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Playing With / Flawless Token

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Basic Trope: The Token Minority can do no wrong.

  • Straight:
  • Exaggerated:
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  • Downplayed: Alice, a Jewish woman with Down Syndrome, is a bit more competent than other members, but her status as The Reliable One is almost balanced by the others's Crazy Awesome or Heroic Resolve antics. Thus, she sounds Closer to Earth.
  • Justified: The Mentor of the Five-Man Band is racist, so Colin's got to work extra hard to prove himself.
  • Inverted: Alice is left-handed and is constantly getting into trouble — Bob, who is right-handed, has to bail her out.
  • Subverted: Colin only claimed to be the most competent, but when he has to face a villain, he runs the opposite side.
  • Double Subverted: Only because he knows he can to stop the villain from a far range. He handles his gun carefully to stop the villain while the rest charge at him blindly.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice is just as incompetent as the rest of the team, but receives most of the credit. Then she is saved by Bob just once, and she can Never Live It Down.
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    • Alice trips and accidentally creates a chain of events that brings the bad guys down. Bob turns to Davis and says "Wow, talk about girl power!"
    • Characters are increasingly competent the more oppressed they rank on the progressive stack. As such, the black female in the Five-Token Band is much more competent than the white male, but the quadriplegic bisexual transgender Muslim with Asperger's syndrome is better than every other character in the show put together.
    • The reason why Colin wins all of his fights is because all of his white opponents are so afraid of being Mistaken for Racist that they don't fight back. Colin is either aware of this and exploits it for all it's worth, or completely oblivious and thinks he is winning all of his fights on skill alone, which he brags about nonstop.
    • Colin thinks his race needs more representation in media, so he creates a Show Within a Show with an all-black cast. He is surprised and totally baffled when his show is branded "morally disgusting" and he gets accused of betraying his own race, just because the villains in the show are black too, and that's racist.
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    • The minority's superiority is proportional to the size of the majority. With this in mind, Colin intentionally remains the only black member of the team, recruiting more non-black people so he can sap their power.
    • Bob is a heterosexual Christian who the team has to drag around despite his not having any useful abilities. After converting to Islam and dumping his girlfriend for a guy, he suddenly becomes practically unkillable, despite the odds, and improbably lucky with any sort of weapon.
  • Zig Zagged: Most of the heroes are fairly competent, while Alice is either a superstar or The Ditz, Depending on the Writer.
  • Averted:
    • The blacks and whites/males and females are all equally competent. Or incompetent.
    • There are all kinds of people, with their fair share of forte and flaws.
    • There are no minorities at all.
  • Enforced:
    • "A lot of girls watch this show! Let's make the female lead the only competent one."
    • "We'll get in trouble if the token character is in any way, shape, or form a bad person, or not in some way superior to the generic white male. Let's make Alice the most competent and the rest of them incompetent, for they are, after all, white males."
    • "We'll get in trouble if any character who isn't a straight white male is in any way, shape, or form a bad person, or not in some way superior to the straight white male characters, so let's just have one Token Minority who is perfect at everything and make everyone else white dudes so that we can actually give them personality and character flaws without anyone getting offended and boycotting the show."
  • Lampshaded: "Colin is both the only black in our group and the only competent one. But I'm sure it's just a coincidence."
  • Invoked: Alice is the only female Asian and works hard on becoming highly skilled and competent.
  • Exploited: Bob takes a lot of breaks knowing that Alice could cover him easily.
  • Defied: When Bob sees that Alice is showing him up, he starts training and working hard himself.
  • Discussed: "Why did you just assume I was better than my white teammates? As far as I can tell, we're all equally competent and equally heroic."
  • Conversed:
    • "Ever notice how it's always the girls and the minorities who win most of the battles, particularly against the white guys?"
    • "Okay, here comes the rescue scene. 2 to 1 odds it's Alice saving the guys again."
  • Implied: Alice was never being shown fighting, but she flaunted how her could fight better than the guys.
  • Deconstructed: Alice decides to leave the team because she's far more competent than the rest of them.
  • Reconstructed: ...But she comes back because she needed them as much as they did her, even if it's just so she'd have people to entertain her since she's so much better than the rest of them.
  • Played For Drama:

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