Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Webcomics

  • Euchre from TwoKinds just seemed to be forgotten about. After Trace's battle with a Neutal possessed Flora, he is never mentioned again, despite being a rather important and seemingly powerful character who was in league with the Master Spy. He might simply be Master Strategist in a magical disguise. In truth, he IS a Keidran that can disguise into a human down to the genes and with what seems to be some kind of double personality syndrome, since he helps Keidran while undisguised while leading the persecution in disguise. He has a half-human/keidran changeling daughter.
  • Questionable Content:
    • Sara was a barista at the Coffee of Doom who had a crush on Marten for the first few strips. She seemingly disappeared early on, when the focus shifted to Faye and Marten. This has been subject to a Lampshade Hanging on more than one occasion. The 'official' explanation for her disappearance is that she was eaten by an allosaurus, but really she was just a boring character.
    • The trope is often lampshaded and subverted in this comic. Members of the supporting cast regularly disappear — often for extended periods of time — without warning, and are later given explanations when another character wonders why they are gone. Most (with Sara being one of the only exceptions) will turn up again up to 500 pages later.
    • Even the infamous Pizza Girl reappears after a long absence.
  • In El Goonish Shive, some of the side characters have fallen into this. And of course, let's not forget Lord Tedd, hinted in the past to be the Big Bad of the entire strip, has not been seen in years real-time. Dan Shive said he introduced the character too soon, which is why it vanished. However, it looks like Lord Tedd may be coming back.
  • Queen Jane from 8-Bit Theater. An Only Sane Man to contrast with her husband King Steve (a combination of Cloud Cuckoo Lander, The Caligula and The Ditz), she was replaced in this role by Princess Sara in Steve's later appearances.
  • Wapsi Square lost a few characters in its Cerebus Syndrome, but after a year or two brought back one of them and wrote a concluding plotline for another. Why can't everyone be this diligent?
  • Lie-Bot in Achewood has been pretty much replaced by Vlad, although he returns on occasion to do another "What is the saddest thing?" strip.
  • Early in Kevin & Kell, Lyndesfarne was friends with a turtle and an armadillo, the gag being that they were the only three herbivores who could hang out at the mall food court. Conina the armadillo is also at the school dance, and then we never see either of them again.
  • Now that Dresden Codak has gone from Kim being a teenage Mad Scientist living in a big house just outside a city on the Pacific coast to being a penniless mad scientist in her early twenties living in a small room in a Vast Bureaucracy, it looks like we won't be seeing anything more from Alina, Dimitri and Tiny Carl Jung for the forseeable future.
  • Pv P does it so much it should be called Kurtzing. The entire cast from Samwise except for Skull, Francis' gaming troupe, Skull's gaming persona who later became his own character, Jade's former staff from when she created a feminist magazine, Jade's High School best friend, Robbie's former best friend Jase, Reggie who was Miranda's blind boyfriend, Miranda who was Reggie's hot girlfriend (redacted, though she was brought back by a guest strip so Kurtz wouldn't have brought her back if not for that strip so it doesn't count so HA), Miranda's big dumb boyfriend (whom she presumably left because he wasn't dumb any more), a talking arcade machine, Newt-boy, a funny talking rat, Francis's robot, Skull's cousin Sheckie, Sheckie's girlfriend, a divorced woman who was implied to be a recurring character, Cole's entire family (though a divorce was mentioned in passing), the game-store witch, and the giant Panda. That's more than 20 characters that fit this trope. Gwen almost fitted, too, until she became an expy in Kurtz' other strip, "The Trenches".
  • Sonichu has this all over the place, as new characters were created to be analogues of people who tormented the creator in Real Life. Most characters just disappear, getting squeezed by the Kudzu Plot.
  • Shauna from Bad Machinery had an older brother; the only explanation of his disappearance is, in an answer from John Allison to a question on Tumblr, "Chuck Cunningham’d"
  • Ménage à 3 occasionally introduces plot elements that just don't come to anything, and in the early days, two such elements were Eulice the terrifying landlady and Rob the agoraphobic neighbor. Presumably the writers couldn't think of much more than one joke each for them. Junghan the comics shop manager (best friend of lead character Gary and boss of other lead character Zii) also seemed to be a Syndrome sufferer, but made at least a brief return after a couple of years' absence from the comic.