FANDOM


WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

Henry: She's just a little... nondescript.

Shawn: Nondescript? I've never heard that term used to describe a woman unless she was a robbery suspect.

The member of an ensemble cast with no distinctive personality traits. They may be smart, but not as smart as The Smart Guy. They may be strong, but not as strong as The Big Guy. In short, there is pretty much nothing remarkable or distinctive about them. They would be The Everyman or Standardized Leader ... if they were the main character.

However, they are not the main character. Someone else is The Hero and the fact that The Generic Guy is stuck in a secondary role makes them automatically boring. After all, everyone knows the secondary characters are supposed to be weird or quirky in some way. Normalcy is reserved for the first bananas only. It's the way of the world, right? When the sidekick is the normal one, it usually doesn't work. Thus, the generic guy will typically get very little to do or eventually be written out of the series.

Usually occurs with a series that has a more distinctive character who also functions as a Straight Man making the addition of an even straighter character superfluous.

As one can see below, there is a tendency for these characters to be Token Minorities, for several reasons. First, they cannot be the star because they are a token. Second, since they have no traits at all, they don't have negative traits; thus, the writers can claim that they are positive role models. Additionally, if your generic guy is the only minority character in the opening credits, there will be heck to pay and cries of "racism!" from Moral Guardians if the producers try to cut the generic guy, meaning that they're much less likely than "regular" generic guys to suffer from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome a few seasons in.

If the character is stuck in this role despite their best efforts, then it is a case of I Just Want to Be Special. If they take the lack of recognizable traits to a level where it becomes an advantage on its own right, then they are The Nondescript. A Featureless Protagonist is a protagonist that has had this done to the extreme in a Video Game. In a video game with many playable characters, this character will be the Jack of All Stats. Compare Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?.

Examples of The Generic Guy include:


Anime & Manga

  • Jou (Joe) from Digimon Adventure thought he was this character later on in the series, once he realised that he wasn't particularly smart, brave, strong or willful. He wasn't the most popular character, either, probably because he wasn't pretty and easily slashable never mind that they're all eight to twelve years old, it's the Nostalgia Filter talking since we were that age back then). In Digimon Adventure 02, having outlived his usefulness, he becomes something of a Brother Chuck.
    • Joe may have thought he was The Generic Guy but he definitely wasn't. He was by far the closest the original crew had to comic relief. And that unslashable is actually quite not true as pairing with him DOES exist.
  • Rivalz from Code Geass (and Ohgi to an extent). Lampshaded near the end of the series, where Rivalz is disappointed at the fact that most of his close friends have been involved in something interesting while he's still just a student at school.
    • Ohgi, on the other hand, had the benefit of being a high-up member of the Black Knights... who was essentially a glorified secretary for the main character. Until he betrays him. At which point, his greatest accomplishment was still sleeping with the token enemy chick.
  • Ayumu Nishizawa from Hayate the Combat Butler.
    • Nishizawa does have significant characterization in the manga, but she's stuck here for the anime skipping her character growth entirely, and then spending an episode speaking to it.
  • Parodied with Nami in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Her normalness is her gimmick in a show where everyone has extreme gimmicks.
    • Actually, Nami's joke is much more hilarious and subtle. She's a fairly stereotypical Japanese delinquent type. However, she just so happens to be in a class with a girl so obsessed with perfection that she shoved a cake into a blender when it became to tough to split the four strawberries on it evenly; a girl so shy she can't even talk in real life, but is super abusive on the internet; and a girl who's so super-positive that she saw someone hanging themselves and assumed that they were trying to make themselves taller. In any other world she'd be the Jerkass and the protagonist. In this, she's a "normal" background character.
  • Paz and Borma from Ghost in The Shell Stand Alone Complex -- they're not a Badass Normal like Togusa nor can they maneuver vehicles the way he can, they're not as good at info gathering info as Ishikawa, they can't snipe like Saito or fight like Batou, and they aren't awesome at everything like The Major.
    • Paz eventually gets A Day in the Limelight which allows him to evolve past the generic role, though. We learn that he's the team's resident cold-hearted assassin, as well as an equally cold-hearted ladies man. Oh, and he may or may not be his own robot clone. No one seems to care either way, least of all Paz himself.
    • If memory serves, Borma's informed ability was the explosives expert.
    • Both characters barely get any dialogue, appearances, or mentions in the manga itself. They'd be classified as scene extras if it hadn't been emphasized that they are indeed members of Section 9. The anime decided to give them at least * SOME* sort of defining background.
  • Kurumi Momose from Pani Poni Dash
    • Her being a forgettable girl with no defining traits (save for having a cute appearance- recognized by the fans, not in the series itself) is used as a Running Gag from the very start. She has absolutely no Moe factor, despite working at a Moe cafe! She's actually pretty popular with the fanbase, though.
  • Ishimaru from Eyeshield 21; this is lampshaded when he manages to score a touchdown due to the other team not noticing his existence.
  • Lisanna Strauss from Fairy Tail. We learn that she used to have feelings for Natsu before her supposed death, but ever since her return to Earth-Land, this relationship is pretty much non-existent, and she has overall gotten little development. Her magic, Animal Soul, is just another variation of her elder siblings' Take Over magic, and a far less interesting and useful one at that. She's also very normal by the standards of the guild (so are Lucy and Levy, but the former at least has the benefit of being a main character, while the latter has unique magic and a dynamic relationship with Gajeel).
  • Kunikida from the Haruhi Suzumiya series.
  • Rai/Ray of Beyblade, compared to both his former and current teammates, is rather normal in tone, essentially being a middle path between Tyson and Kai's personality (albeit with the flaws of both diluted heavily).
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun: A cynic could consider Ruiko Saten to be this. First of all, she is a Level 0 i.e. no powers whatsoever. She has no notable skills that her friend Kazari Uiharu doesn't have, no distinguishable personality traits and no defining character moments (aside from one admittedly awesome moment in the final episode of the first anime season). Her obvious role is to provide a "normal" perspective to the series's World of Badass, but the fact that we hardly ever see things from her point-of-view and she gets Demoted to Extra in later arcs means she comes off as The Load if anything.
  • Played straight with both Yamazaki and Shinpachi from Gintama.
    • Poor Shinpachi, being compared to a pair of glasses.
  • Tenten of Naruto is given very little character development over the years, she's rarely useful in combat, she doesn't have any distinct quirks, and no unique abilities.
    • In fact, there is so little information about her that various appearances in Fighting Games based on Naruto have had wildly varying moves and approaches. Shino is always about laying bugs on the field, Deidara is always about launching clay bombs, Shikamaru is always about controlling shadows, but every development team has had its own interpretation of Tenten.
    • Other memorable minor characters such as Shizune and Anko are treated this way as well. Considering Shizune is only known for her medical skills and poison jutsu and Anko manipulating snakes. There's not a whole lot of variety, that is if they even get to be playable at all?
  • Ranma's school chums Hiroshi and Daisuke from Ranma One Half. Little is known about them other than their perverted nature and desire for girlfriends.
  • Tadakuni, the viewpoint character in Daily Lives of High School Boys is this. His self-description is completely accurate:

 Tadakuni: "My name is Tadakuni. I live a normal life, attending a normal school, in a normal town."


