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  • Harry Kim from Star Trek: Voyager and his habit of dying and coming back to life. It's been exaggerated by the fans, though, to the point where someone who only knew the show through its fans would think Harry's grave says "Harry Kim: Born: 2341. Died: 2371, 2372, 2373, 2374..."
  • Stargate SG-1: Samantha Carter blew up a sun. Stargate Atlantis: Rodney McKay blew up a solar system (though he'd like to remind you that it was actually just five sixths of it). Stargate Universe : Nicholas Rush dialed an untested address into a gate, marooning him and most of his coworkers on an ancient ship and blowing up a planet in the process. Let's just assume that being hired as a scientist by Stargate Command requires high knowledge of Stuff Blowing Up.
    • Everett Young beat the crap out of Rush and left him to die on a desolate planet. The civilian population on the ship didn't take it too kindly.
  • A recurring joke about the Daleks in Doctor Who was their inability to go up stairs. This weakness was addressed in the 1988 serial 'Remembrance of the Daleks', but the jokes persisted at least up until 2005, when 'Dalek' — which also addressed this point — was shown. It's perhaps worth pointing out that, by the time the first story aired, the audience of Doctor Who was roughly three guys and a dog, so it's possible that not enough people actually saw it for the change to sink in.
    • It was addressed before then — one earlier episode showed them to have somehow got up a staircase without it actually being shown on screen.
    • And in some quarters it's still what the Daleks are most famous for, despite the fact that the Daleks in the new series spend half their time flying around like nobody's business.
    • When Donna Noble first appeared in 'The Runaway Bride', she slapped the Doctor twice (once because she thought she'd been drugged and kidnapped, another time because he was being rather deriding of that). Since then, she's never slapped him again, and went through a lot of Character Development to become the Doctor's moral compass. Her main characteristic in fanfiction is slapping everyone. Well, that and her memory loss. That particular plot point created the 'Donna Fix-It' fic.
    • The Sixth Doctor trying to choke his companion Peri to death after a dodgy regeneration. It's still what many fans remember him for.
    • The Tenth Doctor's last words; "I don't want to go." A Tear Jerker for some but Narm for others.
    • Similarly, any discussion of "Classic" (1963-89) Doctor Who will feature a lot of people talking about "shaky sets and monsters made of bubblewrap". One particularly dedicated fan has watched every episode of Classic Who available on DVD (which includes most of the Jon Pertwee/Tom Baker era that most people are recalling), and counted exactly one incident of each of those.
    • The Doctor, especially the Third, is often referenced by his supposed catchphrase: "Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!" Which the Third Doctor said exactly two times, eleven years apart, as well as once more in a play. The Fourth and a clone of the Eleventh (going through other phrases of his incarnations) used it once and the Fifth and the Tenth twice.
    • The many fans who consider Adric The Scrappy will never, ever, stop talking about the moment in "Four To Doomsday" where the villain Monarch convinces him to support technocratic dictatorship in about three minutes of conversation. This has been blown up into Flanderisation of him "always siding with the villain", even though the only other times it might be claimed to have happened were two obvious attempts to become The Mole and one when it was very clearly against his will.
    • Rory has been referred to in-show as "the man who dies and dies again." He's only done it for real once. He's just... very good at creating the illusion of death. By accident. Lots.
    • Rose Tyler eats lots of chips. She doesn't, they're mentioned in her first two episodes, then she eats some in her first finale and School Reunion. But fans are convinced.
  • The Swedish TV show Hipp! Hipp! featured the character Mike Higgins. Despite using the same entry-line in every episode he appeared, it's the last line he ever said in the series that people remember:

 Mike: And let me just finish by saying: Go to hell.

  • One of the biggest pricing game flops on The Price Is Right was a mid-90s game called "Split Decision". It has a reputation for being the game where nothing worked right and the board was constantly falling apart. In truth, there was one playing where two of the numbers fell off their markers. The game's short life was due to the fact that contestants simply had trouble understanding the rules.
  • In The Brady Bunch, Jan only said "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" ONCE in the whole series.
  • Similarly, in Friends, Chandler utters his famous catchphrase "Could x be more y?" maybe twice. Yet somehow, it becomes the go-to tease whenever any of the other characters mock him.
    • Lampshaded in one of the last seasons when Joey goes to Monica's Halloween party as Chandler, and his "impression" consists of nothing more than repeating the last thing Chandler said and adding, "BLEARGHHHHHHHHH!" on the end. Everyone laughs, except Chandler (who points out that he doesn't do that).
    • Ross was afraid that getting divorced a third time would become his Never Live It Down, so for several episodes he didn't tell Rachel that he hadn't filed for an annulment.
      • Ross getting divorced eventually did become the one thing anyone commented on whenever he was interested in someone. Granted, getting divorced 3 times in the span of 5 years is no easy feat.
  • Star Trek's James Kirk is well known as a space-traveling playboy who has more notches than bedpost. In fact, despite liberal use of soft lens and hey-look-a-pretty-girl music, Kirk didn't get involved with many of the women he met in his travels, and when he did, it was usually because a) he needed something, or b) alien sex pollen/some sort of mental control. The sole exception to this is Edith Keeler, whom he genuinely did have feelings for. He was even occasionally portrayed as an uptight boy scout, and he never slept with a member of his crew. And the rest of the male cast seemed to get involved with women at least as often as Kirk did.
    • Although let's not forget "Wink of an Eye" in which after the commercial break the leader of the aliens is combing her hairs and the good captain is on the bed putting on his boots.
    • Oh, and let's not forget that half the time that seductive smile was directed at Spock.
    • Similarly, we don't actually see Scotty drunk or drinking that often, and the most stand-out example was him trying to put one over on an enemy, but in fanfic he's the guy you go to for booze. (The fact that the character is Scottish probably adds to this.)
      • There's also his boisterous appreciation of the bellydancing in "Wolf in the Fold" and his being the only Original Series crewmember to start a barfight ("Trouble with Tribbles"). That probably adds to his interpretation as the party animal of the original Enterprise.
    • In a somewhat odd example, Chekov's made-in-Russia bit never became the full-blown running gag it was originally meant to be, but the way the fans go on you wouldn't know better without watching the series yourself.
    • An in-wiki example — throw a metaphorical dart at the examples featuring Deep Space Nine's Kira Nerys, and there's a fairly good chance the example you hit will mention the fact that she once beat the shit out of a serial killer while the equivalent of nine months pregnant.
  • Besides Billy's braininess, Trini's translating, Zack's dancing, Kim's gymnastics, and Jason's jocular nature, no other quirk for any of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from the first season lasted for longer than that particular episode's plot requirements demanded it... except for Tommy's being a complete scatterbrain, written into the series to justify his absence (since his Super Sentai counterpart didn't last too long. This took root in the fanon after a single episode and ultimately got many a Call Back in subsequent incarnations. It's all the more amusing for the fact Tommy is the Trope Namer for Sixth Rangers and one of the biggest Canon Sues around.
    • Hilariously called back by Kat and Hayley in both his original exit in Power Rangers Turbo and his earliest episodes of Power Rangers Dino Thunder.
      • And by the man himself in the first episode of Dino Thunder where, during an escape from a T-rex, he locks the doors of his car...and then realizes he's in a Jeep. "Yeah, real great, Tommy. lock the door."
      • Apparently Tommy is a genius as well.
      • Despite being a minor character, Tommy's brother, David, is most remembered for being disappointed that he lost a sparring match with Tommy.
    • Likewise, Power Rangers Turbo will never live down that one episode where the Rangers got baked into a giant pizza. It even got a good-natured jab in the 10th anniversary episode.
    • Additionally, fans will never let TJ live down the fact that he sacrificed the Zords at the end of Turbo, leading to Divatox's victory over the rangers.
  • On Leverage, Hardison has this over the time he was kidnapped by the Russian Mob while pretending to be Parker(the world's greatest thief).
  • Megumi Misaki/Blue Dolphin of Choujuu Sentai Liveman is brought to tears in the first two episodes as nearly everything she's known and loved is destroyed all around her by three former friends turned evil. She hardly ever cries after that, yet fandom seems to believe she did so nearly every episode thereafter.
  • In-universe example in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: A social worker is called to trial for placing a child in an abusive home, which eventually led to his death. The bad publicity and death threats she receives drive her to suicide, with her last words lampshading that she has saved hundreds of children but will only be remembered for this one.
    • Very much Truth in Television. Whether justified or not, a person is expected to do their job well, and a disproportionate amount of attention is almost always placed on any and all mistakes.
    • Another in-universe case from SVU- Elliot Stabler once admitted that he has fantasies of murdering child molesters, which is often brought up by people who question his credibility as a cop. Enters into Wall Banger territory since Stabler has dozens of examples of police procedure violations, including several cases of harassing, assaulting, and railroading suspects, but people keep bringing up the one thing he didn't do.
  • While The Shield star David Rees Snell (aka "Ronnie Gardocki") had a manly beard for the bulk of the series, it's not the beard that the actor is most remembered for facial hairwise; it's his magnificent Porn Stache that David Rees Snell had for the first two seasons of the show.
  • When Law & Order's Jack McCoy has an argument with one of his subordinates over questionable tactics, expect the phrase "You once hid a witness" to come up. In the episode "Under The Influence" (s8e11), McCoy hid an exculpatory witness from the defense, in order to maintain murder charges against a drunk driver who killed two pedestrians (a mother and daughter). (He later relents, but still faced sanctions for his actions).
    • Similarly, expect the fact that he slept with Claire Kincaid to pop up at least once a season.
    • Mike Cutter also liked to point out the time that he held a bunch of Russian gangsters without charge for weeks on end, and took it almost all the way to the Supreme Court.
    • Mike Logan got Put on a Bus for punching a politician. He features in a later TV Movie. Naturally, when Law & Order: Criminal Intent rolls around, he's gotten a reputation as a hothead, and carries around a clipping about the incident in his wallet. Though having a temper and an attitude was part of Logan's character from the start, it really didn't get thrown back in his face until CI.
  • During her time on General Hospital, whenever Winifred and Maxie were on the same screen, she would always remind her that Winnie was the one who put Spinelli in prison (as part of her job as an FBI agent). By the end of her run, she wasn't even an FBI agent anymore. She was removed from the show for other reasons.
    • Sam McCall is well known for kidnapping Jason's son Jake. This is brought up every time Jason and Samantha share screen time. Despite the fact that she didn't even kidnap the boy; she merely kept quiet about who did. Even better, she would later save the same child from a burning building (in a separate incident), but she's still known as the one who kidnapped Jake.
  • In-universe example: Agent Booth on Bones once, in a moment of personal stress, drew his weapon and fired two rounds into a robotic clown-head atop an ice cream truck. Several seasons later, after he'd completed counseling, got reinstated and received commendations for his work, it still gets brought up by folks from other government agencies when they want an excuse not to trust him with sensitive documents.
    • Similarly, Brennan finds herself constantly reminded that she once shot an unarmed man (it's okay, though: he was trying to set her on fire).
      • And he was trying to destroy evidence!
  • The Nannys Nanny Fine will occasionally rub Mr. Sheffield's nose in his decision to pass on producing Cats for Broadway.

 Sheffield: Fran, how long will you keep reminding me of one bloody mistake?

Fran: Now... and forever, Mr. Sheffield.

    • Andrew Lloyd Webber is the Always Someone Better for Mr. Sheffield, so Niles will rub his face in Webber's successes even more often than Fran. Also, a few seasons into the show, Maxwell said he loved Fran... and then took it back. She brings that up about every other episode.
  • Burt Newton's infamous line about Muhummad Ali at the Australian Logies: I like the boy. Meant without any malice at all, but he will be forever known (outside of Australia) as 'That racist guy who nearly got beat up by Muhummad Ali'.
  • Find yourself on a long-form reality gameshow? Don't say anything silly in the first week!
  • Shadow Moon is undoubtably the most popular Kamen Rider villains. And that's all he's remembered as. Even though in his canonical death in Kamen Rider Black RX, he had a last moment Heel Face Turn, that's always forgotten in favor of how kickass he was as a villain. (This is even in-show: in Kamen Rider World, he was the Big Bad, and giant-sized for no good reason, and the first Kamen Rider Decade movie has an Alternate Universe Shadow Moon who curb-stomps two Riders with the power to destroy the world at the same time until Double shows up and completely turns the tables. Not one word about getting Nobuhiko back to his family's side has ever come up in his non-Black or Black RX appearances.)
  • In one of JAG's early episodes, Harm fired off a sub-machine gun in open court. This gets referenced two or three times a season for the rest of the show's run, usually in terms of "I can't believe he didn't get brig time for that." (He lost that case, by the way.)
  • Many Lost fans tend to ignore Michael's more positive (or at least less negative) traits after his Moral Event Horizon moment in season 2 (i.e., murdering Ana Lucia and Libby) and feel content with labeling him a Complete Monster because of it. While the act was certainly indefensible (which makes this a partial case of Justified Trope), fans gloss over the fact that having your son kidnapped by strangers on a weird island doesn't exactly make a loving parent rational, nor did the fans acknowledge what he did AFTERWARD, which contradicts the assumption that he's an amoral, heartless bastard. This includes never ending guilt for doing the aforementioned act, which sparked numerous suicide attempts, and a last ditch effort to help the friends he betrayed on the island. Hell, even Hurley later forgave Michael for what he did, despite him killing Hurley's girlfriend Libby. Good luck finding fans who feel the same way Hurley did.
    • Jack is rather well-known for his frequent emotional outbursts (Jears) around the interwebs. In the actual show, he's a mostly-stoic character (for the first few seasons, anyway) who relies on logic and rarely tells people how he feels.
  • MSTings have a Running Gag dubbed "Crow Syndrome", where Crow (or another character) almost constantly makes sexually suggestive riffs and gets a First Name Ultimatum from the Team Dad. This seems to be based entirely on the episode Riding with Death, where everyone uses the film's trucking scenes as sex metaphors; Crow is just the one who takes it a hair too far and gets chewed out by Mike. Of course, usually he displays Ping-Pong Naivete; compare to the episode where he puts together a presentation about how women don't exist, despite interacting with Pearl Forrester for years. In regards to MSTings, Crow Syndrome has become a Discredited Meme and is now viewed as something to be avoided.
    • Amusingly enough, most people tend to forget that in the Riding with Death episode, Mike himself makes a suggestive joke shortly after reprimanding Crow, who responds "And you think I'm bad?".
    • In-universe example on MST; Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds.

  Prof. Bobo, the Simple Country Lawyer:So you blow yourself up a planet; does that make you a world-destroyer? Hmm? My momma, she burnt a brown betty one time, that make her a world-destroyer? I reckon not.

    • If you went strictly by MSTings, Tom Servo's head exploded every other episode. It only happened four times in ten seasons: Two of them in the disavowed Season 1, and none after Season 4.
      • Unless you also count The Movie, where poor Tom kept getting hit by death rays.
  • Red Dwarf gave us a justified in-universe use, then lampshaded it when Arnold Rimmer reads of the captain having described him as "constantly failing" the astronavigation exam:

 Rimmer: "Constantly fails the exam? I'd hardly call 11 times "constantly." I mean, if you eat roast beef eleven times in your life, one would hardly say that person "constantly" eats roast beef, would you?

  • Lancelot from Merlin has a reputation among the fandom for being something of a dolt. This is distinctly odd considering he is one of only two characters to have deduced that Merlin has magic, and picks up on the sparks between Arthur and Guinevere before even they are fully aware of it. Yet so many times you'll see him described as "a bit dim", perhaps because he takes the Honour Before Reason trope Up to Eleven.
  • Besides having died early during Star Trek: The Next Generation's run, Tasha Yar is remembered by fans for having sex with Data in "The Naked Now".
    • Though the "having died early" part does make it a bit hard for there to be a lot to remember about her.
  • Some people will never forget the time Gwen Cooper of Torchwood confessed to her boyfriend that she'd cheated on him, demanded his forgiveness, and then retconned his memory so that he couldn't remember it. The fact that it's never been brought up since doesn't help, but that Gwen has married, had a child with, and remained faithful to that same boyfriend doesn't seem to win her any points either.
    • Jack? Yeah, he's that guy who dies once an episode, right? Now, not to say he doesn't die often, but saying he does so that frequently on the show is definitely stretching the truth. The Children of Earth miniseries is a special exception, but realise that most of Jack's team didn't even know he was immortal until the final episode of series 1. Prior to his constant state of suffocation and rebirth in "Exit Wounds" (which is another special example where he feasibly died millions of times while buried alive), he died nine times in seven episodes, plus twice in a flashback of one of those episodes; barely a quarter of the episodes that had aired up to that point. Following Children of Earth, there were only two episodes in Miracle Day where he was shown to die, due to his new state of being mortal for much of that series, and one of those was only in a flashback.
      • In fairness, this is a little bit like A. J. Rimmer's roast beef. You'd hardly say that someone who eats roast beef nine times in two series is constantly eating roast beef, but anything more than one is a little on the excessive side, deathwise, so it's a justified trope. (Although actually, that much roast beef would be a little different, wouldn't it?)
  • Though Tim Taylor of Home Improvement had had many, many, many accidents over the years, for some reason he never lived down that one time he glued his forehead to the table.
  • Ben Wyatt of Parks and Recreation won a brief measure of nationwide fame when he rode a wave of local anti-incumbent sentiment and got elected mayor of his town at the tender age of 18. He got some more fame when he bankrupted his town and got impeached after a month. Needless to say, he doesn't like being reminded of it, which any citizen with a search engine is happy to do.