This trope has been found: Advertised Extra. All examples unique to this page have been migrated. Thank you, to all who contributed! Shows do not always proceed as the writers intended, sometimes due to Executive Meddling, sometimes due to creative choices. When this happens, characters that were slated to have prominent roles in the series, whose actors were therefore billed in the credits, can end up playing minor roles, making them an Opening Titles Extra. There are two criteria for being an Opening Titles Extra:
- The actor/character must be credited in the opening titles as if they were part of the main cast.
- The character must play a very minor part and/or not appear as often as the "guest stars".
- Haruhi Suzumiya has every speaking character show up in the first season credits, including a classmate who appears in only one episode.
- Happens a lot in Degrassi since season 9, mostly due to the plot focusing on some characters more than others.
- Lois and Clark: Tracy Scoggins as Kat Grant, a society page reporter in the first season. Given little to do, dropped after the first season.
- Tim Meadows on Saturday Night Live had one of the longest tenures but rarely was onstage. It even became a Running Gag in the Backstage Sketches. "Are you still on the show?"
- Soap: Billy, the Tates' youngest, often appears only in crowd scenes. Because the credits are in alphabetical order, Jimmy Baio is usually the first person credited; also when the closing credits are Edited for Syndication he's often the only person credited before they fade to black.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko is in the opening credits but he appears in fewer than half the episodes, and several times when he does appear it's only as a minor character.
- Simon Reynolds as Daniel Dickinson in the first season of Warehouse 13. A particularly egregious case in that several of the "guest stars" appeared quite a lot more than he did in that span.
- Parodied and exaggerated in Futurama's Bender's Big Score, where the credits show "introducing Zylex", who only appears in the background, in line for soup, in one scene.
- The Japanese dub of Transformers Animated featured Autobots like Ironhide and Arcee fairly prominently, when they only appeared in a handful of episodes.
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