Second Episode Introduction

"Oh, please. If there were new guys, they'd have shown up in the season premiere."

The series Pilot has to do a lot of things. It has to establish the main character, set up the central conflict, and 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 Pilot Movie but don't agree to come back for the series.

Any of these qualify as the Second Episode Introduction. 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 Second Episode Substitute. For a series that introduces multiple regular characters over its first few episodes, see Debut Queue. A character introduced in a sequel movie, or after season one of a series, is an Iconic Sequel Character.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • The first episode of Pokémon had Ash, Pikachu, and Misty but Team Rocket didn't show up until the second.
  • In Hamtaro, Dexter, Howdy, Pashmina and Penelope are introduced in the second episode, while Cappy, Panda, Maxwell and Sandy show up in the third.
  • In Le Chevalier d'Eon, two of the main characters don't appear until the second episode.
  • L in the Death Note anime, as the first episode ends with Light first deciding to become Kira.
  • All but one of the main protagonists in Ga-Rei -Zero- are introduced in the second episode. The first episode is filled with decoy protagonists.
  • Asuna in the anime adaptation of Sword Art Online.
    • Technically we see her in the first episode when all the players were rounded up, but she didn't actually say anything.
  • In Strawberry Marshmallow, 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 Beach Episode.
  • Kimi to Boku: Misaki and Chizuru are introduced in the second and third episode, respectively.
  • Because Shinryaku! Ika Musume's episodes are divided into Three Shorts, 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 A Little Snow Fairy Sugar, showing us that there are other apprentice season fairies.
  • In Tenchi Muyo!, the first episode introduces Tenchi, his grandfather and Ryoko. Ayeka and Sasame don't get introduced until the second episode. Either subverted or taken up to 11 depending on your viewpoint, when Mihoshi is introduced in episode 4 and Washu fills out Tenchi's harem in episode 6.
  • THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls focuses on two characters in the first episode, out of a main cast of fourteen. The rest of them are properly introduced in the following episode.
  • Rui plays a very important role in Gatchaman Crowds, being the one responsible for both materializing and directing the titular CROWDS that appear in the story. He also gets heavily involved in the conflict due to the antagonist's interest in manipulating him for his own goals. Despite all of this, he doesn't get officially introduced until the end of episode 2 at which point he starts getting regular screen time afterward.
  • The second episode of Hajime no Ippo introduces Genji Kamogawa (the titular hero's mentor and owner of the gym he trains at), Ichiro Miyata (The Rival), and the latter's unnamed father.
  • The second episode of Slam Dunk introduces Takenori Akagi, Kiminobu Kogure and the rest of the Shohoku Basketball team. Akagi and Kogure are respectively The Team's captain and vice captain.
  • The second episode of Mobile Fighter G Gundam introduces The Lancer Chibodee Crockett and his Four-Girl Ensemble crew.
  • The second episode of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing introduces Catherine Bloom, the Cool Big Sis figure to one of the protagonists.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam waits until its second episode to introduce Sayla Mass, Kai Shiden, Mirai Yashima, and Ryu Jose.

Comics
  • April O'Neil did not appear until the second issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Spider-Man's J. Jonah Jameson is 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.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye: The first issue introduces most of the supporting cast, except Skids, who doesn't show up until issue 2 (he was going to appear in issue 1, but there wasn't enough room).

