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Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread. Token Black and Token Crip. The Token Minority is a character designed to get more minority groups into the plot. This serves several …
Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread. Token Black and Token Crip. The Token Minority is a character designed to get more minority groups into the plot. This serves several purposes: Allows the producers of the show to broaden the appeal of the show by giving more viewers protagonists they can identify with. Is useful for bringing in discussions of racial issues, gender issues or homophobia into the plot. Helps the producers feel a little better about using a Scary Minority Suspect in every other case. Allows the producers to make race jokes related to minority without any shame. Allows the producers to avoid criticism from minority groups. Fulfills the executives' desire for the show to be more ethnically respectful. Depending on the setting, it can merely be an accurate representation of demographics in that region or industry. In some casts of animal, alien, or monster characters, World of Funny Animals or not, there is a majority species and one or more minority species. Often the majority of the animal cast is made up of mammals and there is a token non-mammal. Usually, the token non-mammal is a bird, but reptiles, amphibians, and even invertebrates are certainly not unheard of. Sometimes, there are token Petting Zoo People in a group of Funny Animal /Civilized Animal tier animals. Sometimes, there are token animals, aliens, or monsters representing ethnic minorities in a group made of supposedly "white" ones. You might see this term used derisively in most contexts. This isn't out of contempt for minorities; this trope simply causes problems with representation, where, for example, the single black guy is forced to be exemplary of his entire race. This is very likely to lead to Positive Discrimination and make him The Scrappy . If there are instead four minorities (assuming a sizable cast), they can all have different strengths and flaws which round them out and make them generally equal to the rest of the cast. Taking this approach, Unfortunate Implications are unlikely to happen unless you somehow subject them all to the same stereotypes. You can even have one be explicitly antagonistic. However, this can be Truth in Television in cases where the prevalence of the minority, combined with the size of the cast and the demographics of the setting make it genuinely unlikely that there will be more than one member of the minority present (not that this would justify stereotypes, but it would justify having only one minority). For instance, a show set in rural Maine would strain credulity if its cast of five main characters included multiple racial minorities (simply because rural Maine is overwhelmingly white), and a show set in the American Bible Belt would have a hard time convincingly justifying multiple self-professed atheists in a cast of ten (unless a major theme of the show is nonconformity or religious/atheist tensions). Compare Captain Ethnic , Token Nonhuman , Token Human , Token Enemy Minority , Token Minority Couple , Token White , Twofer Token Minority , Five-Token Band , Informed Judaism , Black Vikings , Black Best Friend , and The Smurfette Principle . Examples: open/close all folders Advertising TV Ads in Australia sometimes have this (especially in "hip" young thing products like Coke). May have 1 Asian Woman, 1 African Woman, 1 White Girl, 2 White Guys and 1 Aboriginal or Middle Eastern Male. Target ads are particularly well-known for this. There will always be one blonde white girl, one brunette white girl, one Asian girl and one black girl. Always. University brochures also do this. You'll always see at least one black person and Asian person for every two white people. In brochures for traditionally black schools, there's a token white on every page. Further proof that Covers Always Lie. A controversy erupted after it was revealed that a photograph used to adorn the front of a University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate application booklet for the 2001-02 school year was altered to add the image of a black student among a sea of white faces. A Veet ad has this. When they state that eight out of ten women were happy with the product, they showed a lineup of eight women with one of them being black. Curiously, they are all dubbed over with the same voice. Anime & Manga Poor Hans, in The Daughter of Twenty Faces, is seemingly the only non-Japanese member of a group of burglars led by Gentleman Thief "Twenty-Faces" that is ostensibly a globe-trotting organization. He often uses Gratuitous German, to boot. Super Dimension Fortress Macross/Robotech had Claudia Grant/Claudia LaSalle, apparently the only black woman on the entire ship. Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross had Bowie Emerson, seemingly the only black man on the entire planet Glorie. In Robotech, he was re-written to be Claudia's nephew (and given a new surname of "Grant"). Rakshata and Viletta of Code Geass, as they're the only Non-white/Chinese/Japanese characters of any plot importance, and of the two, Rakshata is the one who gets played in a more positive light. Of the others, we have a supposedly elite pilot who dies mere seconds after she first appears on screen, and King. And Nunnally fits in to the paraplegic category. Mobile Suit Gundam 00: In the first season of Gundam 00, Daryl Dodge has the honor of being the only black person at all. He's also killed off in episode 23. Season 2 does introduce another black man as president of the Earth Sphere Federation, although that might be more to reflect the real world than tokenism. However, he has little impact on the plot. A minor example with Setsuna F Seiei-whilst he does appear to fit this trope both within Celestial Being and in the wider Gundam metaverse in regards to protagonists, his middle eastern homeland forms a two episode story arc in the first season and plays a large role in his interactions with the princess of a neighbouring country. However, the middle eastern aspects of the story only serve to represent the region and 21st century problems to Japanese audiences, and beyond that, has no real importance to the story as the series progresses. Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket has Professor Lunland as the sole black character, and Gabriel as the sole Latino. Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ has the black Shinta and Ambiguously Brown Qum, but that's about it. Later in the show, Judau ended up befriending a young pilot from Africa, but his time on the show was very brief. Simon is the only black character in Durarara!!, though a black gangster is also seen in the episode "Heaven's Vengeance". It's also implied that minor character Tom Tanaka might be part black, though it's never clarified either way. Sailor Moon: Elza Gray was the only black character in Sailor Moon. There was also the Ambiguously Brown Sailor Pluto, depicted as noticeably dark-skinned in comparison to other Senshi, and moreso in the manga. Some say she's of Romani descent. Indian student Akira is the only non-Japanese member of the main cast of Tsuritama. Kate, the grandmother of one of the other protagonists, is French, while several black and Arabic members appear in the show's villainous Cosmopolitan Council. Bob from Tenjho Tenge would count as this. He's the sole black member of the otherwise Japanese cast. Similarly, Central High's Vice President is the only black character in Daily Lives of High School Boys. Understandable since the series is set in a small Japanese town, and usually it tends to be large cities that take part in student exchange programs with other countries. Yasutora "Chad" Sado in Bleach is half-Japanese, half-Latino in an otherwise manga-typical all-Japanese cast. Jun Hono, the half-black, half-Japanese pilot from Great Mazinger and Mazinkaiser. Jose Rodriguez, the nerdy Afro-Latino doctor from Kyo Kara Maoh! Mikasa from Attack on Titan is one of the very few Asians alive, if not the last one, at the time of the story. She serves as a deconstruction; she's a token minority because her mother's people have been nearly wiped out. The fandom sometimes jokingly speculates that she's the beneficiary of Conservation of Ninjutsu because of this, resulting in Positive Discrimination. It's ultimately subverted when we find out that Levi's surname is Ackerman, indicating that Mikasa's badass qualities are inherited from her European father's lineage, not her Asian mother's. Choe Gu-Sung from Psycho-Pass is the only Korean character in a series that takes place in Japan. In Saki, an inversion happens for Rinkai, whose mahjong team is otherwise composed of transfer students. Satoha, the vanguard player, is the only Japanese member of the team, partly because of the rules requiring a Japanese player as vanguard, and partly because she is the ace. Played straight with Aislinn of Miyamori's team, who is from New Zealand and is on an otherwise entirely Japanese team. Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa takes place in early 20th century Germany. Of the main characters Noah is the only non-white character, being Romani. Audio Play Lampshaded in The Firesign Theatre's "High School Madness" sketch, from the album Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers, where Mexican-American students come out of nowhere just to ask the white protagonist for advice (then promptly disappear). Comic Books Adam Brashear, the Blue Marvel who featured in the eponymous mini series of 2009, represents a rather awkward representation of this trope. He is for all intents and purposes (in the context of the story) a Black Superman from a time when the adjective was quite emphatically capitalized. And applied as a noun. It doesn't help that even without his powers, Brashear is a super-man - an athlete, military hero and scientific genius who gained ultra-super-powers when the experimental anti-matter reactor he was creating exploded. For about a year, he was the primary hero of the Marvel Universe (perhaps coincidentally around the same time the Sentry was supposedly very successful), but then it was discovered he was black, which immediately led to outrage and uproar among both black and white communities, until the President (JFK) gave the Blue Marvel the Congressional Medal of Honor and told him to quit being a superhero. Which he did until the present day. He is now a member if the Mighty Avengers. Under the "women as minorities" category (which, in superhero comics, they definitely were until much later and in many books still are) every superhero team used to have exactly one female member. The Avengers had The Wasp (later replaced by the Scarlet Witch), the Fantastic Four had the Invisible Girl (later Invisible Woman), the Justice League had Wonder Woman (or the Black Canary, depending on when you asked), the Teen Titans had Wonder Girl, the original X-Men had Marvel Girl, and the second team of X-Men had Storm (who was also, for quite a while, the only black X-Man. She joined the team along with Sunfire, a Japanese man who left almost immediately, and Thunderbird, a Native American man who died almost immediately, making her also the only active non-white X-Man for a good while). All those teams except the FF tend to have more female members these days (though the JLA goes through periods of focusing on D.C.'s "Big 7" wherein Wonder Woman is the only female member) and some have gone through stretches where the women outnumbered the men. Blindside in the comic series Relative Heroes. Notable in that the series was about a family of superheroes, and Blindside was explained as having been adopted in order to justify having a black kid as part of the main cast. The Justice League goes back in forth on this, with some eras (such as the Meltzer and McDuffie years) having very diverse casts, while others, like the James Robinson run, were criticized for having no minority members whatsoever. During the New 52 relaunch, Cyborg was retconned into being the sole non-white founding member of the original team, presumably to make up for the extended periods of whiteness. Lampshaded in Grant Morrison's JLA run. Plastic Man jokingly states that Steel can't quit the Justice League because then the team would lose its only minority member. Archie Comics: In order to keep up with changing American trends, the comic added some ethnic characters in the 70's: African-Americans Coach Clayton, his son Chuck (who, like many Africans of the day, sported a righteous 'fro) and Chuck's girlfriend Nancy, as well as the Hispanic Frankie Valdez & his girlfriend Maria. As of 2010, the former three continue to appear quite regularly (and Chuck has naturally lost the 'fro). The latter two, not so much. The company later introduced Kevin Keller, the first gay character in the series. Kevin was met with backlash by some conservative Christian groups but his debut issues sold very well and he was even given his own mini-series. Later Archie comics have also introduced some other minority characters, including Ginger Lopez (who works for a teen fashion magazine) and Raj Patel (an Indian student interested in film). Ginger shows up fairly regularly (moreso than Maria). In Archie Comics (2015) Jughead is asexual. He's the only known ace character. Debuting in 52, Batwoman managed to provoke a Broken Base even before this due to press releases touting her as DC's first lesbian hero, who would be receiving DC's full support. Then DC promptly didn't do anything with her outside the series for over a year (and even in the series, she received little attention, as she was more supporting cast for her girlfriend, Renee Montoya). In all that time, she had very little storyline, so her characterization was mostly as a closeted lesbian and a Jew. When she came back in her own series, she was retconned into having a much more butch look and having come out several years before her first appearance. The Falcon was this in-universe. He was added to The Avengers because Gyrich insisted that the team should have more black members; he didn't actually want to join. According to Christopher Priest, Falcon's nickname in the Marvel offices throughout the 70s and early 80s was "Fal-coon". No, Priest wasn't alright with it, though being a lowly intern at the time, he didn't raise a big stink. In his blog, he refuses to name the co-workers who used it for fear of burning his bridges. Years later, Triathlon served the exact same role (again, in-universe) during Kurt Busiek's run. Later iterations of the team were thankfully more diverse. Rage also had bits of this in his debut story. He was given a spot on the Avengers line-up after picking a fight with Captain America over the lack of minority heroes on the team. Empress was the sole minority member of the original Young Justice team, and was added relatively late into the run after some complaints about the Monochromatic makeup of the cast. Lampshaded in Peter Milligan's X-Force run with Anarchist, a black superhero who opposes the decision to add another black member to the team. His reasoning? Since most superhero teams rarely have more than one minority member, another black guy on the team means that one of them will inevitably die. Averted in the X-Statix series that followed, which has an additional black member (Venus), plus a Latino member (El Guapo), and two gay members (Vivisector and Phat). In the 2005 Marvel comic Wha...Huh?, one of the stories reimagines Black Panther as a white man from South America, who is upset when he learns that The Avengers just want a token black superhero in their team and thought he was misrepresenting his race (also, Black Widow is just there to fill the "woman quota".) Though Runaways had a more diverse cast than most other mainstream comics, the team has only ever had two black members, neither of whom stayed until the end of the series, and one of whom was actually a Skrull. Superman comics Ron Troupe started as the only black recurring staff member working at The Daily Planet. Jem and the Holograms: Jetta, the token British character. She was the only non-American until The Stingers showed up. Jetta's also the only non-white member of her band, but this is downplayed as the series has a diverse cast. Blaze is the only confirmed transgender character thus far. Fan Works The "black guy in the corner" from Sherlock Season 4. The author even explicitly states that he added him so his story wouldn't be racist. In the early days of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom, Twilight was often portrayed the only POC in Ponyville when the cast was "humanized" in fan works, usually as black or Indian. Nowadays, more diverse interpretations are becoming more popular in the fandom, such as Middle Eastern Fluttershy and Rarity, Black or biracial Pinke Pie, Applejack and/or Rarity being trans mares, varying sexualities amongst the Mane Six, and Rainbow Dash being a black or latino lesbian showing up sometimes. Film Parodied by Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle with posters advertising the first movie as starring "That Asian guy from American Pie" and "That Indian guy from Van Wilder". In terms of film, equally well parodied/referenced by the "Token Black Guy" in Not Another Teen Movie. Named Malik Token, the Genre Savvy token helpfully explains the joke to the audience by introducing himself as the person that stays out of conversations and says "Damn!", "Shit!", and "That is whack!" At a party later in the film, he sees another black guy, played by Sean Patrick Thomas, Token Minority from Cruel Intentions, and tells him that he was at the party first and the other man apologizes and leaves the party. Malik's Crowning Moment of Awesome was when he got to say, "Damn, that shit is whack!" There's also the musical number: "I'm only in this song because I'm a black guy" Star Wars After Episode IV became a blockbuster, numerous people noticed that an entire galaxy of humans were all white. (Which was not entirely true; it was just that the main characters were all white.) Episode V introduced Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, the Token Minority Black. Samuel L. Jackson in the prequels may also be a example of this, as his character serves as little more than a background character until Revenge of the Sith (excluding his excellent use in the Clone Wars shorts). Casting Temuera Morrison, who is a Mori, as Jango Fett and by retroactive consequence, his clone Boba Fett and every single clonetrooper reduces all other characters in the series (black, white or green) to token minorities by sheer weight of numbers. The initial casting announcement for the first episode of the third trilogy included another black actor, but not Billy Dee Williams. Meaning, as of this writing there are now three black guys in the Galaxy Far, Far Away, but in accordance with this trope, only one is allowed to be alive at any one time. Since then, they've also added Lupita Nyong'o to the cast of Episode VII (but she voices an orange-skinned alien, so the actress's race is not visible). While the 2006 historical film Flyboys was already heavily criticized for its historical inaccuracies relating to its World War I setting, one of the more amusing ones came from the film's fictional Token Minority, Eugene Skinner, a black boxer who joined the squadron to 'pay back' his adopted homeland. Mainly because the end of the movie showed a picture of the real-life squadron which was composed of exactly zero minorities. A rare moment where a film actually seems proud to reveal when it didn't do its research. The Other Wiki's entry on the film points out that the film confuses the Lafayette Escadrille with the Lafayette Flying Corps with whom Eugene Bullard (the real person Skinner was based on) actually flew. Harvey Weinstein loved using this trope for his productions back in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Starting with Scream 2, nearly all of his teen-aimed productions had at least one token black character (often played by a rapper) solely to bump up the box office. He seemed to stop this after Shall We Dance?, which had an Advertised Extra in the form of Ja Rule (who appeared in one concert scene and had no purpose to the plot). Mercutio is a black Drag Queen in the Baz Luhrmann film of Romeo & Juliet. Also a case of Black Dude Dies First. Rochelle in The Craft, the only black girl of the four member witches' Coven, not that it make her more sympathetic than the rest at the end though. Both versions of Stephen King's It, the Made-for-TV Movie It (1990) and the theatrical It (2017) have the character of Mike, the only African-American kid of the Losers' Club, who is also in the novel. Literature The Animorphs series was actually pretty groundbreaking in its handling of minorities. In the '90's, it was extremely unusual for a middle-grade novel to have a minority protagonist at all, let alone four of them. (Rachel and Jake were Jewish, Cassie was black, and Marco was hispanic). It also got away with discussing prejudice a few times, a biracial relationship (and it was even acknowledged a couple times), and a little racism portrayed when the ultimate message wasn't about the evils or racism (specifically, the society at the beginning of the third Megamorphs, and the racist guy Cassie meets when she travels through time). They even acknowledged the existence of gay people, which was almost never done. Oh, and there were two female protagonists, and they weren't treated any differently than the males in terms of their ability to kick ass, making the series one of the first middle-grade series to have a cross-gender appeal. All in all, it was one of the most inclusive series of its day. And in later books, K. A. Applegate proved even more that she was dedicated to diversity without stereotypes. One of those later books was the Remnants series, which had several black, Hispanic, and Asian characters, a character who had a messed up face because it was burned in a fire (2Face), and Noyze, who grew up deaf. They even tried to put a lesbian in this kids series from 2001, but sadly, it didn't quite work as planned. Invoked in a short story "Papanin's Mauser" by Michael Veller. It depicts a drift-ice research unit of four people. Three of them are Russians and Communists and the last one is a nonpartisan German. According to the Soviet laws three Communists is enough to constitute a Party cell, so every day they have to conduct a Party meeting, for members only. During these meetings the German has to leave the "meeting room", that is the tent where they all live and spend time tramping around it in the bone-chilling cold. Eventually he applies for membership in the Party to end this nightmare but is rejected on the following ground: as he is he symbolizes the international nature of the Soviet people and the unbreakable ties between partisans and nonpartisans. Jessi (black), Claudia (Asian), and Abby (Jewish) in The Baby-Sitters Club. Lheorvine is the only black man in Black Legion, and one of precious few in Warhammer 40,000. Before Matt Ward retconned their dark skin into a "mutation" the Salamanders space marines, and the people of their homeworld, Nocturne, were an entire planet of token blacks. Post-Ward, it's assumed that the denizens of Nocturne are white, but "turn black" when they become Salamanders. In How to Build a Skydeck, fish-out-of-water protagonist Stan realizes that all his co-workers avoid him for being a Token Minority. Specifically, being the only white guy on the construction crew. Lord Wulfston in The Savage Empire books by Jean Lorrah is the only black person we see in the first five books or so. On the other hand, nobody makes a big deal about it; he just has a hard time being anonymous. Harry Potter's school Hogwarts has a few, including the very Irish Seamus Finnegan (although there may be others who are less obvious), the Indian Patil twins, the Jewish Anthony Goldstein, the Chinese Cho Chang, and the black Dean Thomas, Lee Jordan, Angelina Johnson, and Blaise Zabini. To Mrs. Rowling's credit, no ado is made of any of these characters' ethnicities, nor are they ever described as such. In fact, Word of God has been needed to identify some of the black characters in the series. Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Yoko Akia is the Token Asian, and Alexis Thorne is the Token Black of the Sisterhood or the Vigilantes. The other women are white. The two characters' nationalities definitely play a role in the series. Oddly, Alexis reveals in her thoughts that she knows that she was framed for crimes she did not commit because she was a poor black woman, but in the book starring her called Lethal Justice, that was not brought up at all! Gone has a very large and very diverse cast, with multiple black, Asian, Latin, and gay characters, and even one character with severe autism. The Mortal Instruments: Simon is Jewish, Maia is biracial, and Magnus is part Asian. The House of Night: Kramisha is the only black Red Fledgling. She is portrayed as a Soul Sister who speaks mostly in jive. Shaunee, the only black member of the "nerd heard" (and the only black lead for the first several books) and who we're constantly reminded is black. In the book "Come a Stranger" by Cynthia Voigt, the main character gets to be the only black girl at an exclusive summer camp. After the camp gives her a lame reason for kicking her out, she gets asked "How does it feel to be an ex-token minority?" Both Jem Carstairs and Magnus Bane from The Infernal Devices are part Asian. Radar from Paper Towns; he even lampshades this by referring to himself as the "token black friend" of the group. Mike in Stephen King It (see the film version). Live Action TV Teen Wolf seems to maintain a slot for a recurring gay extra (Danny in seasons 1-3, Mason in season 4). These characters are usually only in about half the episodes in any given season, onscreen for less than two minutes if they do appear and may not have any actual dialogue. They occupy the roles of best friends of secondary characters. If they have dialogue, it almost invariably contains some reminder that they are gay. The tokenism appeared to be broken in Season 3 with the introduction of gay werewolf Ethan. But he also occupied a minor role, did not always have lines and was only present for the one season. 30 Rock Lampshaded when, to call attention during a GE exclusive lunch, Jack calls out, "Gentlemen... token ladies." The character Toofer is named for the Twofer Token Minority trope. In a transparent attempt to say "we had a gay regular on the show," Law & Order had Serena Southerlyn come out as lesbian to the audience in the last minute of her final episode. Worth noting that actress attended the same school of Mona Lisa Smile as listed above. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit lampshades it when Detective Fin replaces Detective Jeffries (both are black). The show also averted it in later seasons with the addition of M.E. Warner and Dr. Huang to the regular cast. As of Season 15 this trope is entirely averted, as of the five members of the main cast two are Latino and one is black. Rajesh "Raj" Koothrappali of The Big Bang Theory was born and raised in New Delhi, a reference to his actor, Kunal Nayyar, having spent most of his life growing up in the city. Averted in Grey's Anatomy, in which almost half the regular cast is non-white. The production team is, however, very aware and tellingly proud of the fact. The GA staff used racial-blind casting, when you start auditions without picking the ethnic background of the characters. However as the show continued and a load of new cast members were added, the majority of them were white. Brooklyn Nine-Nine averts this trope. Of the seven members of the main cast, three are female, two are Latina, two are African-American, and one is Jewish. Captain Holt, is both African-American and gay, though neither he nor his partner fall easily into stereotypes. Argentine-born actress Stephanie Beatriz said that when she and Cuban-American Melissa Fumero realized they were both members of the main cast, they were sure there had been a mistake and that one of them was going to get fired Subverted on The Red Green Show, with the character of Edgar K.B. Montrose, played by First Nations actor Graham Greene. Greene himself approached producer Steve Smith, asking to be on the show after enjoying it on TV. The role they gave him was essentially colour-blind - that of an explosives "enthusiast" who can't really call himself an expert, since experts have the proper license and permits, and more training in handling dynamite than just watching a lot of Road Runner cartoons. Edgar was Too Dumb to Live, but that also described everybody else on the show. The only reference to Greene's ethnicity in his time on the show was a humorous Shout-Out in his first appearance, when Edgar commented about the film Dances with Wolves, and stated that the "Native guy" (Greene himself), should have gotten the Oscar. Similarly, the only non-white main character on Corner Gas is Davis Quinton, the Sergeant of Dog River's two-member police force. He (and the actor who plays him, Lorne Cardinal) is a member of the Cree Nation, hardly a rarity in Rural Saskatchewan. However, this is incidental to his character; it's only brought up once, at the end of the first season, when Karen suggests going to a ticket scalper and he acts offended. Also, both bartenders (Phil and Paul) appear Cree. One of them speaks some Cree, enough to know the original name of Dog River. Referenced in Star Trek: Voyager (itself a very racially diverse show) where Janeway and Chakotay discuss the issues involved in a ship crewed by both Federation members and Maquis separatists. Janeway notes that by making the Maquis Chakotay her second in command she hopes she has already shown that she can be tolerant of them, and Chakotay responds, "I have no intention of being your token Maquis." Back in the original series, the creators had to fight Executive Meddling to get two Token Minorities, Sulu and Uhura, on the bridge, and some nonwhites among the extras. The original pilot pushed further with a female second in command, and Spock was considered to be radical at the time as an Alien, especially with the original plans being for Spock to have either green or red skin. Also notable that both lead characters of Spock and Kirk were played by Jews. Then there's the gutsy move of creating a Russian main character at the height of the Cold War. Deep Space Nine, with a somewhat varied cast itself, has an odd class example. Miles O'Brien is heavily played up as a Closer to Earth blue-collar NCO in a staff of implicitly elite Officer and a Gentleman types, complete with a labour-movement martyr in his ancestry. (Granted, one can call Captain Sisko upwardly-mobile, as the son of a restaurateur, but this was revealed much later and never emphasised). Though the Federation is supposed to be truly egalitarian, classless meritocracy, so the whole issue is a little murky. Star Trek: The Next Generation of course had Worf as an in-universe example, the only Klingon in all of Starfleet, having been adopted by humans in his youth. Quite a bit of Character Development resulted from his dealings with born-and-raised Klingons who variously failed to live up to his idealized image of Klingon honor or disapproved of his choice to stay with the humans instead of returning to his people (where his family was disgraced anyways). Another in-universe example would be Data as the only Android of the Starfleet (and one of the very few Androids of the whole universe). In The Class Kyle's boyfriend Aaron is introduced as a secondary character to counteract the Monochrome Casting. Averted in the original Battlestar Galactica, especially in the episode "Fire In Space" which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Boomer and Tigh's extensive roles. Pete Ross from Smallville is an especially funny example, as his comic book counterpart is white. Both radio experts on Hogan's Heroes were token black characters. Given that they were all prisoners and obviously not all from the same unit, WWII segregation wasn't really an issue. Sgt. Kinchloe (played by Ivan Dixon) was more than the radio expert - he was second-in-command. He also had at least three episodes showcasing him. And his role was prominent enough that the practice of cutting out the black characters for the "Southern Version" (practiced up to the late 1960's) wasn't usually possible. Sgt. Baker (played by Kenneth Washington) was a better fit when he took Kinchloe's place, having previously been the one black guy in the mob of line-less background prisoners. It is still notable that most of Kinchloe's spotlight episodes were the only ones to feature a black Girl of the Week (an African princess and an old high school girlfriend respectively). Saturday Night Live has been guilty of this at multiple points in its run. Garrett Morris in the 70s. Eddie Murphy in the early 80s. While certainly nobody would question Murphy's right to be there, the fact remained that the show felt no obligation to have another black in the cast as long as Murphy was there. (In fact, Robert Townsend, who was originally hired to be the token black guy, was let go once Murphy showed up.) In the early 90s, the show for a change had multiple blacks in the cast. However, when SNL turned over most of its cast in 1995, they kept Tim Meadows on primarily to avoid giving the impression that the show was trying to rid itself of all its black performers. For the past few years it's been just Kenan Thompson. Season 35 introduces Jay Pharoah alongside Kenan. As a matter of fact, he's beginning to take some precedence over Kenan, especially to play the skinnier, more handsome African-American celebrities such as Denzel Washington. But it helps that his impressions are spot-on for nearly anyone. However there's also the non-black but non-white characters, like Nasim Pedrad, who is Iranian (notwithstanding the controversy over whether Iranians should be lumped in with Arabs and other Semitic peoples, or whether they are "dark whites"), or Fred Armisen who is part German, Japanese and Venezuelan. He is both the second Asian and second Hispanic cast member of SNL. The first Hispanic cast member was Horatio Sanz, a white Hispanic from the looks of him. He was often cast as Italian characters. In late 2013, SNL received a lot of criticism for their relative lack of black female cast members throughout their almost 40 year history. They held a casting call and ended up casting Sasheer Zamata, who is only the fifth black female cast member in the history of the show and the only one on the show since Maya Rudolph's departure in 2007. Benson from Soap (made in the 70s, mind) was the only black character in the show for the first three seasons and he was the butler. He was never used to put across any racial message and if anything he was the Only Sane Man in the entire show. When Benson got replaced in season three, there was Saunders the Expy, also black. In season three only there was Polly Dawson, a black woman who dates Danny who was there to try and push a racial message around. They do get some racial attacks and eventually Danny gets paranoid about everybody staring at the two of them in public. MADtv was guilty of this with Bobby Lee, the only Asian on the show. He even played a stereotypically Asian recurring character. Ricky and later Junito (Latino) of Noah's Arc, which has a predominantly African-American cast. In fact, they are the only non-African-Americans of the cast. A sketch on Dead Ringers lampshaded this with the Schwarzenegger film Shooting Lots and Lots of Bad Guys with my Very Big Gun- Arnie shouts "Noooooo! Token Black Buddy!" after his sidekick is killed by Token British Bad Guy. Dreama (black) in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Both subverted and played straight. Instead of bringing a token gay character onto the show, the writers had one of the three central characters turn out to be a lesbian. On the other hand, it wasn't until the seventh season that there was an important character who was black, and when he did show up he was the token black guy. Season 3 had the Genre Savvy (and sadly under-used) villain Mr. Trick, a modern black vampire who commented on the fact that there were very few people of color in Sunnydale. There were also a few other black characters, like Absalom and Olivia, as well as Rona in season seven. Before coming out as Lesbian, Willow was already the Token Jewish Girl. Of course after her outing she became Twofer Token Minority. The U.S. black music program Soul Train had some token white dancers in the audience. The character of Charlie Young was added to The West Wing just because the NAACP was criticizing the show for not having a Token Minority. Charlie's "token minority" status is particularly interesting in this case, as the only two of the shows main characters are white and Protestant (and that is if one guesses on Sam, whose religion is not mentioned but can be presumed not to be Catholic or Jewish). Two of the main characters are Jewish, four are Catholic, making the show's main cast far more diverse than the actual US population, even without Charlie in the mix. Star Trek: Enterprise, unlike the previous shows (which were such aversions of Humans Are White they were often accused of being Five Token Bands by some), has a black guy, a Asian woman, and everyone else is white. And also note that, in order to make it obvious to the audience he was only on the show so they could say they had a Token Minority, the black guy was a glorified extra... Subverted on ''Sue Thomas F. B. Eye" where the main character is a deaf female FBI agent. Scrubs had the great feature of JD and Turk's College Brochure. Turk is photoshopped in twice to make it appear more diverse. Lampshaded in the episode My Long Goodbye when Turk struggles to think of other black members of staff. He gets himself and Nurse Roberts (whom he is speaking to), Snoop Dog Attending, and Leonard the Security Guard... Turk:This is a white-ass hospital. He then adds that if this were a horror movie, he'd be getting nervous. Venus Flytrap on WKRP in Cincinnati, although the show made a strong effort to depict him as a well-rounded individual. Parodied in an episode of The Real Husbands of Hollywood where George Lopez guest-stars as himself, with his introduction caption stating "Helping attract Latino audience." On House, Omar Epps was the only series regular of color for three seasons, until House hired three new underlings, at which point Kal Penn became the token South Asian guy. Having said that, Wilson, Cuddy and Taub are all Jewish to varying degrees of obviousness. And Thirteen is bisexual, and House is an atheist. And his atheism is portrayed... well, not negatively, at any rate. They do okay. Robin Hood has David Harewood as a black Friar Tuck in 12th century England. Van-Pires had Snap, who is really blatantly this (just look at that nickname!) Bonnie Bennett in The Vampire Diaries TV show. She has her own storyline for a bit, but it turns out to exist only to facilitate the (white, male) lead vampire's storyline. She was white in the books - but they completely erased the existence another extremely prominent female character who was Latina and definitely minimized Bonnie's personality and agency. Joss Whedon's Firefly Zoe, the second in command on board Serenity, is both black and a female in a position of authority. And she's badass! Shepherd Book is black, old, religious and badass! There are, however, no Chinese people. The villain from the Big Damn Movie, a Wicked Cultured black Well-Intentioned Extremist with a katana who avoids every Scary Black Man trope apart from being both black and fucking terrifying. Showtime's Dexter manages to avert this. In adapting from the book, the producers were given the liberty to change the ethnicity of any character based on the actors they wanted to hire. Instead, they hired a genuinely racially diverse cast and nobody got a Race Lift. However, the issue of tokenism is addressed; LaGuerta got her position based on her ability to spin things to her advantage and her Twofer Token Minority status (black Hispanic woman), and when she pisses off her boss, he very carefully replaces her with a second twofer-token (a black, Haitian woman) who got her rank as an officer the hard way. Captain Matthews: (referring to LaGuerta's replacement) Turns out she's an actual hero. Khaleel "Kenny" Al-Bahir is the Token Middle Eastern in The War at Home. Also token gay. In Flashpoint, we have Lewis Young, Winnie the dispatcher and after Lewis's death Leah Kerns as the Token Minorities. Spin City had Carter Heywood, a Twofer Token Minority who averted both Positive Discrimination and plain old discrimination by being a well-rounded character. Michael Boatman was the only regular black cast member. Lost, despite having a huge cast from a diverse range of backgrounds, only ever had one gay character, Tom Friendly. And his sexuality wasn't even confirmed until after he'd been killed off. Some Disney Channel shows include a rich, intelligent, yet conniving and selfish Latino as a token minority character. Some examples: That's So Raven, The Proud Family and Hannah Montana. Earth 2 had a token black character who was a violent criminal whose "reform" consisted of a chip in his brain when the chip malfunctioned, he tries to kill everybody. Carrusel has a few. Cirilo is Black. David is Ashkenazi Jewish. Kokimoto is Japanese. Bibi is North American of English Ancestry. Jim Carrey launched his career being the only white guy (most of the time) on the predominantly black In Living Color!. Modern Family has Gloria and her son Manny, who fit Hispanic stereotypes perfectly. They are also used as an excuse to use Hispanic jokes shamelessly. There are also two gay men who are raising an adopted Vietnamese child. Boy Meets World had two separate token blacks a different points: Eli Williams in season 3 and Angela in seasons 5-7. Angela lampshades this a few times: "Gosh I got to get some black friends." Transparently present every single time a British channel is presenting Association Football. The usual line up is "old white managernoteCoach, for American audiences.", "middle-aged white recently retired ex midfielder/defender/goalie", "just-retired black forward/midfielder". Sometimes they even try to claim "Scottish" as equivalent to "black." Infrequently but annoyingly, the channel ends up with someone from Francophone Africa whose grasp of the English language simply isn't up to the job, making the tokenism at play especially obvious (and presumably depriving Francophone viewers of the much better standard of commentary he could offer in his native tongue). The modern Charlie's Angels revamp adds a black Angel in order to appeal to modern audiences. Stockinger, the spinoff of the Austrian show Inspector Rex, has Antonella Simoni, a cheerful Italian-Austrian cop and the first female cop to appear in the Inspector Rex franchise. A few Australian cop shows have had a single token Polynesian cop - Water Rats, Rush, and East West 101 are good examples, although East West 101 had a Muslim Arab-Australian cop as the main character, so in that case 'token' would be stretching it. Regardless, whether this represents a trend in the Real Life Aussie police force, or just actor availability, is unknown. All 3 CSI series had one black character each. CSI had Warrick first and then Ray Langston, though with his departure, there aren't any. CSI NY had Sheldon Hawkes. CSI: Miami had Alexx (season 1-6), Tara (season 7), and Walter (season 8-10). There are quite a few black characters on Supernatural, but somehow none of them come even as close to being core cast as the women. In fact, the only one who managed to be seriously recurring was the psychotic Vampire Hunter who eventually became a vampire. His Scary Black Man traits were played with initially in that Dean thought he and his badass attitude toward decapitation was awesome, and then the guy turned out to be a hateful extremist who'd offed his own little sister after she was vamped, which pushed Dean's Berserk Button, and who didn't make any distinction between Friendly Neighborhood Vampires and the dangerous kind. The archangel Raphael, the one who never really does anything or gets much characterization, is the one linked to a bloodline of black people. He never even wears the same black person for more than a couple of appearances, because after he burns them out and dumps them they're in no condition to consent again. That poor family. Also, those poor actors. The guy who he wore in 'Free to be You and Me' was pretty impressively creepy. There was a married black couple of hunters, one of whom was British, who were rude and overconfident. The husband died in their first appearance, and the wife was not very useful and never came back. First-season psychic character Missouri Moseley could have been useful on a number of occasions since when they've been desperate for allies, including on a couple of occasions specifically a psychic, but has never even been referenced, even when they went back to her town, although it was too late for help by that point. In seasons two and three there were a few appearances by hard-assed Cowboy Cop Victor Hendriksen, the black FBI agent assigned to the Dean Winchester case. He had an Enemy Mine when the station in which he was holding the boys fell under demonic siege, and after they left he was killed. He reappeared as an angry ghost at the beginning of season four. There's also Bobby's old partner Rufus Turner, gruff old bastard with a taste for fine scotch. Minorities other than black generally don't even get token appearances, though there were some hot Asian fanservice girls, at least one with a small speaking part. The longest running non-white character is probably Kevin Tran, who showed up at the very end of season 7 and made sporadic appearances throughout seasons 8 and 9. His mother, Linda, also premiered around the same time, but has been in even fewer episodes than him. And as of the mid-season 9 finale, Kevin has been killed off. He showed up as a ghost a few episodes after that, and left with Linda. Neither have been back since. This is a show about two white guys, with the addition of up to two other white guys, where a supermajority of women with speaking roles are blondes. Everything but white males appear only as token, although a couple of white women have gotten to the level of supporting cast before dying. Or, in one case, being given Laser-Guided Amnesia so they wouldn't be traumatized by their kidnapping, or miss Dean after he left them for their own good. Initially played straight and later subverted in The Walking Dead with T-Dog, who is the only major character in the series not to have any sub-plots and little dialog. Extremely apparent in Season 2 episode "Judge, Jury, Executioner" in which the group deliberates whether or not to kill Randall, the episode focuses on the opinions of every member of the group except T-Dog whose one line of dialog is cut off by Dale. Also played straight in Season 3. T-Dog is killed off, shortly after they gain a new black cast member. The new black guy is then killed off later, just as Tyreese, another black guy, shows up. Later, Tyreese and his sister Sasha join the main cast, though Tyreese died in the episode after Beth. Add in Michonne at the start of Season 3, and she is easily one of the most prominent female characters on the show, being an undeniable badass with a sword. Additionally, both Michonne and Sasha are still alive and important to the show, as of the mid-season finale for Season 7. Angel had Charles Gunn as the only black guy, though Doyle and Lorne might count as token demons. In Chuck, it's lampshaded that Morgan only manages to keep his job at the Buy-More because of his Hispanic descent, fulfilling the ethnic diversity quota set forth by company policy. Big Mike makes it clear the moment he finds another Hispanic nerd to do his job, Morgan is gone. Mixed-race Angel Coulby was the result of Ability over Appearance when it came to casting her as Guinevere on Merlin, and to their credit, the producers have never once defended or explained this decision beyond saying that she was the best for the role. However, one can't help but feel that the later inclusion of Gwen's brother Elyan was the result of this trope: he's the only black knight of the Round Table and doesn't really get to do much. His death, which seemed to only serve as an excuse for people to brush off Gwen's post-brainwashing strangeness, was far from encouraging. After Gwen returned to normal, he was forgotten. JAG had a few minorities represented in lead and recurring characters: Major/Lieutenant Colonel Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie is multiracial (WhiteIranianCherokee), Commander Sturgis Turner and Congresswoman Bobbi Latham are African Americans, Gunnery Sergeant Victor Galindez is Latino and Harmon Rabb has a Russian half-brother. Mac's background is close to that of her actress, Catherine Bell. She was born in London to a Scottish father and Iranian mother. Leon from NCIS was one of the first recurring black characters - introduced in season five - though his race is rarely ever mentioned, and Agent Dorneget (a minor character introduced in season nine) is the only recurring gay character. Australian soaps tend to be about middle-class white people, and usually don't even bother to include a significant Token Minority character - Home And Away did have the Samoan Australian actor Jai Laga'aia's character, although the moment another non-white actor got a part Lagai'a was fired. Neighbours is a little less closed-off, having allowed an Indian Australian family, the Kapoors, to join the main cast. Invoked in-universe on Suits where Jessica Pearson's backstory reveals that she was originally hired by the law firm because she was a black woman and the firm decided it needed "diversity". She was initially told that she was hired strictly on merit but later saw a working memo which specifically had "diversity" written next to her name. What really pissed her off was the fact that the memo did not mention her being a top-of-her-class Harvard graduate or her work at the Harvard Law Review, which should have made her one of the top candidates for the job no matter what her race or gender is. She got even by rising through the firms ranks and then ousting the managing partner who wrote the memo. Habib (Asian and Muslim) and Gladstone (black Caribbean) on The Thin Blue Line. Of course, this is modern day London, so an ethnically diverse workplace makes sense. Fresh Off the Boat: Invoked; at one point Eddie Huang (the new kid) gets into a scuffle with an African-American kid who says that Eddie's the new token minority. On The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, every season will typically have one or two minority contestants who never win and rarely even get close to winning. These contestants also frequently fall into But Not Too Black. Lampshaded on Community (which actually did have a very diverse cast). Elroy Patashnik was introduced in Season 6 after Troy and Shirley, the series' other two major black characters, had both departed the show. One episode had a scene where he addressed his status as the sole black member of the group and stated that he would not allow himself to be treated like a token, saying "I'm nobody's fourth Ghostbuster." Parodied and enforced in the Key & Peele sketch "A Cappella," where the token black member of the otherwise all-white a cappella group treats a second black member joining as if his country was being invaded. The Good Wife had Kalinda Sharma (her ethnicity is never especified but is assume to be Indian or Persian) from season 1-6, later African-American Lucca Quinn became the Token Minority and also a Suspiciously Similar Substitute. Almost every team of Power Rangers consists of three white people (one of whom is also possibly Latino) and one black person and one person of Asian descent to form the token minorities. Human Aliens occasionally appear on teams as well. This multiracial team lineup also seems to apply to the non-human Alien Rangers of Aquitar, which includes the black Aquitian Blue Alien Ranger Cestro. Teal'c in Stargate SG-1, who, as well as being the token black guy, is also the token alien of the titular flagship off-world reconnaissance team SG-1. In the fifth episode of the first season, one of the first signs that the team have brought a highly contagious infection back from another world is an unprovoked assault on Teal'c, which, perhaps for the sake of not appearing racially aggravated, is instigated by another black man. Lampshaded in Jason King. King is adapting one of his adventures for a TV series. The television executive insists that the hero should have a sidekick, who is first portrayed as a white guy, only to change to a black guy to go with the latest trend, then ending up with an Asian guy to get a wider potential audience. Saved by the Bell has Lisa (played by Lark Voorhies), the Black Princess of the group and Slater (played by Mario Lopez) the Hispanic. How stereotypical they are depends on the episode, but according to the producers their characters were of no specific race and they were cast just because they were the best. They ethnicity does comes into play in some Very Special Episodes. American Horror Story: Coven has Queenie the only African American witch in the Institute, which became an important plot point when she begin contacts with other Black witches. Also Nan is a witch with Down Syndrome. Legend of the Seeker'': Chase is portrayed by a Maori actor, along with his family and many minor characters. On a lesser note, we see a single black Mord'Sith, and one played by mixed race actress Katrina Law, the rest being white (in the books, they all were). Lucas Sinclair in Stranger Things is the only Black character of the entire main cast. The show is Genre Savvy enough to lampshade this hillariously some times, like when the four main kid characters dress as Ghostbusters and he argues that the doesn't want to be Winston. Although only a recurrent character, Griff in Married... with Children played the part of Black Best Friend of Al, he even lampshade this in some episodes as when he objects to go firsts into dangerous situations because Black Dude Dies First. Another recurrent Black character is Corrupt Cop Officer Dan, who was member of mostly white NO'MAAM club. In an overwhelming Caucasian cast as Beverly Hills, 90210, Silver is Ambiguously Jewish. Sons of Anarchy deals with fictionalized versions of outlaw Motorcycle Clubs, most of the clubs are ethnically-exclusive in Real Life and the most they tend to mix is that those that are not White-supremacists or Black, admit White and Hispanics (case of Hell's Angels, which is the club the Sons are based on). On that note, Juan Carlos 'Juice' Ortiz is the only Latino character among the main cast and in the chapter of the city of Charming (that also happens to be the international headquarters). As sexual minorities go, Alex "Tig" Trager is bisexual (he starts a relationship with a transgender person). Near the end of the series they open the club to Black members. Veronica Mars has two examples: Veronica's best friend Wallace, who is Black, and biker allied Eli "Weevil" Navarro, who is Latino. Music Poor Niall Horan of One Direction. Simply known as "The Irish One" by non-directorners. He's also the only blond. Mel B from Spice Girls is the only non-white Spice Girl (although technically she is mixed-race). Mythology & Religion In Books of Samuel, Uriah is a Hittite resided in Israel, which was considered as an ethnic minority in Israel back then. However, he's not among the gentiles as he followed the Israelite belief, which is a requirement for him to marry Bathsheba, an Israelite herself in the first place. He also genuinely cares about his subordinate and refused to have sex with his wife while a war was going on, despite royal orders, because he didn't want to accept privileges that his men weren't being allowed. And after his death, Prophet Nathan promptly calls David out for inventing the Uriah Gambit. Balthasar, one of the threenoteWho, by the way, are neither named nor numbered in the Bible: it is only a mediaeval tradition that there were three or that their names were as here plus Caspar. Wise Men, has been depicted as black since Medieval times. Melchior is sometimes depicted as Asian as well, so the Wise Men represent the three continents of the Medieval world: Europe, Asia, and Africa. One researcher has found references in an ancient manuscript saying that the Magi came from a country called Shir, which was in the far east, bordered an ocean, and produced silk. The Magi might have actually been Chinese, or perhaps Persian. Newspaper Comics Peanuts: Even wasn't immune. Franklin joined the cast in a nod to the court-ordered busing that was going on at the time. As Chris Rock points out, he was the only one in the cast without any distinct personality. In one interview, Schulz admitted that he really didn't know what to do with Franklin, since he had no experience with black children. Ironically, the producers of one of the Peanuts animated specials found a role for Franklin here. Amusingly, cartoonists of Schulz's generation were not taught how to draw black characters without making them look like grotesque stereotypes, so for Franklin, Schulz just drew a "white" kid and then gave him curly black hair and lines across his face to symbolize dark skin. Snoopy's Beagle Scouts are a group of birds consisting of Woodstock and birds who are identical to Woodstock... except for the one called Raymond, who is noticeably darker than his peers. Monica's Gang had a few. The main gang had a black and a mute (who has been described as deaf as well), then added one that due to his inspiration (the creator's son) is ambiguously Asian, and both a blind girl and a wheelchair bound boy as well. The gang in a country setting has among its hillbillies an Asian (a nod to the the huge Japanese-descent community). Print Media MAD magazine referenced the trope back in 1966 (issue 101). In a parody of the movie The Sandpiper, a character refers to himself as the film's "token Negro". It was a long time ago indeed. Pro Wrestling Of the foreigners who came into FMW for Texas Street Fight, Sweet Georgia Brown became this among the FMW women's division. She spent an even longer time as the black one of the WWF's women's division until Jazz debuted. Black Warrior, the lone Mexican of the Japanese anti Mexican La Ola Amarilla Power Stable that periodically invaded CMLL between 2005 and 2013. He served as the group's Translator Buddy. Kenny King in the Full Impact Pro Power Stable Young Rich And Ready For Action. Kenny could be considered one of the "main" members, mostly by virtue of representing the group in Ring of Honor but nonetheless the rest (Jason Blade, Portia Perez, Claudio Castagnoli, The Lovely Lacey, Sal Rinauro, Radiant Rain, Daffney, Steve Madison, Becky Bayless, Chasyn Rance, SoCal Val, etc) were all white. Around 2010, the WWE Divas were sadly falling into this. Each brand had one (and in many cases, ONLY one) member of each minority group amidst the sea of blond hair on the rest of the roster. On Raw, as seen by the Fatal 4-Way Divas match, there was the white Maryse, black Alicia Fox, Asian Gail Kim, and Latina Eve Torres (although the then-recently-returning Melina shook that up, and with the Bella Twins, it appears that Latinas have become something of the majority on Raw.) On SmackDown, it doesn't even go that far. There's the British/Moroccan Layla who seems to be filling in for black despite being paler than some of the more tan-addicted Divas and the Latino Rosa Mendes, that's it. However, after the "Brand Extension" was first ditched in 2011, the "one diva per group" rule was been gradually averted. As of January 2018, following a second brand split, the ethnicities of the WWE women's roster are now pretty much downplayed. Just for completeness' sake, here's the rundown: White Alexa Bliss (blonde), Bayley (brunette), Becky Lynch (redhead), Carmella (blonde), Charlotte Flair (blonde), Dana Brooke (blonde), Lana (blonde), Liv Morgan (blonde), Maryse (blonde), Mickie James (brunette), Natalya (blonde), Paige (brunette), Ruby Riott (brunette), Sarah Logan (dark blonde). Ronda Rousey (brunette) has signed with WWE, but has not yet been put on the main roster. Black Alicia Fox, Naomi, Sasha Banks Latina Brie and Nikki Bella (half-Mexican, half-Italian) Asian Asuka Pacific Islander Nia Jax (half-Samoan, half-German), Tamina Snuka (half-Fijian, half-Samoan)noteher father Jimmy Snuka was Fijian but married into the Samoan Anoa'i family Concerning SHINE Power Stable Las Sicarias, it is easy to forget Amanda Rodriguez is "The Peruvian Princess" when every other member (Ivelisse Vlez, La Rosa Negra, Thea Trinidad, Mercedes Martinez) is Puerto Rican and 3/4ths of them are loud about it. Jonathan Gresham in Search And Destroy, although this wasn't by design so much as circumstance. One other did briefly make it to TV, but Lio Rush was Put on a Bus due to an attack from Shane Taylor of The Rebellion. Puppet Shows Lieutenant Green token black of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. The show also counts a