Comic Books

  • Martian Manhunter of Justice League of America. It says something about the overall quirkiness of a roster of characters when being a telepathic ghost shapeshifter from Mars isn't sufficiently "quirky".
  • In The Golden Age of Comic Books, Jack Kirby did several series about various "kid gangs", including the Newsboy Legion and the Boy Commandos. All of them had their own generic guy, usually as Standardized Leader -- including the Forever People, his team of "space hippies" from The Seventies.
  • In recent Metal Men comics, Copper is considered extremely bland and forgettable by the other Metal Men, to the point that all of them act as though they've never met her before every time they see her.
  • In New X-Men, poor Tag became the Hellion team generic guy. He didn't have Hellion's ego (or power), Wither's angst, Mercury's one sided love (and emo), Dust's nationalism, or Santo's lovable big guy status. Of course this was a bad time to be Generic Guy. The kids are expendable.
    • By the end of the series when the students had only one team, Prodigy became the generic guy (he was the only average human). And while he did know every fighting style of every X-Men to ever teach him... he got almost entirely cut out of the final storyarc. Hellion, Dust, Mercury, and Santo stayed the same as above, Elixir took over Wither's angst spot, Surge was leader, Pixie became The Chick, Anole became the Badass Normal (and Straight Gay), X-23 is well, like her brother-father, and poor Prodigy fell through the cracks in the plot. Being The Smart Guy does not pay off apparently.
  • Young Neil from Scott Pilgrim doesn't really do anything. He just hangs out with the main characters and looks a lot like Scott.
  • The Dalton Cousins from Lucky Luke included two such characters: there was hot-headed leader Joe, tall and ditzy Averell, and then there were William and Jack, who were rather bland and basically interchangable.
  • Balder from The Mighty Thor. He's also a son of Odin, like Thor, and therefore able to rule Asgard when Thor isn't for any plot-contrived-reason. Of course, his half brothers are: A) THOR who's The Hero, a Large Ham, and a Boisterous Bruiser, b) God-of-War Tyr who plays the Handicapped Badass with only one hand and now serves the queen of the dead, and C) their stepbrother Loki, who gets Evil Is Sexy, Draco in Leather Pants, is a Magnificent Bastard and is the most developed character outside of Thor himself. Poor guy didn't have a chance.
    • Well, at least everyone knows who Balder is. The REAL Generic Guy in that family would be Vidar. Who, I hear you ask? Exactly.


Fan Fic

  • Andy in Calvin and Hobbes The Series. This is actually a plot point in one episode: he's upset that he hasn't had any exciting experiences like the other guys.


Film

  • Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) in National Treasure, until she's kissed by Nicolas Cage, when she promptly transforms into the Shallow Love Interest. True, she is very smart, but that's not notable in a movie where pretty much everyone but the Mooks is The Smart Guy in some way.
    • However, she is the only one (out of the main characters, at least) to have access to the Declaration of Independence, which makes her pretty darn important.
    • She is also the one to save Ben from the FBI, willing to make a Deal with the Devil and thought she had the upper hand, not knowing Ian went the extra mile to nab Patrick.
  • Zeppo Marx was usually the sane man that worked as a foil to the other three's zany schemes (though some people see him as a parody of the Only Sane Man archetype). Unfortunately, all Marx Brothers films were full of relatively sane men, since Groucho, Chico, and Harpo are the baseline. Zeppo disliked his role to the point of leaving the comic troupe when the scripts started being formulaized.
    • This is even more baffling when you learn that just about everyone the brothers knew agreed that Zeppo was the most naturally funny one.
  • In Idiocracy Joe (and apparently Rita as well) were selected by the military in 2005 for how remarkably average they were across several categories. In practice, Joe is more naive than average (to give an example) but still mostly generic. 500 years in the future, Joe and Rita are the smartest people in the world.
  • The Bowery Boys consisted of the smart leader (Leo Gorcey), the dumb follower (Huntz Hall) and a bunch of generic guys like David Gorcey who were just there to flesh out the gang. This trope was recycled when the Bowery Boys were recycled for animated cartoons as the Anthill Mob (in Wacky Races and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop). "Boss" was Leo Gorcey, "Dingaling" was Huntz Hall, and the rest of the Anthill Mob were just the generic guys.
    • Averted when they were originally know as the Dead End Kids or East Side Kids and made numerous movies in the 1930s and 40s. Characters played by members Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan and Gabriel Dell were given equal prominence with those of Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall.
  • Arguably Felix Leiter from the James Bond films, though it depends on the film in question and on who's playing him at the time.


