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Ragtag Bunch Of Misfits / Film

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Animated Films

  • The Detention Kids from The Book of Life, are five lovable kids who are rascal devils.
  • The Land Before Time has the Gang of Seven consist of Littlefoot (an inquisitive Longneck), Cera (a strongwilled threehorn), Ducky (a cheerful swimmer), Petrie (a naive but well meaning flyer), and Spike (a ravenous, almost silent spiketail). It gets even more tangled when Chomper (a gentle sharptooth) and Ruby (a wise fast-runner) join the gang.
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  • You'll be hard pressed to find a bunch more rag-tag or misfit than the one being asked to save the Earth in Monsters vs. Aliens: a bug-headed Mad Scientist; an over-the-hill Fish Person; a brainless, sentient glob of artificial flavoring; a fuzzy baby Kaiju; and their newest member, a white-haired Giant Woman who's still getting used to the whole "being a monster" thing.
  • Li Shang's squad in Mulan, which only becomes worth anything after a Training Montage, where he describes them with terms such as " the saddest bunch I ever met", "spineless, pale, pathetic lot [without] a clue" and "unsuited for the rage of war".
  • The five 'main' pirates from The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!. Large Ham Pirate Captain, Only Sane Man Pirate With A Scarf, chunky Pirate With Gout, Sweet Polly Oliver Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate and finally Cloudcuckoolander Albino Pirate. Appropriately, the film's Market-Based Title is The Pirates: Band of Misfits.
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  • Colette from Ratatouille describes her fellow chefs as such.
  • The Diggers who join up with Dr. Noah after one of them is killed by Ecoban soldiers in Sky Blue.
  • WALL•E has the titular character (a trash compactor), his girlfriend (a heavily-armed survey robot), an obsessive cleaning scrub-bot, and a bunch of insane broken (literally) robots, HANS in particular.

Live-Action Films

  • Angels Revenge: It features a teacher, a Vegas lounge singer, a Sassy Black Woman, an Asian martial artist, a Fiery Red Head, and a pigtail-wearing teenager waging war against a drug cartel. MST3K had fun with this one.
  • Armageddon: "The fate of the planet is in the hands of a bunch of retards I wouldn't trust with a potato gun."
  • Bataan, taking place during the 1941 Japanese invasion of the Philippines, revolves around a group of 13 American soldiers separated from their various command units that are cobbled together for one purpose: Hold the Line against the Japanese Army until General MacArthur can regroup.
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  • The American team in Broken Lizard's Beerfest. To give you an idea, one of their members is a homeless male prostitute.
  • The film Boarding School Wars has Jake Winters invoke this by name in his Shut Up, Hannibal! moment during a paintball battle that decides which school's boys get to go to the dance with the girls. "Yeah, you're right, you're right. We're messed up. We've got problems. And you nailed me in the back of the head. Good one. Guess our ragtag bunch of misfits haven't got a chance against your obvious superiority. But hey - shouldn't you be guarding your flag?" George's eyes widen as he realizes the bulk of the opposing team deliberately lost to separate the team from its flag. Using the walkie-talkies he smuggled in, George tries to tell his fellow team members what's happening, but it's too late. They arrive after the battle's been decided in a one on one shootout between their leaders.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody: What happens when a brilliant astrophysics scholar, a rambunctious dental student, a shy electrical engineer, and an over-the-top art school drama queen team up to make music? Something not easily forgotten, that's for sure. Quoth Freddie in the film: "We're four misfits who don’t belong together, playing for the other misfits."
  • Caveman, the protagonist Atouk along his friend Lar, after being banished from their tribe they found their own when encountering other misfits wondering the wilds, including the old blind man Gog, the comely Tala, a gay caveman couple, the Asiatic caveman Nook (who inexplicably, speaks only in English), and a caveman midget.
  • In The Charge at Feather River, the Guardhouse Brigade consists of a bunch of Boxed Crooks released from the guardhouse to accompany Archer on his mission into Injun Country. Archer has to assemble this collection of drunkards, thieves, brawlers, deserters, and general ne'er-do-wells into a competent fighting unit.
  • The Continental Army in The Crossing. While this trope is certainly the popular view of The American Revolution, the film defines "ragtag" as "hungry, wet, sick, and thoroughly demoralized" after numerous defeats. General Gates even points to the ragtag-ness in his criticism of Washington's plan because they are thoroughly not soldierly, unlike the Hessians. (They win anyway.)
  • Dance of the Dead: Who else can bring an end to a zombie outbreak than the class clown, three nerds, a cheerleader, a bully with a criminal record, the head of the student council, the gym class coach, and the drummer, bassist and vocalist of a student rock band? Near the end, the prom queen and a few random others get tossed into the mix.
  • The Deserter: Given his choice of any men in the fort for his squad, Kaleb assembles a strange team including the surgeon, the chaplain, a green lieutenant, a dandyish British captain, and three men who want to kill him.
  • In The Devil's Brigade, the Americans are an example, while the Canadians are more serious about it. The real First Special Service Force recruited its American members by asking for volunteers, not forcing the dregs of the Army into it, though plenty of troublemakers got "volunteered" by their commanding officers to get rid of them. The SSF weeded out a lot of the worst, but it was still a pretty motley bunch.
  • The Dirty Dozen. The team sent in to blow up the Nazi R&R chateau is made up entirely of men facing either execution or life sentences in military prisons. Except for Magotnote , though, most of them are implied to be not-such-bad guys who simply were pushed too far, or never should have been allowed in the military at all.
  • Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) assembles a motley group of immigrants (a mortuary assistant, a hotel doorman, a sweatshop worker, a Hooker with a Heart of Gold) to get the best of the unpleasant Sneaky Juan in Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things.
  • DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story actually calls the team of average Joes "The Average Joes". They're made up of an apathetic gym owner, a man who thinks he's a pirate, a high school loser who wants to be a cheerleader to impress a girl (think about that one for a second), a man who thinks his mail-order bride loves him, and two of the gym employees who consider the gym better than their previous job at the airport. The only normal person on their team is a female lawyer (who happens to be bi). They are led by a paraplegic coach who loves throwing heavy objects at his players and making them dodge highway traffic.
  • The crew of the USS Stingray in Down Periscope is the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits played for comedy. In this case, they are assembled by an Admiral with a grudge against the Stingray's captain intending them to fail an exercise the Stingray was participating in. The crew of the Stingray includes a captain with a tattoo on his penis, a jittery Number Two with No Indoor Voice, a female diving officer (actually, the most normal of the group — the offbeat part is that at the time of the film women didn't serve on US Navy submarines, and she's there as a test case), a washed-out basketball player, a compulsive gambler, a sonar technician with a ridiculously good hearing (he knows what eating an Oreo sounds like), a cook with few cooking skills and noxious flatulence, an admiral's son who wants to get kicked off the boat, an electrician who ignores simple safety instructions, and a crazy old mechanic who pours scotch into the engine to boost its power.
  • Eastern Condors: The squad commanded by Tung Ming-sun is a group of criminals, losers, misfits, and psychos recruited from a military prison. They wind up behind enemy lines with no back-up and an impossible mission to complete.
  • J Squad in Edge of Tomorrow is a collection of renegades and rogues.
  • The Forbidden Kingdom: In the words of The Dragon, "an orphan girl, a lost traveler, an old drunk, and a monk who has failed at the same task for half his life... Misfits following misfits, in the hope of rescuing a misfit."
  • The Ghostbusters (as well as their Animated Adaptation equivalents The Real Ghostbusters and the Extreme Ghostbusters) are a group of losers and outcasts who wind up saving the same world that shunned them.
  • The Massachusetts 54th Infantry, a regiment of black soldiers in The American Civil War, as seen in Glory. They include a gravedigger, an escaped slave who's as dangerous to himself as anybody else, an erudite Bostonian who's a piss-poor soldier, a stutterer who can't read, and the vast majority don't know either the alphabet, or even right from left. Their excellent performance in battle was a testament to their own heart and the training of their white commanders.
  • Heroes Wanted has a group of seemingly unsuitable people recruited to be the elite special force of Spain. They are. The Minister wants them to fail so he can implicate them.
  • The Dwarves in The Hobbit. Only a few of them are actually warriors, while others range from miners to toymakers. In combat, their abilities could range from easily cutting through tough foes to ineffectively shooting at an enemy with a slingshot. Thorin, for his part, would take the group he has over a thousand trained soldiers every time — because when he called, they answered.
  • Inglourious Basterds has a lovely Reconstruction of the classic military sort. The Basterds are a bunch of Jewish-American Sociopathic Soldiers (joined by one angry Austrian Jew and one psychotic German traitor) willing to do all kinda of horrible things to the Nazis. Their quirkiness works for them, as legends sprout around them.
  • The Americans and Soviets in Iron Eagle II are an intentional example, because the mission was set up to fail.
  • The eponymous group in Kelly's Heroes. Includes Kelly (Military Maverick), Crapgame (glorified accountant), Oddball (weird proto-Beatnik tank commander), and Turk (guy who wears a fez for some reason), amongst others, teaming up to steal some Nazi Gold... without telling their superiors.
  • In The Last Castle, a convicted army general gathers up an army of inmates at a military jail. One would think his army is a Ragtag Bunch Of Misfits, but since they all used to be soldiers, they're as disciplined and well-coordinated as any official battalion.
  • Major League is basically The Bad News Bears with a Major League team. Also, unlike the Bears, the Indians win the AL East. In this case, the team was put together specifically to lose, because the owner wanted to move the team and an abysmal season would justify it. The team starts gelling when they find out about this plan and decide they want to be winners.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Avengers is pretty much "Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Superhero Edition". A billionaire celebrity technological genius, a super-soldier who has been preserved in ice since WWII, a guy with incredibly destructive Jekyll & Hyde problems who's on the run from the military, a 900-year-old alien king-slash-demigod with a spectacularly dysfunctional family life, a trained-from-birth ex-Russian assassin who used to be a villain, and another ex-assassin turned highly eccentric government agent who spends half the film Brainwashed and Crazy. Now, put them all in close-quarters under high stress on a high-tech secret government airship with the demigod's insane, world-conquering little brother, and stir.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy continues the trend, with a bunch of space-convicts with MILE LONG rap sheets who just barely qualify for anti-hero status set to take on the forces of the mad titan Thanos for profit/challenge/revenge. To put it in a nutshell for advertisement this motley crew is repeatedly stated as thus a Thief, two Thugs, an Assassin and a Maniac.
      Rhomann Dey: ...this might not be the best idea.
    • In addition to the Guardians are the Ravagers, a loose confederation of pirates and thieves united under a common interest: "Steal from everyone". Yondu's pack of Ravagers provides the trope's Image Source.
  • Lampshaded in Mortal Kombat where Sonya all but rolls her eyes at Raiden. "A handful of people on a leaky boat are gonna save the world?"
    Raiden: Exactly!
  • The titular heroes in Mystery Men certainly qualify. The Shoveler's legendary sandwich speech even calls it out:
    Shoveler: There's no use waiting for the cavalry, because as of this moment, the cavalry is us. This is our fight, whether we like it or not. Just we few. We're not your classic superheroes. We're not the favorites. We're the other guys. We're the guys nobody ever bets on.
  • In the climactic battle of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, the bad guys are the massive fleet of the East India Trading Company and the good guys are a bunch of pirates from all over the world who can barely stop fighting each other long enough to focus on something else, some Chinese mercenaries, a blacksmith's apprentice turned pirate, a society woman turned pirate, and a few people rescued from Davy Jones' Locker.
  • The Bellas from Pitch Perfect consist of a wannabe producer who was forced to join who wants to change things up, a By The Book Ice Queen, an Ambiguously Gay girl with vocal nodules, an overweight Australian, a Butch Lesbian, a girl who constantly speaks in a whisper and says very disturbing things, and a nymphomaniac.
  • Part of Power Rangers (2017)'s Darker and Edgier approach to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is moving the team from the originally well-liked goody-goods to this, as Jason was a rising football star who got in an car accident after fleeing from a prank that ended his career, left him with a limp, and resulted in him being outfitted with an ankle monitor; Kimberly is a former Alpha Bitch cheerleader who had a falling out with the team after betraying the trust of one of her friends; Billy is bullied and suffering from autism; Trini's questioning her sexuality; and Zack's constantly skipping school, taking care of his ill mother, and is afraid of her dying.'
  • Red Dawn (1984) has this with a group of teens fighting the evil Soviets.
  • The replacement Washington Sentinels in The Replacements (2000), featuring a notoriously easy-to-neutralize quarterback, a convict, an gambling addicted ex-soccer player, a sumo wrestler, two gargantuan gun-toting brothers, an outspoken Evangelical Christian with a bad knee, a deaf man, and a riot cop with serious anger management problems. Even the Sentinels' cheerleaders are a collection of bizarre performers who would never work on any other squad but pull it together for awesomeness.
  • Rim of the World: By their own admission, the movie's heroes are a nerd, a criminal, an orphan and a joke who found themselves having to save the Earth when a dying astronaut gives them the movie's MacGuffin.
  • Shaolin Soccer provides an interesting twist with a rag-tag soccer team full of washed-up Shaolin monks. Despite their shabby appearance and total lack of soccer experience, they harness martial arts superpowers to defeat the reigning champions.
