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Playing With / Put on a Bus

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Basic Trope: A character leaves in such a way that he or she can return.

  • Straight:
    • In a season premiere of The Troperville Show, Diane tells her friends Alice, Bob, and Charles that she will be moving away. At the end of the season, she leaves Troperville. In later seasons, she is only mentioned in passing.
    • Same as above, except Diane is not mentioned after her absence, and moves back after several seasons.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Loads and Loads of Characters move away over the course of the series, and others are introduced. Once written off, most characters are never mentioned again. By the series finale, the only original characters left are Alice, Bob, and Charles.
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    • Everyone comes and goes, enough so that it seems as if none of the main characters live in Troperville.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
    • This trope requires an In-Universe explanation; if a character is dropped without a justification, it's Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
    • Diane is moving away because of a job promotion.
    • She has been divorced, and her ex-husband kept everything.
    • She is simply tired of living in Troperville, and wants to make a fresh start in another city.
    • She's in a Convenient Coma.
  • Inverted:
    • Diane "dies", but is resurrected several episodes later. In other words, she is brought back from the dead, which would be impossible in Real Life.
    • Diane is an old friend of the gang who moved away before the first episode. She is introduced when she moves back to Troperville in the fourth season.
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    • Diane stays behind while all the other characters that the show follows move to another place.
  • Subverted: Diane decides not to move away after all, possibly because she doesn't want to leave her friends.
  • Double Subverted: She moves away later on.
  • Parodied:
    • Every time anyone boards a bus, everyone else wonders if he/she will ever return. Bonus points if said bus appears in a setting where it would make no sense (e.g. the Middle Ages).
    • The Status Quo Demon repeatedly thwarts Diane's attempts to leave the city, but she eventually manages to get out.
    • The bus's destination is given as "Away From This Show".
  • Zig Zagged: Eight characters are retired over the course of the series, seven of whom were put on buses; Diane returns once in the next season, Nicole moves back to Troperville three seasons after her departure (possibly with a new actress), Larry visits his friends in Troperville in later seasons, Quentin moves back in the final episode, Sam never returns but writes letters to the others, Paul dies two seasons after leaving due to his actor's death, and Ida is never mentioned again. The eighth character, Helen, simply vanishes without an explanation.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: "Diane hasn't been very popular since her Flanderization, but we can't kill her off and remain family-friendly. Let's put her on a bus."
  • Lampshaded: "Our friend Diane moved away about a year ago. I hope she returns someday."
  • Invoked: Diane is banished from Troperville.
  • Exploited: The main group of friends is a Gender-Equal Ensemble. Alice brings in a new friend, Emily, to replace Diane.
  • Defied: Everyone begs Diane not to leave, and she stays.
  • Discussed: "Why is Diane so quiet lately? You'd think she were planning to move away." "Oh no! People will stop watching our show if Diane's gone!"
  • Conversed: "Why didn't they just kill Diane off? We all know she's not coming back. Good riddance!"
  • Implied: Buses that stay in Troperville are painted green, while those that go out of town are red. In the background of a scene (perhaps Alice, Bob, and Charles talking), Diane boards a red bus. After this episode, she is never seen again.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: The writers simply decide to have Diane move away.
  • Played For Laughs: Diane's house is frequently destroyed as a Running Gag. After Diane moves away, Charles demolishes the house as a prank, and then remembers that Diane moved away. Alice and Bob react badly, e.g. "You fool! Now no one can move into Diane's house!" "We were hoping to befriend our new neighbor."
  • Played For Drama:
  • Untwisted: Everyone begs Diane not to leave, but she ignores them.

This trope was Put on a Bus, but I have a feeling it'll be back someday.

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