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Temporary Scrappy

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This trope is based on the idea that a Scrappy is recognizable enough that creating a Scrappy on purpose, for purposes of parody, is a trope in itself. The reason for calling it "temporary" is that unlike an inadvertent, true Scrappy, this is never intended to be a permanent addition to the cast, even though the existing main characters usually think that he will be.

Such a character is likely to be like the original Scrappy in being a cartoon character who is too cool for his own good. He's usually a Replacement Scrappy, and his only detractor at first is the character he's a replacement for. Most of the main characters will greatly like him, and he will have every appearance of being useful to these main characters. (The audience isn't supposed to, and doesn't, like the character, however.) The character who is worried about being replaced will tend to find that his fears are justified, and the other main characters will give much more attention to the Replacement Scrappy than they did to the replaced character.

The replaced character is likely torn between sadness and resignation about the other characters finding someone better than himself, and resentment of the annoying new character who has replaced him. Fortunately, however, the Replacement Scrappy will always do something to show that he is actually bad, and it will then be okay for the replaced character to do something to get rid of the Replacement Scrappy (perhaps by proving to the other characters that he really is as bad as the replaced character had believed all along).

Contrast Shoo Out the New Guy, who is also The Scrappy and quickly removed, but that wasn't the original plan, and Hate Sink, who is a character that is supposed to be hated for reasons that have nothing to do with being The Scrappy. Compare and contrast Anti-Hero Substitute, which covers Darker and Edgier substitutes for established characters. For characters that started out as The Scrappy before they became more likable characters, see Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.


Comic Books

  • Batman: When Batman gets his back broken in The '90s, he is temporarily replaced by Jean-Paul Valley. This iteration of Batman is an Ax-Crazy Darker and Edgier '90s Anti-Hero that sent most fans into a rage. His entire purpose is to show why the real Batman isn't an Ax-Crazy vigilante. Ironically enough, this storyline is a response to fans complaining about Batman not being "hardcore" enough for the grimdark 90s because he doesn't kill or brutalize his enemies. So DC called the readers' bluff by giving them exactly what they wanted. As the writers expected, fans hated it. The storyline ended with the real Batman beating down his replacement and taking back the mantle, something that was planned from the start.note  Interestingly, Valley was still popular enough to have his own series, and the character still has fans. He's undergone some Character Development, so he isn't so obnoxiously hardcore anymore.
  • Captain America: Cap is replaced by his Anti-Hero Substitute —his former enemy Superpatriot (John Walker). The new Cap is shown as a tool of the government first and an uncontrollable violent man second. Meanwhile, good ol' Steve Rogers takes a black suit to remain playing hero. Superpatriot would later go on to become a somewhat successful character in his own right once they gave him his own costume and the name U.S. Agent. He's since appeared in a number of titles such as West Coast Avengers and Dark Avengers.

Live-Action TV

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Dozerman is brought in as an unlikable replacement for Captain Holt and is then Killed Off for Real after just one episode, leading to Holt's eventual return.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • "Bad Girls": Subverted. Since Giles was fired by the Council, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce becomes Buffy and Faith's new Watcher. Too bad that, per design, he acts in an obnoxiously pompous way that erodes the girls' patience soon enough. Wesley was intended to be this trope (his name seemingly hinting at a Creator's Pest status) —he'd fail at getting aid from the Watcher Council and then be unceremoniously killed off in the season's finale. However, the audience felt that his efforts were earnest and he became a fan favorite, instead. So the creators decided to keep him around. He takes a level in badass and becomes a permanent cast member the Angel spin-off.
    • "Living Conditions": After Buffy and Angel break up, a Romantic False Lead called Parker Abrams shows up. His main purpose is to ease the viewers into Buffy's next major love interest (aka Riley). Parker and Buffy enjoy a romantic date that gets Buffy's hopes high. Unfortunately, Parker reveals himself as a womanizing jerk who only wanted a one-night stand with her but didn't have the decency to tell her. He then spends a few more episodes popping up only to end up suffering some sort of humiliation.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Timelash": With Peri stuck on the planet of the week, Herbert does the comedy companion schtick in the TARDIS while the Doctor is trying to use the Ship to stop an interplanetary missile. This includes constantly running his mouth, boasting about wanting to die bravely, being an Insufferable Genius, and generally making enough of a nuisance of himself that the Doctor eventually tells him to shut up. (It doesn't work.)
    • "Dalek": Adam Mitchell joins the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler at the end of the episode. He is promptly ejected from the TARDIS at the end of the next episode ("The Long Game") after using time travel for a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme. To make matters worse, he accidentally helps the villains and then tries to blame the Doctor and cover up what he's done.note 
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Just like in the comics, John Walker is appointed to be the next Captain America in "New World Order" after Steve Rogers retires and Sam Wilson declines the role. Both Sam and Rogers' other old friend, Bucky Barnes, have some hangups with this arrangement even before meeting the man; but Walker's brash arrogance doesn't do him any favors as he tends to act like he's owed respect and recognition just for bearing the title. Eventually, the stresses of the job (and feeling inferior compared to Steve's legacy) get to him, and when his best friend is killed in combat he breaks and beats a man to death in public. This results in Walker losing the mantle and being slapped with an Other Than Honorable discharge to avoid a PR catastrophe. Ultimately, he's there to help give Sam the push he needs to claim the legacy Steve left to him.
  • Leverage: In "The Lost Heir Job", Tara Cole (played by Jeri Ryan) is brought in mid-con and already in-character to accommodate Gina Bellman's (who plays Sophie Devereaux) maternity leave. The in-story explanation is that Con Woman Sophie Devereaux has created so many false identities that she lost herself in the process. So, in order to find herself, she has to go and kill off her other personas. Despite being clear from the start that Tara's stay is going to be transitory, she grates on characters and audience alike. Primarily, for being much colder, more detached, and more explicit about wanting her cut of whatever profits their cons brought in.note  She does a good job of showing how well the original team fit together, though.
  • Lost:
  • Lost in Space: The Robotoid, played by Robby the Robot, is better than the Robinsons' own Robot at nearly everything. It is, of course, evil, and The Robot has to save the day. Interestingly, Robby the Robot is used in a similar manner in The Addams Family, where he does the same thing to Lurch.
  • Merlin (2008): Lady Vivian is introduced as a snotty Spoiled Brat who Arthur falls for whilst under the influence of a love spell. She is then ushered out again once he snaps out of it.
  • NYPD Blue: When Lt. Fancy leaves, his replacement —a former Internal Affairs officer— manages to irritate every single squad member as soon as she shows up. Fancy, wanting to help out his loyal former subordinates, uses some pull with the higher-ups to get her replaced with Lt. Rodriguez.
  • The Office (US): Deangelo Vickers is introduced in "Training Day" as the first replacement for Michael. He is consistently written to be a horrible person in general with apparently no experience in business. Many fans cried Replacement Scrappy, but he was only intended to last one episode past Michael's exit anyway. Also, according to his actor, the entire point of Deangelo is to briefly bring in a big-name actor as a bit of Stunt Casting so that people wouldn't immediately abandon the show once Steve Carell (Michael) left.
  • Oz: After Sister Pete is briefly fired in "Capital P", she is replaced by Auerback, a prissy and callous Obstructive Bureaucrat who both the staff and the inmates loathe. Glynn rehires Pete at the soonest possible opportunity, having never actually intended to fire her, and kicks Auerback to the curb.
    O'Reily: We want Sister Pete!
    Auerback: Um, well, Sister Pete isn't here right now.
    Wangler: Fuck you!
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • Dale Stuckey is a crime scene unit tech who tries to make a name for himself among the other SVU members, only to get on everybody's nerves; especially Elliot Stabler. Eventually, after botching a trial due to a paperwork error causing crucial evidence to be ruled inadmissible, he goes off the deep end and tries to kill everyone he feels has wronged him, including stabbing his coworker and torturing Stabler. He is featured in four episodes total and is now presumably rotting in prison.
    • ADA Sonya Paxton is featured for a few episodes and annoys every detective in the SVU. Her relationship with Stabler was especially hostile. After a while, she is sent to rehab after blowing a case when she arrives at court drunk. She appears in a couple more episodes in the proceeding seasons.

Puppet Shows

  • Kikiriki: In-Universe. Casimiro's mother is his emergency replacement when he can't attend work. She is hated by her coworkers for her inability to accept criticism and for creating a toxic work environment.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • American Dragon: Jake Long: Jake's normal Non-Human Sidekick is a dog named Fu. In "Nobody's Fu", he's replaced by a monkey named Bananas B. Bananas B acts excessively cool and has many useful skills, thus making Jake and most of the other characters like him. However, in the fight against a Monster of the Week evil dragon, Bananas surrenders and goes over to her side. Jake appreciates his more loyal friend Fu once more, and Bananas' only other appearance is when his new dragon mistress reappears in a later episode.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: In "The Deadliest Man Alive", the Red Hulk weasels his way onto the team in place of the regular Hulk. He manages it partly because he is on his best behavior and claims his prior villainous actions were the result of Brainwashing, and partly because "better teammate than the Hulk" isn't a high standard to reach, especially since the Hulk has been more out of control than usual recently. Since the Hulk is either rampaging or locked up for most of the episode, Captain America takes the role of the one suspicious of the newcomer. Cap eventually breaks the Hulk out of lockup and finds that Red rigged Hulk with an implant to trigger his rage. Of course, finding out that someone manipulated him makes the Hulk mad...
  • Family Guy
    • "The Man with Two Brians": After Peter starts worrying about Brian getting old, he goes out and gets the family another dog known only as "New Brian." Guess who feels jealous of him? Brian and Stewie both dislike New Brian, but all the other characters think he's great. Near the end of the episode, New Brian admits to Stewie that he violated Stewie's teddy bear (Rupert). The next scene has Stewie giving Peter, Lois, and the other characters a quite suspicious story about how New Brian committed suicide, then cut himself up, bagged the pieces, and put the bag in the trash outside.
    • And then, there's Vinny, who replaces Brian after he is killed. He's quickly accepted into the Griffin household and accepted by all, even Stewie despite the incident above. Then, Stewie runs into one of his time-traveling selves and uses the opportunity to save Brian. Vinny, seeing how the latter's loss was still affecting the former, helps out with the plan even though doing so means he would have never been adopted by the Griffins in the first place.
  • Garfield and Friends: In one "U.S. Acres" segment, an overly-charismatic new rooster named Plato shows up and proves to be far more likable to the characters (especially the hens) than Roy. Orson starts to doubt him when he proves a little less effective at his job than Roy. But what takes the cake is when the weasel tries to capture the hens... and Plato runs and hides. By the time Roy rescues the hens, the only character who will even give Plato the time of day is Wade, and only because he enjoys having someone more cowardly than himself around.
  • Pinky and the Brain: In "Pinky and the Brain... and Larry", Pinky and the Brain are joined by a third lab mouse, Larry, who serves no purpose except to turn the show into an extended homage to The Three Stooges and disappear for good at the end of the segment in which he appears.
  • The Simpsons: In "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show", Itchy & Scratchy introduces a dog named Poochie, who is hated by the In-Universe audience of that cartoon. This leads the producers to Shoo Out the New Guy. Later in the episode, a parody of Scrappys everywhere appears —a teenager named Roy who is inexplicably shown to be living with the Simpson family. However, all Roy does is lampshade the concept of a Scrappy.