Timmy Turner of The Fairly OddParents. During the first few seasons of the show, Timmy was portrayed as essentially a good kid who occasionally gave into his selfishness. However, he was still very likeable. By about the fourth or fifth seasons, though, he became a jerkass along with all the other denizens of this hellish parody of sitcom America, including his Fairy Godparents who were summoned to help him the first place. Timmy was reset to his original, affable characterization by the sixth season.
Just Timmy? Every character on this show has been flanderized to some degree, to the point where it might even rival the Trope Namer if it had more characters who appeared enough. Many fans cite this as the reason it's Jumping the Shark. For example:
Cosmo was originally simply The Ditz and a bit of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, sometimes dim but still relatively normal, and perhaps strangest of all, he and Wanda seemed to be on an equal level of airheaded and careless intelligence ("We're two halves of a whole idiot!") Starting around Season 2, he started to become increasingly dumber with each season. Now he's a Too Dumb to LiveThe Ditz. Just look back at his character in the original Oh Yeah! Cartoons pilot — he was actually a suave and sophisticated guy, barely resembling the character he became. Also, his relationship with Wanda in Seasons 4 and 5 was the foil for a lot of marriage jokes; in a couple of episodes, he claimed to be trapped in the marriage to Wanda and that she had tricked him into it. This characteristic was toned down in Season 6, when the birth of Poof turned them into loving parents.
Wanda was originally portrayed as being dimmer than Cosmo, believe it or not, then at around Season 1 they shared an equal amount of intelligence. From Season 2 onwards, Wanda became simply the wiser one who chastised Timmy and Cosmo whenever they did something wrong. Then, all her jokes tend to be that she's a total nag, to the point where the Barbarian Hero episode had her become the whip cracking Nagules. Her marriage to Cosmo also became one of the biggest sources of humor on the show, to the point where Cosmo made it appear that he was trapped in the marriage to Wanda; however, this was toned down in Season 6, when the birth of Poof brought them closer together and they are currently revamped as loving parents.
Timmy's parents. They go from busy and clueless to extremely negligent parents. This was actually the plot catalyst in an episode guest starring Steve Irwin as 'The Bad Parent Hunter'.
Vicky was originally just a bully whose worst trick was blackmailing Timmy into doing chores by revealing false evidence that he cheated on a math test or wrecked the house while his parents were out, but otherwise was depicted as being apathetic to Timmy and more complacent with sitting around watching TV. Now, she wants to Take Over the World, is ferocious enough to intimidate and whip all the other villains into shape, and goes out of her way to harm Timmy and does little to cover up her actions because no one will stop her anyway. In the early episode "The Big Problem", Vicky freaks out when Timmy goes missing under her care; although this was only out of concern for herself, at least she intended to do her job correctly. In later episodes, she plots violence against him and doesn't care about his well-being at all.
Jorgen Von Strangle, like Cosmo, went through two Flanderizations. He begins as a stern Terminator parody, and had little real personality apart from brutally hurting other characters and destroying things whenever he is set to do a job. His first Flanderization comes somewhere in Season 1. He becomes the boss of all fairies (which was undetermined before, and he was only assumed to have every job a higher official could have), and has more of a personality. He now has a reason to brutally harm others; he's a sadist with monstrous power and a very well defined and muscular body compared to all the other fairies. See the connection. He then shows much more enjoyment in beating, humiliating, and gloating in front of all the fairies. But in Season 6, he goes through his second Flanderization. He becomes a Comic Relief character who never uses his power in dire times, only his body. It's as though he isn't even a fairy anymore, or the boss of fairies at that. If this weren't noticeable enough, he becomes a perfect ally and even a dear friend to Timmy. They were always his closest friends, but now he doesn't even punch COSMO anymore!
While Mr. Crocker was always a bit crazy, in the earlier episodes his usual demeanor was more stoic and grouchy, only veering into maniacal insane behaviour when there were fairies at work. A lot of his insanity was perceived by the other characters due to him being The Cassandra, and his fairy hunting tools were more grounded in reality (for this show, anyway). Now he has a huge lab underneath the school (to the point where it's lampshaded) and he's every bit as crazy as everyone perceives him to be. Sometimes these days it seems like he can't even form a sentence without "FAIRY GODPARENTS!" in it somewhere. He also became MUCH more fond of giving students failing grades. In his earliest appearance, he was either snarky or silent when he gave kids F's. Now he's flat-out sadistic about it and it's one of the only things that makes him happy.
AJ was originally just the smartest kid in Timmy's class. Now he rivals Jimmy Neutron in terms of brains— a connection that was not lost in the third Jimmy/Timmy special.
Chester was originally just a lower-income kid who lived in a trailer and whose father was a disgraced baseball player. Now he eats garbage and such things with so much vigor you wonder what he would do if he were rich. Also, near the beginning he appeared more down to earth in comparison to AJ, but now he's just a Dumb Blonde.
Various characters of Family Guy, due to the writers usually taking one joke that was successful before and building on it in future episodes:
Peter himself has always been a Jerkass, but in the earlier seasons he was shown with a genuine good side and actually cared about his kids, even Meg. Peter's intelligence also drops from 'idiot' to 'legally mentally disabled'. His original flanderization came after "Petarded" where he started to rip on Meg & often make jokes about her, but at the same time, was actually well intentioned & a little intelligent deep down. He received a second flanderization from Seasons 6 onwards, in that he became much more of a naive manchild(even more so than Homer Simpson) so his Jerk Ass traits is more understandable. But he hardly has much of a conscience as he used to in the original 3 seasons, and even Seasons 4 and 5.
Well, the mentally handicapped thing is more of an explanation than Flanderisation. In the episodes it comes up it often illustrates the insanity of everyone around him, such as the doctor who is nearly infuriated when a "retard" like Peter corrects a minor mistake he made (while explaining mental retardation). He's not really dumber than before (sometimes he's smarter); how intelligent he is varies from episode to episode, and just as often from gag to gag. Peter does get scolded by his friends and family when he does do something extremely stupid (such as opening a plane's door in mid-flight and wandering onto the wing outside of the plane just to prove to Joe that there was someone outside), though Peter usually never learns.
Peter's Lethally Stupid tendencies were more a case of Innocently Insensitive behavior in early seasons, and, akin to a standard Bumbling Dad, being too arrogant and idiotic to quite get what he was doing was wrong. Even at that Peter usually was handed An Aesop and saw the error of his ways. As time passed however, he evolved more into a Comedic Sociopath, completely apathetic to the misery he causes, and in some episodes, outright sadistic and amused by it.
And let's not even go into what happened toher... Meg has "developed" from an ordinary, level-headed teenage girl with teen problems into an outrageously hated and despised punching bag whose desperation for happiness and love often makes her insane. At one point she even snaps and beats up a passing car driver who is picking on her, and stalks Brian after he goes to the prom with her out of pity.
During season 2, Stewie started to become a bit effeminated and show some glimpses of homosexuality, and became more fond of Brian as time went by. From season 6 onwards, he lost all of his former Enfant Terrible traits, and started to crosdress on a daily basis, dates other guys dressed as a girl, openly wants to have sex with Brian and blatantly hints that he's gay every five seconds.
Stewie's act of extreme violence, plans for world domination, and attempts to kill Lois have fallen to the wayside as Stewie's personality changed to being a general jerk to everyone with a heavy dose of Deadpan Snarker and Stewie's interactions with Lois are just him complaining about her. This gets lampshaded by Brian a few times where he asks Stewie why he hasn't been trying to take over the world or why isn't saying "Damn you" every 4 sentences. In another episode, Stewie tries to return to his roots and kill Lois. He succeeds and takes over the United States, but it was revealed to be just a simulation so it never really happened.
Lois' sexuality has become greatly Flanderized overtime. Originally she enjoyed a healthy sex life with her husband, yes, but it's gotten to the point where in at least four different episodes (when Peter became abstinent, when Peter became gay, when Peter got a vasectomy, and when "real life was censored"), she's been shown to be unable to properly live her life unless she can have sex with Peter.
Aside from her sexuality, Lois also started off as being a legitimately caring mother who even attacked a group of girls for making fun of Meg. Unlike the other characters, her flanderization came much later. Since Seth Macfarlane has had less say in the writing staff (even though David Zuckerman ran the show in the early days & David A Goodman ran the show in it's two post 2002 seasons and Seth only wrote 3 episodes in the show's entire run), she's been consistently shown to be extremely abusive to Meg, even going so far as to suggest Meg commit suicide because she doesn't want to put up with her daughter's depression anymore. Her callousness seems to be exaggerated outside Meg (which could have at least been excused by EVERYONE hating her). By the eight season what were merely a few out of character moments to remind she was Not so Above It All slowly eclipsed her original more logical persona to the point she was a Distaff Counterpart for post Flanderization Peter, a childish, self centeredheckler constantly bullying her family and friends for kicks. Half the time she is shown giggling or joining in on Peter's antics, something she showed nothing but disdain for early on.
The supporting cast has fallen into this trope as well. Joe Swanson went from just a handicapped character (who in fact was greatly competent despite this and admired by everyone because of it) to everything involving him leading to a "Get it? Because he's a cripple" joke with rage tendencies, and Cleveland lost his quiet, boring personality to become the butt for black jokes.
Everybody noticed how Quagmire went from a pervert to a potential rapist, but he suffered a second flanderization much more prominent and fast: in Season 8, it was revealed that he hated Brian. Well, from that moment onwards, if Quagmire and Brian were in the same scene together, Quagmire's entire character revolved around his hate of Brian. It got to the point that the very same season ended with Quagmire learning that Brian had unknowingly slept with his recently-transgender father, and Quagmire responds by forcibly entering their home and beating Brian to near-death.
Quagmire's overall wackiness and perverted tendencies have been toned down in a favor of making him a Self-Deprecation avatar in the Steve Callaghan seasons. Even when Brian isn't around he seems a lot more down to earth and rather prudish and cynical on occasion. Whether this counts as Flanderization or subversion is hard to say.
For the first few episodes of Season 12, Quagmire's personality reverted back to the way he was in the Zuckerman and Goodman and Sheridan era. Until Life of Brian.....
Plus now Quagmire's hatred of Brian has vanished, possibly after a threat from Lois AND Stewie regarding possibly removing his penis and FEEDING it to him!
In earlier episodes, Brian was cast as the intelligent, witty one in the family. When the show was uncancelled, he started to voice his left wing views and contempt for religion, and later Brian's character was swallowed by his political views, much to the fans' frustration.
The political facets itself have also been dumbed down. In its initial form, Brian was originally your average cliche left wing caricature (i.e. condescending and self righteous but still well meaning and earnest in his beliefs), he slowly just devolved into a sleazy Straw Hypocrite, flip flopping views to give himself moral superiority, and often babbling pretentious rants even he barely understands in a desperate ploy for attention and dignity.
Infuriating given his statement in the very first episode that he didn't vote, and in "The Thin White Line" when he thanks God for blessing him with his nose.
His insisting that "God! Is! Pissed!" when Peter's blasphemous behavior causes the ten biblical plagues to descend on the family. In that same episode Brian immediately interprets a power outage, fleas, and blood as three of the Ten Plagues of Egypt, a response you wouldn't expect from a staunch atheist.
And Brian goes as far as CROSSING HIMSELF while spouting "Jesus Mary and Joseph!" on discovery of the well stocked bar in the house Lois inherited from her favorite aunt! Atheists don't do that schtick.
More than his politics became Flanderized. Originally he was a very smart, and sometimes even pretty classy, character, even if he did drink from time to time and had trouble getting women to go out with him because most of the women he dated were airheads with hot bodies. Now, he's a full-blown alcoholic, he's not very sophisticated, and a lot of his plotlines now revolve around him trying to get a date, always one with a human woman.
Brian also has some knack at getting with dumb women just so he can feel smarter and have an easier time in getting into their pants. Quagmire pointed this out when he gave his "The Reason You Suck" Speech on why he hated Brian (and, yes, Quagmire pointed out that he dates women for shallow reasons too, but at least he's honest with himself about it, unlike Brian).
On top of this, Brian's flanderization when it comes to meeting women was turned up a few notches when he goes to date Stewie's preschool teacher, a woman who is clearly unqualified for the job, ignoring their injuries and a dead child! This is driven further when Stewie comes home with his arm out of the socket and tries to tell Lois when Brian shuts Stewie up just so Brian can keep dating the teacher. Brian eventually turns the teacher in to the police but only because the woman had a boyfriend already (naturally with an ever-hypocritical "there's a special level in Hell for people like you" comment as she's dragged off by the police).
Brian's failures in dating women was also brought to light when Stewie brought him every single woman Brian dated and had them explain to him why they broke up with him (jealous, callous, insecure, pretentious, and has a small penis). Rather than taking what the women said to heart, Brian tried to flip it around by pointing out why all the women he dated were flawed instead of actually taking responsibility for his own actions, a trait that seems to have stuck to Brian's character.
In a case of a de Flanderized trait, Brian was also extremely deadpan in early episodes, to the point of bordering The Stoic. By the end of the pre-cancellation run, he is fully emotional character and more prone to neuroses.
In Brian's case, it's possibly explained by the fact that he is Seth MacFarlane's Author Avatar, and also his way of parodying jokes and jibes about himself. Things like his drinking, jibes about his politics and atheism etc. As more people make fun of HIM being like that, he makes Brian even more of a caricature, mocking the way his critics see him. If Brian suddenly, in-universe, gets Mistaken for Gay far more frequently, we'll know for sure.
Lois's father, Carter, used to be an intelligent and rich businessman, even if his views are stuck from the 1950s. As the seasons went on, Carter's behavior is almost comparable to Peter's flanderization where he will say the most stupidest things or do the most ridiculous acts (mostly to Peter) just because he is rich and powerful and needed a quick giggle. The point is driven further home where Carter loses his assets a few times and it's shown that he cannot function in life without his fortune.
He gets flanderized even further into a borderline monster in "The Old Man And The Big C" as it's revealed that his company developed a cure for cancer several years ago but he refuses to release it to the public all so he can increase corporate profit by making money off of sick people who have to rely on medication. Even after Lois lectures him about it Carter still refuses to release the cure, throwing him straight into Corrupt Corporate Executive.
Fandom example: The Phony Guy is nicknamed "Holden Caulfield"; as a Flanderization of the actual Holden Caulfield
The entire character cast except Joe has been flanderized to the point where they just roll with it because that's who they are. For example, Meg knows she is the Butt Monkey of the group and is getting used to it, but still strives for something better.
It has even got to the point where some characters have started to come back a few steps.
This is also probably the reason why Brian died.
All of the characters flanderized traits were amped up to 11 in Season 8, to the point of where the characters were coming a few steps back a bit after that season.
Like most long-running sitcoms, Futurama ends up Flanderizing most of its cast.
Philip J. Fry started out as just an ordinary, kinda dumb 20th-century everyman. After accidentally getting cryogenically frozen for a thousand years, he was just your average modern college dropout trying to adjust to an unrecognizable sci-fi future where everyone he ever loved was long-dead. Within a few episodes of the pilot, his below-average intelligence started getting more pronounced until he was nearly Too Dumb to Live, even by modern standards.
In another sense, Fry's character actually deepened over time. It's hard to imagine the Fry of the first season becoming the soulful romantic who not only wins Leela's love but even (mostly) deserves it by the end of the original run.
Amy's ditziness and shallowness was played up as the series progressed (few remember that she was originally an engineering student working with the professor), along with Leela's love of violence. Recent episodes have attempted to acknowledge Amy's stated intelligence by letting her finally earn her Ph.D.
Bender has gone through multiple flanderizations. When we're first introduced to Bender he can't live with himself because he learned the girders he bends are used to make suicide booths. note Admittedly this was kind of a one-off joke, highlighting the absurdity of the fact that Bender has no trouble making use of said suicide booths himself. Later, when he and Fry became roommates a gag featured him muttering "kill all humans" in his sleep. This gag grew into a complete disregard for human life. In later seasons this completely reversed given his experience on the robot planet, that he lived with a human, cared for a race of minute aliens, grew attached to those orphans, fell in love, partly merged his programming with a female personality, and underwent a sex change and back (twice), there is character development and also material manipulation of his mind there. His original (or at least post-lightbulb) character of lone, hurtful, dissolute renegade with a begrudged affection for Fry and Leela has been displaced by a jokey persona.
This got to the point where in the Comedy Central seasons, Bender actually commits murder. Benderama and Fun on a Bun are primary examples.
Perhaps the biggest victim of Flanderization in Futurama is Dr. Zoidberg. When he was first introduced, he was a one-joke character: an alien doctor who treats humans, despite being ignorant of their biology (and oblivious to the fact). Despite this, the rest of the cast actually treat him with the kind of respect usually accorded doctors throughout season one. But after he got his own episode in season two ("Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?") where it was revealed that Zoidberg is considered a loser by his own species' standards, he became the Butt Monkey of the series. Jokes about him tended to focus on his being poor, gross, completely unpopular with the rest of the cast, or all three, while the incompetent doctor jokes tapered off (though the writers do still crack one from time to time). His background participation in "Where the Buggalo Roam" (in which he spends the entire episode freeloading off the Wongs) just hammers the point home.
This may be reversing, however; a Season 6 episode ("The Tip of the Zoidberg") shows that he really is a brilliant xenobiologist and that his poverty comes from the fact that he chose to work for his friend Professor Farnsworth out of loyalty when he could have had a high-paying job under Mom.
Hermes Conrad was an Obstructive Bureaucrat from early on, and episodes like "Lethal Inspection" deepened his characterization. His Flanderization is more to do with him being a pothead (as seen in "Bend Her," when Hermes mentioned that the Olympic limboing team from Jamaica was detained at the airport, in "The Sting," when his wife seeing him burning Fry's time card during his funeral, asks him: "Can't you go anywhere without lighting something up?", and in "Bender Should Not Be Allowed on Television," when his son found a "cigar," then tried to deny that it was his). With considerable restraint, the series went several years without any marijuana jokes for its Jamaican character; now they can't seem to get enough of them note though this could be because Comedy Central's censors are a bit more liberal about marijuana jokes than FOX is. Remember how FOX digitally blurred out Oscar's hand smoking a joint on Arrested Development? Or how the Family Guy episode where Peter and Lois become musicians for a talent show had to shoe-horn a message about how pot was bad and wasn't contributing anything to their creativity, though how an episode like "420" — where Brian fights to have marijuana legalized — got approved to air is beyond anyone's guess (although it could be that he has the law repealed because society can't function while high).
It's not so much that they completely restrained from marijuana jokes at first, more that originally they were rare and subtle, certainly nothing a child would notice. After the revival Hermes apparently stopped being sneaky about smoking and just gave up on bureaucracy to become the resident stoner.
King of the Hill
This series is unusual for giving flatter characters new aspects, then focusing on them, thus creating the sense of Flanderization at the same time as they get Character Development.
Hank Hill of King of the Hill is known for preferring traditional things over trendy new ones. This starts to get overdone in the later seasons; case in point, "Get Your Freak Off". In this episode, Hank is more Amish than the Amish; he's almost medieval.
In early episodes, Hank was often cast as a voice of reason, although often too uptight and conservative; the series' later episodes portray him as an naive loser who often gets into trouble because of his own whims.
Similarly, in early seasons Peggy seemed to have reasonable Spanish skills, but then they decide to play up her incompetence and overconfidence for laughs. She even boasts about her "high" I.Q (self-estimated) and was worried about having an average I.Q.
In the series pilot, Hank was short tempered (to the point that his other Catch Phrase was "I'm gonna kick your ass!"), yet still polite. Over time, his short temper was dropped and he slowly became a near pushover.
He did spend an episode in anger management. While the end of that episode implied that Hank needed his rage in certain situations, maybe it actually worked.
In the beginning, Bobby was a late bloomer, but an otherwise ordinary kid: he was immature and impressionable, but in some ways wiser than his straitlaced family. Bobby's immaturity and impressionability eventually became the entirety of his character, to the point it's difficult to believe he was ever showing any sort of character development at all.
Certain fans blame Luanne's shift from dim bulb to ditzy hillbilly on The Scrappy, Lucky. She's always been rather dim-witted and immature (her early trait of being a Wrench Wench was soon dropped to make her a straight-up ditz), but as of late she's been nothing more or less than Lucky's wife.
This is troubling because there were quite a few episodes where Luanne downright struggled to break free from her redneck roots — she was even attending Community College. Then, this all went out the window when they introduced Lucky, all in the matter of an episode.
At least this was lampshaded in the same episode. Peggy tried everything she could to stop Luanne from dating Lucky for precisely these reasons, including pointing out to Luanne how hard she had worked to escape her trailer-park background.
Joseph Gribble started out as an average kid seemingly a little more intelligent and athletic than Bobby, sometime afterwards when he hit puberty he was a bit awkward and adjusting to his new body, in the later episodes he becomes even more awkward and seemingly loses several I.Q. points to the point where he's nothing more or less than a dumb jock.
And we never saw his Chosen One schtick hinted at by John Redcorn. Speaking of John Redcorn, he's a bit of a double subversion, going from being just a one-note Chick Magnet (who was having sex with Dale's wife) to a New Age healer to having some sort of Hidden Depths as a musician to, in that same episode, most likely having a mood disorder, judging by his lyrics.
Dale Gribble started out just as a rather paranoid conspiracy theorist. After a few seasons, he turned into a completely psychotic idiot that actively caused more damage than he prevented and has unwittingly endangered himself and everyone else on Rainey Street multiple times (for example, building a tunnel under the road even after the one under Hank's house was clearly unsafe, and nearly getting himself, Bill and Boomhauer crushed by an incoming truck). Lampshaded in one episode, where Dale flat-out admits that if not for Hank, he'd have gotten himself killed long ago.
Pre-flanderization, he was a friendly, generous, ideal neighbour, who enjoyed going to church on Sundays and had a great family. He was better off than Homer, simply because he didn't spend money frivolously (which is why Homer hated him - he was jealous of Flanders' well-earned fortune).
His first flanderization was into an obsessively pious milquetoast who was still a pretty decent person, if incredibly boring (at least until the episode "Hurricane Neddy" where he snapped and verbally attacked his neighbors and the episode "Viva Ned Flanders" where his boring, milquetoast ways are pitied, rather than celebrated).
His second - and most damning - flanderization took his obsession with Christianity and expanded it, turning him into an intolerant bigot who demanded a lot of respect for his religion while openly mocking other peoples', such as Apu's Hinduism. This also turned the joke of "Why does Homer hate him?" into "No wonder Homer hates him." It's worth noting that this second flanderization coincided with the death of his wife Maude, leading to a tragic Alternate Character Interpretation that the loss of his wife and having to be a single father led him to become bitter, depressed, and increasingly hostile to anything that goes against his increasingly fundamentalist religious beliefs.
Also, the writing staff is extremely liberal even by normal Hollywood standards, and they've stated that Flanders was deliberately changed in response to the increased influence of religion in politics. So Flanders' character was essentially derailed because The Simpsons writers wanted a Straw Character to mock. Portrayal of Flanders reached the point of full-on anti-Christian, and later on Flanders was ratcheted back towards his first flanderization of being a nice, yet kinda boring religious man.
Flanders is not the only Simpsons character to have been flanderized multiple times. The whole cast has undergone sweeping personality changes.
First was the "Golden Age" Flanderization: during seasons 2 and 3, the cast evolved into their most popular incarnations.
Then came the "Zombie Age" Flanderization: a direct result of Mike Scully becoming the showrunner in season 10.
Because many characters have undergone two flanderizations, character descriptions on the Internet seemingly contradict one another, but actually fail to address both personality shifts. To illustrate, one character description for Homer might say, "Homer used to be a lovable oaf, but he became meaner as the series went on." Another might say, "Homer used to be angry most of the time but became nicer and sweeter as the series progressed."
Homer started out as a strict (though none too bright) disciplinarian.
His first flanderization turned him into a stupid yet lovable Man Child.
Homer's stupidity might have been lampshaded by the writers in the 138th episode, where a supposed fan 'asks' "I think Homer gets stupider every year.", after which Troy McClure says that isn't a question, but they'll let the viewers decide for themselves, and a bunch of clips of Homer's idiocy show up.
Smithers merely started out as the exaggerated version of the brown-nosing co-worker who always sucked up to his boss, but along came jokes that just screamed that Smithers could be gay for his boss, despite that he sees Mr. Burns as a father figure since his real dad died to save the town from a nuclear disaster. Now he's out-and-out gay... and not just interested in Burns, as some episodes suggest.
Mr. Burns, as of late, has undergone a shift from being a ruthless, black-hearted corporate tyrant to a doddering old man with a skewed, quasi-Victorian conception of society. While the writers attempt every so often to enforce his villainous tendencies, his role in the show is now mostly limited to jokes concerning his incalculable age and pronounced frailty.
Lisa's strong progressive streak became activist tendencies (as seen in "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy," when she protested against the Talking Malibu Stacy's misogynist phrases like "Thinking too much gives you wrinkles" and "My name is Stacy, but you can call me (Wolf Whistle)), then full-out environmental and uber-liberal extremism (as seen in "Lisa the Vegetarian," "The Old Man and the Lisa," and "Lisa the Treehugger"). Her sardonic view of society as uncultured, phony, pandering, and lowest-common-denominator-focused became extreme intellectual superiority and being Holier Than Thou (as seen in "They Saved Lisa's Brain") and her quirkiness and nerdy interests became patronizing enthusiasm for the most pretentious of vocations (as seen in "Elementary School Musical" and "The Day The Earth Stood Cool"). She went from being the voice of reason and Bart's contrast to a stuck-up genius prude.
Her somewhat no-nonsense personality was also Flanderized somewhat. In early episodes, she was merely wiser and something of a nag. That said, she did cut loose on a couple of occasions, like when she became a police officer, when she hung out with a divorced mom who stole her husband's convertible as payback for not giving her child support money, and in some of the later reviled episodes like when she got breast implants, when she became a bodybuilder, and when she modeled nude for a charity calendar. In later episodes she is extremely boring and un-impulsive by nature, getting hyped up by household chores and monotonous hobbies.
Patty and Selma have gone from just making mean jokes about Homer being fat, ugly, and a lousy father and husband who should have never knocked up their baby sister (Marge) to kidnapping him and locking him in a dirty bathroom a laSaw (the first one).
Moe started out as a simple bartender who was kind of cheap and surly, but was a generally okay person to be around. In later episodes, Moe turned into a serial criminal who actively revolted women (and it's been exaggerated to the point that he's now a registered sex offender). He's also often seen torching his own bar or paying someone to do something illegal and unethical, like having Homer steal and destroy his car, keeping an orca that he kidnapped from Sea World in his bar, or holding Deer Hunter-style Russian Roulette games in his basement. It should be noted that the focus on Moe being a creepy pervert instead of a grump conveniently came only after Family Guy's Quagmire gained popularity.
Where once he was content (if somewhat disappointed) with his low station in life, he's also developed chronic depressive tendencies, to the point that almost every modern appearance of his involves a botched suicide attempt.
Bart simply started out as a 1990s version of Dennis the Menace who liked to piss off authority, but actually learned his lesson in the end, like when he stole Jebediah Springfield's head or when he burned Lisa's centerpiece and, after appearing on the news in a homeless shelter, returning home and apologizing for what he did after a soul search. These days, his negative qualities have been exaggerated to the point where he's a sociopath wanting to ruin Homer and Marge's marriage merely to get him out of homework (as seen in the episode "Postcards from the Wedge"). The only times Bart shows kindness to anyone are when the story demands it, as seen in "A Totally Fun Thing that Bart Will Never Do Again," in which, despite his sociopathic measures to make the cruise trip last longer, did it because he loved his family and wanted to see them be happy, as they never had a decent vacation where everyone was happy.
Bart seems to have lost all empathy towards everyone, including his own family, if it means getting a quick laugh. When Homer is forced to go to a fathering class after accidentally making Bart pee in front of everyone when he was tickling him too much, he was forced to be strangled by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to show what Bart experiences when he does that to him. When Homer vows not to strangle or physically punish Bart again, Bart milks it for all that it's worth. He does many blatantly illegal acts since he knows he won't be punished by Homer. He even tries to get his father killed during the bonding exercises. This was actually established all the way back in "The Itchy And Scratchy Movie". After Homer backs out from punishing Bart, he becomes increasingly rambunctious, destroying and causing mayhem in the house for reasons even he doesn't know outside that he can get away with it, smugly confident that Homer will let everything slide. As such, it was established as early as the Fourth Season that discipline is the only thing keeping Bart from acting like a complete sociopath.
He endangers Principal Skinner's life with his peanut allergy, exploiting this to make Skinner do what he wanted. Bart is willing to threaten to kill someone just because the results amuse him, though the joke was on Bart when Skinner fought back with knowledge of Bart's shrimp allergynote A Series Continuity Error: In season two's "Blood Feud," Marge told Bart that he was allergic to butterscotch, imitation butterscotch, and glow-in-the-dark monster make-up, and some latter-day episodes, like "The Frying Game" and "Mommie Beerest" show Bart eating shrimp without any adverse effects
Bart's intelligence also has dwindled down as much as Homer's. Bart started off as Brilliant, but Lazy to being unable to read basic sentences in books or relying on Lisa to do his school work for him due to being lazy and unintelligent. Due to Bart spending more time slacking off at school and playing pranks on the town, his dimmed intelligence is justified. This is best reflected in the "future" episodes. "Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie" and "Lisa's Wedding" imply that Bart will gradually outgrow his rebellious tendencies to eventually become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but all later depictions of his future imply that he'll never amount to much.
The writers have been trying to get rid of Bart's sociopathic characterization in recent years.
Edna Krabappel has actually gone through reverse Flanderization. Her defining traits in the early episodes were that she was a bit of a slut, was a lonely, bitter divorcee, and was extremely apathetic and had no passion for her teaching job (though, you'd be that way too if your husband left you for "something small and fluffy down a rabbit hole" and you had someone like Bart Simpson as one of your students). Since she married Ned, she's become nothing more than "Ned Flanders' wife."
Even Otto wasn't immune. He evolved from the cool, friendly-to-the-ids bus driver to a stereotypical stoner, and all he is typically used for is marijuana/drug jokes.
Stan's father, Randy, started out as one of the smartest characters on the show. His 'wild side' stemmed from a desire to connect with his son, and he simply failed to grasp the idea of fads changing rapidly (a frequent plot point in South Park). In later episodes, he became a hyperactive, extremely paranoid and idiotic Man Child.
