Breakout Character is a character in serial fiction that becomes a more prominent, popular, discussed, and/or imitated individual. Usually in sitcom, the breakout character quickly grabs hold the audience's attention. Someone who was once a one-note C-character becmoes a central part of the regular cast. Sometimes they become such because they fill a niche in the cast that wasn't previously filled or acts as an impressive foil to The Hero. They gains of increased role regardless of the character's popularity.

Sometimes, though, a villain will be introduced who ends up being a breakout character in their own right. A Breakout Villain is one who was meant to be a one-shot throw-away that, through fan/author/executive/all-of-the-above response became not only a staple villain, but the villain of the series. Sometimes, these characters becomes antiheroes in their own right, with all the attendant risks. Most often, thoguh, they retain their wonderful Big Bad status. Can across over with hijacking the plot if they are turned into a Greater Scope Villain overseeing a lot of plots seemingly masterminded by different villains.

Good Examples:

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