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* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''

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* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''''Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender''



* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' we have Tenzin's BadassBookworm daughter Jinora. Starting out as a side character in Book One, she was granted an [[AscendedExtra expanded role]] in Book Two that saw her become Korra's spirit guide and mentor, giving the latter the skills needed to defeat the BigBadDuumvirate of the season. Book 3 saw her becoming a main character, receiving her own RomanceArc and [[spoiler: helping to bring down another BigBad]]. The culminates in [[spoiler: her being made the youngest airbending master in history, beating out her grandfather, the previous [[PhysicalGod Avatar]], by one year)]].

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* ** ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' we have Tenzin's BadassBookworm daughter Jinora. Starting out as a side character in Book One, she was granted an [[AscendedExtra expanded role]] in Book Two that saw her become Korra's spirit guide and mentor, giving the latter the skills needed to defeat the BigBadDuumvirate of the season. Book 3 saw her becoming a main character, receiving her own RomanceArc and [[spoiler: helping to bring down another BigBad]]. The culminates in [[spoiler: her being made the youngest airbending master in history, beating out her grandfather, the previous [[PhysicalGod Avatar]], by one year)]].


** Ronnie Anne became popular when she was formally introduced in "Save The Date" thanks to emphasizing how [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold she's tough yet also has a good heart]] while also showing her more [[{{Adorkable}} lovable behavior]] . Once she moved to the big city to live with her mother extended family, she became more popular, and eventually got a whole 5 episode arc in season 4, and [[WesternAnimation/TheCasagrandes her own show]] .
*** In a similar vein, the season 4 special "Friended! With The Casagrandes" introduced Sid Chang, who proved to be popular thanks to being [[{{Adorkable}} lovably eccentric]] and [[GenkiGirl energetic]]. She becomes Ronnie Anne's friend and a main character in the spin-off.

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** Ronnie Anne became popular when she was formally introduced in "Save The Date" thanks to emphasizing how [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold she's tough yet also has a good heart]] while also showing her more [[{{Adorkable}} lovable behavior]] . Once she moved to the big city to live with her mother extended family, she became more popular, and eventually got a whole 5 episode arc in season 4, and [[WesternAnimation/TheCasagrandes her own show]] .
*** In a similar vein, the season 4 special "Friended! With The Casagrandes" introduced Sid Chang, who proved to be popular thanks to being [[{{Adorkable}} lovably eccentric]] and [[GenkiGirl energetic]]. She becomes Ronnie Anne's friend and a main character in the spin-off.
show]].


** [[Disney/PeterPan Tinker Bell]], being practically the second mascot of Disney after WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse (appearing in many commercials and in the studio's VanityPlate), has become a Breakout Character and now stars in [[Franchise/DisneyFairies a series of her own]].
** If you're a guy, [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Grumpy's]] got you covered. It seems the Disney characters with the most attitude tend to be breakout characters.
** Along with [[Disney/LiloAndStitch Stitch]] (as mentioned in Animated Films on the main trope page), the ''Franchise/LiloAndStitch'' franchise's [[WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries first animated series]] had its own breakout character: [[DistaffCounterpart An]][[LoveInterest gel]], which is impressive considering she was in only two episodes, with a cameo in a third episode and only a minor role in the franchise's [[WesternAnimation/LeroyAndStitch last film]]. Since then, [[Anime/{{Stitch}} the anime]] that came afterwards [[AscendedExtra featured her much more often]], she was made into a costumed character for the Ride/DisneyThemeParks (and said costume was later given a redesign to be more inline with the Stitch costume design-wise), and she appears on lots of merchandise, some of which are even sold in America over a decade after the end of ''Lilo & Stitch: The Series'' and the peak of the franchise's success there. In fact, Disney even made a dedicated character page for her on the official Disney Store website for the U.S., [=shopDisney=]. Not only that, she was even added to mobile games ''VideoGame/DisneyTsumTsum'' and ''VideoGame/DisneyMagicKingdoms'' because of her popularity.

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** [[Disney/PeterPan [[WesternAnimation/PeterPan Tinker Bell]], being practically the second mascot of Disney after WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse (appearing in many commercials and in the studio's VanityPlate), has become a Breakout Character and now stars in [[Franchise/DisneyFairies a series of her own]].
** If you're a guy, [[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs [[WesternAnimation/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Grumpy's]] got you covered. It seems the Disney characters with the most attitude tend to be breakout characters.
** Along with [[Disney/LiloAndStitch [[WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitch Stitch]] (as mentioned in Animated Films on the main trope page), the ''Franchise/LiloAndStitch'' franchise's [[WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries first animated series]] had its own breakout character: [[DistaffCounterpart An]][[LoveInterest gel]], which is impressive considering she was in only two episodes, with a cameo in a third episode and only a minor role in the franchise's [[WesternAnimation/LeroyAndStitch last film]]. Since then, [[Anime/{{Stitch}} the anime]] that came afterwards [[AscendedExtra featured her much more often]], she was made into a costumed character for the Ride/DisneyThemeParks (and said costume was later given a redesign to be more inline with the Stitch costume design-wise), and she appears on lots of merchandise, some of which are even sold in America over a decade after the end of ''Lilo & Stitch: The Series'' and the peak of the franchise's success there. In fact, Disney even made a dedicated character page for her on the official Disney Store website for the U.S., [=shopDisney=]. Not only that, she was even added to mobile games ''VideoGame/DisneyTsumTsum'' and ''VideoGame/DisneyMagicKingdoms'' because of her popularity.



*** Ironically, ''Disney/TheTiggerMovie'' also began the expansion of similarly minor character Roo's role, with him gaining a much larger spotlight in later movies and ''also'' his own Direct to DVD movie. ''Disney/PoohsHeffalumpMovie'' also arguably featured Roo more as the main protagonist than the title character.
** Thumper proved an endearing foil to ''{{Disney/Bambi}}'' and for a long while Disney considered giving him his own spin off movie. While this never came to be (yet), he still appears on as much merchandise as Bambi himself and even has his own separate toy and storybook line, ''Disney's Bunnies''.

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*** Ironically, ''Disney/TheTiggerMovie'' ''WesternAnimation/TheTiggerMovie'' also began the expansion of similarly minor character Roo's role, with him gaining a much larger spotlight in later movies and ''also'' his own Direct to DVD movie. ''Disney/PoohsHeffalumpMovie'' ''WesternAnimation/PoohsHeffalumpMovie'' also arguably featured Roo more as the main protagonist than the title character.
** Thumper proved an endearing foil to ''{{Disney/Bambi}}'' ''{{WesternAnimation/Bambi}}'' and for a long while Disney considered giving him his own spin off movie. While this never came to be (yet), he still appears on as much merchandise as Bambi himself and even has his own separate toy and storybook line, ''Disney's Bunnies''.


* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': The clones of Domino Squad were originally created as one-shot characters for the episode "Rookies". However, due to the episode and the squad proving so popular among fans, season 3 started with a flashback episode showing their backstory, and Fives and Echo, the only surviving members of the squad, became recurring characters with their own subplot from that season onwards, with Fives in particular eventually serving as the main character of the Order 66 arc.

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* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': The clones of Domino Squad were originally created as one-shot characters for the episode "Rookies". However, due to the episode and the squad proving so popular among fans, season 3 started with a flashback episode showing their backstory, and backstory. Fives and Echo, the only surviving members of the squad, became recurring characters with their own subplot from that season onwards, with Fives in particular eventually serving as the main character of the Order 66 arc.arc.
-->'''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3b0YwG3-d4 Dave Filoni:]]''' On the crew, ["Rookies"] was one of our favorite episodes. When it aired, it became ''very'' clear that the fans also really related to the rookies, they really liked that episode, and we thought: "Wow, we've really got something here."

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* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': The clones of Domino Squad were originally created as one-shot characters for the episode "Rookies". However, due to the episode and the squad proving so popular among fans, season 3 started with a flashback episode showing their backstory, and Fives and Echo, the only surviving members of the squad, became recurring characters with their own subplot from that season onwards, with Fives in particular eventually serving as the main character of the Order 66 arc.


** Ronnie Anne became popular when she was formally introduced in "Save The Date" thanks to emphasizing how [[Main/JerkWithAHeartOfGold she's tough yet also has a good heart]] while also showing her more [[Main/{{Adorkable}} lovable behavior]] . Once she moved to the big city to live with her mother extended family, she became more popular, and eventually got a whole 5 episode arc in season 4, and [[WesternAnimation/TheCasagrandes her own show]] .
*** In a similar vein, the season 4 special "Friended! With The Casagrandes" introduced Sid Chang, who proved to be popular thanks to being [[Main/{{Adorkable}} lovably eccentric]] and [[Main/GenkiGirl energetic]] . She becomes Ronnie Anne's friend and a main character in the spin-off.

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** Ronnie Anne became popular when she was formally introduced in "Save The Date" thanks to emphasizing how [[Main/JerkWithAHeartOfGold [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold she's tough yet also has a good heart]] while also showing her more [[Main/{{Adorkable}} [[{{Adorkable}} lovable behavior]] . Once she moved to the big city to live with her mother extended family, she became more popular, and eventually got a whole 5 episode arc in season 4, and [[WesternAnimation/TheCasagrandes her own show]] .
*** In a similar vein, the season 4 special "Friended! With The Casagrandes" introduced Sid Chang, who proved to be popular thanks to being [[Main/{{Adorkable}} [[{{Adorkable}} lovably eccentric]] and [[Main/GenkiGirl energetic]] .[[GenkiGirl energetic]]. She becomes Ronnie Anne's friend and a main character in the spin-off.



* By the last few seasons of ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', Angelica Pickles became the most popular character of the franchise. She was the only ''Rugrats'' character to make TV Guide's list of Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters in 2002, and she and Susie also got their own short-lived spinoff ''Preschool Daze''.

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* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'':
**
By the last few seasons of ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', seasons, Angelica Pickles became the most popular character of the franchise. She was the only ''Rugrats'' character to make TV Guide's list of Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters in 2002, and she and Susie also got their own short-lived spinoff ''Preschool Daze''.

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** Since the show was VindicatedByHistory in the early 2010's after spending the 2000's being seen as a show that suffered from oversaturation and extreme SeasonalRot, Reptar has becoming something of an icon of the show more than the babies. Most social media posts prominently feature the green dinosaur character on its own and merchandise of Reptar has been readily available with no indication the character was previously from this show.


* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
** Discord first appeared as the BigBad of the two-parter "Return of Harmony" as essentially a chimeric version of [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Q]], and was so CrazyAwesome that many fans couldn't help but fall in love with him. Although TakenForGranite at the end of his debut, he was revived in season 3 to be successfully redeemed ([[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor of sorts]]) by Fluttershy, and was promoted to recurring character in season 4.
** Invoked with the BigBad for ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls2013'', Sunset Shimmer. The character was seen as a generic bully character in a SoOkayItsAverage film, and was originally meant to return as a minor character for the sequel ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks Rainbow Rocks]]'', doing little more beyond being the person to contact Twilight Sparkle for help and being fodder for a RunningGag about her previous villain status. After writing that initial draft, series producer and writer Meghan [=McCarthy=] realized that Sunset's redemption was a more interesting story over the usual "Twilight saves the day" plot, and thus expanded her prominence. Sunset's subsequent reformation took very well in the fandom, and her subsequent explosion in popularity resulted in her being promoted to the main character of the entire ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls Equestria Girls]]'' series, while Twilight Sparkle ([[AlternateSelf the "main" one, anyway]]) was DemotedToExtra.

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* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
**
''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Discord first appeared as the BigBad of the two-parter "Return of Harmony" as essentially a chimeric version of [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Q]], and was so CrazyAwesome that many fans couldn't help but fall in love with him. Although TakenForGranite at the end of his debut, he was revived in season 3 to be successfully redeemed ([[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor of sorts]]) by Fluttershy, and was promoted to recurring character in season 4.
** Invoked with the BigBad for ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls2013'', Sunset Shimmer. The character was seen as a generic bully character in a SoOkayItsAverage film, and was originally meant to return as a minor character for the sequel ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks Rainbow Rocks]]'', doing little more beyond being the person to contact Twilight Sparkle for help and being fodder for a RunningGag about her previous villain status. After writing that initial draft, series producer and writer Meghan [=McCarthy=] realized that Sunset's redemption was a more interesting story over the usual "Twilight saves the day" plot, and thus expanded her prominence. Sunset's subsequent reformation took very well in the fandom, and her subsequent explosion in popularity resulted in her being promoted to the main character of the entire ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls Equestria Girls]]'' series, while Twilight Sparkle ([[AlternateSelf the "main" one, anyway]]) was DemotedToExtra.
4.


* [[TheRockStar Luna Loud]], from ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' started off as just one of Lincoln's sisters. However, she quickly gained a ton of fans. Currently, she is the sister that has the most episodes focus on her, including a special.

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* [[TheRockStar Luna Loud]], from ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' has a few examples:
** [[TheRockStar Luna Loud]]
started off as just one of Lincoln's sisters. However, she quickly gained a ton of fans. Currently, she is the sister that has the most episodes focus on her, including a special.
** Ronnie Anne became popular when she was formally introduced in "Save The Date" thanks to emphasizing how [[Main/JerkWithAHeartOfGold she's tough yet also has a good heart]] while also showing her more [[Main/{{Adorkable}} lovable behavior]] . Once she moved to the big city to live with her mother extended family, she became more popular, and eventually got a whole 5 episode arc in season 4, and [[WesternAnimation/TheCasagrandes her own show]] .
*** In a similar vein, the season 4 special "Friended! With The Casagrandes" introduced Sid Chang, who proved to be popular thanks to being [[Main/{{Adorkable}} lovably eccentric]] and [[Main/GenkiGirl energetic]] . She becomes Ronnie Anne's friend and a main character in the spin-off.


** Marvin the Martian: Though he only appeared in 5 Golden Age-era shorts (starting with 1948's Haredevil Hare), Marvin became much more popular after the official run, appearing on much of the merchandising, alongside the main characters.

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** Marvin the Martian: Though he only appeared in 5 Golden Age-era shorts (starting with 1948's Haredevil Hare), WesternAnimation/HaredevilHare), Marvin became much more popular after the official run, appearing on much of the merchandising, alongside the main characters.


* Robotnik's incarnation from ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' became the most popular character in the show by a long shot, in no small part thanks to him becoming a staple of WebAnimation/YouTubePoop.

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* Robotnik's incarnation from ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' became the most popular character in the show by a long shot, in no small part thanks to him becoming a staple of WebAnimation/YouTubePoop.

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* Robotnik's incarnation from ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' became the most popular character in the show by a long shot, in no small part thanks to him becoming a staple of WebAnimation/YouTubePoop.

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** The show was initially centered around Bart, but sooner or later, Homer became the central focus of the series.


* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': Peridot. Introduced initially as a semi-regular villain, [[spoiler:she joins in the Crystal Gems after her HeelFaceTurn]].

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** That aside, Bender actually is one. He is often cited for stealing the show with the scenes he's in and he is the most exploited character when it comes to merchandise.

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