Adaptation Personality Change
Often when adapting from a book or other medium, a character will be included in the adaptation but their personality will be different from the original medium. Maybe they are a Composite Character
and take on the role and personality of the one they get combined with. Maybe they only have a minor role initially but it gets expanded upon in the adaptation. Or maybe in the original their role was much bigger and got cut down in the adaptation, leaving them a little one dimensional.
See also Adaptation Explanation Extrication
. Adaptational Badass
, Adaptational Comic Relief
, Adaptational Heroism
, Adaptational Intelligence
and Adaptational Villainy
are subtropes. Also compare Alternate Character Interpretation
Note that this is not a trope to complain about minor changes in an adaptation.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Elesa goes from The Stoic in the games to a Genki Girl in the anime.
- Cilan goes from Shrinking Violet in the games to a Large Ham in the anime.
- Skyla goes from a Genki Girl to a burnt-out Jerk Ass.
- Brock doesn't have much of a known personality but he's apparently not a pervert who coos over every mature-enough girl.
- Erika is very much The Ojou but her anime version seems more casual. She also has more of a temper as she bans Ash from battling her because he dislikes perfume.
- Misty doesn't have much dialogue but she doesn't seem to be tsundere. Most adaptations use this intepretation but the anime makes her one of the most iconic tsundere in anime.
- Sabrina in the games is a pacifistic and Creepy Good who is not apparently malicious. In the anime she has an evil Split Personality but her "true" self at the end of her arc seems more in-line with her game self.
- Lucy goes from the Narcissist to a friendly sugar and ice Nice Girl and possible love interest to Brock!
- Pokémon Special:
- Silver in the games is a grade A Jerk Ass who hits the protagonist and constantly complains. Silver in Pokespe lacks all of these qualities.
- Shauna is a peppy Genki Girl in the games but is a pessimistic Little Miss Snarker in Pokespe.
- Many of the characters were made into villians and anti-villians. Surge goes from a type A Eaglelander to a type B. Sabrina, most of the Indigo league elite 4, Koga, and a few others get this treatment.
- Pokemon Diamond And Pearl Adventure:
- King Dedede of the Kirby games series is usually an Anti-Villain, committing petty acts of villainy at worst and often teaming up with Kirby. In the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime, Dedede is a more actively antagonistic and callous tyrant (if still ineffectual) and his redeeming moments are more few and in-between. Meanwhile Meta Knight, more a Hero Antagonist in the games, is Kirby's ally and mentor from the beginning of the anime.
- Misa Amane from Death Note suffered this when the manga was turned into an anime. Her big moments from the manga were downplayed in the anime, she became more of The Ditz character because she appeared dumb when compared to L and Light, who also got the main focus of the show (which switched more towards Light and Near in the second season), and her Yandere trait toward Light was up-played before she was shoved aside.
- Sailor Moon: Rei Hino/Sailor Mars goes from an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl who Does Not Like Men in the manga to a Hot-Blooded, boy-crazy Tsundere in The Nineties anime.
- Hiroto Honda was a completely different character in Yu-Gi-Oh! (first anime series) compared to his manga counterpart. In the manga, he was a tough guy who was Vitriolic Best Buds with Jonouchi, while the original anime series portrayed him as a dorky hall monitor who was obsessed with playing by the rules.
- The character of Bobassa is heavily different in both versions of the Millennium World arc. In the manga he is intelligent and very serious as well as an alternate form of Shadi, while in the anime he is primarily a comic relief character who is very simple-minded and spends most of his time thinking of his appetite.
- In the Devil May Cry games, Dante is a wisecracking wild man, who always fights like he's having the time of his life. The anime made him far more laid-back, and took away most of his personality quirks in the process. He also gripes more about not getting paid for his work, whereas several lines in the first game indicate that he's not that concerned about money.
- Dante's characterization in the series is fairly variable from game to game already, with only his core personality (that of a flippant but compassionate fun lover) seeing little change. The Animated Series merely continues the trend note and, in some ways, does mirror the Dante of the original DMC, who was debonair and prone to cheeky remarks at his enemies' expense, but knew when to buckle down and focus on the mission. Some fans have theorized that either a) Dante is in a temporary funk as some kind of delayed reaction to the events of the original DMC spoiler or b) Dante is more mellow here because TAS is the closest you'll get to a Slice of Life series for the devil hunter, what with the relatively mundane but still supernaturally-related assignments, Dante's dynamics with Patty, and his financial issues (as opposed to the big-time jobs he takes on in the games where he can really cut loose).
- The first Fullmetal Alchemist anime adaptation changed quite a few things from the manga.
- In the first anime adaptation Hohenheim's past is changed from a pawn of Father's who became immortal after he unwittingly helped sacrifice his country, to a selfish man who intentionally sacrificed countless innocent people to make a Philosopher's Stone just so he could be immortal. The reason he abandoned his family is also much less heroic than in the manga where he left to try to stop the Big Bad's plan, compared to the first anime where he left in order to find a way to become mortal again so he could live a normal life with his family.
- Zolf Kimblee, while a Mad Bomber in both incarnations, is genuinely Affably Evil in the manga and has very real respect and admiration for people who hold steadfast to their convictions. In the first anime however, he's a Misanthrope Supreme who relishes killing people because he believes everyone is worthless trash deep down.
- In the Monster Rancher anime, Colt, the assistant from Monster Rancher 2, appears as an explorer in one episode. Since her game personality was nearly identical to Holly's, the anime made her a snarky, short-tempered explorer.
- Sonic The Hedgehog The Movie changes Sonic's to being a Jerk Ass.
- Henrietta in the first Gunslinger Girl anime is far more subdued and stoic than she is in the manga. In the manga she can barely go a page without smiling or blushing. Teatrino returns her to her original personality.
- Several characters in Bubblegum Crisis from the OVA to Tokyo 2040. For a few examples:
- In the OVA, Sylia is calm and collected, and more often, leading the Knight Sabers into battle herself. Her 2040 counterpart rarely went into the field herself, acting more as Mission Control, and was more volatile and prone to outbursts. Being a test subject from her father may be the cause of 2040!Sylia's instability.
- In the OVA, Leon was a fan of the Knight Sabers, whereas while in 2040 counterpart warmed up to them, he started off disliking them.
- Daley went from Not-full-on Camp Gay to Straight Gay.
- Sonic the Comic:
- Sonic is a heroic, laidback character in the games, and at the time of the comic was written in western canon as being a Totally Radical Mascot with Attitude. Sonic in the Fleetway comics exhibits none of said traits, instead being a bullying Jerk Ass. He is heroic and does really love his friends but he has a hard time showing his emotions and uses Trash Talk a lot.
- Tails is usually a genius Child Prodigy but here he's a naive Cheerful Child with a cowardly streak.
- Amy is an Action Girl who doesn't really resemble her classic or post-Adventure character. It's never truly specified if she has a crush on Sonic or if she's teasing him but either way it doesn't come up much.
Films — Animated
- In BIONICLE's first Direct-to-Video film, the protagonist Takua was written as a irresponsible, goofy and rather dim to contrast with Jaller's Straight Man, whereas in previous and arguably every other incarnation he is an adventerous Guile Hero.
- Done in spades for most Disney Animated Canon adaptations of novels. In The Jungle Book for example, Baloo and Bageehra essentially switch personalities and Kaa becomes a clownish villain rather than a wise mentor for Mowgli.
- Almost everyone in Ultimate Avengers is made much more like their mainstream counterpart, as opposed to their Ultimate version, since those guys are a bunch of assholes.
- Captain America is essentially his mainstream version, The Cape who believes in America's ideals and is a kind old soldier. His Ultimate version is more concerned with America's interests than it's ideals, and occasionally gets caught up in old fashioned prejudices and opinions.
- Iron Man only slightly exhibits signs that he's an alcoholic, drinking one glass when he is fired from the team. Other than that, he's his mainstream counterpart, aside from the part about still supplying weapons. Ultimate Iron Man is so much of an alcoholic that for a few years, you literally could not see him out of armour and not drinking.
- Hank Pym goes from workaholic scientist and wife beater to a slightly aggressive man who is protective of his wife.
- Ultimate Black Widow was a traitor on the team and a Manipulative Bitch. Here, Natasha is a straight up hero, who's as kind as her mainstream counterpart.
- Nick Fury has always been an anti-hero, but his Ultimate version was an outright Jerkass Manipulative Bastard, and even Designated Hero, if that. Here, his goals are entirely heroic, and he just wants to save the world.
- In Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Mr. Peabody's feelings for Sherman are changed from treating the boy as his merely pet and assistant to the dog considering Sherman his dearly beloved son.
- In The Adventures of Tintin, this happens to Barnaby and Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine. Sakharine in the comics is annoying but harmless, and is implied to be nice enough to offer one of his ships to Captain Haddock's maritime gallery. In the movie, he is a vengeful and vindictive Big Bad. Barnaby in the comics was a spy for the villains who turned informer, and they shot him to keep him from revealing their activities. The film adapts him into a well-meaning Interpol agent who tries to warn and help Tintin, although Tintin doesn't realize this until after Barnaby is shot by Sakharine's henchmen.
- Coraline in the books is more stoic, mature and cerebral while movie Coraline is more belligerent and sarcastic.
Films — Live-Action
- In Brian DePalma's version of Carrie, Norma Watson is made into Chris's gal pal and openly bullies Carrie as well as being in on the prank at the prom. This is due to DePalma being impressed with PJ Soles's performance and rewriting Norma to expand her role.
- Again in the TV remake with Tina Blake. While she is one of Chris's friends in the book, she isn't as big a bully and she isn't in on the prank, which she is in the film.
- Helen Shyres in the book is mostly just a background character as Sue's friend but gets combined with another girl Frieda Jason in the TV film and so has her scene where she is nice to Carrie at the prom.
- Harry Potter
- Cho in the books was written to be excessively jealous and clingy when she and Harry are dating but none of this is shown in the movies.
- The films also made Ginny noticeably more soft-spoken, in contrast to the Fiery Redhead she was in the books.
- Narcissa Malfoy also has her Rich Bitch and haughty racism tendencies dropped from the films.
- Albus Dumbledore is calmer and more unflappable in the books, whereas in the films he's more emotional and prone to occasional bursts of anger.
- While Bellatrix Lestrange is still psychotic and sadistic like her book incarnation, she is much more of Psychopathic Womanchild in the films.
- Get Smart turned 99 into a Defrosting Ice Queen and Larrabee into a Jerk Jock, but the most noticeable change is that Max has now a brain between his ears.
- Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events was written as very sinister in the original books but in the film he is more over the top and hammy leaning closer to comic relief.
- Jurassic Park: In the original book, Gennaro the lawyer ends up turning into The Lancer for Alan Grant, and he even punches out a Velociraptor! The film turns Gennaro into a Dirty Coward that gets eaten by a T-Rex whilst sitting on a toilet. John Hammond in the original book is The Scrooge and a tyrant who shortchanges people (giving fat programmer Dennis a reason to betray him), has a Never My Fault mentality, and then suffers Karmic Death. The film turns Hammond into a kindly old man who truly thinks that what he's doing is a good idea (which it isn't), and one result of the change is that Dennis comes off as more of a Jerkass for betraying him!
- Though, to be fair, Genaro's characterization (and manner of death), mirrors Ed Regis, Ingen's PR guy from the book, making him more of a Composite Character.
- Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films did this with a few characters. Arwen's role is expanded and she becomes an Action Girl, Faramir becomes tempted by the ring and his Parental Favoritism issues are more played up. Elrond is also made to be bitter and cynical, thinking humans are useless. Merry was also more serious in the book but in the films is more carefree and comical. Denethor also gets a bit of Adaptational Villainy when he was simply Good Is Not Nice in the book.
- The movie of Forrest Gump does this with Jenny (making her a vapid party girl), Forrest's mom (who loved her son, but was much less in charge), and to an extent, Forrest himself, who in the books is an idiot savant, and much less Inspirationally Disadvantaged.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks, as well as The Chipettes experience this with almost every new incarnation. While the characters have experienced some natural Character Development over the years (especially true of the 1980s cartoon series), they have also experienced complete changes in their personalities when it comes to the more recent live action/CGI movies. For example, Simon goes from being Deadpan Snarker with biting sarcasm to having a less cerebral sense of humor with a underlying perverted streak; Theodore's innocence and naivete not only becomes a thing of flanderization, but he also becomes more absent-minded (much like Jeanette usually is); and Brittany is hardly the Alpha Bitch diva that she's been known for in previous incarnations.
- In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Grover was written as more timid and shy. In the movie, he was more of a Casanova Wannabe.
- In the books, Annabeth might've been a serious Action Girl, but she was also a Plucky Girl who valued brains more than brawn. The movie focused more on her toughness and made her a lot more abrasive, making her more like Clarisse from the books.
- Man of Steel: General Zod in the comics and previous films was a straight-up villain, a War Criminal who attempted a coup prior to Krypton's destruction before being sent to the Phantom Zone, wishes to kill Superman simply for being the son of his old friend Jor-El (who he blames for his banishment). Man of Steel, however, expands on his motivation, having him attempt his coup because Krypton is dying and he blames the rulers for it, and his attempted conquering of Earth being so he could preserve his now-near extinct species.
- His lieutenant Faora is also changed; in the comics she's a violent Misandrist and a serial killer who teamed with Zod mostly for benefit. In the film she's a Noble Demon, his loyal dragon, and isn't shown to have any particular hatred for males.
- While Star Trek: The Original Series Kirk had a tendency to twist the rules to do what was right, he always thought seriously and even angsted about it appropriately, and Starfleet seemed to have a great respect for him despite this. In the rebooted movies, however, he's a rebellious kid who constantly conflicts with authority and leaps into situations without looking. Some of it could be justified by the fact that reboot!Kirk being much younger, but this characterisation contradicts what we're told Kirk was like in the academy in the original series, where we're told he was 'a walking stack of books'. The movies also considerably play up Kirk's playboy tendencies - in the original series, Kirk used his charisma quite often, and kissed his share of women in the process, but he was also adamantly highly respectful of women - in one episode he told a teenager that flirting should always be mutual, and slapping a girl's butt without consent is very wrong.
- Basically, Movie Kirk is what fans think of Kirk if they weren't actually avid viewers of the original series. We go from "in a few more Girl of the Week stories than everyone else" to the ultimate manwhore he is in Memetic Mutation, and from "can't save the day and please the Obstructive Bureaucrat at the same time" to the ultimate rulebreaker that the Obstructive Bureaucrats of later series (where he's not around to defend himself) portray him as.
- All of this is justified by the fact that this the reboot!Kirk is quite different from the original series' Kirk. As the one whose personal history was changed the most it makes sense for him to be a very different guy from the original Kirk who had a very different history. He lost his father minutes into his birth and his mother remarried to a big Jerkass of a step-father. However, you don't get the feeling from the way the plot and other characters treat him that the writers set out to make a Kirk whose new history left him Kirk In Name Only and much less respectable.
- Many of the characters in Guardians of the Galaxy, since most of them were too obscure for most of the audience to notice or care. Star-Lord goes from a cosmic hero to a sarcastic, jokey outlaw, Drax becomes extremely Literal-Minded, Yondu goes from being a Noble Savage superhero to a murderous redneck criminal and Anti-Villain, and Ronan the Accuser goes from being a Knight Templar in the Kree military to a fanatical, mass-murdering terrorist who according to Word of God, was inspired by Osama bin Laden.
- Every hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been altered to some degree, with the most consistent change being that none of them abide by the Thou Shall Not Kill trope, even the ones who ardently lived by it in the comics.
- Escape to Witch Mountain: The owner of the orphanage in the movie was a kind lady while in the book, it was more of a home for orphaned juvenile delinquents run by a former police woman who took no guff from anyone.
- In the "Addams family" films the girl, Wednesday, is usually scowling and the boy, Pugsley, is usually smiling while in the original panel cartoons it's the other way around.
- Asher is consistently happy and cheerful throughout The Giver (where he's assigned a recreational position), while in the film he starts off that way but becomes more serious and unsmiling after being assigned drone pilot.
- Because Rapunzel's Prince's affair with Snow White was cut from the film version of Into the Woods, he comes across as less of an unlikable womanizer. He's still boastful, but his interactions with Rapunzel are sweet and Adorkable at times.
Live Action TV
- In the original The Worst Witch books Miss Bat appears only in the second book and appears to be your average strict teacher. The TV series has her as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and much more empathic to the students. Miss Drill is also written as a tough Drill Sergeant Nasty type of PE teacher in the books but is much more friendly in the TV series, as well as being rewritten to be mortal. She is implied to be a witch in the books.
- Game of Thrones:
- In the original books, Renly is a frivolous, charismatic and entitled, with a love for the fashion and romance of knightly pursuits. He seeks the throne simply because he has the support to do so. In the show, Renly is the complete opposite: a serious and intelligent man who hates bloodshed and must be convinced to seek the throne because he'll make a better ruler.
- Shae from the books was a Gold Digger who was only interested in Tyrion for his money and betrayed him when she got a better offer from Cersei. In the show she's a Hooker with a Heart of Gold who genuinely loves Tyrion. She still betrays him, but in the show it's because she's a Woman Scorned after Tyrion tried to Break Her Heart To Save Her. She's also a badass in the show.
- Bronn from the books is simply a thuggish Professional Killer whom Tyrion employs as his bodyguard. In the show he's an affable, witty Punch Clock Villain who genuinely becomes friends with Tyrion.
- Dagmer from the books only appears once, but it's established he's an Honorary Uncle figure to Theon Greyjoy. In the show he's The Corrupter and a Poisonous Friend, convincing Theon to do darker and darker deeds to gain his men's respect and eventually betraying him after Theon's occupation of Winterfell fails. He's essentially a stand-in for Ramsay Bolton, who had the same role in the books.
- Smallville: Like Man of Steel would do later, General Zod is given a new personality and motivation for his actions. Depicted as more of a strategic planner due to being depowered for the most part, he actually seeks out to befriend Clark, believing he can help their people gain their powers like him, and actually strikes up a friendship with Lois (though, mostly to manipulate her). His motivation is also changed, instead of wishing to rule For the Evulz, he was originally a noble, charismatic military Captain who's family died in the battle of Kandor, and was denied the chance to clone his beloved son, resulting in his Start of Darkness. He's a literal Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in this case too, as he's responsible for the destruction of Krypton in this continuity.
- In Penny Dreadful, unlike Mary Shelley's book, Frankenstein has no apparent emotional life outside of his work. No family, no fianceé, no nuthin' until he meets the other adventurers. Dorian Gray also has depths that he didn't possess in Oscar Wilde's book, wherein he was actually glad he drove a lover to suicide and murdered his closest friend for causing a completely unforeseeable freak accident.
- A common trait to the Super Robot Wars series, as the different circumstances means that characters would develop differently than they did in their own shows. The Z series is famous for helping Shinn Asuka change from a rash, angry youth into a mature, young soldier. Other changes include Haman Khan being noticeably kinder than her show counterpart, as at several points she expresses genuine concern for Marida and Mineva's well-being. Though in the case of Mineva, Unicorn retroactively shows us that Haman had at least one Pet the Dog moment with Mineva in ZZ, likely due to Char calling her out in Zeta for her treatment of the girl. The SRW games just make the change in perspective apparent from the beginning.
- Awkward Zombie portrays Marth from Fire Emblem rather differently than the games do. The author was rather surprised when confronted with a game highlighting the difference, noting that "Sometimes I forget that I kinda sorta totally made up his characterization for the purposes of this comic."
- Scarface's mate in The Animals of Farthing Wood is mostly just a background character and isn't necessarily evil but the cartoon expands her role into a proper Femme Fatale. Also Friendly takes on Bold's role as the sneak between Charmer and Ranger, making his name in the cartoon rather ironic.
- A lot of Sonic the Hedgehog adaptations do this. Perhaps most notably, Sonic SatAM turns Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik from a clownish Anti-Villain to a (mostly) deathly serious overlord. Sonic's personality in different medias can range anywhere from an incorruptibly kind and laid back Ace to a Jerkass Knight in Sour Armor. The whole cast that has been in more than one interpretation of the franchise has underwent this process to some extent.
- Mickey Mouse may be an odd variation in that it was his adaptation interpretations that avoided such a change. While the Mickey of Classic Disney Shorts was slowly tamed into The Everyman, the comics continued to refer to his earlier more adventurous and abrasive persona for a long period of time. Epic Mickey even plays with this, allowing you to choose between evolving Mickey into either his former or latter persona.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The characters are reinterpreted in every retelling especially Michelangelo and Raphael. They typically fit the same archetype, but express it in different ways:
- All were extremely flanderized in the 1987 series, except for Leonardo who was only mildly flanderized. Donatello went from being intellectual to being a Gadgeteer Genius, Michelangelo went from being mostly laidback to being a Surfer Dude obsessed with pizza, but most egregiously, Raphael went from being dark and violent to being snarky and constantly breaking the fourth wall.
- Michelangelo: Mirage Comics - laidback, 1987 Cartoon - Surfer Dude, Film Series - jokester, 2003 Cartoon - prankster.
- Raphael: Mirage Comics - violent, 1987 Cartoon - wise cracker, Film - brooding, 2003 Cartoon gruff.
- Raph is basically the Wolverine of the TMNT. While he remains the most short-fused and quickest to resort to hitting things, in an adaptation where he's not allowed to actually introduce living enemies' vital organs to his sai onscreen, he becomes a guy whose bark is worse than his bite.
- Many characters of The Railway Series have ended up altered in Thomas the Tank Engine due to Flanderization coming into play during the show's long run. Thomas in particular is a more rude and pretentious character in most of the novels (only warming in the very later books). While early seasons kept to this depiction, he quickly became more altruistic and kind as the show branched away from the novels, as well as becoming something of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander come the CGI transition. Wiser supporting characters such as Edward and Toby also became more flawed and childlike to enable more spotlight episodes, while Henry, Gordon and James underwent a more thorough Divergent Character Evolution.