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I was watching What's new, Scooby Doo? this morning and and one of the show's popular rock groups The Hex Girls (Thorn, Dusk and Luna) were featured in the episode The Vampire Strikes Back:

Screenshot from What's new, Scooby Doo?.

This made me reflect back to other movies and TV shows, and I noticed that triplets of characters seem to be very popular:

  • Powerpuff Girls (Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup)
  • Ed, Edd and Eddy (Themselves and The Kanker Sisters)
  • Hocus Pocus (The Sanderson Sisters)
  • Harry Potter (Harry, Ron and Hermione)
  • The Hangover (Phil, Alan and Stu)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Buffy, Willow and Zander)
  • Charmed (Phoebe, Piper and Prue)
  • Charlie's Angels (Sabrina, Jill and Kelly)
  • Three Musketeers (Athos, Porthos and Aramis)

Even older shows featured triplets of characters, so it's nothing new:

  • The Three Stooges (Curly, Larry and Moe)
  • Golden Girls (Rose, Dorothy and Blanche)

Why are triplets of characters so popular in movies and TV shows?

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    See TVTropes: Power Trio, and more generally Rule of Three.
    – OrangeDog
    Oct 1 '21 at 15:48
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    Aren't there also a lot of movies and TV shows with one, two, or four main characters? Is three really a lot more common than two or four? Oct 3 '21 at 0:23
  • When leaving a downvote, a comment stating why you chose to downvote is helpful in allowing me to improve my post. Oct 4 '21 at 15:15
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Generally, I agree with OrangeDog's comment that we should check TVTropes.

Specifically for The Hex Girls, writer Rick Copp said in an interview that he was inspired by Josie and the Pussycats. As for why cartoonist Dan DeCarlo decided why the band should have three members, I have not seen anything.

As for why covens of witches (such as in Hocus Pocus or Charmed) are depicted in groups of three, this can most likely be traced back to the Weird Sisters in Macbeth. The Weird Sisters in turn call to mind the mythological Fates, of which there were also three.

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