->''"Oh, please. If there were new guys, they'd have shown up [[MetaGuy in the season premiere]]."''
-->-- '''Denny Crane''', ''BostonLegal''

The series {{Pilot}} has to do a lot of things. It has to establish the main character, set up the central conflict, and [[RealLifeWritesThePlot convince the network execs to okay the series]]. Usually, you can introduce all of the main characters in this process.

Occasionally, though, a secondary character can't quite get shoehorned into the introductory story and just doesn't exist in the pilot. Alternately, sometimes the networks execs approve the show, but decide that it needs a few extra characters, so the creators introduce these characters in the next episode. Sometimes, cast members show up for a PilotMovie but don't agree to come back for the series.

Any of these qualify as the SecondEpisodeIntroduction. The key characteristic is that whoever is being introduced must show no signs of existence in the pilot, and must be a regular cast member from that point onwards.

A character who is introduced in the second episode as a replacement for a very similar character who appears only in the pilot is a SecondEpisodeSubstitute. For when a series introduces multiple regular characters over its first few episodes, see DebutQueue. For when a character is introduced in sequel movie or a after season one it's IconicSequelCharacter.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* The first episode of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' had Ash, Pikachu, and Misty but Team Rocket didn't show up until the second.
* In ''Anime/{{Hamtaro}}'', Dexter, Howdy, Pashmina and Penelope are introduced in the second episode, while Cappy, Panda, Maxwell and Sandy show up in the third.
* In ''[[LeChevalierdEon Le Chevalier d'Eon]]'', two of the main characters don't appear until the second episode.
* [[GreatDetective L]] in the ''Manga/DeathNote'' anime, as the first episode ends with Light first deciding to become Kira.
* All but one of the main protagonists in ''Anime/GaReiZero'' are introduced in the second episode. The first episode is filled with [[DecoyProtagonist decoy protagonists]].
* Asuna in the anime of ''SwordArtOnline''.
* In ''IchigoMashimaro'', Ana's second ''volume'' introduction becomes ''this'' in the anime adaptation, thus adding her to a couple of stories she wasn't originally in: the first one with the kitty hat, and the BeachEpisode.
* ''Manga/KimiToBoku'': Misaki and [[SixthRanger Chizuru]] are introduced in the second and third episode, respectively.
* Because ''Anime/ShiryakuIkaMusume'''s episodes are divided into three mini-episodes, who qualifies for this depends on how you look at it. The spirit may be exemplified by Takeru, the younger brother of the Aizawa sisters, introduced in "Aren't We Brothers-in-Arms?", the second part of the first episode. Characters introduced in the literal second episode: Goro the Life Saver, in "Aren't We Squids of a Feather?" and Sanae, in "Want to Swim Out and Play?"
* Pepper and Salt were introduced in the second episode of ''Anime/ALittleSnowFairySugar'', showing us that there are ''other'' apprentice season fairies.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comics ]]

* April O'Neil did not appear until the second issue of ''Comicbook/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|Mirage}}''.
* ''SpiderMan'' J. Jonah Jameson somewhat of an example: Although his first appearance is in the first issue of "Amazing Spider-Man," this is actually the second ever Spider-Man ''story'' due to the first being in ''Amazing Fantasy.''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Neither Yoda nor the Emperor appear in the original ''Film/StarWars'' (although the latter is mentioned in the opening briefing regarding the Death Star), making their first appearances in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In the Scifi series ''Series/TheInvisibleMan'', the Keeper shows up in the second episode. This seems to be the second type, because it would have been easy to work her character into the pilot.
* Matt Parkman in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', who in a variation was originally intended to be in the pilot, but whose introduction was delayed until the second episode instead.
* "The Corbomite Maneuver", the first non-pilot episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', introduces Uhura, Yeoman Rand, and Dr. Leonard "Bones" [=McCoy=] (as a SecondEpisodeSubstitute for Dr. Mark Piper); it is not, however, the second episode aired, as the pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was held back until later in the first season.
* JJ of ''Series/CriminalMinds'', who is later shown to be an integral part of the team, isn't present or even mentioned in the first episode.
* Godber and all other prisoners except Fletcher himself do not appear in the pilot of ''{{Porridge}}''.
* Dylan [=McKay=] is conspicuous by his absence in the pilot for ''[[BeverlyHills90210 Beverly Hills, 90210]]'' (yes, the title had a comma in the pilot's opening credits), showing up from episode 2.
* Claudia doesn't show up in person until the ''fourth'' episode of ''{{Warehouse 13}}''.
* Clyde Langer did not appear until the second episode of ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'', replacing [[TheScrappy Kelsey]] in an inversion of AffirmativeActionGirl.
* Charlie wasn't introduced on ''Series/TheWestWing'' until the third episode, but he was made a series regular immediately and held the honor for the rest of the run.
* Betty Draper appears for maybe two minutes in the pilot of ''Series/MadMen''--series creator Matt Weiner actually had to write extra scenes for the audition process, which were later incorporated into an episode. Naturally, Betty became a major character from the second episode onward.
* ''EliStone'' didn't introduce Maggie, a main love interest and Eli's partner, until the second episode.
* Brooke Davis on ''OneTreeHill'', who quickly became an EnsembleDarkhorse and one of the show's leads.
* On ''Series/{{Community}}'', Seņor Chang does not appear until the second episode.
* Rather than a character, ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' often holds off on debuting either the Megazord or even the TransformationSequence until the second episode of a two-part premiere. Sometimes they do both in a two-stage version: air both parts of the premiere on the same day with the first transformation happening in the second half, then bring out the mecha in next week's episode.
** The first season of ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' averted this in its adaptation of ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger'': in the original series it took several episodes for Daizyuzin (the Megazord) to be introduced, but it was an integral part of the Rangers' arsenal in ''MMPR'', so a later mecha fight was moved up to the first episode.
** In ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue,'' we don't meet monster-maker Jinxer until episode two (which is interesting - he wasn't there when the villains were unsealed, so was he on Earth all along?)
** In Series/PowerRangersTimeForce we don't meet Red Ranger and main character Wes until the second episode, the first episode does however feature his look-alike descendant (played by the same actor) however.
* ''[[Series/NewGirl New Girl]]'''s Winston was introduced in the second episode, replacing the suddenly-absent roommate Coach.
* On ''DropTheDeadDonkey'', Sally Smedley first appears in the second episode. {{Justified|Trope}} as a personnel decision by the new CEO.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' introduced iconic supervillains the Daleks in the second story. However, this is an inverted trope, as this was much earlier than the staff had originally intended to introduce the alien villains.
* District Attorney Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) of ''LawAndOrder'' is notable in that he appeared in EVERY EPISODE of the first 10 seasons EXCEPT for the first one, which was produced before Hill had joined the cast. Since the episode was shown out of sequence, the audience saw five episodes with Hill, one with Roy Thinnes (and a completely different opening montage) and then back to Hill the next week.
* Chad Dylan Cooper doesn't appear until the second episode of SonnyWithAChance.
* Sloan Sabbith isn't introduced until the second episode of ''TheNewsroom''.
* ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' did this with Andrea, T-Dog, Merle, Jacqui and Glenn, though the last one's voice was heard in the final scene of the pilot episode via radio.
** Hershel, Maggie, Beth, Otis, Patricia and Jimmy were introduced in the second episode of the second season.
* In ''Series/{{Glee}}'' we don't meet Brittany until the 2nd episode of the series. Seeing Quinn and Santana without Brittany is...odd to say the least
* We don't see Matthew Crawley until the very last minute of the first episode of ''Series/DowntonAbbey''. He goes on to be a very central character indeed.
* Don Flack wasn't in the PoorlyDisguisedPilot of ''{{CSI NY}}'' that aired on ''CSIMiami''. His character was created after the pilot and first appeared in NY's first ep of its own, 'Blink'.
* Detective Marcus Bell isn't in the pilot of ''Series/{{Elementary}}'', but he's appeared in every episode since.
* ''[[Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand Spartacus]]'' loves to introduce characters this every season. As for the straight examples there's Doctore Oenomaus, Naevia, Ashur, Varro, Gnaeus, Pietros and the rest of the gladiators.
* ''[[Series/BreakingBad]]'''s fifth season introduces two major new characters Lydia and Todd in the second and third episodes respectively.
* In ABC's short-lived ''Series/MindGames'', Samantha Gordon was not introduced until the second episode.


[[/folder]]

[[folder: Radio ]]

* Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian and Marvin the Paranoid Android were all introduced in the second episode of ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Lifepoint One Entertainment introduces the title character of ''WebAnimation/{{Xin}}'' at the end of the third episode after setting the stage and setting up the conflict between Andre and Ghai, the two major bad guys of the series.
* The only main characters in the ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' universe who appeared in the original story "The Homestar Runner Enters the Strongest Man in the World Contest" were Homestar Runner, Strong Bad, Pom Pom, and The Cheat. Bubs and Coach Z were introduced in the second story, "Where My Hat Is At?", and other characters came later.
* Early episodes of ''Series/{{Noob}}'' were less than five minutes long, hence it took three of them to introduce all four main characters (plus a ChekhovsGunman or two).

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' introduces the supporting Planet Express crew -- Hermes, Amy and Zoidberg -- in the second episode. The exception is Scruffy (the Janitor) who didn't appear until the sixth episode and was largely a background character [[AscendedExtra until later on.]]
* Commander Zhao, one of the main antagonists of the first season of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', who is first seen after the two-part intro episode. In the same episode we are introduced to Zhao, we are first shown the ruins of the genocide of the Air Nomads.
* Gus and Miss Grotke are introduced in ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' not in the second episode, but part B of the first episode. For the former, it was his WelcomeEpisode. For the latter, it was more "She wasn't in the first part, so here she is".
* Dr. Van Goosewing first properly shows up in the second episode of ''CountDuckula'', "Vampire Vacation." He technically appeared in the first episode though, due to the OutOfOrder pilot episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' properly introduces Superboy to the team in the second episode in their two-part pilot. Miss Martian's first official episode as a team member is the beginning of the third episode.
* The second episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' introduced both Bolin and Mako.
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