Japanese and a black amongst its minor characters. Sport Manchester United have a large Asian fanbase and seem to ensure that they always have at least one Asian player in the squad, presumably to appeal to Asian fans: Park Ji-Sung (Korean, 2005-12) Shinji Kagawa (Japanese, 2012 - 2014) Tabletop Games In Privateer Press' tabletop war game WARMACHINE, Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane is the game's only black warcaster. Before the release of the expansion book Pirates of the Broken Coast, he was the only black model in the game. Siege came out in Apotheosis, the third expansion of the game. Theatre Hamilton: Inverted with the original Broadway cast, in which the only white character in the main cast apart from the actor playing King George III was Christopher Jackson, who played George Washington. Toys Kimono from My Little Pony G3 is Japanese, as shown by her name and her occasional kimono wearing in the books. There's also Fiesta Flair, whose toy was actually cancelled for what fans speculate was due to being too stereotypically Mexican. Video Games Pokmon: There's the boss of the main character in Pokmon Ranger 2, and a Boisterous Bruiser as well as Da Chief. There was a young dark-skinned girl standing in the player's hometown in FireRed/LeafGreen. But the sprite for this girl doesn't appear anywhere else in the entire game. Pheobe, who showed up in Pokmon Ruby and Sapphire, is implied to be the Poke-verse's equivalent of Pacific Islander. Pokmon Sun and Moon later introduced a Hawaii-based region called "Alola". In Pokmon Diamond and Pearl, they did add another token minority, a Frontier Brain named Dahlia who is ambiguously latina. In Pokmon Black and White, minor NPCs of varying skin tone are common, and two noteIris's skin tone is Ambiguously Brown in the games and anime, though Sugimori's original art is darker skinned than her sprite and anime counterpart gym leaders are black. Granted, one can't help but slightly cringe that in Pokmon Black and White 2, the basketball team are the first black people you come across. At the very least, they provide the first truly challenging duels for the player. Averted in Pokmon X and Y - Not only do you have the option to customize the character's skin tone, but the player encounters a fair number of Ambiguously Brown and even black trainers (more than previous games). Nobody treats them any differently. That said, of the main characters Shauna is the only non-white one (unless your protagonist is brown). Grand Theft Auto IV had an ad for Weazel News, an Expy of the Fox News Channel, that parodied the use of token minorities on TV news programs. The voiceover for the ad explicitly mentioned the "diverse" news team as proof that they weren't racist, and when the Asian reporter was listed, an oriental gong sound was clearly audible. Harsher in Hindsight since correspondent Jesse Watters filmed this segment for the The O'Reilly Factor in 2016. Louis in Left 4 Dead is considered the game's token black guy. Veteran Bill is the token old guy, and Zoey is the token girl. Young white male biker Francis is the least mentally stable of the four, and some Fanon says he's gay. In Team Fortress 2, several of the classes are represented as clearly being of a certain nationality. The Demoman represents Scotland, however he is also the only black man in the game. He is also a drunk and a "cyclops", making him a "Threefer." The Team Fortress 2 team stated in their blog (providing some early concept art) that the Demoman was going to be a redheaded white guy, making him look more like the stereotypical Scot. Instead, they decided that he looked too much like Groundskeeper Willie, so they made him black. So this probably isn't a case of tokenism, but an attempt to break a stereotype. A better example might be the continuous hints of Pyro being the lone female class. The 'aggressive black Scotsman' with an absurdly broad accent is a stereotype of its own in the UK. Lampshaded in his intro video on the official site: Demoman: I'm a black Scottish cyclops! They've got more f-[extended censorship bleep] than thy do the likes of me! Ironically, it appears that in the world of Team Fortress 2, there is in fact a clan of black Scottish demolitions experts... but the Demoman is unusual in that he still has one of his eyes. In [PROTOTYPE], Dr. Ragland is the only black character of plot significance. Particularly egregious considering the game takes place in New York City. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has Devdan, the only black guy in the game. Sequel Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn adds Ambiguously Brown Fiona. The Final Fantasy series has two examples. General Leo Christophe from Final Fantasy VI and Barret Wallace from Final Fantasy VII. The latter was played perfectly straight amongst the heroes. Paradoxically, it wasn't done for the feelings of the fans, or for racial diversit. General Leo, however, is a slight inversion because the sprite has the same skin tone as the rest of the characters, while his art has a notably darker skin tone. Sazh Katzroy from Final Fantasy XIII is the token black guy. In Romancing SaGa 3, Harid "El Nool" Tornado is the lone black character you can choose. He's a mercenary Averted in the PC FPS Ethnic Cleansing, where almost all characters are of non-white races, save for the protagonist and few NPCs. The reason for this, as the name implies, is quite nefarious. Of the four player characters in the Konami arcade shoot-'em-up Sunset Riders, Cormano is the only Mexican. The other three are blond white cowboys. Sig in Jak and Daxter is apparently the only black guy on the entire freakin' planet, including the NPCs that just wander around. Chains from Payday The Heist is the team black guy. Bully each clique will have a girl, a black boy and a bisexual boy. The nerds clique have a Twofer Token Minority Black Bisexual Nerdy boy. Mass Effect: Mass Effect has an interesting take on this. While the crew of the Normandy consists mainly of humans with only one member of various other species present (one asari, one turian, etc.), those species are so common throughout the galaxy that most of your NPC interactions involve them. Tali'Zorah Nar Rayya, on the other hand, is the only quarian in the entire game, making her your token minority team member. She's also a Space Gypsy, making her and anyone of her race a barely tolerated outcast everywhere outside their fleet. Mass Effect 2 gives a double subversion, since Shepard's field mission squad consist of only three humans and seven aliens of different races, but when it comes to the human crew on Normandy SR-2, Jacob Taylor is the only black man on the whole ship, until you download the DLC and thus you have Token Minorities within token minorities. In the humans, you have an Australian (Miranda), a Canadian (Shepard, both sexes), an American (Jacob), a Brit (Zaeed), and a Japanese Genki Girl (Kasumi). Anthony Higgs of Metroid: Other M; he's the first major black character; there were a few black people on the Valhalla (key word being "few"). He's also the only supporting character who survives to the end of the game. In Night Trap, SCAT has both a token black guy and a token woman (if you don't count Kelly). In Silent Hill 4: The Room, Cynthia Velasquez, a Latina, is the only minority character, and also the first to die. Snake's Revenge has Nick Meyer, the only African-American in Snake's crew. The Persona series tends to have this, given its explicitly Japanese setting: Persona 2 has party member Lisa Silverman, the daughter of two white Americans. That said, she's been raised in Japan her entire life, cannot speak English, and her parents are extreme Japanophiles who desire her to behave like a traditional Japanese girl, much to her chagrin. There's also a minor character named Tony who goes around and takes lewd photos of women. Persona 3 has "Bebe", a French foreign exchange student and Japanophile, as your Temperance Arcana Social Link. Persona 5 has party member Ann Takamaki, a quarter-white girl who lived overseas for sometime before coming back to Japan. Her foreign background makes her the subject of numerous malicious rumors at her school, which is not helped by the volleyball coach treating her as an exotic Lust Object. The Elder Scrolls: In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion there are exactly three non-Imperials among the nobles of Cyrodiil: Count Andel Indarys of Cheydinhal, a dark elf who is accused of having gotten his position via nepotism (he's supposedly friends with King Helseth of Morrowind); Andel's son Farwil, who is an idiot; and Imperial Battlemage Ocato, a high elf who only even appears twice. Note that it is made quite clear in books and dialogue (before, during and after Oblivion) and in a later game with an appearance that there are more non-Imperial nobles in Cyrodiil. It's just that the Elder Council is conspicuously missing from their meeting hall every time we go there in Oblivion. The "Hearthfire" DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim adds a Redguard housecarl, Rayya. The rest of the housecarls are Nords. The story of Temple Run seems to be taking place in Asia (judging from the architecture and rainforest), but all characters but one is western. The one non-western character is Asian. Her name? "Karma Lee". The western characters are either white or afro-american. The white characters are explorers and escape artists and similar stuff that fit the setting, while the black characters have concepts such as football star - making one wonder how he ended up in an ancient Asian temple in the first place. The Rehda in Ys: The Ark of Napishtim are culturally reminiscent of Native Americans, although their chief, Ord, talks like an Afro-American in the English dub. Played straight and averted with Neverwinter Nights 1. Played straight with the Original Campaign and the NPC, Aarin Gend, but can be averted by module builders and players since both NPCs and player characters can have skin color matching anything in the game palette (including but not limited to green, blue, purple, yellow, gold, orange, red, mirror(!) and either solid flat white or solid flat black). In Killer Bear, the titular killer refers to Tracy as "the token black girl." Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear. was criticized for introducing several token minority characters. The one that got most attention was Mizhena, a female in which, upon first meeting her in the game, when you choose certain dialogue options about how she got her name, reveals that she's a transgender. She does this before providing little else in the context of the game. In StarCraft, the only black fellow in the entire Colonial/UED Marine Corps drives the SCV. I get that Terrans are space hillbillies, but wow... Ace Combat series' Constructed World of Strangereal seems to have no equivalent of Africa or East Asia, yet some token characters obviously representing those regions' ethnic groups come included: The most egregious case is the Series Mascot Kei Nagase, who has appeared in some form (i.e. as one of mostly unrelated women who just happen to have exact same name, looks, and similar personalities) in Ace Combat 2/Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy , Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, and Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War despite being the only apparently-Japanese person in world where no Japan exists (she also pops up in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and Ace Combat Infinity but those are set on alternate Earths, making her appearance more plausible, if still token). As noted, no equivalent of Africa exists in Strangereal, so Keith Bryan from Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere and Marcus Snow from Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War seem to be the only black guys in the world so far. Harvest Moon occasionally has a few. For example, Harvest Moon 64 has a black fisherman and Ambiguously Brown Kai in a town full of mainly white (and a few Asian) people while Story of Seasons introduced the first explicitly gay character in the series. Body Blows: The British boxer Junior is the only black guy among the human characters. Though Junior does make up for this somewhat as being a prominent character in that he is one of the only two characters to be in all of the games of the series. Web Comics Alice in the Loserz strip. As she says in one strip, one of the few black kids in school. The character of Kay Wheeler in Misfile exists solely to try and crack open Emily's Transparent Closet. Missi Fuller's ethnicity, while lampshaded in her intro comic, serves no plot purpose other than to bring a bit of variety to the cast and the sole black character who's particularly recurring, Eponine, only in later times started getting attention. Grace and Nanase in El Goonish Shive. Sort of. Sensei Greg too, but he's become a Brother Chuck. And Nanase doesn't even look very Japanese. Clark is probably this in Shape Quest. Subnormality: Lets not forget to always give them One Award. Homestuck: The Webcomic within the MS Paint Adventure Homestuck, Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff has the most pointless of Token Minority characters with Geromy. Introduced as "The new friend", he has never moved, spoken, or been aknowledged by another character. He's even called the token black friend in the theme song! Amusingly enough, he is actually the third black character introduced after Barack Obana and The Big Man, with both actually having at least a minimum of a role in the comics. Interestingly, in Homestuck itself, Word of God has given a similar, though less cynical, rationale for having Jade, Nepeta, and Equius be furries. Hilariously subverted in Errant Story by Bani, who's well aware of her status and doesn't want to become the black dude who dies first. Axe Cop does it with as crazy a twist as everything else: When asked whether there will be "members of other races" in Axe Cop's team, they introduce a merman team member. Parodied in a Shortpacked! strip dealing with the controversy around Michael B. Jordan being approached to play the Human Torch. An irate comic fan complains to Jacob about this development and states that this would likely make the Invisible Woman (Torch's sister) black as well, and when Jacob doesn't see a problem with this, the fanboy responds by claiming that having two black people in the cast would be "unrealistic". The fanboy then runs off screaming when Lucy, the strip's other major black character, shows up. Web Original Satirized by The Onion, after the embarrassing event of University of Wisconsin-Madison (see Advertising folder). Invoked/parodied in the third episode of Corrupting the Classics with Contemporary Crap. "Project Playwright" has five contestants: David Mamet, Harold Pinter, Anton Chekhov, Nol Coward, and For Colored Girls author Ntozake Shange. Celebrity judge Oscar Wilde implies that Shange is only there because she is a black female, which Shange doesn't take kindly to. Hilarity Ensues. The Channel Awesome sites: Krissy Diggs, a.k.a. That Chick With The Goggles, was the only black person on any of the sites (doesn't help that her video postings are extremely sporadic). That is until The Rap Critic was added. Krissy is now (as of January 2011) off the site, leaving Rap Critic as the Token Black. Angry Joe was the only Hispanic member as well, and Benzaie is the only open bisexual. He's now joined in the Hispanic representation by The Blockbuster Buster. Ma-Ti, the only non-white hero in Suburban Knights. The Gaming Pixie and Mike Maverick are the only two black people on Reviewers Unknown. Inverted in Funday Night Gaming's cast, as all but one of the main cast is gay. Achievement Hunter had Ray Narvaez Jr. as the only Hispanic member, being of Puerto Rican descent. Lindsay Jones (ne Tuggey) is the only woman who commonly appears on camera and for awhile was the only woman in Achievement Hunter, but they have since added Steffie as an off-camera helper. There's also the very British Gavin Free. The Ultimate Sidemen have Vikram Barn (Vikkstar123) as their only member who is neither white or black; he is of Indian descent. Vik is also the only member in the group who does not play FIFA on a regular basis; it's Minecraft and Call of Duty for him. DC Superhero Girls has Bumblebee (who is black) and Katana (who is Japanese) as the two non-white main characters. Western Animation Parodied in Token Black (formerly named Token Williams), the only black kid in South Park. Part of the joke is that all the other characters think he's the token rich character the only one to regularly call attention to Token's blackness is Cartman, who has been shown in other contexts to be quite racist. And his parents own the Hooters expy restaurant Raisins. Which is done as a deliberate subversion of this trope. For some reason, the Vampire kids have one Angry Black Man among their group, which leaves the goth kids slightly confused. Superfriends was notorious for that kind of character, with a bunch of obviously non-white superheroes; Apache Chief (Native North America), Black Vulcan (Black), Samurai (Asian) and El Dorado (Latin American). The final season tried to address the black issue by replacing Black Vulcan with Cyborg of the Teen Titans, a character that Marv Wolfman and George Perez worked hard to create as a legitimate original character. Justice League: John Stewart, the black Green Lantern. Less "token" because not only does he have the same nom de guerre as a major member of the original team, but he has worked with the League in a number of stories in the comics when he was Hal Jordan's backup, thus giving the character's inclusion some credibility. Furthermore, in the Unlimited phase of the series, the producers strove to dilute the issue by bringing in many of DC's other minority superheroes like Mr. Terrific, Vixen, Steel and Doctor Light. Note that, save for Batman and Superman, both of whom had a previous series unto themselves in the DCAU, John Stewart is the most featured character in the DCAU, having the most Limelight episodes on Justice League and getting a good amount of plot in Justice League Unlimited. In addition, the second season of Unlimited featured the Ultimen, straight (and far better done) versions of many of the Superfriends token characters. Shayera Hol (Hawkgirl), from the planet Thanagar, was deliberately given a Hispanic voice actor as well. Out of the Original Seven, Batman is the only one without super powers. But who needs that when he's Batman? Superman is Kryptonian, Martian Manhunter is Martian, Hawkgirl is Thanagarian, Wonder Woman is Themysciran. The only people who aren't minorities on the team are Batman and Flash. Superman: The Animated Series had Angela Chen, who was essentially a race-swapped version of Cat Grant from the comics, right down to being a catty gossip columnist and Lois Lane's rival at the Daily Planet. Beware the Batman looked to be doing this by using Katana as Batman's sidekick instead of Robin or Batgirl. Noticeable in that she was explicitly touted as "the new Robin" in press releases. Seeing how the show was canned after a mere 26 episodes, forbidden from being aired after September 28, 2014, and written off by the company we will never know. In order to have some racial diversity in the cast of Bionic Six (despite the main characters all being related), the Bennetts were given two adopted sons who were African American and Japanese respectively. Clerks: The Animated Series also added a token minority, Lando (named for the only person of color in the original Star Wars trilogy), who rarely did anything other than show up to showcase his non-whiteness. This was expressly parodying this trope, however. Black Johnathan Reed in Davey and Goliath was added by the Lutheran Church to make the series more diverse in post Civil Rights 1970s America, followed by the Hispanic Cisco, Mr. Lee, an Asian barber, and George Soaring Eagle, a boy of Native American descent, to name a few. The Extreme Ghostbusters team was compiled of all minorities. Roland a black man, Eduardo a Hispanic, Garrett a white guy in a wheel chair and Kylie a "Goth" chick. Egon was the only non-minority but he didn't always go out with the team, but held a figure head position. Their receptionist, Janine Melnitz is Ambiguously Jewish (considering her last name). The original animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, had the movie version of the team so there is only a token black guy instead of a whole token team. Also parodied in Family Guy, in which the TV newscast's (a Show Within a Show) on-site reporter is consistently referred to by the anchors as "Asian Reporter Trisha Takanawa." One episode also introduced us to "Hispanic Reporter Renee Jimenez." Interestingly, though, she's depicted as an otherwise baseline white woman who speaks with a slight Spanish accent. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.... And then there's Cleveland Brown, the token black guy who in the later seasons becomes a portmanteau for black stereotypes that had nothing to do with his established personality. And you can't bring up minorities on the newscast team without talking about "Blackuweather forecaster Ollie Williams." Another episode, perhaps unintentionally, provided an explanation: most black residents of Quahog are disguised as whites to avoid police harassment. One example when Cleveland is in the golf course the second time with a Richard Nixon mask. Another parody in Futurama, where the characters sometimes watch the soap "All My Circuits", which features a cast of robots and a single token human. Fry: What's he do? Bender: Eh, the usual human stuff. He laughs, he learns, he loves. Fry: Boring! In Daria, Jodie Landon and Mack Mackenzie seem to be the only black students at Lawndale High, and they are apparently the only people (other than possibly Andrea) who Daria and Jane respect in that school. Jodie and Mack are painfully aware of their status and are uncomfortable being effectively examples of their race; for instance, Jodie complains how she has to be "Queen of the Negroes" at school. This includes when they were dubbed school parade King and Queen consecutively over multiple years, which they suspect is possibly in part because it disguise how little real diversity there is at the school. However, Jodie notices a little black girl looking awestruck at her being so honored, and decides she can put up with it for the greater good of inspiring other minority kids to dream. On the other hand, Jodie's parents are a pair of jerks, Tiffany of the Fashion Club is an Asian Airhead, and the school's principal, Angela Li (also Asian ethnicity) is a strutting self-important dictator. Spyke in X-Men: Evolution is not only the token black member of the team, he's related to the only other black person in the cast. Spyke was so unpopular that he was written out of the series and made to live in the sewer (no, really). His eventual guest-star role as a vigilante was more well-received by the show's fans than his entire run as a cast member. By that time they had balanced things out a bit by adding a few other minority kids to the cast, notably Sunspot (Afro-Brazilian), Magma (Race Lifted into a dark-skinned Brazilian) and Jubilee (Chinese-American). Though of course Jubilee herself was also Put on a Bus until the finale. Transformers Armada had token Hispanic Carlos. The fact that his catchphrase was "holy frijoles" should tell you how badly that turned out. Alexis was also supposedly Vietnamese, according to Word of God. Uh huh. Animaniacs has Dr. Scratchansniff who is German, The Goodfeathers who are Italian and Flavio and Marita who are Spanish. Averted amongst the humans in Transformers Animated, where there are a number of prominent nonwhite characters. However, it's notable that when the Autobots turn human in "Human Error", there's one black kid - and it's Bumblebee. This is because of the voice actors - Bumblebee is the only main-cast Autobot with a black voice actor (Bumper Robinson). The children's television series Dragon Tales has a dragon in a wheelchair, he can't fly either. Most of the plot of the episode where Lorca is introduced, "A New Friend", hinges on this. John Thunder, the Native American member of the Centurions. Maybe one of the best out there. Orange Blossom and Ginger Snap of Strawberry Shortcake, though later seasons introduce more characters. Doozy Bots, the attempt to adapt Gundam to American audiences in the early 90s (That thankfully never got past a short 5 minute preview video) featured the Black Kid of the gang who also happened to be in a wheelchair. To make matters worse (or funnier, depending on how you see it) when the main characters all transform into the eponymous super-deformed chibi Gundams/Mobile Suits, he gets stuck being the Guntank - which is the top half of a Mobile Suit attached to a set of tank treads. In Teen Titans there is Cyborg as the only African-American in the team and Robin who is Romani even though he looks white. Raven is an apparently white Half-Human Hybrid and the other two have orange and green skin (though Beast Boy was born white before turning green). Herald and Bumblebee are black while Mas y Mens are Hispanic. The Simpsons episode "A Streetcar Named Marge" mentions "Token black panelist, Drederick Tatum!" Subverted in Mucha Lucha!, where the whole main trio is non-white. Rikochet is somewhat dark-skinned, and Buena Girl and Flea's skin looks sort of Mest Indian. However, many secondary characters are white. The show is set in Mexico (or at least a Mexican-American community), where everyone is perceived to be "foreign" and "exotic" in some way. Phineas and Ferb: Baljeet is Indian, the Fireside Girl Holly is African-American, Stacy and the Fireside Girl Ginger are Asian, and Buford seems to have some kind of Dutch heritage. The show in general obviously tries to be very cosmopolitic. Isabella Garcia-Shapiro is Mexican (ethnic minority) and Jewish (religious minority) so she's both this trope and Twofer Token Minority. Though one episode has the cast visiting the "Mexican Jewish Cultural Festival" so Danville might just have a particularly large population of Mexican-Jews... The Famous Five were reimagined for a Disney cartoon series, starring the children of the original Five. George's daughter Jo (Jyoti) is half-Indian. Compare the extremely white originals with the next generation. Frosty the Snowman: Sarah from The Legend Of Frosty The Snowman is African. Mostly averted in Challenge Of The Go Bots, where A.J. and General Newcastle are both black, and Anya Turgonova is Russo-Chinese. Anya didn't show up as often after the Five-Episode Pilot, but A.J. was a main character and Newcastle was the most important human supporting character. Spoofed in the Robot Chicken sketch 12 Angry Little People, when the lone black juror points out that not every black person needs to be a positive role model. The whole main cast of The Weekenders. Though Tino's race isn't mentioned, Word of God states hes Italian American who is probably Pagan. Lor's Scottish American, Carvers African American and Tish is an Eastern European Jew. Averted in Young Justice. As of the end of season one, four of the core cast members are people of color (Aqualad and Rocket are both black, Robin is Romani, while Artemis is half-white and half-Vietnamese). In season two, Blue Beetle (Mexican American), Bumblebee and Mal Duncan (both African American) join the team as well. While they don't join the team, that season also adds recurring characters Virgil Hawkins (African American), Ed Dorado (Latino), Asami Koizumi (Japanese), and Tye Longshadow (Apache). Valerie from Josie and the Pussycats was black. Of course, she was this in the comic book beforehand. The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! has Black Panther, an African king who's proven himself a very competent fighter and quite knowledgeable about science and magic. However, he sometimes goes whole episodes without saying anything. Some unused production art shows that at some point before the series finally aired, Black Goliath was apparently supposed to take Giant-Man's spot on the team. The short-lived The Avengers: United They Stand had Falcon as the sole minority member of the team. Somewhat funny since in the comics, Falcon was added to the team to fill a diversity quota and quit when he decided he didn't want to be included simply for being black. Perhaps in response some of the complaints about the racial and gender disparity in the live-action movie, Avengers, Assemble! has The Falcon added to the film's Avengers roster, making him the sole person of color. However, he has a very large role in the show, and is the Audience Surrogate of the team. Jonny from Ed, Edd n Eddy is implied to be black. Rolf may count, as he's Ambiguously Brown. Mee Mee and Lee Lee (Dee Dee's friends) in Dexter's Laboratory are black and Asian respectively. They might even be a light parody of this trope. Freight Train from Where's Huddles?. The only non-white Color Kid from Rainbow Brite is Indigo. She is Indian. Everyone in Bertha is white, except for the Indian Panjid. Plastic Man's sidekick Hula Hula in The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show is Polynesian, whilst Plastic Man and his girlfriend Penny are white. Elena of Avalor: Elena's best friend Naomi Turner, a pale, blond-haired, blue-eyed girl with an English name in the Spanish-style Kingdom of Avalor; almost everyone else is dark-haired and tan. The Loud House has Lincoln and his family being white except for Lucy who has pale skin resembling a light shade of gray, Clyde being black with a black dad and a white dad, and of course, the Casagrandes as a Hispanic family with CJ having Down Syndrome. Token Non-Mammal Examples: Animated Film Jiminy Cricket and Cleo the goldfish from Disney's Pinocchio Abigail, Amelia, and their uncle Waldo (three geese) from The Aristocats Verne the turtle on Over the Hedge. Inverted in Rango, where most of the inhabitants of Dirt seem to be anything but mammals. Literature Lowly Worm from Richard Scarry's books. Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows Toys The Fabuland toy line by LEGO only had one crocodile and three birds among an otherwise all-mammal cast. My Little Pony: G1 had every princess with their own pet baby dragon: Spike, Prickles, Smokey, Fiery, Flash, Spiny, and Sparks. Majesty's dragon, Spike, is the most famous due to his use in adaptations such as the My Little Pony TV Specials, My Little Pony 'n Friends, and the British My Little Pony comics. Most of the dragons were scrapped in future generations though Spike returned in G3 and G4, where he is a main character in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Of the "Pony Friends" Cutesaurus the Dinosaur is the only non-mammal. Princess Silverswirl from G2 has an unnamed pet dragon, which fans have nicknamed "Spike" despite the completely different design. Western Animation Looney Tunes: An inversion in the 1936 Merrie Melodies short I Love to Singa, Jack Bunny is the only mammal, the rest of the characters are birds. Inverted in SpongeBob SquarePants. Sandy Cheeks (a squirrel) and Pearl Krabs (a sperm whale) are the token mammals among the main, major, and supporting characters. Donald Duck started out like this, though his love interest and many family members were introduced later on. Inverted with Sleepy Bat in Birdz, the only reoccurring non-avian. Care Bears: Cozy Heart Penguin is the only avian member of the Care Bear Cousins. Arthur: This unnamed crocodile/alligator. There were also anthropomorphic ducks in "Arthur's Almost Boring Day". Several episodes of The Get Along Gang included a turtle named Braker as an ancillary member of the Gang, with the Cartoon Over-Analyzations blog describing him as "the Furry equivalent of a Token Minority," as he was the one reptile in a group of mammals. Token Minority Species Examples: Animated Film Ratigan, Fidget the bat, Felicia the cat, Toby the dog, and a lizard from The Great Mouse Detective among a cast made mostly of mouse characters. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are this in A Goofy Movie, being a mouse and a bird amongst dogs and cats. Zootopia has this as a significant part of the plot, with Judy Hopps being the first rabbit police officer of Zootopia and has to struggle against the label of being the Token Minority. Comics In Paperinik New Adventures, Angus is clearly meant to be a Funny Animal kiwi bird, the only one in Duckburg. He is not only explicitly said to be from New Zealand but also a Maori. Web Original In the cat video series The Six Cats Parade, Rico is the only black cat (and the only without white color) of the group in contrast with his three black and white and one siamese siblings and his mother, which is a gray and white cat. Western Animation Pete and P.J. are this in Goof Troop, A Goofy Movie, and An Extremely Goofy Movie are token cats, despite being treated like Dogfaces in those worlds. Also, Waffles and Chainsaw from Goof Troop are a token cat and dog in a world of Dogfaces. In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the majority of the population as well as the main six characters seem to be evenly distributed among unicorns, pegasi and earth ponies. However, there are several other intelligent species in the world. Cattle, sheep, donkeys, mules, buffalo, zebra and possibly goats are all people just as much as ponies, and the same goes for some mythological beings like minotaurs and griffons. However, these beings only have short gag cameos or one-shot appearances. The only exception is Zecora the Zebra. Token Petting Zoo People Examples: Film Beans the lizard and Angelique the fox from Rango Literature Stuart Little is far more anthropomorphic than the other animals in all his book and movie appearances and in the TV series. Note that in the original book he's human by heritage; his parents are his actual parents. He just happens to have been born with the approximate form of a mouse. How anyone worked out he was a viable life-form, let alone that he had the potential to grow up intelligent, when he was born so mutated and looking like a miscarriage is left to the imagination, because it is a children's book. Video Games Rouge the Bat from the Sonic the Hedgehog series, as far as games are concerned. Western Animation Minerva Mink from Animaniacs. Also, Wilford B. Wolf is this when he transforms into a werewolf. Mousey Galore from Pinky and the Brain. Julie Bruin, Margot Mallard, Binky Bunny, and Bimbette the skunk from Tiny Toon Adventures. Lola Bunny, Melissa Duck, and Hatta Mari (a pigeon from "Plane Daffy") from Looney Tunes, and Tina Russo from The Looney Tunes Show. Ren's parents from Ren and Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon are far more human-shaped than either he or Stimpy are.
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a scientist they've rescued from mutant aliens: Scientist: How about I sell you these, at cost? Ratchet: 'Sell?' After we just saved your scrawny butt? Scientist: All right, all right. I'll throw in …
a scientist they've rescued from mutant aliens: Scientist: How about I sell you these, at cost? Ratchet: 'Sell?' After we just saved your scrawny butt? Scientist: All right, all right. I'll throw in the employee discount too. Later on in the game you CAN get a discount at vendors...by using a mind control device. Averted in the third game where, if you have a save file from the original game, you can get the Gadgetron employee discount mentioned in passing at the end of the Gadgetron hoverboard race. Can be averted or played straight in Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, seeing as you're the merchant and it's up to you whether or not adventurers get discounts. Tear recommends that you give discounts to the heroes you hire, even if at a loss sometimes, since it will save you from having to equip them when you go dungeon crawling. Think of it as an investment. Averted in Red Dead Redemption as a sufficiently famous and heroic John Marston can get up to 50% discount in the shops. However, the shops in the game's Wretched Hive, Thieves' Landing, which, in an inversion of the trope, only give a 50% discount if you are deeply criminal. In Resident Evil 4, the vendor(s?) charge you rather high prices for weapons and other items, even though Los Illuminados are just as much a threat to him as to you (Though Fanon and the heat scope show he may be infected, and thus in less danger). Lampooned in this Penny Arcade strip. To be fair, they do give you a great gun for free just for showing your skill at target practice. This particular vendors' greed seems to stem from pure laziness, since they will happily accept money you just took from the table right beside them. Averted in Romancing SaGa 2, where, as a monarch, the player has access to such ungodly sums of money from the country's treasury that they never have to worry about being able to afford equipment from stores. Building new facilities in their kingdom, on the other hand... Justified in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, where you're on a self-sufficient exploration ship with a fabrication lab; the options aren't "buy" and "sell" but "Manufacture" and "Dispose," and they're just using the resources you picked up (and demon money, "macca,") to build stuff. Double-justified, since macca is actually a form of energy used to power the ship's fabricators and healing devices. Since there are a ton of wounded soldiers and soldiers who need better weapons, armor, and revived demons, if they all just extracted what they wanted without ponying up the energy difference in macca, you'd swiftly be out of juice in the heart of an alternate dimension filled with demons. Averted in Slime Forest Adventure, but in an unusual way. You're not a hero, you're a local farmer. You don't actually become a "hero" until after you've Saved the Princess (and even then, you only become a member of the royal guard rather than a famous hero). At the same time, the king inverts this. If you bring him some evidence that you've actually got a shot at saving the princess, he'll just give you an axe to replace the hoe you've been using. In Spyro the Dragon, Moneybags not only never gives you a discount, he charges you exorbitant amounts not only for items, and even sometimes to get places you need to go. Chasing after him in Year of the Dragon is more satisfying than fighting bosses. Justified in that he honestly doesn't care that Spyro is saving the world. He just wants the gems that Spyro's been getting. Lampshaded toward the end of Star Ocean: The Last Hope. The Morphus, an ancient and advanced race of galactic guardians, have recognized you as a group of remarkably powerful heroes, and have made you the spearhead in their strategy to prevent the destruction of the entire universe. However, if you approach their own weapons-vendor, he will curtly inform you that "Despite the impending end of the universe, we unfortunately cannot offer you a discount..." But actually it's averted - you can get a 10% discount in this and every other store, if you help the owner with a few Fetch Quests. You can find or craft several vending machines for your ship. Yes, you still have to pay full price for the items even when you own the "shop." Also lampshaded in Star Ocean: Second Evolution by an NPC mercenary at the Lacuer Frontline Base, who's planning to steal the equipment he needs to fight the monster army invading the country. Averted in Stonekeep. The only shop in the game is owned by a dwarf who'll charge you full price despite the fact that you're at war with their mortal enemies, the throggs...until you show him some feathers from a throgg shaman's headdress. He then goes on to tell you that his family was murdered by a throgg shaman (possibly the one you killed) and allows you to take whatever you want from his shop for free! The Suikoden games have this as well. In Suikoden I, you're the son of a well-respected general and later become The Leader of the army. Do you get any discounts? Nope. In Suikoden II, you're leading against another nation because of an Ax-Crazy Warrior Prince ravaging the land and you are a former child solider of his army. You can employ a glitch in the game that can give you unlimited money bur still no discount. In Summoner 2, much like Romancing SaGa, the PC is a Queen (and The Chosen One besides), with full access to the Royal Treasury... which, unfortunately, is rather bare when you start the game. Earn some gold by adventuring and invest it wisely, however, and your kingdom will soon start to earn you enough money to buy whatever equipment you need. Unfortunately, you can't buy equipment within your own kingdom. Guess that would be too easy... Tales of Symphonia: Played with Averted. Some service providers are initially happy to help out for free when they discover that you're the Chosen's group. Naturally, you quickly run into a group of people taking advantage of this by impersonating you. Played straight. None of the actual shops'll give you any credit. The shopkeeper in the Doomed Hometown won't give a discount for the people who are going to save the world and whom he's known forever. Even "Marble's" charges you full price, even after you are identified as the Chosen's group and directly save the lives of both Chocolat and Cacao, the owners of the shop. This likely stems from the party not wanting to take advantage of people, as said group of impersonators are more than happy to ask for discounts that they actually get. Averted again. Later when you get Regal, the president of a very powerful company his mere presence in the party gives you a 10% discount on everything you buy and 10% bonus for everything you sell (provided you have his EX Skill "Personal" on). But the name of said skill is "Charisma", meaning it is his charm, not his business connections or anything. As to why a character in tattered prison clothes, messy hair and handcuffs inspires such respect in shopkeepers is left unexplained. There's a similar aversion in Tales of the Abyss: Jade's "Emperor's Best Friend" title gives you a 10% discount buying, and Anise's Katz costume gives a 10% bonus selling. There's also a global economy system by which you reduce the price of goods in each town by doing sidequests that help out the townspeople, and reducing the price of goods in one location affects the price of the same goods in others. For example, since Engeve is stated to grow lots of food, lowering prices there will affect food prices worldwide. Played for laughs in Tales of Berseria. During the game, you come across a little man in a turtle suit. Turns out, he's part of a traveling merchant group whom are notorious for overpricing their items. Because the main characters in the game is a Anti-Hero at best and a Villain Protagonist at worst, it doesn't take long for him to fall in line and lower the prices, despite his constant whining about it. In Tears to Tiara, the hero tries to persuade Epona the shopkeeper to give stuff for free, because he is fighting for world peace and everything. She responds by giving a lecture that healthy economy is necessary for world peace, and if she will give stuff for free, it will ruin the economy. Said economic theory is definitely anachronistic. In the Diablo clone Throne of Darkness, you can rescue a blacksmith who then joins your home base. To improve his inventory, you have to give him found equipment that he can take apart. You can then buy better gear. That's right: you have to give him tons of stuff for free, but he'll charge you money for stuff you want. Note that the game takes place in a shogunate-era Japan overrun by demons and monsters, he works for you (or rather your master), and you saved his life. Lampshaded and averted in the final chapter of Treasure of the Rudra - Cid does give you a discount, but is chewed out because he still charges you at all, claiming he's selling from his personal emergency stash. In X-Men Legends II, Beast and Forge will charge their friends for health, energy and powerups. Pretty mercenary, considering that the X-Men and Brotherhood are using these items to defeat Apocalypse. Partly justified in that they accept not money, but "tech bits" (little pieces of Applied Phlebotinum dropped from enemies and destroyed objects). Justified in Lemegeton. You're not giving gold to Noiva as payment, but rather so she can use the stuff, being the king element and all, as alchemical fuel to create what you need. In Dink Smallwood mod Attack of the Mutant Veggies the only sword available costs 500 gold pieces and a note of permission from the king. When Dink argues that he should just be given the sword since he's the only one saving their butts from the title ex-foodstuffs, the blacksmith counters that he and his family still have to eat. In Heroine Quest, doing major favors for the shop keepers (rescuing one's child and helping two of them unite with each other) will not get you free stuff, but will get you everything sold at cost instead. It is the Fimblewinter, and people do have to eat. Steve Jackson's Sorcery: When the shopkeeper of the First Town tells you the price for rations, you can choose "Haggle" and your character will tell him that s/he is "the new best hope" for the kingdom. The shopkeeper apologises, but says "I still have to feed my family, whatever happens to the Crown." Like Clockwork plays with this (and Chainmail Bikini) right at the start with the smith. Justified and lampshaded in Avadon. One question you ask of the Fortress Quartermaster is why you should have to pay for equipment. He's heard it from everyone else, and it's because Redbeard wants the Hands to be self-sufficient as possible. The Black Market Imps in Pinball Quest charge you full price for better equipment. Justified as they don't care about your quest in the least. The Neptunia series deserves a special mention. In every game, your party contains the very goddesses that rule over the world, and yet you're still forced to buy all of your items and equipment. The first two Escape Velocity games do not give you any actual discounts, although certain missions could give you specific upgrades (usually ones you couldn't get elsewhere, and that were tied to the specific ship you were using at the time and so couldn't be transferred if you wanted to get a new ship), and both games had the explanation that you are technically a freelancing mercenary, so just being allowed to buy and use highly restricted military equipment is a pretty hefty concession already. The third game, Nova allowed for averting by adding titles the character could get, which behind the scenes could be set to reduce outfit costs by a given percentage from worlds controlled by the faction the title was tied to. Averted in Shovel Knight. Shovel Knight receives ichor from the Troupple King for free (though he still has to purchase a chalice to hold it). In Plague Knight's campaign "Plague of Shadows", the Troupple King charges Plague Knight a hefty sum for ichor, because he's a villain and therefore needs to pay a "repentance fee". This is actually an example of Gameplay and Story Integration: As Plague Knight you are buying armor upgrades, rather than just refilling your health potions. World of Warcraft: In the Warlods of Draenor expansion, vendors in your own garrison will charge you full price for their services. Kind of makes your rank of commanding officer feel pretty hollow. (Of course, on the other hand, building and maintaining a fortress and leading an army isn't exactly cheap. You pay for a lot of stuff here using Garrison Resources, so it's likely that the Gold is being paid to a supplier, with them as intermediaries.) Lampshaded in Lawrence of Aragon after leaving an item shop in the starting town. Lawrence: No matter what you do for the people, they're never grateful enough to offer a discount. A voluntary example in Rabi-Ribi: shopkeeper Miriam is willing to offer her wares to protagonist Erina at no cost, as Miriam is friends with Erina's master Rumi, but Erina insists on paying like everyone else. Valkyria Chronicles has a variation. Instead of buying better equipment for Squad 7, you pay the R&D fees to develop better equipment, which is then issued to them for no further charge. Let's not ask why one militia squad seems to be directing the entire R&D effort of the nation of Gallia. In Fate/Grand Order, even though the shopkeeper and the protagonist are friends, members of the same organization, and trying to save the world after it's already been destroyed, she still used to raise the price on you for every single goddamn copy of her painting that you bought. (The price was eventually lowered and players got a refund if they'd bought it at the original extortionate prices, though.) Web Animation The Final Fantasy example is parodied in the flash animation "Awesome Tribute" by Ricepirate. Web Comics Gold Coin Comics points this out in one strip, where the shopkeeper explains the reasons behind those high prices. The Order of the Stick: Townsfolk increase prices for adventurers, knowing that they're flush with loot from nearby dungeons. This is a Lampshade Hanging of the fact that the prices in most D&D books don't fit the amount non-adventurers make your average townsperson gets a gold piece a month, so if they broke their pickaxe would have to save up three months wages for a new one. In a background gag at the beginning of this strip, an apprentice gets a bargain on some rubies, but her boss tells her to buy more to bring the cost up to the amount specified in the spell. Invoked by the crew of the Mechane, who don't care a whit for adventurers' noble quests beyond the payout. "Ugh, it's just another apocalypse-of-the-week situation. Good triumphs over Evil and Neutral gets the bill." In Anti Hero For Hire, there is constant concern over the cost of specialty ammunition outweighing rewards. He eats a lot of ramen. Freefall: Sam tries to get a discount on a bus ride when saving the planet, but to no avail. A robot is more successful. Until accused of shoplifting. In Homestuck, John, even though he's the legendary hero of the Land of Wind and Shade, and has proven this time and time again, can only buy Fraymotifs at astronomically exorbitant prices, even though he saved all of the salamanders' lives. This is probably justified, because a) the salamanders (being constructs of the Session) are bound to the SBURB mechanics and thus have no choice in the matter and b) Fraymotifs are supposed to be endgame-level powers, so the ludicrous prices ensure you don't get them too early and further break the game. Web Original The Legend of Neil takes this trope to a new level. Not only will the shopkeeper not give Link/Neil a discount, but he tries to cheat him, swindle him of more money than he has and then kill him. Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation made fun of such RPG shopkeeper behavior, in the Torchlight review: Yahtzee: I have a lot of respect for the fantasy peasant village economic model. It seems those guys have a good scam going. You just accidentally build your village in walking distance of the local gnoll camp, or near a dragon cave, or directly on top of a gateway to hell, build a big fat checkpoint in the village center and keep giving birth to potential kidnap-victims, and your shopkeeper, your blacksmith, your tailor and your inkeeper, they'll all be set for fucking life. The reason shopkeepers won't give you a discount when you claim to be saving the world is probably that they've already heard it a dozen times, as seen on Not Always Right. Western Animation Frequently averted in Avatar: The Last Airbender as people will often just GIVE the group supplies (at least in the first season when they weren't really trying to hide the fact that Aang is the Avatar most of the time). Spongebob Squarepants: Masked superheroes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are frequent patrons of the Krusty Krab, but they have to pay full price just like everyone else. Barnacle Boy attempts to ask for a "living legend discount", to no avail. The Spongebob Squarepants Movie has Mr Krabs hastily try to up the prices of everything when King Neptune arrives. As seen on Cyberchase in the episode The Snelfu Snafu: Part 2 when the Cybermates had to pay full price for parts to locate the Encryptor Chip. In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy not only doesn't get a discount but is actually overcharged for produce because the store owner is an asshole, and Twilight Sparkle is unable to hail a cab in Manehattan. Keep in mind both of these folks have saved the world several times over, are national heroes, and the latter is royalty. Zigzagged in an episode of Filmation's Ghostbusters. To combat a dragon that's melting the polar caps and causing global flooding, the heroes have to fly back to civilization and get an industrial-strength fire extinguisher. The merchant doesn't demand payment on the spot (he expresses concern over the flooding himself), but does say he'll mail them the bill. Real Life Often, the person behind the counter is not the decision-maker who has the ability to grant you a discount. Giving you free things is essentially stealing from their employer. The reason that many veterans hate the Red Cross is that they charged soldiers for doughnuts during World War II. They also charged for shaving kits in the Korean War. Without telling the troops about the charge, or that accepting it was optional. This is also an example of General Failure. The Brass told the Red Cross to charge the soldiers as our allies weren't getting that for free so neither should our soldiers. The reason for that is the American Red Cross had a lot more resources than the other Red Cross as it was from a country not being bombed. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces get absolutely soaked when paying Rations and Quarters, their equivalent of Room and Board when staying in shacks and eating at the mess hall. Paying for the shacks itself it not too expensive, ranging from a meager $70 to $100 a month, but a soldier is also forced to pay an additional $350 to $450 a month to eat at the mess hall. Yes this is mandatory; you cannot live in the shacks without paying to eat at the mess hall as well. Ask any Canadian soldier how they feel about this if you have a good half hour to kill.Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread. And that's why he says "What're ya buyin?", not "What're ya havin?" Wakka: We gotta pay?! If we lose, you'll die too, buddy! Rin: I have faith in your victory. Wakka: Gee, thanks! Aboard the Fahrenheit, Final Fantasy X So you're the plucky group of young heroes out to defeat the Evil Overlord and bring peace back to the world. You'd think that means that shopkeepers might give you discounts or even free items after all, you're protecting them and ensuring they'll still have not only their shops but also their businesses in the future. And, y'know, their lives . But nope. You still pay full price, same as everybody else. Even for more localized examples, where you'd think it'd be more personal: You've driven all the local bandits out of the peaceful hamlet and put their mob's leader to the sword, and even the shopkeepers will actively thank you for saving the place, but they still charge you full price. (Ironically, this often turns up in a story where the good guys tend to get Hero Insurance all the time.) Happens especially in web-based Flash Games: You may be the chosen one, they may plead with you to save their village/island/country/world from destruction, but unless you rustle up an incredible amount of money (from behind the Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence maybe?), you'll never get the best armor and weapons that you would need to do it with. See also Adam Smith Hates Your Guts , which is where shop prices steadily rise regardless of how much sense this makes, and Karl Marx Hates Your Guts , where prices stay the same, again, regardless of logic. Also, see Dude, Where's My Respect? . May tempt some into trying to get a Ballistic Discount or a Five-Finger Discount . This is averted with Hospitality for Heroes and Discount Card . Examples: open/close all folders Anime & Manga The Daichis: Earth's Defense Family are enlisted to protect the world from danger, and given all sorts of cool weapons to do it with. But they have to pay each time they use them. And the cost of using their weapons is usually much more than the reward. And they weren't warned about this ahead of time. Also happens in most any bounty hunter anime, from Cowboy Bebop to Gunsmith Cats. You break it, you bought it. Used mostly as an excuse to keep the heroes working by remaining in debt for the period of the show and sometimes past the ending as well. Inverted in the Time Bokan Royal Revival OVA where the Gatchaman team walks into a noodle shop owned by Boyacky, make an order, eat it, and then not pay. When Boyacky asks for 380 yen(about 3 bucks), they just stare at him, while slurping up the last noodle, and walk out. Superheroes never pay! Comic Books Marvel's Alias featured Jessica Jones complaining that she still had to pay for a pack of cigarettes after saving the shopkeeper from a robbery. Similar to the above, a story in Spider-Man Unlimited featured the titular webslinger stopping by a take out restaurant while in costume, where he watched the store owner give a pair of cops their meal for free. After asking if there was a discount for being a member of the Avengers he was informed that for him, everything on the menu was full price. Fan Works In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, the four are appalled that a wizard charged them 40,000 Swords to answer a few questions and wanted a cool half million to help Ringo find his mask-breaking amulet. After all, the world may end in a year; isn't it time to quit worrying about making a buck? Literature Older Than Steam: At chapter XVI, the Innkeeper asks Don Quixote for his pay. Don Quixote answers him that There Should Be a Law that forces Hospitality for Heroes on Knights Errant like himself: "I have little to do with that," replied the innkeeper; "pay me what you owe me, and let us have no more talk of chivalry, for all I care about is to get my money." Subverted in Three Hearts and Three Lions. It appears that one character is going to charge for his services to the hero, even though he knows full well the hero probably going to be in a major battle to save the world soon. But before he can, another character guilts him out of it. Subverted in the BattleTech novel Hearts of Chaos. An invasion force is dropping from the sky, and a handful of mercenaries caught away from their 'Mechs are looking for a quick Five-Finger Discount in a gun shop they've run across to help fight it off. Does the owner who catches them in the act argue? Yes, briefly but then he does allow himself to be talked into letting them arm themselves to their hearts' content, mostly on the grounds that if the invaders win they'll likely confiscate his property anyway. In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, averted by Obi-Wan via Jedi Mind Trick. He takes Boga the dragonmount without paying, but apologizes to the dragon-wrangler (who can't understand Basic anyway), pointing out that it's for the purpose of saving the planet Utapau. Live-Action TV In the iZombie episode "Dead Beat", Liv, seeking to prevent Major from turning into a zombie in the city lockup after he's arrested for the Chaos Killer murders, tries to buy brains from the brain dealer Don E. due to her brain supply in the morgue being cut off. Don E. will not budge on the price even after Liv tells him that if she doesn't get the brains, it will cause a Zombie Apocalypse, telling her that the threat of that happening is simply "leverage" and more reason to pay up. Jessica Jones (2015): The season 2 finale sees Jessica stop an armed robbery at the liquor store where she shops for booze, but she doesn't earn a free bottle as a result. Tabletop Games How much this trope applies in Tabletop RPGs tends to fall squarely on the shoulders of the Game Master. By default, in games that feature them price lists for equipment, services, magic items, physical spell components and so on will be fairly standardized for convenience if a longsword costs 10 gold pieces, it costs that everywhere unless the GM specifically says otherwise. (Magic in particular often has the excuse that there's not really anyone to negotiate discounts with. If casting a particular spell requires a ruby of a size and quality normally worth 500 gold pieces, then in a "realistic" economy the actual ruby in question might well cost the caster more or less in terms of raw money depending on circumstances... but they can't just use a "lesser" substitute.) The above clearly talks about Dungeons & Dragons and spin-off Pathfinder. Other games play this trope in different ways - often by making it so you aren't known or special as a hero. In The World of Darkness, you aren't the chosen heroes. Set in Urban Fantasy with The Masquerade hiding the supernatural from Muggles, characters are generally free to invest points in character creation into wealth. Doing so simply means you have a bank account and possessions - and are generally subject to the same market forces as everyone else. Additionally, magic generally isn't for sale - well, not for cash. So just because you're a vampire or a mage doesn't mean your landlord is going to suddenly charge less rent - well, until you mind control him, anyway. Shadow Run, as a game of Cyber Punk Urban Fantasy, does things similarly to World of Darkness, though as a shadowrunner (an elite mercenary doing some quite shady and deniable covert ops for the mega-corps), you aren't buying the same things as the normal people in the world. Paranoia plays with this trope; Player Characters are often given elite, unreliable, possibly explosive gear no one should have. They're tasked with testing it on mission and are responsible for returning it safely. This can even be as ridiculous as being required to test a nuclear grenade with a three hundred yard radius and bring the grenade back intact. It helps that Paranoia is a darkly satirical send-up of RPGS and dystopian fiction. Star Wars Edge Of The Empire makes a mechanic of this trope; the GM has means of invoking your various debts and using them to push you down the plot. Dark Heresy takes this trope into With This Herring territory; you can be an agent of the Inquisition scrounging for the cheapest weapons in the Imperium. Remember, the Inquisition has life-or-death authority over almost anyone in the Imperium. Continuum averts this trope. Since the characters are time travelers, it's assumed they are all very wealthy. The Continuum - the main faction of time travelers, assumes you would use time travel to get whatever you need, including money, so they make allowances. Likewise, you can pull the trick seen in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey and simply make equipment appear what you need - by accepting an obligation to in your future take the time to set up the thing you need where you need it. So the protagonists literally can have nearly anything they need whenever they need it. The same applies to skills, with one example mentioning a character finding themselves on a crashing hovercraft, hopping back in time, working to set up a chance to learn to pilot hovercraft, learning those lessons, then jumping back to the time of the crash and saving the day. Rogue Trader averts it, hard. The question isn't "Can we afford that gear?" It's more like, "Can we equip those ten thousand soldiers with that gear?" The answer is usually, "Take it out of petty cash." Video Games The Legend of Zelda Not only will shops always charge you full price, but given how this game averts Wallet of Holding and yet combines Money for Nothing and Cash Gates for the shop's best items, you're often dealing with shopkeepers who sell items at such prices that you need a legendary wallet, fabled in song and story, just to carry the rupees needed to buy their wares. The Wind Waker takes this Up to Eleven with Bomb-Master Cannon, who sells his bombs for prices several orders of magnitude above what you can possibly carry. This isn't intended as a Cash Gate, but as a Broken Bridge, and bombs can be bought for normal prices after the pirates rob the merchant of his bombs as part of the story. Prior to that, the merchant seems mighty pleased with his greedy exploitation of his monopoly, seemingly forgetting that, monopoly or not, he's not making money: no one can buy his wares because they cost more than the combined wealth of the world. In the same game, Tingle charges 398 Rupees to decipher each of eight maps needed to find the pieces of the Triforce. You have to get the first wallet upgrade to even pay this.HoweverIn the HD remake, the base wallet amount is upped to 500 Rupees, so you don't need the first upgrade to be able to decipher the charts. Luckily, you can hold up to 5000 Rupees after finding both wallet upgrades, a big jump from previous Zelda games. In Skyward Sword, despite everyone in Skyloft knowing that you're saving Zelda (or at least that you're on a VERY important mission) you have to buy your potion, your equipment, and pay for its upgrades. Lampshaded in Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean, where the shopkeeper who follows you to the Very Definitely Final Dungeon justifies herself saying that she not only trusts your ability to defeat the bad guy, but if you should fail, the money wouldn't matter anyway. Alundra eventually averts this, once the entire village puts their trust in you to save them, you can take healing items from the shop for free. Avoided for the very last mission in Archimedean Dynasty, where the fate of humanity hangs in the balance (but what's new?). Even the most expensive and most powerful cannon is offered for a pittance. Baldur's Gate zig-zags this trope. If you perform enough heroic acts and get your reputation high enough, shop prices start going down (to a maximum of 50% at 20 reputation) as the shopkeepers realize you're probably going to use the ludicrously expensive items for a good purpose (on the opposite side, being evil makes store prices higher). You still sell items for less than a fraction of what they're being sold for, and nobody ever just gives you items no matter your need. This creates a few plots holes, such as Drow (evil underground elf) merchants giving you lower prices based on your heroic deeds on the surface, as well as having to buy items from a priest in an elven city you're currently saving from an Evil Sorcerer. Averted in Brave Soul with Coolbough and his associates (the Innkeepers). Though they don't let you stay in their inn for free because you're going to save the world at some point, but because the Hero's father saved Coolbough's life. Castlevania In Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, the monk, Vincent, will sell you various supplies. During a plot event, he'll be bitten by a vampire, and he'll run back in asking you to heal him. When entering his shop menu, he usually says "I'll make you a deal!", but when he's sick, he literally says "I'll lower the price... I'll lower the price!" However, he doesn't, and after you heal him, your characters ask him if he will lower the priceto which he responds that he's gotta make a living. Bummer. Justified in Castlevania 64 where the shopkeeper is a contract that you made with the demon Renon, who couldn't care less about saving the world from vampires (he even remarks that the "end of the world is a fantastic business opportunity for him" during your last meeting). Of course, we all know how well deals like that go... Also justified in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The Librarian is actually in the employ of Dracula, and only helps Alucard at all as he's a greedy bastard. And if you use any of the extra characters, he'll refuse to deal with them at all; Alucard is permissible because he's the Master's son, estranged or not, but dealing with the Belmonts would be outright treason. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia lampshades, justifies and subverts it. As much as Jacob the shop owner would like to give Shanoa what she needs for free, he still has to make a living, and considering the village is in the middle of nowhere with Shanoa being one of his only customers in a time of great unrest due to Dracula's imminent return, he can't afford to give her stuff for free. He does, however, give her a Discount Card after she purchases enough stuff in his shop. In Chrono Trigger, you can rescue a falsely imprisoned shop clerk from a dungeon. When you visit the shop later, the clerk will slip you some free potions when the shopkeeper isn't looking. There is also the island in 1000 AD where, at first, the Mystics running the shops hate humans and charge far more than the asking price for items and weapons. However, completing a sidequest in 600 AD will improve the Mystics' attitude about humans, and the shops will now give a discount instead. Which, sadly, means next to nothing, as you'll likely have vastly superior equipment by then anyway. However, if you can somehow grind up all the cash you need on the early visits, you'll likely be set in the way of equipment until somewhere around the Ocean Palace. Played straight throughout most of Clash at Demonhead, which sells a rotating stock of items to your character every time he uses the Shop Call or goes to the ocean on Route 5. However, once he visits the shop 30 times, the shopkeeper makes all of his items available to the hero at half price. The Command & Conquer series often has opposing forces mining resources on the front lines of battle, with commanders more often than not conducting battle with minimal support from their factions. Zig-zagged in Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars. Fort City doesn't charge the teenage protagonists for equipment... but it does require them to cash in Glow Points. GP are a merit system, earned by fighting monsters - and real, potentially lethal monsters at that, training in the simulator doesn't count. When one character asks why they're not being given this equipment for free, he's promptly told "nothing good ever comes when man's grasp exceeds his reach" - the war effort is half-run by the Church, who firmly believes man's pride has caused the current crisis. That said, the other half of the effort, AngelMarker R&D, is only too eager to provide experimental but crucial equipment like Wake's Ether Amp of the heroines' Dusk Breakers for free. All of this becomes a plot point when it turns out the CEO of AngelMarker is stonewalling attempts to end the war permanently so he can continue profiteering from the research funding the church is giving them. Averted in Dark Cloud, where the Wise Owl will sell you a special sword for a discount. It's still pretty high but as he (along with some other merchants in the game) will tell you, they are still merchants and need to make a living. The weapon and item shops in Demon Gaze not giving you discounts is one thing, since you're just another mercenary to them. Fran, on the other hand, in depending on you doing jobs only the Gazer can do, but will not discount you a cent. Booking more rooms so you can take more party members? Be prepared to cough up a cool 1000G (and Lorna had to cover the first one just so you wouldn't be flying solo). Fail to pay room and board the moment you step in the door after another life-threatening dungeon dive? She'll blacklist you from all but the most essential services until you settle. When Lancelorna warns you that money is Serious Business to Fran, she's not kidding. "Smuggler" in Deus Ex won't give you explosives unless you pay an absurd amount of money for them, even if you've helped him out before, and even though he knows you need them to blow up a superfreighter full of enough of an incurable virus to infect the entire North American continent!. The exception is the first time you're in Hell's Kitchen, where he gives you a discount if you rescue his friend from MJ12. Furthermore, those characters who suggest you ask someone else for needed items and information - and who are fully aware of the importance of you getting them - can't be bothered to so much as loan you the necessary credits. Occasionally, some of your allies will give you items for free. Other characters will offer you a discount on items for sale in exchange for completing a side quest. In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, despite your boss spending what must have been an absolute fortune to turn the PC who is the head of security into an augmented super soldier, you still need to pay for your own augmentation upgrades. And weapons. And ammo. And information. Considering you are trying to track down a mercenary group that killed half a dozen scientists and are planning some kind of conspiracy that would dramatically change the outlook of the company, you really should have a platinum company credit card that makes credits meaningless. There's also a LIMB clinic office on Panchaea, where the shop keeper has barricaded herself against the crazed augs. She mentions that she'd like to give you a discount but the whole thing is based off a computer she can't change, so you're still charged full price for medicine, Typhoon ammo, and upgrade kits. Averted in the case of Seurat, an arms dealer in Detroit. If you rescued Greg and Josie Thorpe during the factory mission, he will give you "the egghead discount" any time you visit him for the rest of the game. In The Missing Link, Quinn (the only merchant) defends charging you for goods by reminding Jensen that he's a fugitive in the facility they're both in, so he's taking a tremendous risk doing business with him. However, if you saved a person earlier, he does give you a discount. In general you're presumably on an expense account, with the plot is over before you can file the associated report and be reimbursed. For the really expensive stuff (such as getting access to Heng Sha) your company does provide, which turns out to be a whole new problem - and makes the advantages of using money and equipment which can't be traced to your employer clear. Diablo II has Tyrael, who charges up to 50,000 gold to resurrect your mercenary companion. He's an angel! What's he going to do with the money? Build ornate churches? In regard to the Merchants of Light accompanying Tyrael, additional information at Battle.net gives a reason for why they charge you for weapons and armor despite being at Hell's doorstep. Like Tyrael, they are forbidden to help you directly. Selling and buying equipment is a way for them to work around it, because it qualifies as indirect help at best. From the game's Web site: In Act IV, Tyrael will resurrect your Hireling but he will charge you. What does he do with that gold? Angels got to pay the bills too. Partially averted in Act 2 where, as a reward for defeating Radamant and avenging her family's death, the owner of the local tavern convinces the rest of the merchants to give you a discount on all wares. A discount, mind you, not free goods. Larzuk seems to be aware of this trope in Lord of Destruction, saying that your gold isn't lining his pockets; it's paying for the armour, weapons and medical supplies of a city that is under siege by the forces of Hell. The first Diablo game averts this trope to a degree, on the fact that nobody is expecting you to succeed. If the merchants gave free goods to every would be hero that tried to save the world, they'd have gone broke long before you showed up. This logic begins to fade after you've gone far past what anybody else has accomplished, and everybody starts believing that you are the real deal, but still charge you full price. Sometimes, merchants will give you a discount as a quest reward. Not that it really matters. Played with in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, as your character racks up FELONIES (i.e. become more of a "villain"), the shop prices go down and you sell items back at closer to their shop price. Have enough felonies, and you're actually selling items back for more than you paid for them. Of course, that's not really an option until New Game+ unless you spend huge amounts of time Level Grinding. In Dragon Age: Origins, some folks will offer a discount...but the prices stay the same. The only time this is averted is with one merchant in Denerim, and then only if you played a certain origin story. Oh it's far worse than that, your camp merchant will promise you a discount, but is actually one of the worst merchants in the game! He buys lower than average and sells higher. The worst part? He's right there in your camp, so invariably you'll sell him most of your loot for convenience's sake! Somewhat-mocked in Dragon Quest IX, where after you save Batsureg, the shopkeepers declare that all their wares are yours...but of course you are such a hero that you will still compensate them. Lampshaded just before the last stage of Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms: Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance II where the eponymous city is overrun by the undead, and only a makeshift barricade stands between the shopkeeper and a horde of zombies, and the city's Only Hope is for you to storm the villain's citadel. If you complain about the shopkeeper still charging you full price, he points out that he's confident of your success, but if he gave away his goods where would he be after you save the city. Furthermore, you can afford it, so it isn't like he's jeopardizing the city's safety by refusing to just give the items away. Lampshaded and justified in Evil Islands. In one instance your base of operations is a village where you are praised as The Chosen One, but the village merchant is such an infamously stingy bastard he explicitly warns you right away that he will still charge you with all your purchases. Later all the village money happens to be stolen and he once again clearly refuses to supply the village guards with weapons for free... because they didn't stand for him against brigands. Another time you join some rebels and obtain all the gear from their blacksmith. He actually apologizes for his shameless prices and explains that he has to smuggle the weapons and bribe the officials of the Evil Empire. However, at the very end of the game, it's subverted; the very last 'merchant' you meet before the final battle will give you anything he has in stock and perform all services for free. He also fights on your side in the final battle, so he has plenty of incentive to make sure you're as tough as can be. Zigzagged in MapleStory; while you don't get discounts for your heroics, one benefit to belonging to a Guild is that they grant merchant discounts depending on their game ranking. The bigger the guild and the most high-Level players in said guild, the better the discount. Thus, a guild full of heroic players will indeed get a Hero Discount, but this is rendered void if you leave it. In Exit Fate, it's possible to recruit a few people to your army who then set up shops in your castle. Even though they're working for you, they still charge the same prices as every other shopkeeper in the game. In Fallout 3, being nice to the ghoul bartender gets you a discount on anything he sells, but others are fairly unfriendly towards you, even after you repeatedly save their collective asses. In Rivet City, there's an unmarked quest involving a city council member and a fellow merchant who accuses him of stealing his council seat. Completing the quest in favor of one will get you a discount from them, but cause the other to raise their prices. This is lampshaded in the Mothership Zeta DLC, when Somah charges you money to repair your equipment despite the two of you having been kidnapped by aliens and fighting for your lives to escape. Somah points out that even if you both do escape, she's as good as dead anyway if she doesn't have any money to survive on in the Wasteland. Fallout: New Vegas averts this with the addition of faction reputations, as you get a discount from merchants who are associated with a faction that likes you. This mechanic highlights other vendors apparent lack of gratitude though, a particularly notable example is Old Lady Gibson, who runs the junkyard just outside Novac. Despite being tied to Novac and its economy, she isn't marked as being part of the town and won't give you any discounts when you restore the town's salvage industry by clearing out the Repconn test site during the Come Fly With Me quest, even though she explains she gets all her junk from Repconn. She will even charge you five hundred caps for a MacGuffin critical to completing said quest, which is a lot for low level characters. She is tied for first with the Gun Runners for being the richest vendor in the game, so its hard to ignore her if you want to sell all your Vendor Trash. The bartender in Goodsprings will give you a discount if you drive away the attack by the Powder Gangers "on account of what you done for us." Cost for repairing items is also completely unaffected by discounts or Barter skill. The Great Khan armory merchant sells at price if you're liked by them. No discount - base price, whether you're buying or selling. This makes her an excellent choice for unloading expensive stuff, since you can trade in for ammunition and other cheap stuff without suffering price attrition. Fallout 4 zigzags on this trope. There are a few vendors who will give you very good prices based on your affiliations. For example, Tinker Tom will only sell to you if you're a member of the Railroad, but he offers excellent prices because he's also a member of the Railroad and trying to help you out. Unfortunately, he's got rather limited selection. Other vendors won't give you that great of discounts, even shops you've built yourself at your settlements (though the fact that you get a cut of the profits does help offset this). The Final Fantasy series is quite fond of this trope. Final Fantasy V sort of subverts this by having the shopkeeper in Bartz's home town give a discount (which is very appreciated when the single revival item in the game costs 1000 gold), but only because it's Bartz's hometown, not because he's a hero. Final Fantasy VI subverts it at Figaro Castle, where the shopkeepers will refuse to charge Edgar (the king) or Sabin (his brother). However, both characters insist on paying, pointing out that the shopkeepers still have to earn a living. (If Edgar is your party leader, they still give you a 50% discount, though.) Final Fantasy VIII contains one exception. If you return to Timber after you're finished there in the main story, you can save a little girl from getting run over by a train, and it earns you a free night at the inn. Played straight for everything else. How much for a train ticket? Lampshaded in Final Fantasy X right before the battle with That One Boss, Evrae, which also leads almost directly to a whole gauntlet run of bosses, Rin will still charge you exorbitant prices. When asked why, when you could all die, he replies: Rin: I have faith in your victory. Also, the shopkeeper O'aka actually would give you a discount, but in his case only if you had donated a large sum of money to him when he was struggling to get his business off the ground. Otherwise, he charges almost double what any other shop would. In Final Fantasy X-2, O'aka is so in debt to the Al Bhed that he's willing to avert this trope and give you a discount just so he can pay his debt off. In fact, if you help him clear out his entire debt, he'll be so thankful that he'll sell you his stock at a 90% discount. While less related to the economy, in Final Fantasy X random people would give you items if you talked to them (this happens much less frequently after you defeat Seymour for the first time, as most of Spira brands your party as traitors), considering you're a summoner and her guardians. It made the stinginess of the shopkeepers more noticeable. Handwaved in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, where the only vendor in the game actually works for you, purchasing equipment while you're off adventuring. One NPC in the ship points out he must be losing quite the amount of money, as Tomah sells said equipment at only a fraction of the original price. Averted in Final Fantasy XIII, where all transactions are done via the internet, so vendors are not aware of your status as heroes, but even then as you're characterised as villains for the entirety of the plot, even if they knew your identity, they'd probably not want to sell to you, let alone give a discount. Another aversion is that the Fal'Cie control all technology, and are revealed late in the game to be secretly manipulating you in your quest to destroy them (which they desire) but are prevented in their programming from aiding you directly (by lowering prices, presumably). One late game vendor has a message from the Fal'Cie wishing you luck, though! Before the final boss battle in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, one of Lightning's friends will sell her recovery items and spell synthesis at standard prices. What is he going to do with the money? It's the end of the world, and he won't have to repay his suppliers. Watts from Final Fantasy Adventure distills this trope to its essence. He accompanies you through a dungeon to get some silver he needs. Despite the fact that you're accompanying him on his quest so that he can get what he needs without dying, he still charges you full price for more items in the middle of said dungeon. It gets worse. After you finish the dungeon and Watts gets the silver, he goes back to the Dwarf Cave to forge equipment with it. Does he give you any for free? Of course not, he charges you full price for the sword and armor. You even have to get the silver helmet from a different shop. Fire Emblem can get rather silly about this. Radiant Dawn is especially bad near the end. All of humanity is frozen in stone by an evil god. The only people still alive are your party, the enemies (brought back to life by the god to stop you) and a group of merchants following you. They STILL don't offer you a discount. The kicker? In a few cutscenes, they outright give you the Infinity+1 Spellbooks they found lying around for free BECAUSE you're the last people alive and you're the only hope for everyone. Not the most consistent of merchants, these guys. It gets even sillier when you realize that they DID give your army a discount for one chapter earlier in the game, before everyone was turned to stone. Why they didn't think to do so again is anyone's guess. Exacerbated in Fates where members of your own army are running the shops in My Castle yet still won't give Corrin the stuff for free. However, discounts depends on the current keeper. Completely averted in Freelancer, once you encounter the Order. They give you the best ship in the game at that point for 1100 credits, when other ships are in the hundreds of thousands. Unfortunately, when time comes to trade that ship in to the next best one, you'll notice you can't sell it for a normal ship's price either. In Dead Island, most of the survivor base areas have vendors who will sell you equipment. Despite the fact that the island has been overrun with zombies (thus making money useless), you constantly perform missions to help them, and the fact that they face certain death if you are killed, the vendors still insist on charging you money for their items In the Harvest Moon series, most of the marriageable bachelors and bachelorettes work in the area's shops, which are usually owned by their families. You won't get any kind of discount from their family's store if you marry one of them, even if your spouse is the one running the store. This may be so that people would marry characters they liked, rather than just marrying the person that gives them the biggest discounts. It makes little sense in universe, but a lot of sense when you consider the implications of marrying someone for free cake at the bakery. Averted, however, in one of its spin-off series, Rune Factory, you may get free fortune-telling or free bathing from your wife. Not that much, though. In the sequels, your spouse will cook you a free meal every day, and her charging you for goods and services is justified in that they still have to help their own family. Somewhat lampshaded in Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. After beating the final boss, Henry ponders the fact that all the money that he paid Cole went to the Humongous Mecha which Cole just tried to use to kill Henry. Just Cause 2: The Sloth Demon will make you pay a ton of money for anything (except transportation), even after you find out he's Tom Sheldon in disguise. Granted, Panau is a dictatorship and its money is worth less than crap (Rico says himself that putting a bullet in the head of a guy to obtain some info would be more expensive than greasing his palm with a handful of banknotes), but come on, 20 grand for a pistol? Kingdom Hearts: In Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, Huey, Dewey and Louie don't give a damn that their uncle is buying and saving the world as we know it, as long as he keeps on coughing up the munny. They even say in the original that Donald gets "No family discounts!" In 358/2 Days, the Organization Moogle admits that you're the only one who will buy his wares. In fact, he follows you when you run away just so he can continue to charge you. Still, he's useful before that final battle... Kingdom of Loathing: The Lunar Lunch-O-Mat owner from gives you a mere 25% discount for being "the savior of [his] entire species," but it's sort of meaningless because you can't even visit the store until you've saved his entire species. Plus, the undiscounted prices would be things like 133 and one-third isotopes, and since you can't have a fraction of an isotope, he's probably lying about the discount. Or it's, you know, a joke. After you rescue Big Brother Sea Monkee from the digestive tract of a carnivorous sea-plant, he still charges full price for everything in his store. Well, almost. He gives you a magic air-producing rock for free because he thinks it's worthless, and he refunds your payment for a spooky black lens because he hates it and never wants to see it again. The expensive maps are especially silly, since Little Brother gives you some of them for free. Justified in Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos, in which the player starts with a writ identifying him as on official business for the king, which can be presented for free services. However, the writ is stolen, leaving him with no proof that he works for the king and justifying why he must pay for things like everyone else. In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, Tia refuses to give Maxim and the party a discount at her shop, even while she's a party member (she'll leave the party temporarily to run behind the counter, and rejoin once you leave). Her justification is that her shop is doing poorly, which is no surprise given that she's off adventuring with you instead of running her shop. In Lunar: The Silver Star and its remakes, your old childhood buddy Ramus takes over a shop in Meribia. He initially charges you full price because he's still trying to establish his business, but just before the final battle with the fate of the entire world at stake, he gives you unlimited free items from his store to help out. This ends up being a good PR move, as after you do save the world, word gets around about him helping the Dragonmaster and he brings in more business than ever. In both Makai Kingdom and Phantom Brave, you can have a merchant job class in your party; the higher level the merchant, the better stuff they sell (and possibly at lower prices). Said merchants still need to get stuff from somewhere (some kind of off-screen third party provider, possibly), so they still need money to pay for it. In Mario & Luigi, shopkeepers are willing to give the Brothers a discount if they have good-looking mustaches (or in Bowser's case in the third game, if he has good-looking horns). Super Mario RPG: In the final dungeon, just before the entrance to the final boss battle against Smithy, The Toad as in Peach's assistant, sets up the area with a save block. He also sets up shop to sell you items like mushrooms and revival potions. Note that this Toad is on your side and the fate of the world hangs in the balance on this next fight. Guess the economy's more important than that. Although he does sell them at half price. It gets weird when storming Bowser's Castle in the endgame, where Kamek will still sell Bowser and the others end-game equipment, and to help them afford the prices conjures a block that never runs out of coins, but only gives them one at a time, making it so that you have to strike it over a thousand times to buy everything. And you can carry at most 999 coins, so even if you came prepared you'll still have to jump quite a while. Before that, Hinopio charges positively extraordinary prices for the luxury of sleeping on a pile of wooden crates. In a volcano. This gets lampshaded in the official strategy guide. (It helps that Hinopio is the only game in the volcano. It also makes for a great Crowning Moment of Funny when Mario awakens face-down on the very uncomfortable-looking crates.) Absent in the original Paper Mario , where the Toad Houses are free of charge. It is hinted somewhere in the game it's because they're owned by the Mushroom Kingdom and thus are a public service and not a private one like in every other RPG. Super Paper Mario You're saving the universe, and you still have to pay for every single thing including Inns, items, and even fortune telling on which places you're supposed to be. How about the fact that Mario was the legendary hero to save the universe foretold 1000 years ago? And of course the things you buy are twice as costly as when you sell them. Bestovius makes reference to this trope, telling Mario that he will not teach him how to flip dimensions for free, and complaining that "heroes always expect everything to be given to them!". It does turn into a subversion if you refuse to pay twice in a row, whereupon he offers to teach it for free just so you can continue on your quest. This goes back to Super Mario Bros. 3 where Toad lets you pick one of three boxes and get whatever item is inside it. Why not just let Mario get the items from all three boxes? Princess Peach can't even catch a break from her own subjects. In Super Princess Peach, Toad is pretty annoyed if she asks for something in his shop and doesn't have enough Coins, and the worst part is, this game has an Adam Smith Hates Your Guts rule in regards to Vibe Tea and Tough Coffee. (Sure, the Mushroom Kingdom is in it's Darkest Hour with both Mario and Luigi being held hostage, but the guy can't fudge the rules for the Princess, right?) (Although Peach can get infinite coins if you know the "trick".) Mass Effect Lampshaded in the first game, where you can yell at the requisitions officer of the Normandy (and pretty much anyone else who sells equipment during moments of emergency) for charging you for equipment. This turns out to be a justified case, however: the requisitions officer is actually obtaining you items that are not N7 standard issue out of his own pocket. He explains that each time ship docks he sells and buys weapons on his own expense and the more licenses and more money he has, the better he can supply you with. It's also completely justified during one mission; You can berate a shopkeeper about not giving you stuff, but he ALREADY gave a bunch of stuff to the paid security forces that had been protecting him and various others before you arrived, and he has no way of knowing how helpful you'll be anyway. Averted in the sequel. You can get a discount at every shop, either by Charm/Intimidate dialogue or by completing a Side Quest. It's also lampshaded in this game by Mordin, a former salarian Special Task Group member who - comparing the STGs to the Spectres - comments that they're quite similar, but better-funded and not generally expected to buy their own weapons. Mass Effect 3 averts it and plays it straight at different points. You can obtain discounts for certain intel choices, up to 10% off from all stores on the Citadel. On the other hand, you get charged an additional 10% if you buy things through the procurement terminal on the Normandy rather than the shops themselves. Justified in Mega Man (Classic). Yes, it is annoying trying to find those screws, but Dr. Light kind of needs them if he's gonna build your equipment. Mega Man 7 even features a discount system in the form of finding Auto's missing bolt. No, the discount's not out of gratitude, but rather now that he's not impaired (he claims he has "a few screws loose" without it) he can make parts with less supplies as well as a few new ones. Downplayed in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots as the last act offers a 50% off all of the weapons etc. in Drebin's shop. However, this isn't directly related to aiding you on your missions; it's only because business is going bad (The disabling of ID'd guns creating a slump on the 'necessary' war economy) and they need to make sales. In Metro 2033, the only money is bartering with 5.45mm ammo left over from before the apocalypse. The ammo is in perfect condition, and packs more punch than the homemade crap you usually find. Therefore, you must choose between supporting the economy and saving your ass in a firefight. There's even an Achievement (Scrooge) for hoarding 500 Bullets. MMORPGs can take this trope go Up to Eleven. Not only do you not get discounts for saving the town/country/worldnot even if the shopkeeper himself gives you quests for 20 Bear Assesbut your fellow players will often charge ridiculously exorbitant prices for rare items and equipment. Averted in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Certain overworld areas have major quest chains, usually given by an important person from that area, or otherwise about something much more important than some random person's problems. When you finish the major quest chain for an area, all shops in that area will give you a small discount. Also averted in World of Warcraft, where you get discounts by 5% or so for every level of rep you have, up to 20% for exalted; unless you're a goblin and will barter with all the shopkeepers for the maximum discount regardless of reputation. Final Fantasy XI also has NPC shopkeepers give you (small) discounts if you've got a high Fame score. In Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, you can ask a couple of merchants why you must pay if you are trying to save them all. One says you are "trying"that is, he can't afford to lose money in case you fail, and if it comes to that he plans to run away. The other is a smith and needs gold for his furnace to burn properly. During the climax of Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir, Volo helpfully comes to your party bearing supplies from the stores... that you have to pay for. He justifies it by saying that the merchants he requisitioned the items from expect to be paid for them. The Elder Scrolls: Downplayed in Morrowind and Oblivion. Completing quests for merchants who offer them will increase those merchants' dispositions, which will lead to better prices. The same is also true for completing faction quests and will net you a disposition boost for merchants in that faction. In Morrowind in particular, after completing the main quest, you can mention your status as the world-saving hero in NPC conversations for a guaranteed disposition increase. Despite this, it's still not completely averted since no matter what you do, you'll never get those merchants to give away their stock or even offer you prices below the item's actual value. Similarly Downplayed in Skyrim, where doing favors for merchants (or simply being a regular customer for long enough) can allow you to take the cheap stuff off their shelves for free, when it would otherwise be considered stealing. Ocular Ink A freeware game. Parodied, in which the hero's travel fees are paid for by the government. Justified in kami's very last "shop" in the Ark of Yamato, the place where all the demons and evil spirits have gathered for you to defeat once and for all. You're not really "buying" anything - as Marco the NPC puts it, you are leaving a cash offering for the Celestials, and being rewarded based on however much you leave. The Talan in Outcast believe you're Messianic Archetype, prophecised to save them from tyranny. This doesn't stop a group of identical merchants, all brothers, from selling your own equipment to you and others (as "sacred objects") in an attempt to prove to their father that they can make enough money to inherit the family business. One of the children in Persona 3 was the daughter to a multi-national company. God forbid they spare a couple million yen to help save the world. Justified in that the multinational was doing everything in its power to hide that they caused the problems that she's trying to repair in the first place. Why would they do anything that might give away what they're hiding? Even when she takes it over following her father's murder, she still answers to the stockholders and can't pull any resources out of their grip. (Besides, she talks them into giving you a way to buy weapons in the first place - not to mention putting the Robot Girl on your team, something they could theoretically overrule.) Justified in Quest for Glory series, in which every game takes place in a totally new setting, where your heroism in the previous games is known only to a few people, if any. The second game somewhat averts this trope: the people who you helped in the first game provide you with free room and board at their inn, and the merchants will give you the items you need to subdue the Elementals for free, but only if you ask at the appropriate time (so they won't just hand you over a brass lamp at any random point just because you asked for it, but if there's a fire elemental rampaging and you explain that you need it to capture it, they'll do so). The exception to this is Issur the blacksmith, but then it's well-established that he's a Jerkass. Lampshaded in Ratchet & Clank with this conversation involving
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