  • The kids relegated to being just "Hero Support"(sidekicks) in the titular high school for superheroes, Sky High (2005). They end up saving the day when a supervillain attacks the prom.
  • The Specials bounces around this trope by showing how screwed up and barely functional they all are out of a crisis. The Strobe is trying way too hard to be The Cape and ends up being a Jerkass. The Weevil is a male edition of Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. Ms. Indestructable is cheating on her husband (The Strobe) with The Weevil because he's too busy being a cape that he treats her like a sidekick and not a life partner. Minute (as in "turns small, not 60 seconds") Man can't even get enough respect for his name to be said correctly. Mr. Smart is a socially inept genius. Alien Orphan has no social skills. US Bill is Dumb Muscle and clearly mentally disabled. Deadly Girl is trying to avert Bad Powers, Bad People, but has some issues with Power Incontinence. Power Chick is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, and Amok is an ex-supervillain trying to reform himself. Eight is the sanest of them, and they're a Hive Mind in eight different bodies. New recruit Nightbird is unprepared for the level of dysfunction she encounters but at the end, her powers of bird communication and producing weaponized eggs are a perfect fit for the team's offbeat lineup. It's directed by the same guy who later gave us the "thief, two thugs, an assassin, and a maniac" above.
    Team Motto: We're there for the oddball, the rebel, the outcast, the geek!
  • The 2009 Star Trek's reimagining of the characters verges on this: Kirk's under disciplinary review and not even supposed to be on board any ship, let alone commanding one; Scotty's been Reassigned to Antarctica; Sulu's a last-minute rookie replacement for the real pilot, who got sick. And after Nero wipes out the entire rest of the fleet, It's All Up To Them.
  • The core protagonists of the original Star Wars trilogy are a ragtag bunch of misfits In Space. Farmboy Luke, princess Leia, retired Jedi Ben, smuggler Han, fuzzball Chewie, prissy C3P0, and spunky R2D2.
    • The crew of Rogue One. Until the final battle at Scarif, only one person in the group is an actual Rebel. The rest consisted of a reprogrammed Imperial droid, a forcibly recruited criminal, an Imperial defector, and two former monks/priests turned beggars. Even during the battle, the soldiers were people from a rebellion that was an Army of Thieves and Whores.
  • The eponymous Troop Beverly Hills has a neurotic shopaholic as its leader. The girls that make up the scouts, one of whom is her own daughter, are varying degrees of Idle Rich... and so hopelessly out of their element that a rival troop laughs at the unveiling of their uniforms, in a twist on the "three-game arc."
  • In Vertical Limit, the crew assembled to go rescue the stranded climbers looks like this from the outside. A half-crazy mountain man, two slacker brothers, a woman mostly in it for the money… Subverted in that they’re all actually experienced climbers who know what they’re doing, and are crazy enough/desperate enough to mount what even they admit is a suicide mission.
  • Doug says that his faux party of groomsmen in The Wedding Ringer look like "the entire cast of The Goonies grew up and became rapists."
  • A ragtag bunch of street trash attempt a safe-crack in Welcome To Collinwood. Subverted in that these losers do lose (apart from the character Riley, played by William H. Macy, who luckily achieves his admittedly modest aims). Remake of the Italian movie I Soliti Ignoti (1958).
  • In We're the Millers, the Miller "family", assembled by David Clark, consists of David (a low-level pot dealer) as the "father", his neighbor Sarah "Rose" (a stripper) as the "mother", his neighbor Kenny (a dorky virgin) as the "son", and homeless girl Casey (a teenage runaway) as the "daughter". None of them like each other in the beginning (except for Kenny, who likes basically everybody), and they bicker constantly, but by the end, they've truly grown to care about each other and have become a real family.
  • The Wizard of Oz: A farm girl faced with something she has to do herself while only wanting to go home, a dancing scarecrow who wants a brain, a Tin Man who wants a heart and a Cowardly Lion who wants "the nerve," who find themselves having to defeat a Big Bad with absolutely no powers or talents for doing so.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Steve Trevor's gang. Sameer is a conman who loves to act more than anything, Charlie is a sniper who only cares about making people dead and loves to sing, Chief is a Native American war profiteer who finds freedom on the sidelines of the battlefield, and Steve himself is a spy. They're proud of who they are.
    Steve: May we get what we want!
    Charlie: May we get what we need!
    Sameer: But may we never get what we deserve!
  • How the CIA (and, for that matter, Charles and Moira) view the first generation of young X-Men in X-Men: First Class.


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