Created By: Folamh3 on August 10, 2017 Last Edited By: Folamh3 on August 16, 2017
Troped

Uncredited Role

When a creator has a significant role in the creation of a work, but goes uncredited

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
trope
For a variety of reasons (budget constraints, contractual obligations, Creator Backlash etc.), sometimes a person will be involved in the creation of a work, but will go uncredited. It's generally only noteworthy if they played a significant role in the creative process (drafting a screenplay, writing a lyric); if the person is well-known enough to have a page on this wiki (many Cameos meet this description); or if the role they played was insignificant, but the person went on to achieve greater fame thereafter.

In Hollywood, experienced screenwriters are often employed as uncredited "script doctors" to provide edits to existing drafts of screenplays before they go into production: these edits can range from simple punching up of the dialogue, to adding new scenes, to changing the entire structure of the screenplay.

In literature, writers may be employed as "ghostwriters" note  to write a book for another person: the latter person will be credited as the writer. The most common form this takes is when a celebrity hires a ghostwriter to pen their "auto"biography. The ghostwriter is usually bound to a non-disclosure agreement not to publicly reveal or discuss their involvement in the creation of the book, although they may be credited as an "editor" or "consultant". House Pseudonym (in which multiple ghostwriters are credited under a single pseudonym) is related to this trope.

In music, it's common for solo artists or groups to employ "session musicians" when recording a song or an album, contracted musicians who will perform on one or more track, but who are not considered an official member of the group or the solo artist's backing band. Sometimes these musicians will not be credited in the liner notes for the release, but will later go on to achieve fame in their own right. In Hip-Hop, it's an Open Secret that many rappers employ ghostwriters to write lyrics for them, who will sometimes go uncredited.

This was common industry practice in voiceover work for animation prior to the 1990s (see Now Which One Was That Voice? for more information).

See also Alan Smithee, for when a film director proves that they did not have creative control over a film and has the direction of the film credited to a pseudonym. An interesting case is when a creator is typecast in a particular role/genre, and goes uncredited in order to distance themselves from their usual type, which overlaps with He Also Did.

Note that it's not an example if the person is credited under a Pen Name or alias.

This is Trivia, not a trope.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Animated Film 

  • Kathleen Turner was uncredited as the voice of Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Until 1984, there was a rule that animators had to draw at least 100 feet of film (roughly 68 seconds) in order to be credited.
    • Sleeping Beauty: The voices for the Queen and for Maleficent's goons weren't credited.
    • Robin Hood only listed the actors playing the main character and key supporting characters; other actors like J. Pat O'Malley (Otto), John Fiedler (Deacon), Barbara Luddy (Deacon's wife) and all the child actors went uncredited.
    • Ron Clements conceived the story for the 1983 featurette Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, but he took his name off the film in protest of Disney outsourcing the animation.
  • Charlie Kaufman was an uncredited script doctor for Kung Fu Panda 2.

    Live-Action Film 

     Live Action Television 
  • The Community episode "Investigative Journalism" has an uncredited performance by Owen Wilson as the leader of another study group who recruits Buddy at the end.
  • In the Doctor Who story "Remembrance of the Daleks", the iconic K-9 voice actor John Leeson played an uncredited part as the voice of the Renegade Daleks' battle computer, before the character's true identity was revealed.

     Music 

     Video Games 

     Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: Lacey Chabert went uncredited when she voiced Meg during the first production season, before she was replaced by Mila Kunis. She finally received credit on "Back to the Pilot".
  • Looney Tunes: For many years, Mel Blanc received no onscreen credit for all the voices he did. He only was given a credit after asking for a raise. His bosses refused to give him one but grudgingly agreed to put his name in the credits.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • August 10, 2017
    BKelly95
    Live Action Television
    • The Community episode "Investigative Journalism" has an uncredited performance by Owen Wilson as the leader of another study group who recruits Buddy at the end.
  • August 10, 2017
    JoeG
    • The Force Awakens: Danial Craig plays the Stormtrooper who is mind-controlled by Rey.
  • August 10, 2017
    Kartoonkid95
    • Family Guy: Lacey Chabert went uncredited when she voiced Meg during the first production season, before she was replaced by Mila Kunis. She finally received credit on "Back to the Pilot".
  • August 10, 2017
    ZuTheSkunk
    In literature, there is a practice known as ghostwriting, which is when a writer is commissioned to write a book that another person will take credit for (usually done with autobiographies and such).
  • August 12, 2017
    MetaFour
    May overlap with He Also Did.

    • Mel Brooks was an uncredited producer on David Lynch's The Elephant Man. He feared audiences would assume it was a comedy because of his involvement, so he left his own name out of the credits and marketing.
  • August 13, 2017
    TonyG
    Kathleen Turner was uncredited as the voice of Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
  • August 14, 2017
    Kartoonkid95
  • August 15, 2017
    hszmv1
    Do we have a thing for when this happens when a recurring or former cast member returns as part of a cliffhanger or stinger and revealing the credits prior to the scene would spoil the entire point of having them?
  • August 15, 2017
    Folamh3
    ^ I think that's Not Named In Opening Credits.
  • August 15, 2017
    Kartoonkid95
    • Disney Animated Canon:
      • Until 1984, there was a rule that animators had to draw at least 100 feet of film (roughly 68 seconds) in order to be credited.
      • Sleeping Beauty: The voices for the Queen and for Maleficent's goons weren't credited.
      • Robin Hood only listed the actors playing the main character and key supporting characters; other actors like J. Pat O'Malley (Otto), John Fiedler (Deacon), Barbara Luddy (Deacon's wife) and all the child actors went uncredited.
      • Ron Clements conceived the story for the 1983 featurette Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, but he took his name off the film in protest of Disney outsourcing the animation.
  • August 15, 2017
    Generality
    • Kevin Smith wrote most of the dialogue for his part in Live Free Or Die Hard. According to him, he rewrote the scene when he auditioned for the part, and the studio hired him because it was cheaper than giving him a writer's credit.
  • August 15, 2017
    Folamh3
    ^ Was Kevin Smith credited for his acting in that film?
  • August 15, 2017
    Generality
    ^ Based on IMDB, I think so.
  • August 15, 2017
    JoeG
    • Looney Tunes: For many years, Mel Blanc received no onscreen credit for all the voices he did. He only was given a credit after asking for a raise. His bosses refused to give him one but grudgingly agreed to put his name in the credits.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=znfm9urhhtz4l38m2bmvzoun