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The Temporary Scrappy concept is based on the idea that a Scrappy is recognizable enough that creating a Scrappy on purpose, for purposes of parody, is a trope in itself. The reason for calling it "temporary" is that unlike an inadvertent, true Scrappy, the Temporary Scrappy is never intended to be a permanent addition to the cast, even though the existing main characters usually think that he will be.

The Temporary Scrappy is likely to be like the original Scrappy in being a cartoon character who is too cool for his own good. He's usually a Replacement Scrappy, and his only detractor at first is the character he's a replacement for. Most of the main characters will greatly like the Temporary Scrappy, and he will have every appearance of being useful to these main characters. (The audience isn't supposed to, and doesn't, like the character, however.) The character who is worried about being replaced will tend to find that his fears are justified, and the other main characters will give much more attention to the Replacement Scrappy than they did to the replaced character.

The replaced character is likely torn between sadness and resignation about the other characters finding someone better than himself, and resentment of the annoying new character who has replaced him. Fortunately, however, the Replacement Scrappy will always do something to show that he is actually bad, and it will then be okay for the replaced character to do something to get rid of the Replacement Scrappy (perhaps by proving to the other characters that he really is as bad as the replaced character had believed all along).

Contrast Shoo Out the New Guy, who is also The Scrappy and quickly removed, but that wasn't the original plan.

Examples of Temporary Scrappy include:


Comic Books

  • When Batman had his back broken in the 90's, his temporary replacement was Jean-Paul Valley. This portrayal of Batman was an Ax Crazy Darker and Edgier Nineties Anti-Hero that sent most fans into a rage. His entire purpose was to show why the real Batman isn't an Ax Crazy vigilante.
    • The whole storyline was a response to fans complaining that Batman wasn't "hardcore" enough for the Grimdark 90's because he didn't kill or brutalize his enemies. So DC called the readers' bluff by giving them exactly what they wanted. As the writers expected, fans hated it. The storyline ended with the real Batman beating down his replacement and taking back the mantle, which had been planned from the start... Please note though, that had Azbats proved lucrative, they totally would have stuck with him.
  • This also happened when Captain America was replaced by his Anti-Hero Substitute, the former enemy Superpatriot. The new Cap was shown as a tool of the government first and an uncontrollable violent man later, while good ol' Steve Rogers took a black suit to remain playing hero.
  • This is often done in The Beano, with the Temporary Scrappy being Always Someone Better for an attribute that defines one of the regular characters.

Live Action TV

  • An episode of Lost in Space had The Robotoid, played by Robby the Robot, being better than the Robinsons' own Robot at nearly everything. It was, of course, evil, and The Robot had to save the day.
    • Interestingly, Robby the Robot was used in a similar manner on The Addams Family, where he was doing the same thing to Lurch.
  • Donna came across to many as a Scrappy in her first appearance on the new Doctor Who. She improved; to some fans she was better than Rose or Martha.
    • Adam Mitchell joins the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler at the end of 'Dalek.' He is promptly ejected from the TARDIS at the end of the next episode, 'The Long Game,' after trying to bring future technology to himself in the past (which is, y'know, really bad, according to the meddlesome, time-travelling alien whose sum total of instructions to you about time travel were "run around and do crazy, stupid stuff."). Russell T. Davies explained in an interview that he "always wanted to do a show with someone who was a rubbish companion."
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Wesley Windham Pryce was intended to be a Temporary Scrappy (he was even named Wesley) and killed off in the Graduation episode. However, he accidentally became popular, joined the cast of spin-off Angel, Took a Level In Badass, and stayed on the show until the final episode.
  • Seems to the the purpose of Deangelo Vickers on The Office. Introduced as the first replacement for Michael, he is inconsistently written to be a horrible person in general with apparently no experience in business. Many fans cried Replacement Scrappy, but he was only intended to last one episode past Michael's exit anyway.
  • Lady Vivian on Merlin was introduced in one episode as a snotty Spoiled Brat who Arthur fell for whilst under the influence of a love spell, and then ushered out again once he snapped out of it.

Video Games

  • Joshua, from The World Ends With You, starts out with the survival skills of a brick, replaces fan-popular Shiki as Neku's partner, and is a complete and utter asshole. Neku has as low of an opinion of Joshua as the player (their first Fusion attack has Joshua shout "Follow my lead!"... to which Neku answers "Screw that!"). As the week goes on, however, it becomes clear that Joshua is supposed to be hated, even as his attitude lightens. From a gameplay perspective, once you get his Hover sticker, he becomes a killing machine. The revelation that he's the actual villain turns this into full-out They Plotted a Perfectly Good Waste, though the fact that once he is outed as the real villain, you can do absolutely nothing but meekly let him do whatever he wants -- which, among other things, means shooting you in the head for the second time -- makes him a real Creator's Pet to some.
  • Garnet briefly flirts with this trope in disk 3 of Final Fantasy IX when certain events in the plot send her into a Heroic BSOD. This has the gameplay effect of giving all her spells a chance to simply not work about 50% of the time, though eventually she gets over it and the effect goes away.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • On Family Guy, there's a dog known only as "New Brian." Guess who feels jealous of him. Brian and Stewie both dislike New Brian, but all the other characters think he's great. Near the end of the episode, New Brian admits to Stewie that he violated Stewie's teddy bear (Rupert). The next scene has Stewie giving Peter, Lois, and the other characters a quite suspicious story about how New Brian committed suicide.
  • On American Dragon Jake Long, Jake's normal Non-Human Sidekick is a dog named Fu. And in one episode, he's replaced by a monkey named Bananas. Bananas acts excessively cool and has many useful skills, thus making Jake and most of the other characters like him. However, in the fight against a Monster of the Week evil dragon, Bananas surrenders and goes over to her side. Jake appreciates his more loyal friend Fu once more, and Bananas' only other appearance is when his new dragon mistress reappears in a later episode.
  • In an episode of Teen Titans, Starfire's sister, Blackfire, appears to visit, and all of the other Titans, including the usually skeptical Raven, take an immediate liking to her, even eventually offering to make her a part of the team. Starfire spends most of the episode feeling rejected, and even tries to leave the Titans until Robin convinces her not to. And then Blackfire turns out to have been Evil All Along...
  • On The Simpsons, the Show Within a Show Itchy & Scratchy had a dog named Poochie, who was hated by the audience of characters on the show proper. There was also another character added to the episode who was a parody of Scrappys everywhere: a teenager named Roy who was inexplicably shown to be living with the Simpson family; however, all Roy did was hang lampshades on the concept of a Scrappy.
  • In one U.S. Acres segment in Garfield and Friends, an overly-charismatic new rooster shows up and proves to be far more likable to the characters (especially the hens) than Roy. Orson starts to doubt him when he proves a little less effective at his job than Roy, but what takes the cake is when the weasel tries to capture the hens... and the rooster runs and hides. By the time Roy rescues the hens, the only character who will even give the Temporary Scrappy rooster the time of day is Cowardly Duck Wade... and only because he enjoys having someone more cowardly than himself around.
  • In The Avengers: United They Stand, Captain America himself follows the trope for Ant-Man's leadership role. However, Cap is still written way more sympathetically than most examples of the trope, and at the end Cap and Hank shake hands. (Well, he's Captain America.)

Multiple media

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