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Contrasting Replacement Character

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Contrasting Replacement Character is a person who replaces or fills in for another person and has opposite or contrasting attributes.

When a character is removed from a show, whether they were killed off or Put on a Bus, they leave a void that needs to be fill for fear of ruining the overall dynamic. Instead of going with a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, writers would instead introduce a person who is nothing like their predecessor.

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If the difference is address In-Universe, they may be seen as a Replacement Scrappy to others.

Contrast with Suspiciously Similar Substitute and Replacement Flat Character. If it's a Sequel Series with a new main character, see Contrasting Sequel Main Character.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Naruto: After the Time Skip, Sai, a member of the secret "Root" group, is put in Team 7 with Naruto and Sakura as the missing Sasuke's replacement. While Sasuke was aloof but with hidden violent emotions, Sai is polite and smiles often but is often said to not actually feel anything.

    Comic Book 
  • In Batman, he needs a Robin to act as his sidekick and Morality Pet. However, every official Robin is very different from the last one.
    • Dick Grayson's loving parents were murdered and he was taken under Bruce's wing out of sympathy. His tenure of Robin established the role as a lovable, wise-cracking sidekick and foil to Batman. Despite his guardian's anti-social tendencies, Dick is arguably one of the most beloved and sociable characters in the DC Universe next to Superman and is a natural-born leader because of this.
    • Jason Todd grew up on the streets with a dad who walked out on him and a drug addict for a mother. He was adopted by Bruce after he caught Jason stealing the tires off the Batmobile. His personality was coarser and was betrayed by his own mother to the Joker. Depending on the Writer, Bruce didn't like or tolerate Jason as much when compared to Dick. After his resurrection, Jason becomes the Red Hood, a dark and gritty Anti-Hero willing to cross lines that Batman won't.
    • Tim Drake was born into an upper-middle class family with a neglectful father who wanted a Jerk Jock for a son. Instead of Batman stumbling upon him by accident, Tim sought him out and offered to become Robin after seeing the turmoil Batman went through in the wake of Jason's death. Initially depicted as a chipper and talented teenager, he slowly becomes grimmer and more brooding after a number of tragedies in his life.
    • Damian Wayne is Bruce's biological son with Talia al Ghul. He's an Insufferable Genius who is already a master of hand-to-hand combat and trained in every skill one could expect a Robin to have. But his brutal upbringing under the League of Assassins made him indifferent to murder, which makes him come to blows with his father and adoptive brothers. In time, he grows to appreciate his role as Robin and steps away from his murderous past, making him a much kinder and more empathetic young man, even if he retains his penchant for Brutal Honesty and snark.
  • Rainbow Rowell's Runaways:
    • Abigail, introduced as a stand-in for Klara, is filled with Sugary Malice compared to Klara's Sugar-and-Ice Personality - while Klara would close herself off to people because of her traumatic past and resultant trust issues, she was very loyal to those who earned her trust. Meanwhile, Abigail, who grew up in a happy, functional family, makes friends very easily and is outwardly affectionate towards them, but beneath the surface, she's a cruel, manipulative bully.
    • Gib, introduced as a replacement for Xavin, has a past similar to Xavin's, being the child of an Absolute Xenophobe race, but where Xavin was a former child soldier who struggled to shake off years of indoctrination, Gib is more of a blank slate who only hatched recently and is still figuring out his own morality.
    • The series also contrasts Klara and Gert when they finally meet. Whereas Klara started off as an Innocent Bigot conservative who grew more open-minded during her time with the team, Gert started off as an enlightened liberal and has never felt the need to scrutinize her beliefs. The contrast is especially clear in their attitudes towards homosexuality - where Klara started off as a homophobe but has since become so accepting that she now Has Two Daddies, Gert still thinks that merely tolerating Karolina's existence is sufficient, and doesn't realize (or possibly, doesn't care) how offensive she's being when she tells Klara she would be better off with no parents at all.
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    Film - Animation 
  • Toy Story. Andy and Bonnie are both the caring and imaginative owners of Woody and the gang. However, Andy himself was an energetic individual all around while Bonnie was very shy while in public.