Add to that even within his earlier stupid bouts, he was still usually a Knight Templar Parent, genuinely having the best intentions for Stan and only spearheading the same hysteria the other parents succumbed to. From about Season Nine onwards however, Randy's motives became more selfish and childish, having his family in collateral damage for whatever fad he takes to and leaving even the other brain dead residents of South Park dumbfounded by his behavior.
Cartman is an interesting case:
In the early seasons, his anti-Semitic streak was relatively mild and was nothing more than making fun of Kyle not celebrating Christmas. Between Seasons 5 and 15, it is FAR more prominent, to the point where, in "The Passion Of The Jew", he tries to instigate his own Holocaust.
That said, Character Development arguably resulted in an inversion of this trope, too. Originally, he was a spoiled brat, selfish and racist. However, it was not until the Season 5 episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die" where his Jerk Ass level reaches inhuman ends, and finally succeeding. This was the largest Cartman characterization of being really wicked.
Cartman has generally gotten more intelligent over the years. Originally, his selfish, impulsive behaviour stemmed from his absolute inability to think beyond his momentary desires. Now, however, he's usually running mental circles around Stan and Kyle and his evilness is premeditated, revealing him as an absolute villain. His whining used to only sway his mother and leave everybody else absolutely unmoved, but now he's a master of manipulation and can play huge crowds like a fiddle. Given that South Park has Flanderized its characters mainly to allow them to fit into the increasing "Plot of the Week" format, Cartman's role has often been repurposed to that of villain and instigator. In this format Kyle is almost always trying to combat his schemes, turning them from friends who rip on each other to mortal enemies.
There was another strong Flanderization in Cartman in Season 16, where he was scaled down a little. While he remained manipulative and petty, his goals were pulled back from murderous and sadistic to simply childish and selfish.
Kyle went from being the voice of reason and Cartman's contrast to a stuck-up genius prude and flak magnet, sometimes being almost as much of a Butt Monkey as Butters. His rivalry with Cartman also increased to the point where it took up B-plots (if not the whole plot) of episodes.
Butters himself started out as one of the 'weird' kids but otherwise normal. Now he's an Unpopular Popular Character with occasional moments of brilliance. This Flanderization seems to have been slightly better received. However there are concerns that he risks becoming a Dumb Is Good character if his naïvete increases.
Wendy Testaburger used to be little more than a prepubescent Hello, Nurse! character whose very appearance would cause Stan (who had a mild crush on her, but it was exaggerated in The Movie) to vomit nervously, other than an episode that showed her to have dangerous jealous tendencies. Her intelligence and general competence, and her legitimacy as a character in her own right, have grown exponentially. In other words, she went from being just a normal, level-headed little girl to the most awesome person in the whole school, especially with her No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of Cartman (after he mocked her one too many times).
Butters' parents. When they first appeared, they grounded Butters for pulling a "goofy face" in his school picture because his hair was out of place. It was actually his normal face, but it was the school that thought otherwise and Butters' parents simply believed them. The first sign of the Flanderization occurs when they beat him mercilessly at the end of "Jared Has Aides." Afterwards, they seem to punish Butters for merely existing.
Sheila's Moral Guardian soapboxing evolved from mass protests to an actual war.
The show itself twice. The show started out as nothing more than Rugrats meets Peanuts for an adult audience and had many plots focusing on the kids themselves, to the point of where the kids and the adults were as equally important to the show. However, by Season 5, the show had changed it's tone to become more satirical and have much more of a mature atmosphere compared to the later seasons, satirizing a few current events and developing the characters.
The show received a second Flanderization, much more severe than the first. When Bill Hader came onto the writing team in Season 12, all the characters were flanderized to act like teenagers, and the show began satirizing current events in every episode (Which has lead to We're Still Relevant, Dammit plots). Not to mention that many characters that weren't flanderized before had received flanderization, and the show as a whole became much more mean-spirited. Not to mention that since Hader came on the team, the show has unexpectedly gained more teenagers as it's audience (As opposed to the show's early years, where it was mostly popular with adults).
In the pre-cancellation episodes, Sponge Bob Square Pants in many ways was like an underwater, sea-sponge version of Tommy Pickles from Rugrats. The "earnest everyman" aspect of Spongebob's personality has been completely downplayed to make him gratuitously obnoxious and annoying rather than merely naive and eccentric. Now he's gone into stalker levels of creepiness when it comes to Squidward, copying his entire house down to the very last detail and heavily breathing whenever he calls.
It's shown the most during his driving. When he appears having failed the test 38 times, it's apparently because he gets so damn nervous behind the wheel, he floors it, causing misery for Mrs. Puff and anyone else, DESPITE knowing everything (something that is actually a bit realistic). Now? He's a Giftedly Bad driver who puts everyone in danger behind the wheel to the point where he's a Sponge of Mass Destruction.
Mr. Krabs went from being a typical greedy yet usually well-intentioned boss to being borderline Faux Affably Evil with an over-exaggerated Money Fetish who would go through several kinds of hell just to retrieve a single penny. One newer episode portrayed him as more obsessed with money as an object rather than for its value. While his greed was always prominent, he at least had some feasible redeeming aspects and morals to balance it out, his fatherly role with Spongebob and Pearl for example. In later episodes, aside from some Jerkass qualities, his money-lust seems to be his sole defining trait, thus it is a pretty valid example of Flanderization, albeit Depending on the Writer admittedly. It's also worthwhile noting that in earlier seasons, Krabs usually did receive his comeuppance every now and then with his (sometimes morally questionable) schemes. In later seasons, this is the total opposite — Krabs is practically Karma Houdiniincarnate, considering that he somehow gets away scot-free with anything he does nowadays (ranging from theft to poisoning his customers to even driving people to suicide), sometimes leaving someone to take the blame/pay the price. There are even times near the end of some episodes when it looks like Krabs is about to receive his comeuppance (or in rare cases, actually does), but something happens at the end that puts the situation in Krabs's favor, if not lets him escape punishment entirely.
Squidward's Butt Monkey role was transformed from mere Laser-Guided Karma to a mix of outright Comedic Sociopathy and Kafka Komedy, with nearly every entity in Bikini Bottom genuinely out to make him miserable. This could arguably be considered a skewed form of Character Development since it made his Jerkass (admittedly with a Heart of Gold) demeanor far more justified. Squidward's hatred of Spongebob has also been flanderized, though. For example, in one of the early-season Christmas specials, he gives away everything he owns so that Spongebob won't cry. In a later-season episode, when Spongebob bursts into tears after Squidward convinces him that he can no longer laugh or smile again, Squidward just walks away with a smirk, saying "Oh, I hate it when he's sad. But I hate it even MORE when he's happy".
Sandy, originally a science geek with Only Sane Man tendencies, eventually gained a self-awareness of her many talents and evolved into a rowdy Ted Baxter. They've also completely phased out her Texas Cowgirl tendencies for her scientist role, despite that her inventor traits were almost mute over the first few seasons.
Which actually makes sense if you consider The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie to be the ending (Which it was until Nickelodeon did some Executive Meddling and forced the producers to uncancel the show). If you compare the movie to the pre-movie episodes you find that a lot of things don't make sense, such as Spongebob considered a "kid" when in Pre Revival episodes he appears to be somewhat childish but a well-likable person, yet everyone in Bikini Bottom called him an asshole ("A goofball, a wingnut and a KNUCKLE-HEAD McSpazitron!"), also the Pre-cancellation Plankton doesn't seem like he'll go overboard and MIND CONTROL EVERYONE in BIKINI BOTTOM and KILL HIS RIVAL (sure they hate each other in the business department but doesn't seem like they would kill each other). Then the post-movie episodes come out and slowly but surely we see the events that lead up to the movie. As Mr. Krabs becomes more greedy and crosses the Moral Event Horizon Plankton snaps from an Affably EvilPunch Clock Villain to an Ax-CrazyChessmaster in order to get back at Mr. Krabs, while everyone in Bikini Bottom becomes sick of Spongebob's ridiculous, often cataclysmic antics.
Roger's affinity for costumes and dress up acts in American Dad!, to the point some take overhis personality. His Jerkass traits also initially just came with the quirkiness of his personality and were much more toned down. As time progressed, his callousness is canonically accepted as his defining trait (to the point he'll actually diewithout acting consistantly cruel). Most of his complexities from early episodes such as his loneliness and the fact he is an extra terrestrial are barely referred to in favor of making him essentially a cross-dressing version of Peter Griffin.
This seems to be downplayed in the last season of the original run on FOX, as Roger is hardly shown and is seen joining in for the most part with the other characters and acting less like a sociopath.
Klaus, while somewhat pitiful at first due to his transformation, was more upbeat and quite the Jerkass at times. As episodes progressed, his depression and loneliness kicked in more and more, along with becoming more and more a consistant Butt Monkey from the Smith's neglect and abuse. However, it should be noted he is still treated with a lot more respect and dignity by the family, the writers and the fans in comparison to say, Meg from Family Guy.
A big part of Klaus's character in early seasons was his sexual obsession with Francine, which has completely vanished over time. Two particular episodes seem to indicate where Klaus gave up and where Francine started disliking him: "Finances with Wolves", where Klaus gets a human body and tries to seduce Francine (and she finds out) and "Big Trouble in Little Langley" where Francine commits Snub by Omission after the house catches fire and, when she tries to correct her mistake, is told by an angry Klaus "Too fucking late." Admittedly this may have been for the best, as before then he was, like Roger above, a German version of Brian Griffin.
Early episodes have brief scenes that imply Principal Lewis had a checkered past, but overall he was shown as a responsible and respectable educator. Later episodes make him a wildly irresponsible drug addict who could never behave in an appropriate manner, even around students. Some see it as a good thing, as he was a fairly generic character. Lampshaded in one episode post-Flanderization where Steve outright says "I have a hard time believing you're an educator, Brian."
Steve's obsession with losing his virginity.
Hayley seems to have suffered an almost reverse-Flanderization: In the beginning, she was always expressing her leftist views; as the series went on, she was seen less and less, and when she was seen, she would just be used to deliver exposition, or as the butt of jokes with her husband Jeff.
Stan was always something of a bumbling sociopath, but it originated more from his ego and right wing extremities, and at times he diverged from Seth Macfarlane's traditional Bumbling Dad role by proving to have Hidden Depths and some amount of tact (to the point of having spaced moments he was actually right about something). As time passed however, the necessity for Stan to learn An Aesopevery episode led to him becoming increasingly moronic and childish, and his Badass CIA agent qualities have been increasingly degraded in favor of making him a borderline Straw Loser for the rest of the Smiths. Basically Stan evolved from a slightly smarter right wing Peter Griffin to just being another Peter Griffin.
Haley Long in American Dragon Jake Long went from being a slightly above average intelligence, slightly precocious, generally well behaved 8 year old girl in season one, to an absolute Child ProdigyAttention WhoreAnnoying Younger Sibling who loves rubbing her brother's nose in her achievements by season two. She also has almost physical revolution to the idea of misbehavior in season two whereas by contrast in season one she didn't bat a eye lid at sneaking out with Jake to go to a rock concert.
The characters in An American Tail don't get too flanderized in the movies, except maybe for Tiger becoming a dim-witted coward throughout the sequels, but this may be forgiven because he wasn't given much screentime to develop in the first movie. However in the TV series Fievel's American Tails, flanderization affects nearly all of the characters. Fievel's fascination with the wild west becomes a complete obsession that nearly defines his entire character, Tiger becomes cowardly and a complete imbecile (amped up much further than in any of the movies), Cat R. Waul goes from being Affably Evil to the Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, the list goes on.
Norbert and Daggett of The Angry Beavers. Daggett was always the less intelligent of the two, even in season 1, but he still sometimes had moments of brilliance such as in the episode Bug-A-Boo, or Euro Beavers. However, by the show's final season, Daggett devolved into a complete hulking moron. In the episode The Loogie Hawk, he can't even locate the elusive hawk even after reading a sign that says, "LOOGIE HAWK: RIGHT THIS WAY". Norbert, on the other hand, being the older brother regularly picked on Daggett throughout the series, but usually in a playful way. By season 5, Norb had become downright MEAN towards Dag. In the episode Specs Appeal, he actually cons Dag out of his own money, even though Norb has his own stash of BILLIONS OF DOLLARS in a secret vault!
In the first half of Season 1 of Archer Cheryl goes from being unstable and mildly neurotic to insane and psychopathic. She's actually funnier and more endearing post-Flanderization, in a rare positive example.
Another positive example happened with Pam: she goes from complete lonely and pathetic sad sack to the biggest badass in the cast.
ISIS itself was Flanderized: in early seasons, they were a somewhat dysfunctional but still competent organization. As the series progressed, they became a full blown Incompetence, Inc. with all their missions ending in complete failure and resorting to increasingly harebrained schemes to stay afloat.
Batman: The Animated Series: Somewhere between the early seasons and the later "new look" seasons, Batman went from a caring and compassionate man with some anger issues to the mostly cold grim vigilante most people recognize. It works mostly (unless he goes the full Jerkass route) but its a bit odd when you're rewatching the series. Some of the villains go from conflicted neurotics who seemed like they could be saved to simpler hardened criminals although this is usually justified as them giving up on a normal life after failed attempts at reform.
This could be attributed to the growing number of youthful, idealistic foils introduced by Executive Meddling. The higher-ups became increasingly convinced that Batman was too old for the Target Audience to relate to, hence the addition of Robin, Batgirl, the other Robin and very nearly Creeper. Some of Batman's worst Jerkass moments resulted from his use as a foil for the sidekicks, as seen in the episodes "Old Wounds", "Never Fear" and "Growing Pains". This had the effect of making Batman considerably less likable and, ironically, less relatable, although it worked in Batman Beyond when he was 80. It's at least justified for "Never Fear" considering Batman was under the effects of Scarecrow's gas.
The Mad Hatter started out a quite menacing and fairly serious villain (at least by the standards of the show). He did grow more dangerous as time went on - but unfortunately he also got sillier, so that by the end of the series he was a ridiculous (if still sadistic) fruitcake constantly spouting Joker-like puns. He also physically shrunk, so in his last episode he looks barely taller than an Ewok!
In Transformers: Beast Wars, Silverbolt began as an idealistic, over-the-top Paladin-type who followed chivalry and loyalty to often comedic extremes. His relationship with Blackarachnia nearly took over his character by the third season, though it was written with some level of competency. More egregious is Blackarachnia's overnight transformation from Dark Action Girl who, oh, had a boyfriend into a romantic who would stop at nothing, including disloyalty and downright foolishness to get her lover back in Beast Machines. For that matter everybody in Beast Machines underwent some Flanderization as compared to Beast Wars.
And speaking of things involving Mike Judge, Beavis and Butt-Head started out as immature, Jerkass, not-particularly-bright teenage delinquents. Eventually the "not particularly bright" part of their characters consumed them—Beavis became The Ditz, while Butt-head was only The Smart Guy compared to Beavis. They both go through life completely oblivious to the world around them and ignore important things said to them to point out sexual innuendoes. This made them much funnier.. In the revival, there's a case of a De-Flanderized trait. Beavis & Butt-Head while their stupidity remains, are geniunely seen as smarter & more self aware of the world.
Ben 10 has an unusual case of an inanimate object being flanderized over the course of the show's run. The Omnitrix's tendency to turn Ben into the wrong alien or time out at exactly the wrong moment is slowly exaggerated over the course of the show's run; in early episodes, it's fairly reliable, only doing this once every few episodes, with the implication being that Ben's inexperience with and ignorance of a mysterious and complex alien device is the culprit. In later seasons, the watch screws him over so many times in a single episode that one can't help but wonder if it hasn't developed both sentience and a malicious sense of humor.
It could even be a case of Fridge Brilliance if the device has indeed gained a mind of its own. The Omnitrix could be subtly training him, thinking "Yes, I'm sure that powerset would be the perfect way to get you out of this mess. However, let's see how creative you can be if I instead, hand you this powerset." Doesn't hurt for Ben to not become too set in his ways of thinking how to use these powers, after all.
In the first two seasons of Alien Force, Gwen was initially a calm, soft-spoken and responsible person who is less snarky, but has occasional Tsundere outbursts. By the third season onwards she more consistently acts as an sternly serious, moody, headstrong, hot-headed, stubborn, snarky and occasionally aggressive teenager who becomes easily irritated.
This goes without mentioning Ben. Somehow, he went from being an incredibly arrogant, selfish, brash ten-year-old, to a reincarnation of Jesus just five years later. For some reason, he decided to give up his use of the omnitrix in a way that's never explained. To say this was character development would be false, as in season 2 onwards, he suddenly becomes a narcissistic egoist.
Ben himself was Flanderized in an Ultimate Alien episode where his ten year old self appeared. Somehow, Ben as a ten-year-old is even less well behaved than the Ben from Ben 10.
Amazingly, Ben 10: Omniverse put it even further by flanderizing his ten years old incarnation again. Ben from the original show was an immature brat, sure, but he would get serious when actual danger showed up, and show a more mature, softer side on occasion. This show portrays him in the flashbacks as obnoxious, bumbling and even more of a Jerkass than he was in Ultimate Alien.
Omniverse has slowly pushed Ben out of the flanderizing traits he developed in Ultimate Alien, as evidenced with the episode "Malefactor." Ben used to be all about fame, but here, he calls out a fan for not realizing that his job involves a very real sense of danger.
This sadly wasn't permanent; in later episodes, his flanderization comes back especially in the third story arc: he neglects the danger represented by 'his ownArch-Enemy in Vilgax Must Croak, starts acting cocky again, and his Character Rerailment is generally undone. Even the Omnitrix is flanderized further when it turns out it has an entire function to cause Ben to turn randomly into various aliens without any control.
Panini from Chowder — yeah, you wouldn't think it judging from the short run, but... compare her actions towards Chowder in "Chowder's Girlfriend", where she was just simply clingy and overeager about her love, to the 2nd season episode "Panini for President", where she practically goes insane and flatout admits that she wanted to be president so she can pass laws making Chowder "her property."
This is lampshaded by Panini saying "I need a new hobby." after being rejected by Chowder in an episode.
In her first appearance, she actually REJECTS Chowder when he asks her out, saying that "I need my space." Yet the Panini seen in later episodes seems determined to be around Chowder at all times.
Chowder himself too, having transformed from a typical naive little boy to a flat-out dumbass.
Numbuh Three (Kuki Sanban)'s ditziness. Originally, she was at least as useful as the others (albiet scatterbrained), but soon became a hyperactive ditz who's only usefull when Rainbow Monkey dolls are the case.
Numbuh Four's stupidity. Originally, he was actually somewhat smart, he'd only lose control of himself when angry or afraid, such as in "Operation P.I.A.N.O." or "Operation L.I.C.E.". By the second season, he's become so stupid that however he even managed to get past second grade is a mystery.
Painfully obvious if you've seen the first few seasons of the show, in which he was slow-witted and aggressive, but not dumb, and a pretty decent fighter. As the series went on, he can't even spell now and his "fighting skills'' are all an Informed Ability. It was thankfully reverted in the Distant Finale where he's a very successful doctor.
Katz from Courage the Cowardly Dog is an odd example. In his early appearances ("A Night at the Katz Motel" and "Klub Katz") his evil misdeeds were completely For the Evulz and certainly came to be disturbing and solidly creepy, but later, with attempts to kill people certainly had reason to do so, and indeed in "Ball of Revenge" seems to have become a little more affable to ally with his old foe Eustace to eliminate Courage.
While there were a few characters in Daria who had this happen, the two most notable were probably Jake Morgendorffer and Tiffany Blum-Deckler. Jake went from being an ineffectual, easily-confused father with clear family issues to being an obsessive, infantile rageaholic Cloudcuckoolander and the show's Butt Monkey. Tiffany, conversely, was initially portrayed as being a somewhat narcissistic yes-woman to either Sandi or Quinn, depending on which one she was speaking to at the time. By the time the third season came around, though, her self-absorbed nature and incredibly slow speech patterns has developed to the point where it's a miracle that she's even made it through elementary school without having to repeat a few grades.
Also subverted by the arc of Stacy Rowe, where her insecurity and panicky nature was initially Flanderized, but then over the course of the fifth season and series finale gained enough self-confidence that she became capable of standing up for herself and making her own decisions.
This was invoked in the episode "Psycho Therapy", where everyone is asked to imitate each other.
