Never Live It Down

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.
John Kenneth Galbraith

Many people have the tendency to take some characters and narrowly define them based on one action or event, often to the exclusion of other, often more important, actions of that character.

Often, this is perfectly understandable, if that action or event stands out more than anything else the character did. But just as often it doesn't, and it can seem as if some people just haven't been paying attention.

Let's take a hypothetical show Bob Loves Alice. There is a fan favorite episode where Bob gets caught up in a game of darts. He isn't that good, and he never really tries darts again. A bunch of fans like that episode enough that, in loads of Fan Fiction, Bob sucking at darts is his defining characteristic and it's what everyone knows him for, when in actual Canon, it's never really mentioned again.

In short, it's like Flanderization, but instead of actually making the character like that, everyone just thinks the character is like that. Sounds silly, but it's all too real.

On the internet, it is usually the person's never live it down-ed aspect that undergoes Memetic Mutation.

This can also turn even worse when those fans start Running the Asylum in that show's later seasons, and now everyone on the show talks about how Bob sucks at darts, while ignoring all the other things Bob has done since then. But you never see Bob playing darts, because surely we've seen enough of that. No, we haven't. We've seen it once. And since this is placing all of Bob's more prominent traits and events behind this minor one, it even risks taking away a dimension of Character Depth.

Die for Our Ship victims are a subset of this, best remembered for being the ones that got in the way of a lot of people's OTPs.

Compare Flanderization, Did Not Do the Research, Dead Unicorn Trope, Ink Stain Adaptation, Plot Tumor, Two Decades Behind, I Am Not Spock.

When the show decides to remind you that Bob-The-Sucky-Dart-Player is not his canon personality, that's Forgot Flanders Could Do That.

Remember When You Blew Up a Sun? seems like this, but it merely harks back to a character's Crowning Moment of Awesome, not pretend that's all the character does. Also related is One-Scene Wonder, where a small guest star starts to dominate Fanfic.

Has nothing to do with a character who can't forget their sins. See My Greatest Failure, The Atoner, and My God, What Have I Done? for that.

Examples of Never Live It Down are listed on these subpages: