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Token Super

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In terms of power, Dr. Manhattan tends to outshine the rest of the team's roster.
On any given Super Team, there will typically be several members with an assortment of powers, along with that one person with no powers. But what if it's the inverse? What if there is a team made up of Badass Normals with that one member being the only one who has powers? This is the Token Super.

Perhaps having powers is rare and the Token Super is one of a kind, or maybe a group of powerless individuals banded together with one super individual tagging along.

The Token Super may likely serve as The Ace for the team, as having powers gives them an unfair advantage over everyone else and is likely of being the most useful member. Will often be The Hero, as justification on what makes them special. Though that's not to say there can't be a Token Super on a villain team or a Legion of Doom.

Super-Trope to Token Wizard. Sub-Trope of Token Minority. Inverse Trope to The Team Normal.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Eren Jaeger from Attack on Titan is the only human member of the Survey Corps who can turn into a Titan. This makes him the trump card off the military defending the town against Titan attacks.
  • Dragon Ball,
    • General Blue. He is the only member of the Red Ribbon Army who possesses any sort of powers, having Psychic Powers that enable paralysis and telekinesis.
    • Future Trunks is this for his Alternate Timeline where in the Bad Future all of the other Z-fighters have died, leaving Trunks as the one person still with powers left to take on the Androids and Goku Black. This is especially the case in Dragon Ball Super where Trunks is a member of the La Résistance formed to fight Goku Black, which is composed entirely of normal humans with the exception of him.
  • Light Yagami from Death Note is a deconstructed example. As a Death Note holder, he has the power over life and death. The kicker is that when he joins L's team, nobody is truly aware of his power and it remains a secret, even though L had his suspicions.
  • The Protagonist of almost every Yu-Gi-Oh! series, will be the sole member of their team to possess the particular unusual power of the series. (The only exception is Yusei Fudo in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, where his whole team shares his power).
  • In Sword Art Online:
    • During the Aincrad arc, Kirito is the only known player to possess the Dual Wielding skill set, which the game granted to the player with the fastest reaction time. As this skill cannot be attained through conventional methods, in this setting it counts as a power. With it, Kirito was easily The Ace of any guild he joined and was capable of taking on extremely difficult bosses. Later games allowed him to load an Old Save Bonus from his Aincrad avatar, which by his own admission was cheating due to it carrying over his insanely high stats that were unseen in said games.
    • If you don't count Kirito, Yui certainly qualifies. She's a Benevolent A.I. with administrator powers so she could instant kill any unbeatable boss in the game, along with being an Immortal Object that couldn't be destroyed conventionally. In fact, in the Aincrad arc she became a case of Too Powerful to Live and was almost deleted. She was only able to return after a depowering, but even so she was able to use her AI nature to see the code that underpinned monsters and NPCs enabling her to provide valuable information.
    • Heathcliff is this to the Knights of the Blood Oath. Much like Kirito, he possesses a Unique Skill, in his case the Holy Swordnote . He commands the top guild in the game as the Big Good and like Kirito is a candidate for the World's Best Warrior of SAO. And then it's revealed he's actually Kayaba, the creator and GM of SAO, meaning he has admin privileges and can give himself all sorts of broken abilities, including being an Immortal Object. Though he does agree to remove his unfair advantage to fight Kirito on a level playing field in a Final Battle.
  • One Piece:
    • Many small pirate crews will usually be composed of several normal crew members centered around a Captain who is the only one with Devil Fruit powers. Bartolomeo, Bellamy, Buggy (before Alvida joined), Foxy, and Wapol (who pretended to be a pirate early on) are all examples of this. This also applies to all of the Supernova/Worst Generation crews with the exception of the Straw Hats (after Chopper's recruitment).
    • The Pre-Timeskip Blackbeard Pirates only had one Devil Fruit user, Blackbeard himself. This was changed Post-Timeskip when it was revealed that several of his lieutenants such as Shilliew and Catarina Devon gained Devil Fruit abilities.
    • During the East Blue saga and for the first few arcs of the Alabasta saga. Luffy was the only Devil Fruit user of the Straw Hat Pirates, until Chopper was recruited at the end of the Drum Island arc.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In Empathy- a mass crossover with Big Hero 6, Inside Out and Home (2015)- Riley Anderson becomes the only legitimate super on the 'Big Hero 9' after Oh's tampering with Hiro's equipment causes Riley to acquire emotion-manipulating abilities; the rest of her team consists of five people using technology, an android, an alien, and a teen girl whose only 'skill' is her ability to use the modified car Oh created.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Wonder Woman: Diana/Wonder Woman is the only one with superpowers (most prominently superhuman strength) in Steve Trevor's team in 1918.
    • Birds of Prey: Much like the comics, Black Canary is the only member of the team that has metahuman powers even if the line-up is a bit different than the comics. The members of the team on in the movie are Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, Harley Quinn, and Renee Montoya.
  • Alice from Resident Evil (2002) became this for her La Résistance team after contracting the T-virus but with it instead granting her powers rather than the zombie degeneration.
  • Captain America was part of the Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger, the only Super-Soldier in a team of normal military soldiers. Later on, Cap joins the Avengers. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier he works for the secret agency SHIELD and is the only superpowered individuum on the STRIKE-team.
  • Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen. True to the source material, he is the only hero with actual powers, once again being depicted as a Physical God in an otherwise un-super world.
  • Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy. After Obi-Wan was killed, Luke was the only Force user left on the Millennium Falcon crew and the Rebel Alliance in general.
    • Subverted in the Sequel Trilogy, where Rey isn't the only one who uses the Force even after Luke's death. Leia manages to use it once and a bit after she dies, Finn does so too.
  • Subverted in All Superheroes Must Die, the team are all Brought Down to Normal at the beginning of the film, except for Charge who retains his Super Strength for some reason. It turns out that the reason the depowering serum didn't work on Charge is because he never had powers in the first place, his strength is from working out.
  • The Wolverine had a noticeable lack of mutants for an X-Men film, with Wolverine instead dealing with samurai mooks. Though on the bad guys' side, they still have Viper.

  • In the original Dracula, Mina is the only member of Van Helsing's Vampire Hunter crew who has supernatural powers, due to an, uh, close encounter with the title villain half-way through the book. These allow her to "tune in" into Dracula's head, letting Van Helsing track his movement.
  • Downplayed in The Lord of the Rings, where Gandalf is an angelic spirit in human form, traveling with the otherwise non-magical Fellowship. His exalted origins are largely unknown to the party and his displays of power are minimal, since his Valar masters require that the victory over Sauron be won by the people of Middle-Earth.
  • Mr Sorry in Armadillo Fists is the only characters with blatantly superhuman abilities (to be specific, he has Super-Speed). Their origin is never revealed, though his mother used to tell him that he had no soul, implying that he's some kind of demon in human form.
  • Magic is incredibly rare in A Song of Ice and Fire. Due to splitting up, most factions only have one person with magical ability on their side: The North, the Night's Watch, and Bran's companions each have someone who can control a direwolf; Stannis has Melisandre, who can create shadow beings and do other things with Blood Magic, and Daenerys possesses three dragons.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., none of the original members of Team Coulson possess powers, except Daisy Johnson / Skye / Quake, who is an Inhuman capable of causing vibrations.
    • Season 3 adds three more Inhumans to Team Coulson; Lincoln Campbell who can generate and control electricity; Joey Gutierrez who can melt and shape metal; and Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodruigez who has super speed limited to the length of time of a heartbeat. By the end of the season Lincoln is dead and Joey has quit SHIELD, leaving Daisy and Elena as the only superpowered characters on the main cast.
  • Arrowverse:
  • The Boys: The titular team are all Badass Normals, with the exception of Kimiko Miyashiro / "The Female", who was given powers via Compound V, granting her Super-Strength and a Healing Factor. Notably, this a series where "Supes" are the enemy, so Kimiko being a Differently Powered Individual is also unusual in that respect.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Most incarnations of Team TARDIS only have the Doctor as the Token Non-Human, and by extension all his Time Lord abilities. Though occasionally, one of his companions will end up gaining powers on one of their adventures.
    • Though he is best known for working alone, sometimes the Master also makes a team to take down the Doctor, in which he's the Token Super. Two of the most well known alliances he made are with Chang Lee and Lucy Saxon, who helped him in his evil plans.
  • In Merlin, the titular character was the only one of Arthur's allies to possess magic. Technically Morgana always had magic, but didn't know it until much later, by which she had betrayed Arthur to take the throne for herself. While Gaius performed magic in the past, but had given up these habits and only used it as a last resort, so overall Merlin is still the only one who actively uses magic to help Arthur.
  • In Penny Dreadful, Vanessa is the only member of Sir Malcolm's little vampire-hunting gang who has psychic powers. Subverted at the end of season one, however, when it is revealed that Ethan is actually a unwitting werewolf and he begins using his beast form against the bad guys.
  • Raven Baxter of That's So Raven is the main trio's resident psychic, getting flashes of future visions that can constantly help them out.
  • Stranger Things: Eleven is the only member of the party with psychic powers. The rest get by on geek knowledge, investigation skills and technological ingenuity.

    Video Games 
  • In Life Is Strange, thanks to her Time Master powers, the Player Character Max is the only person investigating the disappearance of Rachel Amber with powers. Technically only Chloe is officially on their "team", but they get a lot of help from other characters who they keep Locked Out of the Loop like Warren and Kate, and eventually other characters connected to Rachel start cooperating with them. More specifically; Frank can join their investigation (should you avoid killing him when asking him for info), and David catches up (having found Max and Chloe's notes) and pulls a Big Damn Heroes in the final episode.
  • In Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, Super Brainz is the only character who explicitly has superpowers, being a costumed superheronote  in a game otherwise devoid of them. Despite this, he's evenly matched with the other characters thanks to them having abilities that aren't "super"note  but are pretty powerful regardless.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 


    Western Animation