Our mothers always told us we were special snowflakes, each having our own unique beauty.

Maybe it's for this reason that when people create a role-playing character, they often choose the very unusual. This can manifest in something as simple as being a member of a rare race and/or class. Or it can be a [[TokenHeroicOrc good-aligned member]] of an AlwaysChaoticEvil [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch race]], or vice versa. Players may even go so far as to make up a race/class altogether, so as to be truly unique. This can also show up in fiction when an author writes a character with aspects of themselves in it. It is especially common in {{Author Avatar}}s and {{Mary Sue}}s. But [[TropesAreNotBad this is not always a bad thing]], for many compelling and interesting protagonists have these kinds of traits. There's something compelling about a character who is bucking the social norms or defying his entire race. If nothing else, a great deal of {{angst}} can be milked from it. Or if your player is TheLoonie, it can be PlayedForLaughs.

{{Munchkin}}s may want to play as something weird solely for the [[MinMaxing mechanical benefits]], mixing traits and templates with no concern for how such a being would fit into the setting (or is physically possible, for that matter). The wise gamemaster is advised not to allow such a monstrosity unless the powergamer can explain ''exactly'' how a [[TheUndead half-vampire]], [[HalfHumanHybrid half-dragon]] [[{{Eberron}} Warforged]] came [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot into being]]. Others will do it just to be disruptive or to refuse to play along with the campaign's genre because it doesn't interest them.

Some gamemasters will forbid this kind of behavior, rolling their eyes at the guy who absolutely must play a dragon thief, Chaotic Good Drow ranger or an Avariel wereshark Elemental Archon of Fire. Whether a character is interesting has nothing to do with how esoteric his background is and everything to do with how well he's played. However, some will [[JustForPun roll]] [[OffTheRails with it]], letting people make up stat bonuses for the most ridiculous of races or classes.

Such creativity has its place, however: In a setting like {{Planescape}} (where hundreds of worlds collide) or {{Spelljammer}} (planet-hopping adventure) such characters are no problem, and, indeed, may add to the game.

Compare CommonMarySueTraits. See also AerithAndBob. For when it's ''the gamer themselves'' getting special treatment (and one who is prone to creating such characters), see DungeonmastersGirlfriend.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/TheGamers: Dorkness Rising'', one player declares he is playing an Elf Monk, despite the fact that the DM said ahead of time that this was a Medieval Western Europe inspired setting and that an Eastern-flavored Monk wouldn't fit, and that it was also a human only campaign. The DM begrudgingly allows the Monk class, but disallows him to play an elf, to the point where the in-game avatar's elf ears get ripped off.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The original Drizzt, as mentioned earlier. If not intentionally written this way, he still captures the essence of this trope.
** He was fairly groundbreaking for his day, though most people forget that he was [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny the font from which all other angsty drow flowed]]. In terms of well-known characters, he could very well be the TropeCodifier.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* As a general rule, the older any tabletop [=RPG=] that's still supported gets, the easier it becomes to create special snowflakes in it as more races, classes, and equipment are added in every (other) {{Sourcebook}}. This is simply because new and additional {{character customization}} options [[RevenueEnhancingDevices almost always sell]].
* ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons Dungeons & Dragons]]''
** All the various clones of Drizzt.
** In the 1st Edition ''Dungeon Master's Guide'' Gary Gygax strongly warned {{Dungeon Master}}s against allowing players to play monsters (such as dragons, demons/devils or undead) as {{PC}}s in order to avoid this.
* In WhiteWolf's ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', players who wanted to play "The Last of the White Howlers" became a joke among the internet community.
** Ironically or not, this was going to be the main concept for the canceled ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' video game, which was ammunition for a lot of the folks that felt the game's designers were missing the point.
** Not as frequently, you'd also see someone suggest either one of the other changing breeds from a splatbook or the long-since killed-off Croatan or Bunyip tribes.
*** And every group has that one guy who wants to play a Bastet (WereCat), because they're cool loners with most of the powers of the werewolves (with the ability to copy werewolf gifts they see, Taskmaster-style) but with none of the social obligations or available family members/mentors to keep them in check. Also, most of them will sleep with anything. And also, that same guy usually considers cats to be cooler than dogs (this is an actual reason given by some of them).
** Werewolf 20th's attitude to SSS is rather more sympathetic than it's previously been; if players want to be one of the Lost Tribes or Lost Breeds, fair enough. It may not be what the writers would do, but it's your story.
** In the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness setting, the bane of gamemasters everywhere was any player who wanted to play an ''Abomination'' (a werewolf who survived being turned into a vampire, ending up as a shapeshifting, blood drinking, {{angst}}-filled killing machine with the magic powers of both species), or a ''Skin Dancer'' (a werewolf kinfolk who after ritually killing a bunch of were-creatures then turns himself into such a werecreature), or an awakened mage who is also a fairie changeling ''and'' a dhampir ''and'' a ghoul (a human minion of a vampire who drinks vampire blood and gains limited immortality and vampiric powers from it).
*** The fact that a published series of adventures had a character approximately this obnoxious (the infamous Samuel Haight) certainly didn't help. For Werewolf 20th, they dumped all of the crossover stuff Haight had got loaded with and kept him a Skin Dancer -- and already dead, just to be safe.
*** Before that, he really was that obnoxious: http://mrgone.rocksolidshells.com/pdf/MiscOWOD/SamuelHaight.pdf
*** In general, in the old World of Darkness the 3rd editions of the ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'', ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' gamelines and the 2nd edition of ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheDreaming'' put a stop to that by outright stating that such creatures were ''extremely''!! rare, or simply by enforcing new rules that a supernatural character becoming an [insert different supernatural creature here] will lead to said character losing the special powers she had before. For example, drinking vampire blood or being turned into a vampire will destroy the awakened avatar of an awakened character (who is thus no longer able to bend reality to his will) and will kill a changeling's Faerie soul forever. Such characters basically end up as mundane humans who then become a ghoul or vampire, respectively. Werewolves who drink vampire blood lose their connection to the spirit world. Suck it up, losers.
** Werewolf offers one of the best ways of both avoiding the wrong reasons for this trope and encouraging the right ones: making the pack all from one tribe (mixed packs have always been the exception rather than the rule). On paper, it's a MarySue gamer's worst nightmare, but in practice, it forces players to think outside the box and create a truly interesting character who doesn't have to subscribe to tribal stereotypes.
* In ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' there were two big factions, the Sabbat and the Camarilla, each with unique and exclusive clans of vampires that are members of one but not the other. Then came the Antitribu. A "dark" version of each Camarilla clan (this being the World of Darkness, you can guess how nice they were) inside the Sabbat. Likewise, Sabbat clan antitribu were in the Camarilla, but they were usually seen as potential turncoats.
** For extra fun, any of the following clans/bloodlines: The Salubri, Baali, Harbingers of Skulls, Nagaraja, Samedi, True Brujah [--Deep breath--], Kiasyd, and Cappadocians. Oh, and {{Dhampir}}s, too.
** Interestingly, one of the 3rd ed sourcebooks that talked about the Salubri in the modern setting stabilised that only about less than 10 Salubri of each bloodline (Salubri had two pseudo-clans: one of true pacifists and the other of pacifist warriors that protected the former) and only gave names to two of them, making clear that the other ones were "free" for character concepts and game master [=NPCs=].
* Zig-zagged in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension''. It's initially averted as Mages are individualistic by nature. Within a single tradition, no two mages will have the exact same style, and given the broad range of mystic stylings the Traditions cover, there is no shortage of possibilities. However, White Wolf still caters to this market with the idea of Crafts, groups of Mages outside the Council of Nine (some of which are ''extremely'' rare to find and probably wouldn't flaunt their magick around outsiders). Some players even create Crafts whole-cloth using ideas that would work perfectly fine within a Tradition, and try to get their Storytellers to accept them.
* The TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness flat-out makes hybrids of any kind explicitly impossible, though some creatures can be thematic hybrids. Hilariously, the only real way to become something resembling such a hybrid would make your character a CosmicPlaything; a [[TabletopGame/HunterTheVigil hunter]] turned into a [[TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken werewolf]], who dies and has his corpse made into a [[TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated Promethean]], becomes human and gets turned into a [[TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem vampire]], reaches Golconda and becomes human again, then getting an epiphany and awakening as a [[TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening Mage]], somehow having the awakened soul put to sleep by being kidnapped to {{Arcadia}} by the True Fae and turned into a [[TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost Changeling]], getting killed '''''yet again''''' and then coming back as a [[TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters Sin Eater]] with a Geist... but, through all that, the character would still only ever be one type of supernatural at a time. And probably very, ''very'' confused.
** To have this character be a [[TabletopGame/MummyTheCurse mummy]] as well, all of this either needs to happen six thousand years ago, or the luckless corpse becomes the new body of a mummy who's lost their original.
** Of course, [[HeWhoFightsMonsters a hunter becoming his prey is something of a cliche by now.]]
* ''{{Exalted}}'' actively encourages this sort of behavior.
