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* ''{{Series/Sherlock}}'': In ''The Great Game'', Molly's boyfriend Jim has a cute scene in the hospital and then disappears from the plot... [[spoiler: until he's revealed as Sherlock's arch-nemesis James "Jim" Moriarty in the final scene.]]


* ''{{Series/Charmed}}''

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* ''{{Series/Charmed}}''''{{Series/Charmed|1998}}'':


However, sometimes the character will not be played by anyone special, or it will be the BreakOutRole of the actor- the crux of this trope is more to do with relevance of the character to the plot being bigger than expected.

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However, sometimes the character will not be played by anyone special, or it will be the BreakOutRole StarMakingRole of the actor- the crux of this trope is more to do with relevance of the character to the plot being bigger than expected.


If you recognise the actor in a bit part, it will probably turn out not to be such a small role after all; it will be The BigBad, or the murderer, or someone else who is a key to whatever mystery the show revolves around. Usually, their true identity is not revealed until the final act. This is often referred to as the Law of Economy of Characters in film criticism.

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A seemingly minor or unimportant character turns out to be much more crucial to the plot than they first appear.

This is usually, '''but not always''', signalled by the character in question being played by a big-name actor or someone recognisable, who wouldn't normally be wasted on such an insignificant part (unless it's just TheCameo of course).
If you recognise the actor in a bit part, it will probably turn out not to be such a small role after all; it will be The BigBad, or the murderer, or someone else who is a key to whatever mystery the show revolves around. Usually, their true identity is not revealed until the final act. This is often referred to as the Law of Economy of Characters in film criticism.



The converse of this would be SmallRoleBigImpact, where the part ''is'' small but juicy enough to justify casting a talented actor.

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However, sometimes the character will not be played by anyone special, or it will be the BreakOutRole of the actor- the crux of this trope is more to do with relevance of the character to the plot being bigger than expected.

The converse of this would be SmallRoleBigImpact, SmallRoleBigImpact. See also AscendedExtra, where the part ''is'' role originally ''was'' small but juicy enough to justify casting a talented actor.
the character ''became'' more important later on.




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\n** WordOfGod says Trey & Matt received a call from the agent of Creator/JerrySeinfeld, telling them Jerry was a fan of the show and was interested in lending his voice to a bit part. Said Trey: "Okay, we want him to be Turkey #3." "You don't understand," the agent returned, "this is ''Jerry Seinfeld''." "All right then, how 'bout Turkey #5?" Seinfeld ended up not doing a guest spot.



* In ''Sea of Love'', the two lead detectives meet with a seemingly insignificant cable guy who throws them a suspect in one of the murders. He's played by Creator/MichaelRooker, and though he was a bit less than famous at this point in his career, he wasn't exactly unknown (he was the lead in ''Film/HenryPortraitOfASerialKiller'' and had major roles in ''Film/JFK'' and ''Film/MississippiBurning''). [[spoiler:Turns out he's the Lonely Hearts Killer.]]

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* In ''Sea of Love'', the two lead detectives meet with a seemingly insignificant cable guy who throws them a suspect in one of the murders. He's played by Creator/MichaelRooker, and though he was a bit less than famous at this point in his career, he wasn't exactly unknown (he was the lead in ''Film/HenryPortraitOfASerialKiller'' and had major roles in ''Film/JFK'' ''Film/{{JFK}}'' and ''Film/MississippiBurning''). [[spoiler:Turns out he's the Lonely Hearts Killer.]]


* In ''Film/SeaOfLove'', the two lead detectives meet with a seemingly insignificant cable guy who throws them a suspect in one of the murders. He's played by Creator/MichaelRooker, and though he was a bit less than famous at this point in his career, he wasn't exactly unknown (he was the lead in ''Film/HenryPortraitOfASerialKiller'' and had major roles in ''Film/JFK'' and ''Film/MississippiBurning''). [[spoiler:Turns out he's the Lonely Hearts Killer.]]

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* In ''Film/SeaOfLove'', ''Sea of Love'', the two lead detectives meet with a seemingly insignificant cable guy who throws them a suspect in one of the murders. murders. He's played by Creator/MichaelRooker, and though he was a bit less than famous at this point in his career, he wasn't exactly unknown (he was the lead in ''Film/HenryPortraitOfASerialKiller'' and had major roles in ''Film/JFK'' and ''Film/MississippiBurning''). [[spoiler:Turns out he's the Lonely Hearts Killer.]]



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* In ''Film/SeaOfLove'', the two lead detectives meet with a seemingly insignificant cable guy who throws them a suspect in one of the murders. He's played by Creator/MichaelRooker, and though he was a bit less than famous at this point in his career, he wasn't exactly unknown (he was the lead in ''Film/HenryPortraitOfASerialKiller'' and had major roles in ''Film/JFK'' and ''Film/MississippiBurning''). [[spoiler:Turns out he's the Lonely Hearts Killer.]]


