Rescued From The Scrappy Heap / Western Animation

  • Justice League Unlimited
    Aquaman: King of the seas, remember?
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold continues the Descrappification of Aquaman by depicting him as one of the Largest Hams in a World of Ham and a Boisterous Bruiser, to the point that it's common to refer him not as Aquaman, but as AQUAMAN. "Outrageous!!!"
  • Young Justice did this with the Aqualad mantle by replacing Garth, a character widely mocked for having the same "useless" powers as Aquaman and wearing ridiculous short-shorts, with Kaldur'ahm, an Atlantean child soldier and magician who can create weaponry from water and generate powerful electrical blasts.
    • Their Garth isn't too bad either; he's actually more advanced in magic than Kaldur, due to the latter spending time on the surface world as a superhero sidekick. He also briefly demonstrated the "power of the Tempest", as an homage to his modern comic book identity.
    • Even moreso for Sportsmaster, a Z-list supervillain from The Golden Age of Comic Books who gets reimagined as a Badass Normal mercenary.
      • The show in general has a habit of turning various villains into righteous badasses, even those who were pretty good before. Mister Twister was suddenly a huge threat, and Clayface (not an unpopular villain before) became downright terrifying.
    • Their take on Apache Chief also adds a lot of Character Depth. It gives him a Disappeared Dad, implies he doesn't get along with his mother's boyfriend, and is one of Blue Beetle's best friends before they both got superpowers. They also gave a more interesting twist to his powers: rather than simply growing, he surrounds his body with a huge human-shaped forcefield.
      • Apache Chief, Samurai, and El Dorado all get much more interesting characters and badass points here. The whole group turned into Ensemble Darkhorses post their first episode with lines, "The Runaways". Except for Static, who already had his own TV show and fanbase.
  • Speaking of Scrappy-Doo, they tried to change him during the "All-New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo" and the "New Scooby-Doo Mysteries": "Scrappy is now even more matured, and softened down from before, having a much bigger sense of danger. He will even back down if a monster growls loud enough, and can even be seen shivering in fear and crying for help; unthinkable in his earlier life. He is now the 'new Freddy', solving the mystery with Daphne, while Shaggy and Scooby return to their prior role as the comedy relief who only keep the ghosts busy while Scrappy and Daphne find the clues." ...sadly, hardly any of this showed up on the screen, and he remains The Scrappy to this day.
  • Gwendolyn "Gwen" Tennyson of Ben 10 was polarizing, with opinions varying from "obnoxious Mary Sue who just annoys Ben" to "The only one with any sense or responsibility". However, after the Time Skip for Ben 10: Alien Force, she's much more soft-spoken and Ben isn't doing nearly enough crap for her to complain about, and is potentially the most powerful character. Which was enough to satisfy plenty of her haters, while the people who liked her beforehand now hate her.
    • Similarly, Ben's canon love interest Julie Yamamoto was initially hated by fans for being considered as a Satellite Love Interest who had been created just for the sake of giving Ben a girlfriend, having no real personality or interesting power and being considered as a Replacement Scrappy for Ben's crush in the original series, Kai Green (despite Kai appearing in only one episode of the original show and not being that popular). As the series went on however, Julie Took a Level in Badass by gaining a Galvanic Mecamorph pet named Ship who could turn into a ship and later a Powered Armor for her, and eventually learnt how to fight. Now she still has some haters, but also some fans, and most of her haters tend to be those shipping Bevin (Ben/Kevin) or Bwen (Ben/Gwen).
    • Jury Rigg was originally written off for being too similar in use to the more popular Grey Matter. Omniverse gave him a complete redesign, including an aviator's outfit, more hyper personality, and increased emphasis on his ability to build. He's now considered one of the more unique aliens in Ben's arsenal.
  • Dil and Kimi, despite being loathed Scrappies in Rugrats, were actually quite liked when they became preteens in All Grown Up!. Although some argue that Kimi's personality took a turn for the worse.
  • Enzo Matrix from ReBoot started off as an obnoxious, trouble-making Bratty Half-Pint, then got caught in something simultaneously a Time Skip and Plot-Relevant Age-Up, and changed into a gun-wielding, renegade bad-ass lancer type between one season and the next.
    • On the flip side, some Bootniks, especially the older ones, found Matrix to be the undesirable one due to his unexpected one-eighty and excessive angst.
      • And then young Enzo was brought back, so you had both Enzo and Matrix. Everyone is happy! Or everyone is unhappy...?
  • In Transformers Generation 1, human sidekick Spike was considerably more tolerable (and attractive) after the Time Skip in the movie (he even got to say 'shit!'). Of course, it helped that his son Daniel was introduced at the same time.
  • Brian Griffin was The Scrappy from 2009 to 2012, until the writers decided to kill him off. Now he's the most popular character on the show.
    • A really weird example with Meg. Early in the show, she was not a very well-liked character and was just an "average teenage girl" and didn't really do a lot of interesting things. The creators of the show took this and decided to make her a Butt Monkey, since people already disliked the character and it would give her more of a place and identity on the show. Ironically, the Butt Monkey status has really saved her with some of the fans: now people feel SORRY for her, and they cheer every time the creators give her some moments of happiness, like getting a good boyfriend or getting revenge on someone who was mean to her.
  • Spyke from X-Men: Evolution was changed from an underdeveloped Totally Radical Token Black Guy with powers that were unintentionally similar to an existing X-Man to a maturing Badass hero for the downtrodden Morlocks with cartilage armor and the ability to light his spikes on fire. Many Spyke detractors liked the change but unlike X-23, it wasn't enough to get him in the comic. He did have a counterpart in the third movie, but he was a villain.
    • Spyke did appear in the comics as a member of the X-Force (which later became X-Statix)...although as canon immigrants go, this wasn't a very good one; Comic Spike was a beefy, arrogant adult instead of a wiry, carefree teenager. They didn't even have the same real name...but the inspiration, at least, was clear.
    • He sort of appeared in Black Panther going by the name David Evan Munroe (Spyke's name was Evan Daniels). He's Storm's younger relative like in the show, but so far he's too young to display any mutant abilites. At the very least, like Spike, the inspiration is clear.
  • Two words: American Godzilla. The cartoon spin-off helped garner fans that originally hated the monster in the first place. It also helps that he started to ACT like his Japanese counterpart as well.
    • His appearance in Final Wars also helped, where he acted like a true kaiju and decimated Sydney, Australia by himself.
      • It also counted as a Take That, Scrappy!. Once the "real" Big G showed up in Sydney, Zilla came charging in like a maniac for what looked like would be a battle of a Lightning Bruiser vs. Mighty Glacier. Nope; Godzilla smacks his CGI counterpart away with his tail - taking out the Opera House at the same time - and with one big Atomic Breath attack annihilates him. At least it was funny!
      • It has to be pointed out, the American Godzilla from the movies and the one from the cartoons are distinct, individual characters. Zilla remains a scrappy in the eyes of many fans, as his appearance in Final Wars demonstrates. But his son, Zilla Jr., is well accepted as a Kaiju on his own right.
    • Zilla Sr. finally got some respect after his appearance in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, where he managed to cause some trouble for the original Godzilla despite being outmatched in almost every respect. He even leaves the fight alive after realizing he had no chance against his tougher counterpart.
  • A controversial example would be Lisa Simpson. Some have always loved her, while others think she became a Scrappy in the middle seasons (seasons 11-14), once she turned from The Smart Guy into a Soapbox Sadie. For the latter group, the show's last few seasons should seem like a good example of this trope. Starting from season 15, the show has had an unwritten ban on stories where Lisa gets involved in politics, in favor of returning her to her roots as a socially isolated smart girl.
    • Some believe this transition occurred twice. In the earliest points of the show, Lisa existed as either a blander Karma Houdini version of Bart or a Rightly Self-Righteous Only Sane Man, thus making her occasionally insufferable. After the first couple of seasons however, Lisa developed a more pompous buffoonish side, more frequently humbled after being treated as an annoyance or displaying Not So Different tendencies regarding her family.
  • Owen from Total Drama Island, possibly. Season 2, he became an out-and-out Creator's Pet, by losing challenges while his team still loved him, winning them based on his farting and obesity, and being even more of a Gasshole. Not only did every character (including Chris) love him, but he got to return, to the joy of all the "good" characters, and make it to the final four. However, season 3 he's been toned down considerably: getting an actually funny sub-plot of being afraid of flying, and both negatively and positively contributing to his team. And his Odd Friendship with Noah and his breakup with Izzy. Come the Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race Owen's scrappydom seems to have died down even more. While he's still guilty of many of his previous character faults, this season he actually seems to be trying to win, has a good friendship chemistry with Noah, and his making it so far in the competition doesn't feel anywhere near as forced as previous seasons.
    • Sierra has always been and remains a Base Breaker, but even many detractors will admit that she's more tolerable in the last few episodes of season three, when some quick and long-needed Character Development has her finally realize that she should treat Cody more like a friend than a prize to be won.
    • Scott has gotten this as of Season 5 to an amazing degree; he went from one of the most hated contestants to one of the most beloved. The reason for this is that he has stopped throwing challenges, started a sweet relationship with Courtney, and has had some funny moments. The fact that his Butt Monkey status has been upped considerably also gives him more sympathy from the fans.
    • From the Spin-Off Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race:
    • The hate for the Adversity Twins waned a bit, especially for Mickey, after his interactions with Kitty and their "trial alliance" as well as them not going the underdog route and making it far.
    • Father-Son got quite a lot of hate during the first episode, being considered annoying and predictable, especially Junior who was weighed down by the fact he was a Justin Bieber Expy. However this opinion changed very quickly, after they showed themselves to be one of the most complex teams in terms of interactions, with Junior being one of the maturest characters in the show despite his young age.
    • The Rockers garnered a lot of hate early in the season for having no plot, especially Spud who dud nothing but bob his head to music. This all changed when Spud's quirks of "delayed reaction time" was introduced, where many immediately started loving him.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
    • Ahsoka Tano. It's generally been accepted that she started to get better as a character in Season 2 once they pulled back from having her in nearly every episode. As of Season 3 and several episodes later, it's safe to say Ahsoka has become a good example of a character being rescued from the Scrappy Heap. The good blood Ashley Eckstein has built up in the fanbase thanks to Her Universe probably helped a little, too.
      • If the excitement over her reveal as the true identity of Fulcrum in Star Wars Rebels is any indication it's safe to say that Ahsoka's graduated well past scrappy status to become a true fan favorite.
    • Anakin from the Clone Wars (CGI) series is arguably his best characterization. He went from a character fans blame for ruining Darth Vader filled with endless Wangst to an actually likeable character.
    • They made Jar Jar Binks tolerable (and also gave him a useful ability)! One thing that helped here was they showed how other characters were sometimes annoyed by him, and how even his friends like Padme often are humoring him. Also, only one episode had him being ridiculously clumsy. And instead of inexplicably taking out tanks, like in Episode I, it just enabled him to dodge insanely well which, added to his cloak, made the Too Dumb to Live mooks assume he was a Jedi. He then used the fact that they thought he was a Jedi to trick them. That's right. Jar-Jar pulled one over on the bad guys. Summon Bigger Fish becoming an ascended meme during his first episode didn't hurt either.
  • The LGM from Toy Story went from annoying gag characters to Big Damn Heroes when they rescued the gang from the incinerator in Toy Story 3.
  • Bucky Buenaventura spent the first season of The Zeta Project as an insufferable little borderline sociopath. He reappears in Season 2 with a flattering redesign, a new voice actor, a reasonable grasp of common sense and friendship, and a mild (and hilarious) crush on Ro, but keeps the mad hacking skills and snarky dialogue. The overall result takes him from horrendous brat to surprisingly likable lancer.
  • Sandy Cheeks of Spongebob Squarepants began as a somewhat grating God-Mode Sue and near incorruptible Only Sane Man for the other far more flawed cast members. Following the second season however, the show began to lampshade Sandy's somewhat excessive talents and also develop some valid flaws for the character (episodes such as "Pressure" and "SpongeBob, Sandy and the Worm" seemed to focus largely how Sandy wasn't good at everything). Ironically she is arguably the one main character in the newer episodes that hasn't had her callous or idiotic habits heavily Flanderized.
  • Nabu from Winx Club wasn't a very popular character when he was first introduced in season 3. Understandable, seeing as he was introduced late into that season, didn't get much Character Development and it was pretty obvious that he was just there to give Layla a love interest. He didn't even appear in the first movie apart from a brief cameo appearance at the very end. Season 4 gave him some more Character Development and some chances to show off his awesome magical fighting skills, which quickly helped make him a lot more popular. There's also Roxy, who was introduced in that season. At first the fans were a bit skeptical to her as they felt a seventh fairy wasn't necessary, but as the season progressed the fans seemed to warm up to her as she became more confident with being a fairy.
  • Cubert from Futurama lost his oft-annoying skepticism at the end of his debut episode.
    • Notably the creators had intended him as a parody of annoying characters (particularly Wesley Crusher), so even that episode had plenty of Take That, Scrappy! moments.
  • Bat-Mite in The New Adventures of Batman was generally hated. In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, he provides a lot of humor to make up for it.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!:
    • Ant-Man and to a lesser extent The Wasp haven't had the greatest reputation in comic books so, it seems likely that their rather different and much more sympathetic portrayals in is an intent to do this. Instead of a mentally unstable wife-beater, Ant-Man is one of the most moral team members, and rather than being a Rich Bitch, Wasp is a likable Non-Idle Rich Genki Girl.
    • By the same token, the show continues the trend in spin-off media of distancing Iron Man from his "Nazi" Civil War persona by toning down his Jerkass tendencies and making him an anti-authoritarian rebel who tells Nick Fury where to get off and refuses to trust or cooperate with S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • Ignoring the comics, Maria Hill gained some haters for acting like a Jerkass after becoming director of S.H.I.E.L.D. In particular, even though she constantly needed the Avengers' help in saving the day, and needed rescuing by Iron Man at least once, she refused to thank them, because they fight crime as vigilantes. However, she gained some fans during the climax of the show's Secret Invasion adaptation, when she outsmarted the Skrulls invading the Helicarrier, then saved Nick Fury and Iron Man from the Skrull queen.
  • ThunderCats (2011) made Snarf bearable by making him a Ridiculously Cute Critter who can't talk. The Thunderkittens have also received this treatment; it helps that they're voiced by actual children this time.
  • Transformers Prime goes Up to Eleven with this, by rescuing the human species from the scrappy heap. Unlike most Transformers shows, the humans don't suck this time. Agent Fowler is a Reasonable Authority Figure, the kids stay out of the way (as a group, individually is another story), and human villain Silas is just as threatening as any Decepticon. Only Miko is the typical Scrappy human, though she gets better in the second season when she becomes less prone to rushing into situations that put everyone in peril and starts to contribute more to the team.
    • A pattern started by Transformers Animated, which had a larger but still well-liked cast of humans. Several human villains appeared in the earlier episodes, but their presence was mitigated by the fact that they were explicitly intended to create a sort-of Sorting Algorithm of Evil with the Decepticons at the top; and when the Autobot/Decepticon conflict took the fore as the series progressed, the human villains faded quietly away. Ironically, though, the character who was probably the best-received human sidekick yet, Sari Sumdac, turned out to not be a human at all!
      • Human villain Meltdown was generally well-received by the fanbase, however, and got to appear the most during the first two seasons. Probably helped by him being a credible threat and all-around nasty piece of work compared to the others who - barring maybe the Headmaster - were usually an enormous joke.
      • The Headmaster probably got a huge boost to popularity because he took off Sentinel Prime's head in one episode which allowed Optimus to get some hillarious catharsis over on him
  • Lola Bunny first appeared in Space Jam as a seemingly flawless tomboy clearly added simply to fulfill The Smurfette Principle. She later appeared in The Looney Tunes Show as a neurotic Stalker with a Crush. A number of people find her funnier this way. The fact that she's dressing more modestly for a change and having her voluptuous figure toned down to make her seem like more of an Ingenue rather than a Ms. Fanservice helps.
    • On the other hand, anybody who actually liked Lola for her personality and not just her curves can't stand the new Lola.
  • Irving from Phineas and Ferb, though never technically an official Scrappy, was definitely a Base Breaker: Half the fans hated him, the other half related to him and liked him. After his first appearance, though, he was given more Character Development beyond just being the Loony Fan that follows the boys around, and fans are now much more agreeing and accepting of him.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic did this to the entire MLP franchise, at least after the rather unsettling appearance of the G3.5 videos that surfaced beforehand. It took a series that had become Snark Bait and gave it a very compelling cast and setting that stayed true to its idealism without being overbearing. This also gets applied to several in-universe characters.
  • Adventure Time: Flame Princess was often criticized as being a Mary Sue Tsundere that "stole" Finn's Princess Bubblegum relationships. But then came "Burning Low" and "Ignition Point", which reveals she isn't really evil and her backstory is rather heartwrenching though less of a scrappy and more for the Hardcore Shippers.
    • Lemongrab 2 was at first as hated as his brother. However, he too was rescued from the scrappy heap after the events of the episode Too Old. When the original Lemongrab became a cruel dictator, Lemongrab 2 became nicer and outright defied his brother (an example was when Lemongrab stated that something was unacceptable and he countered saying it was acceptable). When Finn and PB were escaping with Lemongrab's son Lemonhope, Lemongrab 2 gets out of the original Lemongrab's stomach and helps his son to escape. Because of his treachery, he was killed but not before giving Lemonhope encouraging words.
  • TOM 4. When the fourth version of longtime Robot Buddy TOM first appeared in 2007, he was generally hated by the fans for replacing the generally better-liked third version with no explanation of where TOM 3, SARA, or the Absolution had gotten to. Adding to that, the whole thing just reeked of Executive Meddling in the wake of the Mooninite bomb scare, and came with the decay of Toonami into nothing but Naruto filler and reruns. Then in 2008, Toonami was canceled, and the people mourned TOM 4 as the last symbol of the block they'd loved, but this particular iteration of the Toonami Operations Module wouldn't be truly Rescued from the Scrappy Heap until years later, when a revived Toonami headed by a high-definition upgrade of TOM 3 checked in on him during the Daylight Savings Time hour, being the first proof in the revival that yes, TOM 4 hadn't just been erased from the continuity, and also being the first time that everyone was happy to see TOM 4.
  • H.E.R.B.I.E., Reed Richards' robot who stood in for not-legally-available Human Torch in The Fantastic Four (1978), is probably the trope codifier for the Replacement Scrappy. In The Super Hero Squad Show, however, he's a lovable Deadpan Snarker Chew Toy who blames "the lawyers" for the whole mess.
  • The Twins in Superjail! started as the most hated characters in the show and were often cited as one of its flaws by fans and critics alike. The reasons given for hating them amounted to their voices being obnoxious, them ruining Warden's plans and seemingly only existing to do so, and them being a little too flamboyant for some fans' comfort. By the time of Season 2, they had gained their own following of fans and their focus episodes served to flesh them out slightly more. These days, the two are more of a Base Breaker as some still consider them to ruin the show, yet they have a lot more fans due to the revelation that they're the lesser-desired and bullied sons in their family.
    • The Mistress received Scrappy treatment from a periphery demographic of fans who felt she was getting in the way of Warden's relationship with Stingray, as well as those that hated her aggressive personality and considered her to not have as much interesting qualities as her male counterpart. By season 3, this died down a little bit, as she was revealed to be longing for one good man, and wound up sleeping with Alice, which seems to have (momentarily) killed the assumed threat of her getting in the way of shipping.
  • Wendy Testaburger had long taken heat from South Park fans for various reasons, whether it was her jealousy-filled murder of a teacher she assumed would take Stan away from her, her being annoying and a Soapbox Sadie, or the general shallow and on-and-off type of relationship she and Stan had (of course, they are kids). In "Breast Cancer Episode Ever", she became largely relieved of her Scrappy status when she managed to beat up Cartman. However, she does continue to be a base-breaking character as some felt her victory was undeserved and that she only exists to "be mean" to Cartman.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man
    • While people still have problem with Spidey, he starts to get a bit more sympathy due to being the Butt Monkey for his team and actually acting like the Only Sane Man in some episodes. It helps that he undergoes Character Development in Season 2.
    • Power Man was criticized as a Flat Character Big Guy, but his nightmare in "Strange" caused some to warm up to him, and his appearance in the next episode, "Awesome", further helped him out. Also, like White Tiger below, he gets an A Day in the Limelight episode in Season 2 that introduces his origins and his parents, which also helped flesh him out.
    • White Tiger, big time. Most fans saw her as the most obnoxious character after Nova for most of the show, but "Kraven the Hunter" gives her a very large Character Development, revealing her origin, and shows her actually expressing affection for Peter.
  • The Legend of Korra had Asami in Book 1. Many disliked her due to Die for Our Ship. However, as the incredibly socially awkward Mako started to be more dismissive of her along with her father being an Equalist and tried to kill her, she became one of the more beloved characters.
  • Wendy from Gravity Falls was derided in season one for being a generic "cool teen" character who didn't fit well with the rest of the main characters. Season two fixed it by leaps and bounds, first by having her join Dipper and Mabel's adventures and prove a very effective part of the team, and then having her admit the cool teen thing is just a facade and she's actually constantly stressed out.
    • To a much bigger extent, very few people liked Pacifica Northwest in Season 1. She seemed to exist mainly as just the sterotypical "rich popular girl" and was a jerk to Mabel. Then came the Season 2 episode "Northwest Mansion Noir," where we learn more about Pacifica's family life and why she acts the way she does. Turns out her parents trained her for her entire life to respond to commands just by ringing a bell, and they refuse to let her associate with people who they consider below their status. Pacifica finally manages to overcome her family's manipulation of her when she learns that her ancestors were all horrible people and vows to fix the family name. She then becomes a key player in saving the day, becoming a much nicer person in the process.
  • For those who were annoyed by Princess Morbucks' shrill and lispy voice in the original The Powerpuff Girls, she now has a much smoother voice with her new actress in the The Powerpuff Girls (2016). She also acts less like a whiny Spoiled Brat and has more of an Awesome Ego.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap/WesternAnimation