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West Coast Team

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Your Super Team is really popular! So popular, in fact, that The Powers That Be have decided it deserves a Spin-Off. What to do?

Make a West Coast Team, of course! Take all the offbeat, second-string, and popular guest characters and have them start their own team, in a separate setting.

A West Coast Team is typically composed of characters with totally different worldviews from their East Coast counterparts, but with a similar team dynamic. They are so named because most American superhero comic books take place in the Northeast, specifically New York or a No Communities Were Harmed version thereof (Metropolis, Gotham City). Thus, the West Coast Team tends to relocate to the second-biggest US population area — California.

Also see Similar Squad, which is usually a one-off gag.

This trope is related to serialized media. A self-contained story is more likely to feature a Hero of Another Story or Hufflepuff House. Contrast Superhero Capital of the World.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Digimon Adventure 02; while we're introduced to kids around the world, there are no spinoffs for these children.
  • In HappinessCharge Pretty Cure!, we're introduced to Pretty Cure teams all over the world. Our heroines end up teaming up with the ones based in Hawaii.
  • The secondary trio in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch are scattered across the world, but when together, make a backup (and, for some reason, much less effective) team.
  • In Samurai Pizza Cats, there are the New York Pizza Cats (Himitsu Ninja Tai Yankee in the Japanese version), the American equivalent of the original Japanese Pizza Cats.

    Comic Books 
  • The Boys parodied this by turning the whole thing into a rap grudge.
  • One Marvel West team that was actually on the West Coast was the Californian Initiative team, a.k.a. The Order. It was made up of washed up TV personalities and crippled professional athletes augmented with StarkTech. They even had their own series (that was cancelled after 10 issues...) Originally, the group was going to be called the Champions in tribute to the 70's team, but Marvel found they no longer held the trademark.
  • The Justice League had their fair share of branch offices:
    • Justice League Europe was a West Coast Team that, rather than the West Coast, relocated to another continent.
    • In the New 52 continuity Justice League is the main League, while the Justice League of America is their spin-off. This is notable since despite being a spin-off, the JLA are at odds with the main Justice League.
  • The Mighty Mutanimals were a spinoff second-stringer team for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures.
  • Runaways serves as a West Coast Team to the entire Marvel Universe; they're very specifically placed in Los Angeles, where there wasn't much super-anything activity. In Secret Invasion, the Skrull empire actually lampshades this, thinking that conquering the West Coast will be a cake-walk compared to the hero dense East Coast. Unfortunately for them the X-Men had recently relocated to San Francisco. And Speak of the Devil...
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) had Freedom Fighter teams scattered across the entire planet and even the oceans! The more well-known ones were the Downunda Freedom Fighters, the Forty Fathoms Freedom Fighters and, of course, the Chaotix.
  • Teen Titans :
    • The original run had the Teen Titans West (pictured) and later the Titans L.A.
    • In the Turn of the Millennium, the main Teen Titans team (comprised mostly of former members of Young Justice) had relocated to the West Coast (San Francisco), so when a group of former Titans (mostly members from the 1980's) briefly reassembled in 2008 as another Titans team (headquartered in New York), they were humorously referred to (by fans) as "Titans East". There was another group actually named "Titans East", just one year before that, but they were a villain team composed of enemies/counterparts to the actual Teen Titans, and a different "Titans East" team that plays the trope straight was in the animated series, but was never in the comics.
  • West Coast Avengers is one of the Trope Makers, as the counterpart of The Avengers. It's also the Trope Namer.
  • The X-Men have several examples. Their move to San Francisco after their mansion got destroyed one time too many, while not this trope at first (see below), may be considered a Fandom Nod towards the term.
    • First were the now-defunct X-Corporations, which handled the X-Men's functions in several locations abroad.
    • There was also the short-lived Champions Of Los Angeles team in the '70s, which was a hodgepodge of solo heroes and castoffs from the Avengers and X-Men, and is treated as a joke team nowadays. For the record, the original line-up was Angel, Iceman, Hercules, Ghost Rider and Black Widow. The creators of the book literally used whoever wasn't doing anything, even though they made absolutely no sense together.
    • Excalibur was, for all intents and purposes, X-Men Europe.
    • Also, the 'side-characters get their own team' idea is found in X-Factor, first consisting of the original five X-Men after they hadn't been with the team for a while, and later (and ever since) consisting of second-stringers.
    • When Wolverine took half the X-Men back east with him, Cyclops and his team (most of whom are former foes of the X-Men) became a West Coast Team by default.
  • Rob Liefeld's Youngblood had a "Home" team and an "Away" team. Their premiere issue infamously featured stories concerning both teams, but... how to put this... One story is upside-down relative to the other? The "Away" team's story is read by flipping the book over and reading from what would normally be the back cover.

    Fan Works 
  • Adventures of the Silver Bullets: At the end of chapter 3, L invites Moka and Tsukune to join a division of the Silver Bullets in Los Dracos.
  • There were so many Titans characters in DC Nation at one point that there are three Titans teams - Titans East (led by Nightwing and Troia), Titans West (led by Cyborg and Starfire), and Titans South (nominally led by Jamie Reyes and Raven, but functioning more democratically).
  • The Justice Society of Japan, though not officially affiliated with the Justice Society of America, was made with this trope in mind.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel went into self-exile on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, later turning up in Los Angeles (just south of his old haunt) with a new crew. A total of five Buffy regulars eventually migrated to the spinoff. Despite this, the two factions do not see eye-to-eye; Angel got in hot water for granting sanctuary to Buffy's enemies, and Giles is flagrant in his lack of regard for them. Andrew officially declared them enemies in the last season.
  • Inverted by Las Vegas-based CSI which spun-off CSI: Miami and CSI: NY.
  • Washington, DC-based NCIS spun-off NCIS: Los Angeles and later NCIS: New Orleans
  • Regarding NCIS' Precursor Series: back in 2005 there were plans for a JAG: San Diego. The concept was introduced in a season ten backdoor pilot episode, but the series never got made.
  • Law & Order (New York) versus spin-off Law & Order: LA
    • Law & Order: UK isn't this though - many of its cases are taken straight from the original show, making this The Remake instead.
  • Legends of Tomorrow gathers supporting characters from both Arrow and The Flash (2014) and sends them off on their own adventure.
  • Stargate SG-1 had its West Coast Team in another galaxy in Stargate Atlantis. This was lampooned in SG-1's "200", when Puppet Hammond complains that the chevrons aren't spinning. (Atlantis' stargate was rooted to the floor and did not spin.)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the closest the franchise came to having one. The series takes place during the events of late-season TNG and the films that followed. Star Trek: Voyager also took place during this time, but that ship was stranded on the opposite ends of the universe; as such, there is very little crossover with mainstream Trek (although the crew eventually reestablished contact with Starfleet, and even accepted a mission in Season 7). The crew of DS9, conversely, existed at once within the Federation and outside it, laboring on a stationary space station on the border world of Bajor. Captain Ben Sisko frequently butts heads with Starfleet hardliners like Admiral Nechayev, who have little patience for Sisko's advice. He also feuded with Picard in the pilot, although the two mended fences by the end.

  • For the first half of the 20th century, the AAA Pacific Coast League was sometimes referred to as "baseball's third major league." They were often able to attract near major-league caliber talent, and at various times there were plans to promote the PCL to a major league in its own right. Ultimately the National and American Leagues expanded westwards instead, but to this day some West Coast major-league teams—such as the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels—have the same name as their cities' original PCL franchise.
  • Before the National Hockey League, there was the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, and later the Western Canada Hockey League; the two merged in 1924 before folding in 1926, dispersing their players eastward to the NHL. The PCHA produced the first American teams to compete for the Stanley Cup, the Portland Rosebuds and the Seattle Metropolitans (the latter won the Cup in 1917). The NHL would not expand west of Chicago (save for a one-season experiment in St. Louis) until 1967. By then, the Western Hockey Leaguenote  was considered a threat to become a rival major league, but it never happened (instead the World Hockey Association sprung up a few years later).
  • In several ways, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) is a kind of successor to the PCL (though even more to the west than its predecessor is). Its overall level of play and attendance both are beginning to verge upon MLB standards, it's becoming a steady conduit of talent to MLB, and within a generation or two it could end up making the World Series Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • In Australian Rules Football, when the then-Victorian Football League expanded into Western Australia, the team was named the West Coast Eagles, rather than named for its home base of Perth. A common joke among fans was to ask what the post code for "West Coast" was. A second WA team was added, the Fremantle Dockers, but both teams use the same Perth stadium as a home field.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer's two Undead armies fit this trope well. Originally all the setting's undead creatures shared one army list, consisting of zombies and skeletons, vampires and mummies. In 1998 this book was split into two factions: the Vampire Counts of Sylvania, which included all the "Gothic horror" style undead in the northern Old World, and the Tomb Kings of Khemri, for the Ancient Egypt-inspired undead of the Nehekharan kingdoms to the south. Ironically, the End Times event has once again put both types of undead in the same army list.

    Video Games 
  • In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the events of the game results in the dimensional barrier between the ghost world and the living world being pushed back, meaning that Rookie won't be needed in New York City, but is offered management of a Ghostbusters branch in another city.
  • In Secret of the Stars, the Kustera is a group of adults who provide support and additional manpower to the primary team of kid heroes, the Aquatallions.

    Web Original 
  • In the Whateley Universe, there are the California Crusaders, located in Los Angeles, which began in 1970s as an 'expansion team' for the Chicago Crusaders, founded by seemingly Dumb Blonde Sunburst. Other teams in the state which have been mentioned include the West Coast League, the Golden Gate Guardians, the Young Dragons, and the Hollywood All-Stars, but none of those appear to have begun as spin-off teams.

    Western Animation 
  • Teen Titans (2003) inverts the situation from the comics (and seen in the page image), with the main team operating in an expy of San Francisco rather than on the East Coast. As such, when a B-Team is formed, those characters relocate to the other side of the country and are known as Titans East.

    Real Life 
  • California itself was the first state west of the Great Plains to be added to the Union, in 1850, years before any of the other western territories became states.
  • Any organization that gets expansive enough will usually split off into easier to manage chunks. One historic example is the Roman Empire, which became so expansive that they briefly experimented with having four Emperors at once, with two (a senior Augustus and a junior Caesar) serving in the Eastern and Western halves of the Empire. While the Tetrarchy didn't last, the Empire was eventually split into the Western Roman Empire (centered on Rome) and the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire, centered on Constantinople.
  • Prior to the advent of modern communications technology, large militaries were known to organize themselves along geographic commands. For example, during World War II the US Navy had the United States Pacific Fleet and the United States Atlantic Fleet, which very rarely had any reason to cooperate in any tactical or operational way.note  There was also a United States Asiatic Fleet, but it suffered heavy losses in the onset of America's involvement in the conflict, and its remaining ships were absorbed into the Pacific Fleet.