Ms. Barch (the man-hating science teacher) is an odd case. On the one hand, her simple hatred of men was Flanderized in later episodes to the point that she has used violence against her students and coworkers. On the other hand, she doesn't hate all men as she did in the early episodes. As of "The Daria Hunter" (from season two), Mr. O'Neill is the only man she loves (and brutally makes out with), even forgiving him when she sees him hold onto the waist of another woman (as seen in "Just Add Water"), abandoning her in the woods ("Anti-Social Climbers"), and falling for his allegedly assertive side after Mr. O'Neill is forced to break off his engagement to her ("Is It College Yet?")
One could argue that, after the initial Flanderization, her relationship with Mr. O'Neill helped to cool her down a bit—compare her bitter rants in "The Lab Brat" to her relatively mild comments in "Fizz Ed" about Orion "needing to carry a weapon to feel like a man." One could argue that this just means she was Flanderized into being O'Neill's girlfriend first and a Straw Feminist second.
Also visible with the friendship between Quinn and Sandi. Originally, the two were somewhat friends (though any viewer could sense the slight animosity behind their "friendly" compliments). by season two, Sandi begins to try to sabotage Quinn for no other reason but jealousy. In season three, she begins to succeed, but Quinn remains popular. In season four, the two's rivalry has reached a boiling point, to the point the two have nightmares about the other cutting and ruining each other's hair. Could count as character development, however, and the two become closer in season five (somewhat).
Mandark of Dexter's Laboratory in the post-finale seasons was pretty much defined by his hamminess and crush on Dee-Dee.
Toot was originally the show's "bitch", but as time went on and she kept being called "fat", Toot actually gained more and more sympathy, eventually becoming an Unpopular Popular Character.
Meanwhile, Princess Clara completely took over Toot's previous role. Originally starting off as a kind hearted, easily lovable, yet naive, and unintentionally racist and homophobic Disney Princess to a cruel, god-fearing Alpha Bitch who flaunts her beauty every chance she gets and a outright Knight Templarfundamentalist christian.
Spanky evolves from being a malicious, greedy sadist to a mischievous party animal whose worst antics are defecating on pizza.
It could be argued that Spanky experienced flanderization in reverse since the sole premise of his character was to be crass and offensive. This alone provided little millage, especially since the whole show was generally crass and offensive anyway. In later episodes he is, if anything, more sane than the other characters and sometimes acts as the Straight Man to counter the insanity around him.
Captain Hero went from a respected Super Hero with closeted gay tendencies and a frat boy personality to a completely disrespected loser who considers having sex with dead bodies better than coming out of the closet.
Foxxy went from being a mystery solving hot chick who would occasionally display humorous racial stereotypes to the token who represented every black stereotype in the book.
Both cases of Flanderization were reversed mostly by the final season, likely due to downplaying the Villain Protagonist dynamic introduced after the pilot and attempting to play the heroes as more sympathetic characters.
Zigzagged for Rufus, who started off as a Cloud Cuckoo LanderBadass Normal in the pilot. Between the duration of Season One and Two Rufus became more lucid but increasingly incompetent, diluted to two aspects of his personality at best (his daydreaming and doing something stupid forAmberley to rebuke) and relying on contrived luck or the Urpneys' own stupidity to achieve anything. Season Four reversed back some of his downgrade, reverting him back to a dippy but occasionally rather clever character.
Zordrak, while always an iconic Bad Boss, was at least somewhat reserved and calculating early on. As seasons progressed his temper and hamminess increased, leading him to act as something of a demonic Pointy-Haired Boss. He also went from merely plotting from within home ground and occasionally having physical involvement, to an ineffectual despot whose minions did all the work for him the majority of the time.
DuckTales has an in-universe case. When Scrooge winds up getting amnesia and going missing, Fenton attempts to pose as him to prevent his boss from losing a business deal regarding selling one of his factories. The only problem is, Fenton's portrayal of him is incredibly exaggerated: he's such a penny pincher the first thing he does is cut the allowance he gives the nephews. The real Scrooge has wound up getting a job at said factory and eventually winds up organizing a strike for the other workers. By the time he recovers his memory, Fenton's overly stingy version of him opens his eyes to some of his more rotten characteristics.
On Ed, Edd n Eddy, Ed went from a somewhat dim oaf with a love of comic books and horror movies to a non-sequitur-spouting Ditz who seems unable to differentiate fantasy from reality, Edd went from a somewhat obsessively organized boy genius who was the voice of reason protesting Eddy's crazier schemes to a borderline hypochondriac goody-two-shoes, and Eddy lost most of the "loveable" part of his Loveable Rogue personality and became more violent, manic, and surly. Again, that just covers the main characters.
The episode "All Eds Are Off!" had this exaggerated and/or played for laughs. The Eds, Kevin, Rolf and Jonny gave up their flanderized habits:
The "Truth or Dare" episode had in-universe Flanderization done by the Ed's when they were dared to act like each other. Ed lampshades this when commenting on Double D's impersonation of him.
Edd (pretending to be Ed): Gravy!
Ed: Come on Double D I don't say "gravy" all the time.
Edd: Buttered toast then!
While Jimmy was never all that masculine (he's just a kid whose best friend is a girl), he became borderline Camp Gay by the end of the series.
In the Pilot Movie for Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Bloo was only slightly mischievous. As the series had progressed, some fans have complained that Bloo had became progressively more anarchic, selfish, and obnoxious, reaching Jerkass levels in later seasons.
Cheese went from "four-year-old with special needs" to "barely sentient baby" by his second appearance.
Shipwreck from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero was originally a confident sailor with a Deadpan Snarker side. Though he did have a lazy (and occasionally bumbling) side, he also cared deeply about the Joe team and stopping Cobra, while his emotional side could be seen in episodes like Memories of Mara and There's No Place like Springfield. By Season 2 though, he became completely incompetent and his laziness became his main trait (in one episode it was stated that he had no ambition or ability, by Hawk of all people).
Arnold from Hey Arnold! was conspicuously Flanderized toward the end of the series. In the beginning of the series, he was an honest but down-to-earth, regular kid who did the right thing at the end despite sometimes letting himself get carried away occasionally (sometimes even to the point of being a Jerkass briefly, just like regular children). However, in later seasons he becomes a completely incorruptible real-life incarnation of Confucius (and possibly a fortune cookie), whose friends always consult his deep ethical wisdom in whatever subject was discussed and was willing to "do the right thing" no matter what the consequences would bring. Rather than being just another one of the neighborhood kids, he became the ultimate source for all children for advice, practically raising him into Jesus status with his deep, analytical advice and extreme consideration for ethics. The fact that this is a 4th grader we're talking about makes his Flanderization all the more blatant.
Though many of the children are much more mature than kids in real life, what makes Arnold stand out in this regard was that many ADULTS would come to him for help. Some fans have complained that this Flanderization made Arnold the most bland character of his own show. YMMV, however, as those seasons are still well-regarded by the fanbase.
Inspector Gadget, mainly his intelligence. It's different in each episode (for example, he's smarter than usual in "Haunted Castle", and his main problem in "The Boat", where he actually almost pulled off an Obfuscating Stupidity-esque stunt but got caught at the last second, was that he suspected EVERYONE and thus didn't find the real bad guys in time), but the trend is as follows: He started off as Inspector Oblivious, progressing to The Ditz and then Too Dumb to Live. His pride and vanity are exaggerated as the series progresses, too. Gadget's stupidity and obliviousness were taken Up to Eleven where spin-offs like Gadget And The Gadgetinis were concerned.
Gaz was originally just a Creepy Child who would occasionally act overly-dramatic over minor inconveniences: for example, in the first episode she declares that her brother "will pay!" for drinking the last soda, but then gets some orange juice and acts perfectly calm when he enters the room a moment later. Later episodes make her far more violent, beating him up numerous times for perceived slights. And that's not even going into how creepy the fanfiction can make her.
Also Dib, who was always something of the Straight Man (at least compared to Zim) but who still seemed a bit manic and gullible in early episodes. By the end he seemed far saner (though still a bit naive), as well as far less optimistic that anyone will ever believe him about Zim. Arguably counts as Character Development, however, since a lot of this would fit with his experiences fighting Zim throughout the series. As well as Dib's (an everyone else's) awareness/obsession/neurosis about the size of his head.
While the jokes at the beginning of the series focused on his machismo and subsequent inability to attract women, Johnny's stupidity and immaturity were greatly exaggerated in seasons two and three of Johnny Bravo, to the point where he was even classified as the village idiot by his peers in at least one episode. These elements were downplayed after Van Partible (the show's creator who was absent during those seasons) came back onto the show's staff, and Johnny was returned to his more well-adjusted season 1 personality.
Dr. Drakken was introduced in the first season as a super villain underdog who, despite some quirks, was threatening to the world and Kim. From Season 2 and onwards, the creators took his quirks and made him a full-blown General Failure. And yet, he was still able to seriously threaten Kim and, indeed, the world, in So the Drama.
Petrie was initially cowardly and could be a bit of a jerk from time to time. As the series progressed, however, his cowardice has been increased to the point of full blown superstition. In the TV series he refuses to fly over a volcano based on the theory that it would make said volcano angry and cause it to erupt.
Subverted with Cera. In the early films she disagrees with Littlefoot simply out of pride and wanting to be the leader. As the series goes on her dissents become increasingly rational and thought out.
In the original Lilo & Stitch movie, after seeing Stitch build a model of San Francisco out of bits and bobs from Lilo's room and then proceeding to wreck it, she tells him she's never going to give him any more caffeine. The later animated series amplifies this side note into "give Stitch coffee, and he goes completely berserk".
They did this to Pleakly as well. There was a short joke in the original movie about him secretly putting on his wig when he was alone "because it made him feel pretty", but in the series, he lost all pretense of masculinity and was even called "Aunt Pleakly".
Both Pelekai sisters. Lilo, compared to her TV counterpart, was a bit more mature for her age despite her weirdness, which also got a bit of the boost. Nani, on the other hand, has this problem with her anger. In the movies, this was because of being pressured to find a job to support herself and her sister. The TV series make her come off as a bit of a bitch at times, like in "Bonnie & Clyde", where she grounds Lilo & Stitch for "running around the house and burping".
Bugs Bunny seemed to go through some reverse Flanderization, as he is now usually more down to earth to the point of sometimes being the Only Sane Man. But that got somewhat flanderized too, to the point of almost becoming the show's Purity Sue.
