This is the uncanny habit of a new character arriving conveniently in time to replace an outgoing one, generally in the same episode. Sometimes there is a certain logic to this, as in the case of Starfleet officers being succeeded by another of the same rank. Other times, it's just to make up the numbers, such as in ''Blake's 7'', when the new character is always the same gender as the outgoing one.

A frequent vehicle-of-delivery for the SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute.

When a TabletopGame player does this in an especially cheesy fashion, it's a symptom of ComplacentGamingSyndrome. Compare BackupTwin when it's ''really'' convenient.


[[folder: Anime ]]

* With each new generation of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' (besides [[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Generation II]]), Ash is accompanied by a different female companion. Misty ([[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Original]] [[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Series]]) is succeeded by May (''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Advanced Generation]]''), then Dawn (''[[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Diamond & Pearl]]''), then Iris (''[[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Best]] [[VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2 Wishes!]]''), then Serena (''[[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY XY]]''). Note that each character from May on (Except for Iris) is the female player character from her respective games (whereas Ash starts wearing the outfits inspired by the male PC beginning with ''D/P''). Starting with ''Best Wishes!'', Ash's male companion is also different and largely serves in the same roles (being a Gym Leader, TheLancer and a TeamChef). This trend largely ended with the ''[[VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon Sun and Moon]]'' series due to {{ReTool}}ing the general plot from traveling around the region with constant companions to Ash attending a school with his classmates not appearing in every episode.
* In ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann,'' [[TheHeart Nia]] shows up one episode after [[spoiler:[[DecoyProtagonist Kamina]] is KilledOffForReal]]. In some ways she serves as a {{Foil}} for him, providing calm encouragement in contrast to...[[BadassBoast w]][[TheBerserker e]][[BoisterousBruiser l]][[FountainOfMemes l]]...


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Kind of in the same vein as the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' example below, in the sci-fi novel ''Literature/{{Wyrm}}'', the main characters are very much deep into the viral MUD central to the plot when one of the characters they're playing dies. Luckily, that player just happened to have a back-up character that had been following close behind them the whole time without them noticing.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''Series/BlakesSeven'' [[spoiler:Jenna is replaced by Dayna, Blake is replaced by Tarrant, and Cally is replaced by Soolin.]] This series was once in fact the Trope Namer: WelcomeToTheLiberator, in honour of the ship featured on the show. [[spoiler: Which was replaced by the Scorpio]]
* In ''Series/{{Frontline}}'', each season features a new executive producer, all of whom are equally amoral but manipulate people in slightly different ways.
* In ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', Seven of Nine is introduced in the season 4 premiere (carrying on from the season 3 finale's cliffhanger). Kes leaves the show in episode 2 of Season 4 (after it's established that Seven is staying).
* Averted by "The Best of Both Worlds", the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' season 3/4 two-parter. It ''looks'' like Shelby will be taking Riker's place as first officer, first when he's given his last shot at a command assignment, then when Riker assumes command of the ''Enterprise'' after Picard's abduction, she actually does become his first officer. Of course, [[ItWasHisSled Picard is saved]], the ship Riker was offered command of is destroyed, and Shelby [[StatusQuoIsGod moves on to something outside the focus of the show]].
** The reasoning behind this is worthy of mention, however. As, originally, Picard might have left for Season 4. Thus, it was written so that, in a pinch, they COULD have had the shake-up.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'': In the first episode of the second season, Ice-T's character shows up, having been reassigned to SVU. Monique Jeffries, Michelle Hurd's outgoing character, comments, "You're here for my job."
* Doyle makes a HeroicSacrifice to save the title character of ''Series/{{Angel}}''. Wesley arrives in town in the next episode.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' is based around the idea of three specific [[WitchSpecies witch]] sisters who are {{The Chosen One}}s because they have "the Power of Three." So what to do when one of those sisters is McLeaned? Reveal that there was a ''fourth'' sister [[LongLostRelative they didn't know about]]! To be fair, [[TropesAreTools it worked surprisingly well]]--their mom's [[MalignedMixedMarriage affair with her Whitelighter]] was already established, providing a good reason for Paige to be given up for adoption, and her sudden appearance after Prue's death was {{Justified}}: Piper cast a spell to reestablish the Power of Three, and that drew Paige into a position where it could happen.
* ''Series/{{MASH}}''... Where to begin? Trapper for BJ. Henry for Potter. Frank for Winchester. Klinger takes a more central role after Radar leaves too. Justified, as these are military jobs that need to be filled.
* The Joel-to-Mike swap on ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' was a [[JustifiedTrope justified]] example: Mike's first episode is Joel's last because Mike helps Joel to escape. Upon discovering that Joel is gone and they need another test subject to continue their experiments, the Mads force Mike to take Joel's place.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'': After Agent Caitlin Todd is [[spoiler: murdered in the season 2 finale]], Ziva David appears in the two-part opening episode of season 3 - which still features Kate, after a fashion [[spoiler:(she is appearing as other character's hallucinations of her) ]]- but isn't revealled to be a regular until an episode or two later. Actually subverted when Ziva leaves: She leaves the cast in the second episode of Season 11, but her replacement, Ellie Bishop, doesn't arrive until mid-November.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' traditionally did this with great frequency, although there was an aversion in the last few Tenth Doctor stories. Possibly justified on the grounds that the Doctor gets lonely without a companion, or foresees one leaving, and starts actively looking for a new one. Epecially in the Moffet-Era, there are references to no-companion adventures...which are conveniently off-screen.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': In the Daniel Jackson to Jonas Quinn swap, Jonas is introduced in "Meridian", which is the same episode Daniel gets [[PutOnABus sent off to]] [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence a higher plane]]. And then, when Daniel comes back, that fits this too; Daniel's back, so Jonas [[PutOnABus skedaddles back home]] same episode.
* In ''Series/{{Minder}}'', Arthur's nephew Ray arrives looking for a job in the same episode (the season opener) that Arthur learns Terry has [[PutOnABus emigrated to Australia]].
* A few of the early ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' seasons had this happened whenever a retiring cast member needed to be replaced:
** The two replacements in ''Series/BattleFeverJ''. Maria Nagisa shows up just when Diane Martin (Miss America) gets injured, whereas Makoto Jin happens to befriend Team Battle Fever just before Kensaku Shiraishi (Battle Cossack) is killed.
** ''Series/TaiyouSentaiSunVulcan'' has TheHero Ryuusuke Oowashi (Vul Eagle)'s classmate, Takayuki Hiba, arrive after a hard battle. He's given a tour of the heroes' new base, and then their commander informs Oowashi that he has to go pilot a space shuttle for NASA. Of course, Hiba turns out to be there to replace him as the leader of the team.
** We also have the second Yellow 4 in ''Series/ChoudenshiBioman'', though plot allows the replacement to arrive smoothly: the Biomen are the descendants of people who'd been showered with Bio Particles during the Edo period. There are, of course, more descendants than just those five, and the Biomen went and recruited one.
** Done regularly on ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', seeing as only ''one'' of the original Rangers (Billy) stayed through the entire multi-season first story. Rocky, Adam, and Aisha befriended the Rangers before replacing Jason, Zack, and Trini in Season Two; and then Kat showed up for an arc before replacing Kimberly in Season Three.
** ''Series/PowerRangersTurbo'' worked similarly; Justin was introduced in the same movie where Rocky got sidelined, and midseason it introduced four new characters before they became the replacement Turbo Rangers.
** ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'' was a partial aversion, as when Kendrix had to be written out due to RealLifeWritesThePlot, both planned replacement characters were returning from the previous season ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace''. It's only "partial" because both conveniently made their reappearances just as Kendrix left: Cassie was part of the ''Lost Galaxy''/''in Space'' crossover that led to Kendrix's death, and when the plans for Cassie to be a permanent cast member fell through Karone appeared and became the new Pink Ranger in the following episode.
* ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'': Ashton shows up the same episode we found out Charlie was killed.
* Zigzagged on ''Series/{{Farscape}}''. Jool first appears in the same story where Zhaan leaves and takes over the position of ship's medical expert. However, Stark, who replaces Zhaan as the ship's mystic, had been an on-and-off guest star for a season prior to Zhaan's departure. Sikozu shows up to replace Jool as the annoyingly smart redhead chick a few episodes before Jool actually leaves. Averted with Noranti replacing Stark: there's a fairly large gap between Stark's departure and Noranti's introduction.
* In ''Series/{{Bonanza}}'', Will Cartwright was set up to be this for Adam Cartwright, but it was {{subverted}} when Will ended up leaving the show before Adam did.
* ''Series/NewsRadio'': After dealing with Bill's death in the first episode of the fifth season, his replacement, Max Louis, is introduced in the next episode. Partially justified: it's a radio station and they do need an announcer (but not necessarily a wacky announcer).
* ''Series/LastOfTheSummerWine'': It almost always happens when one of the members leaves the trio. Seymour is called out of retirement and leaves, and the long-gone Foggy returns to the village on the very next bus. Years later, Foggy is supposed to be temporarily out of town, and the lads hang out with Truly Truelove in his absence. However, Foggy's trip becomes permanent when he suddenly marries, and Truly simply carries on in his place.
* ''Series/RookieBlue'': In Season 3, Sam's ex-bf, Detective Luke Callahan, returns to the division seemingly just in time for [[spoiler:the current lead Detective Jerry Barber to get fatally stabbed within the next two episodes, leaving Luke to step up into Barber's old role.]]
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'': Bo and Duke leave to race cars, enter {{Suspiciously Similar Substitute}}s Coy and Vance. Bo and Luke return after the actors' contract dispute is settled, Coy and Vance leave town to aid a conveniently ill relative.
* When the actor who played Coach on ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' died, they brought in Woody, not only to fill the job of tending bar, but also the job of TheDitz.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' is practically the embodiment of this trope, as another party member will appear to fill in a gap left by a previous party member leaving, typically by HeroicSacrifice.
** However, there are many instances where you don't have a full party in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''. A better (but one-time) example is in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'', where [[spoiler:you add Krile to your party literally the moment Galuf dies]]. The new character even gets all the old character's skills and equipment, making it feel like all you've really done is a sprite change (though she ''is'' a significantly different character).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII''. You have your core 3 characters, and the fourth one dies, leaves, gets separated, dies, or [[RuleOfThree dies]]. You don't get your final party until towards three quarter of the way through [[spoiler:and that's your original party from the original cutscene]]. This is a nuisance seeing as the grinding system in this game depends on repeating one action repeatedly in order to become better with that action, so your fourth party members (with [[WhiteMage one exception]]) are all all but useless.
* Near the end of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', [[spoiler:sparing Loghain will lead to him replacing Alistair as your weapon-and-shield Warrior when Alistair storms off in a rage]].
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' (and to a lesser extent, ''[[VideoGame/MassEffect2 2]]'') uses a lot of them for characters that died in the previous games. For example, if Wrex died in the first game, he's replaced by his brother Wreav going forward. The replacement characters are usually worse when it comes to the outcomes of their story-arcs, though.
* You are the replacement astronaut in ''VideoGame/{{Rama}}'' after the mission commander's mysterious death.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfDragoon'' gives us Albert after [[spoiler:Lavitz is killed]] and Miranda after [[spoiler:Shana loses the power of her dragoon spirit]]. Both join the party immediately after their predecessors can no longer travel with the party.
* In ''VideoGame/LunarDragonSong'', Lucia leaves your party a short way into the game. Unfortunately, she's the party healer. Fortunately, Flora joins your party shortly thereafter and brings her own healing with her.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The Planet Express Ship crew in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' is explicitly this to a prior lost crew, and the Professor has convenient replacements in the same roles ready to step up when and if they die.