Characterization Marches On

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When a series starts out, the characters usually don't have firmly established personalities since the writers are just getting a feel for them. Time goes on, more and more episodes are produced, and the characters become better defined with their own set of personality and behavioral quirks. Or maybe their early personality gradually gave way to something very different due to Character Development and/or Flanderization. Whatever the case may be, though, their early incarnations are forgotten about as people look at the firmly established characterization.

So on The Alice and Bob Show, the writers didn't originally plan for Bob to be a cereal addict. But somehow that trait caught on as part of his character, and later seasons have him suffer a nervous breakdown when he runs out of cereal and can't get to the store. Thus it is quite disconcerting to watch an episode from Season One where the gang is ordering breakfast and Bob decides on pancakes rather than his beloved cereal.

A form of Continuity Drift. Compare the Out-of-Character Moment and Depending on the Writer, or Flanderization where a single trait gets largely exaggerated until it's all the character is known for. If this happens with a work as a whole, it's a case of Early Installment Weirdness.

See also Character Check, when the writers abruptly remember that the character started out as different, and give him a few scenes where he acts like he used to, if only temporarily.

Examples of Characterization Marches On are listed on these subpages: