Remind me again why she's the title character.
Plan to launch on Friday
This is a character who, is supposed
to be a main character, but for whatever reason does not get developed nearly as much as his counterparts. He's on all the advertisements, gets a witty one liner in the trailer, but when the release date comes, he almost fades into the background. Basically, he was Demoted to Extra
before the story even came out.
This character is introduced at some pivotal point (usually the beginning) and then is generally ignored for the rest of the story. Maybe he's seen for all of five minutes in a three hour movie, or maybe he just lurks in the background while his friends do all the important stuff. Whatever the case, to qualify for this trope, a character must have been introduced in a way that implied he was going to be important, but is left out of most of the story.
If the wasted character is in a series, the author may realize his mistake and give him some development in later episodes/books/etc. Alternatively, he can just put him on a bus
or kill him off for real
to avoid having to deal with another character.
May be a victim of the Spotlight-Stealing Squad
, and expect him to become an Ensemble Darkhorse
Compare to The Artifact
, who starts out prominent and then fades. A Advertised Extra
is advertised as prominent, but never actually achieves that status.
- Aurora of Disney Animated Canon - all she really does is fall in love, and the spotlight is completely stolen by the good fairies and Maleficent.
- Characters on LOST are invariably either some of the most dynamic and developed characters on TV, or completely wasted. Sun and Jin have yet to find a real dramatic story post-season 1. Sayid has been reinterpreted for convenience. Desmond disappears for almost all of Season 5 and 6, doing absolutely nothing of interest in the scenes that he does have. Daniel disappears for most of season 5, and dies immediately upon re-appearing
- Battlestar Galactica. In season 4.5, at least according to This Troper, nearly every protagonist was wasted for the benefit of explosions, secondary characters, explaining just what the heck has been going on, and clearing up some past mistakes. Especially the finale itself, which featured Tigh and Tyrol in glorified cameos. Your Mileage May Vary.
- Trillian in The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy radio series doesn't have much character development, supposedly because the actress's performance didn't give Douglas Adams much to work with. Her character is much more developed in the later books.
- Jeanette from Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel: The boys and her sisters all get ample screen time, whereas she seems to fall by the wayside. Old fans know her from the old cartoon as a genius, but this never really comes out. She's never seen without her sisters, and even then she gets about five minutes of screentime that isn't singing.
- Possible subversion with Venom in Spider-Man 3. Eddy Brock was around for most of the movie, but Venom is seen for all of fifteen minutes. However, he did a LOT in 15 minutes, including finally doing what no other villain in the movies could do kill one of Peter's loved ones, Harry Osborn, and yet had so little screen time. Fans revolted, and there was a lot of controversy. Very little depth was given to the character in comparison to other Spidey villains in the series, or even in that movie, and many fans feel Venom was wasted.
- Mayweather on Enterprise.
- Vaan in Final Fantasy XII, famously.