The Cyclic Trope side of the Token Minority. A show might have an all-minority cast, such as focusing on a Black family or a Multinational Team, but the white blonde-and-blue-eyed portion of the audience will not be left out, either.
On a Sitcom, they're often either the "uncool" one or the ditz. This is probably because the others are viewed as less Acceptable Targets, but when you really think about the implications of the white member of a diverse group being lame, it starts to seem like a Broken Aesop. On a Black Sitcom they're often comic relief or a Cloud Cuckoolander, though they can be academically smart.
A white member of a multi-ethnic team tends to stand out even more than the traditional Token and is more likely to be lampshaded. When the Very Special Episode about racism comes along, it won't be about them. If the episode is about learning about and respecting someone else's culture, they'll be the one who needs to learn it most, and it's never about their own culture.
In some cases the token white will be part of a non-racial minority group, such as being disabled, LGBT, or Jewish. Being ginger could count as well if the show is set in Europe. Whatever the case, the token white's whiteness might still make them an Acceptable Target, but their own minority status will not, and might give the others something to learn about tolerance.
Rarely the token white might actually double up as a token minority in the racial sense, if the series takes place in countries where whites aren't common, such as Japanese Media.
This trope is largely restricted to Western media, although some other countries have their own local variants.
Contrast White Male Lead, in which the sole white character is the lead.
- Benny from Black Lagoon is the only white member of the Lagoon Trading Company, though it's been brought up once or twice that he's Jewish. Such as when Dutch asks what he thinks of the whole White Power neo-nazi philosophy, only for Benny to point out that as a Jew. "Fuck the Nazis" is basically a family creed.
- Boogieman from the Milestone comic Blood Syndicate was a fairly odd variant. A closeted White kid (he's a were-rat) in a band of Black, Hispanic, and Asian (ex)Gangbangers that were mutated (instead of killed outright like most in the area) by radiation-tainted tear-gas used to break up a big melee. He has some elements of Pretty Fly for a White Guy — unlike the rest of the team he comes from a stable, middle-class family, and he talks like he stepped out of a rap video.
- For a few issues of Justice League around 2009, the team consisted of Vixen, Firestorm (Jason Rusch), Green Lantern (John Stewart), Doctor Light (Kimiyo Hoshi), and Zatanna, thus making Zatanna the Token White.
- In Earth-23 of The DCU, Batman is this for the Justice League, which is otherwise predominantly Black. There is actually a reason for this; aside from that world's Black Superman, all the other Black Leaguers have actually existed before in other comics. Batman has had no such version however, so he's still Bruce Wayne.
- Skullfire in X-Men 2099. When he joins, the team consists of Krystalin (Black), Cerebra (an ethnic Arab from India), Serpentina (white, but dead in #3), Xi'an, Metalhead, and Meanstreak (each a different East Asian ethnicity).
- The extended Jem and the Holograms cast is diverse, but Rapture is the one white member of The Stingers. The others are Riot (half-white and half-Asian), Minx (South Asian-German), and Raya (Mexican-American).
- In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Polaris Psyche is this among the Smurfs, since all Psyches have white-colored skin.
- Isaac in Barbershop. Also Pretty Fly for a White Guy.
- Lynn filled this role in Barbershop's Distaff Counterpart spinoff, Beauty Shop.
- In Blackbird, all the main characters are African Americans with the exception of Randy's white love interest Marshall.
- Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman) in Black Panther. He's the only named white guy to fight on the good guys' side in the movie. Amusingly, Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) is the only white guy on the bad guys' side, which has led to the "Tolkien White Guys" joke.note
- In the third film in the Bring It On series, white cheerleader Britney Allen moves from her affluent community to a mostly minority working-class community, where she's initially marginalized, but eventually accepted.
- Sandi (played by Jessica Stroup), Claude's secret wife in This Christmas.
- In Coming to America: Eddie Murphy as "Saul" the old Jewish guy in the barbershop. Best line - when the king arrives draped in a lion skin - "What is that? Velvet?"
- Later on there's the restaurant worker Maurice.
- Finding 'Ohana: Casper is the only white person of note to appear in the movie apart from the pirates in the flashback portions, and the only white person in the main cast.
- Gamera vs. Guiron: Tom and his mother are the only white Americans in an otherwise Japanese cast—added solely to give the film more appeal to the American market.
- In the 2010 version of The Karate Kid, Dre's only friend he finds in China is a blond boy.
- Let It Shine: Lyla, manager to Roxie, is the only major white character in a cast of almost-entirely Black people.
- Posse: Little J (Stephen Baldwin) is the token white guy of the eponymous posse.
- There is a bit of a weird variation on this in Tsotsi. The police officer is a token white guy, but this being a South African movie, he's also just a regular token minority. (Large minorities are still minorities.)
- Super: Frank is the only Caucasian working at the diner, though Sarah formerly worked there as well.
- Undercover Brother
- Lance (Neil Patrick Harris) as the token white staffer of "The Brotherhood", an African-American spy agency. Lampshaded thoroughly. ("What's a white boy doing here?" "What can I say. Affirmative Action.") Starts as a classic "uncool" version, but he gains respect when he reveals that he goes a little Axe-Crazy when pushed. Crazy white boys.
- Later White She Devil joins as well, much to Conspiracy Brother's chagrin.
Conspiracy Brother: What the fuck? Chief! I've never seen this bitch in my agent classes! I'm still paying the loans off, man! I sleep on a pissy mattress! I ain't got good food to eat! I borrow money for my weed! I quit! That's it. Y'all ain't got Conspiracy Brother Jones to kick around no more! Give me a pillow case... I'm joining the Klan!
- Saving Face: Wil's coworker Randi is the only white person in the film, which has an almost entirely East Asian cast, along with one Black person (Wil's friend Jay).
- Of the four central members of Mario Party TV, Steeler is the Token White-Holms, Mr. Doom, and Clel are Black.
- The Hate U Give focuses on Starr, a Black teenage girl, her family, and the other people living in Garden Heights, a mostly-Black low income neighborhood. The only major white characters are Hailey, Starr's "friend" from school, and Chris, Starr's boyfriend. By the end, Chris has become this for Starr's group of friends, who have all warmed up to him, and he's accompanied by Maya, who's Asian, and thus a minority herself.
- Public School Superhero has Preemie, whom Kenny says is the only white student at their school.
- Lincoln Heights made sure to have at least a couple whites prominent in the story. Always as a sidekick or love interest to one of the main Black characters. Lund as the sidekick to The Hero, Charles as the boyfriend to the chick and later Sage as a foil to Cassie.
- The Steve Harvey Show is notorious for this.
- As is Sister, Sister. (Brittany Murphy was the first of them.)
- Nina Walsh from Smart Guy. Notably, the only white female in the series, and aside from one Very Special Episode which centered around her job (following Black people around a mall to make sure they don't steal anything), her only role was to follow Yvette around. There was also a Butt-Monkey white male named Mackey on the show. Usually, after being the butt of a joke, he'd comment "It's because I'm white, isn't it?"
- In The Wayans Bros., the character is actually named "White Mike."
- And Martin with Shawn and Buckwhite (parody of Buckwheat).
- Similarly, Greg Wulliger in Everybody Hates Chris. Though he's no more dorky than Chris himself.
- Chelsea in That's So Raven. In the spin-off Cory in the House, Newt plays pretty much exactly the same role.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air did this occasionally with Will's goofy white classmates/friends, but even these eventually disappeared and were replaced with Black Beavis And Butthead style sidekicks, only one of which had any staying power. For the first half or so of the series, there was also the hopelessly out-of-touch white teacher. Later, one of his aunts became involved with a white man... who eventually became so accepted by the family that he could make jokes about Carlton being white.
- Come on, everyone loves Cornflake.
- Family Matters:
- The show had this. Generally the only white guy on the cast was Carl's boss Lieutenant Lieu Murtaugh, and was shown to be, again, completely out of touch... with reality. There was also the occasional goofy white friend of the kids, who was often a "wannabe", trying desperately to assimilate into Black culture, with everyone else practically straining their retinas rolling their eyes. And then there was the one episode with two cops who pulled Eddie over for being in a white neighborhood (though only one of them was actually racist, the other was just dragged along).
- There was also Mr Looney(pronounced Loon-ay) played by the late Tom Poston.
- In the first couple seasons Eddie had a shady white friend named Rodney. Rodney came down with a case of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
- Whites tended to fare poorly on Family Matters, whether they were racist or not (and they usually weren't). Even Urkel looked down on them.
- Jim Carrey and Kelly Coffield were the token whites on In Living Color!, though in later seasons they were joined by Alexandra Wentworth and Jay Leggett. Carrey at least was invited to audition because he was already friends with Damon Wayans, rather than simply the need for a white castmember.
- A Different World took place at a predominantly Black college - to show it was "predominantly" Black and not "all" Black they had a token white girl the first season, played by Marisa Tomei.
- Desmond's was set in a barber's shop in London, and the cast was almost exclusively Black, except for Tony, one of the hairdressers, who was white. In one episode, he referred to Black people as "we" or "us", prompting someone else to say that he'd been hanging around the rest of them for too long.
- Chris Potter on Kenan & Kel, and later on Marc.
- AR Bernard, a blaxploitation-flavored religious talk show airing on Family Net, will occaisionally include a white guest.
- Sanford and Son has Officer "Hoppy" Hopkins, the only regularly recurring white character. He could best be described as being mildly retarded.
- Kim from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
- Played with on Malcolm in the Middle. While Stevie is the token Black of the main kids, Hal winds up becoming the Token White of his friends, who are all Black. Hal's also a Twofer Token Minority since he's the only poor member of the group.
- Stevie from The Parkers. On this show she's also a Twofer Token Minority by also being the only slim woman.
- Alex in Tinsel.
- In the Sky 1 series Sinbad, the cast is made up of various ethnicities, including a pair of white women pretending to be Arabic/Asian. There is however, one Northern European bloke who is often referenced as the 'Northman' and fills this trope, without the Butt-Monkey aspect.
- Keith and his mother are the token whites in Like Family.
- Turtle in All Of Us
- In Martial Law, Louise was the only white character out of the main cast in season 1.
- The Hughleys used the "Black family in a largely ethnic neighborhood with one white neighbor" theme, but then made it interesting by having the white neighbor not be a butt monkey, easy target, or other form of comic relief. Rather, he was the friendly, supportive friend who would occasionally offer sage advice type of TV neighbor.
- Andre's wife Rhonda from Empire.
- Marisa from K.C. Undercover. She's also the only member of the main cast who is not part of the Cooper family.
- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah has Jordan Klepper and Desi Lydic as the only white correspondents. After Klepper was spun off into his own show, he was replaced by Michael Kosta, another white guy.
- Asian sketch-comedy series Goodness Gracious Me had Dave Lamb in the cast to play the Token White Man, who was cast in the role-reversal situation where he represented the equivalent of an Indian or Pakistani, who is alone among white people in an unfamiliar culture. note .
- Oddly enough, the title character of Marco Polo largely acts as one, with a common complaint being that he plays very little role in the story and seems to only exist because the execs were skittish about having an all-Asian cast.
- The Wiz Live! has one white dancer in its otherwise all-African-American cast.
- Sean from Ultraman Max is the only white member of DASH in the all-Japanese cast with the justification being that he was a transplanted American member. He tends to use a fair amount of Gratuitous English, but also serves as the team's inventor and is a good friend of protagonist Kaito and sharpshooter Koba.
- Insecure has Issa's coworker Frieda, who is the only white character with any substantial amount of screentime. She's dropped from the show in season 3, leaving the main cast all Black for season 4. Molly's Asian love interest Andrew is then upgraded to regular in season 5, and one episode implies that Molly sees him as this because of the different racial dynamics they experience.
- In Kim's Convenience, Jung's manager Shannon, who is from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, is the only white member of the otherwise pre-dominantly Korean main cast. She crushes on Jung for most of Season 1 and eventually becomes his love interest.
- Invoked by the WKRP episode "Changes", in which a magazine's Token White interviews Venus.
- Brady and his replacement Boz on Pair of Kings were always the sole white cast member of the show.
- Vida: Nearly all of the cast are Latin American, with only a few whites appearing on the show. Lyn's boyfriend in the first season and a store owner (whose property Marisol vandalizes) are probably the only ones who appear in more than a couple scenes, have multiple lines or aren't in the background.
- Key & Peele have their East/West Bowl series of skits, parodying how long and "out there" the names of football players can be. In their first video in said series, Key and Peele themselves introducing themselves in various guises with such names as "Javaris Jamar Javarison-Lamar" and "The Player Formerly Known As Mousecop" culminates in a sudden white player introducing himself as "Dan Smith".
- In 4 Square, the Beat Team has only one white member while the rest are Black.
- All Rise: Mark and Lisa are the only White people in the main cast. The rest are Black, Latino or East Asian (rather unusually in a mainstream series).
- Kung Fu: Evan is the only White person in the main cast. The rest are East Asian (specifically Chinese or Chinese-American).
- Heather Morris, before she played Brittany on Glee, was the token white among Beyoncé's backup dancers, and she can be seen in many live performances of "Single Ladies". When Heather announced she was quitting to do Glee, Beyonce gave her blessing but joked about losing her white girl.
- Sean "Diddy" Combs's label Bad Boy Records focuses primarily on Hip Hop and R&B acts, and as such, their roster is primarily Black artists. This made the white pop quartet Dream stand out like this.
- Lil Wayne's Young Money label features mostly Black artists like Drake (who is actually half-white), Nicki Minaj, and Mack Maine but also has Limp Bizkit and Paris Hilton.
- Indie rock band TV on the Radio is almost entirely Black, except for gutarist David Sitek, who's white.
- Little Mix has Perrie Edwards as their sole obviously white member as Leigh-Anne Pinnock is Black and both Jade Thirwall and Jesy Nelson are of Ambiguously Brown ancestry and have darker complexions when compared to Perrie.
- Eminem was the one white guy in the rap group D12. We might think of him as leader of the group nowadays, but in their underground days he was just another member before making it big. He was also the Token White artist on Dr. Dre's Aftermath label.
- The album Standing on the Verge of Getting it On by Funkadelic credits Ron Bykowski with "Lead and rhythm guitars, Polyester soul-powered token white devil".
- As part of Prince's goal to have a multi-ethnic, multi-gender band of musicians at all times, he did include at least one white member from time to time:
- Matt Fink spent 1978-1980 as one, until Lisa Coleman joined the band. Fink's tenure with Prince lasted in 1990, and that final year, he was the single white member of the band as well.
- Tommy Barbarella was part of The New Power Generation from 1992-1996.
- Candy Dulfer also spent time in The NPG from 2002-2004.
- Other stages of Prince's backing bands either featured no white performers, or several (Wendy & Lisa, and later, Eric Leeds, alongside Fink; 3RDEYEGIRL's tenure.)
- From Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Posse On Broadway":
"Larry is the white guy, the girlies think he's funny
A real estate investor who makes a lot of money"
- A newspaper comic example is the character of Gunk from Curtis. Gunk is the only white member of the cast, period, and is the white equivalent of the "magical negro" character type, displaying utterly bizarre and nonsensical abilities due to being from the backwards Flyspeck Island. Gunk isn't just clueless and out-of-touch... he's the uber-ascendant Cloudcuckoolander given shape, voice, and wall-eyes.
- The Nation of Domination started out in USWA with a white majority but after moving to WWE the white members were all phased out. Then Owen Hart was brought in as the only white man.
- Thuggin and Buggin Enterprises was central to a race baiting angle in WWE where Theodore Long would challenge white wrestlers to take on his clients such as D'Lo Brown, Rodney Mack and Mark Henry. When Christopher Nowinski said his Harvard education allowed him to identify with the Black man's plight though, Long decided to give a white boy a chance.
- In 2004, four Ring of Honor wrestlers went rogue and invaded IWA Puerto Rico. Monsta Mack, Dan Maff, Homicide and BJ Whitmer. Whitmer was the only one who wasn't Puerto Rican and the only one 'white' by the standards of his era.
- Rhett Titus often comes off this way in The Rebellion. The Pantheon Of Gods began with a slight white majority but then after Austin Aries left Titus and Kenny King kept going on their own for a good while before hooking up with Caprice Coleman, to form "The Cabinet". Then, suddenly protesting that they ever wanted to be called "The Cabinet" they brought in Shane Taylor and became The Rebellion, getting steadily Blacker before Search And Destroy forced them to disband.
- Dean Ambrose is the only white member of The Shield, as Seth Rollins is half-Mexican and Roman Reigns is of Samoan descent.
- Cactus Jack, in the "Ghetto Odds" match at WCW Clash of the Champions XXI, November 18, 1992, since he teamed with the African-American Tony Atlas and the Tongan The Barbarian in a losing effort to the African-American team of Ron Simmons and the debuting 2 Cold Scorpio.