    Film - Live Action 

    Live Action TV 
  • Doctor Who when Doctors and companions change. Some glaring examples:
    • Whether deliberately or not, Doctors often seem to be opposite to their predecessor in some personality element.
      • Compared to the sometimes intimidating and morally dubious First Doctor, the Second Doctor was more laid back but also more strongly moralistic, with a conscious obligation to fight evil.
      • Compared to the anti-authority Second Doctor, the Third Doctor was much suaver and more comfortable interacting with authority figures on an equal level.
      • Compared to the sociable Third Doctor, the Fourth Doctor was much more self-sufficient and aloof.
      • Compared to the aloof and sometimes inconsiderate Fourth Doctor, the Fifth Doctor was more of a people-pleaser.
      • By contrast again, the Sixth Doctor was extremely abrasive.
      • Compared to the short-tempered Sixth Doctor, who would often lash out at whim when angered, the Seventh Doctor was an ice-cold Manipulative Bastard.
      • But before that, he was a loveable buffoon who used Obfuscating Stupidity to stop his foes.
      • Compared to the ruthless Seventh Doctor, the Eighth Doctor was almost too sensitive at times.
      • Compared to the gentle Eighth Doctor, the Ninth Doctor was extremely abrasive again.
      • Compared to the self-questioning Ninth Doctor, the Tenth Doctor was extremely convinced of his own righteousness, sometimes to a Well-Intentioned Extremist degree.
      • Compared to the Tenth Doctor, who allowed his companions to become obsessed with him to a degree that was sometimes damaging to them, the Eleventh Doctor was very concerned about encouraging his companions not to get too co-dependent with him.
      • Compared to the "manic pixie dream Doctor" Eleventh Doctor, the Twelfth Doctor was initially very stern and unsympathetic, although he later mellowed.
      • Compared to the Twelfth Doctor, the Thirteenth Doctor is less intimidating and also less willing to interfere massively in the situations she finds, preferring to solve immediate problems and then leave people to solve the bigger issues.
    • Companions:
      • Compared to the highly intelligent and poised Liz Shaw, Jo Grant is cute and ditzy.
      • Compared to the somewhat scatter-brained but resourceful Action Girl Jo whom the Third Doctor harbored romantic feelings for (feelings that were obviously not reciprocated, much to The Doctor's clear sorrow), Sarah Jane Smith is more grounded but still very intelligent, while at the same time the romantic dynamic is reversed — she sometimes seems to be flirting with/falling for The Doctor while he's totally oblivious to it, to the point of unceremoniously dumping her in Aberdeen when he's called back to Gallifrey.
      • Leela, a violent, uneducated Jungle Princess, is replaced by Romana, a Time Lord who is Skilled, but Naïve.
      • Mel, a stereotypical screamer, is replaced by Ace, one of the toughest female companions ever.
  • Farscape: Frequently. Spiritual and educated Team Mom and The Medic Zhaan was replaced by Stark on the spiritial side and Jool on The Smart Guy side. But Stark is Crazy Awesome compared to Zhaan's composed serenity, while Jool is bratty load. Jool was later replaced by Sikozu, a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, and Stark by Noranti, a Cloudcuckoolander Cool Old Lady.
  • Law & Order: UK: DS Sam Casey replaces DS Matt Devlin. Despite some obvious similarities with his predecessor (being young, good-looking, having absent and possibly abusive father), there are some equally obvious differences. Matt's temper was generally limited to certain issues, whereas Sam appears to have a short fuse about everything. Matt also clearly cherished the "surrogate father figure" he had in Ronnie. Sam seems to resent Ronnie's attempts at playing the father despite generally getting along. And the two simply do not have the rapport that Matt and Ronnie did.
  • Every replacement surgeon from M*A*S*H
    • Henry Blake was the commanding officer and The Alleged Boss who both Trapper and Hawkeye would go around his orders and who Burns and Hotlips had no respect for. The Korean War was also his first war and he wasn't that very militant. In contrast, Sherman Potter was a regular Army Man who was part of two previous wars. He also commanded much more respect from the other staffs and wasn't afraid to actually command.
    • Frank Burns was a Jerkass and whose surgery skills was subpar at best. He was also bullied by Hawkeye and Trapper and later B.J.. His replacement, Charles Winchester, was more of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and was a excellent surgeon. His relationship with Hawkeye and B.J. was also slightly better and he wasn't above in playing pranks.
    • B.J. Hunnicutt is a downplayed example for Trapper John as he function very similarly to him. However, B.J. was a family man who love his wife Peg to the point the he felt ashamed that he cheated on her. In contrast, Trapper constantly cheated on his wife with zero regret for his actions. There was also a contrast in morals. One episode during BJ's tenure recycled a plot from an earlier episode with Trapper. Hawkeye wants to perform unneccessary surgery to keep a particularly callous officer off the front for a little while longer. Trapper had gone along with that plan no problem, BJ considers it a horrific violation of the Hippocratic Oath. This severly strains Hawkeye and BJ's friendship (and strained Alan Alda and Mike Farrel's working relationship).
  • Midnight Caller: Jack's original boss Devon King pretty much gave him free rein and seemed more interested in well-researched, even-handed coverage of social issues than in ratings. Her replacement Nicky Molloy is much tougher and stricter and cares about building the business above all else.
  • Monk had Sharona Fleming, Adrien's original assistant, and Natalie Teeger, his new assistant. While Natalie was presented as a similar substitute for Sharona since the two were single mothers, their circumstances were very different. While Sharona was a divorcee with a scum ex-husband, Natalie was a widow who was Happily Married. Sharona also came from a working class and who was a nurse most of her life while Natalie came from a rich family and had multiple jobs. Oh, and Sharona had a son while Natalie had a daughter.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000.
    • Joel is a father figure to the bots (after all, he did build them) and generally pretty calm and laid-back. His replacement, Mike, interacts with the bots as their equal (at best), tends to be more overtly sarcastic, and more often tries to rebel against his captors. The flame wars over which of the two was better are notorious. While the bots see Joel as a father figure, they see Mike as a brother figure, and thus are more inclined to mess around with Mike and prank him relentlessly than they would Joel.
    • Jonah takes Mike's place in season 11, bringing to the role a mix of Mike's energy and more optimism than even Joel had. The bots have even less respect for Jonah than they did for Mike—if Mike was a brother figure, then Jonah's the younger kid from next door who keeps trying to hang out.
    • Dr. Clayton Forrester's original second banana, Dr. Laurence Erhardt, starts off close to Clayton's equal, then develops into something of a Professional Butt-Kisser. He's also quite chipper about being capital-E Evil. His replacement, TV's Frank, starts off clearly subservient to Clayton, but they both develop into a weirdly codependent and mercurial relationship, where Frank might be Clayton's Butt-Monkey in one scene, then they'd act Like an Old Married Couple in the next. Frank's also more dim-witted and affable than Larry.
    • When Frank leaves, his role is filled by Clayton's overbearing mother, Pearl Forrester. She becomes the first character to consistently scare Clayton into submission.
    • Then Clayton Forrester leaves, and Pearl slots into his role instead. Where Clayton had been a manic Mad Scientist, Pearl becomes more of an evil adventurer (and later, would-be Diabolical Mastermind) who dabbles in science on the side. She's also even more of a bully towards Mike and her own minions than Clayton had been.
    • The new minions, Observer and Professor Bobo, are collectively even more bumbling and ineffectual than Frank had been. Bobo is just dumb as a brick; Observer is the Only Sane Man who nevertheless is powerless because no one takes him seriously. (And they slotted nicely into a Comic Trio, with Pearl as their misguided navigator.)
    • Kinga Forrester (daughter of Clayton) takes over as the head Mad in season 11. She approaches her villainy as an evil media mogul first and a mad scientist second: instead of taking over the world, her goal is to sell the Mystery Science Theater 3000 brand to Disney for a billion dollars. Personality-wise, she's the least mature of the Forresters, alternating between cloying sweetness and shrieking temper tantrums at the drop of a hat.
    • Kinga's minion Max (aka TV's Son of TV's Frank) is the closest the show's come to a Suspiciously Similar Substitute, with the in-story justification that he's deliberately emulating his father's appearance and role. Max is still somewhat distinct: he's more consistently a Yes-Man than Frank ever was, and he has an unrequited crush on Kinga.
  • New Tricks: Generally replacements of UCOS members would contrast quite heavily with each other:
    • The straight-laced, calm and wise Jack Halford is a serious, no nonsense investigator but also a warm and grandfatherly figure, who nevertheless had a hidden strength and can be a strong authority figure and voice of reason when required. He was replaced, by the debonair, smartly dressed, action prone Steve McAndrew, who is far more happy to bend the rules when he felt it is warranted, as well as play the tough guy and be a follower.
    • Both UCOS The Smart Guy heavily contrast, Brian Lane is a brilliant but troubled man, struggling with both OCD and Paranoia, as well as a history of strained family relationships and alcoholism. He nevertheless maintained lovingly close relationship with his wife Ester and was overall a nerdish but outgoing man. By contrast Dan Griffin, a suave Deadpan Snarker who could seemingly do just about anything, who nevertheless is introverted and struggles with loneliness due to his daughter leaving for College, and his difficulties to get back into dating.
    • Gerry Standing is an old fashioned, dependable but grounded and realistic detective, who is both a charismatic ladies man and a caring family man. His replacement Ted Case was a superstitious, imaginative man who is open minded in his investigations and capable of linking seemingly unconnected threads. Ted was also happily married to another man.
    • Both UCOS's Deputy Assistant Commissioners contrast as well. DAC Donald Bevan is a smug, and somewhat belligerent man, who's obsessed with bureaucracy and only cares about politics. Disliking the teams successes as he only intended them to be a PR stunt and several expose corruption in the police force. DAC Robert Strickland meanwhile, whilst a political animal and something of a Glory Hound quickly proves to be a strong willed and supportive Reasonable Authority Figure. Whilst somewhat self-serving, Strickland first and foremost cares about cases resolved correctly and the guilty being exposed reguardless of the ramifications. Thus he regularly uses his political know how to navigate team through political quagmires and often sticks his neck out to protect them during investigations liable to result in backlash.
  • In The Orville, Talla replaces Alara in season 2. Whereas Alara spent much of her tenure struggling with crippling self-doubt because of her "learning disability" (she has only slightly-above-human intelligence, whereas most of her peers are geniuses), Talla has no such disability. On the other hand, whereas Alara's issues made her humble and thus made her very popular with her crewmates, Talla's confidence sometimes makes her crewmates assume that she's arrogant.
  • In Parks and Recreation, Mark was initially placed in the role of Leslie's love interest, presented as a playboy type who was relaxed and cynical about government. At the end of season two he was written out and new character Ben was added who then took on that role, him being a neurotic, Adorkable geek who could be a hard-ass but deeply believed in government and had high ambitions like Leslie.
  • In the third season of Robin of Sherwood, Baron Simon de Belleme was replaced (with no in-story explanation) with Gulnar as the recurring Evil Sorceror villain. The two characters are diametrically opposed in personality and style - de Belleme is a cold, calm Hermetic occultist who goes toe-to-toe with Robin throwing spells at him, while Gulnar is a twitchy, giggling Welsh pagan shaman who determinedly avoids combat, and tends to work through mooks or magically created or summoned entities.
  • In Three's Company, the first two roommates of Chrissy and Cindy Snow were dumb blondes while the third blonde of Terri Alden was much smarter.
  • In the second season of Twin Peaks, after BOB's identity is revealed, he seemingly disappears and a new villain starts menacing the town: Wyndham Earle. While BOB is an animalistic monster and force of nature with no dialog or comprehensible motivations (he's just Made of Evil), Wyndham Earle is an Evil Genius with comprehensible motivations and a love of gambits, disguises, and hammy dialog.
  • The X-Files
    • Agent Mulder's mysterious informants: X was very different from Deep Throat, replacing grandfatherly benevolence with deadly pragmatism.
    • Marita, X's replacement, was quite different from either of her predecessors and turned out to be a mole acting for the conspiracy to boot.
    • Agents of Doggett and Reyes were very different from Mulder and Scully, replacing the Absolute Believer/Healthy Skeptic dichotomy with Absolute Skeptic/Open-Minded, and replacing Mulder and Scully's relationship with a more conventional gender dynamic. While they become close, they're never as emotionally dependent on each other as Mulder and Scully, and they're on a First-Name Basis right from the start while Scully and Mulder never stop using surnames.

