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Playing With: Ensemble Darkhorse
Basic Trope: A minor character that the audience takes a shine to.
  • Straight: On Generic Workcom, Scott is a minor co-worker of the leads, a nerdy White Collar Worker with a love of science fiction books. The audience loves Scott, and is vocal about this. Most reviews of the show mention him, and fan mail is plentiful. The producer finally notices, and rewards Scott's actor with A Day in the Limelight episode in the third season, and more frequent lines, including his own Running Gag.
  • Exaggerated:
    • As The Leader and The Lancer walk down the castle hall arguing in Cast of Thousands: The Movie, they pass a guard with a craggy face and an unusually lop-sided ear. The guard is only on-screen for seconds, and has no lines or actions, but the viewers find themselves fascinated by "Lop-Ear". He undergoes Memetic Mutation, speculation on Lop-Ear's backstory is rife, and there are entire epic fanfics devoted to Lop-Ear as the main character. One of these is second in popularity only to the best fanfic pairing the leader and lancer. The director catches wind of Lop-Ear's popularity, and rehires the extra who played him for Cast of Thousands 2. Lop-Ear has evidently gotten a promotion, as he has a fancier guard uniform, and appears in more scenes. He still doesn't talk, though. The director says he's saving that for a possible Lop-Ear spinoff.
    • Memetic Bystander
    • One-Scene Wonder
    • The writers and especially the executives see the minor character as So Bad, It's Horrible whilst the Fandom sees it as So Cool It's Awesome.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • The audience likes who the audience likes. You can try to manipulate them to a certain extent, but the actual popularity of any character is unpredictable.
    • Scott, despite being minor, is very well written and memorable, appearing in one of the most highly rated episodes of Generic Sitcom.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: The audience loves Scott in his brief normal appearances, but his fanboy persona wears thin quickly when he is on screen too long.
  • Double Subverted: The writers pay attention to feedback and make the necessary efforts to round the character out, restoring his popularity.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Scott's popularity varies from episode to episode, depending on the writer; sometimes he steals the entire forty minutes, but other times he's incredibly annoying and misplaced. The audience goes between loving and hating him as a result.
  • Averted: No characters stand out to the audience more than their roles would normally do.
  • Enforced:
    • It's kind of a rule that you can't enforce this trope. If you try, you get a Creator's Pet or worse.
    • For an alternative definition, Executive Meddling keeps the best character down, despite what the fans want.
  • Lampshaded: "I thought I'd brighten everyone's day by dropping in."
  • Invoked:
    • The writers take time to craft decent lines for even the most minor characters, in the hopes that one or more will be picked up as a favorite by the audience.
    • Be warned: it's an unwritten rule that you kind of can't invoke this trope. If you do, there's a large chance that the character will end up as a Creator's Pet.
  • Exploited: Laurie, an aspiring fanfic writer, notices that everyone on the Generic Workcom forum just loves Scott, makes him the central character in her fanfic in order to get more views.
  • Defied: "Eh, all the characters on that show are decent, but none of them really excites me."
  • Discussed: "Have you ever noticed there always seems to be applause when Scott enters the room?"
  • Conversed: "My favorite character on Generic Workcom? Definitely Scott. Yeah, he doesn't get a lot of lines, but the actor totally sells him."
  • Deconstructed: It's revealed that Scott lives for the brief moments where he's acknowledged, and otherwise lives an unfulfilled, unexciting, lonely life, in constant envy of the protagonists and their far more interesting existence.
  • Reconstructed: ... then he gets A Day in the Limelight and decides that maybe that kind of life is just fine.

Yes, Ms. Fanservice is indeed fine, but who's that fellow in the checked tie, the one who's sharpening a pencil? He looks interesting! Let's follow him back to Ensemble Darkhorse.

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