Establishing Character Moment / Fan Works

The Black Cauldron

  • In Swinging Pendulum Kaien is established as a male Genki Girl who wants to be Ichigo's older brother figure in his little note to Ichigo, remainding him of their lunch date:
    Morning, cousin! Join me for lunch today, okay? I’ll swing by at noon to pick you up. Your favourite big bro, Kaien^_^’
    • Asuka is established as a Shrinking Violet when she refuses to look Ichigo in the eye and addresses him very formally when she tells Ichigo that he has been assigned to tutor her for extra credit by their teacher, Koyonagi.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • In Xendra, Kennedy is introduced mentally complaining about her training as a Potential but reveling in her family's money letting her do things her way (to an extent) rather than the traditional way. Once she becomes empowered as a Slayer, she's ecstatic and is shown to have been genuinely hoping to be called.

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command

  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero Kyon's sister gets hers the first time the story is told from her perspective showing how much she admires and loves her brother and her fears of Kyon eventually drifting away from her.
  • Last Child of Krypton: In the first story scene, as soon as Shinji sees Sachiel he asks what that monster is and states firmly that it must be stopped. That moment shows this Shinji is not his timid, weak canon self even before being revealed he is Superman.
  • Acknowledged In-Universe in Tavi's Blood And Fire:
    "Tali, Nihlus wouldn’t drag you across half the galaxy if you weren’t up to this. You introduced yourself to us by throwing a grenade at a crooked info-broker!"
  • Mass Effect Human Revolution
    • Despite being off-duty, Adam Jensen takes down a ten-Asari bank robbery single-handedly through stealth, offers himself to the last one in exchange for her hostage, then defeats her non-lethally but painfully when she still refuses to see the light. He's a stealthy One-Man Army, but he's also always looking out for others; that said, Good Is Not Soft!
    • The first onscreen appearance of Johann Liebert Ramsus has him concoct a brilliant, bloodsoaked plan to get out of his holding facility, showing both his mental and combat prowess in the process.
  • Ace Combat: The Equestrian War rightfully introduces Mobius as a One Pony Army. He dispatches three griffon soldiers, each with a single hit and even stares down Razor. The entire Mirage squadron, especially Rainbow Dash, watches in awe as he performs his feats. By the end of the chapter, it is revealed he is a living legend and the best pegasus flier in the world.
  • Claymade's sequel to The Dark Lords of Nerima introduces the new Big Bad by having him casually defeating an assassin trying to kill him (that he had hired himself), who had already easily torn through his security forces.
  • Turnabout Storm's Cruise Control spends his first moments on-screen loudly yelling at himself for not saying "I'm sorry!" with enough remorse, and then it escalates from there — Except for those very few seconds he gets dead serious during that same first meeting.
  • Some of The Prayer Warriors and the other characters have them.
    • Jerry is introduced recruiting his girlfriend Mary and her friends into the Order of the Prayer Warriors, then curb stomping Grover Underwood for following a different god.
    • Grover's death, and his return a few chapters later, is in and of itself an establishing character moment for him; he dies many times in this fic.
    • Dumbledore is introduced whipping a student for praying, setting himself to as close to an aversion of Designated Villain as most of the fic's cast gets.
    • "John Lennon" gets his at the start of "Threat of Satanic Commonism", when he orders a massacre of all the Christians.
  • In the Girls und Panzer and Saki crossover, Necessary To Win, which can be found here, there are quite a few.
    • Hisa, in her first scene, opposes Anzu's threatening to expel Miho in order to get her to join the tankery team, showing that while she strongly desires for Oarai's tankery team to be restarted and for Oarai itself to stay open, there are limits to how far she will go.
    • Like in canon, Erika insults Miho, claims Oarai should not even be entering the tournament if it can't hope to win, and gets offended when Mako (Reizei) brings up the possibility of them being defeated.
    • Maho, seeing Miho in the cafe, is forced to conceal her emotions and choose her words carefully as Nishizumi heiress. The only thing she can bring herself to say is "I didn't think you'd still be doing tankery" After seeing that this answer upsets Miho, she thinks, "Forgive me, Miho...". She subconsciously agrees with Hisa's arguing that one should not lose sight of one's reasons for wanting to win, and as she walks off, hopes Miho is happier at Oarai.
    • Teru, in response to Erika derisively bringing up Hisa's being a no-show at the middle school tankery tournament three years ago, tells her, "Some people have parts of their past that they don't want to talk about." When Saki notices her and calls out to her, asking why she is denying having a sister, Teru freezes in surprise before walking off without saying anything to Saki.
    • In a flashback, Takako is first shown slapping a student for making a minor mistake, then defending her actions to Shiho, saying that she uses whatever means are necessary to help them improve, showing her approach to the Drill Sergeant Nasty trope.
    • Masae, head of the Atago School of Tankery, watches her daughters, pleased with their performance, and briefly mentions her school's philosophy. This gives some idea of how she's a less demanding parent and a less ruthless tanker than Shiho.
    • Hiroe, Masae's elder daughter, after winning a match, alternates between bragging about her victory and sincerely complimenting her defeated opponents for their efforts, before gladly agreeing to sign an autograph for a fan from said opposing team, showcasing that she's outspoken and full of herself, but a kind person at heart.
  • Being a crossover between two popular series (Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon), Fist of the Moon has characters that the audience already knows, but their establishing moments for each other are quite potent.
    • Ranma grabs three kids that the senshi were protecting from youma and get them out of danger, then comes back to help again. During this s/he takes two hits that leave her literally dead on her feet, and require the Silver crystal to heal.
    Usagi: “We know her, Mars. She rescued three children and two senshi, putting her life on the line. We know her very well.”
    • The above quote also serves as Usagi’s, justifying (potentially life-threatening) use of the Silver Crystal for someone they only just met.
    • And in the same event, Rei begins by begging her not to risk her life like this, and declares her hatred of “that life-sucking rock”.
    • When Usa shows up for the first time, her hair is in a braid and she tries a physical assault against Usagi.
  • Wonderful!: Emma and Sophia's first appearances show that Emma never stopped being Taylor's friend, and unlike in canon, they never bullied her.
    • When Emma shows up, she complains about Taylor not calling her to let her know that both she and her mother were fine after the Leviathan's attack.
    • Sophia shows up straight after, and she and Taylor are relatively civil to each other.
  • The Bridge does this a lot with the kaiju roster and the Equestrian cast who don't get as much characterization in the show.
    • We spend an entire chapter following an unnamed character that shows they have memory problems and mental trauma, but are a Noble Demon at worst when they protect an innocent pony from an attacker. It's Monster X.
    • Princess Celestia's puts her hoof down with a magical wave that floors six transformed kaiju when they're taken by surprise as she's shouting in a Royal Canterlot Voice that makes Luna's sound like a whisper. She then calmly states there has been enough fighting and they need to figure out what's going on.
    • Our first big indication this is a heroic incarnation of Godzilla with the grown up Godzilla Junior is his intentional defense of Canterlot from the Gyaos horde.
  • A Man of Iron has several of these:
    • Antony Stark shows the reader why the Stark family and the North are ashamed of him when he comes at Winterfell and proceeds to insult and snark about everything and everyone he sees. Then he immediately proves he can be a truly nice person by calling Jon a Stark and laughing when Arya sasses him back - Black Sheep he may be, he's also a very Cool Uncle.
    • Clynt actually jokes with Tyrion while serving Catelyn Stark - who kidnapped the dwarf - and easily slaughters many Hill Tribes warriors when their camp is attacked.
    • Thor acts as a huge, very oblivious ditz after his landing on Dragonstone, complaining about the Faith not getting his people right, groping Jane before deeming her a Queen over Stannis and thinking Shireen fought a dragon because of her scars. However, his genuine admiration for Jane's bravery in front of his arrival and praise for Shireen over living after receiving her scars shows he's very nice and gallant, while respecting strenght and courage above all.
  • The Protectorate in How To Drill Your Way Through Your Problems had already met Lagann a few times before, and realized he was a good person and ideal Hero material. They didn't quite understand how different Lagann was until he upgraded Armsmaster's cycle into the Gurrencycle while riding it and minutes later, stealing Squealer's truck(?) and turning it into a giant robot.

Dragon Ball Z
  • The first lines introducing Kaji in the Honor Trip Arcos Special Chapter have him scowling, & annoyed at having to wait. The next paragraph is a flashback detailing the brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown he gave to a fellow soldier. Similarly, the other Arcosians are introduced in ways that reflect their personalities.

The Familiar of Zero
  • In Jus Primae Noctis the readers already know Louise's character, but she gets an in-universe one for Saito's mother Ayako when she's the only one to stop Ayako from beating up her son.

Fate/stay night
  • Lampshaded in Happy Riniversary, which opens with Rin wondering what to give her lovers for their first anniversary- because it's not enough for the gift to simply be good, it has to be perfect, and it certainly must be at least equal to the gift they're giving her.
    ...And if Rin didn't do something equally special, she would lose at the relationship.
    (At this point, it is best to take a brief aside to mention the fact that Rin Tohsaka thought you could "lose" at a relationship explained a lot about what was going to happen next. At the very least, it should tell you something very significant about the way her mind worked.)

  • In What About Witch Queen?, Prince Ferdinand is established as a good counterpart to Hans and a honorable man when he apologizes to Anna for his brother's actions. The same scene, moments earlier, also sets him up as borderline Adorkable with his inability to form the apologies coherently:
    Ferdinand: Princess, I… Well, I believe one of us, von Schwalbes, that is, should finally say that to you, because, well, it's a disgrace that it's been over three months and we remained silent, that is, I understand Friedrich, that is the king, I mean His Majesty, had his reasons and that politics stand in his way, because not everybody would be happy about it, it being what I'm about to say, that is… Verdammt. (...) I'm rambling, am I not? (he proceeds to apologize properly)

Gravity Falls

Harry Potter
  • In The Wizard in the Shadows, Harry introduces himself by chasing off the Nazgul at Weathertop with a patronus, setting one on fire, and then, a little later on, when asked what he's doing by a thoroughly suspicious Merry, says a line that cements him as a Deadpan Snarker Hurting Hero and a total badass:
    "Looking for trouble."
  • In Prince Of The Dark Kingdom the first thing Voldemort gets to do on-screen is to crucio an 11 year old Harry for something that technically wasn't his fault and usually would have warranted a laugh, instead of a curse...

  • In Terrestrial Trolling, the narrator first notices Feferi when she persuades a total stranger to participate in a tarot card reading, cavalierly brushing off his disbelief in magic.

Jackie Chan Adventures
  • Queen of Shadows: Each of the Oni Generals, as well as each of Lord Rokutaro's inner circle, get their general personalities made quite clear within their first scenes.
  • Nat's first introduction in The Ultimate Evil includes her attacking a demon that's about to eat its victim, killing it without mercy with her various weapons, calling an ambulance, leaving the spot, taking an interest in the reports of Jackie's encounters with the Demon Sorcerers and deciding to do a little "clean up".

Lyrical Nanoha
  • In her first scene in Game Theory (Fan Fic), Chikaze, an original character, saves Hayate from a zombie by pushing it down a flight of stairs, despite being a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy.

Mai Hime
  • Perfection Is Overrated
    • Hitomi uses her Mind Control powers to rob people, and is quickly getting bored with how easy it is.
    • Toki expresses her intent to change the past to get together with Hayate, without being able to adequately describe what Hayate means to her.
    • Shizune kills the defenseless Toki, and then immediately prays that she hopes her victim goes to Hell.

Mega Man
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, the Stardroids make clear their intent and threat to Earth when they shoot down Galaxy Man and broadcast an ultimatum to the people of Earth to surrender.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
  • Sunny Breeze, the protagonist of Racer and the Geek is introduced all alone on a Friday night, when he is drunk, working on a conlang, and keeping an FN FAL within easy reach.
  • In The Non-Bronyverse, TD's establishing moment is when he walks up with quiet dignity and grace and punches Celestia in the snout.
  • If the Apple Trust from the Lunaverse was not meant to be seen as unsympathetic, neigh (sic), villainous, the self-righteous and jealously monopolising behaviour they demonstrated when first appearing in Boast Busted and Longest Night, Longest Day did not help.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • Pokémon Story: Sinnoh Journey
    • Chapter 1 simultaneously establishes a few of Aaron's personality traits. He's calm and levelheaded, never reacting with the same distress as Ash and the group. He isn't soft, using Meowth as leverage against Team Rocket until his own Pokemon are safe. He's also analytical, only stopping in to help when he catches the precise moment he can save his Riolu and Mawile.
    • Chapter 3: Ian's darker choice of clothing and grim demeanor contrasts with the brighter setting the narration makes. Then, his more manic side emerges when Gengar suggests scaring two girls, which he fully intends to do. His Odd Keystone gets in the way of that, but when Spiritomb arrives all its spectral and abominable glory, Ian is more than thrilled to take it on.

