Does the Tropes page list this one?

I would think so, but I don’t know how to find it. It’s what I call “the prototypical group of characters” in a TV series. Can vary from 6-8 but most frequently 7. There’ll be the Main Guy, who is also the leader, unless the Leader is the Wise Older Mentor to the group. There’s the Other Guy besides the Main Guy. There’s Mutt & Jeff, the two guys who are comic relief. Two women, often the Siren and the Practical Girl a.k.a Betty and Veronica. And to round off there’s the Odd Guy Out. Often a kid, a weirdo, a villain, or (in SF) an AI. With some adjustments to fit, this formula fits a LOT of shows and movies. Seven seems to be about the average cast of characters that can be related to in a typical 1/2 -1 hour series.

Yes, but they have a different count to you - Five Man Band.

Ragtag bunch of misfits

That does fit a number of groups, but I think my version works better for larger casts. The reason I brought it up was that it seems like you very seldom see more than a core group of seven or eight characters, unless you count semi-regulars whom you see more than once but not all the time. I was trying to think of any example where you regularly saw a fairly large group of regular characters: 10-15 or even more. Other than soap operas, I think the new Battlestar Galactica comes closest.

I was trying to imagine a SF space scenerio which didn’t follow the standard plot device of either ~7 people on their own, or ~7 ranking staff aboard a vessel of scores or hundreds of anonymous redshirts. I think it would be challenging but interesting to write plots for a small vessel crewed by the equivalent of a large squad or small platoon-maybe around 15-20 people. I’m not sure how the dynamics of a group that size work out though.

My daughter is studying to be a high school reading teacher. I linked her to Reading teachers need all the help they can get connecting those JDs* with what they are teaching.

    • “JD” (juvenile delinquent) was used in a lighthearted manner. I have another daughter who is currently in her ninth semester of high school, in part to build up her reading. Of course, most junior thugs are not missing several cubic inches of their temporal lobes. In her case, I can only hope she eventually can rebuild those connections. Doctor Who and The Simpsons seem to help. Next stop, helping her to learn other things as completely as those.

It totally pisses off her sisters to watch her doing sudoku puzzles in the midst of a seizure. Sorry, girls, but that isn’t the part of her brain that’s affected. :frowning:


Do note that the five-man-band system is actually expandable up to about ten, if all the ‘associated characters’ are added on. :wink: