[[quoteright:170:[[Franchise/SuperMarioBros http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/divergent-character-evolution_1869.jpg]]]]
Named after the biological phenomenon known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divergent_evolution Divergent Evolution]], where two closely related species develop wildly different traits over time. Here it means an act of CharacterDevelopment wherein a character who was extremely similar to another character is given his or her own identity.

This is extremely common in video games, where characters who were originally identical to the lead (usually to allow for two-player play, [[SendInTheClones or just because the lead is popular]]) are often given their own special abilities and personality quirks in later games. Can also happen in {{crossover}}s when two characters that were very similar in their own series are allowed to [[CastSpeciation interact with each other]].

Related to DerivativeDifferentiation. See also BelatedBackstory, CastSpeciation, NotSoSimilar, ReplacementFlatCharacter. Compare CharacterizationMarchesOn.
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!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Repeatedly happened to Minako/Sailor Venus from ''SailorMoon'', who Usagi was originally an expy of. In the original comic, the main difference is Venus' superhero persona is much more capable and composed. Other adaptations played with these extremes. [[PrettyGuardianSailorMoon Her live-action self]] was made almost completely serious and sober, while her animated counterpart is an outright Fruit Loop.
* The Twins get this in ''OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' once they realized that Haruhi could differentiate them. [[spoiler:Kaoru becomes the more mature of the two, but is overly self sacrificing. By the time the mini arc is over, they're beginning to force themselves to grow apart by dying their hair and nearly drop the twincest act, but decide that is too much.]]
* The twins, Homare and Misao in ''OkaneGaNai''. There is no way to distinguish them from one another by appearance, but over the course of the series Homare is shown to be much more emotional, and eventually he realizes he is wildly in love with Ayase.
* ''{{Gundam 00}}'' featured a replacement twin who at first appears a lot like his [[spoiler: murdered]] twin older brother. This lasts about three episodes when he starts to get pissed by it and shows some people he is very different. In the end, they are not 'that' different... they have similar core personalities, but simply handle life differently starting from there. [[spoiler: Remarked when the surviving twin kills the BloodKnight who murdered his entire family, and who his brother died trying to get revenge against - yet doesn't do it out of revenge, but because the other rejected the LastSecondChance he gave him. Well, that and the guy was about to shoot ''him''.]]
** However, outside of pilotting the same Gundam set, they had slightly different inclinations. [[spoiler:Neal]] was pretty much "The Sniper" of the team and would only resort to full frontal combat in dire situations. On the other hand, [[spoiler:Lyle]] was more well rounded and while he was a skilled sniper as well, he usually would eschew the rifle in the favor of his handguns. You can see this better when the third gundam, which is tailored closer to his own abilities puts more emphasis on multi-targeting over outright sniping.
* And then there's ''GundamSEEDAstray'', where the titular Astray Frames start out as palette swaps of each other until they end up in the hands of three different pilots : hot-blooded mechanic Lowe gives his Red Frame a silly loadout of melee weapons such as katanas and a makeshift [[GGundam Shining Finger]], cool mercenary Gai outfits the Blue Frame with a large arsenal of guns and artillery, and BigBad Rondo customizes the Gold Frame using parts scavenged from the recently destroyed [[GundamSEED Blitz Gundam]], granting it stealth and pilebunkers.
* The Big Five in ''Anime/YuGiOh''. Initially they're an OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness, with the collective goal of taking over [=KaibaCorp=] for unspecified, but undoubtedly sinister intentions. In the "Virtual Nightmare" arc, they're all given separate personalities, and objectives, and while they all share the goal of defeating Kaiba and escaping into the real world, their reasons for hating him are fleshed out, with them being gaining separate backstories and motivations. BigBad Ganzley and AmoralAttorney [[TheBrute Johnson]] are just greedy, the rather pitiable [[DarkChick Crump]] is furious at Kaiba for mocking his penguin obsession, [[EvilGenius Nesbitt]]'s angry about his work being disposed of and his lab destroyed, and [[TheDragon Lector]]'s TheResenter par excellence and believes that he should have inherited the company.
* Played straight and also zig-zagged in ''[[{{Gunnm}} Battle Angel Alita Last Order]]''. Sechs, Elf, and Zwolf start as clones of Alita/Gally in the Tuned arc of the first series, but by the time they are reunited at the start of Last Order, Elf and Zwolf have switched to more waifish bodies and Sechs has gone feral. Sechs's divergence continues when she [[spoiler: switches to a male body]], while Elf and Zwolf's [[spoiler: similarity to Alita actually increases over time]].
* In MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha, [[TheHero Nanoha]] and [[TheLancer Fate]] initially functioned very similarly in combat, save that Fate had more of a preference for Melee combat due to Bardiche's [[SinisterScythe Scythe Form]]. Starting in [[MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs A's]] Fate began to become more of a FragileSpeedster while Nanoha continued becoming more and more of a MightyGlacier. This trend continued in MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers.
* In ''{{Eyeshield 21}}'' Jumonji, Kuroki, and Togano started out as stereotypical delinquents. This didn't last, with Togano becoming an aspiring artist, Jumonji outed as a smart guy hanging out with the wrong crowd, and Kuroki remaning a typical, but friendlier, thug.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'': Originally, all of the characters came from self contained comic books and in their individual books they all played TheHero archetype to their own supporting casts. When these characters were pulled together into the Justice League, the result was that the cast was composed of the exact same character type and had the same personality. Over time, their character traits became more diversified and today, the character differences are exaggerated in the team up book and downplayed in each character's solo comics. Franchise/{{Superman}} became more of a boy scout, Franchise/{{Batman}} became more of a {{jerkass}}, Comicbook/GreenLantern became more of a jock, and TheFlash became more impulsive.
* ''JusticeSocietyOfAmerica'': Even though the Justice Society came first and the ''JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'' was just a SilverAge update of the Justice Society, because the Justice League was more popular, it was decided that the Justice Society needed to find a new core concept to differentiate it from the Justice League. Several different ideas were tried such as being an AlternateUniverse equivalent to the Justice League, being a group of middle-aged superheroes, being a group of senior citizen superheroes, until finally, they found a concept that worked sales-wise, a multigeneration family of superheroes training the next generation.
* This occured to the original comic book ''[[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'', who, after starting out as flat characters, eventually began developing individual traits. The 1987 cartoon differentiated them further by [[{{Flanderization}} focusing each Turtle's characterization on a single trait]], and all subsequent adaptations have taken their cues from that.
* [[GreenLantern Guy Gardner]] started out somewhat more generic when he was first introduced as the other guy the ring could have gone to but was developed into a {{Jerkass}} when he became a regular (and more recently, a JerkWithAHeartOfGold). Johns went to even further lengths to distinguish the various Lanterns, when he brought back Hal Jordan and the Corps, by showing how the personalities of the Lanterns affected how they used (or didn't use) their rings and what sort of constructs they built.
** Case in point, ''Rebirth'' goes into detail about the way Rayner, Gardner, Stewart, Jordan, and Kilowog use their rings. Stewart, being an architect, has constructs that look like a blue print, with every individual detail within them planned out. Rayner, being an artist, often uses a construct pencil to "draw" other constructs, and the eraser construct to change details about them. Gardner's ring is literally leaking green light at all times, because "his willpower can't wait to escape". Jordan likes to go for a combination of brute force and precision, hence boxing gloves, missiles, etc. Kilowog's is the only ring among the regularly appearing characters that makes a sound, and it sounds like a cannon.
* The second Robin, Jason Todd, was originally a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute for Dick Grayson, differing only in hair color and style. When the universe was revamped with CrisisOnInfiniteEarths, Jason was turned into a troubled juvenile delinquent.
* In the 1980's DC introduced Comicbook/{{Deathstroke}}, a BadassNormal mercenary who frequently fought the ComicBook/TeenTitans. A few years later Marvel would introduce {{Deadpool}}, essentially an expy of Deathstroke with a slightly different costume. However, while Deathstroke has remained pretty much the same over the years, Deadpool has transformed into a [[NoFourthWall fourth wall breaking]] [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} cloudcuckoolander]] with [[GoodThingYouCanHeal powerful healing abilities.]]
* {{Quicksilver}} and {{Hawkeye}} were arguably created as Marvel's [[AlternateCompanyEquivalent equivalents]] of TheFlash and GreenArrow ([[XMeetsY "If they were villains!"]]), but grew to be quite distinctive in their own rights.
* {{Franchise/Transformers}}: Skywarp and Thundercracker spent a lot of time as just characters meant to fill space and be pallet swaps for Starscream. Their bios only giving them character. The IDW comics start with them just being two minions, Thundercracker slightly smarter. In ComicBook/TransformersAllHailMegatron they divide up, Thundercracker abandoning the cause, and Skywarp being more solidly devoted to it. Come {{ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW}} Thundercracker has pulled a HeelFaceTurn and helps the Autobots, while Skywarp tries to prove his worth as the BigBad of Bumblebee's mini-series.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Rare inverted example; In ''CruelIntentions'', both Kathryn and Sebastian were [[EvilIsSexy attractive]], [[MagnificentBastard intelligent]] young people who pride themselves on their ability to [[ReallyGetsAround bed any member of the opposite sex they choose]]. The two main differences between them are [[DistaffCounterpart their sex organs]] and the expectations society has of them due to said organs. In the prequel ''Cruel Intentions 2'', [[spoiler:Sebastian is kind and considerate, and Kathryn is cold, calculating, and uses sex as a weapon; and frequently destroys other peoples lives for her own amusement or revenge. Both try to convert the other to their way of thinking, but Sebastian is broken by Kathryn and ends up becoming a male version of her.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' Katniss' prep team starts off as basically one character. But through ''Catching Fire'' and ''Mockingjay'', [[TheMcCoy Octavia]] is more emotionally unstable, and [[TheSpock Venia]] is slightly more level headed than the other two.
* Originally, ''Literature/TheHardyBoys'' were fairly interchangeable from each other. Right around the time the series switched publishers in the 1970s, however, they decided to split the characters apart, making Frank much more bookish, shy, and logical, and Joe more athletic, boisterous, and impulsive.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Starting late in the first season of ''Series/{{Maverick}}'', episodes started to alternate between focusing on series mainstay Bret Maverick (played by James Garner) and his brother, Bart (played by Jack Kelly). Although Bret and Bart were written identically (writers were told to always write for Garner, and the producers would later just select which character would lead due to scheduling), the actors' portrayals quickly established Bret as the fun-loving, wisecracking brother, and Bart as the more serious-minded of the two. The same process happened to a later Maverick as well, as Creator/RogerMoore played Beau Maverick as a refined gentleman, at odds with the other two brothers' portrayals, despite the character, again, being written exactly the same. As for the final Maverick brother (Robert Colbert as Brent Maverick), he only appeared in two episodes, and thus never really found a personality of his own.
* The Cylons of ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' started out mass-produced, with each model line sharing an identical personality. By the end of the series, the models most sympathetic to humans (especially the Sixes and Eights) have diverged to having unique identities and even names for the Sixes. While the antagonistic models such as the Cavils, Dorals, and Simons remained monolithic and identical.
* On ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', the Wraith started off being interchangeable, down to all the male ones being played by James Lafazanos and all the female ones being played by Andee Frizzell. The only exceptions were when more than one Wraith was on-screen at a time. Eventually, FriendlyEnemy "Todd" (Christopher Heyerdahl) and JerkassWoobie "Michael" ([[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Connor Trinneer]]) came out of the literally nameless mass.
* In early episodes of ''[[Series/ThirtyRock 30 Rock]]'', Grizz and Dot Com were pretty much just a pair of dim-witted bulkheads who follow Tracy around. Now Grizz is an emotional soul and Dot Com is a well-spoken [[TheSmartGuy Smart Guy]]. Their initial lack of characterisation can be put down to no-one ever paying attention to them, which remains a RunningGag.
* Brittany and Santana on ''Series/{{Glee}}'' start out as Quinn's interchangeable minions (Brittany, in particular, had next to no lines and was basically a prop), but eventually became TheDitz and the AlphaBitch UpToEleven.
* In ''TheBigBangTheory'', Amy was introduced as a DistaffCounterpart to Sheldon, more or less exactly like him in every way. As the show progressed Amy began to spend time with Penny, became her "Bestie", and began to open up socially, revealing a lonely and troubled childhood responsible for how she is, and developing normal desires for attention and romance from Sheldon that eventually lead to him declaring them an OfficialCouple.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* In ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'', Couette started out as Sparadrap's DistaffCounterpart before she started showing signs of being more self-centered than him (e.g. sometime complaning about the state of her clothes in the middle of a battle) and knowing random pieces of in-game trivia. In the meantime, Sparadrap remained the franchise poster boy for KindheartedSimpleton. The divergent evolution is at different stages depending on the media between Couette being a frequent no-show in the webseries, the novels covering short timespans with much bigger time skips between them and the comic storyline being less advanced than the two previous.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In the ''ComicStrip/OverTheHedge'' comic, Verne used to be a lot more like RJ; you could usually swap their dialog with neither one seeming out of character. Then the cartoonists decided they needed more conflict. Today, Verne has so little in common with RJ that we wonder why Verne doesn't leave. (He does sometimes, but [[StatusQuoIsGod never for long]].)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* If two people debut as a tag team they'll start very similar to each other, but once they break apart they start developing their own personalities and move sets, see ShawnMichaels and the [[BreakupBreakout Marty Jannetty]], MattHardy and JeffHardy and {{Edge}} and {{Christian}}. Usually doesn't happen in the case of identical twins, though.
* Inverted in the case of twins Dave and highly prolific referee Earl Hebner. Dave Hebner was the assigned official for an explosive 1988 rematch of the legendary Hulk Hogan vs. André the Giant title match from the previous year's WrestleMania III. But unbeknownst to Hogan, André's manager [[RichBastard Ted DiBiase]] had bribed an unknown to get [[MagicPlasticSurgery plastic surgery to look like Hebner]] (in the unknown's role was Earl Hebner. Earl and Dave are identical twins, so this was easy to pull off). In Dave's place in the ring (while Dave was locked in a closet backstage), Earl played the EvilTwin, counting a clearly invalid pinfall against Hogan. Although the twin referee angle was thoroughly explored in WWF Magazine, it was very quickly dropped though due to Dave suffering an injury. Earl would later become a normal "good guy" referee like his brother.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Luigi from the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series, the former {{Trope Namer|s}}, was originally a PaletteSwap of his brother Mario, and was identical to him in every way. He has since been given his own high-jumping, low-traction style of gameplay, as well as a taller and more slender character design. His personality has drifted off as well; Mario is still portrayed as simply heroic and courageous, but Luigi has developed a second-banana complex, has become somewhat cowardly (especially regarding ghosts), and harbors dark secrets and HiddenDepths. [[EnsembleDarkhorse Some fans prefer Luigi]] to the squeaky-clean Mario for this reason.
** Also from ''Super Mario Bros.'', [[VideoGame/SuperMarioLand Daisy]] was so similar to Princess Peach in her original appearance that [[{{Fanon}} many fans assumed she was the same character]]. ([[Film/SuperMarioBros The movie]] doesn't help the [[VideoGameMoviesSuck confusion]], either.) Daisy has since been split off into a more tomboyish portrayal, although she hasn't appeared in as many games as other characters in the series. She's also become a [[BetaCouple potential]] [[PairTheSpares love]] [[MasculineGirlFeminineBoy interest]] for Luigi.
*** Daisy was nearly a palette swap of Peach, with the only exception being that her skin was slightly dark while Peach was fair skinned. By ''Mario Party 4'' and later, Daisy's skin became fair like Peach's, but Daisy's hair was shortened to neck length, gotten a different hairstyle, and her eyes were made larger in comparison to Peach's eyes.
** Another example from the ''Mario'' series is the Koopalings Lemmy and Iggy. While the two looked [[http://images.wikia.com/egamia/images/4/45/Lemmy_Koopa.gif rather]] [[http://images.wikia.com/egamia/images/c/cb/Iggy_Koopa.gif similar]] in earlier games, Iggy's appearance in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii'' has him looking... well, like [[http://images.wikia.com/nintendo/en/images/9/99/Iggy_Koopa_Super_Mario_Wii.jpg this]]. It's also notable that Iggy seems to have apparently gone insane... Well, [[SanitySlippage more insane...]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]'', the characters that were clones in ''Melee'' got more of this to the point that there are no true clones in ''Brawl''; there are only semi-clones.
** This trope's original name, "Luigification," came from ''Smash Bros.'' fandom, referring to Luigi becoming less of a Mario clone between the original ''Super Smash Bros.'' and ''Melee''. Naming it after Luigi was very fitting even ignoring ''Smash Bros.'', as noted above.
* Ryu and Ken originally played the exact same way in ''VideoGame/StreetFighterI''. They have since been differentiated in both moveset and characterization. Although they are both use the [[{{Shotoclone}} same fighting style]], Ryu is now a [[KamehameHadoken Hadoken]] specialist and usually fights defensively, while Ken is more aggressive and prefers the {{Shoryuken}}.
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII'' introduced twin brothers Yun and Yang. Originally, they played identically (to the point that they shared the same slot in the player select screen), but in ''2nd Impact'', Yun and Yang were officially made into separate characters with different Special Moves and Super Arts.
* Most of the clones in ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur III]]'' also received this. Siegfried and Nightmare had their movesets almost entirely differentiated after being nearly identical in the first game and ''different costumes for the same character'' in the second.
** ''Soulcalibur IV'' does this to Amy, who in ''SCIII'' had the generic create-a-character Rapier moveset.
*** The differentiation was actually made in a later arcade version of ''SCIII'' in which they decided to shift Amy, Li Long and Hwang Seong-gyeong into more intricate arcade-worthy characters. It's also actually more of an inversion, because the create-a-character classes were different enough from the originals for them to be ''missed'' in ''Soulcalibur IV'''s create-a-modes. Many fans of ''III'' were pissed that their characters had to fight the exact same way as the main cast.
**** It should be noted that Li Long and Hwang have reverse examples as their appearances in ''Soulcalibur IV'' and ''Broken Destiny''[='s=] Quick Match mode have them use the same moves as their replacements Maxi and Yun-seong respectively.
* Orcs and Humans were pretty identical in the first two ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' games, but in ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'', humans are the JackOfAllStats while orcs have powerful but expensive units and weak magic.
** In ''Warcraft II'', the two races were identical in every aspect, except their respective {{Magic Knight}}s (Paladin and Ogre-mage) and true [[SquishyWizard mages]] (Mage and Death Knight) had different spells. The Orcs had most of the advantage with Bloodlust over Healing, but Mages had some tricks up their sleeve in the late-game with Invisibility and Polymorph.
** Also, in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', the Shaman and the Paladin class both inverted and played this straight. The Shaman was originally Horde-only, just as the Paladin was Alliance exclusive. The problem was that they functioned in entirely different manners and it turned out to be a pain to balance out. They tried several things, including making the two classes more and more similar. This was not really liked (particularly as the classes have very different functions outside of buffing), and the first expansion gave both factions access to them, the Alliance gaining Draenei shamans and the Horde getting Blood Elf paladins. They were then free to start their divergent evolution without worrying about wrecking the faction power balance.
* In the ''VideoGame/StarFox'' series, all of Fox's wingmen were pretty much the same at the beginning, other than in personality. This was changed in the unreleased ''VideoGame/StarFox2'', which allowed you to choose your character, with each flying a different ship with different properties. It reverted back in ''VideoGame/StarFox64'', where you could only play as characters other than Fox in multiplayer, and that being a purely cosmetic choice. Things stayed that way until ''VideoGame/StarFoxCommand'' which finally incorporated the different ships choices from ''Star Fox 2''.
* In ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'', Sonic and Tails played the same way. Starting with ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic the Hedgehog 3]]'', Tails was given his own play style. (He is unable to use the shield power-ups as double jumps, but gains a limited flying ability.)
** Tails' play style has gotten to the point of being unrecognizable in some of the more recent games, most memorably walking in a mecha in ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2''.
** Also, Shadow in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006''. His techniques went from being very similar to Sonic in ''Sonic Adventure 2'' and ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' to a different style. However, the fact that he became slower could raise different questions.
* Inverted in the ''VideoGame/FZero'' series. The series originally featured four characters with markedly different play styles, but as the cast expanded to include LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, those original four have drifted to the middle, becoming little more than mildly differentiated [[JackOfAllStats Jacks of All Stats]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'', Kyo and Iori, like Ryu and Ken, were essentially clones of each other in their original appearance, but their gameplay styles began to diverge as times went by: Kyo lost his fireball and gained more powerful normal moves while Iori became quicker and more mobile.
