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    Sonic characters and how they were derailed.

    Character derailment is the opposite of character development. Instead of learning from mistakes, these characters exactly get worse.

    It is not to be confused with flanderization, as flanderization involves exaggerating and amplifying a character's traits to the point that it goes too far. Character derailment, on the other hand, refers to a character's traits (flanderized or not) becoming vastly different compared to what was previously shown.

    Why This Happens

    1. Usually, characters get derailed when writers and authors have ideas for a story that initially don't mend well with the character involved with the idea. When that happens, these people take upon themselves the job of stretching out the personality of the character to make the idea fit
    2. Derailment can also come from writers being unable to understand the character and their role in the story. Sometimes when new writers come in, they might have trouble figuring out how the character functions and how they act.
    3. At other times, derailment can come from some writers having a different interpretation of the character, noting that in some scenarios, some character actions are open to different viewpoints of people and are open to interpretation. In different interpretations, these writers depict the characters as how these writers perceive them.

    Why It's a Derailment Indeed

    1. Alongside the negative aspects of flanderization, this makes characters who were once liked, loved, or adored, become more unlikable or hard to tolerate than how they started.
    2. This trope often makes the character poorly written on top of being unlikable due to having a lack of balance between their flaws and what makes them redeemable/likable.
    3. Changing up the personalities of what made the character(s) originally used to be in an improper fashion tends to be executed badly by making them too out-of-character for their good.
    4. It often shreds apart the personality and charm of the characters, making them one-dimensional in the process.

    Redeeming Qualities

    1. When characters are given proper character development, it makes them sympathetic and likable. They can also improve with rerailments.
    2. There are many instances when changing up the personalities of a character can be done in a good light. Where it can potentially make them more entertaining to watch, this is better shown in the good aspects of flanderizing a character. The category Dynamic characters on ICW can be potentially considered to be the good side of both; flanderization and this trope to an extent.
      • Three examples of these include Homer Simpson from The Simpsons during the first ten seasons; where he was originally a brash, good-hearted father who was a little clumsy as of season 3 and seasons 4-7 has made him into a more of a well-written dingbat that made him more hilarious, lovable and entertaining than before, Hugh Neutron from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron; in the original movie, he was intelligent if a goofy father and the show has made him more of a lovably weird man child whose also idiotic and hilarious in a well-written fashion, and finally, Earthworm Jim from the animated series with the same name; in the original games, he was a goofy yet diligent hero who is prone to the game's comedic moments despite being competent, the animated series made him more of an incompetent and childish goofball with a hammy dialect who's also enjoyably spunky, boisterous, talented, heroic and unpredictable.
    3. Some viewers can still enjoy these characters and find them entertaining despite their derailment.

    Notable Characters Who Suffered Character Derailment


    • Fonzie (Happy Days; seasons 4-11; He is the trope namer for jumping the shark, which he did in the episode "Hollywood Part 3". This is considered the first known case of character derailment because in season 2 he got hurt for a horrible reason)
    • Skarloey (Thomas and Friends; During seasons 9-12, he acts like a child. Thankfully, in the movie "Blue Mountain Mystery", he is back to being portrayed as an old grandfather.)
    • Transformers
    • SwaySway and Buhdeuce (As the series went on, they began to treat each other like crap, especially in "Wolf Head Bread" and "Unlucky Duckies")
    • The Titans (Teen Titans Go!; Becoming man-childish goofball shells of their former selves, with the slight exception of Raven)
    • The Powerpuff Girls (2016; Similar to TTG, becoming childish and annoying shells of their former selves)
    • Henry Danger
      • Henry Hart (Henry Danger; Becoming more and more of a jerk in the first 3 seasons, but got a character development as of season 4)
      • Ray Manchester/Captain Man (Henry Danger; Became more and more of a reckless jerk in the first 3 seasons, but got a character development as of season 4)
    • Daffy Duck (DePatie Freleng/Seven-Arts era) (Becoming more of a ruthless psychopath that resembles an off-putting version of Yosemite Sam)
    • Spongebob
    • Cosmo Cosma (seasons 9 & 10) (Becoming "comedic" protagonists with extremely shrill voices)
    • Blooregard Q. Kazoo (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends; seasons 2-6) (Becoming the show's "Flanderized Patrick Star" in a more extreme way)
    • Carl Wheezer (He had shades of this in season 3, one moment being the episode "Carl Wheezer, Boy Genius", but he was still a decent character despite this)
    • Hugh Neutron (Became much less intelligent in the TV show than in the movie, at least he is a very redeemable version of the typical "dumb dad".)
    • Sheen Estevez (Planet Sheen) (Becoming a very irreverent, blaze idiot who doesn't care about returning to Earth.)
    • Seymour Skinner (seasons 9-30)
    • Simpsons
    • Ned Flanders (seasons 11-31) (Becoming the pure definition and trope namer of the term flanderization.)
    • Peter Griffin (season 8-present) (Becoming a complete idiotic sociopath who ruins the lives of others and doesn't care about the murderous actions he causes, with a hateful streak).
    • Lois Griffin (season 8-present) (Becoming as much of a subpar parent and more of a degenerate)
    • Brian Griffin (season 8-present) (Becoming a political soapbox and more of a ruthless jerk to Stewie)
    • Roger Smith (season 8-present) (Ever since season 8's "Love, AD Style", Roger has become a massive sociopath)
    • Stan Smith (season 10-present) (Became more of a horrible father, husband, and a complete idiotic sociopath to the point where he had Francine sent to an insane asylum just because he forgot his wife's anniversary, as well as not caring about the reckless actions he did and put every people in Langley Falls in jeopardy, with a paranoid streak.
    • Francine Smith (seasons 10-13) She became a more neglectful mother and almost a full Lois Griffin clone, but not as bad.
    • Discord (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic; season 9) He had a chance of becoming a good guy until it was revealed that he was Grogar all along. He then put the whole world in danger as he made the terrible trio so powerful that even he couldn't deal with them, which just goes against his whole development)
    • Stella (Winx Club; seasons 5-9; Her childishness got much worse, with her throwing actual fits over not getting her way.
    • Diaspro (Winx Club; seasons 3-8; Was derailed into a Miss "Jerkass Yandere" who eagerly brainwashed Sky to marry him, she also had a random appearance in the newer seasons and have pointless drama with Bloom and Sky.
    • Bloom (Winx Club) She was also made a Karma Houdini because she wasn't punished for what she had done at Domino, she becomes a mary-sue during these seasons.)
    • Tecna (Winx Club; seasons 5-9; Losing a lot of the development she got in seasons 1-4)
    • Eddy (seasons 5 & 6; Becoming a bigger jerk to Ed and Edd than ever before)
    • Ed (seasons 5 & 6; Becoming too much of an overly emotional, mindless idiot who doesn't know any better, and sometimes becomes a punching bag)
    • Gumball Watterson (seasons 2, 5-present; Went from a naïve, good-hearted, and friendly protagonist into a really big cynical jerk in season 2, his jerkish behavior is toned down in the recent episodes though)
    • Johnny Test (2005; usually seen as selfish, disrespectful, immature, gross, and narcissistic. While he was slightly tolerable in the first three seasons, he got flanderized by the fourth season and started to mess up his sisters' inventions for his self-serving purposes, which resulted in him causing trouble for himself and the whole city.)
    • Lincoln Loud (seasons 4 and 5; he did very stupid and selfish things in those seasons.)
    • Hopper (Sunny Bunnies, season 4-present; as of season 4, he's become even more of a reckless jerk than at the start, especially in the sixth season)
    • Earthworm Jim (TV series; became goofier and more incompetent, all in a good way. However, despite this, his creators Doug TenNapel and David Perry both disliked this change of his character in comparison to the public's view of Jim.)
    • Franklin The Turtle (later episodes of Franklin and Franklin and Friends; He is less bratty in the later episodes than he was in earlier ones.)
    • Blinky, Clyde and Pinky (1982 TV series; Specifically Blinky and Clyde swapped personalities, as the former became the coward with a lack of self-esteem and the latter the grumpy determined leader, and finally, Pinky went from a cunning female to a male "more brawns than brains" ghost)
    • Lord Betrayus (Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures; Treated more like an annoying comic-relief nuisance than a threatening villain)
    • Lucas Bishop/Bishop (Marvel Comics: Messiah Wars; Went from a well-respected member of the X-Men who is loyal and loves children to a crazy, psychotic, dumb, childish monster who falsely believed the birth of a baby mutant, Hope Summers will ruin his life and sought out to kill her but instead, ruins Cable’s life, makes it so Hope will not grow up to have a normal childhood, and killed many people in the process. His ways to meet his goal come off as immature and stupid because he did it in ways that harm other people and Cable is too smart for Bishop’s “strategies” If you can call it that, his attempts are idiotic. To make matters worse, Bishop got away with his horrific actions and Cable and Hope forgave him after he just apologized, he should’ve never been forgiven because ruining someone’s life and putting others in danger just to kill a baby is a very disastrous deed that “sorry” will not fix. This eventually caused major backlash from fans and fans grew to dislike Bishop as a result, he was relegated to the shadows and Marvel decided to pretend he didn’t exist instead of bringing his old personality back. It’s very detrimental and disrespectful to a once well-loved Marvel hero)
    • The Cockroaches (Oggy and the Cockroaches, seasons 4-5; in these seasons the episodes were heavily skewed in Oggy's favor, resulting in a two-seasons-long butt-monkey treatment for the former, especially Joey.)
      • Marky (Oggy and the Cockroaches, seasons 3-4; He lost his suitor trait and here he is just Joey's second bumbling and clumsy follower next to Dee Dee, except him having a smaller appetite and, somehow, behaving with more or less common sense, depending on the episode. Thankfully, he came back to his original personality in season 5, while still retaining the cheerful and laid-back aspect he got from these seasons.)
    • Zig and Sharko (season 3; some of their worst traits were exaggerated, like Zig's want to eat Marina becoming an obsession and Sharko's shortsightedness (especially in "The Parsley"), though they didn't see too much decline in character)
    • Angela (Fish Hooks, late season 2 and season 3; In her two major roles in this era ("Fish Prom" and "Unresolved Fishues"), her liking video games was exaggerated to the point where she's obsessed with them, and she was shifted in the latter to become a judgmental, idiotic jerk to Oscar) w


    • Jaden Yuki (Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, season 4; although he's still likable, he suffered from massive PTSD in the arc as he became very brooding and cynical and lost his enjoyment in having fun in dueling)
    • Aya Asagiri (Magical Girl Site; second half-became a muted girl after Yatsumura lost her lifespan and vanished)
    • Mizuki Himeji (Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts; The second season where she was reduced to a yandere who does nothing but torture Akihisa as she and Minami make Akihisa's life a living hell to the point where she becomes a nuisance and a disgrace to Akihisa.)
    • Nino Arizugawa (Anonymous Noise; Had been forming a relationship with Yuzu (even being kissed by him very often), only for her to turn him down and go back together with Momo.)


    • Scrat (Ice Age; Continental Drift and Collision Course): He became a destructive character bordering on villainy just to get the acorn, he has also worsened as comic relief.

    Video Games

    • Wave the Swallow (Sonic Free Riders; She had shades of this in this game since she went from a sly, sassy, and responsible tech wizard of the Babylon Rogues in the first two Sonic Riders games to another butt-monkey who's also Team Babylon's scapegoat. But it was still a decent character since she was mostly one of the least unlikeable (or at least most tolerable) characters in this game for the most part.)

    Web Series

    • Mr. Goodman (late-2016-present) (Becoming a ruthless businessman who antagonizes Mario for money)
    • Rosalina (SuperMarioLogan) (Becoming more of an idiot and less of a nice person to Mario)
    • Four (Battle for BFDI; Almost to the highest degree possible. He was once a caring number in XFOHV and 9 years later became a selfish, sociopathic jerk who abuses nearly everyone and everything around them.)
    • Gelatin (Battle for BFDI; While he has always been impulsive to some extent, this is cranked up to 10 in this season where he makes mistakes and acts recklessly even more often.)
    • Firey (Battle for BFDI; Went from being the main protagonist of BFDI to a selfish jerk who only cares about himself and his reputation.)
    • Ice Cube (Battle for Dream Island: The Power of Two and Battle for Dream Island Again (episode 6+); Became a bland and boring robotic filler character that not only abandoned Book to join another team but also went to back to constantly reusing lines.)
    • Blake Belladonna (Season 3-Present and Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen)
    • Yang Xiao Long (Season 4-Present and Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen)


    • Dongtae (DICE: The Dice That Changes Everything; season 4)


    • Wesley (season 11-present) (Becoming more of an idiotic, cruel, and annoying jerk who bullies The Wetlands Gang and treats them like they’re a Butt-Monkey.
    • Earl (seasons 11-19) (Becoming an arrogant and lazy hypocrite who torments the other members of The Wetlands Gang)
    • Samson (seasons 11-15; 26-29) (Becoming a dumb psychopath who tortures almost all of the animals)
    • Noah (seasons 11-15; 27-29) (Becoming a mean-spirited know-it-all who torments everyone around him)
    • Mr. Teeven (season 11-present) (Being a bitchy mean popular jerk who likes to pick on everyone)
    • Alva (seasons 11-15; 36-present) (Being a mean popular girl who refuses to share all the time)


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