Follow TV Tropes


Demoted To Extra / Webcomics

Go To

  • By season four of Ansem Retort, Marluxia is demoted so much he's left behind with Darth Maul while the rest of the cast members take Red XIII with them to Hawaii. This is one of the reasons he's so keen on fighting Xemnas in season six: he gets more screen time that way.
    • He seems to be re-ascending in the current season: he's one of four people traveling through time to stop Xemnas. (Apparently, Axel and Zex need him to drink the time-traveling gay drinks. Because he's gay. It Makes Sense in Context.)
  • Rowby from The Bug Pond was featured in some of the earlier comics and was even given a bio on the character page but hasn't done anything of significance since.
  • Justin and Sarah in El Goonish Shive have steadily sunken into the background, though Dan is trying to avert this. Specifically, Justin seems to only exist to be a gay male and Sarah as Elliot's girlfriend.
    • Justin, at least, was a major focus in the "New and Old Flames" arc.
    • Advertisement:
    • Sarah is getting more "screen" time and more of her own role as Tedd's lab assistant in one of the current arcs relating to summer jobs.
  • Ralph and Bimbo, the original main characters of Exploitation Now.
  • In Homestuck, this happens to several characters mostly to ones that got killed.
    • Sollux, Nepeta, Feferi, Eridan, and Equius all move further to the back with the conclusion of Act 5 because of their deaths, and while they do appear later on for some character moments or to end up fused to some sort of sprite, they're considerably less important now that the cast has increased. The same has happened to Aradia post Act 5 as well, while she isn't dead and she does serve more of a story importance than the other 5, she's content to stay out of the spotlight.
    • This ends up being Vriska and Tavros's fates post Act 5, with Vriska furiously attempting to put her self back into the spotlight, and dragging Tavros along for the ride. Unlike the other trolls, the narrative checks in with Vriska a lot more.
    • Advertisement:
    • Post Act 5 has also done this to Jade. Of the original 4 main kids, she's had the least to do, and when the story checks in on them during the Act 6 intermissions, Rose and Dave get into shenanigans with the trolls, and John gets the story focus, while Jade ends sidelined (its notable that of the main 4, Jade wasn't given a talksprite and was absent from the walk around sections). When they all finally arrive at the Null session Jade is turned evil and later killed, and while she does get a major story role and post death get's to narrate what happened to her it just means she's absent from all the major character interactions and big family reunions. Her having a Story-Breaker Power that could potentially make victory too easy has probably contributed.
    • Post Cascade this happened to PM. Originally the exiles all had their own story plot running alongside the main kids. Then Cascade hit three of them died, and PM attained the Guardian powers Jack has. While WV still appears with the Meteor Crew, PM spent much of Act 6 chasing Jack around, with the narrative very sparsely cutting back to her. It's only when she gets to the Post Scratch session that she begins to become important again, but by that point she's sharing screen time with all the Jacks.
  • Advertisement:
  • In Jayden and Crusader the character Hannah has often slipped into the background and mostly only exists to give Smic another character to bounce ideas off of, a roll that could be accomplished by a lamppost.
  • In Least I Could Do, Rayne's best friend John was given a rather strong demotion as writers switched over, being replaced with a long lost best friend. He began to see a resurgence in later times, though. Supposedly, this is because he was based on the writer's real best friend, who he had a falling out with.
  • Happened to the human children in Noblesse some time after the Parachute Trio of enhanced humans formed. This is not the case in the Noblesse S lite novels.
  • Stephan used to be a much bigger part of Ozy and Millie. The cartoonist explains that he was created to represent the overly confident geeks of the dotcom era; when the dotcom bubble burst, there simply wasn't as much of a place for Stephan.
  • Several characters in Questionable Content, most notably Steve (Marten's best friend, now rarely shown) and Raven (who's apparently off getting her degree). Seems like Penelope is sliding into that abyss as well. Of course, none of them have had the indignity of being eaten by an Allosaurus.
    • Steve seems to have returned, and appears far more frequently than before, although still very much a secondary character. Pintsize and Winslow, on the other hand, seem to be slipping towards this with their ever decreasing appearances.
