Token Good Teammate

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Sarda: You are all evil monsters who need to die for the good of everybody else.
Black Mage: Wait, even Fighter?
Sarda: Except Fighter.
Fighter: Yay!
Sarda: He's a casualty.

Black Mage: (as Fighter pouts) Yay!

A Token Evil Teammate is someone in the team whose lesser principles stick out like a sore thumb. A Token Good Teammate is someone whose greater principles do the same. A typical example might be a Justified Criminal forced to go native among real criminals, perhaps because of deliberate persecution or simple error by The Government.

Despite his high moral standards, he need not be The Heart for the party, as he may not be interfering with their questionable activities. Though he can be, reminding the others (or teaching them for the first time) that there is more at stake than money, power or personal vendettas. Alternately, he may be someone who simply holds himself aloof from the "debauchery" of other party members. In extreme examples, he may become The Scrappy In-Universe as he tries to foist his ideas on others, becoming a terribly annoying Commander Contrarian.

He will likely have struggles between loyalty to the True Companions and his conscience, creating inner conflict and conflict with his teammates, but sometimes a Token Good Teammate can also inspire the team to rise above themselves by the idealism they show.

If both he and the Token Evil Teammate are in the same party (and you know authors won't want to miss the chance) there will be at least one huge display of verbal fireworks per episode, lots of almost (and actual) Lets You And Him Fights, and perhaps an eventual Vitriolic Best Buds.

Alternatively, though, a Token Good Teammate can be found amongst a group of dastardly villains, in order for the show to make sure that the antagonist side does not go too black in terms of morality. Perhaps this character shows restraint in doing atrocious evil, or is forced against his/her own will to be a bad guy (due to a hostage or some other leverage held by the bad guys, for example), or has other goals that are noble, but require him/her to be on the bad guys' side, or is merely just following orders from the higher ups that he/she has sworn loyalty to (high honor standards can cause such). This character has a high chance to become a sympathetic Anti-Villain that the audience can root for. They may also be the Team Face by virtue of not being an asshole. The other members will trust him more than each other and have him talk to the Muggles when needed.

Compare Token Wholesome. Related to the Fish Out of Water, the Only Sane Man, and The Heart. See also The Messiah. For the types of 'good guy amongst evil villains', see also Anti-Villain (especially Type IV) and Noble Demon.

Examples of Token Good Teammate include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Rock to the Black Lagoon Company. And quite possibly, Rotton the Wizard.
  • Code Geass: Euphie and Suzaku are this for Britannia in season one; in season two, it's Nunnally.
  • Keroro Gunsou: Dororo is less interested in taking over Earth and more interested in protecting its environment. Far more obvious in the manga, and pointed out several times.
  • Seras Victoria, Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, is the only character on Hellsing with a fully functional moral compass.
    • Anderson plays this role for the Vatican side- he may love fighting monsters, including Seras, but he does stick to his sense of right and wrong even as his faction reaches new lows- culminating in his destruction of Maxwell's anti-zombie shelter when he realizes the latter has gone entirely around the bend.
  • Starrk and Harribel of the Espada in Bleach could count. While for the most part, the Espada's members are arrogant, violent, and thoroughly evil followers of Aizen, Starrk and Harribel are both Martial Pacifists that don't like fighting but believe in True Companions and The Power of Friendship.
    • Starrk ends up being a deconstruction as his fight with Shunsui shows that even though he was a noble person, he was still fighting on the wrong side. And Shunsui kills him for it.
    • Also, Riruka Dokugamine, the only one in Xcution who doesn't want Ichigo's powers that Ginjou promised to share with the other members and tries to reject it. It helps that she actually befriended Ichigo and Orihime genuinely.
  • Dieci of the Numbers Cyborgs in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, who was the only one amongst them who questioned the rightness of their terrorist actions. Resident Smug Snake Quattro, naturally, looks down at her and sees her conscience and empathy for others as a weakness.
  • Kurama in an early arc of Yu Yu Hakusho. Not surprisingly, he does a Heel Face Turn, but unexpectedly, so does Hiei (who then becomes the Token Evil Teammate for the good guys.)
  • In Death Note, Rem on Team Kira is about as nice and morally pure as anyone on that side gets.
    • The same could be said about Soichiro Yagami
  • The Four Star Dragon in the last arc of Dragon Ball GT. He's a Martial Pacifist Noble Demon who believes in Honorable Duels, and even goes as far as to put off his fight with Goku when he's temporarily blinded.
  • Mikiya Kokutou from Kara no Kyoukai: is a really decent guy and a devout Zen Buddhist. The people he hangs around with are... neutral at best. He comments on how he'll just have to share the karma of Shiki's sins to be with her. Miraculously, he does this without sounding like a jackass.
  • In One Piece, all of the Seven Warlords of the Sea took their position for entirely selfish and often incredibly amoral reasons, save for Jimbei who wants to protect the fishmen and merpeople of his home island (who are second class citizens the world over) and Kuma, was a double agent working for the Revolutionaries.
    • And earlier, we have Hachi who was the least cruel out of Arlong's pirates. He would in fact become an ally to the Straw Hats later.
  • Maria of Eyeshield 21''s Hakushuu Dinosaurs is this to Marco, Gaou, Kisiragi, and Tengu. She actually tries to slip information to other teams in the interests of preventing casualties. Unfortunately for her Marco's drive to win (in order to impress her, might we add) outweighs anything she might try to do.
  • Jugo from Naruto qualifies as this most of the time. While his Super-Powered Evil Side has allegedly caused a massive amount of destruction in the past, Jugo's dominant personality is a calm, level-headed and non-violent man who would rather not have the incredible superpowers that drive him insane from time to time. He acts as the Token Good Teammate given that his friends are: Suigetsu, a Blood Knight Serial Killer; Karin, a Yandere Hot Scientist and willing former servant of Orochimaru, and Sasuke.
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, Sasaki turns out to be the only decent person in the Anti-SOS Brigade. She even joins up with Kyon to stop her nominal teammates.
  • Daphne in the Brilliant Blue has Maia who is kind to everyone, even her kidnappers. Thus she is a contrast to gun obbessed Gloria, property damage causing Yu, and ruthless Rena.
    • Before Maia joined, Shizuka might count since she doesn't cause the same damage as the above. However, she never has a problem with what they do either.
  • To Aru Majutsu no Index has Acqua of the Back, the only truly noble member of God's Right Seat, who genuinely wants to help and protect the world.
  • In an excellent example of having both a Token Good Teammate and a Token Evil Teammate on the same team, the Black and Gray Morality world of Slayers has Amelia and Xellos respectively. The rest of the team tend to be selfish jerks (especially Lina), but Xellos admits to being evil and tags along because a.) he's under orders to, and b.) it's just fun. Amelia, on the other hand, is Wrong Genre Savvy and thinks she's in a Magical Girl show, even going so far as to trying to cure Xellos of being evil through the power of love. The rest of the team swings back and forth along the spectrum of good vs evil (save for Gourry, who's too big a Ditz to grasp the concept of "good vs evil").
  • To some degree Togusa in Ghost in the Shell counts. The rest of Section 9 is fighting terrorism and organized crime, and even government corruption at times, and are devoted to protect the citizenry from major threats. However, Togusa is pretty much the only one who would risk the trouble of apprehending armed criminals alive and see that they are properly tried. Everyone else strikes first and starts looking for any survivors that can be questioned after the dust has settled.
  • As revealed eventually in the latter stages of Brave 10, Hattori Hanzo's group seemingly consist of people who are only in for simple megalomania and conquering the world. The only exception is Anastasia, just fresh after betraying the Braves, as her motive of serving Hanzo was only to reclaim her family heirloom that Hanzo held. Despite being a Type V Anti-Hero herself.
  • Though everyone from the Sabertooth guild in Fairy Tail is cocky, Rogue is the only one to actually voice his distaste at how they humiliated and expelled one of their members over a single loss. It's an incredibly stark contrast with his close companion Sting's amusement over the poor girl's weakness.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Jim Gordon in most Batman comics and shows has that effect. He seems to purify the air around him. Look at Harvey Bullock, a Corrupt Cop that becomes basically Gordon's Lancer.
  • Piffany in Nodwick. While Nodwick is also good-aligned, he is too subservient to have much effect on the group's actions. Piffany is oblivious to Yeagar and Artax's more questionable actions, or sometimes willing to rationalize. Ironically, she's also Yeagar and Arthax's Morality Pet, and the two would probably be even more reprehensible if she wasn't a party member, however ineffectual she is at stopping what they do try with her around. One plotline concerns a Bad Future without Piffany, where Yeagar and Arthax become The Dragon and The Evil Genius under an evil god without her around.
  • Sandman of The Sinister Six.
  • Victoria Hand. Out of everyone on the team, she's the one person who isn't a homicidal maniac. So much that when Captain America (comics) is appointed to Osborn/Stark/Fury's old position he makes her his New Avengers liason
  • Jolt of The Thunderbolts. She was an actual hero (technically a hero wannabe) among the villains pretending to be heroes Thunderbolts. Her presence helped foster the already-forming Heel Face Turns of Songbird, Atlas, and Mach-1.
    • In a later incarnation of the team composed mainly of unrepentant criminals, the good teammate was Songbird. In the version of the group after that, Norman Osborn's private black ops task force, the good teammate was Paladin, though he wasn't so much "good" as "not bad." Eventually the Headsman, Ant-Man, and the Ghost joined him—though it was Ghost who made it all possible.
  • Lucas Lee of the Evil Exes in Scott Pilgrim is not a Jerkass like much of the other Exes. He turns out to actually be a decent guy who is genuinely friendly to Scott. However, Scott still has to defeat him to free Ramona from the Evil Exes' control.
    • He was more of an antagonistic Jerkass in the film adaptation, however.

Fanfic[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • Charlie Wilson's War: Joanne.
  • In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Jefferson Smith is pretty much the nicest, greatest guy in the world, and everyone around him sucks. But by being around him, they start to get better. The secretary, whose name escapes me, the Corrupt Senator from Smith's home state, they all basically see the light.
  • The Amish family in Saving Sarah Cain are this in public school. In their case they make venial compromises that understandably irritates Big Sis Lyddie (who is THEIR "Token Good Teammate").
  • In The Gamers 2, the GM sends along a paladin in order to keep in check the group's more sociopathic members. All it does is have them find more creative ways to be sociopaths.
  • Jim Caviezel's character in The Thin Red Line, Witt, is so noble and idealistic that he comes across as jarring to the other soldiers around him.
  • Charles Bronson's character in The Dirty Dozen is the most reliable of the bunch, with Maggot on the other side of the spectrum as the Token Evil Teammate.
  • Isabelle in Predators. She's a mere Israeli sniper alongside a mercenary, enforcers for Yakuza, RUF and Mexican cartels and a death row murderer (not to mention a doctor who's actually a serial killer), and is usually the only one with some conscience in the team.
    • Nikolai the Spetnaz soldiers counts too, being a friendly family man who sacrificed his life to save one of the group for no reason but it being the right thing to do.
  • Professor Hugo Fassbender in The Pink Panther Strikes Again, who wanted nothing to do with former Chief Inspector Dreyfus' reign of terror, as he doesn't believe in world domination, but had no choice when Dreyfus tortured his daughter Margo. He unwillingly joined with Dreyfus to build a doomsday device to threaten the world unless they kill Chief Inspector Clouseau.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Loial the Ogier in The Wheel of Time series. Most of the 'good guys' are just as likely to act in their own self-interest as help their friends and allies, even when cooperation is vital. Loial sometimes finds himself caught between these squabbles, but he cares deeply for all of his friends and is typically much more willing to risk his neck for them than they are for each other.
  • David Balfour in Kidnapped. Though the difference is more ideological then moral it is easy to mistake one for the other and he can be self-righteous.
  • Turin spends some time among outlaws in Lay of the Children of Hurin.
  • Wintrow in Robin Hobb's The Liveship Traders trilogy tries hard to be this, but is mostly ridiculed (or worse) for his high moral standards. Amber manages better with her views on slavery, violence and the treatment of Paragon.
  • The hero in Mickey Blue Eyes.
  • Otto in Otto of the Silver Hand. In his case he is a Woobie version of this.
  • Prince Edward is among London Beggers in The Prince and the Pauper.
  • The Geste brothers in Beau Geste. They are Gentleman-rankers among rather ruffianly Foreign Legionaires and some of this is class difference. However they do, to some degree try to be the Token Good Teammate. Like the good English boys they are.
  • Patrius in the Farsala Trilogy, though one could argue that it's only really noticeable when he is contrasted with his commander, Garren, who is a Complete Monster.
  • Though she only appears briefly in one scene in the original novel, Bree Tanner is this for Victoria's newborn army in the Twilight series. The film adaptation expands her role significantly and especially emphasizes this aspect of her character.
    • Although her actions in her novella make this a case of YMMV. Arguably Freaky Fred is closer in that story, seeing as he's the only newborn who actively refrains from the fighting between newborns and defends Bree from them.
  • Rana Sanga is the Token Good general of the Malwa empire in Belisarius Series, being a noble and brave Rajput Warrior Prince.
  • Thomas Raith qualifies as the token good member of his family in the early Harry Dresden books, as the only Raith with anything resembling morals. Then he leaves the family.
  • Subverted with great gusto in The Blending series by Sharon Green. The team of Psycho Rangers set up in contrast to the main characters appears to have a token good member and Only Sane Man in the person of their Spirit wielder... until he reveals he's been using his power to control the other members of their team and is probably the most evil of the five - not to mention the most ambitious - just a lot smarter and less obvious about it.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

Mythology and Religion[edit | hide]


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • In Ivanhoe, King Richard is like this to Robin Hood's men.

Table Top Games[edit | hide]

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In many D&D games, such as Icewind Dale or Temple of Elemental Evil, having a paladin in your party can prevent you from having normal dialogue choices, instead getting sanctimonious tirade that ironically prevents a peaceful resolution.
    • Baldur's Gate 2 only has three Evil-aligned NPC that can join your party. If you made your PC evil, then Imoen will be your Token Good Teammate since she's Neutral Good. If she's not on your team, then whoever is Good or Neutral alignment becomes your Token Good Teammate.
      • Throne of Bhaal has Balthazar, a Lawful Good monk who has teamed up with the bad guys to accomplish the goal of destroying what he sees as a great evil. Interestingly, the group itself is a part of that evil and he plans to see the entirety of it destroyed—himself included—in the end.
    • In Planescape: Torment, Morte the flying talking skull is only good-aligned character in your neutral-aligned party. You may also become good, but it'll require some time.
  • Flonne in Disgaea. Originally joins to understand demons and teach them about love.
  • Legacy of Kain : Janos Audron for the vampires. While Kain, Raziel, and Vorador aren't technically evil (they're better than Moebius and the Sarafan at any rate), they're all kind of assholeish in their own way. Janos is the only vamp who's not morally ambiguous and slippery/enjoys messing Raziel around.
  • William is the Super Ego among the McCall brothers' Power Trio in Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood.
  • Jecht in Dissidia Final Fantasy is good, or at least neutral, despite being a member of the Warriors of Chaos, all composed of Final Fantasy villains. The reason he's siding with the villains is that the local Smug Snake, Emperor Palamecia, manipulated him into thinking that their victory would let him rejoin his son, Tidus. Golbez, on the other hand, is a good guy posing as a villain.
    • To a lesser extent, Judge Magister Gabranth. In the 13th cycle, he's nothing more than a disgruntled jailer who serves as a warden for those no longer used in the conflict. Several of lines are somber and hint that he wants nothing more than penance for his past transgressions, while most of the other Chaos warriors mock him for his more admirable qualities. Compare this to Shantotto, who serves as Team Cosmos' Token Evil Teammate (to the point that most of the villains revere her). Both of these are somewhat subverted in the prequel Duodecim, as the two are actually affiliated with their respective deities this time around (however, Gabranth just seems to be doing his job and seems to be confronting Cosmos simply to end the war—thus lacking an ulterior motive unlike most of the others, while Shantotto is still a fair bit malicious, even towards her ally Prishe).
  • Reeve, Shin-Ra's head of Urban Development, seems to be the only person on Shin-Ra's board of directors with a conscience or sense of ethics. He eventually defects to AVALANCHE as a Double Agent
  • Roxas to OrganizationXIII. Unlike the other 12, he isn't activly malicious.
  • In the end of BlazBlue Continuum Shift, Litchi ends up joining NOL as the Token Good Teammate. Unlike all other who directly served the Imperator, the reason why she joins was because her body condition got worse and the only one who'd want to give the cure for both her and Arakune is NOL, thus she has the least loyalty to the NOL and was only there for necessary self preservation and saving a beloved.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, if you go dark-side by the end of the game Zaalbar will be the only person on your team who bears any resemblance to a good alignment, and he'll attack you if you take him onto the Star Forge.
  • Both Rei and Shuu/Shew becomes this in Hokuto Musou Dream Mode, on basis that the antagonist is the Nanto side, and they're both Nanto practicioners. In the real story, they would've been Kenshiro's greatest allies.
  • Leo in Final Fantasy VI is also a known case of this as well in fact the game likes to Lampshade the fact that the only reason why Leo is considered a antagonist is only because he works with the Empire.
  • In Nicktoons Unite!: Globs of Doom, the heroes and villains from various Nicktoons split up into opposite teams. Villain Protagonist Zim, however, goes with the heroes, so his arch-nemesis, Hero Antagonist Dib, decides that he has to team up with the bad guys. This doesn't end well for him, of course.
  • Cao Ren in Dynasty Warriors. In a game where Wei stores A LOT of scary looking, ambitious, jerkwad or scheming people... we got this peaceful shorty guy who just wants the chaos to end. And this is before Wei takes a swing in Anti-Villain-y since the 6th game.
    • And in the 7th game, even if Wei is just merely Designated Villain, one look at serene, compassionate poet/musician Cai Wenji amongst Wei would make you agree that she's another Token Good Teammate.
  • Soulcalibur IV has this fate unfortunately befall Sophitia Alexandria, turning this Lady of War into a Pelagian Villainess. Tira shows herself to be very Genre Savvy by designating Sophitia's daughter as a prospective host for Soul Edge. In order to prevent this, Sophitia was strong-armed into working with Nightmare & co. As the latest warrior in a long line chosen by the Greek gods to destroy the evil sword, Sophitia is none too thrilled about her Face Heel Turn; however, for the sake of her children, she must reluctantly ward off any who attempt to reach the sword, including her younger sister Cassandra and any of her previous allies.
  • In Warriors Orochi, Himiko is mainly on the side of the forces of Orochi because Da Ji acts as a Cool Big Sis toward her. When she and Da Ji are captured by the Resistance in Warriors Orochi 3, Himiko gets along better with the Resistance fighters,[1] and even goes along with a few of the girls in one Sidequest to help rescue another of their missing warriors.
  • Mina Tang in Alpha Protocol. The only employee of the eponymous agency who seems to have any sort of conscience, and also the only one of Mike Thorton's Mission Controls who care if he kills American agents or civilians, makes deals with arms traffickers, or commits similar acts of Dirty Business.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Drowtales: Kel'Noz to Quain, Vaelia to Ariel.
  • White Mage, and possibly Fighter in Eight Bit Theater.
    • Fighter is this Trope.
      • Maybe not?
        • Or he is and is simply using psychological manipulation to try and scare the woman away from his sociopathic associates.
        • The real proof is here and here.
    • He seems to be some combination of Stupid Good (belief in Power of Friendship, inability to recognize when someone is evil), and Dumb Is Good.
  • Hati of Cry Havoc falls in here, seeing as she tries to hold back her squad mates blood lust and general disregard for human life.
  • This is such a perfect description of Cale in Looking for Group.
    • Though over the course of Character Development the others have become slightly more Good due to his influence and Cale has become less idealistic.
  • In Order of the Stick the Linear Guild recruited a Lawful Good (or at least honorable Lawful Neutral, considering he let Nale and crew get away with mass murder) kobold to serve as the counterpart to Belkar.
    • The Monster in the Darkness is this to the villains; he's a childlike, naive creature who doesn't bear anyone any malice and seems not to understand how evil Xykon really is.
  • Artie from Narbonic normally preoccupies himself with the support of hippie-ish causes (such as world peace and the election of Dennis Kucinich), all while living with a mad scientist and her henchmen.
    • Come Skin Horse, he's become an activist for transgenic rights.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In The Guild, despite the team name of "The Knights of Good", Codex and Vork are the only ones who seem to quest with anything but loot in mind. Then we find out how Vork gets his electricity and internet access by stealing it from his Alzheimers-afflicted neighbor. Offline Codex is the only one who isn't either totally self-centered or completely divorced from reality.
  • In Red vs. Blue, the eternally cheerful Donut seems to be the only Blood Gulch soldier who doesn't openly despise the rest of the crew. The series' Designated Hero Church even remarks that Donut is pretty much harmless and probably wouldn't hurt a fly. Everyone else on either team are various mixes of apathy, misanthropy, and Comedic Sociopathy. Even the easy-going and friendly Caboose secretly harbors a huge dislike of Tucker, as well as a tendency to accidentally kill his own teammates.
    • Doc. It's especially hilarious because the other members of his team consist of: a bomb, a robot's head, and an AI that's taken control (mostly) of Doc's armor.
  • Yvan Viau aka Labyrinthe of the ASH universe is canonically the token good teammate on the Conclave of Supervillains.
  • The Nostalgia Chick's Sex Bot. As he said in a twitter message, he's surrounded by screeching harpies that haunt his every moment.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Exaggerated completely on Jimmy Two-Shoes, Where Jimmy is the Token Good for the whole city.
  • Zuko's Uncle Iroh in the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender; he's a former Fire Nation general who had a pre-series Heel Face Turn and only helps his nephew hunt the Avatar so he can look after him.
  • John Canmore in Gargoyles, and then this is subverted, BIG TIME.
  • Wonder Man is this for the Masters of Evil in Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes.
  • Colossus is this to Magneto's Acolytes in X-Men: Evolution.
  • Silverbolt in Beast Wars when he was awakened as a Predacon for all of one episode.
  • Dr. Zoidberg in "An Xmas Story" was specificly the only member of the Planet Express Crew to not be targeted by Santa Bot, and even gives him a pogo stick for a present.
    • More than that; he's apparently the only person on Earth who is not on Santa's naughty / target list.
  • From Jem we have Stormer of the Misfits. As an example, when The Misfits discovered that the Holograms had to perform in a movie alongside them, in order to raise money for an operation one of the Starlight Girls desperately needed, the band is thinking up ways they can screw with Jem. However, the first words out of Stormer's mouth when she finds it is "which little girl?"

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Finland to the World War II Axis. Finland even did a Heel Face Turn!
  • John Rabe of the Nazis, who helped to establish a 'safety zone' for Chinese refuges in the Nanking massacre.
    • If you want a token good Nazi though, the best example would be Oskar Schindler:
    • Chisune Sugihara of Imperial Japan did the same thing for a large number of Lithuanian Jews.
  • In World War II look no further then the Magnificent Bastard himself Erwin Rommel.
  1. as unlike Da Ji, she doesn't have an ulterior motive for doing so