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Character Introduction Index

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How characters are introduced in stories.

See also How to Gather Characters. Compare Beginning Tropes.

  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Someone who is not already an established character joins the heroes right in time for the final battle.
  • Attack Hello: Physically attacking someone (in a friendly way!) as a means of greeting.
  • Avengers, Assemble!: The Dream Team is called to assemble, and after a sequence of them all getting "the call", it concludes with them all together.
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  • Backstory Invader: A new character alters the other characters' memories, or reality itself, so that they have always been part of the story.
  • Bait-and-Switch Character Intro: A character's introduction changes half-way through to reveal something different than what they were first portrayed as.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The cavalry appears just in dramatic time.
  • Big Entrance: Entering a place in the biggest, loudest, and flashiest way imaginable.
  • Bitch Alert: Within .2 seconds of her entrance, you know she's going to be trouble.
  • *Click* Hello: The click of a gun behind their head lets a character know they've got company.
  • Clique Tour: A quick rundown of the groups involved in the setting.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: They don't know each other well at all, but it's either one character goes with another, or they die.
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  • Crash-Into Hello: Friends or love interests meet by literally crashing into each other.
  • Debut Queue: Before the actual plot begins, a story's first couple chapters or episodes focuses on introducing and establishing characters.
  • Delayed Narrator Introduction: The narrator is presented as just that at first, only to later be revealed as an actual character in the story.
  • Dramatis Personae: The characters appearing in a work are listed (and maybe described) at the beginning or end.
  • *Drool* Hello: "Ew, what's this wet stuff dripping on m—Oh."
  • Dynamic Entry: A previously unseen character appears via attacking an enemy in a showy fashion.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A character who has a larger role in the story later on has a brief appearance earlier, without much attention drawn to them.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: Someone's face or body is completely masked in shadow until they dramatically reveal themselves.
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  • Establishing Character Moment: When a character is introduced in a work, there is a scene—or even as small as a moment—that lets the audience know what kind of character they're going to be.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: The main cast meets one another one by one. Some of them may already be acquainted, but it doubles to let the audience get to know them.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The first thing you see of them is one or both of their feet, and then the camera goes up and up and up until you can see their face.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Two characters have already met, but one or both of them doesn't remember it.
  • Hero Looking for Group: The hero is ready to go on their quest, but they know they can't do it alone. So, they head out to find some like-minded companions.
  • Incoming Ham: A character's first, single line lets the audience know that they're going to chew up every bit of the scenery.
  • Introduction by Hookup: Two people hook up in a one-night stand. No biggie, right? No strings attached... until they meet again, sometime later, under new context.
  • Introductory Opening Credits: Opening credits with the characters and their names.
  • Intro Dump: Main characters, and just about everything to know about them, are shown right at the very beginning of the work.
  • Kick the Dog: Villains are often introduced doing something cruel to others.
    • Pet the Dog: Conversely, heroes and other more sympathetic sorts will often get a scene where they do something good or nice for someone.
  • Last Episode, New Character: It's the final chapter, but that doesn't stop this character from making their debut.
  • Meet Cute: When two characters meet in a way that is awkward and/or embarrassing—but also adorable, because the two will end up as love interests.
  • Meet the In-Laws: One of the most serious steps in a relationship—meeting your future in-laws.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: A work begins with a brief scene of the protagonist as a child.
  • Morning Routine: Introducing a character by showing what they do every morning.
  • Mysterious Stranger (a subversion): A character whose motivations, alliance, and even their name and appearance are completely hidden from the audience when they appear.
  • Naked on Arrival: The character's first scene, and they don't have a stitch of clothing on them.
  • Pursued Protagonist: The protagonist is introduced as they are being chased down by dangerous enemies.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: A team which had previously (and permanently, it seemed) disbanded rallies together once more.
  • Remember the New Guy?: They have never appeared in the work before, or have even been mentioned, but characters still act like they've always been there.
  • Rescue Introduction: The first appearance of a character has them being rescued by the protagonists.
  • Retired Badass Roundup: A band of Retired Badasses are being reunited.
  • School Forced Us Together: A group of people is brought together by the school system.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Putting everything needed in a series' pilot episode can be tricky. Thus, a character who is important but simply couldn't fit into the premiere debuts in the second episode.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: The theme song of a series has one or two lines devoted to each character and their role.
  • *Twang* Hello: A scene is interrupted by an arrow zipping through the air and striking something with a twang. Five seconds later, company has arrived.
  • Welcome Episode: A typical pilot episode for a series, in which the main character joins a previously established group and gets acquainted with them.
  • The Worf Effect: To establish just how dangerous the new threat is, they completely floor the strongest character.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Characters meet while they're all captive, and learn why they were taken captive in the first place while they escape.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: Everyone meets when they're at the same inn or bar.


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