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aka: Flanderized

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"I think Homer gets stupider every year."
Professor Lawrence Pierce, The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular

The act of taking a single (often minor) action or trait of a character within a work and exaggerating it more and more over time until it completely consumes the character. Most always, the trait/action becomes completely outlandish and it becomes their defining characteristic. Sitcoms and Sitcom characters are particularly susceptible to this, as are peripheral characters in shows with long runs.

The trope is named for The Simpsons character Ned Flanders, who was originally depicted as a friendly, generous Christian neighbor and a model father, husband and citizen, thus making him a contrast to Homer Simpson. As seasons progressed he became increasingly obsessively religious to the point where he eventually embodied almost every negative stereotype of the God-fearing, bible-thumping American Christian evangelist.


Note that the key to this trope is in how the process is a gradual thing: the character starts relatively normal with a few quirks, the quirks become more prominent, then the quirks gradually become the character. If it is simply about how the character is different early on before the writers know what to do with them, that is Characterization Marches On.

In general, comedies, especially Sitcoms, fall into the trap of Flanderization because Character Development is far less important than Rule of Funny. Given a choice between getting a laugh or moving the story forward, getting the laugh will almost always take priority.

Flanderization doesn't have to be a bad thing — sometimes it can be used to expand on a background character's personality when they are brought to the foreground, or make an otherwise bland character stand out more. It can even be beneficial on a cast-wide scale: A comedy that has a cast full of zany, outsized personas will probably be funnier than one full of nondescript straight men.


When Flanderization occurs as the result of adaptation from one medium to another (manga to anime, for example), it's Character Exaggeration and frequently a sign of Adaptation Decay. May sometimes be related to Lost in Imitation.

See also Never Live It Down (when the character is more associated with some action or event than the character actually changing), Unintentionally Sympathetic (when realistic quirks are mishandled by the writers) and Forgot Flanders Could Do That (when a story brings back pre-Flanderized aspects of the character as a reminder that those traits are there, even if you don't see them much any more). Compare Temporarily Exaggerated Trait, which is like flanderization but only done temporarily. Compare and contrast Early Installment Weirdness (as it applies to characters), with early depictions of a character being different from later ones simply because the producers hadn't figured out what role they should play in the story.

The opposite to this trope is Character Development, naturally.

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Here's a list of cases of Flanderization:


  • A character does dumb things, but manages to get gradually dumber as time goes by.
  • A character is only slightly dumb, and is capable of doing what he/she needs to, but later becomes unable to perform even the most simple tasks like reading.
  • The character's stupidity is only demonstrated by him/her saying funny phrases, but later starts putting his/her and others' lives at danger.
  • Insanity or eccentricity is mistaken for stupidity, and a dippy or crazy character becomes a dumb character.
  • A character is not dumb, just lazy and/or hates studying, but is turned later into straight dumb.
  • Incompetence or clumsiness is mistaken for stupidity, and a character who's clumsy or bad at their job becomes a dumb character.


  • A character is intelligent, but in realistic levels, later he/she becomes extremely intelligent, being comparable to many famous scientists, or even exaggerated to the point of being able to build wondrous gadgets at his/her house.
  • Insanity or eccentricity is mistaken for brilliance, and a dippy or crazy character who would previously save the day through an Ass Pull once in a while for Rule of Funny now does so Once per Episode.
  • A character is intelligent in one or two specific areas, but more inexperienced and flawed in others. Later they are smart in every level, providing knowledge and wisdom in every possible situation.
  • Knowledge is conflated with intelligence, and a character who knows a lot of trivia is turned into a genius.


  • A greedy character has a kind side and often chooses what is more important instead of riches, but later, becomes even greedier to the point that he or she even sacrifices friends and family just for a few more pennies.
  • A character who is a collector who enjoys building his or her collection turns into a hoarder whose life revolves around filling his or her house with an excessive number of trivial possessions.


  • A Jerkass becomes much meaner and nastier, perhaps even behaving more like a villain, becoming a Designated Hero in the worst cases.
  • A Jerk with a Heart of Gold degenerates into a straight Jerkass.
  • A character who is generally decent but has a mocking sense of humour turns into a true bully who greatly enjoys insulting other characters.


  • A Nice Guy but with human flaws becomes a Purity Sue.
  • Alternately, they become kind to a fault and evolve into an Extreme Doormat that is unable to be harsh whatsoever.



  • A character is kind of annoying but only infuriates those who are especially touchy, later becomes incredibly annoying to almost anybody, to the point that the audience empathizes with those whom the character infuriates.
  • The creators find out that a character is very hated, and decide to make fun of it making him/her intentionally annoying, however his/her annoying traits are cranked up and/or the character shows up with scrappy traits that he/she never had, or worse, turning the character into a villain even if the fans knew the character was not evil.
  • The creators discover a character is not well liked by the fans, and thus decides to hurt and humiliate the character in increasingly horrifying ways, despite the fact that the character had really done nothing wrong in recent episodes.
  • A character that is intelligent and sometimes accidentally patronizes or confuses laymen, later becomes an insufferable genius and may even lose the "genius" part.


  • A character has a favorite food like many people have, but later the love for that food is brought up all the time and the character becomes enamored with it to the point of addiction.
  • Conversely, if there is a food or something else that the character doesn't like, their distaste for it will increase over time, and the character will become more and more of a magnet for improbable situations in which the disliked thing cannot be avoided.
  • A character has an interest, that gradually turns into an obsession.



  • A character is somewhat of an activist and organizes protests when something really bad is going on, but later becomes very annoying with activism, and almost all episodes revolving around the character are about a protest.
  • A mischievous character who loves playing lighthearted practical jokes on people turns into a sociopathic bully whose practical jokes become needlessly mean-spirited and sometimes violent.
  • A character is foul-mouthed, but only curses when the situation calls for it, like being angry or scared, or just to sound cool, but later, the character can't complete a single phrase without a curse word.
  • A nervous character who finds certain situations and things scary turns into an extreme coward who freaks out at the mildest creepy things and has multiple phobias.
    • Similarly, a character is afraid of something, but can still function when around it, but eventually, the fear becomes crippling.
  • A character gets in distress sometimes, but has many other uses in the plot; later, the character's only use is getting in danger to be rescued.
  • A character is in a romantic relationship while maintaining their own personal motivations and goals, but then have all of their screentime solely devoted their significant other to the determent of their other aspects.
  • A character has an allergy or two, is disabled, or has asthma but it's not a big deal. Later, they're portrayed as a borderline invalid. Alternately, a Hypochondriac will gradually be portrayed as actually being sickly (neuroticism and geekiness optional).
  • A character with a job will slowly become obsessed with said job.
  • A character is popular among a small community, but gradually becomes a full-blown celebrity. Conversely, a character who's kind of unpopular but still has friends gradually becomes a complete loser with either no friends at all or an Only Friend.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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  • Billy Mays had gotten a lot louder over the years. Compare his earlier ads to the later ones.
  • Regis Philbin in ads for TDA Bank. At first he started off as a person who would question what the bank offers. Now? He doesn't know what electronic banking is and calls Kelly every hour about his balance.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert has played with this trope over the years. With some characters it's played straight: the Pointy-Haired Boss went from an ordinary Mean Boss to a complete moron, while Wally went from Brilliant, but Lazy to just lazy. Alice went from being a brilliant engineer with a low tolerance for stupidity to being defined by regularly screaming and punching people (or injuring/killing them with just a look.) On the other hand, Dilbert himself has become less of a nerd and more a mixture of Everyman and Only Sane Man.
  • While most of the FoxTrot characters had their personas taken to the extreme at times, Andy was quite extremely Flanderized, going from a simple, caring and concerned mother to the Granola Girl Moral Guardian of the strip who serves her family earth-friendly fare like braised zucchini every meal, keeps the thermostat so low that it flash-freezes the steam from a cup of coffee, and throws a fit if she catches the boys playing a violent video game. Unfortunately, since the series became Sunday-only, there's little chance of her changing. On the other hand, before this happened Andy pretty much didn't have a personality at all beyond Mom.
  • Garfield managed to invert this trope, then play it straight. He started out very lazy and sarcastic, but de-Flanderized into a more playful attitude by the late eighties. Over time, he's gradually shifted back into his more cynical self.
    • Garfield's (the character) de-/re-Flanderization pretty much mirrors the strip perfectly (as you'd expect). It began as a Slice of Life strip, but as the character became less Flanderized, the strip shifted to a light surrealist style, which set the tone for the franchise as a whole (probably best shown in Garfield and Friends). Around the mid '90s the strip shifted back to the slice of life style, becoming re-Flanderized into the strip we know today.
      • There's also Garfield's appearance and mannerisms. Originally, aside from a few human-like quirks, Garfield looked and acted like a typical cat. Overtime however, he was depicted with more and more human like behavior until it's extremely rare to see him engage in any feline activities anymore.
    • Played straight with Jon Arbuckle, who started as being the Straight Man and a bachelor who cared for Garfield. During the first months of 1979, he was Flanderized into being the Straw Loser compared to Garfield (with his role of the Deadpan Snarker going to Dr. Liz Wilson), and by the late 1990's, he was given a more Cloud Cuckoo Lander personality that occasionally borders on being a Manchild.
    • Odie was simply a standard dumb dog in his earliest depictions, as in, whose role didn't expand past much other than being a typically standard and fictional canine. Nowadays, his stupidity is greatly exemplified on every occasion and topic it's shown and brought up. On certain occasions, he's treated as much a dog as merely an epitome for low intelligence.
  • Peanuts:
    • Charlie Brown, somewhat surprisingly, was a victim of this trope. In his earliest strips, he was basically the prototype of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes in that he was a wise cracking rascal who often got the upper hand. For instance, he comes across another character who is sweating and asks her if anything is wrong. "I'm hot!" she says. "You don't look so hot to me," he retorts before running away with a smirk. Another strip has him trying the patience of his friends as he fussily arranges them for a group photograph before playfully announcing that his camera doesn't actually have any film in it. As he runs away with his angry friends in close pursuit, he laughs and says, "I like to live dangerously!" In the very earliest strips, he even had girls fighting over his affections. Some vestiges of the later Charlie Brown were there in the early days with the other children being somewhat crueler to him than they were to their other peers, but it wasn't until later that his tendency to always come in last became such an overpowering part of his characterization.
    • The first two girl characters to appear in the strip, Patty and Violet, suffered heavily from this as the strip went on. Initially they were (usually) portrayed as nicer characters than the two boys (Charlie Brown and Shermy), but as the 1950s went on they started to adopt "mean girl" personas and spent most of their time together putting Charlie Brown down. At first their attitudes seemed like a response to Charlie Brown's arrogant "nobody likes me despite how great I am" streak in the mid 1950s, but by the time he had fully flanderized into a total sad sack by the early 1960s it seemed like they were just piling on him for the sake of it. By the late 1960s they had been phased out as regulars in favor of Lucy, who Charles Schulz felt worked much better as a female "bully" character.
  • Since Greg Howard stopped writing Sally Forth, Ted has become quite the Manchild. This is a bit of an odd case, though, as Francesco Marculiano has admitted that he based his portrayal of Ted somewhat on himself; the Flanderization was almost a complete coincidence.

