* Abel Nightroad is the ''main character'' of ''TrinityBlood'', but his superpowered form, the Crusnik, has so few appearances that it counts.
* Leigharch from ''Manga/BlackLagoon''. This [[TheStoner junkie]] was only in one arc, mostly as PluckyComicRelief, yet he managed to gain a fanbase the same size as those of the main characters.
* ''GiantRobo'' has the remaining members of the BigBad ruling council, the Magnificent Ten. Plenty of people were disappointed at how they only got a few minutes between them to strut their stuff, but damn it was cool.
** They even have the established star thing going for them, as the cast of ''Giant Robo'' are all characters from previous anime & manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama. This was most definitely intentional, as they were ''supposed to'' be the main antagonist (as indicated by the SequelHook) for the GrandFinale before it got cut short.
** Their boss, Big Fire himself, had even less screentime, [[spoiler:most of which was actually an impostor]], but is just as well-remembered.
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'':
** A common surprise for anyone that gets into the show via the hype around it is that [[MemeticMutation Internet meme]] EnsembleDarkHorse Tsuruya has a very small role in the show, with only one or two memorable scenes; her actual CharacterFocus comes a while later in the books on which the series is based.
** Emiri Kimidori, who appeared ''once'' in ''one episode'', but got her own ImageSong album before some other main characters. She, too, gets fleshed out a little later on in the books, but she's still a very minor character... so far.
** Ryoko Asakura could count as well. Sure, she had a few scenes in the first few episodes, and she gets good screen time in TheMovie [[spoiler: and the tenth novel]], but the only scene where she really gets much characterization or interaction with anyone else is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHkM6Ru3xhc a doozy.]]
* Kazuhiko Amagasaki from ''TenchiMuyo'' who appeared briefly in the first episode of the original {{OVA}} series, but ended up with his own {{Omake}} comics and a much larger role in ''Tenchi in Tokyo''.
* [[Creator/ShinichiWatanabe Nabeshin]] and Kumi-Kumi in PuniPuniPoemy. They only appear at the beginning of the first episode, and are subsequently StuffedInTheFridge. [[AuthorAvatar Nabeshin]] and Kumi-Kumi (who married in Anime/ExcelSaga) are the most interesting characters for many people. [[spoiler: They do come back for the last episode, though]].
* Many fans of ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' consider a character who only appears in one episode as one of their favorites. Femio, an outlandish, beauty-obsessed, [[SuckMyRose rose-wielding]] ballet student shows up as a victim for the DarkMagicalGirl, and he's so hilarious that he's become a hugely popular character to the fandom, showing up in fanart, fanfic, cosplay and roleplaying nearly as much as the actual main characters of the show, probably because he defeats the powers of darkness through sheer narcissism and stupidity.
** Oh yeah, and he's also voiced by VicMignogna. Keep in mind that this was years before Ouran.
* [[spoiler:Noriko and Kazumi]]'s appearance at the end of ''{{Diebuster}}'' stole the climax of the show. They were only in it for about 30 seconds had no lines and ''weren't even seen'' yet they managed to turn a BitterSweetEnding into a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming.
* Gustav St. Germain from ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}!'' fits this trope like a glove. He's in the series for a grand total of ten minutes, barely makes an impact on the plot, and yet he's probably just as memorable as some as the biggest {{Badass}}es in the series.
** It's also because he's essentially the narrator of the show's FramingDevice.
* Chiyo's Dad in ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'' has a [[Creator/NorioWakamoto speaking]] part in about five skits, but is one of the mascots of the series.
* Kaworu appeared for only one episode in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' (and the climactic parts of ''End of Evangelion''), yet he is in the most memorable scene in the entire series and the results of that scene trigger the end of the series (whichever one you go by). It may be interesting to note that he is getting a bigger role in TheRemake ''Rebuild of Evangelion''.
* Lord Raptor in the ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}'' OVA, his depiction is often considered to be incredibly awesome (and is also one of Creator/ScottMcNeil's coolest performances). Only problem? He was only in the 1st episode for about 10 minutes...
* Several one-shot characters in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' apply, even though many of them usually appear in only one episode they are often deemed as some of the show's most memorable characters. Whether its characters whom are actually from the games such as [[EagleLand Lt. Surge]] and Sabrina, or Anime only characters such as [[WhipItGood A.J]] and [[{{Joshikousei}} Giselle]].
** In the TPCI dub, any character-of-the-day voiced by [[Creator/DanGreen DAN GREEN]] is likely to be this. Especially Gym Leader [[LargeHam Byron]].
* ''Anime/YugiohGX'' gives us Dimitri, played by Creator/MarcThompson. His [[NarmCharm ridiculously silly and awesome]] impression of Creator/DanGreen's LargeHam Yami Yugi from the original series makes Dimitri one of the most memorable side-characters in the series, and he only shows up for two episodes. It helps that as he stole Yugi's deck to copy his dueling styles, those two episodes were spent busting out fan favorites like [[StageMagician Dark Magician]], [[MsFanservice Dark Magician Girl]], and [[BlackKnight Black Luster Soldier]].
* ''Manga/DeathNote'': Barring one cameo appearance a few episodes earlier, Matt only shows up for the kidnapping scene [[spoiler: before getting riddled with bullets]]. Hasn't stopped him from becoming one of the fans' favourite characters.
** He appears a bit more in the manga before that scene, though his appearances are so sporadic that they all amount to 16 panels [[note]]someone counted them[[/note]] maximum.
** Then there's TV reporter Koki Tanakabara, who shows up for about one minute to denounce Kira, announcing his full name at the end while knowing that Kira can kill him just by knowing his name and face, and establishing himself as one of the most courageous characters in the entire series.
* Jinpei Matsuda of ''Manga/DetectiveConan''. He appeared in exactly ''one'' {{backstory}} arc of this LongRunner and its effects to the canon is arguably minor ([[ThatOneCase except for Inspector Sato]]), but he ''still'' listed as one of the main characters on the show's official website.
** The series' [[Characters/DetectiveConan character sheet]] has a whole section devoted to OneSceneWonder charcaters.
* DeadmanWonderland has Rokuro who only appeared for four episode and yet his insane actions earned him a huge following.
* Sano the HospitalHottie whom was only in the 22nd episode of the ''GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' series but lets just say some folks remember her for her... [[GirlOnGirlIsHot potential]] -- she was a fairly blatant MsFanservice LipstickLesbian whom was [[LesYay blatantly trying to hit on the Major]]. However the only reason why that episode didn't become a softcore lesbian porno was because she was actually a assassin that Motoko had to stop and beat. (Besides Sano would most likely be a part of Motoko's little harem if she turned out to be good anyways.)
* Burger-kun's five minutes of screentime in ''DarkerThanBlack'' Season 2 somehow managed to net him an internet fandom, for God knows what reason.
** Most likely due to his nonchalant attitude and his complaining about having to eat burgers for his remuneration. And he doesn't have the RequiredSecondaryPowers for his SuperSpeed.
* [[FanNickname Bruce Ironstaunch]] from ''GurrenLagann''. He's just some nameless member of a cheering crowd who makes a BicepPolishingGesture while Rossiu is announcing that [[spoiler: Simon will be executed]]. Since that gesture means "up yours" elsewhere, Western fans saw him as the one good man standing up for the heroes, and he became a [[MemeticMutation legend]].
* The Farmer with Shotgun from the first episode of ''Manga/DragonBall Z''.
* ''[[Anime/OjamajoDoremi Ojamajo Doremi Naisho]]'' has a character named Fami, who only appeared in the last episode but is particularly memorable, mainly because she's [[spoiler:[[LukeYouAreMyFather Doremi's granddaughter from the future]]]].
* In-Universe example. In ''OnlyYesterday Taeko'' recalls how as a child, she had a one-line part in her school play. Determined to get as much use of this role as possible, she puts significantly more effort into this single line than the rest of the performers, resulting in her [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome stealing the show and being offered a role in a completely different play]]. [[spoiler: However, her father forbids her from accepting the role.]]
* In ''[[TigerAndBunny Tiger & Bunny]]'', Origami Cyclone is a "superhero" who does very little by way of actual crimefighting, and the ranking system that the city uses places him even lower than the ButtMonkey, Wild Tiger. Nevertheless, his corporate sponsors are very happy with him, because he's good at his ''real'' job of inserting himself anywhere there's a camera as living advertisement.
* In Episode 1 of ''GundamUnicorn'', when the Kshatriya is generally fucking things up, one nameless {{Mook}} in a [[EliteMook Stark Jegan]] decides to ''[[MomentOfAwesome take it on by himself]]'', putting up a very good fight before being sliced in half. He is known only as [[FanNickname godspeed.]]
** In Episode 4, [[spoiler: a [[AceCustom Byalant Custom]] turns the Zeon Remnants' siege of [[{{Gundam0083}} Torrington Base]] into a CurbStompBattle, singlehandedly turning the tides and handing the Zeeks' asses back to them. ]]
* ''Manga/SoulEater'': Excalibur has a tendency to do this, especially in the Wrath Chapter of Eibon.
* [[spoiler: [[MadScientist Shou Tucker]]]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' is a rather strange example. Even though he's only in one chapter before [spoiler:he's killed off by Scar,]] he is one of the first truly intimidating antagonist encountered by the Elric brothers, and still stands out as one of the series' most horrific villains.
* An [[NoNameGiven unnamed]] one-''panel'' character in ''MahouSenseiNegima'' managed to get her own entry in [[Characters/NegimaMagicWorld the character sheet]] for the impressive feat of [[FetishFuelStationAttendant cramming]] '''''[[FetishFuelStationAttendant twelve]]''''' [[{{Fanservice}} Fanservice Tropes]] into said appearance.
* In ''OutlawStar'', Shimi/[[spoiler: Leilong]] is perhaps the biggest bad ass of the series, [[spoiler: defeating the entire crew in open combat]], but only appears in one episode, and [[spoiler: he doesn't even die like almost every other one-off villian.]]
* Inuyama, the "cowardly" samurai/firefly enthusiast/[[spoiler: assassin]] from ''SamuraiChamploo'' only gets one episode and he [[spoiler: nearly beats Jin, stopping only when he discovers his employer's death and decides to walk away.]] And what's worse, [[spoiler: he promises that they'll meet again.]]
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' has Mao. He was only in a few episodes in a row towards the middle of the first season, but is remembered for being CrazyAwesome, and at the very least foreshadowed [[spoiler: Lelouch's PowerIncontinence]].
* Yuna from ''{{Inuyasha}}''. She only had two episodes but the amount of fan art you would think she was a reoccurring villain. It helps that she has EvilIsSexy, VaporWare, AbsoluteCleavage and ToplessnessFromTheBack.
* ''{{Robotech}}'': The {{Macross}} character on which Dr. Emil Lang was based on was just an unnamed chief engineer in the original Japanese version. The character design already had cool looking all black eyes. Robotech went further gave Dr. Lang a memorable German accent (courtesy of actor Greg Snegoff). All this for a character that had only appeared in two episodes with three minutes total of screen time. He would become a major supporting character in the aborted ''Sentinels'' production and the rest of the ExpandedUniverse.
* Charlotte the Dessert Witch, of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', got less than two minutes of screentime in a twelve-episode series. Danbooru currently list her as having over two thousand different fanarts, more than all the other [[MonsterOfTheWeek witches]], all the supporting cast, and all the spinoff characters put together. Being the KnightOfCerebus and deliverer of the show's first WhamEpisode help, as does generally being [[CuteIsEvil cute.]] In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'', she's an AscendedExtra, although the characters call her "[[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Bebe]]". [[spoiler:She even changes back into her human form, new character Nagisa Momoe]].
* Hinata and Hikage Miyakawa made a grand total of ''three'' appearances throughout the LuckyStar anime (and only a few more in the manga), but managed to get their own spinoff series later on.
** Another example from the Anime version is the [[PosthumousCharacter late]] [[MissingMom Kanata Izumi]] who, as a CuteGhostGirl, gets herself involved in [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments one of the funniest]], yet [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments among the most heartwarming]] parts of the show all because she wanted to check on her family. See it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0HdyFUG8L0 here]].
* [[Manga/XxxHolic Kimihiro Watanuki]] made a 14-minute appearance in ''Anime/BloodCTheLastDark'' where he provided Saya's sword which would use [[spoiler:to kill Fumito]]. He brought out about the price for the sword which Saya mentions that she would do it later. By the end of the movie, this was not mentioned again and the sword is left behind after [[spoiler:Saya killed Fumito]].
** This goes the same with Yuka Amino, [[spoiler:the 28-year old woman who pretended to be Saya's friend in the TV series and wanted to be the governor of Tokyo]]. She only has two scenes where she does secretarial duties for Fumito and [[spoiler:by the end of the movie where she finally achieves her goal as governor without any repercussions]].
* The first Shuffle Alliance in ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam''. Their absurd Gundams transform from playing card suits--diamond, spade, etc--and they themselves are a pretty flashy bunch of {{Badass}}es in AwesomeAnachronisticApparel who take out a bunch of DG-cell-infected, subway-car-throwing Gundam Fighters hardly breaking a sweat. And they're a match for [[BadassGrandpa Master Asia]]. [[spoiler:Sad, then, that they do a collective Heroic Sacrifice to save the new Shuffle Alliance in just the next episode.]]
* If this trope can be played negatively, [=MaloMyotismon=] would qualify (putting aside his previous incarnations as Myotismon and [=VenomMyotismon=]). He only appeared during the last two episodes of [[{{Digimon}} Digimon's]] second season, and is remembered as one of the ''suckiest'' villains ever in an anime series.
* [[spoiler: Kuroha]] in the Franchise/KagerouProject anime ''Anime/MekakucityActors''. Despite being shown in the opening doing something [[KillEmAll extremely plot important]] and being hyped up as a source of conflict in the intro and TheStinger of episode 11, he only appears halfway into episode 12 and [[EvilIsHammy hams up the scene]] for all of five minutes before [[spoiler: he ultimately bites it.]]