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Shoo Out the New Guy
aka: The Poochie

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Alack: I'm Alack, Rompy's business partner! I came on this show to add sexual fireworks!
Josher: As a firework, you're a dud!
Alack: Why do you say that?
Josher: Because since this spoof was written, you've been written out of the show!
MAD, "Moronica's Closet" (spoof of Veronica's Closet)

A character is introduced into a show with a lot of fanfare, and almost at once moves up to main character status (if not necessarily the Title Sequence). They will often form a close relationship with the existing main characters, and may even have a prior history with a main character, even if this has never been mentioned before. Sometimes the character is a result of Executive Meddling.

For some reason, the character doesn't gel. Maybe the audience takes against them, maybe the actor over- or underperforms, maybe the writers realize they actually have no idea what to do with the character. Whatever it is, they will end up leaving the show, often for contrived reasons. And they probably won't be back, even if they logically should be at certain points. They could also be killed off if the show allows for it.

Different from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in that the character's disappearance will be explained, even if in a fairly flimsy manner.

The easiest way to tell if it's this trope is if the character is written out in a clumsy manner — if their departure or death makes no sense, this trope is usually in play.

Compare with Aborted Arc, We Hardly Knew Ye, Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. Contrast with The Artifact and Temporary Scrappy, which is a purposefully dislikable character that enters and goes in a short span.

The line between this and The Scrappy can sometimes seem thin, and one may wonder why this isn't a YMMV trope when the latter is one. The key difference is this: the unpopularity of the character has to have influenced the direction of the narrative and put them into a minor role, or led to little to no creation of any new content specifically for them or even featuring them at all. That's what makes this a narrative and production trope; the influence of the character in the zeitgeist was so strong it actively, and quantitatively, influenced the production of the work. Otherwise, the character is just unpopular, which is often up for more debate in terms of degree, which is why the Scrappy is a YMMV trope.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In the early episode "Primeape Goes Bananas", Ash catches a Primeape and adds it to his team. Only five episodes later and only participating in one event, Ash gives Primeape away to the Character of the Day.
    • There's Tracey Sketchit, who replaced Brock during the Orange Islands saga after the latter chose to stay at Professor Ivy's lab. While he does have a small group of fans, he ultimately proved too much of a Suspiciously Similar Substitute and was largely unpopular as a result. Once Ash and co. made it back to Kanto, Tracey decided to become Prof. Oak's assistant and Brock came back to travel alongside Ash, thus reducing Tracey to an extra.
    • Ash's main rival in Unova, Trip, would also prove to be rather unpopular mainly due to being a frustrating reminder of Ash's reset. As a result, he was written off in a distinctively hasty manner compared to Ash's other major rivals: he's defeated by Ash in the first round of the league, taken out in a One-Hit Kill Anti-Climax, and leaves halfway through his last episode, never really being mentioned again.
  • Clarice from Claymore is introduced as a replacement protagonist for Clare after the mid-series Time Skip and the manga follows her for a couple volumes. Then the writer probably realized that it's Clare and the Seven Ghosts' story the readers wanted to see, and Clarice was shifted to the background again, with her and Miata's arc resolution wedged into the final battle sequences between the main main characters and the overarching villains.
  • Symphogear introduced main character Hibiki's estranged father Akira Tachibana in the third season, and some fans generally seemed to think he'd become a regular despite the lack of recurrence by any adult characters outside of S.O.N.G (by some accounts, his creation was influenced by the death of the creator's father). By the end of the season, he's reunited with her mother and it's revealed that one of Hibiki's catchphrase ("It's fine, totally fine!") was acquired from him. However, fandom reception to Akira was near-universally negative at first, with people considering him negligent, annoying, Unintentionally Unsympathetic, and generally scummy due to his abandonment of his family when the Tachibana family came to (for reasons the writers never justified) be inexplicably despised for Hibiki surviving a massacre in the series' backstory. In the following two seasons he makes only limited appearances (a mention confirms Hibiki's parents to still be separated as her dad is working to earn his redemption, as only 6 months pass from the end of GX to the end of XV, too little time to earn such), though the catchphrase is still present.
  • Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School: The Future Arc introduces twelve new characters as participants for the Final Killing Game. Most of them received sharply divided responses, and by the end of it, all but two of them are dead. To make it even more blatant, not only does every returning character not Doomed by Canon manage to make it to the end, Word of God confessed that one of the surviving newcomers was intended to die, and future Danganronpa-related material has been averse towards including any of the Future Arc characters.

    Card Games 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Kuraz and Delg of the Monarchs were given a good amount of fanfare, and often got treated as the real rulers of the archetype in games rather than Caius, the traditional leader. They also broke the theme by having straightforward naming schemes (Light and Dark as opposed to Frost, Firestorm, or Shadow) and not needing to be Tribute Summoned. However, fans found the pair to be too slow and indirect, stuck with the original six, and by the time of Arc-V, with the release of new Monarch support, Kuraz and Delg are nowhere to be seen on card art.

    Comic Books 
  • Justice Society of America had Magog, who joined the cast when Alex Ross was allowed to collaborate with Geoff Johns on his own Kingdom Come sequel. Magog made a huge splash, was subject to a MASSIVE multi-part storyline and ultimately given both his own comic book AND his own spin-off JSA team book! But fans didn't take to him and not only was his comic canceled, but he was killed off in the pages of Justice League: Generation Lost.
  • Cecilia Reyes and Maggott in X-Men. Marrow, introduced around the same time, stuck around for some years before being Put on a Bus. Cecilia Reyes gained popularity enough to star in some Claremont stories and returned to the team some years later; Maggott, on the other hand, remained as The Scrappy.
  • Likewise, the sister book New Mutants had Rusty Collins and Skids, who were added to the book as part of a group of kids called the X-Terminators. While initially important, they were left behind to fend against Freedom Force and search for mutant children while the others went to Asgard. They were turned evil and joined the MLF, due to Rob Liefeld deeming them lame. Rusty was later killed in a crossover event. Skids, however, is alive and well and working as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
  • The Ultimates:
    • Jeph Loeb's run managed to have no less than three of these: Black Panther, Ka-Zar, and Shanna the She-Devil. All were introduced and removed in the same arc, without even doing anything significant to the plot, due to backlash from before the story was even published.
    • Jonathan Hickman's run had the same problem. He positioned Spider-Woman and the new Captain Britain as though they would be major characters, but they were promptly written out without any explanation.
    • Scott Lang joined the team at the end of Millar's Avengers vs. New Ultimates series, but was quickly forgotten about.
    • Sam Humphries later introduced the Ultimate version of Stature from the Young Avengers, and even wrote a scene where she was offered membership in the team. His run ended shortly after this, so she never got a chance to join the Ultimates.
  • Faith from the JLA. She was introduced as a major player in Joe Kelly's run, but she never really caught on and was eventually written out of the book. Aside from joining a short-lived incarnation of the Doom Patrol, she's mostly been in Comic Book Limbo since then.
  • Doctor Light from Justice League International. Despite appearing on the cover of the first issue and being featured in promotional art for the series, she only appeared in a small handful of issues (where she didn't really do anything notable or even wear her costume) before quitting the team.
  • Thunderfox from Femforce was introduced with much fanfare, but only appeared in eight issues before disappearing. The explanation occurred five issues after her last appearance, telling us that her 'book' was cancelled.
  • In Red Hood and the Outlaws, Crux was going to be a main team member after being mentioned in interviews and given a backstory, but the fans didn't care for him and the writer decided he didn't fit in. Sent to Arkham, until next needed. The New 52 relaunch of Teen Titans, by the same writer, introduced two new members to the team: Bunker and Skitter. Skitter was very, very quickly (and quietly) written out of the book due to less-than-stellar fan reception, though she would eventually reappear just prior to a relaunch that ended up not involving her. Bunker, on the other hand, has remained on the team to great prominence, even earning Ensemble Dark Horse status thanks to his cheery, upbeat attitude.
  • Spider-Man: Andrew Maguire (a portmanteau of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire) aka Alpha. He was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #692 as a frighteningly average, under achieving, generally ignored 15-year-old kid who got amazing superpowers via a Freak Lab Accident during a field-trip to a presentation made by none other than Peter Parker. He even had a little hype behind him and became Spider-Man's sidekick. Having such low self-worth, it isn't long before everything starts going to Alpha's head. Though it wasn't two issues later where he messes up big time, almost causing some planes to crash, when Spider-Man almost completely de-powers him. And just like that, he's out of the comic after only 3 issues. He was even called this trope's former name, The Poochie, in-universe! Of course, since he later got his own miniseries, it becomes easier to realize that this was planned from the start.
  • There were four series in the leadup to Annihilation: Conquest: the Nova ongoing, and the Quasar, Star-Lord, and Wraith miniseries. Nova was a well-established character, while Quasar and Star-Lord were Ascended Extras in the original, but Wraith was a new character. Touted as a new and unique addition to the Cosmic mythos, Wraith instead came off as a mix of Drizzt Do'Urden and Jackie Estacado, with the depth of neither and more Common Mary Sue Traits than one could shake a shapeshifting gun-whip-sword at. His miniseries mostly focused around how edgy he was while he got to save the much more likeable Ronan and Kl'rt from The Virus. Fans, of course, hated this guy, and when Conquest itself finally rolled around, Wraith was barely in it at all. Upon the series ending, Quasar and Star-Lord got their own series, while Wraith left to try to cure the Phalanx and hasn't appeared since, leaving his generic subplot about the search for his father's killer forever unresolved.
  • Chuck Austen created a new female Captain Britain as a member of the Avengers, but she was promptly written out once Brian Bendis took over the book. Of all the characters who quit the team after Avengers Disassembled, Captain Britain is the only one who never rejoined.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The first thing Kanigher did when he was made the writer again after the derided "Mod Era" was kill off I Ching, one of the characters introduced in and central to that era in the book, and then have Wonder Woman lose all memory of him.
  • During Busiek and Perez's fondly remembered run on The Avengers, they introduced a guy named Triathlon and played him up as a big deal. Between mediocre powers, a garish costume, an obnoxious personality, being a member of a sinister cult, and being acknowledged in-universe as a token black for the team, fans pretty much hated him. He stuck around till the conclusion of the cult story arc and was then Put on a Bus.

    Comic Strips 
  • Uncle Max in Calvin and Hobbes, who had a brief storyline and then left the strip permanently, partly because Max did not bring out any new sides of Calvin, thus making the character redundant, and also because Bill Watterson found it too awkward to write dialogue in which he never called Calvin's parents by their names.
  • Peanuts:
    • Somewhat prophetically, in 1973 a character named Poochie debuted. She was a little girl who used to live in the neighborhood, who supposedly was the first to refer to Charlie Brown by his full name and who almost adopted Snoopy before choosing another dog. After appearing in a few Sunday strips, she disappeared without a trace. Poochie was mentioned a couple of times later on, usually when Snoopy was adamantly refusing to accept her Valentine's Day card or send her a Christmas card.
    • There was also Charlotte Braun, who appeared in a dozen strips in the 1950s before evaporating. She had a loud voice and ... that's about it. Originally she was to be a female foil for Charlie Brown, but was no more interesting in the role than Lucy was. There's a hilarious response letter that Schulz wrote to a fan who didn't like the character, featuring Charlotte with an axe in her head.
  • Pearls Before Swine saw creator Stephen Pastis introduce a character named Leonard as a third roommate who lived with main characters Pig and Rat. He only appeared in about a week's worth of comics, and Word of God said the character just wasn't working. After not appearing for a few months, Pastis realized he had never actually written him out, and thus Leonard was abruptly killed by getting his head stuck in a toilet and drowning.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Angelica, Philip, Syrena and to a lesser degree the new crewmates from the Queen Anne's Revenge were introduced in On Stranger Tides and setted up to become major players in a new trilogy, audiences weren't impressed by them and their storylines were completely ignored in Dead Men Tell No Tales with the sole exception of Ensemble Dark Horse Scrum.
  • Star Wars:
    • Jar Jar Binks is an infamous (to the point of being the German-language Trope Namer for The Scrappy) failed attempt as a Kid-Appeal Character in The Phantom Menace. Thankfully, George Lucas took the hint and severely reduced his screentime in the following prequels. Nowadays, he usually only shows up as the butt of cheap jokes; and even Star Wars: The Clone Wars, probably the one place where he's given an ounce of respect, only features him maybe once a season. This has even extended into the new Expanded Universe: there, Jar Jar has been reduced to a street clown that many people on Naboo dislike due to his role in the rise of the Empire (since he gave Palpatine emergency powers to raise the Clone Army, setting up the coup in the Great Jedi Purge).
    • Rose Tico is a downplayed example. She had a divisive reception after being introduced in The Last Jedi as a Sixth Ranger and Finn's love interest. In The Rise of Skywalker she's barely present, mostly staying behind at the Resistance base to study ship blueprints. Chris Terrio stated they intended for Rose to have more scenes with Leia, but due to the limited footage available after Carrie Fisher's death they had to cut these scenes, although scenes with just Rose and Rey were also cut and Rose was removed from merchandise (as opposed to her being rewritten with a larger role not tied to Leia). This was actually rather controversial, as Kelly Marie Tran had endured a fair bit of undue flaming from the Broken Base after The Last Jedi, and her wholesale removal couldn't help but look like pandering to that sector of fans.

  • At the end of the Sherlock Holmes novel The Sign of the Four, Watson proposes to their client Mary Morstan, and at the beginning of the next story (A Scandal in Bohemia), the two are married. After that, Mary is rarely mentioned again. Later, in The Adventure of the Empty House, it is revealed in passing that Mary has died, although the cause of her death isn't explained. In The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier, which takes place many years after Mary's death, it is mentioned that Watson has a wife again, suggesting that he remarried (although it's also possible Arthur Conan Doyle simply forgot that he'd killed her off twenty years earlier).
  • Star Wars Legends gave us Callista, a girlfriend for Luke who was quickly written out. She later came back, assimilated by Abeloth.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24: Most of the new characters introduced in the first half of the fourth season were quickly kicked out, with a few exceptions such as Curtis and Edgar, to bring in some of the more beloved characters from the previous three seasons.
    • The sixth season had Sandra Palmer, the third sibling of the Palmer family. Most viewers found her moral stances to be overly preachy and annoying, and the writers themselves apparently had little idea of what to do with her, leading to her to be Put on a Bus after just a few episodes. She came back halfway into the season only to be put another one just two episodes later, this time for good. She had the fewest appearances in the show out of every single main cast member, even compared to the ones quickly kicked out from season 4 as stated above.
    • Most of the main FBI Agents for season 7 lasted through at least through most of the season. Not so for Sean Hillinger, a rather unpopular character known mainly for acting somewhat creepy and generally being an all-around dick. Less then halfway through the season he was revealed to be working with terrorists and was almost immediately arrested, never getting another appearance or even mention.
  • In 1997, All My Children introduced Dr. Allie Doyle as the show's latest love interest for core character Jake Martin. The writers abruptly decided that Jake would be better paired with someone else and turned Allie into a Yandere (became obsessive and violent) who was promptly run out of town. Towards the end of 1998 (coincidentally, shortly after Allie departed), the show introduced three new characters, all of whom failed to catch on with viewers and were written off within a few months to a year.
  • Babylon 5: Lieutenant Keffer, the Starfury pilot, was injected into the show in the second season by Executive Meddling to have a "hotshot Top Gun-style pilot." J. Michael Straczinski used him as little as possible, Keffer appearing in a grand total of six episodes. In the season finale, he killed the character off, though he did feel bad for the actor, who was fitting in fine. Part of the problem was that he didn't really add anything to the ensemble, given that no fewer than three of the central characters at that pointnote  were already Starfury pilots, and his character arc of trying to learn more about The Shadows already mimicked a similar arc of Sheridan's and G'Kar's.
  • The Brittas Empire: After Laura was Put on a Bus in Series 5, the show brought in Penny, the solarium manager and a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Laura. She wasn’t very popular though and she suffered Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in Series 7.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had Riley Finn, introduced in Season 4 to be Buffy's new love interest after Angel got his own series. He was never really accepted by the fans, and got written out again in Season 5.
    • Angel: Angel's son Connor, who joined the main cast in season 4, became so disliked for his romance with Cordelia and his inconsistant characterization that no one minded when he was put for adoption with False Memories at the end of the sason. This is however downplayed as he returned twice in season 5.
  • The second season of Charmed introduced Jenny Gordon, neighbor to the main characters. She was living with her uncle, Dan, a Temporary Love Interest for Piper, while her diplomat parents were in Saudi Arabia. The idea seemed to be making her a sort of "little sister" for the main characters, and she even got a short Promotion to Opening Titles, but was quickly written out with the explanation that her parents were back in the country. Word of God admits that they didn't know what to actually do with her. (Dan, meanwhile, stuck around for a season, but moved away after temporarily being turned into an old man and learning that Piper was a witch.)
  • Josie Sutton on Cold Case was given a mysterious Back Story and complicated relationships with the regular cast before being Put on a Bus four episodes later.
  • Community:
    • Mocked mercilessly with Jack Black's appearance as "Buddy", a student who has allegedly been in the gang's Spanish 101 class this entire time. The entire main cast are either weirded out by his sudden, unexplained appearance in their lives or convinced he's a murderous psycho. The episode ends with Owen Wilson suddenly appearing and offering Buddy a spot in the "cool" clique.
    • Professor Michelle Slater shows up early into Season 1, and then in the 2nd half of the season she's an important element in a Love Triangle with her, Britta and Jeff. After that is resolved in the Season 1 finale she's never seen again. There's one reference made to her disappearing later. Apparently the show-runner simply didn't care much about her character to bother bringing her back.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • SSA Ashley Seaver got this treatment once the production team was allowed to reverse the Executive Meddling that created her. After breaking the show's base for half a season she was unceremoniously Put on a Bus to the white-collar crime division and has not been mentioned since.
    • Stephen Walker was added when the BAU (and the show itself) got the budget for an eighth member in season 12. He never got much focus, only receiving one episode focusing on his past before being killed off at the beginning of season 13 and replaced by Matt Simmons.
  • Holly Gibbs didn't survive the pilot of CSI, original variety. The fans disliked her and Jorja Fox's Sara Sidle came in to replace her in episode 2.
  • Megan Donner of CSI: Miami was written out after season one due to the consensus that she had no chemistry with Horatio Caine.
  • After the death of James Beck (Private Walker), Dad's Army brought in a Suspiciously Similar Substitute in the form of Private Cheeseman, who was part of a major storyline in which he joined the platoon so he could report on them for the newspaper he wrote for. He was not well liked by either viewers or some of the cast (John Laurie is on record as saying that both Talfryn Thomas and his character were fast approaching Spotlight-Stealing Squad status) and was written out after the seventh series.
  • Dallas had an interesting case with Jack Ewing, played by Dack Rambo. He was brought in near the end of season 7 to replace the departing Patrick Duffy, as JR's cousin and took Bobby's role as his chief ally/foil. He had a major role in the All Just a Dream season 8. When Duffy returned for season 9, the character was no longer needed and Put on a Bus with very little time having passed in show, while two years of real time had passed.
  • Dawson's Creek:
    • Nikki Green, who after a major initial appearance as a rival/potential love interest to Dawson, was dropped only a few episodes later.
    • Gretchen Witter, for instance, was introduced in Season 4 as Pacey's sister and Dawson's childhood crush. After spending the entire season as practically a main character, she moved away and was never seen or mentioned again.
    • Season three saw the addition of Jen's long lost sister Eve. A misguided attempt to make the show sexier and soapier by the new showrunners who replaced creator Kevin Williamson after his departure. She was a cliche straight out of Melrose Place, which conflicted with the show's quaint down-to-Earth tone. The writers quickly realized their mistake and gave her the boot mid-season. The writers were so intent on forgetting her that her story was never wrapped up and Jen never knew she even had a sister.
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation introduced multiple short-lived New Guys between Seasons 7 and 8. Thankfully as it's a school, the vanishing of characters from center stage is easily handwaved away.
    • Season 7 gave us Damian who started off as Manny's love interest, quickly became Emma's love interest, then quickly became Liberty's love interest. And at the end of the season he's gone because he graduated... and all three girls want nothing to do with him.
    • Kelly, Leia, and Blue in season 8. Kelly was the cool stoner roommate for Manny, Emma, and Liberty. Quickly put in a love triangle with Manny and Emma, then became Emma's new romance. He's never seen again after he breaks up with Emma in Season 9. Leia and Blue were never fleshed out, Leia's a pathological liar trying to fit in and Blue is a tall dreamy artist who can net himself any girl he wants. When Blue and Holly J don't work out, Blue slowly fades into the background. Leia appears for two episodes in Season 10, but after that she's dropped from the credits.
  • Julia Duffy replaced Delta Burke for the 6th season of Designing Women as the Sugarbakers' prissy cousin, Allison. The character was very poorly received and was gone by the 7th season premiere. Creator Susan Bloodworth-Thomason blamed herself and the writers for not creating a more multi-dimensional character for Duffy to play. Jan Hooks was more successful as Jean Smart's replacement and was kept around for the final season.
  • The Applewhite family from season 2 of Desperate Housewives, and Kayla Scavo from season 4. Also Ana from season six. For some time, there was quite some buzz over her entrance, only for her to be reviled by many fans on message boards. She eventually got Put on a Bus to New York... literally.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the fourth and final part of "The Myth Makers" (set during the Trojan War), a Trojan handmaiden named Katarina snuck on board the TARDIS and became the First Doctor's latest companion. She was promptly killed off in the following adventure, the 12-part epic "The Daleks' Master Plan"… in part four. According to the actress who played Katarina, her death scene was the very first scene she was filmed in. This means that the writers created the character, tried her out, decided she wasn't working, and dropped a bridge on her before a single scene of her had been filmed (and possibly before the character was even cast).
    • Kamelion, a shape-changing robot who joined the Fifth Doctor and his companions on board the TARDIS. Kamelion was an actual Real Life robot... whose designer died suddenly without telling anybody how to operate the blasted thing.note  Technically, Kamelion was a companion for nearly a full year. In practice, he only showed up in 2 adventures, the one where he came on board the TARDIS and the one where the writers said "Enough's enough" and Dropped a Bridge on Him (and for most of their duration, he's shapeshifted into a character who can be played by a human).
    • "Victory of the Daleks" introduced the "New Dalek Paradigm", a new design of the Doctor's greatest enemies with vivid colours. The designs were poorly received by viewers and were quickly phased out and replaced with the older, Time War Dalek designs that had been in place throughout Russell T. Davies' era as showrunner, with the Paradigm units only occasionally reappearing in cameos (the fact that they were far harder for the show's crew to operate than the Time War Daleks was also a contributing factor).
  • Downton Abbey:
    • Around the third season Alfred, Jimmy and Ivy were introduced. Beyond getting involved in a Romantic Plot Tumor with each other and various other members of staff, none of them did anything of particular note, and were phased out one by one. By the second episode of season five, they were all gone.
    • There is the legendarily despised Sarah Bunting. The audience never really took to her in Series 4, especially as she was essentially just a déclassé version of Lady Sybil without the inherent charm. Come Series 5, her character becomes so incredibly unlikeable that it's pretty clear this was done to justify her aborted romance arc with Branson, and subsequent swift exit.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Coy and Vance, the "New Dukes", whose characters had been created out of necessity after series stars John Schneider and Tom Wopat walked out on the show during the filming hiatus between the fourth and fifth seasons due to a dispute with the producers. When Schneider and Wopat settled their dispute, they were invited back – in large part to stem hemorrhaging ratings due to Coy and Vance being widely despised – and the "New Dukes" were written out as "needing to care for a sick relative." After one quick scene between the four actors, Coy and Vance were gone... permanently and never to be referred to again.
  • The Ferrera family on EastEnders was introduced to compensate for the lack of South Asian characters on the show. They were introduced with a great deal of hype, but became immensely unpopular despite at least one storyline that threatened to elevate them to Spotlight-Stealing Squad status. Viewers complained that these characters were deathly boring and the writers didn't research the Ferreras' ethnic background. The show had planned a major storyline based around the family's children killing abusive patriarch Dan, which might have redeemed them in the eyes of viewers — but Dan's actor ran into problems with his permit to work in the UK, and Dan was written out overnight. Writers then gave the Ferreras a new storyline where they discover that their friend Tariq is their long-lost half brother, allowing him to donate a kidney to another member of the family. The so-called "Kidneygate" became hugely unpopular (not least because it made Tariq's past romance with the Ferreras' daughter incestuous — even though the characters insisted they had never had sex). Worse, other plots planned for the show had to be changed or cancelled due to various illnesses and pregnancies of other cast members, meaning that for months on end "Kidneygate" was the show's main storyline. When it became clear that the Ferreras were more hated than ever, the remaining characters were hastily written out by having a gangster bully them out of town.
    • A similar case occurred previously with the Di Marco family. They were greatly hyped after their debut and were supposed to rival the long-running Mitchell family, but their fancy Italian restaurant didn't quite fit into the atmos of Albert Square and none of their storylines really caught on with viewers. They were finally written out en masse in a rather poorly thought out exit (the entire family, despite their in-fighting, leave together to move in with a random uncle). Beppe and his son lingered on a while longer but were written out when their current storyline came to an end, since the writers could think of nothing else to do with them.
  • ER:
    • Lucy Knight, who from her first episode was shoved into the audience's face at the expense of established characters, then abruptly dropped into the background when it was realized that she wasn't fitting in, before finally being killed off a mere 1.5 years into her tenure.
    • From the sixth season on, there were a multitude of examples, including:
      • Dr. Cleo Finch, who was a pediatric resident, incredibly beautiful and...that's about it. To make her more interesting, the writers paired her up with Dr. Benton, but it seemed like the artificial situation that it was. She ended up being written out by simply having her take another job.
      • Dr. David Malucci, or "Doctor Dave", who could have been a fun character. He was written to be the replacement for Doug Ross's rebellious lothario character, but the writers forgot to have him actually be a good doctor. Also, while Doug Ross certainly had a chip on his shoulder in regard to bureaucratic senior staff who he saw as standing in the way of patient care, Doctor Dave just seemed flippant and more concerned with having fun, and few of the other characters even liked him. He had a couple of moments later on where the audience got to see other sides of him, but ultimately it was too little, too late, as most viewers already thought of him as annoying and wondered why he hadn't already been kicked out of the residency program. Ultimately that's exactly what happened.
      • Dr. Ray Barnett, an intern who was also in a band. He provided a Romantic Plot Tumor between himself, Neela and Gallant, but he combined the Small Name, Big Ego of Dr. Pratt (where it worked because Pratt was proved a skilled doctor) and the all-play-no-work characteristic of Doctor Dave, and was written out in a brutal fashion: losing both legs in a car accident.
  • The Flash (2014): Julian Albert, introduced as Barry's lab partner via Cosmic Retcon, got a lot of negative reception for being a jerkass and an obvious suspect for the identity of Dr Alchemy. He became more likeable in the second half of the season when he joins S.T.A.R Labs but despite being teased as a love interest for Caitlyn, he quietly left for London between season 3 and 4 and has yet to return.
  • Friends: Marcel, Ross's capuchin monkey pet introduced halfway through the first season was regarded as an bizarre and annoying addition that didn't went well with the tone of the show, he was written out of the show even before the season ended by having him reaching sexual maturity forcing Ross to donated him to a zoo. One episode of Season 6 has Ross wondering what he was thinking by adopting him, lampshading the feelings of fans.
  • The entirety of the region of the Dorne could be seen as the Poochie of Game of Thrones.
  • General Hospital. At the end of 1996, Jax' presumed dead first wife Miranda showed up at his wedding to Brenda, obviously the writers intent to give Jax a backstory and make the Sonny/Brenda/Jax Love Triangle a quadrangle. It was also strongly hinted that she was somehow linked to the mysterious Cassadine family. Unfortunately, the character completely failed to catch on, resulting in her leaving town just a few months after she appeared.
  • This happened to most of the new kids on Glee. Really, the only new kids who had any staying power were Sam and Blaine:
    • First was tomboyish athlete Lauren, originally a background character who was bribed by Puck into joining New Directions in the middle of season 2 and later started dating him and bonded with other members of the group. Come Season 3, however, she appeared just long enough to dump him and leave New Directions because it was no longer "cool enough" for her.
    • Season 3's own additions were foreign exchange student Rory, delusional rich girl Sugar, and Christian hippie Joe, all of whom had compelling storylines during the season. While Rory's disappearance in Season 4 can be justified by him returning to Ireland, Sugar and Joe were Demoted to Extra early in the season before they eventually just stopped appearing.
    • Season 4 was perhaps the worst in this regard, since half of the glee club graduated at the end of 3, and the show made a big deal hyping up the "New New Directions", composed of the current seniors (the members who didn't graduate last year) along with five new kids: Marley, Jake, Unique, Ryder, and Kitty. Unfortunately none of them really caught on with viewers, possibly due to having character concepts similar to the members who graduated. By this point the show was split between the cast in Lima and the grads who moved to New York City to follow their dreams, and since the latter was much better received by viewers, the show eventually dropped Lima altogether halfway through Season 5...
    • But then went back there for the final season and introduced a new group of kids alongside Kitty, with Unique making one guest appearance. Almost all of the temporary members from throughout the show, save for Rory and Marley, appeared in a group shot in the Grand Finale.
  • In mid-1996, Guiding Light introduced the character of Zachary Smith, an angel. This was a clear attempt to mimic the success of Touched by an Angel that failed miserably, with the character being written out within a few months.
  • Grey's Anatomy:
    • Sadie is almost too perfect an example of everything mentioned at the top of the page: she shows up out of the blue in Season 5, where it's revealed that she was apparently Meredith's BFF in med school, despite having never been so much as mentioned by Meredith prior to this. Originally intended to become another major intern character as well as a lesbian romantic foil for one of the series regulars, she stuck around just long enough for her to prove she was not only crazy incompetent but also just plain crazy. Promptly quit her job at the hospital before the end of the season.
    • Doc in season 2. It seems that the only reason he died from Soap Opera Disease was simply because the writers didn't want to deal with him anymore.
  • In Happy Days, Pinky Tuscadero and Sticks were both hyped in promos as new characters, but neither appeared for more than an arc before disappearing. Pinky's sister Leather was a stand-in for Pinky — whose actress apparently caused problems — but even she did not appear very often. Other examples include down-home hick cousin K.C. Cunningham and Fonzie's temporary girlfriend and her daughter for the first post-Richie season.
  • Heroes:
    • West's much-trumpeted relationship with Claire ended in the final episode of Series 2, leaving a way for him to be left out in the future because he was poorly received by fans. The show's creator has stated in an interview that one of the mistakes he made with this series was writing the romance badly. He did, however, appear in the graphic novels that run concurrent to the television show, as one of the freedom fighters working with Rebel. He also played a role, though off-screen, in the last season, when Peter visited him to gain his flying ability.
    • Similarly, Alejandro and Maya were included in season 2 and initially teased as major characters. After much angst, Alejandro is murdered by Sylar, Maya is cured of her powers, and they are never referenced again.
    • Monica Dawson was written out the same time West was and was equally hated.
    • DL could count seeing as he wasn't introduced until episode 5. He was killed offscreen in possibly the lamest way possible (Niki developing a THIRD personality WHICH IS NEVER SEEN AGAIN).
    • Any Big Bad other than Sylar was destined not to last long:
      • Adam Monroe is introduced in Season 2, revealed to be a bad guy about halfway through, then buried alive in the Season finale. He is then brought back in Season 3, only to be Killed Off for Real by Arthur Petrelli within an episode.
      • The build-up to Season 3 trumpeted the four new 'Level 5' villains who were said by Angela Petrelli to be "just as bad or worse" than Sylar. Jesse and 'The German' of them are dead by the time they've had a couple of lines, Knox is killed in the Volume 3 finale, which Flint survives but thereafter is never seen again except in the comics.
      • Arthur Petrelli is introduced in the middle of Volume 3, quickly becomes by far the most powerful character on the show, and is then abruptly killed by Sylar.
      • Emile Danko is introduced in Volume 4, then killed off in Episode 1 of Volume 5.
  • Hunter: When Stepfanie Kramer left this highly successful cop show in 1990 after six years as Sgt. Hunter's partner/sidekick Dee Dee McCall, her character was replaced by Officer Joanne Molenski, who quickly became Hunter's new beat partner. However, actress Darlanne Fluegel was unable to get along with series star Fred Dryer or others on the show's staff, and she soon resigned less than three months into the 1990-1991 season. It was decided the new girl — Molenski — would be murdered by a serial killer.
  • Just Shoot Me! had Vicki Costa, a brash hairdresser whom Jack brought in to help make the magazine hipper. Everyone else's storylines were sidetracked to revolve around her — Jack immediately respects her, Elliot immediately falls for her, Nina feels threatened by her, Finch thinks she's really hot, and Maya is obsessed with getting Vikki to open up to her. All the while, Vikki's too cool to really participate in the plot and usually has to be pursued by the other characters. It's been suggested by somewhat dubious sources that forcing her character into the cast was an aggressive attempt by NBC executives to give Rena Sofer a star vehicle.note  Ratings plummeted after her introduction, she barely lasted half a season, and they didn't even air her farewell episode.
  • Law & Order: SVU added Kim Greylek in Season 10 to replace the disbarred Casey Novak. Her Informed Ability and cold demeanor didn't win over fans so after 15 episodes she was quickly booted and replaced with the returning Alex Cabot.
  • Legends of Tomorrow, Mona Wu was generally the least popular of the season 4 additions, for being a divisive comic relief and her Werewolf alter ego "Wolfie" being see as underwhelming to some. Unlike Ava, who already had a strong bond with Sara through their romance, and Constantine, who is an iconic DC character, Mona was a completely new character that failed to catch the audience's attention. She was written out in the season 5 premiere though she still came back for the finale.
  • Nikki and Paulo from Lost were suddenly introduced in the third season as regular characters. The idea was to shine a light on what was happening with some of the other survivors who were not main characters. The characters were written to be somewhat unsympathetic at first to give them an arc, much like many of the other main characters. However, fans didn't like the new characters, nor the artificiality of their sudden inclusion. Luckily, the writers had sensed the incoming backlash and "scrapped" the idea, choosing to give them a gruesome death in a single character-centric episode. Happy now, Losties?
  • Nikki Carpenter from season 3 of MacGyver. She was written as a potential love interest for the title character, only for the producers to discover that female fans did not want Mac to have a regular girlfriend. About halfway through the season, she is mentioned as being on assignment in South America and is then never heard from again.
  • Married... with Children had Seven, a little boy who was adopted by the Bundys. Seven was forced on the show by Fox execs, who saw how popular the cute kids on other sitcoms of the time were and decided that's what the Bundys needed (even though their ratings were just fine). Fox hyped the kid's arrival to no end, but Seven was resoundingly hated by fans and writers alike. The main problem was that the writers couldn't do anything with him: the show's humor came from mercilessly abusing the characters, but that wouldn't work with a little kid. So Seven just kind of stood around in the background doing nothing when he wasn't serving as a source of abuse for the other characters — with Peggy doting on him endlessly — meaning he was either a nonentity or The Scrappy. After half a season of this, the writers removed him from the show entirely. His picture shows up on a milk carton a few episodes later, as both a quick gag and an explanation for his absence.
  • Merlin:
    • An odd example from the first episode of season two. A new knight called "Sir Geraint" in the credits was introduced, who seemed to function as Arthur's second-in-command and was given several promotional shots. He was never seen after the first episode, possibly because the second episode introduced... Sir Leon!
    • Agravaine is a scarily accurate portrayal of this trope, so much so that it's as if the writers deliberately ticked off all the prerequisites listed at the top of the page. He pops up completely unannounced in series 4, having been integrated into the court during the Time Skip with no explanation as to where he was beforehand. He's the well-respected Evil Uncle of Arthur, who speaks of him as though he's known him all his life, even though he didn't get a single mention in any of the prior seasons. He has a close working relationship with Morgana, though their history together is never explained. Actor Nathaniel Parker gets a Promotion to Opening Titles by the fourth episode after his introduction, and appears in every episode of that season (whereas actresses Katie McGrath and Angel Coulby, cast members who were around right from the beginning, have to sit out a few episodes). And he proceeds to do absolutely nothing of note except feed information to Morgana and act Obviously Evil. The writers never bothered to give him any sort of background or meaningful motivation, and they eventually Dropped a Bridge on Him in the final episode. No one on the show mentioned him ever again, and no one in the audience missed him.
  • The Muppet Show:
    • Fleet Scribbler, tabloid journalist. One show, a few mentions later, and he vanished. The critics loved him. The writers hated him.
    • There's also Gladys, who ran the canteen introduced in season three. However, there weren't many scenes in the canteen, and Gladys was dropped halfway through the season. In one season four episode, she was replaced with a bird named Winny, who didn't make it past her initial appearance, and the few remaining canteen scenes didn't have any canteen ladies (just The Swedish Chef).
    • The 2015 series introduced Kermit's new girlfriend Denise in the pilot. She was then relevant exactly once (five episodes later) before disappearing again, and we're later told she dumped him.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Dr. Forrester introduced "Timmy Bobby Rusty" in one segment to help ratings. The SOL crew and Pearl don't like him, and the ratings don't improve. He's gone by the next segment without a reason.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles introduced most of its characters in its Poorly Disguised Pilot on its mother show NCIS. When it officially started, one new character added to the team was Dominic Vaile, a rookie agent. He lasted half a season before being kidnapped by terrorists and killed during the rescue mission.
  • New York Undercover had the addition of Detective Tommy McNamara added to the cast, in the executives' beliefs that the show needed a White Male Lead to bring in a wider demographic. The problem with this was one of the show's strongest and most unique aspects is that it starred two detectives of color working together and had a multicultural, ensemble cast that gave characterization and time to everyone. Plus, the brass really hoped that the new character would be a Spotlight-Stealing Squad. While he was, it was for the wrong reasons; neither the crew nor the fans cared about him and by the end of the season, he was brutally killed off.
  • Lauren Graham played efficiency expert Andrea for a few episodes of NewsRadio. With that writing staff, the character was probably doomed to begin with. One story has it that Andrea was introduced as a potential replacement for Khandi Alexander's Catherine Duke. After a few episodes, Graham got cold feet about joining the cast when another well-liked actress was being pushed out. Sadly, Catherine was written out anyway.
  • Several characters in The O.C. suffered this, but Lindsay Gardner was an especially glaring example, as she was introduced as a love interest for Ryan and turned out to be a blood relative of three other main characters. She didn't even return for Caleb's funeral, despite discovering he was her real father.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Miss Brooks' two successive gym teacher Love Interests in the controversial final television season. Clint Albright and Gene Talbot, respectively. They both end up quitting their jobs and leaving with little explanation. They're replaced by Miss Brooks' longtime beau, Mr. Boynton. Miss Brooks marries Mr. Boynton in The Movie Grand Finale. The final television season was retconned out of existence, the developments ignored by both the concurrent radio program and successive move. An interesting case of Canon Discontinuity.
  • When NBC decided to order a new run of episodes during the final season of Saved by the Bell, Tiffani Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley refused to stick around, so Kelly and Jessie were written out in favor of the much less popular Tori. But because the series finale had already been produced with Thiessen and Berkley, that episode was saved for last, which gives the impression that Tori has disappeared again. Thiessen would return for the College Years (well, College Year, to be accurate).
  • In Scrubs, Grace Miller was Brother Chucked after the writers realized that she was a Dr. Cox Distaff Counterpart, but with the key difference of not having any redeeming qualities, and his ex-wife Jordan already having that position, therefore making her a completely superfluous character.
  • Silk Stalkings: After the two co-leads were written out at the end of Season 5, two Suspiciously Similar Substitute detectives take the lead, but they weren't popular, so they were promptly replaced themselves by two other Suspiciously Similar Substitute detectives half a season later without explanation.
  • Hawley was so unpopular with fans of Sleepy Hollow that he went from being the Creator's Pet who got a major part in every episode to Put on a Bus in less than a season.
  • Smallville:
    • Kara is a "writers didn't know what to do with her" version, mixed in with the fact that she was edged out by the Romantic Plot Tumor that was the Clark/Lana relationship. She was an interesting side character for about five episodes, then bigger and better ways are found of keeping her out of things. She spends a great deal of time wandering with amnesia, returns fully for an episode or two before it's revealed that Brainiac is impersonating her and has her trapped in the Phantom Zone. When Brainiac is defeated, she is not freed and the show goes on without her as normal. She finally does come back for one episode before deciding at the end, "Hey, I'll just fly into space in a random direction and hope I run into some other Kryptonians." However, they did bring her back in season 10 where she appeared in precisely two episodes, at opposite ends of the season, before running out on Clark right before his last battle with Darkseid; she puts on a magic ring and transports herself into the future because Jor-El told her not to interfere in Clark's journey.
    • Lex Luthor's long lost half-brother Lucas from season two. He appeared in one episode (which was almost painfuly bad) and was immediately Put on a Bus ride from which he never reappeared; no one has ever even mentioned him again. Also something of an Aborted Arc, given the amount of build-up to his appearance.
    • Lana Lang's real father was revealed to be Henry Small in Season 2. They managed to get along with each other, and Henry appeared (as a distracting subplot) in 5 episodes of that season. Finally, Lana realizes their relationship is putting a strain on Henry's marriage and advises Henry that he should distance himself from her and put more focus on his own family. He must have REALLY taken that advice to heart, since he was never seen or heard from again.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Dr. Beverly Crusher (played by Gates McFadden) was replaced after season one with Dr. Katherine Pulaski (played by Diana Muldaur), due to head writer Maurice Hurley demanding McFadden be fired. Gene Roddenberry never tried to hide the fact that Pulaski was intended to be a Distaff Counterpart to the Original Series' Dr. McCoy, with all the curmudgeony, but the attempt to recreate the Bones-Spock dynamic with her and Data only made her come off as unsympathetic, outweighing her few positive moments, and she simply failed to gel with the cast as a whole. When Hurley left at the end of the second season, Roddenberry and Patrick Stewart couldn't get McFadden back fast enough, and Pulaski was relegated to the Expanded Universe, never to be referenced on-screen again (except, perhaps, in a hard-to-hear Easter Egg Shout-Out in the Voyager finale twelve years later).
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine had Shakaar, who was mentioned early in the show's run as being Major Kira's former resistance commander. After he actually appeared in person he went from being a dirt farmer to being head of the Bajoran government in one episode, then in his next appearance he revealed that he had fallen in love with Kira who decided she felt the same way. He pops up again when she's giving birth (not his child, or hers) before finally being Put on a Bus via offscreen break-up (in-universe Word of God told the two they weren't meant to be together). For those keeping count, this was all in the space of three appearances. While the writers had more in mind for him, actor Duncan Regehr's other work commitments ultimately put a halt to this plan, and though his only having made three appearances meant the producers could probably have gotten away with recasting him, fan reaction to the character was ultimately too indifferent to justify this, and they instead decided to develop Odo's unrequited feelings towards Kira into something more substantial.
  • Stranger Things: Season 2 episode "The Lost Sister" introduced Kali aka Eight, a test subject experimented upon at Hawkins Lab who escaped and now leads a gang to punish those who wronged her. Many fans reacted poorly to that episode with the reception of Kali being divisive at best and her cronies being disliked for being Flat Characters. So despite the implications that they would return in later storylines, Kali and her gang were unceremoniously dropped and not even mentionned in season 4 that revisited the experimentations at Hawkins Lab.
  • Marcus from The Suite Life on Deck, a former hip-hop star who came to the ship to try and live a (fairly) normal life, was introduced to the series with a decent amount of fanfare, quickly receiving a Promotion to Opening Titles and becoming a Regular Character soon after. He left the show a season later to become one half of a Pair of Kings.
  • Supernatural:
    • Jo Harvelle in Season 2 was promoted as Dean's first recurring love interest (in fact, the first recurring love interest on the show in general), and even received three clear storylines of her own (becoming a hunter, finding out the truth about her father's death, and tracking down her MIA boyfriend Rick, who only appeared on a hidden feature on the Season 1 DVD). Instead of being "the Leia" to Sam 'n' Dean's Luke and Han Solo as promised, Jo got dropped like a hot potato with only four episodes under her belt (two of which were basically just cameos). Her final appearance in the season was as a disillusioned Damsel in Distress terrorized by a demon possessing Sam. The demon gave her an earful on how Dean doesn't think of her either as a fellow hunter or as a potential girlfriend that was ripped right from the online forums, made her describe her dad's death to it and taunted her with a much more gruesome and disturbing version of how it said it went down, and it was implied to be about to rape and torture her to death when Dean arrived. Jo then saw first-hand that Dean would have let her die rather than kill his possessed brother, and she was left dejectedly muttering, "No, you won't," when he said he'd call her. That's a pretty freakin' harsh way to satiate the fandom's bloodthirsty hatred, Supernatural writers. She eventually returned in Season 5, but only for a mere two episodes before she dies in a terribly sad way.
    • Something similar happened with Bela Talbot. She was a thief out to exploit the supernatural to her benefit, able to either help or hinder the Winchesters as the story needed, and acted as another potential love interest for Dean (as Ruby, who was tied to Sam's story, was introduced around the same point in time, with both actresses placed in the 'starring' portion of the credits). However, her second appearance was the episode "Red Sky At Morning," which was not well received by both fans and the writers (there was even a later in-universe apology for the episode as being 'bad writing'), and her next two appearances had her first give a bad guy the location of the Winchesters, then help the Winchesters out only so she could get close and steal the Colt, the only weapon they had that could kill demons. Oh, and then she appeared in one more episode and got them arrested. There might have still been a chance for her had she appeared in more episodes in a less antagonistic way, but this was the season of the Writer's Strike, and with fan reaction being made clear over the course of the strike, she was killed off in the penultimate episode of the season in an even more tragic way than Jo.
    • Anna Milton, Dean's third would-be love interest, also fits the bill. She wasn't really disliked by the fans — well, other than the shippers, of course — but she had the bad luck of being introduced a few episodes after Castiel. The original idea was that Castiel would be Killed Off for Real after only a few episodes of screentime, and then Anna would take his place as Dean's angel guide. However, by the time Anna made her first appearance, Castiel was already so loved by the fans that the writers didn't dare get rid of him. Instead, they decided to make him a major character and expand his role in the series, and this meant a lot of material originally intended for Anna went to Castiel instead. Initially they tried to keep Anna around too, but this didn't work too well, so eventually they decided to write her out by having her randomly turn evil and try to kill Sam.
    • Amelia in Season 8 is yet another example. The intention was for her and Sam to have a beautiful, tragic romance together that would eventually force Sam to choose between a perfect life with her, or give up that life to help Dean save the world. What actually happened is that fans couldn't figure out why Sam was wasting his time with this random woman instead of helping Dean get out of Purgatory or trying to save the prophet Kevin from Crowley. Epileptic Trees abounded that she was some sort of Honey Trap sent to divert Sam from some greater purpose, until it was eventually confirmed otherwise. The whole arc came off as a Trapped by Mountain Lions plot, and Sam Took a Level in Jerkass to get it to work. Eventually, the writers realized how badly Amelia had misfired and quietly wrote her out halfway through the season. Word of God is she won't be coming back.
    • Hannah was an angel character added as a potential love interest for Castiel in late Season 9 and was present in early Season 10. Fans had reacted well to Castiel's interactions with an empathetic and kind angel named Muriel, who had been killed in her one episode. So, Hannah appeared as another sympathetic angel with a female vessel who was much like Castiel had been when he first came to Earth. Hannah developed an obvious crush on Castiel, but as indicated above, shippers never reacted well to love interests on the show. After a few episodes, Hannah returned to Heaven and let her vessel return to her husband.
  • Season 3A of Teen Wolf gives us Cora, Derek's long lost sister and a potential love interest for Stiles. She was coldly received by fans for being a Replacement Scrappy to fan favorite Erica and the lack of explanation about how she escaped the massacre of the Hale Family and why she went into hiding instead of reaching her brother. She was Put on a Bus to South America with little fanfare in the midseason finale and soon replaced with Malia who sticked around until the end of the show. That being said, Adelaide Kane getting the lead role of Reign might be the reason why she was written out.
  • Randy in That '70s Show became a replacement for Eric and Kelso in the last season, gaining a permanent role in the group and quickly becoming Donna's new love interest. However, the fans couldn't stand him, so he only shows up in one brief scene at the beginning of the series finale, and doesn't appear in the final Circle at the end.
  • Thats Life (the American dramedy, not the British consumer protection show) featured a variation with one of the original cast as being shooed out: Candy Cooper, one of the protagonist's best friends, was written out half-way through the first season.
  • Lana Shields on Three's Company, the foxy older lady who was trying to get Jack in bed. They ran a few good episodes featuring her chasing after him then...nothing. Apparently, John Ritter himself was confused by the storyline and why his normally horny character would turn down sex from such an attractive woman because she happened to be older than him. Eventually, the writers realized he was correct and Lana disappeared.
  • Who's the Boss?: During the fall of 1990, a cute kid named Billy (Jonathan Halyalkar) briefly joins the Miceli-Bower household, purportedly as a comic foil to Tony Danza's male lead character; the idea was that Billy's parents had died several months earlier in a car accident, and that Tony (both he and Billy were from the same Brooklyn neighborhood) would be the perfect person to raise him. Although a promising actor, Halyalkar had problems meshing with the cast (according to Katherine Helmond in a series retrospective that aired on E!), plus he came off as annoying to audiences. By the end of the season, Billy's grandmother had miraculously recovered so he went to live with her. After the one line explaining his absence, he was never mentioned again.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the WWE, Kevin Nash (though nicknamed more for his Spotlight-Stealing Squad nature). Came in with lots of history (he was, after all, Diesel back in the early '90s, but wrestling fans aren't supposed to remember that) and an infamous Real Life friendship with Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Scott Hall, and X-Pac (his teammates in the nWo). His presence seemed to leave a bad taste in a lot of fans' mouths, and after his second quad tear, he left for another several years. Why Hall and X-Pac didn't get the same treatment is anyone's guess. Nash's nickname of "Big Poochie" actually dates back to late-90s WCW, where he was Head Booker and essentially forcing Nitro to revolve around himself, with increasingly absurd segments that seemed to be aired purely for the amusement of Nash himself.
  • This is actually fairly common in wrestling. Whenever a wrestler debuts and is immediately hated by the fans, promotions will usually either retool him with a different gimmick, or put him on a bus. An example would be Beaver Cleavage, who was heavily hyped by the WWE prior to his debut and lasted all of a week before becoming Chaz.
    • A more recent example was Kizarny. The gimmick was that he was apparently a carnival/circus performer so he always spoke in Carny. Carny is a form of Pig Latin commonly used by carnival folks and wrestlers, where you put "iz" before the first (or maybe all) vowels of a word. This, of course, made nearly everything the guy said unintelligible and the character was dropped before he could even debut save for a match against MVP and an appearance in a battle royal.
    • In 80s WWF a lot of vignettes were filmed hyping a wrestler named Outback Jack. This was basically Vince's attempt to cash in on the success of "Crocodile" Dundee. After months and months of hype, fans were treated to some of the worst "wrestling" ever performed in public. Jack was shown the door in short order.
    • ECW and WCW tag team The Public Enemy was brought into the WWF as a favor to there-for-a-cup-of-coffee-himself booker Terry Taylor in 1999. They managed to irritate both the fans and wrestlers in short order, and found their way out of the company after being legitimately beaten up during a match.
  • Awesome Kong worked in the WWE under the name Kharma, but only did so for one Royal Rumble match before she was let go. She eventually got hired to work in TNA, where she is still employed.
  • The most infamous example though, is The Gobbledy Gooker. He had all of one appearance (not even a match, just a ten minute long skit with Mean Gene Okerlund) before he was never mentioned again, save for a gimmick battle royale at Wrestlemania X-7. He does get referenced by WWE every now and then, albeit only to point out how horrible he was. He's also got a page on in the "WWE Alumni" section of the roster. Horrifyingly, he even got a run as 24 Hour Champion (although, the title is pretty much a joke at this point...).
  • Similarly there was "The Shockmaster", intended as a new persona for Fred Ottman. Even by wrestling standards, his costume was fairly ridiculous, consisting of an oversized black leather vest paired with a glitter-covered Stormtrooper helmet, but the character's initial introduction was so disastrous as to make the character completely unsalvageable. In his first interview he was blasted through a prop wall by his own pyro, tripped over a piece of wood, fell over and lost his helmet, making it quite clear that it was Ottman under the helmet (despite Ole Anderson providing voiceover audio). The other wrestlers were visibly trying not to burst out into laughter (With Davey Boy Smith loudly exclaiming "He fell on his arse! He fell flat on his fookin arse!") and the announcers met the entire event with stunned silence (save for Jesse "The Body" Ventura, who shouted "What an impressive entrance by the Shockmaster!" while trying desperately not to laugh his ass off). Even trying to bring Ottman back as "The Super Shockmaster", who was changed to be a deliberately bumbling comic relief met with lukewarm reception. In very short order Ottman simply started wrestling as "Typhoon", later pairing with John "Earthquake" Tenta, and Shockmaster is only brought up as an in-joke for longtime wrestling fans.
  • Former WWE NXT winner Kaval spent two months being Demoted to Extra and then asked for his release. This contrasts to his fellow NXT winners, with Wade Barrett leading the Nexus stable through out most of 2010, Kaitlyn getting a notable Divas Championship reign and Johnny Curtis becoming a viral hit with the Fandango gimmick.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Near the end of the Final Battle of Dino Attack RPG, Atton Rand introduced a cast of characters consisting of Buffy Captain Ersatzes and put the spotlight on them, expecting that his fellow players would enjoy these new additions to the cast. Instead, other players were tired of so many Captain Ersatz characters in the RPG, and the last thing they wanted was another group of Ersatzes based on a show they did not watch introduced at the last minute and expected to share the spotlight with the main cast. As a result, Atton Rand quickly shooed out the Buffy Ersatzes, and they were never mentioned again.

    Tabletop Games 
  • During 6th Edition of Warhammer 40,000, Games Workshop attempted to make the Crimson Slaughter into the "iconic" Chaos warband. They got a Codex, were regularly featured in artwork and promo material, and generally were made out to be the default choice. The apparent idea was to move the focus away from the traditional First Founding Chaos warbands by spotlighting a newcomer, and encourage players to create their own warbands in the fashion of the Crimson Slaughter. However, while the idea was admirable, the Crimson Slaughter themselves never really managed to get any kind of fanbase going, due to their lore being pretty generic and inconsistent, and Chaos players as a whole tending to be too fond of the original Legions. Consequently, they pretty much faded into the background during 7th.

    Video Games 
  • Unlike Lady and Nero who became staples of the Devil May Cry series, Lucia simply disappeared after the second game despite the ending implying she might join Dante. She doesn't appear in the next games, and was only brought back in the Before the Nightmare light novel which serves as a prequel to Devil May Cry 5. This is partly due to the ambiguous nature of where the second game fell on the timeline, For the longest time, the game was considered almost noncanon and essentially shunted to happening after the fourth game, before it was decided that it did in fact happen to take place before DMC4.
  • Fate/Grand Order's Action-Hogging Opening, along with a lot of early promo art and material, showcases an "iconic" Servant for each class, most of whom are new, seemingly with the implication that they'd be important. However, Darius, Jekyll, and Mephistopheles, the iconic Berserker, Assassin, and Caster, never really caught on due to their unimpressive gameplay performance and lackluster characterization. This led to them being phased out of the game fairly quickly; though they still pop up in the gacha rolls and various event stories with varying degrees of importance, you'd be hard pressed to find them in a "starring" role after the first year of the game, and even their story roles tend to be cameos at most.
  • The King of Fighters: SNK, during their brief partnership with Eolith, introduced the character of K9999 in 2001 and immediately pushed him in the role of a major villain - being affiliated with the main antagonistic organization, featured quite prominently in its intro, personally screwing over main characters K' and Kula, and pulling a Villain: Exit, Stage Left with the implication that he would cause more havoc in the future. One small problem: he was practically AKIRA's Tetsuo Shima in everything but name and color scheme. While Eastern audiences didn't mind much, Western audiences cried foul over suspected plagiarism — and with the threat of possible litigation by Katsuhiro Otomo dangling over them, after jumping ship from Eolith following the release of 2002, SNK went to great lengths (including, but not limited to the introduction of Nameless, erasing him from archived artwork in XIV, and making it unofficial company policy that even so much as alluding to him was forbidden) to ensure that K9999 would never be heard from again. Or would he...?
  • The Updated Re-release of Persona 4 introduced Marie, a new character that wasn't present in the original version of the game. In an attempt by Atlus at getting players interested in her, Marie is inserted into many pivotal scenes from the original game and is treated as the protagonist's Implied Love Interest regardless if you actually do romance her or not, in comparison to the other potential love interests, including the main female party members. There is a reason for this however as Marie is one part of the game's true antagonist and saving her becomes part of unlock the game's new content. But the damage was already done and fans were calling Marie a Black Hole Sue and accusing the plot as bending in favor of her. As a result, Marie would be Demoted to Extra in subsequent spin-offs and her relationship with the protagonist would be severely reduced.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Due to his fishing levels in his debut game and his slowgoing, dopey personality, Big the Cat has mostly been relegated to goofy cameos. Harmless stuff, right? Continued aggression towards the character despite not having any relevant role in a main series title in years led to his Sonic Adventure 2 cameos being pointlessly Dummied Out of the GCN re-release (most of them return in the XBLA/PSN/Steam re-release), a cameo in Sonic Generations being cut and Sonic Team heads apologizing for bringing him in during a Q&A at the Summer of Sonic fan convention. After years of absence and a Memetic Loser status softening his image (something that was even used by Sega's PR team and lead to the creation of the April Fool game Big's Big Fishing Adventure 3: The Trial), the hate eventually calmed down and he began to reappear in minor roles in several official projects including Team Sonic Racing, Sonic Prime, and Sonic Frontiers.
    • After Silver's debut in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and prominent role in Sonic Rivals 2, he was demoted to extremely minor roles due to the character's overall superfluousness and the poor implementation of his psychic the game's case. Ascended Fangirl Evan Stanley's work on the IDW Sonic comic series has done much to reintroduce a revamped version of the character that has largely redeemed the character to make him distinct from the other Hedgehog main's and give his existent purpose beyond "Hedgehog version of Dragon Ball's Future Trunks".
    • Princess Elise, who also debuted in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), is a much straighter example. During the sneak peeks of Sonic 06, she was heavily hyped up, especially with the addition of Lacey Chabert as her VA. When the game was released, she quickly became one of the most hated characters in the franchise because she is constantly kidnapped and developed a disturbing attraction toward Sonic, up to kissing Sonic's corpse to revive him in the Last Story.
  • Many fans viewed Jun Kazama's omission from Tekken 3 and onwards in this manner, as she didn't have a replacement, unlike the other missing characters from Tekken 2. Whilst she appeared in the non-canon Tekken Tag Tournament, it took until Tekken 5 for her replacement Asuka to come in, who wasn't quite the same. Fans got quite vitriolic for Jun to return in Tekken Tag 2, which she did, and was significantly improved from her original form. Jun was Put on a Bus largely to add weight to her son Jin's story.
  • Soulcalibur VI is a Continuity Reboot that returns to the setting of the original Soulcalibur in-part to get away from Soulcalibur V's infamous 17-year Time Skip made to be a Soft Reboot that ultimately fell flat, gave fans the most hated character in series history as the protagonist with Patroklos, and replaced many other fan-favorites with not-so-well-received successors such as Taki, Xianghua, Kilik/Seong Mi-na, Sophitia/Cassandra, and Setsuka being replaced by Natsu, Leixia, Xiba, the aforementioned Patroklos as well as Pyrrha and Pyrrha Omega, and Alpha Patroklos among outright removing other characters with no replacement. Outside of that, the story was widely seen as the worst part of the game (a good portion of it thanks to Patroklos, again). This did not take with fans at all, and Project Soul/Namco caught on (especially after the man responsible for all of it, Daishi Odashima, quit the team) and hit the reset button the relief of just about everyone, and even dug a nail deep into Patroklos' coffin by stating his existence directly led to the explicitly stated bad timeline V is part of. The plan going forward is to focus on the most iconic core cast, and it doesn't sound likely the series will ever return to the V era anytime soon (it's implied that Patroklos will still eventually be born in the new continuity, but with his aunt Cassandra now determined to Raise Him Right This Time, to avoid the Bad Future that originally led to him becoming such a knob).

