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Characters that turned stupid?

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Characters that turned stupid?

Old 07-20-14, 11:12 PM
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Characters that turned stupid?

I'm re-watching Friends from the beginning and in Season 5 they turned Ross into a bumbling idiot that has rage issues. It wasn't some gradual evolution of his Character. It seemed to just happen overnight. Oddly enough it's at the same time Rachel is now the smarter one. Maybe they switched to Women writers?

What are some other Characters that went from smart to stupid?
Old 07-20-14, 11:13 PM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

I think Michael Scott defines that criteria.

He wasn't super "smart" but he wasn't the bumbling moron he became as the show wore on.
Old 07-20-14, 11:18 PM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Rick and Andrea in The Walking Dead.
Old 07-20-14, 11:20 PM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Eric on Boy Meets World.
Old 07-20-14, 11:25 PM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

It's called Flanderization and TV Tropes has an extensive list of examples.

The act of taking a single (often minor) action or trait of a character within a work and exaggerating it more and more over time until it completely consumes the character. Most always, the trait/action becomes completely outlandish and it becomes their defining characteristic. Sitcoms and Sitcom characters are particularly susceptible to this, as are peripheral characters in shows with long runs.

The trope is named for one of the examples in The Simpsons, Ned Flanders, who was originally just a considerate neighbor and attentive father, with his devout nature simply being that he willingly attended and paid attention in church, all to make him a contrast to Homer, before becoming obsessively religious to the point of stupidity.
Old 07-20-14, 11:27 PM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Originally Posted by mhg83 View Post
I'm re-watching Friends from the beginning and in Season 5 they turned Ross into a bumbling idiot that has rage issues. It wasn't some gradual evolution of his Character. It seemed to just happen overnight. Oddly enough it's at the same time Rachel is now the smarter one. Maybe they switched to Women writers?

What are some other Characters that went from smart to stupid?
That is one of the main reasons I quit watching Friends.
Old 07-20-14, 11:29 PM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Just the other day in the "Last TV show you watched?" topic, I posted this in regards to Sons of Anarchy Season 3:

As much as I'm enjoying this show, I'm losing my patience with how amazingly fucking stupid the characters are sometimes.

When someone has recently tried to turn you over to the police and pointed a gun at you, and tried to kill you with said gun and only failed because it wasn't loaded, you do not untie their hands when you have them tied up because they complained about their circulation being cut off.

Also, when you're conducting illegal trades with someone and he asks if he and you can do business inside his big black van instead of through the window, you refuse his offer instead of smiling and saying "sure" and climbing right in.



I actually enjoyed movies like Alien vs. Predator and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and this is sometimes too fucking stupid for me.
Those were just the two most recent examples out of many, and there were many more to come. It wasn't a case of one character becoming stupid, but seemingly all of them. Nothing in the preceding two seasons held any indication of how shockingly idiotic the characters would become, all for a little plot convenience and contrivance.

I just finished the last episode of Season 3 earlier tonight. I've got Seasons 4 and 5 sitting on my Blu-ray shelf and will be getting to those presently, and I seriously hope that the Stupid Dial gets turned down from 11, or else I may have to go back to alcoholism to get through it.
Old 07-20-14, 11:40 PM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Adam from Rules of Engagement started out as just a bit naive, but by the end of the series he was so dumb there's no way he could even function in society.
Old 07-20-14, 11:43 PM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Friends is all over the map. Joey started out as dumb and by the end he was borderline mentally challenged. Phoebe was his female equivalent but she seemed to get smarter as the show went on. I've been watching the reruns but I don't recall Ross' change. Of course I have no idea which seasons' episodes I'm seeing.

I didn't watch often but wasn't Tim Taylor on Home Improvement pretty similar? Started out pretty normal but by the end was a total fucking moron that couldn't tie his own shoelaces without Wilson's input?
Old 07-21-14, 12:03 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

I don't recall any real character changes in Home Improvement, other than maybe Al a little bit as the show progressed. He seems like more of a buffoon as the show progressed.
Old 07-21-14, 12:06 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

I remember Andy Dick in an interview when Newsradio was still on and he voiced his displeasure with the direction his character went. He said the writers had basically made him mentally challenged by the last couple of seasons.
Old 07-21-14, 02:48 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Sam Malone got dumber during Cheers.
Old 07-21-14, 07:42 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
Eric on Boy Meets World.
That was my first thought when seeing this topic. He went loony while Shawn got better over time.
Old 07-21-14, 08:06 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Grimlock in transformers. He was tough and barely listened to anyone in season one. By season three, he was the goofy sidekick.
Old 07-21-14, 08:41 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Sookie Stackhouse
Old 07-21-14, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by resinrats View Post
Grimlock in transformers. He was tough and barely listened to anyone in season one. By season three, he was the goofy sidekick.
His toy wasn't new anymore .
Old 07-21-14, 08:51 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Ross turned into a jerk during the Thanksgiving Day Football game episode and never looked back. That's why a lot of fans were hoping Rachel would wind up with Joey instead of him.
Old 07-21-14, 09:18 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Vint in Mama's Family.
Old 07-21-14, 09:25 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Randy in "My Name is Earl"

Bobbie Jo Bradley in "Petticoat Junction".
Old 07-21-14, 10:10 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

I always liked how Frasier Crane was such a smart character on Cheers. At the time there were so few smart characters on TV comedies. One episode however, had him trying to cure Carla's fear of flying. He leads an entire group of phobics on an airplane and for whatever reason suddenly became a blabbering idiot on the flight screaming "These things go down!" It was so out of character and completely irrational -- it bothers me to this day.
On the other end of the spectrum, there was a late-in-the-run episode of Cheers where Sam was pretending to be impotent to seduce a difficult conquest. Fine, but then at the end of the episode, for some reason, he denies it and says "No, I said I was impudent. Yeah, I'm a wise-ass". There is absolutely NO WAY Sam makes that joke-- the other way, sure, but under no circumstances does he use the word impudent correctly in a sentence and those writes should have known that.
Old 07-21-14, 10:31 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

I found this link while searching for this bit:



"Over the six years 'The Simpsons' has been on the air, we've received dozens of letters from fans wanting to know more about the show. Tonight, we'll answer some of your questions. Professor Lawrence Pierce of the University of Chicago writes, 'I think Homer gets stupider every year.' That's not a question, Professor, but we'll let the viewers judge for themselves."
Old 07-21-14, 10:37 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Kelly Bundy on Married with Children.

Like Joey from Friends, she wasn't necessarily the brightest person in her early appearances, but as the show progressed she went full retard.

Also, on Friends, I sort of remember Phoebe going from eccentric to ditzy over the course of the series.
Old 07-21-14, 10:38 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Dexter Morgan

In the beginning of the series, he carefully planned how to kidnap his victims. By the end of the series, he was kidnapping people with no planning at all. He would just snatch people in broad daylight at an airport with thousands of witnesses and security cameras.
Old 07-21-14, 11:43 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

This seems to happen on almost every sitcom that has a long run.

JD on Scrubs. He was a cartoon character by the end.

Carlton on Fresh Prince went from being a stuck up smart kid to being a clown.

Eric from Boy Meets World was the worst. I always liked the character but I think the show would have been better served if he remained the 'wiser older brother' that he was in early seasons.

Cory from Boy Meets World also fits. He was normal until he went to college and then he got more and more over the top.
Old 07-21-14, 11:45 AM
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Re: Characters that turned stupid?

Randy Disher on Monk. He became dumber as the series progressed.

Not only was Kelly dumbed down on Married...With Children, so was Al. Of course the show in the first two seasons was far different than what the show would become after that.

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