Rescued from the Scrappy Heap

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Jar-Jar, you're a genius!"
Qui-Gon Jinn, Darths and Droids

Sadly, the Mary Sue's aura of awesome does not extend out of the pages she's written on, and that "sympathetic" teen genius Wesley and "adorable" feisty pup Scrappy aren't exceptions either. Even the "cool" plot twist can go awry. What's an author to do? There's always the option of Putting Them on a Bus, or hoping to succeed with an Author's Saving Throw, but this character, for various reasons, just can't be done away with like that.

Well, there's only one thing left to do...get them Rescued From The Scrappy Heap.

In a nutshell, this is a reinterpretation of the character or idea, be it in the form of Character Development, a Retool, a Time Skip making the character mature a bit, or giving the actor acting lessons. In any event, they get fleshed out in a way that wins over bitter fans and breathes new life into the series.

A few series can even do this intentionally, and have an otherwise unlikable Smug Snake evolve into a more human, three-dimensional character.

Not to be confused with Took a Level in Badass, which, while capable of being a step in the right direction, is about a wimp becoming a badass. This is about a hated character becoming a much less hated character. To illustrate the difference:

  • If Scrappy Doo were able to fight the monsters on a roughly equal footing, then he'd have Taken A Level In Badass. He'd still be an incredibly hated character, however.
  • If Scrappy Doo were to grow up a little, and stop trying to fight monsters all the time and doing all his other stuff that irritates fans (while keeping his lack of monster-fighting skill), that'd be this trope.

Naturally, the two can be combined, if the main reason a character is disliked is their cowardice and lack of skill.

In a way, this is the opposite of Canon Discontinuity, which excludes the character from Canon entirely. Compare Ensemble Darkhorse and Badass Decay. Also contrast Author's Saving Throw, which is an attempt to Hand Wave away the offending element, rather than fix it outright. See Growing the Beard in case you feel this way about the show itself. Might overlap with Alas, Poor Scrappy, Reimagining the Artifact, or especially A Day in the Limelight.

No real life examples, please; calling real-life people "unlikable" is a bad idea, and Real Life is not scripted anyway.

Examples of Rescued from the Scrappy Heap include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny is generally forgiven for sucking by the Super Robot Wars fanbase, because Super Robot Wars Z, Super Robot Wars K (to a minor extent due to cutting out most of the plot), and Super Robot Wars L did them a service by making GSD make sense (even severely rewriting several plot points to acheive this goal in the last case). Also, the characterization was improved, Kira was verbally and physically bitchslapped for being a God Mode Sue (and his motivations were more sensible), Neo Mu La Flaga expressed regret for lots of shit he pulled on others while Brainwashed and Crazy, and Shinn Asuka's angst has been redone to keep him from being a Jerkass, amongst many other fixes.
  • You can only imagine how many fans Kanako Urashima of Love Hina gained when she punched even bigger Scrappy Naru Narusegawa.
  • This happened to Bart in Vandread as a result of his A Day in the Limelight episode. The Crowning Moment of Awesome made him Badass, and the Important Haircut (or rather, the reason for it) made him sympathetic. Though his newfound competence helped, it was still primarily the Character Development that did it in earlier episodes, culminating in a blurb before the new season where the older version boggles at the younger version and wonders if he used to be that silly.
  • A rather odd example: Naruto's Sasuke has been considered a Scrappy for the longest time in America. But once he's been pitted against Danzou, American fans have actually started rooting for him. Though this may be more because it's his Crowning Moment of Awesome than him just being the lesser of two evils.
    • Now that Danzou is dead, most people want Sasuke to follow suit.
      • To others, being pitted against Sasuke also rescued Danzo from the scrappy heap for many fans, having people who previously dismissed him as a nasty Smug Snake commenting that Danzo had several good points and awesome moments during his surprisingly even fight with Mr. Plot Armor himself. This combined with his Alas, Poor Villain moment had many fans declare Danzo a more honorable and sympathetic character than Sasuke at this point. Sasuke killing Danzo made some fans like him a little, but it also made a lot of people hate him more.
    • Also happened to Karin when Sasuke sacrificing her to kill Danzou turned her into The Woobie. Although she survived, she made it clear she didn't care about Sasuke after what he did. Not only did this remove her from the shipping equation, but she also displayed, what some fans believe, more common sense than other characters in the series.
    • Sakura went through this at the start of Shippuden due to Character Development and becoming a lot stronger. Sadly, she's gone right back into the Scrappy Heap for many once Chickification caught up with her once more.
  • Suzaku Kururugi from Code Geass, after Lelouch Geass-es him to "Live!", which causes him to revert from his fake (and debatably hypocritical) nice guy persona to his brash, rude, and brutally honest "true self".
    • The events that take place during the Time Skip, namely his handing Lelouch over to the Emperor in return for a promotion, while still unrealistically touting his idea of changing Britannia from the inside, seem to have booted Suzaku right back into The Scrappy Heap (at least by those who don't know of or care about "Spinzaku"). Between episodes 14 and 20 of R2, Suzaku's actions became wildly erratic, until his becoming Lelouch's Knight of Zero in episode 21.
    • Then we have Rolo Lamperouge, performing a heartwrenching Heroic Sacrifice in order to take Lelouch away from being shot by the Black Knights, killing himself in the process through Geass overuse.
    • Shrinking Violet-turned-Psycho Lesbian Hot Scientist Nina Einstein spent most of the time between episode 22 of the first series and episode 18 of the second firmly establishing herself as the Scrappy Goddess, only to have a complete change of heart and become a character that is not only likable, but admirable, when she begins working for Lelouch to create a countermeasure to the FLEIJA warheads that she invented. Works quite well for some, nowhere near enough for others, since despite her attending the wedding of the Britannian Villetta and Japanese Premier Kaname Ougi and looking quite relaxed in a picture taken there (which implies she either got over her racism or is still working on getting over it (contrasting with the elegant party in episode 9 of R2 where she had a huge Freak-Out and screamed at Kallen for being But Not Too Foreign), some parts of the Unpleasable Fanbase still refuse to see any kind of good in the poor kid, even when faced with the proofs of her change.
  • Sakuno Ryuzaki from the animated version of The Prince of Tennis is portrayed as a "sweet and earnest, but klutzy and stuttering child", and thus, she's often reviled and hated. But several Sakuno haters have come to like her better after reading the manga, which tones down her klutziness and makes her a pint-sized, more self-assured Yamato Nadeshiko. Same goes to her Chinese drama self, where Sakuno is more outspoken and independent and a promising artist on top of that.
    • Conversely, some fans (often of the Het Is Ew type) dislike manga!Sakuno's portrayal as the ideal girlfriend for Ryoma (whom they see as a possible Purity Sue), but prefer her anime counterpart as the clumsiness and insecurity are semi-realistic character flaws.
  • Inverted Trope with Rossiu from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, where he went from the Only Sane Man in the first half of the show to a Wrong Genre Savvy Obstructive Bureaucrat with a stick up his ass the size of a Giga Drill. Fortunately, he gets a Take That, Scrappy! in the form of Simon, the main character, inventing teleportation specifically to punch him in the face.
  • The School Days manga portrays main character Makoto Itou as more sympathetic than his other versions (that of an idiotic Jerkass who cares only about boning as many girls as possible). In the manga, he is portrayed as a well-intentioned idiot who actually cares for the girls, other than just schtupping them.
    • Sadly, the process was reversed with Sekai Saionji. While she's portrayed in games and anime as being impulsive and idiotic yet having a good heart and showing remorse for her actions, Sekai in the manga is shown as quite the self-centered and manipulative bitch... and two of the PlayStation endings definitely go this route as well, without giving her the madness excuse that Kotonoha tends to have when she goes Yandere.
  • Bat from Fist of the North Star went from annoying brat to capable warrior between the first and second series. He grew up pretty well.
  • Shiho is considerably more tolerable in Mai-Otome than her Mai-HiME counterpart was, since she doesn't spend her time watching over Yuuichi (a.k.a. Sir-Not-Appearing-In-This-Series) like a hawk, and actually gets to be her own character for a change. At the very least, the complaints about her whininess don't seem to be as loud with the new series. Although some still prefer her Mai-HiME self since she had more dramatic weight instead of being a Running Joke character.
  • Miaka Yuuki, main character of Fushigi Yuugi, appears to have gotten a little less flak from some of her haters thanks to Eikoden; their reasoning was that no matter how bad they thought Miaka was, she at least had good intentions and cared a lot for other people than herself, whereas Mayo was a hundred times worse.
  • The little duck billed bratty demon, Kanchome, of Zatch Bell, was generally useful for little more than a random flawed disguise on the spot to help his ... *sigh* True Companions, and his attitude had The Scrappy written all over it. The anime gave him a Crowning Moment of Awesome by having him nearly defeat a stronger foe with a new spell that made replications of himself, but he would go on to be much more badass in the manga - he saved the Earth from destruction by Clear Note (the Big Bad) by transforming into the Earth and hypnotizing Clear to think it was the real thing.
  • Many a fan of Saint Seiya profoundly hates Seiya for only winning his fights due to support from others. His author, Masami Kurumada, seemed to get the message when he made B't X, which features many expies from his previous works, as was his style. Seiya's expy Teppei, while still very brash and headstrong, has a strong resolve to stand on his own two feet and delivers. To make sure he didn't veer off too much in the opposite direction, however, he does see what happens when he ignores his B't when he nearly dies against the 5th Point Soldier, and a balance is struck. More than a few fans agree Teppei is much more likable.
  • Chris Thorndyke from Sonic X, in the final two series, after being given a Plot-Relevant Age-Up and some actual abilities, plus being portrayed as being significantly less clingy and self absorbed.
  • Momo Hinamori from Bleach has finally gotten some bits of slack from the fanbase after her return to action, where she saves Matsumoto from Halibel's Amazon Brigade and says that she's got things to do now, showing that she's starting to get over the massive trauma that the Soul Society arc was for her.
    • The Zanpakutou Filler arc rescues her further from the heap, whereas she starts taking active roles in battle and the arc actually shows that she is awesome on her own right.
    • And now, as of chapter 449 Orihime seems to be going in this direction, as she finally got her wish to be the Combat Medic and an active part of the True Companions.
  • In One Piece, Usopp was heavily criticized by the fanbase for dueling Luffy and leaving the crew over Luffy's decision to replace the irreparable Going Merry, causing some of his detractors to bring up his relative weakness compared to the rest of the crew. Later in the arc, he adopted the persona of Sogeking to avoid getting a large bounty for attacking Enies Lobby as well as to prevent his former crewmates from noticing who he was, although only Luffy and Chopper didn't notice, and demonstrated a powerful new weapon with new techniques and far greater accuracy. Then he later apologized for his actions and rejoined the crew. Considering how Oda seems to work, he had probably planned the story that way all along.
  • Koizumi Kyoko from 20th Century Boys is first presented as an overtly comedic Butt Monkey akin to Heckel from Monster, and just as out of place. However, once she gets sent to Friend Land and becomes more involved in the central story, she becomes quite sympathetic and one of the characters the audience can most identify with, as a regular person thrown into the center of an epic battle against an evil conspiracy.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni's Chew Toy, the sometimes annoying crybaby Satoko, gained a fanbase after standing up to Shion while being stabbed to death. In some fan's eyes, Takano Miyo's flashback arc did a great job at making her sympathetic and cheer-worthy in the eyes of a lot of fans, even though she's the Big Bad.
  • Raki from Claymore, post time-skip. From a whiny little "protect her" obsessed powerless crybaby to... THAT. There should be a limit to these things. He manages to talk down a medieval angry mob, smiling all the way, and (to put it in perspective,) he's holding himself off from awakening due to the death pikes harder than one of the female hybrid Claymores, which actually managed to turn the second strongest Claymore into a cat-monster-thing with no resemblance to a mind. Think about that. Although it's been implied that it's not due to him, but to...something...on his back.
  • Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion is often given a back-bone and made much more socially capable when he's ported over to things like the Super Robot Wars series of games or re-imaging/AdaptationDistillation of the main series such as the manga adaptation, the Angelic Days/Girlfriend of Steel 2 storyline, or the Rebuild of Evangelion film series.
    • Asuka was widely hated during the series run. She was a total bitch for no reason (To the viewers) and was just a horrible character. Then came the Mind Rape and the genuinely tragic Freudian Excuse. It drove some people to like her. Then came the rest of her story in the anime, and she gained more fans. Then came her Last Stand against the Mass-Produced Evas, where she is horribly mangled in the cruelest evangelion death to ever be in the franchise, and the rest of End of Evangelion where Rei and Shinji trigger the Third Impact (because Rei was unsure on what to do so she asked Shinji) and everyone else's actions in the movie (Ritsuko dying, Gendo dying, Misato trying to help Shinji but failing and dying, etc. etc.).
      • And if somehow you still dislike her, the manga adaptation and the Rebuild of Evangelion movies even moreso tones her down into a more likeable Jerk with a Heart of Gold Tsundere, so her actions in the anime are absolved by a few more people.
  • This, apparently, was the effect for some of Mosquito's Bishonen Line during the Baba Yaga arc. He was dead within two chapters - interrupted transformations sequences FTW.
    • This good-looking younger version of Mosquito is the one he uses to slice Death the Kid's arm off. This is an Evil Is Sexy thing, isn't it? Had he done it in his massive gorilla-insect-ish forms, people wouldn't have 'Rescued' him.
  • Crow Hogan, from Yu-Gi-Oh 5 Ds, may be on his way to this. His being a signer is slowly being justified, starting with the acquisition of his Dragon, and in more recent episodes, he actually has been sidelined in favor of other major characters.
  • Emerald is generally the least-liked Dex Holder in Pokémon Special, but his Backstory gave him Woobie status.
    • White was initially bashed for not being an Action Girl, but she's getting major sympathy points as she fell out of the Nimbasa Ferris Wheel due to the shock of her Tepig, Gigi, abandoning her for N. It helps that she's also resolved to become an Action Girl after the incident, steadily becoming stronger as a character now that she's recovered from her Heroic BSOD.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Sealand became a more liked character after his role in the Hetalia Bloodbath 2010 strips. Additionally, Korea and Japan appear to have become less hated with the passage of time: the ugly incident regarding real-life Korean Moral Guardians is hardly ever brought up against Korea now due to it having faded away into the past, and Japan having a minor role at best in the most recent webcomic strips have put a damper on accusations of him being a Spotlight-Stealing Squad or Relationship Sue.
  • Elizabeth Middleford of Black Butler in chapter 57. This sweet, adorable and harmless Damsel in Distress reveals herself as a Badass Adorable in Chapter 57 and confesses that she desperately wanted for her fiancé Ciel to not see her "uncute" side, and deliberately hid her badass side up until then. Even nearly at the cost of her own life. Shortly after Ciel berates her for such behavior (Prioritizing lady-manners over survival), when she is about to die while Ciel, who despite his best efforts ends up injured and unable to save her, is in danger, Elizabeth spontaneously leaps into action and stabs down the zombies using swords in both hands. While tearfully declaring that she'll protect him, even.
  • During her first arc in The World God Only Knows, Kanon Nakagawa drew a lot of hate for being a Yandere Attention Whore. Her later role in the story shows her softer, much more likable side, and the fandom has mostly warmed up to her.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, Chisame was fairly unpopular early in the series for her excessively abrasive personality. Then Mahorafest rolled around and developed her into an Only Sane Man / Meta Guy / Audience Surrogate, at which point she was much more well received.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Cable used to symbolize everything wrong with the comics industry; now he's a fairly popular character, since he stopped being a Nineties Anti-Hero and gained more characterization than "uses huge-ass guns". It also helps that he was teamed up with one of Marvel's most popular characters, Deadpool.
    • An example of that gained characterization was when the writers finally came up with a reason for him to be more proactive (aka challenging norms publicly, doing much larger-scale, more-public things) in his work than Xavier. Originally, Cable was just "the guy who gets things done because whiny idealism like Xavier's doesn't work." A big reason he shifted was because people in the real world started disliking overly violent/murderous solutions to things. A real turning point was in Cable and Deadpool where Cable admitted that his need to change things in a big way now can very much be a flaw (Truth in Television too-people who go in trying to fundamentally change a system right away are usually kicked/laughed out very fast).
  • Damian Wayne, the son of Batman and Talia al-Ghul, initially came off as a Jerk Sue, violent, powerful, and a Jerkass. But after he becomes the new Robin next to Dick Grayson's Batman after his father's death, many fans are surprised to find that he is becoming much more likable, thanks to some character development by Grant Morrison (his creator) and Paul Dini, who have effectively made him into the Tsundere youngest member of the Bat-Family who, despite his bravado, has grown to appreciate his new family (he has more-or-less grown to accept Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown!) and has been told that there is much he still needs to improve on. But take notice that this is still at least a work in progress, as the fanbase at large has merely decided to changed their opinion from him being near universally reviled to seeing the character as a Base Breaker.
    • Probably the biggest part of rescuing him from the Scrappy heap was when he started acting more his age instead of trying to pretend he was older and more mature. There's one moment in particular between him and Dick Grayson that shows how he's starting to open up more, has come to truly respect Dick, and is willing to show his vulnerabilities. It happens after Dick, Damian, and Alfred realize that Bruce really is still alive, and are exploring secret parts of Wayne Manor to find clues Bruce left for them in the past.

Damian: If my father returns... we can't be Batman and Robin any more, can we?
Dick: No, I guess not. It's a small price to pay for getting him back alive.
Damian: What will I do? Do you think my father will let me stay on as Robin?
Dick: You honestly think he'd put up with you the way I do? [pause] ...Damian, I'm joking.

    • This is also a reason people liked Colin Wilkes aka Abuse: Damian was interacting with someone his own age without showing massive disdain for the person. He even fist-bumped him! Given as Damian clearly was supportive of Colin being Abuse, many are hoping for his return to continue to prove Damian isn't a total prick.
  • One of Will Eisner's few mistakes with The Spirit was Ebony White, a highly stereotyped black kid who drove the Spirit's cab. (Compared to the other black characters of the era, he was downright progressive.) Darwyn Cooke's 2007 series turned Ebony into a more realistic and thought-out character (albeit still a thirteen-year-old who drives a cab, but this is a comic).
  • Similarly, Blackhawk's Chop-Chop started out as a rather horrendous "Chinaman" comic-relief stereotype (even, arguably, by the standards of its time.) Subsequent eras gradually improved the character. By the '60s, Chop-Chop was recognizably human, and by the '80s, he was a competent equal member of the team in the Evanier/Spiegle run, and a worldly, sophisticated, and articulate character going by the name Weng Chan in Howard Chaykin's re-tooling of the series.
  • Simon Furman goes too far with this in his Transformers comics, rescuing Grimlock from being a brute with no consistent characterization to a cunning if arrogant and temperamental warrior who cares just as deeply for his own troops as does Prime for all Autobots, and who only uses lines like "Me Grimlock" because he feels intellectuals don't get respected enough. Thankfully, he seems to have learned his lesson.
    • Some people think Furman's approach to Grimlock has come right around and done the opposite with Grimlock in recent years. This could be due to him enduring a bit of Wolverine Publicity.
    • IDW's Transformers: Spotlight recently did this for Wheelie, not only emphasizing his survival skills to a near-Badass level (remember, the kid did used to live on a planet full of Sharkticons), but also provided a plausible reason for his constant rhyming.
    • Drift was rescued from the Scrappy heap thanks to fan-favorite writer James Roberts including him in his new ongoing series, severely downplaying his brooding faction-switching swordsman tendencies in favor of playing up his trend as The Fundamentalist with his blind loyalty to the Circle Of Light and playing with his constant habit of delivering pseudo-philosophical speeches about war and morality by making him Rodimus's speechwriter. He's even being written as being flawed and still distrusted by many (and not in a "poor Drift gets no love but he should" way), with Ultra Magnus even considering his likelihood of returning to crime "off the scales".
    • Drift is a major case of a phenomenon you see a lot in comic books: a Mary Sue is hated by all but the writer, then the next writer gets his hands on the character and opinion turns around. Evidently, it takes someone who can step back and figure out where he fits and who he needs to be instead of the creator who can't get past his "I adore him, so, you must too, and I'll keep him onscreen 24/7 until you do!" feelings about his pet.
  • Matter-Eater Lad of the Legion of Super-Heroes started out as a total weirdo with an incredibly lame power who was eventually written out of the storyline, first by going back to his home planet and eventually going into a coma after saving the universe by eating a "Miracle Machine" that was warping reality. During the "Five Years Later" era, though, he was re-imagined with a rock-star persona (Cool Shades and all), gleefully reveling in his own absurdity.

"All this roughhousing is giving me an appetite * CHOMP* and you don't want to give me *gulp* an appetite."

Brainiac 5: (to restrained villain) Move anything, and he'll bite it off.
(We then get a shot of Matter-Eater Lad with a big-ass grin on his face)

  • Layla Miller debuted in House of M as an obvious plot device, to the point that fans nicknamed her Layla MacGuffin. When Peter David took her into the cast of X-Factor, he transformed her into an Oracular Urchin, Deadpan Snarker, and frequent Creepy Child, suddenly becoming a fan-favorite. Even after a big crossover punted her into the distant future, fan demand earned her a one-shot comic.
    • Peter David also de-Scrappified the Incredible Hulk's sidekick Rick Jones by aging him into an adult and letting him display a more well-rounded personality. In fairness, the original teenaged Rick worked well as an angst-ridden kid hanging around the Hulk out of guilt for causing Banner's curse; he only became The Scrappy when Marvel separated him from the Hulk and made him, implausibly, a serial sidekick to a host of other more mainstream superheroes, making him a Marty Stu, (though give him points for bluntly telling Captain America (comics) to quit his incessant "Bucky is dead" moaning). David brought Rick back to his roots. Ironically, David himself later teamed Rick with the hero Genis-Vell, but the dynamic was much the same as Rick/Hulk, since Genis was also a dangerous, psychologically unstable, very powerful character.
    • Peter David seems to have the knack for this. The entire cast of X-Factor, not just Layla, is made up of C-list and D-list characters that no one else wanted. Under PAD's writing, they've all flourished and grown into their own.
      • Not only does he have a knack for it, he seems to have a preference for it. After he was forced to write Rahne out of X-Factor so that she could be in X-Force, he said that part of the reason he brought Shatterstar into the book was because the character was considered so terminally uncool that no one else was even considering having him in their books, and this gave him lee-way to revamp the character and play around with him without worrying that he'd get poached for another title.
  • Kyle Rayner initially received a lot of hate from Green Lantern fans (mainly Hal Jordan fans) when he replaced Hal Jordan after the controversial Emerald Twilight arc. However, over time, Rayner was presented as a likable character, thanks to Grant Morrison's run on JLA. Fans argue that Geoff Johns is trying to throw him back in with his role as the clueless whipping-boy of the Sinestro Corps.
    • Once Rayner's creator, Ron Marz, got through his period of making him as unlike his predecessors as possible, he also helped temper his previously brash character quite a bit.
  • In IDW's G.I. Joe comics, Chuckles is being de-Scrappified as we speak.
    • He wasn't much of one to start with, however. Now, if someone managed to tell a good story with Raptor....
  • Hard to believe, but in the early days of Chris Claremont's epic run on X-Men, a vocal group of fans wrote letters demanding that Wolverine be killed off (70s readers weren't ready for a Nineties Anti-Hero, I guess). It didn't help that co-plotter and penciller Dave Cockrum didn't like Wolverine either, focusing his attentions on his own personal creation, Nightcrawler. When John Byrne (a Canadian) replaced Cockrum, he liked the idea of a major hero from the Great White North, and became enamored of the little runt. A Crowning Moment of Awesome or two later, and an Ensemble Darkhorse was born...
  • The filk-rock band Ookla the Mok have a song called "Arthur Curry" about what a lame hero Aquaman is. It includes the line "Not even Peter David can make me cool."
  • Daken was widely despised by the fanbase during his initial appearances in Wolverine Origins, but is starting to grow into a fan favourite after joining the Dark Avengers.
  • Ian Flynn's run on the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series has done this for a good number of characters. Some of these include turning Sonic's Evil Twin, err, Evil Sonic, into a more distinctive character named Scourge. Most recently, he's managed to do this for the almost universally despised Monkey Khan, turning him from an obnoxious Journey to the West parody into a more well rounded, sympathetic, and tragic character.
  • Kaine in Spider-Girl: Once he was a wangsty over-hyped Nineties Anti-Hero. Now he's a snarky Badass Grandpa just trying to atone and watch out for his niece and nephew. Excuse me, nephews. Doesn't hurt that they gave him a new look either.
    • Kaine's run as the Scarlet-Spider in the main canon is also well loved.
  • The creation of the Marvel Adventures line saw a lot of characters getting a much-needed face lift, but by far, the best-received Retool was changing The Wasp into Giant Girl. Readers that hated the former loved the latter, and readers who liked the former adored the latter even more. Of all the characters who were axed when the MA: Avengers series was cancelled in favor of a continuity reboot in MA: Super-Heroes, Giant Girl was the one most fans were saddest to see go.
  • Superboy-Prime had, by Legion of Three Worlds, become a Villain Sue, a Straw Fan, and a positively colossal Jerkass. Then, there came Blackest Night, where he featured in a crazily metatextual story, became the butt of several massive Take That, Scrappy! scenes, started receiving major repercussions, and was shown being almost heroic for once - trying to save the heroes of the DCU from getting killed off in the latest event, something you'd expect from a genuine fan. Some fans have since reevaluated him. The story ends with it unclear if he'll continue down this path or backslide.
  • Red Hulk was introduced by Jeph Loeb taking down one major league hero or cosmic entity after another, with no particular motivation and a secret identity that no one cared about. He used to provide the page picture for Villain Sue. Recently (and after Loeb lost control of the character) it's been explained that his Villain Sue abilities were due to a Deadly Upgrade by a group that was using him to dispose of their enemies, then die. It's been removed, and Red Hulk is going through the process of being cathartically (to both readers and characters) beaten up by the people he trounced while in God Mode and facing up to the consequences of his actions. Commentators on his newer storyline have mentioned how it just feels weird to actually be interested in Red Hulk as a character.
    • A similar rescue has taken place with the Red She-Hulk. Originally she was introduced as a generic 'sexy bad girl', complete with giant guns and a ludicrously ripped costume, and a prime example of Jeph Loeb's inability to come up with good names. Since then the firearms and the torn outfit were unceremoniously dropped, instead putting her and the Hulk into a well-received two-person Love Quadrangle.
  • Maria Hill started off as Nick Fury's replacement after he went into hiding, and her main character trait seemed to be "Mega Bitch", specially in regards to superheroes and she became one of the poster children for what was wrong with the Pro-Registration side during the Civil War. Then upon giving up her position to Tony Stark, she was subsequently changed into a much more likable character, one of Tony's closest confidants and quite badass.
  • Vixen, a charter member of the widely reviled Detroit-era Justice League of America, experienced a comeback in recent years, after many years of being regulated to Comic Book Limbo and infrequent (and often non-speaking) guest spots. Many fans chalk this up to appearances on the popular Justice League Unlimited animated series, as well as Batman: The Brave And The Bold. This is even mentioned in-story at one point, with the narration pointing out that Vixen was experiencing a second wind of sorts after years of obscurity.
    • It seems that, with the New52, DC is trying to put her BACK into the Scrappy heap: In Justice League International, she was put into a coma at the end of the first arc.
  • Rick Remender has a knack for doing this with terrible comic ideas from the 90s. The Punisher becoming a supernatural creature? A series about a heroic Venom? A group of "proactive" X-Men who kill? Remender has taken these once ridiculous concepts and made them all awesome.
  • Spider-Man: Ever since "Spider-Island", Carlie Cooper has slowly gained more fans as Peter's ex-girlfriend than she ever did while dating him. At first, she was a classic bad fanfic Mary Sue of the "perfect love for the main character because I say so" type. Then she got in the hands of a writer who wasn't basing her on his own daughter, got some character traits that weren't clippings taken from Gwen or MJ, and you can actually go a panel without everyone telling us over and over and over how perfect Carlie is for Peter even when they're the last characters you'd expect it from. By now, Carlie... almost makes people not see red at the mention of her name. (Her origin and the whole One More Day thing mean that'll be the best she can do for at least a few more years, though.)


Fanfic[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • Also about Star Wars, Abel G. Pena's retcons in reference books, making even such "gems" as Kadann and the Prophets of the Dark Side seem plausible.
  • A rather complicated (and completely intentional) version occurred in The Chronicles of Narnia with Edmund Pevensie. In the beginning of the series he was...well...kinda detestable, but by the end of the first book he made a complete turn around and showed in later books that he had definitely changed for the better. A lot of people never read any further than the first book and so by the time Prince Caspian came out their hatred for Edmund was pretty deep seated. Needless to say, many people were completely blown away by seeing "bratty" Edmund behaving so maturely. The many crowning moments of awesome he got probably didn't hurt, either.
  • Peter David made Captain Harriman, a.k.a. the indecisive idiot who got Kirk killed, a lot more tolerable in his tie-in novel "The Captain's Daughter".
  • Erickson in Saw VI. In the standard year-long wait between Saw films, Erickson had become something of an in-joke with the fanbase for his ever-present bluetooth headset, as well as what was seen as his "unfortunate status" of being the last good guy still standing (and seeming to blindly play his role in The Chessmaster's latest plan, at that). VI... changed that, and to say how without spoilers is impossible. The first scene Erickson appears in in Saw VI's present timeline has him revealing that he had helped fake a fellow FBI agent's demise for the sake of effectively putting her out of harm's way, so the two of them would have the time and evidence necessary to convict Jigsaw's living apprentice. Granted, he kills both of them, but he has to Take a Level In Badass to do so, and they make him sweat heavily in the process.
  • Although opinions of Michael Bay's Transformers series varies amongst fans, it inarguably saved the franchise from the Dork Age that was the Unicron Trilogy. It got so bad that Target was the only major chain that actually stocked toys for the first movie, as Wal-mart and the others were convinced the whole franchise was dead.
  • Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of Bruce Banner in The Avengers made the character the film's Ensemble Darkhorse. Shortly before the film's release it was flatly stated there were no plans for any more Hulk movies; shortly after it was announced a Hulk movie may be in development for 2015 and the actor had signed on for six more films.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • It seems that most readers of A Song of Ice and Fire start out hating Sansa Stark. But thanks to her Character Development over the last three books, a lot of people have started to warm up to her, and she also has plenty of die-hard converted fans - an unusual instance of a character being rescued from the Scrappy heap via Break the Cutie. It might be a case of her initial unlikable status being intentional, since the Stark kids seem to exist to give numerous different perspectives on the path to maturity. Sansa starts as idealistic, naive, and, frankly, rather foolish, but is forcibly disabused of her innocence.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe book The Courtship of Princess Leia had an exceedingly two-dimensional, generic froth-at-the-mouth-when-things-go-wrong bad villain-of-the-book. Warlord Zsinj was also visibly overweight, petty, and rather stupid. Early books in the X Wing Series, set before Courtship, don't show him directly, he's said to be cautious and opportunistic. A character believes he's more dangerous than the notes on his file indicate. In the Aaron Allston books he's a major character, a very smart and clever warlord who uses Obfuscating Stupidity despite knowing that plenty of the people he worked with can see through the act. He's still evil, but entertainingly and memorably so.
    • In fact Zjins was stated as being perhaps the most powerful third party in the galaxy, after the Empire and the New Republic. This means he was considered more powerful than the Hutts (massive criminal empire), The Hapes Consortium (high tech amazon royalty), and Kuat (a group of planets that's essentially a MASSIVE shipyard). His biggest problem was his inability to properly administer his sector, he was a military officer not a good politician.
      • For clarity, this was more in terms of threat assessment. The Hutts and Kuat have no real military forces. The Hapes Consortium has a significant military force, but is militant over their neutrality. Zjinj was clever, has enough forces to be a valid threat, and had a goal that could make his an actual threat.
      • It also helps that several more clever and dangerous Imperial officers turned Warlords were wiped out by the Imperials or Rebels prior to Zjinj's appearance.
  • According to Word of God, Lily Bart of House Of Mirth was intentionally made to be as unlikeable as possible specifically so that she could be redeemed in the latter part of the novel. Readers vary as to whether or not this was successful.
  • Getting your warrior name is apparently a pretty good way to be rescued—Cloudtail and Squirrelflight are both significantly less annoying than they were as apprentices. Berrynose shows that this doesn't always work, though.
  • Apparently this was the original idea behind Jane Austen's Emma. She wrote Emma as someone who was originally unlikable and slowly redeemed her through the book. Risky literary experiment, I'll tell you that.
  • Edmund and Eustace in The Chronicles of Narnia both had this effect built into their Character Development, starting off obnoxious and unlikeable but turning around thanks to their experiences in Narnia, and filling much more sympathetic roles in later books.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Wesley was probably The Scrappy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and seemed to remain under this shadow at first when transferring over to Angel. However, he quickly improved, and after a couple of seasons and a great deal of character development, he was one of the more fleshed out and well-rounded characters on the show.
    • Connor, after the Wolfram Hart Deal with the Devil that Angel made, came out a much nicer, sane, laid-back fellow after having new memories and a new upbringing put in. Even after he got his memories back, he still was much improved.
    • Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her very existence was a Cosmic Retcon, and many felt that she was a whiny Damsel Scrappy. In the last season she loses some of her angst issues and becomes a sort of junior Watcher, helping the rest of the team in research.
  • Then there's Wesley Crusher himself. During Star Trek: The Next Generation's run, Wesley had his Pet-ness toned down at least somewhat as the show went on. Even Wil Wheaton himself relates that he insisted the writers bring the character back down to more realistic levels or he'd quit. This wasn't enough to save him, though, and he ended up being Put on a Bus. Nobody missed him.
    • All of Wesley's reappearances were better than almost any episode he had a major role in during the first four seasons. One of them ("The First Duty") is generally considered to be one of the show's best episodes.
      • "The Game" is another decent example. A popular episode, Wesley manages to serve as a non-irritating protagonist (aided by Ashley Judd) and isn't even the one to save the day.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Nog annoyed viewers to no end in the early seasons of the show, but he went on to become one of its most sympathetic characters.
    • Jake and Rom as well - to a certain extent, anyway. Jake grew up along with Nog and Rom became somewhat more likable when it turned out that he could do things besides screw up.
    • Julian Bashir was intended to be a Scrappy eventually rescued by humanizing flaws.
  • Beginning in season 4, the producers of 24 took great lengths to rescue Chloe from the pit of fan hatred (even earning the nickname "Jar-Jar" on one forum) that she'd fallen into after her début the previous season. She was given better makeup and wardrobe, they toned down her abrasive personality, and ultimately gave her a Crowning Moment of Awesome — a scene where she mowed down terrorist assassins with an M-16. It also helped that her "I do things my way and don't listen to authority" attitude, which was directed at well-liked characters like Jack in season 3, were later redirected at unsympathetic characters. More simply put, she could still be a pain in the ass, but if she is a pain in the Jerkass character's ass, driving the unsympathetic character up the wall, you love her for it.
    • This was later lampshaded in the final episode of 24. In that episode, Jack actually said something along the lines of "When you first came to CTU, I never thought it was going to be you that was going to cover my back all those years." to Chloe during their final conversation. Chloe later has the final line of the series, "Shut it down" before the 24 countdown clock times out.
    • Kimberly used have loads of hatred for being the Damsel Scrappy but this changed as she grew up. When this happened is debatable, though - most would argue Day 7, when she apologises to Jack for how she acted after he came back from the dead, or Day 8, when she tells him to go back to CTU regardless of whatever plans he had with her, but some say Day 3, when she was working for CTU and managed to make herself useful more often than not.
  • While it may have been planned from the beginning, Jin from Lost became a far more sympathetic and likable character after the episode "In Translation", and especially in season 2.
    • Jack was Rescued From the Scrappy Heap in season 6 when he finally embraced the new craze that everyone else on the show was trying: Character Development. But in fairness, it was a planned arc for the character: Jack endured five seasons of deliberate Badass Decay that reduced him from Standardized Leader to The Scrappy (it was truly amazing how he would see Character Development coming and run as fast as he could in the other direction), so that when he was finally Rescued, much awesomeness ensued.
    • While arguably more developed than Jack, Kate didn't really grow with most fans until either season 5 or 6 after she became a surrogate to Aaron and her love triangle with Jack and Sawyer lost focus.
      • However, for many fans, she never quite got rescued, even though the writers obviously tried; even in season 6 she was probably the most hated character in the show (a poll on a popular fan site showed that up to 50% of voters wanted her to die).
  • When Donna Noble made her first appearance on Doctor Who in the 2006 Christmas Special, many fans were put off by the shrill, abrasive nature of the character (Given that she was played by comedian Catherine Tate, at least the British fans knew what to expect). The announcement that she would be a regular member of the cast during the 2008 season was met with mixed reaction at best. A few episodes into the season, however, she had undergone deliberate Character Development, and about half of the fandom had warmed up to her and even praised the "shrill, abrasive nature" that earned Donna so much hate in her debut. As of the end of Series Four, certain fans even considered her the Best Companion Ever. Who knew?
    • It was partly helped by circumstances. When Donna first appeared, that "shrill, abrasive nature" was levelled against the Doctor himself (including slapping him.) This isn't a smart thing to do around Whovians. By the time the show came around, that nature was being pointed toward the actual enemies of the series, so she probably started getting liked more when she started hating the right people.
    • One of the more interesting things about this example was that the other characters acknowledged that this had happened and in the end her fate worse than death was to be returned to her Scrappy-state. Some of the fans that once disliked her were instead upset that such an anti-climactic fate had befallen her.
    • In many ways this also extended to Catherine herself, since before her return to Who she was something of a victim of typecasting in roles which had a limited appeal. Donna started out as such a character, then changed incredibly.
    • Tate also picked up the Doctor Who Magazine's Greatest Contribution Award for 2008 for her performance. With twice as many votes as her nearest competitor, Russell T. Davies, who had definitively proven Doctor Who was back and popular by leading it to its first #1 at the top of the weekly viewing figures in its history. If that's not proof how well the character turned around, what on Earth is?
    • Big Finish audio appearances have considerably improved the reputation of the Sixth Doctor among the fan-base (they got rid of the hideous coat and gave him a blue one, for a start). To display just how much he has been rescued, it is now the case that the man who was once almost unanimously agreed by many to be the worst Doctor, now rates very highly on fan-polls, and is almost unanimously agreed by many to be the best Doctor of the Big Finish audios.
    • The Sixth Doctor's companions managed to get some boosts to their reputations as well. Peri isn't as abrasive as she was in the TV stories (and her accent slips less too) and Mel seems to have been updated into a Badass Bookworm with occasional moments of both Action Girl and Deadpan Snarker. And she doesn't scream as often either.
    • Similarly, the Seventh Doctor started his tenure as an annoying, over-the-top pratfalling clown with a tendency towards irritating mixed metaphors, who irritated many of the viewers. After his first season didn't go down that well, the production team decided to sober him up, taking away his more annoying quirks and adding a more mysterious, brooding depth to him. This met with widespread fan approval; however, it was arguably too late to save the series, which was cancelled after his third season. This Character Development continued in the New Adventures novels, which greatly increased the character's more sober, introspective Anti-Hero nature to widespread approval (although it's also often argued that, at worst, the novels had a tendency to take it too far with the Darker and Edgier stuff, and sometimes wobbled into making the character an unlikeable Knight Templar bastard).
    • Another notable example is the Eleventh Doctor, for some. At the time of Matt Smith's casting, many fans cried out in panic that Ten was no longer going to hang around and in extreme cases threatened to stop watching the show entirely. This meant that all of Series 31/5/Fnarg was pretty much spent attempting to rescue the new incarnation for said section of the fandom. Haters that are left are generally Rose/10 Shippers or those who are too stubborn to admit that Matt Smith might be a decent Doctor after all. Granted that happens generally when they switch actors, but the Tennant-Smith switch made quite the fuss.
      • That one's probably debatable; it could be said that Smith received the same reaction as every actor playing the Doctor has received following the previous one. It makes more sense for it to be down to the fans, convinced that They Changed It, Now It Sucks and the more extreme of them going for the more intense "Ruined FOREVER" reaction. So in a sense, Matt Smith's Doctor didn't need rescuing from the Scrappy Heap because he was never a Scrappy to begin with.
      • It's worth noting that critical reaction to his performance was highly positive even immediately after his first episode. If he was ever a Scrappy, he was a very short-lived one, as the only footage of him as the Doctor previously was the few moments at the end of Ten's regeneration; some fans got a bad first impression due to the Mood Whiplash, and dreaded over-use of the Catch Phrase "Geronimo" (which didn't end up being said that much).
      • His scrappy status ended as soon as he wore that Fez. Fezes are cool.
    • The most egregious Doctor Who example, Adric, seemed to manage this in the 2008 audio The Boy that Time Forgot, a tribute to the character and his status within the show's history, in which he is played by 'an actor' (Andrew Sachs) as opposed to Matthew Waterhouse; before that, his larger, more active role and Heroic Sacrifice in his final story went some way to redeem him, although that falls more under Alas, Poor Scrappy.
  • Attempted with Lana of Smallville, who Took a Level in Badass and now has more to her character than romantic Wangst. However, they might've made her too badass too quickly for it to be believable.
    • Unfortunately, it didn't last. She had her level in badass taken away again and any good the attempt had done was instantly gone.
  • Jericho's Emily became The Scrappy very quickly, and remained so for all of Season One. Although she was now in a relationship with the hero, Season Two still made a good effort to rectify this, by giving her approximately two minutes of screentime an episode.
  • When first introduced into the show, Pearl was rather unpopular among Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans for being a smug Villain Sue mother of the established bad guy. Once she became the main bad guy however, her character was shifted until she became more of a Distaff Counterpart of the original Doctor Forrester.
  • While it might still be too early to tell, Riley from The Sarah Connor Chronicles seems to be redeeming herself from Scrappy status. Especially due to a recent twist and character developments the revelation that Riley may be from the future showed that she actually does have a purpose other than the writers wanting to introduce a love interest for the main character. The die-hard John/Cameron shippers will probably never accept her, but she's definitely not so useless as once thought.
  • House
    • Dr. Cameron was initially hard to like, but the fanbase seems to have warmed up to her (especially in comparison to her replacement on House's team, Thirteen). It was difficult to like Cameron because she usually became emotionally involved with the patients and would usually disagree with House and sometimes the rest of the team simply because whatever House had planned was immoral. She was probably planned to be sort a straight man or voice of reason, but due to the strong personalities of the other characters, especially House, she became more like a preachy, annoying character who made stupid mistakes that sometimes did more harm than good for the sake of her morals. After being replaced by the new team, she reappears occasionally but is much less irritating.
    • Chase was similarly rescued - on House's team, he was an annoying suck-up with the moral fiber of soggy newspaper who had a crush on Cameron. After he got fired? Likable, funny, doesn't give a damn what House thinks, and in a stable and sweet relationship with Cameron. Rescued from the scrappy heap and Took a Level in Badass.
  • Say what you will about the show in recent years, but most people agree that Peter Petrelli from Heroes became much more likable after his God Mode Sue status was undone as he was Brought Down to Normal, which forced him to actually use his brain and drop the Idiot Ball.
    • How about Hiro? Popular in volumes 1 and then deeply annoying in 3 and 4 due to his development from the first two seasons being rejected in favor of him being a childish moron again. Then redeemed in 5 due to his cancer and Charlie arcs making him more serious again and him no longer appearing in every episode.
  • True Blood's Jessica quickly shed her Scrappy status after she started seeing Hoyt, a relationship that many fans now consider the most realistic and relatable on the show..
  • Used on purpose with Quinn on Glee. Quinn began as a shallow, nasty, Ice Queen Alpha Bitch who was just a Romantic False Lead for Finn—the Official Couple being Finn and Rachel. Quinn was also and a spy for the Big Bad, Sue. She was so unlikable that you didn't feel sorry for her when she got pregnant due to this making her a Straw Hypocrite (she's president of the celibacy club) and got the baby while cheating on her boyfriend with his best friend. Over time, however, she turned into one of the most sympathetic characters on the series, turning into a Fallen Princess. Some people still hate her but even those who despise her admit to feeling sorry for her during episode 10 when a crying and desperate Quinn begs for her bigoted parents to forgive her only for them to promptly kick her out of the house.
    • Sadly, all that character development got thrown out the window when the following season Quinn leaped back onto the Scrappy Heap. All the lessons she'd learned about friendship and kindness were apparently forgotten and she went back to being a Jerkass. Then at the end of Season 2, it looked like she was mellowing out again...only to jump even deeper into the Scrappy Heap in Season 3.
  • Andy on Parks and Recreation, who went from Jerkass to one of the funniest characters on the show.
    • Andy is practically a Trope Codifier here. When he debuted on the show, his entire purpose was to be Rashida Jones' terrible asshole idiotic selfish boyfriend whose stupidity was almost a superpower. By season 4, he'd been sanded down to wildly sympathetic complete idiot who generally ends up doing the right thing of his own accord, because he's not a bad person, just a very stupid person.
  • Subverted by Izzie Stevens from Greys Anatomy, who earned a reprieve from the Scrappy Heap in her cancer storyline, which actually saw her become a pretty sympathetic character. However, a combination of the storyline dragging on without resolution and actress Katherine Heigl's extremely obnoxious real-life behavior have catapulted her back onto the Scrappy Heap in spectacular fashion, probably for all time.
  • Kelly Ball from Shameless. Started life off as Kev's annoying sister. After annoying out of everyone in one episode per series (2-4), she was promoted to the main cast as Shane Maguire's boyfriend and has shed her previous image.
  • Andy Bernard on The Office was introduced as a throughly dislikable sycophant with rage issues. While he's continued to be portrayed as a comically awkward character, his portrayal became more sympathetic during his engagement to Angela (who cheated on him and was otherwise emotionally abusive) and by the time he ended up a main character in the most recent series he was one of the most likable characters on the show.
  • Anders and Cally in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica Reimagined. Anders was disliked for distracting Starbuck from Lee, but got his own characterization arc after realising he was a Cylon and turning out to be more important for several reasons than it first appeared. Meanwhile, even those who liked Lee at first went off him after too much smugness when he left the armed forces. Cally replaced Boomer in the chief's affections and seemed (realistically) tough and bad-tempered. She got her own episode though just before Tory offed her.
  • Jenny on The L Word was both The Scrappy and a Creator's Pet for most fans, but, when the writers caught onto just how disliked her character was, and brought her back as an all out unsympathetic, incompetent Jerkass director in Season Five, it actually boosted her popularity. Mia Kirshner's utterly hilarious performance with the new material made her a joy to watch. Ironically, having her go crazy - and acknowledging her craziness within the show - made fans care about her a lot more than any of the previous efforts to redeem or Woobify her in earlier seasons.
  • Jerri Manthey from Survivor. Everyone hated "Man-Eater Manthey" after her appearance in Survivor: Australia back when Survivor was new and it was the next greatest thing. She received similar treatment after appearing on Survivor: All Stars, when she was booed out of the reunion by the audience. Her third time on the show in Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains, she toned her self down, and was put next to larger than life characters like Coach and Russell Hantz who many fans did not like. She turned into the Plucky Girl and became a fan favorite near the end before being voted off at the final four. She received a loud applause at the reunion, in contrast to her reception several years prior.
    • In the same season (heroes vs. villains), Coach actually became this. In Tocantins he was a Cloudcuckoolander who was a Creator's Pet hands down. However, in Heroes vs. Villains, he seemed to focus more on the game itself, begun to perform well at challenges and pull his weight in the game.
      • Hilariously enough, Coach and Jerri were actually allies during that season.
  • The last two seasons of Farscape had a couple examples of potential Scrappys who were rescued from the heap. Jool was initially a very annoying, shrill, and obnoxious character who underwent somewhat drastic character development over the course of the 3rd season and her brief appearance in the 4th, though for reasons unknown she devolved into a sex-starved Xena clone in the miniseries. The changeover appeared to occur around the time she began to be given duties approximating that of medical officer.
    • Sikozu, who joined in the final season, was initially dismissed as a Dropped a Bridge on Him - style replacement for Jool (even down to the red hair and obnoxious attitude), but was almost instantly rescued from the Scrappy Heap when she finally appeared on screen, most certainly around the time she let her hair down later in the first episode of Season 4.
    • Noranti, the crazy old woman added in the Season 3 finale episode, was most definitely a Scrappy at first, until hidden layers to the character were revealed, and the writers scaled back the "crazy old woman" in favor of making her closer in spirit (if not necessarily in looks and behavior) to Zhaan.
  • Caroline and Tyler on The Vampire Diaries, who in the first season were, respectively, a Dumb Blonde Alpha Bitch and a Jerkass who almost date-raped his girlfriend in the very first episode and quickly went Out of Focus for half a season. Fast-forward about 25 episodes, and the first one is a certified Ensemble Darkhorse and the second is quickly catching up, thanks to both of them becoming supernatural creatures, going through Character Development and starting a sweet relationship which some fans start to actually prefer to the Love Triangle between the leads.
    • Though Tyler went back down once he became a hybrid. This was made worse by the fact that he was sired to Klaus
    • Also Stefan himself was considered rescued when went through a Face Heel Turn Now he's good again but still shows signs of being a Magnificent Bastard.
    • Matt as well in Season 3 after he takes on the role of Only Sane Man.
  • Judith from the second season of Joan of Arcadia started out as alternating between being annoying, a Jerkass, dangerously unstable, and seeming like she was either wanting to steal Adam from Joan or Joan from Adam. But as she got to know the other characters better and they got to know her, she calmed down a bit and revealed a genuinely sweet side to herself, culminating in the perfect date between Adam and Joan which she largely orchestrated single-handedly. And then, in a Wham! Episode moment, she was murdered out of the blue
  • Shaw from Chuck after his Face Heel Turn, although arguably this was a case of They Plotted a Perfectly Good Waste.
  • Jaden from Nikita started out as a fellow trainee alongside Alex, who took a disliking to her for no apparent reason and acted like a school bully. Then comes the episode "Girl's Best Friend," where she proves willing to work with Alex for the good of a mission, gets some Character Development with her story about killing an abusive boyfriend, and finally is set up to be a full-fledged Evil Counterpart to Alex rather than just a whiny bitch. Unfortunately, she's killed off in the next episode.
  • Carter Grayson from Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue was originally considered a bland, uninteresting character. However, over time, and with Linkara's help, he has become a Memetic Badass. It's pointed out the big deal is that Carter isn't a martial artist but a firefighter (like most of the LR team with other specialties). In comparison to the past rangers in the "Forever RED (film)" episode he does come across as too reliant on his weapons, but few other rangers had the same "go in guns ablazing" mentality. So Carter doesn't use the typical strategies other Rangers use but instead just shoots at the bad guys or tries to run them over with the rescue jeep.
    • Rick Medina is an interesting case. Originally playing the hated Cole in Wild Force, he was almost completely forgotten. Then, when Saban announced that Medina would be returning in Samurai, the fans almost went irate. This all changed, however, when his character Deker showed up.
    • Blake Foster (Justin from Power Rangers Turbo) is another odd case. Justin was hated for being an annoying brat. However, ever since he finished puberty, fans are much more loving of Foster, especially since he has expressed his appreciation of the fandom. Justin himself was redeemed fairly well in the Power Rangers in Space Reunion Show appearance, where he comes to save the day.
    • For one with a much faster turnaround, there's Alpha 6, also from Turbo. He was introduced as Alpha 5's Totally Radical, slightly ruder replacement. In the changeover to Power Rangers in Space, 6 had some emergency repairs that removed those traits and made him a straight Expy of 5, making him much more acceptable.
  • Chelsea was an extremely hated character when she first appeared on Days of Our Lives. She was an arrogant Jerkass, rude to everyone around her (even her best friend Abby), responsible for killing her little brother, and tried to break up Bo and Hope's marriage. When she started dating Hollywood Nerd Nick, she became a much better person. She went from being the most hated character on the show to one of the more popular characters.
  • Ziva on NCIS started out as a Replacement Scrappy for Kate. The writers attempted to rescue her by giving her a series of awesome talents and ninja skills and letting her perform a couple of selfless acts and save the day a few times, the most significant of which was when she helped Gibbs recover his memory in the third season finale, and it generally seemed to work. Ziva is now a pretty popular character and half of most of the fandom's OTP.
    • The fact that she's now been in six seasons and Kate was only in two probably isn't hurting her popularity either.
  • Evan from Royal Pains was The Scrappy for most of the show by being the annoying younger brother to Hank. Evan's main concern seemed to be expanding Hank Med against Hank's protests. Though since he started dating Paige, he's become a much more likable person, improving his character immensely.
  • Haley Reinhart managed to pull herself out on Season 10 of American Idol. At the beginning of the season she was criticized for her appearance adding more to her staying power than her voice. That all changed when she started to deliver stellar performances and gained a possibly insane fanbase.
  • Alex on Happy Endings. Many deemed her a boring, Mary Sue type character initially, but starting with the second season, the writers began to flesh out her character more, and she became the lovable ditz viewers have come to know.


Multiple Media[edit | hide]

  • Kiina from Bionicle. Many fans disliked her brash, impatient Genki Girl personality and her tendency to shout "WOOHOO!!!" at the top of her lungs as per her portrayal in The Legend Reborn. However, in more recent Bionicle media, she seems to have undergone some Character Development, being more sensible and thinking before she acts, as well as displaying a more gentle side—but without being any less Badass in battle. The novelization of said movie also retroactively justified her personality therein, explaining that she actively forced herself to appear joyful, fearing that otherwise The Hero (who she hoped would save her people) would have bailed.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Metallica, after their We're Still Relevant, Dammit! shark jumpage between the albums Load and the critically despised St. Anger, were Rescued From the Scrappy Heap when they released the album "Death Magnetic," despite its production issues, to the point where fans begged for a better remix and pirated Guitar Hero DLC versions of the songs.
    • And then promptly dropped back in hard with the release of LuLu.
    • They then proceeded to launch themselves right back OUT of the Scrappy Heap with their 30th anniversary shows.
  • Megadeth released Risk which garnered a similar hatred as Metallica's St. Anger, though for different reasons; St Anger was hated for it's ghastly production quality and for the drums that made it sound like Lars Ulrich was banging on trash cans, while Risk had decent production but represented a drastic change in style. Risk was however saved by hardcore Megadeth fans who argue that if you judge the album as just an album and not as a "thrash metal" album that the songs are quite well written, evoke genuine heartfelt emotion, and are actually quite catchy.
  • Swedish Death Metal band Hypocrisy has gone through several stylistic changes throughout the career and experimented with a number of different sounds. Generally, they were very well received...except for the Nu-metalish album Catch 22" which was almost universally panned by their fans. As an apology of sorts to the fans, the band re-recorded the album with much better vocals, more powerful drumming, and remastered production. The re-recording was much better received by fans.
  • Blaze Bayley was the Replacement Scrappy in Iron Maiden, but that doesn't stop his solo career from being arguably the best received of the three singers (the guy he replace also had some success, but unlike Blaze people didn't hate his guts).
    • The guy he replaced being Bruce Dickinson, who had a couple of false starts but has made three albums widely regarded as classics in a row since Accident of Birth, Blaze's solo career being more successful is very debatable.
  • In 2005, electronic musicians Daft Punk released Human After All, which was a great disappointment to critics and fans alike; the songs were criticized as being boring and tedious, particularly when compared to the vibrancy of the duo's two previous albums. Three years later, most of those same songs were performed on their live tour, and they are awesome.
  • After their first return in 1985, cult Post Punk group Wire drew much ire from much of their fanbase by releasing a string of poppy, overproduced records, culminating in the critical disaster that was 1991's Manscape. Live, however, the songs often took on a very different character, though Wire, being the contrarians that they were, never released a proper live album from this period... Until 2010, with the inception of their "Legal Download Bootleg Series", one of the first of which was an 1988 performance from the Astoria in London. To summarise the average fan reaction: Hot damn.
    • Or, somewhat earlier, their revival of various '80s numbers on their 2000 comeback tour.
  • Deftones and Slipknot are the most respected bands associated with Nu-metal, to the point where their fans argue that they are not really Nu-metal at all.
  • James Blunt when he appeared on Top Gear.

James Blunt: Come on you little ****!

  • To an extent, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. His last album with the Floyd, The Final Cut, was an Anvilicious, dark, Love It or Hate It album and a slow seller, and he carried the Wangst and Control Freak tendencies well into his solo albums. He gained a certain amount of bad press over the lawsuits and public arguments over the rights to the name "Pink Floyd", as David Gilmour's Lighter and Softer Floyd gained success in the late 1980's and early 1990's. By the end of The Nineties, his feelings over Pink Floyd and the media cooled and he started performing Floyd-like arena shows with heavy emphasis over his former band's works, to the delight of many, with full performances of The Dark Side of the Moon and later, The Wall, and slowly patched things up with his old bandmates. This culminated in the Floyd's reunion show for Live 8 in 2005, and since then he has had great success and better press lately, and his full-scale performance of The Wall is a massive success.
  • Whenever Kanye West releases an album it almost makes you forget that he's a douche. Almost...
  • Christina Aguilera rescued herself by appearing on The Voice.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Here's one to blow your mind, action movie fans: when Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson debuted in the WWF in 1996 as Rocky Maivia, his super-duper-ultra-nice-guy persona was hated by fans despite everything the WWF did to put him over, due to a combination of Hype Aversion and the fact they perceived him to be a phoney (no-one could be that nice). After getting injured and being off camera for a few months, he came back as member of the Heel group The Nation of Domination. It helped that he's a genuinely charismatic, funny guy with a real gift for speaking, and once he was freed from having to be the ridiculously straight Face he could use those skills. Better yet, he became so "over" that he was treated as a face by the fans, and he would become a perpetual Face. There's a reason that WWE's "SmackDown!" brand (even when it was just a second show for a unified WWF) has always been named after one of his catch phrases.
    • And the really funny part? By most accounts Dwayne Johnson actually is as nice as the Rocky Maivia character was.
  • ECW's Tommy Dreamer began as a green suspenders-wearing pretty boy that the fans hated. ECW was starting to be known as the blue-collar hardcore promotion people know today and Tommy stuck out like a WCW reject. He gets put in a "Singapore Cane Match" where the loser gets caned by his opponent. He lost to the Sandman, who went to town on Tommy with his now famous cane. By the third strike Tommy's back was bleeding but he wouldn't stay down. After the tenth shot, he stumbled to the mic and defiantly cried, "Thank you, sir. May I have ANOTHER?!", which he promptly got. At the end of the caning, Tommy walked over to Sandman and told him that he took Sandman's best and was still standing. It was the first step to Tommy becoming the poster boy of ECW.
  • The whole concept of WWE "Divas" that emerged some time in the late '90s to early 2000s, including the "Diva Search", was reviled by many wrestling fans who, while certainly not averse to looking at beautiful women, generally preferred to see actual wrestling matches using up the shows' airtime. However, some time around 2006, these "Divas" started to become actual wrestlers instead of just eye candy, which led to a revitalization of the women's division. The most surprising example of this was Candice Michelle, who rose to fame as the model from the GoDaddy.com Superbowl commercials. Sure, they're still annoyingly called "Divas", a lot of them wrestle fairly predictable matches, the "Diva Search" still tends to be a waste of time, and there are still pointless titillation matches that only serve to insult the intelligence of the male viewers, but the situation has still improved drastically. These days, almost every "Diva" also trains to be a wrestler.
  • The infamous New World Order stable was in a big part, a way to rescue the boring Invincible Hero Hulk Hogan from the Scrappy Heap.
    • However, the NWO eventually managed to turn the entire WCW into a giant scrappy: they changed Hogan from boring Invincible Hero to boring Invincible Villain, when what they should have done was removed the boring and invincible bits.
  • John Cena was, for many people, way on top of the Scrappy Heap during his initial push (and subsequent first title reign), when he was booked as unstoppable. He was often booed even as a face, and the amount of heat he got on the One Night Stand PPV was brutal. Arguably it wasn't until his feud with Edge and a long series of subsequent good matches (and improved technical skills) that many internet smarks warmed up to him. On the other hand, a lot of people took a perverse pleasure in some of the more virulent anti-Cena reactions, since the people who were booing him were also fuelling a massive rise in WWE attendance during that period.
    • Cena had also gone through the process once already, with his original smiling babyface character being rescued by dressing like Vanilla Ice on a Halloween show and then running with the concept. The irony is that his massive popularity in the role is largely attributable to the fickle internet fans who booed him later on.
    • Cena's been doing that for years, almost to the point where it's part of his gimmick. It started during his feud with Kurt Angle during that first title run:

Cena: You get mad when these fans chant 'You suck.' Half the people out there think I suck.

    • As of July 23, 2011, he's also gotten a BIG SHIFT. He's gained more of an edge and lost most of his plain vanilla straights by showing his backbone (in the sense that he wouldn't be known for kissing Vince McMahon's ass after the end of his match with CM Punk in Money in the Bank 2011), actually calling out on Vince for all the crazy stuff that's going on, and is also more about getting a fair fight even if people try to screw things up.
  • MVP was at first a Scrappy to many internet fans as well, who argued that if Chris Benoit couldn't pull a good match off him, no one could. Then he got into an inferno match with Kane... and not only did quite well for himself during the match, but took the match-losing burn on his back. Suddenly many of those same people were all over him.
    • And then those fans who hadn't been convinced by the inferno match soon rallied to his side after his Wrestlemania XXIII match against Benoit, where MVP displayed a surprising aptitude for mat wrestling he hadn't shown before. This match was a lot better than MVP's debut outing against Marty Garner at No Mercy 2006, which sparked the "if Chris Benoit couldn't pull a good match out of him" train of thought in the first place.
  • When The Miz came to the WWE, he was a very annoying Diva Search host who was so bad that he was blatantly reading his lines off his arms. Most felt that he hadn't paid his dues and was only there because of his Real World "fame". When he was put in the ring, he wasn't very good at that either. He started to show mild improvement as he got drafted to ECW, but most felt that the TV time should have gone to anyone more talented. Case in point, he was voted to be CM Punk's challenger for the ECW title at Cyber Sunday because the Genre Savvy fans knew that Miz would never win the ECW title. His rescue would start when he and John Morrison were randomly thrown together and won the WWE Tag Team titles on their first night as a team. A few weeks later, WWE.com posted the first Dirt Sheet and The Miz and Morrison duo became a sensation almost overnight. The Dirt Sheet videos coupled with Miz's drastic improvement in the ring while tagging with John Morrison turned Miz from a Scrappy to a possible future main-eventer, United States Champion, and Money in the Bank ladder match winner who ultimately cashed in said briefcase on November 22, 2010 to become the most must-see WWE Champion in history because he's the Miz and he's AWESOME!
    • The Miz and Morrison tag-team also helped out Morrison (although not to the extent it did The Miz). John Morrison was in limbo following losing the ECW title to CM Punk, a run that was cut short due to an ill-timed Wellness Vacation. In addition, many fans did not buy the former Johnny Nitro as an ECW champion (this was when WWE was still considering it a "World title"), and many fans were still bitter from him being a less than stellar replacement for Chris Benoit. The Miz and Morrison team allowed Morrison to gain some much needed credibility. Now these two are looking to avert the Breakup Breakout syndrome that affects popular tag teams.
  • Vickie Guerrero was brought into World Wrestling Entertainment during a feud between Chavo Guerrero and Rey Mysterio, Jr. during what was termed Eddiesploitation, eventually turning heel and siding with Chavo. Fans hated her and not in the way they were supposed to as they found her annoying. Then WWE decided to team her and Chavo up with top heel Edge in a stable known as La Familia and make her the General Manager of Smackdown. During this time, they intentionally played up her annoyingness, making her more shrill and having her loudly exclaim "Excuse me!" Because of it, she's now one of the biggest heels in the company and regularly gets what can only be described as nuclear heat.
  • The now-infamous "NXT Invasion" of the June 7th, 2010 WWE RAW is notable for not just rescuing one or two wrestlers from the Scrappy Heap, but the entire cast of Season One... redeeming weeks of mediocre TV and turning seemingly poor wrestlers or no-charisma spot monkeys into superstars with tremendous heat in mere minutes.
  • Michelle McCool was previously the Creator's Pet for most of 2008 and 2009 as your basic bland heel and it didn't help being wooden and robotic on the mic. Then they paired her with Layla and created "Team Lay Cool", and she became a parody of the Alpha Bitch and was involved in one of the more interesting women's feuds with Mickie James. She has a real gift for comedy and is now much more interesting to watch. Her Sueishness also took a hit when Beth Phoenix started beating her regularly.
  • Michael Cole's Face Heel Turn on WWE NXT to being essentially a Troll to the Internet Fanbase and Indie Fans has ironically gained Cole more fans in the process.
    • His and Josh Matthew's recent commentary on the third season has been considered the only reason to watch the show.
  • Trish Stratus is rightly remembered as one of the greatest female wrestlers of the last decade. But, would you believe that when she first showed up in wrestling, she was generally detested? No wrestling ability (she botched a catfight once), somehow even less charisma, and those dorky cowboy hats. And she was managing T&A - Test and Albert. Fans used to joke that her gimmick was *wears a cowboy hat*. She started breaking out of it during T&A's feud with The Dudley Boyz. First, there was the table lingerie promo. Then, she earned some credibility by getting (legit) injured by a powerbomb through a table from Bubba Ray Dudley, and rehabbing it instead of just leaving the business.
  • Tyler Reks. When he debuted, he had a surfer gimmick and was generally disliked, despite being a good guy. He disappeared from TV after a few months. However, he returned about a year later, sporting a new look of wild hair, beard and a new intense personality. He immediately qualified for Team SmackDown at Bragging Rights and has remained fairly successful since.
    • It doesn't hurt that he's a damn good power wrestler, and unlike a lot of WWE's heels looks genuinely intimidating. His finisher being the BURNING FREAKIN HAMMER... sort of, might have something to do with it.
  • Many ECW fans had lost major respect for Mike Awesome for jumping ship to WCW while world champion, and he was greeted with massive heat at ECW One Night Stand. After an awesome match against Masato Tanaka, fans started chanting "This matches rules!" and he along with Tanaka got standing ovations. Even Joey Styles, who made some controversial remarks during the match had started to commend him.
  • Recently the Bella Twins. Their gimmick had grown stale and they were going absolutely nowhere, mainly being used as arm candy for the Raw guest hosts. It started with Nikki Bella turning heel during NXT and shocked the world by revealing how good she was at it. Then she and Brie were turned fully on Raw and adopted new bitchy personalities as well as using the twin switch as a heel move. Both of them are now much more interesting because of it.
    • Sadly Brie has gone the other way since her title win. It's clear that Nikki is a better wrestler than her and Brie was much better as a face.
  • Similarly Melina Perez returned from her ACL injury as a loose cannon in the ring and unable to pull off the same high flying moves she did as a face. Then she was turned heel and we saw the return of the bitchy and arrogant Melina we had all loved from her MNM days. And as a heel she switched her wrestling style to more grounded submission-based moves and is much better in the ring because of it.
  • Titus O'Neil in WWENXT Season 5. Known as the one in season 2 who had the worst record, tripping during the barrel challenge, and "Make it a win!", before ultimately being eliminated first; in season 5 he returned and became a dominating force who easily became the most over rookie of the season and is ahead of everyone else in the standings by a mile.
  • The Hart Dynasty in early 2010 were about as bland and average as it got when it comes to generic heel teams but their angle with Bret Hart and Heel Face Turn made them go from dead crowds to standing ovations. While WWE dropped the ball by splitting them up, it did wonders for Natalya Neidheart who even got her hands on the Divas' title.
  • R-Truth following his heel-turn. Prior to it, he was something of a Scrappy for the IWC, and only got a Cheap Pop when he did his "What's Up" Chant. After his heel turn, everyone completely 180'd on him and he now gets one of the largest responses from crowds than nearly everyone on the roster.
  • The WWE Creative department at times have been more ballyhooed than any of the wrestlers and have been the scapegoat for many of the controversial and maligned storylines in the WWE. While still a source of derision, former WWE creative writer and Paul Heyman understudy Dave Lagana's I Want Wrestling podcast have helped make past writers more sympathetic in their dealing with the micromanagement of their equally decisive boss and his "gladhanding, nonsensical, douchebag yesmen", offering in-depth interviews with wrestlers, bookers and other producers and using maximizing the use of Twitter for live commentary of shows and PPVs.
  • Even Sean "X-Pac Heat" Waltman can be rescued. On a few different occasions in WWF/E, he briefly overcame his heat just by finding his workrate and wrestling a good match. One was a singles match with Eddie Guerrero and one was a tag match where X Pac teamed with Jeff Hardy against two Alliance wrestlers. Later in 2011, Waltman decided to do three shows with CHIKARA. He reverted to the 1-2-3 Kid gimmick (even going so far as to shave his beard). He worked hard on all three matches. Lost his trios match although he didn't drop the fall, won a 4 way dance with Amazing Red, Obariyon, and Frightmare with a top rope X-Factor, and in his third match put over popular indy wrestler El Generico. Afterwards he claimed he'd had more fun wrestling for Chikara than he'd had wrestling in years.
  • Sheamus is probably the crowning example in recent years. A passable heel whom many thought was only in the main event because Triple H liked him gradually improved in the ring over the course of the year but then he got his Heel Face Turn. Nobody could have predicted how well he could play the face role, oozing charisma and showing how athletic he was in the ring. It's translated to the crowds as well since he's gone from nearly no reactions to standing ovations. And he managed it all without any Badass Decay.
  • David Otunga was long disliked for his poor in-ring ability and dull personality, but more recently has been rescued by his new gimmick that plays up his real life Harvard law background and transformed him into an entertainingly slimy toady for John Laurinaitis (himself a rescued Scrappy), constantly sipping from a thermos of coffee and sport a dorky bow tie. He has also improved enough in the ring to now be passable, so he's no longer painful to watch in a match.
  • Brodus Clay got his start as a dime-a-dozen monster heel on NXT and Smackdown before disappearing. Vignettes popped up around late 2011 hyping up his return, focusing on his status as a monster. Then the vignettes stopped and no sign of Brodus, eventually becoming a running gag that his debut on Raw was being held off. Fans, meanwhile, could not care less, not wanting to see Clay on television. When he did return, he was given a new gimmick as the Funkasaurus, with a new hometown of Planet Funk. He immediately became over with the crowd as happy-go-lucky disco dancer (with two sexy female backup dancers) doing his same routine, but with added jiggling and gyrating.
  • TNA Knockout Velvet Sky was a huge scrappy when she was in the Beautiful People, hated for her patchy ring skills and the fact that she was Ms. Fanservice and nothing else. Then after a Heel Face Turn she improved in the ring and it's safe to say she's one of the biggest stars they have today. She was even cheered going against miss popularity herself Mickie James.
  • WWE NXT itself. It started as a competition with somewhat iffy matches and annoying, overly long challenges and was generally regarded as a poor replacement for ECW (a show/brand that was itself eventually rescued after being widely panned when it first started). Eventually most people lost interest and after Smackdown was moved to Syfy NXT lost its slot in the middle of its third season and made internet only. It got even worse during the fifth season that brought back previous contestants with the pointless stated goal of the winner getting on season 6 and seemingly having no ending; about the only bright spot was William Regal on commentary. Eventually, however, any pretense of it being competition was dropped, Regal was made the matchmaker, everyone involved in the show went all-out on cheesy soap opera stuff and previously personalityless bores managed to find new life (Johnny Curtis as a meatheaded creep who asks girls if they wanna get weird, Maxine as the scheming femme fatale and straight (wo)man to Curtis' bizarreness, Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks as a pair of brutish oafs, etc.). It's since started garnering a bit of a cult following.


Card Games[edit | hide]

  • Magic: The Gathering has had a few mechanics that have become rescued over time.
    • Green as a color. Planar Chaos granted it a lot of awesome abilities, such as white's (very powerful) Disenchant spell. In Rise of the Eldrazi, it has an affinity-like ability where Khalni Hydra gets cheaper for each green creature you control.
    • Defender, or not attacking. Rise of the Eldrazi gave a lot of creatures with defender that count creatures with defender.
    • Big creatures. Normally they don't come out until you're dead. Shards of Alara made an exception, with Naya's "five-power matters" rule. Also, Rise of the Eldrazi again.
    • Lands. You either don't have enough or have too many. Zendikar (and Worldwake and Rise of the Eldrazi) made them relevant with the landfall ability, which triggers whenever a land comes into play.
    • Poison. The entire purpose of Scars of Mirrodin, Mirrodin Besieged, and New Phyrexia. Instead of "When CARDNAME damages a player, that player gets a poison counter.", infect creatures do damage equal to their power in poison counters, making it mutable, and more deadly. Although this has caused a bit of a Broken Base in the Magic community, as there are plenty of people who absolutely hate the powerful Infect creatures running about Standard.
    • Lifegain. Historically seen as weak, but lifelink creatures and equipment, and cards where lifegain is a side effect made it playable. Life payment made it useful.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, the Elemental Heroes were hated for a long time for numerous reasons - in the anime, because Judai's obsession with using the same monsters over and over. In the card game itself, due to the near-uselessness of the cards and the fact that they flooded every single set through almost two years. When the Yu-Gi-Oh GX manga kicked in, though, it introduced two new additions, which greatly boosted the popularity of the Archetype:
    • The "Omni-Heroes", six Elemental Heroes that work by fusing any Hero with any Attribute monster, which not only managed to make them much more powerful, but allowed clever deck-building by combining multiple Archetypes.
    • The "Masked Heroes", which revived a long-favorite mechanic (Fusing with a single monster, introduced with the now-banned Metamorphosis) and made it relevant again.

Roleplaying Games[edit | hide]

  • In the Warhammer 40,000 universe, no faction was more Scrappy-ish than the Necrons. Personality-less, undying metal skeletons with living gods as their masters who were forced into the canon in one of the most awkward retcons (with so many mysteries being solved with 'C'tan Did It!') since the Squats were made Ret-Gone. Their rules were even worse, going from brokenly overpowered in 3rd and 4th Edition to incredibly nerfed and underpowered in 5th Edition. Now with a fancy new coat of Mat Ward's signature 5th Edition paint, the Necrons have gone from a faceless, voiceless phalanx of overcosted metal zombies to a vast, balanced, undead empire lead by some of the craziest, most enigmatic overlords in 40K lore.
  • The Pathfinder book Misfit Monsters Redeemed attempts to do this for ten of the corniest monsters in D&D history. (Including the infamous flumph, no less.)
    • Half-Elfs and Half-Orcs in 3.5 were some of the worst race options a player could pick (outside of Diplomacy maximizing for Half-Elfs), with only some minor boosts to skills and immunity to sleep effects that high level characters are immune to anyways (Half Elfs) or the only race feature to make up for their unbalanced racial modifers[2] being Darkvision, which other races have anyways (Half-Orc) compared to a Human's bonus feat and extra skill points. In Pathfinder both races get to pick +2 to any atribute with no penalties. Half-Elfs can pick any Skill Focus or Weapon Proficiency feat for free,[3] can pick two favored classes and have the best Bard and Summoner favored class alterentives. Half-Orcs have actual racial features and a decent range of alternate features to customize themself with.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Sometimes this can happen entirely without conscious effort on the creators' part, due to the fickle minds of fans. Take Nero from Devil May Cry 4 for example; When it was first revealed that he and not series lead Dante would be the protagonist for the installment in question, the Internet Backdraft was frightening as disgruntled fans decried him for aspiring to Dante's position. Then subsequent trailers came out, dropping Moments of Awesome for Nero, and hate gave way to... like? The additional cool feats he pulled off in the full game endeared him even more to fans. Although both Dante and Credo dramatically overshadow him in awesome.
  • Hope Estheim from Final Fantasy XIII. Fans hated him because of his constant Wangst over the death of his mother. However, he began to mature, stopped panicking over everything, and buried the hatchet with Snow after confronting him.
    • Similarly, most people warmed up to Vanille after her mask broke in chapter 8.
    • Every character in the game is made to appear extremely unlikeable in the first part of the game, but they slowly reveal their much greater depth as the plot progresses in the second half.
  • Similarly, Frost from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance got massive Internet Backdraft to the point where fans said that she would 'ruin Mortal Kombat'. After the game was released, however, she was much better received.
  • Deekin, in Neverwinter Nights Shadows of Undrentide, was generally obnoxious. Hordes of the Underdark did a much better job with him by giving him some generally humorous dialogue ("Drows be fatty. Gots it.") and his big Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in the endgame.
  • City of Heroes does this at times. This is rather important, given that nearly every NPC ally you get tends to start out yelling "Puppy Power!" and diving headfirst into groups of powerful enemies. The most notable case is probably Penelope Yin, who starts as a combination of The Ditz and Creator's Pet with bits of Faux Action Girl for flavor, a psychic with vast but non-combat powers and the interest of several different major factions of the game. Thankfully, by the next time you run into her, she's a useful in-combat ally, with slightly more reasonable chat text. She still makes mistakes, but it's a bit more reasonable. Fusionette, on the other hand...
    • Recently, the game developers have gained a knack for doing this to Scrappy Levels. Faultline was once deserted, being insanely hard to navigate and having no point whatsoever, but was completely transformed into a far more tolerable zone with an engaging storyline (and featuring the aforementioned Penelope Yin, along with a few other Scrappy NPC 'helpers'...). The Rikti Crash Site's rescue was even more successful, turning another wasteland into the cross-faction, action-filled Rikti War Zone brimming with well-written storylines and features for high-level players. The Hollows received some minor touching-up as well, turning the brutal proving ground into something slightly more tolerable. The other Scrappy Levels such as Perez Park, Boomtown and especially the Shadow Shard are still in dire need of this treatment though.
    • Fusionette, in fact, is an interesting case of it being attempted but not working out as well as intended. Her boyfriend, Faultline, shows up as a combat NPC, but his Stone/Stone powerset means that he gets some of the best defensive powers in the game, essentially making his role as a Tank plausible and effective. Poor Fusionette, an Energy/Energy Squishy Wizard Blaster, draws lots of enemy fire that she's utterly incapable of dealing with, especially compared to PCs of the same level.
      • Fusionette comes into her own as an extra damage dealer in solo play or small teams, especially if a "support" PC keeps her healthy and buffed. Other NPCs that are useless to large competent teams and tend to die quickly unless an active effort is keep them alive and powered up include Daedalus and Imperious from the Imperious Task Force, and (in a rather disconcerting example of Gameplay and Story Segregation) the entire Freedom Phalanx during the Mender Silos Task Force. Which makes their "help" something of an Escort Mission.
      • General Aarons, the absolute squishiest and most hyper-aggressive alleged ally in the game. Not helped by the fact that he's mainly found in missions against the Sky Raiders and usually locks onto their teleporting minions and lieutenants and chases them through several rooms and spawns, usually getting himself killed and causing you to fail the mission because part of your objective is to keep him alive. He can be vastly more hated than even Fusionette. At least she can do some damage. The General? He fires one bullet and then rushes into melee to hit the enemies with the butt of his gun.
  • Several NPCs who were something of The Scrappy in the first Baldurs Gate become more tolerable or even acceptable in its sequel (for example, Quayle, rather than being a near-useless party member, turns out to have matured considerably in becoming an NPC). Other characters who were tolerable or acceptable become awesome (Jaheira's reaction to finding the butchered body of Khalid is notably heart-rending).
    • Also, in Baldurs Gate II you got Anomen. He starts with a self-righteous, Holier Than Thou attitude that makes him annoying at best and insufferable at worse. After you complete his personal quest in the right way he gets much better. If you finish the wrong way, however...
    • Another BG2 example: Aerie, the obscenely sweet and naive winged elf, is generally reviled throughout the game by most of the player base. However, in the expansion, she takes a level in badass and becomes much more likable in the process. In any event, if you can get past her needy personality and her having the lowest HP of any of your party members, her class combo (cleric/mage) makes her one of the most useful characters in the game.
  • Some Super Mario Bros fans began warming up to Waluigi after, well... This. He is one of the strongest assist trophies in Super Smash Bros.: Brawl.
  • As a comic relief character in a fairly dark and serious game, Jansen Friedh of Lost Odyssey seemed doomed to The Scrappy heap at first glance. Fortunately, in the English dub, at least, his voice actor's naturalistic performance and improvisation managed to rescue him, transforming what could have been an irritating sidekick into a genuinely funny and sympathetic character. That he received quite a bit of Character Development along the way, particularly once he fell in love with an immortal queen, also helped.
  • People hated Raiden of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for replacing Snake as the protagonist and for his annoying tendencies. The fourth game, however, shows that, when you get right down to it, he is not someone you want to screw with.
  • Kingdom Hearts:b
  • This arguably happened to Axl when he interrupted Lumine's Not So Different speech with a judicious amount of gunfire in Mega Man X 8.
  • Beowulf from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War was once known as a universally hated character for lying and cheating on Lachesis, people think he's a big liar and philanderer. But suddenly, it's revealed that Lachesis was still in love with her brother Eltoshan and may have had an affair with Finn in Thracia 776. Thus, fan reaction towards him has softened ever since (those who are pissed with him are probably going on his mediocre stats, and his 'stupid grin').
    • In turn, however, fans started ragging on Lachesis as "one slutty princess". Still, she has yet to be completely pushed to the Scrappy Heap thanks to her sympathetic Character Development and Game Breaker status.
  • As unpleasable as the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom is, some are starting to warm up to Big the Cat after Sonic Chronicles where his stupidity was funny rather than irritating.

"Ice Cream!" (everyone stares in silence.)

    • Chronicles also toned back Amy Rose from Stalker with a Crush to a more tolerable Clingy Jealous Girl, and polished Rouge into a Deadpan Snarker par excellence. Say what you will about the gameplay and plot, but Bioware did a magnificent job with the characters.
    • In spite of its other flaws, |Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 managed to make Shadow the Hedgehog more bearable for some of his previous haters. Since the previous game saw him reach the end of his Quest for Identity and resolve to put the past behind him, this game saw Shadow greatly cut down on the angsting and replace it with stoic badassery.
      • From a purely technical perspective, his gameplay is probably the least broken out of the three main heroes.
      • It may also help that he kicks the new scrappy of the game, Silver, in the head.
    • Sonic Generations seems to be causing the fanbase to finally warm up to Silver the Hedgehog. Considering Sega gave him a new voice actor, made him less of a whiny Jerkass, and made his boss battle enjoyable, it's a big step up from "IT'S NO USE!"
  • The Cataclysm expansion's entire raison d'etre is to rescue the most hated zones in the game from the Scrappy heap, by nuking them and building new quests around picking up the wreckage. (As this is World of Warcraft, at least one quest will actually be about picking up wreckage.)
    • In a more conventional sense, Varian Wrynn gains a bit more sympathy after he allows the grieving Varok Saurfang to cradle the body of his dead son in Icecrown Citadel, showing that despite his earlier rage against the Horde, he remains an honorable, empathetic man.
    • Happens to Garrosh in Cataclysm. He publicly executes a Horde general that bombed an Alliance village full of innocent people (by dropping him off a cliff), and tells Sylvanas off for using the val'kyr to raise more Forsaken, saying she is going against nature and is no better than the Lich King.
  • A non-character example is the knife in the Resident Evil series. It used to take up an inventory space, and did minimal damage. Even if you had a rare position of attacking a zombie from an elevated position, it would take many slashes to take it down. So players would consign it to the nearest chest ASAP. But in Resident Evil 4, it does a lot more damage, and could aim just like the other weapons. Suddenly, the knife is one of the most valuable weapons. If it guaranteed a stun with every slash to the face, some players wouldn't even use guns (except for when they had no choice). Making matters better, it no longer took any inventory space whatsoever!
    • In the second fight against Krauser, the knife is one of the best weapons. The guy is kinda Made of Iron, but goes down very, very fast with the knife, faster than any other gun you'd have available at the time.
      • But the earlier Press X to Not Die knife fight was a big clue for this.
      • In the fight with Krauser, this strategy seems to work entirely on Rule of Cool, as the way to figure out by yourself it is a good strategy would be to be Badass enough to take on Krauser on a knife fight. A reason for the knife working better than guns here is that he moves towards you while dodging bullets moving left or right pretty damn fast, but the knife, being a horizontal attack, manages to hit him pretty well when close enough.
    • It probably doesn't hurt that the enemies feel pain in 4 without being made-of-muscle, badass, bio0weapons.
    • The knife is quite effective in Resident Evil Code: Veronica, especially since ammunition is somewhat scarce in the early game and a downward hit can inflict major damage on a zombie by hitting more than once. It doesn't make Wesker's Battle Game any easier, though.
  • In Super Robot Wars Z, they manage this with most of the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny characters and story. Shinn Asuka is less whiny and mean, Stellar Lousier gains some credible intelligence and is more than just a mentally impaired girl, they toned down the "Jesus" and philosophies in Kira "Jesus" Yamato, Neo Roanoke doesn't just turn into Mu La Flaga out of whim and forget his past life, and Gilbert Durandal becomes a respectable villain and still makes sense.
  • While virtually no fans of Mega Man games ever hated Roll, due to her being seen as the cute, benevolent face of what robotics could have been, and thus, part of what you're fighting for as the hero, in the Marvel vs. Capcom games she was something of a Tier-Induced Scrappy—in fact fans jokingly gave her her own tier because none of the other tiers were thought to be bad enough. In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, she definitely Took a Level in Badass with some rather devastating combos, many of which end with her ferociously slamming her mop into downed opponents' groins.
  • Castlevania Judgment received all kinds of flack ever since it was announced, from reports of terrible controls to heavy bashing of the new artstyle. Now that the game is out, the general consensus is that it's a pretty good Wii fighting game with awesome music... among some of the fans, anyway. The game critics still don't like it.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy, which had a similar cold reception, won its way out by repeatedly leaking details to set the Fans Rejoicing.
  • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years not only pulled Edward out of the Scrappy Heap, but polished him up, and gave him a set of steel cajones before setting him out in the world. See the CMoA page for details on his newfound badassery.
    • His rescue came even earlier: The DS remake of Final Fantasy IV gave him genuinely useful abilities, pleasing design, and a good voice actor.
    • And before that, the GBA remake increased the chances of status effects with his attacks, to where he became a legitimate powerhouse.
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl made major changes to the metagame (namely, that attacks are determined to be "physical" or "special" on an individual basis instead of by their type), and in the process caused many Pokémon who were previously laughably bad to become invaluable players.
    • Said move typing split debuted in Pokémon XD with the Shadow moves introduced in that game, so the franchise started pulling itself out of the heap as a result of that. The split went mainstream in Gen IV.
    • Gen IV actually saved a type: Grass was inferior to Electric when it came to defeating Water-typed Pokémon, due to its poor selection of attacks. Many of them had low base damage, or had high damage but had some limitation (a turn of charge-up, guaranteed to Confuse your own Pokémon after use, or was only available to one 'mon). Electric had no such problem, thanks to the widespread availability of Thunderbolt. Grass' other selling point, it's ability to hit Rock- and Ground-type Pokémon was undercut by the aforementioned Water type doing the exact same thing plus the fact that any Player Versus Environment team has a Water type so that they can travel across seas and rivers with Surf. Gen IV added more reliable attacks such as Energy Ball, Seed Bomb, and made Leaf Blade non-exclusive to Sceptile. There's still the overlap when it comes to fighting Rock and Ground types, but at least now Grass can reliably deal good damage to Crasher Wake's, Misty's, and Cress' lineups. It get even more saved in gen V, with the introduction of several good grass type such as Ferrothorn, who sports awesome defensive stats, good entry hazards and support movepool, and decent attack stats.
    • While gen IV brings it to spotlight, it is not fully save until Gen V saves yet another type: Bug. In previous generations "new Bug types" usually meant "early-game bugs, usually early evolving as well, whose stats just plain sucked". Also, half of them were Bug/Flying, a typing weak to many attacks. The only ones that were playable were Scyther/Scizor, Yanmega, Nincada family, Heracross and Pineco/Forretress. Gen IV, despite giving Stealth Rock that hinders Bugs, started to save them by giving an instant switch move in U-Turn, which means they can play scouting role while dealing awesome damage, Bug Buzz, which is a good special move for bugs, alongside buffing many bug types, most notably Scizor and its infamous Bullet Punch. Then Gen V came around and introduced eighteen bugs. All of them with great stats. Not a single one evolves early. None of them Bug/Flying.
      • Scolipede is very fast and is able to learn Earthquake and Rock Slide.
      • Galvantula gets STAB Thunder with much better accuracy thanks to Compoundeyes.
      • Durant has very high attack power with its Hustle ability, albeit with a little less accuracy, and can be taught Hone Claws, which boosts Accuracy and Attack, as well as Rock Slide. It's Bug/Steel too, which means that it has only one weakness.
      • Volcarona has the awesome Quiver Dance (boosts Special Attack, Special Defense AND Speed) and a strong STAB signature move which boosts its Special Attack half the time. It was so strong, that people considered using it worth the effort despite the four times stealth rock weakness, which previously only achieved by Ho-Oh.
      • And then we have Genesect, honor of being the first Bug-type legendary ever (not counting Insect-plate Arceus). It's also Bug/Steel, which means that it has only one weakness.
    • With each new generation, there's new evolutions for preexisting mons, as well as new moves and abilities. Previously average, forgettable Pokémon become awesome after getting a new evolution (Kingdra, Magnezone, Scizor, Steelix, Porygon-Z, Togekiss, the list goes on and on), new ability (Gengar's and Weezing's Levitate, Machamp's No Guard, etc.), or new move (Focus Punch, Stone Edge, Volt Tackle, Energy Ball, Stealth Rock, Toxic Spikes, Close Combat...).
    • Speaking of Pokémon, if time and the quality of the Pokémon games didn't rescue Pikachu from the Scrappy Heap, teaming up with Samus Aran against Ridley in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emmisary mode certainly did.
      • In-universe, Game Freak managed to make their obnoxiously cute mascot worth using in competitive play, thanks to a little item called the Light Ball, a passive ability that can paralyze anyone who touches him, and a little move called Volt Tackle. They even made it possible to get members of the Pikachu family with Surf or Fly (via Pokéwalker).
    • This seems to be happening to the Generation V water starter, Oshawott (or "Wotter"), long before Black and White are even out. When first revealed, Oshawott was largely considered inferior to the other two new starters, and was often bashed even without the comparison. Cue someone creating a comic of a poor, cute Oshawott being sad about not getting picked by anyone, and some speculation that its evolutions may be samurai sea otters. A lot of people are reconsidering their coming choice of a starter now.
  • In an odd example, the Play Station 3 recently went through this after a disastrous launch where one of the most anticipated new consoles in gaming history became hated by the entire internet- due to being incredibly expensive, being openly described as a 'Trojan Horse' for the Blu-Ray format which few gamers were interested in (and was blamed for the high price), having very few quality games (and several poor quality games getting inflated reviews), the downright bizarre antics of Ken Kutagari, crazy ads and being overshadowed by the cheaper, better selling and innovating Nintendo Wii. People trying to defend it usually only made the problem worse. But...
    • With the Hype Backlash having died down, and a fair amount of quality games being available for the system, Sony seems to have been pulling off a successful rebranding, with the new PlayStation Slim (countering the accusations of the original being oversized) having a much more subdued ad campaign ("It only does everything.").
    • Too bad in April 2011 the Play Station 3's network infrastructure was compromised by hackers, who stole boatloads of personal information, and forced Sony to shut down the entire network. Sony was widely ridiculed for its poor security encryption, and for taking nearly a week to address the problem. The Playstation Network was down for at least 3 weeks, drawing the ire of gamers and politicians everywhere. Whether this incident would send the PS3 back to the scrappy heap remain to be seen.
  • In Jak II Renegade the Hellcat was clunky, slow, and generally a piece of crap. Jak 3 fixed it, upping its firepower, and making it essential for taking down the KG War Factory.
  • Butz/Bartz, the protagonist from Final Fantasy V, isn't really all that bad...he's just dull. To make it worse, his main adversary Exdeath is - well, a tree. Then Dissidia Final Fantasy came along and made him into an actually likable character, with a design that found balance somehow between his forgettable sprite and his somewhat... odd Amano design. Even his blandness and lack of character angst compared to the other heroes get mocked properly. Plus, dual wielding the two most badass weapons in the whole series? Who wouldn't be loved after doing that?
  • Thanos in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was one of the lowest ranking characters in the game. Recently however, more players have been experimenting with him and finding some useful combos.
  • Rochelle in Left 4 Dead 2 is shaping up to be this based on the promo trailer for The Passing DLC. Everyone hates her because she isn't witty or talkative as the guys and the fact that she is not another Zoey. However, in the trailer, Rochelle meets Francis and starts talking about things she hates, which makes Francis happy, and then she goes and insults his vest. The amount of people suddenly liking Rochelle based on this scene alone is astounding.
    • Add to the fact they gave her some genuinely funny interactions with both her team and the surviving originals throughout the Passing, and a lot of fans who used to hate her have started to like her.
      • Ironically, despite what happened in the trailer, in the actual campaign she tells Francis she likes his vest - which seems to endear her to him even more.
      • She seems to say this playfully and not mean it, since Francis tries to compliment her on her Depeche Mode shirt but mispronounces it. The conversation in the trailer does come up from time to time when she's the one to talk to Francis.
  • Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures had the ambition of becoming the next king of MMORPGS (as evidenced by the sumptuous launch party) but, after a good start upon release in 2008, it failed to deliver the promise and fell on a host of problems that quickly reduced the number of players; high system specs required to play didn't help. Some of the people involved with the game resigned, and many started to compare it with the equally ambitious and failing Warhammer Online. Funcom, however, didn't give up and, shedding the original ambitions of going head-to-head with World of Warcraft, worked hard to fix the problems and took several initiatives to attract old and new players. Today, Age of Conan has a solid userbase of some hundred-thousands, and has happily entered 2010 with the release of the Rise of the Godslayer expansion.
  • Time will tell if Star Trek Online will rise from the ashes of mediocrity to become a solid MMORPG.
    • With the return of some key staff to make some much-needed improvements, giving the Borg and the Undine (Species 8472) back much of their badass cred, making the Klingons from a planet of hats into a brutal, but cosmopolitan and socially complex empire, combined with the game now going free-to-play without making the subscribers feel gypped, it's a pretty safe bet it has. It does the impossible of making the events of some of the worst moments in Trek history have lasting and realistic repercussions (the radiation cloud from Shinzon's ship 'sploding in Nemesis remains a threat to nearby systems even 20 years later that you need to investigate).
  • When Punch-Out!! for the Wii was in development, the revelation of many members of the lineup announced made classic (read: NES) gamers Squee. Glass Joe, Von Kaiser, King Hippo, Bald Bull, Don Flamenco... old-school favorites brought to glorious 3D. Then the developers revealed Aran Ryan, and those few who remembered him from Super Punch Out had to ask 'Why?', especially when they'd even included the more colorful Bear Hugger. Then players realized that Ryan had gone from a bland, straightforward boxer with no personality to speak of to a complete and utter maniac who cackled madly with every punch...yours or his. The fact that his new moves could only be described as "blatant and insane cheating" certainly didn't hurt either. Complaints faded quickly after that and Ryan has gone on to become a surprising favorite in certain fan circles.
  • Ultimecia from Final Fantasy VIII, early on regarded as a bland Giant Space Flea From Nowhere, managed to be rescued from the scrappy heap by Fridge Brilliance as people came to better understand the game's Mind Screw story. Dissidia Final Fantasy in particular gave her a more direct presence compared to the background role in her original game, making her motives more clear.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, Yuffie is something of a Base Breaker, and Cait Sith is damn near unanimously reviled by everyone who's played the game. In Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Yuffie's new look and less selfish personality that she had developed by the end of the original game went a long way towards winning over her detractors, and Cait Sith lost his oversized Moogle ride and became the one bright spot in the markedly grim Dirge of Cerberus.
  • Used within The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages by Ralph, who starts as a rival NPC more interested in saving the girl than in the body-snatching evil witch trying to wreak havoc via Time Travel, and is completely dismissive of and insulting to Link. By the end credits, he's learned that he needs to protect his country, become a Royal Who Actually Does Something (or at least tries), and is taking swordsmanship lessons from Link.
  • Zeke in the first In Famous game was a bit of a Jerkass who would not stop calling and insulting you and constantly put himself in danger because he was jealous of Cole's super powers. His betrayal in the game's last quarter didn't help either. In the sequel though he undergoes some serious Character Development and becomes much more helpful and sympathetic, building various devices for Cole and being essential to progressing through the game.
  • Carver Hawke in Dragon Age II spent the entire first act constantly bitter of their older sibling being before being Put on a Bus after joining the Templars or the Grey Wardens. Even the companions in-universe found Hawke's little brother to be an annoying presence for his constant complaining. After the release of the DLC Legacy, fans were pleasantly surprised that suddenly Carver returned with a ton of character development, new-found maturity and self-depreciation (particularly if he became a Warden).
  • 343 Guilty Spark gets one of these in Halo Anniversary if you look at the terminals.
  • When James Vega of Mass Effect 3 was first revealed, many people complain about him because of his design, the desire of old characters as party members, and being a human. Nowadays, people actually find him likable thanks to a well rounded personality and being more than he seems. There is even a small group of people wishing he was a love interest.
    • Khalisah Bint Sinan Al-Jilani, once the butt of many jokes about being punched in the face. In Mass Effect 3 however, many people found a new level of respect for her provided if you do either the Paragon interrupt or only the first Renegade interrupt.
    • Javik got Tainted by the Preview for being day-one DLC and worries that a Prothean would be unable to relate to other characters. Then everyone discovered his snarky personality, interesting backstory, and general badassery. He quickly became one of the most beloved characters.
    • Udina, of all people, actually gets some degree of rescuing. Where in previous games he seemed like an unrepentant Jerkass, his behavior is toned down quite a bit and he becomes more helpful in his desperate desire to get aid for Earth. Even the attempted coup has a legitimate reason behind it, and he comes across as almost sympathetic.
  • Brine Cave rescued Chatot from this pile in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers.
  • Tales of the Abyss seems to this with every member of party. Not that every character begins as the Scrappy, but because of the vastly different characters, chances are at least one will annoy you. Then they get rescued in a way that's neither ham-fisted character development or retcon.
    • Luke begins as a spoiled-rotten, irresponsible, sheltered prick who doesn't even TRY to improve himself, then you find out he's only seven years old, and after a few events the guilt he feels from his actions guides every single thing he does afterwards.
    • Guy can be bland and a seem a bit unnecessary compared to the personal stake the other party members have in the plot. Then you find out that he spent years infiltrating House Fabre and plotting to kill Luke, only to turn away from not only that entire mindset, but also his former retainer, Van.
    • Tear can be stubborn and single-minded in her need to kill Van without so much as "deigning" to tell the other party members why this is so. She's so on edge about it because Van's plan actually has some merits, oh and he's more of a surrogate father to her than a brother.
    • Jade is condescending and aloof. He also probably has more self-loathing and contempt for who he used to be than possibly any other Tales character.
    • Anise is the obligatory annoying kid who insists on being the Annoyance Supreme. That's because she's a adolescent spy who's parents are being held hostage and who's charge, who she adores, is a clone that she ends up killing.
    • Natalia is probably the most likely to be considered the Scrappy since she is as sheltered as Luke, but also casually lords her position over others and orders Guy about. Then you find out she's practically the soft-touch of the King's rule and as helped set-up social institutions, like a hospital. Kinda need those. Wasn't even retconned either as before the scene it's brought up in, random npc's in Baticul will mention her efforts.
  • The Batman: Arkham Series, especially Batman: Arkham City, has done wonders for many of Batman's foes, primarily for non-comic readers. Villains who were seldom taken seriously or not well-known have had their popularity boosted by these games. The Penguin as a Fat Bastard and dangerous psychopath who tortures cops with glee, the Riddler using Saw style traps that are Nightmare Fuel incarnate, Calendar Man telling creepy stories on different holidays about murders he committed on said holiday, and the list goes on.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Darths and Droids turns Jar Jar Binks into a likable character...by making him the imaginative product (and character) of a nine-year-old girl playing an RPG. Sadly, by their own admission, they may be throwing R2-D2 onto The Scrappy heap in his stead (making him the character of an annoying Munchkin).
  • An in-story example of this can be found in The Order of the Stick, where one of the marks of Roy's Character Development is how his feelings change about the Spoony Bard Elan: originally, he thinks of him as an annoying, worthless member of the party, but eventually, he considers him a true friend (at least to the "will rescue him from a gang of bandits" level). It helps that Elan himself learns to make himself more useful.
    • In the Empire of Blood storyline, Elan has become the main character, with everyone else taking a backseat.
  • Chris Hazelton, author of Misfile, lampshades fan reaction to the comic's resident Scrappy, Missi's, rescue from the heap in this strip.
  • Mike from Something*Positive. While still quite prone to forays into dumbass territory, he has become a much wiser, more mature, and more decent person than he was in his first appearance. He has handled the pressures of being a family man with amazingly few missteps, and he was depicted as dealing with a stint working fast food with surprising grace. When you consider that most of the strip's antagonistic characters either stay antagonistic or sink to new lows, his evolution as a character is remarkable.
    • Similarly, Kharisma, whose self-absorption, vanity, and contempt for others had her squarely in the scrappy zone from her first appearance. She's suffered quite a bit since then, but in the process she's gained quite a lot of sympathy from the readers. As the author put it: "I have to say I'm surprised by how many people actually look forward to Kharisma strips and more stunned it's not to see her suffer."
  • Marigold from Questionable Content . During her first appearances she was your stereotypical otaku/ gamer nerd: far less attractive than any other character, a virgin, ridiculously slobby, a stereotypical Yaoi Fangirl with bad skin and No Social Skills. The first story arc she was used in involved her lusting after a guy who wanted another girl (one of the main characters) instead, and was written in such a clumsy way that implied otaku/geek-girls are untouchable. She still ends up as the Butt Monkey a lot and the the implied beginnings of a relationship with Dale, who she has no real chemistry with is a little annoying. Lately, she's become a lot more likable (and less offensive), with her appearance being updated ( or to be more accurate, "completely changed"), quickly getting over her crush after she learns it wasn't viable and being less mopey and self-obsessed than most of other main characters.
  • Lyonel from Samurai Princess was introduced in such a way ( Giving a well liked character a Traumatic Haircut) that he was doomed from the start. He is now becoming a more likable and enjoyable character.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Happens from time to time in Survival of the Fittest, usually because of Character Development and/or Characterization Marches On. The most classic example would be v1's Nanami Nishida who was universally considered annoying by most handlers when she was alive. Sometime after her death, though, handlers started to realize just how much her life sucked. Likewise, in v4 Liz Polanski and Raidon Naoko had many handlers skeptical when their profiles first came up (the former being a Broken Bird drug dealer, the latter being a Japanese immigrant whose father was a member of the Yakuza). Once they officially made their first appearances on the island and turned out to be a Crazy Awesome Trickster Archetype and Anti-Villain Philosopher respectively, however, many handlers changed their minds and adored them. There are countless other examples that it's impossible to name them all.
  • In Sim Brother Network's "Sim Big Brother USA", Maya. Week 2, she gets in a huge physical fight with Shantel and becomes disliked. Only reason people voted to evict Shantel over her? Because Maya would make drama. However, Alex and Nicola became the new antagonists as they broke Duncan's Heart and rubbed it in his face after a night of drinking. When Duncan was near the Despair Event Horizon, Maya said that what Alex and Nicola did was despicable and was there for Duncan, especially after Big Brother asked her to. She then proceeded to become a "hero" for the rest of the season with Duncan as The Woobie and finished in second.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

Aquaman: King of the seas, remember?

    • Arthur Curry/Aquaman was rescued from his own Superfriends stigma to become a blond haired viking-looking Badass Anti-Hero who chopped off his own hand to save himself and his infant son from his evil brother's Deathtrap. He replaced it with a wicked-looking grappling hook, which only managed to make him look like even more of a badass. It also helps that he became quite the Deadpan Snarker, even lampshading his own ability to communicate with marine life.
      • This actually began with Peter David's work on Aquaman in the late nineties, though the JLU origin for the hook hand was far more cool.
      • Batman the Brave And The Bold continues the Descrappification process by depicting him as a Large Ham and a Boisterous Bruiser. "Outrageous!!!"
      • Better yet, they gave him a little dash of Adam West, with his calling Atom "Chum" constantly...
    • And then, both of them meet when the one in the form of a tidal wave slams into Aquaman and he just stands there.

"King of the seas, remember?"

  • Young Justice did this with the Aqualad mantle by replacing Garth, a character widely mocked for having the same "useless" powers as Aquaman and wearing ridiculous short-shorts, with Kaldur'ahm, an Atlantean child soldier who can create weaponry from water and generate powerful electrical blasts.
  • Speaking of Scrappy-Doo, they tried to change him during the "All-New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo" and the "New Scooby-Doo Mysteries": "Scrappy is now even more matured, and softened down from before, having a much bigger sense of danger. He will even back down if a monster growls loud enough, and can even be seen shivering in fear and crying for help; unthinkable in his earlier life. He is now the 'new Freddy', solving the mystery with Daphne, while Shaggy and Scooby return to their prior role as the comedy relief who only keep the ghosts busy while Scrappy and Daphne find the clues." ...sadly, hardly any of this showed up on the screen, and he remains The Scrappy to this day.
  • Gwendolyn "Gwen" Tennyson of Ben 10 was polarizing, with opinions varying from "obnoxious Mary Sue who just annoys Ben" to "The only one with any sense or responsibility". However, after the Time Skip for Ben 10 Alien Force, she's much more soft-spoken and Ben isn't doing nearly enough crap for her to complain about, which was enough to satisfy plenty of her haters, while the people who liked her beforehand now hate her.
    • Similarly, Ben's canon love interest Julie Yamamoto was initially hated by fans for being considered as a Shallow Love Interest who had been created just for the sake of giving Ben a girlfriend, having no real personality or interesting power and being considered as a Replacement Scrappy for Ben's crush in the original series, Kai Green (despite Kai appearing in only one episode of the original show and not being that popular). As the series went on however, Julie Took a Level in Badass by gaining a Galvanic Mecamorph pet named Ship who could turn into a ship and later a Powered Armor for her, and eventually learnt how to fight. Now she still has some haters, but also some fans, and most of her haters tend to be those shipping Bevin (Ben/Kevin) or Bwen (Ben/Gwen).
  • Dil and Kimi, despite being loathed Scrappies in Rugrats, were actually quite liked when they became preteens in All Grown Up!. Although some argue that Kimi's personality took a turn for the worse.
  • Enzo Matrix from Re Boot started off as an obnoxious, trouble-making Bratty Half-Pint, then got caught in something simultaneously a Time Skip and Plot-Relevant Age-Up, and changed into a gun-wielding, renegade bad-ass lancer type between one season and the next.
    • On the flip side, some Bootniks, especially the older ones, found Matrix to be the undesirable one due to his unexpected one-eighty and excessive angst.
      • And then young Enzo was brought back, so you had both Enzo and Matrix. Everyone is happy! Or everyone is unhappy...?
  • In Transformers Generation 1, human sidekick Spike was considerably more tolerable (and attractive) after the Time Skip in the movie (he even got to say 'shit!').
  • The creators of Family Guy are currently trying to do this with Brian, seeing how he had devolved into a self-possessed, arrogant schmuck who the writers simply would not allow to be wrong about anything, no matter what. Quagmire's Take That rant against Brian isn't considered a Crowning Moment of Awesome for nothing. They've been toning down Brian a bit lately and seem to be trying to make him more sympathetic and return to his original role on the show: the voice of reason, yet not overly political.
    • A really weird example with Meg. Early on in the show she was NOT a very well-liked character and was just an "average teenage girl" and didn't really do a lot of interesting things. The creators of the show took this and decided to make her a Butt Monkey, since people already disliked the character and it would give her more of a place and identity on the show. Ironically, the Butt Monkey status has really saved her with some of the fans: now people feel SORRY for her, and they cheer every time the creators give her some moments of happiness, like getting a good boyfriend or getting revenge on someone who was mean to her.
  • Spyke from X-Men Evolution was changed from an underdeveloped Totally Radical Token Black Guy with powers that were unintentionally similar to an existing X-Man to a maturing Badass hero for the downtrodden Morlocks with cartilage armor and the ability to light his spikes on fire. Many Spyke detractors liked the change but unlike X-23, it wasn't enough to get him in the comic. He did have a counterpart in the third movie, but he was a villain.
    • Spyke did appear in the comics as a member of the X-Force (which later became X-Statix)...although as canon immigrants go, this wasn't a very good one; Comic Spike was a beefy, arrogant adult instead of a wiry, carefree teenager. They didn't even have the same real name...but the inspiration, at least, was clear.
  • Two Words: American Godzilla. The cartoon spin-off helped garner fans that originally hated the monster in the first place. It also helps that he started to ACT like his Japanese counterpart as well.
    • His appearance in Final Wars also helped, where he acted like a true kaiju and decimated Sydney, Australia by himself.
      • It ALSO counted as a Take That, Scrappy!. Once the "real" Big G showed up in Sydney, Zilla came charging in like a maniac for what looked like would be a battle of a Lightning Bruiser vs. Mighty Glacier. Nope; Godzilla smacks his CGI counterpart away with his tail - taking out the Opera House at the same time - and with one big Atomic Breath attack annihilates him. At least it was funny!
  • A controversial example would be Lisa Simpson. Some have always loved her, while others think she became a scrappy in later seasons, once she turned from The Smart Guy into a Soapbox Sadie. For the latter group, the show's last three seasons should seem like a good example of this trope. Starting from season 19, the show has had an unwritten ban on stories where Lisa gets involved in politics, in favor of returning her to her roots as a socially isolated smart girl.
  • Courtney from Total Drama Island seemed to be undergoing this early in Season 3, after she was changed into a Villain Sue/ Jerk Sue/ God Mode Sue in Season 2. She was simply back in her Season 1 persona.
    • Until the later half. Her season 2 personality came back and is hated once again. Even though she arguably has a more justified reason, and doesn't have the sue tendencies, and is more of a pawn actually when she falls for Alejandro.
      • Owen possibility. Season 2, he became an out-and-out Wesley, by losing challenges while his team still loved him, winning them based on his farting and obesity, and being even more of a Gasshole. Not only did every character (including Chris) love him, but he got to return, to the joy of all the "good" characters, and make it to the final four.
      • However, season 3 he's been toned down considerably: getting an actually funny sub-plot of being afraid of flying, and both negatively and positively contributing to his team. And his Odd Friendship with Noah and his breakup with Izzy.
        • Cemented in the Swedish episode, where he uses himself as a cannonball to help his team win! Rescued indeed.
          • It also helps that that episode was practically a parody of his former shilling—both Duncan and Alejandro spend the episode trying to suck up to him for strategic reasons, but it's clear they both find him really annoying.
    • Sierra has always been and remains a Base Breaker, but even many detractors will admit that she's more tolerable in the last few episodes of season three, when some quick and long-needed Character Development has her finally realize that she should treat Cody more like a friend than a prize to be won.
  • Star Wars the Clone Wars
    • Ahsoka Tano. It's generally been accepted that she started to get better as a character in Season 2 once they pulled back from having her in nearly every episode. As of Season 3 and several episodes later, it's safe to say Ahsoka has become a good example of a character being rescued from the Scrappy Heap. The good blood Ashley Eckstein has built up in the fanbase thanks to Her Universe probably helped a little too.
    • Anakin from the Clone Wars (CGI) series is arguably his best characterization
    • They made Jar Jar Binks tolerable (and also gave him a useful ability)! One thing that helped here was they showed how other characters were annoyed by him, and how even his friends like Padme often are humoring him. Also, only one episode had him being ridiculously clumsy. And instead of inexplicably taking out tanks, like in Episode I, it just enabled him to dodge insanely well which, added to his cloak, made the Too Dumb to Live mooks assume he was a Jedi. He then used the fact that they thought he was a Jedi to trick them. That's right. Jar-Jar pulled one over on the bad guys.
  • The LGM from Toy Story went from annoying gag characters to Big Damn Heroes when they rescued the gang from the incinerator.
  • Bucky Buenaventura spent the first season of The Zeta Project as an insufferable little borderline sociopath. He reappears in Season 2 with a flattering redesign, a new voice actor, a reasonable grasp of common sense and friendship, and a mild (and hilarious) crush on Ro, but keeps the mad hacking skills and snarky dialogue. The overall result takes him from horrendous brat to surprisingly likable lancer.
  • Sandy Cheeks of SpongeBob SquarePants began as a somewhat grating God Mode Sue and near incorruptible Only Sane Man for the other far more flawed cast members. Following the second season however, the show began to Lampshade Hanging Sandy's somewhat excessive talents and also develop some valid flaws for the character (episodes such as "Pressure" and "SpongeBob, Sandy and the Worm" seemed to focus largely how Sandy wasn't good at everything). Ironically she is arguably the one main character in the newer episodes that hasn't had her callous or idiotic habits heavily Flanderized, almost making her a single rescuee of the show's ever-growing Scrappy Heap.
  • Nabu from Winx Club wasn't a very popular character when he was first introduced in season 3. Understandable, seeing as he was introduced late into that season, didn't get much Character Development and it was pretty obvious that he was just there to give Layla a love interest. He didn't even appear in the first movie apart from a brief cameo appearance at the very end. Season 4 gave him some more Character Development and some chances to show off his awesome magical fighting skills, which quickly helped make him a lot more popular. There's also Roxy, who was introduced in that season. At first the fans were a bit skeptical to her as they felt a seventh fairy wasn't necessary, but as the season progressed the fans seemed to warm up to her as she became more confident with being a fairy.
  • Cubert from Futurama lost his oft-annoying skepticism at the end of his debut episode.
    • Notably the creators had intended him as a parody of annoying characters (particularly Wesley Crusher), so even that episode had plenty of Take That, Scrappy! moments.
  • Bat-Mite in The New Adventures of Batman was generally hated. In Batman the Brave And The Bold, he provides a lot of humor to make up for it.
  • Ant-Man and to a lesser extent The Wasp haven't had the greatest reputation in comic books so, it seems likely that their rather different and much more sympathetic portrayals in Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes is an intent to do this. Instead of a mentally unstable wife-beater, Ant-Man is one of the most moral team members, and rather than being a Rich Bitch, Wasp is a likable Non-Idle Rich Genki Girl.
    • By the same token, the show continues the trend in spin-off media of distancing Iron Man from his "Nazi" Civil War persona by toning down his Jerkass tendencies and making him an anti-authoritarian rebel who tells Nick Fury where to get off and refuses to trust or cooperate with SHIELD.
  • Thundercats 2011 made Snarf bearable by making him a Ridiculously Cute Critter who can't talk. The Thunderkittens have also received this treatment; it helps that they are voiced by actual children this time.
  • Transformers Prime goes Up to Eleven with this, by rescuing the human species from the scrappy heap. Unlike most Transformers shows, the humans don't suck this time. The main adult character is a Reasonable Authority Figure, the kids stay out of the way (as a group, individually is another story), and Silas the human villain is just as threatening as any Decepticon. Only Miko is the typical Scrappy human, though she's been getting better.
    • A pattern started by Transformers Animated, which had a larger but still well-liked cast of humans. Several human villains appeared in the earlier episodes, but their presence was mitigated by the fact that they were explicitly intended to create a sort-of Sorting Algorithm of Evil with the Decepticons at the top; and when the Autobot/Decepticon conflict took the fore as the series progressed, the human villains faded quietly away. Ironically, though, the character who was probably the best-received human sidekick yet, Sari Sumdac, turned out to not be a human at all!
      • Human villain Meltdown was generally well-received by the fanbase, however, and got to appear the most during the first two seasons. Probably helped by him being a credible threat and all-around nasty piece of work compared to the others who - barring maybe the Headmaster - were usually an enormous joke.
  • Lola Bunny first appeared in Space Jam as a seemingly flawless tomboy clearly added simply to fulfill The Smurfette Principle. She later appeared in The Looney Tunes Show as a neurotic Stalker with a Crush. A number of people find her funnier this way. The fact that she's dressing more modestly for a change and having her voluptuous figure toned down to make her seem like more of an Ingenue rather than a Ms. Fanservice helps.
  • Irving from Phineas and Ferb, though never technically an official Scrappy, was definitely a Base Breaker: Half the fans hated him, the other half related to him and liked him. After his first appearance, though, he was given more Character Development beyond just being the Loony Fan that follows the boys around, and fans are now much more agreeing and accepting of him.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic arguably did this to the entire franchise, at least after the rather unsettling appearance of the G3.5 videos that surfaced beforehand. This also applies to several in-universe characters:
    • More specifically, Angel Bunny is starting[when?] to receive this treatment. He'd always been a bit of a jerkass, but the way he took it Up to Eleven in Putting Your Hoof Down made many members of the fanbase absolutely despise him. A couple of episodes since then have portrayed him in a much more likable light.
    • The Episode Baby Cakes even managed to do this to baby ponies for some people. For a long time, they were a popular target due to their oddly anthropomorphic shapes arguably ruining the appeal of ponies. Then this episode used their similarities to real human babies to advance a meaningful plot.
    • Princess Cadance in "A Canterlot Wedding" starts out to be a too good to be true stereotypical princess, then suddenly turns out to be a Jerkass during the wedding preparations. Suddenly, you find out she's an imposter and the real Cadance is a brave and resourceful mare who goes through so much hell before kicking ultimate ass at the climax that you'll be completely charmed at her getting the nice wedding she deserves at the end.
    • Rainbow Dash was also flirting with Creator's Pet territory in early season two with too much of a focus on her arrogance and having her act like a jerk without the heart of gold trait she's better known for. The second half of the season with episodes such as "Read It and Weep" and "Hurricane Fluttershy" have been working on making her a more likable character again.
  1. which he's actually gotten
  2. a net -2 with the norm +0
  3. neither all that great on their own, but common requirements for worthwhile things