Forgot Flanders Could Do That

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Bob is a mediocre dart-player, but fans stereotype him as being "the guy who sucks at darts". Then an episode shows him winning a dart match.

Alice is a trained ninja, but later episodes Flanderize her as the shy, soft-spoken Love Interest. Suddenly, an episode has her karate-chop a guy in the throat.

Huh. We forgot Flanders could do that.

An effect caused by Never Live It Down / Flanderization crashing head-first into canon and catching fire. In the case of Flanderization, can sometimes stem from a Character Check. Compare Chekhov's Skill, when the forgotten trait or ability ends up being important to the story. See also Minored in Asskicking.

Examples of Forgot Flanders Could Do That include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Portgas D. Ace of One Piece has only ever received a handful of scenes (not counting a short period of anime Filler), none of which delved very far into his character. However, some fans still came to imprint a completely straight image of The Ace on him, to the point that when he actually got a little backstory and turned out to be more of a Broken Ace, they complained about the whole affair.
  • Team Rocket from Pokémon occasionally manages to remind both the cast and the audience that they can be a competent threat. Two notable episodes are the Johto episode "The Stolen Stones", and the Hoenn episode "Do I Hear a Raltz?". Both of which features the heroes fighting off TR throughout the bulk of the episode, instead of the usual five-minute Curb Stomp Battle. The newest incarnation of the series has taken this concept and ran full steam with it.
  • In the Pet Shop of Horrors manga, Tetsu goes from a being a cunning murderer to being a cute, child-like comic relief after his first appearance. In one of the final volumes, however, he's briefly shows as a bloodthirsty demon again, when the situation calls for it.

Film - Animated[edit | hide]

  • Ned Flanders himself had this happen in The Simpsons Movie, as Bart becomes annoyed with Homer's Jerkass ways, and begins viewing Flanders as a better father figure who's very caring, if still quirky. This was a return to his extreme-Nice Guy roots, while the show by this point had turned him into a Strawman Political Fundamentalist.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel The 34th Rule (no, not that Rule 34, the 34th Rule of Acquisition...), features Ferengi Grand Nagus Zek thinking up a highly intelligent and deadly serious scheme to gain profit—and it succeeds magnificently. The Ferengi were always supposed to be supreme businessmen and expert swindlers, but on TV they quickly morphed into comic relief after failing to work as a threat on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The comedy overshadowed the other traits so much it got to the point where the supposedly master schemers could be easily beaten at their own game by having an attractive woman flash her eyes at them. In this novel, though, Zek reaffirms the initial Ferengi reputation for ingenious profit-making. Word of God confirms that this was part of the novel's purpose: reverse the Flanderization of the Ferengi.
    • In macrocosm, the Star Trek Novel Verse generally tends towards reversing the Ferengi Flanderization whenever possible, and while Ferengi are still portrayed somewhat comically at times, many times we get to see Ferengi be competent in battle, be damned persistent villains, and we even get to see good guy Ferengi use their capitalist natures to pull off some impressive plans.
  • In his very first appearance, the short story "Neutron Star", Beowulf Schaeffer of Larry Niven's Known Space series, was explicitly described as being "limber enough to smoke with his feet" (that is, holding a cigarette between his toes and using his feet as hands). While subsequent stories always had him be agile and quick, this level of flexibility never resurfaced again until "Borderland of Sol" (written nearly ten years later). When a bad guy ties Schaeffer and his partner to a support pole, Schaeffer kicks his shoes off and proceeds to free the two of them, using his feet as hands.
  • In E.W. Hildick's The McGurk Mysteries series, in the first book Mari Yoshimura appears in, she martial arts kicks a man unconscious. This was handled fairly realistically.[1] Her martial arts ability wasn't even mentioned again until 4 books later in the series, when she was able to use an armlock to subdue a boy her own size, and never again after that.

Live Action Television[edit | hide]

  • Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is actually a very competent magician, even if he lacks the raw power of someone like Willow. When he does have that kind of power backing him up...
    • He's also a professional warrior/trainer. In spite of his reserved British character and his understandable tendency to leave the physical monster bashing to his superhuman charge, he is quite capable of beating the tar out of an old associate, menacing his supposed employer and thrusting an epee through a senior official's chest. Not for nothing, after all, was he once nicknamed "Ripper."
      • After being shot in the ass by a crossbow, he managed to pull the bolt out and use it to stake a demon in one motion.
  • In Monk, Lt. Disher was flanderized from Plucky Comic Relief to a borderline The Ditz. Thus, it fit this trope later on when he would demonstrate competent policework.
  • In Boy Meets World, Eric Matthews was flanderized from the cool, rational older brother into an irrational Cloudcuckoolander except for one of the series' very last episodes, in which he was suddenly portrayed with something resembling his original characterization (which was lampshaded by the others).
  • The Cat from Red Dwarf is portrayed in the first two series as knowing the ship quite well, and his senses are heightened compared to the other characters. However this doesn't come across as important to the viewer as his character is mostly self-centered, anti-social and completely obsessed with eating and clothes at this point. We generally consider him to be completely useless due to his unwillingness to be friends with the other characters. Later his skills come in handy - he pilots Starbug due to his knowledge of ship controls, he has excellent navigation and prediction abilities, is able to detect danger, and in general his dialogue indicates he knows the characters better.
    • In later seasons, the Cat is occasionally even shown to be able to detect or track objects in space by pure sense of smell.
  • In the fourth series of Merlin the titular character is about to be killed by the Monster of the Week, only to be rescued by a sword-wielding Guinevere. Arthur is surprised and delighted at her bravery, even though she displayed similar skills with a sword way back in series one.
  • The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. Brisco is a graduate of Harvard Law School. This fact was actually forgotten by everyone in all the cowboyesque action-adventure. And then came the late season episode in which he needed to be a lawyer and not a gunman.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Used for humor in Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series a few times. For instance, Tristan has been so completely recast as the The Ditz that the sight of him showing up on a motorcycle seems out of character... despite being completely in character for him in the actual show.
    • Directly invoked in an episode where Tea plays a card game against a penguin, much to Yugi's shock... and Yami's lack of shock, since she's been playing card games since the beginning of the series. And often winning.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Faz from Shortpacked. Fans note his tendency to speak in the Third Person and are thus continually surprised when he says "I" or "Me", which he has in fact done since his introduction.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants does occasionally get the chance to display some actual musical or other talent. He was, in fact, initially characterized by Plankton as a "mediocre clarinet player," but has usually been shown as an abysmal one.
    • Though if you watch a lot of the show, he seems to have a good grasp of music theory and of culture and seems to be able to read music well. He might be having issues playing a clarinet due to have no fingers.
  1. Mari kicked him in the back of the head when he was completely unsuspecting, and insisted that she'd have had no chance in an actual fight