Principal Skinner: And Lisa, you have a choice. You may continue to be challenged in third grade, or return to second grade and be merely a big fish in a little pond.
Lisa: Big fish! Big fish!
Change isn't always a good thing, nor necessary. Likewise some characters, be they round or flat, will end a story with pretty much the same personality and traits they began with. These Static Characters can go entire seasons or books without changing or experiencing the Character Development that a more Dynamic Character does. If they ever learn a lesson that might make them change noticeably, they will always immediately forget all about it by the next episode. Learned nothing and forgotten nothing, if you will.
This is NOT necessarily a bad thing, as some characters don't need Character Development. A badass does not have to decay into The Woobie to stay an interesting character - while some consumers may embrace the evolution, others will cry out, "We Want Our Jerk Back!" Such characters are useful in secondary roles, serving as yardsticks against which your central (and Dynamic) character's growth can be a foil. If you want your Static Character in the central role, just enforce it internally, using a Pygmalion Snapback or a painful collision with Status Quo Is God. Some comedies are built around characters whose personalities are set in stone and will never change, whatever happens. For that matter, every tragedy is built around characters whose personalities are set in stone and will not change, whatever happens.
Also note that a Static Character is not by definition boring. Obviously, it helps if you've got a Round Character, as exploring all their pre-existing facets can entertain without requiring character evolution. Furthermore, the introduction of Hidden Depths or an exploration of a Dark and Troubled Past accomplishes similar things; while the character is technically not evolving, the audience's perception of the character very much does. And these characters are ripe for internal conflict, since we already know a fair bit about them. Interest can also be wrung out of exploring how and why the character stays so constant in the face of the dramatic events of the plot — this can in itself be evidence of unusual self-assurance, determination or unflappability.
Static Characters are not to be confused with the Character Static.
- Lina Inverse from Slayers is actually a good example of how a Static Character can still be quite unique. She changes in subtle ways, going from an Anti-Hero to more a conventional hero, from loner into someone with a team, but in terms of her actual behavior, she can pretty much be expected to do certain things, such as put restaurants out of business with her appetite, and blowing up cities with her magical powers.
- Ogami Itto from Lone Wolf and Cub.
- This is Griffith from Berserk in a nutshell, and his lack of development is Played for Drama. Ever since he was a child, Griffith wanted to obtain a kingdom for himselfso in pursuit of this goal, he decided to become a mercenary and work his way up the social ladder until he would reach his goal. At the cost of this, he abstained from any kind of emotional attachment to his troops to prevent himself from wavering. This got to the point where he eventually felt somewhat obligated to achieve his dreamfor the sake of those who were willing enough to die for it. So Griffith grew more distant from his comrades and cultivated an extreme sense of tunnel-vision to ensure the Hawks' successbut even this fell apart when he became subconsciously dependent on Guts, whom he saw as a trusted confidant and ally. So when Guts left, Griffith's despair was such that he undid literally everything he had ever fought for in a moment of emotional dissociation. Now, after having thrown away his humanity in favor of his selfish desires, Griffith as Femto pretty much embodies this trope: an Emotionless Boy driven solely by his ambition and feeling literally nothing for those who stand in his way. No humanity or Character Development or emotional attachment to get in the way of his goals now. That is, unless you count the mild protective instinct he has towards Casca due to having used the body of her and Guts' child as his new physical vessel.
- Homura Mitokado and Koharu Utatane from Naruto do not change a bit in the series. While nearly every major character in Konohagakure has the Will of Fire, the two are more militant and only concern themselves with protecting the actual village itself, and often lean in favor of Danzo's view points. Their static status is possibly due to their little interaction with other characters (aside from Hiruzen, Danzo, Tsunade, Shizune, and Itachi) and the fact that Naruto has yet to influence them like everyone else he has come in contact yet.
- Jiraiya is accused of being this posthumously by Orochimaru, who claims he died without changing anything about himself.
- Shu from Now and Then, Here and There is a rare example of a static protagonist. He faces torture, the deaths of several beloved characters at the hands of his friends, and somehow manages to stick to his principles. That he managed to both survive and avoid compromising his core self shows just how badass he is. Oh, and surviving oodles of torture.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is adamant about not giving any of its characters any Character Development whatsoever beyond their one "unique" trait.
- Cowboy Bebop has Ed and Ein, contrasting the more dynamic main trio. Jet is also arguably rather static as he goes through several instances of cleaning up his own past without it affecting his current outlook and lifestyle.
- Bleach has a tendency to do this to anyone who isn't important, making them into this, Flat Characters, or monsters. However, it's subverted with some of the Arrancar except the fact that they never get to do anything with their character development.
- Suzy Mizuno from Zatch Bell! is a prime example, seeing as how she remains a ditz throughout the whole series, while receiving no character development or any involvement in the Mamodo battles.
- Elmer C. Albatross of Baccano! is a case that's both lampshaded and deliberately maintained - Over the 300 or so years that they've known him, all of the surviving Advena Avis immortals have noticed that Elmer hasn't changed in character at all, and this is one of the many reasons he unsettles most of them. It turns out he's doing it at Huey's request, though it wasn't actually very difficult for him.
- Erika Kurumi/Cure Marine from Heartcatch Pretty Cure is the only member of her team to not undergo significant Character Development. As explained here, she has no problem accepting herself, and her character arc revolves her struggle with having others accept her.
- In Kotoura-san, Yoshihisa Manabe is this in contrast to everyone else, notably Haruka. He's okay with who he is and how people see him, especially from Haruka's point of view.
- Nagisa Hazuki in the first season of Free!...but in Eternal Summer this changes. His optimism is broken when faced with the threat of being forced to quit swimming due to his falling grades in school.
- Outside of deciding to officially join the TSAB (which she was probably already considering), Nanoha from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha doesn't change in the slightest over the course of A's. She went through all her Character Development fairly early on in the first series, and even then it amounted to deciding to gather the Jewel Seeds because she wanted to the right thing, rather than because she was helping Yuuno. This actually makes a lot of sense, since she doesn't have any emotional baggage or a Dark and Troubled Past that would require her to change (unlike everyone else). She's more about helping others go through their character arc's rather than going through one of her own.
- Goku of DragonBall changes very little from childhood through adulthood. He is a simple man who loves fighting, loves his friends and family, and is constantly training to become better than he was the day before. This was only reinforced by some Character Rerailment after Goku had veered a little too far into active heroism rather than passive heroism while looking for a good fight.
- In Bloom Into You, Seiji Maki is this, since he largely stays true to his belief that he'd rather be a spectator than a participant in the "play" of romance. He doesn't experience anything that would challenge this belief- in fact, he wasn't pleased to hear that one of his middle school classmates had developed a Matchmaker Crush on him. That said, he does realize that he and Yuu are Not So Similar, since Yuu wants to feel love, and when he tells her this, it helps further Yuu's Character Development.
- A Certain Magical Index: Touma Kamijou's core characterization is that he will always save someone in need, without fail, and without hesitation. He also believes that no one, in spite of their deeds, should die or suffer. Apart from a few times when he has his idealism broken and become more jaded and cynical, or is trapped in despair, count on him to retain his ideals stronger than ever, and keep fighting for the innocent, and the guilty.
- Rorschach from Watchmen. We do see him change into what he is at the time of the story via Flash Back but within the main plot itself he's probably the only character that doesn't change in some way. He's definitely a tragic example of this trope. He's totally unable to give in or alter his moral code based on the situation which leads to his unavoidable death.
- Batman usually suffers from little Character Development except in some Alternative Continuity stories like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
- Most comic book villains, at least after their tragic backstories. And that's part of what makes them villains; they don't change. The Joker will always be a psychotic murdering clown, and he shouldn't be anything else. Any changes that do occur are due to Alternative Character Interpretation Depending on the Writer as opposed to character development per se.
- Wolverine from the X-Men is a great character when he has little character development.
- This is the trope driving Dream from The Sandman to his choice to commit suicide. Kind of. He did change a bit. That was the whole point of the conversation with Destruction. He only didn't change according to himself, but others (especially those who haven't seen him in a long time, like Destruction) are probably better judges in that regard.
- In All Fall Down, we have Paradigm. Of everyone who's suffered a loss, he is essentially the same person afterwards as before.
- Superman. Then again, part of his appeal is the fact that he very rarely gets into any dark and edgy personality traits. While he's oft-derided as a "boy scout", the fact that he still holds a moral code stronger than almost anyone else after all the crap he and the entire DCU have gone through, including dying and coming back to life in various ways, keeps him as the shining beacon for Metropolis and in fact most of the world. Attempts to alter him (besides serious threats that let him let his full strength out once in a while) are usually downcried far more strongly than any complaints about his "old fashioned" truth, justice and the American way outlook.
- Tintin has always been the same character in all of his adventures. He has no backstory, no family, not even a last name. He is intentionally designed to be as bland and generic of a character as possible.
- Throughout the entirety of Judge Dredd's career, his sole defining character trait has been JUSTICE.
- According to Garth Ennis, Wee Hughie from The Boys ultimately won because he refused to let all of the crap the series put him through change him. At the end of the series Hughie's more or less the same person he was at the very beginning.
- This was enforced towards the end of the original run of Marvel Star Wars. Post-Return of the Jedi, the characters were not allowed to move forward, as George Lucas had no idea on where to take the franchise at the time. This resulted in this odd story where Ensemble Dark Horse Boba Fett was discovered to be spat out of the Sarlacc, only to ultimately end up back in it.
- Galvatron in John Barber's Transformers run. A major theme of the comic is people growing and changing into something better over time; Optimus becomes more pragmatic, Soundwave and Arcee more empathetic, Cosmos finds friends, etc.. Galvatron's the exception; from debut to exit he's a sociopathic asshole who cares only for himself and is stuck in outdated ways of thinking. Deconstructed, as it leads not only to him losing all his allies but also to Optimus realizing that Galvatron will never change and thus executing him for his crimes on the spot.
- The cast of Peanuts haven't changed much throughout their extremely long run. Frankly, it would be fairly disturbing if they did.
- Calvin and Hobbes: The Series has Socrates. This is especially notable, as he's the only main character to not undergo any changes during the series' run.
- Ultra Fast Pony
Twilight: Well, have you tried having some character development?
- "Now With a Sound Effect" lampshades this. After talking at some length about her shyness, Fluttershy declares "I hope all my episodes revolve around me being shy!" This is immediately followed by an image of Fluttershy shrugging, over the caption "Character development?"
- It happens again in "So Random!"
Pinkie: Well, I was going to, but apparently only Rarity's allowed to do that.
Twilight: Hey! I had character development!
Pinkie: Bro, that was like, one time at the start of the very first season. You haven't changed since then at all.
- A subversion of a subversion is played beautifully by Michelle Pfeiffer in Stardust. By the end, when the heroes have killed her two sisters, she breaks down and laments that the only people in the world who she loved are dead, and immortality without them (by stealing Yvaine's heart) would be intolerable, and so she says she'll let the heroes go. Then she telekinetically locks the doors, cackles, and starts exploding glass all around the heroes, thanking them for killing her sisters so that she doesn't have to share immortality. Of course, given that all her sisters did throughout the film was nag her and act like Jerkasses, one can see why she wouldn't be inclined to mourn them.
- James Bond. Although 007 is portrayed differently by each actor (Connery and Brosnan are more suave, Lazenby is subdued, Moore is comical, Dalton and Craig are brutish), its always essentially the same guy, and these minor changes in personality are rarely portrayed as being the result of Character Development. Somewhat averted by the Craig films which provide a bit of the back story to how Bond became 007.
- Dollars Trilogy:
- The Man with No Name is quite possibly the ultimate static character, in that he doesn't even have a name. We are told nothing about his backstory (save for a little snippet in A Fistful of Dollars when he reunites a husband and wife), and the only change he ever goes through in his films is the size of his wallet.
- Tuco Ramirez and Angel Eyes, the other two members of the eponymous trio in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, don't change either. In Tuco's case, however, we learn more about him and why he became the way he was.
- Indiana Jones, to a certain extent. In terms of character arcs, he only goes through extremely minor changes in personality. Sure, he may go from non-believer to believer in each of his adventures, but it doesn't really cause him to do things any differently. The most jarring example is how he gains a respect for the power of the Shankara Stones in The Temple of Doom but denies the existence of God in Raiders of the Lost Ark (possibly because of what he saw in India). The Last Crusade and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull can be considered exceptions.
- X-Men Film Series
- Scarface (1983): Tony Montana starts off as a Cuban immigrant washing dishes at a greasy spoon cafe. He climbs all the way to being a crime lord kingpin, all the while being no more happy or fulfilled than when he was a street hustler.
- The Big Lebowski: The Dude doesn't change much in his world, and isn't in the least bit changed by it either. Yea, verily, "the Dude abides."
- Captain America: The First Avenger and its sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, revolve around this trope. The last words said to Cap by his mentor are "No matter what happens, stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man." Steve fulfills this request, remaining roughly the same good-natured, if brash, person he always was (with maybe a little more savvy and seasoning as time goes on). In the second film, this becomes a MAJOR plot point, as the world around him has changed in a darker direction, which he doesn't accept and slowly forces others to wake up and realize as well.
- Yojimbo: Sanjuro, being the inspiration for the aforementioned Man With No Name, is naturally also an example of this trope. Over the course of the film, we see a softer side to him that isn't obvious at the beginning, but he himself doesn't change.
- The Maltese Falcon: Sam Spade is exactly the same cold, hard, no-nonsense private investigator at the end of the film as he was at the start. There are suggestions of his softening at points, but they are quickly repressed.
- Pride and Prejudice:
- Lydia is, from beginning to end, a spoiled brat who cares for nothing except flirting and officers. Interestingly, her mother, Mrs. Bennet, is also a Static Character. While she does change opinion rapidly about a suitor based on how likely they are to want to marry one of her daughters, this never varies through the whole novel.
- Mr. Collins is a static character too. Frankly, he wouldn't be nearly as entertaining if he wasn't.
- Sherlock Holmes is basically the same in every single book.
- He does get some minor developments, though not enough to move him out of this territory. In A Study In Scarlet, he doesn't know that the earth revolves around the sun, deeming it unimportant to detective work, but later his knowledge of things unrelated to detective work is seen to increase substantially. The most recent TV adaptation, being a bit of a Compressed Adaptation, is an aversion only because Sherlock's relatively modest Character Development took place over a matter of months rather than a couple of decades.
- J. R. R. Tolkien claimed that in heroic sagas like those of the Vikings or the Ancient Greeks, characters do not develop; instead, different aspects of their fixed, essential nature are revealed by new circumstances.
- He put this theory into practice in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: the modern, anti-heroic characters (the hobbits) are dynamic and get Character Development, while the archaic, heroic characters like Thorin and Aragorn are static.
- For example, at the end of The Lord of the Rings we know a lot more about Aragorn (and he knows more about himself) than when we met him in Bree, but who he is hasn't changed. Ditto for Legolas, Gimli, and Gandalf. Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, on the other hand, have changed a lot. Note that Peter Jackson changed this in his films, making Aragorn a dynamic character, and even Legolas and Gimli have a few shades of further development now.
- Gandalf is actually a mixed case. He did undergo development of a sort, one that Merry and Pippin observed, but that change came with his death and rebirth, so it may have been development reached on his own, or development from an outside force.
- It also isn't clear if he really changed at all, or just became/revealed more who and what he is.
- Twilight: The vampires. Word of God is that a vampire is forever frozen at the level of emotional maturity they had when they died: hence how Edward can be an Emo Teen at over a hundred years old.
- A similar setup exists in Angela Sommer-Bodenburg's Little Vampire series, where one of the characters was unfortunate enough to become a vampire while in the middle of puberty.
- On a different level, the only real difference in Bella Swan's character from the beginning of Twilight to the end is the fact that at the end, she has everything she's ever wanted. Her character and personality are never particularly changed.
- Albus Dumbledore is an example of the static-character-as-yardstick device. He is a Cool Old Guy and former trope namer for the Eccentric Mentor, but his role in the story is to foster Harry Potter's character development, not have his own. (Because, as we find out belatedly, he's already had a ton.)
- Hermione is another example. When compared to the come-of-age development that Harry and Ron get, she mostly stays her bossy but well-meaning self. She does go through some changes, particularly in the first book where her initially rocky relationship with the two starts to soften, but what she experiences is still quite minor when compared to a majority of the other characters.
- The Main Character Palinor in Knowledge Of Angels is a Static Character, though this may be excused by the book being something of an Author Tract, with Palinor being the Author Avatar.
- Lampshaded in Prince Caspian by Trufflehunter the badger. According to him, all of Narnia's Talking Beasts have this as their Hat.
Trufflehunter: I'm a beast, I am, and a Badger what's more. We don't change. We hold on.
- Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland mainly just wanders aimlessly through Wonderland and reacts to things that happen along the way. Given the fact that Wonderland is a place where weird and impossible things happen, this makes sense, and she could be seen as an Audience Surrogate due to this.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: As Christopher's entire character is based on his autism, which he can't change, he remains exactly the same person at the end as he was at the beginning. The only thing that changes is his relationship with his father, but that's entirely a consequence of his learning new information, not a change in his personality.
- The titular character of Monk went through almost the entire show without much of a change, despite a dizzying array of both traumatic and hopeful events. It was only at the end that he overcame many of his difficulties.
- M*A*S*H: From his first episode to his last, Major Frank Burns was a whiny, self-absorbed, power-mongering hypocrite who could barely perform surgery.
- Star Trek: Voyager. Ensign Harry Kim starts off as an ensign and seven years later is still the same rookie doing the same things, apparently because Rick Berman believes that every iteration of Trek needs a Wesley — which is actually a disservice to Wesley, who formed relationships, found new interests (abandoning his science studies to train as a pilot, and later becoming a sympathizer to the Maquis rebellion), and was unrecognizable seven years later. Despite being one of the main characters and thus subject to all the traumatic events that befall a Star Trek character (in fact, he died enough times to become a fan joke) Harry ended his series as the exact same, thinly-sketched person from the pilot. The most notable thing to happen to him was a "promotion" to — the night shift, with no advancement in rank or any other commendations. Hence why "Timeless", the Bad Future episode featuring a bitter, cynical Harry suffering from post-traumatic stress is widely considered the only time Harry came close to an intriguing character.
Joe Ford: A fascinating peek into the life of Harry Kim on Earth is ruined by the fact that it is Harry Kim that we are examining. Hes so completely bland that rather than greet his girlfriend with a kiss and a smile he becomes stiffer than ever and starts treating her like an alien abductor! I realise she is an alien abductor but thats not the point you would think he would at least show some gratitude to be home considering he is the one who yearns for it the most. Imagine how interesting this episode could have been if it had been the same premise but focused on Janeway and Mark instead. You just knew Harry would have model spaceships and all the certificates of his achievements in his house, didnt you?
- Star Trek: Enterprise, Ensign Travis Mayweather was mixture of this and a Flat Character. Despite being born in deep space and having more field experience than even the Captain, he was nonetheless relegated to being a low-ranking Ensign to fill the Wesley void. He had very few plotlines (that didn't involve being injured, killed, or otherwise incapicitated), let alone a mandatory line in most episodes. He was there, consuming oxygen, but got about as much development as the chair he was sitting on. According to rumor Brannon Braga was solely tempted to kill him off, but was hamstrung by syndication concerns.
- Sam from iCarly started off as a mean, bullying jerk, and ended the show as a mean, bullying jerk. There was no development, no self-awareness, and only the out of universe realisation from the writers that she was going into a Spin-Off and couldn't be the lead and behave like she did meant there was even a little toning down towards the end of the show.
- Joey from Friends is a prime example of this. When he was one out of six characters in an ensemble, and had little (to no) development, he was great. And when he received a Spin-Off, Joey, it didn't work at all.
- All the main (and most of the supporting) characters from Seinfeld, being the Sadist Show that it is. While the status quo does change, it mostly has to do with how much the characters could get away with rather than any actual Character Development. Kramer, being The Fool, usually manages to avoid the consequences of his actions and, therefore, develop the least.
- Pretty much all the members of The A-Team are fairly rounded, but they never really develop, except for Face, possibly, who starts out as a fairly generic Con Man and ends up a Handsome Lech who is in touch with his inner math/finance geek (and revels in that).
- Power Rangers:
- Aisha Campbell is this during her stint in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. She is also considered the least-developed Ranger in the entire franchise!
- Furio from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy is just a standard Dragon to the Big Bad Scorpius. Especially compared to his replacements, Treacheron and Villamax, who are both NobleDemons. And Deviot, who is a Dragon with an Agenda.
- One of the biggest criticisims towards Troy from Power Rangers Megaforce is that he's this. Not helping is that due to Megaforce adapting two separate Sentainote , Troy's character doesn't change when he's unmorphednote , his body language while morphed is vastly different in the second season when compared to the first.
- Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. He suffers from some episodic out of character behavior, but he always reverts to his "normal" self.
- Many of the mains on Battlestar Galactica remained unchanged from beginning to end; Starbuck, for instance, gets new traits but doesn't really overcome her original flaws. (This was a show that lived on the gloomy end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism.)
- Tom Baker often says in interviews that the Doctor in Doctor Who is "not an acting role" as the Doctor's character never changes that much - "he'll never turn towards evil, he'll never become interested in romancenote ...". Of course, this isn't quite true - the Doctor certainly changes a lot over time, in as literal a manner as possible - but within those incarnations, some Doctors develop, some remain relatively static, some remain static for as long as possible before slowly developing into someone contemptible just in time for a regeneration, and some change inorganically between several mostly-static archetypes as soon as a new producer is brought in. Tom Baker's Doctor was something of the last one.
- BIONICLE has many due to its Loads and Loads of Characters, but Onua and Pohatu stand out in particular, as they're the two main characters who've been around for the line's entirety yet still haven't changed much. Onua's the wise and solemn but incredibly badass kind of guy, and Pohatu's a perpetually optimistic friend-to-everyone, so their only roles are complementing their other four teammates and soothing the tension between them if need be, with Onua at times doing tasks that the others can't bring themselves to do.
- Final Fantasy VI has Edgar Figaro, whose contribution to the story is notable, but doesn't include much in the way of a personal arc. Why does he never change? Because he already has his act together by the time we first meet him.
- Asch in Tales of the Abyss. This is in sharp contrast to Luke (significant because Luke is a clone of Asch), who goes through many stages of Character Development.
- Keyblade Master Aqua of Kingdom Hearts fame. She stays the same kind, strong-willed, badass invidual that made her presence known in the very beginning and doesn't change, whereas her two male friends Terra and Ven end up different (and much less happy) people.
- Jacob Taylor fits this in Mass Effect 2. Unlike his teammates, Jacob doesn't carry any emotional baggage, so most of his dialog tends to be focused on the present mission. It's even lampshaded in his Shadow Broker file, which notes that he was put on Shepard's team as much for the stabilising elements of his personality as his combat skills. However, since he rarely has anything interesting to say and almost never interacts with other characters he instead comes closer to The Generic Guy than anything else.
- Jack is this to any Shepard that doesn't romance her. Despite having a tremendous amount of tragedy in her past, nothing you do, including her Loyalty Mission, provides her with any closure and she remains violent and angry from beginning to end. Subverted with a male Shepard who romances her, and subverted for anyone else when she undergoes serious Character Development between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3.
- Ambassador Udina. His character changes very little throughout the series, except for being a massive Jerkass to Shepard in all three games, even if you nominated him as Councillor instead of Anderson. His only real plotline comes in the third game, where he sells out the Council to Cerberus, but even then, it's left ambiguous whether he was Indoctrinated, desperate, or just plain greedy.
- Iori Yagami. Not only he actually was one of the many characters to keep the same outfit till XII came out, but his vendetta with Kyo became a literal running line for the entire series.
- Members of Ikari and Art of Fighting teams are also these, except you couldn't expect Robert and Leona changing outfits all of a sudden.
- Although Mao of Disgaea 3 goes through several character revelations, by the following scene he returns to acting to his old stuck-up friendship-hating violent ill-tempered rude demon self.
- While most character in Tales of Rebirth end up developing their characters in one way or another, Eugene Gallardo remains the sensible Team Dad and Cool Old Guy. This is even lampshaded in a skit.
- An odd case in Assassin's Creed, in the 2nd game Ezio goes through a character arc from naive young man, to badass assassin. Then by the time the next game roles around, we're still playing as the badass, tough as nails Ezio and there isn't much more development to even do.
- The Sonic the Hedgehog series features quite a bit of Character Development, especially in the Dreamcast era, but the title character himself isn't the subject of any of it. This is because the development of other characters usually plays off of him, such as Tails learning to be less dependent on Sonic, or Blaze learning about friendship from him.
- In Final Fantasy X, Auron is the only guardian who does not undergo significant Character Development. He already went through it long before the game started. His story is already over.
- Franziska Von Karma from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All is pretty much the same through the series as of Ace Attorney Investigations, the most development she gets are the revelations of some Hidden Depths regarding her rivalry with Edgeworth.
- Pretty much the entire cast of Dies Irae end the story as the same people they where as when it started. While there is some character development sprinkled in, it is not a focus. Instead, the story works backwards, slowly showing the viewer what kind of people it's cast is and how they got to where they are now.
- In Super Danganronpa 2, out of the surviving students, Sonia Nevermind and Akane Owari both stay pretty much the exact same person they were in the Killing Game, despite the tragedies they've endured and losing close friends along the way.
- The cast of Sheldon is fairly static. As one webcomic critic pointed out, this is not a bad thing, as they're well-rounded, interesting, and funny, which is pretty much all a simple gag-a-day strip of this sort needs.
- Portrayed on the second example of this comic strip.
- An interesting variation with Roommates ' Erik. He does get somewhat better over the course of the story, but whether it's spontaneous deaging or a the dreaded Rule 63 (his roommate's Jareth) he's still a murderous psycho note . Though Kid!Erik strangling Jareth is pretty funny . . .
- Bun-bun from Sluggy Freelance hasn't changed over the run of the comic. Lampshaded by the Ocean's Unmoving plotline, in which the reader can't tell the present character from the one from before the strip started. That wouldn't work with any other major character in the strip.
- Justified with Caliborn in Homestuck: because of how his species works, the act of taking a shortcut to predominating over his sister by murdering her dreamself freezes his mentality. He is literally incapable of developing new personality traits or ditching old ones, and he will never mentally mature to adulthood.
- Also how death is punished. While dead characters continue to exist in the dream bubbles as ghosts, they cannot go through any Character Development or change, or if they do, it becomes their whole character.
- 8-Bit Theater is great at Black Comedy, but there's only a fairly limited Character Development budget and none of it was spent on any of the major characters. Most of them go from "moderately [negative trait]" to "severely [negative trait]" and then stay that way for hundreds of strips. Black Mage is particularly notable, since a) his Teflon-coated soul is a net producer of ignored epiphanies, and b) after a certain point he actually starts planning ways to actively avoid any chances of redemption that present themselves.
- A recurring theme of The Order of the Stick is that certain beings end up becoming this, particularly undead or beings with unnaturally extended lives. Their inability to age or reconsider their lives lead to them becoming unable to grow as people, leading to many moments of them refusing to see why they need to change. If anything, they end up backsliding. Xykon lived a full life as a human and seemed to have chilled out long enough to devise a personal philosophy by his twilight years, but when he became a lich, he lost that and his sole motivation became to murder people for fun, and stayed that way for the following decades.
- The Nostalgia Chick argues that Ariel of The Little Mermaid is this trope, which is why the movie fails as a Coming-of-Age Story. She actually prefers to think of Triton as the protagonist, since he has to change over the course of the movie.
- Mr. Plinkett argues in his review of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull that Indy works best as one of these, as he's meant to be someone the audience can project themselves onto, and the movie made a mistake in trying to force too much character development on him.
- American Dad!
- Almost every episode after the first season has Stan act controlling or bigoted, ending with him learning his lesson, only to forget said lesson by the very next episode. The Gay Aesop is the only lesson he's never had to learn again after the first time he learned it. Aside from that, the only changes he's gone through are non-positive ones such as Badass Decay from the first season, where he was a macho Badass agent, only to later be depicted as just as out of shape and Flanderization of having his stupidity played up more to the point where by the time the show moved to TBS it would be hard to pin-point what separates him from Peter Griffin intelligence wise.
- Steve's personality is wildly inconsistent, with him sometimes being a pervert Casanova Wannabe, a Cool Loser, a whiny Mama's Boy who actively seeks his parents approval or just a straight-up brat. In some episodes, he takes Stan's word like gospel and acts much younger than he is, and in others he doesn't listen to his dad at all and is !such more assertive. Sometimes he switches personalities in the same episode, but there's one thing that never changes, he goes through very little Character Development.
- Thanks to being the show's resident Hate Sink and the Freudian Excuse that his species will die if they don't let out their bitchiness, Roger has never once been allowed to receive even the slightest ounce of positive development to his character.
- While Felix the Cat's personality is inconsistent throughout his various series, one thing that does stay consistent is that Felix never undergoes character development in any of them.
- The overwhelming majority of over-the-top comedic characters, from Bugs Bunny to Donald Duck, to Yakko/Wakko/Dot to Johnny Bravo to The Fairly OddParents!. Most likely, because of the Rule of Funny. note
- Many of the secondary characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender Suki, Ty Lee and Iroh in particular precisely because they're secondary characters. However, Toph doesn't particularly evolve either, able to get through the entire series on her existing personality except for becoming a bit softer and more willing to work with others (of course, she never got to go on a life-changing field trip with Zuko like the other three did).
- Iroh is justified as he had already gone through a life-changing experience before the series started. His job was to help others, primarily his nephew Zuko, develop.
- Skeletor, from pretty much any incarnation of Masters of the Universe and related series. Despite his undeniable iconic status, he's one of the most one-dimensional characters in the entire franchise. Why is he evil? Because he wants to conquer Eternia. Why does he want to conquer Eternia? Because he's ''evil''. And not one of the fascinating kinds of evil. (According to Paul Dini, writers on the Filmation series were actually told by Mattel to not do anything interesting with Skeletor. He was to be the boss of the bad guys. Period.)
- Phineas and Ferb is a show that thrives on the status quo, with all sorts of drastic changes and events occurring and eventually reverting to normal, so most characters fall under this. However, there are a few exceptions, such as Phineas going through a bit of Characterization Marches On from his first appearance, and Vanessa, who becomes less cynical and more caring about her dad.
- Gizmo from Teen Titans. He didn't really get any Character Development. He just stayed Gizmo.
- Soundwave of Transformers fame, especially in the show Transformers Prime, where his status as The Voiceless (not to mention The Faceless) and well nigh emotionless listener adds a lot to his creepy factor. He's broken his vow of silence for a single sentence only to gloat, but that's the deepest his character has gone.
- While most characters in Code Lyoko get a little development, Odd doesn't really change at all. He eats a lot, he dates a lot, and he makes bad jokes. And that never changes.
- Sergeant Cosgrove from Freakazoid! is mostly this, until you realize that he is the sole character in the series capable of calming down the manic superhero.
- Applejack from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has been said to be this, as her character's main motivation and goals have already been fulfilled and maintained (working at Sweet Apple Acres). So far, her personal story arcs in all seasons thus far tend to revolve around one of two things: her family and her stubbornness.
- Lynn Loud from The Loud House is considered the least developed of the Loud sister. Whereas the other Loud sisters have became more rounded as the series progressed, Lynn has always been a Jerk Jock from the very first episode and has never shown any interests outside of being a Tomboyish sports fan.
- While it's subverted in Steven Universe due to a major point of the series being that anyone can change, the Diamond Authority as a whole seems to enforce this on all of its citizens, to the point the Fusion Dance every member of their species can do (which can create new gem types and powers not found normally) is an illegal act punishable by death, and every gem who "emerges" as an Off Color is murdered on the spot if they're caught. Even the Crystal Gems, defectors from Homeworld, spent over 5000 years never changing or growing as people, despite the many issues they had from the war and living among humanity for all of that time.