From Breakout to Scrappy (YMMV) YKTTW Discussion

From Breakout to Scrappy (YMMV)
A character once considered to be a work's Breakout or Darkhorse becomes The Scrappy later on.
Already have? Description Needs Help Needs Examples Tropeworthy? Tropeworthy? Up For Grabs
(permanent link) added: 2014-04-09 08:10:12 sponsor: ElRodrigo edited by: RyRodrigo (last reply: 2014-05-26 19:54:55)

Add Tag:
A character in a work of fiction quickly rises above the cast and becomes a wildly popular character that people can't get enough of.

Later down the line, however, fans actually have had enough of the character, and want to see them punted to the sidelines as quickly as possible. What could have happened?

Maybe the creators caught on and gave them way too much screentime, at the cost of other characters. Perhaps said character developed a few annoying habits that began to wear thin on people. More often than not, though, another reason could be that the very thing that made the character popular in the first place got Flanderized to the point where it's no longer a loveable trait, but something that outright annoys everyone about the character.

This is a specific form of Character Derailment that applies to a former Ensemble Darkhorse or Breakout Character that caused their former fandoms to turn on them and label them as The Scrappy instead. Is the opposite trope to Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, where a Scrappy improves his standing with the fans and is no longer considered to be one.


Anime and Manga
  • The Shinigami in Bleach. When first introduced, the Shinigami were interesting and complex antagonists that represented a Dystopian feudal social system. Their awesome powers, various personal struggles to do what was right versus what was law, made them extremely popular. After the conclusion of that arc, however, most of the Deliberate Values Dissonance was dropped and they became standard heroic supporting characters. From that point on, they started appearing in every arc to bail out the protagonists, often accompanied by sudden and unexplained boosts in power, engaging in sub-plots that sometimes took months to resolve.
  • Kaname Ohgi from Code Geass was an Ensemble Darkhorse early on for being a somewhat sensible everyman and Voice Of Reason, his inner monologue of support for Zero gaining him points. Things started to go south when he fell for an amnesiac Villetta, who had been trying to capture Zero for Britannia. Things soon went south once the latter regained her memories, as she shot him during the Black Rebellion due to a moment of unguardedness on his part caused by his blind love. Come the middle of the following season, he went AWOL to meet her knowing full well she wanted to kill him. The worst of it came when, and in an onset of stunning gullibility, self-righteousness and hypocrisy, agreed with Villetta and Schneizel in their case against Lelouch and struck a deal known only amongst most of the other Black Knights to sell out their leader in return for Japan, effectively derailing the rebellion against Britannia. As if that weren't enough to turn him into a full fledged Scrappy, the next several episodes, which included Lelouch to consequently resort to even more extreme measures in what now included an excuse to have himself killed, with Ohgi happily married at the end and elected Japanese Prime Minister in spite of his short-sighted incompetence that led to the aforementioned, oft-maligned turn of events, certainly did the trick.


Live-Action TV
  • Sesame Street. This can be considered of Elmo. Elmo skyrocketed to popularity after Kevin Clash took over the character, establishing the little red monster as the lovable and bright-eyed laugher with the unforgettable falsceto voice. Elmo continued to grow in popularity in The '90s, especially when Tickle-Me Elmo hit the toy stores and became the top-selling toy in 1996. By 1998, Elmo had his own recurring segment on Sesame Street, entitled, Elmo's World, which lasted till 2012, when it was replaced with Elmo: The Musical. At the same time, however, as Elmo became more and more of the driving force of Sesame Street, some fans (particularly old-school fans) grew to find Elmo's over exposure to be overkill, and Elmo himself to be more annoying than lovable; it also doesn't help that most of Sesame's merchandising is pretty much relegated to Elmo products (not to mention, there's an unwritten rule that Elmo has to be featured on the covers of DV Ds - even if he isn't featured in the content much - otherwise they won't sell).
  • In Supernatural Charlie Bradbury was a severe Base Breaker at first, with some citing her as an excellent non-stereotypical homosexual character and others thinking that her adorkable traits were being shoved into the faces of the audience. However, as her appearances moved on and she got more focus, her unique traits got less focus and she became more generic (but also more inexplicably badass and skilled), leading to her becoming a full on Creator's Pet as audiences lost interest in her.

Video Games

  • Bun-Bun, the literal Killer Rabbit from Sluggy Freelance, was funny at first, but his status as both a God-Mode Sue and Karma Houdini eventually led to many readers growing tired of the character. This was only exacerbated by the Oceans Unmoving storyline, which replaced every character except Bun-Bun and went on for a very long time.

Western Animation

  • Mako from Legend of Korra can count, at first his appearence was very hyped by both fans and creators as a Legacy Character to Zuko "without the angst" (as stated by the creators themselves) then thanks to a LOT of romantic drama taking away the attention from the main plot, where he basically came off as a insensitive jerk he quickly became so unpopular that it was even lampshaded and mocked in the DVD commentary
  • The Duke of Lemongrab from Adventure Time. He gained a lot of exposure from his small, but very loud fandom. Then, he began to do some truly detestable things, such as mauling and abusing his (now) disabled brother, starving and torturing his subjects whilst growing fatter, and turning his palace into a prison for his followers. No fan would defend him after that.
  • Pam from Archer was amusing in the first few seasons when she had that Those Two Girls dynamic with fellow Cloud Cuckoo Lander Cheryl. Then, in Season 5, she got a lot more screentime, and turned into The Millstone for the gang, with an annoying cocaine eating habit that got old fast.
  • Pepper in Iron Man: Armored Adventures initially was a fan-favourite and the reason many fans gave a chance to this show despite being an In Name Only adaptation of its source material. Since then, the show has become popular of its own, but Pepper has ended up becoming a Damsel Scrappy due to turning into a Faux Action Girl.
  • Sheen Estevez from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron was arguably an ensemble darkhorse in the Jimmy Neutron series, probably because he was a relatively normal The Ditz who was obsessed with the in-universe TV Show superhero, Ultra Lord, but still cared about his friends and family. When he got his own spin-off series, Planet Sheen, he was flanderized into a Too Dumb to Live The Ditz who was utterly indifferent towards his friends and family on Earth, to the point where he doesn't even attempt to repair the damaged rocket. He also never listens to the advice of his super intelligent chimp friend, Nesmith, and blames him for his own mistakes. To add insult to injury, as of the "Cutting the Ultra Cord" episode, Sheen is no longer obsessed with Ultra Lord.
  • Cheese from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. In his first couple of appearances, he was quite popular for his unbridled kookiness. Before long though, Cartoon Network began shilling him in promo after promo, and in-series he became a major millstone to everyone around him, turning off many viewers.
  • Elmyra Duff from Tiny Toon Adventures was reportedly fairly well liked at the time the show first premiered on television. It may have been because at the time, she was a recurring Obliviously Evil antagonist who despite never meaning any true harm to animals, was considered a dangerous threat to them. As the series progressed, Elmyra was used a lot more often on the show, to the point where two episodes of the series were meant to serve as a spin-off focusing on her family, which never got picked up. Add to that the short, "Out of Odor" (part of "Viewer Mail Day") where she mistakes Fifi La Fume for a cat and successfully manages to make her her pet due to a rose allergy, as well as the infamous Pinky and the Brain spin-off, Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, in which the two titular lab mice are her pets and endure torture from her, and you'll see why many people (including the producers of PE&TB) hate her.
  • Catbug, the Ridiculously Cute Critter Team Pet in Bravest Warriors, was the most popular character in Season 1 despite only having two scenes due to how simply adorable he was. Then the creators caught on and gave him more time in the spotlight, giving him dimensional-hopping superpowers which set off the plot for Season 2. This was also well-recieved. Then Season 2 itself came around, and he was thrown into being the star for several episodes in a row, finally crossing the Moral Event Horizon when his "animal instincts" led him to behead Jelly Kid. Now he's, at best, a severe Base Breaker.
  • Believe it or not, the Trope Namer Scrappy Doo can fall into this. His introduction actually revitalized the Scooby-Doo franchise for quite a few years, and kids back then were pretty fond of his character. It was only after time kicked in that people began to show their contempt of his character.
Replies: 44