- Christian for the otherwise all-African-American Team Kingston (Kofi Kingston/Mark Henry/Montel Vontavious Porter/R-Truth) at Survivor Series 2009, who defeated the all-white Team Orton (Randy Orton/Cody Rhodes/Ted DiBiase Jr/CM Punk/William Regal).
- One of Dave Chappelle's jokes is that all groups of Black friends should have at least one Token White in their group:
The one thing I'm seeing, you'll be walking down the street and you'll see a group of Black dudes walking, not just any old Black dudes, we're talking, you know, "thugs". There'd be some thugs, and in the group, they got one or two, sometimes as many as three white guys will be with them, did ya ever see that shit? Well, let me tell you something about those white guys. Those white guys are the most dangerous motherfuckers in them groups. (applause) Well, it's true, it's true, man. Ain't no tellin' what they've done to get them Black dude's respect. But, them Black dudes have seen them do some wild shit, I'll tell you that. I been trying to tell brothers that. Every group of brothers should have at least one white guy in it. I'm serious, for safety. 'Cause when the shit goes down, and shit WILL go down, somebody's gonna need to talk to the police. (laughter) That's when that white friend comes in handy. "Uh-oh, Ernie, wanna get this one?"
- Standup comedy shows with almost entirely Black comics tend to still have one white comic who minces no words lampshading this trope. On BET's former comedy showcase Comicview, two white comics, White Chocolate and Gary Owen, were popular enough to host the show after their respective seasons (the most popular comics in a season get to host the next). Gary Owen in particular has gone on to base his standup around being the Token White; he almost exclusively dated Black women before marrying one, and he often jokes about being the only white guy wherever he's at.
- The casting in Hamilton enforces this trope (and Race Lift) by calling for King George III to be played by a white man and nonwhite actors play all the other principals (who were historically white founding fathers, revolutionaries, etc.). Further reinforced by the music; George's song, "You'll Be Back," is done in an old school Broadway/British Invasion style, to clash with the musical's other hip-hop/R&B/jazz numbers, enforcing the idea that the colonies and the Old World have grown very different. It's interesting to point out that George's two originating actors, Jonathan Groff and Andrew Rannells, are both gay, meaning even he was still represented by minorities in the beginning. Samuel Seabury is also played by a white man, albeit one of the chorus members.
- This Scandinavia and the World strip parodies a Real Life situation in China, where apparently you can rent white (or otherwise foreign) people in China to pretend to be a foreign employee of your company or an allied CEO. It's completely this trope that this practice exists; to prove that their companies are modern and global, Chinese businesses hire white people to be their token foreign dudes.
- Throughout Sky Williams' series, Jesse is consistently treated like this in any video he's in, even when Jason or Leah are also in that video. He goes along with it, as he tries and fails to rap and pretends to be completely unaware of N-Word Privileges.
- In Pretty Dudes, Alexander is this in the first season and much of the second. Interesting in a way as he's the most vocal one about racial injustices.
Eagle: Happy Thanksgiving!Zario and Sunji: Happy Thanksgiving!Alexander: I'm thankful for everything except this white man's holiday.Eagle: Uh, yeah.
- Zoey from The Proud Family. The only one in the show (besides her mother, who only appears in one episode.)
- Richie from Static Shock was Virgil Hawkins's sidekick, and the only white member of the principal cast. Although he's still a minority, too: the character he was based off from the comic was gay, and Dwayne McDuffie had stated animated Richie was gay, too. They couldn't actually show it on the show, though. Hotstreak, one of Static's most prominent enemies, is pretty much the only other recurring white character.
- The PBS Kids cartoon Maya & Miguel is so intent on being diverse that their token white friend only has one arm.
- Invoked an episode in King of the Hill, where an all-Asian country club attempts to recruit Hank just to convince the PGA that they're not racist. Hank refuses to go along with it when he figures it out.
- Squid from Rocket Power. The Rockets were half-Hawaiian and Twister was Latino.
- In Young Justice, the Runaways are a Five-Token Band who only gain a white member, Arsenal, at the end of their second appearance. He's actually a Twofer Token Minority since he's also disabled. And Native American if we're going by comic canon.
- Chuck, among the male leads,note in Motorcity. Jacob would also count, but he's not as "on the field" as often as the rest. It's not as noticable, as some of the races are confirmed by Word of God (Mike is Ambiguously Brown with some Mixed Ancestry, Texas is Filipino, etc.).