A SisterTrope of OriginalCharacter, and the {{fanfic}} equivalent of AscendedExtra. An OC Stand-in is a canon FlatCharacter that gets little screentime or few (if any) lines, and therefore can be molded into whoever the fan wants. Often, they may not even [[NoNameGiven have canonical names]]. Thus, an OC Stand-in is ''like'' an OC, but the fact that these characters usually have at least ''some'' personality already means the author has some general direction to go in.

Like all things in fanfiction, when handled badly, the OC Stand-in can delve straight into MarySue territory. Compare with the PossessionSue. Sometimes, these characters are just used to insult the heroes and make life hard for them, giving the character little point. Does Franchise/HarryPotter really need another teacher who's out to get him? Hasn't Franchise/{{Naruto}} dealt with enough crap already? In these cases, the character is simply used to replace the {{canon}} obstacles for TheHero with smaller and (sometimes) more realistic ones. An OC Stand-in is sometimes used to save a main character from being bashed... The OC Stand-in [[TheScapegoat is then bashed instead]].

However, there are cases, even when the OC Stand-in is "high school evil", that these characters turn out likeable. Or, at least, the FanFic does.

In video games, the ''canon protagonist'' is sometimes an OC Stand-in, due to being a FeaturelessProtagonist, a HeroicMime, and/or a highly customizable RPG player character.

A particularly successful [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation interpretation]] of one of these is likely to ascend into {{Fanon}} when other fans want to play with that version.

Also known as an "Original Canon Character" or OCC.

Related to MemeticBystander.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''
** Tenten is an archetypical example. Her brief appearances in canon [[OnlySaneMan provide]] [[HiddenWeapons enough]] [[DeadpanSnarker character]] [[FlechetteStorm elements]] for fanfic writers to build upon, and yet she never even got a formal introduction. [[{{Jobber}} Being beaten by Temari]]--''off-panel'' in the manga--is her most memorable scene. ''Naruto'' author Kishimoto [[WordOfGod admitted]] that she was created simply to fill in the spot of [[TheSmurfettePrinciple token female]] [[GeodesicCast on Team Guy]].
** Kishimoto, oddly enough, said he likes [[ChineseGirl her design]] most out of the female ninja.
*** This becomes even more embarrassing when you see the number of fanfics. She has much more fics than any other secondary characters with little to none screen time, like [[BigEater Choji]], Shizune and [[FriendToBugs Shino]] together, and more than other characters with full-fleshed personalities, like [[HotBlooded Rock Lee]] or [[BeastMan Kiba]], and even [[{{Necromancer}} Kabuto]] who is a major character. Her personality varies with the author, but you got to admit, it's quite impressive [[OnlyOneName for a character who doesn't even have a full name]].
** Sakura's parents, particularly her mother, are common FanFic characters. Sakura's mother is heard off-camera in the anime, but she only seems to exist to prove that Sakura, unlike Naruto and Sasuke, had a normal childhood. In fan works, she is usually both a StrawCivilian and a total bitch to Naruto -- someone the Naru/Saku shippers can use as a FreudianExcuse for Sakura. Both of Sakura's parents finally appeared and received names in the movie ''[[Anime/NarutoTheMovieRoadToNinja Road to Ninja]]''.
** Other members of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist show up often as oneshot villains. They're not even real characters to stand in for, so much as placeholders where characters presumably go.
** Similarly, tailed beast hosts number 2 and 4-7, as two and four were only seen briefly while the others were [[spoiler:all killed offscreen]]. The fact that the author made full designs of all of them (even for the three-tail host, when the three-tailed beast didn't presently have a host) for a cover as part of a MilestoneCelebration is pretty much ''asking'' for this -- though ironically at least one of them has been given a plot-relevant backstory ''post-mortem'' ([[spoiler:the three-tails was the last Mizukage]]).
*** Yugito Nii (the 2-tails host) is an extremely popular OC Stand-in, and is a frequent [[CrackPairing shipping]] [[NoYay target]] for Naruto. Fuu (the 7-tails) is also becoming popular in this way after her design was revealed.
** Also, Hanabi Hyuuga, Hinata's sister, who only speaks in one scene and primarily only asks questions of her father. Fans tend to differ on whether she would become the heir or a branch house member (and how well she would accept either), and whether she loves Hinata or sees her as worthless. Or, for that matter, sees her as a threat - the natural consequence of the prospect of one sister enslaving the other or else dying. Ironically when Hanabi got some spotlight in the anime she clearly loves Hinata, to [[BigBrotherWorship the degree of admiring her]].
** Naruto's mother also got this treatment - either as a placeholder (like the swordsmen), or a true example once Kushina was first seen, even though we only got to see her when she was pregnant and hear her say one line in her first appearance. [[{{Fanon}} One popular characterization]] is that she was a tomboy in her youth - [[IKnewIt which turned out to be dead accurate]] when [[spoiler:her soul appeared to help Naruto gain control over the Kyuubi's chakra]].
** The Rikudo Sennin is this when he's used in a fanfic. We have virtually nothing, and authors can turn him into anything from [[GenerationXerox a more powerful Naruto]], to [[AGodAmI a guy with a god complex]].
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': Vegeta's father gets this treatment. He's been dead for years and gets three scenes total over the course of the anime. He gets another in the [[NonSerialMovie first Broly movie]], but if you count it as canon (which requires some shoehorning) it's a MoralEventHorizon. He shows only bare hints of personality. Yet he's also the subject of fan devotion that's surprisingly intense, if small in scale. (Vegeta's MissingMom is also the subject of much speculation.)
** Goku's MissingMom too. Creator/AkiraToriyama's ''Dragon Ball Minus'' short story formally introduced the official version -- Gine, a pacifist who [[StayInTheKitchen stayed in the kitchen]] because of her lack of combat ability. (Of course, this {{Jossed}} most of the [[ActionGirl concepts]] fans had about Bardock's mate.)
** On a related note, the Chick of Bardock's squad, Fasha[=/=]Seripa sometimes overlapped with the "Goku's Mom" role. She, and all of Bardock's teammates, are frequently OC stand-ins in their own rights.
* Happens very often in ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'' fandom with [[MoeAnthropomorphism nations]] that have only appeared in profiles or on the author's blog, especially since fanfic writers can research these nations' histories and stereotypes to come up with some technical canon. Some of these common fan characterizations are:
** Denmark as a BoisterousBruiser and Norway as {{Tsundere}} for him because of their long history together; the former turned out to be pretty spot-on with canon, while the latter is still up in the air (though Norway ''did'' strangle Denmark with his tie in one strip).
** Belgium as a sassy, fearless {{Shorttank}} who [[TrademarkFavoriteFood enjoys waffles and chocolate]] and [[HardDrinkingPartyGirl can drink anyone under the table]]; this turned out to be fairly accurate to canon (although she's more cheerful than sassy) with the HardDrinkingPartyGirl part being the only one left unconfirmed.
** Netherlands as similar to Denmark in personality with a pot-smoking habit; this was one of the {{fanon}} characterizations that ended up {{Jossed}} by canon when Netherlands was revealed to be a mainly blunt and stoic PerpetualFrowner, though the smoking habit ''was'' pretty much confirmed.
** Hong Kong as an EmotionlessBoy with a penchant for [[{{Trickster}} pranks]] and [[DeadpanSnarker snarkiness]]; this was mostly confirmed by canon, although he doesn't seem to be ''quite'' as emotionless as fanon loved making him out to be.
** Taiwan as a YamatoNadeshiko with romantic feelings for Japan; the YamatoNadeshiko part was {{Jossed}} with the Drama CD (and more recently, the fourth manga volume) showing her to be a [[PluckyGirl Plucky]] GenkiGirl, and she doesn't seem to act differently with Japan than she does with her other Asian siblings.
** Vietnam as a {{Tsundere}} {{tomboy}} who [[ImprobableWeaponUser uses her rice paddle as a weapon]] or a BrokenBird emotionally scarred by her wars; it looks like her canon self will be more subdued than either of these characterizations.
** Thailand as a NiceGuy who also happens to be a BareFistedMonk that sometimes uses a CoolSword as a weapon. He cooks well and loves [[FireBreathingDiner spicy food]], and lastly, no matter how nice a guy he is, he is ALWAYS portrayed as CuteAndPsycho. A few times, he's a WholesomeCrossdresser (thanks to RL Thailand's ''kathoey'', or ladyboys).
