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Analysis / The Scrappy

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While much usually depends on execution, certain kinds of characters have a much higher probability of being unintentionally hated:

In addition, if the writers begin relying too heavily on an already-present character with some potentially annoying quirks (like The Unintelligible or the Non-Human Sidekick), the viewers may begin to find him/her very annoying indeed. Sometimes even a very popular character is at risk of becoming a Scrappy when he or she wears out his or her welcome by being overexposed.

Occasionally, a character intended as a Butt-Monkey will backfire and become a Scrappy, too. This usually happens when a writer attempts to make his mishaps even funnier by making him an unlikable person to whom it's very satisfying to see horrible things befall. A great idea, but sometimes it backfires when the Butt-Monkey becomes so annoying that whatever happens to him in the story, audiences are haunted by the feeling that it will never be enough. An especial risk when the Butt-Monkey gags are prolonged, after which even a character who's not inherently unlikable can stop being funny and become a Damsel Scrappy. It also comes full-circle in a way; note also that many Scrappies can easily become Butt Monkeys when touched upon in fan discussions and literary parodies. In any given Hate Fic, and even in the occasional straight-up Fan Fic, the author may very likely go a step further than making The Scrappy into the Butt-Monkey, killing him or her off (often brutally), or giving a "hero" Scrappy a Face–Heel Turn so he becomes the villain - after which he again will likely be killed off.

Strangely, at the other end of the spectrum lies another common scrappy, the Author Avatar. Unlike a Butt-Monkey, they lack any sort of shame on principle; instead serving as the voice of reason, or whatever contrived argument the writer thinks is reason. If bad things happen to this character, it will be to prove that everyone else is allegedly stupider.

Scrappies also often fall under a Double Standard, when popular characters are more likely to be whitewashed and get away with actions that fans would slander an unpopular character for doing.


Example of: