcoatl was the only Aztec god who didn't require any. Though it's a misconception, since A) Quetzalcoatl did receive "huge amounts of Human Sacrifice" in his Ehecatl aspect, and B) no Aztec god can really be considered evil, just weird.
  • Iktomi to the Wakan Sica. Despite being in opposition to the Wakan Tanka, he is responsible for the advancement of humanity, and spreads wisdom even when it's indirect.
  • Book of Genesis:
    • Lot's family are the only people deemed worthy of living in the city of Sodom.
    • Likewise, Noah and his family were deemed worthy to live out of the entire world.
    • Among Joseph's brothers (excluding Benjamin), Judah comes off as the most benevolent. He suggests selling him as a slave to prevent his eviler brothers from killing Joseph. Reuben comes close as he wanted to release Joseph from the well.

    Podcasts 
  • In the Firefly game of Cool Kids Table, Caleb is the only member of the Zelda's crew who's not an outright criminal, and is generally opposed to throwing people into space when he doesn't like them.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Michinoku Pro Wrestling's power stable, Los Salseros Japoneses, Banana Senga stood out for being a mostly non malicious funny man the fans loved.
  • When the World Wrestling Federation was invaded by WCW and ECW, Gregory Helms joined WCW's ranks as a standard villain. He soon became the comical superhero character The Hurricane, who was polite to his opponents and eschewed typical heel tactics. After the WCW/ECW Alliance folded, he became a beloved good guy nearly instantly.
  • Rob Van Dam is another example from the WWF's "Invasion" angle. Since he was such an over Face, it was teased that he was going to join the WWE with the rest of the Faces, but he never did.
  • Samoa Joe in Christopher Daniels's Prophecy and later, Kurt Angle's Main Event Mafia in TNA after Sting was ousted from the group. Joe was actually worse before his nominal Face–Heel Turn. Other than the betrayal itself, which was more stupid than evil, he hardly did anything wrong since joining and in both groups he was only motivated by money.
  • Ring of Honor rookie Bobby Dempsey in Larry Sweeney's Sweet N' Sour Inc, which incidentally also made him the group's butt monkey.
  • John Cena filled this role when he was forced to join The Nexus.
  • Kaval in WWE when he was being "mentored" by LayCool, or more accurately, was the "property" of Laycool.
  • Kevin Steen became the token good teammate in S.C.U.M. as after El Generico and Jim Cornette were out of the picture, he suddenly had no more desire to destroy Ring of Honor, but Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs still very much did, as did Matt Hardy, with the rest of the group being some form of Psycho for Hire.
  • Lucky 13 in CZW's Nation Of Intoxication. Devon Moore and Danny Havoc are basically Nineties Antiheroes who are capable of nice things but cause most of their own problems through excessive violence and drunken behavior. Lucky's the nicest babyface of the three and as such is frequently the Ricky Morton.
  • AJ Styles, and to a lesser extent The Young Bucks in Bullet Club when the group stopped through Ring of Honor. When most of them kept to their rude, cheating, disrespectful ways, Styles was just happy to be back for the most part and utterly disgusted with then World Champion Adam Cole, who was on a quest to ruin the life of Michael Elgin. For that matter, the group's first leader, Prince Devitt, eventually became more noble while the rest of the group...didn't. Styles and the Bucks joined latter, rather than Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson or Tama Tonga getting nicer.
  • Donovan Dijak in during The House Of Truth's second run through Ring Of Honor, to the point he slowly managed to turn every other member of the group, except Taeler Hedrix, into a baby face after they inevitably got into fights with him.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A not uncommon position given the high popularity of supposedly Chaotic Neutral characters among Munchkins and Real Men. This puts anyone in the party actually interested in roleplaying in a very uncomfortable position.
    • The Always Lawful Good Paladin is this trope in old editions of Dungeons & Dragons, inasmuch as their prohibition from associating with genuinely Evil people allows them to be.
    • In parties that are actually supposed to be evil, someone tends to end up as this, at least relatively speaking.
    • In the Dungeons&Dragons module Prince of Lankhmar, Sabbon Draman could be this for the Legions of Doom - that is, in a group of overpowered murderous psychopaths, he is a psychopath who attempts to judge justly their prisoners, sentencing the 'guilty' to death and letting the 'innocents' go ( his colleagues routinely murder most of the 'innocents' out of is sight anyway )
  • In Magic: The Gathering's Scars block, we see the colors slowly become remade into Phyrexia. (Think the Borg meets the Zerg, with enough Body Horror to go around.) Black is completely Phyrexian in the last set, but red is the last one to be Phyrexianized, because red, being the color of individuality and emotion, is the least Phyrexian. Not surprisingly, red's praetor, Urabrask the Hidden, is the only one of the five that can feel anything akin to compassion. So we get flavor text like Priest of Urabrask and, perhaps hinting at the far future, Urabrask himself.
    • Chromium Rhuell was pretty much the only Elder Dragon to not be entirely shitty, starting off as arrogant but ultimately becoming wise and friendly up to his death. By contrast, the others range from complete psychopaths (Nicol Bolas, Palladia-Mors, Vaevictis Asmodi) to a former benevolent leader turned paranoid tyrant (Arcades Sabboth) to a holier-than-thou detached type (Ugin) to someone without a personality (Piru).
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Ultramarines, Space Wolves, Raven Guard and Salamanders Space Marine Chapters are pretty much the only space marines who actively seek to protect civilians and the Imperial Guard, making them this to the vast forces of the Imperium. In fact, the Space Wolves have a history of subverting Imperial doctrine and openly warring with the more brutal Space Marine chapters and the Inquisition.
    • Primarch Sanguinius of the Blood Angels was the only Primarch who was a genuinely good guy, not by Warhammer 40000 standards, but a good guy by anyone's standards. There's a reason why he is the second most venerated person in the whole Imperium besides the Emperor Himself.note 
    • Nurgle is notably the only Chaos god who shows any serious consideration for his followers. He also expresses genuine love and concern for the Eldar goddess, Isha. Of course, his ways of showing said consideration and affection are... insanely twisted.
  • In Pathfinder, the archdevil Dispater's ascended mortal wife Erecura is this for Hell's nobility. Despite having been banished to Hell for stealing secrets from the gods themselves, her canonical alignment is Lawful Neutral (not Lawful Evil like everyone else in Hell), her portfolio doesn't contain any overtly villainous elements, and she's generally non-malicious.
  • In Scarred Lands, Denev and Golthain are the only Titans who aren't sociopathic assholes.

    Visual Novels 
  • Subverted in Higurashi: When They Cry. None of the protagonists are evil on default but sometimes they become villainous due to a Hate Plague. Mion is the only protagonist, besides Sixth Ranger Hanyuu, who has never killed anyone in any arc. However, this doesn't mean she hasn't actually killed anyone. According to one of the TIPs, in an unseen world she became a Clingy Jealous Girl towards Keiichi and killed the other girls due to seeing them as "rivals" for him.
  • Beatrice from Dies Irae, despite being part of the Longinus Dreizehn Orden and formerly part of the Nazi's as well, is an unfailingly good and idealistic woman. And in spite of being surrounded by madness and bloodlust on all sides and her experiences having rendered her more cold and ruthless, she never stops fighting for what she believes is the right cause and is even trying to destroy the L.D.O. from the inside to help the heroes and save her former friend and commander Eleonore.

    Web Animation 
  • GoAnimate: In the Caillou family, Boris and Caillou are both psychotic twats, Doris is an apathetic bitch who enables her husband's bad behavior, However, Rosie is nice and doesn't try to be mean to Caillou. It can be a bit of a Tearjerker seeing as how Caillou bullies her even when he has no reason to.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • The eternally cheerful Donut seems to be the only Blood Gulch soldier who doesn't openly despise the rest of the crew. The series' Designated Hero Church even remarks that Donut is harmless and probably wouldn't hurt a fly (this is in spite of the fact that he actually killed his [admittedly, tank-driving, out-for-blood, mercenary] girlfriend). Everyone else on either team are various mixes of apathy, misanthropy, and Comedic Sociopathy. Even the easy-going and friendly Caboose secretly harbors a huge dislike of Tucker, as well as a tendency to accidentally kill his own teammates.
    • Doc. It's especially hilarious because the other members of his team consist of: a bomb, a robot's head, and an AI that's taken control (mostly) of Doc's armor.
  • RWBY:
    • Hazel of Salem's faction. His first scene as an individual sees him helping a Oscar get a train ticket, as well as offering him some sage advice, is very soft-spoken and polite, and shows a clear disdain for unnecessary violence, as seen when he berates Adam for killing Sienna Khan when they could have brought her back in line through more peaceful means.
    • Marrow Amin, the rookie member of Atlas's Ace-Ops team. While the team aren't evil, they are professionals that are bound by strict military hierarchy and will follow General Ironwood's orders even if it means doing unpleasant things. As the youngest and most inexperienced member, Marrow struggles with Just Following Orders and is the only one to try to de-escalate the confrontation with Team RWBY. He also clashes with Token Evil Teammate Harriet over whether lethal force is justified or not. He accuses her of going too far, while she yells at him for being reluctant to fight.
  • Angel in No Evil seems to be allied with Charles and Amaroq, but attempts to "adopt" Kitty as Charles's mother to stop him doing bad things (admittedly by kidnapping her and taking her to Mictlan Woods, but her intentions were good, at least).


 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Top

Minarchist

His solo portion of the Ancapistan song emphasizes the more positive aspects of Ancapistan and he declares that the residents of Ancapistan look out for each other. He also displays visible discomfort when Ancap shoos the cripplingly poor away.

How well does it match the trope?

2 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / TokenGoodTeammate

Media sources:

Main / TokenGoodTeammate

Report