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The Cyclic Trope side of the Token Minority. Many casts have evolved from having one minority member for posterity to the point where the majority consists of minorities, but the white blonde-and-blue-eyed portion of the audience will not be left out, either.

On a Sitcom, they're often either the "uncool" one or The Ditz. This is probably because the others are viewed as less Acceptable Targets, but when you really think about the implications of the white member of a diverse group being lame, it starts to seem like a Broken Aesop.

A white member of a multi-ethnic team tends to stand out even more than the traditional Token Black and is more likely to be lampshaded. When the Very Special Episode about racism comes along, it won't be about them. If the episode is about learning about and respecting someone else's culture, they'll be the one who "needs" to learn it most, and it's never about their own culture.

In some cases the token white will be part of a non-racial minority group, such as being disabled, gay, or Jewish. This has the ironic result of diversifying so much as to exclude the majority "normal" group. In this case, the token white's whiteness might still make them an Acceptable Target, but their own minority status will not, and might even give the others something to learn about tolerance.

Examples of Token White include:


Comic Books

  • Boogieman from the Milestone comic Blood Syndicate was a fairly odd variant. A closeted White kid (he's a were-rat) in a band of Black, Hispanic, and Asian (ex)Gang-Bangers that were mutated (instead of killed outright like most in the area) by radiation-tainted tear-gas used to break up a big melee.
  • For a few issues of Justice League of America around 2009, the team consisted of Vixen, Firestorm (Jason Rusch), Green Lantern (John Stewart), Doctor Light (Kimiyo Hoshi), and Zatanna, thus making Zatanna the Token White.
  • In Earth-23 of the DCU, Batman is this for the Justice League.

Film

  • Undercover Brother
    • Lance (Neil Patrick Harris) as the token white staffer of "The Brotherhood", an African-American spy agency. Lampshaded thoroughly. ("What's a white boy doing here?" "What can I say. Affirmative Action.") Starts as a classic "uncool" version, but he gains respect when he reveals that he goes a little Axe Crazy when pushed. Crazy white boys.
    • Later White She Devil joins as well, much to Conspiracy Brother's chagrin.

 Conspiracy Brother: What the fuck? Chief! I've never seen this bitch in my agent classes! I'm still paying the loans off, man! I sleep on a pissy mattress! I ain't got good food to eat! I borrow money for my weed! I quit! That's it. Y'all ain't got Conspiracy Brother Jones to kick around no more! Give me a pillow case... I'm joining the Klan!

Live Action TV

  • Lincoln Heights made sure to have at least a couple whites prominent in the story. Always as a sidekick or love interest to one of the main black characters. Lund as the sidekick to The Hero, Charles as the boyfriend to The Chick and later Sage as a foil to Cassie.
  • The Steve Harvey Show is notorious for this.
  • As is Sister Sister. (Brittany Murphy was the first of them.)
  • Nina Walsh from Smart Guy. Notably, the only white female in the series, and aside from one Very Special Episode which centered around her job (following black people around a mall to make sure they don't steal anything), her only role was to follow Yvette around. There was also a Butt Monkey white male on the show. Usually, after being the butt of a joke, he'd comment "It's because I'm white, isn't it?"
  • In The Wayans Bros, the character is actually named "White Mike."
  • And Martin with Shawn and Buckwhite (parody of Buckwheat).
  • Similarly, Greg Wulliger in Everybody Hates Chris. Though he's no more dorky than Chris himself.
  • Chelsea in That's So Raven. In the spin-off Cory in The House, Newt plays pretty much exactly the same role.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air did this occasionally with Will's goofy white classmates/friends, but even these eventually disappeared and were replaced with black Beavis and Butthead style sidekicks, only one of which had any staying power. For the first half or so of the series, there was also the hopelessly out-of-touch white teacher. Later, one of his aunts became involved with a white tall man...who eventually became so accepted by the family that he could make jokes about Carlton being white.
  • Family Matters had this. Generally the only white guy on the cast was Carl's boss Lieutenant Lieu Murtaugh, and was shown to be, again, completely out of touch... with reality. There was also the occasional goofy white friend of the kids, who was often a "wannabe", trying desperately to assimilate into black culture, with everyone else practically straining their retinas rolling their eyes. And then there was the one episode with two cops who pulled Eddie over for being in a white neighborhood (though only one of them was actually racist, the other was just dragged along).
    • There was also Mr Looney(pronounced Loon-ay played by the late Tom Poston
  • Jim Carrey and Kelly Coffield were the token whites for In Living Color. Carrey at least earned an audition for being Damon Wayans' friend rather than simply the need for a white castmember.
  • A Different World took place at a predominantly Black college - to show it was "predominantly" black and not "all" black they had a token white girl the first season, played by Marisa Tomei.
  • Desmonds was set in a barber's shop in London, and the cast was almost exclusively black, except for Tony, one of the hairdressers, who was white. In one episode, he referred to black people as "we" or "us", prompting someone else to say that he'd been hanging around the rest of them for too long.
  • Chris Potter on Kenan and Kel, and later on Mark.
  • AR Bernard, a blaxploitation-flavored religious talk show airing on Family Net, will occaisionally include a white guest.
  • Sanford and Son has Officer "Hoppy" Hopkins, the only regularly recurring white character. He could best be described as being mildly retarded.
  • Standup comedy shows with almost entirely black comics tend to have the one white, usually at the very end of the show. On BET's former comedy showcase Comicview, two white comics, White Chocolate and Gary Owens, were popular enough to host the show after their respective seasons (the most popular comics in a season get to host the next).
  • Kim from the mostly-black Real Housewives of Atlanta.
  • Played with on Malcolm in the Middle. While Stevie is the token black of the main kids, Hal winds up becoming the Token White of his friends, who are all black.

Newspaper Comics

  • A newspaper comic example is the character of Gunk from Curtis. Gunk is the only white member of the cast, period, and is the white equivalent of the "magical negro" character type, displaying utterly bizarre and nonsensical abilities due to being from the backwards Flyspeck Island. Gunk isn't just clueless and out-of-touch... he's the uber-ascendant Cloudcuckoolander given shape, voice, and wall-eyes.

Real Life

  • While Georgia Tech is heralded for having the first "All-Black" basketball team, what most people forget is that most teams were already predominantly black. They were simply the first to dump their Token White. To this day, white players make up a distinct minority in both college and the NBA. Especially the NBA, where 80% of the players are black. However, In recent years teams have begun drawing from Europe, causing an influx of white players. That said, Asians and Latinos are even less common than white guys.
    • This is happening with the NFL too, though there's an upsurge of Pacific Islanders as well. During the 00s Joe Jurevicius and Wes Welker gained some notoriety as outstanding white wide receivers in the NFL. While the NFL's black majority isn't quite as severe as in the NBA (around 65%), black players dominate many key positions.
  • Heather Morris, before she played Brittany on Glee, was the token white girl among Beyonce's dancers (she can be seen in many live performances of "Single Ladies"). When Heather left to do Glee, Beyonce jokingly lamented that she was losing her white girl.
  • Apparently you can rent white (or otherwise foreign) people in China to pretend to be a foreign employee of your company or an allied CEO. It's completely this trope that this practice exists; to prove that their companies are modern and global, Chinese businesses hire white people to be their token foreign dudes.
  • While North Korea is one of the most restrictive and ethnically homogenous countries in the world, there is a handful of whites there, believe it or not.


Western Animation

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