->''"Game recognize game, and you lookin' kinda unfamiliar right now!"''
-->-- '''Riley Freeman''', ''ComicStrip/TheBoondocks''

Pushing a new character into the spotlight via CharacterDerailment of the character that they're replacing. DyingToBeReplaced seems merciful and dignified by comparison. At least that way you're dead, or comfortably converted to TheDarkSide, before someone starts messing around with your job.

The "victim" who was DyingToBeReplaced is moved out of the way, but the victim who is NotAsYouKnowThem is expected to stick around and suffer. Not only have they lost their old title, it's usually through circumstance rather than their own fault. Unfortunately, whatever happened to them has transformed their personality - generally into something [[DarkerAndEdgier more jaded]]. They're still there in the story, they're still (usually) on the side of good... but for all intents and purposes, [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks it may as well be a different character]]. They often become a cynical version of TheObiWan to the new hero, who, of course, is [[BeginnersLuck much better at their job than they ever were]].

It's a trick that writers use to keep people tuned in to the show/playing the video game/reading the books when they decide to switch protagonists. Rather than risk starting all over again with a new character, the writers use the old hero as a hook to lure in the "old faithfuls" in the audience. Unfortunately, many fans have become wise to this ploy and view such sequels with some trepidation. It's a bit of a Catch-22 - do you avoid knowing your favorite character's fate, or find out what happened to him, at the risk of realizing that you don't particularly ''like'' what's happened to him?

So why do a character assassination on an old favorite? Well, if the returning character was as lovable as (s)he originally was, the viewers' familiarity with them means that audience allegiance would remain firmly on their side... even when they're going against the new hero. That's not what the writer wants -- they want you to follow the ''new'' guy, so the returnee is demoralized to alienate them from the viewers/readers. However, this can backfire if the viewers [[ReplacementScrappy resent the newcomer already, just for being a "usurper"]], and then find insult added to injury when they find their original, amiable hero has become grumpy and surly in the gap between series.

The quickest way to figure out if a character has become NotAsYouKnowThem is to ask yourself "if their physical appearance was completely different, and I wasn't ''told'' exactly who they were, would I have figured it out or assumed they were a new character?"

'''If another character is not benefiting from this character's change in personality, it's a case of SameCharacterButDifferent, NOT this trope.'''

As is always the case with CharacterDerailment tropes, NotAsYouKnowThem can be fairly subjective; there will be those who hate the changes and declare FanonDiscontinuity, and those who like them and cite CharacterDevelopment (albeit CharacterDevelopment that happened "off screen").

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/TokyoMewMew a la mode'', the de-powered Ichigo becomes a sidekick to the new member and temporary leader Shirayuki Berii. Actually, "sidekick" is too strong of a word -- she's her MidSeasonUpgrade that just happens to be able to talk.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The most excessive (and infamously so) case may be the prologue to Kyle Rayner's term as Franchise/GreenLantern, which required a FaceHeelTurn from [[TheCape signature GL]] Hal Jordan, who in turn either killed or depowered every other member of the Green Lantern Corps. They were careful ''not'' to do this when Hal was redeemed and returned as Franchise/GreenLantern. Kyle got ''upgraded'' to "Ion" and was [[KickedUpstairs promoted out of the way]].
* New Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} is in. Old Aquaman gets to be turned into a squid-faced being called the Dweller, whom Creator/{{DC|Comics}} keeps around to keep his fans reading... until he is KilledOffForReal.
** [[spoiler: The original Aquaman returns to defend Atlantis in ''Final Crisis'' #7... with [[UnexplainedRecovery no explanation given]] about his death and whatnot.]]
*** [[spoiler:[[Comicbook/BlackestNight And then the original Aquaman was subsequently resurrected as a Black Lantern zombie.]]]]
**** [[spoiler: [[Comicbook/BrightestDay And then Aquaman officially joined the living.]] BTW, one of the guys at DC said the Aquaman that appeared in ''Final Crisis'' was from an alternate universe.]]
* Ryan Choi is the New [[ComicBook/TheAtom Atom]]. Old Atom ran off after [[ComicBook/IdentityCrisis his ex-wife (whom he still loved) went crazy/evil]]. After a "Search for Ray Palmer", the old Atom has been found, but he is now portrayed as cowardly, and eventually this is revealed to be the result of a complicated plot from his nemesis Chronos to discredit him. Then Ryan gets StuffedIntoTheFridge and the ''Comicbook/JusticeLeagueCryForJustice'' mini has Ray Palmer torturing a supervillain by shrinking down and stepping on the bad guy's brain. Take note: that's exactly how [[spoiler:his ex-wife Jean Loring]] accidentally murdered [[spoiler:Sue Dibny]]. And this is the same Ray Palmer who in ''Blackest Night'' [[spoiler: was chosen to be temporarily a member of the Indigo Tribe to help battle Nekron. Each of the Corps are based on a particular emotion, which is how they recruit potential members i.e Scarecrow was made into a Sinestro Corps member due to his obsession with fear. Want to know what the Indigo Tribe's emotion is? Compassion. Possible FridgeBrilliance as Indigo Tribe seems to be made up of brainwashed individuals devoid of compassion, who are infected with it by the rings. People already overly-compassionate wouldn't be able to handle all the extra compassion that the ring comes with.]]
* ''The Batman Strikes'', the tie-in comic to ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' gives the usual team-up Poison Ivy and ComicBook/HarleyQuinn, but switches the roles around: making Harley the (relatively speaking) level-headed brains of the operation, while Ivy is the unstable one. It helps that Ivy is an impulsive teenager in this continuity, while Harley - while still a daffy hedonist - is a bit more independent and cunning than usual.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Jim Phelps in the ''Film/MissionImpossible'' movies. Creator/PeterGraves, who played Phelps in [[Series/MissionImpossible the original TV series,]] wisely refused to return as the character inexplicably turns evil so the new guy can kick his ass on the way to becoming the new main character.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In the 1988 series ''Series/WarOfTheWorlds'', mercenary John Kincaid joined the cast in the second season to fight alien invaders, and the cast changed as a result. The character he was replacing (Lt. Paul Ironhorse) was kidnapped, replaced with a doppelganger, and then shot himself in the head. Kincaid got more depressed as the series went on, especially when his brother (who he thought was dead) came back - and then died for real. Even the main cast was affected. The lead, Harrison Blackwood, lost his quirky nature, and started carrying weapons, when he refused to do so in the first season, and his accomplice, Suzanne, became so stupid that she didn't know how to bake a cake!
** Maybe not a good example, since ExecutiveMeddling just turned ''everything'' DarkerAndEdgier, wrecking all the characters and the entire show in the bargain.
* Chloe Sullivan suffered from this during the 7th season of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', once Lois Lane was hired at the Daily Planet in a chain of events that led to Chloe being fired by Lex Luthor for protecting Clark. This came a few episodes after she had gleefully handed over all her info she had compiled through investigation on the Luthors to Lois.
* From ''Series/{{Merlin}}'': After several years of being terrorized at the hands of Uther ''and'' being poisoned by Merlin in a somewhat misguided attempt to save Camelot from a sleeping spell, Morgana leaves the show under the protection of her half-sister Morgause. At some point the writers must have felt that all she'd suffered through made her ''too'' sympathetic, and so went out of her way to make her a sneering, smirking super-villain in series 3.
* Andy Bernard suffered this in the 9th season of ''Series/TheOfficeUS'' as part of a writer attempt to shill two new characters - Nellie and Pete. Andy had perfectly legitimate reasons to hate Nellie (who had stolen his job the previous season) but the writers apparently forgot this and consistently portray her as TheWoobie and him as a bully. Pete meanwhile simply steals Andy's girlfriend Erin and is portrayed as a much better partner, Andy having suddenly lost all sensitivity towards Erin when as recently as the 8th season he had broken off an engagement with another woman to be with her.
* Kes of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' was written out of the show early in the fourth season as having AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence. But then in season 6, she's back in her physical body and out for {{Revenge}} on ''Voyager'' thanks to [[TheFogOfAges not remembering she'd left on her own]], killing B'Elanna, not listening to anyone, and trying to abduct her younger self. Quite the opposite of the [[NiceGirl entirely good-natured person]] she was while on the crew.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'', the main character of the [[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney first three games]] has been disbarred and become a piano player since we last saw him. His sense of justice takes a battering after this, and he is no longer the upright, optimistic lawyer of the first three games. Stepping up to bat is novice lawyer Apollo Justice.
** On the flip side, borderline IdiotHero Phoenix has become something of TheChessmaster in the intervening years, working to reinstitute trial by jury [[spoiler: in order to collar Kristoph Gavin, the man who destroyed Phoenix's reputation and plotted multiple murders to keep his own spotless]]. Considering the way he shrugs off getting ''hit by a car'', one could argue he's been upgraded into a full-blown {{Determinator}}.
*** And even without that, he comes back in [[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies the game after that]] as a lawyer again, much the same character he was before, but a little bit smarter and battle-hardened.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'' supposedly features Lloyd as an antagonist. The opening has him killing people in the burning ruins of what had been Palmacosta. Your first few encounters place him as either crazy or evil. [[spoiler: it is later shown that this was an impostor. You then meet up with the real Lloyd who, while changed, is clearly not with the bad guys.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManX7'', the reluctant warrior X is suddenly an obstructionist pacifist so that [[ReplacementScrappy Axl]] can steal the show.
** Subverted in ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' when [[spoiler:X appears to be the antagonist, but it turns out to be an impostor, and the real X is a cyber elf.]]
* In ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar'', the hero of the original ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' has been converted from a badass secret agent with a practical take on geopolitics, to an intellectual super-being [[AGodAmI with a god complex]] who wants to reshape the world in his image. He's also the FinalBoss in every ending EXCEPT for the one where you side with his faction.
** Justified, he had his mind merged with an AI programmed to reshape the world in its image. It's also complicated by the fact that players were able to determine his character in the first game -- playing him as an intellectual super-being with a god complex was entirely possible.
* ''Dreamfall'', the sequel to ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'', brought back the heroine of the previous game, about thirty years older and absurdly cynical and bitter. She was still the most appealing main character in the game.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Contra}} Contra: Shattered Soldier]]'' plays this straight: Lance Bean, player 2 in the early ''Contra'' games, was apparently killed off between games (causing him to be replaced by Lucia, [[MsFanservice a female protagonist]]), only to be revealed that he still alive and is in fact the terrorist leader ([[spoiler:the game attempts to justify by this by revealing that Lance is a WellIntentionedExtremist who was fighting against the evil masterminds actually responsible for the Alien Wars]]). ''Neo Contra'' lampshades by having Lucia, Lance's replacement, do a FaceHeelTurn herself.
* In ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Gold, Silver and Crystal'', you play as a new character. However, deep inside the final dungeon of the game, you find the player character from the original Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow, who elsewhere in the game is stated to have been missing for years, simply standing there on a cliff staring at the sky and not speaking to you before or after he battles you (with what are far and away the most powerful Pokémon owned by any trainer in the game). Some would argue that the lack of speech is simply because he is a SilentProtagonist in the original games, though in fact the dialogue of other characters frequently implies that your character actually spoke but you simply didn't see it directly.
** [[WildMassGuessing Alternatively]], your old character WAS speaking to you. However, since everyone had their own interpretation of what his personality was, especially because he was an [[AudienceSurrogate audience surrogate]], they intentionally left his speech blank so that you could fill in the blanks yourself. The Red you played could have been an AllLovingHero, a SirSwearsALot, a CloudCuckooLander, anything! You decide what he said on that mountain!
* In ''VideoGame/{{ObsCure}} II'', Shannon, Stan, and Kenny, the three returning protagonists from the first game, all underwent some severe personality changes in the two years since then. It's most notable with Shannon, who went from a cute, [[HollywoodNerd brainy]] GirlNextDoor to a hot {{goth}} chick who TookALevelInJerkass. It's slightly more justified for Stan, the [[TheStoner pot-smoking slacker]] whose time in prison likely gave him his new attitude, and for the former varsity athlete Kenny, [[spoiler:whose FaceMonsterTurn halfway through the game is justified by his running out of the medicine he needed to [[ZombieInfectee keep his mortifilia infection at bay]]]]. Still, it's obvious that this was done to make room for Amy, Corey, and Sven, who have similar character traits to those that Shannon, Stan, and Kenny respectively had in the first game.
** [[SubvertedTrope By the end, however]], [[spoiler:the new characters are all [[KillEmAll killed off]], leaving Shannon and Stan [[FinalGirl the only ones alive]] to defeat Kenny]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype 2}}'' replaces protagonist Alex Mercer with new character James Heller, a move the developers made to avert BagOfSpilling and in the hopes Heller would gain more audience sympathy. In the process, they decided to make Alex the [[RogueProtagonist villain]] - by completely inverting his personality and ignoring most of the last game's plot developments. Where Alex once went on a vicious RoaringRampageOfRevenge against those he perceived as responsible for New York's hellish state, [[spoiler:killed Greene to stop the infection, and blew himself to pieces preventing New York being nuked]], he's now deliberately ''spreading'' the infection (including to Heller), [[spoiler:making rambling speeches about humanity's worthlessness, working with plants in GENTEK to make the virus more powerful, planning to infect a pre-pubescent girl to create a new "Greene"...]] Even reading the bridging comics makes it only slightly less difficult to believe they're supposed to be the same person.
* Both Anders and Justice in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. When introduced in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening'', Anders was a free-spirited and carefree mage while the Spirit of Justice was, true to his name, a KnightInShiningArmor inhabiting a decaying corpse. Between the events of both games, Anders takes Justice into him and becomes an [[HumanoidAbomination Abomination]] and both of them change incredibly. Vengeance is no longer concerned with doing general goodwill, but on avenging the mages that it feels are oppressed, while Anders loses most of his humor and concerns himself entirely with the plight of mages. [[spoiler: Over time, the two become increasingly more obsessed with bringing down the Circle of Mages and the Templars, culminating in blowing up the Chantry to invoke a war between them.]]
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonBackToNature'' shares the same characters with ''VideoGame/{{Harvest Moon 64}}'' however the way they're presented is highly different. For example:
** Elli in 64 is the GirlNextDoor type who works at the local bakery. She is canonically overweight due to her SweetTooth and is insecure about it. Elli's parents were fishermen and died in a storm. She now lives at the baker with the owner Jefff and her grandmother Ellen. She goes through an important character arc later in the game [[spoiler:when her grandmother dies, and she must overcome her sorrow at losing her only remaining family member]]. Elli loves baking and fishing, and is often out by the river. Elli in BTN is a nurse who takes healthcare very seriously, and is no longer overweight. She works in the clinic with the Doctor, and lives in the village with her grandmother Ellen and her younger brother. Elli and Stu's parents died prior to the game due to unknown reasons. Elli admires the Doctor for his medical skills and is also in love with him.
** Popuri in 64 lives with her parents in her mother's flower shop in town. Popuri's dream is to cover the world with flowers, like her grandmother Nina. Popuri takes flowers and plants very seriously. She has a father complex as her dad is gone for half the year. Because of this Poppuri often acts [[TheDitz childish]], since her father babies her when he is around. In BTN Popuri is the spoiled little sister of Rick who lives at the chicken farm with her mother. Popuri's father left a long time ago to search for medicine for [[IllGirl Lillia]] but has never returned. This has caused Rick to assume the role of "man of the house".. Popuri wants to be something more than a meer chicken farmer and is attracted to Kai, who will take her away with him if the two get married. Popuri loves chickens and some of her favorite gifts are eggs as well as flowers.
** Karen is an aggressive woman who lives at the Vineyard, with her [[TheAlcoholic drunkard]] father Gotz (who is implied to be [[AbusiveParents abusive]]) and her depressed and reserved mother, along with their field worker Kai. Karen wants to get out of the country and see the city but she also loves the vineyard and dreams of restoring it to its former glory from the days of her grandmother, Eve. Karen likes to drink, which is implied to be mostly due to [[DrowningMySorrows drowning her sorrows]], and works in the bar at night. Karen in BTN is a laid back, casual girl who lives at the grocery store with her weak-willed father, Jeff, and her overbearing and outspoken mother. She still likes to drink, but does not work at the bar and doesn't have a reason behind it other than liking it. She is childhood friends with Rick and tries to make him see how unreasonable he can sometimes be. Karen is a CoolBigSis figure
** Mary (or Maria as she's called) in 64 is a ''very'' shy librarian, but will grow more self confidence if you befriend (or woo) her. She is quite religious and likes playing the piano at church. In BTN she's more aloof and reserved than actually shy and lacks the religious aspect.
