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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Anastasia5_362.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:At least the forced perspective necessary to pull off this shot is magnificent.]]

->'''Q:''' Do I know you?\\
'''O'Brien:''' O'Brien. From the ''Enterprise''.\\
'''Q:''' The ''Enterprise''...? Ah yes! Weren't you one of the little people?
-->-- ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', "Q-Less"

A minor character who is given a greatly expanded role in the later part of the series, a new adaptation of a story, or in the ExpandedUniverse. It is usually safer to do this with an otherwise obscure character without much depth, since the likelihood of creating plot contradictions is lower. On the other hand, the character may or may not be allowed to have a huge effect on the plot depending on how much the writer is trying to follow source material. Can lead to some bizarre incongruities in planning (e.g. OvertookTheManga, RestrictedExpandedUniverse). Sometimes the minor character becomes an Ascended Extra just so the writers can immediately turn them into a SacrificialLion.

This naturally occurs as a series goes on for long periods of time and useful for filler, technically not requiring you invent someone whole cloth. Be warned however that this character might be more liked by the {{fandom}} than the writers, who may have no compunction with [[CListFodder getting rid of them when convenient]].

If a series involves a TimeSkip between seasons or story arcs (or if time travel involves someone taking TheSlowPath), this can happen when a character who was a child in the first part grows up enough to have an impact on the plot.

This also happens somewhat regularly in FanFiction, often when writers feel a character has potential that wasn't fully exploited in the original source. See also OCStandIn, TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter.

Compare the BreakoutCharacter, where a supporting character gains a fandom that rivals or exceeds the main characters and thus becomes more prominent in canon. Compare also the EnsembleDarkHorse where in a similar fashion, a supporting character role remains the same but that character receives more fans . See BreakoutVillain specifically for when a would-be one-shot villain ascends to BigBad status, either through Ascended Extra or BreakoutCharacter. A OneSceneWonder is ''not'' an Ascended Extra, at least ''officially''; fanfic, on the other hand...

See MauveShirt for when a member of the RedshirtArmy gets his own name and minor characterization, but still doesn't become more than a minor supporting character in any way. For the villain equivalent, see MookPromotion. The inverse of this {{trope}} is DemotedToExtra. RetroactiveRecognition is when this happens in RealLife. OCStandIn is when this happens in a {{fanfic}}.

Compare RedHerringShirt, only the ascension is intended from the beginning, and EnsembleDarkHorse, where fans become fascinated by a character who {{canon}}ically has only a very small role, at least initially.

Also, contrast with DemotedToExtra.


* AscendedExtra/AnimeAndManga
* AscendedExtra/ComicBooks
* AscendedExtra/FanFic
* AscendedExtra/{{Film}}
* AscendedExtra/{{Literature}}
* AscendedExtra/LiveActionTV
** ''AscendedExtra/GameOfThrones''
* AscendedExtra/VideoGames
* AscendedExtra/WebComics
* AscendedExtra/WebOriginal
* AscendedExtra/WesternAnimation

!!Other examples:

* In his first appearance in the Myth/RobinHood ballads, Guy Of Guisborne is a bounty hunter in horsehide armour who Robin beheads. Modern retellings have promoted the character being TheDragon to the Sheriff of Nottingham (or sometimes the BigBad himself) because he was one of the few villains from the ballads [[NominalImportance to be given a name]] ([[AlliterativeName and a catchy one, at that]]), and the fact that held his own against Robin in an epic swordfight described as lasting "two howres".

* It isn't unheard of for bands to include one of their member's (usually the lead singer) solo material into their concert set-lists and greatest hits albums. For example, Music/{{Journey}} performed lead singer Steve Perry's hit single "Oh Sherrie" on their 1986 ''Raised On Radio'' tour.
* All the time. Go through a list of your favorite bands, and it's almost a guarantee that at least a handful of those bands had a touring guitarist/bassist/drummer that eventually became a full-time member after a year or two, or, barring that, a close friend or tech who was invited to replace a departing member.
* Opening Acts. It's not uncommon for them to become more popular than the band they toured with. Or never heard from again.
* Rare musical instrument example: Keyboard instruments (usually the harpsichord or organ) were originally used just for bass accompaniment (basso continuo). Then along came Music/JohannSebastianBach, with his keyboard [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic toccatas, preludes, fugues, passacaglias, fantasies, etc.]] which showed the world that keyboard instruments were fit as the main instrument of a concerto or even as a solo instrument.
** The harpsichord fell out of favour in the 19th Century, with Bach music largely having been migrated to the piano. In the 20th century, it enjoyed a revival, thanks largely to keyboard virtuosi and harpsichord enthusiasts Violet Gordon-Woodhouse and Wanda Landowska.
* The bassoon started out just the same way as the keyboard did. Then Antonio Vivaldi showcased the instrument in more than thirty bassoon concerti, giving the instrument the nicknames of both the clown and the gentleman of the orchestra.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In the later years of ''ComicStrip/USAcres'', Jim Davis' assistant Brett Koth gained a co-writer's credit, and his signature even appeared alongside Davis's. However, Koth was a longtime assistant of Davis's who had done just as much work on ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' at that point without such credit. (Koth also had co-writer's credit when he and Davis penned a short-lived strip based on ''Mr. Potato Head'' in 2001.)
* In ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'', Opus started out in a one-joke throwaway gag where Binkley brought him home thinking he was a German shepherd. After appearing in a few bit parts in other one-strip gags, he didn't appear for a few months, and was later re-introduced and gradually became the main protagonist of the strip.

* The ''Pinball/PinkPanther'' pinball, a ''very'' loose adaptation of ''The Return of the Pink Panther,'' elevates the jewel thief from a supporting character to equal billing with the Pink Panther himself.
* Done with a '''crane'''[[note]]Of the lift-big-boxes-off-vehicles type, not the spindly-legged bird[[/note]] of all things in ''Pinball/LastActionHero.'' While it's a one-scene prop in the movie, it's the most prominent toy in the game, gets used in multiple modes, and is even featured on the sides of the cabinet and backbox.

* Before they were known for wrestling in triangle ladder matches on pay per view, Wrestling/MattHardy and Wrestling/JeffHardy first appeared on national television in 1994 as {{jobber}}s and sometimes didn't even appear, relegated to opening doors for other wrestlers.
* Marcela had been making sporadic appearances for Wrestling/{{CMLL}} since 1997 as an extra for pareja and tercia matches until 2004 when La Amapola, who was seemingly being groomed to succeed La Diabólica, Lady Apache and Ayako Hamada, was upset by her. The next year Marcela was at the forefront of CMLL's revived women's division and stayed there for ten years.
* Used for a World Wrestling Counsel angle, where [[Wrestling/CarlitoColon Carly Colón]] had little interest in becoming a wrestler and was content to help his father's company by filming some shows. But then Ray González discovered that one of the cameramen was the son of the boss and decided to try and exploit the fact to his advantage...which led to him beating up Carly when he made it clear he wanted nothing to do with González. Then Carly decided to jump into a more active role.
* This happens quite a bit in wrestling. Many times when there's a need for non-wrestling roles in a show, they'll hire local wrestlers or talents from their developmental programs to fill in, and it stands to reason that eventually a few of them will get called up. A couple of famous examples:
** [[Wrestling/FrankieKazarian Frankie "The Future" Kazarian]]'s first appearance on a Wrestling/RingOfHonor show was as a Do or Die reject. He later became a World {{Tag Team}} Champion, making his RedBaron very accurate.
** [[Wrestling/MontelVontaviousPorter The highest paid free agent]] in all of "[[InsistentTerminology sports entertainment]]" [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCukxr7oZdA as a security guard.]]
** Wrestling/IvelisseVelez first appeared on Wrestling/{{SHIMMER}} in video clips where she was beat up by Melanie Cruise and Wesna Busic.
** Wrestling/PaulHeyman guy and "Best In The World" Wrestling/CMPunk [[http://www.cagesideseats.com/2014/4/5/5583302/video-cm-punk-spotted-at-wrestlemania-john-cena-gangster-squad-wwe as a gangster in John Cena's WrestleMania 22 entrance]].
** Before Wrestling/DeanAmbrose "[[SelfServingMemory beat]]" Wrestling/TheUndertaker [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mn2Ck5uIJw he served as one of his druids]]
* On ''!Bang! TV'', Claudia "The Claw" Reiff started as the program's referee but then became a {{jobber}} and then ended up challenging for and winning the United States Title belt, beating her trainer Adam Windsor.
* And there's a really cool one, which counts as a RetroactiveRecognition moment if you only started watching wrestling in 2006. Remember at the 2005 Royal Rumble when Wrestling/KurtAngle was so incensed by Wrestling/ShawnMichaels quickly eliminating him that he got back in the ring and returned the favor? See all those referees and other backstage personnel coming out to stop Angle from beating Michaels to death? Isn't one of them....? Yup, that's Finlay. Of course, if you were just a casual WWE fan you had no idea that he'd been in Wrestling/{{WCW}} a decade earlier and had been [[TeamDad training the WWE Divas for several years]].
* Wrestling/JohnLaurinaitis was DemotedToExtra and '''''then''''' became an Ascended Extra. After his in-ring career was over, he eventually ended up in his more well-known role [[note]]Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and General Manager of Raw and Smackdown[[/note]] - but careful peeks at WWE programming from a few years ago (for example, the time Wrestling/RandyOrton [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjqHTMFTJcE punted Vince McMahon]]) will show that he's been there all along. Then, in 2011, Wrestling/CMPunk name-dropped him in ''[[WorkedShoot that]] [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome promo]]'', setting up his role as an [[TyrantTakesTheHelm on-screen authority figure.]]
* One of the security guards who carried a terrified [[Wrestling/MikeBucci Simon Dean]] to the ring for his match against the debuting Wrestling/{{Boogeyman}} on the December 2, 2005 ''[=SmackDown!=]''? That's Cliff Compton, later known as Dice Domino of the tag team Deuce N' Domino.
* [[Wrestling/ChristinaVonEerie Toxxin]] was a clerk/manager of a tattoo parlor used by Ink Inc and Mexican America, indifferent to their difference so long as they remained peaceful in her shop. When a fight did break out though, she took Ink Inc's side. ''Christina Von Eerie'' had appeared on a Wrestling/{{TNA}} show the previous year alongside Shannon Moore, but it was a dark match that had no [[AccidentalPun impact]] [[ThreeMonthRule on any angles]].
* Happened twofold with Wrestling/DolphZiggler, who first appeared in WWE in 2005 as Wrestling/ChavoGuerreroJr's caddy in the short-lived and controversial Kerwin White gimmick. Once that gimmick was canned, he reappeared as Nicky, a member of the Spirit Squad. He finally debuted as a singles wrestler with the Dolph Ziggler name in 2008, where he eventually became World Champion in 2011.
* {{Wrestling/Batista}} first appeared in WWE as Deacon Batista, the muscle for D-Von Dudley of Wrestling/TheDudleyBoys' short-lived Reverend D-von gimmick in 2002. It was the following year when Wrestling/TripleH picked him up as the main muscle for {{Wrestling/Evolution}}, and he went on to become a multiple-time champion.
* Recently, the women of the WWE have become this as the Divas Division was rebranded as the Women's Division due in large part to Triple H as he took over for Laurinaitis as WWE's head of talent. Whereas Laurinaitis hired mainly models, Triple H hired female wrestlers from the indie circuit. Originally used as filler, it is now common for RAW and SmackDown to feature two (sometimes even three) women's matches on the same show due in large part to the rise of the likes of Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Asuka and other female Superstars.

* Cackling Jack, the panel operator for ''Creator/HamishAndAndy''. He allegedly started out as a work experience kid, and is one of many behind-the-scenes people mentioned on the air, but he gets the most amount of time on-mic after Hamish and Andy themselves.
* ''Radio/TheShadow'' started out as the narrator of ''Detective Story Hour''. When audiences proved more interested in the Shadow than the stories, writer Walter Gibson was commissioned to write about him. A full radio show started shortly thereafter, and a legend was born.

[[folder: Role-Playing Games]]
* A number of examples from Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG:
** [=PeabodySam=]'s primary character, Rex, was originally an unnamed RedShirt in ''Roleplay/AlphaTeamMissionDeepFreezeRPG'', who was later {{Retcon}}ned and revealed to have survived.
** Trouble was intended to be a one-off character, but his popularity ascended him to a more important role.
** Kat was originally introduced as an AffirmativeActionGirl, and her character went on to much greater importance.
** Ata was originally TheGenericGuy who thought his GPS was glitching. He was later reintroduced as a CommunicationsOfficer and ultimately revealed to be [[spoiler:TheMole]].
** Helmie was just supposed to be an unimportant barge helmsman who got Hotwire to Ogel's Island, but his character ended up being developed much more than Jackson Lake had initially expected.
** Hertz was introduced as a RedShirt, but when he survived longer than usual, he graduated to MauveShirt and, ultimately, became that guy from that show's new primary character.
** Frank Einstein was a seemingly minor scientist introduced shortly before the Goo Caverns StoryArc, who went on to become [[spoiler:Dino Attack Team's ReverseMole, the creator of Pterisa, and the one responsible for Rex's LaserGuidedAmnesia]].
** Like Hertz, Zelda Frodongan was introduced as a RedShirt who defied the odds and survived, allowing her to become an important cast member.
** The alpha female T-Rex made her brief, minor debut in Alpha Team: Mission Deep Freeze RPG. She was expanded upon and given much more character in Dino Attack RPG.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Toku from ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings''. A simple peasant farmer who became a ronin samurai, he was originally a one-shot character, but he was so loved by the fans of the card game that he was worked in as a seminal part to the overarching story, including having a Clan founded for him (the Monkey) and eventually [[spoiler:dying in a HeroicSacrifice...then serving in the Army of the Dead and being named a minor Fortune (deity) by the Emperor.]]
* In TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons, the [[TheFairFolk Formorians]] were formerly just a very ugly type of giant that rarely got used. But with the creation of the default TabletopGame/NentirVale setting for 4th Edition, they are now the major villain race of an entire plane (Specifically, the Feywild).
* In ''TabletopGame/ATouchOfEvil'', Lucy Hanbrook and the Scarlett Shadow were originally available as Allies. The Hero Pack One expansion made them into fully playable characters.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', Harald Deathwolf was simply one of the 12 Wolf Lords of the Space Wolves with no backstory. Then the Codex author thought the generic Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf model looked too cool not to have its own backstory, and so wrote the full Saga of Harald Deathwolf in ''Magazine/WhiteDwarf''. The model even comes with a moulded shoulder pad allowing you to represent him specifically, and he was one of two Wolf Lords to get a transfer sheet for their Great Company. (Ragnar Blackmane, ''an actual special character'' didn't) All that, and he wasn't even an official named character. And then in the 7th Edition Codex, he is. So he's well and truly ascended.
** Likewise for Bran Redmaw, who went from just being a named, but generic, Wolf Lord in the 3rd edition Space Wolves Codex, to being re-envisioned by Forge World as having a severe form of the Curse of the Wulfen, which allows him to [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent transform into a ravenous, twelve-foot-tall wolf monster]]. He also received rules from Forge World, and had a pair of models (one for each of his two forms) in the works. However, only his human model was ever completed, and Forge World shelved it rather than release it alone.
** Erasmus Tycho was originally just a Blood Angels captain who appeared in a ''Magazine/WhiteDwarf'' battle report, during which he was killed by an enemy psyker. Following this he was made a canon character with a full background, and was even made an HQ choice in the Blood Angels main force. Retaining the exact same wargear he had during his initial appearance.
** The Crimson Slaughter were originally just a name and colour scheme, provided by Games Workshop as an example for Chaos Space Marine collectors. With the release of 6th edition, they suddenly became the focus of half of the new ''Dark Vengeance'' starter box, and wound up appearing in quite a bit of the new Chaos Space Marine Codex's photos and artwork. They then got their own supplementary Codex, ahead of several much more popular and established warbands and Traitor Legions, which led some fans to complain that they had turned into a SpotlightStealingSquad. This came up again a couple of years later, when Games Workshop reissued the majority of Chaos Space Marine kits to feature models in Crimson Slaughter colours in all of the box photos, replacing the Black Legion as the faction's default display army.
* The [[RiddlingSphinx gynosphinx]] from the 1st edition D&D adventure ''White Plume Mountain'' was a simple riddling monster encounter to ensure that OnlySmartPeopleMayPass. In Paul Kidd's {{novelisation}} of the adventure for ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}} Classics'', the Justicar and his band befriend her, and she becomes a member of the group in Kidd's subsequent novels. [[NamedByTheAdaptation Her name's Enid]].
* In ''TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse'', Citizens Hammer and Anvil were promoted from minions in Citizen Dawn's deck to having their own deck for villain team-up games, in which state they are considerably more obnoxious than they were in Dawn's.
* Some characters who are apped in Roleplay/SuperSmashBrothersLifeItself Are either Minor characters or people who did not have enough spotlight in there main games.

* ''Theater/Portal2TheUnauthorizedMusical''
** The Cores that only appeared briefly at the end of the original ''Videogame/Portal2'' are prominent characters with defined personalities and backstories. Special mention goes to Space Core, who, in a feat of AdaptationalHeroism, [[spoiler: physically drags Wheatley through the moon-portal at the end of the play]].
** Caroline is a strange example of this. While she is a ''very'' important character, she only has a few short lines in ''Videogame/Portal2''. However, in the musical she's a very prominent character.
* In the stage musical of ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', the feather duster and the wardrobe are given bigger roles, more developed personalities, and names, Babette and Madame de la Grande Bouche, respectively.
* ''Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' (the 2013 West End musical) elevates Charlie's other grandparents to equal status with OlderSidekick Grandpa Joe by having them share MrExposition duties in Act One. Mr. and Mrs. Bucket (especially the former) also get more-rounded personalities and a ParentalLoveSong. Mrs. Teavee is elevated from a more-or-less homogenous DotingParent in the novel into a StepfordSmiler {{Housewife}} at the mercy of an EnfantTerrible son and a key source of comedy in Act Two.
* Neil Simon's first play, ''Come Blow Your Horn'', briefly mentions an offstage character named Felix Ungar. Felix, of course, later became half of the eponymous duo in Simon's ''Theatre/TheOddCouple'' and its film and TV adaptations.
* ''Theatre/HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild'''s main character, Albus Potter, had about four lines at the end of the [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows final Harry Potter book]]. Notably, all those four-ish lines are in the play, so Albus's ascension is immediate.
* ''Theatre/MissSaigon'': Ruthie Henshall is one of the nameless bar girls in the original London production before eventually playing the role of Ellen (the woman Chris marries after the war). In fact, most of the "bar girl" actresses went on to play Kim (the titular character) or Ellen.
* Will Parker is one half of the BetaCouple in the musical ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}''. He wasn't really a character in ''Green Grow The Lilacs'' (the straight play ''Oklahoma!'' was derived from), which mentioned him ''once''.
* In-universe example: Christine Daae in Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera was a chorus girl until Carlotta stormed off the set in a huff.
** Speaking of which, many of the alternates/understudies for the three main roles eventually took on the role proper in other productions--Rebecca Caine was an alternate for Christine in the initial London production before being the main Christine in the Toronto one, many of the actors who played Raoul eventually played the Phantom, etc.
* Compared to their roles in the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime, Professor Oak and Delia Ketchum have much larger roles in ''Theatre/PokemonLive''.
* As per the usual, [[JustForFun/TheZerothLawOfTropeExamples Shakespeare Did It]].
** Several minor characters in Shakespeare's ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' seem to barely qualify to have names until very late into the play.
** Mercutio in ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet''. In Shakespeare's source, ''The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet'', he makes one appearance, and only gets mentioned at all because he happens to be sitting next to Juliet at the feast. Shakespeare makes him Romeo's best friend, the only person who can maintain connections with both the Capulets and the Montegues, a {{Trickster}} and a DeadpanSnarker.
** In ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'', the two most minor characters in ''{{Hamlet}}'' become the focus of the whole story, and Hamlet becomes just a bit part.
* ''Shrek the Musical'' expands the roles of Pinocchio, Gingy, and the rest of the banished fairy tale creatures by introducing a new substory in which they rebel against Lord Farquaad's laws against "freaks". This new story, of course, was included to help further the show's moral of embracing one's uniqueness, and their show stopping number, "Freak Flag", delivers the message perfectly.
* ''Theatre/TheWiz'' gives the Good Witch of the North a larger role than she had in ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz''. In that book, she prepared Dorothy for her journey to the eponymous wizard, then disappeared for the rest of the story. In the play (and Creator/{{NBC}}'s telecast), the witch (now named Addaperle), re-appears after the Wiz leaves Dorothy behind in Oz, then calls Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, to help Dorothy go home to Kansas.

* The Toa Inika from ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' started out as mere [[{{Hobbits}} Matoran]] who were barely mentioned (if at all) in the ''Chronicles'' series of books. In ''Legends'', however, they become the central heroes for the first two thirds of the [[MacGuffin Mask of Life]] story arc. Special mention goes to Hahli who started out as a randomly introduced Ga-Matoran in 2002, replacing the little-known Kotu as the series' "secondary" Ga-Matoran character, and was PromotedToLoveInterest to Jaller almost immediately. In 2003, she was the star of her own online game and became an important supporting character in TheMovie, thereby pushing Macku, the former "main" Ga-Matoran, into "second-tier" status.
** Most of the '04 Matoran characters first appeared in '03 in the ''Mata Nui Online Game II'' as background [=NPCs=] -- although in-universe, they've technically been {{demoted to extra}}s, seeing as '04 was a [[WholeEpisodeFlashback flashback year]]. An exception is Ahkmou: introduced as an unnamed bazaar trader in the original ''MNOG'', brought back and given a name in ''MNOG II'', and released as a set in '04 (which might have been purely coincidental -- the toy looked like him, but there's no indication that that was the designers' intent), preserving some of his storyline importance even later on in the series. [[WhatCouldHaveBeen This would have culminated in him becoming a Toa and thus getting a new set in 2008, but its plans were canceled.]]
* [[http://carebears.wikia.com/wiki/Take_Care_Bear Take Care Bear]] of the ''Franchise/CareBears'' had only appeared in one coloring book in 1987, and nowhere else. Most fans never knew her. Then, the 2002 relaunch of the ''Care Bears'' included Take Care Bear in the toyline. Her tummy symbol from 1987 was an apple, because Take Care Bear promoted good health; but the apple now belongs to Smart Heart Bear, so Take Care Bear's tummy symbol is now a heart hugging a star.
* {{Franchise/Transformers}}: There's numerous examples, but exclusively toy wise one of the biggest would be Exhaust. Initially he was an unnamed redeco of Wheeljack with a new head that was an homage to Marlboro Cigarettes (named Marlboor for trademark reasons). He's only been referenced twice in fiction (once in the Dreamwave comics and again in a minor toy redeco of Prime Wheeljack),and his original toy isn't even a Transformer, it's still part of the diaclone line. He saw no headway until 2014 where it's revealed that the [[CrackIsCheaper Masterpiece]] Wheeljack, one off the most expensive and articulated of figures, would get a retool into him (as well as retroactively naming him Exhaust as he went by Marlboor Wheeljack before).

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* After being DemotedToExtra in the original version of ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'', [[EnsembleDarkHorse Satsuki Yumizuka]] (Sacchin to fans) has been confirmed to have regained her own route in the upcoming ''Tsukihime'' remake. [[MemeticMutation Isn't it great, Sacchin?]]
** While the remake appears to be in DevelopmentHell, that hasn't stopped Satsuki from appearing as a playable character in the spinoff game ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood''.
** Thereís also Len, Arceuidís [[HornyDevils succubus]] familiar. In the original game she only appears for one scene in two routes, is disguised as whatever character Shikiís crushing on, and is forgotten afterwards. In the fandisc sequel ''Kagetsu Tohya'' [[spoiler:she appears in her true form and is the pivotal character of the main story]].
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'':
** While an important character, Archer has little actual relevance to the Fate route that the anime is based off of. However, he's such a popular/interesting character that his importance and screen time are rather increased. They mostly drag in bits of information from the UBW path and fully animate the battle with Berserker, which was only alluded to in the game itself.
** Sakura's rare and unobtrusive appearances in the first two arcs would not lead players to suspect she'd become the {{Love Interest|s}} and MacGuffinSuperPerson of the final arc.
** Yukika, Kaede and Kane, [[ThoseTwoGuys those three girls]] who only appear in a single scene of the VisualNovel/FateStayNight VisualNovel become recurring characters in the sequel ''[[VisualNovel/FateHollowAtaraxia Fate/hollow ataraxia]]'', even getting a whole side story to themselves.
** Also from ''VisualNovel/FateHollowAtaraxia'' is [[spoiler:Lancerís master Bazett]], who was barely mentioned in the original game due to [[spoiler:having been killed by Kirei]]. Similarly to [[VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}} Len]] above, [[spoiler:Bazett]] becomes a key character in the story.
** [[Myth/KingArthur Mordred]] started off as just being mentioned in the original VisualNovel. He [[spoiler: (or rather [[GenderBender she]])]] then got a cameo in the anime, being summoned in ''LightNovel/FateApocrypha'', and then gets the closest role to a {{Tritagonist}} amongst the summonable Servants in ''VideoGame/FateGrandOrder''.
* ''VisualNovel/FragmentsNote'' has a few of these, but the most prominent examples are Rina and Shizuku Akikawa; the former appears only for one or two scenes in ''After Stories'', while the latter is mentioned once and never actually appears. In the sequel, both of them are fairly prominent characters.
* ''VisualNovel/MajiDeWatashiNiKoiShinasai'': Oodles and oodles of characters get their own standing drawings and voice actors/actresses in the sequel, such as the NinjaMaid contingent, [[MartialPacifist assistant instructor Ru]], and [[SiblingTeam Gale and Gates]], to name but a few. A handful also get the vaunted [[PromotedToLoveInterest heroine treatment]].
* In ''VisualNovel/AkatsukiNoGoei'''s fandisc, the supporting character Kyouka got her own proper route, as did Anzu. Kyouka seems as though she may have been intended to be a heroine in the original story, though.
* In ''VisualNovel/{{AIR}}'', Kano Kirishima and Minagi Tohno were DemotedToExtra, and never referenced again, not even in the movie. However, both girls were given a second chance in ''VideoGame/EternalFighterZero'', where they appear as playable characters: Kano uses elemental magic to fight, and Minagi weaponizes her rice tickets. Minagi's friend Michiru counts as well, as she and Minagi fight jointly, although you can only control Michiru vis special moves.
* Something similar happened to characters from ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'': Sayuri Kurata was originally a support character, but not one of the selectable girls, hoever, she became a playable character in ''VideoGame/EternalFighterZero'', where she fights with MagicalGirl powers.
** Later, in the ''Bad Moon Edition'' UpdatedRerelease, Kaori Misaka and Mishio Amano were added to the roster: Kaori as a powerful boxer, and Mishio as a spear master; Much later, in the ''Memorial'' version, Akiko Minase was also added as a playable character, she fighs with a vast array of household tools, and can also use her "[[GargleBlaster Special Jam]]" in battle.

[[folder:Web Video]]
* ''[[WebVideo/GamerGod88 GamerGod88]]'' is one for WebVideo/{{Jacksfilms}}, appearing in a few sketches before becoming the star of his own show.
* From the LetsPlay/{{Yogscast}} as a group:
** LetsPlay/{{Turpster}} was never exactly "unimportant", but was more of a behind the scenes kind of guy during the early days. However, he started doing more livestreams and gained a bit of an audience, eventually gaining his own channel. Then he became a recurring player on LetsPlay/{{Sips}}' channel for ''VideoGame/GarrysMod'', and developed a substantial fanbase. While his uploading is still more sporadic compared to the rest of the crew, he's hardly the lesser-known figure from before.
** LetsPlay/{{Strippin}} was initially just an admin at Yogtowers, but became good friends with LetsPlay/InTheLittleWood and [[Music/{{Area 11}} Sparkles*]], appearing with them on Christmas livestreams and gaining a loyal fanbase. He was eventually given the go-ahead from LetsPlay/LewisBrindley to launch his own channel, and the rest is history.
* ''WebVideo/TheAnnoyingOrange'': Pear made a brief appearance in the first episode as a one-off gag. He didn't make another appearance until 13 episodes in, and a few seasons later was elevated to become the {{Deuteragonist}} to Orange.
* ''WebVideo/SuperMarioLogan'': The Brooklyn Guy appeared in an SML Short and didn't appear again until "Bowser Junior's Summer School 5". Following this, he became more of a recurring/major character afterwards, like Pear in the above example.
* In ''Series/{{Noob}}'' T-Man was a RecurringExtra that was showed up whenever a scene required a Coalition players that wasn't one of the other established ones. By the time ''Film/NoobLeConseilDesTroisFactions'' and ''NoobLaQueteLegendaire'' roll in, he's the first to benefit from the bigger focus the Coalition has been getting.