Literature

  • In the Xanth book Man from Mundania, Grey.

 "The problem was that not only was Grey strictly average in mind, he was completely forgettable in body. His driver's license listed his hair as 'hair-colored' and his eyes as 'neutral.'"

    • And then he ends up in Xanth, where he discovers that he's not so ordinary after all, and is in fact a Superpower Lottery winner.
  • Parodied in the Paul Stewert and Chris Riddell novel Muddle Earth, which features the "last and certainly least" wizard known as Colin the Nondescript.
  • "Alekseyev" from the Russian classical novel Oblomov. "Hardly anyone, apart from his mother, noticed his birth, very few people notice him throughout his life, and, surely, no one will notice his departure from this Earth". So unmemorable that no one, not even the narrator, remembers his name - some call him Ivanov, others Vasilyev, yet others Andreyev, while the narrator settles on Alekseyev (all of these are rather common family names in Russia).
  • Don from Dark Lord of Derkholm. While all the other Derk-spawn have a defining personality trait (Shona's the level-headed young woman, Kit's the sullen teenager, Blade's the magical Cute Shotaro Boy, Calette's a Wrench Wench, Lydda's the stubbon chef, and Elda's the Deliberately Cute Child), Don is for the most part a well-adjusted teenager who just sort of gets dragged into his sibling's antics.
  • Older Than Steam: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet are this. Lampshaded in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by the fact that nobody seems to know which is which, not even the characters themselves.
  • Deconstructed in Agatha Christie's novel Curtain. Norton is a completely average guy, lacking enough characterization to be important to the plot, let alone the killer. Turns out he is aware of this, and uses this "ability" to manipulate people into commiting murders, without being noticed or remembered by anyone.


Live Action TV

  • Beth from Harpers Island was probably the worst offender in the cast. She appeared in the first 10 (out of 13) episodes, and she was lucky to get two lines an episode. A large chunk of viewers probably didn't know her name, as it was only mentioned once before she went missing and was found dead.
  • Ken Cosgrove in Mad Men.
  • Penny Robinson in Lost in Space.
  • Lieutenant Ford in Stargate Atlantis, for the entirety of the first season. In the second, he was given Token Development... just in time to be replaced by a more "interesting" character.
  • Pete from Smallville, who seemed to be there to complete the Power Trio with Clark and Chloe - which was superfluous because the writers regularly shifted the spotlight to more interesting characters (and Lana). The writers attempted to make him more interesting by having him find out that Clark is an alien, but this did nothing to salvage his complete lack of personality; in the end, they gave in and put him on a bus for good.
  • John from the first season of Taxi, who was so generic that he was written out after the first season (and replaced with Cloudcuckoolander Jim).
  • Power Rangers Mystic Force: Nick is The Drifter, Xander is (or tries to be) The Charmer, Chip is Genre Savvy, Vida is tomboyish to the point that she's Ambiguously Gay Butch Lesbian, and Madison is, uh, a videographer? I guess? (Wait, who's Madison?)
    • Similarly Blake on Power Rangers Ninja Storm has no slot in the team, especially the Five-Man Band since Cam is a much better smart guy than him (and a better Sixth Ranger too). Also he's introduced with his brother Hunter who has a smidge more personality than him and could have fulfilled all of the Thunder Rangers purposes on his own. One could argue he's part of the Official Couple with Tori but with her being the Token Girl, she could have been paired with anyone.
      • YMMV: Blake did get some development, when he gets a cool new weapon, and ends up being revealed as the best motorcross racer (as Dustin drops out to do Freestyle and his brother looses to him).
  • Simon of The Inbetweeners - he's the Straight Man to the Casanova Wannabe, The Ditz and the Nerd, but as the nerd is the narrator and central character, Simon can look a little zero-dimensional.
    • His main trait is that he's obsessed with Carly, a relationship which never seems to progress to actual dating but never seems to exclude the possibility of it either.
  • Astrid in Fringe. She does tend to stand out for not being crazy.
  • Jack Hunter on Boy Meets World. Came to the show late, when the cast dynamics were pretty much already set up, and other than the fact that his character was richer than everyone else, they didn't establish much personality for him. He was there basically to react to the humorous things Eric would do.
  • Andy Travis of WKRP in Cincinnati. He was originally the point-of-view character, being the new guy to the station, but ended up as the guy no one remembers. Bailey Quarters probably falls into this category too for anyone who doesn't think she's hot.
  • Alan Carter became this in Space: 1999, especially in season 2 when Tony Vederchi was introduced as the young, hot, action ready, ladies man character. This left Alan with nothing to do than fly the Eagle and act as a third wheel when with Commander Koenig and Dr. Russell.
  • Brendan Lambert in Step by Step. So generic, that he does not show up in the final season- and the plot is not affected at all!!!
  • Jonathan Levinson in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is this for the longest time. He tries to break free of it and by season six he does when he joins Warren and Andrew in the Trio, where even though he's not the leader of it he become a major player in the plot.
    • He may have broken out even earlier than that in Earshot when he went from generic background character to an insecure kid who Buffy talks out of suicide. This makes the scene in which he hands her an award for her work as the Slayer all the more heartwarming.
    • Riley has been accused of this.
  • Adrian in Carrusel. He gets a name, but no defining characteristics or plotlines. He is just there in the classroom and has the occasional line.
  • Kirk and Leslie from Newhart. Kirk was the owner of the Minuteman Café next door to the Stratford. He was a chronic liar. After a while (one episode) this got old, and Kirk just stood around. Even worse was Leslie, the hotel's maid, whose backstory was that she was a fabulously wealthy world-class skier who took the job at the Stratford to see what a normal life would be like. So one could only assume she'd be a Rich Bitch, or at least spoiled enough that she wouldn't be able to perform well as a maid, right? Wrong. She's wholesome, nice, down-to-earth, and painfully bland. Leslie stayed until the end of Season 1, after which she was replaced by her cousin, a Spoiled Brat who actually seems out of place working in a hotel. Kirk stayed until the end of Season 2. For this season, the show relied completely on Bob Newhart and Tom Poston's characters. It's a wonder the show even got renewed for a second season.
  • Matt Donovan from The Vampire Diaries, whose main role is to act as the Token Human Nice Guy. Tropes Are Not Bad, however, as this provides a bit of normalcy to an otherwise fantastical cast.


Newspaper Comics

  • Seriously, does anyone remember Franklin from Peanuts doing anything? Besides being a Token Black.
    • Obviously, Shermy as well. He was dropped from the strip in 1969; Charles Schulz remarked that he had only been using Shermy when he "needed a character with very little personality."
  • Dilbert features a dark haired, personality-free character that Scott Adams refers to in books as "Ted the Generic Guy". If someone is going to be fired, it's usually him. Ditto if someone's going to be killed. It may not even be the same Ted every time. Adams has admitted that he came into being just because he can't draw many types of characters, so he just draws Ted whenever he needs someone generic. As you can see, the above screenshot from the TV series is a profile of Ted which lampshades all this.
    • Early on in the comic, before he became an actual character, Wally (or at least someone who looked exactly like him) filled this role.
  • Gal from the Israeli comic Zbeng moved from the Every Man to this when the comic went from Five-Man Band to Ensemble Cast.
  • Jenn Erica of Ink Pen is a walking Lampshade Hanging of this trope.


Radio

  • Ford Prefect in The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy series. At the start, you've got perplexed everyman Arthur Dent, and his wacky friend Ford... but then Zaphod, who's far wackier than Ford, gets introduced, as well as a whole galaxy of incredibly weird creatures and sights; this leaves Ford neither particularly normal nor particularly wacky. At least Ford continues somewhat in his role of "Galaxy Smart Guy", guiding and educating Arthur on the ways of the Galaxy. Though in the third book and beyond he becomes somewhat of a Shell Shocked Senior.


Tabletop Games

  • Grimm plays humans from the Grimm Lands as just barely this instead of a full-on Empty Shell. They're two-dimensional and less-than-real, being defined by their job and having little more to them, showing only rather limited and basic personalities. Their reaction to children from the real world -- who are (barring a bad player) Rounded Characters by definition -- varies, but tends to be strong.


Video Games

  • Kurando in Shadow Hearts: Covenant. An above-average physical fighter whose only gimmick is that he can turn into a demon... but you have Yuri, who is stronger, can transform into more demon forms, is a much greater Badass, and is the main character. Kurando is a quiet, Bishonen samurai in a party with a Large Ham pro wrestler, an old man with a puppet that can cast devastating magical spells, a Big Badass Wolf, and Princess Anastasia Romanova.
  • Zack in Mega Man Star Force 2 notes that he doesn't get grades as good as Luna's (despite being The Smart Guy in personality and group role), he isn't as strong like Bud, and he isn't brave like Geo.
    • He is also normal due to the fact that he didn't meet up with an alien partner and receive a wave form, as the other four (Geo/Omega-Xis, Luna/Ophiuca, Sonia/Lyra and Bud/Taurus) did.
  • Mother 3 practically goes out of its way to describe playable character Duster as having no defining or interesting personality traits.
    • However, the description is misleading. Duster is an interesting and deep character, just like almost everybody else in the game.
  • Russel Bergman of Super Robot Wars Original Generation ...Two Defining traits that distinguish him from another 'insane' member is this and his Stone Wall / Taking the Bullet traits.
  • Jacob Taylor of Mass Effect 2 comes off as this. While he was intended to be a well-adjusted individual in a dysfunctional group, he instead comes off as someone who by himself is not particularly interesting in a cast of different personalities, since he hardly ever has anything interesting to say and rarely interacts with anyone in the group sans Miranda. While he does have a romance, it instead comes off as unintentionally hilarious at best.
  • Rochelle from Left 4 Dead 2 was perceived as this for a while due to her seemingly bland personality. However, she's seemed to have mostly averted this post-Sacrifice.
  • Persona 3: In a series where people not being what they seem is practically a given, the closest thing to this would be Yukari Takeba. Not only does she embody practically every feminine stereotype (likes the colour pink, is scared of ghosts, gets annoyed at Junpei for being a pervert), but she throws just about every cliched one-liner you can think of ("Why, you little", "Let me at 'em", "Me and my big mouth" etc.). She initially appears to be the Only Sane Woman, but her worries ultimately turn out to be little more than paranoia, and do nothing but cause unnecessary conflict in the team, particularly between herself and Mitsuru. Were it not for her Persona, she'd be just another popular girl with a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Kooper from Paper Mario is the most normal of Mario's partners. He's really the only one that doesn't have a personality quirk.
    • Goombario doesn't have much of an actual personality either. After those two, the writers seem to have found their feet, with the rest of the series populated with quirky, memorable characters.
      • But at least Goombario had the Tattle ability, which let him tell you his opinions on almost every enemy, area, and NPC in the game, so you could get a semblance of personality from that. Kooper doesn't even have that much.
        • The funniest thing he says is "Are you crazy? He'll eat you alive!" Which really isn't even that funny. For some reason though, people still like him.
  • Nida from Final Fantasy VIII, so much so that when Headmaster Cid speaks to him during the See D graduation ceremony he tells him to "do your best even if you don't stand out" and he's not even given so much as a name until much later when he's taught how to operate the now mobile Balamb Garden becoming it's chief navigational officer.
  • While Corpse Party's other main characters are having their Establishing Character Moments in the classroom, Sakutaro Morishige is just sort of there to establish his existence and the fact that he's Mayu's friend. His comes later. And hoo boy, does it come.


Web Comics

 Torg: Weird girl, Sasha.

Note that Sasha was Riff's girlfriend, and also was an inventor too. As far as that goes in Sluggy terms, she'd be the not-so-mad scientist of most other series.

 He’s, um, got a great personality? Ha, no. He’s pretty forgettable.


Web Original

  • In Survival of the Fittest version 3, this is pretty much the defining trait of Alice Jones from the beginning. There was literally very little to have her stand out from the rest of the student body base. She wasn't particularly notable in personality, interests, or skills, which was pretty much the point of the character.
    • Interestingly, Reika Ishida was initially denied for v4 for being "too normal" as to be unbelievable, encouraging the handler to add her OCD.
  • Sam from The Strangerhood is an excellent example of this trope, especially considering how wacky the rest of the cast is.


Western Animation

  • Fred Jones from Scooby Doo was intended to be the leader, despite Scooby being the headliner and Shaggy and Scooby being the ultimate Spotlight-Stealing Squad. Unfortunately for Freddy, his leadership was a quiet Informed Ability.
    • Some incarnations of Freddy make his out to be a neurotic blusterer (live-action movies) or a Small Name, Big Ego who's always wrong about any evidence (A Pup Named Scooby Doo). Probably because his sense of "leadership" was "taking" Daphne (and sometimes Velma too) somewhere until Scooby and Shaggy accidentally stumble onto something important or until Velma makes a plan that the gang can use to catch the villain. This is lampshaded in many, many places. On the other hand, it worked, so maybe he was just very Genre Savvy.
    • Recent media actually seems to have made him goofier and more naive. Frank Welker has even evolved his take on him accordingly.
    • This page used to be called The Freddy but it was changed because it was too generic.
      • And, of course, because the trope name was easily confused with the other Freddy
  • Tim of The Magic School Bus, who had no distinctive personality traits at all, despite being surrounded by a classroom full of loud, quirky characters. He may have been intended as the Only Sane Man, but because he was so uninteresting, he basically became a Living Prop, and the other characters took turns as the Only Sane Man instead. Tim was the only black male in the cast, but he was far from the only minority, and all of the others had just as many foibles as the white kids.
    • He was the last character to be the protagonist of an episode, long after all the others had been the focus of several episodes apiece, very late in the show's run. The writers (and his long-suffering voice actor) tried their best to give Tim an actual personality, but to no avail.
  • Along with being annoying and largely useless, this is a major reason that the kids in Transformers are generally hated so much. They're generally dull and lacking in personality, ironically making them less human than the robots.
    • That is not to say the Transformers themselves can't be generics, an not only because there are Loads and Loads of Characters, some of whom barely get a line or two of written character. This was, in fact, one of the main complaints about Transformers Energon: about 70% of the characters could be described as being either good or evil.
  • Mack from Daria. While his girlfriend Jodie got development in Season 2, Mack didn't do much of anything beyond the incredibly annoyed Straight Man to Kevin.
    • Of course, being able to stick with the same voice actor for more than a few episodes might've helped.
  • Token Black of South Park.
    • Quick, without checking: which one's Clyde and which one's Craig?
    • Craig as of recently has become The Stoic and a Deadpan Snarker of the highest order.
      • Damn you Craiiig! You just don't ever stop, do you?!
  • For its second season, ABC decided to retool The Real Ghostbusters as a Saturday Morning Cartoon. Executive Meddling by a team called Q5 decided that the character of Ray Stantz was just a generic guy, and thus served no purpose and should be dropped. Thankfully, the producers of the show knew better.
  • Django Brown of Phineas and Ferb didn't have any real extreme qualities like the rest of the gang, and quickly faded into being just a background character.
  • Arthur from Arthur appears to follow this trope as the character has no outstanding personality, his normal/genericness occasionally lampshaded and made fun of. The character does however seem to be a generic character in a cast otherwise consisting of non-generic characters.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.