See also: ContractualImmortality, ConspicuouslyLightPatch, ChekhovsGun. May be a FinalGirl.

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See also: ContractualImmortality, ConspicuouslyLightPatch, ChekhovsGun. Contrast DeadStarWalking. May be a FinalGirl.


This is especially prevalent in dubbed anime series with LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters. A seemingly insignificant character will later end up having a large role. Even if AnyoneCanDie, a character voiced by SteveBlum will rarely be KilledOffForReal (until the finale).

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This is especially prevalent in dubbed anime series with LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters. A seemingly insignificant character will later end up having a large role. Even if AnyoneCanDie, a character voiced by SteveBlum Creator/SteveBlum will rarely be KilledOffForReal (until the finale).



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* David Morse makes two fleeting appearances in some early scenes in ''Film/TwelveMonkeys'', where he plays a creepily cheery scientist who attends a book signing put on by one of the main characters. In the final scene [[spoiler: he turns out to be the terrorist who was actually responsible for starting the plague that put the movie's time-travelling plot in motion]].



* David Morse makes two fleeting appearances in some early scenes in ''Film/TwelveMonkeys'', where he plays a creepily cheery scientist who attends a book signing put on by one of the main characters. In the final scene [[spoiler: he turns out to be the terrorist who was actually responsible for starting the plague that put the movie's time-travelling plot in motion]].


* ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'': Creator/MattSmith, having just come off his role as [[Series/DoctorWho The Doctor]], is seen in a pan across John Connor's platoon of Resistance fighters in the opening act. Since such a major actor could not possibly be a bit extra, it's obvious he's going to be important. [[spoiler:He's actually the personification of Skynet, there to assimilate Connor and change the past thereby]].

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* ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'': Creator/MattSmith, having just come off his role as [[Series/DoctorWho The Eleventh Doctor]], is seen in a pan across John Connor's platoon of Resistance fighters in the opening act. Since such a major actor could not possibly be a bit extra, it's obvious he's going to be important. [[spoiler:He's actually the personification of Skynet, there to assimilate Connor and change the past thereby]].



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* ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'': Creator/MattSmith, having just come off his role as [[Series/DoctorWho The Doctor]], is seen in a pan across John Connor's platoon of Resistance fighters in the opening act. Since such a major actor could not possibly be a bit extra, it's obvious he's going to be important. [[spoiler:He's actually the personification of Skynet, there to assimilate Connor and change the past thereby]].


* The annoying reporter Debbie Salt in ''{{Film/Scream2}}'' is actually none other than [[spoiler: the mother of the first movie's killer looking to take revenge]].

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* The annoying reporter Debbie Salt in ''{{Film/Scream2}}'' ''{{Film/Scream 2}}'' is actually none other than [[spoiler: the mother of the first movie's killer looking to take revenge]].
* Disney's ''{{Film/Cinderella 2015}}'' would lead you to believe that Helena Bonham Carter is just there to provide a narration as a CelebrityVoiceActor. Then it turns out she's the FairyGodmother.
* ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'' - you know the secretary at Lacuna Inc is going to have something to do with the plot given that she's played by Creator/KirstenDunst. [[spoiler: She's revealed to have had an affair with Howard, had her own memories erased and then mails everyone their tapes to give them their memories back]].



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* ''Film/HailCaesar'' has Channing Tatum popping up an hour in to perform a ''Theatre/SouthPacific'' style musical number - as Burt Gurney, a character who has no connection with the rest of the cast. Of course he's [[spoiler: TheMole for the Russians, and it's his house Baird Whitlock is being held captive in]]. Played with when it comes to Jonah Hill's role as Joseph Silverman as it really is just a cameo - but he still [[spoiler: marries [=DeeAnna=] Moran, meaning that she doesn't have to resort to black market adoption to hide her pregnancy from the public]].
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' features a supporting character called Miranda Tate who has no connection to the comics and whose only function seems to be to provide Bruce with a rich ally. But since she's played by Oscar winner Creator/MarionCotillard she's actually [[spoiler: the daughter of the first film's villain and the true mastermind behind the evil plan]].
* ''Film/SleepyHollow'' casts Miranda Richardson in the seemingly insignificant background role of Lady Van Tassel. [[spoiler: She's the one who's been summoning the Headless Horseman]].
* The annoying reporter Debbie Salt in ''{{Film/Scream2}}'' is actually none other than [[spoiler: the mother of the first movie's killer looking to take revenge]].




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* ''{{Series/Charmed}}''
** The third season had a featured extra called Abby who worked behind the bar in P3. Then comes the episode "Sight Unseen" where Abby turns out to be Prue's stalker.
** The Season 3 finale also had a minor character called Alice, who seemed to be a token background believer in the sisters' powers. She ends up shooting Piper fatally because she believes the sisters are evil.

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