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Second Episode Introduction

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"Oh, please. If there were new guys, they'd have shown up in the season premiere."

The series Pilot has to do a lot of things. It has to establish the main character, set up the central conflict, and convince the network execs to okay the series. Usually, you can introduce all of the main characters in this process.

Occasionally, though, a secondary character can't quite get shoehorned into the introductory story and just doesn't exist in the pilot. Alternately, sometimes the networks execs approve the show, but decide that it needs a few extra characters, so the creators introduce these characters in the next episode. Sometimes, cast members show up for a Pilot Movie but don't agree to come back for the series.

Any of these qualify as the Second Episode Introduction. The key characteristic is that whoever is being introduced must show no signs of existence in the pilot, and must be a regular cast member from that point onwards.

A character who is introduced in the second episode as a replacement for a very similar character who appears only in the pilot is a Second Episode Substitute. For a series that introduces multiple regular characters over its first few episodes, see Debut Queue. A character introduced in a sequel movie, or after season one of a series, is an Iconic Sequel Character.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Orihime Inoue, one of the main characters of Bleach and Ichigo's love interest, is introduced in the second episode.
  • L in the Death Note anime, as the first episode ends with Light first deciding to become Kira. In the manga, he briefly appears in the final panel of Chapter 1 before being properly introduced in the next chapter.
  • Di Gi Charat:
  • Fairy Tail: Gray Fullbuster isn't introduced until both the second chapter and the second episode. It also is notable in introducing many of the semi-major characters like Cana, Mira, and Makarov since that is when Natsu brings Lucy to the titular guild. Erza Scarlet, meanwhile, doesn't appear proper until chapter 10.
  • The second episode of Fighting Foodons introduces Pie Tin to the main cast.
  • All but one of the main protagonists in Ga-Rei -Zero- are introduced in the second episode. The first episode is filled with decoy protagonists.
  • Rui plays a very important role in Gatchaman Crowds, being the one responsible for both materializing and directing the titular CROWDS that appear in the story. He also gets heavily involved in the conflict due to the antagonist's interest in manipulating him for his own goals. Despite all of this, he doesn't get officially introduced until the end of episode 2 at which point he starts getting regular screen time afterward.
  • In the 1968 series of GeGeGe no Kitarō, Nezumi Otoko doesn't appear until the second episode.
  • In Girls und Panzer, while three of the five main characters- Miho, Saori and Hana- are introduced in the first episode, Yukari and Mako are only properly introduced in the second, although Yukari makes a brief cameo in the first.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: All major characters other than Onizuka are introduced after the first episode. Fellow teachers Fuyutsuki, Uchiyamada, and Mrs. Sakurai are all introduced in the second episode. Major student characters Kikuchi, Noboru, Anko, Kunio, and Miyabi are all introduced in Episode 3.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Fighter G Gundam, after introducing its main protagonist in the first episode, introduces the rest of what eventually becomes the core group of five heroes over the course of the next four episodes.
    • The second episode of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing introduces Catherine Bloom, the Cool Big Sis figure to one of the protagonists.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam waits until its second episode to introduce Sayla Mass, Kai Shiden, Mirai Yashima, and Ryu Jose.
    • The second episode of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn properly introduces both Riddhe Marcenas after his mobile suit appears late into the first episode as well as Angelo Sauper, The Dragon to main antagonist Full Frontal.
  • The second episode of Hajime no Ippo introduces Genji Kamogawa (the titular hero's mentor and owner of the gym he trains at), Ichiro Miyata (The Rival), and the latter's unnamed father.
  • In Hamtaro, Dexter, Howdy, Pashmina and Penelope are introduced in the second episode.
  • THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls focuses on two characters in the first episode, out of a main cast of fourteen. The rest of them are properly introduced in the following episode.
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure has a tendency to do this over its many parts.
    • R.E.O. Speedwagon makes his debut in the second episode of Phantom Blood, "A Letter From The Past."
    • Noriaki Kakyoin is introduced in the second episode of Stardust Crusaders, "Who Will Be The Judge!?" alongside recurring villain Enya the Hag.
    • Zigzagged in Stone Ocean. The second episode introduces Gwess, who one might think is an example of the Jojos' tendency to befriend the first villain they defeat, but aside from a few minor appearances she's quickly forgotten after her fight. This episode does mark the proper debut of Jolyne's Stand, Stone Free.
  • The second episode of Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama introduces Melorin, who is the first Cocotama aside from Luckytama to appear in the series.
  • The second episode of Kira Kira Happy Hirake Cocotama introduces Pillow, who is the first Cocotama aside from Ribbon to appear in that series.
  • In Le Chevalier d'Eon, two of the main characters don't appear until the second episode.
  • Pepper and Salt were introduced in the second episode of A Little Snow Fairy Sugar, showing us that there are other apprentice season fairies.
  • Kanna is properly introduced in episode two of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, though she did have a small cameo in the first episode. In the manga, she doesn't show up until chapter 6.
  • In Naruto, the eponymous character is introduced in the first chapter/episode, but the other members of his team aren't officially shown until the third chapter of the manga, although Sasuke has a noticeable cameo in the first chapter. In the anime, however, all nine of Naruto's classmates who go on to become Genin show up in the first episode.
  • Ojarumaru: Ojarumaru's modern-day friend Kazuma Tamura is introduced in Series 1 episode 2.
  • In A Place Further than the Universe, while Kimari and Shirase are introduced in the first episode, Hinata is introduced in the second, and Yuzuki is briefly shown following the other three back at the end.
  • The first episode of Pokémon: The Original Series had Ash, Pikachu, and Misty, but Team Rocket didn't show up until the second. (Brock, who outlasted Misty's presence in the anime by several seasons, doesn't appear until the fifth episode.)
  • Justified in Sabagebu!, where Sakura's defining character trait is clumsiness so extreme that it frequently results in her missing school. It takes a few days for her and Momoka to actually meet for the first time.
  • The second episode of Slam Dunk introduces Takenori Akagi, Kiminobu Kogure and the rest of the Shohoku Basketball team. Akagi and Kogure are respectively The Team's captain and vice captain.
  • As the main focus of the first chapter and episode of Spy X Family involves Twilight getting Operation Strix up and running by adopting Anya and preparing her for the written portion of Eden Academy's enrollment exam, the third member of the Forger "family", Yor, isn't introduced until the following chapter/episode, when Twilight discovers that both parents are required to attend the interview portion of the exam and needs to find someone to play the role of his wife.
  • Because Squid Girl's episodes are divided into Three Shorts, who qualifies for this depends on how you look at it. The spirit may be exemplified by Takeru, the younger brother of the Aizawa sisters, introduced in "Aren't We Brothers-in-Arms?", the second part of the first episode. Characters introduced in the literal second episode: Goro the Life Saver, in "Aren't We Squids of a Feather?" and Sanae, in "Want to Swim Out and Play?"
  • In Strawberry Marshmallow, Ana's second volume introduction becomes this in the anime adaptation, thus adding her to a couple of stories she wasn't originally in: the first one with the kitty hat, and the Beach Episode.
  • Asuna in the anime adaptation of Sword Art Online. Technically we see her in the first episode when all the players were rounded up, but she didn't actually say anything.
  • In Tenchi Muyo!, the first episode introduces Tenchi, his grandfather and Ryoko. Ayeka and Sasame don't get introduced until the second episode. Either subverted or exaggerated depending on your viewpoint, when Mihoshi is introduced in episode 4 and Washu fills out Tenchi's harem in episode 6.
  • You and Me: Misaki is introduced in the second chapter.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man's J. Jonah Jameson is somewhat of an example: Although his first appearance is in the first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, this is actually the second ever Spider-Man story due to the first being in Amazing Fantasy #15.
  • April O'Neil did not appear until the second issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: The first issue introduces most of the supporting cast, except Skids, who doesn't show up until issue 2 (he was going to appear in issue 1, but there wasn't enough room).

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 
  • Toy Story: Jessie and Bullseye are introduced in the second movie and become mainstays of the franchise, with Jessie becoming the third in the Power Trio with lead characters Woody and Buzz.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the second installment of the DC Extended Universe, introduces Batman, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, and Alfred Pennyworth, plus Early Bird Cameos from The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg (all via videos), Steve Trevor (via photo), and Steppenwolf (in a Deleted Scene).
  • Roman Pierce and Tej Parker aren't introduced in The Fast and the Furious film franchise until the second film.
  • Charles Robinson has been present in all the James Bond films during the Pierce Brosnan era except Brosnan's debut. He's eventually struck with Chuck Cunningham Syndrome once Daniel Craig takes over.
  • Leo Barnes does not appear in The Purge, making his first appearance in the sequel film and becoming The Hero of the film franchise afterwards.
  • Sweet shop owner Louie Dumbrowski makes his debut in the second Bowery Boys movie, In Fast Company (actor Bernard Gorcey did appear in a small part in the first Bowery Boys movie Live Wires).
  • Star Wars:
    • Neither Yoda nor the Emperor appear in A New Hope (although the latter is mentioned in the opening briefing regarding the Death Star), making their first appearances in The Empire Strikes Back.
    • In the Original Trilogy, the Power Trio of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia was established in A New Hope. Then The Empire Strikes Back introduced Lando Calrissian as something of a fourth member of the trio, who continued to be an important supporting role in Return of the Jedi.
    • In the Sequel Trilogy, there is no strongly-defined trio, but heroes Rey and Finn, Resistance hero Poe Dameron, and villain Kylo Ren are all established as the main new characters that will carry the trilogy. Then The Last Jedi introduces Resistance grunt worker Rose Tico and propels her to the role of another major protagonist for the duration of the film.
  • Dumbledore who's going to be the one who takes down Grindlewald, the Big Bad of the Fantastic Beasts series, doesn't show up until the second film in the series, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Although he's the reason Newt is in New York in the first one.

  • Master Geppetto is introduced in the second chapter of The Adventures of Pinocchio to take the log of wood and convert it into Pinocchio.
  • The Bad Guys:
    • Legs, the fifth member of the team, and Dr. Marmalade, the Big Bad of the series, aren't introduced until "The Bad Guys in Mission Unpluckable", the second book of the series.
    • Agent Fox, along with the entire concept of the International League of Heroes, isn't introduced until "The Furball Strikes Back", the third book in the series.
  • Chrono Hustle: The first story only introduced one main character, Jack Masterson. In the second, Melinda Summers was introduced, along with the organization she works for, the TRD.
  • In the Franny K. Stein book series, Franny's dog Igor made his debut in the second book Attack of the 50-Ft. Cupid.
  • Cindy Mackey in Spooksville is introduced in the second book and is part of the group from that point onward.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine was introduced in the second book of The Railway Series.
  • Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note: Second Scene Introduction to be exact. Most of the cast has been introduced in the first chapter when they Crash-Into Hello, but Kozuka is only introduced at the Special Class classroom.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All Creatures Great And Small: Both the 1978 and 2020 TV adaptations leave it until the second episode to introduce Tristan Farnon, the third member of the veterinary Power Trio.
  • The second episode of the very first Cycle of America's Next Top Model introduces Breakout Character J. Alexander aka "Ms. J".
  • Angel: the second episode "Lonely Hearts" introduces police officer Kate Locksley. While she isn't a member of the main cast, she heavily reccurs in the first two seasons until her actress Elisabeth Röhm left the show for Law & Order.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Arrow:
      • The second episode of the series introduces recurring villain China White and The Hero's very first mentor Yao Fei.
      • Recurring villain Bronze Tiger does not appear until the second episode of the second season.
      • Recurring villain Anarky does not appear until the second episode of the fourth season.
    • The Flash (2014):
      • Harrison "Harry" Wells and Patty Spivot do not appear until the second episode of the second season.
      • Julian Albert is introduced in the second episode of the third season. Justified, because it's a result of Barry trying the fix the timeline.
    • In Supergirl (2015), recurring frenemy Maxwell Lord does not appear until the second episode of the series.
  • Better Call Saul:
    • Nacho Varga was first introduced in the second episode of season 1.
    • While Kim Wexler makes a brief appearance in the season 1 pilot, and a brief cameo in the second episode, she's not given a proper introduction until the third episode.
  • Dylan McKay is conspicuous by his absence in the pilot for Beverly Hills, 90210 (yes, the title had a comma in the pilot's opening credits), showing up from episode 2.
  • In Blake's 7, Avon appears in the second episode, along with Gan.
  • Breaking Bad's fifth season introduces Lydia in the second episode.
  • On Community, Señor Chang does not appear until the second episode. Additionally, Prof. Buzz Hickey and Elroy Patashnik are only introduced in the second episodes of their respective seasons as guest regulars.
  • JJ of Criminal Minds, who is later shown to be an integral part of the team, isn't present or even mentioned in the first episode.
  • On CSI, core character Sara Sidle isn't introduced until the second episode, after Naïve Newcomer Holly Gribbs, used as a way to facilitate everyone's backstory, is shot (and eventually dies) at the end of the first episode. This leads Grissom to reach out to Sara, who he met while she was on a university work-study years before, to fill the spot.
  • Don Flack wasn't in the Poorly-Disguised Pilot of CSI: NY that aired on CSI: Miami. His character was created after the "pilot" and first appeared in NY's first ep of its own, 'Blink'.
  • Cobra Kai does reintroduce Daniel LaRusso at the tail end of the first episode when Johnny's Firebird gets towed to Daniel's car dealership to get repaired, but it's all from Johnny's POV. The second episode functions as Daniel's introduction episode.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Daleks, the show's most iconic villains, were introduced in the second story. However, this is an inverted trope, as this was much earlier than the staff had originally intended to introduce the alien villains.
    • In Series 11, the Thirteenth Doctor's first season, the new TARDIS designs (inside and out) aren't introduced until the end of the second episode, "The Ghost Monument".
  • In Drop the Dead Donkey, Sally Smedley first appears in the second episode. Justified as a personnel decision by the new CEO.
  • Detective Marcus Bell isn't in the pilot of Elementary, but he's appeared in every episode since.
  • Eli Stone didn't introduce Maggie, a main love interest and Eli's partner, until the second episode.
  • On The Flight Attendant, Colin Woodell receives a starring credit for his role as Buckley Ware, but he doesn't appear until the second episode, "Rabbits," when Cassie meets him in a bar.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Irri, Dorreah, Ilyn Payne and Rast were introduced in the second episode of the entire series.
