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One-Book Author

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"I have said what I wanted to say and I will not say it again."
Harper Leenote 

There is a certain tragedy known as the One-Book Author, when a person produces one work in a specific field that becomes extremely popular but never forays into that field again. In the world of literature, the author might have a couple additional short stories or poems that were published, but no other novels. Compare One-Hit Wonder, where someone has produced several works but only one had managed to become popular.


May overlap with Author Existence Failure, where the author doesn't live long enough to compose another work (i.e.: works published posthumously), or Tough Act to Follow, where they're afraid they've peaked on their first attempt. The latter may also be a Reclusive Artist. At times can cross with Short-Lived Big Impact.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Matsushita Youko only has one series to her name: Descendants of Darkness. When fans asked her if she had written any doujinshi they might want to check out (not an unusual thing to ask a manga author, especially with a Ho Yay heavy work like Descendants of Darkness) she was surprised and just wondered who'd spend their time (and money!) on producing doujinshi.
  • Naruto is pretty much Masashi Kishimoto's only major work.note  Everything else he's made are one-shots.

    Comic Strips 
  • Aside from a few preceding political/college cartoons, Calvin and Hobbes is the only thing Bill Watterson has done, ever. After he retired his comic strip in 1995 after a ten-year run, he released no other work, despite writing a few essays on sporadic special occasions. He's only made a couple of brief reappearances since retiring. The first was to write the introduction to the first Cul de Sac collection and contributing an artwork to "Team Cul De Sac", a fundraising book for Parkinson's disease relief commissioned after Richard Thompson, the strip's creator, came down with the disease. He's also drawn panels for Pearls Before Swine, under the premise that a little girl tells Stephen Pastis that she can draw the strip better than he can, and turns out to be right. He also did the poster for STRIPPED, a documentary about comic strips for which he was interviewed.
  • Gary Larson. Aside from a proto-version of The Far Side that had a different name, the only thing of note that he's ever produced is The Far Side. After it finished its run, he retired and hasn't done much else except for a children's book.
  • Kevin McCormick. His only credit as a professional cartoonist is Arnold, which ran in newspapers from 1982 to 1988. After it ended he did some gag-writing on other strips but ultimately left cartooning and became a pastor.
  • FoxTrot is, thus far, Bill Amend's only professional cartooning work.

One-Film Directors
  • The Night of the Hunter, directed by Charles Laughton. While the film is today considered a classic, it did terribly when it was first released. Subsequently, Laughton was never given the chance to direct another film. (Of course, the fact that he died of cancer seven years later is also part of the reason.)
  • The highly acclaimed Daughters of the Dust (1991) remains the only feature of Julie Dash's career, because it isn't easy for black women to get movies made.
  • Kotch was Jack Lemmon's sole film as a director.
  • Bill Murray has been working in movies for over thirty years but Quick Change remains his sole directorial credit.
  • Dan Aykroyd directed Nothing but Trouble (1991), which proved a Box Office Bomb and is his only such effort to date.
  • Short Cut To Hell (1957) was the only movie James Cagney ever directed.
  • One-Eyed Jacks is the only film directed by Marlon Brando (who also played the lead role).
  • Screenwriter and author Dalton Trumbo directed only one film, Johnny Got His Gun, an adaptation of his own novel.
  • Peter Lorre returned to Germany after World War II and tried to reshape his career by writing, directing, and starring in Der Verlorene. The film was poorly received and he returned to Hollywood, resigned to taking whatever roles he was offered.
  • Writer Steve Gordon had a very weak heart and died less than a year after the release of his first directorial effort, Arthur, in 1981.
  • The Brave is the only film that Johnny Depp has directed. Terrible reviews from American critics not only led him to leave directing but also refuse any offers for an American release of the film.
  • While certainly not a literal One Book Author, Stephen King's sole directing credit is on Maximum Overdrive. As he considers the movie something of an Old Shame, this is likely to stay the case.
  • Yoshifumi Kondo died shortly after making his only movie, Whisper Of The Heart for Studio Ghibli.
  • Mike Bigelow only directed one film- Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and has no other credits on his resume.
  • John Ottman's only directorial effort was Urban Legends: Final Cut. He is better known as a composer and Bryan Singer's editor.
  • Set designer Bo Welch made his directorial debut with the flop The Cat in the Hat. He never directed another film - not too surprising why.
  • Steven Seagal directed On Deadly Ground, a pet project which was an environmental action film. It quickly flopped and his star power took a tremendous hit as well, starting his decline until he was consigned to the direct-to-DVD bin.
  • Tommy Wiseau has not directed a feature film since The Room, and none of his online projects have gained as high a cult following.
  • Morgan Freeman has over a hundred acting credits over a fifty-year showbiz career. Bopha!, a 1993 film about a black policeman in apartheid South Africa, is his one film as a director.
  • Marco Schnabel never directed anything other than the Mike Myers vehicle The Love Guru.
  • Mystery Men was directed by Kinka Usher, who has no other film directing credits before or after. There was an urban legend that Usher was the pseudonym of Tim Burton, but Usher is actually a real person: a French-born commercial director who simply had a bad experience on the film and went back to making commercials.
  • Antony Hoffman's directorial debut was the sci-fi flop Red Planet. He has never directed anything since. Beyond a short he created 14 years later, he has no other film credits in any capacity.
  • Russian director Alexandr Askoldov's 1967 film Commissar was shelved by Communist authorities, who kicked him out of the Communist Party and out of the movie business. Commissar was finally released in 1988 to critical acclaim, but it was the only film Askoldov ever got a chance to direct.
  • Oscar-winning cinematographer Gordon Willis (he photographed The Godfather and a number of Woody Allen films) had only one directing credit to his name: the homophobic 1980 thriller Windows, starring Talia Shire as an innocent woman in an apartment complex resisting a lesbian's sexual advances. This is an Old Shame for a lot of people involved in it.
  • Sngmoo Lee's only film credit is The Warrior's Way, a film he both directed and written. After the movie bombed heavily at the box office and received mixed reviews, he hasn't done anything since.
  • Mission: Impossible creator Bruce Geller had just one big screen credit under his belt, the 1973 caper film Harry in Your Pocket, before his death in a 1978 plane crash.
  • Acclaimed film editor Walter Murch directed only one feature, Return to Oz; because of how poorly it did with both critics and audiences, the only other thing he has directed was an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Shame, since Return to Oz would later become a Cult Classic.
  • Mark L. Smith has only directed one film, Séance (which he also wrote), and nothing else. He has become more successful as a screenwriter, becoming the co-writer for The Revenant along with Alejandro González Iñárritu.
  • Jane Wagner has been part of a longtime Creator Couple with Lily Tomlin, so she was an obvious choice to write and direct one of Tomlin's first films as a top-billed star, 1978's Moment by Moment, even though she had never directed a film before. It was critically panned (but actually broke even at the box office, since it came out at the height of co-star John Travolta's teen idol phase) and its poor reputation led Wagner to stick to a writing role for Tomlin's projects after that.
  • Actress Barbara Loden only wrote/directed one film, 1970's Wanda, before her death in 1980.
  • The Adventures of Milo and Otis is the only filmmaking effort for Masanori Hata, who was otherwise a zoologist and author going by the name Mutsugorō.
  • Kevin Yagher, a well known special-effects artist (Famous for such things as the puppetry for Chucky) only ventured to the directors chair once. The subsequent Hellraiser: Bloodline was gutted by the studio to such an extent, Yagher refused to have his name attached. He hasn't directed a film since.
  • Kevin Williamson, a screenwriter known for the Scream series, Dawson's Creek and The Faculty, only directed one movie, the critically panned Teaching Mrs. Tingle. After the film flopped at the box office, he returned to screenwriting. It didn't help that the movie was originally titled Killing Mrs. Tingle until the Columbine massacre forced a title change.
  • Leonard Kastle was an opera composer and librettist who wrote the script for The Honeymoon Killers, which was being produced by his roommate. When their director, a young unknown Martin Scorsese, was fired over creative differences, Kastle directed the film as well. Afterwards he went back to opera.
  • Robert Longo, a world renowned painter and sculptor best known for his hyper-realistic Men in the Cities charcoal paintings, directed just one feature-length film: the 1995 cyberpunk thriller Johnny Mnemonic.
  • Nicolas Cage is well known for having acted in loads of movies ranging from good to terrible/amusing, but the only time he was in the director's chair was 2002's Sonny.
  • Keanu Reeves only directed one movie, the Acclaimed Flop Man of Tai Chi.
  • Last Rites was Donald Bellisaro's only shot at directing a movie.
  • Joan Rivers' first and only attempt at directing a movie was 1978's Rabbit Test, which was not received well, though did feature a young Billy Crystal.
  • The obscure 1986 comedy Weekend Warriors was the only directorial credit for actor and game show host Bert Convy.
  • George Dunning was an animator who made several shorts but only one feature-length film: Yellow Submarine.
  • Grizzly Park is the only film from elusive filmmaker Tom Skull.
  • Permanent Midnight, the film adaptation of screenwriter Jerry Stahl's memoirs, starring Ben Stiller, is David Veloz's only directorial credit. He also has a few screenwriting and producer credits.
  • An Elephant Sitting Still is the first and last film directed by novelist Hu Bo, who committed suicide shortly after the completion of the film.
  • Arthur Christmas is Sarah Smith's only film as director.

One-Film Screenwriters

  • Screenwriter Diane Thomas was discovered by Michael Douglas, wrote Romancing the Stone and then died before she could do another film. There's now a Diane Thomas Screenwriting Award.
  • Eagle Vs Shark (which is probably best known as "that movie Jemaine Clement did before Flight of the Conchords") is to date, the only film written by Loren Horsley (although it's not the only one she acted in, it is the only one she starred in.)
  • Los Angeles deputy district attorney Lou Holtz Jr. wrote a screenplay called The Cable Guy, and through various connections it wound up in the hands of Chris Farley, then later Jim Carrey. Once Carrey and director Ben Stiller took on the project they brought in Judd Apatow to do a major rewrite. After the film was finished Apatow appealed to the Writer's Guild for a screenplay credit, but they said no (he wound up being credited as producer), so Holtz is the sole credited writer. Holtz went back to being a DA and The Cable Guy is still his only screen credit.
  • Stu Silver was a prolific TV comedy writer and producer in the 1970s and 80s (he created Webster and wrote dozens of episodes of Soap), but Throw Momma from the Train is his only feature film screenwriting credit (he did uncredited work on Good Morning, Vietnam).
  • The Number 23 is the only high-profile writing credit for Fernley Phillips. While he does have another film under his belt, U Want Me 2 Kill Him?, he was only credited for the story.
  • One for the Money remains the only screenwriting credit for co-writer Karen Ray.
  • While Brooks Arthur is known as a music producer for the first two The Karate Kid films and various Adam Sandler movies, Eight Crazy Nights is still the only screenwriting credit he has, though he co-wrote it along with Sandler, Brad Isaacs, and Allen Covert.
  • Shallow Hal remains Sean Moynihan's only screenwriting credit to date.
  • Joseph Cotten had a long and successful career as a Hollywood leading man, acting in movies for forty years. He wrote the screenplay for his third film, Journey into Fear, for his only writing credit.
  • Anthony Perkins was a film actor famous for playing Norman Bates in Psycho. Stephen Sondheim is a legendary composer of Broadway stage musicals like Into the Woods. Together, the two wrote the screenplay for 1975 non-musical mystery movie The Last of Sheila. It was the only screenwriting credit either one ever had.
  • McCabe and Mrs. Miller is the only feature film writing credit for co-writer Brian McKay. In fact, McKay had worked on the final shooting script of Robert Altman's previous film, Brewster Mccloud, but because of contract agreements couldn't be credited. McKay had a steady TV writing career in The '70s, though.
  • Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider wrote and produced the 1998 horror film Strangeland and has not written anything since, in spite of attempts to make a sequel as recently as 2015.
  • Harlan Ellison's one and only produced screenplay was The Oscar - which he later disowned.

One-film Producers

  • An insurance manager (and eventual fertilizer salesman) named Hal Warren got involved in a bet with screenwriter Stirling Silliphant, in which Warren wagered that he would make a horror film on a shoestring budget, which became "Manos" The Hands of Fate.

  • Barry Godber designed the iconic sleeve cover of King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King, as well as a painting on the inner jacket of the album. That album contains the only known artwork of Godber, who died shortly after the album was released.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; she was so afraid that she could never match its success that she never published another book. This has led to some conspiracy theories that someone else wrote it, such as Truman Capote. Ironically, the book was originally written as a prequel to another book she was writing, Go Set a Watchman. In 2015, that book was published, but not without controversy. Some critics argued that Lee was being taken advantage of and no longer able to judge whether her juvenilia were fit to be published.
  • Gone with the Wind was Margaret Mitchell's only novel. It is, however, quite the Doorstopper.
  • Bridget Zinn died of cancer before her only novel, Poison, was published.
  • Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (she died of tuberculosis a year after publishing the book.) Her only other published works were several poems that were published after her death.
  • Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (she also, of course, wrote many poems, and at least part of the reason she never wrote another novel was that, well, she committed suicide shortly after The Bell Jar was published.)
  • Rachel Klein, The Moth Diaries.
  • Anna Sewell, Black Beauty; she died shortly after the book was published.
  • Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago. (Pasternak was primarily a poet, though, and in Russia is mainly remembered as one.)
  • Chris Fuhrman, who died from cancer as he was finishing his sole book, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.
  • Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's only novel, The Leopard, published posthumously in 1958, is a classic in Italian postwar literature.
  • Ralph Ellison's only novel was Invisible Man. He tried to avert this trope by writing a second novel, Juneteenth; it has only ever seen publication in greatly abridged editions, as he managed to write 2,000 pages in it without considering it finished. He did publish many essays and a book of short stories, though.
  • Leonard Gardner, Fat City
  • Stephen Gately of Boyzone fame, The Tree of Seasons. He abruptly died the very day he sketched out how the book would end.
  • Cyril Connolly, The Rock Pool.
  • The Fathers (by Allen Tate).
  • John Okada, No-No Boy.
  • Vanessa Duriès finished and released only one book, the BDSM classic Le Lien (released internationally as The Ties That Bind) before dying in a car accident at the age of 21. Another book, L'Etudiante, was left unfinished with its five completed chapters published posthumously.
  • The Book of Margery Kempe, written by... Margery Kempe.
  • John Kennedy Toole was a one-book author for awhile, but not even in his lifetime - he committed suicide before A Confederacy of Dunces was even published. After his mother died in 1989, however, publishers released his sole piece of juvenilia, The Neon Bible, a novel Toole wrote when he was 15. Oddly enough, despite A Confederacy of Dunces being far better known and acclaimed, The Neon Bible has had a film adaptation, whereas plans to adapt the former have never escaped Development Hell—usually because the suitable leading men (viz, genuinely funny large comic actors) keep dying: first John Belushi, then John Candy, and then Chris Farley, were all set to play Ignatius J. Reilly and then died before the project could move forward. A theatrical adaptation was mounted in Boston in 2015, starring Nick Offerman as Reilly.
  • Aleksandr Griboyedov and the play Woe from Wit. Being a career diplomat, he dabbled in literature only as a diversion from his orientalist studies and diplomatic services, so his opportunities were naturally limited. During his time there was hope that he would become a true star of Russian literature, but, unfortunately, he died at only 34 years of age protecting the Russian Embassy in Tehran during an uprising, with the event itself fictionalized in the novel The Death of the Vazir Mukhtar.
  • Ross Lockridge spent the better part of a decade writing the 1,088-page Doorstopper Raintree County (best described as Gone with the Wind meets Ulysses). It was published to mostly good reviews and sales in 1948, but depression, writer's block and possibly a pan in The New Yorker drove him to suicide a few months after it was published. A decade later the novel was adapted into a would-be epic film.
  • Slight subversion here since he actually wrote two books, but both short: Given the impact that Juan Rulfo had on Latin American literature and the genre of Magical Realism, it's amazing that he wrote only two rather short books - El Llano en Llamas (The Burning Plain) (a short story anthology), and Pedro Páramo.
  • Save Me The Waltz, Zelda Fitzgerald's only novel. Her complete works, including the play, short stories, and magazine articles she wrote, still only fill a medium-sized paperback.
  • Austin Tappan Wright's utopian novel Islandia. He worked on the project for years strictly as a hobby; a heavily-condensed version was published after his death in an automobile accident.
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter Miller Jr. After the book's publication in 1960, Miller isolated himself for 40 years and never wrote another book, though at the time of his suicide he was at work on his second novel, which had to be finished by a ghost writer and posthumously published.
  • Portuguese poet Cesário Verde only had one book published. This is because his poems read as modern ones and 19th century romantic society simply didn't like it.
  • M.L. Humphreys. Some people believe that this was the pseudonym of a more-prolific author, but - in lieu of any hard evidence to support this - he (or she) fits under here. His/her only written work was a short story called The Floor Above, mainly remembered today because it was one of H. P. Lovecraft's favorite horror stories.
  • While Oscar Wilde wrote many plays and short stories, The Picture of Dorian Gray was his only novel.
  • Carl Sagan was a prolific author of many books on science and scientific inquiry, but Contact was his only novel.
  • Henry Darger's sole opus is The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, A.K.A. In the Realms of the Unreal. Granted, it's a 15,000+ page beast filled with hundreds of detailed illustrations, all of which took decades to compose; it's pretty much the same man-hours equivalent of an author who might write dozens of shorter works over his whole life.
    • He had a sequel in progress, called Further Adventures in Chicago: Crazy House. The house is either possessed by demons or has an evil consciousness of its own, very similar to The Shining. Children are lured in and are later found murdered. The Vivian Girls investigate with a male friend. Exorcism doesn't do it, a full-scale Mass in every room doesn't do it. In the last episode, Darger himself tries to solve the mystery and the girls have to pull him out of there. He never finished it.
  • Science fiction/horror writer Bob Leman published short stories over a couple of decades, but his entire output is collected in the average sized short story collection Feesters in the Lake & Other Stories, which is now almost impossible to find due to its publisher going under.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower is Stephen Chbosky's first and only novel, released way back in 1999. Nowadays he does a lot more work in film, more often than not doing screenplays and in 2012 winding up as the sole writer and director for the film adaptation of the book.
  • While Jaroslav Hašek's body of work is qute extensive, he was primarily a journalist, and his legacy mainly consist of newspaper articles and short stories. His only novel, a satirical anti-war epic The Good Soldier Švejk, was only half finished at moment of the author's death from tuberculosis at the age of just 39.
  • French author Alain-Fournier published his only novel, Le Grand Meaulnes (released in English translation as The Wanderer and The Lost Domain, among other titles) a year before he was killed in action during World War One.
  • While Koushun Takami had a long career in journalism, his only novel is Battle Royale.
  • Harry F. Saint worked on Wall Street as he decided to write Memoirs of an Invisible Man. Saint was considering becoming a full-time writer, but apparently just resting on all the cash his book made (just the film rights were $1.3 million) seemed better. Even learning where the guy wound up is hard.
  • Jim Theis is only known for writing the infamous So Bad, It's Good fantasy novella The Eye of Argon at the age of 16. It was his only book, since the book's infamy ruined his reputation, causing him to refuse writing anything else until his death in 2002.
  • Parodied on the cover of I Am America (And So Can You!), which proudly proclaimed above the title that it was "From the author of I Am America (And So Can You!)"
  • Keri Hulme, the first New Zealander to win the Booker Prize, has to date published only one novel, The Bone People. Other than that, she is mostly a poet and short story writer.
  • Collections of his screenplays have been published, but Altered States (1978) was Paddy Chayefsky's only novel.
  • Henry Roth wrote the classic Call It Sleep in the 1930s, and then nothing else for decades. (Then he wrote a series called Mercy of a Rude Stream.)

    Live-Action TV 

  • Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. By the time the album came out, the Sex Pistols were already falling apart.
  • No Gods, No Managers was the only album by the punk band Choking Victim, which disbanded the same day the album was recorded.
  • Give Up by The Postal Service. Even though they have done remixes, a few Cover Versions note , and two newly recorded tracks attached to an expanded anniversary edition of Give Up since then, it is unlikely that Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello will ever get together to do another Postal Service album again.
  • Sixties experimental rock band The United States Of America broke up after their self-titled debut, which sold poorly but was later Vindicated by History.
    • Band leader Joseph Byrd released a Spiritual Successor follow-up called The American Metaphysical Circus, credited to Joe Byrd & The Field Hippies. That grouping also lasted for just one album, and Byrd's future works were instrumental albums and film scores.
  • Brian Jones, before being fired from his band, went to Morocco to make a field recording of the Master Musicians of Joujouka at the Rites of Pan Festival. The subsequent recording, Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Jajouka (1971), was released a few years after his mysterious death. It is the closest thing to a Jones solo project (though he was only involved as sound recorder and album engineer), and the album remains an influential in the World Music genre.
  • Skip Spence, whose album Oar was released in 1969. He was a prominent member of the psychedelic band Moby Grape who turned out to be the American equivalent of Syd Barrett. He weirded out his bandmates by indulging in LSD and attacking someone with a fire axe. He got institutionalized, recorded Oar, and dropped out of the public life until his death in 1999.
  • The Fitness's Call Me For Together is their sole album; they have never produced anything more.
  • Mos Def and Talib Kweli released one album, Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star, in 1998. Aside from a mixtape tribute to Aretha Franklin, their Black Star album is their only proper release.
  • Scott La Rock, DJ of rap duo Boogie Down Productions, was involved in only one album, Criminal Minded, which was their debut. He was murdered a few months after the album was released. KRS-One, the remaining member, continued Boogie Down Productions without him. Much of the songs made after La Rock's murder, such as "Stop The Violence," had anti-violence messages which contrasted with the proto-gangsta rap lyrics of Criminal Minded, made before La Rock was murdered.
  • Chris Bell, founding member of 1970s power pop legends Big Star, released one single in his lifetime, "I Am the Cosmos" with "You and Your Sister" as its B-side. Bell was poised to develop a solo career when his life was cut short by a tragic car accident in 1978. The single, along with the work of Big Star, developed a cult following in the 1980s and there was enough demand for a release of a complete discography of Bell's solo work in 1992, also called I Am The Cosmos. The album consists of the aforementioned single along with unreleased songs and demos.
  • The Faders, an all-girl British pop-rock band, had a minor hit with "No Sleep Tonight", which was all over the place after its release as a single, and featured in a number of advertisements, films such as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and She's the Man (both times in soccer scenes, weirdly enough), and in shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Greek, Sugar Rush and Veronica Mars, where the band appeared As Themselves. They broke up in 2006 with only one album, and all have moved on to pursue solo careers.
  • P, an alternative rock group featuring Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes, Johnny Depp on guitar, Sal Jenco (who played Blowfish on 21 Jump Street with Depp) on drums, and Flea, released one self-titled album in 1995.
  • Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too, released in 1998, is the sole album by New Radicals, containing the hit "You Get What You Give." Lead singer Gregg Alexander, a singer-songwriter known for his mixture of catchiness and cynicism, released two albums beforehand before forming the New Radicals. He split up the band as he was gaining fame (hurting the performance of second single "Someday We'll Know", which still gained some fame due to a version featured in A Walk to Remember), becoming a professional songwriter for other artists, his most notable song being "You Get What You Give" soundalike "Game of Love" for Santana and Michelle Branch. Ironically, while "Game" became a much bigger hit than "Give" was, the latter is better remembered today.
    • This is an interesting example because New Radicals kept changing lineup, the only members consistent throughout the whole time were Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois. Danielle released two solo albums featuring Gregg Alexander as co-writer and guest performer on almost every track, meaning that they are technically also New Radicals albums. Rick Nowels co-wrote most New Radicals songs, however, despite not actually being a member of the band, so take from that what you will.
  • Minuteflag, a supergroup composed of LA punk legends Minutemen and Black Flag, released one self-titled EP of mostly instrumental tunes. They made a pact to release the collaboration as soon as one of the bands broke up. Sadly, it was released after Minutemen broke up due to the tragic death of leader D. Boon. The EP, released in 1986, remains out of print.
  • The Glove, a supergroup consisting of The Cure singer Robert Smith, Siouxsie and the Banshees bassist Steve Severin, and singer Jeannete Landray, released one album, Blue Sunshine.
    • Another short-lived Cure side-project was Cult Hero, consisting of the members of The Cure c. 1979, various members of Smith's family, a couple members of local bands (including future Cure members Matthieu Hartley and Simon Gallup and former member Porl Thompson (he'd later rejoin the band)) and Smith's postman, Frank Bell on vocals. The group was supposedly formed see how well Gallup would gel with the other members of The Cure. After one single, 1979's "I'm A Cult Hero"/"I Dig You", Cult Hero disbanded and never recorded a thing again.
  • Seattle band Mother Love Bone released one EP and one LP, later compiled to one album. The band, destined to help lead the up-and-coming grunge movement of the 1990s, fizzled after singer Andrew Wood fatally overdosed in 1990. After Wood died, Soundgarden members Chris Cornell and Matt Cameron, who were good friends with Andrew Wood, partnered with singer Eddie Vedder and MLB members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard to release one self-titled album as Temple of the Dog as a tribute to Wood, featuring hits such as "Hunger Strike" and "Say Hello 2 Heaven." As the album was being recorded and released, Ament, Gossard, and Vedder formed their own band, Pearl Jam, and Temple of the Dog broke up, with both respective bands skyrocketing to success on their own. After the success of Mother Love Bone and Temple of the Dog, Wood's earlier band, Malfunkshun, had all its songs compiled to one posthumous release, Return to Olympus.
  • Splendora, an all-girl 90s grunge group notable for singing the theme song to Daria, only ever produced one album, In the Grass. They did later reunite to create songs for the two Daria TV Movies, "Turn the Sun Down" and "College Try".
  • Girls Talk, released in the spring of 1991, was the only proper full-length album from ultra-girly Girl Group The Rebel Pebbles. Aside from a three-song EP prior to the album, they released absolutely nothing else.
  • Above, the lone album by grunge supergroup Mad Season. The band's singer was Alice in Chains' Layne Staley, and his 2002 death, along with the bassist's 1999 death, ended any chance of a second album.
  • Ashley Jade's Dreaming, following her tenure with Soda Club, was her only solo album. It is unlikely she will ever return to the spotlight.
  • Forest For The Trees' self-titled album, which itself was a Troubled Production that almost never saw the light of day due to Carl Stephenson having a nervous breakdown. There is the somewhat hard to find EP Sounds Of Wet Paint, which combined remixes with a few outtakes from the debut, and a second album was reportedly finished but never released.
  • The Eurodance/trance duo Trouser Enthusiasts produced countless remixes, but "Sweet Release" was their only original production, after which they disbanded.
  • Jai Paul, so far, made one self-titled album that was leaked on Bandcamp before he pulled it. It still has not been officially released as of 2016.
  • Jumalatar only produced two EP's, Are We Thinking the Same Thing and Frenzy, before parting ways. The "Song Samples" track on the former implies that they planned to release a full-length album, but it never came to fruition.
  • Singer-songwriter Willis Alan Ramsey released his debut album in 1972, and has never released anything else, even though he's still an active performer with a cult following. Supposedly whenever anyone asks him why he hasn't released another album he says "What was wrong with the first one?" One of the songs on the album was "Muskrat Love" (originally called "Muskrat Candlelight"). Luckily for Ramsey, it was Covered Up and became a big hit, so he can collect royalty money while the rest of the world thinks of this Old Shame as a Captain & Tennille song.
  • Carole King's band The City released one album, Now That Everything's Been Said (1968), before they broke up and she embarked on a solo career.
  • Thorr's Hammer was a doom metal band from Washington State whose singer was a teenage exchange student named Runhild Gammelsæter. They were active for six weeks, releasing one cassette called Dommedagsnatt, before the singer returned home to Norway. The rest of the band, Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley, continued as Burning Witch before becoming drone titans Sunn O))).
  • Eric Clapton led two supergroups after the breakup of his band Cream. The first, Blind Faith, released one self-titled album with six songs in it. After Blind Faith fell apart, Clapton led Derek and the Dominos, recording Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Though the album and especially the title track are now considered classics, on its initial release the critical and commercial reaction was moderate at best; a year later, Duane Allman (not an official member of the band but an important contributor to Layla; most notably, he helped to create the famous opening guitar riff from the title track) died in a motorcycle accident, exacerbating Clapton's substance abuse issues, and Derek and the Dominoes subsequently dissolved during an attempt to record a second album.
  • Scottish band Life Without Buildings released one album, 'Any Other City', before breaking up.
  • The 1998 Band Minus the Face reformation of 2 Unlimited only did one album, II.
  • The band Reunion released one song, "Life is a Rock (but the Radio Rolled Me)," and absolutely nothing else.
  • Guitar Romantic is the sole album by critically acclaimed Power Pop revivalists The Exploding Hearts. Three-fourths of the band died in a tour van accident a few months after its release, effectively ending the band.
  • Grace is the lone studio album by Jeff Buckley before his death. He was recording a second, My Sweetheart The Drunk, but he drowned in the Mississippi River before the recording sessions had even reached the halfway point. The unfinished material did get released as Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk, however.
  • "Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight", the sole single of Dominatrix.
  • Another one single band would be The Normal (who were really a solo project by Daniel Miller) - not counting an improvised live collaboration with Robert Rental, the only release was the single T.V.O.D. \ Warm Leatherette. Miller has had other musical projects, but is now mainly a Record Producer. The lone single was pretty influential to such genres as New Wave Music, Post-Punk and electroclash - "Warm Leatherette" in particular gets covered a lot.
  • After a turbulent career filled with constant recording and re-recording of their debut album, scrapping sessions with famous producers like Mike Hedges, John Leckie and John Porter before settling on Steve Lillywhite, The La's managed to produce one Self-Titled Album before collapsing due to Lee Mavers' insane perfectionism.
  • The band Lincoln released a Self-Titled Album in 1997 and became an opening act for They Might Be Giants. After they broke up in 1998 without releasing a follow-up, guitarist Dan Miller and bassist Danny Weinkauf joined TMBG's backing band and have been there ever since.
  • Early 90s Britpop band Starclub had a Top 10 US alt-rock radio hit, "Hard To Get", but broke up after only one album.
  • 1970s power-pop trio The Nerves released one four-song EP and broke up shortly after. Blondie released their own cover version of "Hanging on the Telephone," and two of the members founded the Plimsouls, scoring an 80s hit with "A Million Miles Away."
  • A banker named Stuart Gorrell wrote the lyrics for his old college buddy Hoagy Carmichael's song "Georgia on My Mind". It was his only songwriting credit. The royalty money Gorrell earned for "Georgia" was enough to put his daughter through college.
  • The widely-covered "(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I" (most famously done by Elvis Presley) is literally the only song ever written by its writer, Bill Trader.
  • The Oak Ridge Boys' "Gonna Take a Lot of River" was not the only song written by John Kurhajetz (ASCAP lists four other works), but it was the only one anyone recorded.
  • Colossal Youth was the sole release by influential minimalist Post-Punk trio Young Marble Giants.
  • The Grand Pecking Order by Oysterhead, the short-lived Supergroup of Trey Anastasio, Les Claypool and Stewart Copeland.
  • Despite having various singles recorded under different aliases (such as Loose Joints and 1-800-DINOSAUR), as well as a massive collection of posthumous recordings, World of Echo is the only full-length album that experimental musician Arthur Russell completed and released during his lifetime.
  • Another supergroup who only managed one album was Billy Corgan's Zwan, who released their sole album, Mary Star of the Sea in 2003 and broke up later that year.
  • Another one for the list of rapidly-disintegrating supergroups is Freebass, the collaboration between Peter Hook (New Order), Gary Mountfield (The Stone Roses) and Andy Rourke (The Smiths). The group had already fallen apart and announced their split before their sole album, It's A Beautiful Life, came out in 2010.
  • The International Submarine Band released their debut Safe at Home, generally considered the first country rock album, in 1968. They broke up a few months later after leader Gram Parsons left to join The Byrds.
  • R&B duo Damian Dame is a tragic example. Damian Dame, a duo consisting of "Damian" Broadus and "de Dame" Debra Jean Hurd, released their self-titled debut on LaFace Records in 1991. On June 27, 1994, before the two would work on a second album, "deah Dame" was killed in a moped accident. Damian would perish from colon cancer exactly two years later.
  • The California Ska Punk band Suburban Rhythm, who were a major influence on subsequent popular groups in the Orange County scene such as Sublime, No Doubt and Reel Big Fish, only had one album, a compilation which was released three years after they broke up.
  • It's hard to tell whether Rob Dougan is one of these or not, considering that he appears to be a rather slow worker anyway. It took him seven years from the release of the single "Clubbed To Death" in 1995 to complete and release the accompanying full-length album Furious Angels. The album came out in 2002, in 2003 he contributed one new track to the soundtrack of The Matrix Reloaded and did the string arrangement for a Sugababes single. There has been nothing heard from him since up to mid-2014, and given that he could probably retire on the royalties from "Clubbed To Death" alone, it's easy to suspect that he's chosen to do exactly that.
  • The origins of outsider musician Y. Bhekhirst are shrouded in mystery, but only one album, Hot in the Airport, was ever released by him, and even then it wasn't commercially sold. There are indications that he recorded many songs as he copyrighted a lot, but it has yet to be heard and remains so reclusive nobody knows what he looks like.
  • American surf band The Avalanches (no relation to the Australian electronic group that released two albuls, but were named after the surf band) released only one album, Ski Surfin' with the Avalanches, in 1963. That group was one of those "studio-only" bands made up of professional session musicians that were prolific in the 1960's.
  • "Music Sounds Better With You" by Stardust, a one-shot project from Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk fame. It was never intended to have a following single, indeed this "dream team" of French electronic wizards never worked together again.
  • Rapeman was a noise-rock supergroup active for a very brief time in the late 1980s. Its members were Steve Albini (Big Black, and later Shellac), David Wm. Sims (Scratch Acid) and Rey Washam (big Boys and Scratch Acid). Their complete discography consists of their lone LP Two Nuns and a Pack Mule, an EP called Budd (included in full on the CD reissue of Two Nuns) and two 7'' singles.
  • The Golden Year is the only album released by British electronic rock band Ou Est Le Swimming Pool. The band folded shortly after its release due to the suicide of their lead singer Charles Haddon who killed himself jumping from a mast at the 2010 Pukkelpop Festival earlier in the year.
  • The closure of DreamWorks Records in 2005 killed two Country Music bands after only one album: Hot Apple Pie (founded by Brady Seals, formerly of Little Texas) and Hanna-McEuen (first cousins Jaime Hanna and Jonathan McEuen, whose fathers co-founded the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). MCA pushed two more singles off Hot Apple Pie's album, but neither went anywhere. Seals went solo again, occasionally using ex-Hot Apple Pie members on his solo work. Hanna-McEuen disbanded pretty much the instant their second single flopped, with McEuen going solo and Hanna joining Gary Allan's road band.
  • And speaking of Little Texas, former lead singer Tim Rushlow managed to be a part of this trope three times after leaving that band. (They broke up and reunited without him or Seals.) Tim did a solo album for Atlantic Records, which was blunted after the Top 10 hit "She Misses Him" due to that label closing its country division. In 2003, he and cousin Doni Harris formed a six-piece band called Rushlow, which cut only one album for Lyric Street; said album got "I Can't Be Your Friend" into top 20, but label restructuring prevented any more hits, and the band broke up. Rushlow and Harris cut two low-charting singles for Toby Keith's Show Dog label in 2006 under the name Rushlow Harris before splitting again. (As for the other four members of Rushlow? Billy Welch is now in Jake Owen's road band, while Kurt Alison, Tully Kennedy, and Rich Redmond are now in Jason Aldean's road band.note )
  • Lauryn Hill only released 2 albums, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and MTV Unplugged 2.0, and the latter was a live recording. Only her first album received overall acclaim, and after that album, she had a Creator Breakdown and left the public eye.
  • The German industrial group Microchip League (MCL) only produced one studio album, Code Numbers, although in 2009, more than two decades later, they released a compilation of previously unreleased tracks, titled Raw Tapes.
  • Country music singer Cyndi Thomson quit after her first album for Capitol Records because she didn't think she could handle the pressure of a second album. As a result, she remains a One-Hit Wonder with her #1 country hit "What I Really Meant to Say". However, she also wrote Gary Allan's "Life Ain't Always Beautiful".
  • A more direct country music example is The Buffalo Club, which included then-former Restless Heart drummer John Dittrich as a member. They were active only for one album in 1997, with Dittrich bowing out just before their third and final single release. By the end of the year, their label closed, and Dittrich ultimately rejoined Restless Heart.
  • The same year also produced Burnin' Daylight, also including former members of 80s country bands (namely, Kurt Howell of Southern Pacific and Sonny LeMaire of Exile, plus lead singer Marc Beeson, who co-wrote singles for Exile and Restless Heart and had an unreleased album for BNA Records in 1994). They broke up after one album.
  • Cellsite System, a Portland, Oregon based trance project, only made two albums, Between Frequencies and Mind Into Matter, the latter being a multimedia album. The website is long gone, so good luck finding the albums.
  • "Pump Up the Volume" was a worldwide top 10 smash in 1987, and a major influence on later examples of sampling in pop music (as well as electronic music as a whole). It was also the only single ever released by M|A|R|R|S, a collaboration between two artists on the independent record label 4AD (Dream Pop duo AR Kane and dance group Colourbox - the legal problems surrounding the record led to the former leaving the label and the latter splitting up).
  • "Carte Blanche", plus its B-side "Drafting", was the only original material by Veracocha, a one-off collaboration between Ferry Corsten and Vincent de Moor, although they did at least one remix (Ayla - Ayla).
  • Brazilian satirical band Mamonas Assassinas recorded only one album (which is one of the best-selling of all time in the country, mind you) before dying in a plane crash.
  • Another Country Music example is Caitlin & Will. They won the first season of CMT's singing competition Can You Duet, released one single ("Address in the Stars") and an EP, and broke up once the single fell from the charts.
  • Also from country music is Tommy Shane Steiner, who had a huge hit with "What If She's an Angel" in late 2001-early 2002, followed by two more flops. He never returned to singing.
  • Lies appears to be all we'll hear from the synthpop duo Heartbreak, although Ali Renault has a solo album, and Muravchik, under the alias Anthonio, released an Answer Song single to Annie(Anne Lilia Berge-Strand)'s "Anthonio" titled "Annie".
  • The psychedelica band Uriel only recorded and released one album—a self-titled album that was named while the band was using an alias, no less! The album, Arzachel, was released in 1969 and became a long sought-after collector's item for psychedelica enthusiasts; its sole (legal) re-release in 2007 sold out almost immediately.
  • Country music band Cole Deggs & the Lonesome broke up after only one album.
  • Songwriter Jonathan Singleton founded a band in 2009 called Jonathan Singleton & the Grove. They released two singles: "Livin' in Paradise" and "Look Who's Back in Love". The latter was included on a full album, with the Grove disbanding immediately afterward and Singleton returning to songwriting.
  • Blue County was a one-off collaboration between Aaron Benward (formerly of father-and-son Christian music duo Aaron Jeoffrey) and Scott Reeves (who is mainly a soap actor). They did one album, and after a couple followup singles went nowhere, disbanded.
  • Similarly, The Wreckers was a one-off between solo artists Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp. They did guest vocals on a David Santana song, recorded one album, and broke up before recording another.
  • Yet another country example: the JaneDear girls split up after only one album.
  • The Age of Love was a one-off supergroup consisting of Bruno Sanchioni and Giuseppe Chierchia; their self-titled single is considered to be one of the first proper trance tracks. Sanchioni later founded the trio BBE of "7 Days & One Week" fame, as well as collaborating with many others.
  • In the 1980s, Nashville songwriters Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill formed a country music band called Billy Hill, in which they alternated as lead vocalists (both in the guise of the a fictional character also named Billy Hill) with backing from former Detroit Wheels member Dennis Robbins, former Steve Earle bassist Reno Kling, and session drummer Martin Parker. They did one album for Reprise and broke up before a second was completed, although one of the tracks from the second ("The Church on Cumberland Road") was later a #1 for Shenandoah.
  • Brooks & Dunn's 1994 single "I'll Never Forgive My Heart" is the only writing credit for duo member Ronnie Dunn's wife, Janine.
  • Chagall Guevara was a band formed by several veterans of the early Christian alternative music scene (including Steve Taylor) in an attempt to break through to the not-quite-as-limiting mainstream secular alt-rock world. The band's 1991 self-titled album failed to catch on with alternative rock fans or radio, despite being critically acclaimed. It has, at best, become a minor cult item with fans of early 90's alternative rock. However, the album became fairly popular with Christian rock fans despite the fact that there were very few things that could be considered overtly Christian on the album, nor was the CCM market ever planned to be the target audience - its popularity likely having to do with the backgrounds of the performers (particularly the wildly successful Taylor). The group broke up in 1993 without making another album.
  • Fockewolf, an Industrial/Dark Wave side project/supergroup consisting of Rob Wilhelm of Noxious Emotion and vocalist Severina X Sol, only released one demo cassette EP, Dominus et Deus, and one album, Die Toten Weg, although Severina went on to perform with Cylab and The Break Up. Wilhelm also made a cameo appearance on the former's Satellites album.
    • In addition, Back And To The Left, a Future Pop act founded by Wilhelm and the other former NE members, also only produced one album, 2005's Obsolete, before themselves disbanding the following year.
  • Metal supergroup Damageplan only released one album before disbanding.
  • "Outta Sight", circa 2009, is so far the only single released by New Zealand singer Kelly Rose (not to be confused with others of the same name).
  • Runforyerlife, a third-wave ska band from Chicago, only released one album in 1999 before falling off the face of the earth.
  • To My Surprise, an experimental rock side project of Slipknot founder Shawn Crahan, only released one Self-Titled Album in 2003 before disbanding three years later.
  • Seminal Depressive/Suicidal Black Metal band Silencer only ever made one album, 2001's Death - Pierce Me. The institutionalisation of vocalist Nattramn shortly after the recording of the album is almost certainly the reason for this.
  • "Nightshade" and "I Wanna Be Your Star" are the only singles that will ever heard from Melody & Mezzo. They have officially discontinued the project and will not be releasing any further material, although producer J-Mi is now working with Midi-D.
  • Stars on 54, a trio effort between Ultra Nate, Amber, and Jocelyn Enriquez, covered "If You Could Read My Mind" for the Studio 54 soundtrack, and never collaborated again.
  • Another one-single collaboration was "So Deep" by Silvertear, produced by Pascal Schutters, Jonas Steur, and Christophe and Erik from Ian Van Dahl. Best known for its appearance in the Dance Dance Revolution series.
  • Obscure rap group Ninja High School only did one album, Young Adults Against Suicide, as well as some singles and extended plays, before dropping off the face of the Earth.
  • 1990s dance experimentalists One Dove were lauded in the British music press but released only one album,Morning Dove White. Reports vary on how close to a releaseable state the follow-up reached before they decided they'd had enough of the label's Executive Meddling and split.
  • Cult Midwest Emo band Cap'n Jazz only released one full length LP Shmap'n Shmazz, along with a scattering amount of compilation appearances and 2 EPs, before splitting up right after the release of the LP in 1995. Their entire discography, minus a few early tracks, were collected into a single compilation Analphabetapolothology in 1998.
    • This is usually typical of 90s Emo bands. One of the side project of Cap'n Jazz, cult Indie Rock group American Football, also only released a single LP, along with an EP, both self-titled. Though American Football managed to last a bit longer than Cap'n Jazz, breaking up in a few years after the release of their LP without releasing a follow-up. American Football later reunited and released their second, also self-titled, album.
  • German darkwave duo Electronic Suicide produced but one promo CD EP (i.e. not released to the public), featuring the songs "Ich Wollt", "Fear", and "Wild Kisses", then went their separate ways.
  • Kandystand only managed to produce one full-length album, Watch Out, Here I Come. They broke up due to a dispute shortly after releasing the stand-alone single "Love Invasion".
  • Team Sleep, an experimental rock band formed by Deftones frontman Chino Moreno only released one Self-Titled Album in 2005, before going on an indefinite hiatus due to Chino's commitment to his main band.
  • Egg Hunt were a Minor Threat offshoot who released one single with a B-Side (It was technically a self-titled single, but it's been variously referred to as Me And You, Me And You / We All Fall Down or 2 Songs): Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson spontaneously founded the project when they were visiting England and the owner of a studio invited them to do some recording, and the band name was chosen because the single was recorded over Easter weekend. Plans were made to expand Egg Hunt from a duo to a full band when the two returned to America, but soon after a full band version was put together for rehearsals, Ian started focusing much more on the newly-formed Fugazi. The rest of the full-band incarnation of Egg Hunt replaced him with Mark Haggerty and became Three, who also became a one album band, breaking up a year before their album Dark Days Coming was even released. MacKaye and Nelson would never end up working together directly on any further musical projects.
  • Negative Entropy, a Dutch ambient noise supergroup. Two albums, both limited production runs, of 1000 and 488 copies, respectively. The death of Geert Feytons in 2006 sealed the project's fate for good.
  • One-Hit Wonder Sarina Paris's self-titled album is her only full-length, although she later produced a couple stand-alone singles.
  • Eclectic country rock band Quacky Duck & His Barnyard Friends released their only album, Media Push, in 1974. They had an interesting lineup, though: Tony Bennett's two sons (Danny and Daegal); David Mansfield, who later worked with Bob Dylan and Bruce Hornsby and scored numerous films; and Gordon Javna, who went on to write the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader books.
  • Vicious Pink's only album was their self-titled album. They were also a One-Hit Wonder with "Cccant You See?".
  • Ty England's 1995 debut single "Should've Asked Her Faster" was the only writing credit for songwriter Joe Klimek.
  • Lonestar's 2001 single "Tell Her" was co-written by someone named "Kwesi B." (real name: Mark McClendon), who has only one other entry in ASCAP's database which was apparently not recorded by anyone (or if they did, it's so obscure that not even Google can find it).
  • Obscure 90s country music singer Daron Norwood had an unknown person named Jeff Carlton produce both of his albums, albeit in collaboration with more famous producers: James Stroud on the first, and Richard Landis on the second. Carlton also produced Curtis Wright's debut album Slick Hick, but it was never released.
    • Speaking of Norwood, his 1995 single "Bad Dog, No Biscuit" was written by one Richard Ferrell, who has no other entries on BMI. (He is not to be confused with Rick Ferrell, a more prolific songwriter.)
  • The originator of the much-covered disco classic "Saturday", Norma Jean Wright is still touring regularly and doing guest spots on other people's records, but 1978's Norma Jean remains her only solo album.
  • Country Music duo Steel Magnolia, who won the second season of CMT's Can You Duet singing competition, broke up after only one album (and one EP). "Broke up" in the literal sense, as they were also boyfriend and girlfriend, so they terminated their relationship and musical partnership concurrently. Linsey has since competed on The Voice.
  • Another country example is Edens Edge. After one album, lead singer Hannah Blaylock quit in March 2013. The label dropped them in lieu of releasing a third single, and the other two members appear to have done a few random shows before the band's website was taken down in late 2013.
  • Songwriter-producer Ray Methvin has only one notable credit in either field: as a songwriter, his only single cut was "Gravitational Pull" by Chris LeDoux, and as a producer, his only album was Jenny Simpson's 1998 debut (co-produced by Garth Fundis).
  • Connie Converse, a folk singer-songwriter who played around New York in the 50s and early 60s, has only one album's worth of songs, How Sad, How Lovely, released in 2009. Since this album was compiled from archival recordings by two fans 35 years after Converse disappeared, never to be seen again, it's iffy to even say that it was released during her lifetime.
  • While songwriter/producer Eric Pittarelli had a couple other obscure cuts, his only production credit was Bomshel's 2006 EP Bomshel Stomp. The track "19 and Crazy" on Bomshel's Fight Like a Girl is likewise the only production credit for prominent Nashville songwriters Mark Irwin and Josh Kear.
  • The sole discography of influential American Black Metal band Weakling is two rehearsal tapes and 2000's album Dead as Dreams.
  • Fort Minor, the hip-hop based Solo Side Project of Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, only released one album, The Rising Tied in 2005. In 2006, the project went on hiatus which, as of 2015, still hasn't ended.
  • Some production team called Chucko Productions produced Country Music singer Charly McClain's 1983 album Paradise (which featured the #1 Mickey Gilley duet "Paradise Tonight") and never produced anything else again.
  • Rapper Kreayshawn released four mixtapes, but her only album release was Somethin' 'Bout Kreay in 2012. Sales of the album were absolutely dismal, only charting at #112 with sales of 3900 copies. The fact her label decided to release the physical copy exclusively to Hot Topic might have had something to do with it. Since then, she's appeared as a guest rapper on a number of other artists' songs, but there have been practically no talks of another album.
  • American-British-Canadian five-piece Girl Group G.R.L. was formed by veteran choreographer Robin Antin with the intention of finding a replacement for The Pussycat Dolls. Unfortunately, they were only able to release their Self-Titled EP in July of 2014. Not long afterwards, member Simone Battle tragically died from an apparent suicide for reasons unknown. They continued as a four-piece for a while, and released the single "Lighthouse" as a tribute to her, but ultimately decided to disband in June 2015.
  • R&B group L.A.X. Gurlz released one song, "Forget You", in 2007 before breaking up afterwards and thus vanishing completely. Their debut album failed to surface thanks to the Executive Meddling of Blackground Records.
  • Wilbur C. Rimes produced the first few albums of his daughter, LeAnn Rimes, but had exactly one other production credit: Steve Holy's 2000 debut Blue Moon. Holy's second and third albums, Brand New Girlfriend and Love Don't Run, are also the only production credits for songwriter Lee Thomas Miller (outside a few non-album singles by both him and Amy Dalley).
  • The site Bubblegum Dancer, that collects examples of bubblegum dance music from all over the world, has plenty of artists and projects known only for one album or single. They even listed the Top 20 Bubblegum One-Hit Wonders.
  • The country music group One Flew South is a double example, as their 2008 album Last of the Good Guys was not only their sole album (and "My Kind of Beautiful" its only single), but also the only release of a revival of Decca Records Nashville, which had previously been merged into MCA Nashville in 1998.
  • Robert Wright produced, engineered, and played bass on the first three albums by country music singer Chris Cagle (except for some bonus tracks on a re-issue of his debut, which were produced by Chris Lindsey instead), and does not appear to have done anything else.
  • Obscure singer-songwriter Wyatt Easterling has had a few scattered credits writing and playing guitar on others' albums, but his only production credit was four tracks on John Michael Montgomery's 1992 debut Life's a Dance.
  • Device, an Industrial Metal Supergroup consisting of Disturbed frontman David Draiman and Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo, was formed during the five year hiatus of the former. They released one album Device, with their single "Vilify" being their only success on rock radio. Afterwards, the project was shut down and Draiman returned to Disturbed. He has gone on record stating that he has no intention of ever making another Device album.
    • A different band named Device is also a one-album wonder. Formed in the mid-'80s by Holly Knight (who's best known for writing songs including "Love Is A Battlefield" and "Better Be Good To Me"), this Device released a single album, 22B3, before disbanding.
  • Canadian Electronic Music group Azari & III only released one Self-Titled Album in 2011 before disbanding permanently.
  • The sole release by the stadium house duo Two Little Boys was "Stylophonia", which utilized voice clips of Stylophone spokesman Rolf Harris.
  • Trance artist Alex Aréstegüi released one full-length album, Proem, in 2005, followed by a non-album single, "Discover", in 2007, and has not been heard from since.
  • Murat Konar's only musical foray has been the vocals on on Information Society's debut single "Running".
  • The Europop/dance/trance group DYCE released a self-titled full-length album in 2006, then seemingly vanished from the face of the earth. The last known song heard from them was a 2008 collaboration with fellow Swedes Bad Influence titled "Tarzan Boy".
  • S.K.I.N. was a Japanese supergroup made by big names in Visual Kei (Yoshiki, Gackt, Miyavi and Sugizo) who was supposed to set not only the Asian, but also the Western charts on fire. Their 2007 performance at the Long Beach Anime Expo was dubbed "The Japanese Concert of the Century"... too bad that was their first, last and only time together. Every few years some of them speak about the possibility of new material from S.K.I.N., but nothing ever materialized after that concert.
  • Italian dance project The Tamperer, consisting of producers Mario Fargetta and Alex Farolfi and American singer Maya Days, are mostly known for their successful 1998 single "Feel It". They only released the album "Fabulous" one year later, a couple of singles afterwards, and all members abandoned the project soon after (Maya Days stopped singing altogether).
  • Another very short-lived Italian dance project was The Lawyer, whose members only released the bizarre "I Wanna Mmm..." in 1999 before parting ways.
  • Rhode Island-based New Wave Music band The Mundanes only had one release during the band's lifespan, a single for their own song "Make It The Same". They broke up only a few years after the single's release after failing to secure a record deal, despite their popularity in the local music scene. Shortly before their breakup, the band's keyboardist, John Linnell, left the band to co-found the much more successful Alternative Rock band They Might Be Giants with John Flansburgh. Despite falling into relative obscurity, many of their unreleased demos were leaked online decades after their breakup.
  • Girl group Madasun started as a quintet in 1997, but soon after became a trio, which released only one album in 2000 and then disbanded one year later because of poor sales. They're known pretty much only for their hit single "Don't You Worry".
  • Grab That Gun is the first and only album from all-girl Post-Punk Revival band The Organ.
  • Los Umbrellos was a Danish pop/dance band who only released the album "Flamenco Funk" in 1997 and disbanded two years later. They were also a One-Hit Wonder for the single "No Tengo Dinero" that gained good airplay in several countries (including a #1 in Austria and #42 on the US Billboard Hot 100). The other singles however failed to chart anywhere.
  • Country Music singer Billy Hoffman recorded the 2000 album All I Wanted Was You but was never heard from again. (He supposedly had a second album in the works, but other than lead single "Bar Room Athlete", none of it exists.) Notably, he was able to complete this album despite being 97% deaf.
  • She Moves, a girl group made up of New York Knicks cheerleaders, released just one album, Breaking All the Rules, in 1997, and were a One-Hit Wonder with the title single.
  • The only releases by Snohomish County, WA-based indie trance musician Dejin were the full-length album As You Dream, and the "Shattered" remix single.
  • UK Garage act 3 Of A Kind's number one single "Babycakes" was their only release ever. Despite its success, they couldn't interest anyone in releasing a follow-up.
  • The Argonauts, a supergroup duo consisting of British trance DJ-producers Dave Ralph and Mike Koglin, not to be confused with other bands with the same name, released just two singles; "Sommertag" in 1998, and "Frühlingstag" in 1999.
  • Aylar is a Norwegian (but Iranian-born) former porn star, glamour model and Big Brother contestant who only released the single "Boys Boys Boys" in 2006, itself a cover of Italian popstar Sabrina Salerno's "Boys (Summertime Love)". She later was featured in two dance songs before quitting music to pursue an acting career.
  • Country Music singer Meredith Edwards' Reach is not only her only album, but also the only album released by Lance Bass's music company, Free Lance Entertainment.
  • In 2009, CMT started up a Country Music record label. Their only release was "Heart Like Memphis", also the only single release overall for the duo Carter Twins. The duo later renamed itself Kingston, but did not release anything else.
  • Sarah Buxton's Self-Titled Album is her only album release to date (barring an EP that had several of the album's songs on it and a handful of guest appearances). The album itself had several tracks produced by hit Nashville songwriters: Blair Daly, Bob DiPiero, and Craig Wiseman, none of whom hold any other production credits.
  • While Casey Beathard is a very popular Country Music songwriter, his only Record Producer credit is the single "I Wanna Feel Something" from Trace Adkins' Dangerous Man album.
  • Craig Hand had this happen twice. He put out the solo single "Direct Connect" in 2006 but his label closed soon afterward. Then in 2013, he recorded "Crushin'" as the lead singer of Bush Hawg, which also never put anything else out (a second single titled "More Than Corn" was announced, but it was never released and the label dropped the band).
  • KP & Envyi's 1998 hit single "Swing My Way" was their sole release. In the years since, the artists' only musical appearances have been as guest vocalists on a handful of songs.
  • Miss Willie Brown did only one EP for a 2012 re-establishment of A & M Octone Records, led off by the single "You're All That Matters to Me" — which turned out to be not only the duo's release, but also the label's.
  • Mike Love of The Beach Boys fame released only one solo album throughout his career: 1981's Looking Back with Love. The album is now out of print and hard to find, and anybody who remembers it doesn't exactly think too highly of it.
  • British Girl Group Neon Jungle were highly anticipated by several reviewers as the next big girl group, following the success of their debut single "Trouble" in 2013. After "Trouble", the group had their biggest hit "Braveheart" before releasing two more singles (both were Top 40 hits) until releasing their debut album Welcome to the Jungle. The album was moderately successful but their fifth single failed to chart, which led to their record label RCA to drop them and eventually they disbanded in July 2015 l, shortly after planning to record their second album, with their sole success being their debut album though averting the One-Hit Wonder status due to having four Top 40 singles before releasing their debut album.
  • Zygott & The Ghost Chasers, the artists behind the theme tune for the British series The Trap Door, released just that one record. Zygott sung the tune and its B-side is an instrumental called "Ghost Chase", credited to The Ghost Chasers.
  • Neo-soul group Mini-King released their self-titled album in 1998, and nothing more.
  • Both of Kelsea Ballerini's albums (The First Time and Unapologetically) were produced by Jason Massey and Forest Glen Whitehead, neither of whom has any other production credits.
  • Zac Brown Band's Jekyll + Hyde is the only production credit for In the Arena Productions.
  • Pam Tillis's debut album Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey is the only production credit for Dixie Hills Productions, although two individual members (session musicians Craig Krampf and Josh Leo) have several other production credits as solo producers.
  • Sibling duo Marie Sisters had only one, self-titled album in 2002 for Universal/Republic. It also produced only one single, "Real Bad Mood". Their only other credit was singing backing vocals on LeAnn Rimes' Sittin' on Top of the World album four years prior (most prominently on the single "Commitment").
  • Curtis Wright had only one self-titled studio album in 1992 (a previous effort, Slick Hick, was never released due to the label closing). A year later, he became a one-book author a second time in the duo Orrall & Wright with frequent cowriting partner Robert Ellis Orrall (who is not a one-book author). Despite his lack of releases, Wright is still a somewhat popular songwriter and session vocalist.
  • Japanese singers Asuka Hinoi and Hikaru Koyama, of Hinoi Team fame, started their career in the music business as part of a trio called LOVE & PEACE when they were only 11 and 10. They released a single called "Drifter", which became the theme for the movie Dodge Go Go! (where the third member of the band played a part), and then disbanded.
  • Little Village only released one album, a self-titled effort, in 1992. Even despite a Grammy nomination, the album largely went unnoticed, and bass guitarist Nick Lowe later stated that while he had fun with the band he felt the album was "no good". After a roughly two-year career, Little Village split the same year the album came out.
  • Some tracks on Jake Owen's 2016 album American Love were produced by his guitarist Lukas Bracewell, who has no other credits whatsoever.
  • As their Discogs page states, Chemise were an "one-off disco studio project" that only released the song "She Can't Love You" in 1982 and a remix of the same years later.
  • Latin-American dance-pop diva Jennifer Delgado released one and only one single, "What is It (About You)?" (1998), which had a Spanish Translated Cover Version, "Que tu tienes", featured on a few Latin dance compilations.
  • Joey Gardner remixed many '80s and '90s songs, as well as producing for freestyle artists George Lamond, Cynthia, and K7, but released only one solo single, the trance song "Twister", under the alias Storm Chasers.
  • Sphinx were a one-time supergroup comprised of Roland Armstrong AKA Rollo, the brother of Dido; fellow House Music DJ-producer Rob Dougan (mentioned above); and American R&B/soul singer Sabrina Johnston; releasing the lone single "What Hope Have I" in 1995.
  • Gator Creek was an eclectic 8-piece band founded by jazz veteran Dee Barton, featuring a mix of prolific Hollywood studio musicians and newcomers like a young Kenny Loggins. Their self-titled 1970 album was their only release, but it had two notable songs: "Dirty Boogie", which played over the opening credits of Play Misty for Menote , and "Danny's Song", which Loggins would re-record on the first Loggins & Messina album, before getting Covered Up by Anne Murray.
  • Downplayed with Autopilot Off, an American Punk Rock band. Before their six year-long hiatusnote , they produced two studio albums and four extended plays. Though they continue to make music, their output has been reduced to a handful of individual songs being made available via a free download.
  • Italian singer Kiki Gaida only ever released the single "Isole Vergini" and its English B-side "Virginal Mystery" before vanishing without a trace.
  • One could argue MDFMK was a one-off act, but then again, they were basically KMFDM by a different name. Active when KMFDM had officially broken up (and until KMFDM officially got back together), MDFMK, whose name is simply the same but backwards, only released a self-titled album. The group was founded by ex-KMFDM members Sascha Konietzko and Tim Sköld, with Lucia Cifarelli joining later; all three would stick around when they changed their name back to KMFDM, officially reviving it but ending MDFMK's tenure at the same time.note 
  • Pop Punk group Hog released their lone album, Nothing Sacred on Geffen Records in 1996 - record sales were lower than expected, so they were dropped by their label and broke up not long after. Lead guitarist and vocalist Kirk Miller started going by Leroy Miller, released several blues-rock solo albums, and even was a member of Smash Mouth for a few years.
  • "My Boo" was the only song released by Ghost Town DJ's.
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber and Nigel Wright, for some reason, released under the name Doctor Spin a remix of the Tetris theme as an eurodance song, called "Tetris", and nothing else. Seriously.

    Video Games 
  • The only thing people know for a fact about Kikiyama is that shenote  was the creator of Yume Nikki.
  • From the Doom modding community: Leo Martin Lim, author of the 1994 map Doomsday of UAC which pioneered a number of editing tricks, and Haggay Niv, co-author of the acclaimed Hell Revealed mapset from 1997, never produced anything else for Doom.
  • Hiroaki Yotoriyama created the Soul Series and nothing else. His only other video game credits are special thanks on an handful of Namco games and rigging motion capture on some of the early Tekken game.
  • Katsuhiro Harada, whose one and only body of work is the Tekken series, and a few other minor roles with other Namco games.
  • SkiFree remains the only game created by Chris Pirih.
  • Danny Ledonne has stated that the game Super Columbine Massacre RPG! would be the only game he would ever make.
  • Häus Teknikka produced Frantic Flea for SNES, and nothing else.
  • Thomas Happ has contributed to various AAA games, but Axiom Verge is the only game developed independently by him.
  • Two examples from the Super Mario World modding community:
    • Yuga-XD.MooYUTO created the popular mod Super Mario World Yeah! in 2010, which ended up becoming popular enough to get a raocow playthrough in the same year. However despite the game being well received (in part for its epic final boss and creative level design), it turned out to be the only game Yuga-XD.MooYUTO ever made.
    • Similarly, SMWFreedoMN was posted online by michael nguyen (mewgynewgy) in 2011, receiving a raocow playthrough shortly afterwards. Like with Super Mario Yeah! though, this turned out to be the last ever game by mewgynewgy too, with the whole site going offline just a year or two later.
  • Takeshi's Challenge is the one and only game produced by famous Japanese media personality Takeshi Kitano. Considering the game's own admission that it was made by "Someone who hates video games" and is essentially just Takeshi trolling anyone unlucky enough to buy it, this is probably a good thing.

    Western Animation 
  • Peter Hannan created CatDog and nothing else, serving as the show's writer, producer, and character designer. The only other thing he was involved with was writing an episode of Pound Puppies (2010).
  • The pre-Pixar short The Adventures of Andre & Wally B. is the only film Alvy Ray Smith ever worked on aside from some CGI effects for Cosmos and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Despite being one of the company's prominent players in its formation, he would eventually leave Pixar after a bad squabble with Steve Jobs and now works as a scholarly writer, computer historian, and digital photographer.


    Anime and Manga 
  • Tenchi Muyo!:
    • Jay Hopper voiced Tenchi's father, grandfather, and the GP Grand Marshal. These are his only anime roles.
    • In addition, Mihoshi is the only anime character Ellen Gerstell ever voiced.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Likewise, Sarah Strange was a one-hit-wonder as the title character in Ranma One Half. She did do some other voice roles in other cartoons, and moved on to mainstream live-action work, but that was the only anime she was ever in. She left the show after Season 3 and was replaced with Richard Ian Cox, who has had a lot of anime roles.
    • Angela Costain also had a short-lived voiceover career, with Nabiki Tendo being her only anime role (or major role perios). Her sister, Elena Wotten-Costain filled in during Season 6, and also never did any other voicework.
  • Currently, Kagome from InuYasha: The Final Act is Kira Tozer's only anime role.
    • Same with Pam Hyatt as Lady Kaede... and her replacement for The Final Act, Linda Darlow.
  • While Liza Balkan has done a lot of work on stage, Sailor Mercury (well, the second one) was her only voice role.
    • In addition, Naz Edwards' only voice role is Queen Beryl, but like Liza Balkan, her acting is mostly on the stage. Lots of Sailor Moon voice actors didn't do other anime, simply because the talent pool used mostly does western animation.
  • Rieka Yazawa was the voice of Kon in Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, followed that up with two other minor roles, and then announced that she was leaving the voice acting business to focus on her studies.
  • Mayo Suzukaze has done plenty of work in Japanese theater and television, but has done very little voicework outside of her role as Kenshin Himura.
    • Also in Rurouni Kenshin, in the Brazilian dub, the role of Makoto Shishio is the only known work of Paulo Wolf in anime.note  It's hard to find further information about him on internet, as he had a short voice acting career, but it's known that he died in the early 2000s.
  • The only thing Kendra Benham did was provide the dubbed voice for Maya Ibuki. She would later be replaced by Monica Rial in some future redubbed episodes, along with Amy Seeley for The End of Evangelion and Caitlin Glass for the Rebuild of Evangelion movies.
  • The only role Atori Shigematsu had in anime was voicing Piyomon's evolution line in various Digimon media and replacing the late Yuko Mizutani as Yuko Yagami in Digimon Adventure tri.
  • J-Pop queen Ayumi Hamasaki's only voice acting credit ever was Yuri Sakazaki in the ill-regarded OVA based on Art of Fighting.
  • Michelle Fitzgerald's only voice acting role was Black Maiden/Panther Zora in the dubbed version of New Cutie Honey. She's currently a producer for international TV/Film projects.
  • Actress Lanelle Markgraf's only anime role was Urd in the Ah! My Goddess OVA series.

  • The World of Henry Orient is Merrie Spaeth's only film role.
  • Katharine Cornell was one of the most famous stage actresses of her day, called "the First Lady of the American theater", starring in many major Broadway productions in The '30s, The '40s, and The '50s. She made exactly one film appearance, a cameo in the 1943 all-star revue Stage Door Canteen, in which she performs a short excerpt from Romeo and Juliet.
  • Fernando Ramos da Silva was a young street urchin who starred in the Brazilian crime classic Pixote in 1981. Da Silva, who played the title role, couldn't break out as an actor due to his illiteracy. He later returned to a life of crime before being killed in a shootout with police at the age of 17.
  • Alien: The man inside the alien costume is Bolaji Badejo, a Nigerian art student found by the crew in a bar. He never did anything else and simply returned to a quiet and normal life in Lagos, running an art gallery and raising a family until passing away from sickle cell anemia complications in 1992.
  • Carrie Henn won a Saturn Award for playing Newt in Aliens and retired from acting after being bullied by her schoolmates.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory has roles played by two one-work actors:
    • Child actor Peter Ostrum was offered a lucrative multi-picture film deal after playing Charlie Bucket but found film acting to be too much hard work, and took the option to go to college instead and work as a farm animal veterinarian in upper New York state, which he is to this day. He only returns to the public eye to do local school assemblies on his life and career, or on rare occasions for Wonka-related events (such as the commentary for the 25th anniversary DVD). Thus, this was his only film role.
    • Michael Bollner, who played Augustus Gloop, never acted again after this movie. He was cast because he was a native of Munich, where the movie was shot and where he still lives to this day, and had to be taught his lines phonetically. Like Ostrum, he went to school and became a professional (he runs a tax accounting firm) and has only been seen in Willy Wonka-related material since.
  • The 2005 adaptation of Charlie (and its video game) is to date, Julia Winter's (Veruca Salt) only acting credit. Much like Peter Ostrum, she elected not to continue acting and is now training to be a doctor.
  • Kelly Reno, the star of The Black Stallion, was set to make a good transition into adult acting when he was badly disfigured in a car accident. By the time he was out of recovery, all his offers had dried up and he never got any others.
  • Paperhouse was the only major film role of lead actress Charlotte Burke.
  • Cassie Barasch, who played evil Thelma in Little Sweetheart, never acted again (which is strange for a lead actor). Her only other credit was as a post-production intern for Steve Buscemi's film Trees Lounge.
    • Ellie Raab, the other child actress in the film alongside her, fared only a little better before disappearing.
  • Charmian Carr's first (and largest) acting role was as Liesl von Trapp in the film adaptation of The Sound of Music. She then starred in the one-time television production of Evening Primrose, but left the business to raise her children.
  • 1981's The Legend of the Lone Ranger proved to be not only a Franchise Killer, but also destroyed the career of its star, Klinton Spilsbury, who was making his film debut. He hasn't done another film since.
  • John Adames won the first Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor for the 1980 film Gloria. It was his only acting credit, and by 2004 he became the owner of a pool hall.
  • Although he'd appeared in various commercials (and was the voice of Rolly in the Russian dub of 101 Dalmatians: the series), Russian actor Vladimir Garin died in a diving accident after shooting had completed for his first feature film, The Return (2003)
  • Maria Falconetti was a theatrical actress who had appeared in supporting roles in two short films, but had no feature-length film credits when cast as the lead in The Passion of Joan of Arc. The experience was so traumatic that she quit film work forever, though her performance is widely considered to be one of the greatest of all time.
  • Serbian film The Wounds was Dušan Pekić's first and only film credit. Like the character he plays in the film, he was shot at a young age, most likely due to gang violence, making the film even Harsher in Hindsight.
  • Milos Milos's only significant film role was as the title character in Incubus, the Esperanto language horror film starring William Shatner. Shortly after filming the role, he murdered Barbara Ann Thomason - Mickey Rooney's fourth wife - and committed suicide. His only other credit is a bit part in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming.
  • Mark Pillow, who played Nuclear Man in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace doesn't have any other film credits and only appeared in a few TV series before apparently quitting acting.
  • Eric Freeman, the actor who played Ricky, the Villain Protagonist of the legendary Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, has a few other minor and non-noteworthy credits to his name from around the same time, but this is the one movie where he had a starring role. He disappeared completely after 1992, and no one seen or heard anything about him for over two decades. The most notable thing about his performance was how over the top it was, which makes it unfortunate that he's played by a different actor, Bill Moseley, in the third film, who doesn't even come close to copying Freeman's style (primarily since he only has a couple of lines). The filmmakers were unable to even track him down for the 2003 DVD Commentary. Thanks to the hilarity of Freeman's performance, it's been the Cinema Snob's lifelong ambition to one day find Freeman and pull him out of retirement. He finally made an appearance at a December 2013 screening of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2.
  • The cast of 1776, with few exceptions, were all made up from either the original Broadway cast or other productions. While most of them had or would go on to do work in film or TV, this is the only time Ralston Hill (Charles Thomson) and Charles Rule (Joseph Hewes) are seen on screen.
  • Fhi Fan is a Taiwanese male model whose only acting credit is Shuichi in the Live-Action Adaptation of Junji Ito's Uzumaki.
  • Le Parkour exponents David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli are best known in the cinema world as the guys who starred in Banlieue 13 and its sequel. While they had have many other works as choreographers and minor actors, they have never played a starring role again (except Belle, who precisely starred in the Banlieue 13's American remake Brick Mansions).
  • Toby Radloff's only movie role was in the 1991 Troma horror movie Killer Nerd, but he's appeared As Himself in several forms of media both before and afterward.
  • Pure Country (1992) was the only acting credit ever for Country Music singer George Strait.
  • Gordy (1995) was the only starring role for Country Music singer Doug Stone.
  • Hatty Jones' first and only feature film role to date was the titular character in the 1998 adaptation of Madeline, though she later dabbled into directing and acting in short independent productions.
  • Giorgio Cantarini had the part of the protagonist's young son in two major productions and then only did a few bit parts in small-budgeted Italian movies and TV series. But, since these two productions were Life Is Beautiful and Gladiator, almost everyone knows who he was.
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was the only major acting credit for both Kjell Nilsson (Lord Humungus) and Emil Minty (the Feral Kid), who only landed a couple of bit parts afterwards. The latter one became a jeweller. Similarly, Max's dog "Dog" never appeared again on the big screen.
  • Stephen Dorff's first film acting credit was in the Canadian horror film The Gate, and he went on to became a famous actor. On the other hand, his on-screen partners Christa Denton (who played his older sister) and Louis Tripp (his nerdy metalhead best friend Terry) have this as their first and last major film credit. Denton retired from acting; Tripp reprised Terry's role in the film's sequel, and that's pretty much it.
  • The only acting credit to date for Elvis Presley impersonator Blake Rayne is playing Drexel Hemsley in The Identical.
  • Maureen Elisabeth Shay's only acting credit is in Home Alone 2, where she replaced Angela Goethals as Linnie McCallister.
  • An extreme example is sign-language expert Barbie Reade; her sole acting credit is a single but memorable scene as, yes, a sign-language translator in Airplane II: The Sequel.
  • Italian linguistics professor Carlo Battisti appeared in exactly one movie, when he was 70 years old. It happened to be all-time classic Umberto D, directed by Vittorio De Sica, in which Battisti plays the lead role.
  • Survivor contestant Colleen Haskell's only feature acting role to date was Rianna in the Rob Schneider comedy The Animal.
  • Of the four girls forming the band in Linda Linda Linda, Bae Doona went on to be an international film and TV star, Aki Maeda and Yu Kashii became relatively popular in their home country of Japan, but Shiori Sekine has no other IMDb credits whatsoever. However, she's a bassist in real life too, and still plays with her band to this day.
  • John Reynolds had his sole acting credit as Torgo in "Manos" The Hands of Fate and then committed suicide shortly before the film was released.
  • Selena was Rebecca Lee Mesa's first and only acting role as the 9-year-old version of the title character.
  • Love Field was the only acting role for Stephanie McFadden.
  • This blog post details how Japanese actress Aya Takanashi only appeared as Tom Selleck's love interest in Mr. Baseball. Her only other acting role was in a two-part direct-to-video Japanese film; then, according to the blog's comments, she retired and became the co-owner of a bar.
  • Andy Kaufman only ventured to the big-screen once. The resulting product, the abysmal Heartbeeps, completely tanked. Combined with the miserable time he had filming it, he never tried films again before his death.
  • Subverted with The Shining, which was one of only Danny Lloyd's ventures in acting, his only other movie was a Made-for-TV Movie Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy, he later became a teacher.
  • Most of the actors in the Japanese psychedelic cult classic Hausu only appeared in commercials before (the director also started his career in advertisements) or had no other credits whatsoever, and either had only a few bit parts or never acted again after it. Being amateurs added to the surreal quality of the film.
  • Outside of a few guest appearances on television shows and independent films, Tami Erin's only starring role was the titular character in The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.
  • Carrie Lorraine's only major film role is little Judy in Dolls, not counting a bit part in Poltergeist II: The Other Side before. She's now a lawyer.
  • Former child actress Miranda Paige Walls voiced Lilo's rival Mertle Edmonds in Lilo & Stitch,note  but decided not to further pursue acting after that, making the Disney movie her only role. Liliana Mumy would take over the role of Mertle for the rest of the franchise.
  • Jimmy Workman has Pugsley Addams from The Addams Family as his only major acting role. He was about to quit acting several times, with only a few bit parts in the meantime, before retiring for good. The role of Pugsley seems to "doom" its performers; see also the Live-Action TV entry for The Addams Family below.
  • Mouchette is Nadine Nortier's only film role.
  • This was the case for sisters Mimi and Meghan Broadhead, who played Ren McCormick's cousins in the 1984 version of Footloose, reportely due to constant attention and bullying from classmates.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Most members of The Addams Family are remembered mostly for those (admittedly iconic) roles. But Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley) is the most fitting example of this trope: before the series he only had a small part in one episode of a Western tv series, then he was typecast as Pugsley well into his teens until he quit acting and became a movie grip and studio builder.
    • The actors who played the children in The New Addams Family didn't fare much better. Brody Smith (Pugsley) had a small list of credits, but Nicole Fugere is credited pretty much only for Wednesday on her IMDb bio.
  • Most of the cast of Almost Live! hasn't acted in anything since, especially Darrell Suto (Billy Quan), who was just one of the show's cameramen.
  • Doctor Who: "Fear Her" is the only acting credit for Abisola Agbaje, who played Creepy Child Chloe Webber.
  • Because Power Rangers casts mostly young, up-and-coming actors, there is usually one of these in each series for one reason or another.
  • The Television Ghost is the only thing its star George Kelting even appeared in.
  • In the TV adaptation of The Tripods, Ceri Seel was cast as Beanpole (Jean-Paul Deliet). He has appeared in no other shows before or since.
    • He did also play William Bagthorpe in the BBC's addaptation of Helen Cresswell's "The Bagthorpe Saga" in 1981.

    Video Games 
  • Yoshiki Kurin has only one role in her voice actor credits: Yumi Saotome, one of the main heroines of the wildly successful (in Japan) Dating Sim Tokimeki Memorial. She now works as a fashion designer.
  • Kanako Okada, the odd-woman-out of the All-Star Cast of Mitsumete Knight (a Spiritual Successor of Tokimeki Memorial), has voiced Hanna Shawski, one of the main heroines of that franchise, and no other role afterwards.
  • Many of the Japanese VAs of the Kingdom Hearts series (especially, those from the Japanese Disney dubs) have never worked in other works (anime, games and otherwise) besides those games or they only did foreign dubs but not Anime or anything locally created: some of the more egregious examples are Riko Hanamura (Japanese VA for Nala) who only does foreign dubs, but not anime or Japanese games. Takashi Aoyagi (Mickey Mouse), Risa Uchida (Kairi), Iku Nakahara (Namine) and Mayumi Suzuki (Mulan) are practicaly typecasted as those characters, and in the case of Ms. Suzuki, she is typecasted as the eternal Japanese voice of Disney heroines, and nothing else.
  • Back in The '90s, Sierra was one of the first studios to experiment with adding voice acting to games. As they didn't have the budget for professional actors (nor were games treated as a serious medium at that point), they roped in many of their programmers and staff as pinch-hit voice talent. Some of them were pretty amateurish, but writer/designer Josh Mandel became known as the definite voice for King Graham.
  • John Chacon voiced Gabe in the first three Syphon Filter games...and by all accounts, hasn't done anything since.
  • Lora Cain voiced Trudy, Red Lucy, and a few background characters in Fallout: New Vegas, but did not do any other video games. Bizarrely, her only other credit of note was filling in as announcer on Wheel of Fortune for two weeks in 2011.
  • Peter Cormican is only known as the voice of Erazor Djinn in Sonic and the Secret Rings and has done barely any voice acting since, only appearing in some live-action work afterwards.
  • The English localization of Final Fantasy XII utilized actors whose primary experience is in theatre for the main cast; as such, their performance in the game is often their sole credit.

    Web Animation 
  • Happy Tree Friends remains the only acting credit for everyone on the show, as they were mainly animators or crew members.

    Western Animation 
  • Thom Huge voiced Jon Arbuckle in all animated adaptations of Garfield from Garfield on the Town (the second animated special) onward through the end of Garfield and Friends, where he also voiced Roy the rooster and various other characters. To this day, those are his only credits in any medium, likely because Huge was Jim Davis' associate at Paws Inc. who got roped into the role.
  • Dee Dee from Dexter's Laboratory is the only voice role for Allison Moore, who was a college friend of series creator, Genndy Tartakovsky. She only voiced the character in the first season, but briefly came back several seasons later when her replacement Kathryn Cressida (who has done some other voice work) was unavailable.
  • Several actors from Daria have never done other acting, due to actually being people working behind the scenes who got roped into voice-acting, as opposed to professional voice-actors. For instance, Tracy Grandstaff, who voiced the main character on Daria as well as on Beavis And Butthead, was a writer for various MTV programs.
  • Michael Wallis' only voice acting role (or acting credit of any kind for that matter) is as the Sheriff of Radiator Springs in Cars, its sequel and other spinoff media. Wallis is a renowned journalist and historian who was cast for the role because of his expertise on the film's primary settings: The American Southwest and Route 66, which he has written several books about.
  • Aside from a handful of brief cameos on a couple television shows, Sarah Vowell's only acting role is as Violet in The Incredibles. Like Wallis, she's better known a writer and essayist (most famous for her appearances on This American Life) instead of a professional actor.
  • Stage actor Larry Roberts' only feature film role was as the voice of the Tramp in Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp. Shortly after the film's release in 1955, he retired from show business altogether and became a fashion designer.
  • Jim Jordan was a famous vaudeville actor who had done a few short films in the 1940s as his stage character Fibber McGee, but his sole feature film credit was as the voice of Orville the albatross in Disney's 1977 film The Rescuers. Like Roberts he retired after the film was released, though in his case due to old age rather than a change in profession.
  • Most of the voice actors on KaBlam! haven't done any acting/voice acting since the show ended, save for a few cameos in other shows or minor voice acting roles (June's voice actress, Julia McIlvaine was in a few episodes of MAD). Some of the few voice actors still doing work after the show are Danielle Judovits, who voiced Loopy, and Ashley Tisdale (Credited as "Ashley Michelle"), who voiced Jetcat.
  • Mary Gibbs' only VA role was the voice of Boo AKA Mary the 2001 Pixar film Monsters, Inc. before retreating from show business in favor of a normal childhood. note 
  • Similar to the case of Daria, some of the actors behind Superjail! were friends of the staff or the staff members themselves. Most notably, Teddy Cohn (voice of Jared) was hired due to being a friend of Stephen Warbrick, and otherwise had never done voice acting before. David Wain, Dana Snyder, and Chris McCulloch, however, are more known outside of the show for their other roles in animation and acting. Christy Karacas and Stephen Warbrick have never acted outside of the series, and Sally Donovan (voice of most female characters) was an otherwise obscure actress who had voiced in MTV interstitials and shorts before being cast. Alice's initial voice actress was even an old college acquaintance of Karacas' who was roped in to do the role, until the Adult Swim executives ordered the role recast.
  • Minty Lewis' only voice-acting role for a full series has been Eileen on Regular Show. She's one of the show's staff—originally a storyboard editor, then a full storyboard artist—and her one other voice role was for her own pilot, Bottom's Butte.
  • MGM Animation's 2000 Funny Animal-based adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, titled just Tom Sawyer, cast several Country Music singers in their only voice-acting roles to date: Rhett Akins, Mark Wills, Lee Ann Womack, Alecia Elliott, Hank Williams, Jr., Waylon Jennings, and Marty Stuart.
  • Samuel E. Wright, best known as the voice of Sebastian the crab has very few other credits on his IMDb profile, like Kron from Disney's Dinosaur or Dizzy Gillespie in Clint Eastwood's Bird.
    Samuel E. Wright: I'm not a voiceover actor. I do Sebastian because Sebastian is a part of me. But I can't sit there and do a voice for you. I can't just come up with like Jiminy Cricket, or something. So, I don't think in terms of them hiring me again for another thing, because my voice is so iconically Sebastian now.
  • Nicky Jones' only noteworthy voice-acting role was the title character of Chowder.
  • The only thing Johnny Hardwick has really done was the voice for Dale Gribble in King of the Hill, and hasn't done anything after the show ended in 2010. He was mainly the show's co-writer, story editor, and episode producer.
  • Harriet Owen's only major acting role was Jane in the Disney theatrical sequel Return to Never Land. She then left acting to become a teacher of Religious Education at the Royal Grammar School in Guildford, Surrey.
  • Tyler Mullen has only two known credits: Mowgli in the VHS scenes of Jungle Cubs, and an unknown character in the Pixar compilation "Tiny Toy Stories". He isn't even on the IMDb.
  • Matthew Herried's only acting role was the voice of Pudge the Penguin in Cats Don't Dance.
  • Daniel Studi note 's only major acting role to date—fiesty Lakota native Little Creek in DreamWorks' Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
  • Outside of a few commercials as a child, Christopher Stephen Welch's only acting role was voicing Tails on Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. He retired from acting at the age of 13 and now works as a sales representative for a food distributor in Vancouver, and later got confused with Christopher Evan Welch when he died.
  • Steven Universe has a largely Amateur Cast, several of which haven't done any other voice work:
    • Shelby Rabara, the voice of Peridot, has had a few minor on-camera roles, but she works primarily as a dancer, and Peridot remains her only voice over role to date.
    • Estelle, apart from a fictionalized version of herself in an episode of We Bare Bears, has only voiced Garnet. She works primarily as a singer and, while not really a "mainstream star", has a cult following that included members of the show's production crew (specifically its composers), which is partially how she get the role in the first place.
    • Eugene Cordero works primarily as a writer and actor in various comedy productions. As such, Jaime is his only voice over role.
    • Joel Hodgson, the voice of Mayor Bill Dewey, has had no other voice roles. He works primarily as a comedian, an actor in several live action productions, and is best remembered as the creator and first host of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
    • Kathy Fisher voiced Fluorite and only Fluorite, and mainly works as a singer-songwriter.
    • Storyboard artist Lamar Abrams voiced Buck Dewey, as well as several other minor roles throughout the show, and that's all he's done as an actor
  • Animation director Adrien Beard's only notable acting role is voicing Token Black on South Park.
  • Susanne Pollatschek's only credit was as Olivia in The Great Mouse Detective. After completing her studies in Scotland, she moved to Switzerland.

Hosts and announcers

    Live-Action TV 
  • Wheel of Fortune has many examples:
    • Host-hostess tandem Pat Sajak and Vanna White, who took over from Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford in 1981 and 1982, respectively, originally met this trope: Pat was a former DJ and weatherman (although he hosted at least one unsold pilot before Wheel), and Vanna's only other TV "role" was as a contestant on The Price Is Right in 1980. However, their fame in these capacities led to other roles that now make them aversions.
    • Former San Diego Chargers place kicker Rolf Benirschke hosted the daytime version from January 10 to June 30, 1989. This was his only TV role.
    • The only TV role for Cynthia Washington (ex-wife of San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Gene Washington) was filling in for an injured Stafford for just over a week.
    • Tricia Gist (now-wife of Wheel creator Merv Griffin's son Tony) filled in for Vanna for a few weeks in 1991, thus giving Gist her only TV role to date.
  • Again contingent on whether or not "contestant" counts as a role, the only on-camera role for Mike Reilly was hosting the short-lived 1990 game show adaptation of Monopoly. Series creator Merv Griffin chose Reilly after he was a Jeopardy! contestant.
  • Yet another game show example: Paola Diva, the original Lovely Assistant on Concentration. And another still in Marjorie Goodson-Cutt on the 1980s-1990s revival, Classic Concentration. The latter was producer Mark Goodson's daughter.
  • Many people have been prolific in other fields, but only hosted a game show once (well, games that made it to air, anyway). Among them are:
    • Kevin O'Connell (a weatherman whose only hosting gig was Go, as well as the Keynotes and Money in the Blank pilots)
    • Henry Polic II (aka Jerry Silver on Webster; only hosting gig was Double Talk, plus the Eye Q pilot). Polic also had his only gig as an announcer when he filled in for Johnny Gilbert on a few episodes of The $100,000 Pyramid during John Davidson's tenure as host.
    • Chuck Henry (an LA news anchor whose only hosting gig was the 1989 revival of Now You See It, although he previously hosted an unsold pilot for Beat the Odds in 1975)
    • Laurie Faso (a voice actor and occasional live-action actor as well; only hosting gig was I'm Telling!)
    • Nick Clooney (George Clooney's father) (a long career as a broadcaster; only hosting gig was The Money Maze)
  • Win, Lose or Draw:
    • The versions between 1987 and 1992 had a combined four hosts: Bert Convy (1987-89, syndication), Robb Weller (1989-90, syndication), Vicki Lawrence (NBC), and Marc Price (Teen Win, Lose or Draw on Disney Channel, 1989-92). Among these four people, Convy is the only one of the four to have helmed any other game shows (most notably, Tattletales and Super Password). Lawrence was best known for her roles on The Carol Burnett Show and Mama's Family and was a panelist on several other game shows, but Win, Lose or Draw remains her only hosting gig to date (she also hosted two pilots for Mark Goodson and ABC called Body Talk in 1990). Weller's only other major role was a short gig as host on Entertainment Tonight (he hosted the 1986 pilot of Blackout, the failed 1990 pilot of Split Second and the 1993 pilot of Hollywood Teasers, a revision of All-Star Blitz), and Price's only other notable role was Irwin "Skippy" Handelman on Family Ties.
    • The Disney Channel version, Teen Win, Lose or Draw, had a few different Mouseketeers from The Mickey Mouse Club announce, none of whom did any other announcing work (or in the case of Brandy Brown, much of anything at all). The exception was Mark L. Walberg, who was not a Mouseketeer, and who had experience in both announcing and hosting game shows for many years afterward (and, since 2006, of Antiques Roadshow).
  • "Gorgeous George" Davidson, the Subverted Lovely Assistant on GSN's WinTuition, has no other credits.
  • And speaking of early-2000s original programming on GSN, the supporting cast of Lovely Assistants on Cram (Berglind Icey [as just "Icey"], Andrea Hutchman [Miss Pickwick], and Arturo Gil [Dr. Damnearkilter]) have no other significant roles.
  • The only television role for Tony Pigg is as The Announcer of Live with (Regis and Kathie Lee/Regis and Kelly/Kelly and Michael/Kelly and Ryan) since its beginning.
  • The only announcing role for deejay Mark Driscoll was on the first few weeks for the 1989 revival of Now You See It.
  • The game show The Cross Wits has two examples. The 1975-80 version was the only television role for Lovely Assistant Jerri Fiala; one week of episodes had her serve as a celebrity partner, while Kitty Hilton (then-wife of game show announcer Bob Hilton) got her only TV role taking Jerri's usual spot. The 1986 revival was also the only television role for announcer Michelle Roth.


    Anime and Manga 
  • Enigma Entertainment, the Spanish company which dubbed xxxHOLiC in what is considered one of the best anime dubs in Spain, literally disappeared after doing just one more work with Ultimate Muscle. Almost none of its voice actors have had a role in dubbing again, and even their whereabouts are currently unknown.
  • Patlabor is the only work by the artist collective Headgear, although Headgear's individual members have done various succesful works before and after Patlabor.

  • Tailor Made Productions, a production company run by Dan Lautner (Taylor's father). Setting out to make him into an action star thanks to the financial success of the Twilight films, Dan chose to start a series of action movie vehicles for his son, with the first and last film made by the company being 2011's Abduction, which was both a critical and financial flop.

    Video Games 
  • L.A. Noire was the first and last work of Team Bondi, whose Troubled Production ultimately bankrupted the company.
  • Four Leaf Studio, the group of people behind Katawa Shoujo, was created specifically just for this one game and will not be making any other projects. It was a collaborative effort by people from all over the world (many of whom were long gone when the final product was released) and it was 5 years in the making.
  • Metal Arms: Glitch in the System was the first and last released game from developer Swingin' Ape. Their next game was to have been StarCraft: Ghost; Blizzard even acquired the studio before disbanding it and canceling the game.
  • The Electronic Arts-published combat driving game Auto Destruct was the only title developed by Neurostone.
  • Studio Archcraft developed the 2009 Nintendo DS RPG Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled, and quietly disappeared afterward.
  • Gau Entertainment only ever made Ranger X for Genesis in 1993.
  • HappySoft Ltd., whose only known employee is Japanese journalist Yoshihisa "Kowloon" Kurosawa, only made one game, Hong Kong '97, before vanishing into thin air. According to a 2018 interview from the South China Morning Post, Kurosawa intended to create the worst game ever, and hoped that people would just forget about it.
  • Limbo of the Lost was the only game by British developer Majestic Studios, which spent 13 years in Development Hell and shows, and was pulled from stores for copious stolen assets. This is despite The Stinger showing that the developers intended to make a sequel titled Limbo of the Lost II: Flight to Freedom.
  • The only game developed by the Squaresoft subsidiary Escape was Driving Emotion Type-S.
  • Digital Tome only made one game, Siege of Avalon, before disbanding.
  • Amiga run 'n' gun Ruff 'n' Tumble is the only game ever developed by Wunderkind.
  • Amiga platformer Yo! Joe! Beat the Ghosts is the only game ever developed by Scipio.
  • Amiga beat 'em up Motörhead, based on the eponymous group, is the only game ever developed by Kaitsu Software.
  • Apogee's team Developers of Incredible Power who created the original Rise of the Triad in 1994-1995. The team disbanded while working on their second game, Prey (2006), which was eventually outsourced to another company.
  • Amstar Electronics (Phoenix, 1980)
  • 38 Studios (created by baseball star Curt Schilling) only released one game, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, before going down in a blaze of loan default to the state of Rhode Island.
  • Dark Energy Digital only managed to create two games before going bust: Hydrophobia and the Updated Re-release Hydrophobia Prophecy.
  • JAM Productions (Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, 1993).
  • Nintendo subsidiary Project Sora only made one game: Kid Icarus: Uprising, which was quite popular and a Killer App for the Nintendo 3DS. Afterwards, they were absorbed back into their parent company, Sora Ltd.
  • Rock-Ola (Nibbler, 1981)
  • Crack Dot Com (Abuse, 1996)
  • Parker Brothers (yes, THAT Parker Brothers) made plenty different games, which were usually good, but the only video game they made that was not an arcade/Computer port or a licensed game was Montezuma's Revenge.
  • Secret of Evermore was the only game developed by Square USA.
  • Steel Reign was the only game by Chantemar Creations. Shortly after its release, most of the company's staff joined Everquest developer Verant Interactive.
  • Bit Blot (Aquaria, 2007)
  • Recoil Games's only release was Rochard (2011), a critical success but a financial failure. They began development on a sequel, but never finished it due to lack of funding, and eventually folded completely.
  • Sanctuary Software (Backlash, 1994)
  • Clockwork Tortoise, Inc. (The Adventures of Batman & Robin for Genesis and Sega CD, 1995)
  • Gaslamp Games might count since, outside Dungeons Of Dredmor and all its re-releases and DLC, they only released the unfinished Clockwork Empires. After two years on Steam's Early Access, the game was sold in late 2016 at full price but in an incomplete, broken and messy state. Then the devs went silent since December 2016 and the company more or less imploded (see also: Creator Killer).
  • Sandblast Games was founded in 2002 and closed in 2008. In its six year lifetime, its only production was Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon. Its poor reception and low sales likely resulted in Sandblast's demise.
  • Neorex (Cosmic Race, 1995)
  • Whoopee Camp only developed Tomba!, and its sequel, Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return, before shutting down due to their poor sales.
  • Rebel Act Studios (Severance: Blade of Darkness, 2001)
  • Clockwork Games (Vanishing Point, 2000, published by Acclaim)
  • SuperBot Entertainment (formerly known as Broodwork, Inc.) was an American studio founded by Sony in 2009 to make exclusive games for their consoles. They made Play Station All Stars Battle Royale in 2012 and, despite the positive critical reception, Sony cut ties with them since they felt the game's sales were "inadequate". They tried to pitch other projects, but couldn't find a publisher, so they had to disband in 2013.
  • Topheavy Studios's only release was The Guy Game, an FMV quiz game where the player's goal is to answer enough questions in order to make a drunken, unaware young women in bikinis strip fully naked. While already infamous at the time for taking advantage of intoxicated, random women on Spring Break, the game itself would end up being banned from North America retail because one of the girls stripping naked was only 17-years-old. This, combined with the game's poor sales (being released around the same time as Doom 3 didn't help), caused Topheavy Studios to close its doors.
  • Ultra Ultra, a studio started by former IO Interactive employees, were only able to release ECHO before shutting down a year later.

    Western Animation 

Authors of non-fiction

  • Edmund Gettier was a philosopher looking for tenure at Wayne State University. To help with this he was encouraged to publish any ideas he had. He published a 3-page paper called Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? which completely changed epistemology (the study of knowledge) by showing that apparently, no it wasn't, contrary to everything since Plato. He never touched epistemology again, and in fact has published nothing else.

  • While Bernhard Riemann published many papers, he only published one single paper on number theory. It is considered one of the most important and influential papers ever published on that field.

Fictional Examples

    Comic Books 
  • In JSA: The Golden Age, Jonathan Law (Tarantula) had only one book to his name that he wrote and published, Behind The Mask, after which he was unable to come up with anything else. Libby Lawrence's mentioning him being a "one-book, one-hit wonder" ended up being what broke up their relationship with each other. During the battle with Dynaman near the end of the story, Tarantula dies thinking that this battle would have made for a great book to write.

  • The premise of Finding Forrester involves Forrester being a One Book Author. In the end, he writes a second book.
  • Ditto for the plot of Wonder Boys.
  • The end of the film Croupier has the protagonist, a novelist and casino dealer, having completed and published his Roman à Clef, realize that it is probably better for him to quit while he's ahead and not write another novel.
  • Stone Reader is a documentary following a dedicated reader who tracks down an obscure but brilliant One Book Author and helps get his book republished.
  • The plot for the indie movie The Kiss is even more restrictive: The protagonist finds the author's one book in manuscript form without an ending. She seeks him out to persuade him to become a One Book Author.

  • In the Teenage Worrier series, Letty's father is the author of a widely acclaimed novel called "Moving On", but since his daughter's birth it has taken him almost sixteen years to finish his next work (and, it is implied, he probably never will.)
  • The Teenage Worrier example is similar to the father in I Capture the Castle, but at the end, we learn the father in that book has begun creating another work.
  • Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun: the author of the titular book apparently has no interest in writing another as he makes more money as a scientist.
  • Toni L.P. Kelner's series Where Are They Now? follows journalist Tilda Harper, who specializes in hunting down former stars - most of whom only ever did one real work (or at most minor guest star roles) and then left the business. The very first book, Curse of the Kissing Cousins, involves her work in tracking down the cast of an in-universe series, Kissing Cousins; at least three of the actors fall under this trope, including one who left the business to run a motorcycle shop until he died in an accident, one who tried to continue her career but eventually gave up and went into real estate, and Mercy Ashford, who was cast in a single film role after the show ended but left the set after about a week's work one day and disappeared. It turns out she was attacked and beaten by an abusive ex-boyfriend with connections and an If I Can't Have You... attitude, and afterward went into hiding because she knew he wouldn't give up on her; even after his arrest, she chooses to stay out of the public eye.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: One possible future for Jake Sisko has him write Anslem as his sole novel. (He also writes an anthology of short stories, though that is his only other literary work). In fact, the way we find out about this is exactly as given in the example at top.
  • Frasier: An author whose only work (that he hates to talk about) was a landmark success befriends Martin. Niles and Frasier discover a manuscript for his planned second novel. When the author catches them reading it, he asks for their opinion. However, while praising it, they unintentionally make him realise he ripped off Dante's The Divine Comedy and throws the manuscript into the fire.

    Video Games 
  • In Fable I there's a weapon called The Dollmaker's Mace which is apparently the only time they ever made a weapon. It's a pretty damn good one too, with high speed and a satisfying damage rating.

Alternative Title(s): One Work Wonder


Example of: