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Green Rooming
Introducing a new character who is then inexplicably ignored for a few episodes. Often the result of a clumsy Debut Queue setup.

Alternatively, a common use of Lampshade Hanging to explain why a cast member useful to the plot isn't around. This can be to exclude a character who would make a plot end too early or because the writers want to focus on specific characters.

Poorly used, this will introduce a character who is used for a single arc and then forgotten for long periods of time. The kind of writer prone to this is also liable to keep doing it.

The trope is named after the "Green Room," a backstage area in a theatre where actors who are not required on stage can wait and prepare, the idea being that the ignored characters are just hanging out there. Not to be confused with shows shot in a green room.

See also Offstage Waiting Room.

Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • A skillful usage of this technique is in Love Hina, where Motoko (along with her "groupies") is introduced in the first minutes of the first episode, but she immediately leaves on a training excursion, thus freeing up screen time for introductions of the other characters before she gets her turn to take center stage in the third episode. Shinobu is also seen in the first episode, but not really introduced until the second.
  • In Kämpfer, Mikoto is seen in the first few episodes via postcards to her childhood friend Natsuru. She's seen again at the end of episode 5, but Mikoto doesn't see Natsuru till episode 6. She remains part of the cast after she returns home.
  • In season 3 of the anime adaptation for The World God Only Knows, Kanon, or rather her goddess Apollo, is taken out of commission right away in the first episode, and ends up causing Keima to undertake the conquest of the goddesses after witnessing Lune stabbing her. She doesn't appear again until around episode 8, and even then just as a brief cameo to let Keima know she's still doing okay for the most part. This conveniently allows other girls and goddesses to have more screentime with him, some whom he conquered in earlier seasons, and some who only appeared in brief scenes due to the anime skipping many chapters in the manga between season 2 and 3.
  • In Anpanman, thanks to the large amount of characters in the series, a character can end up getting their own spotlight episode and then disappear from the series. Many characters from the early years of the show has had this happen to them, and the movie- and theatrical short-introduced characters end up having the same fate, the newer ones never being transferred into the show.

     Literature 
  • The Power of Five starts off with Matt, who then vanishes after book 2, gets a brief mention in book 3, and then is gone for the first half of book 4.

     Live-Action TV 
  • In Doctor Who, Robot Buddy K-9 is introduced in "The Invisible Enemy", then promptly breaks down for the duration of "The Image of the Fendahl", whose script was written before K-9 was added to the cast.
    • Also, Robot Buddy Kamelion is introduced in "The King's Demons" and then disappears for almost an entire season, reappearing only in order to be written out. This was because the complicated and expensive Kamelion prop actually did break down, and the only person who knew how it worked had died. note 
  • Happened quite a bit in Code Name: Eternity due to the episodes being aired out of order. The two main characters meet a sidekick early in the season, followed by a replacement sidekick in what should have been about halfway through the season; but instead, the sidekicks seem to appear and disappear at random.

     Video Games 

     Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Adam is introduced in the Black trailer but doesn't appear again until the end of Volume 2, despite the heavy use of White Fang faunus. Similarly, Junior and the Malachite twins are introduced in the Yellow trailer but don't appear until Volume 2, despite their club being associated with Roman Torchwick from the outset.

     Western Animation 

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