    Fan Works 
  • Actually invoked by the Aperture Scientists in Blue Sky. In their Brain Uploading of Wheatley, they deliberately messed with his personality so that the part of him that produced terrible ideas would be dominant and would override other aspects of his personality in a crisis.
  • Invoked in Eugenesis by Sygnet, a Decepticon scientist, who sees Galvatron as having the worst parts of Megatron's personality amplified a thousand-fold.
  • Estee's Triptych Continuum features a kind of In-Universe version of this with falling into the mark, an extremely common psychological disorder among ponies where the pony allows their special talent to dominate their lives to the point where there is nothing outside the mark.
    • And turned horrifying in A Mark Of Appeal, with the discovery of a disease that amplifies the mark magic until it renders the pony unable to do or think of anything that is not the exercise of their talent.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happens to several characters in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. Dave Clifton goes from a fairly unremarkable provincial DJ who Alan made nasty jokes about his alleged alcoholism to, to gleefully and openly recounting his experiences with booze, cocaine, heroin and prostitutes. Lynn, previously barely mentioning her Christianity, suddenly becomes notably more openly religious. Curiously, Alan himself undergoes the opposite, becoming less distinct and more general a character in the movie.
  • The Weyland-Yutani Corporation in Alien. Each film, book, and game seems to exaggerate their attempts to exploit xenomorphs for profit just that much more. In the first film, they learn about the xenomorphs and try to use the crew of the Nostromo to bring one back to Earth for study. Beyond that, they don't seem particularly obsessed with it; it's just some lifeform they think might be valuable. Eight movies and a ton of comics and video games later, Weyland-Yutani seems obsessed with studying and profiting off xenomorphs to borderline suicidal degrees, to the point you start to wonder how the company even turns a profit when its only projects seem to be screwing around with alien bugs. Their amorality is also more and more exaggerated; in the first movie they're willing to sacrifice a tiny crew of glorified truckers to get the alien, while later works show them sacrificing ridiculously huge amounts of people to their bug hunts. It's easy to lose count of how many colonies and research facilities are destroyed for the sake of studying a species that really doesn't seem to have any practical applications.
  • The first two sequels to the horror classic Child's Play flanderized Chucky into becoming a Stupid Evil villain who was incredibly incompetent and never achieved his main objective, and instead wasted time going on killing sprees rather than possessing Andy. The horror comedies played the whole killer doll concept for laughs, possibly because the writers realized how silly the franchise was becoming. But then came Curse of Chucky, which brought Chucky right back on track.
  • While few would consider the Leprechaun films masterpieces, the first film at least was a straight slasher movie with some comic relief. Even then, most of the humor were either sight gags or rather crude puns. By the second installment the series started amping up the humor and self-awareness to the point where it overtook the horror elements. In later sequels the Leprechaun impersonates Elvis and John Wayne, speaks entirely in rhyme, becomes a binge drinker and pot smoker, and most egregiously, raps.
  • Angela in the Eddie Murphy movie Boomerang originally started out as really laid back, and in one scene where she finds out where Marcus cheated on her, she tells him to "Stay the fuck out of her life!"; later on in the movie her cursing habits are Amped Up To Eleven whereas, before that scene, she was relatively mellow.
  • Probably the best-remembered characteristic of Chinese detective Charlie Chan is his use of pithy "Oriental" aphorisms — a trait which comes directly from the Warner Oland film adaptations, and which were the only aspect of those adaptations that Chan's original author Earl Derr Biggers himself heartily disliked. Not surprising, given that he'd explicitly created Chan as a subversion to the tired "fortune-cookie" stereotypes then popular.
  • Eddie Wilson in Eddie and the Cruisers started out as a serious musician who wouldn't sell out. By the end of the sequel, his only emotional response was to run away from anything that might be critical of his music.
  • Death in the Final Destination movies. In the first movie the deaths were freak accidents with only minor supernatural intervention from Big D — with the exception of the poor teacher's hilariously Rube-Goldbergian demise. Apparently it was the most talked-about death scene so subsequent installments gradually increased the complexity of the deaths.
  • In Freddy vs. Jason, Jason Voorhees is taller, slower and more stupid than ever, possibly in order to more sharply contrast with Freddy Krueger.
  • In The Hangover Part II, Alan's Manchild traits are driven to higher levels. The Hangover Part III manages to bring it further.
  • Agent Tom Manning from the Hellboy film series. In the first movie, while not a very good field leader, he was still a competent bureaucrat; he and Hellboy butted heads but ultimately gained a bit of respect for each other, and bonded over cigars. The second movie made him almost completely incompetent, and reduced him to bribing Hellboy with cigars to keep him in line. Maybe justified by the fact that, without the professor, there is no one who can truly keep Hellboy from doing something stupid.
  • Help!:
    • The film versions of the band were supposed to exhibit exaggerated versions of their own personalities: John as a snarky smartaleck, Paul as a smooth lady killer, George as a miserly spendthrift, and Ringo as... well, Ringo. Most of this gets lost in the finished version, though.
    • Whereas A Hard Day's Night showed the band as individuals, Help! now shows them as one band living in the same house with four separate doors.
  • Brought up in-universe in Inception. Part of what makes Cobb understand that his mental projection of Mal is fake is that it’s basically an idealized Flanderization of the real person; taking her love for him and acting as if that was her one and only personality trait, with nasty results.
  • The James Bond franchise becomes increasingly campy over the course of its history, with increasing reliance on implausible action scenes, cartoonish villains, science fiction gadgets, Bond One Liners and loads of sex. The Roger Moore era was considered the height of the franchise's campiness, while the following Timothy Dalton films were an attempt to make the franchise darker. The campiness came back over the course of the Pierce Brosnan era. Casino Royale (2006) was specifically created to completely eliminate the campiness and return to the franchise's more realistic roots. It succeeded for a while, before careening off again in another direction: melodrama.
  • The Lethal Weapon series gives us Dr. Stephanie Woods, who, in the first film was a competent psychologist with legitimate concerns about Riggs' stability. By the third film, she was an inept, touchy-feely shrink who served as little more than comic relief. It's heavily implied in Lethal Weapon 4 that it was actually Riggs's deliberately toying with her over the course of the series that pushed her to this point.
  • In the Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Tony Stark in Iron Man was a charismatic celebrity billionaire who could walk into any group of people and become the center of attention because of his fast talking wit. After his life changing experience being captured by terrorists, his moral compass changed dramatically but his personality remained the same, still very fast talking and had a quick wit. This was largely due to Robert Downey Jr. and the director deciding on a lot of improv so they can take the best material from that. Starting with Iron Man 2 his wit was replaced with making a lot of quips, generally refusing to take a situation seriously and often easily distracted. This continued through The Avengers and Iron Man 3 before reaching its apex in Avengers: Age of Ultron (it's even been argued that due to the success of RDJ as Tony Stark that this trait has been pushed through much of the MCU, with almost every individual series having a lot of quipping characters even though it has little basis on their various comics counterparts). This trait was largely reversed in Captain America: Civil War as Tony was going through a lot of personal issues and looked constantly tired, and we see him return to that "charismatic celebrity" personality when he went out to recruit Peter Parker, which was maintained with Spider-Man: Homecoming.
    • Happens to Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. In the first film, he is intelligent but Literal-Minded and doesn't understand figurative speech. The movie is vague as to whether his native language doesn't use idioms, if he doesn't get human expressions, or if he's just dense in more ways than one. But in the sequel, this trait is expanded to him having no verbal filter whatsoever, saying whatever is on his mind regardless of how wildly inappropriate it is.
    • As a whole, the MCU films didn't have foul language that are stronger than "Damn", "Hell", "Crap", and occasionally "Son of a Bitch". Since after the The Avengers (2012), the films tend to blurt out the S-word once per film (sometimes with that word being almost said the second time). However, after the release of The Defenders on Netflix, the films have gradually made characters say words usually as strong as the S-word in almost every situation, while having some characters giving out certain rude gestures.
  • In the original Men in Black, K is a rather stoic individual who takes his job seriously, but approaches everything with a calm demeanor, contrasting J who doesn't take the job seriously, but overreacts to everything. By Men in Black 3, K is so stoic, he is unable to crack a joke or a smile.
  • Happened to Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther series. His French accent was originally straightforward, though A Shot in the Dark introduced odd accent-based pronunciation quirks ("beump" for bump, for example). When he revived the character in the mid-1970s, the accent was significantly thicker and the mispronunciations were more frequent ("minkey", "rheum", "leu"), etc. Other Shot in the Dark elements became Running Gags too: he donned more bizarre disguises with each film, and Cato's attacks grew increasingly destructive, as did the slapstick in general for the whole run of films. However, this went over like gangbusters with audiences and it didn't violate Clouseau's basic character, making it one of the less destructive examples of Flanderization on this list.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy Krueger was originally a dark, scary supernatural killer with a twisted sense of humor. But starting with the third film in the series, Freddy's humor began taking center stage. His quips and killing tactics also became cheesier with each subsequent installment. Freddy was fully Flanderized by the end of the series (Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare), having become a campy, pun-spouting parody of his former self. This version of Freddy has been likened to an evil Bugs Bunny. The character was returned to his dark/scary roots in the 1994 film Wes Craven's New Nightmare. However, this film takes place outside of series canon; it's also not the "real" Freddy, but an ancient demon who adopted Freddy's persona. The 2010 ''Nightmare'' reboot featured a serious, darker Freddy. But "Reboot Freddy" has not supplanted Robert Englund's version as the "official" Freddy Krueger in popular culture. So the "real" Freddy is still campy as ever, per his most recent canonical appearance (2003's Freddy vs. Jason).
  • In the first Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie, Wayne Szalinski is a brilliant scientist despite a few flaws that he has. The Direct to Video sequel Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves turns Wayne into a Genius Ditz at worst, considering the reason why and how he and Diane got shrunken.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean, originally an Affectionate Parody and homage to the pirate genre, became a parody of itself after the first film, when all the character traits, quirks, and set-pieces that were more subtle in originally were subject to relentless self-referencing.
  • In the first Rush Hour movie, Chris Tucker's character (whose Butt-Monkey status stems from his Cowboy Cop tendencies alienating everyone around him) is actually a fairly competent detective, but simply not as combat effective as Jackie Chan's character. In the sequels, his character's competence is completely jettisoned, he becomes a classic Small Name, Big Ego, and much Uncle Tomfoolery ensues.
  • Star Wars movies:
    • Yoda's diction for the most part simply swapped nouns and verbs in certain situations in a manner similar to some Earth languages. It also appears that he may have been doing this intentionally just to get on Luke's nerves; once Luke figures out who he is he starts speaking somewhat normally for the rest of his screen time. This was exaggerated in pop culture, leading the writers of the prequels to make up lines such as "Not if anything to say about it, I have!"
    • While C-3PO clearly wasn't as brave as R2-D2 and could express fear, in the original film he was still capable of self-sacrifice, even urging Luke to abandon him after 3PO had been badly damaged by the Sand People. Later, when he was cornered onboard the Death Star by some Storm Troopers, he managed to successfully bluff his way past the Troopers ("They're madmen! If you hurry you might catch them."). He also felt grief for Luke and the others when he thought they were dying. In The Empire Strikes Back, he's Flanderized into a total coward, unable to think about anything but himself, and frantically advocating surrender when the Falcon is being chased by Imperial Destroyers. What nuance he regained in Return of the Jedi (being highly instrumental in gaining the Ewoks as allies and again able to provide a momentary distraction) was lost in the prequels, where he contributes nothing except extremely lowbrow humor. Since the Disney purchase, however, Lucasfilm seems to be attempting to avert this; All There in the Manual for The Force Awakens reveals he has become the Resistance's droid Spymaster. Possibly a moot point, however, as he hasn't really had any noteworthy scenes in Last Jedi.
    • The Trade Federation Battle Droids were originally introduced as mindless animatronic soldier drones. They were just human enough to be used for slapstick, but were still inhuman enough to be mildly menacing. As the decade wore on the writers slowly morphed them into a big goofy gang of cowardly Harmless Villains.
    • It is a joke among many that Stormtroopers cannot aim and are incompetent in their roles, something that has crept into the franchise itself through numerous references. In the Original Trilogy however, this only really applied to when they faced the protagonists. Their introduction in A New Hope features them curb-stomping the garrison of the Tantive IV with ease, and the troops investigating the whereabouts of the Death Star plans on Tatooine come close to finding them. Later on in the Death Star proper, the guards quickly see through Han and Luke's disguise, and in the ensuing battle are under orders to capture them alive. In The Empire Strikes Back, the Snowtroopers again make short work of the Rebels at Echo Base, and the Stormtroopers at Cloud City are again under orders to keep the heroes alive. It is Return of the Jedi that the portrayal of Stormtroopers as incompetent pushovers began to set in, inspired by their consistent failure to land hits against our heroes despite otherwise being reasonably efficient at what they are supposed to do.
  • Gale Weathers of the Scream films. In the first, she's simply a very-determined reporter who resorts to bending the rules to get her story. She mainly has beef with Sidney because they have differing viewpoints on one person - Sidney believing Cotton to be her mother's killer, Gale viewing him as an innocent victim of an abusive affair with Sidney's mother ( and she turns out to be right!). She's given several softer moments with Dewey and the only other person she's outwardly nasty to is her cameraman Kenny. By the time of the second film, she's suddenly shamelessly bitchy with poor social skills who snipes at everyone she comes across. While the trauma of the first film could have had some effect, they act as if Gale was always this way.
  • The Matrix: Sunglasses and long coats. In the first film they actually took a relatively realistic approach to them: Neo and Trinity wear them in order to hide their belts of weapons from the security guards in the Agent's office block and then immediately ditch them before commandeering the helicopter. Even Morpheus has lost them by the time he is captured by Smith. You will note that after these points we never see any of the main characters wear them again until the closing scene with Neo flying away. Come the sequels and everyone is wearing sunglasses and/or a long coat in more or less every single scene throughout the movie even when it makes no sense such as when holding a mission briefing in a darkened room.
  • Dumb and Dumber: Harry and Lloyd. In the original, they were stupid but had some common sense and their own individual personalities. In Dumb And Dumberer When Harry Met Lloyd, their stupidity is pretty much their main personality trait, if not their only personality trait!
  • In Major League, Roger Dorn was a veteran ballplayer who was a superstar in his prime, and even at the tail end of his career had plenty of skills and talent left. He's just stopped applying himself, coasting on his past and slacking off in the field to avoid injury limiting his options during upcoming contract negotiations (thus not making the plays he should be making). Jake Taylor calls him out on his attitude and behavior, and how his lackadaisical play is spoiling things for the younger players who may be getting their only shot, while also reminding him that he used to be a great player, eventually leading to him straightening out and playing like the star he is. Come Major League II, Dorn is whiny, incompetent, and is presented as a complete joke of a player, whose announcement that he's reactivated himself is met with annoyance by his teammates.
  • Jay and Silent Bob received quite a bit of flanderization over the course of Kevin Smith's The View Askewniverse film series.
    • Jay became wilder, stupider and more perverted. In the original Clerks, he's shown conversing with a girl quite casually (despite insulting her when she arrives) whereas in the later films like Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back he can barely talk to a girl without it being completely sex related. The number of F-bombs he dropped also seemed to increase with each film.
    • Silent Bob's characterisation actually went back and forth between films. He spends most of the original Clerks smoking cigarettes and didn't really do anything until towards the end where he dances with Jay and later gives the convenient store clerk, Dante, some helpful relationship advice (this would later become the defining trait of the character). The following film Mallrats however portrayed a much sillier Bob, where he partakes in some goofy antics and is much more expressive. Chasing Amy went back to the more reserved and deadpan Bob from Clerks, Dogma did a mixture of the two personalities and in Strikes Back and Clerks II he was goofy again.
    • Just how silent Silent Bob is varied quite a bit - from a guy who just isn't into idel chitchat (and who has a companion more than willing to make up for said lack) to someone who resorts to charades when conveying extremely relevant information only he knows.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Donatello demonstrated a certain knack with mechanical contraptions, as emphasized in the cartoon and toy line. In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Donatello speaks in a nerdy voice, and wears high tech, spectacle-like goggles to emphasize that he is a nerd.
  • The Terminator had the T-800 models gradually developed a fixation with sunglasses. In the original movie, the only reason the evil T-800 played by Arnie wears shades was to cover up his face after a car crash ended up exposing his robotic eye. However, this ended up becoming such an iconic image, to the point that it was used for the publicity still that ended up serving as the film's poster. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, he ends up stealing a biker's pair of shades for no reason other than to wear them for the most of the first half before losing them while rescuing Sarah Connor from the mental asylum, while in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines his obession with sunglasses becomes an actual character trait to the point that he is particularly selective over which kind he wears. The young T-800 Arnies that appear during the flashbacks in Terminator Genisys and Terminator: Dark Fate also has him wearing sunglasses for no particular reason.
  • Everyone in the first three Transformers films, but special mention goes to Sam's parents. In the first film, they're fairly typical embarassing parents; the Dad is cheap and obsessed with lawn care, and the Mom is (as Rifftrax puts it) shrill and annoying. In one scene she openly talks about Sam having A Date with Rosie Palms, but in the privacy of their own home, and she apologizes for it when she sees how awkward it made everyone. In later films, shouting embarassing things in public seems to be her favorite thing to do, and she doesn't care what anyone thinks about it. The Dad also seems to become less sophisticated as the films go on. In the first film, he's shown relaxing with a glass of wine. In the second film, he's drinking a Budweiser at a restaurant in Paris, while threatening a mime.

  • In Animorphs, this happened to Rachel, though it was intentional.
    • All the characters were Flanderized, actually, to a lesser extent. Cassie was the most notable (other than Rachel) — she goes from a slightly more moral person than the others to someone who couldn't stand to kill Visser 3. Note that her Flanderization was mostly reversed after Book 45.
    • Jake was noticeably Flanderized as well — his leader angst goes from mild to extreme, until the last book, at which point he feels like Tom and Rachel's death was his fault and becomes clinically depressed.
    • The Flanderization was, really, the point. The war took whatever aspect of their personalities was most useful to the fight (bloodlust, strategizing, manipulating people, etc.) and forced them to exaggerate it until it ate the rest of their lives.
  • Anita Blake suffers from this in regards to Anita's sex life and sexually-fueled magical powers, to the point where the longest book in the series to-date barely managed to get out of the bed, to say nothing of the bedroom.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club:
    • While she was originally just an aversion of the Model Minority stereotype, Claudia Kishi, despite being in eighth grade for about ten years, eventually gets to the point where she can't even spell her friends' names — or her own! Despite being able to spell them perfectly well in seventh grade, mind. Most of the other girls' quirks (Kristy's bossiness, Dawn's environmentalist soapboxing, Mallory's geekiness, and Jessi's anxiety about her race and dancing skills) suffered this to some degree, as well.
    • Margo Pike's motion sickness. In Boy-Crazy Stacey, Margo almost gets car-sick on the way to Sea City but feels better once she moves to the front seat. Somehow, this turned into pretty much her only character trait, to the point where it was surprising she could walk down the street without getting sick.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
    • Greg's Straw Loser status has become a lot more noticeable as time went on, to the point where the plotlines of the book starts off good, but only goes worse and worse for Greg.
    • Rowley, Greg Heffley's best friend, was a normal kid who showed a slight interest in things outside his age group, but was otherwise coming along well. Following The Last Straw, Rowley's personality became a lot more juvenile and so did his interests, to the point even Greg felt embarrassed to have him as his friend. However, as of the recent books, this is being slightly undone with Rowley finally growing up from the kiddy interests. In fact, there's a little bit of hints that unlike Greg, Rowley is actually advancing as a teenager.
    • Susan Heffley was originally an amazingly-embarrassing mother who was a bit behind on what kids Greg's age liked and was slightly skeptical of modern technology. She did show a stern side, such as when Greg broke Rowley's arm in the first book and then Rodrick's party in Rodrick Rules. The later books made her a strict moral guardian who thinks all new technology is denigrating children's social life, to the point she even made the town ban technology for two days. However, she still has the occasional embarrassing side.
    • Manny Heffley started as a spoiled, mildly socially awkward child whose nasty prankster side would come out occasionally and showed surprising intelligence. In later books, this reached the point where he refused to socialize with children, yet was clever enough to turn the electricity off in his house and even speak fluent Spanish.
      • It gets even worse with Manny in Wrecking Ball, where he LITERALLY BUILDS AN ENTIRE HOUSE BY HIMSELF.
  • Discworld:
    • The characterisation of Rincewind shifted from sensible fear of the unknown to full-fledged cowardice, and finally to having an entire philosophy based on the principle of running away from things.
    • There's also Willikins, who started out as Standard Issue Butler #48592, and then his combat skills were established in Jingo and his street-fighting past in Thud!. By Snuff a lot of his lines revolve around his ability to kill anyone with anything sharp, and he doesn't even bother to put on the Jeeves impression.
    • Granny Weatherwax's first appearance has her as a very competent witch (her Wizard Duel with the Archchancellor of Unseen University ends in a tie), but she isn't portrayed as being anything out of the ordinary as witches go, and doesn't receive an inordinate amount of respect. A few sequels later and she is The Dreaded, with entire species having titles for her that basically translate to "Stay the hell away!". Her stubbornness, strong will, grumpiness, and pride have all been exaggerated as well.
    • Vimes starts out as an intelligent and honest but nonetheless flawed man, with a deep sense of righteous anger at the unfairness of the world. As the series progresses his righteous anger is inflated to the point of making him into a semi-Messianic figure incapable of doing wrong — in Thud! he alone is able to resist a very powerful soul-possessing demonic superbeing, which regards Vimes as a worthy opponent and occasionally endows him with supernatural vengeance/crime-detection powers (albeit ones that mainly extend to seeing in the dark and understanding the speech of things that live there).
      • Well, it depends on your definition of wrong — as time goes by, he becomes much more willing to bend the rules, something he worries about. Additionally, while Vimes is increasingly smart and courageous, a lot of that could be put down to his having crawled out of the bottle and displacing his alcoholism with crime solving — something, ironically, that makes him very much like the vampires he hates.
    • Over the course of the series, Veternari sheds more and more of his weaknesses until by Snuff he is an all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing demigod whose only real character trait is "Always right", with it becoming a rule in-universe that nobody could ever replace him. This coincided with him becoming Pratchett's most obvious mouthpiece.
  • Don Quixote: In the first part of the novel, Sancho Panza gives a Hurricane of Aphorisms only once. In the second part, he gives it continuously, and so do his wife and his daughter.
  • David Eddings' series The Elenium and The Tamuli have Kalten, who starts out as Sparhawk's boyhood friend, a talented knight and skilled fighter who can't use magic because their kind of magic requires being fluent in the Styric language, which Kalten can't get the hang of. As the books continue, he turns into someone too stupid to spell his name correctly, for some reason. It later turns out to be Obfuscating Stupidity as he lampshades how he plays up his being Book Dumb to make people underestimate him.
    Kalten: I know, this stupid-looking face of mine is very useful sometimes.
  • Everworld. In the first book, Search for Senna, the eponymous character was a quiet, withdrawn, and somewhat strange Emotionless Girl who had a mostly positive romantic relationship with David, and demonstrated genuine concern for others on occasions. As the books went on, her negative traits were repeatedly emphasized and expanded, though this was initially saved from being Flanderization by her character also becoming more complex and interesting. In the last two books, her goal of overthrowing the powers of Everworld and crowning herself took over her characterization, and just about all of her other personality traits were thrown out in favor of it. She became an outright sadist, a tyrannical and megalomaniac Evil Overlord who no longer cared at all for how much death or pain she caused if it got her greater power. However, this is subject to YMMV, as some have interpreted it as Senna becoming overwhelmed by the magic of Everworld, and developing a God complex.
  • Played for horror and incorporated as a plot point in Faction Paradox. A Space Cult Colony called the Remote colonists became sterile, and so developed technology to avoid extinction: Remembrance Tanks. You insert some biomass ready for cloning (a corpse) and get a few friends of the deceased so the machine can scan their minds for memories of the dead person, allowing the device to weave them together and form the clone's mind. This had the unpleasant side effect of making every iteration more and more stereotypical, to the degree Remote time-travelers are often disgusted and confused by meeting their future selves, often wondering if they are just that damn unpleasant.
  • In the first Fear Street Seniors book, Jade Feldman and Dana Palmer are noted as being unhappy that Phoebe Yamura got to be head cheerleader instead of them but are generally normal teenagers who are nice enough to their peers and are on equal footing with each other. By the time of the seventh book, Jade doesn't seem to care about anything besides being Head cheerleader and obsessively bullying and insulting Phoebe for taking the position she sees as hers, with Dana as her Beta Bitch.
  • GONE has Drake, who was much more a misanthrope and sadist than he was a misogynist. He seemed to want to torture everyone — Or most — equally, and never seemed to hold too much of a preference of who he wanted to beat up. Yes, he did hate women with a near religious conviction, but he seemed to hate men just as much. Yet in FEAR, he suddenly has some personal vendetta against all females, which is Lampshaded by himself.
  • This is how self-will destroys the damned in The Great Divorce. If one embraces a sin and never lets it go, it overwrites the rest of one's character, and sometimes the rest of one's self.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Ron Weasley starts off fairly average if slightly lazy and only seems to get lazier and less intellgient as the series progresses, though this tends to be balanced by moments of sharp insight throughout. Especially early on he's by far the most knowledgeable of the three about the Wizarding world at large, being the only one to have grown up in the magical world. It's also pretty clear in the earlier books that Harry and Ron are quite equal academically and they rely heavily on Hermonie's support to pull both of them through their tougher courses. It probably didn't help that he became an Adaptational Dumbass in the films which both downplayed Harry struggling with his courses and took away several of Ron's more insightful moments, usually giving them to Hermione. He often came across as The Load throughout the films, and bordered on it in the later books as well.
    • Hermione's intelligence undergoes this too. Initially in book's 1 and 2 she is merely very clever; She both works harder and picks things up a bit quicker than most of her classmates. By the end of the series there is literally not a single spell or potion she is ever mentioned at having failed at, although admittedly, Harry is repeated shown to best Hermione in the topic of Defense Against the Dark Arts. The only time she ever comes close to being overshadowed in another subject is when she is up against the Half-Blood Prince in Potions Class, and even then it's only because she refused to deviate from the official instructions (and, by all accounts The Half-Blood Prince is an extremely skilled potion maker). Her Adaptational Intelligence doesn't help much either, as the films go so far as to give some of the cleverer moments Ron or Harry have to Hermoine as well.
  • Zoey Redbird from The House of Night series went from a somewhat more advanced vampyre who happened to have a boyfriend in Marked to The Chosen One with an Unwanted Harem by Betrayed.
  • Both Brandon's ignorance and Nick's rage towards it are flanderized throughout The Leonard Regime.
  • All of the Flock from Maximum Ride suffer this. In The Angel Experiment at least they were a bit more realistic and believable.
    • Nudge has gone from an extremely talkative young girl to a materialistic celebrity-obsessed tween.
    • Angel is a manipulative Karma Houdini.
    • Total is now even more of a cartoonish sidekick figure than he was originally.
    • Iggy seems to be getting dumber and more childish in each book. Where in the first three he was treated by Max and Fang as one of the older kids, now he appears to have a mental age of twelve and spends most of his time with Gazzy, who admittedly has a similar outlook and personality, but is way younger than him.
    • Max has started to use Totally Radical slang and seems to be occasionally channeling the spirit of Bella Swan, in the author's clumsy attempt to cash in on the teen romance successes of late.
  • Hannibal Lecter, who first appeared in Red Dragon, was originally just a very intelligent and cultured man, whose expertise in his chosen field of psychiatry made him a particularly dangerous (and somewhat ironic) insane killer. By the (book) sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, he is quite clearly one of the greatest if not the greatest psychiatrist in the world, and by the threequel Hannibal, he's revealed to be a world-class genius in pretty much any field he sets his mind to, from Renaissance art to particle physics.
    • And in the TV series, his brilliance and complete lack of human emotion has evolved to such a degree that he's basically a secular Satan whose plans — no matter how convoluted — practically almost work.
  • Rob Roy: Invoked In-Universe. Main character Frank Osbaldistone describes his parent as a harsh and exacting but fair person who tolerates other ideologies for the sake of being a good merchant, and then Rashleigh talks about him as an opportunist who plays both sides of the political and religious divide to profit at the expense of everybody. Then Frank grumbles that his cousin has turned his portrayal into a caricature.
  • Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes. While Conan Doyle's stories portray Watson as quite capable and intelligent in his own right (while lacking the unique imaginative genius of Holmes), it has become quite customary in various film adaptations to make Watson a completely incompetent and blundering idiot so as to be a more transparent foil to Holmes. Of course, this raises the question of why one of the world's most brilliant men would want such a moron as an associate and colleague. Without a Clue satirizes this trend with a genius Watson and an incompetent, fraudulent Holmes.
  • In Neal Shusterman's The Skinjacker Trilogy, Shusterman unveils a world between life and death, where your appearance is based entirely on your memory of yourself. This leads to such effects as remembering only the chocolate smudge on your face and turning entirely into chocolate, or remembering your acute sense of smell and gaining nostrils that extend to your feet. The Lawful Evil villain even encourages this trope as her thousands of followers reenact their "perfect day" every single day (when they're not fighting our protagonist). This example takes the trope in more of a literal sense, as you may have guessed, rather than the degeneration of a character's demeanor.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Hallis Mollen develops a tendency to state the obvious, which gradually becomes his defining trait.
  • Star Trek Novel Verse:
    • Some accuse the Star Trek: Vulcan's Soul trilogy of flanderizing the relationship between President Zife and Koll Azernal, with Zife being an ineffective president relying on scheming Azernal to run the government for him. It is certainly more obvious in this trilogy than in Star Trek: A Time to.... The Brains and Brawn partnership of Rehaek and Torath from Star Trek: Titan is flanderized by this trilogy, too.
    • The novel Before Dishonor essentially Fladerizes Worf, Seven of Nine, and Admiral Nechayev, presenting them in a surprisingly one-dimensional way, taking their various social flaws (Worf's aggressive stoicism, Seven's cold precision, Nechayev's impatience and sharp tongue) and blowing them out of proportion. Or so some readers argue.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe nearly everything mentioned in the Star Wars movies as a side-note is turned by the Expanded Universe into the main characteristic of whatever subject.
    • Apparently all Corellians find statistical analysis abhorrent, due to the method in which Han Solo told C3PO to shut up in The Empire Strikes Back ("Never tell me the odds!").
    • "You look strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark." The Clone Wars had its gundarks modeled with ridiculously huge ears. The explanation for one of the designers was "We know about the Gundarks that they have huge ears, so they have to be visible".
    • Just about every Sith falls victim to this at some point or another, especially as one moves further away from their original appearance. Most notably, Revan.
    • In Karen Traviss' early works, the Mandalorians/Clones were badass and the Jedi were somewhat clueless/misguided. Cue later works where the Mandalorians are perfect at everything and the Jedi are basically evil hypocrites.
    • Zabrak (Darth Maul's species) Sith like double-bladed lightsabers better than regular ones.
    • Most species with a single mention in the movies experience this treatment. All Hutts are crime lords, all Wookiees go berserk, all Bothans are spies, all Trandoshans are bounty hunters, all Rodians are more bounty hunters, all Gand are still more bounty hunters, et cetera. One can find exceptions, but source material states this as the rule.
    • Thrawn's strategic ability tended to get exaggerated to a ludicrous extent by later writers. Timothy Zahn, the author of the Thrawn Trilogy, took a shot at this in the Hand of Thrawn duology where, after watching the rest of the galaxy work itself up into a frenzied panic over the mere possibility of the Grand Admiral's resurrection, the main characters all note that Thrawn was good, but he wasn't that good.
  • Tarzan: The original Tarzan was a Genius Bruiser who managed to teach himself English and French from books his parents left behind, as well as an inveterate prankster with a quick wit and a well-developed but dark sense of humor and a full-blown dandy who loved to look good, even before he came in contact with civilization. All adaptations seem to ignore this in favor of playing up his physical prowess.
  • Jacob Black from Twilight. Over the course of the saga, his initially fairly healthy and respectful affection towards Bella was Flanderized into obsession, probably done to sway "Team Jacob" shippers to be more sympathetic to Edward. For the most part, unfortunately, this ended up only spurring the Team Edward/Team Jacob rivalry even further.
  • In Warrior Cats, Hollyleaf starts as the smart one of the group who tries to respect the Warrior Code. By the end, she is completely consumed by the Warrior Code, freaking out if someone even mentions breaking it. This culminates with her finding out her mom severely broke the code and going on a murderous rampage.
    • Far earlier, in the first series, Fireheart's sister Princess is a kittypet who is curious about Clan life but wouldn't want to live that way, and who makes one or two comments on how Fireheart doesn't look like he's getting enough to eat. By the end of that series, she's become a hysterical worrywart terrified of the forest.
  • In the first Wayside School book, Joy steals Dameon's lunch (and frames several other students for the theft) because she's seriously hungry, having forgotten her own lunch, and is said to have suffered extreme guilt over it for months afterwards. In the two subsequent books, one of Joy's major character traits is that she steals things whenever she gets the chance, including, at one point, another lunch (this time showing no guilt at all).

  • Alice in Chains is a good example of fan-Flanderization. A lot of the band's songs (mostly by Cantrell) have nothing to do with drugs. However, when vocalist Layne Staley's addiction worsened, his songs about heroin addiction led people to believe their pre-Dirt content (Facelift and Sap) are about drugs as well, oblivious to the fact he wasn't addicted to heroin until just before Dirt. Even then, half of Dirt is not about drugs — their self-titled, however, almost entirely features songs about the horrors of drugs.
    • This is present Post-Staley as well. A lot of people assume all of the band's songs with DuVall are about Layne in some way now.
    • Jerry Cantrell, the guitarist, wrote the band's most popular songs, while Staley wrote most of the non-single tracks. However, because Cantrell wrote the more well-known songs, most people (especially DuVall supporters) assume Cantrell is the "main songwriter" — if one were to count the number of songs by each of the two, it would be almost exactly 50-50.
  • One of the main things that annoyed The Beatles about their 'Fab Four' image was how it reduced all four of them to a quick-caption stereotype which lingered — John was the 'funny' one, Paul the 'handsome' one, George the 'quiet' one and Ringo the 'normal' (i.e. less talented and klutzy) one.
    • Lennon in particular has been caricatured as the Genius with a capital "G" within The Beatles, almost as if he was the only intelligent, innovative and creative force within the group. This seriously underestimates the talents of the other band members and especially from the group as a unity. Furthermore most of the Beatles songs everyone sings along to were made possible by McCartney's ear for good melody. If you look at the Beatles solo careers one quickly realizes that none of the individual members were able to have a successful solo career, except for Paul — and even his solo works have a lot of cheesy stuff in it. Most of John's solo output is pretty much hit-and-miss, except for John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine due to this tendency to write too many personal songs about his relationship with Yoko, which are quite boring for other listeners. Apart from that Lennon also made some very avant-garde tracks under influence of Yoko Ono that most people will never play more than once. In fact, the bestselling Beatles solo record of all time is All Things Must Pass by George.
    • In modern times, the Lennon/McCartney writing partnership tends to be oversimplified as 'Lennon wrote all the angsty, complex, rebellious and therefore 'good' songs, whereas McCartney wrote all the Silly Love Songs and fluffy album filler.' Which not only tends to unfairly deny McCartney the credit in several cases and do a disservice to several of the songs, but collapses entirely when you remember that Lennon wrote "Mean Mr. Mustard", "Norwegian Wood", "This Boy" and "Dear Prudence" and McCartney wrote "Eleanor Rigby", "Helter Skelter", "Carry That Weight" and "Yesterday". Furthermore, half of the Lennon/McCartney songs were genuine 50:50 collaborations. Lennon did tend more towards Creator Breakdown than McCartney in later years, however.
    • George is thought of usually as either 'quiet' 'mystic' or 'grouchy', but people forget that George Harrison wrote "Something" and "Here Comes The Sun" from Abbey Road and "Savoy Truffle" from The White Album.
      • George was also characterized in works like A Hard Day's Night and Yellow Submarine as being a somber and serious mystic (especially in the latter). His son Dhani complained about this once, as his dad actually had a pretty good sense of humor. The man personally financed Monty Python's Life of Brian just because he wanted to see it and the last letter he ever wrote was to Mike Myers about how much he loved Austin Powers.
      • In A Hard Day's Night George is more "deadpan" than "serious", not only because it was part of his personality but also because he lacked the natural talent for comedic acting of John and Ringo. But he gets two of the funniest bits of the movie: the "what would you call your hairstyle?" joke and the scene where he's mistaken for a fashion model (both of which work well with a Deadpan Snarker).
      • Overlaps a bit with Truth in Television: when asked what would they do with the money they made in A Hard Day's Night, George simply asked the reporter "What money?"
  • Elvis Presley has been shamelessly Flanderized after his death by Elvis impersonators. In his youth Elvis actually was slim with boyish good looks and a pleasant smooth tenor voice with only a little shaking in it. If he was anything like most of his impersonators he would not be nearly as popular as he was in the late 1950s.
  • N.W.A, on the album Straight Outta Compton, mostly stuck to an aggressive Gangsta Rap style they called "reality rap", and used quite a few songs to explicitly criticize the conditions and harrassment endured by the black population of Los Angeles. Then Ice Cube bailed, and they became ridiculously over-the-top, violence-celebrating Horrorcore with Efil4zaggin. note 
  • Ozzy Osbourne gets this a lot from the press. For example, from the way people talk, you'd think he bites the heads off bats all the time. In truth, he only did such a thing once (completely by accident!note ) and went to the hospital for a rabies shot immediately after.
  • Pantera. When they hit the mainstream with Cowboys From Hell in 1990, they had a then-unique "street tough" attitude but had no problem getting into some pretty emotional/sensitive topics with their music. Starting around Far Beyond Driven, however, their "toughness" was heavily Flanderized with many songs revolving around Phil's over-inflated ego, and (with a couple exceptions) the band shed all traces of angst and sensitivity.
  • Queen is another example of fan-Flanderization. Due to the publicity surrounding Freddie Mercury's bout with AIDS, many now assume their classic songs are about his illness and/or bout with homosexuality. Freddie was actually bisexual, and he wasn't diagnosed with AIDS until after the release of A Kind of Magic (the band's third-to-last official album before his death).
    • Freddie himself has been Flanderized by his tribute acts; he had so many different looks down the years yet what does every tribute singer focus on? Yep, THAT yellow jacket.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers tends to get Flanderized by detractors as always singing about California. Their jumbled lyrics also are exaggerated, as has their white boy rap which Anthony Kiedis has largely avoided the past 15 years. AV Club tends to portray them as nigh-unintelligible horndogs.
    • They've had success with ballads, and then did so many that they inevitably became bland and predictable.
    • The same thing happened to Guns N' Roses. They were a basic rock band in every sense and proud of it. Then Axl Rose started to want to make more and more long rock ballads after the huge success of "November Rain" and later "Estranged". Slash, the popular lead guitar player, disagreed with this direction among other personal issues with Axl and left the band.
  • All of the Spice Girls. Documentaries and interviews with them before they ever signed a record deal show that the styles and personalities they became known for were always there, but after they got some fame and money behind them, and more importantly were given their nicknames by the British media, things quickly went much further.
    • Comparing their early TV appearances when they were more or less just being themselves, to their appearances in late 1996 after Top of the Pops magazine gave them their nicknames when they were hamming it up, then to their peak Flanderization around the time of Spice World in 1997, when they had fully embraced the nicknames and were essentially playing cartoon characters of themselves.
  • When Rihanna came out she sang about a variety of topics. Now it seems like all of her singles have devolved into songs about sex with the occasional love song in them.
  • When Weezer burst into the music scene back in 1994, they were just naturally geeky. Instead of trying to have some kind of bombastic or showy image, they were completely themselves. However, around the time the Green Album was released, their geekiness was heavily Flanderized. They all began dressing deliberately in geeky/outdated fashions, frontman Rivers Cuomo began wearing thick-rimmed glasses, etc. Plus, even though he's now well over 40, Rivers STILL obsessively sings about topics like snagging the sexy cheerleader goddess!
  • Taylor Swift's music appears to have devolved from the usual country themes and stories her young audience can relate to being Take Thats to her several famous exes.
    • Many of her album tracks have focused on other subjects than the "Taylor gets back at her exes" subject so often depicted in the media ("Back to December" places the blame solely on herself; "Mean" is about bullying; "Never Grow Up" is a celebration of childhood innocence; "Long Live" is a tribute to her backing band/stage crew/fans; songs like "Mine" and "Enchanted" show positive experiences with exes), but it seems most of the singles chosen for her albums like to emphasize her "getting back at exes"-side.
    • She's shown more self-awareness about this in her later albums. "Blank Space" in particular sends up the image of her as the girlfriend from hell, and other tracks on 1989 recognize Swift's tendency for crash-and-burn romance ("Style," "Wildest Dreams") or blame herself for relationship foul-ups ("I Wish You Would").
  • They Might Be Giants are often thought of as just writing funny or novelty songs, especially by non-fans, but their work also has a lot of serious, personal and political songs. Songs like "James K. Polk" and "Istanbul" are really in the minority, and Flansburgh writes almost no songs like that.
    • Two of their better known Silly Songs ("Istanbul" and "Why Does the Sun Shine?") are covers; the original versions were written long before They Might Be Giants was formed. "Why Does the Sun Shine?" was released the same year Linnell — the older of the two — was born, but "Istanbul" definitely predates both Johns. Admittedly, they did choose to perform these songs.

    Mythology and Religion 

    News Media 
  • Sports broadcasters and a lot of radio personalities do this to themselves as time goes on. Chris Berman, Tony Kornheiser, Dick Vitale, Jim Rome all immediately come to mind as people that have particular quirks that are used more in more as they continue and their knowledge hasn't grown so they cover it up with their personality.
  • Canadian hockey broadcasting legend Don Cherry certainly qualifies. Originally a serious, though outspoken, broadcaster noted for wearing occasionally over the top suits, he has since morphed into a loudmouthed cranky old man who wears the most garish suits known to man.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, anyone? At the height of his popularity, he was simply a very tough working-class guy who was lashing out at the oppression of the modern world. Over time, the "underdog" side of his character became deemphasized and the "rebel" side became predominant, with the inevitable result that he devolved into an unabashed Jerkass — and the fans still cheered him!
  • The Undertaker went from being a nigh-unstoppable zombie type of character to becoming almost literally a god of death and the occult. Briefly reversed when he became a "biker" character for a few years. Paul Bearer was no stranger to this trope either, with his voice and mannerisms getting progressively goofier over the years. Compare this early 1991 promo to this later 1994 promo.
  • Inverted with Triple H, who started out as an Upper-Class Twit but eventually developed into a fairly normal, non-pretentious guy who just happens to be very rich.
  • Despite the negative connotations behind Flanderization, it's been said that the best gimmicks are really just exaggerations of a wrestler's real-life personality.
  • In The Shield, Dean Ambrose was a mercenary type character who was able to put on a normal face, but was obviously unhinged and just waiting for an excuse to hurt somebody. After The Shield broke up and he didn't bother with that normal facade anymore, he began devolving briefly into a "lunatic" character who frequently costs himself matches by trying to perform pointless stunts that only end up hurting himself.
  • The formation of Team Hell No caused the heel personas of both Daniel Bryan and Kane to be cranked up to near self-parody levels, creating some of the most hilarious moments in recent WWE history. The audience loved their interactions so much that despite being heels who hadn't changed character at all, they got the face treatment.
  • Paul Heyman defined the term "Hardcore Wrestling" as "Having a hard-working and dedicated attitude towards fans and the art of professional wrestling, no matter what it takes". This could mean the guy who's willing to get powerbombed through a flaming barbed wire table, but it could also mean the guy who puts on great technical matches night after night. Many outsiders missed the latter meaning and took it to mean "no rules and lots of violence". Heyman's preferred term for wrestling with no rules and lots of violence was "Extreme Wrestling", as shown by the name of his promotion.
  • Goldberg being so known for the Spear at the expense of all his other moves that, when Gillberg missed it in his match with Luna Vachon on the January 11, 1999 WWE Raw, professional moron Michael Cole said "He only has one move." It's especially insulting since Goldberg didn't even use the Spear in his debut match. He slammed Hugh Morrus twice and then hit what would become known as the Jackhammer.
  • Ron Simmons being reduced to saying only "DAMN!" or words that rhyme with it.
  • Jerry Lawler becoming an unlistenable horny screeching idiot yelling "Puppies!" at the expense of everything he'd accomplished, particularly his legendary status in Memphis.
  • Much like Lawler, The Iron Sheik becoming a profanity-spewing meme-generating caricature of himself.
  • Even on This Very Wiki, ranting/shoot interview/memetic mutation Jim Cornette taking precedence over 1980s-1990s manager/promoter Jim Cornette.

  • Birdie in The Great Gildersleeve has more nuanced characterization in early seasons, even the occasional subplot about her life outside of her job, such as the episode where she enlists Gildersleeve's help with an auction at her church. Over the years she devolves into a one-note Mammy stereotype, who only drops in to make sardonic comments on Gildersleeve's absurdity-of-the-week.

  • One of the many side-effects of the World Split hitting Ink City was certain characters undergoing this as a sign they were growing increasingly unbalanced. Don, for instance, is a fan of giving and receiving hugs, which he calls 'sugar'. Due to losing all his ink after the Split, he turns bright pink and can't say anything other than "Sugar sugar sugar."
  • At one point, Open Blue's Espartano unit went from ostensibly unisex Tyke Bomb training program to Amazon Brigade factory. Has a bit of Never Live It Down due to the main contributor just happening to prefer badass lolitas, thus inadvertently bringing the other players assume the factuality of said flanderization. They in turn started making Espartano characters using said assumption, resulting in the concept's flanderization. This was cleaned up in v5, when the new unit for the role, the Engelmacht, was explicitly stated to be unisex.
  • PeabodySam's Garry's Mod tribute to Dino Attack RPG plays this for laughs, with every character oversimplified to their most basic traits. Rex is "a guy who was a dinosaur", Dr. Rex goes from spending three quarters of the RPG as the Big Bad to "a mad science guy who went into a thing that did something and became a dinosaur", Hotwire is a guy who lost a leg, Dust goes fromm a complex anti-hero to "this guy who was really cool and then he died", Kate Bishop is "a girl who cried", and Andrew is some guy who watched a movie with an alien.
  • In Embers In The Dusk, the Chaos Polities of Tjapa are basically a Flanderized Imperium with all the fanaticism and oppression, but without the Realpolitik and the occasional Only Sane Man around.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One criticism of the second edition of Exalted is that it took the interesting characters from 1e and flattened them out. Especially the Deathlords — First and Forsaken Lion went from being an interesting character who wanted to take over the Underworld and didn't care about Creation to Mask of Winters v2 who wants to CONQUER AND/OR DESTROY EVERYTHING!
    • Thankfully, Third Edition statements seem intent on stepping away from the sins of second edition while not repeating the same things 1e did in terms of number of non-interesting or incredibly forgettable characters that both editions had. There have been a few bits released out for fiction, though if they succeeded is up to the readers.
  • In Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, the Chaos God Khorne was flanderized from an incredibly bloodthirsty but moderately honorable warrior who preferred Worthy Opponents and whose servants would sometimes spare non-combatants, to wanting all blood from everyone all the time. While Khorne is still often portrayed as honorable, his followers are now almost all blood-thirsty psychopaths. Note that at no point was Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne! not part of the deal.
    • Interestingly, in the 2012 audio drama Chosen of Khorne, Khârn the Betrayer — who is often considered to be the most Ax-Crazy of all of Khorne's mortal servants in Warhammer 40,000 — was significantly de-flanderized. He's quite level-headed outside of combat, despite being prone to violent visions and impulses, and even refuses to harm non-combatants (so long as they don't touch his axe). It's also revealed that he's been killing off the remnants of the World Eaters' Pre-Heresy command structure in a bid to reunite the Legion under his own banner, which is hardly the MO of a frothing, myopic lunatic.
    • And again in The Wrath of Kharn short story.
  • In Warhammer 40,000 (Originally Warhammer in Space!), the Imperium of Man is continuously suffering from this trope. Every year, it seems to become more repressive, depressing, backwards, ignorant, and desperate. The Space Marines become more Knight Templar, the Imperial Guard becomes more likely to invoke We Have Reserves, and so on. The Tau, however, have received modest character development, transforming from a Mary Suetopia to a more complex faction and one of the few Greys in the usual Evil vs. Evil. Writers have been trying to reverse the process of flanderisation and turn them back into an authoritative and overly bureaucratic but still functional dictatorship with genuine heroes.
    • Matt Ward has been working on Flanderizing the Ultramarines from a respected puritan Chapter of strict adherents to the Codex Astartes into the absurd force of unimpeachable and unbeatably awesome Ultrasmurfs that we all know and hate. At a stroke, he accomplished this mission for the Grey Knights with the 2011 codex, turning them from an interesting faction of thin-spread heroes fighting desperately against horrors which often threatened them and the entire Imperium into Big Damn Heroes who God-Mode Sue it up, curb stomp all your foes in tabletop, and not only are completely incorruptible, but can't be beaten. Let's see. Game-Breaker units? Check. Incorruptible Pure Pureness that can survive alone in the Warp and isn't tainted by bathing in the blood of Sisters of Battle? Check. God-Mode Sue fluff? In spades. Before, Grey Knights were earlier well-liked by fans, who still used them even with a codex that was a bit out of date. Fan and critical reaction has not been positive to the changes.
    • The Necrons originally had vague allusions to ancient Egyptians, and their fantasy counterpart, the Tomb Kings. Come 5th Edition, they're all wearing pharaoh hats and wearing gold and blue jewelry while wielding sickle blades. Also done by Matt Ward. The players received massive Character Development in the process. That's because Games Workshop were savvy enough to control Ward's antics this time with at least two people getting the job of simply checking he does it right and stopping him when it goes awry. It worked. Of course, it also resulted in the complete destruction of the Necron's pre-fifth-edition backstory, but hey, you can't win them all.
    • There have been some attempts to reverse the Flanderization of the Imperium in the tie-in novels, most notably the Horus Heresy books and, of course, Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!!
    • A smaller one, but no less hilarious, is the Flanderization of weapons and equipments in the Codexes. Space Wolves don't have "lightning claws", they have "Wolf Claws". Blood Angels don't have Power Fists, they have "Bloodfists". And almost every single melee weapon available to the Grey Knights are now some flavour of "Nemesis Force", although that is somewhat justified due to them being previously named under the blanket "Nemesis Force Weapons", meaning that there is simply more of a distinction now rather than a full rename (unlike the aforementioned Bloodfist, which is functionally identical to Power Fists). There's also the "Artifacts" section of newer Codexes, meant to be a selection of rare weapons and equipment that can only be selected once-per-army. However the naming gets silly with the Tyranids, who have "Bio-Artifacts" that somehow grows on their body but are still "artifacts" in that they're unique in the universe.
    • The Inquisition has been partially Flanderized (at least among the fandom) in regards to their usage of Exterminatus. In-universe, Exterminatus is meant to be a last resort when there is no hope of reclaiming the planet from something like Chaos' corruption or a Tyranid invasion, and the Inquisition is very careful to make sure that there is absolutely '''no''' alternative before sacrificing an inhabitable world (a very finite resource that the Imperium can't afford to waste); in the fandom, simply mentioning heresy in any way, shape, or form is enough to warrant the planet being nuked into oblivion.
  • Half-Orcs in 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons were originally just ugly anti-heroes with a bonus in Strength — in fact, they were actually characterized largely by their aptitude for stealth and sneakiness, with their favored racial classes being the Thief and Assassin. By the time 3rd edition came around, they, along with their full-blooded orc kindred, became strong but stupid brutes with penalties to Intelligence as well as Charisma, thus limiting their utility as player characters to be much else. They also became associated with the new Barbarian class, which basically doubled down on the Dumb Muscle angle. Although 4th and 5th edition dialed back considerably on the "stupid brute" aspect, they're still mostly associated with being Boisterous Bruisers.
    • Likewise, when first introduced in the 1st edition "Vault of the Drow" adventure module, it was only the drow nobility who were demon-worshipping evil monsters. The common drow had a default alignment of True Neutral; not really buying the demon-worship or enjoying it like their superiors, but reluctantly going along with it in order to avoid ending up on the sacrificial altar themselves. In fact, commoner drow could become allies to the party during that adventure. Although some later works do hint that common drow tend to be more cynical about Lolthism and more likely to be trustworthy, in comparison to the infamously treacherous noble houses, as a whole, the drow are considered Always Chaotic Evil.
    • The gnolls are a race of Monstrous Humanoid Hyenas who went from merely having been taken over by worship of the Demon Prince Yeenoghu after he stole them from their uncaring creator-god to having been directly created by him in 4th edition. At the same time, though, the trope was Zigzagged in that this same edition notes that despite this demonic taint (gnolls being either hyenas that scavenged Yeenoghu's kills or hyenas he forcefed demons to), gnolls were not an Always Chaotic Evil race and that many packs or tribes instead turned away from their demonic heritage to embrace their natural origins and live as hyenas with human-level intellects would do. Such gnolls were hardly fluffy bunny rabbits, but they weren't the cannibalistic slave-taking marauders that Yeenoghu's worshippers were. Then came 5th edition, when their 4e fluff was flanderized: now, all gnolls are essentially nothing more than a particularly weird kind of zombie, being living avatars of Yeenoghu's hunger to devour all life and having essentially nothing in common with natural life at all.
    • Kenku, a race of humanoid ravens, were never a particularly well-developed race in D&D, being defined almost entirely by their obsession with stealing things. But, 5th edition still managed to do this to them: in previous editions, kenku were famous for their skill at vocal mimicry, and their use of mimicry to create elaborate code languages. 5e rendered them completely incapable of innovation; they can't even form their own language, and instead mimic other noises because they're mentally incapable of speaking in any other way.
    • St. Cuthbert became this somewhere in 3rd Edition. In his original appearances in Greyhawk, he was characterized as a Lawful Good god who leaned towards Lawful Neutral, with a portfolio consisting of wisdom, common sense, dedication, and truth, who hated evil but prioritized order first and foremost. He was suggested to one of the most down-to-earth gods, and highly resentful of Knight Templar types like Pholtus — though he was blunt, and cared about converting others, he wasn't into killing people for not worshipping him. Somewhere along the line, it was realized he was the most prominent Lawful Neutral-leaning deity in the setting, and he ended up losing his kinder traits while absorbing a lot from Helm and Pholtus, to the point that "worshipper of St. Cuthbert" became a byline for "stick-in-the-mud Jerkass Church Militant who wants to convert everybody by force."
  • Happened in-universe in Mage: The Ascension. During the Avatar Storm crisis, a detachment of The Technocratic Union became stranded and warped by the Void. The result? Their role in The Technocratic Union consumed everything else, including their humanity. For example, The Progenitors who wish to advance humanity by biological science now wants to grant perfection to all humans by turning them all into a soulless Hive Mind, and Iteration X who sees cybernetics as means to an end now is more machine than man. They are know known as Threat Null, and they want to go back.

    Visual Novels 
  • Happens to a number of recurring characters in Ace Attorney. The Judge seems to get dumber and become more of a Cloudcuckoolander every game, as does Gumshoe (though Dual Destinies dialed the Judge's ditziness back a little). Additionally, Larry progressively becomes more of a loser, and Wendy Oldbag becomes more of a jerkass unrepentant stalker with every appearance. Winston Payne, a prosecutor who is meek and easily intimidated, became much more arrogant while also becoming a lot more spineless in later games. His brother, Gaspen Payne, takes these traits farther with a mix of Jerkass in the 3D installments. Pearl Fey went from being a child who thinks Maya and Phoenix are a couple and gets mad whenever Phoenix is talking to another woman to being a child that outright slaps Phoenix for even being near another woman in front of Maya. Maya explains that the reason Pearl behaves that way is due to her seeing her hometown's sky high divorce rate, ergo she wants to make sure Maya and Phoenix never separate or see other people. Pearl would ditch this trait once she got older.
  • In The Fruit of Grisaia Michiru started off fairly dumb and intentionally obnoxious but had both a serious side and played a rather crucial role in making everyone get along without either killing each other or collapsing from overwork. By The Eden of Grisaia this aspect of her has almost entirely disappeared, leaving her as nothing but the butt of jokes or someone that has no clue what's going on.
  • The Sakura series by Winged Cloud went from two kinds of flanderization. One, it went from having fairly tame fanservice to having graphic sexual content. Starting from Sakura Maid, the series ends up gradually refusing to make an All Ages version. Two, the series ends up from having a male main character falling in love with the female characters, who also have feelings to each other, to having only a female main character falling in love with other female characters.
  • Played for Horror in the "Darkest Timeline" route in Monster Camp. In the first event, the characters are acting normally, even showing off some Hidden Depths; in the second, they've basically regressed to being defined by only one of their personality traits (e.g. Milo suddenly becoming an obsessive Selfie Fiend, Dahlia refusing to talk about anything but her muscles and/or fighting, etc.), in addition to having more of an interest in figuring out the logical solutions to problems. The third event ultimately reveals that Calculester replaced everyone in camp with robots as a solution to the perceived lack of logic his friends demonstrated; the Flanderization was a result of him trying to program their personalities into the robots.

    Web Animation 
  • Among Us Logic:
    • Veteran goes from mildly dim and somewhat naive, but still experienced and intelligent, to a total idiot with some utterly bizarre ideas.
    • Captain goes from well meaning yet narcissistic, to basing his entire personality and life around Player and their "friendship".
  • Noob from Battlefield Friends started out as simply making rookie mistakes and only suffering an occasional misunderstanding. However, he quickly began to get dumber and dumber, to the point where, in the second season, he barely understands even core gameplay concepts and is a complete liability to his own team.
    Engineer: It's like he's getting worse!
  • Homestar Runner
    • The title character was Flanderized from The Fool into The Ditz, while the King of Town's unpopularity and Bubs's tendency towards dodgy dealings were also blown out of proportion.
    • Coach Z started as a relatively down-to-earth character with a cartoony but not incomprehensible Midwestern accent, who was occasionally capable of dispensing good advice despite some hints of a troubled private life. In later toons, he’s shown to have a lot more than just two “prablems”, and his accent evolved into a bizarre tendency to mispronounce any and all words in strange ways, sometimes to the point of bordering on The Unintelligible.
    • Strong Sad actually seemed to go through reverse Flanderization, going from a rather one-note downer to an artsy and snarky Only Sane Man.
  • Several characters in Neurotically Yours have undergone Flanderization:
    • Anchovie, AKA The Pizza Guy/Dude, was a young man that was deeply in love with Germaine, even though she always rejected him. He slowly became a stalker and even borderline rapist no matter how many times Germaine rejected him.
    • Germaine's sexual fantasies and desires were exposed more and more up to the point where Germaine relished it and became a hooker. The reboot arc eliminates the sexual shtick but later on dived right back into it and done it even harder than before.
    • The Hatta' was Foamy's Token Black Friend with a hint of black stereotypes. The Hatta' is now a walking stereotype of black characters and claims everyone is a racist except him.
  • In Kirbopher's Super Freakin' Parody Rangers series, the Rangers themselves are basic Flanderized versions of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Meat, the Red Ranger, is an extreme sports nut who continually flexes his muscles; Willy, the Blue Ranger, is a short and stereotypical nerd; Pinky, the Pink Ranger, is definitely The Chick; and in reference to the original Black and Yellow Rangers, Mace the Black Ranger and Chan the Yellow Ranger are, well, an African-American and a Chinese girl, respectively.
  • The Go Animate "Grounded" videos have evolved into complete and utter Black Comedy over time thanks to this trope. Originally, the grounding videos were more or less parents grounding their kids and not really liking it at all. However, as time passed on, the grounding reasonings got more and more ridiculous and, thanks to people like Issac Anderson, the creator of "Punishment Days", became more violent, with the characters changing to fit the mood.
  • Red vs. Blue is a good example of why Flanderization isn't necessarily a bad thing: in very early episodes, the characters are all quirky, but mostly sane enough to function in real life. Within the space of the first season, they grow increasingly zany, with increasingly hilarious results, and it's doubtful the show would have become so popular otherwise.
    • Donut starts as a somewhat wimpy rookie who is unfortunately assigned pink armor. He at first despises and insists it is "lightish red" but later on seems to embrace that armor, becoming full-fledged flamboyantly Ambiguously Gay (or extremely, extremely Camp Straight, depending on your interpretation). He still wears lightish red armor, though.
    • Caboose's childish incompetence and naivety becomes insanity and nearly reality-warping levels of stupidity. Unlike most of the others, his is actually given a reason, in that O'Malley's insanity played a part in his devolving, as did the explosive firefight in his head when Tex and Church drove him out.
      Sarge: Sounds like [O'Malley] took all of the carpet when he moved out. And the drapes. And I wouldn't expect to get that deposit back either.
    • Simmons changes from occasionally kissing ass to displaying extremely sycophantic behavior ("You're not only a wonderful leader but also a handsome man, sir!").
    • Sarge's dislike of Grif progressed to actually trying to kill Grif on a fairly regular basis, though in later seasons, it got toned down.
    • Grif himself started as the most competent member of the Reds with occasional references to slacking off (most likely because his work would have been utter nonsense anyway). This evolved into extreme sloth and gluttony.
    • Tucker, who talked about "picking up chicks" in the first few episodes, became a literal font of innuendo.
    • Tex went from a skilled and amoral special forces soldier to a legendarily powerful badass, especially after the Blood Gulch Chronicles.
    • Church, however, remained roughly as grouchy and cynical throughout, perhaps actually becoming more complex as time passed. Except for his aim. In early episodes, he narrowly (albeit constantly) misses with his Sniper Rifle. By season 6, he manages to unload an entire clip at a guy barely a foot away without hitting him even once.
    • Doc. He started out as a conscientious objector but had no true defining behavioral quirks. Quickly he became a useless wimp (to the point that he reveals he ran track in high school because it was the least competitive sport he could find) and pacifist, serving as a hilarious counter-balance to O'Malley's aggressive ranting.
  • RWBY: Penny became more comedic and energetic in Volume 7.
  • Team Service Announcement: In Unlockable Weapons, the BLU Soldier is a competent if overoptimistic fighter who got cornered by a Scout. In Grenade Launcher he's Too Dumb to Live, willfully standing on a sticky-mine trap.
  • In Courier's Mind: Rise of New Vegas, The Courier accuses Caesar's Legion of flanderizing the Roman Empire, citing that they got their military practices down to pat but saying they don't have any right to call themselves true successors to Rome until they demonstrate great works of architecture and poetry on top of that.
  • In Freeman's Mind Gordon Freeman started off as somewhat selfish and arrogant but he still sometimes tried to help people in trouble and sometimes ranted about odd things, though these rants were always on topic. By the beginning of Season 2, Freeman views anyone that isn’t himself as below him, goes on utterly deranged rants disconnected from what’s going on, and doesn’t mind ditching people to fend off the alien invasion on their own. Justified, since the invasion of Black Mesa has caused him to undergo major Sanity Slippage and brought out his worst qualities.
  • SMG4:
    • SMG4 himself and Princess Peach started out as Mario's foils and voices of reason, however they later were flanderized into being "the meme man" and a naggy housewife figure, respectively.
    • Fishy Boopkins went from being a socially awkward loser to an anime-obsessed weaboo as of "High School Mario".

  • Achewood's Cassandra "Roast Beef" Kazanzakis is an interesting case. He didn't have a personality to speak of to begin with, but around the party arc we learn that he is depressed and borderline suicidal. Shortly after that the trait began to dominate his personality, though despite this high focus on his depression he remains a rather multifaceted and interesting character.
  • David from Bittersweet Candy Bowl. The author originally intended him to be far less weird and wacky than his later appearances suggest.
  • Pretty much everyone on Bob and George. Mega Man and Bass go from being a bit ditzy and out-there to having full disconnects from reality, Dr. Light goes from being a competent though slightly uncaring scientist to being a vaguely insane drunk, Bob goes from a jerkass to an omnicidal maniac willing to destroy the universe he's in because it's there, and George goes from having a few issues with the casual use of violence to solve an issues to being a full-on Straw Pacifist.
  • Ethan in Ctrl+Alt+Del began as The Ditz, but moved on to Cloud Cuckoolander. More recently, he has surpassed this, and some fans are starting to suspect he is in fact clinically insane. (This may explain why Ethan made a Heroic Sacrifice to prevent a dystopian future from happening, and the entire strip is going to be rebooted.)
  • Szark Sturtz from Dominic Deegan was originally a master swordsman and a sadist. Following his Heel–Face Turn and admittance to having a crush on the title character, he eventually became "Szark (who is gay)", according to one forum that follows the comic.
    • Siggy's racism. Quilt's stupidity. Dominic's ability to plan ahead. Luna's bids for independence. Dex's timing for Big Damn Hero moments.
  • In 8-Bit Theater, this happens to at least four characters. Black Mage goes from merely sadistic and murderous to a full-on Omnicidal Maniac, Fighter goes from being gullible and dim to being stupider than the furnishings (although given the number of times he's been stabbed in the head this may technically constitute Character Development), Bikke goes from being a bit dim to making Fighter look like a genius, and King Steve goes from incompetent and callous to being a crazed tyrant who acts entirely at random.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Grace's bubbly innocent side was gradually cranked up while her role in the story was reduced until she appeared to be little more than a Plucky Comic Relief character. Later arcs revealed she was putting up a bubbly front to cover some serious inner conflicts.
  • Girl Genius has two cases, both in-universe:
    • Punch and Judy are two constructs created by the legendary Heterodyne Boys, and helped them save countless people from mad Sparks. Punch was mute but intelligent and kind, known among his friends for building toys for orphan children, while Judy was severe but compassionate, and eventually retired to become a teacher. Pretty much every story of the Heterodyne Boys reduced them both to the status of Butt-Monkey and Comic Relief, and they're generally just referred to as "dopey monsters." When Jägermonsters who actually met them talk to the actors who play them, the actors are aghast. One tries to get permission to have the character dictate a treatise on the dignity of man, but he gets shot down by his boss.
    • Klaus Wulfenbach is the feared emperor and dictator of Europe, ruling with astonishing competence and surprising compassion backed up by an iron fist when people don't cooperate (which is often—most rulers are Mad Scientists, after all, with emphasis on the mad). Yet whenever he appears in the Heterodyne stories, he is usually portrayed as a braggart, a coward, and a Butt-Monkey. The only reason why the storytellers and actors keep their heads is because Klaus secretly finds this portrayal hilarious.
  • Grim Tales from Down Below has Grim, the personification of death, speaking in a slightly garbled manner in the beginning but it begins to get more and more difficult to understand as the story moves on.
  • Homestuck:
    • In the Act 6 Intermission 3 walkaround games, some of the Pre-Scratch Trolls are revealed to be Flanderized versions of their "dancestors." In particular, Cronus Ampora reflects all of the worst, most recognizable traits in the fandom's vision of Eridan (i.e. his romantic troubles, douchebaggery, and hipsterism), while Meulin Leijon is an exaggeration of how the fandom sees Nepeta (i.e. shipping and cat puns).
    • Aradia is an interesting case, in that the trait that's been exaggerated is one she didn't actually possess at the beginning, but picked up after coming back to life. She went from a cheerful person with a couple of minor death-fangirl quirks to spending entire scenes bearing a truly demented Slasher Smile and generally being more than a little creepy.
    • While Feferi and Nepeta were rather cute in their early appearances, Act 6 has them do nothing but stand around and do adorable things in the background while smiling. This is taken even further with Fefetasprite, which upped their new status as Those Two Guys by combining them together and (mostly through Roxy) painted the sprite as a "poor, sweet, precious" person who didn't deserve what happened to them. This gets reverted later, as both of them eventually have speaking roles, in The Homestuck Epilogues (either the Alpha Timeline Feferi or an offshoot; it's never made clear) and right after the retcon, through Nepetasprite/Davepetasprite^2, respectively.
    • The Wayward Vagabond also gets hit with this post-Cascade, where his Cloudcuckoolander traits (such as his obsession with Can Town) are turned up to eleven, practically turning him into a Manchild.
  • Least I Could Do, from the same creative team, has seen this happen to most of the characters, but it's particularly noticable with Rayne, whose childlike obsession with Star Wars and other geek properties and 12-year-old boy-like obsession with getting laid have basically consumed his personality, to the point where it's a surprise when he acts like an actual person, or even gets something accomplished, other than weirding people out with his desire to be Emperor or getting laid.
  • Richard from Looking for Group was always intended to be an Always Chaotic Evil insensitive dick and main comic relief, but his antics in later parts have done nothing but break the pace of the story.
    • And then Subverted when the whole thing turns out to be a coping mechanism over the fact he is forced to be evil.
  • Defied and discussed in Manly Guys Doing Manly Things. Sten gets tired of the cookie jokes real fast.
  • Ménage à 3 is somewhat prone to this:
    • Gary manages both Character Development and flanderization, simultaneously. On his first appearance, he's a quiet geek who is still a virgin due to severe problems in dealing with women. However, he is also able to assert himself a little when pushed, and he sometimes demonstrates flashes of insight or snark. Over time, he loses his virginity, and gains much more confidence in dealing with women (presumably because he's often surrounded by attractive women who sometimes want his sexual services). However, his geekiness becomes worse, if anything — he drags a non-geek date into a comics shop at least once — and his quiet nervousness decays into total spinelessness and passivity, which the comic lampshades on occasion.
    • DiDi's sexual frustration becomes more and more prominent over time — though this may be considered a matter of Character Development, as she is becoming more desperate. Also, her near-total inability to process ordinary social cues maybe gets worse over time.
    • James rapidly goes from vaguely liberal to Straw Feminist to displaying weird hang-ups for the sake of the plot.
  • Muh Phoenix: Almost everybody. Scarlet Witch really resents that people only remember her for depowering the mutants and being Robosexual.
  • Miko from The Order of the Stick was always a bit excessively-Lawful and stubborn as a mule, but she was in fact capable of reason and being talked down, and while she could jump to conclusions, it wasn't a defining trait of her character. After 80 strips Out of Focus, though, she came back as a completely Lawful Stupid caricature who constantly jumped to conclusions and was completely incapable of understanding that she might, in fact, be wrong about them.
  • In-universe example in Ozy and Millie, where Llewellyn's horns exaggerate character traits when worn. Ozy becomes so passive he goes a whole day without moving, Millie becomes so mischievous she tries to cut off Ozy's tail, and Avery does nothing but gush about how awesome he is after putting them on.
  • Penny Arcade has two main characters, both pretty heavily Flanderized. Tycho went from a slightly meaner than normal, slightly smarter than normal person with some issues to a psychotic genius with an abused past and a fetish for long-necked animals like giraffes. By contrast, Gabe went from being "Not as smart as Tycho" to being portrayed as stupid enough to glue his hands to his face and not quite understand how children are made (as a 30-something man WITH A CHILD at this point). On the other hand, the characters were somewhat bland and interchangeable in the earliest days, so this ended up making them more distinguishable.
  • Inverted in Precocious (sort of). Most of the minor characters are introduced pre-Flanderized. Played straight, however, for Shii Ann Hu. Mentioned by trope name in the alt-text for strip 237.
  • The Perry Bible Fellowship deconstructed this trope in a particularly dark installment, "Gee Golly Jeepers," in which the actor of an obviously flanderized sitcom character — looking very much like the later manifestations of this page's Trope Photo — hates what his alter ego has become so much that he offs himself. It was an expression of Creator Breakdown, as the author had started to fear his own work becoming flanderized.
  • Questionable Content:
    • Hannelore, shortly after her first appearance, mentioned that she had severe OCD. Over time, she developed more and more quirks and phobias to the point of being essentially a female Adrian Monk (she even had a "sex" dream about him, where they cleaned together in the nude). It wasn't long before they had to Hand Wave the fact that she even has piercings, and the circumstances of her first appearance — loitering in a public restroom, smoking and nonchalantly talking to a man peeing in the sink — have become absolutely inconceivable. (In fact she wins a massive bet with her wealthy mother by simply agreeing to briefly touch the toilet in a public restroom!) The problems had to be explained in Comic 1046, where Hannelore reveals she's always had these problems; it just varies by the drugs she takes.
    • Also from QC is Raven. At first she was an easy-to-rile goth stereotype who was not the brightest bulb. Then she reappeared as a Perky Emo. Then she was a little bit of a Genki Girl with rare flashes of wisdom and occasional casual sex. More recently she is a flat out bizarre Cloudcuckoolander (even by the standards of Cloudcuckoolanders), and has probably gone around the block an innumerable number of times.
    • Even Pintsize to an extent. Originally he was just a quirky, sociopathic robot with weird fetishes. Now he is just /b/ personified doing anything for attention.
  • Leo from VG Cats was at first a typical Cloud Cuckoo Lander whom, despite some unusual quirks, still made sense at times. This got worse, much to the discomfort of his co-star, Aeris. Now he is effectively a textbook Ditz.
  • Widdershins sees this invoked by Luxuria, an incarnation of Lust. He picks out six other humans who are inclined towards another of the Seven Deadly Sins and manipulates them to be dominated by this emotion, to make them ideal vessels for his fellow spirits.
  • Whomp! and its titular chacter, Ronnie. Starting off the series as an introverted, geeky and somewhat overweight otaku, all of these characteristics get exaggerated to comic proportions over time, until he is literally unable to interact with people in a normal manner, his eating is out of control and his Japanophilia borders on manic obsession.

    Web Original 
  • A lot of people probably don't realize that the original "Caturday" pictures (now known as LOLCats) were captioned in proper English. They were still funny, because the photos were inherently bizarre, like photos you might see in magazine caption contests. Now it's escalated to the point where any photo of a cat combined with bad enough English is supposedly hilarious.
  • SF Debris delights in taking Star Trek tropes and characters to their extremes. These range from running gags in fandom, such as Janeway's coffee obsession or Troi's bad piloting skills, to total re-imaginings such as:
    1. As Trek's Stock Aesops age naturally over time, The Federation is increasingly depicted as an Orwellian state.
    2. Probably most famous is Chuck's interpretation of Captain Janeway as a supervillain on par with Palpatine and Dr. Wily. This originated with Janeway's inconsistent characterization over the course of the series, when viewers were expected to blindly side with her despite the writers disagreeing over how she would act from week-to-week.
    3. Almost as famous is Harry Kim's sexual confusion and Butt-Monkey role. It's worth mention that this and Janeway's mental illness are regarded as Word of Saint Paul by the actors themselves.
    4. Captain Archer as a deranged homeless man who was abducted and put in charge of a starship. His resentment of the Vulcans, a running theme on Enterprise, has been inflated to cartoon-level paranoia.
      Captain Archer: I told them I told them I TOLD THEM the Vulcans you can't trust the Vulcans they run up the flat to the back of the dragon and hold their tails so you can't fly no more and then you can't know your thoughts no more because they've already stolen the wrench to your mind...
  • Tales of MU does this to gnomes (its version of hobbits) to a certain extent, when comparing the species to the one from Middle-Earth. The latter are respectable to a fault and don't think much of people who travel too much or have adventures — the former literally consider "adventure" a dirty word and take pains to use an Unusual Euphemism.
    Hazel: What I mean to say is that she's an... a lady of wandering interests [...] You know, prone to seek out, ah, random encounters.
  • TV Tropes: The Self-Demonstrating Character Pages on this very wiki are prone to this, which is outright acknowledged on the Rick and Morty page. For example, the page for Captain Falcon uses excessive Intentional Engrish for Funny and Bold Inflation due to his Gratuitous English and Large Ham tendencies in the Super Smash Bros. series; in a similar vein, the Incredible Hulk page has the Savage Hulk's every word in Bold Inflation and seems unable to depict himnote  in any mode other than "angry as all hell". Hell, the allcapsed and bolded Billy Mays page even acknowledges this in its tropes.

    Web Videos 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd started out as a jaded sort of fellow who would only start dropping F-bombs when the game truly deserved it, and concentrated more on the reviews themselves. As the series continued, the Nerd would collapse into screaming apoplexy at the slightest provocation, game-related or not, and the shows gradually got more and more taken over by movie-like set pieces and Large Ham supporting characters (this was about when Mike Matei got an expanded role).
    • The Nerd's preference for vintage stuff has also been exaggerated, to the point where he seems to be nearly completely out-of-touch with modern-day appliances with apparently little to no knowledge of newer games, in addition to apparently even using an old Commodore computer and vintage cell-phone on a regular basis. In earlier videos, he was implied to be at least moderately familiar with modern games as he mentioned games that were modern at the time every now and then, and in heavy contrast to his later Disco Dan characterization, was even shown using a current-day (at the time at least) cell-phone in a few episodes (specifically "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" and "Ghostbusters").
  • The YouTube user Benthelooney has suffered this in his videos. Originally, on his old PuffyZillaman4 account, he was consistently calm and laidback, despite several rants. However, enter later half of 2010, and he becomes a lot more loud and aggressive in tone. This is possibly to add effect to his rants however. Another thing that has been flanderized about him, is his opinions. For example: In his "Nickelodeon" salute, he didn't exactly say he hated Rugrats, but he didn't think that it aged well, but it was good for nostalgia purposes, but in a later video, he says he hates it, and that it's not even good for a "nostalgia trip" and was baffled that many people his age love it. The same could be said for his opinions on Rocko's Modern Life and Scooby-Doo. To add to this, he has received another Flanderization, when it comes to his opinion towards Pixar. In his older videos, he enjoyed their first couple of movies but wasn't too happy about their later ones and Pixar winning the Oscars. Now, it has gone to the extreme, of him actually hating Pixar, and thinking that they have ruined animation. He has expressed hate for them in several comments. He even flat-out ranted on Pixar (He apologized for it later). However, in occasional videos, he realizes this and tries to go back to his 2009-2011 persona in occasional videos. Ben Tannehill (the web-show's creator) himself is pretty much the opposite of the character himself in real-life, as he is actually very nice.
  • Filthy Frank started out as an angsty nerd type of character with a mild tendency to say rude and edgy things, but as the series went on his rude, edgy, vulgar, politically-incorrect tendencies gradually became more and more prominent until they eventually consumed his entire character, with his angsty, nerdy personality being pretty much entirely phased out. In addition, he eventually evolved into a full-blown evil, politically-incorrect Jerkass of a Villain Protagonist who frequently said and did immoral and offensive things merely for the sake of being edgy and evil.
  • Jake from College Humor's Jake and Amir went from being a regular guy having to deal with Amir's antics to being somewhat of a Jerkass, and Amir became less and less sane.
  • JonTron was originally an AVGN-ish review show. Similarly to the Nerd's anger, Jon became more and more wacky and less down-to-earth as videos continued. After he quit Game Grumps, the videos became even more wacky as a result of his time there. This has worked out well, as his recent videos are some of the most-liked ones.
  • Hugo, one of Matt Santoro's clones, started out as being mildly stupid, but later became insane.
  • Miranda of Miranda Sings started out as a fairly believable Stealth Parody of amateur singers on YouTube who are deluded about their talent before her singing, fashion sense, and overall attitude slowly started getting more and more over the top. Compare this to this. Colleen Ballinger, the creator of the character, says she was deliberately exaggerating whatever traits were most derided in the comments section in order to make her more annoying. And due to Poe's Law, some still seem to not immediately get that she's a fictional character.
  • A couple of characters from Noob got this:
    • Sparadrap started out as a Noob in pure form: annoying, not listening to people giving him advice, overestimating his talent and the ego that comes with it. Over time, forgetfulness and sheer idiocy became the only reasons he was doing anything wrong. That stupidity led to a tendency to be friendly in situations that called for battle that expanded to other domains, eventually making him into a Stupid Good Manchild.
    • Gaea started out as the Audience Surrogate, then hinted that accumulating in-game currency was a bigger priority to her than other things, which makes sense for a new player. Her means of raking in more money have gotten more and more elaborate over time, to the extent that she's now known to be a greedy Manipulative Bastard by any of her acquaintances that are not a Horrible Judge of Character.
  • SuperMarioLogan
    • Brooklyn T. Guy, the firefighter from Stuck in a Tree originally was helpful but dumb, as he got distracted by a phone and failed to save Toad. However, starting from Bowser Junior's Summer School 5, he is a Deadpan Snarker, and keeps working for more jobs as time progresses.
    • Rosalina, in her first two appearances, kept screaming and crying about Luma, and blames the Sun, which she believes is a planet. However, in her current appearances, she became more of a stereotypical ditzy blonde.
  • In Vaguely Recalling JoJo, Jonathan's signature move is the revolver he uses on Dio when Dio is a vampire. Will A. Zeppeli repeatedly uses the frog punch on his foes. At one point, he does the frog punch on Dio's zombies, and giant fists rain down upon them. The grenade deflection attack is one of Straizo's signature moves.
  • Gaming Garbage hosts Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka and Dave "Shmorky" Kelly" started out utilizing deadpan, casual deliveries before Lowtax took several levels in ham and Shmorky settled into a hyper-effeminate Uke personality with a frail, high-pitched voice.
  • Brows Held High: In an odd example, Oancitizen tends to be more comically pretentious in crossovers than in his regular reviews.

Alternative Title(s): Flanderized, Flanderisation, Flanderize, Flanderise, Character Conquering Quirk, Flanderizing


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