In trope-speak, a "bus" is a metaphorical device that effortlessly transports characters away from the plot for a long time. Often permanently.
Front-Line Fleet (tropes that directly reference the metaphorical bus).
- The Bus Came Back: A character who was phased out of the series eventually returns to the show.
- Back for the Finale: If the written-out character doesn't return until the end of the series.
- Bus Crash: A character who was phased out of the show gets killed off before they have a chance to return.
- Commuting on a Bus: A character who was written out of the series comes back in a recurring role, but still hasn't gone back to being part of the main cast.
- Long Bus Trip: A character who has been phased out of the show hasn't returned yet even though it's been a while since they were written out of the show.
- Put on a Bus: A character is temporarily removed from the show by having them leave the setting in a way that they could easily come back if the writers wanted the character to return.
- Put on a Bus to Hell: The character is removed from the show through spiteful means.
- Put on a Prison Bus: A character is last seen in one work being arrested (sometimes followed by a quick scene of the character in jail.)
- With a Foot on the Bus: It looks like a character will leave the show, but it turns out in the end that they're here to stay.
Backup Fleet (these refer to buses, but not in that way).
- Buses Are for Freaks
- Busman's Holiday: Someone has to work during their vacation.
- Busman's Vocabulary
- Bus Full of Innocents
- Dancing on a Bus
- Missed the Bus