Quirky Miniboss Squad

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An ensemble of Elite Mooks more developed than faceless Mooks but not as developed as the Five-Bad Band. Occasionally The Dragon or other major villain is actually part of the team, and will be the official or unofficial leader. The actual competency of this group varies widely.

This group is typified by an overarching design theme, but also an individual quirky personality to each which may seem oddly familiar. They are allowed to act funnier than The Dragon. They mainly provide a distraction to the heroes until the real plot kicks in. The Big Bad has little qualms with killing them off if they fail consistently, possibly because their jobs often entail a bare minimum of intelligence needed. Some groups are filled with backbiting and betrayal, with the occasional Minion Shipping. Occasionally, one or two of the bunch will have a change of heart, and do a Heel Face Turn. That person is almost always a loner to the rest of the group anyway, especially if they become the Sixth Ranger.

If the heroes defeat their Dragon and their Big Bad, some or all of them may survive. They usually don't stick around in-show after that, but if they do, they may become the Terrible Trio or a bunch of Sixth Rangers.

See also Terrible Trio (incompetent Quirky Miniboss Squad, althought may be made a threat with Team Rocket Wins), Goldfish Poop Gang (a sillier recurring enemy independent of the Big Bad), and Standard Evil Organization Squad (a larger and more serious version). Contrast Co-Dragons for a situation where multiple characters split the Dragon role, but don't necessarily work together the way a Quirky Miniboss Squad would and are usually treated more seriously.

Contrast The Family for the Whole Family.

Examples of Quirky Miniboss Squad include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Digimon Frontier had the Five Evil Legendary Warriors, henchmen of the first Cherubimon. Oh, what a distraction they were, until the Royal Knights show up.
  • Sailor Moon had a set of these guys every season (in order of appearance: Shitennou, Ayakashi Sisters, Witches 5, Amazon Trio, Amazones Quartet, and Sailor Animamates). Many of these groups were made up of colour-coded evil counterparts of the Four Guardians (Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako). In the manga, the Witches 5 were even resurrected JUST to kill the senshi they copied!
  • Futari wa Pretty Cure (including spinoffs Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash* Star and Yes! Precure 5) has a cadre of mid-level badguys every plot line, one of which usually ends up becoming The Dragon.
  • Kannazuki no Miko had the "Necks of Orochi", whose appearances parodied stock characters in anime. (As an aside, there were faceless mooks in the manga, but they never made an appearance in the anime.)
  • The "Dreaded" Ginyu Force from Dragon Ball Z, as seen in the page image. To be fair, before Goku comes along and shows them that My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours, they don't have much trouble trouncing the rest of the group.
    • Their Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune from Dragon Ball Kai makes them even quirkier, since between Bragging Theme Tune lyrics, Captain Ginyu croons "We're gonna have parfaits with lunch/And you can't have one!"
    • The Spice Boys from the Garlic Junior Saga. Though, they might be considered Mooks.
    • The Ginyu Force get even quirkier in Dragon Ball Abridged.
      • "And they're all INCREDIBLY FLAMBOYANT!"
      • Lampshaded and parodied in the Lord Slug Abridged movie; when Piccolo comes face-to-face with Slug's three top henchmen, he casually asks them what their gimmick is, noting that the last bunch he fought (in Christmas Tree of Might) were all misfit minions. His bored reaction as they list their gimmicks makes it plain he's seen it all before.
  • Sand Land: One of Akira Toriyama's more obscure works. It featured The Swimmers as a sort of nicer Ginyu Expy squad.
  • Outlaw Star had the Anten Seven, who were played almost exactly the same as the Gung-Ho Guns.
  • Speaking of the Gung-Ho Guns, They're enemies of Vash the Stampede in Trigun led by Legato, though in a twist in the original manga, some actually have humanizing connections with him.
  • Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo features the various blocks and divisions of the Hair Hunters, which included in their ranks everything from robots to martial artists to Talking Animals to animated objects. Sometimes the objects aren't animated at all. There was an ordinary stick of gum in their ranks at some point. Ironicaly the gum actually won its fight. (By getting eaten, but it still counts.)
  • In Bleach, almost all Gotei 13 squads introduced in the Soul Society arc fall under this trope, but essentially, in terms of pure, utter quirkiness, the 11th squad stands on top.
    • Another example pops up later on with the former Espada, Nel Tu and her Fraccion. Extenuating circumstances involving another Espada transformed Nel into a little girl and she fled along with her Fraccion to live in the desert outside Aizen's keep, where they formed a little miniboss squad with a Hollow worm thing that they adopted as a pet, complete with a team pose and a quirky name, though they can't actually decide on a name between them.
    • Bleach also has Ichigo's sisters' Sentai squad, the "Karakura Superheroes" (who similarly can't seem to decide on the colors), and it appears that Kon and the three new modsouls from the Bount arc have formed yet another. That makes 16 quirky miniboss squads; Bleach, after all, has Loads and Loads of Characters..
    • A few of the Espada each have their own Quirky Miniboss Squad, particularly Grimmjow, Harribel, and Baraggan.
  • The Goth Loli sisters from The Wallflower.
  • The Hyper-Zoanoid Five in Guyver. Of course, they barely fought the Guyver himself, and instead were targets for Aptom, who took down four out of five and even was able to get a sample of Zxtole's genetics.
  • The Homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist beneath "Father" (in the manga) or Dante (in the anime). Going a step below that, one of the Homunculi, Greed, has his very own mini-miniboss squad with his chimera henchmen (and henchwoman).
  • The Dark Lovers and Michel's winged servants in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch.
  • The Fearsome Four in Corrector Yui.
  • The Juppongatana in Rurouni Kenshin, almost all of whom have some underlying motive for helping Shishio and tragic back stories. The Six Comrades from later in the manga, however, are just Pyschos For Hire.
  • The Genei Ryodan in Hunter X Hunter.
  • Ashram's followers (Groder, Gaberra, Smeddy, Gilram, and Astar) from Record of Lodoss War. They were also Evil Counterparts to the heroes: Ashram for Parn, Groder for Slayn, Gaberra for Leylia, Smeddy and Gilram for Shiris and Orson, and Astar for Deedlit.
  • The Numbers Combat Cyborgs of Jail Scaglietti in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS.
    • The Wolkenritter before them, in A's.
  • Naruto is full of these. The Sound Four (which has Kimimaro as its Dragon), the Sound Three, the Sand Three are some examples, and just about every sub-arc of the Dreaded Filler Arc has one.
    • Akatsuki is more of a Four Bad Band (Tobi/Madara, Pein, Konan, Itachi) plus Quirky Miniboss Squad (Kisame, Deidara, Sasori, Hidan, Kakuzu).
      • Really they're more several pairs of Those Two Bad Guys (Deidara/Sasori, Kisame/Itachi and Kakuzu/Hidan) a Big Bad and his Dragon (Pein and Konan, though not really) and the remaining odd ones out (Tobi and Zetsu the REAL Big Bad and Dragon).
  • The Four Divine Beast Kings (Thymilph, Adiane, Guame, Cytomander) from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Pasder's Four Machine Kings (Polonaise, Primada, Pizza, Penchinon) from GaoGaiGar.
    • The members of the 31 Primevals who possess human bodies become one for a short time. Final has the 11 Masters of Sol, though half of them are arguably a subversion. While set up with the fanfare of a quirky miniboss squad, they never reveal a personality, voice, or even a face. They are a shadow shaped like a miniboss squad.
  • Diva's chevaliers from Blood Plus with Amshel as The Dragon.
  • In One Piece, almost every villain's named henchmen qualify as a quirky miniboss squad, with some Psycho Rangers thrown in. At first, they're always one miniboss to fight every crew member. As the crew has grown, this has been abandoned, and instead the minibosses have become so powerful than it may take two or three Strawhats just to beat one of them.
    • In fact, One Piece villains as a whole rely on quirky miniboss squads more than mooks.
  • Gon Jem and his Shitennou in Metal Armor Dragonar. You don't get any quirkier in a Real Robot anime. Their weirdness does not keep them from being more than a match to the heroes in more than one occasion.
  • Samurai Deeper Kyo has several such groups. Perhaps most stunning is the fact that the protagonist and title character, Kyo himself has his own Quirky Miniboss Squad, the Shiseiten (translated as the Four Emperors in the american release). Also present are Sanada Yukimura's Sanada Ten and Nobunaga's Twelve God Shoguns. The primary villains of the series, the Mibu clan have several of squads of their own, the primary two being the Five Stars and the Four Elders. It gets even more complicated, however, when it is revealed that each of the four elders has his/her own Quirky Miniboss Squad, referred to as the Imperial Guards.
  • In a similar case to Kyo Dark Schneider of Bastard!! is also a protagonist with his own Quirky Miniboss Squad (The Four Riders of Havoc). In addition said minibosses have their own minibosses (Especially Kal Su, who commands 13 Generals with their own quirks).And there's also the various high ranking Angels and Demons.
  • Inuyasha arguably has a number of these, including The Band of Seven and Kanna and Kagura, sometimes with Kohaku, Hakudōshi, and / or Akago.
  • Berserk has two: The Bakiraka from the Golden Age arc, Proud Warrior Race Guys who are ordered to stop the Five-Man Band and the group of deformed torturers from the Albion arc, who are Improbable Weapon Users who receive demonic powers and are completely devoted to Mozgus, the Big Bad of that arc. The Bakiraka are killed by Guts and co while Guts completely defeats the torturers by himself.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has the Eight Fists of Ragnarok. Or at least six of them, since the Big Bad and The Dragon (Odin & Berserker) were the First and Second Fists respectively. Somewhat inverted, as each of the Fists were individually more developed overall than Berserker was. Also, five of the eight (excluding the Big Bad, The Dragon, and The Starscream) eventually pulled a Heel Face Turn down the line.
    • Actually around chapter 340 or so, it's revealed that Nijima somehow got Loki to gather info for him, so it's currently 6 out of 8 fists now. And the jury's still out on whether Odin is still entirely loyal to his master.
    • Then, after the Ragnarok arc, we have Yami and YOMI, which both have Quirky Miniboss Squads. Yami has a leading group called "One Shadow Nine Fists", where "Shadow One" is The Faceless Big Bad and the "nine fists" are his Quirky Miniboss Squad. The organization of Yami's disciples, YOMI, also has its own Quirky Miniboss Squad which consists of those who are the disciples of "One Shadow Nine Fists".
  • Rave Master was chock full of these. Odds are if a main baddie is introduced, his squad wasn't too far behind.
  • Fairy Tail often has Quirky Minibos Squads. The Paradise Tower arc pulls a bait and switch which introduces one squad of baddies who are easily trounced—but then brings out a much more serious bunch.
    • Later we're given the Raijinshu ( Laxus's team) and the Seven Kin of Purgatory from Grimmore Heart. Element Four of Phantom Lord would also qualify.
    • More correctly, every arc from the Lullaby arc and forward actually has a Quirky Miniboss Squad.
      • Karacke, Rayule, Byard and Kageyama from Eisenwald in the Lullaby arc.
      • Yuuka, Toby and Sherry from Lamia Scale in the Galuna Island arc.
      • Element Four (Juvia, Totomaru, Sol and Aria) in the Phantom Lord arc.
      • Firstly Erza's childhood friends (Wally, Millianna, Simon and Shou), then Trinity Raven (Fukurou, Ikaruga and Vivaldus) in the Tower of Paradise arc.
      • Raijinshu (Evergreen, Bickslow and Fried) in the Fighting Festival arc.
      • Oracion Seis except for their leader (Angel, Racer, Hoteye, Midnight and Cobra) in the Nirvana arc.
      • The Royal Army (Pantherlily, Knightwalker, Hughes, Sugarboy and Byro) in the Edolas arc.
      • The Seven Kin of Purgatory (Ultear, Zancrow, Kain, Azuma, Rustyrose, Meredy and Zoldeo) in the S-Class Trial arc.
  • Bat, Buruge and Kite from Ginga Densetsu Weed.
  • Shaman King's Lily Five team. There were also Hao's minions. Despite having such members as a mariachi and a football player, they were all legitimately dangerous. It ends up being quite surprising when members who were closer to mook status turn out to have been Hero Killers who had been holding back. Especially the mariachi.
  • Innocent Venus has the Phantom unit, complete with a knife-licker and a Chinese man who kills people with rather sharp tarot cards.
  • Mirumo de Pon!: The Warumo Dan become one of these to Dark and Akumi.
  • The Four Chief Vassals of the King organization in Fist of the North Star, which consist of Spade, Diamond, Club, and Heart. Heart serves as The Dragon, being the only member of the group who provides a seemingly genuine threat to Kenshiro's martial art skills.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has Fate's group of partners, who start popping up in the Magic World. Unfortunately for them, they have a rather nasty habit of running into Jack Rakan.
  • In D Gray Man, the Noah Family.
  • The Barbarois in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.
  • Athrun, Yzak, Dearka and Nicol in Gundam Seed. Although if they are on the good or bad side is a matter of perception. One ends up dying, and two join up with the 'good guys'.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has the Big Five in the Virtual World arc.
    • And also the three Swordsmen from the Doma arc
  • Eyeshield 21 had this in the form of the Cyborgs and the Scorpions. Shinryuuji also had its own within their team who were shout outs to Journey of the West.
    • This trope was also deconstructed with the Chameleons and the Guts, as both quirky teams trained incredibly hard only to be curb Stomped early in the tournament.
  • Ayumi Mizuchi's Four Devas from Sukeban Deka.
  • The four retainers of the KING gang from Fist of the North Star: Spade, Diamond, Club and Mr. Heart.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The Beagle Boys in the Scrooge McDuck comics and DuckTales.
  • Before he lent his name to a summer blockbuster, The Fallen created one in the second volume of Transformers: The War Within. Decepticon mystics Bludgeon, Mindwipe, and Bugly were given vague mystical power upgrades and charged with gathering a team of (seemingly arbitrary) Transformers so that The Fallen could attempt to summon Unicron.
  • Manute in Sin City had a QMBS with him in Big Fat Kill which consisted of a midget, a wise-cracking Neo-Nazi, and an old guy who can make people feel pain just by touching them. The Irish mercs from the same story might also count.
  • The League of Evil Exs from Scott Pilgrim.
  • In the Sonic The Hedgehog comics, there's the Destructix - composed of Lightning Lynx, Sergeant Simian, Predator Hawk, Flying Frog, Drago Wolf, and Sleuth Dawg - a group of incompetents who have worked for various Big Bads over the years, usually getting their butts kicked in the process. Recently, Drago left to work for Dr. Eggman and Sleuth retired, handing control over to Fiona FOX, who apparently has big plans in the works (which so far consist of breaking her boyfriend Scourge out of prison so that he can take charge of the gang).
    • Recently, Dr. Eggman got a new group of enforcers in the form of the Metal Series—a group of Evil Knockoffs of several of the main heroes, led by the recently roboticized Mecha Sally.


Film[edit | hide]

  • The hyenas in The Lion King.
  • The Weasels from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
  • Clarence Boddicker's squad of eccentric master criminals in RoboCop.
  • Lock, Shock and Barrel, the psychotic trick-or-treating kids in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Did I mention they get one of the coolest, most sadistic songs ever?
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera has the Largo siblings: Luigi, Pavi, and Amber Sweet.
  • In Mystery Men: Casanova Frankenstein's allied gangs, each sharing their own quirky theme.
  • Despite not having a big bad commanding them, the gangs from The Warriors the titled gang has to go through before reaching the safe haven of their territory.
  • The Gang of Four in The Story of Ricky.
  • In Masters of the Universe, the mercenary team hired by Skeletor to track down He-Man on Earth.
  • The Bloodpack in Blade 2, an elite group of vampire warriors formed to hunt down Blade. Ironically, they're only introduced to team up with Blade against the Big Bad. Ultimately some of them remain villains throughout the shaky alliance.
  • The Tremor Bros. of the Smokin' Aces series.
  • Top Dollar's gang from The Crow are all pretty quirky. Oddly enough, they were the ones responsible for the rape and murder or Eric's girlfriend as well as his own murder. We soon find out that Top Dollar was ultimately responsible for their actions leading to a climatic battle with the real Big Bad.
  • The US Marshals in The Fugitive until the end.
  • The Three Storms from Big Trouble in Little China.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Subversion: The Discworld book The Last Hero briefly features a Quirky Miniboss Squad as the henchmen of Evil Harry Dread. As a traditional Evil Overlord, Harry has deliberately chosen the squad for stupidity, and they kill themselves in battle almost immediately.
  • In the Whateley Universe, Big Bad The Necromancer has put together a monster-themed gang called the Children of the Night. His Dragon Lycanthros is part of this gang, as well as Lady Darke, Nightgaunt, the Arch-Fiend, and the youngest and snarkiest of the group: Vamp. As of their second appearance, we learn that - in classic tradition for this trope - Vamp has been forced to join the gang and has been betraying them since before their first appearance.
  • Wheel of Time: The Forsaken. They are only rarely played for laughs, but then, very little in this series is. There are 13 of them, and each served the Dark One for their own reasons. Ishamael was probably the only one who believes in the Dark One's agenda of destroying the world for all time; as for the rest, Asmodean did it because he wanted to be immortal, and some others joined because they were criminals, or in revenge for slights real or imagined by the Dragon (not to be confused with The Dragon). When the series began they were believed to be the most powerful channelers of all time, but after a few books we learn that some modern characters are on par with them or even stronger. In fact, they were just those of the Dark One's servants who happened to be with him when the Dragon sealed him away, and by now most of them have been killed. (And some have been brought back.) A lot of them were killed with surprise attacks, or by using an Artifact of Doom and the higher-level Forsaken (Ishamael, Lanfear, Demandred, and to a lesser extent Sammael, Semirhage, and Graendal) are far, far stronger than anyone else (and most of the others are less dangerous not because they're weak but because they suffer from Crippling Overspecialization, Evil Cannot Comprehend Good, and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, which the heroes quickly learn to exploit). For example, Ishamael/Moridin can sense both Saidin and Saidar, while no-one else can sense his channeling.
  • Dragonlance: The Faceless Brethren from theTaladas Trilogy act as this, though their quirks are of the darkest sort and they are in no way amusing. In his backstory, Maladar had another one called the Seven Swords, but he killed them all in a fit of paranoia millennia ago.
  • Deltora Quest has the monsters guarding each of the gemstones. In order, they are a Black Knight, a giant carnivorous angler fish (who oddly enough has a taste for fine music), a giant three headed snake demon, a golem made entirely out of human skulls, a frog demon that oozes a powerful poison (the same poison the Big Bad's mooks use, in fact), a giant Extreme Omnivore slug demon, and finally a possessed illusionist who keeps demonic dogs as pets.
  • Ten Who Were Taken called Taken for short - basically they are abovementioned Wheel of Time's Forsaken, only living up to their reputation. One of their most characteristic traits is that they do what their name implies - Soulcatcher steals souls, Limper limps, Howler howls, Shapeshifter changes shapes, Stormbringer controls storm and so on. Their other characteristic trait is that they're very hard to kill.
    • Later in the series, another one shows up- the Shadowmasters. They're not quite as dangerous, both because there's only four of them and their leader Longshadow is a paranoid nutcase who isn't nearly as good at keeping them in line as the Dominator and later the Lady were for the Taken, but they're still leaps and bounds beyond almost anyone else. It's eventually revealed that one of the Shadowmasters, Stormshadow, was actually the Taken Stormbringer, giving her the dubious distinction of being the only person to be on both groups.
  • The Death Eaters from Harry Potter.
  • The Brave Companions/Bloody Mummers from A Song of Ice and Fire are a twisted Crapsack World version of this trope.
  • Several show up in Warrior Cats:
    • Brokenstar's rogues, who show up several times for scraps against the heroes.
    • The BloodClan warriors under Scourge's command, who each have a few personality quirks and hang around in the manga arcs.
    • The Dark Forest warriors, who exist to flesh out the Dark Forest and serve as climactic fights during The Last Hope.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Strike Team on The Shield follow this mold, as far as the characters Shane Vendrell, Ronnie Gardocki, and Curtis "Lem" Lemansky serving as a quirky miniboss team for Vic Mackey. Indeed, by the end of the series, Shane murders Lem while Ronnie and Shane end up hating each other, right down to Ronnie keeping Vic from calling off a scheme to kill Shane.
  • Most Power Rangers seasons feature a Quirky Miniboss Team for the big bad, who often (depending on the whims of the writers and the sentai source material) either die, reform, disappear off the face of the Earth, or manage to escape justice by the end of the season.
  • In WWE, the Spirit Squad acted as a Quirky Miniboss Squad in the Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon/D-generation X vs. McMahon Family feud.
    • There was also Shane McMahon's buddies, the Mean Street Posse.
    • This is pretty much what The Nexus was any time Wade Barrett wasn't there to lead them
      • Same thing now that CM Punk is in charge of The Nexus and Wade Barrett's leading the Corre.
  • Tomica Hero Rescue Force has Maare, Saan and Shiika who work solo for the first few episodes but later start working as the Quirky Miniboss Squad for Daen and later his daughter Maen.
    • Rescue Fire has a similar setup with Chukaen, Sakaen and Ukaen who work as the Quirky Miniboss Squad of Don Kaen.
  • Witchiepoo's henchmen: Orson Vulture, Seymour Spider, and Stupid Bat
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glory had a small following of grovelling servants who, for the most part, served no purpose other than to elevate her ego. On the one occasson they did try to be constructive, they were beaten down by Buffy's superior man-handling skills.
    • There's also The Troika. Though not members of any larger dominant unit, they form their own Quirky Miniboss Squad, who's sole purpose is to enslave Buffy and force her into a life of servitude. However, their 'devilish' schemes are constantly thwarted, ending more often than not in pain and humiliation. Being geeks, they are probably consciously emulating this trope.
  • In the French Canadian Tv series "Les rescapés (The survivors)", the followers of the evil priest Chabanel serve as a quirky miniboss squad, each with their own distinctive personality quirk. Viateur is extremely violent and Trigger Happy, Jean-Luc is cowardly and keeps going through the Heel Face Revolving Door, and Marguerite is the most mysterious, but also the most competent. When Viateur died, his role was taken over by a previously nameless monk.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Command Squads and HQ choices with retinues can come across this way—particularly for players who assign personalities to the characters.
    • Encouraged for Space Wolves players, where they not only have tons of named units, but also encourage the player to make their own characters with distinct personalities, plus the special rule that allows them to pick two HQ units for one HQ slot, meaning one can go to war with a large group of infantry choices and put two rune priests in a HQ slot and still have room for more HQ units like a wolf lord or one of the named HQ choices if you spend your points right.
    • The Grey Knights' Paladins have statistics equal to most HQ choices, having an almost identical statline as a Librarian in Terminator Armor and having just as much equipment choices. They can be taken in as few as 1 to as many as 10. Another character can allow them to be taken as Troops, effectively allowing you to field a miniboss squad as an army. To a lesser extent, Terminator armies (Deathwing, Loganwing) are also this, as Terminators are often elite unit choices.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • God Hand's Mad Midget Five, a team of 5 midget Power Rangers with themes based around the suits of cards, led by Joker. Unlike most other Quirky Miniboss Squads, they are actually quite tough like all the other bosses in that game.
  • The Dark Knights in Tactics Ogre. Despite that most of them really aren't that quirky, some like Barbas do have a tendency to show off how powerful their discovery of a "gun" is only to shoot one of their own men.
  • Final Fantasy IV: Sandy, Cindy and Mindy (Japanese: Dog, Mag and Rag), the Magus Sisters.
  • The Turks, a subdivision of the Shinra corporation, from Final Fantasy VII are a classic example.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII Raijin and Fujin, Seifer's two sidekicks with their funny speech patterns. Raijin ends every sentence with "ya know?", (including a moment of silence in the beginning of the game). Fujin uses one to two word phrases, and speaks in ALL CAPS.
    • It's a plot point when, near the end of the third disk, Fujin speaks normally and asks you to bring the Seifer they know back. It was sorta touching.
  • The Four Guardians from the Mega Man Zero games, who each lead a specific section of the Neo Arcadian army. Harpuia leads the airborne division, Fefnir the ground troops, Leviathan the navy, and Phantom the stealth units and intelligence division.
  • The Hell Hounds in the Galaxy Angel gameverse, although they're much more serious (and creepy) in the manga.
  • The Axem Rangers of Super Mario RPG, who are a Five-Bad Band parody of Power Rangers/Super Sentai.
  • Solt and Peppor from Chrono Cross. They appear at seemingly arbitrary points in the game, their appearances never move the plot forward, and they are so much weaker then the party during their later appearance that they begin to border on Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain status.
    • That is until they call out their superior, Karsh, for the murder of Dario, and actually do get serious. This fight is completely optional, and they actually make credible threats in this go around. They're still not That One Boss or even hard, but they're not a free win, either.
    • During one (and only one) appearance in one of the many alternate story paths, they even have a third member- the hulking Ketchop, who to their dismay started using Solt and Peppor as weapons.
    • And then there's the Dragoon Devas, consisting of Karsch (with betrayal issues), Marcy (get your ass kicked by a 9-year-old Tyke Bomb), and Zoah (hulking giant behind a mask). They at least join the party after a while.
    • Magus' three "sidekicks" from Chrono Trigger: Ozzie, Slash, and Flea.
      • Of course, Magus himself might count, seeing how you have to fight him at least once in your quest to kill Lavos, and he even pulls a Heel Face Turn in one of the routes.
  • The Minions of Saruin from Romancing SaGa. However they are not as quirky or bumbling like other minions in other games, since everything bad that has happened was because of their actions. You actually have to end up fighting all 3 in the final dungeon in the original SNES Version, but in the PlayStation 2 Remake you only had to fight one, however if you defeated all 3 in the final dungeon, then you have the same results as the SNES version
  • The fighting polygon/wireframe/alloy Teams from the Super Smash Bros. series.
  • Star FOX 64 had Star Wolf, a group of four pilots in ships that were identical to your team's; if you defeated them, they came back later as cyborgs with improved ships on the hard route (even if you didn't take the path where you fight them normally first.