Rico and Mort's one scene moments in the first Madagascar movie have been cranked Up to Eleven in the spin-off. In one scene in the first movie, the penguins were trapped in a cage, so Skipper commands Rico to break them out. Rico coughs up a hairpin and sets them free. This has been completely flanderized into making Rico regurgitate anything when given the chance. In another scene, the lemurs were hiding in the shrubbery, and at one point, Mort clings King Julien's feet for security. This evolves into a running gag, and an obsession. In fact, there was even an episode where Julien had it up to his crown with Mort's obsession of touching the former's feet that the latter was banished temporarily.
Also Julien's selfishness, incompetence, ego and stupidity (and his weird accent, although this could be chalked up to Danny Jacobs replacing Sacha Baron Cohen), Maurice's Butt Monkey status, Kowalski's intelligence and Skipper's paranoia. Everyone bar Private was Flanderized.
In the earlier Making Fiends original web cartoon, Charlotte was a very optimisticNaïve Newcomer who tried to see the best in everything and everyone, albeit with a scant sense of logic and a few realistic dislikes every little girl would have. Later in the web series and in the TV series, she is a virtually indestructible PollyannaIdiot Houdini, and "Tee hee!" with other exclamations of joy have become her Verbal Tics instead of her catchphrases. The only thing that shuts off her smile is when she hears a poem about a cat in danger, for no reason other than to the inconvenience of Vendetta. Vendetta, the Villain Protagonist, had less of this than Charlotte, but she went from a narcissistic card-carrying bully with supernatural abilities to a stereotypical villain who abuses the Evil Laugh (which was originally an occasional giggle), and her obsession with clams goes all the way to the name of the town. However, this was probably all deliberate to make the girls bigger foils of each other.
The episode "Too Many Pinkie Pies" (season 3, episode 3) pretty much parodies this trope, as the clones are basically extremely flanderized versions of Pinkie.
Twilight Sparkle was initially a fairly lucid if prudish student who simply had poor social skills. As episodes pass, her geeky, finicky qualities are exaggerated more and more, giving her Super OCD qualities and a tendency for neurotic snit fits. Her acerbic qualities also faded, making her more naive and hammy.
Reversed for Applejack, who was originally more a Hot-Blooded cowgirl, with most of her Aesops concerning her occasionally self righteous or short fused demeanor (especially concerning her rivalry with Rainbow Dash). After Season One she mellowed out into a more laid back Team Mom, and is the most likely of the six to convey a "normal" point of view. Though she does get occasional Character Checks to her original personality.
Pinkie Pie's hyperactivity and Adult Child tendencies are much more pronounced in Season 4 than in previous seasons.
Pete in Disney's cartoons: from the mere pursuer of a typical cartoon pursuer-pursuee relationship with Mickey to a criminal mastermind. This was parodied in Kingdom Hearts II when he time traveled and met his former self.
Phineas Flynn went from being an occasionally snarky genius Everykid trying to have some fun during summer vacation to being optimism and enthusiasm personified. It's gotten to the point that if the writers want to pull some OOC Is Serious Business, all they have to do is have him act mildly irritated.
Also happens In-Universe in "Split Personality", where Candace becomes split into two selves representing her biggest obsessions: busting Phineas and Ferb and Jeremy.
Buford started off as a Jerkass bully who beats up everybody, but soon evolved into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold until he was just a slightly edgy kid who beats up Baljeet a few times an episode.
Dr. Doofenshmirtz, once able to take Perry in a fight or actually pose a credible threat, gets progressively more inept and silly, barely posing any sort of challenge whatsoever.
In the first season The Mayor was more absent-minded than anything else, then they switched to make him more stupid after that and continued increasing his stupidity in subsequent seasons. By the final two he'd become a Too Dumb to LiveMan Child. Additionally, his love for pickles went from being a one-shot joke in the first season to one of the things his life primarily revolved around in future episodes, and even The Movie.
Mojo Jojo is an interesting case. In The Movie, he was probably one of the biggest threats of the series, however, the first seasons prove otherwise, that he was just a Harmless Villain. Although seasons 4 and 5 seemed to show that he still remains an effective villain, as in the case of kidnapping and attempted murder in many cases to Professor Utonium.
Inverted on Regular Show, which has actually downplayed some of the cast's defining traits. Benson and Muscle Man have grown increasingly kind to Mordecai and Rigby (and have abandoned their respective Catch Phrases of "You're fired!" and "You know who else ____? MY MOM!"); Skips has gone from a stoic The Ace to showing actual emotion; and Margaret has evolved from the token female to a caring Women Are Wiser type.
That being said, Rigby has gone through flanderization in recent episodes, even venturing into Jerk Ass territory, with the way he treats Mordecai, Skips, Benson, etc., and especially the way he intervenes with Mordecai's attempts to get with Margaret. *** Rigby has always been like this since the first series, but the trope was downplayed for a while, then reemerged. Rigby's personality prevents anybody from stealing the attention away from him - that's why he doesn't like Mordecai hanging out with Don or Margaret, and why he gets annoyed when he has to clean THEIR room in Wall Buddy even though he was the one who made the mess. *** However, there's definitely flanderization in action with Mordecai and Rigby's obsession with rapping. It's been obnoxiously overused in recent episodes. They used to just do it whilst doing work, which would annoy Benson, but now will do it about anything random in many episodes. It's likely this is used for filler because the raps can sometimes go on for quite long in relation to the 10 minute episode time.
In the original John Kricfalusi episodes of The Ren & Stimpy Show, Ren was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who despite his greedy and egotistical behavior and physical abuse towards Stimpy, deeply cared for his best friend. The episodes produced by Games Animation after John K's firing greatly reduced Ren's most sympathetic traits, turning him into a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk with no real affection towards Stimpy. Also, while Ren in the Spumco episodes would be only driven into psychotic rage in the most mentally taxing of situations (i.e. "Space Madness"), Games Ren would yell and scream at the slightest provocation.
Zigzagged for Adult Party Cartoon. While Ren is still far more sociopathic than in the earlier Spumco episodes (and perhaps even the Games ones), he has at least some palpable softer or repentant moments like before.
Rugrats (which is very strange for a longrunner) cleverly avoided this trope for the most part with the exception of the baby speak, but Chuckie was flanderized, going back as far as season 2. In the first season, he was more of the cautious baby that occasionally got scared of certain things. But by season 2, this is amped up to 11 to the point where he is scared of Wilford Brimley.
Angelica has actually suffered this twice. In the first season, she was more of a Jerkass who hardly had any sympathy for other characters but herself, but by seasons 2 and 3, she became more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with a Jerkass moment here and there.
By later seasons, Angelica was flanderized again to the point of her Jerk with a Heart of Gold status overshadowing her Jerkass status from earlier seasons, meaning that her Jerkass moments were only there occasionally and to a usually more petty and ineffectual degree.
Fred used to be somewhat intelligent (though not as much as Velma) and serious about the mysteries. However, beginning with A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Fred was "dumbed down", and thus began to constantly use the "Let's Split Up, Gang!" catchphrase, believe in wild crazy theories about aliens and monsters, and blame the neighborhood bully Red Herring at the end of each mystery for being the monster (99% of the time, it wasn't Red.) This also carried over to What's New, Scooby-Doo?, when in addition to his trademark ascot, his seriousness and intelligence had also disappeared, and was now in love with the Mystery Machine, and was somewhat not very cool anymore (any attempts to impress the others usually failed miserably). Daphne wasn't immune to this either; she changed from the sexy "danger-prone" eye candy she originally was into a rich valley girl that was paranoid about messing up her hair and clothes, and would often be the one to get the gang out of trouble when Fred would fail to do so.
In the 1980s series The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries and the The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Fred and Velma were gone and Daphne became the leader of the Scooby Gang and was more intelligent and the one solving the mysteries. She retained her original hotness with Velma's brains added in.
While Daphne Took a Level in Badass in the live-action movies and is usually considered to have been Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, the same films arguably flanderized Velma from being "the smart one" into being a one-dimensional stereotype of intelligence, swapping actual characterization out for supplying whatever obscure knowledge was necessary to make a given puzzle click.
Scooby-Doo himself was originally just scared easily but ever since What's New, Scooby-Doo? he has been looked upon as a full blown coward to the point just uttering the words haunted and place in the same sentence will make him run and hide for cover. The same with Shaggy as well.
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated leaves Scooby and Shaggy largely intact, but has taken a lot of flak for its alterations to everyone else. Fred's predominant trait has gone from choosing to be with the girls when the gang splits up to being obsessed with making traps, a small part of older Scooby plots, to the point that, quite contrary to his older role, he often ignores Daphne. Daphne herself has largely undergone re-Chickification thus far not displaying any Action Girl tendencies and being primarily focused on regaining Fred's attention. Velma, alas, may not be an exaggeration of her past persona but a completely changed character, having become a Clingy Jealous Girl to Shaggy.
Antoine of Sonic Sat AM was originally rather pompous and cowardly, but had some amount of lucidity and nobility. By Season Two however he is more or less a full time Straw Loser for Sonic, barely able to spend five seconds without saying or doing something stupid or narcissistic and acting like a full blown Dirty Coward. In retaliation Sonic's originally more playful rivalry towards Antoine evolved into flat out naked contempt (though the lengths of his other traits were usually more a case of Depending on the Writer).
Sonic did however become noticably more cocky and incompetent in the Second Season. More than half the episodes are devoted to Sonic making some sort of error out of recklessness and needing to be bailed out by the rest of the team.
Sally in contrast had her positive aspects exaggerated, starting off as a Not So Different Foil for Sonic in season 1 and then practically acting as his Hyper Competent Sidekick in season 2 to accommodate his increased recklessness.
The Warden of Superjail! started off as a goofy yet crafty and sadistic type, and was considered a powerful force in the jail to the point where he took over the world in a possible future timeline. In season 2, his childish side became more of the focus than his sadism, with him winding up easily getting his jail taken over twice, getting beaten up by his own inmates and made to cower from them, and generally becoming more outgoing yet naive (sometimes even Too Dumb to Live). These changes have been met with mixed reaction, while season 3 continued the emphasis on his man-child nature, showing him to drink grape juice and depicting him as clueless as to how sexual intercourse works.
Alice started out as being shown to abuse her power to force inmates to do humiliating things for her own pleasure. In season 2, her assertion of her femininity became more of the focal point, along with jokes about her bulge. Her initially one-time "date" from Superbar and his fear of her became a running gag, with her being shown to obsess over him and wanting to keep him hers.
While the Twins had been hinted to be something other than human, their limited screentime and characterization in season 2 ramped up their strangeness while confirming their alien status. Throughout their few appearances in the season, they were shown to consume all sorts of would-be toxic chemicals (including rat poison and bleach), depicted as having fangs, animated in a more stretchy fashion, and referring to blood as "human juice". Their status as troublemakers also seemed to be simplified to "Twins do something random" by the turn of season 3, save for an episode or two.
Turtles Forever flanderized '80s Shredder and Krang in just a couple of scenes. In the first half when the '80s Shredder is seen, he seems to genuinely want to kill the Turtles and isn't afraid to use deadly force (incompent maybe but still deadly in intent), and in frustration to kill them he summons his 2k3 counterpart. But by the second half he is whining over petty things and devolved into a Harmless Villain.
Baxter Stockman's amalgamation with a fly in the episode "Enter: The Fly" lowered his intelligence and put holes in his memory, but he was still able to perform fairly complex tasks, and put one of his previous inventions to use. Towards the end of the following season in "Bye Bye, Fly," he was even able to set an elaborate trap for Krang and Shredder. But his intelligence dropped in each of his appearances in Seasons 4-7. In "Son of Return of the Fly, Part II," he was easily distracted from his villainous plans by things like sugar. In "Landlord of the Flies," he sent a swarm of flies to engulf the Technodrome in Antarctica with obvious results. In his final appearance, "Revenge of the Fly," his distractions were so bad that he couldn't carry out the steps of his revenge scheme without getting constant reminders and pointers. This is actually Truth in Television when you realize that Baxter was part fly, and most insects have bad focus and terrible memories, so his extreme personification as an Absent-Minded Professor makes perfect sense when you think about it.
Slash also got stupider over time. Ironically, the first episode to do this, "Donatello Trashes Slash," was about him becoming a supergenius. It makes Slash's normal state noticeably stupider than in his début episode. His third and final appearance, as a supporting character in "Night of the Rogues," shows him barely even able to speak. Justified somewhat, because of the fact that he was a baby before he was mutated. Doesn't really explain his getting stupider, though.
Michaelangelo himself. When the series began, he was an incredibly ditzy and childish (but still likable) surfer boy who loved pizza with weird toppings. As the series continued, he became Too Dumb to Live, his love for pizza became outright SEXUAL, his taste in toppings became more and more disgusting and inedible, and his valley boy speak bordered on incomprehensible.
The HIVE kids were initially a competent villain team and the collective Evil Counterparts of the Titans, sliding into infighting and immaturity only when not "working". Later seasons flanderized them into being all incompetents (except for Jinx) who only won because they got lucky.
Their boss, Brother Blood, was in his first appearance a cool-headed, charismatic leader who only overacted when playing to an audience; later appearances made him a straight Large Ham.
Notably, the Titans themselves and Big Bad Slade inverted this trope; in the first few appearances they were defined by one or two traits (i.e. Robin was serious, Raven was a goth, Beast Boy was an immature jokester, Slade was a Card-Carrying Villain, etc.), but later appearances added a lot more depth to all of them.
Many characters on Thomas the Tank Engine have been hit hard with this trope, but special mention goes to Percy and James. Percy was initially intelligent and mischievous, if a bit naive. Since season 7, he has been smacked upside the head with Flanderization, becoming incredibly clueless and naive, and always needs help from someone else. James, similarly, started off the series as a cheerful and hard-working (if somewhat snobbish and conceited). As time went by, he gradually became a lazy, spoilt narcissist.
Gordon and Henry. In the earlier seasons, Gordon was somewhat pompous and would only occasionally brag about his importance. However, as the series went on, his ego increased to the point where he couldn't go for one minute without bragging about how great he is. Henry used to be somewhat depressed and timid, but could still stand up for himself. Since Season 8, he became an incredibly neurotic and miserable coward.
Edward started out as an old, sensible, and friendly engine. Around Series 6 the others suddenly lost all respect for him, and his old age led to him being portrayed as just feeble. More recently he's turned into sort of an attention whore who tries in vain to keep the others' respect.
Toby started out a Straight Man to the other engines, and was one of the most confident and efficient engines. As the show branched from the books, Toby gained a more Adorkable side, but aside from gaining his own token flawed moments, was still fairly competent. In later episodes, he is an outright Shrinking Violet, gaining similar feeble tendancies as Edward and frequently conveying self esteem issues or cowardice.
Thomas himself started out as a snarky trickster in the first two series. In Series 3 he started becoming more friendly, but still thick-skinned. Starting around Series 8, his universally good-natured side took over, and he suddenly needed validation every time another character said something mean to him. By Series 13, he's become a Cloud Cuckoo Lander who leaves disaster in his wake as he tries to do something he thinks will benefit someone else.
The Fat Controller was originally a firm-but-fair authoritarian who was coyly aware of what his engines were up to most of the time. Later he became more of a background figure who only appears to give engines jobs and to tell them when they've done something wrong.
'Arry and Bert, the steelworks diesels, had an almost nightmarish first appearance, but by the time they showed up again, they were minor nuisances.
The narrow gauge engines have changed pretty drastically. Skarloey and Rheneas went from old and wise to a couple of juvenile pranksters. Sir Handel went from snobbish and self-centered to wise and helpful.
Rusty, who started off as a kind helpful engine who rarely let personal gripes get in the way of work, turned much more careless later on. Duncan started off rude and obstinate, but started to calm down. Then they made him rude again, and worse yet, always forgets everything he's supposed to learn. What were they thinking?!
A lot of the Flanderization in later episodes is owed to passing the Sanity Ball. Whoever is the main focus is usually the one getting their shortcomings enthasised and exaggerated while the others will be toned down and act as more rational foils. Thomas for example can range between a thoroughly competent best friend and source of advise to a Spongebob-esque well intentioned Cloudcuckoolander. James also interchanges between being a brainless narcissist or even more toned down than his original persona.
The new writers for Season 17 and onwards though, have begun to restore the original personalities of the characters on the show. Some added facets from the newer series (such as Thomas' attention deficit and Henry's softer personality) still remain, though mercifully don't overtake their entire personality.
Total Drama Flanderized several cast members as it transitioned into Total Drama Action and Total Drama World Tour.
In Total Drama Island, Courtney was bossy and uptight, but still one of the more moral characters, and only threatened to sue when she was unfairly kicked off the show. In Total Drama Action, she's become a control-freak bitch who threatens to "call her lawyers" at any opportunity.
DJ starts as a genuinely nice guy and sensitive soul in season one; he was slow to anger, but could be mischievous (helping to prank Harold) or tough (throwing Owen off the cliff in the hunting challenge). By season three, he has become a complete Momma's Boy who is reduced to a blubbering wreck because the tundra reminds him of his mama's freezer!
Cody was originally a Casanova Wannabe who flirted with all the girls when he arrived on the island; he just eventually settled on Gwen as his preferred girlfriend. By season three, he's a Gwen-sexual who never seems to consider dating someone else as she continually rebuffs him.
Justin is a weird example: first he was a Flat Character who apparently was really hot, but during the TDI special he suddenly showed a sneaky side, and the first few episodes of TDA hinted that he would be the new villain. However, that arc was aborted, and soon he was just too concerned about every split end or bruise on his precious face to possibly think about any schemes or trickery.
Duncan. In TDI he was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, with Courtney as his Morality Pet. By season two, his bullying of Harold has gone Up to Eleven, to the point he kicks him in the testicles and nearly breaks his spine. By season three he suddenly is able to cheat on Courtney without a single twinge of his conscience and acts like a Jerkass when she finds out and breaks up with him.
Lindsay started out as your typical Dumb Blonde, then in All-Stars she became an exaggeration of the trope who doesn't even understand basic concepts such as the difference between pushing and pulling and also became one of the show's biggest liabilities to their teams. The Heroic Hamsters were lucky she was the first person to be eliminated.
Grimlock and his Dinobots from The Transformers went from being strong, but unintelligent wild cards in the first two seasons to comic relief in the movie and onward.
In The Movie, at least, the Dinobots were still pretty Badass, though they were suddenly happy to take orders from Optimus Prime and work with the other Autobots. In the third season their badassness evaporated entirely, and went from being Dumb Muscle to outright idiots.
Fortunately their final appearance in "Call of the Primitives" returned them to their brutish and freakishly-powerful standing.
Ultimate Spider-Man has one in J. Jonah Jameson. In most versions he's simply a somewhat jerky newspaper man with a somewhat justified hatred to Spider-Man. Here all he does is go on for hours on various Bugle Jumbotrons about what a menace Spider-Man is despite knowing full well that he's now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. It also shown that his negative PR campaign is working better then normal and has turned almost the whole city against him.
This is further shown in the serie's sister show Hulk And The Agents Of Smash episode "All About Ego", Jameson says that Spider-Man's plan to have destroy the world with Ego has failed. Keep in mind Spider-Man was not involved in the episode in any way.
The other villains were no stranger to this either. Chase Young was introduced as a crafty, cunning character until he devolved into being evil for evil's sake.
The protagonists had their fair share, too. Omi began with an arrogance typical of a kid his age, but eventually it grew so disproportionate it inflated his head in one episode. Dojo's close relationship with Master Fung started going in the direction of his being a servant of the latter until it grew almost to the point of Ho Yay.
Saranoia in Yin Yang Yo. Initially, she loathed Yang and men and loved Yin because she was The Unfavourite compared to her brother Mark, and incorrectly projected that situation onto the siblings, even calling Yang "Mark". Over the course of the series... this backstory started to fade and her already over-the-top idolization of Yin and hatred of Yang was flanderized to the point that she started to come across more like a creepy pedophiliac lesbianStalker with a Crush, peaking in one episode where she posed as a popular girl to become "Sweat Sisters" with Yin — everyone in the show even commented on how creepy that was. Since that episode, though, she's essentially reverted to her original characterization, in an unusual reversal of a Flanderization.
Master Yo himself. Around the titular rabbits, he would either be just your typical Grumpy Panda that taught them well at Woo Foo, or a lazy, selfish Jerkass.