That's how it hadda be
Her name reminds me of
The mysterious vanishing of a hero's established love interest between the first movie and the sequel. Related to the Cartwright Curse, but this is where what happened to her isn't mentioned, and is never referenced again. They can't have the hero settle down because Status Quo Is God. On the other hand, they can't make the hero look like a heel by spelling out why their relationships always fail, so the situation becomes the Elephant in the Living Room.
Basically, the girls aren't put into the movies to be characters or interesting, but merely so that the main character can go through the motions of a fresh Token Romance in every single sequel.
Related to Girl of the Week. Compare the Temporary Love Interest, who is taken far more seriously and gets the dignity of being written out, but again because adding a lasting romance would upset the status quo. See also Disposable Woman, Disposable Fiancé, and Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. Very common in a Sequel Reset. Written-In Absence and Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome are similarly related.
- In Daredevil, Matt's former love interest Elektra is still active following her resurrection, but she and Matt are not pursuing a long term relationship.
- The Incredible Hulk's love interests include Bereet, Betty Ross, Caiera, Jarella, Kate Waynesboro, Marlo, Monica Rappacini, Thundra, Umar...
- In Looney Tunes comics, Bugs Bunny's girlfriends were Bertha Bunny, Lula Belle Bunny, and Honey Bunny, who appeared sparingly in merchandise until disappearing completely.
- Spider-Man and a rotating cast of supporting characters.
- In Wolverine, Logan's love interests run the entire spectrum of being dead and angsted over or no longer angsted over, partially dead or in an afterlife state and still angsted over, still alive and angsted over, or, if lucky, still alive and no longer angsted over. Goes through a lot of women.
- Spoofed in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, where Austin's love interest from the first movie turns out to be a robot that explodes. Played straight in the third one (although it can be assumed the second movie's love interest is with his clone ... long story).
- Every Batman movie has a new girl for the Batmeister who will only get mentioned if she's lucky. In Batman Returns, we're informed that previous love interest Vicki Vale couldn't handle Bruce's dual life and left him.
- In Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Deuce's love interest Kate has been killed by sharks.
- In Die Hard with a Vengeance, McClane's wife Holly is only there as part of a phone conversation, and by Live Free or Die Hard they are divorced.
- In Elektra, Matt is no longer part of the story, nor is any mention of the continuance of their relationship.
- In Ghostbusters II, Venkman has split up with Dana, who has a son with the violinist. After having a conversation with Venkman, she gets rescued again. It's doubtful that they continue their relationship.
- In Indiana Jones, Indy forgets about all of his past relationships, including Willie in The Temple of Doom, Elsa in The Last Crusade, and numerous Expanded Universe love interests like Sophia Hapgood. Until The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which sees the return of the marvelous Marian Ravenwood.
- Basically, every James Bond movie ever produced. This makes sense in-universe considering the one time he marries someone, she dies at the end of the movie.
- In The Karate Kid Part II, Ali Mills breaks up with Daniel and dates a football player, and Daniel meets Kumiko in Okinawa.
- In The Karate Kid Part III, Kumiko decides to stay in Okinawa, and Daniel finds a new girlfriend who is into mountain climbing.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Bruce Banner's love interest from The Incredible Hulk, Betty Ross does not show up and is not mentioned ever after, although both Bruce and her own father Thaddeus Ross appear in multiple films. What happened to her is unknown. Starting from Avengers: Age of Ultron, Bruce even has an Unresolved Sexual Tension with another female character, Black Widow.
- Pepper Potts' relationship with Tony Stark, who has retired from being a superhero, is presumably ongoing after Iron Man 3, assuming she does not explode from her new Extremis powers. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pepper Potts does not appear, but she is mentioned by Stark as still working at Stark Industries. In Captain America: Civil War, Pepper Potts has broken up with Tony Stark, due to Stark's refusal to remain in retirement. As of Avengers: Infinity War, a relationship Snap Back has the two back together.
- After solidifying their relationship in Thor: The Dark World, Jane and Thor have broken up by the start of Thor: Ragnarok.
- Avengers: Endgame addresses all of these issues, though Thor mentions no longer dating Jane.
- In Men in Black II, Agent K's wife has divorced, and Agent L appears to no longer care for Agent J.
- Mission: Impossible II closes with Ethan Hunt and Nyah Hall living happily ever after. M:I-3 opens with Hunt marrying a different woman, and Nyah is never spoken of again.
- Night at the Museum: Rebecca doesn't appear or get mentioned in the sequel, despite starting a relationship with Larry at the end of the first film.
- In Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Paul's love interest Amy has filed for divorce.
- In Shanghai Knights, Chon Wang and Roy O'Bannon's love interests have already left them.
- In Star Trek: Generations, Kirk reconstructs memories of being married to Antonia, a girl he met, instead of Carol Marcus, his love interest in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, who was written out in subsequent films.
- In Step Up 5: All In, Emily has dumped Sean from Step Up 4 Revolution.
- In Ted 2, John has divorced Lori Collins, who he married in the first movie.
- In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Mikhaela (Sam's love interest in the first two films) is given the Suspiciously Similar Substitute of Carly, a similarly improbably attractive Damsel in Distress who Sam is suddenly living in an apartment with with little explanation. This is due to Michael Bay falling out with Mikhaela's actress.
- In Watchmen, the Comedian shoots the Vietnamese woman, pregnant with his child, and blames Dr. Manhattan for not interfering.
- In Zoolander 2, the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good building collapses, killing Matilda.
- The inexplicable (in-story) disappearance of Fenchurch toward the beginning of Mostly Harmless.
- The radio series for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy makes this a lot clearer.
- Robert Langdon has Vittoria Vetra in his first book, Sophie Neveu in his second, and
Vittoriaa COMPLETELY different hot science chick in his third. There's a brief Hand Wave towards the fact that he's no longer with Vittoria in The Da Vinci Code, but nothing else. Although that's the least of the series' logic problems, to be honest.
- While perhaps not the oldest example, the Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope did this on occasion. In The Chronicles of Barsetshire, the husband of the female protagonist of The Warden is dead by the beginning of Barchester Towers so that she is open for marriage again. The wife of the protagonist of Phineas Finn has died in childbirth by the beginning of the sequel, Phineas Redux.
- Amy and Kayra in the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman books by Brian Jacques.
- Name one of Luke Skywalker's girlfriends. Mara Jade is the only one that doesn't qualify for this trope.
- Monica Figuerola is introduced in the third book of The Millennium Trilogy and quickly strikes up a relationship with protagonist Mikael Blomkvist. Towards the end of the book, each separately confess to his on-again/off-again lover, "I think I'm in love with him/her", but she's disappeared by the next book with nary a mention nor explanation of her absence.
- Kate Warner's breakup with Jack Bauer between seasons 2 and 3 of 24 got a Hand Wave that didn't explain much of anything. Considering that Jack's other love interests were killed by his ex-lover-cum-spy (who in turn Jack killed by his own hand), taken down by stray bullets in a gunfight, or brainwashed by the Chinese government, Kate got off easy.
- Ultraseven's love interest never showed up again, and in later films, he has a son.... from an ultrawoman, not his "other alien" love interest.
- In the Leisure Suit Larry series, Larry's love interest from the previous game typically breaks up with Larry in the beginning of the next game.
- Stretched almost to the point of Deconstruction by Metal Gear Solid and its sequel. Snake ends up happily with the girl, Meryl, but by the time of the second game their relationship has not only failed without explanation but Snake's now actually living with a man, who seems more compatible with him than she was. It's straighter than it sounds...but not much.
- Iris, the defendant from last case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations is very clearly supposed to be Phoenix's love interest and yet she completely dissapeard without as much as a mention after the original trilogy.
- In Ultima VII, The Avatar can start a relationship with Nastassia, who goes unmentioned in later games.
- In An Extremely Goofy Movie, Roxanne, Max's love interest from the first movie, is never seen or heard from again, and Bobby's love interest Stacey is gone.
- Subverted in an episode of Futurama. Bender and the disembodied head of Lucy Liu fall in love at the end of one episode and vow they'll marry. This relationship is never mentioned again... except in one episode that reveals she's been living in his chest cavity all along.
- Looney Tunes
- Bugs Bunny was married to Mrs. Bugs Bunny in Hold the Lion, Please. Bugs dates Daisy Lou Rabbit in Hare Splitter. Lola Bunny, introduced in Space Jam, has become Bugs' official girlfriend in The Looney Tunes Show.
- Daffy Duck was married to Daphne Duck, was married to Honeybunch Duck in Quackodile Tears, was married to a different, more abusive wife in His Bitter Half, and may have married Fowl Fattale in The Super Snooper. Daffy's girlfriend was Melissa Duck. Daffy dated another duck in Daffy's Meet Market. As of The Looney Tunes Show, Tina Russo is Daffy's current girlfriend.
- The Tasmanian Devil was once married to the Tasmanian She-Devil, but it's unclear if their relationship has been longstanding.
- Tweety's girlfriend Aoogah has not been seen since Tweety's High Flying Adventure.
- Porky Pig's girlfriend Petunia is in far fewer cartoons than Porky himself.
- The Simpsons
- In "Bart's Girlfriend", Bart's girlfriend is Jessica Lovejoy. In "Moonshine River", it is revealed their relationship was short term only.
- Colin, Lisa's love interest from The Simpsons Movie, appears in art class in "Lisa the Drama Queen", and in the opening of "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs". Colin does not appear regularly enough in the series to establish if their relationship is still ongoing.