    • They also appear in the pretty much same way in Assault and Command, but with 2 of the original members gone and only one replacement, and with a dose of Defeat Means Friendship (sorta).
      • They also get a triple dose of Ascended Extra. They essentially have more personality and actually have character.
  • Final Fantasy IX had court jesters Zorn and Thorn, who later turned out to be less "quirky" and more freaky as shit.
    • It also had the Black Waltz, a trio of elite Black Mages.
  • The Inspectors from Super Robot Wars 3 and Original Generation 02 except for their leader Wendolo is protrayed this way, they even argue who is the leader of the four minor Inspectors.
    • The Machinery Children in Alpha Gaiden and Original Generation 02 are another instance of this.
  • The Elements from Xenogears. Much of their quirkiness is due to the interplay between ditzy Seraphita and Robot Girl Tolone, and Hot-Blooded Dominia and The Stoic Kelvena.
  • All the Metal Gear Solid games have their own distinctive Quirky Miniboss Squad, FOXHOUND, Dead Cell, the Cobras, FOX, and The Beauty and the Beast Corps in order of appearance. Of course, being Metal Gear Solid they are portrayed relatively realistically, at least compared to other examples, replacing "Quirky" with "Homicidal", "Batshit Insane" and "Nightmare Fuel". The Game Boy Color side-story Ghost Babel had a particularly good one, Black Chamber, based on rejected concept art for the design of FOXHOUND. Metal Gear Acid 2 has the Three Test Subjects (oddly enough, the first Metal Gear Acid didn't have one).
  • The Prism Rangers in the Disgaea series.
  • The Black Fang from Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword. And inside of it, the Four Fangs ( one of its members, Jaffar, will go under a Heel Face Turn and join your group).
    • The Fire Emblem series in general has used this trope in every game since Binding Blade, possibly earlier. Most of these squads have three or four members; of those, one is often recruitable, and one is often fought either in the endgame or the chapter right before it.
  • The four bosses from the Duelhorn storyline in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 appear to be pretty much this, but you never fight them together and they actually overthrow their superiors (that you never meet) at the end.
  • E-101 Beta, E-103 Delta, E-104 Epsilon and E-105 Zeta from Sonic Adventure (with a remodeled Beta as The Dragon). E-102 "Gamma" has a Heel Face Turn and decides to rebel against his robot brothers.
    • Technically, he's liberating them. Oh sure, it looks like he's blowing them up, but only to free the captured animal inside!
  • Nana, Saki and Mio in Grandia.
  • Ape Escape: The Freaky Monkey Five fits this to a tee.
  • World of Warcraft has the Four Horsemen from Naxxramas; they fight as a group but are very distinct from each other. Mograine is aggressive and martial, Lady Blaumeux is cruel and bloodthirsty, Thane Korth'azz insults the players, and Sir Zeliek is a good guy acting against his own will. They have arguments as the players approach, and each have their own comments and quips during the battle. In Wrath of the Lich King, Mograine is replaced by Baron Rivendare from Stratholme, who has pretty much the same role and personality.
  • Skies of Arcadia's Admirals perform this role, forming bosses yet being completely pointless to the story, with a few notable exceptions.
  • Cave Story's Balrog and Misery are a two-critter Quirky Miniboss Squad. Balrog fits this trope to a T, getting no respect, showing limited intelligence, and generally being amusing to the point of likeability. Misery fills the role of the Dragon squad-leader. You may think this doesn't add up to an entire squad, but Balrog is more than ample enough to make up for it...
  • Pokémon Ranger has the Go-Rock Quads.
    • The sequel Shadows of Almia also has the Sinis Trio.
    • Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness also has the Hexagon Brothers.
    • Pokémon Yellow features Jessie and James from the anime series.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni has the Seven Sisters of Purgatory, a team of red-eyed Ms Fanservices with Names to Run Away From Really Fast, each representing one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Although they commit numerous murders, they're also just playful sisters that later are summoned by the protagonist's sister, Ange, as her only remaining friends. One of them lets the protagonist chase her around for stealing his breakfast, so "quirky" is a good word for it. They also like to smother Maria's stuffed lion-turned-Cute Shotaro Boy Sakutaro.
    • Later on we get the Siestas.
      • And then the Eiserne Jungfrau show up.
  • Wild ARMs 1 has the Quarter Knights (Belselk/Berserk, Alhazad, Lady Harken, and Zeikfried/Siegfried), who play with this trope a bit. Belselk is killed off early on in the game, only to be replaced by Boomerang. Also, when the Big Bad that they are trying to revive ends up wanting to destroy the world rather than conquer it, they betray her. Even after Mother revives herself and possesses Zeikfried, they still remain a prominent threat, rather than becoming a Goldfish Poop Gang. In fact, Zeikfried defies all odds and ends up surviving Mother's possession to become the final boss.
  • The NES version of Ninja Gaiden has the Malice Four, while Ninja Gaiden II has the Demon Clan and Ninja Gaiden III has the Four Great Beasts.
  • Xenosaga has the Testaments, a group of cloaked figures which are actually people who died, but were revived by Wilhelm
  • City of Heroes has several, including Lord Recluse and his lackeys, and also their lackeys, who being supervillains have plenty of natural quirks.
  • Touhou Project tends to have single bosses rather than squads, but the Prismriver Sisters probably fall into this trope.
    • Touhou fanworks also have "Team 9" led by Cirno, who are always getting into some manner of mischief or another.
  • Cannon Dancer has the Teki ("Barbarians"), a group of three elite warriors. Kirin, their former ally, battles each of them throughout the game (the order being determined by a pair of branching paths), then all at once in the final stage in a formation they call, "Die Rudeltaktik."
  • In the King of Fighters, you have the Four Heavenly Kings of the Hakkesshu, headed by Leopold Goenitz, The Dragon to Orochi. Subverted in the character of Ryuji Yamasaki, in that he is a member of the Hakkesshu, but couldn't care less about Orochi.
  • Ys IV(both versions) has the Clan of Darkness, V has the three mages, and VI has the Fairies, who fight alongside Ernst in the penultimate battle.
  • In Advance Wars games from Black Hole Rising and onwards, the Big Bad of the evil faction usually has one of these. Black Hole Rising has Sturm employing Flak, Lash, Adder and Hawke (with Hawke being The Dragon) and Dual Strike has Von Bolt employing Jugger, Koal and Kindle, with Lash and Hawke returning from the former game (Kindle is The Dragon this time around). And they are very quirky. In Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict there are two 'evil' sides and each of them are too small to truly count one of these as part of their number.
  • The Mega Man Legends series has two sets. The first game introduced the Bonne family (Teisel, Tron, and their baby brother Bon) and their Servbots, and its direct sequel added a pair of Sky Pirates named Bola and Klaymoor.
  • The MARDEK series has the World's Saviours, a second group of adventurers.
  • Mega Man Battle Network 6 had Yuika's Lovelies The Justice Club The Cloudy Bombers the three minions who defected from WWW and can't agree on a new team name. The Darkloids (BlizzardMan, ShadeMan, CloudMan, and CosmoMan) from Battle Network 5 also qualify, though each of them works alone most of the time (and they didn't really provide any comic relief).
  • In the first Tomb Raider game, Jaqueline Natla's squad consist of a stoic black man, a cowboy, an inbred Texan and a gun toting skater boy.
    • In Tomb Raider: Anniversary, this same squad is ressurected, though they aren't half as quirky, and nowhere near as amusing.
  • The Kuvasz Special Operations team in Solatorobo, consisting of Totally Radical Kaluha, The Comically Serious Gren and Femme Fatale Operá.
  • Sly Cooper & Sly 2
  • Many of the Disney villains from the Kingdom Hearts series may qualify, becoming the complete focus of Sora and co. until the current incarnation of Xehanort makes his appearance.


Web Comics[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • An odd example is the Tennessee Valley Killer's posse, made up of a cow doctor who bred roosters for illegal fighting, and one guy who wanted to eat said roosters. Their case was dramatized in an episode of radio drama Gangbusters! on April 6, 1958, "Tennessee Triggermen".
  • The turn-of-the-century "Molasses Gang." They got their name because one of their favorite crimes was to all go into a shop and hold out a really big hat and tell the shopkeep they had a bet as to how much molasses the hat would hold. He'd agree to fill it as full as he could, then with a quick move they'd clap it over his head, covering his eyes, and while he struggled to get it off, they'd make off with whatever they were after. Supposedly they also once got bored during a bank robbery and left without the money.
  • The upper ranks of the Nazi Party might count: Hitler, Himmler, Goebbels, Goering, Hess, Heydrich, Speer, etc.
  • Napoleon had his twenty-six Marshals who were the most powerful military and political figures in his empire and varied widely in competence from guys like Massena and D'avout who probably could have taken over the world themselves if they weren't sharing time with Napoleon down to borderline incompetents like Victor and Grouchy. There was also his main diplomat, Talleyrand.