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[[quoteright:350:[[VisualPun http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mousesmall_7769.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[RhetoricalQuestionBlunder Oh, there it is.]]]]

->''"The Doctor promises that some day he will return. He never does. One can try to fill in some missing story for this - a couple exist from the Eighth Doctor era - but the fact of the matter is, here Susan is treated like any other companion. Which is to say, she's abandoned...Perhaps someday the Doctor will carry out his promise."''
-->-- '''El Sandifer''' on ''Series/DoctorWho'', [[{{Recap/DoctorWhoS2E2TheDalekInvasionOfEarth}} "The Dalek Invasion of Earth"]]

"What happened to the mouse?" occurs when [[BitCharacter a minor character]], action, or very minor plotline is suddenly dropped from the story for no apparent reason, without any real explanation about what happened to it, and without a resolution.

There are several main reasons this happens: in movies, the most common is that scenes are excised in editing, but [[OrphanedReference references to them still remain elsewhere in the film]]. Another common reason is that a WrongGenreSavvy audience mistakenly attached too much importance to what always was intended to be a throwaway. A third is that TheLawOfConservationOfDetail was not properly applied: a BitCharacter was a little too lively, so that he didn't appear a throw-away, as why was that much detail given for one?

If the element comes back just as you've forgotten about it, this is actually a BrickJoke or a ChekhovsGun. If the element doesn't come back, but the show hangs a lampshade on it at the end, then it's SomethingWeForgot. If it escapes your notice until after the show is over and you've gotten up to go to the fridge to make a sandwich, it's FridgeLogic.

Alternately, if it's a character that's disappeared, it's a variation on the WhatNowEnding; not only are we unclear what happens to the character, but this also can leave doubts as to whether they even survived once they broke away from the other characters.

Another character or the {{Narrator}} may [[StockPhrase remark]] that they were never heard from again.

The [[TropeNamer trope's name]] refers to a scene in ''Film/TheLastEmperor'' in which the title character violently throws his beloved pet mouse offscreen. There's no sound of the mouse hitting anything, but it's never seen again, leaving its fate ambiguous... in the theatrical cut, anyway.

What Happened to the Mouse moments can be very rich soil for EpilepticTrees or WildMassGuessing.

Not to be confused with AbortedArc, which is when a ''major'' story arc or plotline is dropped without resolution, or ChuckCunninghamSyndrome, where a ''major'' character just plain disappears.

A What Happened To The Mouse that is deliberately created and where the creators have ''no intention of ever resolving the question'' is a NoodleIncident. A What Happened To The Mouse that is returned to as a BrickJoke is SomethingWeForgot.

Often the result of a WackyWaysideTribe, a ForgottenFallenFriend, a OneSceneWonder, or a BigLippedAlligatorMoment.

Compare with LeftHanging, UncertainDoom, KudzuPlot, RedHerringTwist, OutOfFocus, PutOnABus. Related tropes include NeverFoundTheBody and WhatNowEnding. May involve a ShrugOfGod. See also OffscreenInertia if you imagine the plot line still stuck at that spot for eternity.


* WhatHappenedToTheMouse/{{Advertising}}
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse/AnimatedFilms
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse/AnimeAndManga
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse/ComicBooks
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse/{{Film}}
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse/{{Literature}}
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse/LiveActionTV
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse/VideoGames
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse/WesternAnimation



[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In Creator/TheBrothersGrimm story ''Maid Maleen'', she is imprisoned with a servant. They break free, and get a job. After that, Maleen ends up marrying the prince, with no more mention of the servant.
* In ''Literature/{{Rapunzel}}'', The woman who took and raised Rapunzel does not appear again after throwing Rapunzel and her lover into the wilderness. Certainly she is never punished.
* In ''Literature/SleepingBeauty'', the evil fairy curses the princess, and sometimes she's the old woman who gets her to prick her finger, but she never appears after that. Certainly [[KarmaHoudini she is never punished]]. Disney [[AdaptationalKarma rectified]] [[DeathByAdaptation both]] of the above examples, of course.
* In [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/aulnoy/1892/benevolentfrog.html "The Benevolent Frog,"]] the Lion Fairy does not appear again after her encounter with the king when she imprisons his wife and daughter in the castle.
* In [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/aulnoy/1892/beeorangetree.html "The Bee and the Orange Tree,"]] when Aimée stings Tourmentine, the ogress and her husband disappear from the story.
* In [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/92kinggoldmountain.html "The King of The Golden Mountain,"]] we are told at the beginning that the merchant has a son and daughter. The daughter never appears again.
* In ''Literature/TheSixSwans'', a witch married to a king turns her six stepsons into swans. After six years, their sister manages to bring them back to normal and they all live happily ever after but the WickedStepmother never appears again and neither does the king who [[FridgeHorror doesn't know what his wife has done]].
* In [[http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/lfb/cr/crfb20.htm "The Golden-Bearded Man,"]] the titular man promises to repay the prince who freed him a thousand-fold and vanishes. He never appears in the story again, and the prince is helped by various animals.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': In chapter 8 Shinji and Asuka run into their counterparts of another universe. After that chapter those counterparts were not seen or mentioned again.
* In the beginning of ''ComicBook/PowerGirl'' fanfic ''Fanfic/AForceOfFour'', Kara and the JSA wonder why most of super-villains have been gone since the last Crisis. It's revealed in another Dark Mark's ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'' fanfic -''Fanfic/HellsisterTrilogy''- which they were forcefully recruited by Darkseid to conquer another Earth.
* One episode of ScriptFic ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' has Calvin and Hobbes attempting to transport their snowmen to safety. Once Calvin's mom brings him a camera, the plotline is abruptly dropped and never referred to again.
* In the ''Manga/BattleRoyale'' fanfiction ''Heads is Heads'', [[spoiler:Toshinori]] is left behind by everyone after the 13 living students [[spoiler:escape the island]] and his ultimate fate is left unclear.
* In Fanfic/TwilightSparklesAwesomeAdventure, [[BigBad Celesia]]'s nuclear weapon arsenal is brought up once and then never mentioned again.
** The same thing happens with the weapon that only [[TheChosenOne The Chosen Mare]] can wield. It's the MacGuffin for the first half of the story, and then completely ignored in the second half.
* ''FanFic/MyBravePonyStarfleetMagic'':
** Inquirius and Cookie Dough (who was a core member of Star Fleet in the first one) don`t play any role in the sequels. According to WordOfGod that`s because he had no idea how to use them anymore. The same goes for Abra Kadabra, who is only there to make Goldwin come alive.
** Another example is ''My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic II'' one-shot character Cerise, who, despite being a high-ranked Starfleet member and being only the 3rd character shown to be able to use the Uniforce, is only mentioned once in passing later. Averted from ''VI'' onwards where she's made a more recurring character... [[TheWorfEffect who completely sucks at doing her job so Lightning can save the day]].
* ''Fanfic/GoJyuSentaiGigaranger'': The [[BigBad Shadow King]] is never referenced after [[Recap/GoJyuSentaiGigarangerS1E9TimeAndPunishment Episode 9]]. [[HandWave It's explained away]] by the end of chapter narration that the timeline shifted.
* In ''[[FanFic/TheVinylAndOctaviaSeries Vinyl and Octavia Machete Their Way Through the Jungle]]'', Vinyl's motivation for going to the jungle and fighting her way through it (alongside Octavia) is so that she can find an ancient treasure which she thinks can save her dying father. After this story, her father is never mentioned again and it's unrevealed what his fate is.
* At the end of ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8019130/1/PnF-Stolen-Identity PnF: Stolen Identity]]'', Phineas and Ferb leave Ferb's EvilTwin by the lake with the device he had Phineas help him build...yet we don't know where the EvilTwin came from, why he picked Phineas, why he looks like Ferb and why he needed the machine to begin with. Though given the author's style, [[TropesAreNotBad this isn't as bad as it could be.]]
* This is actually inverted in ''FanFic/FistOfTheMoon''. Most readers completely forget that Mamoru is supposed to be somewhere, as he never appears or is mentioned in the first few chapters. Then he returns in chapter 5, and we discover he was studying abroad in China. (So basically, we found out the mouse is okay before we're told it was thrown off-screen).
* In ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'', it's never revealed what happened to [[spoiler:the remaining Rei clones after the battle against Armisael.]] Or [[spoiler:the NERV staff who survived the FinalBattle.]]
* ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'': After [[spoiler:[[EldritchAbomination Lilith]] is destroyed and Gendo shoots himself in the head,]] it's never revealed what happened with [[spoiler:[[EldritchAbomination Adam]] being implanted in his hand.]] However, when he semi-wakes up from a coma during the last chapter, he notes that he can't feel his right arm. Hmmm...
* ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'': After her chat with Shinji next to his mother's grave, [[EldritchAbomination Ghost's Lilith]] wasn't seen again. Several readers wondered what happened to her.
* ''Fanfic/{{Embers}}'': In chapter 51, the flashback/vision to Temul's attempt to warn the Western Air Temple about the upcoming Fire Nation attack, we learn that Gyate (later revealed to be Aang's mother) had a daughter, who was almost old enough to be given to the Eastern Temple to be raised. And that she was pregnant at the time of the attack. The fact that Aang may have relatives out in the world is never touched upon again.

* ''Take a Break'', a British magazine which publishes readers' RealLife stories, once featured a story about a young girl, Cassie Griggs, who was disqualified from a talent contest after her mother was accused of trying to pass another girl off as Cassie. At the mother's request, Cassie was allowed to perform, but was not given any marks, resulting in her coming last. However, as no follow-up has (to date) been published, it's impossible to know how this setback affected Cassie's attitude to talent contests in the long term. She could have picked herself up and entered another contest, or her confidence could have been knocked so badly that she was never able to perform again. We just don't know.

* Möte i Monsunen, a song from 1935 by the Swedish musician Evert Taube (known to write all manner of gibberish and getting away with it because of his status as a national hero) has an ending very reminiscent of this trope. A sailor by the name of Fritiof encounters another sailor, and tells him of when he sailed across the seas with wild animals on board. A few of the ending lines would be something like this, translated from Swedish: "But, Fritiof, the elephant, what became of it?" "When we meet again, I will give an answer to your question" and then promptly the conversation gives place to a description of how Fritiof rows back to his boat.
* The Big Pun song ''Twinz'' has an opening verse about a gangland hit gone wrong that is so catchy that it pretty much ''makes the song''. Once the listener is told that they killed the wrong man, the hit is never mentioned again. Even worse, the video for the song covers an alternate plot that does not exist in the song.
* Music/JustinBieber, in his song ''Omaha Mall'', goes to check out some girls. He says they look good, but you never know in Omaha Mall and suddenly girls are never mentioned again in the song.
* The Lamb of the Music/{{Genesis}} ConceptAlbum ''Music/TheLambLiesDownOnBroadway'' is mentioned only once, in the very first song on the album.
* In James Blunt's "You're Beautiful", the first verse ends with the line "...but I've got a plan." We never find out what this plan involves, or if anything happens as a result of it. He later goes on to say that he "[doesn't] know what to do". The music video suggests his plan is to commit suicide.
* [[Music/{{Mothy}} Hansel and Gretel]] (the originals). They release the SevenDeadlySins on the world from [[SelfMadeOrphan their adoptive mother's]] [[ItMakesSenseInContext corpse]], and we never know what happened to them after that, or why the heck they did it. Next we see them, they've reincarnated as [[ExtremeOmnivore Conchita]]'s servants.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* Open up a mythology book. Chances are, if you're reading the [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Perseus]] story, you'll know that Acrisius, King of Argos, simply had bad luck when it came to having children (or at least males), and learned through the Oracle of Delphi that while he wouldn't have any luck any time soon, his daughter, Danae, would have a child that would eventually kill him. After that, everyone knows that Acrisius stuck Danae in a box and put her in the ocean, where Zeus impregnates Danae in the form of a Golden Shower, thus leading to the creation of an important hero. You never hear about Acrisius again until a long time after, especially in your text. Depending on your version, he's more or less become something of a poor man, and happens to be visiting funeral games where Perseus also happens to be playing. As Acrisius sits in the stands, a stray discus launched by Perseus strikes an unsuspecting Acrisius in the head, [[PropheciesAreAlwaysRight thus fulfilling]] [[BrickJoke the prophecy that his grandson would kill him]]. The presence of Acrisius itself seems to combine this trope, BrickJoke, and some sort of Chekhov's Prophecy.
* In many versions of [[Myth/KingArthur Arthurian legend]], Arthur's mother has three daughters with her first husband: Morgause, Morgan le Fay, and Elaine. The first two play pivotal roles in Arthur's life, but Elaine is typically mentioned once in passing and then never heard from again.
* Elihu spends a few chapters ranting at the eponymous character of the Book of Job, then disappears and isn't mentioned in the last portion, where God rebukes the rest of Job's [[WithFriendsLikeThese "friends"]].
** A common interpretation is that Elihu doesn't get rebuked by God because his points, against both Job and the other companions, were correct. If anything he's sort of an {{Inversion}}--Job's three friends are mentioned for thirty-odd chapters before Elihu suddenly speaks up out of nowhere.
** If Elihu gets it, then Satan must be fuming...one of the two main protagonists who have a bet over the temptation and scarification of Job, he isn't involved any more after the first few chapters.
* In the [[Literature/TheBible New Testament]], we never hear any word of Jesus' stepfather Joseph after the "Did you not know I would be in my Father's house" incident when He was twelve. Church tradition says he passed away some time before Jesus started his ministry.
* There's a pastor's story about a nice guy whose family went off to Christmas service without him. He wasn't a believer, because he doesn't get why God would become man. After his family leaves, some birds fly into his window in the heavy snow, and he tries to herd them into his warm barn nearby. After being frustrated in his attempts, he muses that if he were a bird, he'd be able to get them to understand. Then the church bells happen to start ringing, and he sinks to his knees as the EurekaMoment washes over him. The story ends there, with no mention of what happened to the birds.
* In Literature/TheEddas, specifically the Prose Edda, the first man and woman are created by Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve. These brothers are never mentioned again anywhere, despite the obvious importance of such characters. Some people have rationalised this by suggesting that they're avatars of Odin himself, who occasionally appears as a trinity to confuse people. In the Poetic Edda, the three who defeated Ymir are referenced as Odin, Hoenir, and Lodur -- Hoenir being a once-mentioned god who acts as a hostage after the war with the Vanir (traded for Njorth, Frey, and Freyja). There are some reasons to think that Lodur might be another name for Loki. Still, this is the older and less-mentioned version, meaning that it might just be a mistake, or a fragment of a different myth.
* Creator/ThomasPaine wonders in his book ''The Age of Reason'' what happened with the dead who rose after Jesus died according to the Gospel of Matthew. Did they go home, back to their graves, or what? It's never said.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* A two-week 1995 ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' storyline had Paige getting the role of Cleopatra in the school's Anthony and Cleopatra play, (with Morton playing Anthony, of course). The story ended before the play started, with Roger noticing Paige's name in the play program. After that strip, the story suddenly ended, with no actual strips of the play being performed, and the story was never mentioned again.
* In a 2010 ''ComicStrip/FunkyWinkerbean'' storyline, the title character was involved in a near-head-on collision with a woman yaking on a cell phone. This catapulted Funky into a brief TimeTravel (or was it) arc. When we come back to the present, Funky's in the hospital with assorted injuries. Not a word was spoken, before or since, about [[FanNickname Cell Phone Lady]].
* [[http://garfield.com/comic/1988-02-28 This]] 1988 ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' strip has a blind date of Jon's named Gwen, who dresses as absurdly as he does on dates and finds him cute. Garfield even says "God made two of them!" Although she would have been a good recurring character, perhaps as a DistaffCounterpart of Jon, she was never mentioned again.
* An InUniverse example in ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', as Snoopy is [[ItWasADarkAndStormyNight writing his novel.]] He links all of the various subplots together in one sentence and boasts about how nicely everything fits together... that is until Linus reads it and asks, "But what about the king?" [[ShutUpHannibal Snoopy throws his typewriter at him.]]

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* Often occurs in ProfessionalWrestling, after TonightInThisVeryRing is invoked (as mentioned on that page).
* An especially egregious one is from the most recent NXT. At some point it stopped being a competition (which may very well qualify as an example itself) and was more or less third brand not unlike a lesser version of WWE's version of ECW. William Regal was eventually made matchmaker (GM for all intents and purposes) which led to a number of plotlines that were hastily resolved when it was decided NXT would tape exclusively at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida... all except one: In the last month of the show someone was going around attacking various wrestlers. Percy Watson, Alex Riley and Derrick Bateman all ended up on the receiving end of beat downs by the unknown assailant who attempted to frame (perhaps?) Percy for the latter two attacks. However after the Full Sail tapings WWE decided not to show them until they could secure a TV deal for the revamped NXT and so it's gone back to being taped before Smackdown with all the plotlines dropped... including the mysterious backstage assailant.
* Another example is the Anonymous Raw GM. After a month or so period where the Raw GM position consisted of Vickie Guerrero and then Wrestling/BretHart the GM position was instead given to an anonymous person who issued directives via emails sent to a laptop read by Michael Cole. This continued for a year before Triple H became WWE COO and the Anonymous Raw GM was almost immediately dropped with no resolution or even a hint as to who the GM was actually supposed to be. (Wrestling/JohnCena did lampshade the plot thread just after Wrestling/JohnLaurinaitis assumed power as GM, arguing that WWE should "bring back the computer.") Almost a year later, and long after anyone cared, it was eventually revealed that it was Hornswoggle, an apparent reference to when he was equally anti-climactically revealed to be Vince Macmahon's supposed long lost son.
* GTV, an hidden camera segment during the Wrestling/AttitudeEra. It was never revealed who was behind the camera. According to WWE's web series, "Five Things," the person running GTV was going to be TomGreen as part of a working relationship between WWE and MTV. However this angle never played out, so when GTV was dropped, the man behind the camera remained a mystery for at least a decade.
* Then there was that time Wrestling/SamoaJoe got kidnapped by ninjas. He was gone for like a month or so, came back, and nothing ever came out of it -- considering how Joe was acting very similar to how Abyss was acting at the time, it was widely believed he was originally slated to be a member of Immortal. Of course, this was neither the first nor last time Wrestling/{{TNA}} did something like this, with Wrestling/VinceRusso booking and all.
* During Season 3 of Wrestling/LuchaUnderground, Sexy Star was harassed by a mysterious tormentor who put a spider in her locker, then sent her one in a present delivered by a clueless Ricky Mandel. Another spider was also seen crawling ominously across the floor ([[SpecialEffectsFailure or wobbling haplessly across the floor as it was dragged by a piece of string]]) behind Sexy without her noticing in another scene where she talked with her friend The Mack. Initially she believed she was being harassed by old rival [[Wrestling/CheerleaderMelissa Mariposa]] (of the Moth Tribe) and although [[NotMeThisTime Mariposa denied it]], Sexy beat her up in a match. Then when spider-themed luchador Veneno debuted (and promptly got [[SquashMatch squashed]] by Cage) Sexy ran out hysterically accusing him of being behind the spiders and laying into him, but during a mask vs mask match arranged between them Veneno was (illegally) unmasked by Wrestling/JoeyRyan and revealed to be [[CharlieBrownFromOuttaTown an alias]] of Cortez Castro, removing him from suspicion. And after that... it was never mentioned again, with Sexy moving on to a totally unrelated feud with Taya.

* ''Radio/AmericanTop40'': An occasional feature was "Whatever Happened To ... ?" where host Creator/CaseyKasem would profile a one-hit wonder, or early prolific star of the rock era who suddenly disappeared off the charts, quit recording, etc. Casey would simply explain what said artist (or group, as appropriately) had been doing in recent years, if they were involved with current projects, and so forth. Sometimes, he'd even play the song they were best known for.
** One of the most popular "Whatever Happened To ... ?" stories was of Jeanine Deckers, a Belgian known as The Singing Nun, whose song “Dominique” hit No. 1 in the US in late 1963. Casey's stories on Deckers would always explain that The Singing Nun gave all royalties to the convent but left it in 1966, and later the Belgian government made a claim for back taxes to the tune of $63,000 ... more than Deckers could afford, and no documentation existed that she had donated anything to charity. (The common stories are that her attorney failed to document it and/or that the Catholic church had either destroyed all records of it after they and Deckers broke ties, or that they simply did not have any more responsibility for her and did not have the funds.) Updated several times through the years, the final chapter came in 1985 when Casey announced that Deckers had died (of suicide) at age 51.
** Two entire specials were based on the "What Happened to the Mouse" concept – one in July 1973 and the other in April 1975 – where Casey played the biggest singles by the OneHitWonder acts of the rock era. The 1975 special had a slightly different chart, with a few different songs added and a different No. 1 song.
*** Janis Ian, whose 1968 hit "Society's Child" was played for the 1973 show, was deleted from the 1975 updated special. She had just released a new single, "At Seventeen", and although it had yet to make the Hot 100 there were already strong vibes about the song. The good feeling was justified: The song became a long-running hit in the summer of ’75, eventually peaking at No. 7.

* Creator/EddieIzzard's Dress to Kill tour featured the 'Firework joke' which he repeatedly references throughout his performance then ends the show without telling it. It's lampshaded by several people in the audience who immediately begin asking for it. He doesn't.
* Creator/BillyConnolly performed a long, long routine beginning with his account of a mysterious body found in the street in one of the more exclusive and upmarket suburbs of Edinburgh. He then meanders off into the intricacies of going to the toilet on aircraft, and how the food chain works, and the sheer logistics of so many people on board aircraft who will ''all'' need to use the toilet at some point... he gets back to the mystery corpse in Corstorphine (and its effect on local house prices) about twenty-five minutes later. By which time everyone's forgotten how the story started.

* ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'': Where the hell does Benvolio go after Mercutio dies?!
** It has been speculated by a commentary on the book that Benvolio's line "That is the truth or let Benvolio die" is significant, given that he lied and said Tybalt started the fight with Mercutio (when it was the other way around). It is unlikely, however, that he was actually killed, so his disappearance remains a mystery.
*** At least one revision done long after Shakespeare died had one of the nobles at the end of the play announce that Benvolio was also dead. They still fail to mention how.
** Another common interpretation is related to Benvolio's MeaningfulName. "Benvolio" means goodwill in Latin. He's around for all of the more comedy-like parts -- perhaps Benvolio is only a metaphor after all.
* In ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', Fleance speaks a grand total of ''two'' lines, escapes death at the hands of the murderers Macbeth sent after him and Banquo, then...disappears. He's not even mentioned at the end. More than a bit puzzling because per the witches' prophecy, he's destined to someday be the rightful king of Scotland, and, as he's now missing and with no living guardians, it's more than a little important that someone ''find him''. In ''Holinshed's Chronicles'', which Shakespeare based much of the plot on, he kept running until he settled in Wales and it's his son who came back and became king.
* In the epilogue to ''Theatre/AngelsInAmerica'', we see Prior, Belize, Louis, and Joe's mother are all pretty chummy with each other five years after the events of the play, but Joe seems to be pretty much forgotten.
* ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'': Did Viscount de Valvert survive his SwordFight with Cyrano at Act I Scene IV or not? The last we see about him was that his friends carried him after his defeat, and after a little mention by Roxane at Act II Scene IV, we never heard of him again.
* ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' starts out as a play-within-a-play; a lord and his servants trick a drunken peasant named Christopher Sly into thinking that ''he's'' the lord by dressing him up and waiting on him, telling him that he's been mad for years. They all sit down to watch a play about Katerina and Petruchio...and then they don't show up again. One ending has Sly waking up, convinced that he dreamed the whole thing and eager to try the trick of "taming a shrew" out on his own wife; however, many scholars think that it was added later and that Shakespeare never wrote it.
* In ''Theatre/KingLear'', Shakespeare decides to ShooOutTheClowns and have the Fool drop out of the plot after Act 3, even though he was a constant companion of Lear up to that point. Some stage productions interpret this as the Fool dying -- perhaps influenced by the line "My poor fool is hanged" in the last scene, though most critics interpret that line as referring to Cordelia.
* When Iago's plan starts blowing up in his face in ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'', Iago frantically covers his tracks and implicates Bianca in the plot to kill Cassio. Bianca is arrested and dragged off, and that's the last time she's seen. It's not even stated if she'll be released after Iago is ''finally'' exposed.
* Similarly, Adam, beloved OldRetainer and sidekick of Orlando in ''Theatre/AsYouLikeIt'', disappears after they arrive in Arden. Since Adam is elderly and nearly starves to death on the journey, some productions imply that he died; scholars speculate that the actor who played him may have needed to double as someone important during the second half of the show. (Whatever Shakespeare's intention was, Adam [[DeathByAdaptation doesn't die in the source material]].)
* In ''Theatre/HenryIVPart2'', all of Prince Hal's old Eastcheap companions are rounded up and sent to prison once he ascends the throne... except for Poins, who hasn't been seen or spoken of since the end of Act 2. This is particularly jarring in ''Series/TheHollowCrown'', where his role is expanded considerably, but he still disappears without explanation.
* Watching the original play version of ''Theatre/PeterPan'', you might wonder, "What happened to that rich cake Hook was going to kill the Lost Boys with"? There are several answers to this question:
** A stage direction after Hook enters, discouraged that the boys have found a mother, suggests that he "has perhaps found the large rich damp cake untouched".
** The novel expands this as one of the NoodleIncident adventures the children have in Neverland: "[The pirates] placed it in one cunning spot after another; but always Wendy snatched it from the hands of her children, so that in time it lost its succulence, and became as hard as a stone, and was used as a missile, and Hook fell over it in the dark."
** In the musical, the boys find the cake at the end of the "Wendy House" scene. Wendy tells them not to eat it, and they go inside.
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's ''Theatre/{{Mystere}}'' raises this question by leaving a key character (and more importantly ''performer''), [[spoiler: Brian Le Petit]], out of the curtain call. The answer is AllThereInTheManual: [[spoiler: when Moha-Samedi hauls him out of the theater, it's for good, as Brian wasn't "part of the show" to begin with]].
%%* In the opera ''Theatre/{{Carmen}}'', Don José's first girlfriend Micaëla gets lots of screen time, including a love duet with José in Act I and her own rather famous aria in Act III. However, after the close of Act III, which contains not even the smallest amount of closure for her character, Micaëla is never mentioned again.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Sideswipe in ''Ride/TransformersTheRide'' is last seen getting sucked into Devastator's vortex. It is never made clear whether he was destroyed or made it out in time.

* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', due to its nature, has plenty of examples:
** The ''Dark Hunters'' guidebook mentions that Shadow Stealer is currently coming back from a mission and is ready to face his "master", the Shadowed One. It was deemed an irrelevant NarrativeFiligree and never touched upon again.
** The same happened to Aphibax's secret mission to track the events on the island of Voya Nui.
** Order of Mata Nui agents report in the book ''Bionicle World'' that Karzahni is training his Matoran slaves in order to conquer the outer world he just learned of. The plot had been {{Retcon}}ned out of the story, so he went to fight without them, taking his Manas crabs instead.
** The book also mentioned that Roodaka had become the ruler of her island and will probably train her people to form an army. What became of it: Nothing, as her island was destroyed by {{Kaiju}}, and her status was never touched upon.
** What more, the book revealed the Mana-Ko, formerly believed to be beastial guardians of the BigBad, were actually secret double agents for the Order (good guys), and would be called into war. The war did happen, but they were never mentioned again.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The eponymous slime of ''Webcomic/UnicornJelly'' simply disappeared after episode 581.
** Before ''Webcomic/ToSaveHer'', the author claimed it was an intended symbolic plot point about childhood, magic or something or another.
* In ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'' the character Sara just disappears and is never mentioned again. The Cast page {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this by saying she was eaten by an allosaurus. Author Jeph Jacques says he just dropped her for being boring.
** In 2012, three new characters were introduced as library interns: Claire, Emily and Gabrielle. Claire became a major character and started dating Marten. Emily is a popular recurring character. Gabrielle largely vanished after the introductory story. She appears in 21 strips; Claire and/or Emily are in 19 of those, and in the other two Gabby does not speak.
* You'd never know in ''[[Webcomic/CiemWebcomicSeries Ciem]]'' that resident DepravedBisexual Poison Dart Eddie even ''had'' a sidekick, as he is so quickly brushed aside and never mentioned again. Even ''[[ButchLesbian Claire Rauscher]]'' has the decency to at least return in a later chapter, if only to [[spoiler: [[BuryYourGays fall to her death]]]].
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' had a minor one where a reader actually asked, "What happened to the demonic ferret?" The answer was, "She's still there with the other demons, I just forgot to draw her."
* ''Webcomic/GetMedieval'''s WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue is infamously missing Oneder, Iroth's bodyguard-turned-Muslim holy warrior. In the annotated reruns, Ironychan stated that she left out Oneder (and Sir Gerard) because she felt there was nothing really left to say about them.
** Also; Asher's kitten. It disappeared shortly after Asher received it and was unmentioned for months, until it reappeared after the "Trip To The Moon" arc. Ironychan has never said whether or not this was planned all along or whether the constant cries of "WHERE'S THE KITTY" caused her to bring it back.
* Monette's baby, in ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive''. The full humor and drama of an unplanned pregnancy are played to maximum effect, but Monette's baby disappears from the plot with barely a ripple (subtle clues in the dialogue reveal it was either stillborn or died very shortly after birth). Millholland {{lampshade|Hanging}}d the baby's absence much later in [[http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp08222004.shtml a filler strip]] in which the baby turned up in a Lost and Found box. WordOfGod says it was stillborn.
* Jessica's pregnancy in ''Webcomic/BetterDays'', though it's possible that the sequel, ''Original Life'' (which follows [[SpinOffspring the children of Better Days' main characters]]) will bring this up.
** In ''Webcomic/OriginalLife'', it is shown that Jessica has many children (enough so that Elizabeth feels uncomfortable asking her to take time babysitting her own kids).
** Elizabeth's father all but vanishes as the series goes on. This is notable since he was written as being a reasonable parent to Elizabeth as opposed to her strict mother, and backed his daughter on things like having Fisk over. One has to wonder why he had no input in his wife all but forcing their daughter to marry someone she didn't care about.
* In ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'', on average once per ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'' game parody, Mega Man would beat one of the Robot Masters without killing them, and for the most part they never showed up again, though they spawned numerous EpilepticTrees. However, on rare occasion they showed up again, especially Shadow Man, who became a running joke due to his stealthy nature and the EpilepticTrees about his disappearance.
** Shadow Man in particular said, after his initial appearance, that he'd disappear into the background until he was needed once again, which seemed a natural set up for him to return. It was ''years'' before he really did, and at every new plot development he was tagged as possibly being behind it. One fancomic lampshaded this by having him come and say the reason he hadn't shown up again was because, as a {{ninja}} he would return and strike when least expected... but the readers ''kept expecting him''.
* Emily from [[http://mortifer.smackjeeves.com Mortifer.]] Last appeared on [[http://mortifer.smackjeeves.com/comics/311189/chap17page25/ this]] page, and was promptly never seen again. This trope was barely averted however, when a fan drew a (spoileriffic) piece of [[http://xcoconutxpineapplex.deviantart.com/art/dead-mortifer-chara-fanarts-162717176 Fan Art]] {{Lampshad|eHanging}}ing it, which the author saw, stating that she had completely forgotten about the character and that she would try to find a way to bring her back into the story.
* Narrowly averted in ''Webcomic/YuMeDream''. The author realised she was going to do this with [[spoiler: No Face, a minor but very scary enemy]] and so DroppedABridgeOnHim for completeness. [[spoiler: Lia had just made a FaceHeelTurn and he got in her way. Cue a NeckSnap in the background of a conversation.]]
* For a long time it looked like [[spoiler:Haban and Breya Andreyasn]] in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' were heading this way, [[spoiler:made more glaring and worrisome by [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2008-01-13 their last appearance]] ending on an ominous note, though the enemy AI [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2008-02-26 claimed they were not killed.]]]] But then six and a half years after disappearing, they got better.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sonichu}}'' in spades. The author's wild-running attention span has caused him to start and drop so many plots and characters, it isn't even funny.
* ''Webcomic/RumorsOfWar'': Who was that walking around as [[spoiler:Couric]]? Where did [[spoiler:Penelo]] disappear to? What about the rest of the characters on the ship in the first StoryArc? What about all those character Nenshe recruited to the Order of Orion? (Some of these turn into [[BrickJoke Brick Jokes]] later in the comic.)
* Averted in ''Webcomic/OneOverZero''. By the end of the strip's run, every character that has ever appeared, even those you thought were one-off throwaway characters, has been accounted for.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
** There is Minihoof, Dirk's pet miniature pony, who has not been seen since he entered the Medium, roughly six months ago in-comic. This is kind of concerning, given that Minihoof is tiny enough to be easily crushed and [[FridgeHorror it's not certain Dirk has been home to feed her]]...
** Sollux says [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003982 here]] that all the trolls are going to die, or just that "we all" are going to die, and he ''specifically'' mentions that ''he'' will die twice. [[spoiler:As of October 25th of 2014, Vriska and Karkat have been killed twice each, and possibly Kanaya if her transforming into a rainbow drinker is counted as a "full death," and maybe Tavros, Nepeta, and Feferi counting their spirted selves exploding (which would also bring Vriska's death total at ''three''). Either Sollux conveniently left out that he's not the only troll (and definitely not the only one) who will die more than once or the story's planning underwent a few changes from that point]]. This prophecy has not been mentioned since then.
*** Not mentioned, perhaps, [[spoiler: but not forgotten. Every single troll has died in one timeline or another as of [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=009085 this update]], the doomed timeline that John is from having massacred them.]]
** Despite the vague implications that were set up, the story surrounding what happened to Mituna to leave him brain-damaged may never be gotten, as Meenah wound up the only Pre-Scratch troll to be given a focal role in the finale. Granted, it may not be relevant to the big picture in the end, or maybe Hussie meant to address it at some point but got caught up with some hundred other plot threads or plain forgot.
** [[spoiler: The ending of the comic leaves a lot of unresolved plot points, and the fates of various characters are unknown]].
* In the ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' arc of ''Webcomic/MurryPurryFreshAndFurry'', it is ominously mentioned near the beginning that [[http://www.murrypurry.com/?p=898 Molly is no longer a friend to pony land]], possibly setting her up as the BigBad of the arc. However near the end the author simply lost interest in continuing, abruptly ended it with Princess Celestia ''being arrested'' and called it quits without never once mentioning Molly again.
* The titular character in ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'' [[NonindicativeName barely appeared at all]] in the first place, and hasn't shown in the comics in years.
* On the occasion that ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' indulges in continuity (for example, Anne's new table-top game crew in 2014), the multi-part comic will suddenly end as soon as Jerry and Mike run out of jokes or come up with a joke that would only work individually, abandoning anything that was potentially brewing in the multi-part.
* ''Webcomic/SamAndFuzzy'' has this happen often, as the story over the years has created LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, and many have unresolved plot points, from simple ones like "Did Mr. Ackerman get repaid?" to complete story arcs like Detective Morris's investigation.
* ''Webcomic/TheStoryOfAnima'' [[http://tapastic.com/episode/42033 has Jade's briefly seen caretaker]], who vanishes from the story after only one page. When mercenaries attack the airship, not only is her fate left uncertain, the cast themselves seem to forget she even existed.
* This is actually a power of henchmen in ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}''. They have a Become Irrelevant power that allows them to [[OffscreenTeleportation vanish]] any time no one is directly paying attention to them.
* Defied in ''WebComic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. A mini arc featured the group of heroes tangling with a BanditClan, and the father & daughter team that led the bandits were spared at the end of the arc and given just enough characterization that fans frequently speculated on when/how the two would return to the story. The fan speculation and questioning irked author Rich Burlew enough that he wrote in a single comic where the two encountered a much more plot critical enemy, engaged in some MuggingTheMonster, and were summarily killed for it.
* Averted in ''Webcomic/DaughterOfTheLilies''; in a magical university setting, a frog is used as sacrifice to summon a demonic entity that, as intended part of the experiment, possesses the frog. Readers commented that they wanted to know what happened to the frog, and the author did indeed reveal the ultimate fate of the frog.
* In ''WebComic/GirlGenius'', Agatha sends out four messenger clanks while in Sturmhalten. One of them is shown successfully escaping the threat that destroyed the first three... and is never shown or mentioned again, especially not by its intended recipient. And likely never will, having lost all plot-relevance after the Mechanicsburg arc.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/AitorMolinaVs'': Pandemia said something about a clone in AMvs Seahorse Seashell Party and it was never brought back.
** [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in [[BizarroEpisode Hateful Comparisons: Vete A La Versh vs. Telegordo]] with "[[Film/IronMan3 The Mandarin]]" [[spoiler: Bator Medina]].
* From "Swimming!", an early episode of ''WebVideo/{{lonelygirl15}}'': "Whatever happened to that girl, Cassie?" Over 430 episodes later, we're still none the wiser.
* ''[[http://underthevangogh.blissful-madness.com/stories.html#spec1 The White Parade]]'' has a variation of this. Part III sees Ean sending Allys on an errand to fetch a sandwich from the Subway across the street from the hospital where he's staying... only for it to never be mentioned again once it's retrieved.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFNXJwrrR_E This]] strange youtube video takes this trope quite literally. It features an animated mouse who just walks across the screen and then is never seen again.
* The LiteralMusicVideo for ''Anything For Love'' has Music/MeatLoaf continue to complain about his dropped necklace long after it stops being relevant to the video's plot.
* In WebVideo/KungTaiTed's review for ''Tiger Love'', Ted becomes so disturbed at the scene where the titular tiger mauls a boy that he breaks character and asks if the child actor actually got killed.
* The interstitial webisodes aired prior to ''Series/TheWalkingDead'''s second-season premiere revolved around a survivor named Hannah and her attempts to protect her family from walkers. At the end of the webisodes, Hannah (running to escape the city with her kids) manages to kill a zombie that bites her, and tells her children to run away as fast as they can before she turns. We see what happens to Hannah afterwards (she's eaten by a horde of walkers, and becomes the titular "bicycle girl" that Rick Grimes discovers in the pilot episode), but what happened to her kids?
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic invokes this trope with his "but what happened to Boomer?" rants in various movie reviews, everytime a character's fate, especially if it was a dog, is not resolved in a movie, at least for a while. If it is before the end credits roll, a short "Boomer will live!" scene is shown. Boomer was a pet dog in one of the reviewed movies.
* At the end of [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony's]] ''VideoGame/UltimaVI'' review, Chuckles the Jester is given a [[Franchise/GreenLantern Sinestro Corps ring]] from the Gate Cleaner. Since the review, Chuckles has not been seen or mentioned and it seem whatever storyline was being set up was [[AbortedArc dropped]].
** In a Tweet, Noah (Spoony) explained that [[RealLifeWritesThePlot his dog Oreo got into his prop closet and tore up the Chuckles costume, forcing him to retire the character]].
* ''WebVideo/UltraFastPony'':
** In "Pega Please", the central conflict of the episode is the question of how to deal with a sleeping dragon that's spewing smoke over Ponyville: should the protagonists approach the dragon diplomatically, or just kill him? The climax comes when Fluttershy berates the dragon for [[NWordPrivileges using a word he's not allowed to use]], then in the denouement, Twilight explains that the dragon is now "dra''gone''". Whether the dragon left peacefully or in pieces is never clarified.
** In "Pinkie's Day In", Pinkie Pie suddenly acquires two babies, apparently via kidnapping. Mr. and Mrs. Cake leave to find the babies' original parents, but they're completely unsuccessful. It becomes a moot point by the end of the episode, so the babies' origin stays a mystery.
* ''Literature/ChakonaSpace'' features Allen Fesler's ''Tales of the Folly'' series. Chapter 2 introduces Captain Foster's cockatiels. After chapter 3, they are never mentioned again.
* [[WebVideo/{{Vinesauce}} Vinny's]] [[WebVideo/VinesauceTomodachiLife Tomodachi Life streams]] feature one character who is sent off to visit other islands via [=StreetPass=]. Since Vinny never uses [=StreetPass=] (presumably because of the innate danger of taking a valuable modded 3DS to conventions and the like), said character is never seen again.
* Occurs in ''Literature/TheSickLand'' once the main character and narrator, Alex, arrives at the Facility. While the fate of the first research station, where the story starts, is witnessed by Alex (and thus, the reader), and the entire second half of the story takes place in the Facility, not a single word is mentioned about what happens to the second station and Alex' former colleagues there.
* ''WebVideo/TheHappyVideoGameNerd'': It was never explained what HVGN's mom (or a hallucination thereof) was doing in his house in the "Little Nemo in Slumberland" review.
* Early on in ''WebVideo/TwelveHundredGhosts'' London built a wall to keep zombies out, which made Scrooge even richer. It's never brought up again.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* Most of us have had an online friend disappear without a trace. Chances are you'll never know what happened to them. The same could be true for people you used to know, especially if they've moved away.

[[TheStinger So, er, guys, what did actually happen to the mouse?]]
[[MathematiciansAnswer It's in your hand. You're using it right now.]]
But what if you're using a laptop?
Integrated into your keyboard.
I'm using a touchscreen.
[[OverlyLongGag Please kindly change "keyboard" to any parts of the machinery that replaces the function of the mouse.]]