  • In Untouchable, Pyrrha tries and fails to sing. She sadly reflects that she doesn't know anything about music, as "combat had been all she'd ever known." The scene sums up a lot about her character.
    • Jaune is introduced several sentences later, when he comforts Pyrrha and makes her laugh (at his expense) despite that.
  • Hypothermia precedes Weiss's actual introduction into the story with a description of Ruby, the protagonist, gawking at her beauty. And then Ruby notices that all of Weiss's admirers keep their distance from her, and that nobody sits with her at lunch. Weiss herself seems completely unruffled by this. All of this is established before Ruby has so much as a conversation with her.
  • The OC protagonists of For Tomorrow's Sake have distinct reactions to waking up in a room together:
    • Jeanne fearfully wonders where her children are.
    • Willow scowls, demanding to know what is going on.
    • Mei calmly remarks that this event "is most disturbing..."
    • Thorin is completely unfazed and enthusiastically asks if there's any alcohol in the room.
    • Qrow grumpily asks what's happened, and soon gets into an argument with his brother...which both abandon when Summer realizes that their family could be in danger.
  • In Hunting Monsters the morality of the OC Umbra Academy characters is established by Headmistress Woden arguing with Ozpin, lying to his face and taking vindictive pleasure in reminding him of his past failure. The squad's overall moral levels are shown when Sanguin starts an easily avoidable fight and pointedly sends Dominic somewhere he won't interfere, while Argos makes it so that he is technically helping without having to do anything.

Sherlock Holmes

  • In Flam Gush Erik's is the dramatic confrontation he arranged with Lina and Gourry, who both have very good reasons to want to murder him slowly. He stops them in theirs tracks by revealing that he has Gourry's mother held hostage. When Lina agrees to a hostage exchange he thoroughly and successfully binds her magic and then has Gourry's mother knock him out with a nerve pinch. It shows how ruthless, thorough, and terrifying Erik can be, but also that in a straight fight he wouldn't stand a chance.
    • Although we don't actually meet her for several chapters, Lucilla has two such moments: first when Lina sees her with her uncle and second, when she fakes her death to turn the mob against Lina and Gourry, forcing them to retreat.

Soul Eater
  • Soul Eater: Troubled Souls
    • Caius Vladingham is established as badass and Troubled, but Cute in the very first chapter, introduced throwing a small pebble in Scorpio’s face, talking down to it. He then defeats it in only a few blows. He has a brief flashback to two years ago that shows he is the survivor of some deadly attack, and he muses how he doesn't have friends but acquaintances. Claudia is established as an Ojou or Proper Lady with a hopeless crush on Soul when she squeezes lemon on Scorpio's Kishin Egg Soul before she eats it. She calls up her driver so she and Caius can exit via carriage and slowly starts to ramble about, you guessed, Soul Eater.
    • The Ricardsen Twins are established as Crazy Awesome and skilled yet being rookies. Tsuji headshots several of the Flatheads from atop a building, using a bow and arrow. Rowena flattens one of them along with a dumpster accordion-style, including J. Worski himself. They talk smack all the while. This is an unofficial mission to ascertain if they have the gall to go on actual missions.
    • Ignoring her name-only cameo in the prologue, the introduction of Cancer Lucrenian establishes her as a savvy Big Bad by standing in the middle of water like Jesus himself, only to summon a staircase of water and walk up it to approach Young Thief Gestas. She brings out this creature hidden in the shadows and ever so calmly instructs him to lure the Academy to Venice. Gestas does not disobey. When do they come, she attempts to kill them right off the bat but fails, only to force them into a Sadistic Choice.

Star Wars: The Old Republic
  • Blood and Honor: For the Sith Lord Sanguis - Vette is about to be killed by shyracks while raiding a tomb when Sanguis swoops in and saves her life. Only to then turn her over to the Korriban authorities for questioning, torture and possible execution.

  • Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation: In the first chapter, Adam and Alan Kentstop some bank robbers. Alan gets upset because some persons got killed. Adam is just happy that they stopped a bunch of crooks.

  • X-Men: New Class:
    • Sooraya tries to stop Julian from bullying other students, and criticizes his moral hypocrisy note .
    • Laura Kinney, a new transfer student, is asked if she would like to tell the class about herself. Her typically curt response also establishes that she has No Social Skills.