** Ann in 64 is a loud, playful tomboy who lives, with her dad and her brother Gray, on a ranch. Ann loves animals. Her mother died when she was very young. She knows that her father is worried about her future, thinking that no one will want to marry her because she is so boyish, so she tries to do girly things. However, everything Ann cooks is [[LethalChef horrible]] and will literally make your character sick Ann is a bit rough and has some DomesticAbuse qualities, as she actually hits Cliff if they get married and even you in some events. She is best friends with Karen, and cousins with Rick (both descended from SNES Ann), and hangs out with both of them often. Ann in BtN is a cheerful tomboy from the restaurant, where she lives with her father, Doug. Ann is much more domestic in BTN despite still being a tomboy, and is actually a great cook this time around. She is still insecure about her tomboyishness, and thinks boys will not like her. She's unrelated to Rick.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* Peculiar example: Egon in ''WesternAnimation/ExtremeGhostbusters'' couldn't really be said to be "not as you know him" - he ''always'' was an absent-minded genius, and doesn't change in the sequel series - he's just OlderAndWiser. Janine, too, remains much the same personality-wise. However, when ''the other three original Ghostbusters'' turn up, their circumstances have changed drastically [[spoiler: Maybe Peter's new role as a Hollywood agent was believable, but idealistic, paranormal-obsessed Ray as a salesman qualified as a "huh?" moment]]. In this case, it's not so much the characters' ''personalities'' that have changed so much as their role in life... but since ghostbusting was so central to their character make-up, it's still a culture shock for anyone who watched [[WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters the original series]]. It's just as much of a culture shock to the new generation of Ghostbusters as it is to the viewers.
** While Janine may have ''started'' off the same, she later got a ''massive'' makeover in both appearance and voice. This later [[LampshadeHanging became the subject of an entire episode]] called "Janine, You've Changed!"
* In ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', Optimus Primal was a competent, down-to-earth commander with a tendency to make somewhat sappy speeches. In ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'', Optimus became some kind of spiritual teacher/fanatical terrorist, and the "down-to-earth commander" role got passed to Cheetor, probably the only returning character in the series who didn't [[CharacterDerailment get shafted by his personality change.]]
** Not that Cheetor didn't suffer ''any.'' First, he reacted to ''everything'' Optimus said as if it was the dumbest thing in the world, even when Optimus wasn't being fanatical, to the point that he [[TheStarscream reminded you of a certain jet-bot]]. However, he got better.
* Anyone familiar with ''WesternAnimation/TheGetAlongGang'' who watches [[http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5277330888234454019&q=get+along+gang+pilot&total=10&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=1 this pilot]] for an aborted revival of the series will probably find themselves planting some EpilepticTrees regarding how [[spoiler: little Portia Porcupine may have possibly betrayed the original Gang sometime in the past 60 years and is now organizing a new Get Along Gang either to atone for her previous sins or to facilitate a {{plan}} against the "common foe" the theme song speaks of...or both]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/WolverineAndTheXMen'', Comicbook/{{Cyclops}} is turned into basically the sum of all the ''bad'' qualities Wolverine used to have before they made him a CanonSue (right down to being easily pushed to AxCrazy, causing a ''lot'' of collateral damage in one episode while raving like a madman.) When he can be bothered to do something other than angst over Jean being missing, his role is "[[TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong the one who's always wrong so Wolverine can be right]]." This results in the perfect paragon that is this incarnation of Wolverine being given Cyclops' leadership role in the premiere. This even extends to flashbacks from ''before'' Jean went missing: where in the comics (and other versions) Wolverine had been disrespectful to Scott, and openly flirted with Jean even in front of him (to the point that it's hard to know at first if he truly has feelings for Jean or if he just wants to piss Scott off!) the WATXM version has Scott as a possesssive, jealous JerkAss who can't stand Logan even saying hello to her, when Logan hasn't done anything wrong.
** Alternate explanation: the writers were simply taking in all of the Flanderization Cyclops has gone through over the years (the nigh-constant Wangst over Jean and his disconnection from the team) and leaving out a fair portion of his honest CharacterDevelopment that has made him a proper team leader.
* This is pretty much the premise of every character in ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'', Gwen and Kevin are much different when they return than they were when they left in the first episode, making Rook look like a more compatible sidekick to Ben in the process.
* As with the above example of Wolverine and Cyclops from ''WesternAnimation/WolverineAndTheXMen'', Franchise/{{Batman}} and Franchise/{{Superman}} swapped personality traits for the fifth season preimere of ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'', with Batman being the more willing and open to a team-up and Superman being the one who's initially against it.
[[/folder]]
----