    • Steve was demoted to extra very early on - the joke about him being locked in the hall closet for months was as early as comic 155 (of 1750+). Raven was demoted to extra when Penelope arrived, and has now definitely been Put on a Bus. But The Bus Came Back. Apparently Jeph was doing an Archive Binge for a book release and realized that Raven was hilarious. She showed up to ask for her job back that day.
    • When Penelope and Cosette weren't seen for awhile, the author lampshaded it by saying they were "just to the right" and off camera.
  • It's happened a few times in Real Life Comics. Officially, this list includes Danny, Crystal, and the first Liz. However, anyone but Pal and Alan Extra under the Supporting Characters section get precious little panel exposure. In fact, it doesn't appear that Debbie or Cliff have appeared in the comic for years.
    • This is actually lampshaded in this strip where it's questioned if anyone remembers Ben at all
    • Debbie returned... revealing that she had been stuck in a terrible limbo between life and death for the proceeding decade.
  • Endemic to Sam & Fuzzy. The comic is based into arcs separated by month- if not year-long Time Skips, bringing with them a severe disruption of the status quo. Characters like Lance, Alexa, Ackerman, Carlyle, Malcolm, Earl and Sidney, who were frequently appearing characters in the arcs that introduce them, later move on and away and appear sparingly if at all.
  • Rachel and Tessa start off Scary Go Round as the main protagonists, but after the first chapter they're demoted to the supporting cast. The comic would often spend time focusing on some characters at the expense of others before rotating back, but they never really recover: it's another six chapters and nearly a year later before they get the limelight back. After that, they make another few appearances, but they're inexorably sliding towards a Face–Heel Turn and finally being Put on a Bus to Hell.
  • Robotnik himself has yet to make a full appearance in Sea3on, only being mentioned by other characters and seen in flashbacks.
  • Sinfest:
    • Criminy after the Patriarchy arc. Some fans see this as suspicious due to him being the most likely character to be able to successfuly debunk Glossy's views on men.
    • The Dragon has being out of focus ever since the Sisterhood appeared.
    • Ever since Xanthe and the Sisterhood showed up, Buddha hasn't been seen in a while. A very long while.
  • Dr. Lorna hasn't had more than the (very) occasional reference in Sluggy Freelance for years, despite being Riff's mom and still living in the same town by all accounts. She's essentially been Put on a Bus, having disowned Riff and fired Gwynn and Zoe, leaving her with no connections to the cast (and satirizing Dr. Laura no longer being in style).
  • Happens to several characters in Something*Positive, but the most notable example is probably Monette. After years of being a major focus in the Texas storylines, she's Put on a Bus to California and has shown up sparingly since. Arguably significant to her Character Development, but her drop in panel-time is very noticeable.
    • Randy specifically sets aside time at the beginning of every year to show characters that are out of focus — calling it "Old Familiar Faces." So these characters are more properly Commuting on a Bus. But yes, if you aren't interacting regularly with Davan, Aubrey, PeeJee, Jason, or to a lesser extent, Mike, you just aren't in the comic. Especially odd is the absence of Davan's disabled sister Dahlia, who lives close to the Texas cast and wouls seem to need her brother's help and support.
  • The title character of the notorious Sonichu series takes a backseat to everyone else in the comic after issue #1, which begins to center completely around Chris. He does gain some more attention in Episode 8 and onward, but it's not much.
  • Emmit hasn't had much to do in later years of Station V3, though he's probably not complaining too hard about it.
  • Sticky Dilly Buns: Amber (a secondary character in the parent comic, Ménage à 3) starts the comic's run sharing an apartment with the title character, and appears in most of the early strips, with a potentially complex Single Woman Seeks Good Man plot hook and some other issues attached — and she is always part of the set-up for her sister Ruby's story, which could have brought her into a full-scale Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry. However, she finds the answer to her romantic problem at the first attempt (Ray is literally standing around the apartment when she comes home one evening), she never does address many of those other issues, and so far as Ruby is concerned, she mostly serves simply as someone to be rude to and finally reconcile with.
  • Homestuck Stylistic Suck fancomic Sweet Jade and Hella John:
    • Pretty much every troll except Nepeta. Word of God stated that he even hates writing for them because he can't come up with anything for them that isn't walls of comparing the hemospectrum to race relations, romance discussions, and plot exposition. Notably, Vriska, opposite of Nepeta, turns from one of the most important characters in Homestuck who deliberately tries to force herself into the plot into an Earl expy early on in the comic that becomes obsessed with karma. This was intentional. Lampshaded in the Shipping Intermission when Tavros asks Vriska what the last big plan she had was. She answers with a long pause, followed by a "fuck you."
    • Rose, Roxy, Dave, and Dirk were all fairly background characters in the Intermission, and while Dave always has a hold on the plot, he only showed up very sporadically. In fact, the "==>" command arrows now represent John, Jade, Jane, and Jake, in addition to the number of their alternate selves that they get over the course of the story. This is averted early into Act 2, as they play the role of major antagonists.
    • Within the fan fic, Elitaa and Puerco. Elitaa was at first quite the spotlight taker and her introduction and surrounding initial mysteries heavily took up most of the Sweet TROLLS and Hella MORE TROLLS portion early into the story. There was even a segment where she wandered around the yellow ship and looked at what all of the trolls there were doing. Unfortunately, nobody suggested, so that didn't go anywhere. She's now a Living Prop who went over several hundred pages without a physical, non-cameo appearance, and never really contributed to the plot. (Everything she did was tied directly with another character, such as destroying the T-800s with Eridan.) Puerco also may have had similar build up, except she was even less relevant to the point where she may be one of the few characters who contributed absolutely nothing to the story.
    • Meenah Peixes. She's overall less relevant and gets less screentime than her Homestuck counterpart, but at least in the Intermission and Act Two Act One she gets some roles in tampering with Dave's stuff. She's soon equated with many of the other pre-scratch trolls (or, as they're called in this world, "good twin trolls") and some of the post-scratch/evil twin trolls when Slender-Aranea assimilates her offscreen, and she's technically dead for good when Aranea herself dies.
    • The Troll Ancestors have even less relevance and their actual story arc was covered in less words by Aranea, though they themselves get a bit of dialogue. Aranea's description on Summoner best sums up what to expect from their arc:
    "Summoner was a 8adass. And on team "Yes Mutants." He flys. The end."
    • The Millennium Members. Compared to both Hellsing and its spiritual predecessor Hecksing Ulumate Crconikals, everyone aside from Rip suffers from this. The Doctor especially, as he dies one page after his first appearance and does not come back.
    • The Hecksing organization, compared to both Hellsing itself and HUC. They only get a few appearances and were already dead around the time the story began.
  • Mr. Birdbeak from Tragic Deaths. In the first three comics that that Petalklunk made, he was the main focus, but now he's only made one appearance after it switched focus to the war between Petalklunk and Mr. Bignose.
  • Wapsi Square:y
    • In the slice-of-life years, Tina was a moving prop, Katherine was just a weird Drop-In Character, and Tep was such a joke that he wasn't added to the cast page at the time until after the Heather arc, when she'd been there for months already; essentially, Monica and Shelly are the only two left of the original cast. Even Shelly hadn't been very prominent among Monica's friends until the Heather arc and her Important Haircut boosted her popularity.
    • Tepoz rarely shows up anymore.
    • Jacqui was much more important before the paranormal elements of the strip showed up. However, she does have the most appearances of any character who is not in on the paranormal.
    • After the situation between him and Shelly was resolved, Owen stopped appearing. In March 2012, Shelly got a postcard announcing that Owen and Lakshmi had eloped.
    • Darren isn't quite as important as he used to be.
  • Miyoko and Eizo as the strips have gone on in The Way To Your Heart.
  • Kendall in TRU Life Adventures, after receiving multiple story arcs exploring her backstory and developing her beyond the Mean Boss archetype, found herself unceremoniously fired by new store director and Bad Boss Simon. Now shows up once a year or so in relation to her new job as one of the higher-ups at theme park Wonderworld.
  • ReBoot: Code of Honor: Despite being the main threat at the end of Season Four of ReBoot, Megabyte is largely irrelevant in the story.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: