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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...
->'''Q:''' ''(stares)''
->'''O'Brien:''' From the ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Enterprise]]''.
->'''Q:''' The ''Enterprise''... ah yes. Weren't you one of the [[RecurringExtra 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]].

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.

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.

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!!Examples

[[index]]
* AscendedExtra/AnimeAndManga
* AscendedExtra/ComicBooks
* AscendedExtra/FanFic
* AscendedExtra/{{Film}}
* AscendedExtra/{{Literature}}
* AscendedExtra/LiveActionTV
* AscendedExtra/VideoGames
* AscendedExtra/WebComics
* AscendedExtra/WebOriginal
* AscendedExtra/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]

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!!Other examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Folklore ]]

* In his first appearance in the 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".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* 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.
* 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 JohannSebastianBach, with his keyboard [[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.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Pinball ]]

* 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.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]

* 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:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCukxr7oZdA MVP as a security guard.]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q2N_1uY-HI CM Punk as a gangster in John Cena's Wrestlemania entrance.]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM6607zqpRg The beginning of the Triple H vs. Sheamus feud]]
* And there's a really cool one, which counts as a RetroactiveRecognition moment if (like me) 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 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 Deuce of Deuce N' Domino.
* Used in story in WWC, where [[Wrestling/CarlitoColon Carly Colon]] had little interest in following 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...dragging Carly into a more active role.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Radio ]]

* Cackling Jack, the panel operator for 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]]

[[folder: Role Playing Games ]]

* A number of examples from Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG:
** [=PeabodySam=]'s primary character, Rex, was originally an unnamed RedShirt in Alpha Team: Mission Deep Freeze RPG, 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]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* Toku from ''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 PointsOfLight setting for 4th Edition, they are now the major villain race of an entire plane (Specifically, the Feywild).
* In ''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 White Dwarf. 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) Bear in mind, he's not even an official named character.
* 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 ''{{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]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theater ]]

* 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.
* 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 ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'', the two most minor characters in ''{{Hamlet}}'' become the focus of the whole story, and Hamlet becomes just a bit part.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Toys ]]

* The Toa Inika from ''Franchise/{{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.

[[/folder]]

[[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. 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 MeltyBlood.
* ''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 LoveInterest and MacGuffinGirl of the final arc.
** Yukika, Kaede and Kane, [[ThoseTwoGuys those three girls]] who only appear in a single scene of the FateStayNight VisualNovel become recurring characters in the sequel ''[[VisualNovel/FateHollowAtaraxia Fate/hollow ataraxia]]''.
* ''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 [[PromotionToLoveInterest heroine treatment]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Video ]]

* ''WebVideo/TheOtherSide'' has a number of examples:
** Ethan, a minor character in Season 1, got a rather surprising PromotionToOpeningTitles in Season 2. However, this didn't end up translating into more screentime, and the only episode where he ever really got any prominence was the one in which [[spoiler: he died]].
** Brent, a wordless extra in of one episode in Season 1, gained so much momentum with a guest stint in Season 2 that he's made it to the title credits of Season 3.
** Mr. Livingston was originally Turk's BadBoss, but he ended up reprising the role in Season 2 several times due to how he was tied to the background stories of several characters. Also PromotedToOpeningTitles in Season 3.
* ''[[WebVideo/GamerGod88 GamerGod88]]'' is one for WebVideo/{{Jacksfilms}}, appearing in a few sketches before becoming the star of his own show.
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