    • Balon Greyjoy, Yara Greyjoy, and Salladhor Saan were introduced in the second episode of the second season. After appearing as a Last Episode, New Character in Season 1, Jaqen H'ghar was officially introduced here, though it is heavily implied that the one who appears later is a different character using the same face.
    • Olenna Tyrell, Orell, Locke and Ramsay Snow/Bolton were introduced during the second episode of Season 3.
    • Mace Tyrell was introduced during the second episode of Season 4.
    • Doran Martell and Areo Hotah were introduced during the second episode of Season 5.
    • Euron Greyjoy and Lyanna Stark were introduced in the second episode of the sixth season. In Lyanna's case, she was mentioned several times before but this was the first time she actually appears (albeit in a flashback).
  • In Frasier, Bulldog does not appear until the second episode.
  • In Glee we don't meet Brittany until the 2nd episode of the series. Seeing Quinn and Santana without Brittany is... odd to say the least.
  • In The Good Life, we hear Margo's voice in the first episode but she doesn't make a physical appearance until the second.
  • Schwoz wasn't introduced until the tenth episode of Henry Danger and appeared in most of the episodes until becoming a main character in season 5 as well as continuing as a main character in the sequel series Danger Force.
  • Matt Parkman in Heroes, who in a variation was originally intended to be in the pilot, but whose introduction was delayed until the second episode instead.
  • In the Scifi series The Invisible Man, the Keeper shows up in the second episode. This seems to be the second type, because it would have been easy to work her character into the pilot.
  • In Johnson and Friends, Alfred is introduced in the second episode, "Under the Bed".
  • District Attorney Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) of Law & Order is notable in that he appeared in EVERY EPISODE of the first 10 seasons EXCEPT for the first one, which was produced before Hill had joined the cast. Since the episode was shown out of sequence, the audience saw five episodes with Hill, one with Roy Thinnes (and a completely different opening montage) and then back to Hill the next week.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Durin the IV, Disa, and Halbrand are introduced in the second episode of Season 1.
  • Betty Draper appears for maybe two minutes in the pilot of Mad Men—series creator Matt Weiner actually had to write extra scenes for the audition process, which were later incorporated into an episode. Naturally, Betty became a major character from the second episode onward.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Daredevil (2015):
      • Season 1's first episode introduces us to protagonists Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, and Karen Page as well as antagonists James Wesley and Leland Owlsley. The second episode introduces Claire Temple to the cast.
      • Season 2's first episode introduces Frank Castle. The second episode introduces Samantha Reyesnote  and Blake Tower.
      • In season 3, Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter makes his introduction in the second episode, as a seemingly random FBI SWAT officer assigned to escorting Fisk from Riker's to his "house arrest" penthouse. When the convoy is attacked by an Albanian gang, it is Dex who kills the assassins as they're about to kill Fisk. We don't realize that he's going to become the main physical threat of the season until partway through the next episode when we get scenes focused on him.
    • Jessica Jones (2015): Kilgrave makes his first physical appearance in the second episode and we first see his face in the third episode.
  • In ABC's short-lived Mind Games, Samantha Gordon was not introduced until the second episode.
  • Although Scooter appeared in the first two recorded episodes of The Muppet Show, he was not introduced to viewers until the second broadcast episode note , guest starring Jim Nabors.
  • The Nanny: The second episode, "Smoke Gets In Your Lies", introduces us to Fran's Grandma Yetta, who eventually becomes a recurring character.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: While technically still the first episode, the second half of that episode, titled "Lockers", marked the debut of Gordy, Mr. Sweeney, and Suzie Crabgrass.
  • New Girl's Winston was introduced in the second episode, replacing the suddenly-absent roommate Coach.
  • Although they were initially only supposed to be one-time guest characters and would not be part of the main cast for another two seasons, Larry, Darryl, and Darryl just happened to make their debut in the second episode of Newhart.
  • Sloan Sabbith isn't introduced until the second episode of The Newsroom.
  • Warloworth Q. Weasel isn't introduced until the second episode of The Noddy Shop.
  • One Tree Hill
    • Brooke Davis is completely absent from the Pilot, and makes her first appearance in the second episode.
    • Jake Jagielski is only mentioned and seen in a cameo capacity in the Pilot, with the second episode being his official introduction.
  • Orphan Black:
    • The second episode of the entire series introduces main characters Alison Hendrix and Cosima Niehaus, two of the five main clones which includes The Hero Sarah Manning herself. Alison's children, Oscar and Gemma, were also introduced here.
    • The second episode of Season 2 introduces the Johanssen family (Henrik, Bonnie, and Gracie), the first family of the Proletheans, a religious Cult who antagonizes the clone protagonists.
  • The second episode of Penny Dreadful introduces main characters Brona Croft, Dorian Gray and the Creature, the latter only shows up at the very end. Interestingly the same episode introduces Madame Kali who only becomes important in the second season.
  • Godber and all other prisoners except Fletcher himself do not appear in the pilot of Porridge.
  • Rather than a character, Power Rangers often holds off on debuting either the Megazord or even the Transformation Sequence until the second episode of a two-part premiere. Sometimes they do both in a two-stage version: air both parts of the premiere on the same day with the first transformation happening in the second half, then bring out the mecha in next week's episode. Some premieres also show some of the team morphed in the first episode, but wait until the second to let the entire team transform.
    • The first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers averted this in its adaptation of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger: in the original series it took several episodes for Daizyuzin (the Megazord) to be introduced, but it was an integral part of the Rangers' arsenal in MMPR, so a later mecha fight was moved up to the first episode.
    • In Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, we don't meet monster-maker Jinxer until episode two (which is interesting - he wasn't there when the villains were unsealed, so was he on Earth all along?)
    • In Power Rangers Time Force we don't meet Red Ranger and main character Wes until the second episode. The first episode does, however, feature his look-alike descendant (played by the same actor).
    • Power Rangers Dino Charge waits until episode two to introduce Riley, even though the rest of the team all appeared in the first episode.
  • In Psych, main cast member Juliet isn't introduced until the second episode.
  • Revolution doesn't reveal that Charlie's mother Rachel is alive until the second episode. In this case, the reveal was filmed for the first episode but the character was later recast so the scene was taken out and re-filmed in time for the second episode's airing.
  • Clyde Langer did not appear until the second episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, replacing Kelsey in an inversion of Affirmative Action Girl.
  • In Seinfeld, Elaine doesn't appear until the second episode, rounding out the four main characters. She was created in response to the showrunners deciding the three male leads made the show too male-centric.
  • Chad Dylan Cooper doesn't appear until the second episode of Sonny with a Chance.
  • The Spartacus series:
    • The titular character didn't arrive at the ludus until the second episode, so all of the major characters there such as Doctore Oenomaus, Naevia, Ashur, Varro, Rhaskos, Gnaeus, Rabanus, and Pietros were all introduced there.
    • Nasir and Chadara made their debut on the second episode of Season 2.
    • Caesar, Laeta and Sybil were introduced during the second episode of the final season.
  • Star Trek:
    • "The Corbomite Maneuver", the first non-pilot episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, introduces Uhura, Yeoman Rand, and Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (as a Second Episode Substitute for Dr. Mark Piper); it is not, however, the second episode aired, as the pilot episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was held back until later in the first season. Counting both pilot episodes, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" being the second pilot introduces Kirk, Sulu, and Scotty; Spock was the only main crewman there from the very beginning in the original pilot, "The Cage".
    • "Past Prologue", the first post-pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, introduces Garak. Originally meant to be a one-shot character, he becomes an important Recurring Character.
    • Star Trek: Picard: Main character Raffi Musiker is introduced in the second episode "Maps and Legends."
  • Survivors: The second episode introduces Greg Preston, the third member of the initial Power Trio. It also sees the first appearance of Vic Thatcher, who'll return as a member of the supporting cast in the second half of the season.
  • Two and a Half Men: Charlie's snarky housekeeper Berta doesn't appear for the first time until "If I Can't Write My Chocolate Song, I'm Gonna Take a Nap", which is the fourth episode.
  • The Walking Dead (2010):
    • Andrea, T-Dog, Merle, Jacqui and Glenn, though the last one's voice was heard in the final scene of the pilot episode via radio.
    • Hershel, Maggie, Beth, Otis, Patricia and Jimmy were introduced in the second episode of the second season.
    • Father Gabriel Stokes and the Hunters were introduced during the second episode of Season 5.
    • Denise Coyd was introduced during the second episode of Season 6, along with other characters who did not make it at the episode's end.
    • King Ezekiel and the rest of the Kingdom were introduced during the second episode of Season 7.
  • WandaVision waits to feature the first appearance of Monica Rambeau in the show until its second episode, where she befriends Wanda and introduces herself under the alias of Geraldine.
  • Young Sheldon Sheldon's "Meemaw" Connie Tucker isn't introduced until the third episode "Poker, Faith and Eggs", but becomes a regular after that.

  • Natsuki Enomoto and Yuu Setoguchi, two of the six central characters in the Confession Executive Committee ~Love Series~ , are introduced in the second video. The final two, Sota Mochizuki and Akari Hayasaka, are introduced in the third.


    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Original 
  • The first Chrono Hustle story only introduced one main character, Jack Masterson. In the second, Melinda Summers was introduced, along with the organization she works for, the TRD.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History introduces its Breakout Characters Darth Vader and Adolf Hitler during the second episode of the series.
  • The only main characters in the Homestar Runner universe who appeared in the original story "The Homestar Runner Enters the Strongest Man in the World Contest" were Homestar Runner, Strong Bad, Pom Pom, and The Cheat. Bubs and Coach Z were introduced in the second story, "Where My Hat Is At?", and other characters came later.
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries introduces the eponymous protagonist's Cool Big Sis Jane in the second episode.
  • Early episodes of Noob were less than five minutes long, hence it took three of them to introduce all four main characters (plus a Chekhov's Gunman or two).
  • React:
    • Prominent reactor Darius was introduced during the second episode of Season 2. note 
    • Prominent reactor Brooke-Monae was introduced during the second episode of Season 5.
    • Prominent reactors Jenna and Daisy were introduced during the second episode of Season 6.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: The first episode focuses on establishing characters from Zaun like Vi or Powder. It's the second episode that introduces the major characters of Piltover like Jayce, Viktor, Caitlyn, or Heimerdinger.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • The Backyardigans:
    • Austin was absent for both pilots due to being created very late in production.
    • In the main series, Tasha didn't appear until the third episode, "The Yeti".
      • In the United States, the episodes were aired out of order and "Knights Are Brave and Strong" was shown first. It was likely intentional as it features all five Backyardigans, whereas the actual first episode is missing Tasha.
  • Dr. Van Goosewing first properly shows up in the second episode of Count Duckula, "Vampire Vacation." He technically appeared in the first episode though, due to the Out of Order pilot episode.
  • Cybersix's second episode introduces Data-7, who would go on to become Cybersix's Non-Human Sidekick; as well as the recurring character Julian.
  • The second Daria episode, "The Invitation", introduces Trent, Jodie, Mack, Upchuck, Tiffany, the Three J's and Ms Defoe.
  • The Kanker Sisters from Ed, Edd n Eddy are introduced in the second episode. Because of the show's Minimalist Cast, it's also the last episode to debut an on-screen character (aside from Eddy's older brother being Unseen No More in the Finale Movie Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show).
  • Both primary villains of The Fruitties, Monkus the Mad Scientist monkey and Boss the hungry boar, were introduced in the second episode of the series, "The Enigma of the Giants".
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Most of the major characters (Timmy, Cosmo, Wanda, and Vicky) were introduced in the Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts. The lone exception was Denzel Crocker, the show's first Big Bad, who debuted in the first season.
  • Futurama introduces the supporting Planet Express crew — Hermes, Amy and Zoidberg — in the second episode. The exception is Scruffy (the Janitor) who didn't appear until the sixth episode and was largely a background character until later on.
  • While the titular Gargoyles and Detective Elisa Maza are both introduced in the first part, David Xanatos has to wait until the second part of the Five-Episode Pilot to make his debut.
  • Gravity Falls: The second episode of Season 1, "The Legend of the Gobblewonker" introduces Old Man McGucket, who throughout the series goes from a comic relief character to being critical to the plot.
  • Justice League: Most of the first part of the pilot focuses on Superman and Batman, with Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, and the Flash also making appearances. Green Lantern and Hawkgirl are introduced in part 2, officially forming the team for the first time.
  • In Kid vs. Kat, Dennis, Lorne, and Harley don't show up until the second episode, "Night of the Zombie Kat".
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Benson is introduced at the beginning of the second episode.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Twilight's mentor Princess Celestia physically appears for the first time at the end of the second episode, although she's mentioned several times in the first one.
  • In Ninjago, Lloyd is completely absent from the pilot episodes. The first episode of the series proper, "Rise of the Snakes", marks his first appearance - albeit as a minor villain instead. It isn’t until later that Lloyd undergoes his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Gus and Miss Grotke are introduced in Recess not in the second episode, but part B of the first episode. For the former, it was his Welcome Episode. For the latter, it was more "She wasn't in the first part, so here she is".
  • In Regular Show, Muscle Man and High-Five Ghost are the only main characters introduced in the second episode, "Just Set up the Chairs", rather than the first episode, "The Power."
  • On The Ruff & Reddy Show, semi-regular protagonist Professor Gizmo first appears in episode five of the first story arc "Planet Pirates."
  • Rugrats: Chas Finster first appears in "Barbeque Story", which is the first short of the second episode, though only as a non-speaking background character. He wouldn't be properly introduced until "Touchdown Tommy" near the end of the season.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The pilot ("Help Wanted") only introduces SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs and Gary. Sandy downplays this since she is introduced in the pilot's sister episode, "Tea in the Treedome". Plankton, Karen, Pearl, Mrs. Puff, Larry, Mermaidman, and Barnacleboy wouldn't be introduced until later in season one.
  • Steven Universe: Steven's dad is introduced in the second episode, "Laser Light Cannon". It's also the first episode to mention Rose Quartz, though a painting of her was seen in the first episode.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
  • In Thomas & Friends, The Fat Controller makes his first appearance in the third episode of the series, "The Sad Story of Henry".
  • The second episode of Trollz introduced Amethyst's love interest Coal, the girls' mentor Obsidian, and Simon's second-in-command Snarf in silhouette.
  • In the Vampirina episode "Going Batty' , which is the first segment of the first episode, both Poppy and Bridget appear. However, Poppy is a more active chraracter and finds out Vee is a vampire at the end of the episode while Bridget, who only made a brief appearance, finds out in "The Sleepover", the first segment of the second episode and the first where she plays a big role.
  • Winx Club: The first episode only introduced Bloom and Stella. It's in the second episode, "Welcome to Magix", when everyone else appears. Bloom and Stella go to Alfea, where they are toured and welcomed by Big Good Headmistress Faragonda and the strict Deputy Griselda. Then, they go to their assigned suit, where they meet the girls with whom they'll form the Winx Club: Flora, who is already there, and Musa and Tecna, who arrive shortly after. When the five girls go to Magix for dinner, they encounter the Trix, who will become their arch-enemies and are this season's Big Bads.
  • Young Justice properly introduces Superboy to the team in the second episode of their two-part pilot. Miss Martian's first official episode as a team member is the third episode.


Video Example(s):



Krang makes his first appearance in "Enter the Shredder", though he wouldn't get his robot body until the fifth episode.

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Example of:

Main / SecondEpisodeIntroduction

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