Playing With / Replacement Flat Character

Basic Trope: When a Flat Character shows Hidden Depths, a new character takes their place.
  • Straight: After Bob grows a backbone, Charlie is introduced to fill that role.
  • Exaggerated: In one episode Bob goes from being a Lovable Coward, to the bravest character on the whole show. The new character Charlie is so cowardly he disgusts even the villains.
  • Downplayed: At first Bob and Charlie were interchangeable cowards, though Bob had a bigger role. After Bob becomes braver, Charlie gets a bigger role to highlight Bob's development.
  • Justified: Bob was sent into the group by Emperor Evulz in hope that he would betray the team. When Bob becomes braver, Evulz sends Charlie into the group.
  • Inverted: After Bob's cowardice is Flanderized, Charlie comes in to play Bob's original role.
  • Subverted: Before long, Charlie gets some Character Development too.
  • Double Subverted: ...only to get replaced by yet another flat character.
  • Parodied: As soon as word gets out that Bob just Took a Level in Badass, the villagers swarm our heroic Five-Man Band with requests to fill his old role in the group.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob grows a spine where there was none before, and Charlie carries out the 'coward's' duties once he joins the group. Once Bob's greatest, most irrevocable fear manifests itself, though, Charlie steps up and proves highly effective against that particular threat. Until Bob can be assured that it won't recur for a while, he is practically ineffective — and then he does for Charlie what Charlie had done for him recently. Then they realize, hey, they're not total wastes of space in this group so long as David is around.
  • Averted:
    • Bob remains a coward.
    • No 'new coward' joins the group.
  • Enforced: "Half of the fans like the fact that Bob grew a backbone, and the other half miss his cowardice. To please both halves, let's introduce a new character."
  • Lampshaded:
    Bob: That coward Charlie, running away on us...
    Alice: You used to be like that, Bob.
  • Invoked: The team invites a token Straw Loser on so its members remember they're still better than that character.
  • Exploited: Bob, realizing that Charlie would run away, plans accordingly.
  • Defied: The team refuses to let another coward onto the team.
  • Discussed: "So Bob has finally grown a backbone, a new coward will probably join the team."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Implied: One day, Bob is looking as nervous as he always has done. An unspecified amount of time in the future, he no longer looks perpetually nervous, while Charlie is there sporting a facial expression similar to what Bob always used to.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob always ran away from actual threats, while Charlie runs from the most comically inept foes imaginable.
  • Deconstructed: Charlie is resentful of Bob, and how he overcame the flaw that Charlie is still suffering from. Being upset in his role as an unwilling Foil, this leads to Charlie leaving the group or even betraying them outright.
  • Reconstructed: However, Charlie was right to resent Bob: he's eventually undone by his cowardice, where Bob survives due to his bravery. Charlie represents what Bob could have become, had he not undergone Character Development.

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