This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.

Uncredited Role

For a variety of reasons (budget constraints, contractual obligations, Creator Backlash etc.), sometimes a person will be involved in the creation of a work, but will go uncredited. It's generally only noteworthy if they played a significant role in the creative process (playing a major character, drafting a screenplay, writing a lyric); if the person is well-known enough to have a page on this wiki (many Cameos meet this description); or if the role they played was insignificant, but the person went on to achieve greater fame thereafter.note 

In Hollywood, experienced screenwriters are often employed as uncredited "script doctors" to provide edits to existing drafts of screenplays before they go into production: these edits can range from simple punching up of the dialogue, to adding new scenes, to changing the entire structure of the screenplay.

In literature, writers may be employed as "ghostwriters" note  to write a book for another person: the latter person will be credited as the writer. The most common form this takes is when a celebrity hires a ghostwriter to pen their "auto"biography. The ghostwriter is usually bound to a non-disclosure agreement not to publicly reveal or discuss their involvement in the creation of the book, although they may be credited as an "editor" or "consultant" (in which case it's not an example of this trope). House Pseudonym (in which multiple ghostwriters are credited under a single pseudonym) is related to this trope.

In music, it's common for solo artists or groups to employ "session musicians" when recording a song or an album, contracted musicians who will perform on one or more track, but who are not considered an official member of the group or the solo artist's backing band. Sometimes these musicians will not be credited in the liner notes for the release, but will later go on to achieve fame in their own right. In Hip-Hop, it's an Open Secret that many rappers employ ghostwriters to write lyrics for them, who will unusually go uncredited to preserve the Kayfabe that the rapper exclusively writes their own material (this is quite different from pop music, in which songwriters usually receive credit independent of the performer). Finally, music producers will sometimes serve as "ghost producers" for various reasons. Also, it's not unheard of to decline credit to a featured artist on a duet if the featured artist is on a different label and cannot secure promotion rights.

This was common industry practice in voiceover work for animation prior to the 1990s (see Now Which One Was That Voice? for more information).

See also Alan Smithee, for when a film director proves that they did not have creative control over a film and has the direction of the film credited to a pseudonym. An interesting case is when a creator is typecast in a particular role/genre, and goes uncredited in order to distance themselves from their usual type, which overlaps with He Also Did.

Note that it's not an example if the person is credited under a Pen Name or alias, or if they're Not Named in Opening Credits but still credited at the end. Sometimes creators will deliberately go uncredited so that their part in the work will be a surprise for the audience, so some examples on this page will be spoilers.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

In-Universe

    Live-Action Film 

  • In The Social Network, Eduardo is originally credited on the Facebook masthead as co-founder and CFO. When he is later forced out of the company, his name is removed from the masthead, erasing any evidence that he helped found the company. In the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue it's mentioned that his name was later restored to the masthead.

Real Life

     Animated Film 

  • Kathleen Turner was uncredited as the voice of Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Until 1984, there was a rule that animators had to draw at least 100 feet of film (roughly 68 seconds) in order to be credited.
    • Sleeping Beauty: The voices for the Queen and for Maleficent's goons weren't credited.
    • Robin Hood only listed the actors playing the main character and key supporting characters; other actors like J. Pat O'Malley (Otto), John Fiedler (Deacon), Barbara Luddy (Deacon's wife) and all the child actors went uncredited.
    • Ron Clements conceived the story for the 1983 featurette Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, but he took his name off the film in protest of Disney outsourcing the animation.
  • Charlie Kaufman was an uncredited script doctor for Kung Fu Panda 2.

    Live-Action Film 

     Live Action Television 
  • The Community episode "Investigative Journalism" has an uncredited performance by Owen Wilson as the leader of another study group who recruits Buddy at the end.
  • In the Doctor Who story "Remembrance of the Daleks", the iconic K-9 voice actor John Leeson played an uncredited part as the voice of the Renegade Daleks' battle computer, before the character's true identity was revealed.
  • The Invisible Man 1958 has the title character uncredited, despite being The Hero, so no one would know what Dr. Peter Brady actually looked like.
  • Person of Interest:
    • In "Root Cause," Root is played by an uncredited Rachel Miner.
    • Actors Not Named in Opening Credits generally go completely uncredited. Examples include Enrico Colantoni and David Valcin in "Risk," Amy Acker in "Booked Solid," and Sarah Shahi and John Nolan in "MIA."

     Music 

  • Mick Jagger sang uncredited backing vocals on Carly Simon's Signature Song "You're So Vain". The song was rumoured to be about Jagger himself (although Simon herself denied this).
  • Eric Clapton played an uncredited guitar solo on The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". To return the favour, George Harrison made an uncredited guest appearance on Cream's song "Badge".
  • Jack White performed uncredited backing vocals on Electric Six's song "Danger! High Voltage!". Just to mess with people, the band would maintain in interviews that it was a contest-winning fan who just happened to sound a lot like Jack White.
  • Nas was a ghostwriter for several artists, including Will Smith.
  • Run–D.M.C. contributed ghostwritten lyrics to Beastie Boys debut album Licensed to Ill.
  • Numerous artists have ghostwritten lyrics for Dr. Dre, including Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.
  • Many Country Music duets have not credited the featured artist:
    • K.T. Oslin sang the last verse of Alabama's "Face to Face", but received no credit for it whatsoever.
    • Sons of the Desert sang a call and response on Ty Herndon's 1998 hit "It Must Be Love", but were not credited for it; making this all the more egregious is that they were credited for their backing vocals on Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance" only two years later. This may be due to Sons of the Desert being in the middle of a dispute with Epic Records at the time (both they and Ty were on the label at the time).
    • Trisha Yearwood's "Like We Never Had a Broken Heart" credited the backing vocals provided by Garth Brooks (this was before they were married), but only on the Canadian charts.
    • Garth himself was uncredited for singing the second verse of Chris LeDoux's "Whatcha Gonna Do with a Cowboy".
    • Janie Fricke sang the entire second verse of "Thinkin' of a Rendezvous" by Johnny Duncan, but was not credited for it.
    • Bluegrass musician Ralph Stanley was not credited for singing the second verse of "Me and God" by Josh Turner. Also uncredited on this song are the background vocals from Marty Roe, Gene Johnson, and Dana Williams of Diamond Rio.
    • Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman of The Byrds re-recorded "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" in 1989 with backing from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, although the single release credited only McGuinn and Hillman.
    • Subverted with "Shiftwork" by Kenny Chesney and George Strait. Strait was originally not credited for his solo singing on the second verse, but this changed halfway through the song's chart run when the two artists' labels were able to strike a deal.
    • Reba McEntire's "Every Other Weekend" was recorded as a duet with Kenny Chesney, but the official single edit replaced him with co-writer Skip Ewing due to a label disagreement. Despite this, most stations played the Chesney version anyway, and the song was credited only to Reba on the charts.
    • Cole Swindell's 2017 hit "Flatliner" does not credit Dierks Bentley's duet vocals. There is supposedly a version that is sung entirely by Swindell (thus eliminating the chatter between the two), but most stations just played the version with Dierks anyway.
  • Caitlyn Smith sang backing vocals on Kenny Chesney's "All the Pretty Girls", but not even the liner notes credit her for this.
  • Avicii songs never credit the featured vocalist.
  • After John Barry's score for First Love was almost completely dropped from the movie, he took his name off the credits. La-La Land Records released it on CD in 2013.
  • Kesha's first appearance on a Billboard top 40 pop hit was singing backing vocals on the chorus of "Right Round" by Flo Rida, which she was initially uncredited for. This was probably done for the same reasons she opted not to be in the video - she wanted to be known for her own music, not a guest appearance on a song by someone else.

     Video Games 

  • Atari initially did not provide their programmers and designers, for fear of their being lured away by competitors. The game Adventure contains a hidden room which features a secret message crediting the game's developer, Warren Robinett. This was one of the first Easter Eggs.
  • Justin Villiers, Will Byles and Pete Samuels developed the story for Until Dawn, but were not credited.
  • Michael Jackson contributed to the soundtrack of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, but was dissatisfied with the sound capabilities of the Sega Genesis and dropped out of the project. Then Jackson's child molestation accusations came to light, so Sega dropped his name from the credits to distance themselves from the controversy.
  • None of the English voice actors of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness were credited for their voice work in the game itself.

     Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: Lacey Chabert went uncredited when she voiced Meg during the first production season, before she was replaced by Mila Kunis. She finally received credit on "Back to the Pilot".
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Until 1944, Mel Blanc received no onscreen credit for his voice work. He only was given a credit after asking for a raise. His bosses refused to give him one but grudgingly agreed to put his name in the credits. No other voice actors were credited alongside Mel until 1961.
    • Directors typically went uncredited on cartoons completed or released after leaving Warner Bros.
      • Tex Avery didn't receive credit on his last four cartoons, All This and Rabbit Stew, The Cagey Canary, Aloha Hooey and Crazy Cruise; the latter three were completed by Bob Clampett.
      • Clampett would later got this treatment on The Big Snooze and Bacall to Arms, the latter being completed by Art Davis.
      • Friz Freleng went uncredited as director on Hollywood Daffy. Allegedly, Freleng was briefly suspended over a pay dispute, leaving his layout artist Hawley Pratt to pick up the slack.
  • Paul Lynde wasn't listed as a voice actor for his roles on The Perils of Penelope Pitstop (as The Hooded Claw)and The Cattanooga Cats (as Mildew Wolf in the It's The Wolf! segment).

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