->''"Have you ever met someone you don't know, again? Like, you don't actually know them, but they keep popping up, like {{God}} is running out of extras for the movie of your life."''
-->-- '''LouisCK'''

Character(s) with no relation to the main story who keep popping up when the important cast is doing something in the vicinity, usually to their inconvenience or discomfort. They usually have nothing to do with the plot whatsoever, and the cast doesn't even notice them. For obvious reasons, this can become a RunningGag, although their appearances often culminate in a [[AscendedExtra formal introduction into the cast]].

A level or two below ThoseTwoGuys and the RecurringTraveller. Also see MemeticBystander for when the fans take a shine to these characters. If he's always getting maimed or in trouble, he's an UnluckyExtra. May overlap with WhyDoYouKeepChangingJobs

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* Menko ("Miss Noodle") and Shiruo ("Mr. Soup") in ''UruseiYatsura'', a terminally shy couple who are always just about to declare their love for one another at the moment another ThunderingHerd runs over them.
* Similarly, Ushiko ("Miss Cow") and Umao ("Mr. Horse") in ''KimagureOrangeRoad''.
** A similarly named couple showed up in Akane's soaps in ''[[RanmaOneHalf Ranma 1/2]]''. Usually they inadvertently fanned Akane's fears that someone was going to get raped.
* ''CowboyBebop'' had a trio of senior citizens who kept popping up all over the ''solar system'', and even appeared in TheMovie. The old men do have names, and ThemeNaming pops up yet again -- their names are [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Carlos_Jobim Antonio, Carlos and Jobim]].
* ''LightNovel/SisterPrincess'' has several people about the island -- including a salesgirl, a fellow dressed like a stereotypical Frenchman and a short dumpy guy in coveralls -- who are constantly seen in the background (and once in a while in the foreground). In a twist, they gather together during the climax of the series to see if there's anything they can do to help the hero or his sisters.
* ''{{Trigun}}'' has Kuroneko-sama ("Lady Black Cat"), a small black cat with giant green eyes. She appears in ''every'' episode; even in the one WholeEpisodeFlashback over 100 years earlier [[spoiler:(albeit cryogenically frozen)]]. Her entrances tend to come out of left field (example: as Wolfwood digs through his bag looking for a book, he pulls Kuroneko-sama out of it). There are rumors that suggested the black cat is put in as a game between one of the animators and his children to see if they can find the cat in every episode.
* ''{{Canaan}}'' has a taxi driver who always ends up driving the cast around, he is a big fan of Nene-chan's songs.
* Throughout Creator/SatoshiKon's ''Anime/MillenniumActress,'' there are three schoolgirls who appear in her flashbacks, which tend to take place within many different time periods (Edo Japan, for example) and locations, while either sneering at her dreams or trying to pry her secrets. They make a cameo in ''Anime/TokyoGodfathers''. To some degree, every single character forms a RecurringExtra to Chiyoko's movies/lives/[[MindScrew events]].
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'':
** The Mahora Festival StoryArc has Haruki and Yuki, the adorable kid couple who randomly popped up in all three days of the festival. They served as one of the background characters Negi saved from Mana's gun, one of Negi and Ako's opponents in the Best Couple in Mahora contest (they won), and some of the cannon fodder in the Mages vs. Martians war game.
** A high school couple also appeared in all three scenes. Don't believe their names were given, though.
* The '90s anime ''YAT: Anshin Uchuu Ryokou'' is about an intergalactic travel agency, where this old couple would be present in the space-tourbus on every single trip no matter where in what galaxy they were going.
* The old men in the ''LoveHina'' anime.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' has its own couple of {{Recurring Extra}}s who frequently appear in order to have their car '[[FlashedBadgeHijack requisitioned]]' by various military characters.
* ''Anime/StreetFighterIIV'' -- Gouki/Akuma appears in the background of several scenes but has absolutely no place in the plot. This stretches belief that somehow, in an anime all about the main characters trying to find the best and greatest street brawlers, Ryu and Ken both overlook a huge muscular man in a karate gi with burning red hair who seems to show up wherever they go...
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', a hippie couple pops up from time to time, especially when something dealing with the Earthbound Gods is going on.
* ''InfiniteRyvius'' features two background characters, a girl wearing a blue mascot costume and a boy wearing only a towel, who appear at least once in every episode.
* ''Franchise/SailorMoon'':
** There is a little girl with pigtails that shows up quite a lot, though several "sightings" are pretty big stretches. [[http://moonsisters.org/moonsisters/case/case.htm Scroll]] down about halfway on this page to see an article on her.
** There is a one other character that serves as this, with a twist. There is a fat, unnamed woman in burgundy that appears only once in any media, but has an appearance in the [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]], the [[Anime/SailorMoon anime]] (first episode) and the [[VideoGame/SailorMoonAnotherStory RPG]] as a NPC who tries to set the girls up with her son. Considering she's a one-off character in the manga, it's odd that the creators of both the anime and the game thought to include her.
