08:16:45 AM Dec 2nd 2010
Pruned examples/text from "one character, multiple narrative roles" Trope Decay: The practice is famously referenced in relation to the older Disney animated canon, with writers admitting most of the time parents are not so much absent as simply failing to exist. Shows with Unwanted Harems usually have their own rules for the Economy Cast, in that the Magical Girlfriend's parents usually only consist of her mother, an implausibly attractive thirty year old woman.
- Pokémon: Ash's mother just functions as a connection back home, contrasted with Brock's two parents who are both "important" characters to the show's premise (Pokémon trainers).
- Likewise, the Hinata family in Keroro Gunsou lacks a father (who'd be spring in the show's conspicious Theme Naming) who is never mentioned. This is unusual in that there are several references to Natsumi (who unlike her brother, doesn't resemble her mother almost exactly) having trouble because her mother works long hours at a manga publishing company Then again, he wouldn't have the appeal of Cute Shotaro Boy, Shorttank, or Hot Shounen Mom...
- The B-movie The Leech Woman, featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. There's no story-related reason that the lawyer needs to be dating the nurse. However, by having him do so, the producers were able to avoid having to cast two separate actresses as the nurse and the lawyer's girlfriend.
- On Crossing Jordan the titular character played by Jill Hennessy was supposed to be a medical examiner at the coroner's office. It turned out to be more like medical examiner/forensic scientist/detective/hostage negotiator.
- In Battlestar Galactica, Starbuck sometimes leads marine operations, even though she's a pilot, not a marine. The writers basically use her whenever they need a Bad Ass to do something, regardless of what that is.
- Somewhat justified, since the Galactica only has a small amount of marines, and apparently no marine officers.
- Only nine actors needed for Little Shop of Horrors, and it's actually possible to condense it further by making the Dentist also do the plant's voice.