** Romania was almost always depicted by fans as a female (probably because of the potential LesYay between her and [[TheRival Hungary]]), only to have canon [[{{Jossed}} Joss]] that with the fourth manga volume establishing him as male. With the canon Romania appearing to have red eyes and CuteLittleFangs, it's becoming common to depict him as either a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire]] or an ordinary human who pretends to be a vampire for the lulz. It also helps that most of Transylvania has mostly has been part of Rumania since they conquered it from Communist Hungary in 1919.
** New Zealand is almost always depicted as either having a VitriolicBestBuds or TrueCompanions type relationship with Australia.
** India, like Romania, was almost always depicted as female in fanworks only to be established as male later on in canon. No one seems to really care, though, probably because of his '''awesome''' Bollywood entrance in ''Manga/{{Hetaween 2011}}''.
** For a long time, Bulgaria's only canon scene was him hitting Italy with his stick and the most common fanon depiction of him was as a JerkAss with a HairTriggerTemper. This seems to have been {{Jossed}}, however, with him being shown in ''Manga/{{Hetaween 2011}}'' and ''Manga/HetaliaBloodbath2011'' as a fairly nice guy who's good friends with Romania.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'':
** Matt is a good example of this. He gets little time on the page in the manga, and even less time in the anime, but he has a large fan base, and thus many people end up writing about him, usually just writing him as whatever they need, within limits, for the story.
** Also Linda, who was mentioned in the manga a grand total of twice, seen only once, and has only one line. Considering that, she is a ''massive'' EnsembleDarkhorse; if you type in "linda death note" on deviantART you get 526 results, and she has 34 fanfictions on fanfiction.net.
** Yamamoto, Light's friend from school [[spoiler:who later becomes Matsuda's partner at the NPA]] and has HoYay with both. He gets about as many scenes as Matt (though he's not nearly as insanely popular) and doesn't appear at all in the anime but he does show up regularly in fic.
** Namikawa, on account of being [[spoiler:one of the cooler members of the interim villain's QuirkyMiniBossSquad.]]
** There's also Nori, Misa's punk friend.
** There's also Misa's sister, who is mentioned in the manga and may or may not even exist.
** The spin-off novel ''Another Note'' (which was not written by Ohba, but was approved by them) gives readers the character of "A", the first Wammy's House child who committed suicide out of pressure of being L. Unlike B/Beyond Birthday, we get nothing in the way of A's personality or backstory, leaving fans to have to fill in a lot of blanks when they utilize him in their fanfic.
* Though they go unnamed in the manga, ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' has Ranma's buddies Hiroshi and Daisuke, and for the girls there's Akane's friends Yuka and Sayuri. They mainly exist to be ThoseTwoGuys. Creator/RumikoTakahashi seems to love this trope, especially in ''Ranma''. Herb's got Mint and Lime. Kima has Masara and Koruma, and is herself not much developed beyond her role as Saffron's bodyguard. The Anime also gave us Kaori Daikoku, who appeared just once in the anime and yet comes up rather frequently in fanfiction.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'':
** We have Kyoko Soryu. We have no idea what she was like before [[GoneHorriblyWrong the]] [[EmptyShell incident]], or even what the woman looks like
** To a lesser extent, due to having somewhat of a discernible canon characterization, Yui Ikari.
** Also, ClassRepresentative Hikari Horaki's sisters, Kodama and Nozomi; they never appear on-screen, and the only known facts about them are that they're older and younger (respectively) than Hikari [[spoiler:and that the three of them have a MissingMom like the rest of their class]]. To a lesser extent, Hikari herself.
** Touji's little sister sometimes got used this way even before her first onscreen appearance in the second Rebuild movie. She became even more important in the third movie, finally [[NominalImportance being named onscreen]] (Sakura Suzuhara).
** Occasionally the few ''Evangelion'' {{Canon Foreigner}}s (such as Mana Kirishima) can fall into this, since [[NoExportForYou not many Americans have actually played the games they appeared in]]. [[Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion Mari Illustrious Makinami]] was this for some fans before her actual personality was revealed, and even then there's still a lot about her that's completely unknown. This can make her an ''EpilepticTree'' stand in.
* The unnamed girl from ''The Dissociation of Haruhi Suzumiya'' was often used as this in ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' fanfiction until the release of ''The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya'', where she was given a name (Watahashi Yasumi) and a backstory which {{Jossed}} pretty much all interpretations of the character overnight. Less commonly, the unnamed boy with glasses whose life Kyon saves in ''The Rampage of Haruhi Suzumiya'', as well as Kyon's sister's friend Yoshimura Miyoko[[note]]who only appears in an autobiographical story told by Kyon, though she does make an appearance in the manga adaptation[[/note]] are used for authors who want to write about Kyon's sister's age group.
* During the end of ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'', and later in ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistTheConquerorOfShamballa'', Edward [[spoiler: gets sent to "our" world where everyone he knows has an IdenticalStranger]]. Fans have a ball with the ''unseen'' ones as several fanons have popped up. [[spoiler:Winry's alter]] usually portrayed as the opposite of tomboyish Winry, is often Jewish, and is usually perceived as a ReplacementGoldfish. Some fans have [[spoiler:Edward's deceased alter]] as related to Alfons but in canon that is unlikely.
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', Kallen's brother Naoto Kozuki sometimes get this treatment, largely because all we know about him is that he was the leader of Ohgi's group and died sometime before the series started.
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh'':
** In the fandom, there was a brief period of time during which people knew about the [[Anime/YuGiOhFirstAnimeSeries Toei series]], but had no fansub available. Cue Miho, who was a one-shot character in [[Manga/YuGiOh the manga]] and had a prominent role in the anime, becoming an OC Stand-in, though her personality did often overlap with [[ShyBlueHairedGirl the one she had in the manga.]]
** Yugi's parents are also frequently subject to this in fanfiction. In canon, Yugi's father [[InvisibleParents never appears]], and the most known about him is that he's a traveling salesman who's always away on work, while Yugi's mother appears only twice in the manga and once in the anime. Her anime appearance is cut entirely from the dubbed version, however, hence she isn't really remembered. Fanon characterizations of them vary between [[AbusiveParents abusive]], [[ParentalNeglect deadbeat]], GoodParents, or [[ParentalAbandonment dead]].
** The protagonist of the ''VideoGame/YuGiOhTagForceSeries'' (referred to as "Hat Guy", "Konami-kun", or "Red Hat", depending on your take) is a weird case of this, in that he was a FeaturelessProtagonist and HeroicMime who functioned as an avatar for the player. There are countless fanfics dealing with him getting involved in canon, usually interacting with the characters in the same fashion he did in his home games. As Red Hat was also very much an EscapistCharacter, [[PossessionSue the likely result of this]] is sadly common.
* In ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' there are a few characters that had little timescreen and characterization:
** Nakim is one of Miss Yomako's pupils during the timeskip. The fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5765216/1/The_World_Tree The World Tree]]'' takes him as the protagonist, as a pilot against the Ymir.
** Tsuuma, [[spoiler:who appeared as Viral's wife in his dream in the [[LotusEaterMachine Antispiral Labirynth]]]] is also used in some fanfics. One particular example is ''FanFic/TengenToppaGurrenSolvernia'', in which she's Viral's [[DeadpanSnarker sarcastic]] [[WrenchWench mechanic]] that [[{{Tsundere}} may or may not]] have feelings for him.
* This is heavily subverted with ''Manga/ZatchBell'', where unless you're Zatch, Tia, Zeon, Sherry, Brago, or another of the main characters, you'll never get any actual writing or stories based around you. Case in point, any of the many villian-a-week enemies of other mamodos Zatch faces. This extends to major recurring enemies as well.
* ''Anime/KirbyOfTheStars'':
** A lot of the {{Posthumous Character}}s get this treatment in fanfiction, most commonly [[ActionGirl Silica]]'s mother Garlude and [[RevengeBeforeReason Knuckle Joe]]'s father "Jecra". Note that most of them are [[FanNickname only named in fanon]], Jecra included.
** Sword Knight and Blade Knight get this a lot, too.
** The Star Warriors who only appear in the finale do as well.
* Whenever Tiida Lanster, Quint Nakajima, Alicia Testarossa, or Olivie Segbrecht- aka the Sankt Kaiser- shows up in a ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' fanfic they'll probably be this, since they were {{Posthumous Character}}s in canon.
** ''FanFic/GameTheoryFanFic'' gets bonus points for it's use of the [[MegaNeko giant cat]] from Episode 3 (yes, the trope image). In the fic, she's named Vesta and after a series of events [[spoiler: she becomes Nanoha's familiar. After being shrunken down, of course.]]
* ''Anime/SmilePrettyCure'': Many minor characters only have one episode to themselves before they're PutOnABus. There are [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters several to choose from]], so take your pick:
** Brian, the young man from Great Britain and whom Akane Hino fell in love with. He's depicted as a charming man who means well.
** The Bad End Pretty Cures. They're introduced at the end of episode 45 and are KilledOffForReal during episode 46. Yet, their status as {{Ensemble Darkhorse}}s means they've received a lot of love from fans, having had fanart ''a week before they even debuted''. Many Smile Precure fanfics involve the Bad Ends in some way both to fill in their characterization and to avoid using potential VillainSue OCs.
* We knew ''Manga/TokyoMewMew a la Mode'' was coming ''long'' before we saw it, so a lot of fanfic authors pounced on the new team member who was, for the nonce, a blank slate. Unfortunately, this meant the name "Berii" (and several spelling variants) appeared on a lot of {{Mary Sue}}s in hopes of giving them legitimacy. ''More'' unfortunately, the truth of [[FanNickname Berry Sue]] was even worse than (fan)fiction.
* There are a few other cyborgs in ''Manga/GunslingerGirl'' besides the main girls however they're not given significant screentime.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Amber Fuji is the protagonist of quite a lot of fanfics for a character who appears for less than ten minutes in a single movie[[note]]albeit with slightly more presence in the radio drama version[[/note]](in an anime whose movies are [[LooseCanon only tenuously tied to the series to begin with]] at that), [[PosthumousCharacter has been dead for years before the series even begins]] and whose existence is known to precisely none of the main characters at any point. Yet when she appears, it's inevitably an [[AlternateUniverseFic AU]] in which she either is successfully resurrected or never died to begin with, goes on her own journey, and is [[SturgeonsLaw inevitably]] made into a MarySue for the pairing of the author's choice. [[FirstInstallmentWins Strange how this never happens with most other movie-only characters...]]
** In the earlier days of the fandom Mondo was a popular character in Team Rocket themed fics. He only appeared in one radio drama so we only know so much about him.
** There are dozens of active Nurse Joy's and Officer Jenny's. While most canonically share basic traits like being nice, everything else is up in the air.
* When ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' became the first segment of ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'', a nameless scientist character with only two brief appearances in the series became Emil Lang, Earth's greatest expert on alien technology. The ExpandedUniverse of the ''Robotech'' novels and comics just ''ran'' with him, and he became one of the most important characters in the franchise.
* The ''Anime/BubblegumCrisis'' OVA series has Kate Madigan, the female [[MegaCorp Genom]] executive who appears in the Largo arc. The only thing known about her is she's as {{corrupt|CorporateExecutive}} as the rest of Genom.
* Maka's mother from ''Manga/SoulEater''. The information about her is few and far between. All we know is that she was at the top of her class, created the current Death Scythe, divorced said Death Scythe, and left Death City before the manga began. Her personality and her physical appearance are both anyone's guesses. You'd be hard-pressed to find even two fanfics that use the same characterization for her. The only ubiquitous thing about her is name, Kami, and even that's rooted in {{Fanon}}.
* Erwin from ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer''. Due to both her attire, which includes a German general's peaked hat and jacket from [=WW2=], and her personality, of a history geek who has even borrowed Rommel's name (to the point she verges on expy status), she's quite popular with the fans, and as a result features in a relatively large number of fanfics with a greatly increased role, even in the relatively small fandom of this anime.
* Writers of ''Franchise/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' fan fiction who want to focus on [[EnsembleDarkhorse Kyoko]] will frequently depict her dead family members from her life before she became a magical girl, if they don't bring them BackFromTheDead altogether. Of the three, we know only that her sister was named Momo and that her father was a priest who (according to [[UnreliableExpositor his daughter]]) was TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth until he [[GoMadFromTheRevelation Went Mad From the Revelation]] and [[spoiler:killed himself, his wife, and Momo because of Kyoko's wish inadvertently giving him a CompellingVoice]]. Despite only existing to facilitate a {{Dark Magical Girl}}'s DarkAndTroubledPast and FreudianExcuse, Kyoko's father is even listed on Website/{{Fan Fiction Dot Net}}'s character filter! In contrast, [[ConvenientlyAnOrphan Mami's]] dead parents almost never appear in fanfic, not even in flashbacks.
* ''Anime/InuYasha'' has Michiru and Kaname Kururugi, the [[PlayerCharacter Player Characters]] from ''VideoGame/InuYashaTheSecretOfTheCursedMask''. The fanfic series ''Fanfic/TheLegacyOfTheCursedMaskSeries'' gives heavy focus to the Kururugi twins, and there are multiple pairing stories where either Michiru or Kaname is paired with a particular canon character.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[http://www.alara.net/opeople/xbooks/virtuous.html This]] ComicBook/{{X-Men}} fic is one of the rare PossessionSue cases. It takes a very obscure character (Magneto's canonically-dead wife Magda) and turns her from a meek woman whose only real moment of characterization was fleeing her husband after he accidentally killed a bunch of people into a [[FountainOfYouth de-aged]] (since, as a Holocaust survivor, she should be fairly old, even with ComicBookTime) [[GadgeteerGenius genius roboticist]] mutant with a power that's supposedly completely unique and desirable enough that people would kidnap her for it (despite there already being a canon character with the same power whom no one makes much of a fuss over).
* ''ComicBook/ProjectSuperpowers'' could be considered this on a ''company-wide'' scale, adapting PublicDomain heroes from UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks and giving them personalities and characterisation not seen before.
* In the (admittedly small) fandom for the ''ComicBook/JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac'' comics and related spin-offs, OneSceneWonder [[DyingMomentOfAwesome Edgar Vargas]] was commonly used this way during the mid/late 2000s. Mostly that's because Vargas was popularized as a potential shipping partner for Johnny, since GuyOnGuyIsHot and the only other "main" characters in the actual comic are women, children, or imaginary disembodied voices (probably for [[TrollingCreator exactly this reason]]). Funnily enough, the original fanfic to use the character, while it did establish the ship, focused mostly on CharacterDevelopment and his characterization stayed fairly consistent afterward, with the original fanfic being used as the {{Fanon}} basis for everything that followed. Vargas was eventually popular enough to merit his own character filter on fanfiction.net.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Absolutely epidemic in ''Disney/TheLionKing'' fandom due to the large amount of background characters and semi-canon characters (characters from books and comics). Unused or non-canon characters are especially apparent in fanon works. The most common are Mheetu (Nala's brother), Kopa/Fluffy (Simba's son), Tesma (a meerkat friend of Simba), Naanda (Sarabi's sister), and Bhati (a bat-earred fox friend of Simba). Given that most of them don't have much of a personality this leads fan-artists to create their own versions. Sarafina, Sarabi, and Vitani are popular choices for canon characters with little screentime. The topic of whether Sarafina is even alive in the sequel is a common FandomSpecificPlot.
* Ariel's many older sisters in ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'' are this with fans. They don't have much to go by besides comics and the third movie (along with the occasional picture book), which have little consistency even with the details of their designs. Attina is especially popular thanks to the prequel movie making her the oldest and [[spoiler:having her indirectly causing her mother's death]]. Aquata is also fairly popular as well as she was the oldest in older material, and comics go more in-depth into her grooming to be queen.
* The siblings parents aren't given much spotlight in ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' (this is especially true for Elsa's mother who shows very little personality compared to her husband and has exactly one line before her death). Due to the fact they're such extraordinarily important characters, fanfic writers have many interpretations of them from well-meaning parents to secretly afraid of Elsa.
* In ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'', many of Judy's fellow officers in the ZPD such as Francine, Fangmeyer, Wolford, [=McHorn=], and others often recieve this treatment, due to being Judy's coworkers but having almost no characterization in the movie besides name and species. Another common target for this treatment is Jack Savage, a rabbit superspy[[note]]although OCStandIn uses of him often cast him in other roles besides secret agent so long as they are badass, such as a hard-nosed private detective or a reformed ex-hitman, further driving home that they are essentially an OC in all but name and appearance[[/note]] from an early concept of the movie.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' movies gave [[NoNameGiven no name]], characterization or any information about the mother of James Norrington other than ''she exists'' (because everyone has one). The MegaCrossover FanWebcomic ''Webcomic/{{Roommates}}'' made her an extremely likable Irish CoolOldLady.
* Uhura's Orion roommate Gaila from ''Film/StarTrek'' (2009) had only a couple of minutes of screentime and a WordofGod backstory as having escaped the Orion slave trade on an "underground railroad" of sorts. Fandom took her and turned her into a sex-positive, feminist symbol through which authors often explore cultural taboos regarding sex as well as culture shock and culture clashes.
* ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse''
** Fans of the MCU version of Loki frequently import Sigyn from the comics and/or mythology to have someone with a seemingly legitimate romantic stake on Loki. Because Sigyn has never actually appeared in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse, fans are pretty free to make her anything they want her to be. Results range from genuinely good characters to shallow [[SatelliteLoveInterest satellite love interests]].
** Darcy Lewis, a minor character from the ''{{Film/Thor}}'' movies often gets several fanfics and headcanons centered on her.
* The ''Film/TransformersFilmSeries'' is full of characters that hardly get any development that many fanfic writers expand on, some noticeable examples include [[Film/{{Transformers}} Annabelle Lennox (and occasionally her parents)]] and Autobots who are not named Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.

* ''Literature/HarryPotter''.
** Blaise Zabini gets special mention here, since from his name appearing in book one until he got a physical description in the book six, half the fanfic writers assumed he was a girl, since "Blaise" is more commonly a girl's name in some places. (They've since taken to writing about Daphne Greengrass or Tracey Davis when they need a generic Slytherin girl.)
** Daphne Greengrass also gets a lot of attention when authors need a sympathetic Slytherin girl, as she's mentioned just once in the books (and probably because Draco hooks up with her sister after his HeelFaceTurn). Typically she's said to come from a neutral wizarding family or otherwise isn't connected with the rest of her house, possessing the same traits that Slytherins are known for but without invoking AmbitionIsEvil. Tracey Davis (who's not even mentioned in the books, appearing only in an early draft list of students in Harry's year) also gets this to a lesser extent.
** Theodore Nott is almost as popular as Blaise. He is usually portrayed as a somewhat good version of Draco Malfoy, or a bookworm loner. It was also once somewhat popular to make Nott a worse version or Draco Malfoy, almost a Tom Riddle 2.0.
** At the time of this writing, Marlene [=McKinnon=] has [[https://www.fanfiction.net/book/Harry-Potter/?&srt=1&r=103&c1=2228 1,500+ stories]] on Fanfiction.net. Who is Marlene [=McKinnon=]? An Order member who [[PosthumousCharacter died in the First War]], along with her family; [[DeceasedParentsAreTheBest Lily]] mentions having cried all night when she heard about her death. That's basically all we know about her, but fans have (somewhat reasonably) extrapolated that Marlene and Lily may have been friends, and (less reasonably) concluded that Marlene was [[EnsembleDarkhorse Sirius]]' [[PairTheSpares girlfriend/wife/etc.]], which is where most of her popularity comes from.
** Similarly to Marlene is Mary [=MacDonald=]. All we know is that she was a Hogwarts student during the Marauder Era, apparently a Gryffindor, and on speaking terms with Lily, so she works as another friend of hers.
** Severus Snape's Hogwarts friends often get this treatment in Marauders or young Snape fanfics. It helps that we are given names for them: Evan Rosier, Avery, Mulciber, Wilkes, Rabastan and Rodolphus Lestrange. Regulus Black may also count, though in the final book he gets a fair bit of fleshing out [[PosthumousCharacter despite being dead]].
** Tom Riddle's "friends" also get this to a lesser extent. Fans especially like to play with the fact that their surnames are the same as many of Snape's friends: Avery, Lestrange, Mulciber, and Rosier.
** Creator/ChrisColumbus giving his daughter Eleanor TheCameo by casting her as Susan Bones in the [[Film/HarryPotter first two movies]] might almost count as an "official" version of this. After all, Susan was a background role with no lines, so what better place would there be for the American director to slip his daughter in without effecting the all-British cast requirement? Well, true to form, Susan ended up getting developed into more than just a throwaway name in the books written after the first two movies came out. The latter films handled this by simply not including her plotline, which they likely would have done anyway considering [[DoorStopper the length of the latter books]].
** Back before Ginny had much of a canonically defined personality, she was a frequent target of this.
** Fanfic writers are also fond of writing about the main characters' kids' school days, when they don't just [[FanonDiscontinuity ignore the epilogue entirely.]]
** By the same token we have the spouses of the characters who HookedUpAfterwards. Draco's wife, Astoria/Asteria Greengrass, is usually either a sympathetic Slytherin or a victim of DieForOurShip. Percy's wife, Audrey, is either a sweet girl or a rebellious firebrand [[OppositesAttract in contrast to her husband]]; she may also be a {{Muggle}}. Luna's husband, Rolf Scamander, is implied by WordOfGod to be an adventurous naturalist.
** Hermione's InvisibleParents. The only thing known for sure about them is that they're Muggle dentists (although at least one fanfic has them as doctors specializing in oral surgery and Hermione just explaining that as 'dentists' to wizards). As long as that requirement is fulfilled, fanfic writers can fill in whatever they want. Even their first names are up for grabs.
** Professor Aurora Sinistra. She teaches Astronomy, and since nothing plot-important really happens there until book 5, she didn't even have a clear gender until that time.
* Aeneas has a very minor role in ''Literature/TheIliad'', but Virgil made him the protagonist of ''Literature/TheAeneid'', partly because he was such a blank slate and partly because he was one of the few Trojans to survive the sack of Troy (and since the Trojans were supposed to be the ancestors of the Romans, they were obviously the goods guys). This makes this trope, [[OlderThanFeudalism you guessed it]]...
* Rosencrantz and Guildenstern – [[AscendedExtra very minor characters]] in ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' – become the protagonists of Tom Stoppard's ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead''.
* In ''Literature/PeterPan'', Jane appeared in only one scene and was basically a GenerationXerox of her mother, Wendy. The Disney sequel ''Return to Neverland'' turned her into a highly pragmatic, disillusioned girl who grew up too fast as a result of living through the bombing in London. Margaret, the next descendant in the Wendy line (named, but never shown), gets this treatment in some fanfics.
** She also made a two episode appearance in ''WesternAnimation/PeterPanAndThePirates'' when Peter brings her to Neverland as a new Lost Boy only to find out about her being Wendy's daughter from the future.
* The past competitors/victors in ''[[TheHungerGames Catching Fire]]'' are often this, since few of them are given backstories. Fics about how they won their respective games are also common.
** Also, many of the other tributes from Katniss's games have be used this way. Glimmer, Marvel, Thresh, Foxface, the girl from 4, the boy from 3 who dug up the mines, and the girl from 8 whom the careers killed the first night, are all distinct enough that they aren't ''completely'' anonymous, but have almost no defined characteristics or personality.
* The Starlings from ''Literature/The39Clues'' served as this in many fanfics, having been PutOnABus early on in the first book. That book revealed little more than the fact that they were rich triplets and not very nice, and WordOfGod later claimed that they were part of the [[SmartGuy Ekaterina]] branch of [[BigScrewedUpFamily Cahill family]], but other than that, fans were free to fit them with whatever characteristics they wanted. [[spoiler:Then TheBusCameBack.]]
* Terry Pratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' has dozens and dozens of spear carriers, cameo roles, and placeholders. Named Assassins such as Alice Band, Miss Smith-Rhodes, Madame Deux-Epees, for instance, or the hero and adventurer Howondaland Smith. Characters like this are fertile turf for the fanfic writer. Howondaland Smith gets a tale of his own in ''Fanfic/TheBlackSheep'', which also features Miss Smith-Rhodes and Madame Deux-Epees in their fuller forms.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* There are ''Series/{{Lost}}'' fanfics that takes the minor survivors, including ''extras'', and gives them the full on Lost treatment, with flashbacks and their own sideplots.
** Although the show itself [[{{Filler}} wasn't above doing that, either]].
* In ''Series/HogansHeroes'', Wilson the medic shows up in one episode and is mentioned in another (not by name). He shows up in so many fanfictions that his name can be used as a character filter on FanfictionDotNet, combining this trope with EnsembleDarkHorse.
* Ronnie Gardocki from ''Series/TheShield'' qualifies as a major example of a live action version, as fans of the character have largely grafted onto him the personality of good guy nerd/geek who fell in with the wrong crowd as far as personality goes. Ironically, David Rees Snell (the actor playing Ronnie) has joked that had the writers fleshed out Ronnie and explored the character's dark side in relations to him being just like Lem, Shane, and Vic as far as being a JerkJock, that he probably would have lost all of his fans.
* ''Series/{{iCarly}}'': Rebecca Berkowitz, seen only once, in an extended rarely seen version of "iSaw Him First" and usually mentioned off-handedly. In any fic with her as a character, she's basically going to be an OC with a canon name, if they even bother to develop her past the implied ReallyGetsAround.
* A popular ''Series/DoctorWho'' character used in this way is the Doctor's daughter.[[labelnote:cough]][[OppositeSexClone (Opposite Sex Clone)]][[/labelnote]] For example, see the fanfic series [[Fanfic/SomeoneYoudAdmire Someone You'd Admire]].
* On ''Series/{{Neighbours}}'', Lisa Jeffries was a very minor character who shared a few scenes with Summer Hoyland; she appeared in about a dozen episodes over the course of two years. She has, however, inspired a substantial volume of fanfic, which has developed her in ways totally unrelated to her canonical characterization.
* A juvenile character named Marissa Flores, who appeared in the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Disaster" (and absolutely ''nowhere else'' in Trek canon), spawned the rather infamous ''FanFic/MarissaPicard'' fanfic series, written by a chap named Stephen Ratliff. And it's not limited to just Marissa; Ratliff also included a bunch of one-off kid characters from TNG as the title character's various minions and cohorts.
* In the ''Series/ThirtyRock'' fandom, the Liz/Gretchen ship has a sizable following. Even if you're regular viewer of ''30 Rock'', you're probably wondering who Gretchen is. Well, she's a "brilliant plastics engineer/lesbian" whom Liz was set up on a date with as part of a MistakenForGay plot. Gretchen appeared in ''one episode'' back in the first season and has not been seen or mentioned since. But let's face it, it's not hard to see the appeal of pairing someone who looks like [[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit Stephanie March]] with someone who looks like Creator/TinaFey. Plus, the episode contained a substantial amount of LesYay, featured Frank and Pete becoming [[ShipperOnDeck Shippers on Deck]] for Liz/Gretchen ("So you're saying I should just be a lesbian?", "I'm not saying it'll be easy. You get drunk first."), and ended with Gretchen deciding she couldn't be JustFriends with Liz because they were getting into a StupidSexyFriend situation.
* On ''Series/{{Glee}}'' the Warblers have little to no personality. They're very popular with fanfic writers.
** Also, Puck's mother and sister. Since they don't even have [[NoNameGiven names]] in canon, but he presumably lives with them, they play at least a minor part in most fics about his life outside of school and glee.
* Since Sebastian Moran (TheDragon to Moriarty in the original Doyle stories) had no canonical characterization in ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' until "The Empty Hearse", he effectively became one of these for the fandom. He's been depicted as everything from AffablyEvil to a {{Domestic Abuse}}r [[GenderFlip to]] a DarkActionGirl.
** He appears in the short story ''Literature/AStudyInEmerald'' as [[spoiler:the narrator]]
* In ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'', it's canonically stated that Stefan and Damon had a sibling (usually a girl in fanfics) that was born from a different mother. Whether or not the writers of the Salvatore sister stories actually know this, however, is unknown.
** Also Katherine is shown to have had a younger sister in her origin story that was killed by Klaus. Commonly she is not actually killed but rather turned by him. Katherine also had a daughter that could have been turned after giving birth to a child.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' has several minor characters from before the radiation accident but the most notable example is Frank Todhunter, the ship's first officer, who only appears in the first episode, for about five minutes screen time, and then dies offscreen along with everyone else. He later gets a few posthumous mentions but is never seen again, even in flashbacks. Other than his position on the ship, all that's really stated about him is that he was married but had several affairs and was utterly hated by Rimmer, mostly out of jealousy. He crops up as a fleshed-out character quite a lot in pre-series fics and it's become surprisingly popular to ship him with Lister.

* Music/{{Vocaloid}}, naturally, since there is nothing canon about the singers, besides name, voice and appearance (and sometimes not even that).
** [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6854461/1/Good_Night One story]] managed to bring in one of the character's ''creator'' as a separate character.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'':
** The Little Red-Haired Girl from ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' is an unseen character (though she made a few tantalizing non-canon appearances in television specials), and we know nothing about her personality since Charlie Brown doesn't have the guts to talk to her and, hence, really knows nothing about her himself. Any time she appears in a fanfic, she is this trope by necessity.
** ''Peanuts'' is actually full of minor characters who get used as OC stand-ins. Of particular note are [[TokenBlack Franklin]], Violet (usually AlphaBitch, especially in stories that require Lucy to be slightly nicer and need a {{replacement| flat character}} villain), and [[FlatCharacter Shermy]] (whose character trait in most fanfics is ''having no character traits at all'', unless he's TheAce to Charlie Brown as he was in several early strips).

* This trope is all over the place in ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}''. The franchise is filled with characters who only appear as toys with bio notes of varying character depth, and occasionally toys without bio notes. It has even happened in canon on a few occasions - the profile book ''More Than Meets The Eye'' required the authors to invent personalities for the Micromasters out of whole cloth, since those characters did not have individual bio notes, only bio notes for their team.
** Many fans were actually ''thrilled'' when this was done, en masse, in the canon comic ''ComicBook/TheTransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers.'' Japanese exclusive Overlord and toy-only characters Pyro, Ironfist, Guzzle, and Rotorstorm were assigned new, quirky personalities and [[EnsembleDarkhorse pretty much became fan favorites overnight]]. Well, Guzzle had been used in comics before, just in a negligible, minor role.
** The team behind ''Last Stand Of The Wreckers'' is now handling ''ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW'' run and has proceeded to expand on the habit of giving lots of time and personality to characters who had previously been little more than a few sentences on a bio card, such as [[MotorMouth Swerve]] or [[{{Adorkable}} Tailgate]].
* The same applies to ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' and its LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, some of whom only appeared in a [[OneSceneWonder scene or two]] and barely get to be described (the author claims he is very bad at coming up with visual traits, for example). The developers of the beloved ''Mata Nui On-Line Game'' said that {{LEGO}} barely gave them the most minor of side-characters to work with, and they had to develop their personalities and culture themselves. What resulted was a game teeming with characters more memorable and charming than many of the ones that the "official guys" made up. They easily became fan favorites.
** Fans themselves also get chances to flesh out some of the more underused characters, via official writing or art contests. In the latter, they can even design the look of the characters themselves.
* This is pretty much the point of ''Franchise/MyLittlePony''. Most ponies don't appear in adaptations and even many who do are lucky to get a single line. G1 ponies had a brief (and often bizarre) story on their backcard, whereas more modern ponies just have a sentence about them (such as "likes to write stories.") This leaves almost everyone up to interpretation.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' has a lot of this. Sure, you have some basic personality for all members besides the mute protagonist, but the character development and interaction between the party is almost zero, every time the team talks is about the next mission or quest. That leaves a lot of open space for {{Fanon}}.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Just about any fanfic that places characters from the games (Brendan, Lucas, Leaf, etc.) into the anime's continuity will make use of this principle to some extent, since most of said characters never appeared on the show outside of 3-second cameos, with Leaf never appearing at all. There's no set pattern for what personalities writers assign them, but there's usually a good chance that they will be used for {{Shipping}} somehow.
** Likewise with game fanfics themselves. Almost no one takes into account the NPC in-game personalities of the opposite gender protagonists. Most {{NPC}}s get this treatment to various effects. Rivals and protagonists are given whatever personality, being that you really have to look into the text of the games to see any bit of personality beyond "HotBlooded, determined ChildProdigy".
** Due to the fact player characters and rivals [[HelloInsertNameHere can be named by the player]], fic writers can freely use any name for any of the above characters, except possibly Brendan and Lucas in the anime. For some reason, [[AuthorAvatar writers tend to use their own names]] for these characters.
** The Generation IV Frontier Brains (other than Palmer and Caitlin, who have appeared outside the Frontier in the games) rarely appear in the anime continuity, but when they do, they are this trope.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** Commonly done to Dark Link. In the video games, Dark Link is a mindless, monstrous obstacle, usually representing the evil in Link. [[SelfFanservice But fanfiction writers and fanartists tend to give him]] [[TheBlank a face]] and personality.
** Link himself, whose dialogue [[HeroicMime is limited to the player picking 'yes' or 'no' when asked a question]] ([[ButThouMust and "no" usually gets you a re-statement of said question]]) lends himself to this. The main character of a video game is often a [[FeaturelessProtagonist blank slate for the player to write him/herself onto]], after all. Later versions of Link manage to have ''some'' personality (most notably ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Wind Waker]]'' has a few SilentSnarker moments, while ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'' has his relationship with Zelda and a BerserkButton or two) which makes them easier to write while still being vague enough to write your own way.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' has this mainly in the form of the dialogueless midbosses[[note]]except Te([[SpellMyNameWithAnS w]])i, who got plenty of canonical characterization later[[/note]]. The standouts are Daiyousei, Koakuma, and Momiji, who have managed to become [[EnsembleDarkhorse fairly popular]]. Most of the time they remain {{Satellite Character}}s to the boss whose stage in which they appear.
** Daiyousei and Koakuma don't even have any stated non-danmaku powers in a series where virtually everybody has a random superpower, so fans are ''required'' to make up a power for them. They didn't even have ''names'' originally, the ones used here invented entirely by the fandom (translated as "big/greater fairy" and "little devil", respectively).
** Part of the reason for the massive doujin and fanfiction community that has arisen around the games is that, despite the LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, only a small portion of the cast receive anything more than a brief character profile and some dialogue, and even fewer receive any form of backstory, leaving writers with enormous wriggle room. Even the two {{Universe Compendium}}s are written by {{Unreliable Narrator}}s working with a lot of second- and third-hand information, and ZUN himself is [[ShrugOfGod notoriously unhelpful]] and even outright [[FlipFlopOfGod contradicts himself]].
** Rin Satsuki is also prone to this treatment, being a DummiedOut character from ''Embodiment of Scarlet Devil''. The only remaining piece of data is her name, though fans sometimes associate her with [[http://en.touhouwiki.net/images/9/9b/Th06Rin.jpg this image drawn by ZUN]] (later confirmed to be a random sketch which doesn't represent anyone) and a throwaway line of dialogue where Marisa refers to a nurse.
** Despite just being someone's quick ''VideoGame/{{MUGEN}}'' creation, the character "Sendai Hakurei no Miko" (The Previous Hakurei Shrine Maiden) was picked up by artists and fully fleshed out as the Miko who existed so long ago everyone has forgotten her name. Depicted as a BoisterousBruiser with BoobsOfSteel, she fights without Reimu's spell card rules. As such, she ended up CoveredInScars. Also depicted as a MamaBear, depending on the artist.
** It's extremely easy to give this treatment to the bosses from the very first game (''Highly Responsive To Prayers'', for PC-98) because literally ''nothing'' aside from a name and a title is known about them. No dialogue, no backstory, nothing. Sariel is apparently an [[TheGrimReaper Angel of Death]], and that's the extent of the canonical information we have. Konngara, meanwhile, is even '''more''' ambiguous - her title "Astral Knight" and theme "Swordsman Of A Distant Star" suggest an extraterrestrial origin, her horn resembles an oni's, her apparent lack of legs make her look like a ghost, while her name seems to reference a deity's attendant. You can do literally ''anything'' with the character and not violate any sort of canon in any way.
* Doctor Cain usually gets this treatment in ''VideoGame/MegaManX''. Despite being a pretty important canon character in regards to the backstory, he barely gets a few lines in the games before vanishing. Most fanfic writers characterize him as a kooky old man and a father figure to X and Zero. Lots of other characters could also qualify, since the MMX games were very sparse on characterization until the later games.
** Dr. Cain finally did receive some characterization in ''Day of Sigma'', a tie-in OVA for ''VideoGame/MegaManMaverickHunterX''; the problem here lies in the fact that ''MHX'' was something of a reboot for the series, the SNES games in particular, and as such, the cast received tweaks to their characterization (some minor, some major) which may or may not be incompatible with the later titles (plans for sequels fell through when the game underperformed). That, and [[spoiler:Cain being killed off in a missile strike on Abel City ordered by Sigma, despite original canon stating that he was alive at least until the time of ''X4''.]]
** The same can be said for the characters in ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'' (most non-playable Robot Masters especially), since most of them only have a small character profile to hint at their personalities.
* The Guardian Spirit from the first ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos'' game is supposed to be [[AnyoneYouKnow you]], and is therefore a sort of {{Featureless Protagonist}}. Naturally, there have been several fanfics written about the this character. Unfortunately, too many of these fics end up making the Spirit a female MarySue with a crush on Kalas. The term "Spirit Sue" was created by the fanbase to describe this particular interpretation of the character.
** [[spoiler:Marno]] from the prequel doesn't get this to the same degree, since he has an actual role in the plot. However, he could still work for this trope, since his actual personality is never shown.
* The [[WordOfGod commentary]] on ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' states that this is the entire point of HeroicMime Gordon Freeman, with the player being the OC in question.
** Resident EnsembleDarkhorse Adrian Shephard as well. All we have of his personality are a few diary entries in the ''Opposing Force'' manual which don't say much.
* The same is true of Chell, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}''. The few things that we're told about her character are [[UnreliableNarrator likely to be complete lies]], so any characterisation in fanfic is made from whole cloth.
* Decoy Octopus from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' is one of these, especially since it's part of his job description. He literally can adopt the personality of whoever he's disguised as.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'' has a whole group of these in the form of the Cobra Unit. [[Webcomic/TheCobraDays Several fan writers/artists]] [[FanFic/TheJoyOfBattle have done their]] [[Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFoxhound takes on the Cobra Unit]] who, in the game, have a total of about three minutes on screen outside of the battles with them. They are one of the most popular topics of MGS fanfic, especially among female writers.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** The [[{{Precursors}} Forerunners]] were practically an entire species (or group of species) of OC Stand-Ins until ''Literature/TheForerunnerSaga'' fully fleshed them out, jossing a whole lot of fan theories in the process.
** The Rookie in ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' is this to a lesser degree, having no lines beyond grunts, no visible face (he always has his helmet on), and no identification beyond the initials "JD"; the designers claim this was intentional, to better allow the player to integrate with the character. Spartan-B312 in ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' is this even more so, with male and female voice sets, and armor customization that is persistent throughout both campaign and multiplayer; this was done for the same reasons as the Rookie. The members of Fireteam Crimson in ''[[VideoGame/{{Halo 4}} Spartan Ops]]'' are also this, as they're literally your multiplayer characters put into the canon ''Halo'' universe.
* The "Library Girl with a Pigtail" in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', who crushes on Zell and seems to have his interest by the end of the game, yet who remains nameless and without any personality beyond "bookish and shy" in canon. Begs for PossessionSue treatment by any Zell fangirl.
* The {{Franchise/Nasuverse}} has several characters [[AllThereInTheManual only mentioned in backstory]] that aren't very well described. Thus when these characters are used in fanworks, the trope is present. Perhaps the biggest example is Altrouge Brunestud, Arcueid's sister. We don't even know what she ''looks'' like (beyond [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld that she looks like a fourteen year old girl]]), but that doesn't stop the fanart.
* Odd ''canon'' example, ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', a crossover that featured characters from the first 12 ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games, had to pretty much create personalities for the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI Warrior of Light]] and the [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII Onion Knight]] from the wholecloth. It should also be noted that the latter could have possibly been avoided if the game used Luneth or one of the other three orphans from the DS remake instead of the OK kids from the NES version, but that wouldn't quite fit what the game was going for.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** Fanfiction has Oriana ([[spoiler:Miranda's genetic twin sister]]) and Kolyat (Thane's son) as a relatively popular pairing, despite ''never'' meeting, or even coming ''close'' to meeting and having no connection to each other in the game besides a certain Commander intersecting with their lives. Kolyat is developed a bit better than Oriana, who never actually speaks or is interacted with until the third game.
** Preitor Gavorn – a turian whom you only meet outside of Afterlife – is this to an extent, too. He was largely ignored by the fanbase for some time, until a video in ''Lair of the Shadow Broker'' showed him with a human male in what appears to be a bedroom. Since then, he has been given varying personalities, though most have some hints of StraightGay in them.
** Another popular target for an OC Stand-in is Hannah Shepard, the PlayerCharacter's mother if the spacer background is chosen.
** Of course, Shepard him/herself is also much of a blank slate for writers to do whatever they want, given their open-ended nature in the game.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' has accrued several such characters, though since these often turn up [[AdaptationDistillation in the comics]], said personalities are often used. Nevertheless, Ray the Flying Squirrel, Mighty The Armadillo (though he's almost always put as the lost forth member of Team Chaotix), Bean the Dynamite, and Bark the Polar Bear (often paired together, for being introduced in the same game), often end up being OC stand-ins, as do [[TheMissingno Ashura the Hedgehog, and Wechnia]], [[DevelopmentHell Tiara Boobowski]], [[WhatCouldHaveBeen Nazo]], and [[DummiedOut Honey]] [[FightingVipers the Cat]], though these five are very rare to see in fanfic, not that the first four show up often, {{original character}}s are far more common.
* A few shopkeeps from ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' get this treatment, and HT Masuoka in particular is a favourite of slash writers given his [[HoYay suggestive dialogue]]. Eri is the minor character who gets the most mileage by far, however, since she has a confirmed pre-existing relationship with Shiki and can be believably integrated into the main cast.
* Kaede from ''[[VideoGame/DotHackGUGames .Hack://GU]]'' has absolutely no real importance in the story other than acting like Zelkova's bodyguard, although until she joins your party in the post game you have no idea what her weapon even is. The worst part is she basically vanishes in volume 1 after her appearance, yet you can still do the marriage event with her in Volume 3 despite her having absolutely no development and virtually no game time.
* ''PlayerMooks'' can easily be used as this.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** The [[PlayerCharacter tactician]] from the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe seventh game]]. His default name is Mark, but you can change that and his gender. He never says anything (that we hear) and is only spoken to. There are a small wealth of fanfics about him/her, and almost each one gives him a separate personality and back story.[[note]]Most popularly coming from Bern.[[/note]]
** ''New Mystery of the Emblem'' and ''Awakening'' have My Unit/Avatar, a customizable unit who actually appears in your army during gameplay. They do actually have lines, though, but their personalities (particularly that of the My Unit in ''New Mystery'') are [[TheGenericGuy somewhat nondescript]]. Naturally, plenty of fanfics have been written around these two (more so ''Awakening's'' My Unit than ''New Mystery's'', probably because of NoExportForYou).
* The originally-intended but [[WhatCouldHaveBeen eventually scrapped]] protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', Dartagan, appeared in the game for less than five seconds. There is a huge range of interpretations of him within various different fanfics, roleplaying accounts, and even {{Creepypasta}}.
* The player characters from the ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'' series, being {{Silent Protagonist}}s who's only real characterization is "friendly and hard working." Real [=OCs=] only come into the picture when fic writers want an exotic-looking character (90% of the time, female).
* [[TheFaceless The Pyro]] of ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' often gets this treatment, having the least characterization of all of the classes, [[TheSpook no backstory]], or even [[AmbiguousGender a set gender]]. This practice has presumably lessened since his/her [[ADayInTheLimelight 'Meet the' short finally came out]].
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', the students in Hisao's class besides him, Shizune, Misha and Hanako get this treatment, as a piece of official art shows their names, club affiliations and disabilities, but nothing about their personalities or backstories.
* Sasasha, a Chocobo raiser from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2'', had very few info on them. We never met them, just heard of them. This allowed some fanfic authors like the one for FanFic/TheTaintedGrimoire to shape the character as they pleased.
* ''VideoGame/AoOni'' has had a few over the various versions of the game (due to characters' roles becoming bigger, smaller, changing or being removed altogether), but Mika is the most consistent example. In the most recent version (6.23), she receives very little characterization beyond her attraction to Takuro [[spoiler:[[FaceMonsterTurn before dying and coming back]]]].
* ''Franchise/SpyroTheDragon'':
** Introducing characters from the "classic" titles into the ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro'' reboot is a popular thing. Fans figure if Spyro and Hunter exist what's stopping characters like Bianca, Elora, or Ember from too?
** In a more traditional way, certain characters such as Flame are barely in the games but are expanded upon by fans. Flame is often [[PairTheSpares a love]] [[FanPreferredPairing interest for Ember]].
* For the VideoGame/MegaManLegends series, the Bonnes' parents show up in fics at times despite not appearing in canon.
** ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'' names them Don Juan and Bonnie Bonne, and had them be on constant vacations and overall neglectful.
** ''FanFic/MegaManReawakened'' names them Victor and Anastasia. They died by the time the story starts.
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' has [[spoiler: [[DummiedOut W.D. (Presumably WingDings) Gaster]]]], whom we know almost nothing of, giving a lot of clay to mold.
** Similarly, we know very little of the owners of the six colored human souls. Their weapons and armor can be picked up throughout the game, but this is all that we have in regards to discerning their personalities.
** Several fan fictions expand on Grillby’s backstory, frequently making him a soldier in the war between humans and monsters. His personality varies from DeadpanSnarker to a high-strung ball of anxiety. Sometimes he’s the father or uncle of Fuku fire. In-game, he runs a bar and has a single line of dialogue.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The [[FilmNoir Midnight Crew Intermission]] of ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' brought us The Felt, a 16-man mafia group, only two of whom (Snowman and Doc Scratch) got substantial characterization to be clearly defined as characters. The remaining fourteen ALL get this treatment, as only their powers and maybe a single moment of funny is supposed to encompass their characterization. The only exception is Clover, whose appearances manage to characterize him as a fusion between [[Franchise/{{Batman}} The Riddler]] and the ClockKing, which is still a fairly open characterization.
** Until Act 6 Intermission 5, two of the Felt only appeared [[PosthumousCharacter posthumously]], and all that was known about them previously were their names and faces (of course, they still got no characterization at all when they showed up). While their appearances in fanfiction increased once they made an appearance in the story, there still were examples of people using them for as {{OC Stand-in}}s before anything was known about them.
** The Post-Scratch Ancestors were intentionally written like this so that fanfic writers could have access to a more 'serious' Alternian setting than the setting of the modern trolls. Other than their basic appearance, most important actions, some of their {{Shipping}} proclivities and a bit of the personality of one of them (Mindfang, a sexy pirate and [[StylisticSuck rather a bad writer]]), we know very little about what they are like. This is lampshaded in comic where Hussie refers to Doc Scratch's exposition on them as fanfiction.
* Quill-Weave in ''{{Webcomic/Prequel}}''. As par the course in [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion the source material]], she's given the slightest hint of a personality and features in the very first fighters' guild quest. She's much more fully fleshed out in the comic, especially through the scenes from her POV.
** The same goes for Sigrid, who in Oblivion is a survivor of Kvatch who sells potions. Since the comic takes place before the events of Oblivion, she's made the head of the Mage's Guild in Kvatch and her unusually high Merchantile stat is explained as her being especially beautiful and charming (as well as using some artificial enhancements like Enchantments and Alchemy, mechanics that are known to be {{Game Breaker}}s in the series).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' fanfiction, especially the group of fics known as ''ProjectDarkJade'' (''QueenOfAllOni'' and ''QueenOfShadows'' are prominent), this is common for the Oni Generals minus Ikazuki. They aren't even ''named'' in canon! [[EnsembleDarkhorse The Queen of the Shadowkhan]], Jade's SuperpoweredEvilSide that appeared in one episode also sometimes gets this as well, albeit to a lesser extent unless the story is ''very'' AU.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'':
** Until episodes such as "Isabella and the Temple of Sap", the [[ScoutOut Fireside Girls]] had close to no lines and no characterization, other than Gretchen, who even then only spoke once or twice. ''Especially'' Gretchen, who in {{fanon}} is often paired with Ferb, apparently just because she's the first girl his age (other than Isabella) to get a name.
** Django counts as well. He's been used a lot more by fans than in the canon series.
* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'':
** Ezekiel gets this fairly often; he got very little development because he was the first character to get voted off, an event that some viewers thought was unfair since he had completed the episode's challenge while other characters didn't. To a lesser extent Katie and Sadie also get this, since in canon aside from their co-dependency they have very little that separates them from the more developed and funnier Lindsay.
** One episode of ''All-Stars'' features Scott mentioning his sister, a pig-calling champion named Alberta (who apparently prefers to go by Al). It's become increasingly common among TD fanfiction writers to give Al a full-blown personality and develop her relationship with Scott.
** B also sometimes get this treatment. Mostly due to his [[GadgeteerGenius cool inventions]] and the fact that he [[TheVoiceless never talks]].
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'':
** In canon, Gretchen was strongly hinted to have a crush on [[HeroAntagonist Dib]] in one episode. The pairing is not widely popular (despite being the ''only'' romance in an otherwise NoHuggingNoKissing series), but even those who don't use her as a main character often elevate her to "[[MauveShirt Most Important Random Skoolkid]]" or mention her and Dib's "romance" in passing.
** Another commonly used character is Invader Tenn; she only shows up in two scenes in one episode, and it was planned for her to return in the never developed series finale. Because of this, she is very often often used whenever a writer wants or needs to use an Irken outside the ones with more screen time (Zim, the Tallest, Tak, Skoodge). Of course, most of the stories she shows up in are based on (or are outright fan versions) of the aforementioned finale.
** Zita is another victim to this. While a girl with her looks is common to see in the episodes, all we know about her is that she considers Dib to be crazy and, unlike other students, is respected by Ms. Bitters and have the most moments of sympathy ofr Zim. Nevertheless, people throw even this minor canon out of the window and pair her up with Dib.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'' fandom has Klokateers. In the show, they're several legions of hooded, uniformed, fanatically loyal employees of the Dethklok company who rarely have lines and are referred to by number rather than name. Because of the extremely stringent entrance exam and its 50+% mortality rate, the recruits who survive to become Klokateers are extremely exceptional specimens, physically and intellectually. This makes them ''ripe'' for this trope. There are a few who have risen to prominence, mostly through slash fandom.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'' fandom is pretty notorious for this, largely due to the fact that the show has scads of random recurring backgrounders who never do anything and yet have extremely distinctive character designs (a result of them all being based on real people who worked at MTV at the time). Because the fandom is relatively close-knit, the characterizations of many backgrounders have actually become pretty standardized. Burnout Girl is almost always involved with drugs, that blond from ''The Invitation'' is named Tori Jericho & was president of the Fashion Club before Sandi, etc.
* This is common in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' community, due to the prevalence of [[EnsembleDarkhorse Ensemble Darkponies]]. Many of the most popular characters in the fandom have no official names or speaking roles, let alone a canon characterization:
** Special mention goes to Princess Luna. When she first appeared, she had somewhat of a vague characterization, but she had barely any screen time or lines (excluding her SuperpoweredEvilSide Nightmare Moon). She then proceeded to vanish from the show for the rest of the first season. This prompted not only heavy speculation about her character (typically interpreted as a ShrinkingViolet desperately trying to adapt to a world that's changed in the 1000 years she was gone) but also about what she was doing now (an oddly popular hypothesis had it that she was being politically repressed by [[RonTheDeathEater her evil power-hungry sister, Princess Celestia]]). When she finally appeared in Season 2, she left this trope behind by simultaneously [[DesperatelyCravesAffection confir]][[FishOutOfTemporalWater ming]] AND [[NightmareFuelStationAttendant contra]][[LargeHam dicting]] nearly every fan depiction of her.
** Because of the ''huge'' PeripheryDemographic that follows this show, many of the background characters have [[WordOfDante Word Of Dante Style]] personalities that are almost universally followed. Even ''before'' the [[ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW comic series]] more or less made many of these personalities canon, it was strange to see Octavia as anything ''other'' than a cultured, sophisticated character with a British accent or Vinyl Scratch as being a wild unpredictable party animal, and the duo would always be depicted as at least friendly rivals and at most lovers. Keep in mind these two characters had ''no lines and no interactions'' whatsoever on the show and never even appeared in the same episodes. They're only two examples: almost every background character ever has been given a back story and a characterization by the fans, and some are popular enough that it is considered ''FandomHeresy'' to go against them. The most prominent are Lyra, Bon Bon, Vinyl Scratch, Octavia, Derpy Hooves, Golden Harvest, Time Turner/[[Series/DoctorWho Doctor Hooves]], Colgate, Berry Punch, and Caramel with Button Mash (a character who literally showed up for one second in one episode) getting a spin-off online animation which inspired a large number of fanfics about him as well. Soarin also frequently appears in this role, doubly so because he is a rare male character on the show.
* This is common with the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends other]] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyG3 series]] in the ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' franchise too. There are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of toy characters that either didn't pop up in the cartoon adaptations or didn't get much screen-time at all (many didn't even speak). Thus people make up whatever personality they want, especially in later gens where few characters actually have real backstories anymore.
* Ursa, Zuko and Azula's MissingMom, from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. She's of no small importance to the plot, given that she [[spoiler: killed Azulon to save Zuko's life]], but her only scenes are in Zuko's flashbacks and [[spoiler: Azula's hallucinations]]. Fans have a field day discussing how accurate either of those are and what she was actually like. It doesn't help that the lack of a family reunion is the series' biggest unresolved plot thread. She was eventually expanded upon in the comics released post-series, though not without significant controversy.
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' has a few, but none so popular as Star, or Star "Satellite" as the fandom has named her. She has some lines and establishing character moments, but in general, the Show portrays her as the blonde girl who hangs around the AlphaBitch Paulina. Naturally, fanfic authors have a ball giving her HiddenDepths.
** Then there's Wes Weston, a background character who only appeared in "Shades of Gray", who was given a name, personality, and backstory by the Phandom. He is now considered the Phandom's group [[OriginalCharacter OC.]]
* FanFic/TakeCareBear is an unusual case. Her author created Take Care Bear as a custom bear, not one of the canon Franchise/CareBears, then inserted her into the world of [[WesternAnimation/CareBears1980s the 1980s cartoon]]. This bear is a medical doctor, and her tummy symbol is an apple. Few fans knew that an official bear had the same name. Take Care Bear is a OneShotCharacter in ''Literature/TheCareBearsAndTheBigSneeze'', an obscure coloring book from 1987. This bear is a medical doctor, and her tummy symbol is an apple. (The 2004 toy line launched a new version of Take Care Bear.)\\
The similarity might be coincidence: "take care" is an idiom, and there is a proverb, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." So it is plausible that the fan author, not aware of the coloring book, created a custom bear with the same name, job, and tummy symbol. The coloring-book bear has brown fur, but the fan-fiction bear has red fur. Fans may conflate two into one. Therefore, the fan-fiction Take Care Bear is an OC Stand-in for the coloring-book bear.
* Part of the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' fandom will utilize this trope on minor classmates in the 4th grade class. Red was a popular choice in early years, as she was the only one of the girls to have had no lines or discernable personality – up until season 6 and on. Kevin Stoley is the usual favorite these days, with fans attempting to give him an entire backstory beyond being the ''Star Trek''/''Star Wars'' geek and theorizing at length about his relationships and family.
* In the later seasons of ''WesternAnimation/TheRaccoons'', an unnamed little raccoon girl made several silent cameos, and got one speaking role in 'Endless Summer', where we briefly see her talking with Bentley. She has seen use by many fan-fiction writers, usually giving her the name ''Annie Ringtail'' (with some writers naming her ''Penny''). A great deal of these fan-fictions depict her as a love interest for Bentley, though how he returns the affection (if at all) varies by writer.
* ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'':
** ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'' is an unusual case, as it's not so much characters from the show who're stand ins, but the characters ''not'' featured. Due to the series tweaking some personalities to make them teenagers ([[InNameOnly some who all they share with their original versions being their names]] [[UpToEleven and some don't even get their real names, just their old codenames]]), a lot of characters from the comics that the show was based on work as these. Want a female British X-Man? Covered, Betsy Braddock/Psylocke will work. Want a male British one? Pete Wisdom. Want a team genius? Cypher. Want a character with a dark and edgy past? Its ''X-Men'', anyone would fit that.
** Dani Moonstar and some of the New Recruits serve as this as well. As Dani only appeared in one episode, not much of her personality was fleshed out, and as such can serve as any personality type they want. Roberto only got a bit of characterization: A slightly egotistical 'jock' type, while Rahne got a snarky playful personality, both from just one episode, after that, they get no lines other than background appearances.
* Charlene from ''Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'' is presumed to be a prototypical version of Brittany. She only only officially appeared in one song (though an unnamed chipmunk in several later music videos looks like her). Nothing is known about her in canon besides she liked Alvin (and Alvin liked her back). She frequently appears in fan-works nevertheless.
* ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'': The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNWncZpeNkI original "pilot" short]] for the series had a character named Félix (or Felix) as Chat Noir; though he superficially resembles Adrien, including having a [[TwoPersonLoveTriangle Two Person Love Square]] with Marinette, he was [[{{Tsundere}} much less friendly]] toward her. WordOfGod says he wasn't working, so they scrapped him and made [[NiceGuy Adrien]] instead. In fanfic, however, don't be surprised if Félix shows up as Adrien's AloofBigBrother or PolarOppositeTwin, who may have been the previous Chat Noir or currently be splitting duties with him.
** Similarly, the slightly-different design of Marinette is sometimes [[DecompositeCharacter made into a whole new person]] named Bridgitte/Bridgette, who may be Marinette's sister or cousin.
* ''GravityFalls'' has a few notable examples:
** Tad Strange: before he actually appeared, his PunnyName, [[Creator/CecilBaldwin voice actor]] and comments about him being "a real square" led to the fan theory that he would be a second dream demon similar to the triangular [[BigBad Bill Cipher]]. Instead, he's pretty much meant as a one-off joke about a RidiculouslyAverageGuy with an IronicName. Demon!Tad still shows up in fanfic sometimes, and may be [[CompositeCharacter combined]] with the canon version.
** Jimmy Snakes, a character from an unused episode mentioned by [[WordOfGod Alex Hirsch]] on Twitter. He was supposed to be a former friend of Stan who had become a GhostRider-like entity, and a concept drawing showed him spitting in Stan's direction. Popular fanon [[BaseBreaker diverges]] on his portrayal; he's frequently an OldFlame of Stan's, but whether he's abusive or simply [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold rough around the edges]] depends on the author.
* Lydia from ''WesternAnimation/MiloMurphysLaw'', about whom we know little except that she's a friend of Amanda and (to a lesser extent) Melissa. She seems like a nice kid, which makes her ideal ship fodder.