* ''OnePiece'':
** [[http://onepiece.wikia.com/wiki/Pandaman Pandaman]].
** Oda seems to like this trope.
** A door repairman is commonly seen, along with a drunk who tends to get involved with mobs very easily. It doesn't help that his fans tend to egg him on about adding these characters.
** Past THAT, in almost every arc, there are always a handful of nameless characters that will continually keep showing up; for example, the egg-shaped Franky Family guy with tiny glasses. No name, hardly spoke, WAS ALWAYS THERE.
** One of Iva's [[WholesomeCrossdresser okama]] squad, whose bunny ears and flowing mustache earned him the FanNickname of "Bunnystache."
* The ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' anime has a number of [[http://dogasu.bulbagarden.net/features/recycling.html recurring character designs]] used in the background of various shots, which are occasionally given a PaletteSwap.
* ''{{Dramacon}}'' has a raccoon that first appears plastered to the bumper of the car [[DrivesLikeCrazy Brett]] is driving to the convention. The little guy pops up in the background every so often throughout the series, usually scavenging snacks. He even makes [[TheCameo a cameo appearance]] in ''{{Nightschool}}'', another one of the author's works.
* ''SamuraiPizzaCats'' has the mother bear and her son that watch the pizza cats be launched from the shop every episode.
* ''Manga/DesertPunk'' features a tragic comedy example: a recurring set of parents and young girl who always suffer a misfortune such as being robbed, having no food/water or having their livelihood destroyed, the parents will usually break down in tears or cower in terror of their mortal peril while the punchline is the young girl pull a parents sleave and exclaim 'I'm hungry'.
* ''TigerAndBunny'' features a [[http://i.imgur.com/mRW1A.jpg young redheaded woman with a scarf]] involved in the events of just about every episode.
* ''HajimeNoIppo'' has exactly '''one''' referee and '''two''' commentators. They're the same in absolutely every official match; the only ones that don't show them are unofficial or the ones done [[{{Flashback}} in the past]].
** We finally got a different ref in a present-day official match for Vorg vs. Mike Elliot fight, mainly because [[spoiler:he took bribe from Elliot's trainer. Can't have your only one ref being a crook, can we?]]
* For some reason, a group of monks passes by the house in ''Anime/OkusamaWaMahouShoujo'' awfully often.
* In ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'', there's a trio of super-{{fangirl}}s who can be seen in the stands whenever singer/model Haruto Sakuraba is expected to play. Sakuraba had a lot of fans, but those three stuck by him even after he quit modeling and [[TookALevelInBadAss remade himself as a serious athlete]]. Of the three, the most notable is a short chubby girl with pigtails who [[RunningGag faints every time she sees Sakuraba]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* The French comic ''{{Asterix}}'' features a band of pirates (who themselves are [[LawyerFriendlyCameo caricatures of characters]] from the Belgian comic ''Redbeard'') who kept getting their ship wrecked whenever they ran into Asterix.
* The Belgian comic ''DeKiekeboes'' has a fat woman in a red sweater who is always being run over by the main character. To date she has appeared in EVERY De Kiekeboes comic that was written, equaling the four main characters and doing better than every other character.
* The various helicopter pilots, particularly the French one and his extended family, who encounter main character Shautieh Ley's RushmoreRefacement everywhere they go in ''BowlingKing''.
* The alien inhabiting the Negative Zone in ''TwistedToyfareTheater'', whose life is constantly screwed up by the antics of a rowdy Thing.
* The woodcutter couple in ''UsagiYojimbo''. They appear in the background of every other issue or so, sometimes interacting with the main cast (unwittingly helping Usagi foil the Neko Ninja's plans, even more unwittingly helping him feed and clothe Princess Kinuko, and very nearly getting killed by Inazuma...) and often telling one another that samurai are crazy.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', the Bernards appear repeatedly yet have nothing to do with the plot, save to sell other characters newspapers and be a FramingDevice for the ''Black Freighter'' story arc. The lesbian couple who get into a fight just before [[spoiler: the squid-alien appears]] have even less connection to the main characters. Subverted with [[spoiler: the "End Is Nigh" sign-carrier]], who looks innocuous until [[spoiler: it turns out he's Rorschach]].
* Some examples from Marvel:
** Walter Collins, for a long time landlord to the Fantastic Four in the Baxter Building, and their mailman, Willie Lumpkin.
** Mamie Muggins, Peter Parker's landlady from his moving out of Harry's apartment until his own wedding.
** Harry Morrell, landlord of the bar nearest to the X-Mansion.
* If not Jolyon Wagg himself, then the members of his family in ''{{Tintin}}''.
* A pair of [[http://ifanboy.com/articles/scott-snyder-uncovers-bizarre-background-character-mystery/ hipsterish cops]] appear in the background of a huge number of Marvel, DC, and ''Transformers'' comics aimed at younger readers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'' there's an unnamed underclassman of Kyon who has run him when [[GoodCopBadCop interrogating a member of an illegal photography ring]] and talking how him breaking a yakuza thug's hand was the most impressive display of that fight, between other moments.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'', the action keeps on cutting to two teenagers making out in a convertible. This is for no apparent reason, other than to tell a policeman that nobody ever goes the way the main characters did.
** Supposedly they were going to have a bigger part in the overall plot until the female teenager broke her leg (she was supposed to play one of the 'wives'), [[RealLifeWritesThePlot thus having to be confined to the car at all times to hide her cast]].
* In ''Film/TimeBandits'', a couple named Vincent and Pansy show up in different time periods throughout history, presumably reincarnated, as they are slightly different each time. Vincent always has an embarrassing personal problem they're trying not to talk about, and they're swamped by the wake of the main characters each time.
* In the WidgetSeries (well, movie), ''Film/BattlefieldBaseball'', a group of people, including a girl in old-fashioned school uniform, a guy wearing just a fig leaf, and someone with a broken arm, appear out of nowhere to create a crowd several times during the movie. There's also a drunk and his dog who are seen multiple times, including the end, where it's implied that the dog is the narrator of the movie. Yeah.
* In ''Film/YoungFrankenstein'', there is a couple at the train station when Dr Frankenstein boards the train who are having a strange conversation about some guy named Harry. When he arrives at his destination, the same couple is there, having the ''exact same conversation'', but in German, and the guy is now named Hans.
* In ''Film/TrickRTreat'', Sam starts out as one of these, but from how much attention the camera pays to him, as well as his frequent appearances in the title montage and the fact that he's on the cover of the movie, you can tell he'll be pretty important later on. A more conventional example would be the three kids dressed as clowns, who can be very helpful in putting together the film's [[AnachronicOrder complicated time line]].
* Eric Idle's character in ''NationalLampoonsEuropeanVacation'' just happens to turn up at the same spots all over Europe at the same time as the main characters, [[DesignatedVictim suffering increasingly grievous injuries due to their actions]]. He returns for more of the same 18 years later in the MadeForTVMovie ''Christmas Vacation 2.''
* A woman with a large hat shows up multiple times in the background of ''TheDoubleLifeOfVeronique'' (''La double vie de Véronique''). As this occurs in scenes taking place in different countries, and the film itself is concerned with the idea of doppelgängers, it seems intended by the filmmaker.
* In ''Film/ShaunOfTheDead'', all of the extras seen over the course of the beginning of the first half of the film appear as zombies in the second half.
* ''Gregory's Girl'' has a character dressed as a penguin who wanders through several of the scenes at the high school. There's never an explanation.
* In the Roger Moore ''Film/JamesBond'' films ''Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe'', ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'' and ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'', the man who keeps seeing Bond do crazy stuff in Italy, probably without ever realising it is the same man (emerging from the sea in his car-sub; driving around the streets of Venice in his land-gondola; and escaping from armed assassins on skis in the Italian alps, respectively). In each case he is drinking and in the first two, finds what he's seeing so bizarre that he seems to wonder if he's been drinking too much (though not enough to ''stop'', evidently). Played by Victor Tourjansky, who was the assistant director for these Italy-set scenes in all three films.
* Done literally for a scene of ''Film/SpaceMutiny'', with a scene in a corridor with Ryder and Lea having a conversation whilst extras pass them back and forth in the background. Quite plainly, the same two extras again and again.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/{{Airborn}}'', the Lumiere triplets are mentioned in all three books and Matt sees them at a restaurant in ''Skybreaker.''
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}} Watch'' novels, the dwarf watchman Stronginthearm is mentioned in passing a few times between ''Men At Arms'', when nonhumans first join the police force, and ''Night Watch'', when he is [[spoiler: suddenly and shockingly murdered by a fugitive]].
* The many courtiers around King's Landing in ''ASongOfIceAndFire'' play this role, although some like Lord Giles Rosby and the Stokeworths do become more notable as time goes on.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' has a few, including Snoop Dogg Intern / Resident / Attending (that's right, baby) Dr. Beardface ([[{{ItIsPronouncedTro-PAY}} pronounced Beard-fa-say, dammit!]]), Colonel Doctor, and Dr. Mickhead.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' has Ranjit, the... [[RunningGag various vehicles]] driver.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' has a burgeoning pair in the form of two FBI agents tangentially involved in their projects, who tend to benefit significantly by the association.
* ''MyFamily'' uses the same actor as receptionist in any hotel the family visit. They never comment on it, but he always has the same personality.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' had a number of these:
** The most famous was their go-to victim, played by Danny Strong, who eventually became a minor named recurring character and then a villain in season six, Jonathan.
** Should you be watching reruns of season 3 episodes, look for a shortish Asian guy carrying a skateboard. He's in many episodes and is referred to as "Asian Dan" by the cast. In the season 4 DVD, Seth Green, Joss Whedon, and Marti Noxon joke about his frequent appearances in the "Wild at Heart" audio commentary.
* Jacob Collins in ''TrailerParkBoys'' is this until the later seasons of the show when he's promoted to a full character. Initially he is the cashier at whatever store Ricky is currently robbing.
* The live-action version of ''{{Moyashimon}}'' has the Four-Eyed Explorer, a bespectacled member of the university's Explorer Club who keeps showing up in the background. When he appears outside of Kawahama and Misato's room in episode 4, Sawaki even asks him who is he and what he's doing here.
* ''[[Series/StargateSG1 SG1]]'' and ''[[Series/StargateAtlantis Atlantis]]'' directors Martin Wood and Peter Deluise were rather fond of putting themselves (and occasionally each other) in their episodes. If you look closely, you will often see them discussing something technical in the background or pointing guns at the gate during an unscheduled activation.
* The actor [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0625372/ Frank Nelson]] literally made a career of this, playing essentially the same character (an antagonistic and smarmy shop-clerk) on numerous television and radio shows including TheJackBennyShow, TheFlintstones, and SanfordAndSon.
-->"Yyyesssssssss?"
* In the early going of ''{{Sliders}}'', whenever the group arrived on a new parallel world and ended up taking a taxi anywhere, the same bearded Russian guy was always the driver.
-->'''Rembrandt:''' So.. you enjoy driving a taxi?
-->'''Driver:''' What is to enjoy? It is my destiny.
-->'''Rembrant:''' You don't know the half of it.
* Used to unsettling effect in the first episode of ''ThePrisoner'': a mechanic appears and repairs [=McGoohan=]'s radio; while he does that, [=McGoohan=] leaves, and moments later runs into the same, instantly-recognizable guy coming from the opposite direction, except that guy is apparently now a gardener. Although he is an extra only twice, he is very memorable for having a distinct bald, lumpy appearance and visibly unnerving [=McGoohan=].
* In the first two seasons of ''WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'', Amanda Tepe portrayed various oneshot characters, earning her the FanNickname "The Monotone Lady".
* ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' has a few. For example, the titular events in the episodes "The Banquet", "Beauty Pageant", and "Telethon" all feature the same guy as the [=MC=].
* In ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', there is a cadre of about half a dozen recurring [[RedShirt redshirts]], some of whom appear more frequently than some of the regulars, and all of whom are played by extras. The most famous of these is Lt. Leslie, "King of the Redshirts", who died ''and then came back to life'', with nary a mention from anyone. Another is Hadley, who appeared in 62 episodes, but never had a single line. There's also Brent, Lemli, and Galloway, among others - though many of these characters had inconsistent names anyway, so it's a wonder they were given ones that stuck.
* Due to its fixed location, ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' had a high number of recurring extras. Fan-favorite and bar fixture Morn is the most notable, although there were many recurring station residents- Ferengi waiters and Dabo girls at Quark's, Starfleet personnel like Ensign Tannenbaum and Nurse Bandee, and Bajoran officers like engineer Neela.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' had a small pool of MACO extras, most of whom became very quickly recognizable. This made it awkward whenever they needed a MACO to have a large speaking role, because they were the only one we had never seen before.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' went to a great deal of trouble to keep its extra pool consistent over years: Main Camp, Tailies Camp, Ajira Survivors, The Others (both post-crash and during the 70s), Kahana crew etc. all spotted mostly the same share of background faces who contributed absolutely nothing to the plot except when being suddenly killed as a RedShirt deserves. In some cases extras were even asked to reprise their roles years after their original appearance, simply because events of a scene would happen at the same time and place.
* The late actor [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0669653/ Ed Peck]] played five different characters in all five seasons of ''[[Series/ThatGirl That Girl]]'' and three different characters in three different seasons of ''Theatre/TheOddCouple''.
* ''Series/IClaudius'' spans the lifetime of the eponymous character (and a couple generations before his birth), yet the same actors always play the Roman soldiers.
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'': In the first season a knight in armor would knock various characters over the head with a rubber chicken at least once in every episode.
* ''{{Frasier}}'' uses a few recurring baristas at the Café Nervosa set. A particular Indian actress appears for eleven episodes in the first through third seasons as the most commonly-seen one.
** Likewise, its parent show, ''{{Cheers}}'' had a number of background bar regulars, most notably Paul who became something of a minor supporting character.
* The first season of TheVampireDiaries has Tina Fell, who appears in multiple episodes and even gets a line in one, but never does anything important.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mulitple Media]]
* In ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'', the webseries and comic tend to have T-Man show up whenever the scene needs a lone or extra Coalition player for a scene or gag, but not necessarily of the other known characters in the faction.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:NewspaperComics]]
* [[TheGenericGuy Ted]] from ''{{Dilbert}}''. WordOfGod says he basically appears whenever an extra character is needed.
* {{ComicStrip/Cathy}} had one nameless character who would fill the role of shopkeeper, waitress, receptionist, etc, wherever needed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* In ''Theatre/OnTheTown'', Flossie can be seen wandering through several scenes with a friend, telling her the middle of some story about Mr. Gadolphin.
* In the 1919 Broadway musical ''Apple Blossoms'', a young Creator/FredAstaire and his sister Adele played two characters who were named Johnny and Molly in the program and appeared only in dance numbers, having no sung or spoken lines.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Pretty much every single ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' game has had Anna show up, who usually either provides tutorials or mans the {{Secret Shop}}s. A full ''thirteen games'' into the series she [[AscendedExtra ascends to the role of full-fledged playable unit]] in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Awakening]]''.
* ''[[TonyHawkProSkater Tony Hawk]]'': Ollie the magic bum in the games. He appears in some capacity or another in almost every game (mysteriously; as noted, he's homeless, but appears in diverse locations the world over) and never plays an important role, but Ollie was playable in the third game. He hasn't appeared in a game since the ''Underground'' games, which were the triumphant finale of the original soulful series.
* Stachenscarfen and Pavel in the ''ProfessorLayton'' games.
* The Up'n'down from ''VideoGame/Rockman4MinusInfinity'' and it shows up in most of the Robot Master stages with different forms and patterns of attack.
* PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor has a trio of Toads who travel to the various locations Mario visits.
** Likewise that DiscoDan who seems to be either a step behind or a step ahead of where you visit.
* Big the Cat from the SonicTheHedgehog series, although he used to play important roles on occasion.
* ''KatawaShoujo'' has Kenji, Hisao's legally blind neighbour in the dorms who appears in a few scenes in every path. His bizarre personality makes any interaction with him highly comedic, so his few scenes come off as [[BreatherEpisode Breather Episodes]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''[[WebComic/EightBitTheater 8-Bit Theater]]'', the Onion Kid character suffers repeatedly as a side effect of Black Mage's actions, even as they travel to different cities and continents. His family and two foster families are killed by Black Mage, he is put on trial for one of those murders, and he is kicked out of an orphanage for being bad luck when a delivery is destroyed. Eventually this was subverted by the revelation that the Onion Kid is actually [[spoiler:[[JerkassGod Sarda]]'s past self.]]
** Another example are the Real Light Warriors, which MissedTheCall that hired Black Mage & Co., and now always one step behind the Light Warriors (or being screwed by them).
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' has a pair of Flumphs, floating, white, tentacled creatures, who wander around and get landed on by (and save the lives of) falling main characters in almost every appearance.
** Lampshaded with a towering side of spoilers [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0444.html here.]]
* ''KeychainOfCreation'' has a young man with yellow eyes and brown hair who reappears numerous times in various roles, such as a [[http://keychain.patternspider.net/archive/koc0108.html horse trader]] and [[http://keychain.patternspider.net/archive/koc0183.html bartender]]. [[spoiler:He turns out to be a Sidereal {{Exalted}} who knows Ten Winds. Probably a Chosen of Journeys, given his yellow color scheme.]]
* ''[[Webcomic/RealLifeComics Real Life]]'' has Alan Extra whenever a background character is called for.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sakana}}'' has a guy with a cap with the phrase [[FunTShirt "THIS GUY"]] on it showing up frequently in the background. He seems to be a ChekhovsGunman, because the artist revealed that he will have a bigger role in the future.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' has the Shy Girl who, despite only appearing in the background a few times, garnered quite a few fans. Eventually Dan merged her with a supporting character.
** There are also several students that appear many times whenever random bystanders are needed, as well as the boys that hang out at the comic shop.
* ''Webcomic/TheFan'' has the character [[http://www.shastrix.com/thefan/index.php?comic=227 Mustache Bob]] [[http://www.shastrix.com/thefan/index.php?comic=39 appear]] [[http://www.shastrix.com/thefan/index.php?comic=125 every]] [[http://www.shastrix.com/thefan/index.php?comic=211 now]] [[http://www.shastrix.com/thefan/index.php?comic=138 and]] [[http://www.shastrix.com/thefan/index.php?comic=156 then]], usually in a panel's lower left corner.
* [[http://www.zapcomic.com/2004/01/20040906b-4/ This little guy]] from ''Webcomic/{{Zap}}'' appears at the site of every major disaster.
* There's [[http://www.zebragirl.net/?date=2003-09-19 a kid]] in ''ZebraGirl'' who used to appear in front of Sandra's house.
* ''Webcomic/PrincessPi'' has the man in the third panel of [[http://www.platypuscomix.net/princesspi/index.php?issue=8&page=7 this scene]] constantly appear during disasters and assure onlookers that the victims will survive.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' has the old lady who often makes remarks on Strong Bad while off screen, prompting Strong Bad to yell "Shut up lady!"
* [[ParodiedTrope Parodied]] in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-_YtCF3TXo this]] 5secondfilms short.
* In ''[[WebVideo/TheCartoonMan Return of the Cartoon Man]]'', Kim and Donnie start out this way, but they end up affecting the plot in a minor way when they help Valerie. [[spoiler: They also take part in the third movie's final battle.]]
* ''WebVideo/VaguelyRecallingJoJo'' turns the [[VillainOfTheWeek Villains of the Week]] in the Stardust Crusaders arc into comedic background characters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has [[http://adventuretime.wikia.com/wiki/Snail The Snail]], who appears briefly in nearly every episode. ''Usually'' plot-irrelevant, though there are a couple of instances (mainly in the fourth season) where he actually plays some part in the events.
* The Middleton High students from ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' milling around in the background when Kim and Ron are at school are quite consistent, but fans particularly picked up on two: a freckled brunette usually wearing blue outfits and thus dubbed "Girl in Blue" and a tall, short-haired girl who fit the image of a ButchLesbian and was dubbed "Alex Sapphic", first by {{slashfic}}, then by the fandom in general.
* ''SpongeBobSquarePants'' has a ton, to the point that Bikini Bottom only has about twenty or so unique residents. A few of particular note are the dark-green adult male fish who yelled "my leg!!" during large scenes of commotion, an unseen person who often yelled "boo, you stink!" (later revealed to be Squidward's mother!), a blue fish somewhat resembling a shark who [[OohMeAccentsSlipping switches his accent partly through the series]] and has a hatred for big meaty claws, and another green fish with an....[[ChewingTheScenery unhealthy obsession]] [[EverythingsBetterWithChocolate for chocolate]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'':
** The "[[FanNickname Yuppie Couple]]" from have moved out of the background and have become involved in the greater story, making them no longer an example of the trope named for them. In the four-part episode "City of Stone" a pair of statues that looked like them were smashed by Demona, prompting fan outcry from about killing them. WordOfGod says that the statues were two other identical people who were not this couple, and the couple has gained larger roles in the comics -- the woman being the DA representative on the Gargoyles Task Force, and the man bringing a doctor to help save the life of the mortally wounded Goliath.
** The couple in question even appeared in another series, W.I.T.C.H., but only as a one time, not recurring.
** There's even another recurrer in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', a jogger who wears an "I Love NY" baseball cap who appears in a few episodes, and gets the occasional SpearCarrier line of dialogue.
** ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' has another example in the form of Vinnie Grigori (whose voice mimics Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta) from ''WelcomeBackKotter''). This guy loses at least two jobs and a motorcycle to the Gargoyles' actions. In the LowerDeckEpisode ClipShow centered on him, he spends most of the show narrating his past troubles to a custom-built weapon [[ParentalBonus called "Mr. Carter," which his accent renders indistinguishable from "Mr. Kotter"]], before finally shooting Goliath in the face just after the climax of a big battle that had Goliath's attention all night. Fortunately, "Mr. Carter" only shoots cream pies, and Vinnie walked away very satisfied with himself, leaving a confused Goliath to wonder at his identity. In the first episode of ''The Goliath Chronicles'' he actually has a major role, and saves Goliath and Elisa's lives before [[PutOnABus putting himself on a bus]] to take a job in Japan. [[spoiler: Too bad for him there are Gargoyles ''there'' too... He is next seen being observed by Yama, one of the Japanese Gargoyles in the ''ComicBook/BadGuys'' mini series]].
* ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' had this in Filbert for a while, until he became an AscendedExtra.
* ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'' had a few characters like this, including their own yuppie couple and that large, bald, sunburnt tourist who keeps dropping his ice cream cone.
* ''WesternAnimation/GalaxyHigh'' had another couple. The wife's name was Myrtle. They were actually an important part of at least one story, giving the main character a lift when his spaceship broke down. They may have been a pair of the Roepers from ''Three'sCompany''.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' does this, but none of the recurring extras are seen in the same role twice.
** Of particular note is Bruce, who first appeared as an unnamed and rather creepy Spider-man impersonator Peter considered hiring for Stewie's party in "Death Has a Shadow", and later popped up in various roles over the series first run. Eventually, after the show was UnCancelled, he received a name ({{lampshaded}} of course), and became an AscendedExtra.
* Several on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''.
** Squeaky Voice Teen, usually seen working in fast food restaurants or other low level retail.
** Raphael, AKA Wiseguy, AKA Sarcastic Man, who is a taxi driver, store clerk, plumber, etc depending of what the plot needs.
** Yes Guy, a Frank Nelson parody (see above in live action TV). In a homage to the original, he has Nelson's odd mannerisms and voice and always plays clerks.
** This applies greatly to the children seen in Bart and Lisa's classes.
*** One-time character of the day students like Allison, Alex, and Francine, who are voiced by celebrities are reduced to this.
*** In fact, due to the severe lack of female students at Springfield Elementary and Lisa's lack of friends, the only girls she is ever seen with are Janey (her fair-weathered "friend") and Sherri & Terri (two bratty twins who aren't even in her class).
* Silkie, from the second season of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' onward, was basically Kuroneko as played by an oversized grub.
* ''KappaMikey'' has at least a half-dozen of these, including a pirate, a little old lady, a delivery guy, a biker named Beef, and a janitor. Whether or not Yoshi the cameraman counts is debatable.
* A cabbage merchant in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' who always seems to find himself in the exact same city as Aang and the gang as they're WalkingTheEarth and always finds his [[FruitCart cart]] destroyed when they cross paths. His last appearance was about halfway through the second season, but was -mentioned- lampshaded in the last episode before the GrandFinale when Sokka is reading the poster for the play they are about to see. ("Sources include [[ContinuityNod singing nomads, pirates,]] prisoners of war, and a surprisingly knowledgeable merchant of cabbage")
** The cabbage merchant even manages to recur (sort of) a ''full 70 years later'' in SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''. In a true case of ThrowTheDogABone, it seems his luck changed for the better: the Cabbage Corporation is now a leading brand in technology. He even [[OurFounder got a statue in front of the factory]]. [[spoiler: [[YankTheDogsChain Only for it to be accused of treason and shut down.]]]]
--->[[spoiler:'''Cabbage Corp CEO:''' No! Not my Cabbage Corp!]]
** Additionally, both times we see Kyoshi Island, a particular person gets over excited at the Avatar visiting and starts foaming at the mouth and passes out. In the second instance, Aang isn't really there, so he suddenly gets up, pulls his hood over his head, and slinks away in embarrassment.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'': Larry and Steve, two of Didi's students who have worked at several different disastrous jobs (thanks to the babies), including house painting, the supermarket, and the movie theater.
* Edgar and Chauncey, in the various incarnations of ''RockyAndBullwinkle'':
-->'''Edgar:''' There's something you don't see every day, Chauncey.\\
'''Chauncey:''' What's that, Edgar?
* Kelly, the hapless and perpetually unlucky woman who inadvertently runs afoul of alien robots who turn into cars in ''Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise''. Her insurance probably didn't cover most of the problems they caused. Her name was never spoken in-series, and comes from a sheet listing the cast.
* In ''MegasXLR'', frequently when mass devastation is being caused (frequently causing everyone else to scream and run for their lives), we see a particular kid watching it who just watches and says "Cool."
* ''IceAge'' and its sequels have Scrat, a disaster-prone prehistoric rodent who wants nothing more than to harvest and bury acorns and who occasionally crosses paths with the main characters.
* ''TransformersAnimated'' has its various appearances of [[ContinuityCameo the Witwicky Family]].
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' consistently has a number of these. Though it makes sense as the main character is going to the same high school for the whole show, they do seem to show up everywhere.
** The boy with the spiky blond hair. (Who only ever got one line: "It's a ridiculously large hornet! Run!")
** The chick with red hair and glasses... and possibly braces. (She does actually get a role as one of the transformed geeks when the trio goes to the San Diego Comic Con. At least, it's the same character design.)
** The black chick with the tall black hair and green sweater.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' features a nondescript bald man in black that has constantly appeared in the background or in random moments throughout the series. The fans have noticed him so much that he's gained [[http://worldsfinestonline.com/WF/beyond/bios/mrlucky/ his own bio page on World's Finest.]] He has been alternately referred to as "Mr. Lucky" or the intentionally-mispelled "The Blad Man". It is possible, but as of yet unconfirmed, as to whether the character was designed after longtime {{DCAU}} director [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/dcanimated/images/thumb/c/ca/Danriba.jpg/300px-Danriba.jpg Dan Riba.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** Number 9 Man appeared in the background throughout the cartoon series before getting an [[AscendedExtra important role]] in the fourth film ''Into the Wild Green Yonder''.
** Scruffy the Janitor is often present and makes comments on situations that have nothing to do with him.
** There's also a fat, balding man with an exaggerated Bronx accent, apparently named "Sal", occasionally seen in some sort of blue-collar job. The writers [[ShrugOfGod can not decide]] whether they're all clones or just one guy who can't hold down a job.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'''s background classmates are kept consistent throughout the series, most notably Andrea, the goth girl who drops the occasional snark and writes {{Wangst}}y poetry. She's given some development though, such when Daria and Jane ease her embarrassment towards working at a wholesale club (we actually see her smile), and at the very end of the series when she hooks up with Upchuck.
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' had many very distinct extras, so many were recognizable as they changed from one small role to another--such as a Ron Jeremy caricature who appears as both a taxi driver and a hot dog vendor. Some, such as classmates, stayed consistent though.
** ''Jhonen Vasquez'' often appears as an extra in Invader Zim.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' had a pair of cops -- based on ''Turtles'' creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird -- who would appear whenever the scene required policemen.
* Bibbo Bibbowski of ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'', an absent-minded longshoreman, who appears in the pilot (with minor plot-relevence; he's established as an informant for Lois who helped her on an arms smuggling expose, and whom she asks to inform the ''Planet'' of her whereabouts if she doesn't return from the ship she is investigating, a task he is quickly distracted from). He appears several times thereafter, often just to provide a comment on something strange that has occured, though occasionally Lois or Clark seek information from him, and he often makes shows of support for Superman.
* Season 1 of ''FriskyDingo'' had the ubiquitous Mr. Ford, a character who seemed to work at every menial job in the city from retail clerk to security guard to hospital employee, depending on the plot. Lampshaded in episode 12 when the main cast finally notices, to which his resigned response is "Yeah, my ass is everywhere." He was elevated to a main character actually affecting the plot in season 2 and the spinoff ''TheXtacles.''
* ''HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'': The bear.
* ''{{Jimmy Two-Shoes}}'' has Mrs. Cheesebreath, an old lady constantly seen in the background. Apparently she used to teach Lucius' third grade class.
* Several of the interns from ''TotalDramaAction'', as well as many of the characters' old designs as a DevelopmentGag. During the special, Chris even brought back some others (such as the intern with the hat, the serial killer, and the Eskimo dropped on Courtney) to [[spoiler: be the "stars" of a fake reality show called "Total Drama Dirtbags".]]
* Reflector in ''TransformersGeneration1'' tended to just be an "extra" Decepticon, since clones of him were often used to pad out the Decepticon ranks. He never affected the plot and after the first few episodes, didn't get to speak despite a number of generic appearances. He had a minor role in the first part of ''More than Meets the Eye'', but that was about it.
* Several of the unnamed citizens of Marzipan City in ''{{Chowder}}'' pop up more than once, and considering their individual bizarre attributes, it's not hard to notice them.
* ''CourageTheCowardlyDog'':
** Di Lung, who would often pop up very briefly to utter his catchphrase, "Watch where you're going, you foo'!" He was essentially an extra until about halfway through the series, when he became more active in the plot.
** Jean Bonne also filled this role after [[DemotedToExtra his demotion]].
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' has several kids who often make cameo appearances, often in crowd shots.
** All eight boys who rode the first rollercoaster with Phineas and Ferb have a goodly number of appearances in crowd scenes. However, only Dimitri Popaunicolas ever plays an important role in any episode: he holds a red balloon in a rodeo,[[BullSeeingRed angering the mechanical bulls]]. Buford actually lampshades the group's status (or, at least, the status of the trio formed by Pedro, Dimitri, and the boy who remembers Irving) as extras in the episode with the second rollercoaster, stealing the poster to ride for free, noting that he deserves to ride more than them, because they are extras.
** The most prominent example is the farmer couple from "Leave The Busting To Us!" et al., who never interact with the main characters, but often have something convenient fall out of the sky on them as a result of Phineas and Ferb's projects or Doofenshmirtz's schemes.
** Another example introduced in the same episode is the teenage blonde in the "Bust 'Em" commercial. She has shown up many times since, usually as one of Jeremy's friends. Her only line so far is a censored expletive.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has an entire stable of recurring background ponies, many of whom have fan followings almost as unlikely as that of [[PeripheryDemographic the show itself]]. These include [[TheKlutz clumsy]] EnsembleDarkHorse Derpy Hooves, probably the most well-known of them all thanks to an animation error, as well as Time Turner/[[Series/DoctorWho Doctor Whooves]] and Lyra Heartstrings, to name but a few out of very, ''very'' many.
* In ''TheAdventuresOfTintin'', [[CreatorCameo Tintin's creator Hergé]] appears at least once in every story.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{X-Men}}'' had a recurring mutant who had no powers, but just looked kind of animalistic. He even got the occasional line of dialogue, usually pleading for his life at the hands of an angry mob of normal humans.
* ''SuperRobotMonkeyTeamHyperForceGo'' has a man in glasses carrying a penguin doll named Mr. Cheepers, often seen fleeing from the chaos happening in the city.
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' has many characters who are seen in every crowd. Many of them have received a FandomNickname.
* On ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'', there are two kids in Arthur's class who have been in nearly every episode that shows his class since the beginning of the series. One is a gray rabbit boy, the other is a rabbit girl with a hairstyle like D.W.'s. The girl has never said anything, and the boy has had ''three lines'' for the entire run of the show, and none of the other main characters talk about or notice them.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' had a few, one noticeable one being a woman with shoulder-length red hair, a brown turtleneck and a tan skirt, who became SuddenlyVoiced in ''Along Came a Spider'', but never received a name.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* As [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVA047JAQsk Julian Smith]] once put it about Facebook: "You know how on 'People You May Know', there's always that ''ONE DUDE'' that ''you know for a fact you don't know and never met him a day in your life'', but he just ''NEVER GOES AWAY?'' I feel we should all just go add that guy." There are some people who you never talk to (and vice versa), and may not know your name (again, and vice versa), but is always seen all the time. Of course, to [[HeroOfAnotherStory them]] you might be a RecurringExtra as well. This is evident especially in schools.
[[/folder]]

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