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Playing With / Remember the New Guy?

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Basic Trope: A new character appears with the implication that they've always been there, just off-screen.

  • Straight: Bob's brother Charlie becomes a regular character in the show and the established cast treats him as though they have known him for some time, despite the fact that neither Bob nor any other member of the cast has ever previously mentioned him.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Charlie becomes the main character on the show, and it is suggested that he had a heavy influence on the events of previous episodes, despite not being seen or even mentioned during that time.
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    • Charlie literally appears out of thin air, and Bob casually sparks a conversation with him, to the bewilderment (or perhaps not) of everyone else.
    • Before Charlie appeared, it was explicitly stated that Bob was an only child.
  • Downplayed:
    • Charlie was actually in the earlier episodes; he was just in a recurring background character. He gets promoted to a minor/secondary character in the new season.
    • Charlie only appears once.
  • Justified:
    • Bob had good reasons for not mentioning him, e.g. he thought that his brother had died in a car accident, and didn't talk about it because it upset him so much, and when Bob mentions Charlie after he appears in the show, the times he appears are told via distant flashback.
    • Bob works in the place where he regularly interacts with dozens or hundreds of colleagues who are not shown or given much detail due to The Law of Conservation of Detail, and Charlie happened to be one of them.
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    • Charlie has a reason to be offscreen (ie, he works an opposite shift or has a different class schedule), but his schedule changes so he is closer to Bob and Alice.
  • Inverted:
    • Charlie, previously a regular character in the show, suddenly disappears, but everyone constantly mentions him as though he was still there.
    • Charlie disappears from the show, and everyone acts as if he never existed in the first place.
    • The characters in one episode act like this is Charlie's introduction despite him having been a regular character up until then.
  • Subverted: It seems like Charlie popped up out of nowhere, but it turns out that he was actually subtly alluded to in previous episodes, and so his appearance isn't so out of place after all.
  • Double Subverted: Then it turns out that the characters were actually referring to someone else entirely in those situations.
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  • Parodied: Alice and Bob have a conversation in a scene at the start of an episode. Later in the episode, Charlie appears for the first time but is treated like he's always been hanging out with Alice and Bob. Further into the same episode, there's a flashback to the conversation at the start of the episode, and Charlie is there.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Charlie is in episode #5, disappears for several episodes at a time and no one remembers him, then reappears in episode #11.
    • Daniel replaced Charlie after a Role-Ending Misdemeanor after being a background character. He is considered a replacement for Charlie in universe after he called Alice's mom a racial slur. However Daniel later appears in flashback episodes and wound up later mentioned as knowing him for years.
  • Averted:
    • All new characters are treated as such.
    • No new characters are introduced; everyone was there from the start.
    • A new character is introduced and the main characters are shown meeting him.
  • Enforced: "Let's not even bother explaining how Charlie got here. We gotta leave some things to the audience's imagination!"
  • Lampshaded:
    • "Hey Alice, you remember my brother Charlie?" "Actually, no I don't, seeing as how you've never mentioned him before."
    • "Charlie is your brother? Why didn't you mention something this important?"
  • Invoked:
    • The main character is a Magnificent Bastard and brings in a hired actor to pretend he is his brother Charlie for whatever reason. Other characters wonder why he never mentioned him before but quickly brush it off.
    • A spy uses hypnosis to make her "friends" think she's been in their circle all along, and thus trustworthy.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "Everyone keeps acting as if they've known Charlie their entire lives, but this is the first time I've ever seen him. It sure is annoying when shows do that."
  • Implied: Charlie shows up and, in his first scene, the dialogue is written as such to imply it might not be the first time the cast has seen him but he is still treated as if he were new.
  • Deconstructed: Charlie joins the cast after some important events had happened and was implied to be offscreen for awhile. Bob acts as if Charlie was there all along... when he wasn't. Thus the group treats him as sort of an outsider, he frequently ends up Locked Out of the Loop and is usually forgotten about by others. When the group references past events, Charlie wasn't around for them, so he just stares cause he doesn't know what they are talking about. Charlie doesn't really "integrate" into the group very easily.
  • Reconstructed: But then Charlie's tie to the group, Bob, sees this and makes more of an effort to integrate him.
  • Played For Laughs:
    • Charlie appears and everyone acts as if they've known him for years even though it is obvious he is a new character. This is played off as a Mind Screw to the audience.
    • In the middle of the story, Charlie pops up and a main character suddenly says, "Hey, there's my brother Charlie. Everyone remembers him, right?". The cast give a blank stare for a moment, then suddenly start acting as if they've known Charlie for years.
  • Played For Drama: Charlie's appearance is a hint that he manipulated their memories so they think that they always knew him.

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