    Video Games 
  • BlazBlue: In the first game, there's the Robot Girl Nu-13, who mostly acts robotic... But when she's around Ragna, her personality changes to that of a highly psychotic and obsessed one, and deep down she also harbors desire to destroy the world. She then appeared to meet her demise in the end. In the second game, her predecessor Lambda-11 is introduced; unlike Nu, she's a straight Robot Girl, monotonous and obedient to her master, Kokonoe. She does also have some attraction to Ragna, though not as strongly.

  • E-102 Gamma from Sonic Adventure was a robot who was part of the E-100 series, who initially worked for Dr. Eggman but soon turned against him due to a combination of Eggman mistreating his brothers and Amy showing kindness towards him after she saved him from Sonic (due to Gamma releasing her from her prison cell). After rescuing the animals trapped inside his brothers, Gamma was killed off by an upgraded E-101 Beta at the end of his storyline, only re-appearing in Sonic Shuffle as an unlockable character. Sonic Heroes introduced E-123 Omega, the Power member of Team Dark. While Omega is also a member of the E-100 series of robots, somewhat sharing Gamma's physical appearance and having also turned against Eggman, Omega is a lot more violent and destructive than Gamma is, destroying anything that stands in his way instead of just what needs to be destroyed.
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope has Faize, a Royal Rapier wielding Magic Knight whose's physical damage is fairly weak but balanced by the wide array of symbology magic he can use. He's also a Nice Guy whose desperation to save his people results in him leaving the party and becoming the final boss of the game. He is replaced by Arumat, a Sinister Scythe wielding brooding, edgy Type-III Anti-Hero with a Dark and Troubled Past, and is by far the strongest physical fighter out of the entire cast.

    Western Animation 
  • Bojack Horseman: Sarah Lynn and Hollyhock Manheim-Mannheim-Guerrero-Robinson-Zilberschlag-Hsung-Fonzarelli-McQuack are the daughter archetype who acted as Bojack's Morality Pet. Sarah had a traditional family unit of a mother and a stepfather. However, the mother only cared about her acting career and didn't care what she wanted and her stepfather was implied to have molested her. She also attempted to latch onto Bojack as a father figure but who ended up as an Anti-Role Model who was partially responsible for her death. In contrast, Hollyhock was Happily Adopted to 8 men who are in a gay polygamous relationship. She also didn't want a father-daughter relationship with Bojack but instead wanted to connect to her birth mother. Bojack himself actually made attempts to not ruin Hollyhock's life and became a wreck when he thought he was responsible for Hollyhock's accident overdose.
  • There's Stella from The Loud House for Ronnie Anne who moved away. Both were introduced rather similar with them never appearing on-screen in their debut episodes. However Stella is a Tomboy with a Girly Streak and a genuine friendly girl unlike Ronnie Anne who's a rough lad-ette with a Hidden Heart of Gold. Also while Ronnie Anne is presented as a potential love interest with Lincoln with both She Is Not My Girlfriend and Will Theyor Wont They, Stella is someone Lincoln actually had a crush on but settle for Just Friends
  • After Lionel Hutz was retired from The Simpsons, "Good Old" Gil Gunderson usually served as the Simpsons' lawyer. However, Hutz was suave and extroverted whereas Gil is whiny and introverted.
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