    Web Original 
  • The Hungertube guy from this short Cyanide and Happiness video.
  • Todd and Travis from Arby 'n' the Chief were introduced, and subsequently removed a few episodes later, because of the enormous backlash they received from the fanbase.
  • Taco-Man: The Game Master zig-zags this in Part 2 of "I've Got a Woody". In order to accept Woody as a new member of his team, Taco-Man fires Virtual Boy. However, Woody turns out to be so much of an in-universe example of The Scrappy, that Taco-Man stars to miss Virtual Boy! He gets rid of Woody by sending him to the real world.

  • Parodied in this DMFA strip. The character lasts two half-sized panels and some anguished screaming in the third. Didn't even get to finish introducing himself.
  • The second Electric Wonderland comic ended with the introduction of Shroomy's boyfriend, a slacker named Parker. He did not appear in the following story for reasons unknown, although Shroomy still expressed hope later that he would return. He finally did so in the sixth comic, written 11 months after his disappearance, but only to ask Shroomy for $50. As a result, Aerynn advised Shroomy to break up with Parker and find a more dependable boyfriend. By the time the next comic came out, Parker was officially no longer a member of the Nettropolis Free Press staff, and he wasn't even included in a set of character bios written in July 2010.
    • The remake of the second comic has Trawn decide to make do with a staff of five before Shroomy can introduce Parker to the gang.
  • Pre-emptively invoked in the Homestuck Adventure Game Kickstarter. The $10,000 reward is "Your Fantroll will become canon". The $100,000note  reward is "Your Fantroll Will Survive Past The First Panel".
    • And indeed: they do not survive past the first panel. More seriously though, the higher tiers were only ever intended as jokes, and after two people sincerely paid $10,000 to have their fantrolls in the series, the tier was locked to prevent anyone else from pledging that amount.
  • Exterminatus Now has a strip serving as a general answer to all the people asking for a cameo: they introduce the character and immediately set him on fire.
    And remember: we liked him.
    Mweeheehee! Lookit him burn!
  • Something*Positive suddenly started an arc about a woman named Bian who lived in Denver. There were strong hints that she would run into the Texas cast and Word of God said that some preexisting connection to the other characters would be revealed eventually. Her last appearance was in 2011, so presumably we'll never know what was planned for her.

    Western Animation 
  • Poochie from The Simpsons, a former namesake for this trope, is an in-universe example.
    • He is introduced in the episode "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show" when Meddling executives create said Totally Radical character (voiced by Homer) in a clumsy attempt to pander to children, both regain fan interest that had recently been lost, and entice new fans to the show. In his first episode of The Itchy & Scratchy Show, Poochie sidetracks the plot to introduce himself by rapping about all of the reasons kids should just love him. Naturally, the audience overwhelmingly hates Poochie and the focus being put on him, so in the very next episode, the studio president crudely alters the cartoon himself to remove him and declare "Poochie died on the way back to his home planet." Krusty then promises the audience that he will never be brought back, And There Was Much Rejoicing.note 
    • The same episode got all meta and dropped a cool guy in his late teens named Roy into the Simpson family's house with no explanation, only for him to leave again at the end of the episode to move into an apartment with two sexy ladies. This was because Fox was at first actually serious about the idea of having a new 'hip' character in the Simpsons' household, but of course the writers were against it and thus created this parody instead.
    • The producers would find themselves in familiar territory years later when FOX held a contest that would allow the winning fan to create a new Simpsons character. Naturally the writers responded by having the character die instantly after only one scene.
  • Gabby Goat from the late 1930s Looney Tunes cartoons was intended to be an abrasive comic foil for Porky Pig, but he was seen as an annoying, unlikable character by audiences, and only appeared in 3 shorts before being immediately abandoned; storyboards for "Porky's Party" reveal he was planned to have a fourth appearance, but he was replaced with a penguin in the final cartoon. When he was brought back from total obscurity in 2018's Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production, the show's writers had to be more careful in handling him to prevent history from repeating. Thankfully, his characterization was improved alongside regular reminders of how his abrasiveness made him unpopular in-universe (the episode with his debut ends with Porky blowing his top at Gabby, for instance, which is perfectly understandable when up to that point it was the other way around).
  • South Park:
    • Ms. Choksondik seems to be designed to be intentionally unpleasant, and takes the empty teacher spot left by Mr. Garrison. Either out of mercy to the audience or simply because her jokes had run their course, the creators eventually kill her off by way of an instantly-resolved Tonight, Someone Dies faux-cliffhanger where her death is little more than just a footnote, and restore Mr. Garrison to his previous post. That and they might as well fulfill her prophetic name. She may have always been planned to be a substitute teacher while Mr. Garrison took some Character Development.
    • In his first appearance, Towelie appears to be a parody of this trope. He appears out of absolutely nowhere, the boys react just enough to get him to wander off periodically, and the episode features a Parody Commercial for Towelie merchandise (including, just in case, "I hate Towelie" T-shirts). That said, he has reappeared, if only rarely.
      Cartman: Towelie, you're the worst character ever.
      Towelie: I know.
    • After his first appearance in "You're Not Yelping," David continues to appear hanging out with main characters, implying that he would stick around. He never really did much, however, and after that season was Demoted to Extra. Possibly they realized that a Hot-Blooded kid with a grudge against Cartman wasn't really necessary when they already have Kyle.
  • Pinky and the Brain. Parodied in "Pinky and The Brain... and Larry". Larry, who gets an awkward Promotion to Opening Titles, generates a Retool into a knock-off of The Three Stooges. And plenty of My Friends... and Zoidberg moments. In a Lampshade Hanging, he left specifically because Brain pointed out that he didn't gel. Then, at the very end, just as it looked like that Pinky and the Brain will carry on as a duo again, a scientist placed another mouse into their cage, and the mouse introduces himself as Zeppo. The ending reprise of the theme song was then reworked to have Zeppo's name in it in the same manner as Larry. He's gone before the next episode, though. The entire episode, similar to the Simpsons example above, was made in response to the network asking them to add in a third character and make Pinky and the Brain a trio. The episode staved off their demands for a while, but the network eventually got their way, inserting Elmyra Duff into the show, and turning it into Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain. It was canned after five episodes aired.
  • The Smurfs (1981) cartoon show averts this trope by the fact that most of the Smurfs are basically Faceless Masses, identical to each other. A character can be brought in, given prominence for a while, and then be easily written out with no problem and without anybody really missing them.
  • In Kim Possible, Adrena Lynn was meant to be a recurring rival and foil for Kim. The fans disliked her — and, more to the point, far preferred Shego — leaving her as one of the very, very few villains with only one episode (and a cameo in the finale).
  • The My Little Pony (Generation 4) spinoff Equestria Girls introduced Flash Sentry as a potential Love Interest for main character Twilight Sparkle. The movie had a prominent Running Gag about the two of them constantly bumping into each other, the two develop a visible mutual crush on one another, and the movie even ends with Twilight bumping into her world's Flash Sentry. However, his character gathered quite the backlash from many fans, due to both the blandness of his character and that he was a love interest for Twilight at allnote . Because of this, he received much less screentime in the succeeding films; the Running Gag was dropped altogether, he spends most of Rainbow Rocks being under the influence of the Dazzlings' strife-causing spell, and come Friendship Games, he gets barely any lines to speak of and he gets handily rejected by the Human Twilight. He does get a subplot in Legend of Everfree, in which Sunset Shimmer tells him that he should get over human Twilight, which ends up with Flash thinking about hooking up with Sunset again. As for pony Flash, he has all but disappeared beyond all of two season 4 cameos, one of which lightly referenced their mutual crush.
  • Bendy from the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Everybody Knows It's Bendy". He was introduced in the episode as a Hate Sink due to his obnoxious actions, but due to getting away with it at the end he ended up being more hated than expected, to the point writer Lauren Faust publicly apologized for creating him and wrote him out of the series afterwards, and he hasn't made a single appearance since.
  • Sparky from The Fairly OddParents! was reported to not be returning in Season 10 because of his huge unpopularity among fans, critics, and even staff members.
  • Regular Show seems to have done this with Thomas (or Nikolai). He was introduced in a special and afterwards undergoes a rite of passage in the form of several of Muscleman's pranks. Afterwards, his screentime dwindled. His unimportant status is even further reinforced by the fact that we don't get to hear a story from him during the one Halloween Episode in which he was present beyond a cliche Orphaned Punchline. He leaves the cast in a plot that makes little to no sense even for this show.
  • Smiling Friends: Parodied with Smormu: "Shrimp's Odyssey" starts with a (visibly skewed) vote for whether to add him to the main cast or not, and ends with Smormu showing up out of nowhere to cheer Pim and Charlie up with a dance and a jig as the announcers brag that he (barely, and with only the popular vote in front of a losing Electoral College) won, and that "THIS CANNOT BE UNDONE: SMORMU IS HERE TO STAY!" And then, at the very end of the credits that started right then, the usual parody In Memoriam is dedicated to Smormu, complete with picture fresh off the morgue.

    Real Life 
  • In the workplace, new employees may be fired after just a few weeks (or even days) on the job if they are determined to be unsuitable for the job. At many companies, new hires may be put on a probationary period, to allow company supervisors and managers to closely evaluate and monitor the progress and skills of the new employee; the trope may kick in if it is decided the employee doesn't meet the company's standards.
  • When Spain took over the Louisiana Territory from France in the 1760s as a result of the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War), the first new Spanish governor was so unpopular with the residents that they revolted. He was ousted and a new guy installed.

Alternative Title(s): Shoot The Scrappy Dog, The Poochie