A team of characters build something that will pull everyone's bacon out of the fire. A montage is used to show each person exercising their specialty (usually without lines) in the pursuit of this goal.
Named after the 80's series The A-Team, which had such montage Once Per Episode. The true "A Team Montage" will often include large quantities of Stock Footage. This can lead to humorous mistakes, such as an obvious set of black hands building the superweapon, even though Mr. T's character had been captured by bad guys.
The A-Team was also famous for the apparent genius-level skills they employed during the montage; in a matter of a few minutes, the A-Team could turn six feet of PVC piping, a golf-cart, and several kilograms of semi-volatile chemicals into a heavily-armored tank. That their captors were routinely stupid enough to lock them in a warehouse full of PVC piping, golf carts and semi-volatile chemicals is not relevant to the trope, though it is an example of extreme Genre Blindness.
No real life examples, please; Real Life does not have montages.
- Film example: in the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino cult classic From Dusk till Dawn the remaining protagonists (Seth Gecko and Jacob, Scott, and Kate Fuller) perform an A-Team Montage as they jury rig a number of weapons against the vampires besieging them as they are hiding in a storage room of a biker bar.
- The remake of Dawn of the Dead features one of these as the heroes retrofit some parking shuttles, preparing to break through the zombie army that has besieged their shopping mall.
- This is used in a way in the animated film Once Upon a Forest, when the three furlings come together and use teamwork to build a flying machine using Bamboo Technology.
- Every one of the new Ocean's Eleven trilogy. Interestingly, we usually end up seeing that what they were building was merely a cover for the real con.
- The third Tremors movie features one, with characters building weapons literally off what they find in a junkyard.
- A contemporary of The A-Team, MacGyver also featured a similar montage towards the end of each show.
- The CSI shows employ this idiom frequently, as the various forensic specialists build a case.
- Mission Impossible often featured sequences where characters worked on a project without dialogue, but this was never done as montage.
- Seen occasionally in Top Gear, although the presenters being what they are to each other, it seldom goes smoothly.
- Lampshaded in the Vietnam special, where James May actually hums the theme to The A-Team during the A-Team Montage of the presenters modifying their motorbikes into watercraft.
- In the Reliant Robin review, Clarkson "cues the music", only for it to stop suddenly when he drives the front wheel straight into the inspection pit of the garage.
- In the working script for the Firefly episode "Heart of Gold," the scene where Mal and his crew prepare their literal Army of Thieves and Whores is described with "A-Team-style 'getting shit done' music plays under this."
- The pilot episode of The IT Crowd uses this - with the A-Team music included as a Brick Joke since Denholm had mentioned the A-Team earlier when telling the IT Department how much he loved teams.
- Mass Effect 2 features something like this in its finale. First each of the 3 main ship upgrades are shown doing their job in various ways to protect the crew getting to the enemy base, if you missed one then it won't fulfill its role. Then throughout the final mission you're given the chance to pick different people to perform different jobs and treated to a cutscene of them either performing it perfectly or messing up and letting someone die. The best ending is a picture perfect montage interspersed with gameplay, showing each of the chosen teammembers doing what they do best to keep everyone alive.