** Given the number of types of Exalts, God-Blooded, spirits, and anything else under the sun which are supposedly completely playable, all with their own special rules, Exalted is guilty of endorsing this to an extreme, to the point where many storytellers would simply say "We are running a Lunar-only game" or whatnot just so they don't have to keep track of eight different kinds of special rules all at once, not to mention the difficult story implications of having, say, a Dragon-Blooded, a Lunar, a Gold Faction Sidereal, an Alchemical, and an Infernal Exalted all in one group.
* Playing to this, ''TabletopGame/MonstersAndOtherChildishThings'' has a sidebar that says that, with GM permission, it's okay to make up unique skills for your character to make them unusual and stand out. It actually titles the sidebar "Special and Unique Snowflakes."
* This trope has become so pervasive that no one ever expects you to subvert it. Thus it is possible to play a ChaoticEvil Drow Wizard in a party with two Paladins and no one will ever think to detect evil on you simply because "Everyone knows Drow {{PC}}s are good aligned rebels against their race!" Just throw a couple angsty lines about wanting to fit in every once in a while and no one will suspect you planted delayed blast fireballs in their sandwich. Mwa ha ha ha ha.
** Lampshaded in ''DungeonCrawlInc'' by Teagan, a drow cleric: "I just lie and say I'm a ranger like Drizzt and everyone leaves me be."
* This trope has become so pervasive that it seems that sometimes the RAREST PC race/class combo is now a straight human single classed (no prestige classes) character.
** The latest versions of [=DnD=], 4th edition and TableTopGames/{{Pathfinder}}, both try to bring that back. 4th edition locks you into a class, a paragon path and an epic destiny. Pathfinder provides incentives for most characters to remain single classed (filling dead levels, giving you extra hit points or skill points for staying with your original class, payoff abilities, etc) but allows you to multiclass if you want to. Really, 3rd edition had a better mechanic for averting this, a 10% experience point penalty but the mechanic was easy to forget and rarely enforced.
*** The 10% experience point penalty only applied under specific circumstances, and did not apply to the most egregious special snowflake classes (the prestige classes). Multiclassing in general was a bad idea in 3rd edition though; while the mundane classes might benefit from it to avoid "dead" levels, the spellcasters were better off taking only pure class levels and prestige class levels that granted full spellcasting ability. Thus while a fighter/rogue/ranger/monk might sound cheesy, it was less powerful than a straight up full caster character due to LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards.
** Pretty much any version of D&D one might care to name has ''started out'' with a fairly limited number of player character class/race choices and then proceeded to enable this trope more and more over time by selling more material, with almost every new sourcebook offering new ways to customize your character, and that's not even counting stuff from their official articles.
* ''TabletopGame/WitchGirlsAdventures'' hangs an enormous [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] on this with the "MarySue" trait, which gives you a bonus when doing anything attention-getting or which demonstrates how special and unique your character is.
** In addition, ''every'' player witch gets to be a special snowflake and have one Heritage that allows them to bend the rules a bit. You ''could'' take the "specialist in a magic type" heritages...or you could be a half-vampire witch or an Eastern-style witch who gains magical power from meditative disciplines. The sample [=NPCs=] are even weirder, and often have abilities that aren't possible within the rules at all.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' attempts to address this with the Unusual Background advantage, which is basically permission for the GameMaster to charge extra points for traits they feel a "normal" character in their campaign shouldn't have but which they on the other hand don't want to outright deny to the player either. Since points invested into this advantage literally buy the player nothing ''but'' the permission to actually build their character the way they want -- something a more cooperative [=GM=] might give for free, another refuse, or a third charge a different amount of points for --, this approach [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment is not without its own critics]].
* Justified (mostly) in [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Warhammer 40,000]]. Games Workshop actively encourages players to make model conversions, because they appreciate creativity and probably because it also [[CrackIsCheaper needs many components to do it well]]. While a custom model can be given the profile for [[{{Expy}} a pre-existing unit]], players often create a profile of their own for the custom model. It's also worth mentioning that these conversions can get to be [[http://coolminiornot.com/244623 rather impressive]] or [[http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m2180145_P9Mb2.jpg downright scary]].
** Not just the individual models either. The setting is designed to be [[SailorEarth very friendly for fans creating extensions of the fluff]], be they SpaceMarine chapters, Imperial Guard regiments, Eldar craftworlds, Dark Eldar kabals, Ork [=WAAAAAGHs=], Chaos warbands, Tau septs, Tyranid hivefleets, etc. Some players will just use the rules and colors of an existing canon army, others will create their own colour schemes from wholecloth and detail elaborate iconography and backgrounds.
** Such as the [[http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Angry_Marines Angry Marines]] (''[[CatchPhrase Always angry! All the time!]]''). A homebrew chapter of SpaceMarines who just happen to hate the game, hate the fluff, hate the players who complain, hate the players who play the game, and are just, well ... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin generally angry about everything]]. What better way to defy every aspect of the game then by giving the whole damn thing a [[GroinAttack Power Boot to the balls]]!
* In ''TabletopGame/HousesOfTheBlooded'', the designer devotes a section of the GM's section to "the Vach Problem," named after one of his players. Essentially, even though the game provides plenty of options for players to choose from, a player like this will want to play something that's not on the list of options. Wick's suggested response is to let them have what they want in such a way as to make them regret it.
** Of course, that's Wick's advice for [[KillerGameMaster just about everything]].
* Given that you roll randomly for two origins (Like say AI and Yeti or Demon and Hawkoid) and you are encouraged to come up with whatever crazy reason you like as to how these two things merge into one cohesive creature, it's safe to say that ''TabletopGame/GammaWorld'' clings to this trope like a fat man to a doughnut truck.
* In ''TabletopGame/InNomine'', there's a type of demons called lilim who are unique in that they have no angelic counterpart. (Most) Angels can fall from grace and become their demonic equivalent and demons can seek redemption and become their angelic equivalent, but lilim are universally created in hell. 'Bright Lilim,' that have sought out redemption and become angels are possible, but they're supposed to be extremely rare due to the fact almost all lilim owe {{Geas}} to various powerful demons, and are taught [[GodIsEvil lies about Heaven being worse than Hell]]. Bright Lilim are therefore very rare, to the tune of less than a dozen such ascensions happening in history, and those that do exist are generally kept in Heaven to prevent them from being found by Hell. They're also one of the most common PC character choices when playing angels.
* in ''TabletopGame/OverTheEdge'', you can literally play just about any character you want to. Whether this is a good idea to actually ''do'' is open to debate, given that the more "special" your character is, the more likely someone is to see you as a threat to their own plans for world domination (or whatever else they're aiming for).
* In any tabletop setting inspired by ''Franchise/StarWars'', a player wishing to play as a "Gray Jedi" character often translates as "a good guy who can shoot lightning, choke people, and use all those kewl Dark Side powers without penalty".
** Alternatively, "Gray Jedi" are known as "Dim Jedi"...may not just be a reference to their Force powers...
* ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'' is a game with plenty of odd forms of magic both within and outside of Bonisagus-standard Hermetic magery, and has an entire House (Ex Miscellanea) for Special Snowflakes. The net result is that a covenant of magi can have some really weird characters.
* ''TabletopGame/SeventhSea'' tried to avert this by tying the point cost of different traits and abilities to how common they were supposed to be in the game world. Want to play a half-Avalonian, half-Ussaran glamor-mage shapeshifter who was trained in the Castillian school of swordfighting? Go for it, but be prepared to sacrifice three-quarters of your starting points to do so.
* ''13th Age'' has a tongue-in-cheek reference to this trope with a battle captain power "You ''Are'' A Special Snowflake", which can only target non-humans allies. It plays it rather straighter with the One Unique Thing feature, which encourages coming up with ''something'' unusual about yourself, whether it's just that you're the only elf in the world with non-pointed ears, or if you prefer declaring yourself the only halfling to be a Knight of the Dragon Empire; these are both examples from the corebook.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Space 1889}}'' High Martians are barbaric, filthy, foul-tempered and vicious. Red Sands will allow you to play a reasonably civilized one.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''{{Goblins}}'' both parodies the Drizzt clones and plays it straight with an entire party of good-aligned Goblin characters. Played straightest and [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Fumbles, who insists on multi-classing 11 (meaning ALL the Player Handbook, if you consider D&D) different character classes, some of which are mutually exclusive.
** There was also a party of five actual player characters, three of which were off-color Drizzt clones: A girl drow (played by a horny and immature male player), a short fat drow, and an emo drow. They acted like sadistic psychopaths when they weren't busy generating throwaway gags, and all three died shortly after being introduced, only to briefly reappear as Humans with different classes but otherwise unchanged. Their human character too had the same syndrome.
** It's worth noting that while goblins with class levels are fairly rare, it's more common than most readers initially thought, as another Goblin character was revealed to have fighter levels.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' had Zz'dtri, a "violation of intellectual property" of Drizzt, played for comedy. [[spoiler:And then it's discovered that yes, he's a [[AlwaysChaoticEvil normal drow]].]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Loserz}}'': "Elven Barbarian! [[http://the-qlc.com/loserz/go/209 His name is Glorfinmad!"]] Yes, also a parody.
* Many of the Trolls from ''{{Homestuck}}'' are explicity stated to be very unusual. Aradia and Sollux are incredibly potent psychics, Sollux is also a supergenius programmer with two dream selves (all other players of Sburb get only one), Terezi gets super-senses from being blinded and having an incredibly rare Dragon egg as a lusus, Kanaya has an incredibly rare blood-type, is immune to sunlight and has an incredibly rare Virgin Mother Grub as a lusus, Vriska has her "Vision Eightfold", Equius is ludicrously STRONG, Feferi has the highest possible blood type, sharing with only one other troll, which is the Empress. Oh, and Karkat [[spoiler:has a 'mutant' blood type, outside the hemospectrum entirely, that marks him as the Second Coming of Troll Jesus]]. Knowing how the trolls are presented however, likely all this mary-suism is quite tongue in cheek.
** And Calliope turns out to be [[spoiler:a cherub deliberately invoking this, by cosplaying as]] a lime-blood troll, who were all wiped out years before.
* In ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' a blue-haired physicist named "Gav" was accidentally cloned 950 million times, having grown up in the 20th century when individuality was considered essential this caused no small amount of angst. Later appearances of the "Gavs" showed them experimenting with different haircuts and adding facial piercings, even going into different fields of research. Eventually they formed a corporation to figure out how to introduce genetic and memory alterations, and rolled dice to decide on their mods.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* Really, just see CommonMarySueTraits for this trope's usual results in works not governed by rules.
* Pops up in ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' from time to time. Occasionally handlers feel the need to make their characters "special" by giving them some sort of ability no teenager should realistically have, or making them psychotic sociopaths while still in high school. Doesn't pop up as much as it used to, however, due to mods encouraging handlers to [[ShownTheirWork show their work]] when dealing with illnesses (mental or physical), laws, whatever interests the character may have, and anything that is critical to the character.
* ''WebAnimation/LuckyDayForever'', Proles have this in-universe and use the Great Lottery as a way to become one of the Whites.
* [=RPGs=] with a certain theme always have players who stretch what character is possible within that theme, even when that theme is very well-defined. For example, in a Harry Potter game, there are always players who are not content with being just a wizard, but come up with all sorts of extra (often non-canon) powers.
* All over the place with Drift from ''ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW'' run. On the one hand he originally seemed to suffer from this trope in spades, being a [[DefectorFromDecadence formerly-Decepticon Autobot]] who turns into a [[MeaningfulName drift racer]], an [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy honorable]] but [[IWorkAlone lone-wolf]] warrior of [[TheStoic few words]] who [[ReformedButRejected isn't trusted by other Autobots]], armed with [[DualWielding dual]] hip-carried [[KatanasAreJustBetter katanas]], a [[{{BFS}} greatsword]], and [[GratuitousJapanese Japanese kanji]] everywhere. Fans...didn't take it well, given that a ''lot'' of Transformer OriginalCharacter designs have similar elements, which had worn extremely thin over the past thirty years. However, after a few reinterpretations of the character, especially into a ReligiousBruiser and a genuine [[TheAtoner Atoner]] who believes in TheNeedsOfTheMany, he's [[{{Pun}} drifted]] from his original "Japanese inspired badass" depiction. As a result, a lot of the fans' hate towards the character for his Special Snowflake traits has died down.
* The 'Sparkledog' phenomenon [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/sparkledogs as documented by]] Website/KnowYourMeme has its roots in this trope. Internet users' fondness for canids, including wolves and foxes as well as traditional domesticated dog breeds, often resulted in characters of the creatures. The problem being that sticking to actual real-world colors of the creatures in question makes it hard for any one character to be distinct, especially in artwork. The solution of alternative colors worked only for a short while, as some color combinations quickly became more popular than others (though the basic colors on the color wheel were eventually represented), leading to the same problem--dozens of blue and purple wolves with golden eyes, for instance. The subsequent result of that further design problem was finer degrees of distinctiveness, including traits as sub-patterns in the fur such as stars or stripes, additional appendages like extra tails or wings, or accessories like piercings or articles of clothing. The end result of this design focus towards distinctiveness is a character that, while retaining the basic features of the original animal, often only tangentially resembles the source creature. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment Opinions of this particular design philosophy vary greatly from community to community, and even individual to individual]].
[[/folder]]
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