Film

Live-Action TV
  • In the Scifi series The Invisible Man, 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 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 Star Trek: The Original Series, introduces Uhura, Yeoman Rand, and Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (as a Second Episode Substitute 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 Criminal Minds, 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 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 The Sarah Jane Adventures, replacing Kelsey in an inversion of Affirmative Action Girl.
  • Charlie wasn't introduced on The West Wing 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 Mad Men—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.
  • Eli Stone didn't introduce Maggie, a main love interest and Eli's partner, until the second episode.
  • Brooke Davis on One Tree Hill, who quickly became an Ensemble Darkhorse and one of the show's leads.
  • On Community, Señor Chang does not appear until the second episode. Additionally, Prof. Buzz Hickey and Elroy Patashnik are only introduced in the second episodes of their respective seasons as guest regulars.
  • Rather than a character, Power Rangers often holds off on debuting either the Megazord or even the Transformation Sequence 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. Some premieres also show some of the team morphed in the first episode, but wait until the second to let the entire team transform.
    • The first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers averted this in its adaptation of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger: 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 Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, 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 Power Rangers Time Force 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).
    • Power Rangers Dino Charge waits until episode two to introduce Riley, even though the rest of the team all appeared in the first episode.
  • New Girl's Winston was introduced in the second episode, replacing the suddenly-absent roommate Coach.
  • In Drop the Dead Donkey, Sally Smedley first appears in the second episode. Justified as a personnel decision by the new CEO.
  • Doctor Who 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 Law & Order 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 Sonny with a Chance.
  • Sloan Sabbith isn't introduced until the second episode of The Newsroom.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • 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.
    • Father Gabriel Stokes and the Hunters were introduced during the second episode of Season 5.
    • Denise Coyd was introduced during the second episode of Season 6, along with other characters who did not make it at the episode's end.
  • In 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 Downton Abbey. He goes on to be a very central character indeed.
  • Don Flack wasn't in the Poorly Disguised Pilot of CSI NY that aired on CSI: Miami. 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 Elementary, but he's appeared in every episode since.
  • The Spartacus series:
    • The titular character didn't arrive at the ludus until the second episode, so all of the major characters there such as Doctore Oenomaus, Naevia, Ashur, Varro, Rhaskos, Gnaeus, Rabanus, and Pietros were all introduced there.
    • Nasir and Chadara made their debut on the second episode of Season 2.
    • Caesar, Laeta and Sybil were introduced during the second episode of the final season.
  • Breaking Bad's fifth season introduces two major new characters, Lydia and Todd, in the second and third episodes respectively.
  • In ABC's short-lived Mind Games, Samantha Gordon was not introduced until the second episode.
  • Revolution doesn't reveal that Charlie's mother Rachel is alive until the second episode. In this case, the reveal was filmed for the first episode but the character was later recast so the scene was taken out and re-filmed in time for the second episode's airing.
  • In Psych, main cast member Juliet isn't introduced until the second episode.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Irri, Dorreah, Ilyn Payne and Rast were introduced in the second episode of the entire series.
    • Balon Greyjoy, Yara Greyjoy, and Salladhor Saan were introduced in the second episode of the second season. After appearing as a Last Episode, New Character in Season 1, Jaqen H'ghar was officially introduced here, though it is heavily implied that the one who appears later is a different character using the same face.
    • Olenna Tyrell, Orell, Locke and Ramsay Snow/Bolton were introduced during the second episode of Season 3.
    • Mace Tyrell was introduced during the second episode of Season 4.
    • Doran Martell and Areo Hotah were introduced during the second episode of Season 5.
    • Euron Greyjoy and Lyanna Stark were introduced in the second episode of the sixth season. In Lyanna's case, she was mentioned several times before but this was the first time she actually appears (albeit in a flashback).
  • Arrow:
    • The second episode of the series introduces recurring villain China White and The Hero's very first mentor Yao Fei.
    • Recurring villain Bronze Tiger does not appear until the second episode of the second season.
    • Recurring villain Anarky does not appear until the second episode of the fourth season.
  • In The Flash (2014), Harrison "Harry" Wells and Patty Spivot do not appear until the second episode of the second season.
    • Julian Albert is introduced in the second episode of the third season. Justified, because it's a result of Barry trying the fix the timeline.
  • In Supergirl (2015), recurring frenemy Maxwell Lord does not appear until the second episode of the series.
  • Daredevil:
    • Season 1's first episode introduces us to protagonists Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, and Karen Page. The second episode introduces Claire Temple to the cast. The third episode introduces Ben Urich, Vanessa Marianna and Wilson Fisk.
    • Season 2's first episode introduces the Punisher. The second episode introduces Samantha Reyesnote  and Blake Tower. The fifth episode introduces Elektra.
  • The second episode of Penny Dreadful introduces main characters Brona Croft, Dorian Gray and the Creature, the latter only shows up at the very end. Interestingly the same episode introduces Madame Kali who only becomes important in the second season.
  • In Better Call Saul:
    • Nacho Varga was first introduced in the second episode of season 1.
    • While Kim Wexler makes a brief appearance in the season 1 pilot, and a brief cameo in the second episode, she's not given a proper introduction until the third episode.
  • Orphan Black:
    • The second episode of the entire series introduces main characters Allison Hendrix and Cosima Niehaus, two of the five main clones which.includes The Hero Sarah Manning herself.
    • The second episode of Season 2 introduces the Johanssen family (Henrik, Bonnie, and Gracie) , the first family of the Proletheans, a religious Cult who antagonizes the clone protagonists.
  • The second episode of the very first Cycle of America's Next Top Model introduces Breakout Character J. Alexander aka "Ms. J".

Radio

Visual Novel
  • Ace Attorney manages to do this with every game due to the first case being a tutorial. Many important characters, including The Rival, are not introduced until the second case of each game. These include:
    • Maya Fey, Dick Gumshoe, and Miles Edgeworth in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
    • Pearl Fey, Morgan Fey, and Franziska von Karma in Justice for All
    • Godot in Trials and Tribulations
    • Klavier Gavin in Apollo Justice
    • Kay Faraday, Shi-Long Lang, and Shih-na in Investigations (case 3)
    • Raymond Shields, Justine Courtney, and Sebastian Debeste in Prosecutor's Path
    • Zacharias Barnham and the Storyteller in Layton vs. Wright
    • Bobby Fulbright and Simon Blackquill in Dual Destinies
    • Nahyuta Sahdmadhi in Spirit of Justice

Web Original
  • Lifepoint One Entertainment introduces the title character of 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 Homestar Runner 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 Noob were less than five minutes long, hence it took three of them to introduce all four main characters (plus a Chekhov's Gunman or two).
  • The first Chrono Hustle story only introduced one main character, Jack Masterson. In the second, Melinda Summers was introduced, along with the organization she works for, the TRD.

Western Animation
  • 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 until later on.
  • In Kidvs Kat, Dennis, Lorne, and Harley don't show up until the second episode, "Night of the Zombie Kat".
  • Commander Zhao, one of the main antagonists of the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, 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 Recess not in the second episode, but part B of the first episode. For the former, it was his Welcome Episode. 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 Count Duckula, "Vampire Vacation." He technically appeared in the first episode though, due to the Out of Order pilot episode.
  • Young Justice 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 The Legend of Korra introduced both Bolin and Mako.
  • While the titular Gargoyles and Detective Elisa Maza are both introduced in the first part, David Xanatos has to wait until the second part of the Five-Episode Pilot to make his debut.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight's mentor Princess Celestia appears for the first time at the end of the second episode althought she's mentionned several times in the first one.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SecondEpisodeIntroduction