** And then, by ''The King of Fighters XII'', Iori had lost his fire powers completely, while Kyo pretty much lost his fiery "Rekka-style" moves and had regained his fireball... (Though in ''XIII'', the Rekka-style Kyo and Flames Iori are available as [[DownloadableContent DLC]] alongside the more "classic" Kyo and the flameless Iori.)
** Even more so, Clark and Ralf from the same series (working for an actual honest-to-gosh ColonelBadass, Heidern) start as nearly identical wrestler/brawler characters, but over the years have differentiated so that Ralf has more punching-based "brawling" special moves and fewer and less-effective command throws (although still more than the average character) and Clark has become almost a pure wrestler, with more throws and almost no other special moves. At the same time, their personalities were distinguished, with Clark being the quiet, sensitive, friendly guy and Ralf being quite the BoisterousBruiser. They are both still complete {{badass}}es, of course, and compared to the rest of the cast, effectively {{Badass Normal}}s.
*** Even more so when you realize this: in a game where most characters have element-based superpowers and genetically altered genes, Ralf is the only character that has a ''[[MegatonPunch special move that can remove almost two-thirds of your health bar]]''. (And in some circumstances it can take off all of your health bar from 100%!)
*** Also, both were the protagonists of ''VideoGame/IkariWarriors'', [[DubNameChange Paul and Vince]], who both played and looked identical.
** The same goes for Mature and Vice, Rugal's {{Sexy Secretar|y}}ies who [[AscendedExtra made the jump to playable status]] as members of Iori's team in ''KOF '96''. While they already had clear signs of differentiation from the beginning (Mature is a speed-based character, Vice is a grappler), every appearance of theirs since then (excluding ''XIII'' due to [[ArtShift the shift to redrawn, HD sprites]]) has furthered the gap.
* Ryo Sakazaki and his best buddy Robert Garcia, the Ryu and Ken analogues of ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting'', have this as part of their backstory. Ryo's principle of Kyokugen Karate, while well-balanced, seems to have a slight emphasis on punching and striking techniques, whereas Robert's style focuses on kicks. Note that this difference was established well before Ken would start incorporating a larger repertoire of kicks into his moveset in later iterations of ''Street Fighter''.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha'', the player built up their own character by selecting genders, choosing a face (from four males and four females), giving them names, and adding a personality (Cool, Shy, Weird, or HotBlooded) and accompanying voice. The ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' sub-series combined these factors and fleshed them out into the characters Kusuha Mizuha, Brooklyn "Bullet" Luckfield, Rio Mei Long, Ryoto Hikawa, Leona Garstein, Tasuku Shinguji, Yuuki Jaggar, and Ricarla "Carla" Borgnine (which were the default names associated with each character archetype/gender combination).
** ''Alpha 2'' and ''3'' then adopted the Kusuha and Bullet characters as the canon heroes of ''Alpha'' (with the "player" and main character assumed to have been Kusuha) and developed them even further, taking their story and character development to appropriate extremes.
** It's worth noting that ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars4'' did this, as well. However, only two of the eight "standard" characters (those being Irmgult "Irm" Kazahara and Ring Mao) have been included in ''Original Generation'' at this time. As a MythologyGag, in OG (and their cameos in ''Alpha'') they're ''significantly'' older than they were in the games they first appeared in, and instead of being a standard couple as per ''4'' and its re-releases, they bicker LikeAnOldMarriedCouple.
* Elves in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' were short humans with pointed ears. In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', the elves have acquired a much more distinct facial structure (compare [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100116162230/dragonage/images/3/33/NPC-Marethari.png Marethari in Origins]] to [[http://images.wikia.com/dragonage/images/b/b6/MarethariDAII.png Marethari in DA2]]).
* ''VideoGame/MetalSlug'' is a very well known case of progressive Divergent Character Evolution. In the first game, Tarma is basically just a PaletteSwap of Marco, who even had the same death scream as him. In ''2'', although Fio is not an exact Palette Swap of Eri, she also has the same death scream as her. In ''X'' and ''3'', every character had a different death scream at last, and was given some backstory. And finally, in ''6'', they were completely differentiated by being given different in-game abilities.
* ''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter'''s Sarah and Jacky Bryant have very similar fighting styles at first. Throughout the sequels however, they have developed far different fighting styles and backstories over the course of five games. Sarah's official fighting style has been changed from Jeet Kune Do to just Martial Arts (or more specifically, what the Japanese definition of the English term "Martial Arts").
* In a very odd bit of differentiation mixup, the ''Franchise/DeadOrAlive'' series features the extended ninja sub-plot playing itself out in the characters' fighting styles as well. Kasumi and Ayane, the game's BashBrothers pair, are similar in fighting style, though with differences: Kasumi's moves set up follow-up combos far more easily, while Ayane is greased lightning with lots of very fast but proportionately weaker strikes. Hayabusa, Kasumi's bodyguard and friend, shares some of her moves, but is slightly more powerful than either for sheer hit potential and has more grappling techniques. Hayate, Kasumi's brother, first appeared in ''Dead or Alive 2'' as Ein, an amnesiac, featuring a similar fighting style to Kasumi, but with much more emphasis on punishing single hits and short combos, though he kept some of the acrobatics. Then ''Dead or Alive 3'' introduced Hitomi, his training partner during his amnesiac phase who is a pure karate practitioner as opposed to Hayate's karate/ninjutsu hybrid, and is slightly harder hitting and faster than him, but much more linear, lacking Hayate's jumping abilities.
** Definitively Leon and Bayman. Bayman was in the first ''Dead or Alive'', but was [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute replaced]] by Leon in ''Dead or Alive 2''. They retained their similarities in ''Dead or Alive 3'', where they both appeared, but in ''Dead or Alive 4'', Bayman has gained a bit more speed to his moves, while Leon retains a more powerful strike potential, and Spartan Nicole-458 uses their shared Russian Sabo style as a skeleton upon which the rest of her unique style was built up from.
** This is fairly common in ''Dead or Alive'', as much research was put into replicating the fighting styles of the individual characters from real life martial arts. As such, fighting arts with common roots often show it quite well.
* ''Super VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' differentiated Billy's and Jimmy's fighting styles by giving them different basic moves, giving Billy the faster attacks and Jimmy the stronger ones. No other Double Dragon game attempted to give the Lee brothers different moves besides the [=iPhone=] version and the two fighting games.
* The all-girl fighting series ''VideoGame/VariableGeo'' has done this exactly twice. Initially, [[TheHero Yuka]] and [[{{Ninja}} Chiho]] played very similarly to one another, with the only real difference between them being their differently animated special moves. However, as the series went on, Chiho developed into more of a GlassCannon by playing up her ninja-ness and giving her new abilities while Yuka remained largely the same [[JackOfAllStats balanced]] character. When Yuka was sidelined for a later game's story mode, she was [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute replaced]] with Tamao, an [[AscendedFanboy Ascended]] HeroWorshipper who copied all of Yuka's moves. The following game had them diverge by once again keeping Yuka more or less the same, while turning Tamao into a borderline JokeCharacter who botched her attacks and had to improvise on the fly to stay in the game.
* The original Creator/{{Konami}} ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' arcades tried to balance the characters: Raphael is the fastest (but with the shortest range), Michelangelo is [[MightyGlacier the strongest (but slowest)]], Donatello has the most range (but is the weakest) and Leonardo [[JackOfAllStats is the second in all attributes]]. The most recent games had Raph becoming the strongest and Mike the fastest, as it fits their personalities more.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Raiden}}'' and its sequels, the red Raiden (1P) and blue Raiden (2P) play identically except in ''Raiden DX'', in which the two ships differ in which axis they move faster along (Red is faster vertically, Blue is faster horizontally). In ''VideoGame/RaidenFighters'', the two ships are significantly different; the red Raiden (Raiden mk-II) uses the [[FanNickname toothpaste laser]] and a delayed-detonation bomb for its weapons, while the blue one (Raiden mk-II Beta) uses missiles, [[TierInducedScrappy spread shots with no rapid-fire capability, and a weak cluster bomb]].
* In early versions of ''VideoGame/AkatsukiBlitzkampf'', Adler was a palette swap of Elektrosoldat, but when he was turned into his own character his moves got radically different inputs and properties. Similarly, in the arcade version Perfecti is no longer a palette swap of Mycale - she is instead an entirely different character with no shared moves.
* Hurdy used to be a PaletteSwap version of the Mooglings in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII''. In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'', he takes off his hat and had his own unique clothing, along with his other Moogling brothers Sorbet and Horne.
* The first ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'''s character roster contained a dune buggy called Pit Viper which spat out acid blobs as a special attack. However, when the time came for the sequel, instead of repeating the same move (projectiles were extremely common as it stood), they gave it a new one (a jump-based slamming attack) to differentiate it more from other vehicles, and they also redid its color scheme, calling the vehicle Grasshopper from then on.
* In what may be [[GoMadFromTheRevelation a shocking discovery]] for recent ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' fans, [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness in the]] [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia first game]] the FragileSpeedster Pegasus Knights promoted into the MightyGlacier Dragon[=/=]Wyvern Rider class, making the latter simply an upgrade of the former (and just as dodgy). Eventually ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Genealogy of Holy War]]'' put an end to this madness by making them different classes, albeit the previous game started this process by giving Pegasi a decent Resistancetekken (Magic Defense) stat that they lost when promoting (this also applies to the remake of the first game).
* The ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' series was infamous for having several PaletteSwap characters. It started with Scorpion and Sub Zero--same sprite, same basic moves, different special moves, different standing animations. Then they added Reptile as a hidden boss--the same sprite, only green, and with both Sub-Zero's and Scorpion's special moves. Several sequels and home versions later, there were eight palette swapped male ninjas, four palette swapped female ninjas, and three [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot palette swapped cyborg ninjas]]. Once the games became 3D, all characters were each given a unique model and, since they were no longer sharing the same digitized sprites, they could have different basic moves.
* Done with several boss characters in ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'', e.g. Kunimitsu was initially a [[ViewerGenderConfusion gender-neutral]] PaletteSwap of Yoshimitsu, but in the second game was clearly modeled as female and given a slightly different moveset. The first ''Tekken Tag Tournament'' uses her ''Tekken 2'' persona and moves with a few additional touches, but in ''Tekken Tag Tournament 2'' she was given a brand new move set that differentiates her from Yoshimitsu.
** Jin started as a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute for his father Kazuya, but with a few moves from his mother Jun (who was also absent). Jin got his own fighting style when Kazuya came back in ''4''.
** Anna started out as what amounted to an alternative costume for her sister Nina. Nowadays Anna has an almost entirely different moveset, and some of the moves she still shares with Nina have been given a personal twist. Notably, she was only included in ''Tekken 3'' at the last minute, whereas other clone characters weren't, which meant they significantly changed her moves from that point on.
** In the first two games Lee was a clone of Marshall Law with the occasional special move. From ''Tekken Tag Tournament'' onward, he grew to be a more distinctive character with better combos.
** Jack and P-Jack had the same moves in the first ''Tekken'' game, although P-Jack was more powerful and looked cooler. In the second, P-Jack can fly whereas Jack-2 can't. This was carried over to Gun Jack and all the Jacks afterwards, as well as being retroactively applied to Jack-2 when he appeared in ''Tekken Tag Tournament''.
*** In the first game, Jack, P. Jack, Kuma and Ganryu used almost entirely the same moveset. This was expanded slightly in ''Tekken 2'', giving them individual special moves, but they still had a lot of the core moves. P. Jack notably introduced his flight ability. ''Tekken 3'' sought to resolve the similarities by getting rid of clone characters, so it removed Ganryu, only included one Jack (Gun Jack) who had P. Jack's introduced moves, and introduced Kuma's son, [[{{Flanderization}} who can't hit as hard as the original Kuma]] and has some [[JokeCharacter comedy special moves]], as well as his clone, Panda. Ganryu was absent from ''Tekken 4'' as well but had an updated moveset when he returned in ''Tekken 5''. Also in ''Tekken 5'', Kuma and Ganryu were both given different punch moves to differentiate them from Jack-5. By ''Tekken Tag Tournament 2'' you can play as all four and they are all sufficiently different.
* ''VideoGame/{{Metal Gear Solid 2|SonsOfLiberty}}'''s Raiden starts out playing identically to Snake. It isn't until the very end of the game that he gets the sword that allows him to showcase his ImplausibleFencingPowers, which Snake doesn't possess. His switch from being a gameplay clone of Snake to having his own play style is actually part of the plot.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManX3'' gave Zero his first playable appearance, where he played like X but with a Beam Saber upgrade (which X can later in the game). In the next game, Zero traded his Z Buster style for a purely close range style to completely distance himself from his partner.
** ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX7 X7]]'', with Axl's debut appearance. Aside from his Copy, dodge, hovering and a couple of different guns, Axl was very similar to X in style and how he used enemy weapons. ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX8 X8]]'' modified Axl's play style: he retained his Copy, dodge and hover moves, while getting the unique ability to aim his gun in the eight cardinal directions (though he had to [=stand/hover=] in one place while firing, unlike X). For each boss defeated, he instead received a new gun that fired projectiles based on a secondary attack each boss used, with different looks and properties from X's, and without needing weapon energy to boot.
* ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' has a variation involving stages. [[VideoGame/SonicHeroes Seaside Hill]] was originally a complete throwback to [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog1 Green Hill Zone]], having palm trees and checkered soil, but since Green Hill Zone has reappeared playing up those elements, Seaside Hill in ''Generations'' plays up the ruins and water aspect more and even adding underwater elements.
* Happens in the ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'' series with Matsu and Kasuga. Both formerly used Kenshin and Sasuke's movesets before gaining their own in the second game. Similarly, a few [=NPCs=] who used polearms merely had copies of either Toshie or Shingen's movesets before actually getting their own.
* In ''VideoGame/RhythmHeaven'' for the GBA, the Space Dancers and Cosmo Dancers were interchangeable, the Cosmo Dancers only representing a higher difficulty level. In the DS version, both sets of dancers received minor redesigns and hobbies, with the Space Dancers being the focus of the Rhythm Rally games and the Cosmo Dancers being the focus of the Space Soccer games.
* The original ''VideoGame/{{Parodius}}'' for the {{MSX}} gave its characters different personalities, but they all used the ''Gradius'' moveset. ''Parodius Da!'' did give Vic Viper, Octopus, Twinbee and Pentarou each a different moveset.
* When ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2'' came out, this trope came into play with Iron Man and War Machine (who debuted in the first game as a palette swap of the former). Originally, War Machine would fire lasers for some of his moves (Shoulder Cannon, Proton Cannon) in a similar manner as Iron Man (never mind that WM's laser came from his shoulder as opposed to IM's chest) and had one more Hyper Combo (War Destroyer) than him. By the time the second game came out, War Machine fired missiles instead while Iron Man retained the lasers.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}'' and ''Battletoads and VideoGame/DoubleDragon'', the toads all played the same, and while large sprites and artwork gave them individual designs, their in-game sprites were just recolors. ''Battletoads in Battlemaniacs'' gave them different combos and finishing moves (though they still functioned the same) and their sprites now reflected the different designs from the artwork. The arcade game took this even further with by making Rash a FragileSpeedster, Zitz a JackOfAllStats, and Pimple a MightyGlacier, all with their own moves.
** Similarly initially all the toads used the same transformations, mostly blunt objets like ram horns, boots, and wrecking balls. Battlemaniacs gave them individual themes, with Rash prefering razor sharp weapons like axes and claws, while Pimple took the bludgeoning techniques UpToEleven using anvils and stone fists. When the arcade game came in, Zitz used his greater intellect to create technology like bulldozers and power drills.
* In the original ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'', Lenneth was the only playable valkyrie, so there was no need to set her apart from her sisters. She could use swords and bows in battle. Hrist appears as an enemy in the game as well, but she's just a PaletteSwap of Lenneth, with black armor and hair and a red Nibelung Valesti. In [[VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile2Silmeria the second game]], all three valkyries are playable. Lenneth loses her ability to use bows, and they become the weapon of choice for Silmeria. Hrist uses spears in battle, a weapon that Lenneth couldn't use at all in the first game. All three sisters use swords for Nibelung Valesti, though.
* The Materials of the ''VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable'' games. When they were originally introduced as a trio of {{Evil Twin}}s in ''The Battle of Aces'', they were basically {{Palette Swap}}s of the three Aces except with different stats. When they returned in ''The Gears of Destiny'' sequel due to [[BreakoutVillain popular demand]], they received their own unique move sets to differentiate them from their originals. This gets several {{Lampshade Hanging}}s in sequel and the [[AllThereInTheManual supplementary materials]] related to it, such as the Materials explaining that the time they spent [[FromASingleCell recovering from their deaths]] was used to devise their own fighting styles and spells, and other characters pointing out that for copies, they don't actually act, fight, or even look that much like the people they were supposed to be based on.
* Zigzagged throughout the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' series. In the first [[VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness first]] game, many of the basic creatable classes have male-female variation, which except for sprites and ''tiny'' Stat variations, are exactly the same. In the [[VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories second game]], each class is given different unique passive abilities to differentiate them, and there are more variations to the Stat spread of the male-female variants (like how the Male Warrior has better HP and DEF and is better at [[AnAxeToGrind Axe]] while the Female Warrior has more HIT and SPD and better with [[BladeOnAStick Spears]]). The [[VideoGame/Disgaea3AbsenceOfJustice third game, however]] introduces ''more'' male-female variants to the existing single-gender classes (for example now there's a male version of the previously female-only Archers), with differing Evilities and secondary weapon (the male archer can also learn Sword skills while the female can learn Spear skills), but nearly identical Stats. The [[VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten fourth game]] then removes nearly all gender variants introduced in the third game.
* In ''VideoGame/PacManParty'', the four iconic ghosts of VideoGame/PacMan were given more distinctive looks in order to differentiate one another. No longer were they simple {{Palette Swap}}s of one another. Each of the ghosts had distinctive "hairstyles". Blinky retained the basic ghost shape, Inky was made skinnier, Pinky was given more feminine features, and Clyde became fat and huge.
* In ''HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi Matsuri'' Oka, [[spoiler:Hanyuu's daughter,]] looked exactly like Rika except her hair was darker. In Kotohogushi-hen in ''Kizuna'' for the NintendoDS she got a new sprite.
* "Soap" [=MacTavish=] was the typical silent protagonist for ''Franchise/CallOfDuty: VideoGame/ModernWarfare'', but in ''Modern Warfare 2'' and ''3'', he was made into a non-player character for several missions, and accordingly given a strong personality and voice actor.
* In ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]'', Pit has a palette swap which gave him black hair and black wings. But differs in appearance only. In ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'' they took that palette swap and turned him into the anti-hero Dark Pit, with a entirely different personality and having layers of depth.
* ''VideoGame/PunchOut'' has a fair few characters that have evolved over the years, the most notable being [[FightingIrish Aran Ryan]]. In the SNES game, he was a bland palette swap of Pizza Pasta who fought by the rules. In the Wii game, he's a ''[[AxCrazy complete lunatic]]'' who threatens Mac, the referee and the audience and breaks just about every rule of boxing, from using his elbows to loading his gloves with horseshoes to tying a rope to one of said horseshoe gloves and ''using it as a goddamn flail.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Happens to Nick and Shep in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''. Originally, they were both idiots. Shep gradually got smarter, moving up to about average IQ; Nick...[[TheDitz didn't]].
** Nick also didn't follow the fate of the other beef-chunk recruits either though, he's still with the company (Shep retired and Hob died).
** There's 750 millions of Gav's gate-clones. It was kind of fun until everyone used to them, but... Eventually they started "[[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2011-12-25 The Diversity Engineering Institute]]". After all, 750,000,000 borderline {{mad scientist}}s will obviously do more and better if each have somewhat different perspective.
* Occurs with Akuma and Kari in the sprite comic AkumaTH. They both started out as literal {{Shotoclone}}s, both using the same fighting style. They diverged fairly quickly however, with Akuma focusing on energy attacks and Kari focusing on punches and kicks. Kari did the most [[InnocentInnuendo deviating]], most notably with her [[SignatureMove signature]] Monsoon Kick, a hurricane kick that rotates vertically and moves horizontally, instead of the other way around.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', Tedd and Elliot started out being alike in perversion but over time due to CharacterizationMarchesOn Elliot became more and more reserved. Eventually it got to the point where he actually [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2010-12-13 failed at thinking perverted thoughts]]. Meanwhile, Tedd also underwent CharacterDevelopment and became more of a ChivalrousPervert but a pervert nonetheless.
** Elliot and Ellen started out being almost exactly the same apart from their genders, but that is [[JustifiedTrope justified]] since Ellen is a OppositeSexClone of Elliot and was "born" with a perfect copy of his memories and personality. However, her initial CloningBlues and subsequent attempts to establish her own identity led to this trope. (Which is ''[[TropeOverdosed also]]'' [[TropeOverdosed illustrated]] in the same "failed at perversion" comic above.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''RedvsBlue'', Donut and Caboose were originally just an identical pair of dumb rookies. But now, Donut is AmbiguouslyGay with average intelligence, and Caboose is [[TooDumbToLive an idiot who thinks]] [[TheDitz electricity is invisible magic]].
* ''DormLife'': Britney and Courtney started off as seemingly-interchangeable {{Alpha Bitch}}es, although there were subtle clues from the beginning that Britney was much smarter than Courtney. Once Britney and Mike started bonding, Britney's HiddenDepths came more into play. Since an entire season of ''DormLife'' would be produced at one time, this was done intentionally.
* ''Roleplay/InkCity'' has a crack community called Labocabana, the events within being noncanon to the main game. This has resulted in certain characters developing ''very'' differently within Labocanon, such as [[WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}} Yakko and Dot]]. This has had direct effects on the main story, thanks to [[spoiler:Labo!Dot crossing the MoralEventHorizon and her mun trying to prevent IC!Dot from making the same choice by showing her what happened through the FourthWall]].
* Zig-zagged by WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick and WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic. She started out being just a simple girl version of his basic traits - snarky manchild doing linear reviews – but then something changed. She got a three dimensional characterization of her own, as well as adopting more analysis-review Style, but the similarities ran much deeper (to name but a few; both have histories of abuse, bad {{inferiority superiority complex}}es, desperation for power and psychopathic child tendencies) as well as their differences turning ying-yang (overly dominant/worringly submissive, emotionally repressed/can't hide anything, hates kids but loves animals/hates animals but loves kids), much to her self-loathing denial and his clingy love.
* [[TheSlendermanMythos Alex Kralie and Jay]] both started off as somewhat awkward film students with spotty memory, shaky camera hands, and writer credits on WebVideo/MarbleHornets. Since then, Jay's become less of an AudienceSurrogate and Alex has [[AxCrazy likewise diverged.]]
* Linkara and Holokara in WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall. Holokara is a hologram programmed with all of Linkara's memories, whom he calls in when he leaves to find out why his [[BroughtDownToNormal magic stopped working]], and starts off as basically identical to him. Then Linkara finds out that his magic stopped working because [[spoiler: he was starting to become [[TookALevelInJerkass increasingly arrogant and self-centered]] and [[SpiritAdvisor the magic gun]] feared he was [[FaceHeelTurn becoming evil]]. This leads him to [[TheAtoner begin working on improving himself]]. While he's doing this, however, Holokara (who never had such an epiphany) heads [[FallenHero further]] [[EvilCounterPart and]] [[AIIsACrapshoot further]] down the slippery slope, eventually [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope threatening to]] '''[[AxeCrazy brutally murder]]''' [[TrueCompanions 90s Kid and Harvey]] if they [[DisproportionateRetribution get in the way of his reviews]] and [[PsychopathicManchild developing a plan to bomb the Marvel offices]] [[SeriousBusiness if they don't]] RetCon [[SeriousBusiness all the ways they've screwed up his favorite heroes over the years.]] [[NightmareFuel And this is what Linkara would have become had he not gone on his journey.]]]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The eponymous ''[[WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers Venture Bros.]]'' were originally written exactly the same - {{Pollyanna}} Hardy Boys parodies that were forever trying to solve mysteries. By the end of Season 3, Hank has become the more masculine and adventurous of the two (as well as a bit of a wannabe Casanova) while Dean is sensitive, intelligent and extremely afraid of sex.
** Justified as at the end of season 3, [[spoiler: all of the brothers' clones are killed in a large battle as a makeshift army of soft zombie-like bodies (ItMakesSenseInContext) and now have to live as anyone else does instead of the convenience of death being incredibly cheap for Dr. Venture when you can just roll out more clones and have no personality developments as a result.]]
* [[TheSimpsons Bart and Lisa Simpson]] started out as a pair of interchangeable brats. Both were shameless pranksters and not too bright, their main function being to drive their parents up the wall. This worked well for the original three-minute Ullman shorts, which didn't have much time for characterization. The first few episodes of the regular series feature this portrayal as well, with Lisa causing as much trouble as Bart. The writers decided having two identical characters wasn't very interesting in a half-hour format, so the episode "Moaning Lisa" was produced, which re-creates Lisa as artistic, sensitive, highly intelligent, and basically the total opposite of her brother. This version of the character has remained ever since.
** Note there were some ''slight'' differences in the original shorts, where Lisa was a delinquent, but still somewhat wilier and reserved than Bart and usually more a GreekChorus to his antics (and eventual comeuppance). Her later characterization is more a case of taking a very vague trait and [[{{Flanderization}} exaggerating it to it's fullest extreme]].
** Lenny and Carl are also an example, starting as two of Homer's dumb friends, now Lenny's somewhat of a CloudCuckoolander and Carl is now a DeadpanSnarker.
* Kyle and Stan from ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' used to have pretty much the same personality in earlier seasons. Now they are still very alike, but their interests and attitudes differ. Kyle is smarter and more reactionary, especially when Cartman is around. Stan is more down to earth, often taking the role of the [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane]] [[TheEveryman Everyman]], as well as being a bit more sensitive at times.
* In a similar vein to the Simpsons example, [[TheFairlyOddparents Cosmo and Wanda]] began life as ''"two halves of an idiot"'', a pair of [[{{Keet}} cheerful]], [[CloudCuckooLander wacky]] fairies. By the start of the second season, said traits were absorbed and amplified by Cosmo, while Wanda became [[WomenAreWiser more down to earth]] in order to balance off the couple.
* [[GenkiGirl Ty Lee]] from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is an in-universe example of this happening (off-screen): She claims she [[TheRunaway ran away]] [[CircusBrat to join the circus]] in order to differentiate herself from her six identical siblings.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans,'' Speedy was originally a Robin expy, playing his {{Foil}} in his first appearance. He soon became more of a egoistical "Bad Boy." It's even lampshaded in one episode after he saves a child's cat:
--> '''Boy:''' Thanks, Robin! I like your other costume better though.
--> '''Speedy:''' I'm ''not'' Robin!
** Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitansGo''. Speedy is more like Robin than ever before. They even have the same body shape and voice. Exploited in-universe, where they swapped clothes and hairstyles and nobody knew the difference.
* In their first few appearances, ChipAndDale were identical in every way. Later, Dale gained a red nose, buck teeth, and a goofier personality. Chip more or less kept his original looks, but became more of a StraightMan to Dale.
** Tuned up even further in ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers''. Not only were their personalities and drive more polarized than ever, but Chip picked up a [[IndianaJones leather jacket and fedora]] to represent his bravery and intelligence, whereas Dale picked up a [[MagnumPI Hawaiian shirt]] to represent his laid back attitude and sloth.
* In the transition from the ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}'' films to the spinoff TV series ''ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'', the chimp characters Mason and Phil have evolved into Mason being a NeatFreak and Phil being slovenly and relaxed.
** [[TheUnintelligible Rico]]'s appearence wise evolved too; in the movie he looks like a taller and skinnier Skipper and you could barely tell him apart from him or Kowalski. But in ''A Christmas Caper'' and later the series he has a scar on his beak and three feathers sticking up like hair to help him stand out.
* [[BigBadDuumvirate Tallest Red and Tallest Purple]] from ''InvaderZim'' started out as basically the same character, taking turns between having intelligent and ditzy moments in the first episode. As the show went on Red became the more sensible one, able to take control of the Massive during Zim and Dib's takeover, while Purple became more of TheDitz, generally giving impulsive demands.
* On the ''{{Rugrats}}'' tenth anniversary documentary the creators noted that this happened to [[HalfIdenticalTwins Phil and Lil]]: Lil became [[{{Chickification}} girlier]] while Phil kept most of the pair's original interest in grossness.
** Taken further in the SpinOff ''AllGrownUp,'' which features one episode where Lil gets annoyed that everyone thinks of them as an identical pair.
* On ''{{Daria}},'' Quinn's friends in the Fashion Club are a slight example--originally they were more or less interchangeable, though Sandi had a bit more personality as the leader. CharacterizationMarchesOn kicked in to make [[AsianAirhead Tiffany]] dumber and vainer than the others, while [[TheWoobie Stacy]] became a sweet and intelligent ExtremeDoormat (until CharacterDevelopment in the last season gave her more of a backbone).
* Invoked on two separate occasions on ''ThePowerpuffGirls'';
** In one, each girl [[SuperheroEpisode wanted a different gimmick]]: Blossom became TheCape with a CoolCar, Bubbles [[LighterAndSofter dressed up as a bunny]] and Buttercup became a [[DarkerAndEdgier supernatural antihero]]. They were so focused on standing out that it got in the way of their heroics. It was the MonsterOfTheWeek who told them they were better off [[ResetButton without the gimmicks, gadgets or angst.]]
** In another, they manifest secondary powers: Blossom getting [[AnIcePerson ice breath]], Bubbles becoming an {{Omniglot}} and Buttercup having to come to terms with merely being a FlyingBrick.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'', HeterosexualLifePartners Katie and Sadie originally had pretty much the exact same personality--eternally-happy, sweet, innocent girls who couldn't bear parting from each other. Nowadays, Katie has kept the original personality of the two, but Sadie is now slightly more practical and willing to drop her friend during certain situations. This evolution was made especially obvious with Beth and Lindsay, who became the pair's [[{{Expy}} Expies]] in Total Drama Action.
* Frizz and Nug of ''TheDreamstone'' started off as two interchangable {{Cowardly Sidekick}}s for Sgt Blob. Further on in the first season, Frizz became increasingly cynical and [[NervousWreck neurotic]], while Nug became more dopey and upbeat.
** Reversed for Rufus and Amberley, who started off with rather contrasting personalities in the pilot (CloudCuckooLander [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass Hidden Badass]] and [[PluckyGirl Plucky]] InnocentProdigy respectively) but were downplayed to almost interchangable {{Kid Sidekick}}s for the Dream Maker for the majority of the series afterwards (albeit with Amberley remaining the [[WomenAreWiser slightly more competant of the two]]).
*** Played straight for the final season, where they start to revert back to original personalities.
* As mentioned in the ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' entry in the above comics section, this has happened with the protagonists, though [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 the 2012 show]] looks to take it even further by giving the turtles body-types that are plausible given their individual life-styles (Leonardo is able-bodied, Raphael somewhat huskier than the rest, Michelangelo slightly chubbier, and Donatello tall and lanky), that presumably is made to make them more recognizable even without the weapons and bandannas.
* WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}: [[QuirkyMinibossSquad The Pack]]. Each member had a different personality, but in their debut they all shared the same motive and all were basically just assassins who wanted a good fight. As the series went on, each got CharacterDevelopment, and episodes away from the others:
** Fox was revealed to be a very adept schemer [[spoiler: and was manipulating the pack for Xanatos, who she had fallen in love with and married.]]
** Wolf, TheDragon mutated himself into a Wolfman [[spoiler: and became TheStarscream to the new leader Coyote, later he teamed up with his ancestor, the very man who killed the series gargoyle clan]].
** Jackal and Hyena were just the AxCrazy BrotherSisterTeam [[spoiler: Hyena developed an attraction to the robot Coyote, and Jackal gained the power over death and attempting genocide on the world]].
** Dingo, the explosives expert and the most practically minded [[spoiler: went on to leave the pack as the others began to get lose their humanity, worked with Fox as a security guard (as their original security guard was in jail), before revealing his dream of being a hero, and teaming up with a HiveMind robot. Dingo would later be one of the stars of a SpinOff comic.]]
* Gordon, Henry and James of ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'', while having many solo stories, usually acted as a near interchangeable trio of arrogant peers, bickering with other engines or making pompous remarks. As season passed the three began to appear together less and gained more individual characteristics. Henry in particular became far less egotistical, converting into a sensitive {{Hypochondriac}} and NatureLover. James and Gordon retained their vanity as their defining quirks, however while Gordon became the main team's GrumpyBear, James became more cheerful and mischevious (and by Season Seventeen seems to have become ThePrankster). This evolution occurred in ''Literature/TheRailwaySeries'' novels as well, albeit to a lesser extent due to the show's more evident {{Flanderization}}.
* Like ''VideoGame/PacManParty'' from which it bases its character designs on, ''WesternAnimation/PacManAndTheGhostlyAdventures'' gave the ghost gang distinctive designs. The Pac-Worlders other than Pac-Man and his parents also count as in most iterations, many of them simply looked like Pac-Man but with a few distinguishing physical characteristics and pieces of clothing. Here in this adaptation, not only do all of the Pac-Worlders have various different body shapes but they also vary in color.
* Originally DonaldDuck's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie were pretty much identical in both personality and design. Later they were given different colored clothes and by the 90s they had gained distinguishable personalities, made most noticeable in ''WesternAnimation/QuackPack''.
* In the ''Literature/RainbowMagic'' movie, Rachel is quieter and more serious, while Kirsty is outgoing and positive. In the books they're pretty much interchangeable.
[[/folder]]

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