As part of created a large, life-like world with an actual backstory (and therefore avoiding a World Limited to the Plot
), or as part of filling out a character's history or personality, characters will often be described who are never seen in person in the actual work. They have done something to contribute towards the world/person being what they are now, but are implied in that we only have the character's word that they existed, we don't get any physical proof.
Implied characters also exist in other forms than backstories. Royals, for example, are often described but not seen. Characters may be referenced in a throwaway comment that never gets fully explored. In works aimed at a younger audience, certain adults - especially parents - tend to get this treatment.
If this happens as part of a tragic history, the tropes Posthumous Character
and/or Death by Origin Story
are often involved. If, however, we see them in a flashback section, they are no longer implied - we have proof of their existence.
Do not confuse with Informed Attribute
Needs More Examples
[[folder: Video Games
- Banjo-Kazooie required you to hunt out facts about the Big Bad Gruntilda earlier in the game from her sister so you could answer her otherwise impossible quiz later. Included in these facts were the names of Gruntilda's dog, band, best friend, boyfriend and other pet. Also, Banjo and Kazooie also locate the tomb of a former king of Gobi Valley, King Sandybutt, and reference is made to Dingpot's former girlfriend.
- References have been made, usually in other sources than the games, to the family members of Peach, Bowser, Wario and Daisy from Super Mario Bros. There are many others, as well, if you trawl through the games, cartoons and other materials of the series.